Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tuesday's Orts--9/17/19

Tuesdays Orts--bits and pieces of thoughts, happenings, and weirdness that land here occasionally.

--X marked the spot on my return to work after lunch one day.
--My doctor boss has been through quite a number of sets of Invisalign trays on his way to straight teeth.  He calls it his "Invisigrill".
--I was scribing a visit with an older female patient with some arthritis in her knees, who said she felt better when she slept with a pillow between her legs....but when I misspelled pillow with one "L" my computer autocorrected this to "Pilot".  My daughters were disappointed I didn't leave that in the record!
--Grandson Hunter tried on my hat at his brother's soccer game and posed when I pulled out my phone. 
Aren't his sun freckles cute?  Then he asked for my phone to take a picture of Mimi. 

...but kept clicking so this was the last Mimi portrait:

--Traffic Rant: Aggressive drivers who zoom up to your rear bumper when there is an open lane to move to. There seem to be so many of these bozos--of every age!
--I'm a big fan of leftovers so try to be cagey at restaurants.  Some salads are huge portions for not much more than the price of an appetizer.  I got two meals out of a salad with crab whereas the three crab cakes appetizer wouldn't stretch far.

--This art installation occurred when I poured clear soap into opaque soap, so weird!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Dreamweaver and Other Progress

It was a very busy workweek--exhausting, in fact--and that limited my stitching time, but I did make progress on the Dreamweaver wedding quilt for our son and daughter-in-law. 

The first 7 rows of 20 blocks each are done--with 19 to go!  I only had to do surgery to one row where there were too many of the same print in a diagonal line.  My efforts at careful and consistent rotary cutting are paying off in the assembly, even if it is easy to get squares out of order :)  My version of Jen Kingwell's Dreamweaver quilt eliminated the disappearing 9 patch blocks, since I greatly enlarged the quilt dimensions to about twin size for a couch quilt.  The squares finish at 3".

Leader-enders formed  9 patches to go with churn dash blocks and I sewed up the first row of the baby quilt I'm making with them. These are 6" finished.

I'm liking it so far and will have a finished top quickly.  Another project moved along is an embroidery for my sister.  I finally got out the lightbox and traced the last panel for the Blackwork Slave Quarters set, not realizing I had the fabric wrong side up until I started stitching the next day. No matter, I used a Pigma Pen which shows through to the front side.  Design decision, let's call it, to reverse the scene!

I also have a correction on my last post: the star quilt from the Quilt Now magazine is not called "A Star is Born", but "Star of the Show".  That may help searches for the pattern! 

The well-worn path from home to work was enlivened one afternoon by a helicopter hovering close by. 
We originally guessed this was a police chopper but I read in the paper that it is the electric company doing surveys and we shall see this scene a lot in the next few months--multiple fires have been blamed on power lines in our state, including the Thomas Fire that burned the hills beyond this photo. 

Soccer season has started and we'll be attending grandson Cove's game tomorrow.  I missed the opening game last week after tweaking my back somehow.  It cleared up in a couple of days but was annoying until gone. 

The other news of the week is that I ended up volunteering for the Treasurer's position at Guild.  No one wanted to be President either--but finally two members decided to co-lead, after a previous president, who is battling cancer and planning to move out of state, said he would do it.   It is sad when always the same folks put their hands up while so many others could jump in too.  I know it is common in any organization, but still disappointing.  So now I have to learn QuickBooks.  I'm sure I've mentioned that I spell for a living and don't do math--but I am assured "it's easy".  We'll see!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Design Wall Monday--Sept 9, 2019

It's Design Wall Monday!  See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.   

On my design floor is another project that stalled due to a cutting error...hmmm, I sense a theme in my sewing life!  Our guild has promised 50 quilts by the end of the year for babies and kids and I had started a large star quilt found in this British patchwork magazine I got free in a goodie bag: 

However, in my enthusiasm at the cutting table, I had cut and made the wrong color combination HSTs for my version of "A Star is Born" quilt in the magazine.  So into a Time Out box the quilt went, without even a progress photo taken!  Then , even after carefully checking and double checking the fabrics I needed, I carelessly cut a set of squares for HSTs at the FINISHED size.  I luckily had plenty of the green hand-dyed Rick Tims fabric hoarded since 2006--definitely time to get it cut up and into a quilt. 

My toes matched the center purple :).  The magazine pattern had the corners rounded and finished with bias binding, but I think I'll leave mine square.  If I have enough of the Kona Silver used in the outer blocks, I'll bind it with that, otherwise probably the Kona Prussian blue solid, I love that color.

The project box didn't stay empty for long!

My sister reminded me of the guild monthly challenge due Monday, something inspired from the summer.  It being a variable summer, I pulled out my bin of leftover pieces and parts and sewed together a small table mat/runner.  It looked too regular to be modern, so I sliced and rearranged. 

Much more interesting.  I'll call it Mixed Bag.  The leftover blocks drawer is pretty full, there will be some more small projects in the near future. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

More Pieces and Parts to Ponder

Oh, the trouble that follows when I attempt to clean up the cutting table and put things away!  I came across a baggie of Churn Dash blocks from Barb's swap and remembered an idea I saved for an alternate block.  I have another grandnephew due later this year and thought it would make a good baby quilt.  

The curves that appear with the alternate nine patch block really attracted me.  I pulled a modern white and gray print and solid black and cut the needed squares. 

Lots of different blues with low volume backgrounds.

Not the greatest layout attempt on the nine patches--but enough to show the goal.  These blocks will make good leader-enders as I sew together  some of the 520 3.5" squares the newlyweds helped me layout last weekend.  I failed to get a photo of the layout before we stacked up and labeled the rows.

The Churn Dash theme continued when I got the last three seams sewn for my dad's Chunky Churn Dash quilt--the pic is the before shot...it went together easily and I'm very happy with it.

 Dad was too!  Here's a pic of us working on a jigsaw puzzle last week of a harbor scene painting by Claude Monet.
Very serious work!  My engineer dad sorts all the pieces into groups by type, "one pin", "four pin", "no pin", etc.  Once he shared his secret with me, it made picking out the right piece a lot quicker!  Mom's art studio always has a table set up for puzzles.

Pondering if I want to add borders to Chunky Churndash  or not--a mockup will be necessary for final options. Again, this is a free pattern by Bonnie Hunter on her Quiltville website...which leads to another free Bonnie pattern, My Blue Heaven.  I took Bonnie's class last year with the Camarillo Quilt Guild and called my version My Lupine Heaven, using two colors instead of one. In class I only completed one star block and one puss in the corner block, but cut many pieces.  Here and there I've cut and sewn pieces and parts to use as leader-enders, and finally got to a point where I had enough to construct a bunch of blocks.  The star blocks have 24 pieces each, which makes for a lot of sewing!

Oh my, that is a busy bunch of blocks.  I'm not exactly happy with these, some seem very muddy and the star doesn't really stand out.  Sigh.   My plan calls for a 6x8 layout so there is still a lot of sewing to do.  Perhaps choosing more light backgrounds with fewer prints will help the star blocks.  The neverending scraps will feed the kitty forever, it seems :)

Monday, September 2, 2019

Design Wall Monday--9/2/19

Happy Labor Day! For Design Wall Monday, I'm laboring on another UFO that stalled out at borders, last seen on another DWM here  .  Yesterday while cleaning up the sewing room, I was folding up leftover yardage I used as bias binding on a tree skirt when struck by an idea.  I pulled out this Christmas quilt top from the closet to check if the colors would work.  This is a design inspired by a pattern called Barefoot in the Park by Loft Creations.

I quickly sewed on the corner triangles that had been patiently waiting since last November to be attached.  The aqua print initially was the only border I was going to add, but I bought too little of it and cannot find it anywhere.  It is a directional print and my fear was that it was going to bug me if I had to piece the border.  However, laid across the quilt in two pieces, I think my fear is allayed by the busyness of the print!  I played around with the border design to see how short the border pieces could be cut.  

The red striped border fabric color was what I was wondering about.  I think it works fine with the prints in the quilt. I like the 4 patch in the corner and added two more to shorten the aqua border.  Hmmm...

Just the 4 patch here...but wait, I'll try switching the borders.

I think I like this setting best, with the aqua border first, since it is a more modern print to go with the four patches and background print, even though I'll have to use more of it.  Opinions welcome!

See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.    She's showing a darling butterfly quilt today, and real Monarchs hatching.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Design Wall Monday--August 26, 2019

It's Design Wall Monday again--at least I get on this blog about once a week for the sharing party! See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.

After multiple days of no machine stitching, I got busy sewing the Chunky Churndash blocks together, finally (free pattern by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville.com).

Two sets of three rows laid out casually on the floor, not joined yet.  I have 7 more rows to assemble before getting the top together.   I sent this pic to my Dad, whose quilt this will be, and he thought it was "looking good".  I'm using smaller hourglass pieces from another Bonnie Hunter free pattern, My Blue Heaven, as leader-enders.  Gotta get these project boxes emptied sometime...

Another job crossed off the list was getting 520 squares cut for the newlyweds' quilt.  I sent this pic to son Nick and his wife and they both replied enthusiastically.  It may be a different reaction when I have them help me lay these all out on the floor :)  

One of our local independent quilt shops, Superbuzzy, had an anniversary party this weekend.  I made a trip with a gift card aging since Christmas.  There was a raffle prize ticket given and another scavenger hunt for a special gift.  I looked over the store several times and kept coming back to a kit I'd wanted since I first saw it few years ago.  While I was at the register, the raffle prize number was drawn twice with no one present with the ticket.  Third time was the charm, my ticket number was called!

I won the stack of Japanese fabric fat quarters, and my purchase of the Mahalo Kit earned me a cute pin.  Desert Bloom is a fabric line from Sherri & Chelsi for Moda. Sherri blogs at "A Quilting Life" and if you search her blog for Mahalo, she shares many different styles for this Dresden-type block made in her classes.  The quilt design was inspired by an antique of Sherri's, her great-grandmother's quilt that was 30's fabrics.  I'll look forward to assembling my own Mahalo quilt. 

