FOTY 2014 – End of the Road?

I think I might be ready to start cutting for FOTY 2015. I know. It is nearly March and finally I am getting in gear for 2015. 😉 Sometimes you have to let the process guide you.

I said last time that I wasn’t sure how much more I should cut. I think that I made that comment because I didn’t have a clear view in my mind of how to start FOTY 2015. I hadn’t decided on a shape. I have a better idea now.

As mentioned previously (or, maybe, on Twitter), I have been ironing fabric. when my sewing chair starts to fall over because I have too much washed, but unironed fabric hanging on the back, I have to iron. I ironed a lot while listening to Outlander (long LONG audiobook) and let it stack up on my ironing board, but finally I was ready to cut.

FOTY 2014 - Late February 2015
FOTY 2014 – Late February 2015

I still have a stack on my ironing board, but Voila! These are the patches I have cut in the past few weeks. I thought there were more, but if there were I lost the photo.

Yes, I cannot help attempting to gradate the patches.

Creative Prompt #299: Seahorse

I was inspired to post this prompt by the fabric used in the Ocean Going Journal Cover.

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 get familiar with your blog or website.

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.

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

Definition: “Seahorse is the name given to 54 species of small marine fishes in the genus Hippocampus. “Hippocampus” comes from the Ancient Greek hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster”.[2] Having a head and neck suggestive of a horse, seahorses also feature segmented bony armour, an upright posture and a curled prehensile tail.

Seahorses are mainly found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, and live in sheltered areas such as seagrass beds, estuaries, coral reefs, or mangroves. Four species are found in Pacific waters from North America to South America. In the Atlantic, H. erectus ranges from Nova Scotia to Uruguay. H. zosterae, known as the dwarf seahorse, is found in the Bahamas.

Colonies have been found in European waters such as the Thames Estuary.[3]

Three species live in the Mediterranean Sea: H. guttulatus (the long-snouted seahorse), H. hippocampus (the short-snouted seahorse), and H. fuscus (the sea pony). These species form territories; males stay within 1 m2 (11 sq ft) of habitat, while females range about one hundred times that.” (Wikipedia)

The Seahorse Trust

Magical Seahorse Tour

Seahorse Magazine

Sausalito Seahorse in Marin County, North Bay, California. Italian Seafood Restaurant. Live music nightly.

Seahorse is a new app for documenting life in scenes, together with friends and family.

Mister Seahorse: board book (World of Eric Carle)

Seahorse Lounge is a stunning Las Vegas lounge at Caesars Palace serving specialty martinis and more than 20 champagnes.

Seahorse is a simple solution for filers who need to meet European XBRL and iXBRL mandates.

Seahorse Triathlons and Duathlon (Kalamazoo Counties, Coldbrook County Park)

The Seahorse Inn, is located on Central Florida’s Atlantic coast, 50 miles east of Orlando’s Disney World.

Dr. Seahorse – indie pop music

The lined seahorse is a unique fish with a curled tail and horse-like head. It lives among bay grasses in the shallow waters of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay.

The Neoprene perimeter O-Ring seal makes Seahorse Cases completely waterproof and airtight.

Symbolic meaning of Seahorse: “The symbolic meaning of seahorse is quite intricate and diverse as this little creature itself is full of surprises.

The seahorse is quite a unique creature, and thought to have mystical significance among the Ancient Greeks, European (alchemists) and Asians.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans believed the seahorse was an attribute of the sea god Neptune/Poseidon and as such, the seahorse was considered a symbol of strength and power.

Further, the ancient Eurpeans believed that the seahorse carried the souls of deceased sailors to the underworld – giving them safe passage and protection until the met their soul’s destination.

Chinese cultures believed that the seahorse was a type of sea dragon, and as such they were revered for their power and thought to be symbols of good luck.

Sailors have long viewed the seahorse as a good luck charm too.

Symbolic meaning of Seahorses carry the following significances…

Symbolic Seahorse Meaning

  • Patience
  • Protection
  • Perspective
  • Inflexibility
  • Persistence
  • Friendliness
  • Contentment
  • High-Perception
  • Generosity/Sharing

A relatively calm, and mild-mannered creature, the seahorse is seemingly content to roam the seas. Their bodies are geared for ambling-type motion – not for speed. Thus, they are symbolic of patience and contentment – they are happy with being where they are, and are in no hurry for advancement.

Further testimony to these attributes is the lack of evolution of the seahorse’s body style. They have remained with this body style without change since their inception. Content to be who they are, and not feeling the need to change – these are a few profound lessons the seahorse provides us.

However, along with a resistence to change, and a carefree approach to progress, the seahorse can be a symbol of inflexibilty or stubborness. To wit, the seahorse wraps its tail around the nearest object in order to anchor itself in turbulent waters. This is a lesson to be persistent in our goals, but be mindful that we are not too inflexible or stubborn in our achieving them.

