Sunday, October 4, 2015

Quilting tools

Do you have some quilting tools you can't do without? I'm not much for gadgets. They have to really help me do something better or I won't use them. Some seem to slow me down. For example....
I know a lot of folks love using the binding clips. I bought these recently (are they not exactly like little girl hair barrettes?!). At first I thought they were great, but they really slowed me down. I don't pin my bindings but use my left thumb to turn it up as I stitch with my right hand. Nope. They are not for me. One thing I like to do for bindings is keep my little recycled zip bag full of everything I need -- needles, hand quilting thread, scissors, thimble, reading glasses. When I'm ready to bind, I just grab it and go.
These were an investment ($$$). They are leader clips. Pinning a quilt onto a long arm machine takes about an hour. With these, you place the fabric over the hard plastic dowel that has been inserted into the leader fabric. Then snap on the top. The verdict is still out but I do know they are not good for a quilt that has no border, or a border you want to quilt to the edge. Ok for loading the backing but I probably won't use them on the top again. On this quilt I had a two inch border that I wanted to quilt to the edge. They took up about 3/4" of my two inch border.
This jewel, I love....It is a silicone lint roller. Got it at the quilt show in Chattanooga. It came with three sizes -pocket, regular, and this big boy. Great for picking up all the little threads that attach themselves to us quilters and our work space. The only draw back is after you rinse it in hot water to release the junk it picked up, then you have to dispose of the water, preferably not in the sink unless you also use a drain to catch the threads.
I went out on a limb and tried a McTavishing type filler on my shadow quilt. I think it is much easier than stippling and looks "fancier." It really wasn't hard. The key is using matching thread to the fabric. On the back (Orange) it looks quite messy but on the front, beautiful. I worked all day yesterday on this. The filler took 9 bobbins of thread and today my arms and shoulders are sore.
So, what are your favorite tools of the trade?

(by the way, I've updated my running under its tab, and added a new wonderful recipe under the recipe tab)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Learning machine quilting

I've been scouring over lots of machine quilting YouTube videos lately. I want to learn how to do better at custom quilting. I found a relatively easy technique for filling background called McTavishing. I am going to try it on the white background on the shadow quilt.

They recommend using a thread the same color as the background, at least on first attempts. So I'll be changing thread from a light gray to a white for the filler. This one will take some time to quilt, but I am ready to stretch my abilities so I am excited to get started on it. I found a star pattern and learned how to enlarge it using the iPad. Just take a pic of it, then go into a free application that enlarges it. The biggest enlargement made it perfect for a six inch square. I have a new straight edge tool for the straight line quilting. I am ready to go! Going to a quilt shop today to find the right backing so I can get started.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Machine quilting

Trying to decide how to quilt the shadow quilt.

I know I want to do the sunburst in the center and the straight lines on the gray. Guess I'll do the pebbles in the white, although I know those take for-ev-eh!


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fall is here

Got out some fall decor today....


Found these lovelies outside.....

Apple pie steel cut's what's for breakfast.

Made some yummy cookies....nommm

Got all the blocks done on the Remembrance Quilt.

...and received some great castle photos from the kids. They visited Alnwick today.



Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday night lights

There is not much else I'd rather do on a Friday night.....

Upstairs in my quilt room, window open, a little cool air flowing in, along with the sound of the local high school band playing at the ballgame a mile or so away.

Didn't even have to cook tonight. The hubby wanted to eat chili for a fundraiser.

He wanted us to make a selfie to send to baby girl....We send her videos and pictures pretty often.

I said there is not much else I'd rather do on a Friday night....I can think of one thing I'd rather be doing -- playing with my granddaughter.



This may not have been such a good idea......

I had eight miles I my training schedule for today and it was raining so I did it on the treadmill. My treadmill isn't working properly (they are sending a new computer board for it). It works but isn't registering the correct speed.......I watched Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company the whole time.....many, many quilting tutorials......when I finished running, I went to their website and ordered a bunch of quilting supplies...... :)

Anyone made anything with their half hexie ruler?


Monday, September 21, 2015


I say this every week...I love being off work on Mondays! Very productive today. Did some things for mom, ran three on the treadmill, made good progress on my two projects.....

Blocks for the shadow quit are coming along...And only nine more blocks to make for the remembrance quilt.

...but looks like I'm going to have to calibrate the treadmill. I've noticed it says I am going really slow when I feel like more. I think normally most people are able to go faster on a treadmill than outside.

I compared the Garmin to it, and sure isn't working properly. I didn't calibrate it when it was set up. I guess I figured that was one of the things I paid for in setting it up, evidently not.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Busy, busy week

It has been a whirlwind this week. I'll start out by telling you about a little project I started last weekend...

I wanted to make a table runner using leaves and a discharging method to create shadows, like the square one I made several years ago.

So I got some black fabric and picked up leaves from the yard. I ironed on some freezer paper to a few to see if it would help them lay flat. Didn't really help, but I will need paper patterns for the fabric leaves at the next step so maybe I can use them later.

I was a little disappointed at the results. The black didn't discharge very well and some of the Clorox mix rolled off the leaves and left some definite bleached out spots. I couldn't find time later to work on it again.

