Current Projects – April 2014

I am not sure I will finish as many quilts in 2014 as I did in 2013, but I am pleased with the progress I am making. I have to remind myself that it is about the process and what I am learning and sharing with you. You never know. There are a lot of sewing days left in 2014. ;-)

Finished 2014 Quilt Projects

  1. Infinity Quilt: Finished 3/3/2014
  2. Spiderweb: Finished 2/22/2014 WHEW!

Finished 2014 non-Quilt Projects

Still WIPs

  1. Aqua-Red SamplerFrances and I started up again! We talked about the New York Beauty and I promised to start the hexagon tutorial. It is ready to post, but I could have taken a few more photos and might still do that. If you look at it and think there are a platry number of photos, check back.
  2. The Tarts Come to Tea: I still haven’t worked on this since April 2011, though, periodically, I think about working on it.
  3. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. I still haven’t worked on this, though, every once in a while I think about using some of the squares as leaders and enders. I also want to find my notes for the others and see if I want to do them.
  4. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I like the piece, but don’t know where to go from where I am. Mouth? Hair? The attitude I need to have is that I can’t ruin it; there is always more fabric. Possibility for abandonment.
  5. Under the Sea: class project; like the design, but not the colors much. Possibility for abandonment. I have to face reality.

Ready for Quilting

  1. New:* Wonky 9 Patch: needs quilting and binding. I am still thinking about quilting this myself and I am thinking about it more and more. I am wondering how far apart I can quilt it so that it has some drape? (Not on original list)
  2. New:*Star Sampler: Top finished, back and binding finished; at the quilter. (not on original list)
  3. Flower Sugar Hexagon / Attack of the Hexies – Top finished 1/12/2014: at the quilter.
  4. New: * Scrapitude – Top, back and binding finished 2/24/2014: at the quilter.
  5. New* Disappearing Pinwheel – Top, back finished 3/30/2014, binding made; at the quilter

In the Finishing Process

  1. New:* FOTY 2012: Quilting complete, working on the binding and the sleeve
  2. New:* Fresh Fruit: Quilting complete, working on the binding and the sleeve
  3. See: finished fusing applique’ pieces and  satin stitching. Working on quilting. Needs binding and sleeve

In Process
I decided that I had better put in an ‘In Process’ category. The difference, at least in my mind, between ‘In Process’ and ‘UFO’. The difference is that I am actively working on a project that is “In Process.”

Hunting and Gathering

  • Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
  • Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I will use a grey for the background, because if I use more of the cut fabric patches, the pattern will be lost. The pieces are too oddly shaped and I don’t want to lose the pattern in a mass of scraps.
  • Stepping Stones #2 using Bonnie & Camille fabrics Bliss, Ruby, Vintage Modern: made two test blocks, but still in the thinking stage while I decide on the background colors. I want the contrast to be good.
  • Super Secret Project #3: working on color choices.


Nothing so far for 2014

You can find the  latest update for the Current Projects list provides a good comparison to this month.

I thought you might want to take a look at the first list I made, the one with the 26 Projects. I started the list in October 2011. I have made progress. I am still planning to stop this post when I have no more projects from the original list to write about, but it is so useful to keep track of all of my projects.

*New – Project started after I started working on the 26 Projects list

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Pink and Blue Lemonade

Pink Lemonade by TFQ

Pink Lemonade by TFQ

This is a cool quilt top made by my friend TFQ. I love this design. It has inspired me to cut 2″ blue, green and violet squares. I have a long way to go, but it is a start.

I love the way TFQ has chosen the pinks, yellows, oranges, etc for this piece. She said that she chose fabrics that read pink, yellow, orange, etc. They are similar in temperature, and sometimes in vlaue, but because of the different hues, there is interest in the piece as well. There is that quality of making the viewer want to come closer.

Some of the fabrics had white in them and TFQ was careful to not let the white creep in too much. This is to mitigate the holes that can be caused by too much white. White isn’t bad, but it wasn’t TFQ’s choice for the look of this piece. White can create a hole if it isn’t distributed well. The concept goes back to something Sandy and I have discussed in the Design Series: what is your intent as an artist and designer?

TFQ’s top is named Pink Lemonade. I may name mine Blue Lemonade. That will be the working title for now and we will see.

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My Round Robin

Round Robin after 1st Round

Round Robin after 1st Round

I was able to see my round robin start on Saturday at the BAMQG meeting. It was fun to see it, though not much has been done.

Poor Kelly moved after we started the project. My RR got stuck in a box by accident when she had some problems with the move. My piece has only had one person work on it. While it is cheerful and the work done so far looks really good, when compared to the fabulous work another group did on their projects, my piece looked kind of sad.


The other group has done 6 rounds and mine has only gone through one round so the potential is definitely there. Also, we only have 4 people in our group. Looking at the piece in photos really makes me realize how bright and cheerful it is.

Round Robin potential for Round 2

Round Robin potential for Round 2

Kathleen is next on the list to work on my piece.  She and I pulled out my piece and talked about what to do on it. At the moment the piece is very vertical. We were thinking that it needed some more horizontal, so we explored some ways of making it more horizontal. One thought was to make the edge a little smaller. In the photo you can see that we folded the edges under so that we could see how the piece would look with squares of color on the edges instead of rectangles.

