Monday, December 24, 2012


We have awakened to a rainy Christmas eve here in mostly sunny California. I watched Miracle on 34 Th Street yesterday and was reminded...."Christmas is not just a day, it's a state of mind". May we keep the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


In a world that seems up side down....... take time to laugh. One of my vey favorite quilters is Mary Lou Wideman. Her blog always leaves me feeilng happy. You must see her cows.

Monday, December 10, 2012


What's on my design wall is my newest profile photo. Of course it didn't start out that way. I have been experimenting with transparency for a while. I like to see the fabric behind the paint, in this case it is a batik. The face shape is a freezer paper stencil and the features drawn with color pencil. Everything else is fused. It is a fun technique. Hope you have a fun, productive week.
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Friday, December 7, 2012


This is the time of year when we all take group family photos to send inside Christmas cards. Oh to get it right the fist time. Good luck!
There is always  one who hogs the camera.
Then there are always a couple of characters who want to act out.
Not to be forgotten is the amatur photographer who can't figure out the camera.
These wonderful models are my pin ladies. They have pin backs and can be placed on bags, hats and any place else you can pin a pin. They are about 7 in long, stuffed with cotton batting, hand painted faces and yarn hair. I think $10.00 is a fair price plus mailing costs. Email me I have not gone into the selling universe before, so I'm going to give it a try.

Monday, December 3, 2012


This is a Material Possessions Studios pattern called Towering
Trees. It measures 8 inches by 37 inches. It is a great way to use up those pieces of batting I can't throw away. Of course your tree can be for the fall, winter or my favorite is Halloween. I can't find a web address but the designer is Wendy Hager .
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Thursday, November 29, 2012


Just a quick post  regarding a fast technique I use on small wall quilts. Take 2 squares of fabric ( these were 3 1/2 inches) and iron in half diagonally. Sew the raw edges even when you are sewing on the binding. The edges will be covered when the binding is sewn down by hand or machine. Insert a dowel and hang on  small brad nails or I have even used push pins if they will go into your wall. This works for quilts that are not too large. This one is 15 inches wide. If you don't have a wood dowel and  the piece is small, I have used a chop stick. Just a thought to share!
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Saturday, November 17, 2012


Holidays require time away from the machine. I know, its hard. So I have prepared these bowls for hand applique, my favorite type of hand work while I visit with friends and family. These bowls were all over the web earlier in the year and they were paper pieced. The pattern is a PDF called Piling Up . What do you have planned for your machine free time?
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012


This is a store sample for the improv curves class.
It also serves as an example of how to use feathers in blocks.
So I get two for one!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I posted this video back in 2010.She speaks of knitting, but it relates to all hand crafts. It expresses my personal philosophy about the importance of our work and the need to continue to make quilts, but more importantly, to continue to teach the process. So I am off to Houston for the festival. I leave you with this profound video.

Monday, October 22, 2012



I find myself in between projects. I leave for Houston this week so I don't want to commit to starting a large quilt. Perfect time to tryout some small pieces. This is a paper pieced pattern from Charise Creates, and it is free .I thought it would make a great pincushion. The complete picture is quite impressive. Believe me, this is not for the faint of heart. The spool has nine pieces and is less than an inch square!

Saturday, October 20, 2012



I want to thank everyone for your wonderful respone to Autumn. It makes me jump for joy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Can you believe the gradient fabric below is what started this journey? My original intent was to do a whole cloth quilt using different thread colors as well as patterns. Then it really hit me. Why not just cut at certain areas and  piece it using a slight curve, add some hand dyed and print fabric and a central "art" insert. There, you have it. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Isn't it interesting how things take on a life of there own? The top of Autumn is similar to the bottom in terms of curved piecing. So to unify the quilting as well as the quilt I repeated the curvy quilting, again not following the same curve of the seam. Does that make sense? I did use that same red/black thread in the lower area and a gold in the upper area. I left some very small areas unquilted, just to keep it from being to dense, yet tomorrow you will see the amount of quilting is pretty even. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Color correctness in photography is so important and I just don't have it yet. The solid fabric at the bottom is brown. A soft rich earthy brown. I continued using 40 wt. thread. This thread is variegated with black and rusty red. I knew I wanted to create a little more texture so I did what you should not do in quilting close lines. I went back and forth instead of stopping and starting on the same side to PREVENT shirring. I thought a little shirring would add interest and I like it. I also did not want to quilt pebbles just because many would expect it on a quilt like this. I want a feeling of flowing,wind blowing and calm. One last thing. Following the curve of the pieced insert would be OK, but ignoring that exact curve and just sewing curvy lines is ,I think a more dynamic  statement along with just three quilted  leaves. Tomorrow you will see the upper area and Thursday the entire piece. Thanks for all your wonderful comments.
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Monday, October 8, 2012


Progressing toward the bottom, just beneath the tree background is a small area of hand dyed color, so straight line quilting separates and calm things down a bit. The area around the base of the trees needed movement to mimic rows. Thinking of planting and harvesting done in the fall. Finally the area below the rows reminded me of water. A lake in my autumn forest. You can see a peek of the brown, but I will save that for another post. I continued to use 40 wt except for the dyed area and that was DMC 50 wt. It is going very well. All thoughts, questions and comments are welcomed.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


One of the most frequent questions in FMQ is how do you decide what to quilt where. This is a good example of that dilemma. I have multiple odd shapes that need to be united to keep the section as "one". The answer to me was to echo the shapes. I used 40 wt thread that is a sort of gold brown color. I did quilt the trees first with a 40 wt very black thread. I mention the weight of the thread as so many tutorials don't. The 40 wt thread shows more than a 50 wt. and I want the quilting to stand out. If you don't mind, I'll let you see the progression of the quilting and pass on any info I think will be helpful as I think Autumn has some quilting challenges.
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Saturday, October 6, 2012


Have been working on a class project that I cannot show just yet. So not wanting to start another large piece, I thought playing with design and fabric would " hold me over". I will get it finished soon. How's your Autumn so far?
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Friday, September 14, 2012


Ages ago us less modern quilters learned new techniques by watching Alex Anderson  and Billie Lauder on TV. Yes there was TV before You Tube! Billie has THE most amazing way of creating 2 nine patch blocks with each cut and construction. Some times when I am in between projects and I can't quite figure out what to start next, I make these units. Nine patch blocks are very versatile and making a lot of them is time well spent. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I married a man who is a real treat and today is our 19 th anniversary. Color me happy!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I don't know about you, but sometimes I am literally driven to put into cloth what I see in my head. I won't rest until I get to that certain place when you just know it is going to work..... or not. I am almost there and I am enjoying the process.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Sewing alone in your own space can be good.
But sometimes you need to escape the chaos.

Sometimes you need to get away with the girls!
.That's what quilt retreats are for. A lot of sewing, laughter, fun and food. Click on retreat information on the right side to get all the details. Did I mention PAJAMA PARTY?????www.http:/sewcalgal.blogspot,com

Monday, September 3, 2012


I have not a clue where this is going but it had better be good since I've spent this afternoon creating it. I started cleaning the sewing room, got as far as the cutting table and came across a drawing of a chair, buried under some fabric I was looking for last week. You know how that goes don't you? Oh well, this is labor day so I won't belabor the point of procrastination. I think I'll make some more chairs.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


. How about a zig zag border? I originally saw this as a paper pieced project, but heh I want to do this in my life time. Lets piece it. I started with two strip sets. I call the black fabric the background and the orange the zig. So I cut my black strips 2 1/2 inches and the orange 2 1/8 inches and created two strip sets with orange in the middle. Press each set in the same direction ( all rows pressed in same direction). Place one set on top of the other right sides together with seams opposed, that way they will nestle when sewn. Cut a 45 degree angle at the beginning of the strip. Measure 2 1/2 inches and cut. Continue cutting sets of 2 1/2 inch blocks keeping the 45 degree angle.. Pin the seam you want to sew and sew in sets of two. Set your seams then press to one side. Sew sets of two into sets of four. At this point I choose to trim my unit to 6 inches by cutting at the "v" of my black background. You may decide to have a narrower strip. Cutting is up to you. Continue adding units until you get the desired length of border. The cutting numbers are not in stone. Try your own measurements to get the width you want. YOU ARE IN CHARGE! I also have used this strip in the body of a quilt that is pieced in rows. It is very versatile. Any comments?????

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Zig zag quilts are all over the Internet recently and I just happen to need another baby quilt and a "quick" class project. This one is straight off the freebie list on I really like the simplicity of the directions and just might have to do the adult version. Try it. You'll like it!
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Monday, August 20, 2012


I'm in the mood for gray. It is peaceful,quiet and varied in lights, darks and mediums. It is in the  neutral category and has great texture properties.I have learned that nothing is black and white in life and there are always shades of gray ( even before the book). Gray reminds us of clouds, stone and ageing. Loving color, I could not resist adding a little spice in the border and again in my paper pieced strips ( courtesy of a new fabric marker by Sharpie called Stained). This 15 x 15 inch wall piece will also be a class project. So add some gray to your stash.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I tell my grandchildren life is so much easier when you have options. You are in the position to make choices that work for you. The same can be said for learning different ways to construct a block. The blue quilt with the stripe is one of my favorites. I made it using the traditional cutting and piecing technique. I did enjoy it but, my time is short and I need to get a baby quilt done soon. So why not use the disappearing nine patch technique to get the same result? Keep in mind the direction of the stripe in row 1 and 3 and I will need to piece the stripe and small square on two sides but it still saves time. This technique is all over the Internet and YouTube so I won't repeat it here. Just remember ...keep learning. Its fun.