One More Gift Bag

Red Lights Gift Bag
Red Lights Gift Bag

The other day I talked about making some pillowcases. I had enough fabric left to make one gift bag. I am glad, because I like the fabric. I am happy to have at least a bit of it around the house. I don’t really need more gift bags, but I also don’t want to waste fabric. Gift bags are a good use of smallish pieces of fabric.

I have put a tutorial up, as long time readers will know, that tells you how to make gift bags. Save a tree: make a gift bag.


I the original idea for this IRR was to exchange the pieces at the meeting. Our group has been exchanging like crazy for the past two months. I have worked on several as you might remember from the series of blog posts.

I think it was the first time our group had been together since the initial start. We looked at all the pieces and traded them around. Some people changed their boxes to bags for easier mailing. We took the opportunity to exchange IRRs again and we got to see the work that has been done on the various pieces of our IRR exchange.

My IRR piece - November 21, 2015
My IRR piece – November 21, 2015

I was thrilled when I saw the work on my own piece. People used the solid turquoise as a background, which was my intention. This gives the whole piece a cohesive look. It is also mostly a square and getting to be quite large. I think I I’d like this piece to be in the bed-sized range.

People have not continued the Flying Geese after the first round or two, which is a little disappointing. There are a lot of rectangles, which I know are much easier than anything else. Hope springs eternal.

Michelle matched the motifs on the pink and blue fabrics in the left middle area beautifully.

Diana's IRR - November 21, 2015
Diana’s IRR – November 21, 2015

I was very pleased with the work I did on Diana’s. I saw that round motif and couldn’t get away from the idea of fussy cutting it. I wanted to make it more elaborate, but I waited until the the morning of the meeting. I made a cutting mistake, which kind of prevented me from doing what I wanted. I am also not sure my skills were up to the task. Diana loved what I did to her piece, which pleased me.

Rhonda's IRR piece - November 21, 2015
Rhonda’s IRR piece – November 21, 2015

Rhonda had her piece at the meeting so I grabbed it. She has tried to jump to another group, but we aren’t letting her go. I am supposed to send her piece to Cheryl after I am done. Other Club Doodlers are clamoring, so we will have to see.

Quilt Shop: Windy Moon #2

Windy Moon
Windy Moon

On my Reno trip, I also went to Windy Moon Quilts #2. They have two locations and we went to the newer one, which is located in an old school building in (or near, maybe) Sparks, NV.

Windy Moon: Views towards the Front
Windy Moon: Views towards the Front

The shop was packed. They had a lot of fabric, notions, tools, kits, thread -everything. The shop is also a Bernina dealer and does repairs.

The shop really had an amazing amount of items available for purchase. Some of the stuff was a little  hard to see because of how much there was and how it was displayed. Despite the layering of materials, I found quite a bit of nice stuff to buy. Dots. They had great dots. I thought I had them all, but no.

I also liked the pillowcase kits they had. Very elegant fabric combinations. They ran about $12.99.

I thought the color the walls were painted was nice in this context. I can see where it might make me a little sick if it were the color in my office or in a school classroom.

Windy Moon: Classroom
Windy Moon: Classroom

The shop had lots of great light because of the large windows and that was true in the big classroom as well.

The classroom was large and had a number of class samples on the walls. We were able to walk around and look at everything, including covet yardage from that stack of greys on the table.

The classroom looked comfortable to learn in and not too crowded.

One of the things about the shop residing in an old school building is the great molding. I love that thick, white molding around the windows and the doors.

They had a lot of samples, which was fun to look at. Not everything was in one style, which was nice.

Address: 406 Pyramid Way, Sparks, NV 89431
Phone: (775) 870-4031

Black Friday Sew-in Giveaway Reminder

Reminder that there will be a giveaway from Artquiltmaker Blog!

I have three prizes to giveaway for the Black Friday Sew-in: two patterns and a Design Ratio Tool, which is slightly used.

Feedburner Email option
Feedburner Email option

I don’t know what my schedule will be on today. This means I may not be able to monitor a complicated contest as I have in previous years. Thus, in order to win one of my fabulous prizes, you must be on the email list. Check the sidebar for the Feedburner subscribe widget and enter your email address. (The image, left, is just to give you an idea of what to look for. You can’t actually enter your email in the image)

If you already get the blog via email, you are already entered!

Sign up now!

You will nullify your entry if you unsubscribe before I send out the prizes.

I *may* give additional entries to email list subscribers who leave substantial comments on any recent post.

I will draw the winners on Sunday and will send out the prizes next week. International readers are eligible.