We also talked about connecting the liked colored edge squares (or rectangles) with lines of the same colors, possibly weaving more than one under the other. You can see that some of the various colors on the bottom right are also on the top left. I am a fan of that idea, but I am not working on it, so who knows.

Kathleen said she might draw something to try and work out a design. I was wondering if I could use EQ7 to import the picture and then draw around it to show what I meant. I don’t know if it will work, but can try it and see.

The other thing I was wondering was if I should see if there are other people who want to work on it – perhaps non BAMQG people? We’ll see what fabulosity Kelly and Kathleen conjure up. ;-)

Related Round Robin Posts

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Book Review: Flip Dolls & Other Toys

Flip Dolls & Other Toys That Zip, Stack, Hide, Grab & GoFlip Dolls & Other Toys That Zip, Stack, Hide, Grab & Go by Laura Wilson

The toys in this book are really imaginative. Making some or all of them would really add some fun to the creative toy box of a child in your life. This is one of the books that I gave away in November’s Black Friday Sew-in, but didn’t really get a chance to look at. Shannon at Lark was able to send me a copy. Thanks to Lark Crafts for sending this book to me to review.

I can imagine an aunt or uncle making the characters in this book and sending them, one at a time, to a niece or nephew. The other wonderful thing about the creatures in this book is the opportunity for adding texture, as in fabric texture, to a child’s life.

If you have no children in your life that should not deter you from this book. Toys on your desk at work draw people in to talk, collaborate, shoot the breeze. Flip dolls, which seem to not really be readily available, are a twofer. Two toys in one and an additional spur to the imagination in children and adults.

Like many of Lark’s books, this one starts with a “Getting Started” (pg.10) section that includes tools, materials, basic techniques, special skills, and customizing. There are sidebars, two of which caught my attention, “The History of Flip Dolls (you know I love history!) and age appropriateness. I noticed, throughout the book, that the author discusses modifications to accommodate the ‘mouthiness’ of smaller children. All of the sections have a description for each entry. For example, there are three kinds of scissors listed in the tools section. Wilson writes a few lines about why you need each, e.g. no cutting paper with your fabric scissors! The section is illustrated by photographs and whimsical drawings. It also includes the basic shape and some examples of how to modify it to create different creatures.

Following the introductory section are three additional sections, which provide the projects in ever increasing difficulty. The sections are Zip & Stack, Hide, Seek & Go, and Flip & Turn.

All of the projects have a difficulty rating and it took me a minute to understand how they were coded. The arrows were a little confusing, but I got with the program quickly.

Some of the cleverness of the projects shows up in the section. The Cheshire Cat has a pocket in the back with additional mouth pieces (lips, mustache, etc) that add to the fun of this toy. My favorite project in the Zip & Stack section has to be the Smiling Crocodile. I LOVE the zipper for the mouth. There are brief instructions for shortening a zipper and also a good description of installing a zipper.

On many of the projects there is opportunity for your own creativity. The wings of the flying horse could have sparkly embroidery floss, the plates on the shell of the turtle could have embroidered outlines.

In the Hide, Seek & Go section, the Winged Horse could do double duty as a regular horse as the wings are removable. I also like the front panel of the Nuts & Bolts Robot, which provides additional opportunity for creativity.

Finally, the Flip & Turn section has the flip dolls. There is a caterpillar and butterfly combination, George & the Dragon (you might need two so some actual swordplay could happen!), and the Owl and the Pussycat. With the directions, I can see a lot of other flip dolls: Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Snow White with the Wicked Queen under her skirt as a few examples.

The one small thing I didn’t like about the book was the materials used. This is a small thing and easily remedied. I wasn’t fond of the fabrics from which the projects were made. I thought they were too subtle and old fashioned looking. As I said, that is easily remedied by using your own fabrics. Also, I would have liked to have seen some tiny red beads standing in for blood drops on the vampire (pg.25). Looking at finished objects made from fabric in a book is much different than feeling the item in person.

Templates are at the back and have to be enlarged, so plan ahead. No late night runs to the copy store!

I like this book because it is different. The projects are not your usual run of hte mill projects. The toys are clever and inspire the imagination. I also see the spark that can lead to readers jumping off and taking the ideas to different levels. Take a look at the book and enjoy!

View all my reviews, especially the Stuffed Animals review as I think it and this review will work together very well.

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More from the Cat Bed Department

April Cat Beds

April Cat Beds

I whipped these up in order to get them done in time for the meeting, which was yesterday. I love the combinations that Amanda comes up with! I am wishing I had some quilting fabric in that yellow and black. Isn’t it great? It reminds me of Jane Sassaman’s work. I can see cutting out the leaves and things an rearranging them, then satin stitching them down. What do you think?

