Tuesday, August 2, 2022

AHIQ Palette Challenge Finished

Political correctness is not wrong, it is merely unfashionable. As the British broadcaster James O’Brien put it to those who resent having to suppress their  offensive thoughts: “Where would you like your sewage? In the pipes underground or flowing in the streets?”
~Nesrine Malik

Quilting


Finished. Just a bit late but now I can move to the next prompt with a "clear conscience." The hardest part was deciding to only work from the sky.

Blanca Sunrise baby quilt

My pile had many bright scraps but the softer, grayed ones better matched the photo... IMO. Although the pinks are the brightest spot, even some of those are greyed. 



The back is {most of} the remainder of the blue and white stripe used on the border of Shadow Stars. The binding is a print from my stash.

Front, back, and detail of Blanca Sunrise baby quilt

Quilt Specifics
Size: 44" x 44"
Design: String quilt
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Premium Natural Cotton
Thread: Aurifil blue cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral  with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 6.5 yds

Reading

Hot, lazy summer days seem a good time for re-reading. 


The Tearling trilogy by Erica Johansen is a fantasy series from a few years ago. I don't recall reading the final book so I started from the beginning. It's easier to read books with scary or gruesome parts than to watch it on the screen. Has anyone else read them?

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Finally Picking a Palette

It is the randomness of books, of taste and curiosity that ensures libraries remain a place where a broad cross-section of society can drop in, wander, browse, and leave when they like.
~Andrew Pettegree in The Library

Quilting


Well, not exactly choosing one... I just hadn't worked on my idea. Since Kaja proposed Picking a Palette this photo has been in my mind. The Navaho know it as the Sacred Mountain to the East. We climbed therein years past. The Great Sand Dunes National Park sits along the southwestern side. Snow usually lingers throughout the year making beautiful displays each sunrise.

Blanca Peak, CO

Additionally, the scrap bag is {again? still?} overflowing. Lots of darks went out with the Optical Illusion quilt but many mediums and pastels remain. Perfect. Again, I chose a simple scrap block made of strings on the diagonal sewed on paper squares. Any size will do although mine are usually less than six inches. {On the diagonal,  a center strip of nine inches.}


Here's where I am so far. Not fast but at least it's started. 


Reading

How public are libraries? What belongs in them? How resilient? 


The Library by Andrew Pettegree contains a sweeping overview of libraries, the collectors who built them, and the quick dispersal of most. Whether from lack of interest by heirs, changing religions, or war, many libraries quickly disappeared when their original patron died. 

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

AHIQ Prompt July 2022: Sun

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth
"You owe me."
Look what happens with a love like that
It lights the whole sky
~Daniel Ladinsky, "Even After All This Time"

Quilting


I posted this on AHIQ but wanted to add it here, too. 

Our family is already anticipating the solar eclipse that crosses Texas in 2024. Since some of them live in the path of totality, there's a place to easily visit and view. With my mind stuck on sun and eclipse not to mention sunrise, sunset, sunshine... SUN seems like a possible prompt.

How to start?Use the color or a traditional block including medallions, rising sun, and a galaxy of star blocks. Songs and quotes often include the sun. Some of my favorites include: 

    Peter Pan is the sun and the moon and the stars!
and
    Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.
and
    It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day. 

Whether you create a paean to our bright, particular star; segue off a traditional design; or simply grab your yellows, Here Comes the Sun!  "It's been a long, cold lonely winter." Let's make some time for joy. #AHIQSun is the tag so we can all follow your work. 

Join the celebration!


Reading

High Conflict fortuitously came to my notice this spring. Amanda exposes some of the ways conflict escalates into us vs them / good vs evil and how we can work our way out of the morass. She draws on different groups worldwide to highlight the forces that encourage conflict, including conflict entrepreneurs, humiliation, and false binaries. 


