Thursday, August 30, 2018

Out Exploring

I'm out exploring the natural world and here are a few photos of things I've seen.  There will be more later; I'm off again shortly.

The pelican rookery
 A striped crab in a tide pool
A horbor seal coming right for us. See the water just slicking off its back?
An orca coming at us, too.  Magnificent!
Always fun to watch dolphins off the bow.  They'd just eaten their fill at an anchovy bait ball.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Meet Your New York SAQA Rep: ME!

That's right!  I'm the SAQA rep for the New York region as of this week. Woo hoo!

My primary goal as rep: get the region moving again.  How? Implement plans is to do some fun stuff together and build community.  Be on the lookout for a regional newsletter in the next few weeks with more details.

I hope you'll join me in reinvigorating our region.    My email inbox is always open for suggestions, comments, feedback, you name it.  You can reach me at my private email address or my official SAQA rep email address:

I'm looking forward to the fun!

Friday, August 17, 2018

More Maps

Tomorrow I hit the road again, this time with our youngest.  It's back-to-school time.  (Bummer. I've loved having her home.)  

In the last month and a half, I will have driven more than 3,500 miles.  That's the same as flying from New York to London.  Of course, I didn't do it all at once, but still.  It's sort of fun to think of it from that perspective.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Quilt Police

It's raining and I can't go outside.

I've tackled my studio clean-up.  All the fabric that was lying about has been sorted, folded and put away.  The design wall has been cleared to make room for the current project.


Yes, the ugly quilt blocks are off my table and on the wall.  I've decided this will be my next project.   I thought I could piece it without worrying about making a masterpiece.


I am the Quilt Police.  They are me.

Apparently I can't quite let my hair down, even on a quilt I don't have a strong attachment to, that I think is rather funny looking.  I still want seams to line up and points to be sharp.   I have zero problem with mismatched seams from others. In fact, I often admire other makers' piecing freedom. It's just not me.  Now, that's not saying everything's perfect.  But I have already ripped out several seams to make a block better.  Yep, I am the Quilt Police, for my own work.

There could be worse things / habits, I guess.  And, looking on the bright side, it's good prep for working on the Lone Start quilt, and a few other items I have in mind, that require a bit more finesse and care.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Double Red Donation

Yesterday, I gave blood.  There's a blood shortage, as there is almost every summer.

When I checked in, I've never know anyone to be so happy about my height and weight.  You see, if you're of a certain height and weight, you can give what's called "Double Red" or "Power Red" donation.  That means a special machine will extract double the amount of red blood cells -- two units worth -- from your blood, but it returns your plasma and platelets, plus a bit of saline.  Since red blood cells are the most frequently needed element of blood transfusions, this doubles the donation's potential impact.  I didn't know this was an option.

If you're in good health and haven't travelled anywhere truly off the grid in the last three years, please consider making a donation.  Here's a link to upcoming blood drives in the New York area if you're interested.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What Next?

Do you ever ask yourself, "Hey, whatever happened to that quilt I was working on?  Do I even still have it?"

This morning I bypassed the piles of fabric that should have been put away, in favor of rooting through my drawers for unfinished quilt tops.


The layout to come.  Right now I'm calling it Donuts and Donut Holes
There's one!  I started this quilt top by taking wonky vintage blocks, cutting them apart, and re-piecing them in a new and smoother arrangement.  I have two more large "donut" blocks to make so the bottom row will have a donut > donut hole > donut pattern. I was planning to insert white fabric everywhere you can see my white felt design wall.  Size will be dictated by how many old blocks I have left to cut up. I don't think there are enough to add an additional row.

Here's a close up of one of the squared up large donut blocks.  I love the irregular seams within the square shape.

A close-up of a donut
As I rooted around, I came across some quilt blocks I had completely forgotten about, plus a shoe box filled with half square triangles and four patches to make more. They were even all ironed and flat.

Completed blocks laid out on my table.  Can someone please remind me of the name of this block arrangement?
I think my objective for this quilt had been to use as many remnants of fabric as I could from my stash, trying especially hard to use novelty fabric I'd been gifted and wouldn't otherwise use.  Some of the bits are lovely.  However, there are quite a few that are .... BLECH!  This is, quite possibly, the beginnings of one of the ugliest quilts ever.

Finally! The quilt that popped into my head last night. The one I wondered / hoped I could find.

A Lone Star quilt, not looking too shabby after having been folded and away for a while
There it is!  Folded and, somehow, not smashed.   The left side (as we face it) has been sewn on.  I discovered the already-cut bit for the right side.  But I remember I didn't know what to do next since I didn't have enough of the background material to make top and bottom borders.

So now the big question is, What to Work on Next?  There are pros and cons of each.
#1: PROS:  There's not to much sewing left to do to finish it
      CONS:  I just finished a quilt with a white background
                   Now I'm not sure this layout is interesting enough

#2: PROS: Lots of the parts are already done
                  It doesn't need to be perfect
                  I don't care if it ends up on the floor in my
                      daughter's college dorm room. Could be of use to her
      CONS:  It's really ugly.  Can I stay engaged?

#3: PROS: This one has jogged my memory.  Should I ignore that?
      CONS: I might have to re-learn Y seams.
                  This one might involve more care and thought than I have
                         the mental energy for right now.

Thoughts?  Suggestions? What should I work on next?