Friday, September 28, 2018

Today is MY Day!!!

Today is my day on the Tie One On Blog Hop!

My super-talented friend, Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios, designed a wonderful line of batik fabrics for Banyan Batiks/Northcott, inspired by vintage men's ties.  Watch an interview I did with him about his Tie One On line HERE.

If I had to describe this fabric line in one word, I'd choose "wearable."  They are so wearable that I decided to make an infinity scarf using these fabrics and my Scarves to Share Cutie Pattern.

I love that red print so much that I used it twice in this scarf.

The weather is turning to fall here in upstate New York, and that means boots and sweaters and scarves.  I have my first new scarf of the season ready to wear!

And wear it I did!

Cutie Patterns are written to have very little waste.  I took what little fabric was left from my scarf and sewed the pieces together:

Then I grabbed my Postcard Cutting Tool, stabilizer, and white fabric for the back of the postcard:

 I fused the layers together and trimmed with my Postcard Trimming Tool:

I zig-zagged around the edges and put them in a cellophane envelope for mailing:

Now these lovely men's wear fabric postcards will spread a little message of love through the mail.

Speaking of men's wear, this is my favorite men's wear look:

I'd love to see that look come back!

Did you know that every stop on the blog tour is giving away a bundle of Tie One On fat quarters?  

To enter to win Scott's fat quarters from my blog, please leave a comment telling me your favorite men's wear look.  Comment until October 2.  I'll pick a winner on October 3.

Visit every stop on the blog tour for more chances to win fat quarters of Tie One On!

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE for more quilty goodness delivered right to you!

Follow along with his blog hop here:

9/22 - Teri Lucas      

9/23 - Robin Long    

9/24 - Sue O'Very    

9/25 - Cheryl Arkison

9/26 - Linda Sullivan

9/27 - Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill  

9/28 - Debby Brown

9/29 - Blair Stocker 

9/30 - Kim Niedzwiecki

Friday, September 21, 2018

Tie One On! with Blue Nickel Studio

Tomorrow is the beginning of the Tie One On! blog hop celebrating Scott Hansen's new fabric line.

I am hard at work making something just for me using this amazingly wearable fabric and will show it to you next week.

While you wait, eavesdrop on the conversation that Scott and I had at Quilt Market in Portland back in May:

Follow along with his blog hop here:

9/22 - Teri Lucas      
9/23 - Robin Long    
9/24 - Sue O'Very    
9/25 - Cheryl Arkison
9/26 - Linda Sullivan
9/27 - Sheri Cifaldi-Morril  
9/28 - Debby Brown
9/29 - Blair Stocker 
9/30 - Kim Niedzwieki

Friday, September 14, 2018

What Mistake?

Last night I was machine quilting into the wee hours of the morning due to the bag of IV steroids I received as part of my infusion treatment earlier in the week:

If you haven't ever had the pleasure of IV steroids, you are missing out.  My mind and heart are racing, my stomach is churning, and sleep is but a memory.  It will wear off soon, but not yet.  So I quilted.

I machine quilted a scrappy Sweet Tooth Cutie Quilt and was tickled when I was finished


Did I actually stitch a fold of the backing into the quilt?  Why yes.  Yes, I did.


I started to plan how best to pick out the stitching when I realized that this was the perfect location for a label!

I grabbed a square of scrap fabric and pressed it into a triangle:

I placed it over the "Oops I folded over the backing" corner of the quilt:

I stitched the label in place:

Then I bound the quilt from the back like I normally do:

 I turned and clipped the binding to the front:

I stitched the binding in place from the front with a thin, neutral bobbin thread so the stitching didn't show up loudly on the back of the quilt:

I hand stitched the folded edge of the triangle in place:

Mistake?  What mistake?  I don't see a mistake on the back of my quilt!

Phew.  I hate making labels but this was so much easier than unquilting/requilting the entire corner of my quilt.

Problem solved.

I could have had another problem while quilting this quilt, but it's one I can typically avoid.


I nearly finished a cone of FabuLux Cuddle on the front of the quilt and I actually did finish a cone of DecoBob 113 in the bobbin.  That is my favorite bobbin color because it blends in so well with most backings and matches most threads/quilt tops.

Extra thread is a good thing.

Now I need the weather to clear so I can get a good photo of this "No, I never made a mistake!" quilt!

Do you have other hints on how to avoid or cover quilting mistakes?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Recovery Week = Quilting

I'm home this week recovering from medical treatments.  These medical treatments make me laugh because they put my body through strange twists.  I am simultaneously:
  • cold but sweaty
  • tired but WIDE AWAKE (thanks, steroids)
  • hungry but nauseous
To get through the craziness, I'm quilting.

While I wasn't sleeping last night, I pieced this quilt:

I will get a better photo once it is quilted.

This quilt is a combination of a Dream Big panel, an inner border, and the blocks from my Go With The Flow Cutie Pattern.  I have kits for this quilt available HERE.

To keep my brain from running away with me, I'm spending a lot of time machine quilting while listening to audiobooks.  I already finished listening to Zero Day by David Balducci and am now listening to Imperium by Robert Harris.  Both books are entertaining in their own right, but the narration on Zero Day was somewhat annoying and on Imperium is FANTASTIC!

Currently, I'm quilting one of my Sweet Tooth Cutie Quilt samples:

I'm playing around with repeated echoes in quilting and will be teaching this technique at Quilt Basket in Wappingers Falls, NY on Saturday.  

So, 24 hours after my infusion, that's what I'm up to.

What do you do when you are recovering from illness or medical treatment?  Do you have any secret weapons to help pass the time until your body normalizes again?