Friday some of my church quilting group friends and I made a trip to the Chattanooga Quilt show. We had a great time, and were inspired, awed, and overwhelmed at all the beautiful quilts. Of course we couldn't get out without doing some shopping at the booths.

Then today we had a women's conference at church. Kay DeKalb Smith was the speaker/singer and did a fantastic job. She uses humour, song, and personal testimonies to get across her message. I really enjoyed it. We had a couple of breakout sessions and I was the presenter for one.

I did a "trunk show" type presentation and I actually used a trunk, one that belonged to my grandmother. I shared about my passion for quilting and how the Lord lead me to make a ministry out of a hobby -Remembrance Quilt Ministry. I had slides of many of the quilts I had made for gifts, and the ones made from loved ones' shirts. I also brought about 20 others to show.

Haven't had much down time at all this week. In another blog post I hope to share a little about a couple of products I bought at the show. Hope you've had a good week and are enjoying the weekend!


Saturday, September 12, 2015


Beautiful fall day......

Got in a long run this morning. Cooked chicken, mushroom, wild rice soup and homemade bread for supper...oh yeah, and a chocolate cake too. Even did a little sewing on both quilting projects I've got going. And the best part was facetiming with baby girl Emma. Love to hear her say, Maymaaw.

..those still my heart.

This was last night's supper. It was delicious. Kale, shrimp, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Gluten free, healthy, and yummy.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Guild Day

The attendance at our monthly guild meeting was down today but I enjoyed the meeting immensely. We got to see about half of a video about threads from Superior thread company. I learned a lot. There was even some discussion about their needles that was very informative. After the meeting I went to the shop in Greenback, which is great. Good prices, not your everyday fabrics, and lots of inspiration. I knew I'd find what I was looking for.

Some nice solids with subtle texture. And although I am supposed to be working on a remembrance quilt...

I just had to make a few blocks in this design. I love making quilts from strips.

Did you ever have something turn out EXACTLY like you imagined?

So far the blocks are just that. Hopefully when the quilt is finished it too will be what I envisioned. I'm trying some new techniques in an effort to be more precise. I am using a little starch as I piece, I'm really trying hard to keep my stitch at a scant 1/4", and I'm squaring up very often. I also picked up some Superior Topstitch needles, that I heard about today.

Nothing like some new needles, fabric, and a plan to get you motivated!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day

The hubs got up early for a day of fishing. Me, spent the morning with my mom at the hospital. After I got her back home, my back was hurting. I must have had sympathy pains for her. She was at the emergency room due to acute back pain. I was determined to walk mine out. I needed to run three miles today but I had settled on walking due to my back. Walked the first mile but then was able to slowly run the last two. The activity seemed to help it.

The shirt cutting I did yesterday may have something to do with my back ache, so I decided not to do anymore sewing today. Just taking it easy on the swing, enjoying the holiday.

Here is the progress on the latest remembrance quilt....Seven blocks down, 23 more to go.

My DIL sent me this great picture of my son in his new kilt.

I actually won a contest last year from Gordon Nicholson kiltmakers, and he got the free kilt. He picked the University of Edinburgh tartan, and he will wear it to his graduation once he completes the work for his PhD. I think he looks very handsome, and..oh so Scottish!


Saturday, September 5, 2015


Sometimes all it takes to inspire some creativity is to be alone and think. I've been wanting to make a new quilt pattern and have had my eye on some of the beautiful shadow quilts I've seen on Pinterest. I wanted to make my pattern a little different so it would truly be my own. My inspiration came yesterday while doing this......

I haven't been on the paddle board much this summer and decided yesterday to go out. Nothing like a little vitamin D, enjoying God's creation, and some solitude to renew your mind.

So....when I came home I worked on the design.....

It isn't final, but I have a good idea of where I want to go with it.

I have a theory......those of you who blog, would you consider yourselves introverts? My guess is a majority of casual bloggers are introverts. Why? Because we like our alone time, we don't always do well in conversation, and are much more comfortable writing out our, are you? (More of my thinking as I was on the lake Have a great day, ya'll!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

My View

This is where I sit and have breakfast....and where me and the hubs have supper.

I love this little view. Just recently I pulled the shutters back. I can see my swing, the flower boxes, and usually get a view of the cats when they are outside. Certainly nothing special by most standards, but special to me.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Got it....

I've decided on the design for my next Remembrance quilt. Simple, but I think it will work. I'll have to replace one of the Center blocks with the big Harley block. I think the smaller patches will fit in a few of the middle squares.

Cut the shirts into 2 1/2" strips, plus a couple of 4 1/2" squares for the centers. 12" finished blocks. ~60"x72". Now I am more motivated. Let's get 'er done.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Taking a break

I guess I've taken a break from quilting lately. Still doing a little running though.........

Three miles today. I've got the shirts for a remembrance quilt but they have a lot of Harley Davidson patches on them. I'm sure she wants those in the quilt, but that means I can't use my two go-to patterns for remembrance quilts. Going to have to think of a new pattern that will work with them......need to put my thinking cap on for this one.