Time Machine Trip

In the 6th grade, I was in Mr. Sommer’s class. At some point he and my parents became friends and we used to go over to his house to swim. He also, at some point, married my 1st teacher, Ms. Selsky.

Anyway, Mr. Sommers was one of those innovative teachers. We did a project where we dissected the newspaper. We looked at shipping schedules, weather maps, etc. We learned a lot about the newspaper (FYI: that was WAAAAY before the Internet was a reality on my desk, so things have changed).

Some years ago, I found a tiny little “Converting Fractions to Decimals” chart in the newspaper. I was immediately transported back to the 6th grade.It is useful for quiltmaking periodically.

Decimal Equivalents Chart
Decimal Equivalents Chart

Once more, I was transported back to Mr. Sommer’s class when I saw this chart. I don’t know if it is a good enough photo to print and paste up on the wall in my workroom, but it is useful anyway.

Chronicle Books Giveaway

Chronicle Books 2010 Badge
Chronicle Books 2010 Badge

I talked about some giveaways I was planning. This isn’t one of them and I don’t have the stuff in my hand, but Chronicle Books is giving away stuff. Thanks to Cool2Craft on Creating the Hive for her post!

Here’s how it works:

I was supposed to make a post on here on the blog (check!) listing Chronicle Books valued at up to $500 that would be nice gifts under my tree.  Check! They are:

Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones Autographed Copy: 20 Keepsake Sewing Projects for Baby and More By Amy Butler, Colin McGuire (there is one project in this book I like and I haven’t found it cheap enough to buy. Free is cheap enough! 😉   )

Amy Butler’s Style Stitches (I know, I know! I just can’t stay away from the gorgeous fabrics!)

Embroidered Effects: Projects and Patterns to Inspire Your Stitching By Jenny Hart, Aimée Herring

French General: Home Sewn: 30 Projects for Every Room in the House By Kaari Meng, Jon Zabala

Paper Cutting: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Craft by Laura Heyenga, Rob Ryan, Natalie Avella

Reprodepot Pattern Book: Flora: 225 Vintage-Inspired Textile Designs By Djerba Goldfinger, Grace Bonney, Mollie Green

Reprodepot Pattern Book: Folk: 225 Vintage-Inspired Textile Designs By Djerba Goldfinger, Grace Bonney, Mollie Green

Sublime Stitching Craft Pad By Jenny Hart

Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroidery Patterns and How-To By Jenny Hart, Alexandra Grablewski

Then I had to go to this Chronicle Books link and complete the form (Check!) and, theoretically, I was automatically entered into a drawing to WIN my list of books! And, one of YOU, dear readers, who comments on your post on your blog will win the list too! The rules don’t say a substantial comment, but you know how I am. While you are hanging around, go and take a look at the other posts. The scrap post was nice. the Modern Quilt Guild Meeting was fun. etc.

You can put up a post on your blog as well. Last day to submit entries is December 10th! Read all about it at Chronicle Books! Official Rules!

Leave your substantial comment here to be entered to win!

Book Review: Visual Chronicles

Visual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered BooksVisual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered Books by Linda Woods

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Amy posted a great and enthusiastic review of this book in episode 32 of the Creative Mom podcast. It spurred me on to finally get this out of the library and read it. After reading several pages, I realized that I may have read this book before. It seemed very familiar, but I kept on. The tone of the book is good and I like the idea of two people working together to write the book. It is too project oriented for me, however. I would have liked more inspiration, whys and wherefores of what they do, what they are thinking and more guidance rather than step by step direction. As you know, I don’t need projects. What I really need is a way to be inspired and have no fear on my own journals. I didn’t find that they gave tips for moving on from their book. For art or visual journaling the adage to “Just Do It” doesn’t seem to be working for me.

I asked myself if this was one of the first visual journaling books and found it to be strange that I really needed to know the context of this book.

One of the projects that I thought was interesting was the Personal Palette (pg.13). I like the idea of using shipping tags and making this to use in later work. I found, though, that I was unable to assign colors to people. I talked to my mom about this and asked her what color she associated with herself. She enthusiastically gushed “daffodil yellow.” Then I asked her if she wanted to decorate her house and receive gifts in that color. She was adamant that she did not. Therein lies my dilemma. I really can’t even think of what color I would assign myself.