Check out Twitter using the hashtag #BFSI to play along with all the fun. Take a look at Sandy’s post. Happy Sewing!

Creative Prompt #339: Thanksgiving

Yes, I know yesterday was Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t help eeking out a little bit more from the holiday that everyone forgets as soon as it is over.




Indians/Native Americans

pumpkin pie

Definition: “Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions and has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.” (Wikipedia)

cranberry sauce

related to harvest festivals



soup kitchens

Thanksgiving Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln



Indian corn

Congress establishes Thanksgiving: “On September 28, 1789, just before leaving for recess, the first Federal Congress passed a resolution asking that the President of the United States recommend to the nation a day of thanksgiving. A few days later, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin” – the first time Thanksgiving was celebrated under the new Constitution. Subsequent presidents issued Thanksgiving Proclamations, but the dates and even months of the celebrations varied. It wasn’t until President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Proclamation that Thanksgiving was regularly commemorated each year on the last Thursday of November. ” (National Archives)


Thanks-Giving Square

History and Culture from the Smithsonian: ”

Most Americans are familiar with the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving Feast of 1621, but few realize that it was not the first festival of its kind in North America. Long before Europeans set foot in the Americas, native peoples sought to insure a good harvest with dances and rituals such as the Green Corn Dance of the Cherokees.

The first Thanksgiving service known to be held by Europeans in North America occurred on May 27, 1578 in Newfoundland, although earlier Church-type services were probably held by Spaniards in La Florida. However, for British New England, some historians believe that the Popham Colony in Maine conducted a Thanksgiving service in 1607 (see Sources: Greif, 208-209; Gould, and Hatch). In the same year, Jamestown colonists gave thanks for their safe arrival, and another service was held in 1610 when a supply ship arrived after a harsh winter. Berkley Hundred settlers held a Thanksgiving service in accordance with their charter which stated that the day of their arrival in Virginia should be observed yearly as a day of Thanksgiving, but within a few years an Indian uprising ended further services (Dabney). Thus British colonists held several Thanksgiving services in America before the Pilgrim’s celebration in 1621.

The Pilgrims, with a puritanical rejection of public religious display, held a non-religious Thanksgiving feast, aside from saying grace. In fact, they seem to have used the three days for feasting, playing games, and even drinking liquor.

In 1623, the Pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts, held another day of Thanksgiving. As a drought was destroying their crops, colonists prayed and fasted for relief; the rains came a few days later. And not long after, Captain Miles Standish arrived with staples and news that a Dutch supply ship was on its way. Because of all this good fortune, colonists held a day of Thanksgiving and prayer on June 30. This 1623 festival appears to have been the origin of our Thanksgiving Day because it combined a religious and social celebration.

Festivals of Thanksgiving were observed sporadically on a local level for more than 150 years. They tended to be autumn harvest celebrations. But in 1789, Elias Boudinot, Massachusetts, member of the House of Representatives, moved that a day of Thanksgiving be held to thank God for giving the American people the opportunity to create a Constitution to preserve their hard won freedoms. A Congressional Joint Committee approved the motion, and informed President George Washington. On October 3, 1789, the President proclaimed that the people of the United States observe “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer” on Thursday, the 26th of November.

The next three Presidents proclaimed, at most, two days of thanksgiving sometime during their terms of office, either on their own initiative or at the request of a joint Resolution of Congress. One exception was Thomas Jefferson, who believed it was a conflict of church and state to require the American people hold a day of prayer and thanksgiving. President James Madison proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving to be held on April 13, 1815, the last such proclamation issued by a President until Abraham Lincoln did so in 1862.

Most of the credit for the establishment of an annual Thanksgiving holiday may be given to Sarah Josepha Hale. Editor of Ladies Magazine and Godey’s Lady’s Book, she began to agitate for such a day in 1827 by printing articles in the magazines. She also published stories and recipes, and wrote scores of letters to governors, senators, and presidents. After 36 years of crusading, she won her battle. On October 3, 1863, buoyed by the Union victory at Gettysburg, President Lincoln proclaimed that November 26, would be a national Thanksgiving Day, to be observed every year on the fourth Thursday of November.

Only twice has a president changed the day of observation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in order to give depression-era merchants more selling days before Christmas, assigned the third Thursday to be Thanksgiving Day in 1939 and 1940. But he was met with popular resistance, largely because the change required rescheduling Thanksgiving Day events such as football games and parades. In 1941, a Congressional Joint Resolution officially set the fourth Thursday of November as a national holiday for Thanksgiving.

Today, Thanksgiving is a time when many families come together, and many churches are open for special services. We have both Native Americans and immigrants to thank for the opportunity to observe a day of thanksgiving.


