Monday, April 30, 2012

The Quilt Sampler Magazine

 It's finally here! 
The spring issue of the Sampler Magazine
by American Patchwork and Quilting.

Why I am so excited?
Because the shop I work at for 18 years
was chosen to be one of the shops featured.

I had started the process of nominating 
The Fig Leaf and many of the loyal
customers added their comments to get the 
shop included.

The shop opened in 1982 and has
weathered the ups and downs of the quilting industry,
the economy and the whims and desires of quilters.
That's a great testimony of the shop and owner, the staff,
and the customers who have continued to call
the Fig Leaf their quilt shop of choice.

Take a look at the magazine and check 
out the shop.

The magazine doesn't include a staff picture anymore
so I have.  
 That's me in the red.

We had a great time getting the shop all spiffed up and 
looking it's best.

Several of the quilts that I sewed are included in the first photo.
Tah Dah!

They're not original patterns, but designed by Carrie Nelson,
Primitive Gatherings, and ?
One of the quilts that's highlighted used Kate Spain"s fabric, Good Fortune.
See it way in the back.

Congrats to the Fig Leaf for joining a list of
prestigious quilt shops.
If you're ever in the area stop by.
 Until Next Time-

Friday, April 27, 2012

How Will You Spend Your Weekend?

When it's Friday, 
it's time for me to head home
and hang out with Running Man, friends
or my sewing room.

We all have to decide how we're going to
spend out time.

Which person are you going to be?

I want to be in the front car!
 May the wind always keep you cool!

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's My Party

Quilting is simply a matter of sewing together 
a gazillion small pieces of fabric 
cut out in a variety of shapes.

Invariably, not every piece every time is going
to cooperate and fit together perfectly. 

  When I'm working on a project,
I try and work as carefully as I can.
It sure helps to eliminate stress and frustration.

I've been happily working on quilts for
almost 40 years, so I'd like to think
I've acquired a high level of skill sets.

We all know there are "sewing days" and 
"non sewing  days".  
And I've learned when things aren't going as
smoothly as I want it, might be time to stop, step back, and
try again another day.

But I also have learned I have a certain 
personal degree of perfection.

It's the standard I have picked for myself.
It's what works for me.
My standards may be higher or lower than another quilter.

 I love what I do.
 I always strive and challenge myself to  do my best work.
Sometimes I even solicit  "Jack the Ripper" when something
isn't working out right.
Jack gets to help out just a couple times in a tricky situation
 and then that's it.  
I move on.

It doesn't matter.

Pick your degree of perfection.
But most of all, 
enjoy the process.

 Until Next Time-

Monday, April 23, 2012

The winner is...

Winner Winner, chicken dinner? 
I don't know why that phrase always sticks in my head. 

Thanks for so many of you participating
in my little give away.
I loved reading the comments about everyone's 
It's fun to connect them with a story,
or a friend.

A couple of my friends
reminded me of my membership in the WWCP club.
It stood for Women Who Collected Pincushions.

We were a little obsessed for a while.
Looking in flea markets,
making them from wool,
and we belonged to the club sponsored by
Buggy Barn Quilt Shop
called the Year of the Pincushion.

They had 12 different designers who participated.
 It was always a surprise
what we received in the mail each month.

Maggie Bonanomi, Linda Brannock, Buggy Barn

Mary Lou Weidman, Carrie Nelson, ? ,and Lisa Bongean

So again thanks to everyone and  your comments and following
along with me.

Drum roll....

Barbara Spahr is the winner of the wool pincushion.
Watch for a package coming your way.

Until Next Time-

Friday, April 20, 2012

Eye Fooling

 I love to applique, but
the "A" word can make
many quilters cringe.

The best time is when I can do it by hand, but
there are many projects where that's not practical.
That's when it nice to know how to do
machine applique.

Machine applique can be done so that it
will pass as hand applique.
 I've adapted different techniques from different people
to come up with a method that works best for me.

My favorite way is using spray starch and the mini iron.

The applique pattern  is cut out of freezer paper, 
pressed to the wrong side of the fabric  
and cut out with a  scant  1/4 seam allowance.

