July 2015: 26 Projects

I missed another couple of months. I sewed very little in June and May was very hit and miss, so I suppose posting the same thing over and over would be boring.

I sewed for awhile with wild abandon and it resulted in some quilt projects I delivered to the quilter, but it wasn’t that much fun. I felt confused and overwhelmed. Of course there was a lot of stuff going on in regular life, so I know all of that stuff contributed also. Still, while I like to have a couple of projects going at once they need to be at different stages and I need to be able to focus on one at a time.

Finished 2015 Quilt Projects

Finished 2014 non-Quilt Projects

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all, but the list is getting a lot smaller.

  1. Aqua-Red SamplerFrances and I finished the Basket block and you can make one as well by looking at the tutorial series. Now I am tasked with doing a tutorial on partial seaming.
  2. The Tarts Come to Tea: I still haven’t worked on this since April 2011, though, I have been moving it around the Fabric Closet. Periodically, I think about working on it.
  3. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. I still haven’t worked on this project either, but I do think about it. The Lunns have a new line of PP fabric out. I saw the new colors and didn’t feel I needed them.
  4. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. My career counselor breathed new life into this project for me. She asked a simple question and the end result was inspiration for this piece, but I kind of lost steam again after printing images on paper to try out different designs. Lately, I have been feeling like I need to finish this piece as it should be a good reminder to keep in my office.
  5. Under the Sea: class project; like the design, but not the colors. Still a possibility for abandonment.

Ready for Quilting
Wow! Everything on this list is new, as in it was never on the original 26 Projects list.

  1. Field Day Zipper; at the quilter
  2. Table runner: Basted; needs quilting and binding. I am planning on free motion quilting this myself for practice, which may be a challenge when my main machine is not working.
  3. Box Full of Letters; at the quilter
  4. Food Quilt #2; at the quilter

In Process
I decided that I had better put in an ‘In Process’ category. The difference, at least in my mind, between ‘In Process’ and ‘UFO’ is that I am actively working on a project and that is defined as“In Process.”

Hunting and Gathering

  • Blue Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5″x4.5″ blue rectangles
  • Blue Lemonade: cutting blue, green, purple 2″ squares
  • FOTY 2014: cutting out 3″x5″ rectangles.
  • Pink Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5″x4.5″ pink rectangles
  • Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
  • Stepping Stones #3 using the Macaron pre-cuts from Hoffman. I just remembered this project-to be. It isn’t started, but I have all the pre-cuts and should think about actually using them.
  • Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I am cutting a variety of greys for the background,to preserve the pattern. The pieces are too oddly shaped and I don’t want to lose the pattern in a mass of scraps

What’s on your list?

Reintroducing the Creative Prompt Project

Penny M, a relatively new reader (yay for new readers!!!), asked what the deal was with the Creative Prompt Project. I thought my Friday posts were self explanatory. Regardless, I thought this would be a good time to reintroduce the project. Interest has kind of waned and perhaps this post will boost participation.

The whole idea is to commit each week to be creative. Not for me. Not for your art teacher, but for yourself and to enhance your creativity.

Each Friday I give a creative prompt and each of us interprets that into a drawing, a doodle, a collage, a scrapbook page, a crocheted afghan, a painting, a photo…any kind of creative work that suits you. We can design a quilt, make a sculpture from marble or Sculpey, mold something with clay, paint, or write anything we want in response to the prompt. There are no rules on medium or method. The idea is to develop a regular art practice.

If your week is crazy, post a previous art piece and let that older piece inspire you and others.

Take 5 minutes to create your response. Create a creative habit and not a masterpiece.

How to Join: Feel free to join in by posting your artwork somewhere on the web (your blog, your website, or the AQ Flickr Group). Follow your post up by making a comment in the relevant creative prompt post’s comment area including the direct link to your artwork. You can post your responses to the AQ CPP Flickr Group. You may copy the Creative Prompt Logo image and post it on your blog or website as well. If you do that, link it to the AQ Inspiration page so others know how to join.

