Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today's Confession

I began sewing over 38 years ago when I was barely a teenager. Within a year or so I was sewing most of my clothes, plus items for sale at a local consignment store using the same patterns over and over again, but detailing them so no one knew. I can insert a zipper, stitch a buttonhole, stitch an entire outfit, and assemble a queen sized quilt while matching points. BUT, I must confess, I do not mend!

There, I said it. I make no apologies. I'm simply stating a fact. It's not like it is a guarded secret. Everyone in my family knows it, so why shouldn't you? In fact, it was a standing joke in our house as the children were growing up. How, you might be asking yourself?

When the kids were younger and their clothing needed a button sewn back on, or a seam reinforced, I would tell them to put it on top of my sewing table, next to my sewing machine. Just between you and me, there would already be a stack of clothes needing mending there. But don't tell anybody... OK, now for the punchline. The item would sit there until they grew out of it when it would then be placed in the Goodwill box.

I don't know why it's so hard for me to mend clothes but for some reason, I would much rather sew them a new outfit than to fix an old one. And I was always sewing new outfits for them.

Apparently, their father had also succumbed to my affliction... He had a work shirt he needed me to sew the hem in. He hadn't put it on my sewing table because he was still wearing it. One day I was doing laundry and I picked up this work shirt and noticed it was quite heavy. I checked his pockets to see if he had forgotten something in them before I noticed he had duct taped his hem! Problem solved. I thanked him for his assistance. I suppose this could turn into one of those Redneck jokes... You know you're a Redneck when...

I rationize my behavior, quite simply, by stating I'm a Seam Master and not a repairwoman. I create my own creations, not repair someone else's work. I create my creations to last throughout its life so it will be enjoyed by the recipient. I create with a piece of my heart in each and every project, knowing it will bring a warm smile to the heart of whoever uses it.

I'm not saying I've never mended anything, because I have. I just get more enjoyment when I personalize my creations for whoever I'm sewing/quilting it for. And I'm confident my children were happier to receive their new outfit than the old one needing mending.

Now you know my secret behind my signature line. Tell me, what's on your sewing table?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Letter Carrier Loves Me...

And just look at all the goodies he delivered to me on Saturday:

I received this Laurel Burch fat quarter from my friend Judi as an RAQ (Random Acts of Quiltiness). I love the bright colors and metallic details.

I received this RAQ fat quarter from an anonymous donor and I know it will be perfect in any project I use it in.

I received these yummy Batik RAQ fat quarters from my friend Billie. I love Batiks and these will be a great addition to my ever growing collection.

Have you RAQ'd someone lately? I know I will be.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hi! My Name is Dena and I'm a Quilting Addict

Addicted to Quilting

She Learned to Quilt on MONDAY.
Her stitches all were fine
She forgot to make us dinner
So we all went out to dine

She quilted miniatures on TUESDAY
she says they are a must
They really were quite lovely
But She forgot to dust

On WEDNESDAY it was a sampler.
She says stippling's fun
What Highlights What Shadows!
But The LAUNDRY was'nt done

Nine Patches were on THURSDAY
Green,Yellow,Blue and red.
I guess she really was engrossed
She never made the Bed.

It was wall hangings on FRIDAY.
In colors she adores
It never bothered her at all
That crumbs were on the floor.

I found a maid on SATURDAY
My week is now complete
My wife can quilt the hours away
The house will still be neat.

Well, now its only SUNDAY
I think I,m about to wilt
I cursed,I raved,I ranted
Cause the Maid has learned to QUILT !
~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Oh no! It's an epidemic... BEWARE

Note: At the time this was posted, I did not know who the author was as it was shared by a friend. Recently, I received an email from Kathy Harris who is the talented author and as such, she deserves recognition. My apologies to Kathy for not acknowledging her talent sooner.

Fabric Pheromones to me.  Kathy Smith Harris, 1997

Quilt Pox


Continual complaint as to need for snuggling under a handmade quilt. Patient has blank expression, sometimes deaf to spouse and kids. Has no taste for bedspreads or electric blankets. Hangs out at Quilting Bees. Mumbles to self "Log Cabin", "Double Wedding Ring", "Ohio Rose".



Medication is useless, Disease is Not Fatal. Victim should attend as many Quilt shows and Quilt shops as possible.


A recent study has indicated that fabric gives off certain Pheromones, that actually hypnotizes women, and causes them to purchase ungodly amounts. Sound tests have also revealed that these fabrics emit a very high-pitched sound, heard only by a select few of the breed of women known as "quilters".

When stored in large quantities in enclosed spaces, the Pheromones cause memory loss and induce the nesting syndrome (similar to the one squirrels have before the onset of winter, therefore, perpetuating their species, and not having a population loss due to their kind being cut up into little pieces and mixed with others. When played backwards on a LP, the sounds are heard as chants "buy me, cut me, sew me"!

In order to overcome the so called 'feeding frenzy effect' that these fabrics cause, one must wear a face mask when entering a storage facility and use ear plugs to avoid being pulled in to their grip. (One must laugh, however, at the sight of women in a fabric store, with WWII Army gas masks and headphones!)

Studies also indicate that aliens have inhabited the earth, helping to spread the effect that these fabrics have on the human woman population. They are called FABRIC STORE / QUILT SHOP CLERKS.

I think I've been infected...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Only A Quilter...

