City Sampler Update

Newest City Sampler Blocks - January 2016
Newest City Sampler Blocks – January 2016

My last update on this project feels like an eternity ago. It was really just in December, though as time flies by, it feels like an eternity.

As mentioned briefly, I spent most of the CQFA Retreat working on City Sampler blocks. I was determined to make some serious progress on these blocks. I am pleased to say that I did make progress. I have completed all blocks. The next step is sashing and setting.

I was having a lot of trouble with my seam allowance so you can see some of the blocks look a little off. I may rip out and remake a few, but I will mostly allow the sashing to make up the difference. I felt like such an amateur fighting with my machine.

I put 42 up on the wall to see what they look like. I’ll definitely need to rearrange them, but I am pleased with the overall look and cohesiveness.

Peacock Top Complete

Peacock top Complete
Peacock top Complete

I finally finished the Peacock top. The photo looks a little odd, because my design wall isn’t large enough for the whole top so it is bent around the corner and taped to the fabric closet door.  Still, done is done albeit large.

I also finished the back this past weekend. I knew it would take awhile so I started after I returned from the CQFA meeting and the BAM Sew Day. I spent about 4 hours and got about half of it done. The rest of it took me all day on Sunday. I thought about this and decided that the smaller the pieces I have to work with the more time the back takes. I had used most of the large-ish pieces on Saturday, so I was left with rather small pieces. I thought I would be annoyed, but I sewed, actually, quite happily on the back.

I needed to get it done before the CQFA Retreat, because someone wanted to buy my design wall. That didn’t work out so my Pind design wall is available for sale, if you are interested. It works great and is in great shape; it just isn’t large enough for me. Let me know if you are interested.

Bubble Quilt

Simply Moderne Bubble Quilt
Simply Moderne Bubble Quilt

The Simply Moderne Bubble Donation Quilt is finished. Gerre had finished the binding for this quilt after the January Sew Day, but saved it so I could take a photo. I think it will be given in this weekend during the Charity Sew Day.

We started this quilt back in May. I have to say that I think Gerre did most of the sewing and she did the quilting. I did a lot of the cutting, sewed the background and the back and made the binding. Not sure if it was an equal division of labor, but the quilt is done and is interesting and will make a good ‘boy’ quilt. We don’t have our next donation quilt idea ready to go, but I think I will suggest straight piecing when we do decide what comes next.

Fabric Garden Visit

Fabric Garden, Marconi Ave, Sacramento
Fabric Garden, Marconi Ave, Sacramento

The other weekend, in addition to Runs with Scissors and Thistle Dew, I also visited the Fabric Garden for a second time.

I didn’t take photos the second time around. I think I got distracted, so these photos are from my first visit, which was last Fall for the Admission Day Celebration. The skies were bluer and the air warmer.

I went to look for the Hansel and Gretel kit, which I have decided to make for my little niece to keep Red and Coral company. The very nice shop ladies were successful in selling me a multitude of fabrics (for dresses, probably) and a charm pack of Poppy Mae by Robin Pickens for Moda. Yes, Moda fabrics. I loved the motifs too much to think about the fraying I would have to worry about.

Fabric Garden Interior View
Fabric Garden Interior View

The shop is light and airy and clean, though it is also stuffed to the gills and there is plenty to look at. I also think they have a nice variety of fabrics that suit many desires. They do only have a small section of repros, e.g. Civil War. I didn’t notice whether they had any 1930s prints. The wide variety of other fabrics from tone-on-tones to modern was really pleasing. They had a lot of pre-cuts, especially charm packs, though they were all packaged to it was hard to look at all the prints. I was able to look at the mini-charms to get an idea of what the Poppy Mae looked like and that worked for me.

I also liked their section of embroidery patterns and supplies. There were tea towel type projects as well as wool felt designs and patterns.

The people at this shop are very friendly and helpful, though they don’t hover. Between this shop and Thistle Dew, it is worth a trip to Sacramento. The other shops I have visited make it a quiltmaking haven and a weekend’s good quilt fun.

