Monday, July 20, 2020

Eggs and Bacon

Happy to be Scrappy

Me: Good morning
Paul (groan)
Me: Would you like some breakfast?
Paul: Do we have bacon?
Me: I don't think so.
Paul (Bigger Groan + A Whine)
Me: I can make you an egg sandwich.
Paul: Without bacon??? Why did you wake me up anyway?

How to put these together?

The smaller block needs help

Black floral + orange/yellow stripe is better than just the stripe

Matched size = Success

And so it grows!!!

Eggs without bacon is an least in Paul's opinion.
So when this cute pig ended up next to the eggs sunny side up...I decided to name the quilt - Eggs and Bacon.

Eggs and Bacon

Little did I know that the name would be prophetic...

Making a scrap vortex quilt is not a sprint. It is a marathon.  I work on it between other projects. Make a few slabs and set aside.  Every time I enjoy the memories associated with scrap fabrics from previous quilts and fabric scraps gleefully received from friends.

Color is Joy
The sleeping moon face, the ladybird and the blue sharks came from Bernie.

Can you find the two sheep?
The two tiny sheep fabric was leftover from the Garden Party backing.

Can you see the rippling?

The pink fabric with scissors and notions came from Julia and the pink-orange mini floral came from Mell.

Fussy Cut Bears :-)
 The birds on the left came from Mari.

Happy Memories
The polar bear with a scarf (Flurry by Ruby Star Society) reminds me of Quiltcon 2020 in Austin.  I scored some gorgeous fabric scraps when Ruby Star Society dismantled their booth and invited quilters to take the display fabrics. Instantly there were a dozen women rummaging through boxes of yet unreleased fabric lines.  The fabric scraps were like candy and I was like a kid on Trick & Treat spree on Halloween.

Scraps from Guild's Free Table

The cat and dog at a barbecue fabric is so  much fun. Thank you Julia.

Grey Raccoons and Multicolor Cats

The pink fish and multicolor cats came from Bernie.


Look what the wicked witch did - she made the cat turn blue :-D  You can always tell your own stories. The spinning of yarn continues even after all threads are buried :-D

Scrappy goodness
 The fruit slices were a gift from Mari and the dancing stick figures came from Sylvia.

Splash of Color

The fabric with peachy berries came from Cathy. The orange blob fabric is left over from the border for Rainy Day. The crabs are leftover from the backing of Animal House.

Cat and Crayons
The bright flip-flops and the smiling zoo animals came from Julia, I think.  Sometime I forget how I acquired certain scraps :-)

Let's talk about wool batting. No scratch that. Let me whine about wool batting.
I want to use wool batting for two major reasons
1. It is light, much lighter than cotton and cotton/blend battings.
2. It does not crease.

It has higher loft which can be good news for those of us who want better quilting definition.
It also makes for puffier quilts. No one told me that it creates a whole new problem.

The puffiness comes from multiple layers loosely held. These layers slide over each other during quilting. This is not a problem that can be fixed by basting or pinning.
Because it is not about how the batting sticks to the quilt top or to the backing. It is the fact that the batting is internally not sticking to itself.  I noticed the tucks when I made Eric's quilt.

A few suggestions to decrease that effect included
a. Increase stitch length - DONE
b. Decrease the pressure of the presser foot - DONE
c. Don't quilt too close - OK

Also it is best if the quilting lines do not cross each other. In other words, do not quilt a grid.
Rob Appell of Mansewing in his Quilt Batting Boot Camp (How to Quilt with Different Types of Batting) suggested to quilt from he center out to avoid tucks. In general we do that but I treated it like gospel.

I quilted a spiral. And it went swimmingly well.

Spiral Quilting

Backing Fabric


I had done it. It was awesome and then I tried to square it.


Red Backing, Green Binding

The quilt was warped with wavy edges. It lives up to its name - the bacon bit!!!
Bacon with ripples is sexy (ask Paul).  In a quilt - ripples are undesirable.

I choose Joy

Happily Yours

No. But wait. Quilts of Gee's Bend are rippled and un-squarish.
So I am not going to dwell upon the waves and ripples.

No, it will not win any award.
But it is bright and cheerful and will be perfect for some toddler's tummy time.  Here are a few more pictures cause you can never have enough eggs and bacon (according to Paul).

And here is a plate of Eggs and Bacon for my quilt model/photographer - a salty reward for my sweet man!!!
Eggs and Bacon for Paul

So I have soured on wool batting. I started with such lofty hopes (pun intended).

I am exploring the batting made from recycled water bottles at this time, while I ponder what to do with 30 (minus 3) yards of wool batting on a roll.

