It’s hot…

Times being what they are, some of you believe in climate change and others do not. I’m married to a scientist and I like data, especially when it is presented in a way that is both visually interesting and understandable.

I read this article in the Washington Post on Tuesday that shows various ways that data visualizers are representing temperature increases. We all recognize hot and cold days as we live in them, but these visualizations put daily temperatures in a longer context.

Dr. Ed Hawkins is a climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at the University of Reading. His visualizations resonated with me. This one could be printed on fabric, if only what it represents wasn’t so concerning.


by Ed Hawkins

The climate spiral, below, is in the WaPo article, and you can also find it here. This is a photo of the final spiral, but if you click this link you can watch the spiral grow from cooler, bluer rings to where we are now.

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 9.16.48 AM

by Ed Hawkins

I’m sharing this because I find it interesting. Some of you might be poised to tell me why you think climate change is made up. You can, but please keep it pleasant.

We need to be able to have conversations, that include listening, about topics on which we might not agree. Most of our collective conversations happen on flat, glass screens. If we were looking at each other, face-to-face, we would likely respond differently than we do on a keyboard. Pretend we are in the same room :-).

Link to the article in the Washington Post for those of you whose links above don’t work:


Show and tell…

Linda Anderson sent me this photo of her very first hand appliqué project. Isn’t it great! I Love the way the gray backgrounds and sashing set off the colors of the leaves. Linda, well done!

FYI: this is Blowin’ in the Wind from our book, the Best-Ever Applique Sampler. Click here to find the book.


Linda started her quilt in a class I taught two years ago at Crazy Quilters, Emmaus PA.

Wednesday Giveaway

This week Adele won a set of Clover’s Black Gold sharps. There are 3 needle sizes included (even though the photo just shows one size). I like having needle size options :-). Black Gold sharps have a really sharp point and I love them!

If you aren’t Adele and still would like to try these needles, click here.


I’ll be back next Wednesday with another Giveaway. Happy stitching!

You can always find this and more at!

The Quilt is Finished!!!

Linda got all of the 48 wool blocks made by her stitch group friends put together, quilted, and bound! Read more from Linda below the quilt…


I machine quilted the blocks in the ditch and then echo quilted around each block. When quilting a wool project of this size, less is best.

It is sad to see the Appliqué Delights project end. We had so much fun making these blocks. I hope many of you will have fun doing the project with your group.

It was interesting putting the blocks on the wall and selecting which one went where. I spent days changing my mind and rearranging the blocks. If you do this with a group my advice is the fewer involved with positioning the blocks the better.

Happy Stitching,


If you are interested in making your own blocks just like these, click here to find a print-on-demand version of Applique Delights, or click here to find the eBook.

I learned a new thing about polyester thread!


Sew Fine! thread from Superior.

What do you do when you find out that something you thought was true, really isn’t? If you are me, you write a blog post for all the world to see :-).

NOTE: I did, in fact, find out a little more and the updated information is in this post (

If you have ever been in my class, you know that I use cotton thread with cotton fabric. That’s not going to change because cotton thread has many characteristics that I like. However, one of the main reasons I have not recommended using polyester thread is that I believed that it might degrade faster than cotton over time. This was based on old information that may have true back in the day but is no longer relevant.

I have been doing quite a bit of research on thread and I ran across this academic study  that looked at the biodegradability of polyester vs. cotton. You can read the whole paper, or skim it, but here’s the very short story:

The researchers took cotton and polyester jersey fabrics and subjected them to the same treatment. All fabrics were laundered 30 times with various washing products to simulate garments at the end of their useful lives prior to testing. They were then buried and composted for 3 months.

“The polyester fabric showed a slight initial degradation, but the fabric was still intact after testing under both laboratory conditions and the compost environment. In soil and compost testing, which included multiple organisms and enzymes, the cotton fabric with softener had an accelerated degradation rate, while the cotton fabric with resin showed a relatively slow degradation rate.

All cotton samples were more significantly degraded in the compost environment than under the laboratory conditions and confirmed to be ‘compostable’.”

I’ve been wrong about this aspect of polyester thread. I still don’t love it for the kind of sewing that I do. Polyester thread doesn’t tolerate high heat from an iron, it is slippery, and it is shinier than cotton. But there is nothing suspect about the fiber itself. If you have a place where it makes sense to use polyester, go for it. Who knows… it’s possible I might find myself using it in some future project.

Lastly, it is true that polyester is basically a plastic. Many of us, me included, are trying to cut back on the amount of plastic we use. However, until we manage to cut out much bigger sources of plastic in our lives, I think it’s safe not to obsess about the plastic in polyester thread.