Fabric Garden Purchases -1/2017
Fabric Garden Purchases -1/2017


ColorPlay – February 3

ColorPlay Feb 3- original
ColorPlay Feb 3- original

I have been thinking about my trip a lot lately, so I am back to one of my Austria photos. I wanted an image that was bright and cheerful. This is my friend’s bath. I have to say that one of the things I looked forward to on my trip was a deep soak in that tub. It is is easily 3 feet deep and after a 5 year California drought, a long soak in a tub filled to the brim with water seemed like a fantasy.

When the YM was about 4 we visited and I kept a strict eye on him in that tub in case of drowning. He was a good swimmer, but that tub holds a lot of water.

ColorPlay Feb 3- n.1
ColorPlay Feb 3- n.1

While I wouldn’t say that the yellow in the photo is neon, I would say that it is bright and dominates the room, thus you can imagine my shock when I saw the first iteration of the color palette for this post.

Talk about neutral!?!? This palette has no color! I can’t even think about whether this neutral palette is interesting or not. It needs pink and yellow.

ColorPlay Feb 3- n.2
ColorPlay Feb 3- n.2

My second attempt was marginally better. Kona Banana was the closest I could get to the yellow, which is decidedly not the color of a banana. The choice isn’t terrible and it is better than the Kona Caramel in my first attempt. I was pleased that the turquoise showed up as Kona Jamaica. The towel is no better than Kona Spice, which is not pink and I could get a nice white (chair and radiator) to save my life.

ColorPlay Feb 3- n.3
ColorPlay Feb 3- n.3

I made one more attempt. I made sure to keep the Kona Jamaica, but tried for a better yellow. Banana is probably the best as the only actual yellow alternative I could come up with was Kona Butterscotch, which is only marginally yellow in my mind. The Grass Green is a good addition.

I think, in general, the shadows in this photo obscure the true colors.

Let me know about your efforts as creating a palette.


26 Projects – February 2017 Edition

I am clearing up my workroom a bit after taking down my large design wall and finding a plethora of odds and ends behind it. In the course of cleaning, I am assembling fabrics to donate, which count in the ‘used’ (e.g. no longer in the stash) column of my fabric spreadsheet.

Finished 2017 Quilt Projects

None yet

Finished 2017 Non-Quilt Projects

Doing Good

In Process
The  ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or pretending to stitch. I try not to put away projects, because that will ensure I never work on them.

  • Carpenter’s Wheel blocks – I made a few more blocks and am ready to put the blocks together. This means making text/low volume blocks, which I want to do quickly so I can also get this piece to Colleen.
  • City Samplerblocks all made. Need to sash the blocks and finish putting the top together. I have the fabric I will use, but I think it needs to be washed.
  • English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I am still making stars. I am using the big stack of fabrics I cut over Thanksgiving to make more stars. This piece is a weird shape otherwise I would just finish it and move on. I do still have 4 months of traveling with DH.
  • En Provence – Working on the second clue, I think. I put it off while I finished The Peacock as the mind shift was making me a little crazy.
  • FOTY 2016 – time to start arranging it. I wanted to do it immediately after finishing the Peacock top, but with my design wall issues, I don’t think I will.
  • Lobster – have more stitching to do and then I need to quilt it.
  • Octagon 9 Patch: ready to put together. Not sure what I am waiting for. Another leaders/enders project or do I want to lay out the blocks more carefully?
  • Peacock Quiltoff the design wall and the top is sewn together. Next step is to make the back. My deadline is Feb 6 as I want to take it to Colleen that week.
  • Under the Sea: class project; like the design and am happier with the colors. I bought a few spools of Sue Spargo’s embroidery thread and continue to embroider. I want to finish it soon, though the piece does keep calling for more embroidery.

