Various & Sundry 2018 #8

Creativity & Inspiration

I have to read a lot at work to gather information for a market intelligence report I am supposed to write at the end of the year. The other week I came across a Fast Company article that addresses quiltmaking: creativity blocks. I wrote about this in 2013, using a term “Creative Desert” which I still think is apt. Patience is the big one in the article, which I agree with. The author pointed out that allowing anxiety to infiltrate your process interferes with your subconscious working on the problem. One of my big tools is leaders and enders. I, either, sew squares together until I am so sick of it I can’t help but go back to working on a real project or I use scraps to make new fabric, like for my journal covers.

I saw an article about corrupt files, which morphed into an article about creative process and the stuff creatives collect. The article made me think about whether I am throwing enough work away to be truly making great works.

Patterns and Projects

I forgot about the Kansas City Star quilt blog. I went there after looking for quilt museums in Kansas for a friend who was bored visiting family. The post I read talks about a block of the month based on a diary. I love women’s diaries, so I took a look. The blocks are really nice. Calicos, but they could be put into modern fabrics – or batiks or anything more contemporary – and look really great as well.

Ricky Tims’ Legacy Quilt Club blocks will only be available through September. If you want to download them, go get them now. Don’t pay attention to the colors. Design your own palette. I would love to see a modern version!

You know I love to make books and never have enough time or the right tools on the machine to do it. I have to reset the machine and devote a chunk of time to book making. No leaders and enders always puts me off (what I really need is a bigger workroom with more machines set up for different projects!!). I found a video on making books and thought you might like to join me in book or journal making.

I made a charger case/cable container sometime ago and I use it all the time. It is really big, though. and I have been thinking I might like something smaller. Kathie of Katie’s Quilting Corner posted a link to a pattern that is really useful looking. Thanks, Katie!

Doing Good

Support Laura Kemshall in helping the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in raising  £1.25m  before June 2019. She is making an EPP star quilt. There is a button for a £10 donation on the site. There is a PayPal option to make it easy for US contributors. She was trying to raise £2500 and has already raised over £7600, which is fantastic and will help so many people. I know there are many people in need. One small act of kindness to this appeal or another will help make the world better.

The Covered in Love block drive is back on. Check the blog for needs and wants. It is a great way to use up scraps or try a new block.


Laura Kemshall teaches how to English Paper Piece in her free video on DMTV.

The Girls at Culcita have a series of videos on learning to quilt. The one I saw was about resizing a quilt pattern! I haven’t done a tutorial on that and now I don’t need to.

I found a great article on organizing your workspace. I was reading it for work, but think there are some ideas I can use in my workroom as well. My favorite tip so far is the binder clip tip. I know there are beautiful binder clips available and this might be just the solution we need at home for our charging cords.

Fabric, Tools & Supplies

By Annie has a post that includes a checklist of things to think about when you buy a new machine. She gives the reader her preferences for things she can’t live without.

According to the Edgestitch blog, Joann is getting a face lift.


Cabbage, Carbage, Garbage – the history of schnibbles. I saw a reference on Barbara Brackman’s blog, which referred me to a longer more detailed article on the Dreamstress’ blog.


Francis is taking a break in August before she resumes publishing chapters of the Friendship Quilt 1933 podcast.

Definitely weigh in on the chocolate/no chocolate/occasionally chocolate debate!


I love office supplies and stationery and pens. My favorite pens are Zebra Sarasa (Sarasa Zebra?) in 0.7 and Pilot G-2 o7. I have lots of colors and use a different color every day at work and a different color each time I pick up my journal. Leuchtturm1917 are my favorite notebooks now, but I still like the Miquelrius as well. is my new favorite pen supplier, though I do enjoy a good Japanese stationery store as well. If you need people who like stationery and office supplies a tribe formed on Twitter the other day.

Then I found Notebook Therapy. Sigh. I love those Japanese calligraphy pens.


I had a bad reaction to an email message earlier this month. It made me take a look at my reactions to things. The email came from out of the blue and I was one of the people criticized in the email, though not by name-just as a result of work I had done for the group. The meeting was the next day and I declined to attend, still licking my wounds. I get criticism on this and other posts – people who only post a comment when I have missed something or neglected to finish my thought. I know that people:

  1. care deeply about things
  2. forget to remember that I can’t see your face or body language when they write their quick email “to help”
  3. want to share their thoughts and are often busy, have too much to do and too little time to do every thing
  4. forget that I don’t get paid to write this blog

This is not a perfect blog. I go back and fix grammar or bad sentence structure, but I am often writing quickly on my way to another task, which is a less than perfect environment for my multi-draft style. I greatly appreciate it that you take the time to read my musings. I am responsible for my own reactions to emails, comments and actual face to face conversations. I would like to suggest that you think about your tone when you are thinking about sending off a ‘quick note’.