Creative Prompt #172: Press

Full court press

Press don’t iron!


Press the shirt

Restaurant in St. Helena

Freedom of the Press

press for change

press the point

Cafe de la Press (SF)

Definition: The press, overhead press or shoulder press is a weight training exercise in which a weight is pressed straight upwards from the shoulders until it is locked out overhead. The lift is performed standing.

World Press


operate a press

Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Press Democrat (newspaper)

The Press (news media)

brake press

Meet the Press

digital press

National Press Club

offset press

University of California Press


printing press

press operator

Make your response simple. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece. Take 5 minutes. Just respond and create a creative habit.

Please 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 to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs or websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.

FOTY 2012 -late August

Fabric of the Year 2012
Fabric of the Year 2012

I noodled around enough so I didn’t have time to write a book review, so here is an update the cutting for the Fabric of the Year 2012 quilt. It has been nearly a month since the last update.

For those of you have forgotten or were never in the loop, the rectangles are new fabrics – lots of these are from Quiltology – and the squares are fabrics that were in my stash that I have just recently used.

You can see the pink donation quilt in this edition as well as the Yellow donation quilt and pieces from the A-B-C Challenge.

I am having fun cutting into fabrics that have been around for awhile. That is another good aspect of the donation tops – fabrics get their day in the sun and I get some space in my fabric bins.

I’ll get my act together over the weekend and get you some meaty posts to sink your teeth into. Stay tuned.

Whole Cloth Quilt

Flowers in Progress
Flowers in Progress

I blame this project on Ruth over at Pippin Sequim.

I didn’t want to do it.

I resisted. Really I did, but the creative urge took over. It caught me at weak point and I gave in.

I also was inspired by the art exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and a design popped into my head. It was a good time to give in a engage in the entire process of quiltmaking- from design to binding.

Whole Cloth Quilt Design
Whole Cloth Quilt Design

Everything with this project has gone very smoothly. Knock wood! The fabric arrived, I had enough tracing paper and the right tools to draw the design. I found Saral Transfer paper and was able to transfer the design with little to no drama.

I am using Aurifil 28wt thread and it is working well and playing nicely with my machine.

Now I am quilting. I can only quilt for about 6 hours at a time and even that is pushing the friendship. I would do better to quilt a couple of hours a day, but the set up and clean up is daunting. I did a whole flower and finished the vase last weekend. I am making progress.

Stay tuned.


A-B-C Challenge

A-B-C Challenge Blocks, August 2012
A-B-C Challenge Blocks, August 2012

You might be wondering why I am writing about my A-B-C Challenge blocks when the BAMQG meeting was definitely not yesterday.

First, I am sewing pretty slowly lately and I am short on things to write about. Yes, you will see some more book reviews. 😉

More importantly, Rhonda finished all of her blocks. Yes, all of them, through Z. She sent a message to us saying she was done and I thought that I had better get busy. I had been thinking about finishing them all anyway. Finishing all of the blocks will buy me time later. Who knows how long figuring out the &^%$ sashing will take?

Yes, all of my blocks are done.

Yes, there are more than 26, because I made some bonus blocks. What the heck?

A-B-C Challenge: X Quartet
A-B-C Challenge: X Quartet

The first block I sewed over the weekend was the Ninja Throwing Star, according to Sandy of Quilting for the Rest of Us, Darla of Scientific Quilter, and Gretchen (@mafiretones) of 120 Blocks. It is actually my X block and the official name, according to Around the Block is X Quartet. It does look like a Ninja Throwing Star and once I caught up with their Twitter hijinks, I thought their jokes about wrapping myself in black Jelly Rolls and wandering around throwing the X Quartet were pretty funny.

X Quartet was a pretty straightforward block to put together and I like the way the color combination came out. And, I have to admit, it does kind of look like a Ninja Throwing Star.

A-B-C Challenge: Japanese X
A-B-C Challenge: Japanese X

I really wanted to make the Japanese X block that Kathleen combined to make into a pillow for the Pillow Swap challenge at BAMQG for X. I was nervous that the other participants would call me out since the block doesn’t technically start with X, so I decided to make it as a bonus block. I really like the design and want to explore it a little more in the future.

I have been trying to use more of the Zoe Pearns dots to create some continuity in the blocks. I don’t know if it is working, but the blocks, in general, are looking quite cheerful.

