More Stars for San Bruno

A few days ago, I put out a desperate plea for additional star blocks and you came through brilliantly! Thank you!

My mom got hers additional blocks in first. She was heading off to vacation when I called her and got a few blocks made before she left. She will probably be mad to hear that I didn’t use them yet. Sorry mom!

Michelle contacted me out of the blue and asked if she could contribute, then she came through with flying colors. She made a vast array of the blocks, so I will have many more blocks to work with. Thanks, Michelle!

My SIL also came through spades. She has a large, stand-alone embroidery machine and embroidered a bunch of blocks. These will give the last quilt a different look.

I also made the binding for the Stars for San Bruno #2 and will send that to the quilter tomorrow. Now I am more excited to start.

New Handmade Bag

After finishing the Stars for San Bruno #2 top, I needed to get away from quilt tops for awhile. I really liked the Bird Watcher Messenger bag that Angela made and showed at the BAMQG meeting a few months ago. This pattern is from a book I reviewed called The New Handmade by Cassie Barden.

Organizing Bag Pieces
Organizing Bag Pieces

I am still not as comfortable making bags, as I am making quilts. I am getting better. I do get comfortable making one one bag pattern, but in terms of bags in general, I still feel like I am learning.

When I am making a bag, I lay out the pieces so I know what I have and can keep track of what parts I have. One thing I would have done differently with this pattern is I would have pinned notes to them to identify the different parts. I often use post-it notes to identify the pieces. Post-it notes are sticky, but I still pin them to the fabric.

Pinning notes to the pieces would have helped a lot, because the author refers to the various pieces by the color of the fabric she uses. This was a problem for me because I had different fabric. I had to keep referring to the pattern and translating the fabric names to the fabric I had. I have since annotated my book.

Bag in progress
Bag in progress

The directions and accompanying drawings were pretty good. Aside from translating the fabric, the bag went together pretty well. I was able to put the outside of the bag together within a few hours over a few days.

I added a lot more interfacing than the pattern requires, because I don’t like floopy bags. I like my bags to be stiff so they can stand up.  This allows me to throw things in the bag from across the room.

When I went to see Colleen she mentioned fusible Pellon. It is, apparently, stiff, but not as fluffy/fat as fusible fleece. Perhaps I will try it? We’ll see. I am loathe to diverge from the Chubby Charmer pattern after making the Sugar Pop Chubby Charmer, but it might work for the messenger bag of my own design that I am planning.

Messenger Bag in Progress
Messenger Bag in Progress

If I made this bag again, I wouldn’t use so many fabrics.  It is good to see that the maker can use a number of different fabrics, if desired, but I don’t need to use that many.

What I would do differently is use the outside fabric (Amy Butler Love) for the pocket that is currently aqua (Michael Miller Dandelion). I don’t think the lower pocket needs to be a separate fabric. I would use the aqua for the middle pocket and skip the black. Putting the aqua up where the black is would give the whole bag a more cohesive look. Aside from the pattern requiring too many fabrics, I found that I paid close attention to the fabrics I chose so they wouldn’t look weird together. I didn’t just grab the fabrics randomly so I get to the sewing part. I like it that all the fabrics are from different groups. It is easy to choose fabrics when they come from the same group and takes more time when they don’t.

I was worried about the flap, too. I don’t remember making a bag with a flap before. I was worried about inserting it  and I was also worried about the tab.

The other thing I need to remember when I make bags is that I like to have all the fiddly bits out of the way when I start. I like to make the tabs and straps and pockets detailed at the beginning of the pattern and finished right away, not at the end. A lot of bag designers seem to like to have the maker put the straps together at the end. I wonder why that is?

Inside Messenger Bag
Inside Messenger Bag

I really tried to pick fabric for the bag so the bag would be usable. The blue Amy Butler Love fabric is cheerful and there is a possibility that I will use it. The bag itself isn’t really the right size, though. It is more handbag sized than taking-stuff-to-work size. Also, I am really in love with the Innocent Crush Flea Market Bag for carrying extra stuff right at the moment.

