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A Lot Of Catch Up. Photos, Quilting Etc.

La Passacaglia Rosette One
A couple of my gentle friends have prodded me for not posting on my blog lately... well, for almost a month. It's not that I do not have anything to post, it's more a matter of I always wonder if people actually read blogs anymore. I do, but it seems that more people respond to my social media posts than to my blog posts and so I always wonder. After posting a question about blogging and social media on FaceBook it does seem that many folks read blogs and so I will try to be better in the future. I seem to use my IPad now so much more than the desktop IMac .. I wish that blogging from the IPad was easier. I have Blogsy and the newer Blogger App... I need more practice to use them efficiently.

I have made sewing my new 'day job' (though I wish it brought in a bit of money too!) 

Sewing catch ups first... this is a  l-o-n-g post and is heavily photo laden. You are forewarned! This is a recap of the things that I should have blogged about earlier and include some of my recent diversions. If you follow through and read it all THANK YOU!

I have been working on not one, but two, Millefiori projects. 

These next two blocks are from the La Passacaglia Quilt pattern from Willyne Hammerstein. The pattern is from her first book called "Millefiori Quilts". Her second book on Millefiori quilts is out, but I have not splurged on it yet...maybe for my all too fast approaching birthday I will. This is an EPP (English Paper Pieced) project.
La Passacaglia Rosette Two
Below is the second Millefiori project (also EPP) that has caught my attention. I needed a colorful antidote to using my stash of reproductions! I am much further along on the blocks now...but have no current images for you. It's from "The New Hexagon" by Katja Marek (below). You must have the book to do the project as the Rosettes are made from combinations of patterns in the book. All of the paper pieces, books and acrylic templates that you might need (and want)are available from one of my favorite shops online -PaperPieces. Ask to speak to Cathy and say "hi" from me!! Both of these wonderful projects offer active FaceBook groups that provide a lot of inspiration and motivation!

Many years ago I bought this "Hearts and Hands" pattern from McCalls Magazine (below). I unearthed it, and, as if I did not have enough hand work already, I have begun to sew the blocks. I have a half dozen done now and I am enjoying them a lot. I appreciate hand applique. Stitching these blocks makes a nice counterpoint to EPP. The only place that still seems to offer this pattern for sale is at:

My plan is to modify the pattern to suit my preferences a bit. The appliqued square blocks are trimmed into circles and are then appliqued onto another ground. I am using Kona Grellow as the yellow and will be using Moda Bella Fig Tree Cream as the main background. Once again, more blocks are now finished but I have not taken photos- so there is another blog post ready to go soon!

The pattern calls for numerous teeny tiny 1.25" starbursts (block on the right). The rest of the blocks all feature many, many curves. This is another skill builder quilt! I will never worry about curves again! I am going to try to do more applique blocks in place of some of the starbursts. I find the starburst blocks easiest to do on a foundation with a machine...the rest of the blocks will be all hand applique. I have been using Carol Doak's Foundation Paper, but am considering buying newsprint. the issue is that I know the CD brand works, but the newsprint is listed in pound weight ... and I am uncertain that it will be the same lightweight that I like. 
Making the teeny tiny starbursts.
You can see the ruler that I laid alongside one edge of the burst on the upper right
and the finished size in the upper left
Machine projects..... I plug away on my SpiderWeb blocks.
Below: I finally got my "Fractured Quilt" a la Kathy Doughty 
bound and on the bed for the first time.
it came our very large - just about a king size.

The obsession that has bumped the Spider Webs quilt a bit is "Wagon Wheels" from American Jane (Sandy Klop). I have 10 blocks finished now (of 16). This too will be a good size bed quilt. The blocks finish to 15.00" plus a delicious border that I am cooking up. I am trying to give this a more graphic look using a restricted palette of black, white, and greys plus using prints with some sort of 'writing' on them. The red in the wheels is consistent throughout as it the fussy cut red button fabric in the center. I wish I had more Marcia Derse "Black and White" prints! They have been perfect for this project.

This has also been another project where using a paper foundation has been very helpful.
I think that circles and foundation piecing are "my thing" at the moment!

I have made several of these handy needle sharpeners using a Kaffe Fassett home dec fabric filled with emery powder. They sure to help keep my needles - especially my hand sewing ones- sharp and smooth. I think that they look nicer than the typical fake red velvet ones that come with those 'tomato' pincushions!
On social media I recently shared my love for these lowly, but oh! so useful, porcupine quills. I use them in a variety of lengths for so many things! Applique, stuffing, turning points and more. They have one very sharp end and one end hat is more rounded. 
 I buy them from Etsy shops.

I had an 'orphan' scrap of embroidered felt that I wanted to use in some way. I had cut it oddly in the past to make use of a circle design, but that seriously limited how I could use it....but I did not want to just throw it away either. A needle case was he perfect answer with a vintage button added for the closure

A friend gifted me with a parasol from her great grandmother. It was silk...but the silk is almost all gone. It has thoroughly shattered away. It was probably made from leaded silk from that time. I hope to be able to re-fashion it since the mechanism still works perfectly and the spines are all in perfect shape as well. Thi is the handle that was obscured by layers of use and years of wear.  I polished it up some to bring out the chinoiserie scene. I did not want to remove all of the patina but you just would not have seen this sweet little scene without some judicious brightening. I believe that it is from the late 19th to early 20th century. Now to fnd an online class in umbrella making!

My attention has also been diverted by the gloriousness of where I live. We have had some amazing warm and sunny weather thus far this Spring. I am almost never in town when there are not too many crowds and when I can appreciate the beauty of where I live, but this particular day was stellar and uncrowded.

Our main street as you get off from the ferry.
 A few harbor shots .. also near the ferry landing

 Ice cream near the ferry too!
If you have actually gotten this far...bless you. 
If not I understand. Have a great day in your neighborhood!


  1. I am reading this in my motel room in Salem Oregon. I clicked on your blog--as I do now only every couple of weeks--because you don't seem to blog any more. I am delighted to see your post. I don't do much on FB--because I am tired of "sound bites"--no depth to almost anything people publish. I do like blogs--especially ones that truly tell you something about the person and what they do and how they think.
    So--I check daily 3 blogs and come away--delighted, enlightened and happy. What more could I ask? Janet Wright

  2. You have been one busy little bee (or hummingbird). I love each of the projects you are working on - really! The colors are glorious and I have always been fond of creating pattern within a pattern like the EPP. I cannot tell you how many ice cream cones I have eaten from that shop! My Dad loved to ride the ferry for an ice cream cone - tin roof or maple nut. ;)

  3. It's so sad we have so many projects and not enough time. I know you probably have a bit of knitting hiding away somewhere - another delicious one, I'm sure. La Passacaglia is occupying much of my time, along with just regular hexies. An elaborate crochet afghan on one side of the bed and my Dr. Who scarf (16 feet long when finished) on the other. And another big sewing project coming up in the next few months you will hear about later.

  4. Such a lovely article! Your rosettes are beautiful! If you were looking for additional information and tutorials we now have a complete guide available at TheDIYAddict ((


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