Saturday, December 31, 2011

Talented quilter...

I took Em along last evening and stopped in at a friend's house.  My friend is Teresa Fusco.  She is an AMAZING quilter and artist.  Her quilts are absolutely breathtaking.  I was absolutely fascinated with her use of color, stitching and beading.  If I had an ounce of her talent I wouldn't be able to stand myself!

If you have a moment, check out her web page and the gallery of her quilts.  Here's one to tempt you!

Drunkard's Path found in Google Images

Thursday, December 29, 2011

This week...

It was back to reality (to a degree) on Tuesday.  The very best part of my week is that my granddaughter, Emily, is staying with me until I take her home to Virginia on New Year's day.  She went to work with me on Tuesday, did all my filing and then hung out with a co-worker's son.  They had a Harry Potter movie marathon in our conference room, played cards and generally enjoyed each other's company.  Good thing because they are spending the day together at my office again today!

This was Emily's BIG Christmas gift

She has been coveting mine for about 2 years.  She loves this machine with all the little bells and whistles.  She also received lots of sewing "goodies" and several gift cards for Joann's and a gift card to spend at Burkholder's Fabric.  Guess where we are going on Saturday!  The machine is out of the box but we have not had time or opportunity to set it up.  I don't think Emily ever threaded mine or ran a bobbin.   We will be practicing those things so that she will be able to use her machine at home without Grammy standing by.

I always enjoy the 12 days of Christmas and it makes me sad to see so many trees on the curb the day after Christmas.  I love this time of calm and reflection.  I hope you are enjoying your time as well.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A little show and tell

I haven't been taking a lot of photos of things I have been making but I adore this diaper bag.  This is not a "take it to the daycare" diaper bag.  I think of this as an option to take if Momma is going out to dinner, or the doctor's office or church.

Inside there are lots of elastic gathered pockets and a large pocket for diapers.  I included a coordinating changing pad and the sweet little binky bag that loops over the handle.

Besides the fact that I like the style of the bag, I love this fabric.

My customer is giving the diaper bag to her sister for Christmas.  Think the "mama to be" will like it?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I am weak

Dinner won out.  I will pay the price the rest of the weekend.  Wonder how much I can get done today?  I have been up since 4am so I think I have a pretty good jump on the day.

Did you know Coupon Commotion starts at Joann's today?  Our local store opens at 8am.  Guess what I time will get there??!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe...

I'm back!  Good grief!! I cannot believe it has been 3 weeks since I posted last.  That isn't exactly true.  I can believe it.  I have been crazy busy since I returned from my too brief trip to Virginia to see my sons and their families.

This is a small area of my studio

Try to imagine an entire 12 x 17 space that looks like that and you will have some idea of my work (!) process.  I have heard of women that create one thing at a time, finish and then put all of their scraps into size and color coded containers.  I don't know any of those women personally so I am thinking that might just be a rumor and not fact.

I am going to try to do a big sew-in tonight but may be lured into going out for dinner.  I think I just heard a steak and glass of wine call my name...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I think I must have the nicest, most helpful readers in the blogosphere!  I received a comment from "SewLindaAnn" directing me to the Quilt in a Day website where they had one (1) yard left of the Zenith fabric I needed for a weekender tote. I snagged that baby (and admit to doing a little other shopping there) and it should be in the mail to me by this evening.  Totally made my morning!

I have a lot for which to be thankful (including blog readers!) and hope you also take the time to also reflect on the blessings in your life, large or small, this holiday.  Remember that everything in this life is a gift and offering thanksgivings for those gifts is both an honor and praise.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge

Want to improve your free motion quilting skills?  See the button on my sidebar for the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge?  Click on it and see what SewCalGal is suggesting on her blog site.  I think it is a great idea designed to improve skills and confidence in using your domestic sewing machine to free motion quilt.  I am a decent free motion quilter but there are skills that I want to learn and I think this is a great opportunity.  Additionally, there are going to be some pretty cool giveaways from vendors.  Check it out.  It may be something you want to try, too!

Lots of orders means

more fabric!!  Though the women chose from my stash for their purse/accessory orders, I still needed accent fabrics or additional fabrics to make everything.  Yesterday was the last day I could use my coupon at Burkholder's so after I finished work I picked up my sister and we headed over the mountain.

I had the brown fabric in my stash but needed something to match that weird lime green polka dot.  I think the dotted fabric I found works beautifully.

I already had the brown floral and picked up the variegated dot fabric to use in a diaper bag order.

