Archive for the ‘self reflection’ Category


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


20.0 Strip Sorting Surprise

September 27, 2011

Wow, first this is my 200th post.  Whoopie!

All 200 have been written by me, some in haste, many with either deep contemplation & formatting, or just putting up pictures of things I’m working on.  This is one of the latter.

I’ve learned lately that posting the best picture first shows up well in feedly, facebook, even though it doesn’t feel like a linear regression (or is it progression?) of what I’m working on in terms of my time.

But then again, my work may be better described as quantum regression – jumping into & out of projects so fast without any regard to the timeline that I started, so quantum regression – err progression – err whatever it is – for the pictures.

So I was sorting & cutting scraps to put into baggies to sort them out, and I created these two mini quilts as a result.

The red & white “mini quilt” is a leftover from my 2nd quilt I ever pieced (which is still not quilted by the way).

The red fabric was the 1st fabric I ever bought from a bona-fide quilt store, and one that I still absolutely love.

The mini quilt on the right is the leftover pieces (not the 16 pieced blocks I have somewhere in my UFOs) of the jewel toned strip twist blocks that started off some of the swapping fun I’ve had lately (which reminds me to get to the post office TOMORROW (or the next day)).

I had several leftover strips and I piano keyed/checkerboarded this mini quilt together, because I like the high contrast between the white & jewel tones.

Both quilts need some kind of border, even small ones – OR large ones(?).



In honor of my 200th post, would anyone want me to quilt these up & give them away as a ‘giveaway’ as a thank you for readers of my blog?

If you’re game for this, post a comment on the bottom of my post (this post) and in two weeks, lets say the 14th I’ll draw a name.

If you have a preference on either of these mini quilts, please say in the comments & I’ll honor your wishes.

I will border these, FMQ them (try out some design from my book), bind them & send out one or both quilts – depending on the response.

If you just want to comment to say hi, and don’t want to participate in the giveaway, let me know that too.

If no one is interested, then I get to keep them both & put them above my door or on the front of my sewing room.

Size w/o borders are: 6.5 x 23 and 8.5 x 25.

You might even call them table runners.

Other Progress

Progress picture of the living room floor.  If you can stand looking at the mess, this is my living room at one point when organizing my scraps.

As you can see I use two fabric bins from wally world to store the scraps, and I favor the ‘plastic bag system.  Scraps are usually cut into strip sizes & placed in color bags.

And if your mind is blown away by disorganization and needs a little more order, here’s what else I’m working on:

These are my dark / light leaders & enders that go onto my journey steps quilt, for the middles of the three sections.  Each of these will finish at one inch in size.

It’s the first time I’ve really utilized (well) leaders & enders by having them all prepped ahead of time.  But then I tend to sew down more strips to make more leaders & enders.  Which is good & very cyclical in nature.

Also working (slowly) on optical illusion podcast (I need to e-mail back someone from 2 weeks ago) but also waiting for a book I saw from Ruthann on SeamedUP.

Original reference I have is ‘okay’, but nothing that exciting or easy to get what I need from it.  Hoping that Optical Art Quilt book will be more dynamic!

Okay, get to commenting and/or experimenting!


18.1 Close

August 11, 2011

Sunday I recorded an episode, but hadn’t edited/tweaked it.

I listened to it monday, rerecorded a section, didn’t finish.

I listened to it tuesday, rerecorded a different section, didn’t finish.  Went to Quilt Guild.  Didn’t sleep much.

Wednesday, I had a few final tweaks that I was excited to do before heading to work – knowing exactly how my vision was going to be realized.

Then I left work on Wednesday feeling very upset.  One of ‘those days.’ No energy.

Today Thursday, still tired, no energy, have plans this afternoon/evening. Probably no sleep much tonight.

I am looking forward to tonight to help me pull myself back to where I was on Tuesday/Wednesday am.  Very happy, feeling good, laughing.  But to do so means more lack of sleep.

Don’t anticipate energy Friday.  We’ll see.


Shucks.  I was this close to a ‘weekly podcast’.  This close.  Soon.  Soon.


17.7 Reality Check

July 24, 2011

I wrote an e-mail to Nonnie about my podcasting experience through a survey she had sent out on Big Tent.

When it got to the editing section, boy did I really analyze the use of my time on podcasts.

I will not bore, err, scare, err intimidate, err enlighten you with the lengthy list of things that I do for a podcast, unless requested.

The good news is that other podcasters don’t spend anywhere near the time that I do, and so if you’re ever holding back with podcasting because of what I say, just know that I am NOT the norm.

Just know that if you’re a slow poke, perfectionist that tends to say the wrong words, stutter, trip over your own tongue, puts together (sometimes) lengthy blog posts, and wants to discuss a topic that has to be researched, that you’ll likely have the same frustration experience as I do.

Overall it was a good reality check.

… in other news …

My computer was being a pain this morning so I got to sewing… two days in a row.

This weekend:

Pinwheels for me.

