2021 Year in Review

2021 blog posts: 362

2021 fabric used: 13.28 yards net (150.78 total – if you do the math, you will know how many yards of fabric I bought or was given.)

I didn’t feel as productive this year as I was in 2020. I definitely sewed a lot, but somehow I didn’t finish as many large projects.

Finished 2021 Quilt Projects

Finished 2021 Small and Non-Quilt Projects

This category covers bags, toys, aprons and knitting as well as other non-quilt projects.

Looking at all of these accessories and small projects makes me excited to make more. I just don’t have time to do as much sewing as I want. 🙁

Doing Good

In Process or To Make
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or are on the design wall waiting for me to stitch. I am continuing to try not to put away projects. I find putting a project away ensures I never work on them, because I just lose steam.


  • The circle quilt is on the design wall, which is folded up and not yet back on the wall.

Small Projects to Make or in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • One Hour Basket for my stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects or a Catch All Caddy for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for DH’s stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch the pattern to one of the Minikins projects for this purpose.
  • Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started. Recently, I saw one of these made up and I am not so nervous about it
  • Superbloom tote using Hindsight fabric – not started
  • Ultimate Project Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag for me – I have the inside pockets as well as the front panel made. I am working my way through the exterior and hope to finish soon. FINISHED! See above.
  • Westchester shirt – this is a Crafty Gemini pattern. I bought the fabric at PIQF in 2018. I have the pattern pieces cut out and ready to sew. I was held up by the supply list which wanted a Jersey needle. SIL #2 and Mary C said that a regular knit needle was fine.


I decided that some of my projects are in a different class because they are hand piecing or embroidery or beading. They take longer. Thus I created a new category and have moved some projects here.

Ready for Quilting

  • Nothing at the moment

In the Quilting Process

In the Finishing Process

  • Gelato – need to sew on the binding
  • Scrap Dash – need to sew on the binding

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

  1. Handbag Sampler – this is still the forgotten project. It should be on the UFO list. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class some time before I started writing the quilt class sampler tutorials. I found one block recently, but otherwise I actually don’t know exactly where the blocks are hiding. I crawled up in the far reaches of my fabric closet to see if I could find them and they weren’t where I thought. I am sort of mystified as to where they could be. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. Sad.
  2. Lobster – I think I might make this into a tablerunner for the buffet. I think that will be a good and fun use of the piece even if the colors aren’t quite right for the dining room.
  3. Pies and Points from 2016 Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. The last time I worked on it was when Julie and I had a playdate in April 2018. I brought this piece with me so I could cut more elements (Julie has a Sizzix). I lost my excitement about this piece shortly thereafter, but I am ready to work on it as soon as I get my design walls back up.
  4. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I am still stalled on this again. As one of my oldest (I am pretty sure) UFO, I put it on my blog and out into the Twitterverse and Diane suggested that I not consider this as a self portrait. I think that strategy is a great idea. I am now trying to think of a new persona for her.
  6. Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece to be framed.
  7. Who Am I? – This piece is still languishing. Perhaps having a larger design wall will help me regain momentum. The amount of satin stitching I was facing was a problem until I thought of BIAS TAPE. I am going to make the words with bias tape, perhaps different widths, then I won’t have to sew the satin stitching. Red Scribbles and Friend Julie helped me come up with this solution. Now I just have to do it!



I have been stuck on small projects. It is because of the workroom redo , but I am also enjoying working on bags and pouches. Don’t worry, I am not giving up quilts.

I also finally made it into the green in fabric usage. WHEW! I’ll never make it to 100 yards unless I give a boatload of fabric away, but at least I have made up for the fabric I have purchased this year.


Revisiting Gifts for Gerre

I know it wasn’t that long ago that I wrote a post about the gifts I have made for my friend Gerre. I have made her a few more gifts this year and wanted to post them all together again. Surprisingly, I had forgotten to list a few of them, like the travel pouch, so I have added them.

I have enjoyed revisiting gifts I made for Julie and my mom. I haven’t made as many gifts for Gerre, but I decided to revisit them anyway.

I enjoy making gifts for other people, especially useful gifts. Revisiting them is just a way to enjoy them again. I also like to see what gifts I tend to make for multiple people.

2021 All Donation Blocks

I definitely didn’t make as many donation blocks in 2021 as I did in 2020. Still, I have a few to share and I am a firm believer in the old adage ‘ every little bit helps’.

I started making the guild 16 patches in May. Even though I cut tons of squares, I just didn’t get to it. I was using other projects for leaders and enders. Then I started the workroom upgrade. It has all conspired to make me not as productive in the donation area than last year.

This is still an important part of my quiltmaking and I’ll get back to making more blocks again.

Finished: More Bowl Cozies

Amy's bowl cozies
Amy’s bowl cozies

At work I have a team meeting every Monday. For some reason I started to show whatever items I made over the weekend to my workmates. Now it is a regular feature of our meetings.