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. Aqua-Red Sampler – The partial seaming tutorial was finished in September. Now I need to lay the blocks out and put the piece together.
    2. The Tarts Come to Tea: I still haven’t worked on this since April 2011, though, I did bring it to the 2017 CQFA Retreat as a potential project. It is still in a prominent location so I have easy access.
    3. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
    4. Pies and Points from Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. No further progress. I did wash the background fabric I found when I went to Portland, so I am ready to cut. I need to focus on this and it is not up high enough on the list yet.
    5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. My career counselor breathed new life into this project for me. She asked a simple question and the end result was inspiration for this piece, but I kind of lost steam again after printing images on paper to try out different designs. Lately, I have stopped feeling like I need to finish this piece. I am not ready to give up on it yet. I think it really needs major surgery.
    6. Serendipity Lady Quilt: no progress.
    7. Stepping Stones #2 – I am ready to make the border blocks , but haven’t done anything yet.

Ready for Quilting

  • Nothing

In Quilting Process

  • Thanksgiving tablemat – I started quilting this piece at the 2017 CQFA Retreat. I made good progress, but it isn’t finished yet.
  • Theoretically, the Tarts Come to Tea is in the quilting process, though I haven’t worked on it in a while. It did come with me to Retreat and almost made it high enough on the list to get some love.



Hunting and Gathering

  • 30 Something: I am still cutting 1.5 inch squares. I am pretty sure I have the 800 I need, but I am not ready to sew these yet, so whenever I have a chance I cut more. It will give me choice when the time comes. I’ll have to think up a new name, too.
  • Blue Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch blue rectangles
  • Blue Lemonade: cutting blue, green, purple 2inch squares
  • Pink Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch pink rectangles
  • 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 am supposed to be cutting a variety of greys for the background. I bought a new template, so I should be able to get going again


  • Stepping Stones #3 using the Macaron pre-cuts from Hoffman. I have all the fabric in pre-cuts and am just waiting for space (and desire) in my schedule.

What’s on your list?

Retreat Work

Final City Sampler blocks
Final City Sampler blocks

As mentioned briefly yesterday I was on Retreat over the weekend. CQFA had their annual retreat in Half Moon Bay. My big huge accomplishment was that I finished the last 41 blocks for the City Sampler.


I started in on them on Friday right after I arrived. I worked until about 9pm with breaks for food and water. Then I worked on them all day until 10pm Saturday with breaks for food and water, but no breaks for other projects. I finished the last block after 10. Angela stayed and kept me company for the last few minutes so I wouldn’t be alone, which was really sweet of her.

City Sampler block n.59
City Sampler block n.59

I had the idea that I would photograph each block as I finished, but the quantity was too great and after the first few, I gave up and focused on my work. I have cleared off my small design wall and will put the blocks up there and take a photo. The one shown (left) is number 59 and one of the few I think have potential in a larger quilt.

I feel like this is a real achievement and coupled with the finished Peacock top is good work towards getting me over the slog through the quilt mire I have been in. After thinking about this project for awhile, I have decided that I wouldn’t do it again if I had a do-over. I was coming off of the excitement of the A-B-C Challenge when I started this one. I thought this one would be a similar experience, but it didn’t turn out to be as collaborative. Also, the blocks are fiddly and, in most cases, not terribly interesting. As a group, I think they will be interesting, but singly, with very few exceptions, they are uninteresting and, as I said, fiddly. If I do such a project again, I will look more carefully at the blocks before I start.

It wasn’t all peaches and roses, though, I as I am really having trouble with the seam allowance on both machines. ERRGH!!! I can deal with putting different sized blocks together. I don’t want to be seen as an amateur or a poor quiltmaker when I work on collaborative projects (like the donation blocks). The DC5100 is going to the shop. I have to figure this out so I don’t worry about it.