If you have any other ideas about wool batting (with the exception of hand quilting) please let me know.

I have completed my dark blue blocks for July. Here they are.

Fussy Cutting :-)

RSC 2020 Project#2

Cacti & Sparkles

Not so Dark Blue

Bright & Dark

Alphabet Soup & Midnight Sky

Picket Star Quilt Blocks for July 2020

Linking with Angela's Linky Party and all my other favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.
How do you reward (or bribe) your quilt models? I'd love to hear from you :-)

Friday, July 3, 2020

Stars of Solace

Audition Block

Ready to Piece

Just Playing with HSTs

Mom was exasperated.
Can I have just one room that is clean and uncluttered?  One room where I can seat a guest?
Is that too much to ask?

Design Wall

Two Rows = Half Done

Yay for the Flimsy!!!

Mom is an early riser and by early afternoon she needs a nap. If mom was taking a nap in the bedroom, we girls would take our toys in the drawing room and play as quietly as possible. And although we kept the noise level to a minimum the clutter and the mess was a different story.

And Finished!!!


The drawing room (formal sitting room) had to be the nicest and cleanest place. This was where the best family pictures belonged, my sister's artwork and my debating trophy was displayed with pride. The sofa and the table were wiped every day, making sure that there was no dust lurking in the crevices, that the carved wood was shiny.

Most guests never saw the rest of the house.

Star of Wonder

Star Bright

Star Light

Star Shine

Star Mine

I feel like that is America to the rest of the world.  The outsiders only see the drawing room. In fact, many Americans would rather not focus on any other part except the face they show to the world - human rights champion, bastion of democracy, leaders in research and higher education, and the land of opportunity.

Backing & Binding

Angles and More


Christmas in July?

So Shiny

More the Merrier

And America IS all that. That is why I wanted to come here and many still do.
But once I got a glimpse of the mess and filth in other rooms, be it the treatment of the Native Americans, Japanese internment camps, or the long history of slavery and lynchings which has morphed into police brutality and mass incarceration of the Blacks, it became clear why most Americans would keep the door shut on these rooms.

Light & Shade

I love this Glass Sculpture (art or just another phallic symbol)

Sun's Embrace of the Stars

Let there be light!!!

Today these rooms of mess and filth can no longer be our private shame.  The doors have burst open. The more we try to hide these ills the more they fester.  But accepting our past and facing the truth is just the first step. I recommend Michelle Alexander's book  - The New Jim Crow - Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. It is an eye-opener.

Orange and Green Echoes

Do you see the blue lights in the background?

It was fortuitous to find this spot of dark orange flowers with dark green leaves and almost fluorescent foliage that matched perfectly with the colors of the quilt. I disregarded cars whizzing past and pedestrians trying to maintain safe distance from me as I tried to keep the shadows out of the picture.

About two years ago, we (two friends and I) went to see the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC. The National Portrait Galley was a short walk away and the portraits of the Obamas were newly unveiled. We battled the crowds and the long lines to see them.

But that was not the highlight of my day. This was.

You may want to learn more about the artist Titus Kaphar.

This young artist's work is extraordinary and incisive.  It peels back the curtain (literally and figuratively) so that we may see what lies beneath.  I am not the only one who is impressed.  Titus Kaphar's painting is the cover of Time Magazine. 

As quilters (artists) many of us want to focus on just the beauty and keep our eyes closed to the horror and filth. Kaphar's work shows how one can do both - portray the grief and loss with beauty and sensitivity.

Stars of Solace - 64" by 80"

Having a spotless past (or a home) is not the mark of greatness.  Embracing our messes is just the beginning. How we take responsibility, accept our mistakes, right the wrongs, and clean our houses (not sweep it under the carpet) is what really matters. Are we up to the task?

As I gathered the quilt and walked back to my car, I noticed the orange umbrellas, orange menu holders and green chairs on the patio of a local restaurant. It was too tempting to pass. The umbrellas, the chair and the grass - all there to match my quilt.

Orange Umbrellas Frame!!!

 And then it got even better - a blue beer truck in the background. I am downright tipsy!!!

Every color came to the party!!!

Stars of Solace will be sent to Bernie for Mercyful Quilts. I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties - see full list on the sidebar. I'd love your insights on both starry quilts and murky truths.


Angela has announced the RSC color for July - dark blue.
I was hoping for yellow and dark blue feels like a bruise...

Here are my picks

For the Picket Star Quilt Block

For RSC Project #2

 Linking with Angela's Linky Party.