Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New stuff, old stuff

I live in Seattle, now. Ralph and I live in a charming, small Craftsman-style house just minutes from downtown. I spend a lot of time as Grandma to Poppy, and it takes me 7 minutes to walk to her house in the morning, to get her ready for school, and 15 minutes to walk from there to her school. I walk to the market, to the post office, to the pizza place, the library, and the drugstore. I have to drive to the fabric store.

The weather in Seattle, in winter, is ideal for quilting. Today is a rainy day, and the sun sets at 4:30. And sewing is a lot more fun than trying to figure the application processes for finding a teaching job in the area! Yes, I am a master at procrastination!

When we moved, we downsized pretty radically, but I still have a sewing room! And even though I got rid of stuff, I still have a lot of projects I've started and never finished. So, in addition to acclimating to a new locale and a new style milieu, I plan to finish up some of these UFOs (UnFinished Objects).

1. Christmas Medallion 2. I had hoped to have this quilt and its twin finished by Thanksgiving, and to offer them for sale. Hopefully someone will want to buy one or both for 2017! Green medallion quilt is finished, red medallion quilt is partially quilted.

2. Ocean Connect. I cracked open my Tula Pink Saltwater collection to have a project for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild sew-in. It took a lot of concentration to arrange the links with fabric oriented the right way up! This quilt top is finished now, and needs a backing, then quilting and binding.

3. Red Churn Dash blocks. These are from the Mid Century Modern bee, which I feel so privileged to have participated in! Oh, how I wish I'd chosen a block that would have allowed the wonderful members to demonstrate more of their personalities. Nevertheless, these remind me of them, and of the inspiration of last year's Quilt Con.
4. Folksy Flower. Do you remember this awesome top, from my friends in the Stars in Their Eyes bee? I've put off finishing it because I want to make it big enough for my bed by adding another row. I'm afraid of ruining it, though! I love the Dresdens around the edge, what could possibly come next? (All suggestions welcome!)

5. Black Diamonds. I have taken apart the stars and put them together as a table runner, and I'm planning to hand quilt it. There may be some placemats using some discarded stars.

6. Birds in a Tree. Hand quilting this one.

7. Flora Supply Case. Not really a UFO, but a new project that will help make all the UFOs easier to complete!

8. Mom's quilt. Some fabric she's saved, some fabric I found on ebay that didn't match so I over-dyed it. I have a plan...

9. Snowman EPP. Elizabeth's patterns with snowman centers. Not sure what I'll do with them, but I want to make more for a wall hanging or quilt.

10. Sew Together Bag or Maker's Tote, for me. I've given away three of the Sew Together bags, and I want one for workshop supplies. Maybe I want a Maker's Tote for sewing supplies, and a Sew Together for a toiletries/travel bag.


Linking up at Karen's site, Capitola Quilter, with 2015 Finish-a-Long Quarter 1.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


I'm finished with my Teacher Induction Program, the step new teachers in California are supposed to take as new hires, after completing a credential program and student teaching. I kept putting it off, then ignoring it, content to work part-time as a teacher tutor, afraid to take on a class of my own.

I did it in one year, intensive style. A lot of work, but it was authentic work.  I learned stuff. And I teach better.

Now I can keep teaching in California, and have to renew my credential every three years. Except we're planning to leave California!

While I was submitting all my digital forms and records and observations and reflections and assessments and everything else, I finished a quilt, too!
I bought these fabrics, already cut, and registration to to a class from someone who'd signed up for too many classes at Quilt Con. Thanks, Kathleen of Kathleen Quilts!

Ah, Quilt Con! That was such a fun adventure!
I got to hang out with the lovable Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorful Life. She showed me around, and made me feel appreciated and clever. Can we hang out again, soon?

So many wonderful quilts, and lectures, and workshops, and people... but that was in February. I'll just show you this fun, fake tattoo from the Cotton & Steel booth:

Libs Elliot designs quilts using computer code. She also has a new line of fabric, which my kids will love. She's soft-spoken, kind, and adorable:
Her workshop, For the Love of Y-Seams, means there are a lot of angles to fit together in this quilt pattern. Weight of Love is only available in Libs' workshops. Here's my version, though I can't take credit for the fabric choice.
Quilted with lots and lots of de rigueure straight lines on the diagonal.
I don't even like gray, but I had plenty of grays in my stash to make the back of the quilt. I have to admit, gray works well with this quilt. A few leftover triangles made a cool hexagon to anchor my signature and date.

