Saturday, January 31, 2015

Just brambling along...

What day is today? I lose track. Today I had to think about what we watched on tv last night to figure it out. When you are retired there are just a bunch of Saturdays and a Sunday - I love it! I've been working on the projects I told you about last week, and have made great progress. Here's where we stand.

Last week, a reader asked for pictures of my saddle stool. Here ya go. I ordered it online from My feet and legs don't like to stand for extended periods, so without this wonderful stool, I'm limited in the amount of time I can stand at the longarm. On either side of the machine, I can sit comfortably for as long as I need to. I love my saddle chair.

Also, last week I showed you a sample block I’m using for the guild’s February Quilt of the month. Yesterday, I finished all 40 blocks for the quilt. They came together more quickly than I thought they would - at least after the first few blocks. It took a few to figured out the things that would make construction easier for me. My blog production assistant (my beloved DH) helped take pictures of the construction process. They will be included in the pattern, yet to be written and published. You can see the construction pictures by clicking Free Wheelin’ Block Construction.

The brambles in the studio last week are all under control. I'm sure my customer's brother-in-law, Allan, will be very happy with his handsome quilt! All that remains is for my customer to put the binding on. Here's how it turned out:

I can hardly wait to see what happens this week!
Now, let's get to quilting!

Friday, January 23, 2015

There are brambles in my studio!

Well, not real brambles. But, a new Bramble panotgraph.  A customer has made a lovely quilt for her brother. Guys. They are a tough bunch to quilt for. Of course, they don't want anything girly, and on top of that his visual is a quilt in a cabin. Of course my brain went to cabin in the woods, which led to underbrush and sticker bushes. In desperation I emailed Urban Elementz (online source of pantos) what she had available that might work. The first one on the list was Bramble! Perfect! So today I had the opportunity to set up a practice sandwich on Miss Margie and practice making brambles:

There I am on my beloved saddle stool. I can quilt for hours at a time without fatigue! My feet are very grateful to the company that makes it. I got mine from

This week has also seen a lot of gnashing of teeth trying to figure out how to make a crazy 3-D bow tie block for the guild's February Quilt of the Month. Ignore the fabric - scraps, you know. Usually the block is made with 5 charm squares - 2 background squares, 2 bow tie squares and a square for the center of the bow tie.  Of course, I had to put my own twist on it and made 4, half-square triangle blocks to use instead of just the charm squares. Once I figured out how to put the thing together so that the resulting pinwheel went in the right direction, all was well. Now I'm waiting for fabric from to get here so I can get started.

If you are not getting their Daily Deal email, ..., well, just sign up for it! You might just find a cute charm pack for $2.22, or a $40 layer cake for $27!

Now, lets get to quilting!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Who made this mess in the studio? (and more)

I must confess - I did! Ok, it’s really not so bad, but what you can’t see is all of the batting fuzz, thread bits, pins, and other such “droppings” all over the floor. And I can’t find anything. I have 5 roll-up measuring tapes. Yesterday I needed one and couldn’t find any of them! That means a couple of them are buried somewhere and no telling where I put the others.

There is no quilter’s law regarding the organization or neatness of a sewing room. Whatever floats your boat, works. I like to de-clutter before I start a new project - mostly to find lost things, and put stuff back where I usually look for it. Let the desire to increase the joy of quilting show you where (or if) you might need to organize things. Start with what frustrates you most. Just make that one thing better. The next organization project will present itself at the right time.

January Quilt of the Month

I managed to finish Shadow Me This in the nick of time to present it to the guild on Thursday this week. Whew! I'm sorry that you can't see the colors in the thread very well. They are perfect for this quilt. The thread is from Superior Threads, SoFine #40, #703: Great Barrier Reef. So now, it’s on to February!

Now, let's go quilting!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Cure for the Holiday Blues - Quilt!

For some reason, this year I've had to deal with what some people call "the holiday blues." I just couldn't figure out why. There was a round of the blues at both Thanksgiving and the 3 weeks around Christmas. What to do? Then big light-bulb! It's just the DH and me at holiday time so the big lesson was "honey, you need family!" So, what did I do? So, I fought the temptation to hide and mope, and went to the guild's weekly Sit & Sew!! That was yesterday.

We started at 10am and I stayed until 3pm - with a short break for lunch. I had thought I would get all the blocks for the Shadow Me This quilt finished (see Jan 1 post), and be able to get home  no later than 1pm. But it took me all day. There was just too much fun going on!

There are 3 things that quilters most love to do at their sit & sew gatherings: help each other, eat, and laugh. Never mind if they really accomplish anything for themselves.  It's really all about our quilting families and our mutual love of quilting.

So, now the blocks are all done. They're pressed and ready for the design wall. It's a good thing, too. It's due in a week! And the pattern too! Yikes! Guess I should get crackin', huh?

Have a great week. Now, let's quilt!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015! - Let's quilt!

Do you take time at New Year’s to reflect on the past 12 months to see what the journey has been about? I do. My journey started out with moving into our home in NE TN (with it’s perfectly wonderful space for a quilting studio), and has been and still is about establishing a quilting life, rather than a quilting hobby.

Working on a charity quilt

  I love quilting! Come to think of it, I feel most like myself when I am working at the sewing machine, buzzing along at the longarm, or teaching a quilting class. How blessed I am to have all these things filling my days! What are those things that make you feel most like yourself? I encourage you to add them into your life as often as you can.

As for quilting ---

I’ve been working on a new quilt for the guild’s January 2015 Quilt of the Month (a.k.a. QOM) project. Every month this guild season, I find a quick and simple construction technique somewhere, design a quilt using it, and offering the information to the guild. Of course, the information comes with a challenge for the guild members to actually make the quilt before the next meeting. I’ve been surprised that so many of the members have taken the challenge!

Shadow Me This Block
The January QOM is called Shadow Me This. ½ a layer cake makes a lap quilt, 1 layer cake makes a twin size. So easy! So dramatic in batiks and a black background. I can hardly wait to see how it turns out!