SIL’s Friendship Star pt.2

SIL's Friendship Star - October 2019
SIL’s Friendship Star – October 2019

About a month ago, I told you about SIL’s Friendship Star. She is still working on it. We had dinner over there on Saturday so I got to see the evolution.

She is still not quite happy with the layout. I can see where she might want to make changes, but I think the gradation is a lot more evolved since the last time I saw it. It is looking really good.

Mom’s Mermaid

My mom is doing Inktober. Inktober is a project where everyone participating is encouraged to do a  drawing following the prompts. Inktober was created in 2009 by Mr. Jake Parker. He created it “as a challenge to improve [his] inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.” In order to participate, pick up a pen and start drawing. No special tools are required. However, if you want supplies, Mr. Parker provides a page with his favorites.

Mom's Mermaid
Mom’s Mermaid

Mom posts her drawings on to FB. I really like this one. The prompt was ‘bait’.

Also, today is mom’s birthday! Happy birthday to the best mom ever!

SIL Friendship Star

SIL #2 Friendship Star
SIL #2 Friendship Star

We did a fun activity at Craft Night the other night. We helped SIL #2 rearrange her HSTs to make sort of a gradation in color for her quilt.

SIL is making a quilt for a former work colleague who is having a baby (well, his wife is). Two of us went over to SIL’s house for Craft Night and she asked us to help rearrange the HSTs. I have done it a million times, but our other member has never done it. She mostly crochets and is getting into knitting. She was great and had a good eye.

I thought it was fun to work on someone else’s project. The photo above isn’t even the final version. I thought it was, but we kept rearranging. At one point we couldn’t find a center we liked for one of the blues, so we rummaged through SIL’s scraps (her scraps are tiny!) and found a piece of fabric we liked. Then, we made her rummage through her yardage so she could cut a piece that was perfect. 😉

I am not a huge fan of Friendship Stars, but these look really good. I like the small size and the scrappiness. I think Friendship Stars are better small.

Sew Day Progress

Sew Day for September was Saturday. I know I always say this, but I really enjoy seeing what other people make. I was focused on a couple of projects of my own, so I didn’t even really get a chance to see everything that people were working on.

Patti's Class Project
Patti’s Class Project

Patti’s Project caught my attention right away. She had the pieces from the guild’s recent Latifah Safir class on her table and I loved the look of the block! I loved what she had done, because of the HRTs I have been playing with on and off over the past several months. I know the design is not original and came from a Latifah Safir pattern. It is cool and makes me wonder if I could do something like it with the Split Recs ruler by Studio 180 Designs.

The class must have been great, because a number of people had brought their pieces to work on. I haven’t seen that before at a Sew Day – or I hadn’t noticed.

Runs with Scissors Tote
Runs with Scissors Tote

I worked on cutting out pieces for the Running with Scissors tote. I had pulled all of the fabric on Friday after work, so I got the whole thing cut out except for one piece, which I will cut next weekend. I hope to work on this at the mini-retreat I am attending next weekend. I am thinking of making a couple of them as gifts depending on how the project goes.

So far, the directions are very clear. I have some experience with bag directions so I was pleased. I don’t think I have made a ByAnnie’s pattern before and perhaps the good directions are a sign of quality. There are a lot of aspects to this bag, so I was a little worried. I was surprised that there was less to cut out than I though.

Lee Anne's donation quilt
Lee Anne’s donation quilt

Lee Anne is a major donation quilt maker and she was working on a really cool quilt at the retreat.

As you can see this is a lozenge quilt. I am not sure if she had the fabric or used fabric from the Community Quilts stash. It is a great looking design and wonderful quilt.

Another member, who we call Baguette, and I are planning a Bag-a-Long for the guild. We had a meeting during Sew Day to organize ourselves for the next meeting. We will all make the same bag using the same pattern. Baguette and I will stay ahead of the others (or try to!) and offer clarifications and modifications to the pattern. The pattern is the Ultimate Carry All by Quiltessa Natalie. I wrote about it a little bit in my Quiltmaking Go Bag post a few weeks ago. I will definitely talk about this bag in future posts as we make it. The creator, however, has video tutorials, so I probably won’t do a Bag-a-Long on the blog.

I also had a meeting with Mary about the retreat this weekend. It will be held at the church so we had to coordinate.

Fabric Collage by Deena

Goodness! September already! It seems like yesterday when I was writing about my goals for the year.