Amy's bowl cozies - top view
Amy’s bowl cozies – top view

After showing the bowl cozies I made for the BAM swap, a big discussion ensued about what they were, how to use them. I offered to make some for everyone, but only my boss took me up on them. I finished them yesterday.

I am really pleased with the fabric choices. I am glad she wanted red and black!

After making these using the same tutorial I used before, I am thinking of making bowl cozies as family gifts. I could make gift bags as soon as I finish the bowl cozies and I wouldn’t have to do anything in December. If I start in January it won’t be so bad. You can remind me of my big plans when I am moan about family gifts in December. 😉

Gift #2: Sugar Skull Retreat Pouch

Large Sugar Skull Retreat pouch
Large Sugar Skull Retreat pouch

This was the other Large Retreat Pouch I completed over the Halloween weekend. I sent it off to Gerre for Christmas and am assuming she liked it.

The Retreat Bag  is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags that requires a frame. The frame is not free, but also not very expensive. The frame allows it to open all the way, providing easy access to the contents.

I ran out of the ice cream fabric I used for her other gifts. I bought this, because I thought it was fabric she would like. I made some pillowcases out of the fabric and she told me she really liked them. I don’t really like it, however. I only had a yard of it, so I will use the rest of it for smaller gifts and then find something else that will work for future gifts.

Sugar Skulls Retreat Pouch open
Sugar Skulls Retreat Pouch open

I didn’t use the Sugar Skulls for the inside, because I always like a light inside for bags. As I have said a million times, it makes it easier for me (and people) to find things at the bottom of the bag.

I used a Joel Dewberry Notting Hill poppy print. I have had this laying around for a few years and am so glad I used it. The inside is so pretty!

As mentioned, this is the pouch in which I put an inside zipper pocket and needed to consult with Tim as well as watch the video. I also made a slip pocket, which is included in the pattern, but I don’t like it as much in this iteration. It will be fine, but I’ll do it differently, if I made this size again.

Sugar Skulls Retreat Pouch closed detail
Sugar Skulls Retreat Pouch closed detail

I had some zipper pulls and decided to use one on this bag. I got these on sale at Michael’s, I think, and always forget I have them. I have been going through my hardware bag regularly. I remembered and thought one would be a great addition.

Gift #1: Finished: Sotak Purse Organizer

I bought this Purse Organizer pattern from Sotak Handmade sometime in December 2020 when she was having a sale. It was an impulse buy. I thought that the bag would be useful in my work laptop bag for carrying my wallet and some items I would normally put in my purse. When you don’t have a desk, everything has to be portable and carrying a purse in addition to a laptop bag and a lunch bag makes me feel like a small pack animal.

I cut out this pouch on New Year’s Eve eve 2020 and sewed it together on New Year’s Day 2021. Once cut out, it was an easy project.

The excellent thing is that I was reminded how easy Zipper slip pockets are to add! Tim and I have talked about these types of pockets, but I was reluctant despite the cool zipper ruler I bought. This pattern got me back into the swing of those zipper slip pockets and I feel more confident that I can put them into any bag. I did have trouble keeping the zipper straight as I sewed it, so that is something to work on.

I also should have clipped the corners of the bag before turning it as I couldn’t poke the corners out and make them look sharp.

I decided to make this as a gift for my mom for Mother’s Day, but ended up giving her something else, so it was a Christmas gift.

Wooden Gate Quilts Again

Wooden Gate - New Location
Wooden Gate – New Location

I have visited Wooden Gate Quilts out in Danville many times. The store was small, but had really good items and great fabric. They crammed a lot into a small space. I first talked about it in 2010! It is great to know that the shop has been there that long.

Mom and I have a routine when we meet. We meet at Starbuck’s since traffic is unpredictable, then go to the quilt shop, then have lunch at the gluten free cafe. When we got together the other day, the only thing that worked was Starbuck’s!

We chatted for while at Starbuck’s, then headed over to the quilt shop. It was GONE!! I couldn’t believe it. Fortunately, my phone came to the rescue and we found that it had just moved. We rearranged and headed for the gluten free cafe. Closed. 🙁 They are now only open Thursday-Sunday. I checked, but missed that tidbit. I had planned to pig out on GF pastries, so was disappointed. We went and got GF pizza. It was good, we could eat inside and the place wasn’t crowded. It was a longer walk than Mom had planned so she skipped the quilt shop and I went looking for it later.

Wooden Gate: fabric shelves
Wooden Gate: fabric shelves

The inside of the shop is just how I would decorate: bright white everything with the fabric highlighted.

As you can see the shelves were 3 high, which I thought was not too tall, but provided a lot of space for bolts. All of the shelves were full, but I didn’t think they had tons of the fabric.

Wooden Gate: fabric shelves
Wooden Gate: fabric shelves

I liked the selection, which included some of the new Tula Daydreamer line. The shop used to have a good selection of Michael Miller solids (Cotton Couture???), but I didn’t see them this time. I think they might have switched to Bella solids.

