Thursday, July 31, 2008


The Y-seams have turned out to be no big deal. You just leave a 1/4" unstitched on the beginning and ending of every seam so that you can fit things together. Now that I've done 4 blocks, I told Debra I wish I were one of those designers who can call in an assistant to finish up the other blocks. Oh well, maybe next lifetime.

On the back you press all the seams so that they swirl in one direction. Then you smoosh (a technical term) all the bits where the seams come together in the center until you get a replica of the block. It all stays nice and flat. Pretty cool, huh?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One Sheet, One Pillowcase, Three Blouses and a Nightshirt

I came home from IQF with lots of energy for new projects. After my St. Therese piece, I also felt like doing some machine work.

I admire how DIY crafters use old linens and garments to make new things, which is also part of quilting's heritage. This piece started with the sheet. I love these big yellow roses, and the soft colors are nice.
It called to me at the thrift store where I got it for 50 cents because it had languished there so long. The two plaid blouses were XXL, so they yielded plenty of fabric. I must've picked them up when they had a $1.00 a bag sale because they're neither my size nor my style. One sleeve on each of the other two tops had already been used for doll clothes. When I pile things up in the sewing room I often discover combinations of fabrics that go well together. That's how these pieces found each other.
I used my diamond ruler (I think its 60 degrees, but don't quote me).
It's fun to play with the pattern possibilities.
How's this so far? Y-seams anyone?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good Times

What a treat it was to get together with my pals Rian, Debra and Allie for the Long Beach Quilt Fest.
We had a lovely dinner and then a slumber party where we talked late into the night. I've met Allie in person a couple of times before, but this was my first time meeting Debra and Rian. I've known all these gals for several years now, and the ties we've forged through the 'net are substantial. Nevertheless, in real time and face-to-face we shared more about our creative and personal lives, and it was a pleasure for me to deepen our friendship.

In the morning we hit the show. It was fun to see the quilts with like-minded viewers. We admired and critiqued and took mental notes. We shopped, though I think I bought more than anyone. Having sworn off buying fabric for a long time, I bought fabrics I couldn't say no to. One discovery for me was the vintage Mexican-themed patterns and fabrics by Quarter Inch Publishing, so I dropped a few bucks at their booth.
The Quilt Festival was preceded for me by a round of visits to prospective colleges with my son Alex. In three days we visited four colleges in San Diego, then I put him on a plane back home.
After the show, Michael (who visited with family while I was at IQF) and I spent one night in Newport Beach. Here's a shot of the beach, already busy at 7:30 in the morning.
Fishermen were busy selling the catch of the day. We took a quick walk on the boardwalk, and then headed to the airport for the trip home. It was a great trip, and I wish it had lasted much much longer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Little Flower (18 x 29)

Materials: tea towel, vintage handkerchief, vintage lace, cotton embroidery floss, silk ribbon, beads, buttons, pillow case, photo transfer.

Click on any of the photos for close-ups.

The back is a pillowcase my sister gave me. The idea to do this came to me as I was waking up one morning.

The hem is the sleeve for the hanger. Completed July 2008. There are process notes under the "St. Therese" labeled posts.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I have made a new rule. If the fabric comes out of the scrap pile, what I do with it doesn't count as a new project. I felt like using red, black and white to make up some of these little postage stamp baskets. I don't think I'll make a ton of these, but I like their cheerfulness.

Yes, I have a lot of UFOs. I don't count them, but I'm working on quilting some of my finished tops. So far I've finished two:
This one was made a while ago out of some Christmas scraps. That's Louie in the foreground, checking things out.
This bright windmill quilt is larger, about 70 x 80, and is a gift for one of my nieces. I've got another quilt in a similar color scheme for her sister ready to be pin based.

The clothesline is a new addition. I like line-dried linens, especially sheets, and I really like making use of the warm weather instead of running the dryer. I haven't had a clothesline for many many years, but I bought this one at the hardware store and it had good directions on how to install the cement-lined hole in the ground that holds it up. When I'm not using the clothesline I can fold it up like an umbrella and put it in the garage.

Since I was in the yard I took some photos of my postage stamp garden.

There's a lot growing in my tiny space.I've been harvesting lettuce, strawberries and cilantro for weeks. See that stray California poppy trying to hide among the lettuce?

My first zucchini.
And the roses are particularly gorgeous.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...