Cooper the Cat likes to sandwich himself between my grid rullers and take a nap. What a cutie! I mean: he’s cute when he’s not tearing up the room!
You can see the start of one of the PIQF quilts on the back wall. I just finished it and have restored order to the sewing room. A sneak peek is on the way.
Quilt #1 for the upcoming special exhibit (with Pat) at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in October in Santa Clara, California is DONE. Come to PIQF and see ”A Natural Affinity…” and all the quilts for yourself.
I sew with a Bernina 155, Schmetz sharps or microtex needles, and lots of thread. I also rely on my Chicken Timer, set at 20 minutes, to make myself get up and walk around 3 times per hour. Otherwise, time flies and I can’t move.
Notice the registration line on the quilt panel in the first two photos. I started the satin stitched triangle on the outside line (the cutting line for later). After crossing the second line (the seam line for later), I started reducing the width to make the triangles.
I used my “quilting as you sew” method. After quilting the panels through all the layers, I sewed the three panels right side together so it looks “normal” from the front. On the back, I pressed the seams open, Frankenstein-whipstitched the seams through the batting, and covered them with nicely blind stitched seam coverings. When you are done, you’re done!
Hair interfacing (the neutrals) is actually darn stiff. After struggling to figure out how to face the quilt (just not enough steam in the world to make this work, even with Tim Gunn’s chant) or using a fabric binding (didn’t like it), I woke up to the idea I used.
I faced the top and bottom edge with the sleeves/casings. I finished the two vertical edges with my “postcard” stain stitched finish. I like it!
Chocolate Chimayo Chili Crème Brulee is perfect for May 1st! The half & half gets simmered with cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. The Chimayo chili comes from the Chimayo region near Santa Fe (http://www.nativehispanic.com/). The chili powder is a beautiful orangey- red, more sweet than hot, and full of flavor. Melted sugar & cinnamon tops this chocolate custard. SO GOOD!
I surprised the folks in Medford with the remaining 5 custards. The manager of the dining room brought out the desserts, festively placed on paper doilies. My in-laws and the 2 dinner guests didn’t even complain about the calories- everyone took a bite, then another and another, until clink clank, our dishes were empty. My father-in-law threatened to lick his bowl clean, but didn’t.
I’m threatening to get a real kitchen torch, so I can properly melt the sugar on top! I just need to decide which torch is the best buy and hit “place order”.
It might be hard to see this on the computer, but one of these background fabrics is a “color killer”. It’s the one on the right, the “sage” green. In real life, in daylight, the color dies when placed next to the killer sage green fabric.
The oatmeal color on the left, a linen/cotton blend, brings great life to the colors- in daylight, in real life. Trust me. This is why I experimented before making 50 stars in all sizes and colors.
And points….this star has longer, pointier “points”.
I need to buy more of the oatmeal fabric, which comes back in stock later in May, so stay tuned for a wall of stars. In the meantime, I will restore order in the sewing room and keep quilting on Cairn Study 3.
This year, David built these blue jay birdhouses. They build cup nests in the forks of trees, but they’ll adapt to using other kinds of platforms. We hope they’ll move in to these houses sometime this year….we’ll keep an eye on the birdhouse in the tree in our front yard.
Kumiko Sudo wrote on the first page of East Quilts West, c.1992, this book “is about spirit”. She promised the reader that the inspiration she found would continue through us, as we created our own unique quilts.
I don’t remember reading that specifically, but I do remember pouring over the book, again and again. Unlike most books at the time, this was not a “make one like mine” project book. With one original block presented in fabric and illustration per page, with short and simple text directions to assemble the block, these offerings let us, the reader, go wild in our imagination.
Although I had already started making my own original designs, this book definitely helped shape my thinking about my own quilt making and later, my own books and workshops. I also tried to capture the ability to inspire others to create their own unique works.
