Creative Prompt #247: Brook

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

Peter Brook, Director: Lord of the Flies. Born in London, Peter was educated at Westminster, and Magdalen College Oxford.

Brook Furniture Rental

Saddle Brook, NJ

Brooks Brothers

Brook Farm Project

Oak Brook, Illinois

Definition: “A brook is a small stream. The word may also refer to:



Other uses

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

Current Projects-February 2014 (26 Projects)

I still really only have two “really old” UFOs left on my list – the Pointillist Palette and the Tarts Come to Tea. The others are old, but they have a different feel to me. I may be kidding myself, but that is what is in my head right now.

I am still kind of on a high about the Attack of the Hexies top. It is at the quilter and I feel like it will get done soon.

Finished 2014 Projects

  1. Spiderweb: Finished 2/22/2014 WHEW!

Still WIPs

  1. Aqua-Red SamplerFrances and I started up again! We talked about the New York Beauty and I promised to start the hexagon tutorial. I did start it, I just haven’t done much since starting it.
  2. The Tarts Come to Tea: I still haven’t worked on this since April 2011, though, periodically, I think about working on it.
  3. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. I still haven’t worked on this, though, every once in a while I think about using some of the squares as leaders and enders. I also want to find my notes for the others and see if I want to do them.
  4. See: needs satin stitching. Small, also a possibility for finishing before the end of the year, though with all the cutting I have done recently, perhaps not so much.
  5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I like the piece, but don’t know where to go from where I am. Mouth? Hair? The attitude I need to have is that I can’t ruin it; there is always more fabric. Possibility for abandonment.
  6. Under the Sea: class project; like the design, but not the colors much. Possibility for abandonment. I have to face reality.

Ready for Quilting

  1. New:* Wonky 9 Patch: needs quilting and binding. I am still thinking about quilting this myself and I am thinking about it more and more. I am wondering how far apart I can quilt it so that it has some drape. (Not on original list)
  2. New:* FOTY 2012: top, finished. Back and binding are complete; at the quilter.
  3. New:*Star Sampler: Top finished, back and binding finished; at the quilter. (not on original list)
  4. New:*Fresh Fruit: Top finished, back and binding finished; at the quilter. (not on original list)
  5. Flower Sugar Hexagons / Attack of the Hexies – Top finished 1/12/2014: at the quilter.

In the Finishing Process

  1. Infinity blocks: Back from the quilter, sewing down binding.

In Process
I decided that I had better put in an ‘In Process’ category. The difference, at least in my mind, between ‘In Process’ and ‘UFO’. The difference is that I am actively working on a project that is “In Process.”

Hunting and Gathering

  • Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
  • Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I will use a grey for the background, because if I use more of the cut fabric patches, the pattern will be lost. The pieces are too oddly shaped and I don’t want to lose the pattern in a mass of scraps.
  • Stepping Stones #2 using Bonnie & Camille fabrics Bliss, Ruby, Vintage Modern: made two test blocks, but still in the thinking stage while I decide on the background colors. I want the contrast to be good.
  • Super Secret Project #3: working on color choices.


Nothing so far for 2014

You can find the  latest update for the Current Projects list provides a good comparison to this month.

I thought you might want to take a look at the first list I made, the one with the 26 Projects. I started the list in October 2011. I have made progress. I am still planning to stop this post when I have no more projects from the original list to write about, but it is so useful to keep track of all of my projects.

*New – Project started after I started working on the 26 Projects list


Finished: Spiderweb

Spiderweb Quilt Finished
Spiderweb Quilt Finished

After about a gazillion years, I have finally finished the Spiderweb.

Now that you have all gotten back into your chairs after that shock, I have to tell you that, yes, I have finished the Spiderweb.

The easiest part of this quilt was sewing down the binding. The Reflections fabric was so easy to needle that the binding practically attached itself to the quilt.

This quilt was started in 1998 after I saw an article in Quilter’s Newsletter magazine by Beverly Dunivent.

This has been a 16 year journey that involved a lot of paper piecing, a long time not working on it and finally a commitment to get UFOs out of my life.

