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Try, learn, grow

How do you build a foundation of knowledge?   Experience? Study? Observation? Reflection?

However you go about learning, you must first be open to trying.
You've got to be open to something in order for it to work.

A lot of times we put up road blocks for ourselves.
I can't do it until..
I'll do it once ____ happens
I don't want to do it yet because I'm not ready.

But once you're ready, you know.  You might keep making excuses, but you know you could if you tried.

I remember a time before I knew how to quilt.  I knew a lot about quilts and quilt making, but I hadn't actually tried it to the point where I knew what I was doing.   I poured over books, magazines.  (I realize now that this "beginner" phase lasted a lot longer than I thought, of course this comes in hindsight because I never could have anticipated how obsessed or knowledgeable I could become with this hobby.  And I am certain that there is so much more I can learn, when I'm ready.. ;…
Recent posts

8 minutes for 25 cents

You don't realize how much you are actually going to lose when you go through a divorce.  You mostly think of the things you don't like and how you will be rid of them.  The things you'll gain like personal choice and freedom.  I knew I would lose big things.  Time with my children.  My home.  
But there are other things that are gone that have had much bigger impact than I could have anticipated.  Like my washer and dryer.  
I spend an awful lot of time at the laundromat these days, but also doing laundry wherever else I'm able to.  Not having free laundry access has greatly influenced my routines and the choices I make.  Not unlike when I lived in Washburn and would wear only light colors one week and only dark colors the next.  You choose clothes that wash easily and wear well.  You are strategic with your wardrobe choices based on when you can do laundry again.. ('I really want to wear these jeans when we go out to dinner Saturday night so I better wear ___ inste…


2017, while surreal and dystopian for a lot of other reasons, has been great for me and my quilting..
My most recent project is Karen Tripp's Mischief Quilt.  It seems in the time I have spent focusing on writing a second book (2014-15) getting divorced (2015-16) and rebuilding my life (2016~), EPP has gotten hella intricate and complex.  I feel.. a little antiquated with my one patch diamonds and hexies.. but anyway.  Karen approached me to see if I'd be interested in trying out her new pattern and helping get the word out about the tutorials and community she has going over at  Of course I wanted to help.   She sent a full kit with acrylic templates, paper EPP shapes, and pattern planning pages.  I'll admit, for the first few days I was overwhelmed.  Didn't help that both kids came down with some mysterious cold/fever/crankiness thing that resulted in total disruption of the calm routine I rely so heavily on for survival.   Anyway, yesterda…

Making Twine

A few weeks ago I found a new-to-me blog, Hester's Handmade Home.  Her youtube page has this super cool tutorial for making fabric twine.  At first I was like, sure, that's cool, but I'd rather make a string quilt.  But then, last week I tried to destash some scraps on facebook and instagram.. and even after filling and shipping boxes to other scrap loving friends, I still had SO MANY SCRAPS.

Like, so many.  It was obvious that I had tons and tons of strings that will probably never end up in any quilt, as much as I would like them to.  So I recruited George to help pull strings of desired width and length, and I started twisting.. And twisting and twisting and twisting.  It's pretty easy and kind of addictive.  I only stopped when my arms started to hurt.  It's very easy to change colors, absolutely no stitching involved.

I made enough to wind around the tree as garland and called it a day.  Very simple and fast project, used up some neglected scraps.. like this…

My birthday weekend

So.  I turned 37 on Monday. And the last week has been full of reflective thoughts, perhaps more so than other years.
I was very careful to plan out how to spend my time this weekend-- I have always been one to want/crave/and ask for alone time on my birthday.  I just need it.  It's my treat to myself-- that time to really reconnect, to sift through my thoughts, take stock of where I'm at, and ground myself in my reality.
With two years of midlife crisis behind me, I think I'm doing ok.

I spent most of the weekend with the guy I've been seeing (who needs to make an appearance here on the blog soon.. he's tall.  I need him to hold up some quilts for me) but I did take a jaunt into Manhattan on Saturday to get to the NYC Metro Mod Guild meeting.  It was my first time going in .. maybe 18 months?  Felt so good to be around quilty friends and beautiful making.

 I stitched on the train ride in, of course.  This blue and yellow block has fabrics from the quilt I made w…

The contents of my TQ#5 sewing kit

Started in February 2014.. in a few short months, this WIP will be 3 years old.  The sewing kit has been the same all along (I think?), and it has collected a few odd bits and memories.  I was noticing the other night, as I planned out the last few diamonds and edge pieces, that so much has changed in that time.  So many friends and experiences.  Their stories are in the quilt, which I'll tell again once it's done (aiming to have the top together by Feb 2017), but the kit.. I didn't realize so many memories would be held in this little plastic box too.

This is everything just kinda thrown out of the case.  Pic is from my design wall sometime last winter, before I moved the bed to the opposite wall and had to take down the batting.  (I ended up stringing lights from the command hooks I left up).  More of it has been pieced together than is shown in the pic, but I'll do a separate post for TQ#5 progress soon.   In order to sneak time to take all these photos, I let Jack c…

Falling Stars

Christa is making the Falling Stars quilt from Quilting on the Go.
As she laid it out on the bed last night, I was struck by how much I love this pattern.  And all sorts of twinges of memories surfaced-- the initial idea, the design process, sitting with dear friends sewing the sample for the book.
My original thoughts were to do completely scrappy background with long chains and occasional stars in white.  Shifting the color palette to blues and chartreuse really changed the impact. I had so so many ideas for 60 degree diamond quilts and most of them are still trapped in my sketchbooks or scrawled on the back of book notes, stuck there in time.  But this, the Falling Stars quilt happened.  And I love what people are doing with it.
Christa's version is so beautiful, and so her.  Even though I gave her fabrics from the original (and let her root through my stash of blues), the overall tone looks like all of her other quilts.  Strong and natural.  My quilts can tend to be chaotic an…