Progress on Green and Grey Diagonal 9 Patch

Green & Grey Diagonal 9 Patch
Green & Grey Diagonal 9 Patch

I finally finished all the blocks for the Green & Grey Diagonal 9 Patch.

I haven’t started piecing the blocks together, but at least I have all of the blocks. I have spent the past week fiddling with the placement of the blocks.

There is quite a lot of yellow-green, more than I expected. I think I kind of clumped it together. Where the yellow-greens are not in a block together, I am trying to spread them out.

I’ll start sewing the blocks together soon.

GNE Gives Back

GNE Gives Back
GNE Gives Back

My work spends a week every year giving back to the community. We raise money, work on projects and do a walk around campus to help those in the community. The company has provided over 180,000 volunteer hours in the last ten years. I was excited to be able to participate in three events this year.

Hygiene Kits
Hygiene Kits

One thing I did was put together hygiene kits.  You get a bag and you fill it with soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, etc. That is the easy part. The hard part is what to write in a card that will sound supportive and non-judgemental. I spent most of that hour working on the two cards. Filling the two bags took me about 5 minutes.

I used some construction paper to make the card and then I traced a stencil of the star as a start to the card. I added some additional decorations to try and make it look nicer.

The other project was ‘No Sew Blankets’. I really wanted to sew them, but I was a good girl and followed the directions. We had fun. I wasn’t with a group for this project so I was assigned to help another department and we worked together really well. We were able to finish two 96 in x 55 in blankets that will be donated to Bay Area Cancer Connections. BACC helps women with breast and ovarian cancer. I know how to make these blankets now so I can see making a few on my own, perhaps in a smaller size.

All of the activities were coordinated by Hands On Bay Area, an organization that connects organizations that need help with companies and organizations that want to help.

Children's Walk
Children’s Walk

For the first time I walked with everyone on the Children’s Walk. It was kind of slow because there were so many people, but I was with a group so we just chatted while we sauntered.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, so a good day for walking. I was glad to be able to help.


Sew Day Again

We had an extended Sew Day again over the weekend. I took Friday off to work on the Oxbow Tote. There was supposed to be a ‘workshop’, but those of us working on the project just worked at our own pace.

Everyone else was working on things I would have rather worked on. I really should have brought some piecing and just done that.

Cyndi's medallion
Cyndi’s medallion

Cyndi has been finishing up projects lately. She brought the pieces of this medallion top and was able to get all the rest of the borders on.

I have to say that I couldn’t see where this was going before all the borders were sewn on, but finished the design is really good. It all comes together. Even the heavy red part in the center works within the whole design.

MaryC helped Gerre work on a quilt for a friend’s daughter who graduated. The pattern is Chain Link from Amy Smart, Diary of a Quilter. I have seen this quilt before, but never up close or in process and I was interested to see that it is a good use of a charm pack (or 2?). The two of them working together made good progress.

I think it must have been pre-cut weekend. ;0

Maria's blocks
Maria’s blocks

Maria was doing some blocks with a jelly roll, which she arranged in a fun and interesting way. On point the design is so fun and cheerful.

Maria is always thinking outside the box and making interesting quilts. She brings something new every week and I am so impressed with what she comes up with. I kind of want to make these blocks and do something similar.

All in all, despite my bad mood, it was a fun two days.

Oxbow Tote Start

Oxbow Start
Oxbow Start

I spent the Sew Days over the weekend working on the Oxbow Tote, which is the sort of group project instigated by Sue S. This project is not going well for me. I have to ask if all of my bag projects start out this way and then I get over the drama or if this is particularly annoying this time?

First, I didn’t have enough fabric in the correct orientation to make the large size. I needed more width to make two main exterior panels. That was irritating, but I decided that the regular size would be fine. It wasn’t what I was planning so I had to do a mind shift.

Then, I had to do the worst part of this bag, after cutting, which was quilting. It took me a whole day to quilt the main panels. Fortunately, I was entertained by Tim and Julie and the rest of the quilt gang. I was only in a moderately bad mood when I finished instead of completely miserable and submerging my head in a vat of chocolate.

Once I was done with that I was able to fine cut the pattern pieces. They are not square, so I rough cut the pieces to allow for shrinkage and, then, quilted them. After that step, I felt like I had some success. I put the cross body strap together as well as the side loops that will hold that strap. 

