July 2020 Donation Blocks

I just keep making donation blocks. Some of these 16 patches look really weird. Mostly that is because at the beginning of the month I was getting to the bottom of the donation patch bin. I know Peggy will find a good way to use them regardless of how they look. Eventually, I cut some cream background fabrics, so the blocks don’t look as weird. Still, I worked on other things, like finishing the Blue Strip #2 donation top,  and didn’t make as many blocks this month.  I sent her the 50 or so blocks I made last week, so I don’t have any blocks right now.

Various & Sundry 2020 #10

Fabric, Notions, Supplies & Tools

Have you heard of a Glowforge? I hadn’t until the other day. It looks like a Cricut, Accuquilt and a 3D printer all rolled into one. I have to investigate more to see what it can do. I hope it will be terrible so I won’t want one.

I really like the new Prism fabrics by Guicy Guice. I like the art swatches as well as the splatter prints.

I know some of you like to knit. I signed up for the Maker’s Mercantile newsletter because of Franklin Habit. He is really funny. Now I enjoy looking at the yarns and projects. I am NOT buying, but I thought the Gradient yarns by Schoppel-Wolle were gorgeous. Maker’s Mercantile has fabric and super fun buttons as well.

Mary C (not my mom) turned me on to British bagmaker Mrs. H. I went wandering around the web the other day and found her Companion Carpet Bag. I am sorely tempted, but have another carpet bag pattern AND the frame, so I need to make that one first before purchasing another pattern. After going to her website, I found that she has a book called The Complete Bag Making Masterclass**. It isn’t yet available in the US, apparently, but is available for pre-order. I am not pre-ordering YET. 🙂

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Jessica House has a series of small patterns.

Sharon from Color Girl quilts has a series of sampler block videos up on her site. These might be a good way to improve your skills.

Art Gallery has a lot of interesting free projects. I particularly like Clear Reflections.

Face Masks

  • Need a Face Mask with matching ears so you can pretend you are at Disneyland? Check out an Etsy Shop.
  • Creative Grids has a template for face masks ~$14. You can also buy it on Amazon.
  • Need a fun face mask? These animal masks will bring a smile to people who see you. (Thanks, La!)
  • Owl Bee Crafting has a face mask pattern. This is a similar shape to some of the other patterns, but one thing I liked about the tutorial is that she shows some edges are pinked. Genius! Why didn’t I think of that to keep edges from unraveling?
  • Jen Carlton Bailly has posted a tutorial using the templates that she sells when she gives workshops. She also includes templates, so you are not forced to buy her templates. C’mon, though, you know you want them. She first posted about it on IG, which made me happy but also say DUH! Why didn’t I think of using them? Perfect idea. And another good use for those templates. There are other templates you can use as well, such as Drunkard’s Path templates. The size is the issue.

Other Artists

Vanilla Beane just turned 100 and is still making hats, which are more accurately called works of art.

My foot doctor is also an artist! I get to see nice art when I go get my foot worked on. Amazing, right? Another site where you can see a few of his paintings.

Media, Exhibitions, Lectures & Collections

Jeff Rutherford has started a podcast! It is called “Quilting Stories.” The first episode, an interview with Timna Tarr, is already up. Listen and let me know what you think.

Brandon Mably posted about a re-highlighting of an exhibit of Kaffe’s work at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London. There are other interesting exhibits you can view from the comfiness of your pajamas. Included was a few pictures from the exhibit. I really like the black and white stripes with the pink and am thinking about how I can use the combination. There is an Orla Kiely exhibit, as well as The Secret Lives of Scissors, Josef Frank, The Art of Pattern, Liberty in Fashion, and many others in their Archived Exhibit section.

Someone from my art quilt guild directed me to Quilt Fever, a short film on PBS. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but will.

Last time I talked about the Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum. After I finished the last V&S post, I saw a blog post by Barbara Brackman discussing the exhibit with some of her friends. The points are really apt. I especially like the comments about one quote and Julie Silber’s comments about it: “These quilts are great because they are almost like paintings” a statement she described as
“demeaning, condescending, dismissive (even contradictory.)”

