Taking Flight

Quick post, because my sister asked me to share this with all of you: http://fly-tribe.blogspot.com/2012/08/givingflight.html. The basics are:

The Fly Tribe came together as a bunch of individuals looking to learn a bit about what it meant to run a creative business. We came together to take Kelly Rae Robert’s Flying Lessons. Along the way, we made some friends, we supported one another’s dreams, we lifted one another up when difficulties (in business and life) threatened to get the better of us. We didn’t just learn to “Take Flight” (as Kelly Rae’s course suggests). We learned to Give Flight to one another.

Now with one year of soaring under our wings, we want to share the love.

 Welcome to the Summer of 2011 Flying Lessons Alumni’s
Giving Flight Blog Hop and Flying Lessons Give-Away. 
 It’s our Anniversary Celebration.
 This is a HUGE celebration that is broken up into two parts….
Go to http://fly-tribe.blogspot.com/2012/08/givingflight.html to read the rest and take advantage. Why not?

Various and Sundry Wednesday

Ready for another ride that weaves in and out of the Internet and my mind?

Books, etc

I ran across the notice for Jane Brocket’s quilt book. I stopped reading her blog awhile ago, but was pointed to a link about ribbon, which I have on the mind lately.

A quote from the book via Amazon.co.uk:

“One of the great pleasures of doing anything repetitive by hand, whether it’s knitting, making bread, chopping onions or sowing seeds, is that the rhythm of the action allows your mind to wander.”

I bought this book. The US edition has come out, but I decided to buy the UK edition. I don’t mind  those extra ‘u’ added her and there. There is nothing wrong with the US edition. I was pleased to see that the US edition came out relatively quickly after the UK edition debuted.

I bought the UK edition of the Gentle Art of Domesticity and was pleased with the service I received from the Book Depository, so I made my purchase from them again. The cover of the UK edition looks so much better. One fascinating thing about the Book Depository (which LoveAnna turned me on to) is that they have something like a live webcam where you see what books people are buying and where those buyers are from. It is mesmerizing to see people ordering so many books so quickly. I actually saw someone’s purchase of Cello: Grades 1-3 from China!


Anyway, back to ribbon. Somewhere I saw a link to ribbon. I looked at it, which led me to Jane Brocket’s blog, the new book – see above. The ribbon, though was gorgeous. So wonderful for embellishing bags and making markers for journals. LFN Textiles is the purveyor and the website has gorgeous photos. And they have dotted ribbons. What’s not to like?

Pam Rubert of PamDora blog fame recently tweeted a link to Sharon B’s Dictionary of Stitches for Hand Embroidery and Needlework. She has an index on the first page. If you click on one of the links, you see a picture of the finished stitch and where this stitch can be found. She shows step outs of the stitch and gives the reader tips and tricks. If you are browsing, there is a previous/next link at the top of the stitch screen, so that you can just click to another stitch without returning to the index. There are lots of great features of this site and it is great inspiration if you are using handstitching to embellish a quilt.


If you remember my fit of excitement over the 1000 Journals Project, this information will come as no surprise to you. I found the Artbook Coop via Julie and they are doing a sketchbook project. You can order (and pay for) a sketchbook, which will then be housed in a museum. I am not sure I could finish something like this, but my mind is swirling around it.


Brenda Papadakis of Dear Jane fame has a series of block of the month blocks posted on her website for free. It looks like there is an applique’/embroidery block and a pieced block every month.


Last week I had a virus that hit me hard. One day while I was thinking about going back to bed, I stumbled on a blog called Waking Up in Bavaria. It has a really nice clean look and beautiful photography. One of her recent posts is a review of Kaffe Fassett’s Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts.  It is hard to read a blog from the beginning when you are years behind. Still I read a bit of her posts from last year and my mind spun into imagination land. I spent a formidable time in my life in that area of the world, though in Austria, not Bavaria, so the landscape is familiar. I also like the clean, spare look of her blog. My mind started to wander around the question of what if I woke up in Bavaria tomorrow?

If you need to organize your studio/workroom, the Quilted Cupcake has a podcast and a long blog post with a lot of resources and pictures of her space. QNN TV also has a segment on organization. The January episodes, segments 1&2, 3&4 take on the topic of organizing your studio from different angles. You have to be a member to watch the videos.

I signed up for QNN TV last year and hadn’t really watched the videos. Last week, while I was sick, I was clearing out my email. Some of the messages in there were notices about new QNN TV episodes being posted. Being fit only to lay in bed, I started watching them. I thought they were very entertaining. They have some cooking segments, which I skipped over, but I enjoyed the episode on specialty threads (January episode, Segments 5&6). They have two kinds of links to the shows. Each episode is broken into about 6 segments and two segments are posted each week. This means that you can watch the different segments or watch the whole episode. I have been watching them in segments.

The January episode takes place in Winterset, Iowa, partially at the Fons & Porter store. They also show the Bridges of Madison County, the county in which Winterset is located. I didn’t know that Fons & Porter had a store, so this was interesting to me. I wish they would have done a tour of the store, but they didn’t.

I really enjoyed the November episode. Jodie Davis hosts with Patrick Lose and they report from Houston Quilt Market. They talk about new products and interview people at the show. I was entertained. I think this was shot while Mark was working out the details of his contract with QNN TV. I thought it would be weird, but Jodie Davis handled his not being there with grace. She made it seem like he would be back soon.

I also enjoyed the February Door Knock episode where Mark interviews Liz Porter. It is great to see that she is real and has a real life. I went away from that interview with a lot more respect for her and what she has achieved.

I wasn’t planning to renew my membership, but I may do it. I will definitely watch the episodes as they come out rather than waiting until my inbox is too full before I get to them.

