And now we will settle into early summer here in Mid-Coast Maine. We don’t get real summer weather until July 4th, which is just fine with me. I love the cool nights and days this time of the year.
We got some great rain over the weekend, so the ground is soft and wet again. Today is laundry and cleaning day—CLEAN SHEETS— so I’ll be back in the garden later this afternoon.
May’s Bee Sewcial Challenge, in the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild, recipient was Karen Martin. Her prompt was “Bubbles,” and she specified black and white neutrals, blacks, and a “pop” of color of our choice.
I made her this “bubble” log cabin block, which will finish at 14 inches.
German quilter Aylin Nilya designed this block. You make the block in quadrants and rotate them to form the circle. Nilya is on Instagram and keeps a blog. To purchase the block pattern, which comes in many different sizes and with different thicknesses of the individual strips, go to wwwpayhip.com/aylinnilya.
It is a fun block to make. I kept the inclusion of the color red simple.
This is the second year that Phoebe and her mate have built a nest over the outside light at the kitchen windows.
It is a shallow, messy little nest—full of moss in the construction—which I discovered from last year’s nest when removed. I just read that Phoebe may reuse her nest in subsequent years, so I’ll leave it in place this fall. And in between, other birds, like barn swallows, may use it too. A Phoebe pair may raise 1 or 2 broods a year, and incubation takes about 16 days.
Dad can be heard most of the day, singing the distinctive “pheeee bee” call out in the woods, while Phoebe sits and sits.
I checked this morning—she’s still on the nest.
For me, spring does not arrive until the Phoebe pair arrives and begins calling around the house, woods, and gardens. They go south for the winter but return very early in our spring.
I took a day off from intensive gardening yesterday as the day was meant to be hot, humid, and full of thunderstorms. We finally got some rain last night, but I’m not yet sure how much landed here. It did get hotter than it has been, but the wind was cool too. AC didn’t last long chasing his ball at the athletic field. I didn’t take him for a swim as it takes his thick coat a long time to dry, and with thunderstorms predicted, I didn’t want a wet dog on the quilt I just washed that covers the seat of the downstairs sofa in front of the tv.
I spent the morning quilting “Wild Thing” and finished just after noon. I loaded her on the longarm about a week ago and had started quilting—making a few passes then.
I used the clam shell groovy boards—which proved to be another exercise in frustration as the tip of the stylus that rides the boards to make a perfect pattern was worn down—so it made some of the patterns wobble and it would jump the groove easily. Ugh! The replacement tip I had did not fit my stylus—and apparently there is no longer a replacement tip that would work in my stylus that came with this machine.
Obviously I am not going to replace the stylus at this point as the new Innova will come some time this summer. But this is the last quilt I will put on this longarm.
The quilting, which should be perfect…isn’t. But the overall look of the quilting does work well. It is what it is, in the end. I do like how the bright aqua thread I used looks on both front and back.
You can see the wild backing I used in the above picture—which works color wise and was 108-wide, which I wanted. For whatever reason, I was just not up for piecing a back for this quilt and did not find a backing I liked locally.
Here’s what the groovy boards look like—I have four of the pattern so I don’t have to move a board for a wider quilt.
Discovering that I could use painters tape to hold them in place is a grand new discovery!!
These boards allow one to do a traditional quilting pattern like clam shell or Bishop’s Fan without using a computer program which I don’t have—and the quilting goes fast and does not require the intense concentration needed to follow a pantograph line free hand.
Plus, I just discovered that the Urban Elementz web site carries a full line of groovy boards of all sizes and types.
I put the quilt room back to order in the afternoon and cut the binding strips and label, which I hope to sew and install today.
And now I will return to playing with the three “play” projects on my design wall. And I’ll share those in a few days. I just need to make a few more blocks in each project first.
My prompt for the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild “Bee Inspired” improv challenge was “Shapes.” And, I set up a palette of clear, bright SOLID colors and hoped people would have fun playing with making shapes.
It took me some time to get the wonderful blocks I received into a coherent quilt top, but I’m really happy with how it came out.
The top is 87 wide by 81 long—so I found an equally wide 108-wide backing in Belfast yesterday at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply. I’m going to bind with the bright aqua that is in the quilt and have ordered some aqua thread for the longarm.
The top does seem to be a happy “Wild Thing.” I know I’m happy with it.
