Thursday, December 31, 2015

I like words.

I wish I'd written this letter.  Imagine the vocabulary, the thought, the sheer joy.  I found it on Letters of Note (recommended by my bloggy friend Jenclair of Bayou Quilts and Dolls). I just leave the site up and every day or so I read a letter or two.  

Many, like this one, were written ages ago, before I was born, when people knew how to write a letter.  This 1934 letter was meant to get its author a job interview.  It worked and eventually Pirosh won an Academy Award for his writing.  Impressed yet?

If you like words, too, visit Letters of Note and read a few.  Some will bring you to tears, others will make you laugh out loud, and a few will have you wishing you'd said that.

Happy 2016

Image result for new years eve 2016

Resolution: Shop Drop Challenge 2016

I have joined the Shop Drop Challenge 2016 hosted by, text from her blog as follows:

Mommy Greenest Shop Drop Challenge

"Need a New Year’s Resolution? Sign up for Shop Drop 2016! Take the Shop Drop Challenge and pledge not to buy any new clothes for 30 days, choosing like-new consignment, thrifted and swapped fashion instead. Shop Drop 2016 begins January 1st!

Why? To break the fast fashion cycle. The average American woman spends $60 on clothes and trashes six pounds of textile waste each month. If the 160 million women in America took our 30-day shop-and-drop pause, we could save nearly one billion pounds of landfill waste. Yes, that’s billion with a b.

Right now we have 213 people signed up, and our goal is 1,000… representing 6,000 pounds of landfill waste saved. Thanks to presenting sponsor, everyone who takes the Shop Drop Challenge is entered to win a $250 like-new consignment shopping spree and invited to our VIP party in Los Angeles. Sign up now!"

(All words are from

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pin It Weekly #134

It's almost January--when we try to up our game on cleaning and organizing.  Already I've been thinking about some of the stuff that needs attention.  Namely scraps of fabric, bits of ribbon, bobs of thread, you name it!  If there's a bit, no matter how bitty, I tend to want to hang on to it.  So, I've been pinning ways to store those itsy bitsy, teeny tiny, bits and bobs.  Here are just a few.  

Scrap storage ~~ 
organize your ribbons

Ribbon storage!  #ribbon

Cartonnage - Où l'on révise ses… - Mes débuts en… - Récolte - Rose comme une boîte - Petit panier vintage - Mise en boîte - Tempus fugit

So going to do this with my "left over" yarn. Also poke a small hole in lid to feed the yarn up through! Prob paint the carton too.

How to store scraps...this is a great idea. I like that it is visible without pulling open doors or pulling out bins. Its just right there when you open the door to the know, in my pretend sewing room. :)

Scrap storage | Mermaid Sews - Gosh, my scraps don't look this good.

Project storage.....this lady has great ideas for breaking up your stash so you can use it! Many free patterns using her  technique!!!!!  I am getting started!:

Scrap storage bins I made using, what else, scraps!  To add to the fun factor, I quilted different motifs on the negative space for each bin.
This one is the storage system I use.
Read about it here.
Scrap usage ~~
Textile Treasure Seeker: 'Thread and Thrift' this would make a nice storage bag for small extras in the closet, ive done this with pretty used dresses

Flower Scrap Fabric Bag Using Heat N Bond: A Tutorial

adorable little stuffed monsters made from your keepsakes (baby blanket, first onesie, etc.) $30 on Etsy.... but it looks easy enough to try it at home too.  So fun!

Tips for using quilt fabric scraps. What a cute idea for using up scraps.

Cut letters from text fabric to spell ‘off you sew’, then glue and stitch into place using cream thread.

Rag Quilt Letters Tutorial by ohsohappytogether. Includes templates for the letters and numbers. Great way to use scraps!

Fabric Scrap Project - Craft these hand dyed tags to use up your fabric scraps.

Have some extra fabric laying around? Put it to good use with these crafty fabric ideas.

Little houses on pillow cases. A great way to use fabric scraps.                                     Gloucestershire Resource Centre

Building Blocks ~~ Finished!

I've been working on two particular quilts, one for each of the granddaughters who live away.  They recently moved into separate, twin-sized beds in the same room and need quilts.  My idea was to make one quilt at a time, but quilts have their own agendas.  So I ended up making lots and lots of large, overwhelming blocks that simply could not all go into the same quilt.  

I divided up the blocks and made one quilt while the other waited its turn.  As soon as the first quilt was finished, I put it on the long-arm and got started with what I thought would be a great design, but quilts have their own agendas and again, I lost.  Instead of lots of squares that would imitate the colored blocks, I quilted some squares then added a feather design that took a life of its own. Oh well! 

When the quilt came off the long-arm, I immediately began the second top and it is now on the long-arm getting the same treatment as the first.  

But that first quilt just would not wait.  Today I cut all of the left-over focus fabric and made lots (and lots) of binding.  

I was going to cut the binding in half and add as necessary but quilts have their own agendas, and I ended up using well over half of the binding on the first quilt.  

Leaning up against the new iron, which
had the pleasure of pressing all of it.

This poor second quilt will simply have to make do, but it's been doing that all along.  (Sort of like sisters who share a room.)  We'll see what the second Building Blocks quilt will do in a few days as I hope to complete it fairly quickly.

 Of course, quilts have a way of getting done the way they want to get done, and this one has been very patient.  It didn't mind at all that I took photos of the older quilt from the long-arm.  Look there how nicely they are playing together.  

Too bad there's not enough binding for both quilts.  I really like the way this one turned out.  Plus, it's already cut and pressed and waiting for the quilt.  

 I've decided to figure out who gets which quilt when both are finished.  At that time I'll rename the quilts Building Blocks for Catherine or Building Blocks for Sophie.  I'll also add the labels to both quilts.  Hopefully they will still be playing together!

My favorite part--the feathers turning a corner!

 Linking up to

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: Blogs of Interest

These aren't necessarily quilting blogs.  They are more just blogs that I follow because they have so much interesting information, tutorials, and topics.  I thought I'd share them with you all photos are from the blog, not Pinterest.  All of these sites have quilting/sewing information, but the wealth does not end there. Really, you have to visit to understand!

DIY abstract pillows—so cute! (click through for tutorial)

DIY camera lens case tutorial on ...bag could be used for lots of other things too!

Perfect pajama pants via

Stroller Cell Phone Carrier

(Check out Kelly's Needle and Thread Thursday)

And for some inspiring quilts...
Love this modern quilt ... mostly neutrals with a smidge of brights.

selvage quilt by Diana Sharkey

Nocturne fabric by Janet Clare for Moda. spiral Quilting.

Winter Woods Quilt Kit:

With or Without, 57 x 67", quilt pattern by Cheryl Wittmayer. Shown in Marcia Derse fabrics:

My Quilts:



Falandino, Lucy. Santa. 1986. From Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index,
Here's the skinny on this last one (because I promised Quilt Index folks I'd always credit their work)
Falandino, Lucy. Santa. 1986. From Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index.

Do go by and visit the blogs and see all the fantastic ideas, tutorials and inspiration they have to offer.  You'll be impressed, I promise! 

Tutorial: Magnets that Rock

A couple of days ago I turned the plain magnets on my fridge into some pretty magnets that even the daughters-in-law are loving. And the best part?  No cost!

Well, no money that I had to put out while making the magnets, anyway. I sourced magnets from things that I had in the house. (More on that in a moment.)  The tiles were left over from the ones we bought for the mosaic tile floor that I made and wrote about here and here.  

The glue is the really good stuff--E6000--which I bought for DIY and crafting projects.  I haven't used it much but I honestly haven't been able to DIY or craft much either.

So back to the reason for this post: how do you source magnets from around the house?  For starters, you pay attention to the things in your house.  I tend to take everything apart when it's no longer any good.  Sometimes I find interesting bits; other times I waste my time.  Well, maybe not waste my time.  I discover all sorts of things and add to my knowledge base, so there's that.  I also find things that I have to ask about, but that should be a whole other post.

I found this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess. I made a few changes, but the idea is the same, so this post is mostly about my sourcing the magnets.   I discovered that Sonicare replacement brushes have a magnet that is WOW strong. Really, removing one of these from whatever it has attached to is work you do not expect.  

I've been keeping used brushes for the last year or so thinking I could eventually use something on them. Be forewarned, removing the magnet is difficult. The cover (above the red arrow) slips off easily giving more access to the magnet (the red arrow points to it).  I used heavy wire cutters and needle-nose pliers to cut into the plastic part that holds the magnet, breaking it as much as I could.  

Basically I cut and pinched and pulled at anything I could grab hold of. The pliers helped me to hold onto the metal arms that run from the magnet to the top of the brush; the wire cutters did the hard work of cutting into and breaking off the plastic that the magnets are glued onto.  Eventually everything breaks and the magnet comes loose.  I cleaned off the water residue and calcium buildup and let it dry, and it was ready for a tile.

If you are lucky enough to have more than one of these brushes, keep the magnets far away from each other.  At 4 or 5 inches apart they managed to pull together and separating them was interesting.
The magnet is actually three pieces, but I left them all together because I could not break all three apart from each other.  Trying to separate them is an option you can attempt.  I think they are held in place with the same glue that devils use when they want to punish a wayward soul.  

 My other magnet source is the shower curtain liners that I use in our bathrooms.  I needed to replace the one in our bathroom (which you will not see). 

When I changed it, I cut open the little circle that holds the magnets in the bottom of the liner and snagged all three.  These are not as strong as the brush magnets, but they will hold a photo quite nicely.

Really there's no need to tell you how I glued the magnet to the tile, it's very straightforward: put a dab of glue on the back of the tile and add the magnet.  I was reminded, however, that gluing the magnet backward makes a difference.  I had to fix a couple.  Let's just say it's a good idea to check this out before the glue dries. 

Finally, dropping a small glass tile on a tile floor can cause breakage.  Recovering the magnet from the broken tile is dangerous so wear safety goggles.  Once you're blind the magnets aren't as pretty.