Friday, January 30, 2015

Piecing Thread – what to look for:

If you are using high quality quilting fabric, be sure to piece your projects with a high quality thread.
When piecing with 100% cotton fabric, it is important to use a 100% cotton thread. Choose a neutral color (many quilters use white, cream or gray for all of their quilting projects) or choose a thread to match the fabrics you’ll be sewing. (I use matching colored thread).

Good quality cotton threads produce less lint than lower quality cotton threads and are visibly “smoother” than the lower grades of cotton thread. High quality threads, which produce less lint, are also good for your sewing machine.

Excellent thread choices for piecing are Superior Threads MasterPiece, Wonderfil Tutti or Aurifil Mako 50 weight cotton thread. These threads are smooth and fine, while at the same time, strong and durable.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Precision Piecing

 Here is how I make these bits into something. Shorten your stitch length a bit to 2.0 - 2.5 for a more secure stitch. I prefer to use 70/10 microtex sharp needle, but a 75/11 quilting needle works just as well. To set my sewing machine for success, I use a single stitch throat plat and a 1/4" foot.
Here's the test.  I used already cut 1 ½” squares of scraps.  Sew them together into a 9 patch block using a small diameter thread in the needle and the bobbin and then sew another block using fat thread in the needle and the bobbin.  Gently press the seams flat and measure.  It's obvious to see in my sample blocks that the blocks measure differently.
This sample above was sewn with a small diameter thread measures exactly the expected 3 ½" from cut edge to cut edge. 
The sample above was sewn with fat thread is shy the expected 3 ½" from cut edge to cut edge.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scraps - Someone Must be Joking!

I have been sewing 2 1/2" squares and nine patches in spare moments for days and days. I love what I have achieved in the little time spent doing this.

Now if some one could please tell me why the box I started with didn't get any emptier!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thread with the MOST Sparkle and Shine

Flat Film Polyester Thread: Add the ultimate sparkle to all of your decorative projects. They are thin, flat ribbon-like polyester film that is metalized with aluminum to make it brilliantly reflective.

For best results use a Metallic Needle size 14/90 or Embroidery or Top-Stitch Needle size 14/90 and a vertical spool pin. Lower the top tension, sometimes a lot and skip the last tension guide. A vertical spool pin is also absolutely necessary! A polyester bobbin thread like Superior Threads – The Bottom Line is a must.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The End

All good things must come to an end. I really enjoyed the summer garden fashion show. I hope you did too! The women who shared their talents and time with us were very generous, and I thank them for their inspiration.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


A few days worth of the few minutes after dinner and I'm working on nine patches. It surprises me how fast they are to sew when the fabric is already cut into usable sizes. I highly recommend cutting when you can, in advance. Makes sewing in spare moments very enjoyable.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Walking Suit

Until the 1910s, coat and skirt ensembles were usually described as "costumes" rather than suits, and the term "suit", as applied to such sets, was not usual until after the First World War.

How am I going to add this detail to a quilt?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nancy Goldsworthy

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Nancy has been sewing since she was a child. Her love of 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). Sewing led 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).

Nancy will be at Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup WA with her great classes:
Heavy Threads to Make a Bold Statement
Threadplay on the Longarm
Beginning Couching - Dress Up Your Next Project with Color, Texture and Sparkle!
Star Table Runner
Geranium Tote Bag
Doodlin' with Decorative Stitches

The Sewing and Stitchery Expo is the largest consumer sewing show in America. The 2015 dates are: February 26, 27, 28, March 1, 2015, at the Washington State Fair Event Center, in Puyallup, Washington.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sewing and Stitchery Expo: Puyallup WA

Online registration is open.

The Sewing and Stitchery Expo is the largest consumer sewing show in America. The 2015 dates are: February 26, 27, 28, March 1, 2015, at the Washington State Fair Event Center, in Puyallup, Washington.

Joanne Ross, Expo Director, says, “Sew Expo has something for every sewing enthusiast -- with more than 100 seminars daily, hands-on workshops, a variety of style shows, and 400+ booths exhibiting the latest fabrics, tools, and supplies.  It's like planning a party for 30,000 of your best friends.  We have guests from every State, Canada, Australia and Europe. Attendees all over the world plan their annual calendar around the Sewing & Stitchery Expo.”

There is a huge vendor floor, a non-stop roster of demos on the Free Stage, and professional models on the Expo Runway, presenting six different FREE style shows every day. In addition, there are daily hands-on classes where participants can learn a new technique and leave with a finished project.

