Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hip To Be Square

I spent the day teaching quilting today to an awesome group of ladies at Verb. It was thrilling to see them turning out beautiful 9 patch blocks and spreading their wings as quilters. I get a serious kick out of seeing creative people doing what they do best.

What fun! Just a quick Hi to my students (A, C, J, R, and W) in case you are reading this. Please know it I consider it a huge honor to be one of your quilty mentors!

I made a fair number of 9 patch blocks along with the students as well and ended up being so addicted to them that a small quilt top was finished in just a few days.

9 patch quilts are so satisfying. Mine is done with Kaffe Fassett's shot cotton stripes. I made a quilt for my first son when he was born out of theses fabrics. There was a blog post entry with a photo of it posted here 4 years ago.

Has anybody besides my husband actually been reading my blog that long?

Speaking of my DH, you know I'm hosting a give away of this beautiful issue of Cotton Time (Japanese sewing magazine) over at his blog. Only 5 lucky gals have commented so far, so they each have a 20% chance of winning! Nice odds.

Want to have a shot at winning? Comment over there before the give away closes on this Wed. night.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Introducing a new blog...and something for you

My DH is an avid photographer and loves to create images using traditional methods of film instead of digital capture.

His new blog is called Sunny Sixteen.

Take a wander over there. Make a comment to say, "Hey there!" if you have a sec.

If you comment on HIS'll be entered to win issue #82 of Cotton Time magazine (cover photo see above).

Comment on the post called "Matching Monsters" before 8/3/11, midnight Pacific Time to have your name dropped in the hat.

Good luck! I'll ship your magazine out to the lucky winner late next week.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Purlple Yarn

I have been having fun making more yarn and also creating images of yarn balls.

This one is from some fiber I got a while ago at Verb. The wood parts next to it are the bobbins that are used on my spinning wheel. It may be hard to see the depth of purples in this tiny photo. I decided to throw a HUGE version of it up on flickr for you in case you wanted to see it in all it's glory.

This coming Sunday, I am teaching two classes at Verb in Oakland: hand applique, modern house blocks (time moved to the morning! - we start at 10:30am) and an intro to machine quilting class that I'm also very excited about. It's a class on making 9 patch quilts. As simple as the 9 patch is, it is actually one of my favorite patterns. The possibilities are unlimited.

Oh and I watched a documentary film called 'Stitched' the other day. It was pretty awesome. More about that next time.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Carmageddon - time to hunker down

For those of you who don't live in the microcosm of Southern California, you may be missing out on perhaps one of the funniest media events in a while.

"Carmageddon," as the media has dubbed this event, is the closure of a stretch of LA freeway that is really well traveled. They are scaring folks into staying off the roads so there is no traffic disaster. A good idea really.

Anyhow, a runner has been arrested for running on the vacant stretch of road. Jet Blue has offered to fly you around the mess for $4, and a bunch of cyclists proved that using your bike instead of taking the flight is actually the faster method of avoidance.

If you are in LA, and you are hunkering down for the weekend - well then, thanks for taking some of your down time to read my blog. If I was there, I think I would be quilting all weekend long.

Since I'm not, we had a nice BBQ with friends this weekend and I'm going to slip some quilting in tomorrow.

For now, enjoy the photo I took some time ago at the Getty Center (currently closed this weekend due to carmageddon). I used my Polaroid SX-70 camera and manipulated the image by heating it up and mushing the inks around with sculpting tools.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Berry picking adventures and the 20 year annoyance

Last weekend we went picking berries and the kids had an awesome time. We picked something like 12 lbs of Olallieberries and Boysenberries at Gizditch Ranch in Watsonville, CA.

The 2 yr old ate WAY more than he picked.

I am working on the design of the next modern house block of the month. This one is based on a home located in Palo Alto, CA. It's very boxy and has incredible old trees all around it. Lots of green fabric this month.

In annoying news, my darling high school friend reminded me that we have a reunion coming up in September.

At dinner I mentioned this to my husband (and of course said I have no interest in going) but I told him I thought it was like our 10th or 15th reunion or something.

He ANNOYINGLY reminded me that it's probably more like my 20th high school reunion, so I've been freaking out over that all evening.

Really? Can it be? So soon?

Maybe I should not confess this to you all as I am probably showing my oats here, but sheesh, it's true!

For those of you who are way younger than me, and you know who you are (especially those youthful babes in my weekly knitting group), pleeeeeeeeease do not make fun of me for being so darn old.

And for those of you who have had the guts to attend reunions for your 30th year, or 40th, or perhaps 50th (as I belive my dad may have actually done), you have to let me in on how you keep young at heart. From what I can gather, it's an art not a science.

