Riverside Sawtooth, a finished quilt top

Riverside Sawtooth_labeled

Riverside Sawtooth, the name I’ve given for this original block of mine, has been finished — or at least the top has. It is a compilation of bee blocks from the Mid-Century Bee, as well as several of mine.  I started making these in the Alison Glass blues fabric, but trying to describe what color of blue that was to people all over the United States was a challenge: I finally settled on “painter’s tape blue.”  I like this quilt not because of that color and that block, but also because it’s a scrappy two-color block.  Have a bunch of greens, or pinks, or reds that need to be gathered together into a quilt?  This would work great.

Riverside Sawtooth_small1

Through the process of arranging and cullling and making more blocks to balance colors, I had enough blocks for another small mini.

The genesis came from seeing a similar antique quilt, but that maker had done a more traditional construction (and sorry–there was no name on that old quilt).  I wanted to see if I could make it as a block, the sawtooth incorporated into the construction process.  It took me several weeks of working on it, then testing it.  I wrote up the pattern and sent it as a test block out to my beemates and incorporated their tips and tricks into the pattern wording.  Now thoroughly tested, I tweaked the pattern and at long last, have it available for download in my shops at Craftsy and PayHip (for EU customers).  The pattern includes lots of detailed photos and walks you through it the process, so it’s good for anyone’s set of skills, beyond the what-is-a-rotary-cutter-and-how-do-I-use-it barely beginning level.
Riverside Sawtooth_small2

Here’s another mini full of full dotty blocks.  I loved working in this tonality of blue — hey, I love blue in any tonality — but the inspiration of Alison Glass’ fabrics kicked me into finding blue fabrics that coordinated with hers.  The large quilt (72″ square) is in the line-up to be quilted, and then I’ll probably label it and get it up on the 200 Quilts list, but for now, I wanted to make it available to you, if you want to try your hand at an updated fun version of a block.

Riverside Sawtooth_detail1 Riverside Sawtooth_detail2 Riverside Sawtooth_detail3a Riverside Sawtooth_small3I’ve been working on a few more patterns and I’ll roll them out one by one over the next several weeks, as I get the typos expunged, the photographs completed and then uploaded for purchase.Riverside Sawtooth_small4

tiny nine patches

Mid-Century Modern Bee 2016 Wrap-up

MCMLogo1

Four years ago, Cindy and I sat at this computer and designed this logo for a bee she was starting.  She brilliantly gathered up a coterie of quilters, all over the age of 50, and I helped her with the spreadsheet, organization, and the design.  Some members have come and gone, but as I am one of the original members, and since 2016 is our last year together, I thought I’d do a wrap-up of blocks and quilts.

Riverside Sawtooth_labeled

January 2016 was my month and I asked for blocks to make the above quilt, titled Riverside Sawtooth.  

Riverside Sawtooth_small2I used my sample blocks to make this little table topper.

February was Cindy’s turn, and she asked us all to make little books.

MCM book block_1

I chose ballerinas because I knew this was headed to make a quilt for her granddaughter.

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She arranged all our signature blocks on the back with some fussy cut blocks that were representative of her, so her newest grandchild could associate these cute blocks with her grandmother.wiens_mcm

The quilt is like a library of books!

March was Linda K. we were ready for some bright colors.

March MCM bee blocks

She asked for 4″ churn dash blocks in fun colors, with a few “oopses” in the construction of the blocks to make it interesting.  I switched around some of the corner blocks and substituted in another block of color.

kucera_mcm

These are all the blocks, arranged up on her design wall.  Those colors just pop!

Stephanie had April and was interested in having us make blocks representative of the windows at her daughter’s school.

MCM Bee Sewing

The idea was to make a raffle quilt to benefit the school, but it was sold before the raffle could be held, so I’m hoping she keeps the blocks we sent her and makes a quilt for her daughter.

peterson_mcm

They do look like multi-paned windows, sparkling in the light.  She sent us Paintbrush Studio Fabrics to use, and I have to say again how much I love those solids!

