Various & Sundry 2021 #1

In Austria the traditional greeting for the New Year is ‘Gute Rutsch’, which means good slide into the new year. I hope your slide out of 2020 and into 2021 was pleasant and happy. Thanks for reading. I look forward to another year of you reading my thoughts and posts about my projects.

Articles, Media, Exhibitions and Shows

I found an article about Sarah Bond’s family history and how quilts have been a part of that history since the early 1800s.

Pantone has released their Color of the Year for 2021. This year they chose 2 colors. The grey is ok, though a little dark for my use. The yellow is too neon-y for me. Pops of it would spark up a quilt.

Cloudless
Cloudless

Kona has done a much better job with their color for 2021. Their blue-sky hue called Horizon is much more my speed. It is similar to the color we painted part of our house last year. That color was called Cloudless from Sherwin-Williams and I am very fond of it.

Fabric, Notions, Supplies, Books & Tools

The Dream Cart site has some nice looking storage solutions. They are not cheap, but if they are well constructed and not flimsy, then the price seems fair. These do not seem to be available on Amazon.

I saw groups of magazine downloads at Quilting Daily. For example, you can get all the2017  issues of Quiltmaker for $35ish. I can’t decide if that is a good price or not. For 2017 issues, it seems high to me, but I understand they may be paying artists, editors, etc. I thought the prices would be lower. Anyway, if you are looking for magazines to flip through on your new tablet, check these out.

Check out the catalog for Sew Expo, Puyallup! Sew Expo, 2021 will be a virtual show. Now is your chance to attend without leaving home! Although there isn’t too much of a quilty nature there are some interesting looking classes. Mister Domestic (Matthew Boudreaux) will be teaching. Sue R posted this on my guild’s member forum.

Friend Julie (all over this post, I know! She is a font of information) told me about Fabric Bubb, an online quilt shop. I was pleased to see they have the Cotton Couture solids by Michael Miller. I do wonder about the names of some shops. I am sure there is a good story there.

Books, Projects, Classes, Patterns & Tutorials

it isn’t too late to join the Spoonflower Doodle-a-Day Challenge. Yes, you’ll be a bit behind, but I have faith that you can catch up. This is similar to my Creative Prompt challenge from a few years ago.

The Royal School of Needlework is encouraging people of all stitching abilities to create a piece of hand embroidered art in the form of a postcard about an aspect of your home, garden or region. They want the “RSN Postcard from Home” project to go viral. Find more information on the RSN website. Use the hashtag #RSNPostcardFromHome

Sarah Ann Smith has a free pattern for pattern weights on her website. If you do not sew garments, these can also be used for taming unruly interfacing.

Jennie, from Clover & Violet, has a[nother] zipper pouch video tutorial. One thing she says in this tutorial, which I have never heard is that top stitching next to the zipper helps keep the lining from getting caught in the zipper teeth. That makes a lot of sense to me. She is slowly adding tutorials and other videos to her YouTube Channel. Remember I mentioned the hidden zipper tutorial from Sotak Handmade? I see in the available Clover & Violet videos that they have a two part series on adding a hidden zipper to the back of pillow. You can start with part 1.

Somehow I missed  that Joan Hawley is the brains behind Lazy Girl Designs. I went and took a look at her website and found the Freebies area, which has a number of great tutorials and patterns. I like the 1 hour 1 yard free tote bag. There is also a PDF area of hacks where Joan gives information on sewing on a button by machine, choosing zipper colors and making a lanyard for guild (or other meetings).

Yes, Christmas is over, but I keep thinking about bunting. I saw the Apple Green Cottage tutorial and think I might try and make one for Thanksgiving. My sister made me a paper version for birthdays, but never got around to the Thanksgiving version. Perhaps I’ll get my SIL to embroider some of the designs from the napkins as well as letters.

Friend Julie pointed me to a[nother] mask tutorial. I haven’t tried it, but it looks similar to the one I use. I like the pointy bit for the nose, so it will be worth a try. According to an interview with epidemiologists I read , we will be wearing masks for the next 12-18 months at least.

