Round Robin, the reveal

I had one quilt left to work on.Here is it before my border.Have you noticed that all my borders are either curves or applique? Well no, the very first border I did was diamonds using Deb Tucker’s ruler.Wow, look at mine! I am really pleased and surprised at how this came out. I love the asymmetry of it. I am not going to quilt it right away, I need to let it all sink in.Now, it’s time to show off the other quilts. All together there were 18 people who participated. This was a wildly successful venture, I think we all had a good time. The quilts are really impressive, so here goes:Talk about complete improv, and yet it works very very well.This one looks like it could have been a kit. Almost as if six different people didn’t work on it. Really amazing.
Hey, look, I got someone else to do some applique here.Southwest.Calm and quiet, I am the one who did all the colorful flying geese, gave permission to other quilters to go a little wild.How different they all look!And here is another one that looks so well planned.  It was 15 quilters, Scott started with a warm and a cool, one group only had 5 members so he filled in.I may have missed a few, although I am the photographer, my camera is really acting up these days. Sorry, to those who’s quilts didn’t make it into my photoshoot.

I had a lot of fun with this. But it is a one and done. I don’t feel like I want to participate in a round robin again. The guild is trying to get a bee going – no thanks. I really appreciate other people’s work, but I think I’d like to stick to my own work without collaboration.


VMQG Round Robin

I’m writing this as I go, but by the time I publish this, at least six months will have gone by.

My modern Valley guild is having a round robin. This is where the participants make a center square, then we put it in a box with a journal and some fabric. In the journal, we write our likes and dislikes. Then each month, the box moves to another quilter. The order is always the same.Here is my center block. Yup, I had to add some applique cuz that is what I’m really into right now.  My requests were no improv, I really don’t like improv. I’m noticing that the eyes on this owl aren’t great. Since then, I’ve been adding applique to my DWR. I feel that my curves and circles are improving with practice.

I bought a really cute box and put in a lot of fabric. Unfortunately, out instruction sheet only arrived two days before the exchange, and one thing we were told, was put all the fabric in the box. Turns out that isn’t true,  we can add our own fabrics to the quilt. I hope the people who get my box do so, even though I put in a lot of choices. I should have taken a picture of the block I got on it’s own. I didn’t, so here it is with my border, coming together.  Yup, I’m using my Deb Tucker tools.Adding some corner blocks in blocks.Maybe this is a better arrangement?Here it is, my part is done. Funny thing, the center block was 14.5″ which isn’t a standard size. I thought I may have to add a small border between the block and my border, turns out, it fit perfectly! That was sheer luck. I do like how I included some of my own prints with some solids.  I won’t see this until the end.

So I get a call from Gina, she hands her blocks over to me, she won’t make it to the April meeting so can she drop off her April project? Sure!She added a simple narrow border. At first, I thought I’d wait until May, then I realized that I hand off to Pat, she lives far away, it will be easier to give her two blocks this month. So I get to work.I introduced another color, if we all stick to the original color theme it won’t matter what we add, it will all blend into one. Case in point, I kept thinking that I was dealing with one center block, not a block and one border. You know me and my love of applique right now. I happen to have a pattern from Carolyn Friedlander, it included the arrow and the orange blob. These days I’m getting pickier about patterns I buy. I know, it’s their livelihood, but I don’t often feel like it was worth my money.Since this is a modern challenge, I also felt the need to keep the elements spaced apart. Notice the little grey circle in the upper right corner?It now should be on the lower left corner, but it’s gone. I had a problem with that grey, I even tried to make an arrow, no glue I used would stick to the paper, so I gave up, even though no one will notice, I took it out and replaced it with a red circle. That is because I am crazy.

I won’t have a block in May, let’s see what I get for June.
Here is what I got for June. I’m seeing a lot of repetition of fabrics and points, be they triangles or diamonds. I feel like shaking things up a bit.The black confetti fabric was in the bag. I went with some of the print colors, but using some of my own solids. Since there is red in the confetti, I decided to introduce it into the quilt. I pulled out My QCR Mini, the ruler that gives me great curves.The row on top is my first try, I don’t like it, so I rearranged the blocks, so instead of a teardrop, I know have half clamshells. I like it much better.I’m not a big fan of improv, but the blocks just weren’t going to fit, so I had to add a 2″ strip of the black. What to do in the corners? Why not contrasting white.I think it’s looking good! I like how I reintroduced black as well as solids.

The rows are getting longer, I think there is only one more border to go.



busy weekend

I went on a quilting retreat with the Valley Quiltmakers Guild to Timble Towne in Bakersfield. More on Bakersfield later.

