Monday, June 26, 2017

Sundresses for Outreach

My quilt guild decided to make dresses for the Christian organization called Dress a Girl Around the World. We used fabric we had in our collections, added contrasting pockets and bias tape and taa-daa!

They are fun and so easy. Each one took a little more than an hour. Since I have two sons and two grandsons, I've never sewn for a little girl before. It was great to put color combinations together and choose buttons.

Monday, June 12, 2017

This Quilt Needs a Better Name

The 54-40 or Fight quilt top is finished.

I decided 3 x 3 with one border was large enough for a community quilt, and I was ready to move on. The name was originally a slogan from the 1840s, concerning the turmoil surrounding the Oregon boundary dispute, which was caused by competing British and American claims to the Pacific Northwest of North American. You can read more about it here. But I need to give it a better name.

ETA: It came to me while I was filling out the quilt show entry form: Stars Over Lake Emily. Lake Emily is a reservoir less than a mile from our house. I love how the mind works.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Project Caddie Makeover

A friend of mine has been finding homes for her deceased Mother-in-law's belongings. The woman was a talented sewer, knitter and needle artist. I was excited when I was offered this vintage project caddie. It looks like something from the 1960s, don't you think?

I took it apart and used the pieces as a pattern for the makeover. The original was lined and had a pocket, so I lined mine and included a pocket too.

I was feeling my way along as I worked and somewhere in there realized, just because I don't know exactly what I'm doing doesn't mean I can't do this. After that I stopped stressing myself and it came easier. I also noticed my fabric was a directional, with the water pool pattern going side to side, so I made sure to cut out all the pieces right-side up.

The wood is so beautiful. It stands by my chair while I knit, and folds away against the wall when not in use.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Wisteria Stars Mini

I pulled out the Wisteria Stars Mini again and made six more blocks.

I still don't have much of a plan, there are sooo many sets of bonus triangles. I find myself looking at them, knowing I don't want that many blocks but at the same time not wanting to waste them. A familiar dilemma to me.

I did draft a layout in EQ, which would makes a small wall hanging approximately 28" x 36", but it didn't really inspire me. So I packed the blocks up and put 'em away for another day.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spring Harvest 2017

I've been gardening for three years. This was the first time I planted winter crops.

This was one of three similar harvests. It was exciting to gather garlic, red and white beets, leeks and onions. I've put up a lot of the leeks in a ferment and the garlic has cured nicely.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


It was beautiful and fragrant and it changed a little each day.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mendocino Headlands 2017

Ice plant

Native Seathrift
Quake grass

Blue-eyed grass

Pussy Ears or Hairy Star Tulip
Pudding Creek at sunset

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mother's Day Picnic

Frank was there too, but I always forget to get him in front of the camera.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fruit Salad and Lilacs

54-40 or Fight

Once I got a stack of four patches made, I decided to piece 54-40 or Fight blocks. Once I had a couple pieced, I made an EQ draft. Sometimes I wonder how I knew how to make my quilts before I had this software. It's such a great way to see the quilt before it's actually made, make design decisions and get the dimensions worked out. At first I thought I would make a Tennessee Waltz pattern, but that made it bigger than I wanted for a donation quilt.

52" x 52"
This is the pattern I decided on. Huh, it's not that much smaller.
40" x 51"

April 9

April 25
April 29
These are being sewn in between the split nine patches for Mendocino Blues and Greens.

Saturday, April 08, 2017


I'm still waiting for spring to actually arrive. Last week the magnolia tree started to bloom and I thought we were on our way! This was the view from our window this morning.

If that blossom could talk it would say, "I'm sooo confused!"

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Hallways of Quilts

Every year the Healdsburg Senior Retirement community hosts a quilt show throughout the building. It's a delightful event because the presentation is so creative. As you drive down the driveway to the parking area, the fence is draped with quilts. The admission fee is just 5.00. The entry way and main lobby have silent auction items, a vintage sewing and quilting notions display and a doll show. Each hallway is hung with quilts and includes lovely vignettes of handmade items featuring a variety of needlework.

