Monday, April 29, 2013

Short & Sweet to End April

Framed Star in Brown Top; QUILTED Bubble Meander Freehand

I love the way this quilt turned out!

African Kangaroo Top; QUILTED Meander Freehand

As the subject name suggests, I've kept this short & sweet. 

It's been a long day & I'm short on words for a change :) 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quilt Hangers

I'm so excited about my new quilt hangers, I just had to share! My BFF has been talking them up forever & I finally managed to snag a set for my birthday. I'm looking forward to hanging & making-to-hang small quilts that I can change out seasonally at whim.

Obviously, these are made to hold the smaller variety of quilt. 

They have a couple cool features: 

To begin with, they're very easy to hang. They come with predrilled holes through which you can hammer a nail. Or you can do as my BFF did, and I followed suit, and that is to use 3M Command Brand small Poster Strips. They claim to provide a damage-free stick (keep the instructions!) that "holds strongly & removes cleanly", in case you're neurotic like me about pounding holes into your walls.

The second feature that most quilters will appreciate is that they require no "hanging pocket" to be made and/or sewn into the binding of your quilt & then also tacked down by hand. Although I want to take the time & attention each project needs to looks it's best, I also really love a shortcut! 

Here's a close-up so you get a better idea of how they work:

After unscrewing the gold screw, slip the quilt edge under the wooden lip, position, and tighten the screw. 

Mine were bought on Amazon, which shows the hangers in walnut & ash. I checked the supplier's website, Alice in Stitches, and there are two different sizes, as well as painted black or white hangers available. The website suggests you could hang any size quilt with them so long as you had a hanger every 12-18". 

I'm not affiliated with this product in any way and am sharing solely for the purpose of giving a review on something I've found very useful!

Happy Slow Sunday!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Running with March Quilts

My sinuses are telling me that spring is definitely here in PA~ ugh ~ Such a major drawback to enjoying the newly warmed air, to also feel like a balloon-head with a dribbly nose.

My 16 year old daughter & I have embarked on long-distance running with the dawning of allergy season, which means gulping pollen-ladened air, thus exacerbating my balloon-headed feeling, but alas, the running-bug has been caught.  I used to run in high school & even back when I was popping out babies, but the busyness of mommyhood eventually waylaid my best efforts.

So I've been gearing up all winter to start this. I knew I needed to wait for the air to be warmer so as not to throw my lungs into asthmatic fits, since they're not used to running in the cold air anymore. And we've been going to the gym, lifting weights, doing the elliptical thing trying to get my legs back. And now we've begun actual running, using Ian Macneill's walk/run method. It's been good to review some techniques & read the advice after being out of it for so long. And the book has been a good reminder for me to start slow, because nowadays I have a tendency to run with my brain thinking about what my bod *used to* be able to do & then end up with sore muscles. I'll keep you posted !

Back to quilts, the actual purpose of this blog...

LOVE the colors in this Scrappy Stars Top; QUILTED with Loops & Stars (Freehand)

Next up is this Purple/Green Pinwheel Bed Runner; QUILTED with Meandering Butterflies (Freehand)

Last but definitely not least is this Stepping Stone Sampler Top; QUILTED with Leafy Swirl (Freehand)

There's been a small lull in quilting work, which has been a blessing with all the interviewing & running around I've been doing with the 16 year old, but it also has my mind cranking out ideas of things to make, things I need to clean, and all the projects I hope to tackle over the summer. For some reason I always have grand hopes of getting lots done over the summer because we're not "in school", but my family just laughs & shakes their collective head when I start yammering on about all that can be tackled. It never truly pans out that way, but at least if I have a list, when there are unexpected gaps of unscheduled time, my thoughts are more organized about what needs to be done. This is my mental version of spring cleaning I think. Mentally I sweep out the cobwebs of my winter-webbed mind, overused with working & teaching through the holidays which leaves me with a 2-month hang-over feeling, and I emerge feeling renewed around springtime ready to tackle things beyond the basics.

Does putting my upcoming goals out there in bloggerland make them more official? Does this mean I'll actually follow through?? It remains to be seen...

Take care everybody!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ode to Spring & Personal Projects

The weather has finally sprung
yes, in PA, spring has finally released her fun
Gone are the dreary of doldrums
now for the outdoor walks & slow runs
Hiding inside like a hermit no more
Fresh air, sunshine, and warm breezes galore 
trying to ignore all the red eyes & sneezes
still yearning for swimming, BBQs & more!

Has spring sprung yet in your neck of the woods? It spurs in me desires to clean out the car, take up running again, pull out my bike, go for a hike, ready the pool, clean out the 3rd floor, reorganize the house...

... really you could just lump them into two categories: head for the hills & clean my brains out. 

In reality, I'll probably work on few of the items floating around in my head until summer kicks in. Not only does springtime bring about half a dozen birthday celebrations for us, as well as Mother's Day, but there's lots to do to close out our school year as well as preparing for the upcoming year. 

 I spend time researching, picking out & buying all the curriculum for next year's homeschooling adventure, so I have it all on hand for planning over the summer. And then there's all the busywork of the paperwork involved with legally homeschooling in PA. (PA has the most laws in any state governing our right to homeschool our children. I don't want to debate with anyone why this is or why this isn't a good thing for my kiddos. It's a pain~ period.)

Anywho, I'm off on a tangent here...

Spring is busy. Should I have just left it at that perhaps? And then isn't EVERYONE busy? All. the. time. Okay, so enough boohooing about busyness & onto some doodads I've made recently...

 Fabric "Catch-all"
The pattern is by Liberty Weaver (, and it gives instructions to make different sizes. Mine is currently being used to hold threads & small scraps of fabric left over from various crafting endeavors.

Fabric Postcard & Ribbon Work Garden Pincushion
(classes I took at Stitch & Craft)

 This stitchery might be one of my most favorite creations of all time. I can't wait to hang it in my bathroom & wait for the revelations!! (stop laughing at me)

Last but not least are my Winter & Spring blocks for the block swap I did with friends at Stitch & Craft:

Happy Slow Sunday!