Various & Sundry 2018 n.4

Quilt World News

The Quilts for a Cure winner was not me. 🙁 or Julie :(, but I am sure the winner is thrilled. You can read more about it in the Quilts for a Cure newsletter.

Keepsake Quilting has been ripped from the claws of F&W and is in the process of being revitalized.

Pat Sloan is talking about the charity project on which she is working on her blog . I found post when everyone was on block 4. The project supports St. Jude’s Hospital and Moda is also involved. There is a video that goes along with the post. They ask for a $5 donation for each pattern download. Another way to do some good.


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Patterns, Projects, Tutorials & Classes

Deirdre showed me this Ultimate Carry All Bag. The sample is made from beige. While I am all for light colored interiors, I don’t like the boring look of this project. Still, fabric aside, I think it would be a useful bag.

Gretchen, a regular reader and contributor to the blog read about an addition to Tucker University, which was mention in V&S n.3. Tucker University has teamed up with Siesta Charms to reward your learning. This is a wholesale opportunity, so you have to visit your LQS and tell them you want those charms.

Need a patchwork, drawstring bag? In Color Order has a tutorial. You can use this pattern to make gift bags and also to use up scraps.

At some point in my life I have to learn to do a good machine binding. I have tried, I have practiced, though not enough, and my machine bindings still aren’t up to my standards. Sew At Home Mummy has a machine binding tutorial that I might try. Tim likes Sharon Schamber’s machine binding with glue technique. This is a video and the music that plays at the beginning is a little startling – classic, perhaps Baroque? Sounds a bit Gothic cathedral-ish to me. I haven’t watched the video yet. Another technique to try.


Pam from Hip to Be a Square Podcast and The Stitch TV Show has posted a video on selecting fabric.  The video talks about starting with a focus/feature fabric. You can see other ways to select fabrics in my tutorial. Remember, choosing fabrics is very personal, so do what you like.

Tools, Products, Fabric & Supplies

I have an Oliso iron. I bought it from MassDrop when I shouldn’t have and REALLY like it. Lately, the feet have started to act up. I contacted Oliso and they provided some instructions, which were essentially how to reboot my iron. It worked a little bit, but quickly went back to acting up. Apparently they have a replacement program, so I sent my iron off and am waiting for a new one to arrive. In the meantime, I have a cheap one that my stepfather fixed that I use as a backup and it is working fine for what I need. I got this process started by contacting Oliso via their website. Ryan, the customer service rep who helped me (consistent service gets high marks) through whol process was very patient.

Bernina 7 Series machine have special oiling instructions. Information is available on a recent Edgestitch post. I do not have a Bernina, so I haven’t checked the information. Consult with your technician or deal if you have one of these machines.

Culcita’s modern fabric club will be shipping Santa Fe by Cotton & Steel next.

Paper Wreath for the Fair

Paper Wreath for Beth
Paper Wreath for Beth

I made another paper wreath to enter into the fair. I actually made two, one for the Fair and one for Grand Parlor, but the one for Grand Parlor had some issues and I am going to throw it out. The lady in charge of the Ladies events at Grand Parlor did not want the wreath anyway.

I really like the one that came out well.

I folded the legs for both wreaths at Craft Night – yes we are resuming Craft Night. I hadn’t made the time and took the opportunity to cross this task off my list.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the wreath after the Fair so I offered it to SIL#3. She helped me pick out the papers and I am pleased it will go to a good home.

Paper selection
Paper selection

I am entering a wreath, because I can certainly win in that category with it.

ColorPlay: Israeli Art

Flying Sun by Joel Amit
Flying Sun by Joel Amit

I was walking through the streets of downtown San Francisco to the train Saturday night after a lovely dinner with friends. I saw this great piece of art by Joel Amit of Jerusalem in one of the gallery windows. The piece is called Flying Sun. I really like it and thought it would be great for ColorPlay.

ColorPlay: Apr27-default
ColorPlay: Apr27-default

Starting off with the default always makes me wonder. This time I checked out some of the pieces on the Play-Crafts Instagram feed and I don’t see that her quilt pieces focus particularly on neutrals. With all the color in this piece, the tool still defaults to neutrals. There are so many colors that can come in the Palette Builder tool! I don’t even have to move the circles very much- a couple of millimeters at the most to make a new palette with completely new colors. Again, this makes me wonder why so many neutrals in the default palette. Do I sound obsessed? Perhaps I am?

