Nothing to do with quilts

but all about the fun of having Lego crazy kiddos!


To Dye or Not To Dye

Can’t find the right fabric?  Well, then maybe you want to learn how to dye it.

Several books and websites can fill you with information on fabric dyeing.  Or maybe your local quilt store has a class of fabric dyeing.  Around Fairbanks there are several quilters who dye their own fabrics.  Some quilters will dye and paint their fabrics.  Quilt artist Ree Nancarrow is one example of an interior quilter who creates beautiful fabrics with dye and paint.  Her quilting includes a spectacular piece on display at the Eielson Visitors Center in Denali National Park, it is titled “Seasons of Denali”.

I have not attempted to dye fabric yet, but I have purchased some beautiful fat quarter dyed fabrics.  Maybe someday I’ll decide to try it, but for now just getting time to quilt is more important to me.

Take some time and enjoy the work by Ree Nancarrow.  Search for fabric dyeing and you will find some wonderful sites as well as how to videos, too numerous to list here.  I’ll put a couple here that I thought were quite neat.

Paula Burch

Wild Onion


Until next time, keep quilting on, Karen

Time for Quilting?

Who has the time to quilt?

As a mother, student and library assistant I find it very hard to take time to quilt.  And when I do have time, I have to decide what I’d rather do.  Play with my kids, quilt, read or simply relax.

If I break it down, I could take the time to show my children how to quilt and in doing so, I could quilt.  If I want to read I’ve found the best solution is to rent or buy books on tape.  If I want to relax, I have to decide how much relaxing I want to do.  There seem to be a lot of choices to make.

I know if I sat down one day and started a quilt, I could be done with the top that same day.  One person who can really help get a quilt done in one day is, Eleanor Burns.  Burns has written over 100 books and has over 200 episodes in her Quilt in a Day television series.

Within the next couple days I’ll be moving sewing area and by doing so I am hoping to make it a bit accessible.  By making it accessible it will be easier to sit down and start sewing whenever I have the time.  You might remember what my sewing area looks like, in a new location it will hopefully be less cluttered, and when it does I’ll take a picture of it and share it right here. 🙂

Happy Quilting


What a word, what a concept.

Free, as in, no funds of any kind exchange hands.

The on-line world is full of wonderful quilt patterns awaiting discovery.

The first place I found free patterns was through Connecting Threads.  I loved their on-line catalog but much of it was too expensive, until one day I chanced upon the link, Freebies.  The site has changed considerably over the years, but it still houses patterns that I have already utilized.

I began quilting in 1994 and started using the Internet in 2000.  Since then the number of sites geared toward quilters has blossomed.  Many sites and nationally known quilters offer free patterns through their websites.

If you are looking for free quilting patterns, an easy way to find them is to simply type “free quilting patterns” into a search engine of your choice.  Google gave me over two million hits.  The next thing is to choose where you want to go.  The problem becomes narrowing it down.  I know that Hoffman Fabrics sells beautiful quality fabric so when that page showed up on my hit list I decided it was worth checking out their freebies.

I did come across a single site that listed many places to visit for free patterns, and their name is simply, Free Quilt Patterns.  This site shares an alphabetical listing of sites that offer free patterns.  It also gives a small detail of what the seeker can expect on the pages it offers.  Click here to find the alphabetical listing.  Searching through the list of sites I found the Cabin Fever Quilters Guild Block of the Month.  Along with one of my favorite national quilters, Carol Doak.

So take some time to look at those sites, then find some yourself and share them with me.



Happily Quilting

Quilting does something for everyone who has been bitten by the quilting bug.  How we start quilting, what our backgrounds are and why we continue quilting  are different for everyone.

I chatted with my neighbor, who I affectionately and accurately call my Quilting Guru, Martie Lamont.  A pharmacist and a very fussy quilter, her seams are always straight and her quilting is perfect.  She might disagree with that statement, but I’ve never met a quilter who is as much a perfectionist as her.  If I could make quilts a fraction as well as she does, I would be very happy.

I also stopped into Blue Ribbon Sew ‘n’ Vac and talked with Susan Phillips, Marty Russell-Hade, and LeDean Copeland.  What follows is their stories and their passion for quilting.


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Thread seems like the easiest choice when working on a quilt.  Choosing a thread to use for piecing blocks is easy for me, I choose a neutral grey Gutermann 100 percent polyester thread.

When working on actually quilting a quilt, the choice is much more difficult.  Do I chose a single color or a variegated spool?  Should it be polyester, rayon or cotton?  Maybe it should be a blend.

Today as I began to sew my denim quilt together I had to determine what I wanted to show.  Since the quilt is quilted before it is put together and all the thread shows up, I eventually decided to go with a variegated dark to light blue spool.  Not an easy decision as you can see from the photos.  All I can do now is sew it up and be happy with the results, or maybe I’ll change it up and have some fun with my thread coloring.

Maybe you have a favorite style of thread, or a good reason to use a particular brand.  I like how smooth the 100 percent polyester Gutermann goes through my machine and needle.  As I put the denim quilt together I’m using a 100 percent cotton thread and so far the going is good.

I use other brands of thread Madeira and Signature are some of my favorites.  It all gets down to choices.  In quilting there are a lot of things to choose from; patterns, fabrics, needles and threads.  Every quilter has their favorites of each of these things, but the door is wide open for exploration.  So feel free to share your favorite tools of the trade, maybe you will get me started on something new.

Almost ready to go


All the denim, batting and flannel is cut out and ready to go.  There’s just a few more things I need to do.

First I’ll need to make a sandwich of the three materials.

Then I’ll need to dig out my sewing machine. I mean literally dig it out, I suppose that is the life of a quilter who needs to use the kitchen table as her work surface.  I’ll also have to dig out my denim needles and replace my quilting needle from my machine.

Finally I will need some time to sit and sew X’s through the center of each block.

Once that’s done I’ll just need to put them all together for the final step.

Time.  I just need a little bit more time in order to get it all done.  Here’s hoping I can finish this project in one final post.

In the meantime, you can take a look at some of the comical pictures I took so I could share my next steps.

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