I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Whew! I think I may have finally gotten things straightened out a bit on this web site thanks to my good friend Shelly Pagliai.

fire truckI enjoyed my time at International Quilt Market in Minneapolis. There were a few glitches but nothing too major. Probably the craziest thing that happened was the hotel being evacuated when the fire alarm was set off. I was sitting there having breakfast with David Sanders when we were told to leave the hotel. I waited to leave until the fire trucks pulled up. (I was sure it was just a drill!) David finished his breakfast, then left.

So what was the big deal? A guest decided the sprinkler head in his/her room would be the ideal place to hang clothing. Yes, seriously! That made for some very drippy hallways and rooms.

I know this will come as a huge surprise but I did a little shopping there. I found a few things I couldn’t live without in Mary Koval’s booth. I found this lovely summer spread on a hanger.

summer spread

There is only one layer, no batting, no backing. All of the edges are finished and it has a wonderful pink border with mitered corners. I keep looking at this, wondering what it would look like if it were quilted. And what if that bow was appliqued instead of being embroidered? Or maybe the bow is just fine being embroidered?

pink border

It is lovely in its simplicity. Each flower is appliqued in place with a buttonhole stitch. While the thread doesn’t necessarily match the fabric, it adds to the piece rather than detracting.

detail summer sprea

I am curious to learn more about summer spreads. I want to know when they were popular and when they went out of fashion.

I think I have set myself on another research quest. Yikes!

Off To Market

'15_market_minnIt’s that time of year again. Quilt Market opens tomorrow morning in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In years past, I would have already been there. The booth would have been well on it’s way to being set up, the floor would have been laid and the boxes of books brought in, unpacked and put neatly into racks. The quilts would have all been hung and we would have been tired beyond all reason.

This year is different. Very different. This year I am packing up my red Rav 4 (Miss Scarlett) with my little duffle bag, my small suitcase and my sewing bag that has handwork tucked inside. That’s it. No boxes of props, no quilts, no signage. Just me and my clothes.

Instead of setting up a booth, I am going to go and see what’s new. I’m going to talk to all the friends I missed seeing in Houston last year and I am finally going to be able to walk the entire show at a leisurely pace.

I am really excited about going. I’m even more excited about being able to see what all is new and having the time to stop and look at the quilts that catch my eye.

So, if you’re going to market, I will see you there tomorrow. If you’re not, I’ll be posting some pictures on facebook and, hopefully here as well.

And when I get back home, I will have some fun news to share with you. It’s all hush-hush right now but I can talk about it when I get back.

Curious, aren’t you!

New Adventures

Hey Everyone!

I’m baaaaaccccckkkkk!

My life got crazy about the time I got this website set up. I lost my job, I found a job, I got sick and I got better. The new job and the getting better has been the best parts lately.

I hate whining about my health so I’m not going there, at least not for long. Suffice it to say that I spent an ugly three weeks trying to get over some nasty bronchitis. That little bout brought it home to me how grateful I am that I enjoy good health the majority of the time. That is no small thing!

Someone left me a comment that said my retirement wasn’t working out for her. To be honest about the whole thing, it wasn’t working out too well for me either. I hadn’t been gone from The Star for more than a minute or two when I was feeling like a deer in the headlights. Thoughts like, “What do people do with their day if they aren’t working?” And, “Really? People watch this stuff that’s shown on daytime TV?” And then fear overwhelmed me as I thought, “What if I get addicted to daytime TV?” Scary, right?

I had been away from The Star for about two weeks when I got an email. “Hey girl,” read the subject line. It was Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company fame. She wanted to know if I knew of anyone who knew how to write quilt patterns.

As you might have guessed, I had the perfect person in mind. Me! That would be me!

So for the past month, I’ve been spending at least one day a week in Hamilton, Missouri, and the rest of the time, I work from home. And I am loving every minute of it.

I hope you can put up with this web site the way it is for a while. I don’t feel like I’ve done a very good job with it, and I’m sure you’ve noticed that I have a lot to learn. As life settles down a bit, I am going to see what I can do to make this better.

We still have a lot to talk about, right?

The Plaids Have It!

There is something just a little bit wonderful about a quilt that has been made using many plaids. I’m not sure what it is that I find so appealing about that particular fabric. Maybe it’s because they remind me of those little dresses me and my sisters used to wear when we were children.

plaid quilt

I bought this quilt from a dealer on eBay a little over a year ago. I looked at it a long time before I bid on it. It looks just a bit scruffy and, in the description, it said it, “had a few age spots” on it. A few was putting it mildly because there are plenty of those spots on it. I have high hopes that a good soaking will get rid of many of the spots. But if not, I still love the quilt.
red and blue plaind

Good grief! I really did take some awful pictures of these blocks! At least you can see what they look like though.
blue plaid

If you look at the photo of the quilt, you can see the arrangement of the plaid blocks. They each march across the quilt on the diagonal.
purple plaid

My least favorite plaid on the quilt is the brown and blue.
brown plaid

Now that Spring has just about sprung, I will be able to wash this quilt and lay it out in the sunshine. I can’t wait to see how bright and fresh it will look once that happens!

Working Outside My Box

paint fabricA few weeks ago I found some fabric that I fell in love with. (Go figure!) It’s called Paint and was designed by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics.

Ah, how could I not like this? The fabric has words on it and I am a lover of words.

But then there is always the dilemma of what to make. Decisions, decisions! I left the fabric on the table that’s in my sewing room to mellow a bit. It was right where I could see it every time I walked into the room so I could rearrange it, pet it, gloat over it, add other fabric to it and seek some inspiration.

The flowers in the print are whimsical and playful. They didn’t want to be put into a straight-laced pattern. (Seriously, that’s what they said!) I needed something that was going to be just a tad wonky.

So, here is what I came up with.

I paired the Paint fabric with Grunge by Basic Grey for Moda. I had some yardage and a layer cake on hand so I decided to use that. I printed out a bunch of paper-piecing patterns onto Carol Doak’s paper-piecing paper. I prefer it over all others when using this technique. It zips right through my printer and tears off easily.

I designed the quilt in EQ7 and I figured out that I need to make 156 blocks to end up with a quilt that will be queen-sized. Gulp! That’s a lot of blocks! But darn, they look good and they go together quickly. And that’s nothing to sneeze at!

Here’s what I’ve done so far.
so far, so good

It’s making me smile!

Featherweight Sewing Machines

I don’t know of a quilter alive that doesn’t want a featherweight if they don’t already have have one, or two, or three, or more. They are handy little workhorses and probably the best sewing machines Singer ever put out. featherweight1

Weighing in at 11 pounds, they are easily carried to workshops and retreats. And, for the most part, they are relatively trouble free. featherweight2

Unless you let them sit around and don’t use them. Then you may have trouble staring you in the face. I recently bought a free-arm Featherweight. From the outset, I had trouble getting the bed off so I could use it as a free-arm machine. Because I had so much trouble, I didn’t use it. Because I didn’t use it, the problem compounded.featherweight3

I finally took it to my favorite sewing machine repairman. He said the wrong grease had been used on the machine and caused it to bind up. He cleaned it all out and got the bed sliding off easily.

He also told me that the worst thing I could do with my featherweights was let them sit around without being used. I think that’s good advice for anyone who has and loves these old machines. So lets get our machines off the shelve and use them!