Let’s Get Acquainted Blog Hop 90

Plum and June

Today’s my day on Plum & June’s Let’s Get Acquainted blog hop! So let’s get acquainted, shall we?


Who are you?
My name is Anne, and I live in Santa Cruz, California. I’m an artist, a programmer, an animal lover, a gamer, a traveller, and generally a huge dork. I live with my partner, our Saint Bernard, and two cats. I absolutely love to geek out on quilt design and color stuff on this blog (which is why those posts tend to be on the longer side) but I also show in progress work a lot. Because there seems to always be more I’m working on than finishing


How did you start quilting?
I don’t actually remember exactly how it happened. I started working on a log cabin quilt when I was about 10 years old and got bored very quickly. I think I may have completed one or two blocks before giving up. Fast forward 25 years or so, and while I was in grad school for computer science (studying video games), I was about to crawl out of my own skin with the need for a creative outlet. I made a 1-UP mushroom pixel pillow for the lab complete with 5/8″ seams because I assumed I knew what I was doing since I’d quilted back when I was a kid! Somehow from there, my best friend and I found the modern quilting movement on flickr and started learning a lot more about quilting and design. We both dove in and haven’t looked back since! That was over two years and many quilts ago.


Where did your blog name come from?
Play Crafts is actually my startup consisting of three women: Jane, Gillian and myself. We create online tools for crafters. The first one is the Palette Builder tool which is free to use and can help you find a palette from any of your photos! We came up with the name Play Crafts because we are all gamers and crafters. We looked at software design tools that were available and realized that a lot of them had overly complex interfaces which sometimes got in the way of being creative. We decided to start Play Crafts to create design tools with playful, fun interfaces because really… creativity should be fun!


Do you have any tutorials?
Hey, yah I do! I have two tutorials for blocks, the broken herringbone and the shattered chevron (so much breaking in those names!) I also wrote a quilt photography tutorial currently being hosted by Leanne @ she can quilt.

Enough talk, show me some pretties!
Here are some of the quilts and stuff I’ve made over the last couple of years!


1. Oakshott landscape, 2. Jumbo-er Star – Done!, 3. SSM2 – side 1, 4. Candy Rainbow finished, 5. charity quilt, 6. mod pop, 7. angry birds mini-quilt, 8. madrona road challenge quilt – 48″ x 36″, 9. Finished – Sew Sew Modern Swap, 10. nyan cat finished!, 11. Garden Fence done (front), 12. Front of the HST quilt, 13. inspiration photo + quilt, 14. Quilt Fronts, 15. Both pillows, 16. Done and stuffed

Thanks for stopping by my home on the blog-o-sphere! Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me a bit about yourself as well, or just say hi. 🙂

There are a lot of great blogs on the hop to check out, here are the blogs participating today:

Anne @ PlayCrafts <—————– me!
Sarah @ {no} hats in the house
Christen @ Love by Hand
Julie @ 627handworks

For a list of all the blogs, check out the master list at Plum & June.


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90 thoughts on “Let’s Get Acquainted Blog Hop

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Julie! Cathedral windows are one of those projects where all the work goes into prep. Once you get to the pretty part, it just flies together! I should look into making more of those, they’re quite fun. 🙂

  • Ruth Bourke

    I love your St.Bernard. I’ve always wanted one. We have Bassets – also on the slobbery side of the dog scale. I get anxious when I’m pressing a quilt top and the slobbery head of Wilbur comes within 2 ft of me. How do you cope? I love your angry birds and I just finished a strip and flip quilt too – great pattern.

    • anne Post author

      OMG Basset Hounds are so awesome!! I assume you’ve seen the collection of photos of Basset Hounds running. Best thing on the internet. 🙂 I always wanted a Saint Bernard when I was a kid. 🙂 When I was volunteering at the shelter, we had a Saint come in and she was SUCH a love. She wasn’t good with cats though, but it made me realize that I needed a Saint Bernard. I think my partner thought I was insane, but he and I drove out to a rescue a couple weeks later and got Mishka. 😀 Now he’s pressuring me to get another one!!
      As for coping, I pretty much just give in to the fact that I’m going to have to wash every quilt I ever make before giving it to someone. And after washing it goes straight into a plastic bag. lol The slobber splatter thing is so true, though. I assume you get those with Bassets as well?