Once again, in May, we made churn dash blocks at the request of Carla F. but with a twist: they could be subdivided up inside the 12″ square requirement to add interest.

MCM May 2016_Carla

I made one jumbo block.  She asked for something skewed as well, so I made two sides skinnier.

carla_mcm

This is quite an array of sizes and shapes, and should be an interesting quilt, or a good start to something fun.

June MCM_2016 rene

Rene kept it simple and fun for us in June, asking for Raspberry Kiss blocks (tutorial found *here*).

rene_mcm

The collection is here.  Rene is one of the quilters involved with the Pulse Heart quilts, and she has been incredibly busy this year helping with that project.  Click *here* to see them delivering the quilts to the first reconsiders on the scene. It’s a really sweet video with all those quilts.  Rene is about 2:44 if you want to see her in action.

July 2016_MCM

Sherri, in July, asked us for scrappy Log Cabin blocks to add to a quilt she’d already started.  I don’t have a picture of all the blocks, but I’m sure it will be terrific.

sherri-log-cabin-blocks

Here’s a screen shot of some of the other blocks that our group made for her.

Aug MCM block_MaryS

Mary, for August, found a quilt she liked on the Robert Kaufman website, called Woven Pattern, and wanted us to make blocks in the color of the beach: sea and sand.

mary-s_woven-blocks

She laid them out on the floor at my request, and I really love those colors!

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Mary K. is a star-lover and always has great blocks for us to try.  September’s Confetti Star block was no exception and the free pattern can be found *here.*

kolb_mcm

Isn’t this a great layout of stars?  We made each other signature blocks, and you can see them laid out in the lower right corner.  And yes, there are 12 of us in this bee; sometimes we have forgotten to send them along.  She asked us to make the signature blocks two-toned, rather than just out of one fabric. [Here’s a post with another one of Mary’s choices for stars, also including a free pattern.]

Roaring into October found us making B’s and E’s for Anne’s choice.

oct-2016_mcm-anne

She asked us to do one in a color we wanted to and the rest in “barely there” sort of colors, but with enough contrast to distinguish them from the background.

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I can hardly wait to see wait Anne’s imagination conjures up from these letters.

mcm-bee-block-nov-2016

Fittingly for November, Nancy asked us to make these leafless trees, in sky color and green.

nancy_mcm-trees

Lastly, for December Elizabeth R. asked for us to make blocks out of Anna Maria Horner fabrics in the blocks we requested.

december-mcm-blocks-2016

Since my choice (the Riverside Sawtooth block) doesn’t look good unless there are four of them, she gave me permission to make something different, so I enlarged a Chuck Nohara block and made her two.

erich-composite-mcm

Here’s the composite (so far–people are still sending in their blocks).  But while it’s stunning, and makes me want to make a quilt only out of AMH fabrics, some of the genius is in seeing how different the blocks are from the originals:

nancy-trees

Nancy’s tree blocks become transcendent in this new fabric.

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And Stephanie’s window-pane triangles completely change character in the different fabrics.  There’s a great lesson for us all to learn–sometimes we don’t have to change our blocks or patterns, but instead think outside the box on our fabrics.

Other wrap-ups are found here and here.  Our blog is here, and since we all know whatever we put up on the internet stays until someone takes it down, you can find many of our blocks up there on the blog.

So, thank you all, to the Mid-Century Moderns.  It’s been fun!

Summer 2016 Goals

Pattern Cover SpectrumTo introduce my newest goal, I need to talk about my new pattern covers.  I made them in a new software I’m trying to learn, Affinity Photo, fearful that any day my upgrades on my Mac will render my old copy of Photoshop more obsolete than it already is.  And no, I don’t want to pay a monthly fee to use their software (are you listening, Adobe?)  I just heard that Affinity Photo is launching a beta version for PC users, too, although it was developed as a Mac software.  So this is the first of my summer goals.

affinity_photo

They also have Affinity Designer, which I’m also trying to learn, but since I don’t know Adobe’s Illustrator very well, it’s like banging my head against a wall.  When my friend recovers from getting her daughter married off, I’m going to bug ask her to teach me a few things.

