Sep 102015

I actually finished something!!  This is my entry for the 2015 Riley Blake Fabric Challenge, which, unbelievably,was completed by the deadline.

2015 Riley Blake Fabric Challenge entry

Walk On

When the challenge was announced we were told to attempt something new.  I decided to use EQ7 . I have used it in the past, but never to plan the entire quilt.  EQ7 was very helpful in deciding the fabric layout and providing accurate yardage requirements.

Here is my EQ7 quilt top layout with some notations:

EQ7 layout for Walk On

One concern was whether or not to keep the directional fabrics going in one direction.  You can see the fabrics close up here:

2015 Riley Blake Challenge Fabrics - Cottage Garden

2015 Riley Blake Challenge Fabrics – Cottage Garden

As you can see all the fabrics, but the main floral, are directional.  That meant that I needed to lay out each row prior to stitching its blocks.

Placing fabrics for Row 6Here I have sewn the blocks for the first 5 rows and was placing the fabrics for row 6.

It was tedious running upstairs to grab the pieces off the design wall for each block as I sewed so I devised some layout sheets.

block layout guide

Block Layout Guide

I had 9 sheets, one for each block in a row, on which I carefully placed the fabric.  I stacked all 9 blocks in a folder.  I was able to pull off one block at a time for stitching.

I also used the piecing sheet when cutting (and ironing) so I could return each block unit back to it’s correct location within the block.

Using block guide while cutting

Using block guide while cutting


After completing each block I would mark it off my quilt top layout sheet.  The following photo was taken just prior to completing the block.

Piecing gude used with top layout

Here is a photo of the completed top, along with the row numbers still attached:

Top completed

Top done



The quilting design is a spiral square in the center block, surrounded by concentric squares throughout the rest of the quilt.


Walk On - close up of quilting



The quilt measures 60 x 60 inches.  The block design is the basic Bow-Tie Block.  I used Riley Blake Pewter Solid for the background.

Naming the quilt was quite a journey.  If there was some name that came to mind and could have been distilled from “walking in the garden, seeing birds in the trees, looking at the rain puddling on the tile stepping stones, noticing flowers growing around an opening in the wall while making your way through the labyrinth garden path…” into 3 words, I would have used it.   So, Walk On, look around, enjoy the day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Nov 302014
Spring Cotton Couture Challenge top

It was close, but no finish!  Well, it was close, IF you consider that I finished the top on November 23rd, the back on the 24th and on the 25th I came to the realization that there was no way I could finish quilting and binding it by the 29th.

It wasn’t a matter of procrastinating, but a matter of not having any time to sew!!  OK, enough excuses.  Here is a fuzzy photo of the top in process.

Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture Fabric Challenge

Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture Fabric Challenge

Here is yet another fuzzy photo.  This is the top sewn together.

Spring Cotton Couture Challenge top

Spring Cotton Couture Challenge top

The Michael Miller Cotton Couture was really wonderful fabric to work with!  I can hardly wait to get started on the quilting!!!

Dec 152013

I just love saying that! 😀

For our VMQG Opportunity Quilt we are making blocks that have squares or rectangles inside of other squares or rectangles.

The exact rules are here.  We must have a ring of white.  I chose to use Azure, Red and Oasis as my other colors.  These are the two I made today.

Block in a Block #1

Block in a Block #1

Block in a Block #2

Block in a Block #2

Thanks for looking! 🙂



Dec 142013

I had no doubt.

We left work early.  Got on the road at 4:15 pm.  Friday night traffic into LA.  What was a normal 1 hour, 1 1/2 hour drive turned into a 2 1/2 hour crawl.  Were we stressed? NO! Did it matter? NO!  Because this drive would be well worth it when we reached our destination.  We would get the chance to spend a couple of hours with Alissa Haight Carlton, her friends and family, at the launch party for her new fabric line, Modern Solids held at the fabulous Sew Modern.

