Sunday, March 26, 2017



Then I will work on leaves and some dots-I don't think too many are needed-just enough to make it interesting.  And then the quilting.  I choose this fabric for the backing:

The circles are 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.  It is a fun fabric and will mix nicely with the quilt given the black and white background and modern look.  I searched high and low for a white with a black scroll look but could not find it in a wide backing.  I felt an unseamed piece of fabric would be best for this quilt.  Given this quilt's tendencies toward bias and waffles, I wanted as much stability as possible and a solid piece of fabric seemed to fit.

There is not a lot to say about this quilt that I haven't said before so I am going to move on to:


Cataract surgery is a modern miracle!  I was in and out in an hour so it was fast also!  My husband puts eye drops in my eye 4 times a day and that is the only inconvenience.  

The most interesting thing is the difference between my two eyes.  Through the left eye, I see a world colored with a yellow glow.  There is no pure white with this eye but only a pale creamy color to stand in for white.  Vision is rather like watching a sepia toned movie but with yellow tones instead of browns.

The right eye sees pure light!  This must be how children see the world.  It is very amusing to switch back and forth between the eyes to have  different colored worlds! Though the left eye will be re-lensed soon and I will lose the ability to have dual vision.


I love this photo!  My daughter is the one holding the dog while riding on her friend's scooter.  Her main focus is writing and studying yoga but she also tutors ESL, helps other writers with translations, and teaches sutras.  She also does humanitarian work with impoverished children and, as seen in the above photo, helps dogs.  She and her friend find the dogs and then take them for neutering and inoculations to keep down populations and improve their lives.

She says one has to be on alert when walking with shopping bags.  There are monkeys hanging out on the streets who will leap on your shoulders and head, grab the sunglasses or scarf off your head and run off.  The monkeys then proceed to bargain, offering to trade your purloined possession for perhaps a banana from your shopping bag.  They are true to their word and will return your possession after this bit of blackmail.  

AND NOW........

Wonderful additions to your stroll through town:
Before and After

That's all for this week.  Happy quilting to you until we met again!

I am linking up with:
Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Another border completed!  Both borders have been measured and sewn to their respective locations.  I don't sew the borders in place until the applique is finished as the tension of all those stitches reduce the length of the border.  The top and bottom strips have been laid down just to give you a sense of balance and direction.  The scrolly vines  on the top and bottom borders will twist and meet the vines of the side borders.  

I have used Kaffe Fassett fabric for the leaves and dots in the body of the quilt and plan to add some to the vines-not a lot but just enough to break up the greenness.  I have been looking at colorful stripes for the binding-I bought some of the green for that but now I think that is too much green.  I found this from Andover and am thinking of it as a possibility:

Each of the stripes are 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide and the fabric has the same bright colors.  if you imagine a narrow strip of this fabric  as an edge:

I like the colors and the fact that the bands are uneven-that is in keeping with the mood of the quilt as well as the black lines.  The green is the only problem.  Kaffe has some nice stripes but they are all in a limited color range.  Even the binding is an important design element!


I have cataract surgery in my right eye on Wednesday.  I am slightly apprehensive but glad.  Everything is getting so dark.  It is as if all the lights are dimming.


My blog has had visitors from two new countries:  Kazakhstan, and Columbia.  I am so happy you have stopped by to visit!  Flags have been added.  



A festival to appeal to all quiltmakers and designers: 
HOLI:  Festival of Colors

(photos from Atlantic Monthly-see more at

Holi is a Hindu festival celebrating springtime and Krishna's "pranks". Pretty colored powders are blown on celebrants or mixed with water and sprayed.  Only India would do something as wonderful as having a festival for color!

My daughter lives in northwest India in Rishikesh which is located at the foothills of the father Himalayas and near the mouth of the mother Ganges.  She has lived abroad for about 8 years spending 4 in South Korea where she taught English and wrote stories for the children to help them learn English. She has lived in Rishikesh for about 4 years where she writes and studies yoga.  Here is a photo of her at Holi 2016.

Here are some photos of Rishikesh and a map so you can find its place in the world.

My daughter walks across this bridge everyday.
The river is the Ganges.

That is all for this week!  Happy quilting to you until we met again!

I am linking up with:
Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,

Sunday, March 12, 2017


I received this wonderful package of fabrics from Robin at I Like to Create  I photographed the fabrics below Caswell because I wish I had some of these pretty fabrics when I made this quilt.  They would have been perfect.  The fabrics are all designed by Paula Barnes.  Isn't this the most generous giveaway ever!  I am very lucky to have won!


On to more mundane topics........
I have been working on the borders for Sweet Surrender.  I have been working on the right hand side:

The border is basically completed.  All that is needed is some leaves from the brilliant Kaffe fabric and, I think, some colorful dots but no flowers.  Keep it simple.
 The vines as you can see are based on the stems on the body of the quilt.  The applique stitching is completed.  I think I will make the vines for all four sides before I add the leaves just so I can see where I am at that point.

I origninally used my 1/4 bias maker and make yards of stems while I was waiting to buy the background I needed.  However, I molded and basted some of these bias stems and realized they were quite a bit different from those of the body of the quilt.  The 1/4 inch bias formed stems which were much more sturdy, architectural, and, substantial.  See what you think-match it against the thin stems in the quilt body.

Those on the right are the 1/4 " stems.  I much prefer the thinner ones which match the flowing, curvaceous, and more delicate look of the stems on the quilt body.  Here is my process for making the thin stems.  All my tools are there except for the clover mini iron.

I use freezer paper to trace my shape, then iron the shape to my cloth, clipping the edges of the cloth. I paint the cloth with starch as I go, then iron the edges of the cloth over the paper shape.  I have some fray-block handy for tightly curved areas which have lots of clipping. You can see by the two finished pieces the nice, clean results of this process.  I made several of the little silver ironing pads to use to keep the ironing board clean.  I can just throw these in the washer.  I use the Elmer's glue to glue baste the finished pieces on the applique.  To prevent glue from getting all over things, i lay the applique piece on a small piece of plexiglass and apply the glue there.  I cut lots of these squares from an odd piece of plexiglass I had around and just rinse the glue off after working. 

I like to use Elmer's because it glues the applique piece down sturdily but it is also easy to move and rearrange the piece.  When I have everything in place, I do big stitch basting with white thread .  I have found this method works well for me.  Everything stays put nicely and there are no pins to tangle me up.


Two friends watching the sunrise together.  

This is Rommy the yellow Lab and Yoshi the orange cat.  My husband caught this perfect image in the early morning  with the  Lieca camera in his cell phone. These two are good friends.  The cat generously  allows for the dog's more limited mental capacity (his words, not mine!)  



There is so much beauty in the natural world.  An here is a sample for you to enjoy.  These are Mandarin fish which live in the Pacific Ocean and love the reefs around Australia.  They are part of the Dragonet fish family-they look like they could be part of a mysterious dragon family:

Lucky Australia!

OK...that's all for this week-happy quilting until we met again!

I am linking up with:

Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,

Whoop Whoop, and Off the Wall Friday.           

Sunday, March 5, 2017


I have begun quilting Chuck Susan and Me.  I choose 100wt Superior Monopoly as my top thread and 60wt  Bottom Line for the bobbin.  Nothing but trouble.  

This is probably obvious to everyone else but I just had an epiphany realizing that there are two types of spooling on threads: 1. cone type where the cone remains stationary thread unwinding from the top of the cone, and 2. the type of spool which revolves to unwind the thread.  This type is called a spool.  

My juki, named Suki, is only set up to use cones.  I tried the the spool of monopoly and the thread flew all around and under, wrapping most efficiently  and breaking needles.  Not to be bested by this limitation, I bought an adapter:
which does not seem to be well made as the plastic screws stripped almost at once though I was gentle with it as advised by the Amazon purchaser comments. I cannot recommend it because of this defect.  The plastic of the screw and the piece it screws into is too soft.  This adapter was returned to Amazon as defective.

Since it is always fun to invent things, I set my mind to making a horizontal spool holder which would allow the spool to unroll freely.  Here is a photo of Suki showing the two cone holders which was what I had to work with.  

 I bought two 4" sections of 1/2 inch plastic pipe.  I drilled holes thru the pipe near the top to hold the wooden dowel
selected for a spool holder. This dowel stays in place by the use of 2 small cotter pins.   I placed this over the 2 cone holders and viola!  the thread unrolls smoothly, evenly and without tangling. And the adapter is very stable.

The battle to master control over my quilting thread pretty much consumed my whole week though I did buy the necessary white and black fabric for Sweet Surrender border which I will work on this week.


Are you ever confused about who at the bird feeder is a purple finch and who is a house finch?  They look very much alike except that a purple finch is smaller, generally prettier, and looks dipped in raspberry juice.

Purple finch:

House Finch:

You can see the orangish-red of the house finch clearly in this photo.

And here is Kitten overseeing the thread problems as we work to resolve these.  You can see she takes inspection duties seriously.



Your Moment of Zen 

Take a quick look at this photo and decide what you think the photo is portraying.

I thought chess pieces, whirling tops, something in pretty packaging, maybe some elegant distinctive dessert. My husband thought maybe these were Christmas ornaments. These are actually whirling dancers in Carnival in Rio!  Isn't it nice to look at something when you cannot determine at first glance what it is and your imagination is in free association?


I am linking up with:

Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,
Whoop Whoop, and Off the Wall Friday.