Sunday, November 29, 2020

Week in Review--A Little Unity, A Little Frolic and a Little Grassy Creek

Unity background swirl quilting

My thumbs are improving. I spent some time in the last week quilting the background on Unity. I am quilting the backgrounds in the pinwheel border. At the time of this post, I have four blocks left to quilt. It takes me about two hours which includes stretch breaks to quilt one background so my goal is to quilt one background a day. When I finish, it will be time to add the binding. I am so close to a finish!!! It will also be the first Bonnie Hunter project that I've finished!

For Frolic, the pieces that I thought I hadn't cut for the sashings, I had. The pieces were part of step one or step two which happened at about this time last year! I've stitched a few sashings. I've added a few sashings to the blocks. I've decided to make more blocks to make the quilt bigger. After all, I've a bunch of parts leftover from stitching the side setting triangles which would be great to use in the project. Oh boy, making more blocks is going to take a bunch more time. . .then again, I'm going to be using more of my scraps which is terrific!

In the meantime, on Friday, Bonnie released her first clue to the Grassy Creek mystery. This is the first time that I've been able to try a different method of making half square triangles (HSTs). This year, I've more yardage to work with than in previous years when I worked with pre cut strips.

All of the Frolic sashing pieces
Bonnie uses a folded corner triangle ruler to cut the triangles to shape. I like the method. It seems to be faster than cutting the HSTs from strips. However, I realized lifting the ruler to trim the blocks irritated my right thumb so I'll be more mindful of how I'm moving the ruler so that I can keep stitching!

With all this scrap piecing, I'm linking this post to "Quilting is More Fun Than Housework" and her Sunday Oh Scrap linkey. 

Thursday, the two of us had a quiet Thanksgiving. Earlier in the day, we Zoomed with our daughters. The granddaughters had fun playing a game that the youngest daughter managed in our first family Zoom call. The granddaughters wanted to play the game again. This time, they managed the game. 

Making more blocks using the leftovers
All we had to do was play. The youngest granddaughter was the judge. She was also the one who came up with the questions. It was a hoot. I even managed a couple wins!

After the call, we went on a three and a half mile "turkey trot" through the neighborhood. It was fun and I hope that we will make it an annual event. It took us 80 minutes. This has been the longest walk I've been on in a long time because walking makes my knees swell. I've slowly been building my walking time and I can consistently walk about 35 minutes without paying for it either later in the day or the next day. My body didn't rebel too much after the 80 minute walk so I know that at some point, I'll be able to consistently walk that amount of time. (I've arthritis in my knees. I am a candidate for knee replacements; but, I'm holding off until my knees hurt more because I don't want to be in my 80s and have the replacement parts need refurbishing!)

Beginnings the Grassy Creek Mystery
Since it has been an unusual year, we decided to have an unusual meal. . .pizza and beer! Bob cooked the pizza on the wood fired grill and it was delicious. Clean up was a snap!  I did miss spending time shopping with the oldest daughter on Black Friday. I, however have completed most of my shopping online. These packages will be delivered directly to the recipients. Call me old-fashioned; but, I like actually physically picking out the items, wrapping the package and giving it to the recipient in person. COVID, however, continues to keep me close to home.

Regarding COVID:                   Worldwide: 62.3M cases; 39.8M deaths.       United States:13.3M cases; 266K deaths.     Oregon: 72,506 cases; 896 deaths.

In Oregon, yesterday there were more than 1,000 positive cases reported. After the two week freeze ends on December 2, restrictions will remain in place. Some restrictions for restaurants will be lessened as owners will be able to serve a maximum of 50 customers until 11pm. Other restrictions for retailers are tightened. They will be operating at 50% capacity instead of 75% capacity. It appears that until vaccines are distributed, the restrictions will remain in place. Additionally, there is a risk level each county will be assigned with restrictions relaxed as the risk level is lowered. 

As I look back at the last ten months, I am amazed that the entire world has been in effect shut down because of this virus. Many of us have heeded government warnings and have followed recommended protocols. Last week, I read "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" by Heather Morris. In some ways, our world parallels the world of that time with all the restrictions.

Because this is my last post of the month, I'll report that I trained 24 people in American Heart Healthcare Provider CPR. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Grassy Creek Preparing For The Start--Post 1

The colors recommended for the project
How many of you are participating in Bonnie Hunter's Grassy Creek mystery quilt along that starts the day after Thanksgiving? Bonnie has been offering this mystery for many years. I followed along from the sidelines for several years because I wasn't able choose fabrics. I printed the directions for a couple mysteries and I have participated in the last two mysteries. (I've yet to finish those other mysteries!)