Zipper by Judy Martin
Zipper by Judy Martin

I skipped Y at first and went straight to Z. Y and Z are difficult blocks, mostly because not a lot blocks have names that start with Y or Z. I didn’t see any that I liked that started with Z. I thought about Zanzibar, the block from Weeks Ringle and Bill  Kerr that I resized and used for the FOTY 2009 quilt.

Been there done that, so I looked around to see if there were any other options. I found a printout from the Judy Martin site of a quilt made from a block called Zipper. It has a little different look than the other blocks I have made, namely because of the lack of HSTs, but I made it anyway. I like the way it came out.

Then I got to Y.

Y was a problem.

The first problem was finding a block I wanted to do. The next problem was making it. There are a lot of Yankee something or other quilt blocks. None of them really spoke to me. I had books opened to sections on Y blocks all over my workroom. Finally, I decided on Young Man’s Fancy. It has a nice propeller look in the center and I am not scared by long, thin, pointy triangles.

Young Man's Fancy: Fail
Young Man’s Fancy: Fail

I should have been, because I had no idea what I was doing with this block. No matter what I did, this block would not go together. Remember: I am making 6″ blocks, so I am sure the size had something to do with my problems.

Finally, I gave up.

The thing I did like about this block is the outside row of squares. The colors are grouped so that two pinks are in two corners and two greens are in the two other corners. I like the way that looks and will keep it in mind for future blocks. The suggested coloration had the border squares of this block colored in that way.

Yankee Puzzle
Yankee Puzzle

So, I was back to the Yankees. I just picked one, which turned out to be Yankee Puzzle, made it and moved on.

I have to say that my favorite color combination in all of the blocks is the color combination in Yankee Puzzle. That fun pink (may be called Lipstick) coupled with the dark, but cheerful greenish blue are awesome. You can see, from the photo at the top, that I have used this color combination a lot.

After Yankee Puzzle I had one open spot left in a 5 block x 6 block layout. As an aside, I am not sure why I picked that layout. I put all the blocks up on the design wall and I thought it looked good, so I went with that layout.

A-B-C Challenge: Rambler
A-B-C Challenge: Rambler

The last block I decided to do was the Rambler. The X of Flying Geese stuck in my mind as I looked through block dictionaries. I also liked the way the Flying Geese were sort of backwards.

The layout of the patches reminds me of something (a gift?), but I can’t think what. I especially like the way the first Flying Goose highlights the square-in-a-square in the middle.

This block has a lot of scope for imagination, as Anne Shirley would say, I think. I may make more of the for another project, but larger next time.

I have a vague recollection of a car called Rambler, but I don’t think my parents ever owned one.

A-B-C Challenge: Frosted Star Sashed
A-B-C Challenge: Frosted Star Sashed

I thought I would get a lot farther, but the Young Man’s Fancy and the Rambler took me a long time. I wanted to make some progress on the sashing, but only was able to sash one block.

The grey looks dark in the photos, but it doesn’t look dark in real life. It looks perfect. I am considering buying a whole bolt of that fabric.

You might think the sashing is wide, but I purposefully made it wider than the ratio calls for so I could trim all the blocks to the same size. Most are about 6 1/4″, but there are a couple that are nearing 7″. I think it has to do with me trying to figure out the math for quick piecing HSTs. I am thinking I will trim them all to 8″ and then put one of the red dots from the sashing post in between the grey of the sashed blocks.

I like all the blocks, but some of the fabric choices could be better. There are a couple of blocks that I may remake. I’ll think about it and see.

Saral Transfer Paper

I recently decided to try my hand at a whole cloth quilt project. Yes, I know it means diverging from my single-minded attempt to complete or make progress on many of the projects on the 26 Projects list. In order not to completely lose my mind and have fun, I diverged on to this project, because it requires me to engage in the entire process of quiltmaking from idea through design to stitching and finishing.

One of the challenges I came upon very soon after starting was transferring my design on to the fabric. This is always a problem for me as I am pretty lazy when it comes to quilting and I have never found a completely satisfactory way to transfer original quilting designs.  I didn’t have a quilting stencil, because this was my own design. I didn’t want to do a free hand drawing on the fabric and I have never been comfortable with the wash away pens, so I was at a loss.

Saral Transfer Paper
Saral Transfer Paper

Quickly, though, a vague memory of Saral Transfer Paper leaped into my head. I think I learned about in the dark ages of my quilting career.

