Not All That Wanders Is Lost • Traveling Threads Bee Quilt is Finished

Not All That Wanders Is Lost
47″ high by 56″ wide
Quilt No. 186

In March 2015, Megan asked me to be a part of a Traveling Threads Bee.  My initial post about the process is here

…and shows my package (including little book, above) that was sent off to the person in line next to me, the idea being a circle — from one to another to another, roughly every month.

the logo I made for the group

Monthly was probably too ambitious, and at one point my package skipped a quilter because of time pressures, so in the end I had six lovely quilters make a block (or blocks) for me: Megan Evans, Amber, Emily V., Marci Debetaz, Toni Lovelady and Lisa Johnson. Our group on Instagram was #travelingthreadsbee and we all made such different quilts (click on their names to see their groups of blocks).

I love that it is a meeting of far away and close, new and old, friends.

I put my signature blocks on the front of the quilt, and in the lower right is the signature of the fabric designer, Alison Glass; all are contributors to this quilt. I put the label and a statement about the quilt on the back:I liked the idea that the quilt wandered, and then came home. This was the first project I started quilting this spring, using its beautiful qualities to help propel me back to my groove in free-motion quilting.  I posted each block on my Instagram feed as I finished it. I took it on the back patio, in the setting sun, so the slanting rays could amplify the quilting lines.

Luckily I caught the un-quilted section (blue triangle) before finishing it up with a faced binding.  I like to put that invisible binding on busy quilts, as it gives a clean finished edge (tutorial is *here*).  Okay, it’s the OPQuilt Summer Book Giveaway Time.

Third book is gone, given to Simone according to the guidelines of the Husband Random Number Generator.  I’ve already contacted her via email and it will go off tomorrow.  So, let me tell you about the next book, the Simple Simon Guide to Patchwork Quilting:

I took this photo from their site, a fun place to go and read and get great ideas for all sorts of homemaking-type projects.  Their tagline is “Two girls. Same name. One mission. Teach the world to sew.” and this book is a great example of terrific projects made simply, with a lot of pizazz.  To enter the giveaway for this book, please leave a comment below.  I’ll let it run for a few days then I’ll notify the winner by email.  By the way, this is a signed copy (both authors!).

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Hot Mitts • July 2017

HotMitt_7

It was time.  When I last made hot mitts, it was 2013 and now,  many hot pans later, I was in desperate need of new hot mitts.  Scary picture of old mitts, below.

HotMitt_0

I made it really small so you wouldn’t faint.
HotMitt_1

DON’T DOWNLOAD THIS for pattern!

So I looked up my tutorial about when I first made these oven hot mitts.   I printed out the pattern at 100%, checking that picture of the ruler to make sure it matched 1″ on a real-life ruler. I taped the two parts together (shown above…again DON’T use that photo as your pattern!–refer to the tutorial), and set them aside..  Layer up the fabrics, according to the directions in that original post.

 

I chose my thread, using a variegated So Fine for the Amy Butler floral, and quilted the fabric layers together by just scribbling and swirling all over it. I’ve also used my walking foot and done straight lines.  It really doesn’t matter what you do; just get those layers secured together.

HotMitt_5HotMitt_6

I cut out enough for two mitts: that’s four hand-shaped pieces.  Remember to reverse the pattern when cutting a pair (as shown in the top photo).  Then it was make bias binding time.

making-bias-tape1I followed the instructions, as before (old picture, above), but if you need a more detailed refresher on how to make bias tape, head here, to the Dritz website..  (Or download their PDF file here, if that link doesn’t work: dritz-tutorial-how-use-bias-tape-maker)

I now have some handy-dandy new hot mitts.  Reminder: they are a little big until you wash them a couple of times.  I built in that shrinkage to the pattern.

HotMitt_7a

Mitts in action.  Recipe is my go-to Summer Pasta Salad, found on ElizabethCooks.com, my recipe blog (see below).

summer-pasta-salad-with-asparagus-and-tomatoes

Now I can cook in style.

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The ongoing OPQuilt Summer Book Giveaway is still going on: you get a new book and I get more shelf space in my sewing room.

OPQuilt Summer 2017 Book Giveaway

Here’s the total stack of books I’m giving away.  The first two titles are lined out as they are all finished, and next up is the Denyse Schmidt book.  I’ll let this one run until August 3rd, and will notify the winner by email.  I’m letting you know what is coming up so you can either enter all the giveaways, or just the one you want.  I’m still very happy to receive your comments, though!  This week’s Intentional Piecing has been given, in accordance with the strict rules of the Husband Random Number Generator, to Andrea in Florida.

4-in-art_3

The penultimate Four-in-Art reveal for 2017 is coming up on Tuesday, with the Challenge of Stained Glass.  Join us all then to see the quilts our group makes.

Denyse Schmidt Book

Leave me a comment below to enter the giveaway for this week.

July’s Gridster Bee Block

July 2017_Gridster_Carol

Here’s the block I made for the July Gridster Bee, for Carol.  It was a fun make, made easy by this tutorial from Sara Noda.  (She also has a blog post on her completed flag quilt.)

