March 31, 2012


After spending the  morning with Grandma, we arrived home wet, happy, full, tired, and satisfied. My daughter found a package on the porch and asked me what it was. I said, it's a little package (my heart skipped a beat because I knew it was the fabric I had been waiting for, for this quilt).

We came inside and I removed 2 pairs of shoes, 2 coats, 1 pair of socks, 1 pair of pants, changed 1 diaper, prepared 2 juice sippy cups, and turned on Frog and Toad on audiobook...

...then (deep breath) I opened the package. It felt like Christmas morning. It has to be one of the reasons I love quilting, opening those sealed packages of buttery soft fabric, and the image of the quilt-to-be comes alive. I swoon a little, you know.  It's a special moment. It's the very beginning of a huge quilt-making process (which I love). I am standing at the foot of the mountain and feeling the climb ahead, the huge endeavor, and the uncut fabric is the trail-head.

 Well, better get my hiking boots on and start the climb. Happy quilting!

March 28, 2012


I guess the phrase "free shipping" really means "please wait 2 weeks for delivery." I ordered some lovely fabric and I am so excited to get started on a custom quilt order...but I'm waiting for the bulk of the fabric to arrive. I have bought some fabric at my local fabric store...but I really need the other 5 designs (which are currently somewhere in Georgia) to properly sink my teeth into this project. The ETA is later this week, which isn't that long, really. I'm waiting...I am also very excited to proceed.

Oh and the fabric I bought at the fabric store (see photos) was completely sold out online, score!

March 27, 2012

Amazing Tuesday top 10

Sitting beside the first daffodil of spring

fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade cosmo

~Ten things that remind me of all of the amazingness that surrounds me ~
 Cutie's unconditional love
Feeling grateful for him
My incredible luck that I met Cutie 9 years ago (in a bar)
This journey we are on
Our two kids
Our future home
Cutie's future workshop
Our future chickens and their fresh eggs
All of the future quilts I will make in this future place
Knowing I am supposed to live in the present but I can't help dream, anticipate, imagine, and visualize what lies ahead.

March 22, 2012


One Earthy Elements Table Runner, COMPLETE!

This table runner measures 14x46. It is a combination of earthy, watery batiks and pebble landscape fabric. It is free motion quilted in a pebble design. The pebble fabric is from Elizabeth's Studio and the colors for this project came to me in a dream.  I'm glad this one is done - I started to feel buried under all those pebbles.

As I was taking these pictures, Cutie came home with a single red rose just for me! He is handsome and loving and he has impeccable timing.

March 21, 2012

Custom Order

There is nothing that blows a stronger wind into my creative sail than a custom quilt order. It holds so much meaning to me. A custom order usually goes like this: there's a theme, sailboats for example, and special colors that will match the nursery, a time frame or deadline, and I give a price. I ask how much creative input the person ordering the quilt would like to have: would you like to choose the design (and the fabric) or have me choose?

But, to me, this is what the custom order says: I want you to make a quilt for my precious future grandson. I admire your quilting and I want a quilt of yours - made with your hands and especially your heart - in our family for generations to come. I trust you with this gift. I am excited and holding my breath to see the finished quilt. I know you can do it!

And I think to myself: You won't be disappointed. In fact, your eyeballs will pop out when you see this quilt. You will see and feel the quality. You will see and feel all of the effort and love I sewed into every inch of the quilt. I am excited for you to give this beautiful gift. I know you will love it!

Maybe I read to deeply into things, but a custom order makes me stand a little taller and puff out my chest a little prouder and smile wider. I can't wait to get to work...and thank you for your order.

March 20, 2012

Amazing Tuesday top 10

~Ten things that remind me of all of the amazingness that surrounds me ~

Cherry blossoms
a new preschool schedule that gives me 3 hours with just one kid
More light in the evening
A big stack of quilting books on hold at the library
A book quilting of my *very own* (sent from France) which I never have to return, thank you!!!
wish lists
carrot cake
a long walk and homemade pickles
Thinking things through
a day with Grandma

March 19, 2012

Pebble Burnout

Well Pebblepalooza has turned into one of those projects. I have grown sick and board and tired of it, sadly  but don't worry, I will finish it. I fear the moment when quilt projects turn into dreaded quilt projects because - with my self-imposed rules around completion , I have to press on, no matter how much I dread sitting down to work on it. I think what killed my enthusiasm were the free motion pebbles themselves, which took forever to complete.  The other thing that killed it was having the Sunday Morning quilt all basted and ready to go - I am excited to start quilting that one. But, gotta finish the pebbles first before moving onto the next project. I am a tough boss.