One of the projects in our Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild this past year was to make Temperature quilt during the year, starting in January 2020.
Jan Corson sent me pics of her finished Temperature Quilt the other day. And it is quite interesting and engaging.
Jan and I have been exploring methods and patterns in Jacquie Gering’s book WALK, which uses one’s walking foot to quilt. Jan used the information in the book to quilt her Temperature quilt.
The big “reveal” of several ongoing challenges will occur later this month in the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild meeting. So pics of these challenge projects will be on the Mt. Battie Facebook page some time after the reveal.
When I first got on Instagram, friends helped me with whom to “follow.” Meanwhile, the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild started a challenge inspired by a group whose work appears on Instagram: #beesewcial.
But who are these wonderful modern quilters?
Here’s a list. I had to do a screen shot to get the list, and the text is light to read, but I think you can see it well enough if you want to follow any of these quilters on Instagram.
Thanks to these quilters for sharing their awesome creativity!
The challenge “prompt” for this month’s block for the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild’s ongoing “Bee Inspired” challenge—based on the quilting group of modern quilters called “Bee Sewcial” (see #beesewcial on Instagram for their work)—was Paul Klee.
What a fun challenge—which prompted me and I’m sure other members to take an online research trip to see Klee’s paintings. Klee (1879-1940) was a Swiss-born German modern painter whose work took place in the early 1900s. He was deeply interested in color theory.
I chose Klee’s “Characters in Yellow” for my prompt.
But I didn’t want to make the block in yellow as yellow stands out in a quilt like a flashing neon sign. So I used reds.
Klee loved geometric shapes. And in this painting he used analogous colors. And he kept his shapes intact for the most part. No one knows who the “characters” he depicted were. And it does not matter. That’s the whole point really.
I used the method I learned in The Color Collective for this quilt:
Tara Faughnan created this method, and created the visual impression of the blocks floating over the darker background by slashing the geometric shapes and installing strips of the background color. Here, too, the color palette is analogous.
So the “Modern” experiments with shape and color continue… And now Klee’s painting looks…static, fixed…to my eyes anyway.
The Mount Battie Modern Quilt Guild met on Zoom recently and shared our blocks for September’s prompt challenge: our receiving member, Nancy Wright, wanted creative circles in brights placed on a neutral backgrounds.
You can see all the blocks we did on the Facebook page Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild.
I used the appliqué method I learned from our Sugaridoo QAL challenge in our other local quilting group, the Coastal Quilter’s (Maine). Sugaridoo used small half circles and then, in another row, 4-inch full circles. I hoped that a BIG circle would also work. It does.
I used one of my diner plates to trace the circle on the fusing side of 101 SF interfacing. I layed the interfacing circle on the FRONT of the newsprint fabric and sewed around the drawn circle. Next, clip away the inner circle and clip into the curves. Turn the interfacing to the back—and if you’ve got the fusible side next to the fabric, you can use the tip of the iron to lightly fuse the circle edge so it is stable and all the interfacing is no longer showing. (Don’t fuse any more than just around the circle edge.) Then you just lay the open newsprint/backingcircle over your prepared circle fabric and pin it down. Pull at the edges of the outer fabric to smooth everything down well. Next, sew around the edge of the (newsprint fabric here) circle—use a bigger stitch. Then trim out all the excess fabric on the back, leaving your backing intact of course. Finally, give the finished piece a nice ironing.
I’ve been looking for a painless way to create BIG circles where the method does not need a ruler. This method works for me.
I deliberately placed my circle off-center and left a lot of surrounding backing so Nancy will have lots of room to manipulate/trim my block when quilt top assembly begins.
Coastal Quilters (Camden, Maine) president Tori Manzi got a call from the Camden Public Library asking if we could mount a quilt show in February since the “show” for that month had cancelled, leaving the library with no show to hang in their Picker Room.
Tori stepped up, with help from president of the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild (Camden, Maine) Lynn Vermeulen, and many quilters from both groups, many of whom belong to both groups. Special thanks to Sarahann Smith, who has hung many shows and knows what to do.
I contributed my “Radiating Log Cabin” quilt from Season 1 of The Color Collective, hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia. Tara Faughnan designed the block and chose the color palette. The rest was up to each individual quilter.
I could not get a picture of the whole room as about 6 people were setting up for an event.
I did try to take pictures of the two traveling quilts that we did in Mt. Battie Modern last year.
