2016 Quilt Finishes

Oceans Of Blue Quilt

When I look back over this crazy year, I realize that I’ve been quite productive in my quilting efforts compared to previous years. I think it’s because I’m loving my new Juki machine!

Here are all the quilts I finished this year:

Green Cross Quilt #3
Green Cross Series #3
Green Cross Series #4
Green Cross Series #4
Earth Energy Quilt
Earth Energy Quilt
Green Gardens Quilt
Green Gardens
Oceans Of Blue Quilt
Ocean’s of Blue – Swirling Oceans Quilt Pattern
Big Hexies
POP – Big Hexie Quilt using my own fabric designs from Spoonflower
Root Chakra quilt
Root Chakra Quilt
Hexie Hummingbird Finish
Hexie Hummingbird
Manipura Quilt Front
Manipura Quilt

I hope 2017 proves to be just as productive for me. I want to follow through and do 5 more quilts based on the Chakra system to complete that as a series, finish my 2nd Hexie Hummingbird, and possibly start a new hexie project!

What are your 2017 quilt goals?

Cannabis To The Rescue!

Green Cross #3 Detail

Oh my, what a morning I’ve had… really not a fan of nausea in any sense, but waking up to it almost every day makes it a little difficult to get out of bed. Today was a doozy. I ended up smoking early, and the immediate relief I felt was so amazing – I think I may be doing the ‘wake-n-bake’ till this symptom passes. (and… no, I’m not pregnant – for all those with that question 😉 )

Green Cross Series #4
Green Cross Series #4

I don’t write about this awesome weed much… but it is a huge part of my day to day life. So – I figure this is a good topic for the #31 Day Blog Challenge I’m taking part in. With cannabis, I avoid all meds for depression, anxiety, nausea, and insomnia – it also helped me quit cigarettes, meth, and alcohol.  It’s the only pain medication I can take that doesn’t make my liver hurt – I just can’t say enough good things about it!

Green Cross Series #2
Green Cross Series #2

Last year when Cannabis was legalized for recreational use, I made special quilts to celebrate – the first was a large quilt: The Green Cross Quilt, then I made (4) smaller quilts in a series. Even though I’d been on the medicinal plan for years, it was still a big deal. It legitimizes me and so many people I know. It feels great not to have to hide who I am in public, and that is fantastic!

Cannabis QuiltIt’s not like I need to have a pipe in my mouth at all times… in fact, I use concentrated oils where each dose lasts a long time, so I don’t feel it interferes with my lifestyle in any way. It also helps me relax and enjoy whatever project I’m currently working on – fantastic for hand-stitching!

I know it’s not for everyone, but it works for me, and I am so absolutely thrilled it’s becoming legal in more and more states. Have you ever tried Cannabis? What was your experience?

Green Cross #3 Detail


Making Use Of Time

My Spoonflower Fabric

With extra time on our hands (our slow season in t-shirt printing!), my husband and I have been making good use of our time and have been being creative!
Fabric Printing
Hand pulled screen printed fabric

Gregg has been out in the print studio working away on hand-printed fabric! It all starts with coming up with some imagery. For this run, he printed the words: “the shortest distance between two points of view is love”,  an arrow between the words “you” and “me”, and a bunch of little hearts.

Messy Lightbox
Messy Lightbox
Ink Table
Ink table

Here is a screen with a bunch of little hearts on it… and some pink ink – I’ve talked about the process of screen printing here before with a little more detail here. Printing fabric is a difficult thing and takes a lot of time due to the limited area coverage of our screens.

Pink Hearts Screen
little pink hearts screen

He ended up with some really fun fabrics… what do you think? I’m ready to use them in some quilts already – but, Gregg said he’s been thinking of trying his hand at the sewing machine, and that he would like to try to make a quilt using his own printed fabrics!! Wouldn’t that be neat? I’m trying to be as encouraging as I can 🙂

