As I am forcing myself to prepare for a show which from this point of view is looking potentially “disasterous”, I find myself once again questioning.  That ever present question – “is it time to quit?”  And as the years have progressed, I seem to have been gathering evidence for “yes”.  I guess it’s simply a matter of time until those reasons outweigh the one that has kept me going – that being “out and about” is better for my “health and well being” than to remain “home alone” in this small space.  It is beginning to feel like the wear and tear on my aging body is overcoming the “ego perks”. 😦

And then there is this – I can not continue to be a kind of “traveling museum”.  That is, displaying a skill that was once ‘honored’, so to speak, and valued.  Handwork, like clocks with hands, is becoming extinct in terms of a skill anyone wants to learn – let alone master. And while the ‘oohs & ahhs’ feel good, they don’t pay the bills, so to speak(again^_^).  And, as we all know, everything required to produce a product and get it to a location, and into a space – all of those “expenses” have gone way up.  While “income” has continued to decline.

And that leaves the issue of ‘intent’ – why am I doing this in the first place??  Yes, I certainly need to make money!  As noted above – there are those built in expenses.  There are also the what would be called ‘overhead’ expenses, except in this case – it includes ‘living’ expenses!!  So, there is that.  However, there has always been the joy of creating and sharing.  I have refused to do things/designs just because they would sell – so to speak. (again)^_^  I have only done what has called to me – my favorite flowers, etc.  And, until recently, only using hand, needleturn applique’!  Yes, there are those two new patterns!  They are done with machine applique’.  And you might be thinking – well, then, why not just go in that direction?  And I can only say – because that would not be being true to me.  It would feel like ‘doing it for the money’ – and then it would truly become a “JOB”!  It’s hard work and hard enough to do ‘for the love of it’!!

And there you have it – my unanswered question.

it’s been a long time coming for both of these designs!! i think i’m happy with them???  have no idea how they will be received.  neither is an ‘easy’ project , but, then – not much i do is. ^_^  i’d be happy to hear any comments (i think) ^_^

it’s hard to tell sizes from these pictures!  the morning glory is in the standard 10″ circle.  the bop is about 13 x 15.5 oval.  it’s definitely the tougher one!  all those skinny points! ^_^  thank goodness for batiks!!

mg final bop final

i was determined to spend this ‘free’ time productively – and there wasn’t much i needed to do to get ready for the next show, given the last one was a lot less than anticipated!  so, put my attention on ‘unfinished projects’ – things that are in line with where i’d like to go next with regard to ‘what to do with my life’. ^_^  these are projects that i plan to sell at some point down the road.

so, the first was one that hadn’t even been started – until recently.  i had done an initial drawing for an idea that was born way back before i even moved out here!  once i had the drawing done, i dug out the inspiration – and was not ‘impressed’!  not exactly as i had remembered it!  and still this idea had stuck in my head for over 15 years!!  seemed it needed to be done – one way or another!  i will just have to do the center however it gets created in the present time!!  i had to take this picture outside as my (expensive!) camera flash no longer works. grrr  i thought i had cropped it – oops! ^_^

poinsettia 3







that one is currently percolating – not yet certain about that center!  have some thoughts.  so, decided to pull out ‘next’ – and the star fabric seemed to be calling to me.  no, not fabric with stars on it – fabric from which i cut diamonds to make 8-pointed kaleidoscope-type stars.  in the past, i’ve used a ‘stripe’ kind of fabric, but some years ago there was a series that came out with a lot of metallic and in 3 (or 4?) colorways!  i could not resist cause i could just see those stars!  there was also a ‘matching’ stripe.  i think they went on sale at my local shop, so i bought some of each of what they had.  i had made some stars – both the 8-pointed ‘block’ kind and some 6-pointed smaller ones to applique.  the past few days i have been working on those and cutting out a few more.  they are very simple to sew!  the real challenge/trick is in knowing how/where to place that template to get something fun and interesting – and then to do that 8 times, as exactly the same as possible!  the first thing you learn is that fabric is not printed perfectly!!  oh, and then to pin them together as perfectly as possible. ^_^  so, here’s a picture of the non-stripe and one of the stars i made from it.  the star looks finished, but it’s just lying on the same black that i will use to finish it, so the seam allowance is still showing on the outer points – they will look slightly different once ‘completed’.

