Monday, November 12, 2018

Cathedral Window Project, HST Borders and Okan Arts.

My cathedral window project, hand stitching done.

Borders coming together for my 'Uneven Thirds' improv small quilt.
Blanket of smoke in the air over NW LA, November 10.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes! 
Where the winds and temperatures have cooled down.

Yes, a couple of days ago, NW LA did look very apocalyptic.
A strong unseasonably warm wind blew a wild fire into an inferno.
Rancho Palos Verdes is on the west side of the coastal range, which is between the Pacific Ocean and LA, and so we didn't get as much smoke. We could look NW and see that most of the smoke was north and over the Santa Monica Bay.
Today the air is much clearer. The wind has died down and temperatures have cooled down.

This week I visited Okan Arts, located in Seattle, Wa., on line. I saw that Patricia Belyea's  book, 'East Meets West', had recently been published and looking at the reviews and seeing that it had a lot of great ideas, I purchased a copy for myself. And I was not disappointed!
She has a great method for improvisational design that I think is brilliant. Her explanations are accessible, easy to grasp. I think the best instructors are the ones that communicate well.
She, of course, uses beautiful Japanese fabrics (because that's what Okan Arts specializes in) and solids in her projects, but that could easily be translated into using prints and solids of your choice.
I highly recommend this book and no, I'm not being paid to say that.

I've had time to finish hand stitching my cathedral window project. I used a red calico Liberty of London fabric for the color inserts. 

And more half square triangles have been sewn together for the borders that will go around my 'Uneven Thirds' improv project. It's small and will sit on a table to brighten the atmosphere.

And a quick note, this area, in the past really was divided into huge ranches, or ranchos. And free range cattle did keep the brush and low level leaves trimmed, which in turn did keep the chance of wildfires a lot lower. The old timers were smarter about some things than we give them credit for.

That's the news from the rancho where projects are getting done and good books are being read.
And I'm remembering to be thankful and praying for those who've lost family and homes.
I'll be by to visit.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Half Square Triangle Borders, Yo-Yos, a Ceremony and an Adventure.

I managed to get a photo before the wedding party started.
St. Jarlath Church, the ceremony was held here.

I got to see my littlest grandson! Here he is playing with his cars.
On the drive home we stopped in Buellton, CA and visited this fabric/quilt shop.
This is one of their beautiful sample quilts.

The Creation Station Quilt Shop front entrance

I bought some colorful, already made yo-yos, the owner's grandmother makes them.

And I've started work on borders for my new improv sample quilt. I love this look.

Hello! From Rancho Palos Verde.
Where it's sunny, warm and the Pacific Ocean sparkles.

We drove to Oakland, CA last week for my son's wedding. The ceremony was wonderful, held in the beautiful St. Jarlath Church. What a great way to start a marriage. It was fun seeing and visiting friends and relatives and it was all over too soon.

On the drive home I got to visit  The Creation Station Fabric & Quilt Shop , in Buellton, Ca. I enjoyed their sample quilts and they specialize in quilt retreats. I bought some already made Yo-Yo's, the owner's grandma makes them and they're well made! I've sewn them together and they're just the cutest thing.

This week I've been making half square triangles for borders for my new sample improv design quilt,
'Uneven Thirds.' I got the idea for the border from one of Jordan Fabrics' YouTube tutorials in which Donna made a similar border. Their tutorials are full of good ideas and exciting color use.

That's the news from the rancho, where I'm remembering to be thankful.
Have a good week and I'll be by to visit.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Improv Quilt Design Experiments and Cathedral Window First Try.

Two coasters and a table topper from improv block experiment.

Table topper flimsy, vertical.

Cathedral window process, there are good tutorials on YouTube.

Here's my small sample ready for color inserts.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
The temperatures are cooler this week, staying around the 70's.

This week I worked on experiments. I was in an experimental mood!
I made some improv small blocks a while ago and then added to the number last week. At first I was going to turn them all into coasters or mug rugs but then I thought some would look good sewn together for a table topper to go with the coasters.

I first made the block by doodling in my sketch book. I wanted a block divided in uneven thirds, vertically.
And so I pieced it together from the sketch, in a liberated manner. Three vertical strips, first from the left, from the top; orange, lt. grey, turquoise. The middle strip, yellow green, Kona cotton solid, Wasabi. And the last strip on the right, turquoise, egg shell, set of three colors and dark grey. It was fun to stay within the 'boundaries' and yet keep hold of liberated piecing.

Then my next experiment was inspired by my friend Carin@ Queenie Patch. She began a project using Cathedral Windows and her's are beautiful. I've always wanted to give them a try so why not now?
Carin has a good tutorial and there are a few on YouTube that made sense to me.
So I made a small sample starting with 7 1/2" blocks in Kona cotton solid Snow.
I think it's a little bit like origami. The color inserts come next.

This weekend road trip to Oakland, CA for a wedding. Lot's of fun and busy stuff.
So that's all from the rancho.
Where I'm remembering to be thankful.

I'll be by to visit.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Summer Watermelon Quilt Border, Mug Rug Improv Style, Indian Summer

Summer Watermelon Quilt, second border sewed on.

This is the final size, I'll get it layered and quilted next.

I think this captures the watermelon 'spirit', that first juicy crunch and sweet burst of flavor.

