Boxing Day Sew In (BDSI)

BDSI Button
BDSI Button

Welcome BDSIers!

Just so you know: I am not writing this at 3am. I am sleeping, but I scheduled this to post at 3am for you crazy people 😉 who live in different timezones and are already up and sewing.

Other organizers and participants:

Sandy of Quilting…for the Rest of Us. Sandy has a post or two up about #BDSI already. She is the main gal, so head over to her site for all of the instructions and excitement!

Pam of Hip to Be a Square Podcast. If you don’t listen to her podcast, you should. If nobody can make you sew, Pam can.

Tanesha of Crafty Garden Mom. Love her podcast, especially the book reviews.

Sandy of Quilt Cabana Corner. Sandy has a book out. Have you seen it?

Katie of Katie’s Quilting Corner. Katie has made the most amazing progress in her short career as a quiltmaker. If you look “all in” up in the dictionary, you will see Katie’s picture next to the definition.

There will be prizes.

Giveaway #1
Giveaway #1

Sandy and Pam are organizing all that and I am just contributing. I want people to have fun, but I don’t want to do too much work. Mostly I am lazy. After racing around for 3 weeks with holiday preparations, houseguests, having a cold and not sleeping, with a sprinkle of major baking on top, I am tired.

Here is some info about when #BDSI starts at which locations. This chart/information is completely cribbed from Sandy’s post. She did such a good job, I only had to edit it a bit. 😉 Thanks, Sandy.

BDSI Giveaway #2
BDSI Giveaway #2

To help you with the time zone math–starting at midnight at Sandy’s house means that BDSI starts at:

7:00 p.m. Dec. 25 in Honolulu (PST)
9:00 p.m. Dec. 25 in San Francisco (PST)
5:00 a.m. Dec 26 in London
6:00 a.m. Dec 26 in Berlin
2:00 p.m. Dec 26 in Tokyo
4:00 p.m. Dec 26 in Sydney
And, Sandy says, “24 hours is 24 hours no matter where on the globe you’re standing. So, for some of you, BDSI will be ending on December 27th. And that’s OK with me.” We on the West Coast will get an extra 3 or 5 hours, though fat lot of good it will do those of us visiting the rellies or sleeping.

Boxing Day Sew-In will officially end again at midnight EST–as soon as December 26 ends at Sandy’s house (frigid North) –24 hours of fun! Giveaway winners will be announced on December 27th.

Sandy writes “(Thanks to The World Clock time zone converter at, ’cause I sure can’t do that math myself!)” I added San Francisco and Honolulu, because SF is a very important city and who doesn’t love Hawaii?

Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #BDSI. Even if you do not have a Twitter account, you can go to Tweetchat, enter the #BDSI hashtag and follow the tweets. People have already been tweeting.


Now to the fun stuff:

I think I am going to continue to work on the Stepping Stones. I have boatloads of Half Square Triangles (HSTs) to make. I have been using the Triangle Technique, but would like to try Katie’s fish technique again. I have done it before, but it has been awhile. The site where she found the Fish ‘template’ does not have a template for the size of HSTs I need and I don’t want to take the time to make one. Perhaps for another project.

I also received some pizza fabric with which I want to make some pillow cases for the Young Man. My mom made him a Food Quilt (yes, he will end up with two eventually) with a pizza border, so I thought some pizza fabric pillowcases would be a nice addition. We’ll see if I get to that. Perhaps in between HSTs.

I also have the G block for the A-B-C Challenge to make

I could do anything on the 26 Projects list and make progress, so the ‘future is wide open’ as that song says.

I have pillowcases planned for the nieces as well.

Never a dull quiltmaking moment around here!

Hope you enjoy BDSI! Look for the Block-a-Long block tomorrow.

Various & Sundry #22

I know that many of you are embroiled in pies and turkeys today. My pies are done; turkey is defrosted and waiting to be cooked tomorrow. I have to prepare stuffing for the turkey and find the tablecloths.

For those of you who are not busy cooking and baking, here is a Various & Sundry post to keep you busy while the rest of us do not concentrate on quiltmaking. Enjoy your peace and quiet!


Mail from Jeffrey Turner
Mail from Jeffrey Turner

One of the things that can happen to you if you call into Mark Lipinski’s podcast is that you can win a prize. I called in just to tell Mark something silly (I don’t remember what and we talked for about 10 minutes about various and sundry. When he signed off, he told me to stay on the line and his awesome producer, Erik, took my address. The next thing I knew an unexpected package was sitting on my doorstep. It took me a second to connect Jeff and Mark, but just getting a package made me smile.


Next thing I knew I had a Sidewinder in my hand. This device was never on my list, but random mail is ALWAYS good.

I tried it out with Aurifil and it worked fine. My sewing machine wasn’t even on! I haven’t tried the bobbin in the machine, but I’ll let you know.

Thanks, Mark & Jeff!

More Quilt Market and Related
I know Market seems like an eternity ago already, but some great links and posts have been written. Here are a few more, then this is the end until Spring.

Michael Miller’s blog has a video of their Quilt Market set up. They also have some photos of their booth.

Jackie Kunkel hast a two part podcast about her time at Quilt Market. In the second part, she interviews Deb Beam of Quilt magazine.

Rice Zachery-Freeman’s photos and long essay about the colorful things she saw at Market.

I’m a Ginger Monkey’s has about 5 posts dealing with the booths, Schoolhouse and Quilt Dad at Market.

Jillilly Designs post on Market. Love the lighting and color on the photo of Amy Butler.

Modern Day Quilts has some thoughts and photos.

C&T shows a lot of texture and color in their Fall Market post. They also have a Flickr set showing other pictures C&T staffers took at Market.

Some Market photos from Me and My Sister Designs. I used their fabrics for the Zig Zaggy quilt. I do like the photo on their left hand sidebar of the two designers covered in fabric.

Betz White’s Caitlyn handbag. It reminds me a bit of the Isabella tote pattern I bought from her (and haven’t made it, but I also haven’t started it, so it doesn’t count as part of the 26 projects!). Betz also talked about her very first Quilt Market booth.

Melanie Testa’s Magic Market post.

