Last year, Michelle Wilke, did a series of postcard quilts. I really loved the idea of a small project to test out a design idea, or just to play around to see what works. The smaller scale is less intimidating and you don’t feel like you’ve wasted too much time or fabric if you end up not liking it.

I tried this technique out this month with a quilt idea. I’ve been wanting to do a red and white quilt and had this idea of off-center, 45 degree-angles stripes.

Red and White quilt doodle, by Jenn Rodriguez

I learned that I’ll need to figure out the math for making the strip sets wide enough. Angling them at 45 degrees takes away quite a bit of width. I also need to work on the proportion of the solid backgrounds on the top and bottom of the quilt.


This & That – January 2018 Edition

We went to the Iowa Quilt Museum this month to see the Feed Sack exhibit. I was excited to see this as it features some works from “Feed Sacks”, an Uppercase Encyclopedia, written by Linzee Kull McCray. The volunteers at the museum are always friendly and I love how they engaged my kids, pointing out things that might interest them. At the end we each voted for our favorite quilt.

For Christmas, my boys “gave” me a Moleskin notebook. (I really bought it, but they wrapped it and put a card on it.) This year I want to track my reading more. Last year, I had a few books that I really enjoyed but at the end of the year couldn’t remember the titles. I mostly borrow books from my library and found out that I can’t go into my account and view my borrowing history. Bummer! In January I read 4 books, “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn being my favorite one.

I found these illustrations of untranslatable words by Anjana Iyer so much fun. If you’ve studied any foreign languages, there’s always those words that you can’t quite translate, but their meaning is so profound/moving that you end up using that word even when you’re speaking in your native tongue.

I’m excited that Janine Vangool has announced her next four encyclopedia’s themes. One of them is quilting! I may try to submit some of my own work.

I’m taking a short break from my Cog and Wheel project to:

  • Help my boys make pillows
  • Finish up a color wheel mini quilt
  • Prep my fabric for a reverse applique pillow
  • Start on a Michael Miller challenge (probably wall-hanging) quilt

It should only be a week break to refresh my attention a little bit.

Embrace the Pace

I started Denyse Schmidt’s Cog + Wheel quilt over the Christmas holiday. So far I have 20 of 25 cogs finished. It’s been a while since I’ve done a circular quilt – takes more patience as I need to pin a lot and sew slower to match up seams. So, I’m trying to enjoy the slower pace. Here are some of my favorite:

Cog + Wheel, pattern by Denyse Schmidt, pieced by Jenn Rodriguez

This is meant to be a scrappy quilt, so I’m trying not to spend too much time debating which fabrics go together. The results have been surprising: some blocks are bright, some muted, some spring-like and others don’t have enough contrast. I’m looking forward to adding the background color to see how it all comes together.

This & That – December Edition

I’ve been knitting lately and am on my 2nd Boyfriend Hat from Purl Soho. My youngest claimed the first one I completed, so now I’m making myself one.

I’ve come across some good crafting articles lately through Abby Glassenberg’s (While She Naps) weekly mailing. The first is how knitting  helped Emily Wessel develop grit (and, adding my own comment, developing the patience to see a project through to the end.) Good motivation for my current project, Denyse Schmidt’s Cogs and Wheels. The other article is by Jasika Nicole on how our beliefs, ethnicity, backgrounds influence our craft.

I’ve decided not to do a 2018 goals worksheet and reuse my one from last year. I wasn’t very focused this past year and only got a few things checked off:

So I’m starting off 2018 with Denyse Schmidt’s Cogs and Wheelswhich has been on my to-make list for several years now. I’m going scrappy. The last week, I’ve focused on cutting out the pieces. There’s only 1 square piece so it’s time intensive cutting all the curved pieces. Then I realized the off white I have for my background is only 3.5 yards. I want to make a queen size and the instructions call for 6 yards. So I went back to my stash and decided to go scrappy with a portion of the background fabric…

Cogs and Wheels pattern by Denyse Schmidt

I think it will work! (And I need to get better lighting in my sewing space – between the gloomy cold and snowy weather and being in the basement, this picture does not do the colors justice.)

This & That – May Edition

I finished listening to S-Town podcast this month. I listened to it during my walks this past month. I was sad at the end of my 30 minutes to stop such a fascinating and gripping story. It’s a good reminder that all of us have a story, struggle through the hard or mundane aspects of life and strive for something better.

For my work lunches I’ve been alternating between this Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad and this Spring Veggie Tabbouleh with Green Harissa. So satisfying right now.

Read this article on Apartment Therapy about the ugliest color. It’s a greenish brown-gray. Makes me feel kind of sad for it and wonder if you pair it with a peach or pink, maybe it would be pretty. (Or at least compliment the colors).

I visited the Iowa Quilt Museum this month. The exhibit is Quilts of Valor. I especially enjoyed the antique quilts.

Antique quilt at the Iowa Quilt Museum, Quilts of Valor exhibit 2017 Antique quilt at the Iowa Quilt Museum, Quilts of Valor exhibit 2017