Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

No Shopping For Me

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Here on the east coast of Pennsylvania, the weather has been just beautiful and unseasonably warm.  So it has been easy to walk off that dinner.  I have been busy in the Studio working on some holiday gifts and will share my projects soon.

I am so thrilled that my etsy shop,  Sewing With Silk, has been featured by Sew Cal Gal on her blog in the Fun Friday category.  You can still go visit and have the opportunity to win some free silk!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Jersey Shore

 I just returned from a 2 day visit to Toms River, NJ and the Beachplum Quilters.  This is an energetic, fun-loving group of ladies with a new and fearless leader.  They have big hearts and do lots of community outreach.  It reinforces for me,  if someone needs a comfort quilt, ask some quilters!

After a well attended lecture Friday night, I retired to my hostess' house. Now I have been a bit intimidated about staying in a guild member's home.  I am a terrible sleeper and get up around 3 AM. I prefer to stay in a local hotel.  But I was wooed by the program chairperson, yes you Genny, to stay in the President's home.  She told me I would have to make time to have a cup of tea and sit and enjoy the view of the water.  Well I am a sucker for a water view.   I slept in her amazing sewing suite, complete with a bathroom , a closet full of fabric, a comfy day bed and an amazing cat collection.  This was my favorite.  I am partial to the Halloween variety.

In the early morning, I took my handwork and settled into a beautiful sunroom with wicker furniture and stitched away with my waterview.  For breakfast, her husband made blueberry pancakes from scratch.  Yum.  Thanks Ellen and Rich.

Saturday was workshop day.The ladies did a great job.

BTW, Rich makes the most gorgeous reproduction thread caddies and cabinets. This one is made from beautiful birdseye maple.  I definitely could have slid one into my overnight bag, but my Mother taught me better!  Check out his website to see a better picture.

This was my last gig until next March.  I'll be taking some time to regroup and doing some fun projects and developing some new talks and workshops for 2013 and getting ready for my next book, Sew Embellished! to come out in April.  I'll be posting my travel schedule for 2012 after the holidays.

Have a great Thanksgiving.  I have so much to be thankful for this year including all of you that take the time to read about my adventures in quilting and my crazy sense of humor.  Please keep reading.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stripping with Friends

I hope the title of this post doesn't result in it showing up in X-rated search engines.  I spent the day with Sujata of The Root Connection and our gang sewing strips together.  She invited us over for a day of sewing and lunch.  We were only to bring our sewing machines and basic sewing supplies.  She said she would provide the rest. What did she have in store?

There were beautiful baskets overflowing with fabric.  Some of them held strips.  There were solids and plaids and polka dots and brights and lights and darks.  The big question was what were we going to sew?

Sujata shared her Snow Falling On Cedars top from a challenge. (Don't you love the leaves?)

 And said this is what we are going to do.  So we sewed and sewed and sewed all the strips together

 and divied up the blocks.

Thank you Sujata.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fun Baby Block Gift

I needed a baby gift.  I saw an adorable baby playing with a stuffed baby block with  tags on a blog called Simplify .  It is featured in the winter issue of  Quilts & More .  I did not have time to go out and buy the magazine, so I searched and found a bunch of different methods for putting the block together on the Internet.
 I chose the steps I liked from a few of the blogs and added a few twists of my own.  I always like to streamline projects by combining steps to make them easier and quicker. 
 It is easier to adapt someone else's directions.  Here is my method.
Start with 7" squares of 6 different fabrics.
 Quilt with a walking foot.
 Embroider the baby's name or add a fusible letter or any kind of applique.
 Trim the squares to 6 1/2" and lay them out in the shape of a cross.
 This is the most important step and one that was present in everyone's directions.  Mark the seam allowance in each corner, on the wrong side.  I used a 1/4" seam allowance so my mark was 1/4" in from each side.

Choose an assortment of colorfast ribbons and rick rack and cut them to 4".