Various & Sundry 2014 #2

What I am reading:

Tools, Supplies, Books & Notions

Fabric Printing leaps to other work environments when law librarians trying not get their Poster Session posters wrinkled on their way to their annual conference begin printing their posters on paper. They used Spoonflower! The article was in a recent issue of a national law librarian publication. Perhaps quiltmaking is next?

Remember when I was talking about the Girl in profile Serendipity Quilt? Caroline, our teacher said to use a glue stick. Recently I saw a Sewline Glue Pen somewhere. It looks completely awesome and perfect for this project. Of course, I haven’t done more than create the pattern, but still….

Nancy Zieman of Sewing with Nancy and the Nancy’s Notions empire has written a book. Go buy it; she is amazing!

The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket is being republished in eBook form. I dropped by her blog and saw the notice there. She is the publisher this time and discusses working with the people who did the technical work required to get it into eBook form.

Aren’t these pretty notions? I love the wood. He has a whole section of quiltmaking items that would look fabulous and, probably, be lovely with which to work. I haven’t bought anything from him, but I am eying the bobbin holder and the seam rippers. I wonder if they are sharp?

Missouri Star Quilt Company is publishing a new magazine. I haven’t decided whether or not to buy it.

Quilt Colour Workshop (with a ‘u’!) is a new book from the people at Fat Quarterly magazine. It publishes in mid-March. I saw a review and it sounds interesting, though I thought there was a lot of emphasis on the patterns on projects. I went and looked on Amazon and there is a “without the u version” 😉 for sale there. I’d like to look through the book before I commit to buying.


I thought about including this category in with notions, but decided Fabric is a thing unto itself.

Anna Maria Horner has decided to create a fabric stack reflecting her mood of the month. Her January Gathering post talks about her inspiration, her own rules for creating the stack and gives some words that reflect the month for her. The precise details for subscribing are posted in a lovely PDF on her site. I am terribly tempted to subscribe. As if I need more fabric.

I love this idea, especially to stay inspired with color and fabric. I am thinking that, although two months are almost gone from 2014, that I could do this as well. I could use my own fabric and not sell stacks, but be inspired by the month, reinvigorate my quiltmaking, reacquaint myself with my fabric and generally be inspired. Who wants to play?

Services & Sites

AQS, as part of their membership fee, now has My Quilt Place. There you can create your own webpage, upload photos, post events & link to your favorite blogs. I haven’t tried it, but if you are wanting a webpage, this might be the place to start. There didn’t seem to be any place to search (wanted to see if anyone was working on Scrapitude), but I think they want Nosy Parkers to login before searching.

Not sure what category this goes in, but I found a great story about why you should label your quilts on Bonnie Hunter’s blog.

I finally opened up Feedly and looked through some blogs I had marked. I came across Malka Dubrowsky’s blog and her “What I am Working on Wednesday” post. This has the same or a similar meaning to Pam (and others) WIP Wednesday posts. Somehow the name sounds different. I really had a blast of blog inspiration that I would do this as well. Then I realized that almost all of my posts are about what I am working on. Back to the drawing board!

Susan Brubaker Knapp is the new Quilting Arts TV host. No word on what Pokey Bolton is doing now, but it seems that she is making a lot of changes in her life. Everyone needs a change at some point even if they are immersed in the quilt world. Good luck to both!

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Wondering about tension? Eileen has a tutorial on her blog for testing tension, working with your bobbin and general information about tension. You might not need it, but it is a good refresher.

In a recent Quilts & More, I saw a cute backpack and decided to make it for a young lady I know. The Fat Quarter Shop still had kits of the fabrics. While I have plenty of fabric, I decided to use the kit, because I would probably put too much pink in it for her tastes. Want to make it with me?

Remember when I talked about the fabric handbags? I haven’t forgotten about them; I just haven’t put them on the front burner. I need to. I just haven’t. I was surfing the web and came across a post by the Happy Zombie where she makes what she calls the Small Treats Totes. These might work. I don’t mind the other pattern at all. I did think it was a little cumbersome to make, but not terrible and I am sure I can change the pattern a bit if I work with it. Also, all the bags done have to be the same., do they?

