Various & Sundry #13

Ruth over at Pippin Sequim posted a great tutorial on Orange Peel quilting. She demonstrated how to do it at our last BAMQG meeting.

Quilt World News

Quilt Week Oct 2012
Quilt Week Oct 2012

The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky will host an exhibit called Themes and Variations in Judy Martin’s Quilts, featuring 25 of Judy’s quilts. It will run from December 12, 2012 to March 11, 2013. I love her quilts and most of her books (recent ones have been too project based for me) because the designs are unique and interesting and her directions are impeccable. Go see the show and report back if you are in the neighborhood.

Remember a while ago I went on a bit about the Modern Quilt Movement and what it meant? One of the students wrote her thesis on this issue for the University of Nebraska (presumably at Lincoln?). Read it and let me know what you think.

The San Jose Museum exceeded their fundraising goal by raising over $46,000 at their most recent event. Due to a small deficit at the end of their fiscal year, the Board of Directors of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles has unanimously voted to close the Museum on Tuesdays beginning October 1st . This closure is in addition to the long standing Monday closure. They said that it was not an easy decision and they will  be cutting some overhead costs, and allowing existing staff to focus on programs and services to enhance our outstanding exhibition schedule and other Museum activities. The board charged the new Executive Director to analyze our resources and it was decided that the Museum was over-extended by being in operation for six days a week. The Board has made no decision as to how long this Tuesday closing will be in effect. The Board hopes that their supporters and community members will continue to visit Wednesday through Sunday, from 10am to 5pm beginning October 1. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Christine Jeffers, who can be reached through the website.

Around and About the Web
Carrefour du Patchwork was held recently and I was pleased to find that there’s now a slideshow of quilts on their website. If you’re interested, you can find it here:


My friend, Kathy, over at Bliss Habits is hosting a book group using The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron as part of her Bliss Habits Book Club. Chel Micheline, of Ginger Blue Studio and Tuesday with Chel on Bliss Habits will be the hostess. She writes about the concept of the book group for this book in a blog post from a week or so ago.

Various & Sundry #12

Other Artists

Recently we went to Disneyland for a vacation. It was a special birthday for DH so he got to pick the trip. I had a great time, because I love Disneyland, but it was very tiring. I don’t think a pair of shoes exist that would make walking on concrete for 14 hours a day 3 days in a row comfortable.

History Quilter Image
History Quilter Image

One of the highlights of the trip was meeting Susan of the History Quilter website and podcast. I have had some GREAT experiences meeting Internet people IRL and some experiences where the people should have just stayed in my computer. Meeting Susan was a great experience. I left the park in order to meet Susan. The boys rode all the rollercoasters, Tower of Terror and other stomach lurching rides while I was busy. We met at my hotel and then walked over and had smoothies at a cafe nearby.

Our boys are similar in age and have similar interests, so we had stuff to talk about on that subject. I was thrilled to hear about her new machine and that she lived in my area early in her life. Great visit!

PP Fabric from Pam
PP Fabric from Pam

Pam of Hip to Be a Square podcast recently had a major fabric giveaway (closed now, sorry). She was kind enough to send me the Pointillist Palette fabric. If you don’t know, Pointillist Palette fabric was designed by Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka back in the dark ages of quiltmaking. This fabric cemented my friendship with TFQ, got me stashing fabric and started my Pointillist Palette series. It was one of the first lines I noticed that was so vibrant and bright. Some day I’ll write about one of my first meetings with TFQ.

Anyway. I still have PP fabric waiting to be made into the last 3 quilts of the PP series, but getting some more is never a bad idea. Thanks, Pam!

I clicked on a link to some new fabric by Daisy Janie and saw that she has something called the Lancaster Diamond Quiltalong. The design looks just like my Renewed Jelly Roll Race. There are some small differences, but essentially the designs are the same. As I often say: there is almost nothing new in quiltmaking.


Adrianne, Little Bluebell reminded me of another way to make half square triangles (triangle squares). If I think about it right, some of the edges are on the bias, but I know that won’t daunt you intrepid piecers!

Do you get inspiration from the Quilt Index? Here is a tutorial on how to use it to your best advantage.

Around the Web

I receive the Cloth Paper Scissors Daily newsletter, which provides their daily blog post in my email. I don’t always have time to read it, but I saved one called “Start a Letter Writing Campaign.” I put off reading it for a few days, because the title made me think of petitions and political campaigns and I want to stay as far away from that stuff as possible. Boy was I wrong. This was a homage to actual letter writing with pen and paper. I loved it. Perhaps you will, too.

I am embarrassed to say that I missed this homage to the quilts the Bay Area Modern quiltmakers entered in the county fair on Adrianne’s site.

Katie of Katie’s Quilting Corner does some interesting things. Over the weekend, she was tweeting about putting a zipper in using her embroidery machine. I could not visualize it and neither could landscape lady. Katie is great at posting videos and so we asked her to do so. She did! Check out this blog post including the video that shows a zipper being put into a little project.

Lazy Girl Blog has a round up of interfacing. I think there is never too much information about interfacing. This appears to be a new line of interfacing by Lazy Girl Quilting. I am not endorsing these products, as I haven’t tried them. Just letting you know what’s out there.

Lisa Call had a great post on clutter recently. I am guilty of the pen dilemma!

Ruth of Pippin Sequim (remember her from here?) was featured on the QuiltCon blog for her block for the QuiltCon challenge. She really shines in the blocks she made.

Mobile Quiltmaking

I am an inveterate journal writer. I write almost every morning and draw and doodle in my journals. They are not beautiful and are very text heavy. I have illusions of people studying them in awe after I am dead.

Now that you have stopped laughing, gotten up off the floor and are back to reading <insert stern look here>, I will continue. 😉

I have dabble in OneNote, Penultimate, SpringPad, MobileNoter and Evernote. My friend swears by Evernote and I miss the tactile feeling of the pen on the paper. The stylus on Penultimate just doesn’t work for me. So, when a friend sent me an article where Evernote has teamed up with Moleskine, I was very interested. The fact that I can put drawings into Evernote may make me move, at least partially, to online journaling. I’ll update my app and see what I think. The update may only be good for the pay per view version in which case I will only come back and tell you nothing happened. I am not buying a $50 app just to try out a mobile journal. Sorry kids.


Tomspoolery Sad Day
Tomspoolery Sad Day

I got a notice from Tomspoolery that they are closing.

I have an account, but I didn’t use them that much. I tend to go towards SeamedUp for this kind of thing, but this blog is really my go to place for organizing my projects. I also have a file for each of my quilts and stuff gets stuck in those files as I work on a quilt.

Still, I am sorry to see them go as I think they made SeamedUp a better place.

I also liked their color scheme – very cheerful.

Then…I was going to continue…

If you haven’t been over to SeamedUp lately, go check it out. They did a major overhaul recently and the site is looking really good. I don’t think it has reached Ravelry proportions yet, but it will.

BUT, then this…

SeamedUp died this week. I really liked the new color scheme and recent changes. I thought things were looking up for them. First Tomspoolery, now SeamedUp. Sad. Many people are moving over to ThreadBias. I reserve my preferred login and I uploaded one project, but I don’t want to spend more time on another site that doesn’t have longevity.

Various & Sundry #11

Around and About the Web

My friend Natalie sent me a link this quilt/map site. I have to do some more investigation, but it looks like they will make a map of a variety of spaces using quiltmaking techniques. they describe themselves as “Haptic Lab is a small design studio in Brooklyn that creates products, spaces and situations to promote embodiment.” They also make Jell-o molds.

Of course there is a Flickr group for the QuiltCon block challenge. I shouldn’t have looked. I feel embarrassed about sending mine in. There is some really great work there. I need to up my game.

Ebony Love, die cutting queen, has a Kickstarter campaign to produce a book on die cutting tips. Tomorrow is the last day, so click NOW, if you want to support. Even $5 helps. I don’t know Ebony. Patti turned me on to her. This is a project I supported because I haven’t seen a book like this and it doesn’t have EASY in the title. Ebony seems to be doing something unique: creating a book that will tell you how to use your dies in existing patterns. There are all different levels at which to pledge. Her ultimate goal is $12,000, so she can attend Quilt Market and market the book. She is at $7700 as of this writing.  I guess I need to get my act together and review my Accuquilt Go!

SewedExcitedQuilts has a great post about quotes she heard at a recent Quilts of Valor Sew Day. They are typical quiltmaker quotes you will recognize. Read them and have a laugh. You are not alone!


I like this shoulder bag – both the shape and the fabric – over at Moda Bakeshop.

I get the Sew Daily newsletter – I wanted a free eBook and this was part of the package. Mostly, I don’t read it, but recently they wrote about using vintage (think of your special stash) fabrics in pillows. They show, what looks like, upholstery fabric (local folks: think Fabmo!) and talk about using vintage hankerchiefs. I still need to recover my living room pillows. I just haven’t found the right fabrics, but this blog post puts the project back on my radar. I have had a lot of pillow drama, but pillows and pillow covers are still good projects for small amounts of fabrics or to try things out.

Stars for San Bruno Again

I received a call from one of DH’s cousins. She is the sister of the cousin to whom Stars for San Bruno #1 was given. She went on and on about how they had received a quilt and it turned out it was made by me. I could not make her understand that I had coordinated the making of the quilt and actually sent it to DH’s cousin. It was a very strange conversation.

Various & Sundry #10

The Short Version

What I am Reading: Ties that Bind by Marie Bostwick.  I gave up on reading (with my eyes) the Age of Innocence. I loaned my Kindle to a family member who is at home for the next two months. I bought it on audio and will start listening soon.  Creating Time: using creativity to reinvent the clock and reclaim your life by Marney Makridakis is still languishing.
Audiobook playing on my iPod: The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey; just finished Shine Shine Shine, by Lydia Netzer.
Project on which I am Working: The Infinity blocks are put together, back is done and ready to go to the quilter. I am calmly making Swoon blocks and thinking about what comes next.

The Long Version

As you may have guessed from my recent habit of posting info about what I am reading and/or books to which I am listening, I love to read. I actually don’t care about the actual act of reading, but I love the stories. Audiobooks are perfect for me, because I get the story without having to sit or lay somewhere turning pages. I am not good at sitting around. I like getting sewing and reading done at the same time. 😉

Recently I saw a word cloud in the shape of the UK with the names of British, Irish, Scottish and Welsh literary personalities. This tickled my fancy. It is amazing to see how many great writers came from such a small geographic space. Something in the water, maybe? There is also a US version. Somehow it is not as impressive, but we Americans haven’t had as many years to write.


I have the best readers (pat yourself on the back (or the head or the hand – whatever works). I have been getting so many great comments lately. I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to comment. You make my day!

Around and About the Web

I saw a notice of a new collection of photos at the Library of Congress recently. I always like to test these photo sets using the word ‘quilt’ or ‘quilting.’ I retrieved a few images. If the 2d link doesn’t work choose the first link and put USF33 and quilt in the search box. the thing that I noticed about these quilt photos is that none, but one, have piecing on them. They also don’t look like whole cloth quilts. I am wondering if they basted the quilt upside down? Let me know what you think or know. If you take out the phrase USF33 and leave in quilt, you will get photos of all the quilts in the photograph collection at LoC. Yes, another web time waster, but inspirational!

From ResearchBuzz: “The New Museum has a new Web site with what sounds like intriguing archives: “The Digital Archive has a searchable database of over 4,000 artists, curators and organizations, plus around 8,000 written and visual records. …
Additionally, the site’s new Art Spaces Directory helps artsy travelers gain an insider’s knowledge of alternative art spaces in spots from Cameroon to Vietnam.”

Perhaps I am not done with diamonds after all. Two large-ish quilts (FOTY 2010, Renewed Jelly Roll Race) made with diamonds should be enough, but the project Be*Mused is working on looks very tempting.

Here is a really good circle tutorial.

Bonnie Hunt has a tutorial/chart on Square in a Square. Thanks to Pam at Hip to be a Square for pointing it out.

The fabulous Lisa Fulmer  helped Andrea Currie win the episode of Craft Wars that aired on Tuesday July 17 on TLC.  They have been interviewed about the experience on Fave Crafts. some of the Craft Wars episodes are available on iTunes for free. Check out the episode with Lisa and Andrea! Congrats, ladies. BTW, Lisa is currently adding select crafty clients to her Marketing A list. If you need help with Marketing, Lisa can be your best ally. contact her via the link above.

I love Be*mused’s work, so I have to show you this Trip around the World she made for her daughter. What I like about is the “if one fabric is good, 40 is better” sensibility. I also like it that she shows you what works and what she thinks doesn’t. I am also posting this for TFQ’s benefit, in case she didn’t see it.

The next bit is crankiness, pure and simple. I hope that you can all, gently, tell me that I am off base. Jackie from Tall Grass Prairie Studio talked about improvisational piecing in a recent blog post. She talks a lot in this post about wanting directions for improvisational piecing. She talks about the books she looked in. Not once does she mention Gwen Marston. Gwen Marston has step by step improvisational piecing (called Liberated Piecing, though) directions in a number of her books. Gwen Marston writes those instructions in such a way that they are the launching pad for the readers own work. Gwen Marston, however, does not have a robust web presence. Does that mean, in the modern quilt world, that she doesn’t exist? As a librarian, this makes me crazy. There was life before the Internet, you know. ERGH!!! Here is a brief take on the “everything is on the Internet” idea. is an online diary or journal. I am an inveterate journal keeper. I have kept some kind of journal since I can remember. might work for those of you who don’t want to keep a paper journal. I like the idea of being able to add photos from Flickr. $20/year is very tempting for the pro account. I wonder if I would have the time. I do find that actually writing with my hand works well for me. I really don’t need more computer work either. Sigh. The video showing their concept is cute and worth 2 minutes of your time. More details are available on their products page.

Alex Anderson has an exhibit at the new (??) Accuquilt Gallery. Read the press release.

Are you thinking about Christmas yet? Get going! August 1st marks the slow slide until Christmas and other gift giving holidays. You probably want or need to make some small gifts. Here is a new product from Hawthorne Threads that will make your life easier. In their latest newsletter, they write “NEW SCRAP PACKS! Here’s a great way to have a beautiful sampling of the highly coveted Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt at a great price! We’ve assembled our remnants into scrap packs like these seen above. For just $9.99 you’ll receive 2 yards worth of fabric by weight, ranging in size from just under 1/2 yd to 1/8 yd cuts. These remnant packs would be great for sunglasses cases, clutches, pillows, quilts, and more. If you’re hard pressed finding time to sew, these can provide some great material for a quickie project. These are limited release so once they’re gone, they’re gone!”

BlockBase from EQ is BACK!!! If you don’t have it, run out and get it. This is one of the best quiltmaking investments you will make EVER. Over 4300 block patterns that you can adjust and resize. BlockBase is a stand-alone program so you don’t need EQ to use it. This is not an update, so if you have BlockBase, you don’t need to buy it again.


Last Four
Last Four

As you know, I have been on a donation quilt bender. Not a bad bender to be on, if you have to go on a bender. 😉

I love that 16 patch block to which the Charity Girls introduced me. I saw a version on Camille Roskelley’s blog that shows how some different fabrics would look. I didn’t buy any of the Summersville fabric, but this quilt top is a great example how that block (hers looks a little larger-more squares, I think) and can be so versatile.

Various & Sundry #9

I have re-enrolled with Amazon Associates. You should see the widget in the right sidebar towards the bottom. If you buy anything from Amazon, you can do so by clicking on the widget. This may be a duplicate of what you have heard on any number of other blogs.  It will give me a few pennies on whatever you buy at no cost to you.

I also have a Cafe Press Shop: Go buy stuff. Thanks.

What I am Reading: I am still working the Age of Innocence on my Kindle, but I am mostly playing Mahjong Solitaire on my Kindle and not reading! As I said before, I  think it might a better book to which to listen, which means I might jump to Creating Time: using creativity to reinvent the clock and reclaim your life by Marney Makridakis
Audiobook playing on my iPod: Beekeeping for Beginners, novella by Laurie R. King.
What I am Working On: Garden, and thinking about binding a table runner for my Grama. I may start putting the Infinity blocks together. I am also doing a lot of pressing and cutting of recently washed fabric

Fabric, Spools & Tools

I haven’t been using much DMC floss lately on the pieces that I embroider. I usually head over the Perl Cotton aisle. Mark Lipinski had a few things to say about a DMC floss color card he bought recently. Definitely Buyer Beware.

