Sunday, April 30, 2017


Don't ever think you can't make something beautiful with a small piece of paper and fabric.  That's where EPP comes into play--That's English Paper Piecing!  Why is it called English Paper Piecing?

 Hexagon-based patterns became popular in England in the 1830s when Godey’s Lady’s Book published the first hexagon quilt pattern in 1835, it became very popular in “the Colonies”.  It was often called “English Paper Piecing” because anything British was deemed very elegant.

EPP or paper piecing doesn't necessary mean you have to use hexagons either--just search the internet and you will find all sorts of patterns that use squares, rectangles,etc. 

Here is an example of a 'smashing' look for EPP--this comes from my friend
Annette who has been working on this design for some time--she brings her
little scraps of fabric and paper to our gatherings and stitches away--
we finally saw the fruits of her labor when she threw out this
lovely garden of colors!!

We all admired the way she used the greens around her
flowers--not completely surrounded

You can see she still have some papers in the small hexagons--
time to lift them out now that she has completed the look
of walking through flowers

Another one of our gals, Judy, has been
working on her Grandmother's Flower Garden
EPP quilt for 12 years--much smaller squares though

But lovely all the same!  Here she is lifting out the paper
from her finished project--she will soon be working on the
borders--we are anxious to see the results.

Want to learn how to use this technique for your quilts--here is a tutorial.  This is definitely a
carry long project--

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Holy SMokes!! Spindle CRANE??

Sheila Dixon of Hand Spinning News always has the neatest articles in her monthly newsletter!  There was this article in her March issue about Spindle Crane!  I'm like--What??  Holy Smokes!
This is something I need to investigate!  Taking a journey through the great world of the internet--I found interesting information about this innovative idea for spindle spinning from the hands of Adan Aikerman, who I found on Instagram.

Here is video of how this works!  I also found a group on Ravelry--Akerworks!  Man, the world of spindle spinning just got more creative and relaxing! This 'crane' is in testing phase now.

 "Adan got the idea to help allow spindle spinning while watching shows on the couch more relaxing. You simply place the AkerKate the edge of your coffee table or whatever is in front of you, place the spindle at the back of the pulley with the single going over the top of the pulley, give it a twirl, and draft in a position that would be similar to drafting at a wheel. The set up allows you to pull back your single and easily reach for the spindle when you need to give it another twirl or to wind on. As you spin the twist goes up and around the pulley. You can also pull the single towards you to help transition the twist if you aren’t getting the twist fast enough."  This quote from Evanita, moderator of the Ravelry.

Thanks Sheila for keeping us updated on timely matters!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Free Row By Row Quilt Pattern

Love To Make Quilts (Pat Sloan!) along with
this free pattern.  This is just perfect!  I don't take
a subscription to the magazine anymore but
I did buy one issue with the beginning of the pattern
and then forgot to purchase the other issues.
Here is the solution!
The whole pattern right at their website for you
to sew!
Love the look of this quilt too!!  Nice Spring
or Summer quilt!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Are You Downloading?

Today begins 16 weeks of free--YES--FREE downloads of great audio books!
These are geared to young adults 13 + but I'm set to download them as well.
SYNC for all the details

First up is book by Oscar Wilde--what a read--
or in this instance--a listen!

presents "The Dead House"
Some of the books I'm familiar with but
others not.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Well---BOO--To You!

Here's my latest stitching project..................
wondering what it will be?
Stay tuned to see how
Boo the Cat becomes a whole!
a project that has been years long in production
Because--I'm not a purple person and
don't buy purple fabric; so I requested
purple fat quarters for my birthday exchange
awhile ago.
Onward to a finish now!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Wool Applique

I joined a couple Wool groups--but, frankly, I don't know what I'm doing
with wool.  I'm following along with experienced folks who
give me hints on how to handle these patterns.

Live Each Season Block of the Month--it's block 4 already and
I'm just now getting to block one! I like the theme
seasons of the year, but I've really got to get more knowledge
how to get these pieces to work on my fabric

So, what is the best way to learn?  Go to Youtube

Here are instructions on using fusible web--but that didn't really work for me?  This is putting
wool to fabric, but I want to put wool to wool.
Here is one that uses freezer paper for applique--now, this might work for my projects.

This is baskets Quilts by Cheri ~ Friendship Group
on Facebook--just search for this group if you are
interested.  I tried to do this basket with paper piecing--
sort of worked--I was lazy and didn't draw off the
pattern with seam allowance.  Next basket block
I'll be not so lazy!!

