Tuesday, August 26, 2014


If it seems like I've been off the grid, that's not far from the truth!
Internet is spotty, time warps are confusing, and days are full but I wanted to send you a greeting from Italy in the form of a postcard quilt. This photo was taken right outside our hotel in Venice where hubby and I spent the last few days.

We braved the crowds, saw the sights, and explored all over Venice before heading on to Padova where we are now. I know I'll just have to share more in the weeks ahead but here's just a little snapshot of some tasty treats found here in Padova....panini and tremazzini (sandwiches), a spritz - the afternoon beverage of choice both in Venice and here - and a most delicious espresso beverage - caffeine pedrocchi - espresso with mint cream on top and sprinkled with cocoa. Oh yeah!
So I'll check in now and then but no sewing for me for a bit . . . small price to pay for the experience we're having.

Oh and in case you missed it, my latest post on Sew Mama Sew went live yesterday. I shared 12 Fundamental Quilting Skills, good helpful links from gifted quilters, which I'm sure you'll enjoy perusing.

So take care dear friends, and I'll touch base again soon...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On the Go

When I saw the Simple Mesh Bag by The Inspired Wren on Pinterest, I thought it was so clever, and ordered some polyester hex mesh on the spot. I decided playing with my little stash of Cotton + Steel would be fun, and the bag was a quick easy sew.
But yeah, I had plenty of mesh left over, so I tried my hand at another bag of my own design. Measuring 6"x9 1/2", it's not perfect, but I kinda like it. One feature of this little bag is that I laminated the fabric you see through the mesh with Pellon's Vinyl Fuse, originally thinking it would be great for a traveling wash cloth and soap, but instead I filled it with my journal supplies. Either way it works. And though the horse fabric is subtle through the mesh, I thought it was still fun, and of course on the back, they're running free!
So of course I had to try again - this time making a "packing cube"-inspired bag. This one is 14" x 16" and turned out larger than I really wanted, but I was winging it - sewing on the fly - so whatever. It still will fit into my carry-on suitcase, which is what I was after.
So there you go - once again sewing up items I could have easily - and maybe more time-effectively - purchased, but now that just wouldn't be the same, now would it?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Canvas, Baby

When I needed to make a quick but sweet baby girl quilt last weekend, I jumped from one idea to another. And then it came to me. What would really be fun would be another Canvas quilt. A pattern by Leanne/shecanquilt, I'd made it twice before, as a wall quilt, and as a pincushion. Making it for a baby quilt sounded perfect.
I had made the other 2 Canvas projects in solids and linen. For this one, I alternated cotton solids with prints in the center. The borders are the most delightful Modern Solids in grey by In the Beginning. To quote Pink Chalk Fabrics, "These fabrics are yarn dyed, woven fabrics with one color in the warp and another color in the filling. The warp and weft threads are generally a tonal variation of the same color creating an iridescent look. The color changes as the cloth moves in the light. The base cloth has a silky smooth hand and beautiful drape." Oh yeah! It brought that pink to life.

For the backing I found a bright mod dot - Finlandia by Free Spirit. I actually received several yards of this in the Stashtacular flickr swap several years ago, and have hung onto it for who knew what. I thought it was perfect for this little quilt, and I still have enough left for another small backing, which makes me oddly happy.
Since "quick" was kind of a key factor with this one, I turned to my trusty serpentine stitch for quilting, choosing Aurifil 50wt #4670 (Silver Fox - love that!). It made me smile to sew with and added a subtle something special to the pinks and grey both. Binding, though not very evident in the photos, is the Sherbet Pips square dot, providing an understated little accent to finish things off.
Destined for a baby, I chose to wash Canvas, Baby, which also offered me the perfect chance to see the crinkle. Win again.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


One of my summer sewing traditions these last few years has been to participate in 100 Quilts for Kids, first sponsored by Katie/Swim Bike Quilt and currently by Heather/Quilts in the Queue. One thing I love about this quilt drive is that you are encouraged to donate your quilts locally. So each year, I've given mine to my local chapter of Project Linus.

