Latifah Saafir Class

Put a Ring On It Pattern
Put a Ring On It Pattern

Even though I can teach a vast number of quiltmaking skills, I don’t know everything. The guild hosted Latifah Saafir on Saturday via Zoom to teach us her pattern, Put a Ring on It*.

This pattern uses two of Latifah’s Clammies, the 12 inch** and the 8 inch**. I was super pleased to receive these as gifts between my birthday and Christmas.

The pattern is fairly complete and pretty easy to follow. The class was worthwhile, because Latifah gave us tricks and tips and helped us troubleshoot. The Clammy tool and the pattern really make this, essentially a Double Wedding Ring, pattern accessible to almost anyone. Obviously, I wouldn’t suggest it as a first quilt or if you haven’t tried curves, but otherwise, you can do it.

Martha Negley Vegetables
Martha Negley Vegetables

We had to select fabrics and cut pieces before class. I used an older Martha Negley fabric for the background. The background isn’t very much of the quilt. I wanted something different after looking at all the various versions of this quilt plus other DWR versions online. I didn’t want to make the traditional light background. I also didn’t want to copy the version on the cover. I thought of text prints for the rings, but defaulted back to my Frolic! color scheme with a variety of red-violets and the dark blue.

Two Rings Finished
Two Rings Finished

During class I was able to finish two rings. I wasn’t pleased with the green I chose for the squares. That was one good thing about being at home. I was able to grab some other fabrics and switch them out. I’ll mix up the rings so the green doesn’t look like big green blobs in the center of the quilt.

I am making a 9 block (1 ring=1 block) quilt. It will be about 48 inches x 48 inches. I didn’t want to commit to something larger and even this number of blocks is feeling like too much. I am going to power through. If I can get a ring a day done this week, I can finish all the ‘blocks’ by the end of the week and be ready to put the quilt together at the weekend. I don’t want this to become a UFO. I want to get it down and ready for quilting.

What I really wanted out of this class was to learn to use the Clammy rulers. I think I have started on that process, but didn’t get very far. This class was all about the Put a Ring On It pattern and making that. Learning various Clammy techniques was not on the agenda. That was sad. I hope Latifah comes up with a Clammy Sampler class. I get the sense that this tool is an awesome method for making circles in quiltmaking.








*No affiliation. Both a PDF and print pattern are available. I got the printed pattern and really liked the format.



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Vintage Tuesday #2 Redux

Grandma Betty's Quilt - full
Grandma Betty’s Quilt – full

A long time ago I wrote about ‘Grandma Betty’s’ quilt. I finally asked my Mom about it. She said that Grandma Betty was our Great Grandpa George’s girlfriend. It was her car they drove from Chicago to Los Angeles. Apparently, she made this quilt for my Grama. Mom said that my sister has it now. It makes me really happy to know more about this quilt. I’ll try to find out more about Grandma Betty. I think she was long gone by the time my mom came on the scene.

Baby Improv Quilt

Tim's Improv Baby Quilt
Tim’s Improv Baby Quilt

Tim showed me the start of his baby quilt. He is making it loosely based on the Give & Take Quilt by Tara Faughnan. (You’ll have to do a search as there is no good way to link out to her site for a photo). I love his colors much more than in the original.

The blocks that look yellow are actually more of a chartreuse (icky green), which is one of Tim’s go to colors.

He is figuring out how to put this together as he goes along, which I applaud. I told him to tell me if he needed help, which may have been too smug as he is a very competent piecer.

DH Dancers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quilt Class via Video

I started teaching another quilt class via Zoom a few weeks ago. We started on Google Hangouts/Meet- whatever and that was terrible. My screen kept freezing and the experience was terrible. I bought a Zoom subscription and everything has been better.

My goal in the class is to teach my students all the skills they need to make any block they want – or any quilt they want. Both have already decided that they love quiltmaking, so I don’t have to worry about that.

I have taught basic quiltmaking before, but never via video. It is a different experience and I find the demos challenging. Thank the stars for the web, because I am able to find publicly posted videos to stand in for live demos.

My students are AWESOME. They are energetic and enthusiastic and I look forward to our sessions very much.

As of this writing, we have had about 7 classes and they have done a lot of learning, practicing, sewing and listening. The class started off with supplies, fabric choices, how to shop online and color. We subsequently talked about accuracy, block structure, fraying and ripping. The blocks start off very basically with squares. Then we move on to triangles and curves. Eventually, we will get to techniques like Y seams, applique’ and hexagons. I want the class to be comprehensive. I am willing to put in the hours it takes to prepare the presentations and my students seem to be prepared to do the homework.

