Thursday, May 31, 2012

Potato Chip Quilts Are Alive And Well In Australia

My tutorial for my potato chip quilt made it to Australia and is thriving if these quilts are any indication!

Thanks to my friend Cassandra I have many new ones to show you.

I’ll share some today and more another day.


Autumn Toned by Robyn McPherson used an autumn toned Moda jelly roll to make this quilt, adding in two highlight squares between strips, one square in wide wale corduroy and one square in the border fabric of autumn leaves. 69” x 75”


For from Sky blue to Indigo Robyn McPherson used two packs of 20 Bali prints cut as 2 ½” strips in blues from indigo to sky blue, then added dyed fabric accents. 60” x 75. Professionally quilted by Kay’s Quilts


Robyn McPherson used a Moda jelly roll in natural colours highlighted by Dalmatian spots in positive and negative. 69” x 75” Professionally quilted by Kay’s Quilts.


Robyn McPherson used 30 strips of various creams, from buttermilk, yellow through to caramel. Interspersed with fussy-cut squares of gold-painted African style fabric. 69” x 75”. Professionally quilted by Kay’s Quilts.

The Kay’s Quilts mentioned as the quilter is not me!

Robyn seems to be the most prolific of the Potato Chip quilters so far!

Her selection of fabrics for each one is so unique.

Thanks Cassandra for sending me these photos and writing the descriptions for me.

If you missed the tutorial for the Potato Chip Quilt you can find it here:

The name of the version in the tutorial is Sunrise – Sunset.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Studio: More Good – Less Bad and Ugly!

Studio organizationcredenzarightclosed

This is one of the “new to me” pieces of furniture I am using to organize my studio.

Studio organizationrightcredenzaopen

I have filled it with my painting supplies and some projects. It is great to have similar things all in one location.

Studio organizationmachinesondesk

This is the desk we brought up from the guest room. It is now a sewing machine desk!

Studio organizationsewingarea3leftdrawers

The three shallow drawers on the left were perfect for thread, sewing machine needles and other miscellaneous items I need at the machine.

Studio organizationdeskmiddledrawer

This little middle drawer is perfect for all those little things I can never seem to find.

Studio organizationdeskrightdrawer

The drawer on the right was a file drawer. It took me a while to come up with a way to use it. There are many sewing items I want at my finger tips and I have always kept them in silverware caddies on top of the sewing table.  I was able to fit all three of them in the drawer and still have room for the machine instruction books. There are just as convenient as they were before (maybe more so) and the sewing area looks a lot neater. How’s that for thinking outside the box!

Studio organization badanduglywednesday30th

In case you think this is almost finished and everything is ship shape I’m sharing ONE Bad and Ugly photo with you today.

Maybe you can put the pieces together again and neaten up my studio?
Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Studio: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly!

I had a lot of help from my family moving things around in my studio yesterday. They even brought up a desk I had in the guest room.


I thought I’d share the good with you first. This is the desk we brought up from the guest room.

It has enough space for my main sewing machine and my best serger. The other tables hold my other machines and my Embellisher.

You can also see the ironing devices are all concentrated in this area.

While this area is organized the rest of the room is a big MESS! I can not start putting things away in their new homes until I have one more piece of furniture moved upstairs.


This is just one view of the bad and the ugly!


Another view of the bad and the ugly.


This might just be the “baddest” of the BAD!


This looks like it might not be too bad – but it will all have to be reorganized now.

There’s even more – uglier and badder! I don’t think you need to see anymore to get the idea.

I am hoping everything will look as nice as the first picture  very very soon.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Family, Food, Fun And A Little Work Thrown In!

It was great having my Minnesota family here for the last two days.


The only time I can get everyone in the same picture is at dinner!

fluffy meatloaf

Dinner was Fluffy Meatloaf (from the Betty Crocker Cookbook), baked potatoes and broccoli in cheese sauce.

Dessert was home made chocolate cookies that Julie and Jessica made.


I have a set of 7 matching placemats I made. They fit the table perfectly and there was one for each of us.

Why would anyone make a set of 7 placemats? Sets usually have 4, 6, or 8.


