Cleaning up the Junk Drawer of my Blog

The title is paraphrased and re-imagined from a phrase that DebR uses on her blog, Red Shoe Rambling. I have a lot of little bits to pass on and thought this would be a good time to do it.

More on Gabrielle Swain

I forgot my camera on the second day of class. Karen, a fellow student in the Gabrielle Swain class, was kind enough to share her photos with me. We had a little session on features of her camera, which was fun and then we took some pictures. Karen let me look over her shoulder while she took photos.

In the above piece, you can see the color placement issue that I described in Gabrielle Swain Class, Day 2. The leaf is made up of separate pieces. If you can see how the veins divide the leaf, know that each of those sections is a separate piece of fabric. In placing the fabric, Swain explained to us how to fussy cut the fabric (using the light box) so that there are no huge breaks in the color of the leaf. I think the above leaf has more color breaks than I would expect there to be in a piece, but since GS did it, there must be a reason.

You can also see the quilting pretty well in the above photo. All of this quilting is done by hand.

I liked this quilt, because of the way she breaks up the leaves and the branches. I also think the few letters add a lot of interest.

My favorite quilt of Ms. Swain’s was called Even Change (not above, click the link). I think the one on her website might be different than the one she brought to class. Still, I like the idea of temperature that she used in this quilt. The idea was that if she used a cool tone on the background, Swain appliqued a leaf (piece of fabric) in a warm tone on top of that background, then she used a cool tone for the veins. Very successful.

Thinking about Proportion

Periodically, some technique that has been rumbling around in my mind as I try and understand it, clicks into place. What is rumbling around in my mind lately is proportion.
TFQ and I saw this class sample at Black Cat Quilts when she was visiting in April. It is from the Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr book, Quiltmaker’s Color Workshop: the FunQuilts’ Guide to Understanding Color and Choosing Fabrics. Gretchen was out of the book so I had to buy it from somewhere else. That meant that we couldn’t look at the book or the directions for the quilt.The pattern is pretty easy, so it doesn’t really require a class or a pattern.

I was shocked when I did buy the book, because 1) the colors were a shockingly ugly combination (TO ME). I have little to no appreciation for the colors in quilts made from reproduction fabrics; 2) they put that ugly quilt on the cover; and 3) how small the blocks actually were in the pattern in the book. The above picture shows blocks that are approximately 8″x4″. It was high up on the wall and there wasn’t a ladder available for me to climb and measure the blocks. Also, I forgot my tape measure. Anyway, in the book the pattern directions tell you to create blocks that are about 3″x5″ (the size of an index card). Huh???

Well, obviously, the maker of the class sample was perfectly able to enlarge the pattern. This where I started to think about proportion. I find that the proportion of the blocks in the picture above to be good. I haven’t made one of the smaller blocks, so I can’t say whether I would like that size.*

My thoughts about proportion, which started with this book/class sample encounter, have to do with how to figure out how to find the right proportions (without a lot of complicated math, thanks) of a block. It is easy to say “ok, the pattern says to make this block 3×5, so it would be easy to blow the block up to 6×10”, but what about if I want the block to be 8x something. I have a little fraction to decimal cheatsheet and I want a proportion cheatsheet as well. Let me know if you know of one.

I do have EQ6 and will probably work on it there.

Note we did get permission to take the photo.

*Aside: the smaller blocks might be a good FOTY project.


At work and personally, I am doing a lot of self examination. In the course of this, we were talking about Myers-Briggs types and how some types don’t like opening gifts in front of people. That brought up a discussion of gifts and how I would really like a super large set of Prismacolors. Gabrielle Swain suggested getting the large set so that I would have every color I ever needed. I have been using a set of colored pencils that were part of my school supplies list when I lived in Austria. They are a few years old, but they have great names like hellgruen and dunkelblau and they do the job. The friend subsequently mentioned that Aaron Bros was having a monster sale and I could get a set for half off. I went to Aaron Bros last night while I was running an errand at Target and looked.

First, I was shocked at how few art supplies Aaron Bros actually has now. Their whole upper floor was filled with framing services and ready made frames. I had no idea frames were such good business.

Anyway, I didn’t buy any Prismacolors, because the 40% off sale was over. Dick Blick has the set of 132 pencils (list $190.00+) for $89. That seems like a good deal.

Swain also mentioned the Prismacolor Art stix. She made them sound like they were some special/new kind of pencil. I looked at them at Aaron Bros and they looked more like pastels to me. I am not into messy, so I don’t know if they are for me. I think I bought a couple last week and will try them out.