Bradford, William. Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608-1650. Valerian Paget, ed. (New York: John McBride Co., 1909), and his Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647. Samuel Eliot. ed. (New York: Knopf, 1979.) Also, Bradford and Winslow. Mourt’s Relation: Journall of the English Plantation at Plimoth. University Microfilms, Inc., 1966.

Greif, Martin. The Holiday Book. (New York: Universe Books, 1978).

Hatch, Jane M. The American Book of Days, 3rd ed. (New York: Wilson Co., 1978).

Linton, Ralph and Adelin. We Gather Together: The Story of Thanksgiving. (New York: Henry Schuman, 1949).

Myers, Robert. Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays. (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1972).

Saturday Evening Post. “A Setting for the First Thanksgiving,” by Virginius Dabney, 253 (November 1981), 12, 14, 88, 118; and “Who Says They Were First?” by John Gould, 231 (November 1958), 39, 112, 115-6.

Schaun, George and Virginia. American Holidays and Special Days. (Lanham: Maryland Historical Press, 1986).

Scherer, Margaret R. Thanksgiving and Harvest Festivals. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1942).

Sickel, H.S.J. Thanksgiving: Its Source, Philosophy, and History with all National Proclamations and Analytical Study Thereof. (Philadelphia: International Printing Co., 1940).

Thomson, Lucy Gertsch. How Holidays Happened. (Utah: Horizon Publishers, 1976).

Transcription of George Washington’s Proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America—

A Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their Joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us—and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington


Prepared by the Division of Cultural History,
National Museum of American History,
in cooperation with Public Inquiry Services,
Smithsonian Institution

Rev 3/98


Smithsonian Information
202.633.1000 (voice)

” (Smithsonian)

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 and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CPP

This will be the first holiday that the family celebrated without my BIL.

Black Friday Sew In Giveaway Announcement

Check out Twitter using the hashtag #BFSI

I have three prizes to giveaway for the Black Friday Sew-in: two patterns and a Design Ratio Tool, which is slightly used.

Feedburner Email option
Feedburner Email option

I don’t know what my schedule will be on Friday and I may not be able to monitor a complicated contest, thus in order to win here, you must be on the email list. Check the sidebar for the Feedburner subscribe widget and enter your email address.

If you already get the blog via email, you are already entered!

Sign up now!

You will nullify your entry if you unsubscribe before I send out the prizes.

I *may* give additional entries to subscribers who leave substantial comments on any recent post.

I will draw the winners on Sunday.

Various & Sundry #14 – Thanksgiving

Fill your mind with gratitude!

Fall Quilt Market and Festival

Pat Bravo posted a recap of Quilt Market on her blog. Great pictures and inspiration. Not tons of words.

Aurifil had several posts on the subject of Quilt Market and Festival. I really liked one with lots of photos from the Carolyn Friedlander booth (or section of a larger booth??) and Anna Maria Horner’s booth. I love the photos from Mickey Dupre’s new book on hexagons. I saw it in a catalog, but did not buy it. The pictures of Kaffe Fassett’s fabrics made into bags and quilts and even a Tuffet are awesome.

Moda put up a few blog posts about Quilt Market and in Two Down, I loved the quilt with all the squares using their new Flow fabric by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic. I do love Zen Chic designs. I just wish Moda fabrics didn’t fray so much. The post shows a lanyard pattern by Lazy Girl Designs. It looks like it has some serious hardware!

I noticed lots of darker fabric hues in the pictures this year. Dark blues, sage greens, rust, lots of grey and not the light one that I like. Not my colors. I am reserving judgement, but I think 2016 may be the year I don’t buy as much fabric. HA! We’ll have to wait and see.

Fortunately Minnick & Simpson of Me and My Sister Designs have some great colors as usual. And dots. I will have, at least, a bit of fabric to buy. 😉

There are a whole bunch of blogs gathered in one place that are talking about Quilt Market.

TQS has a video of all of the Houston 2015 the winners. I didn’t watch it so I don’t know if you will need a subscription to watch or not. It looks like it is on their Daily Blog so you can watch for free.

Modern Quilts were shown at Houston as well. I was surprised at one of them: a four patch and Flying Geese quilt called Kitsugi 1 (Medallion) by Alexis Deise. It could has easily have been included in a classic/traditional category IMO

There are many other sites talking about Market and Festival. Take a look.

Websites & Blogs

Frances has a new website for The Off Kilter Quilt.

