I was really happy to find this photo. I was looking for it for some reason a little while ago. I saw this sign in a coffee shop years ago and the motif sticks in my mind as some interesting and different. The colors are interesting, too.
The default colors this time tend towards purple, which I like. This palette would make a good outfit.
In my first palette, I went for brights and the image did not disappoint. The palette itself doesn’t hang together very well, but the colors are bright and that is something.
I wanted to refine my first palette and try to get it to hang together better. This is, mostly, softer and tends towards warm colors, except for the Kona Royal, which doesn’t really fit.
I tweaked the colors from above a little and this palette is much more cohesive. That bright pink and the Kona Magenta (which looks more like purple/violet to me) really dominate, but not in an awful way.
I decided to focus even more on the pink and purple. Except for the Cheddar, which I must have forgotten about, the pink and purple are the stars. Many of the colors showed up in n.3 and show up in n.6.
The default palette wasn’t a neutral palette so, in the spirit of the Palette Builder, I created one.
I had to try a monochromatic palette and this time I went for pink. I had a hard time finding different pinks as the Bright Pink dominated.
Yellow doesn’t show up much in the images I choose, so I wanted to take advantage of the yellow in this image and try to create another monochromatic palette using yellow.
In another attempt to make a monochromatic palette, I chose the orange area. It is small, between the pink and the yellow, but I thought I might be able to get a range of peachy-oranges. I did sort-of.
I entered three quilts into PIQF. Yes, I entered a political quilt. I am scared about that, but what’s done is done. Hopefully, it won’t get damaged. Aside from the guild, this will be the first public viewing of the show. I am really glad I worked hard at doing a good job on it.
After the show, I’ll send or take the Triple Star up to the YM.
Someday I’d like to have a show of all the Fabric of the Year quilts. I should get on that.
I have to read a lot at work to gather information for a market intelligence report I am supposed to write at the end of the year. The other week I came across a Fast Company article that addresses quiltmaking: creativity blocks. I wrote about this in 2013, using a term “Creative Desert” which I still think is apt. Patience is the big one in the article, which I agree with. The author pointed out that allowing anxiety to infiltrate your process interferes with your subconscious working on the problem. One of my big tools is leaders and enders. I, either, sew squares together until I am so sick of it I can’t help but go back to working on a real project or I use scraps to make new fabric, like for my journal covers.
I saw an article about corrupt files, which morphed into an article about creative process and the stuff creatives collect. The article made me think about whether I am throwing enough work away to be truly making great works.
Patterns and Projects
I forgot about the Kansas City Star quilt blog. I went there after looking for quilt museums in Kansas for a friend who was bored visiting family. The post I read talks about a block of the month based on a diary. I love women’s diaries, so I took a look. The blocks are really nice. Calicos, but they could be put into modern fabrics – or batiks or anything more contemporary – and look really great as well.
Ricky Tims’ Legacy Quilt Club blocks will only be available through September. If you want to download them, go get them now. Don’t pay attention to the colors. Design your own palette. I would love to see a modern version!
You know I love to make books and never have enough time or the right tools on the machine to do it. I have to reset the machine and devote a chunk of time to book making. No leaders and enders always puts me off (what I really need is a bigger workroom with more machines set up for different projects!!). I found a video on making books and thought you might like to join me in book or journal making.
I made a charger case/cable container sometime ago and I use it all the time. It is really big, though. and I have been thinking I might like something smaller. Kathie of Katie’s Quilting Corner posted a link to a pattern that is really useful looking. Thanks, Katie!
Support Laura Kemshall in helping the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in raising £1.25m before June 2019. She is making an EPP star quilt. There is a button for a £10 donation on the site. There is a PayPal option to make it easy for US contributors. She was trying to raise £2500 and has already raised over £7600, which is fantastic and will help so many people. I know there are many people in need. One small act of kindness to this appeal or another will help make the world better.
The Covered in Love block drive is back on. Check the blog for needs and wants. It is a great way to use up scraps or try a new block.
Laura Kemshall teaches how to English Paper Piece in her free video on DMTV.
The Girls at Culcita have a series of videos on learning to quilt. The one I saw was about resizing a quilt pattern! I haven’t done a tutorial on that and now I don’t need to.
I found a great article on organizing your workspace. I was reading it for work, but think there are some ideas I can use in my workroom as well. My favorite tip so far is the binder clip tip. I know there are beautiful binder clips available and this might be just the solution we need at home for our charging cords.
