Life In August

I’m such a slacker on this blog!  I really didn’t have much of anything interesting to report.  I have been getting ready to teach and vend, so have not been making any art, that’s for sure.  I have some new products to sell and the class I taught last weekend was machine quilting.  What’s there to say about that?

I do have a sample that I quilted with my Featherweight machine.  That might be interesting to see.

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A complaint I have about stitching this way on the Featherweight, and it may be a problem unique only to mine and not to other machines, is that when the needle goes down in the hole a second time, a pretty noticeable knot appears (at least with black thread on white cloth).  But I made the sample to show my class that it is possible to do this on a Featherweight.

I love Kathy Sandbach’s books on machine quilting.  The one I used for the class was Show Me How To Machine Quilt.  She has developed a method of creating unique continuous line designs in stitch for quilts with diagrams showing how to start and continue. It’s a great book especially if you are looking to go beyond stippling and other filler designs. I have some left over from the class.  They are $16.95 plus shipping.  They are not up on the website yet.

KathySandbach book

Another piece of news:  I now have Rayna Gillman’s book for sale on my website!  See here.

Rayna's book

Well, I guess that’s all for today…hopefully it won’t be so long between posts this time!

This ‘N That…

I can’t believe it’s been nine days since I blogged here!  First I have to go out and take a walk.  The weather has cooled off considerably and this is a great morning for walking.  The intense heat finally broke here yesterday.  It was much cooler when I came out of church yesterday.  88 degrees actually felt good compared to what we have been having.  Be back later.

What have I been working on? Last week I needed to get photography done for an entry that was to be in by June 30.  Application had to be filled out, etc.  This is for the Mid-States Exhibition that is held every year at the museum in Evansville.  I have only entered once and didn’t get in, but this year I felt I had something that might get accepted. But who knows?  The previous year that I entered, I was beat out by a nylon stocking with rocks or something in it that really looked like a bull’s testicle.  It was supposed to be some sort of  “necklace”.

Here’s some stitching I did on a deconstructed print…I am thinking of making some small bags with these prints.

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I got out my Featherweight machine to do this with because I want to demo free form stitching with a Featherweight for an upcoming class.  These machines can be a little touchy.  I couldn’t get it to stitch in free form mode because the needle was in backwards.  But once I figured out that’s why it wouldn’t stitch, all was well!

I loaded some new little bundles of fabric to my etsy shop and someone picked one of them up for a treasury.  That’s never happened before and has increased hits to my shop, although not a sale yet.  Keep fingers crossed. I need to keep working the shop, although I get sidetracked in the morning and forget to load pictures.

Piece of fabric I dye painted a couple of weeks ago…not sure where it’s going yet.

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Sewing on Rust Dyed Cloth…

I quilted “But Words Will Never Hurt Me” quite easily (see closeups below). I used 100% cotton batting and a hand dyed cotton backing. I usually use a needle made for quilting by Schmetz or a Microtex needle; these are sharp needles. Not having many Microtex needles, I used a size 11 quilting needle. The quilting part went fine. I ran into trouble when I went to sew the folded binding down. On the Bernina, the thread kept breaking. OK..change needles. The thread still broke and the needle seemed to have trouble going through the cloth, even stopping entirely. This has not happened to me before. I had broken two needles previously, so I thought perhaps the timing was off. It pieced two pieces of cloth together with no problem, so that’s not it. I put the Bernina away and got out the Featherweight to see if there was any difference. It too would sew a couple of inches and then stop and the needle would not pierce the fabric. I posted a Help email to the quiltart list and got several suggestions… use larger needles, use a different thread, use a Microtex 14 or topstitch needle. Walmart had no topstitch needles and I only had a Microtex 12. And I live an hour from any quilt shop.

You know how sometimes when you wake up in the a.m. with something on your mind, a problem you are trying to solve? I woke up the next morning planning my next move. I decided to make the binding a single layer instead of a folded binding. I had a Microtex 12 needle and polyester sewing thread. It worked wonderfully. This information will not be interesting to anyone except those looking for a way to sew through rust dyed fabric! The rust dyed cotton sateen did seem very dense and I don’t know if the rust did that or what. I have heard of people who have trouble sewing through dense areas of rust, but that was not the case with my quilt; it quilted just fine through the densely rusted areas, and the binding had no dense areas of rust.

It’s been a learning experience.

In other news, my friend SuznQuilts left for Houston market this morning at 3 a.m. She and friend, Nestlings By Robin will drive the whole day. I wish her good success. I stayed home this year. The 15 hour drive is long.

Monday Ramblings…

I am back from the Decatur show, my head is full…of thoughts and things to do this week. There is the possibility of some workshops with the quilt guilds ahead. And now I am the proud inheritor of my grandmother’s Singer Featherweight sewing machine! I spent some time with my mother this weekend and she gave me grandma’s machine. I am excited about that. It’s good to be home and today is a “tired” day. I am resting.

Monday ramblings has turned into…Tuesday Ramblings

I did some demos of stenciling with paintstiks at the show which sold my new stencils very well. I oversold the leaves stencil, don’t ya’ know! I have plenty more on order and will be putting them up on my website soon.


paintstik leaves

Using the 1/2 inch paintstik brush with short bristles made specifically for use with paintstiks, I stenciled these leaves onto a light gray hand dye. After applying one color and leaving the stencil in place, I applied a second color in various places to provide shading and dimension. People were quite impressed with them. Paintstiks are wonderful for stencils and rubbings. The only downside I can see about them is that you can’t be in a hurry with them. They do take some time to dry. After all, it is oil paint. But it doesn’t take the drying time of an oil painting.

Here is what a section of the Southwest stencil looks like. I did repeats of the design. Again, I used more than one color for dimension.

southwest stencil


These are available for $3 each plus shipping.

I see several possibilities with these designs. They can be applied to a border and then used as the quilting design; just quilt around them as it’s already marked. One could apply fusible to the back and cut them out to make applique. You could also do some thread painting on them to fill in the vein and stem areas, then cut them out for applique.