Mom’s Handquilting

Mom's hand quilting project
Mom’s hand quilting project

Mom stopped by the other evening and brought her quilt project. She is hand quilting the quilt because she didn’t want to pay for longarming. The quilt will be for her, for once.

The opposite side is a panel we bought together. The other side looks like a BettyCrockerAss design and I really like it.

She is making good progress and I think she will done soon.

Frolicking a Lot More

Frolic! - mid-February
Frolic! – mid-February

After the update the other day, the piecing on Frolic! went a lot faster. I think I reached a tipping point and was able to zoom right along. I made some more progress and feel like I am making good headway, though it looks like a mess right at the moment.

Frolic! Reveal in process
Frolic! Reveal in process

I believe I need 25 full blocks. The 7 I have are in various states of being sewn. The spaces are because of the seam allowances or missing pieces.

I haven’t dealt with the half and quarter blocks yet. I don’t like quilts where there are half finished blocks, in general. I am seriously considering a straight set. I laid out some of the pieces in that way before the Reveal. When I have a few more blocks finished, I’ll lay it out that way and see what I see. The corner pieces with the 4 patches make a very interesting secondary pattern.

Sewing Antiques

On our way back from the North Coast, we stopped in Santa Rosa for lunch and a peek at the antique shops. We are looking for ‘new’ dining room chairs.

I saw 2 or 3 Featherweights. One was only $125, but it was such a hideous (1970s cafeteria green) green, I didn’t want to buy it.

Antique Fan Quilt
Antique Fan Quilt

I saw a fan quilt that was pretty, if a little old fashioned. I especially liked the border, which was curved – kind of large scallops – to mimic the fans.

The pink quilt behind the fan had appliqued figures. I think they might have been storybook characters, but I didn’t recognize any of them.

Both quilts could have been tops that were recently quilted. I didn’t look that closely while I was in the shop.

Antique 'Toy' Sewing Machine
Antique ‘Toy’ Sewing Machine

I also saw a small sewing machines. I know these are collectible, but I do not have a collection of them, nor do I know anyone who does.

We did not find chairs and it was a fun interlude after being in the car for several hours.

Back to Frolicking!

Frolic! block
Frolic! block

Frolic!, or what there is of it, has been on my design wall since earlier this month. I said then that I didn’t want it to become another UFO, but I didn’t made any progress. I don’t want it to become a UFO, so I worked on it over the weekend.

I determined that I needed to start piecing in order to get interested in it again. I haven’t finished Clue 4 (still!). I don’t want that lack to drag me down.

I thought I would start from the corner and cut and piece as I went along, chunking the top together. The corners are a conundrum and I left them off after awhile and worked on the blocks. You can see that my progress doesn’t look like much, but it feels like progress. I am still contemplating a straight set.

More Gifts for Me

Officer Thank You Gifts
Officer Thank You Gifts

These are not birthday gifts or any sort of holiday gift; this bag was given to me by the officers in the guild for coordinating the thank you bags at the end of their terms. They made me a bag and it is fabulous.

The bag itself is a Poolside Tote and it is in perfect colors for me: turquoise and scarlet. The blocks, which fit perfectly are from a mystery quilt the guild did on my first retreat. My blocks were less than stellar and have long since been made into a donation top.

I received a number of pouches, some chocolates, candles, pens, a journal and a few other odds and ends.The fabrics chosen were fabulous and I think I will be able to use everything included in the gift.

I was completely surprised and somewhat mortified as I really don’t like to open gifts in front of people. Also, I don’t do things in the guild that I don’t enjoy. I feel very strongly that the officers should be thanked in a meaningful way and the bag idea is very fun. It leaves a lot of room for creativity. Everyone can contribute in the way that works for them. the officers don’t end up with an ugly quilt or a bunch of blocks.