Saral Transfer Paper is described on the company products page as: “Saral® Transfer Paper is wax free transfer paper (also known as graphite paper or tracing paper) made for general and specialized use, which allows you to transfer your design from a sketch, pattern, template or free hand to any surface. It makes clean, crisp tracings that can be erased and painted over. It’s great for tole painting, fabric painting, fine arts and watercolor painting, quilting, dress making, commercial and graphic arts, architecture, wood working, ceramics, stained glass, metal working and it’s acid-free for scrapbooking.

The website goes on to describe the advantages and different uses: “ Saral Transfer Paper is wax free so it gives the advantage of erasing like pencil with no smear or smudge. It can be inked or painted over with no skipping or bleeding. The transfer lines can be sponged, washed out or brushed off of fabric, and a hot iron will not set them as will other tracing or transfer papers made for fabrics. Saral is economical and can be used again and again.

Saral Comes In 5 Colors

Graphite: The all-purpose tracing medium. Excellent for illustration board and all drawing papers, wood, fabrics, canvas and metal.

Red: Excellent for ceramics and china painting. The lines will fire out. Shows up equally well on light or dark surfaces and mixtures of the two, such as photographs and photostats. May be used on acetate overlays, plastics and enamel.

Blue: Non-photographic. It’s not necessary to clean off Saral blue when work goes before the platemaking camera. Ideal for key lines, mechanicals, paste-ups. For Tole Painters, it leaves a bright, easy to see transfer line.

Yellow and White: For tracings on dark surfaces. Excellent on dark fabrics, dark wood, metal, as well as dark painting surfaces. Tole painters find white especially useful. Yellow is best for work on clear or stained glass.

Saral is Certified Non-Toxic
All Saral transfer papers conform to ASTMD-4236 and are certified by The Art & Creative Materials Institute as non-toxic, so they are suitable for use by children, as well as adults.

I have used it before, so I went in hunt for it and was fortunate to find a flat pack of 5 8.5″x11″ sheets at Joann. I also ordered a roll, as is shown in the image, from Amazon. It is an old fashioned feeling product, but it works amazingly well.

My pattern is about 2.5″x3″ feet, so I stood at my cutting table and drew over my pattern through the Saral Yellow onto my fabric. I can easily sew over the lines and they brush off when I don’t need them any more. I use a Sewline pencil to darken any lines that may have gotten too light. I am really pleased with how this product works, because I was able to trace right over the original lines of my pattern.

Also, I only used one 8.5″x11″ sheet to transfer the entire pattern., so the website’s claims of economy seem to hold up to scrutiny.

Book Review: Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry

Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry: Photographs of Beautiful Contemporary BeadworkShowcase 500 Beaded Jewelry: Photographs of Beautiful Contemporary Beadwork by Ray Hemachandra

This is another gorgeous ‘500’ title from Lark Books. More eye candy and inspiration for all kinds of creative people.

This book starts off with an introduction by author Ray Hemachandra. The introduction is interesting, because Ray mentions that beading is one of the oldest forms of creative expression and then moves on to mention changes to the art form’s professionalism in the last 20 years, among them social media, Etsy, copyright considerations and online connections. While this is not the first time I have read something about online communities and social media in a print publication I notice that the conversation is becoming more prominent.

Mr. Hemachandra gives an excellent description of the book, which I could not write more eloquently. He says “The book includes so many beaders with wonderful personal stories to share and that I’d like to share…but this isn’t that book. That’s another book to come soon, I hope. This book instead tells its stories through its photographs of jewelry….”. This book, as I said, is a feast for the eyes and will provide so much inspiration you will go to bed at night with your head spinning. You will have to make up your own stories about the artists and artworks, however.

The majority of the photos depict necklaces and bracelets. And in this department extreme beading is not an overstatement. I thought Kissy Fish was pretty extreme beading, and, perhaps, it is on a quilt, but I scattered a few beads across the surface in comparison to some of the amazing works in this book.

Neutrals such as bronze, grey, black, gold, pearl and silver dominate the colors, as jewelry tends to be made predominantly with those colors. There are a few glimmers of color on each page. Susan Blessinger’s Impending Bloom necklace looks very neutral in color in the full photo, but the detail shot shows dragonfly-esque pearlescent colors that are not visible in the full photo. Jamie Cloud Eakin’s Bling, pg.76, sparkles with prisms and crytals reflecting magenta and purples, evne on the book page. Of course, the pieces with pure beads and no metallic parts have more color.

