Scrap Dash Coming Together

Scrap Dash - early June 2021
Scrap Dash – early June 2021

I spent quite a bit of time on Scrap Dash over the weekend. I want to get it done and I need to get the left border on the wall where I can 1) see and 2) piece it.

I focused on sewing the vertical seams between sections on the top two rows. I needed to take up the seam allowances to make space for the last column. I also needed to be careful not to force myself into having to put the quilt together in rows. I think I have walked the line successfully, but we will see.

Cotton Cure Portland

Cotton Cure Sign
Cotton Cure Sign

My friend Amanda took me to several shops when we stopped in Portland on our way home. One was called Cotton Cure. It was a GREAT shop. It didn’t have the most fabric, but it has a really good variety and the presentation was excellent.

The quilt shop was in an urban shopping mall type building.  Shopping mall is not quite the right term. It was an older (looking?) building. You had to go into the main door and down a hallway to find the shop. The shop was three rooms, two of which were full of fabric and supplies. LOTS of bag making hardware and supplies.

Cotton Cure: entrance and True Kisses
Cotton Cure: entrance and True Kisses

The first thing I saw was the new Heather Bailey fabric, True Kisses by Figo. It made me think of my grandmother’s living room curtains. The shop had a variety of different cuts – full yards, half yards, and fat quarters. I think they had wide backs as well. I didn’t take very good notice, so I am not sure. I really wanted all of this line and thought of the variety of pre-cuts, but I restrained myself. I can’t stop thinking about the line, however, so I may have to buy the whole line. I am slightly horrified at how much pandemic fabric buying I have done, so we’ll see.

Cotton Cure: bag hardware cabinet
Cotton Cure: bag hardware cabinet

That big green cabinet was full of bag hardware. I almost swooned! It is a really cool looking cabinet, though.

It wasn’t super convenient as the drawers were hard to pull out and push in, but each drawer had a different type or size of hardware. I would really love to have a shop with a such a wide variety that I could see. I feel the need to stockpile when I see hardware and I never seem to have what I need when I need it. Clearly stockpiling doesn’t work. Is there a shop owner out there who would listen to me and my crazy ideas?

Cotton Cure: hearts & floss
Cotton Cure: hearts & floss
Cotton Cure: floss detail
Cotton Cure: floss detail

That heart quilt is on their website as a PDF download called Tainted Hearts. It’s fairly appealing, though I am working hard not to buy more patterns until I make a few of those on my list.

While small, the shop had a great selection of floss. The rolls in the center are Eleganza – the brand that makes Sue Spargo’s floss/embroidery thread. As you can see the thread is not on spools. The shop also had a lot of the Dropcloth Samplers, which I had never seen before in person.

On the far right of the cabinets, the shop had other embroidery designs and another brand of embroidery thread. I neglected to see what the brand was. It is interesting that a number of quilting shops are branching out into embroidery.

Cotton Cure: thread, cows & wool
Cotton Cure: thread, cows & wool

They had a lot of thread as well, but some of it was across from the embroidery thread.

The other item was a large selection of wool felt. I bought a few scraps at Pioneer Quilts for my egg project. I talked about the eggs a little in my post called Handwork Week. Wool felt can get pricey, but Cotton Cure and Pioneer Quilts both have fantastic colors – not just the primitive folk design colors: brown, tan and taupe. Those are not my colors.

Cotton Cure: wool felt & thread
Cotton Cure: wool felt & thread

You can see the wool felt better in the picture, left. They really had a nice selection of colors. Not great for turquoise, but look at those pinks and purples! The yellows and oranges are pretty nice, too.

This photo shows more regular thread, too.

The waxed canvas is in rolls in the basket attached to the black & white plaid wall.

The second room had more bag making stuff and a ton of notions. The shop had a good selection of mesh as well as a variety of different substrates. I saw waxed canvas for the first time in person. I almost bought some, but it was on the pricey side. Since I didn’t have a project in mind, I passed (for once!).

