Various & Sundry Thursday

I have been, slowly, responding to ancient emails and dealing with setting up my computer again as I try to recover from the crash. Below is a lot of different things that I have been thinking about or looking into.


As a result the new mystical powers of my computer, I listened to a radio interview about an art quilt exhibit recently. Deirdre sent the link to me awhile ago.

The exhibit was called Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt and the interviewee was Jill Rumoshosky Werner. She was the curator. I also saw a Flickr group of some of the quilts.

I thought the comments Jill made about her process and the different pieces included in the exhibit were interesting and thoughtful.

I wrote about the Apron contest/exhibit that Jennifer over at CraftSanity is having. I was pleased to see her mention my blog in her blog. Her husband made a funny YouTube video to entice people to take up the challenge. If any of you saw her blog post and came here, leave a comment and let me know.


I am apparently in hunting and gathering mode. I am gathering supplies and fabric for a number of projects (and the class I am taking later this month). I don’t know if I will make all of them, but I am gathering. In a comment from the Happy Zombie blog post I made SherriD suggested a quilt-a-long. I have the supplies coming. Anyone else want to make their own version of the Oh Fransson/Happy Zombie quilt with me?

One of them is the Happy Zombie/Oh Fransson zig-zaggy quilt I talked about on Sunday.

Fons & Porter's Basketweave Baby
Fons & Porter’s Basketweave Baby

The other is the Basketweave Baby Quilt. I saw it again the other night when I watched a repeat of the Fons & Porter episode featuring the Basketweave Baby Quilt. This is part of series 1000. I wrote about this before and thought I would get over my obsession with this pattern, but when I saw the episode again I realized I haven’t. I got a piece of paper and made copious notes on making this quilt. Later, I went to their website to find the project notes/instructions. No dice. They don’t have the sizes or anything on their site. So, I went to see if I could order the magazine that included the instructions. Again, no dice. It is a Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Love of Quilting magazine and it is out of stock. I emailed them to ask about getting the back issue and didn’t hear back. I also looked for websites or information from the designers, Betty Hufford and Jean Nolte. I didn’t find anything there useful there either. I have looked at the library to which I have a card and I haven’t been able to find it. I can’t say that I explored every nook and cranny of their site. I find the Fons & Porter site difficult to navigate. If any of you have this issue and would be willing to loan it to me, leave a comment in this post’s comment area.

I feel a bit stuck, but I also think that I can draw out the design on paper and use that to make a sample. We’ll see.


I have been listening to Pat Sloan’s podcast while I sew. For some reason I don’t download her podcasts to my iPod. Not sure why. Perhaps the Toginet ads intersperse in the podcast is why. Not sure. Anyway, the interviews are really good. So far she has interviewed quiltmakers I haven’t heard before.  One podcast that I really liked was with Bonnie Hunt of Quiltville. I had never heard of her until the podcast. One thing she said was that people who use steam when pressing have problems putting their quilts together. I don’t know if this is true or not. I have always used steam, so I decided to try this out. I have, mostly, not been using steam when I press blocks and elements for a quilt. It is an interesting experiment. I don’t know how long I will do it or if I will never go back to using steam. Some of the things I have found:

  • pressing wrinkles out of recently washed fabric needs steam
  • adhering fusible interfacing to fabric needs steam.
  • I don’t see that pressing seams need steam so far.

I don’t have any other feedback at the moment, but I enjoy the opportunity to try something new. Do you use steam or no steam?

My mom mentioned using Mary Ellen’s Best Press. She said that it really made cutting easy. It might be good to try, but I don’t feel like buying it right now. Mom is going to bring me a sample from her work. The owner offered me one. YAY!

Another Pat Sloan podcast I really liked was the episode with Linda M. Poole. I enjoyed it because Linda was an excellent interviewee. Pat asked her one question and Linda was off and running with interesting comments about her life, family, business and teaching. Linda was well spoken also. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that Linda mentioned my Creative Prompt project. That isn’t the only reason I enjoyed the podcast! 😉 I did see a small spike in comments after that podcast, so, thanks, new readers!

