Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I was able to work on the hand applique for this Christmas wall quilt during our trip and finally finished it last night.  It is ready to be sandwiched and quilted.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting Ready to Sew

It looks like I’ve become one of those ladies never satisfied with the way the furniture is arranged.  I had some time Friday while Bob was at the ranch and decided to reconfigure my sewing area ….again.  I am probably going to do some machine quilting on my DSM this fall rather than on my HQ16 because the ranch pretty much becomes “Man’s World” during hunting season.  So, I swapped my end table around and reinstalled my Pfaff in its cabinet.  You have to be something of a contortionist to get cords and foot pedals threaded through the various openings and adjust the table height so the machine is flush with the sewing surface.  Since this is my take-along machine for those times I need something other than a straight stitch, it has not been in its cabinet in well over a year. 

I also spent some time prewashing my batik acquisitions from our Wisconsin trip.  Now they are ready to be paired with Jane Stickle blocks.

And, I found a temporary home for the quilt that Wanda gave me.  Someday I will add a sleeve so I can use it for a wall quilt.  Until then it will serve as a table topper for the basket that holds my growing collection of mug rugs.

Today I hope to kit up some Jane Stickle blocks for Sit ‘N Sew Day.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fun in Madison and Beaver Dam

The day after my visit with Wanda, was spent at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo.  This was the eighth annual Expo and my second time to attend.  My first visit was in 2007.  This year’s event was bigger and more crowded than I remembered.  It was here that I took the crazy quilt class I posted about September 9. 

My Strips that Sizzle quilt that I named "Breaking the Mold" was juried into the show.  The judges were very kind in their comments and the feedback was constructive.  This was my first submission to a juried show.  The organizers were patient with me and responsive to all my questions as I prepared my entry for shipping.  I don't know when or if I will submit another quilt for judging, but this experience was definitely positive.
Of course, there were lots of vendors and I certainly did my share to stimulate the economy.  The day following my visit to the Expo, we took a short detour to Beaver Dam where I spent a little time at the Nancy’s Notions Store while Bob made a store run.  At the conclusion of our Beaver Dam stop, my long-suffering husband informed me that the quilting portion of the trip was finished (and it was)! 

Here is my bag of loot from the trip which includes the fabric cuts from Wanda and purchases made at the Expo and Beaver Dam.  That's a lot of fabric, but most of it is small cuts for my Jane Stickle quilt, and the rest was purchased to help meet specific commitments rather than impulse buys.  So, I was very, very bad, or maybe very good, depending on your perspective.  Whichever way you choose to look at it, it was a lot of fun.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meeting Wanda!

My blog has been relatively quiet for the last two weeks because Bob and I have been on an extended trip to Wisconsin and Canada escaping our Texas heat, visiting family and making some excursions we have wanted to do for a long time.  Our route north took us through Illinois and I sweet talked Bob into making a stop in Sandwich where I spent a couple of totally delightful hours visiting with Wanda Hanson of Exuberant Color!  

The quilts that seem to glow in pictures on her blog are even more exquisite when seen in person...and yes her stash is as extensive and well organized as it looks in her posts.  Not only did Wanda kindly let me pepper her with an endless array of questions, she generously shared several cuts from batik remnants that I can incorporate into my Jane Stickle quilt …

and she gave me this lovely little piece that she blogged about on August 3, 2007 when she was playing with thread embellishment techniques!  Every time I look at it I see different secondary designs.

We covered a lot of ground...everything from her personal tips for loading a quilt on a long arm frame to her prismatic garden technique.  It was a lovely morning, and one that I will remeber with great fondness.  Thank you, Wanda!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Anti-Ouch Pouches

A project I have begun sandwiching between working on quilts is the construction of Anti-Ouch Pouches for those recovering from breast surgery or undergoing radiation for breast cancer.  The pouch is an underarm pillow that hangs from the shoulder and fits under the arm to help cushion the area affected by surgery.  They are given to area physicians who in turn distribute them to their patients.  This has become an on-going project for our local quilt club and a rather efficient production system has evolved.  One team cuts and assembles the kits, which are handed out at the monthly meetings.  We stitch them up and return them so other teams can add filler and deliver them to community doctors.  Cards are included with each pouch telling the recipient who constructed their pillow. The club has received some very touching thank you notes.

Lately we have been asked to provide 100 pouches a month, a number I find staggering.  Fortunately, with some practice (I found the instructions a little tricky at first), construction of a pouch takes an hour or less.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Class Time

Our schedule is very full with family right now, but I managed to squeeze in a hands-on workshop last week.  The technique is for a quilt-as-you-go project that will ultimately yield a piece resembling a modern day version of a crazy quilt.  I’ve never been a great fan of crazy quilts, but the technique was relaxing and the class was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed the technique enough that I may even use it again.  Even though I would have opted for more fabrics and a wider value range than those included in the class kit, I think the final product will be pretty.  This is one of the blocks I was able to complete. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Jane Stickle Progress

My pace on Jane Stickle blocks slowed last month as other issues had to take precedence.  Luckily, some of the tutorials Doreen posted this month were for blocks I had already done.  Nonetheless, I am now a slightly behind the pace.  We have a series of family events scheduled for September that will make time for sewing very limited and inevitably cause me to fall even further behind.  I will have to try to catch up again in October.  Hopefully, I will be able to carve out some time during the month to work on my hand appliqué project.

I now have 80 center blocks and 22 border triangles completed.