Not by any stretch. Sewing is going very slowly and it is aggravating. I want to spend a stretch of time in front of the machine and it just isn’t happening. I hope to devote Saturday to sewing. Damn the bulbs I bought on Monday that need to be planted.
UGH! My stomach is killing me this morning and it is not my normal stomach issues. I can’t think. I hope I don’t have the stomach flu. If I do, at least I get to stay home, but no chance that I will be able to sew.
I want to work on the whole cloth quilt. I need to devote some time to it so that I can finish, at least the quilting, and have it ready for the BAMQG October meeting. Saturday.
I have also been thinking of making a bag. I bought some of the press on vinyl that Pam of Hip to be a Square mentioned recently in one of her podcasts. I found that my water bottle gets the Springy Bag‘s pockets a little wet from the condensation. I thought that ironing on this vinyl to the inside of the bag might help with that. I hope to try it; I just don’t know when. Have you tried the iron-on vinyl?
Short, but sweet. I am having a hard time keeping up with the blog, but, for YOU, am trying. Have a great day.
KQED, my local public radio station, has a feature called Perspectives. Perspectives are small audio essays by regular people on a subject. On Friday, in the half awake state before I have to jump out of bed and start my day, I heard a Perspective by PeiPei Zhou. Ms. Zhou talked about all the sacrifices her mother made for her so she could have a better life. Immediately my mom popped into my mind.
I knew we weren’t rich. I never had the trendy clothes and shoes that my classmates sported, but I never felt deprived either. I traveled, I went to college all because my mom made sacrifices. I didn’t even realize the magnitude of her sacrifices for me until I was an adult. I am not sure I can fathom them now. I only know I have what I have and have accomplished is due to my hard work, but the unfailing, unquestioning support of my mother.
I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog without my mother. She sewed a lot when I was a kid — at least I remember her sewing a lot. You know how kids and time are: they think you did something all the time when you only did it once? I remember her sewing costumes for Halloween, school play costumes and doll clothes.
Cara of TalknT said it very well this morning on Twitter. She said “Happy Mother’s day to all the moms, mommys, Grandmas, mom in waitings, Stepmoms and caregivers. Blood doesn’t make a family. Love and you do.”
If you like this blog, or tolerate it 😉 head over to Mary’s Art Musings and say hi to my mom, Mary, and thank her for everything she has done.
Today is the perfect opportunity to look around and be thankful for what we have. I am really thankful that I have a blog, that you are reading this blog. If this is your first time reading, I hope you return. If you are a regular reader, thanks; you are the heart of this blog.
I know that many of you are embroiled in pies and turkeys today. My pies are done; turkey is defrosted and waiting to be cooked tomorrow. I have to prepare stuffing for the turkey and find the tablecloths.
For those of you who are not busy cooking and baking, here is a Various & Sundry post to keep you busy while the rest of us do not concentrate on quiltmaking. Enjoy your peace and quiet!
One of the things that can happen to you if you call into Mark Lipinski’s podcast is that you can win a prize. I called in just to tell Mark something silly (I don’t remember what and we talked for about 10 minutes about various and sundry. When he signed off, he told me to stay on the line and his awesome producer, Erik, took my address. The next thing I knew an unexpected package was sitting on my doorstep. It took me a second to connect Jeff and Mark, but just getting a package made me smile.
Next thing I knew I had a Sidewinder in my hand. This device was never on my list, but random mail is ALWAYS good.
I tried it out with Aurifil and it worked fine. My sewing machine wasn’t even on! I haven’t tried the bobbin in the machine, but I’ll let you know.
Thanks, Mark & Jeff!
More Quilt Market and Related
I know Market seems like an eternity ago already, but some great links and posts have been written. Here are a few more, then this is the end until Spring.
Michael Miller’s blog has a video of their Quilt Market set up. They also have some photos of their booth.
Jackie Kunkel hast a two part podcast about her time at Quilt Market. In the second part, she interviews Deb Beam of Quilt magazine.
Rice Zachery-Freeman’s photos and long essay about the colorful things she saw at Market.
Tutorials and Getting Better at Stuff
Melody Johnson, from whom I took one of the best free motion quilting classes EVER, posted a great starter tutorial for signing your quilts with your machine. Yes, I am able to free motion quilt; I just don’t practice. Someday, as I have mentioned, I would love to get a new machine. One of the reasons is for easier free motion quilting. I dis like fiddling with tension and all that. I realize that will always be necessary, but if there were a machine on which I could piece beautifully AND wouldn’t cause too much drama for machine quilting, I might do more of it. MIGHT. No promises.
