September 30, 2008

Hung, Redux

Numismatically Speaking said: Do you always keep a quilt hanging from the loft banister?I do complicated quilts so am amazed when someone says they finished 10 quilts this week or whatever :). If I were in a hurry Wal-Mart has blankets for $10.00...
I have quilts hanging all over. Most of my smallish wall quilts were exercises in learning or refining a technique. These are the quilts on display on the loft rail currently (badly combined into one image). The two on the ends are a folded technique involving a base plus 2-5 additional layers. The one in the center is out of ladies hankies with a folded technique much like the paper things we used to put on our fingers that opened and closed with our fortune.

Books*Electricity*Fresh air

September 29, 2008


I'm on two yahoo quilt lists with very busy quilters. As opposed to the lists with quilters who aren't busy, except for reading lists... Anyway one thing I've noticed in the many wonderful project photos is the problem of where to hang a quilt for photography? So I thought I'd show you my system, it might trigger some ideas for you. I've mentioned before that we live in an A-Frame which creates a lot of decor problems, but for this idea it was perfect. We have an open loft in the upstairs which overlooks the living/dining area. In photo one I'm in the living room looking up at the loft overhang. Photo 2 is also from the living room looking up and back at the overhang. I bought long length of clothes closet wooden rod and cut it to 8.5 foot, figuring 102" is more than enough width to hang any quilt I might make. It just sits up there quietly minding it's own business until needed and has made quilt photography a very easy task. No more hands, feet, and foreheads holding up a sagging piece of art.

I know not too many people have a hidey-hole like mine but a nice drapery rod could achieve the same purpose, or like Pat here, who has used one of those wood clamp hanger on a kitchen wall. Great place for ever changing wall quilts, and then just pop in the one you need a photo of, easy peasy. Something to think about...

Monday Gratitudes: Hope*Love*Kindness

September 27, 2008


Progress... I've got to stop and make a wad more 9 patch feet now. Great forward movement today and another design refinement. Normally I use all mixed neutrals, and I did with the basket handle backgrounds, but I had this big length of neutral I was going to use for sashing, and then I had to double the sashing amounts in order to incorporate the 9 patches for basket feet. Errm...I haven't got enough of the sashing neutral to do the whole queen size quilt so I'm going for the size of the mattress top and then I'll use something else for the four drop areas.

Designing by the seat of my pants always lands me in these situations, but my quilts always end up all the more interesting...or peculiar...considering everything comes from stash.
Edited Sunday...A name for this top came to me this morning when I was telling Rob all the different design changes I've had to come up with to make this quilt. Gigolo: Because it just lays there and lets me do all the work. That will change when it is on the bed~ so no more 1800's Repro Thingie Quilt. I christen thee Gigolo.

Saturday Gratitude's:
Flags in the wind
How computer heal themselves; would that we could reboot ever couple of days
The richness yoga has brought to my life this year

September 24, 2008

Jessie James and Ike Clanton

We've had Jessie and Ike for about 14 years I think, we got them when they were just six weeks old, so it seems like these 2 brothers have been with us forever. Siamese are a unique breed as far as their behavior and habits go. I often worry that they are much smarter than I. But like all cats, they love to be in the middle of quilting projects. Regardless of the size as you can see below them in the first photo. That little quilt was some leftover pieces from an experiment to see what Flat Biscuits would look like in a Cathedral Window sorta technique. Obviously I didn't think much of the idea, this ended up in the bottom of their cat carrier.
All I have to do is leave the room for a few minutes and they'll take over whatever project I'm working on. This was 6-7 years ago.
The photo below was just a few days ago. The quilt they are on in these two photos is a utility twinish sized quilt that is on its third top. The bottom is getting pretty thin so it's next stop will probably be in the doggy basket.
This is Jessie in the hoop when I was quilting my Dear Jane reversible quilt Two Sides of Jane.
Jessie and Ike are a lot of fun and excellent company, but some days I wonder what it would be like to not have cat hair in my quilts. Probably not nearly as nice...

