Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Fabric!

I recently came across two finds at Britex Fabrics in the sale section.  I always like to look there, because I can find treasures sometimes!  One time I found a piece of Liberty of London fabric.  Score!

 This time I found the two fabrics in the top picture.  Both are really nice, smooth cottons.  

The striped one--what fun colors are they?!--is an Italian cotton, and feels almost like a shirting weight.  It is 60" wide and there is a little over a yard of it.  I think I will have some fun using these nice stripes in a quilt top.  I'm imagining the stripes with nice coordinating colors.

This very large polka dot is a more sheer fabric.  It is 54" wide and about a yard long.

Doesn't it drape nicely?  I'm thinking maybe a scarf.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Slow Down There!

I recently noticed this sign at a large construction site in San Francisco.  


Am I the only one who finds this a little strange?  I mean, really, Nine And A Half Miles Per Hour?


Why not simply 10 mph?  Or maybe even 5 mph with all that heavy machinery.

If someone can explain this to me, I'd love to know the reason for such a strange speed limit.

I do enjoy finding unusual signs, as I have shown you before in a many-years-ago post.  Not sure if that indicates I'm a detailed-oriented person, or maybe just weird.  But that's me!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Newborn Children's Hats

My friend Roz introduced me to The Baby Bonnet Project, a program which provides newborn hats to infants in foreign countries.  Often, newborn babies in these countries die simply from exposure to low temperatures.  These caps will help to mitigate the problem.

Roz shared with me some crochet patterns for baby caps.  She is a knitter herself.  These, as you might guess, are quick and easy to whip up.  They don't take much yarn, either.

There are two different patterns shown here, although I altered one pattern to make it a little bit less complicated.  And while I was visiting MomStitches last month, she got interested and made a few, too!

I actually think they are quite cute.  And did I say that they are fun to make?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Number Six Shirt for GranddaughterStitches

Little GranddaughterStitches has turned six.  So it is time for another "number shirt." 

Wow!  Where has the time gone.  She was in kindergarten this year, and it sounds like she thoroughly enjoyed it.

With our two kitties, nothing is easy any more.  They are interested in everything!

I liked this bright pinky-purple shirt so I chose it to use.  And I found the perfect fabric to use for the six.  I really like the combination.

I fused the number to the t-shirt, and added some stabilizer to the back.  Then I used a machine blanket stitch around the edges of the number to secure it.  I'm sure it is going to get laundered a good many times before her next birthday!

See what I mean?!?  Laying a small piece on the bed is usually a good place to photograph it. 

This photo shoot is now officially over!

Friday, June 6, 2014


Thought I'd show you the latest baby afghans I've crocheted.

Here is a light blue one with a simple stitch pattern which gives it a nice texture. 
 Percy really likes this one. 

I really like the color of this lavender afghan. I'm calling it my "modern quilt style" afghan, because of the one vertical, off-center stripe. 

Here is another light blue one.  This one has a little border at each end.

Here is a close-up of this afghan.  You can't tell it very well from this photo, but the yarn was a really nice blend of light blue and white strands.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rosalie Dace Class

I was fortunate to be able to attend a four-day quilting class given at our guild by Rosalie Dace.  She lives in South Africa and travels almost half of each year teaching classes.  The class she taught was in abstract quilting, and she has been greatly inspired by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).  The first day we saw slides of his  abstract paintings.  I tried to get inspired, but I really don't really like modern art very much so it was hard for me to find inspiration.  Finally I found a painting of his that I decided I could use as a jumping off place.

Photo from

The painting I was looking at was basically concentric circles one on top of the other one.  (Always liked this idea.)  The colors in the painting were very bright.  (Like the bright colors.)  

The photo below shows my beginning fabric choices for the circle pieces.  I added some more fabrics as I went along, tweaking things a little bit here and there.

I chose to use a black silk/cotton fabric for the background.  So I pinned all of my little selected stacks onto the black on my design wall.  I pinned them all as they appear in the above photo, rearranging here and there as needed.  Looking at it, I saw the three rows of four and decided that I wanted to cut my black fabric into three pieces and make a triptyque.

And then Rosalie suggested that I make my backgrounds a little more interesting by inserting some deep purple wavy lines.  Here are portions of two of my fabric strips, which have had the curved inserts added.  I can tell you that I was not a very happy quilter making the first curve.  Fortunately, that happened at the end of the second day, so I got to go home and re-group.  The next day dawned brighter (metaphorically!) and I finished the rest of the curvy strips quite easily.

This is my "finished sketch," for my wall hanging.  Shall I tell you about the circle that isn't a circle?  If you look at the top photograph where I had just decided on the fabrics to use you will see that this square cross block is just as it appeared at the beginning.  When I came to this set of fabrics to cut into circles, I looked at it and thought, "I like that one just the way it is."  So I am leaving that one as a rectangle.

The circles have tear-away stabilizer on the back.  I've been sewing the circles together.  After they are all secured I will sew them to the black pieces and do some more decorative stitching on them.  Then I will layer and quilt the three pieces, making more circular patterns on them.

I have to end by saying how great it was to learn from Rosalie.  She is a great teacher.  She didn't teach us a technique; she taught us about art and design.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Intermediate Quilting Class 2014 (Session Two)

The second week's class was about curved piecing.  A lot of quilters are scared of sewing curves.  And it does take a little thought, but is certainly do-able.  My co-teacher, Kalynn, and I are both garment sewers, as well as quilters, so we are used to handling curves.  

And our students caught on very well.

We talked about using templates in this class, when previously all of our blocks were rotary cut using straight rulers.  This particular block is a drunkard's path, and there are also several other names for this block.  I had some acrylic templates for students to use, and we also showed them how to make their own templates out of template plastic. Everyone used pins to secure the two pieces of fabric together, although sometimes fabric glue is used.  Some of us used a lot more pins that others, but it's all good!

 The results were quite good, as you can see by these photos.

Look at how even all these edges are!

The photo below shows how two blocks look when put together.  We talked about all the many different ways these blocks can be arranged.

This next photo shows what happens when you cut with two layers of fabric under your templates and then switch around the pieces.  The top one is a great combination, isn't it.