Posted in Doing Good | Tagged , | 4 Comments

FOTY 2014 – More Progress

FOTY 2014 - April 2014 #2

FOTY 2014 – April 2014 #2

I have a couple of projects in mind that require blues, so I have been washing and pressing blues, greens and light purples/violets lately. This is a nice little collection that I am really looking forward to using. I have already cut some pieces for projects that are still in the Hunting & Gathering stage.

I found a sense of peace and not frustration when I was cutting these pieces. It is satisfying to see a little pile of cut patches grow. That was a nice change.

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Free Motion Quilting

Full Piece Quilted

Full Piece Quilted

Yes, I did some free motion quilting.

Now that you have all peeled yourselves off the floor and revived yourselves with some smelling salts and a stiff drink, I will repeat that, yes, I did some free motion quilting. Kelly, the BAMQG President is issuing personal challenges and this is the first one I have really been able to do.

I got this fabric at the EBHQ show and just decided to use it for this exercise.

I decided to break up the exercise into 3 patterns, roughly the same size with the piece (1/2 yard x WOF): continuous boxes, flower petals and round swirly things.

Continuous squares

Continuous squares

Loopy circles

Loopy circles

Flower petals

Flower petals

Some of these are designs I learned in various machine quilting classes I have taken over the years. I did this exercise because of the BAMQG personal challenge, but also to test my skills.

Though I have not done a lot of machine or free motion quilting over the past few years, I am not terrible at it.I still have some skills and was able to get into a nice rhythm. I am not a pro by any stretch of the imagination and I won’t be firing my quilter any time soon, but I think I can do small pieces.

Full Piece Quilted-back

Full Piece Quilted-back

I couldn’t quite get the tension right, but the back doesn’t look horrendous. I will ask about adjusting the tension on the DC5100 when I go for lessons. I decided to concentrate on the look of the front, my speed and the length of the stitches.

I tried two different darning feet as well. Both came with my 9k. One is a hopping foot, which I don’t like that much, but ended up using on the DC5100. The other is a darning foot with no springs or hopping. It fits on to the shaft of the machine, screws in and is ready to sew. I prefer this foot as I can see better where I am headed, but it doesn’t fit on the DC5100 and no similar foot came with that machine. I also used Aurifil 50 wt thread. I used that thread, rather than the 40 wt, because I have a lot of colors and the color I wanted to use was available to me right at the moment I wanted it with no trips to the quilt store. I suspect the 9k didn’t like the speed at which I was quilting with that thin thread. It occurred to me later that I could have adjusted the tension, but I didn’t think of it before I switched machines.

Continuous squares in process

Continuous squares in process

I do free motion quilting at kind of a medium speed. I set the machine to that medium speed and that allows me to have better control over my stitch length.

One of the design elements I used was to go around some of the cups and fruits rather than just quilting over all of them. some of them, as you can see, I did quilt over, but many I outlined. I found it to be good practice in following a design.

I never like it when the quilting doesn’t follow the piecing, or fabric design, but getting a little recent experience with machine quilting, I am reminded of the ease of pantographs and all over designs.

Sewing machine[s] setup

Sewing machine[s] setup

My machine was not very cooperative, but it could have been the thread. I switched machines to my back up machine and that worked better, but wasn’t very comfortable. I don’t have an insert yet for the back up machine (traded in my Jem for a Janome DC5100) and quilting with it up out of the cabinet was pretty painful. Also, with the 9K down in the cabinet, I had no good place to put my legs and kept barking my shins.


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Creative Prompt #254: Peak

Pike’s Peak

Another name for rush hour

The highest corner of a four-sided, fore-aft sail (Wikipiedia)

peak demand (energy)

Pike’s Peak Cog Railway

The British English term for the part of a hat known as the visor in American English ( Wikipedia)

snow peak

Frog Peak Music label

Bob Peak – Master of the Movie Poster

NY radio station 107.1 The Peak

Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway

China Peak (near Yosemite)

Geyser Peak Winery


Chinese sneaker brand

Mission Peak Regional Preserve (Fremont, California)

Python Enterprise Application Kit

PEAK is an environmental education program designed to empower students with the knowledge to manage energy use in their homes, schools and communities.

PEAKS Rewards is a free membership program for guests at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood.

Peaky and Spike

Silver Peak’s WAN optimization and replication acceleration solutions accelerate data mobility over distance for optimal application performance.

You look peaky

Peak Campus is a visionary leader in managing and developing apartment communities in college markets across the nation.


“Peak is the automated way to keep track of what everyone is working on.”

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

Twin Peaks (San Francisco)

Wikipedia tells us that there are a variety of ‘peaks‘ in all different areas of knowledge and the world

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Donation Kaleidoscopes

TFQ's Kaleidoscope #1

TFQ’s Kaleidoscope #1

I did nothing to get these quilt tops to the stage they are at now. I am only transporting them and using them for content for this blog. ;-) Also, I always enjoy tooting the horn of other talented artists.

TFQ had to clear off her guest bed so I could sleep in it last week. She keeps her quilts flat on that bed. When she went through them, she decided that she would donate some quilts and tops that had served their purpose for her artistic development. I have several she gave me to donate, but will spread the wealth over  a couple of blog posts. Hopefully, you will be inspired to create some donation quilts of your own.