For the inside, I chose orange. One of my two awesome 7YO nephews told me his favorite color is orange, but orange is not a color that I use often. As you know, from my Lovey Blocks post, I pulled out my orange bin and, suddenly, I was in an orange mood. The oranges really counteract the grey fog swirling around my house right now. The inside won’t show that often and orange is light so I will be able to see the stuff at the bottom of the bag. I think the inside is a bit bigger than I would like, because it bunches up. I wonder if I didn’t get the seam allowance quite right or if I should, generally, make bag insides a bit smaller.

I added the pocket using sizes from one of the outside pockets. The more pockets the merrier in my world.

Finished -Shut
Finished -Shut

Left is an image of the finished bag. It is a nice shape and an okay size. I worked hard on the fussy cutting the flower for the front and think I did a good job.

I didn’t like the way the pattern said to make the straps. Turning straps right side out makes me want to scream AND they look bunched up and wrinkled when I finally get them turned. I am not using that method again, except for Anna Maria Horner’s Multi-tasker tote. I should have learned my lesson. It is just as easy to cut the straps bigger and fold them and that method adds padding.

The other weird thing about this bag is the closure. The pattern calls for a closure like a camping bag or Timbuk2 bag – those black plastic things that pinch your fingers. Not my style. I found a Nancy Zieman closure that looks nicer, but weighs about 13 lbs. There wasn’t a lot of selection at my local fabric store and I hadn’t planned ahead. It is ok, but, again, not my style. I like the bag hardware that Sherpani uses for their bags. The Buckle Guy doesn’t have the Sherpani hardware, but he has some really nice looking hardware with a variety of finishes that I hope to use in the future. I just need to plan ahead.

I didn’t like the way the pattern told me to sew through the nicely fussy cut front of my bag to install the closure. I tried to pick thread that wouldn’t show much, so it looks ok. I think that the tab could be applied to the inside of the flap before sewing the flap together, perhaps with a little extra interfacing, but will have to test it out, if I use the pattern again.

Finished -Open
Finished -Open

I’ll have to see about giving this bag a test run.



QN 2011 Book Giveaway Winners

A few weeks ago, Amanda at Lark Crafts offered two lucky winners copies of the Quilt National 2011 books.  10 people entered and I used the random number generator + a spreadsheet to track entries and generate a winner.

And the winners are:

Robin and Upstate Lisa

I have contacted both winners and, hopefully, they will get back to me. YAY! Thanks for playing, everyone and I hope you continue to read and comment.

A big thanks to Amanda for offering the books. Head over to Lark Crafts to check out all the great projects and articles they offer.

Thanks to Sandy over at Quilting for the Rest of Us for making the Random Number Generator easy to find and use.


Creative Prompt #115: Flight

Glad to have you playing along!

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog, and how your work relates to the other responses.

The Creative Prompt Project has a Flickr Group, which you can join and to which you can post your responses. Have fun and link to your responses! Ask a friend to join, too! You can respond to the prompts together. I created that spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted. Post yours and get kudos!

Take flight

In flight

Kelly Rae Roberts blog

cheap flight deals

book flights

Microsoft Flight

flights of inspiration

track departing flights

Wright Brothers

Charles Lindbergh

transatlantic flight

dynamics of flight

The Art of Flight

Flight 93

Angel’s Flight

take flight

Flight of the Conchords

human flight

bird in flight

flight patterns

maiden flight

flight attendants

space flight

Definition: –noun 1. the act, manner, or power of flying. 2. the distance covered or the course taken by a flying object: a 500-mile flight; the flight of the ball. 3. a trip by an airplane, glider, etc.

Stars for San Bruno #2 Off to Finishing

Stars for San Bruno #2
Stars for San Bruno #2

As I mentioned I took the Stars for San Bruno #2 quilt to my quilter last Friday. I am so pleased that I finished the top and that I am really moving along on this project. I probably won’t get it back until the beginning of September.

I was stupid about how I put this top together and ended up needing to sew a lot of partial seams. I decided to put on two borders (yellow and blue) on the top. I thought about putting two yellow borders, but couldn’t face the scrap piecing so I compromised by putting a slightly wider yellow border on.

