2016 Year in Review

I feel like I didn’t make a lot this year. The will was there. The need was there, but time and inspiration conspired against me for many months. Still, I have an impressive record:
Number of 2016 Blog Posts: 367

Number of yards of fabric used this year: 178.59

Small and Medium Projects:

Doing Good Projects

I also made a lot of donation blocks that someone else will turn into a quilt.


I have made more quilts other years. I have a number of quilt in process, as you know, and those will hopefully turn into quilts next year.

Creative Spark 7: Permission

Kind of ironic, huh, after yesterday’s posts?

Permission is an odd thing. Sometimes you need it to move forward. My husband has only once complained about the quilts we have at home. He helps me with quilt math and did all the figuring for the Triangle Technique chart. In these way he has given me permission to create.

He wasn’t, however, the first. We did a lot of creative things at home when I was a kid. My dad tied fly fishing flies and had us work along with him. My mom sewed and painted those plaster decorative pieces with us. My grandmothers all cooked and did needlework. We often received kits to make things as gifts. It was normal to be making at our houses.

I also remember various teachers who encouraged creativity and making. Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Kay created a entire play based on Fiddler on the Roof called Piddler on the Loose that included costumes, music and a completely rewritten script. There was also an art aspect to our learning in Mrs. Gellman’s class: kites when we studied Japan, a mission built by the entire class when we studied California history and something to color or glue in general.

Bloomston talks about her various teachers and how they inspired her. About one she writes “she gave her students nothing but space, time, materials and permission. She offered an open door to her wild studio filled with crazy, sophisticated materials and tools” (pg.33).

I don’t think we need “assignments, lectures or instructions” (pg.33). I think we need a sense of possibility and permission. Permission can be tricky, however. I don’t need someone to say “it is okay for you to go and sew today”. It is more that I need the space to be able to go and sew. My family giving me the mind space to make the decision to sew is a kind of permission.

Part of permission is the mindspace, but Bloomston points out that the “blessings and resources in our lives that allows us freedom – open doors, yesses, possibility” all have a hand in getting us to create. The good thing is that no matter how much money a person has, anyone can take a pen and draw lines on the least expensive piece of paper and make art.

Bloomston says “Seek out people who say yes. Seek out people who give you permission, whether teachers or friends” (pg.34).  One of the most important things that helps me to create are the people in my guilds. The fact that they show up and show their work inspires me so much! It makes me want to make that or this other project as well.

Bloomston has some worksheets in this chapter, which will help you focus on the things discussed in this chapter. Take a look at the book.

Nota bene: we are still working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. There is a lot more to it than what I am writing and it will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of the fabulousness!

Kindness in Light of Theft

Theft. Stealing. Transgressors. Swipe. Ugly words.

After my post of this morning, I have received help in numerous ways. I am really gratified, because I thought I would get bombarded with messages about how I wasn’t in compliance with the sharing spirit of the quilting world. I really have received nothing but support.

Image used for group stolen from my FB page
Image used for group stolen from my FB page

One person contacted the admin of an FB group using my image for me when she did not reply to my FB Messenger message. It appears that the original image was taken from my FB page and annotated with the words. Because FB has a limit to the size of cover page images, the copyright notice was cut off. That was my fault. I have added the copyright notice front and center and replaced the non-compliant image. Of course, it means there is a &^%$# copyright notice right in the middle of the image. C’est la vie. I suppose I will get lazy again in a few years and trust people again.

FB Stealing Apology
FB Stealing Apology

The admin of the FB group wanted to continue to use my image, but I said no. While I could get some publicity, I don’t want it. I don’t want people thinking they can use my image and I will be ok with it. My standard response is “please remove the image; you do not have permission to use it.” She posted an apology in the group, which was nice. One commenter pointed out that she should change the project, which I appreciated. I have a spy in the group, so I hope will know if the image is used again.