The Alliance for American Quilts had a contest recently called New From Old. They have posted a series of YouTube videos documenting the quilt entries as they arrive. I thought that was very clever! One of them was by Marie Johansen who sometimes reads this blog. I was pleased to see that Yvonne Porcella entered a quilt, which must mean that she is feeling better. There were a number of Dresden Plate entries and two that could be considered Baltimore Album style. Sunbonnet Sue, Grandmother’s Flower Garden and Grandmother’s Fan also made debuts. Some people put a lot of work into their entries and it occurred to me that throwing something together just to enter wouldn’t work for this contest. Then again, it doesn’t usually work for any contest.

If you ever feel like the quilts or ATCs or blocks or paintings you are making are not fit for the fireplace, take a look at the Bad Postcards site. Looking at the works on this site should a) give you a laugh; b) make you feel better about your own work; and c) make you wonder who ever thought it was a good idea to make matching apron, tablecloth and curtains (you’ll have to scroll down the site to get that one). As a bonus for you fabric lovers, there are some interesting fabrics shown in various postcards. It makes me wonder whether people will be laughing about the photos on this blog in 50 years?

Do artists go under Media or Out and About? I don’t know, so here is Michael Cutlip. Mostly I love his website and the way the gallery is laid out. He is the artist who did the picture in the Decor House, which I wrote about in a post a few weeks ago. The picture I took is crappy, but his work is not, so don’t judge him on my photo.

Out and About

You might have heard (or maybe read it here) that the V&A in London has a quilt exhibit up. They have also just announced the release of a second set of patterns, V&A Pattern Series II. “Like the first box set—which included four books arranged by theme and titled William Morris, Indian Florals, Digital Pioneers, and The Fifties—the second series features four books available individually or as a group: Owen Jones, Novelty Patterns, Kimonos, and Garden Florals. In addition to page after page of color images of the textile designs, each hardcover book includes a CD of hi-res images of the featured patterns.”

Being here in the US, it is hard to get to the exhibit, though I am hoping for some kind of miracle (you know free first class tickets, or something), but until then I have been looking at the videos. My favorite so far is the one with Caren Garfen, which I looked at with TFQ. Her quilt is given a bit of short shrift int he book, but this video makes up for it. I wish it were downloadable to iTunes, so I could look at it again without being tethered to my computer.

My sister gets various creative “notions” in her head and her latest is organza flowers. She saw some she loved at Nordstrom. She said that you sew strips of fabric in a circle to a base down the middle of the strip. Have you ever done this? I may try it.

Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy are having a blog tour. There are a lot of new and interesting blogs to look at.

My friend, Kathy, from Everyday Bliss, has a new blog called Everyday Mommy. It is new so I can’t tell you exactly how it turns out, but Kathy writes “Do you want to be a marvelous parent or just like watching others try? Join Everyday Mommy for a wacky and fun experiment! Each week we will delve into one of the parenting virtues, have some fun and hopefully become better parents in the process!” It is fun to watch my friend delve into cyberspace. I know that sounds strange since the web is not new. Before blogs I couldn’t tell how many emails people were sending or what websites they were going to. With all of the cross linking and comments, as well as FB, it is much easier.

Deirdre sent me a link to Woody Campbell’s Photo a Day blog. His photos are a bit large. Still, I like the photo of the refrigerator. I like the idea of documenting normal every day things. I don’t always do it, but I think about it. I read about a guy who took a photo of the same building across the street from his shop every day at the same time for something like 30 years. Do you ever do anything like that? I thought about it when I took a picture out the window of my workroom, but then I never followed up. I suppose it isn’t too late!

Odds and Ends Thursday

It turns out that I love these Various and Sundry and Odds and Ends posts! I can collect a bunch of stuff I find interesting and then post it here for your enjoyment. The last one I wrote got a lot of interesting comments. Thanks, everyone!


I read a blog called ResearchBuzz for my job. I often find interesting tidbits that allow me to find more quiltmaking resources on the web. I also find that testing using quilt terminology is a lot more interesting that my work subject matter!

Recently, ResearchBuzz talked about the reorganization of photos and graphics at the Library of Congress. She writes “Oh wow, I was SO glad to see this article in the Library of Congress Blog yesterday. The LOC has an incredible archive of prints and photographs (over 1.25 million!), the but nav for them has always been icko. The blog announced a new version of the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, now available at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/.”

Of course, I did a quilt search and came up with some interesting photos. On the first page, there were a few from Gee’s Bend, one of Calvin Coolidge’s shoes, bathrobe and quilt! I noticed a number of the photos were taken by Dorothea Lange.

Fame and Fortune?

I mentioned that my blog was mentioned by Linda Poole on Pat Sloan‘s podcast. That was right after I received two books from Lark Books, so I was feeling pretty high on the hog. Today I was listening to the Sew~Stitch~Create podcast (#41, if you care) and BryeLynn mentions that she heard about me on Pat Sloan’s podcasts. She raves about my website and mentions the blog TWICE!!! I need to redo the website and am slowly (like a snail, actually) working on that. I thought it was really nice that she liked my quilts. Also, she thinks that Pat Sloan should interview me! I laughed at that, but am also very flattered. I am not a fabric designer and I only teach beginners at work. The plans I have are still plans, so I am not sure what Pat would ask me. She did talk about using the Creative Prompt Project for writing prompts for her daughter, which I think is awesome! What a great use of available resources. I can’t wait to see what her daughter comes up with! Finally, Brye thinks I should start my own podcast. We all know that is not going to happen. I like you thinking of me in one of those cute 1940s style suits with a smoky voice and would hate to ruin that illusion. 😉

On the Web

Have you looked at the Quilt Index lately? I am friends with them on FB and get a notice of their Quilt of the Day. I liked this quilt, Thomas Sykes Album quilt, that showed up last Thursday as their Quilt of the Day. they have new functionality where you can zoom in on quilt. They also put as much information as possible into the record associated with the quilt. I like to read that and think about the people making the quilt. Meg Cox, the new president, was on Pat Sloan’s podcast recently and discussed the project and programs. I’d love to have my quilts included!

