Hexagon Millefiore Update, July 2018

Rosette 10b Finished

And with this Rosette (#10b), I finished up The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-A-Long.

All Rosettes_OPQuilt

Contractually.  At least according to the rules of the The New Hexagon Millefiore Game.

But I really hate the crenellated edges.  I don’t mind the zig-zag edges on the sides, and have loved what others have done, by appliqueing the quilt down to a solid border.

Millefiore border maybes

But for this quilt, these colors, every border fabric I chose just looked terrible.  Clunky.  Admittedly they are kind of wild, but really, the quilt is kind of wild.

Millefiore border fillins

Instead, I’m try to fill them in.

All Rosettesbeginning fillin

You can see what the first two look like.  There are 9 crenelations on the top and 9 on the bottom, so two down, 16 to go.  This is actually not as hard as I thought, as the fabric choices have already been made, and it’s just sort of filling in and figuring out how the pieces will work.  I am trying not to use just one-fabric half-hexie blocks, but instead, create interesting seamed fill-in pieces.  I figure the sides will be faster–just a sort of background fabric from the nearest rosette.

Stay tuned.

tiny nine patches

Research photos (culled from the web, from Instagram and from the Facebook page):

Millefiore v5

This one looks great with the appliqued-to-borders treatment.

Millefiore v12

Not technically a Hexagon Millefiore quilt, but those borders!

Millefiore v2

Millefiore quilt again

Another that is not a hexagon-based EPP, but I love the way they broke the borders.

Millefiore v4Millefiore v1Millefiore v3

Millefiore v8

This one filled in many edges, and moved a lot of the rosettes around.

Millefiore v7Millefiore v9

Many of these quilts turned the design on the its side, or upside down. I should note that I also changed the lower edge of mine, melding 4 different rosettes into one gigantor rosette, plus I tweaked a few more places (there is NO star in the middle of my quilt, for example).

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

Millefiore Quilt July 18_2

My leftovers (paper pulled out that was still in good shape). I’m using them to build the edges.

Getting the Work Done: Artist vs. Addict

Frivols 7_19

A recent reviewer of Steven Pressman’s book Turning Pro, pointed out that:
“What is distraction, if not self-sabotage, sabotage of one’s future self?”   Pressman, who wrote the War of Art, a must-read for creatives,  writes about about the difference between being an artist and being an addict, about the difference between being a professional (focused on the work) and an amateur (talking about the work, but not really doing it).

Frivols 7_21

Pressman has written three books, and as another reviewer described them:

The War of Art discusses the decision to start, while [his second book] Do the Work takes on the concept of sustaining the discipline it takes to finish a piece of work. Turning Pro takes things up a notch by insisting the artist must establish a rigid discipline and trust the Muse.”

Frivols 7_23

It’s easy to forget why we work at something.  There we are, putting our focus on our machines and in our sewing spaces, cutting and sewing, and all of a sudden, it’s oh wait a minute, let me check what my friends on Instagram are doing.

Frivols 7_24

According to Pressman, that doesn’t get the work done.  What it does do instead, is turn our work, our lives, our posts into an endless loop of sort of getting things done, but not really forging ahead into new places.

As Jocelyn K. Glei put it, “I was particularly struck by his distinction between “the artist” and “the addict,” wherein the former is living out a productive, creative career, while the latter is caught in an endless loop of aspiration and yearning that never gets backed up with meaningful action. Glei also noted that: “The amateur is an egotist. He takes the material of his personal pain and uses it to draw attention to himself. He creates a “life,” a “character,” a “personality.”  Using the term “shadow novel,” he draws out the life of a person is sort of working towards something, but not really.  Like I was after grad school: wanting to be an author, but not writing a word.

Frivols 7_25
I soon figured out that being a fiction writer was not the direction I was doing to go. I was able, however, to take my MFA training and love of the written word, combine it with sewing, in order to write about quilting — a completely unplanned, but incredibly satisfying endeavor.

Frivols 7_26

Frivols #7, in process

Cindy and I have talked more than once about the world of social media (namely Instagram) and how it sometimes interferes with getting the work done.  I love a good stroll through the posts as much as anyone, and I love to read blogs and see what creative juice is running through my community.

I recently watched the entire launch video of IGTV, that futzy little button in the top right of your screen.  As they went through all the scenes of creators (our new name, I guess), I realized that they were all barely older than my grandchildren…and with that realization came the understanding that IG “allowed” me to have my community, but what they were really about was the selling of “new media,” geared to “young influencers” gaining followers, gaining media attention and earning money.  Hence, the screwed up IG feed for the rest of us.

Chronology is out.  Connectiveness is in (which is different from “connections”).  Process is out.  Profits are in, including the data mining of all our click and taps and touches.

July 2018 Gridsters _ Leisa

Gridsters Bee Block for Leisa–July 2018

What does this have to do with artist/professional vs. addict/amateur?

