Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I am ahead of schedule for this month's WIP.  It is finished and posted.
Since I have a very busy August coming up --  the Longest Yard Sale - another retreat - and DH's hip replacement surgery -- just to mention a few things, I decided to go ahead and have DH draw the number for August.

Number 8 is the lucky project for August.

Number 8 is some leftover 9-Patch blocks with some extra jelly roll strips and some squares that were cut for half square triangles.
I have completely changed my mind about what I want to do.

These blocks are very traditional and very muted in color and tone.
I have a little bit of a twist I want to use to complete this project.  Wonder if I can get something a little contemporary out of this?

Stay tuned. . .


Monday, July 23, 2012


This is what the project looked like when I pulled it out of THE drawer.  You know the drawer I mean --  the one that has parts and pieces as well as almost completed projects stacked in it. Those "I will finish that one of these days" projects.
It was obvious I did not have enough of all of the fabrics to do a conventional finish around the border edges.  This might have been the reason  it was not finished earlier.

By playing around with it I was able to come up with a little bit of a funky finish for the upper left corner.  I only had a piece about 8" x 16" of that fabric to work with.  Good ole Kona Black cotton to the rescue.
I really depend on my Kona Black, Kona Snow, and Kona White fabrics to be my work horses.  I have most of the other colors in the Kona line that I use often, too.  Anytime I want a little extender that is a little "out of the box" those are good fabrics to use.

I spent a great deal of time rotating this finished top.  I took lots of photographs and flashed them up on my computer.  I tried some other fabrics to see if I wanted to make it any larger than it is.

The finished measurement on this is 39" square - more or less.

Backs of quilting projects have become another canvas for me and this project was no exception.  I started adding leftover fabrics in a "log cabin manner" to get the size I needed.

I incorporated my label into the layout as I went along.  Lately I have been adding my labels before quilting and then just quilting through them.

I have no illusions of grandeur that someone would steal one of my quilts and remove the label and call it their own.  However, I do want the documentation to stay on the quilt for its lifetime.  Some of these quilts might just get passed down through the generations of my family, or, they might end up in an estate sale or a flea market.  Isn't that where we find some of the "jewels" we collect?

  Of course, I am sure the conversation might go like this when discussing my quilts: 
First relative or observer:  "Whatever was she thinking when she made this back?"  
Second relative or friend of relative:  "Well, I have no idea, but she might have been a fun gal to get to know."

At least I know that I had fun when I made it.

See that little white rectangle?
That is my label:

                            Hand written with a Pigma Pen.

Now on to making the sandwich, quilting, and binding it.

Love my dining room table for laying out my smaller projects.

I decided to quilt it somewhat on the diagonal but not in perfectly straight lines.  I also wanted there to be some asymmetry in the quilting since the blocks were already asymmetrical.

I used a strip of masking tape to find my place from opposite side to the other so I could do the wavy line quilting and still end up where I meant to be.

I am a fan of Kokopelli and he looks perfect joining in with the music of the "band" in the lower right.  All those instruments in the fabric used in the lower right corner remind me of a band getting ready to go on a football field to perform.  The upper left are the notes coming from the "band".  The quilting simulates the echoes of the sound.

WIP # 2 for July is complete.  What a good feeling!


Saturday, July 21, 2012


It is a rainy Saturday morning and I want to do something fun, easy, bright and cheerful.

The first Zippy, Strippy Bag I made was very bright yellow with fish print fabric.  I made it in my Friday morning Bee Friends quilting group.

Today I am looking for something out of the ordinary.

I have a collection of selvages that I have saved for a long time just waiting for a project to make with them.  Today is the day to pull them out.
 I sorted the selvages first.
Then I collected my pattern, zipper, and lining fabric.

Then I pressed the lining to the fusible fleece.

It seemed like it would be a better idea to attach the selvages on the diagonal.

Two panels completed.

The purple dotted fabric looked so cute and funky when I added it to the selvages.

While I was at the machine I decided to do this one in Batiks.

On this one I put the contrast piece on the bottom.

These are very addictive.  Now I want to make some more.  Ideas are flying around in my head for color and fabric combinations.

Yes, it made the rainy day go by faster and I hardly noticed the rain that made yard work impossible today.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This post has very little to do with quilting.  Today I was working away in my studio when I saw this huge crane outside my window.  I went to investigate and then spent over an hour watching the crew take down this large, old hickory tree in my neighbor's yard.