I have a large piece of solid fabric left that I want to use for #3,  but other than that, I don’t have much dark blue fabric left. Tons of turquoise, but none of that deep blue. I am trying not to buy any more for #3.

I am not that fond of working with really dark colors anymore, but have been trying hard not to infuse the quilt with resentful or bad feelings since I want these quilts to be a comfort to their new owners. It is working very well and I don’t even have to try that hard. I do know that I need to take a short break and do some other projects before starting on #3.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed blocks.

Book Review: Quilts Made Modern

Quilts Made Modern: 10 Projects, Keys for Success  with Color & Design, From the FunQuilts StudioQuilts Made Modern: 10 Projects, Keys for Success with Color & Design, From the FunQuilts Studio by Weeks Ringle

In general, I like this book. I like it because the tone is kind. I like it a lot more than most project books because the authors weave additional information beyond how to make the included projects their way into the text.

Quilt books seem to be going the way of projects rather than inspiration or catalog books. If that is the wave of the future, then I hope authors and publishers take a page from this work and from books books like 12×12. This book has a lot of very personal aspects. The book starts out with some good advice and a reminder. Weeks Ringle reminds us “how healing a creative hobby can be when dealing with the potholes on the road of life.” Yes, it is project book (perhaps it is time to get over myself about that and just accept the fact that publishers aren’t going to branch out very often with books like 12×12), but Kerr and Ringle took the time to make this more than just a few projects. The book is infused with advice on color. The authors took the time to show and talk about a few color variations for each project. No, they didn’t make all of the quilts, but used line drawings. However, this is not a “my way or the highway” design team. They want the reader to be able to envision their quilts in different colors.

I really enjoyed the two other books, The Quiltmaker’s Color Workshop and The Modern Quilt Workshop by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle. I like their work and their writing attitude.

In one of their other books Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle introduced their concept of “The Big Idea,” which they describe as “an idea, a memory, or a metaphor that serves as the inspiration for your quilt.” They remind us of that. It is the basic piece of their method. I like that they continue to use the same idea in another book. It makes me think it is not a gimmick.

Part of this concept is that the Big Idea is about design. Part of the design process is not to rush it which means that we always need to have something to sew on (e.g. a box of squares to sew together) so you don’t feel like you have to rush through the design process. I like this advice. It is a good reminder

Early in the book, the authors have a section on color theory. The authors use the Johannes Itten Color Star to show what a color wheel does and how it can be used. The Color Star theory is a very sophisticated way of using a color wheel. The Color Stars are really expensive now, but worth buying if you see a deal. They have very good gradations which means you can see the variations in hue, value and saturation very well. They do not fit in with Joen Wolfrom’s Color Play’s theories of color, but one or the other will get you where you need to go. Aside from the “which color wheel do I use theory, Quilts Made Modern color section has definitions of basic words used in color theory. The section includes basic examples of terms such as hue, value and saturation.

Throughout the book, the authors include sidebars and tip boxes in grey, which give more than tips. In the color section, there is a sidebar called “climbing out of a palette rut.” Just the title tells me this is a topic to which I may want to pay attention for my own work: don’t use the same colors all the time. They also ,remind readers that quiltmakers don’t have to wear the fabric, which is very important in terms of color selection. Since a quiltmaker will not be judged on his/her bright orange shirt, orange fabric can be considered to be a viable option for use in a quilt.

Color isn’t the only aspect of design to which we need to pay attention. Scale, figure/ground (also called negative space), proportion and a concept called “engaging the edge” are also addressed. Because many quilt fabrics have pattern, I appreciated that Bill and Weeks included information about scale in their design principles. Color proportion is also covered. This is a concept that quiltmakers don’t see addressed in quilt books very often. Color proportion is the concept of how much of one color to use in relation to the other colors.

Color is included in the design section, which is very long and detailed. I am pretty excited that Ringle and Kerr spent so much time on design and the publisher allowed it. In this section, readers are reminded of all that comprises the design process: color and forms of piecing, color and pattern of quilting along with the texture of the quilting. “Realizing that quilting is an important layer of design will help you be more intentional about the way you quilt your quilt” (pg.21). How often do you think of all of these elements as part of the design process? Me? Never. The section is a good reminder.