This picture's from their website, because during the show, the halls are full of visitors.

The event also includes continental breakfast and a buffet lunch. Visitors are encouraged to bring old quilts to share. Julie Silber, quilt historian and author, displays each one and shares what she believes to be the quilt name, date and any other observable items of interest. Her talk is always interesting and informative.

This year I ran into a long-time quilt friend in the hall and found out she is the coordinator. Knowing what I do about Betty, it all made sense. She also told me the retirement home didn't make a profit on the event, but all money brought in was turned back to the quilters in the form of prize money. I found that heartwarming.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mendocino Blues and Greens

I'm still chipping away at my split nine patch blocks. I created a layout in EQ, so I now know I need 256 blocks for a queen-size. Eek! I decided to call it Mendocino Blues and Greens. Some times I struggle to name a quilt, other times it just comes.

November 2016
 Sometimes I like a project better when I'm just tinkering at it, rather than making blocks toward a total. At this point I have close to a hundred and seventy five. I keep 45+ on the design wall at a time so I can balance the colors and fabric placement. Some days it feels a little tedious. What to do? Start another project to mix it up a little! Wait a minute, didn't I start this one to break up the tedium of the Fruit Salad quilt?? The thing I've discovered about blogging, I start to notice my own habits.

I needed a new leader and ender project anyway so I decided to make four patches from my over-flowing 2" cut square box.

I don't have any ideas for them yet, but they're so satisfying, it helps me feel like I'm making headway on the BIG project.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

More Wool Dyeing

After the relative success of dyeing the cardigan, I was given three hanks of natural bulky wool. I decided to try dyeing them too.

The color came out a little uneven on them as well, but in yarn, that's okay because it looks hand painted and will knit up nicely.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Zippered Cardigan for My Hub

I've been knitting seriously for maybe seven years. I've offered to knit my husband scarves and house slippers, but he's always said, "Thanks but that's okay." So I was completely elated when he agreed to my making him a sweater. Wow! Really?

I got a couple of skeins of wool that I thought he'd like out of my collection, lamb's wool and a merino; and asked him to 'wear' them against his wrist for awhile to see how they felt. Even the lamb's wool was too itchy, so merino it is.

It's called Atwood from Knitpicks. I'm going to install a zipper so it'll be more like his favorite polar fleece jacket than a cardigan. Here's my progress on the back.

The pattern stitch is called rick-rack. It's a 2 x 2 pattern that's soft and stretch, as is the merino. But it requires working the second stitch first and the first stitch second and a lot of digging to get the stitch on the needle as a result. I just keep at it. The goal is worth the effort.

ETA: I was making good progress until I developed repetitive motion pain in my index finger from this project. I'm taking a long break and doing physical therapy daily for my finger. What's done for fun in life shouldn't be painful.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Scrappy Bargello

It's been a long, wet winter and I've been suffering from cabin fever. The fact that we had four days of clear, warm weather in February didn't help. It was like a spring teaser. I wanted something to brighten my mood. So I started another quilt.

Many of these prints are from the Four Patch and Friends quilt I tried to make some time ago. I still love the rose and green combination, so I pulled more fabrics for the bargello. With this method you make strip sets.

Then you bring the last strip around to the first and sew it into a tube. After you've cut it into strips, you pick out one seam from each, off setting the color so after it's pieced, the color moves diagonally. See Bonnie Hunter's site for a better description.

Two panels.

Three panels.

Four panels.

Bordered and layered for quilting.

It was quick and fun. I'm usually pretty 'matchy-matchy', so letting the colors of the bargello be random was both a challenge and a lark.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Another Hand towel Finished

I enjoyed learning Portuguese knitting while finishing this towel. I kept putting it down while I charged into other projects, so the fun of learning a new skill breathed life back into it. Anything to get it done!

I made it longer than the first one and like it better as a result. But this one is ramie/cotton, instead of linen/cotton. Maybe that's why it stretches sooo much when hanging on the towel bar. But it's soft and absorbent and nice to use, so I don't mind its wonky-ness.