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Entries in the ‘Other Quilty Topics’ Subcategory

Three Friends and the Three Sisters

Last entry, I shared that Mr. K had checked off a bucket list item. This entry brings more bucket list fulfillment, this time for two of my friends and former co-workers from Michigan, who came out west to see the outdoor quilt show in Sisters, Oregon. We’d been talking about this even before I retired […]

Crafty Ladies

Work has been especially stressful lately, so I was especially happy this past weekend to have a quilting retreat scheduled with some of my friends from the office. We tried a new location this time, much closer than the place we’d been going in recent years. It still felt secluded, with the house set way […]

Quilt Show Flashback

After a couple/few days of feeling like I was getting over the sinus crud, it seems to be staging a comeback, leaving me once again with an extra fuzzy head and low energy. Instead of dwelling on that, let’s instead look at some pretty pictures from the Ann Arbor quilt guild show I went to […]

Retreat from Reality

This past weekend, I once again headed up north for a quilting retreat with some of my friends from work. Like last year, I didn’t get out of the office as early as I’d hoped on Friday, but unlike last year, I hadn’t signed up to make dinner that night, so I wasn’t stressed about […]

Quilts with Friends

I spent last weekend at quilting retreat with some of my friends from work (one of whom no longer works for Purple Systems, but we still all keep in touch). Due to one thing or another, I hadn’t been able to go up to the retreat house since fall of 2010, so I was especially […]

Tree of Life Quilt

The only quilting-related activity I’ve been doing recently is looking at pictures of other people’s quilts, like this Tree of Life from somewhere around the 1870s or 1880s, which I snapped at a local quilt show back in 2008 and came across again today when poking around Flickr. There’s so much to like here. The […]

Back at the Bernina

Over the weekend, I got out my sewing machine for the first time in quite a while, because I really, really need to get the baby quilts done for the grand-nieces while they are still babies. I had a bit of a setback when I discovered that the batting I’d bought especially for these quilts […]

Emerging from Dormancy

  When I started this journal, quilting was just about the only creative hobby I was really pursuing. Looking back at the archives, I finished seven quilting projects in the first twelve months I wrote here. My, how times change. In the last twelve months, I’ve finished two quilts, up from zero the year before. […]

Making a List

I haven’t formally updated my quilting to do list since August of 2008, mostly because I’ve only finished four of the ten projects on that list, so it’s not like I ran out of things to work on. I’ve done other sewing and quilting besides the things on the list in the intervening time, mostly […]

Fall Back Quilt Retreat

I took Friday off work and spent a long weekend on the sunrise side of Michigan. Six of us from the office gathered at the retreat house we’ve been to several times before and while I never seem to get quite enough sleep at these things, it was a fun weekend. Four of the ladies […]

Stash Transfer

I haven’t bought any new fabric in months and months, but that changed on Saturday when I went to quilt guild (another thing I haven’t done for months and months). Instead of there being a shop as a vendor as is usual, fabric donated by guild members was being sold by the pound to raise […]

Sewing Party

I spent most of my Saturday at the office, but for fun rather than work. Our company quilting group hosted a surprise 50th birthday party for one of our members. She was really surprised, in part because her actual birthday isn’t until July (we figured if we did it now, she wouldn’t suspect anything). She’s […]


Hey look, I finally completed a knitting project—one of six I had on the needles as of last week. This hat will be raffled off for charity next month, so that gave me added incentive to get it done. It’s a pattern I’ve used several times before, and fortunately I’d kept my notes about the […]

Quilt Retreat

I spent the weekend on a sewing retreat with some of the crafty ladies from work. We went to the same place as we did in June; it’s such a great setup that I hope we’ll be able to keep going there for a many retreats to come. Last minute cancellations meant only four of […]

Vintage Quilts

I went through the photos I took at the quilt show I went to during my road trip and put my favorites in this set at Flickr. Many of them are scrap quilts—all that fabric variety just adds so much life and interest to a quilt, even when the pattern is very simple. Almost all […]

