July 28, 2011


This week I had a delightful addition to my morning ritual. After my typical activities (pawing through the basket of clean laundry for my clothes and running to the bus stop with wet hair), I tried a little hand quilting on my way to work.

Having spent the better part of this millennium as a free motion quilting zealot I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much I enjoyed this meditative stitch by stitch work. It feels so soft. I made two panels in this design as the front and back of my pouch for the "Pretty Little Pouch Swap". The great thing about that is I'm making a lined bag, so the backside of the quilting is unimportant. The perfect starter project.  Can't wait to have a finished bag to share!

(Blocks received from: J in Australia, Viv in UK, Theresa, Barbara, Michelle, Lisa, Pat, Linda G and Linda K.)
Now my new afternoon ritual is coming home to find donated blocks in the mail for the Black Rock Stitchery! Thank you to all who have sent blocks, with a special thanks to Linda who sent a whopping 30. We have a total of 95 so far; that's enough for three 5'x6' quilts! Please keep the blocks coming (just comment or email for my mailing address). I truly hope everyone is enjoying summer. It's breathtaking over here, but I'm aware it will be over all too soon so I can't complain.

July 22, 2011

A trip to Joann's

I was surprised to find so many fabrics that I liked so much!  

July 19, 2011

Let's say this is for the toddler

Purchased at a kid's store on Mississippi.  It's this.

Reminds me of Jessica's project.  They also make bigger ones. With triangles. Not sure I'll be able to resist!

P.S. Thanks for the heartwarming response to the call for quilt blocks! A few dozen are promised, and some are already in the mail to me from near and far. This is going to be a great project thanks to you. To borrow a phrase from Rachel, quilters rock!

July 15, 2011

Black Rock Stitchery call for Quilt Blocks!

Hello to my favorite quilters! Today is the day I ask a favor of you and I hope you say YES!

Many of you know my husband and I are planning to lug a treadle sewing machine out to the middle of the desert for the Burning Man Festival in August. We're calling this project the Black Rock Stitchery and, naturally, it now has its own blog.

The Black Rock Stitchery is providing a working sewing machine for the inhabitants of Black Rock City, as well as quilting supplies to anyone who wants to use them. Those who start a patchwork project can take it with them or leave it for someone else to finish. It will be a fun experiment in collaborative art, and I'm inviting you to be part of the collaboration.

We need quilt blocks. Lots of em. ANY fabrics, ANY style, ANY pattern, ANY skill level. Size: 12.5" square (for 12 inch finished blocks). If you have a block that's not big enough, slap some borders on it! If you have some little leftover bits from a former project, mash em together. Have a block that got a bit too wonky? We don't mind. A project stalled? Experiments abandoned? We can adopt them. It's my hope that by welcoming the misfits and the leftovers, we won't be taking away from any charity projects that run on donated blocks.

Burning Man is a "leave no trace" event, so we are structuring our project to involve minimal cutting and no small pieces of fabric. Because of this, we cannot accept fabric or incomplete blocks. But making a block is so easy. I spent just two hours in my sewing room and I made 15, just by using random stuff that was partially pieced together. That's less than 10 minutes a block, and I got to put my stash of leftovers to good use!

(magically the right size, or cut down from larger pieces)

I'd love it if you'd help. I know it's not your typical charity. But Burning Man is a powerful experiment in art and community, and the magic that participants experience there comes back out with them into the world for them to pass on. I really do believe it's for a greater good.

So... are you in? It can't happen without a big bunch of quilters saying YES!

Just email me at afewscraps {at} gmail {dot} com and I will send you my mailing address. We will be packing up the Stitchery August 21st, so please send blocks to arrive by then. If you can help spread the word and link to this post from your blogs or message lists I'd be so grateful. Thank you in advance for any contribution you make to this project. It's so fun to be quilting with you all!

July 12, 2011


My life is a glorious whirlwind right now. I have nothing to show for it. Summer's just like that.

We went to the Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show this weekend! I only managed to find about half of the people that I know were there. It was fun and can you believe my husband went with me?! PMQG was invited for a special exhibit and my Cascade quilt was included. I got to meet Lucy Mingo, a quilter from Gee's Bend. She's been quilting longer than I've been alive. I was a dork, and she was graceful and kind despite it being the end of a long day. I wish I had asked her more about what she was working on, what inspires her, but I didn't, dang it.

I took more pictures of my kid than quilts. Here she is about one minute before getting carsick.

And here she is in the new clothes we procured. Ice cream was daddy's idea: I'm not insane. 

I took exactly one picture of a quilt before I decided that the camera thing was just not going to work.

So, it's not just me, right? Summer's crazy?

July 02, 2011


new Juki + new iPad = quilted iPad pouch

It's my first project on the new machine! I offset the closure so I can charge it while in its pouch.

I really like this print. I think I got the last bit of it from Sew, Mama, Sew, and I am so happy with how extra fluffy the clouds look after quilting around them.

I didn't take tutorial pictures because it was so straightforward. The pouch is made of two quilted pieces and two lining pieces 9x11 (start with quilt sandwiches at least 10x12 and cut them down after quilting). Stitch the sides and bottom of both quilted pieces together with right sides together. Stitch the lining pieces together the same way, leaving an opening for turning at the bottom. Then turn the lining right side out and lay it in the pouch so the right sides are together. Then nestle a small elastic hair band in between the two layers. These are so useful and you get so many for $2!

Stitch around the top edge (I backstitch over the elastic for a total of three passes over it). Flip, press the edge and topstitch. Sew on the button and close up the inside lining.  Fast. My husband asked for one immediately and I think most of you would agree that is a wonderful feeling!