Kathy has a blog where she posts every day (sound familiar?) or nearly every day. I read a very funny recent post about how well she and Jenny Doan are suited and how they should become best friends. had an interesting article on developing work using sketchbooks. The artist writing is a painter, so there is a little different focus, but we can all gain inspiration and learn techniques from each other. One thing I liked is that Bren Boardman, the artist includes journals, scrapbooks and diaries in her list of ‘sketchbooks’. This makes me happy, because I often have my journal with me, but no sketchbook, so I sketch a design in my journal rather than running to get a sketchbook. I do have doesn’t of sketchbooks that I work in periodically, but I don’t have a regular sketchbook habit. Perhaps I should, but I’ll work on that later. Boardman gives ideas for getting started and ideas for what to include. You don’t have to draw! There are also links to other articles by different artists.

TQS posted a link to an article on Libby Lehman’s continued recovery. She started sewing again!

The Sheldon Cooper quilt is amazing, but it scares me. I can see where the challenge would be attractive, but I couldn’t have it in my house. WHEW! One project I don’t have to put on my to do list.

Maureen shared the Bay Area Book Artists website with me. I feel like I have to make another book before I can go and feel like one of the team. I’ll take some time to explore the site more carefully and I may feel different.

I saw the Tim Holtz fabrics on the Sew Sweetness site and went to look at them on his site. I was surprised to see they were by Coats and Clark. I thought Coats and Clark was a thread company! Expanding their horizons, I guess. I was interested in the design of the site. there are all different ways to navigate and, aside from the sorting designers by first name, the navigation looks really good.

Sandy over at Quilt Cabana Corner has a new feature called Fresh Start Mondays. This past Monday’s issue has a nice embroidery pattern and some other fun things.

Gerre's Dolls
Gerre’s Dolls

My friend, Gerre, showed me a photo of her Mimi Kirchner dolls. She made the ones shown for her crafty friends. You can make some using the PDF pattern on the Purl Bee site. Her dolls have such great personality. I love the ones with tattoos she shows on her most recent post (November 2015). I really like the detail on the dresses. I also like the facial features. They don’t look scary to me.

Patterns & Tutorials

Robert Kaufman has a free pattern on their site for this fabulous quilt! The pattern is called Mosaic and is part of the Fragmental fabric pages on the Robert Kaufman site. I am not a fan of the colors, but love the design, which is a variation on the classic Ocean Waves design. It is certainly an appropriate color scheme for Autumn. Don’t you think it would look great in variations of turquoise, sea green and greys?

Need a hostess gift? Want to practice your zippers? Sew Sweetness’ Sara Lawson has a casserole carrier free pattern on her website.

Sew Sweetness’ new Appaloosa Bag looks really great. I love some of the bags that the testers made.

Lucky Spool is starting the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. It is described as “the first monthly subscription club of its kind that focuses on challenging you with design concepts in the quilt making process. ” There are some big name modern quiltmakers and the cost is $5/month or $50/year. It might be interesting, but I have so much other stuff to do.

Exhibits & Events

Only a few more days to enter QuiltCon. November 30 (YM’s birthday, in case you were wondering) is the last day to enter and their servers might be slammed that day so don’t wait until the last minute. I entered three quilts and hope they all get in.

Kaffe Fassett has an extensive tour of the world. Check his calendar to see if he will be near you. I heard him speak once in Pacific Grove and it was totally worth the cost and the drive.

He will have an exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. The following information is from his calendar:

“Blanket Statements: New Quilts by Kaffe Fassett and Historical Quilts from the Collection of the Quilt Museum and Gallery, York, England

12 March – 28 June 2016

As one of only two U.S. museum venues, this exhibition includes fifteen historic quilts from The Quilters’ Guild Collection, York, England and twenty quilts produced by Kaffe Fassett that were inspired by the designs of the historic quilts.”

Remember Kathy McNeil, who made Song of the Sea, which I posted about in the PIQF post? She has an exhibit coming up in the Spring of 2016 at the LaConner Quilt Museum. in Washington. It is a solo show.

Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center has digitized its collection. “Students, faculty, scholars and the general public can now visit the museum’s website, type in a title, artist, theme or other search criteria, and see high-quality digital images of the majority of the 45,000-plus objects in the collection. Partial inventories of the museum’s collection have been made since it opened in 1894, but this was the first complete inventory since 1916.” (from ResearchBuzz)

Sew Mama Sew has a report on Sewtopia, an event that happened a few weeks ago in Portland. Lots of photos and I see my friend, Kelly O!, in one of them! I am not so sure I would want to participate in the pajama contest.

I just found about about the North Bay Modern Quilt Group. The North Bay Modern Quilt Guild meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 6:30pm at StitchCraft in Petaluma, CA. They were founded in January of 2012 and also have a Facebook page.

