Spring Valley update









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The background is all quilted.  I LOVED doing it.  The size of the quilt is perfect for my machine.  And, in each section, I did a different stitch design.  I’m getting closer and closer to my goal of being able to ‘doodle’ on quilts.  I just haven’t put it all together yet like K2 does.  (yes…..I’m jealous!)

Now on to the flowers.  I’m thinking to FMQ the centers of the flowers to anchor them and then perhaps do some very light quilting in one of the petal rings.  I have a bright orange thread that I think will be perfect.

Finishing this quilt will all have to wait until December or January though.  The plug has been pulled on quilting for a few weeks.


Garment sewing

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I wish I could remember that I don’t like garment sewing.  For over 40 years (OMG!) I have been sewing garments.  Rarely, if ever, do they turn out as I have envisioned.  Rarely, if ever, do I wear the items more than a handful of times before they end up at Goodwill or in the trash or cut apart and used for something else.  You’d think I’d learn, wouldn’t you?

Well…..if you thought I’d learn – you’d be wrong.  Yes….W-R-O-N-G.  I tried again.  About 9-12 months ago I was at Steph’s  in Moruya and fell in love with Alabama Chanin.  I bought the book.  I bought some fabric.  I decided to start small with a poncho.  Small, yes.  Simple, not really.  It involved two pieces of organic cotton knit layered.  Then you sewed around the motif with a doubled thicker weight cotton thread – after you LOVED the thread, of course.  THEN, you cut away what was either inside or outside the stitched line to reveal (ta-da!) the fabric undernearth.  It is a gorgeous technique and I do so love the Alabama Chanin look.  (Too bad I can’t afford their ready-made items!).

I forgot to mention the stencil part.  First you had to stencil the top layer of fabric so that you knew what to stitch around.  Oh….and BEFORE that…..you had to either buy a stencil (they start at about $100 from their shop) or make your own.  I’m too tired to even write about the process of cutting your own stencil and how many products (THREE) I went through before I actually had a surface that worked as a stencil.  Two exacto knives and 2 shades of paint and I was ready to spray paint my fabric.

Suffice to say……although simple it certainly isn’t a quick and easy process (at least for me).  My dreams of beautifully embellished and embroidered clothing was quickly falling to the wayside as my frustration and disinterest levels increased.

Now…where was I?  oh yeah…..garment sewing….  In my Alabama Chanin excitement, I purchased meters and meters (we’re talking a laundry basket FULL) of organic cotton knit fabric to create my Alabama Chanin-inspired visions……glory days!

Fast forward to today:  I sincerely doubt I will ever finish the poncho.  I do about 10 minutes on it and think to myself……I’d rather have my toe nails pulled out one by one.

To my credit (yes…..I am patting myself on the back right now), I did do a skirt and a tank top using the most basic stitching technique outlined in the book.  I haven’t worn it yet but it appears that it might fit.  And, I do like the look and feel of it.  Perhaps with a pair of boots and a denim jacket?  It might be my ‘family photo op’ outfit if my sisters allow me to wear both black and denim (word on the street is that they have nixed the idea of denim OR black).

I also made a pair of palazzo-style pants with some of the fabric.  I was going to buy a pair from my favorite yoga/casual clothing place in Washington DC, TranquiliT  but decided I’d try and make a pair instead and save the moola.  They turned out ok.  I’m trying the technique of NOT hemming cotton knit on these and see how it holds up.

Moral of this long monolog?  I am not a garment sewer.  I can do it – but I’m not good at it.  Someone kick me along side the head the next time I say I’m going to sew a piece of clothing.  Your kick would be much less painful and less expensive.

With that thought……I’m going back to quilting.  I’m working on the background of Spring Valley and REALLY REALLY liking what I’m doing.





Yes.  It’s a BAQ.  75×95 inches.  I WILL NOT be quilting it.  I haven’t decided yet whether to have it commercially quilted by someone OR to gift the top to someone who will commit to buying the backing, batting & having it quilted.  I do LOVE this quilt.  I am so glad I did it.  I LOVE it in Japanese Taupes as it’s a real traditional looking quilt in more modern, yet subdued fabrics.  However…..we simply don’t need another quilt and I struggle with stacking quilts up on a shelf when they can be used and loved.  What to do, what to do……




Celtic Solstice finished!

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This is the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt from November 2013 called Celtic Solstice.  I loved it.  I hated it.  I love it again.  I’ve even slept under it.  It’s destined for someone else to sleep under it in the future though.  I’m slowly coming into the thought that quilts are to be slept under and loved NOT put on a shelf.  I don’t think quilts become better with age and as long as people will love AND use them – I’m happy to gift them on.

The 2014 mystery quilt is set to begin November 28th.  I can’t wait.  I have it on good authority that this years quilt will not have quite as many triangles – fingers crossed ‘cuz my triangle work, my precision piecing – is just not what it used to be.  Here’s the link to Bonnie’s 2014 mystery quilt called Grand Illusion.  Mom and I are going to do it…..wanna join us?


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This quilt started with 9 left over 9 patches from two charity quilts that our little quilt group did.



I cut them into disappearing 9 patch blocks, rotated 2 of the sub-cut squares, added sashing and corner stones.


It will be for the great-grandson of one of our neighbor ladies.  I think I have some left-over orange fabric to use for the back.



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