Monday, April 30, 2018

My First Taupe Block

Let me tell you, this must be a labor of love. It was very tedious! I picked out the block from Yoko Saito's book - Unnamed House 1 - to begin this journey. I quickly realized that she only includes a very small image of the pattern. I had to use graph paper and draft the pattern to the size I wanted. I first drew a six inch square block, but it seemed too big. So I went with a four inch block. 

Then I had to cut the tiny pieces from the graph paper and glue them to card stock. Then I could finally trace the patterns on the back of various fabrics and begin.

While in Paducah I purchased a variety of new hand sewing needles. I tried one of these yesterday. So far, so good.

I also purchased this seam roller to press seams as I go - this I LOVE! You would not believe the crease it will make in fabric with no heat!

The sewing didn't take very long compared to the prep time. The pieces are very tiny - those chimneys are only 1/4" wide! I did save the tiny little templates I made - I'm storing each block in a labeled snack baggie.

If you haven't noticed, I love to make tedious quilts! So this is right up my alley.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Japanese Taupes

Here's my stash of Japanese woven taupes I bought in Paducah. I's not like looking at a pile of brights, but I do love them and look forward to sewing with them.

Yoko Saito is my inspiration in this journey. I plan to hand piece lots of the blocks in this book and I'll figure out how to put them together later...much later. 

At the same booth (check out I found these Kurumi Buttons. They look like opaque contact lenses. You covered them with a small gathered circle of fabric and appliqué them to a quilt or bag. I really liked the look on the projects displayed in the booth - I bought a few packs. By the way, they come in different sizes.

I did go back to the doctor on Friday. One ear is still infected and full of fluid. I received a round of oral steroids, a different round of antibiotics, and a nasal spray. Today I finally think I can feel a bit of a difference in my ear - yay!

I did get out just a bit yesterday. I visited a friend who just moved here - lucky me: she's a quilter and moved very close by! I went to Kohl's - they had a sale on small kitchen appliances. When we cleaned out the lake house I donated ALL that stuff. So I bought most of the things I'll need: crockpot, coffee maker, can opener, toaster, etc. Then I went to Target and I bought lake house sheets (again, on sale). Next I did a grocery pick-up at Kroger. We've had a couple of bad experiences lately picking up at Walmart. Kroger did a great job! I do not miss wandering around the grocery store!

Today I'll be staying home and resting AND I hope to get started on my taupe quilt.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Let There Be Light!

I went to Paducah with a list in hand of things I wanted to buy. I wanted to buy a new light for my hand stitching; I was hoping I'd find a nice little lamp for around $20.

I ended up ordering this Solis lamp by Microsun. It was NOT $20! More like $300. I know - expensive! But I do so much hand sewing and I knew I needed better light.

The lamp came yesterday and it is FABULOUS!!! I cannot believe how much light it puts out! I feel like I'm sewing in the bright sunshine even at night. I really like that I can swing the arm over toward me so Hubby is not totally lit up - haha.

I have no regrets over this purchase - I think it's going to change my life! One of my friends bought one, too - I'm anxious to see how she likes it.

I think I'm going back to the doctor today. Yesterday I was really dizzy and my ear is still bothering me. I think I might need another round of antibiotics. Ready to feel better!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Yes, I finally sewed! I have not sewn in weeks! Between clearing out the lake house, getting sick, and going to Paducah....I just haven't done it. But yesterday I grabbed my alternate blocks for Bring Me Flowers. I making it a goal to appliqué 4 arcs per day and knock this quilt out.

Are you interested in some lake house progress photos? I don't have before and after photos - just before and during. Above is the kitchen before.

And here is the 'during'. Even the floor is gone!

Here's a before of one of the bedrooms....

And here's a 'during' photo. Carpet is gone. New subfloor is down. One wall has ship lap. Ceiling still needs to be scraped.

We're adding just a touch of ship lap - one wall in two bedrooms and a bit in the entry. This is Week 2 of the process.

I'm hoping to sew more today; it's so good to be back in the swing of things. 

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

More and More Favorite Quilts From Paducah!

Here are more of my personal favorites from Paducah. I'll (mostly) let the pictures speak for themselves.

FYI: this is a miniature quilt, under glass, hence the glare. The log cabin strips measure about 1/8 inch!

I happened to hear the maker of this one talking - she worked on this quilt for 30 hours per week for 14 months!

This amazing quilt won Viewer's Choice.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Another Favorite Paducah Quilt

I wish you could see this quilt in person! This photo doesn't do it justice. Again, this is made by a quilter from Japan. 

I'm having a bit of a love affair with Japanese taupe quilts. I just love them! The hand workmanship of Japanese quilters is amazing! And what they do with taupe - I'm in awe! 

 This is obviously a wedding ring quilt for a wedding gift. But do you see the arcs are made from little appliquéd circles? PERFECT circles. WOW!!!!

I have been wanting to make a taupe/gray/tan quilt for some time now. I found a booth at Paducah that was filled with Japanese taupe fabrics - beautiful woven fabrics. Yes, I bought a bag - full! I'll share them soon as my Paducah posts continue.

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Favorite Quilt From Paducah

Today I'm sharing one of my favorite quilts from the Paducah show. It won a ribbon for hand workmanship. The maker is from Japan. Here are some close up shots so you can see what I saw.

Those are TINY yoyo's around the edge, along with three dimensional animals, and piping.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Home From Paducah!

My friends and I had a fabulous time in Paducah. Though I've been to this show a few times in the past, it was my first trip since the new convention center has been built. Big improvement! Today I'm sharing some random photos, but I'll share a few of my favorite quilt over the next week.

I spotted this sign painted on a building with my name in it - how cool!

We went out for a very nice meal every night. This margarita happens to be the very best margarita I've had in my entire life! Yes, it was that good! A couple of nights later we went back for another - a different bartender made it and it wasn't as good. The restaurant was Shandies.

We all had to get this shirt - so cute!

And one day we had this for lunch - the traditional Boy Scout's strawberry shortcake. This was our entire lunch - nothing else!

I really enjoyed the fabric selection lecture by Alex Anderson - yes, I learned a few new things though I've been quilting for 25 years. She's so personable and entertaining. The tip I learned that stands out in my mind: if you pick a focus fabric for a quilt and use it to select other are not obligated to use the focus fabric in the quilt! Eureka! And if you do use it in the quilt - try only using it as the border. Eureka!

I also took a lecture/demo by Hollis Chatelain - fun to watch her work but I don't think I'll attempt that. I really don't like to work with dyes. I did learn some good tips from her though; i.e., she only uses Superior mono-poly thread in the bobbin for machine quilting. I bought a spool and will try it out.

My head cold didn't slow me down, though I was pooped by the end of each day. I'm still coughing like crazy and hoping my friends don't come down with it!

One of the special moments of the trip was running into a Birmingham quilter friend - so good to see her!!!!!! We used to be in a small art quilt group together.

I have many quilt photos to share and also the fun things I bought. Did I stick to my list? Yes and no. I did buy everything on my list. But I also bought lots more fabric than I'd planned. Who can resist???

Monday, April 16, 2018

My Bags Are Packed, I'm Ready to Go...

I think I'm feeling a bit better today. Hubby washed and vacuumed my car which I have loaded with snacks and drinks. My suitcase is packed. I'm going to Paducah!

A handful of very good friends and I are leaving EARLY in the morning for Quilt Week. So excited! We've had our rooms booked for almost a year. I'm feeling bad for one friend whose husband has been having some health issues so she can't come. She'll be with us in spirit! Will miss you, C!

I'll be taking a lecture/demo from Hollis Chatelain and a lecture by Ian Berry. Other than that I'll just be looking at quilts and shopping. We'll hit the Quilt Museum and Hancock's of Paducah.

Hubby will be here with the doggies holding down the fort and hitting a few golf balls I hope.

Enjoy your week!