The Jelly roll rug

I first saw the Jelly Roll rug at Quiltcon in February. Moda owns the name Jelly Roll for a bundle of 2.5″, width of fabric, usually about 45 of them, from one line. It started popping up all over the internet. Basically, a flat rope basket, made from fabric and batting. I don’t like using precuts, but since I picked up this Jellyroll on sale, I decided to jump in. I also bought the precut batting, cutting the batting myself would be a pain and a waste of time. On the quilting retreat weekend I did buy the die for 2.5″ strips from a fellow quilter who had two. I tried using that on the batting, still a lot of work. Like most precut packages, this consists of a number of colorways from a line of fabric. I usually find that completely boring. Now that I have the die, I may cut up some of my own fabric….There is a pattern for sale with the instructions. There are also many people on YouTube who share basic information on to do this. It’s pretty much a very large rope basket.Clover clips are a must, here I am creating the rope. Sewing the rope together. I used a topstitching needle. One of the instructions were for a jeans needle, I didn’t have one, but Top Stitching is a pretty big needle. I also used some Common Threads thread. I had bought it a few years ago and I hate it. Sure it’s cheaper than Aurifil or Gutermann, but it’s thick and sheds lint like crazy. My machine, newly back from the dealer didn’t like this thread at all, so I just threw away whatever other spools I had. Roll it all up in a ball, so that it doesn’t get too tangled. I did have to stop and untwist. Going around in circles created a lot of twist.Then it is zigzag around and around. I tried keeping the rope taut on the straight edge and slightly eased in the fabric on the curves so it would stay flat.The end result wasn’t perfect, I’m sure it will be just fine underfoot.A perfect spot, in my kitchen.

Oh yes, I still have to finish the owl quilt, I’m at the hand binding part. Then it will need a label and will be done. I’ll share that soon.



I can’t believe that this big boy is already 4 years old!Hot wheels party and cake! With his cousin. Notice how creative Mandy is, she wrapped the water bottles with racing flag tape.I have no idea what is going on here, this was right before the cake came out.Brothers helping to decorate the cupcakes.The youngest one couldn’t make it to the party. We missed him.Can’t ignore the kids that provided the grandkids! They work hard raising them!


Hacking a shirt pattern

I’ve made the button down shirt so many times, long sleeve and short. So I decided to go ahead and add a peplum. I found this fun shoe fabric at Michael Levines. I knew I had to play with the directions of the fabric. Yes this is one directional fabric! That thing I’ve complained about! Oh well, even I break my own rules.Wearing the shirt open. I’ll be honest I’m not so sure that I love the peplum.You can sort of see that on the collar the shoes mirror the front of the shirt. I achieved that by sewing the upper collar with a seam in the center back. I get, you get dizzy just looking at this fabric. So maybe my efforts are for naught. You can see the center seam on both the collar and the yoke, seeing to it that the shoes on the yoke go in opposite directions to the collar.I did the same with the cuffs, have them going in opposite directions as well. I just noticed that the front and back match! The rows of shoes match that is. That is serendipitous! I didn’t plan it that way. Maybe because I was so concerned about the rest of the shirt it just happened.This shirt came together very nicely, I know I’ll get good wear out of it.

And  now, onto another sewing project. My friend Roberta invited me over to ‘help’ her make Halloween bags for her grandsons.First is this bucket. She has had this fabric forever, it is darling!  I think I made the bucket a little long! Oh well, mom will carry it. I didn’t use a pattern, just cut out a circle for the base and measure the circumference for the sides. I did a simple quilting with batting to give it body. Folded over the linning and added a strap.For the baby, same fabric, simple bag. I did, self-line the bag by sewing the two together a the top, then sewing the side seams and the bottom, leaving an opening in the line to pull through to the right side.Roberta was paying attention!!!  These are ones that she went ahead and made for friends.  I love helping out, it’s even better when she learns from me. Not that she will stop asking for my ‘help’ to make things. But she actually does a lot of work on her own. We just have a grand old time with me creating and her chattering away – as well as paying attention to what I’m doing.



