Missing in Action

September 4, 2016

August 8th, I managed to fall off our new front porch.  I did a real number to my wrist, and had to have surgery on August 17th.

I’ve had 4 different casts/splints since August 8th, and will be out of commission for a long time to come.

I’m now bionic – multiple screws and plates, and  let me tell you, they might be stabilizing my wrist, but they hurt like the dickens.

I won’t be posting again till I feel lots better.

My new mantra is “This will pass”.


Comfort Quilt # 14

July 10, 2016

I finally completed Comfort Quilt #14 for my local quilt club, Genesee Valley Quilt Club. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve made this number for donation, but am very glad I started taking pictures of them in the past few years. I sure as heck don’t remember my earliest donations, let alone have photographs of them.


This photo is truly horrid. I had to use the flash – in broad daylight no less – and the colors are dark. It is what it is, but I loved making this quilt:

Comfort Quilt 14


Judy Simmons shared this pattern (That’s a direct link to the pattern.  It’s free.), and it is oh so easy to make. I adore the woven effect you get. It looks like it was complex piecing, yet it isn’t.

It took me forever to make this quilt though. First I injured my shoulder, followed up by another injury on my knee – on the leg I use for my sewing machine pedal. Even with a few delays, this quilt was a joy to create.

All is better now, and the quilting and binding went like a breeze. I used decorative stitches for the quilting, and buttonhole stitch for the binding. I wanted to try both ideas out, and am glad I did.

I learned don’t bother with either of those ideas if you’re sewing on black fabric with black thread. Nothing shows. If you’re going to take the time to sew decorative stitches, let them shine. Use a contrasting color, or better yet, a metallic.

I actually thought about using gold metallic as the floral fabric has a touch of gold metallic outlining the motifs, but realized these quilts were going to get hard usage, and the metallic thread might not have held up. And honestly, metallic threads can be scratchy. Scratchy doesn’t fit with the concept of a nice cuddly quilt.

I’m going to cut the fabric for another one of these quilts using the same print, but a different solid color – a nice rich creamy gold.  I’m still deciding if the skinny strips will be the print, or remain as the rectangle shape.

This will be kitted up and brought with me when we travel back to Arizona. It will be very nice to have all the fabric cut, and just sit and sew. I’ll bring the backing and batting with me too, so I’ll be able to totally finish this on vacation.

Isn’t that oh so organized of me?😉



Ice Dyeing Again

June 27, 2016

I was supposed to be with my friends today making covers for our electronic devices, but the heat and humidity got to me. I opened the garage door, and my stomach let me know to stay put, so I did.

On the plus side, I got to photograph the last two ice dyed fabrics:

Diane mandala

Diane 60 degree

A simple twisted mandala, and more complex to create, a 60 degree equilateral triangle. I don’t like the triangle piece at all, and the jury is out about the mandala.

I used a lot, and I mean a lot of Pro Chems Sun Yellow 108. Then placed some of Pro Chems Turquoise 410 next to it. I was hoping for some nice greens, and was worried the Turquoise wouldn’t ice dye, so added a little smidgeon of Dharma’s Cerulean Blue 23. Next to that, I placed some of Pro Chems Deep Purple 8147, reconsidered the purple next to the hoped for green, and added a thin line of Pro Chems Black 629 between them.

Where oh where did the black go? Can you find it in these pieces? I can’t.

Next up is transforming a pink t-shirt. Somehow food spills manage to hit my t-shirt, before they hit the napkin on my lap, so I’ve got 3 that need ­­a little assistance.

For sure, one will be dyed, and the others? I’m thinking stamping with thickened dye for one of them, or maybe applying some lace shapes, or a little embroidery. All I know is I would like to be able to wear these t-shirts in public again.


Ice Dyeing

June 26, 2016

I’m currently taking the Ice Dyeing Revealed workshop by Susan Purney Mark and having a grand time dyeing fabric. Now I’ve been ice dyeing for a lot of years, but Susan shows how to create some wonderfully complex patterns pretty easily. It was definitely worth it for me to take this workshop.

I used Pro Chem’s Bronze #5193, Navy #412 and Rosebud #3216 for the following pieces:


Diane ET

Diane accordionThe ones on the left had the dye put directly on the fabric, then covered by ice.

Diane powder placement


I got deeper colors and lots of dye speckles by using that method, and that was not taught in the class. The ones on the right, used a tip that Susan shared, and then I placed the dye powders on top of the ice. The same colors, in the same proportions were used for both containers, and they were batched for a full 24 hours.