Long Man Novel Cover

To keep reading is another summer goal, and this was the latest book I finished, while quilting up a few things for my Riverside Sawtooth post.  It set me down so carefully in time and place.  No, it’s not a grip-you-by-the-throat novel, but a quiet one, filled with well-drawn characters from a time in our past.  I listened to it on Audible, which I would recommend, as the narrator really gets the sound of the voices and it adds another dimension to the story, I think.

Cal Primaries 2016

Can I mention Summer Events?  Here’s about the only political statement I’ll make on this blog: we recently (and sadly) lost our ability to have a primary election here in California.  We’d all been so excited, actually asking everyone “who are you going to vote for?” and really getting interested in politics in general.  We are one of the final primaries on the Presidential Election Schedule, and for once, we were going to Have a Say!  Except now we aren’t, because of the recent events (which has made great theater, I have to say).  So, hope everyone else in the United States had a great time voting–as usual, our votes won’t count.  H o w e v e r. . . I will be watching the conventions. After teaching Critical Thinking a few years, and having my students watch the conventions and have them analyze the speeches, the rhetoric, looking for the logical fallacies and spotting all the weakness in candidates’ arguments, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  It’s going to be a long, hot summer out here, and hey! we need something to compensate us for not getting a Primary Election.

rio-2016-logo-header

And it that’s not enough excitement (!), we can always watch the Brazil Summer Olympics, although with all the talk lately, it may end up being like our primary.  Click on the link at the end of the post to see this colorful Olympics design in action.

In other news, my garden is growing well, I’ve got a few more projects in the pipeline, but my main quilty goals this summer are as follows:

Small WorldMagScreenShot

1. Finish My Small World.

Shine_Quilt Top Final800

2. Quilt Shine: The Circles Quilt

Riverside Sawtooth_labeled

3. Quilt Riverside Sawtooth

Rosette #5

4. Keep working on this quilt.  Remember this?  It was one of the units in the New Hexagon Millifiore Quilt.  I’m halfway through, and my friend Laurel is all done with hers.  And her quilt is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous, so I need to perserve and Be A Finisher. (However, notice I didn’t say “finish this quilt,” but instead wrote “keep working on this quilt.”  I am reasonable.)

halloweenqal_pattern cover

5. Finish this quilt top, and if possible get it quilted, too.

ohchristmastree4_0treejpg

6. And… this one, too.
I am all done with the hand-stitching.  Now just to figure out the borders, and get it quilted.
Easy, peasy.  We are coming right along in our Quilt-a-Long, with Step 5 coming up on June 2nd.

ChristmasTreeLogoSM

Other summer goals:

7. Be a good citizen and follow the national political process.  Every other week ought to be about right.
8. Visit my kids and their kids. And my parents.  And my husband’s family.  That’s about eight car trips right there.  I’d better work on #4–if only to have some hand sewing for car travel.
9. Celebrate my one-year anniversary of recovering from my surgery.  I think a night in front of the TV would be appropriate, in my nightgown with hand-sewing on my lap, to memorialize where I was last year at that time.

Voting booths
10. And oh, yeah.  Vote in California’s Primary.  I’m so excited, yes yes yes.

200 Quilts Index

Having finished creating a total of 100 quilts, with about half of them given away, I thought I’d start on my second list of one hundred quilts.