I made one quilt from two of the blocks, using a few fabrics. I designed my own quilting pattern using circles. I called this quilt “Circling the Square”.
The Olive Oil Bandits struck again on Monday, April 8th!!!
Once upon a time, in a home far far away, there lived two clever kitties named Cooper and Izzy. Childproof locks on most of the cupboards could not stop them!
In the middle of Saturday night, one of them jumped from the refrigerator to the overhead stove fan hood, which barely juts out from the cupboards. From there, the persistent kitty opened the unlocked cupboard door and knocked down the olive oil bottle, spilling oil everywhere.
Needless to say, David heard nothing and slept in past the usual “Feed Me” kitty hour. Imagine his surprise to see two queasy kitties and an olive oil lake on the center island cutting board.
Just when I thought they’d never want olive oil again, they managed to get into a cupboard with the locks, knock down the Costco-sized olive oil bottle, and create a new lake on the floor. They were ready to chow down (or lick up) again.
I think I must not have closed the cupboard all the way…or else they’ve learned to open the childproof locks that we thought were cat proof as well!!!
April Fool’s Day calls for Dark Chocolate Almond Bark. If you don’t have the time to make this “cheater” recipe, then cheat even more: take a bite of chocolate and an almond and enjoy!
Start with your favorite dark chocolate. Mine is 77% Chocolove, in the gold wrapper, with a love poem inside every wrapper. Check out chocolove.com to read about their history in Boulder, Colorado and 24 kinds of chocolate bars.
Add roasted plain almonds. I buy my raw almonds at Costco. Freeze half the almonds. Roast the other half in a 350-degree oven, tossing a couple of times. Keep in mind that the almonds keep cooking after they come out of the oven. You must take them out a bit early to get “just right” almonds after they cool completely.
Barely melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Stir in the almonds. Spread out on parchment. Draw lines in the chocolate. Refrigerate until cold and hard. Break apart on the lines.
I started this quilt in 2004, with the idea it would appear in my last book, Easy Bias Covered Curves, copyright 2006, C&T Publishing. But the 64 blocks proved daunting. I’ve been resurrecting it at intervals ever since.
This is my variation of a public domain single sawtooth star block called “Moon and Stars”. My version has double sawtooth stars, with an “A” block in a scrappy assortment and a “B” block with a bias covered circle, black and white repeat fabrics, and 32 different solid colors.
With all the “B” blocks finished (plus extra for auditioning), I recently turned my attention to the “A” blocks. I need 14 more (plus extra). After using a fabric in a block, it does not appear in any other blocks. I have scoured my sewing room for fabrics, so for the final 7 plus blocks, I took up my friend Pat’s invitation to raid her sewing room.
I hand-washed the 10″ squares in the bathroom sink, with a piece of muslin and a dye magnet sheet. Here are the fabrics- washed, dried and ironed!
Years ago, my friend Sue introduced me to Eleanor Burn’s “Quilt in a Day” Flying Geese Ruler. It’s a miracle! One- sew squares together. Two- cut apart and sew them together again. Three-cut apart; use the magic ruler to make 2 geese per square. It goes really fast. One ruler makes two sizes of geese, perfect for the double sawtooth star! (www.quiltinaday)
So I’ve been busy combining and sewing and cutting to prepare the final blocks for assembly. Next, I’ll assemble a block a day until I’m finished. There is light at the end of this tunnel from 2004.
I’m going to make this quilt reversible in a way that “keeps it simple”. The problem is that everything I conceive is complicated to do. This is my challenge: genuinely “keep it simple”.
The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and Billye Turner, Art Consultant, collaborated to put on the second annual art quilt show called “Fabrications”.
See all 32 quilts by 28 artists at the Franklin Crossing Building, in downtown Bend, in the same building as Noi, the new(ish) Thai restaurant.
Here you can see my friends Linda and Joan looking at my quilt, “Cairn Study I”, on loan from the collection of Susan and Craig Howell.