Creativity. Not Sewing

Lemon Tumeric Tea Cake
Lemon Tumeric Tea Cake

Some food items are hard to get. This is has made me more aware of what is in my fridge and not letting it go to waste. I had some lemons in my fridge and decided to make Lemon Tumeric Tea Cake**. I had been thinking about it for awhile and on Sunday, I finally did it.

I last made this at Christmas for my work colleagues. The batch was really small and I didn’t get a loaf to try. My boss has been asking about it, so I decided to make some for my work colleagues again. This time I doubled the batch and added a bit more tumeric, so I got to try it. It is delicious and I am thrilled. I also had enough to make a loaf for my mom. The three loaves we are not keeping are going in the mail this week.



**N.B.: If you don’t have a subscription to the NYT, check your local public library or your library at work.

Long Way Before I Sleep

Frolic! -all blocks sewn
Frolic! -all blocks sewn

As I said the other day, I made good progress over the weekend. I have made better progress-

< this is one of the good things about shelter-in-place: sewing at lunch time >

Since then I finished all the blocks, half blocks, quarter blocks: ALL. Hooray. Now I just have to sew the thing together.

This doesn’t mean the piece will be finished. There are still at least two borders, the back and the binding. Perhaps by the time shelter-in-place is over, I will have it done.

Weekend Donation Blocks

While I was sewing Frolic! over the weekend, I made a bunch of donation blocks as leaders and enders. I am getting quite a collection to turn in when I finally get to back to guild.

I counted all the donation blocks I have made in 2020 and the total came out to about 76. Not bad. Not 30 per month, but not bad.

Frolic! Real Progress

The weekend was tough. The sense of unreality I am home all.the.time was very strong. I couldn’t really wrap my head around it even though we have been living it. I took the car out for a spin and felt like I had forgotten the finer points of driving. It is hard to explain. The only thing I can do is not to think about the unreality and list off the good things I have.

Frolic! -early April 2020
Frolic! -early April 2020

Be that as it may, sewing must go on. I am focused on Frolic! I want that quilt off my design wall. I want to work on other projects. For once, I don’t feel like my weekend sewing was futile. I feel like I made real progress.

One thing I did to get to this place was sew a big chunk together (upper left hand side). Once that was done, I repositioned all the other blocks so that they would be in the approximate place they would end up when the quilt was finished. This small act allowed me to see what else I needed to sew. As you can see, All I need to sew is 4 more half blocks. Halleluijah! I can really see that the end is near.

You might wonder why I don’t just toss it on the UFO pile and move on to something else. That is devil talk! I don’t want my UFO pile to grown any higher than it is already. This thing will be ready to go to Colleen when shelter-in-place is over. With any luck, it will go with three friends.

Various & Sundry 2020 #5

I deleted my Cafe Press store. I really appreciate all of you who bought things over the years, but after the second security breach and so few sales, I decided to let it go. I might open up another store in another app, but for now, I am going to use my time for other things.


I had to include a New York Times blurb about polka dots, which you know I love. N.B.:  If you don’t have a subscription to the NYT, check your local public library or your library at work.

If you need something to calm your spirit, check out Johanna Basford’s site. she has some free coloring page downloads to keep up all of our spirits. Print them out on good paper.

Brief history of Kansas quiltmakers.

Other Artists

I love to hear other people’s stories, especially positive ones. Belinda Dill went on vacation with her sewing machine and ended up in quarantine where she cheerfully worked on a quilt!

Valerie has a lot of quilts available in her Etsy shop if you don’t feel like making one.

Tools, Fabric, Supplies and Notions

Pink Door has some great bag hardware.

Stitch, the cool modern quilt store in Ferndale, is there for you in your time of quiltmaking need. They have a Build a Box program. It works like this (from the email I received) “We will be in the shop on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm. 

  • Call us on (707) 786-5007 to place your order.
  • Call us with your shopping list, we will fill a box with your purchases.
  • Everything is 20% off, excluding BOM.
  • You can add to your box all week!
  • You can also contact us through Social Media –  Facebook or Instagram
  • We will mail your box directly to your home”

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Doctors and hospitals are looking for people to make masks. Our guild president created a visual tutorial.