I made this quilt and had a lot of leftover strips sets and triangles. Ten units was a perfect size and shape for a placemat. I had enough for 7 placemats!

Everyone had worked up a good appetite.

Early in the day we all worked moving furniture and deciding what furniture should go where and whether to save or get rid of many things. Greg and Nicholas brought a desk upstairs from the guest room. What did I do with the desk? Why did we work so hard? Tune in next time for “The Rest Of The Story”!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Amulets And Variations

Last winter I was down to my last two amulets in Wisconsin. Knowing that it was possible I’d have visitors I went up to the studio and found some other polymer clay items that I thought people would appreciate as much as an amulet.


I now have added a lot of regular amulets to the selection.

Last night my son and grandson stopped for a short visit. I think my grandson is the biggest fan of my amulets and may have the largest collection of them.

He was quite intrigued by the ones that were not the traditional amulet shape and selected one of them to add to his collection. His dad also selected one of the nontraditional ones.

I think I may have instilled the collector bug in my grandson. My son certainly has the collector bug. Maybe it is genetic?!?!


This gift ball was sent to my grandson and it was filled with amulets he added to his collection.

He told me he now keeps his amulets in the box he keeps the fiber postcards I send him. He also expressed the opinion that he hadn’t been receiving post cards recently. I guess I’ll have to do something about that.

I even have a puzzle for you today!
Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, May 25, 2012

Once A Collector, Always A Collector


When I was in Texas a few years ago I saw my first beaded Coca Cola bag and I just had to have one. I think I have finished my collection – that is unless I find a pink one or a yellow one!

Where do I find these pretties? Why eBay of course. I have paid as little as $1.99 for one and as much as $30.00.

The first thing I remember collecting was marbles, but I’m am sure I collected something even before that.

For me the criteria for collecting something is it has to be colorful and be something I connect to. I only collect very affordable things.

The connection to these bags is obvious if you know me – this is my beverage of choice.


And then there is the collection I started accidentally!

I am sure many of you are familiar with Pandora charms.

I was walking down the street in Santa Fe and as I passed one of my favorite shops one of the sales associates was outside and she remarked on the necklace I was wearing and I commented on hers. Hers was Pandora.I had never heard of Pandora before that. I thought I’d just buy a few Pandora charms to add to the necklace I was wearing.

Well, let’s just say I fell in love with too many of them and another collection was born.

When I returned home, Seebecks, my favorite gallery was carrying them and it was easy to add a few to my collection every now and then.

My favorite ones are the glass ones – again no surprise as I love colored glass – bottles, windows,dishes, drinking glasses, you name it!

Do you see a color story happening with these collections?

Yes, I get just as much or more pleasure from these things as I would get from diamonds, vintage automobiles, rare antiques or expensive paintings by famous artists.

And that is good, because those things don’t fit in my budget!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tutorial On Using My Shibori Fabrics–Part 2


I thought I had really resolved this when I created this composition.

After taking a photo and seeing it on the computer it doesn’t work at all.

A lot of beautiful fabrics, but they are not playing well together in a pleasing design.

Back to the design wall.


I took several steps backward and am almost satisfied with what is happening. This is after 14 other things I tried and photographed.

Each time I look at this I see something else I want to try and change. I am having a problem finding a piece of fabric that works for the upper left area.

I really want to use something from the 200 pieces I dyed rather than dying more fabric.

When I finally resolve this design and sew it together people are going to say “I could do that – such a simple design and just a few pieces of fabric sewn together”.

You and I will know better.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tutorial on Designing Using My Shibori Fabrics

I am arranging and rearranging fabrics on my design wall. It has not yet clicked.

Shibori on the design wall pourpleturqgreen.shiboristeps2

This is my first and second arrangements. I feel changing the multi color rectangle was good. Moving the turquoise long strip from left to right was not so good.



I made more changes but I can’t say I am pleased with any of them. I love some of the fabrics, but that is not what design and composition are about.


I am almost back to the starting point with two simple changes.There were a few other arrangements along the way that I am not showing. This is NOT the final arrangement. I will continue to work on this until it all comes together and I am pleased with it. Then, and only then, will I sew the pieces together.

When I make the final decision you will be the first to know.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Someone Is Having A Ball Today!

I  shared two balls of yarn with you recently.

They were Gift Balls and needed to be unwound to find the gift(s).


This is one of the yarn balls as the recipient received it.


As they begin to unwind it the contents start to reveal themselves.


Oh, another gift!


Yet another gift!


Still another gift!


This polymer key chain was at the center of the ball.

For those of you who are regular readers of my blog you may recognize the “gift” as the amulets I make. Before I made these gift balls the only way anyone had ever received an amulet was when they came to visit me. They received two on their first visit – one to keep and one to share with a friend. On each subsequent visit they receive one.

The recipients of these gift balls were the first two people to receive amulets without making a visit. For one of the recipients these were her first amulets. I am quite sure she was not even aware of them as she doesn’t read blogs. The other recipient has a collection of amulets and is one of my biggest fans!

This was not my original idea. I found it on Pinterest.

gift ball pinterest

If you use this idea be sure to add a tag to the outside of the ball.

Feel free to use this idea to give gifts to graduates, for weddings, birthdays or any other gift giving occasions.

You could hide money inside. What else can YOU think of to conceal inside a gift ball?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Designing With My New Shibori Fabrics

Shibori on the design wall pourpleturqgreen

I knew it would be so much easier to design with these fabrics on my 30 foot design wall in Wisconsin.

I was right. This is my first composition.

I will keep it up on the wall which will give me time to evaluate it and decide if I am satisfied or if I want to change some things.

I can put several compositions on the wall and let them stay there as I study them and make changes.

I can photograph each step with my digital camera so I can go back and decide if a previous composition worked better.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Honey I’m Home And I Am Embracing Change!

embrace change

I arrived home last night and was glad for this reminder!


I brought back some warm weather from Florida, or should I say I sent it ahead. When I checked the temperatures first thing this morning it was 74 degrees in WI and 73 degrees in Florida.

The sun is shining and the yard looks quite plush with green grass and vigorous growth on the bushes and trees.

Fortunately the yards and yards of mulch we spread last year has kept the weeds down.


I have a lot of changes to embrace today and in the days ahead.

My first challenge is to short through a pile of mail that is at least 4 feet high. Most of it will be recycled right away.

My goal is to accomplish this before my son arrives with my car in the early afternoon!


long wall unit


My next challenge will be to figure out where to put this wall unit purchased on eBay that was delivered while I was gone.

These are just a few of the settling in things I will have to accomplish.

I’ll intersperse them with working on some quilts. I did hand carry several in my carry on bag. They were quilt tops and some small layered quilts ready to quilt of finish.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Street In Ireland – Slice Quilt


I recently posted my portion of this slice quilt.

If you would like to read more about how it was created I am providing a link to Tommy Fitzsimmons blog post today about it.

She facilitated this and put a lot of time and work into it. She did an amazing job.

This is the second slice quilt our group has done.

Last year our quilt was shown in Houston and we have hopes that the same will be true this year.

How Old Are You And Other Interesting Facts

I am going to share a website with y’all that will tell you more than you ever wanted/needed to know about yourself.

Of course it tells you how many days old you are – but that is only one of the things you will find.

You can find out how many seconds old you are, what your lucky days are, who else shares your birthday and so many things you really “NEED” to know!

Mmshow oldiskay

How else would I have known when to celebrate my 25,000 day old birthday?

You’ll wonder how you’ve lived this long not knowing all this information!!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It’s More Than A Ball Of Yarn

Gift balls 001

I know this just looks like two balls of yarn I wound by hand.

There is more to them than what you see.

Stay tuned and the mystery will be revealed in a few days!

I can’t tell you any more right now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Colorful Quilting Agenda

I plan to get a lot of quilting done this summer.

I also plan on piecing tops from the fabrics I have been dyeing.

I’m going to show you a few of the pieces I am hoping to quilt.

2012 2Bquilted

I have a pretty good idea how I will quilt this one.


This is a large one and I still need to add several borders. It will finish as king size.


This is a pretty good size quilt too. It could be a wall quilt or a throw. With some creative quilting it could turn into something amazing.


This needs an integrated border before I quilt it.

I have shared just a few of the quilts I have ready for quilting with you. I hope I am able to finish many this year.