101 2012 Harvesting The Wind
102 2012 English Elizabeth (Four-in-Art, Nature, Year #1)
103 2013 Into the Woods
104 2013 One Black Leaf (Four-in-Art, Nature, Year #1)
105 2013 Summer Treat
106 2013 Sunshine and Shadow
107 2013 Once There Was a Snowman
108 2013 Star Mother’s Youngest Child
109 2013 Chris: Welcome to the Family
110 2013 Snapshot (Polaroid block quilt)
111 2013 Christmas Treat
112 2013 Take Me Back to Italy
113 2013 Doleket (Four-in-Art, Nature, Year #1)
114 2013 Spoolin’ Around
115 2013 Christine’s Philadelphia
116 2013 Kaleidoscope
117 2013 Village Faire
118 2013 Citrus
119 2013 Congruence (Four-in-Art, Nature, Year #1)
120 2013 Charlie’s Quilt
121 2013 Juxtaposition
122 2013 America Is A Tune (it must be sung together)
123 2013 Pacific Grove Blues
124 2013 Childhood’s Wide Avenues (Four-in-Art, Urban, Year #2)
125 2013 Jolly Old St. Nicholas
126 2013 Silver and Gold
127 2014 On Line  (Four-in-Art, Urban, Year #2)
128 2014 Olympic Geese
129 2014 Tiny Envelopes
130 2014 Shadow Owes Its Life to Light
131 2104 Change (Four-in-Art, Urban, Year #2)
132 2014 Elizabeth’s Lollypop Trees
133 2014 I’ll Call It What I Want To
134 2014 Ted and Maurice at Lorinc Pap Ter (Four-in-Art, Urban, Year #2)
135 2014 Sol LeWitt’s Patchwork Primer
136 2014 Criss-Cross
137 2014 Jazz, Light, Montreal (Four-in-Art, Urban, Year #2)
138 2014 False Dawn
139 2014 To Lora, with Love
140 2014 Colorwheel Blossom
141 2014 Christmas Tree Skirt
142 2015 Stopping By Woods (Four-in-Art, Literature, Year #3)
143 2015 Twin Darts Neonatal Quilt
144 2015 Flying Star Neonatal Quilt
145 2015 Pineapples and Crowns
146 2015 Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks
147 2015 The Heart’s Solace: Home, Sweet, Home
148 2015 Rainbow Gardens    (and Rainbow Gardens, redux)
149 2015 [in Just-] (Four-in-Art, Literature, Year #3)
150 2015 The Woods Run Mad With Riot (Four-in-Art, Literature, Year #3)
151 2015 Rolling Rainbow Star
152 2015 And That Has Made All the Difference (Four-in-Art, Literature, Year #3)
153 2015 Flying Through a Rainbow
154 2015 Spectrum
155 2015 Spooky Action at a Distance
156 2016 I carried quilt and basket through whispering grass
157 2016 Starry Compass Rose
158 2016 Friend or Foe? (Four-in-Art, Color, Year #4)
159 2016 Focus
160 2016 The Road to a Friend’s House is Never Long
161 2016 Thread Doodles
162 2016 Electra Magnetic (Hal’s Mother)
163 2016 Beauty All Around
164 2016 Riverside Sawtooth (quilt top)  Riverside Sawtooth (finished
165 2016 Good Friday (Four-in-Art, Color, Year #4)
166 2016 Crossroads, after Umaña
167 2016 Jill in the Pulpit (Four-in-Art, Color, Year #4)
168 2016 L’Amour recoufortand de Paris
169 2016 Watermelon Table Runner
170 2016 Six Ways to Blue (Four-in-Art, Color, Year #4)
171 2016 Shine: The Circles Quilt
172 2016 Celebration: Little House Quilt
173 2016 Illusion of Colors, after Kevin Umaña
174 2016 Not Waving, But Drowning (using Semaphore Block)
175 2016 All Hallows Eve Quilt
176 2017 Christmas Tree Quilt
177 2017 Magic Stars for Eliza
178 2017 Shimmery Tunnel of Memories (Four-in-Art, Light, Year #5)
179 2017 Piggies!
180 2017 Halfway There (Four-in-Art, Light, Year #5)
181 2017 Belle Etoile du Jour
182 2017 Sweet Land of Liberty
183 2017 Red, White and Blue Star mini quilt (25″)
184 2017 Riley’s Quilt 
185 2017 Rose Window (Four-in-Art, Light, Year #5)
186 2017 Not All That Wanders Is Lost (Traveling Threads Bee)
187 2017 Mr. Golden Sun Tiny Quilt
188 2017 Chuck Nohara Quilt Top  • All Are Friends in Heaven
189 2017 Eclipse (Four-in-Art, Light, Year #5 — Final!)
190 2017 Autumn Tiny quilt
191 2017 Christmas Trees Teeny Tiny Quilts
192 2018 Caitlin’s Baby Quilt — Frivols Quilt 1
193 2018 Winter Pines
194 2018 Cinque Terra Tiles (Improv Appliqué)
195 2018 Annularity
196 2018 Windowpane — Frivols Quilt 2
197 2018 Triple Square — baby quilt
198 2018 Betty Crocker Takes Up Quilting/Crossroads
199 2018 Betsy’s Quilt — Frivols Quilt 3
200 2018 Melting Orange Snowman  Tiny Quilt