I wanted to buy some neutral charm packs to make more half triangle squares for Peggy, but no such luck. I’ll borrow SIL’s 5″ die and cut some myself. I have plenty of white, which should surprise nobody.

Wooden Gate: front of the store
Wooden Gate: front of the store

I think their notions area is a little smaller than before. Still, they had great notions. They have all of the Quilter’s Select tools by Alex Anderson- rotary cutters in two sizes and a variety of ruler sizes.

I thought about buying one of her rotary cutters to try, but it was nearly $60. Well worth it, I am sure, but too much for me to give it a try. I have plenty of rotary cutters and am happy with my squeezy handle cutter**. I’ll look for deals. You never know.

Wooden Gate: front of the store
Wooden Gate: front of the store

The lady working told me they have twice the space. I believe it. The shop had a classroom before, but this one was nice and big. My back is to the class in this picture, so you’ll have to go visit the shop to see it.

I think the floors were the same as in the previous location. I don’t know that I would choose them, but I think they add warmth and keep the white walls and shelves from being too stark.

Wooden Gate: cutting table
Wooden Gate: cutting table

They had a large cutting table before and this one might be the same. I didn’t buy any fabric (have you seen my statistics? Abysmal for 2021!!) though I covet that cutting table. If I had space, I could cut more than one project at a time, have a place for scraps, etc.

Wooden Gate Quilts -purchases
Wooden Gate Quilts -purchases

I only bought a couple of things, including a new thimble to try. I couldn’t find any of the light grey (Aurifil 2600) when I made a purchase at Pink Door‘s sale. I saw the right color, so I picked up a spool.

The shop is in a mall called The Livery. The mall or group of shops has beautiful old trees, which enhances the appeal. Parking is good.

Wooden Gate Quilts
310 Sycamore Valley Road 
Danville, CA 94526

Phone Number: (925) 837-8458
Email: debi@woodengatequilts.com

Masks are required in the shop.









**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Quilt Class Redux

I updated my Sampler Quilt Class page so that the blocks are also listed in the order I teach them.  It’s a good time to revisit your skills or learn something new.

Last time I taught, I used the quilt below as an example. If you want me to teach you and your friends via Zoom, get in touch.

Aqua-Red Sampler with prize
Aqua-Red Sampler with prize

Sampler Class Tutorials:

Classes in order of how I teach them:


Classes in alphabetical order:

Finishing the Quilt




Finished: M5 Rosette

M5, first rosette
M5, first rosette

As mentioned, I have been working steadily after dinner on La Pass. As a result I am making progress.

This rosette is half of the work I need to do for month five. It is the smaller of the two rosettes.

I like the way this one turned out. The center is outstanding.There is an unexpected interaction between the very center and the black & white stripes. I really like it.

Where the pink triangles are placed should have been orange. The pink goes well with the pink triangles in the center. Oh well, design choice!

Door Prize Gift

Drawstring bags by Sue
Drawstring bags by Sue

I received a small shipment of various items for the BAM 2022 door prize bags. Sue chose the In Color Order Drawstring bag pattern I have mentioned a few times and made some bags. We can use them for the door prize main bag or for holding smaller items.

I love the way Sue pieced some of the bags and also her fussy cutting. She said she will work on other projects for the door prizes in January.

I have to get myself together to organize the bags for the year. At the moment I have very few items to give away, but I can scrape together a bag for January. Then I’ll have plenty of time to worry about the rest of 2022.

Swap Gift

Swap pouch from Joelle
Swap pouch from Joelle

I totally forgot to post about the wonderful swap gift I got from Joelle at the BAM party the other day. This pouch looks like the Persimmon Dumpling pouch from Sew Sweetness, but it is actually the Dome pattern from Minkee Kim.I suppose there are only so many pouch shapes in the world.

Swap pouch from Joelle - interior
Swap pouch from Joelle – interior

Joelle described the construction and it seems a little different from the Persimmon Dumpling Pouches I made. This pouch has little shield in the bottom to keep things from falling out, I guess, which is clever.

Joelle said she didn’t like the way the zipper was put in. The technique leaves part of the zipper exposed. I can see what she means, but Joelle did a great job being precise about inserting the zipper so it looks nice and even.

Swap pouch from Joelle - zipper
Swap pouch from Joelle – zipper

Also, you can see in the interior view that the exposed zipper is not that noticeable.

I haven’t decided how I will use this pouch, but I have some hardware that might need a home.

M3-Skunk Progress

M3 not a Skunk Rosette
M3 not a Skunk Rosette

Part of M3 included Tula’s Skunk fabric. As cute as those skunks are, I am determined not to have animal faces looking at me from La Pass. Still, I want to use the fabric that comes with the Block of the Month since I am paying for it.

One person used the tails, which looked fantastic. I didn’t think of that before I cut my pieces. I decided to use all of the flowers and arrange them in kind of a rainbow. The colors are subtle., so it doesn’t scream rainbow.

I still have some other pieces to sew on to this rosette, but will finish M5 first.