Quilts

Summer Bee, Quilting, and Chuck Nohara Updates

Chuckblocks_June2016

Updating you on my Chuck Nohara block progress.  I finished off the incredibly complicated floral wreath block in the upper left.  Susan and I (and Bette) are working together on this, with Susan choosing two/month and me choosing two/month.  Yes, I chose that one (never again).  But June was finished up.Chuck Blocks_July2016

July’s blocks were interesting.  I did the sunglasses on the road to my Gwen Marston class.  I did the lower two blocks at the quilting retreat, and promptly had to re-do them again.  But I could now cross July’s blocks off the list.

8AugustChuckNohara2016

I launched into August early because of some planned travel, and hit my first roadblock with a Dresden-plate block.Chuck Nohara Dresden_1

I drafted my own little Dresden template, then proceeded the way I always do.
Chuck Nohara Dresden_2Chuck Blocks_August 2016

I had prepped up the bird before our road trip to two family reunions, but lost it somewhere between my sewing room and the great state of Utah, so I prepped up a second one, stitching it to completion while watching the Olympics opening ceremony.  Yep, I changed a few things, but here they are, all done.  I need to get them all up on the design wall, all together.  Next week.

Rosettes_all

My friend, Laurel, showed us her COMPLETED New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt, so I thought I should resurrect that project and get it going again.
Rosette_6a

So I laid it out on the bed in the extra bedroom. . . (warning–lots of nighttime quilting pictures ahead)Rosette_6b

. . . found the package with all the pieces and tried to make sense of it.  I hated disliked the strong star shape of that rosette (seen here in Katja’s quilt), so after studying Laurel’s rendition, I made some changes, combining some pieces.

Rosette_6_beginRosette_6c Rosette_6d

Now comes the fretting part.  Will it work in the bluesy-purpley combo I have going?
Rosette_6e

Luckily I hadn’t cleaned up the stuff of the extra bed yet, and so I laid it out, section by section.  I think it will work! I said to my husband, then packed it all away to take traveling with me.  It was hard to get going on this, as I’d forgotten how much trial and error is involved in the making of these rosettes.

Aug MCM block_MaryS July 2016_MCM June MCM_2016 rene

Here’s three sets of bee blocks for the Mid-Century Modern Bee (top is Mary, middle is for Sherri, and the bottom is for Rene).  Can’t wait to see what they do with them!

July Spelling Bee_2016

I did finish Simone’s Spelling Bee Block for July while at the retreat, and it was the one thing I didn’t have to re-do.  You’ve seen this before, but since this is a round-up post, I wanted to include it.JunePrince Edward_Spelling Bee

I made an extra set of words for Kerry for her Canadian Provinces list of Spelling Bee words.  Okay, we are almost to the end (I’ve been saving all this up for a while).

Quilting Circles_Aug1

In looking at the looming deadline for Road to California entry, I kept pushing forward on getting this quilt finished.Quilting Circles_Aug2

Peas Ice Pack

Which led to many rounds of this on my aching shoulder, and a trip to the doctor’s office.  I’ve not stitched much since then, which is like tying my hands behind my back and not letting me use them.Make America Quilt Again

So instead, I read a lot, finding this “Cap Slogan Generator” on the Washington Post website, and thinking that THIS is the slogan we all need to see more of.
CorrectingRepubQ

And since once an English teacher, always an English teacher, I corrected all the logical fallacies in the questionaire sent to me by one of the major political parties (such errors in faulty reasoning!) and yes, I sent it back to them (they had, after all, provided me with a postage-paid envelope). Quilt Postcard in Vignette

I won’t leave you with politics, after all I do have a heart, but instead with this little shot of the shelves above my computer.  I’d sent Marsha of #quilterinmotion some of my scraps and as a thank-you, she sent me my first-ever fabric postcard. (I was so excited.)

So, summer’s almost over.  Enjoy the last few days of the Olympics, avoid politics, and keep quilting!

Chuck Nohara

Final Finishes for 2015

Thank you for all your kind comments on IG and on the last post.  A lot of this post was mostly written before the San Bernardino tragedy, so it may seem lighthearted. But it still is Christmas and I still delight in making, in fact it is a great leveler in crazy times.  Enjoy the quilting.

Rosette #5

Rosette #5 is finished, so now I can start to plan #6.  I loved the fabrics that fell into place on this one.Chuck Nohara11_15 blocks

Here’s November’s Chuck Nohara blocks.  These all measure 6″ finished, so they are like eating small bites of chocolate.  I even got the “hollow” on the cherries embroidered since last time.  The blocks on the second row on either end, are using fabrics from A Quilting Life’s Bright Sun line of fabrics, and the center one uses fabrics from their Valley collection.

