basket love

I bought myself this gorgeous African basket from an African vendor at the Quilt Festival in Santa Clara this past weekend.


The words "Bolga Basketo" are embossed in the leather handle. I just love everything about it ... the workmanship, it's colors, voluptuous shape and the look and feel of the handle when I grasp it.

I spied this same vendor at the Long Beach quilt show this summer but walked away empty-handed because I couldn't think of a way to get one of these home on the plane. So, when my sister and I walked into the Santa Clara show and saw the very same vendor of African wares, I was delighted. But we had waited until the last second to relocate the stall. With literally five minutes to go before the end of the show and stopping several times to ask for directions, we found the basket vendor again. They immediately offered me a very nice discount, although I must confess that I would've bought the basket at full price!


So what's in the basket you may ask? I bought a couple of fabrics to make an apron and an apron pattern, machine needles and a thumb protector. I thought that was pretty restrained.

I bought the Veronica apron pattern even though I really wanted the Daily Spice Halter Apron pattern by Heather Bailey http://quilthome.com/product_info.php/products_id/5664 but balked at paying $12.50. Is it just me, or is that a bit pricey for a fairly simple pattern? I've looked closer at the Veronica pattern since I brought it home, and am not sure if I like it all that much.

If anyone have any good recommendations for a halter style apron pattern, please let me know.


skin and bones

Skeleton imagery is all the rage this time of year. My son went through a period of fascination with skulls and bones and we have various examples, mainly fashioned out of ceramic, scattered through out the house all year round.

My friend Mary, modeling a macabre apron at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin festival last Saturday. I was thinking of my blogging friend Rebekah's recent post (http://dontcallmebecky.typepad.com/rebekah/2009/10/day-of-the-dead-embroidery.html) when I took this shot.




Quilt on exhibit at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara. Isn't the detail on this fantastic? She fussy cut skulls from Alexander Henry fabric and I love all the buttons. I wish I had noted the quilter's name - I tried to find it listed in the Program to no avail. I believe it was titled something like "quilting into eternity".

Some miscellaneous pictures from the pumpkin festival. It was unbelievably crowded and consequently very difficult to take pictures.


Someone I know.



The haunted house run by the local theater group was making a killing with their haunted house (no pun intended). Don took the kids in but after only a couple of minutes, Elizabeth ran out crying.


Another quilt show

My sister and I spent Sunday at the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara. This is a super-fantastic show (more quilts, I think, than in Long Beach). We viewed exhibit quilts for nearly six hours, reserving the last hour for shopping the vendor stalls . Even 7 hours wasn't sufficient time to see everything. During our short shopping frenzy, I recall my sister exclaiming, "STEP AWAY from the fabric, just step away!!!" I suppose leaving only one measly hour for shopping was a good thing... for the pocketbook at any rate.

This was one of my favorites in the South African section of the World exhibit.


JennidotL commented on flickr that this is a Mola. I had to google "mola" because I was ignorant of the term. It refers to the applique technique used for the bird at the center of the quilt. I also loved the hand quilted swirls and brilliant colors the quilter used.



My sister:


The quilter noted that she started out making Dear Jane blocks with the intention of making the entire Dear Jane quilt but at some point stalled out on the project and found a new way to make incorporate the blocks she had completed into a new and original design.



The quilt above won "Best World" and is by Meri Henriques Vahl from Santa Cruz . My sister who is also from Santa Cruz is an acquaintance, she recalls Meri telling that could never seem to follow the instructions in a quilting class - she always had her own vision of what she wanted to do. We attended the Santa Cruz guild show last year where she had some really stunning quilts on display.

I have more to share, but that's all for today.

I apologize for the poor quality of my photos which cannot do justice to these quilts, but I wanted to focus on enjoying the quilts on exhibit and not on taking good photos. I've also not included attributions, however, if you're interested, more info info is available at www.quiltfest.com and clicking on the Pacific Quilt show link.


when inspiration strikes

My brother Ken was coming to town for his birthday and annual visit to treat our Dad to a 49ers game and I thought I'd make him some potholders.

I had some leftover orange squares I had cut out for my snowball quilt but thought they were to "pumpkin-y". Hmmmmmm

Pumpkin mini-quilt

My orange squares were a bit small for potholders, but what if I made several pumpkins and combined them with some stash fabrics?

pumpkin action

I like the way the eyes ended up peeking over the top of the pumpkin stem.

I had only a few hours to throw it together -- Friday evening and Saturday morning -- nothing like a fast approaching deadline to kick up one's creative juices.


I used a fat quarter of a vintage looking Halloween print for the back (sorry, not pictured here). The binding is completely machine sewn to save time, a technique I have obviously not mastered!

Pumpkin mini


Blogger's Quilt Festival

I've decided to get over my shyness and join the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by parkcitygirl.blogspot.com. This is the quilt I've chosen to share:

Dresden Plate baby quilt

I wish I had a better picture of the entire quilt, if given the chance I'd reshoot with my new camera, but the quilt is long gone... gifted to my niece's 2nd baby.

Dresden Plate Baby Quilt

This is the first quilt I made after purchasing my Babylock at the Int'l Quilt Festival in Longbeach last summer (08). I came home from the show energized and inspired to sew! I had met Elinor Burns at the show when I purchased the Babylock, already owned her book "Egg Money Quilts" and had a sizable stash of depression-era prints calling out to me. It seemed apropos that I make something from her book. I opened the book and my eye went immediately to the Dresden Plate block. I knew I wanted to make something bright and in primary colors. I also had my eye on this cheerful fabric at Beverly's for the backing. It coordinated so well with with the fabric in the Plates.

Baby quilt

Surprisingly, I did not find it tremendously difficult to piece and assemble. I followed Burns' instructions which are very clear and use many time-saving techniques such as chain piecing.

The devil made me do it

The Plates are attached to the background fabric by machine using non-filoment thread and my machine's blind hem stitch. I chose silk variegated thread to stitch free-motion with the machine a swirl in the centers of the red circles and free-motioned (no marking) large swirls in the background.

Baby quilt

I chose from my machine's various embroidery stitches to create the label:

Baby quilt label


getting things done

Sometimes it doesn't seem like I'm getting anything accomplished because I haven't had a completed quilt to show off in many months. But I'm chipping away at the pile with four quilts in various stages of doneness. Does anyone else work this way?

snow ball WIP

This one is a straightforward snowball I've been futzing with for about a year. All the individual snowball pieces are cut and pieced and the top is about halfway assembled. Most likely it'll be on the small side and I'll have to think about borders soon. Any ideas?

WIP - Monkey Business

The monkey top is all pieced. It's interesting working on a quilt where I am lending my quilting expertise and leaving all of the design decisions to my friend. It's her first quilt and I think it's looking pretty good so far.

trying it on for size

My assistant.