Tutorials and Getting Better at Stuff
Melody Johnson, from whom I took one of the best free motion quilting classes EVER,  posted a great starter tutorial for signing your quilts with your machine. Yes, I am able to free motion quilt; I just don’t practice. Someday, as I have mentioned, I would love to get a new machine. One of the reasons is for easier free motion quilting. I dis like fiddling with tension and all that. I realize that will always be necessary, but if there were a machine on which I could piece beautifully AND wouldn’t cause too much drama for machine quilting, I might do more of it. MIGHT. No promises.

Organized prettiness:

As I think I mentioned, I am planning to write some tutorials about Flying Geese. One of the methods was the method used by Jo Morton and Deb Tucker. Jackie over at Canton Village quilts beat me to it. She wrote a tutorial using that method and the Wing Clipper ruler. The good thing about her tutorial is that she has figured how the square sizes for a variety of sizes for Flying Geese. That is really useful because then you can use this method and drop your Flying Geese into any block that calls for them.

Quilt World News
The staff at Robert Kaufman have prepared a tribute on the Swatch&Stitch blog to Saul Kaufman, who died recently. Great history of the company as well. They invite their friends to share in the memory of a beloved man.

EBHQ is having their show at a new location this year, Craneway Pavillion in Richmond, California. The Show will be March 17-18, 2012.

Did you see Aurifil’s Newsweek? Lots of good information about thread

Carolina Patchworks’ Emily Cier, author of Scrap Republic and Quilt Remix, wrote a blog post about her troubles with a fabric designer whose fabrics were used in one of the samples in her first book, Quilt Remix, published by C&T Publishing. While I am not an attorney, I think this matter has serious implications for future books. It could change the way publishers allow use of fabrics in books they plan to publish. It could mean that they have to get permission for each fabric used in books. Can you imagine trying to get permission for all the fabrics used in a king sized postage stamp quilt using 2″ charm squares? Can you imagine trying to keep track of all the fabrics  you used in a quilt? Because I often use a lot of different fabrics in my quilts, I can’t even imagine that nightmare. I keep pretty good track, but not in any organized manner. Being forced to keep track just in case I was asked to include one of my quilts in a book would take some of the fun out of making quilts.

I have run across some discussion in forums and pages on FB saying that some fabrics have “for non-commercial use only” printed on the selvedge. I never noticed. There is talk of a boycott of fabrics with that on the selvedge.

Emily did not mention which designer or manufacturer was involved. I am interested to know and to know which law firm is representing the designer. Perhaps, I will have one of my vendors look it up for me.

Supplies, Tools and Fabrics
Patched Pastor from the Quilting for the Rest of Us Big Tent group (if you listen to podcasts and haven’t joined Big Tent, think about it) mentioned a quilt shop called Stitch & Frame. I had no intention of buying, but couldn’t help going to take a peek. I was thrilled to see that they have an excellent selection of Creative Grids Rulers. Of course, they have tons of fabric, buttons, etc.

General Web
Here is a site that gives a brief tip on web safety.

Pokey Bolton Moves On

Pokey Bolton announced that there is a shakeup at Quilting Arts. You can read the whole deal on her blog. I’d like my title to be Chief Creative Officer. I’ll get right on that.

I would have kept this news for a Various and Sundry post, since this is the perfect tidbit for that kind of post.  I didn’t want to be posting it in 3-4 weeks, however.

Quilts for Sept.11 (2001)

Fireball, 2001
Fireball, 2001

I don’t think I have ever posted about the quilts I made around the events of September 11. I try not to think about the whole situation, because it is just depressing and senseless from so many angles. And the senselessness just seems to continue.

I decided to write about them this year, because my work is good and I still think the message I tried to send is good. I keep one of the quilts on my wall and look at the words and try to remember to walk the walk.

After September 11, Karey Bresenhan called for quilts to be made and sent for the Houston Quilt Market and Festival where they would be displayed 2 months later. Many, many quilts were made and displayed, including my quilt, Fireball.

The exhibit was followed up by a book. Fireball was included in the book. Fireball was successful, in a way (displayed at Houston and included in a book), but it wasn’t the quilt I wanted to make for 9/11. It was an immediate, viseral reaction to the horrifying images shown on TV.

What Comes Next
What Comes Next

What Comes Next is the quilt I wanted to make. What Comes Next has a message that I wanted everyone to hear and see and heed. I wanted politicians to take up the call and act in a way that would truly show the US as a world leader.

It took me much longer to make What Comes Next than the month or so I had to make Fireball. I worked on the beading in the car heading to L.A. I worked on the rubber stamping at my SIL’s house during craft night. It is one of the quilts I have quilted myself. I worked hard on the quilt to send a message of hope and peace and to encourage people to think about what comes next after September 11. Nobody heard or saw or heeded. It just makes me sad.


Update 9/12/2011: Based on my friend Kathy’s post, I have changed the name of this post to include the year, 2001. I want to move past this date. I want 9/11/2001 to become part of the past, which is not to say that we should forget those affected. From Kathy’s post:

“The Elder said the thing that would keep the tragedy alive was the fact that we keep referring to September 11th in the present tense. Every time we say 911 or September 11 without including the date 2001, it continues to work on our psyche as a current event. He said that unless we can collectively place the event firmly in the past it will continue to haunt our todays and true healing would not be possible.”

I do not want this day to haunt my life forever. I want to remember the people with joy, I want to learn from the mistakes we, collectively have made in the quest for justice, and remember the heroes with awe. I want us all to consider What Comes Next and move forward confidently in a positive direction.

Various & Sundry 2011 #16

CPP Responses
Danny Gregory doesn’t truly respond to the Creative Prompt, but his drawings can provide inspiration. He took his son, Jack, Paris and has posted wonderful drawings of their time there. Do not be intimidated. Be inspired. Strive to draw every day so you can achieve something like his drawings in the future. Everyone is creative and it just takes practice. Danny has been drawing for a long time and you can get there, too, if you put in the time to practice (like, say, responding to the Creative Prompt every week!).