Bright Sun FabricsBright Sun is above. I like how different they are, yet they all coordinate.  (Yes, Sherri is a friend, and yes, I bought these from Fat Quarter Shop.)

Here are some of the steps I took for two of the blocks:

CN904_3

I started here, tracing the outline of the handle with a chalk pencil.  I then clipped the edges, and finger pressed it, rolling the chalked line to the underneath as I went (a trick from Becky Goldsmith of Piece O Cake).  I centered it on the upper piece, but just pinned it.  As I stitched (later on) I also ended up trimming down the seam allowance to a scant 1/4″–here it is a fat 1/4.”

CN904_2

I figured out where I wanted the flowers on the upper basket rim, then ironed down my freezer paper (I traced it from the book’s enlarged picture) and traced around it.CN904_6 CN904_6a

I traced the lower basket and side edges, labeled them, then clipped them apart so I could fussy cut the arrows from the fabric.  I stitched it all together, and added the lower edge.
CN904_3a

I gauged where the handle would fall in relation to the basket using a ruler, then appliquéd it down. CN904_4

I double-checked it again.  At six inches, there’s not a lot of leeway for mistakes, yet the blocks do sew up quickly.

CN904_5

I pinned the basket bottom to the top piece and hand-appliqued it down.

CN904_5ajpgI trimmed the upper piece after sewing it.

CN904

CN432_2

Next.  Start here.  Seam together the flowery petal pieces, then lay them over the corner wedge. CN432_3

I began appliquéing from the center, out to each side.  Trust me on this.

CN43_4 CN432_5

Seam together two, then four.  Then sew together each side.

CN432

The dots save you from agonizing over that center join, and are kind of fun.

ChuckNoharaChoices12_15

Here’s what we have put up for December.  Even though we have listed four blocks, you only have to do two to feel good about yourself, especially in the month of December.

2015 December Chuck Nohara

2015 December MCM_ERichards

Lastly, my last bee blocks for Mid-Century Modern are finished. More info can be found on our blog.

Holly

Keep sewing, my friends.  Stay safe.  Celebrate regular days and regular life, and really celebrate Christmas this year, both in word and in deed.

Quilts

Rosette #4–New Hexagon Millefiori Hot Mess Patchwork Quiltalong

Rosette #4_1

This is where I got stalled on Rosette #4 for The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt, or as I call it, The Hot Mess.  It may not turn out to be that, but we’ll see.  I had rotated six of the blocks and it left chunky dark hard edges.  Hmmmm, I told myself.  Hmmmm.

Rosette #4_2I tried out the outer rosettes one night on the kitchen table.  Shaking of head.

Rosette #4_3 Rosette #4_4

The solution was to subdivide the offending piece.  The clunky outer bits are transformed, making what had looked like a snarling traffic circle into a lovely ring of batik-y writing.

Rosette #4_5a

Here’s the magic piece.

Rosette #4_5Rosette #4The finished rosette.  This is number four, and the tenth month of the year starts in a couple of days, so that makes me only. . . eight months behind.  This one was hard, not only because I was doing a lot of it during my recovery, but also because I got stuck at the traffic circle dilemma, and it took me a while to find a solution.  But I feel pretty good about it now.

Next!

Quilts

Summertime Quilt Fun

Hoffman Tour_1

Our quilt guild organized a tour of Hoffman Fabrics this past Monday. I jumped at the chance to go, as I’d passed up several other opportunities.  I decided that it was summer and it was time for some fun.  So I left the sewing chores behind and drove down to Orange County to meet up with the rest of the ladies.

Hoffman Tour_1a Hoffman Tour_2

We were ushered into a seating area, where a Hoffman employee gave a sneak peak at some of the lines coming out soon.  The one above is a digitally printed fabric, which allows for greater color variation than screen printing, and is done in Pakistan.

Hoffman Tour_3

I love their screen printing, which is done in Japan.

Hoffman Tour_4

They printed all their batik basic colors onto fabric, which someone cut up, interspersing with gray to create this quilt (below):

Hoffman Tour_4a Hoffman Tour_5

I liked a lot of their Christmasy Momento line.

Hoffman Tour_5a

This hedgehog is from the Forest Friends line.  Very cute.

Hoffman Tour_6 chop

We watched a video on how they make their batiks, which all starts with a design being translated into a chop (above).  This is then dipped in wax, applied to the fabric, then overdyed.

Hoffman Tour_8

Sometimes the fabric is dyed first, then stamped, then they remove the dye, as in the case above.

