Various & Sundry 2020 #1

2020 already! How are you? How was your New Year?


The series quilt page was woefully out of date, so I have updated it with some of the more recently finished FOTY quilts and more Niece-phews quilts.

I also updated the Niecephews series page and the FOTY quilts page so they are up to date. Enjoy.

Posts are intermittent as I try to get a new laptop online. Stay tuned.


In December, Barbara Brackman posted about Dresden Plate quilts on her blog. This is a pattern that classic quiltmakers and modern quiltmaker alike love and have used. The green Dresden Plate quilt at the top of the post is a favorite. I love the yellow the maker included.

Pantone has released its new color of the year: Classic Blue. It is described as “PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue is a reassuring presence, instilling calm, confidence, and connection.” It makes me wonder if the choice was made around US politics – to exert some kind of subtle calming influence?

Other Artists

In my work, I read about a lot of random stuff, but since my company supports artists, many of the stuff I read include artists. Lately, I came across Mr. Doodle. His work is amazing. slightly obsessive, but amazing. It could be the inspiration for your quilting designs.

Patterns, Projects, & Tutorials

I am obsessed with the Minikins patterns by Sara Lawson. I don’t know why as I have PLENTY of bag patterns. I want to get Season 2 and make the Daytrip Wallet. I found a hack for one of the Minikins Season 1 patterns, I Spy pouch, that I thought was interesting. Makers could make these for their kids to spread the fabric love.

I sincerely dislike it when I hear a quiltmaker say “Oh, I could never do that!” It really makes me crazy! How do you know you can’t do something if you never try? Apparently Weeks Ringle heard this a lot when they showed a curves quilt at the recent Quilt Market. Now they have a Lavish-a-Long, which is a group effort to piece curves. You can do anything you put your mind to, because you are fabulous and smart and determined!

I went to Knot & Thread because I saw a pouch that was half vinyl. It is called the Hello Pouch and is available in the Knot & Thread shop. I am preventing myself from buying it as I just bought another pouch pattern AND the hardware to make it and I haven’t made it. In exploring the site, I also saw some tutorials, including one about installing a new zipper pull. More tutorials, just in case, are always good, right? The Clearly Pouch I mentioned a few weeks ago is a different style, but as you may remember also has vinyl on top.

Other Crafts

I love the Paper Wreath I make on occasion. One day i went looking for similar projects. I went on a paper buying jag some time ago and the paper is languishing. I found the Mette Wreath. it isn’t quite as dramatic as my paper wreath, but it is is also less delicate.


Barbara Brackman talks about an Everyday Luxury at the Smithsonian about silk. It includes a number of awesome sick quilts, especially crazy quilts. If you can make it, go see the exhibit and report back. I really like hte Bates family quilt.

Various & Sundry 2019 #12

I really can’t believe it is November — oops! I meant I can’t believe November is ending. The good part of November ending is that it is the YM’s birthday today. He was born on a Saturday so this particular birthday is special to me. I am now the mom of a 23 YO! How can that be? The bad part of November ending is that there are very few days left to make projects for Christmas! Yikes. On so many levels, time is just flying along.

I updated the Quilt Gallery Menu (check the header) to include more quilts, tutorials and pages of series quilts. Take a look!


OMCA: Woman Statue
OMCA: Woman Statue

As I mentioned in two recent Burning Man posts, I went to the Oakland Museum of California. I did see some other things besides the Burning Man exhibit. One was this beautiful statue that was 40 feet tall and a fraction of the original’s height.  The lines and shape of the body are simply amazing.

Projects, Patterns, & Tutorials

Charlotte Hawkes of Scrapitude fame is coming out with a  new mystery quilt in January. The kickoff post, which I found a little confusing, is already posted on her site. Thanks to Valerie of Evening in the Garden for the link.

Remember I talked about Mega Pinnies? I saw a post from the designer where she showed a whole bunch of different Mega Pinnies. It is fun to see the different fabrics used. Also, I found that you can buy the pattern from the author’s Etsy shop.

LillyElla of Undercover Maker Mat fame is back with a Mini Maker Station pattern. This would make a great swap gift or a great gift in general.

The Daredevils QAL is finished, but I found one block I forgot to post. Katherine’s Block is one of the best of the bunch. I like the way the circle is split.

Scissor cozies are something I haven’t thought about, but I saw the tutorial and thought that it would be a nice idea for a future gift grouping.

In the paper department is a site that has origami and paper folding. I saw a project called a Mette Ring. I have to try it as it reminds me of a slightly different take on a wreath.

The directions for Bonnie Hunter’s newest mystery quilt, Frolic, were posted today. You can see all of the posts on the Frolic Mystery Quilt tab.  The directions are only free for a limited time, so make sure you save them if you can’t start now.

Fabric, Notions, Tools & Supplies

SewTites is having a sale through December 2. Get some! They are fabulous!

I found glitter vinyl on the Sew Hungry Hippie site. I cant’ remember if I told you about it. If I did then this is a reminder to go look at it. I think I might be in love with glitter vinyl!

Other Artists

Charlotte of the Slightly Mad quilt Lady talked about how to discuss your quilts in a recent post. She follows up on that topic in an even more recent post by clarifying that ALL quilts have a story and we must all tell their stories. I agree. If we don’t tell the stories, they will be lost and that is a crying shame.

Because of my job I found out about a site called Behance. Of course, I did a search for ‘quilt’. I update it every day and look to see what I can see. Through that site, I found Karlee Porter’s site. Her lion is fabulous!

I have heard of Lynn Carson Harris before. Today’s Quilter, perhaps? I don’t remember. I just know that I like her quilts: lots of pieces. She is also working on a  series about domestic abuse. This is a subject near to my heart, not because of personal experience, but because it primarily (not exclusively!) affects women and children. A number of the donation quilts I make are sent to a local domestic violence shelter to comfort the victims who have taken shelter there. The quilting on LCH’s quilts is wonderful.


I often think of QALs and SALs and BOMs as another thing on my to do list. Gretchen posted about why she likes them and it really made me think about these group projects in a different way.

I always think of creatives like musicians as just making their music and that is enough creativity for them. Boy was I wrong, at least in the case of Sir Rod Stewart. He has worked on a creative, non-musical project for 23 years and he finally shows it off. I can really understand how he would want a break from the music, but would still want to be creative. This is amazing and I am thrilled he finally showed it off. I use a lot of creative problem solving at work, but it is a lot different that the part of my brain that is used when I sew. Both are good. I can see the benefits of engaging in both.

The article about drawing to learn is really interesting.

Amish Acres in Indiana is set to close. My friend thinks it would be a great quilt retreat and I should buy it.

Frances of the Off Kilter Quilt and Quilt Fiction fame wrote a long essay about why she makes quilts, the making of quilts in general, quilt stories and selling quilts. She writes “I said I wouldn’t go into quilters underselling their quilts on Etsy, but I will say that while it bothers me, I think I understand why you might sell a quilt easily worth $1,000 for $250. For most quiltmakers, the point of making a quilt is not having a quilt, at least not after you’ve been quilting long enough to have more quilts than you know what to do with. The point of making a quilt is making a quilt. In this way, making a quilt is similar to taking a trip to Paris. You purchase fabric and thread just as you would an airline ticket. Working on the quilt is akin to spending a series of gauzy fall afternoons walking along the Seine or through the Tuileries Garden. You wouldn’t count that time as billable hours. You are passionate about being there—in fact, being there is part of what gives your life meaning. When you return home, you don’t expect someone to reimburse you for your travel expenses. The cost of the travel (the fabric, the thread) is the price you were willing to pay for the experience.  ….” Go read the rest of point #4 (or the whole thing!). It is well worth your time. She makes some excellent points.


Philip Jacobs has a Zazzle shop full of items covered by his designs.

Check my Cafe Press store for holiday gifts.


Edgestitch had a reminder to go get a Mammogram. When was your last one? I want to extend that out to general self-care. I get a haircut religiously every 5-6 weeks. I get a pedicure every month. I exercise. These things cost money and there are other ways to care for yourself. I think it is  important to care for yourself because you can’t care for the others in your life if you are falling apart. What is your self-care routine?

Various & Sundry 2019 #11

BOO! Happy Halloween! For those of you not celebrating, here is an action packed V&S for your reading pleasure.

The Canva Color Wheel describes itself as making color combinations easy. I haven’t checked it out in detail. Let me know what you find out.

Scientific American has an article on innovative and ancient uses of silk.

Charlotte over at the Slightly Mad Quilt Lady blog writes an interesting article about the Auckland Symposium. The silver quilts are really amazing.

Charlotte also brings up some good points about talking about your work fluently in a slightly older blog post. One thing I didn’t see in the post was never to apologize for your quilt -not the design, not any flaws or errors, not the fabrics. Don’t apologize. If someone compliments you, say thank you.

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Sewing Illustration has some interesting patterns, especially one, called the Clearly Carry All Pouch, that has a vinyl top, which would be great for carrying stuff you need to see. I also like the Triangle Pencil Case. What a great shape!

Bonnie Hunter put out the introduction to her annual mystery quilt today. Look for her post on Frolic! A Winter Mystery Quilt.

Have you been thinking about some fan type blocks? Spiky fans? Check out Barbara Brackman’s post on the subject, then take a look at my tutorial to learn to make the blocks. She shows a number of quilts and provides some information on Karen Stone’s quilts.

