Thursday, July 2, 2020

Partly Sunny Binding & Review

I am hand sewing the binding on the Partly Sunny quilt. Regular readers know I sew mine down on the FRONT of the quilt, because I like it better and my hand sewing is very good. Can you see my stitches? You cannot. If you want to know what propelled me to this decision, you can read this post.

If you want more details about how I do my binding, you can get my tutorial here, at my Etsy shop. It isn't just my hand stitching that makes my bindings successful. I will tell you everything you need to know.

In case you didn't notice in the photo above, the quilting on Partly Sunny is YELLOW!

By the way, I did not make Partly Sunny. My friend Julie Sefton did. You can read the quilt's story here. Be sure to read those posts, and make sure you read the comments I left.

How did I eventually get to be the owner of this quilt? It was something unexpected. Sorta. You can read that story here.

The story gets more interesting. I was preparing the backing when I made a startling discovery.
At the point, the quilt became a kind of collaboration. I love this quilt, and I love the story. I love my friend Julie.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Binding Firebird

If you thought the fabric I chose for Firebird's binding looked good on the back...

Check it out on the front...

Yeah, I was lucky when I found that fabric online, but as soon as I saw it, I knew.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Firebird is Quilted!

This is so cool!

I made the binding and sewed it on. There will be a lot of hand sewing going on here in the next week.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Partly Sunny is Home!

I drove out to see Janet-Lee today and picked up the Partly Sunny quilt. I completely adore this quilt.

It CLEARLY needed to live HERE!

Here is part of the back folded over. I bought that fabric years ago, and this quilt was just the place for it.

Millie is in complete agreement.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Door Fix

After I posted about the door last week two readers wrote to me to suggest I purchase an ODL Add-On Blind for the door. So I checked it out and found it at Home Depot. It wasn't in stock in either of the stores near me, so I ordered it online and had it delivered.

I had watched the installation video so I had a pretty good idea what to do.

It took less than 20 minutes to install, and I did it in my nightgown, before I even had breakfast.

The mini blinds are behind the glass, so they won't get dusty or dirty. On one side is a slider that raises and lowers the blinds.

On the other side is a slider that opens and closes them.

I am a happy camper.

I had forgotten I ordered this decorative window film as an option for the studio door. So I put it on the small window in the "water closet" part of my bathroom.

This whole project opened my eyes to window films. I did not realize that some window films could protect UV rays from fading fabrics inside the house, or to keep hot sun out in summer and hold the heat in in the winter. I ordered some to put in the skylight in my entrance hallway, where my Quick Brown Fox hangs. I am pretty sure it does affect the color of the light that comes into the house, so that makes it a definite maybe not for use in the windows in the studio, but I'll keep looking. Many of these films look like a mirror on the outside during the day, giving lots of privacy. I have three skylights so I'll be putting the film on the other two, but I don't have to worry about privacy there. If somebody is on my roof looking in I have bigger problems.

BTW, this post was written with the "Legacy" Blogger. I have done nothing to my pictures. It will be interesting to see if they are just as bad or better than the pictures in yesterday's post.

I have one more window to wash, and that's behind my sofa, so that will happen this weekend. The mechanism to swing the windows down to wash the outside of the windows is broken so that one may be a quick job. I might have to wash it from outside, and that entirely depends on my energy level and the height of my ladder!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Stash Gets Organized

I went into the studio yesterday morning and shuffled some fabric around.

Of course, you have to figure out what you're going to do before you do it, but fortunately, I had that part already figured out.

I wanted the top shelf to be white or light fabrics. I store my WOWs together, then whites with colored patterns, then creams and black or gray, then creams with colors and then black on white. I didn't get it done before I had to go to work, but that was fine.

After work, I went in there and finished the top shelf and then organized the browns on the bottom.

(Am I crazy or is the photo quality of the new blogger terrible? I have noticed that if you click the pictures to open them up separately, the photo is in crisp, clear focus, but when you look at it normally, it's lousy. Have I got rocks in my head?)

So this is it finished. It looks good. I adjusted the height of two of the shelves to make it more functional.

I have some fabric I need to iron and put away.

And I have some fabric I have decide if I want to keep or where it should go. I have a lot of pieces that are too small, and I found a lot of stuff I really don't care for. That stuff will go.

And the solution for the door has arrived. I'll install it tomorrow. It's an over the window enclosed mini blind. What started as a fourteen dollar fix has escalated. I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it a lot better.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

One Shelf

I've started working on organizing the stash. I took the fabrics off the shelf and sorted them, then put them back.

I also had some stuff to iron, so I've ironed it and stuck it on the shelf where it belongs.

One shelf down, four more to go!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Backing for 58 Carats

I always like to lay out my quilts on the backing I have chosen so I can be sure it is big enough before I hand it off to my long arm quilter.

Over the long weekend I ironed the backing I chose for the big diamond quilt, 58 Carats.
And because I hadn't trimmed it down, I thought I had better fold the edges over to make sure.

Am I glad I did! Look at this hole in the corner! Each of the four corners looked like this. I had to add fabric! I didn't need much, but from where? I didn't have more.           

Well, if the edge of the quilt was the point of the big printed diamonds, then I could trim these dark blue shapes smaller and use them to fill in those corners.

So that is what I did. This was one of those times when I could either do it or take pictures, and I just did it, and didn't take pictures. As you can see, it worked out fine. Thank goodness!

Here it is, ready to go. It was hard to find the right backing for this, so I ended up choosing a batikish backing with lots of colors all over it. You won't see any of that on the front of the quilt.

Monday, June 22, 2020


I've washed all but two windows in my house. I'll do the last two later today, when the sun has moved away from them. I not only washed the window above my kitchen sink, above, but I also took the mini blind down and washed it too. It's amazing how much brighter the view out the window is.

I did the same thing to the window in my bedroom over my bed. I can't figure out how to take some of the other mini blinds down. I know how to do some of them, but I don't want to break the others, so I will figure out a different way to do them. Every window in the house has mini blinds, and they aren't all the same.

Both these rooms face north so they were easy to do. We've had three days in a row of 89F+ temps, so I've got the AC going, and have prepared my menus for the week with recipes that require little or no cooking.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Happy Father's Day!

My son and granddaughter, clearly enjoying themselves! Happy Father's Day to all dads.

Friday, June 19, 2020

The Studio Tour

Standing in front of the door with the curtain and looking back into the studio, this is the view. The design wall is to the immediate left, then the stash and the small bookcases, then my ironing table. Across to the far right is my large cutting table. It is a drafting table and I use it at an angle. It is much easier on my back to cut at an angle, and since I am five feet tall, this is a big deal. Then there is the table with my sewing machine, then the small cutting table, and you can see the comfy chair in the lower right of the photo.

Standing at the other end of the room in the doorway looking back, this is the room. The big windows are on the left.

I  bought a second hand chair only to discover it was a recliner. TOTAL WIN! It is great to have a very comforable chair in the studio. I sit in that chair to study what's on the design wall.  You can see Millie's kitty condo in the corner.

From just behind the big chair, you can see the design wall, my fabric stash, the bookcases with books and tools and the TV and the Traveling Millies, my ironing table and the inspiration wall above it. And you can also see the long shelf at the top of the room on the left. It stores things I need to keep, but don't need handy.

From Millie's kitty condo in the corner this is the long low shelf that runs the length of the room under the windows. There are a couple of kitty quilts for Millie. It's where I keep a box of kleenex near my sewing machine and my little bin of bobbins, both within arm's reach.

I keep the most used rulers at arm's reach, on the shelf near the big cutting table.

To the side of the sewing table, between two windows, are some of my most commonly used rulers. When I am not cutting strips, the 4-1/2" x 12-1/2" ruler is always in use, as is the 2-1/2" x 6" ruler. I have a few of those. They were cheap and to rationalize the shipping costs when I bought (one) I decided to get four or five. It made sense at the time.

Between the last two windows hang my specialty rulers. I don't buy a tool unless I have a plan to use it, so I don't have every cutting ruler under the sun. The curved wooden dressmaker's ruler belonged to my grandmother. ('Nuff said!)

I store my long metal rulers near the ironing table. I use them mostly when I am preparing backings.

A studio is more than a collection of tools and materials. I want to have things I love around me, and here are some of them.

When I stand at my cutting table I can see this wall. It's nice to have the memory of a hug on my son's wedding day. That is also him when he was 14 in that photo to the right. The blue ribbon was given to me by my best pal, Julie.

The wall behind the ironing table is out of my reach to store anything there, so I use it as a wall of encouragement. I have thank you notes from people who received my quilts and loved them. I have photos of loved ones. I have letters from friends, I have drawings from my granddaughter and postcards of my favorite paintings.

One exception is a magnetic knife rack that I use to store scissors and my binding tape tools.

When your kid leaves you a note like the one above the clock, you keep it. I have no idea what I did to earn that compliment, but I love seeing it every day.

I bought this little painting when I was in Colorado three years ago. It was hanging about three feet above my head, so it wasn't until I paid for it and had it in my hand that I realized it had a barn in it. I'm pretty sure I heard Julie laughing all the way in Tennessee when I sent her the picture. The little stuffed owl above it is a pincushion that is far too cute to be stabbed with pins!

So that's pretty much it. My favorite room.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Window Solution

This is the door without the curtain. Yes it is nice to see outside and all, but this door is at the back of my house. It's kind of secluded back there, and as such it is somewhat a security hazard, so I don't want a wide open view into my house.

DOROTHY! OMG, you were right on the money, except I don't want to permanently block the view, so I decided to use some of that window film you can get at the hardware store. I have some on the window in my dining room so I don't have to look out on the trash (or my neighbor mowing the lawn shirtless with his beer gut hanging over his belt.)

It was the perfect solution for the back door. I went online, ordered the stuff (one roll = 15USD) and drove to the hardware store after work to pick it up. After dinner (and btw, Melissa Clark's Dinner is worth every cent.) I went into the studio and washed the windows on the door and measured the lights.

First one, OK, second and third one ok too. I decided I wanted the pattern on the film to continue pane to pane so I had to pay attention to how I cut it.

Of course I cut the second row way too big, which meant I didn't have enough for the top row. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

But I had used a more plain film to cover one of the skylights in my house, so I used that for the top row. Here's what it looks like from outside. It's OK. I'll have to see it in daylight to see how much it bugs me, because if I rip a quilt apart because I don't like the way it looks, there's no way this is staying like it is now.

And I have to say it's kind of plain. There are some with colors, so I'll have to look around.