Quilting (in the sense of stitching layers)
I got some bad news this week. My quilter has a pretty major family emergency and won’t be returning for the foreseeable future. She lives part time near me and part time in Alaska. She had planned to quilt Stars for San Bruno #2 and Pavers when she returned from this quick trip. She sent me and email and apologized and I feel so terrible for her. The new grandson is great and she is great. Other things, which are not mine to disclose. For the moment, I am leaving the quilts at her shop until I decide what to do. What that means for me is that I have to find someone who can quilt Pavers and the SfSB quilts. I am pretty particular about who quilts my quilts and what they quilt on it. My quilter doesn’t charge extra for ‘custom’ quilting. That is what she does, so I think I am a bit spoiled. I don’t want Pantographs and I want someone with experience who can work with me to complete my vision. It is possible that I will go back and longarm the SfSB quilt myself, though not ideal. What a mess. She makes my quilt life so easy and now it is so much harder. Sigh.

Other Artists
Lil Sissy has a lot of new work up on her site, A Paper Addict. Most of it is not paper, but she is doing some nice work. She has a variety up there.

Pretty By Hand has a gorgeous messenger bag posted on her blog. It looks very similar to Candy Glendenning’s messenger bag pattern, but I don’t think Pretty By Hand used Candy’s pattern. The zipper looks particularly good.

Speaking of Candy’s messenger bag pattern, I have been working on reading through the directions and it is really a great pattern. I love the way she has outlined the cutting and distinguished the pieces. Why am I not sewing this pattern? It calls for home dec fabric. I have to see what I have in the closet and then decide whether I am going to buy more or make another trip to FabMo.

I loving the Pure Elements solids by Pat Bravo! As mentioned, I am using them for the A-B-C Challenge with BAMQG. I cut up the Cozumel colorway and it goes sooooo well with the Festival Fuschia colorway (I think; it is hard to tell with solids). You can take a look at the colorways on Pat’s site.

I just finished The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking by Jane Brocket (look for a review soon). I was already in love with Philip Jacobs work, but now I am in a Philip Jacobs frenzy. I have been looking at all of his designs and fabrics. I’d like to go to his house in Dorset and meet him, see his fabric barn and get to know him. He would probably call the police, but fantasies are free and not scary. I especially like the Delphiniums, which has in 3 colorways.

I am trying hard not to buy more fabric. I don’t want to say I am on a fabric diet, because that will send me on a binge, but I want to sew through some fabric before replacing it (cut and sewed a half yard yesterday, which is a good thing). I think this weekend will be the weekend I finally make the sewing machine cover and I just may use some Philip Jacobs fabric! Still, I love those Delphiniums and wish I had a large space where I could hang lengths of them. Perhaps I could Modge Podge lengths of fabric to one of my walls? My workroom needs a serious makeover and this idea might kill two birds with one stone.

SeamedUp Logo
SeamedUp Logo

Are you on SeamedUp? SeamedUp is a site that allows you to track your fabric, patterns, and books. Once you have your sewing room populated, you can share your works in progress, UFOs and finished projects with other members. The site is very much in beta, but Allison and Brye are working all the time on improving it. One of the things I like is that they are working with the quilt industry companies to get fabrics, books, patterns, etc into their database. Sanctioned information – not right-click-and-save-image-as information. They are constantly recruiting for volunteers to help populate the fabric database. Currently, they would like people to add information about patterns (not a scan of the pattern!) from current magazines to their pattern database. That is a great idea! How many times have you thought to yourself: “now where did I see that pattern recently” as the current stack of magazines next to your bed falls over? I received a notice that they had just added books to their offerings. The other thing I like is that they respond to member suggestions. There is a companion podcast (available for subscription on iTunes) where they interview a member and talk about tech updates, their own projects, member projects etc. It is a nice addition to the whole SeamedUp world.

I have added many of my projects, though not all. I started adding them randomly and now have to be careful not to add something twice! DUH! I should have been more organized, but I wasn’t. It is fun to get a wider audience to my projects and I add links to my blog in order to drive traffic here. Not sure if it works, but one can hope. I have to figure out how to add fabrics to an existing project. That is confounding me at the moment. The SeamedUp girls have a fundraising campaign going on right now at IndieGoGo. This is an opportunity for you to be a venture capitalist. Forget the guys in suits in Silicon Valley; you, in your sewing room in your pajamas, can be a venture capitalist. They have prizes, too. If everyone of the over 2K members gave $5, the system would be faster, SeamedUp would have much, much more money than they need right now to upgrade the servers and the free site for quiltmakers would get a huge shot in the arm. Go over and give your $5.

Where SeamedUp is one of the good guys (girls!), I was disappointed to see the evil side of the Internet come out last week on a review of the FabricWorm/Birch Fabrics (Go to and search for Birch Fabrics in Paso Robles). Last year I visited Birch TWICE on my way to and from Long Beach and they couldn’t have been nicer to TFQ and me. I wrote a glowing review, because I really thought they did a great job even when we showed up in the middle of their work day and they were cutting like madwomen. I am not going to rehash my review here, but you can go and read it. Someone, whose web name is Sunnydays, wrote a decidedly un-sunny review of FabricWorm/Birch fabrics. I have never had a problem with Birch, but I am there are customer service glitches occasionally. I am also sure that Cynthia will rectify anything that is a problem. The review as vile and I suspect someone jealous of Cynthia’s success wrote it. If you have good customer service experience with FabricWorm/Birch fabrics, do go and write a review (Go to and search for Birch Fabrics in Paso Robles) telling people about it. If you have had a bad experience, please call Cynthia and give her a chance to rectify before you trash her woman-owned, small business.

I saw a notice posted on Big tent that Katie of Katie’s Quilting Corner podcast had made a video of her sewing room. I am always interested in where other people sew, so I took a look. It is a long video (12+ min), but I still thought it was interesting to see her set up.

Take a look at the Hasty Quilter. Very nice photography and great description of her projects.

Someone sent me an article from the Alameda Patch about a woman who sold her fabric stash recently to raise $10,000 for the Alameda Food Bank. I am pretty sure I recognize her name from EBHQ. I just found out that one of my relatives can only afford one meal a day on her income (she just gets Social Security) and I know that she hasn’t always made the best decisions (who does?), but she doesn’t deserve to not have food. I am going to send her a care package. The article made me think of all the people who will be “fed from fabric!”

