Monthly Archives: November 2012

It is dark here a lot

Going from Arizona, where the sun is always shining, to Maryland, where it is often dark, was a big change. The light is funny here even when the sun does come out.


Some days I don’t even open my blinds if it is icky outside. But today the sun showed up. It is still a grey light, but I was so happy to see it.


I was talking with my Mom. I was telling her how my Christmas Cactus was going to bloom soon. So I thought I’d better try to take some pictures while there is a bit of sun. I just love my Christmas Cactus. My Grandma has one that is over 90 years old. She is a miracle grower. Apparently my Great-Grandmother was also a miracle grower too. The picture below, was taken a few years ago when I visited. Nice flash I know. But this thing is HUGE. Maybe you can tell the size by comparing it to the serger to the right of it.

Someday, I’d like a piece of her plant. But in the past, I’ve killed many a Christmas Cactus. I know I gave one or two to my Sister in Law, and at least one to my Mother after I nearly sent them all to their graves. They are also miracle growers. My goal is to keep mine alive so that someday I can have part of Grandma’s plant.


I am happy to report, my Christmas Cactus is over two years old. Success! I move her around from room to room when she starts to droop, or look sad. She spends a lot of time in our bathroom. But for months now, she has sat with the rest of my plants.

You can take the girl from Arizona, but you can’t take Arizona out of the girl. Almost all my plants are various forms of desert plants. They make me feel cozy. Does that mean I’m a prickly person?


I also got some sewing in today. I have almost finished this girl. I had run out of thread so I put her aside for a while. I just need to finish the binding.



Hope the sun is out where you are!

Jay McCarroll event and my feelings about “Modern” as far as quilting goes.

I have signed up for two sort of local Modern Quilt guilds. Neither one is close, but they are the closest MODERN guilds to me. I am not a type-A person and so it took me a while to even step out of my comfort zone to attend one of the meetings. Now, I can say I’ve attended TWO whole events. Wahoo, right? So when I saw that both the Baltimore and DC guilds were combining together for an event, I decided to go. Jay McCarroll spoke.



On my way there, I was listening to music as I drove along. It was over an hour drive, so lots of time for music. I flipped from Country, to Top 40, a little classical and then just ended up on something. Who knows. But I was thinking how I don’t like just one kind of music. I like many. I just like good music. I like the way music makes me feel.

I wasn’t sure what it would be like to listen to a guy talk for 3 hours. But it was really fun. He has no filter which I totally loved. The way he spoke, was totally the way a creative person talks. Some people speak in a line, but creative people, IMO, speak like a tree, breaking off into branches. I can follow that way of thinking because that is how I think and talk. Staying on topic is not natural for me. I was delighted with his personality and his stories. There were indeed Jazz Hands involved and lots of just funny stuff.

During his talking, he asked what we called ourselves…Sewists, Sewers, Quilter etc. Then he said something to the effect of let’s just all make stuff and like it. Of course this is my with my overly simple way of explaining it. I think I would call myself a “Maker”. I like to make things because it satisfies my need to create.

Jessie from DC Modern Quilt was there

I sat with Jessie and Elle from DC Modern Quilt Guild.

That leads me to this. What is a Modern Quilter anyway? I went to The Modern Quilt Guild blog and read their description of what Modern Quilting is. And while I identify with some of what they described, some of it I didn’t identify with at all. I like my designs to make sense. I like graphic design, negative space and an all over sense of calm.

Elle brought a bunch of blocks our guild is going to work on putting together.

There were a handful of women working on hand stitching, binding, basting hexies, and even knitting. I think it is fun to see other Makers in the process of making.

It was a lot of fun to connect with other creative minds. I finally got to meet Heather from Baltimore Quilt Guild. She is just as sweet as you would imagine. The Baltimore Quilt Guild is very active and has lots of activities going on.

On the way home from the event, I was flipping around on the stations again. I just love music. I don’t like just one kind of music. And I don’t like just one style of quilting or quilt fabric.

I think a Modern Quilting is more about connecting, inspiring, learning and sharing. It isn’t just one aesthetic. It is a creative journey. It good design and technique.

PS. I buy most of my solid fabric at Joann’s, and I don’t have a huge fabric stash. And I still consider myself a Modern Quilter/Quiltest/Sewest/Sewer/Maker.

What about you? What makes a Modern Quilter?

My Smooth Sailing tutorial is up on the Pellon site. Yippee!

I do think that title deserves at least one exclamation point, right?

pellon project is finally up


You can see my original post about it here.

I have a queue of quilt blocks I want to try, in my head at all times. Storm at Sea is one of them. The movement of it without actually using any curved pieces, really speaks to me.

I am also always on the lookout for designs that can showcase a large print fabric. There are often fabric prints that are so lovely, I just hate to cut them up.

When I saw Riley Blake’s Seaside line, with those sweet little kids playing in the sand, I knew they needed to be showcased. I instantly started thinking of ways to do that. Storm at Sea block popped into my head. If I just simplified the main block, and make the whole block larger, it would showcase these adorable children perfectly. And the names Storm at Sea, and Seaside, were a match made in heaven. Riley Blake was generous enough to supply the fabric used in this quilt.

It is extra helpful if you are familiar with foundation piecing and general quilting for this tutorial.

I love it so much that I made a scrappy one in girly colors, using another Riley Blake line. I have yet to finish it though. I ran out of thread so I put it aside. I haven’t gotten back to it yet.

I am pretty excited to see my design up on Pellon’s site. Pop on over and download the tutorial. It is super easy since it is foundation pieced and your points come out beautifully. Is that cheating?

I shared my space with Pellon

Did you see it?


I love to see where people create. It is such an intimate look at someone.  I love when all their interior furnishings match perfectly. I love to see how they organize. In another life I will have lots of money for perfectly matching furnishings and perfectly organized everything. But until then, would you like a peek at where I create?

Share My Space on the Pellon Projects Blog shared my space! How cool is that? Pellon has been around forever and I have used their products as long as I’ve been sewing. Pellon is getting more and more involved in the quilting world and I could not be more excited to be a teeny part of that!


When I decided to share my space, I went up to my room to make a “Lair” sign. I wanted a label for the name of my room. But what I ended up doing was a little whimsical rendering of my Grandmothers houses. I had intended to write something in the middle. But for now I decided to leave it until I find the perfect thing to say. Do you do that? Start out with one intention and end up with a completely different one. I do love it though.


I have this thing for houses. I know it isn’t the house that makes a home, but the people inside, and the memories made in them. But I just have this need to surround myself with houses. Makes me feel all warm and cozy. The hoop embroidery was one a girlfriend made for me when my husband and I bought our first (town)house together. 1997. Crazy!

Below that is an original work of art I commissioned from Regina Lord of Creative Kismet as a present to me and my new Lair when we moved into this home two years ago. I started following her because she was an Arizona girl who made the most awesome creations of houses, and her art just spoke to me. She was amazing to work with. I see so many of her pieces that I would love to own. But it is kind of fun to have something created just for me.


And then I have my Prairie Point House Valance that I made for Sew Mama Sew. I love the dimension to it. I love the frilly flowers of Tanya Whalen’s line. It just makes me happy to look at.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out a few things about my little Lair.