Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘Amy Newbold

“My Bokeh” is Done

with 2 comments

Turkey Tracks: May 15, 2021

“My Bokeh” is Done

“Bokeh” is a photographic term for when one manipulates the camera so that it makes the background fuzzy in a picture. In my mind, the darker colors are the “background” here—they are softer and less sharp in that way, though one could easily think that what is also interesting is how all the squares are like the pixels in a photo.

I really enjoyed making this quilt—and after I had an acceptable piece to say I tried it—I went back and made it all bigger as I was not ready to stop at a wall hanging size This one is now a nice lap size, and I used pretty much all the fabric. I added white and cream to the palette.

This project was one of this year’s The Color Collective online classes, hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia. Tara Faughnan is the designer, and she picks the palette colors for each of the six yearly projects that she teaches to TCC students. I think this palette is particularly nice. (A guest designer staffs the 7th month, and this year that person is Latifah Saafir.)

I quilted from the front with an organic kind of doodle—using a wheat/gold thread that worked for the front and the back. I added in lots of curves to soften all the straight lines.

The backing is an architectural pattern—and I would not have thought of using this warm color until I had the top with me in a local fabric store. It was so much more interesting than any of the other colors represented in the quilt.

I am now working on Latifah’s project, and it is really fun.

And look what I had for lunch today!

This lettuce started out late last fall—as it was seeded into the cold frame and covered for the winter. Then, there is that moment in early, early spring when the light is changing, when the snow is melting, and when I walk by the cold frame and can see green down in the dark earth. It is still a long time before the cold frame cover can be removed permanently, not just on warm days, and before I can start harvesting the lettuce and sharing it with friends. Underneath the egg is a bit of leftover rice/lamb/veggie stir fry, and the white is a cottage cheese that I can tolerate on low histamine days.

These are the last of the daffodils, and the first of the very fragrant viburnam white “balls.”

The cool spring has been really good for the daffodils and forsythia this year.

Written by louisaenright

May 15, 2021 at 2:14 pm

“My Splice” and “Trees”

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: March 31, 2021

“My Splice” and “Trees”

“Trees” is on the longarm—mostly because I need another night time hand-sewing project. Though, I should confess, I can fall back on the EPP project that has been underway for several years now. But, it is a hard project. Sewing binding is more soothing.

This quilt is SUPER BRIGHT, for sure.

But…cheerful.

And I have finished and hung “My Splice,” a project from this year’s Color Collective class with Tara Faughnan—hosted by Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia. I wanted something I’ve made for this spot in the living room, so I made a wall hanging rather than a larger quilt.

I quilted with 12-weight Sulky cotton, with a Tulip Sashiko needle AND had a lot of fun using different color threads.

The corner where I hung it had an old opera poster—Turandot—that was looking faded and stodgy. “My Splice” has certainly brightened up that corner of the living room.

Here’s one more:

The April project will arrive online tomorrow.

Ah, anticipation unfolds strongly today. The fabric is already here and is very pretty.

More Bits and Pieces

with 3 comments

March 7, 2021

More Bits and Pieces

I finished the expanded “My Bokeh” quilt top today and purchased a backing for it this past week.

You may recall that I thought I’d finished it. Only, it kept calling to me, and I had more fabric. So I turned what I had on its side and added more rows. Now it is a lap-quilt size: 60 by 72. And I like it a lot.

Now it has joined the other ongoing projects on the bed next door to my quilt room. There are two finished quilt tops that need to go on the longarm, all the ironed fabric for the blue/grey log cabin for my niece, backing and binding fabric for the log cabin, a pile of fabric sent by Sewtopia for this month’s Color Collective project, a BIG block I cut out to see how it would look that needs to be sewn together, and the “funky” wedding quilt project I’d like to try out—the one Debbie on A Quilter’s Table blog tried and posted, from a book by Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran (COLLABORATE AGAIN) about “funky” quilt blocks and projects (see a previous post for pics).

I cleaned off the design wall and put up the log cabin blocks I’ve already made. My niece and her husband chose a barn raising format. So now I’m really excited to cut more fabric and to make more blocks. I’m thinking 8 rows at the very most—that would be 96 inches square. But it is already looking really pretty!

The best thing about roasting a big chicken may be what comes after that first meal, as in the gorgeous lunch salad the next day:

Or the broth-dense soup for dinner last night:

Unfortunately, I’ve reacted slightly to this soup, so now it’s a benedryl nap day. I don’t know if it is that the stock cooked too long in the Instant Pot, or if it is the teaspoon of tumeric I added, or both. I’m resisting throwing out the other half of the soup. The 5.5 pound chicken produced 2 dinner meals, a big lunch salad, 3 soup meals, and 4 cups of stock frozen in 1-cup portions. AND, some really healthy and delicious meals.

My boy was so pretty yesterday that I took a picture of him.

That’s “the look” that says it is well past time for us to do something TOGETHER.

And so we did.

“My Pips” Quilt

with one comment

Turkey Tracks/Books: February 26, 2021

“My Pips” Quilt

Here’s “My Pips” quilt:

You may recall that this quilt is a project in the current season (3) of The Color Collective, hosted by Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia, and with projects by designer and quilter extraordinaire Tara Faughnan and one month with another designer—this year it is Latifah Saafir. I think the fabric palette Tara chose for this project was just delicious. I cut and sewed until I ran out of fabric.

I quilted on my domestic with a walking foot (see the book WALK by Jacquie Gering) with a medium grey Gutterman thread, using a swirly pattern I saw in a post in Debbie’s A Quilter’s Table blog. I did not do the opposite diagonal as the quilt told me it was done. Pips are apple seeds, and this quilting pattern made me think of spring winds swirling through apple trees as they begin to leaf out in spring.

I would also say that I lost some of my points on the top and bottom rows—as the quilting shrank up the quilt, as quilting does. I think if I were to make this block again I would set my top and bottom rows BEFORE trimming those blocks at the top and bottom—and would only trim them after the quilting was finished.

I had enough of Carrie Blomston’s “Newsprint” fabric (108 wide leftovers) to cover the back, and I ordered more of the Kona “Thistle” in this palette for the binding and for another project as well.

I can see other uses for this block—for sure. It could be made to highlight a printed fabric in a quilt for someone to whom the fabric would “speak.” Learning about using Sewline glue to hold the curves while one sews is an awesome trick.

I’ll use this picture to make a photo card to have on hand—I’ve been doing these cards for years now and use them for every purpose where I need to send a card.

Thank you Tara Faughnan for this beautiful project!

“My Bokeh” Quilt Project

with 3 comments

Turkey Tracks: February 21, 2021

“My Bokeh” Quilt Project

I finished this top last night—it’s 36 by 42. It is the 4th project in my online class with Tara Faughnan, hosted by Sewtopia’s Amy Newbold. Tara called her demonstration quilt “Bokeh.” I’m not going to post a picture of her work as I do not have her permission to do so and could not get a picture of her whole quilt anyway, just parts of it. She will post images of her Bokeh when she is ready to do so.

I looked up what “Bokeh” means and found it is a photographic term for pictures with deliberately manipulated fuzzy backgrounds with a sharp foreground image. Suddenly what Tara was attempting fell in to place for me. And I loved the transferring of that concept to fabric “pixels.”

I don’t think I’m done with this project. I have more fabric and could add more (I added white and cream here). I wasn’t sure how to think about color in the individual blocks, and now I would NOT line up strips of color but would work with light, medium, and dark blocks, but in a way where individual pops of color allow more “twinkling” in all of the blocks. The light blocks could almost always have a pop of dark color and the dark ones could pop with the bright fabrics. In that way the way the colors fall doesn’t necessarily matter. So I may start from a light center and work out to medium and dark blocks—but with patches of light blocks mixed in appropriately. It won’t be a large project. I just want to see if this way of thinking about the colors would work.

I do like my dark patches here—they seem to glow—and I didn’t expect that effect. I think that speaks to how well Tara chose these palette colors. I moved blocks around and moved them around, but still wound up with three places that butted up the same patches. Ugh!

Also, I’m finding that these clips I purchased (and included in a previous blog post), REALLY help with keeping all these seams perfectly aligned for sewing. So a big thumbs up for this product. I sew right up to the first prong and then hold the fabric with finger pressure as I slowly slide out the prong to near it’s end so I can keep sewing without hitting the metal of the prong. I also fold back the fabric to make sure the seams are nested correctly before inserting the prong at each seam.

What a fun project this is. Thank you Tara for this one. It’s been a real distraction from the required social distancing of the pandemic. And a joyful project for winter sewing.

Written by louisaenright

February 21, 2021 at 8:52 am

I LOVE the Tulip Hand-Sewing Needles

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: February 4, 2021

My love of the Tulip Sewing Needles started with the kind of “big stitch” hand quilting I often do that uses heavier threads. I prefer perle cotton size 8 and 12-weight cotton threads. The 12-weight is lighter than the size 8 cotton, but much heavier than a 50-weight thread such as I use with piecing. I prefer these threads to embroidery floss or the heavier perle cottons.

There are multiple manufacturers for these threads, so I am only limited by color availability. Red Rock Threads is a good place to start. Sulky’s 12-weight cotton threads also come in “mini” spools of 50 yards for $1.65 each, which allows one to collect an array of colors. And anyone reading this blog knows I love color in all forms.

I purchased the larger blue and ivory spools years ago—and I have a few of the blue and a lot of the ivory left. I have machine quilted quilt sandwhiches using either of these colors, but they lay down a strong line. I think they are best for grid quilting a quilt—and then decide if you want a strong quilting statement or not.

But, back to Tulip needles. My first ones were Sashiko needles. They are NOT cheap—they only come about 4 to a pack. BUT, they slide through fabric like a dream and they don’t bend. And I don’t have trouble threading them. In other words, these needles last. They are “polished” up and down to make them slide through the fabric easily. And they are available in many places online, including Amazon.

Here’s one of my Sashiko needles at work on my “My Splice” quilt with some 12-weight thread. The horizontal lines are from my longarm machine basting lines. I got a bit of a start on this project last night.

This quilt is going to look awesome when the hand quilting is done.

The Tulip needles come beautifully packaged.

Inside, one finds the actual container. This one contains 6 needles, two of each size.

This purchase of an assortment of straw needles was an experiment that I’m delighted to say is a happy one. Remember that the smaller the needle number, the bigger the needle. So, the size 8 is bigger than the other needles. I like all three of these needles. They are super sharp.

I lost one I was using to sew down the binding on Sugaridoo Rainbow a few days back. It fell out of the quilt sometime, likely, when I was finished for the night and folding it up. That led to vacuuming out the couch where I sit at night and then the whole carpet. And under the chair where I hang quilts I’m working on. But I’ve never found it. Lost needles have a funny way of appearing sometimes, so I am hoping this one does. And now I don’t leave the needle lose in my work—I clip it down with one of those little quilty clips we have all grown to love.

Sugaridoo Rainbow is now living on the stair bannister, and I’m enjoying seeing its happy face when I go up and down the stairs during the day. I will turn it about so I see different colors off and on.

My Tulip needle (a size 9 I think) did a great job with the Sugaridoo binding.

“My Bars” Quilt

with 7 comments

Turkey Tracks: January 26, 2021

“My Bars” Quilt

I’ve been working on this quilt for some time now. It was inspired by Tara Faughnan’s “Bars” quilt, which I fell in love with at first sight. But Timna Tarr and Maria Schell have also been making similar quilts in this vein, but with different organizational color theories—solid fabric quilts drenched with color.

Tara’s “Bars” quilt was highlighted—along with her color theory—on a recent episode of Alex Anderson’s The Quilt Show. And, Tara has online classes for her color theory, using this quilt.

I really like Tara’s color theory, and I think the use of it made this quilt “pop.” I quilted it with a variety of size 8 perle cotton colors I had on hand—with a Tulip Sashiko “thin” needle. I really like the Tulip needles for hand sewing—they don’t bend out of shape when going through quilt layers—and are good about sliding through the layers. I have ordered more in different sizes. I used interlocking big circles as I thought the straight lines in the quilt would benefit from curves.

Of course, this project has been a great way to use up some of the solid stash I have acquired via three years now of The Color Collective projects.

One of the really fun things that has happened during the current Covid isolation has been the digging through my stash to find backings. I’ve been trying to find a use for this Kaffe Fasset print for over 15 years now. And it is PERFECT for the backing on this quilt.

I hung “My Bars” in my quilt room yesterday morning after taking down a quilt and moving “Let There Be Light” to that spot.

My Sugaridoo (solid version) is drying out on the longarm as almost near the end of quilting it, I discovered A FOLD IN THE BATTING about 10 rows up!!! So, I had to take it off the long arm, pick out the rows, and spritz the quilting holes with water to close them up. I got it back on the longarm yesterday so will likely finish it today. I am hoping to get it trimmed and to install the binding so I have some hand-sewing for night tv watching.

This is NOT the first time this has happened, so I need to devise a better method to proceed for the future. I float the quilt top over the batting, which also floats, and I measure and sew down the sides as I go. Perhaps picking up the top and taking a look at the batting along the way would be wise. I was smoothing with my fingers and feeling along the way, but I did miss this fold as it developed. Ugh!!

