More Plaid

6 Plaid Blocks
6 Plaid Blocks

I am well on my way to having the top of the Plaid Quilt finished.

I spent concentrated time last weekend sewing these blocks and finished all I need for the quilt top.

5 Plaid Blocks
5 Plaid Blocks

As mentioned, these blocks are quick to put together, but a binding and back also need to be done.

We’ll see how I do without a design wall. My felt is still in transit and will arrive next week.

My Creative Type

The Maker Creative Type
The Maker Creative Type

Friend Julie posted a quiz to tell creativity types. I am always curious about what these quizzes say about me.

Apparently, my type is The Maker. The image associated with The Maker looks a bit geezerly. It moves on the website, which is kind of cool.

Some of the questions forced me to think hard. I often had to select something that might have been more of an ‘it depends’ answer, if that had been a choice.

In reading the essay associated with my creative type, I think that what it says is true. I do like to focus on my own process. While I enjoy events like Sew Day, I plan carefully so my task fits in with my creative goals.

The Maker

I do think what the test says about my biggest challenge is true: “Your biggest challenge? To connect more deeply with your intuition and emotions in order to bring forth ever more authentic and original work. Productivity is only half the equation of doing great work—the other half is inspiration. Creating the space to dream, imagine, and play can keep your work from becoming rote and mechanical.” I often want to make a pattern. My normal process would be to make the pattern as close to the original as I could. As I make the piece, it becomes more a part of me, or I become more engaged in it and find things I would like to change. I have a lot of things on my to do list, so I don’t always make a second or third version. Looking that this essay, I might have to consider rethinking and moving towards making projects multiple times more often.

Of course, this test could just be made up bull&*^% trying to get my information. I like to think there is some truth in it.

26 Projects 2020 #5

I am still doing well on my goal to using 100 yards of fabric. I have used 42 yards so far this year. I bought a few yards last week, so that is keeping me from being at 50 yards halfway through the year.

I decided to include quilts, like Frolic! when they are completely ready to go to my longarmer. In reality, that is when I am pretty much finished with a quilt. Of the total used, 32% was used for charity projects.

In looking at some of the projects, especially the gifts, it seems like such a long time ago that I made them. I guess this is what people are calling ‘pandemic time’ when March had 5,8270 days and April had 8,322.

Finished 2020 Quilt Projects

Despite adding non-quilted projects to my fabric usage tally, I am not adding them to this section. This section will continue to be for completely finished quilts. To date, I have two ready to go to the quilter, but I don’t know when that will be. I am pretty sure I will have 3 ready pretty soon.

Finished 2020 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.

Small Projects to Make or in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • One Hour Basket for organizing my decks of cards – Creative Strength, mindfulness, etc.
  • One Hour Basket for my stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table
  • One Hour Basket for DH’s stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table
  • 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
  • Officer gifts for January 2021 – have the pattern and the supplies. Need to start so these are ready and I am not scrambling at the last minute
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag – Bag-a-Long for BAM – I have the pockets made and need to figure out the next step, which is the front pocket and work on it.


I decided that some of my projects are in a different class because they are hand piecing or embroidery or beading. They take longer. Thus I created a new category and have moved some projects here.

  • English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I have been making slow, but steady progress. I am adding another dots on white row to the piece to make it larger. I am getting a little sick of it and thinking that I will just accept the size, square it up and finish it.

Ready for Quilting

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 cut a bunch of black 2.5? squares so now I can get started.
  2. FOTY 2019 – this is now on the list since 2019 is over and I have the squares,theoretically, ready to sew.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  7. 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.
  8. Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece to be framed.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

New Modern Quilter’s Box

Modern Quilter's Box - May 2020
Modern Quilter’s Box – May 2020

As I mentioned when I received my first subscription box, Modern Handmade is one of my favorite shops. Because of shipping delays, I received another box a few days ago. I really wanted it to come and couldn’t really wait. I don’t know how I will wait until the end of June.

I am much more enthusiastic about this box than the first one. As soon as I opened it, I saw the coneflower fabric and was excited. I loved the previous version of that fabric, especially in flannel for receiving blankets. The fabrics are from Anna Maria Horner’s Conservatory and Hindsight collections. The colors are mostly, not colors I would choose, but I like them. I especially like the combination and may need to add some solids or tone on tones to use them together.

