Category Archives: Quilting

Road – part 3

Another picture heavy post…

Vintage grandmothers garden-
Vintage

There were no dates. One quilt had 1861 on it but there wasn’t any more info on these. There were about 10 or so vintage quilts with no info. It was fun to look at, inspiring really. They were not show quilts but everyday quilts people made and used. I love that because those are the quilts I make. I wish there was more info though.

another vintage quilt
French General exhibit
Another french general
I love the simplicity of this quilt. This and the next blue and white quilts are from Laundry Basket quilts and were designed by Edyta Sitar.

Road – part 2

Picture heavy post-

Best of Show
Close up

The best of show is my kind of quilt. Tiny, hand embroidered, and wool. Although that’s a guess. It looks like wool, flannel, and cotton all mixed together.

Another Janet Stone quilt
This was done by reverse applique.
Here is a close up of one block
I am amazed where the lines meet in the middle.
This one was made with recycled plastic materials in it.
this uses my favorite plum grunge as a background
The eyes on the hens are either crystals or sequins. I can’t remember but it made them pop.
You can lift the quilt they are holding and underneath are names of hundreds of women.

Road to California 2023

Last week I went to Road to California in Ontario, CA. I try to go every year and for the most part I make it for a day or two. The last several years (except 2021 due to the lockdown) I was lucky enough to stay close by and take a class here and there. This year was my longest yet. I stayed Tuesday- Saturday and took 3 classes.

On Tuesday my girlfriend, Julie, and I took a Sashiko class with Carol Zioga of Kimonomomo. This is a new thing we’ve slowly been getting into. It’s definitely it’s own craft but in the hand sewing part of my brain. However they have different fabrics, different threads, and slightly different tools- a special needle and thimble. We had bought a kit at last years Road and did not touch it all year. But we will try to add this new craft somewhere on our already busy crafty schedule. It will need to occupy its own space in my brain because hand sewing space already has been filled with mountain mist and wool applique.

Sashiko project

Here is what I created and it’s not done. Basically I plan to fill it with different stitches until I think it’s done. I hand pieced the fabrics together and when it filled the backing I attached the backing to the bottom. I didn’t do all four sides. And then started stitching. You will be able to see my stitches in the back but you don’t knot the thread just do a couple of back stitches to secure it and it looks so pretty – front and back.

I enjoy hand work and learning new things so I had a fun time at the class. I felt it could have used more direction early on but it was fine in the end. I also would love to learn more about Carol Zioga and her experiences in the crafty world. I think she would make a great guild speaker.

Julie decided to head home after class but I was staying at Ontario. She was invited to stay with me but decided she wanted the comfort of her own bed when it made sense. Since I was staying I was lucky enough to head to the first preview night on Tuesday night. I wasted no time- got in line and went through all the aisles in the vendor room and went through the quilt room to enjoy the quilts.

long lines to get in to preview night

My initial thoughts –

1. Only a few people were wearing masks. I did because I have had covid and don’t want to get it again. I also got sick with a common cold after Christmas and if a mask will help me not get sick again, I prefer to wear a mask. But not so many felt the same and there were a lot of coughing and sniffling around me that made me cringe and hope I don’t catch anything despite the protection. Wearing a mask sucks and I don’t like it either. But getting sick sucks worse in my opinion.

On the last day… exhausted but happy

2. There were more people than last year (2022) but not as many as BC (Before Covid). Very sad but true and yet the vendors seemed to be doing very good. At least a few of them if not all.

3. There were not as many vendors and quilts. In the main convention center, there were some quilt exhibits: Sue Spargo, the best of show, The Graffitti Cherrywood fabric challenge, and a few quilts. But mostly there were vendors in the main convention room. Then there were the quilts in the ballroom to the side of the convention center. In past years, the vendors spilled over into a tent area. This year, we didn’t have that. We didn’t have By Annie, Block Loc and the Olfa booths. Those are the booths I was looking for that I didn’t see. There was an Aurifil booth when last year they were conspicuously missing but they didn’t have a lot of stuff. BC, they actually didn’t sell a ton of product but I was looking for 50w cones, which they had at $50/cone.

On Wednesday, I worked in the morning and Julie came back around 2. She brought me lunch and we ate in the hotel room, we trekked to the lobby and got her a parking pass and then trekked back to the show. We walked around the vendors and the show and hit up all the booths on her list. She works the show similar to me on both the vendor side and the quilt side…. go through each aisle quickly and making mental notes of any vendors or items we may want to buy, or quilts that strike our fancy. Then after going over quickly, we walk back slowly through each aisle making purchases of the items we decided we wanted to spend money on or perusing quilts that we wanted to stand in front of and let the artists work take over our senses. Julie is my kindred spirit.