A unique aspect of the seahorse is that the male is impregnated by the female and carries the offspring to term. This is a message of sharing the load in the home, and gaining perspective of both sides (genders) of an argument or situation.

The seahorse has a boney exoskeleton which is a message of protection. Often when the seahorse comes to us it is a sign that we either need protection from our external circumstances, or we are building walls that aren’t needed. Their armor-bodies are a sign that sometimes we might need to let our guard down – or perhaps we are leaving too open to get hurt.

Lastly among the long list of symbolic meaning of the seahorse and its lessons is the idea of perception. The eyesight of the seahorse is incredibly sharp, and each eye moves independently. We take this as a symbolic message of perception and awareness of those around us and our situations. When we are lost or confused, the seahorse asks us to take a good look around – not just with our physical eyes but with our spiritual eyes in order to get a better persepective of the situations.

Thus concludes this summary on the symbolic meaning of the seahorse. Check out the links at the end of this page for more symbolic meanings for cool creatures. Thanks for reading!” (What’s Your

Black & Grey Finished!

Black & Grey Donation Top Complete
Black & Grey Donation Top Complete

I finally finished the top and back of the Black & Grey Teenaged Boy Donation Quilt. Whew! I am very pleased and while I was anxious to get it done I never got to the point where I disliked the piece. I am glad, because I want all of my donation quilts to have good energy in them not “get this done, stupid quilt!” energy. I don’t know if it makes a difference, but better safe than sorry.

I checked back and the first post about this quilt was back in January of last year. I know I started making it using these colors, because I was grieving for my grandmother. I think I became anxious to get it finished, because the grief, while not gone, is much better. I think she would be pleased to know that I did something good with the grief. Perhaps not as she didn’t think too deeply about feelings, but I like to think it.

The quilt is approximately 65.5″ square.

Black & Grey Donation Back Complete
Black & Grey Donation Back Complete

I also made the back, which I think came out pretty well. Sort of symmetrical, which is different for me. It is a touch small, so I may have to add something to the side, but I am hoping the quilter can deal with it.

I am not sure how I am going to convince someone to quilt it for the guild. I am nervous because there were a lot of quilts waiting to be quilted at the last meeting.

I still have to make the binding, but I picked some fabric to use and will get that done soon.

BAMQG Meeting

It was a good meeting last Saturday. Friend Julie and I had signed up for a design class with Joe Cunningham, but it was cancelled at the last minute. I didn’t really see any advertising for it and I wish they had let me know sooner so I could have rounded up people. The effect of that cancellation was that I got to attend the BAMQG meeting. I was really sad that I was going to miss it and was really wanting to be in 2 places at once.

Mike gave us a tour of one section of the MQG. The goal is to get us more familiar with the benefits of that site since our BAMQG membership includes an MQG membership.

Karen, the 2015 Challenge Coordinator, gave us a small lecture on “What is Modern?”. Stop with the eye rolling! It was interesting and a little off the beaten track. She took some principles of ‘modern quilting’ and showed us these elements in modern quilts as well as ‘non-modern’ quilts, including quilts from the 1980s and 1990s as well as vintage quilts. It was a cool presentation! Some of the elements she included were:

  • Improv
  • Pictorial
  • Graphic
  • Negative Space
  • Bright Colors
  • Alternative Grid (drop an element to mess up symmetry, space elements oddly, irregular spacing between element, etc)
  • I added in Text during the discussion.

The result of this fabulous presentation is a challenge quilt due in July (??) using an alternative grid.

Charity presented two completed quilts and a new charity block. You can download the  Stair step piecing directions (PDF) or go to the guild website and look at the directions.

Hawaiian Donation Quilts
Hawaiian Donation Quilts

Some of the Hawaiian quilts are finished. Angela handed out binding and talked about the quilts. I think she got some other people who couldn’t attend the Sew Day to take some pieces and parts and finish them.

I got a colorful binding, though Gerre tells me the quilting is still in process. No problem. I am still working on the binding for the Pink T quilt, though I am nearly done.

Joy-Lily is the Swaps Coordinator and the first swap will be in April. We are each to bring a quilt book with which we have finished and trade with someone else for one. In the future, there will be a ‘Sew As You Go” bag swap.

Upcoming events:

  • Amish Exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles ends 2/28/2015
  • Manteca Quilt Show, March 7-8, 2015
  • SCVQA Show-March 14-15, 2015
  • Playcrafts has a challenge going using the Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala
Binding Bee
Binding Bee

After the meeting ended, a bunch of us sat around finishing up the binding of the guild’s opportunity quilt. The quilt is a monster, but it is also an amazing monster.

