Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I've Fallen in Love with Glue!

If you have never tried Elmer's School Glue as a quilting tool, it might be time for you to think about it. Somewhere around eight months ago I ran across a tutorial stating that glue will help to make the perfect binding. Who doesn't want the perfect binding?

I did a little research and found that quilters were using glue for many purposes...binding being the favorite. I learned that it only takes a teeny bit of glue and that you "set" the glue with your iron. Since it's School Glue, it's water soluble and easily washes out of the fabric. I also learned that a "micro-tip" helps immensely in making sure you only get a dot and not a puddle of glue. So here's a photo of my set-up:

I purchased my micro-fine glue tips from quilter Sharon Schamber at this link: 
I got two sets of tips for $10.00 plus shipping. I believe Amazon has a variety of tips, too, but since I wasn't exactly sure what I needed...I stuck with the product of a well known quilter.

Here is the Craftsy tutorial for binding with glue. It works for either hand binding or machine binding. The tutorial is shown using bias tape, but also discusses using a 2 1/2" cut strip.  Note: tutorial also does not use the micro-fine glue tips. But I know I would have glue all over everything without the special tip!

Without a doubt I have made my best bindings and corners since using this method. I have also found many other times when a dab of glue is the perfect solution!

Speaking of bindings, I ran across a video tutorial where Jenny Doan from Missouri Star introduces and explains about a real neat binding tool. The tool is simply called "The Binding Tool" and here's a link to the updated tutorial on YouTube.  I've heard that some people are doing this same technique without the tool, but this is how I learned so I'm stickin' with it!
I picked up my Binding Tool on Amazon, but you can get it through other outlets, too. 

I humbly confess that my sewing room is terribly cluttered. I also admit that I can usually put my finger on whatever I'm looking for...usually. Here's a photo of my stash taking over my sofa:
I figure that in the scheme of life, worse things can happen than having a sofa full of fabric and patterns!

Back to work on Book 4.
Thanks for checking in and have a wonderful fabric filled day!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Oh, Yes I Did!

Over the years I have found many ways to cope with Multiple Sclerosis. I have learned that the saying, "where there's a will, there's a way," applies to those of us who love our sewing, piecing, quilting, yet find many challenges as our bodies (especially our hands) betray us.

Enter the Accuquilt Fabric Cutting Machine.

I admit that due to my lack of knowledge, the Accuquilt has always perplexed me. But due to the fact that I have a bum hand, I've kept an open mind. At quilt camp last fall a dear friend, who knows that I'm addicted to teeny tiny piecing, emailed to tell me she had an Aqququilt Go!Big cutter and had designed a one-of-a-kind, custom mini-tumbler die. I could cut 100 mini-tumblers in one pass through of the Go!Big. She told me the sizes to cut my fabrics for the die. Okay, it sounded really cool, I'm game...And more than a little excited!

This is what I did with my mini-tumblers at camp (the pen is for scale).
There are 88 mini-tumblers in a 10 1/2" square. Between 30s fabrics and teenies, I was in heaven. My mind was creatively churning! After seeing the Go!Big Accuquilt in action and doing a little more research, it wasn't long before a Go Big was on its way to my home!

Ta Da--here she is my very own Go!Big Accuquilt Cutter

And, yes, I'm loving it! Of course, I bought some dies and found that cutting with it is fun and a lot less painful for those of us with a bum hand! I also got one of Geri's mini-tumbler dies and am in the process of designing and creating a quilt full of mini-tumblers, which I prefer to call Thimble Tumblers. Sorry that I'm not quite ready to share any pics of my future masterpiece at this point, but I can tell you that it's based on the 10 1/2" square as shown above.

I am hopeful to soon have a workshop focusing on my Thimble Tumbler design.

Another fun thing that has happened: 
Two of my nieces have asked me to show them how to quilt! I'm so excited and we're having a ball. I love getting together with them every few weeks and sharing my quilty knowledge. Here's niece Laura with her 4-patches on the flannel board.

I just received a text from Laura with pictures of some disappearing 4-patches she experimented with. I'm liking it the results. Pretty colors with lots of interest.

I'm sew happy to be blogging again and I have sew much to share! I've updated the Events tab on my blog to keep everyone up to date on where I'll be appearing. Hope to see and hear from you soon.

Until next time...have a quilt-tastic day!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Happy Last Six Months!

I've been a bad blogger =(

After six months, four attempts, and a lot of angst to get my blog back on track...I made it my New Year's resolution to right the ship. Please believe me when I say that I had the best of intentions over those months to share photos of fabulous quilts that I saw, wonderful quilters that I was fortunate to meet, along with some stories about what I've been up to,and several of my finished projects and UFO's. The problem became how and where to start...should I try to reconstruct the happenings in a chronological order? I think I'm way past that by now! So I've decided to go with the flow...start with a clean slate...jump in with both feet...get my butt in gear and begin blogging again.

Here we go......
A good place to start is what's happening with the next book in The Bunco Club Series. BOOK 4 is coming along nicely, and I'm really excited about sharing the stories of Nedra and Lettie with my wonderful readers. I'm hopeful it will be available in March--or maybe April at the latest. Stay tuned for updates.

Here I am in July of this past summer with my brand-spanking new book stand. I was vending at a quilt show in BATAVIA, IL.
I LOVE my new book stand! Beginning stages of growing out my hair =)
As always there were many wonderful quilts at the Batavia show. I had the pleasure of a long chat with quilt artist Cindy Harper. I've seen and admired Cindy's work for several years. She took the time to explain some of her techniques to me. She specializes in raw edge applique portraits and her work is a MUST SEE! Here is a sampling of her work:
There is such fabulous detail in Cindy's pieces. I can't remember the name of this piece but it had something to do with Breakfast at Tiffany's.


For scale, here's Cindy Harper with her work.
Not wanting to sound like I'm making excuses, but most of my life last summer was occupied with health issues. After three very lengthy trial periods and two surgeries, a neurostimulator was successfully implanted in my body. TA-DA...I am Bionic Woman! 

I spent five productive and creative days among friends at QUILT CAMP in September. As usual those days went way to fast for my liking.

Then I was off to the races VENDING AT QUILT SHOWS for the rest of September and all of October...sprinkle in a few GUILD TALKS / TRUNK SHOWS / BOOK SIGNINGS and I was one busy old lady!

I always say I have the best late-in-life dream job that anyone could ever want. I get to meet and spend time with quilters...what could be better? I learn about new techniques and tools, meet wonderful quilt shop owners, get to see incredible quilts on display, and mostly get one-on-one time with my readers. 

Enjoy these random photos of some of the beauties that I saw while vending.




Hope you enjoyed the condensed version of my past six un-blogged months. Thanks for understanding. Hope you check back soon!

Have a Quilty day!


Friday, June 5, 2015

Raggedy (Raw Edge) Hexies and More

I'm liking the idea of a raggedy-edge hexi quilt that is reminiscent of two quilts I have made in years past ... The Bulls Eye quilt from by Country Threads and the Tattered Pioneer quilt by Fabric Expressions.
My Bulls Eyes Quilt in a recent bed-turning

I've come across some interesting patterns and quilts -- none of which I have made, but all of which intrigue me with their own special qualities.

Here's one pattern with a great tutorial found on Happy Quilting's blog. It's shown as a baby quilt but larger sizes could easily be calculated. ...And yes, I immediately ordered the You Hexie Thing Ruler by June Tailor! I've got several ideas of how to expand/modify this pattern--I'll keep you posted (but don't hold your breath!) when I get to working on it!

Not a hexie but I stumbled on this cute raggedy (raw edge) modern baby quilt. I often underestimate the time it takes to do just about anything these days, but doesn't this look like it would be a fast one? It's an instant download on Etsy and only five bucks! ...I'll be purchasing this "Sweetie Pie" pattern as soon as I finish writing my blog!
Sweetie Pie by Karen Griska Quilts

Bullseye Baby by Riley Blake is another sweet and colorful baby quilt with a whimsical scalloped border. Of course, you all know my obsession for 30s repro it stands to reason that I see this quilt a little larger made from my 30s stash! Tutorial here: Bullseye Baby

Moda Bake Shop has a tutorial for a modern quilt called Hexagon Park Quilt designed by a UK quilter/designer. Modifications of this pattern are also flying through my mind by using a "layered" hexi look.


Here is one of the many quilts that I am working on now. I cut this out for my retreat-that-never-happened back in March. It's been quietly waiting ... lined up on the sofa in my sewing room like several other already cut projects and I decided it was time that we became better friends! About one third of the hexi blocks of my very first One Block Wonder are half-way pieced. This is what I have on my flannel wall right now:
This layout will undoubtedly change a lot as the rest of the hexies are finished...but it gives me food for thought as I sit before it and sew. I may even present them more as a typical Dresdin Plate layout.
And these are the next few blocks that I have ready to sew:
Here is a pic of the original fabric:
I'll post more pics and info as I progress.
Some photos from my recent bed turning at Tops Shelf Quilts in Frankfort. The photos were taken by my very talented and beautiful niece Brandace. I'd also like to thank Sandy and Dana for helping me by hoisting my quilts in the air for all to see!
And we're off... Number one of a giant stack of quilts!
My first Modern Quilt and I'm likin' it!
Talking about one of my mini-panels that are for sale.
Explaining QuiltSmart

Okay...enough already! Book 4 is calling =)
But before I leave, one more shameless shout-out for our Chicago Blackhawks who are 1-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals...GO HAWKS!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Busy Busy Month of May

My, oh my, it's been a crazy busy month that sadly left me with no time for blogging. Here's my Cliff Notes rundown for those who might be interested:

I turned 65 this May! I celebrated my birthday with no stress and no pictures as I spent the day in my sewing room doing exactly what I wanted! However, a birthday trip to Paducah is in my future when time allows. I slipped right into Mother's Day from my birthday. Our son visited and the three of us had a fun day playing cards together.
Mother's Day scones and flowers from my son, Rob.
Thinking of Mom on Mother's Day
---Look at this beautiful hexie quilt with its unique backing in the Sinnissippi Quilt Guild show on May 2-3.
Cows on Parade, sew unique ... don't you just love the Midwest?
VanGogh's Cow
Mary Lou Moo
This was a fabulous Modern Quilt
---I zipped home Sunday night after the Sinnissippi Show and unpacked my van. Monday morning I  packed up my quilts and headed for Dixon, Illinois, where I spoke to the Petunia City Quilters Guild on May 4.
I think I may soon need a fifth bin for my quilts!
Straight from the LAQ...I opened the box during my talk and shared the excitement with the quild!

---The Decatur Quilter's Guild invited me to speak to their morning and evening guild meetings on May 13th. It was fun to have Abe Lincoln (in a front row seat) join us for the morning lecture!

---The evening lecture followed a delicious catered banquet with these cute potted flowers as favors... note the buttons around the tops of the pots.

---Some quilts I've been working on:
(Please excuse the parallax ... these quilts were on my flannel board and it leans just a bit against the wall, making the photos somewhat distorted.) 
My first "Modern Quilt." It still needs the sashing and borders.
Done and Done! This one will soon be on its way to Heather, my favorite LAQ.
---I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend, and took a few moments to think of those who have served and are currently serving our country.
My father, Whitney DeWitt, WWII
---I'm working on prototypes for a workshop on "Teeny-tiny Pieces" that I'd like to offer to guilds. Here is one example (I'm planning to redo this, but just wanted to share the concept)...more/better photos to follow.

---I'm sure some of you may have seen this on the internet. It cracks me up and I hope you enjoy it too! It is a floor plan for the perfect house: