Archives for the month of: August, 2005

We had sun in DC today for the first in 2.5 months. It was a thrill to get off the train and see sun. I know some of you are sick of the sun, but I have worn a jacket and long sleeves all summer. School starts tomorrow for the kid, so I have been working on that rather than sewing. Still, I did finish sewing the binding on to Feelin’ Blue, Too yesterday and immediately started working on the sleeve. The sleeve is just a tad too big, but I will sew it to the binding rather than redo it. This means that both bindings are done. Hopefully, I am on the home stretch.

I love county fairs and wish that more people would enter their work. It is not a “highbrow” art organization, but everyone’s art and every entry is welcome. I also wish people would attend more county fairs.

It is great to see the wonderful and unusual items that people make and enter. It is great to see what people are doing in their homes: what they are collecting, the types of Lego and K’Nex constructions they build, the photos they take, the cakes they bake, the jams they cook and table settings they concoct, etc. I think county fairs are such a community event. You can really see stuff by your neighbors…. if more people would enter and attend.

That said, I have to admit that I didn’t enter something this year. I have done every year for the past several years and I just didn’t have (make??) the time this year. I will for sure next year. It is expensive to attend the fair ($32 for admission and parking), so getting the free tickets and parking passes from entering an exhibit is really worth it.

The boys were really interested in the Junior exhibits. They all reviewed all the Lego and K’Nex constructs very carefully and swore to build something for next year’s fair. We’ll see.

I, of course, went to the see the quilts. There were quite a number of them. I was, however, shocked at the California Living Building and the displays. There were no banners hanging outside. The building has been redone. It is not as light inside as it used to be. In previous years, quilts had been hung high up on the walls -near the ceiling, which made them hard to photograph, but made the building seem very cheerful. This year most of the quilts, even the prize winning quilts, were hung low and draped over something else or hung on racks very close together. At first I thought there weren’t very many quilts, but in the back of the hall I found quite a few, once I looked at the racks. There were some very nice quilts, especially a couple of star quilts that were amazingly intricate.

The Eye of God is bound and I am working diligently on Feelin’ Blue, Too. I have been working on one of the other of them every day. I expected to make more progress today, but worked on other things. Mostly “housecleaning” and kid wrangling. I haven’t gotten the sleeves on but am happy to be making progress.

Mom and I went to the Great Petaluma Quilt Show last weekend (8/13). We had a good time spending time with each other (a rarity these days) and looking at the quilts. We had a nice time – lunch at McNear’s and iced coffees at a smoothie place that was brand new. It wasn’t hot, but I was comfortable in my skort and t-shirt. I had my jacket along and kept putting it on and taking it off as the clouds passed overhead. I was hoping for kind of hot weather as we have seen nother but fog at home since mid June.

Petaluma is a nice little town, once the egg capital of the world. Kentucky Street has great storefronts, both architecture-wise and retail-wise. I bought a couple of Christmas gifts (yes already!) at an interesting shop that I was sure I would remember the name of, but have since forgotten. I also admired the mosaics in the entryways of the various establishments. As I am such a fan of mosaics, I took some photos of the more interesting (and clean) ones for future inspiration.

The thing I like about mosaics, in general, is that the designs relate to quilt designs, thus providing inspiration. I also marvel at the workmanship of the designs.

The quilts were hung outdoors along Kentucky Street, which seems to be one of the main downtown streets in Petaluma. I hadn’t been to the show in a long time. Mom claims that we went together last time and it was over 10 years ago. I am not sure about the date, but I am sure I could dig up photos if I looked hard enough.

The quilts were nice, but there didn’t seem to be very many of them. They were getting a bit beaten up, because of the wind. I saw one red and white quilt I liked that had redwork on it. It wasn’t classic redwork, but motifs of a paperdoll and her clothes. The border was of little Mary Engelbreit-esque flowers. I really liked it. It was a good design and I am a sucker for red and white quilts.

Opportunity quilts were displayed as well. We walked by at least 5 guilds with their quilts out selling tickets. I bought a few tickets, but not all. The Marin Needle Arts ladies had a prime spot in front of the town museum.


The town museum used to be a library. It is a gorgeous stone building with two stories, the second of which is in a balcony/mezzanine type configuration, with a huge leaded and colored glass dome in the ceiling. The entry to the building has a mosaic, which says Free to All. My camera was acting up (long story) so I didn’t get a photo of it, but I will sometime. Inside the museum, aside from the local history exhibits, were the Hoffman Challenge quilts. My favorite was a peacock. It was a small quilt, but the tail was heavily machine embroidered. It was fabulous.

