Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Need An Excuse For A Pedicure?

If you live in the North, you may not be thinking of a pedicure right now.  But if you're in the warmer climate wearing sandals, pedicures are important.  Maybe you have never had a pedicure and need a little push towards this indulgence.  If you are a quilter or a sewist, I have just the excuse for you.

Do you see those thingies separating my toes? You are probably only familiar with them if you have had a pedicure.  They are made of foam and are disposable.  I keep mine in place as long as I can, which means I usually wear them home.
And look what they can be used for - bobbin holders!
So indulge yourself, and go have a pedicure.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hitting The Road

If you're an avid reader, you make sure that you always have a book to read - well at least one.  If you are going on vacation, you probably bring a bunch of books. If you're a quilter, you need a project to bring - a project that involves hand stitching.  I cannot rest easy until I have my project(s) ready for a trip.  I get it ready days before I leave.  I get it ready before I pack my clothes.  I get it ready before I clean my house.

For our 1,130 mile journey to Key West, my project needed to last me a while.  I made this dupioni  silk flower block using fusible applique a few weeks ago while I was stuck without a sewing machine.
 This is a close up of the handstitching
I originally created it for a friend's quilt show auction, but then I made another.
And then I thought, hmmmm, I like making them so much, maybe I have the start of a quilt. 
I did realize that I was committed to handstitching.
Here are the two blocks that I have prepped for the trip. 
 (Of course, I had to stitch a bit before I packed them into my travel bag.)

I'll add to them as we travel.
There's always an iron available at hotels along the way.

I think this is the start of a great quilt.  I'll keep you posted.
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Monday, December 15, 2014

I'm Sewing Again - With A Free Pattern Option

It feels so good to be back at the sewing machine.  I have been working on a few projects.  Today I wanted to share a  project that was my table runner that i made as a test for a mystery quilt get together.  I did it twice, once for my guild and the other was for a  group that I am a member of on-line. The unfinished top has been sitting on my shelf for 8 months.  Since I didn't want to start a new project, this was a good choice for quick!

This is my quilted table runner:

In the body of it, I ignored the seams and did swirly quilting along the diagonal sections.

When I looked at the borders on the sides, I decided that a more geometric design was needed for balance, so I quilted a continuous line triangle inside of the triangles.

I put the binding on by machine.  This is my new favorite method.  Besides being quicker, I think it is sturdier than stitching it on by hand, especially if it is going to be used and washed.  It is a different look - a bit flatter. I do make sure I stitch into the corner - and then back out again.

Here's a LINK for the table runners that were made with my on-line group.  I was very proud of this Mystery project.  I think everyone's top looked so different but very pleasing to the eye.

If you would like a copy of the Mystery Project , e-mail me.  

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Favorite Things

Not a lot of sewing has been going on around here.  I have been getting my projects (aka bins of fabric) ready for our trip to Key West, as well as getting the house ready.  Oh, and I forgot, shopping for gifts.

Most of you know that I love riding my bike, especially with Bailey.  My friends have picked up on this and I have received lots of great gifts with a bicycling theme recently. Some are handmade and others are bought.  No matter which, I love them all.
Thanks Dina.
 Alex and ANi bracelet
 and a gorgeous silk dupioni pouch for the bracelet. Thanks Terry.
Thanks Debbi.
A handstitched needleholder
with hand dyed wool.  Thanks Kelly.
One of my readers found this flannel for me. (Thanks Patty.) It was maybe 2 years ago.  I finally got around to making it into a nightshirt.......for me.
And inline with the upcoming start of Chanukah, check out this menorah
Shhhhhh.  It's a gift.

Is there a gift that makes your heart sing?

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Taste of Bali

I am so excited to be able to share my trip to Bali.  I am offering this as an auction item at Calico Cutter Quilt Guild's fundraiser at their December meeting on Wednesday, the 10th
for a limited number of people. 
I have lots of photos and stories to share, plus my amazing husband is offering his services as a chef! He took a cooking class one day while I was at the spa. Maybe he'll even share his recipes.

I bought lots of fabric and he bought spices at the market.