      Sorry, I can talk about my dog for hours! (no, really 😉

      I just went to check out your strip & flip quilt and there’s Wilbur!! SO ADORABLE. How do you handle it?!
      Your strip & flip quilt is gorgeous, as is your other work! I’m going to go follow your blog as soon as I’m done here. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! (Sorry for the book!)

  • jan

    Hi – It is very nice to meet you. i love your projects. The Broken Herringbone I seriously need to try.
    Love the St Bernard too! We have Great Pyrenees and they are great animals.

    • anne Post author

      Hi Jan! It’s nice to meet you, too. 😀 Thank you so much for your kind words! I think there might be a Broken Herringbone quilt-a-long going on in the near future! I’m talking with Molli Sparkles about it, he just recently finished a gorgeous rainbow broken herringbone quilt. 🙂
      My good friend has a couple of Pyrs, and they are such amazing dogs! Much less on the slobbery end of things which is nice, I’m sure. 😉 How many do you have? Oh! I just looked at your website, and there they are! SO gorgeous!
      Are they LGDs or more pets? I’m going to go read your post more in depth here in a second, so maybe you already answered that. 🙂

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! 😀 That was definitely a fun project! I’m trying to put more limits on my obligation sewing (and failing MISERABLY, I might add) so that I have time for more fun projects like that. 🙂

    • anne Post author

      Paula, you are so sweet! And I’m always excited to get comments from you! \o/ (That’s a person cheering. Old school text art comin’ at you!) Making this post made me realize how I spent almost an entire year making blocks for swaps instead of quilts. I think I need to spend more time making quilts. 🙂 And forcing myself to learn FMQing.

  • Casey

    It’s so nice to find you through this blog hop, Anne! I recognize your Madrona Road quilt from the challenge, and I love your 1-up mushroom pillow and Nyan Cat quilt! I think I’ve also seen Palette Builder 2.0 mentioned various places on-line. Best of luck with your start-up–it seems you have found an excellent niche! It’s interesting that you studied video game design. My 8-yr-old really wants to be a game designer; I’d love to hear your advice about the field!

    • anne Post author

      Hi Casey! How flattering that you recognize my quilt! 😀
      I would be happy to answer any questions you or your 8 year old have about the game industry. 🙂 I was a programmer at Electronic Arts (EA) for 4 years before going back to grad school. Now I teach game design at UC Santa Cruz when I have the time. I may also be teaching a class about the similarities of crafting and programming, but we’ll see if that actually happens. Teaching is a huge time sink!!
      My advice for the field is really “make games” if you want to be a designer (likewise: program games if you want to be a programmer!). Design board games and card games if you don’t know how to program. Have other people play them. Figure out what doesn’t work. Try to fix it. My favorite game design books are Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Brathwaite (now Brenda Romero) and Theory of Fun by Raph Koster, both of them are game designers. Both books are really accessible although Brenda’s books might talk about adult subject in games, I can’t remember. Theory of Fun is definitely appropriate for any age. He has a new version coming out soon so it would be worth waiting. 🙂
      Anyway, create games, try them out, keep doing it. It’ll put you way ahead of the people who show up and say “I want to design games!” but have never done it. There’s a lot to be learned from the experience of creating them!

  • ashley

    YES, YES, AND YES. omg. How am I just now finding your blog?! This as to be a serrrrriiiioooouuuuusssss oversight. love your tutorials, your dog, the tools, everything. your quilts are amazing- keep quilting on, girl! i’m definitely a follower now!