Pinwheels for others (some of them).

Rulers on the wall. (yes first time hanging them)

Exothermic something (the orange and yellow quilt) flags, sewing the blocks together – finally.

Center of the Disappearing 4 patch sewn together.

Reality check on D4P:

This disappearing four patch is meant as a practice piece, but I don’t know if it’s useful at this size.  Will not tend to hang on the wall, but already took apart and tried the technique.  Will see if this will work as a lap quilt with borders.

And I worked on both the harlequin quilt top in EQ7 (which gave me my current blog background), and the Exothermic quilt borders.

Reality check on Exothermic:

I spent a TON of time looking at the borders, which were meant to be a solution for using the leftover bits from making the blocks.  The blocks I was left with was:

Well the black isn’t in the block yet, so I had to work out the size the block would be first.

But the direction of the strips limited my initial exothermic quilt design a bit. the strips I thought would be more going along the bias instead of jutting out like this.  Which means something different to the design symmetry of the piece.

I came up with what I feel is a reasonable solution:

I think I finally got the black and silver border to be the correct width to give the blocks outside the correct height / width.  That took me a long time.

Not so sold on the corner squares in the absolute outer edge, but I am waiting to see if I love this layout or not.  Hard to gauge without going through the trouble of putting in all my fabrics.


16.5 How Standing Out from the Crowd is Hard

June 19, 2011

In any creative field, it is easy to get swept up in ‘the latest trend’.

For quilters, the latest fabric collection, the latest block setting style, the latest gadgets.

This applies to all fields of creativity.

Depending on your goals, you may find yourself with two different approaches.

If your goal is to be right there in the middle of it all, to either sell your idea, sell your product, give value to other people, you have to know what other people want from you.

To be marketable, you have to be in the trend, or just in front of the trend, doing projects that other people like.

This puts you right smack dab in the middle, you have a popular blog, etsy shop, twitter account, facebook site, etc.

People look to you for advice, because they know you’re going to advise them in ways that they desire.

You may find comfort in knowing that other people are trusting you, and that you, in turn, are trusting other people.  Comfort in numbers.

You build a community.  Within that community, you belong somewhere.

You find a connection with others going this route, and in this, there is peace.

If your goal is to be unique, different, put your own spin on things, do things the way you want to, you’re much more likely to stop paying attention to the trends.

Perhaps you want to display something interesting that no one else has ever thought of before, a technique, a concept, a thought pattern.

You skew the materials in ways you see that other people haven’t seen.  You use certain colors together in a different way.  You bring topics together that are traditionally thought of as opposite.

People don’t always know how to react to this.  They wonder if they like it or not.  They wonder if they are on the same wavelength as you.

They may or may not comment, they may or may not tweet, share, discuss what you have to say or do.

Others may just not be ‘so sure’ about you or your product.  They appreciate that you were able to accomplish something you desired, but then, know in their hearts, they ‘just don’t understand’ or think, ‘that’s nice – not what I would do, but that’s nice’.

Sometimes, when choosing the second path, the unique path, you may find a yearning that you don’t expect.

Sometimes, you stand back and want to yell to the world “Hey, look at me!  See what I can do!  See how I think!  Talk about me to your friends!  All I want to do is fit in, and be a part of something.”

And sometimes you walk away with good comments, thing people do go out and say “hey, thanks for sharing that idea, it really got me thinking differently”.

Or sometimes you feel the satisfaction of ‘doing it your way’ regardless of what other people do say and think.  I did this thing, and it is mine, and I made my own trail into the world that has never been tried in this way before.

Sometimes the need for solitude wins out over the need for the community.  And sometimes it’s the other way around.

A quote heard recently on a podcast (Poly Cast) spoken by Leonard Nemoy from the Civilization IV video game series:

“The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about”.

And there are days when I completely understand that quote.


15.0 Meditation

April 6, 2011


Do any of you know meditation techniques?  I have been struggling with many issues on a personal level and I am tired of people saying “just don’t take it personally”, or “you’re too uptight” or “your too perfectionistic”, and “just don’t get so worked up over the little things”.

I “KNOW” all this, but I don’t know how to FIX any of these things.

Things I have tried that have had small successes, but are gone after I am done with the activity:

  • looking at old pictures of family members and of when I was a kid
  • squeezing onto a cherished stuffed animal
  • music (listening and singing)
  • laying down and taking extra naps
  • looking at pictures of flowers from a trip to the gardens last summer
  • soft stretches to relieve the tension in my neck
  • printing off some ‘assurances’ and taping them to my wall right in front of me
  • sewing
  • shopping for fabric

Since I have such smart friends, I sincerely ask for your help.

So, what do you all know about meditation?  Deep breathing?

How do you replace negative voices?

What kinds of “slow and steady” type of exercise do you recommend?

How do you go to sleep and stay asleep the whole night?