star fabric

star stripe a star 1










well, ok then – since i did that, i’ll leave it.  that’s the stripe that goes with that one.  will be making some from it as well.  it kinda works better for the smaller stars.

and that, my friends, is how some crazy people spend their time. ^_^  and, yes, i do have a large project in mind for these.  only problem is – it feels beyond my piecing/quilt designing capabilities.  guess that’s never stopped me before – does sometimes slow me down a bit. ^_^

as promised, here is the latest ‘creation’. this was not my idea – saw a picture on facebook and saved.  i didn’t go to the actual article and get instructions – just did my own thing.  the original was a bit more ‘refined’, i chose to make mine ‘primitive style’ – which means ya don’t have to worry about sewing straight, etc. ^_^

the cool thing is – made entirely from ‘scrap’ fabric from my ‘stash’ (quilters’ word for must save or had to have and will maybe use someday).  i chose to use flannel on the backs – a little easier to sew than extra layer of denim.  also hoped would help hold pieces in place when playing??  and, the best part – i even stuffed the pieces with fabric scraps!!  i have a huge bag-full to give to ‘someone’ to be used to stuff dog beds.  my local shop isn’t currently ‘collecting’ for a group who does that – not sure what i’m going to do with them.  intending for that to resolve itself. ^_^  so, anyway – i just chopped scraps into tiny pieces, much like you’d chop parsley.  only i used a rotary cutter instead of a knife.  i quickly resisted the notion to hold the fabric in place!!  felt way too dangerous!  have nicked a finger once or twice – that blade is very sharp!!  discovered that once i made the first cut it kind of held the fabric to the cutting mat – so not a problem.  narrow strips in one direction – repeat in opposite direction and voila’ – fabric ‘confetti’.  i also chose to do the background and batting in one piece and only ‘rag piece’ the top.  then stitched thru all layers within each little square.  i wet all the edges and into the dryer for 20 minutes – and there you have it!!

tic tac 1     tic tac 2i cut the board squares at 4″, did 1/2″ seams for the ‘ragging’.  cut the pieces at 3 1/2″.  did slightly less seam allowance on those.  about 3/8″.

for those who read yesterday’s post – mr. pepe was still not speaking to me at this point!  i didn’t use a flash, so he wasn’t frightened away.  by evening he was back to normal.  guess he had forgiven me.

ok, gotta scoot – teaching today and have once again put myself at risk of being late.

it is nearly 2:30 and my cat, mr. pepe, is still not speaking to me.  i have apologized several times and done everything i could to  let him know i didn’t do it on purpose.  he is not impressed.

so, this morning, after sophie ate, she decided she wanted out again.  as i stood there and not so patiently waited, kept checking to make sure pepe was not poised to shoot out the door when i let sophie in.  looked up again, and there she was – doing her best imitation of me – you know, like when you walk into a room and find yourself standing there thinking “now why did i come in here??”  and probably kind of looking lost.  at that point i became my not so charming self and in my ‘anger’, did what i often do to ‘vent’ same – went to slam the door.  and then i heard a squal – oops, how the hell did you get in there without my seeing you??  yes, there is a screen door. 😦  yes, he was between the two doors – only briefly, but – squashed, none the less!!

of course i quickly opened the door and pepe made a beeline for the bedroom!!  while i eventually did force him out of his hidey spot – to make him walk and make sure a visit to the vet wasn’t needed – he did not venture out here until after 1:00.  and he is definitely giving me the old ‘cold shoulder’.  it’s even more noticeable because lately he has been constantly kind of ‘bugging’ me for attention.  he’s not even sitting in my chair!  and we’ve had an ongoing battle over that!

