Bread with Every Meal (Frivols #7)

Frivols 7_28 front

Bread with every meal • Quilt #207 • 24″ square

Ta-DONE!!!

With great relief and happiness, I present to you: Bread with every meal.

Frivols 7_30 back

The title comes from the back of this quilt, a tea towel my sister gave to me when she was doing the Great Purge and downsizing her life. Frivols 7_31a

And in that grouping of statistics about what was eaten, was this phrase, “Bread with Every Meal.”  Weird to take this for a title, I know.  I don’t usually like to be that obtuse in the naming of my quilts.

Frivols 7_31b

But it reminded me of the dailiness of quilting, for me.  That nearly every day I am at a small feast at my “table” — my sewing room — partaking of the goodness of cloth and patches and stitching. It makes me happy, and so it’s not a far leap to think of this as my daily bread.

Frivols 7_29c

Even when I intensely dislike what I’m doing.

Yes, making this quilt was one moan after another, working on it, wadding it in the corner, avoiding it.  These are not my kind of fabrics, and making teensy 1-1/2″ half-square triangles is not my favorite thing to do.  But I adore the designer (Lisa Bongean) and so I was determined to be a Brave Girl and finish up this quilt.

Frivols 7_29bFrivols 7_29a

It won’t win any awards for piecing, or for that matter, quilting, but it will win prizes for being DONE.  So now I can post this:

Frivols_all_7Xs

That’s 7!

Yep, seven down and five to go.

In other happy news, we had Camp Create last weekend.  For years a group of us had gotten together regularly, the first Friday of every month for the Good Heart Quilters.  It came time to end that monthly gig (no short story on this tale, so I’ll skip the telling), so we went out with a bang, with Camp Create.

Camp Create_1

I put up a bunch of photos on Instagram, but for the historial (hysterial?) record, I’ll post them again here on the blog.

 

Camp Create_2

Amy, in the green shirt, above, teaches classes on handmade books at the local art museum, and came to teach us the Coptic Stitch and how to make a book from scratch.  I could go on and on about her, but she is waaaay talented, as are all the ladies above.  She anchored the first half of Camp Create, held in Leisa’s (air-conditioned) garage.

Camp Create_3

Claire bundled up her wee daughter, Jane, as she worked on her book next to Leisa.

Camp Create_4Camp Create_6Camp Create_7aCamp Create_7

All our books.  One of my favorite lines of the day was when one of us hadn’t finished up our binding and laid it down with the rest.  Amy carefully tucked the threads underneath saying, “We can hide our secrets.”  Yes, indeed.  Mine is the green one with the butterfly (click the link for the video).  Amy had the best papers from which we could choose.

Camp Create_8

Then we had lunch and switched gears to screen printing.  Both Simone and I had taken Karen Lewis’ class at QuiltCon, and Julie was also experienced at this technique, so we taught the technique to these fine crafters.

Camp Create_9Screen Printing Cloth.jpg

For those of you wondering where to get the screen printing cloth, I found this “utility fabric” at JoAnn Fabrics, and it seemed to work great.  It’s not 100% cotton, but I did all my printing with this and I’m happy with it.

Camp Create_9a

Camp Create_9b

Amy was experienced in screen printing, and knew to wear gloves.

Camp Create_10

Claire’s cupcakes

Hexie Flowers July 2018

In other news, I’m making progress on my Hexie Flower quilt, a design by Sherri McConnell.  (More info on her blog.)

And here’s my contribution to Hexie Lore: punch a hole in your paper.  You can anchor your hexie with a straight pin while you stitch (so the fabric doesn’t move around), and at the end, insert the tip of your scissors into the hole and pop it out.  I use the basting method where you don’t take out your stitches, and I use a hexie template to cut out the fabrics.

Visitors1

Lastly, we had some visitors.  I set up the grandchildrens’ beds downstairs in the dining room, and Maddy’s bed was taken over by their dog, Cookie.  Really, it’s more like their younger sibling, Cookie.