Violette's Creative Ideas SpotPeople are inspired in different ways and the web provides a lot of different ways to be challenged creatively. Some additional resources for your creative work can be found on the Creative Prompt Project Inspirations page.

This project will end sometime towards the end of the year. I am going to stop at Prompt #365. You have about 45 prompts in which to create a creative habit OR start from #1 and work through them all.

FOTY 2014 Arrangement

I am finally starting on FOTY 2014. After finishing the “triplets”**, Field Day, the Food Quilt #2 and Box Full of Letters, I looked around to try and decide what to do. I cut a few pieces for FOTY 2015, put in a new rotary cutter blade and decided not to dither. I took out the piece of FOTY 2014 and started in.

Sorting FOTY 2014
Sorting FOTY 2014

First off was sorting. I took the two bins out and sorted the colors into general stacks. I had only two bins and was worried that I had lost some patches, but after taking out all the pieces, I realized I had a lot of patches with which to work.

As I have mentioned many times, even sorting is a challenging part of this project. You can’t dilute a fabric’s color or hue. It is what it is. Of course, I could paint that fabric, or color it with markers, but that is not the point of the exercise.

I am often a little disheartened by the sorting, because I think I will never be able to blend the colors. Somehow I do it and get a wonderful finished quilt.

FOTY 2014 Arranging
FOTY 2014 Arranging

After a general sorting, I started arranging. Like 2013’s piece, I decided to start with white in the middle. I used and bought very little white in 2014, so all of the ‘white’ I have has another color on it. That is fine. Again, it is one of the challenges of this project.

I wanted to get all the colors on the design wall on Sunday night when I started, but that was not to be. I found out a few things:

  • There are a lot of green patches
  • There are a LOT of pink and red patches
  • There are a lot of patches in general and now I am concerned that I won’t be able to fit them all on the design wall

Still, I have started and I am determined to make good progress and get this piece off the design wall and sewn together by the end of the month. We’ll see how that goes! Stay tuned.








**I call the three quilts the triplets because I worked on them simultaneously and finished them all within about a week of each other.

Field Day Ready to Quilt!

Yes, I finished piecing the back and making the binding over the weekend. I have three projects to take to the quilter today and I am very pleased about that. I am very pleased to get these projects off my plate for awhile and can move ahead to something else.

Field Day Top Finished
Field Day Top Finished

I had thought to put a gold border in between the Sangria borders, but once I put the Sangria on the top and bottom, I thought the top looked finished and I was happy enough to leave it as is.

The ‘coins’ float, which is a little odd, but I kind of like the look.

I had a goal for Saturday to get the whole piece ready for the quilter. As I mentioned, I am taking two projects over and to take a third would be an added bonus.

Field Day Back Finished
Field Day Back Finished

I was able to achieve my goal in the nick of time. We had plans with friends on Saturday evening so I only had about 3 hours to get the piece ready. The back, as usual took me a long time, even though I used a large piece and I used up some of the leftover fat quarters.

Now I can take the third, so BONUS!

Working Through the Worktable Projects

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about what I was working on. It wasn’t my normal 26 Projects post, but just the current projects that were in the forefront of my mind and needed to be written down. Now I have made some progress and need to follow up and see what is what.

The following projects were on the list:

Since then I have worked hard. You have seen the posts about the different projects, but here is an update.

Box Full of Letters and the Food Quilt #2 are ready to go to the quilter.

The Field Day Zipper top is together (look for a post soon), but I still have to put the borders on the top and make the back.

I haven’t worked on the Improv Quilt at all.

I also didn’t get to the Improv quilt yet, but I have been thinking about it. The fabric and strips have also been in my way, which means that I need to work on the B blocks and get the fabric out of the way.

I haven’t touched the Octagon 9 Patch blocks. I need more 9 patches and haven’t cut the colored pieces of fabric yet. That is a bit of a hold up.

I have made a few more Stepping Stones blocks and am using the pieces as leaders and enders. I am almost done with Block #8 and need to make at least 16 more blocks, lots of leaders and enders action coming.