There is a pretty, but serious necklace (You & Eye by Rachel Nelson-Smith, pg.116) with very realistic looking eyes. The necklace is more of a collar done in pure white with the eyes embedded in the surface beading. I am not a big fan of fake eyes, because they often look freaky, but the eyes in this piece look very real. I kept looking at the photo and waiting for one to blink.

One piece I noticed that was not a necklace or bracelet was a kind of long sleeved shrug (for those of you who knit), pg.118. It is called Dragon Lady and is a garment. I never thought of using beads to make a wearable accessory.

One of my favorite pieces is Jennifer Cameron’s Carnival (pg.75), because of the lovely combination of blues, greens and purples.

Look at the shapes, materials and colors and be inspired.

Thanks to Lark Books for sending this book to me to review!

View all my reviews

26 Projects – August Update

I said, last time, that I am sick of this list, that it felt a bit tyrannical to me. I decided that I would ignore the list for awhile and see what happened.

What has happened so far is I am designing a whole cloth quilt. I have a rotator cuff injury that may have been exacerbated by my manic quilting marathon. I started the actual quilting, am am excited about the design, but have to take frequent breaks.

I also woke up one morning thinking it was time to work on the spiderweb again. I was pleased to find that I had already designed the border blocks, which means I am farther ahead than I thought. I haven’t actually done it, but am still thinking about it, especially thinking about getting some Carol Doak paper.

The other thing that happened is that TFQ got into Big Sister Bossy Mode (BSBM) and gave me a talking to about this list. She really thinks I need to get rid of the class projects. I will think about that.

  1. Original Bullseye: needs border, backing, quilting and binding, which are all hard to do if you can’t find the project. It is lost. I know it is in there somewhere. As I mentioned, I did a test and found that my original idea didn’t work. I think a plain border will set off the blocks fine IF I ever find the top. Bleah!
  2. A-B-C (A-Z) BAMQG Challenge – I am actually not sure if this should be considered a WIP (Please say no!), because I just barely have enough blocks with which to make something. I am making good progress. W and X blocks are done and Y and Z blocks are next on the list- due in October. I tried about a bunch of different options for the sashing, because the blocks need to be a uniform size.
  3. Aqua-Red Sampler – steady progress has stopped and the class more than the quilt is really weighing on my mind. As far as I know Frances has finished her Dresden Plate, so perhaps we will start up again soon. The next class was going to be fusible machine applique’, but I haven’t gotten past cutting out the templates. Perhaps I should skip to machine piecing curves? TFQ also does not think this is a project. She considers this to be a teaching sample.
  4. The Tarts Come to Tea: I haven’t quilted on this since April 2011. I need to work on the quilting. I was making good progress and then got sidetracked. I have been quilting another quilt and that is getting me back in the swing of quilting. I thought that now that my machine is happier it might a good time to take this piece out again, but then I got sidetracked with the whole cloth piece again. I would like to finish it.
  5. Garden: I started this piece in a class with Pamela Allen in 2006. As mentioned, I used this piece for my beading demo for the 2012 EBHQ Voices in Cloth show (March 17), which means that I added some beads. I finished machine quilting this piece, removed some of the beads and have started to put beads back on to it. YAY! Handwork!
  6. Flower Garden: I still find the ‘flowers’ too spiky. I think I need to soften them up a bit. I was thinking of putting larger petals over the spikes to soften them.
  7. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. Bits of this quilt keep falling off the shelf on which I have them stored. While I was machine quilting the Garden quilt, I kept finding bits of piecing stuck to various parts of my clothing. This is a good leaders and enders project and perhaps the patches jumping off the shelf was an omen.
  8. See: needs satin stitching.
  9. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I like the piece, but don’t know where to go from where I am. Mouth? Hair?
  10. Spiderweb: I woke up one morning thinking I would work on this project. I found that I had already designed the border blocks! Yay! I want to sort through the blocks and make sure I have  just enough to make a quilt for my bed. That means I will have extras. I could make a quilt that would cover my house with the number of blocks I have already made. Progress. Hooray!
  11. Under the Sea: class project; like the design, but not the colors much.
  12. Flower Sugar Hexagon: sewed more hexagons together. Sewing Y seams is a bit of a chore, so I get tired of doing it after awhile.
  13. Young Man’s t-shirt quilt: have cut up the t-shirts and am still in the process of applying fusible. He cleaned out his drawers and found some more t-shirts to add to the quilt. Oh Yay! <– just a bit of sarcasm
  14. New: Super Secret Project: top, back and binding made. Ready to go to the quilter. Stayed tuned. ;-)
  15. FOTY 2011: at the quilter, needs binding.
  16. Flowering Snowball: Top and back finished 5/13/2012; ready to go to the quilter
  17. Stepping Stones: at the quilter, made binding, which she will sew on for me and then I need to hand sew.
  18. Jelly Roll Race: Quilted. Binding being applied, needs sleeve.
  19. New: Wonky 9 Patch: needs quilting and binding.
  20. Corner Store:  Top and back are made. It is ready to go to the quilter.
  21. Super Secret Project #2: Top and back are made. It is ready to go to the quilter.
  22. Infinity blocks: blocks sewn together into a quilt top, borders on. Back and binding made; ready to go to quilter.

