Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January finishes, part 2

If you go to a quilter's sew-in or retreat, you're sure to see versions of the Sew Together Bag, by Michelle of SewDemented, pattern available on Craftsy. Very clever, very cool, and quite useful, with zippered pockets for little things and deep pockets for bigger things. At the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Christmas Party Swap, there were a few that made the rounds before going home with lucky recipients.
The first sew Together bag I made was for Poppy. I didn't really understand the placement of fabric, so the inside isn't as colorful as I'd intended; it's a sophisticated look. She uses it for toiletries.

Then I made one for myself, using a spiderweb block from my Beach Umbrellas on a Hot Day quilt. I love the selvage dots included in the strips. Bethany claimed this one for herself, and uses it for her toiletries and make-up.

For Christmas, I made one for my niece. Forgot to take a picture of it finished...

I want one! This one's for me: I made another spiderweb block, and used lots of favorite scraps and fabrics. And I had fun using it last weekend at the sew-in.

But that's not all. I made myself another, a mini! Isn't it cute?
Elizabeth, at OPQuilts, (look under her tutorials tab) has made a worksheet you can use to adjust the measurements in your purchased pattern to make this cutie.

I think it will make a perfect kit for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild BOM applique project.

Oh, and speaking of kits, I made this cute Flora Supply Case by Clover & Violet, to use as my quilt binding kit. I made the small size, and replaced the zip pocket with a needle book. I think that hand sewing a binding while watching a movie on tv with my husband is the nicest way to spend an evening! Already, it's keeping me from spreading out my gear all over the coffee table, and leaving it there...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January finishes, part 1

So, I moved to Seattle, and I joined the Modern Quilt Guild, and I'm motivated to explore some improvisational quilting, and some modern design! At the same time, I am keenly aware of the number of unfinished projects (UFOs, in quilt-speak) that came with me in those moving boxes.

I linked to the APQ UFO resolution challenge to list 12 unfinished projects I want to finish in the year.  APQ announced that the project for January was whatever was listed as #6, and for me, that was an English Paper Piecing project I'd started years ago.

It began with this fabric, several yards, purchased from the thrift store in 2012. I usually consider a black-red-white quilt too high contrast for my taste, and it's more "country" style than I prefer, but it's also kind of European in its appeal...

I stack-and-whacked the black panels, and hand-stitched the diamonds into a big hexagon shape, then stalled out, not really having a purpose for a smallish, black, roundish quilt. It became a PIG (project in grocery bag).
Auditioning black borders in 2012

When I pulled it out again, I was far away from the investment of time and needle-pricks of the original project, so it wasn't too painful to use a seam ripper to take it apart.
The stars were rearranged and stitched back together. Yes, I hand-stitched them, again.

I even hand quilted! You know, I thought I'd be pretty good at hand quilting. It's a lot harder than it looks! My stitches are big and my lines are wobbly. I don't think I'd be welcome at an old-fashioned quilting bee! Still, I like how it turned out.

So, I have a new table runner that looks great with the faded red, cabbage rose wallpaper in the dining room. This room is in the center of the house, and provides a breathing space between the very lived-in living room and the kitchen. I try to not let it be a dumping place, and to actually dine here.

Some of the leftover stars became place mats.

Traditional fabric, techniques, and product. Still hoping to find a toe-hold in the modern quilt genre!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New stuff, old stuff

I live in Seattle, now. Ralph and I live in a charming, small Craftsman-style house just minutes from downtown. I spend a lot of time as Grandma to Poppy, and it takes me 7 minutes to walk to her house in the morning, to get her ready for school, and 15 minutes to walk from there to her school. I walk to the market, to the post office, to the pizza place, the library, and the drugstore. I have to drive to the fabric store.

The weather in Seattle, in winter, is ideal for quilting. Today is a rainy day, and the sun sets at 4:30. And sewing is a lot more fun than trying to figure the application processes for finding a teaching job in the area! Yes, I am a master at procrastination!

When we moved, we downsized pretty radically, but I still have a sewing room! And even though I got rid of stuff, I still have a lot of projects I've started and never finished. So, in addition to acclimating to a new locale and a new style milieu, I plan to finish up some of these UFOs (UnFinished Objects).

1. Christmas Medallion 2. I had hoped to have this quilt and its twin finished by Thanksgiving, and to offer them for sale. Hopefully someone will want to buy one or both for 2017! Green medallion quilt is finished, red medallion quilt is partially quilted.

2. Ocean Connect. I cracked open my Tula Pink Saltwater collection to have a project for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild sew-in. It took a lot of concentration to arrange the links with fabric oriented the right way up! This quilt top is finished now, and needs a backing, then quilting and binding.

3. Red Churn Dash blocks. These are from the Mid Century Modern bee, which I feel so privileged to have participated in! Oh, how I wish I'd chosen a block that would have allowed the wonderful members to demonstrate more of their personalities. Nevertheless, these remind me of them, and of the inspiration of last year's Quilt Con.
4. Folksy Flower. Do you remember this awesome top, from my friends in the Stars in Their Eyes bee? I've put off finishing it because I want to make it big enough for my bed by adding another row. I'm afraid of ruining it, though! I love the Dresdens around the edge, what could possibly come next? (All suggestions welcome!)

5. Black Diamonds. I have taken apart the stars and put them together as a table runner, and I'm planning to hand quilt it. There may be some placemats using some discarded stars.

6. Birds in a Tree. Hand quilting this one.

7. Flora Supply Case. Not really a UFO, but a new project that will help make all the UFOs easier to complete!

8. Mom's quilt. Some fabric she's saved, some fabric I found on ebay that didn't match so I over-dyed it. I have a plan...

9. Snowman EPP. Elizabeth's patterns with snowman centers. Not sure what I'll do with them, but I want to make more for a wall hanging or quilt.

10. Sew Together Bag or Maker's Tote, for me. I've given away three of the Sew Together bags, and I want one for workshop supplies. Maybe I want a Maker's Tote for sewing supplies, and a Sew Together for a toiletries/travel bag.


Linking up at Karen's site, Capitola Quilter, with 2015 Finish-a-Long Quarter 1.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


I'm finished with my Teacher Induction Program, the step new teachers in California are supposed to take as new hires, after completing a credential program and student teaching. I kept putting it off, then ignoring it, content to work part-time as a teacher tutor, afraid to take on a class of my own.

I did it in one year, intensive style. A lot of work, but it was authentic work.  I learned stuff. And I teach better.

Now I can keep teaching in California, and have to renew my credential every three years. Except we're planning to leave California!

While I was submitting all my digital forms and records and observations and reflections and assessments and everything else, I finished a quilt, too!
I bought these fabrics, already cut, and registration to to a class from someone who'd signed up for too many classes at Quilt Con. Thanks, Kathleen of Kathleen Quilts!

Ah, Quilt Con! That was such a fun adventure!
I got to hang out with the lovable Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorful Life. She showed me around, and made me feel appreciated and clever. Can we hang out again, soon?

So many wonderful quilts, and lectures, and workshops, and people... but that was in February. I'll just show you this fun, fake tattoo from the Cotton & Steel booth:

Libs Elliot designs quilts using computer code. She also has a new line of fabric, which my kids will love. She's soft-spoken, kind, and adorable:
Her workshop, For the Love of Y-Seams, means there are a lot of angles to fit together in this quilt pattern. Weight of Love is only available in Libs' workshops. Here's my version, though I can't take credit for the fabric choice.
Quilted with lots and lots of de rigueure straight lines on the diagonal.
I don't even like gray, but I had plenty of grays in my stash to make the back of the quilt. I have to admit, gray works well with this quilt. A few leftover triangles made a cool hexagon to anchor my signature and date.

A few more leftover triangles came together for these complementary pillows.
Those fragmented hexagons! I like them!

I wonder where this quilt will find a home. Any ideas?

Friday, January 15, 2016

On my holiday break...

I'm a student again (taking graduate-level classes to clear my teaching credential), and you know what that means? Procrastination! Lots of it!
And I'd better not procrastinate my reading and writing assignments with anything fun, like sewing, or reading a good book, because I know I'll get so absorbed that I won't stop until I'm finished. So I waste a lot of time on facebook, Words with Friends, researching which blinds to replace the kitchen window covering...

But while I had a break from school, I had fun with a few projects.

I finished this spiderweb quilt! The blocks were from the Stash Fabulous Bee and the Stars In Their Eyes Bee, so there is great variety of interesting fabrics.
That's one colorful quilt!
 I had thought about adding partial blocks to complete the circles around the edges. I had thought about an over-all quilting pattern. I fussed and puttered over the block arrangement.
A black and white striped binding is always a winner!
Finally, I just wanted it finished! I love the free-form chrysanthemum quilting in the spiderwebs (my friend says they look like umbrellas on the beach!), and the stars in the stars.
Here's the back, with another star as the signature block.

I used another leftover block to make myself a Sew Together bag. I can see why they're all the rage! It was really fun to make, and to see how all the parts fit together.

That was after I'd made a Sew Together bag for my granddaughter, for Christmas. She loved this Tula Pink fabric when I bought it in Pittsburgh last summer.

Here are a couple other projects I cleared off the WIP list:
Cushion covers for my sister's kitchen table:

She's going to get foam inserts, which will look very sharp.
Joining the California pillow, another tea towel pillow featuring Oregon (where two of our kids live) and Washington (where the Pittsburgh family will be relocating).

Back to school now, back to work. I have a list of projects to work on when I am procrastinating schoolwork. That's my New Year's resolution strategy for satisfying down-time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Last night
the Central Coast Quilters enjoyed our holiday party, and I've reached the end of my two-year tenure as president of the guild.
I've had a great time! It's a great bunch of people, and the guild really runs itself. I just made sure things ran smoothly.
I never managed to execute a vote properly, according to Robert's Rules of Order; I would confuse the procedure order every time, and depended on experienced members to set me straight.

So, I made a little thank-you gift for each of the board members/committee chairs for this year. I bought some plain, wooden needle cases from Connecting Threads. Then I painted them with bright stripes and dots.
Here are a few left after our soup supper at my house last week, when each of the board members chose their own. I think they're pretty cute!

 The guild's tradition is to give the outgoing president a quilt, made by the board members. When I was asked, two years ago, what kind of quilt I'd like, I told them I'd like a word quilt. Words that relate to quilting, to the guild, to my two years as president. Words that are appliqued or pieced. You pick the colors.
This is the quilt that was unveiled tonight! Isn't it great?!

It's fun to read words others have chosen for me. Some refer to the guild, like Costumes,  and ANGELS,(our philanthropy group), Super Quilter, and Sew far, So good, the sign-off I used on all guild emails. Some refer to sewing, like fun fabric, design and createstrips and wonky. Some of the words are for me: Gramma Linda, Chirp, and some really nice compliments: kind, passion, joy, and you rock. Don't you love the bright colors, too? So cheery.

The back is sweet, too. All sorts of clever sewing phrases and  paraphernalia. Plus signatures! I love it.

I'm going to treasure this quilt, and enjoy snuggling with it!