Hoffman Tour_7

I went gaga for their new Me + You line of batiks–so modern looking.  Here’s another view:

Hoffman Tour_7a Hoffman Tour_9 stack

Our group saw a lot of samples; here they are stacked up at the end of the presentation.

Hoffman Tour_10 receiving

Then over to the receiving section, where all these bolts come wrapped in plastic.

Hoffman Tour_10 bagsOne woman said she’d like to sneak out one of these scrap bags, maybe by stuffing it into her bra.

Hoffman Tour_10 more bolts Hoffman Tour_10 new bolts

Wherever you look there is beautiful fabric.

Hoffman Tour_11

I laughed when I saw this: fabric draped over shelves, hiding the mess from the world, like just I’ve done more than once.

Hoffman Tour_12

Lisa and I were on the tour together.  Here we are walking from the loading dock area down to the front of the warehouse.

Hoffman Tour_13

Such beautiful prints!

Hoffman Tour_14

The company’s batik lines got their start by a couple of the sons who were surfers, and who wanted to proudly wear their surf fashion.  The surfboards decorate their offices now.

Hoffman Tour_15

We all could have watched this all day long, but it was time to go.

MCM Bee Block July2105

In other summer fun, I finished my block for my Mid-Century Modern bee-mate Susan, of Patchwork’n’Play.  She chose the Stepping Stone block.  All of the links to the tutorial, plus tips are on our group’s blog, The Mid-Century Modern Bee.

Nightgown Pattern

It was waaaaay past time for a new nightgown, as you can see by the vintage pattern above (the last time I made this was 18 years ago!).

Nightgown yoke

Instead of tucks, I like to add braid.  This is also a vintage braid from my stash, with embroidered edelweiss flowers — a reminder of Austria, where my husband and I went on our honeymoon many years ago.  We’re coming up on twenty-six years of wedded bliss next month.

28090027We had our reception after the honeymoon, at a friend’s home.  If we look tired, we are, as we arrived home the day before from Austria and are majorly jet-lagged.  I still think he is the most handsome man around.  And yes, I did make my wedding dress, although it is not at all like the fashion today–it was made of French laces with entredeaux and ribbons and insertions.  I still have it and love to look at it and think of the girl who made it, so many years ago.

Rosette 3 someone elseAnd then I had another quilty issue that had stumped me for a while: why didn’t I like rosette #3 of the New Hexagon Millefiore Quiltalong? The above photo is someone else’s beautiful rendition, but somehow it just didn’t “work” for me.  I couldn’t figure it out.

Rosette #3I went online and looked at lots and lots of other Rosettes on our Facebook group, and still just didn’t like it.  Then I found this photo:

ImageThese were made by the woman who makes samples for Katja’s shop in Canada, and look what she did with hers (on the right, above).  She simplified those outer blocks.  Bingo.

Rosette 3_1

So in the papers for Rosette #2, I found the shapes, and used them and loved what I saw.  Here’s the first version, above.

Rosette 3_2

Second version, with darker “middles.”  And below, in all its cluttered glory, is the design wall with the full shape.  I’m still not too sure about those far right-hand hexagons, but I’m withholding my judgement on those until I see how they fit with the rosette next to it. . . which is still a long way off.

Rosette 3_3I’ll work on getting these stitched together over the next few weeks.  Katja will be releasing Rosette # 8 in about a week.  That means that, wow, I’m only five behind!

4-in-art_3

Our Four-in-Art Challenge Reveal is coming up also in a week, and I’m not at all behind on this one.  I also have another tutorial for Circles Block #14 coming up as well.  So even though summer is a relaxing time, the quilting calls my name and brings an order to my life and to my days.  I feel fortunate to have some “summer” time with cloth and thread and design and stitching–hope you feel the same!

Quilts

New Hexagon Millefiore– Rosette #2 Started

Rosette #2 Starts

Well, I’ve started Rosette #2 of The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-A-Long, originated by Katja Marek.  We even have our own Facebook Group (link is also on Katja’s page), and now I’ve found something I can post there, having stopped putting anything personal on Facebook once one of my very scary students found me (getting past all the privacy controls, because we all know how Facebook loves to play with our privacy controls!).  Now there are nearly 3,000 people on this group, and I think a lot of them are actually doing this, not just Looky-Loos.

Plitvice2b_view up the valley

Plitvice3_two toned again

I’m basing the colors in this quilt on our trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, where we traveled last year.  The colors range from the greens and yellow-greens to the blues and indigos.

Plitvice2_green lake

There was also aqua, and turquoise.  It was a beautiful place, and we loved hiking throughout all the lakes and waterfalls one afternoon.