Here’s a close-up.

And here’s a pic of my best buddy and boyfriend cuddling next to my legs last night:

“My Splice” Quilt Top is Finished

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: January 24, 2021

“My Splice” Quilt Top is Finished”

“Splice” is the third project in this year’s (season 3) online class designed by Tara Faughnan for The Color Collective at Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia.

I finished my “My Splice” top Saturday—which I kept narrow so it can be a wall hanging. I also reversed the planned order of the rows in order to create the diamond which forms in the middle of the central rows.

Isn’t this color palette that Tara sent us pretty—so soft. I’ll hand-quilt along the diagonals. and will bind in the deep pink color, called Geranium. These are all Kona solid cottons. The darkest color is not black, but a deep rich navy blue.

In this project we learned how to draft a template on freezer paper, cut it into workable smaller pieces, and then layer the master template over 3 layers of freezer paper cut to size—which get ironed together in a bundle before taken to the sewing machine where an unthreaded needle sews over the marking lines. Then one separates the templates gently. Voila! Three templates for each row side (they are mirror images) that get used as foundation paper piecing when constructing the rows (rather than just the freezer paper method), which keeps all these diagonal lines really stable.

And the above is why I keep taking this online class. I have had so much fun and learned so much I didn’t know.

Thank you Tara and Amy!!

Written by louisaenright

January 25, 2021 at 8:12 am

Project 3 of The Color Collective Arrives Tomorrow

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: December 31, 2020

Project 3 of The Color Collective Arrives Tomorrow

The fabrics are here and have been washed, but not yet ironed.

The dark one is a very rich navy dark blue.

Meanwhile, “Pips” is almost done. I have one more row. So pics of the top will follow soon.

And now we are living through the last day of 2020. Tomorrow we will be celebrating the start of a whole new year.

Written by louisaenright

December 31, 2020 at 9:08 am

“Marrakesh” Quilt Top

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks: November 30, 2020

“Marrakesh” Quilt Top

For the first project of Season 3 of the online class The Color Collective Tara Faughnan designed her “Marrakesh” block and curated a selection of 12 Kona cotton colors. (Amy Newbold of Sewtopia hosts this class. And congrats to Amy as she is now setting up an actual quilt store building in addition to her online business.)

Marrakesh is pieced and is all about manipulating color for different effect. (My top needs ironing, but I won’t do that until I get ready to layer it. And to protect the exposed seams from coming apart I staystitched the edges.) Precision is the name of the game here, and I learned some new piecing and trimming tricks. Tara’s method for trimming blocks with a 45-degree angle is really good and something I did not know.

I probably should have done more with the coloring page Tara included, so that’s a lesson learned. If I were doing a bigger top, I definitely would lay out the colors first. Other class members used different backgrounds as well—both light and dark. The greys are really nice, and one person used a rich red that is just yummy.

I have enough of the pale, pale orange to bind it—I have white, too, but am hesitant about using white for binding. The orange would have to be straight cut, and I prefer bias binding, so I’m still thinking about that issue. But I have not decided. This quilt, at 45 1/2 square, would make a nice baby quilt, or a table topper, or a wall hanging. I’ll put a sleeve on it probably. And I think I’ll quilt something a bit wider than up and down 1/4-inch matchstick lines. I have to do some measuring, and I’ll use a thread that kind of disappears. Perhaps a pale grey or a pale grey-blue. Or a mixture of those. Even a pale orange in places might be nice.

This one has been fun, and Project 2 drops tomorrow. The fabric for it has arrived, and it is lusciously delicious!

I was warned that the strawberry red—the middle one—ran, so I handwashed it. And, yes it did. A lot. So, I also hand washed the darker red, the orange, and the dark blue. The dark blue and orange were fine; the darker red ran a bit. I rinsed them all in a mild vinegar solution and rinsed again to be sure.

I’ve also read elsewhere that the Kona blacks are running, so I’ll be careful with those as well.

I don’t think we need to wash many quilting fabrics today, but I do as I react to the dyes. Plus, I don’t like to wash and dry a quilt I’ve just finished. I like them all crinkly and soft, yes, but for a time I like them not crinkly. There is no right or wrong here, but people do tend to fall into one camp or the other.

Today we are getting a big storm in the early afternoon that will go through until tomorrow. We need rain, but I could do without the wind. The ground is so soft in this warm weather we are having, and high wind will bring down trees. In any case, I am all ready to go for Project 2 tomorrow!

Written by louisaenright

November 30, 2020 at 9:32 am