Marking tools

I need your help to find a better “marking tool”.

I am in the process of trying to get out the “chalk” from a Clover CHACO LINER marking tool. I choose the yellow one, as it would stand out on the white fabric.  Oh, boy, does it stand out….It won’t wipe off (other than all over my walking foot), it won’t rub off with a damp cloth, and now, it has been sprayed with oxy clean stain spray and All laundry soap, and rinsed….. and it still won’t come out.  Going to back to the tub in the utility sink with Dawn dish soap.  How annoying.  The packaging gives “little” information for removal other than “test on your fabric”.

When you “google” the problem, you get lots of interesting answers…..the best was here – Removing marks  – There seem to be 2 schools of thoughts for “getting the chalk out”….use a water / white vinegar mix or SHOUT spray & wash product.  If my “dawn detergent” doesn’t do the job, then that is my next idea.

I’ve tried the silver pencil (last year’s Christmas cushion covers) and that was a mess.  So; what do you use, and what kind of success have you had???

I hate the idea of “messing up” my quilt by having leftover quilt markings on the project.

UFO # 1 -Swirly Bird FINISHED

Yippee…..Swirly Bird is finished….Quilted…Hanging sleeve, Binding AND a label!!!  Finished in time to take to the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting on Monday night and the Queen Bees gathering today!!  This project is from a class I took at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in June 2015.  Pattern is by Linda M. Poole.

Making a label for my Swirly bird

Gave my little embroider machine a work out!  Always amazing to see it work out properly. Very time consuming when you have to monitor it as it stitches.  The minute you turn your back is when it wants to get goofy.

Label finished and attached

I used fusible underneath the label to attach to the back of the project.  I promise I will hand stitch the edge of the label down.  (I always use do both).

Susie's Magic Binding Swirly Bird

You can see the echo quilting I did around the applique.  I went through a bobbin plus half of a second bobbin with this Superior 50 wt parchment thread doing the quilting.

Susie's magic binding

My favorite binding method is Susie’s Magic Binding.  Tutorial at 52 quilts in 52 weeks blog  –  The hardest part of this binding is getting a good “join”.

Swirly Bird bound

SWIRLY BIRD is finished!!

Yay !!! 2 finishes in a week!!!  While I was at it, I made the label for my “Crusty Crab” (UFO #2) Crusty Crab Finish   and got it affixed to the back of the project.  I showed them both at the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting last night.  Both Bees that I am in are doing UFO challenges; and both Swirly Bird and Crusty Crab were on those lists.  Now I need to empty the contents of the project box, file away the pattern details and “move on”.

Today at the Queen Bees we are making “folded Christmas trees” and I need to get busy and find my background fabric and get those strips cut.  I also want to get a border on that Scrap Happy Challenge Courthouse steps that I did two weeks ago and get it layered and quilted.  It is going in a charity auction at the end of August.  I heard last night that  June’s Quilt is in the mail on the way back to Delaware from California where Carolyn  ( One Block Wonder Woman )kindly long arm quilted it for me, so tomorrow I will get busy at our church sit & sew and prep that binding.  Did I mention already that when I was on a bus trip on Friday, I found more of the green fabric that we used on her borders?  I bought all that was on the bolt – 4 3/8 yard and took it to June last night. She wants to re-do her fabric covered headboard and possible the side chair in her bedroom to match.  All I had left was one piece at 18″ x 100″.

Someday soon I hope to get my Pet Mosaic back on the wall, but first I have to finish quilting the border on Addison’s quilt…..gee whiz I better start a list ! !  (You see what I do to myself!)  (And Bonnie Hunter is coming in 2 months to Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover DE, and I want to get those borders done on my Allietare – hey – it was March when I got the top together and I only need those 12″ borders…and I still haven’t found a fabric I love for the border)

How many projects are you working on at once???  (I swear I am not starting anything new, and here I go with the folded Christmas tree……TABLE RUNNER! )

Time to get busy before the Queen Bee’s start buzzing….

Working on UFO # 1 – Swirly Bird and more

Oh, was I ever disappointed that when I looked at my UFO list, I discovered that my “Crusty Crab” was #2, not #1.  My new quilt bee – The Queen Bees has a UFO challenge and # 1 was the project that needs to be finished by TUESDAY!!!!!  Dagnabit!

Well, I tried to renumber the list, but the “challenge Queen” said NO WAY GIRL…..

So, I got out # 1…and worked on it some on Saturday.  The pattern was by Linda Poole, and I took a workshop from her in June of 2015 when she came to Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes, DE. By the end of the week of the class, I had all the applique  stitched down, and I just needed to add tail feathers and an eye.  But, I was busy and the project went in the “box” and in the cupboard.

The UFO challenge has me pulling it out to see what I need to do to finish and move on. I added the tail feathers using variegated embroidery machine thread, but using my Janome and one of the fancy stitches that is built in.  I did trace the general shape from the pattern, but went “free form” with the stitching.  Hubby helped choose the clear button for the eye from the mason jar o’buttons.

Once the tail feathers and eye were on, the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to “play around” with some “thread painting”.  This is the result….and no, I am not finished quite yet.

Swirly Bird

Swirly Bird pattern by Linda Poole

Tail Feathers

The green thread is not supposed to be there..just a loose thread to pick off of the project…… I picked a stitch that is built into my sewing machine and just played with it to make tail feathers. I used variegated embroidery thread and put some tear away stabilizer behind the feathers.

Bird feathers

Played with the same variegated thread on the wing. Dumped out the button jar and hubby picked the clear button for the eye.


This is the “first flower” I played with doing a little “thread painting/stitching”. Again I chose the variegated thread, but this time orange/yellow/green.   It was fun!

And then I went nuts and here are some of the other parts…..up close……



I still need to do a little something on the green stems. I did the leaves, but forgot to take a close up.  You can get an idea if you click on the picture of the full project (first photo) and zoom in.  Anyway, once the stems are “stitched”  I can layer it up and quilt it.  The size is about 22×22.  I really had fun playing with my embroidery thread collection as I worked on this!  So many choices with the wonderful threads I was given. Having it all on thread racks makes it so easy to choose too!!

Hoping to knock it out this afternoon.  My sewing room was hitting 85 degrees yesterday; with 2 a/c units running; so not sure how much I will get done.  My room is over the garage and in this heat, it is tough to get it comfortable.  Our whole house is struggling with the temperature. The house is over 110 years old, and not the most “efficient, and no central air. At least the pool is still refreshing, though I may have to add a little cold water to it this afternoon.    What are you doing to stay cool during this heat wave?

(Note – my “other bee” – The Material Girls is also doing a UFO challenge, and I have NOT kept up with them!! This project was on that list too, but I can’t remember which number it was…)  I keep saying I am not starting any new projects until I finish a few things….so if I can get this out of the way, I won’t feel so guilty!

Update on June’s Quilt — I mailed it to my wonderful sister in law, Carolyn ( One Block Wonder Woman ) and she quilted it yesterday for me.  She is amazing!!  I had ordered the backing and she just got it on Wednesday and she is finished already!! June will be so tickled.  I have the binding all cut, but need to prep it.  While I was on a bus trip on Friday, I found more of the fabric that I used for the borders.  I bought what was left on the bolt (4 3/8 yard). June wants to recover her fabric headboard, and I didn’t have enough of any of the fabrics left, so this should give her what she needs. Any leftovers, I will turn into matching pillow cases or a throw pillow or something. I was tickled to find that fabric again, and this time I didn’t have to pay for shipping!

Update on Addison’s Quilt – it is still on the big table and I am still staring at the borders.  But…..I did get a wonderful thread that will look great on the borders at the quilt show on Friday (Quilt Odyssey 2016 – Hershey PA). I had a visit to the Superior Thread Company booth and got a wonderful grey variegated – Fantastico #5169.