The information related to Pat’s podcast is hard to navigate, though. She doesn’t have much information in iTunes or on her blog about which episode includes which quiltmaker. I had to go to the blogs of two quiltmakers mentioned above to find out which episodes they appeared. I like to have the information right in iTunes.

Inspiration & Momentum

Fabric Closet, Working
Fabric Closet, Working

I had a fabric/project avalanche in my fabric closet last week. A bad sign was that I shut the door and haven’t really gone back in. I haven gone in, looked at it and left again.

I felt like I was losing my sewing momentum last weekend. I am not sure why. I had very little time on Sunday and I just couldn’t get going. I have to try and take my own advice about dealing with these issues. Part of it may have been that I was sick last week and am still feeling the last bits of that illness. I am blaming my malaise on that illness. I think I need to read a trashy novel.

Someone came in my workroom last week and started asking me about the various piles. I sincerely dislike that. Some are projects in process (yes, I need bins for them). Some are just piles of stuff I haven’t put away. Some are hard to explain. Regardless I don’t like justifying my piles. I work better with an organized sewing area.  I need and want to build on the reorganization that TFQ and I did on the fabric closet some years ago. I need and want to reorganize and make beautiful the rest of the room – paint, shelving, the works. There are nice ideas at HGTV that I can use for inspiration.  It all takes money which I don’t have right now. I can think about and plan for what is next in this room:

  • Bookshelves without a doubt! Bookshelves with LOTS of growth space!
  • Murphy or wallbed
  • Drawers
  • More horizontal space (could be a bad thing)
  • Lovely decorations

Color Fun



Last weekend (Saturday) I went to a scrapbook day with a friend and worked on my Austria album. One of the things we did, aside from cut and glue down photos, was watch a video on how to be a better photographer by Nick Kelsh. I thought for sure the video would be on the web somewhere, but all I could find were clips. Look at Nick’s website for clips on using your digital camera to get better photos. I tried his techniques out a bit this week. We’ll see if my photos get better. I’ll let you know when I post them.


I went to Jo-Ann a couple of weeks ago to get a “June Tailor Cushioned Square ‘n Blocker”  for a class with Dale Fleming I am taking with EBHQ in a few weeks. I mentioned this class briefly a few weeks ago. I am interested in  making a circle quilt and I thought it would be a good idea to learn a different technique. My other option is to use the technique Ruth McDowell teaches in her AWESOME Piecing: Expanding the Basics book. The quilt I am interested in making looks similar to the one that Malka Dubrawsky made that was published in Quilting Arts magazine some time ago. She dyed hers and I plan to piece mine. Why, you ask? Who knows? I may make three blocks, realize I had lost my mind and move on. We’ll see.

Anyway, I hadn’t really planned on buying board, though I knew it was a possibility. I wanted to see what it was and what it looked like. When I asked the price, the retail assistant told me and mentioned that they had 40% off coupons in the front of the store. I grabbed one and then went to grab the coupon.  I was able to buy the board for about $10.

I barely ever go to Jo-Ann and I hadn’t been there in a long time. While I was there I noticed they had all of the Fons & Porter notions the two show on their Love of Quilting show. They also had a really good selection of rulers. No Creative Grids, but lots of other brands.

I was in a bit of a rush that day, so I just glanced, and left. Or so I thought. I went to the checkout line and found that Jo-Ann has a HUGE selection of craft magazines. They had some quilt magazines that I had never seen. I picked up the newest issue of  Art Quilting Studio while I was there.

Since I just did a rush visit the first time, I went back on Monday just to look around. In addition to the other projects I have in mind, I have to gear up for Teacher Pillow time, so I am starting to gather materials. Finding affordable pillow forms is paramount. The cheapest one Jo-Ann had was $6.99. $6.99 x 5=too much. I also wanted to look more at their various rulers etc. I saw a Simplicity Studio Ruler Simpli-EZ Tri mate. I never knew that Simplicity made rotary cutting rulers. This caught my eye, because of the shape. I wonder if it will help me, more easily, create the setting triangles for the FOTY 2010 quilt? I’ll have to bring the diamond ruler there sometime to compare and see if I can tell.

