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
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:
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.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Weeks 37-38: Box Progress

Not sewing yet.

I did attend the first in the new series of zoom lectures by Lauren Kingsland.  You can probably sign up too.

Here is the class write up:

In the Studio with Lauren
by The Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities Program
8- week FREE, online workshop on THURSDAYS Sep. 16th - Nov. 4th, 2021, 12-1pm EST. Relax, Learn, & Community! Theme for the series: Colors  (There is a Tuesday class too.)

About this event

Love Those Colors

“I love the colors in your quilt!” Is a compliment that always brings a smile to a quiltmaker. The basic principles of color interaction are important tools in our artistic toolbox. In this class weekly hands-on exercises will help you understand how YOU see color and how to manage to get the effects you want. Lauren will share color “recipes” and tricks to give you color confidence. Hands-on homework projects will be simple hand piecing OR may be done by gluing or fusing.

Students will need small fabric pieces ( 6” square or larger) of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple in light, medium and dark values. Bring what you have to the first class.

A looseleaf notebook may be used to create your own color reference book if you wish

Who is this class for?  You! This class is for anyone who is interested in learning a new skill and being a part of a growing community. Beginners are welcome.

Accessibility Notes:  This class is closed captioned.

About Instructor:  The class will be led by Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities Program (AHP) Artist-in-Residence Lauren Kingsland.

Lauren is an internationally known and beloved teacher, specializing in the intersection of art and healing. Her medium of first choice is quiltmaking and fiber art. Lauren is the author of several books, including “Healing Journey - Quilts about Transformation in the Presence of Cancer” and “The Extraordinary T-shirt Quilt - A Scrapbook You Can Sleep Under” as well as an experienced singer, and mindfulness practitioner.

No one read the descriptions, as we didn't bring our fabric pieces to class.  Lauren discussed hue and value and showed examples.  Our homework is to make a nice patch (or anything really) with different reds.

I am finally cleaning up my sewing room and will look for examples of red and orange fabric so I will be prepped for last week and this coming week.  

Also need to find the fabric I'll be using for the two classes I take next week with EBHQ: 


The Abstract Arcs Quilt is a pattern that can be made into a small wall hanging or a large bed quilt! This workshop covers the concepts of curved piecing, inset strips, and improv piecing. We will also discuss the use of color in this quilt, as well as layouts that emphasize the use of negative space. Students will finish several blocks during class.

Haven't decided at all what colors to use for this!


The Indigo Radial Quilt is a wall hanging made using paper piecing and curved piecing techniques. This workshop covers the basic concepts of paper piecing on an arc, curved piecing skinny arcs, and precision piecing. We will also discuss color options, alternate layouts using templates provided in the pattern, and quilting ideas. Students will finish several blocks during class. The Indigo Radial Quilt finishes at 24 x 24 inches.

I'm thing perhaps different violets, purples and red or gold for my piece.


I had both my sewing machines maintained after a long break when I didn't use as I wasn't sure I should with the strange noises I started hearing when I was finishing the Christmas exchange blocks.

So I can also work on my EBHQ Lone Robin Quilt.  If I can finish before October 1 then I can be in the drawing - but probably won't be able to do that.  But perhaps if I find my notes on what I was going to make!

So hopefully my quilting and sewing will be starting up again.  And I will be able to continue going thru boxes too.

I had signed up for the classes I think when I saw that the  paperwork for the taxes would be submitted ahead of the deadline....  I have also been going thru boxes of papers and paperwork and making pretty good progress with tossing things, putting things into current file folders, and even started some scanning and then shredding.  I can see clearly now that no one will ever want to look at the records of things saved for tax preparation, so that will make that part of the adventure easier to do.

The first box I grabbed to scan happened to have the papers for my mom starting the year my father passed away and ending I think seven years later.  I had all the papers for when her home flooded and new flooring and kitchen had to be installed.  What a headache that was!  That sure reminded me of why I keep putting off having big things done to this house...  Also there were records for her medical care and all the work hiring extra people to help with caregiving.  That was really hit or miss on quality of care and record keeping.  I don't know if anyone could learn from the experiences I had.  I think unfortunately each person has to navigate the various systems and people themselves.  At least here in California.

Buffy is making wonderful progress.  She now has two or three walks a day.  Different lengths depending mainly on her mood, but when it has turned out to be hot I sort of move us toward home.  I think she was okay with that too though.

Sep 13 - her wounds are really healing well.  We are getting use to how she looks now and doing a better job of working with her so she is getting better with going up and down stairs and getting to places she wants to go.  She obviously feels better than she did before the operation.

Sep 16: Before I knew she was going to have the operation I also got her a new squeaky and crunchy toy.  She plays with this more often than her older ones. Fun to let her have it a little bit each day....

Sep 20: I had gotten her this game before I knew she would have operation.  You put a treat under each little cap - she smells it and bites to lift it up to get the treat!

A nice sunset in the neighborhood.

Sep 18:  A few years ago I got this canvas crate/bed from a neighbor.  Buffy didn't really like to sleep in it, but she would eat her food when it was placed inside. 
So I used when we were in hotels with her for that.  

Now Buffy really likes going in here to snooze. I have it so it makes her pen larger as the bed now is part of the wall. 

I like the way I can look down at her too.

Dogs sleep more than I realized.  
She has several hours of interaction time though that is very, very nice indeed.

My friend and I are back to walking - in the evenings though now as then if Buffy doesn't want to walk as long as I do, then my son or husband can watch her while I continue walking!  I'm looking forward to starting my online exercise sessions again too - but that will be after Buffy is better alone again, and I have more boxes finished.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Round Up Weeks 32 - 36: Other Things and Fabric Related

August 30 - EBHQ Zoom Lecture by Malka Dubrawsky

She is especially into dying her fabric, stamping and doing those kinds of things.  So in her examples she repeats designs within a piece, tests an idea with different colors and by creating a design with different techniques.

If EBHQ offers another dying class, I hope I can take it.  It was just the wrong time for me to devote a full day for anything this time...


I walked a few times with my friend while we chatted on the phone - before my son's classes at university started we would walk in the morning before the day heated up. After his teaching started we switched to evening walks one or two times.

My son and I made lemon curd for my husband's birthday cake.  This year it only has two layers as we were so concentrated on little Buffy.

My husband and I wrote postcards with the zoom group to encourage people to vote no on the recall.

Most of the time was spent thinking about or caring for Buffy. That time has certainly paid off! So pleased with her progress in healing after her double enucleation surgery.  She already seems to have more pep!