Mary gave me a link to Mrs. H’s bags and patterns. The site has patterns to purchase, a few free patterns, and some tutorials. She recommends 2Minutes2Stitch for bag hardware in the US. I am always on the hunt for good bag hardware. I’ll let you know if I buy something from them.

The holidays are coming. I saw this small, but pretty needle book project that might be just the thing for a friend. Choose fresh, cheerful fabrics to banish the dark, winter days.

Need an idea for a gift or swap project? What about the stationery pouch by Minki Kim? It could be used for pens and pencils or a small purse to put in your work or guild tote.

Barbara Brackman is still going strong with her Daredevil’s Block of the Week project. Elsa’s Star is a good one and some of the examples Barbara posts are fun. The latest is Evelyn’s Star. This is the last block in the QAL, so get busy putting those tops together. In a separate post, Barbara talks about borders for this quilt.

Bonnie Hunter’s post Thanksgiving mystery quilt project is coming. She often does the introductory post around Hallowe’en, so go to the Quiltville website to look for it.

The ByAnnie company has a number of free patterns on their website. I received a catalog with a recent order and thought there were a few things that would be handy for gifts. Petit Four Baskets would be great for organizing items on your dresser, cutting table or sewing table. Piecekeeper has a handle and a zipper, so if you have not done either of those, this would be a good project for you. I am kind of partial to the Flower Wrist Pincushion. It would make a great gift. All of these projects are small and will give  you practice in making bags.

Exhibits & Events
Marianne Fons and Liz Porter have an exhibit of their best quilt at the quilt museum in Winterset. Marianne writes about it on her blog.

Fabric, Supplies, Tools & Notions

I have been buying a lot of zippers lately as I go through my bagmaking binge. I found a zipper vendor that says they manufacture zippers in LA and ship zippers internationally. I haven’t checked their site out thoroughly yet, but I am in the market for a handbag zipper so I will soon. This may be a wholesaler, which would be sad.

I saw the Smith General Store in Love of Patchwork & Quilting. They have a small, but interesting selection of fabric. They also carry finished quilts.

One of the topics in the FB Kaffe Fassett Collective group is where to buy Kaffe fabrics. This isn’t really a problem for me, but recently I checked out a few shops (very dangerous) and found that Island Quilter has a great selection of my man Phil’s fabrics.

Other Artists

I love these paper dresses – yes, paper!

Quilt Diva Julie has made major progress on her bird quilt and her zap of lightning idea looks fabulous.

Tips & Tricks

Crafty Gemini has some bag making tips in preparation for her new bagmaking club.

Various & Sundry 2019 #10


Reader Daphne writes a great blog, Fun Factual Weird Breathtaking.

Edgestitch talks about the mass market and inspirational messages. I really enjoyed this post!

An article discusses a math professor who developed a new way of piecing called ‘tube piecing’.

The ladies from Sew Kind of Wonderful went on a quilting cruise. They have some tips on what to bring to add to your comfort.

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Barbara Brackman has posted the next blocks in her Daredevils QAL, Willa’s Wheel, Ruth’s Compass and Harriet’s Star. Florene’s 9Patch looks like a block that could be made with the Quick Curve Ruler.

After finishing Flying Around and taking it to be quilted, I am thinking of my next project. By a circuitous route I ended up on the Jen Kingwell site and saw her State Fair pattern made in dots. I know from my experience with Ring Toss that having templates would be better, but I don’t want to buy the templates. What I want is for my Jen Carlton Bailly templates to work for this pattern. Or the Quick Curve Ruler? Could I use that? Testing is required. I just want to make something fast. I don’t want to test (she says now).

You’ll be late to the party, but you can still play along with Christa Watson’s Infrastructure QAL.

Inspiration and Ideas

Miss Lottie is back from her travels in North America and blogging again. She posted about sketching on her iPad. I heard about a new iPad app at work and have been thinking about using tablets more effectively in my work, so this is a timely post.

Exhibits & Events

Check out the SAQA auction. You definitely need more art in your life.

International Quilt Study Group Upcoming Events

  • Sept. 20: Go Behind the Scenes of the Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Conservation Work Room and Collections Storage at Noon. Learn about how we care for our world-famous collection and view rare gems. Cost: $30.
  • Sept. 21: “My Doll and I Explore Old World Quilts” with Sheila Green. Morning and afternoon sessions available. Cost: $20 or $16 for museum members.
  • Sept. 21: Meg Cox presents “Quilt Journalist Tells All”, our 2019 Mary Ghormley Memorial Lecture on Saturday, September 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the Prairie Arts Center, 416 N Jeffers St., North Platte, Nebraska. Free admission.
  • Oct. 4: Join us for First Friday at the International Quilt Museum from 4-7 p.m. Artist Emiko Toda Loeb will give a demonstration of her double-sided log cabin technique at 4:30 p.m. with a lecture at 5:30 p.m. FREE.
  • Oct. 5: Go Behind the Scenes of the Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Conservation Work Room and Collections Storage at Noon. Learn about how we care for our world-famous collection and view rare gems. Cost: $30.
  • Oct. 9-13: American Quilt Study Group and International Quilt Museum joint Seminar in Lincoln, Nebraska! Click here for more information.

WeCreate408 is offering a daily prompt for the month of October. Sign up to get the prompt that is coordinated with events in the San Jose area. Even if you do not live in San Jose, you can sign up and participate.

Other Artists

One of the blogs I read linked to her husband’s blog and showed the gorgeous baskets he made at the John C Campbell Center.

Wanda over at Exuberant Color has a list of Top 10 Quiltmaking Timewasters.

Various & Sundry 2019 #9

First! Redfin quoted me in an article about sewing room organization!

Other Artists

Ellen Harding Baker made a quilt to illustrate her astronomy lectures in the 1800s. An article was recently published about this quilt.

Exhibits & Events

The Dear Jane quilt, officially called the 1863 Jane Stickle Quilt, is on display at the Bennington Museum in Vermont August 31 through October 14, 2019 in the Textile Gallery. Regular admission gets you a viewing. Let me know if you are able to go. You can find the information on their blog.

Local Sew Sweetness meetups are coming:

  • ALABAMA – August 24th at 9am-4pm. Location: The Sewing Machine Mart in Homewood, AL. Contact: Sheila Johnson,
  • CALIFORNIA – August 31st at 11am-3pm. Location: Cotton Patch Quilt Shop, Lafayette, CA. Small fee to sew. Contact: Lisa Lien,
  • CALIFORNIA – August 31st at 11am-3pm. Location: Elk Grove Sewing and Vacuum Center in Elk Grove, CA. Call 916-714-0904 or go to the website to reserve a spot for the Sew Sweetness class. Contact: Lisa Lien,
  • DENMARK – August 31st from 10am-4:30pm. Location: Kvinsbjerg, Dalmose. Contact: Inge Hansen,
  • MINNESOTA – September 28th at 9am-6pm. Location: Pearl & Myrtle’s Retreat Center in Anoka, MN. $11 fee to use the sewing space for the day. Contact: Amanda Badger,

The Asheville Quilt Guild is having a show September 27-29. Check the website for times.

Doing Good

If you want to help AQSG raise money for their projects, send repro fabrics to them for their fundraiser.


The Quilt Alliance blog has a story about connecting the community with quilts.

Fabric, Supplies, Tools & Notions

Have you seen the new state panels from Whistler Studios for Windham? The California panel is really cool! I saw them at Hawthorne Supply and my ideas are racing for another shirt for DH.

I think I will go on a bagmaking binge after finishing Flying Around. In preparation, I watched a Sara Lawson/Sew Sweetness video on applying Odicoat to make fabric water resistant. Sara talks about making bags, such as lunch bags or cosmetic bags wipe clean using Odicoat. As mentioned, I often use the iron-on vinyl to help protect the bottom of my bags. This is not ideal since the bottom of the bags needs to be completely enclosed by stitching to avoid peeling. The iron on vinyl that I have used has never peeled, but I don’t want to risk it. I think the Odicoat might work better since you paint it on the fabric, so you can put it where you want. The video doesn’t talk about sewing it (does the needle stick?), though it looks like it wouldn’t be a problem.

If you want to know what Pellon Products are used for or see a description, I found a chart. Sara of Sew Sweetness has a blog post that discusses how to use various products (smaller list, but what she uses for her bag patterns) and some of their qualities. I am searching for a massive chart that compares different interfacings from different manufacturers. Other articles about interfacing are:

  • Sew4Home: detailed information and history of interfacing with a printable chart
  • SewMamaSew: article on a variety of non-Pellon interfacings with lots of photos and links to patterns. No real chart.
  • SewMamaSew/Amy Butler: interfacing guide
  • Pellon: a variety of printable information sheets on interfacing in chart form. Limited to Pellon products

I use vinyl on some of my bags. It is a little boring, so when I saw that Glitter Vinyl was available, I put it on my list to buy. You have to buy half a yard, which is a lot if you are just making a small pouch, though I could make another bag out of it.

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

By the time you read this, there are probably a few other blocks posted for the Daredevils Block-a-Long. As I write this, the second block, Bessie’s Sunburst, the third block, Hazel’s Star, & the fourth block, Helene’s Star have been posted. I really like Helene’s Star!