I bought the purple floral back when they had the big cotton close out at Fabric Mart about 2 years ago.  Naturally, I had nothing in my stash that worked with it.  Found these two purples and now have to decide which bag gets which shade of purple.

Now, just because I never met a red tonal 3 Sisters for Moda fabric that I didn't like, I had to buy this

Don't know what I will use it for but use it I will!

Lastly, I need more of this fabric.  I know that I saw it somewhere in the past 2 months but it wasn't Burkholder's.  It came out back in 2010 so I realize the chance of finding any will be slim.  Do you have a piece in your stash?

I have two other coordinating pieces that I will use in the bag but this border print is only about 18" wide and I need at least 27" for the bag.  I can do it if I run the print vertically but the customer would prefer that the floral run horizontally.  The fabric is Zenith by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics.  The item code is 3701.  If you have about a yard please let me know.  I have a checkbook and I am not afraid to use it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

So...I didn't sew on Friday night

I really did want to sew for the FNSI but just didn't trust that all the anesthesia was out of my system.  Drugs and a rotary cutter sounds like a really bad idea!  Thanks for all your well wishes.  It was easy surgery and I had very little post op pain.  I love my surgeon, anesthesiologist and the nursing staff at Surgical Institute of Reading.

Instead of sewing on Friday night, I washed two canvas drop cloths to make curtains for my living room.  I have had sweet white cafe' style curtains since I moved in.  I have wanted floor to ceiling drapes for a while but  they just were not high enough on my list of priorities.  My dear sister picked up the drop cloths at Home Depot for me while I was at the hospital.  She also picked up the curtain rings.  I already had 4 boxes of Rit Color Remover (in my opinion, a much better solution than bleach) to lighten color of the drop cloths.  After they were dry I ironed them and then pressed a fold down the center.  I used canvas that was 6' x 9' and I have narrow windows so three feet wide for each panel looked appropriate.  I just cut along the fold with a pair of scissors and used 1/4" wide fusible tape along the cut edge.  I ironed that on, flipped over the first hem, ironed that down and then ironed over another quarter inch.  I sewed that on the machine on Saturday morning.  I attached clips on the top (my son put the rods up for me a couple of months ago) and hung them.  They are exactly the right length without any hemming...gotta love that!  I really like the way they look and think they make the room look larger.

I have a window on either side of the front door.  The windows are not centered on the either wall.  Seriously, how hard would it have been to create a little symmetry in the front of the house?!  Look how closely that rod is placed next to the adjoining wall.  (Makes me just a little bit twitchy...)

On Saturday I finished up some sewing for the purse party I was having Sunday.  One thing I needed to do was have at least one Christmas table runner finished.  I quilted up this one really quickly and then sewed the binding on while I watched TV on Saturday night.

I stitched in the ditch around the pinwheels, meandered the outer border and stippled between the blocks.  I love using white against the bright Christmas colors.

The purse party was very successful. I received lots of orders as well as sold several bags "off the rack".  I will be displaying bags, accessories and quilts at an open house in early December.  I am only taking pre-made items with me and will not be doing any custom work again until after the holidays.  I have plenty to keep me busy until then!

As a matter of fact, the studio is calling my name right now!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friday Night Sew In

I am having some minor surgery tomorrow but when the anesthesia wears off I will be in front of a sewing machine. I am just hoping that I will be aware enough to KNOW that the anesthesia is out of my system. I think sewing under the influence might be the teeniest bit dangerous!

If you want to sign up, click on the button on my sidebar and it will take you directly to the blog site.  Looking forward to seeing what you are doing!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Not just playing with Blogger

I have been making bags - lots and lots of bags.  I have a party on Friday night and I don't have nearly enough inventory.  If history repeats, most of the women at the party will end up ordering custom bags but I like having lots of examples.

I have set up shop in my dining room

I have set up shop in my studio

I hope I will have at least 10 more bags finished by Friday morning.  As a buffer I am taking off half a day on Friday.  Looks like I will need it!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Y'all prepare yourselves!

I learned how to do something new and I am like a dog with a pork chop bone. I will not let it rest!! I have changed my blog page header twice now in the last couple of weeks. I keep finding new and better ways to do stuff and I must play. Please be patient with me. I will get over myself soon!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Retreat Update

Early on Saturday morning
 You knew I would have a good time, didn't you?!  The company was great, food was fantastic and the innkeepers are lovely people. 

