Stephanie, found at spontaneousthreads on Instagram and Flickr, frequently runs random prize drawings. A friend in Santa Fe entered for the two of us, and we each won a prize! This is the adorable package I got in the mail, with an invitation to make a little something. Woo Hoo!
Cooper the Cat loves bowls, boxes, and anything he can get his body into. Check out the meme “If It Fits, I Sits” for more adorable cat photos.
I made another Octagon Bag, for a friend, for Christmas 2016. I did a few things my way, such as mitering the corners for less bulk. I love this pattern (see previous post).
I spent about 10 days in Salem recently. While there, my sister-in-law Barbara and I worked on a quilt for her daughter, whose name starts with — E— what else? Ironing 14 yards of fabric (bolt sale price!) then started assembling Barbara’s E blocks. It’s huge: about 104″ by 104″ right now. The fully basted quilt (spray basting plus water soluble thread) is home with me, waiting to be quilted. This time I mean it- no more monster sized quilts!
I popped up to Portland from Salem to visit Luke & Colleen. We went to Hippo Hardware, a promised wonderland of parts for old houses. Nooks, crannies, half floors, full floors, scary steep stairs up and down, we explored it all. Outside, I took this photo.
The next day I went to BOLT Fabric Boutique on NE Alberta street with friend Judith. After fabric snooping and shopping, we crossed the street to have a late lunch at Bollywood Theater. Here is our chai tea, waiting for our order of sweet/sour/spicy cauliflower and chicken curry with mini side dishes.
While the cats sleep (two cats- one box), the snow outside slowly melts. David hacked a path to the big tree, for bird feeding, and our BBQ is mostly freed from the snowdrift on our deck. The little birds are back, but it’s not quite spring yet, is it?
I first saw this pattern at Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the spring of 2016. I got to buy this pattern at the Pacific International Quilt Festival, Santa Clara, California in October 2016. I made the small bag, reversible with Mochi dots in lime green. The outer fabric is a find from Bolt Fabric Boutique in Portland, Oregon. I love this bag! I’m making another bag- will report more when it’s finished.
The current exhibit, “Fate, Destiny and Self Determination” from January 20 to April 16, 2017, at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles features the weavings of Line Dufour. The public is invited to submit a small shape, under 4″ square, made with nonperishable fiber materials. We are encouraged to think beyond the square and make a unique shape. The shapes are due by April 16th. Check out the link to find out more about the exhibit and to the shapes collection growing on a wall.
At the time I mailed in my shape, people from over 26 countries had already sent in shapes!
My shape is a collage put together with leftover stitched thread web constructions (already treated with clear acrylic spray). I’m so happy to be part of this project- only wish I could visit the museum. Actually, I’d love to be able to see the exhibits shown there—- it’s a really great place if you are ever in the Bay Area or near San Jose, California.
Must start with an adorable photo of Korben, my “grand puppy”. He’s a cutie!
Years ago, I bought the Zipper Critters pattern (Indigo Junction, A Paula Heyek Design) because— well who could resist such a cute pattern? I found resistance was futile, but then, I have a zipper obsession. I decided to adapt the pattern into a skinny doll for Evelyn, the grand daughter of my friend Pat. (And you know what Korben would do with this, right?)
It’s about 11″ tall, with flat arms and legs. Perfect for a baby to grab…
Okay, maybe Evelyn and the Kitty didn’t get along at first….but then, Evelyn gave Kitty a big hug (and a chomp!).
Studio Art Quilt Associates holds a “Spotlight Auction” every year at their National Conference. These little quilts are 6″ by 8″, with a mat and opening of 4 1/2″ by 6 1/2″, vertical or horizontal. It’s fun to walk around the room to check out all the quilts, presented on little easels (matted and safely inserted into a plastic bag). Sadly, although I made several bids at the Fiberlandia conference in Portland in 2015, I walked away empty handed . These quilts will be included in the Spotlight Auction at the 2017, the National Conference will be in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the end of April.
Topsy-Turvy: My original interlocked “E” pattern.
You can tell I designed the composition with the smaller opening in mind. I just used blue paper for the photograph- the folks at SAQA will choose the right mat for each quilt.
Reverberations: Maybe 10 years ago now, I and my mother-in-law started a collaboration with 16 “cradle boards” with 2″ sides and a surface ready to paint or collage (8 each). For my surface design, I traced around bowls and plates from my kitchen- all without thinking too much. I cut up the paper into 9 squares, each 8″ by 8″. We had an interactive installation in mind, where viewers could move the cradle boards around. I did one cradle board with paint and collage and then the project languished. I still have the 9 squares, each one with a different “random” pattern. I used one of the squares to create this little quilt.