Various & Sundry 2017 #2

Other Artists & Exhibits

Privacy is a tricky thing on social media. Where do you draw the line? Most of us nickname our spouses and children to provide some semblence of privacy. With the right access, it is a poor effort. For quilt celebrities it is harder. They don’t have the funds to employ teams of cyber security professionals to scour their accounts for stalkers. Bonnie Hunter posted a picture on Facebook of the cabin she is buying. The next day she posted about a reader who had sent her an MLS listing in a private message asking the price and other personal questions. Bonnie related that she preferred not to disclose such personal information and the person replied huffily that Bonnie was rude and would no longer follow her. Other people told Bonnie, before I could, to block that person and not worry about it. I added later that I would ask my readers to go follow her blog and her FB groups to make up for the ‘loss’ of that rude woman. If you don’t already follow her, please consider it. She is the queen of leaders and enders and is very giving to the quilt community. Her posts are cheerful and helpful. She does a mystery quilt every year and has a number of free patterns available. Thanks!

Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania is having an exhibit until March 3, 2017, featuring documented (often still in the family) quilts from this area, mostly Mennonite, but there is a Brethren star quilt on display.  The blog post talks about some of the quilts, and information about visiting can be found using the links at the top of the page.

Cuesta Benberry’s collection from the Michigan State is on display at the DuSable Museum in Chicago until February 28, 2017.

Patterns, Fabrics, Tools & Supplies

I saw Tooly pattern and thought two things. First, it would make a great gift. Second, it would be great for a quiltmaker’s ‘Go’ bag. I know you know I am big on having a bag with all the essentials to take to retreats and classes. I have a Tupperware box, but it is getting pretty stuffed. I might just need to clear it out, but having this stand in easel format would be convenient for accessing frequently used tools. This is sold via Craftsy by Sew Together. I don’t think it is the same designer of the Sew Together Bag.

If you still want to make a pussy hat, Knifty Knittings has a pattern.

Not a fan of LP Sharp? Scottie Dogs has another option for bulk rotary cutter blade replacement.

AQ Follow-up

Susan and Gretchen both left kind comments on the Wonder clip pincushion gifts.

Susan wrote: “LOVE, LOVE this project. I want to make some as I use the wonderclips all the time. Could you give more of a reference to where you found the pattern? Love of Patchwork and Quilting magazine has many issues. Thanks, S”

I got the pattern from issue 39 of Love Patchwork and Quilting. You can see a photo on their blog post related to this issue, but there are no directions. It is available digitally in the Apple and Google Play stores.

Gretchen wrote: “These are adorable and I wish I had a giant one (I have a lot of wonderclips). You sacrificed Beanie Babies to make these? A worthy use!”

No no no no no! No Beanie Babies were sacrificed in the making of these pincushions! The pellets are available in bags at Beverly’s. I am sure other similar stores have them as well. Since many people are allergic to nuts, including my SIL#2, the standard walnut shells do not work for me. I use a combination of Beanie Baby pellets (I am sure they have some other more generic name) and wool roving for the filling on pincushions. I buy  these items when they are on sale at Beverly’s.

Media & Events

Scruffy Quilts is a shop near my house. I took a look at their blog recently. I love the pictures they show. The Prismatic Star is especially nice.

The American Quilt Study Group will host their seminar on October 18-22 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The forms to sign up are available on their site.

Frances has put out her second emailed newsletter and it is as good as the first. She talks about getting quilts ready for QuiltCon. If you don’t receive her newsletter, go to her QuiltFiction website.



Retreat Donation Top

Maureen's Bits Top
Maureen’s Bits Top

I was on Retreat this past weekend. Maureen brought some bits and bobs. I decided that I would take some of the pieces sewn together and make them into a quilt top for the BAM charity. I sewed various bits and pieces together in kind of log cabin format until the piece was around 40 inches square. It is not a masterpiece of design, but someone will like it. I have not yet made a back and may not.

There were more bits and pieces and I probably could have made another top, but wanted to work on my own stuff. I’ll finish the yellow donation #2 and be able to provide an additional two tops. That counts for something, right?

Runs with Scissors Quilt Shop

Runs with Scissors Motto
Runs with Scissors Motto

I made a circuit of the shops, mostly driving on surface streets. The second shop I visited during my #politicalwifery weekend was Runs with Scissors. Great name, huh? Runs with Scissors was a lot smaller and had fewer items than Thistle Dew. Still, I found some nice things.