Quilts are an endless lesson in completion for me. It's spiritual, really. I have never been one to properly complete projects and having made a conscious rule for myself to complete each quilt before beginning a new one, has drastically changed the way I view myself as an artist. I can complete a huge project (because I am telling myself I have to).

I guess in order to complete, I have to, first, commit. I now realize that completion is teaching me about commitment. I strive to complete a quilt but when the process gets boring I have to remember my original commitment to the design, the fabric, and the idea. It means sticking with it even when I want to set it aside and start something else. It means holding myself creatively responsible for a project I started, to see it through, because every project begins with an incredible idea which inspired me to commit to it in the first place. When you think about it, anyone who has accomplished (or completed) something big has been very committed to their passion. Galileo was committed to astronomy. Annie Oakley was committed to her rifle.  Eddie Van Halen was committed to his guitar. It's amazing what we can accomplish when we commit. Well, I'm not looking to accomplish anything similar to said examples except simply to make my life meaningful and learn a little about myself in the process.

I did get the free motion pebbles finished on Pebblepalooza so the last thing to do is the binding, which is easy. Then, it's onto the Sunday Morning quilt. I committed to the pebbles, I completed the pebbles, and I can soon say Hasta La Vista, pebbles!

March 16, 2012

Complete - It's in the Stars

One Celestial Baby Quilt with Matching Pillow....COMPLETE!

I confess, this set was completed awhile ago...but just recently I added the last stitches to the binding on the inside of the pillow case - we don't want any seams fraying on the inside of the pillow case when washed, no no. So I consider this set actually, officially completed this week. The quilt measures 36 inches square and the pillow is 15 inches. The quilt and pillow are hand quilted, and the quilt is backed with the softest cotton flannel you have ever felt. It will take you to the moon and back!

I linked up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Have a universally wonderful  Friday!

March 14, 2012

Serious Pebbles

 This is like a continuation of yesterday's post since the last thing I mentioned was a pebblepalooza. When I say pebbles, I don't mess around. We are talking serious pebbles...and serious thread to accomplish this pebble extravaganza. I had to run to the fabric store to buy more thread today. This pattern was a gamble because I wasn't sure if the pebble quilting pattern would cover up the circular pattern of the fabric....

...but I like it! I can still see the circles, and the batiks, and the pebble fabric pops out. I mean really, what other possible quilting patten could I use? Gotta do the fabric pebbles justice and...quilt free motion pebbles.

I learn something with each quilt I make, or table runner in this case. This one was a lesson in, well, free motion pebbles and quilt pattern density. These tightly quilted pebbles create a dense sandwiching of the layers. There isn't a lot of soft touchy puffiness with this one.

March 13, 2012

Amazing Tuesday top 10

~Ten things that remind me of all of the amazingness that surrounds me ~

An upcoming tour with Uncle Jacob, our real estate agent
sorting properties
a generous Grandma who has agreed to watch two crazy kids, yet again.
excited that there is a home for us out there, maybe not yet, but maybe soon
A covered playground
a week of rain and cold, amazing in a total bummer kind of way
preschool transitions, a meditation on what's best for my child
sweet and mild curry powder
Free motion pebbles on pebble landscape fabric, pebblepalooza!

March 11, 2012


I spent the afternoon basing while listening to Florence + The Machine. I wholeheartedly believe that our greatest human accomplishment is the creation of music. Quilts and music.

March 9, 2012

Sew Mod

 Here it is, hot off the presser foot - my first modern stripe! - (please ignore the lime green basting stitches) - If you know my level of obsessive perfection, modern quilting is very far removed from my quilting comfort zone. You mean, there's no straight line to follow while sewing? You mean, I just cut and sew the pieces together with no pre-measureing? Yeeps! Well, this stripe worked out great, I used the last of the batik material, and I was able to extend the black backing that was originally too small to fit. Huh. Modern and handy.

I LOVE modern quilting, let me stress this. I am, at times, thrown back in my chair in awe and amazement of some of the modern quilts out there, oh my. In a way they seem more impressive to me than traditional quilts because of their incredible level if improvisation. It's also fun to witness an art form like quilting evolve. Modern quilts are fresh, different, and uniquely individual, I love this especially. I have yet to see a pattern which exactly duplicates a modern quilt. And best of all, modern quilting has brought the word "wonky" into daily conversation.

