Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No Picture Tuesday

It's cooler and it's quiet tonight.  I've spent some time weeding through old emails--how do they accumulate so fast?  A bit of binding--until Callie laid in the middle of the piece and all progress stopped.  It's been a day of flitting from one thing to another, with the attention span of a gnat.

And I'm okay with that.  For today.  Tomorrow has to be another story.

How's your week going?

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's Good to be Green

Especially if you are 1/4 inch painter's tape!!!!  I've wished for this size tape ever since painter's tape was invented.  A few months ago, that wish came true.

While waiting for paint to be mixed, I was perusing the shelves of tapes and other painting sundries.  I almost fell down when I saw this package--and promptly bought two rolls!  It has to be the best tape ever and I use it for quilting!  Low tack, easy to see...what's not to like?

Because I know you'll ask...www.paintersmategreen.com.  

Yesterday was spent in the company of eight delightful women who wanted to learn to hand quilt my way.  They all did a wonderful job and left with a great start on their practice pieces.  It's so exciting!

Blissful hugs for the start of your week,

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Cat Made Me Do It

Or more accurately, wouldn't LET me do it.  Blog that is!  With all the hot weather and mugginess, Callie's been resting on my leather office chair.  Since the computer is on the desk, and it's easier to type sitting down, and I was too tired to fight with her, there was a gap in posting.  It's all Callie's fault.  Don't believe me?  Take a look at those eyes!  (I DARE you to try to make me move!)

At any rate, I have been busy with teaching and getting classes set up for fall and all those good quilty things. I've restarted (I think this is at least the fourth time) my Cotton Candy yarn sweater.  Could everyone keep nice thoughts for me as I try this again.  The yarn is so pretty and I'd like the sweater to wear in the fall--which keeps creeping up on us!

For those of you wondering where to get Nevr-Dull, I got mine at a tack and feed store, but I'm sure it is available more widely.  Here's the website so you can find more options.  www.nevrdull.com

That's it from my side of the world tonight.  Remember to smile so people wonder what you are up to!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to And Justice There Is None by Deborah Crombie.  She's a new-to-me author and so far I like her writing very much. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

You've Got to Eat...

and maybe do a bit of polishing.  More on that in a bit.

First, let me again tell you that I receive no endorsement fees for anything.  These are just things I use and like and thought I would pass on to you.

Cugino's Rubz! are fantastic!  There are several flavors but my favorite is this one.  I use it on beef, pork and chicken, eggs, in meatloaf--anywhere I need a bit of extra flavor.  It's sometimes hard to find in the grocery stores, so I get mine at www.Amazon.com.  I buy six boxes at a time, but I think you can just get one!

These crackers are something I discovered not long ago.  They are rich and delicious, on their own or with cheese or dips.

Yes--those are all the ingredients!  And we can pronounce all of them--and even know what they are!

I've been buying mine at Tops Friendly Markets, but you can probably search for them in your area or on-line.  Not too pricey, either.

For a total change of pace--and with a reminder that you should not eat this product, Barb McA asked me what I use to polish my sterling silver thimble.  I thought I would show everyone!

Nevr-Dull comes in a cool tin and locally runs about $11 a can.  Trust me, unless you inherited a tractor-trailer load of family sterling silver, one tin will last you a lifetime.

It's cotton wadding (what else for quilters?).  You pinch off a bit and polish until it becomes black and then you pinch off another bit and keep going.  No liquid, no dried polish that you missed when buffing.  I use a clean rag to wipe off any residue and I'm done!  This is good for almost all metals and some other stuff too.

Here's my pin--it holds my TJ Lane thimble, two glass chile peppers, as well as various sewing charms.  I wear it to classes and I always know where my thimble is.  All the findings and the pin are sterling.

The same pin after using Nevr-Dull.  Took less than five minutes and two small pieces of wadding.

It's finally raining here.  The second thunderstorm in less than two hours is passing through now--heavy downpour, lots of thunder and lightning.  And the wind is coming from the east--the sign of a bad storm in our neck of the woods.

Hope your week starts off wonderfully.

Blissful hugs,

Saturday, July 21, 2012


These two look like they are "in synch"!

 Blissful hugs,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sunsets and Rainbows...

and whiskers on kittens.  Okay, no whiskers tonight.  But the sunset was absolutely gorgeous, and there was a huge rainbow--yes, we did get a day of gentle rain.  The  humidity has dropped and the temps are more moderate.  

How was your Friday?  

Blissful hugs,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Finish

Hard to believe but it's another finish for me!  This is the other piece I finished to try out the Quilters Dream Poly Request batting.  The lettering is from "A Quilter's Alphabet" by Anita Shackelford (www.anitashackelford.com).  It also uses her technique for padded work, which is in her "Surface Textures" book.  

Thread is Sulky Blendable 12 wt. for the lettering and Mettler 40 wt. for the background and border quilting.  The colors are different than they appear here.  The background is a very pale yellow and the border print is bright orange, rusty red and purple.

It's exciting to get some things finished!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  Kathleen:  The serrated scissors are Elan from Quilters Resource.  I would be lost without mine!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I Came...

I saw...I blogged.  It's so hot, I don't think anyone cares!  80 degrees at almost midnight.

Hoping for some cooler temps and lots of rain.

Blissful hugs,

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Weird Monday

I am usually not one to rush the days away, but I have to admit that I'm especially glad that Monday is almost over.  And I know there are others who feel the same way.  We've all checked, but it definitely was not the full moon (new moon on Thursday).  Maybe it's the prolonged heat.  Maybe it's....  I don't know, but I definitely won't be sad to put a period to today.

Knock, knock, knock...Penny.  I hope the rest of the week goes better than today for you.  And also for the rest of you nice ladies from class tonight.  

It's been a while since I really reminded you how special each of you are.  You have now been officially reminded.  And you know I'm always right ;-)

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My New Quilt Batting, Part 3

Here is the last official batting post.  I will share other pieces as they are finished, but I think you can see that I did lots of testing before choosing these battings.  Did I mention that I do NOT get endorsement fees?  And also let me say that Quilters Dream and I are not responsible for an individual's use of any of these battings.  These are my opinions and Quilters Dream has very reasonable and precise recommendations for use of any of their battings.  In simpler terms, individual results may vary--as with most everything in life!

This is a small wallhanging I made to benefit Wiawaka Holiday House in Lake George, NY.  Click here to learn more about this great place:  www.wiawaka.org.

The pattern is from Katrinka Designs.  Machine appliqued (yes, I do know how!), hand and machine quilted.  This gave me a chance to try both quilting methods on the QD Poly Request.  Quilters Dream does recommend the Select loft for machine quilting, but I had more hand quilting to do than machine and decided to try both on Poly Request.  I'm very happy with the results.

A detail of the center.

So there you have it.  Whew!  That was a big decision!  Hope it helps those of you also looking for an alternative to your old batting.

Blissful hugs,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My New Quilt Batting, Part 2

As promised, more samples using the new batting--Quilters Dream Poly Request.

Black fabric, white batting, cream colored back, green variegated thread 40 wt.

Muslin both sides, 40 wt. variegated thread.

I also tried several small samples of the Quilters Dream Cotton Request.  These are muslin both sides with 12 wt. Sulky Blendable thread.  I am very happy with this batt.  With less than 1% shrinkage, the company does not even recommend preshrinking.  The cotton batting has a wonderful drape and is available in cream and white.

Sunday I will finish this up with pics of the other two quilts I finished with the poly batt.  I've been teaching my hand quilting classes with the new poly batt and students have been thrilled with it.

Blissful hugs until Sunday,

Friday, July 13, 2012

My New Quilt Batting, Part 1

Many years and thousands of stitches later, I am happy to announce my new batting choices.  First up:  My choice for polyester.  That's right, Quilters Dream Poly, in Request loft (the thinnest).


Available in two colors:  black and white.  Hedge your bets and choose the batting color according to the main fabrics.  I tested light fabrics with dark batting and dark fabrics with light batting and found little or no bearding.  Visit the Quilters Dream blog at www.quiltersdreambatting.blogspot.com for even more information on preventing bearding.  (In testing these battings, I admit that I did NONE of those things...you know how I am--worst case scenario all the way.)