Then we headed over to our Wednesday evening class, wool applique with Catherine Redford.

wool applique project – unfinished and I’m not going to finish

This class was too basic for us since it was an intro class. But we enjoy Catherine’s classes. It’s our third class with her. We always learn something new! This year it was a different way of threading our needles that Catherine called Kathy’s way as the lady who showed Catherine was named Kathy. You lay the thread over your finger and take the needle to it, with the eye on top of the thread you push the needle back and forth. The thread magically goes into the eye. You slowly pull the thread out. I find it’s easier to do this with larger eye needles. But the smaller the eye this doesn’t work.

We had dinner at Denny’s and this time Julie stayed the night. The class ended at 9:30 so the idea of driving back when she could stay over appealed. I slept well. Julie – not so much but she had her audio book and phone to keep her company while I conked out.

On Thursday, we had no classes but I worked in the morning while Julie went to the show. I finished up around 1 and trekked over to join her. Our friends Sandy and Ronnie came by and I had fun with them while they did the show. They do shows a bit differently than me but they came late and didn’t have several days to peruse like me. So they were a bit more specific with the booths they visited and the quilts they looked at. It was fun bringing them to the booths Julie and I enjoyed and thought they would enjoy as well. Julie left to have some introvert time and sleep in her own bed. I went back to the hotel, ate my leftovers for dinner and finished up some work stuff that I wouldn’t have time to do on Friday.

On Friday, I had an all day class with Sue Spargo. This was the class that I wanted to take this year and it was super fun. We learned how to use her spoke easy template and her loop template.

first flower
half flower

I had a lot of fun. But even though the class was listed as an intermediate class the lady next to me claimed to be a beginner and didn’t have all her supplies. I was a bit annoyed. She kept talking to herself and I could feel her frustration. I tried to help her but she didn’t always listen to my suggestions so I stopped offering. But she complained and complained.

Despite my neighbor I learned a lot and now I want to make sure to have some fancy hand embroidery time in my already busy crafty schedule. I also want more 3w and 5w threads as they create different looks than thinner thread. I bought some at the Wonderfil booth and the Global artisan booth.

Julie came back Friday evening with our friend Liz, who had to work all week. We went to dinner at Spires which had great reviews on Yelp. I don’t know why because it was not that good. I think it deserves 3 stars for being ok. Not the 4.5 stars it has.

Saturday was the final day of the show and Liz and Robin was with Julie and I. Later Sandy and Ronnie came back for round 2. By Saturday I was tuckered out and I did not need anything else. But we found some adorable Japanese fabric that we should not have bought but did at the Orange Dot (Dora Carey) booth and decided they would be perfect for the H bag patterns that we had bought when she was at our guild last year. I also showed her pics from my phone of Arabesque as that is her pattern and was a product from her workshop. She is a nice sweet lady.

Then we all went home. We are making plans as a group to get together to show what we bought. It’s all nice and dandy as a thought but when I get home I like to clean out my bags and put things in their homes right away. That way things aren’t so cluttered. But they are in bags in my office/craft room waiting and it’s driving me a bit crazy.

I’ll post pictures of quilts in the next few days.

Now I just need to use what I bought before next years Road!

Always Crafting,

Melanie

My Bag – #7 on my Jan list

On my January list of things I wanted to get done, this bag is #7. I’ve written about wanting to make bags almost since the very beginning of this blog. And some years I make some and a lot of years I do not. But this bag kit was purchased with a Craftsy class many years ago when I was into Craftsy classes. Unfortunately, I was overwhelmed by the complexity of this project and I let it go many years. I kept the kit together and harbored hope that one day I would be able to do it. During the pandemic a group of us ladies met on zoom a lot and out of those meetings bag making was discussed. Not everyone wanted to venture into it but some did and some were already well into it. We created a Friday night group called The Bag Ladies. In the beginning, it was supposed to be once a month. But it quickly increased to every Friday. Slowly, as time went on and the world opened up more we found ourselves meeting less and less and we disbanded the group.

However I had started this project and it was beyond my bag making skills. The project itself is difficult but I also had to look for all the parts to the kit and luckily, I was able to gather them all together. I worked on this a bunch in 2021 and then put it aside when life got busy. That’s the worse thing to do with a project as complex as this. Its already a hard bag just by itself. but when I put it aside and then have to remember where I left off, what I did and what I still needed to do just made it all the more difficult. Since this is number 7 in my list I made it a mission to not start #8 until this project is done!

