Archives for the month of: January, 2006

I spent the weekend in Seattle with JCN. We hung up her drapes, which are silk and called Poppy, but the color really looks like raspberries. I was somewhat inspired by the embroidery of Riita-Liisa Havisto of Finland, which was on display, with her daughter’s work at the Nordic Heritage Museum. You can see an announcement at or find much about their work using this search.

The detail fo the stitching was wonderful. It made me want to do hand stitching.

I had been thinking of this machine lately and had a chance to go and look at it on Saturday. I am in love. The thing is wonderful! I want it. You can see all of the bells and whistles at the official Janome 11,000 page.

I have a Janome 9000 and have been very happy with it. Lately I have been lusting after a new machine and the 11000 looks wonderful. It has the same precision sewing that my current machine does, the color screen (that uses a stylus and not fingers) as well as the larger bed that some of my pals have been raving about in the
Janome 6500. I believe that is that the correct model.

The 11000 can read from CDs, straight from a computer or, as I mentioned from a flash drive! There is a USB slot so you can stick a flash drive right into the
sewing machine! Talk about cyborgs! This is a computer-sewing machine
cyborg, if there is such a thing.

The cost, with all the bells and whistles is too much. I don’t have it.

I went to a different dealer than I have been visting and they were very nice, very attentive and not slimey. Classes on using the machine and the software are included for as long as I own the machine. They also have an embroidery club that meets every
month. They offer membership that club free for a year after you buy a machine. I don’t do a lot of embroidery, but I enjoy the simple things that I do with the embroidery module. With the 11000, it sounds like Janome has made the embroidery module much easier to use and manipulate the designs, so I might use it more often.

Sigh. I just wish it weren’t so much, though I am sure it is
worth it. I told DH about it and he didn’t say anything. I will just
have to work harder and save my pennies. Or win the lottery.

I received a Sacchi tri-fold portfolio with paper and colored pencils in it as a Christmas gift. The portfolio is turquoise. I love it. I have started to carry it with me in order to have art supplies available when I feel creative.

Last night, on the way home on the train, I took it out and doodled while I listened to Anita Shreve’s book A Wedding in December. First I doodled the designs that are stamped on the edge of the pencils, then I drew some blocks. I felt so out of practice. It was hard to doodle. I need practice.

I am glad I took the Liz Berg class, because hopefully, it will get me going. Not sure if I will be able to create an idea journal like Liz’s but I can do what I can do.

This post was hanging around and I just got all the photos and everything together to post it.

DC was gorgeous the week of September 1, 2005. Blue Blue sky. Warm, windows open all night kind of weather. We are back to the fog, though as it got too hot to the east of us. The cold front above us must have moved away allowing the warm weather back to those eastern cities.

Sun, however, is a wonderful thing. I noticed the wonderful shadows, which I have posted below, on my wall.

These look like an eye.

I think they were created by the sun shining on a CD that was sitting without a case on my desk.

What can you make from the designs?

Saturday CQFA had a members only workshop on design with Liz Berg. She was a good teacher. Informative, fun, well prepared. I thought I was insane to try another design class from a quilt teacher after I signed up for this one, but it turned out fine. She wasn’t familar with Pentak & Lauer’s Design Basics book, but I was still impressed with her teaching.

She went over the basics of design – line, value, etc and then had us do exercises. Some of the exercises were similar to the ones we did in the other class I took, but they made more sense this time, because of the preparation.

One thing she said was to keep a sketchbook. Her sketchbook has magazine cut outs in in it as well as her own doodles and drawings. I am going to try to at least condense my doodles and drawings, but I may have to just do them in my journal as I can’t imagine carring a sketchbook as well as a journal. Still, I did get the cool sketchbook with colored pencils for Christmas so perhaps I will have to.

I would recommend her as a teacher. I’ll post some of my exercises later. See Liz Berg’s work at

Go here and scroll down to check out a post I just finished on some shadows of which I took photos. It has been hanging around since SEptember, but the pictures are cool.

Carrie Bryan has started a quilt and garden blog, While mostly about her garden and some quilting, she has a very good, recent post about God on it. Not one for the general, superficial God-chumminess that people seem to have these days, I was surprised to find a thoughtful and thought provoking post.

Her blog is quite new and there is a post about her recent quilt thoughts on it as well. I like Carrie’s descriptions of her garden.

In my post of October 31, I mentioned the things I was thinking about. One was ‘editing’, a new term used by designers which seems to mean tossing old junk. JCN helped me go through my fabric and junk fabric that I will never use.

Lesson 1: use your precious fabric (or embellishments or paints or supplies) or they may not be so precious to you after awhile.

We took three grocery bags full of fabric to the Children’s Quilt Project drop off place at New Pieces. My fabric closet and studio feel lighter. I don’t feel as oppressed by my stuff.

Lesson 2: choose carefully what you bring into your life.

I have also decided that people like to give me things. Because I have a well developed sense of guilt and cannot give things away? Perhaps? No more. Out went the lacy edging that had been gathering spiderwebs in the corner for 8.5 years.

Lesson 3: save money. Only buy what you love.

Lesson 4: save heartache later. Only take what you love from other people.

As we are getting ready to do some work on our house, I am ‘editing’ more of my space. I meant to clean out my closet over the break, but didn’t seem to get to it. I am off on Wednesday and may try to do it then. I feel that even doing small chunks makes progress. Perhaps I can get the shoes and purses done. We will see. I am ok with doing one drawer or one corner.

Lesson 5: ‘edit’ in small chunks.

the dearth of posts to my blog reflects the dearth of quilt work in my life lately. I did take it upon myself to dust off the old sewing machine this weekend and finish up those napkins that have been languishing for months. JCN sent me some lovely new napkins and, although I had planned to get to these languishing bits of fabrics, her work shamed me into it.

I also mended some pants that have been on the ‘to mend’ pile for months as well. Now I have some templates out as I need to get going and make the basket block that my students were assigned before the Christmas break. Immerhin, I suppose. Photos to come.

While not on quiltmaking, Single Scrapbooker does talk about creativity and the generation of ideas from a single person’s point of view. Check it out!