One of the group's I participate on held an Online Retreat in celebration of the group's third birthday. Although I didn't participate because of other obligations, I did read several of the messages posted by participants. Below is from one of the posts.

Only A Quilter…

Only a Quilter says, "I really don't need another project," then offers to make a quilt for a friend.

Only a Quilter's family would put up with, understand and love a quilter.

Only a Quilter invites everyone to see her sewing room, then says, "Don't look at the mess."

Only a Quilter has a welcome mat at the door to her home and an "Enter at Your Own Risk" sign on the door of her sewing room.

Only a Quilter would rush to finish a gift quilt. Not so it's done in time for the recipient's birthday, but so it's done in time for Show and Tell.

Only a Quilter would let three later-arriving patients go ahead of her at the doctor's office because she is on the verge of completing a block.

Only a Quilter would spend more hours sewing several hundreds of buttons on a quilt to embellish it, but wouldn't take five minutes to replace a button on a pair of pants.

Only a Quilter would spend hours shopping for the "Just Right" fabric and find out later that she had it in her stash.

Only a Quilter would spend an hour ironing wrinkles out of fabric but have a basket full of wrinkled clothes.

My friend Daisy submitted the original post and my other friend Karen added the last two. Although the statements are quite funny on their own, they are so very true!

How many of these statements can you relate to?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby Gift Finished!

I managed to finish another baby gift yesterday morning but I had to leave to drive down to Seattle before I could post about it and I didn't get home until late last night. But I do have pictures to show you.

One of my daughters has a friend who is expecting her first baby any time now and I made her a receiving blanket and burp cloth set.

The baby's father is an avid hunter and we wanted to make the gift a little extra special for him. So we happened across these two camouflage like prints and thought they were perfect.

Then I located this design in a set I had purchased from OESD and I thought the camouflage diaper and helmet was perfect for the burp cloth. I then decided to make some bias binding using some flannel with a camouflage print.

Perhaps not exactly a baby theme, but I think it's adorable. Don't you?

Yesterday as I walked into my sewing studio to begin sewing, I noticed the trees outside had a reddish tint to them and as I walked outside I could see the sky was tinted in beautiful sherbet colors so I just had to run and get my camera to share my spectacular sunrise.

As you can see my home is surrounded by trees. Aren't the colors just amazing? What a beautiful way to start a day. I hope yours is just as magnificent.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Mind of an 8-Year Old

I spent about 4 hours in my sewing studio today working on a gift for one of my daughter's friends and since it isn't finished yet, I don't have any pictures to share. Instead, I thought I'd share a little tale with everyone.

I went to live with my maternal grandmother when I was eight years old after my mother died. My uncle, who was about seventeen years old and a senior in high school, also lived with us. We lived in a large colonial home in Tacoma, Washington on the top of a hill overlooking the Commencement Bay. In fact, I had a picturesque view of the water. Truly a Kodak moment.

My uncle would use a double-edged razor to shave with and I must have watched him shave a hundred times or more. I don't recall any particular thoughts racing through my mind as I watched but then again, do we ever really know what goes on inside an eight year old's mind?

One day, for whatever reason, I decided to shave. Of course, I didn't have any facial hair like my uncle, so I did the next best thing... I shaved my arms! Not my underarms, but my forearms. Imagine, if you can, an eight year old shaving using a double-edged razor without using any shaving cream. After I managed to shave both of my forearms I happened to spot a can of Right Guard (do they even make Right Guard anymore?) and decided to spray it on both forearms. OMG! Don't ever spray something with alcohol in it on your freshly, shaved with a double-edged razor and without shaving cream forearm. I was on fire!

They say you learn from your mistakes. I've learned its OK to laugh at yourself and share those laughs with others.

So, what tales do you have to share?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Today is Mail Day

No, I didn't get anything in the mail. But I've been busy preparing a couple of packages to mail.

I spent yesterday sewing these Jake's Heart blocks for a friend of mine who is assembling a comfort quilt for her sister who is starting chemo therapy. She wanted them to be scrappy, but I'm not a big scrappy person so instead, I decided to make four blocks with each in different prints.

The next package is some fabric being sent to a friend who won a round of BINGO. Usually we send the winner a fat quarter, but because I'm delayed in sending it I am sending her a 1/2 yard. She loves cats and bright colors so I think this will go nicely with her resources.

Lastly, I am mailing another piece of fabric to another BINGO winner. She requested a Christmas print and since I'm late, I decided to send her a 1/2 yard cut too. I just love this fabric and wish I had purchased more for my own resources.

So, what did you do today?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Birthday Block Swap

One of the quilting group's I participate in have an annual Birthday Block Swap in which members can participate in. Its really a fun swap where each participant selects a block and personalizes it with her choice of fabrics and/or colors. Then when their birthday comes around, each participant send her a block they made just for her. Who doesn't enjoy receiving squishies in the mail?

My selection for this year is called Queen Charlotte's Crown and I've chosen Batiks in shades of purple, yellow/orange, and fuschia.

One of the swap's requirements is each participant has to make a sample of the block. The purpose of this is to ensure the block's instructions are accurate and it also allows the recipient to show the other participants what they want. Above is my sample. I just love how well the colors go together.

I drew the block in Electic Quilt so I could play around with the colors and quilt layouts. Above is what my end quilt will look like after I've assembled all of my blocks.

What do you think?