Watercolor Heart Block in Wild Carrot

Hello, friends!

Here is a little project I had a great time putting together for Janome. The full instructions can be found on Janome's Project Page- HERE.

Violet Craft: Watercolor Heart Block Tutorial ~ Made with Wild Carrot print from Madrona Road Collection

I love to add a little bit of patchwork to our home every chance I get. This Spring I have been admiring some contemporary watercolor quilts, also referred to as color washing. My style frequently combines a little something classic with a little something modern and for this project I had the idea to use only one modern print and one solid to create a flowering heart pillow.

I had the perfect print in mind and my assistant agreed. Look for areas of loose or solid background when selecting a print to work with. Then select a solid closely matched to the background color. For my example I chose Wild Carrot from my Madrona Road collection matched with white background.

Violet Craft: Wild Carrot fabric from Madrona Road collection

Head over the the Janome blog and check out the rest of the tutorial!

The Breeze Blosssoms Quilt Pattern, Kit and Workshop!

Happy New Year, friends!

This is the Breeze Blossom Quilt. I created this floaty little block based on the cherry blossom trees along Waterfront Park here in Portland, OR. The quilts were first introduced in my Spring Quilt Market booth to coordinate with the Breeze print in the Waterfront Park fabric collection. The pattern is

now available!

The Breeze Blossoms Block utilizes quarter circle piecing inspired by the traditional Drunkard’s Path block. Although the shape is similar to the Drunkard’s Path and the curved piecing technique is the same, the Breeze Blossom Block is trimmed, pieced and combined in a unique way. Pattern includes a Breeze Blossom template pattern for transfer to template plastic. 

The cover quilts were made using my Waterfront Park fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics. Each quilt utilized one fat quarter pack of 16 different prints, one quilt in each colorway. Both quilts use solid white background fabric. Kits are also available in

my shop

The Breeze Blossom blocks were also featured in my Cathedral Park quilt shown below. In this quilt I floated the blocks above an intricate applique of Portland's St. John Bridge.

photo by Mia Craft

The 1/4" fine line applique was hand cut with a craft knife from black fabric on fusible interfacing and secured with a zigzag stitch. I quilted wind like breeze lines floating throughout the entire top two thirds of the quilt with straight lines mimicking the bridge angles throughout the bridge applique and water waves below the bridge. 

The St. John's Bridge is a beautiful piece of inspiration. We took this photo to give you an idea of the true scale of the park and bridge. Look, I'm WAYYYYYYY down there. 

photo by Mia Craft

I will be teaching a workshop on the Breeze Blossom Quilt blocks at the inaugural Quilt! Knit! Stitch! show here in Portland on August 14. 

I'll post more information on the classes as the signup time nears. 


Waterfront Park, Print by Print

All of my collections are a story of sorts. Sometimes the story manifests itself in actual words and sometimes it just sort of floats along in my head as I design.

Waterfront Park starts on the esplanade in the Spring, in the rain of the cherry blossoms that carpet the park and sidewalks all through town. Breeze in Breeze and Iris.

Bridgetown features sketches inspired by the bridges of Portland, OR and the Portland sternwheeler. I took photos of all of the bridges and sketched based off of my photographs. Anyone who has ever photographed the Dragon Boat races finishing under the Hawthorne Bridge during Portland Rose Festival probably has almost the same photo I took.

Top row, left to right: St. John's Bridge, Portland sternwheeler, Broadway Bridge and Hawthorne Bridge

Bottom row, left to right: Burnside Bridge, Fremont Bridge, Ross Island Bridge and Steel Bridge

Bridgetown in Black, Charcoal, Navy, Starfruit and White:

Three prints are reminiscent of the angles and architecture in the bridge design, Half Square Triangles, Shattered and Domino Dots.