Happy last week of August!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Design Wall Monday--8/19/19

It's Design Wall Monday again.  See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

On my design floor are the Chunky Churndash blocks I have been making for my Dad's replacement quilt.  I cut and sewed hourglass blocks for days and finally had the stack ready. My sister Kathy, who was making peach cobbler in my kitchen, expressed her detestation of the scrappy blocks I had made--tiny pieces give her hives--as do CW prints.  I just smiled and proceeded to lay them out on the dining room floor.

I was really happy with the hourglass blocks' contrast with the Chunky Churndash blocks.  There was little switcheroo needed as there were so many unique color combos.  A couple of lighter blocks didn't make the cut, however.

The wood floor didn't look too bad as an alternate block either :)  

By this point Kathy was loving the transformation with the diagonal setting formed by the hourglass blocks, much to my amusement.  Once again, Quilt Math reared its ugly head as I ran short of hourglass blocks by eight!   Fortunately I had plenty of fabric and quickly cut and sewed up the remaining blocks. 

All credit for the simple and effective design goes to Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville.com.  This is a free pattern on her website, which I enlarged by a couple of rows. The quilt will shrink  to 66x78" before borders.  I will likely add only one border, if any, whereas the pattern has three.  I would note, however, that the pattern instructions do not include yardage requirements for the borders. The block rows are all stacked, numbered and pinned, ready to be joined together.  Hope to have the rows all sewn by the end of the week!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Art and More from the County Fair

Mom and I spent more time in the Home Arts building looking at the amateur fine arts category, including drawing and painting of all types.  We had a few favorites, scratched our heads at some ribbon winners, but were mostly impressed.  

I liked  this very fine colored pencil portrait.  Many hours dedicated to this one, for certain.

I liked this one too, of a ballet stretch. 

Another very well executed drawing that received Best of Show. 

A fun caricature self-portrait also won best of show.  Clever use of an old clipboard.  I took cartooning at our local college when I was in high school--still have some of my work around here somewhere.  

Neither Mom nor I was familiar with this art medium, but thought it a very clever portrait.

I was fond of this watercolor, all the rich autumn colors. 

A chilling rendering of the hills and sky during the Thomas Fire in December 2017, from midtown of the city.

Another fine watercolor of a leafless tree.  So much energy in the painting, I thought.  

I then took Mom over to the Youth Arts building to show her an amazing installation of an art form I had never heard of, Tapigami.  

Everything displayed here is made from masking tape!  It was a huge display, you had to stand back to see "VENTURA" spelled out. 
All kinds of towers, leaves, animals, flowers and shapes made with tape.

The creator of this inexpensive art form has written a couple of instructional books.  You can google Tapigami for more amazing installations. 

After a lunch of Fish Tacos from a favorite local vendor, we made our way to the Floriculture building, which had a dearth of the normal large commercial displays with hundreds of plants, water features, bridges, etc for yards.  While we missed them, there were plenty of amateur efforts.  

The editor in me cringed at the unnecessary apostrophe in Plants, but was happy to see someone else added the second "o" in too to correct it!  I posted about this on Instagram and found it funny that there is a hashtag #pluralnotpossessive :)

Here's a rendering in miniature of the Fairgrounds that was created by County Jail system juveniles who are being taught landscaping skills, apparently.  Pretty unique!

One more quilt I forgot to share, a fun one.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

County Fair Visit--Home Arts

The annual County Fair is over, but I wanted to share some photos from the visit my Mom and I made--we spent a lot more time at the Home Arts building than my husband wanted to when he and I went :)

I liked this Jack's Chain quilt and the Eiffel Tower stained glass piece.  The metalwork butterfly was pretty, too. 

Mom was getting a closer look at my quilt in that booth, and I don't know what else!

We both laughed at the chubby mermaid sculpture that was in the sea themed booth.  
A fellow guild member made the amazing quilt--can't remember the pattern designer at the moment.

This entry in the Table Setting contest was cute, but I noted a creepy item on the menu...

A "C" needed to be added to the appetizer description to avoid cannibalism of a religious sect :)

A beautiful Dear Jane quilt. 

Another traditional favorite--Seven Sisters.

A Lone Star quilt has been on my "Must Make" list for many years.

I loved this hodge-podge quilt made from all the leftover blocks and "singles" that never became a quilt.  It won a special Fair award. 

This animal themed booth had lots of variety.  I liked the stuffed Yak bookended by Amigurumi critters.   Cinderella's carriage was pretty impressive on the lower left.

Another guild member's Mt Hood quilt by Violet Craft.  I have yet to finish my version, of which I have one section done!  Judy hand quilts all her work.

Beautiful piecing on this purple quilt. 

I liked this Crooked House quilt too, it was hung above my ModZ baby quilt. 

I have more photos I'll share in another post.