Book Review: At Home with Modern June

At Home with Modern June: 27 Sewing Projects for Your Handmade LifestyleAt Home with Modern June: 27 Sewing Projects for Your Handmade Lifestyle by Kelly McCants

This is an older book, but it came to my attention again when I was looking through my books for patterns for raffle prizes. I had plowed through the books I used for my gift grouping for Mary. I looked through other books for interesting patterns that would intrigue someone who makes quilts themselves. I am sort of rearranging the non-quilt books into a group. These books include patterns for pouches, pincushions, bags and other accessories.

The first thing to appeal to me was the color scheme. Red and turquoise is a favorite of mine, as you may have noticed. πŸ™‚

Second was the organization of the book. The table of contents shows projects room by room. The main rooms in any standard house – kitchen, living room, bed, and bath – are all covered. The author also includes sections on creative space, closets and pantry, which are useful additions.

Third, a line in the Foreword appealed to me, “whether you’re moving into a new home, launching a home makeover, or just sprucing up one room at a time…” This line told me that the book could appeal to a variety of different readers and makers.

After the Foreword (pg.4), an introduction (pg.5) and a discussion of mood boards (pg.7-9), the text starts in earnest with a ‘terms and techniques glossary’ (pg.10-19). This section has basic definitions as well as longer explanations. Part of it is illustrated (pg.12, 13, etc). The section is super comprehensive, including topics you may never encounter anywhere else. One tip I thought was very useful was about modifying a sewing machine foot to work with oilcloth (pg.15). I am not sure if this tip would work with vinyl, but it is worth a try.

Ms. McCants also talks about cross-pinning (pg.14). I have done something like it, but never knew it had a name. Other things I like in this section are a bias tape finishing instructions (pg.17) and a chart that provides yardage calculations in decimals, yards and inches (pg.19). This is definitely something to copy and pin to your wall. Very useful.

After the glossary, the author dives into Kitchen and Dining Room projects (pg.20-53). This section has normal projects that fit into the theme with twists. The twists are things like different materials, techniques or tools. The first project in the Kitchen and Dining section is placemats (pg.20-25). Big deal, right? The project uses chalkboard fabric! Other projects include pot holders, a curtain, a reversible floor mat and others. The apron (pg.37-43) is pretty and would make a great gift. I like the barstool makeover (pg.44-49), mostly because I need to redo my kitchen bar stool. Kelly tells the reader how to make the pattern to fit the barstool you own (pg.46).

Living Rooms – inside and Out (pg.54-83) comes next and I thought this section was a little weird. The chapter includes the expected living room projects, such as pillow covers (pg.63-67) and basic upholstery (pg.54-59). In addition, there are a lot of outdoor projects like a picnic tablecloth (pg.69-73) and a potting shed ‘coverup’ (pg.77-83). I guess there wasn’t space for a backyard section and she decided to combine the concepts.

Bed and Bath (pg.84-121) has more expected projects for the theme. The first is a duvet cover (pg.85-89) in which I am interested, though more so if it were quilted. It is pieced, though, so that is a start. The shower curtain project (pg.90-95) is a good use of laminated fabric as well as a good way to coordinate decoration in a bathroom. The Candy Knot Guest Towels (pg.96-97) would be good handwork project. The Makeup Tray (pg.97-101) could be used for any number of items or purposes. Random cooking packets or spices could be organized in a pantry. Quilt pieces could be organized in anticipation of sewing them together using such trays. I like the button detail on the corners. The part also includes a fairly comprehensive section on binding (pg.104-106, 114-115) including directions on finishing the ends.

Closet and Pantry (pg.122-139) has some projects that would be useful, but would also make great gifts for non-quiltmaking friends or house warming or visiting gifts. I particularly like the lined basket project (pg.123-128) and the Clothespin Bag (pg.128-133). I don’t suppose people hang clothes on an outside line anymore, however I have fond memories of my grandmothers having bags like this. Hers was not nearly as cute as the sample shown in the book. The Lined Basket project is customizable for the baskets you may already have around the house. As I was just in the Container Store, I can see the possibilities. 