Reigniting curiosity, wonder, and a sense of community with former opponents helps cut the outrage and blame in which high conflict thrives. While our opinions may not change, our ability to live respectfully  with others of differing viewpoints increases. I encourage everyone to read it.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Optical Illusion Quilt

Faith grows when faith is all that’s left. 
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Quilting

 
As I wrote a few weeks ago, this particular plan came from a talk Sarah Nishiura gave at the Iowa Quilt Museum. She didn't show her finished quilt - or at least I didn't see it. I assume she made one since she has a series of quilts with grid changes. In the talk, she gave general instructions to "make each row narrower" so that was what I did. {Well, I chickened out on the final row but went back and remade it.}

Optical Illusion baby quilt

But the idea has been rolling around since I saw Ancient Directions by Allison Goss at a Festival in the 90s. Additionally, Margaret Miller wrote about warping blocks back then, too. Blockbuster Quilts addressed it a bit and I believe she wrote another book with more detail. But it took Sarah's offhand comment to get the match lit under my tail. So, thanks to all these quilters for the inspiration. I hope they help you, too.

Blockbuster Quilts by Margaret Miller

The green main diagonal on my quilt is not a solid. It's remnants of a tone on tone print that was the back of my Wheels quilt. Because of that, most of the scraps and strings are much darker making this a very dark but dramatic baby quilt. A narrow border keeps all the bias edges in line. It's a print with sea turtles. One of my favorites. The back is four quarter- to half-yard pieces that have been hanging out in my stash for much too long. Since they needed to be a bit wider, I added a grey across the middle. 

Once the top was complete, spiral quilting was the only way to go for me.  

Back of Optical Illusion baby quilt

Quilt Specifics
Size: 44" x 44"
Design: String quilt
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Premium Natural Cotton
Thread: Aurifil blue cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral  with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 6.5 yds

FUR (Fabric Use Rate)

My tracking has been lax {nonexistent} this year but through June, I've used 39.5 yards.


Reading



When a friend told me about this book, it sounded interesting. Then I realized it's an earlier book by Rachel Joyce. I'm probably the last person to read The Unexpected Pilgrimage of Harold Fry but I've enjoyed it tremendously. 

Harold receives a letter from a former co-worker telling him she is dying. He writes a short note in response but on the way to mail it, finds himself choosing to walk across England to visit her in person. 

Parts of the book reminded me of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? but Rachel has a kinder heart and a talent for misfits and ordinary people with sad, lonely lives. 

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

An Optical Illusion

At a time when so much evil exists, we have to take good care of love.
~from Seaside Hotel

Quilting


Haha. It worked pretty well. All except the outer round. Each round is narrower than the previous but I thought the last round would be too small so I repeated the size of the penultimate round. Mistake. Not terrible, but it loses some of the effect.


With much grumbling, I found just enough of that green to create a smaller round. Do you see the difference the new final row makes? All the greens curve inward instead of having the final round seem to curve outward {although it doesn't.}



The discards are set aside for a future play date. There's no more of the green center string so I'll have to get creative. 

Reading


Interfaith minister Barbara Becker who volunteers with hospice and helped her parents through their final days, wrote about "living with the end in mind." Recognizing we will all die can help us live our lives more fully and remain connected to our loved ones. It's a thoughtful book that I found worthwhile. 

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Working with Strings

What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed.
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Quilting


Leftovers from  the light green back of my Wheel quilt make the center string on these blocks. The other strings are the "dark" ones from my scrap bag. I used many of the paler ones on the baby word quilts. 

But the green and yellow string conflicts with the center...
 

So I took it out by sewing over that seam, cutting the offending string away, then reattaching the outer strings. Writing these steps makes it sound difficult but it was quite easy. There are no seams to match; it just needs sufficient seam allowance. 

Now there are some greens {but they are darker} and some strings with close values {but they are mostly blue.}


This is what I finished this week.The four center blocks are squares but the others are rectangular.  I have an idea from an online talk by Sarah Nishiura


Let's see how it goes.

