Resurrecting the Random Sampler

February 26, 2015 § 9 Comments


This was the last known whereabouts of my Random Sampler quilt.  I know that there are a few others out there in the world that have quilts in a similar state to mine.  So, let’s resurrect this thing and get ‘er done!  No more guilty feelings about letting these blocks languish away, hidden in a closet somewhere.  Let’s declare March the month for making those extra blocks and assembling them into a quilt top.  Are you with me? Cue the hired cheering section.

Modern Building Blocks

February 20, 2015 § 7 Comments


I have become a very lazy blogger. Therefore, I am giving myself a goal to post something at least once a week. Anything! Something!

So…. this is a little bit of the sewing that I have been doing. My local quilt shop is making Moda’s Modern Building Blocks quilt as a block-of-the-month in prints, instead of solids.  And I have been making the sample blocks each month.  I have really been enjoying these blocks! Above is the first four months worth of blocks.  We are breaking each section in half to spread it out over the entire year.

January blocks

January blocks #8, #19, #44 and #12


February blocks #41, #39, #20, #42, #10 and #17

March blocks

March blocks #6 and #5


April block #1


As I have been making these blocks, I’ve decided that it is worth the extra effort to trim off all the points.  It just seems to make them sew together better.  That is a whole topic in itself for another day.  But suffice it to say, that as fussy as it seems, it is worth the effort to cut off those scraggly points.


For the half-square triangles I have been using this 8″ Bias Square ruler. I have no idea when or why I bought this ruler, but it’s in with my basket of other rulers so I may as well use it!  There are lots of other brands that also square up half-square triangle blocks.


And for the points on 90-degree triangles I have have been using the Precision Trimmer that I picked up with my Star of Chamblie kit.  That was going to be my winter project but I haven’t yet had the time or energy to dig into it.  Again, there are lots of rulers out there that trim a variety of points.

So many projects…  I did clean up my sewing room today in anticipation of a little free-motion quilting.  Stay tuned for some finished projects in the near & far future.

My UFO’s are still UFO’s

February 12, 2015 § 10 Comments


I’m still plugging away on my unfinished projects. Why is it that I have a hard time finishing things?  And winter seems to have passed over us and moved right into spring.


In the meantime, I recently read Mollie Makes’ list of 50 things to do before you’re 50 in celebration of their 50th issue.  Well, since I’ve sort of missed that boat, maybe I could make a list of 50 things to do after you’re 50. Or maybe I could just make a list of things I’d really like to do?


From Mollie Makes’ list, these are the things I have already DONE.

11. Make a patchwork quilt (Ah, I’ve lost count on how many I’ve made)
13. Open an online shop (Bloomin’ Workshop patterns are now on Craftsy)
16. Make a motivational print (It’s still stuck inside my computer)
17. Take your camera out of manual mode (I thought we were supposed to learn how to put it into manual mode? Lately, I’ve been shooting in aperture priority)
24. Make a shrinky dink (What a fun thing that was to do as a kid!)
28. Craft in public (My knitting follows me everywhere!)
35. Write more letters (I’ve actually sent a couple of letters lately. Who gets mail besides bills & junk?)
42. Grow some house plants (Or kill them.  I have a couple in the house that are still alive)
46. Create a mini terrarium (I made one for a Christmas gift)
47. Start a blog (Hello friends!  :) )
49. Go on a digital detox & unplug (One of my favorite things about heading to the beach!)
50. Pass your creativity forward (Teach? or Share?  I enjoy both!)


And these are some things from their list that I would like TO DO.

4. Try your hand at making beauty products (A couple of friends do this and I would love to learn!)
5. Make something impractical (Suggestions?)
6. Yarn bombing (I’ve thought about yarn bombing the tree in our front yard)
14. Have a pattern clashing sort of day (I was so good at this as a kid!)
20. Get into daily doodling or make a zine (I’ve been admiring Lisa Congdon’s journal pages)
31. Refashion a charity shop find (Dotty Angel is so good at this!)
34. Host a craft & cocktails night (Hmm… I’m not sure cocktails & crafting is a good idea if sharp objects are involved)
44. Wear odd socks on Sunday (Now, that just sounds like fun!)


What would be on your list?

*Photos from top to bottom: 1) Reflections in the birdbath, 2) Kaleidoscope version II ready to quilt, 3) Jonquils are nearly ready to bloom, 4) Merry Mayhem ready to quilt, 5) Crocus are blooming! 6) Scrappy log cabin is ready to quilt

Clearly, I need quilting help!


Checking in

February 5, 2015 § 4 Comments


It doesn’t seem like there has been anything noteworthy enough to blog about lately. But here’s the last month’s rundown.

~ I’ve been knitting along with the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL on Ravelry
~ I started working on a gift quilt
~ I found a cool crocheted doll that I want to make as a gift. I’m starting with Little Red, but I want to make ALL the clothes!
~ My hubby spent a morning in the ER with low blood pressure (the doctor says he needs to drink more water & stay hydrated)
~ I had an inner ear infection that required antibiotics
~ The beloved Seahawks played an extremely interesting game at the Superbowl (my first time watching the entire game. I’m not much of a football fan. Gasp!)
~ My featherweight needs a new belt
~ The vintage Singer 319w doesn’t wind a bobbin, so I’ve taken it apart to see what is wrong.
~ I’ve been sorting & organizing my sewing room for my sewing group’s rummage sale this Saturday.

On THAT note! All you local peeps, come out to the first ever Space Needlers’ Rummage Sale being held in Richla Ramsey’s sewing studio. Email me if you need the address, times & gate code.  I have four+ boxes of stuff (fabric, yarn, books, patterns, rubber stamps) that I need/want to sell. One person’s discards is another person’s treasure.  Help us clean out our studios!

Around the World blog hop

January 12, 2015 § 6 Comments


Debbie at Shadows of the Blue Ridge invited me to join the Around the World blog hop.  Today you have landed in Redmond, Washington, the land of large tech companies, cult-like coffee drinkers & bigfoot.  And… home to my humble blog. (above, view of Mt. Si from Snoqualmie Valley Trail)

Nested Bear Paw

If I remember correctly, I met Debbie through a series of emails discussing my crochet mobius scarf.  She crochets all sorts of things, including socks, as well as being a fabulous quilter.  We kept exchanging emails and I have enjoyed getting to know her via our blogs and Flickr.  Recently her block, Nested Bear Paw (photo above), was published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Volume 10.  Debbie is also a member with me in the Do.Good.Stitches charity Flickr group.


I’ve invited Melissa at We Shall Sew to continue hopping around the world next Monday. Melissa is the fearless leader of our circle in the  Do.Good.Stitches charity Flickr group.  Her fabulous Hope Takes Flight quilt (photo above) is a free pattern over on the Robert Kaufman web site.  She originally designed this quilt for our Do.Good.Stitches group and explains the meaningful process of how the quilt came to fruition on her blog.

Melissa, Debbie and I, along with 7 other women, help make quilts to send to Restore Innocence, an organization that rescues girls from human trafficking.  I have come to love this group more than I ever thought I would.  While I’m certain that the quilts we make are a blessing to the girls that receive them, I’d have to say that it does my heart a mountain of good to make them. It’s hard to think of all they have been through and we rejoice that they are being made free from that bondage as we make the blocks & quilts each month.  I’ve come to love & appreciate the ladies in our group who, each month, take time out of their busy lives to do a little sewing for someone in need.

How this blog hop works is that someone invites or tags you to play along, you answer a few questions and then they in turn tag 1 to 3 people to play along the following week.  If you follow all the links backwards, you should meet many interesting people in interesting parts of the world.  It’s just a fun way to find new blogs to follow and make new friends.

To add to the fun, I’ve been asked to answer a few questions. So here it goes…


1. What are you working on?
Well, you all know that I have WAY too many projects going on. But lately, I’ve been working on my Merry Mayhem mystery quilt gone awry (above). And, I’ve picked up my Merry Merry Snowman applique quilt again.  I will have it finished for Christmas next year! More on those two quilts later.


2. How does your work differ from others of it’s genre?
I’m not sure that it differs all that much. But I can say that the part of the process that I love the most is the selection of the fabrics.  I love the challenge of putting my own twist or flavor into whatever I am working on. It’s surprising to see how the same quilt pattern, whether old or new, can be transformed into something completely different just by choosing different fabrics.  One of my favorite transformations was the Asteria quilt (above). Which… I just realized was finally finished but never blogged! Oops!

old clothes quilt

3. Why do you create what you do?
My grandfather on my mother’s side would make these dioramas from astro turf, twigs and all sorts of other leftover items.  I loved them! And my mom taught herself how to sew.  As I got older we would try our hand at every new craft that came along.  Latch hook rugs. Needle punch. Sequined Christmas stockings. Cross stitch. You name it. We’ve probably tried it at least once. Fabric, sewing and just plain making things has been a part of my life since I was a wee little girl. I can’t imagine my life without some form of creativity.

I made this crazy clothing quilt (above) when I was in Junior High.  You can tell that I didn’t know a thing about quilting back then.  There was also an elephant quilt that I wish I had saved.  Now that one was really cool. At least in my head I remember it being cool.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve decided that I really only have time for quilting & knitting with occasional apparel sewing on the side.

handkerchief quilt

4. How does your creative process work?
The creative process varies.  But I have to say that a Kaffe Fassett class that I took years ago (maybe 2003?) really changed the way I approach the process of choosing fabrics for a quilt.  His class reinforced making quick decisions and going with your gut feeling.  Spending too much time analyzing what might be just the perfect fabric can be more detrimental to the process than advantageous.  And I’ve come to recognize that more often it’s the not so perfect fabric that makes the quilt more interesting in the long run.

Above is my second Kaffe Fassett quilt.  It still isn’t quilted. (oops!) Actually, I was thinking of adding a few more blocks to make it bigger.  It seems like everything needs to be a bed-sized quilt for me at the moment. The first Kaffe quilt that I started is still in a box and in pieces. (embarrassing confession) I had totally forgotten about that UFO.  I guess I’d better add that to my long list!

Well… I hope you didn’t find that trip down memory lane too boring.  And don’t forget to go visit Melissa next Monday, January 19th.

Another year

January 5, 2015 § 4 Comments

Have you been assessing last year and making goals for next year? Me neither. Well, not to the extent that I did last year.  I did, however, make a list of most of my projects, both in progress and stalled.  Something happened yesterday that gave me the courage to finally face it all.  I’m neither feeling overwhelmed nor ambitious. It just is what it is.  I’m taking stock, I guess.  I’m hoping that is a good thing. Admitting the problem is the first step, right?


Last year was quite a year.  From losing my mom, to gaining a beautiful friend, then my oldest friend moving away and my health has been a yo yo between my thyroid disease and the chronic mono virus.  I think it is best to leave last year as it is, behind me, while only counting the good things that have come from it.

It was wonderful to unplug for the holidays.  But it makes it that much harder to start up with the routine again. I’m afraid it’s been a bit of slow start today.  But that’s okay.


A friend of mine says that each year a  word comes to her that seems to be the new focus.  If I were to take note in my life I think the new theme may be watch and pray.  I don’t spend time much time here talking about my faith. But it is, never-the-less, the underlying constant that takes me through this life.  I feel more introspective this year. More calm and less scattered.  It will be interesting to see what comes from 2015. 2015!!


I read an article not too long ago that talked about the “turn of the century.” My mind automatically went to 1899-1900.  But we are living through a turn of the century.  It’s so odd to think about that.  I wonder what my grandparents or great-grandparents thought as they faced the same more than a hundred years ago.  Weird.  So I guess I will leave you hanging there.  Ha! Where will the next 100 years take us?

** By the way, the photos above are in order of appearance… Plan B of the Merry Mayhem New Year’s Day mystery quilt gone awry, sewing the HST’s from the Merry Mayhem mystery quilt, Gary’s scrap socks and my Puffin socks, both finished over the holidays.

Beach photos overload

December 31, 2014 § 6 Comments








I don’t know what it is about the beach, but I always take way too many photos of the sea.  It rained most of the time that we were there. But when we got breaks in the rain, we went for walks along the beach. There is nothing like the roar of the waves.  It was a very peaceful week.

If you have been following along on Instagram, my knitting UFO status thus far is 2 pairs of socks finished, 1 sweater frogged and restarted and 1 sweater looked at but generally neglected.  I aim to keep working on my UFO’s but it may take some time to finish the sweaters.  Luckily, the one that got ripped all the way to the beginning again is a large guage.  So it should move along quickly. The untouched sweater has one sleeve and a few inches at the bottom of the body to finish. There may be pics in the near future.

Are you joining the Merry Mayhem New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt-along?  I might not get too much sewing done, but I do think it would be a good way to use up some of my scraps & stash.  I might collect the instructions on New Year’s Day and then sew like the wind on Friday.

Can you believe another year has gone by?  I think I’m going to stop counting.

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    Hi. I'm Anita. I like vintage textiles, old houses, fresh bread, and dinner under the pergola. And... I like making things. Thank you so much for visiting!

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