Off to go apply my wrinkle cream.....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Turquoise immersion

At times I get hung up on one color and find myself going for it in various different ways.

Right now, turquoise seems to have attention.

I am spinning yarn in colorway "Parrotfish" by Girl on the Rocks that I picked up at Stitches West.

Meanwhile, I'm working on a Hawaiian applique block that I started a while back. There are lots of colors in there, but turquoise is one of the larger sections.

Hope your weekend is full of color. If you are favoring a certain shade, let me know your fav!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Modern House Block #1: pattern now available!

After many late nights, numerous formatting challenges, and colorful several conversations with myself (and my DH for that matter) around why it is so hard to create a PDF file...

I'd like to introduce my first pattern for download:

Bay Area Modern House Block #1

Add to Cart

Please note that in this PDF pattern download, applique instructions and techniques are NOT discussed. It is intended for folks that have an understanding of applique.

It's been a labor of love and I am thrilled to have this little creation ready to share with the universe.

Enjoy, and feel free to send your feedback my way. I'd love to see photos of your completed blocks!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Hope your 4th is amazing. I certainly enjoyed the extra weekend day. Summer really feels like it is in full swing now.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quilt and yarn shopping in San Francisco

Last weekend I spent the day in San Francisco with some of my quilting friends. The girl who made up our list of places to stop was very inspired, so here's the list in case you want to re-create it next time you are in the neighborhood.

1) Dynamo Donuts: Of all the places we went, this was the only one that I suggested. Go figure, it's the only one that is wall to wall delicious with sugar-laden goodies. They have the most creative donut flavors you will ever see (outside of Austin, TX) and I'm not sure you have really lived until you try their maple bacon one. It's true that everything is actually better with bacon.

2) Kinokuniya Books: They had a bunch of cool quilting magazines there and books. I picked up one new one and a bunch of plastic dolls.

3) Peapod Fabrics: If you have the chance - DO NOT MISS THIS SHOP! If you love Japanese fabrics, as I do, you must must must - I repeat - MUST - visit this shop. Parking is horrible, but the fabrics are worth it. Some American fabrics, but tons of Japanese imports. Very unique and different selection. The owner is lovely, and from Kyoto. I even managed to pick up some Richard Scarry fabric here. It really floated my boat to discover this place, in case you couldn't tell. I also picked up the fabric shown above. It's from a collection called "Modern Wa". How perfect.

4) Urban Fauna: This is a yarn, spinning, and fiber shop within a stone's throw of Peapod. A bright airy place with the most amazing katamari damacy amagrumis on display. I was in love, they were not for sale. The thing that struck me most when I was there where these kids to make felted wool toys for kids by WoolBuddy. The frog one was really cute. They seemed to have a very nice kids class schedule too. Bummer it's so far from my house.

5) Urban Burp: Tons of vintage fabrics from the 1920's and earlier through around the 80's. I bought a piece of ABC Carebear fabric here, believe it or not. Crazy!!! I'm going to use it as a quilt backing.

6) Lunch at Samovar tea house: In all the years I've been going to the Metreon to check out the Sony store and to SF Moma, I cannot believe this was so close and I have never been before. The food selection is very international. I got their iced black tea and it was out of this world. Planning to go back here.

Whew! If you can hit all of that in one day, then my hat is off to you. And if that still didn't stop you and you want about stopping at Flora Grubb. It's a very cool looking plant nursery, but I have yet to visit in person. It's on my list for next time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Infant knit hat - fit for a forest sprite!

This is the second hat I whipped up for my baby niece.

I know, using an ugly doll to model it is a bit of an oddity, but anyhow it kinda matched the shape of his ears, so it had to be done.

The yarn is handspun. I am starting to wonder if I like knitting or spinning more. At this point I think spinning is actually the winner.

This weekend we are in town celebrating the holiday. Lots of stuff in plan though.

To Do:

1) See Cars 2 movie - am I the last person on the planet to see this? The little one has never really been to a movie on the big screen. I am so excited about this.

2) Take photos for more modern house quilt blocks - time to get ready for next month's class. I will make my confession to you now that I did get some new fabric recently for this project. I cannot wait to quilt with it! More on that soon.

3) Write up a blog post about our quilty adventures in San Francisco for you all to enjoy the links.

4) Investigate putting PDF modern house quilt block patterns up for sale on my blog...shouldn't be rocket science, right?

5) Catalog some of my quilting books on my new app - iBookshelf - it's kinda cool. Maybe I can stop wondering which books I have and which I don't!

What's on your to-do list this weekend?

If you don't have a good list yet well then - start by voting on my hand quilting poll if you haven't yet - it closes in only 3 days! Oops, make that 2!