Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday's Wanderings #41 - "F" is for Fabric

F is for fabric!

The definition of a quilter in the dictionary should include, "loves fabric".
We love to look at fabric.  We love to touch fabric.  We love to buy fabric.  We love to cut up fabric and then sew it back together.  We are what's called Fabricholics.

Almost every quilter I know has a stash of fabric, because we love to buy it.  Sometimes we buy it because we have a project for it and sometimes we buy it because we just like it and have to own it.  Some of us display it proudly and some of us squirrel it away in drawers, in plastic bins, under the bed and in closets. 
 None of us want to think about how much money we have spent developing our stash! 

Something that non-quilters might now know is that stashes need to be managed.  How do we manage our stash?  We do it by organizing and folding and refolding, especially when we are done with a project.  We also make an assessment from time to time.  This is when we realize that there may be holes in our fabric collection, whether it be a color or pattern.  This gives us another good excuse to buy more fabric.  After all our stash is our palette.

I spent this week "managing" my stash. 
Messiness, fabric on the floor and bulging shelves were a few of the motivators.  It is rewarding to see my fabric organized and neatly folded.

It is not a big stash.  I have seen much bigger, (not to mention any names my dear friend S). 
And it's not a small stash.
As written in Goldilocks & the 3 Bears, it's just right for me. 
But that will not prevent me from buying more.

So, F is for fabric.
I started with a low contrast printed piece of fabric.

Then I used my printer to print the word "fabric" in a contrasting color,
over and over again in many different fonts,
just like there are many different types of fabric.

After printing, I layered it with a low loft batting and quilted it.

The quilting obscures the words somewhat and that makes it a happy little surprise, once it is noticed.

Then I used my favorite sequins in chartreuse to decorate a large applique F (for fabric!!)

How do you "manage" your stash?
Or don't you?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Torah Cover Project

The Torah Cover Project
 Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the Jewish New Year and commemorates the anniversary of the creation of the world.  Yom Kippur begins Tuesday night. These are the 2 holiest days of the Jewish calendar. During this time the covers for the torahs are changed.  These covers or mantles are traditionally plain (ish)- white/ivory/cream colored. As with many Jewish traditions, there are many different explanations for this.
My project for the summer was to make 2 covers for my synagogue,
Temple Sholom in Broomall, PA. 
This is what they look like.

They are relatively identical except for the front panels. 
One depicts a shofar and the other the "Book of Life".  The shofar is a ram's horn that is blown and sounds like a trumpet, several times during the High Holidays.  On Rosh Hashanah, God is said to inscribe the fate of every person for the upcoming year in the Book of Life.

Silk dupioni was used to make the covers. 
 Each top section was quilted with pomegranates. 

Then I quilted the background and appliqued the motifs for each cover.
The covers were then constructed like a quilt with a final dimension of 47" Wx 27"H.
They are then attached to the top of the cover or shoulder like a wrap around skirt
 with the flap in the back..
In the past the cover was attached to the shoulder 
encasing the wood inbetween layers of fabric and attaching the "quilt".
This time I tried  a very unique approach.   I used tops that were custom made of cherry for me by a very skilled local woodworker.
Then I used Velcro (c)to attach the cover to the wooden top.
These covers are only used for about 3 weeks and then stored the rest of the year.  The Velcro method of attachment makes storage and cleaning so much easier.
I made fabric slipcovers to store the wooden tops
and provided Temple Sholom with an acid free archival box for storage.

As we say in Hebrew, L'Shana Tova -
May you have a sweet and happy New Year.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday's Wanderings #40 - ConKerr Cancer


The Pennsylvania National Quilt Festival is a wonderful quilt show.  It's a local show for me.  My quilt guild acts as white gloves in order to sell raffle tickets to our fundraising quilt.  I was planning on going to the show for a quick visit on Saturday with a very dear friend, Miss H.

Then an e-mail came to my inbox asking for volunteers to sew pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer on the same day.  This is an organization that was started locally about 5 years ago.  Cindy Kerr's son, Ryan, was battling bone cancer.  She made some fun pillowcases for him while he was in the hospital to brighten his day.  Then, other kids wanted the pillowcases too.  Cindy began making pillowcases for them.  The need became so great that she enlisted local organizations, like quilt guilds, to help fill the need.  I was the community outreach person for our guild at the time.  I was approached by a member of our guild that was a member of Cindy and Ryan's church.  (Thank you Doris.)  That first year, my quilt guild made over 350 pillowcases for Cindy to distribute and we had the privilege of having Ryan visit our guild to share his story with his inimitable charm (and red high top sneakers).
ConKerr Cancer, a case for smiles, shot to national fame when Cindy was nominated and became a semi-finalist for The Martha Stewart Show's contest, Dreamers Into Doers. In 5 years, 115 chapters have been formed around the U.S., Britain and South Africa.  Unfortunately Ryan was not able to see how he inspired his Mother and hundreds of sewers to bring a smile to the face of thousands of children with cancer.  Actually, in 5 years, over 560,000 pillowcases have been donated.
I just knew that I NEEDED to go and sew pillowcases, just as I KNEW, I did not need to buy any more fabric at the quilt show.  And of course, much to my delight, the GOODest person I know, said "what time do you want me to pick you up"?  (Oh I love her!)
A room full of pillowcase makers

Cindy Kerr taking a new volunteer under her wing

I loved this serger.  It is a speed demon that helped me to construct 30 pillowcases!

