Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

A Soft Launch

A Soft Launch

While it would be nice to have an official “new blog launch party” on January 1 with balloons and fanfare and such, those events never seem to go as smoothly as planned. I decided a soft launch would be a safer bet. I’m just quietly opening the doors for business over here today. Welcome to the blog’s new home. I hope it will be more comfortable than the old one.

A few notes:

  • I’ve been playing around with this template for about a month now and I think I’ve gotten it configured properly, but it’s possible some things still need tweaking. I used a template called Foundry. The designer of the template (helpfully?) pre-loaded a lot of items into the template to show off its features but all of that stuff had to be hunted down and replaced with material specific to my blog. It’s possible I missed something. If you see anything that looks like it came with the original template, feel free to let me know. Blog reader Teri did a great job testing the appearance on lots of different platforms and browsers and gave me some valuable feedback (thanks, Teri!). I am still open to suggestions, however, for making this a better reading experience for all of you.

  • There is a menu button at the top left of the screen. It will take you to a signup form. I am using MailChimp to manage my blog subscriber list. You may enter your e-mail address on the signup form to receive blog posts (or notification of blog posts; I am not entirely sure how that works yet) directly in your inbox. As I note at the bottom of that screen, I am not Facebook. I will not share, sell, or monetize your contact information in any way, shape, or form. Period. There will be no advertising.

  • On the top right are buttons for contacting me directly via e-mail and for searching the blog.

  • Comments are enabled (and welcome). Comments are not moderated. They are threaded, which should allow direct responding to other commenters. You may note that there are no comment boxes available on blog posts dated before today, which is an idiosyncrasy of this software. You should also be able to “like” posts or comment anonymously if you desire.

  • I will try to start adding tags/categories to my posts to make searching easier, but that may take me a few weeks.

  • I am kicking around the idea of starting a Facebook page (and possibly an Instagram page if I get ambitious) for the blog. I prefer to keep my personal Facebook page limited to close friends and family, but there are occasions when it would be nice for the blog to have some social media outlets. I am still thinking on that.

In any case, I hope you’ll enjoy the blog even more from now on.


I am down to about a dozen sets of HSTs that still need trimming for the Ritzville quilt. Breaking that task up into smaller bits over the course of a week was a good strategy. Some elephants are best eaten a bite at a time. I am tired of trimming, though, so last evening, I sat down at Vittorio and sewed three more blocks together. This is how four of them look laid out. (They are laid out on the carpet because I’ve got another quilt on the design wall right now.)


The openings around the edges will get filled in with white/cream triangles when it is time to assemble the top. I need about a dozen blocks to give you a good idea of what the overall pattern will look like, but if you squint and use your imagination, you might be able to pick out some of the secondary patterns. I am very happy with my choice of scrappy blues, whites, and creams. I thought I might need more of those periwinkle-colored blocks, but they do tend to pop. I think I’ll stick with what I have.

The actual sewing seems speedy compared to all that trimming. I have a couple of extra-large cookie sheets given to me by my friend Anna, and they are perfect for laying out the blocks and keeping them organized as I sew them together. I finally mastered “webbing” my blocks with this pattern. There are 16 HSTs, so I chain piece two vertical columns of blocks together but leave them attached to each other when I press them. I chain piece the other two vertical columns together and leave them attached to each other when I press them. Then I chain piece the two webbed columns together and press. Finally, I sew the rows together, and because the pieces are all still attached to each other (the “webbing”), the individual blocks stay in position. It’s a helpful technique, but one I’ve always had trouble with before this. Perhaps the fact that the HSTs are all the same size makes the difference.

This is the fun part of making quilts. I know I’ll get to a point later on where I’ll have to fight the feeling of being bogged down and never seeing the end of this project, but for now, I’ll let the excitement pull me along.

When Quilts Make Demands

When Quilts Make Demands

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Looking Back and Looking Ahead