Insert rude Elton John song title here

Surprise! I’m alive!

I’m going to write about something completely unrelated to the Test Your Skills Sampler.  Yes, I’ll get back to it. It will be finished, eventually. I just don’t love it right now, and because I felt guilty about not finishing it I haven’t been writing about anything else, either. Time for that to stop.

Thing 1: Nails

No, this will not morph into a nail polish blog, but I have fallen in love with nail polish and I had to share a recent manicure. I change it once or twice a week, and I always hand paint or draw it myself. I can’t take a decent photo of my own hands to save my life, plus – wow – my hands need some TLC now that I see the extreme close ups. And the designs look kind of smeary, but I promise, if you saw them for real you’d be blown away.

Left 3 Right 3

Thing 2: Mom’s Quilt

Check out these pics of a quilt Mom made for a 50th anniversary gift. The block is commonly known as Bear’s Paw but is also known as the Hand of Friendship. It started out as one thing, then morphed into another when I made a mistake in the calculations. Here’s the original EQ7 illustration:

Martin Quilt EQ7

And here’s the final quilt.

Martin Hand of Friendship Quilt

Mom & Quilt Label

Martin Hand of Friendship Quilt Label

Mom & Martin Hand of Friendship Quilt

Thing 3: Sharon’s Quilt
My cousin Sharon has recently been reinfected by the quilting bug. Here’s a semi-recent finish, shared at a Stitch & Bitch from a few months ago:

Sharon's Spinners

Thing 4: Victoria & Albert
This just popped up on my Pinterest page. Have you seen the Victoria & Albert Museum website? There’s all sorts of stuff, but what caught my eye was this Patchwork Pattern Maker. Upload a photo, adjust a few settings, and it creates a design of squares and half square triangles for you to turn into a quilt! Here’s a photo of some flowers I took years ago with my very first digital camera (it used a floppy disk as “film”):

susan and allium

And digitized, here’s the quilt:

Black Eyed Susan & Allium Patchwork

View it from a distance, and you can definitely see the pattern:

Black Eyed Susan & Allium Patchwork

Side by side:

V&A Patchwork Pattern Maker

Cool stuff, huh?



  1. Nice to see you in print! Those two quilts are huge! And they’re both lovely. Congratulations to the makers. That V&A site looks like fun!

  2. I am blown away by your nails and that fact that you do them yourself with the tiny art! Your mom’s quilt turned out beautiful. The photo quilt idea is amazing!

  3. Wait! You painted those yourself?? Amazing! Both hands look super awesome. Maaaaaybe I could make my left nails look all cool, but not my right. 😀 Nice quilts there, and I like the label you made – nice block trivia to include! P.S. I’m still trying to figure out what the song title must be. . . lol

    • I’ll email you the title directly – anyone is welcome to comment with the title. I’m curious who got the reference!

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