I thought you might enjoy seeing the quilts I've donated in past years, as they have all been simple ones that have been fun yet non-stressful to sew together. I've linked each quilt name to the pattern or tutorial for easy reference.

Comic Strip (2011)
pattern and Sherbet Pips fabric by Aneela/comfortstitching 
Comic Strip quilt washed

Storytime Squares (2011) 
tutorial by Rae/made by RAE

Sweet Baby Girlie Charm Square Quilt (2012) 
tutorial by Elizabeth/Don't Call Me Betsy

Twinkle (2013)
Star Bright tutorial by Katie/Swim Bike Quilt

And while I'm hoping to make another donation quilt by the end of September, so far I have 2¢ Stamp all ready to go.

If you're interested in joining in, Heather posted a few ideas recently and has a Charity Quilt Inspiration board full of them. There's also the #100quilts4kids hashtag on Instagram and the finished quilt link up itself - plenty of inspiration to create a special quilt to share.

100 Quilts for Kids

Monday, August 18, 2014

Around the World

Last week, Tina of Seaside Stitches tagged me in the Around the World blog hop! I met Tina when I drew her name in the For the Love of Solids Swap a couple of years ago, and ever since, we've enjoyed keeping tabs on each other, and isn't making new friends the best part of swaps? And blog hops too, of course!
So as an Around the World blog hop participant, I was asked to answer some questions . . .

1. What am I working on? 
Distracted as I've been the last couple of weeks, my major w.i.p. is another version of my Spiraled quilt - the original is shown above, and here's a link to the more recent Spiraled Jungle. The current one is also in Sara Lawson's Jungle Ave., but not as scrappy as the last. Next up is the border before deciding on a quilting plan.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
Isn't this a question we all ask ourselves? For me, one thing is my habit of either using a pattern and putting my own tweak on it or as most often happens these days, being inspired by something I see and then creating something unique to me. 

One technique I enjoy using alot is matched binding, which I've used both straight and angled. Aurora, shown below, is an example where I've used the angled method. Tutorials for both can be found under the Tutorials tab above. 

3. Why do I write/create what I do? 
I write and create basically because doing so provides me with a deep sense of satisfaction - a way to be 'me' and share myself in a tangible way. Both processes are highly personal for me, and I confess, spending time in my studio writing or sewing provides calm in a hectic life in a way not much else does.

In my writing, I try to be as realistic as possible, and corny as it sounds, to write from my heart. I create what I do because something intrigues me - a pattern, a fabric, a design element . . .

FAITH Circle February quilt completed
And what I actually do create? Well it may be for a gift, for a guild challenge, for charity, or simply to use beautiful fabric or try out a pattern that looks fun, a design that needs out of my head and into fabric, or to hone a new skill. It's sometimes a jumble, but nearly always enjoyable.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
There are times that I sit down and just right a blog post from beginning to end. But more often, I start a post as I think of it - sometimes just a title. As I choose a palette or reference a link to a tutorial, I might add that in to 'save it' in a draft post. Or sometimes I fill a draft post with edited photos, then go back another day to write about them, or vice versa. I also keep a calendar. Nothing fancy, but I keep track of what's coming and pencil in what I might want to share. So I'm always thinking ahead.

As far as creating, anything with a deadline is top priority. But those aside, I most enjoy having several projects going at once. I find it motivates me to have a variety of things I'm working on, most often in various stages. It's not unusual to have a project (or 2) on the design wall, a couple of stacks of fabric ready to go on the cutting table, blocks ready to press on the ironing board, and a quilt ready to bind waiting for me on the couch for the next tv night. I keep a list on my phone of projects and 
deadlines so I can add to it no matter where I am. (I just looked and there are 17 items on the list!) Then there's the rare pleasure of ignoring all that, going to the stash for a random fabric pull, and starting something I'd just thought of - that just may be the best!