The MQG member discount for QuiltCon ends Nov. 30 — so members, if you want your free show pass or discounted lecture and workshop tickets, don’t delay! You must purchase them by Nov. 30th!

Twitter Art Exhibit Call for Artists. This call to artists looks like the art pieces are not returned and donated for charity. The registration form is separate.

An exhibit at the Virginia Quilt Museum about Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry and is called 30 Quilts for 30 Years.

EBHQ is preparing for their bi-annual (March 19-20, 2016) show next year by showing the guild raffle quilts at the Celebration of Craftswomen show at the Herbst Pavilion at Ft. Mason in San Francisco, November 27-29, 2016.  It is a three-day craft extravaganza featuring over 150 juried artists.    The guild is so thrilled that they were accepted as an exhibitor and look forward to a great show for the quilts. Go join them–the show runs from 10 am to 5 pm each day.

Fabric, Tools, Shops, Supplies & Embellishments

As I have gone on about repeatedly, I love coloring in coloring books. I have colored all of my life on and off. I am so thankful to Johanna Basford for making it cool again for adults to color. I want her Lost Ocean book, but it seems ridiculous to buy another one when I am only partway through the Enchanted Forest. AND I am not making any progress, because of my injury. It doesn’t keep me from ALSO wanting the new 36 set of Staedler pens that just came out and Johanna is endorsing. Greedy, I know since my set of 20 are perfectly fine.

Denyse Schmidt and Free Spirit have brought back Denyse’s line, Katie Jump Rope.

Articles & Information

Frances pointed out an article called Mainstreams: History seen through the Lens of a Handmade Quilt. I wonder if the organizers of the project started with the NC Quilt Project quilts?

This is a fantastic article about an amazing project that was a precursor to the Pantone color guides. there is a lot of information about the Pantone process, when it started, etc. I really like the way this article is written and there are some high resolution scans of the pages. I was THRILLED to read this article.

Reno Quiltmaking


I visited a friend last weekend who now lives in Reno. Aside from quiltmaking, she has the most adorable, sweet and smartest dog ever. She makes me want to get a dog. If I could clone this dog, I would.

We went up a day early, Saturday, because snow was predicted on Sunday and we didn’t want to drive in snow. This cut off my time at the machine, but we spent time indoors working on projects, so it worked out, mostly.

The drive up was fine. There was a bit of traffic and people driving kind of crazily, but otherwise the roads were clear and dry as was the sky. We stopped in Auburn for lunch. I have been to that town a few times with the Native Sons, so I knew were to eat. I didn’t expect parking to be troublesome, but it was a pain. We got some steps in.

Kathleen's quilts
Kathleen’s quilts

We arrived in Reno at about 4:30. We settled in, were given a house tour and then went off to dinner with Mrs. K and Kristen. The restaurant was a bit New Agey. The food was very tasty and they had a lot of gluten free options. It was a few doors down from a GF bakery, but it closed for the evening before we could visit. I had Chicken Picatta, something I normally can’t eat at a restaurant, and I enjoyed it immensely.

The best part was visiting with friends. I don’t get to see Kristen that often and she is a lovely person. Kathleen was able to get to know Kristen and get to know Mrs. K better. We were able to catch up on what was happening with everyone. Very fun dinner.

When we got back, I set up the cutting station on Kathleen’s kitchen island, which is the perfect height for cutting. I basically parked myself there for a day and a half and cut out bags. I have a number of bags on my To Do list and I was able to cut a few of them out. It seems like something that should be easy and quick. Not. The bags have a lot of pieces. I also had to cut interfacing as well as press it on to the fabric pieces. It took forever. I am pleased, though, because I now have 3 bags ready to be sewn and I know the hard part is over. They are gifts so you will see them after the recipient sees them.

Mrs. K's sample t-shirt block
Mrs. K’s sample t-shirt block

Sunday, Mrs. K came over and we all stayed in and sewed while the weather gods poured snow and rain on the landscape. Mrs. K has a t-shirt quilt to do for her DIL and needed our help. You know those situations where you just need to talk through a process with people? This project was one of those situations.

This quilt was a little different than the YM’s t-shirt quilt in that she wanted to keep the collars of polo style shirts on the quilt. We used all of our brains to puzzle out the best construction methods. We decided on cutting off most of the shirt, but leaving the back and adding a rectangle of quilting cotton to the top to make the block rectangular. The shirts are stabilized with ShapeFlex. By the time she left she had one block mostly done and a plan to do the rest.

