It’s Monthly Audit time!!

Well, July is over and, oh my, has it been a crazy month. I had lots of goals and, fortunately I did accomplish a few of them.

One goal was to publish at least 10 posts. On this front, I outdid myself by publishing 23!!!

Another goal was to cook something new each week and I really funked out on this one. I did enjoy using the ice cream maker, especially the luscious chocolate recipe, and I did pull out one old recipe and we found that we had forgotten how much we enjoyed “Mexican Beef and Cornbread”…..

Don’t you love the iconic Corning Ware bowl that we have had for 43 years!!!

It was a great meal when paired with a salad with Thousand Island Dressing…..

July was a heavy month for accounting work and I soldiered thru, getting almost everything finished by the 31st.

I did have one quilting victory when I “LET IT GO” and got rid of a UFO that had been on my mind for a bunch of years!!

We had our hurriedly planned trip to Texas which proved to be an amazing and much needed getaway!!!

Finally, my major quilting goal was to get the final corner of the Color wheel quilt appliqued so that I can put the top together. And I did TRY but honestly ended up spending more time writing blog posts at night than appliquéing!!

Toward the end, I was “Sewing like the wind”……

….but I went to bed on Friday night with 7 more circles to finish!!

Now that I have used the phrase “Sewing like the wind”, I am reminded of this clip from “Three Amigos”…..

But, honestly, if I am going to talk about “Three Amigos” I have to add this scene…..

Steve Martin is a hoot!!!

Our son, Brian, used to LOVE this scene and would howl with laughter when it came on.

I actually used this technique to get Michael’s attention one time….I was in the library on the second floor of a hotel in Shanghai and it was open to the lobby below. I saw Michael walk in the front door and wanted him to know where I was, so I started calling “lookuphere….lookuphere”. After a few seconds of puzzlement, he looked up and gave me a big smile!! I am sure that the other Chinese students in the area thought that we were crazy!!

All in all, it has been a sweet month, even if I didn’t do lots on my “to-do” list. Today, as I plan for August, I am excited about the things to come!!!

Starting over…..

Well it is official…..I have started over on the Henna Quilt!! 

After the last post, several people had some great thoughts and ideas.  One friend told me about Schmetz Super Non-Stick Needles, although they have horrible reviews on Amazon.   I had already cut out the center piece to try to salvage at least a part of the quilt so I didn’t have a chance to try them.  I did wash the center cut-out  but found that the spray didn’t wash out at all!!  This makes me VERY happy that I didn’t persevere with the original quilt as it would have been full of yucky spray!!

Another quilter suggested using “Leonis Water Erasable Marking pens”.   They were given high ratings on Amazon so I purchased a package to give them a try.


I found that I had enough of the top and backing fabric to start again, and once the markers and lightbox arrived, I went back to marking the quilt.

As I had mentioned, this time I ironed freezer paper to the back of the fabric and then taped the freezer paper to the pattern so everything was very stable as I started to re-draw the pattern.

I will say that I really like the marking pen.   The tip is firm and stayed that way for the entire time that I was marking.   IMG_6425

I also like the fine point tip.   The lines seem much clearer than the previous tracing had allowed.

So… I wait until I can get back to the tracing and then back to the machine.   I have had a couple of new ideas about how to fill in the areas around the circles so maybe this wait is a good thing.

In the meantime, College football is back in full swing and Michael and I enjoyed our first University of Georgia game yesterday…..  GOOOOOO DAWGS!!!IMG_6421

An interesting week…..


This has been an interesting week……

On Tuesday, at my guild meeting, we were entertained by Lanette Edens of the Gypsy Quilter.  She presented a wonderful program where she showed new products and lots of ideas…..


I was most interested in this book…..

… I purchased it after the meeting.   I love that the blocks are all pieced without ANY Y-Seams!!   Cant wait to try some of the patterns using my scrap strips.

On Wednesday morning, I woke up with a bit of a sore throat and by 5:00pm, I was running a fever, suffering with severe chills  and thoroughly miserable!!!   Unfortunately, Michael was about 24 hours ahead of me and was already sick!!!  

The next two days we each spent as much time as possible resting and getting well, although we both had work tasks that needed to be accomplished.

One of the cute things that I found was that the Throat Lozenges I bought had a motto of “A pep talk in every drop”!!

As I looked further, I realized that each individual package had other mini “pep talks” on them……

  –      Be Unstoppable

  –      Put a Little Strut in it.

  –      Turn “can do” into “can did!”

  –      Bet on yourself

  –      Hi-five yourself

  –      Elicit a few “Wow’s” today

  –      Don’t give up on yourself

  –      Take charge and mean it

  –      The show must go on.

I actually started looking forward to opening a new one so that I could be “pepped up”!!!

Today (Saturday), we are both feeling MUCH better and I was actually able to spend the day in my studio…..more to come about that…..

Tonight, we both felt good enough to cook, so Michael made a wonderful Turkey Meatloaf with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese  and I added Roasted Squash and steamed Broccoli…..



It’s Christmas Time….almost!!!

This past week my small quilting group got together to exchange gifts.  I had known about this for over 2 months, but just couldn’t wrap my head around what I wanted to do.

Then, I remembered a blog post by Emma in Australia where she had machine quilted ornaments, resulting in this gorgeous quilt…..


I had been very taken with it and decided to play with something similar for my gift.   I started out by free-handing some ornaments and practicing my quilting….


As it ended up, I wasn’t that happy with the resulting product so decided to make a few changes.

I got online and found drawings of lots of interesting ornaments.  I cut a few out and started playing with an arrangement.   I quickly found that I wasn’t happy with vertical arrangement so started playing with a horizontal one…..


I fused a thin interfacing to the fabric, traced the designs on it and started looking for appropriate threads…..


I did the first round of thread painting, only to find that there was a lot of puffiness to the piece……


SO….here is another opportunity for creativity…..I decided to Trapunto the ornaments to give them some more dimension (and to relieve the puffiness).  I used two layers of a high-loft batting…..


…..and then basted it with a wool batting and started quilting.   When I got ready to quilt the background, I had planned to do an overall pattern but was afraid that it would be too flat so opted for straight lines instead.

Here is the final product…..


…..with a few close-ups…..




And, excitingly, my friend Deb was the winner!!

In return, I received this wonderful Christmas pillow from Brenda……



Thanks Ladies for a FUN evening!!!

Blew Two – part 2


Yesterday I posted about the making of this quilt top……


Now I had to figure out how to quilt it…..

I figured that I wanted to having the quilting represent wind, but wasn’t sure enough about it to just sit down and start quilting.  Then, I started thinking about some of the ideas that I tell my students and decided to actually use one  of them myself….shocking!!!!

I took a photo of the top and  made several photocopies of it and started doodling to see what I would like.  Here are several of my first tries…..

 Scan_Pic0020 Scan_Pic0018 Scan_Pic0019

Well, I wasn’t happy with any of these and couldn’t figure out what was wrong, so I put it aside for a couple of days.

When I picked it up again, I immediately knew what was wrong…..wind would be blowing all in the same direction… wouldn’t go all over the place!!!!  Once I realized that, it was a simple matter to design the quilting.Scan_Pic0021

I used a metallic thread to do the quilting and am quite happy with the results._6015562

I decided to face the quilt rather than bind it.  If you are interested in learning an easy way to face a quilt, check out this website.   The only thing that I would change would be to make the facing a little bit narrower, especially for a small quilt like this one.


After I had completely finished the quilt, I remembered that I had thought of putting a swishy bead border at the  bottom of the quilt.  If I get REALLY energetic, I may take off the facing and add the beads, but dont hold your breath!!

In the long run, this is not only a good addition to the “Blue” challenge, but a fun reminder of our time in Kunming, China.

Wonderful New Book


Last night I finished the last of my major teaching duties and am greatly looking forward to cleaning out my studio this morning and getting organized for a new project….. probably a quilt for a friend’s wedding coming up in December.

But, last night, after the Trapunto class had ended, one of the participants pointed out a book in the Quilt Shop and asked if I had seen it before.    It is called “Sophisticated Stitches” by Don Linn and is a collection of really cool quilting designs.

Linn Book

These designs are not the classic feathers, wreaths and other standard patterns, but are wonderful contemporary designs.  You could make a beautiful Whole-cloth quilt just using the designs here….who knows, I might just do that!!

Here is a scan of one of his ideas……

 Linn ScanThe designs could be used for quilting, applique, or embroidery, and would be wonderful worked as a trapunto pattern!!!

There are 66 quilt patterns in the book, with ideas for how to combine them to make other designs.  I am looking forward to spending some time with this book and see what transpires.

Have a good (and quilty) weekend.





Seasonal Strolling

I finished the season challenge quilt that I showed in the last posting. I really enjoyed the quilting process and was encouraged at how the quilting added dimension, especially to the boots.

The challenge quilts were presented at last night’s guild meeting. The really funny thing that happened was that one of my best friends in the guild, Deb H., brought her quilt in and it was SHOES!!! I immediately got worried that she had told me her ideas and I had adopted them for my own, but she assured me that she had NOT told me her design. I guess that “great minds” think alike!!!