Take a look at the info Julie provided on block printing. We block printed our Christmas cards a million years ago, but haven’t done anything since.

I found another eye mask tutorial. I am not sure I want to bind the whole thing. It seems easier to just flip right sides out after sewing and top stitch. Still, it is another option.

A friend posted examples of this market bag on the Kaffe group on FB. I really like the way it looks.

I saw a photo on Instagram of a pouch. Big deal, right? The photo was in charisecreates top 9 for 2020 post. The pouch was shown on the left in the middle. I love the curve of the top of the pouch. I looked around and the pattern, apparently is in a book called Perfectly Pretty Patchwork by Kristyne Czepuryk. I was able to see some parts of it on amazon, but nothing about this particular pattern. At the moment, I don’t want to buy the book as 1)I have enough patterns and 2) I don’t want to buy a pattern for one pouch. The other projects in the book weren’t interesting to me. Granted I didn’t see them all, but from what I saw I don’t want to invest. Sadly, the library doesn’t have it either.

Krista Moser has a great tutorial on scalloping borders. Note this is not your grandma’s scalloped borders.

All People Quilt has a UFO challenge for 2021.

Karen the DIY Addict posted a YouTube tutorial on the flat back stitch. The flat back stitch is useful for sewing EPP pieces together.

Other Artists

Friend Julie pointed me to an article that references FabMo. I scanned through the article and was pleased to see that the artist featured, who gets her materials through FabMo, makes pieces that are not a jumbled mess. Jumbled messes are perfectly valid forms of art, especially if they create some kind of discussion. I prefer to see FabMo’s materials used in a creative way that conveys a story I can understand or being to parse. I also like to see good technique, which the artist also demonstrates. The piece that highlighted these thoughts for me was Dare! by Zwia Lipkin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sheffield vs QI Tool Tote

After thinking about the two tool totes, I decided to compare them. I already talked a little about them in the Gift Post, but I think showing photos would help you decide which you want to make. I made the Quilts Illustrated pattern in 2018. I use it for my bag making supplies. It is handy to keep them all in one place.

Sheffield Tool Bag v. Quilts Illustrated Tool Tote
Sheffield Tool Bag v. Quilts Illustrated Tool Tote

As you can see from the photo above, the overall shape of both bags is substantially similar. The Sheffield Tote is larger than the QI Tool Tote. The Sheffield also has some 3D pockets in addition to the slip pockets on the outside. These additional pockets provide extra storage, though I wonder if the items in those pockets would fall out in transit?

The other thing I notice is that the handles are different. They are different widths and made from different techniques. I picked up the QI Tool Tote the other day and found it heavy. With all of my bagmaking hardware and supplies, it would be. That made me worried about the handles breaking. I think if I made the QI version again, I would make the handles wider.

That being said, I have not filled the Sheffield Tool Bag so I don’t know how it will feel with items inside. I do like the padded version of the handles (see tutorial – you can add these to any bag) for a bag like this and will add them next time I made the Sheffield.

The other thing I like about these bags is the frame. I haven’t made a lot of bags with frames, but the wide mouth aspect, enabled by the frame, on both bags is awesome. The maker can see into the entirety of both bags.

Again, the pockets are different. The Sheffield has more 3D pockets on the inside while the QI Tool Tote has slip pockets, including some on the ends. In a way I like the slip pockets better. I can see making a smaller slip pocket for the second pocket on the outside of the Sheffield instead of the 3D pockets. I might also make slip pockets for the inside of the Sheffield.

There is a lot of scope for imagination, as Anne Shirley would say, in this style of bag. I encourage you to try it out.

 

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Winnie the Pooh
Happy New Year from Winnie the Pooh

I thought I would pull out my photo of my beloved Pooh in his Happy New Year gear. Last year my wish was to have another year of exchanging quiltmaking and sewing information. I hope we achieved that. I made my best effort with all of my posting and sewing.

Let’s hope 2021 isn’t quite as crazy as 2020, but that we can still exchange quiltmaking and sewing. I plan to sew a lot.

