Friday, December 31, 2010

A Well Stocked Studio for the New Year

I am always thinking about storage and it recently dawned on me that I should also be thinking about what I use and future needs. So here is my check list for machine sewing.

• Sewing machine - European made - the very best you can afford.
• Thread - I use light/dark gray and light/dark beige for most of my piecing. And a spool or two of black and white.• Machine sewing needles in a variety of sizes for various needs (e.g., piecing, appliqué, quilting, embroidery). Note the film tube - for old needles.
• Pins - silk; glass-head and flower-head.
• An awl.
• Thread cutting scissors.
• A variety of threads to meet any needs for machine quilting. The "essential" collection might include a mix of mercerized cottons, rayon's, solids, variegated, metallic.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Project?

Hope your Christmas was wonderful!

I'm thinking about my next project. I have a small collection of thirties reproduction fabrics. These quilts were made by Eve Mae, a great Eastern Washington quiltmaker who shared them with me one afternoon.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All

Here is wishing you and yours a happy holiday season.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Getting to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I'm in the holiday mood. Decorating the house is a good thing. Christmas is happening.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Scraps are Taking Over My World!

I realized that I have a lot of stuff! A feeling I know many of you share. So here is an interesting point of view. The quilt picture here is 64" x 86". It was pieced from a very small part of my scrap fabric collection. I cut nothing. Most of the pieces are straight out of my 2 1/2" strip box.

The finished top weighs 1 1/4 pounds.

The pile of strips next to the box weights the same 1 1/4 pounds.

SO how many quilts do I think I have in my scrap boxes? EEEEEEEK!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Inspiration is ever where, even in the city, downtown LA.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Picasso in Seattle

The Seattle Art Museum is presenting a landmark exhibition of the work of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), arguably the most radical and influential artist of the 20th century. The exhibition presents iconic works from virtually every phase of Picasso’s legendary career, documenting the full range of his unceasing inventiveness and prodigious creative process.

The exhibit will be in Seattle until January 9, 2011. Well worth the trip!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Overnight Visitors

We are now getting overnight visits from the swans. Swans are the largest, and generally considered the most beautiful, of the waterfowl. A male is known as a cob, a female is a pen, and the young are called cygnets. Odd fact: According to the magazine Wildlife Conservation, a swan can have 25,000 feathers.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Think Pink!

I want to make a purse. Love the dimension in these!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Celebrity Quilter's have quilt's in the auction to raise money for Alzheimer's research. Look at the quilts up for auction and follow the link on that page to check the auction process.

The quilts and their talented creators are:

#5086 • Falling Leaves ... Ricky Tims (CO)
#5464 Totem ... Ann Nottingham Kelsall (MD)
#5490 • Ami's Whacky Portrait ... Lisa Ellis (VA)
#5548 • Dark Ride ... Paula Bell Dennee (CO)
#5564 • Rainy Afternoon ... Susan Pain (TX)
#5579 • Musical Memories ... Judy A. Matlock (GA)
#5621 It is a Baltimore ... Ellen J. Sayers (IN)
#5686 Jewels of Autumn ... Marcia Strong Middents (AZ)
#5687 Descartes Revised ... Marcia Strong Middents (AZ)
#5702 There is Hope 1 ... Judith L. Grant (OH)
#5803 Turtle Shell ... Mary Andrews (MI)

#5834 For Women Who Wear Purple ... Melody Crust (WA)
#5881 Polly's Purple Coneflowers ... Julie Parker (KS)
#5990 • Broken Dreams ... Alex Anderson (CA)
#6000 Purple Cone Flower ... Marge Phillips (IL)
#6013 A Path Less Traveled ... Betyann Shaver (SC)
#6014 Escape ... Ann L. Scott (SA)
#6021 Bejeweled ... Audrey Arno (OK)
#6041 Waiting for Spring ... Abbie Dick (WA)
#6043 Hearts and Lace ... Jeanie Sakrison Velarde (TN)
#6058 Mosquito In My Bed ... Susan Rhudy (MO)
#6075 Under the Sea ... Lisa Ellis (VA)
#6140 • Puppus Doggus Dreams ... Ami Simms (MI)
LT372 Fruit-Flavored Octet ... Susan K Cleveland (MN)
LT373 Beautiful Butterfly ... June Colburn (FL)
#6079 What is She Thinking? ... Bobbie McClure Long (PA)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Shopping

I went out shopping, couldn't face the 'Mall' Down town Renton has a lot to offer. Checked out Cedar River Antique Mall. Check out the hats, and the purses, oh the purses!
900 S 3rd St Renton, WA 98055

Friday, November 26, 2010

American Folk Art Museum

American Folk Art Museum Presents:
Infinite Variety: Three centuries of Red and White Quilts
American Folk Art Museum at Park Armory
643 Park Ave, New York City (between 66th & 67th Streets)
March 25-30, 2011

For six days in March, the American Folk Art Museum will dramatically transform the Park Avenue Armory's historica 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall with the installation of more than 650 red and white American quilts, all of which are on loan from one private New York City collection. It will be the largest exhibition of quilts ever held in the city. As an extraordinary gift to the public, entry to this unprecedented event is free. A cafe and a book and gift shop will be open during show hours.