FB Stealing -2016 Time Capsule
FB Stealing -2016 Time Capsule

The admin said she had seen the time capsule post in a 2016 version. My watermark is still there (see that arrow?), but I can’t imagine why someone would assume they could use it for a 2017 project. I haven’t been able to track down the originator of the above post, so let me know if you know who it is.

I am part of some secret groups and I have posted the link to my post there. One person said I should report any transgressions to FB and IG, that they are pretty militant about taking posts, profiles and groups down when something is reported. I will do that as a last resort.

Pinterest Sharing of FOTY
Pinterest Sharing of FOTY

KR mentioned a couple of shares and a Pinterest pin to me. I found out that you can tell how many times an image has been shared and where it has been shared. The share shown above is actually FOTY 2012 and has been shared 1500 times. It is from Flickr, so I went and posted a link to the FOTY Page on all of the FOTY images on Flickr.

KO sent me a new IG post where the person blatantly admitted to ‘swiping’ the photo from another feed. Was her comment meant to be funny? Am I the only one who doesn’t think this is funny?

I am taking screenshots of all the posts, so I can post here and have evidence, if I need it. I have also talked to a friend who is looking into an IP lawyer who will work pro bono.

In some ways, I feel like I should feel flattered at the attention and should support these projects. On the other hand, my deepest heart of hearts thinks I should do what I am doing and continue on. I am not sure there is a right answer.

While I may feel *itchy and cranky about this, I am gratified that people have taken my side and are helping me to track down these images. I am also happy that the transgressors have removed my image with little to no fuss. I know this morning’s post was not as well written as it could have been, though it has done its job. The word is out; the *itch is back and looking out for her image.

Stealing and Posting

Stealing is a distasteful subject. I suppose we all do it to some degree or another. Pens and Post-it notes which are accidentally tossed in bags at the office and left at home, for example. I am shocked by the premise often espoused in the quilt world that every quiltmaker is nice. Quiltmakers are people who are part of the world just like sanitation engineers, app developers, salespeople and receptionists. We all like to think that our little subculture is different. I have found out recently that quiltmakers can be just as mean and just as likely to appropriate what is not theirs as shoplifters.

Fortunately, there was no meanness or malice intended as far as I can tell.

FB Stealing
FB Stealing

You might think stealing is a harsh word, but that is immediately what I thought when I saw the image above. Someone took my image of FOTY 2015 and created this project on FB. I only saw it because TFQ pointed it out to me from a post she saw on Instagram.

I have a small brand, but the goodwill and brand identity I have built I would like to keep.

When I contacted the person via Instagram, she apologized profusely and immediately removed the post. I would have loved that to be the end, but she said she was just sharing it from a post she saw on Facebook. Sigh. She kindly sent me the link and I tracked down the image above. [Nota bene: I have removed the name and image so the person can remain anonymous.]

This all took place on Christmas Day. I didn’t have to deal with it then, of course. However, with the ease of sharing on social media, I felt that I needed to get to the heart of it as soon as possible. I contacted the second person, knowing that she did not want to hear from me on Christmas. I received an answer yesterday. She, though I don’t know why she thought she had the right, gave me three options: attribute, add the copyright or remove the post. I suppose she wanted to keep the project in play. Mean as I felt, I chose remove. It is my image and while I might like the attention, I didn’t like the tone of the email. She removed it and sent the following response to my comment about removing the copyright “I added the text to the top of the image. Not sure where I found the image, but I don’t remove watermarks or links unless they go to a scraper site, so I assume it was a direct upload to Pinterest or Facebook by someone.” While not out of the realm of possibility I find this hard to believe. As far as I know I only posted the piece once without a copyright and that image is angled differently than the one above. What I don’t find hard to believe is that someone else took the image and this is just a digital reprint of part of the quilt.

I found it shocking that someone would take a random image and create a project like this out of it. I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked and should blame how easy it is to do without thinking.

