Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Spool Stats

Yup, I polished off 38 spools of thread in 2013, a big increase from recent years when I averaged in the low 20's. Did you save your empty spools this year? Leave your numbers and thoughts in the Comments below.

Diane Harris of Quiltmaker magazine is thinking about writing on this topic. If she does, I'll post the link.
 In the meantime, here's her blog

Do you have any good upcycling ideas for spools before I toss mine? A garland maybe? 

See 2012 post and Comments here

Monday, December 30, 2013

Knit Design Fabric

This Japanese cotton fabric looks like cable knit! You can buy it at Miss Matatabi on Etsy. I like those selvages: little coffee mugs. And this fabric comes in 3 colorways (see bottom photo). These are from the Reality Collection by Homecraft. Beautiful!

I've been thinking about doing this for years. I even knitted the samples, but never got around to making it happen. Has anyone seen this fabric in person?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sweet Modern Quilts from England

These soft and beautiful quilts were made by Sarah in Blyth, England (an hour drive from Scotland). She offers a nice quilt collection in her Etsy shop: Issabella the Cat. She also has an interesting blog with the same name. You'll love all her quilt photos.
Hi Sarah! (We're waving to you from all over the globe!)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What Does the Fox Say?

Want to see the latest Internet meme? Here it is: What Does the Fox Say?
So if you want to surprise your 20-something year old guests, pose this question at the dinner table.
This video has been viewed 308,000,000 times so far!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Jeanne's Stacks Quilt

Jeanne Ellsworth in New York just finished this Stacks quilt top. It will be a gift for her sister. The fabric choices were inspired by her sister's collection of whimsical dolls and puppets, all found at thrift stores. Nice job, Jeanne!
Here's the pattern for The Stacks.
Or click here to see all the patterns.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fabulous Quilt by Freddy Moran

This wonderful quilt by Freddy Moran was featured on the Dogwood Lane Rambles blog. She and Gwen Marston really quilt up a storm when they get together! See their books here
Nifty, Sujata, Bonnie, Victoria and Helen, I bet you'll love this quilt!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Nativity scene by Rembrandt. 
Very best wishes to you and your family.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Something Different

It's Christmas Eve, and I thought you'd like to see something different. This is not my dining room! It's from The Homesitter.com. This reminds me of Freddy's house. (Click on "See Inside" this book.)
I'll show you one of her gorgeous quilts on Thursday.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Color Therapy Quilt

I was inspired at the last minute to make another Christmas gift quilt. If it's not finished, I'll just wrap the quilt top and finish it after Christmas. The colors are actually brighter than they look on my screen.  I used some charm packs, so the cutting phase didn't take long. These are almost all Westminster/Rowan fabrics. I love those color combinations and grand floral patterns. I'll show you more later.
I hope you are enjoying your Christmas week.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fishtail Braid Tutorial

Take a look at this beautiful fishtail braid. Click here to see how to make it. I used to have hair long enough to do this. In the 1970's, that is. Maybe I can try it on my niece on Christmas Day. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Touch of Summer

My friend JoAnne from sunny southern California sent me a box of lemons from the trees in her yard! Don't they look lovely? They cast a yellow glow on the window. And they are delicious added to my tea. 
Thank you, JoAnne!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yellow Quilt In the Works

This is what I'm working on this week. The center of the quilt (above) is sewn together, except for the strip on the right. You can see all the spare parts below. Some of the fabrics are directional, so I have to pay attention to which strips go vertically or horizontally. I'm thinking about quilting it by hand with Pearle cotton using a big running stitch in the white areas. 
I hope you're finding some time for a little quilting fun in this busy season. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Stunning Mini Quilt from Romania

This stunning raw-edge applique quilt was made by Geta Grama in Romania. Her blog is Geta's Quilting Studio. The quilt measures 20" x 20." She made it for a challenge by Aurifil (thread) and the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog. Take a look at that quilting! Nice job, Geta!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Sampler Quilt

This wonderful Christmas sampler quilt was made by Jen in Roseville, CA. Her blog is The Quilty Home.
She made it for Christmas 2011. Some of the quilting was done with gold metallic thread.
This quilt is a real winner.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snowstorm Stew!


A snowstorm is starting up and I'm ready! This veggie stew will be slow-cooking all afternoon, and I think a pumpkin pie to go with it sounds good too. Snowstorm Stew is full of healthy ingredients and it's delicious. 
See the recipe below.

You can't see the snow falling in this photo, but it's there.

