Slim Pickings

by Stephanie on September 5, 2014

in On the Design Wall,One Block Wonders

Post image for Slim Pickings

You might think, given the silence around here this past month, that I’ve been a busy little bee, sewing away at such a frenzied pace I’d forgotten to catch you all up.

Such is not the case. Hardly any sewing has been going on, and that means there’s hardly anything to show you (although I truly didn’t mean to be absent for quite so long here). In spite of almost-no sewing time this past month, I’ve managed to start two new projects.

The solids above are a WIP on the design wall, which I like to think will be completed in time for submission to the QuiltCon show. That may or may not happen, as even a quick sew like this one requires more than 5 minutes a week of attention. For now, I’m pretending there’s a chance it will get done in time.

The other is purely recreational:


Another One Block Wonder, this one in Kaffe’s “Cloisonne” in the turquoise-fuschia colorway. This one technically does not count as a new project in that I cut the fabric repeats for it about a year ago, and the rule for my sidebar count is that “new” projects are those for which the first cut is made in 2014.

So far all I’ve done is cut the wedges. I had to put a fresh blade in my rotary cutter before diving into the strippy solids thing, and the quilty part of my brain thinks “fresh blade” means “cut another OBW while it’s sharp!” So I dug this out of the closet and did just that. Apparently at some point I’d thought it would be fun to try the octagon OBW variation, because when I went to press the previously cut repeat sections I discovered there were eight of them in the stack, instead of six. Should make pretty blocks…

In any event, I’m calling this a WIP even though I haven’t worked on it in weeks already so it’s well down the slippery slope to UFO status.

Deskwork is keeping me in not-sewing mode these days, so it’s likely to be a while longer before I’m back to posting with any frequency. Didn’t want you to think I’d forgotten my readers.


GiveAway Winners

by Stephanie on August 1, 2014

in Uncategorized

OMG, how can it be August already? Don’t know about you, but project deadlines have been pushed back and back and back this summer. I’m now looking at a few things and thinking, “maybe I can get that done before Labor Day?” The good news about a new month popping up so fast is that the magazine giveaway is now closed and two winners have been selected*:



Yay for Susannah


… and Patty!


I’ve sent you each an email requesting your mailing address.

If you’ve already got a copy, please pass this one on to someone you know who will enjoy it.

Thanks to everyone else who entered, I enjoyed reading your comments! As soon as I get a chance (this weekend?) I’ll retrieve my quilty road trip pics from the phone and get some of the edited and up in a post for you to enjoy. And maybe I’ll put some more thoughts done on batiks and modern quilting.


* Sharon’s second comment was disqualified:
if the answer had come up “4″ I would have tossed it out and drawn again,
although that wasn’t necessary.

Post image for Bucket List, Giveaway, and a Great Big Brag

Aloha friends, since my last post I’ve been to Oregon and back, visiting with family and enjoying a change of scenery. This included a stop at the outdoor quilt show in Sisters, OR, on July 12, which was a treat, in spite of being brutally hot. Count that as one item off the Quilty Bucket List. Road trip pics await another post, because right now I have to show off what was in the mailbox when I got home:me-TQL(remind me to put makeup on before taking another selfie)

Yep, that’s me, in the August issue of The Quilt Life magazine: article by the lovely and talented Victoria Findlay-Wolfe. We had a fun Skype interview discovering our many layers of creative kindred-spiritedness, which she turned into a fabulous write-up.


And look, there’s more! I’ve got a pattern in the magazine, too:


It’s called “Down East Garden” and was inspired by my grandmother’s summer garden in Maine. TQL did such a great job with the photos and text, I’m tickled pink by all of it. Getting a pattern published in a magazine was on my 2014 Quilty wish list, so we can cross that one off, too. Yay!

The good news for you, dear readers, is that I’ve got two copies of TQL to give away. The theme of this issue is Road Trips, so if you’d like a chance to win, leave a comment below and tell me about a recent road trip you’ve taken, or one you’d like to take. Special applause for quilt-related travel, but any kind of road trip mention will do for giveaway entry.

This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere, until midnight (Hawaii time) next Thursday, July 31st. I’ll pick two winners at random on August 1st.

BTW: In the text that accompanies the pattern, I’m on record as predicting that tonal batiks and hand-dyes will be the next big thing in Modern quilting. What do you think: yea or nay??

<< This Giveaway is now CLOSED >>

(but comments are still open, if you’ve got something to share)

Post image for Let it be known…

… that at the mid-point of the year, I officially pulled ahead on my 2014 “finish more than I start this year” count. (I’m counting as “new starts” only those projects for which fabric was first cut after Jan. 1, 2014.)

The picture above is a detail of something I can’t show all of yet. Soon, but not yet.

As laudable as this progress may be, here’s the real story:

I’m only ahead on the count because I took a stack of nine similar 12″ blocks — originally intended for use together in a single quilt — added borders to each one, and made nine 20″ pillow covers from them instead.


Heheh: pretty clever, right? Not only were these blocks from deep in the “orphans and extras” bin (meaning they were started well before this year), but I’ve turned what could have been a measly “one” finish into nine (nine!) tics in the “finished” column.

And I gotta say, the pillows are gorgeous!


I want to keep all of them.


The backs are nice, too. I keep a variety of home dec weight twills in the stash, for doing this:


After a certain recent not very fulfilling project, it was sooooo nice to work on these beauties. All those intense colors and patterns are food for my soul.

Midway through this quickie photo shoot, I turned back to where things were stashed in the shade beside the house, and discovered this (Cosmo, get out of there!):


Since I really don’t need to add any more pillows to the ample supply already filling this house, most of these will be out-placed via the Etsy shop. Some day. I’m heading for the mainland next week, and have what feels like a month’s worth of stuff to get done before then. Those Etsy listings are looking like excellent candidates for the “do when I get back” list…

MQG Fabric Challenge finish

by Stephanie on June 27, 2014

in Home Decor

Post image for MQG Fabric Challenge finish

I finished this looooooong runner (15″x75″) over a month ago and only took finish photos of it yesterday, although there are some binding details here. Looks nice all loosely gathered up as you see above. The full front and back, side by side:


Here’s a closer look at one end:



… the middle:

serrano-the middle

… and the other end:


I was glad to have the chance to test out my newly-drafted octagon star blocks with this project (more of those in more “me” colors coming soon), but these fabrics are so not-me that by the time I’d finished this top I had very little interest in spending more time with it to quilt it.

That’s the good thing about a challenge: there’s a deadline and a reason to keep going. Plus I’d spent some of my fabric budget on additional yardage (those teeny fat-eighth cuts don’t go far), and didn’t want to feel I’d wasted it by not finishing the project. Overall, I’m pleased with how it turned out.