Monday, September 29, 2014

Where Did The Summer Go?


It seems like forever since I posted. I thought it might have been the entire summer, but when I checked the date of my last post it turns out it has only been a month. But a month in bloggerland js a long time.

I have been quilting, but 2 of the quilts I finished are gifts. Can't share those yet. I have also been working on my silk opus.

I need to finish it by November 10th. That will be the debut of my "Sensational Silk" lecture at Penn Oaks Quilt Guild. I want to share all the different ways that dupioni silk can be used for quilting. The guild meets in Malvern at The Frazier Mennonite Church. It's a very friendly group so if you're in the area, come out and see my quilts. For more info, check out their website:

I have also been having a lot of fun getting dirty rehabbing a property that my son and DIL bought. I'm the fixer of odds and ends. It's a house with lots of character that was built in 1875. It's in Wilmington, DE. If you're familiar with the area, it's near Rodney Square.



Front foyer.

Does anyone know anything about this tile?

It was used to seal off a fireplace.




And believe it or or, it was Henry's first birthday. Where did the year go? My DIL made him a fish themed party. She gave me a couple of tie dyed t shirts with directions on how to decorate them.

Does the fish look familiar? It's a baby shower quilt left over.

If you want to see the fish quilt, click HERE.

And one more t shirt, just in case the first one gets dirty.

And of course that is going to happen when there is a smash cake!

So what motivated me to blog today of all days? Our annual Fall vacation. I want to make sure I can share the photos with you.

Where are we going, you ask?


It's a Textile Tour with lots of learning about batiks, making of batiks and buying of batiks. What could be better?

I will definitely share photos.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tea Party

Look what I found at our quilt guild meeting this month:
Terry Seeley made it using Curvalicious with her granddaughter in mind. She named it "Tea Party". It's just adorable. I love pink.
If you want to see more quilts made with Curvalicious, head to its Flickr page. Join the group and you'll receive an update whenever a quilt is added.
Here's the LINK.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Good, The Bad And The Indifferent

It's time for some new additions to my quilting studio. I'm not much of a gadget person, but I have been in the mood for some upgrades and to try out some new products.

If you are familiar with my quilts, you know that I love circles. Over the years I have cut out hundreds of circles for my quilts. I own lots of different circle templates that I use to draw the circles and then I cut them out by hand. A tedious but mindful task. Now that I am promoting Curvalicious, I thought this was the time for a custom circle cutter for my Accuquilt Studio Cutter. I just wanted a die that would cut a bunch of 2" circles. So this frugal quilter bit the bullet and emailed Accuquilt for a price quote for a custom die. I received an email back the next day with quotes that ranged from $99-$120 depending on the number of circles I wanted the die to cut. I thought that wasn't unreasonable to save me hours of time. Then at the bottom of the email was one line that caught my eye " we also have a die for 2" circles that is currently on sale for $39". What? I clicked on the link and ordered the 2" die right then and there and also bought the 1" die also.





I couldn't wait to try it so I fused a bunch of silk dupioni scraps

And ended up with a bunch of beautiful, perfect 2" circles in under a minute.

The other 2 items I purchased I'm not that crazy about. The first one, I purchased to save my iron and keep my ironing surface clean because I do a ton of fusing. No matter how careful I try to be, that fusible web has a way of being ironed onto places you don't want it to go. My solution up to now has been to lay a sheet of parchment paper down. That works pretty good but it's cumbersome.

I read about the Bo-Nash IronSlide Iron Shoe. You attach it to your iron. This is what it looked like when it arrived.


You attach it to your iron kind of Iike adding a new cover to your ironing board with the strings to tighten it. It's made to fit any iron. Although it will protect everything, I felt I lost any fine control at the tip of my iron. More importantly, the Teflon cover kept my iron from getting as hot as I wanted it.


My biggest disappointment was this rotary blade sharpener. One of the women at one of my workshops had one. It can sharpen any size blade and I own lots of different size cutters. I love a sharp blade so I went home and ordered one. I couldn't wait to sharpen a bunch of my blades. I can only say that I was underwhelmed. I tried different size blades from different manufacturers. When I inadvertently dislocated the lid, I just threw the whole thing in the garbage!




