Archive for the ‘self reflection’ Category


29.3 More progress on the Star Struck Quilt

January 13, 2013

Slow & steady is how we win the race. Every weekend I have done something that has a little bit of progress.

Last weekend was sewing the back & basting.

basting star struck on floor

Last weekend I also started the black echo quilting lines. Three echoes, and then going back through and stitching the ditch (huh, I think I did that backwards)

And the middle of the black stars are left unquilted.

black echo stitching lines

Thursday I worked up a tracing of the quilting for the multicolored stars and drew the design on paper several times.

quilting design traced on paper

This built in its own backtracks into the design just fine, but keeps the design within the center of the stars. This could have worked for the black stars too if I had come up with it before all the echo stitching.

quilting completed light block highlight

And it works fantastically on a quilt. The multicolored thread I put in both the bobbin and the back as the original black thread was showing too much.

This was the first time I had used king tut brand thread, and I don’t know if it was my machine, my needle, my constant tension problems, but I didn’t like it half as much as aurifil. If only I could find these large spools of variegated thread in colors I adore & would use!  I need to start looking for some, I had several broken threads.

As you can see I stitched the lines by hands, no rulers templates or walking feet. I recently downloaded a craftsy class about template quilting, and after watching the first 10 minutes, I thought it was a nifty idea, but I had the problem of having a darning (quilting) foot that is not symmetrically surrounding the needle.

Maybe later in the class there is something about how to transfer all the longarm stuff to domestic machines.  Maybe. If not, I have the class for “way in the future”. The straight lines of the template rulers really appeal to me.

I remember there was a category “tools of the trade” at last year’s MQS show which the quilts had to be made with rulers or other tools on the long arm or they wouldn’t qualify for that category.

Now I can visualize how that’s done.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the baby quilt as it stands now. Patiently waiting for the ends to be cut off and the binding sewn on.

quilting completed on star struck whole quilt

The binding is picked out and I just may get that sewn & pressed later tonight.

And here’s one more picture of the quilt a little more close up.  I need to take down all my overhead lights and clean them, my house seems very dark if I don’t have external lights going on, and this is proving weird color sheens on my quilts.

quilting completed light and dark

The secondary hourglass patches will not be extra quilted except for their stitch in the ditch.

I need to start up talking to my cousin and see if she’s still interested. If lucky, I can get this finished by next weekend or so, only a month and a half late.

Otherwise this quilt could really find a place to stay here ….



Update on the previous post about decisions to make

And for people reading my blog in ‘real time’, who saw and responded (or thought to) to my last post about my decisions.

I know I am overthinking things too much. If you know me, you know this should not surprise you.  I have sent a couple of emails to people, and no I haven’t yet replied on my own post in the comment section myself.

I did worry a few people with the ‘tone’ of my last post. And this is a true tone. I have been obsessing over something that I shouldn’t be obsessing over for almost 2 months now.  And I do always feel better when I write out what’s bothering me.

Nonnie suggested that I try to blog positively from now on, and I may take her advice to the next level and start my own journal.  Since I do a lot of my thinking while writing out things, this may be a better way to express my doubts instead of putting them all out there for you.

However, this doesn’t mean that a journal will “make everything better” or that I won’t take things too personally in the future as I did in this case.

I am trying to take steps to figure out how to handle things that bother me, and boy do I do the wrong thing about that most times. But I have made a couple of changes already in the last week that I hope will help my frustrations at least temporarily.  And I wouldn’t have made those changes if I hadn’t posted about how I needed to make decisions.

And I want to learn how to make even more changes to help me out. It gets scary to see that I face the same demons that I faced several years ago in terms of fear over the podcast.  I have to battle within myself over something that 3 different bosses have told me is holding me back (maybe 4, I forget). So maybe like most people, I don’t really WANT to change.  And if so I have to figure out how to be OK with that.

