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!

Ring Toss Thoughts

Ring Toss (Halo Top by Jen Kingwell) Template Set
Ring Toss (Halo Top by Jen Kingwell) Template Set

Now that I seem to be okay with starting new projects, quilts are being thrown in my path in such a way that I can’t seem to say no.

The official name of this quilt is Halo Top. I plan to call this quilt Ring Toss, once I get around to making it. I am not a fan of the word Halo in very many contexts and this is one I don’t like. Ring Toss sounds like a circus and fun.

The other thing is that the pattern is referred to as “Jenny from One Block.” I really don’t know what that means and haven’t had any luck with Google yet.

There is a lot of cutting to do, which, as I said, requires some Hunting & Gathering, so I might not get to it immediately.

I went out and searched the web for photos of the blocks to get some ideas. I came up with one from A Crafty Fox that was helpful. It is easy to see the block structure from this photo.

FQS Halo top example
FQS Halo top example

Fat Quarter Shop had a photo, which was interesting as well. It showed a grey quilt in the same pattern under the brightly colored scrap quilt. It made me think that a monochromatic border might be interesting. I’d have to work hard at showing contrast.

Creative Spark #30: Trust Yourself

This is the last spark of the book and it is incredibly short. Carrie Blooms ton writes “Now that you have read this book, let me tell you one last thing to take with you on your adventure:

NOTHING YOU NEED

TO KNOW IS IN THIS

BOOK OR ANY OTHER.

Nothing you need is in a class or at the museum or at the art supply store. Everything you need is within you” (pg.124).

This is hard for me. I always think that if I get a better machine, or that new fabric, or a variety of zippers, my work will be better. I have to learn that my work is good enough with what I have and if I keep striving as discussed last week, then I will move towards perfection.

The author ends with “Trust yourself and you will awaken to the potential inside you. You already have everything you need (pg.124).

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Creative Spark #29: Leave it on the Field

“I am proud of what you did out there. You did your best. You left it all on the field” (pg.122).

What this quote says to me is something that I try to live by, but need reminding about periodically. I always says that I need to show up and do the work. That isn’t enough and this quote reminds me of it. Yes, I need to show up. Yes, I need to do the work. I can’t, however, do it in a desultory way. I need to give it my all. I need to look at my work throughout the process. I need to think about what I am doing. I need to try different things and do my best work. It might not actually end up being my best work, but I need to give quiltmaking my all and not hold back.

“I used to think I had to save it all up for this or that” (pg.122) speaks to me. I recently bought some Tula Pink dots and stripes and in September I started to use them. Using my good fabrics is FANTASTIC! I have done this a couple of times lately and I have to say that saving fabrics for the perfect project is horrible for me. I have fabrics I used to love and now I don’t even remember why I bought I them. It is sad. Using my good fabrics means that I can see them in my house and use the quilts and enjoy the fabrics.

In this context, Carrie Bloomston means herself. She compartmentalized herself and doled parts of herself out as she saw fit. She writes “some knew me as a mom, some as an artist, some as a spiritual seeker, some as a kniiter, glassblower, a painter, a designer…I finally let go of that a few years ago when I began the process of letting go of control” (pg.122).

I know the examples are different, but I believe that using my fabric now is the first step in stopping the compartmentalization we, as humans, are prone to engage in. Letting go of control or planning isn’t easy. We all have busy lives and like to squeeze a lot into our days. “Befriend incidents, accidents, and mishaps. They are your greatest teachers” (pg.123).

“No matter what form your creativity takes, you have to let go of expectation and perfection. For the record, there is no such thing as perfect. …if you ever finally made the perfect quilt or painting or cake, you’d never need to make another one, right?” (pg.123). This quote is profound to me. I know that there is no such thing as perfection. Every project I make sparks a ‘what if’ moment. What if I made the blocks bigger? What if I used pink instead of green? There is an endless number of what ifs that populate my mind as I work on quilts and other projects.

For me, trying my best (despite what Yoda says) and working towards my best work and towards perfection is what I have to do, what I have been doing and what I will continue to do.

Carrie says the same thing when she writes “There is only trying, doing your best, and leaving it all on the field. If you do your best, honor your journey, and love yourself along the way, then you will find the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow. The pot of gold is everywhere when you go with the flow, surrender to the process, stop controlling, and let yourself be filled with joy and love” (pg.123).

She ends the Spark with “I hope you have learned that no matter what, you are good enough exactly as you are right now, and your lief experience will fill your work with your spirit” (pg.123).

You can see the last post on this topic from several weeks ago.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

ColorPlay: Windspinner

ColorPlay: Windspinner original
ColorPlay: Windspinner original

I took this photo in Tahoe. I really like those Windspinners.I can’t buy one, because DH gets sick.

There are a lot of colors, if a person is careful with the little Palette Builder circles. I had fun looking for them.

ColorPlay-Windspinners-default
ColorPlay-Windspinners-default

Despite my efforts, the default palette is still a bunch of neutrals.  It is really dark, but somehow strangely appealing. The Kona Earth is a nice brown.

ACK! I can’t believe I said that about brown.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.1
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.1

I went for totally bright and cheerful in the first palette. The green in this palette is really a good addition. I like the Grasshopper with the Papaya even though I am not much of a green person.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.2
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.2

I went for a cool colors palette. Isn’t it fun? I kept the Grasshopper. It is a nice dark with the other colors.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.3
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.3

Palette number 3 is the monochromatic palette that weighs heavily towards turquoise. 😉 I did add in the darks to make it a little different. The Kona Carribean and Breakers are two great darks.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.4
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.4

I had to get out of my favorite cool colors, so I went with warms. This is a nice combinations of pinks and golds, I think.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.5
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.5

I couldn’t get away from the cools, even though I tried. I added some lavender and those greens – more mossy and sagey – add something, especially with the Breakers.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.6
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.6

I dragged myself away from the cools again and went back to warms, though I couldn’t stay completely away and that Jade Green combined with the Kona Cotton Red and the Pomegranate is awesome.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.7
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.7

I did a backwards version of n.6 in that I used mostly cools with a warm.

What will you make?