The authors also talk about the “More is Better Club” in this section where they remind us that “the trick is figuring out where the line is between lush and overdone.” This leads into their section on developing a palette. Also part of the design section is developing a palette. Kerr and Ringle give an example of a poor palette choice in addition to the other information. It is nice to have authors talk about their learning opportunities.

Another element of this book is a section about understanding fabric. Weeks and Bill talk about how fabric is made, which then leads to a discussion of different types of fabric. This section also includes a discussion of fabric printing technology. The authors have good suggestions for using large scale prints as well. They say “if the motif is on a solid field, then you’ll want to make sure that the pieces you’ll be using are big enough to accommodate the scale of the motif. Collaged motifs, even if they are in big repeats, are easier to use, because the motifs fill the pieces no matter how small.” The section also covers hand-dyes and batiks.

Auditioning fabrics, editing choices, using a design wall and paying attention to the effects of white are all elements of quilt design covered in this section.

By a third of the way through the book, the authors begin talking about design meeting construction. I love the imagery of design meeting construction! You can design whatever you want, but putting it together is a whole different issue. Borders are the first topic addressed and the authors bring up the point that “if a border is not thoughtfully integrated into the design, however, the proportions of the quilt can become visually awkward.”

There is a section of text that discusses pieced backs, which I haven’t seen in a book in this amount of detail. The section runs a few pages and suggests that the quiltmaker can “use up scraps from the front of the quilt” and “add playfulness to the quilt’s overall feel.” (pg.38)

Quilting thread has a prominent role in this book as well – colors, what it adds, changing colors mid-stream, how it works with batting – many aspects that, again, I have not seen covered in books I have read.

Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle also give a few quilting options, in terms of designs, before they get to the quilt patterns.

The project patterns are well laid out with a clear list of materials for a variety of sizes as well as a *description* of the skill level rather than a number of spools or scissors. This type of description is much more useful than other types of skill indicators. The patterns don’t stop there, though. They weave in color throughout the patterns. Alternate colorways are shown, fabrics not selected for the project are shown and some other mini lessons pertaining to that particular quilt.

For the first quilt, Fashion District, the authors provide an auxiliary design lesson. Their special pearl of wisdom in this case is to point out that “not one of them (talking about fabric) has any white that would read as a hole in the quilt.” (pg. 51)

I find the alternate color ways to be important. They are not pictures of quilts, but computer generated layouts. Still, the reader gets a great idea of how the quilt would look with different fabrics.

In the pattern pages for Loft, they show what the quilt looks like in different sizes (pg.59). Again, the images are computer generated, but the reader gets an idea of the graphicality based on the repeats.

Most of the designs have a bold graphic appeal. While many of the patterns, when broken down into pieceable elements, are simple, the design aspect of many of the patterns making them look more complex.

A nine patch becomes a lesson in transparency (pg.63). A series of carefully pieced rectangles shows how simple elements can look complex (Improv, pg.93). The book also weaves in different techniques for making quilts without giving a dogmatic, my-way-or-the-highway impression of the book. In the Big Dots pattern they talk about using freezer paper to make the circles. They make a brief suggestion about machine applique’, but the preparation also lends itself to hand applique’.

Some of the elements of quiltmaking, which are often difficult to verbalize in books, are mentioned here and there in passing throughout Quilts Made Modern. For the Small Change pattern description (pg.109), Ringle and Kerr talk some about the value derived from a quilt that gets worked on constantly. They say “when you work on a something so long, you gain the added bonus of the many fond memories created during the hours spent quilting.” I find this to be true with my own quilts. I remember DH helping me with the math for the setting of my first sampler and he wasn’t even my DH then!. I remember working with TFQ on the Katrina quilt. I remember laying out all the pieces for the Sweet Harmony bag, taking up a good portion of the hallway, during the week I spent at TFQ’s, what we ate, the fabric stores we visited. I think this is one of the unsung joys of quiltmaking.

Another reason I like this book is that it is not all about one technique. They mix it up: machine piecing with hand quilting, hand applique’, machine piecing and machine quilting. The authors show that you don’t have to do only one technique and they guide their readers through the basics of the techniques included.

