AHIQ Linkup

A quick post jammed into a very busy week. This month’s improv work was the “Strings” score from Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, as I try to follow the quiltalong on the Facebook Page.

Here is the finished piece. I wrote about process here.


LInking up with AHIQ this morning, and I’ll be spending some time looking at everyone’s links later today. There is sure to be a lot to see!

Have a great weekend,



Sunday Walk 2/21/16 – Helen Putnam Park

Sunday Walks in My Part of the World

Other bloggers share photographs of their places on earth and I always enjoy seeing where people are and what physical surroundings might influence them and their work. We are blessed to live in a beautiful place, and I want to share.

For almost a year now, my husband and I have made a practice of taking a hike each Sunday morning. We drive somewhere, near or far, and take a picnic lunch. Then we hike a few miles. Then we find a nice spot to eat our picnic, sometimes in our folding camp chairs, or at a handy picnic table, or even in the car, if it is cold (which it has been lately, sometimes, along the coast). This year, we are exploring the Sonoma County Regional Parks. We have lived in Sonoma County since we met in 1971, and are finding new places we’ve never visited before. This morning took us to Helen Putnam Park near Petaluma, where we lived when we were first married, and when the babies were born. It was a glorious day, and we were treated with beautiful views and a lovely walk.DSC00389 DSC00402 DSC00397 DSC00382 DSC00385 DSC00378

Made on Monday 12 – Time to Unwind

Posting early this week, as we are heading up to Lake Tahoe tomorrow with my mother, to see the snow. We don’t play in it any more (kids are up there snowboarding and snow-shoeing now), but we like to see it once in awhile. There was a big storm late last week, and the mountains and lake should be at their peak of perfect  beauty.

Time to Unwind is another exercise in “faux tucking’, this time using a 2mm twin needle in a freehand spiral design. It is very subtle, and was not easy to photograph, but I could see using this technique to create a larger piece, or combination of pieces. #12 Time to Unwind

This is my 12th piece, which means I will get my own “artist page” on the Made On Monday site. Be sure to check it out!

References I’m using for my project include Ruth Singer’s Fabric Manipulation: 150 Creative Sewing Techniques, and The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Collette Wolff.

Happy Monday!

Kente Cloth – A Score for Strings


For some time now I have been fascinated by Kente cloth from Africa. Kente originates in Ghana, and legend there says it was first made when two brothers on a hunting trip came upon a spider spinning her web; after watching her for two days, they returned to their village and wove cloth inspired by what they had seen. It is a ceremonial cloth that is woven from strips of cloth, into intricate patterns, and in all colors. Each color and pattern has its own attributes and connotations. It is called the cloth of Kings. Here are a few examples:

dsc_1555 2t-1409 2Kente_Cloth_multi_6001

So I thought, Hmmm, cloth woven from strips of cloth, I could do that! And I made a couple of pieces based on that notion. These two were made in a traditional quilting mode, and involved plenty of measuring, exact cutting and piecing, matching of corners, etc. One was made using only striped fabrics to enhance the “cloth woven from strips of cloth” effect.


The second was made using some stripes and other fabrics from my “sort of ethnic” stash,

4557b702ed012bf52a8853ee631fbc26 and was used as part of a larger (as yet unfinished) piece I was working on called “Giraffes in the Moonlight”. (Apologies for poor photo quality.)

Giraffes in the moonlight 2

As I began my score for Strings as part of the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters sew-along, I thought again of the Kente cloth, and how much I like sewing and slicing and dicing many fabrics into one fabric. Could I make something that replicated this “cloth woven from cloth” in an improv style, using the string sheets from that score?

Curating the Fabrics

I chose the bold, saturated colors first, as I always do. Here is the first pull, but after I took this photo, I added some other darks…with red and black patterning. You’ll see them later.IMG_1670

In order to make three “related but distinct” string sheets, as per the instructions in the Improv Handbook, I elected to keep the color-way the same, but vary the value in each set, and also vary the predominant color. So I chose two more sets of colors for the strips, one set of medium value, and a third of light value.IMG_1675 IMG_1707

I pieced the medium set first. I liked this one a lot, but was unsure how it would play with the others. The lighter colors went together last, and made a very large sheet, about 2 feet wide by 8 feet long. It is pretty, in a pastel sort of way, but I quickly decided was discordant with my strings score. It has gone into the bag of “made fabric” for another day.

