Early-May Accomplishments

Gidsters May Bee

I finished my Gridsters Bee block for Rachel.  She asked for buzzy bees, as she is a beekeeper in the Midwest.  Her tutorial is *here,*  as well as links to her pattern, but I didn’t cut apart the pieces.  I just straight paper-pieced the thing, then joined the head section to the body section.  We blew up the basis 6″ pattern to make 10″ finished bees.  I can’t wait to see what she does with them all.

Chuck Nohara May17_1This is beginning to feel like the never-ending quilt.

I’m making small (2-1/4″ finished) plus sign blocks to go in between all the Chuck Nohara blocks that Susan and I made together last year.  Our blocks are 6″ finished, so after I worked out the measurements, I drafted a pattern for the sashing.  Here is the PDF: Chuck Nohara SashingFinal

I started the plus blocks by cutting strip sets (2 low-volume and 1 bold), then seaming the two low-volume onto the bold on either side. Cut those across the strip set into 1-1/4″ wide strip pieces.  These pieces are both the a) top and bottom of your plus block, and b) the center of the “dot” block, shown in the intersection of the sashing, above

ChuckNohara_plus assemblyI then cut matching pieces of fabric into 1 -1/4″ x 2-3/4″ bits.  I sewed a matched set of two strip-set-blocks, one on top, and one of the bottom to make a “plus.”  Then I sewed 1 -1/4″ x 2-3/4″ pieces of low-volume on either side of a “dot” to create the mini block that is at the intersection.

Then the low-volume center piece, in between the two plus blocks, measures finished  at 2-1/4″ by 1-1/2″ (so cut 2-3/4″ by 1-3/4″).

ChuckNohara_plus blockThe “plus” and “dot” units finish at 2-1/4″ square, so trim them to 2-3/4″ square (size before sewing).

Sew two “plus” units on either side of the low-volume center piece.  Arrange them all around, then sew the row with the blocks and plus-units first:

ChuckNohara blocks row

Then I sewed the “dots” and plus-units together:

ChuckNohara blocks row2

And then I finished sewing them all together:

I’m now trying to figure out the borders.  After all the piecing I did for the sashing, I can guarantee you it won’t be like the borders Chuck Nohara showed in her book:

I’ve finally progressed to the place in my physiotherapy (I like the way the Australians say it, as we just call it “PT”) where I could try out my Sweet Sixteen quilting machine again.  After 3-1/2 months.  It took me a while to get the thread tensions balanced, but then was I able to get going on my quilt from the Traveling Threads Bee, made of Alison Glass fabrics (with a few others).

Bliss.  This block, from Toni of HoosierToni, is coming along nicely.  I’m limiting myself to 30 minutes/session so I don’t break my surgery (my one big fear in life).

Lastly, you are all invited to our Raincross Guild Meeting this coming Tuesday, May 16th (6 p.m.), where I’ll present a trunk show of my quilts–well, only 25 of them.  My husband helped me get them from our closets, walls and cupboards, so I can decide the order and what to say.  I just clicked over to the Guild’s website, and in true humbling fashion, I’m not even listed.  But Latifah Saafir is, on the day I’m supposed to teach a class for the Guild, too.  What will I be teaching?

My Home, Sweet, Home mini quilt.  I think they have a few openings, but I’m not sure.  I’ll be emailing the class members prep instructions, that if they complete them, they will finish their quilts in class.  That’s June 3rd, from 9 a.m. -2 p.m., with a 30-min lunch break (bring your lunch).

Last time I taught this class, I was able to snap a photo of three Home Sweet Home quilts. They look awesome!  Patterns are for sale in my Craftsy shop, just in case you aren’t able to attend that day.

Happy Quilting!

Shine: The Circles Quilt, finished

1shinecirclesquilt

Shine: The Circles Quilt
Quilt #170
2shinecirclesquilt

This quilt finally finished, I took it out for a photography session with the help of my husband.3shinecirclesquilt

I started sewing the first block in June of 2014, and finished the top a year later.  The quilting was finished at the end of September, but it wasn’t until now that I could get time to take it up to our university’s Botanic Gardens to get some photographs.
4ashinecirclesquilt

My husband’s favorite block.  As some of you know, many of these blocks were inspired by art in a church in Slovenia, as well as designs from our travels.  Most of the patterns and accompanying tutorials are free on this blog, found *here* as well in a tab labeled Shine: The Circles Quilt.  4shinecirclesquiltl 5ashinecirclesquilt