Weeks Ringle talked recently about elastic thread on her blog. She gives some tips and tricks for working with it. Quick skirt anyone?

I had iron drama again recently. I finally got fed up with my iron leaking and went looking for a new one. Target had drastically reduced their choices, which is where I usually buy my irons. Mark Lipinski suggested I get a Digital Velocity iron, so I went looking for one of those. Joann has them online only, but you can’t use their coupons, except for the free shipping coupon and $165 is a lot to pay for an iron. I saw the other day that Bed Bath and Beyond had them also. They are $140 online at BB&B, which is a discount. Again, you can’t use the coupon online and I don’t know if they have them in store. I ended up with a Sunbeam Turbo Steam Master. It feels cheap, but isn’t leaking and has good steam. I’ll keep looking for a good price ont he Digital Velocity.

Doing Good

Princeton Public Library Block
Princeton Public Library Block

Nancy Zieman had a guest blogger talking about The Quilt that Build a Library. One block +$5=a library. Do your part! I made a block and sent it off. Yes, I used the same fabric I bought for the QuiltCon block challenge. I had plenty and it was at hand. After I made the columns, I thought I should alternate, but then I realized I put the greens and greys in the wrong locations and if I alternated the squares and rectangles, some of the contrast would be lost, so I left them. I hope the group likes the block. The information for size, where to send, etc can be found directly on the Princeton, Wisconsin Public Library website. This project goes on through 2013. I may do more and I got a lovely comment on my blog from the director of the project filled with praise for my blog, the block and my writing. We’ll see how many more blocks I make.

Space, Studios & Workrooms

Did you see the new studio that Olabelhe created out of her (his??) dining room? It was being pinned all over Pinterest at the beginning of June, because it is fabulous. It is fresh, clean, uses wonderful colors. Love it.


You know I go on and on about developing a creative habit. Part of my solution is responding to the Creative Prompts I post on Fridays (most recent). I am not making this up. Creativity and developing a habit that allows you to call upon it at will is important. At work I get an emailed newsletter called HBR Management Tip of the Day. These are very short tips, literally taking 30 seconds or less to read. Normally, they are things I already do or know about. I was surprised to find one pop up about creativity. The tip was related to work, but I was reminded how a creative habit can help in various aspects of our lives. One of the tips within the tip (a subtip?) was “Let your mind wander. Studies show that day dreaming stimulates a unique mental state. You’ll connect dots in new ways when you allow your mind to roam.” Work or quiltmaking, it applies.

I finally went and watched an episode of The Quilt Show. I am so engrossed in audiobooks at the moment that I never seem to get to them. I would suggest that you watch episode #1013 with Susan Shie (pronounced shy). Yes, you will need a membership, or, perhaps, you can just buy that one episode. She talks about creativity and how to just do it, that your work is always good enough and to reclaim that 6 year old who wasn’t worried about what others would say. I really liked this episode and it gave me a creative shot in the arm. Susan does great work, which was an added bonus.

Other Artists

Lisa Call posted an interview about how she works. I love the reading these types of posts, because I like to compare them to what I do and think about the differences.

Lil Sissy is posting to her blog from Paris and I had to update some stuff for her. While I was nosing around, I noticed one of her links, Weekly Gratitude. The project was a one year project, but the closing post is really good. The author talks about how she will continue to practice gratitude and try to look at life from that angle rather than from the negative. I think that doing a project and then doing a “project wrapup” is a great idea. Many times work projects have this step built in, but we, as creative people, sigh with relief when a project is done and move on. This is a post that I might print as a reminder. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Have you seen Pam’s Pinwheels and Patches baby quilt? It is really pretty. Not in a sickly sweet baby kind of way, but in a sophisticated English Garden Party kind of way. Go take a look.

A librarian friend was laid off at the beginning of the year after 20+ years of service. Needless to say the library is going to hell in a handbasket and my friend is thriving. She is looking for a new job, but she has a bit of leisure because she got severance. She is really beefing up her knitting and dyeing. If you want to buy a gift, take a look at Marlowe’s Etsy Shop.

My sister put up A Day in the Life post on her blog. The post confirmed for me that we are actually related. Her day is like a lot of my days: crammed full of tasks that I just do one after another.

Various & Sundry 2012 #7

What I am Reading: Just finished Isobel’s Story by Jennie Walters on my Kindle; started An Age of Innocence, but think it might a better book to which to listen, which means I might jump to Creating Time: using creativity to reinvent the clock and reclaim your life by Marney Makridakis
Audiobook playing on my iPod: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
What I am Working On: Flowering Snowball, Corner Store, Garden and a lot of pressing and cutting of recently washed fabric

You may be following along with the Design Series I am doing with Sandy of Quilting…for the Rest of Us. I came across a blog post about Rhythm recently in the Cloth Paper Scissors Daily. I thought my post was much more in depth, but they did use one of the sources that we used. Susan of the History Quilter had some nice things to say about the Rhythm episode in the History Quilter episode #24. Nonnie also did some of the homework and put her thoughts up on her April 21, 2012 blog post.

I came across an artist named Dottie Moore when I was reviewing a book recently. Her quilts are quite textural even in photos. Once you listen to the Texture podcast and read my blog post, go take a look at her quilt gallery.

Around and About the Web
Can’t make it to Paducah? Now you can purchase the lectures and watch them after the show. Purchase must be made before the end of 90 days after the show. I haven’t tried it, but if I do, I’ll let you know how it goes.

The quilts that were lost after being displayed in the C&T Booth last year have been found! Amy Marson wrote about a brief update in the C&T blog recently.

Sandi Colwell from Quilt Cabana Corner is upping the podcast game by posting a YouTube video instead of her normal podcast. the video is very similar to her podcast, but with images. During the vidcast, she dyes fabric, gives a book review and talks about some of her new patterns. I enjoyed seeing Sandi, her quilts, and another sewing room tour.

I wonder if I mentioned Lori Nix before? Deanna Raybourn pointed her out to me again and I just love her dioramas. It revives the love of miniatures in me.

Have you checked out the International Quilt Study Center’s Quilt of the Month? May’s is a red, green and white applique’ quilt. Gorgeous!

I have a boatload of HSTs to use some way, so I was attracted this tutorial over at the  Molly Flanders blog on matching points. I was attracted by the piece she uses to demonstrate. Simple, yet effective tutorial. Thanks to Adrianne over at Little Bluebell for pointing this out.

Jill, over at the Quilt Rat blog, has a great post about how Gels, Mediums and Extenders work.

Friend Julie put up some photos of her very springy, cheerful Bullseye quilt. I love it! I alove that it is done, but I really love the color combinations she used.

Thanks to Deirdre for this link to a polka dot house! I would love to pain my house like this. The painter has done such a great job.

Tanesha of the Crafty Garden Mom podcast posted about getting through crafty temper tantrums. The fun part of the post was Tanesha’s biting wit with regard to stories parenting magazines publish.

Dottie Moore, one of the authors in the review of Art Quilt Portfolio I did recently has a book out. I haven’t seen it, but will review it if anyone wants to send me a copy.

I heard about Creating Time: using creativity to reinvent the clock and reclaim your life by Marney Makridakis on Mark Lipinski’s May 2, 2012 podcast. Ms. Makridakis was a great interviewee and I went straight out and used a gift card to buy the book. I would much rather work through the book with her, but that isn’t possible, so I hope to start reading it soon and really get invigorated.

Mark Lipinski had a great discussion about art (what is art? art controversies, censorship of art) in his May 2 episode with Luke Haynes and Nathan Vincent. The Modern Quilt movement does not leave the conversation unscathed. If you can stand a little heat in the quilt kitchen, I suggest that you take a listen. It certainly made me think.

Intellectual Property
Kate Spain has more explanations about the C&T/Emily Cier situation on her blog since last time I looked.

Completely Off Topic
And if you want something cool to look at various intervals during the day, check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Great Blue Heron web cam. Thanks to Leslie for sharing this. Aside from the fact that I love the large water birds, I don’t know why I like this so much.

Watch live streaming video from cornellherons at

Various & Sundry 2012 #6

Fabric, Tools and Spools
Sorry, I couldn’t help the rhyming. Moda’s Lissa had a great round up of favorite tools from various teachers and other prominent quilting people. She named it April Tools and posted it on April Fool’s Day. Clever, eh?