I do need to make small changes, small experiments, and see how things go. I still need to think about the direction, duration, schedule, and type of quilting podcast I want to make.

People seem to keep telling me that they like the “just talking part” of podcasts, and for me, those are the longest & least thought out, most rambly, and unstructured parts of my own podcast.  The topic part, yes I probably do go on and on, but I do cut the topics off WAY before I cut off my own quilty rambly thoughts.

Honestly … I find myself scared / angry / frustrated / nervous to lean towards doing a podcast with “only the home sewing front part” that everyone seems to crave.

And then, I worry too much about that whole thing all over again.

So perhaps a compromise is in order, sometimes topic, sometimes just talking???? This is a thought anyway.

Which is why I am sitting down and trying to make the decisions before I record again.

And I still plan to “March-A-Long” in March, doing 15 minutes every day quilting during the month of March, I still plan to podcast the March A Long weekly like last year, I still plan to highlight others who are marching along with me.

So if nothing gets decided between now & then, we’ll at least have that to look forward to. 😉

Well, I’ll keep thinking, and you keep sending me good thoughts. And I’ll try to be better at mirroring those good thoughts back.


29.2 Making some Decisions

January 10, 2013

It’s the new year and many many people are posting their goals, their choice to not work on goals, their projects for the year, the BOMs they’re signing up for, etc …..

Everything this time of year renewal, reinvigorate, re-energized, ready to go.

Me, I’m not so ready right now.

I think I need to step back and make some decisions. Perhaps it’s also time for me to plan too.

Decide what I want to do from here on.


Of course, I will quilt. I am not quitting that. And I will show pictures of my quilts. This I like, it inspires me, and I hope it makes you happy too.

But, I think there may be some other decisions about my time that I have to make. Mainly about my podcast.

I share the following decisions with you to outline my thought process. This is mostly brain-dump type of decisions done in a brainstorming sort of way. Nothing is required of you the reader at this time except to sit and observe where I am at at this time.

  • Where do I want to take the podcast this year?
  • How do I motivate myself to “stay on schedule”with it?
  • If I enjoy doing it so much, why is it taking me so long to work on one single episode?
  • Why can’t I ‘suddenly switch topics’ once I have started thinking about one topic to podcast about?
  • Why do I periodically “stop” podcasting at times?
  • Is there something deeper going on that is keeping me from talking to you?
  • Can I even stand to be on the internets when people can chose to like me, not like me, people can chose to consistently promote other podcasts over my podcasts?
  • Is it actually ‘doing anyone any good’ for me to spend all this time and effort and worry about not being good or getting things about a topic that doesn’t seem to completely interest people?
  • Does it help anyone to hear my opinion on things?
  • Do I butt into too many other conversations with my own opinions and that has turned people off of me?
  • Or have I fallen into the same as many people’s podcast of: this is what I’m working on this week/month cycle? Do I even want to do a podcast if that’s what I am working on?
  • Should I go back to thinking about highlighting other people’s science-y topics?
  • Should I even worry or think about any of this?
  • Am I letting fear stop me?
  • Why can I show all about all my quilts all the time, but when I also produce and create a podcast, why does it seem that much more personal to me if people don’t like it? Both are art forms of different kinds, so why can’t I mirror how I feel about my quilts with how I feel about my podcast?
  • Should I go back to reading blogs again to “keep up with everyone”? Cuz I rarely know what’s going on otherwise.
  • Deep down: why do I actually podcast? Is it for the reasons spelled out in my first posts / on my about page?  Is it truly about helping people or is it just an ‘attention seeking device’ that I’ve been using for a long time?
  • Do I care more for ‘the community’ of podcasting than actually producing episodes?
  • Will I be able to stay a part of the community if I fail to regularly podcast?
  • What do I want to do with / show people that come to my blog? What do I want them to do?
  • Should I reorganize some of my posts into ‘tutorials’ since they are pretty much that way anyway?
  • Should I break off the personal stuff all together and explicitly only do ‘topics’ on my podcasts to help them seem less personal to me, and therefore easier for me to handle when people don’t like my podcast?
  • Why do I keep thinking that if people don’t like my work (my podcast) then they don’t like ME? And how can I take steps to separate my podcast from “me”?
  • Can I be satisfied with being the 16th out of 16 quilting podcasts? Do I need to be “in the top 5” all the time? Top 10?
  • What do I hope to gain with podcasting? If I reach that goal, can I be happy with it even if my podcast isn’t mentioned?
  • If I podcasted regularly, would I end up doing more for my podcast than anything?  Would it help or hurt?
  • Would I be able to come up with adequate topics if I started podcasting more regularly?  Or would it lead to burnout / wear me out?
  • Is the sound of my voice “THAT BAD” that people don’t like my podcast because of it? If so, can I change my speech patterns? Should I work on my diction more? (Siri doesn’t like my voice, this I know for sure)
  • Are the breathing noises “THAT BAD” that is what people don’t like in my podcast?
  • How can I move away from sounding like Eeyore in every podcast? “woah is me … no one likes me anyway” … is this what people don’t like? … the rambling? the moving away from topics and sometimes not finishing them? If so, how do I prevent doing this?