The authors included a prompt page (pg.35), which did generate an idea for a Creative Prompt response. I ended up not using it (forgot, oops!), but think I may go back and use it again for a second response.

One of the projects is called “My Buttons” (pg.36) and explores the flaws in the maker’s personality. My reaction to that is why? What would this type of project achieve outside of a therapy session?

The end of the book was more my speed. One section (starting on pg.92) talks about changing your routine. I call this “greeting the bus driver.” I have found that small changes do make a difference in my outlook and, as a result, my creativity.

There are a number of things I like about this book. I like the supply lists, the project step outs as well as the design and layout of the book.

I don’t know what I am looking for in these types of books, but I haven’t found it yet.

View all my reviews, including non-quilt and creativity related reviews.

Book Review: Creative Time and Space

Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making ArtCreative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art by Ricë Freeman-Zachery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is primarily about attitude, time and learning to say YES to creativity as a valuable part of life.

The author offers up the concept of living a creative life and interviews artists on how each of them deals with that concept as a lifestyle, a problem, a way of life. the reporting on their variety of approaches is excellent, because it forced me to think about what my approach is/would be. Seeing that different approaches work for different artists is a reminder that it is okay for me to craft my own solution. I can see that there are a lot of different ways to say yes.

After I finished reading this book, I went back to look over my notes and it became apparent that I had a list of tasks for myself to work through as a result of reading this book.

1. “…figure out what time means to you and how to establish a good relationship with it.”

Figuring out what times means is complicated for me, but not impossible to figure out. It can be figured out in steps. For example, blocking off a certain time to make art is one way to come to terms with time. Each artist gives his/her opinion of the various topics in each chapter based on his/her experience. Roz Stendahl explains “You get so absorbed in what you are doing that time as conventionally measured just ceases to exist. Time becomes very full and rich in ways I don’t feel capable of explaining. It’s like a deep, full, and calm breath” (pg.16). Throughout the book, Freeman-Zachery has exercises and little added bits of information. Not only are these sidebars helpful, but they also break up the pages. Play is also discussed with regard to time.

Everyone talks about not having the ideas because of time. The culmination of the section implies that we should all think about our creativity all the time, adding creativity facilitating media into every spare minute. When we can’t generate ideas, because the car is full of soccer bound children and the sink full of dishes is demanding your attention, ideas can be inspired by books, podcasts, magazines and other media that get you in the mood to create. The idea is that “being able to keep your brain up and humming is a first step toward having more time…” (pg.25) Many of the artists feel that their “creativity comes first and they make everything else fit in.” (pg.25) Pam Rubert thinks that “injecting creativity into anything I can”(pg.25) is really important. It definitely makes life more pleasant.

The artist share different techniques and strategies they use to “make” time, which is the theme of chapter 2. There are examples of lists and schedules and solutions. The bottom line seems to be that you have to figure it out for yourself and go with it. Rice Freeman-Zachery sums up a lot of the discussion by implying that it is important to acknowledge how you work, when your best time to be most productive and working with the strategies you have developed, such as making lists, flitting from one thing to another, to work your best.

Finally, in one of the ‘try this’ sidebars, the author suggests “writing down ideas reinforces the value of creative thinking and encourages your brain to spend more time in creative mode.” (pg.30) AHHHHH! License to dream! Thanks, Rice!

2. Think differently: while this wasn’t an explicit “to do” item from the book, it is definitely a theme that weaves its way in and out of the book. The daily life of vacuuming, carpool and doing laundry is addressed head on and one artist says “..so I remind myself to continue to find the joy in these activities”(pg.33), which is followed a few lines later with Rice Freeman-Zachery‘s reminder that the “everything else in your life – the day job, the childcare, the household chores, lawn work and shopping – doesn’t have to be an interruption or an imposition. As you train your brain to spend more time in its creative mode, you’ll find ways to encourage creative thinking, no matter what you’re doing.”(pg.33) A good reminder and mantra.

3. Practice patience and flexibility: I know that I am very hard on myself – constantly striving for perfection: the perfect seam, the perfect combination of fabric and design, perfect everything. Roz stendahl reminds us to wonder “What could I get accomplished today if I let go of perfect?” (pg.84) Change is ok, say the artists and change back is okay, too! Novel, don’t you think?

