Walk On The Wool Side

Friday, September 11, 2015

Natural Fiber Fair, Arcata CA.

My friend Carin Engen did an incredible job gathering up an artistic group of quality vendors for the Natural Fiber Fair this year.  Best ever.  All of us know what work is involved in organizing such an event but look what she made the day after she returned home from the fair. 
Wool and Silk!  Can't beat that.

She is an extraordinary felting teacher.  You can find her schedule - AND class sign ups -  on her blog Artfully Felt.  It is made with the mosaic technique where you sandwich wool between layers of silk fabric.  This will likely be a class next June at the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon.

All of these garments use the same template.  These two are botanically printed.
Carin will be teaching botancial printing and felting at the
Gualala Art Center.
January 15-17, 2016.
Gualala is a heavenly California coastal town and what a wonderful weekend that will be.

John Marshall demonstrating fresh leaf indigo dyeing.  He grows the indigo himself.   This was a very simple and rewarding process.
John is "A brilliant American
fiber artist specializing in the traditional Japanese techniques of Katazome (stencil dyeing) and tsutsugaki (cone drawing)."
A most interesting and knowledgable man.  Highlight of the show for me.

Have to love these images.

This festival continues to flourish.  The vendors and the classes just keep on getting better every year.  To read more about the fair and to save the date visit their website.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Love doing our local quilt show which is every other year.   What an amazing job the guild does preparing and executing this show.  From the scrumptious food from a local caterer, Dolores and Daughter, to the variety of quilts on display .  .this show is full up with interest and creativity.   It was a busy show but i managed to snap a few pictures which you can view by clicking on the Slideshow at the bottom of this post.

Nothing warms my stitching heart more than young stitchers carrying on the  sewing traditions.  
Melina, 16, who was helping in Grandma Joan''s sewing machine booth made good use of one of the crank Singers and stitched herself up a blouse in just a couple of hours.  She makes up patterns for many of her own clothes.

The top was even cuter.

The Junior Quilters had a good showing - Love that.
Just one of the many styles on display.

And maybe at a local show . . . a little family member might drop by.
My Little Pixie Cup!
Gave her a lesson on the cash register.  One can't have too many helpers you know.

Please enjoy the Slideshow below.
Unfortunately there were many in cubicles that i could not get a good distance from to snap a shot . . but here is a sampling of some of this shows wonderful quilts.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015


This Fall issue is really a gem.  If you haven't been introduced to Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine now would be the time.  Sue Spargo quilt on the cover . . pattern included.  More projects by  other great designers you are probably familiar with . . Kathy Schmitz, Maggie B,  Stacey West,  just to name a few.   You can go to Primitive Quilts website and get a subscription or order this issue on our website.  LOTS of woolie things to make you happy and content.  

Keep it Stitchy!

Monday, June 1, 2015


Have a new tablecloth pattern just finished and almost ready for next weekends quilt show . . we'll have it on the website in a week or so.  The pattern includes some fun napkins made with Hand-Dyed Osnaburg . . one of my favorite ever fabrics.  Works so nicely with wool too.

 You can use either side of the Osnaburg so it is ideal for making napkins.
Add just a touch of embellishment in one corner and they become giftworthy!

They are all tidy with their mitered corners and hemstitching.
Two years ago i purchased a wing needle at the most wonderful fabric store in Ashland Oregon.
Fabric of Vision 

 This special needle is made in Germany by Klasse.
I used it with a simple decorative stitch.  The wings on the side actually cut tiny holes as it stitches giving the appearance of hemstitching.  Woven fabrics like Osnaburg and linens are ideal for using the Wing Needle.
Can't quite see those tiny holes in the photo below 
but I love that little decorative stitch.
Aren't they nifty napkins?
Lots of wing needle information on-line.  Get one and have some stitching fun!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Our last guild meeting was a special one with Debbie and Lisa from The Fat Quail Quilt Shop displaying some very doable and interesting quilts and wall hangings.
A few posts ago you may have seen my baby panel quilt.  Simple and fun.  But Debbie's shop models, which she is so good at keeping up with,  showed us a number of ways to create panel quilts of interest.  Most of the borders she created herself.

Then Nancy a guild member put together these panels for her little grandson.   Adding a variety of pieced sections.
Very striking.  Very artful.

 Lisa who has her own beautiful pattern line also teaches printing and painting on fabric.  Gelatin plate printing is her most recent fascination.  She is available for classes.
Just contact The Fat Quail Quilt Shop.   Her work is incredible.

This she created from a photo.

And then there is the Home Quilt.
She did a complete history on this and incorporated even the couples' marriage license in text.   It has appeared here before but can't resist showing you again.

Cheryl presented a challenge to the guild . . "Reflections of Water".
Hers has not been quilted yet but she showed us what that phrase means to her.
Rippling water with different shades of blue.  The half square triangles assembled to appear like rings in the water.  Just click on the photo to see how incredible this really is.
 A smaller challenge quilt was also shown. 
So what would your "Reflections of Water" quilt look like?    

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Look who won First Place AND Best of Show at the Monterey Peninsula Quilt Show.
A most wonderful friend . . Barbara Barrieau!
The pattern is from Tula Pink.  It has 100 blocks.
Barbara said that it was the easiest quilt she has ever made and the most enjoyable.
The incredible quilting . . which i wish we could view more clearly . . was done by Holy Casey.
For any of you visiting PIQF next October, be on the look out for this sensational quilt.
What a beauty.    Congratulations Barbara!

Monday, April 13, 2015


I'm off to spend the week with our new granddaughter . .  daughter's first baby.
If you ever want to stitch up a baby quilt quickly but still want it to have those precious qualities, find a panel that anyone would adore.  The quilt below . . . it grew a bit beyond crib size . . uses Cori Dantini's Beauty Is You panel.  Just one of many she has designed for Blend Fabrics.    I had been hoarding this last favorite for some years.   I just added this and that borders all around.   Each border fabric was an old favorite from my stash, none from the same line, and I had just enough of each one.  Can you believe how the outside border matches her hair!!   Did go buy a half yard for the binding.   Made it up in a day, except for the quilting.
 Enjoyed every minute of time with these happy fabrics.   
They make you love to stitch right?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Apron front
Apron back

Sue sent me these photos.
Her wonderful version of our 

pattern.  I never get tired of seeing how creative people change up our patterns and make them their own.
And what's not to love about these classy color combinations?
Love it Sue and thank you for sharing your photos.

Keep It Stitchy!

Original Pattern
Sassy Little Apron

Thursday, January 1, 2015


"We are the ones we've been waiting for."
                                                                   Hopi Elders

And because we have been so graciously given
yet another New Year . . 
we can plant the seeds of 
and Hope
and Kindness.
And the most wonderful thing about that ? 
we can plant it absolutely
and Everywhere
and at Any Time.

Many Blessings . .       

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


This has to be one of the sweetest faces i've seen done up on The Bellringer.

Jane's improvised version of The Bellringer

I love to see projects that have been improvised.
Jane Gent does not care for embroidering so used wool and appliqued the vine at the top.
She also lost the bottom portion of the pattern so simply did her own thing.
Likewise she chose her own beautiful colors.
And that face . . 
just adorable.

Never be afraid to veer off the path.
Just look at what can happen.

Thank you Jane.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Long time customer and friend Janeen Lafreniere is usually stitching up a storm.   You can sometimes search her name and come up with some items she may have on etsy.
I just love what she did with Mr. Jingles.
That plaid suit . . don't you love that?
A good reminder that we have to keep making dolls . . such an essential component of Folk Art.

So go mix up a steaming cup of hot chocolate,
grab your wool . .
and make up your favorite doll pattern right now.

Keep it stitchy everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Thank you Farmer . . for all these feasty foods" they said.
"We will share them with our friends and family
come Thanksgiving Day."
And so they did . . so many years ago.

One of the good stories . . that repeats itself.
So thank you Farmers once again
And thank you Earth
and thank you Friends
for all the Blessings we have known
and all the love that we've been shown
Thank you

Monday, November 24, 2014


I hope that everyone read all of the comments . . some, touching, heart warming, funny, and many stories about stitching together.
Many thanks to all of you for your comments and for signing up to Follow along.
The two Follower Winners are (decided to do 2 each):   Maria Neill and Sandi Henschel.
The two Comment Winners are:  Barbara M   and
Linda - member of the Woolberries . .gotta love that name right?
Please email me with your mailing address and let me know which of the patterns below, shown in the previous post,  you would like to receive as your free gift.
Next week we have some more goodies to pass along so stay tuned.  Thanks again!
It's St. Nicholas
Pincushion Trio
Mini Scissors Case
Sing A Little Song
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