Featured Photos

From Pt. Pinole.   Click here for more photos.

Mary and I had a lovely walk at Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland near the airport.  The day started out cool and sunny and I was able to get some new bird photos.

Immature White-Crowned Sparrow

Western Meadowlark

Black Necked Stilts

I love owls and finally I was able to take my first photo of one.  At Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley there is a section for the Western Burrowing Owl and on New Year's Eve day I saw one.  He's hard to see but in the middle between the two sections of pavement is an owl.

I rarely get to see the quilts I make and give away in use.  This past week I visited my brother and got to see his king-sized quilt in use in his room.  This colorway of this quilt was designed around the painting that hangs behind the bed.  Accent colors from the drapes and rug were also incorporated to make sure this quilt fit in nicely to the room.  I am delighted with the results.

Links of Interest

Fabric Stores
    New Pieces Quilt Store
    Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics

Online Fabric Stores
    Batiks Plus
    Pink Chalk Fabrics

Shown at Voices in Cloth 2016

Big Blue (Stellar)

Shown at Voices in Cloth 2016, my queen sized quilt that was double batted for warmth and thus is heavy and delightful on a cold winter's night.  Staring at it too long will make you go a bit bleary--I know as I stared at it each time on the design wall to make sure the lights and darks were in the right direction to make the repeating arrows/star.

My second quilt at Voices in Cloth was inspired by some Jane Sassaman fabric I happened to acquire.  A lovely lap quilt was the result.

Hand-Pieced Hexie

When I was sick a month or so ago, I was low energy but still needed to do something.  The happy solution was to hand piece a rainbow hexagon quilt from scraps.  Here is the delightful result.  It is a present for a friend's daughter who is having her first child in May.

A Few UFOs Pieced

Every once in a while I get the notion to clean up my studio from all of the chaos and piles of fabric when I am making a quilt or three.  This past week I have tried to tidy without getting distracted.  And I did a pretty good job, but finally when I came across a pile that had several UFOs (unfinished objects), I decided it was the right time to move them closer to the finish line.  So, now I have three new pieced tops for baby quilts.

From nine squares of tropical fish:

Another jumble quilts with fabric leftover from a back in each square:

And a Square in Square quilt top with fabric leftover from bindings:

Finally Finished

I started my resolution in December with a goal to finishing several of my UFO (unfinished objects) of the quilt type.  I'm making excellent progress!  Here are some of the results.

This quilt top was cut and first pieced over 10 years ago with a lot of input from the intended recipient.  I didn't like the resulting piece, and so put the top away.  Finally, in a fit of energy to finish UFOs, I took it out several years ago, deassembled the blocks and reassembled them in a way more pleasing to my eye.  Again the top was ignored.  Now, it is finally finished.  Flannel back, twin size and very warm.

I made a Jelly Roll Race quilt top for my son and DIL, but when I decided it needed to be wider, I lost interest in finishing it.  I added 10 more strips to the width in December and took it to Sue to do the longarm quilting.  My son and I picked it up on Christmas Eve and I finished the binding a week later for my Eric and Anna to take home for their bed.  Two layers of batting to make a an extra warm quilt.  That's Sue in the picture!

From a quilt made in the fall of 2015, I had leftover blocks that were oriented in the "wrong" direction.  So, I took these, made some new ones, and made a new Sticks and Stones quilt.  In a burst of enthusiasm I offered it to some friends, then felt maybe I had pushed it on them.  When I saw them a month or so later, they asked if the quilt was done yet and I explained that I thought I might have been overly forward to suggest they wanted this quilt.  But they assured me they did.  I found backing fabric I loved for this top when I had to pack up half of my studio to have new windows installed.  The quilting went quickly and adds a lot of texture to this quilt.

Here is Sticks and Stones 2.

Here's the back fabric:

Sticks and Stones Revisited

Many moons ago, I hand appliqued birds, birds, birds to some sky blue fabric.  Then I added some vintage buttons as eyes, and embroidered some flowers and grass.  I tried my hand at hand quilting and decided that I'm not that good at it.  So, I ripped it all out and finally machine quilted this piece in about 45 minutes.  It's bound and hanging in my studio as inspiration.  Nice to have the Birds piece finished.

