Goodness of Heart

There’s been much on the news in past months that, as syndicated news is wont to do, depresses the spirit by highlighting (and inevitably harping on) that which is darkest in humankind. I think that is one reason that I’ve come to so appreciate bloggers, especially those of quilters, knitters, and other creatives. Why? Because in between stories, if you will, of the “stuff” of creativity, whether it’s textiles, patterns, gardens, recipes, or whatever, there are the snippets of the real lives of caring and wonderful people from all over the world.

Just this morning I came across one such post on the Stitch London Blog. Writer Deadly Knitshade (the moniker does make me smile) crafts a vignette of “get up and go” spirit among Londoners after the recent riots that honors what is strong and good in the human spirit. No cowering behind locked doors here.

And for you knitters out there, the Stitch London Blog post also references the OsLove heart pattern by Norwegian knitter Kaja Marie Lereng Kvernbakken. The pattern was a response to the devastating events in Oslo and Utøya and has been updated with a theme for Lovedon.

Cheers and keep those needles going!

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Remember the Oops?

Crazy busy here these last few weeks, but I did manage to re-cut all the oops squares for the snowball blocks. The top is pieced and ready to quilt.

CS Pieced top

I’m thinking of diagonal lines through the nine-patch blocks but haven’t decided what to do for the snowball blocks. Any ideas?


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A Finish and … Oops!

I have sewn the last of the binding down on the quilt-along quilt. Crooked seams aside I’m pleased with how it turned out. There were a couple of things I learned while making this:

  • Pre-cuts are not always cut accurately
  • Quilting batiks works much better with a smaller needle (say 70/10)

I figured out the last one by accident. I had been using a Microtex 80/12 needle—a couple of them actually. After struggling with skipped stitches and breaking thread while doing the free-motion quilting on the border, I happened to be paging through Laurie Shifren’s book Batik Gems and there it was on page 17. I’ve been through that book a zillion times but hadn’t retained that bit of information. I now have a note by my sewing machine to remind me. What a difference it made!

Little Windows Quilt

Folded quilt

This quilt is also one of my PHD projects on Myra’s blog.

Now for the oops.

nine patch blocks

Wait for it…

quilt blocks

This is from my own pattern. I knew I was supposed to cut the green squares at 6 1/2-inches. Somehow what my brain knew and what my hands did suffered a disconnect. Thank goodness my local fabric shop had more of the green.



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Border Quilting

I’ve managed to fit in some time on quilting the borders. Progress is slow but getting there. I decided to go with a somewhat freeform leaf/vine motif. The contrast between the thread color and the dark batik isn’t as stark on the actual quilt. (Yes, someday I will replace my camera, or learn to take better pictures with what I have!)

Border quilting

I also received these goodies in the mail recently. Burgundy Buttons was having a sale and I couldn’t resist.

Moda fabricsMore Moda

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On another note, I read a post on Jaybird Quilts about organization and had to smile. Can I stay organized? Nope. Do I start to get spazzed when things get a little too haphazard and messy? Yup. Is every flat surface clear? Are you kidding?? Although, maybe if I put up more shelves I’d have a better shot at it. And I can relate to things that don’t have a place where they belong. That either says something about the virtues of having fewer things, or a better system for storing said things (it’s pretty much just the fabric I need more room for). Back to the more shelves idea . . .


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A New Challenge

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday so far. It certainly has been busy here, and it’s been great having time off from work and school and hanging out with family. Time to play with the grandkids! Time to sew! Time to eat Christmas cookies! It’s all good.

How many more days of winter??
Need something to keep your creative self in gear through the coming months? Hurry over to Myra’s PhD Challenge (Projects half Done) and sign up quick! There’s only a couple of days left to join in. I learned about it on Thread Head’s blog. (Go on over and visit—check out the wonderful mini-quilts she’s been working on.)

I’ve put four things on my challenge list. One of them is to finish the quilting for the Quilt-Along quilt. I’ve been giving my walking foot quite a workout—lots and lots of straight (sort of) lines. Given that the pre-cut strips weren’t all 2 1/2 inches wide as they should have been, and the “creative piecing” that required, I’m doing more quilting than I might have otherwise. This baby is not going to come apart!

Squares quilt
I also plan to finish a quilt I started a while back for Project Linus.

Project Linus quilt
And I’ve designed a pattern for the Christmas fabric I bought recently. So far, I’ve gotten it cut out.

Christmas Snowballs Patches
Next on the to-do list is to finish the pattern I’ve sketched out for these Stonehenge fabrics I’ve been collecting. Aren’t the textures fantastic? I’m hoping to get to the cutting out part, too.

Stonehenge fabrics
I hope the new year brings you creative joy.


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