Tuesday, January 12, 2021

More Leaves and my Light Table

Whoever is careless with truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
~Albert Einstein


String Tulip QAL will start the first Tuesday in February. Thanks for responding so enthusiastically. Like our usual prompts, I will post steps in successive months. 

February 2 - ESS string blocks
March 2 - Tulip petals
April 6 - Center details
May 4 - Putting it all together

The instructions are not a mystery; they will recreate the three quilts I made with this design. The mystery is what you make of them. Everyone is encouraged to alter the instructions to suit their own plans. I can't wait to see where you take this.

Meanwhile, Shadow Stars continues. I estimate it will take eight more weeks to finish all four borders. My blog documents my process rather than being a source of continual eye candy and it's important to reflect the actual time it takes. Consequently these may not be the most exciting posts but I'm sticking with the program. 

I drafted leaves in three sizes and made mirror images of all. The vines were pinned in place before the leaves are arranged so the stems can hide under them. Then I removed the vines to keep them out of the way of the presser foot. {Don't ask me how I learned to do that.}

A Bernina sewing machine is used to applique leaves to a quilt border
Sewing leaves to border with machine blanket stitch

Laying all these parts out properly is quick. Using a light table makes it easier to orient the applique on the borders. Years ago I had an "old school" light table that used an incandescent bulb. Eventually the toggle on/off switch broke. DH found this fantastic LED light board that is much thinner {about half an inch} and puts out no heat. My only problem is that my hands are frequently cold and the touch-sensitive switch doesn't always recognize it. Rubbing them together for a minute usually takes care of the issue. You know what they say, "Cold hands, warm heart."

The light table is bordered with ruler measurements which make placement easier.  It also works for real artists. 

LED light table rests on part of a quilt's vine border
LED light table

On the back the table is raised by four small pads that raise the table slightly off the surface. And for the record, information to order by phone or email is taped to the back. With this photo I'll be able to remember it even if the sticker comes off or fades. 

LED light table contact information

It's been a great present. DH is clever at finding just the right equipment.

The kawandi placemats have been perfect anecdotes for these tumultuous times. Choosing scraps from the bag with soft music is a respite from the outrageous behaviors of terrorists and traitors. Perle cotton makes the quilting much easier. DMC's manufacturing process is excellent. 

Here's the third one. It includes the last bird from the Spiderweb border fabric. I found another scrap with a similar blue-green background to add to this placemat and it unifies the design better than the previous one. 

Third placemat kawandi


I finished The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker, his second in the Bruno series. Since I started reading this series late, I'm pacing myself - one every two months. Two young men arrive in Saint-Denis to start vineyards. One wants to create organic wine while the other is the heir to a large American wine business. Both seem attracted to the beautiful young Quebecoise student who is working in a wine shop for the summer. Martin write lovingly of his adopted region. You wish you were there for the wine-stomping parties and the truffle omelet dinners or even to walk through the woods with his basset hound. This is a series to treasure.

Rhys Bowen's The Last Mrs. Summers came through a library loan. Although recently married, Darcy leaves Lady Georgie for an assignment and she joins her friend, Belinda, to view her recent inheritance of a small cottage in Cornwall. The story is inspired by Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca {which I read in high school.} A good read on a rainy day.

Hoping everyone can be vaccinated soon. Stay safe.


LA Paylor said...

thank you for the book rec's I just finished mrs summers and it was like sitting with an old friend. I'm headed to find the first one. I'm in need of escape with the news of congress members who believe in the conspiracy theories while being tasked with upholding the constitution. danger is worse in real life than in stories we read

Quiltdivajulie said...

Thank you, Ann -- looking forward to the string tulip posts. We'll see what I can do with the idea.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Your latest kawandi placemat is lovely! How long does it take approx. to do all the hand stitching?

Ann said...

I've noticed we both read Rhys Bowen. Finding books in common is such a connection. Martin Walker uses his local area to great effect. Love the descriptions and the way he fills it deeply and lovingly. Plus, he incorporates his previous non-fiction works into the storyline.
The behavior of many public officials continually shocks me. I'm particularly appalled by the deification of a person over country or even party. Reminds me of North Korea or Yugoslavia or WWII Germany.

Ann said...

You will make something spectacular, Julie.

Ann said...

I'm not fast so it takes me from 1-3 weeks in the evenings.

Kaja said...

I really like the fabrics you have used for your leaves, so I'm looking forward to seeing them all in place. The light table is so clever - I've looked at sewing tables that have one set in the middle, but of course don't have any space/budget for that. Something little and light is much better.

Ann said...

Thank you, Kaja. I don't have enough of any fabric for all the leaves but I'm concerned these may be too diverse... or too large. I've seen those kinds of sewing table inserts but already had a light table. This one is much easier to use because it's smaller. And I think kids could find it useful in their projects. I'm not sure how much this costs but you could email the company. Someone in the UK probably makes them also.

cspoonquilt said...

I Love the scrappy placemat. I never thought of using any of my scrappy doodles as placemats! That's a great application! Thanks for the idea!! take care.

Millie said...

I love Bruno. I have all of them. I'm farther along than you, but like you, I space them out so I can enjoy them. I rue the day when I will be all caught up and then I will have to wait for him to publish a new one.

Have you tried any Inspector Gamache by Louise Penny? You have to start with Still Life, and read them in order.

Mystic Quilter said...

Well Ann I read this just the day after you posted but somehow never got around to leaving a comment! February 2 will soon be upon us, can't wait to begin this project. I love your third Kawandi placemat, the fabric pieces you've used all just fit together so happily and reminds me of the beautiful collage work done by Mandy Patullo, she uses old quilts and found fabrics in her work.

Ann said...

I’m excited and apprehensive about starting the QAL. Just want it go go well. I looked up Mandy’s work and think you are very kind to compare. But the kawandis are becoming easier to create. I don’t worry whether they look authentic, just trying to find my own voice here.

Ann said...

I've read the first five Inspector Gamache and need to get back to them. It's hard to hold back when we are "late to the party" but I'll be sad when I'm caught up, too.

Ann said...

Claire, isn't it wonderful to find a new place for our work? And I need placemats right now.