Mosaic Quilting
Mosaic Quilting

Ami Simms recently talked about crumb blocks. Katie of Katie’s Quilting Corner and Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville both talk about crumb blocks and I always thought it sounded faintly odd. Basically I didn’t understand it and never took the time to look it up. Seeing Ami Simms blog suddenly put it all together for me. I call the process that creates crumb blocks Mosaic Piecing. I suppose it could also be called crazy piecing. I am not exactly sure if there is a difference. I know that when I make my crumb/mosaic blocks I use all the same color in one piece. I noticed that Bonnie Hunter used all different colors in her blocks.

Daisy Fraser Wreath told me about a Skillbuilder Sampler, which I thought I would share with you. I am all about building skills as it prevents frustration! There are a number of blocks there that I have not made, which means, perhaps, I should go and build some skills. The quilt-a-long is over, but all the information is still there and my Quilt class tutorials would dovetail nicely.

I stopped by the Be*Mused blog and saw she had made one of Jenni Baker’s drawstring bags. This is another good way to wrap gifts, similar to my gift bags

Carol recently pointed me to the Quilt Rat’s blog where she had posted a post on design and repetition. It isn’t exactly on repetition like we discussed in the podcast with Sandy, but another way to enhance your art with repetition. She shows how much can be done with a simple outline and give examples of modifying it for different techniques. This is a great exercise to add to your arsenal, if you are stuck, as well.

I became aware of the Modern Bias Blog when I saw that someone with that name on Flickr favorited my Russian Rubix blocks. I looked through some of the posts. She has some information about paper piecing in a post where she extolls the virtues of another blogger’s Economy block. A lot of the information can be found in a multitude of other sources, but the fabric combinations are fantastic and might just be the inspiration you need.

Jackie recently posted a link to 15 pincushion patterns. If you need a gift, there are all sorts of different pincushions at this site from which to choose.

Other Artists & Inspiration

Have you seen the Mrs. Billings quilt? It is really amazing. Thanks to Moda for tweeting it out.

Remember my Corner Store quilt? I saw another one on the web recently. It is very nice and I like the cheerfulness as well as the grey background.

How about the Olympic Patchwork Quilt? It is really pretty and kind of reminds me of FOTY 2010. Are Olympic quilts a thing? I remember a book about the Atlanta Summer Games quilts, but do people make quilts for each Olympics? I haven’t searched (no excuse, I know), but let me know if something quilt related is going on for the Olympics in your local guild or quilt group.

Here is a follow-up to the exhibition of Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle’s work at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Weeks wrote a blog post about it, some background and the artists’ reception.

Danny Gregory wrote a post recently about his commute to work. It struck home, because of my Ferry Building 365 Project. My commute is the same everyday. I don’t really have the option to walk or bike, but the FB365project helps me look at at least one part of my commute with fresh eyes every day. This quote spoke to me “But with novelty comes a renewed awareness, another bucket of ice water over the head, the shock of the new.”

I heard about the Adventures in Arting podcast (also available on iTunes) recently, perhaps from Tanesha. I downloaded a few episodes, but only listened to the first two over the weekend. Oh My Goodness! This is a great podcast – at least the first two episodes were great. In the first two episodes they talk about a couple of my mantras: intention and failure. In the design episodes with Sandy, I often mention the artists intention. This is YOUR intention when you are making something. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and her guests discuss intention in the first episode and I love what they say. In the second episode, there is a guest, Ronda Palazzari, and the three of them (Julie’s mom is co-host) discuss failure. Eileen, Julie’s mom, talks about what a negative and unhelpful word failure is and gives four different and more helpful ways of thinking about failure. No, this is not a quilting podcast, though, there was a brief mention of stitch, but you can glean a lot about creativity from listening. Give it a try. I’ll let you know if I decide I don’t like it later.

From ResearchBuzz: “Now available: the digitized scrapbooks of Harry Houdini. “The collection contains ten scrapbooks filled with advertisements, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, reports, how-to articles, and almost everything else regarding magic from roughly the 1830s through the 1920s. Houdini owned all the books at the time of his death, but he did not compile all of the clippings.” These are mostly an interesting collection of advertisements, but if you are interested in magic and the history of magic, there will be another element for you. I thought they were interesting as a specimen of scrapbooking.