A few more leftover triangles came together for these complementary pillows.
Those fragmented hexagons! I like them!

I wonder where this quilt will find a home. Any ideas?

Friday, January 15, 2016

On my holiday break...

I'm a student again (taking graduate-level classes to clear my teaching credential), and you know what that means? Procrastination! Lots of it!
And I'd better not procrastinate my reading and writing assignments with anything fun, like sewing, or reading a good book, because I know I'll get so absorbed that I won't stop until I'm finished. So I waste a lot of time on facebook, Words with Friends, researching which blinds to replace the kitchen window covering...

But while I had a break from school, I had fun with a few projects.

I finished this spiderweb quilt! The blocks were from the Stash Fabulous Bee and the Stars In Their Eyes Bee, so there is great variety of interesting fabrics.
That's one colorful quilt!
 I had thought about adding partial blocks to complete the circles around the edges. I had thought about an over-all quilting pattern. I fussed and puttered over the block arrangement.
A black and white striped binding is always a winner!
Finally, I just wanted it finished! I love the free-form chrysanthemum quilting in the spiderwebs (my friend says they look like umbrellas on the beach!), and the stars in the stars.
Here's the back, with another star as the signature block.

I used another leftover block to make myself a Sew Together bag. I can see why they're all the rage! It was really fun to make, and to see how all the parts fit together.

That was after I'd made a Sew Together bag for my granddaughter, for Christmas. She loved this Tula Pink fabric when I bought it in Pittsburgh last summer.

Here are a couple other projects I cleared off the WIP list:
Cushion covers for my sister's kitchen table:

She's going to get foam inserts, which will look very sharp.
Joining the California pillow, another tea towel pillow featuring Oregon (where two of our kids live) and Washington (where the Pittsburgh family will be relocating).

Back to school now, back to work. I have a list of projects to work on when I am procrastinating schoolwork. That's my New Year's resolution strategy for satisfying down-time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Last night
the Central Coast Quilters enjoyed our holiday party, and I've reached the end of my two-year tenure as president of the guild.
I've had a great time! It's a great bunch of people, and the guild really runs itself. I just made sure things ran smoothly.
I never managed to execute a vote properly, according to Robert's Rules of Order; I would confuse the procedure order every time, and depended on experienced members to set me straight.

So, I made a little thank-you gift for each of the board members/committee chairs for this year. I bought some plain, wooden needle cases from Connecting Threads. Then I painted them with bright stripes and dots.
Here are a few left after our soup supper at my house last week, when each of the board members chose their own. I think they're pretty cute!

 The guild's tradition is to give the outgoing president a quilt, made by the board members. When I was asked, two years ago, what kind of quilt I'd like, I told them I'd like a word quilt. Words that relate to quilting, to the guild, to my two years as president. Words that are appliqued or pieced. You pick the colors.
This is the quilt that was unveiled tonight! Isn't it great?!

It's fun to read words others have chosen for me. Some refer to the guild, like Costumes,  and ANGELS,(our philanthropy group), Super Quilter, and Sew far, So good, the sign-off I used on all guild emails. Some refer to sewing, like fun fabric, design and createstrips and wonky. Some of the words are for me: Gramma Linda, Chirp, and some really nice compliments: kind, passion, joy, and you rock. Don't you love the bright colors, too? So cheery.

The back is sweet, too. All sorts of clever sewing phrases and  paraphernalia. Plus signatures! I love it.

I'm going to treasure this quilt, and enjoy snuggling with it!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

At the Show

The Seven Sisters Quilt Show!

This is a local, regional quilt show. Members of participating guilds can enter quilts into the show without having to be juried in. There is a great variety of quilts: modern or traditional, hand or machine quilted, prize-worthy and humble, all shapes and sizes and colors... And there are lots and lots of vendors, with lots of fun things to see and try and buy! Here's a SLO Tribune photo page.

I had three quilts in the show.
For the Love of Sewing

For the Love of Sewing is the 2015 Skill Builder BOM Quilt by Alyssa Lichner.
This is the quilt I used as an example for my demonstration of Quilt-As-You-Go sashing at the guild meeting.
 See? Each block was quilted before I put it all together.
Click on the picture to make it bigger.
What on earth will I do with it now? I don't have a wall space big enough to hang it, and it's not really a bed-size quilt. Someday I gotta try opening an Etsy store. Could I really part with my creations, though?

 My son and daughter in law went to Hawaii, and brought back a fat quarter pack of Hawaiian print fabrics for me. Here they are, in Camilla Roskelly's Fireworks pattern.
Fireworks in Paradise
There was another quilt in the show made from the same pattern. It was bigger, with pieced borders, and more sophisticated, made with batiks, and quite lovely. (It's in the slide show linked in the newspaper article, above.) I'm very happy with the chaotic cheerfulness of my version!

 I dyed the fabrics for this next little quilt in a tie-dye workshop with a friend in Pittsburgh. My tie dye job was pretty amateur, and not very attractive, but I salvaged sections of beautiful colors for this Storm at Sea pattern, taught in a class by Wendy Mathson.
Fire and Ice
This one is hanging in my entryway. That means it's on a green wall. No, it doesn't match my decor, but it sure adds a nice bit of brightness and color. I think that's a nice feature of quilts: they fit in anywhere!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Professor Q

 I'm the current president of my quilt guild, Central Coast Quilters. I followed a succession of really good presidents, women who exemplified organization, competence, experience, sincerity, creativity, generosity... hard acts to follow! So when I took on the role, I did it in costume. A little hiding, a little distraction and deflection, and a lot of fun!

This month's guild program was Quilt University, and I was Professor Q. Four of us demonstrated skills and projects, and the membership rotated to each demo through the evening. Sharon demonstrated faux-piped binding, Janie taught how to make flying geese, four at a time, Maryann showed how to make the magic pillowcase, and I demonstrated Quilt-As-You-Go sashing, as I learned it from Alyssa Leichner's Skill builder BOM 2014 class.

I started with these quilt blocks; most are from the 2013 Flickr3x6 Bee (I'm sorry it no longer exists. That bee was such a great starting place for online quilty learning and relationships!)

Everyone who sat through the demo got one of these, a bottle of Professor Q's top secret, ultra high-tech, polymer adhesive.  AKA Elmer's Washable School Glue.

The really cool thing about Alyssa's method of joining the quilt blocks is using glue to adhere the sashing strips before sewing them.  The sashing stays in place, even when stitching several layers, and you end up with nice, straight sashing, front and back.

I started with blocks that were individually quilted,

then, once the sashing was done, I had an almost finished quilt!

I used the same technique to add borders, and I bound the quilt using that faux piped binding that Sharon demonstrated at our guild meeting. Done! Cute little quilt!

Sunday, June 14, 2015


This has arrived, and I'm thrilled.

Stars In Their Eyes is a group of quilters who met on the now defunct 3x6 Sampler Quilt Mini Bee. (That was a great way to get started in an online quilting group.) We wanted to keep sewing with each other when the group folded, and started with each of us taking a turn as Queen Bee, and receiving blocks we asked for from each of the other members. I made my Feathers quilt with blocks from SITE. It's one of my all-time favorites.

Next, we decided on a round-robin exchange. Each of us would state a theme and make one or two blocks to start our own quilt, then send them to one after another. Every six weeks we'd add to another member's quilt in subsequent order, until the quilt came back home. Along the way, we posted sneak peeks of our work, but the final outcome would be a surprise. I started with this:
Hand appliqued, I stitched this last summer while I was in Pittsburgh with the little family.
I needed something to work on  while I was away from my sewing machine for five weeks!

Here are some of the teases my bee mates sent. I knew they were making good stuff, but I didn't know what to expect.

I certainly didn't expect a whole, complete quilt top! And a true medallion quilt, with borders going all the way around! And such artistry- well, I think I knew it was going to be great. But really, this is so, so great! I love the colors, the designs, the balance, all of it!
It's hanging over the couch, next to me, and I stare at it, loving it. I can hardly wait to quilt it, but I'm enjoying it as it is, for now.

Not all the quilts have made it home, yet, but all that have are fantastic. You can take a look here and here and here and here. This has been a lot of fun. I think everyone loves their quilts as much as I love mine.