Pulling fabrics….

I have a baby quilt that needs to be made in the next few weeks and the first step was to pull fabrics for it. Now, this process can either be my favorite part OR my LEAST favorite part of the creation!!

In this case, the colors were not ones that I would normally work with. They are muted peach colors and really stretched my fabric collection to find ones that would fit the color palette.

Earlier in the day, I had attended a virtual lecture by art quilter, Melinda Bula, and the subject of her talk was COLOR!!!

It was not the usual color talk where the speaker went on and on about analagous, complementary, and triadic colorways. Instead, she focused on the feelings that color evoke and encouraged us to go with those feelings when we are selecting fabrics….to TRUST OUR INSTINCTS!!!

She shared this advertisement from Mercedes Benz…..

It is supposed to be saying that a Mercedes will appeal to ANYbody, but what I really love are the descriptions of our brains….

LEFT BRAIN.. I am the left brain. I am a scientist. A mathemetician. I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear. Analytical. Strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistsic. I calculate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am.

RIGHT BRAIN…. I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.

The point of this discussion was that we choose color palettes because of our brain, and she encouraged all of us left brain people to find a right brain creative friend to help stretch us. AND, all of us right brain people to find a left brain person to help rein us in a bit!!

But now I have gotten off subject!!

One of the best things that I learned from her was to always audition fabric on a white background, because the colors will interact with the colors that they are touching….even my purple cutting mat!! She encouraged us to get rid of as many peripherial colors as we can because seeing even a small amount of red out of the corner of your eye will change the way the colors look to you. Interesting!!!

I decided to put this idea into practice with my current fabric pull. I pulled one set of fabrics and looked at them on a white background and on my cutting mat……

Part of these differences are because of lighting but you can still see that the fabrics on the mat look paler and more washed out because they are set against the dark purple.

After I pulled these fabrics, I decided to add a bit of green to them. It was fun to look thru my stacks of green, all the while intoning “green with a leaning to peach”, and I was amazed at the fabrics that fit that description!!!

The final pull looks like this….

I am starting to get excited to work on this sweet project!!!

365 in a Row

I am happy to announce that today marks my 365th post in a row…

…one year without missing a day!!!!

This time last year, when we were spending most of our time at home avoiding COVID, I made a decision to start my side-business…”Frances Quilts”.

The first step was to boost my online presence by providing daily, interesting (hopefully) content.

The second step was to get the website developed. I worked with the app “Elementor” to design the web pages. It was fairly easy to use and the site took shape quickly!!

Next, I needed another way to connect with readers and my Instagram and Youtube accounts were opened. I admit that I haven’t explored much on Instagram but have simply been posting daily photos. But, I have really enjoyed making and sharing videos about various quilting exploits on Youtube!!

Finally, as EVERY expert that I listened to said, I needed to develop a mailing list!! That led to the free pattern “Crumbs for the Geese”…..

If you haven’t already signed up, you can do it HERE, AND get the free pattern!!

And THAT led to the development of MOVE IT….a free-motion quilting boot camp!! To date, 98 people have signed up for the course and they are moving right along with their free-motion quilting expertise!! If you would like to join this 10-week course, you can sign up HERE.

Also during this year, I have participated in one mystery quilt…..

…..one free-motion quilting challenge……

I am in the middle of a color block challenge with Patterns by Jen…..

…..and an international block exchange thru Make Modern Magazine…..

On top of this, I have started and finished SO many projects!!!!

And the best part of this list is that I got to share it with my readers. You guys are the ones that make this whole thing worthwhile!!!

So, please keep reading and emailing, and interacting….it always brightens my day!!!

More of the Cohort

We have been very fortunate to have Dylan as our guide for this trip.   He is so knowledgeable about the area, the animals, birds, insects, and trees.   And, he is happy to share this information as we go along.

It was not unusual for him to come to a screaming stop so that I could photograph something of interest.  My favorite of these stops was for the birds….and there were many!!

My last post was about three of these birds, but now it is time to visit the others!!!

On the last morning that we were in camp, we drove out to the floodplain area again and the first bird that we saw was this African Fish Eagle……

It was interesting to see the deep maroon feathers on his breast.

Next, we came across a White-Backed Vulture sunning itself in a tree……

I love the regal nature of his pose!!!

This bird is the Burchell’s Coucal……

…and this little one is the Common Bee Eater….

He sat on the branch and sang to us the entire time that I was photographing!!!

Dylan took the camera and photographed this hornbill sitting in the tree behind me……

Also seen was this Little Egret…..

…and this Woolly Necked Stork…..

These are just the birds that I was able to photograph!!! We saw many others that will just remain as images in our minds!!!

In December of each year, Zambeze Delta Safaris has a birding week and it sure is tempting to plan another trip!!!

Lessons learned in the pumpkin patch

I am still trying to catch up on the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge from Patterns by Jen.

The block for June is the amazing Pumpkin.

With the other inspirations, I have used the actual fruit or vegetable, but it was IMPOSSIBLE to find a pumpkin in mid-June!! The Produce manager in my favorite store looked incredulous that I was even asking!!!

So, instead of comparing the fabrics to the colors on hand, I just went from memory and quickly picked out two orange fabrics…..one darker and one slightly lighter. In retrospect, I wish that there had been a bit more contrast but, hey……the block is finished!!!

As with most of these challenge blocks, the cutting sizes were very specific, including several that were cut to a 1/8th inch measurement. Needless to say, I was VERY careful with my cutting!!

…..there are two other triangles that didn’t make the photo!!!

First, I was to make 8 flying-geese blocks using the “no waste” method. I had read about this technique but had never used it so I had to follow the instructions carefully.

The first step was to draw a diagonal line on the back of the 8 smaller squares and then place them on opposite corners of the larger square and then sew 1/4-inch on either side of the line…….

The next step was to “pre-iron” the triangles before I cut them apart…..

This helps to set the seams and keeps the bias stitching straighter.

Then I cut the piece along the drawn line…..

I pressed the triangles out, leaving this weird looking shape…..

Next, add another square to the open corner and sew along each side of the drawn line……

Again with the “pre-iron”….

….followed by cutting on the drawn line.

The result was 8 flying geese blocks, although they were too big and needed to be cut down to size.

As I started trying to figure out how to best cut them to the correct size, I remembered my previously mentioned trick about putting markings on my ruler that will make the cutting easier.

In this case, the block was trimmed to 1.5 x 2.5. The first mark that I made was at 1.25-inch (1/2 of the 2.5 width). I then marked the 1/4 inch at the top and the lines of the flying geese as well…..

I am using a wash away pen so that I can easily clean the ruler!!

Before making the first cut, I positioned my drawn triangle on top of the pieced one….

….and made the cuts. You can see that the right hand triangle is a bit short but not by TOO much!!

For the second cut, I turned the block the other direction and just used the normal ruler lines to line it up…..

I really enjoyed making the flying geese by this technique and especially like that I am not wasting a bunch of triangles!!

I learned even more while making this block and want to show you all of it, so come back tomorrow for the big reveal of the “GREAT PUMPKIN” block!!!