Random Quiltmaking Excitement

I went off to the North Coast on Friday with DH for a Native Sons event. I like that trip because the drive up is beautiful, the area is very green and there are three quilt shops!

I have written about the quilt shops, Bunny Hop, Ocean Waves and Stitch before. I am going to update my reviews again in the next week or so, but I was so excited after visiting the shops and talking quilting with a friend that I just had to write.

First, I forgot how inspiring it was to visit quilt shops. I want to use up 100 yards this year, so I am trying not buy a lot of fabric. Still, I wanted to visit the shops anyway, so I focused on color, pattern, and design. I am feeling very inspired right now.

Quilt design inspiration chair
Quilt design inspiration chair

Inspiration, however, started early in the morning at breakfast at the hotel. The lobby had been redone and they had new upholstery. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the design. I noticed that there were jewels like ones that were discussed in the All Points Patchwork book. I reviewed that book a few months ago. Wouldn’t the motif make a great EPP quilt?

Modern Holiday Hearts
Modern Holiday Hearts

One of the things I saw in the shop was a Valentine’s Day Modern Holiday pattern. One of the things I love is the subtle “I love you” message. The hearts were made of up two different fabrics each. The variety of pinks in the example hung at Stitch made me really happy. I can see making a table mat out of one block.

Second, it was fabulous to talk about quiltmaking with someone. Of course, I seem to have quilting discussions all the time, but this was different. Karen and I only see each other at NSGW events. We got to exchange some views about quilting. I heard about her guild woes. We talked about our projects, UFOs and things we wanted to make. I was also able to get her interested in a Jelly Roll Rug** and the Quick Curve Ruler**, though I am not a complete temptress, because she picked up the Posh Pack pattern** before I extolled the virtues of the ruler**.

Talking about the Quick Curve Ruler** made me excited to get that ruler out again and make a couple of the patterns I have waiting in the wings.

After I got back to the hotel, I took a look at Instagram and was further inspired by  what I saw. Melody Miller posted a fabulous leaf design. Kate Strasdin posted a dress in emerald and orange. You wouldn’t think it would work, but the color combination is wonderful. I don’t know if I have any fabric in that green color, but if I do I might have to replace the blue in a new quilt like my recent donation quilt with the emerald to see how it looks. Victoria Findlay Wolfe was also in my feed with a new Double Wedding Ring quilt. I love the colors and think that is what attracted me. The way she broke up the rings is also very appealing. Finally, I saw some great bags that a Japanese designer posted. Oh! That designer got a like from Ayumi and Chubby, who also make fun bags.

I am not sure if I got my excitement across. I can’t wait to get back to my machine.

 

 

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Burning Man

Burning Man Dragon Vehicle
Burning Man Dragon Vehicle

No, I am not going to Burning Man. I did visit an exhibit of their costumes, vehicles and ephemera at the Oakland Museum of California with my sorority alumna group last week. I was really fascinated by the vehicles and the costumes. I also learned a lot about Burning Man, the organization, in general.

It was hard to get close enough to the costumes to see what they were made of. It did make me want to construct an elaborate Halloween costume.

Burning Man Dragon Vehicle - detail
Burning Man Dragon Vehicle – detail

Mostly, I took a photo of the dragon because I thought the YM would like it (he did!). I looked closer, however and found that it was made of common household metals – like muffin pans and cake tins. I couldn’t help but think of a group of mothers getting together and building this thing. It looks very fierce from afar, but close up I saw a message of home and kitchen, a place in which to take refuge.

Theater vehicle
Theater vehicle

Another vehicle looked like an old fashioned theater. I wasn’t tall enough to really see inside. I, also, couldn’t get close enough to see if they were showing movies, but I loved the plush seating, the flocked wallpaper and the aura of one of the grand old theaters.

Big Wheel
Big Wheel

Finally, I couldn’t help thinking of one of those old bikes with the huge front wheel when I saw the last vehicle.

