Wednesday Giveaway

Mary Ellen is the winner of one of Deb Tucker’s excellent piecing tool—the Quilter’s Magic Wand. It is an accurate ½” wide ruler with an etched line running down the middle. Use it for marking or measuring when high precision is required. It is especially useful for marking those diagonal seam lines when using the Wing Clipper and other piecing tools. Click here to find a video showing how it works

Colors vary but the ruler is the same no matter what color you have.

If you are not Mary Ellen, you can find the Magic Wands here.

The Hand Sewing Adventure

I announced the Hand Sewing Adventure in my newsletter but I never wrote a blog post about it. How did that happen?!

Back in the day, when Block of the Month quilting was new, Linda and I were there. Thru Grandmother’s Window was part of the first wave of BOMs, followed by 6 more. (Click here if you’d like to find those ePatterns.) Many Piece O’ Cake books have been used in block of the month programs all over the world.

In each of these cases, the quilts and patterns were finished before you ever saw the quilt. The Hand Sewing Adventure is different. What I like about this Adventure the most is that I’m working along with you. In the past, I’ve had to keep what I was working on secret until the book came out. It feels very different to show and share every step along the way with my fellow Adventurers.

I have a sketch of part of the quilt to share with you (below). I have an idea in my head of where the quilt will go. There will be English paper piecing (EPP), hand applique, maybe hand piecing (or not). I will hand quilt my own quilt. I think the quilt will finish between 48″ and 60″. You can always make yours bigger (or smaller).

The best part is that I’m also making private videos to go with the patterns! The videos make this much more like a class than just a straight up set of patterns. There are more videos in the beginning to cover techniques that will then be used throughout the quilt. You can always refer back to the videos. Links to the private videos will be emailed to you. (FYI: the videos are you, not for sharing with everyone online.)

I’ve got a private Facebook page for the Hand Sewing Adventure where you all can ask questions, make comments, and share pictures. For those not on Facebook, you will miss out on that part, but I do understand not wanting to be on Facebook. (When I’m out of town, Elanor keeps an eye on things and lets me know when I need to answer questions that she can’t answer.)

The cost of the program is $60. That covers the private videos and the block patterns. The patterns will be emailed to you and you will print them on your own printer. There will be approximately 12 blocks.

The blocks will come out about once a month. I don’t have a hard time frame set up yet but I am aiming for release dates that are on or before the 7th of the month.

There isn’t a fabric kit. The first videos show you how I chose fabric from my stash and how I sort it to make it easier to work with (that’s the fabric you can see in the header). I think most of us have a fabric stash. If your stash is small, you have the opportunity to go shopping for fabric to go with what you already own.

This is my Block 1, finished on the plane home from Italy. (That’s airplane carpet, not fabric, under the block.)

Becky’s Block 1 from the Hand Sewing Adventure.

You can join the program at any time. If you come in later, you’ll have lots of videos to watch and you can work through them at your own pace. In fact, if you join now, you don’t have to keep up with me. The patterns and videos will be there when you are ready for them.

So, that’s what the Hand Sewing Adventure is. I hope you are as excited about it as I am. Click here if you’d like to join me!

Wednesday Giveaway

Maria Elena is this week’s winner and she will receive one package of Perfect Circles. I use Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley in two ways: as templates to draw around, and as a way to make circles ready to machine applique with the edges starched under. either way, they are a dandy tool to have!

If you are not the lucky winner, you can find Perfect Circles here. Happy stitching!

The party’s over…

I spent my last day in Venice with Karen today. We went to the Peggy Guggenheim museum. She chose to live in Venice for the last many years of her life in a lovely place on the Grand Canal. This statue, that I love, is on the terrace that faces the Grand Canal. What an amazing view she had!

She was collector of modern art and there was much of it that I love…

I continue to be fascinated by the way the shadows from the art or the frame become an integral part of the art.

We ran into a small Women’s March, followed by unsmiling policemen.

We found out that garbage is collected in wheeled bins and hoisted onto boats. The collectors are dressedin bright green. It is a system that makes sense here.

I took pretty pictures that included water…

I also took photos of a seagull happily devouring a rat. We all have to eat something, right?

We shopped, but not for crazy expensive clothes or shoes (darn it).

I took a few more pretty photos of Venice…

Here I am with this homely fellow. You might notice the red gloves and very nice black bag from Florence.

I never did ride in a gondola. It was just too cold for me, no one I saw riding looked like they were loving it. Maybe I will do that when I come again.

It has been a lovely trip. I enjoyed spending time with Karen! I’m looking forward to being home, if only for a few days. I’ll be off again soon for New Orleans! The off season is a good time to go places.

And that’s it. We had a nice dinner. I think everything is going to fit into my bag to go home. Karen is helping by taking a few small things back in her bigger bag that will be checked.


We headed to St. Mark’s this morning, via a vaporetto (water taxi) which is much cheaper than a gondola. The gondola is 80euro for 30 minutes. That would be about $45 each for me and Karen and we’d both rather buy Murano glass.

It’s nice to see the city from the Grand Canal. One thing that you really notice is how much the water affects the buildings. It is wet, wood gets rotten, there is mold and moss. That is part of what makes Venice look the way it does, but maintaining these structures must be nearly impossible.

We are here in the off season. It is cold and damp, but I like the light crowds. Shops are open, as are restaurants, and there are some deals to be had. I keep forgetting to take pictures of my purchases (maybe I’m trying to not think about that too much?) but here’s a thing I didn’t buy:

I collect Santas but not clowns so he’s not coming home with me. Although now that I look again, I kind of like him.

We went to St. Mark’s. The square was not crowded at all.

Photos are not allowed inside, but I climbed up to the dome and was able to take some photos there:

I kind of hate to be a selfie taking tourist, but everyone up there was doing it so I thought I’d join in.

We walked and shopped and ate our way back to the hotel. It was a nice day.

PS: Last night after I wrote my blog post I got to feeling queasy. And then it got worse. I suspect food poisoning from some bagged salad I ate to go with soup we had picked up. It was a rough hour or so but I am so lucky that the nausea medicine I travel with worked. I woke up feeling OK.

It’s going to be a while before salad looks good to me.

Venice, my last stop in Italy…

We rode the train and it was easy, clean, on time, and very civilized. This view greeted us as we left the station in Venice:

Of course we stopped to take pictures, and then it was a short walk to our hotel. Our rooms were not quite ready so we headed out to explore. We mostly explored the shops :-).

Venice is the place to buy Murano glass… and we did. And I know we’ll shop more tomorrow.

We did not buy a clown. They are everywhere. Maybe they’ve never read any Steven King?

There are also many shops with masks. Carnival is coming but perhaps masks are sold all year round here. I’ve not been before so don’t know the answer to that question.

We bought a meringue and ate a little of it. It was hard and very sugary.

The pastry looks fantastic, sad I can’t eat it.

I love these olive oil bottles.

I like the looks of this vegetable but have not eaten any yet.

We are finally getting the hang of selfies!

More tomorrow!