I have been thinking of asking other publishers to put me on their review list. I was talking to a person who works at one such company and she said that they send out the ebook version to reviewers. I am not sure I want to sit at my computer and read a book. I do a lot of reading online for work and really cherish the time I get to lay on the couch and read a real book. I suppose I could read such a book on one of my mobile devices, but it doesn’t seem as appealing. I am going back to the drawing board and thinking before I send out any letters.

You can get a nice view of some of the artwork in Masters Art Quilts v.2 over on the Lark Crafts site. I really enjoy working with Amanda on the reviews and giveaways. She is really nice and makes me wish there was such an organization in San Francisco that would hire me to work for them. A girl can dream.

Various & Sundry 2011 #15

I do like these various and sundry posts. I feel a sense of freedom when I write them. I don’t have be terribly organized, magnificently coherent or make all the words relate to each other. I can’t point you in various directions and send you off on journeys, hoping you will return and tell me what you think.

The weekend of the 6th saw a huge event in NYC to support the Alliance for American Quilts. they are having an event called Quilters Take Manhattan. I think all of the unexpected hoopla surrounding Infinite Variety gave new life to quilts as art. All of the quilting glitterati were there and I followed the action as best I could from 3k miles away. Some blog posts I saw about this were:

In the course of following the events, I was pointed to Marianne Fons blog. I like her writing style and hearing about her family. She is a sensitive writer who records her observations in a delightful way. In a way, she reminds me of Rosamunde Pilcher, my personal gold standard for descriptive writing. She writes about her personal life and family, but doesn’t give too much away, but she does write about her daughter, Mary’s, illness a bit, which I had only heard about in passing. I was curious, of course, but such a thing is none of my business, so I wouldn’t ask, even if I had someone to ask.

Marianne, in turn, pointed me to Mary Fons blog, which I will look at and, perhaps, add to my blog reader.

I saw that a show called Why Quilts Matter will be coming to PBS in the Fall. I am looking forward to watching it. The website has a video trailer. It is 9 part documentary in which Shelly Zegart is heavily involved. A lot of the people in the trailer are from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I wonder if Frances will be able to take advantage of any lectures or anything? 😉 There are a lot of other contributors as well. I checked my Tivo and the show isn’t yet listed, but I have a ‘quilts’ keyword search, so, hopefully, it will come up in that search.

Stitched, the movie, came out a few months ago and I still haven’t seen that. My libraries don’t have it yet and I am not a Netflix member.

I think there is something to be said for quilt companies to be small businesses, well any companies really. I am not enamored with large companies right at the moment. Small businesses seem to care more about their customers, though that is a generalization and a stereotype and I know it is not always true. The ones that have been taken over by larger companies, such as Fons & Porter, have become impersonal and don’t really seem to care about their customers. Fons & Porter is now owned by New Track Media LLC, which is further owned by a person and a private equity firm. They also own Quilter’s Club of America, Keepsake Quilting, QNM and others. What is their interest in quiltmaking? Money, I am guessing.

I watched one of the Fons & Porter episodes #1201 on the Spin Wheel quilt project (definitely a repeat), which said that the updated directions for using the hexagon ruler and their pyramid ruler to make the Spin Wheel with these tools would be available on their website. I bought the DVD with the pattern from the magazines, both rulers and went looking for the adjunct instructions. They weren’t on the website. I searched over and over to no avail, so I contacted customer service. The customer service people (called Answer54) were diligent, but supremely unhelpful. They had canned responses and I became more frustrated as it became clear that my question did not fit into their list of responses. Somehow I was transferred to Keepsake Quilting and the person contacted me and responded to me several times, but ultimately didn’t have the instructions. I also posted on their FB fan page. No response. I can make the block without that adjunct sheet of instructions, but it just seems so lame of them not to be able to find a sheet of instructions. I guess New Track thinks of their quilting properties as cash cows. This seemed like a simple request: M&L said the adjunct instructions were on the website, they are not on the website, please send them to me. I guess New Track Media thinks their brands are so awesome that they don’t have to provide customer service. Customer Service is everything, New Track. Get with the program.

SeamedUp is having a fundraiser (you, too, can be a venture capitalist!) to get more server space and a bunch of other stuff. They are a small, women owned company. Only one person has contributed, as of this writing, which is kind of sad. If all of the almost 2000 people who are members contributed $5 that would be $10,000, which is much more than their goal. Go for it and if you are not a member, join up! You can read more about their plans, the campaign and everything SeamedUp on their blog

Tools, Books  and Supplies
I bought a new iron when I was out shopping for the Young Man’s school uniform parts. It is the most expensive iron I have ever bought – $29.99. I figured I should splurge since I have two in the closet downstairs that were cheap and, clearly, not up to my pressing needs once I got them out of the box and heated up.  It is really nice to have steam again. I also like this iron, because it doesn’t beep at me all the time. I need many fewer irritating beeps in my life.

Did you enter the book giveaway I announced earlier this week? Check it out!

Are you interested in how thread is made? Coats & Clark made a video which I saw on

BryeLynn of SeamedUp and Sew~Stitch~Create did a review of the Frixion pen. It is really nice when someone else does the heavy lifting for you!

As I have mentioned a few times, I have helped to organize a class at Always Quilting on August 27, 2011, 10-4. It will be taught by Lynn Koolish of C&T fame. It is open to everyone though the BAMQG and CQFA folks have had a headstart on sign ups. The class is now on the shop’s website. You can register via the website or by calling their shop at (650) 458-8580. Hope to see you there!

ArtQuilt Tahoe is coming around again. There are still some great teachers available. If you are able to attend and haven’t taken a class from Libby Lehman, sign up immediately. She is a wonderful teacher – giving, not stuck up, a great presenter, personable. I’d like to go sometime, but this isn’t the year. I’d love to hear about it, if you attend.