Ruby is the Modern Madness Champion. Congratulations, Camille! And now she has let us know she is coming out with yet another line of fabric call Marmalade. All I can see is the edges of folded fabric in a big stack. I am in love with the edges. When will it end?

I often search on for fabric. It is very easy to compare prices and see a wide variety of fabrics. 50 cents or a dollar off makes a difference. I am not always successful, but is a great place to find fabric that is older. I was randomly searching the other day and came across From Here to Quilternity (great name, huh?). Terri, the owner, had a great selection of Philip Jacobs fabric and a really nice FQ pack that tempted me. I didn’t buy the FQ pack, because I could only see the ends of the fabric. I mentioned it to her when she emailed me to thank me for my order. A day or so later she posted photos with more of the fabric showing on her blog! Wasn’t that nice? Excellent customer service!

Philip Jacobs English Rose Sky - May 2009
Philip Jacobs English Rose Sky - May 2009

I am really liking the fabrics from Philip Jacobs. I know that won’t come as any surprise to any of you. I especially like the Sky background color he is using lately in different color ways.

In seeing the various prints around my workroom, I decided that using them as backgrounds wasn’t a terrible idea. It would show off the large repeats and make the piecing of the back not so fiddly. There are only so many bags I can make so this is a happy compromise. Look out for lots of flowery backs in upcoming quilts.

Around and About the Web

Do you have a dirty little quilting secret? Tanesha of Crafty Garden Mom has 7 of them. If you don’t mind a little off color language, and, c’mon, you can handle a few damns and hells to laugh like crazy, right?, go read her blog.

Nina talks about her organizational efforts in her studio. The thing I like about this post is that it is a post for real people. You will see cardboard boxes and plastic containers.

There was a recent discussion on Flying Geese. I make them using the Deb Tucker ruler, but with squares rather than triangles. I found out that Pam from Hip to Be a Square makes them the same way. Here is a tutorial sans special ruler.

Claudine Helmuth has a web series on her blog about finding your artistic style. Part 2 has been posted and she links to Part 1. I think this is a useful series to glance over related to the Design series I am doing with Sandy.

More Danny Gregory love.

Jelly Roll Race Thoughts
As you know, the Renewed Jelly Roll Race caused me some agony (the artist kind, not the pain kind) and is now almost a forgotten memory. Katie, of Katie’s Quilting Corner website, blog and podcast, had some thoughts after doing a Jelly Roll Race quilt. She has some tips and tricks, and a video listed in her post as well. Sweeter Lemon has a kind of tutorial/explanation posted on her blog. I saw this after I finished my original top, but not in time to do anything about it. Some people miter the edges. I didn’t think of that, but would have used the Judy Martin Point Trimmer, if I had. I know I have told that is one of my favorite tools. As I mentioned Tanesha of the CraftyGardenMom podcast had some great ideas about the Jelly Roll Race. You can see any number of different Jelly Roll Race quilts if you type that phrase into your favorite search engine.

Sketchbooks and journals are a very important part of my quiltmaking life. As you know, my favorites are the Miquelrius journals. I have almost exclusively switched to them for writing. They have a new no-water, no-chlorine version, which is well illustrated in this [yes, it’s advertising] video. Do you use a sketchbook?

Quilts Out and About

Some of the nation’s most treasured quilts were produced around the middle of the 19th century influenced by quiltmaking in the nation’s third largest city of the time, Baltimore. A dozen of these works of art – most created in a distinctive and elaborately conceived appliqued style known as album quilts – are the focus of the newest exhibition at Colonial Williamsburg’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. “Quilts in the Baltimore Manner” opens June 9 and will be on view through April 2014 in the Foster and Muriel McCarl Gallery and reflects the strong textile industry and innovative quiltmaking styles of America’s largest seaport of the period 1845 to 1855.

Did you see this quilt video from


The Emily Cier-Kate spain ‘issue’ has jumped out of the quilt world and into the Tech world with a blog post on Techdirt. Techdirt got hold of this issue via Leah Day’s post called Copyright Terrorism. Here is a quote from Techdirt that I thought was good, even if I am not sure we are flourishing without copyright, “It’s really a wonderfully rich post, which touches on many aspects of copyright and creativity, and I urge you to read it — along with the forthright comments (already there are 142 of them.) It provides another example, alongside the fashion industry, of a field that is currently flourishing without copyright, but that is under threat from those who have bought into the story that assigning ownership to something as insubstantial as ideas somehow promotes creativity, when in fact all it does is to shut it down through a creeping, paralyzing fear of infringement, as Day so vividly describes.” Perhaps this is the issue that will get quiltmaking out of the closet and have us playing with the big boys?

Thomas Knauer also has a very thoughtful and well organized post on copyright, which he posted on April 3, 2012 and updated on April 4, 2012. I particularly liked these few sentences “Ask any author how they feel when they see their work plagiarized. Any creative endeavor is an incredible amount of work; working in a creative capacity is not just a job, it is a vocation. It has extraordinary rewards, but it can be very costly on myriad fronts. This is about respect. Whatever you may think of Marxism, I think Marx got at least one thing right: our labors are an essential part of our being, and to steal that labor is in no small way to dehumanize a person.”

Now I am getting away from the Spain/Cier/C&T issue and climbing up on my soapbox. Please think about whether you want to dehumanize someone by copying their pattern or [insert other henious crime here] and giving it to a friend? There is someone who reposts every single blog post I write to her blog. Every single one. Pictures and all. She never asked. She never responded to any emails. I could look up her address using the tools I have at work, but I have chosen to just let her rot in hell (or wherever) when the universe decides it is her time. She is dehumanizing me. My writing is one of my creative expressions. I really don’t mind if people want to repost what I say or even pictures as long as they ASK and LINK back and are nice to me.


In other intellectual property news (don’t worry, this won’t become a law blog!) I saw this on one of the law blogs I read, “Renae Gilbert Allen, Brigham City, Utah, has developed a patent (8,141,507) for an “apparatus, system, and method for facilitating the instruction of quilting techniques.” ” I read the description of the patent and have no idea what it means. New longarm machine, perhaps? You can look at the full text of the patent application at:

I need one of these.

Everyone needs a hobby. Here is what happens when your hobby is equal parts cupcakes and maps.

Kathleen from BAMQG made a pillow with a block pattern from Badskirt (fun name, huh?). It is called x and a +. From the post, the author says that it is a Nancy Cabot design from 1938. I have not yet been able to find it, but I also have not hauled Barbara Brackman’s book off the shelf. I plan to use this for my X block for the ABC Challenge, even though I want to make it RIGHT NOW.

Paolo modelling the hat
Paolo modelling the hat

I have a red hat that my great grandmother made for me when I was a child. It is knitted, has large purple, green, blue, pink, yellow and orange crocheted (?) flowers all over it and fits closely on the head. it has a tab (??) with a snap that closes it under the chin. Somehow this hat became a legend with Mark Lipinski.

MarkL in the Flower Hat
MarkL in the Flower Hat

I told my mom about the exchange and a short while later she showed up at my house with an updated version of the flower hat. It took me awhile, but I finally sent it off to Mark and he was thrilled with it. He posted a picture of himself wearing the hat to his FB page and on my FB Wall. Good feelings and fun all around.

Various & Sundry 2012 #5

I fell off the fabric wagon. I was trying really hard to be restrained (Nota bene: I am NOT saying “refrain from”) about buying fabric. I kept it up for awhile, then there was a sale and that temptress, Joyce at Quilting Adventures showed me some photos of my favorite (if I had to choose a favorite) designers, Philip Jacobs and Martha Negly. Now I see a link from Adrianne’s blog to the Mama Says Sew site where they have a new line of fabrics that I might-well, probably- need to buy. 😉 They would go with that nice piece of Circa 1934 (red background with numbers and letters) I have leftover from the Stepping Stones. Perhaps Stepping Stones #3? Sadly this line Mama Said Sew from Sweetwater won’t be available until August. Perhaps I won’t want it by then?

In case you were worried, the Vintage Modern precuts are now available for purchase at the Fat Quarter Shop. I am already getting some charm packs from Julie at Intrepid Thread, and I am sure she will have other/more precuts soon. I am going to hold off on yardage until I see what the prints are like and how they would go with what I already have (Ruby, Bliss, other aqua). I know I won’t buy Jelly Rolls.