The reasons sewing doesn’t help as much as it normally does:

  • with my problem(s?) of the blocks I sent in to the latest swap didn’t exactly line up, not sure if the blocks are going to come back unswapped or not at this point
  • do not have time to fix said blocks before the deadline
  • worried that the next swap blocks are not going to measure out okay and everything is all cut already for them after sewing the strips together
  • it’s been a week after the swap ended with the Quiltcast Supergroup and I only have received one set of swap blocks so far
  • I can’t yet start the machine quilting on my sunflower quilt due to space constraints and perler beads
  • don’t want to embroider currently, no hand quilting to work on, not ready to start something new

One other thing that has been also on my mind:

  • I haven’t put out a podcast in a long time and in the foreseeable future, I am not sure what time I will be able to have to do this in the next couple of weeks, and I never got good enough for the 15 minute podcast technique to be able to fit it in to the weekday.

14.9 A few thoughts on the current trends in quilting

April 4, 2011

I have seemed to hit some nerves lately, just by highlighting a post (or two) about the state of the current trends in quilting.

I hope you all noticed that I didn’t formulate my opinion directly, as I am still sorta chewing on it.

Here are a few of my thoughts so far.


I do know that I wasn’t angered by the post as much as several people were.  I never saw the post as an ‘attack from the quilt police’.

Photo by tradica on flickr

On one hand, it’s the simple, stylish, fast, easy projects that get done.  The precuts are popular for a reason.  They work.

I would sincerely like others to feel the fun of a challenge, but – hey, guess what?  –  Others don’t always find that fun.  It’s not fun to stall out on something that seems too daunting.

And it tends to be those ‘dear jane – mutliple steps, processes, complicated, overly thought out quilts’ that languish in the UFO piles.

Case in point: My Spectra quilt idea, My DNA quilt idea, My Mario Quilt idea

All of which are challenging, not impossible, take a little bit of time to figure and to create, and most of them are stalled at the very beginning stages of the process.

I have seen many, many, many square quilts that I have liked, that I have favorited on flickr.

Boxes are OK, you can do great things with simple blocks set in interesting ways.

Sometimes even the boxes will come around and bite you in the bum. (see previous post at the bottom).


Realistically, there is nothing wrong with squares.

On the other hand, there is my own desire, to make and create.  The fun of the design, the satisfaction of a challenge well completed.

Reaching out and learning something new, trying something new, and inspiring others to try out something new.

The new things in our lives that if we stay afraid to try, we may never know the joys of a ‘job well done.’

And I sit back and I wonder, if we stay afraid, if we’ll ever branch away from our boxes quilts, ever reach out and grab the color combinations that are not popular.

I think about how if you don’t push yourself for the new things, the ‘unpopular things’, the extra things, that you don’t really ever feel like you’re fully developing your style?

And by doing the same thing that everyone else does, you lose the chance to see yourself change, the change to see yourself grow and become better.

I agree that after seeing the same “type of quilt” does get a bit boring as well.  No matter if it is squares, or half square triangles, or black and rainbows.

Too much of a good thing can really burn you out.  Too much ice cream, no matter how good, yummy, and tasty, is never good for you, if you neglect your other foods.


Trends are trends for a reason.  Someone likes them, and then others like them, and people like them.

I sincerely hope that ‘dumbing down’ didn’t mean that we’re actually dumb, because many of the ladies I meet don’t give themselves enough credit for how truly smart they are.

But that the authors were sick of seeing the same old quilts, with the same old sashing, and the same old same old.

A fear that if the more challenging techniques are never featured in magazines, that we’ll lose the desire, and possibly, the ability, to ever create the complicated, time consuming quilts that are currently not as popular.

Going back and teaching new, more complicated techniques, as the first author decided to do, is a step to make sure that won’t happen.

One more point about this thought.  I sincerely don’t think that, with all the kinds of quilters out there, that we’ll ever lose completely those techniques.

There are enough of us out there that do like the more intriguing stuff, that sometimes follow the ‘unbeaten path’, that will help to keep it going.

From my own experiences, science and math, are not popular topics to be blogging about – just starting to follow a few science blogs even makes my own head hurt, thinking about all the technical jargon that gets thrown around.

And there’s a reason that Mythbusters, over the years has dropped the ‘here comes science’ portion of the shows, and have included more ‘blowing things up’.  I do LOVE the show, but even I realize that the production values have gone up, and the science portions have gone down (not completely).

It’s what we happen to like.  I admire a show like Mythbusters to be able to grow and change as it has, but I also miss the struggles shown on tape where they’re trying to locate a pig’s stomach, and show the frustrating process of thinking methodically to be able to locate one.  But watching someone make telephone calls on television makes for boring video.

In my head this relates to the ‘dumbing down’ argument, but I am not really sure if I am connecting all the dots here either.


Forgive me if I completely misinterpreted these two articles, I purposefully did not go back and read them in the last several days just so I wouldn’t be swayed with the exact language that the original authors used.

I also sincerely hope that I did not offend anyone with posting these posts last week. I was glad to see more discussion about it.