PolkaDotChair has a list of “5 Foundation Paper Piecing Tips Perfect for Beginning Quilters.” You’ll have to tell me if they are helpful as I don’t like foundation piecing and probably won’t try them out.

MellySews has a tutorial for the zipper pouch we used for the recent Community Quilt Sew Day. There are tons of tutorials on the site. You’ll spent hours there. 😉

I was trolling hashtags on Instagram for new bags. Not that I need more bags, but you know. I can’t stay away. Anyway, I found a portfolio that is very interesting and would be great for someone getting a new job or being appointed to a committee. I don’t know if it would fit a composition book, but this would be an even greater pattern.

Sew Sweetness has a pattern and video bundle on sale until Sept.2. Yes, I bought it, but I haven’t made anything yet, but will. I was tempted by the Minikins Season 2 collection, because I like that Day Trip Cell Phone wallet. I held off, though.

Want to choose from a number of free tutorials to make wonderful small gifts? Take a look at the Sew Hungry Hippie Free Tutorials page. The page also includes a 1 hour basket tutorial made from vinyl.

Sara also has a free pouch pattern called the Persimmon Pouch available with a video! This looks similar to the Crafty Gemini pouch that Angela made for me. I am sure they are very different. The blog post has a link to download the pattern, an embedded video tutorial and a supply list. The pattern includes 3 sizes. She doesn’t, however, show the inside.

Need to know how to sew vinyl? Check out the guide from Sew Hungry Hippie.

Various & Sundry 2019 #8

Other Artists

Friend Julie put up some links that I wanted to include here. However, there turned out to be too many, so I am linking to her Cornucopia post. Check out her links. I especially like the no bulk elastic join, which I think could be really useful!

I like the red blocks in Julie’s Luminous quilt. They give me a new idea for my strip donation quilts after I finish the ones I am working on. I wrote more about this a few days a go. What do you think?

You may have heard that Rosalie Dace was deported when she tried to enter the country to teach recently. The Quilt Show posted the story of what happened to her.

My guild is contributing stitches to Jennifer Kim Sohn’s 25 million stitches project. This is described as a public engagement art installation. If you or your guild want to participate, there are instructions on the site. The final deadline is Apr 30, 2020.

I like the quilting on this dogwood quilt. I also like the pattern and the color choices.

Laura Kemshall has an update on the Ruby Star Project.

QuiltDiva Julie has a page dedicated to her workroom. She has a lot of great ideas for storage and workspaces. Her DH seems very handy with a  hammer and saw!

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Love of Patchwork & Quilting is starting a new block of the month program.

I delved into one of (I think??) the Modern Quilt Guild’s sites after getting a link in an email. I don’t know if they have changed the site or there are multiple sites, but I didn’t recognize it from where I had been before. I looked around and came across a section on virtual bees. There are some interesting and, at least one, moving stories included. What was not included was things that are problematic about any kind of round robin. I have experienced poor workmanship, bad fabric (ugly and poor quality) and projects disappearing. I am sure my experience is in the minority and I did have a couple of good in person experiences, but I stay away from these types of projects as I see them as possibly turning into problems or ending up as projects I don’t like or don’t want to do.

Sara of Sew Sweetness has a book club as part of her site. With each book she releases a free pattern. This time it is the Suffolk Coin Purse. This would make great gifts for guild mates.

MellySews has a whole bunch of tutorials. I was impressed with the accessories section, but there are clothing and kids sections as well.

I found a Purse Organizer pattern in my quest for zipper pouches. I think it is more like a super sized zipper pouch, or makers wouldn’t need to use it as a purse organizer, but could use it as sub-organizer in other bags. With the fabric, men could use it as well.

 A week or so ago, I was reading Barbara Brackman’s Material Culture blog post. She posted the current results of applique’ BOM she is running on her Civil War blog. She has just posted block #7 and you can scroll back through the blog (January – July 2019) to to get the other blocks if you want them for free. Alternatively, you can buy them all at once in PDF form to print yourself from her Etsy site (instant gratification). She’ll mail you black and white pattern sheets, the purchase of which is also available in her Etsy shop.

Barbara is starting up a Daredevils QAL. I talked about this before, but now it has started. She introduced the first block a week or so ago. This block is not for the faint of heart, but speaks to me and my desire for more complicated and interesting blocks. I haven’t decided if I will do the QAL or not, but am thinking about it. She has some great examples of quilts made with the first block. One thing I like about the first block is that Barbara is showing old blocks, talking about them and exposing people with new and modern fabrics to them, so we can make something new out of them.

Fabric, Supplies & Tools

Remember my Octagon 9 Patch quilt? It has been on my mind lately. If you want to make one, check out these Octagon templates from EE Schenk.

I get the Paintbrush Studios newsletter. In a recent issue, sent July 29, 2019, they introduced their Hallowe’en fabrics, Halloween Night by Katie Larson. They also said “Halloween Night will not be available online this season, so the only way to get it is through your local fabric store!” I discussed it a little with Friend Julie and we have lots of questions. What if a fabric shop has an online presence? Do they just mean Amazon and other large fabric selling sites?

Spoonflower’s newest issue is out. Yes, it is all about trying to sell you their fabric, but it is a beautiful magazine with great imagery. I like the way they combine different fabrics and show various ways they can be used. There are no internal links, apparently, so you can’t click from something in the magazine to their website. I am sure that functionality is coming. Find a pattern for zipper pouches referenced.

Scruffy Quilts was  probably the closest shop to me. I went there for a few hours periodically to take advantage of their open sew and also to take classes. The brick and mortar store closed this year. The other day I got an email, so I think their online store is still open (or open again?).

Articles, Exhibitions & Books

The Quilters’ Guild of the UK is celebrating 40 years of collecting quilts. A book about their 40 years of collecting is available through their shop for 12 English pounds. It does not appear to be available on Amazon.

The Patchwork Association of Spain (Asociación Española de Patchwork) hosts

The Craft Industry Alliance has an article about Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness and how she uses video.

With all of the celebrations around the Apollo 11 spacecraft, I was not surprised to see an article about the seamstresses who helped ‘clothe’ the astronauts. Women, the article reports, had the agility and accuracy to make the suits to detailed specifications and with no mistakes.

Lately I have been reading magazines via RBDigital by checking them out of my library. I’d rather read them in print, but I am being a cheapskate. I also want the library to buy more quilting books and magazines. In a recent issue of Quilts and More, I saw an Acrylic Ruler Connector. This seems like a great idea! It is described as: “Extend your cutting ability with our smart design Acrylic Ruler Connector. This device bridges and holds together two acrylic rulers of any size for accurate, longer cuts. A retractable alignment guide helps square up rulers for a smooth, clean cutting edge, and folds up, out of the way, to allow for cutting on all sides. The tension handle can be pressed to not only ensure a tight grip between rulers, but serves as a comfortable place to rest your hand while cutting.” The description appears to say that users can use any ruler. Unlike the Guidelines4Quilting connector which needs their special rulers. Check out product features on the Fiskars product page. If you buy one, tell me what you think.

I also recently saw an ad for the Clover Ultimate Quilt ‘n Stitch Presser foot. It is described as “Clover’s Ultimate Quilt n Stitch presser foot is your go to for creating parallel line straight stitching and straight line machine quilting. Featuring a built in stitch ruler for guiding rows of parallel stitching. Distance can be set between needle and alignment guide from 3/8 inch to 3 inch. Easily stitch multiple rows of stitching without marking each line.” I liked the variety of measurements. Some machines have these types of attachments, so you don’t this Clover version. Check your machine specs before you buy to make sure your machine is compatible.

Duke has a celebration of 20 years of the Durham African American Quilt Circle.

Nebraska quilters have a site that preserves their stories. This particular page points to Grace Snyder who was discussed recently in the Quiltfiction FB group.

My DH sent me a link to Aimee Hodge’s Crazy Quilt style parlor throw. It is thought that Aimee worked on this throw throughout her life.


Want a dream sewing room/quilt studio? Sign up to win one with AllPeopleQuilt.

Quilts & More: 1 Block 3 Ways feature
Quilts & More: 1 Block 3 Ways feature

While reading the Summer issue of Quilts and More, I saw their “One Block Three Ways” feature. This is a great example of the power of blocks. It also shows how to achieve a completely different look from one block. I have since read another issue and they seem to have it in every issue. Check it out from the library or on the AllPeopleQuilt site.

Kind reader Colleen passed along a link to a publication discussing running a crafty business. How shopowners got started, pricing and other relevant business topics are discussed. It is a PDF and the PDF is well done and pretty.

I just heard about the Awesome Box, which looks like it could be a great way to get a variety of art from different people.

At Home with Artquiltmaker

After buying a few yards of fabric, I have again achieved the net usage of 50 yards of fabric. I have actually used over 100 yards, but the purchases have offset the total used. 41% of my total usage is for charity. I am pleased with that, though it could be better!

Various & Sundry 2019 #7

I always start out with these posts thinking I won’t find anything, yet I do! Here is another supersized V&S for your reading pleasure!