4. Do groups, classes and interactions with other artists add to my creative life? This part of the book was still talking about time, and specifically what can a person give up to make more time to make. Vacuuming? Groups occurred to me. To what groups do I belong and how are they contributing to my creative life? What classes help? Which ones distract?

The chapter ends with the reminder “you choose what’s important and where you want to put your energy because only you can figure out what you can live with and what you can live without.”(pg.41) Sigh. I wanted a magic pill.

5. Be kinder to myself: Judy Wise says, at the beginning of chapter 3 “I am very gentle with myself, very forgiving at this stage of life. When I was younger I was much more disciplined, but then I realized that was killing the joy for me.”(pg.42) Another good thing to remember is that “it’s not just about changing what you are doing; it’s also about changing how you look at what you’re doing.” (pg.75) I have to say that these two points hit home. It is not productive to criticize yourself all the time. Perhaps the work doesn’t live up to your imagination, but it is a step on the path. Look at it that way and you will make progress. I have found, recently, that I can see patterns in my work. I can see patterns in quilts that are, seemingly, completely unrelated. By studying them further, perhaps I can discern the kind of progress I am making.

In chapter 3 a lot of the artists have written out their schedules. In this way, we can see that there are different ways of getting things done, and the standards are different for different people. One good tip was to “keep a master list of projects that are current and for each try to list at least the next actionable step.” (pg.47) My WIP list acts like this for me. It is not ideal and I do keep folders of info I need and ideas or drawings or notes on difficult construction issues. The WIP list is constantly in flux even though you see it once a year.It does spur me on to keep working on projects or actively abandon them. It is also a good reminder of how much I have accomplished in any given year. I’ll have to think about whether a list like Pam Rubert describes would work for me.

6. Write your goals: I have always had problems with this (commitment, mostly), especially the larger goals, but the author makes a good point “to speak them or write them makes them even more powerful.” (pg.51). I noticed when talking about goals the male artists seemed much more goal oriented and the female artists seemed much more fluid.

7. Warm up: if you are cold, it is harder to move. If you have just woken up, your thinking will be a little fuzzy. The same is true for me in the making process. I need to warm up. Warming up to me means sewing some four patches, mosaic piecing, some kind of rote sewing, something easy that I don’t have to think about. Warming up is also related to getting your muse to come out and play. Many artists have rituals that put them in their making ‘space’.

8. Figure out what is my play? The idea is that if a maker gets stuck s/he can go play. I think my play is working in my journal gluing things down, but I am hesitant to put that activity out there since I don’t collage much. Experiments and trials are not wasting time, but we all seem to think that they are. It can really be a struggle to allow yourself to go with an idea — to test, to experiment. It’s hard to accept failure as progress when you have spent all of your free time on a project that is deemed a failure. “For artists, it means that you can pursue an idea however far you need to go without having to rein yourself in, counting the minutes you’re ‘wasting’ in experiments and trials…” (pg.18)

The first part of the mental space chapter is really good. There are three quotes (plus one a few pages later) that are really important for me:

  • “One of the biggest problems with granting creativity enough space in your thought and in your life is that it’s not seen as being valuable.” (pg.82)
  • “This is nonsense. Creativity is stunningly important, as important as almost anything else you can name except maybe food, water and shelter.”(pg.82)
  • “Your creativity is a vital part of you, one you need to be a fully functioning human being. Without it, you’re that proverbial shell of a person. You need it, and it needs you…” (pg.83)
  • “Perhaps you are like a lot of us in that your brain, when left to its own devices, can become, as the excellent writer Anne Lamott says, a bad neighborhood you don’t want to go into alone. Left alone with nothing to occupy it, it will begin to gnaw on the terrors of termites and taxes, death and toothlessness and whether you remembered to renew your car tags. Filling that interior space with ideas about light and color and texture and mixing tubes of paint is ever so much better.”(pg.90)

9. Work in my space, wherever that is: I am fortunate to have a space that is good sized. It isn’t ideal, but it works for me. As I mentioned a few days ago, it needs to be prettied up and offer up more creative nudges, but it is mine (mostly) and I don’t have to ask anyone to use it or store fabric there or anything. Creative Time and Space spends a bit of time discussing physical space. The artists all have different physical spaces from huge former peanut butter factories to kitchen counters and a small desk in the corner of the room. The mantra is the same “if you’re serious about wanting to make art, you can figure out a way to do it in whatever space you have.” (pg.107)