Hooded towels are very popular in our house. The Young Man thinks about things in the show and likes to tell me about them when he emerges from bathing. They are great to wrap up in on cold bath/shower nights when bathrobes are too fussy. The hooded towels have the added bonus of drying the hair with very little effort. They are harder to find as children get taller. I saw a tutorial for a hooded towel. For larger children, I would use two towels. Use a very sharp needle when sewing the two towels together, so you don’t break a needled or jam up your machine. Since you may be having the same issue, I thought I would share.

Yesterday, I posted about the gift I made for Grama. I took it to show a friend visiting from New Zealand and realized I hadn’t done the topstitching from the top hem to the bottom corners. DUH!. It would really help if I read the directions once in a while!

Last week (?) I posted the finished Kona Challenge quilt. Yesterday I saw a blog post about the responses to the challenge from the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild. Some of them remind me of Angela’s Kona Challenge quilt (which she was binding at the last meeting!!!)

Chair Pillowcase
Chair Pillowcase

Due to my ongoing machine issues, I am working on easy projects, or projects that don’t require complicated piecing. The Jem just can’t handle it. I bought some more of the Tufted Tweets chair fabric when I went to New Pieces the other week and cut out a pillowcase to go with the purple quilt. I sewed the whopping 3 seams it took to put the thing together and will send it off this week, hopefully.

Other Artists
I had heard about Claudia’s blog, Machen und Tun from Frances, but had never gone to look at it until I saw one of her quilts in the Quilting….for the Rest of us Flickr group. She is a working on the Attack of the Hexies project and is doing a wonderful red and white color scheme. Why didn’t I think of that? I went to her most recent post (8/4/2011) and was thrilled to see a, mostly, aqua and red sampler quilt. If you scroll down she shows some more blocks and the whole effect is quite wonderful. She talks about looking at the Fresh Lemons Summer Sampler Series blocks inspiring her, but also encouraging her to go off in her own direction. She might select different blocks that weren’t as difficult or required no paper piecing. She also talks about making the blocks a little differently to make them her own. What a great idea for inspiration! I noticed a circle tutorial, which looks very similar to the Dale Fleming method. The other thing about her blog is that she writes in English and German. This is great practice for me. Thanks, Claudia! Her blog is definitely worth looking at.

Angela has posted over 240 photos of quilts from the UK Festival of Quilts. She posted the photos in a Smilebox format on Creating the Hive, so you can scroll through them fairly easily.


Really good reminder of how the inner ambivalence can affect outer life.
Amplify’d from

Art therapy? How do you connect your anti-passions to your passions? And when you are talking about passion you must talk about Jesus at some point anyway. Look, Jesus didn’t know what magazines were so lets cut him some slack here. Lots of people’s coffee tables are cluttered, so maybe that was a lucky guess. But her violent reaction to it mirrored her real frustration with her job situation. Her inner and outer, as far as she understood them were the same – even though it was hidden to her. What I offered her gave her a chance to actually take the advice from Jesus above and expand her vision of herself and experience entry into a new kingdom.



Various & Sundry 2011 #14

Save 20% this week from Cafe Press using the code TA0802. You can buy from any shop, but especially the Artquiltmaker Store. 😉

Everyone on the web seems to be way better at Photoshop Elements than I am. My friend, La, tries to give me little tips, but I forget by the time I get home. As result, I have helped to organize a class at Always Quilting on August 27, 2011, 10-4 and is taught by Lynn Koolish of C&T fame. It is open to everyone though the BAMQG and CQFA folks have had a two week headstart on sign ups. The class is now on the shop’s website. You can register via the website or by calling their shop at (650) 458-8580. Hope to see you there!

I was listening to an episode of Creative Mojo the other day (via podcast) and Mark was interviewing Patrick Doughty, an artist whose medium is sticks. I wasn’t terribly interested in the work, but find that I can always learn something. He said something really profound in response to a question about getting stuck. He said (paraphrasing) that it takes time to get into the groove of creating. He creates every day or only takes short breaks. this helps him not to have to get back into the groove, because he is already in the groove. This is a really important part of how I work. I think, write or read about quiltmaking every day I cannot be at the sewing machine. I cut, press, fold and organize fabric when I can’t sew (like last week when my machine was getting services). Every other time, I sew. I am always in the groove, because my work is in the forefront of my mind.  I do get stuck on projects, but then I move to another project or cut, press, fold and organize my fabric.

I think I talked about the Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-Long. There are a lot of blog posts, discussions and projects blooming out of it. I saw on the ModaLissa site that the United Notions people are having a Hen Party (go read the post) that also has to do with FWQAL. Perhaps I do need to jump in…meaning ‘need’ in the broadest and most non-committal sense of the word.

Camille Roskelley of the gorgeous red dotted chair blog, ok the Simplify blog, has posted another group of her Farmer’s Wife blocks. I love them! Perhaps I do like grey after all. I think I have get out my Ultimate 3-in-1 color tool and see what I can learn from her color scheme.

How about my Block-a-Long? Have you made any blocks? Let’s see them? Are they boring?

I am reading a book (review soon-ish) and I realized the author was not doing complicated piecing, but was creating complex color stories to tell in the form of a quilt. I am intrigued by this concept, especially after working on FOTY 2011. I ran across the Michael Miller site, which is doing color stories every week also. During the week of July 20 they had an aqua and red color way, which you know I love.

I am feeling like Miss (Ms?) Popularity lately. I never was one of the cool kids at school so I am not quite sure how to handle it. I was recently interviewed on episode 2 of the SeamedUp podcast. It was fun to talk to the SeamedUp ‘girls’ and get to talk about design a little bit, my blog and life a little bit. They produce their podcast in a very professional way, I think, but laugh a lot along the way.

I was listening to a recent Annie Smith episode and heard about Cori Blunt. I took a look at her website and blog. Her drawings are really sweet, I especially like her bike pillow. Of course, I probably wouldn’t do any of those quilts, but I can admire them. I do like the way she did the sashing around the star blocks in the Cherry Tweets quilt. Very clever.

In conjunction with her episode #166, Amy of Creative Mom Podcast post GORGEOUS pictures of stairs with mosaics on the risers. Even if you don’t listen to her podcast (which you should!), go take a look at these photos. They are wonderful and make me want to do some mosaic work on my stairs.