You have probably noticed that I’m creating slower this year. Not as many quilts or knitted projects. I think my sewing is still going pretty strong. So be it, it’s not about speed or the number of projects. I’m working away but at a much slower pace.This shawl is the pattern Lullaby Rain Shawl. It is the first time I’ve knit a shawl in such bulky yarn. Yes, DK is bulky for a shawl. I’m sorry to say that non of the yarn stores near me sell plain solid wool. Everything has either stripes or other color variations.  This shawl would have been so much better in a plain solid. Which is why I am forced to order online even when I want to support an LYS. This time I supported them, but in the future, if I want solid, which I often do, I’ll go online.My camera is dying, it’s not focusing very well anymore, I will need to upgrade soon. I’ve had the camera five years, for a bridge digital camera I’m guessing that is pretty good.Then again, I now get the fuzzy filter, (none used here, this is how it captured me) I look better with softer edges! Lol, I need to write up a post about aging gracefully, which is what I’m trying to do.The shawl is in focus, and you can see how pretty it is.This pattern is relatively simple.  Before each new pattern, I doubled the number of stitches. Then I worked the length of the pattern, rather than increasing every other row. It works!This is intended as a gift. I am very please with the result.I know the recipient will be as well.

And now, I am knitting myself a sweater.



Round Robin, the reveal

I had one quilt left to work on.Here is it before my border.Have you noticed that all my borders are either curves or applique? Well no, the very first border I did was diamonds using Deb Tucker’s ruler.Wow, look at mine! I am really pleased and surprised at how this came out. I love the asymmetry of it. I am not going to quilt it right away, I need to let it all sink in.Now, it’s time to show off the other quilts. All together there were 18 people who participated. This was a wildly successful venture, I think we all had a good time. The quilts are really impressive, so here goes:Talk about complete improv, and yet it works very very well.This one looks like it could have been a kit. Almost as if six different people didn’t work on it. Really amazing.
Hey, look, I got someone else to do some applique here.Southwest.Calm and quiet, I am the one who did all the colorful flying geese, gave permission to other quilters to go a little wild.How different they all look!And here is another one that looks so well planned.  It was 15 quilters, Scott started with a warm and a cool, one group only had 5 members so he filled in.I may have missed a few, although I am the photographer, my camera is really acting up these days. Sorry, to those who’s quilts didn’t make it into my photoshoot.

I had a lot of fun with this. But it is a one and done. I don’t feel like I want to participate in a round robin again. The guild is trying to get a bee going – no thanks. I really appreciate other people’s work, but I think I’d like to stick to my own work without collaboration.


VMQG Round Robin

I’m writing this as I go, but by the time I publish this, at least six months will have gone by.

My modern Valley guild is having a round robin. This is where the participants make a center square, then we put it in a box with a journal and some fabric. In the journal, we write our likes and dislikes. Then each month, the box moves to another quilter. The order is always the same.Here is my center block. Yup, I had to add some applique cuz that is what I’m really into right now.  My requests were no improv, I really don’t like improv. I’m noticing that the eyes on this owl aren’t great. Since then, I’ve been adding applique to my DWR. I feel that my curves and circles are improving with practice.

I bought a really cute box and put in a lot of fabric. Unfortunately, out instruction sheet only arrived two days before the exchange, and one thing we were told, was put all the fabric in the box. Turns out that isn’t true,  we can add our own fabrics to the quilt. I hope the people who get my box do so, even though I put in a lot of choices. I should have taken a picture of the block I got on it’s own. I didn’t, so here it is with my border, coming together.  Yup, I’m using my Deb Tucker tools.Adding some corner blocks in blocks.Maybe this is a better arrangement?Here it is, my part is done. Funny thing, the center block was 14.5″ which isn’t a standard size. I thought I may have to add a small border between the block and my border, turns out, it fit perfectly! That was sheer luck. I do like how I included some of my own prints with some solids.  I won’t see this until the end.

So I get a call from Gina, she hands her blocks over to me, she won’t make it to the April meeting so can she drop off her April project? Sure!She added a simple narrow border. At first, I thought I’d wait until May, then I realized that I hand off to Pat, she lives far away, it will be easier to give her two blocks this month. So I get to work.I introduced another color, if we all stick to the original color theme it won’t matter what we add, it will all blend into one. Case in point, I kept thinking that I was dealing with one center block, not a block and one border. You know me and my love of applique right now. I happen to have a pattern from Carolyn Friedlander, it included the arrow and the orange blob. These days I’m getting pickier about patterns I buy. I know, it’s their livelihood, but I don’t often feel like it was worth my money.Since this is a modern challenge, I also felt the need to keep the elements spaced apart. Notice the little grey circle in the upper right corner?It now should be on the lower left corner, but it’s gone. I had a problem with that grey, I even tried to make an arrow, no glue I used would stick to the paper, so I gave up, even though no one will notice, I took it out and replaced it with a red circle. That is because I am crazy.