Here are some progress pics of the pages I put together.

pockets with style 1 on the left and style 2 on the right. the difference is that 1 is one big pocket on top of another with one zipper. while 2 has two side by side pockets and 2 zippers.

pockets with style 3 on the left and style 4 on the right. it’s pretty much the same as 1 and 2 respectively except that there are three sets instead of two.

And once those were done I added velcro to each side.

I’m really thrilled with how it’s coming along. and while it is difficult, my machine is handling things like a pro and as long as I take each step one by one and watch the craftsy class while I’m doing it I am finding I’m able to do it.

bound

I find bag making takes a lot of focus and I couldn’t do this bag and meet up with the bag ladies. I needed to focus and concentrate which are two things I am unable to do while my friends and I are on zoom chatting.

This is the outside part with one of the sides connected to the outer zipper.

I found it hard to do the binding on this end. It’s done but I don’t like how it turned out. I took the raw edges together and with the side at the bottom machine bound the raw edges of the binding to the raw edges of bag smooshing all the layers as much as possible with my stiletto. That part was easy but I had to pay attention and not make my quarter inch too big by mistake, especially around the corners which I tend to cut through too quickly. The part that was hard was doing the other side. I was able to pull the binding over and it covered everything nicely but if I sewed it on that end we would be able to see the stitching on the other side. I didn’t want that. So I stitched in the ditch on the already sewn side and hoped it caught the binding to secure it on the other side. It did mostly and where it did not I just resewed from this side. It worked but where I was blindly securing it didn’t line up always right and so it looks wonky. If you look closely at the picture above you can see how the bottom binding has more pulled over than on the other parts.

There must be some trick to it that I’m not aware of. Well that side is done now and I’m not picking out. But hopefully I will learn a better way to do these bindings in the future.

FINISHED!
Inside

Stay crafty friends!

Melanie

Finished Quilt: Disappearing 9 Patch

I’ve updated the name of this quilt to Robin’s quilt. I know I’ve referred to it as Disappearing 9 Patch but in my head it’s Robin’s quilt. Robin is the lady who hosted the quilt-a-long for our guild and so that’s how I thought of it. At the end of last year, you may remember I was going a little crazy with all the new starts that I did. A lot of it was due to guild and workshop obligations. I participated because I wanted to support Robin’s efforts and help encourage participation with the other members. Also, it was a good excuse to actually do a disappearing 9 patch. These have been around forever and I’ve meant to do them but the timing never seemed right. I enjoyed it. I would have chosen a different color instead of the green batik. I think it blends too much with the main fabric. But it still looks fine.

Robin’s Quilt – 01/2023

I quilted this on the Q20 and I used stencils and marking tools. I started with the purple disappearing pen but I couldn’t see the marks on the darker fabric so on those parts I used a white chalk. I inherited this white chalk from somewhere and I have a bunch of different kinds of white chalk. I hated it and I am only using it to use up what I’ve got. But, I need to buy more of the purple disappearing pen because I ran out 3/4’s of the way through quilting. I ended up using the Frixion pen which I love. I know people have mixed feelings about it but I used the black version and I’ve never had a problem with it.

Back

And here’s my back to show. It’s the same fabric as the main fabric on the front. This actually was from a trash to treasure some years ago and I had 3 yards of it. Not only did I use it on the front and the back, but also in the binding!

And my label. I used to make fancy labels embroidered on my embroidery machine. But I found that I wasn’t finishing quilts completely because it would take me too long to get it out and make a label. Instead I bought fabric archival marker pens and now I hand write them. In this case I appliquéd the label down with some silk thread but sometimes I do some decorative hand embroidery with some fancy floss when I’m in the mood. Not so much this time but it’s done and I’m so happy.

Happy quilting

Melanie

Quilt in Progress: Apple Blossom, a Mountain Mist Pattern

Started: December 2022

I first posted about this quilt here

My January goal was to cut fabric for the first block and get started. Normally the next step is to cut all the fabric as indicated by the instructions for each part. But the mountain mist patterns were written a long time ago. I believe early to mid 20th century. And as with most old patterns (whether quilting, sewing or knitting) it tends to assume you know things which nowadays people just don’t know. So rather than cut all the pieces only to find out I did something wrong, I cut enough to do one block.

Here’s what I found- for part 5 and 6, there are two places on each block that use these and they are both not the same! So part 5 has two not identical pieces. Same for part 6! It makes no sense. Usually when you have a part for applique they match. Anyway the tips match but one is longer than the other. So had I made a template of the longest part I would have been fine. But I didn’t. I made the templates from the shortest part for both 5 and 6! I made do for now so I could finish cutting for one block. But I’ll need to make new templates for these to make sure I don’t cut the longer part too short in future blocks.