I think I heard about GenerationQ magazine from Adrianne at some point in the not so distant past. I was reintroduced to it last week via an article they did on smartphone quilting apps. There are two that are interesting to me. One is block pattern app similar in concept to Around the Block, one of the most useful books in my library. The other, which constantly made me think of TFQ is the Fabric Stash by Blueshift Software app. She needs this app. This one does not get high marks, but the writers say that the portion where you can document your fabric stash works really well. It seems easy to photograph your fabric and keep it handy on your phone when I go shopping, especially for projects like the Food Quilt where I am trying to get one piece of many different fabrics. it is on the pricey side for apps, but it may be worth trying out. Now to get Blueshift together with SeamedUp so I can zap my fabric from my phone straight into SeamedUp. That would be awesome (at least in my head).

Other Artists

Lil Sissy passed on a  good blog post from Kelly Rae Roberts. I think it worth reading and keeping in mind. Short version: there is a time to dream and a time to savor.

Vicki posted an Art Saves story on Crescendoh. I didn’t know about those stories until I saw a link on Vicki’s site and happened to click on it. Very interesting. I like the stories.


Last week, Julie of The Intrepid Thread post some photos of new fabrics in her shop. She posted:

  • Sweet Treats
  • Licorice Cloud
  • Cotton Candy
  • Sapphire
  • Ruby
  • Citrine

They were some fabrics I saw when I was on my quilt journey a few weeks ago. When I saw them at New Pieces I thought that I couldn’t possibly use such fabrics, but when I saw the pictures Julie posted, I thought they might be fine if I cut them up. Is there a meeting point between fussy cutting and strip piecing that would allow the beauty of some of the larger motifs to come through? What do you think?

Various & Sundry 2011 #13

Quilt World News
Ardis James died on July 7, 2011. She was a pioneer in the quilt collecting realm, at least in my opinion. She, and her husband, Robert, were pioneers in antique and contemporary quilt preservation as well as quiltmaking traditions. Ardis and her husband helped establish the International Quilt Study Center in Nebraska. Thank you, Ardis, for your generosity. Rest in Peace.

Quilter’s Home will also die. It is being killed, actually. I am a subscriber and received an email on Friday saying subscriptions will be replaced with Quilters’ Newsletter. Sigh. I wonder if the change from Mark was just too much for people?

Out and About
A librarian friend sent me a link to an online lace museum called the Virtual Museum of Textile Arts. I am not that interested in lace, but I am interested in the history of the work of women’s hands. This is an Italian museum or related to an Italian entity, so there are some unique spellings on the site. There are multiple ways to search – by date, period, technique. I found some records and each of the records seems to have a photograph associated with it. There are videos and tutorials, which I didn’t look at.

I have a lot of projects going on, but I also have ideas swirling around in my head and supplies that suggest projects. I bought a couple of fun and cheerful charm packs recently and am mulling over making another 1-2 Chubby Charmers. My hesitation has a couple of stems:

  • how many Chubby Charmers does one person need?
  • are there quilts or other projects that would interest me enough to use for the charm packs? If so, what are they?

I posted FOTY 2010 to the “Linda M. Poole I made a quilt for me page on FB” and got a lot of nice comments about it, including one from Michele Foster of Quilt Gallery fame. She pointed me to a page on her site showing the designs for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi, Russia that look similar to my just finished FOTY. Trendsetting, again?

C&T Publishing had an interesting bag project posted on their site (I actually saw it on Creating the Hive). I like the shape of the bag.

I have started to listen to Katie’s Quilting Corner Podcast. I like her confidence and it is fun to hear what other people are doing. Katie has a good way of organizing her show notes with her podcasts. This comment could be down int he Media section, but one project that I really liked was Katie’s Mondo Bag. It is a postage stamp sort of design and I really liked the shape.

Fresh Lemons Summer Sampler Series
Fresh Lemons Summer Sampler Series

And, if the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt-a-Long and the various other quilt-a-longs going on in the summer weren’t enough, Fresh lemons and two friends are doing a Summer Sampler Series.

Frances has been suggesting the Crafty Garden Mom podcast for months and I have been resisting. Before I left, I thought I would need some extra listening so I downloaded an episode and listened to it. As I said in a previous post: Love it! I just listened to a few more episodes and they are equally as good. Tanesha is a good storyteller.

Did you sign up for the Giveaway from Lark Crafts? It is still going on, but you do have to follow the rules.

I was desperate for some podcasts, so I downloaded a few from the Pioneer Quilter. One was an interview with Leah Day. I really learned a nice amount about her work and her site as well as the products she offers. I was interested to hear about how she works. There was a lot of background noise and a pretty big disparity in the loudness of Kelley’s voice and Leah’s voice, which meant I had to have the sound very loud to hear Leah and then I would get my ears blasted when Kelley asked a question. There was also some repetitive thumping int he background and occasionally some jangling that distracted me. I know next to nothing about podcasting. I greatly admire podcasters who take time away from their quilting to podcast. I love hearing about people’s projects. I do find that the sound is important, though and hope that Kelley will go back and see if she can edit this podcast a bit. I the information is excellent and the sound problems distract from that.


Intrepid Thread fabric
Intrepid Thread fabric

I didn’t realize (well, I probably did, somewhere in the back of my mind, know it was a possibility and just didn’t think about it) that I could get myself into trouble with fabric just by attending a BAMQG meeting. Well, now I know. 😉 Angela bought a healthy stack of fabrics from the Intrepid Thread. Since Julie attends the meetings, she brought the stack to the meeting. You know how I am attracted to bright colors and shiny objects (magpie principle), so I had to take a look. I really prefer to see the fabrics than to buy them sight unseen online. Above are the fabrics that I bought. The conversationals were little treats that Julie included with my package. Have you seen how Julie wraps up her sales? It is like receiving a gift. I don’t need to receive my fabric that way, but it does make me feel special. 😉

Intrepid Thread Packaging
Intrepid Thread Packaging

I really did update my Cafe’ Press store. I enlarged the selection of products and changed the image on the Jacket, cards, and tote bags to the FOTY 2010 image. Yes, a jacket! Don’t you want to wear a quilt around? I think I am going to buy one to see how it fits. If you missed the Seeing Red products, sorry, but I did warn you. I need to pay for high school so I hope you will take a look at what I have to offer. Thanks!