The greys are nice, but it is still mostly neutral.

ColorPlay:Apr,27 n.1
ColorPlay:Apr,27 n.1

I finally started moving the circles around and thought, when my first palette was finished “okay, I am done”. My first palette is extremely bright and cheerful and reflects some of the colors Mr. Amit has used. I like the Kona Lipstick and the Kona Cardinal, overall, but there is a bit of a circus feel with this palette, so I tried again into order to get something a little more subtle or, perhaps sophisticated.

ColorPlay: Apr. 27 n.2
ColorPlay: Apr. 27 n.2

My second palette uses more subtle colors. I don’t think the Kona Grellow works. It looks a little too mustardy to me. It isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t fit with the rest of the palette. I like the green – Kona Leaf, but not with the  Tomato and Watermelon.

ColorPlay: April 27 n.3
ColorPlay: April 27 n.3

Palette n.3 was another adventure. I added some turquoise, which is great and added Orangeade – there aren’t enough circles to have a ROYGBIV rainbow palette, but we do what we can. I wanted to keep the Watermelon, but moved the wrong circle and ended up with Chinese Red. Somehow I didn’t get rid of the Leaf or Grellow.

ColorPlay:April 27 n.4
ColorPlay:April 27 n.4

Palette n.4 is much better. I kept the colors I liked – Cyan and Orangeade – and tweaked the rest. Except for the yellow, I just made little tweaks. The Geranium is a nice addition. The Honeysuckle and Cyan go really well together. The Clover isn’t terrible, but I don’t like it next to the Canary.

ColorPlay: April 27 n.5
ColorPlay: April 27 n.5

Since I was getting close to a palette I really liked, I only changed the green. Again the Grasshopper is better, but still doesn’t work very well with the yellow. Also, with the Grasshopper, somehow the Orangeade doesn’t look as bright, but it does look ok next to the Honeysuckle.

This is a great photo for this exercise and I could go on forever, but I am not going to since you can go to and make your own palettes.

ColorPlay: April 27 n.6
ColorPlay: April 27 n.6

TA-DA! I took out the green. It wasn’t working, so I added some Shitake. It is a nice light-ish grey and would make a good background.

What will you make?



Donation Scarf

Green Donation Scarf
Green Donation Scarf

I have been quite remiss in writing about this scarf. I am already halfway through the second skein. My mom is heading up an effort to provide holiday gifts for women at a domestic violence shelter in her area. They can’t give a gift to a woman unless they have enough of the same types of gifts to give to all of the women. Since everyone I know has already received a scarf, I thought I would contribute to this effort.

I found the yarn at Tuesday Morning, which had just opened. I had never been in a Tuesday Morning and wanted to take a look. It doesn’t feel icky even though it is partially acrylic. Mom said that a bit of acrylic is better so that the women can wash the scarf in the machine. It is kind of a cheerful color, too.

Octagon 9 Patch Progress

Finally! I know.

Octagon 9 Patch in process
Octagon 9 Patch in process

It has taken me forever to sew the 9 patch blocks to the octagon/snowball blocks for this project. On Saturday, as I was nearing the end of a shrinking pile, I decided that I would sew as many more as I could to make as many rows as possible and then be done with it. It is done and it is 13 blocks by 18 blocks – a lap quilt for sure, but a nice sized lap quilt.

It has a slightly woven look to it, which I always liked. As one reader said, it looks like a summer afternoon with popsicles.

Michael Miller Donation Blocks Round 2

Michael Miller Donation Blocks Round 2
Michael Miller Donation Blocks Round 2

This covers my second post of blocks for Quilts for a Cure. I forgot to post these before I sent them off about a month ago.

I like these better than the first group.

Michael Miller Donation Blocks Round 2
Michael Miller Donation Blocks Round 2

I have to admit my error. I don’t know if they will be able to use these blocks. I found the information about size, etc after I mailed them and I made the wrong sized blocks. Perhaps they will get someone to sash them? I don’t know. All I know is I did my best when I had a lot going on.


