Various & Sundry #13 – Mid-November

Fabric, Thread and Supplies
Need some discount fabrics? I mean full quality fabric for less? Check out this post on The Stitches Swap. Just go look. You know you want to go and look.

Hawthorne Threads has now produced its own fabric line. I saw it the other day while I was browsing their shop and didn’t quite understand what I was seeing. Fabric Worm / Birch Fabrics did this a few years as the modern movement was getting off the ground. I guess Hawthorne Threads thought it was a good idea. If you click on Hawthorne Threads as a designer you will see their three collections, Fair Isle, Bengal and Calliope. they have a pattern for an apron using the Calliope line on their blog. Need a gift? There are similarities in the designs even though the collections are different. Glad to see they are reaching beyond just being an online fabric shop.

Patterns and Projects
Moda has their Modern Building Blocks quilt project, which I really like. Not sure how old it is, because I can’t find the original post. Still here are the directions for putting all of the blocks together.

I found a really nice Pineapple quilt.

I know Thanksgiving is first, but I love this poinsettia table runner, even though I don’t love table runners.  I love the colors (not screamy Christmas) and the design (Drunkard’s Path). Thanks to Mark Lipinski.

Tanesha has been working on art journaling pages and she did one recently that I really like. Check it out on her page.

Moda has a post on their blog about quilt math, Bake Shop Basics: Quick Quilt Math by Oda May, using their precuts. They had to make some assumptions, but I think it is a good post to add to your toolkit.


Weeks Ringle posted about a subject near and dear to my heart. I call it “…but I am not creative”, which is similar to the title of her blog post. while I am fortunate to come from a family with a long tradition of needlework and a mother who encouraged (and paid for) a lot of our crazy creative ideas, not all of my quilts are perfect. I cut off points, my borders don’t fit, I can’t draw a human face. For me, creativity in my chosen medium is about getting better. Every quilt I make and technique I try further my knowledge. It also keeps my brain active and keeps me interested. What I would like to say is “banish the phrase (and related sentences) ‘…but I am not creative’ forever.” Don’t acknowledge the concept, don’t think about it. Everyone is creative, but you have to nurture and practice creativity, just like everything else.

Did you know that Abby Glassenberg has a podcast? No? Me either. There is a link on her blog. She is up to episode 32. Does this mean I am not paying as much attention as I should to new media or does it mean I am part of an insular little community that only talks to itself? I might think about that.

Judy Martin writes “Regardless of your skill or experience level, you can win the coveted Best of Show just by playing my new game, Quilt Show. It is out and available. The game retails for $34.95. It is for 2-4 players. You can read more about it or order it at: (no affiliation)

If you’re curious about the game but want to see how it plays, I have some short videos you can watch. Richard Ham has a series of videos where he plays games and explains what he is doing as he does it. It’s a great way to follow along and tell if a game is right for you. I’ve added his three Quilt Show videos to my Video page. And Dan King, the Game Boy Geek, does a video review of Quilt Show, explaining how to play. I’ve added his video, too.

The game would be great for retreats or Quiltmakers’ Game Nights. I am sure it makes a great gift. 😉

I found about the 45th anniversary of QNM from Judy Martin’s newsletter. See the quilts and read about the event on their blog.

There is an Amish Quilt Exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Read the article and go see it if you get the chance. I was disappointed that none of the modern inspirations were shown in the paper.


I was featured on the Quilty Therapy blog in her healthy sewist lifestyles series.

If you want a good bio of Judy Martin, she was a Battgirl recently and you can read all about her. Yes, I am an inveterate Judy Martin fan. I love her original blocks, her newsletter and her quilts. The follow-up post on Judy’s quilter, Lana talks about Quilter’s Dream Batting in such a way that it makes me want to try it. Have you used that batting?

Thoughts and Ideas
The Badass  Quilters’ Society had this “To be a BadAss Quilter is to be confident enough to embrace your own style without the need to mock the style of others. To at least aspire to fearlessness in your craft as well as authentic, compassionate and ethical treatment of each other. To be generally opposed to dumb-ass behavior that separates, denigrates or makes light of another’s work, style or lifestyle. In short, we are opposed to being a jerk about most things and about quilting most of all.” to say on a post that I marked to share back in April. Regardless of whether you want to call yourself ‘badass’ or not, the sentiment is really good. What is wrong with your style that you are embarrassed to own it? Why are you reluctant to make a change to a pattern that would clearly be better with your change? Why do you make fun of someone else’s work? The article goes on to discuss all the different types of quiltmakers out there. Go forth and embrace your quilt-i-ness!

