Saturday, June 23, 2012

Titanic Marker in Mount Clemens

I've finished another strip in my journal quilt. I actually had to cut more squares. I thought I'd get bored with it after awhile, but I'm fascinated in watching it grow! Also making great headway on a memorial quilt. Unfortunately, my SKoW quilt is suffering - I fear my group will drop me the next round.

I was out in Resurrection Cemetery in Mount Clemens when I came across a very interesting headstone:

It's the stone of one of the Titanic survivors. He lived his life in Detroit. Pretty neat, eh? Here's a close-up of the ship:

I'm on a 4-day weekend so I hope to have something to share this week.

Happy stitching!



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Online Shopping Surprise

I heard something really disturbing yesterday... I was in a quilt shop, and the clerk was a little jumpy over my smart phone.

"I'm not photographing. I'm checking my pattern for yardage."

That wasn't her concern. Apparently they've had a proliferation of "shoppers" who come in the shop, make their choices, and then buy their fabric from... AMAZON!

Did you know that Amazon now carries quilt shop fabric? I checked! I found Moda by the yard.

My heart hurts. I admit - I've shopped online quilt shops, if I can't find my fabric in a local shop first. But Amazon... it takes me back to MY Border's days when shoppers walked around with their smart phones scanning bar codes on books...

Yes, their prices may be a little cheaper because they only have to maintain a warehouse and not a physical outlet... But I can't stand to see any more doors close.

This is not a rant against the retail giant - just sadness for the possible future of our fabric emporiums.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Do You See It?

Do you? Do you see it?

The nightgown? The cinched top? How about the polar fleece? The camisole? The pullover?

I love memory quilts! Just a sneak peak! Hope to have the top completed this weekend!

Happy weekend!



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quilting during a Michigan Summer

I saw the coolest thing today (wish I could’ve taken a picture!). 
A woman walking her 2 dogs and 1 cat in the park at lunch!  Yes, I said cat, and “Martin” was the only fur-baby not on a leash.  It was so funny to see him bouncing after the dogs like Tigger on pixie-sticks!  Martin followed the trio the entire perimeter of the park, fur flouncing in the breeze. He was only distracted once – by a very pretty yellow butterfly.  Not making this up!
As I’m sure you can tell I love summer in Michigan.  It’s so blue! And yellow! And orange!  I took this one walking along Meadowbrook road yesterday.

I can only see two downsides to summer: the heat and the distractions.
Heat. Very recently, we’ve experienced 95+ degree weather. Really hard to enjoy a large, very warm quilt draped over one’s lap while quilting.  I find that I’ve timed most of my projects to work around this.  In the Spring/Summer, I:
  • Make small gifts for the holidays.  See some of my favorite tutorials here.
  • Piece or embroider my blocks.
  • Work on making bags and purses.
  • Organize my UFO’s – love the index card method.

I then spend my Fall/Winter:
  • Layering & basting quilts
  • Machine quilting (snuggly warm!)
  • Sewing down the binding (if on schedule, this occurs normally in the slow January or February months when you have time to sit in a warm house, for several hours, watching TV).

Distractions.  As you can see from my love of geocaching, the Zoo, car rides, family time… I love getting out on a good adventure.  However, I think even 15-minutes a day you can accomplish piles!  If I know I’m going to have a busy day away, I will normally plan 15 minutes first thing in the morning.

  • Cut my scraps into charm squares or strips.
  • Straighten my work space, clean out the bobbin area of my machine, return my thread to the proper place, etc.
  • Reassemble strewn patterns & return them to their plastic sleeve.
  • Add another block or strip to my journal quilt.
  • Prepare squares of Kona cotton for embroidery.
  • Trace embroidery patterns onto prepared squares of Kona cotton.

So, long story short…. Even though I don’t have many “finishes” to share right now, I’m still on schedule! LOL!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Lake Erie Metropark - Rockwood, MI

Not much excitement in my quilting world - just finishing up some projects.