Awhile ago someone posted my image on Instagram as “time capsule” quilt. I am looking for that image and will tell them to remove it, if I haven’t already. I haven’t been able to find it thus far, so I hope I already did. I have started to search Pinterest to find the origin, if the origin is there. I have searched Google Images to see if it posted anywhere I didn’t authorize and I have done some searching on FB. It is a genie out of the bottle situation, however, and I don’t expect to be able to contain it. I am not sure how I would feel if the image had had the copyright attached and my name had been mentioned. I suppose if I had been contacted in advance, I might have collaborated with the person. To discover that my image was being used out of the blue, however, was a shock. I was in no way inclined to allow the project to continue. Of course, again, the genie is out of the bottle (see Instagram photo), so there isn’t much more I can do other than pointing people to my link to the FOTY quilts.

Screw you, Mercury in Retrograde! You will not defeat me.

Be kind. We need kindness in the world and you can be a part of that.


California Shirt detail

California Shirt
California Shirt

The other day I talked about the shirt I made for DH for Christmas.

I  decided I wanted to talk a little more about the details. The motifs lend themselves to fussy cutting and where I could I tried to use that technique to make the shirt more special.

It didn’t always work out. I cut out the collar with the state capital beautifully centered and realized that it would come out upside down. Oh well.

California Shirt n.3 detail
California Shirt n.3 detail

I did succeed on the pocket. I wanted to make the pocket larger since he has a larger cell phone now. Larger pockets can be floopy so I lined the pocket with ShapeFlex to give it some bulk and make it stronger. Pockets aren’t that large so I was able to find a scrap that worked really well. The flag will draw some attention from the Native Sons.

I have successfully made buttonholes I like at TFQ’s house on her Bernina. I have never figured out how to use the buttonhole foot on my Janome 9000. I did get a lesson on the DC5100 and I knew it wasn’t difficult. I hauled that little machine over to SIL’s (the YM came over and carried it home for me when we finished) and used it to make the buttonholes.

I took a prepared scrap over and did a couple of test runs. The test buttonholes came out beautifully, so I decided to go for it on the shirt.

California Shirt button closure
California Shirt button closure

Failure. I got and error message, the start of a buttonhole, then a straight stitch going in the wrong direction. 🙁 SIL said that she needed to make a project with 100 buttonholes in order to feel confident. Very true, for many things, I think.

I eventually made the machine work by turning it off and on again between each buttonhole. It was a pain and I had to reset the settings each time, but I got all of the buttonholes done.

The buttons came out of a jar that TFQ bought for me at Road to California. I really like them and think they fit the look of the shirt very well.

The photo directly above has a great shot of one of the missions on the fabric design.

The Gifts That Could Have Been

When I went into 2016, I had a list of gifts I wanted to make. As I have mentioned, there was a good portion of the year where I felt uninspired. Many gifts were not made.

As I took out the card holder I made for us a few years ago, I thought about what a great gift that was and how hard it is to make something that good again. The siblings and cousins are getting fudge, nothing sewn.

I wanted to make a couple of tote bags and pincushions as one-offs for people. I also had the idea to make a couple of Sew Together Bags. There is still a possibility, but not for Christmas 2016.

I need to be more organized next year, starting with finding a pattern that has a lot of bang for my buck, eg interesting and usable, but doesn’t take 40 hours to make. I have a week or two before I have to be serious about finding such a project.

Gift Post #1: California Shirt (n.3)

PSA: If you aren’t already sewing for #BDSI, get to it. I am on my way to contribute my tweets and grams!

California Shirt
California Shirt

I am not sure why I do this to myself. Garment sewing is hard. Fortunately, my SIL lives around the corner and she held my hand throughout the process. I worked on this only at her house until Friday when I pressed it and wrapped it.

I know why I made this shirt, actually. It was all about the fabric. This was a particularly nice print of California fabrics and I just had to make DH a shirt.

The motifs really depict California rather than being some kind of idealized version of California. I was pleased with the fabric design, because of the missions, which are a big part of the state’s history. Yosemite is depicted and the food trucks are a hilarious addition.

