Friday, December 15, 2017

tip # 40--add a bow

Although I enjoy wrapping presents, some packaging is too lovely to cover up so I just add a bow.

Monday, December 11, 2017

hanging up!

No sewing yet, but quilts are being unpacked. And, one is hung!
You see it as you enter our home.

I made this quilt in 2006. I had a small remnant of the wonderful Japanese fabric of carp kites and used every bit in this quilt.

Monday, December 04, 2017

setting up!

Before everything went into storage in July, I had my machines serviced. I am amazed how much oil is underneath them. I will take time to clean and re-oil before actually sewing.
BUT, look!!
I cleared off a space! Enough for a machine!

We are building out the closets of our new place one by one, as we determine how we will use them.
My fabrics and sewing supplies will be split between the guest room closet and a sewing nook. Here you see the nook with piles and piles. I will build out the closet first, then sew in this space for a bit to see how I am using it before building it out. I don't expect that to happen until spring.
But, sewing can and will take place this week!
Now, to find my iron...

Friday, December 01, 2017

a new fabric line!

Check out the delightful fabrics a Latifah Saafir Studios.
I love these two, the jump rope handles measure 3 inches (Double Dutch).
The largest utility poles measure 8 1/2 inches (Power Lines).

As a city dweller, I love how she takes urban and industrial themes to wonderful levels.

AND, we are moved!
Our expected 5 weeks with our daughter turned into 4 months. She was wonderfully gracious about it.
Thanks to the force of nature strength and determination of my sisters, we have unpacked to the point of having a functional home.
Next up, setting up my sewing area. I plan to get enough space for a machine for now, then see how I work in the space before deciding on how to plan the build out.
Other than the hand sewing on the paraments, I have not sewn since my birthday mid July.
It is time to be in front of the machine again!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Totenfest Sunday

The paraments were in use this morning.

Totenfest is a special Sunday where we commemorate members of our congregation who died in the past year. It is very moving to hear the names and watch a friend or family member bring a rose to a vase in the front of the church. There were seven deaths this past year, the last only about 12 days ago and that family's pain was noticeably fresh.
The beauty of being part of a congregation is these connections over time and between generations. It was comforting to know some day a rose will be brought forward for me.

Monday, November 20, 2017

paraments ready for totenfest

In honor of a retiring pastor at St Pauls, I was asked to make paraments for the white seasons of the church.
Top is the lectern piece, then the pulpit piece. Below, the altar cloth.
I finished them yesterday and today installed them for this coming Sunday, the last day of the liturgical year when we celebrate Totenfest, a day of memorial for members who died in the past year.
They then will be tucked away for the four weeks of Advent, and will come back out for Christmas.
I love being in the sanctuary all by myself. Such a quiet and lovely space.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017


Oh beautiful machines. I will have you out to play soon.
Bernina 1530
Elna Lotus SP

Friday, August 18, 2017

patriotic sewing

On the left is my grandmother, Cynthia Meerdink, with the Girls Society of the First Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa sewing a banner with stars for church members serving in the First World War.
About 1917.
Her brother Henry was a soldier in France at Verdun. Her boyfriend Jurrien Dykstra, who became her husband and my grandfather, (pictured below) was on the troop ship in New York Harbor when the armistice was signed.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

farewell LeClaire

Farewell LeClaire. You shaped who we are as individuals and as a family. May you bless all who enter in.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

birthday fabric

Fabric gifts from my small group.
My request was for man-made objects.
Love them!

Monday, July 10, 2017


The block is Portuguese tile. Several commercial patterns are out there and lots of actual Portuguese tile floors and walls also. It is another example of robbing-peter-to-pay-paul fabric placement.

I drafted mine to a finished block size of 5 by 14 inches.
All cut from 3 inch strips.
Solid: two 3 by 7 1/2 inch rectangles, two 3 inch squares
Print: two 3 by 7 1/2 inch rectangles, two 3 inch squares

I was using my EZ angle to cut the corners, then read Bonnie Hunter's review of Doug Leko's Simple Folded Corner Ruler. I picked one up and like how the size adds stability and the markings add accuracy to this task.

It is time to pack up my what remains in my sewing room.
I have kitted lots of projects to keep me going over the next months of being between places and to have ready when we get settled this fall.
Each has sample blocks ready to remind me what I was doing.

Sunday, July 09, 2017


An idea from Pinterest. I saw several quilts with this block and don't know who to attribute it to. If you know, please tell me.

I was using my EZ angle to cut the corners, then read Bonnie Hunter's review of Doug Leko's Simple Folded Corner Ruler. I picked one up and like how the size adds stability and the markings add accuracy to this task.

It is drafted to a 9 inch finished block.
Print: four 5 inch squares
Solid: two 3 inch squares, added with the sew and flip method.

Very simple.

Saturday, July 08, 2017


I was asked to make white paraments (used at Christmas and Easter) in honor of our retiring associate pastor, Avena Ward.
I used Michael Miller's Fairy Frost as I like the sheen it gives.
On the Sunday of her retirement I sat in the balcony with several friends who helped make major binding progress during the service.
At the reception members of the congregation were welcomed to add stitches.
I planned to remove what wasn't to my standard, but decided to leave them in. It was so much fun to see people delight to participate.

There is still some finishing work to be done. I'll get more photographs when they are installed.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

visiting my quilts, Fourth of July

Quilt was made in 2015 with Deanna's fabulous sew-a-long at Wedding Dress Blue.

We had an enjoyable visit with my mother at my sister's house. Good to see my quilt. Great to see mom. 

Monday, July 03, 2017

tip # 39, photograph tops to find block errors

I occasionally find a block error only when looking at a photograph of the top.
The recent double four-patch quilt is an example of this. I made the top, admired it laid out on the floor, photographed it and posted it. Then after several days, I looked at the posted photograph again and noticed one four-patch was not in line. It amazes me that in the construction of the block and pressing it, in placing it in the layout, and in the time of looking at the top, I never caught it.
This isn't the first time this has happened. Errors are more noticeable, popping out, in photographs.
When we see the "humility blocks" in old quilts, I do believe most were unintentional.
I did fix this one--it was detracting from what this quilt was about. In another I might have left it alone. Sometimes the error elevates the quilt!

Sunday, July 02, 2017

what goes around...

On the left is a scrap of fabric from a dress my mother made for my sister in the late 1950s.
On the right some fabric I purchased this week at the fabulous Oak Fabrics on Lincoln Avenue.

Balloons in Peach by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

double four-patch, top completed

I wanted to finish this top here at the house as it is on-point, making it hard to put together without lots of room to spread out.
I do like how the chains of solids stand out and melt in with the various contrasts.

Block finishes 8 inches
Print: two 4 1/2 inch squares, four 2 1/2 inch squares
Solid: four 2 1/2 inch squares

98 blocks set 7 by 8, measures about 65 by 75 inches

12 half blocks (I cut the triangles with grain to edge of quilt)
4 corners
14 setting triangles

Monday, June 26, 2017

Gerald's quilts

Our cousin Gerald spoke for our family at my father's funeral five years ago.
After the funeral, my mother and sisters and I decided we wanted to give him this pair of quilts that I had made in the late 1990s for my father and my father-in-law. They were made using a Judy Martin design called Fathers' Day.
One quilt was at my house and one went with mom for several moves over the five years. We kept referring to them as "Gerald's quilts" and it was time they got to him.
This spring it finally happened. They look great in their new home!