Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Autumn Jubilee Rules and Notices

Well, Carole is again hosting her Autumn Jubilee!  There are always a variety of projects to try.  Some years I just do a few, but perhaps this time I will finish at least the quilt she designs for readers.

She has arranged for drawings with different sponsors too.

So here is the link - give it a try!


Since last posting, I have taken several more EBHQ classes, have visited quilt shops in CA, and in other states,  It has been fun.  I have photos, perhaps I will post to share later....

Sunday, April 24, 2022

EBHQ Make Words Not War

Attended another online EBHQ workshop by Cheryl Arkison.  This time she covered making pieced fabric letters.  She covered fabric, color, cutting tips, style tips, information about letters (kerning, etc.)

I first learned about piecing fabric letters while participating in the Block Lotto in 2012 - back then it was very difficult for me to make the letters.  Now though with Cheryl's tips and techniques I was able to get most of the letters I wanted to make done in class. A B O U F L C W - just need K and S in the fabric I selected today.  Tomorrow hope to finish K S and add T I R E N - then you will know what I am up to!

: )

Tomorrow evening she is presenting a lecture that is open to the public.

EBHQ Scraptastic Options

I attended a really wonderful EBHQ zoom workshop with Cheryl Arkison presenting: Scraptastic Options.

Even though I had read her book "Sunday Morning Quilts" the presentation covered it all more in detail so it was really nice.  She is one of those teachers who really enjoys quilting and people - it was a pleasure to spend the day with her and with the EBHQ community.

First she discussed different ways she organizes scraps.  The book just has some measurement guidelines, but she really explained how she does it - as a model for us to consider ourselves.  There was time to organize.  I only was able to do the first sorting as I was trying to do it all with fabric balance on my lap using a bankers box lid as the table.  The people who really spread out were able to do much more.

Then she went thru the process of making a block with the larger scraps and gave us sewing time.  Then the other sizes with more time to try things out.  At each level she also showed examples, and gave us more ideas and tips so we could be successful.

I'm excited to really get into organizing my scraps and using her ideas to make my own quilts.

I recommend both her book and taking workshops from her.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Places to Go, Things to Read

I am hoping to take a driving trip from coast to coast this summer.

Did this once before in a car*. It was so much fun. On one way it was my husband and me, on the way back a friend from Sweden, Christina, flew over so we could do the drive together. (*Also did a cross country trip in a motorhome with husband, son, and cat!)

I spent a week with her in NYC years before.  She had done this before and was prepared with a list of art museums and we spent a day in most of them. I thought it would end up being repetitive, but any that did cross over added to my understanding and appreciation. We weren't tied at the hip. Generally we would set up place and time to meet for lunch and at the end. Great fun. It was wonderful.

We took the train from Boston, and made got tickets to see The Heiress? with Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey) while on the train...  I remember after we saw the play I commented on how could he do the play and be in Downton Abbey - and she said with the timing of when the show was on TV in USA vs Sweden that I didn't know something and should just wait to find out! : )

As soon as we got to NYC we got passes for the train/bus that would last the week so we didn't have to stop to buy things every trip.  Great idea.

We stayed at the Edison Hotel - near to Times Square and lots of restaurants.  A lot of Swedish people stayed there according to my friend.  It has since been renovated and I think the prices are even higher. The room with her overlooked the Barrymore!  Later that summer, when I returned with my husband, we could see the flashing lights from Times Square reflected on the glass of the building across the way.

We started most mornings having breakfast at a place near Fox News and by St Patrick's Cathedral. Can't find it now in Yelp.  (EverGreen Cafe?) One day when we were there we could see lots of activity and concern at the side of Cathedral - turned out the Pope had announced his resignation.

Instead of taking the subway, my friend and I mainly took the bus so we got a feel for the locations of the museums and places we visited. 

Frick Collection  https://www.frick.org/

The Whitney Museum of American Art https://whitney.org/

New York Public Library  https://www.nypl.org/

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)  https://www.moma.org/

The Brooklyn Museum  https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

The Metropolitan Museum of Art  https://www.metmuseum.org/

We went to plays and the movies every night. Except one snowy night I took the train to visit a school friend of my son's while my friend went to see original The Book of Morman. 

We went to the High Line and the City Quilter. Walked thru Central Park and thru the NYU. Found a kitchen supply shop that was lots of fun to see, had lunch at what we thought would be a little cafe, but turned out to be a popular place.  (It may have been the Coffee Shop Bar, 29 Union Square West, NY, NY, 10003 - Yelp says it's closed now. I just found the business card!) Walked by Hotel Chelsea - my honeymoon hotel!

Somewhere I hope I can find the list of where we went on that trip!

And a list of places visited on the driving trip to and from the east coast!


Anyway, for 2022, I asked the group attending Joe Cunningham's Friday group for suggestions on quilt or art places to stop and this is what they contributed:
  • Shelburne Museum (VT)
  • International Quilt Museum (Lincoln NE)
  • de Young Museum (San Francisco CA)
  • Joe also has quilts in Newark NJ and Michigan State University
  • I asked at in a comment on FromMyCarolinaHome.com and Carole suggested Quilt Museum (Paducah, KY)
  • Also remembered hearing Missouri Star Shops were fun to see too in Hamilton, Missouri.
Any other ideas are welcome!


This trip I have Audible so thought my husband and I could listen to some books while driving...

Joe Cunningham's Friday group suggested:
Series by: Terry Pratchett, John McPhee, David Rosenfelt, Andrea Camilleri, Alan Bradley, J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter)
Books: A Gentleman in Moscow, 9th St Woman, Remembrance of Things Past

I had intended on quickly downloading books before my subscription renewed, but I misremembered how Audible worked. So for a few hours thought I had lost the ability to use the 8 credits I had remaining with my first subscription. On what I thought was the last day the subscription had flipped to 12 credits for the new year. But a simple email and phone call later I have 20 credits in my account so I did not lose any credits. What I have now will expire at the end of the subscription again (so I'm glad I had earlier changed the account from 24 to 12 books a year as I do not seem to be able to listen to more paid books than that). Thumbs up to Audible!

My husband always brings his computer on trips and keeps a log of hotels stayed at in his calendar. He is so organized!  But I just write notes on scraps of paper and sometimes in my phone.

My quilting friend, Claire, has a notebook where she writes down the dates and names of guests and what food is served!  A terrific idea.  

During the covid shut in I started to keep a meal and food log, but when I came to the end of the notebook I lost days and haven't been consistent after the first book.  Lots of information lost.  I do have bills for food that someday I want to buy exactly the same items to see the price changes....  It is difficult to know how much detail to include, as I don't know my audience for the logs...

If I were to live my life over though, I would get a notebook to record information for trips so I could have fun remembering things and could recommend things to others...

Well, back to going thru books filled with papers that I didn't organize before now!

Amazon Cart Updates:



Added 9-17-22 - Prices are creeping up!

Bought Dunkn Donuts Coffee at Costco this week.  Usually around $14 (I think), now $23!
Amazon and Costco Update Added 10-6-22 

Added 12-4-22

Added 12-15-22

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Memories: Four Non-Forever Friends


When our son was little we had Australian friends who came and visited.  Actually we only knew them because the husband was writing up an Australian version of a program that I wrote the documentation for the American version.   Anyway, at the time they seemed to be to be only family with new little baby so they came and stayed with us for a while.  They did that a few times and I remember walking with them and thinking how we would be couple friends forever and would see each other kiddos grow up and be friends too.  

But sadly that didn't happen.  

The husband got a job with Microsoft so they moved to the US for a few years.  They were in a different state though. More importantly we did not keep up writing letters or keeping in touch.  When they moved back to Australia instead of coming to see us they would fly to the East Coast and stay with someone else.  I wrote letters but did not get a reply, so when I heard they were visiting the other family gave up writing.  It was a great loss to me to not have that forever friendship. It would have enriched our lives so much to have that connection - the adults and the children.

I learned a lot from that Australian woman while they were here and when we were writing each other.  She had one slightly older daughter who also stayed with us.  My mom bought that little girl a beautiful dress with pink polka dots on a black background as a going away gift, it was so much fun to have them stay with us.  It was wonderful to see the kids interacting and playing together.  

She taught me how to make playdough - and we would set the kids up each with a little pile of the stuff on what she named the playdough counter.  It's a divider between our kitchen eating area that is about 18 inches high on the eating side and you (the adult) can stand at the den side and easily do crafts with little kiddos.  Other people may get high stools and serve drinks on the counter, but we always used it for crafts.  

I had our son go to UCSD to be part of a study about delayed language - he was not talking when I signed him up, but was talking by the time the study started.  He would be in a room with a student doing whatever they asked with blocks and things - and they would ask him questions.  I could look thru the window and see and hear what was going on.  They asked if he had a sister and he said he had, but she moved back to Australia. Little kids. It made me so sad to hear him say that.

She gave me these wonderful cookbooks that showed how to make special birthday cakes - she said it was fun to make them instead of just buying them.  To this day we always make our birthday cakes here. 

She also told me about the concept of 'parent and me' playgroups.

Three More

I looked into parent and me playgroups and my son and I had fabulous times not only at the classes (operated thru park and recreation programs) but even more wonderfully after a few years.  Three mothers got together and organized a private group and we were invited to join in.  For several years every Friday we would trade houses and the hostess would plan activities for the kids and food for us to share.  I don't think we even did potluck, it was as I recall, all the responsibility for the hostess to entertain and feed for the day.  Those ladies and the kids were so special to me.  

It turned out one child was born the day before our son at the same hospital, and the other was born the same day at the same hospital.  Years later we realized we had photos of her and her husband in the recovery room in our photos!  

It was so much fun to be part of a group.  When we would take a little trip, I would bring back three little things to share with them.  

We helped one of the families move to their new home and had fun at birthday parties and holiday events.  Then one year before the Christmas party that was to be at our home one of the ladies decided we should not exchange any gifts - adults or children.  We certainly don't need gifts, but I was shattered as my son did not have siblings or cousins - that was the role the Friday Group was to play for him.

I still thought we'd know each other and be friends forever.  But the kids started kindergarten then and we mainly stopped seeing each other. 

The real kicker was years later when we finally did get together, I discovered that one of the kids had gotten married more than a year before.  I really felt out of their lives then. I know how difficult it can be to invite people to a wedding - there is an extra cost for each guest, and brides may restrict the number of groom family invitees so they can have more from their side of the clan present -  but I thought I'd get a phone call or email telling me of the engagement or wedding.  

Every few years one of us will contact the others, but the closeness is gone. There doesn't seem to be any point to asking questions and catching up now.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Memories: Waldorf Kindergarten

When we were looking for schools for our son, the local school gave us a very bad impression.  Remember this was before all the school tragedies - but the school had signs saying that parents were not allowed on campus, not just that they were to sign in thru the office, but they were not permitted on campus!  That and that there were no grouping for writing or math put me off of the school.  Another school only used workbooks for the kids to learn - it was a very non-creative environment.  Another one had a super high percentage of handicapped and disabled children who needed diapering and feeding care. None of the schools had groupings for writing and math, only reading...

So when we were thinking about what school to have our son attend we started hearing about Waldorf.  There were three times we learned about it, let's see if I can remember any of them.  The last was a notice at a garage sale telling about the Waldorf Open House. I will think to see if I can remember the other ways.  

Anyway, Waldorf seemed perfect as it was so arts and craftsy - the opposite of what my husband and I could offer our son.  He started in a kindergarten program.  Before school started I missed hearing that the kids were supposed to wear different colors on different days of the week.  We had red, yellow, and green shirts, but needed orange and purple. So that first day after leaving our son off I went to the store to get some white t-shirts and fabric paint - so we could decorate a shirt together.  But I got rear ended that afternoon, so was late with picked our son up.  One mother stayed on the playground with my son and her son and they played together.  I will always remember how wonderfully kind that was for her to do.

The four of us spent many hours together after school during that year.  Her husband was living in their native country, so she had lots of time to share with us.  We would take the boys to so many places - it was always fun!  My husband was working all the time so he didn't miss us at all...  I cried when she and her son moved back to be with the husband.  They wanted their son to live in their country and learn that language.  I caught her at a time when she needed company too, as we had met her just after her husband had left to work in the family business.

We have seen each other a handful of times since then.  Here, in Boston and Buffalo, and in their country two times!  I always feel like we just start up where were left off even though we have not done a good job of keeping in touch in between visits.

Her son is now a dentist working at the university where he did his training.

The last time I saw her was in 2015 at the beginning of my wonderful drive across the country with my Swedish friend. The first friend's son was starting dental school in Buffalo so we drove from Boston to her and stayed a few days.  We went to Niagara Falls, did a self-guided architectural walking tour of  Buffalo, the Teddy Roosevelt Inauguration House Museum, had Buffalo Wings, and ice cream and sponge candy at an old fashioned classic ice cream parlor (Fowler's?), (pretty sure we went to the Modern Art Museum).  Chatted, shared thoughts and feelings.  It was a great beginning of the driving trip.


At Waldorf the kindergarteners and teachers make lunch together every day.  I found the recipe booklet while going thru a box so will write them down here so they are handy!  While typing I searched the web to be sure of the bread recipe and discovered that different schools have different recipes for their schools.  Makes sense, but I thought all these years the schools all did the same thing...

Monday - Violet Day - Rice Cereal

(For 25-30 children)

3 c sweet brown rice - cover with 1.5 inch water

Cook until tender (watch pot and stir often) The school had a heat disperser the grains didn't burn.