Kathleen's pattern test
Kathleen’s pattern test

Kathleen was pattern testing so we ran up and down the stairs quite a bit so she wouldn’t feel sad and lonely. Also, the ironing board was at the top of the stairs.

I helped Kathleen a bit with the HSTs as there were a lot of them. We stood at the cutting area and trimmed them together. I used my fabulous 4.5″x8.5″ Creative Grids ruler and really churned out the trimming.

Julie worked on the handstitching for her Christmas quilt. The giant Christmas quilt. She is the fastest binder I have ever seen. She bound that giant quilt in about two days. I was in awe.

Mrs. K's Cutting Corners Quilt
Mrs. K’s Cutting Corners Quilt

Mrs. K also brought the quilt she made from the Cutting Corners ruler. I REALLY like this quilt. I got that ruler for Christmas and, after seeing the quilt in person, am determined to try the ruler.

We tried to visit a cheese shop, but it was closed on Mondays. We went to two quilt shops, Windy Moon #2 and Going Batty, which you will find reviewed elsewhere in this blog. In between the two quilt shops we went to lunch at Sup. It is a soup place and was packed but had very good GF food.

We also got to meet Kathleen’s grandsons. It was short but sweet and fun to be around boys again.

Eventually, we went to the bakery mentioned above and bought GF cupcakes. I was so excited at being able to walk in and order a cupcake. It ended up being a huge disappointment. When I finally sat down to eat the one I bought, it was virtually tasteless. 🙁

The trip was good. We had fun. I got some prep done that needed to be done and now we are on to the holidays.

BAMQG November Meeting

The BAMQG Meeting was Saturday and it felt like an eternity since we had a meeting. We really just missed the October meeting (because of PIQF). Still it was too long. I enjoyed seeing people and the show and tell was amazing.

Going to the meeting
Going to the meeting

This is a photo of what I took to the meeting. Fortunately I didn’t come home with nearly that much.

As a result of missing October, there was a lot of business to cover. The question of the month was good but hard, because the “low hanging fruit” was taken right away: For what are you grateful in the quiltmaking realm. Some of the answers were:

  • Time to quilt
  • Rotary cutter
  • Eleanor Burns
  • People who accept and love quilted gifts
  • Design board
  • Internet tutorials
  • Online buying opportunities
  • Playing with fabric
  • Electric sewing machine
  • Organized charity function
  • Designers
  • Modern fabric
  • Space to sew
  • Creative inspiration

Kelly, who went first since she is the boss lady, said she was very grateful for all of us. She said in such a sweet and sincere way that we were really touched. At least I was. Many people agreed that the guild was a great group.

To Do List
QuiltCon entries due November 30. Kelly encouraged everyone to enter. While I want my quilts to get in, I think that everyone’s work is spectacular and high quality enough to get in.

Claire talked about reimbursements.

The charity Sew Day was a success. About 10 wheelchair quilts were completed and will be donated to a local nursing home.

The guild has donated 65 quilts to local charities this year, which is so fantastic! This is less than last year bit many of those were larger quilts than were donated last year.

Opportunity Quilt
Winning ticket was drawn and someone in Pacifica won.

Cat Beds
Are back! The kits I cut and packaged joined the kits that Amanda brought and were all swept by willing members. She gave a little presentation on making cat beds, which I think got people excited about it again.

New one due in January using Carol Van Zant fabric. I received a piece of fuschia. I don’t know what I will make, but perhaps a simple journal cover.

The guild will not renew the guild’s membership. The board decided that the promised technological infrastructure, other promised features and functionality, especially roster management, had not been realized. The board wants to focus its resources on local activities and members. Members were encouraged to join the MQG individually since the benefits are much more robust for individual members. The guild will pay for Mike’s membership and he will continue as MQG liaison for guild members. He will also advise the Board on MQG matters. The group will reevaluate MQG membership in the future.

I plan to join as an individual member for at least one year. We’ll see if I renew in 2017.

Alison will be transitioning membership function to Annemarie.

Favorite blog swap coming to an end and Joy-Lily will produce a paper and virtual list for everyone.

2016 Speakers
Angela Walters cancelled her workshop with us, because she no longer wants to do 2 day trips. While I didn’t know this workshop was coming, it is huge blow to Amanda who has been working on getting AW to us for 2 years. It makes me upset that she would just cancel like that without consideration for the work Amanda put in.

Officer Elections
Nobody has stepped forward to be president so Ruth and Joelle will share the role of point person this year and a Mistress (or master) of Ceremonies will be selected for each meeting. Lynette and Gerre will be co-VPs. Claire has agreed to continue on as Treasurer. Angela will be Workshop Coordinator and others will take on other roles.

