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Family, cooking & quilting

Are you like me and ready for normalcy to return? I can’t remember having so much uncertainty in my life, especially with the upcoming elections. What I’d really like is the best of both worlds. Less traffic, less smog, less consumption and more compassion, more social and environmental awareness, and a good haircut would be nice!


It seems like there’s a lot of quilting and cooking going on at my house, which isn’t too unusual. Up next up is learning how to cut men’s hair; now that’s definitely pushing the comfort envelope. My son will be my guinea pig and he’s happy to do it. He just emerged from an epic, two-week backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail and so thankful for a home-cooked meal (along with Mr. Crafty Quilter).

Jon Cefalu at sunrise on top of Mount Whitney, August 2020.
Sunrise on top of Mt. Whitney

Last weekend we had two of our daughters visit for four days. It was so nice to have them here! We spent most of the time at home, still being careful about outside social contact. Cooper was happy for the extra attention.

Our granddaughters are happily enjoying their summer with the enthusiasm and energy of little people. While life is very different for their parents, they feel hardly any of the effects of the outside world conditions. Thank goodness! And Ben is crawling now, so their inside world is changing too!

Amelia and Clara, August 2020.

Yesterday, Mr. Crafty Quilter and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary. That’s making me feel old! We didn’t go anywhere, but I was treated to no cooking and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. The most recent picture I have of both of us together is in Austin at the Driskill Hotel, wearing our face masks. How appropriate!

36 years of marriage deserves a beautiful bouquet of flowers!
Allen & Julie at The Driskill Hotel in Austin Texas.


I’ve been making sourdough bread, successfully, for the past three months. The warm weather has been really helpful. I made my own sourdough starter and it’s fun to try different recipes for the sourdough discard like this cinnamon raisin sourdough bread. My favorite method and recipe for a good, sourdough levain is this one at Live Simply. I use bread flour instead of the spelt flour she calls for, but everything else is the same. It turns out beautiful every time.

During the summer, one of my favorite meals is a composed salad of whatever’s fresh from the garden, plus some cheese, maybe some prosciutto and a slice of that sourdough bread. Oh, and don’t forget a cold glass of chardonnay!


I finished three more quilt blocks for the Timeless Tradition BOM that I’m co-teaching (via Zoom) at The Granary Quilt Shop. I love all of the blocks so far, but this large, 12″ block is my favorite.

Quilting during Covid includes these blocks from the Timeless Tradition BOM.
Covid quilting includes this 12" block from the Timeless Tradition BOM.

My sister-in-law co-owns a quilt shop, Sew Katie Jean, in Lincoln, CA, and each month they choose a theme and pattern for their quilt block contest. In July, they used my Star Spangled Heart pattern for their pattern and I loved seeing their front window decorated with these amazing blocks! I think it was a success!

Front window of Sew Katie Jean quilt shop in Lincoln, California

I haven’t done too much sewing other than making three more Versatile Face Masks last weekend. I’m thinking of trying a different type of mask pattern; I’ll let you know how that goes. I feel like I need to clean and re-organize my sewing space now that I’m in between projects. That’s the plan for today – along with cleaning out the refrigerator. Exciting times!

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

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  1. Hi Julie, this comment is not really about this post; it’s more general.
    I just love you! I love your gentleness, your love for your family and followers, your generosity and encouragement. I love how you share inspiration.
    Seeing your posts, and even thinking about things you have said and shared, make me smile and make me breathe joy, hope and contentment.
    Thank you for blessing me and everyone who encounters you.

  2. Wonderful and happy post Julie… I am so glad you posted AGAIN your versatile face mask… this pandemic gives me amnesia a bit.. I went to your vid and realized I was already halfway through it… REALLY??? lol… needless to say I watched it again and then followed links until the rabbit trails were exhausted and now I am ready to design my honey a mask… I love your your hubby’s ear loop mask fits him… my honey has a beard which makes it a challenge and he has severe asthma and mask wearing issues but wants to be compliant so I will try yours now 🙂 Thanks again … sorryto be longwinded too <3 Appreciate you! Kathi

  3. I always enjoy reading your blogs. They filled with love for your family and your crafts. I’ve gotta check out that sourdough bread recipe. Happy anniversary!!! Enjoy many, many more years together.

  4. Hi Julie, Congratulations on your 36th anniversary! What a wonderful gift of your love, beautiful children, lovely grandchildren and a special man who sends gorgeous flowers and makes memories that will last a life time! The very best of wishes to you both! Thank you for sharing those great pictures! The one with your son is amazing! Stay well!

  5. We live in Roseville and my oldest daughter just bought house in downtown Lincoln. Will definitely check out her shop soon. I’ll let her know I heard about her shop from you. I love reading your blog.

  6. I love your posts. Good luck with the hair cuts. I do my husband’
    s and as long as he doesn’t hear “oops”, he is good.

    Mary in Virginia

  7. Hi Julie,
    Years ago I cut my husbands hair, it was easy because it was curly. If I made a mistake you couldn’t see it. I have been sewing a lot. Made a lap quilt for Altzheimer patients in nursing homes. The guild I belong to does a lot of charity work. Also made a few bags from sew sweetness patterns. I haven’t had a chance to make your granola yet, but I have the ingredients. Stay safe.

  8. I have made dozens of your versatile face mask and love it. Please let us know if you try another pattern. Your quilt blocks are always PERFECT!

  9. Happy Anniversary! Love your posts.. and can’t believe (lol) you’d consider changing your face mask pattern when Tula Pink herself loved it! Hey, maybe she’ll love your next one too!
    Stephanie from Lititz, PA (wishing I lived in CA!!)

  10. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary! Your flowers are gorgeous! I’ve made many, many masks from your pattern. The other pattern I sometimes use is the Valami pattern. There’s more room in it, and I like wearing it when I do something more strenuous.

  11. I loved the quietness in the roads, cycling without traffic. But I miss cuddles. It seems your family is thriving and this gladdens me no end. Keep safe and well.

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