It also made me think of a Big Wheel. I couldn’t tell if one person could drive it or if three people would need to work together to drive it.

There were others, of course. I didn’t take pictures of everything there. It is an interesting exhibit and well worth the time to visit.

More Gift Ideas

In January 2018, I updated the list of gift ideas I originally wrote in 2015. All the posts on the topic start with the same items, but I added and revised the post each time. Lately, I have made different items as gifts and I thought I would share some more with you. Most don’t take tons of time, so you could make a few for the holidays, if you have fabric and no interest in going to stores.

Pillowcases are always useful and you can use a yard of fabric. They are also quick to make, once you find the fabric you like. I have stopped putting the accent fabric in. I make them with two fabrics and that goes even quicker.

I also like aprons as a gift. I made a bunch of them last year using the Flapper Apron pattern, a retro style apron pattern. I purchased when I was out with Amanda near Portland a year or two ago. The thing I like about this pattern, which you have heard before, is that you can make it out of 1 yard of fabric. It is cut on the bias, so directional fabric is challenging, but can be done. I use 1.25 yards just to have a little leeway.

Pouches are a great gift as well. I have made several recently. The Persimmon Dumpling Pouch pattern, a free pattern, from Sew Sweetness. There are many, many pouch patterns out there, both free and for purchase. Add a leash and a lobster clip and it can be used in a larger bag.

The juggling balls I made were a big hit. These will take more time, but are a great project for soccer practice or waiting for people at doctor appointments. I wrote about them pretty comprehensively. I got the idea for the balls from All Points Patchwork, a comprehensive guide on English paper piecing. If you want to learn or improve your English Paper Piecing, get that book. It is great. I still want to make some for DH, but he has to wait.

Mary's Key chain
Mary’s Key chain

Key fobs are an interesting idea. You don’t have to use them for keys and can use them for pouches or other supplies that have a lobster clip or hook. These came to my attention when Renaissance Ribbon created a kit using their fabulous ribbons. I think it is a great use of their ribbons. The heavyweight webbing they sell can be used for bags. It comes in a lot of colors, which will blend with your other awesome fabrics.

A scissor cozy could be a great way to keep your scissors from opening in your bag and damaging other items.

Not a lot of ideas here, but you can take a look at a giant list I maintain on my guild’s site. There are tons of ideas there, though no (or few) reviews.

Iron Inspiration

Ironwork entrance
Ironwork entrance

I went looking for some knitting needles the other day. To get the ones I wanted, I had to go to the Castro to the knitting store. I had bought some on Amazon, but they were wrong so I sent them back.

SF Ironwork
SF Ironwork

I visit this store frequently, usually walking down after my hair appointment, so I was surprised and pleased when I saw the beautiful ironwork on one of the houses. I was surprised, because this is the type of thing I look for. It was new to me, so either I walk on the other side of the street or I just never noticed.

It reminds me of Tiffany’s work, to a certain extent, though I think it is more Art Nouveau style.

Ironwork gate
Ironwork gate

Sometimes these types of ornaments are too much, but I think this work is beautiful and also restrained. The peacock might be a bit much. Still, it was a nice treat.

Inspiration Lake Street

I spent the other day picking up FOTY 2017 from Colleen and having lunch with a friend. It was the kind of lunch where we solved the world’s problems.

Steps near Katherine Delmar Burke
Steps near Katherine Delmar Burke

On the way I drove down a different street and ended up at a dead end that continued up these stairs. Aren’t they gorgeous? It makes me wonder why we can’t, aside from the cost, incorporate this kind of beauty into new, modern building projects. I know there are a lot of reasons aside from cost, but it seems that seeing beauty in our daily life rather than an unrelenting landscape of depressing concrete would make the world a better place.

Inspiration: Filoli

I visited Filoli last weekend. I was somewhat unenthusiastic about the visit, but really enjoyed myself and would love to go back.