March 20, 2015 is the date.  It's a Friday. 
 I hope that lots of my guild members are interested, although we can only accommodate 8.
Let's raise some money for a really terrific guild and group of quilters  
who do lots of charitable deeds and open the doorway to inspiration.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

License PLate Quilt

I was so excited when my friend, Sujata sent me this photo. It was hanging at the Houston International Quilt Show this past October. The blocks were made by quilting bloggers from each of the 50 states using only American Made Brand's cotton solids that are manufactured in the U.S. I can see my block all the way on the left, second row up from the bottom.

The blog tour featuring each of the fabric license plates took place last May.  This was my block, representing Pennsylvania.
AMB put the license plate style blocks together and it was on exhibit in Houston.  It truly is a great representation of quilting in America and what each of our states has to offer.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Another Fun Day

I really enjoy visiting guilds and sharing what I have learned about quilting.  Often, I learn something too.  This past week I was at Warwick Valley Quilt Guild. It was my third visit and it's always nice to see familiar faces.  This visit was for my Curvalicious workshop.

This is a very experienced group of quilters and they are very creative.  Many of them have silk in their stashes that they are hesitant to use.  Learning the tools to work with silk during this workshop should give them the courage to use that silk. 

Here's Judy's skinny quilt that mixes black and white cotton with colorful dupioni circles. It's so dramatic.

Another quilter was making silk leaves to sprinkle on the curvalicious background.
Laura was using Radiance (silk and cotton) that she hand dyed. 
And this was going to be a larger wallhanging designed with cotton.

To me, the purpose of taking a workshop is to learn a new technique and experiment.  Students sometimes think that they will upset a teacher by changing their technique, not exactly reproducing the project.  That's not the purpose of my workshops.  I find it so exciting when someone takes my technique, changes it and puts their spin on it. 

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I shared my twins a couple of weeks ago.

I created two identical "Elegantly Amish" quilts (39"x39") to determine if silk dupioni quilts can be washed.  Up to this point I was telling my students that silk quilts needed to be dry cleaned.  Washing would ruin them.  Once a scientist, always a scientist, so I needed to do an experiment.  What would happen if I washed a silk quilt?  Would it lose its sheen? Would it get distorted?  Would it shrink?  Would it bleed?

But before I share the results of my experiment, I want to introduce Midnight Quilter aka Ashley Malinowski.  She quilted "The Twins".
Ashley is a young woman who recently graduated from college. She purchased a long arm at the end of her senior year of high school.  She put herself through college by quilting for others.  Although she graduated with a very employable degree, she decided she wanted to keep on longarming to keep in touch with her customers!  If you want to read more about her or get in touch to hire her, 
visit her website: www.MidnightQuilter.weebly.com

So what happened to The Twins when I gently washed one of the twins in a low suds detergent?

The quilt on the right was the one that was washed.  It shrunk 2.5%.  It did not lose its sheen, that is so important when sewing with silk dupioni.  It did not bleed.  What happened because of the shrinkage is that the colors became a bit more vibrant, which is hard to see in this photo.  I like the increase in vibrancy. Maybe I'll wash all of my silk quilts.  Maybe.

I have presented my newest lecture "Sensational Silk" a couple of times.  I am happy to share with other quilters my silk quilts and  my tips for  quilting with silk.  I can now tell them that the quilts can be washed. If you want to read my other tips, check out this LINK.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Beachalicious Debut at Calico Cutters

 It's here! I am so excited.  My first published pattern using Curvalicious(c)! 
 It made it's debut this past week  during a workshop with Calico Cutters Quilt Guild.  I am a little biased because it's my home guild, but the ladies did a great job. I can say that even thought they called me  tough task master.
You know how I can tell they were working very hard?  The room was quiet!
And thinking hard!
It couldn't have been too bad, because Dorcas was still smiling.
There is always someone who has a great gadget.  This time it was Beth.
We had a great Show & Tell the next day at guild, 
even though about half of them were too shy to share.

The pattern is now available in my etsy shop.  I decided to print it as an oversized pattern, so that I could include a full sized pattern of the quilt for ease of placement.  
So the package measures 8 1/2" x 11".

We are having nasty weather her in PA, so it would be a nice time to think about the beachor start planning your summer sewing projects.

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