Friday, August 18, 2017

It's Summer, here is a Tour of My Gardens


I love flowers! A psychedelic wonder with fragrance so sweet.

It is important to me that my art quilts suggest a meaning to the viewer rather than simply decorate walls. Underlying much of my work is the theme of wonderment for the workings of the earth.
Roses are Red
Flowers are a significant visual influence in my daily life. I can almost feel the warm summer sun and smell the fragrance of roses from my quilt garden. This is a glorious sensation.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Seattle Summer

Watching the goslings learn to fly is very fun! They run across the water until they nose dive into the water. Then do it again!

During the second year of their lives, Canada geese find a mate. They are monogamous, and most couples stay together all of their lives. If one dies, the other may find a new mate. The female lays from 2–9 eggs with an average of five and both parents protect the nest while the eggs incubate.

The incubation period, in which the female incubates while the male remains nearby, lasts for 24–28 days after laying. As the annual summer molt also takes place during the breeding season, the adults lose their flight feathers for 20–40 days, regaining flight at about the same time as their goslings start to fly.

As soon as the goslings hatch they are immediately capable of walking, swimming and finding their own food (a diet similar to the adult geese). Parents are often seen leading their goslings in a line, usually with one adult at the front, and the other at the back. While protecting their goslings, parents often violently chase away nearby creatures, from small blackbirds to lone humans that approach, after warning them by giving off a hissing sound and will then attack with bites and slaps of the wings if the threat does not retreat or has seized a gosling.

The offspring enter the fledging stage any time from 6 to 9 weeks of age. They do not leave their parents until after the spring migration, when they return to their birthplace.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer Garden Tour

I don't garden, but I love gardens. Here is one of my favorites.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Saturday, It's Quilters Anonymous, Edmonas WA

Fast Finishes

First we learn to join pre-quilted blocks using several innovative techniques. Go home ready to make
larger machine quilted quilts without all the work of trying to get it into your machine. The Quilt-As-You-Go method allows for more detailed quilting using a standard sewing machine since you're only quilting a small section at a time. Fast finishing concludes with super-fast binding. Is binding the quilt your least favorite part?  Bindings and piping are a snap with this no-fail completely machine-stitched method.  In this class you will be making a sample to take home to keep as a ‘how to’ example for your own quilts. Binding will never be the same again!
Check with Barbara 

Here's the supply list:

3 Quilted Quilt blocks 5 x 10” (firm batting works best)
          Option: use pre-quilted fabric
Fat quarter fabric for front and back sashing strips
Fat quarter batting
Fat quarter each binding and piping fabric
Rotary cutter, mat and ruler (medium size)
Sewing machine
Walking foot (Frequently an extra item with open toe capability if possible) OR open toe embroidery foot AND ¼” foot
Seam ripper
Thread snips
Fabric scissors
Thread to match the sashing strips, backing and piping fabric
Size 75/11 quilting needles

If not provided by the guild
Extension cord
Iron and ironing surface

Optional, but nice
Chair cushion


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Always Something to Learn from Old Quilts

I just love old quilts! Send me to a show of old quilts and I'll be there forever! There is always something new to learn.

My friend Ruthann brought this family quilt to share at the recent gathering of my small group.
My flowers!

What I loved most was this edge treatment. The quilt is faced with a tiny piping.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Quilting with Big Inspiration

I usually don't work with bold prints like these. Their graphic nature just screamed at me, how could I resist? It turned out to be a fun experience! The printed shapes suggested so many ways to quilt the quilt!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

em-bel-ish - a purse

Note that the closure is a hair elastic.
I think that if you need to ask the question 'is it enough?' The answer is always NO! Here is a great example of that idea.

I made a really needs to be decorated.

4 layers of nylon net, cut 4 & 6" wide

layer one on top of the other, long stitch down the middle

pull gathers to desired length
pin ruffle on to purse

Great lining for a strap
And a bit more ribbon!

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Great Idea

I try to be neat, but sometimes I just can't get there from here. If messy thread isn't your thing either, here's a great tip. On a trip to the dollar store, I purchased a package of hair elastics. For my dollar I got 36 tangled thread solutions! What a find!

Friday, July 28, 2017

What's New in the Studio

Reliable Maven 100IS Home Steam Ironing System with Lightweight Iron
My friend JB has one, I used it the first time a couple of years ago. I have been lusting for one. I finally decided to invest! What a treat!!!

    Ultra-light, professional-quality home ironing station smoothens out wrinkles with pressurized steam
    Delivers consistent volume of high-pressure steam (3.5 bar, 50 PSI) for a crisp, clean finish
    Easy-to-clean aluminum soleplate with holes at the tip for maximum steam penetration
    Heat-resistant cork handle; 3-1/2 cup water capacity; heats up in 7 to 8 minutes
    Backed by a one-year limited warranty and a lifetime boiler tank warranty; measures 12 x 8 x 10-1/2 inches

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

It's Summer, I'm Dyeing (Fabric)

I've playing around in the dye pots again. It's lots of fun. Get a friend or two and spend the day.  Check out the Dharma Trading Company's web site for help.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Road Trip - Mt Vernon

You can tell it is summer in Seattle, lots of road trips. This time we went north to Calico Creations. Great selection, rotates her fabric so it is current all the time.....great sale section.  Very helpful staff with great ideas.  Huge selection of reasonably priced patterns as well as a lot of great store samples.  Nice and bright! Be sure to visit if you are in the area.

Calico Creations
(360) 336-3241
400 S 1st St
Mount Vernon, Washington, WA 98273

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Road Trip - Elma Variety

They sell a large variety of merchandise in a 10,000 sq. ft. building, packed with great products! Helium Balloons and Party Supplies. Toys and Gifts. Houseware and Gardening. One of the largest Craft selections in SW Washington! You have to see our selection of Fabrics to believe it! Over 6500 bolts of fabric with new selections arriving weekly. Don't forget our Beads and Notions and Yarns. In all, twenty departments and great customer service! I admit we never looked at anything but the fabric! I figured it is a very good excuse to go back!!!

Elma Variety
325 W Main St
Elma, Washington, WA 98541

(360) 482-2411

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Sewing

I need an easy project for summer. One that I could pick up with out any trouble. I decided to make a disappearing 4 patch. Of course I had to tweak it just a little.

I started with 5 1/2" squares

Sewed on light to one dark

Made the 4 patch, and cut both directions 1" from the center in four places.

By moving the parts around you get a nicely pieced block that looks hard to sew but is sew easy.
The Tweak? I decided to take all the bits and sew them together in a very random way

I love the extra scrappy look!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Metallic Threads

Metallic threads require some special handling but are frequently well worth the effort. Here are some helpful

When using Metallic threads an Embroidery 40wt. polyester or nylon bobbin thread is absolutely necessary. Run your fingers along the thread, it will feel like fish scales. Every time a cotton thread catches on a scale it will break. A polyester bobbin thread is very smooth and will not get caught. Please use a Metallic needle. I recommend a size 90/14 to start. As you get better try a 80/12  or 70/11neelle.

For Flat film polyester thread use a nylon or polyester bobbin thread. The smooth finish of this thread helps the thread glide easily. Use a Metallic or a top stitch needle size 90/14. The large eye helps prevent shredding. This thread MUST feed from the side of the spool. Think about a spool of ribbon, is pulled from the top it will twist. So will this thread and every twist is a potential breaking point.

Don’t be afraid of the tension knob, but it’s actually your best friend when you are machine sewing. Be bold about experimenting with different settings. How does the stitching on the top look? On the bottom? Adjust the tension as needed.
For best results, make a test sample and remember the tension should be balanced top and bottom.
·        Loops on the top means the bottom tension needs adjustment
·        Loops on the bottom indicates the top tension requires adjustment.

The more you machine sew, the easier you will find it to be, so have patience with yourself. There are a few general troubleshooting techniques that seem to solve most problems:
·        Change the needle
·        Use the right needle for the thread and the job
·        Rethread the sewing machine, both needle and bobbin
·        Clean your machine
·        Sew slower

If the top thread breaks or shreds:
·        The needle may be too small. It needs to be large enough to make a sufficient hole in the fabric to prevent wear on the thread.
·        The needle tension may be too tight. Loosen the tension a little at a time until the thread stops breaking.
·        Check to make sure the needle is properly installed.
·        Some decorative threads become worn as they go through the thread guide on the machine closest to the needle. Skip this thread guide.
·        Clean and oil (check the manual) your machine.
·        If your metallic thread breaks, check to make sure you are using the correct needle. The bobbin thread type is also important. When you run your fingers down metallic thread, it feels a bit like fish scales. If you have a cotton thread in the bobbin, the metallic thread will constantly grab it and break. Switch to a polyester or nylon bobbin thread.
·        Rayon and metallic threads tend to be slippery and slip off the spool. They may wind around the spool pin holder or catch on the spool itself. There are two possible solutions -- a horizontal holder or a mesh or nylon sleeve for the thread.
·        Adding a monofiliment thread into the needle with very delicate metallic threads may add enough strength to the decorative thread to make sewing much easier.
·        If all else fails, ask your sewing machine dealer to check for burrs.