There is an obligatory section on how to make a quilt. I won’t go into my usual rant because it would just be a boring repeat. This section not just copied and pasted into the last 30 pages of the manuscript: the authors include their own reasons behind the practices they teach in the book. They suggest that you do not cut 8 layers of fabric at once regardless of how sharp your rotary cutter is. There is a reminder to close your blade guard, which I appreciate, as well as sections on pinning, and a small essay on hand and machine piecing.

In the section on preparing the quilt for quilting, Weeks and Bill suggest measuring “the quilt on both diagonals to ensure that the quilt is square ( the diagonals should measure exactly the same.” (pg.132). This is something I haven’t heard before and should try. I am a little scared to find out how un-square my quilts are! The techniques needed to make all the quilts in the book are covered. They are not covered in excruciating detail, but they are covered to the point where you can make the quilt. I would have liked to have an index so I could find things I wanted to look up. Throughout the book there is the sense that there are many different ways to do things and that it is important to find the method that works best for you.

View all my reviews

Block-a-Long #14: 9 Patch Foundation

9 Patch Foundation #14
9 Patch Foundation #14

HAH! Fooled you! I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Really, the blog was busy yesterday with the Primal Green information. Priorities, you know.

But, we are back in the Block-a-Long saddle. Thenewest block, which I named 9 Patch Foundation is a very similar block to the 9 Patch and the 9 Patch Go Round. Can you see how they relate to each other? Can you see that they are the same type of grid?

If you saved some strips or patches from either of those blocks, you can use them for this block. If you are brand new, I am providing the directions for your convenience.

9 Patch Foundation Rotary Cutting Directions

Please post blocks you make to the Block-a-Long Flickr Group, or on your blog with a  link in the comments section below.

Last Week for Primal Green

Primal Green Postcard
Primal Green Postcard

Did you go and see the show? This is the last week to see it. Primal Green is a show of environmental art quilts at the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library.

The Wallace Stegner Environmental Center is one of the special collections at the Main Branch and, after a year of work with the Library, CQFA has over 20 quilts and other fiber art on display. The quilts all have an environmental theme. The show will hang until this coming Saturday July 30 and be available to viewers during the Library’s normal open hours. Don’t wait until the last minute! Oops! It is the last minute. Go TODAY!

Primal Green, the art quilt exhibition at the San Francisco Public Library, has some information on the Green Stacks portion of the SFPL website. Hope you can see the show.

Hope you can stop by and see it. Check the library’s website for hours.

Quilt Assistant Needed

Janome 9000
Janome 9000

Last weekend, I accidentally hit the foot pedal after I had put on the quarter inch foot and before I had changed the stitch setting from zigzag back to straight stitch. The needle hit the metal foot and the machine (Janome 9000, 15+ years old) didn’t sound right after that. It didn’t sound terrible, but I just didn’t like the way it sounded.

The machine is long overdue for service, so Friday I ran a whole bunch of quilt errands plus got my glasses adjusted, which has been on my list for 9 months at least.

First stop was the Cotton Patch, which is where I leave my machine for service. It was probably the farthest location from my house (around the City, across a bridge, up and over a hill). My idea was to make a big round circle ending up back at home.

Cotton Patch, Lafayette, Calif
Cotton Patch, Lafayette, Calif

I spent quite a bit of time talking with the lady at the shop about the machine. She wasn’t the repair person, so she was taking lots of notes. She asked good questions. Yes, I looked at the new and used machines, but that dream is for another day.

I consoled myself about leaving my machine by looking at fabric. I saw the Mail Sack pattern by Pink Chalk Studios made up. There are a few details on it that I might want to alter and use on my own perfect bag, so I bought a copy. After buying a few pieces of fabric in Pennsylvania, I was surprised and saddened to find that every fabric I looked at in the Cotton Patch was $10.95 or $11.95. It is really expensive to live in my area and this is one of the examples. Last year, I saw fabrics at those prices while On my July trip down to Long Beach and was shocked. Now, I guess those prices are normal. Sigh.

