Wednesday, May 23, 2018

More Bits

In the same bag I found this cute square. And the heart fabric. This one was quilted with my walking foot and straight lines.

While playing around with Long Arm rulers, I had an 'aha' moment. I realized that instead of marking all my straight lines with tape, I could use my 'cutting' rulers with my walking foot. Works very well especially for short lines. PLEASE NOTE; Cutting rulers must NOT be used with a free motion foot.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Simple Quilts from Leftover Bits

Sometimes I just want to sew. That's when leftovers come in handy. My friends save their scraps for me, sometimes I find interesting pieces. This doll quilt started with the heart blocks.I hunted around and found some pink & white squares. And quilted with my favorite flowers.

 




Friday, May 18, 2018

Sometimes a Girl Gotta Do What She's Gotta DO!

Spring? The flowers are everywhere! I am sooo inspired.
Azaleas bloom in spring, their flowers often lasting several weeks.
 
So I grabbed a piece of pretty fabric and stitched!



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2018 QUILT FESTIVAL HOUSTON TEACHERS ANNOUNCED!

  We're excited to share the lineup of talented professionals teaching at this year's Quilt Festival in Houston! Classes are offered November 5-11.

That's seven days (and hundreds of opportunities) to learn from 131 of the quilt world's most popular artists and teachers!
Quilt Festival Houston - 2018 Festival Faculty

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Recient Visit to Faithful Circle Quilt Guild, near Chicago

We did Color with A Fine Line trunk show. Lots of fun was had by all!

With a fabulous show and tell!!!
 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

My Turn

Old windows with view.
After many years in the same studio, I moved. Sold the house and now live in a beautiful condo in a lovely Seattle 'walk' neighborhood. I think the real estate agent thought I was nuts not to mention the electrician who installed the recessed lights. My number one request for the new place? The master bedroom had to have a window low enough that I could sit at my sewing machine and see out the window. Believe me it was easier said than done. Number two, something pretty to see out that window.



It was 13' x 9'
A small studio means that I rapidly learned to keep everything in it's place. Note; the design wall outside the studio in the hall. My friends loved this because they could see what I was up to when they used the restroom.


I ordered twelve recessed LED lights. The electrician convinced me that was too many. I have nine which is plenty. He didn't have a clue what was going on, he insisted that I should have two switches, I told him one was enough. I did notice that my one switch has an absolutely unnecessary dimmer. So I guess he got his way in the end.

My new space is large and I assumed that it would be easier to keep tidy! Wrong! I just have too much stuff! The cabinets in the background are full of fabric. I admit they're tidy. It's just too much trouble to sort and re-shelve fabric.The pile of stuff in the front, is a horizontal surface, what more can I say. It is supposed to be for cutting and ironing! 


Junk room, I mean closet.

Then there is the closet. When I moved I thought what a perfect place for my pretties. You know thread, beads, sequins, doilies etc.. And some larger stuff ie: batting rolls. Again I just have too much stuff!








UFO's to GO!
So here's what I did; started by purging. I have a theory about  UFO's. If I didn't like them well enough when I started them, why do I think I will finish them now? I mostly believe that but I do or should say did have, lots of left over bits and pieces. They have now been found, bagged and are on their way to community service.

 Then there were the duplicates, mostly papers. Off to recycle they went.


 
I  spent quite a bit of time labeling the drawers and doors. I will use them to help me remember what's where until I don't need them any more. (Or Forever???). I put like things together. All the marker, interfacings, stabilizers, etc are now together. 






New view from the window

I love the new view, besides the trees there are people, lots of them means people watching is great! And if I drank coffee, Starbucks is just a block away.







The view from my machine




I have two work walls inside the studio, which means that when I am finished for the day, I can close the door!

 

Probably my largest hoard (I mean collection) is the thread, here you see size 50 neutral and colored thread. I use it mostly for piecing, but some quilting too. The other five boxes of thread are in the closet.

 I know it doesn't look like it, but I did clean it out. The batting seems to be the biggest problem...guess I need to sew more!!!










What do I love about my studio? I feel at peace there.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Monday, May 7, 2018

Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hoppers!


Here is something fun! A blog hop of "before" and "after" photo of messy and now cleaned studios.

