Charity for Calgary


I made my #justoneslab block for Alberta disaster recovery and I’m mailing it (typical for me) at the absolute last minute! Cheryl Arkison organized it based on a block from her “Sunday Morning Quilts” book. I loved this book and it was really fun to improvise this block. Thank you Naptimequilter for organizing such a fun charity project!

I had to include this irresistable “Goodnight Moon” fabric. This book had special meaning in our house because my partner and I memorized it to recite to our oldest daughter when we were trying to transition her to her own room. I hope it helps someone transitioning in Canada.

Good morning from Austin!

My amazing day started yesterday morning when I finally finished sewing my Amy Butler rural messenger bag. I finished the topstitching at 9:15 but still had time to spare for my 11:40 am flight to Austin. The plane was full of Quiltcon attendees from Anchorage, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

I arrived in time to register for quiltcon and get my beautiful luscious gift bag and program before hitting the bars on 6th street and finishing off a lovely evening with ceviche at parkside. This is the electrical panel at Burnsides.

This is the view out my apartment window this morning. I am rooming with 4 women I met yesterday. Quilters rock!

I finished my last breadtab this morning over coffee. I barely slept and was inspired that my newfound friends liked my offbeat and completely loopy rambling. I’m so thrilled to be travelling on my own and meeting so many new people. Now I have to come up with a new Austin-inspired applique project to reflect my joy. I am off the convention soon, do happy to be able to take this time to be me.

Madrona Road Finish and Start

Snip Stitch Sew!I really do work much better with deadlines than I used to. When my beloved Pfaff started to heat up 2 weeks ago I immediately realized that my delays in the Madrona Road Challenge were about to cause me to fail: the post-Christmas backlog of machine servicing put “Pam’s” return date at February 6th. A full two weeks without a machine, and its not like I have the spares I used to! Fortunately my friend Toni rescued me, but I wasn’t going to machine quilt with the Threadbanger, so I hand-quilted my sewing machine cover (ironic isn’t it, I just wanted a pretty one) for the Michael Miller sponsored Modern Quilt Guild Challenge. And I even borrowed a camera and did the photo shoot on my mom’s quilt while it was still daylight on January 31st…this is progress!

I am thinking of putting a little eyelet in the “needle” eye at the top of this cover so my upright thread spool can poke through.

And the best part is, I got a call on February 1st that Pam was ready to come home, so now I have a proper picture with the cover over the hard plastic case instead of the Girl Guide Cookie box I used in the other photo.

I was so happy to have the machine, that I started the second Madrona Road top that I just completed this morning. I’ve been wanting to piece consumate V’s for a while, and this is the first improvisationl block I’ve done that didn’t leave me having to work out any math halfway through piecing the top. Although I did have to supplement the original 1.5 yards of the Kaffe Fassett shot cotton background with an additional 15 inches for the interstitial blocks. If I can baste it after my trip to the gym (I finally joined a gym and have discovered that half a workout can be done while reading a kindle – so I already look forward to 30 minutes of uninterrupted reading on the elliptical!), I’m hoping to be quilting the day away with a view of the Superbowl and not one but two lap quilts to run Pam all over.

Bread Tabs

Although I had Halloween costumes to make and hoped to finish two smaller quilts at the end of this month, inspiration struck me in the weirdest way when I was putting a bread tab into the junk drawer and noticed my collection. Saving bread tabs seems to say a lot about me as a enviro-hoarder, but I also really loved the shape, I mean how perfect is it for square block applique? And of course a hand applique project is just what I needed right now (no, it isn’t). I just finished my 4th blue one so I am almost ready to make a THIRD quilt this month. Can I do it, or will video games keep me away?

Summer Stitch and Bitch plans

Mr. BCA is away from the computer negotiating a contract that would put him in Kirkland part-time for the next month. We may try to piggyback down with him before the school year starts up again. Its been a weird couple of days for both of us to adjust to this new arrangement after he’s been home all summer. The time is right and the time apart will be healthy for both of us but its still tough to get used to so quickly. Thankfully I have no problem with the bus and being withou the car when school begins up here, even though we have a lot going on, its all busable or walkable. I’m even getting the wheel on Ti’s bike fixed today so we may even experiment with riding to school. Crane is getting better about walking places too and in general is less clingy, thanks to two parents being mostly around all summer. We didn’t do enough house work and re-org because we are giant slackers and super procrastinators so we need to spend the precious few days before he leaves getting cleaned up.