I agreed to finish up the opportunity quilt for the guild. Someone had dropped the ball and this raffle quilt is the biggest fundraiser every year.  I really took on a very big job, especially since I wanted to finish it on this retreat.The Lone Star had to be assembled, and then a complicated quilt put together.  I had brought my ‘sewing machine’ not the machine I use for quilting, it works fine, but I’m used to piecing on my other machine.Stage one, done! The triangles are a little wonky, I did have to trim them some before putting in the next border. I also had to create the border myself. Little by little the zigzag border grew. We did take a break to go get icecream, a well needed break. Most people were working on their own projects, or quilts and small objects for the quilt show we put on in May.

It’s was 8 pm at night by the time I got to this point. I had started work on Friday afternoon, this was Saturday. I was exhausted. I usually like to take my time. Now I was just rushing.The star blocks were made ahead of time by other members of the guild. I made the light green blocks on the top and bottom. Somewhere along the way, the red blocks got lost. They were delivered to the president, but she couldn’t find them. so I had to make these two as well. We know that now that the quilt top is done, she will find them no problem. Such is life.

The quilt is  98″ x  86″, it will be sent to a longarm quilter. I am done!!!Sure I’m smiling, I finished before noon on Sunday, stayed for lunch and then drove home. Luckily the Castaic Fire didn’t affect the 5 freeway.Just a couple of fellow quilters. The relief that this is done is palatable!Some people had already left by the time we got this picture.  I think this would be perfect on a king size bed.Look at all the other projects people worked on, definitely a very creative productive bunch.I was able to hand this over to the guild president. I hope next time I see it, it will be quilted.

All members have to buy $20 tickets, we can resell them or encourage others to buy tickets. So if you really love this, let me know!


It’s been a slow week

Yom Kippur is over, not my favorite day of the year. I don’t find the fasting all that hard. It’s what to do for 12 hours. The evening of Yom Kippur isn’t bad, a quick dinner then Kol Nidre. I enjoy this service very much. The next day, I’m not that crazy about being in Temple. I never was one who felt spiritually uplifted by services in a synagogue. As a child, I was Orthodox and it was simply part of the routine. As an adult, I have pretty much become a High Holiday Jew, at a Conservative Temple.

I’m getting tired of the mini speeches, the musical interludes, and I do not like the choir. Luckily I go to a service that doesn’t have a choir, but I do pop into the Choir service for one prayer session – Yizchor, remembrance prayer. This year it’s for both parents.

What really gets my goat is how certain Rabbis have to inject just the slightest amount of politics. At this point it sickens me, my one holy day of the year, my one chance to be cut off from all that ugliness and the Rabbi has to virtue signal. You wonder why I don’t feel like spending a lot of time with my fellow Jews.

But spending time with family was wonderful, both the before and after meal. I spent time reading an art book with my granddaughter, she is getting it! My DIL suggested going back to LACMA with the kids, I think I’d rather take them to the Norton Simon.If summer is over, and it is, then at least I get to enjoy the Halloween decorations. Fall here in So Cal, is cool mornings and evenings and hot days. The days are much shorter, so I do enjoy the fun decorations, I hate the real gruesome ones. Give me witches and ghosts and fall colors and I’m happy.Still working on my hand applique, I’m liking the results, but it is slow going.  Bought this at Michael Levines last week. I’ve already cut a shirt out of this. Tomorrow I leave for a 3 day retreat with my Quilt Guild to Bakersfield. I will be working on the Guild opportunity quilt, someone dropped the ball and I’m picking it up. Just in case I finish the top, I have this project.

We will be spending 3 days at ThimbleTown, and yes, I know I’ll spend some money… So you know me, a new city, a chance to explore. I mentioned to some of the other participants that I am going to explore downtown Bakersfield. All I got was blank stares and the question why??

Because every city, town or hamlet has something to share. Bakersfield has some good Art Deco and a great 1950s vibe.  I don’t understand people who are unwilling to explore their surroundings.I know, this knit is most probably polyester, I couldn’t resist. I love the color, and it was on the sale table at Michael Levines, so a long sleeve knit dress will be happening.My Meyer Lemon tree is very happy and full of lemons. That reminds me, I should give it some food, now that it is so busy producing fruit.

