Recently our Inland Empire Modern Quilt guild had a challenge that required that we use at least 4″ square piece of classic blue fabric, that any one side be no longer than 24″ and that the theme was Urban.
I’m on the board for this Guild, and am VP of Communications, so to help advertise it, I set up a mood board and we handed out a card with the 4″ square of fabric stapled to it. We chose Lapis, a Painters Palette solid from Paintbrush Studio, and I purchased several packets of it from Pineapple Fabrics, when they ran a booth at Road to California.
Then Covid-19 hit and it scuttled our plans. Like most, we were knocked flat for a bit, but then put together a Zoom meeting and resurrected our challenge. We had several amazing entries, seen on the guild website.
MetaStructure/Metaesquema was my entry (seen above).
I wrote on my label:
Helio Oiticica, a Brazilian artist (1937-1980), made hundreds of his Metaesquema paintings. Here are a few:
I like the way the solid blocks in the Metaesquemas kind of slump into each other, like a square that lost its energy, or tried to take off and was misdirected, or else it was trying to get away and couldn’t get free of the grid.
As noted above, Oiticica was closely linked to the global Concrete movement. They stripped art from any lyrical or symbolic connotations, believing that art should have no meaning other than color, line, and plane. Kind of sounds like catnip to a quilter, doesn’t it?
He created his Metaesquemas between 1957 and 1958. He coined the term as a means to “describe a work that, although schematic (esquema) in its formal development, is still open to the subjective interpretations inherent to metaphysics (meta). Oiticia was aware that artworks are objects that exist in time and space,” and are subject to the viewers’ interpretation (Philips).
For the contruction, I made wide 1-1/2″ borders around my blue squares, then created a tilt on them that I liked. I cut a few tilting to the left and a few tilting to the right, then arranged them. Of course, I would like to try this in a bigger quilt, with more white space around the tilted squares, but for a first go at it, I’m pretty happy.
When I looked outside in my garden today, the zucchini plant had wilted from the heat, mirroring how I felt inside. However, unlike my spectacularly unproductive zucchini plant [we’ve only had ONE], I’ve been pretty productive. Just not on quilts.
I’ve been working on prepping my upcoming Guild Workshops, getting the kits together (in wax paper bags instead of plastic, given my attempt to cut down on plastic where I can), and cute touches like place cards, so I know whose spot is whose once the class gets going.
I also revised a couple of patterns, the first one being Spectrum. Inland Empire Quilters Guild contacted me for a program for their evening meeting, then they got together a group of women for a workshop who wanted to learn English Paper Piecing. So I changed some things up in the pattern, added more content, and put it back up for sale up on PayHip.
One thing I made for a sample was this tote bag, splitting the main pattern in half and placing it on either side of the bag. I wanted to show that a person can do more with a pattern than simply make a quilt. That version of Spectrum is one of the variations in the pattern (bag pattern not included; I used the one in the October 2019 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting by Kristyne Czepuryk).
I also made a mini-mini to show them how to do the basics. I’ll be passing out this pattern for a Kansas Sunflower block in class, show how to “batch-cut” pieces, glue and prep them. They can then move on to Spectrum, or stay sewing up their mini-mini. We’ll also do one hexie flower, because what’s a class in EPP without a hexie flower?
Another class I have coming up is Merrion Square and Far Away Doors, teaching it for the Pass Patchers Quilt Guild nearby. For ages, I’d hand out the instruction sheet to Far Away Doors when the class was taught, but adding it to the original Merrion Square pattern was one of the revisions I wanted to make, in order to get all the variations in one place. I took it offline, revised it, and now it’s back up for sale on PayHip, if you want all three versions in one pattern. [Note: If you’ve purchased Merrion Square and haven’t received Far Away Doors from me in a workshop, please contact me and I’ll get it out to you. Proof of purchase is required.]