He finds the tablecloth shirt I made too short, so I wanted to get it right. That is the kind of person I am. Have you seen how many Petrillo bags I have made?

California Shirt back
California Shirt back

We made the whole shirt 3″ longer than the pattern said. yes, I learned to alter a pattern which involves actually dealing with the pattern, rather than just adding a few inches here and there.

I think that next time, if there is a next time, I will make the inside seams French seams. I know I shouldn’t worry about raw edges, but I do. I am not even sure if French seams on a shirt are possible. I am sure they are, but may be ill advised for some reason.

I started well in time to get it done timely, but really finished it last Thursday. I made the buttonholes using my little machine and sewed on the buttons. After that all I had to do was press and wrap.


Half Holiday / Half Sewing

Quilt Decor
Quilt Decor

We did something different this year. We used a quilt for a tree skirt. I think it looks nice with the gifts wrapped in gift bags.

I made a tree skirt out of felt soon after I got my first tree. It has been looking ratty for a few years, but it looked embarrassing last year. I didn’t make a tree skirt, though I have a pattern. Perhaps next year, now that the Thanksgiving tablerunners are done?

Late Pre-Christmas ColorPlay

Nobody died, but I did have a slightly stressful week, which you can see on Instagram and Twitter, if you are interested. I post more about my life there. No quilt related emergencies. thus, the late posting of ColorPlay and little other posting this week. I also haven’t sewed much.

ColorPlay Christmas 2016
ColorPlay Christmas 2016

This is an old photo from a prior Thanksgiving dinner, but I thought it would make a nice themed ColorPlay this week.

ColorPlay Christmas n.1
ColorPlay Christmas n.1

The first color palette is the default. It is what the tool gave me out of the gate; I didn’t make any changes. I really like it, mostly because I got two in the red area right off. I also like the neutrals.

ColorPlay Christmas n.2
ColorPlay Christmas n.2

I fooled around with the dots a bit on the second option, keeping the reds, but changing up the neutrals. I also added some additional greens, which, though present in the first palette, were not representative of the theme of the tablecloth.

ColorPlay Christmas n.3
ColorPlay Christmas n.3

Finally, this is my masterpiece. I really like this color palette. I like the various greens – they are brighter – in combination with the two reds and only one neutral and think it would make a great quilt.

Peacock Solids

In my last post, I talked about how my design method can run into problems. Still, it is the way I work and I don’t want to plan out a whole quilt in each detail before I work on it as there would be no reason to make it. Therefore, I have to cope with design challenges as they come up. I really am struggling with what to place on the top of the quilt.

The other day, since I was determined to make progress on The Peacock, I pulled out all of the solids that were in the running for use and put them in order by color. The photos above don’t look very good. It is hard to see the subtle differences in hue. Still, it makes it easier to choose, which blue to put next as I move up to the top of the quilt.


Red & White Donation Quilt – Almost

Red & White Donation Quilt
Red & White Donation Quilt

Well, the Red & White Donation quilt is as done as it is going to get on my watch.

I am not happy with how long it took to get done or the way it came out.

I was under the impression that new, updated QAYG method would make making an entire quilt a breeze, especially since I had the blocks. This was my slap in the face that quilts take time. I know this. I want to make a nice quilt no matter if it is a donation quilt or one that will lay over my stair railing for the next 10 years. It was a good reminder that quilts take time. I know this, but was lured by a gimmick, I think.

Red & White Donation Quilt back
Red & White Donation Quilt back

In the process of putting the quilt together using the QAYG method, I lost sight of the design of the postage stamp blocks. You can see that I lined some of them up crazily. The general method is that the you quilt the blocks on the machine with only batting on the bottom, then you put the back on and quilt some more. Putting the back on and quilting more was like quilting the whole quilt. This is what confuses me.

The quilting you can see on the back is in addition to the quilting I did on the blocks. There is enough quilting through all three layers to hold the quilt together. I don’t understand why the QAYG method is easier?

