Cross Stitch, an update

Gamer – 1/10/23
Gamer – 1/13/23 – another diagonal finished

I went to a SCEGA retreat (SoCal Embroidery Guild of America) last month and worked a lot on Gamer. I believe I finished the really long diagonal that usually takes forever to get through. Now I’m on the second half of the page and it’s all downhill. Meaning there are less stitches per diagonal and they will finish faster as I get through it.

Another diagonal finished 1-25-2023
And another diagonal – 2/9/23 – 4 diagonals left

And here’s my update on my MFE SAL.

MFE SAL – 1/4/2023
MFE SAL – 1/26/2023

The June 2022 clue for the 2022 MFE SAL has almost 3500 stitches and if I do 200 stitches per day it will take 18 days to finish. I really don’t want to spend that much time on this in February. so I’ll spend 9 days this month and 9 days next month.

MFE Sal – Just 300 stitches away from halfway.
MFE Sal 2022 – just a bit more than halfway through.

Happy Stitching!


Quilt in Progress: Plum Fusion

Reminder- This is the 2022 Saturday Sampler from Cotton and Chocolate in Thousand Oaks, CA.

My February goal for this WIP was to do page 13 and 14 and here it is!

Page 13 and 14

I discovered that this was the October 2022 kit. So I’ve only got November and December to do. I’m not sure what that involves yet but I’m getting very close to a finish!

Happy quilting!


Finished Quilt: Arabesque 2

I’m taking a class called Permaculture Design Course and in April, the last class, we are to do a talent show. So, I decided that this quilt will be what I show. As such, I decided to get this one done as soon as I finished the Disappearing 9 patch.

As a reminder, I started this quilt as part of my guild’s September (2022) workshop with Dora Carey of Orange Dot Quilts. This is all paper piecing and I love how it all came out. I didn’t enjoy piecing it together as her method requires using long big strips of fabric and I was constantly sewing the wrong things together.

Arabesque – Feb. 2023

But when you love how something is turning out, I perservered and now it’s done. I quilted this with simple big puzzle pieces on my Q20. I used Superior Thread’s Fantastico which I believe is 40w. It’s a variegated thread of blue, gray, and black. I contemplated doing more custom/complicated quilting like Dora has on her sample quilts but then it would have taken me forever. So, since my mantra this year is, ‘finish it baby!’ I decided to keep it simple. Because of the complexity of the design I think the simple quilting works well.


I love the fabric I used for the back. I love the color, the big design motif and it is perfectly displayed as a back.

And my label.

Happy quilting


QP Saturday Sampler

January Blocks (there’s 2)

Started: January 2023

This is the new Block of the Month I’m working on for 2023. It’s hosted by one of our LQS’ Quilty Pleasures in Simi Valley, CA.

Every month we are supposed to meet at QP on the second Saturday to receive our kit. We also have the opportunity to sew at the shop with our friends. I missed January as I already had plans scheduled for that day and didn’t receive my kit until I visited with my friend at Road to CA. She picked up my kit and passed it along to me while enjoying the show.

I put this block together recently. The hardest part was getting the two points in the middle to match on each side. I had to rip a few times and used a lot of pins. I still didn’t get it exactly right. But they are good enough.

I haven’t received the February kit yet so I haven’t done that one. I should get it next week and maybe I’ll have February done this month as well. At least that’s the goal.



February 2023

Here is my February list to keep me focused.

#1 – Arabesque – My goal is to quilt and finish finish finish this flimsy.

#2 Plum Fusion – one of our Local shops 2022 Saturday Sampler. – I would like to do page 13 and page 14. I believe these pages relate to 1 block total and is the center block. I think Page 14 may also relate to putting the inner quilt together but I may be wrong about that. In any case, I know 13 and 14 are not yet done but 15 is!

Page 12
Page 12

#3 – The Quilty Pleasure Saturday Sampler – do last month’s task. Last month, I missed the January meeting and missed putting it together with the other ladies. But I have January’s kit so my goal is to get last month’s task done. I’m not sure I want to do February’s kit too but I am planning on going to this month’s meeting and I’m planning on staying with the ladies to sew. Hopefully I’m able to complete both January and February blocks.

#4 – Snowflake – finish this little top. This was from my guild’s March workshop.

#5 – Mountain Mist – do a bit every day. My plan is to work on this project daily for 15 minutes.

#6 – my peasant top

#7 – I bought a bunch of stuff at Road and I need to go through and list all the things I want to do… and add them to this list. One of which is adding Sashiko to my list. Which list? I don’t know yet.

#8 – After I typed #7 I remember I have a cabinet full of UFOs and I want to get those jotted down on my UFO/wip list too. Some of them are already but a lot are not. In addition that cabinet needs to be organized and cleaned out. It has become my stuffing spot – you know what I mean – I stuff things in there I am not ready to deal with…. And it’s jammed full.

Happy quilting!


January 2023 – Recap

Here is my January list to keep me focused.

#1 – Disappearing 9 Patch-

UPDATE – It’s done! Woohoo!

#2 Plum Fusion – do page 11 and page 12.

Page 11
Page 12

Update: Both page 11 and 12 are complete

#3 – Linda Ballard’s Dresden from the guild’s February 2022 workshop. – Finish this top

Update: This is now a finished flimsy and is now part of my quilt queue.

#4 – New saturday sampler – The Quilty Pleasure Saturday Sampler starts this month. I’d like to stay on schedule and keep up with it so I’d like to get the first month’s tasks done for the QP Saturday Sampler.

Update- I missed the first Saturday Sampler due to another commitment so by the time I got the kit I was at Road. I’ve been busy since and not able to get to this project this month.

#5 – the road classes – be prepared to learn, do and finish the projects. – Done. I was prepared, I participated in classes and enjoyed them. I took mainly technique classes so not really project based and I don’t plan to finish them. I’m encouraged to start new things and spend time on projects using these techniques. And will add Sashiko to my list next month.

#6 – Mountain Mist – cut fabric for 1 block and start…

Update: This is cut and ready. You can see on this post more details as to what I found. And here is the most recent update

#7 – my bag – Everything in its Place / A Place For Everything

Inside with pocket pages

#8 – my peasant top – not done. I’ll push this to next month.

I really can’t believe how much I was able to get done. I started the month focused on #1 and #2. I’m not sure if I said this before but I can’t quilt for a long time. At least in this case I was using a stencil and marking each pass through the quilt. Because I was using the purple disappearing pen I had to mark a row and then quilt it right away or all my markings disappeared. So I did a row a day. Later my purple pen ran out and I used a frixion pen. So theoretically I could have done more than a row a day. However I get tired fast so a row a day was perfect for my attention span.

Once I finished goal #2 (Plum Fusion) for the month, my daily to do was: my one pass of quilting (which takes about 15-30 minutes) and then I picked up my Dresden. I wrote extensively about it here but in the end I was finished in a day or two. I couldn’t believe how quickly it went.

#4 and #5 were specific events. My friends picked up the January kit for QPs Saturday Sampler. And I spent a lovely week at Road to CA.

and I worked on #6. Once I got Mountain Mist started it became another thing to do daily. So I added it to my daily to do task list. I didn’t always get to it but it’s on there and when I have time I do it and when I don’t have time, I don’t do it.

Then I got to #7… and finished the bag. I didn’t get to #8 but that will get pushed to next month. February is a short month so hopefully I still make a lot of progress.

Happy quilting!


Road – part 3

Another picture heavy post…

Vintage grandmothers garden-

There were no dates. One quilt had 1861 on it but there wasn’t any more info on these. There were about 10 or so vintage quilts with no info. It was fun to look at, inspiring really. They were not show quilts but everyday quilts people made and used. I love that because those are the quilts I make. I wish there was more info though.

another vintage quilt
French General exhibit
Another french general
I love the simplicity of this quilt. This and the next blue and white quilts are from Laundry Basket quilts and were designed by Edyta Sitar.

Road – part 2

Picture heavy post-

Best of Show
Close up

The best of show is my kind of quilt. Tiny, hand embroidered, and wool. Although that’s a guess. It looks like wool, flannel, and cotton all mixed together.

Another Janet Stone quilt
This was done by reverse applique.
Here is a close up of one block
I am amazed where the lines meet in the middle.
This one was made with recycled plastic materials in it.
this uses my favorite plum grunge as a background
The eyes on the hens are either crystals or sequins. I can’t remember but it made them pop.
You can lift the quilt they are holding and underneath are names of hundreds of women.

Road to California 2023

Last week I went to Road to California in Ontario, CA. I try to go every year and for the most part I make it for a day or two. The last several years (except 2021 due to the lockdown) I was lucky enough to stay close by and take a class here and there. This year was my longest yet. I stayed Tuesday- Saturday and took 3 classes.

On Tuesday my girlfriend, Julie, and I took a Sashiko class with Carol Zioga of Kimonomomo. This is a new thing we’ve slowly been getting into. It’s definitely it’s own craft but in the hand sewing part of my brain. However they have different fabrics, different threads, and slightly different tools- a special needle and thimble. We had bought a kit at last years Road and did not touch it all year. But we will try to add this new craft somewhere on our already busy crafty schedule. It will need to occupy its own space in my brain because hand sewing space already has been filled with mountain mist and wool applique.

Sashiko project

Here is what I created and it’s not done. Basically I plan to fill it with different stitches until I think it’s done. I hand pieced the fabrics together and when it filled the backing I attached the backing to the bottom. I didn’t do all four sides. And then started stitching. You will be able to see my stitches in the back but you don’t knot the thread just do a couple of back stitches to secure it and it looks so pretty – front and back.

I enjoy hand work and learning new things so I had a fun time at the class. I felt it could have used more direction early on but it was fine in the end. I also would love to learn more about Carol Zioga and her experiences in the crafty world. I think she would make a great guild speaker.

