Rainbow Gardens and Quilt Mascot?


My Rainbow Gardens has made its way out into the world.  I was contacted by the Victoria Quilter’s Guild in Victoria, B.C. (Canada) to ask if it was all right if they used my quilt for their poster.  The theme of the quilt show and sale is the City of Gardens, which is one of Victoria’s names, according to the website for the city: “Victoria – otherwise known as the “City of Gardens” – is home to a number of spectacular gardens that range from formal to heritage, exotic to west coast, and multi-themed to mostly rhododendron.”

So, a quiet and reserved “YESSSSS!” was my response.  I soon will have the poster in my possession, which I plan to tape up on the door to my sewing room studio.

Rainbow Gardens Poster

While the real life poster should arrive here soon, I was sent this image of the poster by a an observant reader of mine, who saw the poster and sent me a photo of it.  If you are up in that area, put it on  your calendar — I would love to go to a quilt show that has live music.

Japan Tokyo 2020 Logo

Since we’ve all just finished watching the Olympics in Korea, I thought I would get you prepped up for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, by showing you their patchwork-like logos.  Can we make quilts like this?  They are auditioning their mascots now, because no matter where you are in or what you are doing in Japan, there is a mascot for it.

I think we need a quilt mascot.

Lady Liberty in Quilts

I made this image in my very first Digital Art Class; the other students thought I was pretty much a nut-case, but I still like Lady Liberty draped in a quilt.  But now as we are more international, we need a cute little quilty creature (I vote patchwork with some appliqué) to carry forward our message.

Go to it, you creatives!

Winter Pines • Finished!


Winter Pines
Quilt No. 193
73″ high by 64″ wide

You saw the sewing of Winter Pines and I’m back to tell you it’s finished.

The backing is an oldie from the stash; I deliberated whether or not to use it as I was “saving it for just the right quilt” but am so glad I decided to use it.  I love it with the wintery theme of this quilt — just the right colors.

My quilter did a great job, using one of my favorite edge-to-edge patterns: a swirling loop-de-loop.

I’m sewing the binding on another quilt that I’ve kept under wraps for nearly six months.  It will hang in a booth at QuiltCon, so the time is getting closer to showing you all, but first I have to make the label and get that sewn on.  Soon, very soon.

PS: Very windy day to photograph a quilt.

Riley’s Quilt

Red, White, and Blue giveaway info is at the end of this post.  Many thanks to all who entered!


If my grandchildren come to visit me long enough, we can crank out a quilt.  Last time it was Keagan’s.  This time, it was Riley’s.  I discovered last time that simpler quilts are best, so I started leafing through my BLOCK Magazines from Missouri Star, until I happened on her pattern titled Slice of Life, found in Volume 1, Issue 4.  You can get a download here.

Riley Quilt layout

Riley picked out blue and green prints from my stash (using your stash is also a good thing to do) and he ironed while I cut.  He arranged the squares on the wall into groups of nine.

Originally the book called for “layer cake” squares, which if you have a layer cake (or have the pre-cut sizes memorized), you are set, but I don’t.  I get grumpy when patterns call only for precuts, and don’t tell you what the actual dimensions are, so I’m telling you that I cut squares that were 10-1/2″ square. [Yes, I know they are bigger than a layer cake.] I narrowed the sashing, cutting it at 2″ (sewn in it will measure 1-1/2″ wide).  You make three of these giant nine-patches, then cut them apart like this.


I cheated a bit, and folded the giant 9-patch into fourths, and took a bare sliver of fabric off the fold when I cut–kind of like when the local quilt shop cuts fat quarters.  Then we arranged these new designs up on the wall.


Sometimes Riley took a break with his little sister.


I sewed the giant pieces together, but sometimes Riley did.  I pinned it a LOT when it was his turn at the sewing machine, also teaching him not to sew over pins.


Everyone helped pin baste the quilt on the kitchen counter.  We would pin a large section, then shift the quilt.

Everyone helped quilt, even the littlest sister, as well as my daughter, mother to these three charmers.

Binding was next, again from the stash.  Late that afternoon, they went to the beach and my husband and I headed up the mountains to our church’s camp for the young women.  I sewed on the binding all the way up, and while we waited for the program to start. I finished it.