Inspiration from Liz

Liz's Star Quilt
Liz’s Star Quilt

I get a lot out of the guild meetings and the April meeting was no exception. I already talked about Alison’s blocks and Tim’s quilting. Liz is a new-ish member and she brought her star quilt.

This quilt reminds me of my Star Sampler.

One of the things I liked about this quilt is that there are a lot of half square triangles that make secondary designs. The half square triangles also make up the border. This is a great self bordering border!

I also like that there are four patches. This tells me I could use leaders and enders if I want to make this quilt.

There really is a lot to like about this quilt including the stars within stars.

2018 Cutting Chart

It has been awhile since I showed my cutting chart. It is something I meant to do in January, but it never seemed to get done. The previous post describes my process very well.

2018 Cutting Chart
2018 Cutting Chart

I am still working on some of the same projects as I was the last time I showed my cutting chart, but others are off the chart and finished. I think the number of patches I am cutting seems very paltry, but at least I have some organization. I think I should add grey windmill pieces to the list, because I still don’t have enough for that project and I would like to get going on it. I didn’t think of it until now.


Gift Post 2018: Sew Together Bag

SIL's Birthday Sew Together Bag in process
SIL’s Birthday Sew Together Bag in process

For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to make 3 Sew Together Bags at once. At a point towards the end of the process on the first 2018 bag, I concentrated on finishing one at a time.

I know I decided to make one for my SIL because she had some random carrier for her supplies at Craft Night and didn’t have the supplies she needed. I don’t mind lending supplies or thread or whatever. However, I thought a Sew Together Bag would be great for her. It just took me forever to finish it.

SIL #2's Sew Together Bag - outside
SIL #2’s Sew Together Bag – outside

The outside is Cal fabric, because I knew she would like it and because I have a ton of it.

SIL #2's Sew Together Bag - inside, zippers closed
SIL #2’s Sew Together Bag – inside, zippers closed

Otherwise I used various blues I thought she would like with some yellow accents. Blue is the main color on this one. I also chose a variety of zipper colors to add interest.

SIL #2's Sew Together Bag - inside, zippers open
SIL #2’s Sew Together Bag – inside, zippers open

I fussy cut the Cal fabric for the pincushion, of which I was proud. Even though her birthday is today, I gave the bag to her yesterday.

What’s Your Oldest UFO?

Self Portrait

What’s Your Oldest UFO? was the question of the day at guild last week. I had to confess** to the Self Portrait.

I started this piece in a class with Pamela Allen in 2006. The class was great, I learned a lot and finished two other pieces, Flower Garden and Beach Town from that class. Those are great pieces, so why is this not a great piece. AND why is it not finished?

I have always thought the problem was the hair, that I couldn’t find the right hair. I don’t even know if I have tried to add hair. I have thought about adding hair, but I never seem to do it. I like the eyes, but wonder about a nose and lips.

I also like the flowers at the bottom. They need some enhancement, for which embroidery will be great.

Clearly this is more of an image of the way I think about myself or the way I was at one time in my past. I would like to finish it since it will involve beading and embroidery, which I really like. Somehow I can’t seem to do it.

Very confusing.







** confess is a strong term and I am only using for the sake of emphasis. There was no judgment and lots of laughter as we listened to each other.

Creative Spark #22: Find Your Voice

This has been a difficult week, so I decided to sit down and work on a creative spark post. These posts take a while, but I usually end up happy after I am done. Or, at least, distracted.

Carrie Bloomston shares an Alan Alda quote with us that exactly explains the subject of this spark. She quotes “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself” (pg.93).

We often put on a mask to go to work, do not wear red tights with our all black outfit or simply don’t talk about our true feelings about creativity. Engaging in creativity is different. “No matter what you do in your creative life, you will bring all of you to it” (pg.93). I also would add that artists do their best work when they do what they want to do, not what they think someone else wants them to do and certainly not what the artists think they should do.

This spark is about finding your creative voice. Bloomston explains that “your voice is a combination of style, experience, work, and subject matter” (pg.93).  She shows readers three ways to find your creative subject, “Internal, External and Catharsis” (pg.94).