Quite a difference between the two sides, no?

The first picture features fabric that was crunched dyed – which is the only technique I’ve used in the past. You just rumple up the soda ash soaked fabric, and place it in the container.  I was happy with ice dyed crunched fabric, but over the moon with the results from the pieces using the folds I learned in this class.

More pieces are being batched right now, and I used different colors for those experiments. Can’t wait to see how they come out.





Improv Quilt Completed and Bracelet

May 27, 2016

My Improv piece is completed:

Improv finished

I removed the quilting from the upper left side and replaced that entire section with another piece of fabric and curved quilting. Now the piece seems to flow across the top and keeps your eye moving over the surface.

A friend (Thank-you, Jody.) suggested I add some light to the center of those floral shaped objects, and I went with it. I was going to bead it, but this piece is a mix of traditional and modern, and beads didn’t seem quite right for it. Instead, I mixed up a light yellow paint and applied it with a foam pen.

And here is a picture of a completed bracelet:


That poor bracelet has quite a story. It was finished in Arizona, and the first time I wore it, it fell off. I thought it might be too tight, so added another component.

The second time I wore it, it fell off again – this time in a friend’s driveway, and I didn’t realize it had fallen off. I actually drove over the poor thing. My friend’s neighbor spotted it in the driveway, and my friend gave it back to me. Thank-you, Jess.   Three of the components were damaged, and honestly, I should have remade the entire thing. It sure would have been easier to do, but no, I spent more time repairing the damaged components.

Process of elimination placed the blame on the magnetic clasp. This time I went to a bead store, and purchased a good magnetic clasp. Ta-da, now it stays on my wrist.

Another bracelet is being planned – a different design, and a Comfort quilt was also started this week, so stay tuned. There is more to come.


Improv Quilt Progress or Not

May 17, 2016

I’ve been steadily working away on my Improv Quilt, but have a dilemma. I love all the quilting designs I sewed except for the top row – where the cheerful flowers are rolling across the muslin at the top:

Improv quilted

Originally, I thought echo quilting would look great, but when I did it for the section on the left, those flowers are staring out from the quilt like a deer in headlights. Okay, maybe curved lines would look better. That’s what I did on the right top side.

Both quilting designs leaving me feeling “meh” – unexcited. I want this piece to sing. That top section is bringing me down.

So, I’m turning to all of you. Any and all suggestions would be deeply appreciated. My creative well has suddenly gone dry, and I really would like to finish the quilting on this piece, so I can block it, face it, and attach the hanging sleeve, and label.



Arizona Table Runner

May 7, 2016

The last project started in Arizona has been completed – the Mystery Quilt project – which ended up being a table runner:




I am not a person who enjoys mystery projects. As soon as I finish one step, I want to move on to the second step. With mystery projects, you have to wait till each succeeding step is released. Waiting is not something I enjoy.  I also like focusing on one project at a time, so mystery projects and I have never been compatible.

For some inexplicable reason, I agreed to participate in this mystery project, and am I ever glad I did. I learned about the 10 Minute Block – which I altered as I didn’t like the big expanse of fabric in the corners. I fused strips of contrasting fabric down the middle of those corners, so the scale of all the pattern pieces is similar.

I learned about the Double Diamond ruler too, which was oodles of fun for the interlocking braid strip.

And last but not least, I learned about the Flights of Fancy 5 Minute block. By the way, none of the blocks actually took 5 or 10 minutes. Much debating, much rearranging, and much sewing and un-sewing took place, so I ended up spending lots more time on these simple blocks. Now that I know what I’m doing, these blocks would actually take 5 or 10 minutes to sew, but there had to be over 40 of us in this workshop, and trying to get everybody on the same page, at the same time, was quite a feat.  Our teacher did a great job leading this workshop.

I did change the layout a bit. The extra black strips between the blocks added some length, and the sashing added a bit more.

I am quite pleased with how this table runner turned out. The turned edges of the Cathedral window type blocks, and the braided strip added wonderful dimension, and I like the fabric choices.

Now to finish the quilting on my improv quilt, face it, attach a hanging sleeve, and label. I’ll share a photo of that as soon as I finish it. Hopefully, it will be including in an upcoming exhibit, and then I have a long list of scrap quilts I’d like to make, and garments to make.  Yes, I would like to make some items of clothing for myself.  I find I am drawn to skirts, and don’t have any casual ones in my wardrobe.  When I googled cotton skirts, I was appalled at the prices, so will see if I can manage to make a few – with pockets.  I gotta have pockets.


Comfort Quilt # 4

April 8, 2016

I’m back home and was highly insulted to see snow on the ground.  Yes, it’s April in Upstate New York, so that is not surprising, but I’ve been spoiled with all the sunshine and warm weather in Arizona.  Back to the reality of a volatile Upstate New York Spring.

Back also to my wonderful sewing machine.  I bring a small, lightweight sewing machine with me on vacation, and really miss my Pfaff.  No way am I lugging a 40 pound sewing machine around with me when I travel though.

This was actually a good thing this year as I tried my first QAYG project, and do I ever love the QAYG technique.  Never more than 6″ of fabric on the right side of the sewing needle, and oh so much fun to do all the quilting before you join the next section.

This is the fourth arrangement of the square and rectangle shapes I’ve been using lately:

I don’t know which orientation  I like best.

And this is the first time I’ve sewn the binding totally by machine:

2016 binding

Would you believe this is Christmas fabric?  The colors matched the prints beautifully, so I used it.  I used stitch 2.2.6 or maybe it’s 2.26 in my Pfaff sewing machine to topstitch the binding to the front.  It took a little longer but it did a great job of keeping the binding in place and looks just as good on the back as it does on the front.

I still have two more projects started in Arizona to finish, then have lots of ideas for future projects.





Valentine’s Day 2016 and the Birth of a QAYG Quilt

February 15, 2016

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.   It was a wonderful day for me.

First I emailed a couple of dear friends to wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day.  My husband went clay shooting in the morning, and then we went out to eat at our favorite restaurant in Tucson.

It was a gorgeous day, 82, sunny, and I set up my outside sewing station (in the shade) for the first time since we arrived:


There was a beautiful breeze – which is why my hair is in motion, and I got the first piece of a Quilt As You Go (QAYG) project completed.  The fabric prints are from Beth – thank-you, Beth, and the white fabric was mine.

Yes, it is composed of the same square and rectangle sizes from the last Comfort Quilts I posted, but doesn’t it look totally different?  It is yet a third setting, and the color choices are clear and crisp.

Another difference is I’m sewing fabric scraps together, then cutting some of the rectangles from the made fabric.  This adds more variety, and gives the illusion of a much more complex top.  It is so much fun, and oh so satisfying to actually use some of my fabric scraps.

I can not wait to see how this project develops.  I’ve never made a QAYG quilt before, but with the small harp I have on my sewing machine in Tucson, I thought I’d give it a try.

No presents were exchanged.  Instead we were gifted with a perfect weather day by Mother Nature – thank-you Mother Nature – and enjoyed every minute of the sun, gentle breezes, and beautiful sunset.


Comfort Quilts

February 8, 2016

I’m happily sewing away in sunny Arizona with the quilt groups I belong to here, and concentrating on piecing Comfort Quilts this year. It’s helping me deal with the loss of my father, and will hopefully benefit the people who will receive these quilts.


American Patchwork and Quilting magazine sent me an advertisement last year with a free quilt pattern included, and I made a variation of the 2.5” square and 4.5” x 2.5” rectangle shapes used in 2015. The simple shapes captured my interest, and I decided to make a few more variations utilizing them.


The first quilt I made was this one:

First Comfort Quilt 2016


All the fabric was purchased in Arizona, and the colors are strong. That was my intent, and I’m pleased with the result. The binding will be in the dark blue, and should nicely frame this quilt.


The second quilt is this one:

Second Comfort Quilt 2016


And was I ever surprised when a visitor took one look at it and said that’s the Missouri Quilt Zipper Quilt. Now I’d never seen the Missouri Quilt Zipper video, but it was the first thing I checked out when I returned home. Sure enough, it uses the same shapes – little different measurements – a different arrangement, but these two patterns are sure enough kissing cousins. ­­­­­­­


That’s okay. I’m still having fun with these shapes, and will most likely make 2 more variations. In fact, one was started yesterday. This one uses very different colors – a solid white, with many prints received from a dear friend (Beth) who didn’t want to use the prints color palette anymore. It’s not a color palette I use often either, but I am most definitely having fun using them in this project.


The usual sightseeing, shopping, and relaxing is also going on. The restaurants down here are wonderful, and I’m oh so happy to be in the place my heart calls home.