Half Square Triangles specifically look like the arch of the Fremont Bridge while gazing up (from the passenger seat, of course) while driving along it. Half Square Triangles in Jewel and Clementine:

Shattered in Berry, Clementine, Luna and Starfruit:

Domino Dots remind me of the rivet work in the beams and were originally inspired by watching people play dominoes in the park. Domino Dots in Black, Geranium, Jewel, Lagoon, Navy, Starfruit, White, Clementine:

Flight is inspired by the peregrine falcons that live on several of the Portland bridges and the swifts that migrate from Chapman school every year. Flight in Black, Charcoal, Clementine, Iris, Luna, Navy and White:

Union Station is a hexagon pattern of vintage tile work. Union Station in Navy and Peony:

Reflection is the glow of the moonlight on the river. The idea for the design of the print was to make your project sparkle like the moonlight or sunlight reflecting off of your project. Reflection in Black, Geranium, Peony, Starfruit and Luna:

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll along Waterfront Park with me!

Mason Gets a Big Boy Bed: A Broken Herringbone Quilt

Well, when a baby sister is born, things change. 

Like, your aunt shows up...

 and reminds you that your quilt she originally made for your nursery is now for


And for snuggling. 

And for hiding under from your crying baby sister. 

And she makes you a new big boy bed quilt! 

I used the Fleet Week colorway from Waterfront Park and

The Broken Herringbone quilt pattern

I added a couple of extra rows and 4" borders on all sides to fit his twin bed.  

I used the optional pieced back layout and straight line quilted in sets of three lines along each herringbone stripe. 

I loved that the boardwalk looked like the Broken Herringbone pattern :)

This is his "Auntie, I love it so much!" face. Bwahahaaa! Man I love that kid. 

A Waterfront Park Nursery for Taylor.

For my sweet niece Taylor's nursery I decided to mix up the colorways from Waterfront Park. I combined the purples from Rose Festival and corals from Fleet Week along with the charcoal prints and whites. I used the

Patio pattern


Happy Zombie

 to make the baby quilt. It is bound in Shattered in Clementine. 

For her nursery I made her a crib sheet from the Breeze Blossoms fabric and a sweet pillow with a cherry blossom tree framed by 1/4" white strip and bordered with Reflection in Geranium.

 I think she likes it. 

An Introduction to Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is my most recent collection for Michael Miller Fabrics. Although Waterfront Park is highly inspired by Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park, it is also inspired by all the beautiful bridges and city parks I have had the pleasure of visiting across the country. In my eclectic compilation style Waterfront Park combines abstract monochromatic prints of birds in FLIGHT, hexagon shaped REFLECTION of light on the water, architectural line sketches in BRIDGETOWN and floating petals in BREEZE.

Waterfront Park was released in June 2013 and is available for wholesale order directly from

Michael Miller Fabrics.

To find Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon visit your local sewing shops 

Modern Domestic




Cool Cottons


Pine Needle


Fabric Depot

. (hopefully I haven't missed anyone!!)

Here is the promotional brochure for Waterfront Park featuring some of my inspiration photos and all 35 of the prints.

Cheers! xoxo,


QuiltCon... it's never too late to blog!

This week my wonderful friend Katie of

Sew Katie Did

was in town to lecture for the

Portland Modern Quilt Guild

and to teach a class over at

Modern Domestic

. Katie has a prolific collection of amazing quilt work and I loved seeing many of her quilts and hearing her story. I of course, did not take a single photo so you'll have to pop over to her blog to see her work.

While she was here, she mentioned my blog is a little (ahem) outdated. I have been neglecting you, my dear readers. It is true. It did light a fire under my behind and here I am. Where I hope to be regularly. I've been 


 in the mean time and I'd love it if you wanted to see what I'm up to over there!

So, let's get caught up, shall we?

I went to QuiltCon! QuiltCon was held in Austin, TX in February of this year. I went FOR FUN. Yep. There was a little tiny bit of work involved as the Madrona Road Challenge winners chosen by Michael Miller Fabrics had their projects showcased in the Michael Miller booth, but that was all their amazing work, not mine. I loved seeing them in person and meeting some of the quilters. If you want to check out some of the lectures,

you can watch them here on Craftsy. 

