This was my DesignAndBeMary display at the Prior Lake 'Fall in Love with Quilts' show

This was my DesignAndBeMary display at the Prior Lake ‘Fall in Love with Quilts’ show

Once more, it has been awhile since I last posted, but the good news is that I seem to be feeling somewhat better than in the earlier part of the year! YEAH!! Of course, I tend to say that rather tentatively as it seems chronic lymes has this nasty habit of waxing and waning. I am so hoping that it is beginning to ‘wane’ – hmmm…if that is how one spells wane!! As you might guess, when one begins to feel somewhat better, life then begins to be a game of trying to catch up on all the things and projects that have been languishing – at the same time trying to do the things that are today’s business!! Not an easy balance, but a sense of humor helps, along with a bit of attitude adjustment regarding expectations of what is reasonable to get done. More…

Auditioning button in berries sample display CU

Auditioning button in berries sample display CU

It was with some dismay that as I began to write this post, I realize the date of my last post was in late February. ARGH! I’m not sure why this would ‘surprise’ me; this was about the time that my dedicated lymes doctor decided that I needed to change my medication protocol and needless to say, the changes have knocked me off my feet! For those of you who may not be familiar with chronic lymes, this is an unfortunate reality for those who are attempting to drive the lymes into remission! I remember many of my older relatives often commenting that sometimes you have to feel worse before you get better; that sure is true of chronic lymes treatment where successful applications of drugs cause the nasty cells to die off, which cause you to feel quite miserable as your body tries to rid itself of all the toxins! Needless to say, I am looking forward to better days; I just don’t know when they will arrive! Meanwhile, I will do what I can, when I can – but no one can make me like it! 🙂 More…

Close up of my 2010 Minnesota Quilters challenge quilt

Close up of my 2010 Minnesota Quilters challenge quilt

What a surprise I had this morning! In 2010, I attended the Minnesota Quilters Show with my DH. He thought it would be a great idea for me to try a challenge quilt…despite my persistent thoughts that I have plenty of quilts and projects in my head and am well aware that I am in the last half century of my life!! Despite my deepest reservations and with considerable reluctance, I purchased the challenge kit and took it home, thinking at worst, I’ll just have a few more fat quarters for my stash! Unfortunately, hubby knows me well, and soon ‘it’ was gnawing at me – and long story short- I ended up with this quilt some intensive months later! More…

The gals at Quilter's Haven in Rosemount

The gals at Quilter’s Haven in Rosemount

Yesterday, I was back at Quilter’s Haven in Rosemount for the second, finishing and ‘show and tell’ topper class. We were a small group, but enjoyed seeing what each had done as well as discussing problems or choices. It is a hard choice to offer a class with two separate class sections – a few weeks apart – as many people struggle with schedules and can’t manage to make it back for the second class. Yet the toppers simply can not be finished in a one day class, and while many would find it easy to finished the project successfully at home, many others – especially those new to wool – need the second class session to resolve questions and issues. Of course, missing the second class also means missing ‘show and tell.’ Selfishly, I love seeing what everyone does, not only do I get feedback (the good and the bad!) but I also am inspired by the range of creativity. More…

Mmmm..frosted donuts in my back yard!!

Mmmm..frosted donuts in my back yard!!

OK… I couldn’t help it…It’s a beautiful snowy morning here in Minnesota and I love watching the snow fall. I know – this is NOT fun for those who have to travel to work or get across a town to an appointment, but for those of us who are lucky enough to just be able to ‘hunker down’ in a warm home (with untold projects that are begging for attention!), this snowy world provides us much beauty. (And for anyone who has a young canine companion, the snow provides unlimited opportunities to laugh while watching them enjoy the fluffy white stuff!!) However, I did not expect to see the above scene less than 25 feet from our back windows – frosted donuts! More…

Turning those sharp outside points!

Turning those sharp outside points!

It’s been a busy week – our two little grandgirls came to visit while their mom and dad took care of business in the cities. At ages 2+ and 4+ they are both an absolute delight as well as the cause for a realization that my DH and I aren’t quite as young as we used to be! Even Reka, our Aussie(a breed known to be extremely high energy), looks exhausted by the time they leave!! No matter, it surely is wonderful to experience the world through a child’s perspective! Of course, it also means that I need to put away all my projects and materials (they stay in the guest room which is where I do my designing, etc.) This wouldn’t be so bad, but as I return to my projects, I find that I am continually looking for something I can’t find – but I remember just where it was before I put it all away!! Wish I had a penny for every minute I spend figuring out just where I put something!! Anyhow, I do remember that I promised this post about how I tackle turning an ‘outside’ point with the blanket stitch. It can be challenging – especially for a beginner – to figure out how to get a nicely turned ‘sharp’ corner with the blanket stitch. So here goes… More…

Two sample models with appliques stitching completed

Two sample models with appliques stitching completed

Continuing from the previous post, I made my thread choices and appliqued the white snowflakes to the red background. You can see the dark variegated thread I used on the model to the right. It is interesting to experiment and see the effect of different thread colors – you will see later in this post that I did yet another one with black thread. I will also suggest that if you are new to stitching you may want to consider that a high contrast thread will show up more than a thread color that blends in – so if you are having fun but have yet to develop consistent stitches and don’t want to draw any extra attention to your stitching, stick with a low contrast thread More…

'Rough' cutting of snowflake applique - fusible: to use or not to use???

‘Rough’ cutting of snowflake applique – fusible: to use or not to use???

Since I began designing in felted woven wool and/or wool felt, I have found that there is a considerable range of opinions about the use of fusibles for wool applique. Personally, I feel that it is all about what look you want or are happy with, and how stitching on fused wool works for you. That said, I decided I would try some variations in working up my samples; while you can’t exactly ‘feel’ the finished results over the internet (maybe someday!!!), I think I can present some options that you might consider trying. As a designer and a teacher I can only benefit from experimentation, hopefully saving others from potential frustration OR presenting more possibilities! I used fusible in each of the 3 red samples – each in a different way – and I also have some photos of how I chose to use it in the larger green model. Be sure to click on the photos to get a closer view, as some of the detail in the photos isn’t really obvious until you enlarge the picture. More…

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