Blog Archives

It doesn’t really matter…

This is my new mantra. It’s not that I don’t care; it’s just that I need to care less about things. Take for instance, my Less is More quilt. I was originally going to enter it in our local modern quilt show but ended up being laid up for several months. Quilting 20 minutes a day could not get the job done. Now I’ve blocked this quilt and will probably be able to save the arrow points, but not other points at the edge. This means I will not be entering this quilt into the modern quilt exhibit at Houston International. It did not need to be perfect, but better than what it will be. SO, it really doesn’t matter because this is for me and soon it will be on display in my dining room. I have another quilt design in mind to enter at Quilt Con in Nashville next year and it will be a better product. I got a new toy to aid in squaring up quilts–a laser level/square. I will also use this next time I want to hang framed artwork or photos.


I finished this little (32×32) trip around the world quilt–it just needs a label.


I was looking for some handwork in the evenings, so pulled out this hand quilting sampler which I started in 1991 or 1992. I finished the hand quilting, then did some machine quilting to frame it. I don’t know what to do with this–pillow, tote bag? It’s not perfect and my stitching would win no awards, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s a happy memory of how I started quilting–cardboard templates, scissors, hand piecing, beeswax to coat thread, and Monday mornings spent hand quilting on a frame with the Pine Needle Quilters in Carlton, Minnesota. Every year, we raffled off a quilt at the local nursing home and funds were used to purchase big-ticket items such as a big screen TV. After removing the thread basting, I pin basted and echo-quilted. The corners were getting a little off which signaled to me that I was either tired or it was time to be finished with this project. The stitching is not consistent or perfect, and there are some ruffles on the back, but it really doesn’t matter. Note to self: roll your projects to prevent creases.


Next week, I’ll trim Less is More and face the edges. In the meantime, I’ll be hanging my summer quilt which is reversible. I made this quilt after watching a Sewing with Nancy episode with Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr (Magic Inch Quilts). Thanks to Dana Crocco for the suggestion of using swivel hooks to hang a reversible quilt. After I finish a table runner to match Aurora Borealis, I will attach the quilt label since I don’t want to sew it onto the quilt itself. Oh no–a quilt without a proper label. Sometimes, it really doesn’t matter.

Weight Loss Update: After two months, I have lost 6.5 pounds and 8.25 inches. I still can’t fit in my clothes (which made we want to give up), but it really doesn’t matter because my lab results (especially the cholesterol) show I am actually making a difference healthwise so I’ll keep on keepin’ on. In the meantime, I have walked 9 out of 10 days, despite the heat and humidity.. I only bring my camera one day a week so I can focus more on the exercise. It really doesn’t matter that I missed photos of a female blue bunting with baby, numerous blue heron photos (adult males, a pair, and two juveniles), some large turtles, and wildflowers that just didn’t make it in the heat. I am grateful that I can walk again relatively pain-free and my husband has started walking with me when he can. It’s all good.

Here are a few photos from last Sunday. It’s been too hot for kids to play on the playground equipment so several groups took to the water instead, including the turtles.

Trumpet vine, sweet peas, leaf eaters.

One final message, till next time:



California Thomas Fire Quilts

As members of NWA Modern Quilt Guild, we are occasionally asked to make blocks for donation quilts at Quilt Con or for quilts being made for disaster victims. This month we are making blocks for victims of the fires in California. Go here for all the details. California Thomas Fire Quilts

The Fabrics: I wanted to use green fabrics (signifying hope and new growth) but didn’t have sufficient contrast and greens that played well together. Leave your medium fabrics in the bin as you really need the light and dark contrast for maximum impact. I went to my purple bin and found a couple commercial fabrics and then found more from my hand dyeds, including one rather crappy sun-printed fabric that didn’t turn out so well. It’s been hanging around since we moved here (2006) but the color was just right. HINT: If you water down your Setacolor paint, it loses the ability to do a decent sun print.


Next I cut one 4-1/2 strip and one 5-inch strip from each fabric and subcut the squares. The 5-inch squares make a slightly oversized half-square triangle so if your sewing is not quite perfect, you’ll still be able to trim to 4-1/2 inches. You know what to do.


After I laid out four blocks, I photographed them on the design wall. This can be very handy if you mix up your units at the ironing board. (photo of blocks) HINT: When chain piecing blocks together, leave the units attached; you can also do this when you make rows. This prevents mixing everything up.


Here are the finished blocks.


If you make multiple blocks, here are two settings you can try. BONUS: I did not have to trim my blocks for once. Whaaaaat?


I had some blocks left over so I turned the hsts into hour glass units. Take two hst units and lay them right sides together with the light side on top of the dark side. Nest the diagonal seam, pin, and draw a straight line as shown (perpendicular to the seam). Sew ¼-inch of either side of the drawn line and then cut on that line. Voila, two hour-glass units. If you want to make the block lie flat at the center, undo the two or three stitches in the seamline, press on the little four-square on the reverse, press the seams in opposing directions, and press again on the right side.


I have saved all these fabrics, scraps and hour-glass units into a bag and will use them for an improv tote bag workshop in July.

FREE-MOTION QUILTING. I was practicing free-motion quilting and could not get the tension right. I tried adjusting my bobbin case to no avail so I sent for a new bobbin case for my Janome and noticed they also had a bobbin case especially for free-motion quilting. I cannot see the difference between the two bobbin cases (except for the blue and red arrows) but I saw a difference in the quilting–mo loops on the reverse.


Sewing machine companies like you to order parts from authorized dealers but try sewing machine parts and ask for items specific to your machine.

FREE-MOTION COUCHING. I also got a special hopping foot for couching yarn, etc. My results were not stellar but I’ll keep working on this.  Stay tuned.


You can thank Jackie Wolven (uber motivator) Jackie Wolven from Eureka Springs for kicking my butt enough to end my procrastination about posting to my blog again. It’s called #doonething. If you are overwhelmed with all the things you want to do and need to do, then pick one project and work on it during the week with the end goal of finishing by midnight on Sunday. Last week I did not post by midnight, but I did post first thing the next morning.  A little side benefit I have noticed for me is that I’m also getting a lot of other things done. Could procrastination be a thing of the past for me? (Probably not) But go here for a great TED talk mentioned in the To Well With You blog Suzy Oakley by Suzy Oakley. TED talk

I’ll most likely finish quilting the borders on this baby quilt this week, maybe even today since we are iced in. I’m finishing all my UFOs this year because it’s time and I want to do more improvisation—it maketh me happy. So do one thing, finish a UFO or give it away, and stay warm and healthy.