I had the pleasure of taking two classes, one from the extremely entertaining

Jay McCarroll

. You may know Jay as the winner of the very first season of Project Runway or as the designer behind some

really great fabric collections

. I particularly love Habitat and Center City. I made this awesome Kitchen Sink Patchwork Skirt in his class... that still needs a hem and the lining sewn in. Procrastination is my middle name.

I also took a quick little class with

Lotta Jansdotter

. Lotta is also a designer of some gorgeous modern minimalist



On my last day at QuiltCon I was a full day class volunteer for my amazingly talented friend,

Lizzy House

. I had no idea going into my day who I would be volunteering for, but let me tell you... I hit the jackpot. Lizzy is an amazing teacher. From the thoughtfulness of her curriculum at the very beginning of her class, the thoroughness which she knows her craft inside and out presented throughout the day, to the final retrospection of work at the end of the course, I was in awe of Miss Lizzy. If you ever have the chance, take her classes. You will learn something.

Now, have I mentioned I was there for FUN? I had the most amazing opportunity to travel with some of my closest friends... and not have to WORK during it!!! Yeah, yeah, I was a super volunteer which meant that I volunteered like 16 hours or something like that, but it didn't feel like work. It felt like I was helping out my friends with their big project... and I was SO proud of what the MQG put together, it really felt like an honor to volunteer there and be a part of it. Some of these ladies I get to travel with for Quilt Market or other fabric/quilting/sewing shows, etc, but this trip we got to let loose and well... get tattoos. I think we counted fourteen women who went and got themselves mostly-crafty tattoos during the course of the week. Here is mine:

I also got to meet up with one of my dearest childhood friends, Mandy. When we were very young, we played school and tried to beat up the neighborhood boys, including her two brothers. Her mom made the best homemade caramel I've ever had in my life. We shared a love of Nintendo for hours after school and on weekends in their basement. My second oldest scar above my eye comes from a Nintendo Duck Hunt gun accident on their couch. We were amazing at pulling skateboards with rope behind bicycles or Hot Wheels. Hot Wheels RULED our cul-de-sac well into years that we were MUCH too old to still be riding them... and their wheels, which were mostly shreds of plastic by then, showed it. We built ramps and forts and ran up and down and around the block. It was the best. I only have one blurry photo, but I REALLY hope we get to spend more time in 2015 when I go back to Austin for the next round of QuiltCon!

We are standing in the Michael Miller booth in front of one of the great challenge quilts.

You can see all of the challenge winners here. 



Favorites from the Madrona Road Challenge!

Onwards by Casey York (Tied for Favorite)


Untitled by Iara Ferreira from Bragança, São Paulo, Brazil (Tied for Favorite)

Quilt da minha amiga Iara

Recently I had the most difficult task of picking my favorite project from The Modern Quilt Guild / Michael Miller Fabrics Madrona Road Challenge. There were hundreds upon hundreds of amazing entries and more are still pouring in even though the official deadline has passed. I am so thrilled that everyone is still finishing their projects and I plan to keep looking through all of them as they come in.

I honestly didn't know where to start and I wrote a little about my dilemma. Lindsay from ellesquare responded with her blog post

Steal This Quilt

. To quote her, "In short, I wish I'd made it and I want to steal it. I want it. I will take it and hide with it for years in an underground cave, and then after I lose it in a game of riddles, I will follow a pair of tricksy hobbitses through the gates of Mordor only to jump into the fire of Mount Doom to be with it forever. My precious." Thank you so much Lindsay!

So that is how I started to bring my numbers of favorites (hundreds) down to something I could work with (dozens). When I had a workable number of favorites I asked myself, would I jump into the fire with it? I'm a total geek, so you can see how this post really resonated with me. When I was all said and done, I had ten that I couldn't let go of... and I had two top pics that I completely could not separate. I loved them both for totally different reasons and I wanted to pick them both... and fortunately,

The MQG allowed me to do just that


Above are the two I could not separate from being my favorite. Below are in no particular order of awesomeness. Click on the photos to see their Flickr streams. Again, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated in the challenge.

