Archives for category: Finished Decorative Arts

This quilt is for some friends’ little girl, due in April. As before, I used minimal patchwork, with more emphasis on the stitching, which I like.


The fabrics are all cottons (ie. durable and washable). After washing, it measures 35×42″, which will be big enough for a toddler to drag around. The tan and ivory polka dots are from Nani Iro. I love how sweet and minimal it is. The foxes on the front are a little mischievous, and there are crickets hiding in the clover fabric on the back. Do you see them? (Look for the eyeballs.)



The binding is the same orange as my last quilt. I had some left over and liked it with these fabrics, too. I think it brings a nice pop of color to the neutral side.


I’m very pleased with it. (I forgot to mention that about the last one. I was pleased with it, too!)


I spent some time this fall making a quilt for a friend’s little boy. I haven’t made very many other quilts, but I like a minimal approach to patchwork. The bottom 2/3 of the front side is navy and gold (below). The upper 1/3 is two lighter blues. The navy/ sea portion contains a gradation of stitched waves (most visible in third photo), close together near the horizon and fading toward the bottom.


The light blue/ sky portion is stitched with unevenly-placed stars/ twinkles. (below)


On the back is a herringbone printed fabric from Nani Iro. I’m always so pleased to get to use one of Naomi Ito’s lovely fabrics.


The warm orange binding really makes the blues pop.

The fabrics and batting are all cotton. The whole things is machine wash- and dry-able. At about 3ft x 4ft, the quilt is little enough for a crib, but big enough for a toddler, when he gets that big.



The fall and winter (even when it feels too warm to be wintery) always make me want to get my hands on some yarn and make something. Like any person who works with fibers, I have a stash of yarn, string, fabric, etc. tucked away. Some of these things have been waiting for years for me to notice them. This is the season to do it.

Although my fiber stash is relatively organized and mostly contained, I’m determined to scale it back. Stashes like these can easily get out of hand. I’ve been getting real with myself about what I’ll actually use (“It’s pretty as a skein, but I hate knitting cotton.”) Mainly though, going through it has been inspiring. It’s reminded me what I liked about these things in the first place. It has also reminded me what exactly I have tucked away.

The sort-through has reminded me how good it feels to experiment without being too critical or results-focused. There have been a couple of failed projects, but I’ve been productive. After all, if I don’t use it or won’t use it, it has to go, so why not play around? After a little fiber-dry spell, it feels really nice to be stitching something nearly every day.

A couple of the successful projects have become Christmas presents. A few more supplies are waiting to do the same.



There were four important factors that went into planning this baby quilt:

  1. Gender-neutrality. Nobody knows if it’s a girl or a boy.
  2. I had to be able to complete it. I have never finished a quilt before, and had a relatively short time to make it, so it needed to be manageable in scope. (Spoiler alert: I finished it.)
  3. It had to be big enough for a toddler, not just a baby. I know kids wont necessarily attach to the things you want them to, but if there’s any chance for  Niece/ Nephew to love this quilt enough to bring its raggedy scraps to college, there has to be the ability for cuddling and forts.
  4. Washability. Niece/ Nephew will get it dirty.

So the details. The red side is flannel, the green side and yellow binding are quilting-weight cottons, the batting is very heavy weight cotton. All of it came from A lot of it is organic- I can’t remember which parts. The two faces of the quilt are each one big piece of fabric (it’s a whole cloth quilt). I quilted by hand around mainly green-side patterns, but some red-side motifs as well. I used pale blue 10/2 cotton meant for weaving for that. I finished the binding by hand. The last stitch was about an hour before the baby shower. The final wash happened after the party, but before my brother- and sister-in law took it home.

In the end, I forgot to take finished pictures, and I don’t have exact dimensions. But they like it and I’m proud of it, so I think there will be opportunities in the future for all that.

Periodicals because they are published periodically, but are so much more than magazines.

Selvedge is a perennial favorite. I’d decided not to renew my subscription a while back because of how much later I received it than I thought I should. (It’s published in the UK, so by the time I was getting my issue, the next one was already out.) But when I got a small stack of them in the mail two weeks ago – third hand from my mom and her friend – I was 1. grateful, 2. inspired, and 3. feeling kind of petty/ silly for not renewing.

(When I saw this image I also felt some hometown pride.)

Next is 3191Q. I know I’m always gushing about how much I love these ladies’ work, but really. Just when I was gearing up to add elbow patches to my coat (below), Stephanie (Congdon Barnes) included her stencil and tips in the Autumn issue.  Oatmeal cookies after Maria (Vettese)’s  recipe created wide eyes and wide smiles everywhere they went. (I should have followed my instincts and made a double batch right off the bat.) So now that the winter issue has arrived I’m pretty excited about it.

You already know how I feel about National Geographic. The article about domesticated foxes this month (!!) means that it’s only a matter of time before I get to snuggle with a fox.

Next, a friend gave me an issue of Science News that I haven’t read yet. But I’m looking forward to it, just the same.

Lastly, I’m considering subscribing to American Short Fiction. I found out that one of the authors I liked in the O. Henry Prize 2008 collection will be included in their spring edition and that the subscription fee isn’t all that much. And if short stories just dropped themselves into my mailbox, I’d be really happy.

Most of the things from the craft fair in December. Finally!

Check it out here.

The holiday craft fair at the Nightlight went pretty well. It was not well attended (maybe because of the snow?), but I sold a few things. It’s really hard for me to interact with people when it’s clear to everybody that I’d like them to buy my work.  In that way, it was good practice, even if today there weren’t that many people to practice with.

I set up my table beneath one of the skylights on a sofa whose color complimented my collection. I wanted a spot that wasn’t the very first or very last that people would see. The skylight gave me a lot of great natural light. I ended up using the lamps I’d brought as elevation on the back of the table. Helpful.

I also got to make a trade (!) with Jody from Flytrap Studios. She liked my Beehive Ladies and I liked her dresses (and scarves) so we traded Thelma (the blue one) for a dress (the green version) that I’m wearing right now.

A few people dropped by and hung out with me for a little while. My friend/coworker Andrea and I played a few games of pente while she was there.

Matt made those nice signs for me. Two days ago he brought it to my attention that I should have/ would want them.

These wallets are my newest work. I made one using the safari fabric (Zanzibar, by Alexander Henry) for myself and people liked it, so I made more.

All of the wallets have coin pockets that close with Velcro, on the reverse side. On the safari ones, it’s the same fabric, and on the beachside striped ones it matches the turquoise pocket inside.

In a few days there will be wallets, backgammon and pente sets up on my Etsy.