I have more to do, but feel I am over the hump for now.

Petunia Pouch in Progress

Petunia Pouch in process
Petunia Pouch in process

I finally started the Petunia Pouch and it is a fairly easy project so far.

I don’t have a lot of experience with Sotak Handmade patterns. I have made 2-3 projects from her patterns. I watch her reels on IG and am so impressed with how easy the projects look.

Petunia Pouch in process
Petunia Pouch in process

I found this one to  be easy, so far as well AND the zipper looks good.

One thing is putting binding on everything. It is a pain, but it makes all the edges look good.

Crafty Gemini Organizer Club Complete

Crafty Gemini Organizer Club - all the bags
Crafty Gemini Organizer Club – all the bags

After finishing the Retreat Bag on Friday, I have FINALLY finished all of the projects in the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club.

This club started in the 2018, so it has been awhile in the making. I really did pretty well with the first few projects. The last three were the ones that took me longer than I thought they should. Still, life gets in the way.

I have so much more experience now with bags. I suspect that Vanessa, of Crafty Gemini, does as well and she would make these projects differently if she were designing the club again.

I haven’t used all of the projects. For some reason, I was saving them until all were done. I don’t know what that was about, but I am going to put them into circulation.

I keep looking at the Zip Away Organizer and thinking that the construction is similar to the Day Trip Wallet from Sew Sweetness. The Day Trip Wallet is a project I have been putting off because of the tight curves required in the construction.

These are the projects in gallery form. I don’t have all of the projects anymore.

I am not sure which ones I will make again. I think I will make the Project Bag again, but with some modifications. I am finding project bags to be very useful. Not only do they use up fabric, but they keep all the pieces and parts of smaller projects together.

I won’t make the Road Trip bag again, though I like the size. It is very similar to the I Spy pouches from Sew Sweetness and I like the I Spy pattern better. I like making a window of the vinyl and not having it in a seam that needs to be turned. Of course, I have better vinyl now. I do like the leash on the Road trip bag, but I don’t like it next to the zipper. In fairness, I could have put it on the wrong side.

Iron Challenges

Remember a couple of months ago when my Oliso started blurping black gunk? Well, fortunately, that didn’t happen again, but the switch to turn the steam on and off did break. That meant almost no steam. There was some residual steam from the water in the tank being hot, but no real steam . 🙁

I contacted them again and this time they wanted me to send a video of the problem. I guess this is the era we live in now. I know I sound like an old fogey, but really. My description was good. NO STEAM.

Another new Oliso
Another new Oliso

Fortunately, the issue was verified very quickly and I got another new Oliso.

I think I have said that I love that the Olisos don’t stand up, that they sit flat on the ironing board. It isn’t enough to get me to buy another Oliso. I think I have sent four of them back. I didn’t have to pay for the postage, mostly, but it is inconvenient.

Now I have been using the new Oliso and it smells like a new iron. I hope I am not breathing something toxic. 🙁

26 Projects 2024 #5

Finished 2024 Quilt Projects

Finished (for me!) Donation Quilts

As you know, I don’t quilt much. I really enjoy the collaborative effort of making a top and allowing someone else to quilt it. Thus, the quilts below are mostly tops, but I will include a finished quilt once someone else finishes it for the group.

Finished Bags and Small Projects

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

Ready for Quilting / In the Quilting Process

In the Finishing Process

Nothing at the moment


WIPs are projects on which I am working. This means that I am past the cutting out of pieces stage,  some sewing has taken place.

  • Green & Grey Diagonal 9 Patch – I am making blocks. I have about two dozen left to make before I can assemble
  • La Passacaglia – I am working on the border, but need to work more and harder.

Cut Out & Stopped

  • EPPic Bag – I need to make a cover/ main exterior piece for this bag. I was thinking of a Pineapple block, but haven’t gotten back to it yet. I am also kind of scared of this pattern. I know what to expect from Sew sweetness patterns, but this is a new designer to me.
  • Hildegarde Notions Trunk – I just cut it out, but will wait a bit before I start working on it

Still UFOs

I still have UFOs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled, it hasn’t been worked on in awhile or it is waiting its turn to be worked on. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

I am annoyed that some of these are still UFOs. I have to give myself credit for completing some of them last year.