Buckles and Belts by Linda (Flourishing Palms)

Madrona Road Challenge

Madrona Road Scrappy Stars by Terry Aske

Terry Aske - Madrona Road Scrappy Stars - 34 x 42 inches

Untitled by mb slinko

Madrona Road front 4

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt by Irelle (Jibberish Designs)

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt 005

Projective Plane of Order Four by moonbrightinjune


Untitled by Lindsay (ellesquare)

Madrona Road - finished! (54x54)

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt by Anne (anne @ play-crafts {asdesigned})

madrona road challenge quilt - 48

Sweet Dreams by Disentangled

Sweet Dreams - 10X35

Amazing, right? The Michael Miller QuiltCon booth choices are all

posted on The Modern Quilt Guild blog

- those were all high on my personal list as well! And with more entries still coming in, I foresee at least one more post soon :)

Hello. Love. Luck.

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! 

One-Sided Binding7

I have a

little tutorial over on the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog

today showing four different ways to finish a project with ruffles. I am a ruffle-aholic and have featured many a ruffled quilt over the years (

Freshcut Quilt-uvet


Gypsy Caravan Quilt


Obsession on Point Flea Market Fancy Quilt

), so head on over to

my tutorial

to find out more about my trials, errors and successes in ruffles!

In my tutorial I have created four little mini-quilts a.k.a. snack mats. Two of them use a thread painting technique. Over the holidays, my friend Ale was using a similar technique for some pillows. I modified it a bit and here are a few pictures to show you how I did it.

First off, cut your three layers: top, batting and backing. During this whole process I have the top and batting sandwiched together so that the bottom stitches of my thread painting will not show on the back of my project when I add the backing for finishing.


Using a water-soluble marking pen, draw an outline of the image you want to thread paint. I wrote the word "Luck" in cursive. The blue ink would NOT photograph to save my life, so I've enhanced it here :) And it's still hard to see.... sorry folks.


Using a free-motion foot and your feed dogs disengaged, carefully sew along the outline. This part can actually also be done using a regular foot with feed dogs engaged if you move very slowly and turn a lot. I find the free-motion foot to be an easier process, but grab a scrap piece of fabric and try out both ways to see which you are more comfortable with.


Increase the outline of your words with a second row of stitching. Sometimes I will draw this area in with my water-soluble pen for a guide.


Reattach a zigzag foot and reengage your feed dogs. Use an appropriately sized zigzag with a longer stitch length to fill in the center space of each letter. You can repeat this a few times to get a nice fill. Don't completely fill with zigzags, just enough to get a base.


With your free-motion foot and feed dogs disengaged fill in the area with smooth front to back lines as opposed to the side to side lines of the zigzag stitches. This will give a smoother surface to your thread painting.


Two examples of completed words:


Now - to see how I finished these with ruffles head over to

Sew, Mama, Sew! for my Ruffle Binding Tutorial. 

Happy Love Day!

~ Violet

Broken Herringbone Quilt - The Pattern!

Broken Herringbone Quilt Pattern Cover

The Broken Herringbone Quilt was originally created from the Broken Herringbone fabric print in my Madrona Road fabric collection. It is still unclear though which came first... print or quilt pattern? I don't remember! The


is now available in my



The quilt showcases fabrics in a bold manner, but in a fresh, modern, on-trend way. This is a perfect pattern for those fabrics you've been waiting to showcase!

Broken Herringbone Quilt

The pattern also puts a unique twist on quilt construction. There are no traditional "blocks". Quilt is constructed entirely of full width of fabric strips. I think you will be surprised how simple it is to pop this quilt together.

Broken Herringbone Quilt

There is VERY minimal scrap production and the pattern includes diagrams for two examples of how to use all of the scraps in an interesting quilt back. Exact dimensions are not included for pieced backs.

Broken Herringbone Quilt

You may recognize the truck in these photos from Madrona Road. My love affair with the trucks on Sauvie Island goes back to exploring the island alone when I first moved to the Pacific Northwest. At that time there was only one beautiful truck exploding with tulips. In 2005 I took my youngest daughter and a dear little friend there for a photo shoot for my handmade children's clothing line, KungFuBambini. Warning - cute baby overload!