Spiderwebs seem to be popular again. Oh Fransson has put up a small quiltlet with 4 Spiderweb blocks in it. She has such a wonderful sense of color. While her choices aren’t my style, I do like the combination. I have had in the back of my mind that should finish mine this year. Cross your fingers.

Jen of Quiltin’ Jenny is a new reader and one of those who commented on my Various and Sundry Thursday post from April 1. I went to take a look at her blog a few days ago and found that she does something called Wordless Wednesdays. One of the things I love about the web is that people are so clever and I get to see their cleverness. WW is a photo that she puts up with no words. I might try that instead of my Inspiration [insert day of the week here], except that then I would be stuck with only posting inspiration on Wednesdays. Hhhmm. Perhaps I will leave that great idea to Jen!

I went back a few days ago to see what was up and found that she had just finished a DENIM quilt. I am not a big fan of denim since I made the denim bag for my stepdad for Christmas (my mom calls it his man-purse!) and broke two needles in the process. I also don’t own jeans that I wear. I have a pair that I love, but they don’t fit anymore. 🙁

The other cool thing that I found is that I WON A PRIZE. WOW! I can’t believe it. Go take a look at Jen’s blog!


Lark Books gets kudos for updating their Pretty Little Mini Quilts record on Goodreads to include a photo of the book. I use Goodreads to post reviews here, because it kills two birds with one stone and makes the reviews attractive.

I had emailed the lark Books people about the photo when I notified them about posting the review and never heard anything. I went last week to update my review with a photo. Having that big “photo not available” was unattractive and had been bothering me, so I finally went to do it. On a whim I checked to see if Goodreads had received a photo before I did the HTML work on my own and voila! they had received one from Lark Books. The update when much faster than I had anticipated.

Fabric Doing Good

Here is my excuse to finally try out making a pillowcase. I have been thinking about it for a long time and just never get around to it. American Patchwork and Quilting and AllPeopleQuilt.com have launched a project to donate 1 million pillowcases to a variety of causes supporting cancer patients, foster kids, domestic violence victims and nursing home residents. Jean at the Quilted Cupcake blog and podcast asked all of her listeners to make 5. She had a good reminder and that was that boy themed projects are less common than cutesy pie girl projects. I will commit to making one boy pillowcase and see how it goes. I was rummaging around in the bins in the back of the fabric closet on Monday and found a couple of large pieces of fabric that would work well, so I am all set.

You can download instructions to make a pillowcase embellished with leaves from their site.


The members of one of the guild meetings I attend exchange ATCs. We invited some new folks one time and a few of them did not know what ATCs were. I found this guide on how to make them, which gives the basics.

Industry News?

Need some textile industry news? Want to know what is going on in Congress? Textile World is your place to go! Someone who I know from a work related endeavor who is not crafty or quilty sent this to me. The fun thing I saw when I looked at it yesterday was that the town I lived in in Austria is having some kind of textile industry event.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Quilter's Gift Guide

Various & Sundry Thursday

I have been, slowly, responding to ancient emails and dealing with setting up my computer again as I try to recover from the crash. Below is a lot of different things that I have been thinking about or looking into.


As a result the new mystical powers of my computer, I listened to a radio interview about an art quilt exhibit recently. Deirdre sent the link to me awhile ago.

The exhibit was called Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt and the interviewee was Jill Rumoshosky Werner. She was the curator. I also saw a Flickr group of some of the quilts.

I thought the comments Jill made about her process and the different pieces included in the exhibit were interesting and thoughtful.

I wrote about the Apron contest/exhibit that Jennifer over at CraftSanity is having. I was pleased to see her mention my blog in her blog. Her husband made a funny YouTube video to entice people to take up the challenge. If any of you saw her blog post and came here, leave a comment and let me know.


I am apparently in hunting and gathering mode. I am gathering supplies and fabric for a number of projects (and the class I am taking later this month). I don’t know if I will make all of them, but I am gathering. In a comment from the Happy Zombie blog post I made SherriD suggested a quilt-a-long. I have the supplies coming. Anyone else want to make their own version of the Oh Fransson/Happy Zombie quilt with me?

One of them is the Happy Zombie/Oh Fransson zig-zaggy quilt I talked about on Sunday.

Fons & Porter's Basketweave Baby
Fons & Porter’s Basketweave Baby

The other is the Basketweave Baby Quilt. I saw it again the other night when I watched a repeat of the Fons & Porter episode featuring the Basketweave Baby Quilt. This is part of series 1000. I wrote about this before and thought I would get over my obsession with this pattern, but when I saw the episode again I realized I haven’t. I got a piece of paper and made copious notes on making this quilt. Later, I went to their website to find the project notes/instructions. No dice. They don’t have the sizes or anything on their site. So, I went to see if I could order the magazine that included the instructions. Again, no dice. It is a Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Love of Quilting magazine and it is out of stock. I emailed them to ask about getting the back issue and didn’t hear back. I also looked for websites or information from the designers, Betty Hufford and Jean Nolte. I didn’t find anything there useful there either. I have looked at the library to which I have a card and I haven’t been able to find it. I can’t say that I explored every nook and cranny of their site. I find the Fons & Porter site difficult to navigate. If any of you have this issue and would be willing to loan it to me, leave a comment in this post’s comment area.

I feel a bit stuck, but I also think that I can draw out the design on paper and use that to make a sample. We’ll see.