See you there!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fashion Details

Smart dressing, impeccable grooming, and a well-tailored, feminine silhouettes are the distinguishing markers of 1950s' fashion for women. This was the post-World War period and the ions of social, ideological, and politico-economical changes had charged the atmosphere. This change was most radically reflected in the fashion of that era. For me as always it is in the detail!

Friday, January 9, 2015


I sorted them by color.
It's no secret that I love scraps. I have boxes of them. I cut them into pieces I will use and store them by sizes in plastic boxes. I hesitate to admit how many sizes, suffice it to say more than I need.

I love to piece is spare moments, and I'm going to do more of that this year. Yesterday, the spare moment was devoted to 1 1/2" squares.

The color of the day ... brown.

Joined together in two's ready for sewing.
Pieced 2 1/2 " squares are so much more interesting!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Stash Busting Quilts

I'm on a mission to make some Stash Busting Quilts! I don't think I am going to win the "Whoever has the most fabric" contest, but I have my share. I realized that when the cupboard is too full to shove more in, something needs to happen.

Scrap quilts (or I should say multi fabric) are my all-time favorite type of quilt. History would have us believe that the majority of antique scrap quilts were frugal projects, made with bits and pieces of  leftover fabrics. While that’s probably true, I think quilters of past generations enjoyed the challenge of combining fabrics just as much as we do today, and likely used their fabric stashes to design scrappy quilts with lots of visual appeal.
Lots of nine patches sewn in the ten minutes before dinner.

Friday, January 2, 2015

More Accessories

Women have always looked for ways to accessorize their outfits. Here are some of them.


I met Janice Pope in Houston this year. She is the designer of my favorite purse pattern, Two Hour Tulip Purse.  She Loved my blinged out purses so much, she is having  a “BLING MY BAG CONTEST!” is all about adding interest to your Two-Hour Tulip Purse. Entries due March 31, 2015.

I would love to see one of you win!

Check out the details!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Color of the Year for 2015

View image on external websiteMarsala has been chosen as Pantone's Color of the Year for 2015. What is it all about?

The color features a delicate and tasteful tone that suggests the richness of an excellent meal, as well as the earth. Marsala has a red-brown base, which is both hearty and stylish at the same time, making it ideal for food, interior design, fashion and beauty.

The Pantone choosing Marsala as Color of the Year involves looking all over the world for inspirations. The institute usually delves into industries like fashion, entertainment, sports and home design. Films are also looked into to determine the best textures and effects that affect color. In the past 15 years, Pantone's Color of the Year has been used by manufacturer to develop new products and in creating innovative designs. Pantone products have inspired creative designs and works for over five decades. Through the Pantone Color Institute, future color influences are determined so that they are used more effectively.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fashions on the Hangar

Somehow the dresses just aren't the same on the hangar. But they are still beautiful!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Guest Artist - Jill Smith

Good Morning Melody,

I have finally finished my attempt at your lovely quilt.I got so carried away that I had enough blocks for 2! The first is a quilt for our "Aussie Hero Quilt" program. This supplies quilt to Defence Service personnel serving in the Middle East.

The second was made for a young fellow sharing an apartment with my son. Blue is his favourite colour and the back has the red for his footy team - Melbourne Demons.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas to All

The custom of the Christmas tree developed in early modern Germany with predecessors that can be traced to the 16th and possibly 15th century, in which "devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes." Christmas trees were hung in St. George's Church, Sélestat since 1521. It acquired popularity beyond Germany during the second half of the 19th century. The Christmas tree has also been known as the "Yule-tree", especially in discussions of its folkloristic origins.

The tree was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts, or other foods. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles which were ultimately replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification. Today, there are a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garland, tinsel, and candy canes. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent the angel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fashions Featuring Beaded Bags

 A Little Handbag History

As far back as the Middle Ages, both men and women carried purses. Although these medieval bags infrequently held the rare commodity of money, they did serve to stash other small personal items such as important papers for men and sewing implements for ladies.

These early purses often reflected the social status of the carrier. More elaborately embroidered and embellished bags usually found a home with society's most affluent members.

Handbags dating prior to the 19th century rarely present themselves to collectors today. Some of the most popular bags with collectors these days are the beaded and metal mesh examples of the early 20th century.

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Private Tour of This Elegant Old House

Victorian Elegance comes alive for you nestled in the bluffs of Historic Dubuque. The Hancock House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, shows Queen Ann architecture at it's finest.Built in 1891 by Charles T. Hancock. The third son of John T. Hancock, Charles succeeded his father as head of the Midwest's largest wholesale grocer and distributor, the profitable JOHN T. HANCOCK & SONS.

Today it is a charming B & B run by Chuck and Susan.

The dining room