  • Rose Petrillo bag – I found the pieces for this bag cut out, but not sewn.
  • Superbloom tote using Hindsight fabric – not started. I did pull the fabric, supplies and found a photo I plan to use as inspiration that others posted, so I am one step closer.
  1. Handbag Sampler – I found the blocks! I found them in a bin I thought I had thoroughly searched! I also found the fabrics carefully stored together. Hooray!!
  2. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. After a brief burst of inspiration, I am stalled on this again. As one of my oldest (I am pretty sure) UFOs, 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.
  3. Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece to be framed. It might need a bit of quilting first.
  4. Fabric of the Year 2020
  5. Fabric of the Year 2021 – I may combine 2020 and 2021 into a COVID edition.
  6. Fabric of the Year 2022 – yes, I added this one to the list, but this is the last one I plan to do.

May 2024 Donation Blocks

I have continued to make donation blocks from the green scrap drawer. I have more than enough to make a quilt, but I need to finish my Diagonal 9 patch project first.

Various & Sundry 2024 #4


Because I love the Minikins patterns, I have made more of them and, thus have updated the Minikins page.

Projects, Classes, Patterns, Techniques & Tutorials

 Moni Malene has some interesting pouch patterns. The pattern appears to have just one main pattern piece that you sew and fold into a pouch. I see a number of her videos on Instagram.

For a long time I have been using the AllPeopleQuilt video tutorial for a binding invisible join. It worked really well at the beginning, but lately it hasn’t been working. The binding has been coming out too saggy/baggy and as I hand stitch the back of the binding down, I have had to adjust to the bagginess. Finally, I got fed up and went looking for another tutorial. I found several, of course, but tried the Madam Sew tutorial. This tutorial was not ideal, but it worked a little better than the AllPeopleQuilt tutorial this time. I know the basics of an invisible join, so it didn’t matter than I couldn’t follow the end of Step 3. The measuring is the key and that, I think, has been the problem. Something about the differences in the way the two tutorials measure the ends of the binding makes one work and one not work. What do you use as a guide?

Tools, Books, Fabric, Notions & Supplies

Cutter Pillar magnet sets work with your lightbox to hold your design in place. I bought a set and will let you know what I think.

Media, Books and Articles

In Make Modern Issue 57 ( can subscribe to the library’s electronic copy via Libby-try it!), Sarah Ashford writes an article called 10 Minutes a Day. In the short article, she talks about the benefits of quiltmaking and how getting it back into our life when it has been banished by life can help our health. She also gives ideas about what you can do in 10 minutes. I am a huge fan of this type of strategy. The other day I had 10 minutes left in my lunch hour so I sewed one seam shut on several pouches I was making. Did I finish the pouches?


Sarah adds up the minutes for us, which really brings the power of 10 minutes per day into focus. 10 minutes per day becomes 1 hour, 10 minutes per week. 1 hour, 10 minutes per week becomes 4 hours and 40 minutes per month.

Did I make progress?


As you know I like to finish things, but I really care about progress. Just finishing that one seam means I have one less thing to go next time I get to sew. Make some progress.

A kind friend sent me a pattern out of the blue. It is the Encore Purse Insert by Studio Kat Designs. This is fortuitous as I have been thinking of making myself a purse organizer. I am not familiar with this pattern so I went looking for reviews. I only found one, but in the course of my travels, I found a site with a ‘knowledgebase‘ that includes a variety of different sewing topics. Note the topics are general sewing related, as far as I could tell. You have to be a member to see search results, so I can’t tell you about the quality.

Events, Shops, Exhibits and Shows

The Quilter’s Hall of Fame has a GoFundMe. They are in urgent need of funds for repairs, maintenance, and preparation for our upcoming Celebration and induction of our 2024 Honoree in July. Read more by clicking on the link.

Ace Makerspace is a new (to me) member supported 501c3 makerspace in Oakland near Emeryville here in the Bay Area. SIL2 and I met them at the EBHQ Show last month. This was one of the bright spots of the show. The 24/7 shared workspace includes classes and skill-sharing. They have several different sections that include Textiles, 3D printing, art, a laser, woodwork, metalworking and a large collection of other types of tools and areas. They have 25+ classes that are open to the public every month. You can take classes without being a member, which is nice since memberships are on the steep side


Petunia Pouch Start

Petunia Pouch Start
Petunia Pouch Start

A few weeks ago I bought a couple of new patterns when Sotak Handmade was having a sale. I am sure you saw the Little Pyramid pouches I made. I have also made a Purse Organizer from one of her patterns.

I cut out the Petunia Pouch over the weekend. This is a different kind of pouch. It has a zipper up the middle of the front. From the pattern, I can’t exactly tell how it all goes together.

I do like Sotak Handmade patterns, so I am hopeful that this is a good pattern.

Zentangle Basic

The last time I did a Zentangle, I think, was in 2018. I have a very nice book by Rick and Maria**, the Zentangle Founders that I bought at the class I took with my mom.

Zentangle May 2024
Zentangle May 2024

I was out of town last week and desperate for some creativity work, so I pulled out my Zentangle supplies and did one.

I followed the instructions in the book, because I have forgotten most of what I learned in the class. I didn’t do any shading, but can go back and do some later. You can see how the shading changes the look in one of the previous tiles I made.

I don’t really need the tile, but I have it so I’ll figure out something to do with it.

My doctor wants me to do things to reduce stress. This might be a good activity.







**N. B. : Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s 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.

Retreat Bag FINISHED!!

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag: Finished
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag: Finished

Yes! After YEARS I finally finished the Retreat Bag from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. WooHoo! I can’t tell you how excited I am to cross this one off my list.

Why? I think, mostly, I am glad to have it done. I have not found a bag yet that I am SUPER excited to use and this is no exception. I hope that it will be a good bag to use, but I am not optimistic. Sad but true.

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag -full interior (finished)
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag -full interior (finished)

The inside uses that fabulous Brocade Peony fabric from Philip Jacobs. I LOVE* that fabric. I have a lot of it, because I love and have used it quite a bit, but have never found the exact perfect project for it. I’ll keep looking.

As you can see (and I partially showed before), this bag has three interior sections. The top section is divided into three pockets. The middle section is open with pockets on the edges to hold a long ruler and other long things. The bottom is a mesh pocket. The mesh pocket is the one I sewed on upside down and had to rip out.

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag ruler pocket
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag ruler pocket

As soon as I finished the bag, I tried the ruler pocket, because I like that idea. Predictably, it is not sized well for Creative Grids  6.5 inch x 24.5 inch rulers.** I was able to get the ruler into both pockets, which holds it very well. It wasn’t easy to get it in and getting it out meant straining the pocket seam almost to ripping. As you know, Creative Grids rulers are half an inch longer than most Omnigrids rulers and that half inch makes all the difference in this project.

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag - partial interior (finished)
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag – partial interior (finished)

Now, I should have known that this would be a problem and constructed the pockets differently. If I were to make this bag again, I might make one of the center pockets a flap with Velcro.** This would mean that I could slip the ruler into the top, then press the flap over the rest of the ruler. I’ll have to look at that pocket and see if I can still do that. I have an Omnigrid 24 inch ruler**, but I almost never use it. Frankly, it probably doesn’t matter as the long ruler I bring with me to Sew Day is the Karen Kay Buckley Adjustable ruler**. It is less likely to get broken in transit, because it breaks down into 4-5 pieces. Really, I don’t even really need this pocket.  Again, I should have thought about that in advance. It is possible that I could remove the “ruler pockets” and add another zipper pocket to the center  even with the binding already stitched down. If I don’t do something, then that center area is just wasted space.  Bleah!

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag - top zipper pocket
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag – top zipper pocket

The zipper pocket will, I hope be useful. It will definitely be more useful made out of vinyl than it would have been made out of fabric. The “out of sight out of mind” adage is alive and well in my life.

I think dividing it into three was a good move even though I can’t put larger items into it. I think packing a large pocket full would have made it misshapen eventually. I am not sure what I will use this bag for, so that could also never have happened.

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag - mesh pocket
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag – mesh pocket

The mesh pocket is one large space. The problem described above might happen below. Oh well. I don’t want to worry about it until I have to worry about it.

I like how the white mesh works with my Brocade Peony fabric. I can still see the design, but it tones down the Brocade Peony colors (motifs?) just a little.

In general, this pattern was pretty straightforward to put together. It was on my list for 1,000 years, because I just didn’t get around to it. As is usual with Crafty Gemini patterns, the written instructions are very basic and, for me, almost unusable. There are no pictures, because the videos that come with the Clubs and projects are very detailed.







*What is it with me and CAPITAL letters today?



**N. B. : Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s 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.