Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

“Remember That Time Mom Cut Up The Tablecloth?”

“Remember That Time Mom Cut Up The Tablecloth?”

Dear Ann, I don’t know what makes me do the things I do. They always seem like a good idea at the time. Recently I cut up 2 fancy French tablecloths that are precious to me as heirlooms, as souvenirs of happy trips to France and as reminders of how much I love a good tablecloth. Background: Before knitting, and certainly before quilting, I had a Tablecloth Thing. When I saw a gorgeous tablecloth (and this was usually in France), I...

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Out of Whole Cloth

Out of Whole Cloth

Dear Ann, Please indulge me in a little glory-basking. I finished the Nani Iro Peonies quilt I started back in October. It started as a simple whole cloth quilt. I had fallen in love with a piece of screenprinted linen, and I wanted to keep it in view all the time. What better way than to make a little wall quilt out of a yard of it? I wanted to embellish it a little; almost, I suppose, so that I could say I had done something. I started by...

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Confessions of an Etsyholic

Confessions of an Etsyholic

Dear Ann, Something interesting happened to me recently. Etsy.com asked me to host a “live shop” event this Thursday evening, March 18, at 7 p.m.. So I am going to the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn, and I am going to “live shop” myself silly. Now. Mind you. I have no idea how this works. I’m just showing up. I think it’s a virtual show, in a chat room. The Etsy kids, using magical Etsy powers involving...

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Speaking of Our Patchwork Heritage

Speaking of Our Patchwork Heritage

Dear Ann, I still buy a lot of knitting, sewing and miscellaneous craft books. I tend not to need a book for a specific pattern; I use books as sparks. I choose the ones that make me want to go in the direction the author is going. Once I get that spark, I’m off to the races, and the thing I make usually turns out to be different from the thing that inspired it. This would explain my collecting Japanese books and magazines, when I...

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This Cake Is Really Good

This Cake Is Really Good

Dear Ann, For several years, I have had this image in my head, and on my bulletin board: I really wanted to make a quilt like this for Carrie. It just seemed like the right quilt for the girl. The problem was, at the start of my quilting career (for lack of a better word), I had zero stash. This is a quilt that takes deep stash. I could not see any repeated fabrics in the photo. (At least not any obvious ones. The thought occurred to me...

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Quilting Gazette: Doll Quilt Swap

Quilting Gazette:  Doll Quilt Swap

Dear Ann, It was only a matter of time before I signed up for one of those doll quilt swaps. I’m a proud, if terrified, participant in Doll Quilt Swap 5. So many talented, experienced, skilled quilters–and me. The deadline is in early December. A full month ahead, the anxiety began. I found it so hard to choose a concept, a pattern, or fabrics, for someone about whom I know so little. In my mind, I built up my recipient into...

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The Old Tyme Fiber Arts Festival of the Upper West Side

The Old Tyme Fiber Arts Festival of the Upper West Side

Dear Ann, There is no other way to say this except to just come right out with it: I’ve ditched knitting for rug hooking and quilting. Right now, right this very minute, I am having a very serious and perhaps life-changing debate with myself on these questions: Should I get a rug hooking frame? Which I could also use for hand quilting? And I would put this thing where, exactly? (Perhaps next to the churn, and the washboard I tote down...

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Quilt Show Saturday

Quilt Show Saturday

Dear Ann, Yesterday I sent my latest quilt off to meet its destiny. I handquilted it, so it had become a good friend. When I finish knitting a sweater, I cannot stand to look at it for a while. I’m over that sweater. Quilts are not like that. The more time I spend with a quilt, the more I like it, warts and all. I would like to thank Janet Bolton for the powerful inspiration, and apologize to her if I’ve gotten her all wrong or...

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The Audacity of The Thing With Feathers

The Audacity of The Thing With Feathers

Dear Ann, What can I say? I’m in the grip of a Janet Bolton fixation. I mean, look at this book: It’s amazing what she can evoke with little bits of cloth. I am powerless to resist. Whither Janet goeth, I must go. Her birds shall be my birds. Her fish shall be my fish. I’m wondering, though, how to make this my own instead of working pale imitations of what Janet Bolton has already done so brilliantly. Also, I’m...

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Shelby Had a Little Blanket

Shelby Had a Little Blanket

Dear Ann, I am in a whirl of Fifth Grade Graduation preps (such festivities–you’d think they were getting their MD/PhD joint degrees, or maybe the Nobel Prize) combined with non-knitting fiber arts. After a long forced absence from the sweet hunk of plastic known as my sewing machine, I have finally made good on a do-over of the binding of baby Shelby’s baby quilt. This was my first quilt. It is a diary of my progress as a...

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