About Me

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I am a wife, mama and grandmama getting through life by hanging on to a needle and thread.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Just In Time!

I just received two packages of Shades SoftFuse from Two Star Design as part of the $1000 Promise rewards from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.  It arrived just in time for me to use it on the latest assignment for my art quilt group.  I've never been crazy about using fusible web on quilts, but for some quilts (especially art quilts) there really is no other alternative.  This is a work in progress, but so far I have been very happy with how the SoftFuse is performing and it really is soft and not stiff like a lot other brands of fusible web are.  Now if I can only get this project finished before the August 1st deadline!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quilter's Heaven

You will never guess who I have been hanging out with this week!  Bonnie Hunter!  Yes, Bonnie Hunter...quilter, designer, author and founder of Quiltville.com!  Monday evening Bonnie was the special guest speaker at the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild.  (I have to rub this in a bit...I was lucky enough to be selected to help hold her quilts during the trunk show!  Yes, I got to hold and see each one of her beautiful quilts up close and in person!)  It was an amazing evening!  More quilty fun was had yesterday at a workshop where Bonnie taught us the secrets of stitching her quilt pattern, My Blue Heaven.  As you can see by the photo, I mixed my colors up a bit and my blue heaven will actually be My Scrappy Heaven once it's finished.  As for the last two days, I can honestly say that they have been my quilty heaven!

To read more about Bonnie Hunter's adventures in Wellsboro visit Quiltville's Quips & Snips and Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Everything Turns To Black

Alzheimer's disease is much like a set of  watercolors.  In the beginning the colors are all clear and bright, but once the colors all start to run together they become muddy and then sooner or later everything turns to black.  The only difference is with Alzheimer's it's the memories of everything you know and love, not just the colors, that run together and are eventually lost.

Everything Turns To Black is my contribution to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative for the month of July.

Friday, July 20, 2012

More On Kool-Aid Dyeing

I received several questions about the yarn I dyed earlier this week and thought that I should clarify a few things about dyeing with Kool-Aid.  First and foremost, I need to warn you that dyeing yarn with this method is highly addictive (as you can see by these six skeins of newly dyed yarn)!  Secondly and probably most importantly, Kool-Aid will only dye animal fiber (wool, mohair, alpaca) so don't try to dye cotton yarn or fabric with Kool-Aid unless you take disappointment well.  With that said, you could easily dye wool fabric or wool felt with Kool-Aid and I imagine that the results would be wonderful!  Thirdly, when dyeing with Kool-Aid it's not necessary to add vinegar because of the citric acid contained in the drink mix, however, I like to add a bit of vinegar to the pre-soak just to be on the safe side.  (I used about a 1/2 cup of vinegar to about 2 quarts of water.)  Finally, to heat set the dye, I placed the wet yarn in a ziplock bag and microwaved on high at 60 second intervals until the water in the bag appeared to be clear.  I think that answers all of the questions, but if you would like more detailed instructions for dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid visit  DyeYourYarn.com.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ice Dyeing

It is extra hot here in Northern Pennsylvania this week, so I thought it would be a good time to try ice dyeing some wool yarn.  I mixed one packet of Kool-Aid with 1/2 cup of water and then froze the mixture in ice-cube trays overnight.  The next day, I soaked the wool yarn in a water/vinegar mixture for about 20 minutes and then drained off the excess water.  I placed the frozen dye cubes on top of the yarn, covered it with plastic wrap, set it outside and let the sun do the rest!  (I did pop the yarn in the microwave for a minute just to make sure it was heat set enough, but I'm not sure it was really necessary.)  As you can see, lemonade, pink lemonade, orange and cherry Kool-Aid ice-cubes make a very pretty variegated pink yarn!  I think I will be doing more ice dyeing this summer!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quick Kindle Case

My back still isn't letting me do much sewing, but when my granddaughter asked if I would make her a case for the Kindle that she just received for her birthday, how could I say no?  Besides, I've made enough of these cases that it hardly takes me any time at all to whip one up.  It honestly takes longer to decide what fabric to use than it does to sew it together! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fabric Painting!

Fabric Painting with Cindy Walter comes to me via another Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative $1000 Promise sponsor.  Betty Blais of Embellishment Village sent me a 40% off coupon for anything in her store and when I saw this book I knew it was exactly what I wanted!  It covers all the basics of painting fabrics with high-quality acrylic paints for use in quilts and other projects.  I gave up painting a long time ago, but I'm anxious to buy some new paints and try the techniques in this book!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Who Knew???

Sculpture Stitch aka Hand Quilting Stitch
I knew that there were fancy embroidery machines available that have a "hand quilting" stitch on them and I always thought that it would be nice to have that particular stitch, but it wasn't worth it to me to buy a machine with all of those extra stitches just to have that option.  Guess what I found out at a Pfaff Sewing Seminar last month?  You don't need an embroidery machine to sew a hand quilting stitch!  If your machine has a sculpture stitch (and a lot of the basic machines do) you can also do a hand quilting stitch on your machine.  Simply thread the machine with invisible thread, put the color thread of your choice in the bobbin, select the sculpture stitch, increase the needle tension by 2 (or more, you may have to play with it a bit), adjust the stitch length to a length that appeals to you, and with a slow speed start "hand quilting"!  Easy as that!  I wish I had learned this trick 12 years ago when I first started quilting!

Monday, July 9, 2012


Due to a monster pain in my back and hip for the last few weeks I haven't been doing very much sewing, quilting, knitting, or anything else for that matter.  Some fun things have been happening over at Half Pint Knits though!  Meet Marge and Molly, monsters of the friendliest sort, and the newest additions to Half Pint Knits.  These two cuties are very tame and are just looking for a good home, so if you know of someone who needs a friendly monster to keep them company click over to Half Pint Knits and tell Noell that I sent you.  As for the monster in my back, it is a lot less friendly than Marge and Molly, but it's being tamed with a cortisone shot and anti-inflammatories.  I hope to be up and sewing again soon!

Here's a little monster secret...you can receive 10% off any purchase from Half Pint Knits when you enter the promo code MONSTER10 with your order!  Hurry...this special discount is only good until July 31!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quilter's Stitch Together

If you have ever donated a quilt to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative then you will no doubt recognize the name, Beth Hartford.  Beth is the one who painstakingly registers each and every Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt and then emails each quilt maker with a registration number and mailing instructions.  As if that wasn't enough, Beth also donates two half yard cuts of hand-dyed fabrics from her online store, Quilter's Stitch Together, to each person who completes the $1000 Promise.  Just look at these beautiful purple and green fabrics that I just received in the mail...no doubt that they will end up in a future quilt for the AAQI!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Here She Is!

I've never been one to name my machines, but several people have asked what I have named my "new" machine and insisted that she is deserving of a name.  I guess I can't deny such a beauty a name, so in honor of Mr. Miller, who gifted her to me, I would like you to meet Millie.  She's all cleaned up and ready to sew!  Yes this old gal shows a some wear and tear, but her ticker still ticks the way it should and her seams are just as straight as can be!

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