Decemberists Heart Quilt

imageI finished this quilt the day before Valentine’s Day last week, right before I got into a funk about the President’s Day long weekend. The heart HST layout is from the Decemberists poster my daughter brought back from the concert at Marymoor this summer (thanks for the tickets, Becca!) and everything about their last two posters is very folksy and quilty.  My neighbors seemed like they were cut from the same cloth (they play folk jazz music and generally make us feel old).  At any rate, they welcomed their son into the world on labor day weekend after I’d already pieced most of this heart.  Needless to say, teaching keeps me very busy, as does grad school and so I didn’t get this puppy quilted until the Winter Break, and I finished binding and washing it last weekend.


The blues that hit me on President’s Day had more to do with my abysmal lack of exercise combined with the demands of both my teaching a new semester, not getting enough time between semesters to plan, and then losing the full Midwinter’s break week off due to the Seattle labor action earlier this year.  Strangely enough, I decided back in September not to go to Quiltcon this weekend even though I thought I would be finished with this pesky Master’s degree. While I am delighted by the photos from friends who are there, I am not sorry not to be there, especially because I have a paper to finish.  I will celebrate finishing grad school with hopefully a proper week off in February and a trip to lovely Georgia for Quiltcon East in 2017.  However a great workout with my fabulous children and viewing the gorgeous photos all weekend is a great pick-me-up!

Block E for the Modern Sampler Quiltalong

I started out trying to keep the grainlines straight on this block so the rightmost parts of the nine-patch were cut with templates before I decided it didn’t matter, but I think either way works just depending in the fabric pattern using templates (I just photocopy the pattern from the book and then cut out the shapes.  This is also what I’m doing for Block F, which is my favorite, so I hope I finish it in time.image

Not only has this quiltalong inspired me with a whole lot of joy when I haven’t gotten a lot of sewing time lately, but its also got me blogging!  Unfortunately this iPhone photo is unedited and terrible, sorry Salty Oat but thank you for starting this!  I also really love seeing everyone else’s blocks on Instagram under the #modernsamplerquiltalong hashtag and I regret that I can’t make two each month.

More silk Jinzenji blocks

photo 2This month has been busy and I have a big exam tomorrow, so of course I couldn’t wait to sit down and make another silk Modern Sampler quiltalong block!

This month I will not be making two, so this one will have to do with its imperfect miters and all.  Thanks Debbie and Gwen Marston for the reminder that quilts shouldn’t look like robots made them anyways.  This block went together fast for me and it was the first block where I used different silks for some of the sashing pieces.

photo 1

The day before our Christmas celebration I also turned two of my block into pillows for my couch.  I love them and now I can’t wait to finish the sampler so it can join the pillows on my couch.  It feels good to sew something for myself.  Especially when the month has been too busy for me to sew much at all.

The C Cup Block

Block C cup

I emailed myself this photo with the subject Block C cup, sorry for the lazy pun!  At this point I have doubled every block for this sampler and I’m still loving htat process, so maybe at this rate I will have enough blocks for a very white Christmas quilt…Thanks to Salty Oat and Debbie at aquilterstable for helping me learn about this block of the month/quiltalong.  It feels really good to be sewing this weekend.  I have so much to be thankful for I can even celebrate Thanksgiving twice!

More silk blocks

I just can’t resist making these this week while I procrastinated yet another paper that I was hoping to submit yesterday…I will probably even sew a second block C this week while I’m out and about.  I got lucky and found by one 35 year old spool of silk thread almost accidentally and it was trying to tell me to start the applique 2 (1) (2)

I didn’t think I would need a practice block for this one, but the background is pretty relatively dark and now the off-centered-ness of the cup is bugging me.  I may have to try handpiecing the curves instead of using a solid background piece on the next one.

photo 1 (1)I also made the more precise version of Block B.  It isn’t perfect but that’s ok.  In fact I like my first one better now too.  I think I may have put a filter on this on instagram and that’s why the other one seems darker.

Silk sample sewing

photo 2 (2)

I have had a busy busy year.  I can’t believe that despite this, I started sewing Yoshiko Jinzenji blocks from her Modern Sampler after I picked up her book at Third Place books.  Although that wasn’t quite what happened really.  I picked up the book and longingly savored her minimalist composition, and then put the book away in my neglected new sewing room.

And then Debbie from my guild and A Quilter’s Table published her Block A on Instagram and I instantly recognized the pattern from the book I’d just bought.  I became obsessed.  I clean my sewing room looking for my Marimekko scraps from Pirkko.  Never found them, but in my newly cleaned sewing room I began cutting into all my silk selvedges and I cannot stop loving this project.

photo 1 (2)I even finished another assignment toward my Master’s degree yesterday (I passed, only 5 credits to go!) so that I could make my second block A as a reward.  And now tonight I’m making another “practice block” for Block B.  I may wind up foundation piecing the official one, but I am just loving this project.  Thanks again to Debbie and Salty Oat for hosting this quiltalong even if I never get past Block C (although I really want to skip to F…)and even my fabulous Seattle Modern Quilt Guild secret swapper Jonna (bespokeoutlaw) for inspiring me in this rainy November week.

Happy Times


I did have some happy time in the past year even though it sure has been a rollercoaster. This quilt was at the Bainbridge Quilt Festival two weeks ago and it is currently hanging at the NW Quilt Expo.  Update: Kathy Dwyer, President of the BIMQ took the above photo. It is actually really hard knowing that this is hanging in public.  It makes me feel really exposed as a weirdo, but I guess most of you already knew that!  I took this photo in the early morning shadowy light and I’d love a better quality photo if anyone has one.


This is a really strange quilt but it was really fun to make.  There are even some scraps on the front and one on the back that came from Noelle’s scrap bag at the fall retreat Seattle Modern Quilt Guild retreat last year.  Deborah Fergusson and Martha Peterson also pieced the center “medallion”  based on the Improv Round Robin workshop we took with Sherri Lynn Wood at Quiltcon and the Improv Bullseyes workshop I took with Amy Dame.


I got to try out long-arming on this behemoth quilt because I was never going to get a 90″ quilt under my home machine.  I learned that I love long-arming, but free-motion work is time-consuming so I can’t just leave this quilt parked at my cousin’s forever, so I did in in two 3-5 hour sessions.  This is pretty hasty for quilting but it was still really fun and now the quilting is just as eclectic as the piecing!  I rushed the binding on this as usual and it shows, but I used the new Alexia Abegg netting fabric from Cotton + Steel and the weight and the color worked out really well.

Another star sampler

I’m blogging from the doctors office!  Thanks android!


When Sukie called for a Block Along for the new Vintage Quilt Revival book, I couldn’t resist because I’ve had so little time to sew lately that a 12.5″ block a week suited me perfectly!


I made the Double Z block from the book and I also made the Aurifil block of the month featuring Zen Chic because I love spools and I can’t resist an opportunity to win more thread!


Now for that lone star setting I just need 5 more blocks, probably from the Vintage Quit Revival book, but I think one will be from the new Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Block of the Month!

So much in store for 2014


My last act of sewing on New Years eve was to put these blocks to finish up my year of hosting the Bee Biased block swap on Threadbias. I really enjoyed working with the monthly deadlines and some months it felt like the only sewing I had time to do.


Marsha at is so cheerful and communicative she reminds me of why online communities can be such an effective source of friendship and inspiration. I loved getting to know you Marsha and I hope you like your blocks!

2014 is shaping up to be a busy year for me but I’m delighted to realize that spending the last year with the Seattle MQG has inspired me to sew for myself rather than always starting quilts as gifts.  I am setting a goal to finish four quilts this year, all of which will be “keepers.”