Quilting and sewing tips and tutorials

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Need a good dose of quilting?

If you are running low on quilt related inspiration and you're in the great state of Wisconsin.....
Save the date February 27th and take in the Winter Quilt Show .

It's been a while since I have set up as a vendor at a quilt show. In fact I think the last one was Quilt Market in Houston some years back.
My BFF Karen usually came along to shows as my helper, and I'll miss having her here at this show.
We always had so much fun, and even though it's a lot of work, it's worth it.
I'll be doing a lecture/ demo about my Whisperlite material and all of its uses, including some great stash busting string quilt ideas.

My friend Jessie's string quilt
My dear sister-in- law, Lisa has kindly agreed to be my helper this year, along with my dear husband.
I'm excited to be participating, and getting to know more quilters here in Wisconsin after being away so long.
So, show up if you can, on Saturday the 27th, and immerse yourself in all things quilty. I'm sure there will be lots and lots of lovely quilts to see, and plenty of great vendors to shop.
I know I am always creatively invigorated after a good quilt show. Hope to see you there, or if you're not in the area, I hope there is a quilt show somewhere near to you, for you to enjoy.
Get inspired and quilt!

Quilt market Houston Thistledown and Company
Karen and I at Quilt Market Houston

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Throw Back Thursday

I'm sharing a Throw Back Thursday stitchery. I made this hand embroidered table runner sometime in the '80's.
Wow, I had all but forgotten that I made this piece for my mom.
She pulled it out the linen closet this Thanksgiving to put on the credenza in the dining room.
I was very touched she still had it, let alone, liked it enough to keep it.

Thistledown and Company

I obviously had some time on my hands. I designed the piece, and I should have counted the number of French knots. see green rings) What was I thinking? I was disappointed that it got so wrinkly in the center, of course, I've gotten more wrinkly too. LOL
I must have hooped it wrong. Oh well, I'm not about to do it over.

hand embroidery Thistledown and company
French Knot frenzy

I must say though, that I got pretty good at French knots by the time I was done.

 I've always enjoyed hand embroidery, and besides this piece I have done pillowcases, redwork quilts,
Crazy quilts, and of course stitching on felted wool and woolfelt in many forms.
This is my Berry Cherry pattern.....more French knots!

I really enjoy blanket stitching by hand too, but it is also nice that a lot of sewing machines have blanket stitching as a choice.  I know not everyone enjoys hand stitching.
Question......Do you enjoy doing hand embroidery? Have you checked out Sue Spargo's work? It is wonderful. I love her designs and the great variety of stitches she uses.
Did you just start doing hand embroidery, or, have you been hand embroidering for a long time?
What's your favorite stitch?

May your threads stay untangled,

Berry Cherry pattern by Thistledown and Company
Berry Cherry Penny Rug

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A new spool of thread...

You know when a spool of thread jumps off your sewing machine, or jumps of of your hand when threading a needle, and how it goes scurrying across the floor?

my spool of thread
 You figure it can't have gone very far. You look around, but it's not within view. Now you end up having to follow the trail of thread, to find out where in the world that spool ended up. If you have a wood or tile floor, it can travel pretty far. If it's a new spool and has momentum who knows where it may end up.
Well, that's been my life this past year or so.....chasing that new spool of thread and its led us miles away, back to my hometown.

the moving truck
Yes, big changes for my hubby and me. Long story short, We have lived in S. Florida for the past 40 years and then made the decision to sell our home, pack up, and head back to be near our families in the great frozen tundra a.k.a. The state of Wisconsin. Say What! yes, everyone is telling us we're doing it backwards. we are supposed to be going to Florida not leaving it.
Well, somethings are more important than weather........ Like family. That's why we made the big move.
Anyway.....needless to say I didn't have the time, nor the energy to blog while getting our house ready to go on the market, then the packing......no I didn't  have much fabric to pack HA - HA - HA
That's when your hubby realizes just how much fabric you have.

no....this isn't all fabric.....my fabric went in special bins!

My local guild benefited from my de-stashing, which put a small dent in my stash. 
On the flip side, he has quite the tool stash.
It is wonderful being near our families again, and even though we sorely miss our many dear friends in Florida, (weepy eyes) we know we made the right decision to move back to be with parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles etc. and friends from years past. (happy dance)

Great niece's 1st birthday cake experience.
My husbands dear sweet sister was quite ill, and we were able to be here for her, and spend a precious 7 months with her before she passed away just before Christmas. Those precious months with her are ones we'll never regret having. 
My loving parents are now getting up in years, and we also want to be here for them, as they need more help in their daily lives. We also have a lot of catching up to do.
Family is the thread that weaves our lives together, and following my new spool of thread led us back to them. From my sewing room floor in Florida, uphill, 1500 miles to Wisconsin.
Can you say BRRRRRRR?

afternoon drive in Wisconsin
I'm glad we followed the thread, now time to get stitching, after all, it looks like tomorrow is going to be a snow day.
See you back here soon with more quilt and life adventures.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Cautionary (thread) Tail....

Besides being a quilt and pattern designer, I moonlight at a quilt shop....duh, where else would an avid quilter moonlight?
Anyway, the shop I work at also does sewing machine service and repair and I have seen a lot of incredible mishaps when it comes to sewing machines.
I will share these tidbits of insight with you to help prevent these little disasters from happening to you.
This one I was amazed at, I had never even thought this could happen, read on for the
cautionary tail.......

Does your machine have 2 spool pins? You know, a vertical one, and a horizontal one. 
When you have your machine threaded up using the horizontal spool pin, do you sometimes "park" a spare spool of thread on the vertical spool pin? 

Like this....

Well, I know I won't be doing that anymore and here's why.......

all wound up
Yikes! This came out of one woman's sewing machine. (No, it wasn't mine) The tail of thread that is loose and hanging down can get sucked up in the machine (via the hand wheel area) and gets all wound up inside on the main drive shaft thingy. Of course the machine stops working eventually, and that's why she brought it in for service.  You can see that it happened with more than one spool because there are abut 4 colors of thread that got all wound up inside.  Her machine was much happier once this was removed!

all wound up 2
What's even more amazing is, this was the second machine within a month that came in with this issue. The other one only had one color, but a whole bunch of it.

So.....think twice about "parking" your spare spools on your spare spool pin. 
Happy sewing!