Sprinkle with gomasio (sesame salt) or sweeten with honey.

Tuesday - Red Day - Bread

1.  Sponge: Combine and set aside, 1/4 c water, 2 T yeast and 1/4 t maple syrup

2. Combine 1/4 c oil, 1/2 c maple syrup, 1/5 t salt and 2 c water

Add 1 & 2 together, add 1.5 c flour, stir 200 times and then let rest 5 - 10 min.  Add 4 c whole wheat flour (okay to sub 1/2 c oats for 1/2 c flour) Knead, add flour as needed.  Shape and place on oiled pan.  Bake in 325 degree oven for 20 min for rolls, 45 min for a loaf.

I'm not sure now if the kids only had bread on this day.  I'm remembering they all had baskets for their lunch and how I had to look for metal bowls and cups for him to use.  I made cloth napkins and a cover for the basket.  I still have the napkins and one of the baskets - now holding hand towels.  My favorite napkin was made with red and white checkers, but it had ants printed on it so they were crawling around.  Anyway, maybe these recipes are for a mid-morning or afternoon treat, not a full lunch.

Wednesday - Yellow Day - Apple-Millet Cereal

Serves 25-30 children

2.25 c millet

6 - 8 c water (or apple juice)

5 - 7 apples, cut up

2 t cinnamon

Cover with water, add more as needed.  Cook until tender - around 20 minutes.

Perhaps serve with maple syrup.

Thursday - Orange Day - Barley Soup

For 25-30 children

1 onion

3 carrots, chopped

3 c barley

1/2 c tamari

1 T parsley

1 T oregano

2 quarts water

Chop onion, saute in oil until soft.

Add remaining ingredients.

Cook until barley is tender.

This was our son's favorite.  A few times that year they asked me to have him bring in a few carrots or apples to use.

Friday - Green Day - Rye Cereal

6 c rye flakes

1.5 t salt

12 c water

Cook until tender. 

Serve with maple syrup and bananas or honey.

Note: 3 cups rye and 6 cups water for 11 to 12 children.

Birthday Cake

For our son's birthday the teacher made a cake and decorated it with beautiful orange nasturtium flowers they picked from their hillside.  I'd never had them before, they added a fresh and peppery taste to the cake. They must have had this cake many times during the year, but it felt special for us and our son to have it to celebrate his birthday.

Applesauce "Birthday" Cake

3.25 c whole wheat pastry flour

1.5 t baking soda

1.5 t cinnamon

3/4 c butter

1 c maple syrup 

1/2 c molasses or honey

1 egg

1.5 c applesauce

Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in the butter.  add rest of ingredients, Beat well.  Bake at 350 degrees for around 1 hour.


Compared to our lives, there was a lot of religion in Waldorf, but we felt it wasn't a religious school. I'm looking over this verse and recipe booklet.  Ah well. It's good to be good to each other and ourselves. Here are a few poems/verses the kids recited. I don't remember them all, but do remember I thought it was sweet the way they added to the order of the day, the rituals, the community, and the memories.

Verse of Anticipation

When I have said my evening prayer, 

and my clothes are folded on the chair, 

when Mother switches out the light, 

I'll still be ___ years old tonight!  

But at the break of day, 

before the children rise and play, 

before the darkness turns to gold, 

Then I'll be ___ years old.

Birthday Verse

In heaven shines a golden star

An Angel lead me from afar

From heaven on high unto the earth

And brought me to my house of birth.

Birthday Song

We wish you a happy birthday

a joyous and celebrated birthday

To our friend _____

May you have a long, long life

Candle Lighting

I can light a candle

God can light a star

Both of them are helpful

Shining where they are

Candle Snuffing

Candlelight shining bright

Thank you for your loving light

Good night

Good-bye Verse

Our work, our play, our song

In us becomes a light

We carry it along

Until the stars shine thru the night

To God we bring it all

Answering his call.

Good-bye Song

Good-bye now, Good-bye now.

We leave you now 

And home we go.

Good-bye now, Good-bye now.

Good-bye to all of you.

It's time to go or we'll be late.

Let Martin lead us to the gate

Good-bye now, Good-bye now.

Good-bye to all of you.

Come Out and Play

Bright is the day

The birds are all singing

The flowers are gay.

Stretching up, oh, so high

Trying to reach the sky

Come Out and Play!

Bright is the day

The birds are all singing

The flowers are gay.

Wash Hands

Wash hands wash

The men have gone to plow.

