Various & Sundry 2012 #2

I listened to four audiobooks by the same author in December while I was off. Then, I listened to them again in January while on the train, while doing the dishes, while sewing, while doing boring tasks at work, at lunch, at the quilt retreat in a room full of other people; in short everywhere. I really like the characters in this series. They are murder mysteries and I don’t know if they are well written. I think they are well written. The author uses words like winsome and doesn’t actually repeat herself when conveying past happenings in subsequent books.

So now, I am back, I think. I am tempted to start them again, but I am trying to control myself. I need to participate on FB and Twitter and talk to my family, get back to the Design series with Sandy, and generally be a person who participates in life. It is winter and that is my version of hibernation.

CQFA Retreat Update

Julie wrote her blog post about the CQFA Retreat, which corrected a few things I said wrong in MY blog post about the Retreat and her work. She has a good view of the back and side of me, if you want to see what the back and side of me look like. It is also a good view of my 3 drinks, my flowers, my mess. That is how I work: organized chaos.


A friend asked me about a pattern for a binder cover and before I could wrap my head around the question and answer it, she found one that looks like it would be quite sturdy for even the heaviest binder.

I have been fascinated with casseroles recently. Though this has been a relatively warm winter, my body craves hot, thick and saucy foods and soups. Listening to A Prairie Home Companion doesn’t help. I saw a variety of casserole carrying covers in Minnesota, but the one I really liked was a kit with uninspiring fabrics. I came across a casserole carrying cover tutorial, which I shared with my Minnesota hostess. She is thinking of making a shower gift including the casserole cover as well as an apron, hotpads, oven mitt and trivets. I thought that was a clever idea.

I have had a messenger bag fetish lately. Laurie Wisburn of Tufted Tweets fame led me via Twitter to this very practical messenger bag pattern. I haven’t made it, but it looks very good – plenty of pockets, good size and adjustable.

If you are crazy about Block of the Month projects, check out this list of many, many BOMs. They are organized by technique. Darla of the Scientific Quilter podcast passed this tidbit along. City Quilter has a few BOMs available as well. Love the Amish look!

I like that the author showed a variety of house quilts made from the same pattern. It really shows how to inject creativity into a pattern.

Gigi’s Thimble has a great star pattern that I thought would work well with the BAMQG 16 patch blocks we are making for charity. Don’t get me wrong! I love those 16 patch blocks. I have already made the four packs into blocks and am working on a block from my own scraps. Gigi’s block reminded me of the 16 patch and I thought it would be a good way to make the quilt slightly larger, if necessary. The post includes a tutorial.


Moda has a new designer who started with an Etsy shop for papercrafts. Read about Jenn Ski on the Moda Newsletter blog.

Here is an interview with Cynthia Mann, owner, designer, proprietress of the FabricWorm and Birch Fabrics. Remember the great visit TFQ and I had with her?

I received some really nice comments when I posted my Swoon blocks to the Swoon-a-long Flickr group. I saw a really nice Swoon quilt after that. Individually, I am not that fond of the fabrics, but I really like the combination. I do not subscribe to the “buy ugly fabric, because it will make the pretty fabrics look better” line of thought, however, I think that the khaki (not ugly, BTW, just not to my taste) really makes the other colors shine.


I saw a blog post (thanks, Amy of Creative Mom Podcast!!!) about documenting a day in your life. I like the idea, but my life is not as pretty as the photo in the blog post. Still, I like the idea. It would be good for a scrapbook page as well. What do you think?

Are you doing the Creative Prompt? DO IT! I need some friends who participate! Thanks.

Are morning routines a creativity killer? Annie Murphy thinks so and talks about why in this article. Apparently not being allowed to be groggy and unfocused for a little while prevents those inspired ideas from having a chance to manifest. Murphy also talks about commuting damaging our brain cells. I blame corporate America. The solution: lie in bed a few minutes longer, stand in the shower a few minutes longer and watch YouTube videos while drinking your coffee. “Laughing babies and a double latte: now that’s a way to start the day.”

What is your morning routine? Does it involve any creative endeavor? I write in my journal. It isn’t quite stream of consciousness, but close. I try and do a brain dump so my mind is clear when I get to work and any non-work related thoughts are memorialized on papers, so I can get back to them later. I also want any work worries safely sheltered on the journal pages rather than in my mind. Doodles are sometimes included.

Quilt World News

The catalog is out for the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Send me tweets if you make it. I am not going this year, but someday.

There is a quilt podcast meetup at the Mid-Atlantic Show this year. Pam of Hip to be a Square, Sandy of Quilting…for the Rest of Us, the fabulous Frances of The Off Kilter Quilt and many others will be there. I am actually tempted to hop a plane and go. If I were only so rich! I hope someone bring their microphone and does some podcasting from that meetup.