Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

No pictures as my phone won't upload a picture to the blog ...

We are playing picture telephone and laughing SO hard at the changes that happen around the circle. I am the only one who has had a phrase make it all the way around.

May your New Year be a good one.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Playing with dresden blades

I recently  aquired  the Prairie  Pointer by Susan  Cleveland  and wanted to try using it for making conistent  points for my dresden  blades.
I  haven't  sewn any together, yet. so far, they look  great. I  will  see if they work better than my *eyeball* method.

What did you  work  on this week?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2017 UFO Challenge

I am taking part in the All People Quilt UFO Challenge for 2017. I have more than 12 UFOs, but my hope is to get 12 UFOs finished, not overstretch and get all of them done!

Number 6 is on tap for January. I have already pulled out the QOV tops and found the backing fabric ;) now to finish off the border on the one and get them quilted!

Are you taking part?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

For Christmas ...

My dearest love gave me an Oliso iron. Since using them in classes, I have wanted one of my own. Twisting motions aggravate my tendinitis, so long ironing sessions with my trusty Black and Decker have left me aching.  Because the Oliso doesn't rest on its back, I am not twisting my wrist to set it down :)

And, the iron is a pretty color, who can resist?


Monday, December 26, 2016

cleaning ... organizing ...

My Sewing Dungeon has gotten out of control. About the only thing that is half-way organized are the shelves of fabric, seen above. The rest of the room is full of assorted piles. Today I did some sorting and filled a box with things I will not even miss - and the room barely looks changed. Tomorrow I intend to do some folding and putting away of fabrics from those assorted piles that are still to be found almost everywhere ;)

I want to get the room in a functional situation as I am undertaking the AQS UFO Challenge this year. All of the UFOs on my list need to be quilted, and the quilt frame is hard to get to (see the note about assorted piles) right now. IF I can get everything put away or given away, that will make my UFO tackling go smoother.

Now, do you think I can keep the room straightened?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

Our day  started  with a service  with our church  family.  The Army  Guy, the Peanut, Princess  Sunshine, the  Boybarian  and  I  sang for the first time  in  the  service (we sing  together  plenty  on our  own). We sang It's About  the  Cross  - a song we first heard on  the  album  Snow by Go Fish Guys.

We ate all  day long  ...  opening  gifts to  one  another  in between.

On our tv we  watched  the  yule log crackle  and burn, wishing  we  had a real fireplace so  it was as warm  as it looked. Christmas  music  played, and  we  enjoyed  spending  time  with  one another.

I  hope  your Christmas  was a good  day  for you  and  yours!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

My Army Guy

While he may have retired, he is still my Army Guy. He has been in the Army since before we got married, and "once a soldier, always a soldier" is a true statement.
Yesterday we celebrated his birthday ... by driving across the state and having lunch with part of his family. The restaurant gave him a dessert for celebrating, with enough spoons for all to taste. It was delicious :) a brownie with fudge and caramel sauce, ice cream, plenty of whipped cream and a candy cane on top.

#chelseagrill #lovemyarmyguy #happybirthdayk

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Today  was the day to bake ... the Boybarian  joined me  in the kitchen  to learn  how  to  braid the  coffee  cake.  It is  a  messy  process, but Christmas  morning  wouldn't  be the  same  if we didn't  have  Nana's  Coffee  Cake!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Christmas Quilt

It has been a few years, and we still use this quilt (ooh! look at the wallpaper border - they were EVERYWHERE in the house in PA). I made this quilt from a Mary Engelbriet Jelly Roll and the fabrics still make me happy. I backed it with flannel to make it extra snuggly.

Do you have any quilts you bring out for Christmastime?


Monday, December 19, 2016

the cardinal lives on a branch now ...

As I played around with my cardinal, I decided to put it on a branch ... I think I will put a border of some sort on it and then quilt it with straight line quilting (mimicking the background fabric print).

What did you work on today?


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ready for Christmas?

I am almost done with my present acquisition, but no decorating has happened at my house. The only decoration is this little tree I made in October. 
Ten yoyos, a small section of dowel, a birch round and a little star ... The presents will not fit under this tree !

