Made | 05.31.11

Yet another trip to the fabric store.  Is it just me, or do I seem to go the fabric store much more frequently then I finish projects?  I had a specific mission for this trip though and I picked up this fabric for the back and binding of my strip quilt.  I hope it’s not too “boy”.


I also made some delicious lemon dill salmon with this recipe.  Delicious I say!


Sketchbook Archive | 05.27.2011

I used to carry a sketchbook with me everywhere.  I did this for four years from 2002-2006. In an effort to rekindle my ‘sketchbooking spirit’ I’m sharing excerpts from those sketchbooks here, every Friday.


A building study of Myyrmaki Church in Helsinki, Finland.  The lights cluster and float like stars.

July, 2005


To A Sewing Machine


Image from the Elna Lotus instruction manual via


My mom’s sewing machine is brown and cream and much older than I am.  It is heavy and solid and has seen some things.  This sewing machine doesn’t mess around. It has panels that fold up and click into place to protect the delicate sewing bits inside. There is a secret compartment on top lined with fuzzy stuff for seam rippers, bobbins, and the like. (The best things always have secret compartments.) I learned to sew on this machine roughly 19 years ago. It’s not made of plastic and it doesn’t jam up with tangled bobbin thread for no reason. I miss this sewing machine.  So really, I’m just writing to say, “Hey, sewing machine. How’s it going?”

Anatomy of a Project: A Baby Quilt and Fabric Choosing


So, I’ve decided to make this cute, little, yet-to-be-born baby a strip quilt and now I must decided what to use for fabric.  This process is complicated by the fact that I don’t know if the cute, little, yet-to-be-born baby is a boy or girl.  The parents want to be surprised.  I know the mom carries around an envelope in her purse that would give me all my answers; but no one is allowed to look.  Alas, I went to the fabric store with the task of putting together a gender neutral quilt scheme.  For this particular quilt I knew I needed a wide variety of patterns and solids.  I also don’t want this quilt to scream “BABY!” so, as hard as it was, I stayed away from the elephants holding the flags.  I could not, however, stay away from these bunnies.  I figure I’m pretty safe with the yellow, turquoise, and gray theme.  After I picked up the bunny fabric, I started to build a scheme featuring various shades of yellow and turquoise.  I added the gray to make it less “BABY!” and also pulled in a beautiful plumby red-color.  It might be a little bit more ‘boy’ than ‘girl’ but I think it’s just cute.  Plus I wouldn’t mind having a quilt with these fabrics sitting on my sofa so I think I’m safe on the “BABY!” front. I AM EXCITED FOR THIS QUILT! 

Things That I Love: Reclaimed Drawers

photo by Martyn Thompson, prop styling by Jeffrey W. Miller, photo via Real Simple Magazine


Reading my Real Simple magazine this month I came across  this picture on page 188 and I fell in love.  Hard.  Then I did some research and found this piece from WIS Design and I fell deeper.  Oh the things I would put in those drawers.  Maybe jewelry, maybe buttons, definitely secrets.  Those drawers were made for secrets.  While I know I have no extra space in this teeny tiny apartment, you can bet your sweet bippy I’m going to be on the lookout for old drawers.  I could give them such a good home.

Anatomy of a Project: A Baby Quilt and Pattern Choosing


The thing about my baby quilts is that I always start them very shortly before I need to finish them.  I don’t give myself much time; it’s more exciting that way.  It’s also the reason why the most complicated thing you have seen me put on a quilt is the Cincinnati C-Paw.  Ironically enough this next quilt doesn’t need to be done until July and I’ve chosen an extremely simple pattern: the strip quilt.  You may recall from here that I fell in love with this quilt style after seeing it over at Film in the Fridge and immediately put it on my ‘List for Doing.’ 

What makes this style perfect for a baby quilt, besides the ease at which it goes together, is the amount of fabric you can showcase.  Baby quilts are the perfect arena for lots of cute prints and colors.  The strip quilt shows them off perfectly.  It’ also extremely flexible so if I have one print or color I like more than the others, I can cut a bigger strip of it or repeat the strip as many times as I want.

I like my baby quilts to be anywhere from 45” x 45”, the perfect lay on the floor to play quilt, to 45” x 65”, the perfect cover up while sitting on mom’s lap and reading a story book quilt.  Since, with this particular style, I’m limited by the width of the fabric, I’m aiming for around 40″ x 40″.  Lets begin, shall we?