Does a Manly Man Wear a Scarf?

As we were leaving Northern California after a wonderful week of vacation in September, I ducked into a yarn shop in Half Moon Bay and picked up two skeins of Noro “Cash Island” yarn (also called “Cashmere Island”). As I was writing this post, I learned it has been discontinued. Boo hoo! It’s a great yarn. I wanted to make more of these scarves. “Cash Island” is 60% wool, 30% cashmere, and 10% nylon. Can you say “soft”? Yep, soft. When I showed it to Jas after purchase, he asked, “Don’t you have enough scarves?” I didn’t tell him it … Continue reading


Back in 2012, I made one of Marcy Tilton’s jackets, Vogue 8709. I dipped into my stash and pulled out a rayon woven in rust and black, and found an old silk/cotton woven for cuffs and collar. A lot of work went into this top, and when it was done, it cried to live in someone else’s closet. Last summer our friend, Diane, invited it to live in her closet. When we arrived for “orphan’s dinner” at their home on Thanksgiving, she was wearing it and both she and the top looked very happy. Isn’t it nice when a fail … Continue reading

More Little Gifts

At this time of year, I’m always looking for [quick] cute little gifts for holiday party hostesses and (even more importantly) my grandchildren’s teachers. Shortly after starting to work at a quilt shop, someone showed me the microwave bowl mat. Brilliant! You know how the microwave dings and you grab your soup bowl and then cry out in pain because it’s so hot that it burns your fingertips? Some brilliant crafter figured out a solution. I’ve read ten or fifteen tutorials, and the one by Lisa Lewis Koster was the one I liked the best. (I’ve removed the link to … Continue reading

Thrill for Twill

We have some bolts of fabric at work that have been around for a few years. The shoppers who come in somehow don’t envisage these fabrics as quilts or bags or any other sewn item. So they sit. I’ve been making it my mission to get all of these fabrics photographed (or find the pic online, although for older fabrics, that’s not an easy task), and make them available to potential online purchasers. In a sentence: what a shopper cannot see does not get sold. When I arrived at the store on Monday, eight bolts of Moda cotton twill were … Continue reading

Suitable for a Page Turner

Now that my primary page-turner is a teenager, his social life gets in the way of his helping Grandma keep the music flowing. For tonight’s performance, his eleven-year-old sister will be turning for me. She’s not nearly so experienced as he, but when I tell her she has to pay attention, she soberly nods and stays focused. The problem? Her wardrobe consists of lots of bling and bright colors. To her, colors that coordinate are simply whatever she pulls out of her drawer or closet without looking. As into sewing and fashion as I am, it makes me batsh*t crazy … Continue reading