Contents of May 2020 Modern Quilter's Box
Contents of May 2020 Modern Quilter’s Box

2 3/4 yards of fabric must be added to my spreadsheet, but I like this fabric and am already trying to think of a use for it that I will enjoy. Perhaps I will center one of the coneflowers on a Cotton Candy pouch? It is a good pattern for showcasing large motifs. I need another pouch like I need a hole in my head, but at the moment I can’t think of another project that would showcase the fabric.

I usually drink hot cocoa in the afternoon (I would be an awful Englishwoman!) when I want a hot drink. I will have to switch to tea to use up some of the teas I have been receiving in these boxes.

Patterns from May 2020 Modern Quilter's Box
Patterns from May 2020 Modern Quilter’s Box

The quilt patterns are good for using up large prints, but they are not very interesting. I’ll have to look at them more closely and see if making a quick quilt with some of the fabrics would be satisfying. I don’t want to use up the fabric just to use it. Some of it I really like and would like to be able to see it  in my house.

The Market Bag is interesting. I have one in my Minikins patterns, but it might be worthwhile to try it for one of the raffle baskets. It takes a 1 1/2 yards, so it would offset some of the acquisitions I have been making lately.

It is fun to receive a box like this even if I don’t need the items in it.


I have been wondering how it would be if I cut bags out as I moved through the pattern instead of cutting out all the pieces in advance. Sometimes I just want to start and having to cut feels like a drag. I know it is good to have everything ready so you don’t have to stop to cut, but cutting is such a drag. I have a good system for cutting as I go with quilts, but haven’t quite figured out such a system with bags and accessories. What I really need is a nighttime Workroom Assistant who comes in stealthily at night and cuts for me while I sleep. Of course, that wouldn’t orient me to the pattern.

I recently sewed a Sewing Stand from the Sew Sweetness Minikins  Season 2 and decided that I would cut as I went.

First, I learned that I get oriented to the pieces when I cut them out. I read the first instruction and had no idea what pieces to use. I went to the video to see what Sara (the designer) was doing and finally got it. I think that getting oriented to the pattern by cutting out the pieces is a good thing.

I think cutting the fabric and labeling it ‘lining’ and ‘main’ is a must, but cutting and working with the interfacing could be done as I go.

Second, I found that having the pieces for the first few steps gets me going. It might be possible to be successful with CAYG if I cut a few pieces out, but cut the rest as I moved through the pattern.

Third, aside from the first few steps, I think I can cut interfacing and stiffener as I go along.

I think the problem I am experiencing comes from cutting everything out and then letting the project languish. This is happening with the UCAB. I lose my orientation to the pieces if I don’t start working on them right away.

As a result, I think that if you are not going to work on the project right away, that you should only cut out a few pieces, then cut the rest when you get back to it. If you are going to work on the project instantly, then cut all the pieces out and get busy sewing.

May Donation Blocks

As I did last month and for previous months, I made more donation blocks. After April’s work, I had a stack of 24 blocks. Now I have XX. Peggy, the community quilt organizer for BAM, I hope, will be happy.

Sewing the Windmill means that I was also churning out donation blocks. Using leaders and enders between each Windmill piece generates a lot. I have to keep the Windmill pieces in order, thus so many donation blocks. I am thinking about making another Traffic Jam quilt instead of more of the 16 patch donation blocks, but we will see. Until I decide, there will be more 16 patches.

I had to spend some time cutting scraps for new 2.5 inch squares as I was running out. You can see that some of the blocks don’t have a lot of contrast, use a ‘different’ background or look unlike my normal meticulous monochromatic blocks. I guess I am making due. I didn’t really want to cut more foreground squares until I really need them.

I am pretty fond of the red-violet block in the second row. The background is made from a shirt I made for DH a few years ago.

Sewing Room Stand

As mentioned, I had (took) Friday-Monday off for Memorial Day weekend. While I had to clean the house, I also took the time to finish a few projects that needed finishing or knocking other must-do projects off my list.

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand

One thing I started and finished was a Sewing Room Stand from the Minikins Season 2 patterns.

I made the item in a couple of hours. I used the video portion of the pattern (Sew Sweetness Minikin patterns comes with a video as well as the printed pattern). I didn’t find it difficult. I thought it was a lot easier than Tooly McToolston, though the Sewing Room Stand is smaller and doesn’t have as many pockets. It is the same idea.