Next Meeting
Winter Extravaganza swap and party is December 12.

Presentation: Ruth’s Scrap Management

Ruth gave us a presentation about her use and management of scraps. She called it Scrap Magic and talked about her system of scrap organization.

Scrap Organization
Scrap Organization

Scraps can be better used if they are organized. Everyone’s organization system will be different and personal to them and how they work. Remember mine?

She uses scraps as soon as she is done with the quilt so that she doesn’t have to file the scraps away. This is a little ambitious for me since I am usually sick of the fabrics by the time I am done with a quilt BUT they are exciting again after they have sat for awhile.

She said that using scraps adds interest to your quilts. I agree! I never thought of this, but her view is that making scrap quilts is like getting a free quilt. Since you don’t have to buy the fabric for the new quilt, the quilt is free.


  • faster to sew into quilts
  • saves space
  • Makes quilts more interesting


  • can lose possibilities because you cut to a certain size.

Organize what you keep so it will be useful. Identify your scrap limits before you start to organize:

  • Size – is there a size that is too small for you to use?
  • Personal taste – do you like the fabric enough to keep it around?
  • Quality – is it good enough quality to continue to use?
  • Shape – is the piece a weird shape or a shape you don’t want to keep?

If your scraps are still overwhelming you, your limits might be too low.

Ruth talked about cutting scraps to defined sizes. She, mostly, doesn’t do it, because she feels it limits her options. If she cuts a 4.5″ scrap down to a 2.5″ square, she has lost an inch or so of fabric that could have been used when a larger piece was required.

Nota bene: I cut defined pieces if I have a project in mind for them. I wrote a post on scrap organization, which will give you other ideas about cutting to defined sizes.

Ruth also curates her scraps. When she chooses fabrics, including scraps, she has an idea of the color scheme or motifs she wants to use. She tries to avoid the Scrap Vomit look. She selects parameters to create cohesion. Not everything works well together, despite what some experts say.

Scraps are good for paper piecing.

You can cut pieces to add to a pre-cut project

  • replace unsuitable charms or strips
  • add darks or lights as needed to a fabric line

Start by selecting yardage and then bringing in scraps to add interest.

I thought the presentation was interesting and a good addition to what has already been posted here about scraps.

Some Goals Achieved

Last night I posted the following list of goals for today:

  1. Make back for Improv quilt
  2. Rhonda’s IRR piece
  3. Cut pieces for Flying Geese swap
  4. Make tracing paper patterns for Pink Chalk Notetaker pattern

Frances added “5. Listen to your favorite podcasts!”

Nearing the end of my day, here is what I got done:

  • Finished the back of the Improv quilt (unless I need to add another strip to the width – am waiting for a call back on that)
  • Rhonda’s IRR piece is done and I will be sending it on to Cheryl tomorrow or sometime this week
  • Not only did I cut pieces for the Flying Geese swap, I actually made Flying Geese. I used them as leaders and enders as I sewed the backs together. Voila! Done.
  • I did start to work on catching up on podcasts. I have a few more to go and I made a point of putting an iPod on my Christmas list.

Still have the pattern pieces to trace, but I am pleased with my progress.





PS This is what almost live blogging looks like!

Quilt Shop: Going Batty

Going Batty Shop
Going Batty Shop

I visited Going Batty last Monday while I was visiting Kathleen in Reno. It is a clean and new looking shop in a strip mall. It is large with a variety of products and is a Bernina dealer.

I was looking for my favorite ruler (Creative Grids 4.5″x8.5″ – CGR48), because Kathleen really needed this ruler. Actually, everyone needs this ruler. It is really great for trimming. They had a good selection of rulers, but, sadly, not this one.

The shop did have the Quick Curves Ruler and several patterns using that ruler.

One of the things I really liked about the shop was the sample quilts on the walls. They had one quilt that made me want to go out and make a Feathered Star. The Feathered Star quilt is a Marsha McCloskey pattern called Star of Chamblie and it looked so great in all solids with a bright white background. Sadly, the photo I took was blurry. 🙁

Walls of Going Batty
Walls of Going Batty

The other quilts on the walls were just as great. There is one quilt that I have seen in other shops. It is a Block of the Month called Color of Love. It reminds me of the Star Sampler. I am tempted to make the BOM just because I like stars and I like the varying sizes of blocks. I do wonder how many star quilts I should make.