As mentioned I went to a BBQ on Saturday and got to see a quilt extravaganza. The hostess is also a quiltmaker, but does art quilts and is preparing to sell a bunch of them.

Deena's largest quilt
Deena’s largest quilt

Deena’s quilts are all wall hangings. She starts out making a bargello background. After she is happy with the background, she fussy cuts motifs out of fabric and fuses them to the front.

The large quilt shown is one of the plainest of her quilts that I have seen. Most of them are beautifully embellished with a variety of motifs. Her newest collection is a Noel collection. Lots of cardinals are featured.

Deena Farrah Art Quilt: For Sale: Garden Path II Frame size: 8 x 10 Price: $135
Deena Farrah Art Quilt: For Sale: Garden Path II Frame size: 8 x 10 Price: $135

Take a look at Deena’s quilts on her FB page.

Supporting Young Artists

SF View towards Coit Tower
SF View towards Coit Tower

A few months ago, a college friend contacted me and told me her daughter was coming to San Francisco to attend a summer art program. We made plans to see each other while she was in town and I offered to be emergency mom, should the need arise. Wouldn’t you like to go to school at a place with that view?

Identity by Jillian Taylor
Identity by Jillian Taylor

A few weeks (or a month?) later, I got another call inviting me to the young artist’s reception. I drove over with my BIL to view the art. The art was very interesting. Some good, some not to my taste. My friend’s daughter’s art was very appealing to me, though it wasn’t all sweetness and light as I usually like.

Her work has a mystical quality that invites the viewer to come closer. I told her about my attempt to reward viewers with surprises if they come close to my quilts and she said she does something similar.

Jillian’s work is definitely worth walking up closer and looking at carefully.

Visions of a City by Jillian Taylor
Visions of a City by Jillian Taylor

The students were given assignments and one was about buildings. I forget the basics of the assignment, but I thought her interpretation was fun and interesting.

She talked to us about wishing the cat that ran away was still in the picture when she took the photo and then delighted in describing how she realized she could add a cat even if it wasn’t in her reference image. I was delighted as well! Sometimes we feel we have to stick to the truth when doing realistic work and that just isn’t true.

Strings by Jillian Taylor
Strings by Jillian Taylor

The students explored all media, including sculpture. I haven’t really ever done much sculpture. I was fascinated with the airy, flying/breaking out of the wall quality of the Strings piece.

As you know, I am fascinated by 3D in quiltmaking. You have seen some of my bags, right? And the textured cube? Jillian’s piece is a whole different thing that I don’t think I could ever achieve with fabric and thread. I suppose something like this wouldn’t be the same with fabric in and thread.

Obviously, there were other works by other students as well. I looked at some of them and enjoyed them as well. I love the 3D aspect of the white vase. I don’t mean the vase itself, but the flowers and vines.

Hellish and Full of Heartache
Hellish and Full of Heartache

The first piece the young artist did when she arrived was a directed painting. The professor told them what to paint and they interpreted the directions in their own way. This painting started off with three triangles.

There is a lot going on in this painting. One thing I thought was interesting was that I could not see the three triangles. They were pointed out to me, so they are still part of the painting (an aspect of the assignment?), but I couldn’t tell you where they are now.

Finally, Jillian had an installation piece. I have to admit that I didn’t understand it very well, but it had that same mystical quality that some of her other work had. Her mom was pretty distressed when it was taken down – all the work had to be removed so it could be shipped home.

Diego Rivera mural at SF Art Institute
Diego Rivera mural at SF Art Institute

The San Francisco Art Institute not only has a great view, but it also has a Diego Rivera fresco. The information said that it was painted in 1931 and was a gift of William Lewis Gerstle when he was president of the SF Art Association. There are other works by Rivera at City College of San Francisco.

This exhibit was outside of my normal daily ramblings. It was good to get out and see something different. I encourage you to do something similar.

All About Angles

As mentioned, BAM held another class by Sarah Goer. I showed some of the quilt tops other members were in the process of sewing. Remember, Sarah also taught the Planned Improv class, which I really liked?

Tim's Angles
Tim’s Angles

I was over at Tim’s the other day and he showed me his version. He really likes green and his piece reflects that.

We talked about adding in some strips, so you see some folded fabric mimicking the strips that he would need to cut.

I really enjoy seeing other people’s interpretation of a concept.

