Monday, April 26, 2010


 I just finished this quilt I'm calling April Flowers this last weekend.  It's about 54" by 77".   I started it several years ago.  It is made from fabric samples that I got somewhere (so long ago, I don't even remember).  They were small pinked-edged squares in sample books.  I took the books apart and cut the squares down to six inch squares.  I used some of them as sashing.  I got the top done before we moved into this house, which was, what...2007?     Two weeks ago I pulled out the box with the fabrics, found this top and another top and went to the fabric store to buy an appropriate back.  I found a really cute light green with little flowers for this one - hence it's name.  And I found a fishing fabric for the blue quilt top I'm quilting at the moment.  I thought I could get the quilting for it done today or tomorrow, but I just put the sewing machine needle through my finger.  It went in the nail of my right hand pointer finger and came out the other side.  Yuck, it didn't really hurt until I pulled the needle out.  Anyway, not to gross you out, but it's starting to throb, so I better take it easy the rest of the day.  (It hurts to right click!).  I'll post a picture of the blue one when it's finished.

All these years of sewing and this is the first time I've ever done that.  Let's hope that's the end of that!

Friday, April 16, 2010


I took the worst of the prints on cotton that I did with the Litho method, and over-sewed it with black thread outlining and creating shadows.  I was really concerned I wouldn't be able to do it and make it look 'right', that's why I started with the worst print.  I don't like the wrinkles in it. I think they are confusing and detract from the portrait - that's that vertical line in the middle of the forehead.  It shouldn't be there, but it's in the print.
I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out not too bad.  It was like drawing with a pencil, but a lot slower!  I had the machine going full-throttle, poor thing.  But it's a trooper and so far it's still going great.  I love my Bernina.  I might get out my other one though and abuse it and let this old one be used just for making quilts.

Next I moved on to the failed attempt to do chine-collé with fabric.  I had taken that horrible wreck of a project and overlaid it with pink gauze that I had printed with the portrait.  I lined the print up with the fabric 'face' underneath and then proceeded to draw on it with thread.  I didn't do as much sewing on this, I just wanted to outline, but ended up doing a little more than that.    Here it is:
You can see the colored fabrics underneath the gauze overlay.   I don't know where to go with it from here.  It's on canvas, I could put it on stretcher bars.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


One more hard day of lugging a laundry basket up the stairs loaded down with fabric, I don't know how many times.  My knees are telling me it was a few too many times though.
When I finally got all the fabric up and sorted, then I started bring up the drawers from my sewing table and the leaves for the cutting table.  At least I got the men to bring up the tables, though.
It looks a little bare right now, but I'm sure I'll have it all junked up very soon.
In fact, I think I'll be out there sewing up a storm first thing in the morning.  I really wanted to sew tonight, but I'm just too tired.

One of the fun and interesting things about reorganizing my stash was getting re-acquainted with and counting all the pieces of fabric I have.
I will admit it, I am a fabricoholic.

I have some really ugly pieces of Elvis fabric - (I can't believe they let them license them).

I have 116 pieces of fabric with a horse motif, 2 that are zebras, 3 with cowboy boots, and 1 seahorses.  (Most of these are 1/2 yard pieces).

I was astonished to find I have 414 pieces of paisley fabrics.

I have a big stack of hand-dyed fabrics by Judy Robertson from her yard of the month program.

I am short on yellows, but I have golds.  And Diane B is right, I have way too many browns.

I have a lot of plaids.  I have some Kaffe Fassett fabrics I would love to use.

I need to start using this fabric.  Now.  

I'd like to make quilts, but I don't know what to do with them.  I'd really like to just make the tops and have someone else quilt them.  You wanna?  We could donate them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I spent the first day cleaning up from the construction.  I got out the vacuum and went at it.  I decided everything either had to have a home or it was going away.  I started taking things downstairs and piling them up in Darrell's shop.  It's only a matter of time until he puts a stop to that!  But I will eventually do away with it all.  We need a big garage sale this summer.

Anyway, I started taking fabric up that afternoon, but I didn't take any pictures.
This is where I stopped at the end of day two.  

It all has to be re-folded and organized.  It' kind of fun going through it all and remembering what I have.  It's seems it's been a long time since I've been through it.  I'm finding things I had forgotten I have.  But, I need to start doing something with it all.  I have little stacks of fabrics that I had some sort of plan for....but most of it I don't remember what exactly. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010


The above picture is the finished project.  Below are the process pictures.   I did some research about systems for storing my fabric stash.  I had criteria - I wanted to be able to see the fabric and get to it easily; I wanted the bins deep as possible because of the layout of the room's sloping ceiling.  That end isn't really usable space without stooping down.  I found this wire basket system through  It was expensive, but simple to install - a choice of time or money.  Being short of time, or should I say, Darrell being short of time, I decided to go for it.  
Darrell built the simple four section box, and installed the 'ladders' that the baskets slide on.  We found the other cabinets for free on Craigslist and he built toe-kicks for them, installed them and put new countertops of MDF edged with mahogany.  
I spent several days painting the inside of the old cabinets white and painting the outsides, and putting shellac on the top of the counters.  

At the last minute, I decided it might be fun to add some color - that short wall behind the new cabinets never really got painted properly.  I stopped at Rodda on the way home one day and picked up some dark yellow (gold) paint - it's called 'Hacienda Clay'.  I was surprised at how 'warm' it ended up being up against the already warm amber shellac.  Oh, well.
Now I just have to lug all my fabric up there, re-fold it, and organize it.

No problem.