I love to get my thread at the shows, because you save a couple of dollars on each spool if you buy 3 or more.  So I came home with 3 spools of Fantastico (5035-cashmere- variegated) (5169 – grey variegated) (5075-silver black variegated), and 3 spools of Masterpiece.  The Masterpiece I use for piecing and my colors are boring – granite # 156  – canvas #151 – and graystone #155.   My spreadsheet of Superior Thread is growing longer.  I dated the bottom of the cones of all the ones I bought this time and last March, so I can see “how long” they are lasting me.  I am on my 3rd greystone cone since I started using it and my second canvas. Those cones are 2500 yards! I am on my second spool of the cashmere too.   What thread do you love to piece with? Do you have a “go to” color for quilting?  My go-to is either the cashmere or Bottom Line Silver #623.  I am on my 2nd cone of it too.  I also love playing with the embroidery threads that I have.  My daughters have gifted me so many and I just love having so many color choices.

Time to go! Enjoy your day and stay cool!

Finished a UFO – Crusty Crab!!

Crusty Crab Mosaic is finished.  I started this in a class in Aug 2014.  All it needed was trimming and binding.  Well, that and I did not like the look of the back which was white and all the stitching from the little “tiles” looked horrible.  This spring when Michelle Scott McColligan came to lecture at our guild, she showed us a trick for “fixing that”.  The trick was to put “another” layer of fabric on the back, do a little “minor quilting” to hold the layers together.  It was a great way to hid all those stitches.  I simply outlined stitched around the crab, then trimmed and bound the project.


It is 22×22″ and has a hanging pocket on the back.  Such a simple thing to finish, and I wonder why I held on to it for so long.    I am so glad I took this project with me to our Sit N Sew at Reformation Lutheran Church yesterday!!

Last week I got Addison’s quilt pin basted, and then hubby and I went to a car show for the weekend.  I left the quilt “under the needle” for 3 days, abandoned …..I got busy early this week and spent Monday and Tuesday finishing up the quilting.  My friend Nancy came by and we layered and tied 2 string quilts for charity on Tuesday.  She also helped me “move some tables” and assorted STUFF around in my room above the garage. The goal was better light over the table that we use to lay things out on.  It was a success, and I have since also spent a little time straightening up the chaos that happens up stairs!  Shhh…don’t tell….I even vacuumed!  In the process, I came across a little yellow stacking basket gizmo in storage, and today I gave it a good washing, and I am planning on “color” sorting the scraps that have started to take over my ironing table.

I have had this piece of fabric for the binding set aside for the last 2 years….

Crusty Crab Tile Mosaic

Crusty Crab Back

What are  you working on???

Day 2 of Christmas in July

Carole has a lovely crafty post today at From My Carolina Home  that I am sharing with you today. Lots of links and fun things to make!  Enjoy, and be sure to let me know you went to visit Carole !



Handmade items are wonderful to give as gifts, tie onto packages, hang on the wall, use on a table and trim a tree. Today I want to show you a round-up of ideas from past posts and a new tutorial for simple and easy ornaments and decorations. These are crafting projects and most will use […]

via Handmade Christmas Ornaments and Decorations — From My Carolina Home

Finished backing for Addison’s quilt

As I mentioned in my previous post  on July 10, 2016 ,  I just needed to get those 5″ borders on the backing and it would be ready to go.  I didn’t realize when I started that post that there was no photo of the basic back put together. So,  that post showed only  “blocks on the wall”.  Well, here it is; borders on, ready to pin baste on Wednesday.  The backing measures up at 91 x 99; and the quilt top measures out at 80.5 x 89.25.

Addison's Quilt back

As I mentioned previously, I had LOTS of left over half-square triangles and fairly large pieces of fabric too.  So, the Wheel Blocks were made, and the big blocks of fabric, balanced things out nicely I think.  These big blocks give you a better look at some of the fabrics that were used for the half square triangles in the top below.

Final border is on

The 91×99″ backing should give me the needed “clearance” when it comes to layering!  The border on the quilt top, and the extra 5″ borders on the backing are the same fabric.

I’ve been thinking about how to quilt this project. It has a very “modern” look.  I think I will do it quite simply, along the ditch on the diagonal stripes, using the walking foot, keeping it simple.  What would you do???

The binding is prepared and pressed and is the same fabric as the borders. I added a solid coral to be the “piping color” using the Susie’s Magic Binding technique that I so enjoy doing.

Binding for Addison's quilt

Have you tried it yet?  Tutorial can be found on Aunt Susie’s 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog here – Susie’s Magic Binding

Had a great time this morning at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Community Sewing day.  I worked on Quilts of Valor String blocks.  It was nice to visit around the room with members of the guild whom I miss the chance to speak with on a regular basis. Tomorrow will be for “layering up” that Courthouse Steps log cabin baby quilt.  Happy stitching!

Scrap Happy Challenge and Addison’s Quilt

After my busy weekend last week, I thought I would share with you a little “in-between” project I have done.  I follow Pat Sloan on her blog & Facebook group, and earlier this week she linked up a pattern.  She calls it her “Scrap Happy Challenge – Courthouse steps”.   Pat Sloan’s blog post    She has made one in reds and whites that is just beautiful.  Since I am really a scrap-aholic, I decided I would just go for the “light/dark” and see how it works out.

I took my 1.5″ bin and my  2″ squares container to a “Sit ‘N Sew” that I coordinate at my church on Wednesday.  I wanted a project that had no “deadline” or pressure associated with it.  My 1.5 ” bin was overflowing, and so I got started.   I “goofed up” on round 4 & 5 and got lights where I should have had darks.  Rather than rip them all out, I went with the mistake and so half of my blocks are “opposite” of the pattern..  It is not a show quilt, so I decided to just have fun with the processes.   I also put 1 extra round of strips on, pulling from my 2.5″ bin.  The pattern was to finish the block at 8″ .  My “fat” seam allowance gave me blocks that were 7 3/4″.  So, the extra round was handy, giving me bigger blocks.  I trimmed them to 9.5″.  I ended up with 25 squares.  Put them together this afternoon, and will add it to my list of things to “finish”.  It was a nice way to reduce the amount of strips in my 1.5″ container.  (Last week I did a bunch of string blocks at our Sit’N Sew. , putting a big dent in my 2″ and 2.5″ bin).

Time now to put the scrap bins back in the cupboard. Note – My seam allowance “varied” because I sewed with 2 different machines. I have a Brother 6000i that I travel with, and a Janome 8900 at home, and it caused this “fat seam allowance”.  I knew when I switched to my home machine it would give me a tad bit of trouble, but I adapted and just kept adding strips!

Scrap Happy Challenge Courthouse Steps

I decided while I was putting this Scrap Happy Challenge together that I would keep this for a “baby” quilt at MY house, for when Addison comes to visit.  Again, MY THANKS to the givers of the scraps! Most of those great scraps came from my friends Cindy and Nancy!  Some are from quilts that I have made, and it was fun playing with and remembering fabrics & quilts.

Earlier in the week, I got busy with the backing for Addison’s quilt and came up with a plan.

I decided to use up some of the “extra fabric & extra squares” in the quilt backing.  I tripped over this pattern for Patchwork Wheel Block on a blog post called “Don’t Call Me Betsy. (Great blog by the way!) The link should take you to the tutorial.  I thought this would work perfectly for using up some of my 211 extra half square triangles I had made.  Since my HST were 5″, the blocks turned out at 18.5″.  Aren’t they FUN ???


And I had ALL this fabric left over…..

Backing thoughts

and I put it together like this:


Now, all the big blocks are sewn together.   I need to add a 5″ strip at the top and bottom, just to ensure I have plenty of length when I layer it up. (The quilt top measures out at 80×89, so I wanted the backing to be at least 90 x 100.  Knowing that some will get trimmed off made the placement of the wheel blocks important.     At our Sit’N Sew I did get the binding made. This week at our Sit ‘N Sew I will get it “layered and pin basted”.

All in all, a great week of sewing and very Scrap Happy!  Tomorrow is Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Community Sewing Day; where we work on projects for some of the charities we support. It is a great time of fellowship with the members of the guild.  Oh….did I mention that Pat Sloan is coming to speak at a local guild??  She will be speaking on July 21st in Milford Delaware at the Piecemakers Quilt Guild. A notice was sent out to one of the other guilds I belong to, and I am rounding up a couple of friends to attend this lecture.  I think the $5 “guest fee” is reasonable with a nationally known speaker.  I look forward to that event…and maybe my Scrap Happy Challenge quilt will be “close to finished” by then!

Have a great week!