When I received a Kindle as a gift, I bought a cover from Elizabeth David Designs and really like it. She recently sent out a free shipping notification, so you might want to check out her Etsy Shop. She is using some lovely fabrics for her covers.

And for your hexagon inspiration: This little mini quilt is from Malka Dubrowsky.

Now go forth and be inspired to do great work!

Kona Challenge

The Kona Charm Challenge sponsored by Robert Kaufman is all over the quilt world news. last weekend, after the BAMQG meeting, I worked on my border.

Kona challenge top
Kona challenge top

The border took me most of Sunday to put on. I realized later that I should have used EQ to figure out the sizes.

Secondary Design
Secondary Design

This is one of the secondary designs I was trying to preserve. It is the one I saw first.

Ohio Star detail
Ohio Star detail

Later, as the top came together, I also saw a kind of Ohio Star.

Bright Secondary Pattern
Bright Secondary Pattern

My inspiration came from the Manteca quilt show and this quilt by Traudi King, Fun with Scraps.


Various & Sundry 2011 #10

Mentions and Accolades

My post about the Maker Faire was a featured post on Creating the Hive. It is easy to deal with, because the posts I write here are automatically shared there. Yes, people may see some duplication, but I get a whole different audience there. Are you a member of Creating the Hive? I’ll send you an invite if you want one.

My Sketchbook from the Sketchbook Project has been digitized. You can see it at: I was able to page through it, but let me know if you are able to do so. Regular readers will recognize the drawings. 😉

Sandy wrote a great review of the Quilter’s Academy v.1 book that I reviewed some weeks ago. She, kindly, built on the review I wrote, which I really appreciate.

Fabric Requirements?

I saw this tool for calculating fabric requirements. I have no idea if it works even though I tried it for hexagons. I just have no frame of reference for using the tool. What do you think?

Robert Kaufman also has a fabric calculator for the Android Market. I don’t have an Android, so I haven’t tried it. Perhaps Sandy will do a review?

Other Artists

Danny Gregory is a writer and journal artist. He did some podcast with artists who were featured in one of his books. I really liked those podcasts, because they talked about creative process, tools and journals. He put a recent blog post that really spoke to me. In it he says “We don’t just want a pat on the head; we want connection, reaction, insight, something that makes us see what we made in a newer light or on a deeper plain.” I try not to want this, but I have to admit that even if I don’t want approval, I do want that connection and a conversation to start. He also says “The true value of acknowledgment isn’t registered in the ego; it’s the opposite, a breaking down of the barriers between creator and audience so that we can unite in a shared appreciation of something that lends beauty and meaning to the grinding metronome of the day. We see a glimpse of the heavens together, a view that appeared to one of us first but is now a canopy over us all.
It’s even true of a joke, a shared laugh, the quick bark of recognition that our minds thought alike, we saw the other’s insight….” It seems to be all about connection.

I took a look at Leah Day site again when mom and I were talking about free motion quilting. She just bought a Flynn Frame so I showed her the site. What I didn’t realize is that Leah has great videos on her site. They are professional, but not slick. They come across as a friend genuinely wanting to share information with another friend. I was inspired.

Nina Johansson is a Swedish artist who does really great drawings. See. Be. Draw had an interview with her recently. Nina is the artist whose coffee cup drawing I adore.

Dan Rouse is a quiltmaker whose blog I found through the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild. He has a great post on pieced circles (just say yes!) on his WIP Wednesday post.

Exhibits and Such

Lisa Call has put up a Squidoo site about Quilt National 2011, which opened last week at the Dairy Barn.

The ‘and such’ part is SeamedUp. Quiltin’ Jenny posted a great interview with the Queen of Everything, Allison Rosen. Quiltin’ Jenny had a great series of posts earlier this year/ late last year (??) about cleaning out various rooms of her house. It was very inspiring and made it seem doable.

Here is a gallery of quilts from Quilts Inc. Who will Pinterest them?


I have been looking at spelling lately, especially the apostrophe problem, and shaking my head. I found a doosie in a Quilt Market Report today. Not just in the text, but as part of printed signage. I see this as a sign that the apostrophe will be gone before 10 years are over. Sigh.

I am not immune. A kind reader pointed out a date error on one of my recent posts. Thank you! Please feel free to kindly point out spelling errors and such. I want my blog to be the best it can be and am only human.

Red and White Quilts

If you haven’t seen the Red & White quilts at the NYC Park Armory and you are within commuting distance, go see them! Admission is free!!!! A couple of friends have gone to see them and have said that the exhibit is amazing. It is only there for a few more days. Make the time!

3/31/2011 Update: Here are some (there are many, many articles on this exhibit) news stories about this exhibit:

  • Financial Times: Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts, Park Avenue Armory, New York. By Simon Schama
  • NYCtheblog: Amazing Display of 651 Red and White Quilts by Paolo Mastrangelo
  • New York Times: Finally, Mrs. Rose (and the Public) Can See All Her Quilts by James Barron

Anna Maria Horner Rainbow Project

AMH has made a movie of the recent blocks she has received. I didn’t recognize mine until I saw the little label I attached with a pin before I sent the blocks off. My block is shown at time marker :50.

The next deadline for blocks is August 1st. Send one in. The directions are posted on her site.

Various and Sundry Thursday

Around the Web

Have you seen Judy Martin’s newish Free Block (quilt?) of the Moment? It is a nice updated version of a rail fence. It would make a nice FOTY project.

Jinny Beyer also has a free block she calls Block-a-Week. Every Friday she posts a new block. I wrote about her block of the week before. Have you tried it? Come here and do the CPP, then hop over to Jinny Beyer’s site and get the block of the week. You’ll really get your creative juices going!

