Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Home Today

This big fella (my DH) had some surgery this morning for "trigger finger"...too many cops & robbers games as a kid. He is under my care and following directions...otherwise, no pumpkin pie tonight. Leverage.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ah, Gardening

It was so great to get into the garden yesterday for some evening weeding and seed planting.

First I weeded this garden, where there was already some garlic and cilantro planted in the Fall; then I planted some snow peas and onions.

Then I weeded out this garden and took most of the arugula out which had gone to seed. I left some of it so that I could collect seeds later. Scallions are growing on the right and there's more cilantro and green leaf lettuce. They have all been there since Fall, but have just started growing again. I cut down the green leaf lettuce which should give me one or two more cuttings for salads.

This bed was where most of the garlic grew all winter. As soon as the leaves are mostly brown in May, we'll harvest them and use the bed for some of our summer veggies. That new bed to the left is for, among other things, asparagus.

It's like heaven working in the garden again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cold Sassy Quilters

Last night I was a guest of the Cold Sassy Quilters in Commerce, GA where I presented my Stretching the String program. The ladies seem to enjoy my string quilts, and I enjoyed the ladies.

Their upcoming raffle quilt was part of show-n-tell...

Quilting is alive and well in Georgia!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This week I took a little time to soak some of my grandmother's linens in a Vintage Linen Soak product. It took away the odors from storage and brightened them quite a bit. When I was a child there was nothing better than hanging laundry on the line with Memere.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quilters Galore

Yesterday was a day of quilt meetings; one in the afternoon with the Quilting Arts Alliance in Athens, GA, and one in the evening at which I taught a program for the Cotton Boll Quilters in Covington, GA.

The QAA always has a great show-n-tell. MaryAnn showed us some of the lovely items she'll be selling in May at the Craftavaganza in Athens. Paula (below) showed us more of her beautiful work and gave us a program on machine silk ribbon flowers and machine beading.

Unfortunately, I had to leave early and missed the machine beading segment.

Sylvia brought in a piece of machine needle felting which she made following Paula's last QAA program...

Then last night we drove to Covington for the Cotton Boll Quilters meeting. The ladies put on a wonderful casserole dinner 30 minutes before the meeting started and we all had a feast.

I gave my Stretching the String program...

Wonderful quilt guild!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quilters in Stitches Quilt Guild

I was invited Monday evening to give a program to the lovely Quilters in Stitches Quilt Guild in Grayson, GA. I had the opportunity to give a program to this group in 2009 and was excited to be back.

The program topic was "Stretching the String", which is about string piecing. If you're a quilter, you know that a "string" is a tapered piece of fabric, usually a scrap, that can be sewn to a foundation with other strings to make a quilt block. You can see a string-pieced quilt here.

You know the best part of visiting other quilt guilds is to watch show-n-tell.

This lady made a beautiful garment bag out of home deco fabric.

This quilt was made entirely out of scraps.

This lady took a tote pattern and changed it to make a purse with a flat bottom and many pockets. The covered buttons on the front were a good embellishment.

This quilter had a wonderful Sashiko quilt that she made from a pattern by Sylvia Pippen Designs. I wasn't familiar with Sylvia Pippen, but on her website I recognized her new book, called Paradise Stitched.

Here's one more look at the guild meeting with their lovely raffle quilt on display.

Thanks ladies, I had a wonderful time!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Opportunity Blocks

Today I have been working on combining some "opportunity" blocks I purchased at the Pensacola Quilt Show. The guild collects blocks from members for about 12 months before their show and then sells each of the blocks for $1.00 each. It's a great opportunity to purchase blocks for an easy quilt.

This year the block was this lovely string star (below) made up of 4 small rectangular string blocks and a center square.

I'll use these three blocks for a sample for my "Stretching the String" program and class.

The blue and light yellow blocks from the layout above will be used for a small give-away quilt.

These blocks are ready for narrow purple strips between rows and then a purple border plus an outside border.

I bought 26 blocks in all and will get a sample and 2 small quilts and still have some leftover for later use.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ho Hum

Tuesday evening I was privileged to give a program to the Phoenix Guild of Decatur, GA (metro Atlanta). They meet at the lovely Intown Quilters quilt shop on Mistletoe St. If you happen to be "in town" on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, check them out. They're a very talented and friendly group, and you can visit the quilt shop up to an hour before the 7:00 meeting!

Not much creativity going on around here today, except perhaps creative storage. It's reorganization day as I'm puting away the supplies from the Phoenix Guild Program and preparing to give a Program on Monday evening to the Quilters in Stitches in Grayson, GA, another wonderful group. This will be my second visit to QIS and I'm very much looking forward to it.

When I'm not preparing for teaching lately, I am (still) storing fabric and scraps from the 600 yards I dyed for the Pensacola Quilt Show.

These scraps will be put to good use...fabric beads, miniature string quilts, ribbon for gifts, fusing projects and more.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Using Scraps

I've been looking at a heap of fabric scraps I created while trimming hundreds of yards of dyed fabric for our vendor booth last weekend. What to do with them? I have so many scraps that it can be overwhelming, so today I decided to develop an idea I've had for a while; I used the tiny scraps to fill homemade pillow forms. Here's how I did it...

Scraps alone can be very heavy, so I cut up an old foam insert (good springy foam)...

...and mixed the pieces with fabric scraps. I also cut old batting scraps into "noodles" (1/2" strips) to add to the stuffing mixture.

To make a 15" square pillow form with 5/8" seams, I cut two 16-1/4" squares of fabric. Don't be afraid to sew together scraps to make the two 16-1/4" squares; they won't show when the pillow form is in use.

I sewed the squares together leaving an opening on one side, and then trimmed the corners and turned the shell right side out. Next, I stuffed the pillow form with my recycled scraps.

This is the pillow form before I stitched the opening. The filling can be seen through the shell, which is fine for my quilted pillow covers, but if you'd rather not see the scraps through the white cotton shell, try this...

Cut two squares of thin batting (I used cotton) the same size as the cotton fabric for the shell, then layer them this way: 1) cotton batting 2) cotton fabric right side down 3) cotton fabric right side up 4) cotton batting. Pin the layers and then use your walking foot to stitch the pillow shell together, being sure to leave an opening on one side for stuffing.

After sewing the 4 pieces together, trim the batting close to the stitching all the way around, and trim the corners through all thicknesses (keep the scraps for stuffing). Turn the pillow form right side out and then stuff.

Adding batting to the pillow form will keep colors from showing through and will also give a smoother finish to the stuffed pillow form.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Booth

We had a wonderful time at the Pensacola Quilt show this weekend, talking to longtime friends, visiting with folks and enjoying the quilts.

Our booth was large and spacious (12' x 17' !) and very comfortable...

"The Man", Bill, was in charge of the booth for the most part and set everything up beautifully.

We have plenty of photos of the show quilts, but I still need to get permission from the makers to put them on my blog.