The whole process has been very gratifying.


If you want me to teach you via Zoom, contact me at poste [at] artquiltmaker [dot] com.

Blue Strip Donation Quilt Finished

Blue Strip Donation Quilt finished
Blue Strip Donation Quilt finished

It wasn’t too long ago that I helped Tim put this quilt on the machine. The other day when I visited, he showed me the finished piece. It was even bound by Sue S! That made it a true group quilt. I was really pleased at how well it came out.

I finished this quilt in March of 2020, right after the shelter-in-place order, so this one is getting done much faster than the Purple Strip Donation quilt I talked about the other day.

Tim said that he doesn’t really like yellow, but this quilt was just cheerful. That comment made me super happy. I really love making cheerful quilts.

The quilting is a lot of swirls, which looks really nice. I am not sure  how he decided what to do, but I like what he usually chooses. Also, Tim is quilting these for free so I am not complaining.

Blue Strip Donation quilt back - finsihed
Blue Strip Donation quilt back – finsihed

The back is pretty basic, nothing fancy in terms of piecing, but it looks good. also, cheerful.

Purple Strip Donation Quilt Redux

Purple Strip Donation Quilt on the longarm
Purple Strip Donation Quilt on the longarm

I visited the Tim the other day. I had some things I wanted to give him (no quilts this time), so I stopped by. While I was there I saw that he had the Purple Strip Donation Quilt on the machine. I finished this top and back in March of 2019, which made me very happy.  I know he’ll finish it soon and I can’t wait to see it.

Traffic Jam Quilted

Traffic Jam Quilt quilted
Traffic Jam Quilt quilted

Tim sent me a text last week showing that he had quilted the Traffic Jam quilt. Yay!

I really like this pattern and it looks great quilted. Looking at it makes me tempted to make one with a red background and fabrics for the foreground that were mostly white with pattern. I don’t know how it would look, but the idea intrigues me. I definitely want to make another one of these quilts.

Traffic Jam Quilt quilted - detail
Traffic Jam Quilt quilted – detail

Tim quilted flames. He said he had an idea which didn’t come out the way he hoped. I think it looks great anyway and these donation quilts are a good place to practice quilting and other skills.

Filoli Art

I visited Filoli again the other day. While the gardens were beautiful, it was super hot and not 100% pleasant outing. Still, the company was good, the gardens provided beautiful flowers to enjoy and I got to see some fabulous art.

Kristine Mays Celestial Prayer Meeting
Kristine Mays Celestial Prayer Meeting

Kristine Mays is a local (to me) artist who works with UCSF to raise money for AIDS Research. She has an amazing installation at Filoli of her wire sculptures. They were placed all over the gardens and the location of a garden was a fantastic venue for them. The pieces seemed to appear and disappear depending on where I was standing. It was amazing.

I know the image (left) I posted of the Celestial Prayer Meeting seems to be too far away for you to see anything, but I was trying to give you the impression that I got. From the vantage point in the photo, you can see the whole sculpture grouping, but parts of the figures are gone.

The details of the figures show clothes only. I can see the impression of dancing, which is very pleasant. There is something very calming about Mays’ work.

Thinking about getting the same impression in a quilt, I wonder if the same could be done using tree imagery or with bias tape?

Tim’s Bag

Tim's Declassified Bag
Tim’s Declassified Bag

Tim has done great work again. He was inspired by Cyndi, another guildmate, so they are making Range Backpacks in tandem. Tim has made three so far and I am very impressed with his work.

The Range Backpack is a Noodlehead pattern. Tim likes it very much and says it is concisely and clearly written. He made some changes after making the first one such as using only SF101 as the interfacing and using a lobster clip instead of a buckle for the closure.

This is the pattern that spurred our discussion of the Hump Jumper.

Tim’s Pillow

Tim's Cushion
Tim’s Cushion

I visited Tim last week for another transfer of quilts, etc. He showed me this awesome cushion he made. I really love the color choices.

Tim used the All People Quilt Play It Cool pattern and took inspiration from their color choices as well.

Of course, there is a lot of turquoise, but the combination of the splatter print and the greys are really great. The darks anchor the overall design and the pink gives it a little pop. I just love it.

Tim's Zipper installation
Tim’s Zipper installation

I am so impressed with Tim’s zipper, too. Look how perfect that looks!!! I need to practice to do so well.