for me, a very good example of how attempting to ‘control’ others and getting ‘angry’ when you can’t – not only doesn’t work, it can cause some actual harm – hmmmmm  animals can teach you a lot if you pay attention.  like sophie is also doing now – about unconditional love, really!  never thought i’d ever be giving anyone shots!! we have both adjusted.  the new syringes have such tiny needles, she really doesn’t seem to feel it.  amazing.  so, diabetes – under control, it seems.  next up – cushings.  much more difficult it sounds.  finally read an article – she definitely has nearly all the symptoms!  and it’s probably the cause of the diabetes.

just finished a fun project for rachel’s birthday – will post that picture tomorrow.

stay tuned.  ^_^

today i remembered – i do have something new in the works!  i am finally working on the book i began several years ago – and one i have been asked about lately – like ‘requested’. ^_^  it will not be a book that is published by C&T, or anyone like that.  could be – i’m just not choosing to do that.  and it will be spiral bound – not because that might be ‘cheaper’ – but because i want folks to be able to open it and have it lie flat.  it is to be used as a ‘teaching tool’ – with pictures for reference while you are stitching.  i am doing my best to write it the same way i teach the beginning applique class – including all the many little tips i give during those full day classes!

part of the reason it has remained ‘on the shelf’ was because i thought i had gone as far as i could without someone to hold a camera and ‘snap’ as i sewed.  i have spent the past few days redoing some of what i had done – so it really is like the class and the full size class pattern will come with it.  i am also considering doing a small cd – perhaps just using my fancy phone to make the video – nothing fancy, just very useful. ^_^

so, there are now 3 finished chapters – complete with ‘illustrations’.  i will probably begin writing the words for what’s next and then add the photos in after – that way i’ll know exactly what i want – i hope.  my friend tammy will be the lucky ‘photographer’.  she also got to be the first to read the 3 chapters.

once again, i wanted to have a picture in here.  while i was looking at the daffodils i risked life and limb to cut(they bloom on the side of the very steep lower hill of our property) – i realized they are exactly like the fabrics i use for my ‘yellow’ daffodil kit – not the normal bright, solid yellow variety – these are bigger and more ‘open’ and the petals are creamy yellow and trumpets are brighter yellow.  took a picture to share.


daff 2013

i haven’t created any new designs – or even samples, so haven’t written anything in quite some time.  this one is part ‘business’, part ‘personal’.

so, the watsonville show was very good for me – a good bit better than last year.  and it was much needed.  i was also between 2 lovely women – new vendors (for me), and that made it even nicer.  plus, the weather was just about perfect -(sometimes it can be very wet),  and that meant i could park right next to the bldg – which made caring for sophie easy!  and that brings me to the more personal news.

a couple week ago i discovered my dear, little sophie dog has diabetes.  and, something called “cushings disease” – which, believe it or not, i find much more troublesome.  it does explain the hair loss, as well as the total change in her hair in general.  also explains why her tummy still looks ‘fat’ even tho i am feeding her ‘bare minimum’.  and in addition, explains howcome she can no longer jump up, etc.  i don’t yet know the full extent of that one – we are still in the first part of treating the diabetes.  she goes back on thurs. for the whole day.  they do a glucose level ‘curve’ to assure current dosage is correct, etc.  yes, more $$$.

so, all of that on top of the van repairs done before and after the trip to tucson – well, a good show was very welcome!!

as for business ‘news’ – i am finally actively working on ‘the book’, yea!  i think i have the first 3 chapters completed – now it’s time for “lights, camera, action” and a lot more words about actual stitching!!  for that, i need ‘help’ – my friend tammy has volunteered.  so, next ‘play day’ at her house will include that along with fabric dying and long arm quilting!!   i have a ‘turning 20 again’ that i want to use and that means fairly heavy quilting to handle frequent washings.  doesn’t much matter what the quilting looks like.  other than messing around at a show – have never even tried to use a long arm!!  haven’t even quilted on a regular machine!!  don’t expect to be seeing it posted on here! ^_^

ok, just so there is one picture – here’s one of the surprise snow we had recently.  this is how they usually are – very wet and stick to every tiny twig.  usually gone within a few hours.  this lasted over night and into afternoon before the sun finally got to it.  it was very pretty.