Saturday, August 16, 2014

Something For Hubby

My husband's briefcase is being retired for something more casual. He wanted some protection for his small laptop, so he turned to his favorite quilter :-)

I have probably made about 50 of these zippy pouches in all different sizes using the directions found on Dog Under My Desk's blog. She has great step by step directions. You will never be afraid of sewing in a zipper again. This is the LINK. There are lots of tutorials out there, but this is my favorite.

Although Mr. Conservative wanted a black pouch, I encouraged him to pick a fabric from my stash. Isn't this fabric perfect for someone who loves to fish? (And so much more fun than black!)

So I started by adding a few inches to the dimensions of the laptop, layered it with batting and a backing fabric. I picked a new quilting pattern to practice my free motion quilting. When the quilting was done, I trimmed the top and bottom edges so that they overlapped by 1 inch before I inserted the zipper. Then I slid in the computer and trimmed the sides so there was an extra inch on each side.

Success! He loved it.


Friday, August 8, 2014

A Well Loved Man

I made this quilt a little over 15 years ago for my FIL's 75th birthday.

It's all about those things that were important to him at the time and memories. It was such a fun project. I had input from my husband and his 6 siblings. There was a big party to celebrate and guests signed the cream colored fabric around the border. You can tell I made it during my homespun period. I thought those fabrics were manly. None of those fabrics are in my stash any more.

These are some of my favorite blocks:

Falling asleep while putting up the tree late on Christmas Eve.

His high school diploma

The bus he drove while working for the city if Pittsburgh

Catching a big one while fishing with us in Alaska

One of my SILs made sure this quilt followed him and hung on the wall wherever he lived. It shows some wear and tear, but it is still full of good memories.

My FIL was grandfather to 15 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

He was loved and will be missed.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Unity Quilt Block

The internet is such a fabulous communication tool. Last Thursday I learned that there was a group in Israel asking Jews the world over to send a quilt block so that quilts can be made for the families of the three Israeli boys that were kidnapped and subsequently murdered a few weeks ago. I knew I had to make one.
The block needed to be 10" and predominantly blue and white. This was the first block that I made. (It looks quite yellow due to the lighting, or lack thereof. )I thought about how the many diverse pieces of fabric represented all of the diverse people around the world who were mourning for these three young men.

Then I added a heart, thinking about all of the hearts that were breaking for these three families.
At this point I thought the appliqué did nothing to enhance the block and vice versa. The background was just too busy. Contrast continues to be an issue for me.
So I decided to create another background that had a simpler pattern.
And then added three hearts with high contrast, to represent the three young men.

I sent it off to Israel via US Mail and it will arrive in 7-10 days.
I certainly hope these quilts give some comfort to these families. They will feel the love from around the world.

If you would like to participate, here's the blog address:
The deadline is August 15th.  If mailing from the U.S., it takes 7-10 days to get to Israel.

Posted with BlogsyPosted with Blogsy

Monday, July 28, 2014

It's A a Happy Birthday

I usually have trouble buying gifts. I change my mind a million times trying to come up with the perfect gift that the receiver will love. I make myself crazy. It's just not intuitive for me. EXCEPT, for my DIL. She has so many interests and is so passionate about many of them. She is Martha Stewart mixed with Carter Oosterhouse (from HGTV) mixed with Bear Grylls!

She built this table and benches using discarded wood from a store.

I found this very funny tote bag on a weekend trip to NYC from this wonderful store called West Elm. I couldn't resist.

And I just loved those Wecks canning jars. She made apple butter and a bunch of other canned items last year.

And then to appeal to her handy woman side, I found a great tool apron. A little embroidery made it special for her. Can you see the Shop Fox label?

I had to do a bit of a repair job myself. I sewed over the belt on the back side when I was doing the embroidery. Oops! I hope she doesn't notice.

Happy Birthday Loren!