Next week will have much more content, after a busy weekend.212


Busy being creative

I’ve been busy creating.  Item number one is the blue sweater:To me this is a fail, I didn’t like it from the get-go, I went to support a local shop and it was a fail. You are probably saying, it looks fine, well to me it doesn’t look fine.  Not only that, I didn’t even enjoy the knitting process.I spent more money than I would have liked on a simple sweater, I didn’t enjoy the knitting and I don’t really like the end result. I kept at it rather than just frogging the whole thing. At some point I will  want to knit another sweater, but I’m going to be much more careful. When that yarn store didn’t have much selection and had no patterns or magazines, I really should have just walked out.  At the moment the ‘local’ yarn store I really like is down in Westchester near the airport and really isn’t local at all. I went to my actual local yarn store and bought this yarn for a shawl. Have I mentioned they don’t carry a single yarn that is simply solid?!?!  I am enjoying knitting this, it will be a gift. Once blocked I expect the shawl will be lovely. I still think I’d prefer it if the yarn weren’t tonal. I guess I’m back to buying online – even though that has its pitfalls as well. Light matters, this is the exact same corner of my owl quilt. I think the second photo is more accurate. As you can see, I’m busy appliqueing the border. It is going to take time, I think I need another quilting project in the mean time.This is what the applique looks like from the back, with the seams glued down.  I’ve been using different glues. I don’t like the June Taylor glue, I do like the Fons and Porter, I especially like that I can buy it at JoAnn’s with a coupon.Four corners done, I want to fill in the background, it will be a lot of work but will be worth the effort. Joel asked who this is for? For us, not giving this one away! I will probably try and put it in some shows, I think it is that good.Look at this owl I saw in a shop, on a little girls dress in Montreal. It is machine embroidered, but I will probably copy this, do it by hand on the label of the owl quilt. Just saying.


Fabric haul

Every year the San Fernando Valley Quilt association has a sale.  People bring out all kinds of fabric. It is hard to resist temptation, so I didn’t.There were a few pieces of real Ikat, as in yarn dyed not printed. I have no idea what I’m going to do with these, but hey, it’s Ikat. Btw, I learned about this technique over 30 years ago – it was called- E-Cot, not I-cat, the way I’m hearing people pronounce it now.I grabbed a bunch of yellows, I’m thinking of doing a tone on tone applique border for my owl, some of these will work, others will simply go into the stash.

From talking to people at the sale, I really don’t have any stash whatsoever. They have rooms full, I don’t even fill a closet, but I’m getting closer.A print from London, based on Erte, it says so right on the selvage. I have always loved Erte, so although this has no purpose yet, I had to have it.Red is a neutral right? I made a red and white quilt last year that I gave away, I’m thinking of another one that I will keep.I grabbed a few blues and turquoise. These colors are just in my wheelhouse. Oh, I picked up a number of Civil War reproductions, I find that they are wonderful foils to the bright modern fabrics.A space themed pack of fat quarters. I know, I made Westley a space themed quilt 4 years ago. I’m sure some other baby boy will appreciate this as well.Turns out that among the fabric I picked, someone had put out kits for pillowcases. I guess they never got around to making them. So once again, I put the 5 threads to work on my serger.Every month I take the kits at LAMQG, I’m sure they won’t mind getting double the number back. The bright red batik has been in my stash, I thought I was pairing it with a small yellow print, but there wasn’t enough for a pillowcase. It always feel good to use stash fabric, since I have clearly just added so much.


Busy Weekend

There was a birthday party. Big cake came from a bakery, little one was homemade by Abba Yoch. Much better than a little cupcake.At first he was tentative.Then he got into it.REALLY into it.  First birthday party was a huge success.At the party the Grandpas brought up figs from their garden, I couldn’t just let them go to waste.So I made fig jam.I will make sure the grandpas get a jar. I need to give most of these away, I just don’t eat much jam.Yay!! I finished the owl, piecing up those small pieces on the face wasn’t easy.Alls well that ends well. I’m pleased, very pleased with this owl.Next up, piping.Outer border. I still want to applique or maybe embroider something here. I need to think about it before diving in.



Last week was frustrating. I’d wake up every morning to my blog being hacked. Then there were emails back and forth with my hosting company. New passwords, new settings, all would be well until the next morning…  Wash and repeat.

So some of you saw some posts that are gone, others noticed the silence. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this time it works. I lost all of last weeks posts and rather than repost, here is a recap. I made a jeans skirt. Maybe because I grew up Orthodox in Jerusalem, owning a jeans skirt is a must-have in a wardrobe. I hacked a shorts pattern I had, because I liked the pockets and the front placket. I guess that means I really know what I’m doing after all these years. On t the next skirt, made from Kaffe Fassett solid, or yarn dye cotton. Very lightweight, perfect for a gathered skirt. I need more of these two colors, sure blue-greens look great on me, but so does this.

Another hack, no pattern here, just gather at the waistline and put in a zipper and a waistband. Maybe because the fabric is so flimsy, it felt like the waist grew. So another hack. I simply sewed and serged the side seam all the way up into the waistband. Is it elegant? No, will anyone ever see it? No.Here I am in my me-made wardrobe with the best  accessory of all, an adorable grandson!!!  His first ride on the train at Travel Town. Btw, he actually does smile, just not so much for the camera. These days he always smiles when he sees me- what more can a grandma ask for!

