So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff



Full Bloom by 4th & 6th Designs

I usually don’t do quilt kits (you get the pattern and all fabrics to make the quilt as pictured, that sort of thing) but for this one I am giving it real consideration. How beautiful is this? So sunshiny and happy! It is by 4th & 6th Designs.

Barbara and Mary are sisters (born 4th & 6th in their family) who are award winning quilt artists. I would love to get my act together enough to design enough beautiful patterns (and maybe do kits, but you have to buy fabric by the bolt for that… of course, maybe I could do it strictly with my and dyes…hum… there is a thought!) and run a company like theirs!

Golden Quilt Company is doing the kit out of their store, and I find myself going in just to stand and stare at it – LOL! Of course, I have to watch it – because every time I go in, I find something I want. (Sigh)

Anyway,  I just wanted to share my newest obsession with you. 😉

The Tentmakers of Cairo

This is STUNNING… it is the man who quilts in Cairo. These are absolutely breathtaking!

I hope they are safe with the terrors occurring in Egypt.

No More Baby Colors! ;-)

As a quilter and knitter, I am always interested to see what the “Vogue” fashion colors for each season are going to be. I don’t buy clothing every time something “new and in vogue” comes out (heck, the last time I bought clothes at all it was a bag of socks!) but seeing what I can expect to see in the quilt shop is always interesting.

I had heard that it was going to be all baby pink and baby blue (gag) but when the report actually came out? They are rich and sumptuous. Very nice. I look forward to seeing what shows up in my local quilting and knitting shops!


Pantone has gone in a new direction for their Fall 2016 fashion color report. We reported in the Holiday 2015 KnitNews that the pastel-shaded 2016 colors of the year might make an unusual choice for fall fashion. Pantone seems to agree: Rather than incorporate these colors into their Fall 2016 lineup, they have instead chosen a palette of ten deeper shades. The selection features six all-new colors, including denim blue Riverside, which WWD reports was the most popular color used in Fall 2016 fashion collections.


A Nice Police Story

We hear every day about bad things that happen when cops are involved. But as with every other human being on the planet, there are good ones and bad ones, and though the good outweigh the bad, well, blood and violence sells, so we don’t always hear all the good in the screaming about how bad the bad are. So, when I came across the article when I was reading the QN Blog, which is part of Quilters Newsletter, I couldn’t help passing this along. Enjoy a smile this morning (or afternoon, as the case may be!) Besides, I raved pretty hard yesterday, time to make up for it with a laugh!

Scrap Bag: Quilting cops, Masopust’s influence, Flint water crisis quilt, and more

One of the Best Quilt shops! Well worth the trip if you will be visiting NYC or Philadelphia! Gammill and Bernina sales as well as Long Arm Rental Programs!:

Do you remember a video that went viral a few weeks ago of a cop who decided to shoot hoops in the street with a group of local boys instead of bust them on a public disturbance call? Well, we quilters now have our own version! Two Burlington City (New Jersey) police officers responded to a call from local quilt shop about a medical emergency. After the person was determined to be fine, the cops hung around and started sewing. One of them showed off some really good free-motion quilting skills, saying he was a professional quilter before he became a cop. (His partner was not as experienced but gave it a try, so good on him.) Click the link to watch the video.

www.nj.comCity of Burlington Police Department - Burlington, New Jersey ...

UPDATE! The 2016 Hoffman Challenge Fabrics Have Been Posted!

Update for Case #6116 – “Hoffman Challenge”

Thank you for checking with us, the Challenge collection is expected in mid to late October.

I admit, the 2015 Hoffman Challenge Fabric was, to me, completely uninspiring…. but others didn’t have that problem. The winners are posted here and they are, of course, stunning. This was the fabric:

This is the winner in Mixed Media, where I normally enter:

First Place Mixed Technique QM090 “Hawaiian Fireworks” 37″ H x 37″ W Ann Petersen Aurora, CO

The winner for Applique, where I have entered before (and been a Traveling Show Winner!) is:

First Place Appliqué QA003 “Searching for Peace” 41″ H x 29″ W Dawn Sykes Fort Collins, CO

Did you notice that both winners are from Colorado?? I have to get on a stick if I am going to live up to their standards!

