Friday, February 27, 2015

Spring Mill Winter Quilt Retreat

This past weekend was my guild's annual winter retreat held at the inn at Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell, IN. We were extremely lucky weather wise. We had really bad weather right before we left to get there and while we were there, but it cleared up nicely for us to get home.

Retreats are a nice break from routine. I get traditional work done that I don't really have time for at home. It is also a really nice chance to get to know some new people and renew friendships with old friends. Here are some photos of some of things people worked on during this retreat.

I finished this top.

Here are a few more pics. (They take forever for me to load to these blog posts, so at the end of this post, I'll give you a link to see all the pictures I had posted to our Patoka Valley Quilt Guild Facebook page.)

Becky Fuller brought this along to quilt. She does some MAJOR paper-pieced patterns!

Robin Walston made this sweet top.

Lora Nale finished this quilt. She LOVES to make quilts with thousands of small pieces.

Sandy Russell finished this quilt top. THIS WAS NOT A KIT; she picked out all these fabrics herself!

There are SO many more beautiful quilt tops, wall hangings, and table toppers to see. Be sure to check them out here--Patoka Valley Quilt Guild.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015


In January, I spoke to the Lake County Quilt Guild in Florida. My talk consisted of a trunk show and lecture about my journey from traditional quilting to art quilting. I thought I should show one full-sized, hand-quilted quilt. My best example is a quilt I made for my daughter's wedding. She brought it over to me; and since I knew it had been hung on a quilt rack for quilt some time, I decided to wash it. When I took it out of the dryer, this is what I found.

I couldn't figure out what it was, but it was VERY sticky. Now, you must keep in mind I had already washed AND DRIED this quilt. I called my daughter to see if she had any idea what the offending stain could be. She consulted with her husband and found out he had used duct tape--YES, I SAID DUCT TAPE--to stabilize the quilt on the quilt stand. In my son-in-law's defense (if there is one), he is from the "duct-tape-can-fix-anything" school.

Now my dilemma was how to get this nasty, very sticky stain out (if possible). I finally worked up enough courage to attack the stain. Here is what I tried.

  • I started with my trusty Resolve Stain Stick. I use this for all my "regular" laundry stains. It didn't work.
  • I tried a baking soda/water paste and worked it into the stains with a toothbrush. This approach did not touch the stains.
  • I tried Kiss Off stain remover, which I had used before. It had worked VERY well on an art piece (that couldn't be washed). This stain remover didn't work.

At this point, I was getting pretty discouraged.

As a last resort, I decided to try Goo Gone. I read the directions on the back of the bottle, and it mentioned using Goo Gone on upholstery, carpeting, and clothing. (I have to admit, it was REALLY scary to put Goo Gone on my precious quilt.)

This is what happened.

As you can see, I used safety pins to mark the stains. IT WORKED; the stains were gone! I can't tell you how relieved I was. I must tell you, though, that getting these stains out with Goo Gone was not easy. I would say I spent a good 45 minutes scraping the adhesive from the surface of the fabric (after applying the Goo Gone) before putting the quilt back into the washer. The stains still smell a bit like the Goo Gone, but I think the smell will lessen as time wears on.

With instructions to use NO MORE DUCT TAPE on the quilt, I gave it back to my daughter. Hopefully, the quilt will survive many more years.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


I just got back from a trip to Arkansas to visit my son's family. While I was traveling (and during some "down" time), I got a lot of work on my hexie quilt done. I put in over twenty hours of work and have this to show for it.

I made HUNDREDS of little hexies to use as my color palette for the quilt. Now, this is what I call SLOW work. I tried to explain what I was doing to one of my grandchildren. I told her that I use these little pieces of colored fabric like painters use paints. She seemed to "get it" then. I'm planning on taking a new picture of the project when I get a few more rows finished. Stay tuned.

Do you do any SLOW work?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Craftsy Purchases

I usually don't buy fabric on line, but I make an exception when Craftsy has a great sale. (I think they are still having a sale on some of their fabrics, so you might want to check it out at Craftsy. You will need to create an account (if you don't have one), but that is really easy. They are also having a Valentine's Day sale on some of their classes.) My friend, Robin, and I made some purchases--we didn't buy anything that wasn't at least 50% off. Check it out--layer cakes, fat quarter bundles, yard packages, and yard cuts of shot cottons--yummy!
It was like opening a Christmas present when these beauties arrived. Now, I just need to find time to make something using some of these!

Update to this post--I have made ANOTHER big sale purchase from Craftsy. The fabrics are gorgeous, and I can't wait to use them. I have a quilt retreat coming up, and I'm hoping to get to use some of them then.