Finally, I have added a couple of pieces to the Pinkalicious Journal Cover, but only in a desultory manner, not with any purpose.

So some progress, but not complete progress. It’s ok as I am working and that is what counts.

Field Day Zipper Top Near…

Field Day Top Sans Borders
Field Day Top Sans Borders

I finally almost finished the Field Day Zipper top. I thought this would be the end, but I decided after looking at what I have that I wanted to add a top and bottom border. Or borders, perhaps? Making visual decisions visually

It feels like the piecing  took forever. It didn’t really take forever, because the last post, which was probably the last time I worked on it, was just June 15.

I talked about the colors and how I was afraid they would be a struggle to work with. They were a struggle. This project turned into a struggle on a number of levels. As I suspected, the colors are a little more muted than colors with which I really enjoy working. Also, the pattern, which I LOVE was just a struggle to put together. You’d think that putting a bunch of squares and rectangles together would be easy. Normally, it is, but I think I must have cut some of the pieces off grain, because the entire top was a PITA to put together. It was rippling and I have been fighting the entire time to get it to bend to my will.

Also, something about the measurements was off. Perhaps I cut something wrong or who knows? The rows did not exactly line up. I am ok with it, but still annoyed.

You’ll probably see another post about this next week once I finish the whole thing.

Creative Prompt #318: Rainbow

When I was a camp counselor, my camp name was Rainbow.

Rainbow Girls

Rainbow Grocery

Definition: “A rainbow is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.

Rainbows can be full circles; however, the average observer sees only an arc formed by illuminated droplets above the ground,[1] and centred on a line from the sun to the observer’s eye.

In a primary rainbow, the arc shows red on the outer part and violet on the inner side. This rainbow is caused by light being refracted (bent) when entering a droplet of water, then reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it.

In a double rainbow, a second arc is seen outside the primary arc, and has the order of its colours reversed, with red on the inner side of the arc.” (Wikipedia)

What if the universe had no beginning, and time stretched back infinitely without a big bang to start things off? That’s one possible consequence of an idea called “rainbow gravity,” (Scientific American)

rainbow loom

Rainbow Bridges National Monument

The Rainbow Gun is a Hardmode, post-Plantera magic weapon. It launches a rainbow beam that travels in a straight line for a short distance (Teraria)

Reading Rainbow (PBS)

Rainbow Gulag

unicorns and rainbows

Rainbows! is an HTTP server for sleepy Rack applications. It is based on unicorn, but designed to handle applications that expect long request/response times 

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 get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CPP

Double Rainbow (ice cream)

Rainbow sandals

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six

Greenpeace is building the world’s first purpose-built environmental campaigning ship – the new Rainbow Warrior

Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems

Rainbow Resource (fabric)

Rainbow Resources – homeschooling and educational materials

Rainbow smart tooothbrush

My Little Pony: Rainbow Dash

Rainbow Fins has been manufacturing windsurfing fins since 1980.

The Rainbow. Directed by Ken Russell. With Sammi Davis, Amanda Donohoe, Paul McGann, Christopher Gable. (1989 movie)


Thinking about Lozenges…Again

The lozenge shape is becoming pretty popular. Perhaps it has been and I have just noticed…again. I have thought on and off about the lozenge shape over the years. I wrote a post about it back in 2012.

Goodnight Irene from Block magazine
Goodnight Irene from Block magazine

Recently Valerie posted about her blue and gold trellis quilt. I also saw a pattern in Block magazine (Spring volume 2, issue 2) called Goodnight Irene as well as a quilt at the Fair that put it firmly back in my mind. I also saw the former advertised as a pattern from Quilting Quickly, a Fons & Porter magazine from 2013, which tells me it hasn’t hit the scene this week. I suppose I will have to look up the history of the blocks.

