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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Here I am!

Has it really be that long since I was here? No excuses, I have been a bad blogger. I really have missed blogging, but then on the other hand, I've been so caught up in life, that Blogger was the last thing on my mind.

After I moved the stewdio all back into place, my computer just wasn't where it was convenient to get to. I use my Ipad and my Smartphone all the time for my mail and short posts - I rarely use the main computer anymore for anything except spreadsheets and stuff like that. Now, that I've moved the computer (yet again) into my sewing area, I think that I will be more frequent for blogging. It is near impossible to blog on the Ipad.

So without further adieu, here we go!

Do you hate to pin baste like I do? I will avoid it like that plaque. I've even done the Huckleberry Finn thing and asked people to help me do it, then once they get started, I have to do something else. LOL! Well, apparently this little trick was on Fons and Porter last fall sometime, and my co-chair for the Outreach Quilts showed it to me. Now, I am hooked!

**WARNING** Before we start, I must tell you I wouldn't try this on a full size quilt, and I wouldn't use polyester batting to do this procedure:

First, you have to go to the store and get some Steam a Seam Lite or II on a roll. I found mine at the local JoAnn's store in the notions section. I know that Steam a Seam has quit making Steam a Seam, but I think Pellon is making something similar. Mine is 1/4" wide on a roll. For those of you who are not familiar with Steam a Seam - it is an iron on fusible product that has paper on both sides. Until you use a hot iron, or a steam iron, it is re-positionable. The Steam a Seam Lite is very lightweight and you cannot see it or feel it once it is adhered to your fabric. I like it for fusible applique work, too. 

Prep the quilt top, and the backing, making sure they are pressed nice and flat. I worked on a "big board" so the weight of the fabric pulls the tucks and pleats out. That way I am also working only a small section at a time. If you don't have a "big board", the wide end of an ironing board works, too.  Net step: with the backing face down, and flat, slowly unroll a strip of the Steam a Steam across the backing, patting it down as you go. Leave the paper backing on it until you have all your rows completed.
Quilt backing, face down, with strips adhered
Next, pull the backing paper off, patting the fusible all down again as you go. Then place the batting on top of this, patting it all smooth from the top moving down. (I rolled mine up, and only worked a section at a time, moving from top to bottom.) When the batting is all smoothed on, press with steam. You can either lay the batting down first, the put the backing on, or place the backing down and then the batting, and press the batting. Either way works. Then take it off the work surface, and set it aside. Do the same thing with the quit top, working on the back side of it adding rows of the fusible.
(I have a ton of seams on my quilt top, and my fabric has not been washed, so the strips didn't want to stick easily. But I MADE them behave! )

When it is all smoothed out, press and steam that sucker it well Then CAREFULLY, turn the quilt top over on top on the exposed batting surface that has your backing adhered on the other side. Now, smooth the quilt top out CAREFULLY. All your fusible strips will probably will stay in place while you are working. 
NOTE: My friend just used small pieces of the fusible, but I found it too fussy quicker to use the strips. Whatever floats your boat works. I also used wool batting because it presses well without melting. Cotton batting works too without melting. Remember, polyester melts! I put the strips horizontally on the first piece; on the second piece, I placed them horizontally. That way, when I press all the pieces together, I will have a grid work of fusible holding them all together.
Steam a Seam !! on the back side of the quilt top, paper on.

I won't show you the picture of it stuck together, but believe me it is STUCK! Now, I am ready to quilt. Try it! You might like it and be able to lose the safety pins. BTW, you can sure quilt a lot faster without having to remove those safety pins as you go, too.

When I went to the Des Moines, IA quilt show last fall, I was a sucker I bought this fabulous iron for mega bucks. Well, mega bucks for just an iron, anyway. I hadn't had time to really give it a whirl until the last few months, and let me tell you I LOVE IT!!!! It is a EuroSteam, 1000 watt iron. Heats nicely, but you press a button and get steady steam if you want it. Because it is lower wattage than most irons, you don't blow fuses either. Oh yes, if you ever need to steam drapes or clothes (Who does that?) it works vertically and goes through 6 layers easily. No affiliation, I just love this iron.
No affiliation with the new love of my stewdio
Ok, enough of this babble.  You've seen my new iron, my new basting technique (and my new clock).  GO SEW!
It's time to stitch, folks!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


The Rambling River Art Quilters are a group of quilters from the St. Louis, MO and Kansas City, MO metrolpolitan area.  For more information about them and to see their previous projects check their blog.  This is their 2013 project.  It was revealed in Columbia, MO on Saturday, October 26th, and of course, there was some fabric therapy included.  Each group  decided how the project would be displayed.  The East Side girls wanted their pieces to be individual, so they could have them back at the end of the display cyle, thus they made a hanging package with sleeves that can be seen from both sides.  The West Side Girls used a "quilt as you go" method to join all their indidually quilted pieces together.  They can be separated at the end of the cycle as well.

Next year's project was announced, and 15 participants selected their packages.  Next October, TILES will be shared!  

If you double click on each photograph, it will enlarge so that you can see the details.
by the Rambling River Art Quilters


Front of the postcards
(hanging in a plastic sleeved case)
Back of the post cards
(one card is missing on the upper left)
Nancy Sinise
Everglade National Park (Front)
Josie Hermesmeyer
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park
Judy Humphrey
Biscayne National Park (Front)
Joan Ferguson
Joshua Tree National Park (Front) 
Candy Grisham (and inspiration post card)
 Mt. Rainier National Park (Front)  

East Side (not quite finished)
Cheri Rabourn
Rocky Mountain National Park
Jane Kennedy, leaves
Sharon Neuer
Olympic National Park
Klonda Holt
Grand Tetons National Park
Jane Kennedy
Arches National Park

Cathy Wight
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

And so it is!