Now's the time to wash your hands

So wash your hands now

Snack Blessing

Earth who gives to us this food,

Sun who makes it ripe and good,

Dear Earth, Dear Sun, by you we live

Our loving thanks to you we give


Join hands, join hands, join hands.

Blessings on our food.

Lunch Blessing

Before the flour, the mill

Before the mill, the grain

Before the grain, the earth, the sun, the rain

The beauty of God's will.

Join hands, join hands, join hands

Blessings on our food.

Morning Verse

To Earth I come to greet the light, to greet the Sun

The stones that rest

The plants that grow

The beasts that run

To greet all people who walk and work and will

Love God in all

Then God greets me, in all I do

And you and I and God are one.

Morning has come

Night is away

Rise with the sun

And welcome the day!


There is more to remember about those Waldorf days, but I will save that for later.  Going to get ingredients for barley soup now!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Week 43: EBHQ PoppyPrint Workshops and Lecture

Maybe I am looking at different years when I'm looking up what week of the year it is.  So not even two weeks from my last post it seems to have jumped from Week 40 to Week 43???

This week was full of EBHQ and PoppyPrint Workshops! Krista Hennebury was well organized and provided good supply lists so we were able to at least start getting ready for the workshops.

The first class was Courthouse ColourPlay.  I really like the way the blocks started looking once we were sewing.  

During the class I finished these six areas...

In two places there is not enough contrast via a photo between my color bars and the center, but in person it looks more different.  She has a different way to get the blocks joined - build out instead of cutting to size - that will be fun to work on later once I have a few more areas finished.

I did have trouble though understanding the handout for how much fabric to prepare for Courtyard Colourplay - and that would be one suggestion to her for the workshops.  In the handout she mentions different sizes of strips and blocks, but is not really clear on what we need for the workshop.  In the end she was suggesting 1-12inch WOF strip to start for each color.  So far I'm having a lot of leftover fabric from these cuts.  Some people find it easy to cut into their fabric, for me it's difficult. The patterned fabric in the lower right I'm pretty sure was the third piece of fabric I purchased for quilting when I first tried my hand at it in 1990 or 1991!

The next class was Speed Date With Improv

She teaches it in a very smart way as she made videos to show the procedures ahead of time - so she did not have to repeat everything each time she teaches the class.  Instead she can concentrate on the questions people may have. (She has taught the class to over a thousand students since the pandemic hit - so I guess around 33-50 classes.) Her handouts were clear, and the videos were very helpful.

Here is what I was able to finish in the class:

I just have a few more of the cross blocks to finish to be done with what she was hoping we'd have finished.  Put together it would be around the size of a fat quarter memory wall hanging.

I like the way she had us pick only three fabrics for the project.  Much like the Pam Rocchio class I took having fewer colors really lets one see the design, the piecing.

I want to practice and write up a job aid for myself on how to make the long strip with the triangles that were sewn together on their short sides. This is something I was trying to do way back when I was making the first Liberated Round Robin project. (still a WIP)

I'm thinking instead of just making more of these blocks (especially since I have so many unused charm squares in these colors) to make the project larger I may change things up and add other samples of blocks in the mix too.

What she emphasized in the classes and lecture:

- make small projects to learn the step, or make large ones, but be sure to keep making things - I need to increase my time on this

- and branch out to other than quilting projects to help you grow your skills - I very rarely do anything other than quilting, so I'm weak in this area for sure!

- find help on YouTube as well as in person classes and local guild offerings - I will share a list of my favorite YouTube and blog offerings

- make an effort to make friends - believe it or not I actually work on this in almost every class I attend.  Using chat in zoom to write little notes to people and have shared my email address - but so far no one has written back...)

- participate in sewing activities hosted by community members. - I did the embroidery on the large piece after the Boston Bombing, have participated in online challenges, challenges with EBHQ, and have made charity quilts.

- take photos and organize them for inspiration.  I still regret not taking the photo of the art work in the lobby of the Jamaica airport and I only remember it was white and had a swirl in it now.  Sometimes I am successful with putting photos in online album on my phone - but sometimes they seem to disappear...

- design own stuff - I do this a lot actually - the next step would be make the items and to share and get connected with potential friends that way

- enjoy everything about the quilt - have fun.  I think I'm too serious about learning the craft, need to let go more and finish things and get more relaxed about what people say about my work.

- take time each week just for yourself - to grow, to learn, to practice, to create.  Even in these pandemic times I am very weak in this area.  It seems always something comes up to block what I had planned to do!

The lecture "How to Develop Your Signature Style" was very well organized around six areas, but I think better to not just list them here as she is selling a graphic that lists them.