So that's it from me! Next Monday, on August 25, be sure and visit my friends Linda/Flourishing Palms and Kirsten/gemini stitches for their Around the World posts! Both are avid supporters of me and my work, Linda being the one who encouraged me to put my Common Affection quilt in my first quilt show, with happy results. And Kirsten and I met on flickr ages ago, share similar tastes, and have participated in numerous swaps and sew alongs together. 

The purpose of the Around the World blog hop is to introduce you to bloggers that you may not know about and are happy to have found. I hope that's true for you as you stopped by A Quilter's Table, and hop along from here . . .

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Show Continues

Since you enjoyed the mini quilt show last week, here's more! Darting Birds by Whitney (the peacock tree) of That Stash Bee had us using Whitney's own tutorial {here} for 6" finished blocks. Her palette is one of my favorites, and I really enjoyed how she arranged the blocks. Isn't it fun?

A current photo of my ástərisk, currently hanging in the Modern Metallic exhibit of Quilt!Knit!Stitch! in Portland, OR. I'm not able to attend the show, so it was nice that Cath of Wombat Quilts kindly took a photo of my quilt . . . which just happens to be hanging next to hers! Feel free to check out more of the goings on under the #quiltknitstitch hashtag on Instagram.
photo by @wombatquilts

And finally, here's a pair of snapshots taken during Sew & Tell last night at the meeting of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. We had each just shared our MQG Fabric Challenge projects before gathering together for this group shot. Boy there were some beauties there! See them closer plus all of the other projects shared last night in our guild flickr group.

That's it for now! Hope you enjoyed the show!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


It feels like ages since I've had a quilt finish, and alas, I don't have one today either. But I did finish a set of table runners that were quite enjoyable makes, and I am pleased to be able to mark them off my list.
They were inspired by a quilt by Lisa Call in the book, We Love Color. You can see Lisa's "Stepping Stones #1" quilt in her blog post here.

The tricky part was that I had very specific dimensions I wanted the finished runners to be, and none of the quilt block dimensions quite fit. So I got out my handy-dandy graph paper and sketched out 2 arrangements just the size I needed. To simplify things a bit, I made all the background strips between the blues and lighter grays to be 1 1/2" unfinished, and then basically did all the math one block at a time.
For quilting, I did straight-line throughout, 3/8" apart using Aurifil 50wt. #2625 (Arctic Ice), and I think it suits the "stepping stones" just right.

Just for the record, the square piece measures 24", and the oblong is 16"x53".
It was challenging yet satisfying to make these pieces "my own" while clearly inspired by the quilt in We Love Color. But letting inspiration take me to a whole new place won out once again.

This project was on my Q3 Finish-A-Long list. Linking up with Finish It Up Friday and Fabric Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday at the Table

Please don't laugh when I tell you that I got misty within the first 10 minutes of a movie I saw last weekend. But it wasn't due to romance nor was it because of tragedy. It was seeing food being shared around the table. It began with the caring act of a stranger placing a platter of simple foods in front of a family of weary travelers. And it didn't stop there. It was the sprinkling of spices, the taste from a spoon, the bringing together of cultures in the kitchen, the learning from each other. It was an omelette.

If you love food and the table as much as I do and you have the opportunity, I encourage you to see The Hundred Foot Journey, based on the novel by Richard C. MoriasBon appétit.

“Never be afraid of trying something new . . . very important. It is the spice of life.” 
― Richard C. Morais, The Hundred-Foot Journey

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bee Boasting

It's always a treat to see finished quilts made from bee blocks, and if you're like me, you search for your own contribution. Do you ever have to go back (like I often do) to be reminded what your block(s) looked like? Well I've got beautiful finishes to share today from every bee I'm in, which I find very cool indeed.

Melissa/Me1issa of FAITH Circle just finished her Shape Shifters quilt, with the most exquisite quilting. You can read all about it here and see the quilting close up, and if you're as smitten with Melissa's Shape Shifters block as we all were, you'll find the tutorial in her post here.