Then, I made two small panels using the intense colors. Here they are undergoing quality control inspection.IMG_1696 They passed the inspection, at which point I cross-cut them into very narrow strips, and recombined them into three narrow panels, about 10″ x 24″ or so. IMG_1700The more I considered these panels, the more I liked them. One commenter on the Improv Handbook FB page suggested leaving them as individual panels, but because of their small size, I was worried about losing too much “real estate” to the seams required for finishing. So, I stitched them together to make one piece. It preserved the woven effect that I had been aiming for (see “Inspiration” above) better than leaving them separate, and much better than any attempts I made to combine them with the other string sets. In finishing, I decided to leave the edges slightly wavy as they were naturally, and did not square it up, as that also would have interrupted the patterns. I used a pillowcase finish to attach the batting and backing and quilted with orange cotton thread that followed the slightly wavy vertical lines of the piecing.








Here is the finished piece, which I will be linking up with AHIQ when the time comes. The color in these last few pictures of the finish is different, due to the fact we’ve gone from brilliant blue skies and temps in the 70s to cold and rainy since I took the first set. The earlier ones are more accurate.


Finished quilt measures about 25 x 23.


Made on Monday 11 – QST

Well, it turns out last week’s wasn’t the absolute “last of the tucks” but we are moving on to a different technique for making “faux tucks” – using a twin needle. In this case, a 4mm twin needle was used to make parallel faux tucks, which were then cut into quarter square triangles and reassembled to form the pattern. #11 QST

The Made On Monday site is live here. Be sure to check it out!

References I’m using for my project include Ruth Singer’s Fabric Manipulation: 150 Creative Sewing Techniques, and The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Collette Wolff.

Happy Monday!

Made on Monday 10 – Tangled Web and an Announcement!

This Monday, here is another set of tucks in kona cotton, stitched with the Singer Tuck Marker, of equal depth but randomly spaced, then folded and sculpted and hand-stitched down, with bundles of perle cotton and copper thread woven into the channels in between. This will probably be the last of the tucks for awhile, because I’m feeling a bit tuck(er)ed out and thinking about moving on to different techniques!#10 Tangled Web

Meanwhile, the Made on Monday group got this message from Kate Bridger last week:

Greetings All! I am delighted to announce that the Made On Monday is now up and running featuring 3 artist pages: Kate Bridger, LeAnn Oman and Emma Siedle-Collins. http://katebridger.wix.com/madeonmonday New pages will be published as other members of the MoM group reach their 12-piece target, so be sure to visit and re-visit the site regularly.

The site looks great and it is fun to see what the others are doing all in one place. And, I’m excited, as I’m now only two pieces away from the magic dozen!

References I’m using for my project include Ruth Singer’s Fabric Manipulation: 150 Creative Sewing Techniques, and The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Collette Wolff.

Noises Off! – Act III

I finally decided how to move along with the Floating Squares score (see Big Noise). After more than three weeks of

  • dithering about the density and saturation of my colors,
  • thinking about adding some ‘negative space’ fabric
  • considering many suggestions from folks here and on the Improv Quilters FB page,

l finally made a decision to honor my original intention, sort of. I actually like the mashup of intense prints all together, but I still felt some open air was needed in the piece. My original choice for this was too dark and muddy. I found this piece of fabric that I thought worked a lot better. IMG_1639It is a mixed up collage of slightly yellowed newsprint from French newspapers, which appear to deal with theater reviews of a time gone by. Names like Sarah Bernhardt and Mme. Modjeska appear here and there. It is almost a floating squares score in itself. Rather than use it to equalize my large units internally, I used it around the edges, in the wings, as it were. I had twenty large units to start with, but only used sixteen of them in the end keeping the overall piece at about 45″ x 60″ in size.

Satisfactions: I stuck to my guns, and never once picked up my ruler. My freehand cutting and piecing is getting technically better. I managed to piece together all these differently-shaped pieces and keep the overall piece fairly flat–which the photo doesn’t demonstrate…I only had one place where I could hang it and photograph it, in the garage, and the mise en scene and stage-lighting are not ideal. Dissatisfaction: I wasted way too long over-thinking it. Surprise: I still like it now it’s done. Discovery: I had a nice big piece of made fabric left over, the discarded row, and have already started doing something else with it! Stay tuned.IMG_1643

Now it goes in the quilting queue. After it is quilted, I will bring it back out for a curtain call!