They also had the Clammy rulers, which, again, I haven’t seen in person. I didn’t take a close look at the patterns, but the tool makes me think they had some of Latifah’s patterns as well.

Most of the shops I visited had Tula Pink’s Curiouser and Curiouser fabrics. I bought a little at Calico Creations, but didn’t keep collecting.

The two tier rack in the first picture above is their sale fabric. This may not have been all of it. I don’t know; this is what I saw. Regardless, it was good fabric. Not icky novelty fabrics or anything.

Cotton Cure: workroom
Cotton Cure: workroom

The shop also had a workroom. It was a well used room. I suppose it might be a classroom in non-pandemic times. At the moment they seem to be using it for prep and a place to just toss stuff. We all have those spaces, right? 🙂

They have a longarm, but I didn’t see any information about whether they longarm customer quilts or rent time on the machine. I noticed that their Juki sewing machine was set up so the operator could stand at it. I have always wanted to try that.

I definitely want to visit this shop again and I will add them to my list of online fabric shopping websites.

Cotton Cure
133 SE 2nd Avenue
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
We use the same entrance as Balance Fitness, so look for their signage!

Open M,W,Th,F,Sa 10am-4pm

Contact Us:
By Phone: 503-747-6115
By Email:

Pacific NW Quilt & Fiberarts Museum

Gaches Mansion
Gaches Mansion

On my travels, I went to the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum in LaConner. It is housed in the beautiful Gaches Mansion. We showed up right after 11 and nobody had come to open it, so we walked around LaConner a little and that was nice. We found a cafe which had gluten free pastries so we stopped for a late breakfast and a little rest.

When we went back later, we found the volunteers to be super enthusiastic. They have a lovely gift shop, which you can peruse without paying admission to the museum.

The first exhibit, right off the entrance, was  called What If by Debra Calkins. It ran through May 30, 2021. The pieces in the exhibit “imagine the possibilities for a better, more nurturing world… if only we have the courage to address the pressing social conditions around us today. ” There was an audience participation piece where we could write our own ‘what if’ statement.

I really enjoyed the Inspired Settings: The Art and Collection of Matt Macomber exhibit, which runs through July 4, 2021. I actually confused him with Mike McNamara who I have seen speak a few times at the SFQG. I thought Matt’s quilts were restrained when I thought he was Mike! He finishes, at least for this show, old blocks into new quilts. The quilts captured the sense of time carried by the old blocks, but freshens them up.

Matt Macomber: Plinko
Matt Macomber: Plinko

We are working on circles in the quiltmaking class I am teaching, so I was attracted by quilts with a variety of circular motifs. The quilt pictured right is based on a pattern published in the Kansas City Star called My Graduation Class Ring. He said that the setting is an exploration of the streak of lightning setting. I am not a fan of the salmon color, but like the quilt in general. I really like the block. It has been on my list to try for awhile. Also, I think the salmon and jade green go together very well especially considering the era of the blocks (1940s).

Matt Macomber Bow Tie quilt
Matt Macomber Bow Tie quilt
Matt Macomber Bow Tie quilt detail
Matt Macomber Bow Tie quilt detail

He put together Bow Ti blocks into a quilt, which has some great details. One details was the way the fabrics were placed. He received the blocks the way they show up in the quilt, so he didn’t place the fabrics. Despite the bold nature of the block fabrics, the block background really highlights the individual blocks.

The background around the blocks (not in the blocks) and the way he placed the blocks in the quilt were excellent choices. In this layout, Macomber is, again, studying the streak of Lightning setting. It is subtle, but the viewer can see it once s/he knows what to look for. I like the border print as well. I think it suits the blocks. All of the exploration makes me want to make a Bow Tie quilt. 

Rosy by Matt Macomber
Rosy by Matt Macomber

Somewhere Macomber found 8 rose applique’ blocks from the 1930s. He used them as an exploration of a setting using partial blocks. I am sort of interested to know how he kept parts from unraveling or fraying?

Rosy, detail by Matt Macomber
Rosy, detail by Matt Macomber

I really like the border. It reminds me of some older P&B fabrics. It wouldn’t be an obvious choice for the Rosy quilt, but it works very well.

I am not a huge fan of partial blocks, but this quilt makes me look at it over and over. I don’t think it is just the border, the traditional border. I think one element is the partial blocks. They form a sort of implied border around the four complete blocks. I also like the 8 patch blocks towards the center. They further highlight the full blocks.


Check back. I will write more about the quilts on display from the permanent collection in another post.

La Passacaglia Finally

You saw in the past couple of Various & Sundry posts that I was selling my La Passacaglia papers and acrylic templates. I bought them in 2016 from MassDrop and I really did want to make the quilt. I do want to make the quilt. The biggest problem was choosing fabric. I don’t know why this was such a problem, but it was a daunting wall that I couldn’t climb over. I also wanted to finish the Half Hexie quilt before starting on another EPP project.

Pink Door BOM
Pink Door BOM

I did sell them, which is great. A woman in New Zealand bought them and she received them in a week! I sent them Monday and she received them the following Monday! WOW!!

I didn’t give up on the project, however: I am making the quilt. I am making it along with the Pink Door BOM. Their project uses Tula fabrics and larger sized paper templates. It starts in April. They describe what I get as “Your first shipment will include a set of custom acrylic templates for the Pink-Door-Size La Passacaglia quilt with 3/8” seam allowance. Each month, you’ll receive an installment of Tula Pink fabric, paper pieces, the exclusive cutting assistant, 2-pack of Sewline glue pen refills, and an optional coordinating Aurifil thread-set add on that will be custom curated to the fabrics used that month. We will also be sending special super-secret surprise goodies throughout the sew along. Lastly, we have an exclusive Facebook group with custom video tutorials to get you started off on the right foot, as well as a community of your fellow block of the month participants.” I am not providing a link, because the subscriptions are closed.

I have never done this kind of project before. I always, as you know, do my own project. I want my own look to the quilt, so I plan to replace a few fabrics with my own. I have been saving fabrics I thought would be good. I got a few ideas as I was perusing the Millefiori Quilts group on Facebook. I might implement them. I’ll definitely wait until I get the jist of the whole project. We’ll have to see how it goes.

One good thing is that the acrylic templates have a 3/8″ seam allowance. I prefer the 3/8ths seam allowance for EPP projects. I know that they will recommend glue basting. I have a good system going with clips and will try to continue with that.

I went looking for information after seeing some posts from the East Dakota Quilter. I saw a post about making the quilt that I thought was really good. Karen Tripp, who owns the DIY Addict shop (no affiliation!-just a happy customer) wrote about the whole process of getting started. I have to explore more of the post, but I think it will help me get started even with the BOM instructions.

I also looked for other posts and will explore those.

The BOM starts in July.

Quilting Foxes, Sedro-Woolley, Wash

Isn’t Sedro-Woolley a funny name for a town? I looked up the history and I guess Sedro-Woolley is better than the original name of the town, which was Bug, because of all the mosquitos. Regardless of the name, we still visited Quilting Foxes. The name makes no difference to me when there is fabric involved. I suppose the shop is in the old downtown area, though I don’t really know. It seemed like an old downtown area.

Cascade Fabrics front
Cascade Fabrics front

When we arrived, I was surprised to see two fabric stores right next door to each other. Cascade Fabrics has, apparently, been in business for 40+ years. It is more of an old time sewing shop. It had clothes patterns, fabrics on rounders and all the notions for sewing clothes. My Mom said it reminded her of an old Woolworth’s store like she visited when she was a kid.

Quilting Foxes front
Quilting Foxes front

We went into Quilting Foxes first. I had a bit of a fabric hangover from the abundance at Calico Creations, but powered through. This shop was really different than Calico Creations. It had fewer bolts and all the fabric was on shelves. I saw a number of fabrics I liked.

They had a large number of bolts from the Dit Dot Evolution line and I thought for sure I could get the grey I have been wanting. Once I got the bolt up to the counter, the grey had a brown tinge to it, so I passed.