I have been listening to Pat Sloan’s podcast while I sew. For some reason I don’t download her podcasts to my iPod. Not sure why. Perhaps the Toginet ads intersperse in the podcast is why. Not sure. Anyway, the interviews are really good. So far she has interviewed quiltmakers I haven’t heard before.  One podcast that I really liked was with Bonnie Hunt of Quiltville. I had never heard of her until the podcast. One thing she said was that people who use steam when pressing have problems putting their quilts together. I don’t know if this is true or not. I have always used steam, so I decided to try this out. I have, mostly, not been using steam when I press blocks and elements for a quilt. It is an interesting experiment. I don’t know how long I will do it or if I will never go back to using steam. Some of the things I have found:

  • pressing wrinkles out of recently washed fabric needs steam
  • adhering fusible interfacing to fabric needs steam.
  • I don’t see that pressing seams need steam so far.

I don’t have any other feedback at the moment, but I enjoy the opportunity to try something new. Do you use steam or no steam?

My mom mentioned using Mary Ellen’s Best Press. She said that it really made cutting easy. It might be good to try, but I don’t feel like buying it right now. Mom is going to bring me a sample from her work. The owner offered me one. YAY!

Another Pat Sloan podcast I really liked was the episode with Linda M. Poole. I enjoyed it because Linda was an excellent interviewee. Pat asked her one question and Linda was off and running with interesting comments about her life, family, business and teaching. Linda was well spoken also. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that Linda mentioned my Creative Prompt project. That isn’t the only reason I enjoyed the podcast! 😉 I did see a small spike in comments after that podcast, so, thanks, new readers!

The information related to Pat’s podcast is hard to navigate, though. She doesn’t have much information in iTunes or on her blog about which episode includes which quiltmaker. I had to go to the blogs of two quiltmakers mentioned above to find out which episodes they appeared. I like to have the information right in iTunes.

Inspiration & Momentum

Fabric Closet, Working
Fabric Closet, Working

I had a fabric/project avalanche in my fabric closet last week. A bad sign was that I shut the door and haven’t really gone back in. I haven gone in, looked at it and left again.

I felt like I was losing my sewing momentum last weekend. I am not sure why. I had very little time on Sunday and I just couldn’t get going. I have to try and take my own advice about dealing with these issues. Part of it may have been that I was sick last week and am still feeling the last bits of that illness. I am blaming my malaise on that illness. I think I need to read a trashy novel.

Someone came in my workroom last week and started asking me about the various piles. I sincerely dislike that. Some are projects in process (yes, I need bins for them). Some are just piles of stuff I haven’t put away. Some are hard to explain. Regardless I don’t like justifying my piles. I work better with an organized sewing area.  I need and want to build on the reorganization that TFQ and I did on the fabric closet some years ago. I need and want to reorganize and make beautiful the rest of the room – paint, shelving, the works. There are nice ideas at HGTV that I can use for inspiration.  It all takes money which I don’t have right now. I can think about and plan for what is next in this room:

  • Bookshelves without a doubt! Bookshelves with LOTS of growth space!
  • Murphy or wallbed
  • Drawers
  • More horizontal space (could be a bad thing)
  • Lovely decorations

Color Fun



Last weekend (Saturday) I went to a scrapbook day with a friend and worked on my Austria album. One of the things we did, aside from cut and glue down photos, was watch a video on how to be a better photographer by Nick Kelsh. I thought for sure the video would be on the web somewhere, but all I could find were clips. Look at Nick’s website for clips on using your digital camera to get better photos. I tried his techniques out a bit this week. We’ll see if my photos get better. I’ll let you know when I post them.


I went to Jo-Ann a couple of weeks ago to get a “June Tailor Cushioned Square ‘n Blocker”  for a class with Dale Fleming I am taking with EBHQ in a few weeks. I mentioned this class briefly a few weeks ago. I am interested in  making a circle quilt and I thought it would be a good idea to learn a different technique. My other option is to use the technique Ruth McDowell teaches in her AWESOME Piecing: Expanding the Basics book. The quilt I am interested in making looks similar to the one that Malka Dubrawsky made that was published in Quilting Arts magazine some time ago. She dyed hers and I plan to piece mine. Why, you ask? Who knows? I may make three blocks, realize I had lost my mind and move on. We’ll see.

Anyway, I hadn’t really planned on buying board, though I knew it was a possibility. I wanted to see what it was and what it looked like. When I asked the price, the retail assistant told me and mentioned that they had 40% off coupons in the front of the store. I grabbed one and then went to grab the coupon.  I was able to buy the board for about $10.

I barely ever go to Jo-Ann and I hadn’t been there in a long time. While I was there I noticed they had all of the Fons & Porter notions the two show on their Love of Quilting show. They also had a really good selection of rulers. No Creative Grids, but lots of other brands.

I was in a bit of a rush that day, so I just glanced, and left. Or so I thought. I went to the checkout line and found that Jo-Ann has a HUGE selection of craft magazines. They had some quilt magazines that I had never seen. I picked up the newest issue of  Art Quilting Studio while I was there.

Since I just did a rush visit the first time, I went back on Monday just to look around. In addition to the other projects I have in mind, I have to gear up for Teacher Pillow time, so I am starting to gather materials. Finding affordable pillow forms is paramount. The cheapest one Jo-Ann had was $6.99. $6.99 x 5=too much. I also wanted to look more at their various rulers etc. I saw a Simplicity Studio Ruler Simpli-EZ Tri mate. I never knew that Simplicity made rotary cutting rulers. This caught my eye, because of the shape. I wonder if it will help me, more easily, create the setting triangles for the FOTY 2010 quilt? I’ll have to bring the diamond ruler there sometime to compare and see if I can tell.

I was drawn in by some of their fabric designs.I saw some cherries on pink background that were CUTE! And the prices are great. However I felt the fabric, which I always feel compelled to, and didn’t like the feel of the fabrics, so I passed.