onward & upward!

i have just finished doing what should have been done years ago – yes, sometimes i do move that slowly!!

i have removed all those samples from the ‘boards’.  this is the set of samples that used to hang in the booth – along with the set that became ” the quilt”.  in fact, this was the ‘first’, as in ‘favorite’ set (for me).  why then, you ask, were they not the ones used for the quilt??  well, because it was never my intention to make a quilt!!  both sets were hung in the booth – so people could see how very different each looked when done in different ‘colors’.  i was sharing a booth with geri and it was a ‘small’ booth – even smaller than the normal 10×10!!  there was not room to display that many strips of samples – so i cut the number of strips in half by displaying just one ‘colorway’ of each design.  the ‘second set’ of  blocks were just being ‘stored’ while waiting to be rejoined – and then i awoke to one of those messages in my head – “Why don’t you sew those blocks together?”  i attempted to argue my case – that “I don’t do that”, to no avail.  there is just no arguing with THAT voice!! ^_^

so, that is the short story of how “The Quilt” came into being.  it has won ribbons and received lots of ‘kind words’ over all these years since.  and few know that there is still my ‘favorite’ set of samples tucked away.  and today i finally removed all the tape, etc and they are neatly stacked ‘in waiting’.  and i don’t really know what’s next for them.  “The Quilt” has been appraised at $4500 – amazing, i think!!  i have told many people when they asked  ‘how much would something like that cost?’ – min $2500.  obviously no takers as yet. ^_^  since i already have that ‘nice’ quilt to pass on to no one who really wants it – no good reason to make something ‘for myself’.  so here are the options i am currently sort of considering (while waiting for divine guidance!!):

1.  sell them as is – trimmed and ready to be sewn together – $1200

2.  sew them together and sell them for $2500 – buyer to at least pay for quilting and binding, if not just handling it themselves.

3.  sew them together, have them quilted, bind it and sell for ?????

4. ????????????????


the quiltin case you have never seen me at a show – or visited the webpage – here’s a picture of ‘the quilt’.  these blocks are available as individual patterns (& kits) or in a package for a discount.  all found on the webpage.







anyway – i’d appreciate any feedback – just for the fun of it.  and since i know ‘guidance’ can come in many guises. ^_^  and, as i looked at this post in preview – i realized – both sets can be seen in that picture at the top!!  the quilt is in the center and there are 2 strips of samples on either side of it!  i guess i used to to that in the booth – before the nearly nouveau series was born. ^_^

just finished doing a fused sample for the cone flower using white with green centers.  several years ago my friend bobbie did a pattern called “Irish Eyes” – wow, never heard of those!  Love ’em!  Then last year i spent a night at a small bed & breakfast and there were wonderful clusters of them growing in the lovely gardens!  the other day i got one of those ‘messages’  “do the cone flower in whites” – hmmm, ok, i can do that.  chose to fuse just to make sure it got finished before the next show. ^_^  i will admit it – i think those tiny pieces are easier to sew than cut out! ended up having to use 4 different whites instead of just 2 – 2 for outside of petals and 2 frosted ones for undersides.  helps define the petals better – looks less like a ‘blob’.

white cone





as usual, the framing fabric does not photograph well – it’s the more olive one that i often use – a moda marble.  overall, looks better ‘in person’. ^_^  you can see it at the show in watsonville on feb 23,24.

i finally pushed myself to do it – add the beads to the full-size hibiscus.  have no idea howcome i didn’t wanna – annoying when that happens. ^_^  so, here’s a close-up of that area.  and once i post this, i’m off to add this one to the webpage – along with the smaller version.  yea!  and that completes all the new designs.  still have the peony hand dye sample to finish and cut those kits and add to page.  then??  guess i’ll have to buckle down and do the restocking.  oh, and have to do some rearranging on the racks to fit all the new stuff on!!  can’t sell it in the booth if you can’t see it! ^_^

hibis beads

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