This shows the quilting.  I was trying out double batting (polyester with wool), and found it was a challenge to move the heavy quilt around on the machine.  It took me nearly 4 months to quilt this thing, as I was hobbled with a shoulder injury.  But I was able to finish it!7shinecirclesquilt_label

As I quilted, I thought a lot about my brother-in-law Tom, who passed away a little over a month ago.  He maintained a beautiful small garden in his backyard, and so in one of the corners I quilted in a flower in his memory (shown below).  Many offered advice and help while I was quilting: thank you, everyone.6shinecirclesquilt shinecirclesquilt_detailback

detail of quilting from the back

shinecirclesquilt_frontl

This closes a chapter in my life.  Lovely to see you here, Shine!

tiny nine patches

˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚
My blogging software puts ads here so I can use their site for free. 
I do not know about, nor choose, the content, nor do I receive any money from these ads.
˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚˚

Quilt Market: Salt Lake City (2) • Giveaway

Giveaway BannerUntitled-1First off, congratulations to Dorothy, who won the giveaway.  I’ll be in touch with you, Dorothy, to get your mailing info and get that off to you next week. Thank you to all who participated, and especially to all who commented on my yank-out-the-carpet-from-under-me fall.  I’m pretty much fine, and am going forward, but you can bet I’ll look twice before coming out of an aisle.  That story also made it to Carrie Nelson’s MODA blog, as I had to tell a story to her to get one of her camping badges.  For a great recap of her Moda Designers’ booths, head over there.

Mom on young birthday SM

I’ll also have another little giveaway at the end of this post, to reward you for reading, AND in honor of my mother’s 88th birthday.  This is a photo of her back in the day.   They apparently used to take all their birthday pictures outside because the camera couldn’t really capture the light as well inside.  I think of that when I tend to use my mobile phone everywhere because its light-capturing sensors are the best.

QMarket Book Signings

QMarket_CTBookSignings

Book Signings

Quilt Market is about business–the business of selling, of buying, of hawking your wares, of displaying, of meeting your buyers, meeting the designers, meeting the authors.  Sometimes I would get a book at these signings, and sometimes I just snapped photos on my way past.  Some publishers were gracious, not knowing who their books were going home with, yet others were a bit cranky about the whole thing.  Considering that I buy from all of them, I’ll never tell who was cheerful and who was cranky, but it taught me a lot about that aspect of this business.

Qmarket_2ELutz

This talented lady’s book is part of our giveaway today.  Elea Lutz designs not only patterns, but also fabrics for Penny Rose (associated with Riley Blake Fabrics).  It’s a book published by Fat Quarter Shop and has charming pieced patterns, as shown in the quilt behind her.

stashbustersbook

The other giveaway (I’ll divide them into two) is the Stashbusters Book, by Sarah Maxwell and Dolores Smith, a wonderful collection of scrappy reproduction-style quilts.  I’ll choose two from the comments left below; let me know if you have a preference for which book you might win.

QMarket_AlisonGlassGirl

Once I left the cocoon of my Painter’s Palette booth and ventured out, I saw this young woman modeling the skirt found in Alison Glass’ LookBook.    It was like — pinch me!–as I encountered Famous People and things I recognized from all the advertising I see when I read magazines, or attend quilt shows, or wander through the web.  It was going to be a day of double takes as I walked among the Business of Quilting, the other side of the quilty looking glass.

QMarket_SassafrasDesigns

Sassafras Lane Designs, in all their colorful glory.
QMarket_renegades

Renegade salespeople in the lobby of the Salt Palace.  Great carpet, right?QMarket_QuiltSoup2 QMarket_QuiltSoup1

Quilt Soup.  (That’s not Barbara Jones, but a “booth babysitter,” she said.QMarket_Kokka

Don’t look now, but that woman in the Kokka booth is wearing a Wookie Backpack.  I was in line behind her later on at the Lucky Spools book signing, and she shared with us all the trending video of the woman who’d just purchased a Chewbacca Mask for her birthday.  I thought that was a neat coincidence.
QMarket_KatieCupcake3 QMarket_KatieCupcake2 QMarket_KatieCupcake1

These three pictures are from Katie Cupcake, by Amy Hamberlin.  I love that Midtown bag.QMarket_Jillily1 QMarket_Jillily

Jillily Studio’s booth was a sweet shop, complete with little bagged chocolate truffles they gave out.QMarket_Hoffman4

Hoffman Fabrics are in my neck of the woods in Southern California, and first started with Hawaiian print fabrics for the local surfers.
QMarket_Hoffman3 QMarket_Hoffman2

I don’t know if you can see it, but Latifah Saafir’s booth (Hoffman Fabrics) has a pair of tennis shoes slung over a wire–so LA.  I loved it!