Fabric, Tools & Supplies
By Annie has a post that includes a checklist of things to think about when you buy a new machine. She gives the reader her preferences for things she can’t live without.
Francis is taking a break in August before she resumes publishing chapters of the Friendship Quilt 1933 podcast.
Definitely weigh in on the chocolate/no chocolate/occasionally chocolate debate!
I love office supplies and stationery and pens. My favorite pens are Zebra Sarasa (Sarasa Zebra?) in 0.7 and Pilot G-2 o7. I have lots of colors and use a different color every day at work and a different color each time I pick up my journal. Leuchtturm1917 are my favorite notebooks now, but I still like the Miquelrius as well. JetPens.com is my new favorite pen supplier, though I do enjoy a good Japanese stationery store as well. If you need people who like stationery and office supplies a tribe formed on Twitter the other day.
I had a bad reaction to an email message earlier this month. It made me take a look at my reactions to things. The email came from out of the blue and I was one of the people criticized in the email, though not by name-just as a result of work I had done for the group. The meeting was the next day and I declined to attend, still licking my wounds. I get criticism on this and other posts – people who only post a comment when I have missed something or neglected to finish my thought. I know that people:
care deeply about things
forget to remember that I can’t see your face or body language when they write their quick email “to help”
want to share their thoughts and are often busy, have too much to do and too little time to do every thing
forget that I don’t get paid to write this blog
This is not a perfect blog. I go back and fix grammar or bad sentence structure, but I am often writing quickly on my way to another task, which is a less than perfect environment for my multi-draft style. I greatly appreciate it that you take the time to read my musings. I am responsible for my own reactions to emails, comments and actual face to face conversations. I would like to suggest that you think about your tone when you are thinking about sending off a ‘quick note’.
I am determined to finish this piece soon. I want to enter it in the fair in the embellishment category. I also want it finished. It won’t give me much in the way of used up fabric on my spreadsheet, but it will be off the To Do list and that is good.
After working on it last week, I thought it was done. It wasn’t done. It needed some beads. So, I laid some out to see how they would look. I thought they looked nice so I worked on it again at Craft Night on Monday.
As part of the Sampler Quilt Class and other tutorials I have on this site, I want to add one about putting a quilt together. I thought it would be good to include information about sashing at the same time. Since I have been using this quilt to write the Sampler quilt posts, I thought I would use it to create the latest tutorial.
Process can be a difficult mistress (boy toy??) and she had both fangs and talons out for me on Sunday. I really wanted to just piece a bunch of stuff together, so I took Who Am I? off the design wall and started checking out sashing options for the Aqua-Red Sampler. I thought this would be a relatively easy task and I would be sewing in no time.
HA! I should never think that.
I started off thinking that the version above with no sashing just wasn’t quite right. I have a stack of fabrics that I keep for backs and sashing (larger pieces) so I started to look through them and try them out.
I always use Lorraine Torrence’s rule to “make visual decisions visually”. Well, when I do that I usually get good results. When I don’t, I ruin the quilt.
I pulled out the most likely option and pinned some blocks up on my design wall (2 layers of fabric don’t stick). You can see how optimistic I was that this would work based on the number of blocks I put up. It isn’t terrible, but I didn’t like the way the red was interacting with some of the reds in the blocks.
I thought maybe some blue and I have a nice turquoise solid that I got out. Not terrible, but nowhere near great either. The blocks with the lighter blue backgrounds stick out like sore thumbs and the blocks with the medium blue backgrounds wash out. I wasn’t daunted yet.
I thought maybe I should introduce a new color. I know I wanted this to be a, basically, two color quilt, but I started to think, perhaps, that there was no way to keep that dream alive with the two colors I had chosen. I thought about the green in Stepping Stones n.2 and I picked out a nice floral without flowers that included that green plus the blue.
I couldn’t yank that fabric off the design wall fast enough. It made me think of my man, Phil, though. I tried one of his prints. Also hideous. Well, not hideous, but it really didn’t work. The blue was wrong. The pink was wrong. It looked messy and slapped together.
I decided to try some white. It wouldn’t be my first choice because it is too predictable, but I was starting to feel desperate. Just a little. The white is wrong, too. I am not sure why, but it doesn’t add anything. It was too white as well, as if THAT makes any sense.
