Friday, January 30, 2015

Change Partners and Dance... redux

I tried to hang the letters on the front porch on Tuesday, and one of them fell and a serif on the letter "T" broke. I had known they were old and brittle and was worried this might happen. I was worried about the letters hanging in a place where they would be subjected to the wind and other elements that might knock them over, and I guess I was right.

I talked to my Mom later, thinking I would just scrap the whole idea but she said, "Oh, no! Those letters are too special for you to give up. You have to find a way to do it."

Of course she was right, and as I looked at the pieces after taking this photo, I have another idea to hang the letters and make them secure.  It won't happen soon because I have a lot to do, but it will happen. In the meantime I'll glue the little pieces back together and give the letter "T" a touch up.

Dear Megan, if you think I have the patience to do hand quilting you are seriously mistaken. I don't and besides, the arthritis in my right hand won't let me do that for very long. 

Terri and Susan, I only close up the studio when the temperatures outside get below 10F. There is an electric heater in that room and I can turn it on whenever I want, so I only use it when I have to be in there working. Right now it's no harm no foul because I have other irons in the fire. You should know me well enough to know that if I've got a sewing project that I'm very excited about wild horses couldn't pull me away from the sewing machine.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snow, Cold, Busy

This is the view out my front window. This photo was taken about 4 PM on Tuesday. The snow wasn't done falling. We had almost two feet of snow, and it's been blowing and it's cold. It's 52F in my sewing studio, so I've been avoiding it. 

Otherwise I'm busy, but fine.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Curtains! Snow!

I've finally made a curtain for the door in the sewing studio. I've been preparing my class for QT on Saturday, and that's almost ready. Next up I have to work on my talk to the Amoskeag Quilter's Guild in February.

As everybody probably knows, I am in the path of Snowstorm Juno (when did they start giving snowstorms names?) We are expecting between 18 to 25 inches of snow, wind gusts of 35 MPH and a potential loss of electricity (sigh.) The governor has declared a state of emergency, and our company will be closed tomorrow. If I'm lucky, I'll spend the day cozy and warm at home, watching the Australian Open on TV and getting in a little sewing. If not... well, it just doesn't bear thinking about.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Little Something

You have all read that the red curtain in the bathroom didn't work. While cleaning yesterday, I moved the old curtain to the living room. Actually I tossed it on the back of the plum colored wing chair I have. The fabric is in good condition, and I planned to put it in one of the scrap bins. A few hours later I walked by, took a look at it and stopped. Then I got a brainstorm.

The wing chair is upholstered in violet ultrasuede.  Sitting right next to it is a red-orange upholstered chair, and on that chair was a small purple fleece pillow. The pillow was coming apart at the seams and was covered in cat hair. (Fleece = cat magnet)

So I decided to recover the little pillow.  Check it out.

and here...

Some would say it's serendipity.

I think it's Karma.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Duck, Duck, Goose

OK, I don't really know what that means, but it sounds good.

I have been wondering what to put in the little bathroom to highlight the new curtain.
 The Mashed Potato Crayons fit, but it just disappears on the wall.

While packing up my supplies for the Letters class I'll be teaching at Quilted Threads next week, I found this seminole patchwork quilt I had made several years ago.  This is MUCH better. At some point I'll paint the walls and replace the hardware, but this is fine for now.

The project I can't tell you about is almost finished. I hope to send it off on Monday. Once that's in the mail, and I've finished preparing for the class, I'll be back sewing.

I cannot wait.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

This and That

I haven't been sewing, but I haven't exactly been a slug, either. I am painting this four panel folding screen to use in the studio.  I'll use it to block the sun from hitting my fabric stash. I'll be making the curtains for it later. You'll see.

I've paired up the purple and orange fabrics for my nephew's quilt.
and I'll use this layout:

Yes Megan, this will certainly be a fluorescent-ly bright quilt, but hey, that's what

this guy (my nephew) asked for.

I also paid the bills and made four loaves of English Muffin bread.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Black and White

I really liked the way the red curtain looked in the bathroom.  Until I realized it made it dark in there all the time. Even when the sun is out, the room is dark.


So I had to figure out an alternative. Browsing through my stash I found something that made me smile.

No, these are not sunglasses
I only had a yard of this, and I needed a bit more so I added a complimentary fabric.

I still need to hem the bottom, but I think this is a lot better. And certainly a lot more fun.

(Now I need to make a small black and white quilt with a funny phrase for the other wall.  Hmm...)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Orange and Purple

This is not the project I can't tell you about.

These are the fabrics I've chosen for my nephew's graduation quilt. It will be a Rail Fence like I made late last year. The quilt will have 30 blocks, and there are enough strips here for more than that, so I have a good selection for interesting combinations.

I'll be starting it after I finish the project I can't tell you about (which is coming along very well. I expect to finish it this week.)

I'm really happy with the fabrics and I think these will make some terrific combinations.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

This and That

I've been working on that project I can't tell you about. It's coming along very well although I had to take some time out this morning to pick up and fold all the fabric I had thrown about. I had been getting frustrated. Of course, the real solution was to take a deep breath, and go a bit slower. Picking up the stuff that made it really messy helped too.

