Monthly Archives: August 2016

Ties That Bind


Sometimes there is a common interest that helps keep a group of old friends tied together.  When it comes to the special friends that I spent the weekend with, it goes well beyond that. Our beginning many years ago was when we all worked together. At the lunch table we had shared our lives, the everyday frustrations, joys and sorrows. We would laugh uncontrollably until we shed tears. Over time, my three compadres retired and moved on to another phase of their lives. Of course we remain in touch and infrequently gather together for the occasional meal or weekend together. When we have this opportunity, we start with a toast to old friends…


a countertop filled with goodies…


a bit of shopping…



and for me a special purchase…

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From the moment I saw and touched this quilt, it spoke to me. Lots of wonderful 1930’s scraps and perhaps some plaid shirts were hand stitched into this scrappy goodness. There is a bit of wear that I am hoping to mend in a way that doesn’t take away from the worn and well loved feel of the quilt. Imperfect stitches and random placement of scraps hold great appeal to me. I want to know the story… who lovingly stitched this in their spare moments? Who curled up under this at night?

After our shopping venture we came back together around the table. My new/old quilt purchase covered the table top. We all looked at it.. the stitches, the wear, the placement of the colors. We wondered about it’s creator(s)? Just maybe a group of friends gathered together to quilt, share their everyday, and stitch together great memories? Perhaps.

Our weekend drew to a close, and again we had shared our lives with talk of our families and friends, current events, and memories from our past. Sometimes each of us might be a bit frayed and worn when we come together. Conversation and laughter, mint chocolate chip ice cream (that would have made The Golden Girls scurry to the table), proved to be a mending for the soul.


Thanks Carolyn and Pam, and Doris (who might just be a Luddite!)

You ladies are a stitch!



Where’d the Quiltin’ Mojo Go?


I am sure it is around somewhere! Just haven’t been able to really put my finger on it for most of the summer! My sewing room appears as though I have been busy… Piles of fabrics with a slight resemblance of order. Some quilting, and some garment.

There are projects. Many. Many started projects. How is it that sometimes I forget that I have all of that going on, and then start a new one? Some projects are better than 90% as far as the piecing of the quilt top. I pretty much like the ones that I have started. But I can easily think of 4 projects that are at this same point. A couple of them just require simple assembly. A couple of others require a little more effort…. like adding a special border or piecing in some triangles that require a “Y Seam”.  A “Y Seam” is nothing new here to me – (See the tutorial  under that tab) I  just need to take the time and do it!

In the works still:

The 60’s Quilt,

The strip quilt (using the 120 degree ruler)

A Christmas Quilt

A Kaleidoscope Quilt

And a One Block Wonder

(and more parts here and there as well)



Out of Control! This girl needs to have some finishes happen! I don’t really need to create any bed quilts at this time for any specific purpose, so need to start making some finishing magic happen. Perhaps just listing a few here will make me more accountable.

In another state… my niece Diana, seems to have caught a bit of a quilting bug! She just finished piecing her first quilt – a Jelly Roll Strip Quilt. As of yesterday, she had been eyeing a Disappearing Nine Patch! This aunt couldn’t be more pleased! Another one sucked in!

Here’s hoping I can dive back in soon!


Quilted Photos


I have long been fascinated with photo quilting.  Years ago I found a book at a quilt show I was at.  The author, Tammy Bowser, was at the show and she had her quilts displayed.  I was hooked, and bought her first book.wp-1470696115629.jpg

I went through my fabric and found enough scraps to put together a small wall hanging.  Then I went through my photos and found a picture of my father that had some shadowing that would work well for this project.  This is his high school graduation picture taken in 1948.

The software that came the book helped to create the road map for the wall hanging I was about to create.  All digital pictures are created with many many pixels.  The software turns a picture that you scan in into a chart that assigns a color value to each pixel.  The suggested number for values for this technique in this book was 24 to get good results.  It works best to use a picture that has some shadowing and the picture I chose seems to fit the bill pretty well.  I scanned the picture and created my chart.  The fabric I chose was different values of tans to dark brown.  I cut the fabric into 1 inch squares.  The chart that was created let me know how many of each value I would need.  I then ironed them down onto gridded fusible interfacing.  It was easy to then sew the seams with no shifting and viola, I had a picture of my dad. When you view it up close it just looks like a mess of squares,  but when you step back a ways the picture comes into view.

You can check out her web site at www.quiltedphotocom  I think I am going to order her newest book and see where it takes me!



Summer Doings and Goings on…


Much like my quilting.. where I just kind of go with the mood of the day, and what I will work on… my time with my Grandson is never really a planned out thing. We go with the flow and see where the time takes us. Last week, I had a serger on the table that was being worked on. While eating his lunch, he spent a lot of time observing all the various moving parts. It was an opportunity to go over the names of parts, and see what happened when you moved a lever or a knob.

From there we pulled out a Singer Sew Handy 20, that was on display in my sewing room. I went over the importance of keeping a machine cleaned and in good shape. He went about doing some cleaning, a drop of oil by the hook in the bottom, and assisted with his little hands to try to change a needle. These were marketed as children’s toys! Not so child friendly for changing needles.


We did manage to get it going and it did a very nice chain stitch… I decided that I needed to tweak things… and then it became very loopy and kept getting tangled. I will have some fine tuning to do!


It was great fun to work together on this project! For him it was all about the mechanics of the machine, and not the sewing. Perhaps he will be my go to repair guy some day?!


No finishes!!! But more starts!


Isn’t that the story for a lot of us? We bring new fabrics in that sometimes taunt us to use them. Or we see inspiration somewhere and feel the need to go with it. I can honestly say that I have fallen further and further into having way too many UFO’s. More than I am currently comfortable having anyway!

The summer has been pretty busy, and little bits of time for sewing are all that I have been able to manage. Instead of focusing my energies on “one” project, my attention span is tiny, and any Bright Shiny Object that comes across my path, distracts me! So, I have started a Block of the Month, and just yesterday started a square table center. I will be sewing away from home on Saturday, and it will be easier to have a project where I just have piecing to do rather than doing finishing. Really, it all makes sense to me!

A few months ago, the kitchen and dining room got a fresh coat of paint. I want to put a table center on the table that coordinates. The room is painted a light gray on a couple of walls and then a teal (with gray tones) on the others. It is subtle and soothing. So, for this project, the fabrics that I have that will work the best are some Japanese Taupes and some muted Chambray fabrics. I used the book that came with my Accuquilt Go to find a block I liked and determined my fabric choices from there. I used my 9″ Block die set and used the correct square and triangle dies for cutting. It really comes in handy for this type of project. Here is the one block sample I made:


After that was kitted up, I moved on to Block Number 2 of 6 in the BOM’s from the online Quilt Guild I signed up for. My points.. not so good! Next time, I need to make something like this, I think I will use the templates from Studio 180 to make my Flying Geese. They will be far more accurate! Yes, I could and maybe will make this over.. maybe..


I guess this block just reflects where I am at in my life right now.. things are chaotic, and not so on point! I guess that reflects the whole idea of our quilts telling a story!

Til next time!