Here are the fabrics for 2016, Crystalia. I must use one of these two in my quilt.


These are secondary fabrics you may or may not use, but are recommended.



A rough hand sketch. I will use it for the underlay and hand-cut applique pieces for my hand painted fabrics.

Here is my sketch for the quilt. Yes, it is very rough, but I got excited when I saw the fabrics! The top part is an old-fashioned “Dahlia” pieced pattern. The lower part is all applique. It pulls the modern feel of today’s hand-painted and dyed quilts, such as the “Best First Time Entry Applique” (see below) (that face painting is amazing). The top part is the original pieced pattern from approximately 1840.

Now I can hardly WAIT for the fabric to become available so I can Start!

Best First Time Entry Appliqué QA028 “My Pashmina” 29″ H x 37″ W Barbara Lloyd Bellvue, CO

Private Sale for Zestful Creations!2009 Hoffman Challenge Quilt. It traveled with the trunk show that year, and was sold to a private party.

This quilt is my 2009 Hoffman Challenge Mixed Media runner-up. It traveled all over the United States. It then went on to be juried into the Quilt Colorado Quilt Show to quite a bit of viewer acclaim. The judges thought my animals were too obvious – well, it IS called “Which is More Beautiful, The Scenery or the Wildlife?” To me, both are breathtaking, and neither overshadows the other. That little cottage down in the left hand corner is everyone’s dream cottage in the mountains.

Review: Art Quilts Of The Midwest by Linzee Kull McCray

23309912I remember when it happened. In 1971 The Whitney Museum of American Art did something that sat the “Art World” on its ear. They displayed quilts in a museum setting: Abstract Design in American Quilts “bestowed institutional recognition of the artistry inherent in these humble textiles.”

Quilts have existed, literally, throughout history. While they are made from fabric, and therefore examples are hard to find before Roman times, scraps from that period have been found in digs. The Middle Ages hold many examples of quilted fabrics being used under the metal armor used by knights to shield their bodies from sharp edges and protect them from blows against the metal.

As a child, I remember quilts in wedding chests and on beds in country homes. They were often cherished and handed down by families. I also remember seeing exquisitely hand stitched quilts thrown in the trunks of cars by uncaring family members, and used under cars for changing oil. Quilts often, literally, “got no respect.”

I remember my first quilt show, at the local county fair. I worked for hours on end to stitch a Bargello quilt in all shades of reds. I very carefully chose all my fabrics, carefully matching thread colours to blend, not only to my top but to the floral background I oh-so-very-carefully chose to go with the top. I was soooo proud of that quilt!

Imagine my dismay when the judge, an elderly woman with a tight, lemon-pucker face, said, “You know, you could have won, if you hand just used the proper thread. Quilts are always quilted with WHITE thread!” As I looked at my much loved quilt, I gave up in tears. White thread?!?! All you would see would be the thread!! It would totally take away from my quilt! I gave my quilt away, and didn’t quilt again for years.

A few of the quilts hanging in the Whitney

Things have changed since then. Quilts ARE Art! And isn’t it wonderful? What used to be three layers of fabric (COTTON ONLY!!) batting (COTTON ONLY) and fabric (COTTON ONLY) bound together by thread (WHITE cotton only) to be shown only at the county fair, if you showed them at all, have now become magnificent art forms. And Art Quilts of the Midwest Linzee Kull McCray showcases the works of many of the premiere quilt artists of today. As a writer covering textiles, art, and craft, Linzee Kull McCray wondered just how deeply fiber artists were influenced by their surroundings. Focusing on midwestern art quilters in particular, she put out a call for entries and nearly 100 artists responded; they were free to define those aspects of midwesterness that most affected their work. Just as with any other art form, these artists are influenced by their surroundings, their time period, and their materials, much like the quilters of Gees Bend, Alabama were influenced by theirs. From the functional to the fantastic these 100

The stunning asymmetry and colour use of one of the Gee’s Bend Quilts. All the quilts are made of ‘found’ or cast off fabrics, worn clothing, feed sacks and sometimes, just sometimes, purchased fabrics.


artists work in fiber, certainly, but how they handle their materials is wide-ranging and exciting. All sorts of fibers are used – but how it is handled is deeply based in the idea of quilt as art. From new ways to utilize symmetry and repetition to new forms of dying, painting, uses of three dimensional forms and uses of non-fiber materials such as metals and jewels, the old has become new again, while still hearkening back to its historical roots, philosophy and culture.