As I think I mentioned, I am planning to write some tutorials about Flying Geese. One of the methods was the method used by Jo Morton and Deb Tucker. Jackie over at Canton Village quilts beat me to it. She wrote a tutorial using that method and the Wing Clipper ruler. The good thing about her tutorial is that she has figured how the square sizes for a variety of sizes for Flying Geese. That is really useful because then you can use this method and drop your Flying Geese into any block that calls for them.
Quilt World News
The staff at Robert Kaufman have prepared a tribute on the Swatch&Stitch blog to Saul Kaufman, who died recently. Great history of the company as well. They invite their friends to share in the memory of a beloved man.
EBHQ is having their show at a new location this year, Craneway Pavillion in Richmond, California. The Show will be March 17-18, 2012.
Did you see Aurifil’s Newsweek? Lots of good information about thread
Carolina Patchworks’ Emily Cier, author of Scrap Republic and Quilt Remix, wrote a blog post about her troubles with a fabric designer whose fabrics were used in one of the samples in her first book, Quilt Remix, published by C&T Publishing. While I am not an attorney, I think this matter has serious implications for future books. It could change the way publishers allow use of fabrics in books they plan to publish. It could mean that they have to get permission for each fabric used in books. Can you imagine trying to get permission for all the fabrics used in a king sized postage stamp quilt using 2″ charm squares? Can you imagine trying to keep track of all the fabrics you used in a quilt? Because I often use a lot of different fabrics in my quilts, I can’t even imagine that nightmare. I keep pretty good track, but not in any organized manner. Being forced to keep track just in case I was asked to include one of my quilts in a book would take some of the fun out of making quilts.
I have run across some discussion in forums and pages on FB saying that some fabrics have “for non-commercial use only” printed on the selvedge. I never noticed. There is talk of a boycott of fabrics with that on the selvedge.
Emily did not mention which designer or manufacturer was involved. I am interested to know and to know which law firm is representing the designer. Perhaps, I will have one of my vendors look it up for me.
Supplies, Tools and Fabrics
Patched Pastor from the Quilting for the Rest of Us Big Tent group (if you listen to podcasts and haven’t joined Big Tent, think about it) mentioned a quilt shop called Stitch & Frame. I had no intention of buying, but couldn’t help going to take a peek. I was thrilled to see that they have an excellent selection of Creative Grids Rulers. Of course, they have tons of fabric, buttons, etc.
Here is a site that gives a brief tip on web safety.
Lil Sissy took upon herself to complete the letters. Recently, she brought over the rest of the letters. I stitched two pictures together so I could see how they looked together, thanks to the Photoshop Elements Class I took a few months ago.
I’d love to paint, get new furniture, but I am just going to put them up. I have some off pretty soon and will see about doing it then.
Someone stole photos of pillows I donated to a raffle and put them up on their own blog. Now I have to send that person/blog/organization a cease & desist letter. I don’t have to, but I am going to. From a REAL lawyer who charges a lot of money per hour.
Here is the deal: If you want to use my photos, the policies and procedures are clearly labeled under ABOUT on the navigation bar under my header. I will also provide you with a convenient link, so you don’t have to look around. If, for some reason, you don’t want to download Clipmarks, then just ask me. Leave a comment somewhere and we can have a conversation about it.
The deal is that I want credit and I want a link back to my blog and I don’t want to have to come after you.
Do not just download the photos and put them up on your site. Be nice!
Push finally came to shove in my workroom this weekend and gave up actual sewing in order to organize and tidy up. It was funny that I was listening to the Creative Mojo episode that included a discussion with Carolyn Woods, the author of
Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter: An Illustrated Guide to the Space of Your Dreams. The library doesn’t have that book, but I have suggested that they order it.
I filed things. I threw things out. I made files for quilt projects that are still in the cogitating stage. I worked through my “I have to do this on the Internet” list. One thing I did do, since I knew I wouldn’t be sewing was to allow myself to press and cut fabric when I needed a break. I cut some hexagons out and put together some pillowcases and that was good. I still have a bit to do on the room, but when push comes to shove on Tuesday night, I won’t pile everything up neatly, hoping it won’t topple over, as I stress out once again.
Some time ago I mentioned ordering a cart to organize my scraps. I did actually order it, DH helped me put it together and I took all of my scraps out of the overflowing basket and sorted them by color into the drawers of the cart.