My mother-in-law took back the project and finished it on her own. Improv has been in many shows and won at least one award. She used acrylic paint, yarn, paper and other materials.
As with our original idea, Improv can be rearranged in a variety of configurations. The 2″ side of the cradle board hangs on a nail, so each block can be rotated There are a LOT of ways the composition can be arranged — however, it’s never been an interactive installation so that viewers could do the rearranging (galleries and art shows frowned on the idea).
I’m still working on the interactive braid scrappy big quilt project- photographs to come next. I’ve made 3 units of 6 rectangles and I’m guessing I need 70 or 80 or more units to go…. I’m hoping to use each fabric only once, so now, I’m trading and collecting with 1 or 2 other people. Let’s call it a “Friendship Braid”- anyone want to join in?
I like the way Reverberations turned out- I might continue this idea with the 9 squares. I included Challenges for 21 of the people on my annual card list- if people do the challenge, I will have photos to show off. I’ve received one so far. What else? I’m still living in a snow cave. We’ve not gotten any more snow, but it’s not melting a whole heck of a lot either. Lots of time to sew, right?
Before the Snowmageddon Saga begins, I have to start with this photo of a traveling snowman, spotted at the pet supply store in east Bend. Lots of us took photos- what a bright spot in our day!!!
I’m afraid to ask “What could happen next?”, because when I asked my husband that on Friday afternoon, we were forced to evacuate our house a few hours later because our carbon monoxide alarm had gone off at 10:30pm. We were told by the 911 operator to walk out now, but when you are in PJ’s, and it’s close to zero degrees outside and you have two cats, and you don’t know if you can go back in…..well, if you’re me, you do take time to put on good boots, a warm jacket and try to grab the cats. One went into the carrier while the other hid and was left behind, but after an hour or so, we were allowed back in the house— with the water heater and furnace turned off. Our garage was toxic, but the levels in our house were minimal- the garage got aired out with the door open, and our house similarly aired with open windows and ceiling fans going.
So with trepidation, we do wonder what is next. Here’s the story so far: it’s been snowing, and snowing, and snowing in Central Oregon. Bend is just about as poorly off as we are in Sunriver. The only reason the fire department could open our garage door Friday night is that we had the garage door opener and springs replaced that afternoon. See The List below.
From left to right:
View from our car, heading out of our garage towards the street. Don’t see the street? Straight ahead is the pile of snow from plowing our street, with a snow cluttered driveway and street at the base of the snow hill.
This is the front of our house. The mound? That’s David’s truck.
This is the back of our house. Notice the snow mound on the deck and roof.
This is the front of our house from across the street. The snow pile in the middle is “common area” on our cul-de-sac.
Of course, we’ve never seen this much snow on our roof in the over 20 year’s we’ve lived here. Oh sure, we’ve gotten a lot of snow in the past, but not all at once in a few days. Of course, with all of Bend, Sunriver and the rest of Central Oregon eager to get snow removal, we couldn’t find anyone to clear our roof. Then we did- on Friday- and our roof is now clear of snow. But that snow has to go somewhere!
What has happened already? In the previous post I mentioned the ongoing vein saga (procedure postponed because of illness, to be rescheduled), the Influenza A, the follow up bacterial secondary infection (last antibiotic today) and then just before Christmas, the 12 year old stove’s control panel stopped working. Because the space for the drop in stove in the center island is small (and appliances are bigger now), we had the choice of remodeling the kitchen or replacing the control panel. Guess what we did? ($$ not $$$$$$$$$$$$)
Then the roof clearing- it was both a bargain and a chunk of money. ($$)
Then on Thursday, with me feeling better, we planned to go to Bend and do errands. Not knowing our gargage door was frozen to the ground in a spot outside, we opened the garage door from the inside. Sproing and POP!!!! Oh yes, a spring sprung (broke) and so did the garage door opener. Okay, it was old when we bought the house 20 years ago, but come on…. did it have to break now? We were lucky to get it replaced Friday afternoon($$$)
Now the carbon monoxide problem. Our furnace, a year old, will shut down before it vents carbon monoxide, we learned when the furnace tech guy came out Saturday morning ($). He declared the furnace fine and turned it back on. So far so good with the furnace, but the hot water heater is the only culprit left for the carbon monoxide.