The retreat was terrific although I had one sewing nightmare after the other.  I worked on a simple braid quilt and if I never see it again it will be too soon!  (You would have thought I was performing brain surgery.)  I won't even show it to you until the border is on and that may be years from now.  I did start on my "Swoon" quilt and though all the pieces are easy and quick to cut, I learned quickly that I needed to read the directions several times before actually sewing anything.  I have a quarter (!) of one block done.  I worked on a bag and didn't have the right color thread to quilt it so it is designated for the trash can.

Saturday at dusk

I am not going to say much about the snow and let the photos speak for themselves.  We had flickering lights many times but never lost power.  Sunday morning was the perfect winter October!

View from the car window as I headed towards home
I was one of two "newbies" at the retreat.  The executive committee extended a return invitation to both of us and I will be delighted to return...and bring a box of scraps 'cause there are some serious scrap quilters in the group! 

Friday, October 28, 2011


This afternoon I am driving to the White Oak Bed & Breakfast in Lancaster County to retreat with Nancy and 8 other quilters.  My clothing is packed, my chair is packed and I have 10 projects packed just in case I get a bad case of "quilters ADD"!

I have never been on a quilt retreat without my sister so I am both excited and a little bit nervous.  Sure hope they like me!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

FNSI Results!!

I am pretty pleased with what I accomplished last night.  I had an order for a small, cross body purse.  I think this will work!

Isn't it cute?  It's only about 8 inches high, 2 inches deep and about 7 inches wide.

The bag has two pockets inside and on the back is a large padded pocket.  It is perfect for a cell phone, sun glasses, etc.

One down, 29 to go!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gonna do the "Friday Night Sew In"?

It's that time again!

I know that I will be sitting in front of my sewing machine tomorrow night.  I am in the mood to do something fun but have not decided what that will be.  I have some charm squares and yardage that may turn into a quilt tomorrow night!

Click on the button on my sidebar to go directly to Heidi's site to sign up.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Summer" quilt

Months ago, I started a quilt for my mother.  She wanted something to throw over her in the living room if she got a little chilly from the air conditioning.  (My first suggestion was to turn off the a/c but you should have seen the look I got!)  I have had the quilt top done for months but just never got around to quilting it.  It was on my list of projects that I wanted to finish before the big bag push.  I attached the binding yesterday afternoon and spent the evening hand stitching.

Because I wanted this on and off the long arm pretty quickly, I did a huge meander.  This is the first quilt that I have used flannel as the batting material.

The quilt is heavier than I thought it would be but certainly not as heavy as it would be had I used Warm and Natural (my batting of choice).  Originally it was going to be bound in the small purple print that I used for the inside border.  Unfortunately, I was about 10" short (can you just imagine how annoyed I was?!) which I discovered as I made the last turn attaching the binding.  Finding there was not any additional fabric left at Burkholder's, I asked my sister to pick up something so she brought me more of the outside border fabric.  I am just happy there was enough to make binding for the ENTIRE quilt!

Would I use flannel again for batting?  Absolutely!  I did not pre-wash any of the fabric (I am crazy that way) and it washed and dried beautifully.  The drape is very soft and the quilt is warm.  The flannel I used is the basic quilter's flannel at Joann's and I used a coupon so I think it was roughly $3 a yard.  I think flannel would be good choice for batting especially in baby quilts.  The downside is having to piece the flannel.  I ran the batting seam opposite the backing seam and did not have any difficulty quilting it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lots of quilting!

My sister has been out of town quite a bit over the past month or so.  While she was gone I had access to her long arm so I took the opportunity to finish several quilts.

The first is the black and white Delectable Mountains quilt (I posted photos a long time ago!)that I am going to gift as a Christmas present to my brother and his girlfriend.  IMG_1342 Because the outer border is mostly red, I thought the quilt would look sharp if I quilted in red.  IMG_1344 The quilt pattern is very linear so I quilted with a large looping meander to contrast.

Several years ago, I made a braid quilt from a pattern found on Moda’s Bake Shop blog.  Once again I went to the “well” of my 3 Sisters scraps and all the fabrics I used were from several collections.  IMG_1346 I quilted this one pretty heavily.  I did a large loop in the outer border, smaller loop in the inside border, feathered down the center of each braid and then stippled between the feather rows.  IMG_1351 It took me about 5 hours to quilt and I went through nearly 3 pre-wound bobbins.  I am very happy with the quilting and doing this one really helped build my confidence.


I have one more to quilt to bind and then I think I am going to work mostly on bags and totes for Hazelnut Deux.  I am afraid the holidays will be here long before I am ready!

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