I had some trouble locating this shop once I found the address/mall in which it resided. It is tucked below and behind a sidewalk, but is truly net to Goodwill as the online resources say. I don’t think I could see it from the street. The mall looks a little seedy, but the shop is bright and clean and has new and modern fabric and supplies.

One thing in which I was interested was the Scottie Dog patterns. You might remember that DH and I went looking for Scottie Dog quilt shop on our 2015 visit to the North Coast and found that it was permanently closed. I think that is their new home. I ended up buying the Modern Meteor pattern because I have an idea for a quilt for one of the nephews and the pattern reminded me of my Star Sampler quilt, an idea with which I am not yet finished.

I also bought an apron pattern called the Chatterbox Apron because I liked the shape. After I got back to the hotel, I thought that it might be by the same designer as my Church Ladies apron. Not a good sign since I needed a translator for that one. Clearly, however, I like the designer’s style. I have an idea to make aprons as gifts. I hope not to need a translator now that I have made one of the line’s patterns.

Runs with Scissors motto
Runs with Scissors motto

The shop was filled with people making a group project or taking a class, so the place had a cheerful feel. I really liked the decorations they had including the mottos/sayings. I have been told it is slightly modified from a Molly Ivins poem or essay, however, I found it listed as a saying from Hunter S. Thompson. The above is slightly revised.

Updated Gift Ideas

In 2015, I created a list of gift ideas. As mentioned at that time, I like the idea of giving and making sets of gifts: choosing a fabric and then making a number of items from that fabric. Since then there are lots of new patterns and ideas. I came across a few other items that I thought would make great additions to my list and be useful as well. I decided to update this list and get the ideas out to you again.

The point is not to use the patterns I use, but to make the gifts in whatever pattern YOU like. This is a gift idea.

You might be wondering why I am talking about this in January when you just finished with the holidays. Simply, you will need time to make everything without getting stressed out.

Pincushion – Fig Tree Quilts Petit Gateau pincushion pattern. I like this pattern, because the pattern makes sense, is not difficult and looks like a pincushion. I have made several and they go together very quickly. I use wool roving and some of the Beanie Baby plastic pellets to fill it. I buy both at Beverly’s when they are on sale and keep a supply on hand. The pellets give the pincushion some weight. I don’t use walnut shells, because so many people are allergic to nuts. The only issue I ever have with this pattern is to find an appropriate button to put on top and bottom. Often I make these and don’t think ahead and then find myself wanting to finish, but have no appropriate buttons. Of course, there are plenty of pincushion patterns out there and you should use your favorite.

Needle case – many people don’t do handwork and so this is an inappropriate gift, but it is so cute! Regardless, I find that a bit of hand sewing is needed at various times. I found the pattern in the Spring 2013 issue of Modern Patchwork. It was designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale of IHeartLinen. I wasn’t able to find a pattern for it on her blog or the web. The pattern is in RCH’s book, Zakka Style, according to Frances Newcombe from Belly Buttons Boutique. You may be able to find I copy of that magazine on Etsy or eBay. I am sure there are other needlecase patterns out there.

Tissue case – This isn’t something that I would really use, though that might change. It is a nice stocking stuffer or small hostess gift. I got the idea to make them from Valerie over at Evening in the Garden blog. I made a few, which you can see in December gift posts. I used the YouTube tutorial that Valerie used. I found that these make great boutique or Secret Santa Shop items since they are very quick to make.

Lanyard – these are great for guild meetings, but also for hanging scissor sheaths, keys, pens, etc. Think of a chatelaine’s key ring.

Scissor Sheath – as mentioned above, a scissor sheath can be added to the gift pile and adding a ribbon or fabric hanging loop on it enables the owner to hang it from a lanyard.

Project bag – Jeni Baker Drawstring bag (pattern to purchase). The pattern has multiple sizes. This is good to keep project supplies together. She also has a tutorial for one size – Example

Tote bag – There are lots of different tote bags that I have made. I really like the Jane Market Tote (pattern to purchase). I also like the Eco Market Tote from Favorite things (pattern to purchase). I made a version of that bag with Heart fabric and it is still a great pattern. I have another one in mind. Including a tote bag in your gift selection is a nice way to package all the gifts. Choose any pattern that you like.

One Hour Basket – An alternative to a tote bag, especially for a group of small gifts is the One Hour Basket. This is a free pattern by Hearts and Bees which you can download from Craftsy. She has a new pattern with different sizes as well.

Journal/Sketchbook Cover – you can adjust the pattern to accommodate a number of sizes of journals. This pattern, as you have seen many times on this blog, is for a 6.5in x 8in Miquelrius journal.

Pencil roll – I love the pattern by Pink Chalk, but it is no longer available. If you can find it somewhere, such as Etsy, buy it and keep it safe. It is useful and fun even if you are not pen hog like I am. I have made, perhaps, a dozen of them and I want everyone to love them. I always put a few pens in to give people an idea of how to use them. I reported on one of my pencil roll posts that this project took me about 3 hours to make. (updated 1-26-2017)

An Alternative to the pencil roll is a tool holder. I haven’t actually made one of these yet, but I do like the pattern. I like the idea of having my most used items all in one place and viewable to so I don’t have to dig for them.

You could also add a Sidekick from Jinny Beyer’s store. It is good for handwork and I could have used it on my trip this past weekend. I have the pattern, but haven’t made it yet.

You can also think up themes and find patterns that fit the theme. For example:

  • Kitchen: apron, potholders, kitchen towels, casserole carrier, roll basket
  • Bath: makeup bag (zipper pouch), towels, tissue cover, stiff holder for TP and such

Get sewing!

Thistle Dew Quilt Shop

I had a #politicalwifery event over the weekend. While DH was in meetings, I went to 3 quilt shops, Thistle Dew Quilt Shop, runs with Scissors and I made a second visit to the Fabric Garden.

Thistle Dew Quilt Shop - outside
Thistle Dew Quilt Shop – outside

The name “Thistle Dew” made me think of Laura Ashley prints, so I didn’t have high hopes. I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find an awesome quilt shop experience. It was light, bright and cheerful. The people were friendly and helpful, but didn’t hover. It was that hard to find and though information said parking would be difficult, I found a spot right in front.

Sue Spargo Embroidery Thread Display
Sue Spargo Embroidery Thread Display

When I walked in, the first thing I saw was 4 large cases of Sue Spargo embroidery threads. I almost swooned! I love embroidery floss. I love Sue Spargo’s work and have been admiring her book, Stitches to Savor: A Celebration of Designs by Sue Spargo. It is a kind of coffee table book where you can see the stitching. I have been drooling over the designs for awhile. I didn’t even know she had come out with a line of embroidery threads. The threads were different weights. Yes, I bought several. I was pleased to restrain myself, because I wanted ALL THE THREAD.

Cosmo Embroidery Thread Case
Cosmo Embroidery Thread Case

I was already in heaven when I turned and found an entire case of Cosmo embroidery thread. I really couldn’t believe my luck. I remember seeing a big case of this thread at QuiltCon last year. I don’t know for sure, but it looks like they have all the colors. I didn’t buy any then. I love the way they arranged the colors in this case as well. Again, I wanted ALL THE THREAD.

I was also pleased to find that one their instructors filled in for Sue Spargo last year when she was sick. I don’t know if the woman is certified, but with the threads and the high level instructor, I would say that they have classes in Sue’s stitches and techniques and are within driving distance.

After selecting several spools and hanks, I went to look at fabric, which they did have. Lots of it. Bright cheerful prints, lots of text and low volume fabrics, many dots, plenty of solid. Generally, they had a great selection.

I was also pleased at the selection of notions. Theirs was not the standard selection of Dritz notions that new store often have. This was 10+ feet of very special notions, including so many needles my head was spinning.

As soon as I got hope and saw SIL, I told her we had to make a trip to Sacramento to visit quilt shops. There are several worth visiting. I guess I had better make some finishes. I told my mom about the store and will definitely visit again.

Thistle Dew Quilt Shoppe
10127 Fair Oaks Blvd
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Off the Beaten Path: Roses

Nanny's Crochet Rose
Nanny’s Crochet Rose

I was at Craft Night last night when my SILs showed me a piece by their grandmother (DH’s grandmother also). They had gone through her bag of crochet, which SIL#2 has had since she died. They wanted to make something out of the pieces for our niece who is getting married in April.

We have, or had, a doily that was similar made by my great grandmother (Grama Johnson). I showed my mom and she thinks the cream portion is tatted and the rose and leaves are crocheted. I don’t tat or crochet so I have no idea. I have seen tatting and the outer cream work does look like tatting.

Of course, I did a web search to see what I could find. Lots of Etsy patterns that were not relevant. I did find Picmia, which has lots of flowers. What I would really like to see is an index of patterns by technique.

I thought that Workbasket, an older magazine that I believe is out of print might have been a source of the pattern. I found a pay per view resource. It has a free history of the magazine. This is clearly a labor of love, however I found it a little difficult to navigate. I also found an index of Tatting patterns from Workbasket. I didn’t find the pattern for the piece above.

In my web travels, I found some interesting sites. Needlenthread has online resources that include historic needlework sites, coloring pages and vintage pattern sites. The resources appear mostly to be about embroidery.

This is the sort of reference project into which, as a librarian, I could sink my teeth. Too bad nobody pays me for this.

Let me know if you have seen such a thing. I have a couple of vintage books I can look at and will do that later.

The Beginning of the End of the Top

Yes, this is an Alice in Wonderland-esque post.

Yesterday, after returning from a somewhat intense #politicalwifery weekend, I spent some time with The Peacock.

The short version is that I finished the left part of the top. There a couple of long seams I need to sew to other long seams, but I am saving them until the end.
Now I can work on the right side in peace. The first small hexies I added need a lot of attention. I was able to put the 3 rows together after that. I am waiting to see how long the rows with small hexies will be before I trim or add to other rows. At the moment

Progress. Definite progress.

Pincushion Gifts

Pincushion Clip gifts
Pincushion Clip gifts

I wasn’t be at the guild meeting yesterday, which made me sad. Kelly, of the Kelly bag fame, pinch hit for me with the officer gift bags. Thanks, Kelly.

Many guilds give their officers quilts as thank you gifts. I am of the mind that we all have enough quilts, but a tote bag (simple or complicated) full of lovely small gifts is great for everyone. Since I organize it, that is what we do. When someone else takes over they can do something else.

Pincushion Wonderclip Holder
Pincushion Wonderclip Holder

I cut the pieces on that last Sew Day then worked on my gifts the day after. The cutting is always the worst for me. There wasn’t much so I can’t complain. The sewing went remarkably quickly – so quickly in fact that I felt like making half a dozen more.

As I mentioned the fabrics were all scraps except for the back (5″ square). I made fabric by sewing selvedges together. I am tempted to do that again, but will try to resist saving another thing. The other fabrics are heavily from the Kaffe Collective, especially my man Phil (Philip Jacobs) and Martha Negley. I know these fabrics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope the officers like them.

Pincushion gift pre-stuffing
Pincushion gift pre-stuffing

The pattern says to line up the clip holders evenly, but I only did that for one. I thought the uneven rows would add interest, but I am not sure now.

I used some of my Beanie Baby beans and some stuffing leftover from Red and Coral. I hope it is good enough for its purpose.

The flaps you see are to hold Wonderclips (see photos above). My Wonderclips are holding the hole closed until I could sew it together. I plan to put a couple of clips and some pins in each one to show their purpose.

Finally, I sent them to Kelly so she could put them into the bags for me. I found the pattern in Love of Patchwork and Quilting magazine, It was a quick and satisfying project. I was able to make four of them in about an hour minus sewing the stuffing hole closed.

I think this will be on my list of small gifts to give to people for whom I want to make a quilty gift.