I was kind of amazed at the sewing machine and furniture display at the shop. the entire front of the store was full of all the best Berninas available. The furniture was sewing machine furniture and it was gorgeous. Some of it wasn’t very useful (sewing machine cabinet with a round flip-out table-WTH?), but the items I saw that I would buy were gorgeous and useful. One was a cutting table with a few drawers and an open space at the top. On top was a cutting table with sides that flip up to make it the size of a very large Olfa mat.

Going Batty front of store
Going Batty front of store

I liked the fabric, too, though they didn’t have tons. They had a respectable amount, but not tons. There was some modern stuff, but not tons. The shop didn’t seem to have fat quarters for their bolt fabric. Usually that means they only have FQs for end of bolts, but I didn’t ask, so I don’t know. GB also didn’t have very many pre-cuts. I wanted some more of that Zen Chic background mini-charms, but couldn’t find them. The shop had a few pre-cuts, but not many.

The displays were really great and the shop was light and airy. They had an up to date system for checking customers out, though it was a bit slow when we were there. The shop offered Bernina service and sold the new-ish Bernina longarms. This shop is definitely worth a visit.

Contact the shop:

Going Batty
9744 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89511
(775) 351-2424

Goals for Tomorrow

I want to have clear goals for tomorrow, November 22, so I get stuff done. Not only do I need to sew, but I need to get some projects moved to the next step. I know with Thanksgiving coming the next several days will be taken up by cooking and prep.

  1. Make back for Improv quilt
  2. Rhonda’s IRR piece
  3. Cut pieces for Flying Geese swap
  4. Make tracing paper patterns for Pink Chalk Notetaker pattern

We’ll see.

Book Review: Make It, Take It

Make It, Take It
Make It, Take It

Make It, Take It: 16 Cute and Clever Projects to Sew with Friends by Krista Hennebury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Julie and I were together at the Granary when we saw this book. It has appealing projects on the cover and I looked through it. It is a project book with no how-to directions and no index, but with a long introduction.

I was confused as I started to read the introduction (pg.7-10) because the author talks about quilting/sewing retreats and her retreat business. She eventually gets past the bliss of retreats and sewing in those settings and begins describing the projects.

The project are organized into “Getting Equipment There Safely” and “Sew When You Get There.” This is an interesting way of organizing the book, but it feels like something is missing. I always have plenty of projects on which to work on retreat, but I guess it is good to inspire people.

There are some interesting projects in this book, which all seem to be designed by different people. My favorites are: Ultimate Equipment Tote (pg.12-20), the Big Mouth Thread Catcher (pg.21-25) for gifts and the Big and Little Patchwork Totes (pg.32-39). The fabric really makes those interesting, as you can see on the cover.

The Half Moon Needlecase (pg.48-54) appeals to me. It might make my needles more accessible than my current needlecase, however, it wouldn’t in my handwork kit. I also think the fabrics used make the project appealing.

I probably wouldn’t use the Selvage Cutting Mat (pg.60-65) myself, but it would be a good gift.

I like the idea of the woven placemats (pg. 80-85), however I would probably sew squares together and avoid the top stitching. If I had a round table. If I used placemats. They are cheerful and I like the look.

The pattern directions seem to be pretty extensive for a book, judging from the number of pages devoted to each pattern. I haven’t made any of the projects, so I can’t comment on the clarity or accuracy of the patterns.

The quilting on the quilts towards the back of the book is pretty amazing. I like the distinct motifs on the Orange Grove Quilt (pg.92-97), which you can see well on pg. 97. The quilting is thoughtful and not just an all over pattern to get the quilt done.

Throughout the book are tips and tricks. There is much about inspiration for the projects.

One of the appealing aspects of this book is the color and fabric use. There are good projects, as mentioned, but few of them are super unique. The book ends with some resources, short bios of the contributors and a page called About the Author.

I like this book. The pictures are appealing and there are enough interesting projects to make this worth the purchase.

Corrections are available at the Martingale site.

View all my reviews

Creative Prompt #338: Riverbank

Riverbank, Calif

Riverbank Unified School District

Riverbank Galaxy Theatres

The Riverbank Cheese & Wine Exposition is a street festival for the whole family.

Riverbank State Park, New York, NY.

Riverbank Farm

Riverbank Chamber of Commerce

Tales of the Riverbank tells the story of three friends – Hammy Hamster, Roderick Rat and GP the Guinea Pig(2008)

Riverbank Attributed to Dong Yuan (Chinese, active 930s–60s) Hanging scroll; ink and slight color on silk; Image: 86 3/4 x 43 in. (220.3 x 109.2 cm) Ex coll. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

River Bank by Brad Paisley

Definition: “the ground at the edge of a river” (Merriam-Webster)

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 and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CPP