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.

Various & Sundry 2018 #11

Quilt World News

Donate to the International Quilt Study Center. They are 10 years old and asking for $10.

The Ruby Star Society has been announced. The designers from Cotton + Steel have formed this new association. Their new fabric collection is expected in the Summer of 2019. They will be working with Moda. The Fat Quarter Shop has a blog post with a link to the video they posted on Instagram. I am kind of sad about the Moda connection. Moda does have great designers, but their greige goods are too ravely for me.

Take the QuiltCon survey.


Charlotte Scott, the Slightly Mad Quilt Lady, wrote a great blog post on the differences between silk organza and tulle.

All People Quilt has a great video called Add Binding with an Easy Invisible Join. It is a little over 4 minutes, doesn’t require any special equipment and is straightforward and easy. I have used it three times recently and it is easy to follow. It is a lot easier to follow than trying to use the Fons & Porter Binding Tool that I have been using. An added bonus is that the technique doesn’t require any special equipment.

Annie’s Crafts has a scrappy binding tutorial that looks interesting. I haven’t tried it. Cost is $19.99.

I found a group called the Bay Area Sewists. They have some good benefits if one joins. Sadly, it is located a little far from my sphere, but some readers might find a home there.

Abby-Shane of Bay Quilts has a GoFundMe page for her dog, Riley-Jay (no relation 😉   ). she is trying to raise $6,000.

Patterns, Projects & Tutorials

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is partnering with the San Jose Police Department on the gun buyback in December. Now they need a little money to help with the program. Check the GoFundMe site to contribute. You can also send a quilt to the museum that will be given to someone who sells a gun. Even if San Jose is not your area, help get guns off the streets.

Laura Kemshall talks about garment sewing on a recent post. She has some links to documentaries about the environmental devastation of fast fashion. She provides a link to garment sewing tips on the DMTV blog as well.

April responded to my Ring Toss post with the information that “Jenny from One Block” is the name of a pattern booklet and Halo top is one of the projects in the booklet. She provided a Fat Quarter Shop link, which I have provided for you. The FQS link shows some of the other projects, which are mildly interesting. It is also interesting that the pattern booklet has more than one project. Perhaps there are not enough projects to call it a book?

On Instagram, @Lillyellasworld has a sew-a-long happening for the Undercover Maker’s Mat. The pattern is free. Despite the foundation piecing, I am thinking of making one for retreats. I can’t see using it at home, but it would be really useful to keep everything organized on retreats. I know you are wondering about the Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Table Mat & Organizer. I made it (and am not showing  it to you yet, because it will be a gift, so stay tuned) and am not super happy with it. I didn’t do a crappy job and it isn’t ugly, but it isn’t for me. It’s possible I won’t like the Undercover Maker’s Mat either in which case I will try the Love of Patchwork & Quilting version or one of 5 dozen other free tutorials that are available.

I read the AllPeopleQuilt newsletter. They had a link to the One Milllion Pillowcase challenge, which I thought might be useful to reiterate. The newsletter also had a lunch sack gift bag pattern. If you want a super simple gift bag pattern (use fabric, don’t keep buying paper wrapping paper), I have a pattern on the tutorials page. These gift bags are reusable, so you get to see your fabulous fabric every year and you don’t have to make a Christmas quilt. You can also use them for other holidays or events by switching out fabric.

Sunshine Linus has a whole list of free patterns they use to make items for populations in need. Walker bags, wheelchair quilts and weighted blankets are among the projects.

AgileJack has a zipper pouch tutorial.

The Sew Powerful Purse program “helps girls get the supplies they need to stay in school all month. It also supports seamstresses in Lusaka, Zambia in a thoughtful and wise way.”

Bonnie Hunter has put out the introductory post for her 2018 mystery quilt, which starts on November 23.


After reading my post about the Westchester Dolman top fabric selection, Glenna sent me a site about making selections for clothing fabric online. I don’t know how many more garments I will make, but I always say that, don’t I? She also said “There is also a podcast “Love to Sew” – February 5, Fabric 101 at around 23 min – they talk about weight and give you some websites.” Perhaps we can all learn together. Thanks, Glenna!!!