Finished or Abandoned projects that were on the list:

  1. Stars for San Bruno #2: Finished! YAY!
  2. Pavers. Finished! YAY!
  3. Kissy Fish: Finished! Yay!
  4. Pineapple: Abandoned; will remake blocks at a later time with more care.
  5. Stars for San Bruno #3: Finished! YAY!
  6. Food Quilt: Finished 5/24/2012. YAY!!!!
  7. Moon and Stars: Abandoned. This quilt was barely a quilt and was not interesting. I realized I didn’t want to devote time to it. So, I finally just decided to give up and get it off the list. Perhaps Pam can use it as a cat mat?

Hunting and Gathering

  1. Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. Cutting fabrics as I go. TFQ does not consider this a UFO, which is why I have moved it to the Hunting and Gathering section. She says, and I have to agree, that quilts are not ‘projects’ until the sewing starts. OK. I’ll go with that.

Creative Prompt #171: Perch

Where a bird sits

She perched on the edge of the chair

resting place or vantage point

rooftop lounge in downtown Los Angeles

variety of restaurants, design companies and cafes

perch awhile

Definition: Perch is a common name for fish of the genus Perca, freshwater gamefish belonging to the family Percidae. The perch, of which there are three species in different geographical areas, lend their name to a large order of vertebrates: the Perciformes, from the Greek perke meaning spotted, and the Latin forma meaning shape. Many species of freshwater gamefish more or less resemble perch, but belong to a different genera. In fact, the exclusively salt water dwelling red drum is often referred to as a red perch, even though by definition perch are freshwater fish. Though many fish are referred to as perch as a common name, to be considered a true perch the fish must be of the family Percidae.

  • Perch (surname), a surname (and list of people with that name)
  • The USS Perch, multiple ships with the name
  • Perch (unit), antique unit of measure of length, area or volume, depending on context, used in medieval France and the British Isles. As a unit of length, replaced by the rod
  • Perch, the main shaft connecting the front and rear axles of a coach or other vehicle
  • Perch SSSI a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Somerset, England
  • Perch (equilibristic), an equilibristic balancing act
  • The Perch (Binsey), a historic pub in Binsey, Oxfordshire, England
  • The Perch, a historic house in Austin, Texas, USA, part of Granger House and The Perch
  • Perch class submarine, World War II era submarines of United States


Make your response simple. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece. Take 5 minutes. Just respond and create a creative habit.

Please 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 to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs or websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.

Taking Flight

Quick post, because my sister asked me to share this with all of you: The basics are:

The Fly Tribe came together as a bunch of individuals looking to learn a bit about what it meant to run a creative business. We came together to take Kelly Rae Robert’s Flying Lessons. Along the way, we made some friends, we supported one another’s dreams, we lifted one another up when difficulties (in business and life) threatened to get the better of us. We didn’t just learn to “Take Flight” (as Kelly Rae’s course suggests). We learned to Give Flight to one another.

Now with one year of soaring under our wings, we want to share the love.

 Welcome to the Summer of 2011 Flying Lessons Alumni’s
Giving Flight Blog Hop and Flying Lessons Give-Away. 
 It’s our Anniversary Celebration.
 This is a HUGE celebration that is broken up into two parts….
Go to to read the rest and take advantage. Why not?

Pink Donation Top #2

Pink Donation Top #2
Pink Donation Top #2

Here is the top. It took me all weekend to get it done. I have been sewing slowly lately and it took me all weekend to get it finished.