And it is old too. We installed it over 20 years ago now. We’ve learned that is old for a hot water heater but geez, the time has really just flown by without a problem, until now. We’ll find out Monday why the hot water heater is spewing carbon monoxide, but we hope it’s coincidental/old age and not because of the snow clearing on our roof that triggered the problem by way of the vent. Those guys worked really hard for several hours.
This is the entrance to our house. Our house is surrounded by snow drifts, because like I said earlier, the snow from the roof had to go somewhere. Rain is in the forecast, so we are afraid to ask “what’s next”, because if it rains and rains and rains, then we’ll have too much water. I’m going to do a bit of sewing and wait for Monday to secure a plumber (none available over the weekend)….
What a crazy year! But enough about that. (I’d rather forget blood clots, Influenza A, the loss of Leonard Cohen, and so much more…)
Next month I’ll have the totals for my annual List Letter, totaling up creative endeavors, movies watched, books read and more. As a list maker, it’s easy to add up all the things NOT done, so years ago I started listing all the accomplishments. Much better for my state of being—
And now, for the Christmas Stockings made for my son’s family for their first Christmas in their first home.
I ordered fabric from Spoonflower, from “pet friendly”, to make the two corgi themed stockings. Then since I’m a cat person, I had to make a cat themed stocking too! Go to spoonflower.com and search by theme, design or by designer. I love the fabrics by “pet friendly” and she says she can scale up or down the patterns, change the colors, all sorts of stuff, if you’ll only message her. Next time I order, I’ll order something other than the basic cotton, which is a bit on the thin side. It arrived promptly and washed beautifully (I followed their instructions).
I ordered the corgi’s in sweaters and the text fabric (eat sploot frap repeat- which means something to corgi owners). I had the cat fabric on my contemporary Japanese (and look alikes) shelf. I rustled through my fabrics for the stocking top band, heel, toe, and lining, but only found one I liked. I hit a local store and found some Christmas fabrics on sale- woo hoo!.
The cute corgi’s in Christmas Sweaters turned out to be smaller than I imagined. Spoonflower does have photographs with measuring tapes on two sides, so you can imagine the scale, so I think it was my problem. Next time I will probably order a sample swatch before making the final order.
Meanwhile, I caught Influenza A in Salem, meaning I spent a week in bed without doing any of the family get togethers, including going to Portland to wake up Christmas morning with Lucas and Colleen and my grand puppy Korben, meeting up with friends, or going to the Bolt Fabric Boutique Sale. But, my sister-in-law kept sewing E’s all along, as I watched from afar. Her daughter is E crazy and she wants a very specific color story for her new bed quilt. There are two styles of E’s with some mirror image blocks. We are calling it “Etaupia” or “Etopia” or???
Here is what we have so far:
And now, time for a toes up rest. I’m still getting over the influenza, and then I think I’ll be getting over the getting over—- See you next year!
After a mild start to winter, we had over 20 inches of snow in less than two days!!! I’ve been determined to keep the birds happy with suet, full feeders and peanuts & corn. Other critters- rabbits, squirrels- are happy too…
I’ve been going on my First Thing In The Morning walks, even when it’s ZERO degrees, like today. When it’s really cold, there are no tracks in the snow. But tracks become abundant when it warms up a little. These could be dog tracks or coyote tracks- we have coyotes in Sunriver and believe it not, they do like using the bike paths. No year around dogs on our street, but there have been some vacationing dogs recently. In a comparison of dog vs coyote tracks, I think these just might be coyote- the toes are close together and you could draw an X in the space between the bottom of the toes and the pad. My Morning Walks have shown me there is much more wildlife here than we get glimpses of once in awhile…
Indoor kitties get curious about the snow— but Cooper (seen digging in the snow) and Izzy (she lasted two seconds) are generally found in front of or on top of a heater vent. Don’t think they’d like it outdoors!
It’s a good time to wrap a gift or two while drinking a hot cup of tea.
Our stove/oven electric range took this time to become unresponsive- the oven wouldn’t turn off, with beeping, and an F1 error message. It’s most likely the control panel. A week cooking on the BBQ, reheating leftovers in the microwave, trying Trader Joe frozen Indian foods, and so on make us hopeful the repairman can get to the bottom of the problem quickly. I have been microwaving my egg in the morning- with cheese and ham- served on toast. Somehow it’s just not the same as a fried egg. But we have electricity and heat!!!
Life is Good!
This is my grand puppy, Korben, who is almost a year old now. He’s a Cardigan Corgi and adorable. He is everyone’s best friend. I helped Korben send his Peeps a Christmas card- they will love it.
My coauthor and friend Pat has a human grandchild, born in October to proud parents Jocelyn and Trevor. I started to wrap the baby books I selected for Evelyn when I thought- why not make a simple unlined tote bag for the books? I’m known for complicating things, and yes, one thing led to another: the finished tote bag is lined, with reinforced bottoms (inside and out), and so on and so on. I used linen/cotton blend fabrics (purchased at BOLT Fabric Boutique in Portland, Oregon)- it’s a sturdy tote bag! You can see the quilt Pat made for her granddaughter in the photo too!!
Above: See 1) the batting at the top and bottom of the bag, reinforced with the lovely Bernina Stitch #4 (altered to stitch a mild wavy line), 2) the faux serge stitch on the seams, 3) the handles already inserted in the seam between the main body of the bag and the top of the bag.
Above: There so many ways to make a lined tote bag with a handle! For this bag, I turned it right side out through a small opening left in the seam connecting the lining and the tote bag (photos 1 & 2). In photo #3, you can see the two bags, end to end. Photo #4 shows my advance planning- so the red outer fabric wraps over to the inside. And oh yes, I reinforced the bottom of the lining too- with canvas on the wrong side, stitched with my fave #4 stitch.
Above: Here is the finished bag, with a sneak peek of the inside. I bought the rabbit/heart fabric in June 2016, found in the remnant pile at BOLT. I had no idea what I’d do with it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I don’t usually buy “on speculation”, but I’m so glad I did! And there is fabric leftover— what’s next?
Structure. Chaos. Flow. Balance. Discover. Make. Repeat.
It could be 8 years ago that I started a zipper quilt, with grandiose ideas for a coral reef (of zipper coils) and stitched sea critters. Pat Pease transformed that quilt in our UFO Make Over Challenge, but I still liked my original line drawing. And so I came to gather fabrics, create a stitched thread web, prepare a quilted background and before cutting up the stitched web, tentatively position it.
“Unstoppable Forces”, 10″h by 7″w. I’m submitting it to the Studio Art Quilt Associates 2017 Trunk Show exhibit, which will debut in Lincoln, Nevada next spring with the SAQA National Conference. I’ve sworn off deadlines, and yet I’ve entered photographs of quilts for consideration in 2 books and a juried quilt show (bad news, I’m afraid), and now this. I’ll just say no more giant deadlines, but mini-deadlines are the stuff of life.
(Note: My quilt did not get accepted into the juried quilt show, which had over 500 entries and 23 accepted quilts. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I’m reminded of the year I learned to ski at the advanced age of 31. One day I bragged that I had not fallen down all day. My then boyfriend-now husband-told me I had not tried hard enough! If you’re going to enter shows, you will get the letters of regret sometimes.)
Speaking of unstoppable forces, my niece, on my husbands side of the family, is certainly all that and more. Can you guess her first initial? She requested an interlocked E block for a quilt for her bed, so her Mom and I are obliging. These are the two E blocks (my design)- you can imagine the mirror image versions- making 4 types of blocks. Only 49, 10″ by 12″ blocks— we have some sewing to do!
Meanwhile, it’s winter here! We got our first 1″ of snow, that stuck for a few hours, and last I looked, it’s snowing again. Two Cats- One Box: do they sleep in their beautiful faux fur cat baskets? No they do not. Give them a box, any size, filled with crinkly paper, and they are happy!
Look for the Sulky Webinar “Creative Quilt Challenges” with Pat Pease and Wendy Hill, November 16th. If it is full, you can watch the recorded version at another time.
Meanwhile, I’ve been doing neglected chores, reorganizing the sewing room, and poking around for something to make. On my list: wind chime using lipstick covers; Christmas stockings; oven mitts and potholders; more “shape shifting” ideas; and so on.
I’ve only recently appreciated the duality of the way-in 1971-I made traditional quilts and accepted a commission to make a quilt like the floor of the Taj Mahal, 120″ by 130″, in black and white no-wale corduroy. The lines between tradition and original designs have always been blurred for me.
From the beginning, I hung my bed-sized quilts on the wall until they were needed as blankets. In 1986 I made my first non-functional quilt, intended to be seen on the wall. I’ve always appreciated quilts as craft and art.
Below: On the left- my only photograph of the Taj Mahal Quilt. On the right- “Bricks Gone Wild”- my first non-functional quilt intended to be seen on the wall.
I think that’s why I don’t understand time spent on trying to categorize people and quilts- artist or crafter? bed quilt or art quilt? The lines are blurred, categories overlap, inspiration and creativity have nothing to do with boundaries.