Quilting Foxes: front of store
Quilting Foxes: front of store

The shop had a lot of Japanese fabrics and supplies. There were tons of indigo fabrics, books from Japanese authors, and Sashiko supplies.

The shop also had a lot of other stitching and embroidery supplies. They had the full line (or close to it) of Sue Spargo’s Eleganza Perl cotton. I almost swooned! I need to find a project where I can use the thread I have. The BAMQG Improv quilt isn’t cutting it for me.

Quilting Foxes: book wall
Quilting Foxes: book wall

The books which tempted me were bag books by Japanese authors. One was by Akemi Shibata called Sew Beautiful Quilted Bags**. I can see where one of these bags would take months to make. The embroidery and applique are exquisite. I would never do that work. What I love about the bags is the shape. The same is true about the Yoko Saito book** I bought recently.

I liked this store and would have bought more if I didn’t have such a fabric hangover from Calico Creations.

Quilting Foxes Quilt Shop & Gallery
822 Metcalf St
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284





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

Thinking about Brown

Brown has come up recently and so I have been thinking about it. A friend said she thinks  of me when she uses brown. WTH?? I always claim not to use brown. For the most part, that is true.

DH Face Masks - May 2021
DH Face Masks – May 2021

Recently, however, I made some masks from brown. You probably noticed that they were brown when I posted about them the first time. DH actually looks good in brown. All three of the browns in the photo have been in my fabric closet for YEARS. It was a good time to use them and I didn’t cut carefully.

Sweet Dreams Pillowcase
Sweet Dreams Pillowcase

Sometime ago, I made a pillowcase for my mom that is actually brown, though I always call it chocolate. Calling it chocolate makes it easier for me to take. It is a rich color and I enjoyed making it. I really like the chocolate box fabric as well as the combinations of fabric I chose to coordinate.

Calm quilt
Calm quilt

My sister also likes the turquoise and brown combination. I made a quilt for her with some brown. If I made it again, I would add a LOT more turquoise, but it is ok and Lil Sissy loves the quilt.

Mostly, I don’t use brown because it is depressing. The pillowcase above is not depressing and the brown accents in the quilt are just accents, which is nice.

It seems that I have also made some things for the guild using brown. The three above are a bit depressing. I didn’t choose the fabric for the cat bed and the blocks are made from scraps.

I guess I use all the colors, even brown now and then. I don’t feel like I have to buy more brown fabric, though I did consider buying a brown hot chocolate print similar to the chocolate box fabric above at Calico Creations the other day.

Calico Creations, Mt. Vernon, Wash

Calico Creations, Mt. Vernon, WA
Calico Creations, Mt. Vernon, WA

If you thought Sew Creative was good, you will love Calico Creations. We found Calico Creations accidentally on our way to the post office. I had seen the listing on Google, but thought it was a chain upholstery shop. There is a decorating/soft furnishing shop with a similar name near me so I ignored the listing. I am so glad we ran across it. This is a GREAT shop.

Calico Creations: front to back
Calico Creations: front to back

It was great for a number of reasons. The shop had A LOT of bolts of fabric. Their shelves were mostly 3 bolts high and then bolts were stacked in front of the shelving about 6 deep. They had just gotten Curiouser and Curiouser in as well as the new Anna Maria line, Bright Eyes. I haven’t seen that number of KFC bolts in one place in a long time. I saw Philip Jacobs fabrics that I have never seen on the bolt in person. There were bolts everywhere and then there were more bolts. I saw a lot (A LOT) of fabrics I wanted, but I tried to keep the yardage numbers down.

They had a large number of notions, rulers and other quiltmaking tools.

Calico Creations: Book Nook
Calico Creations: Book Nook

There was a book nook with a comfy chair nearby. My Mom sat there for a minute and browsed some books. For the first time ever, I saw some Tilda books. I have wanted to see one for awhile, but CC had them and I was able to take a peek. One I looked at was Quilts from Tilda’s Studio**. I also took a quick look at Sewing by Heart**, which had small projects like pincushions. I like the soft colors, but the books are mostly projects and I need more out of a book than more projects. I saw an issue of Simply Moderne, but didn’t take the time to see if it was worth $20. I have an issue at home and one quilt I want to make from it.

CC had a large number of sample quilts. I saw a few bags, too, but their sample quilts were stellar. There were a lot of them and the fabric and color choices were great. I keep looking at various Quilts of Valor type designs and have wanted to make one. The shop had a flag quilt displayed that I thought would make a nice Quilt of Valor.

Calico Creations classroom
Calico Creations classroom

The classroom is large and roomy. I think it could easily hold 10-15 people sewing at one time. It is, obviously, not in use at the moment except for the large number of $6/yard sale fabrics. Above I said they had a lot of fabric. This sale room wasn’t even included. There were tons of bolts here, too.

The shop was busy as well. Not crazy busy, but people were coming in and going out the whole time I was there. I couldn’t turn around without seeing someone in the shop. The shop owner must be doing something right.

The staff was super friendly. They were eager, but not too eager, to help. They chatted with us while my fabrics were getting cut.

Calico Creations: new fabrics
Calico Creations: new fabrics

I bought some super bright fabrics, including a couple of Philip Jacobs prints.

I only bought two yards of the pink and orange flower print, so it won’t be a dress. The flower urn fabric was an impulse buy as was the Tula Pink True Colors fat quarter pack at the bottom, right. I blame my mom. She was talking to the lady at the counter and giving me more time to shop. I bought the rubber ducky fabric (one is flannel) to make pillowcases and some other gift items for my YM’s partner. I really just wanted a bit of the Curiouser and Curiouser. The two books were on sale and I thought I would fill in my collection. I hope I had it right that these were the two I didn’t yet have.

I highly recommend this shop. If you visit one shop in Washington, go to Calico Creations.

Calico Creations
400 S 1st St
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: 360.336.3241






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

Finished: X Quilt

Finished: X Quilt
Finished: X Quilt

I finally finished the binding on the X Quilt!!I feel like I usually get the quilt bindings done faster. This one felt like it took forever.

Fortunately, I had a deadline and I got the quilt done before the deadline. I watched some Midsommer Murders with my Mom and was able to sew while I watched.

I took the photo in a hotel room. The best position was laying it on one of the beds. I was pleased that the quilt fit, with an overhang, on a queen sized bed.

26 Projects 2021 #5

Finished 2021 Quilt Projects

Finished 2021 Small and Non-Quilt Projects

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

Doing Good

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


  • Scrap Dash is on the design wall and I am sewing on it every chance I get

Small Projects to Make or in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • One Hour Basket for my stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects or a Catch All Caddy for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for DH’s stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch the pattern to one of the Minikins projects for this purpose.
  • Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started. Recently, I saw one of these made up and I am not so nervous about it
  • Superbloom tote using Hindsight fabric – not started
  • Tessuti Japanese Apron – cut out and ready to sew. I am figuring out how to make it reversible.
  • Ultimate Project Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag gift – Bag-a-Long for BAM – I have the inside pockets as well as the front panel made and am looking forward to the next step
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag for me – I have the inside pockets as well as the front panel made and am looking forward to the next step
  • Westchester shirt – this is a Crafty Gemini pattern. I bought the fabric at PIQF in 2018. I have the pattern ready and need to start cutting.


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

Ready for Quilting

  • Nothing at the moment

In the Quilting Process

In the Finishing Process

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

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

Sew Creative – Ashland, Ore

After 18 months, I am on the road again. I drove almost 1000 miles north to see my YM who has had two bouts of non-COVID illness in the last month. I needed to see him for myself – see that he was getting well, see that he was taking care of himself. Since he was the only one who was not fully vaccinated (though he is now), I felt confident in traveling.

I want everything to be like it was, though I realize it isn’t so I put on my mask and go forth in the new normal: looking at others wearing masks and seeing so many closed shops and restaurants.

Sew Creative, Ashland
Sew Creative, Ashland

On the way north, we stopped in Ashland, Oregon. It is a beautiful city and I took some time to venture to a quilt shop.

Sew Creative was crammed full of everything quilty: fabric, kits, patterns, notions, etc. I thought the shop was a tiny bit overcrowded and a little dark, but I liked the overcrowding because there was so much stuff! Also, it was a little dark because the walls had beautiful wood. Neither made me not want to go there again. I had to decide if I was going to visit again on the way back!

Sew Creative: inside front window
Sew Creative: inside front window

One of the things I saw (but didn’t buy) were a couple of interesting bag patterns. The shape of the bags were pretty normal, but they had some interesting detail. One had a diagonal pocket (like the shape I cut with the Simple Folded Corners ruler). It is in the middle of the counter in the photo. The other, which is hanging in the photo, right, has a scalloped top edge.

This section had some Figo Linen/Cotton blend fabrics that were a little like canvas. I bought two 2 yard pieces and plan to make some bags out of them. I have heard of Figo fabrics and seen them in quilt shop newsletters, but hadn’t seen them in person. Since this was the first quilt shop in which I had set foot in 18 months or so this should come as no surprise.

Sew Creative - books racks
Sew Creative – books racks

I also saw a large selection of books (photo left). They had about 3 full racks of books. I didn’t look closely at them, but I noticed several I have not seen at other quilt shops or had never seen. The shop had a GREAT selection of embroidery stitch books.

In the books photo you can also see a sample quilt. The shop had a number of sample quilts around the store. I am not sure if the samples were for classes. There was a straight list of classes, but there were no photos, so I’m not sure what types of classes they were and I didn’t ask.

Sew Creative: back to front, right side of store
Sew Creative: back to front, right side of store

This photo is looking from the back of the store towards the front window. You can see the beautiful wood on the ceiling.

There were several tables scattered throughout the store with various displays. Many of them held a project or kit. I didn’t look very carefully at the kits, but I did notice there was a huge selection, so anyone who didn’t want to make decisions was in the right shop.

I bought a couple of gifts and the shop staff was very helpful with them.

Sew Creative: back to front, left side of store
Sew Creative: back to front, left side of store

The back of the store was a little brighter. The ceiling was white and that helped. Don’t you love the black and white floor? I do!

There really was a lot of stuff in this store and looking at the photos, I realize how much I missed.  Most of the bolts of fabric by color were housed in the back of the store. I found some turquoise dot dash fabric. They had quite a bit of Philip Jacobs for KFC prints and I spent a long time looking at them and dreaming.  I also found a few red-violet prints to replace the ones I have used up.

Sew Creative: back of the store (L to R)
Sew Creative: back of the store (L to R)

In this photo, you can see how many patterns are available. There were a wide variety of non-quilt patterns. I saw placements, a number of different bags, some garments. I also noticed that many of the patterns were from designers I didn’t recognize.  I didn’t find it difficult to see the patterns, in terms of lighting. That is one of the things I enjoy about visiting quilt shops in different areas.

In the photo, left, you can also see the shelves of fabric at the back of the photo. That is where I found the dot dash fabric.

The other thing I noticed was the shop was very clean. I don’t know what they have been doing during COVID restrictions, but it looked like they turn over their stock quickly.

Fabrics I bought at Sew Creative
Fabrics I bought at Sew Creative

The grey stripes and the black stripes are the Figo fabrics. I am going to use the white, which I think is Grunge fabric, to redo my inspiration board. The Laurel Burch fabric will be a gift. The shop had a great selection of Kaffe fabrics. I bought that shell (?) sea urchin (?) print. I also replaced some of my red-violets.

I highly recommend this store. I will definitely stop again next time I drive through Ashland.

Sew Creative
Address: 115 E Main St, Ashland, OR 97520, United States
Phone: +1 541 482 1665

Book Review: Stitch ‘n Swap

I borrowed this book from the library in Kindle format. I kept it for a long time and then it was yanked from my digital bookshelf by the tyrant that is the app?

Stitch 'n Swap: 25 Handmade Projects to Sew, Give & ReceiveStitch ‘n Swap: 25 Handmade Projects to Sew, Give & Receive by Jake Finch

This book is described as a guide on how to organize and participate in successful community swaps. My mind immediately went to swapping with other members omy quilt guild. The authors, however, weren’t limiting their ideas to just guilds. They use the term “like minded stitchers,” which is a very nice term! They also mention bees, small groups or other regular congregations of those with whom “you have something in common.” There are 25 projects and one of the projects inspired me to borrow this book.

The books starts off with an Introduction, which clearly and succinctly explains swaps. It explains what they are, different types and how they work. Fun is clearly at the forefront according to the author. The authors mention having a theme and offers up a few as examples. My guild does this every year. One year we had a kitchen themed swap and I received a gorgeous casserole carrier. Other theme ideas are a single fabric, a type of project, like pincushions or something like storage containers. The author has compiled projects from a variety of designers. One of the designers is Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

Next comes the guidelines for organizing a swap in a chapter called ‘Organizing a Swap’. The author believes that any kind of swap should stretch your creative muscles. As you know I am a pretty confident bag maker, but in the last guild swap, I learned some new skills when I made the Oslo bag for Cyndi. In this chapter, Finch provides a list of guidelines for leading a swap, including written guidelines and list of participants as well as a backup plan. There are also optional guidelines, what to do when you are using a commercial pattern and a little on working with kids.

One of the suggestions is to keep the swap to about 20 people. Having some kind of ice breaker event so people can get to know each other could make the swap more successful. These optional guidelines are followed, in the book, with theme suggestions, style and advice for a successful swap.

Of course there are always dropouts. Life happens. I have often acted as a swap ‘angel’ where I make something that will be given to the dropout. One good reminder is to just be philosophical and accept the dropout gracefully. It does not good badmouthing the person to other swappers.

After these two chapters, the projects start. There are pincushions, a sewing kit, a variety of bags, a scissor case, baby organizing supplies, such as a diaper changing mat, a few small quilts, cushions and many more.

Most of the projects are not exciting and I have other versions of these patterns already in my workroom. I was excited about the fabrics used and some of the interesting piecing. In Anne Deister’s couch scarf, she sewed rainbow strips unevenly so there is a lot of movement along the width of the couch scarf (which is described as “a long, pretty quilt”).

My favorite project is the Interchangeable Monster*. This is a one eyed stuffie, nominally like a dragon, but with wings and legs that can be moved around and changed -like Barbie clothes, maybe? Most of the other projects are cute, but not that interesting.

There is no index, and no gallery of projects at the beginning. I am glad I borrowed this book so I could take a look at iti. If you are new to organizing swaps, you need this book. If you want a lot of small projects for swaps or gifts, this is a good book for you.

*Since this is a Kindle book there were no page numbers, which is why I have not given you any references.









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Very Spiky

The other day i talked about the Double Spiky 16 Patch that Lee Ann finished. It made me wonder about all the Spiky 16 Patch quilts I have made. I looked back at my media files and decided to put them all into one post.

Mrs. K's Spiky 16 Patch Top
Mrs. K’s Spiky 16 Patch Top

I also inspired Mrs. K to make a top. I love it when you sew along with me, especially if you use one of my tutorials. Hers is great! It makes me think I need to add a yellow version to my list. Look at the corner triangle detail. Isn’t it great?

I always think I have made more of anything I want to show you than I really have. Six tops is not nothing. I want make more of these and now, that I see them, in different colors.


I am sure I will make more of them, so I’ll have to update this post.


Scrap Dash Borders

Scrap Dash - end of May 2021
Scrap Dash – end of May 2021

I spent most of Saturday working on Scrap Dash, though I also worked on the Yellow Strip Donation quilt as leaders and enders. I continue to be pleased with how the piece is progressing.

I cut a bunch of pieces for the borders during the previous week. I had sewed some of them together in snatches of time also during the week. On Saturday, I stitched many more together. I also started placing them in their spot on the wall. I now have sections of 3 sides of the borders sewn to some other piece.

