Monthly Archives: January 2013



I have been wanting to test this machine applique technique for a long time. I also have wanted to work on this quilt “Red Delicious” by Esther Alieu. It is all done in multiple red prints and I just love the finished product. That being said, however, I just don’t have the time to needle turn applique and have watched Sharon Schamber use this technique of applique on most of her award winning quilts. The pieces are prepared with a specific foundation and edge turned with Elmer’s Glue. Here is the biggy…using monofilament you machine stitch a very small blanket stitch around all edges. As a prep Sharon instructs you to wash all of your applique fabric but NOT the background fabric. After completing the machine stitching you soak the block – this disintegrates the foundation into a soft fibre – and let the block dry. The background fabric, because it has not been prewashed, will shrink just a tad and thereby pull the stitching under so that it is completely invisible. Thats how it’s supposed to work anyway. I will soak my block tonight and let you know tomorrow how it does. I hope the picture of the bird is close enough for you to see the stitching before it is soaked. On this bird I was experimenting with the stitching. I started with a simple zig zag stitch but wasn’t happy with the way the thread pulled to the top no matter what tension adjustments I made. I then changed to a very small blanket (1.0/1.0) and it looks lots better. We will see tomorrow…..

Meanwhile, off to lunch with some good friends and then to the local quilt shop to deliver a couple of quilts.

Until later, BE HAPPY!



My New Friends

second visiting ladybug

Meet Lila!  She is the second ladybug visitor in the last couple of days…upstairs! second visiting ladybug

I call him Charlie!

I call him Charlie!

Charlie was running scared around my street when I left for the soccer game on Sunday.  Late at night Charlie was still running.  I opened my car door and in he jumped.  I can’t believe someone is not looking for him.  He is incredibly sweet.  I checked with the local vet (of course, no chip or collar), the City and County Animal Shelters  no one is looking).  I just don’t understand how people can be so cruel to defenseless animals.  Charlie needs a home badly.  I already have 3 rescue boxers and the city doesn’t allow any more animals.  So sad!


Scrap project

Here is my latest project.  I am determined to get my scraps under control.  Here I am sorting a box of 2 1/2″ squares into colors – just trying to make sense of them.  When I complete that task I will use my Sizzix Die Cutter to work my way thru the two huge baskets of scraps I have accumulated.  They are overflowing onto the floor and something has to be done!




Well, I have one more quilt to go and I will be caught up with my schedule of quilting customer quilts. These last few have been fun and I think their owners will like them. One has a minkie back. I really love the way quilting shows up on Minkie. I have worked on quilting these the past few days and when I finish one more T-shirt quilt I will be on schedule again. The costumes were worth the effort though, my daughter and her team loved them and they went on to win a banner for top team in the contest. Their next contest is this Saturday and then one in mid-February. Hope the rest of the season goes as well for them.



So, what do you do with your finished quilts? Now, I know I have at least this many unfinished tops, but these are complete quilts, draped gently over my upstairs banister. Some of them are working on the second layer now so I really need to find somewhre to put them. There is no more banister space.



I’ve been busy all day finishing up costumes. Have one more to go and then, thank heavens, back to quilting! So looking forward to that.

Meanwhile, here’s a very neat technique you might try. When you really, really, really want all your points and intersections to match, or when you have fabric that just wants to stretch when you sew it, get out the Elmers glue. Credit for this technique goes to Sharon Schamber. When sewing your seams in a quilt put a very fine line of Elmers School glue (the liquid type-not the stick) down right along side the stitching line, put your two pieces together and press with a hot dry iron. Check everything for accuracy, open seam and re-glue if necessary, then stitch away with your 1/4 seam. Yes, it does take longer to do but you will have an absolutely perfect seam, no distortion anywhere on the fabric. I will certainly use this technique for any show quilts I would make. It will keep those seam lines straight and everything matching! SEW COOL!!!!! You will want to get a fine tip for the glue container. Remember the glue needs to be very fine and solid…not dotted.



Almost there!


Baby Quilt

close up


Quilt Close Up

solo costumeBoy, I’m almost there. A couple more days of costumes and I can get back to having quilty fun! Still have a couple of technique projects in the mix that I want to show you but I have to get these costumes done first – dress rehearsal on Thursday. I finished 27 pair of dance pants today, blue velvet. Had to take a Claritin just to get thru those. I was able to also manage one more solo costume, pictured here.

The baby quilt was a lot of fun to do. I hope the pictures show you the quilt and the quilting. The back was minky and the front had some darling embroidered clothing on it. I filled in around the clothing with the cutest bows and put “Emily” accross the top border ribbon quilting down the sides and across the bottom. I think it turned out pretty cute. Will deliver it tomorrow.



Well, I finally got Rocky, my oldest Boxer to stay put long enough to get his picture taken. He is the Alpha dog (don’t tell Caitlin) and the oldest of the bunch. Have you ever had a dog with OCD…Rocky is a prime example. He has a dog door leading to a very large back door. When he goes out he must hit the door three times before exiting and another three times before coming back in. He used to do that all of the time but gives himself a break occasionally now.

The trash dress project didn’t turn out quite as bad as I thought. Meagan just wanted a base dress made so that she and her girlfriends could attach “trash” to the dresses at the school Girls PJ Choir party. Actually sounds like a pretty neat project! We have enjoyed making them. Most are made out of dance (stretch) fabric so were really easy to put together. Tried to talk her out of the patchwork one, but, as you can see, she won.

Quilted two king size quilts with an all over design the last couple of days but packed them up without taking pictures…sorry.

Trash dresses and dinosauer quilt


Well, missed posting last night but did enjoy dinner out with my daughter and son-in-law, even if it did result in another costume assignment..sigh!

Finished Debbie’s Dino quilt yesterday.  It is such a boy’s quilt,complete with 3 dimensional dino parts.  I quilted it all over with the cutest edge t edge design depicting all kinds of dinos.

Had to stop playing and quilting today.  Just too much dust and junk laying all over the house so I dedicated the day to house cleaning and laundry.  Well, at least I can ignore those tasks .  for a few days.  This weekend should be fun.  Hopefully I will have lots of pictures for you.  My grand-daughter Meagan and I will be making six different dresses out of trash!  Should be interesting.  Lets see…toilet paper rolls, bubble wrap, newspaper, soda cans etc.  Here we come!  Stay tuned

Meanwhile, BE HAPPY!dino 1 dino quilt dino

An Iron – Finally!


P1030675 (2)favorite ironP1030676 (2)iron box

I must have at least 10 irons sitting around my studio or parked on a shelf in the closet.  I HAVE to have a great iron.  All along I have been a fan of steam -lots of it!!!!  Yes, I know using steam is discouraged but it helps satisfy my need for speed.  But, eventually they cry and spit up all over the place (yes the iron, not the baby!)  Well, this new iron is the BEST!!!!  Cheap, under $30.  No auto shut down, just the right size, gets hot enough for freezer paper.  No holes in the plate to leave marks (yup, its a dry iron so never any dripping issues).  My spray bottle of water and my can of starch are always close by.  I’m in love!!!!  I bought mine from Amazon.

BE HAPPY…..Karen

Tuesday’s quilting friends


TODAYS QUILTING  PROJECT.  These are pics of the front and back of  Barbara R’s small quilt I quilted this morning.  I love the floral edge to edge design.  It looks fantastic on the back and despite my inability to take very good pics, the front is great-quilted with a Sew Fine variegated thread.  It was fun to quilt

THE GREATEST APPLIQUE LADIES I KNOW.  My usual Tuesday morning is spent with a group of quilters, mostly from Sugar Land, Tx.  It was a quiet day today – we just haven’t gotten into the swing since the holidays – too much rain.  Usually there are some absolutely beautiful quilts and blocks to see.  These ladies excel at applique! The pics below show some hard at work.  Val, the lady holding the bunny has gotten into felting.  The bunny is great but don’t you love the felted owl?Vals felted owl Val felting bunny bee 2 bee 1





BO’S PLACE – A GREAT PLACE HELPING GRIEF WITH QUILTS.  Last stop for the day was a place called Bo’s Place.  Our quilters guild has been piecing and quilting quilts for them or over 5 years.  Bo’s Place is a non-profit that works to help as many children and their parent(s ) as they can face and handle the grief of loosing a sibling or parent.  No charge to those participants.  Part of their therapy is makin a memorial square for their loved one.  We take the squares and sash and quilt and bind them.  Quilts are hung all over the facility in memory of all of those lost and those that remember.  Because of privacy I could not take great pic of the quilts-a good excuse for blurred images.  The group of ladies standing in front of some of the quilts are the guild members that helped to put the quilts together.  What a fantastic place!Bo's Place Quilts Group pic from Bos Place 

Untll tomorrow – BE HAPPY!