Thursday, July 30, 2015

Barn Quilts in Essex County

I don't think there's a one amongst us who doesn't love spotting barn quilts; even non-quilters get a kick out of seeing a quilt block on a beautiful old barn.  There are several in Essex County.  Here are just three I grabbed a photo of this month.

I looked through two of my quilt block books, one by Nancy J. Martin and Judy Hopkins, and another by Marsha McCloskey, for a total of 221 blocks, and I cannot find this one.  This block is just barely out of town, kitty corner to the Kingsville Arena and Sports Complex, where our guild meetings are held.  Do any of you recognize this? Sans pig, obviously, I find that central rectangle intriguing!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Olaf PJs done!

Eeep, as you younger quilters say, but I just have to too.  These are so darn cute!

It's been a pretty hot summer out in Alberta, so I know these will be much appreciated to keep my darling grandson, Brady, whose 7th birthday is tomorrow, cool as a .... snowman while he sleeps.  :-)  He loves Olaf.  I have some fabric left over, think he'll get a pillow slip, but I'll have to get creative because there's not enough to make a simple pillow slip.  Oh darn, get creative!  ;-)  This is one of my goals for the third quarter of the FAL at On the Windy Side.  My entire list is here.  One down 4 to go!

In other kid-related news, if you haven't heard of brave, adorable little Zion, you need to read this link.  He got new hands and has made medical history.  What a child.  I just want to squish him!

This was on the sidewalk the other day when I was on my daily walk with Rocco:

I mean, come on!  This melted my heart.  Oh if only adults were as open-hearted and loving and non-judgmental as children...  What a message.  It made my day.  I'd love to meet the child who wrote it

Speaking of melting heart, (and ya it's finally southern Ontario summer humid heat and I'm loving it. Bring it!) Naala had a good itch, or three on her walk.  Happy Rottie puppy.
You'd never know this girl is 8 1/2 years old  :-)
The berries on these cedar trees made me stop and snap a photo. I love that pale turquoise against the cedar green!  This photo doesn't do them justice but you get the idea.  More inpsiration from Mother Nature for colour combinations...

A little later, in Lakeside Park, I spied this beauty of a fungus, at least 20", maybe more, in all directions.  This tree suffered the loss of a limb during a bad storm in Spring that saw several big old trees lose limbs or their lives.  It makes me so sad when that happens to these huge old sentinels, but, sigh, it is a part of life.

Linking up with Lorna at Let's Bee Social for even more inspiration!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

ALYOF July Goal

By the time my mum reads this, she will have received her new bag.  This is my July goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes at Sew Bittersweet Designs.  You can see the original post about the project here.

I couldn't be more pleased with how well that green batik went with the pink floral - dogwood(?) -  fabric.  They were not bought at the same time, probably not even in the same year!

Here is the inside:
This green fabric is left over from the backing of Summer Scents Mosaic, under which I'm sitting as I type bed!  Green is my mum's absolute favourite colour.  I made the inside pocket with a piece of the front bag body fabric. The bag has interfacing ironed to the bag body.

For the bottom insert, I used a piece of blue camper's foam cut to fit, and covered it with the same green lining fabric.
It's removable so the bag can easily be washed.  You could handwash this bottom piece too.

I love it, and I know she will.  She thinks she is getting a new bag from Serenity Lavender Farm...which I will still get her if she really wants it.  Just thought this would be a nice surprise!

I added a magnetic snap to hold the bag closed.  I used velcro in her first one, but these are nicer.  I also did some 1/4" spaced quilting with Sulky Holoshimmer in green on the bag band.  I also did the straps a bit differently than in the pattern, adding in Warm 'n Natural batting strips for a softer but more durable strap.  I have made this pattern at least 7 times, once for me, the rest as gifts.
Love the bit of sparkle when the sun catches the Holoshimmer thread!

Bag stats:
Size:  10 X 15 X 5"
Pattern:  "Hold Everything" Quilts 'n More Premiere Issue 2005
Fabric:  bag body - Timeless Treasures "Illumine"; bag band - batik; lining - scraps
Thread:  pieced with Coats & Clark All Purpose and Gütermann; Topstitched with Sulky Holoshimmer and green Sulky Rayon on the handles

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Namaste Hug for Gillian

She's done.  And I'm in love.  This quilt was sewn with good vibrations, love, and positive thoughts for a dear friend.  Hope you've got a warm coffee or tea in hand for the dozen photos in this post!

A Namaste Hug - Namaste is a Sanskrit word with which I, like most yoga teachers, always close my classes.  It simply means "the light and all that is good within me humbly honours the light and all that is good within you."  Isn't that a beautiful salutation?

pre-washing, sunny
post-washing, not as sunny
What a difference a few hours makes for light!

The back:
I wish you could feel the incredible soft plush of this fabric
This shows off the plush fabric, as well as the quilting and the random words I quilted in in various spots
The backing was a hit at the guild meeting Tuesday night; the girl holding up the quilt for Show 'n Tell took it, and then when she touched it, her eyes widened, she gasped, "Oh!" and she rubbed her cheek against the back, saying, "MMM!" and smiling.  :-)  They were so impressed with the short, oh-so-soft plush pile. Someone else had a quilt for Show 'n Tell with navy minky on the back but it was a longer pile and not as nice.  I didn't ask where she purchased hers, but the shop owner of Guildcrafters said the box stores don't get the real minky Cuddle stuff.  I found out that a quilt shop in Leamington, just 8 km away from home, has lots of minky, so I will check them out.  And let you know how it compares price-wise of course!
Side view trying to get the texture of the ribbon candy and dot to dot after washing
I used the Jinny Beyer Coral Reef fabric as the binding, scraps of which I used to line one of my Nesting Bowls.  Bought for kaleidoscopes, and used as the backing on a bargello quilt in the early 2000s, I now have very little of it left.  I love a striped binding, and this one was perfect; there are also two squares of it in the heart.  I usually sew my binding down on the back by hand but this one I did by machine, sewing it to the back first, and then machine edge-stitching it down on the front.  It turned out really well.  I zigzagged the edges before applying the binding even though I'd already stay-stitched them, another tip from Jasmine.

Since Jasmine of Quilt Kisses had given me a wealth of advice and tips, I decided to copy her method of labelling a quilt.  I also hadn't applied my regular label before loading the quilt on my Avanté...
Why is there always a little thread, or in this case, piece of dead grass, that you don't notice until you input a picture?
I kept the swirl quilting quite open and large; Jasmine advice, so it didn't squash the pile.  At the store, the owner said she's used Cuddle a lot on quilt backings and she finds it's okay to quilt it closer as once you wash it the pile fluffs up just fine.  btw, it sure did wash up nicely!  I am happy I did the loose quilting; it was fast and freeing and it did turn out really well. The entire quilt is so soft and not heavy at all.

Here are some shots of the words I quilted in:
I always do this in the quilts I gift, quilt the recipient's name or names into the quilt.  Sometimes I tell them, sometimes I don't, and let them find the surprise.  Without going into detail, but I'm sure many of you have guessed, Gillian has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is currently undergoing treatment.  She was my first Yin yoga teacher, one of my first two Ashtanga yoga teachers, and we did Ashtanga yoga teacher training together throughout 2012, me for the first time, her for like the twenty-first. She likes to stay current, and loves workshops.

A shot of the Dot to Dot and ribbon candy pre-washing; I'm really happy with how I'm improving with ruler work on my Avril, as well as quilting upside down, sideways, diagonally, etc.

Love this old stone wall across the street!
Quilt Stats
Pattern:  original design based on Helen's Big Heart Big Family quilt
Size:  50 1/4"X54.5"post-quilting, but pre-washing it was 52X56
Fabric:  Kona Snow from my stash, pink and aqua from my scraps and stash
Backing: Minky Cuddle by Shannon Fabrics purchased at Guildcrafters
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Avanté
Threads: pieced with Gütermann; quilted with Isacord white 0015 and pink 2560, both 40 weight; machine bound, and edge-stitched with Sulky rayon variegated in pinks 2130 40 wt

I will definitely be using Minky Cuddle again... Jasmine, you have a convert!

I will be linking this post up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Pet Project Saturday at Pink Doxies, and Oh Scrap! At Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. Phew! So much fabulous creativity and inspiration in our corner of blogland. :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Hodge Podge

Seems like that is the phrase for the past week or so.  Life stuff, and a little bit of a hodge podge in the sewing department as well.

The first order of business is that it is Week 4 of the New Bloggers' Hop as of yesterday, with more prizes in the giveaway.  Check out our hive mamas' posts:
Late Night Quilter
Meadow Mist Designs
Quilt JET Girl
Childlike Fascination

where you will find the giveaway, (fab prizes), and links to the other three hives' newbie posts.  For my hive,
you can check out these new blogs from my hivemates:
Margo at Shadow Lane Quilts and Crafts
Deb at The Farmhouse Quilter
Emma at My Handmade Home
Josi at Avocado Quilts

I've been picking away at Cynthia's Scrap-a-Palooza quilt #16 and so far have made 24 blocks, just when I feel the urge to piece something.
I love her circle layout.  I haven't played with other layout possibilities but they're going on my design wall in the circle pattern for now.
After I made the rich royal purple block, I decided to do a forest green one.  It doesn't show up as rich here even though I adjusted and enhanced the photo.  Eventually you'll see.  I always am so intrigued by what happens when you randomly mix several shades and tones of colours.  The mustard in the yellow didn't work as well as the gold with the brights.  I don't mind; it's staying with me  most likely and I do love little glitches like this.  I also love thinking of all the quilts and projects these fabrics were a part of...some I recognize, but can't bring the quilt or project to mind!  Need to dig out my quilt photo album.

I'm also picking away at Scrap Vortex.  It's going to be a very slow-growing quilt. I'm okay with that.  Mindless, grab a few small scraps that I keep tossing in one of my Nesting Bowls and put 'em together.  Ahh.  Massage for the creative part of my soul.

Part of my pitbull, pibble, Rocco, who decided to take advantage of my footrest since I wasn't yet out there using it:

The sunshine has been calling, so I make sure I get a 20-minute or so dose of vitamin D apart from Rocco and my daily walk.
Lake Erie was pristine this morning.  I could have sat on that new stone bench for some time
Another of the hodge podge event of life and in this post is the classic car show at Lakeside Park on Sunday.  Workmanship, pride, appreciation for the past, detail, inspiration, this small local show had it all.  Massage for my husband's creative car-building soul.  Like a quilt show for me.  I love these shows too.

Could not resist this Chevy coupe from Rocco's (!!) Speed Shop
Or this Chrysler Saratoga from SUCH a good year, lol:
My colour too!
To end this Hodge Podge post, which, like a good goulash, all blends together in the end for a fantastic flavour, here is a sneak peek of the heart quilt.  Quilting is all done. I just am SO in love with the minky Cuddle I got.  Thank you to Jasmine of Quilt Kisses for her expert help and advice in this new-to-me fabric.

All right! Hope you found a common thread in this post, and I hope you check out those new blogs for more great inspiration and like-minded creative souls. I've now made my final decision (I think, ha ha) on the binding for this quilt, so I'm off to the basement, out of my chair on the patio (Rocco's out of my footrest) to finish up this quilt so I can take it to our Erie Shores Guild meeting tonight!  I will be linking this post up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.  :-)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Stash

We went over the river to Detroit this past Monday, and one of our stops was at Guildcrafters Quilt Shop.  I was specifically looking for Minky to use as the backing for my heart quilt. Although I didn't get actual Minky, I did get a Minky-like fabric made by Shannon fabrics, called Cuddle, in a gorgeous aqua, perfect, as it is my friend's favourite colour.  It goes really well with the hot pinks and aquas in the heart.  You will have to take my word for it, as I did not take a picture prior to loading onto my Avanté for quilting, which is where it currently sits.  Don't worry; you will see it in a day or two.  :-)

When she was cutting the Minky, the Figures by Zen Chic bolt was lying on the cutting table, and well, a yard of it jumped onto the folded piece of Minky.  What's with that?  I'm sure you can relate to that experience.  This perfect neutral is going into another quilt for a friend that I am slowly starting to build.  The numbers?  Utter perfection for this person!
Wool on the left and Figures by Zen Chic for Moda on the right
A note about the cost of fabric.  I always lament the high cost of fabric here in Canada, and as a result, I have bought next to nothing since we regularly started going to Florida, and especially since we moved to the Windsor area in 2012, where I have access to Detroit by simply crossing the river.

And yet.

After this purchase, I'm rethinking this habit to some degree.  This was about $11.50 per yard, or maybe $11.79, I can't recall exactly and cannot find the receipt.  When I compared it to the Canadian quilt shops' prices per metre that I have recently seen here in Windsor, which average $16-17/metre, this regularly priced fabric was not the bargain it at first appears.
$11.50/yard = 31.9c per inch
16.50 (approximate average price)/metre = 42.3c CA/inch (a metre has approx. 39")
Do the current exchange, which is abysmal of $1.30; it is currently 1.298CA at the Bank of Canada to buy $1US, so it will not be as good at your bank.
31.9c US per inch = 41.5c CA

So I saved less than a cent per inch (42.3 - 41.5 = 0.8) which translates to about 31c per metre savings.  Now, having showed you, and myself, that, it is true that US stores do have better sales than Canadian, with a lot more variety and selection of fabric as well as better prices.  Still, the $8/metre sale fabric I picked up a few weeks ago at Sew Sisters Quilt Shop was a decent deal, as it works out to about $5.75/yard US.

The other piece in the photo is a piece of 100% wool, that I would have walked out oblivious to, had I not asked the girl cutting if they had any off-white pure wool (I've checked them out a couple of times previously).  I'd already scoped out their wool section and found nothing.  Well, it turns out they had an entire bolt, but apparently it had a funny smell after taking the plastic off, so they'd been letting it air out in the office.  I could have some, she supposed, but she'd ask the owner first...Well, I felted it anyhow, so I didn't care about a smell, and quite honestly it smelled a bit like damp wool which is fine with me...takes me off to Scotland, and heather...mists... Outlander, and Jamie...and ahem....where am I?  Oh yeah. Wool.  I'm ecstatic that I got this half yard because I can finally finally finish a quilt top that has percolated for several years, one I saw at a sewing show.  I have the top made, just have been waiting to find the perfect wool to felt for my daisy petals to appliqué onto the background. Yay!  I think this cost around $8 for the half yard and it felted beautifully.

So that is it for this computer-free (haha) Sunday post.  I might do my yoga stretch for sewers, (sewists?) post twice a month as it got some good feedback, so pop in next Sunday and see what other stretch I love to do after hours a long time at the machine.  I'm linking up with Molli Sparkles' Sunday Stash.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Heart Quilt Flimsy

I have a potential name, just keeping it quiet for now.  I'm so pleased with how this all came together, from basing it on Helen's design, to the conversation last week with the owner of the studio where my friend teaches, to choosing fabrics from my stash.
In the shade last night after supper
Stained glass effect
A couple rode by on their bikes, and the girl called out to me, "Nice quilt!"  A few seconds later, next-door neighbour Jude walked by with her husband and echoed that sentiment.  :-)  I'm so intrigued by how different the colours are from the shade to the sun behind it.  In both shots, I was facing west.  I'm also very happy that I have this green strip of town land between our lane and the next where I can peg a quilt top.
Tried to get less of the direct sun in this shot
I just love these colours.  Putting in the aquas was just such a perfect addition:  the hot, sultry, rich pinks of the tropical places my friend so loves, balance the cool, calming, water-themed aquas which are her favourite.

It's really great to make quilts for others, for obvious reasons.  For me, it pushes me to using colours and combinations I might never have used for myself.  I am not a lover of hot pink, although I do love the softer pinks and berries and burgundies, but this quilt?  I could keep it in a heartbeat (ha ha, pun not originally intended).  Put the hot pink and aqua together?  Love.  Period. (another pun not originally intended)

I plan to write the tutorial for this quilt.  It's pretty simple in construction, and, like so many of my original designs, has a bit of an unusual construction method.  Funny how I've only just lately realized that I often do look for a slightly different spin on a traditional quilt or construction method.
Amongst the flowers, the impatiens have already more than quadrupled in size!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Current Project with a Reminder or Two

This quilt is going to a very close friend in need of a quilty hug.  Here it is on the design wall on Sunday:

I've known I need to make this quilt for a couple of months.  I just didn't know, or feel exactly what, other than lots of pink.  I've since found out aquas are her favourite, along with rich tropical hues.

I saw a quilt on Midget Gem Quilts, made by Helen for a cousin of hers, which is gorgeous, and I knew instantly, this was the quilt.  Helen and I have been chatting back and forth over the past few weeks thanks to us each having joined the New Bloggers Hop.  She has a great blog, great sense of humour as well as a great sense of colour.  Enough greats for you to go check her out? I hope so.  When I asked if I could use her design as the basis for a quilt for my friend, she said go for it.  Mine is a bit different: I used 4.5" squares, whereas she used 5", and also mine is slightly differently-shaped.  All of the fabric, except for the backing, which I bought yesterday at Guildcrafters Quilt Shop, is from my stash.  There are some scraps (for example: wave fabric from Cloud 9, Tula Pink aqua fabric, hot pinks from my daughter Brianne's second quilt), some that was destined for kaleidoscopes (ex: circles fabric, second last row, centre, and "fireworks" aqua and black fabric, third row from bottom, second from right), and some bought just because I loved it (ex. Australian fabric 3rd row exact centre square)

Yesterday I only had a half hour or so of sewing time, so here is where it currently sits:

Reminder of a previous Tip:  I'm using the "Book It!" method for this quilt which is so awesome in keeping all the squares organized.  I wrote a tutorial which you can find under the tab up top or click here.  I'm on Step 6 right now, where I'm beginning to piece the "books" aka pairs of squares, into columns.  Because the heart is not a square shape, I pieced as much of the square part as I could with that method, and I've got the bottom three rows sewn into rows, attached with a chain of thread holding each set together so they don't get out of order.  For the background, I plan to add in big squares and a couple of strips as opposed to filling in everything with more white 4.5" squares.

And one more reminder, a day late.  After a 2-week break, the New Bloggers Hop is back for Week 3 with more wonderful prizes to be won.  Here are the 4 quilters in my hive

posting their "All About Me" post this week, which you will be taken to by clicking:

Julie of Pink Doxies
Carrie of The Zen Quilter
Lori at Sew Psyched
Cindy at Sewing Moxie

The other 3 hives with their new blogger posts can be found at:
Meadow Mist Designs
Quilting Jet Girl
Childlike Fascination

Happy Reading!  I'll be linking this post up with Stephanie's Tips and Tutorials Tuesday at Late Night Quilter, and also with Nicky's Scraptastic Tuesday at Mrs. Sew and Sow.

I'm also linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.  :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Stretch for Sewers #1

Welcome to the first installment of Sunday Stretch for Sewers.  I plan to do this once a month, around mid-month, and see how it goes.  The idea came from a conversation with Julie of, who said she was feeling stiff and sore, so she told me she thought I should write a post about yoga stretches for long hours at the sewing machine.  It's been percolating on the back burner in my mind ever since.  Here we go.
This is not a metaphor for the wacky compartments of my brain, lol, but still a metaphor...
As those of you who have followed me for any amount of time know, yoga is a huge part of my life, has been for more than 15 years.  I teach 3 classes a week, the perfect, in my mind, part-time job for a retired school teacher. :-)  I have a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certificate for Ashtanga training, and two 20-hour certificates in Yin.  Yin is what I teach; I do both Ashtanga and Yin for my own practice.  However, I am certainly no expert, no professional, so these stretches are just what works for me when I have aching shoulders, stiffness in the low back, or legs that want a stretch.  (Thanks to my darling husband for taking these photos, even though he thinks I am a nutbar - and it did feel a little weird, I'll admit, to do this.)

Here is the first one I often will do, a standing forward bend, known as Dangling in Yin yoga.
Feet are hip-width apart, legs are either straight or bent at the knees, and you hold onto opposite elbows.
These are actual Yin poses, however, and, as such, they not only will stretch aching muscles, if held for 2 or 3 minutes or longer, they begin to work on the connective tissues in the body:  the ligaments, tendons and fascial web that holds our bodies together.  In a nutshell, with regular practice, you can begin to find some space, find some more flexibility, and allow better blood flow through these areas that are stressed.  This gives many benefits, but in general, an increase in general well-being will occur.  :-)  Breathe steadily and slowly, in and out through your nose.
Dangling, arms in an alternate variation: relaxed down
Bending the legs will work the thigh muscles more and will release the low back more fully.  Straightening the legs works the hamstrings more but still releases the low back.  Let the back round, and let your head go too.  If your back feels strained, then you can rest your elbows against a table, chair, or on your thighs.  Avoid this if you have high blood pressure; you may want to do the same forward bend idea, but sitting on the floor.

To come out, bend your knees, place your hands on the floor and go into Squat.
Mild back bend; great for the ankles (note I am not sitting on that heat register; there is space between my butt and the floor)
You can rest your ankles on a rolled up quilt :-) so the bend in the front of the ankle is not so intense.  Keep your knees going the same direction as your feet; widening the space between your feet will work into the hip joints more, and can take some pressure off the ankles.  Keep in mind that we start to tighten up and age first of all in our feet, so strengthening our feet (toes and ankles) is really important.  To come out of this pose, either sit down and stretch your legs out, or, more challenging, is to come back up into Dangling and do another round.  You can work up to holding each of these for 2-3 minutes.

A Yin flow, like the first quilty picture, which is the beginnings of my Scrap Vortex, found here at Crazy Mom Quilts, will put several pieces, or poses, together to make an overall wonderful workout (or quilt, ha) for the body, mind and spirit.  As we hold these poses, we have time to go inside our body, both watching our breath flow in and out slowly and steadily, and also getting in touch with the sensations we are experiencing in various parts of our bodies.  This awareness helps our busy minds to slow down, relax, and be more fully present in all aspects of our life, not just while we are on our yoga mat.  However, these two simple stretches can also help to relieve some muscle tension from too many hours of FMQ!

I also mentioned I had started Cynthia's Scrap-a-Palooza quilt #16:
I have a set of blue blocks half done as well.  I really like the circles layout she ended up using, but there are many possibilities for these log cabin blocks.  I've made several log cabin quilts, but never this offset style where one set of the logs is wider than the other.

I will be linking this post with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework, the place to be every Sunday if you want scrappy inspiration.

Note:  My Yin notes are based on information in Bernie Clark's book The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga.  You can purchase it on Amazon or through his website,

Friday, July 10, 2015

More 3-D Sewing

I've been having some fun in my basement sewing abode over the past couple of days.  I had these two bowls cut out when I decided to make the ones from the Timeless Treasures fabric first, as those were the ones on my Q2 Finish Along list, the Fabric Nesting Bowls pattern I bought from A Cuppa and A Catch Up.  I went back to them and made both.  One is for a friend; the sunflowers one is for me.  I think.

Sadly, I didn't have enough of the pretty red floral to line both.  It takes rather a lot of lining fabric for these bowls!  These two are the 8" size.
I had some fun again with quilting; this time the ribbon candy mostly shows at the bottom!

Of course, Bella got all excited that I was actually making her a bowl...
She is getting as tired as my family is of me taking photos of everything...
Not a good fit; she prefers the 9" size!

I also made one more so that I now have a trio of the original bowls.
6", 9" and 4" all with different linings
I decided to flip the order of the fabrics so that I could do some cool quilting on the black panel.  Sigh. Well, it doesn't show that well unless the light hits it, and I really am not thrilled with the overal look; it needs the pink sewing print to be the feature.
Inside under the Ott-Lite
I had some really thick shiny thread, a YLI, I believe, left over from a quilted jacket I made about 10 years ago.  This thread goes into the bobbin.  I just did straight lines instead of the original feathers plan because of the thickness.  The pink is a Sulky Holoshimmer.  I've missed quilting with these fun threads.  I did (I think) Mesh Curtain out of Leah Day's first book along the bottom edge.

Lined with more of the sewing themed fabric--eww! See the freaking dead fish fly that wormed its way, pun intended, into this photo?  They are still around, not many, but enough already!
Setup for sewing with Holoshimmer threads
Here's a tip: this thread likes to feed horizontally, as it is a flat ribbon-style thread.  If it goes on my horizontal spool, it comes off the end, and twists, as a result.  This way, unwinding in the same fashion as does a toilet paper roll, keeps it more flat.  I also use a Schmetz Metallica needle.  My good friend figured out how to make a holder using a small knitting needle and two holders made from painters masking tape!  I use an old candle holder that mainly serves as my pencils, scissors, etc. holder when not in use as this.

We also made a new salad, Spicy Southwestern Salad, Wednesday night.  It can be found on Pinch of Yum, here.  It is easy to make, healthy and delicious!  What's not to love about roasted sweet potatoes, avocado dressing and some spiciness?  I love her blog.
Ha, the Hint of Lime nachos are in another bowl I made several years ago, a fabric one from Linda Johansen's book -- gotta keep the bowls theme, right?
Just gotta say taking this photo got much the same reaction from my husband as Bella gave me earlier in this post.

I also had some totally playing-type sewing in between making these bowls.  Kind of a leaders and enders project, and I always wanted to make one of Amanda Jean's (Crazy Mom Quilts) small adorable pincushions, so this one kind of happened with small pieces left over from cutting out my mystery quilt:
It is about 3 3/4" square!  Adorable.  Yep, there's some Sulky Holoshimmer and rayon threads on this baby too, and the red strip finished at 1/4" wide! Crazy, but fun.
I have to find some walnut shells to put in it.  That or maybe some silica sand(?) which is what we put in the pincushion that is on the thread-catcher I have beside my machine.  That might be why you see a small pinhead and a bit of rumpled look at the top edge of the pincushion.  This will go with Avril, as I need a pincushion there (might sew on a wrist strap) when I'm pinning quilts onto the leaders.

I also might have started her Scrap Vortex now too...  and I might have started and made some decent progress on, Cynthia's Scrap-a-Palooza quilt #16...  Next, or, concurrently, is Bento Box, and a heart quilt I'm making for a dear friend.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!  And also with WIPs be Gone at A Quilting Reader's Garden, and with TGIFF at Quilt Matters.  So much inspiration and "Oh, look! A squirrel" distractions. :-)