Saturday, April 29, 2023

my creative week


this was a week of sewing, writing, and watching video lessons... with one drawing 

hand sewing hexies, tiny quiltlets from scraps, and one drawing

the sewing primarily was "middle sewing"  involving a lot of putting blocks together, basting a quilt, finding appropriate fabrics, making design decision that take time but don't show well in a round up.

I now have completed the squares for two RSC block sets made last year... I added an entire row of black and white squares to go with the colorful scrap blocks done last year, but like the first set I'm reluctant to show it until it's done, but here is one

and each time I made one black and white block, I cut away little triangles, which I then decided to sew into hourglass blocks. No measuring, just sew odd shaped triangle to odd shaped triangle,

until I had a lot of them. I don't know if this is considered improvisational, but it feels that way.

I played with arrangements but when I noticed this fabric left from my big blocks...

just a fat quarter (of a yard) and saw the musical cats, I decided to set the wee blocks (2" square) into a frame

yep, that's cool. They were not tidy nor even, but I didn't let that get in the way of making this for my husband, the guitar player who loves cats 

finishing about 7" square

for table scraps... he's playing "notes"

no scrap too small, no scrap wasted. I miss being part of a quilt group in Maryland that gave me bags of what they considered too-small scraps. These came from making the large person sized quilt on the wall

the hexie project is together, pressed flat, layered with batting, with felt as backing... I'm quilting it now, and went through two discarded thread choices before settling on gold metallic. So far I've gone around the finished edge twice with straight stitch, after unpicking the buttonhole stitch I tried in the beginning

I wanted to be finished with the quilting before sharing it but it was part of my creativity this week. 

I trim the felt close to the edge as a finish. I've gone through several choices for quilting the center but think I've decided on straight lines radiating from a center point, maybe. 

Making art is not linear. 

there are many decisions, all the way to completion. 

I've never liked the phrase, " it's not over til the fat lady sings" having battled with weight all my life, but it's not over in art-ing til the last detail is on and the artist is satisfied. 

 this little lady is my true triumph this week. I LOVE her. She came from my heart, my mind, my spirit this week, a woman secure in herself, wearing a daffodil in her hair. 

It is much MUCH more difficult to draw with pencil than paint, IMHO. Drawing is intentional, one must look closely, and call the shot before putting down a line. Paint can spread, move, blend by itself, it is often impressionistic in my world. I could paint the idea of a portrait, but this black line on white paper is strong. 

I did an initial drawing, then went back, layer by layer, additional flick of a pencil, an erasure, a blending of graphite to shadow. Another layer of hair added... and she had slightly different eyes that felt somehow wrong to me. 

After looking at her through the week, between sewing blocks, as I passed by, I erased one tiny area of her eye changing the shape slightly, rounding it just a millimeter more and suddenly she looked different. 

I've grappled with noses, and lip lines. I like hers. I am always learning about shadow. Clothing and shoulders are often challenging. Not having a picture to go by is challenging. 

I love this bit so much...

Her necklace. I want one like this, gold with three drop pearls. The face has been my go to design for years. I painted large now framed art with stars like this in the past. I'm glad I could give this to her. 

Even now, in this photo I see I should remove some shadow along her chest line. 

Isn't it wonderful to learn by doing? 

I " spaved" this week with threads. 

These are daily functional  3 ply cotton threads 50wt from "connecting threads"... and they are a great price from the online store. I find them to be smooth, strong, and gorgeous colors. If I were going to quilt stores I might purchase Metler for daily piecing but these are great and to me, in my usage, stronger than the aurofil the young quilters seem to favor but I find breaks too often.

I was visiting the blog ( and she recommended these threads for hand swing EPP. I ordered the set right away from amazon, a great price at only $3 per spool in the 6 spool set of gorgeous colors

they are called cottonized poly, are 80wt so thin as a hair almost, very very very strong for pulling repeatedly through epp pieces, smooth, disappear in the stitching but the colors are wonderful. I'm glad I risked getting them sight unseen!

as a video treat, and I haven't tried this yet, I leave you with this

..... a cool method of joining the final binding ends



design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts

finished or not


Thursday, April 27, 2023

I Like Thursday # 347


welcome to this week's list of likes.... it's a short list this week so let's get started...

I liked having plantain chips again, even if they are a bit thicker than the ones from Trader Joe's. 

I like the books by Ellery Adams, I finished the audio book from last week, and am on the final one in this series, 

I got into one of my kindle books, 

Halfway to You: A Novel by [Jennifer Gold]

after not liking the last 2 I started from the library, but now two books I had on hold at the library have come in... shall I put my good one on hold while reading one of the library books? of course I had to wait for them so when I don't finish them in time I'll be waiting for them again. oy. 


talking on FT or zoom with my friends, Cindy and Joy

watching on tv

PBS has a terrific series (available on Prime) called My grandparent's war and I want to go back and find the two episodes missed. In depth history of 4 British celebrities grandparents time during WW2

we like the great british baking show junior edition, hilarious!

I've liked sewing this week, finishing up some projects, and drawing a few things... more on that Saturday, on creative week round up


I liked sleeping in one day this week, catching up on some sleepless nights... sleep is restorative

 watched on youtube 

I watched this interview with Eva Longoria and there was much to like about her life views... she mentions re-framing how you speak to yourself,  instead of I was so busy, say I was so productive,  or I get to go home to my kids instead of I have to go make dinner now

this warmed my heart... I love cows, and animals in general

 our prompt this week: what languages do you like?

"Do you speak more than one language? What was is like to learn it? Is there a language you'd like to learn, please tell us why.

are there words in other languages that sound fun to you, or even English words that you like and make you happy? "

in High school I studied French when 90 % of college bound students studied Spanish. I loved the romance of French and how the words sounded flowing. I continued studying French when I lived in Canada, and met lots of other expats in class from so ,many countries. I cannot say I know much even now however since I seldom use it. My husband is studying French through work, and will have to be our interpreter if we move to France! 

I taught English at Berlitz for a while, as a 2nd, or was it 3rd job, and one family I taught was Japanese in America on business. Husband, wife, three sons. They insisted each time on providing snacks and tea. I asked during these breaks for them to teach me some words in Japanese and they tried! I studied German while working there too. 

I used the bit I learned, when I traveled in Europe alone. I also thank the people who upon hearing me try to use their language, switched to English out of kindness. 

When I discovered  my birth Father was Italian, and I love how that sounds, DH and I took Italian lessons at the community college together, Italian 1.... twice

My favorite word was lorologio   (watch) Loro-LO-shee-O. I feel I learned a lot and could get by reading it if we moved to Italy. Plus I really want to learn.

My Nephew's father is Mexican, (he teaches at the U of Mexico) so my nephew is bilingual. I asked him to teach me some words and he said, Aunt Leela you are saying it in Italian not Spanish! and gave up on me.

I admire people who speak more than one language. I love the sound of French but mostly love Italian now, and want to become fluent.

It's a pipe dream.

In English I like the word perambulate, twilight, and exquisite. I just like the sounds. 

Milo's Moments

Milo: I am a native canine-ish speaker and had to learn to understand English when I came to live with my pawrents...

I understand most of what they say, just not all of it matters to me. I keep track of the mama's moods and can tell when she's upset or happy. I know a lot of words though... like "out, eat, cake, ears, big-bed, toys, ball, chicken, cheese, come, sit, quit!,  and  

Milo, be quiet and inside voice, stay, wait, fetch, drop good-boy, Uh-Oh, look down, lots more,  and my favorite words in English, said with a singing voice from the mama...

" I LOVE you!" 

please visit these fine folk to see what they liked this week

friday smiles at a stitch in time  


Saturday, April 22, 2023

Stitch by stitch, block by block, a mini improv quilt and some paintings


just a test of my posca pens

I've been sewing, painting and sketching this week. This is my little round up of each.... 

I got stuck working to turn a set of 12 RSC blocks into a person sized quilt this week, so I took them off the design wall and put up another set I did last year, and loved them! 

however I found only 10 blocks  so I quickly made two more in colors I like, 



purple for RSC color of the month of April

and began to think of how to make these 9.5" blocks into a person sized quilt too.... and those blocks were so much fun to make (pattern at I decided to make some in black and white... 

then I liked it so I made 6 blocks, 3 each  for the top and bottom of the layout. But... I now need side blocks, 12 of them for the two sides, and they are cut out but not finished yet.

18 blocks finished so far, 12 more to go!
I am reluctant to show too much before I reveal the finished quilt, but it's really cool! I need to decide whether to separate the blocks with sashing, and what color, or to join them so the points touch and they create circles like the OTHER quilt! 

The problem with my other quilt is it's all done in reproduction 1930's fabrics but needs a big border and none of my prints are large enough for that. I want the borders to be quiet since the center blocks are in all colors. I'll find a yellow that will do in my stash...

 I cut away some triangles in  making these blocks, and well you know me, waste not so I did this one day

and with the black and white cut off triangles I made this wee improvisational geese quiltlet

HEE HEE! I love this tiny quiltlet! I suppose it could be a leeeeetle coaster but right now it just makes me smile seeing it!

from tiny triangles cut off the blocks on the left

this is the back

so the pinwheels came from cut offs last week, and the geese this week.  Improv can be small, y'all

as to painting....

I followed along with this tutorial  

to make this in my tiny copier paper journal of nature sketches... I wanted to learn how to draw a folded leaf....

my tiny 5" X 6" sketchbook

I follow a blog about two  scamps, weimaraners in France, and Katy shared a cow  photo one day. I tried to sketch it in black and white, but couldn't help adding the yellow! just a morning sketch while having my coffee.

trying to learn how to create depth and shadow with just pencil lines

 I've been watching an organization workshop too this week, with lots of ideas and videos about managing your paper/ scrapbooking supplies. I have a lot of paints, paper, stencils and stamps and supplies can take over your home! It's called "paper crafters get organized" 

I am stitching away on my hexie project during nightime tv watching... 

I'm sewing the big "petals" to each other now

there are 47 hexies in each "petal" and it's amazingly fast to sew petal to petal although it tires my hands a bit. Anyone else have trouble getting a needle across the folded edges without missing the fabric now and then? I love hand sewing!

Okay, two big quilts in the works, painting and learning to sketch, and looking at other people's tidy studios... it's a busy creative week! 

design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts

finished or not