I won’t have a block in May, let’s see what I get for June.
Here is what I got for June. I’m seeing a lot of repetition of fabrics and points, be they triangles or diamonds. I feel like shaking things up a bit.The black confetti fabric was in the bag. I went with some of the print colors, but using some of my own solids. Since there is red in the confetti, I decided to introduce it into the quilt. I pulled out My QCR Mini, the ruler that gives me great curves.The row on top is my first try, I don’t like it, so I rearranged the blocks, so instead of a teardrop, I know have half clamshells. I like it much better.I’m not a big fan of improv, but the blocks just weren’t going to fit, so I had to add a 2″ strip of the black. What to do in the corners? Why not contrasting white.I think it’s looking good! I like how I reintroduced black as well as solids.

The rows are getting longer, I think there is only one more border to go.




I used to be a docent at LACMA, now I only go for lectures. First lecture of the touring year, and look what I see in the courtyard. This monkey may be been here for quite a while.Years ago Jeff Coons figured out that these highly polished stainless steel balloon sculptures are his ticket to fame and money. As much as I enjoy them, I can’t call them art. But then by my definition, 90% of what is being shown in museums these days isn’t art.Yes the idea of reflecting something shiny in water is nice, it’s still not art. I haven’t toured at LACMA in years. They are now preparing to close most of the museum for massive renovations. I went for the lecture and to see friends. The lecture was interesting, I’m happy to see they have hired a very capable vibrant yound curator for European art. The friends, well lets just say, as time goes by and I don’t see these people often, the ‘friendship’ part has fallen away. So I feel much less of a pull to brave traffic to go there. That’s ok, I’m building stronger friendships among my quilting friends.Most people wouldn’t call this clown art. I wouldn’t either, but it certainly has much better staying power than the art in the museums. A few years ago I posted pictures of this in the daytime. It is a neon clown, so it deserves the full nighttime image. Although, to be honest, it is much scarier at night.Aytan spent the weekend. His parents got a much deserved weekend in Vegas. His sister was with the other grandma. First thing he said when I picked him up from school on Friday was – make apple pie! So we did. He had pretty good knife skills. I guess I should have peeled the apples…. His mom makes the best apple pie – me no so much. Sorry it’s so blurry, Aytan just took the picture, if it were sharper it would be great. You get what you can.Saturday was soccer, he is getting really good at this, 5 goals.Visiting the best Halloween house in the neighborhood.Seeing a cousin, who looks a little shell-shocked, no worries he’s fine.


More time in Bakersfield

Standing outside Woolworth, looking over at the neon sign of the Padre Hotel. Time to head over and check it out.The hotel was built in 1928 and renovated a few years ago. I just took a few pictures. I just love the name and design of the cafe. Sort of harkens to the idea of a lunch counter in an old drug store. But look at the real pitchfork and the little tractor. Someone is extremely creative.The tin ceiling in the bar area.As well as this image on the ceiling, celebrating the hotel. I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express, which actually exceeded expectations. But this place looks really cool. The cafe, restaurant and bar were all hoping in the middle of the day.Back outside, a Beaux Arts building made of brick with that flat overhang of a roof. Built in 1894 as the Kern County Land company building.  It survived some serious earthquakes as well as that desire to tear down old buildings. I’m happy to say that many towns love murals, Bakersfield is no exception.  This is on the side of the Woolworth building.Around the corner is this massive mural, country music and a picknick basket. Unfortunately, the empty parking lot tells a lot, not much is happening here.Two years ago Zachary Thomas painted this large mural honoring American War Veterans.  From the Statue of Liberty, through a number of wars up until the wars in the middle east. I love how the statue has a three dimensional flame and the Iwo Jima Marines are raising a real American flag.Then there is the mural that really isn’t aging well. 30 years ago the artist Christo came to the Bakersfield to assemble his installation, yellow umbrellas in the Tejon pass. I was newly arrived in Los Angeles and I wasn’t very adversome in those days, so I didn’t go see them.  Just before they were removed a very strong wind killed a young woman who viewing them. Tragedy happened.

So I guess at some point someone painted this, probably around the time of the exhibition. Sad and peeling, I bet most people have no clue what this mural represents.

During the sewing retreat, a bunch of us went to Dewars, the ice cream parlor, it is on Eye st.This is the candy section, which was empty, the counter and tables in the ice cream section were packed with people.Everything here is old time. We took a number, then gave in our order and when it was delivered to us, then we paid.I got a double scoop Sundae with caramel sauce and nuts.  Another reason to get out and explore. Btw, we initially parked around the corner, it said Dewars, might have been their old plant. Someone across the street saw us and shouted over to us that the actual ice cream parlor is one block down. Who says people aren’t friendly and helpful?



Where ever I go, I know I will find something interesting to see.  Bakersfield is a large city in the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley. It’s got agriculture, oil and it’s own brand of country music, the Bakersfield sound. It’s famous musicians were Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.  Buck Owens created the Crystal Palace and it’s still quite busy,  as a restaurant with performances. Sort of like Dinner theater – but with music.