I am surrounded by people who provide excellent inspiration. I feel very fortunate.

Gift Post: Cotton Candy Pouch

I finally bought the Minikins Seasons 1 & 2 (no affiliation) a few weeks ago when I received a bonus from a vendor with whom I work on occasion. I talked about being obsessed with these patterns back in January since they came out. They are on sale when they first come out and then they went up in price. I plan to buy Season 3, if there ever is one, when it is on sale.

Cal themed Cotton Candy Pouch
Cal themed Cotton Candy Pouch

Anyway, I made my first project from the patterns, the Cotton Candy Pouch. I made this for my SIL for her birthday. Fortunately, she lives around the corner, so I just put the bag on her doorstep during my morning walk and then texted her to take a look. Not as good a party with cake, but something during this shelter-in-place situation.

There are a few things I had trouble with. I am pretty pleased with the evenness of the zipper, but the ends were a bit of a problem. Next time, I think I will use a coordinating or solid fabric for the side pieces. I think it will highlight the themed fabric better. I find that making a project the first time is always an adventure and a learning experience.

Cal themed Cotton Candy Pouch
Cal themed Cotton Candy Pouch

I also added a leash. I don’t know if she has a bag with a D-ring, but when she does, she will be able to attach it.

This pouch takes an 18″ zipper, which I thought was long. I don’t have many that size, so I’ll have to think about getting some.

Cyndi’s Ultimate Carry All

Cyndi's Ultimate Carry All
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carry All

As I said, I went to Sew Day the other day. Cyndi blew us out of the water. Neither Lynette or I have made much progress with our bags. Cyndi brought her FINISHED and filled Ultimate Carry All Bag. Yep! The rockstar finished her bag.

This is part of my unhappiness at not being able to work on my bag: I wanted to be a model cheerleader. I am glad it is Cyndi who is the cheerleader.

Cyndi's Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, front view
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, front view

Cyndi retired recently and said that she became obsessed with the bag. We wanted people to be able to make the bag with support, so could feel successful. I thought people would do it a little at a time.

Cyndi's Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, back view
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, back view

She has not made the bag exactly as the pattern suggests, which seems to be the norm for our group.

She did a great job and I love the fabric, the changes and the fact that she finished already. I need to get my act together!

Cyndi's Ultimate Carry All-with ironing pad
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carry All-with ironing pad

One thing she did was put fabric on the inside bottom of the front (fall down) panel ( first photo above). This allowed her have a useful space and create a separate ironing pad. Having the ironing pad separate means she can remove the ironing pad to use it outside of the bag (photo left). GREAT idea! I think I may do this.

As I may have discussed, this bag has a lot of pockets. I want to say it has 37 pockets, but I might be making that up. You can see some of the pockets in good use in the  photos of the open bag. Cyndi said she didn’t make all of the pockets. I plan to make them all, having made a start with the short front pocket, because I think I will eventually use them. Cyndi added a Clippy pocket after the fact by hand sewing it to what she has already made. That pleased me very much.

Cyndi has made good use of her pockets. I am really pleased.

Cyndi said the binding was the hardest part. I found that to be true with the Running with Scissors Tote. I need to get on this project so I can give advice.



Mom’s Handquilting

Mom's hand quilting project
Mom’s hand quilting project

Mom stopped by the other evening and brought her quilt project. She is hand quilting the quilt because she didn’t want to pay for longarming. The quilt will be for her, for once.

The opposite side is a panel we bought together. The other side looks like a BettyCrockerAss design and I really like it.

She is making good progress and I think she will done soon.

Community Quilt Bonanza

Cheryl agreed to help me with a few projects, so the other day I received a large-ish box from her. At first I didn’t realize it was from Cheryl as it seems like boxes are arriving at our house 3 times a day. The YM is sending stuff here, DH and I plus gifts from out of town relatives are also being sent here. It’s crazy.


In addition to stuff from the project on which we are working, were three community quilts.

She asked me to bring them to the meeting in January. I am happy to do so, especially since that means I will have something to show! HA!

Clearly #2 and #3 are related. Also, #1 and #2 are in the same format as the Color Group Donation Quilt I worked a few years ago. I can’t say whether she was inspired by (or even remembered or saw) that quilt. It isn’t as thought that layout is novel in Modern Quiltmaking circles.

So, these will be the first three quilt tops for the 2020 BAM Community Quilt Project. YAY!!