Next stop was the University Eye Center. I have been going there for years and always feel well taken care of. My sunglasses are now not falling off my face if I incline my chin slightly and the screw has been replaced in my work glasses, so I don’t have to worry about being armless all of a sudden. 😉 I can tell you that it felt GREAT to cross that To Do off my list.

New Pieces Outside
New Pieces Outside

Then it was on to the New Pieces quilt shop. They moved to their new location 3 years ago and I am embarrassed to say that Friday was the first day I had been to the new shop. I love Sharona, the owner. She was introduced to me by someone I used to know. We used to sit in EBHQ workshops and talk about our sewing machines, because we were often the only Janome users (back before the 6600) in the class. She has been trying to get me over to the shop for ages and I just don’t make it across the bridge that often. Friday was the perfect opportunity since I was doing the big circle anyway. I am so pleased that I went to her shop. Sharona exudes joy and the shop reflects that. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. People were laughing and everyone was chatting. I observed, however, that the business of quiltmaking was going on under the laughter and the fun – notes were being taken, fabric was being cut and fat quarters were being wrapped.

New Pieces Classroom
New Pieces Classroom

I really liked the shop. It is so much larger than the old space and there was so much fabric! I walked in and felt like I was seeing mile long aisles of fabric. I also loved the classroom. It was painted RED, a similar color to my dining room.

One thing I noticed is that Sharona had fabrics had been around the block for awhile. She had the new fabrics, of course, but it was nice to see some favorites that are, mostly, no longer available.

New Pieces has some interesting classes. They have a kind of Skillbuilder block of the month and this group of classes are all about curves. For this Block of the Month, customers supply their own fabric. Another current BOM is their Asian BOM. The fabric for this project is included.

We had a bit of a chat and laughed quite a bit before I had to get back in the car and head to my next errand. I will definitely be back. If you are in the area, it is definitely worth a side trip.

Next was a visit to Colleen to pick up the Kona Challenge and to drop off Stars for San Bruno #2 and Pavers. She was surprised that I had more for her. People think I am on some kind of mission this year to finish quilts, but really I am just sewing really fast and efficiently.

Finally, my friend La lives near Colleen so I we had a nice coffee break and caught up a bit. We never have enough time, but take what we can get. I used the Innocent Crush Flea Market Bag and think that I like that bag.


Lorajean’s Flags

Lorajean's Flags
Lorajean's Flags

I was looking through my Flickr Feed when I came across this quilt of Lorajean’s. Remember my Flickr trick from ResearchBuzz? My eyes nearly popped out of my head for a couple of reasons.

  • this is one of the layouts I am thinking about for my FOTY 2011 quilt with the triangles. While she is making it look more scrappy than I would, she has the idea.
  • this is a fresh and fun piece
  • the red really moves your eye around the quilt

I was thinking this morning that, perhaps I would lay the quilt out in a similar way to Lorajean’s, but focus each row on a different part of the color wheel and then within the row, I would colorwash the colors. I want to use Kona white or Kona Snow in this piece to give the fabrics some space. I’ll have to look at that and see if it works. Seeing Lorajean’s piece above makes me think it might. I know I have many more pieces to include than she has included in her quilt.

I also thought of making a two sided row with a thin strip in between so that some of the triangles are pointing and some are pointing down like Lorajean has done.

You can see Lorajean’s blog and this particular post about this top. The site has a very nice tone and some great posts. Aside from the pennant quilt posts, I really liked a post in which Lorajean talks about making a Harry Potter themed doll for her daughter. She does a lot of different crafts and the photos on her blog are well presented. Take a look at her site, leave her a comment and let her know you saw her top featured here at Artquiltmaker!


Creative Prompt #114

Philly's Magic Gardens - detailPhilly's Magic Gardens - detail
Philly's Magic Gardens - detail

Yes, I am mixing it up a bit. What are you inspired to make from this photo of a detail of Philly’s Magic Gardens? I posted more photos a few days ago.

Have you done them all? Have you done a significant number or some? Any?


Did you add links to your art? Contributed to the Flickr Group? Have fun and link to your responses! Ask a friend to join, too! You can do the prompts together.

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog, and how your work relates to the other responses.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted. Post yours and get kudos!

Food Quilt

Fabric Shack Food Fabrics
Fabric Shack Food Fabrics

This quilt is all about the fabric.