 Sew 2 squares together with a 1/4" seam allowance, starting and stopping with a few backstitches at the mark in the corner. Include 1 or 2 pieces of ribbon in the seam.   Press.
 After sewing the 6 squares together in the shape of a cross, its' time to start making the cube shape.  Continue sewing the sides together making sure you start and stop at the corner mark.  Leave a 3" opening when attaching the last side.  Stuff. I like mine loosely stuffed.  Whipstitch the opening closed.

Welcome to the world baby Chloe.  I think you will enjoy this in a few months.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Big News

I have gotten  so many e-mails asking me about my silk projects.  The questions range from how to quilt with silk to where I buy my silk. I  have shared my tips for sewing with dupioni a few posts ago.  Now I want to make the silk available in quilter friendly amounts, aka fat quarters.

So on this auspicious day of 11-11-11, I am so excited to be opening an etsy shop, called Sewing with Silk.  You can buy silk dupioni there in assortments with or without directions.  You can use it to recreate my quilts or just to add a bit of elegance to one of your projects. 

Click to come visit:     Sewing with Silk

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Finished Silk Quilts

I am ready to share the quilts I made from the dupioni silk.  Each of the wallhangings I created were made from 96 HSTs, sewn from 6 fat quarters.  After experimenting with different layouts, I chose the layout that I felt looked the best with each particular colorway. 

This is the flamingo colorway in a zig zag pattern:

This is the jewelbox colorway in a barn raising pattern:

And this is the Rusty Nail colorway in a Straight Furrow layout:

I really love them all.

I also varied the quilting for all of the quilts.

 The quilting was done with a walking foot, 1/4" on either side of the seams for the rusty nail quilt.

 This was quilted with a free motion foot with these stylized kinda leaves.

And finally the Zig Zag quilt was done with a walking foot mimcing the zig zag pattern.

If you missed my tips for sewing with dupioni, you can find them here: Taming Dupioni Silk 

I have some exciting news concerning these projects that I'll make in the next few days.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Double Duty Kitchen Gadget

I have a  friend who will not buy a kitchen gadget unless it she can use it for 2 things.  I thought of her yesterday as I accidentally knocked my container of straight pins on the floor. These were the ones with the tiny little heads. They went all over and I dreaded the thought of spending the time to pick them up, especially the ones that ended up in the little cracks between the floorboards.

Then I thought of this little tool that I had just come across in a box of canning supplies. 
 It's called a lid lifter.

On the end is a magnet.

You can probably figure out the happy ending.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Most of you know what I mean when I say  I am destashing.  I had a bin of fabric in the basement full of Chanukah fabric.  What am I saving it for?  I almost never use this type of fabric in my Chanukah patterns/designs.  So let's let it go!

My husband is the e-bay pro in my family and he always wants to get rid of stuff..... especially my stuff!  We took the fabric out of the bin and measured it all.  I panicked right before he wrote the listings.  What if I have grandchildren and want to make them a chanukah snuggle quilt?  So I grabbed back 2 of the larger pieces.  The rest of it went up on e-bay yesterday.  If you are looking for Chanukah fabric, click here .  If you want to see more, go to my other listings.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Houston Happening and Lonni Rossi

I ran into Lonni Rossi at Quilt Market. She is a fabric designer among other things.   Her shop isn't far from my home.  I have been there a few times.  Lonni has always been friendly, gracious and generous.  But this time she exceeded all of my expectations. 

I was whining a bit that there was all this fabric at the convention center and none that I could go home with.  She said come with me.  We headed to the Andover booth and she asked one of the salesmen for a charm pack .  He didn't have any.  She asked person after person until she finally found one  and handed it to me.  I was pretty speechless that she went to all that trouble.  They are squares of her newest fabric line that will be in the quilt shops in the Spring.

Lonni's new fabric line in a quilt

The charm pack

Inside the charm pack.

My favorite
 So I had a little fun today and made a little quilt with all those 5" squares.  I have been interested in experimenting with the magic circle quilt pattern.  No batting, no quilting.  Fun!