Bonnie releases the yardage amounts and colors for the mystery around Halloween. She lists the colors via corresponding paint chips from Lowes as the colors. That is a unique method of releasing the colors. It is also a good way to check if a fabric in a store is the color of the paint chip! Some online fabric stores will put together bundles of these fabrics for quilters to purchase. I notice that these bundles are sold out with in a day of posting the quantities!

Neutrals after being sprayed with Stay-Flo
Even though, I LOVE using from my stash, for this mystery, I bought most of the fabric. The green this year was the same as the green last year. I had some limey pieces that could have worked; but, I bought couple yards of this color because I can see using it in other projects. 

I had two small scraps (like less than six 2 inch squares) of gray so I bought some fat eighths on line and some yardage at local quilt shops. I had a couple oranges and one piece of gold so I bought more of those fabrics. I even had to purchase some pure white because after piecing almost three of Bonnie's patterns, I had little of this neutral left! I even bought one piece of the red. I was already at the quilt shop so it wasn't like I was making a special trip. . . .

I spent some time prewashing my fabrics. I found the piece of red grunge that I bought ran the worst. After I had washed and dried the fabrics, I heavily starched them. I use a liquid starch called Stay Flo that I dilute in a ration of one part starch to two parts water. I use a spray bottle that contains one cup of Sta-Flo and two cups of water. 

To starch the fabric, I lay the fabric in the shower. A half yard of fabric fits perfectly on the floor. Using the spray

Range of the fabrics

bottle, I saturate the fabric with the starch. I let it sit for an hour or two so that the fibers can absorb the starch. I hang the fabrics to dry. (Clean up after the process is super easy. . .just run the shower for a bit and the starch is gone!)

After I've starched all the fabrics, I iron the fabrics. The starch gives the fabric some body. That body helps me cut and sew more accurately. Yes, it takes some time. Doing a little every day helped me prepare all the fabrics for sewing. Today, I'll be ironing those fabrics so that when Bonnie releases her first clue on Friday, I'll be ready to cut and sew!

Last week, I pushed myself to make a lot of progress on the Unity border. In the process, I over used my thumbs so I have had to back off of the quilting this week to give my thumbs a rest. I have progressed to the last quarter of the border. I so want to finish this project! I know that will happen. I will keep making progress as I can. My chiropractor gave my thumbs a treatment as did my massage therapist. My thumbs are improving; but, pulling the threads to the top of the project to start and end the quilting hurts so it is not as difficult to rest the thumbs!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Frolic--Post 5

Pinwheel blocks
In between quilting Unity and cutting fabrics for the Butterly, I've spent some time stitching the pieces together for Frolic which was Bonnie Hunter's mystery last year. In my last post on this project, I shared a photo of a few of the pinwheel blocks I had finished. There were quite a few to stitch! I took a photo after I had pieced a few more. These will be set on the diagonal; but, I do like the straight setting of the blocks as well.

Each of these pinwheel blocks contains 64 pieces. With all of those parts, I was pleasantly surprised when the blocks consistently ended up the size in Bonnie' pattern directions! Careful sewing and measuring after each step helped me keep the blocks a consistent size. 

Pieces for the half blocks
The next part of the directions were to make a bunch of half blocks. There are 38 pieces in these blocks. These took me about as long as it did to piece the pinwheels because I was challenged with the layout. I made a number of new patterns before I had stitched the pattern the correct number of times! The lower part of the half block will be trimmed before I add the sashings.

The third part of the directions were to make the corners. There were less of these to make. . .after all, a quilt has but four corners! Again, I laid the pieces out as per the pattern directions. Stitching these didn't take as much time.

The last part of the directions were to stitch some blue squares to neutral and raspberry strips to create sashing units. I plan to stitch these after I have played with the blocks on the design wall so I could have a better view of the design. I haven't cut the raspberry strips yet.

Completed half block
The half blocks and the corners didn't use all the kitted parts. This meant that there were a lot of parts left. I'm not sure what will happen with those "extras." If there is an opportunity to use them in some way, I will. It could mean that I cut a few more pieces of some shapes IF there are still scraps available to be able to make a few more whole blocks.