For internal, we have to dig through our unconscious self for content to figure out what we want to say. For external, you have to do research and then there is catharsis, which is healing through art. I find that I use two of the three less than External. I look at things (have you seen this blog?) and get inspiration from them. Sometimes it is colors, sometimes shapes, sometimes what others are doing, sometimes from books. I know I bring my own twist to these sources. I know that sometimes I veer so far away from the original source that the art has little to no relation to the original source.

In terms of internal and catharsis, inspiration is more complicated. I write a lot about my feelings and I think that form of creativity takes care of internal imagery for me. With my quiltmaking, I am more interested in color, shape and line. I don’t always have those images in my head. With catharsis, again, I write, though I have made some art to try and get painful experiences out and work through them. Quiltmaking doesn’t always provide an adequate venue for working through problems. Again, I write.

The worksheet is very good in this chapter and I am actually feeling good about working on it.

What do you think about finding your voice?

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Meeting Inspiration

Alison is really great. She always brings something to work on after the meeting. I have brought things in the past and I seriously thought about bringing the BAMaQG IRR quilt to stitch on. I think I need to try my hand at Big Stitch again at home before I start Big Stitching in public.

This time she brought scraps. She brought them to sort out. I didn’t get to ask her how she normally stores them. What I saw was a big bag in which they were shoved.

Alison's String Blocks
Alison’s String Blocks

Alison was sorting scraps to make these 12/5 x 4.5 rectangles to make a quilt from a book called No Scrap Left Behind. She started out using a foundation (tracing paper), but found after a few blocks that she didn’t need it. This is definitely a block you make with what you have and then trim to the right size.

I like how the sizes of the strips are different. Alison said that she doesn’t use any strips larger than 2.5″ wide and I think that makes sense. I like the skinny little strips as well. They add a bit of pop to the block. I am kind of excited to try this, not that I am done making the Bias Rectangles for more of the Spiky 16 patch quilts.

This block sparked my interest. I have a ton of scraps. I do use them, but the piles are not getting any smaller. This block would enable me to use different scraps together. Once finished, I could put the blocks together in different ways to make interesting and fun donation quilts.

Ends Quilt n.2 Finished!

Ends n.2 donation quilt
Ends n.2 donation quilt

Back in November, I made a donation quilt from the trimmings from the back of the Carpenter’s Wheel quilt. At the meeting on Saturday, Tim brought the finished quilt. He quilted it and it looks GREAT!

I really like it that he is bold enough to use dark thread. His motifs are large-ish and very loose, which makes the quilts nice and drapey.

Ends n.2 donation quilt detail
Ends n.2 donation quilt detail

He also is doing a nice job with the pebbling.

Ends n.2 donation quilt back
Ends n.2 donation quilt back

The back looks a lot better quilted!

I am so pleased to be able to collaborate with Tim. He seems pleased about it as well. I do hope he will tell me if he doesn’t want to quilt some of my donation quilts.

Since I put this in last year’s list of donation quilts, I will not include it in this year’s list.

En Provence Quilt Finished

En Provence Finished
En Provence Finished

Yes, amazingly enough, I finally finished En Provence a week or so ago. I am so pleased with the finished product. I am sad that I will give it away, but it will go to a good home who will love it very well.

One thing I like about this pattern is that the edges are finished. By that I mean my hard sewn units are not cut off as you see in many quilts with weird edges. I like it that my stars have all of their points.

Also, I want to make another one. 😉 I am not sure when, but I do plan to make another one. If I select a color scheme I can start any time and use leaders and enders to get all of the units made. I haven’t done any sewing yet, as I haven’t selected a color scheme. I really like this color scheme, but want to do something different. How would it be if I reversed the darks and lights?

En Provence back
En Provence back

The back turned out to be very funny. Birds and lobsters? What was I thinking? It is definitely a good conversation starter, that is for sure.

I started this on January 10, 2017. You can see all the posts by clicking on the tag. 14ish months isn’t bad, especially when I know I took a long hiatus somewhere in the middle. Also, made most of this quilt using the leaders and enders technique.