Reading

I enjoyed Motherland so much that I looked for Leah's first book, America for Beginners. We meet Pival in Kolkata shortly after the death of her husband. She booked a sightseeing trip to America with a touring agency pretending to be run by Indians but actually owned by a Bangladeshi. And Pival doesn't want to sightsee. She's traveling to find her son, Rahi, who may or may not be dead.  Leah looks at family, immigration, and prejudice as each character chases their own American Dream.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

CAMP is a Baby Word

Convenience culture seduces us into imagining that we might find room for everything important by eliminating only life’s tedious tasks. But it’s a lie. You have to choose a few things, sacrifice everything else, and deal with the inevitable sense of loss that results.
~Oliver Burkeman in Four Thousand Weeks

Quilting


So many things have happened here. Many have been long expected though long delayed. At first I simply stopped blogging but still kept mindlessly sewing Coins in the evenings. They were a good way to meditate. I made more than I planned; the stack was enormous. Then I injured my arm. Physical therapy is almost done so I am turning the comments on again although typing is still hard. I may not answer everything. Sorry.

Our niece is expecting. The adorable wallpaper/mural for the room has a row of  stylized deer, fox, bear, and rabbit so I chose these colors. Then discussed words with my sister: Wild, Free, Camp, Hunt... Wild and free sounds great together but not so good individually. I wouldn't want anyone to think the baby was either free for the taking or a wild one.

CAMP baby quilt

There are quite a few browns in my stash but I had to work to soften them.

And the binding was supposed to be the dark green on the left. However, the brown on the bottom looks so much better. I can't tell you how long that piece has been in my stash. I had to buy it but could never find a home for it. Who'd have thought it could be a binding?

Two binding choices for CAMP baby quilt


The back is mostly two greens: a half yard and a yard. Of course, that wasn't quite wide enough so the dark brown print makes a good inset.

Back of CAMP baby quilt

Quilt Specifics
Size: 46" x 46"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting
Thread: Metler tan cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading

Perhaps because I'm from Texas, I read about Admiral McRaven's address to the 2014 graduating class at UT. Here are his ten suggestions in a short book starting with the admonition to make your bed well every day. 

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

A Hidden Message Baby Quilt

In stripping time of its illusions, in seeking to find out what is the heart of the day, we come to the quality of the moment, and drop the duration altogether. It is the depth at which we live and not at all the surface extension that imports.
~Emerson

Quilt


It's not a hidden message if you're a Razorback fan like my son. WPS stands for Woo Pig Sooie, the chant used by fans at sporting events. The original suggestion was WPS! but once I realized OOIE created its own quadrant, it made perfect sense to add that to the fourth block instead of an exclamation point. 

These are the same fabrics as the two previous Arkansas baby quilts because I calmed myself by sewing long columns this winter. Now they need to be sewn into something. And the same fabrics accepted fugitive dye when they were first washed... even with color catchers. 

WPSooie baby quilt

The back is another half yard of pig fabric from my sister. She goes hog-wild when I ask for her help. ;-)
And the red and white is the last of that yardage from her stash. 

Back of WPSooie baby quilt

The binding was supposed to be red but my remaining bits didn't look right. Then I pulled some black and white prints. Most were too strong but this funky print with large-scale telephone poles and wires worked very well. Since it languished in my stash for several years, I'm delighted to find the perfect place to use it... and use it up.

Detail of WPSooie baby quilt, folded

Quilt Specifics
Size: 46" x 46"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting
Thread: Superior 50 wt white cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram Kendi explains another side of American history - how racism persists through the years. He notes that every group of humans contains good and bad, diligent and lazy, smart and dull. And then he explains the moving targets set up by racism that keep people from obtaining equality. It seems to me that the most pernicious idea is that Blacks need to improve themselves to become worthy.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

A Baby Word for Arkansas Fans

The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile.
~Julia Child

Quilting


Of course a second Arkansas baby quilt is needed. Have you noticed how frequently friends do things together? From sports, to schools, to buying houses, and having babies. This is not exactly a word but it toots the University of Arkansas. 

UARK baby quilt

The background fabric is Kona Snow and Red. Over the years I've found several pig fabrics of my own that have white backgrounds so they are in both white letters. 

Details of UARK baby quilt

The back is another half yard of pigs from my sister, this time on green. The quilt is a bit wider than a WOF so I added black and white fabrics from my stash above, below, and on each side. The binding is another black and white remnant. Each time I think there will be nothing left in my stash but good stuff still appears. However, I hope to be able to shop in person soon.

Back of UARK baby quilt

It's good to be able to continue making a few baby quilts even with all the events going on here. I sewed scraps into Coin columns this winter and now try to find ways to incorporate them when possible.

Quilt Specifics
Size: 46" x 46"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting
Thread: Superior 50 wt white cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Things are going slower than ever for me. When these scraps are gone, I'm not sure what I will do. My arm hurts using any tools - quilting, cooking, gardening, or cleaning. Not that I will miss cleaning.  ;-) The specialist sees me this week. 

Reading


Critical care doctor Daniela Lamas wrote You Can Stop Humming Now to highlight the results of our choices. Some patients don't survive an emergency but others do. Some of those return to their previous lives while others... don't. Their lives are altered in small or extremely large ways. What kinds of rehabilitation is required? What modifications? A thoughtful read as we age.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Monday, March 14, 2022

Happy Pi Day 2022

It's strange that one of the definitions of "empty" is: to remove from what holds or encloses. And one of its definitions of the word 'freedom" is: not bound or confined or detained by force.
~Dorothy Gilman

Happy Pi Day! Every year more and more schools and companies celebrate this odd little holiday. Two friends told me their companies started this year with free pizzas and pie for lunch.

Here are the circles I finished this year. Most are one I worked on last year. At least they are now done.

The Wheel quilt is on the guest bed...

Wheel quilt

while Shadow Star is the summer quilt on our bed.

Shadow Star quilt

There are a few circles in the improv String Tulip quilt, too.

String Tulip 3 quilt 

The only other circles are the Os in some baby word quilts and they don't look much like circles.  Nevertheless, here are LOVE

LOVE baby quilt

HOPE

HOPE baby quilt

and HOGS.

HOGS baby quilt

This year is so upended I have no plans for future work. Just sewing when time permits. Stay safe and have fun today.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

How is HOGS a Baby Word?

See the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see.
~Wayne Dyer

Quilting


Just one letter change and it’s a whole new quilt. This one for the baby of a University of Arkansas graduate {and friend of one son.} Lucky me. These are all easy letters so everything can be rotary cut.

Cardinal red and white are their colors and Razorback {feral hog} is their mascot. All of these were red and white fabrics but something ran in the wash. Funny how only a couple of the whites picked up a pink cast. I washed it four times {including twice with colorfast bleach} but they stubbornly remain  tinted. 

Arkansas HOGS baby quilt

The border is a stripe purchased a few years ago. I thought it would be the binding but it worked perfectly here.

Lots of hogs on the back. My sister sent this half yard when she found it on vacation. It was supposed to be the border but didn’t look right. The red and white print is yardage I commandeered from her, too. She purchased a couple of yards for backing but when I told her how perfect it would be, she graciously allowed me to take it. I need to find something special for her in return.

Back of HOGS baby quilt

Now the binding is leftover red strips. They were the right widths and easily available.



Quilt Specifics
Size: 46" x 46"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting
Thread: Superior 50 wt white cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading

Over the past few months I’ve read three “bookshop” books, generally a light and easy genre: a woman buys or inherits an old bookstore and finds love with a new life. Definitely escapist since we know how few bookstores exist these days when even the large box retailers struggle. Nevertheless…


In Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan after being laid off as a web designer, Clay starts working the night shift at this store and notices how odd the books are and how the few customers come in regularly to borrow very obscure books. He decides to investigate along with some code writing friends. I enjoyed the San Francisco/tech company setting. A male protagonist and not a love story.


The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs is also set in San Francisco. Natalie inherits her mother's struggling store as well as the care of her elderly grandfather. She finds amazing items inside.


Jenny Colgan’s The Christmas Bookshop finds Carmen trying to rehabilitate an ancient Edinburgh shop whose owner really doesn’t want to sell his merchandise. 

Physical therapy takes much of my days so quilting is even slower.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

HUGS is a Baby Word

Remember that art is about being interested, not about being interesting.
~Julia Cameron

Quilting


Apple pie without some cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze. Although that saying was in my grandmother's Betty Crocker cookbook, I never put cheese on apple pie. However, my family never gives a kiss without a hug. How could I make a kiss quilt without a hugs one, too?

