What’s next…..

I have finally finished all of the quilts for our local show, and I have laughed as I realized how many of my quilts have a finish date of January or February of show years!!   I guess that I really do need a deadline!!

I am now starting to think about what to do next.   I know that the next three months are going to be super busy and that I wont have a lot of large blocks of time but I do want to make sure that I have something planned for my “creative-20” minutes each day.

The problem is that there are just SOOOO many choices, including a number of UFO’s that came from my Mom!!

She left this quilt top…..


….which I dont particularly like, but I just realized that it might be a good place to practice some ruler work free-motion quilting!!

She also left several sets of block that I am not sure I EVER want to finish…..



Since I couldn’t come to a decision about where to start, I decided to  start working on cutting and organizing the scraps that have accumulated in the last couple of years.   Today I worked on them for 2 hours while listening to a webinar about Depreciation Tax Laws…..


I thought that having my hands on fabric would make the webinar more enjoyable….Not So Much!!   Anyway, it will be good to have all of the scraps cut and stored in an orderly manner and ready to use at a moment’s notice.

One of the things that I also wanted to do was to give my sewing machine a good clean.   To that end, I purchased a vaccuum cleaner attachment that would allow me to get down and dirty with my machine…..IMG_7592.jpg

It seemed to have made a big difference.

Finally, the chairman of our Guild’s charity bee gifted me two quilt tops that I can use to practice my machine quilting.   I love this quilt……img_7593.jpg

…..and am looking forward to quilting it, but think that I will do this other one first……img_7594.jpg

These two will give me some good practice time!!


Finally, I have also realized that I am missing having something to work on at night so I am playing with some hand applique….but more about that in a future post.

So for now, I am enjoying doing a few small things and looking forward to creative times to come!!!


The Cre-8’s Have Done It Again!!

Back in September I posted a blog called “Handwork is Fun…..Who Knew”.  In it I talked about our “Creative Eight” groups latest project…..a handwork round robin challenge.

We each brought our own design, gave a few ideas of what we were thinking about our piece, and then started passing it around the group for each to add their own personal touch.   Back in December the pieces were returned to their respective owners and most of them were completed and entered into our upcoming guild show.

Here is our work……

Brenda gave us each a lovely crazy quilt block…..


…..we all added our embellishments and the final quilt ended up like this…..

Richardson Stitchin Among Friends 711

Cleo’s colorful offering started like this…..


Although not yet finished, this is where it is right now…..


Fay gave us a simple, preprinted flower panel  that turned into this……

Rawls My Mod Friendship Garden 710

Denise started with a piece of brightly colored fabric…..


that we happily turned into a marshland…..


Linda provided a campground…IMG_5277It came to life as it passed among us…..

Murray Home in Where You Park It 703

Deb gave us “Henrietta”……


….and we sent her out on a grand adventure……

Henderson Henrietta Big Adventure 704

Ruhanna had this wonderful pumpkin….


…..that we happily embellished


And finally, I provided this wall…..


….which came back well embellished, but I forgot to take a picture at that point!!    However, I continued adding flowers and foliage and am super happy with the finish….

IMG_7617 (2)

I think that, although we had apprehensions about the project, we all REALLY enjoyed the process and the final results.  If nothing else, it helped me to remember that I enjoy doing handwork and am looking forward to doing more in the future!!!

Out, Out Damn Spot….

Warning….this post is not for the faint-hearted quilter!!!  But I will give a bit of spoiler and say that the quilt lives!!!

After 12 spools of thread and countless hours of quilting, I finally finished “All Tatted Up”!!    When I last posted about it, I was trying to decide what to do with the peacock corners.    After much deliberation, I decided to continue with the matchstick quilting around the peacock and then do 1/4 inch curves to fill in the space.  IMG_7576

This process was not with problems!! 

On the first corner I realized that my curves were not staying straight but were curving inward. 


I decided that the solution was to add some straight guidelines.  After spending a good amount of time picking the curvy lines out, I tried it again and I still didn’t have them straight.    One the third iteration I physically marked the curves as the lines moved inward!!

So with problem solved, I started on another corner.   This time I realized that I was quilting a crease into the back as the curves approached the peacock enclosure.   After yet MORE un-sewing, I overly anchored the layers and all went well from there.


So I happily washed it, blocked it (although one side ended up about 3/4 inch smaller than the others…..SIGH) and bound it. 


But then I saw it….. a dark spot in the top right corner!!  I carefully took a bit of clothes soap and gently rubbed the spot.   Immediately the fabric lightened tremendously and even pilled up (and this was good fabric….not junk).    I was horrified!!  I convinced myself that it didn’t matter but I kept coming back to it so today decided that it was time to take action.

If you have read my blog for any time at all, you know my obsession with sponge painting to change fabrics.   So, I put on my big-girl panties and mixed up some paint that was slightly darker than the fabric…..IMG_7629

I taped the edges to avoid getting paint on the binding and created a mask for the peacock enclosure…..IMG_7628

….and,  with a super dry sponge, started adding color…..


The finished effect is okay….


It actually looks better in person than in this photo, but personally, I liked it better before, but something had to be done.  

It is finished and in the books and it is time to move on!!!

It’s Accountability Time!!

As I have come to the end of January, I am looking back over my goals for the month and found that I did pretty well with them.

The first of my “Big Three” (I actually had FOUR) for the month was to finish all of my quilts for the show.  To that end, I finished “My Favorite Earrings” and finished the quilting on  “All Tatted Up”, although I haven’t blocked it yet.  Here  is the final corner and my VERY blue quilting gloves!!


I still have my hand-embroidery “wall” to finish so will see how that goes!!

Next was to get organized for tax season and I think that I did that very well.   My client letters were out a week earlier than normal and today I filed my first individual return for the year. 

Next of the BIG THREE was to write one blog post per week and I have written FIVE in January!!  Not to mention moving my blog over to Word Press which was a VERY simple process.  I was so impressed that I could migrate all of my posts from Blogger AND was even able to combine the series of blogs that I had written about trips so that it is all in ONE place.

On the creative side, I kept to my goal of spending at least 20 minutes in my studio, at least 6 days per week.  I maybe missed 2 days during the month.  It has been amazing to see how much I can accomplish in that short time!!

On a fun and recreation side, Michael and I scheduled 2 dates out for dinner.  Even though he was sick on one of those nights and we ended up getting Chinese and eating at home, I will count that as a goal finished!! 

On the health and fitness side, I did manage to hit the gym 4 or 5 times each week but did NOT lose any weight, even though one of the BIG THREE was to lose 2 pounds!!  

So, heading into February, my BIG THREE    FOUR are to:

  • Blog at least 1 time each week
  • Keep current with my accounting work
  • Keep up with my creative time
  • Lose those 2 pounds!!

This month will include a lot of Quilt Show stuff….Receiving is next week, Judging the week after that and 4 weeks from today is set-up day.   It will all be over before I know it!!

AND, my motto for the month is to “Love what I am doing….when I am doing!!!”

Onward and upward……


Marking and quilting update

This past few weeks I have been madly quilting on my Henna Tattoo quilt  (now called “All Tatted Up”), trying to get it finished in time to put into the upcoming guild show.   I have TWO weeks left to go and am hopeful that I will get it finished. this is where I am at the moment….


Many of you remember that I had some issues with marking this quilt and struggled to figure out the best way to get a good crisp line.  I discussed my dilemma in this post.

One of the things that I talked about was trying Crayola Washable Markers, and I started a test to see how they would work.  I began the test by using every one of the markers on a piece of fabric.   I ironed that fabric and then hung it up in my studio…..IMG_6408

Almost 3 months later, I took it down, washed it out and……IMG_7097

….everything appears to have washed out perfectly!!   I can definitely say that I will use these markers in the future!!

Now, onto what I did use!!   I decided to try these markers…..Leonis Water Erasable Marking pens.


They worked well.  The lines were crisp and easy to see. …IMG_6427BUT, in the 2 months between marking and actually starting to quilt, the lines have faded a lot, making it harder to see.    So, I have had to redraw many of the designs before I could go to the machine.  you can really see the difference between what I have re-done and the original.


Unfortunately this has slowed down my process quite a bit!!!   But, I have simplified a few of the designs as I have redrawn them and that has made the quilting more fun.

I had a hard time deciding what to use as a fill pattern and, thanks to our  Guild’s January speaker, Sylvia Schaefer (be sure to check out her new book!!),  finally thought of the idea of matchstick quilting.   It has taken some time to do, but it is actually fairly calming to do the quilting…..IMG_7553

I started out using my ruler foot but found that the short lines of quilting were easier to do free hand rather than having to manipulate the ruler.  I decided to draw in the 1/4 inch lines and just eyeball the 1/8 inch inserts.

The final decision to make is what to do as a fill in the peacock corners…..


I am first going to quilt the peacock and then play with a few designs but I am leaning toward continuing the wavy lines under the peacock.   I know that I can easily do 1/4 inches lines and may even throw in some 1/8 inch lines.

So, it is back to the studio for me……

First Finish of 2019……

I have had a bit of time to spend in my studio over the last couple of weeks and am desperately trying to get several quilts finished for our upcoming guild show.    I have already registered them and hope to get them finished by the receiving days in February.

The first finish of the year is a baby quilt that I LOVED making.  I found the pattern on the first night that we were at the Houston show and KNEW that it was exactly what I wanted.  The pattern was “My Favorite Earrings” by Sandy Fitzpatrick. IMG_7546

Isn’t it the cutest thing!!!!

I had help from my friend, Katie, to make the butterflies.   She and her husband came to our house on Christmas Day to share some Chinese Food and chatting time and she and I magically ended upstairs in my studio.   I showed her the pattern and gave some basic instruction about how to use Wonder under and she was off!!  


When I originally cut the fabrics out, there wasn’t enough contrast between the head and the background and it didn’t look great…..IMG_7441

….so I pulled out my trusty sea sponge and light brown paint and added some “shading” on the heads……


It really made a LOT of difference!!

As I got ready to quilt, I kept seeing “flower power” designs so added those first with some variegated threads….


….and then echoed the flowers throughout the rest of the piece…..


Finally, I used one of my ruler’s to quilt the border, but I talked about that HERE.

All in all, I am thrilled with this first finish of the year….here’s to more to come!!

Ruler Quilting–a little blip

I have been using a ruler to quilt the borders on a cute baby quilt and have learned a few things as I quilted along.

I first used the straight edge to quilt lines inside the inner border….IMG_7512..a nice ease-into using a ruler.

Then I started using a curved edge to quilt the pieced borders……


….and that is where I started having issues.

Firstly, I found that the foot was getting stuck as I crossed seams and, because I was having to force it along, I was making long (toe snag) stitches.  I kept raising the presser foot height but it wasn’t getting any better.

Then, I had a good look at my ruler foot and realized that there is a spring and screw that, amazingly, raise and lower the foot!!!!IMG_7513


Then a few hours later, I started having trouble with the thread breaking.   I completely unthreaded my machine, cleaned out the lint, including a small piece that was stuck in the bobbin case and started over but it still wouldn’t work for long.

As a last resort, I decided to change the needle and it fixed the problem.  I seldom think about the needle being the issue but obviously it had a burr on the eye that was causing the thread to shred.

Here is the finished border…..


I was able to quilt it without having to make any marks and it adds so much more than my normal 3 squiggly lines down the middle.

This was a simple pattern, using the easiest of the rulers, but I am pleased just to have made a start!!

I am one Happy Quilter!!!