Plitvice ESE

Oh, and white and sound and green and water and trees and browns and rocks and everything.  What a place!  I had a hard time with that second round, trying out multiple bits of cloth where the yellow with dots ended up.  It just needed a lift, a happy spot that wasn’t too ornate or over-done with pattern.  Sometimes the eye needs a rest.  Even if I am making a quilt based on Plitvice.

Plitvice13c_lakeview

Rosette 1 on fence

So this was Rosette #1, where I went for the blues.

Rosette #2 Starts

Okay, one more time for the beginning of this green/yellow-green rosette.  I’m thinking violets/blue-violet/indigo for the next.  It took me a while to get going on this again, as I actually had to do some housework, and some cooking, and some grading.

Circles EPP Button

Then there was finishing up the circle block for the April 1st post–it’s our tenth! and I loved making it.  I moaned mentioned to my sister that I hadn’t been very productive lately in the quilt department as I wanted to be, and yet I realize that these hand-pieced quilt blocks do take some time in the designing, and making.  So I guess I haven’t been a total slacker, but there are days that I would like to clone myself, and knew which part of my life I’d be doing, while the poor clone would be stuck with a mop or a grading pen.  Oh, and I’d also be reading blogs, to see what you are all up to!

Flower Spring 2015

It’s been a lovely week of Spring Break here, and the weather is a bit too warm for March but the wonderful side effect is loads of flowers on all our bushes and trees, so that made me want to work in rosettes again, too.  School starts again Monday, then a stack of papers comes in a week later.  Where’s that clone, now I need it?

Quilts

Sampler Quilt Top & Rosette #1 Finished

Rosette 1_OPQuiltcom I’m slowly making my way through the New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-Along, and have finally finished Rosette #1. Rosette 1_OPQuiltcom_detail Rosette 1 on fence Because of the deep colors, it’s a bit harder to photograph than I’d thought, but here it’s tacked up on my fence, in the daylight.  I’ve got the template ready for the next partial rosette, but will get to it a bit later, as there are some projects in the line-up ahead of it. Wall of Blocks This was the beginning of my Mid-Century Modern Bee Sampler, with all the blocks from my bee mates, plus a a couple I’d sewn together. Not Working was what I called it over the last few days.  Definitely Not Working at all.  I kept in all the bits and pieces of extras they’d given me, then I’d take them out.  I’d move them around some more; this quilt was more challenging than I’d thought! The last post talked about the basket block, but I pulled out a vintage quilt block book I’d purchased at a garage sale, to find another. Vintage Book Road to California Block Four blocks of Road to California it is, as all my mates had to send blocks to California. Sampler Quilt 2015 Finally it came together and I declared the top done.  I sewed all the pieces together while I listened to the next book in my Inspector Gamache series: Brutal Telling Gamache Sampler Quilt Backing Today I used the bits and pieces my bee mates had sent on the back and got it ready to go to the quilter’s.  It’s the first one headed over there since October of 2014.  How had it been so long?  Teaching had taken a lot out of me, and I left room for church service, teaching Sunday School, going to QuiltCon, and my family: PeterMeganMove2015 My son, Peter and his wife, Megan moved back to California from Betheseda, MD.  They did the cross country trip in 3 1/2 days.  You can tell they are young. Clearing Garden SPR 15 And I left some time to clear the garden, with a few cabbages, Swiss Chard and Brussels sprouts left. Cleared GardenWe planted seven different kinds of tomatoes, but are waiting for the weather to stop being so hot and dry before continuing.  My lettuce isn’t going to be happy this weekend that California has skipped winter, skipped spring and gone right to summer. quilted toteBut this cute tote and fabulous card arrived today as if to celebrate with me that I’d finally finished up.  Rachel, of The Life of Riley, sent them over as a little gift.  Her timing is impeccable! Giveaway Banner And so, to continue the celebration, I have a little giveaway.   I actually have two: Quilting Book The first is this little book of Quilting Techniques.  I’ve actually enjoyed looking through it, as I picked it up at a recent quilt show. Quilting Book pages Flip Flop GiveawayAnd since California thinks it’s summer, it must be time to spruce up those toes with a weensy cute pedicure set in a flip-flop case, a Passive-Agressive notepad (in honor of our freeways) and a wee pair of Itty Bitty Scissors, for those summer trips you are planning.  I’ll pick two winners.  Just leave me a note telling me your latest success and somehow I’ll randomly draw a name and send off these gifts.   International is okay, but I’ll just send one overseas (the other one is domestic).  I’ll let you know the winner in the next post.  Giveaway will close Tuesday evening, SoCal time.

Giveaway closed.  Thank you all for entering.