Block Party has a fun Friendship Star variation that reminds of the Corner Store quilt that I liked from Pretty Little Mini Quilts. It also reminds me of Gwen Marston’s Liberated Piecing techniques. I must really like this star, because I also talked about it on December 9, 2009! Did you try it out? Nothing has been going on this blog since February. There is a note that says she has a book coming out, so perhaps she is focusing on that project?

I am reading Jinny Beyer’s Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns (you can buy it via the AQ Bookstore) and so I must have blocks on my mind. That book is HUGE!! I need to get out of bed, heave it with two hands off the floor and be careful not injure myself or anyone else. This is not an 80 page paperback. You need this book.

I was listening to a Pat Sloan podcast (from 4/12/2010) with Linda Franz the other day. Linda Franz is the creator of InkLingo. InkLingo is a method of printing templates on to fabric using your ink jet printer. I don’t know if other printers work. They made it very clear that black ink does not work. At first, I thought the idea sounded like another step to add to the quilting process. As I listened, though, I thought it might be worth trying. She offers a free sheet of patterns and the thing that I thought was interesting was that she is creating pattern sheets for blocks that have become too complicated to piece in our quick piecing culture. I took a quick look at her site and will go back for more. I think it is worth a look.

Have you heard about Knitting Graffiti? Deputy Dog chronicles the different installations of knitting and crocheting graffiti. I have been thinking lately that the local train garage where I park in the morning is a hideously ugly concrete blackmark on a large corner lot of my town. I have been trying to think of ways to prettify it. Kaffe Fasset is always good inspiration, but perhaps this knitting graffiti would be quicker? It would, however, also be more ephemeral.

This site, Lives of the Artists, has some food for thought.

Have you seen this blog? Rachel Draws a Lot is just what the title says – a kid drawing and posting to a blog. I love the whimsical nature of the drawings. If you can do what she does, you can create a creative prompt response. Channel your inner 4YO!

Have you listened to Sew ~ Stitch ~ Create yet? If not, go take a look at the blog and see Beach Town there!

I think a number of other blogs have talked about 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs. I finally went to look at it and was amazed and thrilled. First, it is a treasure trove of quilting designs. Second, there are videos so you can see how the creator makes the design. This site would be a great way to practice your free motion quilting skills. You could decide to do a certain number a week and then just follow along or pick the ones you like.

Nina Johansson has a new website. She is the artist who did the wonderful coffee sketch I found in February of last year. I really like the details in her work. She posts about “rolling the dice” to find a good color combination. This might be a great way of selecting colors for your next quilt. I suppose the die could be created using solid fabrics instead of painting as well.

I am a pretty big fan of most fiber arts. I like to see what my weaving, stitching, blackwork and crocheting colleagues are doing. I can often find some inspiration or ideas from other crafts. This story about a woven spider, yes spider, silk tapestry takes the cake. I cannot even imagine mining spiders for their silk. I can imagine undertaking a project so challenging there was a good chance the maker would fail. I think everyone should do that. Failure is the best lesson ever and success breeds success.

CraftSanity Apron Update

Remember that I made an apron to donate to the CraftSanity Apron Auction? Jennifer at CraftSanity posted a gushing thank you to the people who donated FIFTY, yes 50, aprons.

She wrote about the expected opening of the show plus the press, too and the photoshoot.

I wish I could be there to see the opening, but a visit to Grand Rapids is not in my future at this time. The video they posted is GREAT. My apron doesn’t have a starring role, but there is a glimpse of it on the video. My apron didn’t win any prizes. I have to admit I was disappointed, but the aprons that won had more meaning for the organization than mine did. I wanted to make something fun and cute. I think I succeeded, so I am satisfied. Also, I feel that by supporting this cause in a small way all women win.

Why did I do this? I once call a local domestic violence shelter for a friend whose husband was beating her. I had worked to collect gifts and canned food at Christmas time for that organization as part of my charity work with a local Alumnae Panhellenic. My heart still aches when I think of that whole experience and how wonderful the volunteer was who answered the phone. It is one small thing I was able to do.


Anina over at Twiddletails got some fabric from Spoonflower, which she posted about in her blog. Sigh. I am so tempted. I have an idea for fabric that is my own design that I could make available to others. I just have to sit down and do the design.

Need some stripes? Check out the stripes the Quilting Loft has available. Oh! By the way, they also have an online store!

Walker Bags

I found a pattern that I liked at CareWear Volunteers.

I also found one at Laura’s Sewing Studio.

A friend also mentioned that a book came out with patterns for various walker caddies, wheelchair backpacks and the like. I am waiting to hear back from about any tips and tricks she has. I am also waiting for sizes from the physical therapist.

To Do List

I have some things I need and want to do:

  1. Make a bag for the Square ‘n Blocker. It is obvious that it will get really dirty really quickly if I just leave it laying around. I think I can make a bag, like the Eco Market Tote, that will also hold some other supplies like rulers and a cutting mat.
  2. I want to make more circles like I learned to do in the Dale Fleming class. Look for my discussion of that AWESOME class.
  3. I need to fix Lil Sissy’s bag.
  4. I want to make a couple of pencil rolls.
  5. I want to make a couple of journal covers.
  6. Need to catch up on my CPP responses.

I feel like I have so many quilt/creativity and sewing related things I want to get done that I am running around like a chicken getting nothing done. Sigh! I made a lot of progress over the weekend, but never as much as I would like.

Blocks on my Mind

Teacher Pillow time is coming, so I have blocks on my mind. During this project the book Around the Block is a dear friend. I also like the Dear Jane blocks. Recently I saw the progress Twiddletails was making on her DJ project and it made me think that the authors, Judy and Brenda, of the two books should get together and do the same concept with the DJ blocks. Yes, I know there is an EQ program for Dear Jane, but it is not the same as the Around the Block book. I am not sure if it is possible to rotary cut all of those DJ patterns.

Petal Apron is up for Auction

Help support creating an end to domestic violence by bidding on my apron!
clipped from

Let the Bidding On Aprons Begin!

Okay, folks, it’s time to shop! Click on the photos below to view the eBay auction.

blog it

I like the photo of the apron on the clothesline, but think it looks better on Lil Sissy.