Monday, March 29, 2010

A nice day out

A delicious lunch and finding the “perfect” fabric at a nearby quilt shop made my day.

Rick’s on Second Street in Antioch is a very nice lunch spot. I met my new friend, Bev, at Rick’s today. The little restaurant serves delicious sandwiches and great soup. You can order a half sandwich and a cup of soup. That to me is the perfect combination.

You need a reservation for this popular, cozy place. In the picture above, note the turquoise plastic bag carried by one of the patrons. That bag comes from my favorite quilt shop – Queen B’s Quilt Shop – just a half block away.

Bev is a quilter, but she had other errands to do today so I wandered down to Queen B’s by myself. I was welcomed like a long, lost friend. (I have not been there in quite a while, but it is a place where everyone knows your name.)

I’ve been working on my QuiltArt 15th Anniversary challenge and have the middle part almost completed. However, I needed some “floor” and “ceiling” fabric to finish my scene. I’ve been contemplating dyeing some fabric in gradations to fill my need. This seemed a daunting task for an inexperienced dyer.

Much to my delight I found the very fabric I’d been imagining right in the store. It is McKenna Ryan’s “Silent Inspirations” by Hoffman California International Fabrics. So I took my own turquoise plastic bag filled with fabric home with me.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quilting tools carrier

I made this carrier for my quilting tools back in 1993. I still use it today when attending a quilt class. After schlepping to my first class with my scissors, thread, rotary cutter, needles, pins, etc. in a paper bag, I thought I’d better get organized. The other people in the class had fancy roll-around cases and carts for their tools.

The carrier is approximately 23 inches wide and 17 inches tall when folded in half. I made fitted pockets for scissors, a rotary cutter, and a small ruler and pencils. Along the bottom are miscellaneous pockets for miscellaneous things – thread, thimbles, measuring tape, seam ripper, boxed pins, and other stuff. The pockets have elastic across the tops so the little things won’t fall out easily. I used thick poly batting to provide good padding. I quilted the fold-over part in a large simple grid.
When the pockets are filled with supplies for the class, I fold over the padded top and tuck in a 12 inch quilting ruler and a small, narrow cutting mat. Then the whole carrier can be folded over in thirds.

It sure beats a paper bag.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday – appliqué

A few years ago I made this graphic for the word. I sent it in to and it is now somewhere in their archives. Wordsmith sends out A.Word.A.Day. I look forward to it every day in my e-mail box. If you love words you might try a subscription.

I love to do hand appliqué.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blank sheet

Here is my 15-inch by 15-inch blank sheet. Several members of the QuiltArt list are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the list by making small quilts. The challenge is to express what the QuiltArt group has meant to the participants over the years. The only firm requirement for the quilts is that they have to be square and 15-inches by 15-inches.

My blank square is on my cutting mat. I’m trying out fabric now. The quilts are due by April 15, 2010.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Flashback Friday -- old ideas

Where do our “original” ideas come from? I spent my early childhood in this building at the corner of 18th and Jefferson Street in Oakland, California. It was my father’s printing plant. I sat at the feet of my father’s graphic artist, Hank, and watched him work. He leaned on his drawing board and drew with his rapidographs. I wanted to grow up and be just like Hank (or marry him). He didn’t mind my watching. He wasn’t a very talkative fellow.

The building is still there. Here is a Google street view image.

I grew up and took many graphics classes in college. I became a graphic artist, book designer, and a printer. I had my own set of rapidographs. Thanks, Hank.

The building, I realize now, had a profound influence on the other choices I made later in life. Our house, which I designed with two architect friends, has a round window. It is straight and boxy with sharp angles and a flat roof surounded by a parapet; obviously influenced by the images I formed as a child.

Ha, I thought I was so original.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Hang your quilt in a gallery

This is fun. I hung a quilt of mine in an art gallery. I saw this idea on Sally Bramald’s blog, Feather on a Wire, last December.

Go to and try it out with a quilt of your own.

I used my old Delta Sunset quiltlet.

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sittin' on the back porch

I seem to take this same picture year after year. Today, I looked up at the willow tree putting forth its new buds and leaves and thought “I must take a picture of that.”

When I was sizing the photo in Paint Shop Pro I ran across five other pictures of the same willow tree welcoming spring. Perhaps that’s what spring is all about; everything looks new again.

Here are a couple of other pictures from past years.

It was a beautiful day today.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Liz said I was a perfect 10

For the last 15 years I’ve been wearing Liz Claiborne jeans, dress slacks, and nice cotton black, khaki and navy blue wash pants. It has been easy shopping for them. I just headed for the size 10 rack and pulled out the colors and styles I wanted. I didn’t even have to try them on. A year or so ago the brand discontinued my favorite jeans – “Classic Fit.” I bought other size 10 Liz jeans but they had low-slung waists and when I wore them I felt as if my pants were falling off. Most of the new jeans had spandex added. They had an odd streaky appearance and didn’t look or feel like real denim.

My stock of classic jeans began wearing thin. (It was always the left knee that went first.) I was down to one decent pair without a rip last month. I hate to shop so I tried L.L. Bean mail order. They had “classic fit” jeans made of real denim. The problem was my ego. I’ve felt smug that I was a size 10 at my age. However Bean’s measuring chart let me know that I’d been fooled all these years.

I bit my tongue and ordered the gigantic size from Bean anyway. The jeans arrived Monday. I tried them on. They fit perfectly. I laid them out on top of my size 10 Claibornes. They were exactly the same size. Liz had lied to me.

You know, if Claiborne still had the classic fit jeans that I loved I would buy them instead of the perfectly fine Bean jeans because I would be a size 10 again. Oh the vanity.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010


We don’t get much hail in California. Our little balcony by the office has artificial grass, but it did have a real ice coating today.

I remember when my older son, Rob, put it in on a nice warm April day in 2008. I did a post called “I asked him to cut the lawn.”

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