Friday, December 16, 2016

Spoonflower order

I  don't  know  how  many  of you have experienced  custom  printed fabric. There  are different  companies  that provide  the service, and I  have  only experience  with Spoonflower. Today  I  received  an order ... it is exciting  to see a design come to  life  in fabric. 
This was a design  was from one if my assignments  in my 2D design  class. I  really  liked how it turned out and uploaded  it to see it in fabric.

Problem? I  found  out  where I  was off in my design  and there is a little  blip.  Now  I  have  to  tweak the design to take care of that blip.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Baby its cold outside!

Winter has definitely come to my neighborhood. The snowfall is sticking, the temperatures have crashed and the wind whistles right on through.

I feel cold!

Thankfully, I have this lovely rice bag that my sister made for me. She used an orphan block to make a sleeve (that can be washed) and the rice bag slides right in ... It is my favorite thing right now, visiting the microwave frequently to warm it up again!

I think I need to make a shawl version that can go around my shoulders ... with a nice, cozy flannel cover. I'm glad the sewing dungeon is in a heated basement!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A decision to make ...

... the cardinal is finished, now I need to decide what background to use. In the quilt shop,we tried many different background fabrics and I decided to use these two green fabrics for the background.

Now I need to decide which direction to put the background four patch! Deciding may take a little time. I will be adding a branch for the cardinal to sit on and have chosen a lovely batik in a warm brown.
 Any thoughts on which direction works better for this bird?


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Two classes today ...

Today was a day that found the Sewing Dungeon abandoned. I taught two classes at a local quilt shop. Machine Binding, a popular class, this morning and Origami Tree s this afternoon. I will be working on other ways to use the units ... One possibility is a wreath, I will use other fabrics for mine ;) as I like brighter fabrics!

Monday, December 12, 2016

All those motifs ...

Remember the motifs I showed the other day? They have not become something more than a pile of cut out flowers ...

I was thinking of a small, simple design and saw a cardinal that I used in a Row X Row design this year. So, that is what I used. I can see where I should have moved a motif here or there, but it is now fused together and it doesn't look half bad :)

I will have to start auditioning some background fabrics, but that will have to wait as I have two classes to teach tomorrow ...

I think I might be ready to help my sister tackle the kit she bought in Laura Heine's booth at AQS!

see other blogs participating in the 31 day blogging challenge

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Candy in acrylics

 Sweet paintings by my Art Explorations students.
 The students chose from salt water taffy and suckers, choosing the composition that made sense to them.
Theses little paintings may be found in the postcard salon at the Muskegon Museum of Art at the end of February/beginning of March.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Mom of an Eagle Scout

Today was the Eagle Court of Honor for my son. And for some reason, my camera didn't work right when I handed it off to someone else ...

 So, we missed ceremony pictures with the parents, but we have our Eagle Scout with cake :) the cake came from Ryke's, and we chose to have a plaid in the colors of the MacLaren tartan on it (the official Scout tartan).

 I'm rather proud of my boy!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Playing with new techniques

Do you ever become intrigued by a new technique? I will admit that I spent a lot of time drooling over Laura Heine's designs at AQS in Grand Rapids this past August ... I recently caved and bought her book on collage and am playing with fabric (well, it is fused and I am trimming all those pieces - ALL those pieces). I'm still not totally sure what my design will be!
It took over an hour to cut these motifs out ... maybe I should have looked for some larger ones! The problem is, I really don't have much in prints with motifs that might work. I'll make at least one design, but not sure how many more will be in my future ;) I want to know how to do this so I can teach classes (if asked) at my LQS.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Exams are done for the semester!

 Today's exam was a critique of our last projects in my 2D design class.

 Our last project was to paint a landscape, from one of our own photos, in acrylics and then paint an apocalyptic version after researching what would happen in such an apocalyptic scenario.
 I chose a picture from last year's Belize trip. There was a clear photo from the resort and I could easily imagine what would happen if the resort was abandoned due to economic collapse.
It would not take long for the jungle to reclaim the property. The wooden roof would be gone, plants would being growing everywhere, leaf detritus would cover everything and the careful landscaping would lose ground to the jungle plants. 

I am going to have time to concentrate on quilting in the coming days (well, maybe next week!).


Wednesday, December 7, 2016


In our microwave, google and instant  messaging  society, we want to see results  right away. I  am  definitely  caught  up  in  the  impatient  moments  of life.  I  need  to  slow down  and  realize that  life takes  time.  Projects take time.  A clean  house takes time.  My college  degree  takes time. 

Time to slow down  and enjoy the season   ...  once  exams are over.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Log Cabin in Finished!

The Log Cabin Quilt is finished :) It was a gift for the outgoing Chair of our Quilt Guild. She was tickled and told me that she loves log cabin blocks.

The quilt is backed with flannel. Snuggly flannel :) Freemotion quilted with a feather meander and bound with a self-flange binding.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Army Guy

My Army Guy has officially retired from the Army. Last Thursday was his first day as a civilian since 1982. We celebrated his retirement on Sunday ... One of this things he chose to display was this quilt that I designed for a challenge. For some reason, he snatched it up after it was in a couple of quilt shows. This hung on his wall in his last two Army offices.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Color Theory

Color theory is something that baffles many artists and quilters can break out in hives when confronted with applying color theory in their quilts.
Like every other art class I have taken, I made a color wheel in my 2D design class. Color Wheels can be so pretty and make sense when you make them, but how in the world do they really work?

I am in the process of developing a color theory class ... and thinking about how to approach color theory in a way that quilters can find practical.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

My homeschool art class

Even though we graduated our last student from our homeschool, I couldn't seem to let go completely. I am teaching an art class at our local homeschool co-op.

Yesterday we looked at works by Wayne Thibaud and then painted cupcakes. It was absolute torture for the students as I wouldn't let them eat the cupcakes until they finished their paintings (thankfully, they were only 5"X7").

They all captured the essence of cupcakes in their paintings and the cupcakes were enjoyed by all!


Friday, December 2, 2016

December 2nd

I have a quilt on the frame ... I started quilting and BAM something wonky happened with the quilting *sigh* So, I am picking out the stitches.

Twenty minutes of quilting, three hours of unstitching.

Hoping your quilt journey is going better today!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

31 Day Blog Challenge

I have been busy and have not been publishing to my blog much. You would think that now I am done homeschooling I would have time, right?

Full Time College Student, Mom, Quilter, Quilt Instructor, amateur Thespian ... I am keeping busy, catching myself coming and going!

AND today I will be heading into the Sewing Dungeon, not to clean (which it needs desperately!) but to quilt (much more fun than cleaning, don't you agree?).

I will be doing my best to keep up with my blog in December, I am taking on the 31 day blog challenge :) by Cheryl Sledoba.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Design Wall Monday

I added a Row to my Design Wall this past weekend. This one will become a wall hanging. It is from Abby's Reflection in Sitka, Alaska. I had to have this one! It is SO beautiful with the batiks. I am also really glad that I got the prefused kit - there is a bunch of fiddly pieces!

What is on your design wall? 

Check out Patchwork Times for more inspiration!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Origami Pinwheel Block

Instructions are for one block:
 9 “ Finished Block
            4 – 5” squares accent fabric
            4 – 5” squares pinwheel fabric
            12 – 5” squares background fabric

 Press the background squares and the pinwheel squares in half diagonally.

For each unit, layer three background triangles and one pinwheel triangle on top of the accent square. “Weave” these triangles around, each one having one point over and one point under. Make note of which direction you “weave” the corners! Pin in place and then baste the edges. 

Make four identical units.

On each unit, fold back the edge of each triangle, exposing the accent square. 
I like to use a starch or starch alternative 
at this point!
Lift up the edge of the fold and tack down the fold underneath. Tack down all triangles.
 Sew your four units together to make pinwheel block, making sure your pinwheel corners meet in the middle. Press the seams open.
Needs ideas for using this block?
  • Make three blocks, sew them together (press seams open), add a border, and you have a table runner. 
  • Add borders to your single block and sew into a pillow. 
  • You could also make your single block into a hot pad.

This works for any size. As long as all of your beginning squares are the same size, you can make your own size of block!