The kaleidoscope pattern is an old pattern. In Jinny Beyer’s, The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns, there are 9 references to that name and many of them are not the Kaleidoscope as I have always known it. Of course, block pattern names develop, have colloquial an regional differences, so references like the above as well as Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and the accompanying BlockBase are invaluable references.

TFQ's Kaleidoscope #2

TFQ’s Kaleidoscope #2

The closest patterns listed to the one shown in the photo (above) are on pages 292 and 293, categorized in the 8 pointed star category. There is also a continuous pattern called Kaleidoscope (413-7), which except for the squares that join the actual Kaleidoscopes, is the pattern TFQ made.

There is a lot of opportunity for color work in this pattern. In the two examples, you can see the differences in the way TFQ used background and also blended the colors somewhat. Example #1 looks like an actual Kaleidoscope (the thing you put to your eye and twirl). The arrangement and selection of colors looks like broken glass that has been shaken up.

You might be wondering why TFQ pieced the background like she did in Example #2. I don’t presume to kn ow for sure, but if I had to guess I would say that there are two possibilities. The first is texture. The color of the inner blocks really draws our attention. They also have texture and I think that the bringing the texture out into the background provides continuity. Second, the piecing in white is one of those rewards you get for looking more closely at a quilt.

As I said, these are tops so someone else will need to finish them. It will be interesting to see how they end up. Thanks, TFQ!

Posted in Doing Good | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

See – Details

See (detail #1)

See (detail #1)

As I mentioned the other day, I did all of the satin stitching over the preceding few days and was on to the quilting.

If you make the photo (left) a little bigger you can see the quilting around the eye and in the orange character.

I used 50 weight Aurifil, mostly because I have a lot of colors, but also because I didn’t want it to be shiny. You may be able to see the diachromatic thread peeking through the orange. I don’t mind that little bit of shine. In a show, the light will reflect off of those small bits and, with any luck, make the piece shimmer or glitter a little.

See (detail #2)

See (detail #2)

I am thinking of using free motion quilting on the black part. I want to practice and test the machine before I do, though.

I have the BAMQG personal challenge to do and that will be a good free motion quilting test.

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Vintage Tuesday: My First Sewing Project?

Happy Tax Day! Hope you get a big fat refund!

Recently Mom cleared out her storage unit. She found a lot of great stuff, like her jewelry box and some not so great stuff, e.g. my childhood in a plastic sweater box. I had mixed feelings as I went through the box. Clearly, these things meant something to me, or my mom, at some point, but, frankly, most of them I didn’t remember. I put them away. When I am dead someone else can decide to toss them.

Childhood Heart Pillow

Childhood Heart Pillow

I did find this pillow, though, which I thought was very sweet. It doesn’t have my name on it, but if Mom says I made, I have to believe her. It looks like something I would do. I love the wonkiness of it. I also love the visible stitches. It seems heartfelt to me.

It also seems odd, in a way, because I never called my mom ‘Mother’. That must have been the pattern.



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April to Do List

I totally forgot to update my list at the beginning of the month. Better late than never!

To Do List:

  1. Sew green and red striped 8 pointed star (probably should include an item called “find background template for 8 pointed star!)
  2. Sew white on black wavy line 8 pointed star
  3. Layer, baste Christmas table runner
  4. Quilt Christmas table runner
  5. Quilt/stitch fish postcard
  6. Wash fabric AKA The Great Unwashed (I am guessing this will never be off the list, but a girl can dream) ;-) – I washed AND pressed a bunch of fabric. It made more of a difference than I expected and I had some fun doing it. I still have a lot to do.
  7. Make stiff bucket or box for TP in main bath
  8. Make stiff bucket or box for TP in second bath
  9. Dragon Box (gift)
  10. Anna Maria Horner Multi-tasker tote (gift-due Holiday 2013- oops)
  11. Make 3 notepad covers (gifts)
  12. Scrap Lab backpack
  13. Day in the Park backpack variation
  14. Petrillo bag #2
  15. Make binding for Disappearing Pinwheel

To see the 26 Projects Lists, which list quilt WIPS, visit the March Current Projects update


Completed items since November 4, 2013 (prior to this month’s list)

  • Sew on sleeve for Original Bullseye
  • Kelly’s Brown Round Robin
  • Pillow from cake tea towel
  • Try plain square for center of Russian Rubix blocks
  • Hand sew bottom opening in Shopping bag for BAMQG
  • Finish binding on T-Shirt quilt
  • Secret Santa gift for BAMQG
  • Kathleen’s Round Robin
  • Make sleeve for Original Bullseye
  • Finish sewing triangles for Scrapitude
  • Take apart Ribbon Star and resew
  • Color Group donation quilt
  • Binding for Color Group donation quilt
  • Make shopping bag for BAMQG
  • Sew coffee patch to red bag
  • Sew coffee patch to bathrobe
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See – Faster Than I Thought

See (Out of the Closet)

See (Out of the Closet)

I dragged See out of the Fabric Closet on Thursday with the intention of starting to finish the satin stitching. The photo to the left is what I remember the piece looked like, but when I looked at it the blue curved line and one circle were missing. Even though I remembered that there were other pieces, I couldn’t find them and decided to soldier on.