Since I liked the dots and was still thinking the white might just too white, so I pulled out a different dot and tried to like it. It isn’t terrible. It does add a bit to the whole piece, but the black dots just aren’t right. There is none of that fabric in the whole piece. I put it aside as a possibility.
Still thinking dots would work, I pulled out a different red dot print. The red wasn’t exactly the shade I would have chosen if I had all the fabric in the world, but the dots were larger and that was promising. Also, not terrible, but also not exactly right.
By this time, I was starting to feel disheartened and needed some input so I posted to Instagram to get some feedback. People were very kind and had some good ideas.
One person suggested navy, which might work, but I don’t like navy much and don’t have any navy fabric – yardage, at least. I might have some scraps. Amanda suggested yellow. I had a nice sunshine-y orange, which I just thought I would try to see. Not terrible, but not right either. It came across as gold in the photos (even the one above, I think). You remember the hunt for yellow in which I engaged for the basket quilt? I really didn’t want to go out and buy fabric. I really felt I had to have something that would work.
I found some cherry fabric, again by my man, Phil, and thought I would try it. The first Philip Jacobs option was still on my mind. I wasn’t ready to give up on him again. This fabric is actually okay. I think ‘okay’ is a step above ‘not terrible’. Still it didn’t scream YES! at me.
Much more sighing went on.
My last option for the day was a grey. I was not hopeful. I really wanted to sew and I had used most of my sewing time on an unsuccessful attempt to choose some sashing.It didn’t work. It doesn’t look much better than the white
I gave up and went to sew the latest donation quilt. I am starting to think this quilt does not want sashing and I’ll have to make the tutorial with another quilt.
I bought this yarn in Sisters and love the colors. I started knitting in Sisters, but have ripped it out at least three times since then.
That is my process. I think this latest cast-on with stick.
One issue I considered it making a shawl. My office can be cold sometimes and if I don’t want to wear my fleece inside, a shawl would be nice. I heard of a pattern where you start with a cast on of 2 and then continually increase. I did this for about 10 rows and then ripped it out. It looked messy and was not soothing to knit. I will knit a large scarf for now and use that in my office and find a shawl pattern that isn’t such a PITA.
I decided to make this block after finding I needed one more block to complete my Aqua-Red Sampler. I have never made one of these, so I thought “what the heck?”. I had seen some directions for it and it caught my attention. As mentioned, I had to cobble together instructions from at least three different tutorials to be able to make the block. Below is my version. The tutorials I referenced are noted below.
Finished Block Size: 12 inches (12.5 unfinished)
In this tutorial, the background is turquoise and the foreground is red.
Thread – you might want to use your regular piecing thread for the first part of the directions, then switch to a thread that matches the background fabric for sewing the curves shut
Stiletto or dental pick type instrument (something thin and pointy)
hand sewing needle
Instructions for making a 12″ (finished) Cathedral Windows block
1. Cut 4 squares of background fabric 12.5 inches by 12.5 inches
2. Cut 4 squares for inset pieces 4 inches by 4 inches.
3. Fold each of the 4 background squares in half. This will make your 12.5 x 12.5 inch squares into rectangles (e.g. do not fold NOT along the diagonal).
Hint: I sew all four one after another, but you can sew one at a time, if you prefer.
3A. Sew along the short side, backstitching at the beginning and the end.
4. Open your rectangles and match up the raw edges.
Hint: I nest the center seams and pin, starting in the middle
Hint: leave an opening 2-3 fingers wide for later turning. I mark this with two pins right next to each other.
5. Sew your pinned seam shut except for the opening you have left.
Hint: I backstitch at the beginning and end of the seams including next to the opening. Yes, it is a hassle to start and stop, but I don’t want the edges of the seams to come apart when I turn.
6. Place recently sewn squares on the ironing board and smooth out wrong side out (above). They should make nice squares.
7. Press nested seams in opposite directions from the center out.
8. Press long seams in one direction, being careful to line up edge of opening as best you can. You can press this seam open if you want.
You should now have 4 nice flat squares with wrong sides out.
9. Turn squares right sides out.
10 Poke out corners carefully. I use a knitting needle whose mate broke.
Your squares are now on the bias, so be careful when you handle them.
