Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pink Mariners' Star

After the Saturday paper piecing class I had such a great desire to sew on the units I was using as the teaching lesson. I had only sewn two seams to demonstrate the technique to my students. I then turned them loose and was like a bee flitting to each quilter answering questions and helping with machine issues.

I now totally understand why Our Bonnie Hunter sews in her hotel room after teaching. Watching others sew while you are teaching is a bit frustrating.
I only spent a few minutes and I had the block units done. After feeding DH I then sewed the units together.
With the following results:

 Below are the units...I love the spotlight that little Ikea lamp produces.

 Today I am mindlessly sewing more hourglass units.
This time I am using browns and neutrals. I had these already cut and just sitting in this little container gathering dust. I am about halfway through the sewing. My goal is 500 units.

And I am clipping my little dog ears as usual!

I love those EZ Angle rulers. This unit is made with the Companion Angle ruler cut from 1 1/2" strips.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am now CHROMED!

I am now CHROMED.
Google Chrome that is.
Why did I wait so long????
It seems so much faster that IE8.
Besides IE8 crashed today and DH said he advised me to change long ago.
And the best part??? Our Bonnie Hunter's ( ) blog now loads lightening fast. No more "burping".

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Paper Piecing class was a success!

I had more comments on this cute little Ikea light when I was teaching my paper piecing class.
The size and bendability was envied by many.
Thanks to Bonnie Hunter ( for showing us her lamp on her blog. I am sure that the sales of this cute little lamp went up 300% after her blog post. It happened with the EZ Angle rulers and the tangerine color ( the new neutral )!!! HA!

I had my machine set up to sew. And did sew two lines of the pattern. Then I turned the ladies loose to try their own blocks. First I had them practice sewing on a lined piece of paper. It is not as easy as it sounds. It depends on the foot used and the machine set up. Then we totally lost all track of time with laughter and sewing. Small acheivements and large mistakes were all taken in stride. I think we went over our allotted time slot. But we were so BUSY and had a great time.
So, my first "formal" teaching session was awesome. I do not see how Our Bonnie does this day after day. My back hurts from standing. At least I think it hurts from standing. It might have been from the three trips unloading my truck. It was very cold and windy this early Saturday morning. So perhaps that had something to do with my backache.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Paper Piecing class planning!

Saturday teaching day is almost here!!!!

My angst is caused by an extreme case of nerves.

I will be teaching a paper-piecing class to my guild members and a few members from an Ohio quilt guild.

I know how to paper-piece. I could do it with only one hand I think. My only issue is I have not too much experience teaching. Most of my working factory life was spent as a Group Leader. That includes the training of new employees. And that can take months. I am a patient person but I have been told that I am a bit bossy. I do not mean to be bossy. I simply want things done a certain way. Perhaps that is my OCD kicking in.
I will try very hard to gentle my fellow guild members. I promise!!!

I am teaching a stained glass paper piecing technique. Then I thought I should also make the block WITHOUT the black leading step. The result is below. I really like it!!!
So if a few are over whelmed with the stained glass look I can offer this method still using the same pattern but just skipping over the areas that call for the narrow black strip.
I was originally going to teach the paper-pieced pineapple block. But I feel that block would simply be too tiny for newbies to paper piecing.

And since I did this in grays I may work it into my gray/pink Orca Bay quilt that is still in process. This block only took a bit over an hour to make. There are 8 sections that make a 12" block. And now I hear my precious pinks saying "We would make a great Mariners' Compass block too"!

 Here it is "exploded" before sewing the sections together.

Can you see my new Ikea lamp there on the left? There was a bit of assembly required but I managed to assemble the lamp and I am VERY pleased with it. I found them on E-Bay for just a bit more than an Ikea store and free shipping. Ikea would not sell to me over the internet. They said the closest store is 130 miles to up Michigan. I cannot see me driving that far when I could get it on E-Bay.

The bulb does not seem to radiate much heat. That big ol' Ott light there can fry my head at times!
I did buy two lamps. Yet I am considering buying a couple more for ease of portability to venture into DH's room for some hand sewing or crocheting.

