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When the cosmos pokes you…

pay attention. Last week I poked myself three times and then dropped a needle on the floor. This reminded me of PYN–plant your needle. Not in your shirt, not in work–in your pincushion. I found my needle with my heavy duty magnet. The wand is fine but it is only magnetic on the tip so it doesn’t always work. I left the room and when I returned, I sat on my large. It must have caught on my sleeve when I left the room. Enough already.

I no longer have time to volunteer as a docent or hospital aide; however, I do find time to make quilted items for good causes–blocks for Pulse, fire victims in California, Vegas shooting, etc. This year, NW Modern Quilt guild will send a donation quilt for viewing at Quilt Con and we made placemats for Meals on Wheels. I also decided to make a house quilt for The House Quilt Project. These small quilts go to people who were formerly homeless and now have a home!

I started with a paper-pieced house found in The Foundation Piecer, Autumn 2001 (, both of which appear to have been discontinued. You can find back issues on e-bay. Then I added a Sue Spargo embroidery technique to give the roof some texture. Backstitch with floss (I used two strands) and then weave in and out with a heavier thread (#8 perle cotton). Her tip: weave in and out with the eye end of the needle to prevent splitting your backstitches.


Because I thought my house block was dull and depressing, I found some swirls from a previous project and made two more and the “home” lettering from a similar piece of fabric. I used a simple zigzag for the swirls and satin stitch for the lettering. The old swirls ironed down well–the needle didn’t gum up. The new ones and the lettering, however, gummed up, even after repressing with a very hot iron–to the point of scorching my parchment paper. I even tried steam. I’m going to experiment one more time with this Steam-a-Seam 2 before it goes bye-bye. Guidelines asked for simple hanging rings (pop-tops) but I crocheted my usual curtain rings instead.


P1140182.JPGYou can find more details on Jamie Fingal’s blog or you might have seen the call for entries in the Quilting Arts Oct/Nov 2018 issue (deadline is December 7, if you’re an over-achiever).

Placemats. Since it’s still fall, I bought some Real Tree fabric for the backing and binding and dove into my strip stash to make some improv mats. Do we ever really use up our stashes? I don’t think so, but I try. I took some of the leftovers to make a log-cabin-ish block which I’ll find a use for at some point. Final total: 53 placemats!

Can you see me now?


At our final Modern Guild meeting each year, we play Dirty Santa (a white elephant gift exchange) with handmade items and bring food. It’s a fun meeting. Here is my nifty-gifty–a pieced, small biscornu pincushion from self-dyed fabrics with beaded stiletto/accessory (hat pin).


I went home with a cool wallhanging made by friend Judy S.


TIP OF THE MONTH. In case you have to stretch a block just a little to reach the desired size, learn three ways to block a quilt block here.


Till next time–