Here is a free wool project from Primitive Gatherings--
very patriotic--monthly work along.
Off I go to work on my wool applique!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Place, Fuse, Flip, Sew.........................

Okay, this is Trip Around the World and all those
little pieces of squares look daunting, but
here is a cool and I do mean cool way to
save time and some frustration
when you need to piece small squares together.

way to get perfect seams without all that matching
and piecing.
Place your squares, Fuse to the background, Flip
and sew....
and there you have it!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Are You Sewing Along?

Every Wednesday through August a new block will be released
for your sewing pleasure--are you sewing along?  I'm saving
the patterns, although they are still on the website to
download anytime.
will take you to the information you will need to begin

This is the twelfth block of the series and is called
Right Angle!  This is an interesting way to use those
half square triangles--

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tiny Treasure

The other day I was straightening up my closet--it's amazing what I can
find in the dark recesses of that place.  Years ago, we were fortunate
enough to take a journey to China--an enlightening adventure to
say the least.  We picked up some interesting textiles on that trip-
like this 
tiny shoe from a generation of bound feet!

We visited a museum in this Shangani gentlemen's home
He had made it his life mission to visit Chinese ladies who
live in outlying regions to see if they had shoes from
this era of bound feet.  He had a massive collection--
it was a sight to see!  So many different little shoes--
hard to imagine they came from those who did
the unthinkable--but it was the custom to have tiny 
feet--to be waited upon by the family members.

Most of his collection were pairs, but he did have some
singles.  Of these he allowed me to buy this one.
I chose this tiny one because of the indigo features in the details.
Someone in the family, maybe even the wearer, had
used indigo bath to dye the fabric and threads used to
decorate this ornate footwear.
It is a treasure--just wish I knew more about the person
who this foot adorned.

Friday, April 21, 2017


We need a quilt--a longer wider quilt!  We purchased a 'mattress in a box' and hubby got the extra thick one--and then we added a topper!  It's like--run and take a flying leap to get into bed.
Maybe, we need a small trampoline to jump on to make that hop!  Anyway, really like that bed, but
all the quilts are too short--he likes to tuck them in at the bottom--now, all we have are not that long--hence the search for a new quilt pattern--that is quick plus it must be easy--we would like to have it by winter time.
How about this one?  Stash buster from Cluck Cluck Sew free tutorials
the bins are full of scraps and it would be nice to bust that scrap bin wide
open and GONE!

This one is pretty much the same type of pattern, but longer rectangles. 
Two by Four  Film in the Fridge has another free tutorial that looks
quick and easy
another stash buster

This is called Bricks and Stepping Stones
Quiltville has a free pattern breakdown for this charmer.
I also saw it here 

Confessions of a Fabric Addict has this tutorial on what she calls a slab block
This is just a little more involved--so, this might be left for when I have
more time--when is that??
Art Gallery Fabrics has this super looking quilt called The
Belle Wave--
I just can not decide which one to begin--
And I'm still looking!!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

And Then There Was Some Sewing Time.................

This house is one total disaster--furniture is moved away from the walls; some has been moved into other rooms--pictures have been taken down--it's a land mine waiting to happen!  We have the painters in....................and they are painting downstairs, which has high high ceilings.  Scaffolding has to be used to reach the water leak problem.  While the painters are working downstairs I found time to sew!  Yes, I could sew in my studio upstairs!!  And stay out of the way of the painters!  Here is the fruit of that progress.............

This is April's pattern from A Quilting Life
I'm using greens and pinks from a layer cake
I bought some time ago.  Not my favorite
colors, but it will be a charity quilt and I'm
sure someone will love it.

I found that I hadn't finished last week's pattern
from Pat Sloan's Solstice Challenge

And this one was on the ironing board--just needed to press on 
the petals and do the blanket stitch around each.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Estonian Knitting

It's hard to photography this knitting--but, trust me,
I'm knitting away and finished the April pattern
for Elizabeth Ravenwood's Estonian knit along.
Here is the second Estonian pattern from 
a different knit along--this one designed by
 Toni L. Lorenz--both patterns are on Ravelry.
It is also April finish!

I've enjoyed both of these knits and with the addition
of beads, the scarves will look smashing.
Traditionally, Estonian knitting uses nupps--which
are not for me!  I tried them once--that was enough
to know I don't like them!

If two Estonian knits wasn't enough, I signed up for a third--
this one is also designed by Elizabeth Ravenwood and
it will give me patterns that that the other two do not.
I'm using Knit Picks lace weight yarn in an icy blue--it's
Alpaca/silk blend and feels really good.  I'm just on the
fifth row; had to stop to look for beads to use--still no
nupps for me!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Challenge! Join In!