Sewing a Quilt. Gee’s Bend, Alabama
Sewing a Quilt. Gee’s Bend, Alabama, 1937 Photo by Arthur Rothstein/Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

If you are interested in art as a whole, or in quilts in particular, this is a beautiful book to add to your collection, whether as a coffee table book to browse at your leisure over a cup of tea, a fount of ideas for your own quilt, or a paean to beauty, this is a gorgeous book to add to your library.


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.


McCray_Jenny Gordy.jpgLinzee Kull McCray

Linzee Kull McCray grew up in California and resides in Iowa. After nearly thirteen years as a writer and editor for the University of Iowa, she is a fulltime freelance writer with a focus on textiles, art, and craft. She is a contributing editor at Stitch magazine and her work appears in Etsy’s blog, UPPERCASE, American Patchwork and Quilting, Quilt Country, Quilt Sampler, Modern Patchwork, O magazine, and numerous other print and online publications.

Photo credit: Jenny Gordy

The Artists

Marilyn Ampe, St. Paul, Minnesota
Gail Baar, Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Diane Nunez, “Twisted”

Sally Bowker, Cornucopia, Wisconsin
Peggy Brown, Nashville, Indiana
Shelly Burge, Lincoln, Nebraska
Shin-hee Chin, McPherson, Kansas
Sandra Palmer Ciolino, Cincinnati, Ohio
Jacquelyn Gering, Chicago, Illinois
Kate Gorman, Westerville, Ohio
Donna Katz, Chicago, Illinois
Beth Markel, Rochester Hills, Michigan
Diane Núñez, Southfield, Michigan
Pat Owoc, St. Louis, Missouri
BJ Parady, Batavia, Illinois
Bonnie Peterson, Houghton, Michigan
Luanne Rimel, St. Louis, Missouri

“Knowledge” by Luanne Rimel, St. Louis MO

Barbara Schneider, Woodstock, Illinois
Susan Shie, Wooster, Ohio
Martha Warshaw, Cincinnati, Ohio
Erick Wolfmeyer, Iowa City, Iowa

I Made Myself A Nook Cover…..Of Course, It Doesn’t Fit!

And what do you know, it doesn’t FIT! Sigh. And I LOVE the fabrics…
Anyway, Now that I have it made and it is a lovely cover, I am putting it up for sale. Someone should be able to enjoy it, right? The tablet area is 8″ x 9.5″.  It should fit what is called a “10 inch” tablet just fine – looking at the specs on those it appears the size isn’t exactly “10 inches” so you should fit fine. The yellow top bands are elastic covered with fabric, so they stretch around the top corners to hold the unit tightly. The fabrics are all high-quality quilt shop fabrics, not Joann’s or Hancocks. The cover is very soft – I lined it with high quality batting instead of foam so that it breaths better and is “squishy!” I looked online at and it looks like $45.00 is a reasonable price.
I am going to make another to fit my Nook. I still have some of the same fabrics, but I never make duplicates of anything – every item I sew or knit is Unique!
If you are interested, send me an e-mail. As with my editing services, I accept Paypal!
The fabric is so pretty! LOL.. But you can see it is two inches too big on the side. :-{
The back. The pins in the bottom are where it needs to be hand sewed to close it up. That will only take me a half an hour or so to close that area.
There are three small pockets on the left side, for your cell, etc. The yellow has a half pocket in front of it and a full sized pocket area behind the yellow. There is also a full sized pocket under the tablet area. Again, I need to sew the bottom opening closed, I will do it by hand.
The front cover with the tab closure.
Sushi Chef!