Weeks Ringle wrote a post about quilting magazines as an endangered species. Mostly it is a reassurance to her customers that their publications will not go away. She makes one good point, though. The magazine production process has such a long lead time that the fabrics used are not longer available once the magazine comes out. This makes me thinking of the whole fabric design and production process (in a very superficial way). People who buy magazines can’t find the fabric in the quilt. Designers want to put out as many fabric lines as possible so they can make some money. Fabric companies want fresh new stock and can’t keep everything in print. The quilting customers only have a certain amount of money and can’t buy everything. Also, customers (at least what I have seen and heard) are overwhelmed by their own fabric collections and have cut back on buying. It sounds like a perfect storm business model that no longer works. I like to be inspired by quilt magazines and almost never want to use the fabrics shown. I have done that once in awhile, though. Remember Fresh Fruit? We have to learn to see the pattern for itself and separate out the fabric, I think.

Try out the Tineye Reverse Image search. It isn’t Google. It is described at the beSpacific website as ““Using TinEye, you can search by image or perform what we call a reverse image search. You can do that by uploading an image or searching by URL. You can also simply drag and drop your images to start your search. TinEye constantly crawls the web and adds images to its index. Today, the TinEye index is over 32.1 billion images.
When you search with TinEye, your image is never saved or indexed. TinEye adds millions of new images from the web every day—but your images belong to you. Searching with TinEye is private, secure, and always improving…””

Fabric, Tools & Supplies

I mentioned that I bought the Halo Top templates from a shop called The Sewing Party that had a vendor booth at PIQF. I took a look at the online shop and really like the look of the fabrics in the shop.

MadamSew has replacement rotary cutting blades for a special price of $10.99. They claim to fit a variety of different brands of rotary cutters. I have not tried these blades and still use LP Sharp, because they recycle blades.

Alison Glass has a new line of stationery and paper goods. There are a few things in her shop now with more expected.

According to the Cutting Edge, the Olfa newsletter, “2019 is going to be a BIG year for the rotary cutter. It’s turning 40!! OLFA invented the rotary cutter back in 1979. It revolutionized the quilting and sewing industries!” Lots of exclamation points, I know. My first teacher did not teach rotary cutting to beginners, so I cut templates with template plastic and scissors for my first quilt. I am glad I did. It gave me a sense of how pieces are put together. Still, I wouldn’t give up my rotary cutter now.

I saw Unique Sewing Furniture at PIQF. They had a booth and their flyer says they are affiliated with Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers. They are a manufacturer of semi-custom sewing furniture, apparently based in Wyoming. I am casually in the market for a new sewing machine table, though my bank account does not agree. Their website is a little old and clunky. I’d rather see some thumbnails next to the product descriptions. As it is the visitor has to click on the model number to see a photo of the table. That makes for a lot of clicking back and forth.

Various & Sundry 2018 #10

In Search Of….

Martha Negley Classics Dahlia Plum Cotton Fabric PWMN063
Martha Negley Classics Dahlia Plum Cotton Fabric PWMN063

Remember I made a Sew Together Bag and the Tool Tote and a One Hour Basket with this Martha Negley Classics Dahlia Plum Cotton Fabric (PWMN063)? I think I want to make some more accessories for myself with it and I need yardage. Of course, the fabric is old and out of print. I have scoured the web. I keep coming up against a promising lead that, once followed, turns out to be sold out. If you have a real lead or some of this print that you don’t want or need, let me know.

Other Artists

I dip my toe into garment sewing periodically. I am not very good at it and having my SIL nearby to help is a lifesaver. Recently, Laura Kemshall posted about a t-shirt she made, which has a very nice shoulder design. It also looks like it fits well – or can be made to fit well. I like my t-shirts (and clothes, in general) to be fitted – not tarty. Crafty Gemini (Vanessa Vargas Wilson) also has the Westchester Dolman shirt. This is also fitted and the PDF is a free pattern on her site. You can buy a hard copy (no affiliation) and the video series talking about making the shirt. I have the pattern, but haven’t made it yet.