Housekeeping: Subscribe/ Unsubscribe
Housekeeping: Subscribe/ Unsubscribe

I have been receiving a lot of cranky-sounding emails from readers about the email subscription. Most recently I got a frantic comment from a reader asking to be unsubscribed from the email. This comment was followed a few minutes later by an email.

I am always sorry to see people leave the emailed version of my posts. I am happy to unsubscribe you, but you can also unsubscribe yourself. The picture to the side illustrates how to unsubscribe. The spot can be found in the upper right hand corner of my blog.

Please keep in mind that I am one person, I don’t have a team of social media people available to help with issues. I would appreciate it if you would give me some time to help you before contacting me multiple times. The best way to reach me is via email at poste [at] arquiltmaker [dot] com. Comments about unsubscribing left on posts will be deleted. Thank you.

Scrapitude Top Finished

Scrapitude Top Finished
Scrapitude Top Finished

I spent almost three solid days piecing the rest of this Scrapitude top. I say “almost solid” because I went and got a pedicure and ate breakfast, went to Pilates and picked up the Young Man on Friday. On Saturday I worked on the taxes, did the laundry and cleaned the kitchen. Yesterday, I got up late, spent a lot of time eating breakfast and reading the newspaper with the family, went to the gym, and worked on some of Super G’s stuff. It felt like three solid days since I had big plans to work on other quilt and fiber projects.

Finishing this top was more work than I thought it would be. The fact that the top was bigger than my design wall should not hamper me as I deal with that issue all the time. It did, though. As I got to the edges, I couldn’t see when to put a 2.5″ square on the almost-vertical sashing and when to put it on the almost-horizontal sashing. That meant that I unpicked and resewed a lot.

The only thing I really had to do yesterday was put borders on it and that small task seemed to take forever. I put borders on to stabilize all of those bias edges and sewed very carefully while I did it. the borders, of course, are scrappy. I mitered them for once and I am pleased with how they came out.

I still have the back, the binding and the label to make. I will use a bunch of Philip Jacobs fabrics to make the back, which makes me very happy. I don’t know what I will use for binding- perhaps another Philip Jacaobs or a white dot to continue the border and focus the eye on the center.  I am pleased with my progress.

I have to say that I am sorely tempted to make this quilt again. I want to play with the look of the 2.5″ squares running across the quilt. I have tons of quilts I want to make and will think about making something with those same squares, but in a different pattern.

Updated: Scrapitude Posts are now compiled on Sandy’s blog.

Disappearing Pinwheel Blocks

I am tempted to start each of the DPW posts with “I blame Sandy for this project.” It isn’t, however, a very positive statement and I do have free will with which to resist her quilty-wiles. I didn’t on this one, perhaps because I had a Layer Cake that really needed to be used as well as a lot of grey from the background tribulations of the Russian Rubix. The planets aligned, all the pieces were available and I didn’t have to leave the house to start.

Disappearing Pinwheel Blocks
Disappearing Pinwheel Blocks

I am determined not to let this project languish. I want to sew the blocks, put them together and move on. I thought about giving it to someone associated with DH’s nonprofit, but I think it might be suitable for one of the Niece-phews. I’ll have to ask DH if it is boyish enough. There are a lot of nephews and they get annoyed and confused when I try and give them pink quilts.

On the color front, I am not thinking too much about the combinations of fabrics. The grey that mom chose is good, but some of the fabrics from the Layer Cake do blend into it. I think that is ok. I think it will make the eye of the viewer move around the quilt. The larger prints of the Moda Mod Century fabrics made blocks with a lot of movement as well.

After the cutting, the blocks go together like 9 Patches, which is pretty easy. I used the parts and pieces of these blocks as leaders and enders to Scrapitude, which meant I really got a lot done on the project with very little effort. I think I have nearly 15 blocks by now.