As Pressman states, “The artist and the professional, on the other hand, have turned a corner in their minds. They have grown so bored with themselves…What were once their shadow symphonies become real symphonies. The color and drama that were once outside now move inside….When we [choose being an Artist], the energy that once went into the Shadow Novel goes into the real novel. What we once thought was real – “the world,” including its epicenter, ourselves – turns out to be only a shadow. And what had seemed to be only a dream, now, the reality of our lives.

It’s all about where you focus, where you put your attention.  Make use of the tools that help you, but don’t let them dominate allotted time, or dilute creative energy.

 

 

Happy Fourth of July 2018

Fourth July Tiny Quilt

To honor the 4th of July, I stitched up another tiny quilt.  I love being patriotic, as the meaning has a sense of loving America and its peoples, the history and the early settlers, and those who set up the government in 1776.  It helps that my nickname in my childhood was Betsy, but I do love the red, white and blue.

Fourth July Tiny Quilt_1

I went through my Orphan Quilt Blocks box, found one that wasn’t being used, and smallerized it, using this PDF pattern to cut it out: Fourth July Tiny Quilt Star Center

Fourth July Tiny Quilt_2

I put on two borders, quilted it (so fast because it’s so small) and put a single-thickness binding on it (cut your strip 1-1/2″ wide), gluing down the back binding and top-stitching it down.  It is one of those quilt projects you can take at full throttle–no fussy cutting or intricate piecing.  Put your pedal to the medal and crank out a 4th of July star tiny quilt!

Fourth July Tiny Quilt_back

It slips over the back of one of those cheezy plastic stand picture frames (under 2 bucks at Walmart). [More on the quilt underneath it at the end of the post.]

Tiny Sailboat Quilt_front on frame

Here’s a post with general directions as well as how to make a sailboat design.
And I have also made:

Mini Quilt Spring 18_4

a snowman,

Tiny Pumpkin Quilt_front

a harvest pumpkin, (which has more directions, especially on that binding)

Tiny Trees

and some Christmas trees. (I included the directions for the smaller trees.)

AmericaIsATune_frontAmericaIsATune_backAmericaIsATune_label

 

I made the quilt above quilt five years ago at the same time we had a government shut-down, and I was moaning about government needing to behave itself then.  I now look back on that particular chaos with a wistful glance; would that we had that steadiness now!

Shout Hurrah for America

Yet, I still believe that America is a Tune, and that we must figure it out — sing it — together, no matter how painful things are.  After reading the book Hamilton, I value what those early fathers of our country (and mothers, too) must have faced and appreciate how much work they did and how inspired they were to come together and get the framework off the ground.

Uncle Sam

Have a Happy Fourth of July!

 

Frivols 7

FrivolsButton

It’s the first of July, so you know what that means.

I pulled Frivols Tin #7 out of the closet, and about fell over.  There are a billion little triangles in this quilt, well, okay, maybe only a couple of a hundred, but they are teensy weensy (each HST measures 1 3/4″ square, unfinished).  Yes, I am beginning to question my sanity.  Especially since, when I was in Utah, I saw Frivols tins for sale:

Frivols on Sale_2

Frivols on Sale_1

See that quilt there on the right?  I should have just bought it, and saved myself the trouble.  But making these Frivols experience is a learning experience, or so I keep telling myself.  I’m starting early this month, as it may take me a while.

Frivols7_1cFrivols7_1d

Luckily in the tin, they have included a sheet to copy so you can just sew through the lines and have perfect triangles, also available on their Moda blog.  Good thing I really like that lovely Lisa Bongean and her shop near me, Primitive Gatherings (also in Wisconsin).

Frivols7_1e

Here’s the cute freebie: a scissors “keep” with the polka dots on one side, and Moda’s name on the other.

[Note: I won those scissors last month while visiting Corn Wagon Quilt Company in Springville, Utah.  My husband, who is used to being in quilt shops, got a Hundred Grand Candy Bar, just for coming in (very nice of them).]

Okay, so if you are doing this Frivol, download Moda’s triangles sheet: Frivols7-songbird-triangle-papers  [NOTE: Please be sure to download first, print a test page, making sure the measurements agree with what is written on the pattern, and print at 100% (of course).] I’ve printed mine out on vellum, which is easier to rip off than regular paper.  Since we have to do eleven sheets worth of these triangles, I figure it’s four pages a week, in order to finish.  I’m just hoping that with the special stitch-and-sew technique, I won’t have to be truing them up.  That chore is right up there on the Hated Chores List with folding laundry and emptying the dishwasher.

Happy Fourth of July to you as well, a day to celebrate the birth of our nation.  Here are some photographs I took when we lived in Washington, D.C. for a (most memorable) year:

DOS star

Department of State, Star

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial, with Declaration of Independence on the wall

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

USA Capitol Ceiling

from ceiling in the United States Capitol

Happy Sewing and Happy Fourth of July 2018!

