Monthly Archives: July 2012

I love our woodsy retreat

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on I love our woodsy retreat

I never tire of coming home to Big Canoe although I was very tired when we arrived at 3:30am. As usual Chesty did great both on the flight and the drive from the airport – he’s a well seasoned traveler.

Chris and Becky are our first guests and they’ll arrive this evening. In the meantime, we have some plans to arrange for the week and a run to the grocery store.


This and that

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on This and that

I’m not getting any sewing done this week and at this rate, none will be happening before i travel again. A week like this make me thankful that most of the time I can spend my days quilting without a lot of other obligations intruding.

I have created my list of goals for the next few months. The iPad app Reminders is great for this as it lets me list them and check them off as they’re accomplished.


Today was my day for genealogy and I think I finally solved my problem of how to handle both my research and my initial goal of creating a Family History book for my sons. I knew that i didn’t want a book generated by genealogy software and that scope of writing a book that detailed all the genealogy details I was gathering in my research was clearly beyond my ability.

I decided to deal with the creation of the “tree” and it’s research and gathering of facts separate from the book for the boys and take a more informal, storytelling approach using the facts I’m gathering. I don’t know if that makes sense but by approaching the book as a story I’m telling the boys and not the entire family, it becomes much easier to write.

Knowing that my iPad almost never leaves my side i also knew that I’d write the book quicker on it than on the laptop so I searched today for an app and chose Manuscript. So far the things I like best are the chapters, the ability to create files with index cards so I can organize my thoughts, and that I can read what I wrote in a “book view” which makes it so much easier to proofread. My thought is that after the content is written, I’ll export the text into a format that allows me to insert photos and charts and then “publish” it.

Wish me luck and check back in a couple years to see how I’m progressing.


Yes, more swirls

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Yes, more swirls

I know I just quilted freehand swirls yesterday but today’s dotty top from Tish seemed to want them too!

Now I’m heading out for a walk and the coffee shop for some more knitting — I finished the heels on both pair of socks yesterday (yes I stayed up until 3AM finishing the pink heels). Still lots to do to finish both pair but I’m making progress.


Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Coins

This top was pieced by a group in CA and is one of 8 sent to me to finish and donate. Quilted with freehand swirls.


I tried the fusible tape on a batting today and for me it wasn’t as quick as zigzaging it on the machine — assuming the machine is already set up with thread, the right foot, and for me, the right plate as I tend to use a straight needle plate when I’m piecing.

Having said that — there are many times I pull a donation top and would piece together 2-3 scraps but don’t because the machine is set up for piecing. In those cases I can definitely see using the tape — assuming that it launders well (without pulling apart and creating gaps)….or rather than the tape which is expensive – I plan on trying the fusible interfacing suggested by one of my blog readers and using my GO to quickly cut it into strips.

So I’ll continue to zigzag the batting when I’m piecing multiple batts but will use the fusible when I’m just piecing one.


Last week it was binding….

Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on Last week it was binding….

This week I seem to be obsessed with knitting. I’ve been working on both pair of socks and unfortunately last night made a mess of my heels … I almost NEVER rip out knitting because I find it SO difficult to get my stitches back on my needles correctly so I have a high tolerance for mistakes. However, it became apparent last night that I was going to have to rip out both heels of my purple socks.

I stayed up to 2AM last night ripping, picking up stitches, and then redoing the heels and I’m finishing up the second heel today. As soon as I’m done, I’m going to do the heels on the pink pair while it’s all fresh in my head.

Because I was afraid I could not get both socks back on the same needles and oriented correctly after ripping them out – they’re each on their own needles.


I’ve toyed with audio books a bit in the past – I have this fear of not being able to read one day and decided I needed to train myself to listen to books. I wasn’t very successful but I’m giving it another try with the Overdrive app that lets me download audio books from my local library. I’m listening to a biography of Grace Kelly and I think I’ll actually finish it. I was not able to get through the first book I downloaded because the reader’s voice grated on my nerves so bad.

That’s a lot of batting scraps!

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on That’s a lot of batting scraps!

I got two backs pieced, 4 battings pieced and there’s still a lot left.

I label the size of the battings so it will be easy to pair them up with tops without having to unfold them all to check the size.


I also worked on knitting this evening. I finally got the first heels turned and picked up the gusset stitches but it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t read my instructions as carefully as I should have and it’s been a long time since I turned a heel. I’m going to do the pink pair right away so I don’t make the same mistakes (I hope).

A change of plans

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on A change of plans

Seems like as soon as I post that I’m going to do something, I change my mind. Today I planned to load and quilt a HeartStrings top and get a couple others trimmed and ready for binding … After way too much time on the computer responding to emails and cleaning up my inbox I went downstairs and looked at the mountain of batting scraps waiting to be sewn into usable pieces.

So that along with piecing a couple backs for small donation tops will be my task for what’s left of the afternoon. Most of these will be sewn together by machine but I did buy some fusible batting tape to try for those times when I just want to make one pieced batting for a specific quilt but don’t want to change the thread in my sewing machine. I think it’s too expensive to use on all my pieced batts.