You’ll be behind, but you can always catch up. Edyta Sitar is hosting a Quarantine Mystery Quilt Quilt-a-Long. The blocks aren’t difficult, so you should be able to catch up in a few days. Gretchen is working on it and her blocks look really good.

Charlotte has a tutorial up for dyeing hanks of Perle cotton. I didn’t know you could buy a big spool of white! Of course, I never thought about it either.

Finished: Cool Windmill

Cool Windmill Finished
Cool Windmill Finished

I was reminded when I wrote the 26 Projects post yesterday that I forgot to post the finished Cool Windmill quilt.

Right now it’s kind of all Frolic! all the time so I am happy I didn’t post this earlier so you guys get a break from Frolic!.

This will head off to a friend’s house once Shelter-in-Place is over, though if I have to go out, I might drop it off and do a sort of ding-dong-ditch. I would tell her and possible stand off the porch and ‘yell’ at her when she opens the door. We’ll see how long I want it hanging around. We have another month of Shelter-in-Place.

Cool Windmill back (finished)
Cool Windmill back (finished)

The back is ok. I don’t know why I chose so much green, perhaps to get rid of it.

DH was kind enough to hold the quilt up for me so I could photograph it. Click on the photos to enlarge them as they look better.

Mom has requested one of these, but in warm colors. That will be a good way to get rid of some of the patches and it was a fun and easy quilt to make. I look forward to that.

26 Projects 2020 #3

Finished 2020 Quilt Projects

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.

  • 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.
  • Frolic! – I am making progress. I have most of the whole blocks done. I have made some half and quarter blocks as well.
  • Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece 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.

Small Projects in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Running with Scissors tote gift
  • 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

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 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.
  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. 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.
  5. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Some People Can’t Count

No joke. I really can’t count.

The other day I crowed about finally finishing all the whole blocks for Frolic! I was really thrilled. I made progress!!!


Frolic! Back on Point
Frolic! Back on Point

I didn’t actually finish all the blocks. I just counted wrong. I thought I had made 5 rows of 5, but in the photo, you can clearly see 4 rows of 5.

I didn’t figure it out until I was working on the corner and put the blocks on point. In trying to place them correctly, I realized I was short.


I counted, recounted, looked for missing blocks and finally at the photos. I realized what I had done and that I was just so anxious to finish that I had counted wrong.

This was supposed to be fun, not a long and difficult process. I don’t mind difficult quilts with a lot of pieces, but I am still not quite recovered from Flying Away.

Now I have to decide whether to work with the blocks I have or make another 5 blocks. Those whole blocks have 65 pieces each. While I have some already made, I don’t have all made. 5 more blocks is not that many, but still.



March Donation Blocks

Here are some blocks I made in March. I made the 30 in a month I set as a goal last year. I think it might be the first time. Yay!!

Warm Spiky 16 Patch Block

Warm Spiky 16 Patch #1
Warm Spiky 16 Patch #1

As I said the other day, I am working with HRTs again. After getting re-oriented to the Split Recs ruler (By Deb Tucker). I followed my own advice (for once) and watched the video, which told me what I needed to know to get going.

I am using these as leaders and enders, though I also seem to be sticking in some regular 16 patches as well, while I work on the Frolic!

I am really loving these warm colors, which is an antidote to staying home most of the time and the rain (no complaints; we need it). They look so happy. I have used 5 blocks to make a quilt in the past, but might try 4 this time. It will be easier to make the corners.





**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. 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.

Frolic! Corner

Frolic! Corner
Frolic! Corner

I turned a corner on Frolic! the other day. Literally. I finally figured out how to piece the corner.  It was all about wrapping my head around what pieces I still needed to cut since I hadn’t following the directions. That should teach me, but it probably won’t.

I actually pieced one, too. I may have also figured out how to piece the half blocks, but I haven’t tried yet.

Dresses Again

In 2015, I was in the thick of preparing myself for DH’s organization’s Grand Parlor, where he would be installed as a Grand officer. In that post, I talked about the Marbella dress pattern and getting the dresses made.

