I’m so excited to be lecturing again for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, my home guild in my home town. I’ve been an on-again, off-again member for more than a decade so it feels like home turf, that’s grown while I was away.Continue reading “Join me at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild!”
We kicked off Season 8 with no live audience and very little hoop-la (the exact opposite of Season 7’s kick-off at Cali Quilt Co!) but it worked out perfectly with the uptick in COVID cases and our RV going belly up on the first day back on the road. Sigh…
There are a bunch of different tutorials available for adding a pocket to your scarf, including this one from Patterns for Pirates and this pattern from Indygo Junction. I chose to do it my own way and added an invisible zipper.
Thanks to Brody, Zach, and Teancum for playing host to Sew Together Tuesday, as well as some in-person and Zoom workshops.Continue reading “Sew Together Tuesday: Infinity Scarf with Zipper Pocket”
If you’re like me at all, you love a good shop hop. It’s always fun visiting new stores and checking out the displays, the fabric selection, the notion wall… all of it! Starting in less than two weeks, I’ll be embarking what I think will be the ultimate shop hop.
Hawke and I are taking our Sew Together Tuesday on the road and doing our Lives from 10 different shops across America, every Tuesday a different store in a different state. Crazy, right?! Yes, but it’s going to be so great!
You’ll be able to join in, both in-person and online for the Tuesday sessions, but wait… there’s more! HA! I’ll be teaching additional classes in each of those shops, plus a slough of weekend classes as well. I’ve listed them all in my calendar, so keep an eye on those upcoming events listed to the right —–>
Over the twelve weeks I’ll be teaching at 16 different shops:
Cali Quilt Co (Rancho Cordova, CA)
The Fig Leaf Quilting (Fort Collins, CO)
The Quilt Shop (Wakefield, NE)
Old Alley Quilt Shop (Sherburn, MN)
Red Roxy Quilt Co (Decorah, IA)
Time Flies Quilt & Sew (Negaunee, MI)
Blue Bar Quilts (Middleton, WI)
Always in Stitches (Noblesville, IN)
Quilt Beginnings (Dublin, OH)
Sew It Up Bernina (Hurst, TX)
Poppy Quilt & Sew (Georgetown, TX)
KC Maker Studio & Fabric (Kansas City, MO)
The Pin Cushion (Mitchell SD)
Sew On & Sew North (Langdon, ND)
Quilts & More (Sidney, MT)
Backdoor Quilt Shoppe (Billings, MT)
I can’t wait to get out there and share the LQS love with everyone. I’ll be doing store spotlights and impromptu visits, searching out and sharing shops along the way.
If you’re interested in following along on our travel adventures (especially on our days off!), make sure to subscribe to Makers At Large, the blog I am doing with Hawke.
This marked my third year teaching at Road to California and it was the best by far. I had four classes, Thursday through Sunday, focusing on fabrics that many are intimidated by: minky, double gauze and knits. I’d spent hours and hours over the last few weeks prepping kits and samples for the classes and it was all worth it.
On Thursday, we made Ellie Elephants using the pattern from Funky Friends Factory and Luxe Cuddle Heather Fog from Shannon Fabrics, along with a couple of solid Cuddle minky fabrics. They turned out so well and everyone was so happy with their elephants! I saw a couple of students walking the show floor with them later and it was adorable. Look how pleased they were!
Registration opens today for the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington. This will be my third time teaching at Sew Expo and I’m excited to be revisiting some classes that have been popular in the past.
Cuddle Up with Applique on Friday at 2pm
Soft and Simple Cuddle Quilts on Sunday at 11am
Sew a Double Gauze Top on Wednesday at 11am
If you haven’t been to Sew Expo and you are interested in sewing apparel as well as quilting, you are in for a treat. It started as an apparel-sewing event and has a definite lean toward garment- and bag-making, which is exactly how I started, too.
I hope you’ll make the drive and come visit. I’ll be teaching classes and spending time at the Dutch Quilter booth, as well as wandering the show to find all the new goodies I’ve just got to have.
Do you remember this fall when I was at the Missouri Star Quilt Company Birthday Bash? Okay, maybe not, but I had a great time (like always!).
I was on Jenny’s team and we worked like mad women for an hour making a lovely pinwheel quilt that was designed by Jenny Doan just for the event. Sue Daley was there so we had to add some EPP hexagon flowers thrown in; hand-piecing with a strict time limit just makes it that much more fun–ha!Continue reading “That Quilt from the MSQC Sewlebrity Sew-Off”
I finished a quilt –for myself!!– last month. It’s been on my to-make list for years, but in my life somehow for much longer.
Let’s start back in 1999. Despite the amazing Prince song that most people are reminded of, there was no partying happening. It was the year I got divorced and embarked on a road that I have stayed on for the next 17 years…solo parenting. (Long story short, their father is not a part of their lives.) I grew up in a religious family that holds tight the conservative ideas of American life: birth, school, marriage, work (til you have kids), buy a house, play it safe. Getting divorced and all that it entailed for me and my two kids made me rethink everything I’d believed in. I knew I could either feel bad about the path my life was on or I could embrace it fully and that’s when I came across the Helen Keller quote that inspired this: Life is a daring adventure or nothing.
You’ll notice in the mock-up I have the quote with an additional “at all.” That’s how I originally knew the quote, but before I got to cutting out letters, I did a bunch of searching for the original. From what I can gather, that part just got tacked on by someone, somewhere along the line and suddenly there were two versions of the quote. From what I could find, the shorter version is actually what she said (but I could be wrong!)
Anyway, this quote has long-guided me in my choices, both as a mom and as a person. We get one shot at this, I figure, we might as well make it interesting (hence college in my 30s, living in SE Asia, making a hodgepodge career, random road trips, etc).