Fabric, Notions, Supplies & Tools

Edgestitch has an interesting and terrifying article about organic cotton. Terrifying as in how it affects topsoil and what the ramifications of not paying attention to it will be. More bad news for our planet. 🙁

If you want an easy way to add a zipper pocket to any bag project, you need Sara Lawson/Sew Sweetness’ new Acrylic Zipper Pocket Template (and Ruler). Slip pockets are not difficult and they can be very handy, but the measuring can be a hassle. Sara’s video shows how to use the new template to measure and mark for the slip pocket quickly and easily. It is also reasonably priced at $15 in her shop. It is definitely going on my Christmas list.

Studio Kat Designs has dotted and striped zippers. I am buying some of these next time I need zippers! They are awesome.

If you are confused about what to bring when a class list says to bring a BSK, AllPeopleQuilt has a list of items that should be included. I mostly agree with them, though I would add WonderClips and some hand sewing needles. Where I disagree is with the rotary cutting ruler. 6″ x 24″ is commonly thought of as the basic quilt ruler. I have one and do use it regularly, however I don’t use it every day. My go to ruler for almost every cut is a Creative Grids 4.5″x6.5″. Larger rulers are great and useful, but too unwieldy for small cuts. If you can only buy one ruler, I recommend a Creative Grids 8.5″x12.5″. this won’t help you much with long cuts, but it will be easier to handle when cutting 2.5″ squares and other small pieces. My other favorite ruler, which I use a lot and sits on my cutting table is the Creative Grids 3.5″x 12.5″. If you can buy a bunch of rulers, buy the 6″ x 24″, 4.5″x6.5″ and the 3.5″x12.5″. You’ll be set for awhile with these rulers. Also, you will find things you need to expand your BSK. I have paper scissors, a mechanical pencil and various other things. Collect your BSK in a travel kit so you can grab and go. As you expand your quilty life you’ll get duplicates of things and be able to keep one set at home and one set ready to go to class or Sew Day or a friend’s house.

Pink Door Fabrics has a great selection of bag hardware, including some rainbow finishes.

Friend Julie did a review of the Chaco Liner on her blog.

Maker’s Mercantile has some beautiful collections of Renaissance Ribbons for your embellishing pleasure. Among the options are sets by Sue Spargo, Amy Butler and Tula Pink.

I read recently that BLOCKBASE IS SOLD OUT! OMG! I love that software. It works with my EQ software and I don’t have to draw most blocks that I see and want to use or play with. Barbara Brackman, who announced this, also asked what could be done to improve the software. If you have ideas, let her know. You never know what might be added if you stick your oar in.

Patterns, Projects & Tutorials

Gretchen is a master at finding Quilt-a-Longs. She has mentioned two new ones in her recent blog post, The Struggle is Real. The sewing will be well on the way by the time you read this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start the process later. The first is a QAL by Christa Watson using her Color Weave quilt pattern. I have seen a couple of other designs that have a similar look, so this stripe kind of look must be popular. If you have jelly rolls or an Accuquilt 2.5″ strip die, this is a great pattern. The second pattern is by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts and does homage to crochet granny square afghans. It uses her Crochet pattern (no crochet involved!). It is a great design.

I have become accustomed to wearing an apron when I cook. This isn’t natural for me, but after ruining a few favorite t-shirts, I trained myself. Now I find aprons fun to make and great gifts. I found a list of free vintage style apron patterns on the Betty Cooks Lightly site. #19 on the left is hilarious looking – slightly flirty, or maybe tarty, but sort of fun also. There are a couple I would like to try. I need to try the apron patterns I have, however, first.

AllPeopleQuilt’s recent newsletter had a nice list of gifts for your sewing buddies. Since it is July, I thought you might be starting your holiday gifts. Some are reused from previous lists, but one might catch your attention so take a look.

I have a dessert roll of V&Co Ombre confetti fabrics. I want to get a dessert roll in the new colors as well, but am not sure what shop has dessert rolls. I have been looking at projects using dessert rolls (5″ x WOF). I found a great sampler on the Moda blog. I don’t think it is really what I want to make, but I love the variety of block sizes and might just be put off by the colors. How would it look in my colors?

Need some Jelly Roll Patterns? U-Create has some great designs. The fabric has a lot to do with the way the quilts look, I know. Remember: you can cut your own 2.5″ strips, if you don’t want to buy a jelly roll. I highly recommend this!

I came across a Bonnie Hunter block, Straits of Mackinac, that I adore. You can find in a post of hers from 2016. The quilt pattern is in her latest book, String Frenzy. I am put off my strings, but I think the /block/quilt could look very nice with scrappy fabrics and no strings.

I have a dessert roll (pre-cut) and have been looking for pattern options. I ran across the Project Jelly Roll page, which has a lot of resources, if you are a fan of jelly rolls and other pre-cuts. They are big on National Jelly Roll day and inform visitors of the exact date frequently.

Kevin the Quilter is hosting a two color quilt summer sew-a-long. Clue 1 was just posted and the Introduction is also available. I think this is more than a sew-a-long, but also a mystery quilt.

Bonnie Hunter has a new leaders and enders challenge for summer. You can find it on her free patterns page. I haven’t been to the free patterns page in awhile and was amazed at how many patterns live there! The 2019 Leaders & Enders challenge is Shoo, Fly, Shoo! The original post went live on July 4th. Bonnie Hunter amazes me. She has the most amazing patterns. I’d love to know how her mind works.

In Between Stitches has a super cool Block of the Month program called Summer Moon. The information on the In Between Stitches website was a little confusing, so I did a general web search and found, from the Jolly Jabber blog, that it is an actual Block of the Month program. However, I got the impression that there is also a book, so I went exploring. This is another Its Sew Emma book/Block of the Month extravaganza like Farm Girl Vintage, though Farm Girl was by Lori Holt and Summer Moon is by Carrie Nelson. I think I like it because of the fabrics rather than the actual design. There are blocks that are similar in the various Its Sew Emma projects. All the blocks are blocks I could do without buying a pattern, but the fabric selection is awesome. Also, I love samplers.

Remember I said I love Samplers? Well, I just got the news that Barbara Brackman is hosting a quilt-a-long. It is called the Daredevil Quilt-a-long and it is a sampler with a secondary pattern. The fabric requirements and some other info has been posted, but it officially starts early in August. She has a couple of options for purchasing the patterns in her Etsy shop. I have often thought a magazine called “Really Hard Quilts” would be great. There are a plethora of easy, quick and fast quilts out there, but nothing, or few, challenging patterns. Companies are afraid to scare quiltmakers away. This quilt-a-long will challenge you. It is not for the faint of heart, but you can do it.

Media & Online Groups

I’m still thinking about blocks. It doesn’t help that I get an email about vintage blocks every time Barbara Brackman updates her blog. I mentioned Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns blog a few weeks ago. It is also called Cloud of Quilt Patterns. In one of her posts was a link to Moore about Nancy blog, which is a Nancy Cabot Sew-a-Long. It hasn’t been updated since 2014, as far as I can tell, but it has interesting blocks and the author gives guidelines on how to make them. The Nancy Cabot Sew-a-Long blog mentions the 101 Patchwork Patterns site, which has even more blocks!

I did not know that Sewing with Nancy had quilting communities and online groups.

Karen K. Buckley is in a fight about her scissors, which are the best, and the ripping off of the design.

The Guardian has a story about Faith Ringgold. Please support The Guardian.

Have you heard about Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal?

You may have seen my recent book review on Handmade Getaway. The co-author, Karyn Valen, has a great website called I like the pattern she shows using Flying Geese. It isn’t a difficult patternand the use of fabric is fantastic. I especially like it, because she cuts them using an electric Accuquilt! i would love one of these, but I just don’t have the space to leave it out. I don’t think I would want to hide it away as I do with the hand crank version I have.


Barbara Brackman talks about Gloria Vanderbilt’s patchwork interior on a recent blog post. She makes a comment that it was the 1970s with regard to the variety and quantity of prints. I see a correlation to present day. Riots of prints are used in quilts today. I am no exception. However, in the famous quiltmaker department Kathy Doughty has a gallery full of quilts using many prints. Kaffe Fassett also uses a lot of prints and color in his quilts.

Barbara Brackman (again!!) mentioned The Business of Folk Art exhibit in NYC on her blog recently. There is a book that goes along with the exhibit. The post mentions the Honstain quilt, which is in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center, but on display in New York right now. Brackman writes that “this sampler quilt dated 1867 that has the reputation as the most expensive antique quilt ever sold ($264,000 in 1991).” She has a lot of interesting history about the quilt in her post. It is worth reading.

Other Artists

In a recent comment on my Thinking about Blocks post, Ronni mentioned her Barn Block Alphabet project. She has a tag to relate the Barn Block Alphabet posts together. I am a little unclear on what the purpose of the project is, though Ronni does talk about her love for blocks in the comments. She has a number of products at a Society 6 shop.

Marianne Fons and Liz Porter will be inducted into the Quilter’s Hall of Fame. Marianne has a post about their start and how they became quiltmakers household names on her blog. I don’t like what F&W/The Quilting Company has done to Love of Quilting, but I like the way they teach and provide guidance for quiltmakers.

Doing Good

Covered in Love is collecting 12.5″ red, white and blue star blocks for charity quilts this summer. Any star pattern and as many or as few as youw ould like are welcome.