I am pretty pleased with how it came out, but I wish I hadn’t used the darker batik strips. I do think they stick out more in the photo than in real life.

Still, I think some child will enjoy this quilt.

Pink Donation Top Back #2
Pink Donation Top Back #2

I made the back as well. I used some nice fabrics that I thought I wouldn’t use in a quilt. I think it looks cheerful. I especially like the fabric in the lower left hand corner.

Various & Sundry #11

Around and About the Web

My friend Natalie sent me a link this quilt/map site. I have to do some more investigation, but it looks like they will make a map of a variety of spaces using quiltmaking techniques. they describe themselves as “Haptic Lab is a small design studio in Brooklyn that creates products, spaces and situations to promote embodiment.” They also make Jell-o molds.

Of course there is a Flickr group for the QuiltCon block challenge. I shouldn’t have looked. I feel embarrassed about sending mine in. There is some really great work there. I need to up my game.

Ebony Love, die cutting queen, has a Kickstarter campaign to produce a book on die cutting tips. Tomorrow is the last day, so click NOW, if you want to support. Even $5 helps. I don’t know Ebony. Patti turned me on to her. This is a project I supported because I haven’t seen a book like this and it doesn’t have EASY in the title. Ebony seems to be doing something unique: creating a book that will tell you how to use your dies in existing patterns. There are all different levels at which to pledge. Her ultimate goal is $12,000, so she can attend Quilt Market and market the book. She is at $7700 as of this writing.  I guess I need to get my act together and review my Accuquilt Go!

SewedExcitedQuilts has a great post about quotes she heard at a recent Quilts of Valor Sew Day. They are typical quiltmaker quotes you will recognize. Read them and have a laugh. You are not alone!


I like this shoulder bag – both the shape and the fabric – over at Moda Bakeshop.

I get the Sew Daily newsletter – I wanted a free eBook and this was part of the package. Mostly, I don’t read it, but recently they wrote about using vintage (think of your special stash) fabrics in pillows. They show, what looks like, upholstery fabric (local folks: think Fabmo!) and talk about using vintage hankerchiefs. I still need to recover my living room pillows. I just haven’t found the right fabrics, but this blog post puts the project back on my radar. I have had a lot of pillow drama, but pillows and pillow covers are still good projects for small amounts of fabrics or to try things out.

Stars for San Bruno Again

I received a call from one of DH’s cousins. She is the sister of the cousin to whom Stars for San Bruno #1 was given. She went on and on about how they had received a quilt and it turned out it was made by me. I could not make her understand that I had coordinated the making of the quilt and actually sent it to DH’s cousin. It was a very strange conversation.

Pink Donation Quilt #2

Pink donation blocks (set 2)
Pink donation blocks (set 2)

I have finished all of the blocks for a second pink donation quilt. I started putting the sashing on, but the whole process seems a bit rote. I have about a zillion pink squares, so I have to keep pushing forward on the pink version of these quilts.

I have done two with the black on white background and am a little bored with the look. I am going to change up the next one and include some green or use the pink as the background. We’ll see what happens.

I still think it is fun to make up the blocks using different fabrics. I also wonder if using a non-traditional background color will make the pink less interesting. No way to know until I try it.

2 Pink Donation Blocks
2 Pink Donation Blocks

In these two blocks, I took a couple of color on white fabrics and put those on the background. This idea might be another thing to consider for a background.

I think I am not using enough dots in general. I really like that dot in the upper right hand corner of the left block.

2 Pink Donation Blocks
2 Pink Donation Blocks

These blocks also have some color on white backgrounds as well. I have to say that I don’t like the batiks in these blocks. In the overall look, they are ok, but I think I also might stick to light or medium pinks as the group of fabrics in another version of pink and neutral.

2 Pink Donation Blocks
2 Pink Donation Blocks

As you can see I spread the color on white fabrics throughout the various blocks. I didn’t want them to stand out as odd in the overall look of the quilt top.

Now it is Later

Half Hexagon Stars
Half Hexagon Stars

A few days ago, I gave a little sneak peek at my newest hand project.My quilter is quilting very slowly so I don’t have a lot of bindings to do and it is very hard for me to sit in front of the TV and not have something for my hands to do. There is only so much laundry a person can fold in this world.

I wasn’t really interested in doing anything using the English Paper Piecing technique until I saw my friend Faye’s stars. They look like the above stars, but hers are a bit bigger (I bought the wrong size patterns). When I saw what she was doing, I thought it might be a good project for in front of the TV, in the car, etc.