I wore this outfit all day, I was downtown in the evening and stopped into a little local coffee shop. The very hipster barista admired this outfit (without the grandson). She was even more impressed when I told her I made it. I heard a podcast discussion recently about do women put on makeup for men or other women. As a woman approaching 60 I can say, I dress nicely and put on makeup to look good! I love it when someone compliments me. To me outer beauty is important – I’m not hiding my age, but I’m trying to look my best for my age.I started a hand applique project. I am in love with the Appliquick method. So when I saw an image of this owl, I rushed out and bought the book. It is an embroidery book, something else I enjoy doing, but my plan is to applique this owl.I went to Kinkos and had the image enlarged on the blueprint printer. No taping paper together. Well worth the $8 a sheet.The green background has more green than khaki in it, oh well, cameras.A lot of progress has been made. There is repetition in fabrics, it unifies the image.

Hopefully, all is well now and I will be posting regularly, rather than dealing with hackers. I love sharing with you and hate the idea that someone is stealing my little online journal.


Another finished quilt, well, it still needs a label.

You may remember those scrappy blocks I was making a few months ago, well, I kept plugging away at that project.I did my usual spray basting as well as using mono-filament to anchor down the blocks. This gives me the freedom to jump around and quilt at will.Working on my trusted Juki, I wanted a unified background. So I quilted these round shapes. They cross the lines I had quilted before, making that completely disappear. The blocks are very hard edge, so a soft background is very complimentary. I did some ruler work on the grey blades, that was it for the ruler. I simply outlined all the chains of blocks and left them unquilted, in order to give some dimension.

I completely understand people who send their quilts to the longarmer and ask for an all over design.  A finished quilt is always better than just a top. Since I do my own quilting, I really want the quilting to work solely with my piecing and to highlight things that all over quilting can’t.A basic theme in design is repetition. Most of these squares are pretty much the same pattern, simply changing the placement of the colors.  Once again, I left many triangles unquilted. In this case I mirrored the red shape. This is the only block where I did this, I came up with a different quilting pattern, but do not feel the need to take out this quilting, simply because it is different from the rest.Another thing, every scrappy block has a solid fabric somewhere. So here the border isn’t solid, so it may be a little harder to see the quilting. I did dot-to-dot. this became the theme. The center block is always different.But, the 1.5″ squares are often filled with the same pattern, so that one repeats all over.So dot-to-dot was used often. Btw, I understand that Angela Walters is selling rulers, I bought a few and really like them. But two years ago when I took her Craftsy class on dot-to-dot, it was all about free-hand quilting. Now she is teaching it with the rulers. I totally respect her need to sell rulers, I feel that some ruler work is nice, but not everything. The old free-hand works just fine for me.I am very very happy with this whole quilt.One design element from modern quilting that I love, is  lack of borders, it really speaks to me. So in order to achieve that I faced the quilt instead of putting on binding. Here I’m hand sewing the back side. How cute is my needle holder? Yup, from Etsy.  There are many tutorials on You Tube about how to achieve this easy binding. I did use the background fabric.Because, it has a way of peaking over the edge, by using the same fabric, it’s invisible.OK, here we go! The finished quilt! I’m very pleased with this, although I won’t be keeping it. I hope to put it in a quilt auction my guild is having and if it doesn’t sell than a lucky friend will get a gift.The backing is a fabric that a friend gave me, I didn’t have to buy any fabric. Actually, the only fabric I bought for this quilt is the yellow background.And now to finish off with an artistic shot. I love the way this quilt came out.


Triangle Transparency workshop

I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Yvonne. I don’t take every workshop that is offered, but something like this is so worth my while.

So what is transparency? It’s the effect of light, how more layers will make something darker. I’m not going into all the details, that is what the class is about.This project results in a 60″ x 60″ quilt. For the workshop I decided to pull fabric from my stash and see how I like this before investing in new fabric. Here is one find. When working with transparency, it’s not the the light to dark that matters, it’s also keeping it all in the same colorway. Not an easy thing to do with purple. These are all old fabrics I found at a garage sale, the quality is poor, but the colors do work.I chose to go from dark to light, because I like the dark print best and really wanted to showcase it.Scott did the opposite, he had cut everything before hand and I think had even done a lot of the sewing at home. Btw, I have no doubt this came from his stash, my stash is tiny compared to his.Anna pulled from her stash, it just happens to be Cherrywood fabric. She too went from dark to light. She has had this fabric for a long time, well worth waiting for this project.My block, finished, I am very, very pleased with the result! It’s hard to tell sometimes when looking a pile of fabric.Yvonne did the math and shrunk the block down from 30″ to 15″. Yes, this is considered a transparency because the floral print contains both the blue and the green. My two blocks side by side.With Gregs’ block.Scott finished his top quickly, I really like this layout.Anna’s finished top is stunning, Cherrywood fabrics are very expensive but so worth it, especially for such a graphic design.

Any quilter who has the chance, take Yvonne’s class. She is a good teacher and really helped people out along the way.