I am using a lot of Mary Ellen’s Best Press, so the blocks feel a little bit like cardstock. They will have to feel that way as I want to keep them as straight as possible since all the edges are on the bias.

I have also decided on the border and started those blocks, simple pinwheels, but smaller than the starting pinwheels for this block, as well.

I really don’t know why I started it except to say that I am interested in the cutting oddly and rearranging of blocks. I was amazed and thrilled at the way the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern created automatic sashing in my Food Quilt and this is even better.


Russian Rubix Colors

Add in Light Blue
Add in Light Blue

I had to buck up and get on with choosing extra colors for the Russian Rubix and my Super Secret Project #4.

I came across this light blue (tending towards aqua) dot and thought it would be good for the project. It does have the same qualities as the aqua ring print – it looks like it will blend in with the background. Still, I like it.

The fabrics shown on top of the blue are fabrics I have already chosen. The oranges look more gold in the photo than they are in real life.

I am still thinking that a Joel Dewberry Notting Hill print in cool colors would be a good addition. I haven’t put it up with the other fabrics to take a look. Stay tuned for that.

Russian Rubix posts:

Creative Prompt #246: Pond

Jamaica Pond is in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, and was first included in Boston’s “Emerald Necklace” of parks in 1892

Ricker Pond State Park

Turtle Pond in Central Park

Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory, operated by Friends of LBL

US Pond Hockey Championships


Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary

Australian band

Pond’s Cold Cream

Walden Pond

pond life

On Golden Pond (1981 movie)

Lums Pond State Park, Bear, Delaware

Definition: “A pond is a body of standing water, either natural or man-made, that is usually smaller than a lake. They may arise naturally in floodplains as part of a river system, or they may be somewhat isolated depressions (examples include vernal pools and prairie potholes). Usually they contain shallow water with marsh and aquatic plants and animals.[1] A few animals also make ponds, including both alligators and beavers. The type of life in a pond is generally determined by a combination of factors including water level regime (particularly depth and duration of flooding) and nutrient levels, but other factors may also be important, including presence or absence of shading by trees, presence or absence of streams, effects of grazing animals, and salinity.[2]

Humans also make ponds. A wide variety of man-made bodies of water are classified as ponds. Some ponds are created specifically for habitat restoration, including water treatment. Others, like water gardens, water features and koi ponds are designed for aesthetic ornamentation as landscape or architectural features. Fish ponds are designed for commercial fish breeding, and solar ponds designed to store thermal energy.

Standing bodies of water such as puddles, ponds, and lakes are often categorized separately from flowing water courses, such as a brook, creek, stream or river. Nutrient levels and water quality in natural or man-made ponds can be controlled through natural process such as algal growth, or man-made filtration such as an algae scrubber.”(Wikipedia)

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

Scrapitude Confetti

Scrapitude Februry 2014
Scrapitude Februry 2014

After finally settling down over the weekend, I decided to start piecing Scrapitude into a top. The top is not yet completely pieced, but I did get a rhythm going and I did make progress. I might be able to finish it this weekend, which would go a long way towards alleviating some of the chaos.

The piece looks really cheerful, which is nice. Sandi said it reminded her of confetti. It does, so I might use that as a name.

As I was piecing the seam allowances were shrinking, I noticed how the lines of squares ran through the whole piece. I think it would have been good to make those all one color and not use that color anywhere else in the quilt — or only in selected locations that didn’t touch the squares.

Previous Scrapitude Posts

Workroom Chaos

A few weeks ago I was feeling very “light and fluffy” in terms of projects finished and the mental space to start considering the possibilities of new projects. I had finished a number of smaller projects, had really made some good progress (reached a tipping point) on my UFO list, and felt like the world of quiltmaking was at my feet. I was just waiting for the inspiration for my next project.

How the mighty have fallen. Of course, there are never NO projects on my design wall and the ones in the hopper came to the fore.

Small Design Wall
Small Design Wall

Chaos reigned my workroom this past weekend. I felt king of overwhelmed by all the projects that were going on.

Large Design Wall
Large Design Wall

Finally I had to face reality that this chaos was what I was dealing with and it wasn’t working for me. I had to deal with it because I realized I was wasting precious sewing time.