10. Figure out how I work: In the chapter on physical space, the topic of how people work creeps in. Physical space and how a maker works go hand in hand. If you splatter paint, your living room with new carpet probably isn’t the place for you. Along with this concept is the right and wrong way to work. The long and short “don’t try to force yourself to work in a certain way just because you think that’s the way you’re supposed to work. Figure out what works for you and go with it.” (pg.113)

I still have Twyla Tharp‘s book, The Creative Habit, on my nightstand. Creative Time and Space makes me want to pick it up again and finish it. I probably won’t create an improvisational dance, but I think I will finish the book. 😉

One thing I didn’t like about this book was that the page numbers were hard to find and there was no chapter information on the bottom of the pages within a chapter. When I was on page 40, I didn’t know if I was still in chapter 2 on Making Time or already in Chapter 3 on Corralling Time. I didn’t realize I used this information, but, apparently, I do.

One thing I found was that I spent too much time reading this book. What I mean is that a lot of the time during the months I was, ostensibly, reading it, it was mostly in my briefcase being carried around and not being read. I think I should have read it all at once. Still, I am glad I finally finished it. There is a lot of food for thought. It is definitely a book I would read again.

View all of my reviews

Birch Bundles Ideas

I trolled the web for some ideas for the Birch Bundles that I talked about yesterday. All of the photos are linked to their original locations.

Green Couch Designs has a great pattern/idea that I might be able to use:

Here is a detail:

It is simple, but effective. I am not sure if the fabrics from the pink and purple bundle will show up well enough in this design, because of the size of the pieces.

I also like this one from Cherry House:

The thing I like about the above pattern is the black strip (I would use something different depending on the color scheme), but it anchors all the blocks together. I am not sure the effect would be the same with different fabrics used for the blocks. Part of the effectiveness of this quilt is the solid colors. This is from the City Quilts book, which is making me consider buying it….very soon.

Samelia’s Mum has a very cheerful blog. I like the lower right hand corner of the quilt on a recent post.

I think I really like the top quilt, but would make it with slightly larger rectangles. What do you think?

Transitions in Creativity

Sarah Bush on Make Great Stuff blog was talking about transitions while being creative in her blog post recently. She give some great examples, which make this concept easy to relate to our own lives.

I cataloged the techniques I use to being creative. They are below. I think you also need to know some other things about yourself:

  • when you work best. I am a morning person. By 6 or 7pm, I am done machine sewing and just an accident waiting to happen.
  • self motivation. I am very motivated, which is good. I can work early when I don’t have anyone around to spur me on. I also don’t need groups (mostly) or to follow something like a mystery quilt project to be creative.
  • your morning ritual related to your creativity. I like to get up pretty early on the weekends, do my exercises, drink my tea, perhaps write in my journal. If I go to bed at midnight the night before none of this will happen, because I will get up too late. My whole date will be off.
  • how you get back on track. If I am off track like described above, I need to know my techniques for getting myself back on track.
  1. I keep a lot of different things going so I always have a hard thing or an easy thing depending on my mood.
  2. I keep the creative inputs coming using podcasts and blogs if I can’t be actively engaged in creating personally.
  3. I also do warm ups. My warm ups are sewing squares or random pieces together. Eventually they may end up as something, but their important function is to get me engaged in my work for the day.
  4. Pressing fabric is a good way ease transitions and give me a few minutes to think about what comes next. Pressing is also a good activity when someone calls and they are interrupting, but you can’t not talk to them.
  5. I also prepare work to be done later. Not only is this a good activity in itself, it prepares work for later (see #1 above). For example, I may make the straps for a bag, but not make the bag until later. When I do get around to making the bag, the straps are ready. Also, I often cut all the pieces for a pillowcase or set of napkins or a bag and then sew later. Breaking up the steps of projects eases transitions from one project to another or from a non-quiltmaking task to a quiltmaking task.

I am not sure if the techniques above always help with transitions. I am constantly seeking a way to move smoothly from life to quiltmaking. Many of the items above do help me NOT have to think about what comes next. The podcasts and other “creativity on the go media” help keep me immersed in quiltmaking.