When I placed the corner blocks on the design wall, I noticed that with a little additional piecing those blocks might work into a top and bottom border. . .hmmm. . .this possibility can wait until I finish the piecing of the top!

This quilt finishes to about 75 inches square. I want it the quilt to be a rectangle so I will need to add some borders to the top and bottom of the quilt. Perhaps, those "leftovers" will be the inspiration to kickstart the piecing after I complete the top following Bonnie's directions!

Layout for the corner blocks
Wednesday, I took the butterfly project off of the design wall because I am at the step of gluing all the edges. Therefore, I had space to lay out the pinwheel, corner and side setting triangle or half blocks. I wanted to get an idea of what my "Frolic" will look like. I laid it out as Bonnie had suggested. . .starting in a corner. In laying out the blocks, I found sections I had incorrectly pieced. I'm sure I was talking during a zoom sewing session with friends and wasn't paying attention! I can fix those errors. I am liking how the top will look.

I'm linking to "Oh Scrap." Please check out this linkeys. Cynthia Brunz who writes the blog "Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework," creates such interesting quilts with scraps. The Sunday link up is also full of people posting about their progress on scrap projects.

Also, please check out the Clark County Quilters NW Quiltfest virtual quilt show. The show is full of amazing quilts! The link is: 

Corner blocks
Regarding Covid:
Worldwide: 55.6M cases; 1.34M deaths
United States:  12.2M cases; 256K deaths 
Oregon:  63,668 cases;  822deaths

Worldwide, officials are ordering COVID restrictions to try to flatten the escalating infection rate. In Oregon, on Wednesday we began what the governor called a two week pause or freeze. No gym or restaurants are open although restaurants can produce take out orders. Retailers and grocery stores are limited to 75% capacity. Churches can have 25 people at a service. We are supposed to stay home and limit gatherings to six people, if more than one household is involved. We are supposed to avoid non essential travel out of the state. 

Leftover pieces and some sashing parts
We are encouraged to wear a mask all of the time except when eating or drinking. (I can't imagine taking a shower wearing a mask!) People living in Multnomah county have a four week pause because that county had a higher rate of COVID cases than the rest of the state. 

The governor is taking a hard line with people who ignore the social gathering restrictions. She directed the State Police to work with local law enforcement to potentially ticket and arrest offenders. She encouraged neighbors who see gatherings of more than six people on Thanksgiving to call 9-l-l. The governor said this kind of reporting was no different than neighbors reporting a loud party.

Her remarks also included that people who attend large gatherings and who later test positive for COVID be the contract tracers because the contract tracers can't keep up with all the tracing with so many cases reported each day. Yesterday, the highest number of positive COVID cases was reported in one day. That number was 1,509. (For the past four days, the previous days record was shattered.)

My husband already misses his daily workouts at the gym. He's been doing a social distant walk with "the boys" several mornings a week. His gym is located in Multnomah County so he won't be able to go back until after December 16. 
Starting to place the blocks
This "freeze" in activities is going to shutter even more businesses and put even more people in financial straits. Push back on the restrictions is also in the news. I wonder what has happened to people using common sense? Tootie Smith, a Clackamas County Commissioner, has called the freeze unconstitutional and stated that government has no right to invade the privacy of people in their own homes. Oregon restaurants have sued the government/Kate Brown over the COVID freeze because the spread of the virus has been documented to have happened in private groups and not in restaurants. 

I will continue to wear a mask when I'm working (five days a month), when I have medical appointments (up to four appointments a month) and when I'm running errands (up to two errands a week.) Often, I combine trips so I'm home more often than I'm not! I will not wear the mask 24/7 except for eating or drinking as Governor Brown has advised. I will be maskless when in my home, driving in my car and when I am on my daily walks. 

Regarding the protests: Yesterday, the media reported that two groups of demonstrators vandalized two different parts of the city on Friday night. While one group spray painted the Mexican Consulate downtown. A second group vandalized 24 businesses along NE Sandy and 43rd Street. In about ten minutes, they broke windows and spray painted buildings. The group disbanded before police arrived. No arrests were made. The protestors had publicized the Mexican Consulate location but had secretly organized the second activity so that they could be out of the eye of the police.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Reflections--A 2011 Project

Label, facing and back of project
Our Thread Tales book club read "The Glassblower of Morano," by Marina Fiorato. The opening scene of the book was where I was inspired to make this project. The character is looking at water with the night lights shining on it and thinking about how much the reflections resembled the colors of glass as it is heated.