Ruth designed it and it is a very unique design that will be appealing to modern quilters, at the very least. Marci Gore designed the quilting and stitched it out on her computerized longarm.

There was some discussion about what the guild would do if we were asked for a pattern. There is a lot of creativity in the guild so I suggested created a pattern and posting it on Craftsy. There are a lot of steps before we can do that, not the least of which is get our nonprofit status finalized, but it is in the idea hopper.

2014 BAMQG Opportunity Quilt
2014 BAMQG Opportunity Quilt

The first opportunity to buy raffle tickets will be at the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association Show. It was fun. People would walk up and comment that it was just like an old fashioned quilting bee.

The next Sew Day will be at The Intrepid Thread, which will be dangerous. 😉

Ocean Going Journal Cover

By The Sea by Michael Miller
By The Sea by Michael Miller

I bought this fabric at the BAMQG Retreat last year. I really bought it off Amazon, but Cheryl and I were comparing notes on the Michael Miller Portfolio series. When I saw this fabric, I needed it. It is By The Sea by Gillian Fullard/ London Portfolio Series by Michael Miller. I have a number of these fabrics and something about them is very appealing.

The colors are mine that motifs are such that I won’t get bored carrying the journal around for a long time. They key was to fussy cut some of the cool motifs without taking a big hole out of the middle of the fabric.

Front cover
Front cover

I decided to make a fast journal cover this time. I started some mosaic piecing, but remembered how unhappy I was with the Mermaid Tail Journal Cover and decided to use one piece of this fabric, which was washed, but had been sitting around for awhile.

One end had a good piece with some interesting motifs. I thought I would make it so the school of fish was on the front cover.

Inside front cover
Inside front cover

Sadly, that did not work out that well. The fish ended up on the inside of the journal. 🙁

I forgot about the cover pocket. I forgot that the something had to hold on to the journal’s covers to keep the cover on. It is not a disaster, but it doesn’t make the cover very interesting.

Now I have to decide what to do. I could just live with it like it is, but the front cover is boring.

I could remake the cover so that motifs were where I wanted them. Not gonna happen.

Lobster (??) back
Lobster (??) back

I am seriously thinking about turning the cover around putting the lobster (??- is that a lobster??) on the front cover. That means he would have his head at the bottom. Can I stand his beady little eyes watching me all the time?

The shell would be upside down, the school of fish would be upside down and the blue crab would be on the inside front cover.

Regardless, I like the fabric and am glad to already have a journal cover ready to go. There is potential for a couple more journal covers out of the same fabric, but with different motifs highlighted.

Blue Crab - inside back cover
Blue Crab – inside back cover

Black & Grey Continues

Black & Grey Progresses
Black & Grey Progresses

I realized when I looked back at the various posts related to this project that I have been working on it since January of 2014. That is a long time.

I have made progress since last week. The sashing and cornerstones are sewn to all of the blocks and I have started to put the blocks together. Yes, I am definitely using chunking, though it is a little challenging since I used part of the quilt for the chunking tutorial. An hour here and 15 minutes there really make a difference. I can’t believe how much it has shrunk since the I first put all the blocks on the design wall.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Blue Lemonade Gathering

Some time ago I wrote about TFQ’s cool quilt, Pink Lemonade.

I have washed a lot of blues lately, so my version (future) has been on my mind. Mom came over the other day and on a whim I asked her if she would use my Accuquilt to cut blue squares for me from my scrap basket. The scrap basket over floweth, as they say.

Blue Lemonade Hunting & Gathering
Blue Lemonade Hunting & Gathering

She said yes, which netted me a bunch of blue squares. I am much farther along that I was, though I still have a long way to go.

As I was organizing them, I wondered about just sewing them randomly or trying to organize them like I do with the the Fabric of the Year quilts. I have to admit that it doesn’t sound very appealing. It sounds like a boring slog.

In TFQ’s version, it looks like she sewed the fabrics together sort of randomly, though I am sure there was a method to the madness. I definitely do not see a gradation.


I have thought long and hard to try and describe what quiltmaking means to me. Quiltmaking, for me, is more than a hobby, but not a career. Vocation might be the right word. I am not sure.  It smacks of the cloister for me and the online definition leans heavily towards trade or occupation.

Vocation Definition from Google
Vocation Definition from Google

Quiltmaking has all of the qualities of a good non-work hobby/occupation for me. I can work at it – sewing and piecing. I can study various things about quiltmaking: the history, patterns, techniques. I can meet up with people and talk about quiltmaking as well as engage in group activities around quiltmaking (Sew Days, guild meetings, shows, etc). I can engage one-on-one with people in exchanges, discussions of their projects, or my projects. I can write about quiltmaking, read about it. The list goes on and on providing almost infinite opportunity for occupying my time.