Cat Beds

Speaking of fabric, Amanda has allowed me to post two tutorials (one short Simplified Cat Bed Tutorial, and one longer that I can’t post for some odd computer reason that I don’t understand) for cat beds. You might remember that I was saving my scraps for Amanda and her cat bed project. I was feeling very good about my additional recycling efforts and then Amanda got too much filling and not enough cat beds to stuff with the filling overflowing her garage so she stopped accepting filling. I thought that posting the directions here would encourage you to make some cat beds. The organization for which she is currently sewing these beds is called HCN – Homeless Cat Network. They are a small, non-kill shelter with a physical building up in the San Mateo/Burlingame area. They also have a foster home network. Amanda says that the very cool thing about this group is that every cat gets a bed, and when the cat goes to its new home, it gets to take the bed with it. So it has that double-extra niceness to it. HCN also has a very good feral cats program.

Quiltmaking and Copyright

The Emily Cier Scrap Republic issue, detailed in a post from several months ago, has been made more public. Todd Hensley of C&T wrote about their thoughts on the issue, as does Kate Spain, the designer in question, in a recent post. Public statements and some additional information are also listed on Emily Cier’s site. I found out that a resolution had been reached when Weeks over at Craft Nectar wrote about the issue from her perspective. Kim from TrueUp also put in her two cents with some interesting comments. Leah Day, not talking specifically about this Emily Cier/Kate Spain issue, has some good questions and a unique way of saying commenting on copyright. Amazon has a photo of the offending tote bag, but it is listed as currently unavailable. All of these posts are very thought provoking. Many people have things to say about this particular issue and copyright in general. I am not excluding anyone by not mentioning their post here. You can find more via any one of several search engines.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you are not a lawyer or do not have some special, intricate knowledge of copyright law, I would urge you to refrain from sending disparaging remarks to any of the parties. Ms. Spain also goes into more detail about why this came about. I think that she also details, very civilly, what she does to support (posting blogs, selling items made with her fabric on Etsy, etc). Ms. Spain also has an interesting graphic that shows how her business works. She includes, as part of her post, “If not, I would risk losing my livelihood.” It is my understanding that this statement is ultimately true, though a better statement might be that she is obliged to defend her right to license her designs or risk losing those rights and, yes, ultimately her livelihood.

Todd Hensley also has an interesting perspective. I was surprised to read on his blog post that they had admitted being wrong and tried to work something out with Ms. Spain when the issue was identified.

I think that the parties came to an equitable agreement and am glad the resolution didn’t seem to involve too many lawyers. However, if I had been directing traffic, I would have told them all to keep their mouths shut, and leave the PR statements to explain everything.

If you want some info about copyright, check the website law librarians rely on for their own purposes, There was a great post recently called Copyright Facts for Librarians. I don’t think anyone will hit you if you are not a librarian and read it. 😉 The article starts off with “6 essential facts for librarians…”.

The overarching message of all of this seems to be to give credit where credit is due. I would urge all of you, regardless of whether you have a quilt business or not to give credit where it would be a nice thing to do – on your blog, on your quilt label, in forum postings, etc.

Around the Web
Quiltville‘s Bonnie K. Hunter interviewed Simon Beck about his snow designs that look like embroidery.

Jane Davila has a great idea to gain additional space in her workroom. I have seen the clipboard idea in Libby Lehman’s studio (via The Quilt Show – great episode, you should watch it), but read through Jane’s post and see how she made the clipboards pretty. I would take a few of those if anyone was giving them away. Or perhaps I can make some as gifts? Hhmmm.

You can join the ArtQuiltmaker page on FB, if you want.

I had no idea this Jane Pizar quilt was all the rage on the Internet. If Barbara Brackman says so, it must be true. It is from 1860 and was, in my quick Internet look (note that I do not say research), her marriage quilt. As an added bonus, Ms. Brackman talks about the age and the prints in her blog post, citing to other quilts as well. A real eye candy fest! It looks very intricate. I can see myself making one with a group of friends also making versions of their own. Is this the new Dear Jane?

Blog Problems
You may have noticed, if you use Google Reader, that intermittently it looks like I am trying to sell you P-r-e-d-n-i-s-o-n-e (trying to avoid more spam with my weird spelling) or some other crazy drug. Have no fear, I have not sold out to The Spam Man, but I have been having trouble with Google Reader replacing information in my blog posts. I am trying to ferret out the problem with the help of some fabulously tenacious people. One of the things I am doing is deleting widgets and replacing buttons with static images. I apologize to all who link to other sites from my buttons, but I have to try and eliminate all possible ways of infiltrating the site. If you see a problem on a certain day, especially if it is NOT via Google Reader, I would really appreciate a screen shot and some commentary about what you were doing. If you need a WordPress programmer who can talk to people, please let me know and I can give you a name.

Other, etc

I have created a Flickr Group for the EBHQ show I attended a few weeks ago.

I wrote for the SeamUp blog last week. It is a post called Future Quiltmaking: Guesses and Reality.

I entered the Modern Quilt Showcase and was disappointed not to get in. If you didn’t see my self pity and whining on FB, count yourself lucky. I was disappointed, because one of the few times I can get my act together to enter, I get rejected. I know it is a numbers game and I need to enter way more than once a year! I was also disappointed, because I thought the two quilts I entered, Chocolate Box and the Zig Zaggy Quilt, were both modern and innovative. After buying two books 😉 and calming down a bit I realized that it could have been anything – poorly written application, crappy photos, wrong look and feel. Until I see the quilts that were chosen I can’t say really whether mine would have fit in. It was really nice of some of you readers to take the time to tell me their thoughts and to make an effort to boost my morale. Thanks.

Completely not Quilt Related

Unless you listen to audiobooks while you are sewing. J.K. Rowling has finally gotten the Pottermore store up and running so you can the Harry Potter series in audiobook format now. And eBook format. I really like listening to audiobooks. I get a different experience. I am annoyed about having to go through a different site, though. I want everything to play nicely together and I have a feeling the audiobooks from Pottermore won’t. I hope I am wrong.

Various & Sundry 2012 #4

You might have noticed that I am changing settings to disallow comments on some posts, but mostly pages. Sorry about that, but some of my tutorial pages are getting hammered with spam. You can always comment in other ways (see below), if you have questions and I will be sure to answer.

Quilt World News

Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine is coming out with an Internet TV show. They finally sent me a promised issue after they cancelled Quilter’s Home and the notice was in that issue.

The headline of this article grabbed me. Women are Fabric, Quilts Reflect their Strength. There is a lot in those few words. I think of the current firestorm surrounding THAT talk show host (whose name shall not appear in this blog; please do not write it in a comment. I will edit your comment!). I think about whether we are strong and what that strength means. I think about how we hold our communities together. I think about what we could do if we banded together. What comes to mind for you? BTW, the article talks about an exhibit at the United Nations. “The exhibition, which will be on display from 5 March through 30 April, is presented by UNFPA, the UN agency that delivers a world in which every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. The Fund is on the ground improving lives in more than 140 countries.”

And from the Knitting Department: Did you see the Yarnbomber’s London 2012 Olympic installation on a Saltburn-by-the-Sea pier overnight. Apparently, nobody knows who did it, but it is pleasing the locals. There are gymnasts, rowers, synchronized swimmers (my fave!), weight-lifters, skiers, and many more. The detail is amazing!


Check out these patchwork couches and chairs! Quite Bright. I like the shape of the couches.


Quilting Arts (Quilting Daily) has some free eBooks on quilting including something on Jelly Rolls. I haven’t checked them out, but will consider doing a review. What the heck? They are free.

In two days, Fran Gonzalez will start teaching an EQ7 class. The first of Fran Gonzalez’ wonderful online EQ7 classes, EQ7 Sampler, starts on March 23. Fran guides you beginners as you explore the libraries, draw and color blocks, and design quilts. This 4-lesson class is the first class in Fran’s 4-class series, and the pre-req for taking the more advanced classes. Sign up now.

Other Artists

Friend Julie of High Fiber Content fame has her quilt, The Word for the World is Water, on display at the Atkinson Public Library and in a news article. Her name is even mentioned! That means she is now searchable on databases to which I subscribe at work!