I had a piece of marbled fabric that reminded me of molten glass. I added a couple of borders and free motion quilted around the various elements of the design using Sulky thread. I faced it, again using Vicki Pignatelli's technique.

This project is an old project that I'm documenting in this blog. From time to time, I'll post about a project that I wrote about in my previous blog.

I'm continuing to make progress on "Frolic," "Unity," and the butterfly which I'm calling "Buggy." I hope to have a Frolic update soon. I'm also gearing up to start four new projects! I'll be posting about those projects in the coming weeks.

Last Friday, the Clark County Quilter's virtual guild show opened. Please come and enjoy the show. Pour yourself a
Finished project
cuppa and stay awhile. The link is: My granddaughter's first quilt is featured in the youth 5-7 year old category. I have a number of entries listed there as well.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Licensed to Cut Loose--post 8

Trying a different approach to the yellow at the bottom
During week 15 of working on this project, I tackled the bottom yellow section. I tried to orient the pieces so that I could place some blue in between some pieces; but, I didn't care for the effect. It was too crowded and too messy. The section didn't feel "right" to me. I removed those pieces and replaced them as I had previously. I still wasn't "sold." I decided, however, to continue working on the sky. I would let my brain think about that yellow base. I believed I would come up with an arrangement that I liked enough to keep.

In the sky, I liked the movement that using a variety of blue fabrics created.  I continued adding blue pieces to the sky. From time to time, I would stop and glue baste the pieces
Progress at the end of 15 weeks 
into position. 

I had another thought about the yellow fabrics at the bottom of the piece. I again removed the bottom yellow fabrics and replaced them in a different configuration. This configuration looked a lot like the way it looked at the end of 13 weeks. In other words, it was back to thinking about other options. 

By this point, I was down to a couple yellow fabrics and my blue options were also dwindling. I added a few small darkish fabrics to stretch the remaining blue fabrics. I studied how I had placed the fabrics at the top of the piece. I wondered if I could work in reverse order to achieve a look I liked for the bottom of the piece. 
Yellow section at the end of 13 weeks
I tried creating the feeling of rays moving to the right of the butterfly to give the piece some movement. I filled in the remaining spaces of the blue background. While I was pleased with finishing the background, I wasn't wowed with the results. 

My color consultants, who are my seven and eight year old granddaughters, weren't available for a consult because their parents have limited their daughters' screen time. I emailed the photo of the butterfly to my youngest daughter asking her for a critique. About two minutes later, she replied with an edited photo showing lines where she suggested removing some of the yellow fabric. 
Progress a the end of 16 weeks

She suggested following the lines of the butterfly a little more closely. I'll admit, I was dubious; but, I tried it. Most of the pieces are tacked in place with a little dab of glue. A few of the pieces are tacked with pins. Both were easy to remove. Over several days, I removed yellow pieces using her edited photo as a guide.

She was right. After I removed some of the yellow pieces, I was more pleased with what I saw. I placed a few blue fabrics next to the yellow; but, I wasn't as pleased with what I saw. I removed those few blue fabrics and let the piece marinate a couple more days on the design wall.

I was showing a friend my progress and she asked why I didn't leave that space that color meaning cream or white. Why indeed, was my thought! After all, I had unsuccessfully auditioned white fabrics to represent clouds in the background so I had thought about using a third color.
The top with the edit lines
My current thinking is that the light sections represent a transitional area between the yellow and the blue. I've spent most of the last week thinking about auditioning a variety of cream and white fabrics. 

Yesterday, I had a conversation with myself because looking at the project wasn't the same as working on the project. I placed some fabrics. I started with fabrics that had a little sparkle in them. These were Martha's scraps. She did love fabrics that glittered! I think I'm on the right track. I'll let the pieces marinate today and add more tomorrow.
Top with the pieces removed--progress at week 17

I'm linking this post to Oh Scrap. I have loved using up such a large number as well as variety of scraps in this project!

