My favorite white pencil is famous!

I have used a white charcoal pencil made by the General Pencil Company for as long as I can remember. They are the perfect pencil for marking medium to dark fabric AND they are very affordable! You can find them here and here on my website.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a feature story about General Pencil today in the New York Times! It is a great story, with amazing photos by Christopher Payne, that tells us how pencils are still being made in the US.


I’m even more impressed now at both the quality of every pencil and the low prices!


Click here to read the article in the New York Times.

Show and tell…

Stars In The Garden by Maxine Olson

Stars In The Garden by Maxine Olson

I love seeing how quilters use our patterns to make their own quilts! Here is the story of this quilt, sent to me by the maker. Maxine did, indeed, make a wonderful quilt!

Here are pictures of my completed and wonderfully quilted (by Linda Carey) “Stars In The Garden” quilt. I just love it and I can’t thank you enough for saving me when you sent the PDF so that I could finish the setting. I have still not found those directions…I know they have to be in this cluttered quilt room somewhere.

Everyone who has seen my quilt just loves it. My quilt was a BOM that was left behind when my dear friend, Linda, died from a terrible disease. Being the appliquer in our group made me the likely recipient. I requested my quilter to quilt “Linda” somewhere within the quilting. She did that on one of the latices.

This is my third Piece O’Cake quilt I have completed. I have done Simply Delicious and A Walk in The Mountains, My husband saw your Land of the Free…so I think I might have to do that one too. Oh my..  I also have Beautiful Berries awaiting….

Again thank you for replying and helping me when I really needed it. I hope I have done your pattern justice.

Please enjoy the season.

Maxine O.

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Meet Lucy…

This is Lucy, who celebrated her 88th birthday on August 18 in my class at The Quilt Crossing in Boise. How cool is that!


The class worked on Pick-Up Sticks from The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color, learning how to make this improv block the easy way. Everyone had a great time, especially Lucy!

Some of Lucy’s Piece O’ Cake applique quilts were hanging in the classroom and it was so much fun to have them there. This is her version of Spectacular Spring from Applique Delights (still available as a downloadable ebook).


And this is Lucy’s version of Thru Grandmother’s Window, our first block of the month. The patterns are available as downloadable ePatterns.


Lucy and I agreed that it’s good to have a goal and we both want to be quilting into our 100s. That’s an excellent goal, don’t you think?!

Listening to stories…

I am working on a new quilt, cutting applique shapes and placing them on the design wall. This is a process that will take days. Longer, since I leave Monday for Nova Scotia to teach at the Mahone Bay Quilt Guild.

I like to listen to stories as I work so I went to the Radiolab site. I listened to a show about a woman whose heartbeat is really loud. It was very good but, warning, if you are one of those people who faint when you get a shot, this is not an episode to listen to when you are driving or operating a rotary cutter. Seriously. I didn’t find it disturbing at all, but then I can look at blood and get shots and not faint.

That same episode had an excellent story with Oliver Sacks. I suppose I should feel happy never to have needed to visit him in his office, but I would really like to know this man. It’s a good listen.

And then I listened to The Living Room. This story dovetails with my last post about talking to strangers except that this is about watching strangers. Specific strangers—on a daily basis. The narrator imagines their lives and gets it all wrong. I almost cried. This story has stuck with me and I think that most of you will be entranced.

Please note, sex is mentioned in a very upfront way in all of these stories, but sex is not the thing.


After listening to The Living Room, I am left with the knowledge that we all imagine what other peoples’ lives are like. And I think that we mostly get it wrong. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel humble, and more open to hearing what’s going on in other people’s lives.