Visitors2

A summer treat: frozen yogurt.  We miss you already–come again!!

 

Hexagon Millefiore Update, July 2018

Rosette 10b Finished

And with this Rosette (#10b), I finished up The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-A-Long.

All Rosettes_OPQuilt

Contractually.  At least according to the rules of the The New Hexagon Millefiore Game.

But I really hate the crenellated edges.  I don’t mind the zig-zag edges on the sides, and have loved what others have done, by appliqueing the quilt down to a solid border.

Millefiore border maybes

But for this quilt, these colors, every border fabric I chose just looked terrible.  Clunky.  Admittedly they are kind of wild, but really, the quilt is kind of wild.

Millefiore border fillins

Instead, I’m try to fill them in.

All Rosettesbeginning fillin

You can see what the first two look like.  There are 9 crenelations on the top and 9 on the bottom, so two down, 16 to go.  This is actually not as hard as I thought, as the fabric choices have already been made, and it’s just sort of filling in and figuring out how the pieces will work.  I am trying not to use just one-fabric half-hexie blocks, but instead, create interesting seamed fill-in pieces.  I figure the sides will be faster–just a sort of background fabric from the nearest rosette.

Stay tuned.

tiny nine patches

Research photos (culled from the web, from Instagram and from the Facebook page):

Millefiore v5

This one looks great with the appliqued-to-borders treatment.

Millefiore v12

Not technically a Hexagon Millefiore quilt, but those borders!

Millefiore v2

Millefiore quilt again

Another that is not a hexagon-based EPP, but I love the way they broke the borders.

Millefiore v4Millefiore v1Millefiore v3

Millefiore v8

This one filled in many edges, and moved a lot of the rosettes around.

Millefiore v7Millefiore v9

Many of these quilts turned the design on the its side, or upside down. I should note that I also changed the lower edge of mine, melding 4 different rosettes into one gigantor rosette, plus I tweaked a few more places (there is NO star in the middle of my quilt, for example).

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

Millefiore Quilt July 18_2

My leftovers (paper pulled out that was still in good shape). I’m using them to build the edges.

Getting the Work Done: Artist vs. Addict

Frivols 7_19

A recent reviewer of Steven Pressman’s book Turning Pro, pointed out that:
“What is distraction, if not self-sabotage, sabotage of one’s future self?”   Pressman, who wrote the War of Art, a must-read for creatives,  writes about about the difference between being an artist and being an addict, about the difference between being a professional (focused on the work) and an amateur (talking about the work, but not really doing it).

Frivols 7_21

Pressman has written three books, and as another reviewer described them:

The War of Art discusses the decision to start, while [his second book] Do the Work takes on the concept of sustaining the discipline it takes to finish a piece of work. Turning Pro takes things up a notch by insisting the artist must establish a rigid discipline and trust the Muse.”

Frivols 7_23

It’s easy to forget why we work at something.  There we are, putting our focus on our machines and in our sewing spaces, cutting and sewing, and all of a sudden, it’s oh wait a minute, let me check what my friends on Instagram are doing.

Frivols 7_24

According to Pressman, that doesn’t get the work done.  What it does do instead, is turn our work, our lives, our posts into an endless loop of sort of getting things done, but not really forging ahead into new places.

As Jocelyn K. Glei put it, “I was particularly struck by his distinction between “the artist” and “the addict,” wherein the former is living out a productive, creative career, while the latter is caught in an endless loop of aspiration and yearning that never gets backed up with meaningful action. Glei also noted that: “The amateur is an egotist. He takes the material of his personal pain and uses it to draw attention to himself. He creates a “life,” a “character,” a “personality.”  Using the term “shadow novel,” he draws out the life of a person is sort of working towards something, but not really.  Like I was after grad school: wanting to be an author, but not writing a word.

Frivols 7_25
I soon figured out that being a fiction writer was not the direction I was doing to go. I was able, however, to take my MFA training and love of the written word, combine it with sewing, in order to write about quilting — a completely unplanned, but incredibly satisfying endeavor.

Frivols 7_26

Frivols #7, in process

Cindy and I have talked more than once about the world of social media (namely Instagram) and how it sometimes interferes with getting the work done.  I love a good stroll through the posts as much as anyone, and I love to read blogs and see what creative juice is running through my community.

I recently watched the entire launch video of IGTV, that futzy little button in the top right of your screen.  As they went through all the scenes of creators (our new name, I guess), I realized that they were all barely older than my grandchildren…and with that realization came the understanding that IG “allowed” me to have my community, but what they were really about was the selling of “new media,” geared to “young influencers” gaining followers, gaining media attention and earning money.  Hence, the screwed up IG feed for the rest of us.

Chronology is out.  Connectiveness is in (which is different from “connections”).  Process is out.  Profits are in, including the data mining of all our click and taps and touches.

July 2018 Gridsters _ Leisa

Gridsters Bee Block for Leisa–July 2018

What does this have to do with artist/professional vs. addict/amateur?

As Pressman states, “The artist and the professional, on the other hand, have turned a corner in their minds. They have grown so bored with themselves…What were once their shadow symphonies become real symphonies. The color and drama that were once outside now move inside….When we [choose being an Artist], the energy that once went into the Shadow Novel goes into the real novel. What we once thought was real – “the world,” including its epicenter, ourselves – turns out to be only a shadow. And what had seemed to be only a dream, now, the reality of our lives.

It’s all about where you focus, where you put your attention.  Make use of the tools that help you, but don’t let them dominate allotted time, or dilute creative energy.

 

 

Happy Fourth of July 2018

Fourth July Tiny Quilt

To honor the 4th of July, I stitched up another tiny quilt.  I love being patriotic, as the meaning has a sense of loving America and its peoples, the history and the early settlers, and those who set up the government in 1776.  It helps that my nickname in my childhood was Betsy, but I do love the red, white and blue.

Fourth July Tiny Quilt_1

I went through my Orphan Quilt Blocks box, found one that wasn’t being used, and smallerized it, using this PDF pattern to cut it out: Fourth July Tiny Quilt Star Center

Fourth July Tiny Quilt_2

I put on two borders, quilted it (so fast because it’s so small) and put a single-thickness binding on it (cut your strip 1-1/2″ wide), gluing down the back binding and top-stitching it down.  It is one of those quilt projects you can take at full throttle–no fussy cutting or intricate piecing.  Put your pedal to the medal and crank out a 4th of July star tiny quilt!

Fourth July Tiny Quilt_back

It slips over the back of one of those cheezy plastic stand picture frames (under 2 bucks at Walmart). [More on the quilt underneath it at the end of the post.]

Tiny Sailboat Quilt_front on frame

Here’s a post with general directions as well as how to make a sailboat design.
And I have also made:

Mini Quilt Spring 18_4

a snowman,

Tiny Pumpkin Quilt_front

a harvest pumpkin, (which has more directions, especially on that binding)

Tiny Trees

and some Christmas trees. (I included the directions for the smaller trees.)

AmericaIsATune_frontAmericaIsATune_backAmericaIsATune_label

 

I made the quilt above quilt five years ago at the same time we had a government shut-down, and I was moaning about government needing to behave itself then.  I now look back on that particular chaos with a wistful glance; would that we had that steadiness now!

Shout Hurrah for America

Yet, I still believe that America is a Tune, and that we must figure it out — sing it — together, no matter how painful things are.  After reading the book Hamilton, I value what those early fathers of our country (and mothers, too) must have faced and appreciate how much work they did and how inspired they were to come together and get the framework off the ground.

Uncle Sam

Have a Happy Fourth of July!

 

Frivols 7

FrivolsButton

It’s the first of July, so you know what that means.

I pulled Frivols Tin #7 out of the closet, and about fell over.  There are a billion little triangles in this quilt, well, okay, maybe only a couple of a hundred, but they are teensy weensy (each HST measures 1 3/4″ square, unfinished).  Yes, I am beginning to question my sanity.  Especially since, when I was in Utah, I saw Frivols tins for sale:

Frivols on Sale_2

Frivols on Sale_1

See that quilt there on the right?  I should have just bought it, and saved myself the trouble.  But making these Frivols experience is a learning experience, or so I keep telling myself.  I’m starting early this month, as it may take me a while.

Frivols7_1cFrivols7_1d

Luckily in the tin, they have included a sheet to copy so you can just sew through the lines and have perfect triangles, also available on their Moda blog.  Good thing I really like that lovely Lisa Bongean and her shop near me, Primitive Gatherings (also in Wisconsin).

Frivols7_1e

Here’s the cute freebie: a scissors “keep” with the polka dots on one side, and Moda’s name on the other.

[Note: I won those scissors last month while visiting Corn Wagon Quilt Company in Springville, Utah.  My husband, who is used to being in quilt shops, got a Hundred Grand Candy Bar, just for coming in (very nice of them).]

Okay, so if you are doing this Frivol, download Moda’s triangles sheet: Frivols7-songbird-triangle-papers  [NOTE: Please be sure to download first, print a test page, making sure the measurements agree with what is written on the pattern, and print at 100% (of course).] I’ve printed mine out on vellum, which is easier to rip off than regular paper.  Since we have to do eleven sheets worth of these triangles, I figure it’s four pages a week, in order to finish.  I’m just hoping that with the special stitch-and-sew technique, I won’t have to be truing them up.  That chore is right up there on the Hated Chores List with folding laundry and emptying the dishwasher.

Happy Fourth of July to you as well, a day to celebrate the birth of our nation.  Here are some photographs I took when we lived in Washington, D.C. for a (most memorable) year:

DOS star

Department of State, Star

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial, with Declaration of Independence on the wall

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

USA Capitol Ceiling

from ceiling in the United States Capitol

Happy Sewing and Happy Fourth of July 2018!

Update on New Hexagon Millefiore

I dragged pulled out that hexagon millefiore mess quilt and decided I had let it linger too long.  Waaaaay too long, and that it had lurked, like some amorphous creeping thing in the corner of my guest room (aka Sewing Room Overflow), haunting my dreams and certainly messing up any perky UFOs to Finish list that I may draw up.

Rosettes_all

This is the last composite photo I posted, back in August of 2016.  I’ve since put together most of the rosettes that are grayed out.  I decided to combine all the lower left rosettes, which gave me a new appreciation for Katja Merek’s work on the (what she has titled) The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-Along.  Here is my version of the corner:

Rosette #8_opquilt variationsmall.jpg

And I also changed up some parts of the outer edges, making these (in the last few weeks):

Teeny Upper Leftsm.jpg

Rosettes 9_11b small.jpg

Rosette 12b small.jpg

Rosette 10somethingsmall.jpg

So now my quilt top looks like this (digital version):

All Rosettes_OPQuiltJune2018.jpg

I’m now working on that last one, which has turned out to be exceedingly difficult, because it has to be just right.  But then other days, I’m quoting my motto to myself (The perfect is the enemy of the good.  Or in my case, the done) and keep trying to get on with it.

At this point I just want it to be like Laurel’s:

Retreat2016_12

Yes, I want it to be DONE.

In other beginning-of-summer news, I planted my garden again, which then was invaded by fungus (a common problem here, apparently) so it looks quite wimpy.  We still harvest a few tomatoes here and there.  I sprayed last week, yanked two particularly sickly plants, and re-planted more in their place, so we’ll see what happens.

Optimism in the Garden.jpg

I found this on The Internet, which about expresses my attitude.  There’s just something about an empty garden box that sends me to the nursery to find something to plant in it. It feels kind of similar to entering a quilt shop, and thinking about all the possibilities I can find in there.

Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. (Nelson Mandela)

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. (Dr. Seuss)

So today it’s back into the sewing room, back into the garden…back to work.