Julie decided to head home after class but I was staying at Ontario. She was invited to stay with me but decided she wanted the comfort of her own bed when it made sense. Since I was staying I was lucky enough to head to the first preview night on Tuesday night. I wasted no time- got in line and went through all the aisles in the vendor room and went through the quilt room to enjoy the quilts.

long lines to get in to preview night

My initial thoughts –

1. Only a few people were wearing masks. I did because I have had covid and don’t want to get it again. I also got sick with a common cold after Christmas and if a mask will help me not get sick again, I prefer to wear a mask. But not so many felt the same and there were a lot of coughing and sniffling around me that made me cringe and hope I don’t catch anything despite the protection. Wearing a mask sucks and I don’t like it either. But getting sick sucks worse in my opinion.

On the last day… exhausted but happy

2. There were more people than last year (2022) but not as many as BC (Before Covid). Very sad but true and yet the vendors seemed to be doing very good. At least a few of them if not all.

3. There were not as many vendors and quilts. In the main convention center, there were some quilt exhibits: Sue Spargo, the best of show, The Graffitti Cherrywood fabric challenge, and a few quilts. But mostly there were vendors in the main convention room. Then there were the quilts in the ballroom to the side of the convention center. In past years, the vendors spilled over into a tent area. This year, we didn’t have that. We didn’t have By Annie, Block Loc and the Olfa booths. Those are the booths I was looking for that I didn’t see. There was an Aurifil booth when last year they were conspicuously missing but they didn’t have a lot of stuff. BC, they actually didn’t sell a ton of product but I was looking for 50w cones, which they had at $50/cone.

On Wednesday, I worked in the morning and Julie came back around 2. She brought me lunch and we ate in the hotel room, we trekked to the lobby and got her a parking pass and then trekked back to the show. We walked around the vendors and the show and hit up all the booths on her list. She works the show similar to me on both the vendor side and the quilt side…. go through each aisle quickly and making mental notes of any vendors or items we may want to buy, or quilts that strike our fancy. Then after going over quickly, we walk back slowly through each aisle making purchases of the items we decided we wanted to spend money on or perusing quilts that we wanted to stand in front of and let the artists work take over our senses. Julie is my kindred spirit.

Then we headed over to our Wednesday evening class, wool applique with Catherine Redford.

wool applique project – unfinished and I’m not going to finish

This class was too basic for us since it was an intro class. But we enjoy Catherine’s classes. It’s our third class with her. We always learn something new! This year it was a different way of threading our needles that Catherine called Kathy’s way as the lady who showed Catherine was named Kathy. You lay the thread over your finger and take the needle to it, with the eye on top of the thread you push the needle back and forth. The thread magically goes into the eye. You slowly pull the thread out. I find it’s easier to do this with larger eye needles. But the smaller the eye this doesn’t work.

We had dinner at Denny’s and this time Julie stayed the night. The class ended at 9:30 so the idea of driving back when she could stay over appealed. I slept well. Julie – not so much but she had her audio book and phone to keep her company while I conked out.

On Thursday, we had no classes but I worked in the morning while Julie went to the show. I finished up around 1 and trekked over to join her. Our friends Sandy and Ronnie came by and I had fun with them while they did the show. They do shows a bit differently than me but they came late and didn’t have several days to peruse like me. So they were a bit more specific with the booths they visited and the quilts they looked at. It was fun bringing them to the booths Julie and I enjoyed and thought they would enjoy as well. Julie left to have some introvert time and sleep in her own bed. I went back to the hotel, ate my leftovers for dinner and finished up some work stuff that I wouldn’t have time to do on Friday.

On Friday, I had an all day class with Sue Spargo. This was the class that I wanted to take this year and it was super fun. We learned how to use her spoke easy template and her loop template.

first flower
half flower

I had a lot of fun. But even though the class was listed as an intermediate class the lady next to me claimed to be a beginner and didn’t have all her supplies. I was a bit annoyed. She kept talking to herself and I could feel her frustration. I tried to help her but she didn’t always listen to my suggestions so I stopped offering. But she complained and complained.

Despite my neighbor I learned a lot and now I want to make sure to have some fancy hand embroidery time in my already busy crafty schedule. I also want more 3w and 5w threads as they create different looks than thinner thread. I bought some at the Wonderfil booth and the Global artisan booth.

Julie came back Friday evening with our friend Liz, who had to work all week. We went to dinner at Spires which had great reviews on Yelp. I don’t know why because it was not that good. I think it deserves 3 stars for being ok. Not the 4.5 stars it has.

Saturday was the final day of the show and Liz and Robin was with Julie and I. Later Sandy and Ronnie came back for round 2. By Saturday I was tuckered out and I did not need anything else. But we found some adorable Japanese fabric that we should not have bought but did at the Orange Dot (Dora Carey) booth and decided they would be perfect for the H bag patterns that we had bought when she was at our guild last year. I also showed her pics from my phone of Arabesque as that is her pattern and was a product from her workshop. She is a nice sweet lady.

Then we all went home. We are making plans as a group to get together to show what we bought. It’s all nice and dandy as a thought but when I get home I like to clean out my bags and put things in their homes right away. That way things aren’t so cluttered. But they are in bags in my office/craft room waiting and it’s driving me a bit crazy.

I’ll post pictures of quilts in the next few days.

Now I just need to use what I bought before next years Road!

Always Crafting,