Home-Keeping Hearts

Home-keeping Hearts

Home-keeping Hearts, top only
44 1/2″ wide x 51″ tall

I finished my most recent Merrion Square variation, a grouping of houses made by friends and Gridster beemates, plus a few more from my own workshop.  This would be a terrific signature quilt for an out-going president, or a friend who is moving away, with everyone signing their names on the doors.

I call it Home-keeping Hearts, taken from a verse by Longfellow:

Stay, stay at home, my heart and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Merrion Square Pattern_opquilt_illustration

To make this quilt, use the basic home unit from my Merrion Square pattern.  I originally had all my beemates put the lower sidewalks/treetrunks piece on, but when I was assembling them, I could see that only the lower row needed them, so I removed the others.

I originally tried out some dark 4″ borders, you know–to frame the piece, but when I held up the yellow-green floral from Kaffe Fassett, it just seemed to be the whimsical field of flowers I needed for my houses.  I did do an inner border of 3/4″ inch, as I love this print (it is in several of the houses I made).

Of course, it’s not finished yet…not quilted or bound.  I’m just about at Week 9 of rotator-cuff recovery, and using my quilting machine is a good three months down the road.  But that gives me lots of time to think about how I’ll quilt it up.  Thanks to all my beemates and friends who made and sent houses.  I think this is the fastest I’ve made up a bee quilt, ever!

tiny-nine-patches

Continuing on:

Design Wall

Somedays it’s fun to just look at my design wall, even though a lot of it is “in-process.”  I put my house blocks up there as they came in from all over the world.

Mind Internet Sign

Saw this recently in my Instagram browsing.

March 2019 Gridster Block

I finished up my Gridster Bee blocks for Marsha.  She’d asked for blocks that resemble a circle of geese, but instead, they meander; the pattern is a free download.  You can find all our blocks on Instagram at #gridsterbee.  We’re going on our third year, and have a wide range of blocks up there, if you need ideas for a Block Lotto, or something fun for your next quilt.

What kept me absorbed throughout all this stitching?  Jane Harper’s novels. I finished up The Lost Man, and can highly recommend it.  I’m in the middle of the The Dry; I’ll let you know how that turns out.

 

Merrion Square • A New OPQuilt Pattern

Merrion Square, Version 2_OPQuilt

Merrion Square 26″ Mini Quilt

Merrion Square IG

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.

Merrion Square_v1_1

That idea led to this mini quilt, named for a square in Dublin that is known for its doors:

Merrion Square DublinMerrion Square_v1_3

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.

Merrion Square version 1_OPQuilt

Then I changed it up a bit, making it a rainbow of scrappy and leaving off the border.

Merrion Square_v2_full

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.

Merrion Square Quilts_1

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.

UVQuilt Guild 2019.png

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.

Gridster Bee Blocks_Feb13

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:

Houses Quilt

Sketch of Little Houses Quilt

I’ve had this idea floating around just as long as the others, and am looking forward to putting this together, too.

Merrion Square Pattern_opquilt_illustration

front of pattern

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!

Merrion Square Quilts_3Merrion Square Quilts_2

Up in Smoke

Burning LA Library 1

The Los Angeles Central Library was set ablaze by an arsonist on April 29, 1986, an event captured in an excellent recent book by Susan Orleans.  The photo above shows the library on fire, and below, a glimpse of the burnt stacks, showing charred remnants of books.

Burning LA Library 2

Librarian Glen Creason writes about that day:

“Even after total resurrection in 1993, when those who stuck it out returned to dear old Central, it seemed like a terribly unreal nightmare. Just to ponder 200,000 books destroyed by the act of a madman is bad enough, but to have worked with and touched these objects created by deep thought and intellectual struggle makes the sadness all the more haunting.

“Irreplaceable numbers of hard copy periodicals, drawings from patents, historic maps, fine art prints, photography negatives and newspaper archives were turned into ash or mush by the water that inexorably seeped down the stacks and into the basement. The bottom floor of the venerable landmark became a waterlogged graveyard of collections.”

What does this have to do with us quilters today?  Because recently someone set fire to our collective digital library, also known as Craftsy.

Unlike the LA Central, Craftsy (which as of today is changing its name to BluPrint) has no funding from any state or local governments. It is a business, and in that sphere, money — or keeping your business viable — reigns. So while it’s not surprising that they might make changes to keep it profitable (and no one begrudges them that), too many of us, when looking for our favorite patterns this week saw this:

Craftsy Oops.png

A friendly, grandmotherly tone with the “Oh Dear!”  but because of the lack of punctuation, the sympathic murmuring we all say (“Oh, dear!”) was turned into a dimishing description. They can get us back on track, they claim, as “things aren’t going as planned.”  No kidding.

It’s my turn coming up on Gridster Bee and I was reviewing past bee blocks I’ve seen and made for others, trying to audition one for this month.  Time after time, I clicked on the links I’d carefully imbedded in blog posts, only to see the Oh Dear! Craftsy notice.

I had earlier received the notice that I was one of the designers they decided to keep, but waited to see what would happen.  My collection of nearly 15 patterns was reduced to this one pattern:

craftsy ese oops

I had some revisions in process, so was able to upload them, but doubt I’ll be allowed to do more.  But more importantly, some of my favorite pattern makers are gone:

I would have liked some notice that they were going to ransack our digital library, burn the books and torch the shelves.  I imagine some of you would have liked that, too.  Couldn’t they have tagged our patterns, letting us know they were headed for the dustbin, and then a week later, we could have taken them off the site ourselves?  Would it have been feasible for them to start charging us and letting us keep our “store”? I would have been fine with that, for of course we should pay our way.

And…why did this happen the week before Christmas?  It felt like one of those “release-the-horrible-news-on-Friday-and-maybe-no-one-will-notice-by-Monday” sort of things.

payhip_logo-small

For awhile I’ve had patterns up on PayHip, which also satsifies the VAT issue payment. To search PayHip, use Google.  Type in “quilt patterns payhip” and you’ll see a large listing of creatives already on that site.  Another way to the patterns is through direct links, such as the one to the right on my blog.

payhip site

PayHip OPQuilt site

For now the takeaway is: download anything you like for, without warning, it may suddenly go up in smoke.

 

tiny-nine-patches

 

craftsybluprint notice

from here

Postscript regarding Craftsy/BluPrint:  I have created a folder on my own hard drive, and downloaded into one place all the patterns I’d purchased on Craftsy which I also uploaded to the Cloud (I use Dropbox). I’d suggest doing the same.

A Bit Frosty this January

1shinecirclesquilt

Remember this?

Shine_Quilt Top Final800

And this?

This is Shine: The Circles Quilt, and I started it as a English Paper Piecing project, putting the free patterns up on this blog, beginning in 2014.  I also have a page dedicated to these blocks, giving out the patterns and tutorials for each, until the last four (which used to live on Craftsy, but that’s another blog post.  Coming soon.)

And then this new year, I opened up mail from one of my heros, Becky Goldsmith to see this:

Goldsmith Circles1.jpg

and this:

Goldsmith Circles2.jpg

all advertising her newest endeavor.

As near as I can tell, she has no idea I exist.  She is not copying me.  She has fancy borders, and has done the quilt twice.  I think this is a classic example of what the German’s call “der Zeitgeist” or “the trend of thought and feeling in a period.

But I am a bit frosty about this, for one reason only: she has a megaphone, and I have only this blog.  I used to have a blog and a Craftsy site (!), but I guess I also have Instagram, which might have a zillion followers if I unblocked all those creepy men or Quilt-Content-Thieves.  But is it really “frosty” or is it more that I’m jealous?  I think the latter. 

I still have my Shine patterns here, but really, I have to yield the selling floor to the firepower of Piece O’Cake Designs, in making a quilt with a grid of paper-pieced circles based on the traditional style of a compass rose.  I don’t have her readership, her TV show appearances, her mailing list.  She’s a tsunami.  I’m a wobbly sprinkler on the back lawn.  To be truthful, Goldsmith earned her tsunami status through hard work over many years; again, she did NOT copy me at all. I have all of her books, and have made a couple of her designs, so you do have to put me in the category of Total Admirer.  But that’s not the issue here.

My takeaway: when quilters come up with designs similar to one another, it’s not always a copyright issue, which is the usual scream that emmanates from the collective online voice.  Sometimes it just is the Zeitgeist.

