Saturday, December 13, 2008


Open Time for Stocking Swap from QuiltChat!

My chat buddy & Stocking Swap swappee (she sent to me & I sent to her) is Sharon-UK with a delightful blog to look through.
This was a lot of fun this year, both sending and receiving, as I found some great things I just know she will adore.
But look at my loot!
Red-white-blue stocking (large)
hand knitted socks!!!
lined project bag with zipper bag
magazine about knitting
pattern for Bento Box quilt & cross-stitch card
gorgeous indigo fabrics!
lovely little striping yarn
cute little house magnets
a little squishie bear & key chain (both UK themed)

Thanks Sharon! This was great fun!

One question: What are these things for?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Too cute for cabbage?

See... I fall in love with delicious fabrics.

Then I get all practical and say "I should make a grocery bag- with these fabrics, it will be way cuter than those cheap store bought totes."
So I do. And it IS cute.
In fact, I used lots of cute, as the bag is lined with cute, and has different fabrics on either side of the outer. And even more in an orphan block turned pocket.

But now I don't want to put wet and smelly things in. But I really want to show it off!

If you decide to make a tote, don't forget to inlude a side loop for a bottle of wine. Next time, I will probably use a velcro closure. Maybe. Also- put a little loop at the top of the back so the bag can be held upright on those plastic bag dispensers at the store.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Acquisition Management

Look what I won!
A lovely bag of fat quarters :)
Of course, this was way back in September. during my little trip up north to joined my friends at the quilt retreat east of Vancouver BC. I won Bingo. (Which means that I am calling bingo next year lol)
Here is a link to my retreat post from last year.

Look at the yummy Christmassy fabrics and batiks. There are even a couple butterfly fabs... I am not sure what they will go into, but I love them.

Winning is fun :)

When I returned home, I was delighted to find my name had been added to a mailing list. Not something you hear very often, I know. But really! I got my first weaver's catalog- full of all these fibers and tools. Yarn Barn of Kansas- really neat stuff.
Here is the site: and I am sure they would add your name if you asked :)

Another fun thing I recently added to my life:
another book. (Please see alternate blog for more information re Sarah & Books.)

One of the many groups I belong to is the Olympia Weaver's Guild. This is a fabulous group of amazing weavers, spinners, dyers, and fiber people.
And we have really excellent speakers. The October presentation was by Larkin Van Horn, who is an art quilter and bead artist. And author! And I just couldn't pass up her book- for bead artists, it is just stunning. If you ever have a chance to see her quilts in person, take it.
To see her work, visit her site:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fibers in my fingers

Alas- no photographic evidence. But I promise, I spent the day doing fiber-y things. Weave-fibers to be exact.
I was asked to help out at the Tumwater Harvest Festival
We spent the whole day introducing curious youngsters (and somewhat too-shy-to-try teens & adults) how a loom works. Lana, a member of my Weaver's Guild, brought three of her tabletop looms- all two-harness counterbalance, which are Perfect for explaining things on. And Edith brought a little hand loom she made from a bit of styrofoam packaging, which was a great way to explain what the machinery did.
Mostly the children, under 9 years, came right up and wanted to try it, and got somewhat enthralled. The ones older than that had to be encouraged a bit- that was my challenge. The adults were the worst, of course.
So I am now sitting with the dog, feet propped up with a lovely drop of Brandy.
And I have 2 things I am promising myself:
NO MORE BEING TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL. That's right. If it looks interesting, I am now obligated to try it. And forget the notion of being sophisticated or grown-up or whatever the notion is that keeps me holding myself back. I am committed to a course of looking foolish. Because didn't someone really smart say that Success isn't the knack of staying upright, but the knack of getting up after falling.
Number 2, I need to get the floor loom repaired and warped.
Although to be honest, I may allow myself to put that one off if I can borrow that 8-harness table top my guild has! Heehee

Friday, September 5, 2008

Round Robin completion- WOW!

I am so glad I joined the Migrating Robin with the others from WASIQ. It really stretched me in design, and balance. And I got a FANTASTIC quilt top.

This salmon block is the Center I sent out in the mail 6 months ago. Perhaps to become a spawning salmon... I had no idea how it would look when I got it back. It was very nerve wracking for me. But I was excited to work on everyone else's tops. And really, the six months just flew past.

This is the top I just received!

That is all I could say. I am so impressed with all the work, and the way everyone worked to add dynamic to each row and how they all harmonized to create a story. Now I have to figure out how to finish it. I am considering finishing with a very simple edge. But... it is large. If I add some to the top and the bottom, it could be a bed size quilt. So a lot to consider. But for now, just a lot to appreciate.

Here are the other quilts I helped to make.

I want to say thank you to all my friends from the local quilt shops & WASIQ & Washington Stars who gave me advice when I was scratching my head over What to add and How to do it and Which colors to use. You know who you are, and I thank you so much!

This is first top I worked on, Sue's quilt. It was just the very center 4 images. We were challenged to add a row using triangles. And EVERY row had to have something about Where We Live. The central block was all these great farbics with bits of gold. So I added more sparkle and pine needles. If you are from the pacific northwest, you know about pine needles. They are here. They are staying Get used to it. This was a fun top to start this project! And I was all excited to see what was next. I even finished EARLY and sent it out early. Completely Unheard Of for me LOL

The second top I received was this one below. Holly started it out with a really stunning Mariner's Compass in hand-dyes and batikes. The first round (triangles) was obviously mountains, so I decided to do a water reflection thing for Round Two , where we were to do something with squares or rectangles. And I had exactly the right purply batik that reminded me of that slick look the puget sound gets when you are crossing by boat, over deep water. And I got to use some hand-dyes I had made at retreat a few years ago too. I have been especially eager to see how this top evolved and Became.

Cindy's top started with the little block on point with darling chickadees. When I received it, the blue/neutral row was the outside. It was getting very dramatic at this point, so I decided to do stomething to harmonize the elements I was seeing. Cindy had included a nice assortment of fabrics we could pull in, so I added the tiny stripy border and then a nice wide border of green with just a few trees. Very simple. I really love that the applique-border persone was able to utilize the green too. That cardinal is great! (And you can Click Here to see Cindy's blog too.)
The fourth round was "applique", and I received Sharon's top to work on. This top was so strong in its geometric focus that I really felt I needed to continue that- I just could not see adding soft lines. I did a lot of sketching and thinking about this top to figure out how I could add to it. I discovered there were some shapes that could be extended out to the next round. So I pieced the round and just added simple shapes to the corners, representing my area- capitol building, salmon, trees, Mt Rainier.

Mary's quilt top was the final stop in this Migration, for me. And it was the very most difficult top for me to figure out. After much study and standing on my head and vetting of fabrics, I decided to add three rows of ocean waves- the half square triangles set on point. But that was a bit overwhelming when I got some one. So I nixed the middle all-greens row and just used the two rows: An inner starting with the focus fabric, and outer finishing with Blues. One of the things I learned in this rop is how different everyone's definition of balance and harmony is.

This Round Robin was a really excellent learning experience for me. I had to stretch to find harmony in other people's choices, and figure out what they thought of as balance. And I learned which skills I need to bone up on. (triangles!) I also discovered some great tricks and tips to help me along. The trick of taking a photo of your project, in both color and black/white, and seeing what stands out in each one was a big help. You will see new aspects of your work and your material choices if you do this.

The photo pictured here is actually a snap shot I took when I received Sharon's quilt. See how the grayscale image allows you to see diferent shapes and values?

Again, thanks to Everyone who chipped in an opinion and gave me ideas to help me do my bit. Thank you to all the ladies who made my quilt. And THANK YOU to Kathy who put this together. Bravo!

One more quilt, I almost forgot! This is Kathy's quilt. I never got to see this beauty, as there were 7 participants and only 6 rounds. But what a great top!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I got Squishies!

yaa yaa yaa!
I got 2 squishies in the mail today. (Plus a little gift for a client, which I get to deliver to her tomorrow.)