I fused everything that wasn’t fused and started satin stitching. The orange character had diachromatic thread stitched around it, but it didn’t differentiate the orange against the pink background well enough. In addition to stitching around the two remaining circles, I stitched over the the diachromatic thread in orange and all around the other parts in matching thread.

See - Stitched

See – Stitched

I ended up with a piece that was ok. That was when I found a photo that reminded me of the blue curved line. I took a whole pile of orphan blocks, Sampler blocks, hand printed fabric, etc from my “must stay flat pile” out of the closet and started rummaging through all the bits and bobs until I found the blue line.

I fused it on to the piece, but since I had already started quilting the orange, I had to unpick a bit so I could satin stitch around the blue line.

Shortly thereafter, I passed by a mirror and saw the third circle stuck to my bathrobe.


Very strange, but I fused that on and well, satin stitched around the last circle and got busy quilting. As of now, the orange character and some of the eye are quilted. I feel like I zoomed through what I have done so far even though it was a stopping and starting kind of ride.

See ( April 13, 2014)

See ( April 13, 2014)

Right now the hold up is the label. I don’t know whether to do a regular label like all my other quilts have or to just put a small label with my name on it. I am well into quilting so I need to decide soon.

This is a project that has been languishing for a long time. I am glad to finally be making some progress on it.

Posted in Works in Progress | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Road Trip

I got a bug in my ear to take a long drive. I wasn’t sure why, but the buzzing wouldn’t go away.

Like many of you, I can’t just jump in the car and leave, so I got my ducks in a row, then I headed north. The first two days were all driving. I was just in the car with my thoughts. The first day I didn’t get out of the house until 11am. I went to gym and took the Young Man to school, then packed and cleaned the house before I started to drive.

My ultimate goal: Seattle (where TFQ lives)

First View: Golden Gate Bridge

First View: Golden Gate Bridge

The first view was an extremely lowering sky over the Golden Gate Bridge

First, I stopped at Colleen’s to drop off the Disappearing Pinwheel. I know I barely finished it before I got it out of the house, but I really wanted to get it out of the house and save myself another trip to San Rafael. Because of the quick turnaround, I didn’t have a chance to make the binding. I decided I would get it in Colleen’s queue and send the binding along later.

Heavens Let Loose

Heavens Let Loose

I stopped there for about half an hour, heard about Colleen’s weaving class and then really got on the road. I am pleased to say she thought weaving was boring and won’t be giving up quiltmaking to become a weaver. I apologize to all you weavers out there, but I am GLAD!!!

It rained hard from San Rafael through Healdsburg: headlights on, white knuckles, wipers on high kind of hard raining. I found out that I really needed new windshield wipers. Oops! In fairness, I did ask my mechanic to change them and I am not sure he did. He might have and just gotten a bad pair. It happens. I told my dad when I called him and he was all over changing them. I decided to see if he knew a guy to clean out the inside of my car, too, which after 14 hours in it seemed like it needed a good cleaning. Don’t worry, I didn’t do anything gross in there, but notice the dirt!

Cool Clouds, Rain Lessened

Cool Clouds, Rain Lessened

After Healdsburg the rain lightened up. All the way to Fortuna, it just rained on and off. Sometimes it rained hard, sometimes light. The sky was gorgeous. The light was gorgeous. The clouds were gorgeous and I really enjoyed the drive.

In the light rain, I couldn’t use the wipers. My only during that leg was in Willits to get some water and peanuts. I listened to Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro on this leg.

Despite my late start I got to Fortuna at about 5:30pm. I tried to get some FitBit steps in by walking around the hotel complex, but I also worked on my blog posts and read my email. I went to La Costa in Fortuna for dinner. They have great food. They make their own tortilla chips and tortillas. I wrote for a long time in my journal while I waited for my food and enjoyed my chips. Awesome and relaxing.

Across from the Hotel

Across from the Hotel

This field is the view across from the hotel in which I stayed. I really like that field.

I was rudely awakened at 6:45 by a bigass truck idling right outside the window of my room. It wasn’t just starting up and driving off, but sitting there rumbling for 10 minutes. ERGH! At least it wasn’t 5am. I needed to get up anyway.

North Coast Ocean View

North Coast Ocean View

Day Two: Fortuna to Portland

Day Two was, again, all about driving. After breakfast, at about 9am, I got on the road. Tuesday was a long drive day, longer than I like, and it was going to be a little longer because of the jog over to Interstate 5 from Highway 101. To my good fortune, the drive up the North Coast to Crescent City was unbelievably gorgeous. I can’t even describe the beauty of the water, the sky and the clouds. I just wanted to take pictures of every curve in the road.

I cut over to Interstate 5 from Highway 101 via Highway 199. The highway is built alongside the Smith River and it was also a  gorgeous drive. The river was a beautiful green color. That was part of the Siskyou National Forest and the trees were a gorgeous green. Now that California has gotten a little rain, the trees seem much healthier (from far away in a moving car). Again, I couldn’t take enough photos.