2020 Year in Review

Another year and more projects finished

2020 blog posts: 359

2020 fabric used: 95 yards net

I reached 100 yards used for the first time ever! I actually made it up to 113 by 12/17/2020. I was super excited. Of that 28% was for charity quilts. Of course, then, after writing the post about the Kaffe quilt, I went and bought some fabric, ended up with 95 net fabric used. Oh well! I take comfort in the 152 gross yards used.

Finished 2020 Quilt Projects

Six quilts are now complete for the year. I am thrilled.

Finished 2020 Small and Non-Quilt Projects

This category covers bags, toys, aprons and knitting as well as other non-quilt projects.

I feel like I have made more of these small items, but I can’t find any others.

In Process
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or are on the design wall waiting for me to stitch. I am continuing to try not to put away projects. I find putting a project away ensures I never work on them, because I just lose steam.

Small Projects to Make or in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • One Hour Basket for organizing my decks of cards – Creative Strength, mindfulness, etc. I may switch to one of the Minikins or a Catch All Caddy projects for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for my stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects or a Catch All Caddy for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for DH’s stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects for this purpose.
  • Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Ultimate Project Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Officer gifts for January 2021 – working on the project and nearing completion
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag – Bag-a-Long for BAM – I have the inside pockets made and am struggling with the front pocket.
  • Westchester shirt – this is a Crafty Gemini pattern. I bought the fabric at PIQF in 2018 and just need to make it. The pattern comes with a video, so there is hope it will be wearable.

Handwork

I decided that some of my projects are in a different class because they are hand piecing or embroidery or beading. They take longer. Thus I created a new category and have moved some projects here.

Ready for Quilting

FOTY 2019 – ready to take to the longarmer

In the Quilting Process

In the Finishing Process

  • Red Scribbles

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

  1. Handbag Sampler – this is still the forgotten project. It should be on the UFO list. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class some time before I started writing the quilt class sampler tutorials. I found one block recently, but otherwise I actually don’t know exactly where the blocks are hiding. I crawled up in the far reaches of my fabric closet to see if I could find them and they weren’t where I thought. I am sort of mystified as to where they could be. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. 🙁
  2. Lobster – I think I will make this into a tablerunner for our buffet. I think that will be a good and fun use of the piece even if the colors aren’t quite right for the dining room.
  3. Pies and Points from 2016 Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. The last time I worked on it was when Julie and I had a playdate in April 2018. I brought this piece with me so I could cut more elements (Julie has a Sizzix). I lost my excitement about this piece shortly thereafter and still have to get it back. Thus, I had to move this to the WIPs area.
  4. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I am still stalled on this again. As one of my oldest (I am pretty sure) UFO, I put it on my blog and out into the Twitterverse and Diane suggested that I not consider this as a self portrait. I think that strategy is a great idea. I am now trying to think of a new persona for her.
  6. Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece to be framed.
  7. Who Am I? – This piece is still languishing. Perhaps having a larger design wall will help me regain momentum. The amount of satin stitching I was facing was a problem until I thought of BIAS TAPE. I am going to make the words with bias tape, perhaps different widths, then I won’t have to sew the satin stitching. Red Scribbles and Friend Julie helped me come up with this solution. Now I just have to do it!

2020 All Donation Quilts

“Sometimes the world’s problems are so big we think we can do little to help. On our own we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.” Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

This year I contributed something positive to the world.

Donation Quilts and Tops for 2020

Doing Good

2020 All Donation Blocks

Like last year, I still have in the back of my mind that I would like to make 30 donation blocks per month-360 in a year. This year’s achievement is 124 blocks. I feel like I have made a good effort even if I haven’t quite achieved my goal.

I didn’t take photos of all of the donation blocks I made:

  • 4 blocks- March-16 patches
  • 8 (or so) plaid blocks from the plaid donation top

 

Gift Post #4: Sheffield Tool Bag

Sheffield Tool Tote - back
Sheffield Tool Tote – back

As I said earlier this month, I finished the Sheffield Tool Bag the week before Christmas.

I am usually pretty pleased with the Sew Sweetness patterns, but I found this one particularly easy to put together. The ease of putting together this bag was in direct contrast to my memory of putting the Quilt Illustrated Tool Tote together.

