Jun 18 2014

Many sewers and quilters pride themselves on sewing without pins.

They somehow feel it elevates their command of the skill, demonstrating they are able to precisely feed fabric past a feed-dog at lightening speeds.

Nothing could be further from my truth. I use zillions of pins, the more the better, removing each one as it approaches the needle, having insured proper placement for the intended stitches. I need my pins. I love my pins. And, I wouldn’t work without them.

Pins Side w typeFive inch squares with side sashing pinned in place.

I feel secure with my pins, while I scoff at those who feel I’m below them in the quilting pecking order. Am I to be defined by my abundant use of pins? Are you who “do without” really, truly a better quilter? Isn’t the finished product, a rigid cross hatch of perfectly met corners and uncompromising 45º diagonals the true test of quilting merit? Are the biddy’s at the Quilt Shows with their half glasses pranced mid-nose able to qualify your work as “Sans Pins” upon inspection? Ha! I say not!

Pins Close up w typeGazillions of pins help make zillions of Quilt Squares.

So let me wallow with my pins in ignorant bliss, while feeling secure as to the outcome of my work. I stand firm in my belief that pinning prevents unexpected mix-ups, fly-aways and fall-aparts. No matter what happens to my quilting space, my in-progress work will be preserved. Not so with that reckless Latifah Saafir, the “Quilting Engineer,” who publicly sews “Glam” Clamshell Tops without pins holding the pieces together. Just take a gander at this:

Maybe you won’t break out in hives watching
this pin free video, but I did.

See? See? Did you see that? Amazing! But then, to my taste, I could pin that curved seam before the first notch pretty fast, then not have to futz with it while it’s in the machine. Everybody finds their own best way to do things, once basic skills are learned, so maybe I am talking to a legion of healthy, happy non-pinners. If so, I salute you, saying, “How would I know?”

Overview Pins w typeAh! Everything is in secure order.

But, as for me, I shall continue to revel in boxes, and boxes, of yellow headed quilting pins, loving them, tending to them, making sure they are dry and sharp, while ready for duty. I will lovingly make them pincushions, sharpen them with emory and promise never to leave them alone in the damp. For, as my pins go, so goes my sewing. And, that’s the truth!

So, ‘fess up! Are you a pinner? Non-pinner? Or fall somewhere in between? I promise not to take it personally.

Let me know by Commenting below, Tweeting to @SunbonSmart or following SunbonnetSmart on Instagram. The whole world is waiting!

 Sewing wihtout pins

Sewing Without Pins for Everyone

 

"Forever Tiled" by SunbonnetSmart Coffee Mugs
“Forever Tiled” by SunbonnetSmart Coffee Mugs by SunbonnetSmart

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure SunbonnetSmartsters to her BlogHer.com profile, daily newspaper,
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Jun 02 2014

Crazy letters! What in the world do they mean? If you are are a scientist, a quilter or observe the Chakra energy centers, you probably know!

The letters ROYGBIV stand for the colors of the rainbow, or visible light spectrum: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. All of the light we see is divided up into these colors or their variations. In addition, white is the absence of any color and black is the summation of all of the colors.

Rainbow Chipotle May 2014 w type

 Rainbows are spectrums in the sky.

Working as fabric artists, the appreciation for and understanding of color is essential. Quilters love color so much that sometimes, they want to display the whole spectrum in one quilt. There are infinite ways to play with the patterns to include all seven colors, and their infinite variations. Quilts that include all seven colors of the spectrum are called ROYGBIV Quilts. They have become so popular, that some quilt shows and exhibits have separate ROYGBIV entry categories.

Jessica, the quilter behind the web site and blog, “Quilty Habit,” decided to make a quilt to celebrate her wedding. She decided upon a glorious ROYGBIV Dresden Plate, full of love and outstanding color blends. Be sure and visit Jessica and share in her joy.

Quilty Habit Rainow Center

 A ROYGBIV Dresden Plate by Jessica of “Quilty Habit

Scientists study color, just as they do all other natural phenomenon, in fact, at RIT, the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, the Munsell Color Science Laboratory has been granting Masters Degrees and Ph.D.’s in the theory and science of color since 1983. This course of study is not the artistic application of color, as one would find in art school, but rather, the actual scientific study with research on wavelengths of light as they interact and are perceived by the eye.

If you are interested in the study of color, both artistic and scientific, this list, found on the web site, Color Matters, will be valuable.

