Gridsters · Something to Think About · This-and-That

This and That • May 2021

This has been a busy week, with zooming and teaching at the Orange Grove Quilters Guild, but I’ve managed a few things around the edges.

This was April’s Gridster block, requested by Nancy. She sent out the blue fabric, and we chose the other, with her guidance.

This was May’s Gridsterbee block, chosen from my Sawtoothmania pattern by Allison. She also sent out fabric, but we provided the center color patches.

She had us do a wonky Christmas Tree. Allison asked for the one from another quilter, but I also have a free tutorial sheet on making little Christmas trees, too. Such a clever idea!

My husband brings me flowers every day…well, photos of flowers. This one measures about 1 inch across in real life.

I finished Vesper Flights, and went on to this one: The Midnight Library. I listen to them at the same time my mother does, but this is one I wish I had in print, so I could underline things that caught my heart and imagination. Now I’m deep into Obama’s A Promised Land. It’s moved much faster now he’s been elected, and hearing about the 2008 economic meltdown, as well as the hog-trading of politics has been interesting. I am SURE I never want to be a politician. I’m sticking with quilting.

This is a close-up of one of the panels I used on my Wealth of Days quilt backing. I was stoked that it had our city on it. I tell most people, “we are between Palm Springs and LA,” but here we are!

Fabric receipts? Now the fabric just shows up in my mailbox, like magic, or something.

Occasionally, when writing this blog, or trying to color in a design, I can’t quite make the program give me the color I want (like this background). That’s when I turn to this no-frills site which shows a ton of colors with all their hexadecimal codes. I always start with the Blues page, which is what I’ve linked you to. I just copy the #code, pop it into my software or blogware, and I’m good to go.

I love following people who know what they are doing. I love reading their blog posts, their Instagram posts, and while I’m not a total fangirl of them all, I have several favorites (there are too many to list here; see my list at the bottom of my blog). I appreciate their sharing what they’ve discovered and learned. However, recently a famous maker of absolutely necessary quilting supplies popped the above Instagram ad up on my feed. (I’ve blocked out all the identifying marks to protect the marketing department.) She may be qualified, but is she an expert?

Shouldn’t she be referred to instead, more appropriately, as an Influencer?? I like Aurifil’s word for their influencers: “Ambassadors,” which my macaron-making daughter let me know, is also used in her industry. Rather than the previous ad campaigns of simple extolling of excellence of product, we now use people for that. (In my English classes of yore, this was a type of logical fallacy, using celebrities to sell products; however, we’ve morphed from random celebrities to using established personalities in the field to sell products.) Carolyn, a sewist/sewer who I’ve read for years, knows her stuff and has an excellent post on the rise of Influencers. I love this part of the post:

My criteria is based upon:
– Can they actually sew?
– Are they learning to better their craft?
– Do their garments fit well or are they just photographed well?
– Do they have any actual fabric knowledge or are they just taking stuff because it’s free?
– Do they understand why notions are important and why they’re needed to perform a task?
– Is all of their knowledge YouTube/Internet based or have they actually read a sewing book?  Not all YouTube videos show you the correct techniques.
– Is this just a way to make them Social Media Famous?

A reminder for us creatives from Grant Snider

And lest you think I just sit around, I am working on a scrappy blues quilt, but it’s pretty shy right now and I just can’t coax it out from underneath the bed. I’ve even tried leaving spools of thread and colorful scraps to lure it into the daylight. Maybe later I can get a photo of it.

This is a quilt for a college-girl’s bed. My granddaughter shyly asked me last time I was at her house, “Grandma, will you make me a quilt for college?”

Me, inside:

Me, outside:

We traded designs and pictures back and forth, but I quickly discovered that she is a minimalist, and likes gray. She knows I hate am not a fan of gray (generally), but she told her mother she thought I would come around after working on her quilt.

The red line in the drawing above is to approximate her queen-sized bed. I ordered yards of Painters Palette solids from Pineapple Threads, and they arrived last week. Between the shy scrappy blue quilt hiding out of sight, and this one, I’ll be keeping busy.

I can’t believe I signed up for this, but I swear it was because they come in cute little boxes. I do have some undressed pillow forms around her that need some clothes, and these seemed to call out to me (although if you know me, it won’t surprise you that I’ll be changing up some of the designs…looking at you Miss Christmas). But I’m excited to get a little fun package every month in the mail. (Guess this means I’m in covid-recovery–that I’m actually planning into the future.)

Lastly, I listened to/watched this show about the writer Amy Tan, called “Unintended Memoir.” It gave me so much to think about as I worked on the shy scrappy quilt, and now I want to go back and read her books again from her first, Joy Luck Club. She speaks movingly about her mother, and Tan chronicles their relationship as well as the writing of her novels. It lasts about 90 minutes; I recommend it.

Happy Quilting!

8 thoughts on “This and That • May 2021

  1. I always enjoy your posts and I especially liked the part about your granddaughter’s quilt as I am in the final stages of finishing one for my 17!year old granddaughter. I too am not a big gray fan but hers is gray black and white. I just couldn’t do it without a tiny bit of color so I added in just a little pink which is her favorite color at the moment. Although I missed the brightness of color while working on it, I am happy with the outcome. Good luck coaxing yours out from hiding!

  2. What an array of “this and that” topics! I read “The Midnight Library” too (you may have seen my review in a December 2020 blog post), and enjoyed it. As you said, it captures the imagination. Personally, I think an “expert sewist” needs to have professional training and/or YEARS of experience to qualify. Ten years isn’t enough by my way of thinking. I bet I could ask her a question about something and find that she doesn’t know it all. Thrilled for you to be asked to make a granddaughter’s quilt for college. Fireworks inside, indeed!

  3. Thought provoking as always! I don’t know if you follow La Sewista’s blog, but she has plenty to say about “experts”. (and she definitely qualifies as one. )

    Another influencer I follow had a funny post this week about people asking you to sew (make me curtains! Hem my pants!). I responded, the one thing that is absolutely irresistible is “Gram, could you……please?” (or in my case, it’s “pwease “) Something about those grands wanting some thing that is dear to your heart…. XO

  4. It’s fun to think about words that otherwise just get tossed around. So now I am pondering whether expert means know a lot or do perfectly that piece that you know. But the thoughts got stifled by the continuing chuckle at the fabric sales receipt!

  5. When you’ve been around for awhile in any field, it’s amusing when others with less experience think they are experts or have started something new. Most things have been done before. Sadly there are many words that no longer carry their original meaning. I’m certainly over the idea of influencers too. I value input from people I actually know and admire. That’s why I’ll ask for your opinion. I value your input over unknown celebs.

  6. Thanks for a great blog post, Elizabeth. I LOVED the cartoon, as did my husband. The discussion about experts is interesting. Though I have a degree in textiles and clothing, have sewn for 60+ years, and have quilted for 20+ years, I do not consider myself an expert. There are still things with which I struggle. Am I pretty good? Yes. Are there others better? Absolutely! Am I still learning? You bet. Like everything else in life, I consider this a journey, and not a destination.

    How great that your granddaughter asked you to make her a quilt! I also would be dismayed at gray, however. You could look at it as an exercise in gray scale, which could teach a lot about value.

  7. I thought the red line was part of the design on the “college quilt”. It adds a bit of unusual spunk!

  8. Influencers…..ugh! I went to a teacher professional PD one day and a young thing, all of about 25 said that she wanted to be an influencer! What?!! When you grow up, I thought to myself. No, ten years of experience does not make you an expert. And of course when our grandchildren ask us to make a quilt we jump at the chance. I look forward to seeing both WIPs when they are ready to face the world!

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