Magazine News

The Jo-Ann magazine selection was as good as ever on my second trip there and I saw the new Quilt Life magazine by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. I haven’t heard good things about it, so I didn’t pick it up. TFQ said she would send me hers to look at, so perhaps I will do a review after I read it.

Bad news on Art Quilting Studio. They have a new editor who said the magazine would be going on hiatus. I don’t think the new editor shuttered the magazine, but I am guessing that Jenny Doh didn’t want to be associated with a failure. I guess we didn’t give enough support to the 3 issues they did put out. Issues of the latest AQS issue were still available when I was at Jo-Ann the second time. I really enjoyed the first issue of that magazine. I thought the second issue had more of the Somerset look and design – muslin, lace, buttons – and I wasn’t enamored. I did like the in depth interviews with quiltmakers. Denyse Schmidt was in the first issue and Susan Shie in the latest. I am happier with what I saw in the 3rd issue, even though I haven’t read through the whole thing yet. Well, if you like that magazine, write to Somerset.

Finally, I got the latest issue of Quilter’s Home. I was really unhappy with the last issue, which was the first without Mark and the first with the new editors, Jake and Melissa. They did a poor imitation of Mark’s style. I had planned to cancel, but I’ll see how the next issue is before I decide. I am happier with this latest issue. I particularly liked the article about blogs and will try to get ArtQuiltmaker into that list.


I received the Edward R. Hamilton catalog the other day. If you have never seen their catalog, get them to send you one. They have an online presence, but I really enjoy looking through the catalog. I was really pleased to see the book American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007 listed in the ART section. It is also only $27.95. I’d like to look at it before I buy, but if it were $10 I would have scooped it up. I love those books which are combinations of history and quilts, but I don’t want to buy a book with a lot of quilt photos I have in other books.

The Quilt National 2003 book is only $2.95! they have a couple of Kaffe Fassett books, the Sally Collins Mastering Precision Machine Piecing book and many, many others. I entered ‘quilt’ into the description field and came up with two screens of search results.


It's A Wrap Pattern by Sandy Gervais
It’s A Wrap Pattern by Sandy Gervais

I decided that I am going to make this pattern, It’s A Wrap Pattern by Sandy Gervais, this weekend. We will see how much of it I get done and if I am able to actually follow the directions. Wish me luck. Hopefully, this will cure my malaise or make it go away long enough for me to make some other things.

I know I have said some things about patterns. I guess I am getting over my snobbery. Hope you won’t hold it against me. I think what I mean is not that there is anything wrong with patterns, but that I like to be able to analyze a quilt and make it by myself without using a pattern. I realize that not everyone has that spatial acuity and that pattern designers have to eat!

Around About Town

Last Friday I had to pick up some tea and return a library book, so I stopped in a little mini-downtown section of SF called West Portal. I parked, walked to the Library, crossed the street and found a newspaper/magazine stand near the place I buy tea! I love those shops where you can see about 300 magazines all at once and buy one issue of foreign home dec magazines as a treat. I have been up and down this street a multitude of times and never seen this place. It may be new. They had a wonderful selection of quilt and craft mags. I had to buy an issue so I picked up an issue of Quilt Mania. I was pleased to find an article about Judy Rothermel and a couple of blocks that were very inspirational. I didn’t know JR designed Civil War fabrics as well as her signature 1930s lines.

After I drank my tea I headed back to the car and saw a handwritten sign in the window of the bookshop saying they give knitting lessons. Hhhmmm.

New Blog

Caroline, another CQFAer, has started her own blog. Her first post tells a little about what she wants to accomplish and what she plans to write about. It is actually a great post and much better than I did on my first foray into the blogosphere. Stop by and say hi.
clipped from catsquiltsandquips.blogspot.com

Caroline’s cats, quilts, and quips

Welcome to my new blog!

This is my first experience with blogging. I have seen a few, but have wondered who reads them, and why?

Mostly I will be writing about fiber art, in particular the quilted kind, or that fabricated from pieces of cloth and sewn, painted, embroidered or otherwise embellished. I haven’t done weaving for years and have no current interest in the scrapbook and paper art projects done by many of my contemporaries. There are too many things higher up on my “To Do” list.
blog it

Various and Sundry Wednesday

There is a lot going on. I realized at some point over the weekend that I had not really inventoried what I for gifts. This year will be a much leaner Christmas even than last year, but I still have a few things to buy and a lot to wrap. There is a lot going on at work and I have just been ignoring everything, and focusing on the gifts I need to make.  I got myself in gear, did an inventory and started working on my Christmas shopping.

I am an inveterate cyber-shopper. Before the web had stores, I would spend the Friday after Christmas with all of the catalogs I had been hoarding on the phone ordering via phone. Since I do mostly online shopping, I inevitably find other sites that might be of interest.

Liesl from Oliver + S pointed me to her free mitten ornament pattern. It can be used for gift tags, winter decorating, tree ornaments or an advent calendar. I could see where the maker could have a nice little reminder of favorite fabrics from the year by using project scraps for the mitten cuffs. Thanks, Liesl!

Liesl pointed me to Alabama Chanin. I like the look of their blog, which they call a journal. I believe they are a clothing company. They do sell scrap bags of organic cotton fabrics. I saw an interesting jacket on the cover of one of their catalogs via their blog/journal. I am thinking about renewing my wardrobe, but want classic pieces with interest which look good on me. That is a project for much later, but it is on my mind.

Quilts, Inc in Houston has website with a list of the winners from this year’s show. Robbi Joy Eklow won second place in the Art-Abstract Large category. It is one of her gear type quilts. I saw Moon Garden by Judy Coates Perez last year at PIQF She won Honorable Mention in the Art-Painted Surface category.