So far it has proved to be a boon to my mosaic quiltmaking. I am working on a journal cover made from scraps and I save so much time by just opening the drawer of the color I want and pulling out a piece. I don’t have to rummage through an overflowing basket. I am not depressed by my scraps anymore. I am so thrilled with this new system.
What I wasn’t thrilled about was the temporary location. I hadn’t made the time to put the cart into the place I intended it to live. It had been floating around my sewing room. I liked it in the middle of the room because it was convenient for grabbing scraps. I didn’t like it in the middle of the room, because I kept tripping over it. It also became a dumping ground and was generally not attractive in the middle of the room.
Today I cleaned out the corner, which was to be the new home of the scrap organization system, and relocated it. I thought it might be inconvenient, but it isn’t. I am really happy.
The rest of the room is still a bit of a mess. You know that old adage “it looks worse before it looks better.” I have to clean up the fabric I have been throwing on the floor and reorganize everything else that got displaced, but I am really happy with the day’s work.
I first heard about this book on an episode of Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski (). I was in the middle of reading The Distant Hours by Kate Morton when this book came in from the Library. I didn’t want to rush through The Distant Hours so The Mindfulness Solution languished a bit while I enjoyed The Distant Hours. As luck would have it, before I got very far, the book was recalled to the Library! So many books, so little time!
Still, I found a few tidbits that I can think about, which I think will expand my horizons a little bit.
The first thing I noticed, in the preface, was the author’s ability to say something directly that did not make me think “who does he think he is telling me THAT?” In the preface Ronald Siegel writes “How can one practice possibly help with so many different problems? The answer is that they’re all made worse by the same natural tendency: in our effort to feel good, we try to avoid or escape discomfort, only to discover that this in fact multiplies our misery (pg.vii).” He goes on to promise that examples in the book will prove his point. In the recesses of my brain, I realized that I was avoiding finishing the back of the Zig Zaggy quilt, because I had done too much piecing on the back and it was a pain to finish the piecing. I got the piece out, finished piecing the back and now the quilt is ready to be quilted. I feel much better. This must seem like a lame example when there are so many people suffering in the world and I am sure a psychologist could find a zillion things wrong with me. Still, I like to start slowly on new things and not get too much embroiled in something unproven.
Siegel is also a good storyteller. He, obviously, knows that people will get something he is trying to tell them much better if he tells it in a story form. In the chapter called Life is Difficult (no beating around the bush for this guy!), in a section called Happiness is Possible-but optional, Mr. Siegel talks about brain evolution. In that section he suggests that enjoying life, according to nature’s priorities is optional and not a priority (pg.4). This hit me in the head. While I have always known that I am in charge of my own happiness, lately I have felt on the verge of chronically unhappy. When I read “Evolutionary forces don’t particularly care if whether we enjoy our life…” (pg.4)
Further in the Life is Difficult chapter, Ronald Siegel explains mindfulness in a way that makes sense to me. He says (pg.5) ‘Mindfulness is a particular attitude toward experience, or way of relating to life, that holds the promise of both alleviating our suffering and making our lives rich and meaningful.” This is a little bit of overpromising, if you ask me, but at this point I am willing to keep an open mind. For practices such as mindfulness, we do brush the edge of ‘woo-woo.
The section headings are amusing in this book. I found a gem that really made me think in the section entitled Our prognosis is terrible. The author recounts a conversation with a great Zen master who was asked (pg.6) ‘ “What is the most remarkable thing you’ve learned in all of your years of meditation and study?” He answered, “The most remarkable thing is that we’re all going to die but we live each day as though it weren’t so.” ‘ I hear and do listen to people who say to live each day as if it were you last. I try to do that, but don’t always remember. The Zen master’s comment is a little different way of saying the same thing, which will, perhaps stick in my head better.
Change is always a favorite of mine. I don’t like change, but who does? I chose a profession that has been in a constant state of flux since I joined it. I have to deal with change every day and I still don’t like it. Ronald Siegel writes about a book which states “…that most of what makes us unhappy involves difficulty dealing with the inevitability of change. (pg.8)” This bit is followed by a “Resistance to Change Inventory.” It asks you to categorize the most difficult changes, unwelcome changes and your emotional reaction to each change. I don’t know that I am self reflective enough to fill this out, but I am going to make note of the sections and try.
I am not going to get much farther in this book, right now, but as I implied, the above is a lot to think about.