The visual intensity of all of these projects plus the mess of my workroom was creating chaos in my mind. I couldn’t seem to focus, which is why, I think, I whipped up three cat beds. It got me sewing and gave me something to focus on so I could figure out a solution to my problem.

As I sewed, I realized that I needed to put away the donation blocks. I am not done working on them, but they didn’t need to be on the design wall.

I also let Scrapitude take over one of my design walls. There is a lot going on in that quilt and the sooner it is done, the better for the relief of the visual chaos. I wasn’t able to get the whole top put together, but I made good progress.

I also decided that I didn’t need all of the Disappearing Pinwheel  blocks on the wall while I was working on them. I am also using those as, mostly, leaders and enders as I sew Scrapitude together.

I started to use the extra Russian Rubix pieces as leaders and enders to get some of the octogons off the design wall.

I haven’t done anything about cleaning my workroom except making that one cat bed out of my own fabric. I figure that getting one piece of fabric out of the place is a start. Not a great start, but a start.


Cat Beds

Owl Cat Bed
Owl Cat Bed

I was able to procure a couple of cat bed kits at the BAMQG meeting on Saturday. I had no time to sew on Saturday, but pinned the gusset to one side of one cat bed before I ran off to do my political wifery duties on Saturday evening. Then Sunday, I put the two kits together and made a third.

I am not sure why I sewed three cat beds when I had a lot of time to sew over the weekend. There was a lot of chaos in my workroom and I think the cat beds were something on which I could focus.

I picked kits with the same pattern and gusset color. I don’t know why, but perhaps that was what my eye could take in. As a side note I have pajamas with the same pattern

Yes, I took one top from one of the kits and made a pattern then cut out a cat bed from my own fabric. the fabric is burgundy with teapots on it. I like the teapots, but the background is an unfortunate color. The gusset came out too long, but I cut it off and was able to finish a third cat bed for Amanda. I’ll have part of a gusset for the next cat bed.

Book Review: Marcia Decoster Presents

Marcia DeCoster Presents Beaded Jewelry by 30 International ArtistsMarcia DeCoster Presents Beaded Jewelry by 30 International Artists by Marcia DeCoster

The table of contents of this book includes an introduction and then the names of bead artists. It is amazing. “The interviews…, along with brief biographies and photos that showcase each artist’s work, are the results of this effort.” The book includes a wide variety of beading styles “from Nancy Dale’s elaborate fringe to Heather Collin’s cubic right angle weave creations and Susan Blessinger’s multimedia masterpieces. The author states that this book was, in part, made possible by the wonder of the Internet, which gave her the means to admire beadwork from around the world.

The shapes and colors are enough to inspire ideas for quilts and other crafts for a few years. The artists are from many different countries and backgrounds. Miriam Shimon shows a piece that would make a fantastic applique’, Aurora (pg.11). The necklace has some curves that look like mustaches in beautiful greens and reds tempered by burgundy and gold. Miriams designs are elegant and large.

Beki Haley includes natural elements such as a dragonfly (pg.30 on Enchanted) and a shell that looks like an ammonite (pg.31, Ancient Seas) as well as charms and beads that further the nature idea. The work is calming and has interesting textures.

I liked Sian Nolan’s rich, vibrant colors and thought her piece, Siany Bird (pg.43) was really innovative. It is a flamingo beaded scarf-like piece with feathers. I would look fabulous with a black dress that had a mock turtle collar. Her work includes a needlework case, which is different.

Each section includes photos of the artists’ work, also some biographical information and answers to a series of questions. Many of the artists make jewelry, but also beaded bags, the “scarf” mentioned above and cuffs.

This book is about texture and shape as well as lushness. If you need some inspiration along those lines, this book is one to look at.

Take a look!

View all my reviews

North Coast Quilt Shops pt.2

A few days ago I wrote about the Ocean Waves quilt shop, which was actually the second shop I visited on our trip to the North Coast last weekend. The first shop, which I really like was Scottie Dog Quilts. For the first time since I have been going there, one of the owners was there and we chatted for awhile while she cut my fabric. I heard her answer the phone “Redwood Sewing Center” and thought “huh?”, so I asked. She said they have a different, affiliated business called Scottie Dog Quilts, but officially the shop was called Redwood Sewing Center. Hhmm. Who knew?