Madrona Road Farmstead Truck

I included my illustrations of the truck in the Madrona Road Farmstead print. Last year, when we returned to take the pictures of the quilts, there were two new beautiful additions, one of which is the blue truck above. You'll be seeing more of these trucks from me. It's a magical little place and I hope to return there for years to come and find them full of blooming flowers.

Happy tears.

Warning: there are no pictures in this post. Just words.

I am bawling right now. Absolutely crying. And every one of them is a happy, happy, happy, HAPPY tear. The Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge has put me over the edge.

Last May I showed Madrona Road, my fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics, at Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City. I love this collection. I put my whole heart into designing it. Our family had been through a lot by that time last year. We were in the process of short-selling our home and changing everything we thought we believed about what we "needed" in life. I wrote Memoir of Madrona Road during that process. It is a very true story about a girl from Kansas making her way in this big world of ours and finding herself and the love of her life in Oregon. About 3/4 of the way through, the story goes on to describe a fictional place called Madrona Road.

At the time I designed Madrona Road, I think I thought that magical little road with the sweet little farm was really and truly what we were looking for. But since then, with ever more changes in our lives in the short span of a few more months, I've realized that the life I created in that little story will exist wherever our family lands. All that matters is that we are together and making the absolute best out of this life that we can WITH WHAT WE'VE GOT. Dreams are so important, but loving what you have right here and right now is so much more important. Making do.

It seems like that's exactly what all of you have been doing. The Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road challenge deadline was last night and I have been watching the progress daily on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter and blogs and it's been so exciting and fun. Then today, seeing 262 entries in the finished Flickr pool and 473 photos in the progress Flickr pool, well, it just did me in. I've been looking through them and bawling ever since... I am supposed to pick one favorite. I don't think I know how to do that. I love every single one of them. Just thinking of the energy of all of those sewers all stitching, well, it just makes me cry harder if you must know.

Please, oh please... if you are on Instagram, tag me!!! I am @violetcraft and I check the #madronaroad and #madronaroadchallenge tags daily also.

#peacocklanefabric gets used occasionally which makes me smile a little secret smile - and just as a tiny happy teaser, get ready for #waterfrontpark in a few months. Yes, I now openly speak in hash tag language. I'm okay with that.

xoxo,  violet

Let's Craft! Felt Matching Game

Circle Matching Game

Recently we took a little road trip up to Gig Harbor to see my bestie and my most awesomest nephew. Since I normally talk her into painting a bedroom or tearing out her bathroom while I'm there (seriously - this happened) this time we wanted to keep it low key but we HAD to at least fit a craft project or four in to the trip.

Circle Matching Game

This little guy saw some really cute matching blocks on



The Purl Bee

 and told me he just had to have them. The first thing I thought when I saw them was that would be a great project for the Go! Baby... so I brought it along with the scrap bins and 1/2 yard of charcoal gray felt.

First off we dug through the scrap bins and found 18 bright, simple prints that were large enough to cut two circles from. I think we used every color of Falling Flowers from Peacock Lane, because that print's awesome. Just sayin'. Next, we used the Go! Baby to cut 72 of the medium size felt circles and the 36 print circles. Cutting multiple layers at once really made this job a lot faster.

The next step was a tad trickier. To cut the center ring without cutting off part of our original circle we had to fold each circle in half and then half it again. Then, lining up the point with the center of the circle on the die, we ran it through again and it cut the ring right out of it. Repeat 35 more times.

Circle Matching Game
Circle Matching Game
Circle Matching Game

Yeah, that part was boring... but this guy helped entertain me through it!

Circle Matching Game

Next, we stacked the layers: felt circle on bottom, fabric circle in center and donut ring on top. Then, using a zigzag stitch we stitched both the outside and the inside of the donut ring.