Rosette 7

I also dragged out my hexagon quilt, and got started again.  Here is Rosette #7, isolated (above), and below as it looks sewn into the quilt.  I took the blocks and quilt rosettes with me on our recent family trip — since we had a lot of driving time — and was able to get the rosettes sewn together and one more completed.Millefiore Rosette #7I’ve totally revamped Rosette #8, because frankly, everyone on the Facebook page was having real troubles with it, so I thought I would have a go at creating my own hexie arrangement.  I’m choosing fabrics for it now.

Road to California 2018 classes

I also picked my classes for Road to California 2018 (above)…

QuiltCon 2018 ESE Classes

…and my classes for QuiltCon 2018, too.  Anyone else going?  Are we in the same classes?

Film Quilt1And in case you think you only need fabric to create quilt patters, Sabrina Gschwandertner acquired a collection of old instructional films on the textile arts and has been creating quilt works of art.  I will spare you the mumbo-jumbo about quilting from the LA Times, but here’s the article if you want to read it.

Film Quilt2

(PS Ignore the random “A” up on the right side)

Film Quilt3

I actually wanted to see the movies, after reading about her and seeing images of her work.  Now it is lost forever.  Will we feel that way about the millions of YouTube videos?  I doubt it.  There is something about the tangible presence of film being cut up, the scarcity of that resource being destroyed to begin again.  But I do like looking at her works.  If you are in LA, the article has info about how to see this in the gallery, but the show closes soon.

And today is six months since my shoulder surgery.  I’ve seen the surgeon for the last time, finished my formal PT.  Now just the challenge of walking, getting back into some semblance of shape after sitting around, and doing the PT exercises on my own.

LASTLY, thanks to all who entered the OPQuilt Summer Book Giveaway (snazzy title, don’t you think?).

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Here’s another:

Intentional Piecing_Book Giveaway

Amy Friend’s Intentional Piecing, a look at using fussy-cutting to make spectacular quilts.  She has a range of stellar projects, plus some fun paper-piecing designs to sew into various quilts and hand-mades.  It’s signed by the author.

Again–leave a comment letting me know if you are interested in receiving this book in the giveaway.  I’ll notify the winner by email.

Update: Roxanne was our winner from the last giveaway. Thanks again for all who entered!

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creative block

(Yes.  Lower case title, just to reclaim some of my quirkiness.)

I recently posted about taking a break from the creative world, from the quilty world, from whatever and while I was gone, I had some to time to think about how I’d gotten to that non-creative place.

irons in a fire

I’d say, for me it was a factor of four: Time, Health, and Mental/Physical Fatigue, as well as a Too Much to Do.  My Dad used to say “Too many irons in the fire put out the flame.”  While a reference to the bars of iron that blacksmiths use, I did have too much going on.

creative block_99U

from here

I was intrigued with the idea of Creative Block, and one article “7 Types of Creative Block and What to Do About Them,” from my favorite place online (99U) discussed this issue, that apparently is a very-much-real thing.  In that piece, I liked the sub-topic of  Work habits that don’t work, as I have been struggling to (re)learn three new computer programs: EQ7 (I learn it, then forget it, and there’s so many hurdles with the design of this software…but then that’s another post), Affinity Photo (to replace Photoshop) and Affinity Designer (to replace Illustrator).  Three more irons in that proverbial fire.

99U’s advice to “[s]tep back and take a good look at how you’re working, and where the pain points are….If you don’t have enough energy, are you working at the right time of day? If you feel paralyzed by freedom, introduce more structure and order into your day. If you feel constrained by routine, find room for improvisation” felt like it was just for me.

I always love the Brain Pickings articles, and the review on a book from Danielle Krysa (Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artists) seems to hit some of those stuck spots:

Creative Block_Alex Cornell

Jessica Bell noted that “When I can’t make progress, it is often because I am mentally scattered; this happens when I am overcommitted or have a schedule without any breathing room in it. I have to have a lot of space and quiet in my head to think my best thoughts. An artist I admire told me a few years ago that “you can’t make art in the cracks.” Carving out a block of time devoted to nothing else but the pursuit of new work has never steered me wrong.”

So,  Miss Gasoline Station stepped aside and made space for some creative time.  I’ll be posting a few projects in the next post, but since it’s summer and it’s time to play, it’s good to keep a balance between working and quilting and cooking and playing and family and friends…

Family Reunion_stone house

Eastmond Family Reunion, atop Brian Head Peak (11,000+ feet)

Thanks to all of you who wrote and left comments on my last post.  We headed out that day for a family reunion and I left the keyboard behind, but I read them all and appreciated your encouragement.  I’m slipping back into the creative life, one stitch at a time.

7 Magic MountainsThe block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping stone in the pathway of the strong. –Thomas Carlyle

Each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass and a book of rules;
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.

–R. L. Sharpe

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Because who knows what might spur your creativity, I’ve got some books to give away.  If what I’m giving away (this will go on, erratically, for several posts) tickles your fancy or appeals to you in some way, if you leave a comment, please let me know you’d like to enter the giveaway.  Some of the books are ones I’ve purchased and read, and no longer need; others were publisher giveaways at Quilt Market, and it’s time to pass them on.

Grifka Book1

The first one is Lines by Design by Debbie Grifka, a lovely book on how to make elegant modern quilts.  Good luck!  Giveaway will close in a few days and I’ll contact the winner by email and get it sent out.