Cafe Apron Sample
Cafe Apron Sample

One thing I bought was a kit with a pattern for a ‘cafe’ apron. It was one of those postcard patterns. They only had them in kit form (no patterns alone) and the kits were more my colors (pink, yellow, etc). I have plenty of fabric to make a few of these cafe aprons, but had to buy the kit in order to get the pattern. Frankly, what appealed to me was the Eiffel Tower fabric, but they were out and they didn’t have dark kits. I bought some yardage of the neutrals/blacks from the Little Black Dress collection to make one as a gift. I may have some Eiffel Tower fabric leftover from my sister’s quilt, but I don’t think so. I think I used the leftovers for the back. Now I have the fabric for two and hope to make them soon, so the fabric doesn’t get lost or used for something else. I have another short apron I wear in my workroom (it was a gift), so I don’t need one, but, depending on how difficult they are, I think these would make nice gifts and, perhaps, a giveaway or officer gift at BAMQG. We’ll see.

Little Black Dress & Lozenge Quilt
Little Black Dress & Lozenge Quilt

It is a small shop, but they have a lot of fabric. I didn’t think I was in the mood to buy fabric, but I did buy a few pieces. They have a small batik wall and I picked out a few pieces just to freshen up my batik options.

I always like the quilt samples they have in this shop as well. I have been, for a long time, toying with the idea of lozenge quilt and the one in the photo is an interesting variation. It is not actually made from a lozenge shaped patch, but from squares, HSTs and rectangles. I am not that fond of the colors of the sample, but that is no problem.

The fabrics I discussed for the apron are shown above the quilt.

Fabric at Scottie Dog
Fabric at Scottie Dog

they had a small, segregated selection of modern fabrics, one Heather Bailey I saw this time was also there last year (used it for the Petrillo Bag). It made me wonder if Free Spirit is reprinting that particular print of if the shop does not sell many modern fabrics?

They also had Mary Ellen’s Best Press in the regular size and a lot of different fragrances as well as a lot of charm packs.

You can also see more of their samples. I don’t remember if those were just decorations or if they were class samples. There was actually a class gong on when I was there. I went into the classroom to look at the quilts hanging there. I listened to the discussion and could only get that I think that was some kind of finishing class – bring your half finished project and someone would help you finish it. There were a couple of ladies doing applique’ so it could have been an applique’ class as well.

Notions Wall - Scottie Dog
Notions Wall – Scottie Dog

There was a nice selection of notions. I bought another pack of True Grips. A few of my rulers still need them, especially the specialty templates.

I definitely think that the notions wall is a telling sign of the type of shop. Some shops just seem to have a bunch fo Dritz notions and that is it. Other shops seem to have a varied selection of useful notions. Scottie Dog/Redwood Sewing Center is a shop that has a variety. It was a small-medium selection, but I think they picked what they thought would be useful rather than ordering a ‘notions kit’, if such a thing exists.

I think I have mentioned before that they sell machines – Pfaffs (perhaps that is why they are officially called Redwood Sewing Center??). I looked at the Pfaffs they had available – about 6 machines – just out of curiosity. I couldn’t tell anything from what I saw and I didn’t ask for a demo.

Towards 30s and Dots Wall
Towards 30s and Dots Wall

Straight ahead and to the left as you walk in is the 1930s fabrics and dots wall. If you turn left from the notions wall, you will also see it. I didn’t see anything that jumped out at me for TFQ, but there were a few dots that tempted me.

The cabinets on the left of the picture are covered with Bali Pops, Tonga Treats, etc. I rummaged through them and was very tempted, but I have a few slated for projects that I have not used yet, so I restrained myself.

Right to the right of the dots and 1930s fabrics was a large display of Bonnie & Camille fabrics. They had charm packs of Scrumptious, but yardage from a variety of their different lines, even Ruby.

