Shaggy, Baggy Elephant Finished

The baby quilt started last week (here) is finished. I went to the post office confident of it getting to its destination in time, thinking of the old 2-day service. It is no more. Choice is 3-day or 1-day. Well, since 3-day would get it there a day after the shower, I took a deep breath and sprang for 1-day. It seemed important enough. Had I known the options, I would have tried harder to finish it by Wednesday. But this way I could pick up the books and add them to the package. It seemed the story should go along with it. There was an original Little Golden Book version and a board book. Seemed good to have both.

2 saggy bound

40 x 60 inches

Up close the peach blends better as there are peach strips on the tug boat and orange flowers. But from a distance, not so much. The border is more thematically related than color related.

And though I had enough fabric that I didn’t need to piece the back, what else would I do with the panels that were to be the covers had I made a book? I’d intended the panels to be less centered, but by the time I trimmed, they had edged middlewise.

2 saggy back

The back fabric had 17 color dots!  I think that is the most I have seen on a print, though there are usually more than colors I have noticed in a print.

I quilted it in a simple, big meander.

I’ll like with the Friday finish sites (buttons in sidebar).

 

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Group Project: 9 Cuts

It all started with Thomas Knauer‘s Quilt Design Coloring Workbook. The small group in my modern quilt guild that focuses on design was working on some of the starters. One in the ‘Chance and Intuition in Modern Art’ suggested seeing how many shapes we could make by drawing 9 lines. One member made a block using 9 cuts of random fabrics.

From that the idea morphed to make a group quilt.  Each would have two fat quarters of the same fabric, one a background color and one a print. Each would add a third coordinating fat quarter of their choice. Basically we would make a cut, then shift top fabric to bottom on one piece, then either cut again or seam. Eight times.  We saved the 9th for when we would get together.  Here are my three blocks.

We had a sew day yesterday.  I wish I had thought to get a photo of each person’s blocks; however, we were too into next step planning. We set aside one of each set to keep whole, then piled two stacks of three and one of four and made the 9th cut, shifted one piece and added small insert strips of accent colors. We did this to better distribute the colors.

Next we had a discussion of whether to trim to standard squares the size of the longest possible edge on the smallest block or to trim each block’s four sides to the largest they could be. We did the latter.

Here is an early layout.

2 early layout

Of course much rearranging followed. And since the blocks were not all the same size, much measuring as well. We added varying amounts of blue on the sides of each block and  blue wherever it was needed to get to a straight seam across.

And here is the top, all but the final border to get it to twin size.

2 top sans bordr

It was quite fun. If you plan to try something similar, be forewarned that it took a lot of time. We started at 10ish, took a lunch break, and packed up  a little after 6.  Early on we had two sewing machines, then three. But often we had to wait to see a row before making final decisions on the next row. Or a third seam couldn’t be sewn till we got a piece back from its second seam. We used some of the waiting time for math but some was just waiting.

I’ll be linking with Ad Hoc Improv Quilters and Tuesday Colour Linky Party (buttons in sidebar).

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Baby Quilt and Little Golden Books

As a kid, I loved Little Golden Books. So I was tickled when I saw fabric based on them. I snatched it up because I knew it wouldn’t be around long. Twice. Then I didn’t see it again. I can’t imagine it didn’t sell. Maybe Quilting Treasures stopped after two? Anyway, I got Pokey Little Puppy (made up rather quickly, a very long time ago–here) and The Shaggy, Baggy Elephant (has been in waiting).

1 detail

Its day has come–a shower for my great-niece. (It’s okay, she doesn’t read my blog.)

I’ll have to trim the blocks. They were made to be a book, so not precise squares. Hence, when I cut 1/2 inch beyond the white, the “squares” came out crooked.  So I’ll make it so that no brown edge shows. Might look better than edging anyway. (Looks like that is what I did the first time too.)

I started out thinking blue or green sashing, but noticed the peach in most of the “pages.” I rather liked it and then thought to the cornerstones.  Again I started out thinking green, but it got too bright against the peach. So I went to a warm brown (that I will use for binding too).

1 plain

Ah, but there in the pile of batiks to be put away was this brown with green splotches.

1 green spot

I thought it might draw too much attention to itself, but it doesn’t seem to. So I’ll use it.

I’ll make a narrow border of the binding brown then use this print for final borders.

1 border

It almost looks like the intent had been to make all those stories. Or maybe they did, and I found the fabric only near the end of the series. I think this piece was in with a batch of fabric someone gave me. The quilt back will be from companion fabric I bought that is more like the inner cover of the books.

1 back

ETA: The date on each of the three selvages is 2009.

A couple intense sewing days are in my future. Deadlines do help progress.

Linking with the Clever Chamelion’s color linky party.

 

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Door Prize

As do most guilds,  the Portland Modern Quilt Guild offers door prizes at meetings.  I’d say theirs are a couple notches above the quality of other door prizes I’ve experienced.  There are usually three or so, and we can put our ticket into the jar by the one we want.

Well, my mind was drifting because I rarely win when suddenly I realized my name had, in fact, been called.

door prise

Lots of stuff: patterns, fat quarters, thread, buttons . . .  The book is the one the guild is using to inspire rainbow quilts for next summer’s area at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.

The packets of mini-charms will become doll quilts, as I have done before.  The charms will become Mendota blocks.

What’s a Mendota block? I’m so glad you asked. When Sunshine Online Guild has a retreat, we all make blocks to an assigned pattern; the pattern becomes known by the town of the retreat (like my recent Tahoe quilt finish from the retreat at Lake Tahoe). The Mendota block is an off-center framed square. Retreat is coming up in 2019–we plan ahead.

I’ll pet the fat quarters until they tell me what they want to become.

Our speaker was Chawne Kimber.  If you don’t know her work, it’s worth a look. The link goes to her general gallery; you will also see a tab “NSFW.” I had to look up “NSFW”; from listening to the quilts’ stories, I knew what to expect, but I didn’t know the abbreviation. In case you need to know too, it means “not safe for work,” an alert for language without bleeps or asterisks.) If you weren’t going to click, I’ll bet you are now.

Chawne is one of my inspirations for political quilts.

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Lan Su Chinese Garden and Rose Parade

It’s been a couple years since I last visited the Chinese Garden.  Out of town guests prompted me to renew my membership. As is my usual custom, we did the tour (I always learn something new) and sipped tea in the tea room.

I’ve always appreciated the carved panels. Previous guides have mentioned that each of the four represented historic philosophers’ gardens in China.

ls wood panel

This guide pointed out that this panel showed the garden that the design of Lan Su was mostly based upon, noting the tea room (top), pagoda, and zigzag bridge. And here is the bridge in the garden.

ls zigzag bridge distant

Previously I’d heard the lore that the zigzag made it more difficult for evil spirits to cross; this time the explanation was more mundane.  It delayed passage, slowing people down, giving the experience of a larger garden. For a real philosopher’s garden would also be a small space in a busy city, made to look/represent large. As in the “mountain” and waterfall.

ls waterfall

Sometimes the idea is all that is needed.

Then to the tea room.

ls View

This time we were seated upstairs where we got an overview of the garden.

And tea.

ls tea in tearoom

Each kind of tea has its own kind of pot and cup. I especially liked this delicate flowerlike cup for the Black tea with rose petals (timely because of the rose parade).

Here is the Lan Su float for the rose parade.

ls float front

Yes, I was a wimp and viewed from inside on a chair! But floats were on the street later for close-up looks.

 

I have more float photos; maybe another day.

 

 

 

 

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Tahoe Quilts Finished at Last

ETA: Linking with Clever Chameleon since color decisions were involved.  Satisfactorily in the binding of the pink one, less so in the addition of green (opposite color scheme) as accent.

The retreat was in the summer of 2015. I finished the tops fairly quickly (post about retreat with tops finished here); quilting took longer (red one here but I think I had decided not to post the quilting on the pink one till it was bound) and the second binding longer yet.

a Tahoe red

40 x 60

It’s been washed, so it has that crinkly look.

a Tahoe red quilting

And here you can see the leaf pattern, an idea I got from Christina Carmelli. And here is the second one quilted and bound.

a Tahoe dusty pink

The quilting is a simple meander, done a couple months ago.  One thing holding back the binding is that I’d planned to match the blue of the pinwheel in the middle. But the back said, No.

a Tahoe dusty pink back

Finally I finished a project that the rust batik had been held for (here–those trees had been intended for a large quilt), so it was released for other uses. And it worked well for both sides.

These blocks were contributed by many members of the Sunshine online guild (now on MeWe more than on Yahoo); whether from scraps or yardage, the end result is a scrappy quilt.

Since this is almost the 15th, check out Scrap Happy for what others have done with scraps.

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Vanport Mosaic: Memory Activism

The short version: During World War II there was an urgent need for ships; Kaiser Shipyards needed workers to supply that need, and they came from all over the country.  Kaiser, working with the federal government, built homes on a flood plain that became Vanport (between Vancouver, WA (Van) and Portland, OR (Port)), homes meant to be temporary. Although the need for ships dwindled after the war, about 4000 people remained. Vanport was Oregon’s largest city and the nation’s largest public housing, a thriving community until May 30, 1948 when the flooding Columbia River demolished it in 45 minutes.  For the long version, see this OPB hour long program.

In 2014, recognizing that the place and the flood were fading from the collective memory, Laura Lo Forti began interviewing and videotaping Vanport residents still alive. In 2016 Co-Directors Laura Lo Forti and Damaris Webb (with the help of many) presented the first Vanport Mosaic Festival.  I attended that first one and learned the history, missed the second, then attended the greatly expanded version this year.

The bus tour took us around today’s golf course and race track to show us where buildings had been. The guide for the tour I traveled with had lived in Vanport as a 6-10 year old; he had many stories to tell.

The only tangible remnant of Vanport is the foundation of the theatre.

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Besides the tour guide, there was another passenger who had been a resident. They searched a school photo to find themselves.

a Vanport residents

The tour started from the Expo Center; inside were impressive exhibits created by middle school students. First the Vanport sequence.

a overviewa WWII ship 2a Vanport women 2

Several students pointed out that the school was integrated, but the living assignments were segregated.

Two  other middle school projects concerned the Japanese incarceration during WWII. This is related to Vanport in that some Japanese people returning –whose homes had been either destroyed or occupied by others–moved into Vanport homes vacated by ship workers whose work was over. And so they were dispossessed twice: by the internment and by the flood.

One project dealt with peoples’ experiences, each student summarizing, illustrating, and reflecting on one person. Here is one sample, Jack’s history:

a Jack's experience 2

And the student reflection:

a Jack student reflection 2

Another told of a Japanese-Peruvian man, an aspect new to me. For a fee (I think it was 2 million dollars) U. S, housed Japanese-Peruvians in the centers. At the war’s end, U. S didn’t want them, Peru didn’t want them back, so they were sent “back” to a Japan they had not known.

The other project explored the various concentration camps.

It included a description of the temporary holding center, here at Expo Center, where people were held until the internment centers could be constructed.

a relocation text 2

At the Expo Center there is a permanent memorial, several torii with metal tags for each person imprisoned here and on the poles, embossed replicas of various news articles related to their forced leaving.

a Torii at Expo Center 2

Memory Activism: Remembering in order to honor and to act differently.

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