I also have to be strict with myself. For example, I sew first and play on the computer later, or if I finish this journal cover, then I can play on the computer for 15 minutes.

Sarah mentions other tricks and tips that help as well. Clearing off your cutting table or organizing your supplies. Last week, when I felt so grumpy, clearing off the desk in my workroom helped change my attitude. I didn’t even really do a great job.I did, however, go through everything on there and file a few things, which helped make me feel better.

I think humans like rituals. Part of transitioning to getting down to business is creating a ritual that gets you there. What is your ritual?

Drawing with Pens

Pilot G2
Pilot G2

These are my favorite pens. I have gone through lots of pens, tried different ones, etc. I finally found these and they are the best. I write with them, I draw with them, I buy them to use at work, because I don’t like the work pens.

My favorite color is the turquoisey/teal (second from the right). I would be in heaven if I could buy 24 or 48 of them, because they only come in sets.

I like them because they are smooth and don’t blob the paper. I like alos the width of the line and that they are dark. I don’t usually use them for final drawings, but they are often the the medium of choice in the little sketches I show you.

They are not water proof or water resistant, so I don’t use them for the outside of packages during the winter.

No affiliation. Just saying.

Announcing EQ7

Announcing EQ7
Announcing EQ7

I just heard the announcement for the new version of the Electric Quilt software, EQ7. This is an update to Electric Quilt 6.

I have used EQ since the dark ages of EQ3? EQ4? I can’t even remember. There are a number of things I like about the product, but the most important one to me is their customer service. I deal with bad customer service all day every day at my job. The EQ folks respond INTELLIGENTLY and TIMELY to emails. They even call if the email string is getting to complicated. I love good customer service and theirs is awesome.

I use EQ for designing a number of different projects: Flowering Snowball, Sorbet, 2009 Teacher pillows, the Pineapple, etc. I am not a very advanced user and have always wanted to take a class. It is still on my to do list.

I have tried out pattern/color keys using EQ6 and have had some trouble with the size of the file. I was successful with a Sorbet Color Key and I never really followed up to figure out my problem.

EQ7 Upgrade
EQ7 Upgrade

The other thing I like about the software is that there are marked improvements in the software with each new release. I buy some upgrades of other software and think “brother, what is so new and great about this release?” Not with The Electric Quilt. I often think I don’t need the new version and then when I see the list of features, I have to buy it.

I am pretty excited about the new version’s features, especially since my EQ6 copy is on my dead computer and I just haven’t wanted to deal with the activation process. There have been multiple times recently when I wanted to do something and have been disappointed not to have dealt with the reinstallation.

Quilts, Blocks and now PHOTOS!
Digital cameras will become a quilter’s best friend. EQ7 has dozens of ways to turn everyday photos into quilt ­­art images. Or crop and edit scanned fabrics right in EQ7 in minutes. And that’s just the start!

New Activation Policy
You’ll never run out of EQ7 activations! Activation and deactivation is as easy as two clicks of the mouse. Install on as many computers as you like and quickly transfer activations from computer to computer. This new policy gives you complete freedom to manage your own activations — and no dongle to worry about!

Easier than ever for new users
EQ7 is the most user-friendly full-featured quilting software yet.

  • Complete user manual
  • 22 printable full-color PDF lessons (115 pages)
  • Point-and-read info on each tool – now linked directly to Help topics
  • 10 videos targeted for beginners
  • 67 “How do I?” topics: printable stepped-out instructions for doing everything from printing English paper-piecing templates to drawing a New York Beauty
  • Built-in Help buttons are everywhere, targeted to the task you’re doing
  • New block tools for creating original blocks instantly without drawing
  • Blocks size themselves – just drag and drop on the quilt

Users upgrading from EQ6 will feel right at home
Exactly the same friendly interface, plus loads of new user-requested features.

  • 5000 copyright-free blocks
  • 5000 new scanned fabrics, plus grayscale textures
  • 120 new pre-designed quilt layouts
  • Snap blocks to a Quilt grid
  • Instant border blocks with greatly expanded Auto Borders
  • Print multiple photos on fabric
  • Create original fabric designs from photos, then print on fabric
  • Mirror and use myriad symmetries on photos
  • Use dozens of artistic effects, making everyday photos look like watercolors or Impressionist paintings
  • 79 new features in all

Netbook compatible
Works on netbooks as well as laptops and desktop computers.

