Tag Archives: stash

Starting a new quilt as a summer project


When I visited the US recently, I had the joy of buying new fabric to bring back to Ecuador where there are virtually no 100% quilting cottons.

This week, I feel ready to start a new project.  I have plenty of quilts partly sewn.  But it is more fun to start something new right now.

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The fabric colors I’m using are salmon, bright white, taupe/gray/brown with other colors added for contrast.

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In the middle of the photo above, you can see the pattern and a photo of a quilt in similar colors. The pattern is a new one to me: Jumping Jacks.  I’m making a lap size 55 x 63 or so. You can download the pdf at connectingthreads.com   if you wish to buy the pattern.

Getting new patterns this way is wonderful for me since I live in Ecuador where it is challenging to get things shipped to you.  So anything that can be done on the computer with a good printer is a great thing.  My friend Judi printed out the pattern in color.  Much easier to work from than the black and white my printer does.

Speaking of Judi, a wonderful closed group developed here in Cuenca among some ex-pats who quilt.  We started a small group – not to sew together – too hard to move machines and no space easily available.  But to talk about quilting, share patterns, look for resources together, etc.  It is wonderful to see this group developing its own personality.  There are not many active quilters here so I really appreciate this development.

OK, its time to go cut more fabric.  This pattern uses about 2 million 3 1/2″ squares.  All for now!

Best place to hide for a nap!

Best place to hide for a nap!




Cats LOVE Quilts – What’s Up With That?



Other readers send comments comfirming that their cats seem to “own” any quilt their humans work on.  Here are Curry and Saffron/Butch perched on a newly completed wall hanging I had folded and placed on my cutting table the night before.

Why do you think cats love quilts?

Well, quilts are warm…



quilts are soft.


The quilt may have been hair-free until the cats discovered it so its their job to make it look broken in.


And best of all, it is where the human(s) put a lot of energy, time and value so it is the best place for a cat to seek attention.


And the fabric stash is a GREAT place to hide for a secluded nap.

Best of all for this human is that the cats are a lot of company on my quilting journey.

Do you have pet helpers?

~~~Have a terrific week!


A LOT of fabric



I own a lot of fabric. I mean “A LOT OF FABRIC!”   I create a project when I fall in love with some fabric online or in a quilt store in the US.  I try to imagine the pattern, buy coordinating colors and work hard to not buy too much   But, also to be sure to buy enough fabric.  It is super frustrating to begin a project months (or years?) later and find I needed 2.5 yards, not 1 yard of a particular fabric.  But it happens and you find something else in your fabric stash to fill the need, right?

A tiny fraction of my stash.

I suppose that quilting can be a metaphor for life: a person wants to make a mark in the world in some way.  Most people love to get attention and praise.  A person wants to ACHIEVE, to create, to complete a task.  A person is drawn to some type of interest to occupy their time.  Quilting can meet the need and provide satisfaction for all of these needs  IF that person likes quilting.  Some people hate it.  For one of my brothers, the magic happens with fly fishing – catch and release – that fills these needs for him.  Another brother finds designing buildings and flying his own plane to be top notch rewarding. My 3rd brother is a serious gamer when he is not working on the land.  He interacts with people all over the world from a series of computers in his living room.

In life also, there are things you really like and things you really dislike, procrastinate about, put off. Maybe it is washing the dishes.  Maybe it is completing the end of a project.  Whatever it is, it says something about your life and how you approach every day living. What does the item you procrastinate about say about your life?

For me, at this stage of life, quilting is a favorite hobby. By living in Cuenca, Ecuador for the past year, I am pretty isolated from others who are actively quilting, cut off from my support group of other quilters and the resource for learning that comes with quilt classes in the US.  This has forced me to face some things I want to put off, like layering and quilting.  It has also led me to see what I REALLY dislike but must do…binding.  Putting the binding on a quilt is the last step, it is completion.  For some reason I really dislike that.  Is it that finishing means the end of that experience?  Or is it just that I’m not very good at binding. My corners never look as good as the books show. Ahhh well, it certainly gives me something to improve upon, to conquer my procrastination, and to accept whatever turns out and be happy with that.

Here is peek at a “quilt kit” crying out for my attention.  This project will be a new challenge and should result in a gorgeous quilt to hang in my new stairwell. My great quilting buddy Cindy and I had so much fun finding just the right fabrics for this project.  Many happy hours.  A shout out to my loyal friend Cindy in Tualatin, OREGON. I am selecting the color of paint for the stairwell to coordinate with the quilts I want to hang.  The red and caramel quilt will be beautiful there.

The Red and Caramel Basket Quilt kit is ready to start soon

On another note, Sunday I talked with two of my three children who are grown with families of their own. We skyped so I got to see them sitting in the shade at the farm where I grew up.  They were visiting my parents who are 94 yrs old.  There were also aunts, uncles, cousins and assorted others.  I talked with all 3 grandchildren and saw how they are growing.  What a joy…that also caused a pang of longing to be there with them.  I am going in November to Oregon and will also visit Idaho.  Seems a long way off.

This is my grandson Blake at 18 mos with my dad who is now  94, across generations there is a connection the camera caught. This is the little guy who will be 4 in a couple of weeks and will have a new little brother in a few months.  I have 2 other grandchildren in California – Emma is 9 and Andrew is 6.  I miss all of them and their parents, my extended family and friends!

OK, a word about living gluten-free (no wheat, barley or rye).  Tonight I made gf waffles from scratch: brown rice flour, quinoa flour, added some teff…turned out great! we were completely decadent and had strawberries and whipped cream on top.  A rare treat.  We ‘ve bought strawberries at the markets every week since we arrived – year around strawberries from the lower elevations of Ecuador.  Esta maravilloso!

Unusual flours I’ve found in the market: Banana flour, flour of purple flower, dry shredded coconut can be pulverized in a blender to a fine flour. And baking soda.  At the top is cornstarch. And pine nuts.

Plans for the “gluten-free user’s group” are moving ahead: First meeting slated for August 21 at 10:30 am.  If you are gluten intolerant or celiac or just interested in avoiding  gluten foods, please consider coming. Sharing resources and ways to be gluten free in a country full of bread made with white flour.  And other needs and sharing.  All of that plus tea or espresso and a gluten free treat.

Please send me an email if you are interested:  nature93@gmail.com

Hope the end of your week is magnificent. Thank you for reading my blog.