Charlotte, the Slightly Mad Quilt Lady posted this great quote on her blog “So I could easily make excuses. And sometimes I do. But excuses do not make good art.”

This video is the story of Philip Jacobs.

Amy Butler is leaving the quilting industry. The article doesn’t say what she will do next, but this seems so strange to me. Why announce you are leaving? Why not just quietly move on to other things?

Projects, Classes & Tutorials

Gretchen has some great tips on making a Jelly Roll Rug (yes, on my list, too) on her recent post in addition to posting links about the various tutorials that have been created to help making it.

Vanessa, the Crafty Gemini, has a free video on interfacings – when to use which and the usefulness of others.

Amy Butler has patterns on her website. The appearance of the patterns look really good on the page. the branding fits in with her other branding. Very professional.

Tools, Supplies & Fabric

I found a comprehensive guide on Aurifil.


The International Quilt Study Center’s quilt of the month for October is a Pine Burr piece. I’d love to make a quilt like this using brighter colors. It isn’t an easy quilt to make and this example is masterful. I think it would need some paper piecing, though not all paper piecing. It definitely isn’t a pattern for the faint of heart.

Around the Web

Sarah pointed me to a Beauty Pageant linky. Is that a fun name? It is an opportunity to show off your beautiful finishes. I looked at a few of the posts (only 3 available so far) and the author has posted some interesting projects – pillows, tote bags – no quilts yet. Link up and get some love on your projects.

Laura Kemshall is being treated for bowel cancer. She wants to contribute to the Lingen Davis Ruby Appeal to raise £1.25m by June 2019. She has a variety of ways she is raising the money including a Just Giving page, if you want contribute.

F&W shuts down more magazines: Cloth, Paper, Scissors and Modern Patchwork are the quilt magazines affected.

PIQF Finalist Image Quilt
PIQF Finalist Image Quilt

I got this via email as part of my entry of three quilts. I am not sure what it means, whether it actually means I am in the running for any kind of prize.

Various & Sundry 2018 #9

I got my spreadsheet working again and have used 50.99 yards of fabric net. Will I get to 100? I don’t know.

Projects & Patterns

Gotham Quilts has an organizer of the month project club. It has already started, but you can still join.

RainbowHare has some great patterns in his/her Etsy shop, I like the sewing machine cover caravan.

I don’t know what possessed me, but I bought this Westchester Dolman top pattern and video pack.

There is a Disaster Quilting Project. It’s not what you think. “The purpose of this site is to showcase the amazing artists who have transcended extraordinary circumstances through quilting.”

Splendid Sampler Sew-a-long is going on. Use the FB page to follow along.

If you want to make a pet bed after seeing my post the other day, I have two tutorials. One is regular and one is simplified. These were written by Amanda.

I do like this Basket Tote pattern from Sew Can She. It has a great shape.

Quilt Class & Other Tutorials

I was horrified to realize that I had posted the wrong size patterns on the Quilt Class lesson for curves called The Dove. I am really sorry! I realized this error when I was putting the Aqua-Red Sampler together. It is fixed and the directions themselves are correct and haven’t changed.

All People Quilt has a closure technique they call the Magic Invisible Closure. Others call it the ladder stitch. If you need to hand sew something closed, this is a technique for you.


The International Quilt Study Center has a quilt of the month feature. This month’s quilt is the Soldier’s Quilt, a piece made from military fabrics.

The MQG has a new website.

My friend sent me a link to a blog post about the 1718 quilt. This is the complex kind of sampler that I like. Even though I have no space for new quilt books, I bought a copy of the book anyway. You can too!

Apparently, the Smithsonian has a national quilt collection and has made a video about it. The video starts talking about the first quilts in the collection.

After watching the Smithsonian video, a video on the history of the Dear Jane quilt came up, so I watched that as well. I have read the book, but why not get a refresher? It was a lecture at a quilt show by someone who made (and finished!) a reproduction of the Dear Jane quilt.

I found a link to a book of Japanese wave and ripple patterns. It has been sitting in my inbox for weeks, but I decided to share it here since many of you look for free motion quilting (would work for hand quilting, too!) patterns and these would be great. Be sure and page through the book on the top of the page. It is awesome!

Other Artists

Sarah Goer has some doodles for free motion quilting on her blog post. I like those little pieces of paper.

Charlotte talks about block printing on fabric in a recent blog post.

Exhibits & Contests

Entries for QuiltCon are now open and will close on November 30 (the YM’s birthday, BTW). The QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge is now taking applications. This year’s theme is small piecing.

  • QuiltCon registration is now open — there are still plenty of great workshops and lectures, including Sherri Lynn Wood’s featured lecture. Check out the catalog and schedule here. Changes for QuiltCon 2019 include the Awards Ceremony moving to Wednesday evening, and the addition of Sewing Lounges!

Scott Fortunoff, the new owner of Free Spirit Fabrics ( and other great brands) has a contest posted on his blog: visiting quilt shops!

Books, Fabrics, Supplies & Notions

I get an email from Paintbrush Studios about various things. Today I got one about a new fabric line called Launch Party. I don’t have small boys at home, but this fabrics makes me want my 10YO back (for a few minutes, at least). The robots, aliens and rocket ships are fabulous. One of the robots looks like Rosie from the Jetsons. Also the dots companion print are wonderful.

I found an article on Philip Jacobs. Sigh! I love that man’s designs so much.

Janome is releasing sewing cards every few days. These have useful sewing information printed on them. The first one has yardage info. the second one is all about needles.

You know I love Judy Martin. I do. You should, too. She has recently embraced online publishing, so her books take up less space on your shelf and may come faster. She says she can also publish on more esoteric quilt subjects without worrying about recouping her printing costs. While I like printed quilt books, I am a fan of esoteric quilt topics as well. Judy writes in a recent newsletter (though not the latest, I don’t think):

I’m a strong proponent of pieced borders. It wasn’t always thus, but since 1994 when I wrote Pieced Borders with Marsha McCloskey, I realized almost every quilt is made better with a pieced border. Since that time a quarter century ago, I’ve designed a pieced border for most of my patterns.

For a while I’ve had a hankering to gather a bunch of my designs and talk about what the borders bring to the quilts and what I considered as I planned them. So with the prospect of e-books removing some of the publishing shackles, I sat down to write Border Inspirations.

Border Inspirations isn’t a pattern book. You won’t find a single pattern in it. It is, however, an idea book and, as the title suggests, an inspiration book. And the ideas and inspiration aren’t limited to borders, though obviously that’s the focus. You can look at the quilts in this book and find color schemes and fabric choices you like, or quilt types or specific quilts that call to you. I don’t know about you, but seeing a lot of beautiful quilts all at once almost always gets my patchwork engine revving. I see beautiful quilts, and I want to make a beautiful quilt, too.

You don’t have to be the sort of person who can simply add a border to an existing pattern all on your own. Not everyone can do that. With Border Inspirations you can decide what border qualities impress you and then seek patterns that possess those qualities.

Border Inspirations won’t take any room on your shelf. It is 96 pages and sells for just $7.95. It has 82 large photos of quilts with pieced borders, with the pattern source listed in the caption. Download your copy today and get jazzed up about quilts with pieced borders!”

I don’t get many emailed newsletters since they just pile up in my inbox until I delete them unread. I think Judy’s newsletter is worth reading. Here are the instructions for receiving your own subscription:

If you’re reading a forwarded email and would like to sign up for your own free copy, use the link and enter your email address under “Subscribe.”

Various & Sundry 2018 #8

Creativity & Inspiration

I have to read a lot at work to gather information for a market intelligence report I am supposed to write at the end of the year. The other week I came across a Fast Company article that addresses quiltmaking: creativity blocks. I wrote about this in 2013, using a term “Creative Desert” which I still think is apt. Patience is the big one in the article, which I agree with. The author pointed out that allowing anxiety to infiltrate your process interferes with your subconscious working on the problem. One of my big tools is leaders and enders. I, either, sew squares together until I am so sick of it I can’t help but go back to working on a real project or I use scraps to make new fabric, like for my journal covers.

I saw an article about corrupt files, which morphed into an article about creative process and the stuff creatives collect. The article made me think about whether I am throwing enough work away to be truly making great works.