I am also interested in the Derwent Inktense pencils. I suppose I should learn some techniques for colored pencils, so I can really test the various pencils in an informed manner.

Making Many Bags

I figured out why it is a GREAT idea to have multiple tote bags hanging around. To date, I have made 6 bags and have 2 or 3 cut out and the fabric ready for at least one more. I have been thinking, and discussing with TFQ, the point of making many bags. The obvious answer is that it is fun to make bags. It is great fun to use large pieces of different fabrics than I wouldn’t normally use for quilts. It is also fun to buy fabrics, such as the cupcake fabric for a purpose. I came across the true answer last Friday, as I prepared to go on a trip.

The true answer is that you need extra bags so you don’t have to clear out the other bag you haven’t unloaded!

Yes, life has been crazy and I haven’t unloaded the dot/flower bag, so when I went to pack for the trip to the lake, my choices were to unload the bag or do something else. I was, as usual, in a rush and late, so I just grabbed the Alexander Henry bag, filled it up and left. Right now, I have two bags laying on the floor of the workroom full of various activities. I guess I am already packed for another trip!

The dot/flower bag also needs to be fixed. I didn’t catch all of the hem when I hemmed the top, so I need to resew that. I started to unsew it and resew it, but haven’t finished.

Trivial Pursuit gets Personal

I was leafing through a recent (ish) issue of Quilting Arts and was able to read Patricia Bolton’s editorial before I dropped off into a dead sleep. In it she describes a game board she made for in-laws for their 50th (WOW!!) wedding anniversary. Sadly, there were no pictures and my dream of websites launching in midair (remember that delusion I described sometime ago? I tried to find it in my blog, but couldn’t. If I do find it, I’ll edit this post to include it) didn’t happen.

Today, I emailed Ms. Bolton on Facebook and asked her about the photos. She pointed me to her blog and there are the photos. This gets counted in the cheerful quilt department. I am also impressed with the different techniques that she described. The idea of using those little felted things as laggers is great, too. All around a wonderful idea.

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The Turquoise Caught My Eye

I need more turquoise like I need another hole in my head, but I bought some additional lovelies last week and the color has been on my mind. As well, I am still trying to do some visual journaling. So far not very successful, but I am making progress and that is what counts to me. So, when I saw these photos of Friend Julie’s visual journaling, I had to take a closer look.

I really like the overall water feel. Those bright white buildings in the first picture are such a nice contrast to that water feeling. I also like the bits of other colors that she incorporated into the piece to set off the blue. Nice job!

Discover Dulcet Messages

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Creative Inspiration Course

Popgadget reported on a Creative Inspiration course that is offering. I haven’t taken this course and have no affiliation, but I thought it might be interesting to check out.

Douglas Kirkland: Creative Inspiration
with: Douglas Kirkland

Douglas Kirkland is one of the most accomplished and celebrated photographers of the last fifty years. This installment of the Creative Inspiration series offers insight into Douglas Kirkland’s photography, from his early career at Look magazine during the golden age of photojournalism in the 60s and 70s to his transition from analog to digital photography in the 90s. His iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, and Nicole Kidman, among others, are known all over the world. This series of videos includes a peek into Douglas’s work, his studio, and some of his on-location photo shoots. Also view a presentation showcasing his body of work, a discussion with a group of high school photography students, an interview with Douglas and Lynda, and more.

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Diane Gaudynski Speaks

I am in a hard place in my life at the moment where I sincerely dislike the work that I am doing. I don’t dislike the skills I have or what it takes to do the work. I don’t dislike the profession or the people in the profession. I am simply astonishingly bored by going into the office and doing the same work day after day. While I struggle through the process of figuring out what to do next, creativity is incredibly important. I have found it difficult to inject much creativity into my life recently as I race around from one task or obligation to the next. I find it difficult when I can’t get to my machine or when I am too tired to be inspired. I have been struggling with visual journaling and trying to squeeze some hand piecing into the spare moments. Nothing is perfect in the creativity department.

As a result, I have, once again, turned back to quilting podcasts. They are a perfect fit at this point in time and space. I can listen in the car, on the train, at the doctor or at swimming.

I have been listening to one podcast for a long time and recently switched to Annie Smith’s Quilt Stash podcast. I immediately felt a great sense of relief and calm. Annie has a wonderful voice and she speaks intelligently. The other podcast host[ess] used some strange grammar, weird words and odd idioms. It began to get on my nerves.