Exhibits & Shows

QuiltDivaJulie posted about a recent exhibit featuring the color blue. I love her Plus blocks at the top of the post. The quilts are unified by the size and the primary use of the color blue. It is interesting to see the variety of blues in the various quilts. There are also a variety of styles represented.

Various & Sundry 2019 #6

I have added a lot of new items and designs to the Artquiltmaker Store. Check it out!

This is a super-sized V&S. You’ll need some time. Enjoy!

Books, Research & History

Barbara Brackman has a new block book out called The Kansas City Star Quilts Sampler: 60+ Blocks from 1928 to 1961. She signed some at Quilt Market, but I didn’t see her there.

Martingale has a great post about some historical quilts. I was interested in a family member going back and making labels for the old quilts.

QuiltFiction will be having a discussion about Quilted All Day: The Prairie Journals of Ida Chambers Melugin.

Check out Facts vs. Myths About America’s Quilting Past. After a few clicks, you can find that the answers are footnoted.

Shows, Exhibits & Media

Thanks to Sonja, there is a new exhibit possibility for you. The Century of Women’s Progress exhibit is now accepting entries. I would enter Down the Drain, but they have very specific sizes and my quilt doesn’t fit. Darn it! I could make something else and have the germ of an idea, but I don’t know if it is in the cards right now. How about you?

“The state of Tennessee has a fabulous new museum building in Nashville. Their first temporary exhibit is a quilt show up until July 7th.” Barbara Brackman talks about it on her blog and shows some fabulous photos of amazing piecing and quilting.

Frances O’Roark Dowell, a children’s writer and quilt fiction writer, has now written an essay on why she makes quilts. She has several points, most of which I agree with, especially “A well-designed quilt is deeply pleasurable in a number of ways“.

Linda and Laura Kemshall have posted another free video. It is called  Linda’s Plant Printing Concertina Books Flip-Through.

I saw a blurb about Curated Quilts. I went to the link and ended up on the Color Girl blog where she tempted me to buy an issue. She has a discount code and the issue is about curves. I have been tempted by her ruler, the Classic Curve Ruler, but have been reluctant to buy because I have and use the Quick Curve Rulers (regular and mini). I am not sure of the difference between the two rulers. I don’t want to duplicate, though I am always on board to support small woman owned businesses.

Frances also shared a video of a grandson who explores his grandfather’s amazing journals. This gives me hope that someone will care about my journals someday. It is also a very sweet piece that honors a man’s life work especially the ordinary things he did.

Atlas Obscura did an article on Crimean military quilts. The author doesn’t know much about quiltmaking, at least in my opinion, from reading the first few lines, which isn’t big news. The author also spoke to a quilt historian, Annette Gero. I had never heard of her so went looking. She is described as one of Australia’s leading quilt historians,  and has been documenting and collecting quilts since 1982. She has travelled throughout Australia giving lectures, curating exhibitions of Australian quilts and documenting quilts. There is also a reference to her in the International Quilt Study Center. Fortunately, a lot of the story references different scholarly textile journal articles, which makes me feel better after the beginning of the article. Letters are also referenced, but I wonder if journals would have helped. Perhaps some poor solider kept a journal that included how he came to making an elaborate quilt.  If nothing else, you will enjoy the complexity of the designs included in the article.

HollyAnne Knight wrote a blog post called “Why Quilters Should Ditch Stash Culture.” I have a complicated relationship with my fabric closet. I really like being able to dive in and find a fabric to finish, or start, a project. Also, most of my quilts use many fabrics so having many on hand is good. However, the finite size of fabric closet is a problem, especially when the fabric spills out of it. What do you think?

Barbara Brackman has blog retrospective/tribute to Gwen Marston’s work. The post has a lot of links to other sources if you are interested in exploring Gwen’s work further.

Doing Good

Angels in Gumboots has an update to their Healing Hearts for ChristChurch project. I wrote about this project in April. One line really made me happy and thrilled to be part of such a giving community “We are thrilled to announce that as of today we have 461 finished quilts of either green or multi-coloured hearts. In addition, we have more than 432 quilts that are either at the quilting stage or are blocks still needing to be pieced into tops. ” That is more than 900 quilts!!! NINE HUNDRED!!! Amazing that so many quilts could be made. Good work everyone!

Tools, Supplies, Notions & Fabric

Scissors are critical and frustrating. someone recently posted about their pinking shears, which are hard to open and close. I have this problem with my very expensive pair as well. While this post does not directly address the pinking shears problem, it does talk about scissor care, in general.

Some people in my guild swear by Bloc-Loc rulers. I am pretty happy with my Creative Grids rulers, so I don’t think I will switch. In case I decide I will, I found a ‘how to use Bloc-Loc rulers’ video from American Patchwork & Quilting. What are your favorite rulers and why?

I found another bag hardware site. The site has a lot of movement, which can be annoying, but it has a lot of interesting and different zipper pulls. It looks like most of the pulls are attached to the tops of zippers, not able to attach to any zipper.

I have seen thread cutters for sale and always knew I didn’t need one until I saw the one from Purple Hobbies. It looks like a little flower and uses used rotary blades for cutting. I just might need one. All of the tools and toys are 3D printed and a lot of colors are available. The owner sells other tools like pincushions and bobbin clips as well as a few kitchen supplies.

I ran across Art Gallery’s Floral Elements line the other day on the Stash Fabrics site. I love those fabrics so much and thought for sure they were out of print. I want yards of all of them!

I really love Rock Baby Scissors work. Kristy Sachs, until recently, made custom orders from commercial patterns such as Sew Sweetness RockStar bag. Now she makes what she wants and fills her shop with them. She also has an Amazon page with all of the notions and items she uses.

Patterns, Projects & Tutorials

I am a huge fan of Larissa Holland‘s 12 Days of Christmas wool felt patterns. Note: I have not made any of these. I just love them. I have too many hand projects at the moment. Once I clear the decks with some of those, I will start in on this set. Recently, I found her blog and love her style when she updates patterns. The images aren’t just there for good looks,  but are there as adjuncts to the words.

I belong to Vicki Holloway’s Creative Corner 3 group on FB. She has been prepping hexies and I finally figured out she is working towards making a temperature quilt. I had an idea of what that meant, but wasn’t 100% sure, so I went and looked it up. I am not sure I found where this phenomenon started, but I found a few links that give you an idea what to do. Mel is using the high/low temp each day and making HSTs. Mel also lists her colors for temperature ranges and how to construct the quilt. Darcy talks about making her quilt and also gives some options. Her style is more conversational. She is also using high and low temperatures, but is making the quilt from the year of her birth. Darcy has some nice charts as illustrations. I like the two quilts that Live a Colorful Life made. She talked about living in a climate that didn’t vary much, like I do. We have a lot of 50-60 degree days. She also used squares, which produced a look that was really appealing. If you search for ‘temperature quilt’ on your favorite search engine, you will come up with a variety of examples as well. I think deciding on fabrics and assigning them temperature ranges is the key.

Curves are very trendy now. ColorGirlQuilts has a great ruler, mentioned above. Sew Kind of Wonderful has a couple of great rulers, which you have seen me use in Metroscape and the Lights table runner. Recently I saw a Curated quilts issue all about curves, also mentioned above. Victoria Findlay Wolfe has been teaching her Double Wedding Ring and Pies and Points classes as well. I, recently, found a new pattern from Art Gallery Fabrics. It isn’t that different from ColorGirlQuilts and Sew Kind of Wonderful patterns IMO, but has a slightly different look because it is a Cathedral Window, essentially.

Crafty Gemini has a free tutorial on pressing seams in quilts.

Yes, I am probably obsessed with ColorGirlQuilts right now. I saw her Bikini pattern and may need to get the ruler and make that quilt.

While reading a new blog, I found a scrap challenge called Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I read through some of the blog posts. It seems that the hostess/blog writer chooses a color every month and people link up with their creations in that color at some point during the month. The blogger also had a tutorial in May for a block using orange fabric. I was sad I couldn’t link up, but I haven’t started working on orange yet. Perhaps she will choose red for June and I can link my various quilts up with her then.

Crafty Gemini has a free video tutorial called “How to Cut Fabric for Right & Left Handed Quilters”

If you want to make a Jelly Roll Rug in half circle shape, check out the video. These are good for the floor in front of your sink.

I looked at the Noodlehead site and she has a list of tutorials for bags, wallets and zips.

Are you participating in the current Bad Girl Quilt-a-Long? There is a sneak peek at the finished quilt and it looks interesting. A recent week’s blocks are similar to the blocks used in En Provence. The difference is that this block uses Bias Rectangles and En Provence uses Peaky and Spike blocks. Make sure you check out my resources on Bias Rectangles. The bias rectangles in the quilt-a-long allow you to use a lot more fabrics. If you plan to use bias rectangles, review the resources. Also, just go buy the Split Rects ruler and make your life better. If you plan to use Peaky & Spike blocks, get the correct ruler. Yes, these are specialty rulers, but they will make the cutting much easier. I use my Peaky & Spike ruler frequently.