Click for the preview

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure SunbonnetSmartsters to her BlogHer.com profile, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page



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Filed under: Quilting,Roof — admin @ 11:38 pm Comments (0)
Jun 01 2014

Using an extra block between traditional blocks can add a compelling eye-catcher. #quilt #quilting

Welcome to SunbonnetSmarters joining in from Facebook! I was tooling around the Internet when I found Kay MacKensie’s wonderful “ruminations,” as she says, of her fondness for Jill Finley’s book from Martingale Press called, “Home Sweet Quilt.” Kay’s web site and blog, “All about Applique,” has much to offer, and in reading today’s post, I noticed a fun and simple design option easy to employ in your next project.

Winding Down All About Applique wo type

“Winding Down”

Traditional quilts often use “Solid Sets,” where all blocks are the same pattern. Or, they can alternate a pattern block with a same sized block of fabric to produce, “Alternate Sets.”Here, a simple Pin Wheel block, made of half square triangles get dressed up!

Jill Finley introduces a bit of sashing and a single half square triangle block to join her patterned “Alternate Set” blocks on the diagonal. What an interesting effect! It gives more negative space where the eye can rest, while surprising the viewer with an unexpected rhythm. To enjoy Kay’s web site and read her review of Jill’s book, go here.

Click for a preview.

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure SunbonnetSmartsters to her BlogHer.com profile, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page



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Filed under: Quilting,Roof — admin @ 8:40 pm Comments (0)
Jan 06 2014

Not really. What I really mean is, “STAND OUTTA MY WAY!”

On a morning when I thought things would be back to normal after the holidays, I awakened to an e-mail from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Now, every morning I check Jenny Doan’s Daily Deal, but I wasn’t expecting to find a BIG “2014 Kick Starter Sale.”

1 Quilting Fenzy

Under the Daily Deal is that
“2014 KICKSTARTER SALE” RED PRINT

(click on the image to go there)

OH MY GOODNESS! The 10″ Tumbler Template, Tula Pink’s “Acacia” Layer Cake,” the “Starflakes and Glitter” Layer Cake for $20 (with those little figures I just LOVE, but couldn’t bring myself to buy because it was Christmas Fabric), and one of my all time favorites, but never purchased, “Happy Tones” Layer Cake.

So here’s what I did:

Screen shot 2014-01-06 at 8.20.36 AM

Printed off the 3 Layer Cakes, full size onto 81/2″ x 11″ paper.
(Click on all images to enlarge.)

 

Three Fabrics

Played with the three sheets of paper
to make sure the fabrics go together.

 

2 QF Happy Tones

“Happy Tones:” The Light

 

3 QF Snowflakes and glitter

“Starflakes and Glitter:” The Medium

 

4 QF Acacia Layer Cake

“Acacia:” The Dark and the “zip”

 

5 QF Tumbler

The coveted 10″ Layer Cake Tumbler Ruler

 

6 QF Almost $100

ALMOST up to $100, so I grabbed a charm pack off the list.

 

7 QF $100.24

And here we have it! 5% Bonus Quilter’s Cash
Points, *FREE* shipping, a Tumbler Template,
3 Layers Cakes and 2 Charm Packs for $100.24.

 

I have outdone myself. My heart is beating so hard. It’s time for a nap, But, before I go! If you want to make this quilt along with me, order the same or your choice of three layer cakes from Jenny’s “2014 Kickstarter Sale” page and we’ll all quilt together for our first “Quilt with Me” quilt along.

See what you think. I can’t wait to see how many SunbonnetSmartsters are as nutty as I am.

And, if you want to order, JUMP IN as Missouri Star runs out of their popular specials quite often!

Thanks for reading along. You all are the ones that make my quilting SO MUCH FUN!



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Jan 01 2014

Oh, for Heaven’s sake. Iron Quilter II! Ha! my hopes were high and my ambition keen, but it was not enough to keep away the daunting forces of evil.

I was moving and shaking; cutting and basting; ironing, sewing and having a great time. But, during the day on Thanksgiving, I came down with something or another. It was an illness profound in its implications as well as in its dibilitating effects. I was queasy peasy, but kept on rotary cutting, stacking and whacking, because nothing was going to take me down.

 Pinwheel blocks coming out my ears.

I was starting to lag behind my self imposed goals, but well, never one to quit, I kept going. I was having fun sewing, which is my life’s work, afterall. But, by Friday, the die was cast. I was so sick, I no longer cared about ANYTHING, which made it very easy to stop sewing and just go to bed. And, go to bed, I did.

Getting some air.