I didn’t want to sew the entire border strip together then sew it to the quilt top as one piecing. I am chunking all the pieces and I am glad, because I have to fiddle with some of the border pieces to get them to fit. I am not sure why as my 1/4″ looks good and the pieces are cut accurately.

I have started, in a small way to sew the chunks together. I am not seeing much shrinkage yet as that depends on quite a bit of sewing the chunks together.

More Yellow Improv

Yellow Strip Improv blocks - Mid-May 2021
Yellow Strip Improv blocks – Mid-May 2021

In between working on Scrap Dash, I made more yellow Improv blocks. I don’t have a tons of yellow scraps and I’ll be lucky if I can make this quilt and a straight Improv version like the other colors I have made. I’ll definitely be able to finish this one, but I have had to add chunks to the blocks. I don’t have enough strips to make all the blocks just from strips.

I sewed way more than one seam throughout the day. I felt kind of manic about these blocks. Even though I was working on Scrap Dash, I wanted to make progress on this quilt as well. I am pleased with the progress.

Teachers Redux

I came across a post I wrote in 2005 about the qualities teachers should exhibit. Since I have been teaching quiltmaking recently, the post made me think about whether or not I am practicing what I preach. I thought I would revisit the post in this new light and see if everything I said then still stands.

  1. Know your subject: Yes, I don’t think you should teach if you do not know the subject. However, there are sub-sections of classes where you may not be an expert so just brush up and stay ahead of the class. We can’t be experts on every single aspect of a topic. Case in point is me and how I wouldn’t try to each free motion quilting since I am not good at it. I do quilt sometimes, as you know, so when I taught my class I taught what I do when I quilt and gave resources on other types of quilting and the names of teachers I thought were good.
  2. Be well prepared: yes, absolutely.
  3. State your goals at the beginning of the class and let students know your timing. I think this gives people an idea of what to shoot for and also reduces stress. If I know there will be a break at 10am, I can plan around it.
  4. Have handouts (with pictures, if appropriate) : I have taken a couple of classes recently where the teachers have provide handouts after the class. They do this so you will pay attention to them. I understand that, but I also like handouts. I’d rather have a handout with brief descriptions so I can take notes on it than getting it later when I have to consolidate my notes with the handout.
  5. Don’t assume that since you can quilt you can also teach : I still believe this. Teaching takes skill and not everyone has it. Practice your presentation or your class before you teach.
  6. Manage students : I have been in a number of classes where one student dominated. It was frustrating for me, because I felt like the teacher was getting distracted by the person who was demanding attention. This is the hardest part of teaching, but you have to do it.
  7. Don’t assume that people are there to hear your opinion : I am not sure I believe this. I think people take classes now to learn what specific teachers have to teach. I recently took the Latifah Saafir class and didn’t expect to learn how Jen Carlton Bailly sews curves. I was there to learn specifically what Latifah had to teach.
  8. Acknowledge that people cannot absorb information for 8 hours: I made some really good points in this section. People need a variety of activities during a class: listening, doing, undoing, working with the teacher, etc. Change up your class so everyone can be successful.
  9. Be professional : definitely act like a professional, which is possible even when being friendly.
  10. Make sure your handouts are well organized or track your lecture : this point assumes you have handouts (see above #4). I prefer that handouts track the class, but I also understand that isn’t always possible. Point your students to the correct section in the handout if your lectures doesn’t track the handouts.
  11. Consider whether you need a helper : I think every class with more than 5 students is improved with a helper. You don’t want the teacher to have to run off to make photocopies or get more of their product to sell. Helpers can also fiddle with machines and troubleshoot so the class can stay on schedule.
  12. Walk around : I think 1-on-1 time with students is important. Students benefit from a discussion with the teacher.
  13. In point 1, I also mentioned books an other resources in a bibliography. This should have been a separate point. I do think it is important to provide additional resources as you won’t be with your students all the time and they may need reference material. or they may want to look at additional resources. I also LOVE reference material. ?

Go forth and teach well.