Monday, February 27, 2017

Julee James - Guest Artist


I enjoyed your class last week so much - really learned a lot! Attached is my finished quilt. Hope you like it -

Julee James

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bead Candies

Bead Candy Quilts

Use commonly available materials to create stunning mini-quilts that are so much fun to make they should be illegal! They can be finished in practically no time. Learn how to add beads, fringes and dangles, buttons, ribbons, feathers and countless other commonly available materials. They are so fun and easy that you can’t stop. Finished quilt will be about 2 ½ x 3”.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Hi From Atlanta, Georgia

Carolina Jasmine today's picture
It's summer! 79 degrees - hottest February 24th on record!

These East Cobb ladies have a great show and tell!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I am off to Georgia to Visit with the East Cobb Quilt Guild

ECQG is made up of more than 250 quilters who share their love of quilts – traditional and contemporary, pieced and applique, large and small.  Our roots are in East Cobb County, but our members live around the Atlanta metro area and beyond.

They provide speakers and workshops to inspire creativity and improve technical skills, and present Georgia Celebrates Quilts®, it is the largest judged and juried quilt show in the state.  Their next show is June 8-10, 2017.  Bee groups, monthly meetings and community service projects all provide the opportunity to develop friendships, to enjoy fellowship, and to contribute to our community.

See you there!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Embroidery, again

The term "Miao" gained official status in 1949 as a (ethnic group) encompassing a group of linguistically-related ethnic minorities in Southwest China. This was part of a larger effort to identify and classify minority groups to clarify their role in the national government, including establishing autonomous administrative divisions and allocating the seats for representatives in provincial and national government.

Historically, the term "Miao" had been applied inconsistently to a variety of non-Han peoples. Early Western writers used Chinese-based names in various transcriptions: Miao, Miao-tse, Miao-tsze, Meau, Meo, mo, miao-tseu etc. In Southeast Asian contexts words derived from the Chinese "Miao" took on a sense which was perceived as derogatory by the Hmong subgroup living in that region. In China, however, the term has no such context and is used by the Miao people themselves, of every group.

The later prominence of Hmong people in the West has led to a situation where the entire Miao linguistic/cultural family is sometimes referred to as Hmong in English language sources. Following the recent increased interaction of Hmong in the West with Miao in China it is reported that some upwardly aspiring non-Hmong Miao have even begun to identify themselves as Hmong. However, most non-Hmong Miao in China are unfamiliar with the term as referring to their entire group and continue to use "Miao", or their own separate ethnic self-designations.

Though the Miao themselves use various self-designations, the Chinese traditionally classify them according to the most characteristic colour of the women's clothes.

Friday, February 17, 2017


I am looking at my picture file for inspiration for a new hand project. Here are some of my favorites.

The Miao is an ethnic group recognized by the government of China as one of the 55 official minority groups. The Miao live primarily in southern China's mountains, in the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong, and Hubei. Some members of the Miao sub-groups, most notably the Hmong people, have migrated out of China into Southeast Asia (northern Vietnam, Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand). Following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975, a large group of Hmong refugees resettled in several Western nations, mainly in the United States, France, and Australia. There has been a recent tendency by Hmong Americans to group all Miao peoples together under the term Hmong because of their disdain for the Chinese term Miao. This however fails to recognize that the Hmong are only a subgroup within the broader linguistic and cultural family of Miao people and the vast majority of Miao people do not classify themselves as Hmong and have their own names for themselves.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Happy Valentines Day (or I should say the day after)

A quick trip to the nursery on a lovely sunny day!
In the United States, about 190 million Valentine's Day cards are sent each year, not including the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange. Additionally, in recent decades Valentine's Day has become increasingly commercialized and a popular gift-giving event, with Valentine’s Day themed advertisements encouraging spending on loved ones. In fact, in the United States alone, the average valentine’s spending has increased every year, from $108 a person in 2010 to $131 in 2013.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

About Starch

I like to starch my fabric. 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.
  • With aerosol cans I must wait for the foam to sink in...waiting just isn't in my vocabulary!

Why starch?
  • I prefer to work with firm fabric.
  • It stabilizes bias edges
  • Stabilizes light weight fabrics
  • Stabilizes fabric for some decorative stitching
I starch after washing, piecing and the final pressing of the top. And any other time I think it necessary!
  • Be aware that bugs like to eat the starch!
To remove starch build-up from your iron, place a couple of wet paper towels in the sink add the HOT iron and wipe!

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Joy of Buying Fabric

I often ask 'how much fabric do you buy?' when I give a lecture. I, like most of you have lot's of fabric. I usually buy 1/2 yard. I figure; I know there isn't 'enough', which makes me more creative.
And some of it no longer matches my current style. I like the backs of my quilts to be as interesting as the fronts. Rather than buy new yardage for the back,I prefer to use smaller pieces and piece the back. I often include blocks that did not make it to the front of the quilt. 
Try it! You might like it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Maker "Unknown" - The Saddest Words

I name my quilts so I add the title. And if there is any other interesting information I want to share, I'll add that too!

The basics:
Label Fabric Choices: Pre-washed (without fabric softener) white or muslin fabrics are suitable; 100% cotton fabrics are preferred. For a more coordinated look, a good choice would be light colored fabrics left over from your quilt.

Permanent Fabric Marking Pens: Fine point permanent fabric marking pens are colorfast and do not bleed. Pigma Micron® pens are a good choice. They can be found in many colors and sizes including felt tips. They are available at your local quilt shop, art supply, and stationery store or through many catalogs. Always test for color fastness.

Freezer Paper: Freezer paper is used to stabilize the fabric for writing. As a temporary bonding process, the plastic coated side will adhere to the fabric pieces when a dry iron, at 'cotton' setting, is applied. The plastic does not damage the fabric and peels off easily.

Light Box: A light box is very useful while tracing any design to use. If you do not have one, improvise, a brightly-lit window works well.

Ideas: Ideas for labels can come from anywhere. Look at fabric, newspapers, magazines, and postcards for ideas.

Getting Started: Start by making a pattern for your label on your computer. Play with the fonts, try word art. Just be sure your label includes, as a minimum; your name, city, state and year. • Note: Be sure to check the spelling.

You may wish to include other information such as the quilt name, the recipient's name, the occasion or the inspiration. Anything goes!

Next choose the fabric for your label of sufficient size for a generous seam allowance. Pieces left over from the quilt top make excellent coordinated labels.

Cut freezer paper the desired label size. Place the shiny side of the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric and iron at a 'cotton' setting, the fabric is then trimmed to approximately ½" larger than the freezer paper. The freezer paper stabilizes the fabric for drawing.

Now the fun begins! Place the fabric (with freezer paper) over the pattern on your window or light table and trace using permanent fabric pens or markers.

When you have finished inking the label, place fabric side down and press the ½" fabric edges over the freezer paper with your iron. This heat sets the ink and the pressed edge provides a guide for the appliqué. Remove the freezer paper and appliqué the label to the back of the quilt using an invisible stitch. You may choose to add the label before you quilt the quilt.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Let it Snow

All indications are converging to a significant snow storm across much of Western Washington, with Winter Storm Warning is now in effect for the greater Seattle/Puget Sound Metro area, Kitsap County, Southwestern Washington and the Cascade foothills through 4 p.m. Monday for as much as 3-6 inches of snow by the end of the time frame, with some spots seeing as much as 8 inches.

Think I'll light the fire and sew!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

January is Retreat Time

This year we went to a new place. One that feeds us breakfast, lunch and dinner. Four days of food, fun, sewing, and laughter! I even got to sew! Two quilts for community service.
The View

We are all in!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Seattle is growing so much that

an average of 236 people move to the Puget Sound region every day. After nine and a half months, they’d fill up CenturyLink Field (which has a capacity of 67,000 people).

58 construction cranes joined our skyline this summer. As of October, that was more than any other city in the country, and more than New York and San Francisco combined.

there are 30,000 more cars driving on the Mercer corridor than there were in 2014. And we’ve got the traffic to show for it.

we’re opening nearly 10,000 new apartments in 2017. That’s almost twice as many as any other year in our history. [

Amazon posted 11,042 job openings in King County this past summer. That’s twice the number it posted in the summer of 2015. The company moved its headquarters to South Lake Union in 2010 and has been growing like crazy ever since.

we are officially the hottest housing market in the country. That’s as of November, and we kept the title through the end of the year.

the number of homeless people in Seattle/King County went up 19 percent in just one year. That’s from 2015 to 2016.

Crazy but true! How fast is your city growing?