Crossing over to Oregon was  a shock. I thought Oregon was all about conservation, gorgeous vistas and rain. Right over the border, in southern Oregon, was shockingly ugly. I saw people burning trash, clear cut sides of mountains and front yards filled with garbage and junk cars. I will be using the backs of papers for scrap paper after seeing that devastation. They have a lot of paper production there. That is not to say that I didn’t see garbage-y front yards in some parts of California, but the trifecta was a shock *to me*.

I continued up Interstate 5 and closer I got to Portland, the nicer the views looked. The fields were green and pretty. The Interstate 5 was a lot nicer to drive on than it is in California, though there were a lot of trucks that I had to keep passing. That is one thing I don’t like about driving up Interstate 5.

I got gas near a town called Cottage Grove and almost jumped out of my skin when I young man appeared at my shoulder and told me he had to pump my gas. I don’t remember the last time I had full service at home, if ever since I started driving. I would have preferred that he come around the front of the car, though. It isn’t really very service oriented to scare the living daylights out of customers. Dad said that those jobs are the lowest of the low and they don’t teach any customer service. Hhmm.

Dad's Cook Shak

Dad’s Cook Shak

While stopped, I looked on Google Maps to see how to get the rest of the way to my Dad’s. I was shocked when I saw his ‘Cook Shak’ on Google Maps! Dad’s Cook Shak is basically a large deck/platform with a roof that is completely outfitted with an outdoor kitchen, nice dining table and a jacuzzi. It was hilarious to see it on Google and I wonder if he gets people showing up for dinner after seeing it on Google. It was nice to see my dad after awhile. He had some great short ribs ready for me. We ate dinner and watched American Pickers. I have never watched that show before and was fascinated. It was somewhat horrifying in a fascinating kind of way to see the junk (to me) that people collected. I don’t really judge people’s collections, but I call the stuff I saw junk because it was rusted in heaps in yards and under collapsed sheds. As I said, horrifying and amazing.

Day Three: Portland

Dad took his tour guide duties very seriously. First stop: Harbor Freight. Dad needed a grabber to pick up some sticks that fall into his driveway. Don’t ask. ;-)

VooDoo Donuts

VooDoo Donuts

He stepped up his game on our next stop: VooDoo Donuts. Dad got two donuts, I can’t eat their donuts as they didn’t have anything gluten free. Still I enjoyed seeing the place. It is a wild ride and well worth visiting. Just go early.

Then Powell’s. Powell’s is the bookstore of all bookstores, the mother lode of all bookstores. Since the last time I was there, they have really spruced it up. It isn’t such a rabbit warren and, apparently, they fixed the roof leaks. They had a fantastic collection of  quilt books. They had probably more than I have seen in one place ever. They even had a Judy Martin Block Book. That is an awesome book and you can probably buy it online. There were a couple of books in which I was interested, but I wasn’t in the mood to buy so I left with nothing. Dad bought a couple of fishing books.

Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion

After a brief stop at Whole Foods, we headed up to the Pittock Mansion. “The Pittock Mansion is a French Renaissance-style “château” in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, USA, originally built as a private home for The Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana.” (Wikipedia) I loved that house. It really seemed more like a house. Of course, it was a mansion, but it felt like a really good place. The colors were light and there were a lot of curves. For the time, there was a lot of innovations and top of the line technology as well as innovative ideas implemented throughout the building. The views were also wonderful.

Entry Floor

Entry Floor

There had not been much opportunity to be inspired for quiltmaking, in any real sense, but the Pittock Mansion provided me with one. The entry hall floor was a Mariner’s Compass. The thing that made it seem a little different was the framing around each of the spokes.

Next stop was an ice cream place, Salt and Straw in Stumptown. I hadn’t had breakfast, though, so I was determined to have a meal before dessert. There was a Mexican place across the street, so we stopped in and had some tacos. The food was ok.  The ice cream made up for it, though. The flavor I ate, salt and caramel, was fantastic and the service was excellent.

We didn’t spend as much time in Portland as Dad expected and he was full after the tacos and ice cream, so he wanted to head home.

I cajoled him into stopping at a quilt shop near his house called Quilting Delights. I wanted to stop at another, but I think I was pushing my luck with one. Oregon has a very nice list of quilt shops by city, which made it easy to find shops on the way to his house. I talked up longarm machines as we drove and was pleased to see they had one, which was interesting to my dad. I don’t think he realized how much machinery we quiltmakers use.