I baked two loaves of bread yesterday, and spent an evening last week ordering seeds for the garden. Now that I have a house I can plant my garden in the ground in an actual garden instead of in pots around a parking lot. (Did I tell you that as soon as I moved out of the old place, the landlord put the house up for sale? And that it sold less than two months later?)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adapt, Improvise, Overcome

As many of you know, my sewing studio is a sun porch, and gets its light from four large sliding glass windows. While it has a couple of heating vents, the room was never designed to be kept at "room temperature" when it gets really, really, cold.

How cold is "really really cold?"  As I write this, about 9:30 PM on Wednesday, it is 3F (-16C) outside. The temperature is supposed to drop another 12 degrees overnight, resulting in a temperature of -9F  (-22C) just before sunrise.

If you think that's cold, you need to know that with the wind right now, the Wind Chill Factor makes it feel like -16F.  The temperature in the studio now is just under 60F.

That means it's very uncomfortable out there. So I am not doing much sewing this week. 
 I moved the portable ironing table into the living room to do a few little things, but mostly I'll be reading and watching TV from the couch.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Just Soup-er

I added some space between the JUST MAKE and the SOUPER rows. 

Yes, I should probably add space between BE, CHICKEN and HAVE NO, (and yeah, the bird could probably use another heart) but right now I'm too pissed off. I wanted this to be a quick little down-and-dirty project but NOOOOO! The damn quilt has taken a life of its own and this sucker is one DEMANDING dude. 

Screw it. He can wait. I have other stuff I want to do first.

by the way, the title for this quilt is going to be "Just Soup-er."

And yes, I do have a large collection of dud or misfit letters and a lot of extra bits and bobs. I'm from New England. We don't throw anything out if we think it could be useful in the future. The only things I made for this quilt are the three hearts, the wonky four patches, the letter M in AMAZING, the ER in SOUP-ER and the two seminole dot trios. Everything else came from the scrap and orphans bins.

Monday, January 5, 2015


It started with this.
I didn't like it.

I changed it, but I wasn't really thrilled with this either.

The butterfly didn't really look like much of an improvement.

The asterisk didn't seem to fit.

But then I tried these three almost invisible hearts, and I liked them very much.

I think this is very close to being finished.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


The world is a funny place. I decided to make a quilt using my leftover bits, my scraps, my duds, and some orphans.  I took the word SOUP and added an ER to it to get SOUPER,

but a lot of people didn't like it. My sister came over yesterday and pointed to the ER. "This is too light."

Rebecca didn't like it. Lindaroo didn't like it. Megan was confused.

So even though the letters were already sewn into the quilt, I took them out.

 As you can see, there are thirteen individual pieces.

Then I made a new set of letters, and I made them DARK so everybody could see them and they wouldn't get lost.

Can't miss them now.

So Rebecca, Megan, Lindaroo, Sis, and anybody else who had reservations..  Do you approve?

PS Terri, I know about kerning, I studied lettering in college. I do the best I can when putting letters together in a way that makes sense visually. Unfortunately, a lot of times the seams get in the way.

 UPDATE - Some comments from me, after reading yours...
Ladies, I am amazed that you are all taking this so seriously. The plan was to use my leftover scraps to make this flimsy. I thought it would be fun to add the letters E and R to the word SOUP to make a version of SUPER. I thought it would be funny. A play on words. Ladies, loosen up! The whole thing is a joke of epic proportions.  Relax!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

"QUILTS" -- updated!

For everybody who sees my finished work, I thought we'd start with how I get there BEFORE I trim stuff to make it "neat."

I suppose this puts "working improvisationally" in context.

Actually, I thought the "I" was to wide so I narrowed it down, even though I knew it would jam the letter closer to the U and the T on either side.  Then I thought there was too much space between the L and the T, so I sewed those two closer together too.

Here's the "cleaned up" version.

Now, however, when I look at the word on the design wall with all the others I think... it's too small and the letters are jammed too close together... and I don't like those four patches I added yesterday...

This is when it's time to put the tools down, leave the studio and go do something else.

HOWEVER, the point of this flimsy is to show students how I put things together, which they can understand more effectively by being able to look at the back. This exercise was never meant to be quilted, and rather than spend a lot of time making a super spiffy flimsy (that I would always lament I couldn't have quilted) I decided to use my duds, my rejects, my orphans and put something (anything) together.

From a strictly technical point of view, this is fine. It meets the requirements and I didn't have to expend huge amounts of energy, time and money to put it together.

From a design and creative point of view... it is lacking, I admit.


You didn't really think I could leave it that way, did you?

 I couldn't. I took it apart, made a new I and a new L and pushed them apart a bit. The word is still small, but I like it better.

This morning, even the four patches don't bother me so much.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Letter Flimsy Grows

I've sewn all the words and rows together except the last one "QUILTS." The light in the studio isn't that great at night so the photos aren't so sharp and in focus.

I used the leftover bits from the Rail Fence quilt to make some four patches to fill up the spaces on either side of the "SOUP-ER AMAZING" block.

This damn flimsy is getting BIG! Right now it is 42" tall by 57" wide.