Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Couple of Favorite Tools- Tool Time

Have you ever had to share
your favorite quilting tool?

Seeing I started quilting back in
the prerotary cutter era,
I guess most conveniences
 could be considered useful.

The reason I'm pondering this
philosophical question is
because next month at a quilt meeting
we're to bring and share a favorite quilting tool.

I decided it might as well
be something I've recently used.
My reasoning being,
if I wasn't using it,
it wouldn't be useful.

Last week I finished
binding the Pinwheel Baby quilt.

The tool I love and used to save time
is the Clover Needle Dome.

It's a fantastic storage place for your
prethreaded needles.
I admit, I store at least 3 threaded needles
in each of the 10 slots.
That's 30 needles threaded, wound on a reel,
 and ready to go.
There's no tangling, no fuss, no muss. 
It's one of the top tools on my list.

The second tool can save you
 from being embarrassed.
It saves you from looking like you
don't know what you're doing.

It's another great tool from Clover.

If you haven't seen this, it needs
to be in your arsenal of tools,
just for emergencies.

Here's a close-up of the
tiny hook on the end.

Why did I need it?

I discovered a bush league error.

While hanging the baby quilt outside
 for it's official photo shoot,

I spied many stray navy threads.
I obviously hadn't been very careful clipping threads
especially, next to the dark pinwheels.

These rogue navy threads were
 shadowing through white areas.
I should have taken a photo
of some of the really bad ones,
but I was too embarrassed.

But my embarrassment was soon evaded.
The thread pic gently went through
the weave of the fabric and lassoed
those stray threads

 leaving no punctures, holes or marks.
I did use some tweezers to gently
remove the evidence.

It took a bit of time to remove all the
stray threads I had left behind.
I learned a lesson, but
this great little tool saved me.

I think I'm going to share how tools
 can save you time,
and help you save face.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Log Cabin Loonie

 The full moon this month
has been quite delicious.
It's believed that 
June's full moon is called a strawberry moon
because it's the month when
berries begin ripening.

This month was a double treat
with the Summer Solstice and the
bella luna coinciding on the same day, June 20th.

Julie over at JulieKQuilts
has been encouraging anyone
interested in making a log cabin quilt
to join in with her and other Log Cabin Loonies
and share their progress during each full moon.

I'm not sure if you become a loonie
because you're starting a new project
or if the pull of the moon
affects your behavior changing you into a loonie
who then must start a new project.

Either way,
I have joined in.

I've been cutting 1 1/4" strips for years
 and tossing them into a basket for 
a someday log cabin quilt. 

Julie's invitation was the exact motivation
I needed to dive in and get sewing.
I found as I was pulling out strips
that I was gravitating only
to brown and pink fabrics.

Could the strawberry moon be affecting me
with some subliminal  message?

I haven't actually sewn much,
just sub-cut strips and made
one practice block.
Well, we'll see where this all leads.

You'll have to check back
during the thunder moon in July
and see how I've done.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Perfect Pinwheels

 Last week I picked up
a couple shiny pinwheels
for some fun color in the yard.

It was then that I realized
I had even been spinning
 in my sewing room.
It seemed I had a theme going on.

Everything was a pinwheel.

I had started a baby quilt
using these fabrics.

 The perfect pattern...

And don't you love it when the 
centers come together.

Then, finally, I found and purchased
a background fabric for
part 3 of the Discovery mystery quilt
 in Quiltmania designed by Petra Prins.

It's an older piece from Andover
and the Winterthur Museum.

It fits right in with the
 Heritage Dutch Chintzes
I've been using.

With these fabrics I should be
thinking about Dutch Windmills 

But instead,
 here are my Dutch Windmill blocks
whirling around the center block.

It's been a breezy week here.
Hope good things have been 
spinning in your direction.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Blog Friends and the Quilts They Inspired

Meeting blog friends 
in "real life" is a very cool experience. 
In fact, it's a thrill!

A few weeks ago I met
at the home of Dawn
whose blog is 

Both of these women are
incredible quilters and collectors.
They are a wealth of information
on antique quilts, fabrics,
the history of quiltmaking
and eagerly share their knowledge
on their blogs.

I wish I had thought to take
a photo of the 3 of us, but
 instead you'll have to see 
(photo from Dawn) 
   Doreen helping me hold 
up my Noah and Matilda quilt.
The other quilters in the room are
 the friends Doreen traveled with
all the way from Virginia
for a Rocky Mountain high quilting trip.

Now try and imagine seeing
Doreen and Dawn

as they hold up my Noah and Matilda quilt
with the original Noah and Matilda quilt,
which Dawn owns,
that's dated February 22, 1851.

You can still order the pattern 
My quilt was thrilled to see the original
and me too.

I also was able to share
(Photo from Doreen's blog)
my Triple Irish Chain quilt 
that I finished the night before.

The reason I brought it was
because  on Doreen's blog
 she had shared
the pattern instructions  called "The Big Leap".
You can still find the info here.

 These are great instructions
to make a classic pattern.
You can't beat a two color quilt and
a well loved pattern.

It's hard to see the quilting until
you get up close.
I really like what my machine quilter, Kathy
and I came up with to fill in the open space.

I also love what she did with the 2" squares.

The border design combines it all.

It really was wonderful to be able
to share two quilts that were
inspired by these two
fabulous quilters, Dawn and Doreen.
 If you're not a follower of these two 
extraordinary quilters, 
you need to link up immediately.
You won't be sorry. 

 Until Next Time-

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Relaxing? I Don't Think So

 We needed a break from all 
of the recent yard work.
So we headed to Florida and the Keys.
 Not for any R and R like normal tourists
but instead...

Running Man ran a 50 mile ultramarathon
which was part of
the Florida Keys 100

while I was his crew.
We looked good didn't we!

Well, in reality
me waiting along the road,

and Running Man
at mile 10
having just crossed over the 7 mile long bridge.


The day was extremely hot, 90 degrees
and with a heat index was about 120 degrees.

I met Running Man about every
5 miles to replenish his water and
electrolytes and to put ice in his
hat and ice in a bandana around his neck.
It was brutal.

I had planned to stitch,
but I was afraid these snowmen

would have melted out of existence.

So instead I drove from stop to stop,
looking at the scenery,
trying to stay cool myself
and hoping he'd be able to finish.

12 hours and 46 minutes later
at 10:42 pm

Running Man crossed the finish line
on the beach in Key West.

What a day!
 Ed is definitely my
six million dollar man.

The next day was the awards ceremony
and Running Man was 7th fastest guy in the 50 miles

with the best time for the men  65 and above.
(yes, there were others that ran).

Key West is an interesting place

and, of course,
after all that running
we needed refueling,

conch fritters, mojitos,

and a slice of key lime pie.

Way to go Running Man!

Until Next Time-