Happy Birthday, Grama

Portrait of GramaMy Grama has been on my mind lately. Today would have been her 98th birthday and I just wanted to celebrate her. She is one of the people I always saw doing needlework, so she influenced me greatly.

She mostly did crochet when I knew her. I have a small afghan in a chevron pattern that she made for me. It is super warm. She ran out of yarn. Being young, I didn’t understand about dye lots, so couldn’t understand why she didn’t just go get more yarn.

Grama's Birthday 2013
Grama’s Birthday 2013

After her second husband died in around 2004, I started spending a lot more time with her. I went down for a surprise party for her and someone snapped this photo. Her face conveys a lot about her personality.

Happy Birthday, Grama!

Embracing Beauty

I really struggled with the metadata to apply to this post. It is not about quiltmaking per se, but more about surrounding yourself with beauty to enhance everything you do in that room/workroom/studio.

Secrets of the fabric closet
Secrets of the fabric closet

I had a stack of papers to file. It was a large stack starting from right before the pandemic started – December 2019/January 2020 to the present. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t done any filing since then. It isn’t easy to file, because my fabric closet is so crammed. I have to move a lot of stuff out in order to file. The task was on my to do list, because the giant stack of papers was interfering with my ability to put everything in the closet (that is where the cutting table goes when we guests or I have to clean my workroom for some reason).

That was depressing enough, but when I opened the drawer I was confronted with the terribly ugly horrible green hanging folders (files?). I like green in nature, but it is not a favorite in quiltmaking. I don’t sincerely dislike it; it is just not a favorite. I like icky green and lime, but only as accents. I have only made a few green quilts. I decided that they had to go. I would love to replace them with turquoise hanging files, but I didn’t have turquoise, so the newish yellow, red and blue would have to do. I took out all of the horrible green files I could and replaced them. They all went in the donation pile (now I have to find a box and  put them there. Bleah! if it isn’t one thing, it is another).

I was very clear about what was staying and what was going when we did the workroom refresh last year. DH was a little annoyed with me, because some of the stuff I wanted gone was perfectly serviceable. I didn’t care. When I spend 12 hours per day in a room, it has to be fabulous. The horrible green files were going.

This doesn’t make everything 100% better, but at least I don’t want to barf when I look in my file cabinet. Already a not-fun experience, the fresh new red, yellow and blue hanging files make it better.

I think it is important to embrace beauty especially in small things. I mean who really cares about folders in a filing cabinet? Nobody, but me sees them. That is actually the point. I felt better not having to look at those horrible green hanging files. Maybe next time I won’t wait 2-3 years to file the health insurance receipts.

I think I need to eradicate anything that is ugly or merely functional and replace it with something that doesn’t make me cringe.

Embrace beauty in all things!!


Bagmaking Hazards

The other day I made a Retreat Bag. These bags are free patterns from Emmaline Bags. You do need a frame if you don’t want the bag to be a super widemouth with no structure.

Frame Injury
Frame Injury

Somehow I made the casing too small and really had to tug and push the frame through. My finger came out the worse for wear, which is a good reason to make the casing the correct size.

I rubbed the skin off, but got the frame in place just before the bleeding started. It is very painful, so make sure you made the casing the correct size.

Workroom Refresh Storage

Boxes in the YM's room
Boxes in the YM’s room

Boxes and boxes are filling up the YM’s room. There are a lot, because they are small and filled with books. I used all of our CSA boxes that we have not been able to return due to the pandemic. They turned out to be a good size for books. I ran out eventually and had to scrounge random amazon and other boxes. Eventually, my mom bought me some boxes from Home Depot and that was the last of what I needed.

The YM is coming for a visit in a week and I need to get all of these boxes out of his room

Creative Fabrica Promotion

As mentioned, I am an affiliate of Creative Fabrica, the digital marketplace with machine embroidery designs, quilt patterns, fonts and designs. They are currently hosting massive Black Friday promotions and I have signed on. Read about the promotions below!

Creative Fabrica November 2020 Promotion
Creative Fabrica November 2020 Promotion

Get unlimited access to quilt patterns and machine embroidery designs

If you are familiar with Creative Fabrica you might already have heard about their premium All Access Subscription. It gives unlimited access to all digital products on their site: machine embroidery, quilt patterns and other needle craft patterns, plus fonts and graphic designs.

For Black Friday they are offering their premium subscription for just $1 (96% discount) for the first month, and thereafter you pay $19/month (35% off).

View deal

Creative Fabrica November 2020 Promotion
Creative Fabrica November 2020 Promotion

 90% off on over 1 million designs and patterns

If you aren’t interested in getting Creative Fabrica’s subscription plan, they will also be hosting a site-wide sale with 90% off on 1 million+ products. This is the moment to purchase the fonts and graphics that you have been eyeing all year. It is also possible to purchase the Full POD license with the 90% sale products, so that you can get products that you can use as-is for your print on demand stores.

View sale here

The sales end on Tuesday, December 1st at midnight PST / 03:00am EST.






