Frivols 12

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Last one!! Last one!!

This is my last introduction to the series of small-tins-with-fabrics, called Frivols.  Although the other day, one of my non-sewing friends asked me how my Frizzles were doing.  I think she was about right. The little freebie with this tin is a couple of fabric quilt labels, seen in the lower center with the sleigh.

This is a line of blue-toned traditional fabric by Edyta Sitar, before she left the Moda hive and jumped over to Andover.  This design doesn’t call for any extra background fabrics, and makes a smallish table runner, 15″ by 35.”  More can be seen on the Moda blog.  They manufactured these tins about two years ago, but I have it on good authority that if you are resourceful, you can find them on Etsy, Ebay and other places.

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This fabric line, Blue Barn, is beautiful, and can easily blend into my holiday decor, since it’s December.  I’ve always loved blue with Christmas decorations.Frivols 12_5

I cut up all the stars and their backgrounds, labeling each stack…

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…and tucked them in their own tin until I could get to the sewing.

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The one disappointment in this tin was how much fabric I had leftover/wasted.  I’ll have to see if I can augment the design some way to use up what I can of these extra scraps.

Okay, we’re launched!  Get out your last Frivols tin and get cutting!

Millefiore Quilt Update

Millefiore mood board

It all began here, with my Millefiore mood board, drawing on colors from the National Park in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes.  I had decided to jump in and go with all of Quilting America that year and join the The New Hexagon Millefiore Quiltalong.  I was pretty much nuts to do this.  This was photographed on January 19, 2015.

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First glued-up paper pieces: January 19, 2015.

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First public appearance for Rosette #1: March 14, 2015.

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Last public appearance for quilt, mocked up in Photoshop: July 15, 2018. That’s over three years, if you are doing the math.

As you know, I hated the crenellated edges on this particular quilt.  So the quilt sat in the corner until this week.  Then suddenly it was do or die time, and I picked up making little sections to fit into the cut-outs.

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And here it is today, all edges filled in.

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I pretty much used all the papers I’d taken out of the rosettes — once they were sewn together — and categorized these pieces into bags, using paper clips and rubber bands to keep them organized.

Millefiore numbering cutouts

To keep track, I took a photo, and numbered the half–hexies I was making.  I ended up not needing to do this for every corner, as I used long triangles that fit into the zig-zaggy sides (#5-12)  in a variety of darker fabrics (taking cues from the adjacent blocks).

Millefiore place tryout

I kept one half-hexie out on my cutting mat and tried different “puzzles” of what could go in that shape.  I had pretty much determined that I was not going to use a full half-hexie; I’d seen others and to me they looked bland, like they didn’t add anything to the quilt.  I did end up using one, but the fabric had a print that just worked.

Millefiore pinning

I used triangles and a variety of other shapes to fill in, always letting the adjacent fabrics dictate what I’d use for the fill-in fabrics.

Because I like to keep records, and because I’m hoping this will help others when they try this technique, here are all the filled-in shapes and the marked spaces (scroll past fast, if it doesn’t interest you):

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I did my own thing on this rosette.

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I liked how I was able to complete the “bird points.”

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The half-hexie on the lower left is the only one cut from one piece of fabric, but I think it reads as more complex.

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I used a floral Kaffe fabric from deep in the interior (just barely out of sight on the middle left).

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Stained Glass View

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This is the rosette that started it all, and I still like it.

Quilt Stand

More info on my new quilt stand, coming in a couple of weeks.  But now I have my final Frivols to attend to!

Visit to Andover Fabrics and New York City

ESE in New York 

I had a chance to travel to New York City this past month, where I joined my daughter Barbara for a long-awaited long weekend.

We stayed midtown Manhattan, so I walked past M & J Trimming many times, a happy spot on my walks.  Anne Brousseau, a good friend who used to work in this industry, arranged a visit for us to Andover Fabrics, and of course I said “YES!”

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Cliff Quibell, the Vice President, gave us a tour of the different processes and departments, from design development to printing to editing.  We were able to see an artist hand-painting a new design, but of course, no photos were allowed.  There is so much involved to getting one bolt of fabric to our local quilt shops!  We appreciated Mr. Quibell taking time for us, given the fact that they had just returned from Quilt Market.

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He introduced me to Gayle, who works for Andover, and hanging in her office is this amazing quilt, made from old clothes from when she lived overseas in Tunisia.  Her sister, Elizabeth Porter, made this quilt for her as a memory quilt.  (I think I got those details correct!)

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There was so much there that I couldn’t photograph, but he did allow a shot of their bookshelves.  I would have loved to have browsed those titles and made notes.

From there it was a short walk over to Gotham Quilts, another thing on my Must-See list.  I loved their selection of modern fabrics and of course, that see-through Bernina in their front window.
Here are some tidbits of other Fashion District finds (click on any cirle to enlarge):
  • tables in the pedestrian area
  • artwork in the buildings (they let me creep in to photograph it)
  • Desigual building with a terrific mural on the side
  • the heavy weave of one of their winter coats on display
  • Mokuba, a ribbon shop
  • close-up of the wares in the Mokuba window

I went into last shop, thinking I’d like some of that fancy metallic ribbon in their front window display. After some minutes, a little lady pushing a cart rolled up to where I was, opened the fat book on the top, and scanned the list.  She looked at me.  “Twenty-seven dollars,” she said.  “Per YARD.”  Gulp.  I smiled, thanked the lady with her little cart, and slunk out.

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This pedestrian barrier was near the Folk Art Museum, which I didn’t get to.  Next trip.

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We were on our way to Zabar’s, a New York Institution, where I almost bought a set of glasses (Macy’s got the business when I arrived home), but did buy a nutmeg grater.

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Sculpture on the High Line; the birds perched there, but they are not a part of this piece of art

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Another day found us at Chelsea Market, after walking the High Line, on the East Side.

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Her husband purchased Hamilton tickets for her for her birthday, and I got to come along (we first had a meal at Eataly near the Flatiron Building).

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We got ourselves to the Occulus, the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and we visited the recently opened subway station underneath it:

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Another chilly day (you need to know that I am from Southern California and she is from Arizona) we drove around looking at street art in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.  

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A few more iconic sights: taxi shoes at Kate Spade, the Empire State Building from our hotel room, posing with a man from the Empire Shield Task Force (he told me to point to his badge), and finally, the glorious sight of Grand Central Station.

Until next time, New York!

Frivols Finish #11, the Penultimate!

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Are we done yet? (not yet)

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The Cactus Garden photo

And here we are–almost completed with the Year of Making Frivols, with quilt #11, titled, Stars of Night, Lend their Light (quilt #213).  It’s the largest Frivols yet, finishing at about 55″ square. And yes–it used up all the fabric.  I supplemented it with white Grunge Dots from Moda.

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Look at those Xs!  And we’re done early this month!!

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The Quilting-in-Process photo

After pinning up the quilt, I knew I wanted to do star points in the stars, but what about the background?  I decided to experiement, making a circle, then stitching around it three times, then echoing it and rolling off into another center circle. Headphones are for listening to a Bruno, Chief of Police book; this time it was The Resistance Man.

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The How-Much-More-Do-I-Have-To-Quilt photo

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The Biological Sciences Building photo

Realizing that all my quilt pictures are around my house, and in my garden, I took it over to the Universide of California-Riverside, where my husband-quilt holder works as a professor, jumped out the car and we quickly took several photos while I was in the Passenger Pick-up Zone.  The motto for UCR (how we abbreviate it) is Fiat Lux, or Let There Be Light, so I springboarded off that idea to arrive at the title for this quilt.

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The sort-of Sea-Urchin-in-the-Tide-Pools photo, even though it’s a quilt with stars

I really really like the back, with those pointy stars floating among all those bubbly circles.

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The Bubbles photo

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The one-more-back-shot-on-the-other-side-of-the-sidewalk photo

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The Artsy Laying-on-the-Ground photo

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The Back of the Chevy photo

Because I wanted the setting sun to provide the light, it also meant that our streets were clogged with traffic, spilling off the freeways (welcome to Southern California).  So in meandering home, I spotted this perfectly turquoise Chevrolet pick up: perfect place for a quilt photo.  It’s fun to step out of the garden and get some different photos of quilts.

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The just-one-little-garden-snapshot photo

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The Check Out my Quilting on the Border photo

Hope you’ve enjoyed the quilt show of the penulitmate Frivols quilt!

Fun with Other Quilters at Valley Modern Quilt Guild

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Last week I had the chance to head over to Los Angeles, and speak at the Valley Modern Quilt Guild, held at HighTech LA, a very cool building (with great gates).