Other Crafts

I read the Maker’s Mercantile newsletter. It is a lot about knitting, but they also talk about sewing and crochet. Franklin Habit has a column, Fridays with Franklin, or a link to the column on the blog. His writing is very entertaining. He often has knit-a-longs. The most recent one is a Counterpane Pillow Knit-Along. You can find the discussion on Ravelry. It doesn’t start until July, so you have time. It looks cool and I might do it, if I didn’t already have a knitting project. I mention it to introduce you to Franklin Habit and also to suggest another project for you. 😉 Take a look at the most recent newsletter. Make sure you scroll down a little after the page loads. The page is formatted in an odd way. You can also follow Franklin online via Twitter (@franklinhabit), Instagram (@franklin.habit), his Web site ( or his Facebook page. He is witty and fun.

Various & Sundry 2019 #5


If you haven’t looked at my Works in a Series pages recently, I would love it if you did. I created a new page for the Ends Donation Quilts, which has turned into a series.

Teachers, Teaching and Learning

AllPeopleQuilt has put together a video series to sharpen your quiltmaking skills. If you don’t want to look at my tutorials. ;-), check out the first installment of their series.

You all know how much I love Pamela Allen. The Kingston School of Art posted a great blog post about her and her gallery installation recently.

Judy Martin shared a couple of things with readers of her newsletter in an abbreviated May issue. Last fall she taped a segment for The Quilt Show in which she demonstrated how quiltmakers can play with Lone Star arrangements in the same way they can play with Log Cabin arrangements. A preview of that episode is now available. The show will air for free from May 19 to May 26. Be sure to bookmark it and go back in ~2 weeks so you can watch the full program.

Annie Smith has an amazing online class called Quilter’s Palette available. The class is ten installments in total. It teaches five ways to paper-piece a block (each different), three ways to machine appliqué, how to design-draft-and-make-templates, y-seam construction and y-seam construction on steroids among other techniques.

Merikay Waldvogel & Barbara Brackman have begun a fund dedicated to a special collection for quilt research books, patterns & ephemera. Donate on their site.

I am very sad to say that Gwen Marston has died. She died on or about April 16. I first saw the news in the Quilt Alliance Story Circle FB page. It had been reposted from Meg Cox’s page. I reposted Meg’s original post to the AQ page for your convenience.



I get a newsletter from Maker’s Mercantile. It is mostly knitting stuff. I don’t buy anything, but occasionally I consider joining a Knit-a-Long. I never do. Mostly I enjoy the Fridays with Franklin blog posts. The man eventually gets to knitting, but is hilarious. A recent post about his family really and truly had me rolling on the floor, especially with the description of his mother’s philosophy of childrearing “…my mother’s policy–just please stay outside during all daylight hours and don’t bother me unless somebody is broken or bleeding.” I don’t think my mother had that exact policy, but the TV was firmly OFF until at least 7pm every night and there were questions if lights were turned on in the house during the day. We spent a lot of time outdoors.

Glenna has the website for her longarm business up and running. Take a look!

Classes, Projects & Tutorials

I saw a couple of posts on Instagram for adorable carrot themed treat bags. Yes, Easter is over, but this gives you time to make a bunch for next year.

Tools, Notions, Fabric & Supplies

Friend Julie has a review of the Shark Applicutter on her blog. She bought it at QuiltCon. I don’t even remember her buying it, but I can see, after reading her review, that it would be a really useful tool for applique. I would have liked to have had one for working on the words in Who Am I?

Have you seen Northcott’s new Ever After line of fabric? Princesses, crowns, castles and all the fairy tale motifs. Very fun.

Olfa Ergonomic - new color
Olfa Ergonomic – new color

Olfa has some new products.  They have come out with a Pacific Blue Ergonomic Rotary Cutter, a navy rotary mat (36″ x 24″), and a premium quiltmaking set which includes a Quick Change Splash 45mm Rotary cutter, Frosted Ruler (6″ x 12″), and Navy Rotary Mat (12″ x 18″). More info will be available at booth 1139 at Quilt Market in Kansas City! You know I love my Olfa Ergonomic cutter. I do not love the yellow, so the blue would be a nice change. However, would I be able to find the rotary cutter hidden under a bunch of fabric? I don’t know. You can see images of the new products on a Canadian dealer site. Thanks to the Quilt Market Twitter account.

Tips & Tricks

Oliver & S has a guide to doing laundry. The good news? You are probably washing your clothes more than you need to! YAY! More time for sewing!

One of our favorite quiltmakers, Christa Watson, has a tutorial on how to build a design wall. Remember that Quiltin’ Jenny has a tutorial as well.

Paper & Other Crafts

I can’t resist posting some tutorials to other crafts. I went on a bit of a paper folding jag the other week when I was at Powell’s in Portland. I wanted to find a book on folding paper to make things like wreaths, similar to my paper wreath tutorial.  I didn’t find what I wanted so I went searching the web for what I wanted. I found several:

  • Paper Star link – not in English, video tutorial
  • Modular Braided Wreath link – video tutorial
  • Modular Braided Wreath #2 link
  • 3D Paper Star Decoration  link
  • 5 Pointed Origami Star link
  • Cut & Braided Paper Star link


If you haven’t read SherriD’s recent comment, go and read it. Her comment embodies why I write this blog. I am so excited that some of what I write has inspired her. Thanks to all of you lovely readers. You inspire me and warm my heart, too.

26 Projects 2019 #5

Finished 2019 Quilt Projects

Finished 2019 Non-Quilt Projects

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

Doing Good

  • Ends n.7 quilt top and back – finished 1/6/2019
  • Ends n.8 quilt top and back – finished 4/11/2019
  • Green Strips quilt top and back – finished 1/16/2019
  • Green Thing donation top and back – finished 2/2019
  • Libs Elliot donation top – finished 2/2019 – Cheryl actually did the quilting and the binding. She made me feel good by saying she really liked the quilt. I should try the technique using stripes instead of making stripes and see if I feel differently. I should do a lot of things.
  • Purple Improv donation quilt top – finished 3/2019
  • Purple Strips donation quilt top and back
  • Spiky Stars n.3 donation top and back – finished 3/2019

In Process
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or are on the design wall waiting for me to stitch. I try not to put away projects, because that will ensure I never work on them

  • English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I have a big stack of stars ready to sew into the quilt. I am still thinking of my friend Faye whenever I work on it. She says that I have to think of this as my slow project.
  • Flying Geese quilt – just started, still cutting and some sewing

Ready for Quilting

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

  1. FOTY 2018 – this has to be on the list now as I have cut a ton of squares and need to arrange and sew it together. As I am still working on FOTY 2017, I haven’t made a start on this yet.
  2. Handbag Sampler – this is still the forgotten project. It should be on the UFO list. Too bad I don’t have one. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class the time before I started writing the quilt class sampler tutorials. I found one block recently, but otherwise I actually don’t know exactly where the blocks are hiding. I have an idea and still have to crawl up in the far reaches of my fabric closet soon and see if I can find them. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. Sad.
  3. Lobster – I still have more stitching to do and then I need to quilt it. Probably also a UFO, but it nags at me from the small design wall.
  4. Pies and Points from 2016 Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. The last time I worked on it was when Julie and I had a playdate in April 2018. I brought this piece with me so I could cut more elements (Julie has a Sizzix). I lost my excitement about this piece shortly thereafter and still have to get it back. Thus, I had to move this to the WIPs area.
  5. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  6. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I am still stalled on this again. As one of my oldest (I am pretty sure) UFO, I put it on my blog and out into the Twitterverse and Diane suggested that I not consider this as a self portrait. I think that strategy is a great idea. I am now trying to think of a new persona for her.
  7. Black and Red quilt – This came about because of two other projects. I made a whole bunch of bias tape as part of my failed attempt at doing the Mighty Lucky Club a few years ago. Another part of the inspiration came from my class with Tina of Little Blue Cottage fame. This was going to be for a nephew, but I think it will be for one of my SILs and BILs. I have rectangles cut and some bias tape ready. My next step is to sew the bias tape to the rectangles like pickup sticks. I don’t have any photos of this, so you’ll have to use your imagination.
  8. Who Am I? – This piece is off my design. I have lost momentum, but I think that just has to do with the amount of satin stitching I am facing.

Various & Sundry 2019 #4

Doing Good
After the tragic events in New Zealand, Angels in Gumboots has created a project to make 100 heart quilts. You can find the information on their Facebook page. Basically, make 6″ finished (6.5 inch unfinished) heart blocks in green on white backgrounds. No novelty prints. You can find the Cluck Cluck Sew pattern (we used it for the Pulse quilts) on her site. My heart is breaking at this latest horror. How often do we have to make these blocks for more quilts which will never take the place of a loved one?

Yes, you have to send the blocks or tops or quilts to NZ. The post office will help you.

Charlotte also writes about white supremacy and white nationalism in her blog post. The post provides some resources on identifying how these ideas/movements (? not sure of the right word) affect societies and the people in them.


Mister Domestic has a YouTube Channel. One of the things he does is unboxes quilt subscription boxes. He laughs a lot during these videos, so if you need a laugh, watch his silliness and get a chance to check out various quilt subscription boxes. I really liked what was in the Modern Quilter’s Box.

I was referred to SuzyQuilts by an article in an older issue of Love of Patchwork & Quilting about Lindsey Neill. This is a really cheerful sounding blog. I also found some really useful posts such as “does batting have a right and wrong side?” If you sign up for her newsletter or mailing list, you get a free pattern. I didn’t so I don’t know what it looks like.

Another article on the healing effects of sewing. This time, it’s from the Guardian. It is written by Clare Hunter who has written a book called Threads of Life: a History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle.