Julie also posted some great photos of the Purple Journal. The photos are so clear!

Patsy Thompson has had some quilts, parts of quilts, her sewing machine and other quilt and teaching related items stolen from her car in Corbin, Kentucky. Sigh. Really? She writes about it on her blog. Other artists such as Bonnie K. Hunter are helping to let people know. Spread the word and look for the quilts.

I really like what Danny Gregory says about his own work in this essay on the Altered Page blog. he writes, partially:

“My art is an opportunity to reflect on the everyday, from the clutter on my desk to my neighbor’s fruit stand, from what I ate for lunch to my unfolded laundry. In recording and meditating on it, I find beauty and significance in the things I do.”

The everyday is what we do. Every day we walk to work, get a coffee, drive children to school, fold laundry, take dogs for walks, cook. I think I need to notice the beauty in the every day things. I need to find their value, create joy in doing those things and use them in my creativity. What do you think?

Find out about Mark Lipinski’s fetish with Pink in the interview with him over at Bumble Beans Inc..

Commitment to Creativity

I am constantly haranguing you to do the creative prompt. People like QuiltRat and SherriD and XXX create responses. I do responses, but have become inconsistent lately. Reading Danny Gregory’s blog, I found this great quote:

“First of all, he insists that they consistently make pages: they work on them at home and in school and their grades are based on their consistent commitment not on any evaluation of the work itself. Nonetheless, the quality was really high and it was clear that they had spent a lot of time and thought day after day.” (Quotes and highlights are mine)

I need to be consistently committed to my sketchbook and drawings. I wonder, though, how that fits in with my quiltmaking. I normally don’t sew during the week. With work and everything it would just be too hard, but lately I have been snatching every second I can to sew. I am consistently committed to my quilts, but do I have the time to expand that commitment to drawing as well? I wish I had a teacher like the one described. I think I would be in a different place right now. There is a list of resources at the end of the post.


You can email me at jlapac[at]gmail[dot]com, but please continue to place relevant comments on the related post. It helps to keep me organized! Thanks.

Various & Sundry 2012 #3

I couldn’t resist posting something fun for Leap Day. We teased The Young Man about girls asking him out today. I wonder if anyone will? He is quite handsome, though I know I am biased.


Back to the task at hand and your regularly scheduled programming: quiltmaking news and info.

Cherry Trees on 19th Ave
Cherry Trees on 19th Ave

Quilt World News

Terri Thayer of Ocean Waves fame has a new serial on her blog called Tales of the Quilt Shop. Been dying for more of Terri’s tales? Tales of the Quilt Shop is a unique 8 month web-based series. A block of the month AND a story of the month all in one package.

There will be a Modern Quilt Showcase at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and the organizers are calling for entries. This is an interesting website as it shows some quilts from the Modern movement’s founders and attempts to define modern quilting. The deadline is March 2, so get busy.

Did you see the new (at least to me!) newsletter? It showed up in my inbox earlier this month. Short, sweet, great photos. Check out SEWN Europe.

Did you hear about QuiltCon? February 21-24, 2013. The first modern quilt conference, sponsored by the Modern Quilt Guild will be held in Austin, Texas. Denyse Schmidt will be the keynote speaker. Janome, Robert Kaufman, Michael Miller and Stash Books are all listed as sponsors. There are events, workshops and lectures, but the information is a little sparse. They, apparently, have a newsletter to provide information as it comes out.

There was an article on February 9, 2012 (a Thursday) in the Contra Costa Times about Alex Anderson called “TV show, books, designs — Livermore quilter has built quilting empire” by Beth Jensen. There are photos of her quilts, her as well as background shots of quilts, etc.

Katie of Katie’s Quilting Corner has a great interview with Kimberly Einmo. I wasn’t very interested, because of the whole pre-cuts thing. I liked it, because Kimberly was very articulate, she shared tips for beginning and experienced quiltmakers alike, talked about her books, her process and generally came across sounding very articulate. Kimberly designs rulers. I love rulers. I don’t have any of her rulers. Katie was very well organized and professional. There are some photos on Kimberly’s site and more on Katie’s site.

Starting in March, Two Accordions will be conducting a monthly Quilt Lab.  What is a Quilt Lab, you ask?  Come and work on projects and get our guidance and help, meet other quilters and textile enthusiasts!  Good and creative times will be had!  Quilt Lab will be held upstairs at University Art on Marconi Ave in Sacramento.

Fee:  $10.00 per Lab Session

Dates:  Sunday, March 4th

Sunday, April 15th

Sunday, May 6th

Sunday, June 3th

Sunday, July 1th

Sunday, August 5th

 Time: 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

 Location:  UArt Sacramento North, Marconi Avenue

Bring your project and your sewing machine

   Check out more on their website. Thanks to my SIL for passing this along.


Adrianne of Little Bluebell Blog fame is hosting an ironing board cover sew-a-long. Need an ironing board cover to match your curtains?

I am so happy! I just heard from my quilter that she will be back in March and may be able to quilt some quilts for me. YAY!!! Her husband is in remission and that is the really GREAT news.

There are a lot of different parts of my house that need to be refreshed. I think these storage boxes would help. I need to make one to test the pattern.

Brain Pickings has a series of fairy tale posters posted. The artist has distilled the fairy tales down to a few images and has done a masterful job. The colors are a bit lumpy, but if I think of the longevity of the tales, I guess the colors fit. Thanks to Tanesha of the CraftyGardenMom blog and podcast for the link.

Some very fresh and fun quilts are posted at QuiltStory.

Color Color Color!!! Post at StashBlog.


Katie, of Katie’s Quilting Corner fame, talks about the changes coming to Blogger in March. This blog no longer lives on Blogger, but if you are you might want to listen to her podcast and investigate these changes more thoroughly.

There was an article about art quilts and Physics in Handeye magazine called When Physics and Textiles Collide. Yes, we are everywhere! The article, by Kate Findlay, talks about the beautiful and inspiring patterns and colors generated by the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. She has worked on a series of quilts from these designs since 2008 The article talks a little about working in series, a subject near to my heart, and how she is starting to branch out from the original format of the series. To view more of Kate’s work, please visit She will be exhibiting these works in Reading, Oxford, Henley on Thames, Basingstoke and at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham in 2012 – all dates and times listed on the website.


A librarian colleague of mine was just laid off. Her firm was merged with a much larger DC firm and all of the managers and much of the staff in the local office was laid off. This coincided with the annual ‘check in’ on a list of which we are both members. I took the opportunity to check in with her personally and found out that she has a knitting pattern business and a blog! She has really nice photos on her blog and I aspire to achieve that level of cleanliness in my photos.

Craftsmanship/Good Technique

Weeks Ringle writes “My last bit of advice on this is to not think of craftsmanship as an all or nothing proposition. My first quilt in 1987 had mediocre craftsmanship but but aim was to get a little better with each project.” in her blog post from February 22, 2012. I am not sure what she means, earlier in the post, about aligning seams, but throughout the post she talks about fixing issues as you go along and doing sewing tasks right the first time. I really believe this, in case you hadn’t noticed. I think that good technique is REALLY important, but I also think Weeks says it really well and gently. I just wish I knew what aligning seams meant? She must be referring to something I call by a different name, right?

Gretchen has some great tips about making a group quilt. If you are part of (or leading) a raffle team quilt project, you might want to read her words of wisdom.

Other Artists

I thought I was alone in my quest to bring order to commercial fabrics, but Katie from The Blue Chair posted a quilt that looks like it could fit into my Fabric of the Year series. I haven’t been following the making of this quilt, but am interested to go back and investigate her motivations.

Various & Sundry 2012 #2

I listened to four audiobooks by the same author in December while I was off. Then, I listened to them again in January while on the train, while doing the dishes, while sewing, while doing boring tasks at work, at lunch, at the quilt retreat in a room full of other people; in short everywhere. I really like the characters in this series. They are murder mysteries and I don’t know if they are well written. I think they are well written. The author uses words like winsome and doesn’t actually repeat herself when conveying past happenings in subsequent books.

So now, I am back, I think. I am tempted to start them again, but I am trying to control myself. I need to participate on FB and Twitter and talk to my family, get back to the Design series with Sandy, and generally be a person who participates in life. It is winter and that is my version of hibernation.