Sheffield Tool Tote - top
Sheffield Tool Tote – top

I found two tricky parts and the zipper was involved with both. First was the zipper panel and the video remedied my confusion. The second was the other/non-zipper tab end of the zipper and I am not sure how to remedied that beyond using a matching thread to the zipper and hoping for the best. I’d like to put a zipper tab on instead of folding over the ends of the zipper on that one end. I’ll think about that for future versions. I’d like to make another one of these bags.

On the bright side, I feel like I finally got the concept of ‘veering the zipper’. I talked more about this during the making of the Pink & Green Cotton Candy pouch. There is something about the way it was presented in the Sheffield Tool Bag video that fixed the concept in my head. Yay!!

It has a different feel than the Quilt Illustrated Tool Tote, though I believe the supplies were similar. I haven’t checked the Quilt Illustrated pattern recently, however, and I know I quilted the outside of the QI Tool Tote, though that is an option for the Sew Sweetness pattern as well.

 

Sheffield Tool Tote - inside
Sheffield Tool Tote – inside

I am particularly fond of the inside. Despite being canvas and VERY loosely woven, I love the design motifs of the fabric I used for the lining.

Now that I know where all the pieces are going to be used, I would make different fabric choices for future versions. Still, I believe the white fabric makes the inside light enough to see all of the supplies (and stuff) that would go inside.

Sheffield Tool Tote - front
Sheffield Tool Tote – front

I didn’t have enough fabric for the slip pockets to be the same on both sides of the bag, so I used similar colors, but different fabrics. I think they look ok. The ice cream fabric was used so that it goes with the Classmates tote I made last year.

 

Gift Post #3: Sidewinder Pouches

Finished: Sidewinder Pouches
Finished: Sidewinder Pouches

I finished the four mediaum Sidewinder pouches earlier this month, but didn’t want to show them until the recipients received them.

I wanted to make them all with stripes, but didn’t have any green stripes (that I could find).

I thought the leftover Philip Jacobs fabric from the back of FOTY 2019 was great fabric and the two young women who like green would like that fabric. They can donate their pouch if they don’t like it.

Finished: Sidewinder Pouches open
Finished: Sidewinder Pouches open

The top zipper placket would have looked a little better if I had turned the stripes vertically. I just didn’t think about it. I will know better next time, if I make this pattern again.

Gift Post: Mini Maker Case

Mini Maker Case
Mini Maker Case

I finished the Mini Maker Case in September. I wanted to save the post  for after I gifted it. The recipient, Friend Julie, reads this blog on occasion and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

The small Oliso irons didn’t arrive until after her birthday, so this ended up as a Christmas gift. I sent it off with the iron and a couple of other gifts last week. I meant to take a photo of my iron inside the case, but forgot. I hope she will take one after she receives it and has a chance to look through her gifts.

I want to make one for myself. It is kind of a talisman for when Sew Days start up again.

DH Dancers

I may have mentioned that I tore a ligament in my foot in September. It is much better, but still improving. Earlier this week, I went to see my doctor to have it checked out.

One of the things about my doctor is that he is also an artist. He has his paintings hanging in his office. He has a small Artavita profile with a couple of his newest works. The bio he posted on his website mimics how I feel about my quiltmaking, especially where he talks about the flow. I agree with him that my work and my art are better when I do both and also that I get into a Zen-like state when I am sewing.

DH - Dancer Series #11
DH – Dancer Series #11

One of the things I noticed about the dancers in his office is the use of black. It offers an intensity and moodiness that is different than the look of ‘noir’ films, for examples. There isn’t a creepy sense of the psychological thriller in these paintings. I get the sense of the artist trying to show different types of people – dancers in this case.

I can’t stop looking at #11. I really want to know what the dancer is thinking. Is she angry? Is she annoyed that we have invaded during her practice?