I am sure there are a dozen more cool features. I love the digital / scanning possibilities.

You can find out more information at the Electric Quilt website or by calling: (800) 356-4219. No, I am not being paid to write this. Yes, they sent me a press release.


The Fine Print:

When will The Electric Quilt Company begin shipping EQ7?
We will begin shipping June 7, 2010.

What are the EQ7 and EQ7 Upgrade system requirements?
Minimum system requirements:
Windows® XP, Windows® Vista, Windows® 7 (32 or 64 bit), Internet access, 750 MB of available hard-disk space, CD-ROM drive. Netbook compatible. Internet required for activation, deactivation, and periodic validations.
Recommended: Monitor with screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater, Adobe® Reader®, sound card for demo videos.
Activation: Internet access is required for activation and deactivation. Unlimited installations. Activations can be easily transferred between computers. Two (2) computers may be simultaneously active.

Minimum system requirements:
Windows® XP, Windows® Vista, Windows® 7 (32 or 64 bit), Internet access, 750 MB of available hard-disk space, CD-ROM drive. Netbook compatible. Internet required for activation, deactivation, and periodic validations.
Recommended: Monitor with screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater, Adobe® Reader®, sound card for demo videos.
Activation: Internet access is required for activation and deactivation. Unlimited installations. Activations can be easily transferred between computers. Two (2) computers may be simultaneously active.

UPGRADE VERSION of Electric Quilt 7 This upgrade version of Electric Quilt 7 will install only if you are a licensed user of Electric Quilt 6 (EQ6). Visit www.electricquilt.com for other upgrade requirements.

What is the activation policy?
EQ7 has a new activation policy, created as a result of user feedback.

Activation: Internet access is required for activation and deactivation. Unlimited installations.
Activations can be easily transferred between computers. Two (2) computers may be simultaneously active.

Various & Sundry Wednesday


One of the great things about being a fan of Janome on FB is that they interact with their fans. I love that. I love it that they actually answer questions. Periodically I have a question about a foot or something. If I post it on their wall, they get back to me/the other fans quickly. So much better than email! It is wonderful.

I am preparing for a class this weekend with Dale Fleming. The supply list has some odd things on it and I have been working on collecting them. Good thing I started early. One of the things on the supply list is a zipper foot. I have a zipper foot for my Janome 9K. It is, however, a heavy machine to take to class and I was hoping to be able to take my Jem Gold to class instead. The Jem does not have as many capabilities, but it sews great and is much lighter. I didn’t think my question through very well, so they didn’t have enough information to answer my question exactly, but they did point me to a GREAT blog post about putting in a zipper. The Dale Fleming class isn’t about putting in zippers, but I can still use this information.

I tried the zipper foot on my Jem and it doesn’t work, so I will be hauling the big machine to the class.

Later, Janome posted a sewing machine cover project. They actually tell you how to make the cover fit your sewing machine rather than giving a pattern for one size. I have been using a plastic bag and I am definitely going to make one of these covers.  I know not all of you have a Janome, but you can certainly use the projects they post and the information they offer with your own tools and supplies.


Did you sign up for the giveaway? C’mon, you know you want that silk. You can do it. I don’t mind taking your one last braincell to sign up for the giveaway after the fight you broke up between the kids, the dog running away, dinner not ready when you got home, that lost thing at work you just had to stay behind and find. I really don’t mind. Check out that blog post, leave a comment here and JUST DO IT!


BryeLynn over at Sew~Stitch~Create found 3 new podcasts:

Around the Web

Sew Mama Sew posted an interview with Denyse Schmidt on her blog. They talk about her workshops and a new book coming out. There are really nice descriptions of her various workshops offerings and some nice photos to illustrate the various points in the interview.

An additional interview was posted with Nancy Crow on the Quilting Arts website. A lot of the answers really talk about the creative process, space and how it impacts production of quilts.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the Happy Zombie blog. I went back there yesterday looking for the post about the New Wave quilt to show my mom and stumbled on to her enthusiastic and excited post about her new fabric line from Lecien. One of the things she showed was a color card. I clicked on the link because there were LOTS of dots and I cannot resist dots. Lecien has a great selection of dots on their site.

