Sunday, September 27, 2009

What My Stash Currently Looks Like!

I had posted this earlier but since I have responded to a post on Patchwork Times by Judy, I am posting it again. My closet still looks like these pictures, mainly because I am finishing up some quilts and haven't been up there in a "fabric hunt"; also because the fabrics I am going to use for the next quilts I am planning are already in my sewing room/studio. My goal is to keep this closet like this and work on my sewing space. It is so much easier to know what you have and it makes me feel good to open a door to the closet and find organization. Whenever I am a bit overwhelmed with the rest of my house (and life), I go upstairs and just stand in front of this closet and feel instantly more in control :-)!


Good Morning!

I have been lax in posting, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about you. I just haven't had a lot to post about.

I have been busy finishing up quilting a couple of quilts---this time using panto's. They are looking really pretty good---I see some rather crooked lines but I guess that is what makes them "hand guided" and not machine guided. Anyway---as soon as I finish I will post the pictures.

At Guild meeting, the quilt honoring our Guild member, Dorothy was shown to the group. It is really a nice quilt and I was honored to get an opportunity to quilt it. I used micro-stippling around the hearts---they turned out nice.

Each of the Guild members made a heart in purple (purple is our Guild color---the name is Iris Guild) and wrote their name and a little note if they wanted). Dorothy's daughter is a member of our Guild although she lives in LA and belongs to a Guild their. She submitted a heart as well, along with a member from her LA guild. Although Dorothy did not get a chance to enjoy the quilt, the membership decided to present the quilt to her husband. He is also having some health challenges and hopefully will find the quilt some comfort to him.

Well, I have to go and clean---I seem to always be saying that but never getting it done :-( I worked yesterday (12 hours) and I am worn out...but my nephew and his wife are coming to visit next week. I know they would not want me to do anything special, but at the same time I don't want them leaving thinking, "what has happened to Aunt Patricia? Do we need to take her for an evaluation or submit her name for the next episode of "how to clean your house".

Take care and have a wonderful day!

xoxo Hugs!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

OMG---Finally finished!

I fought with this thread (Bottom Line) and machine all week-end. Nothing I did seem to work---I changed needles, rethreaded and then rethreaded some more; increased and then decreased tension; sewed slowly and then faster......finally, I went back to my serger thread and it actually hummed with satisfaction. Not one more broken thread, not one more skipped stitch, the front AND back was perfect. Even though I changed thread, because they were both good grey matches, you really can't tell the difference. I am NOT going to waste my money on expensive threads anymore!!!! The ones I have I will use in my DSM for piecing and I am just going to be one of those quilters who commit the ultimate quilting "no no", quilt with serger thread. My girl is unpretentious and doesn't like all that fancy stuff :-) she is like her owner, "down to earth". I am going to square this baby up and then post a picture tomorrow. In cutting loose threads I saw some over-stitching on the back, but you know what, my label will just have to be in the center of the quilt. I DO NOT feel like taking anything out again.

I have two more quilts to put on the frame---with the thread Harriet likes!

xoxo Hugs!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just Stopped By to Say Hey!

Just wanted to "drop" in---nothing really new going on.

I've been quilting today and as usual "Harriett" became contrary. I decided to use a panto---I am really good at meandering, but really like the look of panto's. I don't understand how I can be going along really great and just stop the machine to go to the potty. I come back, make sure all the threading is okay and start and whammo---eyelashes on the back! I had to take out two rolls---thank goodness because it was eyelashes, it came out easily. I just don't know why this machine is so darn "sensitive"----AND before you say anything, I wasn't using serger thread---I was using the "good stuff". That is probably the problem, had I used my serger thread I wouldn't have had a problem. I have just sewed so much, I really don't want to take it out so I will push on. I'm telling you though, I am going to use serger thread on the next quilt and if I don't have a problem, I will NEVER, EVER use any other thread---no matter what---unless someone GIVES me a bunch of thread---I sure will not buy anymore.

Well, I'm tired from taking out rolls---do you know how difficult that is and then the problem you have with realigning the panto....and it isn't even a gift quilt.

xoxo Weak and tired HUGS!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Soap Box---A lengthy Post!

I love blogging and reading others. I often get great information and because I don't "get out much", my bloggers have become my community....never mind I haven't really "met" any one of you (other than Diane or Trish), you are important to me and I am always happy when I get comments. At any rate, I purposely keep my blog entry's kinda neutral--not even posting my picture. Even though I sometimes share personal things, I don't often, one reason is I don't want to get into in-depth conversations---I want to keep it light.

I believe that as long as your thoughts and behaviors don't hurt others, it is okay with me. Once I find out you are unkind, a bigot, insensitive or disrespectful, that is all "she's wrote" for sometimes, I'd rather not know your personal viewpoints.

Now that is what brings me to my "soap box". As you know, quilters are often some of the kindest people I know. They are often so giving and willing to share their expertise or knowledge with you if it helps you make better quilts. There is the occasional "exception to the rule"---you know the type person, but generally quilters are great people.

