Friday, December 31, 2021

December Cornucopia


One last monthly Cornucopia post for the year. This is a collection of links and articles and stuff to look at that I found interesting or useful over the last month. Looking back at all 12 of them, it's fun to see what I've been absorbing all year long... Goodbye 2021!!


The above photo is our front door when we lived in China. 


Overcoming Self-Doubt and Celebrating Your Quilting Successes - Imposter Syndrome and quilters. 


American Quilter's Society had a really striking red and white Christmas Countdown quilt.


Absolutely Fascinating! The Mushroom Color Atlas is a resource about all the colors that can be obtained by dyeing with various mushrooms.


The longest ever exposure made by a pinhole camera captures a beautiful 8 years worth of the paths taken by our sun.


Thursday, December 30, 2021

Poetry Thursday Returns

 A New Day's Lyric - a poem for the New Year is just what we need right about now.

Amanda Gorman does it again. The poem is gorgeous, evocative, inspiring, all of that and more. Especially getting to hear her speak her own words.

But that

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Locals Mostly


We tried really hard to "shop local' this year for our holiday presents. I wasn't terribly successful on that, but my DH really was, thanks to a little craft/fabric shop that's located in our own little town, The ColorWheel. He got me this adorable pink unicorn sparkly fq, a new measuring tape and a layer cake of black and white fabrics. How fun to have this cute little store right here in town, very handy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Farewell Spike


R.I.P. Spike, eighteen years wasn't enough with you. Named after a cool and cranky vampire, he lived up to his name.

And now we find ourselves cat-less for the first time ever :( 

Friday, December 24, 2021

It's Finally Here


Happy Christmas Eve!

I hope your plans to celebrate aren't too affected by the recent Covid issues. Our daughter won't be joining us as usual because she's recovering from it right now. So it'll be just the three of us.

Our plans are:

Open up all those presents under the tree. 

Make and eat cioppino for dinner.

Make and eat some Christmas cookies.

Watch all of the Matrix movies including the newest one. Because we already did our semi-annual LOTR re-watch for DH's birthday.

And that brings up this absolutely beautiful Oscar de la Renta dress that Carrie-Anne Moss wore to the new Matrix movie premiere. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Flower Friday on Thursday


Still not over the magnolia re-blooming this month. Just. Wild.
These are always so tempting at the garden store. I liked that orange and purple combination.
The Angel's Trumpet is still growing and flowering. These flowers got a bit freeze-burned as we had a few below freezing nights, they smell amazing even if they look a bit singed around the edges.
Between rainstorms, our Japanese Maple finally turned color!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

With Vitality and Enthusiasm


And done, all Energized. And submitted. It ended up at the bare minimum size after all the stitching, 10"x10" 

This was fun and I'm glad I got to work with these nice fabrics.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021



Continuing to work on my Energized challenge for Curated Quilts. 
Due tomorrow, yikes!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Holiday Mixes


While I was decorating for Christmas this week, I discovered a couple Halloween things that didn't get put away. 
Time for my homemade Santa hats. I think this skeleton looks pretty pleased with himself, a bit Jack Skellington-esque even.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Dreams of Dear Jane

Just putting it out there on the record, but I've gone ahead and bought the Dear Jane add-on for Electric Quilt 8. My excuse is that they were having a sale, and I've always always wanted to make one of these quilts. Not that I need an excuse, but there it is anyway, more of an explanation. The original book came out in 1996, back when I was first imprinting on quilts and quilt styles as a newbie quilter.

I think I'm really drawn to the sampler sort of quilt in general, they are fun to do and fun to look at. They're more bite-sized and attainable than some of the other big quilts out there. For instance, I really really love big Storm at Sea quilts, but I know I won't ever be able to make that many of one block. Not exactly boring, just not for me, I need more variety or the challenge of making so many different blocks I guess. Thankfully there's a lot of quilts out there to be made for everyone, right?

The main thing to me about this quilt is those awesome pieced border triangles, the look of those has always gotten to me, they're just so different than the normal thing used. I honestly am not sure about the final scallop border, but obviously that's a long way off to be deciding the final steps at this point. When I haven't made a single block yet. Maybe I should just make the border triangles all by themselves? 

There are so many different versions out there in all sorts of fabric styles and so on. I know for sure is that I'm not going to use reproduction era fabrics. Not my ideal color palette to spend that much time with. I was looking at all the other finished ones that are out there, and found a Tula Pink version which is Very Rainbow-y. 

My first idea is to do a version all in my hand-dyed and surface-designed fabrics. I think I will make up a couple blocks this way and see how it looks to me. Make visual decisions visually, right?