Patterns and Projects

I forgot about the Kansas City Star quilt blog. I went there after looking for quilt museums in Kansas for a friend who was bored visiting family. The post I read talks about a block of the month based on a diary. I love women’s diaries, so I took a look. The blocks are really nice. Calicos, but they could be put into modern fabrics – or batiks or anything more contemporary – and look really great as well.

Ricky Tims’ Legacy Quilt Club blocks will only be available through September. If you want to download them, go get them now. Don’t pay attention to the colors. Design your own palette. I would love to see a modern version!

You know I love to make books and never have enough time or the right tools on the machine to do it. I have to reset the machine and devote a chunk of time to book making. No leaders and enders always puts me off (what I really need is a bigger workroom with more machines set up for different projects!!). I found a video on making books and thought you might like to join me in book or journal making.

I made a charger case/cable container sometime ago and I use it all the time. It is really big, though. and I have been thinking I might like something smaller. Kathie of Katie’s Quilting Corner posted a link to a pattern that is really useful looking. Thanks, Katie!

Doing Good

Support Laura Kemshall in helping the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in raising  £1.25m  before June 2019. She is making an EPP star quilt. There is a button for a £10 donation on the site. There is a PayPal option to make it easy for US contributors. She was trying to raise £2500 and has already raised over £7600, which is fantastic and will help so many people. I know there are many people in need. One small act of kindness to this appeal or another will help make the world better.

The Covered in Love block drive is back on. Check the blog for needs and wants. It is a great way to use up scraps or try a new block.


Laura Kemshall teaches how to English Paper Piece in her free video on DMTV.

The Girls at Culcita have a series of videos on learning to quilt. The one I saw was about resizing a quilt pattern! I haven’t done a tutorial on that and now I don’t need to.

I found a great article on organizing your workspace. I was reading it for work, but think there are some ideas I can use in my workroom as well. My favorite tip so far is the binder clip tip. I know there are beautiful binder clips available and this might be just the solution we need at home for our charging cords.

Fabric, Tools & Supplies

By Annie has a post that includes a checklist of things to think about when you buy a new machine. She gives the reader her preferences for things she can’t live without.

According to the Edgestitch blog, Joann is getting a face lift.


Cabbage, Carbage, Garbage – the history of schnibbles. I saw a reference on Barbara Brackman’s blog, which referred me to a longer more detailed article on the Dreamstress’ blog.


Francis is taking a break in August before she resumes publishing chapters of the Friendship Quilt 1933 podcast.

Definitely weigh in on the chocolate/no chocolate/occasionally chocolate debate!


I love office supplies and stationery and pens. My favorite pens are Zebra Sarasa (Sarasa Zebra?) in 0.7 and Pilot G-2 o7. I have lots of colors and use a different color every day at work and a different color each time I pick up my journal. Leuchtturm1917 are my favorite notebooks now, but I still like the Miquelrius as well. is my new favorite pen supplier, though I do enjoy a good Japanese stationery store as well. If you need people who like stationery and office supplies a tribe formed on Twitter the other day.

Then I found Notebook Therapy. Sigh. I love those Japanese calligraphy pens.


I had a bad reaction to an email message earlier this month. It made me take a look at my reactions to things. The email came from out of the blue and I was one of the people criticized in the email, though not by name-just as a result of work I had done for the group. The meeting was the next day and I declined to attend, still licking my wounds. I get criticism on this and other posts – people who only post a comment when I have missed something or neglected to finish my thought. I know that people:

  1. care deeply about things
  2. forget to remember that I can’t see your face or body language when they write their quick email “to help”
  3. want to share their thoughts and are often busy, have too much to do and too little time to do every thing
  4. forget that I don’t get paid to write this blog

This is not a perfect blog. I go back and fix grammar or bad sentence structure, but I am often writing quickly on my way to another task, which is a less than perfect environment for my multi-draft style. I greatly appreciate it that you take the time to read my musings. I am responsible for my own reactions to emails, comments and actual face to face conversations. I would like to suggest that you think about your tone when you are thinking about sending off a ‘quick note’.