So, where does that leave me? Well, it took about three weeks until I finally felt better. By that time, many wonderful quilts, 450 of them (!) had been submitted to the Missouri Star Company for display on line to gather popular votes. The winners had been selected, posted and promoted, while I was in the ring with the “death plague,” as one blogger called it. It seemed to be going around.

Trimming unruly 4″ squares to exactly 4 1/2″.

And, far from being on line, my Iron Quilter II quit sat in a storage box waiting for the light of day. But, as a result of my efforts, I have designed a new quilt pattern, have the quilt about 3/4 of the way finished and, am motivated to start a “Quilt with Me” quilt along to provide instruction for those who want to learn traditional and fast piecing methods in a group. Actually, I am pleased with the whole experience. It really got me into the thick of competition quilt designing again. It was time to dust off those brains cells and I did!

So, be sure to go visit the winning quilts and their quilters at the Missouri Star Facebook Fan Page. They are spectacular! And, I am already planning my pattern for the Iron Quilter III, which I bet that clever fabric maven, Jenny Doan, will announce next fall.

It sure doesn’t hurt that I honed my skills a year ahead in preparation. Gr-r-r! Those other quilters better watch out!

 

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure unsuspecting BlogHer bloggers to her web site, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page.



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Nov 26 2013

As one might predict, because of my name, Robin, when I was a child, my favorite literary character was Robin Hood. But, this was also because of the available bounty of children’s TV programming. Every Saturday, I watched the series, “Robin Hood,” with the lead played by Richard Greene, taking it very seriously.

And, my interest didn’t end there. Oh no. Genderly progressive beyond my years, I wore green tights and a pseudo-medieval green tunic while playing my hero. But, that’s not all. While dressed in my Sherwood Forest regalia, I rode my white Schwinn bike around our neighborhood, envisioning myself as Robin Hood on his horse. The only thing missing was my bow and arrow, but by Christmas, that need was answered, allowing me to ride my bike with the bow slung over my chest. If I do say so myself, I cut a trim figure in the saddle, especially when I stood up on the pedals to coast.

My favorite Robin Hood episode was the Archery Tournament, where that crafty Sheriff of Nottingham gleefully set up a sting operation to entice Robin, the Earl of Locksley, to come into Nottingham for an archery contest to determine, “…the finest archer in England.” The pride of winning the contest draws Robin and his Merry Men out of Sherwood Forest only to fall into the Sheriff’s trap. After shooting an arrow that splits his opponent’s arrow, already shot into the target bulls eye, Robin’s identity is proclaimed, causing the Sheriff to take action against him.

Egad, the drama! The pathos! The lute music! The dancing! What? The dancing? Yes! The dancing! Aye, they were Merry Men.

Why here, watch it for yourself!

 

Robin Hood “The Challenge”

And, so now, having set the scene, let’s fast forward to 2013. Years have passed. My Schwinn bike hangs in the garage. My archery set was stolen during a move. But, the burning passion for reenacting Robin Hood has not dimmed one iota. So you can imagine my delight when Missouri Star Quilt Company, in Hamilton, MO, announced a quilting challenge, the Iron Quilter II, to determine the finest quilter in the Missouri Star Quilting world. My dreams of competing, soon to be fulfilled, I read every word of the contest rules, ordered my RJR Fabric, the  “Lovely” line by Debbie Beaves, and began designing a quilt pattern to be shared on-line. My dreams from years before were coming true. Here, you can catch the fever, yourself:

The Iron Quilter II

So, now you know what I’ll be doing all week. Sewing away at quilting patches and appliques, crafting an entry fit for presenting to Jenny Doan, the guiding light behind the Missouri Star Quilt Company. While it may look I’m calm, cool and collected, the thrill of honing my skills and competing in the Iron Quilter is is all consuming. Thanksgiving means nothing compared to the finishing of my entry.

Iron Q 1 Raw

But, don’t worry about me. While you’re basting your turkey in the oven, I’ll be basting and pinning 100% cotton fabric. While you’re eating pumpkin pie with whipped topping, I’ll be be making a quilt top, batting and backing sandwich to be machine quilted with angles and swirls.

So, don’t feel sorry for me. You know I’ll be fine, because I’m competing in a contest as SunbonnetSmart, that I never could as Robin Hood.



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Filed under: Quilting,Roof,Uncategorized — admin @ 3:40 am Comments (2)
Sep 02 2013

I’ve always been a big believer in “early to bed, early to rise” making me healthy, wealthy and wise. But, lately I’ve been hanging with a bad crowd. From the land of Jesse James, comes the likes of Jenny Doan and her gang, holed up in Hamilton, Missouri, and I just can’t get off that runaway train.

It all started innocently enough, I happened on one of Jenny’s sweet quilting tutorial videos on YouTube.com Enjoying it as I did, I watched a couple more. Then, I thought, “H-m-m-m, she has a web site selling quilting fabrics and supplies.” Not that I need a thing, I told myself, but quickly noticed I was rallying back with, “It can’t hurt to look.”

It must be impossible to watch Jenny and not want to quilt.

Oh, how the transgressions of youth have caught up with me! Being younger last spring, when this all started, I was foolishly unaware of how Jenny Doan draws one in. She’s no better than a school yard junkie or a vendor at a quilt show with the latest gadget. Shameful the woman was, with her time saving, quilt producing techniques that dazzled and beguiled, making me want to buy not one but ten or twenty of her Charm Packs.

How could I help myself? Being an experienced quilter, I’ve been around since before there were Fat Quarters, and that’s saying something. So, to me, the evolution of pre-cut fabric into all sorts of selections is nothing short of amazing. And, what you can do with them! Why, being well steeped in traditional pattern drafting, I was delighted with the freedom that pre-cut fabrics allow. Quilting methods are so fast and easy now, you can set your sewing machine up on the dashboard of the car and chain piece on your way to work.

natalie_al_sarah_jenny

The Missouri Star Quilt Company is a family affair.

And so, my affair with Jenny Doan and her Missouri Star Quilt Company began. It was fresh, new and it was springtime. How was I to know it would turn into a passionate one-sided summer love? But, that’s what happened, because, as with many love affairs, one of us became more involved than the other. While Jenny didn’t even know I exist, I had signed up on her web site for the Daily Deal e-mail, because Missouri Star regularly offers a Daily Deal and it’s always a doosie.

I don’t know a single quilter that could pass up a charm pack that would be $12.00, being sold for 7 cents, plus $5.00 shipping & handling. That’s right, folks, one of Jenny’s Daily Deals actually had a Charm Pack on sale for $5.07. I mean, are you starting to get the picture? I became so involved, I was lurking on her web site, searching my e-mail in-box for a “hot of the press” Daily Deal announcement and staying up late at night to be the first in the Western Hemisphere to see what was going to be offered next.

Whereas before, my life was in order, with an early bedtime and sensible waking hours, now I am writing this post, staying up past 12:00midnight, waiting, just waiting to see what Jenny will Daily Deal today. I’m not proud of it, but like I said, it’s how I roll. When Jenny posts, I pay attention, sacrificing sleep for specials, as any quilter would.

It’s just that, I can’t stop and I…

…no wait, it’s almost 1:30 in the morning. Gotta’ scoot and see if the Daily Deal’s been posted! Here I come, Jenny! Love you!

badge125



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Filed under: Quilting,Roof,Uncategorized — admin @ 4:56 am Comments (0)
Mar 06 2013

I guess it hit me when Ruth Curran, of Cranium Crunches, asked me for snow photos. She uses them on her blog to create brain teasers and puzzles to keep all of us alert and at the ready.

At the ready for what, I’m not sure, but whatever it is, we’ll be there, armed to the mental teeth. So, thinking about snow photos, I realized that last weekend, I thought we were on the downside of winter. And then Tuesday, March 5, with the weather predictions, we stalled out on the middle of that “downside-of-winter” hill. I decided to take stock of what’s around me to analytically research my “winter to spring” down-sideability.

Parrot Tulips are blooming, therefore SPRING.

 

Snowstorm today, therefore WINTER.

 

 Wegmans has pastel candy, therefore SPRING!

 

Snowstorm today, therefore WINTER.

 

Electric Peeps are here, therefore SPRING!

 

Snowstorm today, therefore WINTER.

 

Foil rabbits in place, therefore SPRING!

 

Snowstorm today, therefore WINTER.

 

Well, looks like it’s a tie. The situation could go either way. I am hoping for the best, with the forecasts for 60 degrees this weekend coming to pass. At any rate, it’s the weekend Daylight Savings Time begins, so I guess that means SPRING!

Do you have cabin fever like I do? Just time to move on and leave winter behind, right?

 NaBloPoMo March 2013

March 2013
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Filed under: Roof,Rural House,Uncategorized — admin @ 10:31 am Comments (0)
Nov 17 2012

When a week with a Thanksgiving Day is looming ahead, winter can’t be far behind. I don’t do well thinking about it.

At least, I don’t do well with transition. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m usually happy where I am. I love fall. I love winter as well, once I’m made the switch over to it. But, during the transition between them, I never feel ready for the change.