OMG!  What fun we had!!  We were greeted immediately by the lovely Liz with a wonderful libation and hugged by the fabulous owner of Sew Modern, Lauren, who thanked us for making the drive in Friday night traffic.   I couldn’t imagine NOT attending.  We had the chance to purchase Alissa’s super cool fabric plus spend the evening with some really awesome people!!!  Yes, I mean you Lisa. 😀

Did I actually get any photos of them? No.  I was too dazzled by all the fabric, sorry!  And the cuteness.  See photo evidence below:

Just inside the door at Sew Modern

Just inside the door at Sew Modern


Sew Modern holiday tree

Holiday cuteness at Sew Modern


Alissa's fabulous quilt

Alissa’s fabulous quilt using Modern Solids -sorry about the blurries


more Sew Modern cuteness

more Sew Modern cuteness!



A huge THANK YOU to everyone at Sew Modern for your kindness and hospitality.


Dec 102013

One of the first quilters’ blogs I read was Katy Jones’, I’m a Ginger Monkey.  I love her wit, charm and talent. I could go on and on about what an inspiration she is to me.   If you know me, you already know, in detail, how wonderful she is. 🙂  I was beyond excited to hear that she is getting her own show on  You have to check out the video. The production quality is awesome.  It looks to be a beautifully crafted show.  I can’t wait until January!!!

Quilt Monkey from Artisan Media on Vimeo.






May 272013

It is with a broken heart that we announce the passing of our beloved family member, Cosimo, our 21-year-old Siamese.

Cosimo 2008

Cosimo 2008

Friday morning we had to make the agonizing decision to say goodbye.  It was heartbreaking.

We want to thank Dr. Emad and the wonderful staff of Cottage Animal Hospital in Oxnard who provided the most excellent care Cosimo received throughout his many years.  That care  is what undoubtedly kept him with us much longer than we could have imagined!  And on his last day, they were by my side, helping me through the anguish and with me through the peaceful end of his life.  It’s hard to explain the combined sadness of a great loss along with the joy of  knowing that he was at peace.  Needless to say we are mourning our great loss.

Although we are sad, it is joyful looking back at his wonderful life.  He brought much happiness to everyone he met.  He was the first to greet visitors.  He loved taking car rides to surprise destinations.    I wanted to share a few photos.

Cosimo's Faux Hawk

Cosimo’s Faux Hawk

We used to joke that after brushing him, we had enough loose fur to use for a kitty toupee.

Cosimo asleep on the ledge outside the kitchen window

Cosimo asleep on the ledge outside the kitchen window

One of his favorite things to do was hanging out on the back patio.


Cosimo and wee pumpkin

Cosimo and wee pumpkin

He also enjoyed helping me sort through paperwork.

Quilting assistant

Quilting assistant

And assisted me with my quilting.

Cosimo napping with a pal

Cosimo napping with a pal

 He enjoyed cat napping with a friend.

Cosimo sleeping with a friend

Cosimo and friend

 We miss him terribly.

Although, it’s hard to remain sad when …..

Tesla on Chair

Tesla on Chair

….you unexpectedly encounter Tesla with THIS expression on his face!!  It’s his, “So?! Yeah, I took the protective throw off your nice leather chair.  Now it’s easier for me to climb!!  Why are you staring??!!” look.

We love them all dearly and are so thankful to have them in our lives.


Nov 042012

Once upon a time..I had an unbelievably wonderful evening listening to the charming Mr. Pee-wee Herman speak to the audience after appearing in The Pee-wee Herman Show (awesome!) at the Nokia Theater, Los Angeles.

Pee-wee Herman 1-16-10 Nokia Theater LA

Then, as he took questions from the audience….

he stood THIS CLOSE to us.

We were THIS Close to Mr. Herman!!

He turned around and stood next to us, but I didn’t want to blind him by taking a photo.

I know that I had the opportunity to stand up and tell him that from the second I saw him on the New Year’s Eve Comedy HBO special in 1980 or so, I have watched everything in which he has ever appeared.

I wanted to speak up and thank him for all the joy he brought and continues to bring to our lives.  But, it was all I could do not to burst into tears as he stood next to us.  I was SO HAPPY.  I was THAT CLOSE to Pee-wee!!

So instead… I did this…..