The Clark County Quilters guild virtual quilt show is now available to view. Please come and enjoy the show. The link is: 

Some of Martha's "sparkly" scraps
At the top of the home page, there is a tab for frequently asked questions. (FAQ) On that tab is a pdf that lists the makers of the quilts. If people want to see my entries, they would down load the file, scroll to my name, Terry Knott, and  look at the icons to see where the quilts are located. At the home page, they can click to enter the show or at the top of the page is a tab, Quiltfest Map. They would look at the icon and find the entry that way. My Star Patch quilt and Josie's girl quilt are the icons for two categories. People can vote for their favorite in the available categories. I plan to add this link to each post until the end of the voting period. There are 400 entries in the show so pour yourself a cuppa and stay awhile!

Regarding Covid:
Worldwide: 53.8M cases; 1.31M deaths
United States:  10.9M cases; 245K deaths
Oregon: 54,937 cases; 759 deaths
Cases are rising faster than they rose last week. In Oregon, the governor placed most counties in the state on a two week "pause" as she calls it. Pause means next Wednesday, gyms and restaurants will be closed. Only take out orders will be available. Not only are we strongly encouraged to limit interactions, we can't be in groups larger than six. It seems transmissions are happening when people remove their masks to eat. It also appears that the transmissions are occurring when people gather in small groups. Hospitals are almost at capacity either in terms of occupied beds or having enough staff to care for the patients. For the last three days, we've had more than 1000 positive reported cases each day.

Regarding the protests:
I don't remember reading about protests this week in the media. Maybe the cold weather and the rain have put a damper on the gatherings.
View of the transition fabrics from a distance

Regarding the election:
One campaign filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan regarding the handling/counting of the ballots on election day. The media has reported there was no voter fraud; but, amended that statement to report that there is always a little fraud; but, we, the voters, shouldn't be concerned. Anyone committing voter fraud should be prosecuted fully under the law. Otherwise, more fraud will occur. The voting process should be transparent and fair to all candidates. The President conceded that Biden won the election. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Journey--A 2010 Project

A few posts ago, I wrote about the applique class I had taken with Nancy Chong as the instructor.  I shared the Woodland Flower project that I had made as a result.

After the class, I started a second two fabric applique project. I challenged myself to use the same fabrics; but, with a totally different theme. At the time, our "Thread Tales" book club was reading the book, "The Tenth Gift" by Jane Johnson. In the story, one of the characters is pirated away on a ship. She spent many days at sea thinking about what she left behind and wondering about what was ahead of her. 

Pebbles with a pin for size comparison
The colors that I envisioned her seeing on those many days at sea were brown and blue. Brown to represent the ship and land. Blue to represent water. The leftover fabric from the Woodland Flower project was on the cutting table. I had drawn a ship pattern from Nancy's class because it had the majority of applique shapes to practice. I remember thinking how interesting it was that the project seemed to put itself together! This project went faster because I had a better grasp of the needle turn appliqué technique.

When it came time to quilt, I used all silk threads and practiced micro quilting in selected areas of the background. 

Micro stippling with a pin for size comparison
I loved how the silk thread provided a slight shimmer much like sunlight provides on the water. I used silk thread in the needle. I used a 50 wt 2ply cotton thread in the bobbin.

I did trapunto the larger leaves of the brown fabric. I liked the dimension it gave to the piece. I used a layer of wool batting to achieve the puff. I did make an attempt to position the leaves to give dimension to the sail.

I backed the piece with the leaf fabric. It is fun to see a larger section of that leaf print. I used the wrong side of a fabric for the sleeve. For fun, I used the right side of that same sleeve fabric to sash the label.

View of the back
I actually finished this project before I finished the Woodland Flower project! I'm posting about this project because it has been a goal of mine to document the quilts that I have hanging about the house as well as many of those I've made and gifted over the years. 

I do remember that I had fun making the project as well as working through the trapunto process. That blue batik fabric made a good sea. In the Woodland Flower project, I turned the same fabric 180 degrees and use the lines to represent rain. It worked well for both uses!

Tomorrow evening is our Clark County Quilters guild general meeting. We are meeting virtually. The program is our virtual quilt show. I'll update this post and include the link to the show. 

View of the front
This is the show that was scheduled for April 2020, then the in person show was rescheduled for November 11-14, 2020. COVID meeting protocols forced the quilt show committee to take the show virtual.

The show will be open until December 31. There are viewer choice buttons available to vote on your overall favorites as well as your favorite in each category. Although we won't get to see the quilts in person and visit the vendors, there is no entry or parking fee!