What brought me to Bakersfield was a quilting retreat. We spent two days at Thimble Towne sewing away. You know me, a retreat is fine, but before I got there, I had to stop off in downtown Bakersfield to see the sights.First stop was the old Woolworth’s. Today it is an antique mall. There are plenty of antique shops here, many specialize in records. Another legacy of the Bakersfield sound.I had a burger and fries sitting at the lunchette counter. I will admit to not being able to take any of the cool aid, I guess I was chicken and was worried that my teeth would fall out. All I could think of is sugar overload.

There was a cute couple next to me, they were visiting from Ireland, on their way to Sequoia and Yosemite. They found this place on Yelp. I wandered around a couple of the stores. Old quilts and an old machine. It was selling for $190, I don’t know how good that is. It isn’t a featherweight, it is larger than that. Maybe if it is in good condition than it would be worth the money. The label says it’s from 1947.I need to clean my camera lens! All these spots are my fault! Anyway, this is the Kress building, an office building across from Woolworths. Really lovely Art Deco. Pay attention to the street signs, I’ll be mentioning them again.Look at the gorgeous Art Deco details. Love the design, love the color, of course I’m wondering if it’s Gladding McBean tile. There must have been other tilemakers in California. OK, so if you noticed the street signs in the previous picture, you see that the number streets go east-west and the letter streets go north-south.

Someone has a sense of humor, this is Eye St. what otherwise would have been I street.There doesn’t seem to be any irony here. I happen to like it, but I can’t find any explanation for who was the creative person who came up with this. Btw, Thimble Towne is in a modern Industrial area, it’s on Unicorn St. right off Pegasus St. That is it for the mythical horses, but other streets nearby are named for Zeus, Mars and other Gods.An old theater that is brightly painted. It was built in 1925. Today it is called Cinema 19 and it’s an Adult theater. I found an older image online, it wasn’t brightly painted then and it had 100 channels, not just 60. See what the internet has done! I guess it’s not just for viewing movies, but they also sell stuff now. Also, the Tattoo parlor used to be a pawn shop.Built in 1906 as the Bakersfield Opera House, it was renovated in 1937 by famous Theater designer S. Charles Lee. He added the Art Deco facade and town as well as turning it into a movie theater. It has faired much better than the Virginia, today it is a Church.And then we have the Fox Theater, The luckist of them all. Also designed by S. Charles Lee, this theater opened in 1930. It survived an earthquake, it survived the 1970’s when box theaters in malls were the rage. It sat empty for a while, until 1990 when The Fox Theater Foundation bought and refurbished the property. Today it is an events venue, for both live and movie performances.


busy weekend

I went on a quilting retreat with the Valley Quiltmakers Guild to Timble Towne in Bakersfield. More on Bakersfield later.

I agreed to finish up the opportunity quilt for the guild. Someone had dropped the ball and this raffle quilt is the biggest fundraiser every year.  I really took on a very big job, especially since I wanted to finish it on this retreat.The Lone Star had to be assembled, and then a complicated quilt put together.  I had brought my ‘sewing machine’ not the machine I use for quilting, it works fine, but I’m used to piecing on my other machine.Stage one, done! The triangles are a little wonky, I did have to trim them some before putting in the next border. I also had to create the border myself. Little by little the zigzag border grew. We did take a break to go get icecream, a well needed break. Most people were working on their own projects, or quilts and small objects for the quilt show we put on in May.

It’s was 8 pm at night by the time I got to this point. I had started work on Friday afternoon, this was Saturday. I was exhausted. I usually like to take my time. Now I was just rushing.The star blocks were made ahead of time by other members of the guild. I made the light green blocks on the top and bottom. Somewhere along the way, the red blocks got lost. They were delivered to the president, but she couldn’t find them. so I had to make these two as well. We know that now that the quilt top is done, she will find them no problem. Such is life.

The quilt is  98″ x  86″, it will be sent to a longarm quilter. I am done!!!Sure I’m smiling, I finished before noon on Sunday, stayed for lunch and then drove home. Luckily the Castaic Fire didn’t affect the 5 freeway.Just a couple of fellow quilters. The relief that this is done is palatable!Some people had already left by the time we got this picture.  I think this would be perfect on a king size bed.Look at all the other projects people worked on, definitely a very creative productive bunch.I was able to hand this over to the guild president. I hope next time I see it, it will be quilted.

All members have to buy $20 tickets, we can resell them or encourage others to buy tickets. So if you really love this, let me know!