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Meet Kari Carr and See Her Lovely Fabric

At Quilt Market in Portland, OR this spring, I had the pleasure of talking to Kari Carr about her new Hoffman Fabric line, With a Twist.

It just arrived in my shop and I stitched it into a Share and Share Alike Cutie Quilt

The kit for this 44"x44" quilt is available HERE and ready to ship out on Monday, September 10, 2018.  The kit includes  binding, backing, pattern, and FREE SHIPPING within the United States.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Weekend Wrap Up

In the United States, we celebrated Labor Day with a three-day weekend and mine was grand.

On Friday, I was browsing downloadable audiobooks from my library and found The Midnight Line by Lee Child.  Listening to Jack Reacher novels whilst quilting is one of my greatest joys and I was shocked to discover that I had never read the latest book.  I'm proud to announce that I listened to the entire book while quilting this weekend and all is once again right with the world, except...

In this book, Jack Reacher is described as "Big Foot" and "The Hulk" since he's such a large man.  That makes Tom Cruise the obvious casting choice for the Jack Reacher movies (she said sarcastically).  Say it with me now:  "Tom Cruise Is Not Jack Reacher!!!!"

OK, now that we have that clear, let's talk quilts.

I finished a postage stamp quilt top from my 1 1/2" strip scrap basket that I've been working on for the last few weeks:

I cut into some new and yummy fabrics that I'll talk more about in this afternoon's Facebook Live (Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 pm NY time):

I pieced yet another Sweet Tooth Cutie Quilt from the contents of my 1 1/2" strip scrap basket:

Will I ever see the bottom of that 1 1/2" strip scrap basket?  I've made about 10 quilts from it so far, and it seems as full as ever!

I quilted so much that I had to start listening to another book, Hell Bent by Greg Hurwitz.  The Orphan X series featuring Evan Smoak is only three books long, but it is on my "read as soon as it is published" list now.

I also took a walk with a friend, chopped some firewood, and am now getting ready to teach at WV Quilts this weekend.

Labor Day is the unofficial end of the summer here in the States, so I hope you ended your summer well.  The weather doesn't feel like autumn yet, but it feels like a new season is starting.  I have some wonderful quilty surprises for you this season and can't wait to share them with you!

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Let Me Explain

When I was working in the yard yesterday, I slipped off my work gloves and distractedly did a bit of work in the brush without them.  I got some minor scratches, splinters, and nicks on my fingers.  One of my medications leaves me prone to skin infections and I did, in fact, wake up with minor skin infections on various parts of my hands.  They'll be fine by tomorrow, but I declared today as a day of rest from yard work.

I rested horizontally on the sofa, as one does, while looking at my bandaged hands.

I started thinking about the movie, The Graduate:

and my Two Words are "Work.  Gloves."

Suddenly I left the land of The Graduate and was in the Land of Make Believe

But for some reason, Mr. Rogers' eyebrows were made of electrical tape.  I had spent time with him earlier when he and I saved the world by together controlling the robots who fought off the alien invasion:

Fred and I (he asked me to call him Fred) shook some hands, signed some autographs, and took our victory lap.  Then I recorded a radio commercial for him.

I realized that Fred was the original Yoda:

As I was parsing the "It's you I like" Yoda-esque sentence, I was suddenly punched in the eye.

Apparently, while my brain was in the Land of Make Believe, my body relaxed the muscles holding my hand in the air for me to inspect my bandages.  My hand dropped and I punched my own self in the left eye.

If you see me and notice that I have a black eye, blame Mr. Rogers.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Light Labors on Labor Day Weekend

I am home for all three days of this Labor Day Weekend and I'm planning hundreds of hours of activities to fit into these three short days.

First, quilting.  I downloaded The Midnight Line audiobook from my library because Tom Cruise Is Not Jack Reacher!  I plan to listen to this book in the next three days and quilt for the duration.

For quilting, I am playing with some botanical fabrics that want to become a Cutie Quilt. What color would you use as a background for these fabrics?

I was thinking black, but I think the purples are too dark for a black background.  Yellow?  Olive?  I'm starting my weekend stumped.

Speaking of stumps, I'm sure I'll work on my woodpile.  A string of tornadoes swept through our area in May and we lost a bunch of trees.  Many more were weakened and we've lost even more since.  In July, one was leaning on our house and we brought in tree guys to safely bring it down.  We were left with a lot (TONS!) of wood to process.

Jokingly, I told my husband I wanted to learn to chop wood.  The first time I tried I could barely lift the maul!  I'm stubborn, though, and swung that hammer and maul a few more times each day.  I can lift it and swing it now, but the wood is too big for me to split that way.  It's also too large for a wood splitter, so I'm splitting it with a hammer and wedge.

This is incredible exercise and I'm enjoying becoming stronger while accomplishing a worthwhile task.  I'll enjoy it even more in the winter of 2019/2020 when we burn all of this wood in our woodstove!

I also plan to cut some up some large fallen branches (4"-8" diameter) into burning lengths using my new hand chain saw.  I'm afraid to use a powered chain saw and I don't think my hands are strong enough to clutch a saw (you don't want to know how many times I throw the maul and hammer whilst swinging them -- stand clear when I'm working!) so and hand chain saw is perfect for me.  I cut a branch yesterday for the first time and I could give an anatomy lesson today about what muscles are required to use this!  If you are on my holiday gift-giving list, you might get one of these in your stocking.  They are so fun!

Are you quilting this weekend?  Working outside?  Seeing friends and family?  I'm doing all three and hope your weekend is as wonderful as mine promises to be!