QMarket_Hoffman1

Fun also to see Hoffman’s newest line of fabrics from Thistlewood Farms.  Those blues! (And yes, that’s KariAnne Wood holding her quilt.)QMarket_HeatherJones

Heather Jones’ line of fabric is subtle, but I bought some at Sample Spree because I think it will work well in so many quilts.  One of my favorite types of fabrics are those that bring a punch of something new to the existing stash, giving it more life.  She has some great designs in her collection.
QMarket_FrouFrou6

Here is a series of photos from the Clothworks/Frou-Frou booths, across the aisle from each other.  Maybe because I was thinking about my trip to Geneva last week, and how I was missing the small prints from Europe, but I really fell in love with these fabrics (plus I love how they feel).QMarket_FrouFrou5 QMarket_FrouFrou4

I love their cans of projects.  Very clever.QMarket_FrouFrou3 QMarket_FrouFrou2 QMarket_FrouFrou1 QMarket_FreeSpirit5

Now, for a complete change of pace, this is the Free Spirit Booth.  I noticed more and more of this type of booth design among the big names: a central section for the business of ordering, and small alcoves for the designers.
QMarket_FreeSpirit4

Amy Butler’s section.  She also had a larger booth:QMarket_AmyButler

QMarket_FreeSpirit3 QMarket_FreeSpirit2

Tula Pink’s alcove.
QMarket_FreeSpirit1

Snow Leopard Designs by Phillip Jacobs (again, for Free Spirit Fabrics)QMarket_EHartman

Elizabeth Hartman’s booth, with the lovely creator in attendance.QMarket_CoriDantini1

Cori Dantini, for Blend Fabrics.  I loved their booth:

QMarket_Blend

QMarket_BrazilianThreads1

EdMar Company, a small vendor from Idaho was selling these gorgeous rayon Brazilian Embroidery Threads.QMarket_Benartex

Benartex.  I think you can see where all those beautiful quilts go that we see in “sneak peeks” on Instagram (and yes, I spelled “peeks” correctly).  Every booth was awash in beautiful quilts, and I must admit I hadn’t even hit the Moda booths yet, and I was already in overload.  So I thought I’d better head over and see Sherri’s booth, since I’d sewn a couple of items for her and had a sneak peek myself of some of her beautiful fabrics.QMarket_AQuiltingLife3 QMarket_AQuiltingLife2 QMarket_AQuiltingLife1

I could never get a photo that wasn’t blurry of these two women, so this will have to do.  The Moda designers were in clusters at this show, which didn’t give them much space, but that made meeting them easier.

QMarket_ModaDesigner QMarket_ModaDesigner1 QMarket_ModaDesigner2 QMarket_ModaDesigner3 QMarket_ModaDesigner4

That’s enough for today’s post. More is coming.

WWII Lincoln Memorial

Have a safe Memorial Day (or Decoration Day, as my mother calls it).  Leave a comment below to win a book in the giveaway.  I’ll choose one and announce it in the next post.

UPDATE: Comments closed.  Winner announced in next post.  Thanks to you all for entering!

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.

Spectrum: A Colorwheel Quilt

Spectrum_labeled

Spectrum: A Colorwheel Quilt
Quilt No. 153

Spectrum_Quilting1

You’ve seen this beauty before, as I’ve been working on it steadily since last summer.  Since this summer is about to arrive, I thought I should finish it up and get it up in my shops at Craftsy and PayHip (for EU quilters), in case anyone wants a colorful wheel of color on their sewing studio wall. Spectrum_detail

It’s also great for quilt swaps, or special gifts.  I started on mine for a swap, but soon realized I wasn’t going to finish it in time, so made for her instead another colorful creation of mine, Colorwheel Blossom.  (It was a colorful Kaffe Fasset fabric swap.)  But then I had two quilts, so I gifted one to someone who loves and uses Kaffe Fasset fabrics, keeping one for myself. Stack of colorful quilts

Before I sent my swap quilts off, I took them outside for some photos, and love this stack of fun (colorful?) quilts, a prism of quilty delights.

The pattern has templates for English Paper Piecing, if you like to do that sort of thing (I do!) and full instructions for how to put your quilt together.  While the color wheel is 16″ in diameter, the quilt can measure up to 18,” depending on the size of your background.  It is stunning made up in Kaffe Fassett fabrics, and I’m teaching it that way this Spring in classes at my local quilt shop.  Enjoy!