Dec 30, 2009

Liberated Shoo-fly quilt

I'm so happy with this quilt. I had no plan when I started it. It just popped into my brain one day. And Happy New Year! May the new year bring more cuddly quilts.

Dec 25, 2009

I free-motion quilted my Shoo Fly quilt, and I even sewed on a binding, too. Time to hem it down, and label it. Now I plan to work on my "Hear" wall hanging (I plan to do a bit of applique and embroidery on it), and hold off making another quilt. I'm waiting for the time when I get my hands on Gwen Marston's new book! I think that it will be inspiring. We went to see that movie "Sherlock Holmes." Jude Law is cute, but the movie was not so hot. I nearly fell asleep and that was during a fight scene.

Dec 20, 2009

Home at last!

Here's all those old jeans in their new home. My son-in-law loves the pockets on this quilt because it is a handy place to store the TV remote. I don't know if it can be spotted peeking out of a pocket in the photo? And I really have scored big time with my presents--two different people gave me CD's. And my new recordings--in no particular order--are Norah Jones "The Fall," Sharon Isbin "Guitar Essentials," "Andrea Bocelli "Amore," Adam Lambert "For Your Entertainment." Some mixture I know, but I like just about everything. I guess I draw the line at progressive jazz, hip hop, or something way out. Now, if I can only manage to clear off the table, it's about time to pin baste that quilt I'm making. And I have been working on that free-pieced letter thing, but it is requiring a lot of reworking (already) and thought.

Dec 16, 2009

Shoo Fly quilt top

I'm really happy, I finally decided where I was going with this quilt. I used a dark brown print from my stash for the sashes. And I added one of my favorite patterns--a string border--on the top and bottom. I'm washing a bit of flannel that I had hanging around to use for the backing. I have a batt on hand, too. Well, I owe the Liberated Shoo Fly pattern to Gwen Marston's book. So I'm eagerly awaiting the release of her new book "Liberated Quiltmaking II" in a couple of weeks. You can bet that I'm going to get my order in early!

Dec 12, 2009

King size denim quilt--Finished!

Here I am with King Kong--the king-sized denim quilt is on it's way to its new home! It's so big, we never did fit the whole thing into one photo, even with two people helping me to hold it up.

Dec 9, 2009

Shoo-fly progress report

I've been a bit busy around here. Monday I went to a funeral for a friend. It was a very dignified ceremony. And a gentleman with a wonderful voice and style sang a few appropriate songs, accompanying himself on the guitar. I found out later that his name was Roger McGuinn of The Byrds. Now about the quilt. I've been hesitating because I was having trouble deciding on the finished size. I have decided to make approximately 45 by 70 inches. So I have been joining the blocks together. I made this my own version of the quilt in Gwen Marston's book, with a patchy look. I have so very many scraps and a rather large stash. Sometimes I wish that I had a better method of photographing things. I just threw this over the lounge chair.

Dedication of Memorial for Victims of 9-11 Terrorist Attack

Dec 4, 2009

Oh happy day! denim quilt update

There's one advantage to being an insomniac, I get to solve some problems in the wee hours. There were two things that were causing problems with finishing this quilt (nicknamed King Kong). The first one was that I was tying it by spreading it out on the dining room table. Therefore, the table had to be all cleared of any centerpieces, and so forth. And it was difficult to see the TV from there. But I discovered that this quilt, which was well pin-basted, could be tied in my lap on the sofa. I just hung my little scissors around my neck on a crocheted chain. This speeded up the tying process in a big way. I could tie the quilt while watching a DVD or TV show. The second problem was that it was so daunting to think about applying and hemming binding! Even though I had already calculated and cut out miles of binding, and the strips were hanging on a hanger on the sewing room door, I changed my mind on that plan. Although I have read about turning the lining to the front of the quilt and hemming it down, I had never tried that method. Luckily, there was at least an inch of the flannel backing hanging around the edges. So, I trimmed the backing to one inch outside all around. Then I put a lot of water in the steam iron, and I ironed the edges in 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch all around the ends of the quilt border. That was quite a lot of ironing. But there's another problem. And that was that if I just popped the edge under the sewing machine, I would get a lot of puckers in the edge. So I checked out my sewing machine handbook, and tried out a few of the stitches. I decided that if I used the blind hem stitch, and adjusted my machine for sewing on a bulky edge, that would do it. The edge would be fairly flat and neat. It worked. And I had thought it would have taken me another month to finish this quilt. I hope to have the recipients of the quilt pose with the finished quilt for a photo finish really soon.

