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


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.

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. 

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.

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The First Day After Daylight Savings Time

It's eight days to spring and in Seattle it was a record high 70 degrees. The windows were open all day, the daffodils are in bloom. The exercise class is in the park.
My favorite flowers daffodils. Makes me feel sooo good!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Palms to Pines National Scenic Byway

Today we took a drive on CA Hwy 74, the Palms to Pines National Scenic Byway. This scenic
driving tour climbs from the desert through the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, before descending again to the desert. The route passes through a series of areas preserved for animal habitat, ranging from desert oasis to snow-capped mountains, and parts of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument and San Bernardino National Forest. Drivers can pull off the winding and often steep road at a number of pull offs or lookout points, each with habitat ranging from forested mountainsides with pine, oak and fir, to a reservoir, to arid brush- and cactus-covered stretches -- not to mention sweeping views of mountains and valleys.Coachella Valley within Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial Counties in Southern California. The range connects to the San Jacinto Mountains on its northern end, where the Pines to Palms Highway—California State Route 74, crosses them.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Bougainvillea, a most beautiful flower

Bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes, and trees with flower-like spring leaves near its flowers.
The vine species grow anywhere from 3 to 40 ft. tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colors associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Quilt Shops

Traveled down the Coachella Valley to Palm Desert where we found two delightful shops.

First was Monica's Quilt & Bead Creation. The store is filled with colorful displays that invite you to browse, they're happiest when you leave confident that you have everything needed to complete the projects you want to make and happy with your experience the store.

At first glance, I thought this was thread, but they are tubes of beads! 

Next was The Quilted Faire, a unique fabric and quilting boutique. They are always scouring the market to bring unique patterns, latest fabrics, new and improved notions and lots of ideas to the store to keep you as excited about fabric, quilting and sewing as they are.

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Movie Star Colony

We bought a map, but just so you know mostly the view looked like this!
The fabulous Movie Colony neighborhood in Palm Springs, CA, just east of Palm Canyon Drive, was
developed in the 1930s and 1940's as Hollywood movie stars built their smaller getaways from their Los Angeles area estates. Movie stars have Cary Grant, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny, Marilyn Monroe, Al Jolson, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Estée Lauder, Lucille Ball, and Bing Crosby lived there.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The 'New' Mid-Century Modern


There must be hundreds of mid-century modern houses in Palm Springs. It seams to me that many of the old ones have been redone. And beautifully I must say. Today we drove around and looked at some open houses.

Hands down the most spectacular house I have ever seen is this one. I would move there in a hot minute...except for the price! I have very expensive taste!


Friday, March 2, 2018

The New and Old-New Mid-Century Modern

The hotel is a conversion of an old Holiday Inn at Sunrise Way and E. Palm Canyon Dr. (originally built as the International in 1977); the architecture and color are courtesy New York-based Stamberg Aferiat Architecture.

A house I saw while driving down the street. Who could pass the beautiful colors?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Palm Springs has the Largest Concentration of Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Since the 1920’s, visionary modernist architects have designed sleek, modern homes that have embraced the desert environment. The dramatic geographic surroundings of the Coachella Valley inspired a design aesthetic in the middle of the 20th Century now called Desert Modernism.
Love the gate!

Notable for its use of glass, clean lines, natural and manufactured resources and indoor/outdoor spaces, Desert Modernism evoked a lifestyle of simple elegance and informality. Influenced by the dictates of desert living and the intense climate, the style grew out of the architects and designer's adaptive use of inventive materials, modern construction techniques, new (post-war) technologies...and served an enthusiastic and willing clientele.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Cute Apartment

The Twist is a nice apartment building right in the middle of old downtown Palm Springs.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

On My Way for Days of fun in the Sun

What could be better that Palm Springs and Blue Skies and sunshine? It is located approximately two hours east of Los Angeles. The city is also famous for its mid-century modern architecture and design elements. Something I plan on exploring.

First stop was the Tramway Gas Station. The building, with its distinctive, cantilevered, wedge-shaped canopy (referred to as a hyperbolic paraboloid on a historic marker mounted on the building), was built in 1965 and was designed by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers. It is considered to be a prime example of modernist architecture.

The station had closed by the mid-1990s, and its fate was in doubt until its purchase by a private interest, who erected a wall around the property and converted it into an art gallery. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. It is now operated by the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism as the Palm Springs Visitor Center.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Quiltcon, Pasadena , 2018

I am just home from Quiltcon presented by the Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon is the largest modern quilting show of its kind. Each year, thousands of attendees come to see over 550 modern quilts on display, including 360 juried in from MQG members around the world. The conference features four days of workshops and lectures led by leading designers and quilters, and the show floor has dozens of vendors and exhibitors for days of shopping and fun. Next year: QuiltCon 2019 FEB 21-25 | NASHVILLE

Lots of quilts!
The raffle quilt - Full Circle designed and pieced by Hillary Goodwin Quilted by Rachael Dorr

Dixon by Kathleen Riggins
Ohio Snowball by Christine Perrigo
My favorite was one in the youth category:
Twitter Tantrums by Carina Cabriales
made during Stitch.Resist.Stitch. program the Social Justice Sewing Academy.