Newly Pieced

An orange themed quilt for Lori went together very quickly and has one of my favorite fabrics on the back.

Quilting and Fabric Detail

August and September were busy on the quilt front.  I made four baby quilts and one lap quilt, all of which have been shipped or delivered to their new owners.  With all of this piecing and binding, there was a pile of leftover scraps that are too big for me to throw away and too small to put back in the fabric drawers for other projects.

So, my solution was to make Jumble quilts.  I sew the small fabric scraps together to "make" new fabric, then cut each into 6.5 inch blocks.  It can be addictive, matching colors that work well together and saving a scrap of fabric with a great image.  I ended up with enough blocks to make six good sized baby quilts.  I had enough blocks of a dominant color to make four quilt tops so far.  Here they are:

Blue Turtle Jumble

Green Jumble
Detail of Green Jumble

Pink Jumble--the sashing is a bit busier than I normally would choose, but I'm coming to like it.
Orange Jumble
and a detail from the Orange Jumble

The lap quilt was for a friend who is going back to school and leaving her job at a local restaurant.

The baby quilts I completed went to Vermont and San Francisco and somewhere on the peninsula here in the Bay Area.

Baby quilts are usually accompanied by a puzzle ball with some of the same fabrics used from the quilt.

I have been in a piecing mood and have made two lap quilts, one of which may become a donation to the library fund raising auction or a gift to a friend.

The Sticks and Stones quilt is made with batiks from my stash.

The Picket Fence is made with fabrics from my stash.

Playing with Half Square Triangles

I have been playing with the various ways to arrange half square triangles to get a wide variety of looks.

The latest is a Chevron pattern made from a layer cake of coordinated prints and an off white for the background.  I added two borders with matching fabrics from my stash to hold in the busyness of the design.

This queen sized quilt is a modified Colorado Block using a variety of coordinated prints and colors from a layer cake and a solid white.

This queen sized quilt is made from 4 inch finished squares and just two colors, white and blue, arranged to give an expanding star design.

Newly Completed

I made this quilt several years ago to experiment with the drop shadow effect.  Then I decided I didn't like the quilt top because it had no "color" in it.  I'm a brights kind of person.  In a frenzy of finishing up UFOs, I took this top to a wonderful longarm quilter and told her to do what she wanted.  She used one of the backing fabrics for quilting design inspiration and now I love the end result.

Shadow Quilt

Quilting Detail

Quilting detail on Shadow Quilt

At a local pizza place one of the servers, Brianna, is having a baby next month.  She also has a 5 year old daughter.  Seemed like a perfect opportunity for two new quilts.  And I wanted to try out a T block that features large scale prints.  Turned out to be perfect for some fish quilts (she lives on a boat).

Fish and Frogs

Fish and Frogs T block

Fish Quilt and Two Puzzle Balls

Fish T Block

Another server, Chloe, helped me figure out what theme to use for Brianna's quilts.  She has a 9 year old daughter, so, you guessed it, another opportunity for a quilt gift.  Her daughter's favorite color is blue.  I was tidying up my studio and came across my bin of parts--blocks leftover from other quilts or blocks made with no real home in mind.  Many were blue, so I decided to try an put them together.  Here is the quilt I gave to Chloe for her daughter.

Pinwheel Parts

Pinwheel Parts

Needing to have some hand sewing to do at night, I appliqued some frogs, created a wall hanging from them, and quilted more frogs into the blank squares.  Here's the result.

Frog Wall Hanging
 Frog quilting detail
Frog wall hanging quilting detail

More baby quilts are being requested, so I have been playing with different patterns.  And I've made a couple of "Jumble" quilts which is making fabrics from my scraps and then cutting out squares for the quilts.

