September 2008

what was i thinking???  will never make that mistake again.  doing my own guild show, that is.  not a good idea for me or the guild.  they could have gotten full price for the space and i didn’t make any money.  so, now it’s time to find a new place to go for my birthday! ^_^  anyone out there  belong to a guild that has a show in late september??

other than that, it was an ok day.  i really do love those new poles.  i didn’t realize how much more work it was to use those quilt racks.  been killin’ myself for over 3 years now.  slow learner!  teardown was fast and easy – with a little help from good friend, bobbie!  and everything fits nicely into the van.  moved a few things around, which weren’t really working all that well where they were anyway.  space-wise it was perfect, but timing-wise, not so much.  had to remove the things that go into the booth last before i could get to the things that go into the booth first!  now, those things are up front and only cart and booth poles/drapes & electric are in the back –  and come out first!

today is a minimum day for the schools. grrr  hate it when they do that.  that means i must leave here around noon – no time to do much of anything.  did a short walk this morning so i’d have a little extra time.  one mile better than nothing, right?!!

oh, i didn’t know the person who won the quilt. bobbie did and i did meet her when she came to get it.  she was very thrilled.  they took lots of pictures of us.  if they put one in the newsletter, i’ll see if i can copy it and get it into one of these.  and so another chapter closes – along with another year of my life.  onward and upward. ^_^

love and beauty

what a disaster the show is – at least for me.  also my favorite local shop not doing so well.  ok, even worse than i!!  not many attendees and a lot of vendors.  people tending to shop where they can’t go everyday.  i wasn’t expecting great things – also wasn’t expecting it to be this bad. sure wish the media would stop telling everyone how awful things are and only making it worse in the process!!  i mean – the worse they tell us it is, the less we spend and the worse it gets and then the less we spend   ……  and down the tube we all go!  at least this one didn’t cost me much.  not so for piqf and houston!!  yes, just a tad worried.

and so it goes.  and this too shall pass.

love and beauty

i suppose, given how i have been doing my life forever, that it is only fitting i should spend my birthday setting up for a show.  and probably with little acknowledgement of same.  don’t get me wrong – i am very  clear my life looks exactly how i have created it!  sometimes it’s just interesting to step back and look at one’s creation – like when you check out that quilt or painting you’ve been working on.  doesn’t always look the way you thought it would – or expected!  and just where did all those years go????

and along those lines – did stay to help with the  hanging of the quilts after i delivered mine.  and once again was struck by how much some of those women have ‘aged’.  i often miss the regular meetings – i’m either out of town or too tired of being in public.  i have now been here and a member for 10 years and can clearly see how ‘they’ have changed in appearance.  and, yes, when i actually turn on the bathroom light and put on my glasses – well, the same is true for me.  and while i usually still feel no more than 50 (or ageless, actually) – it’s often a sobering experience to drive past the highschool just down the street!

and this is one of those years that puts me just one year away from another decade turning!  just the sound of 70 is daunting, or at least really really old sounding. ^_^

and so, i am choosing to live in gratitude!  i found myself becoming preoccupied with those thoughts about how old i am and how much ‘time’ i might have left – scary kind of thoughts.  and downright depressing if you don’t watch out!!  and the other day it hit me – better to be thankful just to be here now – for this day!  to disempower and dissolve the fears in gratitude.  Life IS Good!  Thank You, God! ^_^

love and beauty

ok, i’m no expert, but i thought it still might be useful if you are a real beginner.  i know when i was first learning, back in ohio, i was told to always cut my binding strips at 3″ – AND to cut them on the bias.  there was actually a way to do that so you ended up with a continuous piece – or something??  anyway – i no longer do any of that. 

first, i don’t think you need bias strips unless you are doing a quilt with curvy edges.  while i think that it was also believed that bias binding would wear better – still not sure. soo, far easier to cut on straight – and if you cut them across, easy to do and figure how many strips you need.

second, i now cut them at 2 1/2 inches.  however – you do still need to sew them together with a ‘bias’ (45 deg) seam.  it’s always a trick for me to figure out which way to sew.  you put the strips together, right sides together with the ends perpendicular to each other so they overlap and create a square within the overlapped area.  i always do a pinned seam first and see if when i open the two pieces they are in a straight line!  i then draw a line from the corner of one piece to the opposite corner of the other – which is a diagonal line within the box where they are overlapped. (i really need to talk to my friend carla and find out how to draw here!) ^_^  trim to 1/4 inch seam allowance and press the seam open. 

to figure how long a piece you need – i allow 3 inches for each corner and then 5 inches for the overlapping when you join them at the end.  add these to the total length of the edge of the quilt (twice the width added to twice the length).  figure each strip across the fabric at 42 inches – cut as many as you need and trim off any selveges.  once you have them all sewn together, fold the long strip in half along the length. 

now, here’s the scary part for me.  trim the quilt, making sure it’s square!  i generally leave a scant 3/8 inch seam allowance.  i have discovered that if i only do 1/4 inch, i end up with my binding not being completely ‘full’ – and the judges will ding you for that one!!  trust me!!

pin the raw edges of the folded binding strip to the outer edge of the quilt – ON THE FRONT OF THE QUILT.  i am not going to attempt to write how to do the corners here!  sorry, but better with pictures and there are a ton of books out there that will give you very good directions on that one!  as well as everything else i’ve written here, for that matter.  however – in the next paragraph you may read something different from what some of the books have to say.  these directions give you a true continuous binding!  looks way better and no harder to do than sewing all those strips together – so you CAN do it.

you will do the exact same thing for that final seam as you did when you joined all the pieces to create the long piece to go around the whole quilt.  first, you will bring the end over the beginning and overlap it 2 1/2 inches (or whatever width your strip is) and cut it off.  then do that same end (perpendicular) to (and over) end you did for all the other seams. (right sides together) and stitch that 45 deg line.  once again, you may want to pin the seam to assure yourself you are sewing the correct diagonal seam.  yes, you will have to temporarily unfold the strip in order to put the ends together!

ok, so here are the pictures of the finished 4-block of the simpler flowers.  i also took a closeup to show i did a decent job of getting the binding in the right place. ^_^  that one also shows some of carla’s great quilting.  this one, as well as another piece she quilted for me, will be in our show this weekend.  here in placerville, at the fairgrounds on p’ville drive.  plus – the opportunity quilt will be given away on sunday – well, the name will be drawn – at 3:00 p.m. !

  and here’s the binding detail



oh, did forget the last step in putting the binding on!  that part is done by hand – you fold the binding in half and to the back of the quilt and use an invisible whip stitch to sew it down (essentially an applique process!) ^_^


happy stitching!  love and beauty

came online to post this picture yesterday and got distracted.  somehow ended up checking out a sports related article.  i found it a little bizarre – the houston baseball team is whining about having to play their game(s) out of town – well whining about WHERE, not so much that they had to.  anyway, a friend just sent me a ton of pictures – the ‘aftermath’!  i mean, a whole CITY was destroyed practically, and these overpaid, childish men are whining because they lost a couple of games! ( due to the fact that they played lousy and blaming it on being TIRED!)  give me a f’n break!!!  go back to your city and donate some time and money!!

ok, so here’s the real reason i wanted to do a post – only problem is, not sure you will be able to see what i’m talking about in this picture.  i had to take it thru the screen as every time i went out – they flew away.  these are the ‘real’ gold finches – normally we have what are called ‘lesser’ finches, which are not as yellow.  these guys just stop to refuel on their way to somewhere warmer for the winter.  and they were definitely chowing on my feeder. ^_^  the best yellow is on the left side of that ‘sock’.

  well, actually looks better than i thought.  you can see them! ^_^

ok, now it’s time to get to work.  i managed to push myself past my ‘fears’ and get the binding sewn onto the wallhanging.  now i have to finish the hand sewing part – which is already half finished!  what a relief!  this one had an added concern with regard to trimming and sewing – because it is all ‘on point’, the binding had to be exact where the points meet it!  i think they are ok!  yea!!  perhaps will post (for the third time) once it’s complete.

love and beauty

several days ago i put the whites into the washer and then left the lid up so i wouldn’t forget i actually wanted to wash them.  obviously my schedule has gotten in the way – and it’s still easy to forget if you don’t go into that room except to sleep!  yes, my washer (and dryer) is in the bedroom. ^_^  small digs!  not sure how i discovered mr. pepe was doing this, but had peeked in and ran to get camera – of course the sound of the flash popping up woke him – thus the sleepy (and slightly annoyed) look.  moral is – always good to check inside before starting washer (or dryer)! ^_^

  i guess, since the weather has cooled, he has found it warmer in there.   too bad, i will probably do that load today and he will have to find a new place to snuggle.

my only goal for today is to get the binding onto that latest wallhanging – the one with the 4 simpler flowers (see below).  i have promised it as a show entry for our show, which is next weekend!  that means it must be complete by thursday!!  not sure why, but i really dislike this step.  part of it is i am very  very nervous when trimming the quilt in preparation for the sewing on – on the machine – of the binding.  you know, one slip and all those months of work could be ‘ruined’!  don’t mind the handwork part – folding and sewing the binding to the back.  and now that it’s cooler, won’t be a big deal to have a quilt in my lap!  course, then – given it is black, it will take forever to remove all traces of hair!!  would help if i did the vacuuming thing more often.

 sure wish it were already trimmed this nicely.  then i wouldn’t be stressed.

ok, time to just do it!

love and beauty

well, i’d say the class was a success!  there were 7 students, and they all seemed well satisfied.  i had offered to stay over and do additional time with them on friday because i didn’t feel the 3 hours was going to be sufficient.  all would liked to have returned, but schedules and health kept all but 2 away during the day.  one returned friday evening.  so, yes, it was a rather long class for me. ^_^  however, i am ok with that.  mostly i wanted to make sure i gave them what they wanted/needed, etc.  from what i heard – i accomplished that.  turns out that not only did the class teach them the new stuff – it really grounded the whole process and eliminated any problems they were still having.  at least that was the feedback i got.  so, i am very happy!  oh, and they did encourage me to ‘go forward’ with the class. ^_^  even the pattern seems to be good.  yea!!

on top of that, susie bought some patterns for the store, including the jackets.  so, i may be returning to teach that class as well.  life is definitely good!

and now, it’s the push to prepare for piqf and houston – as well as my show here nxt weekend and then the classes and talk in san anselmo & petaluma.  busy busy.    oh, and summer is definitely gone.  it’s downright chilly here this morning!  only about 51 deg when i got up.  forced  to put on a sweatshirt! cold hands trying to type!

hey, don’t forget – if you’re in this area, the quilt show is this  coming weekend and the drawing for the quilt is 3:00 sunday.  better get your tickets soon! ^_^  or at the show then.

in case you haven’t seen it.

love and beauty

back to martinez i go today – to teach the long awaited advanced class.  am excited and a little nervous.  have only 3 hours this evening, from 6 – 9, and not sure enough time.  will give it my best shot.  and here’s the picture of the class pattern.

once again, not something intended for your livingroom wall.  does have elements from my real designs, and thus, is a training tool for preparing yourself for doing one of those – or anyone else’s designs.  yes, the flower on the right is a little ‘stiff’ – however, i needed to find a way to include that kind of layering and (more importantly) some exagerated inside and outside points.  thus, those funny looking leaves.  that stem is also bent the ‘wrong’ way and that makes it a challenge also.  all in all – a very good working tool, i think. ^_^  all i have to do is figure out how to ‘teach’ it. ^_^


love and beauty

well, it was definitely a challenge, but i finished the new class sample.  not sure why i was so resistent to working on it.  i will admit is isn’t an easy piece, and it’s not like it’s a new design i’m going to sell a bunch of.  however, those classes do make me some decent money – not to mention i love teaching.  still, had to slog my way thru it.

as you can see – it is truly not a ‘real’ design.  however, it does contain all the elements found in my real designs.  this class is not for the beginner.  it is a true followup for my first class and intended for those smitten with the needleturn applique bug! – those hungry for all the tips and tricks they can find.

if you have seen my designs, you can recognize what i decided to use.  i think it will work quite nicely for what it is intended – a learning tool and practice piece!  my only concern right now is exactly how to ‘teach’ it and how much time do i need.  this first class is an evening class and thus only 3 hours.  we shall see!

love and beauty

just thought i’d post the only picture i did get at the beach the other day.  as i said, whales and seals too far away.  but this guy, a little bread brought him upclose and personal.  pretty, not the usual white ones.

he was already swallowing at the time of this taking. ^_^

love and beauty

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