Thursday, August 25, 2022

WIP Roundup

 First of all, I am done with documenting all the quilts I have completed. Along the way there were some quilt tops that I finished but passed on to others to complete so those are not included. 

The final total: 227! I can hardly believe it. They are labeled by name of quilt and by year completed. Live a Colorful Life Quilt Diary

As I became rather obsessed with finishing that project, actual sewing fell by the wayside. So yesterday I caught up on the Moda Blockheads 4 blocks, also known as my Peanut Butter and Jelly quilt.

Block 20, Stop Go, by Stacy Iest Hsu

Block 21, Shiny Bauble, by Janet Clare

Block 22, Star Patch, by Sherri McConnell (@aquiltinglife)

Block 23, Gentleman's Fancy, by Brenda Riddle

Bonus Block 8, Sweet Treats. I wish I had made the flower part of the basket darker/brighter, but I'm not going to redo it.
I'm working on the binding for Sunny Disposition. I also wish I had made a slight change in that as well--making an additional 1" outer purple border, and then added matching binding. But I didn't realize that until it was already trimmed. 
So the question is: now what should I work on next? Maybe back to pineapple blocks. 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Rose's Tattoo Quilt

Another quilt that never received a complete post when I finished it! So here it is...

I'm a huge fan of Berene Campbell of Happy Sew Lucky quilt designs. I've purchased many of her patterns over the years. When she started releasing blocks for what would become the Tattoo quilt, I purchased each one, knowing I wanted to make the quilt. I didn't have a recipient in mind at the beginning, but by the time the final pattern had been released, I knew I wanted to make it for our niece, Rose. Her favorite colors are fall tones, and I knew this would be the perfect quilt to make for her. 

My initial fabric pull. I thought maybe the brown essex linen would work. But ultimately I chose something else.

The first block was "truth." I already knew at this point that the background fabric was perfect. 
I worked my way through the blocks. I kept count of all the pieces along the way. The grand total: 1,798!!

I used one of my very favorite plaids for the backing.

When it was completed and quilted, Mark and I took it on a tour around Fresno, looking for photo ops at some of the local tattoo shops.

In the summer of 2021, we made a trip to Salem, Oregon, to deliver the quilt in person. Rose told me she had the perfect place for an additional photo op, and she was so right! Everything about it was perfect--from the size of the opening to the colors and the eyes. 

We love Rose so much. She embodies the words on the quilt. The fact that the flowers running across the heart in the center are roses was an added bonus. 

I think she is pretty happy with the quilt too.

Title: Rose's Tattoo
Pattern by: Berene Campbell
Date Completed: 2021
Size: 63" x 72"
Quilted by: Darby Myers


Friday, August 19, 2022

Grand Prismatic

 While I have been documenting all the quilts I've made since I began quilting (1994), I have realized that some of those that I consider my biggest and best have never had a post of their own. There have been progress shots along the way, but nothing about the finished quilt. 

In the next few days or weeks, I will be posting a few of them as I write up the post for the Quilt Diary blog. I begin with Grand Prismatic, a quilt finished in 2021.

 Grand Prismatic was inspired by the Grand Prismatic spring at Yellowstone National Park.

I was given a copy of the Pollinate quilt pattern designed by Kitty Wilkin and published by Karen Tripp. We had just returned from a trip to Yellowstone and I was inspired by the boiling mud pots and many springs and geysers in the park. So while a lot of quilters were doing lovely "rainbow" versions, I headed off in a totally different direction. 

I knew I wanted to use a variety of Oakshott cottons and a lot of other fabrics that "read" as solids but had some texture or gleam/glisten to them.

The center medallion, the one replicated the Grand Prismatic spring itself, was definitely the most fun.

There were a few times when the quilt spoke to me about fabric choices and said "absolutely not"--I tried a print that was too busy or not the right color. A lot of fabric auditions simply did not work. I'm so glad I listened. 

When you do an English paper pieced project, pulling out all those papers is a big job. Mark volunteered and I was happy to hand that part of the job over to him.

Once it was ready for quilting, I had a very specific vision in my mind, especially for all the white parts that represented the bubbling mud pots. Dawn Haldeman gave me everything I envisioned, and even more.  Each pool and spring in Yellowstone is surrounded by a wooden walkway. I had used a very subtle fabric around each "pool" to mimic the same thing. Dawn quilted all the "walkways" with the pebble motif, and all the bubbling mud pots had bubbles and swirls. 