Please come and enjoy the show. Pour yourself a cuppa and stay awhile. The link is: I've several entries and my granddaughter's first quilt is also in the show. Membership to the guild for the remaining months of the year is $20. We have virtual speakers scheduled for our meetings through the end of June 2021. If you can't make the live webinar, the meeting is recorded and saved to the website for one month so you can view it at any time. It is a great value for twenty dollars! Come and join us! I plan to add this link to each post until the end of the voting period.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Licensed to Cut Loose--post 7

Progress at the end of the 11 weeks
At the end of the tenth week of working on this project, I had a good amount of the yellow background in place. I raided the scraps I've sorted from Martha's stash and pulled all the yellow and blue ones. I barely had enough scraps to fill the yellow space! 

In fact, I decided to move to working on the blue background and fine tune the lower part of the yellow background later because I couldn't envision how it would work with the blue background. 

I placed a few blue scraps next to the yellow. I had a hard time determining where to start. Eventually, I decided to begin in the  top center.

Progress at the end of 12 weeks
As I placed the scraps, I made an effort to distribute scraps of the same fabric somewhat evenly around the open space. I also started to place the dark fabrics outside of the light fabrics. 

While I liked how I was progressing with the light blue fabrics. The dark blue fabric wasn't working for me. I placed pieces. I stepped back to look. I didn't like what I saw. I removed the pieces. I began again. I repeated the process. At the end of the week, I had made little progress.

I was stuck. I decided to do a test. I placed a bunch of dark pieces as well as the turquoise pieces on the background to see if the vision I had in my head was viable. I stepped back full of anticipation.What I saw wasn't even close to  my vision. I was disappointed.

Test of dark blue and turquoise scraps
The dark was too dark. It competed with the dark in the butterfly wings. I didn't have many light scraps so I had added the turquoise scraps to extend my options. I thought that the turquoise would make the background sparkle; but, I found that it was too bright.

I realized I was stuck. I realized I needed a consult. I FacedTimed my granddaughters to ask for their help. Fortunately, they agreed. They like it when I ask for their opinions! 

Progress at the end of 13 weeks
Miss J took one look and said that the fabric on the side of the quilt was too dark and not like "sky" at all. She suggested that I remove it. Miss K agreed with her sister's dark assessment. She then said that the turquoise didn't fit the sky. She suggested that I remove the dark pieces and fill in the space with light fabrics. Miss K said the turquoise fabric was too sparkly. How interesting that she and I both used the term "sparkly!"

I tried their suggestions. I liked what I saw. I FaceTimed them again to find out to ask if they liked the direction of the fabric choices. They both agreed I was building a much better sky! They liked that the sky had different blues in it. 

Cloudless blue sky
Our conversation got me to thinking about the sky. At first, I thought of the sky as a bright blue without any clouds. I had limited amounts of blue scraps so I switched my thinking to include fluffy white clouds in the sky. Then a friend sent me a photo of a dark sky. I started studying the sky during the day. I took a photo of a cloudless sky. I took a photo of fluffy white clouds in the sky. I liked the interest in the dark cloudy sky in my friend's photo. I wondered if I could create that feeling without using a lighter shade. 

I started placing blue fabrics on the background. Right away, I noticed that my pile of blue scraps was decreasing faster than the spaces were filling. To get more mileage out of the blue scraps, I decided to add more sunlight to the piece. While adding more sun, I got stuck again. 

The bottom area wasn't working for me. About this time, the fire threat had us in a level where we needed to pack up our important stuff and I stopped working on the project. It took me about a month after the fire threat to get this project back on the design wall. 
Sky with fluffy white clouds

Once there, I looked at it for another couple weeks. I was stuck with the yellow at the base of the butterfly.I liked the way the fabrics blended at the top of the butterfly. I thought about taking off the yellow bottom fabrics off and orienting the pieces differently.

Instead of making any changes, I decided to let my thoughts ponder the changes while I filled in more blue fabrics. I did try placing white fabric to stand in for fluffy clouds; but, that try resulted in the white fabric drawing my eye from the butterfly. 

I did use a larger range of blue shaded fabrics. I liked the feeing of the result. The background was much more
My friend's photo of the dark clouded sky
interesting to my eye. Because I am working with strips and bonus triangle units, I wanted the background shapes to create an interesting texture. Claude Monet's impressionist style of painting inspired me to place the pieces in a way that reminded me of what it looks like when oil paint is applied thickly. My mom has some painting that her great grandmother painted with a palette knife. 