Circle Matching Game
Circle Matching Game
Circle Matching Game

And that's that. A super simple project - and so far Mason says they taste great. Yeah, he's a little young for them right now, but we're ahead of the game over here :) His momma saved a wipes container to store them in too. Mmmm. Hmmmm. She's a thinker, that one.

Circle Matching Game

Then, when no one was looking, I used the larger size circle to make myself a set of coasters that we actually use every single day. I love these things!

Circle Matching Game

Happy Craft-ing!

xoxo ~ Violet

Welcome to the Neighborhood

First, a very quick May, June, July catch up:

Sold our Portland home, hooray!

Buyers backed out, boo!

Went to Kansas City quilt market, hooray!

Resold our home, hooray!

Moved to Manzanita, OR, hooray!

Came down with the flu, boo!

Followed that up with walking pneumonia, boo!

We live at the beach (for now), hooray!

Feeling better and back to work now, hooray!

Now that we've got that over with, hehehe, let's move on, hooray!


This is the Madrona Road Neighborhood quilt made for me by my dear friend, Elizabeth Hartman. The pattern is from her newest book,

Modern Patchwork.

 Elizabeth blogged in much more detail about the pattern and her book in 

this post



My little helper Cannon was barely tall enough to hold up the quilt for me, but she was a trooper! This was taken on the front porch of the house next to ours here in Manzanita. I love how it looks like the quilt could have been styled off of this house - but it wasn't at all. 


The quilt can be seen here in my Spring Quilt Market booth. This photo was taken by


, known by most as Little Bluebell. Her photo was about a million times better than mine :) 

Violet Craft

Today it is 78 degrees here. That is about ten degrees warmer than it has been most of the summer. I think I'll go outside now and breathe in some of it. My lungs are still on the mend and I'm moving pretty slowly. This little slow town is just about the perfect place to heal.


The Quilt Show, Quilt Market and Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day!

I have so much to tell you! Where to start, where to start???


way back when I told you

 The Quilt Show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims came to Portland to film me for their show? Well, it's live now and available for my readers to watch for free! Please, go check it out here:


Next, I just got back from Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! It was a total blast and I am completely exhausted. Here is a little sneaky peak of my booth in the Michael Miller neighborhood.

Now, let's get to that Giveaway Day! I am going to give away TWO bundles of Madrona Road. One in the Ocean colorway and one in Citrus.

So, here's how to win! I am going to choose one winner randomly from my blog comments here and one winner randomly from the comments on The Quilt Show's

blog post with my interview in it


Giveaway Day is the BEST! Thank you Sew, Mama, Sew! for bringing us all together in such a positive way! Follow

this link

to Sew, Mama, Sew! to enter more awesome giveaways!

Mainframe Derez a.k.a. Light Cycles

I am a little late in posting this! I went to check the

Modern Quilt Guild's Facebook group

recently and realized people were trying to figure out which quilts were accepted into The Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2012 at International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston. I thought to myself "oh, I posted mine already" and then the pause. Wait... I posted that, right? In between packing to move, preparing for quilt market plus the general insanity of a family of four with three pets... I did that right?

Checked my


.... nope, don't see it.

Checked my


 page... nope, don't see it.

Checked my


 feed... nope, don't see it.

*le sigh* Well, no worries because here it is! This quilt is formally named Mainframe Derez and is nicknamed Light Cycles. It is inspired by the movie Tron and the Atari logo and really the 80's influence on my perspective in general. The fabrics used are all nine Falling Flowers prints from my Peacock Lane collection with Michael Miller Fabrics and Kona White one of the lovely Kona grays, of which I always confuse and my color card is never where I left it. I swear. It just up and walks off.

The back is pieced from Sprinkle Dots and Parade Day all from Peacock Lane. 

Here's a little secret... when I started this quilt I had an entirely different picture in my mind. It all started like this:

But it just wasn't right. I just didn't like the weight of it. So it went a little like this...slash, slash, slash... arrange, arrange, stare, stare, stare, snap a pic.... slash, slash, slash, arrange, arrange, arrange, stare, stare, stare, snap a pic... sew, slash, arrange, stare, snap a pic... and so on and so forth...