I think Wordle is a great way to see what is important on my blog. Now, I know what I (the person) thinks is important, but the Wordle looks at the words I use and tells me what a computer things is important. I find it interesting to see that pattern, bag and together are very large. That means that I use those words a lot on my blog. I also see Mary show up. I wonder why?
Blogger’s Concierge is looking for A List blogs. Who knows if this is a real thing to get real attention or not, but it is worth a quick post to try.
ArtQuiltmaker Blog IS an A List blog. It is an A List blog, because the goal is to provide:
and encouragement to develop a creative habit
Linda Poole said that my blog was like a magazine. I really never know what I am going to post until I post it. I constantly rearrange posts until I am happy with the way my posts look. i want people who read to keep coming back and be surprised and pleased at what they find. While all of this excitement is based on fabric and quilts, the blog branches out into art, exhibits and other inspiration.
One of the email newsletters I read for my job is called ResearchBuzz. I know I have mentioned this site before. One day, I was pleased to find an article that would allow me to keep a steady stream of quilts coming to my blog reader.
After creating the link above (by changing the tags at the end to suit your needs), paste this URL into your Bloglines or Newsgator or Google or whatever reader and it will send you back search results. I put the above search into my (newly refurbished) Google Reader and was immediately provided with several fresh looking quilts for my viewing pleasure.
I also wanted to see what was new and exciting in the basket quilt arena so I changed up the URL above to:
Before he went off on his new adventures, Mark Lipinski showed the Half Square Triangle ruler from Creative Grids. I have been interested in it, but not enough to buy it before I could try it. Inspired by TFQ’s good example, I finally started to read blogs in a blog reader. This helped me to see a post on the Exuberant Color blog about using this ruler. There is also a video posted. This is a wacky looking ruler, but Wanda’s photos make it look really useful. It looks like it cuts off the bunny ears as well. My only concern is often I would use 2.5 HSTs?
Need to know the basics of fusing from the Expert? Did to refresh your skills or check the whys of what you have been doing? Melody Johnson posted a step by step guide recently. She includes a lot of details along with photos.
The Professional Quilter blog had a post about Print on Demand. The article starts out with the line “Many quilters have a book in them and don’t know where to start”. Isn’t that a great and positive way to start an article? It certainly caught my attention! Morna has links to several of the popular print on demand companies as well as links to more information. This is a brief overview type article, but it was a good reminder with resources for further exploration.
Journals and diaries are part of daily life for many girls and women. I have kept a journal for years and write faithfully nearly every day. These pages are, mostly, for my eyes only. Occasionally, I share drawings I have done, such as the drawing for the Original Bullseye border and the notes I took on the Cartier exhibit. NPR is working on a story called “The Hidden World of Girls“. they are asking for uploads of journal pages to their Flickr pool. These aren’t all the art journals we are used to seeing these days. These are the words depicting the angst of growing up and learning to deal with life. I am glad NPR is taking a look at this subject. What do you have to share?
Journal covers have been on mind lately. I think I will make a new one for myself and I have a desire to make a couple as gifts. While this topic was rattling around in the back of my brain, I saw a blog post on Kindle covers made with selvedges. I have always been intrigued with items made from selvedges. It really takes some commitment to use selvedges, because you have to save them! I also cut off a selvedge the other day and thought I should save it and send it or give it to someone working on such a project. I don’t know anyone and I don’t think I want to start such a project, so into the garbage it went. Finally, I relate journal covers with things like Kindle/Nook/iPad etc covers in my mind. I guess since they are all designed for added protection it makes sense. One of the nice things about the Kindle cover pictured is that it has a flap to close it. I will think about adding something like that to a future journal cover.
By the way, the Selvage Blog has a lot of interesting projects made out of selvedges including a great quilt, called the Blue Zinger by Jen Duncan, using a pattern I tried to make once. I’ll have to look up the name. This is a great blog in that there is a lot of interesting information and a variety of different projects. Even our own Quilt Rat showed up with a selvedge house!
Again with the blog reader, I saw Corky’s post on her class with Karen Eckmeier. I love the village projects she and her friends worked on. They remind me of those French and Italian villages clinging to the sides of cliffs.
Need some additional inspiration? The Harry Ransom Center has made a database of medieval and early modern manuscripts available on the web. These types of manuscripts were elaborately decorated and make for wonderful inspiration for borders and quilting designs. Not all of the pages have those elaborate illustrations. Some are just regular parchment like pages with script writing. You can see a slideshow of various pages on the first page. There is also a way to search. There are lots of scrolls, flowers and religious iconography.