Perhaps I will do an all Tula Pink and my hand-dyes version. I thought that was a pretty great combination for the City Sampler 100 blocks quilt. But I used up a lot of hand-dyes to make it, so I'll have to dye some more...and that's one of the things I want to do next year. Adding on another reason to actually dye something to my very long list. I think one of the coolest things about the Dear Jane quilt is the use of prints, so I probably will use prints (or very textured dyed fabrics) in the same places.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Red Background

Here's what I've got so far for the Curated Quilts challenge for the theme "Energize", this is just the background which I've pre quilted.
I made a sketch with colored pencils that matched up with the shades of red/pink colors.
I used only one shade of thread instead of changing it when the fabric colored changed because I wanted that contrast. Now on to the rest of the design...

Friday, December 10, 2021

Art and Medicine


Yesterday I had an appointment at a Stanford medical facility, and the waiting room was completely packed. I guess there's a lot of people who've been putting off medical treatment because of Covid worries (like me!). There was no where for me to hang out or sit so I paced the halls, and pretended I was at an art gallery. Because of course Stanford has actual Roy Lichtenstein's and Andy Warhol's on the wall in a hallway at an eye clinic. University endowment size matters, money talks, etc. All of these pieces were donated by presumably wealthy Stanford grads, doctors or patients for sizable tax write-offs. Win/win? Not exactly, but at least these pieces are getting seen by a lot of patient eyeballs instead of sitting in some rich person's house or art storage closet. It was all pop art in that hallway, easy for people with eye problems to see, which I thought was a nice choice.

I feel very lucky and privileged to get high quality health care in such an elegant setting, especially in this country. But I also had to drive an hour to get there. Five minutes away is the tiny medical clinic office in my town, which smells too much like mold for me to go in for very long at a time. They have an x-ray machine from the 1960's. There are very faded posters of Monet's waterlilies in the waiting room. It's a remarkable disparity really. It honestly made me feel a little ill to consider this. 

But at least I got my eye questions answered, and I now have the news that I have the very beginning of cataracts forming. Not a surprise as my parents and grandparents had them, so at some point there will be a surgery in my future. Maybe I'll still be lucky and be surrounded by Lichtensteins and Warhols at that point. But I'm guessing that a lot will change between now and then. 

Wednesday, December 08, 2021



The sun was hitting just right the other day on my Rangpur Lime so I got this great picture.
At last night's SBAMQG meeting, we had a presentation on a photo manipulation app called Percolator. Oh my goodness, it's so wonderful.

Can't you just see the quilt designs that could come out of this?
I love how abstracted you can make your photo. There are so many different combinations and tools to use this app.

I'm going to try and figure out if it's possible to somehow turn this into a Cricut cutting file. Get all those circles cut out to the right sizes, iron them on, and boom--done.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Red All Over

Time to try another Curated Quilts challenge. I loved these shades of red and the theme of Energize.
Started in on a design today after finding the corresponding colored pencils.

 And I couldn't resist and bought a "scrap bag" of solids, just to see what I'd get, some good colors in there. What is it about scrap bags anyway? 

Monday, December 06, 2021

Color of the Year


I'm pretty happy about the Kona color of the year. Isn't it so pretty and spunky?

There's an interesting Violet Craft pattern available using this plus their intense red called Chili, it's extremely Vibrant with a capital V. Hot hot hot.

It might be cool combined with last year's color, Horizon, 

or 2020's Enchanted.

But my first idea was to combine it with a deep indigo navy blue. We shall see what people come up with this year, it's always fun.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Quilty Box Plus

The newest quilty box for November arrived and there's so many great goodies this time. I'm super excited about the fabrics, a newer take on my old favorite celestial designs. A purple silicone iron rest, a new marking/tracing set of tools and a lovely shade of gold Wonderful thread.
I compared the new Wonderful gold thread to my older one and it's so much smoother, maybe it will sew better and I can use the older thread in the bobbin instead.
The plus from the title of this post was that I separately ordered some stuff from Quilty Box from their leftovers of previous boxes. These are from the months before I subscribed, I got a nice variegated thread, a stack of Carolyn Friedlander checks and a kit for making a Kaffe Fassett table runner. I didn't read the description closely enough on that last one, thinking it was just FQ's of the fabric, whoops. 
So I had to research a little and figure what I'd just bought. I found this picture online to see what the pattern for the table runner was, it's a pretty easy one to figure out, so we'll see if I modify it at all or just do my own thing with the pieces. I just wanted the nice variety of those dots from Kaffe to play with.



Thursday, December 02, 2021

Runner Ready

I've been waiting a whole year to get to decorate with this!
Apparently I now have an almighty need for one table runner for every month of the year...3/12 so far, 9 to go. Perhaps 2022 will be the Year of the Table Runner?


Wednesday, December 01, 2021

December At Last

 I'm having that December at last--finally, and oh-no--already feeling?! I've been waiting and I'm not ready all at the same time.

Monthly marker was made with SnapSeed as usual, combining two photos.

A pomegranate that I grew and gave to my mom on Thanksgiving.

The Courthouse Steps quilt in process.

My 11th One Second Everyday video of the year. I'm so glad I've kept up with using this app.