I was pointed to the Running with Scissors Blog for an interview of Susan Shie. She talks a lot about her airpen work and how it has changed the pace of her work (she can do a lot more). She is doing less hand work, but I don’t know if she has completely stopped that. She also talks about spending the day with President Obama sitting by the side of a river and talking with him while they eat cheeseburgers. It is a very sweet image. After the debacle with the White House party crashers recently, I was thinking that it would be nice if a “regular Joe or Jane” was invited to every White House event. It is, after all, our tax dollars at work.

Also, some time ago I took a class at the Marin Needle Arts Guild weekend retreat from Gwen Marston. It was a two day class and we learned Liberated Quiltmaking. I ended up with my quilt Women’s Work 1. I used her technique to having making a lot of different house blocks.

I found a blog called Block Party and they show a tutorial for making star blocks similar to the ones that Gwen Marston teaches. I thought you might enjoy making a few. As I scrolled through the blog, I found they had tutorials for other blocks as well.

Somehow I found my way to a Dutch site full of Mariner’s Compasses and other round designs created by Jacqueline De Jonge. I have linked you to the English version. De Jonge’s work reminds me of Judy Mathieson and her work looks similar to Barbara Barber‘s circular work. I took Barbara Barber’s class at PIQF once and should be able to make these without another class, but De Jonge’s quilts look so cool, I would happily take a class from her as well. There is a review and picture of a great block one of her students made. You can buy the patterns and fabric collections at BatiksPlus. I was surprised at the cost of some of the patterns ($46), but I think it would probably become clear once I actually saw the complexity of the pattern in real life. Not all are that expensive. I think I would rather have a class form her or a book and do the drawings myself.

This reminds me that I have an idea to make a circle quilt a la Malka Dubrawsky, but with inset circles like Ruth McDowell teaches and shows in her Piecing book instead of the dyed circles that Malka uses.

If I had unlimited money, after I bought the diamond earrings, I would buy the Aurifil Suitcase. Have you seen this? If I bought it I would probably never use any of the thread, because I wouldn’t want to break up the set! The colors are luscious. I love the thread and having it in a suitcase keeps the dust away.

Spiderwebs are all over the place. I saw another one on Oh Fransson’s blog. Her spiderweb has her signature colors with a tinge of Christmassy-ness and grey centers.

Janome has a content running called “Pass it On“. You answer some questions about where you learned to sew and are entered to win. Your entry and photos become their property and will not be acknowledged or returned blah blah blah. You can win a sewing machine, serger or big pack of thread. How did you learn to sew and who taught you?

A lot of brain dumps lately, I know. Hope you are keeping your inspiration high during this busy time of year.

Another Spiderweb

Spiderweb in progress
Spiderweb in progress

I often find older patterns that don’t seem popular, but have very interesting shapes or lines. I see them at shows in antique quilt exhibits or in books or in early to mid-century magazines or in Barbara Brackman’s book or ripped out of ancient newspapers for sale on eBay.

Mostly, they cannot be strip pieced. Let’s face it, some of those patterns are nearly impossible to piece with the patterns given. Remember the Snowball Wreath? The Flowering Snowball is also no picnic to piece, though completely doable.

I was cruising around the web and found my way to Mrs. Schmenkman’s Quilts somehow or other. Those pesky links, you know. 😉 There I found another, yes ANOTHER spiderweb quilt.

You can see a tutorial and a post about her changes to the tutorial on that site as well

Mrs. Schenkman's Spiderweb

The hand stitching is a nice addition, don’t you think?

It is very obvious, at least to me, now that I don’t get out much. Here I am sitting in my workroom sewing away on quilts with patterns that I think nobody is interested in. then I find a whole quilt subculture of people making the same pattern.

Mrs. Schenkman's Spiderweb, full

This just makes me think that I am too isolated in my quilting world. I sit in my workroom and work on pieces in which I am interested. I don’t get a regular influx of other people’s ideas except from the web. The web is good, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think it is enough sometimes. OR I am not cruising round enough.

More Catch Up Monday

Yes, I know. You want to know why all of my post titles have ‘catch up’ in them? I suppose that I am entering the time of the year when I am perpetually behind. It started early this year. Anyway, I hope these posts don’t bore you to tears or prevent you from posting comments. I love your comments.

Quilt World News

I listened to Annie Smith catch up podcast on Friday and heard that Mark Lipinski is giving up both his QNNTV show AND Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home magazine. apparently, the current issue is his last. Huh?

I went and looked at Mark’s blog post from a few days ago – actually, September 24 – and all of this is true, sadly. Subsequent posts have his Aurifil thread collection and his new fabric collection featured, but nothing else. Stay tuned, I guess.

New blogs

Three Kitchen Fairies – I don’t know how I found this blog – some link from somewhere. I really like it and was particularly enamored with her ‘Pay it Forward’ concept. She details it in her post and button. She writes about getting a gift and her resolve to Pay it Forward. I love this idea. We have a lot of bridges here in the Bay Area so sometimes I pay for people crossing the bridge behind me. Stay tuned for something quilt related along these lines here at Artquiltmaker blog. Perhaps you will consider paying it forward?

Ginger Monkey: I found this blog via 3 Kitchen Fairies blog. Somehow Ginger Monkey is also connected to the quilt Pay It Forward concept, but I am not sure how. I still like this blog based on the bit of exploring I have done. I like the look, the colors. She has a tutorial for a Spiderweb quilt, which reminds me that I also have a Spiderweb quilt in progress. I think she has more than one in progress or has made more than one. In any case, I like that pattern, and Ginger Monkey’s color sense. I like some of the buttons she has. I think buttons give people a sense of who the writer is and some idea of their quilt values. Hers look friendly and kind to me, after a quick glance.

Red Pepper Quilts has a lot of really cool, bright and cheerful quilts. Her Flickr stream has a lot of wonderful photos.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Sometime, in the not too distant past, I talked a bit about sewing oilcloth, or laminated cotton, as I have learned it is really called.  Kathy, over at Pink Chalk Studio, wrote a long blog post about using laminated cottons and shows her impeccable photos to display the finished product. Also, the comments posted to her blog are very helpful.