Ronni of Road Home Quiltin’ mentioned a podcast search engine, Listen Notes. I did a search for quilt and came up with a number of the relevant podcasts, such as Quilt Cabana Corner, Off Kilter Quilt, etc. Good job!

Rafael Araujo, a Venezuelen architect, is in the process of publishing an amazing coloring book  about the Golden Mean. This article shows a number of photos of the images. There is a link to the Kickstarter campaign and a pre-order on Amazon from the article.

Barbara Brackman, quilt historian, discusses fabric and pattern in a post on her Material Culture blog.

Fabric, Notions, Supplies & Tools

I found the Ruby Star Society catalog and more information about these former Cotton & Steele designers forthcoming fabric lines.

Gretchen was extolling the virtues of the laser that was included with her relatively new sewing machine. Wherever she posted this information someone came up with an aftermarket solution for those of us with regular machines. You can add a laser to your own machine regardless of make or model. Slice of Pi Quilts has a tutorial on the virtues as well as how to install it.

I found an interesting article about thread.

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials

Barbara Brackman has a blog about block patterns, which someone told me was new. I found that it went back to June of 2016, so it is just new to me and there is a lot of inspiration there. It is, basically, an index of quilt blocks, like her Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, but in blog form. This is good since it looks like the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns is out of print, or now difficult to find, and people are charging a lot for it. She only posts once a week and her recent post is about Ohio Stars and Nine Patch Stars. There are examples of the quilts. While the fabrics are faded and not bright or cheerful, you can see some trends that show up in Modern quiltmaking. There is a box to subscribe via email.

The Spring 2019 Riley Blake fabric challenge is now full. You can still participate by purchasing the fabric yourself somewhere.

Groups & Guilds

The MQG has the QuiltCon awards ceremony online. I don’t know if you have to be a member to watch. I am a member, but I haven’t watched it. Yet.


Various & Sundry 2019 #3


A friend sent me another article about the health benefits of quiltmaking. This is, what I would call, a readable scholarly article. I am not familiar with the publication, but I always enjoy reading about the health benefits of my passion.

I didn’t know that Ruby McKim still had a website.

Sara over at Sew Sweetness is hosting a quilt fiction book club with projects. No idea on what the projects are or if there is a cost.

F&W Media, the ‘enthusiast’ company has filed for chapter 11 and will sell their assets. F&W is the owner of such quiltmaking properties as Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors. they also own book imprints such as Interweave (where they ruined their quilt history magazine), SewandSo, The Quilting Company (includes Fons & Porter), North Light Books, and Krause Publications, all publishers who produce quiltmaking books. You can find more business-type information on the Bloomberg page. Abby Glassenberg wrote a blog post about the sale of recent ceasation of publication of some of their magazines. In my opinion, the changes they made to the successful publications they purchased led to this situation. I hope someone better (Fortunoff??) will buy some of these former gems and restore them to their glory.

Projects, Patterns and Tutorials

Valerie has a portion of the latest scrap quilt by Charlotte Hawke posted on her blog. I really like the Trip Around the World look and putting it on point makes it even better. The post includes a description of mystery quilts and some of those Charlotte has designed.

Ronni of Road Home Quilting posted a Peaky & Spike tutorial. No special rulers required.

Knot and Design has a pattern for fabric and vinyl pouches that are interesting.

Lieblingsdecke has a really great cushion cover pattern using paper foundation piecing. If you need help foundation piecing, check out my tutorial.

Patti told us about a quilted scissor holder tutorial from Miss Sews-it-all. I went and found the 2015 post and may make some of those for gifts.

Doing Good

The Million Pillowcase challenge is still going strong. Their website has patterns and other information.

Theresa gave Sara of Sew Sweetness permission to share her document that gives information on the kind of yardage you need for Sew Sweetness patterns. This is a google Drive document and I have no control over it.


Someone pointed out a shop with lots of Kaffe Fassett (and Philip Jacobs!) fabrics: Sew Colorful.

Tips & Tricks

Two methods of seam ripping.

Various & Sundry 2019 #2


The design series came up after the CQFA meeting a couple of weeks ago. I went back to look at the posts and found a number of the images broken. They are now all fixed. Go and take a look.

Projects, Patterns & Tutorials has a list of bag patterns. I am pretty sure some of these are repeats – perhaps new fabrics or names – but it is still useful to have a list of free bag patterns in case you need a quick gift.

FreeSpirit, like many fabric companies, has a page of free projects. Need something to make? Check out the projects from FreeSpirit designers.

I know Easter is still a few months away. I saw these cute little Easter themed zipper pouches on the Edgestitch site. Adorable!

LilyElla, of Undercover Maker Mat fame, has a number of tutorials on her website. There are three that I thought would be of [particular interest. I have not tried these yet, so report back:

  • Modifying a two way zipper – this is good if you need a zipper with two pulls that opens from the center
  • Sturdy fabric basket – this tutorial is similar to the One Hour Basket and has directions for making them in any size. For those of you organizing for your New Year’s Resolution, this is a great project. Not only will you use up fabric, but you will also be able to use the basket to organize.
  • Mini-Maker Station – this would be a great gift for someone who hand sews a lot. I like the little box on the top.


I very seldom join round robins or online swaps. Quality of sewing is something that concerns me. I have also been a member of many, many swaps, bees and round robins and I don’t find that the group project stimulates me the way it once did. That’s me! As a young quiltmaker, I loved them and encourage you to find your people. I found an article on quilting bees that provides a list of things to think about when considering joining.

Friend Julie has started to post on her blog again. She is posting A LOT! She has a different style than me, but is also very grounded and real. Go take a look and leave a comment. I think you will enjoy her work and recent product reviews.

All of the Why Quilts Matter episodes are available on the KET site. Frances of QuiltFiction and the Off Kilter Quilt has some interesting thoughts about the series.

If you need a creative break from your sewing machine or are recovering from an illness, OpenCulture has a collection of coloring books available developed by their partner institutions. There are a wide variety of institutions and many of them have collections you would not normally see as part of a coloring book. They may be just thing if life has too much pink in it.

Tools, Supplies, Notions and Fabric

Friend Julie has posted a review of the SteamFast iron.

Oliver+S posted a link to a new type of sewing machine. It is definitely cool looking. It was, however, clearly designed by someone who doesn’t make quilts. I may have to get one, however, so I can keep sewing when the power goes out. No free motion, however.

I seem to always be in need of zippers. Atkinson Designs has some.

Friend Julie has posted a review of Magic Pins.

Prequilt Screenshot
Prequilt Screenshot

PreQuilt is a new quilt design tool. It is described as “a free design tool for quilters. Include PreQuilt into your design process and you can cut your fabric with confidence that the design you have is the one.” I looked at a it quickly and found that you can create blocks on the design screen. It doesn’t seem to have a library of blocks unless you signup. I didn’t do much more than take a quick look.

The Moda Cutting Table blog has a post on block dictionaries. The author calls them ‘block books’. She uses some of the same and some different ones that I do.

If you haven’t see Summersville, a fabric line by Lucie Summers, you need to take a look. She has some iPhone and Samsung Galaxy cases that are fantastic looking.

There are a lot of places to get zippers. Atkinson Designs is another. Lots of colors.


This isn’t a regular category of my Various & Sundry posts, but a few sites came up this time, so I am adding it.

I have been on a mission to find a collection of quilt patterns from Workbasket magazine. Periodically I look at Google and see if anyone has published any or if there are any images of the patterns. Recently, an organization came up called The Antique Pattern Library. It is described as “Antique Pattern Library is a project of New Media Arts Inc, a nonprofit organization, tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3), EIN 27-2500171.” I took some time to look through some of the results of a search and found at least one interesting pattern. I see many more hours of interesting research to come.

Someone posted the history of the term ‘polka dots’. Right up my alley!

Frances posted a link to a blog post about baby and doll quilts. This post can be found on the Quilt History Reports blog and was written by Karen B. Alexander. The blog has not been updated since May of 2018, but has many interesting posts to peruse until updating resumes.

Research & Information

If you want to know about yarn dyes, Weeks Ringle has posted an article on Craft Nectar. It is weighted towards the Modern Quilt Studio line of yarn dyed fabrics, but also provides some basic information.

I have been hanging around Julie’s blog quite a bit. She found and wrote about a color picker that is different than the one I used in the ColorPlay posts. Friend Julie wrote quite a bit about it and talked about using it to pick fabrics for the Good Fortune quilt. Check out her blog.

I know we don’t use markers much for our quiltmaking, but I suspect we are all concerned about trash on the streets. Crayola sponsors a marker recycling program and it is open to everyone.

Various & Sundry 2019 #1

Patterns, Projects & Tutorials

I know that Christmas and the other gift giving holidays have passed, but it is never too early to start collecting ideas for next year. Making stuff takes time! Marie Bostwick has some ideas and brief directions on some quick gifts on the Fierce Over 50 blog. She also has some links to tutorials and patterns she has found on other blogs.

Sarah, over at Sarah Goer Quilts, pointed me to a list of BOMs and QALs for 2019. I say work on your own list, but if BOMs and QALs float your boat, then go for it. One is about Harry Potter! I am sure this is not an absolutely comprehensive list. Be sure to check your local quilt shops for other options.

