Making

This week:
Water Bottle Carrier for my Granddaughter.
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Not Eating BonBons

Dear Blog,
I do apologize for my neglect. I promise I will do better at feeding and nurturing you.
It’s not you, it’s me. We’ve been together a long time (and dang it who’s in charge here anyway?!!). I have been guilty of allowing you to dictate taking you for granted and allowing our cyber-love to get in a rut. That shall be no more! Today I dusted off your cobwebs and gave you a nice update and even revived your plugins (don’t go there!)
I could list excuses for my bloggy apathy but you deserve more than valid reasons excuses. I will say I have not been eating bonbons… but I have been enjoying the TimTams my daughter brought me from Australia! She is here for a visit… but I digress…
Here. Allow me to stroke your WordPressy annoying ego with some eye-candy…I am sorry my Dear demanding, incessantly nagging Blog, but I do not remember the color of your eyes. After all you are just words on a website. Perhaps you are not my Type! Ha! Get it?…Type?
Sorry, lost focus once again. Pictures. I have been restoring machines, stitching, cutting, doodling …and, well, I shall save that for another post.
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Fold It, Fold It Good

    BEFORE


2014CoffeeandCottonMess

    ON THE WAY TO AFTER


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I am moving my machines and fabric stash back into my sewing room…that originally was my son’s bedroom…then it became my sewing room…then a bedroom for a daughter and grandson for a couple of months…back to my sewing room…then a bedroom for a son who relocated to Austin…and now I am claiming it as mine! Again. Moving all my crap stash around has been hell aerobic exercise enlightening to the fact that wowzers I have a lot of fabric. And notions. And tools. And….that I also live in a teeny-tiny house. How tiny you ask? We need a flight pattern to maneuver around. 2 people cannot pass through the hall or into a bedroom. It’s small. Reeeeeeally small. All my sewing paraphernalia has been in my bedroom. Tumbling piles that had the FAA calling me saying my flight pattern had been hacked. A walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night required Army Ranger skills. The kind of disorganization that if your house was burglarized the police may say you got ransacked. Living in fear that the producers of Hoarders has you on their “featured soon” list. You get what I’m trying to say?
Soooo…since I had the I want to sprinkle some gasoline and torch the place opportunity to start fresh I have decided to reorganize most of my fabric by folding it into mini bolts. I know there are many tutorials on using the comic book backer boards but their method didn’t quite work for me. I did use the comic book boards but my folding method is a bit different. Ready to try it my way? Here we go!

    1. First, release all negative thoughts. You are not a bad person. You are an artist and the fabric is your palette.
    2. Decide if you really need to keep it ALL. Those fabulous purple country-style ducks from the late 80’s should probably go.
    3. Fat Quarters can be set aside to deal with by a different method. You could fold them around a board but I prefer to fold them and not mix them in with my mini bolts. I stick to pieces larger than a fat quarter and have folded pieces as large as 2 yards. Pieces larger than that get folded without a board and get stacked either on their own shelf or in a bin.

{Click on images to enlarge}

1. Fabric Folding Layout

2. Most times, not always; if you lay the fabric with the printed selvedge side down it will give you a nice identification after you have completed the folding process.
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4. Secure with painters tape. The backing boards are acid-free. I’m not sure about the tape. You could use something else but I like the removability of the blue tape.2014CoffeeandCottonStep1b

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9. TA DA!!!2014CoffeeandCottonStep6

These are the Comic Book Backing Boards I use. Click on the picture to purchase from Amazon.
Comic Book backing boards
It is my Amazon affiliate link…meaning I earn a few pennies if you order via the link. Thank you if you do!
— I get absolutely giddy when someone leaves a comment! So make me giddy! —

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soulworth

And a Soul Felt Its Worth

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…and a soul felt its worth.

Knocked me upside the head. Where were those words all these years. I sang them. I gave the lyrics rote but never heard them. Really, really heard them with my heart and not my head. Worth. A soul, my soul, feeling worth. A term, a feeling so foreign to me. I know my heart felt tugged and pulled by something more and all enveloping. Not a hyped-up churchified guilt-ridden dangling over the pits of hell type “tugging” but a presence. A calling from deep. A knowing that there is more. A more that needed no theological pundits, apologetics or exegesis.

Truly he taught us to love one another
His law is love and his gospel is peace
Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother
And in his name all oppression shall cease

I do not see oppression ceasing in his name. Or in religion. It could. What if? What if we truly loved in the way that was shown to us so long ago? How would our world be different. What if we offered and showed others their worth. A soul-felt worth. It does not matter our faith tradition or lack thereof. We can love. We can break chains. We can give the gift of soul-worth.

May all souls feel their worth.

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Love, Martha

Last week I received a huge box filled with 8 quilt tops. Making that event even more special is that they were made by a women, “Granny” 40 plus years ago. There is a wonderful story behind them and how they ended up being given to me. This woman and her story are so precious that I have decided to give Granny her own blog, “Martha Jane Quilts”. I will let Y’all know when it is published.

Granny was part of my life when I was a high school senior. She was the grandmother of my then boyfriend. I credit her for sparking a love of quilts. I remember the day I was visiting and she took a pile of quilt tops down from her closet shelf. Each was wrapped in tissue paper. When she passed away in 1994 the quilts were stored in a garage. Until last week. Hoping you will be as interested in reading about Martha Jane and her quilts. I am so excited to bring her story to life.

Here are a few teaser pics. 
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Post QuiltCon Thoughts and Angst

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I had a wonderful time. My mind and heart were on overload with inspiration, teachings, friends and wonderful people. It was an honor to have taken Jacquie Gering’s class “Building Bridges – Architecture Inspired”. It. Was. Amazing! I was so thrilled to finally meet her.
But…
I have to be honest. This post will not be what I had envisioned it to be. I wanted to fill it with QuiltCon eye candy and wonderful reports. Believe me there was plenty of both and they left me on a fibery, artistic high.

Then… that happy bubble burst. POP! My happy quiltdom has become tainted. Perhaps I’m naive. Perhaps it has been this way for awhile. I suppose I just became more aware. Aware of the division amongst Quilters. An “Us and Them” attitude. Traditional Quilters -vs- Modern Quilters -vs- Art Quilters. It goes deeper than which direction we press our seams or if we use all cotton threads. It’s mean. It’s angry. It’s ugly. It is one thing to not like a form, a style or an expression. It is another to spew insults and hateful words that attack and question one’s character.

If you don’t like something that’s fine. We are entitled to our likes and dislikes. You can even express those opinions. What I believe you cannot and should not do is verbally (or physically) assault the person that created the thing you are approving or disapproving of. Is this the horrid downfall of social networking and electronic words? Expression of hate is so easy today… all you have to do is click “send”! You can even hit and run and stay anonymous. What an easy and unaccountable way to be self-righteous, judgmental and asinine.

My disillusion began with the reactions I read in regards to the “F*ck Cancer” and “F*ck” Quilts on display at QuiltCon. Actually it happened before the written comments. I observed a couple at QC stomping out of the exhibition hall stating how offended they were. That’s fine but I wonder if they read the description and stories behind the construction of those quilts? Then the comments on Facebook and Quilting lists exploded. If you want to read my response to those ugly comments click here.

I then heard about things getting petty and accusatory with the web based Golden Quilter Awards. Mean. Pointless.

So what am I trying to say? I guess maybe I am asking where is respect for the person behind the cloth and thread? Are we not all sharing the same passion for self-expression and a love of fiber, color and the ability to turn them into a creation all our own? Creations that come from deep inside. Creations that wake us at night begging us to “design it now!” We really are not that different…yet, the ways we express are…and that is good. It is so right that we bring our differences together to display an abundance of beauty. How boring it would be if we all acted, believed, and created in the same way. Let’s not dictate or censor. Please?

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QuiltCon 5 Things About Me

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QuiltCon is only TWO weeks away!! I can’t wait. I can’t wait to show off my present home of Austin Texas. If you are coming to Austin and want some tips or suggestions about food, beverages (the kind that make you happy), music, tattoos or cycling …search me out. I am thrilled to help.
I will finally get to meet IRL so many faces I have known through the years. Like Monica!! and… Penny!! Make sure you check out the mugs she is bringing. They are so cute!! I am hoping Pam is coming. I need to ask her. Hollie is another friend I can’t wait to meet. There are many more. Online Friendships can be a wonderful thing. A friendship with one of my dearest and closest friends began that way. Before Facebbok or Blogs. We knew each other 14-ish years before ever meeting face to face. Last year we did! Meet my friend Maddie… she is coming to QuiltCon too!

Okay the Modern Quilt Guild asked us to link up and tell 5 things about ourselves that others may not know. I won’t list the stuff that is in my “About” page. Here we go!!!!

  • 1. I was a professional musician. I played the French Horn. I adore a very eclectic range of music. Just about anything except polka. You should see my “Sewing Room Playlist” I like it loud.
  • 2. I’m originally a West Coast Girl who used to surf. I didn’t always have this body! I miss the Pacific and my City by the Bay. Sitting on an ocean cliff on a gloomy day soothes my soul.
  • 3. I was going to be a Doctor. I love science and excelled in it but struggled with math. I was told I should change my goals. I don’t listen to those voices anymore. So I chose music. Which is good. That’s how I met my husband. {Secretly I would love to do stand-up but I’m too shy.}
  • 4. I turned down a date with a now famous movie producer when we were in High School. I probably remember him much more than he does me.
  • 5. I met Gerald Ford. In an intersection. I was on my way to a gig with some other musicians. President Ford’s limo was coming and all traffic was blocked. We were standing outside of our vehicles. President Ford stopped the motorcade and got out and shook our hands. I didn’t tell him I wasn’t a supporter. He was the freeking POTUS for gosh sakes! We were late to our gig. No one believed our excuse.
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    Time to Get Real

    Time for some Sewing Studio Honesty.
    First, I have whined before how I used to have a whole 15×15 sq ft room as my studio. I now have a space carved out of what is supposed to be the dining area in our 1000 sq ft (that counts the garage) home. The dining table sits in our livingroom. Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful for my little cracker box house. I have a roof over my head. I have machines, fabric and love.
    But…

    I struggle to stay organized. See?…

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    Even “Buster” my hat modeling dummy doesn’t look happy.
    I have 2 of 9 children left at home. One has saved his pennies and is looking for his own place and the other one wants his own place. Mr. Coffee’s ‘office’ is also part of this mix. Presently that is in the living-room. My conundrum could be solved by becoming an empty-nester or by finding a bigger house. Until either of those situations occur I must clean up this abode.

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    I do my cutting on the dining table that’s in the living-room… I store my ironing equipment in the garage…along with the long work table I used to use. My interfacings and batting fill part of a hall closet. Do not get me started on the closet sizes in the house. I have baskets filled, bookcases bulging, rolling carts blocking walking space… have I mentioned I bump into walls and solid objects? Ok. Maybe I did that in a larger house too.

    I think this house makes my butt look big. Fine. It IS big.

    If you have some super nifty tips on sewing and quilting in tiny spaces I would love to hear them. Just leave a comment.

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    :: Happy 2013 ::

    Happy New Year!! {a day late for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere}
    I hope all you holidays were filled with peace and you were present with those you love.

    I had a baby. Ok a mechanical baby. I seem to have a love of vintage sewing machines. I found this one on Craigslist. Shall I name him “Merlin”?
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    Short post I know. I will be back with more soon. First I need to go sew or organize my fabric or maybe even fix some dinner. I’ve been messing all day fixing my broken blog. I changed my header too. I am debating whether or not to keep it.
    Decisions, decisions… click images to make ‘em biggies. Not sure I will stick with any of them.
    Here is the old: CCJan2012.jpg
    Here is my first redo: C&C2013_1
    {{{ OBVIOUSLY I CHANGED MY MIND AGAIN }}} And this is what’s up there now: C&C2013BRIGHTdots_

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    Leavin’ On a Jet Plane… With a Quilt

    I’m leaving to spend time with my middle daughter and my Lil Dude. Look at this face! I can’t wait to see it and cover it with kisses and smooshes.
    He’s a little monkey. He’s going to be Curious George for Halloween.

    I made him a small cuddle-and-drag-around quilt.


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