Tonight I listened to podcast #119, a visit with Diane Gaudynski. I always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about DG for no good reason except jealousy. Bad, Artquiltmaker! Now I am in love with Diane Gaudynski. The interview was so warm and friendly and Diane gave some wonderful tips in a warm and effortless way. I immediately put her book on my Amazon wishlist.

As a result I am back on the quiltmaking podcasts as a way to get some creativity into my life. Try out Annie Smith’s podcasts.

Out and About near the Lake

Last week was a hard week, which culminated with me having to drive 3 hours north on Friday to go on a short vacation with my family. part of me wanted to go and part of me wanted to lay face down in my own bed all weekend. I wasn’t looking forward to the drive and was tight as a spring up until I got out of the City. I finally got to the lake and the first thing I did was look up quilt shops. The weather was not laying by the pool weather and I was determined to have some fun.There are two shops in the area I was willing to drive in: Shelley’s Quilted Treasures and Kerri’s Quilting.

The first shop I found and visited was in Kelseyville. Kelseyville is a small town with a main street that is pretty lively. There was an antique store, a bead store, a computer store, and a couple of restaurants in addition to Shelley’s Quilted Treasures. We also passed the public library on our way there.

The shop has been there for 12 years, but Shelley has only owned it for about 2.5 years. Brenda manages the shop and is knowledgeable ( I heard her helping someone select the right amount of fabric for a class project) and VERY friendly.

The store is large, bright and very cheerful. There were at least three other rooms behind the sales floor, one of which housed a longarm machine. The fabrics were fun, on the new side and who couldn’t love four shelves of dots? I found one of the Basix dots and bought the rest of the bolt. They had a lot of very appealing kits, including one with the above referenced Basix dot print and turquoise in a rail fence pattern. Normally, I am a bit dismissive of kits (the snob in me, I guess), because they appear to require so little thought. However, a combination of the Gabrielle Swain class and going to Shelley’s as well as the experience I had in a quilt shop with the woman who had finished all of the quilts in Quilts Quilts Quilts made me realize that not everyone knows how to design a quilt; not even putting blocks together with confidence. I don’t think it is most people, but I do think that a lot of people don’t have the confidence to try and fail. I think also there is an issue with “wasting” fabric.

The shop also had a great collection of pear pincushions. They had ready made pincushions for about $20 and patterns so you could make your own. I thought about buying one, but didn’t see one with a fabric combination I adored.

I found out later that Lake County used to be renowned for its pear crop, but that all of the pear trees are being replaced with vineyards.
The shop was light and airy with dark-ish brown shelves. they had a lot of new fabrics, but some golden oldies as well ( like the Basix). Shelley’s stocked other materials as well such as Tsukineko Fabric pens, a holder for my colored pencils, which I bought since I had been fighting with the organization of my colored pencils the day before.
Next, we drove to Lakeport. I had my MIL and SIL along who were very patient and didn’t hurry me along. We missed the Lakeport Memorial Day Parade, but stopped at Kerri’s Quilting, which is a nice little shop in a sad location. We were the only people visiting at the time. It is a small shop, but has a really nice fabric. I found a couple of dots and some 40s (??) pinwheel fabric in a different colorway than I had before. I saw an Artbin that held 12″ projects, but forgot to buy one. The owner was friendly and showed me the little sundresses she was making for her granddaughter. She had also juste received a small business award from the city.

The mall where Kerri’s resides has a lot of vacancies, including a restaurant space and the anchor space, which used to be a market, and is located behind an old, decrepit and defunct gas station. Lakeport looks like a nice town (larger than Kelseyville).

I hope that the day we were there was a slow day and that normally the shop is bustling.

These are my weekend purchases.

These are the purchases I made after the Gabrielle Swain class at New Pieces in Berkeley. The books were very spur of the moment.

Gabrielle Swain Class Day 2

The second day of the Gabrielle Swain class was about the technical steps of putting the blocks together. Swain does all of her applique’ by hand and all of her piecing by machine. She wanted us to follow her through her process, but didn’t care, ultimately, whether we used her process to put the leaves together.

I thought this was an important lesson for me. I often go to class skeptical and with preconceived notions, mostly because I have had teachers who put stupid useless supplies on their list or don’t know how to teach. I am not saying that I am better than them; I am saying that you can’t be a teacher just because you say you are. I have high expectations for teachers. Anyway, when I heard that we were going to do needleturn applique, I groaned inwardly. I was too exhausted to fight and just went with the flow. As the class unfolded, I could see why she makes her quilts the way she does. She has a point and, while I may never make a whole quilt the way she taught us, I am glad I know about it so I have another technique in my arsenal and can choose it among others in the future.

In the first part of the class, GS talked about placing the fabric in such a way take advantage of the shifts in color of the hand dyed fabric. She was basically talking about fussy cutting. You end up with Swiss chees fabric, but she wanted us to understand that by paying attention to the color you could expose light and shadow to make a more interesting quilt. She also wanted us to ensure that we didn’t have big breaks in the colors, that the colors flowed together in a way that looked natural.

Swain also talked about the properties of color. She said:

  • Value: light, medium and dark
  • Temperature: warm (reds and oranges), cool (blues and greens)
  • Intensity: how true or saturated the color is; how much grey is in the mix of the color
  • Hue: more color you get in a quilt the less value

I need to do more research on intensity and hue. I have never really taken a serious color class and cannot vouch for what she said about color and hue.

The other color tip GS provided was not to use equal amounts of opposite colors. I think the ratio she mentioned was 60/40, but it could have been 80/20. Another thing for me to look up. You comments on the color theory aspect are most welcome.

Before we started the applique’, I was thinking that hand applique’ would be too much work. I took an Elly Sienkiewicz class a long time ago and really hand a hard time with the needleturn applique’. I made two blocks in the ES class. One was some kind of flower block and the other was a folded snowflake. I did finish them, but decided that my dream of a full, needleturn applique’ BAQ would never happen in my lifetime. Those two blocks will eventually go into my miscellaneous blocks quilt – a quilt I intend to make from trial, test and class blocks… someday. If I find the ES class blocks, I will post them here.

In order to transfer our pattern to the fabric, we had to ink over the lines of the pattern. I used a Sharpie, which worked very well. I taped the pattern to the lightbox and traced over the pattern straight on to the fabric with a Pilot Scuf pen. GS recommended a Pigma Micron pen, but somehow, I didn’t have the right one with me. The Pilot Scuf worked fine, but you have to make sure that the point is not squished otherwise you will get a very thick line. You have to turn the black line under, so you want it to be as fine as possible.

Before you actually start the applique’, you need to decide which way the seam lines will go once you applique’ them. You start with the piece that will be on the very bottom and build on top of the pieces on the bottom. For the applique’, the supplies recommended are:

  • Mettler 50w thread
  • Thread Heaven thread conditioner (instead of wax)
  • #11 sharp needles (I used a between and it worked fine. I bought some sharps later and will try them outthe next time I work on this quilt)

GS cuts her thread at an angle and threads the cut, angled piece through the eye of the needle. I have never understood this tip and am thrilled that I do now.

She also showed us a much easier way of doing needleturn applique’. After basting the pieces together with junk thread (who really has junk thread???), you hold the pieces in your left hand and scrape the needle above the raw edge you want to hide, towards the unsewn part of the seam, with your right hand. You hold the piece below where you have already sewn with your left thumb. This allows the appliqued edge to be smoother. It also sends the give towards the unsewn area, which prevents ripples, I think. I found it to be much easier and much faster than the way ES taught. I am not saying that the Queen of Applique’ is wrong. There are many ways of doing things and not every way works for every person. It is important to find the way that works for you and if your results are good, then you should continue to work in the method that suits you.

It was readily apparent how you have much more control when you do this work by hand. However, I can also see how, with care, this work could be done by machine.

Gabrielle Swain does a lot of colored pencil and ink work on her quilts. She showed us that as well. You can see my colored pencil work in the purple accent above.

Great class. Take her class if you have the opportunity. This post is a good description, but the real thing is well worth the money.

Gabrielle Swain Class Day 1

Another teacher to add to your ‘must take’ list. This woman knows how to teach! She knows her stuff, has confidence in her teaching and has an opinion, which I like. I don’t have to agree with the opinion, but wishy-washy “well, what do you think, dear?” kind of comments from a teacher, make me crazy.

Above are the fabrics that I brought to class. Not being a hand-dyed girl, I chose batiks in a palette that I like. Her suggestion of 3 yards was a wild shot in the dark, IMO. I would improve the supply list by asking for 20-30 FQs evenly divided among all the colors. In this case, I was able to find some fabrics out of my small batch to work with, but other people were having a really hard time. Even people who had brought a lot of fabric with them.

The first part of the class was all about design. No sewing. Some people were completely mortified. I was thrilled. I actually got to spend time on my design and try out a couple of different things. One thing that Swain said, which resonated with me, was that people find their materials first and then try to find a design to fit the fabrics. I Think it is true in a lot of cases, but I don’t think it is true, mostly, for me. It is definitely something to consider and keep in mind.

The theme of the class was leaves. Mom went through my inspiration file and pulled out many of the pictures containing leaves. Talk about a hero! I went through the pictures a few times before I started the design and whittled down the group. I finally settled on a Georgia O’Keeffe postcard of a painting called Yellow Leaves (bottom left). Apparently the real painting is at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. In surfing the web, I found an image of another of her leaf works that has to be in the same series called Pattern of Leaves.

Swain gave us large format patterns, which we could have also used, but I don’t think anyone did.

This was my first attempt and , frankly, it is pretty much a copy of the O’Keeffe work. Swain said to add another leaf (rule of odds) and turn the leaves so they were going in different directions. I had a hard time understanding what she was suggesting. She ended up explaining it by saying to align the leaves so they hit various points on the letter C. Finally, I got it and set to work.

This was my second attempt. After finishing the draft, I was concerned that not enough of the two upper leaves were showing.
I traced my second attempt, but shifted the paper slightly to modify the spacing. It ended up with too much spacing.

Above is my fourth attempt, which I liked. Again, I modified the spacing.

This is the final design for my project. It is the third drawing, which Swain thought was better than the fourth.

I think the above process is a good example of why spending the time on the design is worthwhile.

My first thought was hat I would make each of the leaves out of a variety of different fabrics. Above is my first pass at fabric selection. I was thinking that more fabrics would add interest.

Here are my choices with the background.

This group is good, but Swain was concerned about the strong print on the middle fabric. She thought, when cut up, the petals of the sunflower would draw the viewer’s eye in an unintended direction. She is very much about careful choices in both fabric and seam lines. There were a lot of things she said that reminded me of Ruth McDowell’s work with seam allowances.

Here is my final selection. I guess it is ok. I may work on it a bit more later just to make sure I am happy with it. I like the fabrics, but the combination as leaves is a bit of a stretch. I am, however, willing to work with the colors to see how Swain’s advice works. Here is one example Swain had for a design principle. Think of a tic-tac-toe board. Put an x in the middle, because you don’t want to put anything exactly in the middle. The Os at the intersection of the squares are where she suggested we place our images, if doing this kind of a design.

Julie’s fabric selections and pattern. Julie is Swain’s star student as Julie took her 6 month creativity class earlier this year. Sadly, none of the glow is rubbing off on me. 😉

New Stuff

I saw the cupcake fabric on the Camilla Knits blog (See also blogroll). It is right under the A in Happy. I immediately was inspired to make a bag. Who woldn’t laugh seeing someone carrying a cupcake bag around? Then, I thought it would be unprofessional. TFQ reminded me: WHO CARES??!! I bought it. I sent email, but eventually had to call Clementine’s Dry Goods to actually get the fabric in the mail. Lovely that I did, because I spoke with the most helpful/ customer service oriented person. She didn’t bat an eye when I said that I was calling about a fabric that I had seen in a picture on the Camilla Knits blog. The fabric arrived two days later (no, I didn’t pay for fast shipping) in the lovely little package the you see above with a free Kaffe dots FQ. I’ll have to go and buy stuff there more often.

I would actually like to go to the store and look around. The photos look like it is a wonderfully inviting place. I like the look of the high gloss shelves and I adore those Ladies. I hope to convince DH that I need them for the living room. You can stop laughing now.

I bought these ribbon at the EBHQ show from the Quilted Gypsy, down from the Seattle area. I love these ribbon and want to put them on a bag. I haven’t done it yet, obviously, so another thing to add to your Stay Tuned! pile.

Joyce at Quilting Adventures had a bag contest. I heard about it and sent off the French bag and the Alexander Henry bag. As TFQ predicted, the Alexander Henry bag won a judges choice prize. The prize was the above pack of three FQs (above). So nice! The QA staff got a great photo of it here. You can also see the other bags that won in QA’s Bag Contest Winners post. I am thrilled. What a shot in the arm for me doing a project series that is just kind of playing around.

My sister loves Paris. She went in April despite upcoming end of the semester papers and finals. Since she was there, I sent her to Le Rouvray and she picked out the above fabrics for me. I think they look very French apartment curtains-style.

Bold graphics

I am catching up on my blog reading and this picture comes from Kathy at Pink Chalk Studio. Isn’t it great? I love the simplicity with interest and the bold, graphic colors. The alternating of the colors is wonderful as well.