Julie’s opinion:

“Quilts are not great because they look like other forms. They stand on their own—and the makers who excelled (reaching aesthetic heights) need to be acknowledged as ‘masters’ (‘mistresses)?’ ”

Read the blog post, because it is interesting, but because it also touches on  inherent mysogeny in newspapers and the lack of respect for quiltmaking.

The International Quilt Study Center has a number of virtual experiences:







*Check your local public library for access if you don’t have a subscription

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Blue Strip #2 Donation Top

Blue Strip #2 with sashing
Blue Strip #2 with sashing

I made good progress on the Blue Strip #2 donation top. It was getting on my nerves on my design wall with no progress. I was busy during the week, so it languished. Finally, I just sewed the strips together with the sashing.

The photo looks a little wonky. The quilt is not wonky. I plan to put another border on it to hem in all of the movement of the blocks. I have to search out some fabric for that. I also have to make a back.

Tim’s Pillow

Tim's Cushion
Tim’s Cushion

I visited Tim last week for another transfer of quilts, etc. He showed me this awesome cushion he made. I really love the color choices.

Tim used the All People Quilt Play It Cool pattern and took inspiration from their color choices as well.

Of course, there is a lot of turquoise, but the combination of the splatter print and the greys are really great. The darks anchor the overall design and the pink gives it a little pop. I just love it.

Tim's Zipper installation
Tim’s Zipper installation

I am so impressed with Tim’s zipper, too. Look how perfect that looks!!! I need to practice to do so well.

I am surrounded by people who provide excellent inspiration. I feel very fortunate.

May Spiky 16 Patch

New Blue Spiky 16 Patch donation top
New Blue Spiky 16 Patch donation top

Apparently, I forgot to show you the latest blue Spiky 16 patch. Maybe not, but I couldn’t find a post about it, so I am assuming I didn’t show you this quilt.

I finished this in May. It is made from some of the guild’s 16 patches. I looked at it again the other day when I visited Tim. It is small, but mighty. I’ll see about making a larger one next time.

Tulip Cotton Candy Pouch

Tulip Dot Cotton Candy Pouch
Tulip Dot Cotton Candy Pouch

I have talked about the two other pouches, Green and PJ Ivy, I made last weekend. This, however, is the main one. I decided to make this one, then added the others on to the project.

I tried to think of how a non-sewing person would use this pouch (or any pouch??) and could only come up with a makeup bag or a cord carrier.  I hope the recipient will find some good uses for it. It is a large pouch so it might be good for a project. I know she started an embroidery or cross stitch project recently.

Tulip Dot Cotton Candy Pouch- inside
Tulip Dot Cotton Candy Pouch- inside

I made the inside light, as I try to do, so she could find whatever she puts in the bag. It is a kind of fun newspaper print that I haven’t used before, though I have used fabric like it. I still like the text fabrics.

I used some of the Michael Miller French Journal Collection from London Portfolio for this pouch. It has good areas to fussy cut. I bought a lot of it several years ago and keep cutting bits off for this and that. It is fun fabric.

I don’t know what the recipient likes, so I made some thing that I liked. Also, this pattern lends itself to fussy cutting and I was able to cut this fabric in such a way as to highlight the featured flowers.

Tulip Dot Cotton Candy Pouch- back
Tulip Dot Cotton Candy Pouch- back

This is kind of busy fabric, so I used the black and white dot fabric to keep the French Journal Collection under control.

Swap Pouch

A few months ago, Angela organized a swap for the guild. The rules were that we were to use a pattern that we had been wanting to try. As mentioned in the post about what I made, I used one of the Minikins patterns.

Cheryl's Swap Pouch - front
Cheryl’s Swap Pouch – front

Since our guild meetings are on Zoom now, we all took turns opening them on ‘camera’ one at a time. Cheryl was selected to make me something and she made me a POUCH! I told you it was pouch week here at AQ!