Backing is Marimekko fabric.RileyQuilt_8c

He couldn’t think of a title, so I wrote a couple of details on the back.  I think this is the section that Riley quilted–I think it’s great that he helped in all phases.  This is Quilt #184 on my 200 Quilts List.

The youngest of these grandchildren is eight years old, so I imagine her turn will be next!  Baby Blues comic strip ran these this week, and I thought it fitting (although the sisters do quite well, too!)

Congratulations to Nancy S. who won the bundle of Painter’s Palette Solids!  I’ve been in touch with her via email and will get the bundle sent out to her.  I had the best time reading over all the comments about fireworks, from those who had a first date watching them (that happened to me, too, early in our courtship) to those who watched barges-full launch them into the air.  Thank you all for your wonderful responses!!

(This is for those who mentioned that they watched them over the Washington Monument.
I did too.)





Belle Etoile du Jour

BelleEtoileduJour_4gardenBelle Etoile du Jour
Quilt #181 of 200 quilts, 88″ square
Began December 2016 • Finished May 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I had my son and grandson hold up the unquilted top of this creation, and I include it here so you can see the quilt top.  I was late starting this quilt, as everyone else in the world began making it in November when Bonnie Hunter announced her En Provence Mystery Quilt for 2016, based on colors she’d seen in her trip to France.  BelleEtoileduJour_5BelleEtoileduJour_1front

I decided that if I made the various units, as described in the mystery, then stowed them away, I might be able to get back to the quilting even when I was convalescing from the planned rotator cuff surgery.  I was able to finish all but two steps.  When it was time for me to do those, I figured out how to sew one-handed, and my saintly friend Lisa trimmed up 60 blocks for me. BelleEtoileduJour_3back

I did my best to get it up on my garage-door-photo-studio today, but I had a wrinkle in the quilt that I just couldn’t manage to ease out, so I have to resort to other photos to show it off.  I like looking from the back of the quilt outward, like it’s stained glass.  I had purchased about 5 yards of backing fabric, unable to remember how big the quilt top was.  I needed more, so spliced in a yellow coordinating print, then took it all over to my Cathy, my quilter.BelleEtoileduJour_6BelleEtoileduJour_7

She was a good sport and let me choose a new pantograph for her collection, which I think really works well with the quilt.  The original quilt called for purple fabrics in those 18″ blocks, but I went instead with periwinkle, a favorite color of mine.BelleEtoileduJour_8label

The title comes from an old poem, where the poet calls flowers “Day Stars.”  I had Google translate “beautiful day stars” into French, then ran it by my French-speaking husband who said it was fine. (I didn’t want to be swearing in French, or something.)  I don’t really believe there is a top or bottom to this quilt, so I sewed the label on an angle, just for fun.BelleEtoileduJour_2And again, if you haven’t started your listing of your quilts, start now!


Magic Stars Quilt, with Sarah Jane fabrics

It begins here…magicstars_1

…with fabric by Sarah Jane.  A relative of mine fell in love with her work and asked me to make her a quilt for her daughter, who has a name similar to mine.

(I couldn’t say no.)magicstars_2

I found the pattern on Michael Miller’s Website, and followed it exactly. magicstars_3 magicstars_4

I made it over the break between Christmas and New Year’s.  You can see my husband’s nutcracker collection on top of our hutch.magicstars_5 magicstars_6 magicstars_7 magicstars_8picking-up

I trundled it off to my longarm quilter, and she did a quick turn-around.  It’s always a happy day to pick up a quilt from Cathy.  This fabric is very silky, and I enjoyed working with it.magicstars_9 magicstars_10front

And on my birthday, I declare it done!  Happy New Year, Happy New Quilt.  This is Quilt #176 on my list of 200 quilts.  I never thought I’d reach 176 quilts.  If you haven’t started your list, do so now.

We chose a pattern called “party ribbons” for the quilting, as it fit in with the theme of the fabric.magicstars_12a-back-detail

The backing has unicorns with touches of gilt bushes.magicstars_13-quilting magicstars_14a magicstars_14b

I packaged it up and sent it off, the people in the Post Office helping me find just the right box.