Hand printed fabric
hand pulled screen printed fabric by Gregg Weiss
Hand printed fabric
hand pulled screen printed fabric


hand pulled screen printed fabric
While Gregg has been busy in the print studio, I’ve been busy myself – I’ve started two new quilts! One is going to be another hexagon quilt – this time bigger hexies that I can sew on the machine and try my Y-seam skills! The fun part of this project is I get to use my own fabrics!!
My Spoonflower Fabric
Fabric designs by me!!
Last year I designed a line of fabrics on Spoonflower and had a bunch of samples made. I used the samples to make my 3.75″ hexies, and that left about an inch scrap of each fabric… so I stitched them all up for a block for the back of the quilt, and LOVED how they all look together!!
I have set it all aside to start another project.
The newest project on my wall is a commissioned quilt for someone who recently lost a loved one. I had planned to do an improv quilt, but as I started putting fabrics together, a star emerged and I wanted to give it a good home.
Star on design board
magenta star
So I got onto Illustrator and created a new design and then spent a day going through my fabrics for more greens. Green is the requested colorway for this quilt- I like to have a color choice and a size in mind before moving forward with a design. Then I go through my fabric stash to see what I have… and change my design accordingly. For this one, I only needed to buy one more yard of the main green fabric to make the design work, and that also will be enough for the binding.
Quilt Map
quilt = math & planning
For the lighter green background, I decided to use my scraps and cut a bunch of 3.5″ squares – the dark green, white and grey I’m keeping as solids to hold the aesthetic of the design. As soon as I got my squares lined up on my design wall, I was ready to sew!
After sewing a few squares together, I realized I needed to study the layout a bit more so I could work the solid color strips to line up correctly to give it the plaid or woven look I’m going for. Learning curve! It’s kind of like a puzzle – and I’m really enjoying the process.
On Design Wall
Squares on design wall
One of the coolest things to happen last week was having one of the Green Cross Series Quilts in the Wisconsin Journal! It is currently hanging at a show in Madison, and was featured in the entertainment section of the paper. For me, it’s such a thrill! I grew up in Minnesota, and am very familiar with the intolerance of cannabis in those states… so to have a quilt with a big ole pot leaf stitched into it featured in the paper is just mind-blowing!

Green Cross #3 in Wisconsin State Journal
Green Cross #3 in Wisconsin State Journal
Green Cross Series #3 pictured in Wisconsin State Journal
… and look at the company my quilt is with – WOW! I wish I could have seen the show myself, the quilts I’ve seen in photos are amazing. Kudos to my friend Wendy Franczak for organizing the show Quilt Making: A Modern Practice currently on display at the Gallery At Traux, Madison College until February 19th. It is pretty wonderful to be a part of such a great show so far away, and I’m very appreciative.

Behind Schedule…

Cannabis Leaf Quilting

You know how sometimes, when you set goals for yourself, and then something happens that pushes back your timeline… ? Yeah… that’s happening to me right now.

I’d figure I’d share since I’m sure this is something we all struggle with.

I’m excited to be working on a few quilts to enter into QuiltCon – it will be the first time I’ve submitted to that show and I’m working hard to finish three quilts to enter. Although, at this point, it might just be two…

Part of my excuse are my teeth. I won’t go into detail (because it’s all so lame and I’m sick of this story) but I have to have some removed so I can live (relatively) pain free again. Dental pain gets you in the head and makes it so you have a hard time thinking straight or expressing yourself, and so I’ve been making all sorts of bad decisions – even in quilting… and it’s dragging out the time necessary to finish my quilts. Uggghh.

In fact, I’ve been working on a series of smaller Green Cross quilts (about 40″x40″) because a few people have requested them… and the first small quilt I made, I made so many bad decisions, I ended up having to pull most of the quilting out and start over… however, I AM enjoying the process of sewing similar improvisational quilts. Look how different these two look:

Green Cross Series #1
Green Cross Series #1
Green Cross Series #2
Green Cross Series #3

… and yes, they both have a leaf quilted into them… just not so obvious.

Cannabis Leaf Quilting
Free Motion Quilting on Juki 2010 – Cannabis Leaf

I plan on two more small Green Cross quilts to add to this series, and I plan to make them all a bit different. Should be interesting 🙂 But I won’t be able to get to those till January probably…

I had another finish last week: a pair of pajama pants for my husband.

pj Pants

I think they came out pretty good – they are a little big on him, but with an elastic waistband, it really doesn’t matter. I used a pair of pants he wears already to try to pattern from. I made a few mistakes, but in the end it all worked out. He loves them. He picked out the fabric when he came to pick me up at Fabric Depot one day… I think he’s found a new affinity towards kitties lately 😉

So now I’m back to work. I have work work to do today – it IS Monday after all. But I’m hoping to get to some quilting this evening, and depending on what I can get done today will determine how many quilts I enter to QuiltCon. Wish me speedy sewing skills 🙂

Welcoming The Grey

Green Cross Pieicng

After a very long and dry summer, we are fully in fall mode with drizzly rain and grey days. I’m happy for all the plants in our yard that were so dry… even after regular waterings. Now they are all starting to turn green again, along with the grass – so pretty, but all under grey, gloomy skies.

Being that I love being dry, I am truly enjoying my new Juki machine! I have been sewing almost everyday since I got it – and I love, love, LOVE it!! I’ve been working on a couple more ‘Green Cross’ quilts, smaller than my first one they are averaging about 40″ square. I have a couple requests, and I know a few cannabis retailers that may want something like this to hang in their stores, so I’ve started a series of 4 smaller cannabis quilts! I’m having a lot of fun with this project.

Green Cross Pieicng
small modern cross in my new Green Cross quilt series

For the green fabrics, I’m choosing shades that represent Portland or the Northwest somehow… at least in my head. Someone else may read it as something entirely different! I’m using the Modern Cross pattern for blocks that Susan Beal wrote about in her book Modern Log Cabin Quilting. Then I’m improving the rest of the quilt top. They are turning out very well. I have 2 out of 4 tops completed, and am starting to get antsy to work with a different idea altogether, but I’ll follow through on these first.

There is some other exciting news in my little quilt world… my daughter has started making her very first quilt!!! Some mom’s are lucky and have creative kids. My daughter grew up wanting to run and play… the last thing she ever wanted to do was craft with mom! I had stockpiled boxes of craft projects that I bought for her when she was younger, and had to give them all away – totally unused. So you can imagine my excitement when she told me she wants to make a quilt for her friend who is about to have a baby!

She is going nice and simple, with fun fabrics that she picked out. Here it is cut and ready to sew – up on the design wall:

Zihna quilt on Wall
Zihna’s first quilt project

I think she did great picking out fun, contrasting colors and patterns for a baby boy. She even plans to free-motion-quilt it too! We get along great, as long as I don’t tell her what to do… so  it will be an interesting few hours of working together in my sewing room 😉

What are you working on this weekend? Feel free to post links in the comments – I love seeing work in progress!

Endless Summer

With the heat wave we have been experiencing here in Portland, it makes it seem like forever since we’ve seen rain… today there are clouds in the sky, and I am thankful! A little rain would be pretty sweet about now too.
Boy, it seems like an endless summer.

With summer comes our busiest time in our screen printing business. I’ve been doing a lot of design work and not much sewing – but we all need the work to pay the bills -and buy the fabric, so I’m definitely not complaining! I just don’t have as much sewing to share.

Doesn’t really help that I’ve been working on a small quilt for a Game of Thrones themed quilt challenge... and I can’t really post that just yet. I’m going a little nuts sitting on this one. I think it’s turning out fantastic, and I’m dying to post it! Hopefully I can share in the next month or so.

I did get a much better photo of my Green Cross Quilt:

Green Cross Quilt by Gail Weiss – to commemorate the legalization of cannabis in Oregon.

I’m entering it for the PMQG showcase at the Northwest Quilting Expo – I hope it makes the cut! I’m really loving how this quilt turned out… specifically in the small white crosses. My longarm friends will understand:  the channel lock on the longarm was not working in that direction, so those straight lines in the white crosses are all free-hand!! I also hand-quilted everything in the green cross section except the leaf itself.

Now I’m off to do a little more sewing today before the work starts again tomorrow.
How are you spending your Sunday?

Green Cross Quilt Finish!

Woo Hoo! Just finished stitching on the binding to the Green Cross Quilt I’ve been working on – so now I’ll be able to bring it to the PMQG meeting tonight!

Green Cross Quilt Front
Green Cross Quilt Back

Okay… so I am totally in love with this quilt… and it’s more than the fact there is a cannabis leaf quilted into it – there is just something about it. Maybe it’s the wool batting I used. It’s so light and fluffy and feels so good. I think it’s a great size too at 58″ x 78″, long enough to cover my toes!

Cannabis Leaf Quilting

I hand quilted the straight lines in the green cross, leaving a little space between that and the machine quilting to make the leaf pop out a little.

YAY! I’m pretty excited to show this one, and very interested in the response by my guild mates to the motif I’ve chosen. Conversation needs to start somewhere, and what better way than with a comforting quilt…?

I Love This!

Cannabis Quilting

I love everything about this.
Beginning July 1, 2015, it will be legal to use cannabis recreationally in Oregon.
I currently have a medical card, but it’s still very exciting – even historical!