Snowstorm Stew

2 Onions
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Coriander
1/2 tsp. Turmeric
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 Sweet potato
1 cup Butternut squash
3 Carrots
2 Parsnips
1/3 cup Raisins
1 can Chick peas or 1 can Red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 quart of Vegetable stock (low sodium if desired)
2 cups fresh Spinach, cut off stems and cut/chop if desired
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Saute chopped onions for about 4 minutes, until soft and translucent.
2. Add spices, cook for a minute to combine.
3. To slow-cooker add: onions, chopped veggies, and stock (enough to cover the veggies). 
4. Cover "slow-cooker" and cook on HIGH setting for 6 hours.
5. Add chopped fresh spinach and vinegar, and let it wilt for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper if desired.

NOTE: Originally from Chow.com (Root Vegetable Stew), then I tweaked it a little. It's easy to add and delete vegetables. I've used fresh kale instead of spinach. I've used corn, celery, peas, black wild rice; it seems any combination is good. 

Christmas String Quilt

Amy Friend made this Christmas string quilt in 2010. Her blog is called: During Quiet Time. The quilt measures 43 1/2" square. She used scraps of Christmas fabrics, cutting the strips between 1" and 2 1/2" wide. There are 5 different ivory fabrics in this quilt, and even a fine wale corduroy! 
Great job, Amy!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Pinsies $4.99 per package

Have you seen the Christmas colored pinsies? These packages of 9 make nice gifts for friends who have pincushions or bulletin boards. They look pretty on a windowsill in the sun.

Want to make your own? It's fun. Click here. 

I just got home from MI tonight. I was visiting my sister. Had a great time. She cut some fabrics from her stash and put them in my suitcase before I left. How nice is that?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Quilter's Pincushion Buns

Here are just two of the pincushions in the Buns category in my Etsy shop. The photo above shows a pincushion on a thin dish, and the photo below shows the thicker dish. The pincushions are secured to the dish. Each one comes with pinsies that go with the fabric. The one shown below has a fancy silver button in the center. Click here to see more. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Urbane Armor

 What a creative piece of jewelry! Searching out things like this helps me think "out of the box." See this item and 19 more from Urbane Armor in Newport Beach, California. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bunting Quilt and Pattern!

Here's my latest quilt, hot off the sewing machine: Bunting! It measures 61" x 77." 
I like the light and airy look of this modern scrap quilt. As I was making it, I realized that there is a faster way to do it (use rectangles, not squares), so the pattern reflects that. But the finished quilt looks the same. I like the two black dots in this quilt. This quilt is fun to make. And it provides a good excuse to buy some new fat quarters!

See all my patterns here. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Crocheted Piano Spread

Isn't this crocheted piano spread amazing? Be sure to see the exhibit by Joana Vasconcelos at Versailles
This will delight your creative spirit! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Killer Heels

Smiling croc shoes made by SIT Noir with Rob and Erik Hillenbrink. They call these "Killer Heels." I think the killer part is the high skinny heels more than all those teeth. Not made from animals, just inspired by them.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Table Runner by Twisted Sticks

This modern quilted table runner by TwistedSticks from Neshkoro, Wisconsin is so bright and cheerful. It measures 36.5" x 24." I think this design would look great made up as a full size quilt too. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Celeste's Christmas Table Runner

This pretty Christmas table runner was made by Celeste from The Little Quilt Shoppe in Alabama. It measures 15 1/2" square. I love the little bird in the center, and the photo with the white vignette is beautiful.
Nice work, Celeste!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Empty Spools of Thread

This amazing chair was made from empty spools of thread! 
As you remember, we're saving our empties in 2013 just to see how much thread we use, year-to-year. We're going to share our numbers here on the Selvage Blog at year-end, then I'll report to Diane Harris of Quiltmaker Magazine. She'll be writing about this in January.

Here are more ways to upcycle spools.

A nice heart arrangement by Jess from New York at Epheriell Designs.

A wreath from Amy's Rag Bag:

And finally, a garland with buttons and fabrics from Karen in Rhode Island at Sew Many Ways.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Machine Quilting by Angela Walters

Everyone knows Angela Walters' gorgeous machine quilting, but I just had to feature this photo of her work. You can see more about it on her site: Quilting is My Therapy. She said she turned up the music and really enjoyed doing this quilting. Look how small her designs are. I'd love to be able to do this. Maybe it will be my New Year's resolution to give it a try. I'm just thinking.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Russian Bears and Bunnies

I found a great collection of bears and bunnies from Russia at: Anna Pavlovna on Etsy. Anna and Kate make all the stuffed toys by hand. They even sell patterns

I like the embroidery on these little fellows. Nice job, Anna and Kate!