April 24 - Jennifer Thomas
April 25 - Robin Koehler 
April 26 - Andi Barney
April 27 - Misty Cole
April 28 - Carolina Moore

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

To Wash or Not?

Although some quilters never pre-wash their fabrics, I nearly always do. I don't want any surprises

when I wash a finished quilt. Some cotton fabrics bleed, particularly reds, purples and other vivid colors.

My story: Assuming that wall hanging will never be washed isn't safe. I had a sample hanging in a store, there was a fire down the way in the strip mall. My quilt was smoke damaged. The conservator they consulted told them to dry clean everything, so they did!

What if your quilt contains several different unwashed fabrics--and some of them shrink more than others? Uneven shrinkage could cause puckers and distortions the first time the quilt is washed.
Some quilters intentionally use unwashed fabrics to assemble a quilt because the puckers left over after the first wash give the quilt a vintage appearance. If vintage isn't the look you're going for it's best to pre-wash your fabrics.

I use a laundry additive called Synthropol. (What is Synthrapol? It is a special detergent used in pre-scouring fibers before dyeing, and in washing out excess dye.)  Add a capful  to each load of fabric keeps loose dyes from depositing on other fabrics during the wash.

I press and starch everything before I fold and put it away, I like them ready to cut when I'm ready to use them.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Spring? Really?

My new mantra is "It's spring, it's spring". My sister says I am always ready for spring, and it's true.
Visited University Village which is Seattle’s only outdoor lifestyle shopping center. There is a unique mix of locally-owned boutiques, signature fashion and home-furnishing retailers and a distinct collection of restaurants and eateries.



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Easter?

We spent Easter at Din Tai Fung. The restaurant was founded in Taipei, Taiwan in 1958 as a cooking oil retail shop. In 1972, it transitioned into a full fledged restaurant specializing in soup dumplings and noodles. The restaurant was soon winning rave reviews from all over the world. The tradition of Din Tai Fung continues today in its locations in the United States, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, and Thailand.

Great food, I recommend the Garlic Green Beans!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Appliqué at Seabeck Bay

I spent last week with the women of the Applique Society.  Michele Bylum and I were the teachers. The Quilt Shop Hop they visited Quilted Strait in Port Gamble and Pacific Fabrics in East Bremerton.

Please visit the Seabeck Conference site to see the beautiful country.



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Quilting - The Techniques


Cutting Accurately
If your fabric is cut right, it's half the battle. A rotary cutter is brilliant for accurate cutting, as is a good quality cutting ruler. I prefer Omingrip  non-slip rulers - the green ones. They doen’t slip and slide and the marking system is really versatile and useful. Lines on cutting rulers can be heavily marked –i.e. they are thick rather than thin. So, when I am cutting, I usually use the outside of the line as my guide, rather than the inside.   It’s only a thread or two difference but it definitely gives a more accurate cut.

Piecing
Investing in a specialist ¼” foot for piecing is a really good idea. My biggest issue in sewing a consistent seam is making sure the end of the seam is accurate as it is easy for your fabric control to slip a little as the last bit feeds through. The solution: a bamboo skewer! The kind you use in the kitchen. Use them to control the feed of fabric at the end of your seams and for lovely accurate seams! Maintaining a consistent seam allowance is one of the fundamental skills of quilting. 

Pinning
I don’t pin my fabric when I am piecing small blocks, but I do pin when I am piecing anything fairly large, and I always pin when I am matching seams. I match my fabric at exactly the right point, and I pin as close as possible to the meeting point on both sides – usually its about 1/8” on either side of the seam.Be sure to remove the pins before sewing.

Pressing
I love steam and use it often. One major word of caution, PRESS do not iron. I usually finger press (using my handy dandy screwdriver) as I piece. But there is nothing wrong with using a dry iron for pressing.



Friday, March 23, 2018

Straight Lines

It's no secret I love quilting with straight lines.


This blue tape contrasts nicely, for better vision.



My favorite way to mark is with masking tape. I'm not particular what kind of tape I use, just about the contrast. I do have one very important rule:
NEVER leave the tape on over night!
 
I prefer to stitch right next to the tape. I think I get a straighter line, and if I miss, I don't mind using a pair of tweezers and picking out the bits.









Others prefer to place the walking foot next to the tape.

Which ever works for you is the right one! Try them both, it's fun!

Friday, March 16, 2018