Throughout the book the author has included “June Suggests” tips boxes. In the Closet and Pantry section, she gives fabric options. A lot of the tips throughout the book discuss fabric usage, but some of the tips also cover bias binding, re-use of patterns and why similar directions for projects differ.

The final section has projects useful on your creative space or studio. Projects include a basic sewing machine cover (pg.152-155) and a hang-up Sewing Supply Case (pg.159-167). The sewing machine cover’s size is customizable so you can make it fit your machine. Take a look at the Undercover Maker Mat and other sewing machine covers about which I have posted so you can review and compare your options.

The Sewing Supply Case remind me of the Board Bag Amanda made for me. The main difference is that this one closes up like a notebook for easy transport. The instructions are quite detailed and the drawings enhance construction. Webbing is used for the handles. I would cover the webbing, as directions in the Running with Scissors case suggests, in order to make them more comfortable to carry. Again, I think it would make a great gift. 

Kelly McCants seems like someone who came to sewing through a different route than quiltmaking. Her patterns for home decor seem more complete and the customization options she offers make the projects less rote. The patterns also require more thinking, but it doesn’t make them less usable even for new sewists.

The author uses bright and cheerful colors in the projects. The tone of the book is positive. This is, in the end, a project book. There is very little information about what inspired her to create these specific projects beyond the house remodel she discusses in the Foreword. Still, I like this book and find the projects useful and interesting. It is a worthwhile addition to your library.

View all my reviews

Scissor Cozies

Mom's Scissor Keeper
Mom’s Scissor Keeper

I have been thinking about the Scissor Cozies I made recently.

I went on a mini-rampage flinging things out of my fabric closet and filing other things away. At the end of it, I had found an already quilted piece of fabric/ Soft & Stable left over from the Cargo Duffle.

In general, it has been a week of tidying and tossing things into the donation pile. One thing I found that I put into my new Sewing Machine Suitcase was a pair of Fiskars scissors I used to keep in my office (I would sew there on my lunch hour). I have several pair and didn’t need another in my sewing room, so I thought the suitcase would be a good home.

Scissor Cozy for Julie
Scissor Cozy for Julie

This led me to think about making a Scissor Cozy for them, especially after I saw another IG post about the free tutorial from sotakhandmade.

I might need to make the template larger as those Fiskars are on the large side. I can cut it out from that extra piece of fabric, though the piece is large enough to use in a Running with Scissors tote, so I might want to rethink. Regardless, I’d like to use that piece for something and get it out of my fabric closet. It is one of those things that floats around without a real home.

Donation Block Updates

Blue donation blocks, February 2020
Blue donation blocks, February 2020
Here is a brief update of the blocks I am making for the blue version of the Color Strip quilts. This is also being sewn from scraps. I haven’t made many blocks, but there is no dent in my scrap drawer. Do you think they multiply in the night? More likely I have just not made a concentrated effort to deal with them.


Fortunately, there are a lot strips, so I have been able to make a number of strip sets that yield more than one block.

You can also see the in progress blocks as well.

Bunny Hop – North Coast Again

Bunny Hop - North Coast
Bunny Hop – North Coast

Bunny Hop was the third shop I visited. I have been there before and liked it again.

The owner was super friendly and helpful. The shop was pretty light – again it is housed in a Victorian, so light can be a problem.

There was a good selection of notions, patterns and display projects.

ByAnnie products
ByAnnie products

As at Ocean Waves and Stitch, I noticed a lot of ByAnnie products. I was surprised that all three shops all had some supplies beyond just patterns. They had mesh, foldover elastic and some hardware. The owner told me that they have someone who teaches the ByAnnie patterns locally. I don’t really have a shop I would consider local, so I guess I can’t expect them to have patterns. I do like to see examples of the bags made up, as Stitch had, as well as the actual colors of the products.