The first squishie has an AirMail sticker on it and came from someone in France- my ALQS quiltlet! I made my husband come out with all my hollering and carrying on LOL
But of course, you all want to know, Who made it???

Ann- from enbellefrance, made me this most wonderful modern flavored quilt of strong colors and shapes. Plus a great postcard (it will go on my wall of postcards from far flung places) and these two really amazing little books. (Ann, you should tell the maker of these tiny notebooks to sell on Etsy or whatever you have on that side of the pond.)

I love how she did the little corner hanging tabs. And take a look at the back of the quilt where you can see the quilting a bit better- I love both sides!

Now... where to hang it. Office? Living room? Bedroom? Above my loom?

The second squishie is the next round of the Round Robin I am doing. I sent my central block off a few months ago and have been diligently working on the Robins that came through. But we are not allowed to show what we are working on- EEEeeeee

I would love to share what I have been doing, but the rules say "No". So this is a bit of a teaser for someone else :)

I have to add a border of applique... so will have to start ASAP.

I love squishies. This is great fun!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tote more!

More cuteness, this time for Newly 5 Year Old: my niece McKenna!

She should receive this in a week or so, and I do hope she likes it, all stuffed with stickers and markers and crayons and a big old Spongebob activity/coloring book.
I decided it needed a pocket both inside and out, plus how can prairie points be bad?

I hope I get some pictures of her using it!

I was able to whip this up at a sew-til-midnight session at South Sound Sew & Vac. So I thought I should really make a plug for feeding us pizza, giving me a place to run away and sew, and a chance to chat up other interesting women.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hooky & a Finish

I played a bit of hooky from work today and managed to put together this child-sized tote for a small friend who is going to Disneyland in a couple days. It is a birthday present (don't ask how late it is, eek!) and I hope she uses it to keep busy on that flight.

I stuffed it with colored pencils and a little sketch book and some stickers and other drawing paraphrenalia. It may be a tad old for her, but I know she will excited to get a grown up style gift like this.

I decided to make this a reversible tote- it is hard to see since I used the same fabrics inside & out. But you can see the difference at the seam lines on the pictures here, and I added a pocket to one side and a set of pockets to the other.

Now... I just have to get this to the child BEFORE she leaves on vacation!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Official-ness! Anyone else have one?

This is a patch I got during one of the membership drives for #QuiltChat- the IRC hosted chat that has been around since the early '90s. Tonight, during chat, a few of us were reminiscing.
I was just wondering if anyone reading this has one still, and maybe remembers which years they were sent out?
It would be great to reconnect with some of the past regulars who have drifted off!
I have been chatting in QuiltChat since 1994 or 1995 and my nickname is SarKarNor, in case you are trying to figure out which character I am.
(All quilters are welcome to join us! And we are from all around the globe, so it is very possible to find chatters in there round the clock.)

Another Little Finish

I love it when I complete things ahead of schedule! This doesn't have to be in the mail until July, but getting it done makes me feel very virtuous. Neener-neener-neener.
Actually, getting it done feels like a Victory, since I have a tendency to be the dreamer-of and starter-of things type of personality. Show me a thing, I will brainstorm the heck out of it! (In fact, I am at this very moment scheming a way to start a niche market e-retailer that I cannot talk about, Shhhh!)
This is a little quilt for the ALQS: Another Little Quilt Swap (link on the side over there --->) and my swappee, who I am not sure reads my blog... Hmm... I wonder if the organizer (the fantastic Kate) is planning a spectacular Reveal thingy.
I have been watching the progress on the main site of ALQS, and all the participator sites and wasn't sure this was going to come together as well as the other ones already posted did. But I am happy with its very cheerful self! And now that I have made this in the Doll Quilt size, with 2-inch finished 4-patches and little setting triangles, I may have to make this for myself! Very fun to do! And now that I have a little cheater graph for cutting the half-square and quarter-square setting triangles, not at all hard to plan.
Next Step- wrap and pack and throw in a little goody the recipient will love and ship it off! (Having a blog to look at has been a great way to figure out what someone likes.)
Kate- It will be in the mail Monday.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Quilt bloggers round the world!