There are other online BOMS as well. Rebecca Bryan is leading the Stargazer BOM. Lee Heinrich over at  Freshly Pieced is offering an HST BOM.

Today’s Quilter issue 44 has a gorgeous Mariner’s Compass quilt. You can find the templates on their blog.

Scrap fabric twine seems like a good idea. I found a video and a tutorial. Good TV project. You could use the twine to wrap gifts. Thanks to Kristen!

Kitty Pearl, one of my fabulous readers, mentioned Teresa Down Under video tutorials, after I mentioned working on the All Rolled Up tote. I watched one that made an HST where one side of the block is made up of two triangles. I used these units in the Scrapitude Carnivale quilt. Teresa seems to have many, many tutorials and I liked the cheerful music.

I saw the Running with Scissors tool bag by Annie. OMG! It is fabulous and I am trying not to buy it and make it. I have just made a couple of tool totes already and haven’t filled them up yet. Perhaps I will make one for a swap or a gift? Have you made one?

Fabric, Notions, Supplies & Tools

My friend, Mary, turned me on to Maker’s Mercantile, which is mostly, it seems, a knitting supplies vendor. They also carry Sue Spargo wool felt. She has come out with bunches of different colors. They are hard to see online, but still yummy and hard to resist. They also carry some precut Sue Spargo shapes, specifically flowers. they are on my list, but I have to restrain myself as I already have enough handwork projects to choke a horse.

I got a zipper pull (to hook on to a zipper to make it easier to pull) and love it. I use it on my first Sew Together bag. I have been wanting to buy some more. Someone recommended Tiffany Green Designs. I haven’t purchased anything yet, but she has a lot of nice charms with lobster type clasps.

Tips, Tricks & Techniques

Patti posted on my guild’s website about a boxy bag dimension calculator. This is a useful tool, especially when you want to venture out on your own. The site also has interesting garment patterns so take a look around.

Sara of Sew Sweetness bag fame has produced a video tutorial about Tapered Corners and it is now posted on the Sew Sweetness site. This technique is useful for making pillow corners and bag corners not look so ‘pokey outy’ – long and thin once the fabric is turned. Corners will look more professional. The video is realtively short and this is a useful technique to incorporate into your bag of tricks. Templates for the tapered corners are now posted on the site alongside the video.

Other Artists

Julie got a Quick Curve Mini Ruler when we were at PIQF together. She also got a pattern for a pumpkin quilt.  and started working on them on our last quilt adventure. She has some progress posted on her blog and you can see how cute they turn out.

I write in a journal every day. It is more usual for me to write than it is for me to skip writing. I also think a lot about why i write. I don’t have an exciting life (a fact for which I am grateful), so who, in the future, would care about my sewing projects, my worries and how much I got done on any given day? Danny Gregory put my random thoughts about why into a coherent couple of paragraphs in a recent blog post. He draws a lot more in his journal, but I think the reasoning is the same. He wrote:

“In the end, honestly, these drawings and words were much more for me than they were for my friend or some strangers. Getting it down on paper, controlling the narrative, putting bookends around it, gave a sense of the finite to my experience.

And it helped me understand better why Frida would paint her nurse, her hospital bed, her scars. Why Vincent painted himself with a bandaged ear. Why my favorite artists painted screaming popes, bayonetted innocents, dying horses, dead wives. Not for the shock value that intrigued me as a sniggering adolescent, but to make the incomprehensible meaningful  to them — and ultimately the world.

The art we make is not just a means of gauging our talent or our progress or making pretty things to hang on the wall or sell in a gallery. Art making is the way to commemorate and honor love and suffering and all the vicissitudes of life — and share the wisdom we gain in the process.”

It doesn’t really matter to me if nobody else in the world writes down their thoughts. I don’t really care if nobody ever reads what I write. I barely ever read what I wrote, though I do go back and look up drawings for quilts and other projects sometimes. I write to help me deal with the world – an often unfair, violent and incomprehensible world. I feel like I can put my worries and concerns into a book and shut it. Then I know they are documented and I can go back and revisit them, but I don’t have to keep them in my head.

Various & Sundry 2018 #12

It’s kind of strange that it is December already and 2019 is around the corner. Frankly, I am done with 2018, so this is good news. Still it is strange.

Doing Good

Remember the Girl Scout Hearts I made? The finished quilts are starting to appear and they look great.

My guild is collecting new makeup for high school girls affected by the Camp Fire in Butte County, California. If you have purchased some new makeup, leave a comment with valid email and I will get in touch about getting it to them.

Cindy Needham is collecting tools, solid fabrics (they have enough others) and pre-cuts for quiltmakers who lost everything in the Camp Fire (Northern California, Butte County) and need to get back to sewing. Read through her feed to see what is needed. Rotary cutters, rulers and mats are a big desire.

@lebethbryant has designed a pixelated California quilt. It looks like it is made from charm squares and it is a great design. She is offering this pattern online with 100% of the proceeds going to the California Wildfire Relief Fund. There is a link to purchase the pattern in the profile at the link above.

Patterns, Projects & Tutorials

I have updated the AQ tutorials page here to include the paper wreath tutorial. It is a nice, relatively quick hostess gift.

I saw a link to this older tutorial, The Awesome Bag, and thought it would be easy enough for a quick, last minute gift. I haven’t made it, but I do like the look of it.

Charlotte, of the Slightly Mad Quilt Lady podcast and blog, also has an Etsy shop (and 2 kids, a DH, is a midwife and….WOW!). I was thrilled to see that she has a great dragon pattern for sale. She has a few other things in the shop, but it is not overwhelming and the dragon is the gem.

Northcott posted a free basic apron pattern that would make a great hostess gift or quick raffle prize.

Charlotte Hawkes of Scrapitude fame has a new mystery quilt, A Handy Dandy Scrap quilt. The first cutting instructions are now available.

I am looking for a pattern to keep my KitchenAid stand mixer clean when it is not in use. I found one, but I am not sure about it. Do you have a pattern you like?

I have a very active and important (to me) journal practice. I write every day. I should say that the days I do not write are few and far between. What I do works for me, though I wish I had the time and ideas to make my journals into a piece of art. Still, I am always tempted by other journal projects. I saw the Right Brain Journal project and am tempted. My sister suggested doing it together. One thing I don’t like is that there is no option to purchase a bound version. It is only a digital download.  Digital downloads have their advantages, but I am not sure I want a bunch of sheets of printer paper, not to mention the ink cartridges printing a 70+ page digital download would require. Also, I don’t want to work on printer paper necessarily. Perhaps I could purchase some nice paper that would run through my printer or through the printer at Kinko’s? Are you doing this project?


If you only click through to one link make it this article on the benefits of craft in your life. If your partner or children or neighbor is giving you crap about how many quilts you make, how many quilts are piling up or how much time you spend on quiltmaking, show them the article. The most important thing? Don’t listen to them. Crafting is good for you, good for your mental health. Do it more.

Charlotte, the Slightly Mad Quilt Lady, wrote a great post on sharing photos from shows. There is a bit about copyright, but it is not a piece about copyright.

Anne of PlayCrafts has posted a life update. Aside from being interesting, she has posted some great quilts and quilt WIPs.

Jen Carlton Bailly of shows how to use her templates to create a Holly quilt. This is not a tutorial, but it is easy enough to follow the design if you know about piecing.

Modern Quilt Studio is starting a ‘new’ tradition of reflecting on accomplishments for the year. You can read the prompts on Craft Nectar and post your responses on FB or Instagram. I put the ‘new’ in quotes since I have been doing roundup posts for several years. I do them in my own way so they are useful for me.

Behr also has a color of the year. It is different than the Pantone Color of the year, Living Coral.

Tools, Fabric, Supplies & Notions

Sara over at Sew Sweetness introduced her second line of “minikins” recently. I saw a tweet where she wrote “Minikins Season 2 acrylic templates are now in stock! Are you making a lot of the season 2 projects for holiday gifts or craft fairs? These acrylic templates are a huge time saver – use your rotary cutter to quickly cut out your templates”. These seem like a great idea for the small bags included in the second Minikins package.

Honest Fabrics print panels that mimic the pieced quilts of designers such as Anne Sullivan. The colors on the website are beautiful. I haven’t seen one printed out in person. They would be great for someone who enjoys quilting, but not piecing.

I have heard a lot about mini-bolts and wrapping fabric on them for easier storage. I never really investigated the process fully. Recently I came across a page on the Paper Pieces site selling the supplies and explaining how the process works.

Laura Kemshall reviews the Husqvarna Epic. Her work is amazing anyway and the piece she did on this machine is also amazing.


I love the colors and design of the Boulder MQG QuiltCon Charity Quilt. It reminds me a lot of Sarah Goer’s Planned Improv designs.

Laura Kemshall pointed me to a shop and Gallery in Munich. She was invited to display her quilt there. As the shop is local, the site is in German. Click on ‘Kundengalerie’ to see the gallery portion. You can see quilts made by their customers (Kunden!).

Katie, of Katie’s Quilting Corner, posted a link to Tom Hovey the artist who does the food drawings for the Great British Baking Show. I love the drawings. Even though my shelves are overflowing with books, I have been wanting a book of these illustrations. His website is almost as good and includes a section on fruit slices as well. Very inspiring.