My Quilting Tools

I have set up a nice comfortable spot to work on my hand quilting and stitchery. Being a very early riser (usually 5 am) it is a quiet area so that those who are still sleeping are not disturbed. The side table has a nice size surface for all the special items that I need. It also has three drawers on the front for supplies. The rolling thread holder that keeps the thread handy and steady so that I can easily pull out the length that is needed. It also has spots for scissors, thimble, pins and needles with a magnet on the side. Next are my little sharp scissors. Just having a regular pair is good but the decorative ones make me happy. A coaster that someone made with a nice size mug with hot morning coffee. This is one of my favorites picked up at Sagamore Hill. It lists all the National Parks and looks like a flag. A needle keeper for the quilting needles. This one I made myself. I have another for embroidery needles too. The little Altoid can holds 1/2 inch applique needles which help so much because the needle thread doesn’t get tangled on the pins. The fabric petals that I will be appliqueing onto the quilt.
Here you can see the tiny little pins that hold the petals securely in place.
I put a pillow on my lap for many reasons; it is nice to have the working surface higher to rest my wrists when sewing. It is also nice to hold the needle when I have to get more thread. Here I am getting the petal ready to applique by basting under the edge . My Mom made this pillow for me along with another I have on my chair, right after I got married 40 years ago. Some of the fabric is wearing and I love that I have found the perfect use for them. This pillow is also perfect to prop my Ipad on to make it eye level. Also learning from experience is perfect if you have a sore neck.
This is my scrap and thread disposal container. Margaret, a friend made this handy little flannel container. It is perfect because everything stays put till I clear it out and throw it away.
My sewing basket with a divided shelf on top and a deeper area underneath. A favorite Longaberger basket. It has a handle and lid.
Many of us quilters and hand stitchers have cats. I feel that this is definitely a quilting tool. This is Mama and she is thinking hard about getting under the blinds and causing some kind of havoc.
Pavel comes in every morning, looks out the door window and then proceeds to lick the window. If I don’t have the quilt out yet to work on, he will look at that area then look at me and walk out. He then will come back in and start the whole process again and settles in if I have the quilt out. Some days I have to sadly disturb his slumber to give me more fabric to make it easier to work with. He takes it all in stride.
You need a comfy chair. I recently got this glider rocker with the padding. I love it so much. Good lighting is a requirement that is right over the top of my shoulder and a smaller table lamp for more lighting.
Hinterberg floor hoop that will just be the perfect thing to use to quilt from my chair. The height can be adjusted. Unfortunately this company no longer exists but can probably be found on eBay.
Finished up the flower, snipped the threads and disposed of them properly instead of throwing on the floor. I have approximately 10 more of the flowers to sew onto this border.
This table is my tall studio table. It has a cutting mat on it. I recently had to cut out more of the petals. The cat on the chair is Mama , the one that had her back to us above. I do have to fight the cats to be able to use this chair.
This is my new taller chair that helped immensely when cutting out the petals. I believe it is 29 inches and the other is 24. With the shorter chair I felt like a little kid at dinner time and usually ended up standing. The shorter chair I sit to paint with, watch tv with and my Ipad is eyelevel too. The stool you see if for the cats to jump up to the top of the table. They have a comfy blanket so they can be with me and look out the window. If not they will find a spot on whatever I am working on. I hope you enjoyed my tour and if you have any questions drop me a line. Happy Stitching!

Stay Healthy My Friends ❤

A woodpecker, Art Dates, morning sky, Quilts, delightful room

Everything came together with these next set of pictures. I had my camera near, and also had the stronger lens on. I saw this woodpecker peaking out from the side of the feeder where the suet is.
I had to wait awhile but he decided to jump on the roof.
He then turned around and showed me his beautiful markings.
I think he was watching me take his picture!
Thinking about coming onto the other suet.
I was so thrilled to get these pictures. I don’t know what kind it was but he was beautiful!! I was so Delighted!
Noelle came over for an art date on Halloween. We decided that a Halloween Journal page was in order. She was dressed like a sweet witch and we printed it off in an eerie color. We used blending inks and stamps. Noelle is a cat gal like me and she needed a Sophie fix.
The picture we used for her page. Sophie again made it into the picture. She is truly a ham! Each time Noelle comes over I enjoy seeing what she is putting into her sketch book. Some really great ideas.
I had another Art Date with Lela and we worked with watercolors. Various kinds, just kids watercolors, watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons, artists watercolors and various papers. We also did washes, and blending and found what papers worked the best.
We used the hairdryer to quickly dry the watercolors. Lela was using the watercolor crayons to put various shades on the pumpkins and blending them. We had a really nice time and it gives this budding artist good ideas to go forward. She has many good and good ideas going on in her sketch book. It’s fun!
Sunrise sky on 11/18/20. Breathtaking and Georgeous!!!
This little quilt is my own design. It has it all, piecing, applique, embroidery and mitered corners. I would work on it every morning for an hour or so and it is completed. My goal is to use up everything that I have and minimally purchase anything. I have my own stash and inherited wonderful fabrics and quilts and tops from my Mother. I will be busy until I can’t see anymore. I made the top five years ago and finished it in 2020.
The next quilt I pulled out and have been working on.

My Mother passed away in 1997 of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is just a horrible disease that has no cure. A person that is affected by it has holes in their brains and it can affect their eyes, balance, short term memory and then dementia. It is Alzheimer’s on steroids, from the first time we noticed that something wasn’t right until she passed away in 1997 it took only 55 days and she was 70 years old, it was very much shocking. My sister and I became acquainted with a group of people on a site who also had a loved one die of this disease. There are 143 hearts on this quilt, just a tip of the iceberg but it is a way that we were going to bring attention to this somewhat unknown disease. I started this quilt in 2000 and pulled it out this year to get it finished, it should take me all of 2021. The hearts are embroidered by many different people. I would send out names, blocks of fabric and a heart template and they would send back embroidered hearts. Some people just did their own loved ones and others asked if someone could do theirs because they didn’t know how to embroider. All the fabric is from my Mothers stash. The words at the top of the quilt….We Lost You to CJD…..at the bottom…..You Are Not Forgotten. I now work on appliqueing the side petals each morning. I will probably need to make more. Just taking my time and enjoying the process.

This view brings me joy. It it looking from our foyer area into my studio. So many things that I love in this picture. The paintings in the studio, my Carrie Schmitt original, the little table I found at a Meijer store in Michigan. I keep candles in it. I would collect miniatures when growing up and I keep them in that little shelf with a glass door, found at Home Goods. The chalk painted table in a turquois blue. The little heart wings on the shelf is by Janet Lynch of Heart Werks, a local artist.
Two pretty deep drawers that hold candles in glass jars.
One of my favorite pieces of pottery from an artist at a show. I don’t know who they are, it was a husband and wife team and she was also an art teacher. It was during my first year of doing shows. Do you have any areas in your home that just give you a great rush of joy?

I hope you are staying healthy. If you have any comments or questions I would love to get them.

Mittens, a quilt and art

I was going through my studio closet today and found this little quilt top that I had made three years ago. I have it all marked to quilt. It has a little bit of everything on it. Embroidery, applique and piecing. I doubt if I get to it this year as I will be working hard to get a new inventory ready for the 2018 art shows. I had forgotten how cute it was. I had no pattern for this, it was all trial and error. The words around the edge are: Be Happy, Follow your Heart, Show Kindness, Find Bliss, Love Yourself, Take Care of the Earth, Hugs are Good, Stop and Smell the Flowers, Dance.

My friend, Karla from Kansas City Mo, was making mittens to sell at craft fairs for Christmas. I asked her if she would make me a pair also, and they are so beautiful. The yarn is so soft and the embroidery is fantastic. What a work of art!

I follow an artist who has named her business Soul Whisper Arts, she was offering a bundle of items so I treated myself to them. This is one of her prints that was included. It is precious and is called “up, up and away”.

This painting I finished right before I did the Louisville show in October. I did not have time to scan it and add it to my Etsy shop. Today I did that. It takes a bit of time to do one that is this big. The size is 20 X 40 and it doesn’t fit on my scanner. It has to be scanned in pieces and then the computer magically puts it all together. I wanted to depict Kentucky with the horse farm and the white fences and the tree lined driveway. I also added a Ford Super Duty truck because they would need that to pull the horse trailers and also there were two Ford Factories in Louisville. The title of this painting is “Home” and the quote that I have used is by Laura Ingalls Wilder…HOME is the nicest word there is.  This painting is for sale and also prints can be purchased in my Etsy shop. If you are interested send a message to me.

His Eye is on the Sparrow

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Last night I went to a play with my sister at the First Presbyterian Theater. I had not been there before and it was a really nice surprise. Not only did I see a very good play but they also have a gallery and a one person quilt show was up. These next few pictures are some of the quilts that were there. Each piece of work was as good as the next.  She was a wonderful artist and seamstress.  I like this little quilt with the tiny hexagons in a flower garden quilt. Oh and the play was the title of this blog post-His Eye is on the Sparrow. It was about Ethel Waters an African American singer. It was a one person musical biography starring Mikki White. She was fantastic and I ran a whole gamut of emotions during the two hour show. I was so glad we went.

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A lovely little red and green minature.

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Another miniature, the star looks like watermelon fabric.

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charming little baskets and flowers

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A rendition of a mariners compass with sailboats in the middle and on the corners.

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Many, Many tiny squares in this quilt.

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I loved that this was so colorful. These squares are wonky.

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I don’t know the names of this one, but it reminds me of space.

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Another colorful and wonky fun quilt.

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We then went outside and enjoyed being downtown and enjoyed the streetlights and tall buildings and then took a few pictures. It was someplace we were not normally at. This is my shadow.

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Steeple of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church between the trees. It was all lit up and very pretty. Like I said it was an enjoyable evening, and we are planning our next play to go to there. I wonder what they will have up in the gallery this time. Thanks for stopping!

Here’s What’s Going On

First off with our warm and wet weather my morning glorys will be reaching up to climb soon. The week has just shown a growth spurt. There is a rotten dandelion weed behind the trellis that I just can’t get the roots out and it keeps coming back.

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The hollyhocks are putting on a good show this year. I have really dark maroon ones.

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Also some really light pink ones.

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My candystriped daylilies are just going to be a profusion of blooms very soon. They are going to be mighty pretty. I have several bunches planted around the yard.

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The pots of begonias like the sun and wetness. Full and vibrant these are.

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I signed up for this online course last October but was not able to participate in it when it opened. It is still up until October 1st, 2015 and I am going to start it again, possibly today. I signed up because I needed more work with drawing faces. These ladies have different styles and there is a lesson with each one and also Effy Wild who is the wonderful lady that put the class together. It looks like you can take the course for half price right now and she is putting together a second Radiant Faces Course that will be starting in October.

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In the first lesson we were to choose a picture to use, so I am that far.

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I did get the notebook done though and even made a few for my friends.

Indiana Woodlands with watermark

Yesterday I finished up my Indiana Woodlands poster. My inspiration was from a biology class that I took, where we tromped around the woods in search of species. I added some of the critters that we found also. Prints can be purchased in my Etsy shop.

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All the drawings are from pictures that I took from our journeys.

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Since I finished my painting I am putting my attention back onto my little quilt so I can get it finished and posted in my shop. I will be adding much embroidery. I really love quilting and needlework together. This little quilt is named “Words to Live By”.

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Another flower that is blooming in my garden is the balloon flower. What a wonderful blueish purple.

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I love the way it blows up like a balloon before it blooms.

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A decorating project that I am going to start is recovering the dining room chairs. I found this fabric on the greatly discounted rack at Joann’s and it was just what I was looking for. The green will be the chair pad covers and then the others I am making a banner to go at the top of my three windows in that room.

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I have picked up this book again and have gotten into it. When I finish it I will give it a review.

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I got an email that this book has shipped. I bet it is out in my mailbox now! Tomorrow my niece Wendy and I are going to his an Antiques fair and an Art fair in Fort Wayne. I also plan to go to the Farmers Market in the morning. I should come back with lots of pictures to share. Hope you have a great weekend! and as always….. Thanks for stopping!

Catmint

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Flights were coming in and out of the catmint area yesterday faster than I could focus the camera. I cropped 3 that we can see pretty well.

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This one is ruby throated. I could just sit and watch them all day!

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Can see the wings really well on this one.

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I have been working happily along sewing the leaves onto the tree. It is filling out.

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I received this succulent from my niece Wendy this weekend. I was just tickled to get it, had been considering picking some up. I love the tea can she planted it in and it fits perfectly on my windowsill.

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sketching out some wildflowers for small watercolors. Mr. Jack-in-the-pulpit.

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Pretty white trillium that should be blooming now in the forests. Going through pictures from this biology class has been a real treat. Thanks for stopping.

Binding

binding black and red quilt

Today I am putting the binding on this little quilt to get ready to put in my Etsy shop. Brushing up on my technique I found the best tutorial on doing this process. I needed to share it.

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Here it is with the binding attached, no more than one hour later. I now will hand stitch it to the back. This is a great method! Happy Stitching!

Hand Quilting

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I set up my quilting area for the little red and black quilt.  Good lighting, good view, area to put all my tools, out of the way of traffic.  Oh, that hat on my chair is one to walk in the woods.  I don’t want little buggies in my hair.  It was just a good place to hang it.

 

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Looks like it is not going to be a very sunny day, but it’s early yet.

 

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Last night I marked all my quilting lines with washable pencil and a stencil.  It should be very pretty with flowers filling up each box.  I like a lot of quilting so that it looks full and feels sturdy.  After I get it done I will wash it on the hand wash cycle and air dry it with very mild detergent.

 

 

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I really love to hand quilt and love the feel of it.  I am not a perfectionist and the size of my stitches does not consume me.  I want the design to complement the quilt.  I want to make sure that the stitches show up really well on the back to make it pretty.  While I am happily stitching away I come up with quite a few ideas, not that I am solving the worlds problems by all means.  One idea was to do a search on hand quilting to see if it is still popular.  There were an infinite number of sites but I found this blog particularly interesting.  So I bookmarked it to come back to it.  It is called Celebrate Hand Quilting.

In the 1800’s and early to mid 1900’s the amount of stitches per inch seemed to be very important.  For example 13 stitches to an inch seem to be a number that was to be accomplished.  The ladies must have pulled the thread up and then put it straight back down to achieve this number.  I just do a running stitch and make three or four stitches to an inch.

 

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A few pictures and links of my tools.  Lots of goodies in my Longaberger sewing basket. My needle keeper, other thimbles, some applique pieces I am working on and different threads and scissors. One is on a tweety-bird lanyard, easy to find when it has fallen down in the couch.

 

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I have various thimbles that I have tried.  This is one of my favorites.  It is called a skin thimble.  It is so soft and fits around the finger quite well with a piece on the inside that shields the finger.

 

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I have various scissors like all sewers and quilters.  I think that these are just beautiful.  They are lion tail scissors by gingher.

 

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Next comes my bees wax.  It keeps the thread from tangling.  Here is a quilter’s message board asking about it.

 

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This is the June Tailor thread holder.  I like it because it rolls easily to take some thread off.  It also has a magnet on the side, some spots to put maybe a seam ripper, a thimble and whatever you can think of.  I did a search and not sure if these are made anymore.  If not, do a search on Ebay.

 

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A cup of coffee in one of my favorite cups.

 

 

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This is the make of my quilting stand.  I love this chunk of wood.  It is so sturdy and I have had it for quite a while..maybe 20 years at least.  The name of the company is Hinterberg and I picked it up at an American Quilt show in Grand Rapids Michigan.  The little tool attaches with velcro to the stand.  It helps loosen or tighten the wing nuts if need be.  It is made of hardwood ash.

 

 

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My reading glasses or close work glasses.  My husband gets a kick that I have three different pairs of glasses.  Close work, computer and then church or shopping glasses.

 

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My view

 

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Someone has found me.  Looking in to see what is going on.

 

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Here comes the sun peeking up.

 

DSC_0104Remember to snip your threads as you go along.  It’s a pain to have to go back and try to find them.  Do it because you like it, if not you can always have someone machine quilt your design.

Thanks for stopping!