I started cutting when I found myself starting to wash and iron food fabrics AND when I started to run short of leaders and enders.

As you know I made an effort to get the Farmer’s Market fabrics put out by RJR. I was able to buy a nice selection in Pennsylvania. I also scrounged a bunch from my mom when she was done with her food quilts.

After that, it was time to do a test. I want to do a Disappearing 9 Patch. I saw Robin doing one at the CQFA 2011 Retreat and she got a lot of bang for her buck. I want something that won’t take forever, but won’t be boring. First, though I wanted to try it out.

9 Patch Basic Layout
9 Patch Basic Layout

I am thinking I will make the real squares 6.5″. I didn’t want to commit that much fabric to a test, so I made the test group much smaller. The squares for each part of the test 9 Patch are 2.5″ cut. The above shows you the look I am thinking of using: food fabrics in the corners, white on black print on the middle outsides and red in the center. The Young Man gave his seal of approval, though wanted to know where the pizza fabric was, so I’ll have to rethink not including pizza fabric (it isn’t part of Farmer’s Market).

9 Patch Sewn
9 Patch Sewn
9 Patch Cut & Rearranged
9 Patch Cut & Rearranged



The blocks look good and I think my idea will work. As I said the real blocks will be on a much larger scale. I think that the rearrangement of the blocks in that kind of infinity pattern will look good as well. Things to which I need to pay attention:

  1. not to many green food fabrics in the same block
  2. cut up lots of reds and blacks, if I really want to get moving
9 Patch Alternate
9 Patch Alternate

This is another way I could arrange the block parts. It has kind of a self sashing thing going. I don’t think I would want to do this unless I added more sashing to the center, which would be a lot more work. I don’t see any reason to cut up the 9 Patch in the Disappearing 9 Patch manner if I am just going to add more sashing to the middle. I might as well cut squares and sash them.

I really should have put a quarter or a dime next to these blocks so you can get an idea of how large they are, but I didn’t think of it before I took the photos. As a result, I don’t know if you will be able to to tell how large the final cut patches are?

First 4 Real Sized Patches
First 4 Real Sized Patches

As I iron fabric, I cut these large squares out and set them aside. I was finishing up Stars for San Bruno #2 when I first cut these, so I didn’t cut any black/whites or reds. I’ll get to it.


Various & Sundry 2011 #13

Quilt World News
Ardis James died on July 7, 2011. She was a pioneer in the quilt collecting realm, at least in my opinion. She, and her husband, Robert, were pioneers in antique and contemporary quilt preservation as well as quiltmaking traditions. Ardis and her husband helped establish the International Quilt Study Center in Nebraska. Thank you, Ardis, for your generosity. Rest in Peace.

Quilter’s Home will also die. It is being killed, actually. I am a subscriber and received an email on Friday saying subscriptions will be replaced with Quilters’ Newsletter. Sigh. I wonder if the change from Mark was just too much for people?

Out and About
A librarian friend sent me a link to an online lace museum called the Virtual Museum of Textile Arts. I am not that interested in lace, but I am interested in the history of the work of women’s hands. This is an Italian museum or related to an Italian entity, so there are some unique spellings on the site. There are multiple ways to search – by date, period, technique. I found some records and each of the records seems to have a photograph associated with it. There are videos and tutorials, which I didn’t look at.

I have a lot of projects going on, but I also have ideas swirling around in my head and supplies that suggest projects. I bought a couple of fun and cheerful charm packs recently and am mulling over making another 1-2 Chubby Charmers. My hesitation has a couple of stems:

  • how many Chubby Charmers does one person need?
  • are there quilts or other projects that would interest me enough to use for the charm packs? If so, what are they?

I posted FOTY 2010 to the “Linda M. Poole I made a quilt for me page on FB” and got a lot of nice comments about it, including one from Michele Foster of Quilt Gallery fame. She pointed me to a page on her site showing the designs for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi, Russia that look similar to my just finished FOTY. Trendsetting, again?

C&T Publishing had an interesting bag project posted on their site (I actually saw it on Creating the Hive). I like the shape of the bag.