Bunny Hop: pre-cuts and Jelly Roll Rug
Bunny Hop: pre-cuts and Jelly Roll Rug

Here, Karen saw the Posh Pack pattern** from Sew Kind of Wonderful. I extolled the virtues of the the Quick Curve Ruler**. I mentioned this the other day. The shop had a Jelly Roll rug example, so Karen was able to see one in action.

I thought the cabinet with the pre-cuts was a very nice piece. I have no where to put it, but I like the color and the fact that items can be displayed. It is a good piece for a shop.

In the back a few ladies were preparing for a retreat up the coast in Trinidad. I don’t know where that is, but they said it wasn’t very far away.

Bunny Hop: End of hallway
Bunny Hop: End of hallway

In the hallway, the shop had a selection of patterns. There were a wide variety of aprons and some embroidery patterns with examples and supplies. The thread was in the clearance room, however. They have a large selection of thread as I discussed last time I visited.

I saw some redwork and some dishtowel projects as well. The photo shows hoops as well as small 1930s patterns. I didn’t look very closely at the mini-quilt projects, so i don’t know if they were patterns or not. There were definitely some other quilt patterns, a Broderie Perse pattern as well as an embroidery pattern from the Girls Getaway collection. I also saw some EPP supplies.

I enjoyed this shop again even, though I didn’t buy much.


Bunny Hop Quilt Shop
Address: 1809 Albee Street, Eureka, CA 95501
Phone: 707-497-6356






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Ocean Waves Quilt Shop

Ocean Waves Quilt Shop, Eureka
Ocean Waves Quilt Shop, Eureka

I know you remember me talking about Ocean Waves Quilt Shop. I have visited this shop 2 or 3 times before. I think this was the first shop I went to on the North Coast. This is the first shop I visited on Saturday with Karen, one of the other NSGW wives.

Ocean Waves Quilt Shop, Eureka
Ocean Waves Quilt Shop, Eureka

The shop was full of fabric, patterns, projects, kits, notions, tools and supplies.

The lady who works the front counter was very friendly. Karen and I had talked about Jelly Roll Rugs and the lady was happy to show us a selection of patterns. She had the oval version as well as the square version. Karen isn’t a big fan of jelly rolls so she bought the square rug pattern and some of the pre-cut batting. She inspired me to make one of the square rugs, too. I already have some of the pre-cut batting and I will cut my own strips. I just have to figure out where to put it so I can select the fabric.

Ocean Waves Quilt Shop, Eureka-7-11 quilt
Ocean Waves Quilt Shop, Eureka-7-11 quilt

The lady also told us about their shop quick quilt pattern. It is called Seven-Eleven (I didn’t ask why) and is basically squares. You can see olive green quilt in the corner, on the left. I don’t really need a pattern or kit for that type of quilt, but if I was a new quiltmaker, it would be a good starting point. They had a number of pouch patterns including the Knot and Thread Design’s Hello Pouch. I need another pouch like a need a hole in my head, but there you have it.

The Seven-Eleven quilt kits were made from Laurel Burch fabric. Seeing the Laurel Burch fabric gave me some ideas for things I could make, so I bought a bit to use for gifts. I haven’t used Laurel Burch fabric before and was surprised at the wide variety of designs that were available.

Philip Jacobs Chrysanthemum Blue
Philip Jacobs Chrysanthemum Blue

I was VERY tempted by one of my favorite Philip Jacobs designs. I have a couple of lengths of fabric for dresses that I haven’t had made yet, so I restrained myself.

The shop looks very similar to what it looked like in the past. I think the first time I visited was 2010 and 10 years later it is still in business, which makes me very happy. There were a group of ladies sewing in the back.

Ocean Waves Quilt Shop
305 V Street
Eureka, CA 995501
(707) 444-0252

Stitch Again

Stitch- Ferndale Quilt Shop
Stitch- Ferndale Quilt Shop

I have been to Stitch a few times and haven’t always had the chance to write another review. I like to see shops that stick around and Stitch has been around for a few years now. I wrote about it in 2017 and I am still a fan.