The Perils of Being A Total Ditz

Yesterday, I decided to finally get off the Shiny Train (you know the one – Ooooo! Shiny! I want to do That!) set down the various and sundry “I’m afraid to start the Hoffman Challenge Quilt because then I am really locked into only one of the various ideas I am throwing around” projects I have been playing with, and just choose one and get with it. I went to the workroom and chose the fabrics I wanted to start with, and very carefully laid out my pieces on my layout board. See?

layout board
What it was supposed to look like. . . sigh.

So. I pull on my headphones, punch up The Shining (as you can see from my review from yesterday), pull down the pieces and stack them properly, then get busy. Sew, sew, sew. Iron, Iron, Iron (ironing the shit out of the pieces with TONS of spray starch makes things much easier to work with!) I very carefully walk up to the pattern on the board with each segment (it is sewn in curves) and put them up to look at them before I sew, on the first three or so curves. Then, I get to the “hammering down the door with the mallet and axe” part of the book, look up and decide to start working in the other direction of the curve, and keep right on working and ironing and sewing and ironing, and before I know it, the book is done and so is the piece. Tickled, I walk upstairs and let the dogs out (burr, it is still cold outside!)

Wanting to take another look at my work and bring it upstairs so I can start working on the rest of the quilt on the computerized layout (I am still working on colours for the rest of the quilt, and no, you can’t see the pattern, that would ruin the surprise!) I stuck it on the back of the couch . . .

completed today
Fifth row down should be orange pink orange not orange pink pink.
Right side two pieces are missing a piece. . .
Sigh. Good thing I have a sharp seam ripper!

And froze.

Crap. Ditzy Dame Does It Again. When I decided to go the opposite direction, I TOTALLY fashuganaed the pattern colour layout. Well. Crap.

So, today I am taking out a big chunk for a ‘do over’. WHY do I do these things to myself?!?!?

So, today I am outside on the patio with the seam ripper. Grrrrr. I was Looking. Right. AT. The stupid thing! I didn’t even see the mistake. Just cruised right along in the zone, sewing and ironing and sewing and ironing and feeling all pleased with myself. And no, that isn’t the first time I have done the exact same thing. Seems like one of these days I would learn! This is only a piece of the quilt, of course. Have to keep some secrets, right? 😉

Ah, well, as I said, I am out on the patio, there is still snow on the ground but it is warm enough to sit out in a T-shirt and jammie bottoms to work, so things could be worse . . . But now, of course, it is getting chilly, so I move inside to my chair and my

JackReacher Chevelle SS movie car
The Reacher Chevelle

bright light – – and decide to watch a movie on Netflix. Oh! Jack Reacher! Oh, yea. Right. That weenie Tom Cruise is playing JACK?!?!?! Oh, maannnnnn. How did a wanker like that get to play Jack? You have GOT to be kidding me. The guy is, what, 5’2″? Jack Reacher is 6’5″, right? And they get a midget to play him???? Well, at least Rosamund Pike is in it, even though she is playing a total self righteous lawyer. But then, lawyers are lawyers, right?

Not mine. . . mine got creamed by a drunk driver slamming into me. Poor baby. But this is the same year, colour.

Ah well. But Tom Cruise? Really??? Well, at least the 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS is cool . . . I used to have a 1967 but that year didn’t have the nice curves that the ’70 does.

Oh, well. Will be back in the basement soon to sew this mess back together before I start on the rest of the quilt. I would work on the sweater that I am making for the son of one of the other reviewers I work with, but I figure if I do that I will manage to blow that design too the way things are going, and then I will have to pull it out – and the high quality wool and llama yarn i am using is more fragile than the fabric! Ah, well . . .

Back to ripping seams out!

Busy Busy with nothing to show for it…..

if-you-think-reading-is-boringYes, I know… I haven’t posted in too long! Still dealing with CreateSpace issues for M. K. Clinton’s “The Returns” series, but actually?

I cleaned up my studio, rearranged all my fabrics, and am now obsessing over my quilting. Got the Hoffman Challenge on my mind. . .


Back soon! I have LOTS of books that I have promised reviews for, and I really, REALLY need to catch up!


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