    • anne Post author

      HAhahahaha I <3 you already!! I've followed you back because I am in love with your blog!! Your chicopee pillow is so awesome, that fuchsia with the strings is just perfect! Good luck giving away that 16-patch!
      I can't wait to see what you make next. 😀

    • anne Post author

      It’s nice to meet you, too! 😀 I have a few more tutorials I need to sit down and write. That always seems to be the hardest part for me. I take all the pictures and compose it in my head, but have a hard time sitting down and actually writing it. 😉

    • anne Post author

      Thanks so much, Vicki! It’s nice to meet you, too! 😀 I’m not sure I’ve met anyone who has wished for geekiness before! 🙂 But I’d definitely be happy to share!

  • lisa@hilltophouse

    Oh how I love your HST quilt and your photo inspiration quilt – holy use of colour, seriously so beautiful. I have bookmarked your chevron and herringbone tutorials – I have been looking for something like this for some sashing I am doing – just the inspiration I needed! Thanks!

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Lisa! Picking colors and fabrics is by far my favorite part of the process, so your compliment means a lot! I’d love to see what you make from the tutorials, please share it with me if you end up using them or being inspired by them! 😀

  • Lorna McMahon

    Hey Anne! It sure is nice to read a little more about you. I do love your palette builder tool and appreciate that it is available free to use by anyone. I remember seeing your photography tutorial when I first started blogging! Very helpful! Love your broken herringbone design. It’s quite sweet!

    Sew glad to have ‘met’ you through the new blogger hop this summer!


    • anne Post author

      Hi Lorna! 😀 Thank you thank you thank you! It’s nice to have met you, too. 🙂 I have some plans for improving the palette builder even more, and hopefully those will be available by the end of the month. We’ll see! I’m pretty excited about it!

  • Stephanie

    So nice to get to know you better through the Hop – I’ve been a follower for quite a while now, but you end up forgetting some of the projects and backstory as you go along! Those rainbow cranes are just so gorgeous and different – love that pattern!!

    • anne Post author

      I totally know what you mean about forgetting about stuff and who belongs to what project. 🙂 I recently found someone’s blog who makes up a good portion of my flickr favorites and had no idea they were all by the same person!
      Those rainbow cranes are a pattern by Patchwork Pottery (http://patchworkpottery.blogspot.com/). As soon as I saw it, I needed to make it in low volumes + rainbow! She has some gorgeous stuff on her site including an incredible madrona road challenge quilt. 🙂

  • Anna

    I love your projects! Your pixelated mushroom pillow is awesome, even if it secretly has weird seam allowances! Your pallet builder tool is so cool- thanks so much for helping design it!

    It’s great to meet you! I will definitely be watching this space for cool stuff to come 🙂

    • anne Post author

      Thank you!! I was really shocked at how small those pixels got after those huge seams… lol That’s what happens when you learn garment sewing and then take on quilting like you know what you’re doing. 😉
      I’m so happy you like the palette builder! 😀 We have some cool ideas in mind for it, I’m really hoping I can make them available by the end of this month. Fingers crossed!

  • Rachel

    Oh I remember reading your tutorial on photographing quilts. I picked up a lot of good tips from it. Good to finally meet the person behind that tutorial. I do use the palette builder tool too. Hmm you have been one busy lady.

    • anne Post author

      I’m so happy the photo tutorial was helpful for you! 😀 AND you use the palette builder! Thank you!
      We have some improvements we hope to roll out for the palette builder soon. I’m antsy to release it because I’m really excited about the changes we have in store!

  • claudia w

    Hey! Nice to meet you. We’re almost neighbors! I love up north of Half Moon Bay. I love Santa Cruz!
    I quilt too, well, I try to quilt. I would be except that I moved and have not quite collected all my stuff in one location. Love all your quilts!

