Various & Sundry 2015 #1

You MUST go watch the video on Tanesha’s blog RIGHT NOW. I’ll wait.

Wasn’t that awesome? Don’t you wish someone had told you? This is the whole point of the Creative Prompt Project.

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Have you seen Quilter in the Closet’s (Jen), Building blocks Tuesday post from December 23rd? I really like the star block. Building Blocks Tuesday is a regular feature on her blog and it looks like you can learn or practice different skills. What do you think?

Valerie over at Evening in the Garden blog made some packs of gifts that included tissue holders. I decided to try making one. I have some of those small packs of tissues and thought they would make nice small gifts. I ended up making only a couple, but they are on my list for this year for gifts on hand. Valerie used a YouTube video tutorial to make them and they are unbelievably fast. If you have a serger, they are even faster.

If you are following along with the Grand Illusion 2014 Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter, she revealed her finished quilt on New Year’s Day. I like the block, but am kind of glad I didn’t do the project as the finished piece looks really busy. I would not have wanted to pick out fabrics for the piece. I think it would have been more frustrating than challenging doing so without knowing what the quilt would look like.

Nonnie tweeted about a free BOM from Craftsy designed by Jinny Beyer. Yes, FREE! the basic design is a basket sampler. I didn’t buy the kit (have plenty of fabric, thanks!), but there is a kit that goes with the BOM, which you can buy. Even if you have no interest in making the blocks, you might want to ‘enroll’ in the class and listen to Jinny’s color theories. While there are many, many color theories out there, hers is interesting and well thought out. I am not sure I agree with all of her points – the jury is still out – but I like hearing what she has to say. Her theory interests me, especially the part about shading, in terms of my FOTY quilts.

I really liked Polka Dot Finale, a tree made from wool with polka dot leaves.

Articles & Information

There is so much out there on why crafting/making is good for you. Here is another article from CNN. I like this quote “Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say. It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging.” The article also mentions flow, which I knew, but had a hard time describing beyond ‘ getting into the zone’ until I read a quote in the article from Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who first described this phenomenon as flow: a few moments in time when you are so completely absorbed by an activity that nothing else seems to matter. Flow, Csikszentmihalyi says, is the secret to happiness — a statement he supports with decades of research.” I like that. Flow. There is also some discussion about “a nonpharmaceutical way to regulate strong emotions such as anger or prevent irrational thoughts. “Flow could potentially help patients to dampen internal chaos”. “

The article includes a video about making electronic gadgets, which was interesting, because it provided an option for those who may not want to glue or sew or stitch.

I can’t help but be a fan of having a hobby and making. This article is really well done, supported by some research as well as anecdotes. I really like it.

Fabric, Tools & Supplies

For those of you who listen to the Hip to be a Square podcast, you know that Pam, the hostess, tracks her fabric usage. She recently posted her year end review and made a few comments on her usage over the three years she has been tracking. Pam has shared a copy of the blank spreadsheet she uses to track her usage, so you can track as well.

Marsha McCloskey is the Feathered Star Queen (I made that up). It is a block that I have always wanted to make and really think it is doable now that I have figured out the Triangle Technique. She talks also about Bernina no longer producing her favorite presser foot for piecing, the #13. I do not have a Bernina and have not tried this foot, but if you want one, now is the time to scrounge around and see if there are any left waiting to be sold. McCloskey also talks about the ultra fine 70/10 Schmetz Microtex (Sharp) Needles. If you use them on your sewing machine, the needle threader may not work. She was told by a nice lady at Paramount Sewing & Vacuum that a 75/11 is as small as you can go for most automatic needle threaders. Haven’t tested this, but will put it on my to do list.

If you have not perused Marsha’s site, now is the time as there are a lot of specials going on. Until January 30, she’s offering newsletter (click to get to the newsletter on Yahoogroups) readers 10% off on all orders over $25 placed at the website. To receive the discount, just type BLUE2 in the space for Coupon Code when you place the order at: Her newsletter is interesting. You can also join by searching for Marsha McCloskey on Yahoogroups.

Sandy found the Inspira Studio by ClosetMaid. Would this studio work for you as your ultimate-the only-studio-you-get-in-your-lifetime studio?


There are different types of organization, but mostly they fall into two categories: mental and physical. I find that I need to get into the mental frame of mind before I can start to tackle the physical. GoGoKim has made it past the mental and is on to the physical with some good techniques and tips for organizing her workroom.

NoScrapTooSmall is also back on the blogging bandwagon, talking about her Year of Making. She has some interesting links to others doing their Years of Making as well. I am interested in the words that people pick for their year, but have never been able to make it work for myself. I think that something like NoScrapTooSmall’s Year of Making would be a better method for me. I have been swamped so I haven’t been able to follow all the links, but that is high on my priority list.

Nadine Ruggles talks about her Word of the Year and discusses a little of how I feel about words of the year.

Quilt World News

There is a project going on to underwrite the funding needed to update the IQSC space into a special gallery. Linda Pumphrey is launching this campaign to raise funding to pay for the lighting and hanging system in the new ground floor gallery at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, NE. The gallery will be used to showcase work from contemporary quilt makers, regional quilt groups and special selections from the IQSC&M collection.


The class registration for Sisters, Oregon show is open.

EQ‘s first online class sessions begin January 9th! Learn EQ on your own time, from esteemed EQ teachers. They have one or a few free classes as well.