**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.

Creative Fabrica Promotion

Creative Fabrica Banner Quilt 3
Creative Fabrica Banner Quilt 3

As mentioned, I am an affiliate of Creative Fabrica. They are having a promotion and I have signed on. Click to access the promotion.



**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.

Bad Tech Week

Nobody died.

It still has been a difficult couple of weeks in blog world. As you may have noticed, my site has been down. There are a lot of complicated reasons that are boring and not  quilt related. Trust me, you don’t want to know.

The bottomline is that I have to pay  more for hosting, but customer service was so terrible that I was able to negotiate several months for free.

Fortunately, I  have still been sewing. Stay tuned for an update.

My Creative Type

The Maker Creative Type
The Maker Creative Type

Friend Julie posted a quiz to tell creativity types. I am always curious about what these quizzes say about me.

Apparently, my type is The Maker. The image associated with The Maker looks a bit geezerly. It moves on the website, which is kind of cool.

Some of the questions forced me to think hard. I often had to select something that might have been more of an ‘it depends’ answer, if that had been a choice.

In reading the essay associated with my creative type, I think that what it says is true. I do like to focus on my own process. While I enjoy events like Sew Day, I plan carefully so my task fits in with my creative goals.

The Maker

I do think what the test says about my biggest challenge is true: “Your biggest challenge? To connect more deeply with your intuition and emotions in order to bring forth ever more authentic and original work. Productivity is only half the equation of doing great work—the other half is inspiration. Creating the space to dream, imagine, and play can keep your work from becoming rote and mechanical.” I often want to make a pattern. My normal process would be to make the pattern as close to the original as I could. As I make the piece, it becomes more a part of me, or I become more engaged in it and find things I would like to change. I have a lot of things on my to do list, so I don’t always make a second or third version. Looking that this essay, I might have to consider rethinking and moving towards making projects multiple times more often.

Of course, this test could just be made up bull&*^% trying to get my information. I like to think there is some truth in it.

DIY with Fray Check

New Sheers - March 2019
New Sheers – March 2019

Last weekend we hung new sheers.

We had great sheers from Crate & Barrel that I loved. They were more than 20 years old and starting to rot from sun damage. They were a good investment, I think.

My old curtains had multi-colored dots on them and I really wanted more of the same. Of course, because everything must be new, that style was no longer available. I found some curtains with silver dots and decided those would work.

We had never hung a real curtain rod and had some sort of jerry rigged system using one of those curved rods and a bunch of nails. When we moved in the YM was 6 months old and we were a little busy.

Various finials we did NOT choose
Various finials we did NOT choose

Several months ago, I started looking at curtain rods. We have a corner window, so needed a system with a corner connector. There were a few, but the finials in all of these were TOO MUCH. They screamed “Welcome to my curtains”. That was absolutely what I did not want.

For this sort of shopping, at least for me, online shopping is sub-optimal. I need to see the size and finish of what I am looking at.

Living room finials
Living room finials

DH was home last Friday for Cesar Chavez Day, so we went out and looked at rods. In addition to the crazy finals, we found that the diameter of the rods was too big. We went out the next day, again, which is some sort of miracle because it was Saturday and we don’t shop well together. I tried to think of it as kind of like a date, though. We found a great, subtle rod at Target with a corner connector! We hadn’t even planned to go to Target, but we parked near it and stopped in. Their selection of curtain rods and hardware was pretty decimated, but we found a finial we liked. They had all the pieces and parts we needed, so we bought it and left.

DH doesn’t have much time at home, so I was planning to have our handy man put them up. DH started moving furniture and measuring on Sunday morning and spent a happy, I think, 3/4s day putting them up. I had to help him at various points, which was great, because he was getting it done. I knew there wouldn’t be another half finished home project in our garage.

Fray Check DIY
Fray Check DIY

This style of curtain rod has supports. We did not want to use the rings designed to work with these curtains, so we cut the back of the curtain rod pocket, sealed the edges with Fray Check and hung them up. Nobody will see the cuts.

I hadn’t used Fray Check in a long time. I was pleased that my bottle was still good. I used too much on the first one and it took forever to dry. I used a hair dryer to be sure it was dry. Otherwise, the whole project went relatively smoothly.

I am pleased with how the curtains came out except, because of the online shopping aspect, they are much less sheer than our other sheers. I would have preferred more sheer to let more light in, but done is better than perfect. Now that we have secure curtain rods up, we can change them more easily.


Handwork Week

Heading home
Heading home

As you may have noticed, I have spent a lot of time this week talking about handwork. That’s because I have been doing handwork. I had to drive to Portland (1468 miles there and back) at sort of the last minute to be with the YM while he had a second surgery on his ankle. I’ll spare you the close-up of the stitches and previous scar.

I did a few things while I was there, but no major sightseeing or anything. I spent a lot of time sitting around while he slept and making sure he had enough to eat. I did manage to visit a couple of my favorite quilt stores- one in Portland and one in Ferndale.