27.3 SeamedUP Lament and Mystery Quilt Fabric Pick

September 15, 2012

Yes, I’ve been silent lately.

Another wave of anxiety has taken over the last week and a half, complicated by the loss of the SeamedUP website, which happened last weekend, so suddenly that it sort of put me into mourning.


A site that I spent some time on, put some effort into (okay most efforts were for my own selfish end), has disappeared.

And now with the suggested Threadbias site, which is pretty new, I don’t know if I can trust that after getting all my projects into that site that it will stay up and running or will that site go down as well?  I’m enjoying seeing all the SeamedUP people pop in over to Threadbias and following people I know. Maybe my Threadbias hesitation is the lack of cultivated relationship that I felt with the SeamedUP girls over the last few years?

Still, SeamedUP leaving was yet another notch of instability, during a time when I am already feeling more instability than I have for a while, and tipping the carefully balanced mood over to the “dark side” for several days this week.  I guess it was just some bad timing on my part.

I did spend some time composing a goodbye letter to the SeamedUP ladies, who I hope all are also getting over their own grieving processes as well.  A loss of something is still a loss, a loss of hope, trust, effort, & time.  And yes, its just a silly website, but still. A loss as well.  I knew how desperately hard Brye, Allison & Jenny were working on the site, how much the site was draining their lives away, so in a way I feel happy for them as well.


By friday I started finally feeling better, started getting back out of the mental loops that play around in the head, that do nothing to further yourself. I could actually “feel” the chemical imbalance, feeling that “something’s not right”, or at least I imagined I could feel the chemicals lowering & raising, in any event.  I’ve learned a few things about mood and the levels of hormones that flood or drain when different moods are engaged, and it’s been interesting and sorta helpful to think of it as an imbalance on my part as well.

Goodbye SeamedUp. Will miss you, but forever hold you in my heart.


So why did I sit down to write this fantastically ‘early fall’ morning? To ask if I’m crazy about my mystery quilt fabric pick.

The mystery quilt will be a 6 hour workshop with some precutting & presewing required before the middle of October.

The quilt is named Gemini Sky.

I think I’ve finally picked out the following fabrics for my quilt.

Do these fabrics go together?  The light one on the far left, the dark one on the far right, and the medium toned one on the middle-right. Those I know go together. For sure.

But the fantastic focus fabric that is “medium/large print” that must contrast with all the fabrics (well all the fabrics are supposed to contrast according to the fabric choice rules, but they all do contrast very well), does the focus fabric actually fit?

