Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Stash

I shared the yarn I collected while on my trip to Cheyenne last month. And here is some of the fabric new to the stash.

All of these save the low-volume club come from Ruth's Stitchery. They are getting more and more great new "modern" fabrics in the shop!

First, some pillowcase fabric for my niece who just joined the US Navy. She is an engineer, so I think this fabric is perfect for her.

Passport by 3 Sisters for Moda

And of course, for My Little Sailor:

"Tokyo Map" Passport by 3 Sisters for Moda

I don't know how I missed these Alison Glass prints at Ruth's!

Alison Glass Sun Print "Mercury" for Hawthorne Threads

A few more low volume FQs. You know, just in case they stop printing them!

And here is my March "Low Volume Club" bundle from  Sew Lux Fabrics.

As Dr. Seuss would say, "That's not all!"  
Come back next Sunday for another Stash Report!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Tutorial: Save That Batting!

As all quilters know, the cost of cotton is rising -- a lot! So we need to save any way we can.

I certainly am more careful to use every last scrap of fabric. But have you thought about saving small pieces of batting (wadding, to my friends Down Under)? I used to toss the cut-off pieces of batting after a quilt came back from the long-arm quilter.

But no more!

I read about Marti Michell's "Marti's Choice Fusible Tape" on her website.

Marti uses it for quilting large quilts in sections, but Aunt Marti uses it to make big battings out of little pieces!

To use the fusible tape, make a clean, straight cut on one edge of each piece of batting. Place both pieces on your ironing surface (I use a Big Board) with the straight edges flush.

Preheat the iron to slightly cooler than the "cotton" setting, with steam.  Begin at one end and roll the tape over the cut, pressing as you go.

According to Marti Michell:
Marti's Choice Fusible Tape won't gum up machine needles and is soft enough to needle easily by hand. Use it to stabilize seams and bias edges, and for low-fat machined quilting in sections! It's PERFECT for low-fat machine quilting in sections -- when you divide the batting, use Marti's Choice Fusible Tape to fuse the batting together again!
It's only necessary to tape one side of the batting. Really, it won't pull apart when you quilt. The tape is flexible so that you can't tell where it is once the quilt is quilted!

The tape costs $10 for 30 yards (2" wide style). I mostly use this method for baby-size or lap-size quilts.

I easily save the cost of the tape by using the cut-off batting from two or three quilts for one lap-size quilt.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Stash

I scheduled some posts to publish while I am away from home. While writing them, I found this "old" draft that had never been published. 

Good thing fabric doesn't spoil, isn't it?

I can't wait until Ruth's Stitchery gets their order of Jen Kingwell's fabrics. Because I have this pattern, "Stardust" to make with it!

One of my nieces saw a quilt similar to this on Pinterest. This one will take some concentration!

I hate it when I don't get the printed selvage on fat quarters. I don't remember where I bought these fabrics, but I think they are from Free Spirit.

I know I got these purple deco weight beauties at Fringe in Salida. They had the cutest laundry bag made with these fabrics, and I'm adding them to my "bags" stash.

A few "candies" for giveaways for the monthly UFO Parade.

Did you know April is National Poetry Month? This is my favorite poem (I'm pretty sure I've shared it before!) by Mary Oliver, The Summer Day.

Who made the world?Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

I have enough new goodies to have a "Sunday Stash" every week for the next month! So I'll close now and write another post.

From the desk of your


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thursdays are for Knitting (and yarn!)

I'm not sure why, but I have this absolute conviction that I won't be able to find any good wool yarn in Texas! Many people have assured me that is not so, but it hasn't stopped me from buying every new washable wool I find.

The Projects

Before I share my stash enhancement (read: anxiety treatment), let me show off a few finished projects made by dear friends.

First, Friend Emily is studying in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole.

Yeah. Cold. The warmest day on the Weather Underground's forecast is Monday, forecast to be just above freezing.

Clever Emily is a knitter, and she knit this hat:

Here is her story:
Maniacal knitting kicked in yesterday and I design and made myself a new hat. It is in the same pattern as these Svalbard sweaters seen/sold on the island. I can't imagine they are traditional though, at least to the island, so I don't know the significance. However, I still like my hat. I'm considering making a full sweater, but I think I might have the same problem as I do with my Icelandic lopi sweater: too warm to wear anywhere but the arctic!
Love your design, Em! And I bet the double yarn makes it a good weight for the "spring" in Svalbard!