    • anne Post author

      Yay, someone local[-ish]!! 😀 When I’m stressed out I’ll get in my car and head up 1 to Half Moon Bay (although okay, a lot of times I don’t get past that goat farm at Pescadero with all that amazing cheese)
      Did you just move to the area or did you move within HMB? Are you part of one of the modern quilt guilds in the area? There are 4 in the bay area, although I’m not sure which one is closest to you. 🙂 We have one in Santa Cruz, but that’s probably a pretty far haul for you!
      I hope you are able to get your quilting stuff together!

    • anne Post author

      Thanks so much, Jenny! It’s so awesome to hear you’re having fun with the palette builder. 🙂 I just finished a fun (well I think) feature that I’m hoping I can release soon! I’m super excited about it!
      If you end up making a shattered chevron, please share it, I’d love to see it!

  • Sarah

    5/8″ seams! Love it! I think by now it goes without saying that I am a huge fan …and if it doesn’t, well then here it is: huge fan, Anne ;). Madrone Road, Jumbo-er Star, yada yada… I’ve been keeping close tabs on them all!

    P.S. I was just thinking about your palette builder the other day – how cool would it be if online fabric stores offered it to customers, and then in addition to churning out the paint chips it (here’s the catcher!) /also/ pulled up all the fabrics offered by the store in those colorways… (!) Million dollar idea!? Unless of course that already exists and I just don’t know because I don’t buy fabric often enough 😉

    • anne Post author

      Hahahaha <3 you Sarah! I am hopefully going to have some new stuff to show soon. I had to take a breather after that jumbo-er star!

      I think that's an awesome idea! And..it might be something we're working on. Maybe. But I can't say for sure. lol Hawthorne threads offers something like that and it's really awesome! I often buy fabric from them just because it's easier for me to find things because of that color search!

  • Elise Lea

    Beautiful quilts and such an awesome site! It must be convenient to be an artist/quilter/blogger/programmer combination! Love the cathedral window pillow and your Nyan Cat!

    • anne Post author

      Thank you so much! I’ve never considered it that way, but I guess it is convenient in some ways! In other ways it feels a bit schizophrenic. lol But it is definitely nice to be able to fix something when I want it fixed. (Of course, then I don’t have any excuses for not fixing it…. 😉

      I did those cathedral window pillows a while ago, I’d love to do another set in more summery colors! So many projects, so little time..

  • Laura C

    Nice to meet one of the faces and people behind that palette generator that’s taken us all by storm! I have seen your Madrona Road challenge quilt around, too–it’s so lovely. You’ve done some great projects. Thank you for introducing yourself!

    • anne Post author

      Hi Laura! It’s nice to meet you too. 😀 I’m all antsy because there’s a new feature I’ve finished for the palette builder that I’m waiting for the okay to release and I’m super excited about it! Hopefully by the end of the month. 🙂
      Thank you so much for the kind words on my projects! I’m feeling a bit like a slacker this month because I was a bit burnt out after the big push on the jumbo-er star. 🙂

    • anne Post author

      It’s nice to meet you too, Alyce! 😀 Thank you so much for the kind words! I’m actually working on the back for the landscape quilt so I can baste and quilt it. I’m hoping to have it finished early this week! (It’s small, so it shouldn’t take too long. 🙂

    • anne Post author

      It’s nice to meet you Kelly! 😀 There is some chatter about possibly doing a broken herringbone QAL. Molli Sparkles (also on this blog hop) just made a rainbow quilt out of those blocks, and we’re talking about putting together a QAL. 🙂 No idea if it will happen or not because we’re both kinda busy, but if we do, it’d be great if you joined along! (Even if you just wanted to make one block. No pressure!)

    • anne Post author

      Yes! Fellow nerds unite! I totally know what you mean about the time to play thing. I just picked up Animal Crossing for the 3DS and that’s about my speed of playing these days. It is one of the great ironies of going to grad school in video game research, you have NO time to play video games once you do that. lol

  • Adrianne

    Hi Anne – you already know I’m a huge fan of your work. So cool to find out a bit more about you. I’ve definitely seen your Nyan Cat quilt before but didn’t realise it was yours – so cool!

