Author Archives: joanspatches

About joanspatches

I love being creative with my sewing and quilting

Spiderwebs

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Most mornings we drive to the local park to walk before I go to work. A few days ago we enjoyed the spiderwebs gleaming in the sun. We’ve seen the webs before, but not every morning. The angle of the sun, the moisture in the air, and I don’t know what other factors affect what we see on the fences. Hard to photograph too. I’ve included a few.2015-08-22 07.16.372015-08-22 07.15.352015-08-22 07.09.07 2015-08-22 07.10.17 2015-08-22 07.09.41 2015-08-22 07.10.52

Hanging on a wall in our house is a spider web quilt I made in 1996 in a class taught by Rose Hahn. Very different from the real ones in nature, but what a fun class with a creative teacher!

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Mindfulness

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I read A New Vision in Quilt Making by Mark Lipinski in the August/September 2015 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. The subtitle summarizes: “Slow down and reconnect with your creativity.” Mark’s “Slow Stitching Movement” fits right in with the mindfulness and single-tasking that I have been embracing. Mark describes his practice of slow stitching and it really appeals to me. Here’s a quote: “Stitching with intent will help you trust your creative instincts and learning through practice, how to be in touch with all your senses, emotions, and the creative muse.” Taking time and effort to create can be really fulfilling, just as slow-food can be really satisfying. I think I will be doing this more, this mindful stitching, putting aside distractions and concentrating on the work at hand–enjoying the process. And then I’ll balance that with the quick projects that give me the satisfaction of getting something done!

Ties to the Past, Updated

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I finally finished the quilt and pillow sham for my aunt. I had rearranged some of the blocks in a top I found in my grandmother’s stash. A friend, Dawn Cynamon, did a great job quilting it on her longarm. I applied the binding completely by machine. Now it’s delivered and fits her bed just the way she wanted. Aunt Dot is very happy!
You might notice an interesting treatment on the corner at the foot of the bed. That corner fell to the floor and then some, creating a trip hazard. We folded the corner up and pinned it with a no longer used breast pin from her collection. She thinks it makes a nice finishing touch. So do I!

Standing tall

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I am visiting my daughter and her family in Santa Cruz. They recently moved from London back to the U.S. Today we visited the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. There I saw the tallest biggest trees ever! Here is a photo of my  seven-year old (nearly eight!) granddaughter standing in front of the huge tree that we went inside. Yes, we were standing inside this tree. My daughter showed me how to take this panoramic view–sure couldn’t fit the tree in a regular photo! 

Looking forward to having fun with family this week!

 

Ties to the past

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My quilting project this week had me reminiscing about my grandmother who did a lot of clothing and quilt making. I remember visiting when I was small and every time the button tin fell on the floor and I had to pick all the buttons up! Later she showed me how to hook rugs with wool strips she had dyed and cut from old clothing. She also braided rugs and made baskets and trays from the long pine needles she gathered in Florida.

 I used a quilt top from her stash of unfinished projects and reworked it to fit my aunt’s bed. There were enough blocks left to make a pillow sham. 



The bow tie blocks were all hand pieced and machine stitched together, probably on her little featherweight. That’s the only machine I remember she had. It’s now living at my house! 

Lots of memories in those fabrics too–I recognize many of them from clothing we used to wear.

The quilt top, sham and backing are all ready now to be quilted. I could do it myself but there are so many other projects I want to work on so I will have one of my friends quilt it on her longarm machine.

My first video!

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Gil, my sweet husband, and I have been working on a video to show how I made those great mitered corners on the baby quilt a few posts ago. It’s titled “Mitered Borders Made Easy With School Glue”. He learned how to use his camera to make the videos. I learned how to use “Movie Maker” to edit the videos and add narration.

Tonight I published it to YouTube! Take a look and tell me what you think!

I also changed the name on my blog address so everything matches up. Makes it feel a bit more orderly. It may have messed up links but I suppose it can all be repaired. By the way, I have invited Order into my life this year. I hope she visits regularly!

Ethel

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Ethel, that’s my mother’s mother’s name. I am privileged to have my grandmother’s well-loved treadle sewing machine. Her serial number was issued in 1910 so she’s over 100 years old. I used to sew on her when I was in high school, about 50 years ago! She’s a Singer 66 back-clamper with “red eye” decals. Recently I bought an adapter so I could use side clamp feet as well.

I decided to use Ethel in making the quilt in my last post. She stitched a beautiful, even stitch. There’s a quiet rhythm to using a treadle sewing machine that’s very relaxing. There’s also the connection to my grandmother and my mother who both used this machine, and probably my aunts as well. It was a pleasant experience that I will probably repeat.

Of course, I will not neglect my modern computerized machines! I enjoy sewing on all of them.

Treadling

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Treadling

Along with collecting vintage sewing machines I like to actually use them. Recently, with encouragement from the online Quiltalong group, I made a quilt top using my grandmother’s treadle machine. This is the quilt that I showed a corner of in my last post.

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It’s an easy piece made with 6 1/2″ squares. As I stitched I learned how to control the direction and speed of the treadle. (If it goes the wrong direction the thread breaks.) What a relaxing process! The quilt center had to wait a few weeks until I stumbled across this great striped fabric for the borders. Next step is to find a backing and quilt the layers together.

Second day–getting the hang of it

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Writing a little bit seems simple enough. I need to learn about adding photos and other interesting bits.
It’s been a good day starting with church, then helping my aunt, and finally roasting a huge chicken for dinner. We will eat chicken all week!
Current quilting project is preparing a demo of mitered borders for quilt guild meeting in February. I’m looking forward to sharing my technique.