I saw this cool scrap buster quilt on Flickr from Red Pepper Quilts . Very cheerful, don’t you think?

Holiday Crafts

As if you didn’t need more to do as you gear up for Thanksgiving and the December craziness, my friend Kathy of Everyday Bliss, found this link to making individual paper envelopes. They look really fun and would be great for gift certificates or other flat gifts. You might remember Kathy from Creative Prompt #35, where we did a joint special prompt posting to link our two projects together.

Other Patterns

Here is a Wagon Wheel tutorial. This is another great pattern that would be great for a scrap quilt.

Mosaic Hats

I found a new blog recently, after listening to a recent CraftSanity podcast. The interview is with Liesl, the owner and designer of the pattern company Oliver + S. They produce patterns for children’s clothing in a “contemporary classic style.” After listening to the podcast, I decided to wander over to her blog and found that it might be one to visit regularly.

I loved the photos in this post about one of the subway stations in New York. I adore mosaics, so this lighthearted art was right up my alley.

In another post, she has a funny exchange with her daughter about a blue silk winter coat. Liesl’s blog is worth a look.

Liesel Gibson -Mosaic Hats
Liesel Gibson -Mosaic Hats

Take a look at the post that discusses the photo above.

Liesl + Co is the parent company of Oliver + S. The former is the company that put out The Day in the Park Backpack tote that I bought last year at PIQF.

Blog Insight

One of my colleagues writes a women/leadership blog. I thought her post for today was pertinent outside of the law arena as well, so I thought I would repost it here.

It made me think about what I am writing here as well. Am I focused enough, niche enough to not just be another quilt blog? I hope so, because I want to write in such a way that people come here specifically for my content. There is always more I can do and know that I keep trying to improve.

clipped from womenlawyerleaders.blogspot.com

Blawgs as a Niche Marketing Tool

ne additional thought I had after that posting was that perhaps some women just think they don’t have anything useful to say in a blawg. This is also good point. An effective blawg must be focused (narrow is GOOD), current, constantly updated, well written, and compelling to the blawger. When I had the hubris to start this blawg a year ago, I knew that there was absolutely no point in blawging on my particular area of the law, because there are many, many fine professional publications that post up to the minute developments and analysis of tax and nonprofit law. So I was sure that a blawg written by me on the topic would never compare to those resources. Instead, because at the time I was looking for information about women lawyers and leadership challenges and didn’t find anything useful on the internet at all, it seemed like something I could write about.
blog it

Friendly Art Blog

My mom has started her own blog. She said she wanted to do it, so I helped her get set up on Blogger. She is going to talk about quilts, drawing and other kinds of art that she does on Mary’s Art Musings. I told her to write every day for the first week or two so she got into the habit.

Go take a look at what she has up so far and leave a comment. Thanks!

A Work of Heart Part 1

I had the best time yesterday at A Work of Heart in San Jose. Terri, a CQFA friend organized the outing and it was so great, I can’t wait to go again.

I’ll post pictures and more info tomorrow.This is just a small taste of the fun.

clipped from aworkofheart.wordpress.com


clipped from aworkofheart.wordpress.com

clipped from aworkofheart.wordpress.com

blog it

Various and Sundry Thursday

I am on a trip to the Midwest so I wrote this post in advance so you would have something to read, and, hopefully, enjoy,  while I am away. I’ll be back tomorrow and the Creative Prompt will be posted tomorrow like normal. Sadly, as it is a quick trip for a board meeting, I doubt I will have time to check out any quilt stores while I am there.

1. I am a fan of the Electric Quilt on Facebook (and in general, of course!) and was directed to a blog called Piecemeal Quilts via the EQ Blog. The linking sounds complicated if you are not on FB! Sandi, from Wisconsin writes the blog. She has a number of free pattern downloads, paper piecing patterns and examples of EQ work. She is also ‘man enough’ to keep a quilting resources list! It is a lot of work to keep such a list up to date and, from what I saw, it is pretty complete.

The thing that really drew me in to her blog was her writing tone. I seem to be noticing writing tone lately, for some odd reason. She has a nice, friendly and intelligent, but not goofy or insipid tone to her writing. I enjoyed her post on books. I like the books that she likes and thinks that she and I may have the same tastes.

2. When I mentioned Quiltposium on my blog last week, MavMargi pointed  me about another online magazine called Sewn. I took a quick look and it looks interesting. Sewn is out of Australia. The styling is very Heather Bailey/Anna Maria Horner. They have patterns and a gallery as well as a fabric search function. I immediately put the Botanical Pop fabrics I still need in and got an email back pretty quickly. Worth a look.

I am not that enamored with online/digital magazines, because I can’t read them in bed (I don’t want to hear from you people who take your laptops to bed!!!) or on the train. However, I do recognize that I will have to get with the program at some point, because more and more stores are ceasing to carry magazines. 🙁

One of the sites that was a link in Sewn was called Modern Textiles. The Modern Textiles site has lots of navigation choices. I looked at  ‘Sewing Patterns’, specifically the Melly and Me Bags. These are really unique bags. The combination of fabrics are quite bright and cheerful, but the styling is also very different from other bags I have seen. I really want to see the Bon-Bon bag, because I have never seen anything like it. I would like to see the inside of it in order to determine how useful it would be.

I did find that the pattern list did not have many alternate photos of the bags, but that information may be on the main Melly & Me website.

3. It looks like our financial situation will stay the same through the end of the year, so I am gearing up to make some of my Christmas gifts this year. I don’t know if I will have time to make it before Christmas, but I bought the Pencil Roll pattern from Pink Chalk Studio. Julie made me one for my birthday last year and I have started to carry it around in my clear tote. There are a few free patterns for pencil rolls out there on the web, but this one looks like the best in terms of functionality and styling. We’ll see how difficult the pattern is when I get it.