Abby Glassenberg wrote a blog post on whether money trickles down to fabric designers. The Bad Ass Quilt Society wrote a follow-up post to Glassenberg’s post. I think it was an excellent example of how our expectations of pricing are way off. I don’t buy kits, but I have run my own business and I know everyone is looking for a discount. One of the things I like about the quilt industry is that it is still filled with a lot of small businesses and women owned businesses. Do you really need a discount?

Other Artists
Next week is the American Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. Perusing some of my favorite sites (see link list on the right hand side), I saw that Quilt Rat had posted a turkey that is perfect for coloring. Print out a few copies, buy some new boxes of crayons and set the kids to work while you cook.

I heard Kevin Kosbab speak the other day at the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild. He has a really interesting lecture on Mid Century Modern. Look for a more detailed post about him later. See his work and buy his stuff at: Feed Dog Designs

November To Do List

To Do List:

  1. Quilt Christmas table runner
  2. Wash fabric AKA The Great Unwashed (I am guessing this will never be off the list, but a girl can dream) ;-)
  3. Make stiff bucket or box for TP in main bath
  4. Make stiff bucket or box for TP in second bath
  5. Dragon Box (gift)
  6. Anna Maria Horner Multi-tasker tote (gift-due Holiday 2013- oops) – found the pattern, which is a good start.
  7. Make 3 notepad covers (gifts)
  8. Day in the Park backpack variation
  9. Sew Bon Appetit apron
  10. Sew Church Ladies apron
  11. ATCs for CQFA January Meeting – I should have enough time, right?
  12. Make free motion quilted piece into a bag

To see the 26 Projects Lists, which list quilt WIPS, visit the October Current Projects update. Last month’s to Do List is about the same.

All small items that have been completed since November 4, 2013 (prior to this month’s list). This really shows progress, right?

  • Blocks for BAMQG Opportunity Quilt
  • Binding on Wonky 9 Patch
  • Sew on sleeve for Original Bullseye
  • Kelly’s Brown Round Robin
  • Pillow from cake tea towel
  • Try plain square for center of Russian Rubix blocks
  • Hand sew bottom opening in Shopping bag for BAMQG
  • Finish binding on T-Shirt quilt
  • Secret Santa gift for BAMQG
  • Kathleen’s Round Robin
  • Make sleeve for Original Bullseye
  • Finish sewing triangles for Scrapitude
  • Take apart Ribbon Star and resew
  • Color Group donation quilt
  • Binding for Color Group donation quilt
  • Make shopping bag for BAMQG
  • Sew coffee patch to red bag
  • Sew coffee patch to bathrobe
  • Sew green and red striped 8 pointed star (probably should include an item called “find background template for 8 pointed star!)
  • Scrap Lab backpack
  • Make binding for Disappearing Pinwheel
  • Petrillo bag #2
  • Bright apron as a gift
  • Paris apron as a gift
  • Finish tote for Mom‘s auction (new 6/2014)
  • Layer, baste Christmas table runner
  • Cut background for black wavy line 8 pointed star
  • Sew white on black wavy line 8 pointed star
  • Quilt/stitch fish postcard – finished
  • Make receiving blankets
  • Sew BAMQG label to donation quilt for Band Mom
  • Sew BAMQG label to green donation quilt back
  • Cut lining fabric for Church Ladies apron
  • BAMQG label to Flower Sugar donation quilt back
  • Sew sleeve on See
  • Sew facing down on See
  • Make donation blocks

Various & Sundry #12 – Early November

Looking for a key to acronyms I use? Check the AQ Glossary.


My camera broke a few weeks ago, thus the weird photos I have been posting. I haven’t bought a new one yet, but am planning to do so. It is kind of a pain, because I wasn’t planning on learning something new just now. I had a good rhythm with my old camera and liked the photos it produced. I guess we don’t get to choose these things. I’ll probably borrow my son’s camera for awhile since I would like to figure out what I want and try some out. I don’t want to rush into a purchase. What kind of camera do you have?

Results of the 2014 Quilting in America survey, the 7th conducted since 1994, were announced at Quilt Market. Some key highlights:

  • Quiltmakers in the US spent $3.76 billion on their passion
  • 1 out of every 20 Americans makes quilts, though there was a decrease
  • “Dedicated Quilters” (spend more than $500 per year-how many of YOU qualify?) represent 12.2% of all quilting households, and account for 60.4%
    of the total industry expenditures, or about $2.27 billion

CHA, the Craft & Hobby Association, has a new Blogger membership. This should make it a lot more affordable to attend, however there are some limitations. The blog post says “The criteria for membership were established to attract established bloggers that do this as a business versus individuals who are blogging to support their love for crafting.” I know that many of you qualify, so go to the show.

