• 30Jan
    Categories: Everything! Comments Off on January Redwork

    Our Redwork group is very faithful–faithful about getting together and having fun!  We don’t always have Redwork to share, but we always have something to share!  I love to see what everyone is working on, and I’m sure you do, too.  Here’s what they ladies brought in January.

    Robin is working on an Alphabet Quilt. I think the yellow and pink combination is really nice.

    Adorable illustrations.

    This is Happy’s Friendship Quilt.

    What a lovely sentiment.

    And the blocks are all very sweet.

    This is Happy’s quilt from a coastal shop hop that she did.

    I love the fabric for the crab, it looks like he has barnacles on him!

    And here’s her Bow Tie quilt….

    …every fabric in it is a polka-dot!

    She had also done some charming, stitched Christmas ornaments.

    One of the ladies had a few vintage blocks that don’t lay flat, and wondered what to do with them.  Our advice?  Take them apart and re-stitch them!

    Another adorable Christmas ornament.  See, we do do Redwork!

    Earlene is getting the most amazing blocks from her secret pal at guild.

    She had mentioned on her form that she likes horses.

    I think she thought her secret pal might use some horse fabric in her blocks.

    But no!

    She is appliqueing all these amazing blocks!

    They are just incredible.

    There are even horseshoes…

    …and stars…

    …and flying geese for fillers.

    This is a corner block, according to the note that was attached to it.

    We’re all so excited to see what it looks like when it’s put together.

    Loretta is working on a Christmas Memories panel.

    And Carol has done this great stitchery on linen.


    I love the little trim she inserted.

    It’s a very precious piece.

    So much fun.

  • 29Jan
    Categories: brilliant ideas Comments Off on I’m on the Radio!

    Well, I’m going to be on the radio–tomorrow!

    Do you know about American Patchwork and Quilting Radio hosted by Pat Sloan?  It airs every Monday, and Pat usually has four guests.  Tomorrow, I’m one of them!  We’ll be chatting about fabric design, design inspiration—all kinds of things.  To listen live, tune in at:

    4pm Eastern
    3pm Central
    2pm Mountain
    1pm Pacific

    I’ll be the third guest.

    If you miss the live broadcast, you can download a podcast and listen later.  Just click this link to find all the info.


  • 12Jan
    Categories: Everything! Comments Off on Guild Paint Chip Challenge

    A few days ago, I posted about the Paint Chip Challenge our Guild did.

    This is my table runner.

    Each participating member did a blind draw for a paint chip.

    The goal was to make something using the colors in your chip, like this gorgeous Hawaiian wall hanging Doris made!

    You were supposed to use three of the four colors on your chip.

    How adorable are these elephants!?!

    Renee made this.

    You could add white to your palette.

    Like Cherry did with this pretty pillow.

    Or, you could add black.

    Like Jan did to embellish her vest.

    Some people were able to find a single fabric that had more than one of the paint chip’s colors in it.

    Terri made this.

    The stipes in this border look great against the chip!

    Peggy’s quilt had a whole story to tell.

    And the back is adorable.  There’s even a hidden pocket!

    Participants had no idea what color they would get.

    Nellie had yellows and made a cute table runner.

    Audrey had golds.

    She went the table runner route, too!

    It was harder than you’d think to find just the right shades to match the chips.

    Dianne’s adorable piece showed Sunbonnet Sue on vacation in Europe, and what a vacation it was!  She swam the English Channel, picked lavender in Provence, went nude sunbathing in St. Tropez, and took a steam bath in Baden Baden.  Wow, I want to travel with her!

    Kathy resorted to dying her own fabric!

    She made this clever purse.

    The stripes in this border fabric had all the right colors!

    I love Bev’s seashells in the attic windows setting.

    Here’s another one with black.

    Jo’s quilt was really striking, and the quilting was great.

    You can’t go wrong with feathers and a scalloped edge!

    Lynda made this radiant start quilt.

    Oh, can you say Kermit?

    That’s what Earlene thought of when she saw her paint chip!

    Wow, imagine finding a single fabric that had all the colors!

    Gerri turned it into this sweet apron.

    Dee also found a print that worked with her chip.

    She made an adorable apron with cross-stitch embellishments on it.

    I didn’t get a snap of Janet’s paint chip, but her apron sure turned out cute.

    Glennys’ giant dahlia quilt was one of two winners.

    The other was Dixie’s lavender cat.  Both of them were whisked away before I got a picture of their paint chips, but believe me, they did a great job of matching their fabrics to their paint chips.

    Here are some great neutrals.

    Alas, I don’t know who made this great Quilter’s Roll.  Can someone tell me, please?

    The whole challenge was great fun and the quilts will all be displayed at the Peninsula Quilt Guild Show in March.

  • 11Jan
    Categories: travels abroad Comments Off on Scandinavian Folklore

    Shortly before Christmas, I learned about this book.

    It’s a gorgeous coffee table book filled with photos of Swedish and Norwegian folk dress.

    There are no US distributors so I ordered a copy from Sweden.

    It came last week and was worth the wait!

    I love anything old, folksy or traditional.

    This was all of that!

    Can you imagine that this was everyday wear at one time?

    The photos are taken by the author, Laila Duran.

    I found some additional ones from the town of Boda here.

    Each town, or parish, has their own unique costume.  One of the prettiest costumes comes from Dala-Floda.  The mens is shown below.

    This is my relative, Berit, in blue.  She is from Floda, too!

    And this is me in my Nås dress. I’m ready to dance around the Maypole in Sweden in 2008.  This dress was given me by my Swedish relatives in 1984, and I really treasure it.

    Everyone in Nås would have worn the same costume.

    At the midsummer celebration in Nås there were a lot of people in their folk dress. This woman is wearing a man’s jacket.

    It was especially fun seeing the children in their traditional clothes.  The apron can be red or white.

    Isn’t she adorable?

    My sister took most of these photos.

    She said she felt like a stalker!

    But the kids were too cute to resist.

    I love tradition!

  • 10Jan
    Categories: Everything! Comments Off on Paint Chip Challenge

    Our Quilt Guild just held a Paint Chip Challenge!  What’s that, you may ask?  Each participant got a paint chip and some simple rules—use three of the colors on your paint chip plus black or white.  Okay, I’m up for that.

    Here’s the paint chip I got.

    I chose to use the two on the left and the lightest one on the right.  Imagine, I had fabrics in my stash that worked great!

    I had seen a tutorial for a cute table runner on the Knitty Bitties blog, so decided to make one.  It starts with half-square-triangles.

    Once they were sewn together, I added wide rickrack.

    I think the colors are pretty true to the paint chip.

    Once the rickrack and borders were on, I layered everything, using the dark purple solid on the back and a scrap of cotton batting that I had left over from another project.

    I knew I’d need three threads to quilt with.  I just don’t like light thread on dark fabrics and dark thread on light fabrics!  Once again, my stash—thread stash, that is—came through!

    I just did some straight line quilting on my Featherweight.  I used my foot as a guide to quilt a 1/4″ from the edge of the triangles.  For the other rows of quilting, I used the Frixon pen to mark the lines and loved it!

    I trimmed away the batting, cut the backing 1″ larger than the top and just did a double fold, bringing the back to the front for the binding.

    I wasn’t sure how I wanted to stitch the binding in place so I experimented with a couple of stitches on my Elna.  I decided on the middle stitch, a triple zigzag,but once I started on the actual runner, I had trouble with consistency of size.  So, after about 12″, I decided to tear it out.  Ugh!

    Do you know this little trick?  After you’ve cut your stitches with your seam ripper, you can use a lint roller to pick up all the tiny treads!  As you can see, I had a lot!

    In the end, I used the buttonhole stitch, and it worked great.

    The finished product!

  • 09Jan

    Last fall at the Anna Lena retreat, Mary and Robin had a stack of really fun blocks that they had gotten in a block swap.

    Once the blocks started going up on the wall, they drew a lot of attention.  That led to a conversation about block swaps, and before you could say “Crossroads to Jericho” we decided we would do a block swap at our next retreat!

    Robin and Mary’s blocks were so striking yet so simple that we decided to do this block for our first swap.  You might want to organize a swap with your friends, too!

    Blocks finish at 8-1/2″. Here are the fabric requirements for each block.

    Black: 5) 2-1/2” squares

    Four different bright prints: 1) 2-1/2” squares of each and 1) 5-1/2” squares of each cut once diagonally.

    When you cut your large square diagonally, you will end up with two triangles.  You only need one per color per block, so set half aside for another block.

    Lay out your squares to form a nine-patch with the black in the middle and on the corners.

    Match the triangles to their companion prints.  I love how this forms an arrow.

    Once you have the nine-patch sewn together, line it up with one of the triangles as shown below.  Make sure an equal amount of fabric is visible on each side then stitch.  I like to do opposite sides first, press, then do the remaining sides.  On the nine-patches, I press toward the dark.  On the triangles, I press toward the triangle.

    Voila!  Your finished block.

    If you set the blocks straight, the black forms a chain through the bright arrows.

    If you set the blocks on point, the nine-patch is more visible.

    Every swap needs a few rules.  Below are ours.  The last one is the most important!

    Your pieced block should measure slightly more than 9”.  There’s a little wiggle room here, so blocks can be trimmed to 9”.  If your block is smaller than 9”, it isn’t acceptable.  Either restitch with slightly smaller seams or make another one to swap.

    Don’t trim your blocks.  Let the person receiving them do the trimming.

    The black can be a solid black, or a black-on-black print, but be sure it “reads” black from a distance.

    Bright means bright, clear colors.  Nothing muddy!

    You may make all your blocks the same, or use lots of different blacks and brights.

    Have fun!


  • 02Jan
    Categories: Everything! Comments Off on Ostkaka – Swedish Cheesecake

    I was delighted to find a new blog recently.  It’s called Semiswede – Sort of about Sweden, sort of not! It’s written by Maia, an American living in Sweden.  I had a ball reading all the posts.  There was one about Swedish cheesecake that really intrigued me.  Here’s what her beautiful photo looks like.

    Of course, I had to try it!  So yesterday, I bought the ingredients—mostly eggs, milk and cottage cheese—and made one!

    It’s very much like a custard, but the cottage cheese gives it a unique texture and chewiness.  As I was rinsing the strawberries, I realized that the adorable little colander I was using was a Swedish purchase!

    It was still pretty warm when I cut into it, but it had set up nicely.  I think it should be spooned out into a bowl (now that I looked at Maia’s photo again) but I cut wedges.  Bob agreed that it was very tasty.

    I’ll definitely make this again!