The seam allowances are painted
with the the spray starch that I've sprayed into the lid of the can.

Then the seam allowance is ironed up over the freezer paper template
 with the mini iron.
A regular iron would work but can be painful on the fingers.
The edges are crisp and sharp.
Of course, don't forget to remove the freezer paper!

The next product I love to use
 is Roxanne's Glue Baste.

It allows you to put a very narrow and precise
 amount of temporary glue on the seam allowances
so the piece can be placed on the design without the use of pins.

 The key to a fine machine applique is 
1. using a lightweight matching colored thread
2. a sharp needle,
3. good light
4. using the variable overlock stitch with the
mirror-image feature on
5. making the stitch very narrow and short.
 You can see the stitch more on the pink, 
stitch, stitch, bite.
 The straight stitches go into the background at the 
edge of the applique
 and the zig-zag just nicks the applique.

There are many great books and classes available for 
learning more details on machine appliqueing.
Like any skill though, it takes practice,
but can be easily mastered to be mistaken for hand applique
and done it a lot less time.

The good point is that 
More time = more projects!

Don't forget to check out my 400th post.

 Until Next Time-

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Plethora of Pincushions

Monday I wrote about the fact, that
I've posted 400 times and
to celebrate that fact I have a pincushion give away going.
Be sure and check it out.
I think you'd love to have it.

That newest wool pincushion is only the tip of the iceberg,
 so to speak, in honor of the Titanic,
of the pincushions I have.  
I know many quilters who are pincushion collectors.
some old, some little

I probably don't have enough pins to fill them all.
But it's fun to have a collection.
pincushions that represent food

My first pincushion has a good story.
When I first got married our first homestead was
actually a homestead out in the Piceance Basin of northwest Colorado.
It was very isolated area for a new bride.
There were 3 permanent families at the ranger station
but that was still 5 miles away.
One of wives that lived there
was  Margo Krager. 
Margo is the owner of Reproduction Fabrics in Bozeman, Montana.
Margo taught me how to needlepoint in order to save my sanity.
So I made a pincushion.
It's filled with sawdust that I confiscated from a lumber
yard in Meeker, Colorado much to the confusion of the guys that worked there.  
The pattern is from a National Wildlife magazine I had.
It's part of a butterfly wing. I'm sure you could tell.
My goodness, that was a long time ago.

But that pincushion was just the beginning of a collection has grown.

 Pincushions  can tell a story or 
remind you of a friend,
or a place,
 or just a fun project.

Or that funny white elephant gift you got from
 someone in your quilt group.
This little fellow has lost the tape measure that
came out of his mouth.  I'm sure someone just
couldn't stop pulling it in and out.

I counted the pincushions visible in my sewing area.

It's fun to get a new one out and
use it for awhile and then trade again.

Until Next Time-

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Have A Surprise to Spring On You

When I began blogging
it was a strictly a challenge I put to myself.
Could I find enough topics to write about?

Mostly, I just wanted to see if I could do it.
What my blog has become is a creative outlet and an expression
of the many things I enjoy in life.

It's an account of 
what happens to me,
 my family and friends,
and my love and passion for quiltmaking.
 a few cupcake recipes,
stories of Running Man,
and some photos mixed in.
Surprisingly, that's added up to quite a few stories.
It has been fun sharing all of this with others.

I'm not associated with any companies,
or affiliated with any products
it's just me sharing a few little things each week.
But to my amazement I have written 400 posts.

                     I do appreciate it when a reader or two takes                       
 the time to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

So to thank you
I have a surprise to SPRING on you.
I'd like to share a gift for one lucky reader and blogging friend.
It's my #3 pincushion that I just finished from
my UFO list.

It's perfect for spring...birds, baskets and flowers.

Just leave me a comment, on this post.
Tell me what's your favorite pincushion or share
how many pincushions you have.

If you are a no reply commenter, please leave an email address
so I can contact you if you win.:-)

 My little give away will run
through Saturday, April  21 when I'll draw the
lucky number Sunday morning..

Thanks again for letting me part of your day
and good luck!
 Until Next Time-

Friday, April 13, 2012

Total Dominance

You hear people say, "I'm in the zone" or
"I'm on a roll".