Sometimes the Sew Together Bag is merely a copy of her grandfather’s toiletries kit (this fact mentioned to me while we were standing in line together at Market in Salt Lake City), and my Mini-Sew Together Bag was a version I was working on when I didn’t like the bulk of the original, and my Smile Bag came before byAnnie’s Clam Up bag and perhaps we were both inspired by the bag for the First Class United Airlines customers, and perhaps they were inspired by some ancient Japanese zakka.  That’s how these things go.

Scream

Edvard Munch’s The Scream

 

 

 

Okay, I feel better now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updates to original post are in black text.

Northern Lights Medallion

Northern Lights Medallion_front

Northern Lights Medallion
Quilt No. 210 • 52″ square

I love these posts where I get to place a quilt front and center, quilting finished, bound and photographed, and even a label made AND sewn on.  It’s like that Easter Sunday long ago, where your mother dressed you and your sisters up in fancy new dresses, new patent leather shoes and anklets with ruffles and you all posed for a picture.  It’s like that wedding day, where your hair was behaving, and your wedding dress and veil were just how you wanted them, and oh–the love you had for your soon-to-be-yours was shining from your face.

Yeah, kind of like that. Some process photos:

Northern Lights Medallion_pinning

I now pin my quilts on my kitchen counter–the floor is too far down these days.

Northern LIghts Medallion quilting

I’m getting faster at quilting: the dates from start (August 8, 2018) to finish (August 25, 2018).  Part of the challenge is figuring out what to quilt, and another part is not to physically wear myself out.

Northern Lights Medallion_quilting

I love the texture that quilting creates.

Northern Lights Medallion Name label

Fun detail: I like to include my name and address on my quilts, but also like to hide that info.  So I used the logo from the Mad for Solids Challenge and used it as a disguise.

This began as a challenge to create something using just eight colors of Painter’s Palette Solids, in the March Madness Challenge in 2018; you’ve read posts about this before.

But the other challenge I put for myself was to create a medallion quilt using my favorite quilt software, QuiltPro, which I’ve been using for years.  I love it love it love it and their tech support person, Linda, is nothing short of a fairy godmother, always answering questions quickly and succintly.  Like she taught me how to do this conversion:

Northern Star Medallion

from this

northern lights no pen outlines

to this (no pen outlines)

This creates a more modern look, I think.  Anyway.  I’m a fan.

So I posted this design up on their Facebook page, and I was contacted and one thing led to another, and Northern Lights Medallion (its real name, in spite of other confusing  malarky above) will hang in their booth at both Paducah and Houston this year.  I’m honored, and I love working with these lovely people (and it may be the only way I get to be at either of those shows!). So if you go, snap a photo and email me (opquilt@gmail.com) or tag me on Instagram (occasionalpiecequilt).  Thanks!

This is quilt number 210, and it’s going up on the 300 Quilts list.

You Are Not Going to Run Out of Ideas

You’re Not going to Run Out of Ideas

And I need to keep remembering this.

Betty Crocker Takes up Quilting

Betty Crocker Qlting_front

Betty Crocker Takes Up Quilting, quilt #199
36″ square

Betty Crocker Qlting_1

It all begins with digging deep in the stash closet for fun, familiar fabrics…Betty Crocker Qlting_3

..with some quilting to show off the two different sections…Betty Crocker Qlting_4

…to make up another sample for a class I’m teaching in August, for the South Bay Quilters in Torrance, California.  I’m really excited to head out there to the coast in the middle of August, and to spend some time with their guild.  The smaller version is 27.5″ and the larger is 36″ square.

Betty Crocker Qlting_5labels

We’d switched up our classes to this one, which is a Two-for-One class: a quilting/making component in the morning, and a free-motion primer in the afternoon.

Betty Crocker Qlting_6

I will also be teaching at Valley Modern Quilt Guild this fall, with the trunk show/lecture on Monday, October 29th, with a workshop on that Saturday, November 3rd.  I’m excited to teach there, although they haven’t told me which workshop yet.  We have all summer to decide that, but here’s a quilt they may want to consider:

Cinque Terra Tiles_1front

Improv Appliqué, taught in a demo at QuiltCon 2018.  Or…

CrissCrossChristmas_front

Criss-Cross, which if done in these colors, is right in time for Christmas.  Or…

Sky Rocket Variant

Sky Rocket, using just eight colors to make up into a bold, punchy mini-quilt.

I love meeting new quilters, having a chance to talk to people, and later on, sitting in a room full of quilters intent on their projects, their sewing machines humming along.  Can’t wait!