Filoli tile
Filoli tile

I found some tile that I thought would make a great border. Check out that center bit. It looks like a ribbon.

They didn’t do a good job turning the corner, but the rest of it is nice and could easily be translated into a quilt.

Inspiration in Portland

We spent a long weekend in Portland last weekend. The main reason was to see our son graduate. We didn’t do a lot of other stuff, but a little. I was able to see a couple of friends and do some sightseeing around downtown.

Books at Powell's
Books at Powell’s

Of course we went to Powell’s! I saw the most amazing collection of books. They were informational and inspirational and slightly ominous looking. Of course, I wanted them all. I didn’t buy them, though since I have no shelf space. I will look for them at the library.

SIL and I discussed a misguided family who paid $6 million to get their kid into Stanford. Thereafter, we had an ongoing discussion about what we would do if we won the lottery and had skads of money. We agreed that we would create an amazing library. SIL had the great idea to start a publishing company. I already have an idea for a book!

ColorPlay: Compass

Disney Compass
Disney Compass

More imagery from my Disney trip. This was a new image that I had never seen before and it really appealed. The detail is fabulous. In hunting around for an image for today, I thought of this. It didn’t turn out to be great for color, but I think some of the palettes are interesting.

ColorPlay-Compass-default
ColorPlay-Compass-default

Of course the default palette is neutral heavy! Still there is that Sea Glass (great name, don’t you think?) fabric that lightens up the piece. Also some of the other colors have blue and purple twinges (undertones?), which makes the palette look at little less dark and depressing.

ColorPlay-Compass-n1
ColorPlay-Compass-n1

The first palette I made is a little all over the place. It isn’t very cohesive. Of course, I like the Lake and Niagra fabrics. It is interesting that the color names are related to water, though perhaps not surprising. I am not a fan of the Rose. It looks sick to me.

ColorPlay-Compass-n2
ColorPlay-Compass-n2

I went straight to monochromatic, which was marginally successful. I ended up with two of the same fabrics. C’est la vie. I do like the blues. I think my favorite is the Azure, but the Robin’s Egg is nice, too.

ColorPlay-Compass-n3
ColorPlay-Compass-n3

Palette n.3 is all over the place as well, though not a mess, I think. I don’t remember seeing Natural before. I have done a lot of palettes, so I could just not be remembering. The Wasabi looks like sunshine yellow on the bottom, which I like. It has more a green tinge on the side. The Garnet does not have enough red to look Garnet to me. I think it looks more plummy.

ColorPlay-Compass-n4
ColorPlay-Compass-n4

N.4 might be my favorite. It isn’t quite monochromatic, but stays well in the cool shades realm. I like the way Surf looks more purple on the bottom. I think it adds to the palette even though I think one of  the websites used to create this might be off. I think the lights look really good.

ColorPlay-Compass-n5
ColorPlay-Compass-n5

Finally, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and create something with more gold. Palette n.5 heads into the neutrals pretty quickly. I am not a very big fan of this particular palette, but it is different and it does remind me of Mrs. K’s gold Spiky 16 Patch.

 

What will inspire you today?

 

 

Mosaic Inspiration

As mentioned recently, I went to Disneyland Resort with my SILs and nieces. I always get a lot of inspiration when I go there. I wonder if I would be happy wandering around by myself in an empty park just looking at the detail. I notice that I had taken pictures of motifs I had photographed before. I guess I need to get busy and make some quilts based on the inspiration.

Downtown Disney tile motif
Downtown Disney tile motif

One tile motif would be great for setting the donation blocks the guild already makes. I wouldn’t even have to change the design from 9 patches or 4 patches to 16 patches, the work is already done. I am not sure what I think about the all-beige blocks. I don’t want to piece something that doesn’t need to be pieced. Subtle variations in color or a large plain block? I think large plain blocks would look good with a contrasting – or colorful – background fabric. The pieced design could be set in a column, like I did for the aqua and red Column Donation quilt. I am not sure about the half plain blocks on the top and bottom, but they do make the column look stable.