You can really see how this shop is just crammed with fabric and everything. I found that to be the case with Ocean Waves, too. I didn’t really get a sense of the vibrancy of the quilting community, but it must be strong to support two quilt shops which are almost within walking distance of each other in the same town.

More notions, patterns & batiks
More notions, patterns & batiks

Taking this picture, the Little Black Dress and lozenge quilt display were on my left.

I liked the Bonnie & Camille quilt and was very tempted by that ruffled bag hanging above the notions. I have a number of bag patterns yet to make, so I refrained from buying that one.

The photo to the right gives more examples of the sample quilts and there is a wide variety.

Scottie Dog Fabrics/ Redwood Sewing Center

Scottie Dog Quilts
301 W. Harris St.
Eureka, CA 95503
(707) 444-9662

Book Review: Stuffed Animals

Stuffed Animals: From Concept to ConstructionStuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction by Abigail Patner Glassenberg

When I received this book from Lark, I didn’t realize it was by the same author who wrote The Artful Bird Feathered Friends to Make and Sew, a book Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood featured on a podcast, and a book that included a flamingo I adored.

This book has much more accessible looking and simpler looking projects (16 projects and 52 lessons) than her previous book. They also are more kid friendly rather than works of art.

The book starts with an introduction and I was glad to see the author bring up creating your own designs in the first paragraph. She also envisions big things for your future. She wants you to create patterns for soft toys.

The patterns are arranged by difficulty with the easiest coming first, preceded by the ubiquitous section on Tools and Materials (pg.11). there are a few different items required than many of the regular quilt books. An awl, a craft knife and a sliding gauge are listed, none of which are included in my basic sewing kit. The items that should be included in a basic sewing kit are listed separately. They include all the normal things, except for hemostats, which I would consider to be a specialty item. I can see where they would be required for projects that need stuffing. Everything required is pictured and well explained.

Abigail Patner Glassenberg has written an extensive section on Designing Stuffed Animals (pg.18- ). Considerations such as visual research and sketching, using tools, considering grainline, and drawing and editing a pattern.

The section called Making Stuffed Animals (pg.24- ) also includes different sections on skills and techniques for being successful in this endeavor. One caught my attention, Checking and Reinforcing Seams (pg. 25), because it occurred to me that I should do this on some of my quilts or bags. Glassenberg doesn’t leave anything to chance in this book and this section goes over every detail, including leaving an opening, clipping curves, turning and many others.

Finally the projects start on page 35, which tells me how important the techniques and skills are to the author. “The simplest softie pattern you can make is an outline toy (pg.35),” which is what the first and easiest project is – a fish. Though she includes a pattern for the fish, she tells you what an outline pattern is and assumes you will work on your own. The pattern goes on for some pages, covering every detail from start to finish.

There is something for everyone in this book, of course, in difficulty, but also in design. There are lions, camels, hippos, monsters and other animals. Each project includes a lesson, which would help with techniques in the author’s first book. The Crab project has a lesson in tab joints and turning and stuffing a long skinny part while the Kangaroo project has lessons in “putting in a pocket” and “cutting a hole to attach limbs”. Having the lessons will help the reader design their own projects later.

Many of the fabrics were fine, but the one thing I didn’t like about this book were many of the fabrics. I thought they were old and looked like they had been snipped from clothes in the closet of an elderly and solitary couple. The monsters would have been a lot cuter and more appealing in batiks. I didn’t like the 70s looking prints and found some of the fabrics to be musty looking. Still, fabrics are a personal choice and have no impact on all the good of this book.

There is an index, which I like 😉 as well as full sized templates in the back.

This is a book anyone who wants to learn a lot should look at.

View my reviews, including my non-quilt, non-craft book reviews

Spiderweb Returns

Spiderweb Returns
Spiderweb Returns

After years of this project being a UFO and a WIP, the end is in sight. Colleen is back in the saddle and she did this quilt as soon as she returned. She has had it for a year. I didn’t believe her, but when I looked back in the blog, I had to agree that she was correct.

Five more quilts will follow quickly over the next couple of months with one coming, perhaps, next week. I am not quite sure what to think! I had better get to binding; that is for sure.