    • anne Post author

      Yay familiar face! 😀 That nyan cat quilt was a gift for one of my PhD advisors. 🙂 He was a huge fan of nyan cat, so I made it as a thank you present when I graduated. 🙂 He still has it hanging in his office! Cracks me up every time. 😀

    • anne Post author

      Thank you, Kathy! And Mishka (the Saint) says thank you, too! 😉 Picking colors and fabrics is my favorite part of the design process, so your compliment really means a lot!

    • anne Post author

      Thank you Camilla! I adore Oakshotts and would use them with every project if I could remotely afford to. 😉 That’s so cool that you’ve seen the canyon quilt before! It’s always neat when your projects kind of take a life of their own. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Michelle @SqueekCrafts

    You know I love your blog and your work. I think my favorite is the latest oakshott quilt. I have had so much fun finding out where everyone lives and see more of everyone’s life. I loved Santa Cruz when I visited, I spent a summer in Monterey and visited for marine biology work. Great place for surfing – my husband would love it 🙂

    • anne Post author

      Yay, hi again! 😀 I’m working on the back for the landscape Oakshott quilt right now. It should get basted tonight and maybe I’ll even get started on the quilting. We’ll see. 🙂
      Monterey is gorgeous! And always a bit foggier/greener than Santa Cruz. 🙂 I like to go there when it gets too hot here (y’know, when it’s over 70…) This is definitely surfing mecca! I’ve lived all over California and in parts of Washington state, and there’s nowhere quite like Santa Cruz. 😉

    • anne Post author

      Thank you so much!! I had a lot of fun learning how to make paper-piecing patterns with the angry birds quilt. 🙂 I really want to do another cathedral window project! Those are all about prep work, the actual making of them takes so little time. But soooo much ironing before hand… 🙂

  • Amanda

    Love your AMH bag. I really need to make a few more bags. They are by far the handmade thing I use most. I love that palette builder tool. Will have to spend some time playing with it for sure!

    • anne Post author

      The AMH bag was the first real bag I’ve made and I’m SUCH a convert!! Making bags is about as close as I think I’ve gotten to working magic. lol I hope you enjoy the palette builder tool! There’s some improvements we have planned that should roll out at the end of this month, fingers crossed! 😀

  • Kimberly @ RobotMomSews

    Your Palette builder is awesome! And I am marking your herringbone quilt to do! Your creations are lovely! My girls love the Nyan cat (I’m sorry to say I have NO clue what it’s all about) but if I show your quilt to them, I am sure they will loose their minds. 😉
    Nice to meet you on the blog hop!

    • anne Post author

      Thank you Kimberly, it’s nice to meet you too! I’d love to see your herringbone blocks/quilt if you end up making one! 😀
      I’ll be honest, I totally don’t “get” nyan cat either. 🙂 That was part of the joke between my advisor (who I gave the quilt to) and I. He would send me everything nyan cat related that he saw on the internet because he knew it just boggled my mind. HAhahaah So making him a nyan cat quilt was an obvious thank you present when I finished grad school!

  • Melissa

    What a great post. You have made some amazing projects. I love the last pillow you made in your collage as well as your half square triangle quilt amongst many others. Excellent work!

    • anne Post author

      Thank you so much! The HST quilt was so much fun to make! I think I need to make another one with bright summer colors. 🙂
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • RobinSue

    Very nice to meet you via the blog hop. I will definitely be a follower! The photo tutorial is very helpful as I am so new at this. You have many beautiful items, I can’t choose a favorite!

    • anne Post author

      It’s so nice to meet you, too! 🙂 If you ever have any photography questions, feel free to ask! I’m not an expert, but I love playing around with my camera and love talking photography. 🙂

  • Green

    I love your 8-bit cat quilt and your garden fence quilt. While the garden fence is not my favorite block pattern, My first bee was a 6 monther where we made those blocks in specific colors for the queen. My blocks are all in sea glass colors – very similar to the quilt top you designed. We are on the same wavelength, sistah.
    So lovely to meet you on the hop.