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tablet side
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tablet side

One of the things I like about this pattern is the possibility of standing a tablet on it and having the tablet oriented in such a way that I could see a pattern as I was working on it.

I thought the stand would come out larger based on the picture on Sara’s website. My tablet is not large (*inches?), but the one in Sara’s photo seems larger and the stand is still larger. Granted, my tablet does not hang over the ends, but still seems like it is overwhelming the Sewing Room Stand.

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tool side
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tool side

Thetool side is tall enough to accommodate a medium sized tool, so you could have your tools and your tablet in use at the same time.

I turned pretty quickly to the video to make this item. I was not getting what the printed pattern was saying. The video made it very clear, so I was glad to have it.

As far as I can tell, the pattern doesn’t fold up into a flat package.

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand empty
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand empty

I chose the colors as this will be a swap gift and these are the colors the person requested!

Spiky Stars

Spiky Stars at Marin Needlearts Guild Show
Spiky Stars at Marin Needlearts Guild Show

This quilt was pretty innovative for me at the time. I was inspired by a Doreen Speckman class. This is the second or third quilt I made from the idea. I have ideas for more of these and I even have fabrics selected, but haven’t ever gotten around to piecing more of them. Doreen Speckman, about whom, I am sure, most of you have forgotten or never heard, was a great teacher. She was also funny and made classes a joy to take. I also took a Nosegay class from her.

Spiky Stars at Marin Needlearts Guild Show winner
Spiky Stars at Marin Needlearts Guild Show winner

I remember walking around the aisle and seeing my quilt with two ribbons, including an especially large one for Judge’s Choice and being really thrilled. I called my friend right away – from the show!- and told her.

Later, I stood and listened to a lady try and figure out how I made the quilt. I have won ribbons since, but this large and impressive ribbon still means a lot to me.

Even More Face Masks

Deirdre mask pattern
Deirdre mask pattern

I am still flailing away at face masks. Deirdre has made tons and she sent me a pattern that I tried over the weekend. Even with curves (which don’t’ scare me), this mask came out a lot better. It still isn’t ideal as I didn’t have anything to put in it as a nose-shaper, but it was easier to sew and came out a lot better.

As usual, cutting out took the longest. I didn’t buy the rotary templates as I don’t plan on making enough to make it worthwhile. Also, D reported problems going around the template with a rotary cutter. I pinned the pattern to the fabric and used scissors, which worked fine. I might trace another pattern with tracing paper, but regular printer paper worked well for now.

DH is working on a nose shaper for us and Friend Julie will send me a few of what she is using. I want to make a few masks, especially for the YM. He takes the bus every day and works packing orders. I would be a lot happier if he had a bunch of masks to use. SIL #2 made him several, which are tiding him over.

I am really still trying to figure out a pattern that works well for us (me) and how to make it. I have high hopes for this pattern.

Vintage Tuesday: Sampler Blast from the Past

I always wonder if I should put these types of posts under the general #TBT (Throwback Thursday) posts. I suppose it would sync with other sites, but somehow I feel like my own system works, too.

Fort Mason Sampler
Fort Mason Sampler

Over the weekend, I did some chores that had been languishing, including scanning a bunch of photos I found while clearing out boxes and drawers during Lent. Some of the photos were of quilts I just hadn’t seen in awhile. Others I didn’t have digital photos of for this site. One was a sampler I did when I took a drafting class at Fort Mason just after I got married.

I made the top and gave it to my mom who quilted it. Many of the fabrics I used were from my first Sampler quilt, which, at the time, was still unquilted – well, the quilting was in progress. I knew, even then, that quilting was less appealing than piecing and my mom liked the quilt.

The point of the class was quiltmaking, but more specifically drafting blocks. I talked about this topic a little in my review of The Quilters’ Album of Patchwork Patterns. I am much more familiar with how blocks are structured, but at the time, this was a challenging part of the class. I haven’t seen the quilt in a long time and in looking at the blocks, I am much less confused by how to draft them. I am not sure I could do it the way the teacher taught me at the time, but I could do it, I think.