Red & White Donation Quilt back - detail
Red & White Donation Quilt back – detail

The quilt as you go method that sounded so good when I heard about it. The good part is that I quilted the quilt. The binding just needs to be attached. I even sewed the binding by machine. All that needs to be done is handstitching.

I almost brought it to my SIL when I finished to get it out of my sight, but decided that I might do the binding after the Christmas rush. It is put away for now, but we will see.

I know someone will like it and it will keep someone warm, so it isn’t a disaster that needs to be tossed: just not up to my normal standards.

City Sampler Continued

City Sampler blocks
City Sampler blocks

I made more blocks. It took me forever to get these posted.

I was feeling like I wasn’t going to make any progress without seeing the #100blocks100days hashtag photos on Instagram. Seeing those photos was a real inspiration even though I wasn’t (and didn’t plan on) keeping up. I was only up to around 50 by the time they finished during the week of Thanksgiving.

I want to finish these blocks, make a quilt and move on. So, at Craft Night, I cut 11 more blocks. That was about all I had time to do, but it felt good. I now have up to 70 either sewn or cut.

30 more to go.

I am thinking about the Farmer’s Wife block book. 😉

ColorPlay December 16

ColorPlay December 16
ColorPlay December 16

More torture for you for the sake of color. This is an example of a standard sundae you can order at almost any Austrian cafe. I indulged several times with different sundaes while I was in Austria. I had this one in Steiermark near GroB St. Florian. I didn’t think much about what I was eating while I was there, though I didn’t stuff myself either.

This one is called Pfirsich Melba, I think, meaning Peach Melba. I’d give a lot for another one in Austria just now.

ColorPlay Dec 16 n.2
ColorPlay Dec 16 n.2

The first one, the standard made by the tool, has a load of neutrals as the others in previous editions had. I kind of like the coffee colors and the combination, but would probably never make a quilt with these colors. I get depressed using dark purple fabric in the winter. No pink; I’d get depressed and never finish it or toss it or give it to the Charity Girls. If I ever go live in Hawaii I’ll think about trying a neutral quilt.

ColorPlay Dec 16 n.1
ColorPlay Dec 16 n.1

I made some changes to the location of the circles to get some color.

I got some red and a kind of gold Kona calls Yarrow. I wanted to keep some of the neutrals to see how it would look.

More color. I needed more color. I didn’t have much with which to work.

ColorPlay Dec 16 n3
ColorPlay Dec 16 n3

The third time I put all the circles on the colored areas. Lots of red, mauve dusty rose, which are really called Cayenne, Sienna and Deep Rose in the Kona world.  Yarrow is back as well.

One thing that this exercise does is it makes me look – really LOOK – at the photos. After trying to get more pink or color, I finally saw the blue towards the base of the dish. The blue looks lighter to me than the Palette Builder determined.

ColorPlay Dec 16 n.5
ColorPlay Dec 16 n.5

Kona Everglade was added to the mix. As usual, the work paid off and this is the best of the lot.

Have you made something with one of the palettes. Let me see it.

Various & Sundry 2016 #13

Off Topic: Crafts

We had a meeting for NSGW Grand Parlor the other night, so the planning has finally kicked off. In an effort to show people what the boxes I want for the favors to be I went looking on the web. I found a couple of folded paper boxes tutorials, one from Origami Instructions and the other from Simply Notable. Both are essentially the same, but I find it good to get different perspectives, especially with the written word. These are great for gifts. Cut a second piece of paper 1/2 inch larger to make a top.

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Bonnie Hunter came out with part two and part three of her En Provence mystery quilt. You can find the pattern on her website. Download it now (she has a printer friendly version I save to my computer) as the clues go away in about 6 months.

This coffee ornament is a great Christmas ornament, but could also be used for other gift giving opportunities.

Gift Bag pattern and video from All People Quilt. I still like mine as it is easy to make, but it is great to have options.