BAM: All About Angles

All About Angles Class work - May 2019
All About Angles Class work – May 2019

Last month, the guild had another class with Sarah Goer. As  you may recall, I took the Planned Improv class with her and really enjoyed the process as well as the end result. I also really like seeing people be excited about a class project.

All About Angles Class work - May 2019
All About Angles Class work – May 2019

Due to travel (did you see the Thimble Towne and Calico Mermaid reviews?), I wasn’t able to sign up. Although I was home, I would not have had time to pack for the second trip and I needed a bit of a breather. I still was able to admire the work of the other students at the guild meeting on the 18th.

All About Angles Class work - May 2019
All About Angles Class work – May 2019

 

Another Blast from the Past

It seems like my donation quilts are coming back from the past. For me, once I give the top and back to someone else to quilt and bind, I am done with them and don’t really think about them anymore. Last week Kelly contacted me about a donation quilt and now another crops up.

Food Donation Quilt
Food Donation Quilt

The guild meeting was last Saturday and Cyndi was sitting near me. Peeking out of her bag was a quilt with some food fabric in it. I thought to myself, Oh! I used that fabric in the Food Quilts. It turned out Cyndi had finished a food donation quilt that I made in 2016. I didn’t even remember making it, but I looked it up and, yep, there it was. I know I made it to use up the fabric from the three food quilts.

Mrs. K’s Scrap Quilt

Mrs. K's Scrappy Quilt
Mrs. K’s Scrappy Quilt

I love it when I get to see other people’s projects. Recently Mrs. K sent me a picture of her recent scrap quilt.

It looks like she sewed a lot of strips together to make larger chunks or blocks. The many colors makes this very cheerful.

I asked her what was her inspiration and she wrote “YOU were my inspiration with your blue and white 16 block squares and charity quilts. I started doing leaders and enders. One time I was sewing somewhere and didn’t have my little box of squares, so I collected other peoples small scraps and just started sewing them together as my leaders and enders.

I follow a blog called Me and my quilts by Quilt Diva Julie—perhaps you mentioned her—She does bright, colorful quilts. Many are scrappy quilts. One of hers gave me the idea for the solid strips.” Julie has a great design in her May 20 blog post that would be a great leaders and enders project. Bonnie Hunter has a couple of books about leaders and enders, Adventures with Leaders & Enders and More Adventures with Leaders & Enders.

I can hardly believe that she could be inspired to make something as great as this quilt from looking at my 16 patch blocks. It warms my heart and is one reason I write.

Thanks for sharing, Mrs. K!

Thanks for the Zipper Pouch

Zipper Pouch from Angela
Zipper Pouch from Angela

I was pleased and very surprised to receive this belated Christmas gift from Angela. It meant a lot to get it on a random date in March instead of with the onslaught of other Christmas gifts. I am not sure what I did to merit such kindness, but I love this pouch and am very appreciative.

She made the Trixie Zipper Pouch from one of the Crafty Gemini  most recent bag club. I am not a member and making it never crossed my mind. Still, I am so pleased to have received it

You will notice how well she knows me when you see the fabric. That is a Philip Jacobs print and I love the way she fussy cut it so the flower is the star of the pouch.

Trixie Pouch open
Trixie Pouch open

Angela also said she adjusted the size of the netting on the inside so that spools of Aurifil thread would fit. This is so great, because I can fill it with Aurifil I may use on a project (e.g. the Tarts Come to Tea uses a lot of different threads) without hauling my giant thread box with me.

And, yes, the fabulous Angela put a spool of thread in there for me as well.

Also, look at those stripes!!! Aren’t they awesome? Great use of fabric and the light fabric makes it easy for me to see inside the pouch.

Zipper Pouch from Angela- zipper pull detail
Zipper Pouch from Angela- zipper pull detail

Angela also changed the zipper pulls. I know there are tutorials out there to do that, but I have never tried it and am really impressed with the attention to detail. I found video tutorial by Crafty Gemini that includes changing a zipper  pull, but also has other tips for zippers such as resizing them.

BAMQG IRR in Process Again

BAMQG IRR, January 2019
BAMQG IRR, January 2019

I am a little sick of the Half Hexie Star project, so I switched to Big Stitching the BAMQG IRR. It never ceases to amaze me how much progress I make when I actually work on a project. It has been awhile since I worked on it and it is a nice break from EPP.