There is so much in quiltmaking on which I can focus that I flit from place to place, trying out different aspects, talking to people, trying out patterns. There is freedom in the art. That has also meant that for some time I was scattered. It resulted in a lot of UFOs and other things. So I started working towards being more mindful about process and tried to lessen the importance of product in my mind and in my quiltmaking. I have been trying to enjoy the journey as well as the finished product. It is always a struggle, because putting that last stitch into a quilt is intensely satisfying. However, it has given me focus. The result of one of those exercises was the abandonment of the PIQF Cross project. The project wasn’t working for me or TFQ and I abandoned it. I just didn’t want to make the blocks. That doesn’t mean I won’t make those blocks in the future, but last Fall was not the time. Process.

Recently, I read a couple of things that really made me think. There were two articles about process by Pat Holly and Sue Nickels. It was interesting read about the process of two artists who work together.

Pat Holly wrote something that really struck me: “I will say, in the end, it is all hand work –  my hands draw the design, cut the fabric, hold it in place, and guide it under the machine. And, whatever size the quilt is, it makes my heart happy.” Pat Holly, Inspire column “My Process,” American Quilter, January 2015, pg.62-63.

Hearing about the process other employ makes me think about my process informed by her words. The thought about my hands as tools made me think about ‘handwork’ in a  fresh way. According to Pat Holly, I don’t have to always do hand piecing or hand quilting in order to make something by hand. Making it from materials using my hands, even to guide the fabric through the machine, is to make by hand. I don’t know why is was a revelation, but it was an AHA moment.

I visit the YMCA to work out. The Wellness Director writes a newsletter every month and this month (February) was about working on New Year’s Resolutions. She quotes from Dr. Christine Carter, a Sociologist and Happiness Expert in her article about New Years Resolutions: “When starting a new habit, it can be frustrating to fail. But failing is also essential to the process of creating a habit that sticks. Unless you are some sort of superhero, you will not be able to get into a new habit perfectly the first time. And then you’ll have the opportunity to learn something from your failure that you probably couldn’t have learned any other way.

In other words, faltering is a normal part of the process. It doesn’t matter if you have a lapse, or even a relapse, but it does matter how you respond. If you’ve had a slip, don’t get too emotional or succumb to self-criticism.

Take Action:  If you’ve started faltering with your resolution, the first thing to do is forgive yourself. Remember: lapses are a part of the process, and feeling guilty or bad about your behavior will not increase your future success. Make a plan for the next time you face a challenge similar to the one that caused your lapse. What will you do differently? What have you learned? What temptation did you face that you can remove? Is there something that you need to tweak? Were you stressed or tired or hungry — and if so, how can you prevent that the next time?” (from a blog post posted Monday January 26, 2015, retrieved 2/19/2015)

Though the post was New Years Resolution focused, a traditional time to start new habits for some, I find it to be relevant in my effort to be healthier. After reading the article, I  tried to take a look at it in relation to my quiltmaking. Do I avoid patterns and techniques, because I am afraid to fail? Do I learn less because of it? What does focusing on process mean in terms of failure?

I am not fearless in my quiltmaking, though working towards fearlessness is part of the process. I still am anxious about ‘wasting’ fabric, though the waste in the sense of trying something that didn’t work is, perhaps, not waste. Also, using scraps to fill Cat Beds or cutting scraps up with Accuquilt really help alleviate the feeling of wasting resources.

My health journey has made me realize that I can do poorly today, but tomorrow is a new day. I don’t have to give up on my entire program just because I ate a Snickers bar. this idea sneaks up on me in quiltmaking. Part of the process may be that if a project is going poorly, walk way and get back on the pony the next day. Or it could mean do a test block or a test of the technique, even after starting. It could mean making an ATC using a technique before commiting to a full quilt.

These are the things my mind ponders when left alone in the wild.

Creative Prompt #298: Theatre

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.

Theatre Royale

Image Theatre consists of physical representation of thoughts and ideas through the raw expression of the body, an individual’s most fundamental artistic tool.

The Castro Theatre

theatre design

movie theater

In the Theatre Management program, you will be exposed to both the art and business aspects of theatre, preparing you for a career in arts administration and …


Orpheum Theatre

Theatre Survey is chartered by the American Society for Theatre Research as a theatre history journal.

Curran Theatre

Definition: “Theatre or theater[1] is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. Elements of art and stagecraft are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience.[2] The specific place of the performance is also named by the word “theatre” as derived from the Ancient Greek ??????? (théatron, “a place for viewing”), itself from ??????? (theáomai, “to see”, “to watch”, “to observe”).