Cheryl's Swap Pouch - open
Cheryl’s Swap Pouch – open

Yes, a pouch and it matches the pouch that Angela made for me several months ago, which I use for work.

How do you like that bird (cardinal??) on the front? I love it! He looks sassy. I don’t know why I think of it as a ‘he’.

Cheryl's Swap Pouch - back
Cheryl’s Swap Pouch – back

This is a really nice wide mouth pouch. It will be really good for a small knitting project or some EPP  or something that needs some space, but not a lot of tools. There aren’t any internal pockets, but I think that is ok.

One really nice thing is that there is some corduroy fabric included in the piecing. It is so soft! I want to stroke the corduroy parts of the pouch.

Perhaps I will use it for my bias tape makers? It’s a little big, but I have it available.

PJ Ivy Cotton Candy Pouch

PJ Pink Cotton Candy Pouch
PJ Pink Cotton Candy Pouch

This is the second of the three pouches I made over the weekend. I used the Philip Jacobs Variegated Ivy fabric in pink for the ends and the lining. In order to tone down the large and exciting flowers, I used the black and white for the main panel.

This is the medium sized Cotton Candy Pouch from Sara Lawson’s Minikins Season 1 pattern set (no affiliation).

PJ Pink Cotton Candy Pouch lining
PJ Pink Cotton Candy Pouch lining

It is actually not for one of my co-workers. I made this for my co-worker’s daughter. They are having an especially tough time at their house. Another zipper, some time and fabric were not that big of a deal.

I sent this one off with my co-worker’s yesterday.

Quilting the Blue Strip Donation Quilt

Blue Strip on the longarm
Blue Strip on the longarm

I went to retrieve a piece of fabric that  Tim quilted for me. I will be making bags for our dining room table leaves. Because making quilts and never showing them in person is not fun, I brought some of the donation tops I have made since March. Tim has a number of my donation quilts to quilt. I told him I just wanted to show him the quilts, but he insisted on keeping a couple of them to quilt. Tim kept the Traffic Jam quilt, the Plaid donation quilt and this one.


Blue Strip  quilting detail
Blue Strip quilting detail

I didn’t argue with him, but I insisted on helping him load one of the quilts, the first Blue Strip donation quilt on the longarm. I made this back in March. Since then it has been languishing in my ‘going to guild’ bag. I was just about to ask if anyone wanted to quilt some quilts. I will still do that for the 2 Spiky 16 patches I have, but I have many fewer to try to pawn off.

Blue Strip on the longarm
Blue Strip on the longarm

If I help him get a quilt on the machine, he quilts it relatively quickly. It is also good practice for me, so we pinned this piece to his leaders, he tested the stitch length and did a bit of the quilting to test out the machine and the pattern. I am pretty excited that these quilts are out of my bag. I told Tim I would be back to help him get another quilt on the machine.


Green Cotton Candy Pouch

Green Cotton Candy Pouch
Green Cotton Candy Pouch

In some ways this will be pouch Week. I didn’t intend it to be, but I have a lot of pouches to show.

I made three Cotton Candy pouches over the weekend. As mentioned before These are to be gifts for co-workers who have helped me.

Green Cotton Candy Pouch-open
Green Cotton Candy Pouch-open

I really want to get good at this pattern, so I keep making it even though I have many patterns from the Minikins to try. There are a couple things I need to work on. One is veering the zipper. I didn’t get both sides of the end even this time. Next time, I think I will mark where I want to veer the zipper off the fabric and see if that works. I ripped it out a couple of times, but couldn’t do better, so I’ll try to do better next time.

Last Windmill?

Black Windmill
Black Windmill

I have been working Windmill units for my next Windmill quilt. I kind of hope this is the last one, but it is an easy pattern, so there is a possibility that I will make another.