This guy in the red shirt was hoisted up by the crane to hook on the pulley and ropes to take the limbs down as the guy in the white shirt would cut them with the chain saw.

Cutting off the first lower branches

Look at all the equipment they brought.

 This guy was amazing and so entertaining.  Look how he is perched in this tree with his arms above his head getting ready to cut.
 More branches are gone and the trunk is about all that is left.
 This is the upper most part of the tree that the crane swung over and stood on end in the street.
The ground crew started feeding the branches through the chipper and the scoop was waiting to pick up the log to put it on the truck.

The first time these crews came to our neighborhood was the night of the really big storm and there was no power.  They were working on another neighbor's tree that had fallen on her house in the dark and rain.

 Here is the guy in the red shirt getting ready to go up again.

 This process went on for a couple of hours.  Send the crane up, saw the branch, bring the branch down, chip it up and repeat.

The tree is now a bare trunk to be cut at the base.

The last trip to the chipper.  Do you see the bare place between the two houses where the tree was?  It is gone....

Well, that was an exciting morning.  Now it is time to have lunch and get back to work.




I am sure your iron never looks like this. 

But, since I am fond of using spray starch for my fabric, this happens to my iron on a regular basis.

 My mom always used a sheet of waxed paper with table salt poured on it to clean her iron.  I did that when I first started housekeeping.  Sometimes it worked very well, other times not so well.  Over the years I have tried numerous products and tips to clean my iron with varying degrees of success.

Along the way someone told me about Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for cleaning the iron.  I use these all the time to clean my showers, etc. in the bathrooms.  Now I use them in my studio to clean my irons.

 Begin by saturating the sponge with water.  I have mine so wet it is dripping water.  Place it on a folded hand towel and take it to the ironing board.
Heat the iron to the highest temperature setting.  Now iron over the wet sponge.  Do this as long as there is any residue on the sole plate.  Turn the sponge over and do a little more ironing on this side.
When you have finished cleaning the iron, the sponge will look something like this
and your iron will look like this.

It is probably a good idea to take a few minutes regularly to clean your iron this way.  I try to do this often enough that the buildup is minimal and it only requires a little time and effort.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Today was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and clear blue skies.  The best part was taking a road trip with a couple of my buddies.

Our friend invited us to her new "home area" for a shop hop of the local quilt shops.  She is moving to this area soon and wanted to share with us the places she will be hanging out.

Our first stop was at Decherd Needleworks.  A fellow named Jim owns this shop and all the quilts and needlework on display were made by him.  Upstairs is where Jim quilts on his long arm machine for his customers and where he has his living quarters.

This is downtown on Main Street.  I love these old buildings.
Across the street was this old church.  I love the architecture.

Inside the shop was a treasure trove of fabrics to choose from.  The rustic setting was so inviting and the walls were covered with finished quilts and needlework.

See the old brick walls?

We went across the street to have lunch at Jackson's.  It is a Mom and Pop Meat and Three kind of restaurant with lots of locals having lunch with us.

After lunch we headed out to see where our friend's new home will be.
Isn't this drive in beautiful?  Reminds me of the Great Smoky Moutains roads or the road around the Ocoee River.

This is absolutely gorgeous!!!  Listening to the waterfalls was so restful.  There is even a bench on an overlook where I could sit and quilt all day if I were invited.

This would be the most pleasant place to sit and stitch and listen to the birds and the waterfalls.

This old chimney greeted us as we approached the house.  It is a remnant of the original homestead.
The house is nestled into this little woodsy nook.

On our drive out we passed a deer grazing beside the driveway. There were several deer in the area.  I just love to see animals in their natural environment.  There is something so peaceful about that.

The next stop was another quilt shop over in Tullahoma.
The ladies in this shop were so friendly and helpful.  They had some great quilts on display.

This one of batiks used a free form cutting technique.

These little houses were so crisp and clear.  The Snowman applique beside it made me start thinking about Christmas gifts that I need to begin.

Needless to say, we did our share of shopping in both stores.

This is my little stack of colors that I bought to finish out my collection of brights.

What a fun day we had!  Can hardly wait for next time!!

Thanks Carol and Phyllis for a super great day!!!!