When I drive to Portland, I will often drive up highway 101. After I get past Petaluma and Santa Rosa, the drive is pretty easy – not a lot of traffic and nice scenery. Often I will take a detour to Ferndale to stop at Stitch on the way to Portland or on the way back. As mentioned, we attended a NSGW event on the North Coast this weekend. The dedication was in Ferndale. If you haven’t been to Ferndale, it is worth the trip. It is a well maintained small town with a Victorian main street.  I posted some photos of details of the buildings in a previous North Coast post. Stitch is right on the main drag and while it isn’t large, I want everything in the shop.

Stitch Ferndale - interior
Stitch Ferndale – interior

I am trying to use 100 yards net (again) this year, so I decided I would visit quilt shops, but I would focus on looking at the projects displayed, the notions and patterns. The interior of Stitch is long and thin, but they have really packed great fabrics into it. I had to lighten up the photo as it came out a little dark, but the shop is not dark.

I saw a lot of bags displayed again and I was pleased to see that they had a lot of ByAnnie products. In addition to the bag patterns, they had a good variety of her handbag zippers as well as foldover elastic and mesh. I bought a couple colors each of the mesh and elastic.

Stitch Ferndale - Valentine's display
Stitch Ferndale – Valentine’s display

I was surprised, though I shouldn’t have been, to see a Valentine’s display. One of the items shown was the Winter 2019 issue of Simply Moderne (#19). There is a pattern called Diamante in it that I think I will make. It is one of those patterns that is constructed in squares that looks like it is curved. Also, that is just a cool magazine. They had an insulated cup with a “Quilt Drink Repeat” saying on the side. I thought it would make  great gift, but at $24.99, I didn’t want to buy it.

I went back later in the day with a friend and there were ladies there working on a really cool block of the month project. It is from Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. I looked at the sample they had and thought it would be easy enough to make. I found it on Etsy and Lee has a lot of nice quilt patterns. I am not trying to make fun of the shop for doing the BOM. I actually think it is a great project for a shop. *I* just don’t want to do it.

The shop often has Sue Spargo teach. I have bought her thread there before. There was a display of her patterns and designs. I loved the book, but need to finish up some of my hand projects before I start on one of hers. Then, of course, I saw a fabulous circle sampler on Instagram when I got back. Sigh.

The shop was having a sale that day, so I got 20% off of my purchases, which was nice. If I had shown up before 8am in my pajamas, I would have gotten 35% off. I was sleeping then. πŸ™‚

You really need to visit this shop. Make a trip to the North Coast. It will be worth your while.

Visit Stitch!
385 Main St
Ferndale, CA 95540
(707) 786-5007

Random Quiltmaking Excitement

I went off to the North Coast on Friday with DH for a Native Sons event. I like that trip because the drive up is beautiful, the area is very green and there are three quilt shops!

I have written about the quilt shops, Bunny Hop, Ocean Waves and Stitch before. I am going to update my reviews again in the next week or so, but I was so excited after visiting the shops and talking quilting with a friend that I just had to write.

First, I forgot how inspiring it was to visit quilt shops. I want to use up 100 yards this year, so I am trying not buy a lot of fabric. Still, I wanted to visit the shops anyway, so I focused on color, pattern, and design. I am feeling very inspired right now.

Quilt design inspiration chair
Quilt design inspiration chair

Inspiration, however, started early in the morning at breakfast at the hotel. The lobby had been redone and they had new upholstery. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the design. I noticed that there were jewels like ones that were discussed in the All Points Patchwork book. I reviewed that book a few months ago. Wouldn’t the motif make a great EPP quilt?

Modern Holiday Hearts
Modern Holiday Hearts

One of the things I saw in the shop was a Valentine’s Day Modern Holiday pattern. One of the things I love is the subtle “I love you” message. The hearts were made of up two different fabrics each. The variety of pinks in the example hung at Stitch made me really happy. I can see making a table mat out of one block.