Pink and Purple Half Squares

Square Pink

Dotty Squares

Dotty Squares



Another Jumble with a Print Jungle themed back

It's back from being quilted.  A challenge quilt I made for one of my quilt groups was to make a quilt of any size and color combination using the X and Plus block pattern.   But first some history.  I got inspired when I found fabrics leftover from a quilt made for a friend, Jean, based on a quilt she saw in a fabric store.  Here's the front of Jean's quilt:

Jean's Summer Flowers-queen sized quilt
Here's the back with photo prints of flowers from her garden:
Back of Jean's quilt with photos of flowers from her garden

Here is the challenge quilt. 

I finished the top and had planned to quilt it myself, but the top grew bigger than planned when I decided I couldn't throw out the little triangles cut off from making the blocks.  Instead I sewed them together to make half square triangles which became one of the outer borders. 
X and Plus Challenge Quilt
Melissa Quilter quilted this top for me and I love the results.  The binding is on and I'm ready for the March meeting to show our challenge quilts.
X and Plus Quilting Detail

I wanted a new project so asked a new friend if she would like a "Nose to Toes" quilt.  That's my description of what others refer to as lap quilts.  I make quilts sized to the person so a lap quilt will go from the nose to the tips of the toes and a bit more so you can really snuggle in and stay warm.  I asked Arlene to name her favorite colors and she chose purple, blue, and maybe  green.  Her step-daughter mentioned she liked stained glass windows so I tried to combine the two.

Here is Arlene's French Braid quilt.

Arlene's French Braid

A friend I used to work with is newly married and he and his wife are expecting a baby boy.  Of course, I had to offer a quilt for them and, happily for me, they said yes.  Here is a quilt for Bill and Rebecca.

Playing with the idea of a maze and some of the wonderful grays and blue gray fabrics I have accumulated and been given.  Here is the first quilt.  There may be more.....

Submitted to Alameda County Arts Commission Show

I will be submitting two quilts for the Alameda County Show and see if both get in.  One is a challenge quilt from one of my mini-groups.  Based on a Chiura Obata woodblock print that my son sent to me from Yosemite, the challenge was that each group member had to use the same fabric in a large enough quantity that it was clear we had used that challenge fabric.  In my quilt below you can see the challenge fabric in the tree trunks, the night sky and the river bank.

The other was just for fun and I call it Going in Circles--pattern from Weeks and Ringle, Modern Quilts.

Going in Circles

New Baby Quilts

My son and daughter-in-law now have friends having babies, so I have been making a few more baby quilts than since I retired.  Here are the latest.

First, a scrap quilt to use up squares of the cute little frogs left over from another quilt.  Too good to toss away.

Fractious Frogs

Next an "I Spy" quilt that is already spoken for.  Made with hexagons from fabrics found on a shopping spree with my DIL.

Alphabet Book

After coming back from visiting my mother in Vermont, I wanted to make a present for a baby shower I will be attending.  The maternal grandmother had already made a baby quilt, so I needed to find something else to play with.  Here's what I came up with--a fabric alphabet book.

The pages were constructed using fusible web and raw edged applique with a fusible fleece in between pages.  A hook and loop closure keeps it all together with no parts that could become choking hazards.

(iPad users click here)

Fabric Postcards

When I'm stumped and need some design inspiration, I play in a small format.  Lately, that has taken the form of making fabric postcards.  Fabric on one side, card stock on the back, and fusible interfacing in between (like Timtex) allows these cards to be mailed as is.  Just be sure to have the words Post Card on the back and put the proper post card postage on.  Gives the mailperson some fun during delivery.

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My French Braid is quilted!

Yeah!  It is finally quilted and I'm sewing on the binding.  Sue let me know that she had finished quilting the French Braid quilt I made last summer for my bed.  I had taken three quilts to Sue last summer to quilt as I had two large queen sized quilts and one large king-sized quilt.  While I have quilted several queen sized quilts before, it is not as much fun as working on smaller quilts.  So I finally decided to let someone else quilt three quilt tops I had made.  Very freeing to let go of needing to quilt every top I make!

Sue quilted my French Braid quilt
Quilting detail

New Pamphlet Books

Inspired by a book I bought in Napa, I decided to make some pamphlet books of my own.  A bit of art paper, some interesting shapes sewn to the cover and a backing, with 48-60 blank pages sewn in ready for whatever thoughts or notes you have.