Monday, January 31, 2011

Booth Preparation

Here's a little sample quilt I pieced together this weekend to hang in our vendor booth at the Cotton Patch Quilt Guild show the first weekend of March. It blends hand-dyed fabrics with commercial fabrics.

I made 9-patch blocks...

...and then put them together...

This was a little boring, so I made more blocks...

This layout is better. I'll sew them together and add a border.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Busy, Busy

It's been a good, productive day so far. This morning I went to Madison, GA with my friend Mary Ann for a little while. This afternoon I've been updating the quilt guild's website and my own website, mailing out information and descriptions for upcoming classes, etc. It feels good to get so much done.

Later this afternoon I'll be trimming and pricing a bunch of hand-dyed fabric for the upcoming quilt show.

Here are the fabrics I dyed yesterday with the new-to-me method...

Bill, my vintage hippie (can't call them "old hippies" once they reach 60--sensitive), thinks this next piece looks like a flower garden. Uh, okay.

Here's his creation for the day...

Mmmm, homemade salsa with fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Today I used up some soda ash soaked fabric by coloring it with dye in squirt bottles. The process gives wonderful color because as soon as the dye hits the fabric it begins to set the color. Here are some of the dyes in the pans. I'll have the finished photos tomorrow.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fruits of Labor

Here's a batch of dyed fabric waiting to rinsed earlier this week.

And this is a group of table toppers headed to Helix in downtown Athens.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Today's Harvest

My harvest today involves dyeing fabric. I rinsed 11 yards of fabric this morning and this evening I dyed another 14 yards, parfait style, above.

Sewing was a minor disaster, so after applying borders and realizing I did them wrong, I moved to machine quilting. Not so good there either, but I only had to take out some of the quilting when I crossed lines.

This is the small piece I'm quilting. The thread color was a good choice because it enhances the quilt design rather than hiding it. The swirls are also a good size for the piece, they're just not as uniform as I would like.

Here I've torn out some of the offending swirls and can try again. I feel so much better when I tear out imperfect stitching and fix it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Our local quilt show is coming up the first weekend of March-- and I will have a minor toe surgery the second week of February. Yipes. That gives me one month to prepare my vendor booth for the show; that means dye fabric, make wool pincushions, table runners, and plan a layout for the booth.

Doesn't sound too bad, except that in the next 6 weeks I am also the Vendor Chairman for the quilt show (that's been fun), teaching Beginner Quiltmaking classes, giving a lecture to a quilt group in South Carolina, and expecting my son home from the Army. Yipes-a-roo.

So...I'm multi-tasking:

This morning I put a rolled hem on ten table runners for a gift shop downtown. Here's my trusty serger...

I'm using a wonderful variegated thread called Isacord which gives the tiny edge a tiger stripe...

If you have a serger, you know that the edge of the fabric is cut clean before it's sewn. Here are my little trim piles on the floor--gotta make something with those...

This afternoon I did some paperwork, shopped for tables for my upcoming Beginner class, made up some dye colors and started dyeing fabric for our booth...

Okay, break is over! My daily goal for dyeing is 15 yards a day so I have 10 more yards to dye tonight.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Serger, New Toy, Plus New Yarn

For the last few days I have been adding a rolled edge to these hand-dyed fabrics which will be sold at Helix in downtown Athens, GA. This group of pieces is heading there this afternoon...

This is a close-up of the rolled edge...

Serging fabric creates much more lint than a regular sewing machine. After sewing just one edge of this yellow piece, this is how much lint accumulated...

That's alotta lint! You know that this much lint will gumm up the works, so I bought a new toy for cleaning my serger.

I bought this miniature attachment set for the regular vacuum in order to clean up all of that lint. This attachment set is sold in the Shop Vac section at Lowe's or other home improvement stores--well worth the low price because it will save me from frustrating machine problems in the future.

Last week my Colorado friend, Lori, sent me this beautiful yarn which is spun at Sheep Camp Wool Mill in Molina, CO. It's hand-dyed Shetland and it's so soft. I'm picturing a warm vest or shawl in my future. Thanks Lori!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow and Ice Day

No toe surgery for me today, I'm afraid. That's okay, because if the electricity will just hang in there this will be a perfect day for working in the studio!

We woke up to this...

That's the ash can for the fire place under the table. We have 6-1/2" and it's being covered by freezing rain. We've got plenty of wood for the fire and hot water and coffee in the thermoses, plus a big pot of chicken soup.

I'm hoping to be able to finish off some of these over the next few days as the whole city will be closed (no plows, no sand trucks)...

It will be a lovely day...except for this guy saying over and over again "You said there would be no snow in Georgia!!!" Hummm. I don't know how this happened.

The big ski racer has turned into a snow grump in his golden years (but he's still a sweetie).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Serger Success!

It has been a good day! The serger I bought last year has been talking to me..."use me, use me", but I've been avoiding the multi thread, complicated, sewing monster for a while. Today I conquered my serger fear and dove in.

With DVD's in hand -- yes, I bought a serger with instructional DVD's -- I threaded it with no trouble (!!!!), changed the thread colors, mixed colors to get just the right shade for the folded-edge stitch, and made a table runner. Yay!

Is that a beautiful edge or what? Whew!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Girls' Day Out

This morning Mary Stori gave a program for the Lake Oconee Quilters in Eatonton, GA (just 1 hour south of us). Mary is a wonderful teacher and lecturer, so several ladies from the Athens quilt guild drove down to see her.

Mary spoke about how to use beads in quilts and art quilts effectively, and she had plenty of samples and ideas.

Lucky me...I got one of her Beading Buddies books with 78 beading stitches and a quick reference to step-by-step directions.

We're still recovering from the holidays and getting back to normal this week. It was great to see both sons in the same week over the holidays. I had my camera the whole time we were with Darrell and Krystle and I totally forgot to snap a shot of them. Here's one from their camera...

Bryan (below, on the right) came home with one of his Army buddies, Brandon. This was gift giving day...

They both just came out of their last deployment (AMEN!) and will be civilians before long.

All is well.