My scrap improv mug rugs, experiments in small scale.
Hand stitching binding.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes!
Where we are having an Indian Summer, but looking at the weather report it's supposed to be short lived.

This week I had time to sew on the second border of my Summer Watermelon Quilt. It will fit perfect on a table. Layering and quilting will come next. I think I'll machine quilt in straight lines with lines of hand quilting mixed in, nice texture that way.

Hand sewing the border down onto my 'City Sidewalks' quilt was started today.

I also pulled out the scrap improv mug rugs I've been working on and began a few more.
Maybe work isn't the right word, play would fit better. This is a good way to warm up and do small color experiments. 

That's the news from the rancho.
Where we are enjoying the warm sea breezes while they last.
And remembering to be thankful.
I'll be by to visit.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Improv Quilt News; A Border, Hand Quilted Grid and Why We Quilt

My 'City Sidewalks' quilt, with new outside border and hand quilting finished.
Back view, I used Tim Holtz, Kona cotton solid Tiger Lily and a batik fabric.

Close up, hand quilted with #12 DMC Pearl Cotton.
Bird of Paradise, local flora, amazing color.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
Where the weather is sunny with wind and the temperatures have stayed in the 70's this week.

Where is RPV you might ask? West of LA on the west side of the coastal range. 
It has its own micro climate, being right off the Pacific Ocean and so generally cooler and maybe gets a little more fog, mist and wind than the LA Valley.

This week I had time to add the final border to 'City Side Walks' and to get the hand quilting finished up. Next the binding, in the same color as the final border, Kona cotton solid, Wasabi, will get sewn on. I enjoy the colors and names of the Kona cotton solids, can you tell?

I roughly followed Tonye Belinda Phillips' pattern, Welsh Folded Log Cabins, as I've said before.
I used my own construction method, color and block arrangement.
This quilt is my interpretation of the Adhoc improv challenge, Maps.
It reminds me of city sidewalks with houses, townhouses and apts all stacked along city streets and sidewalks.

Also Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew has a wonderful post on 'Why I Quilt'. Thanks Allison, for the encouraging words!

That's the news from the rancho.
Where we are remembering/praying for the people who've lost their homes in Florida.
And being thankful.
I'll be by to visit.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Jordan Fabrics Quilt Shop Visit, California Coast Views, Prairie Rose Quilt

Great diner in Centralia, Washington. It's been open and popular for decades.

We stayed a night in Roseburg, Oregon, a scenic area.

Jordan Fabrics Quilt Shop, Grants Pass Oregon. They have fun YouTube tutorials.

Jordan Fabrics' store front. They carry beautiful Hoffman Batiks.
Jelly Rolls and sample quilts everywhere!

California Pacific Coast, Pismo Beach, looking north toward the coastal range.

Next day, south of Santa Barbara, California coast looking south.
Coast Hwy 101, Malibu, California looking south.

Back view of my quilt, Prairie Rose, finished in 2013.

Prairie Rose, 2013, designed and pieced by me, queen size on a king bed.

Prairie Rose machine quilted in rambling rose pattern by Bobbie Burnett, Sacramento, CA.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes, California!

Where we have temperatures in the 70's and sun and clouds. 
Our road trip from Washington State went well.
It's good to be here and visit my son and daughter-in-law who are the caretakers of my quilt, Prairie 
Rose finished in 2013.

I was just starting to explore the 'liberated' style as in Gwen Marston's book 'Liberated Quilt Making II', when I made this quilt. Up to this point I had been enjoying art quilting, mixed media style,  adding embellishments, hand embroidery and journaling to my quilts. 
After looking through her book, I had to give 'liberated' a try. I liked Gwen's light hearted, scrappy, inventive attitude.
In Prairie Rose I decided to use log cabin style blocks, pieced with strips/logs 3.5" wide of varying lengths. All blocks would be trimmed to 11.5" square.
Then I added borders using Rachel Ashwell fabric in a cotton/linen, blue/ecru floral and utility style fabric in the plaid shirting, and the white and red stripe.

Bobbie Burnette of Sacramento, CA did a great job machine quilting it in a rambling rose pattern.

So that's the news from RPV. Where we are adjusting to the coastal life,
and remembering to be thankful.

I'll stop by to visit.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Four Borders Done, Yellow against Blue, Packing for Road Trip.

Stacks of my four patch blocks, pressed.

Arranging four patch blocks into 4 borders.

Fall colors, yellow against blue.

Four Patch borders, sewn together and pressed.
Four Patch borders for my On-Point Sampler blocks.

Hello, from Renton, Washington.
Where we have rain and clouds today.

This will be my last post from Washington as we are headed south tomorrow for a road trip to Rancho Palos Verdes, California. We'll be staying there a while and it's a beautiful time of the year to visit.

We'll be traveling through Oregon to Northern California, where we'll go west and travel south along the coast to Rancho Palos Verdes. It's a great drive and if the weather holds I'll get some photos to share of the scenery and stops into local quilt shops.

This week I did get my four patch blocks sewn together and pressed. Then I arranged them into four borders and sewed and pressed the borders. They'll go around my 'On Point Traditional Sampler Quilt.' That will wait until I get settled in Rancho Palos Verdes. Something to look forward to.

That's the news from the shire, where we're packing up camp. Soon we'll be living in the 'rancho.'

Remembering to be thankful.
I'll be by to visit.