This makes sense…

I think that what Ms. Aamodt says in this TED talk about dieting and weight rings true. What it means is that we should all focus more on healthy eating and not worry so much about how much we weigh. I know I've heard that before and so, probably, have you. But she speaks eloquently about weight, in a way that ought to make us all less critical of ourselves and others.



i tips and tricks…

If you have an iPhone or iPad, I guarantee that it will do things that you don't know about. I found this Buzzfeed list by way of another quilter's facebook post (thanks to Frieda!) and I learned a few things. The real trick will be remembering them.

It's good to know how to save a google map so that you can access it even if your device can't connect to the internet (#3) but the trick for deleting a wrong number in the calculator is something I'm more likely to find useful:

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 9.48.24 AM

I didn't know that you can add a folder to the icon bar or the domain name trick in #17. It's nice to learn new things!


Looking for purple…







I have a tumblr blog, although I don't post to it often. It's one of those things I'm going to do more often "once I finish this book." (There are so many things that are on the list for then. Sigh.)

Anyway, I do subscribe to a few tumblr blogs and the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of them. They post some fun photos. This one of crown jellyfish caught my attention because they are the Pantone color of the year. Woo hoo! Do you you think they know?




Pantone released it's color for the new year: Radiant Orchid. Read more here.

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 5.48.33 PM

Here's a quote from the Pantone site:

“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

If you like purple, this may be your year, but I'm not persuaded that this is my color of the year. As it turns out, the choice of emerald last year didn't do much for me either. Have you noticed a lot of emerald out there in the real world? I have not. And I haven't used much, if any, emerald in my quilts. However, I would like to find a little bit of this purple in fabric… it's a hard color to find much of.

In related Pantone color news, my son, Chris, told me about @everycolorbot on twitter. If you follow @everycolorbot you will be tweeted a random Pantone color every hour. If for no other reason than it makes scanning through your tweets prettier, it's worth following. (As you can see from my phone's screenshot, I don't follow a huge number of folks on twitter.)


It started with the iron…

This post is really about bleeding fabric, but to get to that part of the story I have to start with the iron. My cheap Sunbeam iron began spitting brown stuff before Christmas so I had to buy yet another iron.

If I had $1000+ to throw at an iron, I'd get a Laura Star ironing system. (You know it's going to be expensive if it's a 'system'.) Instead I bought a Rowenta Pro Iron Steam Station. The base is the water reservoir. It wasn't cheap, but it also wasn't $1000.


That fabric in the background was a gift from Celia. I thought it would spice up the photo :-).

I read the reviews on this iron and many said that it was prone to spitting water. It is. But once it quits spitting, it puts out a huge amount of steam. My solution is to leave a folded towel next to the iron and every time I pick it up, I first let it spit on the towel. So far that's working for me. FYI: I can go several hours before I have to refill the reservoir.

I started work 2 days ago on the last quilt top for the color book. This one features light prints in a rainbow of colors…

RainbowFence-FabricStacks-04 copy

With the top made (it's way cute!), I decided to piece a square of each fabric that I used to make the quilt back. I pressed as I sewed. My iron did some spitting and, in a few areas, the fabric got wet. I was absolutely stunned when a fabric with red dots bled! And later, even more stunned when a smaller red dot did the same thing!


I prewash all my fabric. This should not have happened, but it did. I replaced both fabrics—on the quilt top, and on the back. I was mildly annoyed at first but then I realized how lucky I was to have found this out when it was still easy to fix.

The dragonfly fabric you see in the quilt back (below, 2nd row) replaced the larger red dot. I used a different small red dot to replace the small red dot that bled.



I wish I knew why that fabric bled. I wish I knew what other quilts those two fabrics are in! But for me it is yet another reminder to wash very carefully. With color catchers, or synthrapol and/or retayne.

And, because I like the photo, here's a shot of the scraps from the quilt top:

RainbowScraps copy


Sewing in the new year!

I am working on a pieced quilt based on a triadic color scheme of red, blue and yellow (the primary colors) for the color book. Red is the dominant color in this quilt, with blue and yellow accents. My first attempt (last week) produced blocks that were not what I expected. Even Steve agreed that the test blocks did not look friendly. They weren't exactly bad, but they were not going to work in the book. What to do?

I slept on it and woke up New Year's day ready to begin again. I wish I could show you the blocks—both bad and good—but I can't. They will be in the book. I can show you the pile of scraps from both quilts…


The oldest scraps are on the right. The darkest reds and the truer blues did not make it into the new quilt. I replaced them with red prints that are more active and blues that lean to aqua.

The idea of 'primary colors' makes me think of crayons, little kids, and clowns. The pile of scraps reminds me of all these things but amazingly enough, the quilt does not. It is much quieter than you'd think, and it is very friendly!

In other news, Steve has been helping me with the quilts for this book too. He has been sewing down bindings (there will be more of that) and he's been basting quilts!

Steve-Basting copy

I have one more quilt top to make and then the machine quilting will begin—maybe next week!