Of course, all this is made easier by the fact that I’m getting the hang of the three pieces of Affinity Serif software that I purchased last fall: Affinity Photo (replacing Adobe’s Photoshop), Affinity Designer (replacing Illustrator) and Affinity Publisher (instead of InDesign). I’m getting quicker at each one, knowing where the tools are and how to use them.
I also made three batches of low-sugar strawberry jam, after I tasted Laurel’s. Laurel and her husband grow their own strawberries, but the ones from the market in our neighboring town worked well for us. To go with it, I made a batch of zucchini bread with cranberries and left out half the flour (!).
My saintly husband declared it just fine, and takes chunks of this incredibly dense bread in his lunch every day. He makes me look good, even on my very bad days (of fighting asthma), wilting in the heat (like the zucchini plants outside), and trying to get all the guild workshop stuff lined up from here to eternity. I have to remind myself to take it one Guild and a time, and enjoy the process, which I genuinely do.
I finished The Night Tiger (I can recommend highly) and have started Little Fires Everywhere (so far enjoying it, but don’t give a recommendation until I finish).
I decided I was done waiting to start on this Halloween Banner project. I layered the panel (if your store doesn’t carry it, it’s available here), quilted it, and cut out the flags. I cut 1-1/4″ strips of stripey fabric from this line (called Costumer’s Ball by J. Wecker Frisch) cutting it across the stripe and bound the edges of the flags, sewing the strips first to one side of the flag, then the other. After trimming the bottom edge, I folded it up and glued it all down with my trusty friend, a regular old gluestick. Then I pressed and folded in the binding on the sides, again using my gluestick to keep it in place. (Be sure to press after gluing in order to distribute the glue).
I top-stitched down the striped binding, and am now waiting for the fabric to arrive to make the top part so I can get the banners all ready for October 1st.
Lastly, I finished up August’s bee blocks for the Gridster Bee, using an original pattern designed by my talented beemate Kelley. She’s getting ready for Christmas early!
I think my holidays are all mixed up, because I’m working on Christmas blocks, Halloween Banners, and my Fourth of July quilt just came back from the longarmer, needing binding. I hope you are able to keep your days and events and sewing projects straight. Happy Quilting!
First you saw this, way back in December of 2018. I had this idea in my head and with a stack of Alison Glass fat quarters from Andover, I decided to try it out.
That idea led to this mini quilt, named for a square in Dublin that is known for its doors:
At the center of the square is park, with interesting tributes to famous Irish poets and writers, so I had to include the bushes and trees.
Then I changed it up a bit, making it a rainbow of scrappy and leaving off the border.
And then this version emerged from my late-night tinkering around. Because of the (ahem) shoulder situation, I can’t quite quilt it yet, but I was able to sew it together. (I think this is my favorite.) I have since made three of these: one to send off for a sample for the Utah Valley Quilt Guild Workshop, another to head to the Valley of the Mist Quilt Guild, where I’ll be teaching it again in May, and one to hang around, just so I can look at it.
I worked with my new Affinity Publisher Beta software and wrote it up, and now it’s available for sale in my PayHip shop. Both versions are included — well, really, all three versions are included — if you go there, you can click on the little banner in the upper right corner and download a Preview, which includes a list of fabrics needed to make these.
Some of you may have seen this on Instagram today. I’ll be teaching this for the first time at a workshop with the Utah Valley Quilt Guild. I’m pretty excited about it.
You may have also seen this: I asked my Gridsters Bee Mates to make me up a slew of little houses, taken from this pattern. I want to make a lovely little quilt of houses:
I’ve had this idea floating around just as long as the others, and am looking forward to putting this together, too.
The pattern is $10.00, has 13 pages of colorful illustrations with clearly written directions. It is available for a PDF download, and you can have it immediately. I hope you have fun making this!
This summer, my niece Abby, let me have one of her hand-thrown mugs, of which I was thrilled to get (I love hot chocolate). I meant to send her a little quilted mug rug in return, but that project seemed to get stalled for one reason or another. But last week, I decided not one more thing would be done until I finished it and sent it off. (Sometimes you just have to give yourself a little talk.)