What can I say?  My first quilt ever to be displayed is dedicated to Mr. Pee-wee Herman. It’s part of the “Quilts Go Modern” exhibit at the California Oil Museum in Santa Paula, CA. It’s based on Gwen Marston’s quilt, “Exquisite” from her book,  “Liberated Quiltmaking”

I know you are, but what am I? quilting detail

I apologize for the dark photos.  I plan to visit it again and take better pics!

Thanks for looking 🙂

Aug 282012

QuiltCon is the first convention devoted to Modern Quilting.  It will be held in Austin, TX, February 21 through 24, 2013.  If you haven’t heard about it, please click here and read on.  It will be a fantastic opportunity to take workshops, listen to lectures and view stunning quilts on display from around the world. Oh yes, and there will be shopping!!

The folks at QuiltCon also presented us with a block challenge.  Our challenge was to use the colors of the QuiltCon logo to make a block that reflects what modern quilting means to us.

I started sketching and came up with  a number of designs.  While in the process of narrowing these down, we made a trip to the local nursery to get ideas for landscaping our patio.  I think looking at the stem structure of various plants we were considering influenced my design process.

Horsetail Reed

After that visit I became obsessed with segmenting units of color.   I decided to reinterpret the design of the horsetail reed using segmented sections of fabric + improv piecing.

Here are some segmented sections that I sewed together into strips.

Segmented Sections Strip

Segmented Sections – First Block

Above is the first block I made.  I wanted the strips to be slightly curved and really enjoyed the curved piecing.  Sorry for the dark photo.  Yes, I included the Siamese enhanced design wall in the crop.  Luckily, he didn’t attack the board while the block was on it!

Next, I decided to make my life easier and make the strips less curvy. I really liked the curved strips, but wanted to consider the feelings of the person sewing my block together with others to make a quilt top.  I didn’t want my block to be the one that misbehaved!

Segmented Sections -2

Next, I decided to use a non-white background.  😉   I decided on Buttercup.  I also wanted to have some invisible sections in the segments.  This is how that block turned out.

Segemented Sections - Yellow

Segmented Sections -3

I sent in all three blocks to QuiltCon.  When I get a chance I’m going to make a few more and see how they look pieced together into a quilt top.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jun 152012

I will post the next chapter of my trip soon, but in the meantime…

At the VMQG we had a block challenge for June. Our challenge was to take the fabric we received in our May fat quarter swap, add other fabric to it and sew a block using the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” rhyme as inspiration.  Our received swap fabric would be considered the “borrowed”.

The fat quarter on the bottom one I received in the swap!

The rest were the following fabrics:

I decided to fussy cut the motifs.

The borrowed fabric is Bird Sanctuary by Yuwa.

An idea was taking shape

I liked this layout the best

My block is finished!  I was nighttime when I finished the block so excuse the dark photo.  I’m happy with the outcome. Thanks for looking! 🙂


Jun 042012

I didn’t see the “ring of fire” eclipse on May 20th, but…

I did meet Katy Jones of imagingermonkey as well as many other super fantastic people!!

Much more about that later!

I was extremely fortunate that Kelly of superbuzzy asked me to accompany her to Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City!!  My very first Market!  I was thrilled. 😀

I purchased the largest suitcase allowed.  My plan was to pack lightly for the trip to leave plenty of room for Market goodies.  Best laid plans…

Little did I know that my brand name, $120 suitcase (cheap by quality standards, but hey, it was new) would not hold up to the weight of  my wee Siamese, Tennessee.  Here he is, revisiting the scene of the crime.

Who knew that a 9 pound cat, jumping on a partially packed suitcase would split the closed zipper?  Not me!

Now I know why a woman at the store was asking the luggage expert about metal versus vinyl zippers.  Waaaa!!!

What to do?  Ask Mr. A to borrow his carry-on sized suitcase or try to fix mine?

Well, Mr. A came to the rescue by completely unzipping the luggage and then zipping it up again with both zippers.  It worked, but I lost the ability to unzip from middle to either end. Not a problem.

Did I stop worrying about it? No.  I kept imagining it sliding down the luggage carousel conveyor belt at the airport, totally split open with all it’s contents spilling out. 😯

Could I sleep? No!

Would it hold?  Did it make it to Kansas City? …………….

Yes it did!!!

Stay tuned for the next chapter…