It's really when you're in such absolute concentration
that whatever you're doing is completely effortless.
Nothing else seems to matter.
You're totally focused.

I'm not an athlete so I'm
not making reference to a having my
mind and body being in complete synch so
that I'm performing some phenomenal  athletic feat.
You know, like Running Man, taking his first step,
and staying so focused so that he doesn't stop for 100 miles.
No, not like that.

But the other day I sat down to work
on a Just Take Two block and started hand piecing.  

It took a few moment to get my rhythm going,
to get totally focused,
and to get one with the thread and fabric.
I love to hand piece.

It felt great.
Suddenly nothing else seemed to matter,
I was relaxed,
and I was in total dominance in what I was doing.
My needle and thread and hands were working in perfect harmony.

I was mastering one of the hardest blocks
I've ever pieced in my 40 years of quilting.

I was in the "groove".

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The 11 Project Progress Plan

Another quilt meeting,
and another number was drawn as part of
the 11 Project Progress Plan.

This group is really motivated to clear
out or make progress on a few of their projects
 that had become stalled
for whatever reason.

Last month everyone worked on the
project that they had listed as #3.

Mine was this pincushion.
It had been a kit that I had bought
and never really got started.
 It was easy once I got going again.

I like to fill my pincushions with some fiberfill and
then crushed walnut shells.
I think the combo gives weight and form to the pincushion without
becoming too heavy.

Now it's done.
And off the list.

This month the number drawn was 11.
 It's another unfinished wool project.

I don't know why so many wool projects seem to 
be on my UFO list.
I love working with wool.
 This is a Crabapple Hill pattern
for a really cute sewing kit.
Several of my friends and myself were all working on this at the same time.
 They got theirs done.

One of the ways to help eliminate some of the UFO's
on my list,
 is for me to ask the question,
 "Do I want to continue with the entire project."

In this case, I decided that the needle
case would be perfect enough.
It has all the elements I like,
embroidery, trims, beads, and buttons.
And besides it's almost done.

30 days to complete this.
Seems reasonable.

Until Next Time-

Monday, April 9, 2012

Annual Raking Day

Along with the Easter holiday
 our family has attached another annual event.
I just love family traditions.
We call it "Annual Raking Day."
 What it is in reality is getting our daughters and
sons in laws to help us rake the yard.
We'd hate to have anyone miss out on so much fun.

Everyone has their own rake and work gloves.
Could anyone want more?
My sister and me

And besides lunch and lodging is provided.

Our crew was a bit diminished this year:
2 kids in Florida,
one son in law working,
one daughter expecting,
and one grandson too little.

It just meant everyone had to do just a little bit more.


You know the saying,
"Many hands make light work."
 Running Man seems to be hauling quite a bit.

We did get some help from some dear deer, who thought
 my tulips could use a little pruning!

Next year hopefully more of our team will be 
present and accounted for.
And our tradition will continue to
be a special family time.
Treasure those moments.

Until Next Time-

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter

Wishing you all

And don't forget to wear
 your new Easter Bonnet.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

He's Got a New Belt Buckle

This past weekend while I did some sewing,
watched a couple of movies,
visited with friends,
and ran errands,
Running Man was doing his 100 mile endurance run
in North Carolina.

While I slowly got up on Saturday morning,
he had already been running 3 hours.

While I ate dinner Saturday night, he
had already been running 15 hours.

When is was bedtime,
he had been moving for 19 hours
and had run almost the equivalent to 3 marathons.

It was the hard part now.
It was dark, he was very tired,
his hip was bothering him,
he still had more than a marathon race to run.

Fortunately, his brother was there as the crew
and to give him motivation and moral support.
You would think he would be starving while doing this.
He usually drinks only Ensure and water and eats only
couple of carbo gels.
But it looks like he added a half a banana!

Finally, after 28 hours and 17 minutes,and 40 seconds
Running Man crossed the finish line.
(They didn't even take a picture at the end. I
think they were both exhausted.)

He was tired,
pretty stiff,
but excited at his accomplishment.

The big question:
Is he done?
Is this the "Let's cross this off my bucket list?"
Probably Not.

Until Next Time-