Here's the front of the Elements table runner, basted and ready to quilt. It's far from Modern and hardly wonky, but it has that improved stripe on the back...that's a start, eh?

March 7, 2012

Signs of Life



Mystery bulbs

Hummingbird bush

Ornamental Poppy


It's no secret that this Northwest Winter climate is wearing on me. I moved to Seattle when I was 19, excited about a lush life living among dew drizzled mornings and fresh, rain-cleansed air.

What I am experiencing more and more, 17 year since moving here, are rain-filled, frigged, never-ending Winters.

I daydream about warm Hawaiian air, dry desert sunsets, and sunshine. Just straight-up sunshine.

This loss of mysticism with the Northwest climate comes greatly from having two little kids cooped up in a little house throughout days and weeks of rain. I wish they could go outside everyday and run in the sunshine. I would love to have them swim in a warm outdoor pool or in the ocean.

I have noticed some signs of life lately as we hang out in our mud puddle backyard, though. Sprouts and bulbs pushing through the soil, indicating maybe Spring is coming, which then leads to Summer, which might equal sunshine, which might mean wearing a T-shirt or shorts. These baby sprouts have become welcome friends of mine and I can hear them whispering words of encouragement, helping me get through this cold season. They say, "Hang in there, Mama."

Now before I publish this, I have to give Mother Nature due credit and mention the glorious sun that came out today. The kids played outside most of the afternoon and I sat facing the southern sky, feeling my face soaking up the sun's warm rays. I might have a few new freckles. That's the thing about the Northwest that keeps me living here: it's dreary, cold, and rainy most of the time but when the sun does come out, it is stupendous.

March 6, 2012

Amazing Tuesday top 10

  ~Ten things that remind me of all of the amazingness that surrounds me ~

Begin approved for a whole lot of imaginary money
A sunny weekend
A smoking day
Feeling amused and mesmerized by Pippi Longstocking all over again (a little scary for my kids, though)
Starting a new project, milling around quilt design patterns in my head, SO inspired by all of the other blogging quilters out there.
A Potato bar
Frog and Toad
Bed Bath and Beyond
Time (15 minutes max) to sit and write blog posts or sew, before somebody needs water or a snack
An old friend, who said it best, "Parenting is not for sissies...whew!" Well said. Well said!

March 4, 2012


Well, now that the GameBoard quilt is complete, I am onto this one:

 Here's the story with this quilt...

We were vacationing at Cape Disappointment (it's a really nice pace, don't let the name fool you) which is on the South Western tip of Washington State, down there where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific, ala Louis and Clark. Near Cape Dis, there is a quaint beach town, Longbeach, which has a quilt shop. Now that I know there is a quilt shop there, Cape Dis has and will become our annual vacation destination, naturally. We stopped in for a few moments and I saw the featured square material, with the baby blue background.

(The featured square, as I call it)

I had to have some, "3/4 yard please." I wish I had bought more. It reminds me of a lazy weekend morning, lounging in a bright and cheerful breakfast nook. I love the blossoming green pitcher and rooster. I call this The Sunday Morning Quilt. It took a few months to figure out the quilt design and I settled on a Double Irish Chain pattern with bright red and yellow and unbleached cotton. I went through a self-admitted unbleached cotton phase last summer, it turned up in every quilt.

I added a chunky boarder (from the same rooster fabric) to help the featured squares stand out.  I really like the boarder! It seems to mellow out the bright pop from the red and yellow chains.

The backing is a luxurious Egyptian cotton in a pleasant shade of baby blue to match the featured square material. And the binding will be the same red as in the chain.

I'm still milling around quilting design patterns and not sure as of yet which way the quilting stitches will end up. Stay tuned, friends!

March 2, 2012


One Game-Board design quilt, COMPLETE!

This quilt measures 45 X 46. The fabric is Sarah Jane's enchanting Children At Play (for Michael Miller), mixed with a solid color tangerine cotton and unbleached cotton (which is also the backing fabric). I ordered Sarah Jane's fabric last year in late summer, as I recall. It is a favorite of many crafters as seen on the FLICKR group page.

This quilt features a mix of free motion stitching and straight stitch quilting. I love how the straight stitch quilting shows off the space in between the Children's fabric. I'm, ahem, kinda proud of this one. Thanks for sharing this finish with me and happy quilting!