I've now missed three of the Lauren classes.  First she was ill, then I had something come up and had to miss the class, then last week the link to enter wasn't working for me...  I hope I can get in tomorrow!


When sewing (leader and ender style) I have been putting together the triangles Pam Rocchio gave me at the end of her workshop.  I've got a nice little collection of 2 inch HST now.  I was trying to put a light with a dark fabric, but in the end to save time just sewed together the next two in the little stack I put by the machine.  I trimmed them all using my Strip Tube Ruler from Cozy quilts, then pressed them open.  Played around with some of them on my table... 


Buffy is still doing well, although she has started barking for some unknown reason during the mornings or the afternoons.  We try covering her, holding her, taking her outside, walking her, the hide and treat game, the water bottle game, new carrot chips, new water and food.  She still is barking.  She is eating and sleeping as normal so it's a mystery on what she wants/needs.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

Week 40!!!!! - Reindeer Dash and a Little Road Trip

Hmm - I'm writing this on the Thursday of week 41 in 2021, but it seems I mislabeled previous weeks.  Oh well.

No sewing going on.

Lauren in the Studio class was cancelled as she wasn't feeling tip top.  Hope she is better.

DH had planned on selling some ham radio/short wave listening stuff at an event that was cancelled due to covid out breaks of some of the planners and paid vendors, so instead we went on the Reindeer Dash - 6 quilt shops open their doors with displays and some with sales.  We get a passport and have it stamped at each store and they give us a fat quarter.  Beautiful winter/Christmas theme fabric.


We visited the first four shops, then stayed over at the Palm Springs Hilton.  Very nice set up.
Hilton Palm Springs Carpet

We had lunch at the Original Pancake House in Norco, stopped at Hadley's for a date shake, then by the time we got to Palm Springs were knackered so just walked to Sherman's Deli for dinner.  I had a cabbage roll, DH had a pastrami sandwich.  It was good, but the eating area itself wasn't as clean as it should have been.  We think we have been there before for breakfast.  The next day, for breakfast we stopped at Shield's Date Farm and for the first time ate in their cafe. Bernie had a wonderful omelet with feta, dates, ham, bacon and I can't remember.  It was called something with the word Date in it.  I had oatmeal with apples, dates, raisins, brown sugar and milk - and a date pancake instead of the toast or English muffin that were offered.  Next time I hope to remember to get one date pancake and a piece of ham! That would be a nice meal. Oh, on our way out we got a date shake and decided the one from Hadley's was better (and less expensive too).

Before our little two-day trip I was working on losing weight, but didn't keep to that on the trip - nor since returning home....

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Week 30: Starting to Spark

Intake of Ideas for Quilting

1. Attended a very nice zoom EBHQ Lecture last Monday.
Finding My Voice in Modern Quilting by Audrey Esarey
Gallery: https://www.cottonandbourbon.com/quilt-gallery
Audrey took art classes before high school, is a project manager now, but really embraced making quilts. It was enjoyable to watch.

2. Thursday was the third in the
In the Studio with Lauren (Kingsland) Eventbrite Series Sponsored
by The Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities Program

I figured out what the second assignment was, and may work on the three of them instead of going thru more boxes this week.  I might be able to get caught up with the Color class assignments now that my sewing room is straightened up!

3. I attended an interesting two-days of YouTube presentations hosted by the Global Quilt Connection. Teachers pay a fee to join the group, then they prepare short presentations. A technique they want to share, or how to do a simplified version of one of their other patterns. After paying the membership fee the teachers apply to be on the list to give a presentation. Presentation is given (not recorded) but a handout is prepared that is supposed to guide viewers so they can recreate the project. The handout includes lists to their websites and contact information to make it easy for guilds or individuals to sign up for further, more detailed, instruction. This is a great way for new teachers, or teachers just trying out a new way to market themselves to get their names out. Yes, it was a marketing event, but most of the presentations were well-done and I learned something I will try out once I am sewing again.

The highlights for me were:
  • Brandy Maslowski Fibre Art Frenzy Wine Bottle Bag
  • Candy Grisham Perfect Mitered Corners on Borders - Every Time
  • Daisy Aschehoug Simple Basting Tricks for Sewing Quarter Circle Squares
  • Jane Hauprich Free Motion Frolic
  • Tori McElwain - Quilting Motifs: Design with Confidence
  • Jenny Kae Parks How Quilters Can Use the Color Wheel
  • Susie Monday Design Fabrics with Pattern Apps
  • Tina Craig Improv English Paper Pieced Mug Mat
  • Julia McLeod Ties to Quilting - Using Neckties in your Quilts
  • Sarah Goer Cutting Tips for Improv Piecing
  • Lisa Walton Further Fusion Adventures
Go to Global Quilt Connection to see the entire list of teachers and to see either the same presentations I did or previous or future ones.  I can't tell if they charge guilds for this, but the webpages I link to are public so I'm sharing with you.  They are having a scavenger hunt with opportunity to win a basket of items for your guild - see the website. 