Dec 1, 2009

Free-pieced letters

As President Reagan used to say "Here you go again!" I've been thinking and thinking about making a wall hanging with this word for weeks. At last I've made a start. I'll explain the philosophical meaning as it gets further along.

Easy Knitted Hat

I knit these hats for family and friends and to donate to the homeless. I'm a volunteer for and we help homeless folks to get into homes and jobs. But my family loves these hats and my granddaughters just asked me yesterday to knit them each one in a bright color. The first size of 80 stitches will fit a woman or child, and the 90 stitches is for a man's size.

Knitting worsted yarn similar to TLC or Super Saver
Size 7 needles
4sts = 1 inch

Lady’s size (Men’s in parenthesis)

Cast on 80 (90) sts
K2, p2 for 6 (7) inches
Work decreases: Row 1: * k8, k2 tog*
Row 2: and all alt rows, Purl
Row 3: *k7, k2 tog*
Row 5: *k6, k2 tog*
Row 7: *k5, k2 tog*
Row 9: *k4, k2 tog*
Row 11: *k3, k2 tog*
Row 13: *k2, k2 tog*
Row 15: *k1, k2 tog*
Row 17: k 2 tog all around
Leaving a long tail, cut yarn and thread through the rem sts. Sew tog.

Nov 27, 2009

The afghan finds a home

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family. And the afghan is going home to University. Note the sunglasses--this is California!

Nov 25, 2009

Crochet Scarf

I was interrupted yesterday, and I cut my post really short! My ride came early--I went to get my annual mammogram. So I signed off in a hurry. Anyhow, here are photos of my free-pieced Shoo Fly blocks. I haven't finally decided on the way I'll set these blocks together, and I do have a bunch more blocks cut out and ready to sew. Meanwhile, a word keeps popping into my head, so I feel another free-pieced letter thing coming on.
And I wanted to give directions for my Jiffy Crochet Scarf. If you need a last minute gift--this might fill the bill. You need 6 or 7 ounces of Knitting Worsted and a Size J hook. Chain 28. Hdc in the third ch from the hook and in each ch across. Ch 2, work hdc in the back loop until you have the thing long enough, or use up the yarn.

Nov 24, 2009

Free-pieced Log Cabin Quilt

Wow, I finished sewing on the binding last night! And I'm happy. I recommend using up all sorts of strips and bits of fabric with a pattern like this.

Nov 19, 2009

Free-pieced log cabin quilt top

Oops! I miscalculated and I got carried away here. I made nearly twice as many blocks as I needed for this quilt top. My sewing machine was starting to kvetch--I had to stop everything and clean it and install a new needle (this particular machine doesn't need oiling.) Well, I guess that I could have just made a bigger quilt with those extra squares? Anyhow, I decided to put those blocks aside--they won't be wasted--I'll make a quilt with them someday soon. I really want to get back to that other quilt, the Shoo Fly one, that I started on at the same time as this one. So, I hunted through my stash and I found a perfect two-yard piece of brown fabric for the backing of the log cabin thing. I made the sashes from an off-white fabric that I like to use instead of the old-fashioned muslin. Even though I still have a few yards of muslin on hand, I've gotten spoiled, and I like the solid fabric instead. Meanwhile, I've been keeping my dining room table bare (except for meals) because I'm tying that denim quilt--that chore may take forever! So I can just sneak in this log cabin thing and pin baste it this afternoon. It can be my new "keep it on hand for emergencies" quilt.

Nov 15, 2009

Free to a good home

I've slowed up a bit on my sewing, but I'm still working on it almost every day. I finally completed this afghan. It has a story. I was walking past a yard sale one day several months ago, and the lady said to me, "Oh it's you! I know you like yarn. Here's a bag or two of yarn for you." And she held up two big white plastic bags. "How much?" I asked.
"For you, it's free." So who can argue? I thought I might be getting some yarn ends that I could use to make amigurumi toys. But no, she had given me some heavy weight wool (I was able to make a shawl for my cousin and a scarf or two from that) and a half-finished granny square afghan in a lovely nubby yarn. There were no directions for the afghan but she had finished several squares from which I could easily figure out the pattern. And she had made 56 centers. The afghan squares made a good carry-along project for me. I finished them in a few weeks. Actually, the thing I hate is sewing the squares together. I always make afghans that you don't have to sew together, because I find joining the squares to be a tedious chore. However, last week I gritted my teeth and finished it. I had an incentive--I have decided to take the afghan to my daughter's for Thanksgiving (there's going to be a lot of guests)--and the first person to want it, can have it! It's my kitten--Free to a Good Home!

Nov 10, 2009

Thank you to all who posted comments on my last post. I sent an email to all of you who had an email return address. I've got good news--the last few days I actually ironed the denim quilt and the backing and pin basted it together. And I even spent about an hour tying it. I figure that what with the tying and the binding, I might be done by New Year's. I'm making that my projected goal. Meanwhile, I have finished knitting and crocheting all of the children's sweaters that I planned to make for the holidays. And I have already given three of my grandchildren their sweaters. What luck--the sweaters fit them. I post photos of my knitting and crochet on my Flickr page, and there is a link it here on my blog page. I always have a man's hat on the knitting needles. The hats are a good portable project. I donate these hats to an organization that helps homeless folks. I ought to post the pattern for these hats, I guess. And here are some of the quilt blocks that I've been making. I squared up a few of them. They are 9 1/2 inches.

Nov 4, 2009

Two projects

I still need to put the backing on my second denim quilt. I hope to get started on that this weekend. I even bought more safety pins. They wanted $22 for a package of pins in the quilt store. I laughed at them and bought a bunch at a discount store for $3. And I took the advice and washed the flannel backing again today. So, meanwhile, I have to run the sewing machine, right? So I decided on two projects. I know, one should be enough at a time. I want to make a scrappy log-cabin type or maybe some crazy squares. And then, I want to follow our "bible" and make a Shoo Fly quilt as in Gwen Marston's "Liberated Quiltmaking." I have no plan for either quilt, so I guess they will get as big as they need to be. I do have on hand a couple of lap-sized quilt batts.

Nov 3, 2009

Home again

I've been away, to Nevada to visit family. Here's three of my grandchildren making something special for Halloween. They went for trick or treat and came back with big bags of candy of course. I had as much fun as they did. Naturally, I went shopping while I was there. I bought a couple of fat quarters and some books and magazines. I found "Quilts From the Selvage Edge" by Karen Griska and "Material Obsession" by Doughty and Fielke. Of course I never trim off the selvages when I make a quilt. But the book has great ideas for string quilting--and that I do all the time. Material Obsession has a web site at and you can find Karen Griska at

Oct 29, 2009

King Kong grows up

Cheers! King Kong quilt top is completed. You wouldn't call this thing a "flimsy," though. It's fairly heavy weight--being made of denim as it is. Now this quilt is by no means finished! It's time for my most dreaded task--ironing the 9 yards of flannel for the backing.

The photo below is of the flannel as looks when it emerged from the dryer. I washed it several days ago, and I just left the thing in a heap. Now comes the Moment Of Truth, as they say--I have to press it, cut it into sections and join the sections together to make the backing. I knew that the flannel would have to be washed because this fabric shrinks like crazy the first time the water hits it. At least we know that flannel only shrinks the one time---
After I press it (and the quilt top), I think that I'll spread the quilt top out on my bed, and roll the flannel over it and go to town with a scissors and cut it into 3 parts. I'm hoping that the 9 yards will be adequate. If not, I'll have to improvise and add some odd bit of flannel to the edge someplace. I had better buy extra safety pins as this thing is going to be a big job to pin baste. Meanwhile totally off the subject, I rented the movie "Easy Virtue" and I watched about half of it. It's so funny. Based on a Noel Coward play, and with lots of his music. I've got to see the ending today.

Oct 26, 2009

King Kong runs for the border

Isn't this cute, I have some fabric that's printed to look like denim. And I'm adding it to the border of my quilt. I think I'm naming this quilt King Kong. (Don't know why.) Anyway, what I wanted to say is please don't report me to the Quilt Police. I know that the usual instructions for quilts tell you to cut the border to a certain length, and pin it in place with a big bunch of pins. I never do that. I just cut a generous border, sew it to the side of the quilt and then I trim it to fit. Sometimes I don't even cut the border, with some fabrics, you can rip it the long way, and the edges of the fabric hold up pretty well. I have to add on an additional border after this one, too. I guess I'll be sewing for a while yet! Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide what quilt to make next.
Talking about deciding what to do next---Two nights ago, I was so cold I had to turn on the heater. Now, today it's about 90 degrees, and I had to put on the AC. Southern California, the place with the least weather, and we complain more than anyone----

Oct 23, 2009

Stained glass recycled denim quilt, number 2

It's time for me to do my happy dance. Today I finished the piecing of the second denim quilt. Now, I put this quilt on my queen-sized bed to take this photo. And this quilt is going to be king sized when finished--actually it's called California King Size, which is even bigger than a king size bed. So I plan to add some generous borders. I'm engaged in the higher mathematics of figuring that out right now. It will require a big calculator and a lot of scratch paper. I particularly want to find out if I have enough of the yellow left over after I cut out the binding, in order to add a bit of it in the border. All in good time. And I have 9 yards of flannel for the backing (no batting in this big thing). And I wonder if I have enough old jeans left to make a denim quilt for myself? Well, that's not going to be right away! I'll have to put the left-overs in a box and store them. I'm going to dive into a scrap quilt of some kind real soon! I'll have to look at my notebook. I keep a big notebook (well, one isn't big enough, actually there are now two) of quilt ideas and including the notes for quilts that I've made. And a few photos, too. And that's besides a photo album of the quilts that I've completed.

Oct 20, 2009

Still sewing after all these years

Here's the story--I've never made a king-sized quilt before. It's enormous! Anyhow, I'm getting to the outer edges, as this pattern begins in the middle sort of like a log cabin quilt block. It's a big quilt with a story. It's like this, my daughter has a medium size dog who is quite frisky. And the dog's inclined to jump up on their bed. Therefore, she wanted a quilt that could "stand up." And we guessed that denim would fit the bill. So I've been sewing and sewing ever since I finished the first denim quilt. By the way, that first quilt is on it's way to my granddaughter at the college--which is about 250 miles from here. They're planning to visit her, and are taking it with them. In this photo, I'm evening up the edges of part of the quilt, which I'm hoping to add on to the quilt today. Now, I have a hint for making an enormous quilt. That is, I didn't try to cut out all of the quilt pieces at once! I'd get a sore arm that way--I only cut out the parts as I go along. Bit by bit. And this is the sweater that I knitted for Kalista--my little grand niece. I got the pattern from the web--it's at

Oct 16, 2009

Be prepared

"Be prepared" is the old Girl Scout motto. I guess I really took it to heart because it's been a lot of years since I was a Scout--a lot of years. I made this quilt in August. And now I know. It's important to have a nice little quilt on hand. I found out that a dear neighbor's daughter is going for chemotherapy for breast cancer this week. And I gave this quilt to her. By a stroke of luck, I had put a pink binding on the quilt, too. A cozy quilt ought to cheer her up a bit. I sure hope so. I'm praying for the dear woman, and her mother, too.

Oct 13, 2009

Sunflowers wall hanging

I made this wall hanging first of all to illustrate what can be done with an old pair of cast-off jeans. The blue background is a pants leg! Because the jeans were still good, but a bit worn, I found that it was easy to sew on and to hand applique the flowers. And it proved to be simple to hand quilt, also. I was lucky enough to have a spool of navy blue hand-quilting thread handy. There was no picture or plan of the quilt made beforehand. I just had an idea in my head. But I must say that spontaneity requires forethought. I bought a couple of yellow fat quarters with this quilt in mind. After I made the flowers (see previous post for how I made them,) I just did a bit of "flower arrangement" to decide the placement. I think that old jeans would make good pot holders, baby bibs, and so forth. This is my contribution to recycling ideas. I've been doing recycling since the days when only ladies who wore long dresses and love beads cared about recycling and eating whole wheat bread!

Oct 10, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2009

Here is my free-pieced medallion quilt. The triangles are not even, they're free-pieced. I had no plan for this quilt, I just improvised as I made one border after another. The quilt was tied, not quilted. I must say a "Thank you" to Gwen Marston, as it is her wonderful books that inspired me. I did go off on my own tangent though and designed this quilt myself, so don't blame her for that, please. In her book "Freddy & Gwen Collaborate Again" she encourages sometimes tying quilts, instead of quilting. And it gives quilts an old-fashioned look, I think. I did give details about how I tie a quilt in previous posts. Now this quilt is draped over the back of my sofa, to be handy on cool evenings.

Oct 5, 2009

Stained glass recycled denim quilt

I'm so happy that I completed this quilt. It's made from discarded blue jeans. There is an added border because my granddaughter wanted a big quilt. There's no batting in it, but it's lined with flannel. It's tied with crochet cotton that's the same color as the yellow joining strips. I picked yellow because that's the color that a lot of jeans are stitched with. The stained glass windowpane idea makes it possible to stitch the denim together without bulky seams. I'm so grateful to Alicia Wells of for the instructions for the stained glass quilt. She has an area on with some of these quilts, too. I bought a bunch of old jeans at garage sales, and it took no time at all to get a nice selection of jeans, especially when you don't care anything about the size or style. I had enough of the backing flannel left over to make a matching pillowcase. So it's another way to recycle. And I'm working hard on the next one, an even bigger size for my daughter.

Oct 2, 2009

Hurrah! I finished sewing the bias on the denim quilt last night while I was watching silly detective shows on TV. And I'm in the middle of hemming down those flowers on the wall hanging, too. Besides, I'm knitting two sweaters. And when I go out someplace, my knitting bag has a hat in progress that I plan to donate. So no shortage of projects. That's one reason why I get excited when I actually finish something. What's next? I started cutting out denim for another, even bigger denim quilt that I'm making for my daughter. By the way, the denim quilt with the flannel lining is cozy and warm as toast! I was getting hot while it was on my lap during the sewing.

Sep 30, 2009

Applique wall hanging

I have the wall hanging pinned together. I designed the applique myself. It's not copied out of a book. The blue in the background is a piece of an old pair of jeans. I may add a couple of extra leaves, I'm not sure yet. The green flower stems were made using bias and sewn using a set of bias bars. I have found that that's about the easiest way for me to make stems in flower appliques. I plan to hand hem the appliques to the background, and I'm not sure if I'll embroider them with blanket stitch. I like to make things up as I go along.

Wednesday in Rancho Santa Margarita

Sep 25, 2009

I'm tied up

Hurray! I got the quilt tied. Worked my fingers to the bone on this one. Well, truthfully although this is a big quilt, first of all there's no batting. I just have it lined with flannel. And second of all, I tie quilts on the dining table (with a cutting mat underneath) so I can watch TV while I'm doing it. And since there's no batting, I didn't have to worry about how far away one tie was from the other. But it's not finished yet. I have to sew around the borders which are not denim. And of course, the binding. But I'm projecting finishing next week, "if the creeks don't rise." Meanwhile, back to the salt mines for me--and I still have another dental appointment for today. Yes, it's boring--I've been complaining about my teeth for more than a month. When I open my mouth in a dental office, the dentist sees a cash register.

Sep 21, 2009

Applique with sewn turn unders

Here's how things stand with me right now. I have completed sewing the top of the denim quilt and the backing has arrived. Because I'm using flannel, I have to wash it first. Flannel can shrink like the dickens. At least it will only shrink the once, that's the first time it's washed in hot water. And so it's in the washer right now! And meanwhile, I'm making a start on that wall hanging that I wanted to make using a piece of an old pair of jeans for the background. I like to use this method of turning under the applique if the pattern permits. And since I'm designing the pattern, it does permit.
First I use a number 2 pencil and I trace the pattern on the non-sticky side of non-woven fusible interfacing. Leave at least 1/2 inch between patterns. Cut out around the patterns leaving at least 1/4 inch on the outside edges. Pin the interfacing to fabric, sticky side to the right side of the fabric.
Set the sewing machine to a short stitch and use a clear plastic foot, if you have one. Sew on the drawn line using a slow speed. Having a needle-down setting on the machine is handy for this. Trim seams to a bit less than 1/4 inch and clip curves. Then cut a slit in the back of the interfacing, sort of an "X", and turn the applique through to the right side.

Using a pressing sheet and a small iron (if you have it--if not just use the tip of the iron). Press the edges only (leaving the center sticky stuff for attaching the applique to the background later.)

I generally hand hem and embroider the edges. But sometimes I machine applique the edges using a decorative stitch.

Sep 18, 2009

One bowl chocolate cake recipe

There'll be no sewing for me for a couple of days. Made this cake this morning, and I thought I would share my original recipe. I've been baking this recipe for years, as it makes a fine birthday cake. The recipe contains no milk, so if you have lactose intolerance, here's a handy recipe. Just buy a margarine or shortening that contains no milk.
Cocoa Cake
3/4 cup margarine, melted
6 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt margarine. Grease 9 by 13 inch pan. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add all other ingredients and beat well. Spread in pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until done. Cool on rack. Frost as desired.

Sep 15, 2009

Onward denim

I guess that this photo of the denim quilt looks a lot like the previous one, but I assure you that it shows that a lot more squares have been added. And today I calculated how many strips to cut for the first border. I plan to add another bit of fabric to the outer border. Meanwhile, I found a nice bit of green in my stash to start on that wall hanging I mentioned some time ago--to be continued--the green will be for stems and leaves on the flowers I want to make. Making applique requires me to do some deep thinking, on deciding what method would be best for what I want to do. Of course I change my mind several times, that's part of the fun. I recently acquired the book "Patchwork Folk Art" by Janet Bolton. Janet Bolton is an artist. I wouldn't actually copy any of her work. Besides, she frames her work, and I don't frame my patchwork. Her book gives me lots of ideas, though. While on the subject of books, another one about applique that I really like is titled "Applique" and is by Lucinda Ganderton. That book has some really original ideas also. One thing I like is how the author embroidered her applique.

Sep 11, 2009

News story about 30,000 year old fibers

The first tailors? Researchers find ancient fiber

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer Randolph E. Schmid,
Thu Sep 10, 2:00 pm ET
WASHINGTON – More than 30,000 years ago someone living in a cave in the Caucasus Mountains twisted wild flax together and dyed it, producing the earliest known fibers made by humans, scientists report.
"Making strings and ropes is a sophisticated invention," said Ofer Bar-Yosef, a professor of prehistoric archaeology at Harvard University. "They might have used this fiber to create parts of clothing, ropes, or baskets — for items that were mainly used for domestic activities."
The fibers were discovered in an analysis of clay deposits in Dzudzuana Cave in what is now the country Georgia, Bar-Yosef and co-authors report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.
The newly discovered fibers were made from the wild form of flax, not a plant that had been domesticated for farming.
These ancestors really had a clear idea and method of dealing with a useful plant in its wild form to provide good quality fibers for different uses, Bar-Yosef said via e-mail.
"Innovation was a trait of modern humans when compared to earlier populations," he added. "The invention of strings and ropes is an old one and probably helped to change the organization of transport from earlier times."
Some of the fibers appear to have been dyed using plant materials common in the area, the researchers said. The color range included yellow, red, blue, violet, black and green.
"The colored fibers may indicate that the inhabitants of the cave were engaged in producing colorful textiles," they reported. There was also evidence of processing fur and skin at the site.

Sep 9, 2009

Wednesday in Rancho Santa Margarita

Not so wordless Wednesday

Google decided not to upload my photo today. I've been getting an error message. I'll have to save my picture for another day. I'm still sewing the denim quilt. I did find some really interesting fabric for the back. It's flannel and has pictures of cell phones and computers on it. I ordered it and I hope that it arrives. I've decided not to put any batting in the quilt, and will line it with flannel. And I've been doing a lot of knitting lately.

Sep 6, 2009

Recycled jeans

This denim quilt is fun to make. I like the idea of recycling all these old, cast-off jeans. I've been a bit slow about making it, as I've still got problems with my tooth. At least it's getting a lot better. Anyhow, I see myself making a few of these denim quilts. Does anyone have some information about "Warm and Natural" quilt batting? I was thinking of getting some as I have noticed on the Internet that it does not require being tied as closely as the polyester batting. Is Warm and Natural the stuff that you have to wash before using? Now on about the denim. I have found that sewing with old denim is interesting because of the color changes, it has a personality. So today I cut a nice neat rectangle from a pants leg. I dug through my scraps and found a bit of plaid for the edges. I think it will make an interesting appliqued wall hanging. Maybe some sunflowers or daisies, I guess. I do have a few really nice yellow fat quarters for sunflowers. I'm recycling--my grandson wants me to "go green" and I'm trying.

Sep 3, 2009

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

My little wall quilt is on its way to the Houston International Quilt Festival (Oct. 15-18), as part of the 1,000 quilts on display from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. The goal is to raise money for Alzheimer's Disease research. You can check out this cause at
The title of my quilt is Tribute to Modigliani. And I made it to show the way triangles play an important role in the composition of this artist's work. Also, the orange color seems to be featured in some of his work. I made this quilt in honor of my husband, who is an artist, and who is suffering from Dementia with Lewy Bodies.

Aug 30, 2009

I get some satisfaction

This quilt was such a pleasure to make. And I got to use up some really really old scraps from the bottom of my laundry hamper of scraps. There's nothing like a string quilt to get me going.

Now I'm up to the elbows in old denim pants. I have no idea how many denim quilts I'm destined to make--does anyone have a crystal ball? I know that it is going to be more than one already--even though I have only made about half of this one. It's easy to buy old second-hand denim pants when you don't care what size they are.

Meanwhile, I finally had a root canal on the bad tooth on Friday. I was never so glad to have a root canal before. But I've had a toothache for such a long time until they finally figured out what tooth was effected. Today I'm feeling quite a lot better. We have a lot of smoke in the air from wild fires, even though the fires are raging many many miles away. The slightest breeze carries the smoke far. And the weather turned hot, which is common for this time of year, with September being the hottest month.

I went to see that Brad Pitt movie "Inglorious Bestards" or however crazy way they spelled the title. It turned out to be a rather nutty fantasy. It seemed like Brad had fun earning the big bucks in this one. Entertaining in spite of all the shooting.

Aug 27, 2009

Old jeans ride again

I've been inspired! I was looking on and I saw denim quilts made by Alicia and her friends. Her blog is and it has info about making a quilt out of cast-off denim clothing. I was really tempted because I thought of my eldest granddaughter who is going off to Cal Poly University. This kind of quilt would be so suitable for her. I love old denim and have a few old denim clothes of my own, but I'm still wearing them, so I wouldn't part with any of those. However, I learned that by going to a couple of garage or yard sales, I could get all the old denim I need. First I washed everything, and then I started cutting and pressing the pants. I began to cut out the various size squares that are required for the quilt. I went to the fabric store to pick out a few yards of something to make the strips that are sewn in between the denim squares. I decided to make those strips the gold color that is often used for the thread in jeans. Meanwhile, the last time that I was shopping at the Target store, I saw that they had in a shipment of denim pants that could only be described as ratty. It seems that old, ratty jeans are in style now. But apparently not the ones that are in your closet, or at a thrift store, but the ones that you spend $30 for in the store!
Meanwhile, I didn't forget my string quilt. I have free-motion quilted it, and I'm finishing hemming the binding now.