So, it's been a really long time coming hasn't it? The downstairs finishing didn't take any longer than what was promised, so that's a good thing. They also finished my upstairs (main) living room hardwood floor as promised, so that's a good thing too! It's just that my unpacking and putting things away took ever so much longer than *I* had planned. My energy just fizzled out! I am still putting things away - it's really worse than moving! LOL!

How about a tour? I know Joan, Sue, Wendy, Debra, Sandy so many of you are anxious to see the new stewdio. Thanks for all your emails and phone calls to check on me. It's nice to know that someone actually looks at this blog besides me. I originally started the blog as my own personal diary, and now, I have gained so many new friends!

This is the tile floor that is at the bottom of the stairs and then all along the west side of the room. It looks like a patchwork quilt, doesn't it?
Straight ahead is the guest room.  (The spots on the wall are actually spots of sunlight.)  The paint color of the room is Sherwin Williams "Bagel".  The carpet is "Multi-grain".
The quilt on the bed is my favorite two color quilt, an old fashioned Flying Geese.  It has a piece of every red I had in my stash at the time I made it, with no repeats.
To the left of the entry is the guest powder room.
The shower tile matches the rosiest floor tiles; paint is Sherwin Williams "Rain washed."
To the right of the entry is the kitchen area.  There's a full size refrigerator with an ice maker, a microwave, and yes, Bobbi and Pat even a wine rack hidden in the cabinets.
Here's a more straight on view of where we just came into the room.  The paint looks blue, but it truly isn't.  It is Sherwin Williams "Halcyon Green".  It is more true in the picture before - a greenish gray with a blue undertone.
How about just a little tease of the studio from this angle?  There will be more pictures of this area later in the post, so stick with me here.
Straight across from the kitchen area is the "family" room, or as Hubby calls it, the "Man Cave".  We moved the dining room furniture out of the sun room upstairs and now we can entertain a sit down dinner downstairs!  We were able to re-use my favorite light fixture from three houses ago, and the glass cuts in it match the glass cuts in the china hutch. 
You can see why it is also called the "Man Cave" because of the 65" big screen TV at the west side of the room.  The sofa is a queen hide-a-bed, so there's room here for more overnight guests, too.  Lots more room to move around than where all this was upstairs!  This room is Sherwin Williams "Quietude" which is two shades lighter than the stewdio side of the room.  Have you seen enough of the regular re-model?  
My favorite sign is back in business!  
And so am I!
This is the west wall with mini-bolt fabrics, sewing table and Handi-quilter machine. The jars in the windows hold my loose threads and buttons and tidbits of fiber.
Here is my Resource Center!  You can double click the picture to see the labels (I think) on the tubs.  The big table is where my guest stitchers can play, too.  Wanna come over?
This is the area behind my sewing table, and there are actually three cabinets on casters that sit here.  I've moved one out to another location to use, but when not in use (ha!) it can fit snugly here to make it look like all one unit.  They couldn't be built in because of the fire code and an egress basement window, but this works better anyway!
Here's that other unit.  What isn't showing is the "flip-lip" that is on the back that raises up when you need a larger/longer surface.  The cabinets look like they are tipped, but that is the angle of my camera - not the cabinets!
And, for Pamela those of you who were worried that the painted cabinet didn't make the move, you can rest easy because here it is.  Right beside my sewing center for inspiration! 

Now, that just about everything is back in it's place, I can go play.  And that's just where you will find me!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Studio Makeover Progresses!

Lots of changes going on here, for sure these past two weeks. Here's a few of them for a quick post (and don't forget to double click to see the pictures larger):

Entering into the studio space
Looking into the studio from the sitting area
Cabinetry getting it's pretty face!
East side cabinets
Kitchen/bar area as you enter the room (on the right)
We just got back into the house after a four day absence because the fumes were so strong. You can begin to see the paint on the walls in more of a true color, they still have another coat to go. It still is showing up on the monitor more blue than neutral, but that's not all bad either. If you go back to the second picture you can see the shade change from lighter (in the sitting area) to darker (in the studio). I LOVE it!  

I think we still have another two weeks to go. More painting tomorrow and Saturday; doors and hardware installation and lighting fixtures, wall plates next week. They will probably start the floor tile and carpet at the end of the week or maybe the beginning of the following week.

It's turning out just like I dreamed!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

What's been going on?  Lots of work in the soon to be finished studio and family room downstairs!

I've been running around in circles, and the progress on the remodel/basement finish has been phenomenal.  I won't bore you with the hundreds of photos we've taken of the framing, insulation, wiring and drywall work.  Instead, here's where we are as of 5pm today, April 2.  

Primer is on the wall, and the cabinets on affixed and waiting to be painted (studio) and stained (kitchen/bar).  Even though the primer looks blue here, it is really a neutral green that goes from gray to green to blue shades, depending on the light.  It is called Quietude by Sherwin Williams, and I am using 3 shades of it to distinguish one room from another.  I encourage you to double click on the photos to see them larger.

We are leaving for a hotel with the kitties and Mayo the Wonder Dog in tow for a week.  The enamel and lacquer work is next, and it's quite toxic.  Since we don't want to wear respirators while they are working (and they don't make them for kitties of dogs), we are taking a short vacation to the west side of town.

See you when we get back, and I'll be sure to post the pictures of the almost finished work.  I am SO excited!
Studio wall - south 
Bunch o'cabinets
Kitchen/bar area
Movable work cabinets
Studio - east