And then, ready for this... hmmm, maybe I like it better upside down...

...or not. And so it went until I found the winning formula. I still like where a couple of the earlier possibilities were going, but that just opens the door for another day and another quilt, right?

A huge thank you to the Modern Quilt Guild and the Houston International Quilt Market and Festival. I am thrilled to have my quilt included in the showcase!!!

And a special thank you to the Craft House Cats for all of their modeling prowess. Their ability to work their way into almost every photo never ceases to amaze me.

Memoir... of Madrona Road

Memoir by Violet Craft

Once upon a time in the windy lands of the Old West a baby girl was born to a rooted father and a gypsy mother. Her father loved her mother very much; but as the wolf needs to roam so does a gypsy. It took a village to raise the wee child. And as she grew she began to raise the village.

Alas, the winds called her to seek her soul in the desert, the forests and the sea. She explored and roamed and filled her well deep with  knowledge and experience. The little gypsy girl was all grown up and soon she grew weary of the dissonance and longed for a steadfast place to call home. Once again taking to the road she traveled across the land with her trusty sidekick Buster eventually settling in the City of Bridges.

The winds had led to her soulmate and during a single moon she fell deeply in love with the robot maker. As the moss grows on trees in Forest Park so did the girl’s roots. After battling an evil giant she vowed never to climb ladders again and once again went in search of her soul. Stitch by stitch she pieced her soul together, sometimes unravelling again and again before she tied all the loose threads together, completing her nest.

And in it she placed her two young ducklings. The Princess and her Prince of the Pacific Northwest raised their two in a beautiful castle in the city under the watchful eye of the Griffin. The Princess longed for a simpler life without the troubles of castles and imperial dragon keepers. She began to run, simply so she could slow down. The Prince spent his days engineering the webs of others, dreaming of meads and ales. The country mouse and her prince grew restless in their beautiful city.

Onwards to the sea they were beckoned, bringing their brood with them in search of a farmstead; a place to call home, for weary travelers to rest, to listen to the land and create. And so it was to be that the family settled in a little house with a big life on Madrona Road.  Follow the smell of hops and barely on the wind, turn left at the donkey by the mailbox and when you see Mrs. Catterson next to the Tulips, you’re home. But heed caution, for goats indeed stand guard, fabric flows deeply, the tap never dries and there’s always room for a good friend. Good night my little ducklings, all in a row. Sweet Dreams.

Grandma Walburga: My Roots of Handmade Tradition

I had a memory today. I was using a set of pot holders I made to take some carmelized brussels sprouts out of  the oven (because if you are going to eat brussels sprouts, why not carmelize them?) I was remembering a conversation with a friend about using the "good ones". I do use the "good ones". I don't see a point in saving them for a rainy day - they make me happy every day! And when they've just gotten too singed, frayed and downright loved to pieces, I make more. It's a very happy and fulfilling cycle.

As usual, I digress. I then thought of how maybe I should start making something here or there to save for my girls for when they head off to start their own homesteading. I still have some of my very first belongings that were given to me when I moved into my first apartment: Gramps' screwdrivers, Mom's hammer. I love the feeling I get when I take those simple things out and think of receiving them 20 years ago in my very first home away from home.

And as my internal conversations go... I then thought of my Great Grandma Walburga Baalman, my great-grandmother on my paternal grandfather's side. I have fond memories of my grandma's house. It was bright aqua blue with white trim. She had a chain link fence around her backyard which was bordered with a flower bed on all sides as was the house. My grandma always wore pressed powder and bright lipstick. Her hair was a beautiful silvery gray and then bright white. She had a rock collection in her flower beds that consisted mostly of gigantic crystals and open geodes from her travels. She collected paper weights filled with spiders and butterflies and intricate glass designs. She loved Kewpie dolls and crocheted tiny little intricate dresses for all of the dolls in her collection. She also tatted beautiful doilies.