Have you done your Rainbow Around the Block block for Anna Maria Horner’s project? In case you haven’t heard, she is collecting blocks to make quilts for people in Tennesse who were affected by recent flooding. A number of people have already contributed and AMH has a Flickr Gallery for your viewing pleasure. Check the link for directions and information.
I get depressed and want to completely quit making quilts whenever I see Red Pepper’s quilts. That [wo]man (??) makes quilts like I make toast. She is prolific and per pieces are gorgeous. A recent post shows a fantastic, absolutely, positively wonderfully GORGEOUS red and white quilt. No amount of new fabric is going to allow me to make that quilt. How does she do it?
Deirdre has created a gallery of quilts at the recent Northern Star Quilt Show in Connecticut. Take a look and let her know what you think! Nice job!
Deirdre, being the awesome ‘Net surfer that she is sent a site called Pattern in Islamic Art. The images are WONDERFUL. If you aren’t inspired, I am not sure anything will inspire you! There are great ideas for quilts, quilting motifs and Creative Prompt Responses!
Suzanne Cabrera is a sketch artist whose blog I read intermittently. I have posted links to some of her drawings here before. Posts popped up in my blog reader today or over the weekend so I went to take a look and found the most wonderful series of posts about her 30th birthday and the wishes for love and hope she sent out to the world. Take a look at the idea, photos of the event and responses. We couldn’t do this here, because we are too close to the ocean and we don’t want the sea life to choke on balloon parts, which makes me even more happy to see Suzanne’s celebration.
And if all of the above isn’t enough Vicki Welsh has recently posted her latest edition of Field Trips in Fiber. I love to make her list and am, alas, once again not on it. She surveys various blogs and puts up links to finished projects. I started to put links to each piece I liked, but I liked all of them so decided to give Vicki a shout out for her hard work on this list. Go and take a look at the beautiful pieces.
We went on a family outing to Border’s the other day. I know how exciting that sounds! I had a gift card to use as well as a 33% off coupon. The child wanted to get the latest Artemis Fowl book, so it seemed like a good way to spend an hour together. I went to the craft section and looked at all the quilt books they had available. I saw the new Anna Maria Horner book there, Handmade Beginnings, so I took a look.
I have no babies in my life at the moment, and, thus, have no plans to buy this book, but, of course, I found two projects in it that I loved! One is a tote bag, which is large and has some dividers in it. It is called the Here We Go bag. The other project is a decorating project called Writing on the Walls. You pick a word and then through various means create the letters, attach them to stretched canvas and you have a wall decoration. This might work for the C*R*E*A*T*E project I have in mind. The AMH project is another way I could make that project work.
I took some time with the V&A exhibit ancillary materials. The blog is a marketing piece, but it is so well written and entertaining that it made me want to jump on a plane and go to the exhibit and damn the consequences. Lynn Prtichard gives lists of upcoming quilt events in the UK. I could be entertained with quilts for the whole summer if I were a lady of leisure. I am hoping that my quilt friend, LoveAnna, is getting to some of these exhibits. I watched the Caren Garfen video again and really enjoyed it. The website is really a treasure trove of information and photos. It is really the epitome of a web as I clicked here and there and really got lost in a world of quilts.
A survey of how much quiltmakers are spending was recently released. Terri (of quilt book mystery fame) pointed me to an article about the survey. Interesting that we are still spending. I am doing my part, for sure. 😉
Remember I visited the Decorator Showcase house? Lil Sissy pointed me to an article on the house that might give you a better idea of what it looked like and was about. The photos in the article also give you a lot more of an idea of what we saw. They do show off the rooms to their best advantage. The before and after photos are great, too. The other great thing about this article is that the reader really gets to see a lot of what we saw, sans the shoving of people out of the way!
Spam is becoming a huge problem on Artquiltmaker Blog. Does this mean I am popular? I never was in high school. Bleah on spam. Generally, I, at least, glance through the posts to see if anyone inadvertently wrote something that my spam filter didn’t like. Lately, I have been getting 20, 30, 40 spams a day and have just been marking them all and deleting. Some tips:
one word replies get sent to the spam filter
embedded links get sent to the spam filter
nonsense series of letters and numbers get sent to the spam filter
If your message gets sent to the spam filter, because you are being cute or funny, future posts will need me to approve them and I may miss them in my wholesale deleting of spam. See here for more info.