Like Faye, I bought my patterns from a company called Paper Pieces. They have GREAT customer service and a wonderful catalog that really opened my eyes to the possibilities of EPP.

TFQ is working on a hexagon paper piecing project, so when she was down, she gave me a little tutorial on how to put the pieces together. I was confused until she showed me that you sew straight through the cardstock patterns. Once I knew that everything fell into place. I also have Lisa at BAMQG and Faye via email as resources.

Faye's Half Hexagon Top
Faye’s Half Hexagon Top

Faye’s piece is getting quite large. Her idea is to use darks and medium-lights in alternating rows. She said the longest row is 15 stars. I am thinking of using dots with light backgrounds as my alternate rows.

I also want to use some of my newer fabric that has not been earmarked for a project.

Art Institute of Chicago Grates, pt.3

Fisher Building Elevator Grille, 1895-96
Fisher Building Elevator Grille, 1895-96

The last bit of my trip that I really wanted to talk about were the grates and grilles and other metal work. The Art Institute has collected pieces, parts and sections of buildings around Chicago that were being renovated or torn down. As you may have noticed from some of my inspiration photos, I have always enjoyed architectural details. Making a building beautiful (as opposed to striking or memorable) seems to be the greatest gift an architect can give a city.

I never really thought much about grates and grilles until I was standing in the second floor stairwell/lobby area of the AIC. For those of you who know the place, it is outside the Impressionist gallery. There, the curators have displayed a variety of pieces, many of which are metal. I know I have seen them as I have walked by buildings and there have even been a few times when I have ridden in one of those elevators where you have to close the door, but I didn’t really think about them as a source of inspiration until I saw them hanging on the wall. It is interesting how a museum will do that to me.

The Fisher Building Elevator Grille, above, is only the upper portion. I don’t think they had (or maybe I just didn’t photograph) the lower portion. I do think the round part looks like some kind of serpent. Not so great for quilty inspiration, but I could go with the general shape and proportion. What really grabbed me was the background. Those lines and curls would make great background on a quilt.

Manhattan Building Elevator Grille, 1889-91
Manhattan Building Elevator Grille, 1889-91

This is a really elaborate elevator grille. Sometimes I wonder if the artisans or designers felt like they got one chance and went all out. Do you every do that?

I like the spirals in the middle, but in general I think this piece is top heavy. Stand on your head, look at the picture and tell me what you would think of it if the bottom were the top.

I think the spirals would be good quilting designs. I like the way there are different sizes of spirals and they go in different directions.

Manhattan Building Elevator Grille, 1889-91 detail
Manhattan Building Elevator Grille, 1889-91 detail



The close-up shows even more detail within the spirals and you can see the heavy part on top very well. I think it would be a good idea for me to take some kind of architectural history class so I would know what the official names of the various shapes are called. Dohickey isn’t very descriptive or precise.

The other thing about this detail is that it shows one thing I try to do in my quilts: the viewer gets a reward by getting close up. See the little dots and divets in the spirals? Do you see the wing shape in the largest spiral?

Window Keystone, 1872
Window Keystone, 1872

I don’t know what a window keystone is, but the design would make an interesting piecing challenge. The way the piece is made makes the design seem like there is no ‘block’. I think this would probably be a similar piecing issue to the Spiky Stars piece I designed and created a number of years ago.

Window keystone, 1872, detail
Window keystone, 1872, detail

I also like the slight curve of the motifs. I wonder if this is one of those motifs that could be sewed using straight lines, but would look curved? I don’t think so, but I also haven’t put much thought into it since I took the photos. Looking at the detail makes me see real curves in the piecing. I also like the interlocking knot look of some parts of the design. I think I would like a job where I designed useful items that would add to the beauty of everyday surroundings.

Schiller Building Block of Stringcourse
Schiller Building Block of Stringcourse

I am kind of partial to ovals, though I haven’t done anything with them in quiltmaking yet. These are really interesting pieces, partially because I have no idea what they were used for it and it fascinates me to think about these being added to a building because they were beautiful.

I really thought there were beautiful buildings in Chicago and it made me lament the dearth of classic (IMO) creativity in building today. Of course, things are a lot more expensive and these types of details may be prohibitively expensive, but I think their lack also makes us poorer.

These pieces would definitely make for interesting quilting designs and some complicated, but interesting piecing challenges.