Monday, May 30, 2016


Please take time today to give thanks to our veterans and their families.  Memorial Day is reserved for those who can't return a smile or a salute, not to mention the families and friends who have been left behind.  Fly your American flags at half-staff until noon on Monday. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I'll be back before you even miss me......

Monday, May 16, 2016


Not long ago a former student asked whether I still had any of the leather thimbles I used to sell in class.  These are a bit hardier than ones normally available as I bought them directly from a wholesale source who manufactured hand/finger protectors for industry.

In my search for the stash I knew I still had, I also came across other items, offered here for sale before I turn to eBay.   Add a flat shipping fee of $6.80 for Priority mail (or less if sent first class) one item or however many you may purchase. Contact me by using the link on the right side bar.
Two  ONE ORIGINAL Roxanne International thimbles. 
Sorry - sold
I rarely used these thimbles since I am allergic to metal....they were mainly used demonstration purposes in my hand quilting classes.  These quality thimbles are no longer made....replaced by a cheaper, flimsy clone.   sorry - sold
I had two sizes....this slightly larger one was for those days when my fingers were slightly swollen due to heat or humidity. (This is not's the same at the one above...just photographed in a different area of the an attempt to show the size)
These are ORIGINAL Jean S. Lyle Quilting Betweens....also no longer available but the BEST darn quilting needle you'll ever find.  They are strong, yet slim, had a sharp point AND an eye that's easy to thread.  I have  6 -  0 - #10 Q (meaning betweens) and 1- #11Q that I can part with.  Each wood case contains 10 needles -  sold out
.....AND here are the leather thimbles I still LOVE.  The longer length is a bonus....after a lot of use even this leather will get small holes.  So....when they do, and the thimble is nicely stretched a bit, I rotate it so the bottom is now the top and get a whole new thimble from this simple trick.  THEN.....when the needle works its way into that side.....CUT OFF small pieces of the extended leather and position it inside the thimble.  Heck, I get many, many quilts worth of quilting on just one thimble!! 
 sold out
These are a medium size....if you have VERY large fingers they will probably be too snug. I sold these in class for probably 20 years and the majority of students had no trouble fitting them on their fingers. You want it slightly snug at first because it IS LEATHER and it will stretch a bit......

I'll update this page as items are buy one or buy it all......

Visit these Friday link ups:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Crazy Mom Sews, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday

Sunday, May 15, 2016


There's something so very special and fun about making's magic isn't it?  Yummy too.......

Friday, May 13, 2016


A dye painting session with the Fiber Junkies last fall yielded numerous pieces which intrigued me.
Clearly I have no drawing skills, but I hoped the wonderful colors would lead to a satisfactory finished product.
With a thin cotton batting on the reverse side, I decided to explore some of the built in Janome 8900 stitches.....starting with the mountain area.
After a lot of experimenting on scraps of fabric, I pretty much stuck to a single applique stitch.  The threads were all Sulky Rayon, some variegated, some not.
This mercerized white cotton was a second.....with a flaw.  Well, it wasn't a flaw to was a design opportunity! 
My plan was to feature one very large pine tree to cover it up.......but that's not how it ended up.  You know how that goes, don't you??
Hand-painted and batik cottons, machine stitched.

See what other artists have been working on this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016



AND....we've been trying to duplicate Chicago Style Pizza ever since we moved from that area in 2000. I've tried every 'recipe' I could find....each espousing their's revealed the 'secret'.  Sure, I've come close....but duplicating the crust exactly has never been spot on.
 "The husband" bought a small pamphlet on his Kindle for something like $2.99....with similar promises.  I almost NEVER need or follow recipes.....except perhaps for baking desserts. I was dubious....but decided to follow the Sausage/Cheese one as written.

I was surprised that ground ginger, a very unexpected ingredient, was added to the dough. The author claimed that the taste changed during baking. I must agree as I did not detect that flavor at all....and the crust was the closest we've come to the flaky thick crusts we were familiar with.

The other unusual approach is to use homemade pork sausage....(easier than you'd think) which is spread out in a thin layer, rather than chunks.  Of course that's one of the trademarks of the original Uno's pizza.
One obvious issue is the inability of home ovens to reach a higher temperature than 550 degrees.  I added a bit more time but the next attempt I'll add even more. 

Even though I vowed to follow the recipe exactly....I didn't.  I added more crushed tomato sauce than it called for....and you can see it's a bit runny.  However, that was probably caused by not waiting the prescribed amount of time before cutting following pieces 'set up' better.

So the next time....and there will be a next time......the changes will be:  more was definitely too bland for me (but then again I always cook with a lot of herbs/spices), more ingredients such as onions, black olives, pepperoni, longer cooking time, and longer resting time.  

Have I made you hungry???

Monday, May 9, 2016


Hurrah!  Probably just like you, I follow numerous inspirational blogs.  Occasionally the host offers a give-away drawing for readers who leave a comment on that post.  Whether or not I provide a comment is never based on the goodie, but rather it's something I wanted to say anyway.

Well.....I got lucky......Sheila at Idaho Beauty Quilts offered one of her gorgeous pad folios and my name got drawn from her bowl....see it here.

 I was excited when I learned, especially knowing how skillfully and carefully her work is crafted.  Look at this beauty!!!
 She used hand dyed fabric and coordinated the lining perfectly.  The balance of the stitched oak leaves is perfection.
In addition to its beauty....the 8"x5" notepad is just the right size to easily carry.  The little pocket on the left is an example of a well thought out project.
The back wasn't ignored either......
And her satin stitched edges rocked my boat.  This quality is not often seen.

So.....I'll bet you want to know how to get one for yourself?  Here's her padfolio  link.....these puppies are time consuming to grab them while they are in stock.

Friday, May 6, 2016


After nixing further work on a large string quilt, intended for our BIG stairwell wall, I decided to dig out some quilts I made back in the early days.  As you all know, I'm no longer particularly fond of piecing......though that construction method was my entry point into quiltmaking in the mid 1980's.

I truly CAN NOT believe I actually pieced this complex quilt....and hand quilted it.  My memory led me to believe that these older quilts were too small for the wall.  Apparently not!

It's still a bit wavy at the bottom after being folded for far too long, but it should hang out nicely.  The hardest part in replacing a quilt for this space is getting the wooden quilt hanger off the wall and back up!  The feet of a tall extension ladder rest on the stairway and the top leans against the wood ceiling. 

The previous quilt was removed and replaced with this Storm At Sea quilt.  "The husband" spent his career in the scaffolding business and thankfully is not afraid of heights!!

Check out these links to see what other creative folks have been up to this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, and Crazy Mom Sews.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Over at the C & T blog occasionally different beading techniques from my book "All-In-One Beading Buddy are posted.  This one just popped up.  Though the book is now out of print, it is available as an ebook for $6.99.
Decorative bead strings secure braid or other objects to fabric.
1. Position braid, come up through fabric at A.
2. String sufficient number of beads to completely cover thread as it crosses over braid (either horizontally or diagonally), go down at B.
3. Come up at C, add beads, go down at D (same angle as A/B).

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Our most recent Fiber Junkies meeting focused on discharge techniques.  I got so involved that my photo record of our day is pretty thin....but here's an overview of the supplies we tried.
The plastic grid came from originally held lace but we thought it'd be a good 'template' for surface design.  I applied a bleach pen to the holes and scribbled around the edge. 
 You never know what color will appear after the bleach does its job.....
We were all anxious to use the granulated bleach that FJ member Denny shared with us.  The results were very did a great job if bleached out dots were all you wanted.  But less successful when it came to using stencils.
It was difficult to control this product when working with defined shapes. We applied it to wet/damp fabric and allowed it to bleach out.....unfortunately these larger images simply didn't work well.
Here's Val's design using a bleach pen.....
I think this was Kate's....the bleach pen worked almost instantly on this hand-dyed fabric.
I concentrated on using mainly silk noil....which may account for the mostly disappointing results.  However, this method worked much better.  When using the discharge paste that Judy brought, we initially found the impressions were too indistinct when working with stencils because the medium migrated under the stencil designs.  

This group is so clever....and came up with the idea of placing the stencil on the fabric and then covering it with a blank silk screen.  This kept the stencil flat and firmly on the fabric as the paste was pressed through the screen.

Thie view of this piece is after screening, while it dried outside.
Once the paste dries, it's transformed by pressing with a hot iron (wear a mask).  The bottom tree images purposely had more heat applied than the top one to provide different appearances.

On the lower right of this crackled design, you can see where the hot iron has completed its work......while the balance awaits more pressing OR not. That's the beauty of this method......the color changes can be manipulated.

It was a fun day.....and I have a small pile of poor results that will be my base fabric at our next meeting where we will yet again tackle deconstructed screen printing.  We all just love the process and do it about twice a year.....even if we don't know what to do with the treasures we create!

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Awhile back I blogged about a string quilt I started to add to the rotation of quilts that are displayed on a large stairwell wall.  I'm no longer really interested in doing patchwork and my vision for how this would finish was not in line with reality. So my enthuasiam quickly disappeared.
 After much musing, I added narrow white sashing strips between the blocks. BUT because the string piecing was done on a muslin foundation, the resulting seams were very untidy due to the bulk.  In the went to our dog....really it did.  She sneaks up on our denim couch when we aren't around so this quilt now protects it.
 I had 13 blocks leftover.  So...maybe they could be a table runner?  Placemats? Nah....  Instead I made a few more blocks to make a donation lap quilt.  I kinda liked this look....but when I thought about the piecing...where one color would replace another, it seemed awkward.
Instead (and to increase the size of the quilt), I added 2" finished sashing strips with "corner stones".  Surely this will brighten someone's day.

I have so many art quilt ideas stacked's time to direct my energies elsewhere!!