Perhaps I’ll get good enough to modify the design like in Kathy Perino’s version, which she showed on her blog a few weeks ago, and which I wrote about on August 30.

4. Pam Rubert of the PamDora quilts fame has redone her blog. She writes a really great post about the process, and her thoughts, about the changes in the blog world. She talks about circular writing and I think her thoughts are right on point. It seems that the web is leading us around in circles. (ever notice how I link back to previous posts? I am trying to give you the whole picture, but it ends up being circular, in a way) I haven’t played around with some of the things she discusses, but hope to do so in the future.

5. Want free Moo cards? Check out this link for a free pack with your own images. They have advertising, but free (you do have to pay shipping) is still cool. Thanks to Deirdre for the link.

6. I saw a video on the Craft Zine blog for a new book called Bent Objects. it is about the art of a guy who bends wire. There is a hilarious video on the Craft site that is well worth a look. It does explore a bit of the darker side of crafts, which we all know can be the hilarious side of crafts. Take a look.

Its a Major Award
Its a Major Award

7. On 7/29/2009 Quilt Rat left a comment saying that she had given me an award and I should go look on her blog. Jill’s comment about the inspiration in my creative prompts was really sweet and made me feel great. Despite the fact that almost 2 months have passed, I am still really thrilled to have received the “It’s a Major Award.” Thanks!

Another Shout-Out for the Creative Prompt Project

Scarlett Burroughs over at Craft Gossip.com has written an article/post about the CPP. I am really excited that the project is getting some traction in various places around the web.

Craft Gossip has different areas dedicated to different types of crafts including felting, crochet, knitting, and many others. Recent articles/posts include book reviews on a metalsmithing book and a post on elf-like Christmas stockings. It looks like she has tutorials, videos and freebies. Go check it out and thank her for highlighting the CPP.

Catch Up Saturday

I have come across some interesting websites lately. Also, many things have been running through my mind. As a result, today is Catch Up Saturday! That means that you get a bunch of random links, some photos that have been hanging around, and other miscellaneous stuff.

Janome 9K
Janome 9K

1. In my post, Caring for Tools, I talked about taking my Janome 9000 into be repaired. Cost=$$$$$. The monster needs a new screen; apparently it could not be recalibrated.  What a shocker; I need to find a consulting job to cover the cost. Anyone want to buy a quilt? 😉

The cost notwithstanding, I have more good things to say about Lafayette Sewing Center. Before they started the work, they called me and went over the estimate with me very carefully. I spoke with Audrey who said that she wanted to make sure I wanted the work done and understood the costs so I wouldn’t get sticker shock. No assumptions there! Great service.

2. Suzanne Cabrera did a series of drawings of her home, which I really like. They are simple in an architectural kind of way. She has added comments about various pieces of furniture, which satisfies my need for words. She also has a sense of humor in her drawings, which I appreciated in her post about learning to cook with her husband. See them at her blog, An Open [Sketch] Book.

3. Felt Food (FF). I love felt food. It makes me smile. I first got interested in felt food when I heard CraftSanity podcast episode #66 (what else? My one source of craft information!) with the owner of Lilly Bean Market, Hillary Seabolt. Her sandwich is still my favorite. I saw some pictures of felt food somewhere recently and that has reinvigorated my Felt Food Mania and led me on a multi-day Felt Food Flickr Journey (F3J).

Flickr has tons of FF to show. There is a group called Handmade Felt Food with such fabulous creations as elaborate birthday cakes, cups of coffee and espresso, sushi, shrimp stir fry and a pancake breakfast and ice cream treats and I am also quite fond of Sam McLean’s full on turkey dinner and …. The list goes on and on. . I am going to save up for the felt gingerbread house. That is much more up my alley than making a real gingerbread house – or perhaps I’ll sew a felt one. I could put some of the decorations on with Velcro and change them. Or, perhaps I’ll buy one. You can also make your own FF from patterns created by Umecrafts or you can make a Lilly Bean Market cherry pie from the pattern on Martha Stewart website.

The F3J led me to general felt creations such as softies (we called them stuffed animals back in the day; apparently that term is no longer PC), including a journey around London by Lumpy Bear (made/arranged? by GiantButton), felt sea creatures including a Hammerhead Shark and squid and an unzippable ocean complete with islands by Lizette Greco.

You have to look at this stuff to believe it!

4. Stewart, Tabori & Chang and Melanie Falick: Once again, I was listening to CraftSanity podcast #30 the other day (I really do do other things besides listen to CraftSanity, I promise). Melanie wrote Knitting in America, seminal book on the state of knitting in the US. She is the craft editor at STC AND has her own imprint. WOW! I have heard of her before, because I love STC books and she is the editor who acquires them. I really loved hearing about her journey to that job and found a lot of similarities to my life (you can stop laughing now, thanks).  She gave really practical ideas about getting a book published, especially in the area of writing a book proposal. Thanks, I needed that! That was really food for thought for me, since I have a dream…..

You can follow Melanie on Twitter at STC_Craft or take a look at her website.

Tessalated Tile
Tessalated Tile

5. Beth sent me this image when she lived in England. I had asked her to take photos of mosaics and tile. This is a particularly good design for quiltmaking, because it would just be squares and rectangles. Yes, you would have to plan a bit, if you were doing anything more than a 2 color quilt, but it would be quite stunning once finished. Note the L shape at the top.

6. Toy-a-Day: This project is definitely like the Creative Prompt (which you should join) but much more intense. The Wild Things characters, KISS, Pikachu, the Mario Bros, Michael Jackson and Michael Gorbachev are all included in this project. I noticed that the author has PDF downloads of some of his toys so you can make your own.