Getting Ready for Retreat

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Each fall I head off for retreat.  I teach the mystery quilt class and have for 5 out of the last 6 years.  I do a little presentation as detective Sam Spade and present my mystery at the end of retreat.  It is always great fun.  I also run an online mystery quilt which originally was established for Quilts of Valor, but not it is just for military charities.  A few years ago I was castigated for not doing things exactly the right way (I didn’t think it necessary to make a pillow case, if you must know) and I parted ways with the organization.  I started Mystery #34 on that group last week.

I spent most of my weekend getting ready for retreat, as I don’t want to have to do it ALL on Thursday night.  I have a full week of work Monday-Friday this week, quilt meeting, volunteer night, and I jut don’t think I’ll have time to do it at the last minute.

How was your weekend.

You Were Wrong!


Recently I asked you all if I should add beading to my alligator quilt.  NO ONE said that I should leave it unbeaded.  However, after I bought the beads and laid them out and argued with my husband and looked at it and fretted over it, I decided that the quilt wasn’t about beads.  It was primitive, and meant to be primitive.  So I left it primitive.

I skipped the beads and sent it in unbeaded.  And it won SECOND PLACE in the innovative category of the Pennsylvania National Quilt Expo!

I was thrilled to have my quilt accepted, so you can imagine how over the moon I was to hear I won a ribbon.  And I must admit, that I sent it in without even knowing their was prize money to boot, so yeah….I was thrilled again to hear that there was a little sumpin’ sumpin’ coming in an envelope to me, too!

And then one more thing to absolutely make me into just ridiculously thrilled–a friend from guild emailed me that she just happened to be at the show and saw my quilt.  It just made it all extra special.

So…one terrific experience, and I do appreciate the time everyone took to comment and vote.  Although I didn’t take your advice this time, I have before on other polls.  And this time was a little different.  I am very “in tune” with that piece, I think, and I just knew what it needed to be.

I am thinking maybe a Great Northwestern Kangaroo….or Elephant.  Thoughts?

De-Stashing September, 2014

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September was a lot about the quilt show again  :(
But I did make a baby quilt for the a coworker.  I might make it to 50 yards, but will have to use about 3. 5 yards per month!

De-Stashed this Month: 5.00
De-Stashed year to Date: 73.25
Stashed this Month:  0
Stashed Year to Date: 34.25

Net De-Stashed for 2013: 39.00<<Goal for 2014: Greater than 50 yards De-stashed>>>
Additionally, I want to limit my purchases to no more than 5 yards per month.

For more stash reports, visit Patchwork Times.

The Judging is Complete


Each year I serve as a scribe and help with the quilt judging.  Quilt shows and judging always makes me a bit maudlin.  I am cognizant of what quality quilting is, sometimes I think  I just don’t have the time to do it anymore.  I don’t hand applique and plan the quilt designs and take things out and fix them as much.  More often I am doing quick quilting rather than quality quilting.  Since I am no longer doing it right, I wonder if I should scale back on my hobby.  Perhaps it would be best if I sell my longarm and reduce the amount of quilting “stuff” in my household.  I have tons and tons of rulers for piecing, pantos, and longarm rulers.  And yet, I guess I don’t take the time to do things as well as I should.  I guess I need to decide who I am quilting for.

De-Stashing August, 2014

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In August, I was mostly preparing for our quilt show.  Quilt get turned in this week and the only “buying” I did was a 1/4 yard that I was given at the quilt show in Charlotte.  I did a binding as the only de-stashing.  Surely, I can make some progress in September!

De-Stashed this Month:               .75
De-Stashed year to Date:           68.25
Stashed this Month:                       .25
Stashed Year to Date:                 34.25

Net De-Stashed for 2013:  34.00<<Goal for 2014:  Greater than 50 yards De-stashed>>>
Additionally, I want to limit my purchases to no more than 5 yards per month.

For more stash reports, visit Patchwork Times.

New Walker Grips (aka Seat Belt Covers)

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003 My mom has been using a walker for some time now, and those grips are anything but kind to her hands.  She discovered a while back that she could purchase seat belt covers to put over the grips, and they work pretty well, but they are fairly expensive–because she always has to buy a pack of two.  And some of them aren’t all that soft.  So, being a problem solver, I decided to make my own.   You can make your own too!

1.  For each grip:  cut 2- 10 inch square (one outer, one inner) and a 10 inch square of batting.  I used minkee for the outside of the grip, and cotton for the inside.

2.  Layer them with the two fabric pieces right sides together and set on top of the batting square.

3.  Sew all the way around the outer edge using a 5/8 inch seam, leaving a 2 inch opening in the center of one side.

4.  Clip the corners a little to reduce bulk.  Turn inside out, and slip stitch the opening closed.  Finger press the edges a little to keep the grips from being puffy.

5.  Add an 8 1/2 inch piece of hook and loop tape.  I put the hook on the minkee side and the loop on the interior side   Pin in place about 3/8 inches from the edge of the grip.  Before sewing down, fold the material over to make sure that you are applying the hook and loop tape so that your cover will make a continuous tube.

6.  Sew down the hook and loop tape.

Voila!  New walker grips–or seatbelt covers.  Your choice.

To Bead, Or not to Bead?


Alligator from the Great Northwest II

Great Northwestern Alligator II


Beaded ladder back

Beaded fringe

Beaded fringe

I have a project of which I am very fond.  My alligator.  So fond, I’ve made two different versions of it.  The Alligator from the Great Northwest was the first quilt that I ever entered into a national show (Paducah).  The center for this quilt was actually the first alligator I made, the second alligator was the first one I finished.

Now I have decided to enter Great Northwestern Alligator II into another show.  And I am wondering if it needs something extra.  But this is a tough choice because the entire point is to take inspiration from the art of Indians of the Great Northwest–which, by definition is a very primitive.  The quilt is heavily quilted, except for the lower fringe, which is unquilted.

I found some beads I thought might enhance it.  One option is to bead the “ladder back” of the alligator with some circular beads that I found.  The color in this beaded back photo is terrible.  The true red is really a rust red, and the blacks range from charcoal to black.  The beads are a lighter grey, but because of the oyster shell type finish, they have a somewhat rustic look.

Another option is to use the beads to add to the fringe.  The color in this photo is much more true.  A deeper red and the beads are actually slightly darker than they are “in real life”.  This would be a minimal approach.


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