Wednesday gratitudes:
Strike benefits and no one getting hurt so far
Healthy clients so I can play in my jammies today
Sunshine through the window warming cat belly's

September 22, 2008

Sack Sacks~

I had 4 narrow lengths of vintage tablecloth left over from my grocery sack project, so I used one to make a holder for plastic grocery sacks that still come into the house and get recycled as garbage bags, and one for the veggie/bread type bags that I use for liners in the garbage bags.

These are dead simple. Took me about 2 hours, but I had to stop and give a friend a haircut in the middle of the project. I got the basic pattern here (thank you Annie!) except mine are a different size which was determined by the length I had left, and for the hanger-upper I pulled two old celluloid or bone rings from one of my button jars. They are probably the same age or a little older than the tablecloth was, seemed fitting to me. In the 50's and further back many people had roller shades under their curtains and those roller shades always had pull rings, which most needleworkers promptly dressed up, some gorgeous samples here.

Will you keep your vintage linens in a deep dark closet, or will you let them out to play once again?

Monday Appreciations:

September 20, 2008

Harry Potter Hogwarts Quilt

I saw the greatest site today, this lady is putting up paper-pieced blocks for a quilt based on the Harry Potter series, way too cute to be legal. I won't be making one but I know quilters would will!

We used the tablecloth grocery bags yesterday, (see post below) for us I'd give it a 10 and I got compliments from everyone in line. While we were waiting for out turn though I got to observe the checker dealing with the bags other people had brought in... not a pretty sight. We were at Fred Meyers, I'll watch now and see how the other stores in the area are handling the problem. Everyone seems to have different types of bags, all with different styles and configurations of handles and fabrics. This check-stand doesn't have any way of coping with that so the checkers must hold the bag open with one hand, while scanning and filling with the other. It is quite awkward for them and Really slows the process down.

When I got up there for my turn I talked to her about it and asked if Fred's (now owned by Kroger's) had any plans in the tube for setting them up better, as most consumers figure before too long the stores will stop offering bags. She said all they checkers are sending in opinions and ideas but for now it really is a nuisance because it slows down the line so bad. A different view of using reusable grocery bags I'd not considered. One way we could help is to have our bags completely unfolded and lying flat over the end of the cart. They certainly shouldn't have to unsnap, untie, unfold...which is what I saw happening yesterday.

On the other hand I had a real brain fart on what to do with my little bit of left over tablecloth fabric. Stay tuned~

Weekend gratitudes:
A Tempur-Pedic mattress...Bliss times 100
Friends who care
Sunflower seeds and the creatures who enjoy them

September 17, 2008

Blood Sweat and Tears

A group of friends have been discussing carry along reusable grocery sacks this week and I said I wouldn't be making any unless I could make them both useful and beautiful. A day or so later a light bulb went off and I pulled out some of my larger vintage tablecloths. I've not used these for at least 25 years because I no longer have a big long dining table, I have a small round one.

I looked at a lot of pattern ideas on-line plus deconstructed both plastic and paper bags. I ended up using the handle and attaching idea from Morsbags, French seamed the sides and used the pleating method in Safeway's plastic grocery bags for the bottom.

This tablecloth is a heavy cotton, almost jeans weight, if I were using one of my blouse weight cotton tablecloths I would probably make the handles wrap the whole bag or line it. All in all a fun project and extra glad to be enjoying this beautiful table cloth in a new way. I can get 4 or 5 more out of this tablecloth and I think I will tea dye them for common-sense sake.

Next will be beautiful veggie bags from some old sheer curtain fabric I have left over from my Spirit of the Mesa quilt where I used it for headpiece and feathers.

Midweek thankfulness:
My little Pom is recovered from her bacterial infection.
Autumn leaf colors
I've lost 20 pounds in the last year and a half.

September 16, 2008

Blogger needs a band-aid

I haven't a clue why this blog isn't showing properly. My setting are still as they should be, current months posts, everything else archived, instead every post I've made is showing and my widgets which should start in the first viewing area are clear down past the last post.

If there is a way to contact blogger I don't know what it is, the help section is mostly full of unanswered questions and girly spam.
As Fred Flintstone would say, "rackafratz".

edited on 9/20 to add zero response from Google. If it doesn't correct when the month rolls over I'll move to another service. After putting up with Ebay Glitchville for 7 years I swore I'd never do it elsewhere...way too many other options.

On the other hand, today's blessings:
A favorite client is coming by today.
We can find and order what we need online, phooey on local shops who could care less about their customers.
All my furry friends are feisty and frisky.

September 13, 2008

Oddball thread storage No. 2

As noted below, we live in an A-frame so we have had to be creative about wall decor and storage. This is my answer for my 40 weight embroidery thread. You can see the angle of the big beam. So we made a three sided normal frame and one side is the angle of the beam.

We drilled the shelves and put in dowels to hold the thread and used just one nail on each end of the shelves so they can be tipped a little bit. I need to stand on a stool to reach the top two shelves but this is very practical storage, as again I can see what I have and what I need at a glance. These also have thread wraps for dust protection but glass doors would work great too if the skill and time were available to make them. We used the same oak strips as in the cotton thread storage below.

Saturday blessings:
Pine cones
Corn on the cob

September 11, 2008

A funny little project for those upholstery samples

Oh those glorious upholstery and drapery sample books, what quilter worth his or her name hasn't glommed on to a pile of them, a very heavy pile I might add. And then they get shoved in the back of the beyond because they don't really have much fabric in them and the prettiest ones have stock information on heavy paper glued to the top and the bottom and it just seems too much work to clean them up. Yes. I see you. Blushing and slinking off. Because we are all cut from the same cloth. I pitched mine years ago, beautiful as the fabrics were. Took up too much space and became a millstone about my neck.

But... I did do a few projects with the tapestry type ones. Three foot stools, and this little switch plate cover in my quilt room. Dead simple to make and probably didn't take 15 minutes. Try it...with any of your deluxe fabric, then fling or donate those heavy books, lighten your load! The heavier fabrics you can just pull tight and use glue gun or tacky glue, thinner quilting fabrics you can do the same or decoupage for a shinier effect.

Blessings for today:
Jan Karon's Mitford books
A birthday approaching and I welcome it
Stunningly gorgeous autumn day

September 8, 2008

I am woman hear me roar vs. Suzie Homemaker

I've been working for pay since I was 7 years old. Started with pulling ferns for a penny for my dad, then peeling cascara bark, picking berries, babysitting for neighbors. I've done a lot of different things since then, including the pleasurable job of being married for 38.5 years. In there somewhere is the me that makes money and roars, and the me that enjoys homemaking.

Sometimes over the years the twain has not met, other times it seems to mesh fairly seamlessly. I was thinking about these sides of my woman's nature yesterday as the setting sunrays came in the kitchen window and fell across my newly canned dill green beans. Squatty jars from the 50's, rings from the 70's, beans from September 7, 2008.

Mostly I really do know who I am.
Sometimes I'm rather confused.
FlyLady helped immeasurably.
Accountability has its importance.
Commonsense is key...for me anyway.

Monday Boons:
Photos and particularly digital cameras
On-line Dictionary and Thesaurus
The magnitude of free hours strangers put into websites that I pass though. Thank you.

September 7, 2008


I've met a lot of my quilt related on-line friends over the years and today I'm still grinnin' like a fool over the most recent, which took place last week in Seattle. Pictured are Pam from Alexandra Australia, myself, Ruth from Sedro Woolley Washington, and Judy from Williamsburg Virginia. The day before Judy and I met with Ann from Winlock Washington and had a two hour trunk show of her quilts. It has been a really big week and I'm so thankful for these friends, we've been together a long time and really are the wind beneath my wings. ((hugs)) to you all, all over the world~

Sunday Gratitudes:
Fresh garden goodness
An amazing husband
A tiny dog that made me so proud this week

September 1, 2008

Candlewicking Update

I'm having a lot of fun with my candlewicking project. A friend sent me a loaf of bread sized marigold floss (thanks Judy!) cone so I'm using that for the flowers and a slightly yellowish green for the leaves. I'm going to use a little lighter green for the stems, and there is a row of leaves around the entire block which will be one of the greens.

Doing all those knots using the Colonial Knot stitch is a treat, much nicer than French Knots stitch.

Today's Blessings:
My back is better
Small lamps