I know some of you followed our adventures as we traveled around the state as DH moved through the offices of the organization. One thing i did not do was post about the other dress style that I had made. I went searching for photos of the dresses yesterday and was shocked that I had never posted any.

McCall's Dress Pattern
McCall’s Dress Pattern

The pattern is McCall’s M6958. I have no idea if it is still available or still available under that number when you read this. As i write this in 2020, it is available.

I bought the pattern, because I thought I would be making the dresses and I needed something easy and flattering. As it turned out, I found a dressmaker and didn’t have to make any of the dresses.

The bad part of this pattern is that it has no pockets. I made the Little Cell Phone Wallet pattern** by Valorie Wells so I would have a pocket for cell phone and hotel room key. I thought the cell phone wallet would make up for the lack of pockets.

The good part of the dress pattern is that it has a flat front, which is pretty flattering.  Most of the ones I had made had the cap sleeves.

Hem of McCall's Dress
Hem of McCall’s Dress

To fill out this post, I looked through all the photos I have of the last 8 years of Native Sons events. I found one picture of me in one of the dresses. You can see that I routinely wear it with leggings.

I wear the dresses often. Also, Grand Parlor is coming around again and I’ll probably bring 1-2 along to wear. I think they all need a good press and starch/Mary Ellen’s Best Press**. I might as well do it myself since the dry cleaner is closed.




**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. 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.



Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1
Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1

I spent the weekend working on my Ultimate Carry All Bag. I really needed to get on it since a few people have already finished it, like Cyndi. I am supposed to be one of the leaders, after all!

I already made the small front pocket, which is actually the third sewing step. As I think I mentioned, I don’t recommend skipping steps, but I needed to create the tutorial. Needs must.

Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1 back
Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1 back

With the small front pocket done, I only needed to create the two larger pockets. The one shown above is pocket #1 and is almost finished. I haven’t sewn up the sides or made the pleat in the bottom.

The green pocket with the pink binding on the mesh is the back of pocket #1. This is a hack I added. There was nothing on the back of this pocket. I know I might put stuff in it and forget about it. Still, why not have more pockets? More pockets are better IMO.

Pocket #2 has the pen holder. I don’t like white elastic, so I used more of the ByAnnie double fold elastic. I like the variety of colors and the elasticity. I wasn’t sure I would put the pen holder elastic on, but I did. Actually, I shortened it and added another Clippy pocket I thought it would be useful.

I made a ton of t mistakes and a lot of ripping went on over the weekend. These pockets are not difficult, but the instructions are unique. Also, I am experiencing a low level of anxiety generally and that is making it hard for me to focus on something as complex as bagmaking. Working on the HRTs is satisfying and not too difficult.

Warm Spiky 16 Patch

The other day I talked about making some HRTs with the intention of making a new donation top. I got inspired by some 16 patches that I made while my subconscious worked on Frolic! I also have the Warm Windmill on my mind.

Warm Spiky 16 Patch on the design wall
Warm Spiky 16 Patch on the design wall

For the past few days, I have been cutting and sewing HRTs and trying to relax. I am coming up with a quilt top that I really like.

Snip! Snip!

Cutting from Craft Night
Cutting from Craft Night

The other night we tried Virtual Craft Night. I think it worked pretty well and I got some cutting done. Usually, we do handwork, but I wanted to get those Frolic! pieces cut. Since I was in my workroom with the computer, I decided to rotary cut. I balanced the computer on my cutting table and cut away.

The blue pieces are sets I need for the Frolic! half and quarter blocks. I still have to figure out the last few pieces. There are some blue and pinwheel pieces I need to cut as well; I am just not sure what exactly I need to cut.

Bonnie‘s directions are great; the problem is that I have already done part of the cutting for the full blocks. This means I need to figure out what I have left to cut. I couldn’t do it while on the virtual session with my friends. I had to think and that requires being alone.

The beige and orange pieces will be used to make another Spiky 16 Patch quilt. Yes, this will be another another non-Color Strip donation quilt. Some recent orange and red and pink donation blocks inspired me. I had to figure out how to cut those spiky rectangles all over again.