Modern Western theatre comes from large measure from ancient Greek drama, from which it borrows technical terminology, classification into genres, and many of its themes, stock characters, and plot elements. Theatre artist Patrice Pavis defines theatricality, theatrical language, stage writing, and the specificity of theatre as synonymous expressions that differentiate theatre from the other performing arts, literature, and the arts in general.[3]

Theatre today, broadly defined, includes performances of plays and musicals, ballets, operas and various other forms.” (Wikipedia)

puppet theatre

American Theatre is the national monthly magazine for the American professional not-for-profit theatre, informing readers about important work…

League of Historic American Theatres

Theatre in the Round became increasingly popular in the late 1960s in the UK and Europe, with initially the format proving popular in smaller venues…

American Theatre Organ Society

Theatre Anthropology is the study of the performer’s pre-expressive scenic behaviour

The Ancient Theatre Archive

Theatre Sports is an Improv Comedy troupe made up of students at Whitman …

Elixon Theatre is an extensible carousel/slideshow-like JQuery plugin supporting multiple animation effects.

League of Resident Theatres, the largest professional theatre association of its kind in the United States.


Dance Theatre

theatre style seating

Theatre of the Oppresed

The Greek Theatre in Berkeley.

Mid-America Theatre Conference

The Old Globe Theatre


Gift Ideas

I was thinking of the pseudo-set of gifts I made after Christmas. We all have friends who are also makers and we know that they can make their own sewing related items. The reality is that they often don’t.  It is fun to have a coordinating set of things to take along to retreats so others can admire them.

I thought you might find it useful to know the patterns I, either, use or would consider using. The point is not to use the patterns I use, but to make the gifts in whatever pattern YOU like. This is a gift idea.

PincushionFig Tree Quilts Petit Gateau pincushion pattern. I like this pattern, because it makes sense and looks like a pincushion. I have made several and they go together very quickly. I use wool roving I buy at Beverly’s and some of the Beanie Baby plastic pellets to fill it. The pellets give the pincushion some heft. I don’t use walnut shells, because of food allergies. The only issue I ever have with this pattern is to find an appropriate button to put on top and bottom. Often I make these and don’t think ahead and then find myself wanting to finish, but have no appropriate buttons.

Needle case – many people don’t do handwork and so this is an inappropriate gift, but it is so cute! I got the pattern from the Spring 2013 issue of Modern Patchwork. It was designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale of IHeartLinen. I wasn’t able to find a pattern for it on her blog or the web. The pattern is in RCH’s book, Zakka Style, according to Frances Newcombe from Belly Buttons Boutique. You may be able to find I copy of that magazine on Etsy or eBay. I am sure there are other needlecase patterns out there.

Tissue case – This isn’t something that I would really use, though that might change. It is a nice stocking stuffer or small hostess gift. I got the idea to make them from Valerie over at Evening in the Garden blog. I made a few, which you can see in December gift posts. I used the YouTube tutorial that Valerie used.

Lanyard – these are great for guild meetings, but also for hanging scissor sheaths, keys, pens, etc. Think of a chatelaine’s key ring.

Scissor Sheath – as mentioned above, a scissor sheath can be added to the gift pile and adding a ribbon or fabric hanging loop on it enables the owner to hang it from a lanyard.

Project bag – Jeni Baker Drawstring bag (pattern to purchase). The pattern has multiple sizes. This is good to keep project supplies together. She also has a tutorial for one size – Example

Tote bag – There are lots of different tote bags that I have made. I really like the Jane Market Tote (pattern to purchase). I also like the Eco Market Tote from Favorite things (pattern to purchase). I haven’t made that bag in awhile, but I might make one again soon. Including a tote bag in your gift selection is a nice way to package all the gifts. You can choose a pattern that you like.

Journal/Sketchbook Cover – you can adjust the pattern to accommodate a number of sizes of journals. This pattern, as you have seen many times on this blog, is for a 6.5″x8″ Miquelrius journal.

Pencil roll – I love this pattern by Pink Chalk! It is so fun even if you are not pen hog like I am. I have made, perhaps, a dozen of them and I want everyone to love them. I always put a few pens in to give people an idea of what they are for. I reported on one of my pencil roll posts that this project took me about 3 hours to make.

An Alternative to the pencil roll is a tool holder. I haven’t actually made one of these yet, but I do like the pattern.

You could also add a Sidekick from Jinny Beyer’s store. It is good for handwork and I could have used it on my trip this past weekend. I have the pattern, but haven’t made it yet.

You can also think up themes and find patterns that fit the theme. For example:

  • Kitchen: apron, potholders, kitchen towels, casserole carrier
  • Bath: makeup bag (zipper pouch), towels, tissue cover, stiff holder for TP and such

I think this is a fun idea and hope to make at least one set of gifts for Christmas this year. Stay tuned to see if it happens.