The American Folk Art Museum will be offeing exhibition programs and group tours. Information: 212.265.1040 ext 381, or

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The weather man says "Period of snow...then becoming windy later this afternoon. New snow accumulation of 2 to 3 inches with local accumulations of up to 4 inches. Highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to north 25 to 35 mph this afternoon."
The view from my studio is beautiful! I'm sitting at my machine trying to sew

Friday, November 19, 2010

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

OK, so how well did we do? Saturday night we surpassed all previous sales records at Festival, taking in $48,500 and some time Sunday morning we broke $50,000. With quilt sales in Houston, and the November auction, we are getting very close to the $500,000 mark with money raised for Alzheimer's research since this all started back in 2006.

It's not too late to help!
Make a quilt: 9" x 12" quilts are needed year round.
Buy a quilt, they are on the web site.
Make a tax deductible donation.

Congrats to lady who purchased Orange for her donation of $250.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things, once more

"Fast Finish" Triangles - This is a great way to quickly and easily provide a fake sleeve to hang a small quilt on a single nail. Before sewing the binding, fold two squares of fabric in half diagonally, press. On the back, place them over the two top corners, all raw edges together. Sew the binding. Simply insert a pencil, small dowel, or chop stick under the triangles and balance the quilt on a nail.

Ever rub crayons on fabric? I can be a time consuming project. Try warming the fabric first with an iron, then applying the crayon. Works like a charm!

Is the eye of the needle getting smaller every year? Try the Clover needle threader. Just like having younger eyes, well almost! (They now come in pretty colors).

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things, continued

Tie a bow that looks good every time by following these simple steps: Take a piece of ribbon and form two loops. Holding a loop in each hand (they look like bunny ears at this point), tie a single knot. Instead of trying to stick out at odd angles, your tails will both be pointed down.

Through trial and error and the occasional ‘beads dumped onto the carpet’ fiasco, I have learned that a neat way to hold your beads is in a six-inch embroidery hoop, lined with fabric and turned upside down. Thus safely corralled, the beads don’t jump around because there is no static charge to get them going. It definitely turns what should be a fun and creative process into an exercise in frustration when you have to chase down each and every bead! Another great advantage to this method is, if you happen to work in an upholstered chair or couch, you can pin the hoop directly to the arm, making it pretty close to impossible to knock over. A win-win situation if ever there was one.

I like to make and label using treated fabric in my ink jet printer. These treated-for-printing fabrics are usually white. Since I prefer colored fabrics, I paint on the white with textile paint mixed with 25 percent water and allow them to dry thoroughly before running them through the printer. Don’t worry if your painted fabric looks a bit messy – just let it dry, iron it flat and you are all set to follow the manufacturer’s directions for printing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

The Bottom Line by Superior Threads - This thread has a shiny appearance and is virtually lint free. It can be thin and lightweight, yet strong. Due to its smooth surface, it works well with metallic threads and heavy cotton threads. The smoothness of the filament poly thread does not snag or grab the top thread. If you've had trouble using metallics or heavy cotton threads, smooth bobbin thread may solve some problems.

Why is starch is my friend? Need to tame bias edges? Looking for the easiest stabilizer for stitching or just because you like to work with washed fabric with some stiffness. I prefer to use concentrated liquid starch, purchased at a big box store. A heavy solution of 50% water to 50% starch. Spraying the starch to warm fabric, makes the fabric firm faster. Need more body? Dip the fabric in straight starch and place in the dryer. Maximum stiffness? Dip fabric in straight starch and hang to dry!

Stenciling? Use some hairspray on the underneath side of your stencil to make it stick on the surface, and to help prevent the paint seeping in at the edge.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Festival - Sampler

The Sampler consists of many teachers around the room offering continuous demonstrations of a particular technique. I talked about
Paint Like Monet.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More Festival Fun

A Sampler with Eye Candy Quilts

Festival, Let's Party

Quiltapalooza - an evening of frolicking fun!
Pincushion Challenge - This one by Ricky Tims

An old fashioned Melodrama - with Melody Upper-Crust and the Evil Quilt Diva