Update on New Hexagon Millefiore

I dragged pulled out that hexagon millefiore mess quilt and decided I had let it linger too long.  Waaaaay too long, and that it had lurked, like some amorphous creeping thing in the corner of my guest room (aka Sewing Room Overflow), haunting my dreams and certainly messing up any perky UFOs to Finish list that I may draw up.

Rosettes_all

This is the last composite photo I posted, back in August of 2016.  I’ve since put together most of the rosettes that are grayed out.  I decided to combine all the lower left rosettes, which gave me a new appreciation for Katja Merek’s work on the (what she has titled) The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-Along.  Here is my version of the corner:

Rosette #8_opquilt variationsmall.jpg

And I also changed up some parts of the outer edges, making these (in the last few weeks):

Teeny Upper Leftsm.jpg

Rosettes 9_11b small.jpg

Rosette 12b small.jpg

Rosette 10somethingsmall.jpg

So now my quilt top looks like this (digital version):

All Rosettes_OPQuiltJune2018.jpg

I’m now working on that last one, which has turned out to be exceedingly difficult, because it has to be just right.  But then other days, I’m quoting my motto to myself (The perfect is the enemy of the good.  Or in my case, the done) and keep trying to get on with it.

At this point I just want it to be like Laurel’s:

Retreat2016_12

Yes, I want it to be DONE.

In other beginning-of-summer news, I planted my garden again, which then was invaded by fungus (a common problem here, apparently) so it looks quite wimpy.  We still harvest a few tomatoes here and there.  I sprayed last week, yanked two particularly sickly plants, and re-planted more in their place, so we’ll see what happens.

Optimism in the Garden.jpg

I found this on The Internet, which about expresses my attitude.  There’s just something about an empty garden box that sends me to the nursery to find something to plant in it. It feels kind of similar to entering a quilt shop, and thinking about all the possibilities I can find in there.

Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. (Nelson Mandela)

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. (Dr. Seuss)

So today it’s back into the sewing room, back into the garden…back to work.

 

Jolly Old St. Nicholas • recap

JollyOldStNick_front

I recently received an email from a reader, asking me about the details of my Jolly Old St. Nicholas quilt.  Her simple request pointed up a problem all of us blog writers face: how to find things on our blogs.  I do have an index, but she specifically asked for more information about that quilt, which is NOT on the indexed link.

While it may seem strange to have a post about Christmas in June, I will occasionally be going through some long-term projects, and collecting all the information about that quilt in one post, linking to other posts when necessary.  I can see several that are strung out across several months, that would benefit from this coalescing.  So here it goes for Santa.

Santa's Village Pattern

Pattern: I used Santa’s Village, from Thimblecreek, but with many changes.  See Construction Photos section for more info.

Outside Large Green Blocks: I didn’t like many of the pattern’s original blocks.  So I drafted my own in QuiltPro Software, and asked my Mid-Century Modern Beemates to each make me a block, shown in this post, where there are 14 blocks to choose from.  You can download templates (or pattern pieces) for each block on that page.

Construction Photos

JollyOldStNick_1

On the original pattern, you can see the top of the tree and the tips of Santa’s toes being chopped off by the addition of their giant rick-rack.  I decided I wanted a cleaner finish as I wasn’t keen about the “chop-offs” on the original pattern.  I measured carefully, placing everything just so, but in the end, I slimmed down the top of the tree (inset) so everything would fit.

I also added a 1-inch red band around the outside edge.  Be careful in your measuring.  The center Santa block needs to finish at 24″ so if you are going to add a one-inch border, then the center Santa needs to finish at 22 inches (cut the center white square down to 22 1/2″ inches to allow for seam allowances).

The feet were a torture to applique, but they make this guy, so stick with it.

JollyOldStNick_4

As mentioned before, the blocks were made by my mates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee; here I audition them for their placement around Santa.

JollyOldStNick_2

Then it was time to start on the trees and houses.  The original pattern has a lot of funny pieces at the ends of the trees.  Basically  you make a sort of flying geese block, stretched or regular (depending on where in the tree stack it is), then added a spacer at the end to even it out.  I eliminated those end spacers on the top and middle triangle sections as I thought it was a lot of bother.  You can figure this out.

Truth: My pattern is either lent out to someone, or in a proverbial “safe place.”  Either way I can’t put my hands on it, in order to be more specific about this.

Another Truth: This pattern needed several more rounds of pattern testing.  I did talk to the designer at a quilt show sharing with him some of the problems I had with it.  He wasn’t very happy with me.

JollyOldStNick_5JollyOldStNick_5a

I’m showing you both of these photos, so you can see the types of spacers between the house and the tree.  I had to put one on each end of a house-tree strip in order to make them fit (different from the pattern), so don’t hesitate to make adjustments if needed.  You can see what I’m talking about if you look at the original pattern, where the tips of the trees in the corner are touching the houses.  Mine don’t touch.

JollyOldStNick_6aJollyOldStNick_6b

Since my reader asked me about the center Santa, I thought I’d throw in a couple more photos showing how cute he is.  Yes, sir.

And that’s Jolly Old St. Nicholas!