Sewing with Friends

In what looks like it might turn into a semi-annual tradition, I spent a long weekend up north with several friends from work at the same craft retreat house we went to last September. Some of the ladies went up on Thursday night, but I wanted to do some exploring on the way there so […]

Stuff In, Stuff Out

I fell off my stash enhancement austerity program by buying several yards of prints by Sue Beevers; here they are in a pile waiting to be washed earlier this week. She came to speak to my quilt guild last month, and her presentation was very fabric-centric—how she gets inspired for her designs, how she comes […]

Stash Meme

Inspired by this post at True Up, which was inspired by this post at Sew Mama Sew, today I am answering questions about my fabric stash: What do you usually sew? Quilts, of course. Once in a while I’d do something home dec related, like pillowcases. I used to sew costumes, but we haven’t gone […]

Crafty Doldrums

I spent some time earlier today rearranging some quilt blocks on my felt wall, hoping to rekindle my interest in that stalled project. In the four months since I last updated my quilt to do list, I’ve gotten only one thing on it done (and all I had to do on that one was the […]

Crafty Weekend

This past weekend, in between running errands and doing laundry and watching football and jogging and walking and wondering if I have some odd type of flu that doesn’t involve feeling sick to my stomach but does involve a slight fever and abdominal pain, I finished a couple of small craft projects. First, I made […]

Quilt Done and Quilts To Do

This past Sunday I finished up this latest group baby quilt made by the crafty ladies of Purple Systems. Of the four or so we’ve done, I had the least input on this one. Other people picked the colors and came up with the design and cut the pieces and did the fusible applique. I […]

Block Swap Blues

My early summer quilting project was a block swap with some of the folks in the Quilters Knitting group over on Ravelry. The envelope full of blocks arrived this week, and I didn’t even stop to take off the name stickers or trim the ones that hadn’t been trimmed yet (like my own) before I […]


When I was looking for my quilting UFOs the other day, I came across some sketchbooks that I started when I took a class based on the book Color and Cloth. These are filled with what I guess I should call my NYSs, projects I’ve not yet started and maybe never will. Almost any page […]


Earlier today, when I probably should have been sewing on the quilt that’s on my felt wall, the one meant for the baby that turned one at Thanksgiving, I took an inventory of the unfinished objects in my quilting stash. Some I’ve already written about here: the Treehouse quilt for the Modern Quilt-Along, the strip […]

Shiny and New

After two decades of faithful service, my Singer 6268 has been retired from active duty and this new Bernina 440 QE (for Quilter’s Edition) has stepped in. I’ve been coveting this machine for at least two years and talking about actually buying it for several months, but it wasn’t until a week ago Saturday (the […]

Week in Review

Monday, and I haven’t posted here in a week. I meant to, but never quite managed to translate my good intentions into any complete entries. This happens so often that my hard drive is cluttered with files named things like “00eh.doc”–two lines about how Hudson’s became Marshall Field’s became Macy’s which now spark no recollection […]

Tired but Happy

This past weekend, three of my friends from work and I went to the American Quilters Society show in Paducah, Kentucky. I’ve heard people talk about this event for almost the whole time I’ve been quilting, saying how big it was and how great the quilts were. I’ve never been to it, though, in part […]

Back from Retreating

Today I am living proof that going on a quilting retreat is more tiring than one might imagine. The sitting and sewing wasn’t so strenuous, of course, but the staying up late and getting up early and near-constant social interaction wore me out. Not that anyone forced me to do any of that–I chose to. […]

Quilt To Do v. 2007.02

I’m going on a quilting retreat this weekend, which means I need to decide which project(s) to bring to work on, which means it’s a perfect time to update my quilt to do list, which I haven’t done in over a year. In the time since then, I finished four of the eight quilts I’d […]

Good Clutter

  Last night I said I wanted to make more time for quilting, and today I did just that, pondering and ironing and cutting and playing with fabric. The picture above shows what my sewing (a.k.a. dining) room table looks like right now. It’s a good thing we have an eat-in kitchen and rarely host […]

Quilt Labels

A friend said she’d like to know more about how I do the labels on my quilts and since I’ve just done one, this seemed like a good time to document my current process. Here are the steps: 1. If it’s a baby quilt, find a picture of the baby if possible. Usually it is […]

Textile Thursday

It’s been months since I last shared additions to my fabric stash, which makes sense because I haven’t been making many additions. I have bought a few things lately, which I was reminded of when I went to put something away in the closet and saw the stack of prints waiting to be put away […]

Quilt Expo

This past weekend, before I ran (mostly) the 4K and before I got bit by the dog, I went to a quilt show with my mom. I wasn’t sure she would feel up to it, though she has been getting healthier and stronger and able to do more and more over the last few months, […]

Nifty Notion #2

  The picture above shows another of my favorite quilting notions, Triangles on a Roll, which I used to sew 80 half-square triangle units last night. I could have cut 160 individual triangles and arranged them in pairs and been careful to not stretch the bias edges as I sewed, or I could have drawn […]

Guild Show

Today my camera and my cable and I are all in the same room, so I can share a few pictures from the quilt show that Denise and I went to on Sunday. As I was deciding which shots I wanted to write about, I realized that this will be the first time I’ve posted […]

Nifty Notion #1

(Possibly the first in a series, thus the number).   The latest quilt I’m working on is at a stage where some fiddly trimming of each block is needed before I can sew it to its neighbor. No one’s forcing me to do the trimming, of course–I could take a more relaxed approach and just […]

Quilt History

I went to the tiny historical museum in town over the weekend because when I went to pick up Definitely Dead at the library on Saturday (the person who had it finally brought it back, but I was thwarted in my plan to pick it up after work that night and dive right in because […]

I Can Explain

Buried in the clean laundry I need to put away are some additions to my fabric stash. I know; I need more fabric like I need to keep reading vampire books. And unlike last time, I can’t even justify the bulk of my purchases by saying I plan to use them in current projects in […]

Fabric Friday

Instead of working today–Good Friday is a Purple Systems holiday–I happily spent some time with Denise and Tess. After fortifying ourselves with lunch, we commenced with the fabric shopping. I know, I know–I already have a closet full of fabric, so why the shopping? Well, as it turns out, I don’t have quite what I […]

HP Craft Updates

  My Ravenclaw scarf has a new patch on it. I lost the original one when it fell off last month one very cold Saturday when I wore it out and about. Maybe the iron-on adhesive wasn’t tested in extreme weather conditions, or maybe I didn’t get a good bond. Since I’m not sure where […]

Sew and Sew

So I did something new this weekend–I went to a quilt retreat. Of course I’ve been to quilt shows and shops, quilt classes and lectures, but never a retreat. Assemble thirty or so women ranging in age from their twenties to their seventies, sewing machines ranging in age from one to thirty-something, sewing supplies in […]

Harry Potter Fabric

A few people have asked about the Harry Potter fabric I used in my latest quilt, so I figure there are at least a few more who did not ask but would like to know, so here we go. First, where to buy it: eBay. As far as I know, the only officially licensed HP […]

Quilt To Do List

It’s been a couple years since I used this space to do a quilting to do list, so I figure the time has come for an update. There were twelve projects in my queue back in December of 2003: seven baby quilts (!), a thank you quilt, a memory quilt, and three things for me: […]

QuiltCon 3

QuiltCon is over for another year. Actually, it’s been over since late Monday afternoon, but somehow a couple days slipped by without me sitting down to write about it. As in the first two years, it was just me and Mel. For a while it looked as if amandapage might be joining us, but that […]

Pressing Matters

In about five hours, I’ll head to the airport to pick up Mel for QuiltCon 3. If I were a super hostess, I suppose I’d be spending this time doing things like arranging flowers and making radish roses, but I am so not. There are clean sheets and new pillows on the guest bed, and […]

Fabric Shopping Debrief

Today, let us ponder the fabric I bought in Kansas, which as of last night is finally all out of my suitcase, ready to be washed in my traditional weekend festival o’ laundry, held pretty much every Saturday and/or Sunday I’m at home. But first let us ponder why before I could turn the fabric […]