Wool felt eggs at Pioneer Quilts - patterns available
Wool felt eggs at Pioneer Quilts – patterns available

I have been to Pioneer Quilts and Stitch before. I was able to visit both because I grabbed the opportunities when they presented themselves. I really like both of those stores. Pioneer Quilts has a wide selection of fabrics, but they also have the biggest selection of wool felt and patterns to go with the wool felt that I ever seen. I don’t need any more handwork projects, but I couldn’t resist these eggs. Aren’t they fantastic?

Most of my gifts were finished and you will see them in the next few days after they are opened. Anything I had planned to do this week, the DH had to take care of: gift purchases, wrapping, shopping for dessert ingredients, tidying, etc. It is kind of nice to sit around. I feel a bit guilty, because I feel like I should be doing something. He did a great job and finished up some of the shopping, etc. yesterday.

I have been listening to books and podcasts while I drive and sit around. I got caught up on the QuiltFiction podcast. I am really appreciative of the sensitive way Frances is handling major themes such as race and independent women. I am seriously behind on other podcasts, because all I seem to do is listen to books. Recently I have finished all the books in a series. The author has several series that are related to the main series, which is really interesting. I am all about character development, so these multiple series, with their overlapping characters give me more of an opportunity to’ engage’ with the characters. I recommend:

  • New York Dead by Stuart Woods – this is the first in the Stone Barrington series. I actually read one in the middle of the series. I thought I would go back and just read the first one, but I ended up reading the entire series. Not every book in the series is great, but they are not too obviously formulaic and are very entertaining. This particular book is very good.
  • Smooth Operator by Stuart Woods
  • The Money Shot by Stuart Woods

None of these are great literature, but if you are looking for escapist entertainment, these are your books.

By the time you read this, I should be home and will have to dive into pie making.

The YM at OHSU, December 2018
The YM at OHSU, December 2018


Net Neutrality Day of Action

Net Neutrality means that everyone receives the same treatment. My content is delivered just as fast as a movie from Comcast. Unless I am doing something illegal, no ISP can slow down what I serve up as content to you. Content providers cannot pay an ISP to provide their content faster than mine.

I am a content provider. While I may not provide content that everyone likes, I am able to provide content.

45’s appointee “Ajit Pai has proposed a reversal of these regulations, which he’s said unfairly burden the ISPs and are archaic for relying on utility-style regulation.”

Allowing ISPs to slow down content will affect public libraries, companies whose product interferes with a product owned by the ISP, schools and more.

Send a comment to the FCC and to your Congress person telling them to protect Net Neutrality. Do it now.

You can find more information on these sites:

This is not a left or right political issue. This is about innovation and fairness. It was a hard won battle to get Net Neutrality. Let’s keep this as a right.

More (Last?) Merit Badges

Merit Badge Sash - January 2015
Merit Badge Sash – January 2015

Last time I had to sew on merit badges, I thought it would be the end. However, the Young Man came home with a few more than he needed sewn before the Eagle Scout Board of Review. I don’t even think this will be the last time, because if (and I am pretty sure he will, but I don’t want to tempt fate) he gets his Eagle rank I’ll have to sew all the accoutrements of that onto his sash and shirt.

My mom commented, when she ironed his uniform for the Eagle Scout Board of Review, that the shirt was really cheap. I wonder if I should get one that is more substantial. More likely, I think, is making a shadow case picture with the shirt and the sash, etc in it for him to hang on his wall.

The Eagle Scout Board of Review was last Tuesday (a week ago) and he is now a candidate for the rank of Eagle Scout. He has been approved by the local district. His application will be sent to the National Organization for approval. Cross your fingers!

Last Merit Badges

5 Years Worth of Work
5 Years Worth of Work

I think the last time I sewed merit badges was almost a year ago. That can’t really be right, can it? Perhaps I just didn’t write about it.

The Young Man earned 5 merit badges since last May’s Court of Honor, a couple of them were at his last summer camp as a youth scout. The others he just had to work at on his own.

Eagle Required
Eagle Required

So, the other day, I sewed on 5 merit badges: Cooking, Personal Management, Space Exploration, Scout Heritage, and Citizenship in the Community. Three of the above were Eagle required. Most are really useful skills, though they still don’t have sewing. The empty spot is for the last merit badge. He has one more to earn before he can be an Eagle. He just has to do the paperwork and then he will get that one signed off. With luck.

Non-Eagle required badges
Non-Eagle required badges

These little pieces of cloth represent a lot of work and for a kid whose organizational skills make librarians cringe. It is amazing that he could get this far.

I know I should be saying this when he gets his Eagle, but I am so proud of what he has done so far that I just can’t help myself.

To make this more quilt/fabric related, I use the following to sew on the merit badges:

  • Aurifil #2600 for the  Eagle required badges
  • Aurifil #1231 for the non-Eagle required badges
  • Janome zigzag: 3.5mm width, 1.5mm length. You can go about 1mm longer on the length. I just don’t like the stitches to get beyond the border.
  • Janome clear applique foot