I began making a quilt at the fall PMQG retreat last October with every intention of quilting a big ole cannabis leaf on it. I’m calling it the Green Cross Quilt… and I’m loving it so far!

It’s not finished yet, but I was able to use a long arm machine at Just Quilting earlier today to do this quilting. There is a bit more to do, and then the binding – but I should finish it just in time to commemorate the big occasion. The results of this quilting adventure is making me so happy! I keep petting the quilt…

Green Cross Quilt on the longarm

Cannabis helps me sleep, and helps with my nausea… and changes my perspective a bit when I start to become negative. Yes, it can make me sleepy sometimes, but that’s about the worst side effect I’ve had. It also helped me kick a few addictions that were truly bad for me.

Beyond medicinal and recreational use, hemp is a fast-growing natural resource for paper, clothing and fuel. In fact, Americans used to be able to pay their taxes in hemp! more…

Obviously I am pro-plant. How about you?

small cross – free motion quilting


Piecing A Quilt Back

Sometimes I think there is something wrong with me… I can’t seem to just use a large piece of fabric for my quilt backs.  Why?  Because I always have left-over scraps from the front, that I just don’t want to use for something else – I’m usually ‘done’ with certain fabrics after using them in a quilt.

bits for Green Cross Quilt Back

Of course, using scraps to piece a back ALWAYS takes me longer than making the front! It becomes an improv piece as I never know exactly how these pieces will take shape.

I feel very gratified for using up all my scraps – if something is too small for the back I cut it into 1.5″ squares for my hexies… and even smaller pieces are now saved for pet beds.

piecing the back – on the design wall

The best part is ending up with a two-sided quilt! One side planned, the other improv – using the same fabrics. To me, it’s really neat to see the same fabrics used so differently. Unfortunately, I won’t have the Green Cross Quilt finished for the PMQG meeting tomorrow… but I will be bringing the Jellyfish!

Jellyfish Hexie Quilt Close-up

I love sharing my quilts with my guild – everyone is so supportive, even after seeing pictures and hearing about it all the time since last year! I was just telling a friend recently how I never used to finish anything. Finishing a big project like this is so fulfilling to me – and says a lot about how far I’ve come in my life. I’m so happy to share it with such amazingly creative people!

Time To Sew

Since I recently finished the Jellyfish Hexie Quilt, I am super excited to finish up some other quilts I’ve started.

I just pulled out my Green Cross Quilt top that I made at the PMQG Retreat in October – it’s way past time to get a back made and get it over to Nancy’s so I can quilt it up on her longarm!

So I have it up on my design board while figuring out how to piece all the scraps from the front into the back. I came into my sewing area today to find this:

I was like: “what is that lump under the quilt?”

…Oh! It’s just a kitty lump!
He has his little catnip ball next to the heat register, and he really doesn’t want to leave, so I’ll let him have his spot – at least for a little while 😉

A Quilty Retreat

I was lucky to be able to attend a fantastic retreat this last weekend put on by the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. It was awesome. I want to go again as soon as they organize another one!!

I’ve never done a retreat before on any level, so it was an experience in many ways. The only thing that was tough was the bed I slept on, but even that wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The best thing about it was being able to focus on a project for a long period of time… without cooking, laundry, cleaning or any other thing I usually do on the weekend. Because of the time I had to work, I was able to create a design and complete a quilt top:

It’s called Green Cross and I’m excited to quilt it up once I get a backing done for it. I designed it using Susan Beal’s Modern Log Cabin pattern for the cross blocks. It’s basically just 4 rounds on a log cabin block and put together so it looks like crosses. Next to it is a quilt top by Amy Redfield Morinville. As quilt tops were finished, we hung them like this from the balcony.

The retreat was at this great space out on the Columbia Gorge. It was high up on a hill so the views were spectacular.

Photo by Kelly Cole

Equally amazing were some of the quilts that people were working on! This top was done by Heather Joy – and looked phenomenal:

Tracie was working on this one:
And here is Kelly’s Medallion Quilt… amazing:
Here is a shot from the second story balcony looking into our workspace
and here’s the room I was sharing with Brittany, Michelle, and Emily (what fun!)
The weekend was full of sewing, fun, beauty and laughter – all the best things, right? It was pretty awesome to meet and get to know some new people from our guild too! Thanks PMQG board members for putting this all together… could not have been better!