I know it’s a different style of line than the rest of the fabrics, and there actually is no deep dark blue the same as the fabric on the right, but there is some deep dark purple and black hidden in the focus fabric.  And I was hoping that the pink light flower print of the deep dark blue fabric would mimic the pinks that dominate the focus fabric.

Right now I DO think they go, but I am making sure that I’m not insane for thinking so.  Am I seeing things because I “want to” see them or are these fabrics actually a match? Would they match better if I threw light green as the light fabric?

Is there enough balance between the blues & purples in the focus fabric and the rest of the blues & purples?  The squares I have to cut at first are HST’s that end up 3 & a half finished.

Ah, an idea sprung as I was typing this post.

Maybe I should import these fabrics into EQ and then use them to play around with quilt designs and I can see if I like the combinations there or not.

Sometimes just the process of writing decisions down help the process of gelling through what to do to take the next step. So thanks.

And if you have any opinions about the fabric choices, please let me know, but also realize I have the right not to agree with the suggestions & opinions (as always), but I still appreciate them (as always)!


27.0 Pause

August 16, 2012

Please be a little understanding if I am pausing a little longer than normal here.

For my own security & safety I have to go back to moderating each comment left on this blog from this point on.  I hope you all understand.  I cannot say more than that at this time.

Hopefully soon I can show you the embroidery I did for one of my guild-mates and fully flush out a 2 year old quilt idea that was re sparked last weekend.

I am going to try to throw myself into quilting to get over some tough feelings right now.

If I find it helps, I may come back & blog & podcast more aggressively instead of less, but currently I am feeling like I really need even more of a pause than I’ve been doing.

Take care, and if you haven’t seen elsewhere, here’s a quick mosaic of a short adventure I had last weekend. The full photos are on my flickr photostream.

I only wish the sky would have been blue-er, and the balloons gave me more time in between balloons to get detailed pictures of each balloon.  But very pretty as a set too!


21.1 I have to say NO

November 29, 2011

As much as I want to say yes to new projects, I have to get to work more on my exothermic quilt for my bed.

I have been saying ‘yes’ to lots of things that I like to do, which in turn makes me say ‘no’ to getting a quilt on the bed.

The 12 year old comforter that I have yet to replace is now doing this:

Another title for this post: Why binding is so important.

Disgraceful!  Absolutely.  You should all throw me out of the ‘quilting club’ for this.

Not that I really cared for that comforter anyway, wasn’t one I picked out and after 12 years (5 years of winter only useage) I think I’ve gotten my use out of it.

So to say Yes to the replacement quilt, I have to say NO to the other quilts & projects.

Even though I wanted to help with the triangle swap that Nonnie has me thinking about. Maybe I’ll find a way to keep with that. And to finish the table runner I discussed the quilting design for on Sunday.



20.8 SQ Episode 033 – Back in Time

November 20, 2011

Podcast Feed

Do you want to go back in time?

Have things changed for you since you started quilting?

Have you changed some of your preferences in quilting since you started?
When leaving a project for a period of time, and coming back to it, how do you know what to leave alone, and what needs to be fixed?

Have you ever been stubborn & defended the original vision or original technique that was learned, even when you see something bigger & better or even easier?

My first & only machine – Molly.  What if I went back in time and never got her?

Or if I never got my iPod?  How would my life be different without these simple things?

You ever had a positive experience when waiting a long time between starting & ending a project?

Creatively, have you ever ripped out & started over or given up something from a long time ago?

What about the new experiences you’ve had that may color your quilts better today than before?

Have your quilts grown and changed along with you?

Quilting can provide a good framework for low & high risk of involvement, something to go back & time, to be connected with the past, ladies with different opportunities than I have.

We can connect with good times, bad times and all times of people of the past using quilting – something that has been around for several decades.

Going back in time to learn about the past.

It’s been 2 years since I started the podcast & blog.

No giveaway – still working on the last one from a month and a half ago.  Whoops!

