Sketching and stitching – I’ve been BUSY

Ah, dearest readers, it’s been a while since we last corresponded. I apologize for being underground recently.

I’ve been a busy bee, but many of my creations cannot be unveiled just yet. This is a bit silly in my opinion, as my life is an open book for the most part, but as the great architect I.M. Pei said, “There is an element of time in all creative endeavors.” I’m not sure I have that quote exactly right, but you get the idea.

Here is a list of coming attractions:


That is the name of my new sewing pattern business! I’ll have a website soon where you can order my patterns (by mail or download) and kits, plus offerings from a few of my favorite designers.

Pop Pendants

A striking quilt wallhanging featuring Pop Rox fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics – to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine!

Cachet and Carry

New purse patterns: a great look made with an innovative technique using 1 pattern template . . . you’re gonna love this one.

Easy, peasy pillow patterns
– I’ll start with 2 new pillow patterns, which are a quick, fun way to brush up on your sewing skills. The first pattern sample is sewn using a new line of fabric by Ella Blue called Terra Australis 2.  The fabric was generously given to me by Julie Dueck of Intrepid Thread (Milpitas, CA). I will be teaching this pillow pattern this fall at Intrepid Thread. Making this pillow is a quick way to use those fabrics you love.

The second pillow is was created with a new line of fabric by Kim Andersson for Wyndam Fabrics. Check out my next post for a sneak peak.

2 Baby Quilt Patterns!

Don’t you love handmade baby gifts that are quick to make? I have two patterns designed to swaddle the new little darling in comfort and love.


I love scarves. Wooly knit scarves, fleece snuggly scarves, embroidered linen wraps and airy, breezy voile ties.

Scarf for Kim Schaefer

This is a scarf I made as a thank you gift for Kim Schaefer. Kim is a creative powerhouse with many books, patterns and fabric collections among her vast array of accomplishments. Kim was incredibly generous in providing fabric for my first quilt design to be published in a magazine.

My quilt, Stripped to Pieces, was in the Spring 14 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine and it features Kim’s fabulous fabric line, Kim’s Hand Dyes, for Andover Fabrics.  I took the selveges from the gorgeous fabrics, folded under the raw edge and topstitched them to fleece in a diagonal plaid pattern at each end of the scarf. Kim lives in Wisconsin, lucky duck. I love California, but I miss the snow.

Stay tuned . . .


Midnight in the City quilt

Midnight in the City quilt

My skyline quilt “Midnight in the City” was displayed at Stitch Modern in Piedmont, CA. It all started with my Skyline quilt block and a great group of friends on the Flickr bee, Simply Solids. Click on the photo to go to the free tutorial for the basic block I used to make this quilt.

Fiddle track by Jon Parry


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This is a music track called Up the Waterfall. It’s only 90 seconds long, but I promise you will enjoy it. The artist is my cousin Jon Parry who can be seen performing regularly at the Owl ‘n Thistle, 808 Post Alley in Seattle, WA. I’ve only had the pleasure of hearing him play on a few occasions, but his music blows me away.


Tassel Keychain or Decor

Here is my latest tassel keychain. This one is about 10″ long and is very full. It’s made with strips of fine cotton batiks, threads, floss, charms and beads. I’ve added a couple closeups so you can see the dangling beads as well as the beads around the neck of the keychain and the wired beads where the tassel attaches to the sterling silver plated split keyring.


Blue tassel – look closely for the beads hanging near the bottom of the tassel


Close up of wired beads and beads around the tassel neck

As I mentioned in my previous post, these tassels make great key rings, purse dangles and curtain tie-backs. You can also hang them from a lamp or use them to decorate the base of a tall candlestick.

Of course I had to include photos of my staff, who help with all stages of production and like to get in every photo.

BlueTassel with Rusty-001

Rusty, our Tibetan Terrier who didn’t want to look at the camera

BlueTassel with Jackie-001

Jackie the Jack Russell Terrier


Boho chic tassel


I made this tassel yesterday as a gift for my friend Barbara. I added tons of beads, though many are hidden in the depths of the tassel. 

An embellished tassel like this can be used as a keychain, a purse dangle, curtain tie back or, as shown in this photo, to spruce up an old brass lamp. It’s a little over the top, but I love adding this kind of rich texture to my life. 

I started by cutting narrow strips of three different fabrics. Then I threaded beads on embroidery floss and pearl cotton of various colors and weights. I tied a few of the larger beads to the fabric strips but wasn’t crazy about how jerky the fabric knots looked. (I kept them there because I don’t like to undo things very often. I prefer to keep it as is, my own personal creative expression, and try something different next time. If I try to make the first one perfect, it will never be done!)


I tied it together at the top with wire strung with larger beads and wired that to a sterling silver keychain, as shown below. I wrapped a strip of fabric around the neck of the tassel, secured it with stitches and sewed beads there, too.Image

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Anti-perfectionism creations

Lately I’ve been into what I think of as “instant gratification creations”. I just do whatever is quick and easy, rather than obsessing about doing it “right”.

So I needed a quick label for my skyline quilt. I used a pencil to sketch a skyline and added my name and contact info, then copied it onto fabric. I touched up the fabric copy with an ultra-fine Sharpie pen. That’s it!

You know what? I like it more than any quilt label I’ve ever done.

An easy way to create a custom label for your quilt

An easy way to create a custom label for your quilt

Skyline block quilt tutorial

Blocks from Simply Solids bee on flickr using my tutorial on

Blocks from Simply Solids bee on flickr using my tutorial on

Skyline block quilt tutorial

I am almost finished with my Skyline quilt – yay! I posted the basic block tutorial on my other blog – if you are interested in looking at it.

The quilt needs to be hung tomorrow night at Stitch Modern in Oakland, CA, so “almost finished” is not good enough and I’m starting to panic.

I’ll post a picture of it as soon as it’s quilted, but I wanted to remind you that the tutorial is on my other blog. Here is a picture of a basic block. Last March, I designed this block for my online quilting bee Simply Solids on Flickr. The fabulous women in my bee took the basic concept and produced some amazing variations.

The blocks are pinned to the wall in this photo. I’ve altered the layout since then because I thought they looked a little like books on a bookshelf.

More to come, stay tuned . . .