(I love my post office.)



I didn’t label it because it was going to live at someone else’s home, but if I could, it would look like the one above.

Rebecca sent me this photo of the quilt on her daughter’s bed.  So glad they both like it!


Getting a Perspective on a New Year • 2017


My friend Leslie sent me this knitting gnome (so I had to share it with you), and although the holidays are past and gone, I think many of us have been as busy as this little guy, creating and sending them out our quilts and things with a heart full of love.

Here is a composite of What I Did Over the Holidays:


I made bread from a bunch of gifted persimmons, hugged a sleepy elf (and his brothers) in my kitchen, enjoyed watching my oldest son Chad and my youngest son Peter make home-made pasta for our Christmas Eve dinner, pieced a quilt with Sarah Jane fabrics (always lovely), shopped for a new car (but I didn’t like any of them better than the one I have, so I came home without one), and cleaned up my sewing room (always an event).en-provence_purple-four-patch

I jumped into the En Provence Mystery Quilt, hosted by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville and had fun trying to find the color periwinkle in my stash and in shops, as I decided to slant it that way, instead of the straight purple.en-provence-quilt_bonnie-hunter

Here’s a picture of HER finished quilt–mine is still three clues behind and mostly in pieces.  If you ever needed a good blog post to encourage you to save your scraps, *here* it is, courtesy of Bonnie.halloween-1904_front

But I do have one finish I can share.  I finished up the binding (my quilter did the quilting) on my Halloween quilt.  I’ll be updating the final post of the Quilt-A-Long on this pattern to include these two photos (front is above and back is below), but I wanted to say…halloween-1904_back

…Happy Halloween to you all!

But wait.  Isn’t it January?  Full of snow and storm and putting away the holiday boxes?  Watch this:

If you can’t see the video, it’s the Selective Attention Test; you can watch it on my blog.

This is how I feel when I’m working on something not in the season it’s intended for.  I’m am distracted/entranced by the cues all around me. In July, I see red, white, blue, stars, stripes, but not green pointy growing things called Christmas trees.  In April, it is flowers flowers flowers and complete absorption into planting my summer garden.  It is nearly impossible for me to focus on turkeys and fall decor.  Or snow.  As a result of this focus, I rarely see the proverbial gorilla among the basketball players.


Perspective, exhibit A

Yet so many of us work “out of season” in planning, buying and creating that I thought I’d look into it.  The 99U article (where the video is found) noted that “We see the world, and our work, through countless lenses of assumption and habit—fixed ways of thinking, seeing and acting, of which we’re usually unconscious.”  The author, columnist Oliver Burkeman (a personal favorite of mine), observes that “This urge toward making things unconscious is a blessing if you want to do the same thing, over and over, ever more efficiently. But it becomes a problem when we’re called upon to do things differently—when you hit a roadblock in creative work, or in life, and the old approaches no longer seem to work.”  He suggests using physical or temporal distance to get perspective, to get past that creative block.

When you use physical distance, you institute physical distance from your creative problem, such as when you take a break from piecing or quilting to look at Instagram, or take time to research, perhaps see something in a quilt book.  Or you might take a trip and get your best flash of insight while flying over the country.  Research has been done that shows that for many people implementing creative ideas begins with recognizing creative ideas.  While this sounds circular, it’s fairly common: how many times have you read a magazine and decide to add two new quilts to your List of Quilts To Make? You recognize the creative in others, and choose to implement it for yourself.

To proximate temporal distance, Burkeman suggests that we can “externalize our thoughts by writing them down in a journal. The point isn’t necessarily that you’ll have an instant breakthrough, but that by relating to your thinking in this ‘third-person’ way, you’ll loosen the grip of the old assumptions, seeing your thoughts afresh, and creating potential for new insights.”  Sounds like an argument to begin a creative journal to me.


Perspective, Exhibit B

The title of his article is “You Don’t Need New Ideas, You Need A New Perspective,” and I thought it fitting to start out the new year with this creative idea of perspective.  Now that all our holiday boxes are up in the rafters, the tinsel and glitter and ornaments and the fall boxes with autumn colors are all put away, the minimalist environment we live in come January can provide a clean slate — and a new perspective — for our creative work.