The pattern also didn’t indicate which part to applique down first. Nowadays the numbers on the parts tell you which to do first. meaning applique #1, then #2, etc etc. But this one isn’t that way. So I picked this part to do first. I actually didn’t have the right color thread to applique. I have 100w silk that is so nice to applique with and I know I have purple somewhere. Or I think I do. If I do, it’s tucked away in a project. And the 100w silk that I used can be seen on that dark purple if you look closely. The next best thing is 80w aurifil or even 50w aurifil. the thread is so thin, it just sinks into the fabric. But despite me having a lot of purples and it being my favorite color, I didn’t have one that matched that dark purple!

I did find a pretty lighter purple in 50w Aurifil for the lighter purple. I’m going to Road to CA this coming week so I’ll be sure to take a sample of that dark purple to find a matching thread. Normally I wouldn’t care so much and just use what I have. But since I’m going to Road soon it doesn’t hurt to add it to my shopping list.

And I finished appliquéing those two pieces and was about to start a third when I stopped myself. My energy was waning and if I started this third piece I would probably end up ripping it out. So I settled on looking for thread for that green. I found one in my Superior thread collection. At 40w it’s not ideal thread to applique with for me but the color is dead on and I would love to use this thread for something. I had bought this years ago at a massdrop thing when I was into that. I rarely use these threads since I’m an Aurifil girl now and would love to use it up. So I will try. If I find that it’s too thick for applique I will switch it out.

Hugs

Melanie

Finished Flimsy: Dresden

I started this at my guild’s March 2022 workshop with Linda Ballard.

I can’t believe all I needed to do to finish this was blanket stitch the dresden down and applique a center. I already had decided not to add a border a long time ago. But it took me forever to get this to the finishing line.

I wanted my blanket stitch to pop so a 50w would have been too thin for the look I was going for. I ended up choosing a salmon/coral color 12w Aurifil. I buy Aurifil in different weights because I enjoy the look of a good decorative top thread when I want it. and I do not usually plan ahead enough to buy the right color when I need it. I always just look in my stash for something that will work. I get a thrill of pleasure when I find and use something in my stash. Not only am I using what I have but it justifies me buying Aurifil in different weights when I find them. 😁

50w Aurifil is now about $14/ large spool. So if I see 50w or 40w at less than $14 I will buy it. I have all my Aurifil thread listed on a google sheets so I go through that list to avoid buying duplicates.

For 28w and 12w- I like to buy the small spools in different colors so I have options for decorative thread. I used to buy large spools and if all I see are large spools I will buy them anyway. I find that I don’t use them enough to warrant choosing large spools and usually shops generally just have small spools of these weights. Sometimes though large spools are it.

I also buy 80w when I see them (which is not often) for applique. And if I see 12w wool, I used to pick these up too. But for my bday last year I bought the whole Ellana collection which is Wondefil’s wool thread so I don’t need Aurifils on hand anymore. I would LOVE to get Aurifils 12w cotton collection but it’s way too much! at 270 small spools and a beautiful box to store them all, it’s $1700 with tax and shipping. For some reason in my head I thought it was more like $400 for the whole thing. Either they raised the prices or I am totally way off. Either price would be too much but $400 is more swallowable than $1700! Wonderfil had split their collection into 2 boxes so while pricey I bought one at a time as my budget allowed.

Happy quilting friends,

Melanie

January 2023 – mid month update

I completed what I set out to do for Plum Fusion (#2 on this list) and made significant progress on #1. Road (#5) is coming up this week and I think all is ready. I should make progress on #3 (Dresden) and #6 (Mountain Mist) the latter part of the month. I hope I’m able to get the rest of this list done as well. Or at least get it out and look at it.

Here are my original goals for January –

#1 – Disappearing 9 Patch is under my needle right now. I would like to finish finish finish this quilt this month.

UPDATE – this is fully quilted and I just need to do the rest of it – binding, label, picture and post.

#2 Plum Fusion – one of our Local shops Saturday Sampler. – I would like to do page 11 and page 12. I believe these are just one block a piece so not too difficult.

Page 11
Page 12
Page 12

Update: Both page 11 and 12 are complete

#3 – Linda Ballard’s Dresden from the guild’s February 2022 workshop. – Finish this top

#4 – New saturday sampler – The Quilty Pleasure Saturday Sampler starts this month. I’d like to stay on schedule and keep up with it so I’d like to get the first month’s tasks done for the QP Saturday Sampler.

#5 – the road classes – be prepared to learn, do and finish the projects.