I have started to listen to Katie’s Quilting Corner Podcast. I like her confidence and it is fun to hear what other people are doing. Katie has a good way of organizing her show notes with her podcasts. This comment could be down int he Media section, but one project that I really liked was Katie’s Mondo Bag. It is a postage stamp sort of design and I really liked the shape.

Fresh Lemons Summer Sampler Series
Fresh Lemons Summer Sampler Series

And, if the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt-a-Long and the various other quilt-a-longs going on in the summer weren’t enough, Fresh lemons and two friends are doing a Summer Sampler Series.

Frances has been suggesting the Crafty Garden Mom podcast for months and I have been resisting. Before I left, I thought I would need some extra listening so I downloaded an episode and listened to it. As I said in a previous post: Love it! I just listened to a few more episodes and they are equally as good. Tanesha is a good storyteller.

Did you sign up for the Giveaway from Lark Crafts? It is still going on, but you do have to follow the rules.

I was desperate for some podcasts, so I downloaded a few from the Pioneer Quilter. One was an interview with Leah Day. I really learned a nice amount about her work and her site as well as the products she offers. I was interested to hear about how she works. There was a lot of background noise and a pretty big disparity in the loudness of Kelley’s voice and Leah’s voice, which meant I had to have the sound very loud to hear Leah and then I would get my ears blasted when Kelley asked a question. There was also some repetitive thumping int he background and occasionally some jangling that distracted me. I know next to nothing about podcasting. I greatly admire podcasters who take time away from their quilting to podcast. I love hearing about people’s projects. I do find that the sound is important, though and hope that Kelley will go back and see if she can edit this podcast a bit. I the information is excellent and the sound problems distract from that.


Intrepid Thread fabric
Intrepid Thread fabric

I didn’t realize (well, I probably did, somewhere in the back of my mind, know it was a possibility and just didn’t think about it) that I could get myself into trouble with fabric just by attending a BAMQG meeting. Well, now I know. 😉 Angela bought a healthy stack of fabrics from the Intrepid Thread. Since Julie attends the meetings, she brought the stack to the meeting. You know how I am attracted to bright colors and shiny objects (magpie principle), so I had to take a look. I really prefer to see the fabrics than to buy them sight unseen online. Above are the fabrics that I bought. The conversationals were little treats that Julie included with my package. Have you seen how Julie wraps up her sales? It is like receiving a gift. I don’t need to receive my fabric that way, but it does make me feel special. 😉

Intrepid Thread Packaging
Intrepid Thread Packaging

I really did update my Cafe’ Press store. I enlarged the selection of products and changed the image on the Jacket, cards, and tote bags to the FOTY 2010 image. Yes, a jacket! Don’t you want to wear a quilt around? I think I am going to buy one to see how it fits. If you missed the Seeing Red products, sorry, but I did warn you. I need to pay for high school so I hope you will take a look at what I have to offer. Thanks!

When I received a Kindle as a gift, I bought a cover from Elizabeth David Designs and really like it. She recently sent out a free shipping notification, so you might want to check out her Etsy Shop. She is using some lovely fabrics for her covers.

And for your hexagon inspiration: This little mini quilt is from Malka Dubrowsky.

Now go forth and be inspired to do great work!

Inspiration Tuesday

Castro Street Mosaic
Castro Street Mosaic

There was an electrical fire in the building where my hairdresser has his chair. The shop is completely destroyed, but the fire alarm was called shortly after the fire started so it was contained. Nobody was injured. He was able get his appointment book and his scissors out, but lost his clippers, blow dryer, color, shampoo, etc.

As a result of this excitement, he is working from a temporary location. As I walked up the street I saw this mosaic tile art in the doorway of a Victorian. Hopefully, it will inspire you and your hexagons.


Block-a-Long #13: Top Columns

Top Columns #13
Top Columns #13

This block is similar to #10, the 9 patch Go Round. The sizes are very similar to the 9 patch. Use the Top Columns #13 Directions to make this block and post your results to your blog or the AQ Block-a-Long Flickr Group with a link in the comments section.

I designed these blocks so they would look complicated once put together, but they are easy enough to make quickly and you can use them as leaders and enders.