11. Fold corners into the center. Do this with all four corners and make a new square. The square should be 6 inches.
12. Lay out the blocks in a 2 x 2 grid, so you can see what you have
13. Pin the center triangles of the two top triangles together. Do the same for the bottom triangles. Now your 2×2 grid will be pinned together in two rectangular sections
14. Using a ruler (I use a 3.5 x 12.5 Creative Grids), and your marking implement (I like Sewline pencils), draw a line in the crease under the triangles you are about to pin
15. Line up squares with backs together and triangles pointing to the right.
16. Put your applique’ foot on your sewing machine.
17. Sew along the crease on both sets.
18. Lay out the 2×2 grid again. Now you will have two ‘rows’. You are going to sew the rows together.
19. Fold up the top triangles from the bottom row and the bottom triangle from the top row.
20. Draw a line along the crease at the bottom of the two triangles.
21. Sew along the line. After, you will have your 2×2 grid of squares sewn together and the triangles will be flapping around.
22. Take your foreground triangles and lay them on top of your background
23. Tuck the flaps in towards the center and pin in place. Watch out that the edges of your foreground squares don’t show. Make the edges curve slightly
Note: this was confusing to figure out and it turned out that I did not have all the sewn triangles in the right place. After you sew the triangles together, make sure you flatten them back in their original places, e.g. one layer of background on top
Note: I had to use a thin sharp tool, like a stiletto or dental instrument to tuck in some of the foreground edges. I sometimes use a seam ripper, which is a very bad habit, because if you aren’t careful, you can rip your fabric. You can definitely trim the foreground fabric, but trim a little at a time very, very carefully
24. Pin each edge in three places with the heads of the pins facing the center of the foreground fabric. This is not micro management; this technique will allow you to sew as long as possible with the pins in place
25. Sew very close to the edge of the background. I sewed slowly and carefully. I used the above mentioned sharp tools when I needed a little help. Leave LONG tails so you can knot off and hide the threads
26. Handstitch the other triangle flaps closed with a few stitches. The other tutorials said to use the machine, but 2 stitches is a pain and an irritant on the machine, so I hand sewed the flaps closed when I was sinking threads.
I never thought of making it before, but this block did kind of take my fancy. This is kind of a strange block, partially because of all of the layers. It is lumpier than I expected. Warn your longarmer about it.
Fons & Porter Cathedral Window block– I originally found the instructions in one of their magazines as part of their ‘learning to quilt* series’. I had to go looking for other instructions when I found the directions had no sizes or actual cutting instructions. Directions are brief.
Sometimes Crafter Cathedral Window block – some missing detail, but has the instructions for cutting the right sized patches. I also don’t like it that the viewer cannot enlarge the photos to see the details.
*Nota bene: not sure if this is the correct name, but it describes the basic idea of the series.
I took a picture of this bar area before this restaurant stopped carrying gluten free noodles. I finally dug the photo out, because of the bright and cheerful nature and had some fun creating palettes.
The default palette was less neutral-y than usual, which was a pleasant surprise. The red tones are an interesting addition. I also noticed that the program didn’t stick exclusively to the edges.
The monochromatic palettes were interesting. Yes, I made more than one this time. As you can see there are both cools and warms. I know the green is not warm, but it has a kind of warm feel to it – a bit mossy, I guess. Perhaps there is a yellow undertone giving it a bit of a warm feel.
I like some of the blues in the blue palette quite a bit.
The two pink-red palates are similar, but a little different. As usual, I was really surprised at the colors that came out of the tool.
I really played around with the other palettes. I really like the blue and gold in palette n.2. The rest of the colors are kind of meh, though the greys alone or as a background would probably be great.
The one above looks like a Japanese stationery store or a bag of sweets or a girl’s party when she is just getting out of the pink stage.
I thought I had better create a palette of neutrals. I know there are some of you out there who love neutrals (well done they can be great). I think this one is much more interesting than some I have seen. I won’t make a quilt – or anything – from the colors, though.
After analysis of the divisions and categories with the least number of entries at the Fair, we decided embellishment was one to target. Craft Night was Monday and I decided I needed to work on this piece.
Under the Sea has been underway for awhile (uh, 2009!) I decided that I will make a pillow out of the piece and enter it. That means getting it done. I took it out and got reoriented as I don’t know the last time I worked on this piece. I had a bit of thread left so I finished a section with that thread (see purple arrow below) and then did a few more lines of stitching in the center.
I feel like it might need a few beads in various places, but we’ll have to see. I have to lay some out and look at it, otherwise I am going with done.
I finally finished the green donation scarf I have been working on for months. I can’t remember exactly when I started it, but I think it was earlier this year (not last). I bought the yarn at Tuesday Morning on my way to visit MIL.