    • anne Post author

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by. 🙂
      Your garden blocks sound gorgeous! And we totally are on the same wavelength!! I called that quilt Sea Glass even! 😀 *high five*
      It’s so great to meet you, too!

    • anne Post author

      Hi Amy, it’s great to meet you too! 😀 Thank you so much for the compliment! The nyan cat quilt still cracks me up when I see it. I definitely want to make more pixel quilts! 🙂

  • Kris

    Wow love your color choices on your projects. So many and so great. I have to say I love the inspiration photo and quilt. I recently did a challenge like that and it was so much fun. Love the Play Palette and I am sure I will give it a go.
    Nice to meet you on the blog tour.

    • anne Post author

      Hi Kris, thank you so much for your nice comments and for stopping by! Choosing colors and fabrics is my favorite part of quilting, so I am particularly flattered that you commented on that.
      The inspiration photo quilt was a guild challenge, and it was so lovely seeing what everyone did! I’d love to see yours as well (I looked on your blog and didn’t see it, but I could have missed it, sorry!) BTW, I am a huge fan of your work, so much gorgeousness!

  • Caroline

    I loooove your jumbo-er star quilt, gorgeous! Great tutorial on quilt photography, I definitely learned much from it and I’m excited to try out the palette builder:)

    • anne Post author

      Thank you so much! If you do have a chance to try the palette builder and have time, please let me know what you think! 🙂 We have some improvements in mind which I’m hoping to roll out at the end of the month!

    • anne Post author

      Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy the palette builder. 🙂 We have some new features we’re working on, and we hope to have them done by the end of the month! Fingers crossed, I think people will really like the added functionality!

    • anne Post author

      Hi Aylin! It’s nice to meet you outside of flickr. 🙂 Santa Cruz is a beautiful place, but Berlin is a fantastic place, too! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

    • anne Post author

      Thanks so much, Valerie!! I have my fingers crossed that I can release the new palette builder functionality soon. I’m super excited about it but can’t say anything until it’s released. AIEeeeeeee. I am not a patient person. lol

  • Anna

    Such a wonderful selection of quilting styles!

    Love the palette builder tool. Colour fascinates me, the texture and the way it makes you feel!

    So lovely to meet you!

    • anne Post author

      Oh yay, another color lover! As I’m fond of telling my partner, I’ve got opinions on color! I took some design classes in college and the color psychology section always fascinated me the most. I wish I could just major in that. So many fascinating things about how culture and evolution have played a part in our responses to color!
      I will stop babbling now. 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments!

  • Leigh Anne

    well, normally I like to poke around a bit before following. But I’ve seen your stuff around and liked many of your quilts on Flickr 🙂 So consider me signed up!

    My husband is also a gamer/programmer/artist so you feel like home to me LOL

    • anne Post author

      Awwww your comment totally made my day, seriously!! I don’t know too many programmer/artists! That’s so cool that your husband is one as well. 🙂 Is his artistic side a blessing or a curse when it comes to your own quilting? My partner likes to give his opinions but has learned that I don’t always listen to them. 😉

    • anne Post author

      Oh, awesome!! I’m so happy it was helpful. 🙂 I should do a photoshop tutorial next. I can’t tell you how much stuff I just fix “in production” now. lol

    • anne Post author

      Thank you Emily! 🙂 I hope you enjoy the palette builder! There’s a new feature I’ll be adding next week that I think people will find really helpful. 🙂 I’m excited about it anyway!!

  • liz

    your stuff is super cute, especially those angry birds. I have also been looking for that broken herringbone block since Molli Sparkles posted about them 🙂 Sorry I’m a week behind blog hopping, nice to meet you!

    • anne Post author

      Thanks so much! I’m a week behind following the blog hop, so I totally understand. 😉 Molli and I are talking about doing a QAL for the broken herringbone, if we do, I hope you can join us!