Are you interesting in finding quilters around the globe? I am! (Just take a look at my blog role on the side --->)
Anyway, you can click on this link and search for quilty bloggers by location!
I have added mine, I hope you add yours.
As of today, there are 755 sites on this list, with a total of 30 countries represented.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


No, not the kind that we all fight against.

Real labels. For quilts!

Because in my guild, we get flogged when we forget to add one!

So here is proof that I made a label for the quilt I made.
I made it. Isn't it cute?

The quilt was auctioned off for a Habitat For Humanity fundraiser last March. The quilt was made of the winning posters of the annual Third Grade Poster Contest and some batik-white nine patch blocks I received in a swap from WASIQ members. The posters are from a county-wide contest my local Association of Realtors holds every year. (I am a Realtor, if you didn't know.)
But this is the first year we made a quilt from the posters. (I may have created a monster!)
The agent who bought it gave it as a gift to her broker, and my understanding it is going to hang at a local office for all to enjoy.
I also delivered it, so that is a FINISH!!!
Just in time for me to get started on the one for next year LOL But we hope to get it done sooner this year so we can raffle it off and raise even more money.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Too much work!

Not Enough fun time! (I always forget how busy I get in Spring, doing this stuff.)

I just looked at my blog and realized it has been entirely too long since I posted. But I have no pictures of finished things to share :(

I did buy one little thing...
I have been eyeballing the Eco Market Tote pattern by Favorite Things, so I broke down and bought the pattern. No time to make it, but I am satisfied because I will be able to make it when I have a moment.

So what sewing fun have I been doing?
  • Adding a hanging sleeve and label to the auction quilt.
  • Working on the next round of the Robin- this month's round is "rectangles".
  • Puzzling over the Doll Quilt- I am still in that brainstorming stage for that one, but I saw a great one at the guild meeting tonight that has captured my attention.

My quilt guild had our fun meeting tonight (we also have Business Meetings the first Tuesday fo the month). One of our members is a certified & very experienced quilt appraiser did a seminar about what judges at juried shows look for. She reviewed the different judging standards and talked about her experiences with that. And she also did a lecture about the different kinds of appraisals she works on- in this area, she does mostly appraisals for people getting ready to send quilts off for big shows!
I hope other guilds have the kind of expertise ours does, and remember to call on them to share what they know.

The most interesting thing (fiber-related) I did in the past couple weeks was during my Weaving guild's meeting last Friday. We had an absolutely inspiring speaker- a fiber artist from Northwest Washington named Anita Luvera Mayer. She is not only incredibly funny and talented, she is dramatic and passionate and vibrant. And if you ever have a chance to hear a lecture from her, GO!
I loved her story about how when she went to the first weaver's Convergence in Chicago, she made a commitment to herself to make her own clothes. And she did! She was wearing this amazing dress, which is all small squares of hand dyed silks, over the surface, like little prayer flags. It was on the cover of one of her five books, so if you look her up, you will be sure to find it. She is currently having a show at the LaConner Quilt Museum (which is a really fun place to visit).

The other interesting thing that I did is attend the South Sound Yarn Crawl. Actually I only went to a few of the shops, but there were 16 shops who were part of this little yarn shop hop. Such YUMMY fibers!
I was very good and only bought a little bit of alpaca fingerling (on clearance at the Lamb's Ear in Tacoma). I have no idea what I will do with it yet- a lite alpaca hat would be nice??
But I loved it because I had not been to any of the shops I went to this weekend and I met some really fun shop owners.
Here is the website for the South Sound Yarn Crawl, if you are curious what we have available around here. (We are spoiled in this, much like we are for quilt shops.)

I think I may need a second job to support my fiberlust...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Five Fluff

Kate has challenged a few people to take up this Meme- it is an easy one. SO I am doing it, since hers made me chuckle and I immediately thought of what to say.

