Fabric Collecting, Socks, Cute Dirty Dog, and a Contest
Nov 3rd, 2017 by Wendy

I’m working – a bit secretively- on a quilt with the tentative title “The Incredible Flying Circus Geese”. I’ve constructed the geese bits and other fillers. I have my layout. Now I’m putting it all together, tediously, because there is no grid and it’s slow, but it’s exciting too.

I have an almost life-long habit of collecting fabric snips as I shop for fabrics for a project. I cut little squares and glue them to a sheet of paper- fast & cheap. As the collection grows, so do the little squares on paper. I’ll list the benefits below, meanwhile, here are the sheets for my current project:














• The snips on paper help me sort through the abundance of fabric in any given shop or the leftovers in my closet. At first, the snips help me shape the vision I have in my head; later the snips act as a filter to sift out fabrics that don’t belong.

• Actually cutting the little swatches and gluing them gives my mind time to wander. Wandering is good for creativity! (Check out the book Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zamorodi, 2017).

• And I like having the visual record after the quilt is finished: no apologies for my Wendy-isms.


Made in America Wool Socks

I’ve turned to 1/4 crew and lightweight half crew socks because I now wear compression socks. See the beautiful orchid legs in the sock photo? Yes, compression socks come in colors and styles! The compression is the squeeziest at the ankle, with reduced compression up the sock- who knew? Socks that squeeze some more are not comfortable.

So back to the socks:

Farm to Feet (farmtofeet.com) brags that their ingredients and manufacturing are 100% USA. Socks for men, socks for women, socks of all sorts. Check them out. Meanwhile, I love the quality and comfort. And I’m going to buy more— lots of colors and styles to choose from.








Goodhew is a sock company with the promise “crafted in the USA” (but no word on the materials). I decided to give them a chance because socks in my size (big foot) are hard to find.









Dog Break- this is Korben (my grandpuppy) ready to come out of the bath.

Korben bath dayLR







And now, the Random Drawing. I enjoyed the random drawing last week, so when I saw these at a grocery store, I knew another drawing could be in the works. So leave a comment- about the photo and anything else in this post, and you might win a small prize (if you live in North America). Does anyone else collect fabric snips as they collect fabric? Fave socks? Cute Dog or Cat photos? What the heck is in the photo? Comment by November 15th to be eligible…

PS: Guess before reading any of the comments, and if you know for sure what it is, you might want to make something up just for fun of it (in addition to the answer). All comments are entered into the drawing, right, wrong or fantastical.





This and That
Jan 26th, 2017 by Wendy

Korben Dec.2016LR






Must start with an adorable photo of Korben, my “grand puppy”. He’s a cutie!


critter patternLR

cat doll 1LRcat doll 2LR






Years ago, I bought the Zipper Critters pattern (Indigo Junction, A Paula Heyek Design) because— well who could resist such a cute pattern? I found resistance was futile, but then, I have a zipper obsession. I decided to adapt the pattern into a skinny doll for Evelyn, the grand daughter of my friend Pat. (And you know what Korben would do with this, right?)


cat doll 3LRcat doll 5LR






It’s about 11″ tall, with flat arms and legs. Perfect for a baby to grab…


Evelyn & Cat DollLREvelyn & Cat Doll2LR






Okay, maybe Evelyn and the Kitty didn’t get along at first….but then, Evelyn gave Kitty a big hug (and a chomp!).


Studio Art Quilt Associates holds a “Spotlight Auction” every year at their National Conference. These little quilts are 6″ by 8″, with a mat and opening of 4 1/2″ by 6 1/2″, vertical or horizontal. It’s fun to walk around the room to check out all the quilts, presented on little easels (matted and safely inserted into a plastic bag). Sadly, although I made several bids at the Fiberlandia conference in Portland in 2015, I walked away empty handed . These quilts will be included in the Spotlight Auction at the 2017, the National Conference will be in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the end of April.

Topsy-Turvy: My original interlocked “E” pattern.

Topsy-Turvy_Wendy_HillLRTT, MattedLR






You can tell I designed the composition with the smaller opening in mind. I just used blue paper for the photograph- the folks at SAQA will choose the right mat for each quilt.


Reverberations: Maybe 10 years ago now, I and my mother-in-law started a collaboration with 16 “cradle boards” with 2″ sides and a surface ready to paint or collage (8 each). For my surface design, I traced around bowls and plates from my kitchen- all without thinking too much. I cut up the paper into 9 squares, each 8″ by 8″. We had an interactive installation in mind, where viewers could move the cradle boards around. I did one cradle board with paint and collage and then the project languished. I still have the 9 squares, each one with a different “random” pattern. I used one of the squares to create this little quilt.


Reverb, MattedLR







My mother-in-law took back the project and finished it on her own. Improv has been in many shows and won at least one award. She used acrylic paint, yarn, paper and other materials.

improv lowrez






As with our original idea, Improv can be rearranged in a variety of configurations. The 2″ side of the cradle board hangs on a nail, so each block can be rotated There are a LOT of ways the composition can be arranged — however, it’s never been an interactive installation so that viewers could do the rearranging (galleries and art shows frowned on the idea).


I’m still working on the interactive braid scrappy big quilt project- photographs to come next. I’ve made 3 units of 6 rectangles and I’m guessing I need 70 or 80 or more units to go…. I’m hoping to use each fabric only once, so now, I’m trading and collecting with 1 or 2 other people. Let’s call it a “Friendship Braid”- anyone want to join in?


I like the way Reverberations turned out- I might continue this idea with the 9 squares. I included Challenges for 21 of the people on my annual card list- if people do the challenge, I will have photos to show off. I’ve received one so far. What else? I’m still living in a snow cave. We’ve not gotten any more snow, but it’s not melting a whole heck of a lot either. Lots of time to sew, right?

It’s all Grand
Dec 11th, 2016 by Wendy









This is my grand puppy, Korben, who is almost a year old now. He’s a Cardigan Corgi and adorable. He is everyone’s best friend. I helped Korben send his Peeps a Christmas card- they will love it.

My coauthor and friend Pat has a human grandchild, born in October to proud parents Jocelyn and Trevor. I started to wrap the baby books I selected for Evelyn when I thought- why not  make a simple unlined tote bag for the books? I’m known for complicating things, and yes, one thing led to another: the finished tote bag is lined, with reinforced bottoms (inside and out), and so on and so on. I used linen/cotton blend fabrics (purchased at BOLT Fabric Boutique in Portland, Oregon)- it’s a sturdy tote bag! You can see the quilt Pat made for her granddaughter in the photo too!!
















Above: See 1) the batting at the top and bottom of the bag, reinforced with the lovely Bernina Stitch #4 (altered to stitch a mild wavy line), 2) the faux serge stitch on the seams, 3) the handles already inserted in the seam between the main body of the bag and the top of the bag.









Above: There so many ways to make a lined tote bag with a handle! For this bag, I turned it right side out through a small opening left in the seam connecting the lining and the tote bag (photos 1 & 2). In photo #3, you can see the two bags, end to end. Photo #4 shows my advance planning- so the red outer fabric wraps over to the inside. And oh yes, I reinforced the bottom of the lining too- with canvas on the wrong side, stitched with my fave #4 stitch.









Above: Here is the finished bag, with a sneak peek of the inside. I bought the rabbit/heart fabric in June 2016, found in the remnant pile at BOLT. I had no idea what I’d do with it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I don’t usually buy “on speculation”, but I’m so glad I did! And there is fabric leftover— what’s next?

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