Second, it was fabulous to talk about quiltmaking with someone. Of course, I seem to have quilting discussions all the time, but this was different. Karen and I only see each other at NSGW events. We got to exchange some views about quilting. I heard about her guild woes. We talked about our projects, UFOs and things we wanted to make. I was also able to get her interested in a Jelly Roll Rug** and the Quick Curve Ruler**, though I am not a complete temptress, because she picked up the Posh Pack pattern** before I extolled the virtues of the ruler**.

Talking about the Quick Curve Ruler** made me excited to get that ruler out again and make a couple of the patterns I have waiting in the wings.

After I got back to the hotel, I took a look at Instagram and was further inspired by  what I saw. Melody Miller posted a fabulous leaf design. Kate Strasdin posted a dress in emerald and orange. You wouldn’t think it would work, but the color combination is wonderful. I don’t know if I have any fabric in that green color, but if I do I might have to replace the blue in a new quilt like my recent donation quilt with the emerald to see how it looks. Victoria Findlay Wolfe was also in my feed with a new Double Wedding Ring quilt. I love the colors and think that is what attracted me. The way she broke up the rings is also very appealing. Finally, I saw some great bags that a Japanese designer posted. Oh! That designer got a like from Ayumi and Chubby, who also make fun bags.

I am not sure if I got my excitement across. I can’t wait to get back to my machine.



**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item you click on. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.


UPDATE: 2/12/2020: Reader Bethany found the color wheel tool link. I tested and you can make the same images I did at that location.

Canva Analgous Color Palette
Canva Analgous Color Palette

I found Canva, because the company has suddenly come to the attention of the company for which I work and they are worried.

Canva is described as “…a graphics design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. It is available on web and mobile, and integrates millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations.

Canva Triadic Color Palette
Canva Triadic Color Palette

Ostensibly I went to check it out for work, but really I wanted to see what it could do for this blog and my quiltmaking. You can sign up for free and use a seemingly full featured product. I spent time making color palettes. The system works by dragging circles around a larger circle. The system is really easy to use and I could have spent all day on it.

Canva Tetradic Color Palette
Canva Tetradic Color Palette

The colors in Canva were super bright. It could be that I was choosing the brighter end of the spectrum. I do like the Triadic Color Palette. That palette could be a quilt in my future.

I tried to stay within the same realm. My method was to use that turquoise blue in all of my palettes. They all sort of go together.

Canva Complementary Palette
Canva Complementary Palette

The tetradic palette is interesting because of the green the system chose. It is different than the green in the Triadic Palette.

The Complementary palette looks like the modern Christmas palettes that are very common. It kind of looks like the colors in my Stepping Stones #2 quilt as well.

Canva Monochromatic Color Palette
Canva Monochromatic Color Palette

I have posted these backwards, because I wanted you to look at the more complex palettes first. I do like the monchromatic palette, however. It is subtle and makes me think about the blue quilt for which I am still hunting and gathering.

I would love to play around with this tool more. The sad part is that I can’t find it again. I did find a color palette generator that will generate a palette for you from a photo. This is similar to the Palette Builder at PlayCrafts. The other parts of the Canva site seem to require a login and I don’t think I had to login to play around with this palette tool. Oh well. I’ll update you, if I find it again.


More on the Clippy Pocket Hack

Pieces for the Clippy Pocket placket- ready to sew
Pieces for the Clippy Pocket placket- ready to sew

Yesterday, I talked about the Clippy Pocket hack and how my version came out. You can incorporate the Clippy portion into anything – pincushions, other bags, needle books. The key is making the placket/”flap ladder” then incorporating it into an existing project. You can make the placket into a piece that can be appliqued to another project.

Try to think about how you can incorporate something like this useful section into a project on which you are working. You can find the original instructions in Love of Patchwork & Quilting , issue 39. It is available digitally in the Apple and Google Play stores.