Backing fabric is done (pieced), 505 spray is located, batting has been found that is the right size.


from Mevio’s Music Alley



20.6 SQ Episode 032 – Optical Illusions

November 6, 2011

Podcast Feed

Optical (visual) illusions come when your brain interprets something you see that you actually don’t see.

Optical Illusions come in many forms

Line (& Shape) Illusions

Lines appear bulged or squished depending on lines around it.

Op-Art Quilts book on Amazon

Op Art on Wikipedia

This looks like the op art quilts in the book but is not exactly:

Orchid Kaleidoscope

Image from flickr by andy02124 (creative commons)

The Cafe Wall Illusion

Image from Wikipedia

Herring Illusion

Image from wikipedia

Herring Illusion variation

There are squares set on point that have concentric circles that make the squares seem squished

The Bulging Checkerboard (see below)

Kaleidoscope quilt variations (this one does not show circles, but is Kaleidoscope quilt

kaleidoscope Quilt

Image from flickr by heidielliot(creative commons)

Storm at Sea

Storm At Sea

Image from flickr by The Last Cookie

Dimensional Illusions

Due to colors/ value lines, two dimensional objects appear in three dimensions

2D –> 3D

Vasarely Budapest Déli pályaudvar

Tumbling block and varations

Shadow box quilt

Movement Illusions

Due to highly dense & colored designs, the designs appear to move on you.

Revolving CirclesImage from Wikipedia

A dizzying optical illusion quilt that you won’t be disappointed to see, but watch, made me dizzy to look at.

Rotating Snake Illusion (very moving, if you’re epileptic, be aware before clicking)

Fraser Spiral

Image from wikipedia

Actually moving illusion that induces an interesting afterimage effect (don’t go if epileptic)

Illusion of Inclusion

Your brain completes the picture, it finishes things up that are not there.

Kansia Triangle

Image from wikipedia

Ambiguous Objects

Duck and Rabbit

Two Faces & Vase

Image from wikipedia

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

1997 Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Image from flickr by PeggyinMaine

Paradoxical Drawings

These objects are impossible … very impossible.

Penrose Triangle

Image from Wikipedia

MC Escher stairs

Penrose stairs

This hilarious video of these penrose stairs. Video is called Hallucii.  You’ll see why when you click.

Secondary Patterns

Patterns come up that are not expected – from very simple blocks

The Neutral Stars Block

The simple three strip block that doesn’t look like much on its own.

More about the Bulging Checkerboard

Jane’s wonderful optical illusion quilt has stuck in my mind over the last year, when I would see it on her blog, I remember thinking, wow, what a quilt.

She has graciously agreed to let me share pictures of it with you.

Jane has named her quilt False Impressions, the website of this effect is called bulging checkerboard.

The effect is simply amazing, but the execution of it looks like squares on larger squares.  The hardest part would appear to be keeping everything separate and in line.

Here is a detail shot.  It would be easy to do with big enough blocks, the effect is much greater when standing back.

Do you see why it’s a bulging checkerboard?

Jane has discussed this quilt in several different posts, and in the latest post has talked even more about optical illusions for quilt ideas.

Wow, this quilt, I would be really proud of Jane.

Jane calls herself a quilter geek, and this is a great example of this.

Other Optical Quilts

3D Tetris Quilt by Quilter Geek

My Tumbling Block Table Runner

My Opic by Ruthann from Mirkwood Designs (link from SeamedUp, tell me if it’s broken)

Who is known as the Optical Illusion Quilter?

Karen Combs (facebook page)

Optical Illusion Quilts on amazon

Optical Illusion quilts at the Online Quilt Museum

Further Links

Links to the Wikipedia site on Optical Illusions & Geometrical Optical Illusions.

Whole site of Illusions at Visual Phenomena & Optical Illusions

I did not discuss color constancy, which is a whole other ball of wax that tricks your brain into thinking about the colors based on the other colors around it.

Additional music

Mevios Music Alley: Get Myself Together by The Tones