Also for FAITH Circle, Anita/RhubarbPatch asked for Wonky Log Cabin blocks, and made the sweet quilt below. I love that it has three borders, and the diamond grid quilting is unique and fun. Here's Anita's blog post about her quilt.
All quilts made by FAITH Circle are currently being donated to Restore Innocence, an organization devoted to helping young girls rescued from sex trafficking. I just know these 2 new contributions will be a comfort to their recipients.

On to the Always Bee Learning bee where Hettie/hettie k asked for Trip Around the World blocks. Here's the block tutorial we used. Isn't this pattern always a winner?

In That Stash Bee, Cathy/blueberry patch cathy had us make 16-Patch blocks using this tutorial and made this delightful picnic quilt! When I saw the photos in her blog post, I wanted to drop everything and run right over!

Mid-Century Modern Bee's Carla/Carlaf2 gave us choices! First she suggested arrow blocks using her own tutorial, or if we preferred, an Anna Maria Horner feather. As you can see, she got some of each, plus made a few other blocks herself to help create her own quilt design. Love it with the low-volume background, don't you? **Can you believe I got so excited to share this with you, I forgot it wasn't quilted yet! Please forgive and go read Carla's post about this flimsy. I know I'll be watching for the big reveal to come!**

Hope you enjoyed this little show and tell! You can see why it's certainly a pleasure to sew with my talented bee-mates!

Friday, August 8, 2014


Even though I'm working on a couple of larger projects, I snuck in a few small ones this week and enjoyed that little breather.
First were two pouches. The Dumpling Pouch by Michelle Patterns was a new one to me, and isn't it cute?! I did "the easier one" (yes, there are two on the pattern sheet) and I'm glad I did. Just because it's small, the turning was a little finicky. I do think I'll try a thinner batt the next time, but the technique itself was so clever, and don't be afraid of that curved zip, as it's easy peasy. The pattern suggests hand basting, though I was brave and just pinned with my littlest pins - worked like a charm.
Next was a zakka pouch from Zakka Style - a pattern I made back with The Zakka Style Sew Along. Here's the original, more like the pouch in the book, done in hexies and tweed . . .
And here's the latest, done in bright modern fabric, without the linen corners. I like it both ways, and even though you can't see the bright purple zip I put in this new one, the slight curve along the bottom is more prominent - a feature I really like. Either way, it's a great little pattern by Hey Porkchop! and it was fun to revisit.
The next little project were some Cotton+Steel luggage tags, using the tutorial by Flamingo Toes. The first one I made is on the right below, and see how it has a 'pocket' on the flip side of the vinyl? That's designed for business cards - a clever idea for sure, but since I used the vinyl I had on hand, certainly thicker than the recommended 12 gauge, the little thing was very difficult to turn. So on the next few, I left off that pocket. Options are good, don't you think?
So the two salmon ones are for me, and the two navy are for hubby - similar but different.
By the way, when I showed hubby the first holder, he was concerned about our address info coming out of the vinyl pocket. So at his suggestion, I added a teeny-tiny (1/4" by 3/4") velco fastener to the pockets of the remaining tags. You can see the stitching on the one in the photo below.
So back to the bigger projects waiting, yes indeed!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

This and That

With all sorts of sewing retreat opportunities popping up around the country, I was intrigued to hear about one held totally online! Apparently, “The Sewing Party” is the first ever online-all-day DIY event in history!
The Sewing Party
"On November 8, 2014, thousands of DIY-ers will gather for a fun-filled day of sewing and crafting classes taught online by leading bloggers and educational experts. It’s all about Connecting. Crafting. And Creating." And isn't that what it's all about for DIY-ers like you and me?!