I did have an amazing time geocaching & picnicking at Lake Erie Metropark with my family (Team Free Range Lobsters: scrapcat, wikid kriket, 3inaTree, PopLob, and Hockeyman40).

Wanna see some pictures?

If you look close, you will see a freighter out on Lake Erie.

Enjoyed a walk through their marshlands

Counting frogs, turtles, dragonflies, & ducks

Sun is setting

They're just kidding, Jon!

Walking through the Phragmites
A reward for walking the Nature Trails in 95 degree weather! 

As seen from a hidden trail!  Only those that know.... know.

Even more stunning in person!

Team Free Range Lobsters:
scrapcat, wikid kriket, Papa Tree, LilRob, Hockeyman40 & Mama Tree
Poplob & Lil Tree were smart - they were back in the shade!
Weather is supposed to cool off this week!  Hopefully I'll have some quilting to share!

Happy Summer!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Keepers of the Cache

For anyone not lucky enough to visit Michigan, you are missing many stunning parks, nature trails and lakes.  Had the urge to get out and geocache yesterday.  Stopped into the West Bloomfield Nature Trails and look who was watching me?!?

My new caching buddy!

Then, today, I worked an early schedule so I can go out to play.  Each geocache held a small surprise for me!  Stopped at Marshbank Park in Waterford.  

Guardian at the Cattail Bridge

Serenity Overlook was... serene...
Then finished my day in Dodge State Park where I saw 6 adult and 5 baby swans!

Bath time!


Tis the season to hit the Metro- and State- parks.... can't wait to share!

Happy weekend!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Time is Flying!

Can you believe that I finished another strip? LOVE my journal quilt!

I've also completed two more Anni Downs embroideries for the upcoming strips.

One for Father's Day (with some funky bees):

And also Independence Day:

Now back to my appliqué blocks!

Happy Sunday,


P.s. One more thing to share... Spent Saturday participating in the Heritage Park/Rouge River cleanup with a group of fellow geocachers. I am now too knowledgable on the stamina of the non-native, invasive buckthorn - aargh!



Friday, June 1, 2012

No Sheet! Really?

Sorry, couldn't contain the pun!

After reading my last post, Dreaming commented that she uses twin-size sheets to make duvet covers (brilliant!)

Allie shops in resale shops for vintage sheets and uses them as quilt backs.

As a military wife, I used sheets to make simple garment bags for my then-husband's uniforms and shoe bags for his dress shoes.

I have a friend who uses them to make ironing board covers. Because they were often worn out at this point, she would cut an oblong piece of Teflon fabric and use the sheets to border it/cinch over the board.

What other uses for sheets?

I'm interested in this topic of reusing/recycling because it's everywhere, and I'm making another memory quilt with every type of fabric thrown in.

Things I've learned (in addition to my t-shirt tips) when using clothes are:

  • A good stabilizer makes almost any fabric usable.
  • Careful of the stabilizer you select - sometimes it makes fabric flexible in one direction and unforgiving in others.
  • Bonnie Hunter (who has fabulous books in this topic) was right... If you cut the pieces small enough, every fabric is beautiful!
  • To take apart a shirt, cut out the neck, the sleeves, the waistband, and the side seams before stabilizing. I was told I hadn't clarified it in my last post.
  • Save the sleeves - if you run out of fabric pieces when cutting up the main yardage, you can turn to the sleeves as an emergency stash. You can also save them for "emergency repairs" at a later date.
  • I find stains are more noticable after stabilizing so give your fabric another check before cutting.
  • My favorite patterns for memory quilts made from clothes are enlarged baby quilt patterns. They are simple enough that you don't have to worry about bulky seams (quilt I'm working on now includes blue jeans) and the pieces of the loved one's clothes are big enough to be recognizable.
  • If the clothes (or sheets) have a lingering smell, I found these great skunk-away pouches (look like the powder bags for bowling) at BB&B. I tried enclosing them in a sealed garbage bag with fabric softeners but everything smelled flowery and musty.
What other tips do you have for re-using, repurposing and recycling? How do you use leftover clothes, sheets, towels?


I wanna know!