I think Amanda’s pillow from a 2012 meeting made me aware of the shape again and the MSQC project put it in the front. The possibility of using the ‘flippy corners’ method of making the shapes make the project more pleasant. I also think that the opportunity to use scraps is appealing. I am thinking of the Scrapitude Carnivale quilt and how much I like it and using a similar palette.

by Pernille Gutschke
by Pernille Gutschke

I am not sure why I like that shape. The boldness of the X shape even when it is used as negative space? The ability to use scraps for the alternate blocks, if desired? The option to highlight either the lozenges or make them the background? The possibility to incorporate scraps as well?

As you can see from the two examples, the negative space is reversed and gives you two different looks from the same quilt pattern. Yes, Goodnight Irene has more piecing in the squares, but you know what I mean. I like them both.

Food Quilt #2 Back

Food Quilt #2 Back
Food Quilt #2 Back

The next project I worked on over the weekend was the back for the Food Quilt #2. I am pleased to say that I also finished it. Once I got the applique’ done, it really was just a matter of finding large pieces of fabric and pushing them through the sewing machine. It is a hassle, but I use up fabric I already have, some of which is languishing and it has to be done. Boys don’t like flimsies.

Like the Box Full of Letters quilt project, I also did the binding and got this piece all ready to take to the quilter. I want to finish one more project before I head over there.

I also want to show this quilt and back to the family of the recipient and we are having dinner with them next weekend, so I am thinking of doing it then. I am a little scared to show the YM’s friend in case he says “Meh”. I know his mom will like it, so I may just go for it.

Food Quilt #2 Top - June 2015
Food Quilt #2 Top – June 2015


I needed some leaders and enders s I worked on the backs for the Food Quilt #2 and the Box Full of Letters quilt. I still have several Christmas pillowcases to make AND college care package pillowcases to make for the Young Man so I decided that pillowcases would be my leaders and enders.It is much easier to use mindless squares, but I didn’t have any prepared (make a to do list note) so it had to be pillowcase. I did a bit of putting together the Field Day quilt, but not much.

I finished three pillowcases, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is progress.

Gingerbread House Pillowcase
Gingerbread House Pillowcase

First, I have finished one of the Christmas pillowcases with fabric that I bought at a shop in the South Bay (forgot the name, sorry!) which I really like. The colors are cheerful and one take on the modern Christmas palette. I really like the way designers are using pink and aqua and turquoise for Christmas now. Yes, it will look dated in 10 years (remember mauve?), but I still like it. Choosing fabrics for the cuffs is always a problem for me. Not sure why. I thought this dot worked with the brown in the gingerbread houses and added a little fun fun.

Next, I made one of the college care package pillowcases. This one will be for Halloween. I don’t plan on sending giant care packages every month, but a little something every month or so will be fun. Hallowe’en is good time to fill a box with rubber spiders, mini-Snickers, spider webs and plastic ants.

Halloween Pillowcase for YM
Halloween Pillowcase for YM

I found this skeleton fabric at the Fabricworm and knew the YM would appreciate the Halloween fun. The cuff is made from an old Jennifer Sampou print from her Art Nouveau line. It has been laying around much too long and I think it works fine with the skeletons. It isn’t perfect, but it is ok and the YM won’t care.

I am feeling a lot better about my pillowcases now. They are a uniform size and I can make them quickly.

Olaf Pillowcase
Olaf Pillowcase

The last pillowcase is another for the Christmas series. I found some Frozen fabric and decided to use it to make a fun case for one of the littlest nephews. I think the orange I picked for the cuff makes for one of the best cuffs ever. Hopefully, this will delight a little boy.

I still have to make a pillowcase for his sister and she will get one from the Frozen fabric line, too. Once hers is done I can get the family’s ready to send off.

Box Full of Letters Back

I finally feel like I made some real progress over the weekend. I finished 2 backs, 2 bindings and almost finished a top. I spent some time on Friday sewing, which I don’t normally do and that helped a lot.

Box Full of Letters Back
Box Full of Letters Back

The first item I finished was the Box Full of Letters back. I pecked away at it for about a week, which made it seem like it took forever. That was a frustrating feeling, because the piece is not very big. I finally finished it on Friday and that was a good feeling!