HUGS baby quilt

With my excellent analytical skills I chose to make quilts with difficult words first. Haha. The letters in this one are all vertical/horizontal. So much easier to sew than V, A, R, and K. Why didn't I think of that earlier? OTOH, I have less time these days so perhaps it's better to sew easier letters right now. 

Partially completed spiral quilting

This one went together like a piece of cake. I used the same spiral quilting because... why not? It's a natural plan for me now, looks good, and required no decisions or marking.

Detail of letter G on HUGS baby quilt

If you read my posts regularly, you may recall the backing. It's some of the leftovers from a skirt I made last summer out of some old Kaffe Fassett yardage. 

The binding is a beautiful coral with arrows. Not that you can see them. I liked it so much I purchased the fabric twice. Shesh! And it's sat in my stash ever since. 

Binding, back and spiral quilting on HUGS baby quilt

Now it has a home where it will wrap a baby in hugs. 

Quilt Specifics
Size: 45" x 45"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Premium Natural Cotton
Thread: Metler cotton thread in pink
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading


How have I missed this author until now? The Guncle by Steven Rowley is well-written and engaging. Actor Patrick lives/hides in Palm Springs. When a series of tragedies strike his family, he becomes the temporary guardian of his young niece and nephew. In helping them cope with their losses, Patrick begins to face his own. An insightful story that is both warm and funny.  

And... he's written other books that I'm adding to my list.

Gee’s Bend Quilts

Improvisational quilts are stylish these days and few are more recognized than the Gee’s Bend quilts made by many generations of Black women in Alabama. Most of the makers still live in poverty. The proceeds of their quilts usually go to the purchasers and almost everyone feels free to evoke the name for their personal use. Now Gee’s Bend quilters have an Etsy shop. Read the article here.
 
Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

KISS is a Baby Word

It is the cardinal difference between gift and commodity exchange that a gift established a feeling-bond between two people.
~Lewis Hyde

Quilting


Here's another word used for babies. Don't we all want to kiss and cuddle them! 

While there's not much free time here, it soothes me to sew random strings together. Working a few minutes at a time, sometimes only a few minutes a week, I've finished a pile of string sets in a variety of colors. Making the letters takes more effort though. The K took some thought; it was made on New Year's. The other letters ares easier to make with tiny bits of time. 

As I run out of one print, I can usually find some more in similar values in the stash... or not. But the solids are a different story. There's never many of them in my purchases. With both yellow and pink used up, there's only this tan left. It actually looks good here. Maybe. 

Fortunately there was enough peach for most of the border. It just needed some cornerstones.

KISS baby quilt

After four years, my quilt (gardening) gloves are peeling at the fingertips. I treated myself to a new pair this week. These will never be used in the yard. They grip fabric well and last so much longer than any marked just for quilting... at about a quarter of the price. 



New gardening gloves for quilting

What else but spiral quilting. I do like the way it looks. It's easy to stop and start once the tight center is done. 

Detail of letter K on KISS baby quilt

The back took a yard and a quarter of this gorgeous print. Somehow it reminds me of those 1960s Peter Max designs. That's all of it and it needed just a bit more for the width. Hello, green. Always nice to find a remnant in the scrap bag. 

Back of KISS baby quilt

The binding came from the binding scrap box. It's a mishmash of most of the blues there.

Binding, back, and spiral quilting on KISS baby quilt

This one is staying here for a bit but I'm sure it will be needed soon. It will be nice to have one quilt waiting in the wings for a change. 

Quilt Specifics
Size: 45" x 45"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Premium Natural Cotton
Thread: Aurifil cotton thread in blue
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading

I read and enjoyed Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Pollifax series over the years but never realized she wrote a memoir about her time in Nova Scotia. A New Kind of Country begins with the purchase of an old house on ten acres. She discusses her {long past} divorce, the contrast with suburban America, and learning to live quietly and simply. After that I read her first adult novel, An Uncertain Voyage, about a woman asked to deliver a book to Majorca by an American spy. Many of the same themes were there although the novel hasn’t aged as well as her autobiography.

Dorothy herself passed away in 2012 from complications of Alzheimer’s but her last book was published in 2020.

Enjoy the day, Ann