Books in harmony, two…

I wrote about Chris and Lorna’s books in the most recent newsletter. I just found the blog post from January 2016 showing the very first rearranging of books by color. Click here.

With the newly added shelving, the books now go down the entire wall which is at least 16′ long. Nearly all of the books had to come off the shelves so that new books could be placed in the appropriate color space.

There was a lot of dusting going on. And deep thought.

There are a lot of books with whit/cream spines. I think they sorted those first.

It almost makes me wish I had this many books. Instead I have a kindle with a nice cover…

and an interesting stack of quilt and art books.

Chris and Lorna’s books are way prettier. And more fun.

I, however, have less to dust :-).

Wednesday Giveaway…

Congrats to Terry Sharp, this week’s winner! She will receive a package of Karen K. Buckley’s Perfect Stems. The package has 8 different sizes of heat resistant strips that allow you to make bias stems from 1/8″- to 1/2″-wide. Each size is a different color. The bars are smooth to make moving the bar inside the stem easier. Karen’s instructions are included in the package.

If you are not the winner and you’d like a set of Perfect Stems you can find it and all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff at!

Shipping is free on orders over $75 every day.

Wednesday Giveaway

Debra Reber is this week’s winner. She will receive Magic Mirror. It is made from two 6″ x 6″ plexiglass mirrors, joined together on one side.  Place the mirror on different motifs on printed fabric to see what your block can look like with motif repeated. It is easy to use and has complete instructions.

Watch the video below to see how it works.

If you are not Debra and you’d like a Magic Mirror, you can find it and all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff at!

Shipping is free on orders over $75 every day.

Wednesday Giveaway

Darlene Slocum is this week’s winner… congrats, Darlene! She will receive a beautiful hemostat from Tula Pink. It is a tool that grabs well all the way to the tip without having to squeeze it hard. The inside of the ‘blades’ are smooth so that they grip without damaging the fabric. Use it for pushing, pulling, turning or stuffing.

If you are not the winner and you’d like a Tula Pink hemostat, you can find it and all sorts of sewing notions, books, and other fun stuff at!

Shipping is free on orders over $75 every day.

When has quilt reached the end?

My friend, Pete’s, mother, Sue, has moved and downsized and Pete is going through the POD with the last items that she couldn’t decide what to do with. He asked me to look at some of the quilts.

Pete explained that a lot of them were not family quilts. Many were salvaged from a moving crew who had used them to pad furniture during one of his parents’ moves long ago. they weren’t in good shape then and time had not made them better. Pete laid them out just before I got there. Seeing quilts on a driveway… that doesn’t happen often, does it? But the drive was clean and it did make it easy to see them all quickly.

These quilts would have been wonderful in their younger years but that was then. In the here and now, these quilts are falling apart.

It’s as if the fabric itself is giving up.

These have all been washed a lot and the cotton batting was in clumps in most of them. It makes me very happy that we have good batting today. I will be more grateful when I open my next bag of batting.

This one looked good from a distance, but up close, it too is in bad shape.

This one was worth saving, and Pete spotted a woven ‘Made by Sue Schulze’ label on the back with the date 1970. We think she did what was common in her family and finished up old blocks that had been left to her.

The outer edge isn’t bound—it has inset with big rickrack. Part of one edge is kind of chewed up and if it was me, I would just cut off the dangly parts and leave it alone. I told Pete how to wash it gently and I’ll give him some Retro Clean that might take out some of the stains.

The rest of the quilts will most likely be thrown away. I feel like I should feel worse about that than I do, but I don’t. These quilts lived productive lives and were cuddled along the way and like most things in this world, quilts will not last forever.

It’s like the universe is sending me a message…

Is it a mystery or a challenge?

My friend, Susan Allen, and I are going on a ‘we planned it ourselves’ retreat with a few other friends December 2-4. There will be more on that in future posts. Today I want to tell you about the project Susan and I are planning. I’ll be sharing details along the way for any of you who want to take part from afar.

Susan has collected fabric for years with the idea to make something sort of like, but not really like, the quilt in this photo from Kaffe Fassett’s book, Welcome Home.

And this quilt that is on the facing page:

We had to talk through what Susan was drawn to so that I was sure I got it because we work in different ways. Susan lets a quilt evolve as she goes, I start with a plan. My plan can be flexible, but still… I need a plan. Here’s our plan:

We are going to start with the same 45 fabrics (you could start with any number of fabrics—5, 10, 100…). These are Susan’s fabrics that she generously split with me. Most of the pieces are 1/8 yard. Susan has wanted to work with these for a long time. I own (or have owned) many of them, but this is not my normal palette. It’s going to be a fun challenge for me.

We are each going to make 40 – 3″ blocks, 20 – 6″ blocks, and 10 – 9″ blocks. The blocks can be different—I could make 40 different 3″ blocks, or 40 that are the same. They will be precisely pieced, not improv. We will tradey/halfy our blocks on November 2.

I’m going to draw one (or more) 18″ x 18″ applique blocks that could be used as a focal block or center medallion. My due date is Oct. 1 mostly so we can each be thinking about it.

We plan to work on our quilts in some way at retreat. We can use the blocks in any way to make any kind of quilt that suits us.

For want of a better name, I’m going to call this Mysterious Challenge One (there could be a two in the future). I will post progress updates and the applique block pattern (for free!) so that you and your quilting friends who are interested can join us virtually. Happy planning!