Thursday, October 27, 2016

Another Baby = Another 'I Spy' Quilt

My closest active family contact is my cousin Tom's wife Carla.  I think after 50 years of marriage, she is now my legal cousin.  So this family is very important to me.  On January 1, 2011, their second son, Andrew was married to Karen in Monterrey,  California.  On September 15, 2016, their first child was born; a 7 pound 13 ounce boy who they named Kai Cafferty.  This is the quilt I made for him.  Although sent long ago, I'm just now finding the time to post.

Hiles-Oster Baby Blanket [Quilt]

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

Detail 4

Because they live close to the beach in California, I made this a bit larger than the usual baby quilt.  It also has air as a filling, cotton flannel backing with very light 'quilting'.    All the seams were stitched down before the layers were put together.  I stitched the layers together with a multi colored thread, top and bottom. This will keep them nice and flat through all the washing a beach blanket gets.  I arranged them in groups of 4 so that it would not be a complete jumble.  The hope is that it will be easier to look at one square at a time so as to learn the names of the objects in that square.  Definition aids in this process.

Not great art.  Definitely great FUN for a child.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Tabard with a Message

Like many people, I've been very upset about the choices between the major party candidates.  Luckily, I found the GREEN PARTY.  As a Quaker, I am very interested in PEACE.  The GREEN PARTY, in my view , is also the PEACE PARTY.  The more I learned, the more I became an advocate.  The Green Party takes no money from any 'pacs' or corporations or anyone who wants to influence the party.  The only money comes from small donations from individuals like me.  Thus, no multi millions to spend on big ads on the internet.  No promos on major networks every night.   Because the pollsters, major parties, and BIG MONEY want to keep this option out of the lime light, I decided to make a tabard with a message.  At least the folks in my small town will get an idea that there is something else.  

Tabard back

I hate it when a long message appears on the front.  I am not comfortable with people staring at my front.  I also think people will look at your back for a long time.  Many are a bit uncomfortable staring at a woman's front for any length of time.  Therefore, my major message is on the back.  

Techniques:  I printed values on a light green fabric.  They are supposed to be BLACK.  I've been having a lot of problems with my Workforce 1100.  However, help does not seem to something available anymore.  I gave up on getting them black.  Printed what I could.  This turned out to be gray.  Then the fabric was fused to a backing for added stiffness.

I shape some in the form of leaves; others in the form of petals.  As I finished off the edges, I inserted florist wire so that I could shape them later.  This was problematic.  Hard to do, plus turned out to crimp very easily.  However, once done, I drew my pattern in chalk, experimented with layouts, one below, then proceeded to attach the rick-rack stem, then the petals and leaves.  I only sewed down the petals and leaves on one side.  I wanted dimension.  Lastly I attached the photo after fusing it on a heavy backing + extra cotton batting.  I am very happy with that part.

The words in white, both front and back, were stenciled.  The 'G' as part of the emblem, was screen printed.  

Not so happy with quilting around all of these 3 dimensional additions.  Hard to get very close because the projections got in the way.  I did manage to get the whole thing quilted quite well.  It is rather stiff, which I wanted.  

Tabard Front

This does not lay flat because I eased some fabric, after quilting, while I did the facing.  I wanted some extra room in the bust area.  It worked.  I was very happy with my 'Green Party' emblem until I took the photo.  The 'G' is not quite straight.  It is soo well stitched down, it will not be changed.

Tabard Layout

This is a view of the finished product.  It really does get peoples attention.

Tabard- First Layout

The first prints were way too large.  Not sure what I will do with these.  For now, they are just in a pile.  Suggestions welcomed.

One of Many Petal Layouts

Interested in learning more about the Green Party?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


I started the top below and another similar one in 2013.  This quilt was developed from some of the 'reminder posts' I make, then post around my house.  I decided I would really like my 'reminders' in fabric rather than the paper or the sanded wood scraps that I usually use.  I know I posted it.  However, I can not find it on my blog.  The point is:  I liked some parts of it, but not the whole.  It has languished around since then.  In April, I decided to take it apart, and re-make it.

The 2013 Version

Saving the bits I like + adding the 'Connect'.

My Method of Working

The Final Final Quilt

I finished the 'Final Quilt' just in time to enter it in Houston.  I wanted to make it small enough to enter the 24" and smaller Art Quilt category.  I do not think it fits in any other category?  Unfortunately, for me it did not get it.  That version had the edges faced.  

I decided I would like to try binding, using some of the same fabrics I used in the quilt.  I got almost half way through with that, when I realized I was on the wrong path.  Now the side edges are cotton velveteen, the top edge is a heavy, dull fabric while the bottom is more trim over a thin black binding.  

The Final Final Quilt, detail

When the year started, I aimed to make an art quilt a month.  Medical issues + other responsibilities interfered.  Although I did spend over 500 hours on this tiny quilt. WAAAY toooo much time.   I need to find a better + faster way to get these done the way I want them to look.   Sometimes it is a difficult struggle to get the image in my mind sewn up the way I envision it.  

In my quilt count, this is my April Quilt.

I've been nibbling away at the other 'word' quilt.  I've been quilting on it off and on while I finished this little one.  Hopefully, I'll finish it this month at the latest.  Two weeks is my goal.  

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fiber comparison/information

Fabric type information

Environmental Impact
Ecologically speaking, both cotton and polyester have their drawbacks, although polyester, which is made from petroleum, may have a slight edge. Cotton is the most pesticide-dependent crop in the world, using as many as one-fourth of all pesticides made. It is also a very water intensive crop. Both fabrics involve copious amounts of water, energy, and toxic chemicals during the manufacturing process.

Unlike polyester, cotton is biodegradable so old, discarded clothing will eventually break down into natural compounds. Cotton is also a renewable and sustainable resource, although there are environmental issues associated with the way it is commonly grown.

Fire Hazard
Cotton is more combustible than polyester. It ignites easily and burns rapidly, leaving behind a light ash residue. Polyester resists ignition but once ignited, it melts and causes severe localized burns. The fire hazard is also high with cotton/polyester blends due to the high rate of burning and fabric melting. The safest route is to purchase clothes that are treated with fire retardant materials.



What I found interesting?

Leather furniture The Smith Brothers style #376 sectional Fabric furniture The Smith Brothers style #8143 sectional, from the "Build Your Own" 8000 series
Smith Brothers offers more than 900 different fabrics, which sounds exciting at first... but when you start to dig into all those choices, it can start to get pretty overwhelming! While it's great to have options, you may want a little extra help in finding that perfect fabric for your new furniture—especially considering that there's a lot to fabric beyond what color works best.

Here is a brief guide to choosing fabric for your furniture.
Fabric Content


Natural fibers generally feature flat weaves that are ideal for prints. They are softer, and tailor well for upholstered furniture. However, being a natural product they can fade in direct sunlight, and may be susceptible to pilling.

Cotton. Made from the cotton plant, this is soft, absorbent, and fades easily.
Linen. Made from the flax plant, linens tend to have a lot of hard plant fibers and slubs.

Wool. Made from animal hair, wool is warm, and not often used in upholstery.
Silk. Made from the cocoons of silk worms, silk has strong fibers and a natural shine, but can be damaged by sunlight.

Rayon. Also known as viscose, rayon is made from wood pulp and designed to be shiny like silk.

Synthetic fibers are made by extruding chemicals into fiber strands. They are more durable and (in general) more resistant to staining and fading than natural fibers. Synthetic fibers are just as likely to be susceptible to pilling, however.

Acrylic. Very durable and often has a texture similar to wool.

Polyester. Very durable and cleanable.

Nylon. Stain resistant and durable.

Olefin. Durable, but can be susceptible to pilling if used in high amounts.

Polypropylene. Related to polyester.

Fabric Types

SINCE I got a staph infection while recuperating from surgery in 2007, this was interesting to me. Since cotton-poly uniforms seemed to be the choice of staff, I was very surprised at the results. The absolute opposite of what I had thought.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sun Visor

I used an on-line hat pattern to create a very protective sun visor.  I could not get either link to work.  However, if you google 'SUNNY_SIDE_UP_SUNHAT'  you will easily find it.

I have lots of visors and hats.  NONE protect like this one.  I really struggled with the sewing part.  Down loaded the pattern on Monday.  Thought I would complete it in one day.  NOPE.  I had a lot of Life-interruptus + I found the binding on the curved edge a real challenge.  Took 3 tries to get it 'good enough'.  I used a very stiff iron on stabilizer for both the visor and the band.  Huge problem connecting the two pieces.  While it is far from perfect, I'm still very happy with the results.

Front View

This photo, as well as the one below, were done in front of the bathroom mirror so that I could show the 'hidden' view as well.

Side View

View looking down with Visor on my bed

Compare Protection

Compare size with one of my many visors.  All the purchased ones are about the same size and protection.  The pink is the visor lining.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

2 Red Squares

My guild, Kaleidoscope, gave a challenge at the Christmas potluck the second Thursday in December. 

 The Challenge

I designed my response right away.  However, creating it took a LOT longer.  I decided I would print out my design, piece the pages together, trace it onto fabric soaked with soy milk, then color it with my water color pencils.

My Original Design
I did not like this when it was finished.

Better Design
I still was not happy.

Final Design

This was frustrating because the corners where not turning as I wanted.  Also the red square on the far right was a bit wonky.  I un-stitched that one.  Then re-stitched.  Still not happy.  I appliqued the red square just left of center.  Like the idea a LOT more.  However, I am not happy with my stitching.

IF I were to re-do, I would sketch the whole design, do another soy painting, then try to figure out how to have the corners crisper.

PS.  When I first attended, it happened to be a potluck.  One of the members told me, tongue-in-check, "The guild is just an excuse to get together, eat, laugh and have fun."  It is a WONDERFUL group of women.  When I am able to attend, I always enjoy looking at the show-and-tell + + + the camaraderie.

PSS.  The colors on the Final Design are closest to the actual colors.  At first I did not like the variegated coloring I got with the pencils.  However, as I quilted, I liked it a LOT more than a flat color.  It seems to have a bit more interest.

Another Idea

Do not like the colors.  Enough for now.  Not sure why, but I am really drawn to this design.  Perhaps it is because it is such a challenge for me?  Not happy with it yet.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

DONE = 2 more PJ bottoms

I have finally finished my PJ sewing for this winter season.  Many have asked, "Why do you need so many PJ's?   My answer, "Because I hate the cold season.  I make it tolerable by having a LOT of PJ days."   

I have to force myself to make these because it is soooo boring.  However, when finished, I am soo happy to have these for 'day wear' at home.  Over the years I have worn many PJ's.  None were as comfortable as these or fit as well.

New Pair of PJ's in a new color scheme.
Mix and match or don't match.

Another Pair in the new color scheme.

More mix and match or don't match.    I do need to find/make a jacket that complements this  day wear.  I LOVE PJ days!

I wear this jacket with a couple of PJ bottoms.

The jacket is really a hot pink.  This red color here is a distortion.  This pair of PJ's is my first pair this season.  I was forced by aesthetics to rip out the old pocket top.    If interested, see

Then I remade these into what you see.  I view this as 'Day Wear at Home'.  When/if someone visiting objects, they do not have to return.  LOL.

At my age, I feel I deserve some opinions/options about what I want to wear when.  One advantage of being 'OLD'.  I do believe we deserve some 'extras' when we grow in years.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Birthday Pillow for Morgandy

Morgandy turned 7 last Saturday.  She had a dance class all afternoon, so her birthday was celebrated Sunday.  I wanted to make her something for her bedroom in her new house.  I did 't want her to feel she had to put it on the wall.  Morgandy has some creative colorful ideas for her wall.  Negotiations with her parents are on-going.  At this point she has agreed to their preference for a white room.  However, she will have a huge lightening bolt covering one wall.  It is something stuck on, so as she grows and changes, it can easily come off to be replaced by a new idea.  At any rate, that is the reason, I made her a pillow.  She immediately said, "I can put it on my bed."  She loves butterflies and moths, so that was the idea behind the design.

The Moth is double quilted.  That is, I quilted the moth first using a layer of polyester batting.  Cut away all the excess batting and first backing when done. Attached the whole thing to a new backing faced with cotton batting.  Then I heavily quilted the painted background [the green part] so that the moth really stands out.  It is similar to trapunto, but not done that way.  I call it double stuffing or double quilting, depending on the time of day and my mood.   What would you call it?

Side View to show the depth.
The quilted lines follow the lines of the moth's wing.

Finished Pillow

Thursday, January 21, 2016

First Birthday Book for Alex

Although Alex does not yet talk, or have much of an attention span, I still decided to make him a small book [printed pages are 8.5" square before trims] for his First Birthday.  My hope is that before the year is out, he will be interested in learning about the animals. 

COVER page 

Because everyone likes their own name, I decided to make it all about the letter 'A'.  The research was very interesting.  I found some animals I have never heard of before.  I also found the 'Armadillo closing up'.  FASCINATING to me!  

His Grandmother Carla told me he really gets excited about bright colors.  I used every bright color I had for the leading edge, plus fringe plus the colorful soft binding which ends in a carrying handle.  I used a different color gross grain for the leading edge of each page.  One end is longer; alternating up and down similar to a tab.

Back cover, spine, Front cover

Page 2 and 3

Page 4 and 5

Page 6 and 7

Page 8 and 9

Page 10 and 11

Although there are some obnoxious construction problems, the quilt police will never see this FUN BOOK.  I do not think the construction errors will impede the enjoyment.


PS.  The background fabric is my next pair of PJ bottoms.