It's been nice to have a cleaner sewing room, but I have just been going in it to impress myself so far.

Buffy is doing a lot better, but she is sleeping so much.  From what I have read, dogs do sleep alot.  I guess I didn't notice as much before as she was moving around anywhere she wanted in the house to get to the sun, or get away from it - all on her own.  We have blocked off the living room as there are so many boxes in there now, and although she does a great job of getting up to the second floor (11 steps) on her own, she goes down way too quickly.  I'm afraid she could crash and hurt herself, so only have had her to that on a leash.  We are still noting her food intake and outtake, when she goes outside in backyard or for walks.

I have waited so long to record our family food intake and shopping that I'm not sure if I can keep up that recording.  I haven't been walking much, and have only done a few planks or leg exercises on my own.

Yesterday my husband and I went to an open air restaurant and had a real meal together. 
Point Loma Seafood:  https://pointlomaseafoods.com/
We each had a scallop plate with coleslaw.  We ate inside as the upper deck was crowded with people and the inside did not have many people.  We were able to look out over the boats while we ate.  Very nice.  I brought my Mom there a few times, and even went by for an iced tea by myself once they built the second story.  So nice to be outside and to see the seals, boats and people.
We could see a new business for renting paddle boats, and there were seals who would come up every once in a while too.  The seals used to enjoy that area at the foot of the ramp that now has boats on it, so they were farther out than before.

Woke up this morning to find out about the oil spill in Orange County.  That is about 2 hours by car from us.  I hope they are able to control the spill and save the wildlife areas.  As DH and I were driving yesterday we talked about (or maybe it was just me talking) how it was important for cities to keep some of the old, open area or special businesses to retain the character of their areas.  

It is still hot and the ants are having a field day finding different paths into and out of the kitchen and bathrooms.  To trick them we are doing what we always have done with Buffy's food - move it to different areas.  So her smelling is really getting a workout.  She lifts the blankets and crawls under - it was fun to see her little tail sticking out the other day.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Week 29: Blah Week

I took/attended three zoom quilting classes this week.

Class One: Lauren's session was about developing a color pallet. Going from different colors and filling in the missing pieces. At least I think that is what the talk was about. Little Buffy needed attention during the presentation so I missed most of it. I hadn't straightened up my sewing area before the class so I didn't have a block to share from last week's presentation and I don't have one to share for the new lecture either.  If I can sit and listen to her series though I know I will learn new information to apply to my quilting.

It turned out that I only needed a few hours to get the sewing room in order before the next two classes, so I hope to look back at my notes and have something to share at the next class session.

Class Two:  I printed and pasted the pattern templates on cardboard so they would be reusable and picked out my fabrics.

The supply list for the first class said to have 10-12 fat quarters, 1 yard for background and border, plus a selection of 8-10 inch scraps to make the entire 25 block quilt.  At first I was going to plan to eventually make the entire quilt, but then decided to be happy with four blocks, as I could sew them together to add to my Starry Nite quilt. Which was already has some 4 patch blocks in the design.

So I did too much preparation since I cut back what I was going to make.  But in the end I didn't even use two fat quarters and just needed a few long strips for scraps.  I'm glad I didn't cut fabric down before the class began as that would have been really wasteful - of time and materials.

She had the blocks designed so they were asymmetrical until the last strip was added to the side that then made them square. When I printed the templates I measured the one inch test square and that was correct. But after discussion in the class found out that the one template was supposed to be 6 1/4 by 6 1/2 - but my piece printed at 6 1/8 by 6 1/2. The other people hadn't measured the one inch so they went and reprinted and were happy. Mine still showed one inch test box but a different measurement for the template piece.  I just put the blocks I made in a little bag with the pattern to deal with when I pull out the blocks for the bigger project - then I will decide what to do...  It was fun and interesting to work on adding the inserts to the larger pieces of fabric - but that was done before the template was cut out, so it was sort of a side trip.