Tomorrowland pavers
Tomorrowland pavers

I still like the lozenge shape. Despite the Mostly Manor Lozenge quilt, that shape is not out of my system. I was on the run when I saw these pavers, so took a quick snap and ran on. I think the design would make a great English Paper Piecing pattern.

I tried to create a design in my journal, but wasn’t completely successful. I thought about sending the photo to Paper Pieces and asking them to send back the relevant shapes that fit together, but I haven’t. I have the half hexie project and the papers for La Passacagalia, so I don’t want to start something else. I thought about, with other EPP designs, just making one block and a pillow cover. This design doesn’t lend itself to that sort of solution.

Disneyland tile
Disneyland tile

Despite the yucky green, the tile design has potential. I like the combination of larger and smaller squares. I also like the subtle sashing design. Using small enough squares would make this design a great stash busting pattern.

In looking at it carefully, for piecing clues, I am not sure if there is a specific block one could repeat. there are definitely 4 patches and a squashed 3×4 motif. This design would be relatively easy to work up in EQ8.

Do you look at floor and wall tile for quilt inspiration?

 

ColorPlay: Tile

I got back from a trip with my SILs and nieces to Disneyland and California Adventure on Sunday. As usual, I was overwhelmed by visual stimulation. I have previously written in couple of places about the colors and motifs I see at the parks.

California Adventure Mosaic/Tile
California Adventure Mosaic/Tile

I do think I posted a photo of this mosaic/tile before, but I can’t find it, so we are doing it again with PlayCrafts, though we will just be using a small piece as I may need to use another piece in the future.

California Adventure "The Grapefruit Experience" (anno)
California Adventure “The Grapefruit Experience” (anno)

I will call the piece we are using the ‘Grapefruit Experience’.

ColorPlay default - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay default – Mosaics/Tile

The default, surprisingly, was not all neutrals and included some quite lovely blues.

ColorPlay n.1 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.1 – Mosaics/Tile

The first palette was created with just a few tweaks to the default palette.  I like the Kona Marine and Caribbean combination. I am not very fond of the other colors, though Bright Idea is interesting.

ColorPlay n.2 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.2 – Mosaics/Tile

In palette n.2, I tried to go for a light palette without being a  neutral palette. In the end I kept the Hyacinth and Coal. I like both of those hues, which look like tones of purple to me.

ColorPlay n.3 Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.3 – Mosaics/Tile

The green I added to palette n.3 was inspired by the #GirlScoutHearts project on Instagram. I am not much of a green fan, but this palette might be a favorite. I like the Turquoise, the Royal and the Lavender, especially. I think the whole palette hangs together well.

ColorPlay n.4 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.4 – Mosaics/Tile

With a little tweaking, I got a nice golden yellow. It goes well with the Kona Jamaica, which is one of my favorite tones.

This image had just the right amount of opportunity for playing with color.

ColorPlay n-5 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n-5 – Mosaics/Tile

I really, REALLY wish Kona had less ravely greige goods. some of their blues are fantastic, even adjusting for computer differences. N.5 is the monochromatic effort.

ColorPlay n.7 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.7 – Mosaics/Tile

I realized I would be able to create a yellow palette as well.

ColorPlay n.6 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.6 – Mosaics/Tile

I also tried on a neutral palette. I could resist.

 

What will you make?

 

Continuing to Sparkle

With Spark #30, we finished working our way through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Our journey here is done, but the posts will remain and you can work through the book and my comments at your own pace. There is much more to each spark than what I wrote. The original chapters will help you.

Included on the very last page of the book was a list of books and movies that Carrie suggests we read. I am listing some of them:

I haven’t read any of the books listed above. I have seen a couple of the books she lists, but would watch them again. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness!