Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Big W

I am still cutting side triangles for the next Scrap Slab Triangle quilt, but the design wall calling to me, so I threw some of the scrappy triangles up there in the big W design. It's oh-kay, nothing special, but I need more blocks to really find out for sure. This is more than a little bit monotonous. One thing I have learned about these quilts though, is the black and white side triangles really make this pattern sing.

It will be nice to have all these side triangles cut, but I am getting very bored with cutting them. I have a few more strips left, and then I will be making slabs.  Can't wait.

In other news, I am still very happy with the robot vacuum cleaner, and have learned about things that get it stuck (loose fabric, cords, and the curved legs of my dining room table.) I've already bought cord covers for some exposed electrical cords, and figured out how to prevent the robot from getting into the studio when I don't want it there. Basically, I have learned to let it run when I am home, so if it gets stuck I can fix it before the battery dies. BTW, it will run for about 100 minutes on a single charge.

The Colorado quilt is in Denver, and will be delivered to my brother on Friday. I am so eager to hear what he and J think.

If you want to make your own scrap slab triangle quilts, you can get my tutorial here, on my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


 I'm cutting the black on white side triangles for another Scrap Slab Triangle quilt or two. Here are some of the fabrics I have chosen.

I cut them into big strips first.

This scallop print is fun. It almost look like bald men wearing tiny spectacles. Or upside down chandeliers.

So I cut my side triangles, and stack them in this plastic bin. That way I can move them around easily.

My students were surprised when I told them that for the Snow Day quilt, I did not sew the side triangles on the blocks until I finished laying out the colored triangles. Then I placed the side triangles one at a time. I wanted the patterns to be evenly distributed and I didn't want too many darks together or too many lights together. I'll do that with the next quilt.

If you want to make a scrap slab triangle quilt of your own, you can find my tutorial for sale in my Etsy shop, here.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Wrap It Up!

It's time to send the Colorado Quilt to my brother & his wife. If you remember how the box was packed when I received it, you'll understand why I'm wrapping the quilt in one of my flannel shirts. 
All buttoned up...
 Arms crossed and linked together...
Now it's wrapped in a plastic bag, which is a requirement for shipping a quilt.
I've included a box of Color Catchers, as well as washing instructions and the quilt's appraisal in the box.

If I am really lucky, I'll get a picture of it when it arrives in Colorado, but I'm not holding my breath.

Our family's Thanksgiving dinner went very well. The house is back to normal now and I am looking forward to getting back into the studio to work on the next quilt.

Friday, November 17, 2017

More Robot Madness

I unleashed the new robot vacuum in the sewing studio. I confess I moved things around and got stuff off the floors so it would be a bit easier for it.

It picked up all the dust, as I expected, but it also picked up fabric scraps, push pins and sewing pins. It's cool that it works, but the best part is I AM NOT DOING IT!! I'm sure I'll get over watching the thing bounce around from one place to another after a while.

If you're waiting for pictures of Millie sitting on this while it vacuums, don't hold your breath. Millie is getting used to it, and doesn't run away any more. But given how many videos on YouTube showing cats sitting on these things, I thought this question on Amazon was hilarious and wanted to share it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Present for Me

I bought myself a Christmas present, and I gave it to myself early.

 It's a robotic vacuum cleaner. I know that this isn't going to replace a heavy-duty deep cleaning vacuuming job, but I'm so busy I could use help keeping house looking neat. If this can keep the house looking good from day to day, I'll be happy.

I had to see what it could do, so I set it up, let it charge, then told it to get going. Millie does not like it. I hope she'll get used to it, because I have set it to vacuum every morning at 9 AM.

It seemed to go around haphazardly, but when it headed back to the charging station after about half an hour, I figured it was full. (Since I knew it was coming, I had deliberately let the house get a bit messy.) When I took the little canister out I was surprised at how full it was. I think this little sucker (pun most definitely intended) has found a permanent home.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Gobble Gobble

I have two brothers. One lives in Colorado, and the other is retired, spends his winters kite-surfing in Mexico, and his summers rock climbing in Yosemite Valley. This brother is visiting for the next week and we'll celebrate Thanksgiving this coming Saturday, November 18. The big dinner is happening here at my house and I'm cooking.

That means the next few days I'll be cleaning and getting everything ready for the big day instead of spending time in the sewing studio.

These will have to wait until next week!

If you want to make your own Scrap Slab Triangle quilt, you can get my tutorial here, at my Etsy shop.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Scrap Slab Triangle Class

I had a lot of fun with my students at the Scrap Slab Triangle class on Saturday. The students made blocks, and then we set them all out of the floor and started playing with them.

I spent about fifteen minutes moving some blocks around and showing different layout options, but when the students started making suggestions, I moved away and said, "Show me. Do it."

The biggest problem wasn't that nobody wanted to move the blocks around. It was that ladies who  are north of 55 or 60 have a hard time getting down on the floor and then getting up again. Fortunately we did have a couple of brave souls, and one student in her 20's who was more than eager to help shuffle the blocks around.

We did find some interesting patterns worth exploring.

It was a good class.  I'm off now until January 27, 2018 when Quilted Threads will offer another bird class, and a barn class on February 10.

If you would like to make your own scrap slab triangle quilt, you can get my tutorial here, at my Etsy shop. It's an instant download so you can get started right away.

Friday, November 10, 2017


When I studied the Philosophy of Art in college, the professor told us, "If you think artwork A is truly better than artwork B, then you are correct."  Of course it isn't that simple. I know the Colorado quilt is a beautiful quilt. I know it's well made, and well designed, but it's worth... I don't know.

That's why I needed to have the quilt professionally appraised by Gerald Roy, the country's leading quilt expert.

He counted the birds, he measured the size of the barn block. He turned the quilt over and checked out the signature panel on the back.

He loved the quilt, thought the birds were great and the barn was terrific. He thought the quilting was "perfect." Then he gave me the appraisal - much higher than I expected, and the highest of any of my quilts.


Knowing the quilt's value is nice, but being validated is ever so much better.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What's Next?

My pal Allison asked me "What's next?" now that the Colorado Quilt is finished. The answer is the Scrap Slab Triangle Quilt class at Quilted Threads on Saturday, so I am getting ready for that.

For this class the students got a copy of the Scrap Slab Tutorial ahead of time and were asked to make slabs to bring to class. Here are mine. I'll demo cutting them at class.

You can't see in this photo, but I will be showing all three Scrap Slab Quilts at the class.


This is a great way to use up your scraps and make some fun quilts.  You can get the tutorial here.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Colorado on the Rocks

The Colorado Quilt is finished.

I'll get a few more beauty shots, have it appraised, show it off to my students at QT this coming Saturday, my family at Thanksgiving and then it will fly across the US to the high desert where my brother & sister-in-law live. There the quilt will live a life of a bed quilt.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Two Feet Left

I spent a lot of Saturday sitting on the couch sewing the binding of the Colorado Quilt.

It's always gratifying to turn the fourth corner.

Should get this done soon!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Box and The Shirt

The Box from my brother and sister-in-law, not surprisingly, arrived in a bigger box.

Removing the crushed paper and extra cardboard, I uncovered this. The box was wrapped in one of my brother's old corduroy shirts.

 Really. Notice the buttons on the shirt are all buttoned up!

I actually had to unbutton the shirt to get the box out. I texted my brother "You are too funny by half."

His reply? "You can keep the shirt."


Like I told one of my colleagues later, "I'm going to send the quilt to them wrapped in his shirt."

"Oh no," she replied. "You send it to them wrapped in one of YOUR shirts."

"Oooo... what a good idea!" I told her, "That's EVEN BETTER!!!" (Gee, I hope I have a shirt big enough to wrap around the quilt...)

Oh, you want to see pictures of the box itself? Sorry, gonna have to wait on that. I have some binding to sew.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Why Green?

You're probably wondering... Why did I choose GREEN for the binding of the Colorado Quilt? After all, the background of the quilt is white, and the backing is a light brown with gold.  So why choose a dark binding?

It's a good question, and perfectly valid.

Sometimes the reasoning for things is less visual and more emotional. Such it is with the backing and binding choices for the Colorado Quilt. P & J are very quiet, very reserved, very private people. They live where they live because it is beautiful and they live as one with the landscape that surrounds them. The colors for the backing and binding simply had to be earthy tones.

The fabric for the backing was a beautiful, yet subdued, organic design in earth tones - browns and golds. The flowers were a nod to J's work with flowers, and to the tones of the wood that my brother uses to build his furniture pieces.

Sure I could have used white, but the design needed to be contained somehow. Blue would have been too bright, as were Yellow, Orange, Red, and Purple. Gray would have been too dull and dreary, and the tertiary shades of the so-called "Civil War Prints" would not have worked well either. Plus I hate them. To me they are dull and dead.

Brown would have been OK, but we had brown on the back, and wanted J to be a part of the choice for the binding. Things that grow are green. While the high desert of Colorado is not as lush and green as summer in New Hampshire, my feeling of the area was GREEN, so green it simply had to be.

And yes, the binding is sewn on all four sides and attached to the front with at least six million pins spaced probably about three-quarters of an inch apart. I use a lot of pins. So what?