Sunday, February 28, 2016

Big Black & White Blocks

I'm back from a terrific trip to California. It couldn't have been better. I've got a zillion ideas zooming around my head about baby quilts I want to make for my first grandbaby, due in August.

Yes, you heard that right, quilts plural! I can't think of just one so I'll probably make a few.  LOL!

On my sewing table are all the pieces I cut out for the Black & White Slashed Squares quilt, and since I can't work on more than one quilt at a time I'm starting to sew the big square-in-square BW blocks together.

As usual, I put pairs together based on contrast of shape and pattern.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Black & White Crayons in AQS Daytona Beach

If you happen to visit the AQS show in Daytona Beach this weekend, and see my quilt, The Black & White Crayons, take a selfie with it and send it to me!


(email: patcherymenagerie AT gmail DOT com)

Friday, February 26, 2016

From Above

Whenever I fly anywhere, I always get a window seat.

I love to look at the ground below.

I am always amazed at how it so often looks like patchwork.

Or quilting, or applique, or whatever...

And even if it doesn't look like patchwork,

It's still pretty freaking gorgeous. (The photo above was taken while flying over the Rockies.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Four More

There's no rhyme or reason to these. I just look at the fabrics, pair up some I think look good and go to it.

I'm wicked busy lately, and really haven't been giving this the attention it really needs, but I've been holding back because I'm concerned a strictly black and white quilt with large blocks will be too severe.  (OK, that's my artist's insecurities showing.) I know I can pull it off, but I am not sure I have quite enough fabrics to do so.

At any rate, I've cooked up what I think is a great idea to lift idea from "normal" to sublime. Now we'll just have to see if what happens in fabric matches the vision in my head.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Quiltcon Los Angeles 2016

Timing is everything. One of my readers asked if I would be visiting Quiltcon while I was in LA. I didn't even know it was here. Fortunately my son and I were able to visit the show on the last day. 

Disclaimer: Regular readers know I like quilts to have energy, vitality and verve. I like things that grab me emotionally. "Modern" quilts, by and large, do nothing for me. For me a lot of them are "Meh".  I feel they are often "half-baked."  You are welcome to disagree, but I am entitled to my opinion. Don't bother commenting if you want to tell me I am "wrong."  There is no right or wrong. 

There were some that I liked. 
But the quilts that really made my heart sing were the ones made by two of my idols, Gwen Marston and the late Molly Upton.
    This is one of Gwen's. My son took one look at it and said her design sense was superior and her quilts were less contrived than the so-called Modern ones. He loved all her quilts. I agree. 

 Molly Upton's quilts are staggeringly gorgeous and original, even now, forty years later. 

And OMG, look how big they are.  Remember there were no long arm quilting machines back then, and cottons were just calicoes. Upton used everything, cottons, velvet, corduroy, wool. And these were hand quilted. She was a true visionary. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Black & White Shapeshifters

So what is this outer fabric in these blocks? Black or White?

Are you thinking... HEY! That's BLACK and isn't that block is supposed to have a WHITE square in the middle?

OK, so what is it now?


Sunday, February 21, 2016

It's a Small World

My son and DIL brought me to Disneyland and I loved it. My favorite thing by far was "It's a Small World" 

The building that housed it was nothing less than a feast for a quiltmaker. 

I loved the way the shadows changed the emphasis on the shapes. 

It was every bit as stunning at night. 


The color and shapes were very graphic (geometric) and reflected everything I love about quilts. 

  It was wonderful 


So many places to get inspiration for a quilt. 


I have to say trying to post a blog using my iPad is an exercise in frustration. I can't crop my pictures the way I want or place them where I want. So forgive me is these posts aren't up to my normal standards 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

More Mini Black & White Blocks

I am having fun making these little blocks. They're very quick to do. I've made twenty so far.

Friday, February 19, 2016

We Interrupt....

Ok. I'm in Los Angeles with my son and DIL. I had not intended to post about it until I got back and had scheduled posts to run while I was away.


My son and DIL gave me a small Valentine's Day present.

Yeah. Or rather... YIPPEE!!!

Can you say "baby quilt?"

(And I shall be called "Memere" which is pronounced Mim-ay)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

More Black & White Slashed Squares

The idea of a black and white slashed squares quilt has been on my mind for a few days. I have the fabric, and I've cut the strips for all the blocks I need, as you saw on Saturday.

But, you know me. I don't "do" normal. I want to push the idea around a bit. After a bit of thought, I figured out a way to do just that.

I'm going to make blocks of both sizes, all in black and white. Now, I have no idea how I'd arrange these blocks, but that's not a problem I need to worry about now. I can figure that out after I've made the blocks.

In the meantime, I can have some fun making blocks.

And if this idea doesn't work, I'm not above pushing it around a bit more.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Royal Velvet

The Royal Velvet red Amaryllis has finally decided to bloom.

Eleven blooms on three stalks.

Wowza!  Talk about worth the wait!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Organization... What?

I was surprised by some of the reactions to my "studio tour." I didn't think my studio was worthy of all that praise. It was simply a room I have arranged to help me work better.

Then I remembered something that happened at my very first job. I was asked to do something - I think it was stuff envelopes with about five or six different items.  They were all spread out on a table in front of me. "So how do you work?" my supervisor asked. "Left to right, or right to left?"

I had never thought about that before.

"Arrange everything so it suits you. So it makes sense to you and you're not expending excess energy."

It was a piece of advice I never forgot. Arrange your tools so it's easy for you to get the job done. It sounds so simple, yet in our belief that there is A place for everything, we think there has to be only ONE place for anything.

Example One:

I am five feet tall, so it stands to reason that I can't reach things that are very high up, so I have a step stool. Mine lives behind the hallway door. Which means it's a real PITA to walk halfway through the house and lug this thing back to the studio use it, and put it back.

So I keep a small step stool in the studio. It's a small price to pay for convenience.

Example Two:

Probably every household has a measuring tape and many have painters tape. You can usually find them in the tool chest. Usually those are in the basement or in the garage or some other place in the house. I have them there too. But I also have some that live IN my sewing studio. Because it's a lot more efficient to have a set in the studio than run all over the house. Besides, a sixteen foot measuring tape is more appropriate for a sewing studio than a thirty foot one normally sold in hardware stores. And mine is a lot lighter to carry.

Example Three:

I didn't show you on the tour, but I have three wastebaskets in the studio, each of them at arm's length from each of the stations where I work - the cutting table, the sewing machine or the small cutting table.  Why?  Years ago I read a book on organization that suggested there be a wastebasket in every room in the house. The rationale was that it would keep the house cleaner. This works in the sewing studio as well, with a wastebasket within arm's reach. The key point is, I don't have to move to get to one of them.

It's the same with the spray bottle and the measuring cup full of water in the studio. They are always there, always ready. I don't have to do run around the house to chase them down.

I  may have some good ideas that work for me. But every one of us is different. Don't just slavishly follow my organizational ideas. Figure out how you work, and adapt your workspace and your tools  accordingly.

One final thought... When I'm done working, I put my tools away. Every. Single. Time. Sure, I leave fabric strewn about, but my tools are my bread and butter, and if I can't find them when I want to work, it's just a waste of energy. So when I'm done sewing for the night, I put the rotary cutter back in the drawer, hang the templates where they belong, empty and unplug the iron and put the pin tin back in the cabinet. 

***BTW, the grey thread I use is Presencia 60 wt cotton thread, color # 352. It is a 3 ply 100% mercerized Egyptian cotton. I buy a cone of 4882 yards.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

I've been wanting to make a red and white quilt for a table cover for a few months now. I can't decide what pattern to make, so I haven't made one. 

At any rate, I thought it was close to Valentine's Day, and I wanted a red quilt on the table. Then I thought. "Lynne, you silly! Use the Red Sticks quilt."

So I pulled it off the couch put it on the table.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Black & Whites

I am partial to black and white. These will be a Slashed Squares quilt.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Studio

Every time I post a picture of my studio somebody asks a question or wants to see more. So I made a special blog page devoted to a complete and fairly detailed studio tour.

You can find it here.

There is also a permanent link under the header, above.  Leave comments if you like, and ask questions if there's something you want to know.

**I updated the page with a few new items last night!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Order Has Been Restored

I cleaned the studio. I even vacuumed.

It had reached the state known as "Critical Mess."

 Before I could clean, scraps had to be organized.

 My little scrap bins are near to overflowing. I think there are a couple more really scrappy quilts in my not-too-distant future.

 Now I can go into the studio and breathe!

 I can show off some of the special things that live in my studio. First, a bowl made by Julie's husband Larry Sefton. I love that this one is sewn together along a crack. This has everything I like, the asymmetry, the color, the raw edge, and the stitching. It's a unique piece.

This is another bowl from Larry. It sits near my sewing machine and collects pins. I love it.  Can you tell I am a bowl freak?

Here are the sock kitties, Monty & Millie.

Here's the inspiration wall above my ironing table. Perhaps you can find the note my son left me that inspired the engraving on the back of my iPad.