I had to get back in the Big Stitch groove, which was difficult. I finally figured out that I couldn’t do it when I was stitching in a seam allowance, because of all the layers. That means I am doing some stab stitching in addition to the Big Stitch.

One of the challenges I have is what quilting designs to use. Right now I am just echo quilting. I don’t know if I want to do more, if curves will work with Big Stitch or if there are other designs I should use. I haven’t handquilted a lot. When I have done it I have mostly used echo quilting to highlight the block designs. Occasionally, I have used stencils. I’ll have to look at some books and see if I can get inspired.

Jen Carlton Bailly Class

I spent the day last Saturday in a BAM class with Jen Carlton Bailly. I don’t really need to learn about curves. I have done them in the Sampler class and I have just finished the MetroScape top, which had about a million curves. Still, I wanted to be in a class with JCB and I love the vibe of BAM, so the more time I can spend with those ladies the better.

Jen is friendly and energetic as well as a good and patient teacher. She seemed to be everywhere in the class. She was also cheerful and smiling the whole time. I found her to be approachable and not standoff-ish.

The crux of JCB’s class was the template set she sells. She uses these to create a variety of different looks with curves. Of course, I bought the whole set and I am glad I did. The variety of different things one can accomplish with this set is fantastic. By looking at the patterns JCB sells and the quilts she has made, you can see the definition of a series.

Turbine Blocks, January 2019
Turbine Blocks, January 2019

At the time I bought the template set (when I signed up for the class), she was giving a discount to class participants, so I also bought the Turbine quilt pattern. In the class, I started in on this pattern, which is not difficult, once you have mastered JCB’s method for creating circles.

She tries to alleviate fears with her patterns and techniques while making interesting designs. I am not afraid of curves, though they can be frustrating at times. I am also not afraid of cutting into a block I have already made.

Jen Carlton Bailly's Rings
Jen Carlton Bailly’s Rings

I made two of the turbine blocks with my own twist. I decided, after making the two, that I will make one more and create a tablerunner instead of making a quilt. I like the pattern and like the technique, but don’t want to spend the time on something like that. I am more interested in the designs that look like more of a ring.

This sort of design has been on my mind since I saw Sue Arnold’s version done in Pointillist Palette fabrics about 1,000 years ago. This is really interesting to me and if I do a quilt, it will be using more of the templates to cut out more of the blocks.

JCB's Lantern pattern blocks
JCB’s Lantern pattern blocks

Gerre decided to work on the Lantern pattern, which uses the same technique, but different placement of the fabrics and different orientation of the blocks.

I can see making something small using this pattern as well. The opportunity for scrapiness is fantastic. A pillow cover, perhaps.

All in all it was a good day. I was pleased to meet JCB, pleased to be sewing and be with my BAM pals.

Sew Day with Gerre

The other day, I went to visit my friend and sew. DH was out until the evening and it was a good day to go and hang with a friend. One thing we do together is eat cornbread. My family doesn’t like it and Gerre loves it. Every chance we get she and I enjoy it together. We also took a nice walk around her neighborhood, which is filled with lovely Victorians.

We didn’t skimp on the sewing, however.

Textured Cube
Textured Cube

I followed up on Jan’s idea from the retreat of a textured cube. Jan works at a local museum as an Exhibits Coordinator, so she is always doing interesting things with fabric for the museum. This time she had found some 6 inch squares at FabMo. For the kinesthetic aspects of an upcoming exhibit she decided to make fabric cubes. I thought the YM would like something like this for stress relief. I took Jan up on her kind offer of squares and and made this cube on Gerre’s second machine. Since the squares were already cut, it was pretty quick to put together

I also started working on some fabric bags. Before I went to Portland I had about 30 small gifts to wrap. I didn’t have small bags so I was forced to use paper, which, for me, is a special kind of hell. I decided that I would make a bunch of small bags. In this case, some gifts arrived too late for Christmas and I decided to use the In Color Order drawstring bag pattern.

I spent most of the time we had together making the drawstrings. You’d think I would have gotten them right, but I think they are too long for the size of the bag. We’ll have to see. The bags will look nice, but this endeavor is turning out to be more complicated than I want so I will go back to my regular gift bag tutorial once I finish these.

All in all, it was a great day. I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but we had some nice conversation and the most important thing to me is that Gerre is getting back to sewing.