New Donation Blocks

White Donation Blocks
White Donation Blocks

It seems to be taking me forever to get this quilt top finished. It isn’t done yet, but I am making slow progress. My progress is slow because I am using other bits and pieces for leaders and enders.

I need approximately 9 more blocks to make a quilt top the size I usually make them. I’ll get there.

Bats Progress

Bats without bodies
Bats without bodies

I am making progress on the bats. I don’t like this kind of piecing, because it doesn’t make sense in the way blocks are put together. In this kind of piecing the maker creates an image not a pattern. In order not to make mistakes, I had to follow the pattern closely. I wasn’t able to do a little of the piecing, get the hang of it and then zoom along.

I have to say, though, that it is interesting the way they actually look like bats once I get more piecing done.

Mom’s Mermaid

My mom is doing Inktober. Inktober is a project where everyone participating is encouraged to do a  drawing following the prompts. Inktober was created in 2009 by Mr. Jake Parker. He created it “as a challenge to improve [his] inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.” In order to participate, pick up a pen and start drawing. No special tools are required. However, if you want supplies, Mr. Parker provides a page with his favorites.

Mom's Mermaid
Mom’s Mermaid

Mom posts her drawings on to FB. I really like this one. The prompt was ‘bait’.

Also, today is mom’s birthday! Happy birthday to the best mom ever!

More Mondo Bag

Mondo Bag panels + 1 lining
Mondo Bag panels + 1 lining

After Sew Day, I sewed the panels together. They look really nice! As I said, I am glad I was able to spend so much time arranging them. I sewed some Soft & Stable to the panels, but realized I have to rip it out. The directions were a little difficult to interpret on this point. I need to sew the Soft & Stable (or other lining/batting) to the lining fabric. All of a sudden, I have a lot of projects in play. I need to get at least one finished, so I can think properly.

Bat Table Runner

Fat Quarter Shop Subscription Box
Fat Quarter Shop Subscription Box

At Sew Day the other day, Amy showed me the most recent Fat Quarter shop box to which she subscribes.

For some crazy reason, I offered to make the table runner for her – just the piecing not the quilting. I know I have plenty of projects, but Amy is such a nice person and I knew she would never get it sewed together. I thought I could do it pretty quickly and she might be able to use it this Hallowe’en.

I am interested in trying that binding bat. I have the Fons & Porter binding ruler and it is a real pain to use, as I have said. The AllPeopleQuilt video is what I have been using recently and it is much easier to understand.

Bat Tablerunner pieces cut
Bat Tablerunner pieces cut

I was able to cut out all the pieces on Sunday. The annoying thing is that some of the fabrics are directional, so I have to be careful how I cut and use them.

I started piecing the little stars and that is taking forever. Once I finish those, I should be able to speed along.

CQFA Saturday

As mentioned yesterday, I went to CQFA on Saturday as well. It was held at a different location, Needles Studio in Palo Alto, because A Work of Heart was not available. One of the reasons I went was the location. I am pretty much done with driving to San Jose on a Saturday morning after getting lost one time too many with an added dose of a Google Maps failure (Google Maps is not infallible, so have a backup plan).

Another reason I went was a number of people at the retreat asked me to go. That was odd and I hoped they weren’t going to give me a gift or something for organizing the retreat. They didn’t and I was relieved. I think, now, that they just wanted to see me.

Finally, Julie said she would come and we were able to go to lunch and catch up afterwards.

The space is great. It is partly a workspace and partly a retail space. The items available for purchase are tightly ‘curated’. There aren’t many, but they are nice.

Show and tell was great. I brought the bags I have been working on lately, the Running with Scissors Tote, the 4 Zip Organizer, and the All Rolled Up Tote. I think they were wowed by my explanations of what I did differently on the two Crafty Gemini projects. That made me feel good until someone said “oh, I could never do that”. That phrase makes me so angry. I wasn’t born knowing how to make bags. I learned. Ergh!!! I didn’t have any quilts or tops to show.

Sonja with her amazing fabric
Sonja with her amazing fabric

Sonja brought a suitcase full of fabric she has been working on for the Nancy Crow class she is taking next week. She explained a lot about how she dyed the different tones and hues. There were a number of colors I would have cheerfully taken from her.