North Coast Visit

Last weekend we headed up to the North Coast again for an annual NSGW event. Normally there is an event Friday evening, an event in the late morning on Saturday and a big dinner on Saturday night. This year the Saturday late morning event fell through, so DH and I had the whole day until 5pm to spend together. It was nice. Not having the normal day-to-day to deal with for a little while makes spending time together quite enjoyable.

We took the opportunity to spend some time in the Eureka/Arcata area. The Young Man got accepted to Humboldt State so we went to take a look at it. We did offer to pay for him to come with us and he decided to go visit his grandma and grandpa instead. We tortured him by sending him a bunch of photos of various parts of the campus in a running commentary.

After the campus visit, we had lunch at The Lost Coast Brewery and it was AWESOME! They had gluten free buns, so I took the opportunity to have my first French Dip in, probably, 15 years. It wasn’t as good as I remember a French Dip being, but I still enjoyed  it. The restaurant had fun decorations, too. There was a pulley system with a giant spider at the end of it and when the door opened and closed the spider when up and down. They also had a number of paper mache animals hanging from the ceiling. It was a little loud, though.

Ocean Waves Quilts
Ocean Waves Quilts

After lunch we headed up to Ocean Wave Quilts. DH actually came into the store with me. I really like it when he comes in with me. I told him to pick out some shirt fabric, but he didn’t see any that he liked enough to buy. He was interested in everything and looked around. I didn’t buy much as I really don’t need anything. I just bought a couple of fabrics for projects in process and some of the new rainbow Wonder Clips. I bought the latter because they are so fabulous. I think I spent around $23. You might remember my posts from last year?

Lincoln's Hearse full view
Lincoln’s Hearse full view

Not too far from Ocean Waves is the Blue Ox Millworks. Over the weekend they had an open house to show off a replica of Abraham Lincoln’s hearse that they are building. Creepy, I know.

Next year (I think) is the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s death. I don’t know what it is about death anniversaries… Media hype?

The original hearse was destroyed in a fire in about 1870. For some reason that I don’t know since didn’t read in the article very carefully, the Blue Ox is making the replica. Their shop has some amazing tools and fabulously HUGE work tables. I think safety was good in terms of the machinery, but the place felt old and messy and dilapidated. Still, I like the idea of a place that can replicate Victorian ornamentation and where woodworking is a valued art and craft.

Still DH was interested and he slogged through the quilt store with me, so we went. Also, it is historical, and probably once in a lifetime opportunity. I have to remember to tell SIL#2 not to go near the place with her husband. He will be working in that shop and they will be living in Eureka in a heartbeat if he hears about it.

Google notice
Google notice

We also went to Scottie Dog Quilts. Shockingly, the shop is closed, as in no longer containing anything much less fabric and notions. The property looks abandoned. I finally saw a small note in Google (mobile) that said ‘permanently closed’. I didn’t notice that before. I didn’t really believe it because the website looks completely normal. Finally, I tracked down what was going on on Brenda Lou’s blog. She said that they closed the retail shop last June! So, we drove on and didn’t stop. I hadn’t researched any other quilt shops and one had to be enough for this trip.

I took a quilt look at Google when we returned to the hotel and found Bunny Hop Quilt Shop also in Eureka. We drove pretty close to it, but not right by. It only has a Facebook page, but looks like a real place.  If we head up there next year, I will look into quilt shops more exactly.

Birthday Fabrics etc

Birthday Fabric
Birthday Fabric

Yes, new fabric.

I received two, yes TWO, Fat Quarter Shop gift certificates for my birthday. I spent about two weeks looking at all the stuff I could buy and ended up with these options.

The color card is a color card of American Made Brands solids. You just never know when you will need to buy some. 😉

The striped fabric below it is actually not a striped fabric, but a carefully folded fat quarter pack of American Made Brands solids. This goes well with the ones my mom gave me for Christmas.

The flannels on the bottom are for some receiving blankets for a friend who is having a baby in May. Plenty of time, right? (HA! Famous last words!)

The rest are stash fabrics. I am starting to contemplate a quilt for my aunt. She loves purple and those violets would be nice for her. I’ll use the dots for the EPP Stars.

Thanks to my sis and TFQ for providing such great gifts!

Black & Grey Teenaged Boy Donation Quilt

Black & Grey - mid February
Black & Grey – mid February

I made more progress on the Black & Grey Teenaged Boy Donation Quilt. I have about 13 more blocks to which to sew sashing, then I can start sewing the blocks together.

I know the photo doesn’t look that different from when I posted earlier in the week. I really have made progress. I have made progress by sewing a few bits at a time. It is amazing how much I can get done doing that. It is a little irritating, though to be constantly interrupted. Still, duty calls.

I hope to be able to show you a nearly finished top by the time next weekend rolls around. We’ll see since I won’t have much time to sew next weekend either.

Various & Sundry 2015 #2

Frances had a podcast episode sometime ago about what we call ourselves. Barbara Brackman has some fun on her blog about that as well.

Have you looked at the glossary lately? I updated it after writing the Maryland posts.

If you would like to provide input on creativity and your habits around creativity, fill out the questionnaire.

Projects, Patterns and Tutorials

Have you seen the Pile O’ Fabric BOM? Katie, of Katie’s Quilting Corner turned me ton to it and it looks like a great skillbuilder. Take a look. You haven’t missed too many lessons.

Aneela Hooey has a new pattern for little pouches. They aren’t what I would cal pouches, but, regardless of the name, they are cute. Take a look at the blog post where Aneela shows a lot of pictures.

I know you have seen the Twiddletails tutorial for pillowcases and my changes to it. NoScrapTooSmall notes some changes as well, mostly interms of cutting sizes, which gives you a variety of perspectives on pillowcase making.

Some of the Twilters are working on the Jinny Beyer Block of the Month on Craftsy. One of the efforts is shown on Sandy’s blog.

Have you see the pattern for the Sketchy Road Trip Case?

Nonnie pointed me to a Four Patch quilt-a-long. I love Four Patches.

I really like the recent top from Fluffy Sheep Quilting. the pattern is simple, but the combination of fabrics and the way the artist put it together makes it interesting.

Need a design wall tutorial. Nadine Ruggles has one.

Have you made the Let Them Eat Cake block for the FQS Snapshots BOM? This is a Fat Quarter Shop block of the month project that benefits St. Jude’s Hospital. They are requesting a $5 donation for each block you download. Kimberly of FQS, along with Bonnie and Camille, for moral support, provide a video tutorial on putting the cake block together. You can download the free pattern and go to FQS on February 15 for the next pattern. Remember to hashtag your blocks and photos as #FQSSnapshots

Janeen van Niekerk was featured in the EQ newsletter as a person who offers free paper pieced block patterns for EQ. I visited her blog and found that she is starting a new paper pieced QaL.

Cora Village Fete Dress
Cora Village Fete Dress

Need some Downton Abbey dresses? Here is a magazine full of patterns that Friend Julie shared with me. I am torn, because I don’t know if my favorite dress is in there. The one I like is the one Mama wore to the county fair where she looked at the flowers. I’ll post a link if I can find one.

I have been admiring the bucket bags that BAMQGers received as part of their Retreat kit a few years ago. The other day I saw a tutorial for the bucket bag. The post on elvie’s studio blog just shows the bag and talks about it a little then links to a free Craftsy class. Elvie‘s fabric choices are better than the one shown in the class IMO. I like the combination of dots and the big flower print. If I make this I will do something like that as well.

If you aren’t using the Wing Clipper ruler by Deb Tucker to make your Flying Geese, here is a tutorial by HoneyBearLane that is the same principle, but without the ruler. She also gives a formula for resizing your pieces to make the Flying Geese the size you need.

I haven’t made this yet, but I do like the idea of it. Perhaps I will use this pattern instead of creating my own (remember the caddy on my To Do List?).

Supplies, Fabric and Tools

I bought a Sew Together Bag pattern and needed a bunch of zippers. I found them at Sew True.

SIL and I were talking about her Snails Trail block and that reminded me of the Big Little Book of Die Cutting I bought last year. In it is a reference and explanation to the EDeN die notation system. This is a system to allow you to translate patterns with rotary cutting instructions into use of your Accuquilt dies. Take a look at the chart provided. This system truly makes the dies widely useful, not just useful with patterns from Accuquilt.

If you weren’t aware, Hawthorne Threads now has the capability to print fabric. They are creating their own collections and printing them on demand. This is a great idea, because it means that fabric will, theoretically, always be available. To that end, they have produced a line of Marsala fabric. Marsala, for those of you who have been avoiding Pantone, is the Pantone color of the year.

I saw a tweet about Stash Fabrics and went to their site to take a look at their fabric. I really like it. It is very hard not to buy some, especially some of the sale fabrics they have. Their monthly bundles seem like a package that would arrive and make my day.

Did you know that Zazzle sells fabric? Unique designs. Go buy some.

By now you have bought a subscription to the Missouri Star Quilt Company magazine,r ight? I, just, this minute, found out about another magazine (? I think) they are publishing (also at an easy on the wallet $5.99) called ModBlock, focused on color. Molli Sparkles is in the first issue.

Other Artists

I talked a little about words of the year. Nadine Ruggles has some thoughts about her words and her life as well.

Julie also has a thoughtful view of her word of the year.

Marie Bostwick bought a….go to her blog to read all about her new purchase.

Did you see Tanesha’s low volume quilt? She also shared some of her ‘duds’, which is a part of creativity. I applaud Tanesha for admitting that not all of her work is perfect.  She talks a little about our meetup, but focuses on my SIL’s Swoon quilt, which was a big hit. You can see the Flipagram from our event.

I thought the mini quilt Amy made was a nice tribute to her grandmother. Something about the clothesline evokes grandmothers, I think. Mine as well.

I know I have mentioned the Year of Making before in reference to the NoScrapTooSmall blog, however I went back and read the post again, which is really worth reading again. I also clicked on the links to other posts, including one from 2013, which actually has resolutions. In the latter post, Marion Felton mentions play. That hits home, especially in reading what she writes about it: “So in the playing vein, I have plans to read all (and most likely swatch through) Principles of Knitting and a couple other books with really intriguing techniques with which I want to play around…”. I plan to do this regularly and never do. I don’t know why, but I don’t. I suppose if I had a studio and dedicated time to go there where I was allowed to go there without guilt, I might play more. I suppose if I had a space in which to read, where I could pile up books and have a stack of pens and post-it notes and paper, I might play more. A lot of ifs….Go read the NoScrapTooSmall  post and let me know what you think.

I can’t believe I missed him, but the god from Mollie Sparkles was in California! He went to the Intrepid Thread, which is not far from my house. Sigh. I was out of town. I love his color sense. He showed the fabrics he bought and I am in love with the pink-blue-orange group in one of the photos. I am tempted to run out and buy some. The sensible, Use-Your-Stash VIMH is saying to walk into the fabric closet and pull out those colors. The voice continues that I must have them somewhere. He is a total temptor as well, asking us (the Glitterati) to link up our purchases with his every Sunday. It is almost like he is giving permission for me to go buy fabric. Sigh.

Exhibits, Shows and Events

The WWII Home Front Challenge exhibit has traveled to the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and will be there until April 4. Mark your calendars.  There will be an Artists’ Reception on Saturday, February 28, 2015, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum,  Marin Street, Vallejo, California. Meet the artists and hear the stories behind the quilts they made.  For more information and directions, visit the museum’s web site or call 707-643-0077.  To learn more about the WWII Home Front Quilt Challenge visit their Web site at

Roderick Kiracofe, quilt collector, historian and aficionado has an exhibit of quilts from his recent book at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. The newspaper article says “…and running through May 16, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art presents ‘Unconventional and Unexpected, Quilts Below the Radar, 1950-2000’…”

Articles and Information

Why am I involved in topics and organizations that are constantly having to prove the value of their work? It is getting old and I would like someone just to say “Oh My God you are a ______________?!? My company cannot live without the services your profession provides!” Here is a recent blog post about a quilt on the front of a Decemberists album (is that the right word?

NoScrapTooSmall talks about her year of making. I am fascinated by the post she wrote on January 1 and have read it several times. I might be trying to get it to sink in. I might be trying to wrap my head around it. I don’t know. Go read it and tell me what you think.

Dierdre pointed out Fit2Stitch to me. They are a show on PBS and have a search feature that tells you when the show is playing in your area.

Off Topic

None of us like to think about exercise. I’d rather be in front of my machine than on the elliptical, but Danny Gregory talks about his experience with exercise, which is similar to my experience and he does so in a human way. Your body is not just a couple of hundred pounds of meet you have to carry around. [paraphrased from the post]

And Finally…

From FB/sewsweetgrandma

Can't Buy Happiness Can Buy Fabric
Can’t Buy Happiness Can Buy Fabric

Now I Like It

Even though I had cut about 1,000 pieces of fabric for this project, I was about to abandon this project.  I wasn’t happy with my first efforts in the new colors. I determined I would make 4 blocks and then decide on whether or not to proceed. I am glad that was my strategy because now I like the piece.

Stepping Stones #2
Stepping Stones #2

Part of why I like it is that I see a Sawtooth Star emerging. If you cover up the center and right side with your hand and just look at the right side you will see the legs of a Sawtooth Star emerging – the part that is normally formed by Flying Geese. That secondary pattern adds a design element I did not anticipate and do not see very well when I look back at the first Stepping Stones quilt.

There is better contrast, I think, in this version, though the red 4 Patches coming together in the center are a very strong design element. Looking at the previous version, I know I will have to pay attention to the border so that the Sawtooth Stars, if I want to keep them, will not be cut off. I think that means a different border.


As an aside, I fell down the Pinterest rabbit hole and saw this same pattern done in Denise Schmidt fabrics on the blog. I was really interested in her fabric choices. I think her version looks so great! It makes me wonder anew why the Lintott girls chose the colors they did. I really dislike the examples in their book.