Having said that, we are also very "opinionated"----just ask the "to pre-wash or not" question. Now me, I try to do the very best I can and I am always open to new ideas. Once I hear them, I dissect them for their relevance in "my" quilting adventure. If it makes sense to me and is relevant to my type of quilting, I will often at least try it once, but if it doesn't work, I move on. Now if you want to keep doing it (whatever it is), that is really okay with me---again, if it doesn't negatively impact me, it really is not my business.

There is a "thread" on one of the on-line groups I belong to concerning using serger thread or thread specifically for longarms. Me, I use serger thread! I have done my own little "unscientific" test, and really I don't see the difference. In fact the thread that came with my Premier looks the most inferior as compared to "serger" specific thread. Although it was love at first site with my Premier, I gotta tell you, the honeymoon period was over rather quickly. I had (have) a lot of problem with tension, but since I started using serger thread, those problems have been less frequent. I still have some LA quilting thread, and I will use it, but since there isn't a LA supply source here, it is more convenient to use what I have ready access to.

One reason a person gave for not using serger thread is it is so inexpensive compared to the traditional LA thread, therefore it is inferior. It has been my experience that cheaper sometimes does mean inferior, but not always. Sometimes companies will add a hefty price to a speciality item, not because it is of better quality, or even because it is different, but just because it has a speciality tag. Often the serger thread is made by the same company and when you look closely, looks the same. LA quilting thread can be as expensive as almost $20, while I can buy a spool of serger thread for about $4-$6. To me, since it works well for me, there really isn't a choice here. But if you choose to buy the more expensive thread I am not going to look at you any differently. What I think is interesting is there is lots of good things said about "Bottom Line" thread---this was originally thread that was to be used in the bobbin! LA quilters are also using embroidery and silk thread now. What if someone had said (as I was told) that the only kind of thread you should use is 100% cotton? These beautifully quilted quilts wouldn't have been around for us to admire.

Now, I think if your machine doesn't like serger thread, or if you are doing a really special quilt or even quilting professionally, it makes sense for you to use the speciality threads, but just because I choose to not do so on quilts I will use, or even gift, doesn't make me a less than quality quilter. I believe in making your decision, you should get as much information as possible to make an informed decision and then go with what is best for you. At this point, the only thread I will not use in my LA is the thread used specifically for hand quilting. It has a type of wax on it to keep it from tangling that could cause problems in the tension guides.


No I don't pre-wash fabric before I make my quilts. I don't because I am first lazy---and I don't really like ironing. I will really wash my hand dyes and if I am using a red or purple batik, I will "sometimes" wash them before I use them. What I usually do is throw a couple of color grabber sheets in the wash when I wash the quilt and so far, I haven't had an "accident". I also don't prewash since I like to use really crisp fabric. It doesn't make sense to me to wash out all the sizing and then spend a fortune on starch or sizing and ruin my iron, putting it back.

I buy my fabric where ever I can find fabric that I think is of good quality and is a affordable costs. I have made beautiful quilts from fabric I bought at a chain fabric store AND even wal-mart. I have gotten some horrible quality fabric from LQS that when I washed the quilt, looked horrible and the Wal-mart fabric held up great! I also see how much people pay for "FEEDSACK" fabric and beautiful quilts made from "vintage" linens (often with poly) and old clothes (quilting green). Why then is there is "snobbery" with using Walmart or Joanne or Hobby Lobby or Hancock fabric.

I also press my seams open; use steam; and only do machine applique :-)

I don't know, I just felt compelled to get up on this box. I have now stepped down! Hope I haven't offended anyone---I feel so fortunate that so many of you choose to come and "see" me regularly, whether you leave comments or not. Just know that if you should see a quilt I have made, and you are so inclined to remark on how lovely it is, it may have been quilted with serger thread :-)

xoxo Hugs!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What's Been Going On?

I've been pretty busy (as usual) working and trying to get a bit of quilting in. The only thing I haven't been doing is cleaning! I really need to do that. My house isn't as bad as it could be, but it certainly isn't as clean as I normally keep it. It is just at the end of the day I am really tired, or when I have the energy, I'd rather be quilting. It is funny--when I had 5 little kids running around, my house of literally spotless! I use to clean at night while they were sleeping. My husband use to tease me---he got off work at 11:00 at night and he said he could smell the pine sol around the corner. Not so now---maybe I cleaned so much then, I used up all my cleaning hours :-)

This is a picture of the quilt top I have been working on. I just need to add the borders and it will be done. It was a BOM at the LQS and Diane and I purchased finishing kits. I finished the other one with 30's fabrics, this one is the same blocks as that one, but in CW's. It is a much bigger quilt---about queen size while the other one is more a full size quilt. I really like both of them.

After I finish this one I will then quilt them both. I have three quilts that need to be quilted. My goal is do finish as many quilts as I can this year and not buy any fabric unless I absolutely need it to finish a quilt. I am going to try to save all my shopping for the Puducah show in April.

I started another quilt (as a gift) that required over 100 5 inch squares and almost 300 2.5 inch squares. I purchased the 5 inch template for the GO! Cutter (I already had the 2.5 inch one). I was able to cut the squares in no time!!! All the same size---it would have taken me forever had I been doing it by hand----in fact, I probably wouldn't have even made it if I had to cut them out myself!