Products, Thread and Fabric

Need help matching thread and fabric? PlayCrafts has a new app out just for that. Now you can match your Kona solids to your Aurifil.

Michael Miller has something in the works for Janome Sewing machines and their fabric. They put up a sneak peek.

Patagonia Quilt
Patagonia Quilt

Patagonia, the outerwear maker has a cool Twitter feed (@patagonia). It is not just filled with ‘buy this’ and “look at how awesome we are”. They are awesome, because they engage with their readers in their area of expertise. They have beautiful pictures of nature, they show recycled and upcycled products, including a quilt made from old down jackets. I never knew what happened to those down jackets that no longer fit or …. whatever. Now I know one thing. My dad would love this! I was alerted to Patagonia’s down recycling project and went on to read a blog post by Alabama Chanin, which tells more about Patagonia’s relationship with their garment during the entire life cycle of the garment. There is a video that talks about one aspect of the project. This is such a novel and exciting concept. It really makes me want to buy Patagonia products.

Red Pepper Quilts does a Sunday Stash Report and recently she posted about Mimosa by Another Point of View. I thought that I really liked the fabric when I saw a little sliver in a picture of a stack, but I drew back, because a little sliver is a lot different than an 10″x10″ or half yard piece. She posted larger pieces of the blue colorway and I definitely like them.  I am not so sure about the red colorway. I also noticed that a couple of the prints look a LOT like Some Denyse Schmidt prints from Flea Market Fancy. Hhhmmm.

Other Artists

Have you seen Carol Wool’s quilt from her Gwen Marston class? Don’t those stars look like Women’s Work?

What about Charolotte’s Scrapitude blocks? They are very different than the others I saw, but also uniquely her. Charlotte also writes about the comfort of stitching and her words are exactly how I feel. I love her posts and her work.

Mom finally got back on the blogging bandwagon and has a bonanza of projects to show.

Quilt Market

Bonnie Christine have two new lines. I like Cultivate. Enough to buy? I don’t know.

Timeless Treasures talks about what they are introducing, which you should have seen by now. They also sort of explain the Judy/Judel Niemeyer confusion.

Julie, over at the Intrepid Thread, talks about her wardrobe for Market, which is always of interest to me.

Barbara Brackman has a new reproduction line coming out. She is not going to Market, so has created a virtual booth.

Melissa Mortenson is debuting her new fabric line and her book of projects for teens.

PIQF Inspired Project

Cross & Squares
Cross & Squares

A few days ago I talked about a project that TFQ are trying out. I think I am behind, because I didn’t get to sew anything until this past weekend.

First of all, I know some of you are thinking “what the heck, dude, don’t you have about a bajillion projects in process?” Well, yes, I have a few on my Current Projects list.  I just really like doing a one-on-one project (also group projects like Scrapitude) with (an)other quiltmaker. Also, a few blocks isn’t really a project, is it??? Mostly, I am a social animal and like to have some human contact, especially if I can talk about quiltmaking in the geeky, detailed process-oriented way that my brain loves.

Second, I looked up the pattern and found a block called Garden of Eden that I could modify in EQ7. EQ provides such an easy and quick way to look at sizes of pieces. We were able to look at the rotary cutting directions for individual pieces in order to decide what finished size to make the blocks.

Colorful Octagons
Colorful Octagons

Next, you are probably wondering, after my long dissertation on Color Stories, what my color story will be.

I don’t know exactly, but to put us on the same page, TFQ and I talked about colors of the octagons I am using for the Russian Rubix and whether those were the sorts of colors. Yes, they are the sorts of colors, but I will also use different fabrics and make it scrappy.

For the background, we will be using different cool, light greys. Again, they will be the same in each block, but, possibly different between blocks. The four squares in each block will be the same the same color, but not necessarily the same fabric.

I am not sure about the cross in the middle. I am not sure if I will use analagous colors or complimentary colors or what.

You can play along using the PIQF Crosses Rotary Cutting-5in pattern (5 inches) I created in EQ7.

High School History Art Project

The Young Man came home the other day and told me about a project/assignment he had for history. he had to write 5-10 entries in a journal of a character to be assigned on the Oregon Trail. He was assigned an 18 year old young man with $45 dollars. We brainstormed a little bit on the content and then he said he wanted to make the paper look old for extra credit.

I thought about this and suggested tea dyeing. I am not a tea dyeing kind of girl, nor do I do much with paper arts, but I thought I could make this happen. After work, on my way to the gym I asked him to let his tea bags dry out a little bit and determined to do the tea dyeing when I got home.