I missed taking photos of Friend Julie‘s finishes. She is working with a Finish-a-Long group and finished 6 of her 10 projects!!! I was so happy for her. Some will be in upcoming shows.

Maureen has been working on her fabric postcards for some upcoming boutiques. She thinks that she won’t do this next year, but her stuff is great. She didn’t bring any work to show, but she passed out postcards of the upcoming boutiques.

Dolores talked about some sales she has had recently. That is pretty exciting. One piece was sold to a man from Qatar who showed up at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK!

There was a discussion of precious textiles. Bron brought a mola she found in a box of FabMo donations (she sells precious things from FabMo donations on eBay for the the group). Maureen showed Katangas from when she lived in Kenya. They were really interesting to look at and I loved hearing how they are used. Reva brought a Marsailles weave tablecloth her grandmother or great-grandmother was given upon the occasion of her wedding. It was in good shape, if a little stained. There was a note attached telling the provenance. I thought the overall design would have made a great wholecloth quilt.

I enjoyed myself, though I was getting a little antsy as the clocked ticked away as I wanted to get to Sew Day.

Sew Day Saturday

Sew Day was small and I got there late, but I did accomplish something. The Mondo Bag is looking like a project that will never die. I work on it at Sew Day in September, but I started it at Craft Night back in March! I didn’t think it had been laying around THAT long, but the blog doesn’t lie.

I arrived at Sew Day after 2pm, because I was enticed to go to CQFA first. The enticement was lunch with Julie afterwards. I didn’t have much in my bag, but the Mondo Bag project pieces and the stuff to cut out another Running with Scissors tote.

I decided to work on the Mondo Bag, so I laid it out and looked at the layout of the squares on the fusible. I rearranged and replaced some of them. Finally, I was happy. Fortunately Amy was there. She had everything including a mini iron, so I was able to fuse the squares to the interfacing.

Mondo Bag pieces on fusible and sewed
Mondo Bag pieces on fusible and sewed

When I got home, DH was watching football, so I was able to sew the squares together.

I am really glad I spent so much time arranging and rearranging the squares. I think the layout looks really good. I am not done by any stretch, but I did make progress. I am thrilled.

All Rolled Up Tote Yet Again

Some projects never die.

I told you that I finished this project back in January. According to the pattern, I did finish it. However, ever since then, I have been contemplating handles. Mostly, I have been thinking of adding handles because of the way Vanessa (Crafty Gemini) stuff the thing full of tools, notions and everything sewing imaginable in the video introducing the Organizer Club**. I just couldn’t imagine how I could carry this thing around.

I thought about handles a lot and finally, months later, had an idea. I bought some pleather and tried making handles out of that, but it just didn’t look good on the bag. I saved the strap for possible use with another project.

So, the bag sat until last weekend. Post Flying Around, I am finishing up bag projects. I talked about the 4 Zip Organizer and the Running with Scissors tote. On Sunday, I turned to this bag and decided that Sunday was the day this bag was getting handles.

All Rolled Up tote with handles
All Rolled Up tote with handles

I thought I would make really good progress on the Poolside tote I am making, but I spent most of the day slowly working on the handles for this bag.

For some reason, I am convinced that these bags need to be supported. Part of it, again, is the videos showing how much stuff can be stuffed into these bags. The other part is that I don’t want to be trying to repair bags whose handles have ripped off. Thus, you may see some similarities between the handles on this bag and the handles on the 4 Zip Organizer.

Taking good photos of these handles was a challenge. In the above photo, you can see how far they extend off the top. I made the initial strip about 80 inches long. The black & white Peony Brocade fabric acts as an enhancement, but the outside of the strap is meant to blend into the outside of the bag itself.

Adding the handles also made the bag have more of a defined round shape. I tried to install the handles so they wouldn’t interfere with the wide opening of the bag. I think I achieved that. I think, though, that the bag takes on a different shape once holding the bag by the handles.

I am still not sure how I am going to use this bag. I wrote a dissertation about that before so I won’t got into it again. I do think that I will put Wonder Clips in one of the pouches.







**N.B. The Organizer Club is still available for purchase, but this is the club that was new in 2018, so any announcement of early bird specials is no longer valid.