In the pattern she shows the diagram of a quilt made without the inserts, but when I looked I only saw the colors, not that detail.  It is good that I refreshed my memory on what fabrics I have, and that I didn't cut down fabric to have fat quarters and 8-10 inch squares before class. She had a diagram showing how you could cut four blocks from one fat quarter, that I guess went with the no inserts version, but it was unclear to me how to interpret the pattern.

She covered herself by printing that the real fabric needed would depend on choices we made, but it was sort of waste of time and effort before the class anyway.

I used the colors and fabrics saved from my WIP Starry Bright Sky QAL  Once put together this new block it will be a nice addition to the quilt.

Class Three:  This was another long class, with lots of time to actually sew things together.  The templates were printed using Carol Doak paper - it took a little work to remember how best to tape the pieces on the window to line up the templates. Up to four pages had to be connected for one of the four blocks.

This was another case of even though I had read the pattern and looked online to see examples, there were things about the pattern that I didn't see until the class discussion.

My goal was to make two blocks in class, and to finish the other two after class.

I finished just one, and rushed to finish the second one... So that one will need to be redone.

The new things I learned in these were:

1.  That taping templates to fabric and then cutting is a thing!  It worked very well to get the skinny pieces cut, and while I was at it I just taped everything down before cutting.  It was very easy to cut the starched fabric.  

Years ago - like perhaps ten or fifteen years ago or longer, my mom had purchased a stack of green boxes of scotch tape.  Enough for an office or school.  But now I have a reason to use that tape and it was a dream to use for this purpose.  I was thinking of how my mom was with me while I was sewing for this class.  She would have done excellent work in the class and ended up with a perfect set of blocks.  I wish we had sewn together more.  

2.  Look carefully at template pieces, and be sure to have what you need for a block in one area.  I didn't and cut a piece (clearly labeled with the word background) that was supposed to be grey out of purple material.  But just a little mistake that I hope to not repeat.

3.  When they say to sew slowly, even though others are way ahead of you with their work, still sew slowly.  In my rush to finish the second block after class I have a few puckers that will require seam ripping or just redoing it all together.

4.  The teacher showed an example of a block she made that had ended up very crooked compared the blocks it was to be joined to. On the same slide, she showed the piece corrected and sewn together and quilted.  She showed the slide saying it was something to be aware of but it was fixable.  When asked she confessed the solution was not only to spray and block each piece as completed, but she had to rip out the work and redo it!  Ugh!  

5. Sometimes teachers recommend a tool as they use it, but really there often are ways to do the procedure without the expense or needing to store the item for later use.

6.  Also, using items to weigh down larger pieces of template on top of fabric will help with cutting the pieces too. When cutting a skinny piece for example it was good to weigh it down for the return cut to stop it from moving and wrecking the cut.

7.  Having some card stock and a smaller ruler helped with using some of the Carol Doak paper templates.  But sure to fold at the seams, back stitch in the seam line for each piece, fold the paper back and cut the fabric so there is a new 1/4 inch seam.  If using white and black might consider cutting black slightly narrower or move the white piece so it shows from the front of the template as you sew to prevent the black from showing thru.

8.  Teacher recommended pressing seams open as you add on the different layers of the pattern.

9.  No one knew a way to use computer to pour in different colors on the coloring page - so the ppl who used it actually used coloring pencils to test their fabric choices.  Apparently EQ allows the computer to help with coloring, but giving that file away was not an option for this class.  I don't have EQ so not an issue for me, and since I was using the same fabrics (not gradually going from one set of colors to another) I didn't really need the option.  But it would be nice to know how to pour in colors into a pdf image, wouldn't it?

Teaching Notes to Remember

She talked about how she developed this pattern as part of a series of like-looking designs.  I think if I ever were to teach a class I might give out or assign different students different fabrics to use to help with increasing the examples of different colors and perhaps giving some different pattern modifications to test too. And then print with notes so the differences are pointed out.

Also, although the dream is to have all the students eventually finish a complete quilt, for workshop purposes it would be great to organize it so there is a different workshop sub-pattern or set of directions to follow to finish something in the class time.  It was awkward to flip back and forth between pages.

The written and oral directions should be the same or an errata sheet of differences should be compiled by the teacher ahead of time.

In a class, better to start with easy steps and then move on to more complicated things.

Work on numbering blocks so they start with simpler to more complicated too. It the easier block to probably three or four then have the pattern label those blocks as one or two and change the others accordingly.

It's a fine line between giving information away and charging for it.  Charging for every thing is a drag and time consuming.  If you want to sell something, the put it in the pattern and clearly on the website too.  Make it easy and not part of class. 


I did get some walking/chatting sessions in and enjoyed them. Buffy continues to amaze with her progress.