He is awesome and I love him and I’m glad we got to rearrange our relationships this summer. Its amazing how time flies when you’ve got kids, our 5th wedding anniversary is this week. I am so jealous of friends who have been spending weekends away together without kids to celebrate that kind of thing, but our family has gone all diasporic. We’ll get our day. In the meanwhile I’m just glad we enjoy each other so much, even through all the petty house stuff, kid discipline, fights, and general weight of years of being together. We barely fought with him home this time and that was a big change. He’s got the hang of what it means to contribute to the house and kids and even better, fully supports me not pursuing the engineering thing even though I’m sorely tempted to give him a break. He likes my energy and what I exercise on our whole little nest by being outside the straight job/life thing, an din someways its good balance for him because even when he complains I can’t imagine him not off at work power-mongering. Despite my lack of organization, I am still holding a candle for my fiber arts collective work and lots of things are moving on that front right now. I may have an art partner/understudy (and our families click) and am getting the basement ready to host stitch and bitch and coop projects next month. Gah! It beautiful outside, and I’m going back in the basement.

all that advance warning

and I still am a day late to wish a Happy happy Birthday!

We are enjoying a two parent summer and generally enjoying life. Mr BCA helped me organize a bunch of stuff in the basement and now tonight a fiber artist is coming over to use my serger, but its really a ruse to meet each other and discuss sharing the studio space in the basement. Although I may be returning to school and/or work in the next two years I am really excited to be adding a bi-monthly stitch and bitch night downstairs this year. Despite having two volunteer jobs I also hoep to put together a simple project for a spring afterschool enrichment class for 6-9 year olds. I have an 8 year old boy who can’t wait for me to teach him to learn to sew and it would be great to get 5 or 6 kids into a little group to learn. I am on the PAC executive as secretary (essentially the PTA) and still doing the co-op preschool thing but I may not be on that executive this year, so hopefully I have trading sewing time at one meeting with babysitting for another. Also in the works, new raised garden beds in the backyard (by a landscaper, no I am not attempting to dig up 20 feet of day lilies again this summer). My partner and I are learning to develop ourselves independantly and he is rocking on the guitar and I am doing lots of dyeing and sewing and quilting…I hope some of it sticks with us when school begins and he (theoretically) returns to work sometime before Christmas. Whew that was a lot of big plans, I swear to god I have been slacking in all the best ways. For now we are weathering out the wait in Vancouver as if there is no downside.

Why do I have to love quilting?

I do, I like it in some ways better than painting. Except: it takes so fucking long for me to make a quilt. Spending 8 hours on my stepsister’s yesterday helped me to realize that. I’ve probably alrady put more than 20 hours into it and I still have a ton of piecing and applique to do. Yes, I realize I’m incredibly ineffiicient and as I start to spend more time away from my husband and in my sewing space I realize that will help me pick up the pace, but still. I love her quilt, I do, but I’ve spent 45 minutes this morning just rearranging blocks because I somehow goofed a row when I was picking them all up in order yesterday, all 48 x 24 pieces. Go figure. I also can’t find my camera now, but my inability to find lost things in a house I am about to move out of is not sending me into a panic, it is merely allowing me to let go. Also, I started another side project, piecing a birthday present for my step mum thta looks really modern cubist meets roman tile awesome, but a week is a tight deadline.

Up and Down and In the Beginning

Yay! There was a check FedExed to our house yesterday, so Happy Muppet Dance! I am so kermit the frog. What a relief, the January pay makes me feel positively wealthy and buys us another month. Meaning his job search suddenly feels less desperate and more manageable. I have to work again today, and working both weekend days sucks, I am so glad I don’t have to increase my hours next month, although I agreed to work a three day weekend for our Sewing Expo. But then I get to take a seminar on AA quilts during and after and then it will be less than a week until our vacation. How can I not feel good about all these events? The moon must be out of Aries.