I liked Quilting Delights. It is a big shop. I didn’t think they had a lot of fabric, though I did find some yardage to buy. ;-) I had hoped to find one of the Mod Century prints to use for the Disappearing Pinwheel binding, but no luck. They had a full line of Accuquilt cutters, cases, dies and will be having Go! Academy in a few weeks. They explained that they will be teaching people how to get more out of their Accuquilt Go!. One thing they will show is the hexagon die where you can cut the papers for EPP and the fabric at the same time. As I said after the Flower Sugar Hexagon was complete, I am done, for now, with hexagons. I love the idea, though. It is very clever. The woman I spoke with really wanted me to come, but I don’t think I am up for the drive a second time this year. The concept is great and I would love it if one of my local shops would do the same thing. My phone was dead so no photos. You’ll have to visit yourself. ;-)

We had an Austrian dinner: cheese, crackers, a variety of meats, some grapes and we watched American Pickers again. ;-) George Barris was on it. He is the guy that designed and built the Batmobile, the car the Munsters drove, James Dean’s Porsche. His shop was near where I grew up and I remember driving by it frequently. I would love to get my hands on that archive and catalog and organize it, digitize it and make it available online. I am not moving to SoCal, but a girl can dream.

Day 3: Portland to Seattle

Basically, I drove to Seattle and took most of the day to do it. Before I left Dad’s, Dad and I also cleaned out my car at his ‘urging’. It was fairly disgusting, which I never really noticed since, max, I’ll spend 20 minutes in my car at a time on any given day. We washed all the windows inside and out, vacuumed the interior, we Armor All-ed the dash. He cleaned all the dips and divets with soap and water. The car was very happy.

The drive was nice. I have done that drive before, but didn’t really remember it. It rained, there were big trucks. I listened to Love Walked In. No mishaps or mayhem.

I felt a big sigh of relief once I got to Seattle. Seattle and I get along well. Yes, TFQ is there and that is HUGE, but I love the city as well. There is something about it that is comfortable and relaxing. It is a good place to visit to escape my life.

I picked up TFQ from work and we went and had Italian food at a place that has a complete gluten free menu of Italian food. We go there almost every time I visit. I love that place.

Day 4: Seattle

The first thing we did was go for a 3.7 mile walk. Despite my gym efforts, TFQ was kicking my butt. I had 10k steps before 9am. The rest of the day was gravy.

TFQ's UFOs, Finishes and In Process Quilts

TFQ’s UFOs, Finishes and In Process Quilts

When we returned, we looked through TFQ’s quilts. She is plowing through her UFOs and donating a number to charity. It is really fun to see my fabric in her quilts and quilts that we have worked on together. Please note that my contributions are small. She does beautiful work.

We went to the neighborhood restaurant for breakfast and I had an egg bake with sausage and tomato sauce. I think it was called Alla Bracaiola, but I am not sure about the spelling. It is a lovely place. Very homey. TFQ bought some walnut flour cookies which we ate for lunch/afternoon snack and were so delicious, I almost fainted from sheer pleasure.

We discussed the Super Secret project and will hopefully finalize part of it this trip.

We visited Quiltworks Northwest, a fabric and quilting shop in Bellevue. The people were super nice and I did find a few good lengths of fabric, but I was disappointed. Their fabric selection seemed old and there wasn’t very much of it. They had a whole new bead selection, which wasn’t there the last time I was in. TFQ said it felt like the beads were taking over the shop. Kind of disappointing.

We tried to go look at couches, but got frustrated with the parking and just went home. The rest of the day we sat. I unpicked part of a border on a great Sawtooth Star quilt that wasn’t working. I was happy to get my mitts back on some fabric – something to work on. I think the walk made us a little tired. I had over 15k steps by the end of the day.

Day Five: Seattle

Day 5 we sewed. First we walked another 3.45 mile look around the neighborhood. I like walking around Seattle neighborhoods. I like see what colors people paint their houses and what shapes the houses are. I also like seeing the shops. We ate breakfast at a place called the Barking Dog. Luckily there was no dog was barking. I had Eggs Benedict. The chef was kind enough to make it on GF bread. I was a happy, happy girl.

Then we sewed like demons and worked on finalizing the Super Secret project. You’ll hear more about this later, so be patient.

We went to a tavern with supposedly good Mexican food for dinner. I think both of us were underwhelmed. TFQ thought it must be bar food (very small portions). It gave us a good excuse to get ice cream afterwards. ;-)

Day Six: Seattle

Lots of sewing today. We worked on the Super Secret Project again. I also helped TFQ finish a gorgeous GORGEOUS quilt top she named Pink Lemonade. I just sewed on two borders, then she made the back while I worked some more on the Super Secret Project.

We had to go back to the quilt store for more fabric for the Super Secret Project. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought two yards for background and borders. DErrrrr. First we went to Pacific Fabrics, which has a fantastic selection of quilt fabrics. I could have bought almost everything as everything was right in my color arena.

We also dropped Pink Lemonade off at TFQ’s quilter. I enjoyed meeting Janet last time and love her house. She has the loveliest studio under the eaves of her house. We had a lovely chat and she showed us some of her projects. She is very friendly.

We went to a Japanese place where we have eaten before. I think we may strike this one off our list as everything was covered in soy sauce (NOT GF) and both of our stomachs hurt about an hour after we ate. I took some enzymes, so I didn’t have a terrible reaction, but still.

Day Seven: Seattle

I was on my own today as TFQ had to go back to work. I sewed a lot and got my project to a point where it will be pretty easy to finish once I get home. I need a few more cool squares as I am completely out. One of the fabrics didn’t work with the background so I couldn’t use it in the borders.