I always try to use large pieces, but somehow I end up with some fiddly piecing. I resolve not to do it again, but there it is.

I also sewed around the edge of the top to stabilize it as there will be no border and made the binding. The whole package is ready to go to the quilter. Hooray!

Box Full of Letters Top - Finished
Box Full of Letters Top – Finished

Book Review: Double Wedding Ring Quilts

Double Wedding Ring Quilts Traditions Made Modern: Full-Circle Sketches from LifeDouble Wedding Ring Quilts Traditions Made Modern: Full-Circle Sketches from Life by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

The photos are gorgeous. The quilts are gorgeous. The detail shots are gorgeous. The writing is ok and essentially, at its bones, this is a pattern book, but it is not your normal pattern book. What I like about the progression of patterns is that Wolfe tells you what inspired her about the pattern to encourage her to move on to the next iteration of the design. This book seems to me to detail a series of works. Since I like to see the progression of works in a series, this is a refreshing look at pattern books and works in a series within the construct of the current quiltmaking world.

I also like that Wolfe has revived a classic pattern. In the spirit of the Modern quilt movement, she seemed to exude “I am going to do this and I can do it”. Roderick Kiracofe writes about the history of the pattern in his foreword. I always appreciate the reminder that a pattern did not spring from nowhere when the oder quilt Movement appeared. He includes a little of Wolfe’s journey to this book.

The foreword is followed by an introduction, which includes a photo of Victoria Findlay Wolfe and her QuiltCon award winner, Double Edged Love. In the introduction, she talks about works in a series. She says “but what if we look at one pattern, change one thing each time we try, and see where that play will lead us next?” (pg.9) This is essence of quiltmaking for me and it made me very hopeful for this book. She delves into working in a series a little bit and implies, in this section, that we could all work with one block or one pattern forever by “chang[ing] one thing” (pg.10).

A narrative on the inspiration behind and making of Double Edged Love follow the introduction. Wolfe talks about her inspiration, talks about getting started on this quilt and how the process felt. There are feelings of YES! within a creative process and Wolfe makes that clear in this section. She is very clear that she used an AccuQuilt Go! cutter for the Double Wedding Ring pieces. I think this shows that she is not afraid to use tools and that using tools is not cheating. The creative process is the important part and Wolfe focuses on the process and discusses it in depth. The tools are just that: tools. There is no extra importance attached to them.

The section called You Are Here takes the next step out from Double Edge Love. She talks about what ideas she wants carried over (pg.20) and what the goal is. This is an interesting way to think about being inspired for quiltmaking, but it also fits well with idea of a series and moving forward in the series. Wolfe gives examples of what to do to move forward in a series AND work towards your goal. For example, she talks about about stripping the colors out of photos using Photoshop and then printing the resulting image on fabric (pg.21) to use in the quilt.

Wolfe’s mantras are:

  • Think Out of Your Box
  • Ideas Carried Over
  • the Goal
  • Add Layers
  • Push It Further

Whether or not you read her book, these are principles we can all use.

Wolfe follows the above format in each section. If you make each quilt and think about your work in the way that Wolfe suggests, you will end up with a series and you will be able to see the progression. Each section has a little bit of her story as well. I found the story to be interesting, but the writing seemed to be choppy or badly edited.

The fabrics used in the book’s quilt projects are clearly scrappy. There are no lines of fabric except perhaps some solids, which means the reader is free to pick from his/her stash with wild abandon and not worry about buying the exact kit. There are also projects using all different kinds of fabrics. Quilts using flannel looking shirt prints are paired with gingham and these combinations share space on pages with brown calicos (see Farm Girl, pg.79-85). They all sit next to 1930s looking prints.

Summer’s Day has an interesting series of photos detailing the evolution of a medallion, which includes a Lone Star block (pg.62). The photo series shows what happens when you make an unexpected choice.

This is the first book I have read where polyester is considered AND used! It is also one of the few books that discusses tying quilts.