When I got home, he found me the ‘old looking paper’ he wanted to use. This was interesting, because it turned out to be college ruled binder paper. Huh? I wasn’t in the mood to argue and it was his project.

I spread the paper out on the kitchen counter and squeezed and rubbed the tea bags on the paper. To dry them, I microwaved the paper on high for 10-20 seconds. The effect was ok, but not as dark as the Y.M. had hoped. He did a second round with the tea bags, which made it better, but still not great.

Cinnamon 'Dyeing'
Cinnamon ‘Dyeing’

After dinner, as I was tidying up, I spied my giant bottle of cinnamon. It is the right color, so I poured some on the paper and rubbed with my fingers. The paper was really gritty, but also way more brown than the tea and not wet. The Y.M. was really happy with the effect.

Once the paper was finished, he took it and began writing the entries.

In the morning, I cut a piece of my book binding thread and, on the way to the train, I told him how to ‘bind‘ the papers together and tie them off. He didn’t take the time to make a cover, but, for the short time we had to do the extra parts of the project, I thought it looked good. I hope his teacher agrees, especially since the project smells like cinnamon.

Jackie in Black & Grey

Jackie's Donation Blocks
Jackie’s Donation Blocks

I haven’t been able to make it to my PO Box recently and when my mom went for me, what a bonanza! Lots of fun goodies, including some blocks for the Black & Grey Teenaged Boy Donation Quilt from Jackie! WOW! What a great surprise and these blocks will really look great with the others I have.

I know I keep saying this, but I really, really need to put all the blocks out and take another picture. I need to see where I am.

This makes me think that I am continuing to make blocks for some reason that I don’t know or I haven’t decided to reveal? Perhaps these blocks are some kind of therapy?

I’ll think about it later.

Thinking About Bags

You might have read my final analysis on making the second Petrillo Bag.  I carried that bag around for several days and doing so made me think about making bags to actually carry around.

You have probably noticed that I make a lot of bags. Mostly I give them away. There are only a few (Springy bag, Jane Market totes) that I actually carry around. Part of that is that I am one person and one person only needs so many bags. Still, I do like to make them.

As I have said in the past, I carry a bunch of stuff with me to work in a bag on public transport. The bags have to be sturdy, have lots of pockets, be on the large side and relatively stain resistant. The bags I carry to work have been Timbuktu bags for the past several years. They work but they aren’t perfect. They are large enough, have enough pockets, but they look like everyone else’s bag.  Also, I am kind of over the backpack thing with my work clothes.

When I made the Petrillo Bag, I did so because I liked the shape, mostly.

In the case of making the bag, I don’t have control over the finish, but I can choose the colors and pattern. I probably have an equal, if different, amount of control over color the as I do if I bought a bag in the store.

Using the ShapeFlex plus layers of fabric plus interfacing. That is a lot of layers to go through and my backup machine wasn’t happy. I could make a better, sturdier bag if I had a tougher machine, perhaps an industrial machine or pseudo industrial machine. There is no way I am even going to consider buying an industrial machine, but I still want to make bags. I may never do it, but there is a place where you can go and rent table saws and welding things…Tech something. They have industrial machines there. Perhaps I will go and see if I can use theirs.

I worry most about setting the bag in something and not being able to get the stain out or having the stain leak through the bag. I like my bags nice and when you take public transport, it is hard to keep things nice. This is why Sheldon has ‘bus pants.’ I tried using the fusible laminating stuff on the Scrap Lab Backpack and that worked OK. It isn’t like using regular oilcloth. I suppose I could just make a new bag if the old one got stained or boring…

Do you use bags you make?

Do you worry about staining them or ruining them?

What do you carry to work?


Petrillo Bag #2 Put to the Test

Petrillo Bag in Action
Petrillo Bag in Action

I finished the Poppy Petrillo Bag on June 6, 2014, then immediately left town with it for a conference. I had about a gazillion things to do that day, but managed a few minutes to finish the bag. I wanted to take it with me, because my Sherpani carry-on is too heavy and the straps are not that comfortable. It helps if I don’t bring everything I own, but let’s set that aside for a moment.

As I told you the other day, I made some changes to the bag to make it better to actually use. I liked using this bag, especially with the changes. I liked the straps, the size and the weight. It still isn’t the perfect bag, but it was really a good bag. It is lightweight and it fit well under the airplane seat, it was comfortable to carry and held the right amount of stuff. I also really like the shape.

I think there are other things the bag needs. More pockets for one and at least one outside pocket for a water bottle (or soda, if you drink soda) and the conference program. Given Sara’s excellent and stylish design of the bag, I am not sure it is possible to make all the changes I require.

I am not ready to give up, however. Stay tuned.