Archive for June, 2013
Seen “Living With Quilts: A Survival Guide?” Then you might remember this image and the story about the pink toilet paper I brought back from France. Twenty-four rolls, if I remember correctly. A fun time coming through customs in the US plus a memorable souvenir of a great trip.
Why is it stored in the window?! The addition to our house added a hallway behind what used to be an outside wall of the house. No sense paying good money to drywall over the window and try to match 12-year-old wall-paper, so I gained another storage area instead! If you’re not with me, don’t worry. Just keep going.
I’ve shared (in the aforementioned presentation) that we only use the pink toilet paper on special days, like the first of each month because that’s newsletter day. As the pink toilet paper became more scarce, I only brought it out in the afternoon on newsletter days. Then only between 2 and 3 pm on newsletter days.
Alas, I have run out entirely, so I’ve decided that the newsletter no longer needs to come out on the first of the month. It shall come out “periodically.” I know the logic isn’t totally there, but neither am I. Besides, as you may have noticed, I seem to be writing newsletters more frequently instead of less. I hope we’re all happy with that.
Last time I wrote, (scroll down), I was whining about the cottonwood trees and their seeds getting all over my freshly dyed clothesline. I have created a solution. This video has my voice on it, which can be startling if the volume on your speakers is turned up too high.
I will be sewing bowls with members of the Lighthouse Quilters Guild in Racine, WI on Monday, so getting rid of the cottonwood seeds was pretty critical. Who wants to de-lint their “rope” as they coil and zig-zag? Want to sew with us in your own parallel universe? Links to my hand-dyed clothesline, a BOWLing tutorial, plus tools and supplies you might need are here.
I’ve recommended the little red suction cups for hanging on to small rotary templates like my Twisted Sisters for safer cutting. Well, I just found a 4.25″ version that is terrific for large acrylic rulers that need to be tamed. I tried the suction cup “grab bars” and just didn’t like them—too heavy, too expensive, and I like to keep my wrist turned the “other” way.
This MONSTER large suction cup does the trick. Plus it’s on sale now because I got a “deal” and I’m passing the savings on to you.
THE THINGS WE LEARN!
Thanks for taking my little survey last time. I thought for sure most of you would have signed up for the newsletter because you attended a lecture. That accounted for 25% of sign-ups. A squeak more than 30% just found me on the Internet. Almost 20% found out about the newsletter some “other” way. I’m clueless about what other ways that might have been, but I can live with the mystery.
This time I want to know how you’re reading this newsletter. (I am SO nosy!)
My hobby is diving down rabbit holes. I get an idea and I’m off! Most of the time it’s a wild goose chase. But, from time to time my harebrained ideas pay off like the PowerWrapper, Sticky Template Plastic, or the Quilters Portable Workstation. The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (only 38 days to get your quilts in) had to have been the best idea I’ve ever had, and it sounded pretty crazy when I first came up with it.
Ever optimistic, I dove in again. My latest great idea? Making paracord bracelets out of, wait for it….dyed clothesline! Brilliant!
If you’re not familiar with paracord bracelets, here’s one Chris Stewart made for me during a workshop lunch break. Paracord is used in parachutes, and should you ever need 12 feet of really strong cord (possibly to tow your car out of the mud or lower yourself out of a burning building) all you have to do is un-knot your bracelet. (This would take about an hour and a half.)
Naturally, hip deep in dyed clothesline, I hopped on the Internet and learned how to make one!
Clunky doesn’t even come close to describing this particular fiasco. Although there was some satisfaction in learning how to tie the “lanyard” knot for the closure and how to make the “cobra stitch” for the rest of it, the resulting bracelet was not at all what I had in mind. It felt kind of like the time I bought 13 yards of orange fabric for a quilt, used it all, and was surprised that the quilt was so….ORANGE!
So what’s the point here? Don’t stop having great ideas. Celebrate when they work out, and move on when they don’t. (I still have one more idea on the bracelet thing.) Don’t cheat yourself out of the thrill of what “could be.” Percolating on the clothesline bracelet was great fun. Bracelets, quilts, it’s all the same. Don’t be afraid to take a risk and try something new.
Do you have any questions for me? Anything at all. Quilt related or not. Now’s your time to ask. (Well, actually, you can always ask. I’m just trying to encourage you.) Pop your questions in a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and I’m hitting the road at 0’dark:30 tomorrow morning so I might not be able to respond right away.
Thanks for reading this, on whatever device you are staring at! (I’m staring right back at you!)
I found another pentagon! Next time you enjoy a handful of blueberries, see how many pentagons you can find. Hint: they’re hidden in the five-pointed star. They’re not all this perfectly formed. I kind of feel badly that I ate it.
Thank you for the wonderful comments after my last post. So many of you wrote in and shared that you had been making them for years. I haven’t seen any pictures yet (hint, hint) but when I do I’ll add them to the original mention.
If you enjoyed my “Have A Ball!” pattern and want more patchwork balls, there are quite a few books you might want to add to your “round and rolling” library.
Several of you mentioned Jinny Beyer’s Patchwork Puzzle Balls.
There’s also Japanese Kimekomi: Fast, Fun, and Fabulous Fabric Handballs! by Barbara B. Suess
And here I thought Scooter was ball crazy!
I’m looking forward to three Fabric BOWL-ing workshops this summer (one in Wisconsin and two in Texas) so I’ve been dyeing up a storm. The last few sessions I felt like I was inside a snow globe! The cottonwood trees let loose their seeds and the air was thick with white fuzz.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cottonwood tree, wouldn’t know one if it bit me, but the summer snow is coming from somewhere! The wet clotheslines were like magnets. Since I’m not keen on picking off hundreds of them one by one, I’ve been working on a little machine that might do the trick. More on that next time.
HAVE WE MET?
I’m just curious. It’s hard to know how people find my newsletter. I’m guessing that you attended a lecture or took a workshop. Am I right? If you wouldn’t mind taking a quick poll, I’d appreciate it.
Comments are always appreciated in the comment section too.
I LIKE YOU TOO!
Thanks for the “likes” on my FaceBook “Fan Page!” In celebration of an additional 200+ friends I didn’t know I had, I just changed my “cover” photo. (I think it’s been a whole year since I last did that!) I’ll be FaceBooking photos from St Louis in the next few days.
Scooter has asked that I suggest you like him too at https://www.facebook.com/ScooterSimms.
Thanks for joining me today,