I have work to do and some cleaning to get in! Take care! and thanks for stopping by~

xoxo Hugs!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I've been one busy person these days. Work (of course) and then taking care of my sick son. He has flu, not N1H1 but enough to make him feel really bad. Hopefully no one else will get it---he is wearing a mask whenever he comes out of his room. He is feeling better today so I think the worst is over.

As you know from an earlier post, a guild member died. We were in the process of making her a quilt. We are finishing the quilt and will give it to her husband who is also having some serious health problems. I volunteered to quilt it and so I have been working diligently to get it completed. I finished it today, so I will put on the binding. It will be ready for our next meeting on the third Monday. I'll take a picture and post it then,.

I also took a little time and went to an antique quilt show in a town not too far from here. They had some very old quilts there, some very well preserved. It's strange, but my favorites were the "utility" quilts which of course were the ones in poor repair. I took several pictures and will post them later.

Well, just wanted to check in. I will put the binding on the guild quilt tomorrow and then get back to my own quilts. Have a great evening! Hugs!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Where Is that Fabric?

I work up this morning with a horrible headache---I got up, opened some windows and made coffee and it got better (take something for it---NEVER--remember I am a nurse--smile).

Anyway, it got better, didn't really go away, but was a dull ache now instead of a bass drum in my head. As we all do, I started playing with quilting ideas. I am in the "Nine-Patch A-Day" group, but really wanted to do something different with my blocks, so I started playing around with EQ6. I came up with a acceptable quilt (I am sure someone has already done it)--and then started thinking about fabric. This led to a search for this one piece of fabric that I thought would be great for a border. Couldn't find it anywhere---I find it amazing that often no matter how much fabric we have, we ususually know those pieces that we especially liked, no matter how long ago we bought it.

My search led me upstairs to what is now my husband's office, but what was once my quilting studio (before I took over the dinning room). My quilting stuff is still stored up there, and one closet is dedicated to fabric. In trying to find the fabric, this is what I did----

So I then had to clean it up---

Even with every single piece of fabric on the floor and rearranged, I couldn't find the piece I was looking for in the first place.

Guess where it was----in my quilting room downstairs!

Oh well, I did succeed in straightening up that closet. Now mind you, I have fabric also in my quilting room, in one of the closets in a bedroom, and in the linen closet upstairs---but those areas aren't in a mess, and don't hold as much fabric as this closet does. In the process I ended up with a bag of scraps, some batting scraps and a belt I had been searching for for over a year (it doesn't even fit anymore---smile!)

I am now hot and sweaty, my headache is much better, and I have accomplished something great---so I CAN quilt the remainder of the day! I know there are oddles of discussions about the state of fabric closets, but just seeing the "before" and "after" pictures "makes my day"!


Friday, September 4, 2009

A Productive Day!

I worked at home this morning and got a lot accomplished. I always seem to do a lot better at home when I have to do "computer" work. When I am in my office there is always so many interruptions. I am so glad I am able to work in an environment that helps me to be productive.

Anyway, once I finished, I "allowed" myself a fast trip to Joanne's. I went with the intention of only getting batting (warm and natural, queen size for 9.99). I was really good! I bought 6 packs---3 of warm and natural and 3 of the warm/bright---a poly); I also got some minkie (on sale for $3.00 a yard) to back a couple of baby blankets and a tool I needed to cut some stencils. All in all a good day! I am really trying hard to not buy any new fabric unless I absolutely need it---I am not stashbushing per se, but being a little more selective. I have some great fabrics in my stash and it makes no sense to buy more unless I really want or "need" it. I have accumulated quite a lot of hand dyes as well, so this winter I will spend making some of those into quilts.

I worked on a finishing my other BOM. The picture looks like I have a lot of wrinkles in it---the flash captures everything, but it really doesn't look that wrinkled (stretched out) in person. I have a tendency to have a heavy hand and iron rather than press---but those places will "quilt out".

This is of my "art" quilt. The large blank space will hold a tree. I can't decide whether to discharge it in or applique it on. I also think I might add another color. Can't decide---so for now it is on my design wall and I look at it as I sew. It is speaking to me "slowly". I am also toying with hand quilting it---it is pretty small, but again, I am just "thinking" about it.

Tomorrow I will clean a bit and then sew some more. I am still removing the quilting in the quilt I messed up. I see lots of beautiful freehand, but for me, I think I will stick to the meandering and the panto's. No freehand for me unless it is a little quilt. Have a great week-end!


Thursday, September 3, 2009


I can't believe that the week is almost gone! Wow--time does pass. I've been busy working on some of my UFO's--
1. I finished up all the blocks to the Bonnie Hunter mystery in Quiltmaker magazine. I am waiting for the next issue to put it together.
2. I worked started on the next BOM finishing kit--This one is civil war's and although it isn't really my favorite--I really like these fabrics.
3. I shopped my stash for fabrics for my Guild mystery. I am proud because I will not have to buy one fabric! not even backing!
4. I also worked on another UFO--Butler and Miller fabrics. Really bright and modern!

As soon as I get one in a position for pictures---I'll take some.

Well, just wanted to stop by and say hey!