I refrained from going back to Pacific Fabrics and buying more fabric. The fabric madness has to stop sometime. I did run about million other errands including getting food for dinner. We decided that I would cook while TFQ weeded a part of her garden.

Day Eight: Seattle to Ashland, Oregon

This is another driving day. I planned to drive farther south so my middle day wouldn’t be as much driving when I jogged over to the coast, but I decided, kind of at the last minute, to drive south on Interstate 5. I don’t like driving Interstate 5 as there are a lot of semis and in Oregon they hitch two and three trailers to the truck and it is scary to see. Traffic rules do not allow that in California so it is very odd to me.

I thought I would just split the difference and drive for a couple more hours, but the lure of home is strong so I drove for about 9 hours, only really stopping for a few minutes at a time. I finally ended up exhausted in Ashland, Oregon. I would have really liked to have passed straight through Oregon, but I was about to drop and couldn’t really go any further.

Interstate 5 is much prettier and more well tended than Highway 199. I noticed and thought that they must have put money into the road that most people travel. I am glad to see that southern Oregon isn’t a complete disaster.

I missed seeing my Dad again. I thought I would stop and have a coffee with him, but I passed the exit to his office and was too far down the road to make backtracking practical. Next time.

Day Eight: Ashland to Home

I stayed at the Best Western Windsor Inn. It was nice. Not fancy, but the bed was comfy, the room was big and there was a restaurant next door made a very tasty Mexican chicken salad. The BW didn’t have anything I could eat for breakfast so I went back to the restaurant for breakfast as well.

Dad was right. I left around 9:30 and I didn’t stop for long, but I did take frequent breaks. I made it home by about 4:30. The drive was hot and I had the air conditioning on most of the day. I guess the rain is gone. Oregon to home sounds far and it is over 350 miles, I think, so I feel like I accomplished something.

I stopped at two quilt stores and didn’t buy anything. Shocking, I know. Wooden Spools in Yreka had all of their fabric for $6/yard. They are closing their store and will only do shows in the future, which is sad, because it is the only fabric shop in the area. The owner doesn’t want to sell the shop to anyone because she has seen too many businesses fail that way. I hope someone is able to open a shop up there. It sounds like there is a big quilt community (3 guilds in the area!) who could support it.

Closer to home I stop at the Quilt Shop in Vacaville, A Quilted Heart. I went there (and wrote about it) last year after Grand Parlor. I walked into the middle of the first day of the shop hop. I couldn’t see any information about how to join the shop and was a little stunned at the festivity of the event. They didn’t seem to have a lot of fabric, so I didn’t buy anything. I think I am also still on the Pacific Fabrics high from the other day.

imageI knew I was close to home when I saw the huge fog bank over the Golden Gate Bridge. It was hard to miss.

It was a great trip. I saw people about whom I care and don’t get to see often enough. I saw some great sights, bought some great fabric, and sewed.  I am glad to be home. I am ready to sew in my own space and happy to sleep in my own bed.

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Creative Prompt #253: Yellow

Definition: “Yellow /?j?lo?/ is the color of most gold, most warning signs, or most ripe lemons.[2] In the spectrum of visible light, and in the traditional color wheel used by painters, yellow is a mixture of green and orange.”

A quilt called Yellow

Yellow is commonly associated with gold, wealth, sunshine, reason, happiness, optimism and pleasure, but also with envy, jealousy and betrayal. It plays an important part in Asian culture, particularly in China.[3]“

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

Sneeches are yellow

Yellow Pages

Yellow by ColdPlay

Pokemon Yellow

2012 movie

Yellow Ribbon Project

yellow fever

yellow belly

“Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree”

Feb 23, 2014 – A new study has found chemicals in yellow dye found in common household items could release toxins that are harmful to your health.

Yellow Cab

Project Yellow Light is a scholarship competition designed to bring about change.

The gene yellow is referred to in FlyBase by the symbol Dmel\y (CG3757, FBgn0004034). It is a protein_coding_gene from Drosophila melanogaster.

Historic Yellow Springs is a non-profit organization in Chester County, Pennsylvania that preserves and promotes the history and arts of Yellow Springs village.

Yellow+Blue brings you great certified organic wines in environmentally-friendly packing so you can have the best of both worlds.

Austin Yellow Bike Project

Yellow Ostrich

Yellow Barn Music School and Festival

Daisy Yellow – creative blog and ‘zine

Yellow Rain – mysterious substance that feel from the sky after the Vietnam War

Color Yellow: “This color relates to acquired knowledge. It is the color which resonates with the left or logic side of the brain stimulating our mental faculties and creating mental agility and perception.

Being the lightest hue of the spectrum, the color psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun.

In the meaning of colors, yellow inspires original thought and inquisitiveness.

Yellow is creative from a mental aspect, the color of new ideas, helping us to find new ways of doing things. It is the practical thinker, not the dreamer.” (Color Psychology)


I couldn’t believe how much there was on yellow. The above barely scratches the surface. Be inspired!

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