Five things Found in your Bag/Purse:
emergency dog leash
financial calculator
Starbuck's card
digital camera
tin of Altoids

Five Favourite Things in Your Room*:
silver water pitcher
turkey-shaped macarena whistle thing
orchid cactus on the shelf
painting by my friend Sasha Teter (who I have lost track of, where are you??)
metal coat/purse hanger in the shape of a Soldier Rabbit
(*not sure quite what to do with the phrase "your room" so I have simply chosen the room I am in at present - my office)

Five Things You Have Always Wanted to Do:
travel through outer space and meet aliens
grow a really productive garden
ride a horse well enough that I enjoy it
speak another language fluently
go to school without concern for financial responsibility

Five things you are currently into:
Lilly, my doglet
stripey bright things!
bits of sunlight
going to the ocean

I'm supposed to tag five people, but I am going to take the path trod by Kate:
If you Read it, You are Tagged!
So leave a comment and let me know where you are posting :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Quilts on Display in Downtown Oly

If you were anywhere near Olympia WA (my home) this weekend you likely heard the beating of the drums-made-from-things and the stomping of dancers as they wound their way through our downtown and huge waves and trees being towed down the streets by people in outlandish costume.

While these sounds and sights could happen at any moment around here, there was an actual purpose this weekend.

What you witnessed was our home grown spectacle, the amazing springtime event, the Procession of the Species parade!
It is an annual thing, held during our equally wonderful spring ArtsWalk. And while the parade is only a few hours once a year, the Art of ArtsWalk is still available to see.

ArtsWalk is a cooperative event between local artists and downtown businesses: the businesses host and display the art and the public gets to come and see what is what. Some of the art is installed for just the official day of the Walk, but others, like my Quilt Guild's display, is up for a week. Some is up for even longer.

I had the opportunity to host the Guild Display at Olympia's well-loved Browser's Books on Saturday afternoon. I met lots of nice quilters and quilters-in-planning, and got to tell them where the wonderful local shops are, who is teaching what kind of classes, hand out brochures and invite to attend a couple Guild meetings.
And we sold Raffle tickets to this cute little reproduction fabrics quilt. (Only $1 per ticket!)

If you would like to see the amazing quits in person, please stop in at Browsers. Or at least look at the wonderful window displays, full of miniature quilts, doll quilts, quilted postcards, softies and stuffed things like Sock Monkeys!

I also posted some other pictures of the weekend and some of the other Art at my work-related blog.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cute new shop!

In the Puget Sound area of Western Washington where I live, we are blessed with dozens of quilt shops, long arm quilters, quilt appraisals etc.
How many is this? I count 10 shops within a half hour drive of my house. (And here is a google map that shows the 56 shops on the Shop Hop this year: Map. This isn't even all the shops in the area!)
With so many places for the quilters to choose from, every shop strives to differentiate themselves and set themselves apart from the competition.

One of the members of my quilt guild recently opened her new shop for quilters and creafter in Tumwater: Ruby Street Quiltworks. She took over the space of a well known and well loved quilt shop called Quilters Quarters when the owners decided to focus on their longarm quilting business.

And the new shop is a complete success! She is carrying fabric lines no other shop has, tools and essentials, and has some very fun non-quilt related, but crafty and fun! I am doubly lucky in that she has invited my small Bee to come in to sew once a week. So when I get time away from my work schedule, I come in and sew around all these gorgeous fabrics.

And some minor naughtiness- it is really hard to resist the pretty things, like the Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

And the owner has just sent out an email that there is now Open Sew on Sundays: 11 to 3 pm, just bring your machine and project and get working. How much fun is that!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm #37!

"Another Little Quilt Swap" has been posted, and I jumped! So that makes me #37 of the swappers from around the globe. I can't wait to hear who I get to make for. These little quilts go together so quickly- the hardest part is figuring out what to do. I must of course say Thank You to our fabulous Hostess, Kate. Now I must go prowl the web to see what has been made on the other little swappies recently.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Half a Pug, plus

We had one of those pretty spring mornings recently, and the dog and the husband and I all went out for a very brisk walk at a nearby park. I got some great pictures too- shapes that I think may translate to a quilt...

Gorgeous tree shapes
An outdoor art exhibit of stones
Big toys make some great shadows!