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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Finally a Finish: Fancy Forest Thistles by Elizabeth Hartman

I can't stand thistles. Well, specifically, I can't stand Scotch thistles, stickery, noxious, non-native weeds, that take over grazing areas if a rancher isn't diligent. Every spring and early summer Tom, and I, sometimes, are out and about on the Polaris, hoes at the ready.  An aside: I still remember when I taught The Good Earth how the line in the book about Wang Lung grabbing a hoe and going outside would get a good laugh from the Beavis and Butthead types in my class.

Chopping thistles is hard work, and Tom tries hard to get the Scotch thistle population under control while sparing native thistles which provide nesting material for our local birdies.

So let me say not all thistles are bad, but those Scotch thistles are.

A while back I made a Fancy Forest quilt designed by Elizabeth Hartman, and I loved making the thistle blocks. Fancy Forest doesn't have its binding on, so I will let you see that one another day.

But those thistle blocks seemed fun, so I used some random fabric here and there, with a  Moda Grunge Basics Olive Branch Green background, to make a kid-sized quilt. It's embarrassing to say that the top was completed over a year ago, but other projects were calling, so it waited. And waited, patiently. If they were real thistles, they would have proliferated one hundred fold!

Anyway, here's Fancy Thistles and thanks to Tom for holding it up. I like these thistles.

If you click to make the photo bigger you can see the quilting by Michael Siewert of ThreadBear in Las Vegas, NM. Love the leaves and vines pattern, so apt for the piecing.

Icing on the cake: This quilt won Second Place at the Colfax County Fair's quilt show for the small quilts, two makers, division.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Quilty Pleasures: Sew Together Bag

Well, Hello, Strangers!

I guess I'm the stranger because dang, where have I been?  Let's blame it on winter. I guess I just don't feel like I have enough to share with you, so why be lame and bore you?

But spring is finally here and the days are gorgeous.

I've been stacking wood.  Lots and lots of wood. It's good exercise, so don't feel sorry for me. This morning I started my fourth woodpile and  suspect there will be one more after Tom finishes splitting the logs he has cut.

But let's get to the cool stuff. I actually made something and finished it, too! Not finishing is a "Paralyzed Perfectionist" thing where lots of projects are almost, but not totally, completed.  It just might not be perfect, so that fear of completion is real. Right now there are four very cute quilts waiting for binding, and they'd be done! So lame, yessirree, but I am working on it.

The bag is called the Sew Together Bag, pattern by Sew Demented. The Chicken River Modern Quilters hosted a class at ThreadBear a couple weeks ago taught by the extremely patient and highly talented quiltist from Albuquerque, Becky Welch. The twenty students had a good day with several completing their bags right there in class. I had to take mine home to finish because, well, sewing machine problems.

So here are some photos of my completed bag. Every bag I've seen using this pattern is cute!

The fabric I used for the outside is from Windham fabrics and designed by Carrie Bloomston.

I think it's called Basket Weave. The main zipper is extra long, and the ends are anchored to the bag's base, so it acts as a handle.

Because the zipper is extra long, the bag opens wide.

I had so much fun choosing the zipper colors. I wanted them to be very "zingy." The blue lining fabric is Avantgarde designed by Katarina Roccella.

This will be my new traveling sewing kit. Check out the pocket lining. I can't remember who the designer is here. But I purchased all the fabric, the pattern and zippers at

If you look in the background of this photo you can see The Blessed Mother, keeping an eye on me. Who knows what trouble I might be getting into next?