CQFA Retreat Update

Julie wrote her blog post about the CQFA Retreat, which corrected a few things I said wrong in MY blog post about the Retreat and her work. She has a good view of the back and side of me, if you want to see what the back and side of me look like. It is also a good view of my 3 drinks, my flowers, my mess. That is how I work: organized chaos.


A friend asked me about a pattern for a binder cover and before I could wrap my head around the question and answer it, she found one that looks like it would be quite sturdy for even the heaviest binder.

I have been fascinated with casseroles recently. Though this has been a relatively warm winter, my body craves hot, thick and saucy foods and soups. Listening to A Prairie Home Companion doesn’t help. I saw a variety of casserole carrying covers in Minnesota, but the one I really liked was a kit with uninspiring fabrics. I came across a casserole carrying cover tutorial, which I shared with my Minnesota hostess. She is thinking of making a shower gift including the casserole cover as well as an apron, hotpads, oven mitt and trivets. I thought that was a clever idea.

I have had a messenger bag fetish lately. Laurie Wisburn of Tufted Tweets fame led me via Twitter to this very practical messenger bag pattern. I haven’t made it, but it looks very good – plenty of pockets, good size and adjustable.

If you are crazy about Block of the Month projects, check out this list of many, many BOMs. They are organized by technique. Darla of the Scientific Quilter podcast passed this tidbit along. City Quilter has a few BOMs available as well. Love the Amish look!

I like that the author showed a variety of house quilts made from the same pattern. It really shows how to inject creativity into a pattern.

Gigi’s Thimble has a great star pattern that I thought would work well with the BAMQG 16 patch blocks we are making for charity. Don’t get me wrong! I love those 16 patch blocks. I have already made the four packs into blocks and am working on a block from my own scraps. Gigi’s block reminded me of the 16 patch and I thought it would be a good way to make the quilt slightly larger, if necessary. The post includes a tutorial.


Moda has a new designer who started with an Etsy shop for papercrafts. Read about Jenn Ski on the Moda Newsletter blog.

Here is an interview with Cynthia Mann, owner, designer, proprietress of the FabricWorm and Birch Fabrics. Remember the great visit TFQ and I had with her?

I received some really nice comments when I posted my Swoon blocks to the Swoon-a-long Flickr group. I saw a really nice Swoon quilt after that. Individually, I am not that fond of the fabrics, but I really like the combination. I do not subscribe to the “buy ugly fabric, because it will make the pretty fabrics look better” line of thought, however, I think that the khaki (not ugly, BTW, just not to my taste) really makes the other colors shine.


I saw a blog post (thanks, Amy of Creative Mom Podcast!!!) about documenting a day in your life. I like the idea, but my life is not as pretty as the photo in the blog post. Still, I like the idea. It would be good for a scrapbook page as well. What do you think?

Are you doing the Creative Prompt? DO IT! I need some friends who participate! Thanks.

Are morning routines a creativity killer? Annie Murphy thinks so and talks about why in this article. Apparently not being allowed to be groggy and unfocused for a little while prevents those inspired ideas from having a chance to manifest. Murphy also talks about commuting damaging our brain cells. I blame corporate America. The solution: lie in bed a few minutes longer, stand in the shower a few minutes longer and watch YouTube videos while drinking your coffee. “Laughing babies and a double latte: now that’s a way to start the day.”

What is your morning routine? Does it involve any creative endeavor? I write in my journal. It isn’t quite stream of consciousness, but close. I try and do a brain dump so my mind is clear when I get to work and any non-work related thoughts are memorialized on papers, so I can get back to them later. I also want any work worries safely sheltered on the journal pages rather than in my mind. Doodles are sometimes included.

Quilt World News

The catalog is out for the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Send me tweets if you make it. I am not going this year, but someday.

There is a quilt podcast meetup at the Mid-Atlantic Show this year. Pam of Hip to be a Square, Sandy of Quilting…for the Rest of Us, the fabulous Frances of The Off Kilter Quilt and many others will be there. I am actually tempted to hop a plane and go. If I were only so rich! I hope someone bring their microphone and does some podcasting from that meetup.

Various & Sundry 2012 #1

Here we are again, talking all things quilty (but not very often geeky. Go to Hip to be a Square podcast for that 😉   ).

  • Did you get any time off over the holidays?
  • Was it just another week at the office with less help from the people (like me) out partying?
  • What are your quilt plans for 2012? Sandy has put herself squarely into the quilt resolutions department and you can join her in that endeavor, too.

Quilt World News

Be*mused has a lovely post about the opening of a fiber art exhibit in Cleveland, which I found to be interesting.

Sandy, of Quilting for the Rest of Us fame, also talks about her idea of the Slow Quilt Movement. Are all of your quilts fast and easy? Are you ready for something different?

Stash Books has a new bag book. Do I need it? Perhaps. I just bought Sew Serendipity Bags with a gift card I received for Christmas, so I will probably wait. The blog also have an interview with the author. Within the post is a link to a Flickr gallery with photos of the projects. I like the Vespa bag.

We do Christmas pajamas in our family, too. Each “child” in the Young Man’s generation receives a pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve. Originally, it was to get small children into pjs before putting them in the car for the long ride home. One less thing to do when arriving home late. It is fun to see the cousins (my Young Man’s generation), ages 32 down to 5, wearing new pajamas on Christmas Eve. No Big Dill made her group’s pajamas. She is a better person than I am. I have not had the heart to tackle knit and elastic for making pajamas. She has a lot of interesting sewing tutorials, too.

Rhonda participated in BDSI (a lot of the tweets are too old to see on Tweetchat and Twitter) and was one of the winners of the things I was giving away. She received the pattern and posted about it. I hadn’t had a chance to visit her blog before and was really happy to do so. She posts a lot and has a variety of things on her blog. Check out the Grateful Stitcher!


I have been working on updating my creative prompt responses. Vacation, laziness and the Young Man’s appointment being cancelled have wrought havoc on the time I usually spend sketching. I need to get back in the saddle! I saw the Doodlemum blog (from Twitter!) and her sketches inspired me. What are you doing to inspire creativity?

Products and Patterns

Do I need more bag patterns? Really? Do I? No, I do not, but how can I resist the bags at Clover & Violet? I especially like the Ruby Market tote. It looks so pretty in the Ruby line of fabric, too. Now to just find more time.

2011 WIP Report

Good-bye 2011!

Hello 2012!

I don’t care much about work except for the money it brings and the colleagues with whom I enjoy spending time. What matters to me is my sewing and quiltmaking. I have enjoyed 2011 and made some wonderful projects. Below is the 2011 inventory of the quilts, etc that I sewed or created in 2011. I am also took a look at where I am in the process of various projects as well as where I want and need to go. I feel like I have made progress since the previous roundup post of December 31, 2010, but let me know what you think. First, I want to tout my accomplishments. 😉

2011 started off a bit slowly. The piecing of FOTY 2010 took me longer than planned and that got me off schedule a bit. It came out really well, though, so I am glad I took the time.

I read 55 books this year. Of the 55 I read, 20 of them were quilt, bag or creativity related.

I had quilts in 3 shows this year, which was surprising and pleased me greatly:

  • Change of Seasons was at the San Francisco Public Library from March 2011-September 2011 as part of the CQFA’s Primal Green Show
  • Fabric of the Year 2010 was at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles from August 14-October 16, 2011. What a thrill to have a quilt in a museum show!
  • Zig Zaggy Quilt was part of the New Quilts of Northern California at PIQF, October 12-16, 2011

Completed Pieces in 2011

One of the great things about completing projects is that they roll off the ‘not done’ or WIP or “To Do” list and on to the completed list. Two birds with one stone and all of that. 😉

Completed means to me that they are now usable and can in no way be considered to have anything left to stitch.

2011 completed projects are:

Mostly Done, Needs Finishing

This category contains the projects that are past the UFO stage and nearly finished

  • Food Quilt: top and back finished, binding made, needs quilting and binding
  • Jelly Roll Race Quilt: top finished, needs borders, quilting and binding
  • Original Bullseye: decided, with help of my fabulous readers just to put a simple black border on and bind in black. Needs border, back and binding.
  • Stepping Stones – piecing the back
  • The Tarts Come to Tea: quilting in process. Needs quilting completed, embroidery and embellishment, binding and sleeve.