Fort Mason Sampler Wreath
Fort Mason Sampler Wreath

My favorite block was the wreath type block. I really tried hard to make it look woven. I see some of the fabrics in that block are from one of the the Pointillist Palette quilts, so I must have already been working on those at the time.

More Plaid Blocks

Plaid Blocks - end of May 2020
Plaid Blocks – end of May 2020

I had 4 days off over the weekend and it was great to cross some things off my To Do list AND get some chores done. I have a number of bags and a swap gift on my to do list, but after 3 hours worth of video chats and an hour on the phone with the YM, I really only had time for the plaid blocks. I did press some new-ish fabric, though and found some pieces I’ll use for the swap gift.

I now have 25 blocks, so am definitely on the downward slope of block making for this piece. I ordered the felt for my design wall yesterday. I have little hope of it arriving today, but I am hopeful it will arrive int he coming week. I want to get these blocks up where I can see them all before I start sewing them together.

Another Drawer

Some time ago, I lined one or two of my dresser drawers with fabric. Earlier this week, I heard a cracking sound as I rearranged one of my drawers. This led to the unloading, the sorting of clothes, the repair and eventual reloading of the drawer.

Forced Reorganization
Forced Reorganization

Fortunately, I am not rushing around early in the morning to get dressed and get to the office. Lately, my commute has been pretty easy, so the turmoil of my clothes being everywhere was minimal. It did look bad. I am also pretty sure the mess annoyed DH. There wasn’t anything I could do, however, until I had some time to sort everything out.

The dresser is old, but solid wood with dovetail joints, so worth repairing. DH was able to fix the drawer during one of his work breaks (we are both working from home) earlier in the week. It has been waiting for me to deal with.

Vestige by Bookhou fabric
Vestige by Bookhou fabric

Friday, I took a sick day off of work. I don’t have vacation, but my boss is pretty understanding about the need for rest and for the need to get paid. It is a bonus that it is a 3-day weekend. I have a lot on my to-do list including cleaning. This project was one task. The first order of business was to choose a fabric. I thought I had one selected, but I looked through some of my fabric and decided on a Anna Maria Horner print that Friend Julie gave me recently. I used this fabric, because it made me happy to look at and I couldn’t think of an immediate use for it. I still have a little of it to use in another project. I will definitely see it pretty often as I rummage around in my drawer.

Completed drawer
Completed drawer

I took the opportunity to cull some clothes I don’t wear or had forgotten about. Some will go to donation organizations and some went into the wash so I can actually wear them.

The execution didn’t succeed as well as my first effort, but since it won’t be scrutinized by judges, I don’t care. I am pretty happy with how it looks. Now I just need to get a boatload of sachets or potpourri or lavender to keep the mustiness out of the drawer and I’ll be all set.

Design Wall Testing

I have been looking for fabric for the design wall and have pretty much decided on felt, at least as a temporary solution. I found a site that, I thought, sold it for $4.75/yard. It turned out to be $4.75/ quarter yard! It’s partially wool, so I guess that makes sense, but it was disappointing as I had to go back to the drawing board.

There are a number of sites that sell different varieties of felt, including Joann, which sells 72″ wide, but only in a 10 yard bolt! I need 3 yards, but may get the 10 yard bolt if I can’t find it for less. I found one site that I thought would work, then the shipping was outrageous! I can’t win, it seems.

Felt Test
Felt Test

While I took a break from the frustrations of not being able to go to Britex and get real help, I decided to test the stickiness of different types of felt. I bought some wool felt when I visited Pioneer Quilts with Amanda, or another time I went there. I also have some small pieces of acrylic felt. I pinned them to my design wall (even the fabulous Quiet Please on my small design wall won’t hold the weight of felt) and then stuck some plaid pieces to it on Wednesday. They are still up there and not even peeling, so I think felt will work as an option.

More Plaid Blocks

I consulted with a friend who said this block is called Block Party. I did a search and found some instructions on a guild community service site. The instructions are in PDF, which is handy. I wasn’t able to find anywhere else to confirm the name.

6 more Plaid Blocks
6 more Plaid Blocks

I added another few blocks to my total during the week and am now up to 15 blocks. My first plan is for 36, which means 21 more to go.

I cut up a few more fabrics so there are some new ones included. Since I am working without a design wall, mostly, I don’t know if I am duplicating layouts. I don’t think it likely, but I also don’t think it will matter if I am.