We filled 3 bins.  The goal was 500 pillowcases.
September is Childhood Cancer Month.  Cindy's goal is for ConKerr Cancer to make 44,000 pillowcases in one month.  And why 44,000?  I am sad to say that is how many children have cancer. It costs a lot of money to buy the fabric to make that many pillowcases.  If you are in the Philadelphia area or know someone who is, Friday night is a big Pajama Party fundraiser at
The Please Touch Museum.

Kids will have the run of the museum as well as dancing and crafts and celebrities. 
And you can make a pillowcase or two.
Or if you want to make pillowcases on your own or with a local group, there are chapters all over the US.  Click here to see if there is a chapter near you.  There are other ways to help. 
 Visit the ConKerr website.

So let's get back to my Wednesday's Wanderings. 
 I knew I had to share all of this info so my weekly block is full of mini pillowcases.

Here's a close-up of one of the cases:

and here's the wonderful logo I printed on fabric and attached to the block.  (Note those red sneakers.)

Quilters have the biggest heart of any group of people I know. 
I am proud to be a member of this group.
We do good things.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday's Wanderings #39 - Never Forget 9/11

It was hard to think about anything else yesterday.

Thank you all again for helping to make my birthday a very special one.
The random number generator has chosen Judi R  as the winner of my birthday giveaway..  Congratulations Judi.
Make sure you contact me in the next 3 days so I can mail this no calorie treat to you.

Friday, September 7, 2012


I think often about gratitude.  I am grateful for so many things in my life. 
This was the best birthday thanks to everyone who  sent their good wishes my way. 
 This includes all of my FB friends and my blog readers and
everyone who reached out to me via the Internet and the US mail.
My wonderful husband whisked me off to a surprise overnight getaway
 that included lots of surprises.
One of the best surprises was waiting for us when we arrived home.
From  one dog cousin to another, this was sitting on my doorstep.  How adorable is this?

Is my life perfect?  Not exactly.  We have had our share of health problems and like most of you, I worry about my children and their future. I no longer have a mother to turn to for love and advice and to be a proud grandmother to my kids. 
 I saw a great quote recently on Mark Lipiski's Fan Page:
This quote describes how I try to live my life.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday's Wanderings #38 - Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!!

It's my birthday this week and I thought I would make myself the cake of my dreams!
I do LOVE cake. 
I have a couple of friends that are as crazy about cake as I am. 
When the topic of cake comes up,  all of our eyes light up as if we won the lottery.

I quilted the background with a stitch I learned from my friend Christine.  I loved this stitch and even though it has been years since the first time I saw it, this is the first time I used it.  It reminds me of confetti and that's why I thought it was perfect for the birthday block.

I used a bunch of different embellishing on the different layers. 
I decorated the bottom layer with "pearls" hanging from triangle jewels.

I separated the layers with a piece of pearl trim.

The middle layer was embellished with star sequins and beads.  I really like using a polka dot fabric.  They're lots of fun to use as the basis for embellishments.

I beaded the top layer with a variety of beads. 

You may be wondering why there are 2 candles on the top of the cake. 

 There is a very simple reason.  It's because a very special person shares this birthday with me. 
It's my husband!  An amazing coincidence.
He tells people that he had to search high and low to find someone to marry with the same birth date.

To finish the creation of the cake of my dreams, I must choose the flavors of the 3 different layers.  I have seen this on those dream wedding TV shows, so why can't I have a cake with 3 different flavors?
#1 - Vanilla cake with coconut frosting
#2 - Hazelnut cake with milk chocolate frosting
#3 -  Chocolate cake with mocha filling

(I hope one of my DILs reads this.  They are both terrific bakers.  HINT.  HINT.)

And here's The Giveaway:
I want someone to celebrate my birthday with me.  I have made a second birthday block that is finished like a mini quilt.  Leave a comment and become a follower of my blog to be eligible to win it. The best birthday present would be for me to get to 300 members. (A girl can dream.) If you're a blogger, please share the love and feel free to post my giveaway on your blog - pretty please.
 I will pick a name and reveal it on my next Wednesday's Wanderings. 
(I will name the winner at the end of next week's WW.)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Quilt Shop Stop

This is a great shop in the Scranton, PA area.  After spending a couple of days soaking in the tranquility of our little lake in the mountains, I was getting a little restless.  The shop is not around the corner, but now I know it definitely is worth the drive to Tunkhannock.
The owner, Jeannette is so friendly and warm.  We had emailed and spoken several times since she wanted some samples from Sew Embellished! for a Shop Hop. 
She also has copies of !Quilt Fiesta! (which I was thrilled to sign) and the new Martingale calendar with one of my quilts in it.  She sold out of Sew Embellished!!!
Behind us are tons of bolts of batiks.  The shop also has lots of clear bright colored fabric, reproductions and any other type of fabric you could want. Go to the website to check it out.  I was so enthralled that I forgot to take photos.
The shop also is a sponsor of the "Airing of the Quilts".  This is what the website says:
"Imagine a scenic town known as the gateway to the Endless Mountains on a crisp autumn day with hundreds of quilts hanging from buildings, homes, storefronts, and porches all along the street. Yes! That's our 'Airing of the Quilts' in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania on the first Saturday in October." 
It looks like we may have our own Sisters Quilt Show right here in PA. 
Here is the website if you want to read more.

On the drive home, we came across the most amazing Victorian house that I have ever seen.  I do not know the name of the town, but it is very close to the quilt shop. You could tell that lots of love was put into it:

Here's a close-up of the upstairs circular room:
I would love to see the inside of that house.