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Showing posts from January, 2013

Free Motion Butterfly

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A Fine "Feathered" Friend

On my current "to do" list is a new bed quilt for my husband and myself. When I design a quilt I try to choose symbols and motifs that have significance to the recipient, in this case, my husband and me.

This ceramic butterfly has been with us since before we were married. It's image, in one form or another, will be the focal point of the quilt. The quilt will be whole cloth and free motion machine stitched. Right now I am auditioning different design concepts, and experimenting with different fabrics, threads and battings.

The first sample shows my stitched interpretation of this butterfly using cotton sateen fabric on the top and bottom, with Heirloom Hobbs cotton batting.



The next sample shows the same design using silk dupioni fabric on the quilt top and bottom, with a wool batting, and stitched with YLI silk thread #100. What a revelation! Having used neither silk cloth or wool batting for a quilt before, I really did not unders…

A "Notion" to Sew

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The right tools are just as important for sewing as they are for any other job. Using the right tools can eliminate a lot of frustration and wasted time, as well as assure a better final result. Below are the basic notions that I find indispensable whenever I am at the machine.


The "General's Charcoal White" marking pencil is perfect for most surfaces. I especially like it for marking quilts; it creates a clearly visible, clean line with relative ease. (Not all chalk pencils are created equal!)


Fabric shops are not the only place to find the right notions for sewing. Below is a set of potter's tools that I recently found at an art shop for under $10.00. So often I am looking for just the right tool for turning a corner and making it sharp, or to flatten a seam. These potters tools provide a variety of sizes with different types of ends points, all of which will come in handy at some time or other.


This week's project, using many of the above notions, was a "…

Personalizing with Monograms

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Dating back as far as the Egyptian hieroglyphics, initials, or monograms, have been used as a simple way to identify the maker of something or it's owner. Coins from ancient Greece held an imprint of the monogram of their rulers. During the construction of buildings in ancient times, the initials of either the master builder or the owner were often carved into the keystone of a building, or onto other prominent architectural features. An example of this can be seen at l'Abbey de Fontevraud in the Loire Valley in France, a retreat for women between the 11thC and 18thC , many of them aristocratic and wealthy, where two abbesses made certain their legacy would be remembered by leaving their crest and their initials on the tiled floor in areas of the abbey they had rebuilt.



At the Chateau de Chenonceau, an 11thC palace in the Loire Valley used by the French Royalty, Henry II of France (1519 - 1559), married to Catherine de Medici (1519 - 1589), gave his mistress, Diane de Poitier…

New Year's Reboot/Refresh

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Ah....!!! The ritual of the morning coffee.

While I am on the yoga mat refining that "perfect"? posture, the ritual of preparing that perfect cup of coffee is underway in the kitchen. The likelihood of the coffee reaching that perfect state of zen is much greater then that of the yoga posture.


After the energizing reboot/refresh of the morning ritual, there has been some progress to my ongoing projects.

Stitching has been completed and the cording stage of the "calibri" (hummingbird) boutis piece has started.


Progress on the whole cloth hand quilt, mentioned in my last blog, was quite limited during the holidays, however, in the last week, I have averaged just under 2 hours of hand quilting per day. Never having been a speedy hand quilter, it will take me a while to get the speed up again.



I relate well to routine and pre planning, so I will try to get in those 10 hours of quilting every week. However, to quote John Lennon, "Life is what happens to you while…