Lagartija Mola


Lagartija Mola
February 2017

Two years ago, we helped our friends navigate their sail boat through the Panama Canal. During the trip, I had the opportunity to be exposed to Molas, a colorful textile art form made by the native Kuna peoples. Molas are brightly colored panels that use the techniques of appliqué and reverse appliqué. The panels are then used in the women’s blouses/dresses.

Unfortunately at the time, I didn’t have the opportunity to purchase a Mola, as our time was dedicated to enjoying time with friends, and sailing. However, given our global economy, I was able to source a Mola from ebay. I thought a Mola would be a perfect center block for a medallion quilt, and I loved the bright colors of this lizard-motif Mola.

The fabrics used for the borders were mostly pulled from my ‘Pieces of the Past’ stash, but I did have to buy a little more of the aqua-teal color to complete that particular border. While I liked how setting this border on point looked, it created a challenge in keeping my sizing consistent since the bias cut edge lends more stretch to the fabric. I used the black with aqua-teal hourglass blocks to mimic the lizard’s cuisine – flies!

I have only done one other medallion quilt, my Marigolds quilt. I wasn’t sure if there were certain rules to be followed for a medallion quilt, so I checked in over at Catbird Quilt Studio since Melanie does a lot of medallion quilts. Here is what I found:

A medallion quilt is simply a quilt made with a central motif, which is surrounded by a number of borders. That is the ONLY rule, If you can follow that, you can make a medallion.

So, I guess I can log this one as my ‘second’ medallion quilt! 🙂

This will be donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child.

Blue Sea Dreams


Blue Sea Dreams
December 2016

This started out as a scrappy trip around the world quilt, but somewhere along the way, it morphed into this. I suspect this pattern has a name (some sort of Irish Chain?), but I don’t know what it is – do you? Please share in the comments section if you do 🙂

This quanket is for me! I think the last quilt I made for myself was in the late 90’s. I plan to use Blue Sea Dreams on the master bed on our sailboat, to add an extra layer of warmth on cold nights. I can hardly complain about cold nights on the boat, considering that in California, we have the good fortune of getting to sail year round. And, we take every advantage possible to do just that!

Burgoyne Blossoms

quilts for foster kids, charity quilts, quanket

Burgoyne Blossoms
November 2016

Burgoyne Blossoms is a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt pattern. I have been wanting to try this pattern for several years, and even though it uses a strip piecing technique which is typically easy, this pattern looked challenging. Probably because the smallest squares are really small. In this case, the small squares measure 1 1/4″ finished. Part of the challenge of small pieces in a pattern is that they don’t allow for seam allowances that aren’t fairly precise: they have a very small tolerance. I find that on bigger pieces, that there is a bit of fudging that one can do to make all the seams line up nicely. But on the small pieces, there is very little wiggle room! What is your acceptable tolerance for seams lining up? 1/16″, 1/32″ or zero? How much time are you willing to spend ripping seams to get them to line up perfectly? Do you allow yourself a bigger or smaller tolerance for point seams?

Another challenge in the Burgoyne Surround quilt pattern is in the construction: it is really a master block that is comprised of many component blocks. The instructions for this quilt pattern are in a book I have had for years, Quilting for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt by Marti Michell. This is the book that opened my eyes to the strip quilting technique.

The blossom fabric was one from Edith’s stash, and the pink polka dot used as the main background fabric was from Granny’s stash. The soft rose pink was one I have had in my stash for years: as I recall, I was planning to make dresses for my daughters when they were young, but never got around to making them. Back then, not only was I one of the People Who didn’t Have Time to Quilt, but I also didn’t have much spare time to do much sewing in general. I count myself fortunate that I now have more free time to spend on quilting. Over the past 3-years, I have made over 60 quankets. Check out my photo gallery here.

I will be linking this to this year’s 100 Quilts for Kids annual charity drive, which is being coordinated by Alyson who blogs over at The Hasty Quilter. This year’s drive will run through the end of November, so you still have time to participate.

This will be donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child.

My Favorites from 2015

As 2015 winds down to an end, I am pleased to have donated a total of 19 quilts to foster kids this year, and each done in a different design! Choosing my 5 favorites is difficult, but here they are, in no particular order:

Flower Power – August 2015
Star surround quilt

Marigolds – November 2015
medallion quilt

Papa Bear – December 2015
bear paw quilt

Flamingo Floyd – May 2015
charity quilt

Celebration – March 2015
bricks and stepping stones quilt

Papa Bear

bear paw quilt

Papa Bear
December 2015

I recently read a quilter’s comment that there are “so many quilts to try and so little time“, which I can totally relate to! Papa Bear marks my 57th quilt donation – not counting the numerous family and friends quilts I have made over the years – and this is the first time I have done a Bear’s Paw quilt design.

The inspiration for the name and color palette came from a family trip to Big Bear over the Thanksgiving holiday: the crisp blue sky, the evergreen pine trees and the snow that fell all day on Friday. Living in Southern California, it is a treat to be able to drive only a few hours and to enjoy a few days in the snow. Yes, we are spoiled. The majority of the fabrics were pulled from my scraps bin and represent too many past projects and pieces of the past to list here. Overall, there is a lot of good mojo that is at work in this quilt!

This quanket, along with Baby Bear and Mama Bear are being donated via the Hands2Help Challenge 2016 and will go to the Yukon Women’s Transition Home in Whitehorse, Yukon. I am inspired by these words on their website, “Kids deserve to feel safe“. These are words that fuel me to make and donate quilts for kids.

Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge

Quilting is more fun than Housework

Virgie’s Wagga Rug

Wagga Rug

Virgie’s Wagga Rug
November 2015

I am intrigued by hexie quilts, but doing a Y-seam or paper piecing method intimidates me. For this quilt, I used the 60-degree angle method, although I think I conceptualized it a bit different than how I have seen others use the 60-degree method. I cut my pieces so that I could work with blocks, since I am so accustomed to block quilting (shown in pic below). If you are looking for a good hexie tutorial, check out Kim’s blog over at Magnolia Bay Quilts.


The fabric I used is wool, which I do not consider to be a very traditional quilting material – I suspect this way of thinking is perhaps influenced by my American upbringing. I had come across TheEclecticAbuela’s blog a while back, and was thrilled to learn that it is not uncommon to use wool in making quilts. And, the story and origin of Wagga Rugs is fascinating.

Years ago when my brother-in-law’s mom Virgie passed away, I had been given stacks of wool that she had planned to use in making men’s suits. Over the years, I had used some to make a pair of slacks and a jacket for myself, but I still have stacks and stacks of this beautiful wool. I am so excited that I can put this wool to use in my Love Hugs project, and I suspect that Virgie would be excited as well that this quilt will give a foster child warmth and comfort. I was amazed by the finished weight of the quilt, which is considerably heavier than the usual cotton blend quilts that I make. I look forward to making more Wagga Rugs from Virgie’s wool!

Virgie’s Wagga Rug quanket was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services in December 2015.



June 2015

We welcomed a new addition to the family this past March, our grand-nephew Dexter! I made this quilt for him, as a “welcome to the world” gift! I hope that he grows to love it, and that he wraps it around himself when he sees his first Shark’s game!

This is not a typical baby-sized quilt, but is much larger. I do this because the quilts I make for babies I want to be used as much as possible before they think that it is too “baby’ish”. Also, since we no longer put any loose things in the crib with a baby, the smaller baby quilts tend to have fewer occasions for getting used. The larger quilt is great for laying on the floor for babies to do tummy time and for playing with their toys, before they start crawling.

While most of the fabrics are new, I was able to incorporate some leftover fabric from Edith, Dexter’s paternal great-grandma into this Allison Harris’ (Cluck Cluck Sew) Off Track quilt design. I also incorporated the cute animals driving cars which I had used in my Twizzler Goes for a Ride quilt. When I made Reny’s quilt back in November, I reflected that I suspect that Edith is up in heaven enjoying all her wonderful great-grandsons, which now total five!

*Footnote: I wish the picture would have turned out better! The lighting is making it look saggy, which in person, it isn’t!