Surprisingly, Wolfe manages to add in some doilies and a Christmas pattern. I suppose those were obligatory to widen the appeal of the book. For her, the doilies were not the challenge; using so much white in the quilt was the challenge, which I find to be interesting. Her Christmas quilt is a memory quilt, pure and simple. The love of her grandparents is scattered throughout the book, but this pattern celebrates them and the memories in a concentrated way.

Yes, there are directions on making a Double Wedding Ring block. They are in the back (not the front where they will bog you down before you get excited) starting on pg. 102. The directions do not tell you how to put the entire projects together. You will need some piecing experience if you plan to make the double wedding ring quilts.

The colors are bright. There are photos of New York City, taxis, neon signs and lots of people. Wolfe points out the joy in quiltmaking. Take a look at this book and absorb the lessons about series. Your work will be better or it.

View all my reviews

Box Full of Letters Top FINISHED!!!

Box Full of Letters Top - Finished
Box Full of Letters Top – Finished

Yes! I finished something! Not much of something, but something. It is even vaguely Fourth of July related – in color at least.

The Box Full of Letters top is finished and I am really pleased with how it looks.

I wanted the envelopes to look like they were flying away and I think I achieved that look.

Creative Prompt #317: Harp

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 get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CPP

Musical instrument

a kind of nagging

A harp cover of “Let Her Go” by Passenger (by Viviane Nüscheler).

American Harp Society

Harp Spectrum – Information about all types of harps, music, history, contemporary harp, building and resources.

The Magical Harp is a Hardmode magic weapon that auto-fires ricocheting, piercing projectiles that graphically resemble musical notes. – Terraria

The Harp Pub Irish Food is an authentic Irish pub, from our interior to our menu. We hope you enjoy our food and hospitality.

Harp Design Co. exists to provide high quality, environmentally sustainable, handmade furniture.

Harp seal

World Harp Congress – Promotes the performing arts with special emphasis on harp composition, education, appreciation and performance.

Boston Sacred Harp Singers


Orange Harp is the world’s first mobile app for fashion by artisans and brands that respect the planet and its people.

HARP loan program

Definitions: “1. a musical instrument, roughly triangular in shape, consisting of a frame supporting a graduated series of parallel strings, played by plucking with the fingers. The modern orchestral harp has an upright frame, with pedals that enable the strings to be retuned to different keys.
2.another term for harmonica.
“Papa had been teaching him to play the blues harp”
3. a marine mollusk that has a large vertically ribbed shell with a wide aperture, found chiefly in the Indo-Pacific.
verb: harp; 3rd person present: harps; past tense: harped; past participle: harped; gerund or present participle: harping
1.talk or write persistently and tediously on a particular topic.”guys who are constantly harping on about the war”

Harp is a production-ready web server. Rapidly build static sites and client-side applications using Markdown, Sass, CoffeeScript, and more—no configuration 

Throwback Thursday: Hen and Chicks (#TBT)

I made this quilt in 1999 and just realized that I never posted a picture of it. I actually have pictures and needed content so here we are.

Kieran's Hen & Chicks - Front
Kieran’s Hen & Chicks – Front

As you know, I don’t normally make baby quilts for people, so this is one of the few I have made. I made it for one of my nephews when he was born. I am pretty close to his mother and father, so I must have been inspired.

There are a couple of other notable things about this quilt. It is one of the few that I finished in 1999.

I also had a ~2 year old at the time, so getting this quilt together was a major achievement.

Other than those few things, I have no memory of making this quilt. I feel sad about that, actually. I don’t even remember if I quilted it! I do think it came out pretty well and it is bright and cheerful.

Kieran's Hen & Chicks - Back
Kieran’s Hen & Chicks – Back

As you can see, the back has the same font as the Food Quilt #2. This means that I must have had that pattern since at least 1999. The stripe of fabric on the right is Marimekko fabric.

I haven’t seen Jenny posting in a while, but I am linking up anyway.

Quiltin Jenny