This one is using black as the background. I wanted to do something different. After FOTY 2018, I might be more interested in using black again.I am also using a few dark blues and some browns. I may not keep them in. It depends on how they look once I get the piece on the design wall. Right now I am just sewing pairs together.

I am going to give this one to my stepdad. It will match, sort of, Warm Windmill #2, which I am giving to my mom.


More Cotton Candy Pouches

I am making 3 more Cotton Candy pouches as gifts for people at work. I am also trying to perfect my efforts at sewing this pattern.

Making 3 requires a lot of cutting time. It took me about two hours to cut out all the pieces, which didn’t include forgetting to cut out the lining side panels! Duh! I guess I have decided that cutting out all the pieces at once is the best way to work.

Cotton Candy Pouch side panels
Cotton Candy Pouch side panels

One of the things I found was that basting the side panels to a square and cutting the shape out later was really handy. Cutting out the side panel, which is tulip shaped, with the rotary template on the Soft & Stable is difficult. It is difficult, because the Soft & Stable is so thick. Cutting the shape out after basting it worked really well.

I also found that basting the pieces to the Soft & Stable in advance was really helpful. I know the pattern says to do it, but I hadn’t done it before.

I am still struggling with veering the zipper. Apparently, I need to make more of these to get that right. I made some annotations to the pattern so I remember what to do next time and where salient points are in the videos.



Swap Gift

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand

Yesterday we all opened our  swap gifts. Thus I know my swap giftee received the gift I made back in May. I mentioned that I had made it for someone, but didn’t say who.

The parameters of the swap were to make a pattern you have been wanting to try.

I did end up following those parameters by making a Boxy Clear pouch for Angela.

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tool side
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tool side

For the swap gift, I used colors I thought Sue S. would like and use. Angela helped me out by asking Sue about her decor and preferences. Originally, I thought I would make a cushion cover, but then I changed my mind. I have seen Sue S. at Sew Days using her tablet to follow a pattern. Thus I thought the Minikins Sewing Stand would be great. It isn’t a pattern I have been wanting to try specifically, but I have been wanting to try all of the Minikins.

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tablet side
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tablet side

I confused the lining and exterior, so the light is on the outside and the tools have to be against dark fabric, but at least Sue gets to look at pretty fabric.

I really hope she likes it and it is useful to her.

Blue Strips #2 Sashing

Work has been busy and I am tired at the end of the day, so sewing has not been going as quickly as I would like. To add to the drama, the SD card in my phone failed, so I lost a ton of photos. It’s my own fault for not backing them up, but it still means a few posts I had in mind can’t happen. There is some hope that one of my nephews will be able to resurrect it, but we will have to see. Thus, my blog is being slightly neglected. I don’t want to post junk, so there may be some skips.

Blue Strips #2 sashing continues
Blue Strips #2 sashing continues

I am working hard on this next donation top. It is not as satisfying to finish these tops since I can’t really show them at meetings. Still, I am motivated enough to clear out scraps to continue making them, so I continue.

As I said before my blue scrap drawer is still pretty packed so I wonder how many blue scrap quilts I will make. This is the second with this type of block. The first had a yellow border and yellow sashing, so it has a very different look. After I finish this one, you will be able to compare the two on the page where I am posting them all.

I have some quilts to send to one of the members to be quilted and I plan to send this one along with that group. I’d like to send everything on Tuesday, so we will see if I can finish this piece by then.

Workroom Inspiration

My workroom is also now my office, yoga and Pilates studio. When I am down on the floor doing back exercises I get a different view of the room. Recently, I have been looking at a stack of books waiting to be shelved.

Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns
Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns

I have talked numerous times about the Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns**. I don’t like Jinny Beyer’s color sensibility, but I do like all of the blocks. The cover of her book is what I see when I do the back exercises and I have been thinking lately that perhaps Ii will make a quilt with all of those blocks. It is already laid out and I am sure I can find most of the patterns in EQ. It’s not like I need another project, but it is fun to think about. I wonder if this was every made as a quilt?







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