Letter to Myself

Dear Karen, I’ve just spent most of a weekend–and some non-trivial time each of the several days before that–reorganizing your fabric stash. I couldn’t quite finish the job to my satisfaction, but it’s in much, much better shape than the chaos you had let it slide into. Having touched and moved the majority of the […]

Spring IQF, Round 3

I went to Chicagoland this past weekend for the Spring International Quilt Festival. Erica and I have gone to it together every year they’ve had it–that’s three so far. We’d planned to make it a road trip again this year, but she called me on Tuesday night to share the news that she’d gotten a […]

The Quilt That Isn’t

The museum at my alma mater, Michigan State University, is having a quilt silent auction. I first heard about this when it was mentioned in the quilt guild announcements back in September, I think it was. Since I not only graduated from MSU but volunteered as a docent at the museum for a while when […]


My mushroom quilt didn’t make the grade for the Hoffman Challenge. I’ve known for a few weeks that I didn’t win any of the prizes, since those quilts were posted on the website about the same time as the 2005 fabric was announced and I’d clicked through them then, but that was okay because I […]

Pillowcase Power

I do occasionally sew things that aren’t quilts, most recently two pillowcases (small ones, for a travel pillow). Of course, since I got the directions and a kit for the first one at a quilt shop, it’s not like I took a huge leap into the unknown. Since I might make more and because the […]

Bits and Pieces

This is not my quilt–it was made by my friend Nita, whom I’ve never actually met in person. She’s one of my online Artist’s Way buddies. While I didn’t make the quilt, I did make some of the blocks. Nita did the illustration for an article Mr. Karen wrote about a kayak trip for a […]

QuiltCon 2

I spent last weekend in Houston, visting Mel for our second annual quilting get together. At the start, my trip seemed charmed. Despite rush hour and a slew of accidents resulting from the rainstorms that had just gone through, I got to the airport Friday evening with plenty of time to spare. I found a […]

I’m Dreaming of a Quilty New Year

In what might become a holiday tradition (we’ve done it twice now), my mother-in-law Joan and I went to the quilt shop today to turn my Christmas money into fabric. Unlike at the malls, there were no half-price bargains to be had, but there were no crowds of bargain hunters to contend with, either. Since […]

Quilt List

My quilting to do list just got longer because I got a commission to make two baby quilts. Now, calling it a “commission” is rather more high falutin’ than the situation merits, since I’ll only be getting the cost of the materials and I didn’t have any competition in getting the job, but I’ve decided […]

From a Tiny Start, a Mighty Con May Grow

I took a quick trip to Houston this past weekend for what history will record (as long as I’m writing it) as the first-ever TUS QuiltCon. Mel and I organized it and, to keep things manageable, were the only attendees. Maybe next year we’ll invite other people, though we’ll probably have to limit them to […]

Quilting Outside the Lines

One of my Christmas presents to myself this year was Signs & Symbols: African Images in African American Quilts. I’ve wanted this book since I first saw it in a bookstore years ago; I didn’t buy it then because it was an expensive hardcover and my budget was pretty tight. After a few raises, I […]

Swag-a-thon 2002

This past weekend at my house was a flurry of manipulating graphics, printing, choosing fabric, ironing, cutting, sewing, and cursing. Yes, the time had come to get serious about swag for JournalCon. (“Swag” still sounds funny to me in this context, since the first thing I see when I think of that word is drapery, […]

Quilt Guild Virgin

It’s the first day of autumn, and the weather has turned suitably chilly. Saturday was shorts weather, and we walked to the ice cream stand after dinner and ate our cones outside. This morning it was cold enough that I could see my breath as I walked to the car to head to work. Hot […]

Rules for Making Quilts

Notes: I updated yesterday’s entry with another surprise and also added to the glossary as I was writing this entry, because it is very heavy with quiltspeak. *** Evaluating the kitty baby quilt, I mentioned I’d violated some rules without remorse, such as “don’t use more than one color of quilting thread” and “don’t use […]

More Quilt Stuff

Item number 6 on my quilting to do list dropped off yesterday, as the father of the baby gave his two-week notice, and it was only the coworker connection that put that one on the list in the first place. So, no coworking, no quilt. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of other projects […]

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