True UFOs

Here is my list of UFOs. You can see many of them over at or look at the links I have provided.As mentioned last year, this list in no way implies that I will discontinue starting new projects or finish any of these.

  • Flowering Snowballs/Cross Block quilt: I not worked on this quilt at all year and have finished the center blocks. The side and corner blocks are drawn out on EQ6. I worried on and off about how to keep the blocks from fraying after I square them up. Got some good ideas from fabulous readers after my December 20, 2008 post! No progress in 2010 or 2011.
  • Garden from Pamela Allen class: needs hand embroidery and embellishment. Worked on it in the 2009 Pamela Allen class and it is much improved. Needs quilting, embellishment and binding.
  • Laura Wasilowski Flower Garden: started in the Laura Wasilowski class CQFA held in July 2007: needs machine quilting, hand embroidery and embellishment. No progress in 2008.
  • He Tried to Make it Up to Her: needs back and to be quilted. This is probably a quilt I will want to quilt myself. TFQ has dug out a number of quilts, but I don’t know if this was one of them. No progress in 2008.
  • Her Eyes were Bigger than Her Stomach: needs a back and to be quilted. Very active quilt; probably not the best design, but a mile marker in the quiltmaking journey and an excellent learning experience. No progress in 2008
  • Moon & Stars: in the quilting process…by hand
  • Pointillist Palette 4: Night: This is the fourth (of six) in a series of Pointillist Palette fabric by Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka that was popular a number of years ago. No progress in 2008
  • Quilt Sorbet: on hold.
  • See: started in a David Walker class. Needs fusing, satin stitching around fused pieces and quilting. No progress in 2009, but I did think about it a lot.
  • Self Portrait from Pamela Allen class: needs more piecing, hand embroidery and embellishment. No progress in 2009
  • Solid Star Friendship Quilt: I really need more friends so they can make stars for me in solids with black. Do you want to exchange a star block with me? No progress in 2009-2010
  • Spiderweb: foundation pieced project, still piecing. Pattern for the border blocks created, need to print on paper piecing paper and piece. I also think I may have made too many blocks and may make this into two quilts. Aside from collecting more strips, no progress 2008-2010.
  • Under the Sea:  brown piece from April 2009 Pamela Allen class with CQFA. Needs machine quilting, hand embellishment and finishing.
  • Women’s Work 2: In 2009,  I said that this quilt “needs focus.” Was inspired and have the design. No progress 2009-2010, except for finding my drawing and making a file.

On My Mind

Here are the quilts and projects I am thinking about. Some are on the list from last year. In some cases I have purchased fabric, but no sewing has been done, so they are not yet considered UFOs.

  • Bathroom ‘quilt’ out of heavy clear plastic. I want to make pockets that I can put interesting things in that won’t get waterlogged. I also think the stitching would be an interesting addition to the piece. I also saw a tallish tote bag with many pockets that is similar to what I have been thinking for this quilt, so perhaps I will do another tote instead.
  • Blue Rectangle Project-Blue monochromatic quilt with the 2.5″x4.5″ blue rectangles I have been cutting.
  • Colorblocks 4 with silks: I want to use this pattern (or something like it) from Sandy Bonsib; silk fab will use silk fabric with a luscious sheen instead of the regular cottons. Background will be black cotton sateen again. What’s been holding me up? Backing all the silk. I have the backing and just can’t bring myself to do it. Barsha told me to skip the backing and just make the quilt without it. Can’t decide if the project has new life or not. Definitely not on the top of the list.
  • Dot quilt with inset circles a la Ruth McDowell: more uses for dots and a good exercise in piecing. The Twinkle quilt shown in the January 2009 issue of Quilting Arts magazine is similar and renewed my interest in this design. Took a Dale Fleming class in April of 2010 and learned another way to make circles.
  • Feathered Star dot quilt from Summer 2007 issue of Quilts & More: more use for dots. I thought I would get to this after making the Pineapple, but the Pineapple is still not complete, so this this dot quilt has not been started.
  • Interlocking triangles #4: love the technique and have at least one, if not two, idea[s] for more quilts using this technique.
  • Garden Quilt: I have been collecting photos and patterns of interesting flowers for years and have always wanted to make some kind of garden or flower quilt. It will probably be something like The Tarts Come to Tea. Need to finish the Tarts first before starting the same kind of project. Now I can use the Soft Fuse for this quilt.
  • Jack’s Chain: I saw a quilt of this pattern years and years ago and have always wanted to make one. Probably at least a partial hand piecing project after the Flowering Snowball (Cross Blocks quilt). I am more confident seeing how Liz Porter and Marianne Fons handled equilateral triangles. I also have that new ruler to use. I could, additionally, decide on a size and start piecing nine patches. I saw a quilt at PIQF 2011 that used other pieced blocks instead of 9 patches, which was quite intriguing.
  • Liesl tote/backpack: have fabric and pattern and after hearing her interview with Jennifer at CraftSanity, I also have the confidence.
  • P&B Pop Parade quilt a la Serendipity Puzzle
  • Paper pieced Nativity scene: I downloaded this pattern when it was free years ago and have never gotten up the energy to be as organized as I need to be to make this, but I still want to make it. You can find the pattern, for purchase, at Paper
  • Piece O’Cake Daisies & Dots project
  • Pink Rectangle project
  • Ruby & Bliss Stepping Stones project – still a bit unsure on the pattern
  • Queen Street fabric project
  • Quilted Fish Sugar & Spice Project
  • San Mateo County Fair Dot quilt
  • Some kind of pink quilt with all the pink fabric I have still been buying. I have begun cutting 2.5″x4.5″ rectangles of pink fabrics that cross my cutting table, so it will probably be some kind of rectangle quilt.

Abandoned Projects

This is also a new category. I decided to be upfront about the projects I got rid of.

  • Dot Pineapple quilt abandoned in 2011: I just can’t deal with the different sized blocks. I feel terrible about this one, but think that I will start it over and be better about tracking the size of each block.
  • QA Challenge Quilt: I needed to fuse the parts and rubber stamp the words, but I just wasn’t feeling the love. I have other things to do, so off it goes.

Happy New Year and Happy 2012 Sewing!

Stepping Stones Progress on BDSI

Monday was the Boxing Day Sew-in, which was organized by Sandy and contributed to by various other podcasters and quiltmakers. I have to say that I jollied myself along to get involved and am glad I did, because I had a great time watching the tweets scroll past AND making major progress on the Stepping Stones.

Somehow the Stepping Stones project was well on it’s way to becoming a chronic UFO. I don’t know why. Somehow it just became a chore. I think that starting it around Thanksgiving and then not having my usual sewing time to devote to it contributed to the feeling.

Spending time on it on Monday and getting cheers from others participating in BDSI was the shove I needed. The support felt great and the project is well on its way to completion.

Starting Point
Starting Point

This is where I started. Looking at it now I find that I had made good progress. My whole problem was my attitude. Perhaps I am a fickle creature and if I cannot work on a project intensely, I become angry at it and want to move on?

During the day, we were all tweeting our progress and I was using my cell phone to take pictures. I hope the pictures are acceptable quality.

Center Done
Center Done

By 10:30 or 11am, I had finished the center part of the quilt. I was able to start in on the border. As you may have seen in the previous post, I decided to modify the border so it looked more finished. As such, I needed 4 corner blocks that were slightly different from the side blocks and then 20 side blocks.

Corner labeled
Corner labeled

Again, I was able to finish the corner (4) blocks and 2 of the side blocks. This allowed me to take a look at the way the corner would look and if my design had the desired effect. The quilt top always looks different once sewn together, but I think it will suit me.

Yesterday, I sewed several big chunks together. this is another monster quilt, so it is taking me some time to get it sewn together. I would like to have the top and back done by the time I go back to work on the 2nd. I had really big sewing plans and the holidays got in the way.

Now back to listening to my audio book and getting this baby finished!

Creative Prompt #137: Baby

Baby, it’s cold outside

baby names

Rock a bye baby

Hush Little Baby

baby bunting

cry baby

baby pictures

Baby Einstein

Million Dollar Baby (movie)

Angel baby


baby doll

baby talk

new baby

baby shower


baby clothes

you and me, baby

baby steps

American Baby Magazine

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog, and how your work relates to the other responses.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.