Studying the sky helped me make choices when I searched through my "chunks" of blue scraps. I showed a friend my small bag of remaining blue scraps and the space on the wall left to fill. Her reply was that she wished she lived closer so she could gift me some of her blue scraps! Friends are precious!
Progress at the end of 14 weeks

At the end of 14 weeks, I had made visible progress which excited me enough to continue the process. I'm linking to "Quilting is More Fun Than Housework" and her Oh Scrap linkey. 

Regarding Covid:
Worldwide: 49.7M cases; 1.25M deaths
United States: 9.95M cases; 238K deaths
Oregon: 48, 608 cases; 716 deaths
Thursday, Boris Johnson locked down the UK a second time. This lockdown will last four weeks.  The goal is to reduce the spread of COVID. Thursday, more than 100,000 cases were we reported in the United States which not only was a record; but a record worldwide. In Oregon, yesterday, 1000 cases were reported in a single day.  Oregon saw the largest death toll in a week since the pandemic began. 

Regarding the protests:
Downtown businesses boarded up their windows expecting violent protests after the Tuesday elections. Protests that night were peaceful. The following night one of the two protests was not peaceful. The National Guard was employed to restore order. Eleven arrests were made.

Regarding the fire recovery:
Some areas still don't have access to water and access to power remains intermittent. Recovery is going to take a long time. I can't imagine trying to clean up a damaged property without access to power and water let alone dealing with permit issues with ash removal, etc.

Regarding the election:
May the winners not gloat over the losers. May the losers graciously acknowledge defeat. May working together rather than fighting against each other become the norm. May office holders agree to disagree with each other.  May office holders agree to figure out solutions with help from one another. May office holders agree to put the solutions into practice with hope. May office holders cooperate and work together to create a greater and kinder good for all. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Door Block

My drawing of the block
The block challenge at the Clark County Quilters guild for 2019-2020 was to make a door of a place someone would live that finished to seven inches wide by 10 inches tall. One inch of fabric was needed on both sides of the block as well as the top. 

Those rules felt doable. I needed a design. I thought about wooden plank doors surrounded by rocks. I thought about the door of a tent. I thought about decorative doors surrounded with stucco. I looked at castle doors and ship doors when I was traveling in London during Christmas last year. I tried drawing a few thumbnail sketches. Nothing really excited me.

I decided I would pass on the contest. After all, I had quilting to do on my daughter's "Leaves" quilt to finish before the April show. I wanted to concentrate on that project. Then I received a request from the block chairperson. She asked if I would please make a block because with a couple weeks before the acceptance deadline, she had received eight blocks. She also said that four of the eight were made by the same person!
Selvage panel

Again, I thought about the challenge. I looked at my front door. I drew it and then I modified it. I still wasn't excited about making the block until, I thought about what I would put on each side of the door. I have siding around my front door.

In thinking about the siding, I thought about all the selvages that I had on hand and decided that those could represent "siding."

I sorted strips that were red because that is my favorite color and yellow because that is my friend JoJo's favorite color. I thought a yellow door with red accents might make a happy looking block.

Close up of incoming mail
A small scrap of a grey print fabric became the window. I tried to use this same print to act like a step; but, I didn't like the way it looked so I didn't use it.

I used red ribbon from my stash to divide the door into "panels." Some ribbon pieces I couched into place and some pieces I straight stitched into place. For dimension around the door, I decided to use two different blacks for the door moulding. I even mitered the corners of the inner moulding; but, the mitered corners aren't noticeable on the finished block.

After I had stitched the moulding to the door, I stitched the selvage section or "paneling" to the moulding. I added a wide section of paneling for the top of the door.

Close up of house number
Then I looked through my scraps searching for a fabric that would serve as the walkway. After I had stitched the walkway in place, I started adding some details to the block.

I appliquéd a mat to lie on the walkway. I used red embroidery thread to embroider "Welcome" to the mat. I also embroidered the house number in red and chose to mark it as the year, 2020. I cut small pieces of black ultrasuede to serve as the door handle, key hole and mail box. I appliquéd these in place with black thread.

I embroidered the word "Mail" to the mailbox. Then I cut three equal lengths of selvages that I appliquéd into place to serve as "letters." I used a fabric pen to ink a stamp and I drew a few lines on the "letters" for realism and then I said it was good enough!

Finished block
I mailed it to the block contest chair person the second Thursday of March. Because COVID-19 canceled our in person April 2019 show and the rescheduled in person November 2020 show, I get to wait for the November 12 virtual guild meeting to see what it looks like with other people's blocks! The block committee chair will stitch these blocks into the guild's next opportunity quilt. I will be sharing the link to the virtual show in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Woodland Flower -- A 2010 project

Detail of Woodland Flower
In January 2010, I took a two fabric applique class from Nancy Lee Chong. Nancy creates patterns using two fabrics  and the needle turn applique technique. The "Woodland Flower" was her in class pattern because it has straight edges, inside corners, outside corners and points. She was an excellent teacher. I learned how to tackle those sections of applique. I had always wanted to learn needle turn applique. My efforts to learn the technique on my own, while admirable, were less than pleasing! 

The previous March, I was rear ended in a car accident and my car was smashed into the car in front of me. The car behind hit my car a second time and smashed me again into the car in front of me. I walked away from the accident. My five month old car had to have the front and back replaced. The car frame was even cracked. My air bag didn't deploy which surprised me. 

The following August, I had neck surgery to fuse cervical vertebra five, six and seven. The surgery helped my arms from falling asleep when I tried to fold laundry and to address an envelope. The surgery wasn't the cure all. While I was better, I wasn't as good as I was before. 

When I explained to Nancy that hand sewing caused me pain after a few minutes, she gave me the pointers that I employ to this day! Rather than hold the work in my lap, or on a table and look down to applique, I hold the work up at eye level. I also sit in a chair with my feet up. I can't applique for hours; but, I can applique. I am thankful I took her class for that body positioning information! I have several hand projects that I need to work on. I miss having an evening project to do while watching TV with my husband.

I had to give up gardening.Talking on the phone is difficult--my arm/hand goes to sleep holding the phone to my ear.  Holding a hard bound book is still uncomfortable. Some days are less painful than other days. I still get neck spasms. I can only work part time. I was fortunate to have supervisors who have given me accommodations to be able to continue to teach a few classes. I changed how I cooked and cleaned.  Truthfully, I actually do little of both. I am thankful for my husband who does most of both! I feel blessed to be able to continue to produce a quilt entirely by my hand.

I quilted this piece with silk thread in the brown areas and sulky thread in the batik fabric. I used Vikki Pignatelli's method of facing the project. I shared this project in my old blog. I'm posting about it again because one of my goals is to document my earlier work.

Back of quilt
Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 45.9M cases; 1.19M deaths

United States: 9.16M cases; 230K deaths

Oregon: 44,388 cases; 677 deaths

The number of positive cases are rising at alarming rates almost everywhere. More people are hospitalized. Again, the issue of available beds and equipment is occurring. A number of European leaders have locked down or imposed severe restrictions in their countries as they did earlier in the year. Friday, there were 600 cases reported in Oregon which was the highest number since reporting began last March.

In Multnomah County, it was reported that last year there were 365 court cases. This year, that number is 89. The reason is that social distancing requirements during COVID limit where the cases can be held. It is unknown how long it will take before judges and juries can hear back log of court cases. It is going to be a long time before we recover from the damage COVID caused.

Front of quilt
Regarding the protests: One night this week, three groups of protestors demonstrated in three different areas. One group marched to the North police precinct building. One group met at Arbor park in response to black lives matter and marched to commissioner Dan Saltzman's house demanding action toward defunding of the police department in a city council meeting the following day. One group met at the Justice Center and held a candlelight vigil for the man killed in Philadelphia. 

Last night, 150 protestors gathered to protest capitalism in the northeast Lloyd District. Protestors smashed windows of at least 10 businesses. Police declared a riot. Across the river in Vancouver, protesting and vandalism occurred in the downtown sector too. Protestors were protesting over the police shooting a black man that happened Friday night. Police had approached the man after catching him selling drugs. The man ran and then pulled a gun. When the man pulled the gun, three officers opened fire. The man died.

The granddaughters showing their pumpkin art
Regarding voting:According to the BBC, more than 85 million people have voted. In Oregon 52% of the votes have been cast. Tuesday may be Election Day; but, it is doubtful that the results will be known until weeks later.

Yesterday was the end of the month. I assisted 59 people earn their American Heart Basic Life Support CPR certificates. It was also Halloween. I saw a photo of the granddaughters in their Halloween costumes. They dressed up and watched movies at home. Earlier in the week, they drew the designs on their pumpkins for their dad to carve. He did a good job at achieving the design they drew!