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They had these signs all over the school, which I think is a good motto for retreats and workshops, right?

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The place we met was one of those classrooms that can be changed around to suit the needs of those using it, and it was a good space for giving a talk: well lit, comfortable with a good microphone.  I stayed until the end of their Guild, as I was curious to see what they were working on.  I especially liked their Challenge for that month: Curves.

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Saturday, I headed back to teach a workshop for them at a local high school; the workshop was held in the costume department of the high school, and the teacher worked on costumes for an upcoming production while we used her room.

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First up, a little show and tell.  The woman holding the quilt is the principal of the school, and I’m happy to be in her company, along with the other fine members of this guild.

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It’s always fun to see what gadgets people bring, and I loved this one: a veritable traveling trunk of supplies, that you just unzip and Voila! it is available.  No more packing up and forgetting something.  (I don’t have anymore information on it, but I know she purchased it online.)

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As soon as we finished the center block, it was photo time.  I love how some centers come forward and some recede.  Such a creative group!  I didn’t do a very good job on taking a picture of the group, but there might be more on their Guild Website.  They decided on the Two-For-One class: a quilt in the morning, and free-motion quilting in the afternoon.

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Thank you, Valley Modern Quilt Guild–I had a great time!

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And in other news…  It is the ONLY reason I did an update on my iPhone this early.  Usually I wait a while until they get the bugs out, but I couldn’t resist.  They also have a ball of yarn, if you are interested in that.

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And I finished my November Gridsters Bee blocks early this month and am sending them off to Allison of Quilt Studio 62, who is our Queen Bee this month.

In addition, I’ve had a question or two about what paper I use in the foundation paper piecing I did for the recent Crazy Cushion Class. I recently purchased a ream of paper from them (after 10 years of using the first one), so I took some photos in the store.

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It’s a vellum from Neenah.  I updated this post, where you can find more information.

Don’t know what to do with all those real “decorator” pumpkins you buy for fall? A recipe for Stuffed Pumpkin is a good way to enjoy them one more time.

Fall Leaves

The year we lived in Alexandria, Virginia I brought home handfuls of leaves from my walks and scanned them for the future.  I love looking at them at this time of year, as we here in Southern California don’t have fall color like this.

Happy November!

Frivols 11

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only two more!

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It’s Frivols time, since it is the first of the month, so here we go with Frivols Tin #11: a line from Chloe’s Closet, filled with tape measures and cute floral fabrics.  You can find out more about this on the Moda blog, where they introduce this.

To explain for new readers, about two years ago, Moda put out a line of small tins, filled with 7″ squares of one fabric line, directions for a quilt, and a small giveaway treat.  I purchased all the tins, but they sat in my closet for a year.  This January, I vowed to make all the quilts, one-by-one, and here we are on the eleventh of twelve quilts.  You can find them by searching one of the tags on this post, or by entering “Frivols” into the search box on this blog.

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On the back of the tins, more info–and no, I didn’t buy more of that fabric and the Way Back Machine isn’t working today, so I added Grunge Dots in white to fill out the requirements.

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That little tin is the Frivols treat from this group.

Why yes, I do spend a lot of time working at night so that’s why all the photos are slightly pink.  I thought I’d bought better bulbs for the lamp, but it’s an old one, so there you go.

Inside the box, I was instructed to divide some squares into piles of four, then save the rest of the squares for an inner border.  In the above lower left, everything including the Grunge dots are cut up: triangles, strips and borders.  And in the above lower right, you can see how this one won’t fit back into the tin.  No matter.  I got right on it, and started sewing it up.

After sewing up the first one (L), I vowed to do a better job balancing things, but haha, joke’s on me.  When you are working with a defined set of fabrics, in a defined range of colors, and you have to only use a certain amount, that limits how fine you can tune the block/quilt.  I just did the best I could, yielding this:

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I seamed the cut strips together and put on the inner border, then finished it up.

Can I just say I really don’t like gray in quilts?  Unless it’s meant to be the design choice?  But all these designers including gray as one of their “colors” (for we all know that gray is the “no-color”) always strikes me as odd. Bleh on gray, she rants. (That shows you her age.  All the 40-somethings love gray in their flowered quilts.)

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So I used the kitchen-counter method of pin-basting the quilt, getting it all together, all before the first of November!!