I've already got a guild retreat planned for that weekend (kind of ironic, no?) but are any of you considering attending The Sewing Party? Attendees will have access to more than 30 online classes available on the day of the event and for an additional 90 days, which is a nice feature. Classes include home décor, fashion sewing, quilting, upcycling, crafting, costume design, techniques for turning your craft into an business and more. I kinda love that it's for all sorts of creative types, and since most of us do more than one type of crafting, even better. Here's a link to the classes and the educators if you want to know more.

If you're on Instagram, no doubt you've seen all the posts touting the new KONA cotton solids. How big is the color card going to be now?? Do you have a favorite? Here's a few that have caught my eye so far.
I happened across Robert Kaufman's Kona Cotton Solids board on Pinterest - definitely worth a glance!

So how are you with circles? Aren't they just more popular than ever? I've done my share, but still am not 100% comfortable with them, so I read the latest installment of Decipher Your Quilt with great interest. Do you follow the series by she can quilt and Elven Garden Quilts? Check it out, as it's full of helpful and useful quilty math info.

And lastly for today, I just have to share a lovely project I came across yesterday. It's by Carly of Citric Sugar, and I must say, I'm just smitten with these placemats! The shot cottons and chambray, the method, the palette with that pop of orange, the quilting, the MATCHED BINDING! Yeah, I pretty much love it all.
photo by Citric Sugar, used by permission
Do go read Carly's blog post about them and see more of what I'm talking about. Seriously, I'm not sure I could push away from the table if I had placemats like these, ha.

That's it! Hope you have a terrific day . . .

Monday, August 4, 2014

August Bee Blocks

The truth is, I have things to do, places to go, and people to see. So this month, I wanted to get my bee blocks done as quickly as I could.

Anita/RhubarbPatch of FAITH Circle shared her own tutorial for Highclere Castle blocks on her blog, Bloomin' Workshop. These blocks are a great use for string scraps and I enjoyed that Anita asked us to use a scrappy low-volume background.

On to Mid-Century Modern Bee, where Mary/Mary @ Molly Flanders asked for scrappy HST blocks with the printed fabrics toward the center and the solid on the outside of the block. Her preferred background was pale pink, and luckily I had some on hand. I added in just a few pieces of Kona Snow to add to the scrappiness. These blocks are 6.5 inches unfinished, so I made 4, the equivalent of a finished 12" block. (I cut squares to make the HSTs 4" and then trimmed the blocks to 3.5 inches after stitching.)

And lastly, my first Pineapple block was made for Elizabeth/occasionalpiece of the Always Bee Learning bee. In this bee, we send each other the fabric we want our blocks made from. I confess that was a blessing this month and really sped up the construction process. Elizabeth also sent us translucent paper patterns as the foundations for our blocks. I hadn't worked with that product before, but I really liked using it. There are photos and details about it plus a link to this 8" block pattern over at Occasionalpiece-Quilt.
And with that, I'm bidding farewell to the Always Bee Learning bee as we finish up this round. Thanks, girls, for a fun 2 years of sewing together. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fresh Sewing Day

Where June had lots of smaller projects, July had zilch. There were the requisite bee blocks and a couple of charity blocks . . .

. . . and a tutorial! It's always a treat to add a new tutorial to the tab above, and last month it was for Big Batch HSTs. This method of making 18 HSTs at a time really pared down the time it took to make 150+ HSTs for my current Spiraled quilt, which is still a w.i.p. on the design wall.
HSTs 18 mosaic

Then there were 3 quilt finishes:
2¢ Stamp, which took a major sidetrack mid-construction, but I was really pleased with how it ended up, especially with the grid quilting echoing the patchwork squares.
2¢ Stamp Quilt

Rectangles In Rotation, my entry in the MQG Fabric Challenge.
Rectangles In Rotation

And version 2.0 of The Postcard Quilt became Duo, about 2 1/2 times larger than version 1.0.
DUO :: A Postcard Quilt
So that's what I managed to accomplish for July. I'm kind of struggling with the sew-jo heading into August, so hoping I feel it soon!

Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts.