Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Elf?

 Do you remember the story of the 
Elves and the Shoemaker?

At night the shoemaker would leave pieces of leather
on his workbench and in the
morning he'd find  a new pair of shoes
 magically stitched together.
The poor shoemaker was thankful to receive this
 help from his mysterious helpers.

The same thing has been happening to me.
I had started one of my wool blocks, but
hadn't had time to finish it.

But look what I found!
The block was finished with
beautiful buttonhold stitching 
around every wool piece.

In the fairy tale
the shoemaker eventually discovered
who was helping him.

I think I've discovered my 
secret helper too.
Thanks, Elizabeth!
  Until Next time-

Monday, March 25, 2013

Labels Can Speak

Every once in a while
when I search through a linen closet,
a cupboard,
or some of the other places I've stored
quilts, I find one or two
I've temporarily forgotten.

It's like being reaquainted with an old friend.
But an old friend can verbally
remind you of details of the past.

What about a quilt?
There might only be a clue about
your past history together.
While a quilt is unable to talk,
it's important that you tell a little of it's history
in the form of a label.

My labels have evolved over the years,
with the first quilts being very brief in description.

An embroidered name,date and
sometimes a place.

Sometimes I was ambitious and

cross stitched a label. (1989)

I had a quilt stolen once and after that

 I began adding my information
inked to a separate piece of fabric stitched to
the back and then quilted through the label,
 making it harder for someone to remove.

To do this though,
 you have to plan ahead
and add the label to the backing before it's quilted.
Sometimes that doesn't happen.

To make most of my labels,
 I use a light box and a permanent pigma pen and
 trace the information that I've printed on paper to
a fabric label.

It's fun to try different fonts.

Some labels are simple.

Some labels take a lot more time,
  but add more information about the quilt.

Last week I noticed this label on one of my quilts.

I had printed the label directly to the fabric with the computer printer.
I had set the ink with a hot iron and thought everything
was going to be long lasting.
The quilt has been washed a few times, but the
printing is almost disappeared.

Here's another computer printed label and
it's still okay.

But it hasn't been washed.
So I'm hesitant to use this method anymore.

Besides, I was running fabric labels through the
printer once and they got stuck and
well, ...
we had to get a new printer.
So for the past few years,
I've stuck with my permanent pen.

But whatever method you choose,
always add a label.
A quilt can't talk without your help.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I love the fact that there is
Netflix streaming.
When there isn't much to watch on TV,
it's nice to have a choice of something to watch.

In the evenings I've been watching West Wing,
 great characters,
daily drama and stories in the White House and 
political issues 
that just don't seem to go away.

This week President Jed Bartlet
made reference in  his weekend radio address
to all the leaf peepers in New England.

 My kids thought it was some kind
of a joke or code word.

With spring just around the corner,
fall leaf peeping is a ways off.

But as I cut and arranged the fall
leaves on the last borders
 of the Midnight Silhouette quilt
I guess I was a
Springtime Peeper,

with a little help from my sugary friends.

Until Next Time-

Monday, March 18, 2013

March Thread Madness

My  project for March 
has turned into the
"March Thread Madness".

The wool pieces for the
Folk Art Sampler
are fused onto the background pieces.
They're ready for the buttonhole stitching.

One of the reasons this project had
been set aside
was getting the right
perel cotton thread colors to match
the wool.

trip #1
10 spools of Valdani perel cotton
which were the recommended colors for the quilt.

trip #2
5 spools of Valdani perel cotton
to match the wool that I actually
ended up using.

trip #3
5 more spools of Valdani perel cotton
to match the wools that I actually used
that I forgot to get on trip #2.

There, I'm ready.
Now where is that diet Pepsi and chocolate
when I need it!

Until Next time-

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Turbo Charged

Many years ago,
Running Man and I
had the opportunity to travel to Germany.
Running Man was presenting a paper
in Berlin, which was still divided.
We flew into Munich,
rented a car and headed off
on the German autobahn.

We've all heard about the 
autobahn having at least three lanes, 
fast, faster and fastest.
Well, it's true.

Running Man was imagining he
was James Bond
a formula 1 race car driver.

I could see the speedometer was well over 100 mph.
The F on our rental car, 
didn't say Ferrari.
 The little Ford was trying it's best.

I was informed by Running Man, he
was only trying to keep up and not
get run over.  True!

There was  something fun about going fast,
if you didn't figure in the fear factor.

I'm not sure if it's quite the same experience,
but yesterday I was TURBO appliqueing.

No,  you're right it's not quite the same,
exhilarating, none the less,
if you're a middle aged Nana.

I've been working on my
 Midnight Silhouette quilt and
appliqueing the center vine on the last two border pieces.
It's been super fast,
super easy, and
 super fun.

The raw edges of the vine were 
already turned under,
the vine was secured in place with a little
Roxanne's Glue Baste,
needles were prethreaded,
the kiddos were napping 
and Nana was 
turbo charged.

Oh, did I mention,
I had chocolate and diet Pepsi?

It felt good to get something done
just once and
trying to keep up.

Until Next Time-

Monday, March 11, 2013

March Quilts

Every month seems to have a
certain color associated with it.

The month of March seems like
a transition month, from winter 
to spring, but we still
seem to associate the color green with it
 because of St. Patrick's Day.

When I looked at my quilts
for anything that was predominately green,
guess what, 
I don't have any.

Green is just not my color.
Of course, I use it, but
not as the primary color.

So the first quilt I wanted  to share will
represent March with
its green border.

This quilt is a reproduction of an
1865 crib quilt.
The pattern was first published in the
American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

"Looking  Back"
It was fun combining the turkey reds
with the chrome orange or cheddar.

The flying geese didn't stay strict in
the light and dark placement and
the fabrics came from my stash
and were old even 12 years ago.

The sawtooth border, next to the binding,
was fun to do.
It was a straight strip of fabric with clips and 
marks and the edges were folded back as you went 
to create the triangles.   
That way, you weren't working 
with bias edges as it was appliqued.

I had this great piece that worked perfectly for the backing.
It was bold and bright with all 
of the colors included.

The other quilt I wanted to share,
is about springtime.

"Aprons From the Past"
Finished 2001
Started 1996

I belonged to a wonderful quilt group and we 
called ourselves the "Pinheads".
We didn't think of the name in negative terms,
but more as a laugh at ourselves.

When we started meeting together
we were all 
moms with small children, so
I don't think I have to explain more.

This quilt was an exchange of HST's.

We all did something different with them
and I loved combining them into the heart blocks.

This actually was  the first quilt I had machine quilted.

It has a lot of quilting on it,
and it actually became pretty stiff.

I've never used it because of that.
I don't wash my quilts too often, but maybe that 
would soften it up just a bit.

Labels are so important.

It's always fun to look back over our collections
of quilts and see
where our color preferences have been or
what the styles were at one time.
Each one is a special as they
continue to document our quilting journey.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Red and White Sampler

 In the evenings 
when playtime has ended,

 I have been continuing to hand quilt
my "It Just Takes Two", 
red and white sampler.

My goal is to still
 have it finished at the end of May.

 The center is quilted.
I thought I had to be more than
half way done.

there are 50 blocks in the center

 and 50 blocks around the perimeter.

Half way is good.
 It's progress.

Until Next Time-

Monday, March 4, 2013

What's the Whole Picture?

It's said, that a  picture can be 
worth a thousand words,
but a photo can also be deceiving.

Looks like I'm casually marking diagonal lines
to piece
half square triangles.

Are you thinking...
Gosh, isn't she
lucky to have time like that
during the day.

Look to the right.

I've got a helper.

Look to the left.
I've got a bunny helper.

If there was an audio available,
quiet spa music wouldn't be playing,
we love Raffi around here.

I had 110 squares to mark and
it took me all day, but 
that's okay.

These two little projects are much more important.

Until Next Time-