Mom’s North Pole…

My mom wants to make her own Welcome to the North Pole quilt. How fun is that! Luckily I have a fair amount of fabric for her to work from. I have kept a variety of small scraps of fabric that I always mean to use but then forget I have. Those are now Mom's. She has started the Ice Cream Cone cottage…


This is interesting because mom has not appliqued much at all and I teach applique. But neither of us wants this to turn into a 'teaching experience.' Mom has her own ideas about what she wants to do and I answer technique questions as she has them. Like how to do doors with cutaway applique. (FYI – click here for a video showing you how.) My mom has a naturally nice stitch which makes me happy!

Watching mom is reminding me again of how much work it can be for a true beginner to absorb all of the details that can go with hand applique. I love having beginners in a class and I do my best to make sure that they have a good experience. I will try even harder from now on!

Know what you’ve got before you make it go away…

I have written lately about cleaning out for a garage sale. Mom decided to join in the fun and she came up with more costume jewelry for the garage sale. After the bag of jewels was taken away, she remembered that she hadn't seen the little diamond stud earrings that my dad gave her years ago. 

She thought that maybe she had given them to Elanor with some other small earrings a few weeks ago. No, she had not. Then I got to thinking about the little rhinestone studs that I had removed from Elanor's bag of jewels. Surely they weren't in there. I had one pair that looked likely but Mom didn't agree.

I had to get a CT scan on my head last week and I had to take off my presumably fake diamond stud earrings. I put them on the counter and forgot about them until the next day. I figured they were cheap studs and I just let it go.

Yesterday, a week later, Mom and I were in the car and I got to wondering if those could be the missing diamonds… Yes, they were. The jeweler said so.



Notice that the ones on the left have a bit more clarity, even at a small size? Would I notice that if I didn't know they were the real ones. Probably not. But they look a whole lot more exciting in my ears now than they did last week!

I thought I'd share this with you because if your mom, grandmother, aunt, or sister has something like this stashed away, will you recognize it if you have to sort out their worldly possessions? 

FYI - Turns out that I have a bit more of a sinus infection that is going to have to be dealt with at the end of May. Not a big deal but I'm glad to have had the CT scan because otherwise my physician would not have seen it.

Look what came in the mail…

Do you remember the box of dyes that I posted about a few days ago? They found a home in NM and Donna, the new owner of the dyes sent me a very interesting package…


It's way cool! I especially like the 'subversive material' stamp on the side. And the fun stamps. And my name in red with dots! The back was good too…


AND inside was a pair of hand dyed socks!


I admit that I send boring mail – at least on the outside. This really, really makes me wish I had time to perk up my envelopes. Maybe in August I can find a day to dye/paint them…

AAQI quilt update…

I've been working on my quilt. I broke my rule about stitching before the whole thing is designed so much of what you see is already sewn down. It's back up on the design wall so that I can cut the rest of the pieces. Here it is with the overlay over it. You can sort of see what still needs to be cut.


It's prettier, brighter, with the overlay pinned up and out of the way…


The leaves on the tree are sewn using the cutaway applique techinque so they are a lot bigger here than they will be later.

So far so good!

Cutting loose with silver spray paint…

I couldn't help myself. As Martha projects go the silver spray paint idea is pretty low-impact – not time or money consuming. I decided to transform a basket and some curly willow branches…



The vase with the sticks has been on the end table next to our sofa for a long time. Two years or more and while I like them I was ready for a change. I knew painting them would be a risk but I figured if I didn't like them that was a sign that they needed to go.


More paint ended up on the newspapers than on the sticks. I should have taken a photo of them back in the vase but trust me when I tell you that they didn't work. The vase is too gold to work with silver sticks. I transfered them to a tall clear vase with clear glass marbles in the bottom for weight. They just didn't look right in my room. Luckily they work in Lorna's living room, on the floor next to a bookcase. See, I didn't need them anymore!

I do like the basket and have plans to use it during parties for chips or whatever…


In other news, I'm sending out a newsletter on Thursday. The new book, Applique With Attitude should be in my hands on Friday so if you order (or have ordered) one it'll ship on Monday or Tuesday. 


Bathtub Martha!

OK – I am now mildly obsessed with the Martha ads. I find myself thumbing through new issues of MSL to see where's she's been photoshopped next. In the most recent issue I think she may actually be sitting on the tub, holding that child…


So, she and the boy are fine. The tub is fine. But the bubbles… they aren't real. What are they? Gotta be some kind of plastic, don't you think?

The more I look the more I see the highlights on the bubbles. They're sort of off. Could that be one bubble, photoshopped all over the place? The highlights start to look like little eyes. Really, they need me to help them with these ads.

But in the magazine there is a lot of good stuff. I found a variety of recipes that Steve is also interested in. Good thing since he's the chef at our house. I find the recipes, he either adopts them or not. 

There is also this idea – use silver spray paint to update your stuff. Specifically your basket-y stuff.


I like this idea a lot! I have a few nice but boring baskets that are going to be silver very soon. 

In other news, we spent much of the weekend thinning our stuff. It's a scary thing that I can pull a few boxes of knick knacks off of the shelves in the house and the shelves still look just fine. Better even. We cleaned out the attic – not much left up there now. The garage needs a bit of thinning and we're hoping to get to it in the next week.

Chris and Lorna are taking all of this stuff we have thinned and are going to garage sale it. I actually enjoy seeing my former treasures become someone else's find of the day but I just don't have the time to do the work on a garage sale now. I'm happy that Chris and Lorna are up for the job. 

I should be sending a newsletter this week. We get the first copies of the new book and they have been shipped. Place your order now and your copy of our newest book, Applique With Attitude, ought to ship late next week. Click here for details. You might want to click around and look at the notions page and the perle cotton pages… I've added a few new things.