I know I should be writing about the Gabrielle (pronounced Gob-Ree-Yell) Swain class. In short, it was fantastic. More on that tomorrow; I am making it an early night.

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Supply List Suggestions

I am taking a class with Gabrielle Swain tomorrow. I hadn’t ever really heard of her until Friend Julie took a 6 month long one-on-one class with her. I decided to take the class because Julie really got her creativity juiced. She did a lot of work during the first few months of the year.

Lo and behold, I am completely prepared for the class. I have all the stuff sorted, piled up and ready to go. I am thrilled. No running around like a chicken with its head cut off at the last second. I’ll even bring the bags down to the car tonight so I just have to walk out with my handbag tomorrow morning.

While I was getting ready, obviously, I had to look at the supply list. One thing I realized was that teachers don’t always explain why they want you to bring something to class. It would be very helpful if the teacher put the name of the class along with a brief description of the class at the top of the page. This should be followed up with the normal supplies such as pencil, notebook, basic sewing kit, scissors, etc.

While ‘normal’ is relative, I think that there are some standard supplies. It would be great to explain anything beyond the standards. I realize that teachers are busy and that they have a lot to prepare. However, a little explanation can make the students feel more secure in the supplies they choose and help the students bring better supplies.

Ms. Swain’s supply list was relatively straightforward. I often wait until the last minute to get the supplies together, thus I am really resentful when there is something strange and unexplained on the list. Of course, my procrastination is not the fault of the teacher. I have a lot of supplies. I even have a lot of strange rulers and materials, so it doesn’t seem to much to ask for someone to explain why they need a certain brand of this or that.

I really am not complaining about Ms. Swain’s supply list. Reading over her supply list just made me think about supply lists in general. The only thing on it that I couldn’t supply out of what I have at home was hand-dyed fabric. I am not a hand-dyed fabric person; I just don’t have very much of it. If she had explained why she wanted hand-dyed fabric, I might have gone out and bought some. Instead, I chose some lovely batiks that I think will make great leaves.

Stay tuned!

I Didn’t Realize I Did Do Something!

Normally, I like to give my posts their day in the sun – the one time in their life when you will see them and only them first.

Today isn’t one of those kind of days.

A few days ago, I was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t been doing anything sewing related lately except thinking. When I realized that I had been working on the Cross Blocks (Flowering Snowballs) on and off, but pretty regularly for about three weeks or so, I was thrilled and had to show you. I have some work done! Hooray!

Some time ago, I spent a couple of hours cutting a bunch of patches to have handy when I had time to make blocks. The above five blocks are the result of that exercise as well as the actual sewing that I have done during the past few weeks. It pays to plan ahead, I think.

Some of the fabrics I wouldn’t use again, because they are too dark or too blah, but I think they will mix in well in the end.

Since 5 blocks is an odd shape, I took a close up of these four so you could see the circle (of which I am very proud). I also wanted you to have the opportunity to enjoy some of the fun and fabulous fabrics: the kitchen fabric in the middle (upper right block, yellow) as well as the lamp fabric (upper right block, blue). Normally, I don’t use these in the types of quilts I make, but this project is perfect for some of those conversationals that I like and never use.

I have a total of 33 blocks. I could stop at 36 and make a 6 block by 6 block quilt. I would like to have this piecing see me through my summer travels.

I also want to do the self bordering technique on this project so that the quilt looks finished. I will have to make a round of blocks for the outside. That idea worked so well with the Pineapples, I will have to really think about how I can do it successfully. If I make the center too big, the border will be too daunting.

Decorating Ideas

There is a restaurant in the City called the Slanted Door. I like to eat there because there are many, many offerings sans wheat. It is very hard to get a reservation as well as a bit pricey for regular visits, so usually I get take out and enjoy it at my desk. In the winter they have a particularly wonderful chicken noodle soup with NO wheat.

One day, when it was pouring rain, and I wasn’t downtown so I stopped at a restaurant near my house looking for a lunch of Mexican food. I got a variety of sensory delights.

First, they had fantastic decorations hanging all over the walls and ceilings. Many of these items were hand crafted from items you can buy at IKEA. There is a green lamp in the lower right hand corner of the photo above. It is garbage can that has been embellished and had a hole cut in it.

There were many, many parrots in cages.
They also had a variety of mosaics.

There was NO dust either. The waitress told me that they spend two hours in the morning dusting. She also said that they take stuff down that is broken or too gross.

Finally, they had the most unbelievable chicken soup. Not chicken noodle soup, but it was GREAT.