I wanted a quilt that would exemplify that idea, so I started with a big box of scraps from work. I cut dozens and dozens of strips, divvied up by color intensity. Then started sewing them together.
I used my handy Strip Tube Ruler to cut out a ton of triangles, then laid them out. Then chain-pieced like a crazy person. Soon enough, the top was done . Then came the scary part–the letters.
I made templates out of file folders and traced around each, hoping to spell out the quote correctly. I worried about that a lot.
I stitched around each letter, then carefully cut out the patchwork to reveal the Grunge (Moda) that I’d backed the quilt with. It headed off to the quilter (Kazumi Peterson) and came a few weeks later looking just as good as I’d imagined when I first came up with this crazy idea. I love love love the way “or nothing.” just fades away, giving it a bleach-dipped look.
I’m happy to announce that the quilt will be hanging at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon on July 9, 2016.
Late last year, I teamed up with Bill Volckening to brainstorm some modern art-inspired quilt designs. Over a couple of dinner meeting, we settled on something reminiscent of Matisse’s paper cuts with a touch of Rorschach, deciding that it should be all needle-turn applique in the spirit of traditional Hawaiian quilt making.
Over the next month, it went from a digital sketch to a full-blown (80″ x 80″) quilt, hand-appliqued and lightly hand-quilted by me, with load of echo quilting from Jolene Knight.
In the end, I’m absolutely thrilled with ‘Red,’ which is now part of the Volckening Collection.
It is currently on display at Watermark Gallery (part of Gallery EOSS) in East Providence, Rhode Island through April 10, 12016.
Did you know that your sewing machine has its own holiday? It certainly deserves it, if you ask me. I’ll forever be grateful to all those curious and industrious men who developed stitching machines that evolved into the beauty I get to sew on today.
Go do a little sewing and celebrate this lovely invention.
Pardon me while I stray far from sewing on this post.
First, a little backstory–many, many moons ago, I was married to a guy who had a love for Vespas. We discovered them together in the first year we were married. Having grown up on the back of my dad’s motorcycle, the love for two-wheeled travel ran deep in me and I was more than happy to encourage a foray into the scooter world. He bought one Vespa, then another, a Lambretta or two, and even a Harley Davidson Topper. He taught me how to ride, but by then I was pregnant and he didn’t want me to ride. Meanwhile, he was making friends with the local scooter people and going on long rides with them. I stayed home, wishing I could join in. And once, he let me.
In May 1992, we drove up to Seattle and I rode on the back of his P200. I was nearly six months pregnant, but not yet showing much and could still easily sit behind him. I had a ball and couldn’t wait to get my chance to join in the fun after the baby was born. But that isn’t what happened. I never got the chance to ride again, though we had nearly two dozen bikes at one point. I was the stay-home mom and stay home is what I did.
Years later, in 2005 in fact, I dated a fellow who’d joined the scooter scene just as my ex-husband was leaving it. They didn’t know each other, but there were mutual friends and I became friends with several. But he didn’t have a scooter and either did I. I knew scooter people, though I never rode.
Then I met P and when we lived together, he bought a scooter–a little Honda Ruckus. Not only did he let me ride it, he encouraged me to do so. I loved it and took every opportunity I could while I was there (and since!).
We broke up, life moved on (and a million things happened in between), then this last March a friend of the second scooter guy invited me to Spring Scoot 21. Someone wanted me to join in?! I was thrilled and asked P if I could borrow his bike for the ride. He happily said yes.
And so twenty-three years after my first scooter rally in Seattle, I joined the long-established scooter rally in Portland. And it was more fun than I had ever expected.
We started out at Club 21 in NE Portland. When I arrived at 6:30pm, there were a few dozen scooters of all sorts (though predominately Vespas, of course). The little Ruckus I rode is right there in the front left.
By the time we left to ride to Mad Son’s, I’d counted 52 bikes, including several more Ruckus riders, a couple motorcycles, mopeds and lots of Vespas. I did the ride, in the cold rain then decided to take the bike back to P for the night.
We met up again at noon on Saturday in North Portland and took off for another ride. I have proof–that’s me in the video of the ride. I know it’s hard to recognize me, but I promise, that’s me in the big coat and knit skirt!
It was, to be honest, not the best weather for riding. We took off in dry weather, heading out toward Hayden Island, then turning and driving through St. Johns. By the time we had reached N. Fessenden the rain was falling and when we crossed the St. Johns’ Bridge, it was coming down hard enough to make visibility difficult and there was no way I was stopping for pics in that mess.
We rode up and through the West Hills and across the Ross Island, over to a bar and then on to a barbecue at Vicious Cycle. I headed home soon after and crashed hard. (I woke up the next morning still fully dressed–I’d managed only to remove my boots before I fell asleep!)
The next day we met up at Catalina’s for a bit of brunch and giveaways before heading out once more, this time in a crowd of around a hundred bikes.
There is something so awesome about driving in a huge group like this and reminds me fondly of riding in Vietnam. I can see how it might unnerve some, but I loved every second of it as we headed out around the airport and then eastward.
As we drove past the Troutdale airport, I realized where we were heading and I couldn’t contain my excitement. It didn’t matter that my little bike was a half mile behind the pack, we were going on my favorite local drive… out to the Columbia River Gorge.
We made it out there, twisting and turning along the Old Columbia River Highway with a stop at the Vista House before continuing on to Multnomah Falls. It was amazing and wonderful and so much fun to just ride and ride.
Over the three days of the ride, I put more than 200 miles on the little bike. I couldn’t have been happier, honestly. It was wonderful and I am eternally grateful for P encouraging me to keep riding and for my daughter being independent enough for me to be gone so much.
This… this is my happy place.