The park at the end of the street (closer to the freeway) was filled with vendors.
From the vendors, it seemed that they had combined a normal Farmer’s Market Day with the quilt show. As with most Farmer’s Markets, there were fruit and flower vendors. Along with the vegetable and lavendar tables were quilt vendors as well. CG was there in her capacity as fabric sales woman and I couldn’t leave without buying some of the fabric I had seen when I picked up my quilts. I bought what CG and her cohorts call “niblets.”

The “niblets” are the red and yellow fabrics. They are from a collection of subtle food fabrics. The icky green is close, but not the same group. I like this grouping of fabrics and may try to keep them together in order to make a quilt sometime. The group is a little on the dark, Autumn side, but not too dark. I am sure the yellow would spark it up enough. Not sure what kind of design I would use, but I have enough projects to keep me busy, so will let it percolate for awhile.

There were a number of vintage quilt vendors. One vendor had bought an old quilt from another vendor and she let me take a photo of one of the blocks. It was a block that was completely on the bias, but I liked it. I’ll have to revise this post and post it later, as those pictures are in a disposal camera that I bought after the battery on my digital failed once and for all.

After the show we stopped at the Quilted Angel. I hadn’t been there in a long time, but it was just as I remembered. They had a room in the back with LOTS of books. I didn’t remember that room from before, so perhaps that room was added since I went there last. I couldn’t resist buying more fabric.

The above picure shows all that I bought. I also love the grouping of fabrics with the dots.

I would love to have a day or two to whip out an easy, but graphic block quilt with these fabrics. I don’t see it happening in the near future.

The small garbage pail next to my sewing machine table is full. I found this to be an excellent indicator of my fiberart output in a week.

There have been too many weeks recently where my garbage pail has been completely empty. The quilts are back, however, so I cut off the excess fabric and batting in anticipation of sewing on the binding. This exercise quickly fills up the pail.

CG did a great job quilting them. She did the work quickly and it was reasonably priced. I am very pleased. The only thing that threw me for a loop was the way the edges were not straight. This can’t be unusual, so I don’t know why this seems so odd. I had to be very careful cutting Feelin’ Blue, Too, because there is no border, so if I cut too much, the blocks will look odd. I tried to err on the side of caution. This must be from the shrinkage from quilting the quilt.

Both bindings and sleeves are ready to go. Tomorrow: onto the binding. I know I have plenty of time and will get them done.

I made the sleeve and the binding for The Eye of God this weekend. YAY! I am thrilled that I made progress. I feel like I am on a roll and will go to make the sleeve and binding for Feelin’ Blue, Too.

Both sleeve and binding are ready to be sewed on to the quilt when The Eye of God returns. I used Robbi Joy’s directions for making the sleeve and I am pleased with the result. I do like the way the sleeve went together. It also feels substantial, like it would protect my quilt from errant rods. Of course, we will have to see when I put the sleeve on the quilt.

As mentioned previously, the quilts are gone and I have only to make binding and sleeves before they come back. Have I made progress? A tiny amount. I found that I don’t have enough of the dark purple batik fabric I planned to use for the binding on The Eye of God.

This is why you must have a large amount of fabric.

I went through my purple fabric bins to see if I had something that would go with the dark purple batik. The first bin was full of purples with lots of red in them. Not what I needed. Then….Voila! Not the same, but similar enough in value and amount of underlying colors as well as overall look to go with the dark purple batik. YAY! There will be extra seams in the binding, but that is life on the edge.

No other progress. We’ll see what happens today/this weekend.

The quilts are in the good hands of the quilter. I picked out a varigated green-blue color for the quilting on Feelin’ Blue, Too. It is difficult to pick the color of the thread. I always like the thread to disappear unless you get up close. I really like the piecing to be the predominant design feature. With all of the different colors and fabrics I use in a quilt, the thread tends to shriek at me on either the light or the dark, depending on whether the thread is light or dark and the fabric is light or dark. Light thread on dark fabric=bad; Dark thread on light fabric=really bad.

I picked out a berry color for The Eye of God. The purple border was a problem with the yellows in the center, thus choosing something completely different seemed like a good idea. It won’t scream on either the yellows (lights) or dark purple.

So much for handwringing. I should have more faith in the universe, because CG said that she would probably have the quilts done by the end of the week. That would rock! It would, however, mean that I really need to get going on the binding and the sleeves.

In other news, the hand quilt is back on the design wall. I need to get that quilt done by Christmas. It is already a year overdue. Appliqueing the hands is such a drag, even with fusing. I have to follow the classic Nike ad and JUST DO IT.

After the hand quilt, I need to do something of my own design. We’ll see. It may be time for more bullseyes by then.