I’ve been going through this every year since I was a child, happy where I am. Not ready to move on until I have to, however once moving on, I’m perfectly OK in the new time and space. And yet, knowing I have to move forward, all I can think of is,“There’s so much to do.”

Oops! First sign of fall is when you find Chestnuts!

So, here I am tonight, trying to be calm, blood pressure rising, thinking food prep, present prep, house prep, card prep, decoration prep, family newsletter prep, clothes prep, vehicle prep, guest bedroom prep, fireplace prep and the list goes on and on.

Getting to the bottom of the garden veggies says “Fall!”

Need to winterize the house, the car, the sheds, the lawn mower and the veggie garden beds. Need to plant garlic, broccoli, kale, pansies and flowers bulbs. Have to cook, can, carry, comfort, contemplate and consume. Oh! The list grows and grows.

Warming comfort foods say, “Uh oh! Fall’s here.”

And who has to do all of this without weeping, wishing, worrying and whining? Why, the female of the species, of course. Who else will relegate, delegate, punctuate, simulate, and not hesitate?

Just the mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, grandma and grand daughter, you can be sure. But, let’s face it. You can bet we’ll pull it off with style.

Yikes! Christmas trees and homemade decorations!

So, here it comes! The holidays. Whether happy or habit, we’re on our way. Here comes Silent Night, new, Noel, Nativity, nice, New Year, nestled and….

…my own personal favorite….NAP!





Filed under: Comfort,Roof — admin @ 2:15 pm Comments (0)
Jun 04 2012

Teens and the Internet: Social Media or behavioral risk?

Thinking about my Saturday, June 2, post, Blogging is Good for Teens, TennisMama, FatCat and I started Commenting about Facebook and the minimum age for signing up. Turns out, as FatCat stated, thirteen year olds can have Facebook accounts. Wow! I didn’t expect that.

So, I started nosing around, finding what’s out there by doing searches on BlogHer and Google. I wanted to discover what is available for working with children and teens on the Internet social media sites.

Protecting children is easier when they’re
physically and emotional dependent, but….

First, I checked BlogHer. Right away I found Kimberly’s post from February titled, “Mistakes Rookie Moms Might Make when helping Teens Navigate Facebook.” Wowser, was that an eye-opener. So much to learn and so little time before little fingers become bigger fingers able to type on a keyboard.

Click on the image to download this PDF.

Then I found a handy-dandy resource, The Parent’s Guide to Facebook, a great PDF with TONS of information you can download right here. This PDF is published and available on two very helpful sites set up to instruct parents on Internet supervision on the mobile and fixed Internet. Connect Safely says, “Smart Socializing Starts Here,” while the I Keep Safe Coalition encourages Digital Citizenship, “to see generations of the world’s children grow up safely using technology and the Internet.”

BlogHers are not the only ones aware of the changes in the way we reach out, relate to each other electronically and gather new information. Two new books caused The Washington Post to feature an article showcasing how we relate to the Internet and to each other.

New Books

The Post comments, “Net Smart,” arrives at the same time as a similarly minded title that is more narrowly focused on parenting in the digital age. James P. Steyer founded the San Francisco-based nonprofit organization Common Sense Media with the aim of helping parents figure out how to responsibly usher children into the digital era; his new book, “Talking Back to Facebook,” shares that goal.”

The book, “Talking Back to Facebook” helps parents
monitor their children in the Internet adult world.

The Post article continues, “To grab the reader’s attention, both authors put forward an array of startling numbers and statistics about our digital habits. The average 15-year-old receives nearly 3,500 texts a month, we learn from Steyer. On YouTube, Rheingold tells us, 35 hours of video clips are uploaded every minute.”

Wow! That’s hard for me to believe. All of that time focused on a screen, virtually experiencing life, rather than being in the real world. To me it’s like thinking there’s no reason to visit the Grand Canyon because one can got to the Internet and visit the National Parks web site. But, on the other hand, if that’s where our children are mentally, emotionally and socially, we need to know about it.

As time consuming as it is to hover, it is easier to
monitor Internet usage than clean up a bad situation.

What a sobering prospect this is. There is an avalanche of negative influence out there in cyberspace.  Any part of it can easily enter our children and infect our home lives. As I read in Kimberly’s article, even a slight default in supervising access to friends and strangers, can result in invasive harm. Hopefully, these web sites, books and articles will provide tools for enriching, rather than injurious, family Internet experiences.

Well, it’s always something.

I know I feel better armed to deal with it all.

How about you?

   

NaBloPoMo June 2012



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