Here are a couple of the smaller test pieces.  Batiks, muslin, dark with light batting.  I used a 12 wt. Sulky Blendable thread on these samples.

Remember the teaser from last night?  Here it is finished.  I got the stencil while I was in Canada and couldn't wait to use it!

Here is a close-up.  Last night's pics still had the marking lines (Clover White Marking Pen ) showing. Here they have been ironed away, leaving nothing but the stitches.

And, surprise, the backing is also a batik, but much lighter.

Tomorrow (and probably Sunday) I will share more samples with you and also reveal my new bestest cotton batting.  I will also say that the people at Quilters Dream are knowledgeable, courteous and just so nice to work with.  And the best part?  Quilt shops can order just ONE batting at a time, not just in cartons, so you can get the size, type and color of batting you need without waiting for someone else to also need that exact same batting.  How's that for service?

Okay, enough for now.  I'll be back with Part 2 tomorrow.  Now you know what I've been doing the past few weeks--hand quilting up a storm!  Lots to share!

Blissful hugs,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

'Tis the Eve...

before the Big Reveal!  Yes, tomorrow, Friday, July 13, is the day when I will reveal what I feel is exciting news.  Here's a teaser!

As Barney would say:  "Wait for it!"

Blissful hugs,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Lake Champlain, August 2004.  Taken from the ferry.  View of New York shore.  Imagine using these colors in a quilt....

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An Almost Invisible Visitor

Isn't it amazing that male birds have the brighter plumage?  This female cardinal was almost invisible sitting on this limb.  I'm not sure if she's the one who kept attacking my windows and car mirrors.

It's a bit cooler during the day but lots cooler at night--much better for sleeping--but who has time!?!

Blissful hugs,

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Plant Update

Hops vines late May...

And today.

Trumpet vine mid-May (see the birdhouses?)...

And today.

The only thing holding up the ladder now is the trumpet vine.  It literally does not reach the ground!  The hummingbirds love the flowers on this.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's Still Sunday...

Until midnight!  Funny how that happens.  

No sewing or quilting at all today.  Instead I spent time with my Dyson (still love it) and the mop doing those necessary evils.  The guy who installed the new carpet last year taught me how to "massage" the carpet while vacuuming.  I told him I was going to video him and sell it to women--really, how exciting is it to watch a man vacuum?!?!  Anyway, the carpets are fluffy and my toes sink down into the fibers--a spa day for my feet!

Okay, that's way more than enough nonsense for now.  Hope you get a great start to your week.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Die Trying by Lee Child.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ruth Rules

Ruth P. of Auburn, New York, brought in her completed Flower Garden quilt top.  This is so stunning!  Doesn't she look proud?  Justifiably so.

Here's a close-up of the center block.  Fabulous color selection and workmanship.  Great job, Ruth!

It's a bit cooler now--but I doubt it will last for long.  Ceiling fans are indispensable as far as I'm concerned.  

Blissful hugs,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hunkering Down

And hoping for some relief from this heat and humidity.  

Blissful hugs,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Here's Looking at You...

on this hot, humid day.  My wish for you?  Air conditioning or at least someone to fan you!  

Blissful hugs,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Mason Jar Mini Tutorial

Since someone asked....  I use Mason/Ball jars for storing buttons (bottom shelf) and seashells (middle shelf), and I have an old lid set inside another dish of buttons!

On the back of the "throne" I have another jar of buttons, a candle and a jar of popcorn.  Why popcorn, you ask?  According to feng shui (I think that's the right spelling), if you put a jar of popcorn on the toilet tank lid and keep the seat lid closed (when not in use!), you will keep more money in your house.  It's harmless and who's to say it doesn't work?  The lovely runner is designed by Joan Ford at www.scrap-therapy-quilts.blogspot.com.  She's a prolific designer--check her out!

And here's a small jar of buttons keeping a snoozing polar bear company on a bookshelf.  In addition to Mason jars I also use all kinds of interesting bottles and jars to keep tiny treasures neat and clean and beautifully displayed.

Happy Birthday, America!  It's so hot here that I don't think they will need to light the fireworks--I think they will spontaneously combust!

Blissful hugs,