Made to Withstand the Proof of Time

from here; more about this in a minute

As quilters, we have an relationship to time. We begin something, knowing it won’t be done for days, or months or even years. We work towards a daily or weekly goal of finishing the quilt, even though we might sometimes abandon the effort. But there is always this gap from beginning to end.

I started this quilt in December 2015, the design inspiration taken from an antique red and white quilt I’d seen in a quilt show. I couldn’t figure out how that quilting sister from 150 years ago put her quilt together, so I modernized it, and then in January 2016 sent the instructions to a bee I was in, asking them to make some blocks. Then I made more blocks, thinking about how that woman so long ago might envy our ability to have such an array of fabrics, to sew like the wind on our modern machines, to have such a distant circle of friends still gather together in a quilting bee.

I wrote about the finished quilt top, and then it sat. Time passed.

I wrote a pattern, but when QuiltMania accepted the quilt for publication, I took it down from my PayHip shop.

Time passed. And then some more time.

This week I received this picture in an email, along with the picture of the cover:

From December 2015 to August 2020 is nearly five years. In that time I’ve counted off changes in our family, health issues, deaths in our family, births and birthdays, personal highs, and personal challenges, a pandemic and now extremely grateful to have a quilt published in a respected quilt magazine. And to quote a common phrase seen in our quilty culture: I have #allthefeels.

Which brings me back to that photo at the top of this page. Several designers and architects were asked to “reflect on a changing world, their creative process, and the future of design.” I enjoyed reading their thoughts, as they echoed some of my own feelings about the creative life. Here’s two:

Pierre Yovanovitch (Provence, France) said: “I try to look at the silver lining and see this as an opportunity for a creative reset, taking a pause from our overly scheduled lives to tap back into what inspires us.”

Milanese designers Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli, who designed the room of plates at the top of the post:

“Regarding the future effects of this pandemic, on one hand it has been recognized the importance of the house as a center, a place of the soul in people’s life. On the other hand, the inevitable economic impact that will follow this situation will, we hope, generate among people the idea that the house isn’t just an object that follows the trends to be discarded and replaced for the next upcoming thing. You should aim for an object of beauty, made to withstand the proof of time.”

I guess that’s why we quilters are willing to start a quilt in December and nearly five years later, see it completed. That’s why we pick out fabrics and squirrel them away, knowing that sometime in the future — maybe even in a pandemic — we will pull out the projects we’ve collected and start the long process in the midst of the distraction, the sorrow, the uncertainty.

And as always, we will send our quilt out into the world as a veritable declaration of hope, our handiwork created to withstand the proof of time.

Happy quilting. Yes, especially now.