Monday, September 27, 2010

Stitch & Bitch Show & Tell, A Swap, and A Blog Hop

Everyone was busy working on projects this week at Stitch & Bitch. Sandra was the only one that had something to show. She finished this sweater. Don't you just love the buttons!
I also wanted to let you know about a swap I thought you might be interested in. Registration is now open for "Quilting Gallery's" Candle Mat Swap by Sandi Andersen. You can find it at There is a dowloadable free pattern and step-by-step photo tutorials. Check it out.

Also, something else I thought might be fun...Pat Sloan is hosting "The Edge Blog Hop" this coming week. It starts today! Check it out at are 14 bloggers participating in the hop, and there will be a give-away of 10 Sullivan Edge Rulers. To enter the drawing, you have to leave a comment on each of the blogs on their given day. Who of you might be the big winner! ...and Heaven knows we could all use more rulers...right?????

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What Should I Pack for My Retreat?

I’m getting ready to head to three quilt retreats in October. I’m really looking forward to these retreats, but packing for them can be daunting. I wrote up a “To Take to Retreat” list to help me. I thought it might help you too. When you get ready to go to a retreat, you could just copy it and print it out…checking things off as you get them together. Here’s what I need to take.

Sewing machine
  • Straight stitch throat plate and zig-zag throat plate
  • Extra machine needles
  • Darning foot/1/4” foot
  • Foot pedal/cord
  • Electrical cord
  • Extension Table for the machine
  • Pre-wound bobbins (extra bobbins)
  • Accessory box
  • Rubber mat for under sewing machine
  • Bendable Brite Light
  • Extension cord/power strip
  • Neutral threads/threads to match projects
  • Rulers/mat/rotary cutter
  • Chair/cushion
  • Sew Ezi table
  • Stiletto/porcupine quill
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Pin cushion
  • Seam ripper
  • Tape measure
  • Bag for garbage
  • Iron/ironing surface
  • Spray starch/Best Press
  • Quilting gloves
  • Cone adapter
  • Supplies for classes
  • Projects
  • Project supplies

These are things I personally like to take.

  • Camera/batteries
  • Pen/paper
  • Book/iPad
  • Pillow
  • Silk Sack
  • Coffee Mug
  • Footies (something to put on your feet if you like to sew without shoes)


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another Wonderful LAFTA Class--Screen Printing on Textile

I had the opportunity to attend another class offered to and taught by LAFTA members. This class was taught by Joanne Weis. She stressed that the class was designed as a "technique" class and that we were not making "masterpieces." The goal was to learn the techniques. I can tell this is something I definitely want to do a lot more of. I took several pictures during the class. Check them out.

The first method of screen printing we tried was a resist technique using freezer paper. A pattern was cut from the freezer paper, and that cut pattern was ironed to the screen. We used dyes thickened with sodium alginate to produce the color. In this picture, Sally is using a Bondo applicator to apply the dye to her fabric.
Here is my first screen print. I didn't take a lot of time to cut the paper; it could have been a lot more intricate. I did learn how to do it (which was the goal). I have to keep reminding myself, that many other techniques can be used on this same fabric to produce depth in the piece. This is NOT a finished product.
The second technique we learned was to use a water-soluable glue stick to draw a design directly onto the screen producing a resist. This is Robin's screen.
This is how my glue-resist piece turned out.
For the last method, we used a Thermafax screen. We were each asked to bring a Xerox copy of a design. Joanne had her Thermafax machine and burned a screen for each student. Alyce mixed a great color for her piece.

Here is the design I drew up. The screen print is a bit more blurry than I'd like, and there are a couple of places that got too saturated with paint. I think a lot of that could have been avoided if I had taped the Thermafax screen to a plastic frame to give it a bit of stability. (That wasn't done in this particular class because of price and time constraints.) Without it, the screen was hard to hang on to, and it tended to shift a bit.
Joanne advised students how to get better prints.
Joann spoke about the methods she chose for her work (in the background).
I am very thankful to know artists who are so willing to give of their time, talent, and knowledge.

On the way home, I was blessed with this...
Isn't nature's color palette fantastic!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sharing--My Trip to Connecticut and NYC

I recently visited my friend in Connecticut (September 4-9, 2010). We took a trip to New York City while I was there. Here are a few pictures.

It will surprise nobody that knows me that my first picture is of food! I just loved this display of breads--it is something I don't see around here. This is a bakery in Grand Central Station in NYC. We took the train from Bridgeport, CT, into NYC's Grand Central.
We went to a Broadway play. This is the set of "In the Heights." (For American Idol fans, Jennifer Sparks played one of the lead roles.)
I LOVE the vibrancy and colors of the city--Times Square.
We found a wonderful park on 51st Street. You can see our lunch on the table--we ate a hot dog that we got from a street vendor.
While in NYC, I also got to go to the Museum of Modern Art. They had a wonderful Matisse exhibit there. In the afternoon, we spent time trying to eat our way through the Brazilian Street Festival that was being held. I'm not sure exactly what it was that we were eating, but it was really good!

My husband and I have considered taking a vacation based on places featured on the Food Channel show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." While I was in Connecticut, a restaurant (I'm not sure whether this place was considered a "diner, drive-in, or dive.) was featured on the show--the Merritt Canteen in Bridgeport, CT. Of course, I had to have my picture taken in front of it. I don't know when it will air, but my husband will be so impressed that I've been there. BTW, the burgers and onion rings were awesome!
...and just so I have something "quilty" on this is Libby on my grandson's quilt. I folded it up and put it on the table after Cade left last week; Libby thought I did that just for her! Doesn't she look like she is saying, "You did put this up here for me didn't you?"

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dirty Monday Show & Tell--September

My friends at my Dirty Monday meeting had a couple of things for Show & Tell this week--

Mary Lou was working on a charity quilt (unless her grandson loves it) for guild. Good thing my grandson won't see it; he LOVES monkeys.
Closeup of monkey quilt.
A member of our quilt guild (Patoka Valley Quilt Guild), Becky Fuller, sent this quilt along as a donation for the Tri-County YMCA silent auction that will be held at Santa's Lodge in Santa Claus, Indiana, on October 2, 2010. I don't know the name of the pattern.
Jane was working on finishing the binding on her Disappearing 4-Patch quilt.
I worked on the embroidery on my "Coloured Oak" piece. I'll post a picture of it when I get a little more done. Robin kept busy getting things ready for the guild retreat coming up in October. Hmmmm, I have three retreats in October; I don't have ANYTHING ready yet!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stay-at-Home Robin

I know that some of you would really enjoy participating in a round robin. If you are like me, though, you might not really want to send your work off to someone else. On the "Friday Favorites" blog entry from one of my favorite blogs (Quilt or Dye), I found a round robin that I think many if you might like. In this particular round robin, you add each round yourself. You don't send it off to anyone. The requirements for each round are very "loose," so whether you consider yourself a traditional quilter or "art" quilter I think this round robin might be just what some of you are looking for. It appears on a blog written by Karen North. She calls it a "Stay-At-Home Robin." You can find it here...

It isn't too late to jump in...she has only posted three instructions so far.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What is the Definition of an "Art Quilt?"

I'm always interested in what different people think an "art quilt" is. I was curious about what I would find if I did a little research on the subject. I found this to be fairly interesting and thought you might too. Check out this site-- You will find Wikipedia's definition of "art quilting" along with the following:

  • Early US and British contributors to the field
  • Important early exhibits in the U.S. (This includes a list of museums that now include fiber arts exhibits. Hmmm, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is on this list.)
  • Professional organizations
  • Making quilt art
  • Controversies in quilted art in the U.S.
  • Contemporary quilt artists
  • References
  • Bibliography
  • External links
 What do you think an "art quilt/art quilting" is? Please leave a comment.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Great Websites for Free Patterns (Edition 1)

If you are looking for free patterns, here are some websites you should check out. Of course, looking at the quilts on these sites may be used simply for inspiration and/or a jumping-off point for you to "do your own thing."

The first website I'd like to share is the P & B Textiles site. (   It has several free quilt patterns along with patterns for an apron, backpack, tree skirt, and pin cushion among other things. I think you'll enjoy it. One of my favorite patterns on this site is called Liberty Blooms by Pat Sloan. It is a sweet little applique quilt measuring 43" square. It would make a nice table topper for the Fourth of July or any time!
Another site I like is Quilt Patterns from Seattle. Cindy Carter has lots of free patterns to share. You can choose from baby quilts, scrap quilts, quilt blocks, and other quilt patterns. Check those out at You can use the menu at the top of the screen to choose your patterns or pick from those listed at the right-hand side of the page. I think this is a sweet baby quilt from her site.