Kaffe Lecture: Saratoga

As you know, I have been to a Kaffe Fassett lecture before. There elements of commonality between this lecture and the last one, but it was just different enough to keep my interest. Also, I did enjoy revisiting elements of the lecture that I had heard before.

Kaffe book and fabric
Kaffe book and fabric

Kaffe is a good lecturer. He is interesting, enthusiastic and funny. I wanted to be his best friend as I sat there and listened to him speak. As part of the lecture fee, I got his latest book. I love the colors and the fabrics (of course) and somehow some of the quilts in this book speak to me. I am not particularly enamoured, in general. I don’t dislike them; I just don’t really think about them. These quilts are all medallion quilts and many of them are wonderful. I think it has to be the fabric.


First, Friend Julie and I met up at a Mediterranean restaurant. We have been going Med instead of Mexican because of some allergy issues she is having. It is great to test out some new dishes. It expands my GF horizons beyond corn tortillas.

I was pretty excited when I found out that they made their Moussaka with rice flour. I was finally able to try it after reading about it The Shell Seekers for years. It wasn’t very spicy. In a way, it was like eating a lasagna with eggplant instead of pasta. I enjoyed it immensely.

After dinner, where I stuffed myself silly, we headed over to the venue and waited in a not-too-long line. Fortunately, they were well organized and we were in the hall with our books in no time. While we waited for Kaffe, we poured over the book. We spent time looking at the photos and ooohing and aaahing. The photos, fabrics and colors are fantastic.

Kaffe Fassett Color Lecture
Kaffe Fassett Color Lecture

The lecture started late with an introduction by Brandon Mably before Kaffe came out. He talked about their journey, where they were going and a few other things.

Kaffe’s lecture started with his childhood in Nepenthe near Big Sur. It isn’t very far from here and near where Friend Julie lives. Some of his lecture was similar to the last one we attended. It was, however, different enough that I wanted more. I couldn’t have listened to him for weeks.

I really need to find a class I want to take with him. I want a class that I can’t do without him as a teacher. I am not sure he teaches that way.

Running with Scissors Tote: Finished!

The Running with Scissors tote is finally finished. This will be a gift for a friend, but I think I will make another one. I wasn’t 100% happy with the process. I think if I make another the process will go more smoothly.

I think the ByAnnie pattern was written really well. I do really need to get hold of the video that Mrs. K bought for me. I think it will tell me why I have leftover pieces. 😉

This bag has some interesting features. An add on project that comes with the bag is a pad that can be used to protect your tools from rubbing against each other when the bag is closed.

You already know that I used the center facing with thread holders on the 4 Zip Organizer. I learned about those in this pattern.

The bag also has a lot of zippers. This wasn’t much of a challenge for me since I have gotten used to dealing with zippers. In this case, however, I had to move the zipper pull from one zipper to another. That was a hassle, but it worked out in the end.

I cut the stripes wrong so the viewer doesn’t get the full effect. I want to try that again. Because of my fabric choices this bag came out a lot more Hallowe’en -y looking than I intended. I hope the giftee doesn’t mind and notices the Philip Jacobs fabric rather than the Hallowe’en look. I also need to figure out why I have extra pattern pieces. LOL!

26 Projects 2019 #9

I actually used just over 80 yards net (139 gross), then I bought a bit of fabric and am back to striving for 70 yards. I just couldn’t resist those new Ombre Metallic Confetti colors. I am around the same place I was last month.

I also realized yesterday that I am down from 26 quilt projects on the UFO list when I started this project and am now down to 7. Although it has taken me a few years, I am very pleased.

 Finished 2019 Quilt Projects

Finished 2019 Non-Quilt Projects

This category covers bags, toys, aprons and knitting as well as other non-quilt projects.

Doing Good

In Process
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or are on the design wall waiting for me to stitch. I try not to put away projects, because that will ensure I never work on them.

  • English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I have a big stack of stars ready to sew into the quilt. I am still thinking of my friend Faye whenever I work on it. She says that I have to think of this as my slow project.
  • Serendipity Lady – I plan to take this one to be framed.
  • Lobster – I finished the stitching. I plan to back it and overlock or satin stitch the edges. Even though I don’t need anymore cushions, I may turn this into a cushion.

Ready for Quilting

Nothing now

In the Quilting Process

In the Finishing Process

Nothing now

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

  1. FOTY 2018 – this has to be on the list now as I have cut a ton of squares and need to arrange and sew it together. This is next on my quilt list. I need to cut a bunch of back 2.5″ squares before I can get started.
  2. Handbag Sampler – this is still the forgotten project. It should be on the UFO list. Too bad I don’t have one. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class the time before I started writing the quilt class sampler tutorials. I found one block recently, but otherwise I actually don’t know exactly where the blocks are hiding. I have an idea and still have to crawl up in the far reaches of my fabric closet soon and see if I can find them. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. Sad.
  3. Pies and Points from 2016 Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. The last time I worked on it was when Julie and I had a playdate in April 2018. I brought this piece with me so I could cut more elements (Julie has a Sizzix). I lost my excitement about this piece shortly thereafter and still have to get it back. Thus, I had to move this to the WIPs area.
  4. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I am still stalled on this again. As one of my oldest (I am pretty sure) UFO, I put it on my blog and out into the Twitterverse and Diane suggested that I not consider this as a self portrait. I think that strategy is a great idea. I am now trying to think of a new persona for her.
  6. Black and Red quilt – This project is creeping into my mind, so it might be up for work soon. The project originally came about because of two other projects. I made a whole bunch of bias tape as part of my failed attempt at doing the Mighty Lucky Club a few years ago. Another part of the inspiration came from my class with Tina of Little Blue Cottage fame. This was going to be for a nephew, but I think it will be for one of my SILs and BILs. I have rectangles cut and some bias tape ready. My next step is to sew the bias tape to the rectangles like pickup sticks. I don’t have any photos of this, so you’ll have to use your imagination.
  7. Who Am I? – This piece is off my design. I have lost momentum, but I think that just has to do with the amount of satin stitching I am facing.

Small Projects in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • Mondo Bag – started laying out mini-charms
  • Poolside tote gift – I cut out all the pieces. Now the pieces are laying around my workroom.
  • Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Ultimate Project Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started

4 Zip Organizer Finished!

4 Zip Organizer: Finished (inside)
4 Zip Organizer: Finished (inside)

I finished the 4 Zip Organizer on Saturday after a nice long day of sewing! I am pretty excited about the recent finishes, and this one in particular because it has been hanging around for so long.

I used fabrics that went with the All Rolled Up Tote. I am trying to create a matching set of bags and totes, but I keep switching fabrics!

4 Zip Organizer: Pen/pencil holder, D-Ring
4 Zip Organizer: Pen/pencil holder, D-Ring

As you can see, my Organizer has 3 pockets and a pencil holder. The pattern talks about making 4, but I used the directions from the Classmates tote to make the pencil carrier instead. I had to add another facing to the vinyl pocket above it. Though, Vanessa’s video didn’t say to do this, I figured it out from how she explained what pieces were covering others to finish them. I had an extra zipper facing, so I was all set.

4 Zip Organizer: D-Ring in action
4 Zip Organizer: D-Ring in action

While I was taking photos, I decided to try out the D-Ring. I grabbed one of the vinyl pouches I made for the All Rolled Up tote and clipped it on to the 4 Zip Organizer. I filled it a little too much for this bag, but it will work.

I didn’t want to put any fabric pockets in this bag, but somehow the bit of vinyl I had left disappeared after the Retreat, so I made one fabric pocket. I fussy cut the flower and think it looks nice.

Kam Snaps tools & Supplies
Kam Snaps tools & Supplies

After watching Vanessa’s video about snaps, I was shocked when I opened the KamSnaps supply bag. Included was the device that secures the snaps included! I knew I bought some snaps, but was convinced I had forgotten the device. It took me a few tries and some wasted snaps, but I finally was able to install the snap closure.

4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder
4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder

The Running with Scissors tote had thread holders on the center facing. I decided that I would add the same thing to this bag. Why not? I know I said I would use it for knitting, but who knows? I may need some thread or storage for Wonder Clips is always needed. Fortunately, the center is kind of round when the bag is closed so it can accommodate some thread or Wonder Clips. I bought the double fold elastic from ByAnnie.

I used a variety of colors of zippers from the selection I bought recently. I was pleased that I had a few extra for this project. I thought the zippers I used would be too small, but I had to trim less zipper tape on these.