On our trip to Yellowstone, I purchased a tea towel to save to the back of the quilt. And then in a stroke of luck, I was able to find some Yellowstone fabric. In a weird twist, while many of the springs, geysers and pools are part of the Yellowstone map fabric, Grand Prismatic, one of the biggest and most famous, is not part of the map. 
I'm so happy that I stuck to my vision of the Grand Prismatic spring. There were times when I thought it would either be epic. Or an epic failure. But I'm thrilled with it.

Title: Grand Prismatic
Design by: Kitty Wilkin, published by Karen Tripp
Date Completed: 2021 (entirely English paper pieced)
Size: 55" x 64"
Quilted by: Dawn Haldeman

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Really Random Thursday, 8/18/22

 Well, we did it. Much to our disappointment, we gave up on our dream of having a dahlia garden full of gorgeous flowers. 

It is just TOO HOT in Fresno. We read all the suggestions and tried to follow them--this year we added shade cloth overhead. But to no avail. The other day, Gabe and I pulled them all out. Out of nearly 30 plants, this was the best we got. And lest you think the top one is a nice big bloom. Nope. Only 2 1/2" across.

Next year we have decided on lantana. It has a lot of showy blossoms and takes the full heat and sun with no problems.

We had an abbreviated version of Wiens Art Camp last Friday, this time including Ruby and Amelia as well.  We had so much fun. 

I have always been intrigued by cyanotype fabric (it comes in a paper version as well) so I ordered 30 sheets from Amazon.

The procedure is to lay objects on a sheet of the fabric and set it out in the sun. The fabric changes color from dark green to lighter green around the object. Then you rinse the fabric in water and it turns this beautiful shade of blue. The kids gathered objects from everywhere in the house: buttons, pasta, cookie cutters, goldfish crackers, lawn ornaments, leaves, flowers. Literally anything will work. 
It only takes 10-15 minutes before it is ready to rinse.

It was such fun and they got so creative.

Ruby picked a rose and laid it on the fabric. 

Goldfish crackers and a quilting ruler

I'm not sure what we will do with them--I might make some zipper pouches.

The next camp counselor was Mark, who was prepared with a fused glass project.

He had a variety of glass scraps, both plain and dichroic, and 4" squares of clear glass. They could use whatever pieces they chose and make two projects.

He taught them how to glue the pieces to the clear glass so they didn't shift.

He has now fired them once to get them fused and flat like this, and then fired them a second time to "slump" them into a gentle curve. It was a great project for this group.

When we asked Ella what kind of art project she was interested in, she immediately said "Slip 'n Slide." Okay, not technically an art project. But it was a hot afternoon and by then the kids were ready to release some energy.

Mark and I are avid fans of America's Got Talent. The other night a comedian was on, a techie guy, who was really funny. I need to pass this on to Aaron, our optometrist son, for possible changes in how they advertise their eye group. Haha. By the way, he's currently in Guatemala this week with Enfoque Ixcan, a nonprofit organization which provides eye care to a remote jungle region. I love his heart for doing this kind of work.

Saturday night, Central Valley Justice Coalition (where Christa works) had a fundraiser. 
 It was in the coolest venue downtown, with live music.

And glow sticks on the tables. Lots of glow sticks.

The kids all started school on Monday. (The following five photos were taken by Christa)

Sigh. They are growing up so quickly.

Junior in high school
Freshman in high school 
Fifth grade 
Third grade 
These four go to the same school. Ella and Amelia are in the same classroom, and Ruby and Gabe are in the same classroom. Christa has them each pegged exactly when she wrote this: "One more of the elementary crew, who struck gold this year by being placed in the same classrooms! Ruby said to Gabriel, 'I'm always going to be rooting for you, but I'm also going to try to crush you,' which Gabe felt put his sentiment into words nicely. Most likely Ella is looking around the room skeptically, figuring out who she can trust and who will stab her in the back, while Amelia leads the parade."
These kids are just the best and I love them all so very much.

But I still wish they would stop growing...
My thoughts exactly (as I head toward a big milestone birthday...)

Speaking of which...I went to see my father yesterday. I got a call last week that somehow he had gotten his electric shaver and shaved half of his hair off. I wasn't sure what he would look like today. The staff apparently finished the job for him.  Actually, I think this suits him just fine, and I hope they keep his head shaved. 
And now he matches his son and grandson.

Mark begins the football season with his crew this week. And Friday's temperature is supposed to be a whopping 106 degrees. Yikes. (That's Mark in the back left). This is the time of year where I look for lots of TV shows to binge.

Is it hot where you are?