Another clever girl is my niece, Lyra. She is a soon-to-be graduate of Franklin Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts. And a knitter! 

She made these knitted veggies for me for Christmas. Aren't they fun?

Because I'm ahead on my Hats for Sailors knitting, I made this pretty blue hat out of not-machine-washable yarn. For which I've lost the label. But I seem to remember knitting a cowl from the same yarn. The Pattern is Noro Kureyon One-Ball Wavy Gravy Hat from Iconoclastknit. (whew)

The Yarn

I fell in love with mini skeins of Lorajean's Knitted Wit yarn at Fancy Tiger last winter. I nagged and nagged her via etsy, and she now has the Spring Rainbow colorway in stock. Plus a fun colorway in the same shades as the carpeting in the Portland airport!

My friend and long-arm quilter, Cornelia, found a fun nail polish called "Unicorn Farts." I couldn't find the nail polish, but I did find this yarn of the same name. I made her a drawstring bag to take on an upcoming trip. The only fabric I could find that had a unicorn is "My Little Pony." Close enough?

I made another drawstring bag and knitting kit for my friend Holly, who is deploying to Afghanistan next week with the US Air Force. I'll be acting as "Deployment Mom" for her daughter while Holly is away. The Dishcloth Diva autographed a book to include!

This new colorway of Liberty Wool is called "October." My birth month! So I had to get it, right? And I love the sweater on the cover of the new Liberty Wool book. Both from Ewe and Me here in Colorado Springs.

This kit from Loop is supposed to be for fingerless mitts. But I'm planning to make Hats for Sailors, I just loved the colors!

I've seen so many versions of Hannah Fettig's Featherweight Cardigan on Ravelry lately. And when I saw this gorgeous shade at Ewe Count in Cheyenne, well . . . you know what happened! This yarn really more aqua than it appears in the photo. It's so hard to get true colors with indoor photography.

On my way to Cheyenne last month, I stopped off in Mitchell, NE at the Brown Sheep wool mill (hey, it's sort of on the way!) I scored a huge bag of yarn "seconds" for only $60. To the Brown Sheep people, "seconds" means the color doesn't quite match their color cards. The yarn is perfect!

And of course, the Loopy Ewe is right on my way home! Both of these are new-to-me yarns,  and the colors, oh my!

Do you think I'll have enough yarn to keep my happy for six months in Texas?

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, April 3, 2015

April Jelly Roll Party: Drop Diamonds

Appropriate fabric choice for today's Jelly Roll Party. It's "April Showers," by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. Because it's sort-of-raining, sort-of-snowing here today!

The pattern is "Drop Diamonds" from Cozy Quilts. It's because of this pattern that I tried the Folded Corner Clipper!

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and for those who have the Monday holiday, enjoy!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 1 UFO Parade

I missed a "finish" last month, so Sandi leads the parade this month. I'm so sorry, Sandi! And PS, I love the "Cupid" prezzie!

But first, so you can start thinking about your April UFO, the number is:

"Kadabra" is  Bonnie Hunter's 2014 Winter Mystery "Grand Illusion."  Sandi tells me:
The first of eight clues was released on Black Friday, November 29, 2014.  I haven't missed this annual gift from Bonnie Hunter since I started in 2008.  The pattern will be FREE on her website until sometime in the Spring of 2015.

Click here to read about "Kadabra" on Sandi's blog, KwiltnKats.

Here is Sandi's March finish, "Kurry," a design by Judy Niemeyer that she calls Briar Patch. Read all about it at Sandi's blog, KwiltnKats.

And here is a third finish from Sandi! It's another Bonnie Hunter freebie, available at Bonnie's blog, Quiltville. Sandi writes:
I love my version of Bonnie Hunter's design Dancing Nine-Patch!  This is one of the FREE patterns she offers on her website  I found that I needed more 9-patches than the instructions called for to make the illustrated finished project.  It all worked out fine in the end because mine was all made from scraps.  Many of my 9-patches were already made or started.  The inner border (the one in darker blue) is pretty skinny, but it looks perfect with the rest of the border setting.

Read all about "Kabuki" on Sandi's blog, here.

I've decided this pattern will be my new "leaders and enders" project, Sandi!

Kath in England had a productive winter! Here's what she told me about her finishes:
My finished UFO’s  for March is the little quilt hanging above my sofa. I made 2 of these Lynette Anderson quilts, in different colour schemes, one for me and one for Mum. I got hers quilted and bound and presented it to her at Christmas. But after all those hours of embroidery I  lost the “oomph” to get mine finished.

Then I signed up to your UFO challenge, bagged them up and  really worked hard on this one to get it finished and on display in my sitting room, where I have a lightweight hanging pole, so I can switch my small quilts round when I fancy a change!

The little heart was from a tutorial on the internet, which I bookmarked, but  only just got round to putting together!
The quilt on the left is Kath's; the one on the right is her Mum's. Click on the photo to see the embroidery!

Here is a closeup of the beehive on Kath's Mum's quilt:

And here is the sweet Christmas heart -- I think that's the Cathedral Window technique.

Elisa has a special model for her March finish! She agreed that I could post the photo of her youngest grandchild on this Christmas quilt:

Her story made me laugh:
Hi Marti, here's my entry for the March UFO Parade. This was supposed to be a Christmas 2014 project; I had it sewn, sandwiched and quilted by Dec 7, but then it just sat, needing only to be squared up and the binding attached. The youngest grand-daughter and I finished it today, including taking some outdoor beauty shots. The blog post, including more pics, is at Yarn Tails, here.
Jennifer's goal was to "finish" all the HSTs she needed for her chevron quilt. Here they are!

Looking forward to seeing your quilt, Jennifer!

Debra finished the fourth "Grand Illusion" mystery for this year's UFO Parade. I need to get mine to the quilter so I can show it off!

This quilt is so big, it's impossible to get the entire thing in the photo. Love the visitor, Deb!

I love Debra's "Bunny Trails," and the story behind it is even better.

Another one bites the dust and it's Bunny Trail time. A few friends and I started this Buggy Barn project quite sometime ago and I have finally gotten around to finish mine (Debbie Allen and Sandi Delman ( were done last year). It is called Bunny Trail and is a Buggy Barn pattern. The workshop was taken at Paradise Sewing in Poway and Julanne Bergstrom (the BEST Buggy Barn instructor around) had great patience with me while working on this project. If you haven't had the experience of taking a Buggy Barn workshop - it's time to do so - they have a "quilt mindset" all of their own. hehehehheheeh Enjoy and it is finished just at the right time - Easter Bunny Time. Happy Easter everyone
You are so lucky to have such good "quilting buddies" close by, Debra!

Debra also has a third quilt for this month's parade. It's a "test sew" for a workshop she'll be taking later this month. No puppy in this photo, Lola was sleeping! The quilt is Stepping Stones in the Garden (Walled Garden by Sheila Sinclair Snyder)

Another one for my "wish list!" This would be a great Scrappy Sunday project!

How cute is Donna's March finish? 

Looking closely at the photo, it looks as though you might have used a technique similar to Jean's Genius Binding. did you?

A different Donna finished her "A Quilt Block a Day" quilt from last spring. I love this quilt with solid colors and white!

And another finish this month! Can't really see the "quilt" in this photo (it's two layers of batik, the baby lives in Hawai'i where they complain when the temperature falls to 65 degrees!). But with this cutie lying on it, who cares about the quilt?

Idaho Martha sent a photo of the "easiest baby quilt ever!"
 Put a solid and a patterned 10" square (right sides facing in) and see all around the four sides. Cut an x from corner to corner. Rearrange and sew together. This is going to Maryland. Note:  from one pack each of a solid and a patterned layer cake you can get three baby quilts!

Cute cute cute! Have we done pinwheels for A Quilt Block a Day? This would be a great design!

Irene's March finish has a touching story. Here is the quilt, back and front:

And here is the story:
I finally have a finish to share this month - although not one of my original UFOs. I learned that a friend had been diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted to do something to acknowledge the situation, but be positive at the same time. She is also a retired elementary school librarian so I used my literary fabric in the border. She can play an “I spy” game with her grandson this way. Then she can wrap up in the hugs being sent her way. I used the pocket on the back to put a list of the things to look for in the quilt.
Surely a blessing for your friend, Irene.

Heather K. is also using the "UFO Challenge" to finish blocks. Here are her blocks for February and March:

Kerry has two "big" finishes this month. First up is Scrap Crystals, a Bonnie Hunter pattern from her new book. It was started in a workshop in October 2014.

Next up is the Downton Abbey Mystery Quilt that Kerry started in a Mystery class at Road to California Quilt show in January.

Kerry, you really make me want to drop everything and finish my own Downton Abbey Mystery!

Reyna finished this gorgeous Judy Neimeyer wall hanging, Winter Wonderland. She calls it "Snowstar." You can read more about it on Reyna's blog, Yarn In, Yarn Out.

Heather-of-Peachy-Pages' finish is so fun! Between her and Martha, I am really set on making pinwheels for the next "A Quilt Block a Day!"

Be sure to go to her blog, Peachy Pages, to see the blocks up close!

Gloriajean finished a carefully "aged" quilt this month. She says she has had this fabric for four years, "just waiting." 

We understand, Gloriajean!

A moment of silence is requested for Mary J's March project.  First, the photo:

And now, the story:

The March finish turned into a March DONE with this one!  I bought a paper piecing pattern for Storm at Sea in 2006 and carefully cut the pieces out of scraps between projects.  Alas, I did not follow my own advice to make a sample block before committing to the whole thing!  When I pieced it carefully following the lines on the paper, all the points were cut off!!!!  The whole thing went in the trash and roughly 2000 carefully cut pieces are now to be "repurposed". 
Read about this sad story at Mary's blog, Zippy Quilts, here.

Mary, this is when you throw the blocks on the ground and drive over it with your car as many times as it takes to make you feel better!

Becky has the right attitude.
I finally finished the top for my heart quilt!  Yay!!  The pattern is from a kid's quilt in "Quilted with Love: The Project Linus Story," but I had the idea in my head that biggie sizing the blocks would make a great bed quilt.  I made the first block about a year ago, but then my enthusiasm bubble burst when not many of my friends could see the hearts without prompting.  I finally decided, "Who cares!  It's my quilt and I'm going to finish it!" Tada!

Becky, *I* can see the hearts!

Hey, wait a minute, Nancy! I thought you said you were finished with making "Very Hungry Caterpillar" quilts. Here are two more -- and I still love them!

I thought I would save this photo until next month, when Nancy has the quilt bound. But I really want you all to see the close-up of the quilting her daughter did!

And here is one of those "long-time UFOs." Nancy says it has been kicking around the sewing room for quite awhile, always being moved from one place to another!

Love those colors, Nancy!

Donna's story about her March finish really made me laugh! She reports she started this quilt about six years ago -- good thing fabric doesn't spoil, isn't it?

You really must go to Donna's blog, quiltpaintcreate, to read the rest of the story!

Betsy send in this t-shirt quilt she made for her Dad. Love the story behind this one!

T-shirt quilt for my dad, made of shirts from Austin's Capitol 10,000 race.  He's done it over 30 of the 37 times they have had it, including the very first one.  He'll be lacing up his running shoes for this year's race in a few weeks--rocking the 80-84 age group!!! 

I have a very special finish to share with you all to close out our UFO Parade. This is a friend's daughter, age 9. Zoey picked out these charms squares at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Show last fall. On the way home, she and her mother stopped at Cotton Candy Sewing Shop in Loveland and Zoey fell in love with this pattern. So... She got to buy more fabric.

She had a little help doing straight seams... But she ran the pedal all by herself.

Great job, Zoey! And thanks, Angela, for sharing the photo!

I think no one will object if Zoey is the winner of this month's UFO Parade, do you? Congratulations on your first finish, Zoey, and I'll be mailing you some goodies this week!

I have some great knitting finishes to share tomorrow. 
C'mon back to see!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature