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Hello Dear Friends,  I hope you are doing well.   I had to re-arrange the priorities in my work list.   And after a rather circuitous route, I finally finished and shipped off Hostess with the Mostess.  You remember these fabrics I had shown you a couple of weeks ago (posted here)?

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I will share with you in a Thread Talk post thoughts from my experience of quilting allover spineless feathers on the project.  Stay tuned. :)

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Things are still a bit crazy, but I think I have been able to deal with my new schedule a bit better this week.

Curious and nosy mind wonders what your go-to dish is to elevate your hospitality status to “Hostess with the Mostess.”  I am interested in something that doesn’t take forever to make. :)

Thank you for stopping by!  I always appreciate your visits.  Later!

I had posed a Quilty This or That question about pre-washing or not here, and received overwhelming responses.  THANKS so much, ladies!  I love reading your responses — because it makes me feel like I am not “talking to myself” all the time. :o)

Dear friend Vicki Welsh wrote and offered to share her experience and thoughts on the issue at hand.   Vicki is a trusted and dear friend of mine.  I consider her a very talented quilter, and beyond — you simply have to head on to her blog and find out about the “beyond” part.  Vicki is amazingly skilled in many other artsy pursuits.  I know I can always count on her for advice!

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[image source: http://vickiwelsh.typepad.com]

So, I hope you will enjoy what Vicki has to share about pre-washing… and actually soaking your fabrics!  Vicki’s generosity to share her experience is just another example of the sweet kindness we show toward one another in the quilting community!  THANK YOU, Vicki.

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To Pre-was or not to pre-wash……Neither!

An argument for pre-soaking instead.

A couple of weeks ago Wendy polled her readers about whether or not we pre-wash our fabric. I’m visiting here with you today to show you why it doesn’t really matter if you pre-wash or not. If you really want to get the excess dye out of your fabric you really need to pre-soak.

I mean really soak…..for hours!

I know, you are skeptical. But stick with me a bit and I’ll explain. Even if you don’t agree with pre-soaking your fabric, at the end you will at least know how to deal with a bleeding quilt.

I’m a fabric dyer and I don’t want to sell fabric that bleeds to my quilting customers. Hand dyed fabric has a well-deserved reputation for bleeding and I set out to make mine colorfast. Through lots of experimenting I discovered that soaking the fabric for long periods made the difference. Washing just isn’t enough.

Here’s the proof. I soaked some dyed fabric for 12 hours. At 15 minutes, 3 hours and 12 hours I took water samples. I poured the water samples on paper towels and allowed them to dry. The 15 minutes soak shows how much dye would be released in a typical wash cycle. I think this shows clearly that 15 minutes just isn’t enough.

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Not long after this I bought a collection of commercial fabrics. I washed them once with a color catcher and the color catcher came out clean. As a test I put the fabric back in the wash and soaked them over night with a color catcher. The next morning the color catcher and water were dark brown!

That explained why one quilt of mine bled years after I made it. At some point all of that excess dye will eventually release. You can read the entire post about my soaking tests here.

Since that original testing a customer had a quilt bleed (using hand dyed and commercial prints) and around the same time I had a quilt bleed (hand dyed and commercial prints). That gave me the incentive to test the process further, including testing different detergents. You can read all of the details here.

The key points are:

  • Soaking is critical (8 – 12 hours)
  • Multiple soaks may be necessary
  • Dawn Pure Essentials Dish Detergent is the best soap to use (avoid detergent with scents and additives)
  • The hotter the water the better
  • Make sure the entire quilt/fabric is under water

I’ve written a summary of the process to remove excess dye from a bleeding quilt and you can print or download it here. You may share the link on your own blog/Facebook page/Pinterest/whatever and you may reprint the article in your guild newsletter as long as it’s reprinted in full and completely attributed to me as the author. I’m a bit evangelical about this and want to get the word out!

If you’ve made it this far in the post I think you deserve a reward! If you’ve ever wanted to try hand dyed fabric but have been afraid to use it I want to give you some incentive to try my colorfast hand dyed fabric. All of Wendy’s loyal readers can use coupon code WENDY15 for 15% off your order. The coupon is good through October 15. My favorite fabrics are the ones I created based on the Munsell color wheel and they are always on sale!

Here’s where you can find me:

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Good friends don’t let friends piece without properly preparing their fabrics! Vicki, you are a good friend – thank you again for that very educational post.  Friends, don’t forget to head on over to Vicki’s blog or shop after you leave here… Thanks for stopping by today.  Hugs to you all.

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Hello Friends!  I hope you are doing well.   Many of you have seen my Nestlings wall banner that was featured in The Quilter magazine a few years ago.

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I am SO excited now my friends in the UK will be able to access the pattern in the September 2014 issue of UK’s Popular Patchwork magazine!    My US friends may find out more on how to subscribe to Popular Patchwork by clicking here.

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A Mother’s Love is a remake of Nestlings in very soothing colors, using Lynette Anderson’s newly released A Pocketful of Daisies fabrics, released by RJR Fabrics.

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Here are a couple more shots of A Mother’s Love.

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I normally don’t remember to take the “before quilting” shot, but I did for A Mother’s Love.  It is my firm belief that quilting adds the third dimension to a two-dimensional unquilted quilt top.

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The transformation is amazing, isn’t it?  Here are a few quilting close-up pictures to share with you.  I used Aurifil Mako 50 threads for the applique, piecing as well as quilting.  Batting used is Hobbs Tuscany Wool.  Talking about adding dimensional effects, Hobbs wool batting does the job perfectly… and beyond!

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A Mother’s Love is my little tribute to celebrate motherhood.   I know Miss Baby won’t always stay in my little nest, but I do treasure the special moments I have with her — like when she told me when she grows up, she is going to just be a woman and live with me for the rest of her life.  And that she and I will make quilts to earn our living.

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I leave you with the poem The Mother’s Hymn, by William Cullen Bryant. My heart’s cry is aptly expressed in the last stanza:

Lord, who ordainest for mankind
Benignant toils and tender cares!
We thank Thee for the ties that bind
The mother to the child she bears.

We thank Thee for the hopes that rise,
Within her heart, as, day by day,
The dawning soul, from those young eyes,
Looks, with a clearer, steadier ray.

And grateful for the blessing given
With that dear infant on her knee,
She trains the eye to look to heaven,
The voice to lisp a prayer to Thee.

Such thanks the blessed Mary gave,
When, from her lap, the Holy Child,
Sent from on high to seek and save
The lost of earth, looked up and smiled.

All-Gracious! grant, to those that bear
A mother’s charge, the strength and light
To lead the steps that own their care
In ways of Love, and Truth, and Right.

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Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely week!

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Click here to view the exhaustive list of my featured designs and projects.

My 2014 lineup to date —

Editorial features:

Annie’s Row Quilt Book (March 2014): Stardom

Annie’s Dazzling Diamond Quilts Book (May 2014): Solar Star

Australian Quilters Companion (Issue 68): Stars Aligned

Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts (Summer 2014): Teething Rings

Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting (January/February 2014): Hurry Home

Generation Q (May/June 2014): Hole in the Wall

McCall’s Quick Quilts (August/September 2014): Owl Be Your Friend

McCall’s Quilting (January/February 2014): Spiral Squared

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2014): Bird Watching

Popular Patchwork, UK (April 2014): Mending Fences

Popular Patchwork, UK (September 2014): A Mother’s Love

Quilt Trends (Winter 2014): Enchanted Forest

Quilt Trends (Winter 2014): Urban Stars

Quilter’s World (Spring 2014): Urban Oasis

Quilter’s World (Summer 2014): Starry Repetitions

The Quilter (December 2013/January 2014): Farm Crossing

The Quilter (December 2013/January 2014): Boxing Day

The Quilter (April/May 2014): All Squared Up

The Quilter (April/May 2014): Tulip Trail

The Quilter (June/July 2014): Garden View

The Quilter (August/September 2014): Song of Praise

Free to use designs / PDF download:

January: Midori’s Place using Gramercy by Benartex

January: View on Lexington using Gramercy by Benartex

January: Everything’s Coming Up Rosey using English Rosey by Benartex

February: Verde (Quilt) by Quilting Treasures

February: Verde (Banner/Runner) by Quilting Treasures

March: Hot Topic by Quilting Treasures

March: Poseidon’s Adventure using Neptune’s Dream by Benartex

March: My Cozy Sweater using Palm Springs by Benartex

March: Wild Kingdom using Sew Rousseau by Benartex

April: Fun with Frosty (Quilt & Runner) by Quilting Treasures

April: The First Thanksgiving (Quilt & Runner & Placemat) by Quilting Treasures

May: Party Poppers using Paintbox/Shadows by Benartex

May: Sprinkled Sweets using Paintbox/Shadows by Benartex

May: Dino Craze using 10,000 B.C. by Benartex

June: Monster Mash by Quilting Treasures

June: Santa’s Sleigh using Starry Night by RJR Fabrics

June: Learning is Fun by Quilting Treasures

August: Lovey Buggy using Luv Bugs by Benartex

August: Hot Little Dish (Wallhanging/Table Topper & Runner & Placemat) by Quilting Treasures

August: Sweet Hearts using Luv Bugs by Benartex

August: Pagoda Paradise using Little Harajuku by Benartex

Awwww Alert #2

Hello Friends, I hope you have had a good week!  I simply cannot believe how fast this week has gone by.   I feel like I have just been running around and around and around… and here I am, and the weekend is already upon us.   I had shown you these awwww-worthy cutie booties a while back, made by my sister.

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Well, my sister strikes again!!!!  Look at her latest finished projects – a pair of twin bunnies to bless her friend who just had twin baby girls.

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How about a closeup?

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What do you think these adorable bunnies?

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely and blessed weekend.  I hope to take pictures of a few featured projects that just became official and share them with you next week.  Take care, and I shall catch up with you later.

Hello Friends, I have been working on my Yuletide Snowflakes quilt that uses RJR‘s new Christmas line Starry Night by Lynette Anderson.  I absolutely love this blue/cream Christmas combination, despite the fact that I am pretty much a green and red person when it comes to Christmas colors!  I think those particular shades of blue just strike a very soothing cord with me!

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This is the last of my Christmas project for 2014.  My 2015 schedule is starting to fill up – it’s really weird thinking about how this year has gone by so quickly for me. In the back of my mind, I am still thinking we just celebrated Christmas (2013).

I’ve got to run for now.  I am thoroughly exhausted, but I do have some cute stuff to share with you later this week.  Stay tuned!  Hugs to you all…

Curious mind wants to know – do you use any blue in our Christmas decorations?

Coming soon to a publication near you…. The Stars Are Brightly Shining!   Here is a sneak peek for my Dear Friends:

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This quilt promises to be cozy, and very starry!  Stay tune for details. :)

This is going to be an extremely busy week for me – my life has been complicated about Miss Baby-related activities.  So I will more than likely not be able to respond to your comments/emails unless the are urgent.  Hopefully, I will get this school routine down soon so that I can actually get work done!  And speaking of work…

I have more starry pursuits in progress.  Will show you a sneak peek tomorrow.

Have a most lovely week, Dear Friends!  Hugs and love to you all.

p.s.  Have you seen my other starry quilts here, and here?

A day of reflection…

America, the Beautiful by Katherine Lee Bates (1913 version):

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

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O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
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O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
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It’s a solemn, yet a prayerful day here at Ivory Spring on the 13th anniversary of 9-11. My heart is heavy for the untold losses — and yet my heart of hearts cries out with hope to God for healing.

Hello Friends!  The joy of needle and thread in Miss Baby’s life continues.  I finished up Miss Baby’s second cross-stitched piece into a hanging ornament pillow for her. ‘

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In her first stitching project,  I had Miss Baby work on stitching rows with spaces in between rows so that she could just focus on the concept of making individual stitches and not get confused on when to poke the needle upward or downward etc.  Click here to view more pictures of her first project.

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After she successfully stitched her first project, it’s time to get down to “real” stitching — stitching rows and not be confused by the concept.  So, I had her stitch pink row after pink row… and then, we finished off with a few brown rows to make a picture of a thread spool.

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And I have these REALLY REALLY REALLY cute fabrics from Benartex’s Made With Love line.  You may recall I have used the fabrics to make a pillowcase for the 1 Million Pillowcase Campaign.  Click here to read more the pillowcase.

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So, Made With Love has this REALLY cool patch print fabric that has a perfect patch to go with Miss Baby’s stitch thread spool…

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I used one of the patches from the patch print fabric and a few scrap pieces from the pillowcase I made to finish up the hanging pillow ornament for Miss Baby.

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See the little thread tail there — that was an afterthought, Miss Baby’s… not mine. She insisted (with no wiggle room) the thread tail to be stitched before I finished the pillow ornament. So I traced out the tail with my washable marker for Miss Baby to put her backstitching to practical use.  Sometimes I wonder where she gets her strong will!!  Erm… yeah, let’s not go there. :)

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We will be working on Miss Baby’s 3rd stitching project soon… as soon as Mom gets the supplies ready.  Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.  I do feel much better today — thanks for your sweet wishes and prayers!  I shall catch up with you later.

… Prewash Fabrics or Not?  This is our first This or That question.  You bring home lovely stashes of fabrics from your favorite quilt store — do you prewash or do you not prewash your new  fabrics prior to cutting them up for a project?

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I generally don’t because I am always in a hurry unless I am using RED fabrics in my quilts.  For my red fabrics, I do prewash multiple times.  I have been burned too many times by not pre-washing my reds!

So — curious mind wants to know what your response is to Ivory Spring’s This or That question!

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Happy Monday and Week, Friends!  I hope you are well.  I all of a sudden succumbed to a nasty cold over the weekend.  I am recovering, but not totally up to snuff just yet.  It’s a terrible feeling being sick and having to still try to work.  I shall catch up with you later!

Hello Friends, I hope you are well.   It’s time for the next quilt on my list.  So, I got my fabrics ready for Hostess with the Mostess. You will see why…

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And you might remember these fabrics from the free to use table ensemble designs (table topper, runner and reversible placemats) I shared with you a couple of weeks ago.

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The fabrics are from Quilting Treasures’ Hot Little Dish fabric line.

Click here to view the entire fabric range.

Click here to download pattern instructions for the wallhanging / table topper.

Click here to download pattern instructions for the table ensemble.

Thanks for stopping by, Dear Friends.  I hope you have a most wonderful weekend!    Let’s chat again next week.  Hugs to you all.

Help me pick a favorite?

Hello Friends, dear reader H.  offered to superimpose my husband’s quilty deep thought onto my quilt images.  THANKS, H!

#1:

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#2:

1319_quilters

 

#3:

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So, would you help me pick a favorite?  Please leave your favorite in the comment section.    I tried embedding a poll – unsuccessfully (Grr!). Thanks so much.

I have GOT to run for now.  It is close to 10pm my time, and I can honestly say I haven’t done a thing work-related today, and I have to get something checked off my list before I drag myself to bed tonight.

Thanks for stopping by, Dear Friends!  I shall see you again tomorrow.

Hello Friends – I worked till wee hours this morning in order to complete Out Amongst the Thistles.  It feels really good to be able to check my 80-block quilt off the list.

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This quilt has an unexpected element of surprise!!!  I am SO tempted to spill the beans on what it is.  But I am making myself wait till the quilt is official!  So stay tuned. :)

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have had a good day and week so far.  I can’t believe it’s already Thursday tomorrow… Thank you again for being such sweet friends.

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