I am pleased to check another Crafty Gemini Organizer Club project off my list.

Various & Sundry 2019 #10


Reader Daphne writes a great blog, Fun Factual Weird Breathtaking.

Edgestitch talks about the mass market and inspirational messages. I really enjoyed this post!

An article discusses a math professor who developed a new way of piecing called ‘tube piecing’.

The ladies from Sew Kind of Wonderful went on a quilting cruise. They have some tips on what to bring to add to your comfort.

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Barbara Brackman has posted the next blocks in her Daredevils QAL, Willa’s Wheel, Ruth’s Compass and Harriet’s Star. Florene’s 9Patch looks like a block that could be made with the Quick Curve Ruler.

After finishing Flying Around and taking it to be quilted, I am thinking of my next project. By a circuitous route I ended up on the Jen Kingwell site and saw her State Fair pattern made in dots. I know from my experience with Ring Toss that having templates would be better, but I don’t want to buy the templates. What I want is for my Jen Carlton Bailly templates to work for this pattern. Or the Quick Curve Ruler? Could I use that? Testing is required. I just want to make something fast. I don’t want to test (she says now).

You’ll be late to the party, but you can still play along with Christa Watson’s Infrastructure QAL.

Inspiration and Ideas

Miss Lottie is back from her travels in North America and blogging again. She posted about sketching on her iPad. I heard about a new iPad app at work and have been thinking about using tablets more effectively in my work, so this is a timely post.

Exhibits & Events

Check out the SAQA auction. You definitely need more art in your life.

International Quilt Study Group Upcoming Events

  • Sept. 20: Go Behind the Scenes of the Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Conservation Work Room and Collections Storage at Noon. Learn about how we care for our world-famous collection and view rare gems. Cost: $30.
  • Sept. 21: “My Doll and I Explore Old World Quilts” with Sheila Green. Morning and afternoon sessions available. Cost: $20 or $16 for museum members.
  • Sept. 21: Meg Cox presents “Quilt Journalist Tells All”, our 2019 Mary Ghormley Memorial Lecture on Saturday, September 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the Prairie Arts Center, 416 N Jeffers St., North Platte, Nebraska. Free admission.
  • Oct. 4: Join us for First Friday at the International Quilt Museum from 4-7 p.m. Artist Emiko Toda Loeb will give a demonstration of her double-sided log cabin technique at 4:30 p.m. with a lecture at 5:30 p.m. FREE.
  • Oct. 5: Go Behind the Scenes of the Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Conservation Work Room and Collections Storage at Noon. Learn about how we care for our world-famous collection and view rare gems. Cost: $30.
  • Oct. 9-13: American Quilt Study Group and International Quilt Museum joint Seminar in Lincoln, Nebraska! Click here for more information.

WeCreate408 is offering a daily prompt for the month of October. Sign up to get the prompt that is coordinated with events in the San Jose area. Even if you do not live in San Jose, you can sign up and participate.

Other Artists

One of the blogs I read linked to her husband’s blog and showed the gorgeous baskets he made at the John C Campbell Center.

Wanda over at Exuberant Color has a list of Top 10 Quiltmaking Timewasters.

Running with Scissors Tote: Home Stretch

When last we checked on our hero :-), she had to sew the main zipper in. I was able to do it, and the binding. I worked on this project on and off all week. DH was out at meetings again. I took the time to sew since work is interfering with day time sewing.

Running with Scissors Tote: Main Zipper in
Running with Scissors Tote: Main Zipper in

I sewed the main zipper in. There was a little bit of ripping, but I did it. I am not sure what to do with the end of the zipper. The pattern says what to do, but it doesn’t make sense to me.

I also sewed on the binding. I sewed it on to the zipper. I tried to machine sew the binding down from the front, but it looked awful, especially around the curves. I unsewed the awful parts and stitched the binding down by hand, for the most part. This took about 50 Wonder Clips!

A Thousand Wonder Clips
A Thousand Wonder Clips

The photo shows the Sew Together Bag I made for myself. I keep that bag downstairs and use it to work on hand projects. I had nowhere to put the thousand Wonder Clips, so I put them on the edge of the zipper. This was a good place to hold them temporarily until I could put them away. Who knew?

The Running with Scissors Tote is nearly done in the picture.