I used the Starry Sky block pattern, by Kylie Kelsheimer (a downloadable pattern from Craftsy). In this new version of her pattern, she has three sizes, and the 6″ size is perfect for a mug rug.Note: It has been taken down from Craftsy/BluPrint.
UPDATE June 2019: The pattern is now up on PayHip, in three sizes.
My niece likes to go hiking, and lives up in the Northwest, so I used colors of purple mountains, green hills and aqua-and-blue waters. I bound it in navy.
I used an agate-stone looking print for the back, one of my favorites lurking in my stash.
It took me a couple of hours from start to finish. It’s a paper-pieced pattern, so all the star points are sharp and it goes together easily. I kept a photo of the block near me when putting the pieces together, to keep myself straight.
I listened to the latest Bruno, Chief of Police book, The Resistance Man, and that kept me going. Then I ran it to the Post Office, and off it went. I hope Abby likes it.
A couple of days before I’d made Simone’s blocks for the Gridsters Bee, a wee bit late, but she forgave me.
And then I got right on October’s blocks for Joan, for the Gridsters Bee. She asked for a black-and-white New York Beauty block, with a touch of solid color. Hope she likes these.
I liked this old photograph of women sewing, found on the website for the National Gallery of Ireland, reminding me of my travels (I’m finally over the jetlag).
Here’s your reminder: the perfect is the enemy of the good, Stephan Pastis style. As some long-time readers know, I believe in this quote and used to keep it on my syllabi when I was a teacher. Sometimes it’s good to just be *good,* and not strive for perfection. Hope that idea helps you “lead a sane and balanced life.”
My snow-covered Orangeman (or Snowman, made of oranges) has his arms thrown up in amazement/horror. While Rachel and Carol show snow days on their IG feeds, we are already burning up out here. My newly planted zucchini and spaghetti squash plants are wilting, and it’s only April.
The origin of this mini quilt (tutorial is here) started when I first moved here, and commuted an hour to the Orange County Quilt Guild. We had a block swap, and the theme was snowman, and since I was a newbie, I think I got all the rejects. Except this one…which was my own (I made one for myself). One snowman block was a zig-zagged stitched pair of stacked circles, with two hot-glue-gunned twigs for the arms, and dots of makeup for the coal and eyes. Yes, I threw that one away. But in looking for another project in my Orphan Blocks Box, I found this one, and turned it into a Mini-on-a-Frame quilt.
I bordered it with those fabulous swirls, quilted it and trimmed it up).
I backed it, and slipped it on its stand. Now I’m up to four of these mini-quilts-on-a-frame. Given the success of this one, I may turn other orphan blocks into bits of art to be displayed!
PS: Swirl fabric is by Valori Wells, “Marks,” design #16354–by Robert Kaufman. A young mother in church yesterday asked me if I bought fabric for a single project, or if I bought it when I feel like it. This purchase was obviously the latter.
Voting begins at 6 p.m. CDT [Central Daylight Time, or UTC -5] on March 23rd (today) and goes through to tomorrow at 6 p.m. CDT. I’ve timed this post to hit a bit early in the day, so please wait until the Paintbrush Studio posts go live to place your vote.
More information on how you can be a winner is on found on a previous post. So here’s my story about this fabric and why you’re going to want some. I was at Guild on Tuesday night. In Show and Share, I showed my Improv Appliqué quilt that I’d demo-ed at QuiltCon. My seat mate, Angie, commented that the borders “were like black velvet,” so rich and saturated was the color. And that’s how everyone reacts when seeing these fabrics.
I participate in these little contests for one reason only: I love these solids and want them to be everywhere, on everyone’s stash and retail shelves. Come and join us in using Painter’s Palette Solids!
I’ve been playing around in QuiltPro and making blocks with these colors. If I head to the next bracket, I’ll have a mini quilt to show. So, thanks!