I was drawn in by some of their fabric designs.I saw some cherries on pink background that were CUTE! And the prices are great. However I felt the fabric, which I always feel compelled to, and didn’t like the feel of the fabrics, so I passed.

Magazine News

The Jo-Ann magazine selection was as good as ever on my second trip there and I saw the new Quilt Life magazine by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. I haven’t heard good things about it, so I didn’t pick it up. TFQ said she would send me hers to look at, so perhaps I will do a review after I read it.

Bad news on Art Quilting Studio. They have a new editor who said the magazine would be going on hiatus. I don’t think the new editor shuttered the magazine, but I am guessing that Jenny Doh didn’t want to be associated with a failure. I guess we didn’t give enough support to the 3 issues they did put out. Issues of the latest AQS issue were still available when I was at Jo-Ann the second time. I really enjoyed the first issue of that magazine. I thought the second issue had more of the Somerset look and design – muslin, lace, buttons – and I wasn’t enamored. I did like the in depth interviews with quiltmakers. Denyse Schmidt was in the first issue and Susan Shie in the latest. I am happier with what I saw in the 3rd issue, even though I haven’t read through the whole thing yet. Well, if you like that magazine, write to Somerset.

Finally, I got the latest issue of Quilter’s Home. I was really unhappy with the last issue, which was the first without Mark and the first with the new editors, Jake and Melissa. They did a poor imitation of Mark’s style. I had planned to cancel, but I’ll see how the next issue is before I decide. I am happier with this latest issue. I particularly liked the article about blogs and will try to get ArtQuiltmaker into that list.


I received the Edward R. Hamilton catalog the other day. If you have never seen their catalog, get them to send you one. They have an online presence, but I really enjoy looking through the catalog. I was really pleased to see the book American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007 listed in the ART section. It is also only $27.95. I’d like to look at it before I buy, but if it were $10 I would have scooped it up. I love those books which are combinations of history and quilts, but I don’t want to buy a book with a lot of quilt photos I have in other books.

The Quilt National 2003 book is only $2.95! they have a couple of Kaffe Fassett books, the Sally Collins Mastering Precision Machine Piecing book and many, many others. I entered ‘quilt’ into the description field and came up with two screens of search results.


It's A Wrap Pattern by Sandy Gervais
It’s A Wrap Pattern by Sandy Gervais

I decided that I am going to make this pattern, It’s A Wrap Pattern by Sandy Gervais, this weekend. We will see how much of it I get done and if I am able to actually follow the directions. Wish me luck. Hopefully, this will cure my malaise or make it go away long enough for me to make some other things.

I know I have said some things about patterns. I guess I am getting over my snobbery. Hope you won’t hold it against me. I think what I mean is not that there is anything wrong with patterns, but that I like to be able to analyze a quilt and make it by myself without using a pattern. I realize that not everyone has that spatial acuity and that pattern designers have to eat!

Around About Town

Last Friday I had to pick up some tea and return a library book, so I stopped in a little mini-downtown section of SF called West Portal. I parked, walked to the Library, crossed the street and found a newspaper/magazine stand near the place I buy tea! I love those shops where you can see about 300 magazines all at once and buy one issue of foreign home dec magazines as a treat. I have been up and down this street a multitude of times and never seen this place. It may be new. They had a wonderful selection of quilt and craft mags. I had to buy an issue so I picked up an issue of Quilt Mania. I was pleased to find an article about Judy Rothermel and a couple of blocks that were very inspirational. I didn’t know JR designed Civil War fabrics as well as her signature 1930s lines.

After I drank my tea I headed back to the car and saw a handwritten sign in the window of the bookshop saying they give knitting lessons. Hhhmmm.