Various and Sundry Wednesday

There is a lot going on. I realized at some point over the weekend that I had not really inventoried what I for gifts. This year will be a much leaner Christmas even than last year, but I still have a few things to buy and a lot to wrap. There is a lot going on at work and I have just been ignoring everything, and focusing on the gifts I need to make.  I got myself in gear, did an inventory and started working on my Christmas shopping.

I am an inveterate cyber-shopper. Before the web had stores, I would spend the Friday after Christmas with all of the catalogs I had been hoarding on the phone ordering via phone. Since I do mostly online shopping, I inevitably find other sites that might be of interest.

Liesl from Oliver + S pointed me to her free mitten ornament pattern. It can be used for gift tags, winter decorating, tree ornaments or an advent calendar. I could see where the maker could have a nice little reminder of favorite fabrics from the year by using project scraps for the mitten cuffs. Thanks, Liesl!

Liesl pointed me to Alabama Chanin. I like the look of their blog, which they call a journal. I believe they are a clothing company. They do sell scrap bags of organic cotton fabrics. I saw an interesting jacket on the cover of one of their catalogs via their blog/journal. I am thinking about renewing my wardrobe, but want classic pieces with interest which look good on me. That is a project for much later, but it is on my mind.

Quilts, Inc in Houston has website with a list of the winners from this year’s show. Robbi Joy Eklow won second place in the Art-Abstract Large category. It is one of her gear type quilts. I saw Moon Garden by Judy Coates Perez last year at PIQF She won Honorable Mention in the Art-Painted Surface category.

I was pointed to the Running with Scissors Blog for an interview of Susan Shie. She talks a lot about her airpen work and how it has changed the pace of her work (she can do a lot more). She is doing less hand work, but I don’t know if she has completely stopped that. She also talks about spending the day with President Obama sitting by the side of a river and talking with him while they eat cheeseburgers. It is a very sweet image. After the debacle with the White House party crashers recently, I was thinking that it would be nice if a “regular Joe or Jane” was invited to every White House event. It is, after all, our tax dollars at work.

Also, some time ago I took a class at the Marin Needle Arts Guild weekend retreat from Gwen Marston. It was a two day class and we learned Liberated Quiltmaking. I ended up with my quilt Women’s Work 1. I used her technique to having making a lot of different house blocks.

I found a blog called Block Party and they show a tutorial for making star blocks similar to the ones that Gwen Marston teaches. I thought you might enjoy making a few. As I scrolled through the blog, I found they had tutorials for other blocks as well.

Somehow I found my way to a Dutch site full of Mariner’s Compasses and other round designs created by Jacqueline De Jonge. I have linked you to the English version. De Jonge’s work reminds me of Judy Mathieson and her work looks similar to Barbara Barber‘s circular work. I took Barbara Barber’s class at PIQF once and should be able to make these without another class, but De Jonge’s quilts look so cool, I would happily take a class from her as well. There is a review and picture of a great block one of her students made. You can buy the patterns and fabric collections at BatiksPlus. I was surprised at the cost of some of the patterns ($46), but I think it would probably become clear once I actually saw the complexity of the pattern in real life. Not all are that expensive. I think I would rather have a class form her or a book and do the drawings myself.

This reminds me that I have an idea to make a circle quilt a la Malka Dubrawsky, but with inset circles like Ruth McDowell teaches and shows in her Piecing book instead of the dyed circles that Malka uses.

If I had unlimited money, after I bought the diamond earrings, I would buy the Aurifil Suitcase. Have you seen this? If I bought it I would probably never use any of the thread, because I wouldn’t want to break up the set! The colors are luscious. I love the thread and having it in a suitcase keeps the dust away.

Spiderwebs are all over the place. I saw another one on Oh Fransson’s blog. Her spiderweb has her signature colors with a tinge of Christmassy-ness and grey centers.

Janome has a content running called “Pass it On“. You answer some questions about where you learned to sew and are entered to win. Your entry and photos become their property and will not be acknowledged or returned blah blah blah. You can win a sewing machine, serger or big pack of thread. How did you learn to sew and who taught you?

A lot of brain dumps lately, I know. Hope you are keeping your inspiration high during this busy time of year.

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

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