#6 – Mountain Mist – cut fabric for 1 block and start…

#7 – my bag – By Annie’s Everything in its Place

– the picture of the bag on the kit I have

#8 – my peasant top

Happy quilting!

Melanie

Quilt in Progress: Plum Fusion

This is the 2022 Saturday Sampler from Cotton and Chocolate in Thousand Oaks, CA. I was pretty caught up until I got Covid and I set it aside. I’m slowly working on it again. Here are page 11 and page 12 blocks which was my January goal.

Page 11
Page 12

I stopped doing BOMs years ago. First I always fell off and didn’t keep up to the finish. And when I did there were times when the fabric was not enough. That’s annoying. I know people always tell me I could ask the shop the BOM was offered through but these were usually from those I did through the mail and so much time had passed that I was sure they didn’t have any more of that fabric. And I was annoyed. I shouldn’t have to call. There shouldn’t have been a shortage of fabric. I understand if I made a mistake but I hadn’t.

So then I decided to not do mail order BOMs and just do local shops since I have relationships with them and the shortage of fabric should not be an issue. It wasn’t. But I wasn’t really learning anything new and I was making the same quilt as others in my area and it was adding to my new starts and ufos each year. There are so many quilts out there I want to make that I didn’t need to do them too. So I stopped participating in BOMs (Saturday Samplers) several years ago.

Well, one of my knitting friends wanted to learn to quilt so a bunch of us started teaching her. And she wanted to do the 2022 Saturday Sampler so I joined her. That’s how I started the Plum Fusion in 2022. It’s a bit complicated for her so we do a little at a time. Luckily I like the colors of the fabric and the quilt. And since they use Deb Tucker rulers I’m learning how to use them with this project.

And now another friend wants to do the Saturday Sampler at Quilty Pleasures in Simi Valley, CA this year. I am not as in love with the colors (blue and orange) but I’m intrigued with the design. and I love quilting with a group of friends. I love the community created around this.

Hugs

Melanie

Real Complete WIP List

I posted my new starts from 2022 a few weeks ago. I forgot one and added it below. I also decided to add my WIPs started prior to 2022 so I have a real complete WIP list. Okay. It’s not all my WIPs. But they are either ones that I’m working on currently or something I just remembered. This list does not include some hand work projects that I have ongoing. I’m not sure I should add those. Maybe one day I will. For some reason just the thought of adding my hand work makes me anxious so for now, I’ll keep them off. Even though I have the handwork I’ve started in 2022 on this list. Also, I doubt I remember all my WIPs so I’ll add them as I remember them. These are the ones that I work on regularly or I purchased/started in 2022. I have a bunch of WIPs from a long time ago that have been tucked away and I honestly cannot remember them. However, I hope to go through this list and as I finish, I plan to replace projects with things hanging out on my table and in my cabinets. Then I want to grab stuff from my closets. I really want to work from stash this year and only buy when I need to 1. support a shop I’m visiting, 2. I need something to finish something, or 3. I find a really good deal and love whatever it is I want to buy.

1. Bonnie Hunter’s 2020 (?) Mystery Quilt – Grassy Creek

2. 45 & Life to go

3. Christmas in Paris

Christmas in Paris by Coach House Designs

4. Tuella and Friends

Tuella and Friends
Tuella and Friends by Colette Belt

5. Judy Neimeyer’s Double Wedding Ring – started Jan. 2020

Double Wedding Ring (not my quilt) – started in Jan 2020

2022 New Starts

1. February – Linda Ballard – Dresden


2. March – Catherine Wilson – Snowflake

3. Cotton and Chocolate’s 2022 Saturday Sampler Plum Fusion in January 2022. I was pretty caught up until about June. Then I fell behind.

Page 19 – 4 blocks

I have started several hand projects this year.

4. Ornaments – I started this in December 2021 but I’ve been stitching diligently on this throughout 2022. I think about half of the 12 ornaments have all been stitched and embroidered. When they are all done I need to adhere it to a backing with stiffer fusible and then sew the little strings to allow me to hang them.

5. Prairie something…. I haven’t started this really. I bought it and attended the class at Quilt Emporium and other projects jumped in line. This is not my product but a picture of the instructors and a reminder of the cuteness of it.

6. By Annie – Everything in a place bag (name?). I started this in 2021 and it’s very complicated. I’m really almost done and just need to sew all the pieces together.

7. Tula Pink’s Butterfly 2.0 – I haven’t actually started or cut the fabric. But I want to very badly. I’ve had a lot of new starts the last few months so I want to get the flimsies finished before cutting into this.

8. Mountain Mist: Apple Blossom (November 2022)

Happy quilting friends

Melanie