Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year

2016 is the year of the Monkey.  It is the Fire Hóu (火 猴) year of the Fire Monkey. Fire is the third of the ten celestial stems and 猴 Hóu (Monkey) is the ninth of the twelve terrestrial branches. Unlike western calendars, the Chinese calendar has names that are repeated every 60 years. 

Characteristics of Monkey People
  • People born in the year of the monkey are lively, flexible, witty and versatile with strong practical ability.
  • They love to be active and they enjoy sports.
  • Often highly intelligent, they are talented problem solvers, and are self-assured, sociable and innovative.
  • They love being the centre of attention and have a magnetic personality.
  • Monkey people have an insatiable desire for knowledge and show amazing creativity in their work.
  • They like challenges and love to succeed, although they can be discouraged if things don't go their way.
  • Monkeys are mischievous; they are masters of the practical joke (though they can sometimes take things too far)
  • They tend to be healthy (probably due to their active lifestyle) but should remember to take a break from their busy schedule now and again.
  • Negative traits are that they can be jealous, suspicious, cunning, arrogant and impatient, and tend to look down on others.

Friday, February 5, 2016

I'll be at International Quilt Festival/Chicago

Looking for something to  celebrate the end of winter? Come to the
International Quilt Festival/Chicago
April 7-9, 2016
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois

I'll be there with a with list of classes!
Thursday April 7
For the Love of Color  #107
What you always wanted to know about color but were afraid to ask. Understand color concepts that quilters use – balance, pattern, texture, dominance and the many moods of color. We will play with a large variety of fabric samples, laying them out to experience for ourselves the magic we can create with glorious color. 


Fantastic Fabric Foiling #110  
Bring your projects to life with instant (and permanent) glitz and shine.
We will apply foil using a variety of adhesives and make use of a variety of ideas that make it easy. Traditional and non-traditional quilters will learn how to incorporate foil into real show-stoppers!

Friday April 8

Paint Glorious Paint #200
Come play where the possibilities are endless and rules are few. Fabric paints enrich your projects before you begin sewing—or after. We will use stencils, rubber stamps and finger painting techniques to make ourselves look like a room full of Picassos. This is magic is waiting to happen! 


Saturday April 9
Joining the Blocks: Quilt-As-You-Go Style #302
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.
Stitching Through the Layers: The Art and Elegance of Straight Line Quilting # 310
This workshop focuses on straight line quilting designs! You’ve made a beautiful quilt top – now what? I will show you, step-by-easy-step, how to decide on the right quilting design - what works, what doesn’t and why. Perfect for hand and machine quilters, both traditional and art quilts. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Did I Tell You about a Great Find? Perfect for Retreats

Ideaworks Light allows you to put Bright lights where ever you may need to add, a little or a lot, lighting. Super Bright Portable LED Lamp With USB- Amazing, portable lamp that offers 3 levels of brightness with 24 LED bulbs. Stays bright for up to 100,000 hours.

Order it at Amazon for under $15! Worth every penny.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Star Blocks

As usual I didn't know what to take with me to sew. I took star blocks. Made lots of blocks and even more half square triangles. I must admit half square triangles are not my favorite to make, so sewing them in the company of my friends was a plus.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January and I'm Off on Retreat!

We moved in
I looked up Retreat in the dictionary: a place of privacy or safety. And I guess that is what it is to me. A place to get away from my normal world, sew, eat, laugh and most importantly be with friends!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Making Star Blocks

I want to make the blocks for my quilt as scrappy as I can. Making 8 at a time not only makes them scrappy but makes the math easy, 8 half square triangles are needed for each block.

Start by cutting 2 squares (for 2 1/2" finished blocks I cut 6" squares). Draw diagonal lines in both directions.

 Place one marked and one un-marked square right sides together and sew a scant 1/4" from the drawn lines.

Press flat

Cut on both pencil lines and vertically and horizontally. Using a small cutting mat if you have one, makes this step easier.

Pressing half of the seams to the pink (dark) and half of the seams to the yellow (light) makes for easier sewing later.

Trim all squares to exactly 2 1/2".

A mock-up block

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Scrap Quilts

Lemonade - my current quilt
I finally decided to start a new quilt for our bed. Double bed sized quilts are just not working on the queen sized bed. And since my favorite quilts are made from many scraps, it is logical that I'll make another scrap quilt. The bedroom is pink and yellow so the color decision is easy. Pink and yellow with a hint for turquoise to liven up the party.

I have lots of fabric in my stash and I am going to use as much of it as I can.  But how do I decide how much is enough?

I have tentatively decided to make 8"stars. That means for a quilt 100" square I'll need about 170 stars if I set them block to block. I doubt that I'll set them block to block, so I have  decided to make about 100 blocks.

I like all these yellows.

I'll need about 400 2 1/2" squares. If I count and weigh 100 of them, then I can weight as many as I need without counting all 400.

Follow along for the next few months as I sew my new quilt.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Zipper Foot

Melody’s Tip: Do not use with the center needle position.
Zipper Foot
This narrow foot is designed to slide easily along the edge of the zipper but hold it firmly for stitching. This makes it a good option for piping, snap tape and similar types of stitching. It is also used for attaching trim to the outside of sewing projects.


Top stitching
Double Piping
Triple Piping
Top stitching
    Melody’s Tip: Paired with a seam guide, the zipper foot allows you to easily see when
    top stitching.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Guest Artist - Peggy Baldwin-Clayton

From Peggy "I want to share this little sample I made.  It is for a vintage challenge the guild is having and I thought it would be fun to follow up on your amazing vintage work! Thank you again for a wonderful, mind expanding day."

Monday, January 18, 2016

Antiques Roadshow Feature - Monday Night on PBS

Rosalie Sayyah, the “Rosie” of Rhinestone Rosie
Tune in to see my favorite Vintage Jewelry person Rhinestone Rosie on the new Antiques Roadshow PBS episode, airing Monday night at 8/7cPM on your local PBS station!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Color of the Year

For the first time Pantone introduces two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity as the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.
Pantone Color of the Year 2016 - Shop Pantone Plastic Chips

Friday, January 15, 2016

Decorative Threads for Quilters

For me, decorative threads (for hand and machine embroidery and for machine quilting) include the rayons and metallics, and anything else I can get through a needle. One way to preview these threads

is to browse manufacturer web sites. Take some time to explore the sites -- most have educational resources to help you choose threads, and they often suggest appropriate needles and other supplies that are required for specific jobs.

I prefer to try out the thread myself. I am a thread junkie, so I have lots to choose from. Rather than buying an assortment, you might try getting together with a few friends and share!

Entire books can be written about thread and its uses, and the selections are constantly expanding.
  •     Ask questions about thread -- your local quilt guild and staff at quilt shops are excellent resources. Don't be afraid to experiment with thread, because experimentation is one of the best ways to learn about any product.
Once you have sewn with several different threads, you'll have a much better feel for future selections.

Check out my book Quilt Toppings, there is a whole Thread Play chapter!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I Just Love Show and Tell

Evergreen Piecemakers meets the second Monday of each month is a business meeting with Show & Tell and our Program afterwards. The fourth Monday of the month is our Sew-In night. Twice a year the Guild has potluck dinners, summer time and at Christmas. They meet at the First Christian Church, 11707 SE 240th Ave. Kent, WA 98031. There is a short business meeting, and a great program. Sometimes I think the best part is Show and Tell!
Here is Susan Kelley, one happy quilter with a bunch of FINISHED UFO's!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Edge Stitch Foot

Edge Stitch Foot
One of the most versatile feet. This foot is designed to allow perfectly placed top stitching along edges and seams. Use it for any form of stitching where a straight guide is required. This foot will easily join two pieces of fabric, lace or trims evenly and neatly. Center the needle for in-the-ditch stitching. Adjust the needle right or left and use the vertical blade as a sewing guide when top stitching, sewing narrow hems, and making tucks.

Edge Stitching
Decorative Edge Stitching
Top Stitching
Single Tucks 
Twisted Tucks 
Plaid Tucks 
Lace Trimmed Tucks
Top Stitching Trim, Braid or Ribbon
Joining Edge to Edge
Stained Glass

Edge Stitching

Top Stitching
Decorative Edge Stitching

Joining Edge to Edge

Evergren Piecmakers - Great Program by Nancy Goldsworthy - Oh My!; Flat or Fluffy? A Beginners Guide to Battings

If you ever get the opportunity to listen to Nancy share her expertise, grab the opportunituy. Nancy knows it all - about batting, needles, thread! Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Nancy has been sewing since she was a child.Her love of sewing lead her to a career in apparel manufacturing.In 2001, after more than 30 years in the industrial sewing industry, Nancy left her corporate job to follow her love of quilting She set up her longarm machine and started Nine Patch Quilting in the loft over her living room. Now, as an award winning quilter and author, Nancy travels the country teaching and sharing her love of quilting. Look for her books: Needles, Threads and Bobbins, Oh My!; Flat or Fluffy? A Beginners Guide to Battings, and The Quilter's Guide to UFO's (Un Finished Objects).

Friday, January 8, 2016

The beautiful work of Andrea Brokenshire

Exploring the beautiful work of Andrea Brokenshire. 

Portlandia on My Mind

A Passion for Purple

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

That View

Showcasing the Mediterranean-style architectural roots of its namesake city, the Sorrento Hotel provides European ambience.

I am so enamored by these buildings there must be a quilt in here somewhere! Hummmm

Monday, January 4, 2016

A trip into Seattle on a Cold Winters Day

It isn't often that you get a birds eye view of a building like this one. It is so big, I wondered what it was, so I Googled it, there wasn't much to learn, except it is not a private residence. It is the University Club.

It looks so much smaller when viewed from the street!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve 2014 Times Square Ball Drop: Best Viewing Spots, Access ...Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia. Today, most New Year’s festivities begin on December 31 (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January 1 (New Year’s Day). Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks displays.

The ElectricWeb Network: Times Square Ball has 32,256 LED's from ...In the United States, the most iconic New Year’s tradition is the dropping of a giant ball in New York City’s Times Square at the stroke of midnight. Millions of people around the world watch the event, which has taken place almost every year since 1907. Over time, the ball itself has ballooned from a 700-pound iron-and-wood orb to a brightly patterned sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing in at nearly 12,000 pounds.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Jump Start on Next Years Creativity!

When in doubt about where to get guaranteed inspiration, I head for the Ribbon Room at Nancy's Sewing Basket. Nancy's is located on the top of Queen Anne Hill in beautiful downtown Seattle. I have been making my pilgrimages there for most if not all of their 37 years in business!


The Ribbon Room
Buttons & More.
Grosgrain (cotton, rayon, poly stripes, vintage.)
Silk Embroidery and Satin ribbons
Double Face Poly Satin
Passementrie trims
Wired edge
Pipings and Rattail
Stretch trims
Silk Millinery Flowers
Hat Veiling, new, vintage & birdcage