Devan Alana has a challenge for us--
her knitalong began yesterday--April 17th 
there is no reason why we can't join in today
or any day this week or next.  This is the Elena Shawl
KAL and will be featured on Ravelry or here on her

She proposes to finish May 13 in Sevilla--would I like to
be there to knit along with everyone else!  
She has instructions in English and Spanish--
it goes to prove Knitting language is universal!

Monday, April 17, 2017

What To Do With Leftover Easter Dyes

Do you shop the after Easter sales?  Not just for the candy--which is fun--I shop for the leftover dye kits for eggs!  They usually sell cheap and I hoard them throughout the year.  They can be used to dye eggs later in the year, but I like to use them to dye my fiber.  I have dyed silk yarn in the microwave with dye mixture.  I came upon this cool way to dye a 'cake' of yarn--

Have fun!! and dye away!!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

May your day be filled with family, friends and much love!

Happy Easter! 

And a free stitching pattern for you 
from Elefantz

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Just Keep On, Keeping On!

I'm working on my Intarsia, which is the next adventure in the
Techniques for the Year project.  At first, I thought I wouldn't like
knitting this--but.....................

I like it!  And I want to just keep knitting and knitting.............
to find the time to just sit and knit on this project!
The yarn is so soft and cuddly and the pattern is
easy to follow along.  

You notice the orange markers--well, I forgot to put regular markers
in my bag and I wanted to knit--but we were away from home base--
what could I use?  I walked around looking for something to
slip on the needle and low and behold, why not a plastic straw!!??

The plastic straw markers work okay--just need to be careful
when I slip them from one needle to the next--sometimes
they pop off--I still have plenty of straw left though to
cut more little slices.  Here I've added the third yarn--there
are five yarns to be added--this is fun!
I just want to sit and knit and knit and knit,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
life gets in the way!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Go Play In The Mud!

Years ago, I took a workshop with on mud painting on cloth--mud cloth
a rich looking fabric that is also called  Bogolanfini.  

In the Bambara language, spoken in Mali, the word bògòlanfini is a composition of three words. Bogo, meaning “earth” or “mud,” lan, meaning “with” and fini, meaning “cloth.” The word is translated as “mud cloth.

We had a super day we had playing in the mud!  Just like kids!--we collected different colored soils from the region, added soy milk as our mordant (stabilizer), and painted away on our treated cloth. 

Recently, I thought of this cloth when we were at a wine function and the ground was soaked with early morning rain--we had mud on our shoes, our jeans, in the truck, on everything--
I have my shoes sitting outside the door to dry--love that color though--
will make a nice mud cloth painting!

I had seen an excellent exhibit at the Denver Art Museum one summer--
and a past blog showed some mud cloth a friend brought to

Here I have found for you a couple of interesting features on mud cloth.
This one is for kids who like to play with mud!

And this one is for those who would enjoy painting on canvas!

and here is the ultimate feature! Painting with soil (mud, if you please!) on walls!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Weavers! Weaving!

WOW (Way Out West) Weavers study group met early April--
bringing members together to discuss the past month's 
weaving adventures.

Finished!  Yes!  Finished! Rep Weave Mug Mats for
to be held in early June in Houston

Our group volunteered to weave 175 + for one of the
meals--and this mission was accomplished by some
dedicated weavers!  It was not necessary for
each mat to be exactly alike--a design process for
the weaver.  These are Karen's mats in which she
used rag strips for her weft

I like the look of the warp all fringed out

Karen bundled them nicely too!

Tracy is donating this lovely towel for the raffle basket

She had made one for a gift and donated this one for
the basket--some lucky person will enjoy this addition
to their kitchen

Here is Karen I with her recently finished rag rugs.
The one on the right was featured in the latest issue
of Handwoven by Interweave Press

Look up the issue to get the recipe--you too can
weave this!

Both of these rag rugs will go to her new house

Her brown and blue rug can be used in any room.

 Karen is featuring "Workshop in a box" in her Etsy shop.
Jump over to her blog and read how she can help you
make a handwoven towel.  Her box includes the warp, weft,
all the instructions plus link to her tutorial videos--
she posted only 5 boxes at a time

Gretchen missed our March meeting--so she
brought and shared her color warp from the recent
guild workshop.  She chose more pastel colors (so like her
in fact!)

Here is plain weave--look at the tracking

Here she did summer/winter weave structure

side by side to see the comparison. 

She left the weft sides so she could remember
which color she used in each section.
Never a dull meeting when you gather with weavers!