31 December 2012

End of the year giveaway

It's a long story why I received 2 copies of this magazine but I am giving away one of them to a lucky commenter. This magazine covers ALL fiber, not just fabric. It is new, just one year old, and gives a good selection of what is happening in the fiber field. This is the latest issue.

Also, here are a few pics of the quilt on Brian's bed with me, Aidan (Springer Spaniel) and Niamh (poodle).

28 December 2012

Just found out

A watercolor I did in 2010 and recently donated to an animal shelter auction, sold for $200. Makes me feel great to not only help the animals but have my work validated.

26 December 2012

I love making books

This is the all time most fun while you watch Netflix activities that I do. First of all, I love books - all books:  reference books,  novels, art books, sketch books and especially books I make to give to friends.

Here is a quick one in pictures.

The folded signatures, waxed linen, covers, scissors and a curved needle.

Cover made with binder board and paste paper.

Inside of the cover

Eight pages of "paper bag".

Lots of pages of light weight watercolor paper - student grade.

Brown construction paper - 8 pages

Stitched spine (Coptic)

24 December 2012

Sunshine Quilt Finished

I decided to give this quilt a sunny name because it was such a pain in the neck - I'm trying to stay positive. Four days later, I made it to the store for more fabric for a edge border. Yes, I paid 4.99 a yard for batiks.

Now the quilt was about 75" square and I needed to add a 4" border with an edge and binding to make it big enough to look good hanging over the bed.

This is it without the 4" border. It looks OK but not very generous.

The borders with the binding

Hangs much nicer

My attempt at humor - one square on point.

Border on the top edge

Wrapping it for Solstice (hence "Sunshine" quilt)

21 December 2012

Quilting done

I used rows of straight stitch on the stripped blocks

and  something in the middle then square spiral rows around the centers of the log cabin(ish) ones

These are the "rough" squares before trimming

The back side of the "rough" square. You can see where I made a huge mistake requiring hours of work to fix. I cut the backing pieces too small and had to scab on an inch on both sides. Yuck!

I had to trim the squares to 12.5" square BUT on the wrong side because the backing was the problem.

The square trimmed

The front of the square trimmed

Next mistake was pre-cutting the connector strips TOO SMALL. Now, did I bother to read my own tutorial NO!! Instead of cutting 4.5" strips for 2 " connectors, I cut ALL the fabric I had left to 2.5" strips for 1" connectors. sigh!. Now I need more fabric and I have to wait because the store is 45 miles away. Double sigh!!
I sewed rows 1 & 2 together  then 3 & 4 together then 5 & 6 together to keep the weight down. The I sewed 1/2 to 3/4 then finally the last double strip 5/6.

19 December 2012

Sewing the blocks

I was so short on fabric that I was sewing scraps together into long strips to use so very little fabric was wasted. I decided to do half the 36 blocks in a stripe,

 Two of the striped blocks

and half in log cabin(ish) blocks,

I just couldn't resist putting just a "touch" of bright blue into each block but one so 35 have a touch of blue and one is all yellow/orange.

This took me a few days.... my studio sounded like a factory......

17 December 2012

Another QAYG project

I virtually never buy commercial fabric but a QAYG (Quilt As You Go) project is the one exception. I decided to make another bed quilt - also something I ALMOST never do but found that I needed to do one now. It is for an Xmas gift so I won't mention who it is for.
Here is how I started this project. I bought 12 - half yard pieces of coordinating fabric thinking that would be enough. When I got home and saw the fabric in natural light I took an instant dislike to one of them. I tossed it. Fortunately I found almost a yard of fabric that went well in my stash of old commercial fabric and it was a batik as well. As it was, I almost ran out of fabric on this 80" X 80" quilt. Yikes!
Here is the fabric:

The bottoms most fabric is the one that was tossed. It looked OK in the store but in daylight looked like neon orange. Orange, yellow and red are the only colors I REALLY don't like so this has been a hard project to get through. Fortunately I listen to talking books on my MP3 player while I "trudge" through.
The reason some of the fabrics are cut is that I began cutting before realizing I needed the picture of the fabrics whole to show you. Oops.

The other BIG mistake I made and which took a lot of time to "fix" was that I tore the backing quilt fabric too small;  a case of "Don't bother to read your own directions". I ended up having to sew on an extra inch strip on top and side of each of the 18 backing squares. Was this really my idea after all???

15 December 2012

A great opportunity

The Claire Benn, Leslie Morgan and Jane Dunnewold books are very pricey since they come from the UK. Now and until Jan 15th, Dharma is having a half off shipping offer. Their shipping rates are outrageous so this is a great time to buy those books and enjoy half off shipping.
The half off shipping code is


14 December 2012

Card Finished

and my best wished for all of you for a happy and healthy New Year.

12 December 2012

Winter Solstice Cards

This is the time of year I make all handmade original solstice cards. This year I wanted to do a stamp of the sky, trees and returning sun in Maine. Here is my process:

Soft-kut from Dick Blick

Acrylic paints on a sheet of heavy plate glass

The stamp, plate and roller

The pre-printed card, 2 on each side of the paper, and the PVC pipe I used as a roller to put equal pressure on the stamp

The production line. When dry I turn them over and print the other side with the stamp.

One sheet before cutting.

10 December 2012

All feet

So now you will all know how totally weird I am. I LOVE socks but have a hard time finding just the RIGHT kind. Today I stuck it lucky and came home with SIX pairs of fabulous socks. Last year I splurged and bought a pair of cashmere socks for $12.50. They had holes in them after the first 5 or 6 times. Very sad. However I am cutting off the leg portion and making new cuffs for my raggedy sweatshirt.
Here are my fabulous new socks:

The ones that look like boring black socks are called (this is true), The Softest Socks in the World (brand name) and they are. The next two brightly knitted ones are QT (?) and are made from recycled cotton. They wear like iron and they are gorgeous too. The last 2 and most expensive are Dahlgren and made from Merino and alpaca. The best part of all is they were all on sale!YEAH!

07 December 2012


Remember this from the 3rd anniversary blogs? I had to cover a new book that I will be using over and over for reference. I was going to do another flip and sew but saw this fabric sitting innocently on my shelf so I decided to use it for the book cover, I usually line the book with black but since this is such a light and springy piece, I decided to use some more plain chartreuse. Here are the process pictures:

 Fortunately for me, this book had a paper dust jacket and I used that to cut the fabric for the cover as well as the felt for the batting. I straight stitched the cover for quilting since the design of the leaves was so intricate. I thought simple straight lines wouldn't detract from the images.

Here is the book covered. I used the same fast and simple technique in my "Best Ever Book Cover" tutorial.

Here it is on an angle.

As an aside, my partner got Chinese carry out and when I spotted the empty take-away box I thought...

 Two small (red, blue) and a large (yellow) and a "palette" to mix the thickened dyes. I washed and saved it for a future playdate...

And speaking of chartreuse, I did this with acid dye and will shibori it later on.

Yes, those are tiny red dots. It gets dark so early this far north, I am forced to take pictures with artificial light. At least they are "daylight" bulbs.

05 December 2012