Various & Sundry 2011 #6

Doing Good
Modern Relief Japan has their first few auction quilts up. Check them out, buy and donate.

Remember Christchurch had an earthquake as well. Have you made and sent your Hearts for Christchurch?

Other Artists & Fun Crafts

I recently kept Twitter open for a few hours and was actually enable to enjoy the conversation. In the course of popping back and forth between other stuff and Twitter, Little Bluebell pointed me to Carina’s Craftblog. I popped in and saw this GREAT cake post. You know I am a sucker for felt food and this piece of cake is just wonderful. I want one. Will you make it for me? 😉

As an aside, Carina has some lovely embroidery patterns – cheerful colors and designs I would want to have in my house. She makes me think about picking up my embroidery floss again.

You all know that I am making lots of Jane Market totes these days. The bottoms are really on my mind. Without some kind of stiffener the fabric bottoms hang down in a kind of sad floop. I have a lot of options: cardboard as Alicia, the designer suggests; plastic canvas with mailing tape wrapped edges; Timtex (or equivalanet) inserted in the bottom before handsewing the turning seam, interfacing. I haven’t tried all of these solutions yet, so I don’t really have an opinion on which I like better. At work the other day, I was look at the website of a new client . One of their offerings was replacement bag bottoms! WOW! They don’t have great colors, but if the bag bottoms are the right size, I might be able to overlook the color. The description is: “Size:12” x 8” to fit inside the standard reusable shopping bags.” Stay tuned!

Spring Cleaning Continued

I worked a little more after work on Monday and also after work and a meeting on Tuesday. My workroom doesn’t look fabulous, but it feels much better. It feels like I have space to move around and work. I need to take Kathy’s Order Week over at Bliss Habits to heart and clear out some of the unused stuff so I can get to the stuff I want to use.

I have been talking on and off about finishing small projects, which I realized was a kind of spring cleaning as well. Perhaps I was gearing up for Sunday’s ‘big’ spring clean? I don’t think I will ever be a one project at a time kind of girl, but clearing the decks of having too many projects feels good as well.

After all my talk about spring cleaning, I was excited and saddened to see Anna Maria Horner’s new space. Excited, because it is gorgeous and looks amazingly useful. Saddened because it doesn’t belong to me. I now have a goal to work towards. First step: move out the junk!

Julie put up a video of her year long project making a small quilt every week. Great work. Check it out.

Quiltmaking Discussion

I am really bad about keeping up with blogs. I haven’t found a great reader that fits my workflow, or quilt-flow, as the case may be. Google Reader, and other readers, are fine and I have several set up, but I just don’t go to them enough to really keep up. As a result, I nearly missed the Piecemeal Quilts discussion. Pam, the Head Rhombus from Hip to Be a Square Podcast, pointed me to this blog post the other day and the post made me think. (I seem to be doing a lot of thinking about quiltmaking right now! Not sure what that is about, but I digress. ) The writer, Sandi, of Piecemeal Quilt blog, was responding to a  post on another blog that suggested that half square triangles were an intermediate to advanced technique. The Piecemeal Quilt blog writer’s contention was that half and quarter square triangles are not an intermediate to advanced technique. I like the spirit Sandi displays in this post. I liked the fact that she was willing to put herself out there and write this series of essays. I have felt for a long time that the magazines are not providing skill building techniques and are actually making projects so easy that they don’t challenge people at all. Not everyone wants to be challenged and that is fine. I don’t always want to be challenged and sometimes my quiltmaking challenges don’t have to do with piecing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a beginner or just wanting an easy project. I, certainly, have done my share of rote sewing in the not too distant past and appreciate the meditative qualities of not having to focus too much on complicated piecing. A friend makes quilts using squares and does really amazing colorwork. Her challenge is the colorwork. A challenge it something different for everyone.

I find that even just reading about magnificently advanced quilts can stretch my mind. Perhaps Sandi was imagining that there are standards for quiltmaking – defined skills on a list somewhere that make a quiltmaker intermediate or advanced once mastered? I think, in the past, many beginning classes were Sampler classes that enabled beginners to learn a variety of different techniques. I think learning using sampler blocks is still a good idea, but sampler classes take a lot of time, people are busy and most people want to learn quickly.

I did take a look at the Single Girl quilt-a-long Photostream on Flickr. These quilts are not easy nor have the makers used all white backgrounds. I saw one with a chocolate brown background that looked very rich. I think there are more complicated pieces out there and people are stretching in their own ways. Still, I applaud Sandi for putting herself out there and responding with the Skill builder series.

Pretty Package
Pretty Package

I received the fabric from Julie of the Intrepid Thread. Isn’t this a pretty package? The bow (real French ribbon!) will end up as the tie for a gift bag. The service was fast and who doesn’t like getting packages in the mail?

I also received my rulers from Soft Expressions. I was disappointed to find that the 60 degree Creative Grids triangle I ordered has the tip cut off. Normally that is a good thing, but it doesn’t work for the hexagon project (from an early BAMQG meeting) on which I am working. Oh well!