Also, I think the juxtaposition of the black and ballet dancers is interesting. When I think of ballet (tutus, after all), I think of pink and baby blue flowing skirts or white stiff tutus. I don’t think of black. Most of the others in the series have black in them, but not all. Despite not all of them having black in the image, there is a consistency of style: straightforward, clear, slightly blocky (??). I get the sense that what you see is what you get, though there is a layer or two underneath the viewer needs to contemplate.

DH-Dancer Series #14
DH-Dancer Series #14

I like the tutu in #14 very much. I also like the pose, especially the hands around the back.  I also want to know what is going on with this dancer. My doctor is not a writer, but I would love to hear the story of all of these dancers.

I am always pleased when I find out someone has a passion to which they are dedicated. I feel like I am getting through this pandemic because I can sew as much as I want or all the time. I feel like quiltmaking is a way to stay on track, not get depressed and makes me a better person. I have to figure out problems, choose fabrics that go together, design projects. While I am doing all of those things, I don’t think about staying home all the time, not seeing family and friends.

By seeing my doctor’s work, I can see how he is a better doctor because of his art. He can talk to me on a level that is professional, but also human and I appreciate that.

Even More Donation Quilting

Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted
Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted

Surprisingly, I have more donation quilting to show. Tim is on a roll and, the other night, sent me a photo of the finished quilting on the Blue Improv quilt.

With the Purple Strip donation quilt, this one makes two this week! I am thrilled for a couple of reasons: 1) I have something to write about and some donation quilts about which to feel good and 2) I haven’t been working on any donation anything so these finishes are a bonus.

Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted - detail
Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted – detail

Tim quilted swirls into the top. The quilting is hard to see with everything going on with the piecing. He sent me this detail and it looks good, which is no surprise.

I don’t know who he has to bind it.

Sew Together Bag Progress

Gift Sew Together Bag Linings
Gift Sew Together Bag Linings

After a good day of gift sewing on Saturday, I got back to the Sew Together Bags, finally.

As you know, I am making three. I spoke with Gerre on the phone on Saturday.While we talked I was able to get the pincushions stuffed and stitched to one of the panels. It is a good quiet task and I hadn’t spent the time to do it before Saturday.

Once Gerre and I finished getting caught up, I set to work sewing the lining together. As you know the lining is made up of the 4 pieces you see in the photo plus 6 pocket linings as well, which are on the bottom.

I did have to resort to the Quilt Barn Sew-a-long tutorials, which were really helpful. I saved them as PDFs and was able to make some annotations that are helpful.

Embroidery Sew Together Bag Open
Embroidery Sew Together Bag Open

Seeing the way the all white linings look, I think I will add some color next time. I like the red-violet inside of my embroidery Sew Together Bag.

I was also able to make some progress on the third lining. I didn’t quite finish, however.

More Donation Quilting

Purple Strip Donation Quilt - quilted
Purple Strip Donation Quilt – quilted

Tim sent me some photos on Saturday of the purple strip donation quilt I finished back in March of 2019.

I really like the skinny rectangle motif he used for the quilting. I think it echos the strips I used.

Purple Strip donation quilt quilted
Purple Strip donation quilt quilted

It took him awhile to quilt this. I think he was having a hard time getting inspired. I can understand. I blame the pandemic.

He’ll get someone to bind it or maybe I will next time I visit; we’ll see.

Butterfly Cotton Candy Pouch

Butterfly Cotton Candy pouch started
Butterfly Cotton Candy pouch started

We draw names at Christmas, so we can get a nice gift for one person rather than a bunch of small gifts for everyone. I usually purchase something off of my giftee’s wish list, but occasionally I like to make something as well. This year I got one of my SILs and really wanted to make something.

The Cotton Candy pouch is still a favorite, soI started another one on Friday as an additional gift. I used a similar fabric as I used on an apron I made for her a few years ago. I forgot that I used the blue instead of the purple. Oh well. I hope she likes purple.

Butterfly Cotton Candy pouch side view in process
Butterfly Cotton Candy pouch side view in process

I am still struggling a bit with this pattern. This time the side panels were MUCH larger than the main panels. I checked the measurements multiple times, but still can’t figure out why the side panels don’t match. And this time they are WAY off. Regardless, I can still make it work.

On to veering the zipper!