Here is Lynn Vermeulen’s:
I did the top/right border, the word “joy,” and the little churn dash blocks over the word joy. I also sewed the bottom third of top together, connecting remaining blocks to the top 2/3, and that arrangement remained as I came near the end of the “traveling.”
Here is Becca Babb-Brott’s traveling quilt, though I could not get the bottom due to the tables being set up. Becca’s “saying” was “The more I wonder, the more I love.” I think that came from THE COLOR PURPLE novel. Becca did the words—as we all did—so we “travelers” worked in lots of motifs, etc. I did some stars, the fabrics under the first “the,” some flying geese (on the left), and near the “I” at the bottom, the girl figure—which copied that motif from a quilt Becca made some years back.
Here is my traveling quilt, which I did not hang in this show, but which I love so much.
When I’m stressed, I feel soothed when I am doing something with my hands.
Here’s what happened while the Impeachment process raged:
These blocks were inspired by our Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild’s challenge “Bee Inspired”—which itself was inspired by the quilters who make up the “Bee Sewcial” improv project. (You can see their work on Instagram and the blocks for each completed prompt on Mt. Battie MQG projects on Facebook.)
My prompt turn will not come around until next November, but I had a workshop with Amy Friend on foundation piecing curves this fall. And, I have two books which I love and used to play with making these blocks. Nicholas Ball’s INSPIRING IMPROV and Sherri Lynn Wood’s IMPROV HANDBOOK FOR MODERN QUILTERS. I have specified solids with clear colors—though some of the colors above are darker than I specified.
Yesterday I made myself take my sample blocks off the design wall. But between now and November I can’t guarantee that I won’t return to this kind of play again. It is kind of interesting that my prompt does come in November…
I have returned to putting binding on two finished quilts, setting up the Galactic and Gumdrops projects for The Color Collective online class I’m taking, and finishing up making blocks out of extra materials left over from other projects. More on that later.
Here’s what’s on the design wall now: Then Came June’s Checkered Garden Quilt made from leftover solids as a leader/ender project.
The blocks are 14 inches. I don’t know. I think this one needs to be 5 blocks by 6 blocks (70 by 84). Right now it’s 56 by 56. Thinking on this… Hmmm. 4 by 5 would be 56 by 70. That’s a good lap size too. Will try that next.
The bed is the bedroom next to my quilting room is my project staging area when the longarm holds a quilt. On the bed there’s a finished quilt top and its backing and binding fabric all set to go when the longarm is empty again. There are garments—saved to sew in winter. And, all sorts of other projects, from an EPP project, to The Color Collective blocks, to my own inventions.
Here’s what my design wall looks like now. The top blocks are meant to use up the solids acquired for The Color Collective projects. The 14-inch block is from Then Came June’s Checkered Garden Quilt, and I’ve written posted about it before now. It’s a leader/ender project from Bonnie Hunter’s method. The big blocks below it are the 20-inch Radiating Log Cabin blocks from Tara Faughnan’s The Color Collective Season 1, hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia.
To the right are various projects—to include just playing with shapes with ideas garnered from a workshop with Amy Friend (curved foundation piecing) and from Nicholas Ball’s new book INSPIRING IMPROV, which I high recommend.
I think there is a flying geese project in the making, done with 6” wide blocks and bright colors. And the Jen Kingwell “Glitter” blocks are ongoing and will probably wind up in an improv quilt.
Below, hidden are the improv bird blocks I’m making off and on.
My quilting life is very rich I think.
I’ve moved blocks around and around below, but I think I like this arrangement, so will sew it together later today. L Then I have to decide if it is a 60-inch wall hanging or a lap quilt AND how on earth to quilt it. Hand or machine, for starters.
The “shapes” blocks are fun. I’m going to cut the teal blue/green block on the right in half and see what develops. These blocks will go into my Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild “prompt” quilt where other members will make blocks for me as well. But, my turn will not come up until NEXT November as there are many of us in this challenge. So there is plenty of time to play with shapes and clear colors over the year.
My Cotton+Steel “Slopes” quilt from Amanda Jean Nyberg is on the long arm now. I quilt until I get tired, then stop and play with other projects. It all gets done.
The winterizing outside is DONE, so it’s time to move into my winter sewing in earnest. And we may get SNOW tomorrow.
I love the change of seasons and enjoy each and every one.