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New this week

Got the other halves of these two samples in the mail yesterday. They’re for a wedding dress, or gown may be a better term. The upper set is screened, painted and stamped paint, the lower set is dye with the same techniques. In this case wash-fast acid dye; both samples are on silk organza. I love the creative ideas Kathryn and her brides come up with!

The second picture shows some of the blocks for a quilt I’m working on. Started working on these 10 years+ ago, and they finally are all done – 257 of them. I did a test drive of the layout a few months or more ago, so when I did the layout this week, it only took a couple hours to fiddle with it. You can see some paper ID tags sticking off the corners. So now I’m assembling the top – four blocks in all 16 rows are joined. And I’m chaining the whole thing, unless it gets massively unwieldy, but I know that all the blocks, rows and columns are in the correct position that way. And I’m going to quilt it on the household machine, so I’d better get used to unwieldy!
The third picture shows the detail of another piece dyed with vat dyes – first in a purple bath, then printed with thickened grey dye. You need to enlarge it to see the coppery halo around the grey printing. I like it!
Now I had another idea to try . . . once I finish housework, anyway.
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Budget pressing tool

A recent post by Jennifer Houlden here led me to post the following. Don’t get me wrong – I love-love-love Clover tools. But if you don’t have one, or are on a tight budget, here’s an alternative:
I’ve sanded the pressing surfaces at left and right to make them extra smooth. Not an original idea – it came from a guild speaker. Thank you, whoever you were!
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Back home – another interesting week

Once we got over the whole problem with the brakes, we went on to vend at three shows in three weeks. Oaks, PA (see below), Chautauqua, NY and Chantilly, VA. As usual, we learned from every experience; the big lesson this fall has been to cut the overhead as much as possible. That means we need to sleep and eat cheaper. We got a microwave and TV dinners; to do that better we need to get the TVDs the day they’ll be eaten, not before. Pop Tarts still taste good when the hotel doesn’t have breakfast.

Got home on Sunday; then had to deal with the credit card issue and do household chores on Monday and Tuesday. Then Wednesday I headed down to Philly to report for jury duty at the Federal courthouse. Took the train to get there, and got a copy of the sports pages from the lady in front of me. That kept me busy in the assembly room, because I wasn’t smart enough to change scissors in my sewing bag. However, it took three guys to get them off me! And yes, I am back working on appliqué. Nothing like a little positive reinforcement for motivation. There’s a picture of the block below – PA070132it’s one of 256, and I’m halfway there. When I got home from the city (not selected), I sat back, watched Roy Halladay pitch his no-hitter and stitched. Aaahhhhh . . . . .

There’s an appliqué class this Monday evening (the 11th) in Red Hill – you can sign up at if it’s your first time. Thanks!

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Bad brakes and the happy dance!

OK, the day didn’t start out quite as planned. Had to wait for the UPS driver so I could sign for a package. Then it was off to the show in Oaks. Well, the pesky idiot light on the dashboard wouldn’t go out – it was the brake light. Not something to ignore!  Problem is, the van was completely loaded with fabric and fixtures. Exquisitely loaded, if I may brag on hubby. So, back home, load everything into the pickup truck, with the fabric on the bottom, and follow the van to the garage. Shout-out to Scootie’s garage – Ken came back after his dinner to replace the ruptured brake line(s). Get that man a pickle! Finally, two hours after we first set out, we headed down to the show.

Then things started to improve. After beginning to unload, a spot at the door opened up, and we grabbed it. Unloading proceeded well, and at least it’s a beautiful day – no rain on the goodies. Everything came into the booth, and DH took a break. So, en route to the restroom, I decided to check out some of the quilts. There was a list of winners there and – shriek – I won!!!! Here’s a picture:


That’s it for tonight – very pleased about the quilt, AND that it wasn’t raining, AND that we were only blocks from home, going slowly in the van. See you at the show!

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Classes on website

Finally! I have scheduled classes in dyeing, discharge and appliqué and posted them on my website. Appliqué is a monthly evening class held on the second Monday of the month.P6140095 Well, this isn’t the usual picture of a quilt in progress, but I couldn’t resist. The quilt is done now, and the dog is gone, but he always makes us smile. The blocks are from Jane Townswick’s Artful Appliqué II book, which students can work from if they choose.

The dye class is an introduction for folks who haven’t dyed before and the discharge class won’t teach dyeing, but for people who plan to discharge only commercial fabrics, the dyeing step is not absolutely necessary. They are being held the first and second Saturday of June, and class size is limited to 4 people. Classes will be held outside; in the event of rain we will be in the basement or the garage. Here’s a link for a little more information.

That’s it for now; back to putting products on the website. Thanks for looking!

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Oops – updated website

My earlier post about the book – forgot to mention that I have both Artful Applique II and Applique Takes Wing for sale on my website, And today I even put quantities into inventory so I CAN sell them. Thanks for being patient! A picture of the cover is at the right. The block is one Jane stitched – originally on fabric I dyed, but it was cropped out for the cover. The background shows on the Amazon ‘zoom’ page – the 7th image. Yep, still excited!
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Book is now available!

The long-awaited day is finally here! Jane Townswick’s new book, Artful Applique II, is now in print, and for sale on my website. It’s very exciting to see my work in the book, including on the ‘Tools & Supplies’ page, plus the back cover. That’s because of Jane’s great design. All but one of the design chapters are illustrated with work by her students; my Crown Imperial happened to be the one chosen. But the shape of it is so neat that it appears in the other locations too! Here’s a link to Amazon’s ‘Zoom’ page; my block is the furthest to the right, on the top row; the one in the middle row on the right below. The background I dyed, and the stamens are discharged black overdyed with fuchsia; doubtless there are other fabrics in the block that I dyed. And finally, here’s a picture of my finished quilt:
Thanks for looking!

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My mentor

My mentor is Jane Townswick. She’s also my biggest customer. She teaches applique three times a month at Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley, Penna and is a great artist, inspiration, and if I dare say so, friend.

Go out and buy her book “Applique Takes Wing.” A quilt of mine is in there – page 40. Real casual how I mention that, huh? Otherwise, buy any of the previous books, like “Color Blend Applique.”

Enough for tonight!

(Originally posted Sunday night, deleted & reposted it to get rid of comment spam.)