I’ve been fooling around with an old “interlocked braid” pattern, that goes back to the early 1800’s. You might be more familiar with the short cut braid pattern, in which the sides get squared-up and assembled in one long seam. The interlocked pattern is riddled with partial seams, forming a zigzag pattern.
On the left, is my first trial, with larger rectangles (FS 3″ by 6 5/8″). After all the partial seams, I felt the zigzag got lost. Also, the rectangles seemed too jumbo sized.
Keeping the same approximate ratio, my second trial with smaller rectangles (FS 2 1/2″ by 6″) worked better. But I added a narrow strip of fabric to enhance the zigzag (sold color for the black & white rectangles; black & white flower for the print rectangles)—and I really like it.
Is the black & white flower fabric too busy? Will it get lost in the assorted prints? It is busy, and it might get a bit lost, but I like the effect. It’s a simple repetitive pattern (all rectangles), so it’s good for the brain to work a little bit to find the pattern. In my opinion, anyway.
We have 3 people playing around with this pattern. One suggested calling the group The Friendship Braid. It has a nice ring to it!
Come early to the Pacific International Quilt Festival to be first in line or come a bit later to miss the crowds.
The twenty special exhibits have their own area in the convention hall. We had an “end aisle” on a main walkway near the women’s bathroom— how great is that?!!!
Our 30 feet of back wall, with 24 feet of side walls, didn’t go as far as we hoped. We added a half wall at the 20 foot mark. PIQF provided black curtains, rods, telescoping rods, S hooks in 3 sizes, and a work table. It took Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday until 3:55pm to get all the quilts up. Five minutes to spare!!! Woo Hoo!
From Left to Right: Here is the first 20 feet of the booth. On the right is the half wall, with the door way to the last 10 feet of the booth. The quilt names go from left to right top first, then bottom row.
Photo #1: ColorBlind, 2013, Wendy Hill
Photo #2: Color Blinded Again (reversible quilt); Bright Hopes, 2013, Pat Pease; Georgi’s Garden, 2016, Wendy Hill; Cut Up, 2013, Pat Pease; A Change of Heart, 2015, Pat Pease & Wendy Hill
Photo #3: Bright Hopes, Georgi’s Garden, Silent Reflection, 2013, Pat Pease & Wendy Hill; Cut Up, A Change of Heart; Lightening Strikes, 2016, Wendy Hill
Photo #4: Silent Reflection; Lots of Trout, 2016, Wendy Hill & Pat Pease; One Orange Dot, 2013, Pat Pease; Lightening Strikes, Echino Yet Again, 2013, Pat Pease; Stepping Out, 2015, Wendy Hill
Photo #5: Confluence, 2015, Wendy Hill; Cairn Study 3, 2013, Wendy Hill
Photo #6: Marsh Scene, 2013, Pat Pease;Evey’s Quilt, 2016, Pat Pease; Snow Strings, 2014, Pat Pease; Jocey, 2016, Pat Pease
Photo #7: Left Side- Evey’s Quilt; Ripple Effect, 2014, Wendy Hill; Square Dance, 2013, Wendy Hill & Pat Pease; Pass It Forward, Bolt Fabric Boutique, 2016; Right Side- Shape Shifting Challenge, see below
Photo #8: See information Photo #7
We invited 10 people to participate in a group challenge on the theme “Shape Shifting”. The rules? Please interpret the theme, 20″ by 20″ maximum size, any materials or methods, mixed media okay. It’s fun to do challenges with your local friends, but with the miracle of the Internet, you can connect with people around the world!
Row #1: Opening by Christine Drumright, New Mexico; Genesis by Maggie Vanderweit, Ontario, Canada; Day Shift by Judith Garnett, Oregon
Row #2: Peace of Nature by Barb Frances, California; Magma Displacement by Susan Howell, Minnesota; Encryption by Pat Pease, Oregon
Row #3: Command+Option+Shift by Ann Marra and Timothy Ely, Washington; All Life Matters by Karla Rogers, California; Evolving by Tawnya Romig-Foster, Colorado
Row #4: Hot Flash by Maria Shell, Alaska; U-Turn by Wendy Hill, Oregon; Ohio Shifted by Tierney Davis Hogan, Oregon
All of the quilts deserved a bit more space, but our 30 foot booth at PIQF was already a generous piece of landscape at the show. We were ambitious! We had quilt signs, plus most quilts had technique or in-progress photo signs too.
We met a LOT of people: thank you to everyone who spent time with our quilts and us, Wendy (on left) and Pat (on right).