I was pleased to see a link to my blog on the blog A Stitch in Time. One of the things that interested me were Carol’s digital photography lessons. In the post that I read, she talks about and shows a lot of examples of light. Remember when I went to the scrapbook day and talked about the video I saw on improving digital photography?

Mark Lipinski posted that he needs a kidney transplant on his blog earlier this week! It made me think about a lot of things. One of the thoughts was about how much we don’t know about people out in cyberland.

Rice Zachery-Freeman (Freeman-Zachery??) of Voodoo Lounge and Creative Time & Space (this book is in the AQ Bookstore, so if you want to buy it, it is just an easy click away!) fame and podcast had a really interesting post about an quilt project author who wrote a magazine article. In the article the author claimed that, according to Rice, the most interesting part of the article was a “trade secret.” Not only was the post interesting, but the comments brought all sorts of other issues surrounding writing. One issue was should craftpeople write for free? My favorite was is everyone who claims to be an artist an artist? Another issue was whether the editor should have worked more with the author on that “trade secret”.

I am not saying what is right or what is wrong, but I like it when people call writers and editors on things that the reader may not find right.  I am not advocating violence or antagonism, but a good, healthy, respectful debate.

As I said, I am not sure if I know the article in question, but what struck me was the sentence (FYI: third hand via Rice) “it is a trade secret.” While I am not a lawyer, I do work with a bunch of lawyers and I see what it takes to deal with the law. Time and money, first and foremost. I don’t like it when people throw around legal terms, which seems all to prevalent in the craft/quilt world these days. Everyone is entitled to their copyright. Still, there are rules about how people can write about your copyrighted materials. Everyone is entitled to trademark their logo or design. You have to do the work, though; you can’t just say that you have trademarked something. It takes a lot of research, effort and some cash (or credit, as the case may be). Trade secrets are whole different ball of wax. I don’t work with lawyers that ask me much about trade secrets, but I am pretty sure you can’t just say that some process you have thought up is a trade secret.

Anyway, check out Rice’s blog post about this issue. I am sure she would love to know what YOU think.

Life on the Edge

I am looking for a nice pattern for a walker bag. My granny, who we are now calling Super G, fell over the weekend and now has to walk with a walker. I think a walker bag would be handy and make it look pretty. I haven’t trolled the web, but will. If any of you have found a good pattern for a walker bag, please leave a comment and let me know.

Have a great day!

Artquiltmaker Giveaway

Giveaway Silks
Giveaway Silks

I did the One World One Heart blog round robin thing, as you probably noticed, back in February. I had hoped that people would take some time with their comments, and join the CPP. I see a lot of new readers, but not many commentors and no new CPP participants. That is ok with me as I write the blog for other reasons that for readers. I just love it when I get comments. I also love it when people post their creative prompt responses.

So, here is my latest scheme to get some participants in the CPP: a giveaway. Yes, I am going to be giving away some SILK.

I am giving away luscious silks from a tie factory that used to be near me. I have about 15 bundles of approximately 10-20 10″ squares and I am giving them all away. There are rules, oh yes, but I am giving them all away and I have a bin full of them. What I will do is keep track of who complies with the rules and if only one person  follows the rules then one person gets the whole big box of silk.

Notes on the silk: it frays a lot; one of the bundles will be one square short, because I used a piece for the Petal Apron. The patterns are all subtle and color coordinated within the bundles.


1. To get an entry you must leave a substantive comment. It may not say “please enter me in your giveaway.” You can say that, but you won’t get entered. I am the arbiter of substantive, but it basically means, read a post and comment or ask questions about what I wrote. Let’s have a conversation!

2. To get TWO entries or TWO additional entries you must create a CPP response starting with last Friday’s Prompt.  Follow the CPP guidelines to post your link.

3. If you want to leave a comment on this post telling me your thoughts on silk squares or what you would do with them, you will get an entry, too.

4. No whining or snarky comments!

5. You can enter as many times as you want.

6. I reserve the right to change the rules at any time.

Don’t get your hopes up that I will be dong a giveaway every week, because I don’t plan on it. I am not ruling out future giveaways, but they are not a goal. As a result, this may be your only opportunity, so join in!