It has a nice spotlight effect. The neck can be moved around with ease putting the light right where you need it to be. All in all I am very happy and cannot thank Our Bonnie K. Hunter (
for recommending this light. But I did want it in pink of course. But white is fine.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My precious thimble by T.J. Lane

I lucked out many years ago (12) . I tried on a sterling silver thimble at the quilt show in Paducah. It fit like it was made for me. It has a small stone and a Jinny Beyer logo. It also was very expensive but it is perfect.
Once a needle pierced it and my finger. I wrote to T.J. Lane and they had me mail it to them. They fixed it for free!!!! So it is not really that expensive when you have a warranty like that!
 I have been mindlessly making more hourglass units to make more Ohio Star blocks. Today I worked on brown ones. I had the pieces all cut. It seemed a waste to not sew them up. Besides, my Explorer is in the shop. I cannot go anywhere. Sometimes it will start and sometimes it won't. It is too scary to drive anywhere if I need to turn it off! DUH! I sure hope it won't be too expensive.....

 Here is the catalog picture of my T.J. Lane thimble:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Seeing Gray Stars...some pressing and sewing tips

What you cannot see is the tiny thread between each of these three units. I keep them together during the pressing and piecing process.
This works so well for me.
Before I knew it I had 49 stars made!
 I have all my birthday quilts made and they are at the longarmers getting quilted. So I am free to sew on the Orca Bay quilt #2 that I want to make in pinks and grays.
My only issue is that I love each of those colors separate too. My containers are already overflowing with enough units to make two more quilts.
I also have received the last of my washed neutral 2 1/2" strips for the swap at Quiltvilleswap on Yahoo. I cannot wait to begin swapping these out. Light neutrals are my favorite! Next month we are swapping dark neutrals. That should really be a very interesting swap!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mystery quilt progress

Well, we are up to clue#4 in the Mystery quilt our quilt guild is doing. The member that is presenting this mystery has been ill so I have been printing off the clues for the participants. Let me tell you it has been so tempting to peek ahead but I have resisted.

Another member wanted some help so I had to work on my clue#4 before I felt capable of helping her.

 I am loving the movement in this quilt. Of course it helps that I also love the fabric I decided to use.

 A few of my points got cut off. I did some ripping and resewing yet there are still some points not too happy. I refuse to resew anymore on this so I will call it an "attempt" at perfection.

 And here is my precious Pearl helping roll the batting for me. The kitties all seem to feel that any surface that their Subee is working on is fair game for kitty exploration.

It's a dirty job but someone has to do it! I have a whole roll of Quilters' Dream cotton. I sure will be sad when I use it up. The prices have gone up on everything cotton.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Me and some of my quilts

I seem to have difficulty getting pictures of myself. Trying to flash a picture from me in a mirror results in nothing but "flash". And I think my phone takes pictures but have never tried it.
Thankfully I was interviewed for an article to be published in Senior Life newspaper. The reporter mailed me some of the millions of photos she took. I was very pleased with the pictures.

 Above is a paper-pieced quilt I made that I call Batik Stars. I hand quilted this beauty with spiderwebs. And the binding is all scrappy. I guess I was a scrappy girl back in 1995 and did not even know it!

And to the left of me is a stack of quilts that I have made. There were many more that did not make it into the frame of the picture. What am I going to do with all these quilts??????

Here is a closeup of my Hubby's birthday quilt made from that great 45 degreee kaleidoscope ruler by Marilyn Doheny. Elaine Adair was the culprit who turned me on to this easy technique that makes the fabric do the work and manages to still look complicated!

 Hubby and I examining one of the many musical quilts I have made him. I remember this black fabric. There were palm leaves along with the guitars so I had to fussycut the fabric.

Yes, I play guitar. Yes, this is a 12 string. This is the same guitar that DH taught me to strum on. Since I was a finger picker on a nylon string guitar I had issues with a smaller neck of a steel string guitar. DH had a solution. He removed 6 of the strings and I used the 12 for strumming until I was used to the strumming thing. I then bought a steel string guitar and never looked back. But I am still very much more comfortable finger picking than strumming.
The quilt behind me was part of a block exchange from the internet. Great color scheme!