I didn't really remember how many things I have from my Grandma Baalman until today. I have a large crystal from her garden, a Kewpie in a pink crocheted dress, the baby blanket she made for me when I was born and a set of bath towels from my "hope chest" that every girl in our family received. I've always been a very sentimental person. My youngest daughter Cannon is just like me in that way. I remember even from that very young age of about six years old knowing that my Grandma wouldn't be with me forever. I had a sense that she would leave us before I was old enough to have my very own set of bath towels made for my "hope chest". (I also longed for a Lane Company cedar hope chest to put all of my treasures in.) I wanted a set of those bath towels made just for me by my grandmother so badly.

I think my grandmother must have had the same sense about her time with me. I will never forget the visit to her house when I received my towels. They were just like I wanted too. White with aqua blue trim and a rainbow of crocheted flowers hand stitched on. It is possible my love for aqua blue stems from my Grandma Baalman. It is possible that everyone's love of aqua blue stems from all of our Great Grandmothers collectively.

I have them. I have never used them. They were too precious. And still are. For now. I might see a day in the future where I'll be ready to start enjoying them daily. Until then, I think I'll stitch up a few little traditions for my own girls and stash them away.

Funny thing. As I'm sitting her typing this with the towels sitting next to me at my desk I just noticed the manufacturer label:

Made in U.S.A.


All Cotton

Coincidence? Probably. Am I crying anyway? Absolutely.

It's Coming.... Madrona Road is at the mill!

Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City will find me with my new collection, Madrona Road. It is at the mill now and I hope to be able to start sharing photos of it in just a couple of short weeks!

In the meantime, Peacock Lane is nearing her 1st birthday. A few months ago Fat Quarterly did a a round up of some fantastic projects and photos going on at that time



Since then, I'm seeing the Falling Flowers pop up as modern basics in wonderful patchwork creations all over my favorite blogs. And just yesterday I ran across this quilt that made me stop dead in my tracks. I am in LOVE with it.

Pattern: Quilt Story #122 Rylee's Path by Heather and Megan  in Peacock Lane

And this Swoon Quilt is literally making me swoon.


is participating in Katy's


A heartfelt thank you to everyone that chooses to use Peacock Lane in their creations. It gives me so much joy to see it come to life in the hands of sewists. 

Beer-vent Calendar 2011

For the discriminating

beer geek

, no amount of craft beer awesomeness is too much. Following up last year's Twelve Days of Beer-mas I felt I needed to outdo myself.  I'm still not sure that putting this together and surprising the Mr. Craft wasn't more fun than him receiving it. I am happy to say I was able to enjoy a lot of this gift with him. I put together 24 beers for the calendar and then a bonus three beers for Christmas day opening. 

The back row

The front row

The list in order of days:

1. Dogfish Head Chickory Stout

2. Great Divide Brewing Hibernation Ale

3. Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11

4. Fire Mountain Brewhouse Hangman Winterfest

5. Hub Abominable Winter Ale

6. Golden Valley Brewing Tannenbomb

7. Ninkasi Imperiale Stout

8. Dick's Double Diamond Winter Ale

9. Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws

10. Oakshire Brewing Overcast Espresso Stout

11. Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale Brown Shugga' Stout Substitute

12. Avery Brewing Old Jubilation Ale

13. Seven Brides Becky's Black Cat Porter

14. Firestone Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout

15. Oakshire Ill Tempered Gnome

16. Lost Coast Brewery Winterbrown

17. Heater Allen Sandy Paws Baltic Porter

18. Lompoc C-Sons Greetings

19. Bruery/Elysian/Stone La Citrueille Celeste de Citracodo

20. Laurelwood Gearhead

21. Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

22. Ft. George Brewing North V

23. Southern Tier Jahva

24. Shelton Brothers Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout

And on the 25th day:

Avery Brewing The Czar

Russian River Brewing Co. Pliny the Elder

Deschutes Brewing The Stoic

A little note: If you plan to make one of these for your beer geek you might want to put the days in order from top to bottom. When opening these some of the top days fell into the holes created by the lower ones that had already been cleared. Next year: beer tree? We shall see!