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August 14, 2019
Reinventing Everyday from Professional Quilter

reinventingeveryday-3Rs

Are you practicing the 3 R’s?  

What are the 3 R’s, you ask?

Recycle, reuse, repurpose – all part of reinventing your business everyday.

How much of what you create just needs to be spiffed up or re-slanted to make it new?

We see it all the time in other markets.

Disney is a prime example. They put movies in a seven-year “vault” and then re-released some of them each year. They recreate the excitement, find additional audiences, and make more sales.

How can you do this as a creative arts professional? Here are some ideas:

Update your designs ...

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August 9, 2019
Vintage Project Layout: Applique Butterflies from Wedding Dress Blue

The past several days brought the Vintage Applique Butterfly quilt started by my Great-grandmother, Mina Opal, to a completed top.

As I picked apart the previous setting, I noticed that there were 6 blocks where the butterflies were straight on the block and 48 blocks where they were angled.  Considering the care and attention to detail in the work generally, I was certain that was not an accident.  But, why?

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Research revealed that that there is a layout for 54 blocks that has a six block center–a medallion!

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After that the process went relatively quickly. I created a six ...

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August 6, 2019
County Fair Time Surprise from Sew Sunshine


Fair Time is always hot and always interesting. Usually I hang out with my friend Jen but she was off on a family vacation so I had to look for a sub. I found Eddie on the second day of the fair.  He was a bit boisterous but generally a pretty good guy. He was a blue ribbon winner so we had much to talk about. 

I entered 5 of my quilts in the fair and somehow I won with them all. 

Best Recycled award and blue ribbon-From the Mending Pile
Original post HERE

Best Modern and blue ribbon - Edit ...

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August 2, 2019
Another Vintage Project from Wedding Dress Blue

This year is the year–of Vintage Projects.

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Recently, my mother surrendered two quilts started by HER grandmother, Mina Opal, (my Great-grandmother) in the 1930-40s.  Today we will take a look at the first one.

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Mina Opal created 53 applique butterfly blocks.  My mother added one.  She then added sashing and started to build a top (early-to-mid 1980s).  But she was unhappy with the results and put the whole project away for about 35 years.

ASIDE:  Now that I think about it, my mother quit on the quilt about the time Mina Opal became ill and died (1987). Hmm…I ...

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July 30, 2019
Lone Star Rescue COMPLETE from Wedding Dress Blue

While my time spent working on the longarm machine I rent is normally smooth and pleasant due to the assistance and maintenance of the owner, it was not so with this quilt.  The thread kept breaking for reasons unknown.  Just one of those days.

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But, patience and persistence prevailed and it was finished in the end.

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I am really pleased with the freemotion work  in the background,

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less so with the work in the star itself.  I just don’t have good control yet on my points.

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I hope the original maker could be pleased with the results.  They probably ...

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July 20, 2019
Can This Quilt Be Saved? from Wedding Dress Blue

In a recent hand-me-down quilting box was a ziplock bag with this partial lone star quilt in it.  I am fairly sure it was started at least 20 years ago and most of the work was hand piecing.

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However, over the years some of the pieces were lost,  or at least they weren’t found in this bag.

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And, the top had numerous stains.  Yikes!  Can this quilt be saved?

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While I wouldn’t generally recommend it, I washed the assembled section.  Carefully stain treated.  By hand.  Air dry.  Much pressing. There were still a few stains, but I could ...

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July 10, 2019
Crazy Curtain Quilt Finished from Wedding Dress Blue

Grandma’s curtains have new life as a quilt.

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It is quilted with an all over panto called Pipeline.  It seemed to suit and I am pleased with the results.

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The backing is something I had on hand from a great sale a few years back.

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Green binding AGAIN! After several auditions, this seemed the best match for the slightly faded period fabrics.
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I am so happy to have been able to give these curtains purpose again.

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June 21, 2019
Crazy Quilt Top from Wedding Dress Blue

What to do with those curtains?
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Following the advice of Susan and others, I settled on Option #1: Just square them up and stitch them together.

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First, I picked out the hem and all edges, removing the hanging sleeve, which was not part of the pieced unit.

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Then, while ironing, I scanned for loose seams and holes.  I marked them with a pin as I found them.

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There were a few, but not too many, all things considered.  There is some fading, but not as much as you might expect, considering that they hung in windows for years.

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After considering ...

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June 14, 2019
Vintage Crazy Quilt Curtains from Wedding Dress Blue

My grandmother (Mary Emma–father’s mother) made these curtains sometime in the 60s or 70s.  I can still vaguely remember them hanging in a bedroom window at her house.

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They are in quite good condition.

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She foundation pieced before it was popular.

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Each curtain is about 40″ square.  I could make 4 baby quilts, but they will not probably get used that way.

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My thought is to combine them somehow into a larger quilt.

  1. Just square them up and stitch them together.
  2. Cut into smaller blocks and sort of mix and match.
  3. Put narrow sashing between the smaller blocks ...

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June 13, 2019
Wedding Gift from Wedding Dress Blue

It might seem like a small thing, but the young couple is moving to California, where there are no plastic bags.  A set of shopping bags is a practical gift that will help them get started.
DSC01453And remind the bride of time spent playing with chickens in our back yard.  We wish them the best.

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June 12, 2019
Decorative Pot Pincushion from Wedding Dress Blue

After the success of yesterday’s pincushion, I wanted to try another one.

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This was another decorative pot.  The plant that was in this one outgrew the space and lives in larger quarters on the sill of my kitchen window.

But, such a cute pot wanted a future holding SOMETHING useful (besides that flower).

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So, it became a pincushion.

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April 10, 2019
One Last Thing To Show For It from Wedding Dress Blue

With the tiny leftover pieces, and scraps of binding and backing fabric (and batting, too), I made a few hot pads/potholders.
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Random piecing to a generous 9-inches.

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Two colors, favorites of my DIL.

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And, ta-dah!  A final thing to show for all the piecing on three quilts.

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March 4, 2019
Vintage Stars Top from Wedding Dress Blue

This idea was my first plan for the Shine On quilt, but I decided I wanted different sizes of stars.  Plus, there wasn’t enough of this color combination to make the size quilt I needed for Shine On. This idea was worth completing, though.

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It started as a bag of vintage (late 60s?  early 70s?) fabric squares that a friend bought at a yard sale.  They were not well cut and not all the fabric was usable, but there was a cheeriness to them that appealed.

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Adding the bright white stars and some solids squares scattered throughout seems to ...

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August 22, 2018
Up Cycled Basket with Vintage Trim from Tea Rose Home

Several years ago, I spray painted this basket and set it on my shelf. I was looking at the left over vintage trim from my other project and I had an idea for what to do with it. I made this in to a ribbon to decorate this basket with added pom-pom trim.

I liked the basket before, but now I like it better! I would love it if I could find more trim like this. What is the best option to find unique ribbons and trim when I can't just jump on a plane and go to NYC ...

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August 21, 2018
Small Someday #7: Orphan Blocks from Wedding Dress Blue

In a bag of hand-me-down fabric there were these 7 blocks.  Hmmmm….similar color scheme…all 8″ blocks…Surely there is a quilted object in there somewhere?!

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One obvious choice would have been potholders, but I didn’t want to make those.

Then, at a garage sale, these were in the FREE pile. Just two of them and nothing else.

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Hmmmm…similar color scheme…12″ blocks…that will give me NINE total…I might have something here.
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I switched out the blue 9-patch centers in the new blocks for red to help things start to blend together.

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Currently experimenting with ...

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August 9, 2018
Small Someday #6: Pillowcase Aprons from Wedding Dress Blue

Yes, you heard right:  Pillowcase Aprons.

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I had pillowcases.

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I wanted aprons.

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No tutorial.  Just used an apron I liked the shape of.  Added some trim and details.  Straps made with some cotton-poly solids I had on hand.

Nothing special, but I do like the way they turned out.  Daughter and I wore them today while serving at a local community lunch called Shepherd’s Bowl.  If you are interested in doing community service, one time or on-going, consider taking a look at JustServe.org.  You might be surprised at what you find.  We had a wonderful time and plan ...

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July 28, 2018
Refashion: Dress To Skirt from Wedding Dress Blue

This dress came home from our annual neighborhood clothing exchange with high hopes.IMG_3500

Alas!  The waist was too large and the bust was too small.  I was ready to send it to the thrift store when Husband said, “It looks like fabric-in-the-shape-of to me.”

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I cut off much of the bodice about 2-1/2″ above the waistline, stitching down the lining BEFORE I cut–remember that if you try this at home.

A quick foldover for the new waist band, some elastic and a button and, ta-dah, a new skirt. Part of one of the former straps became ...

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July 24, 2018
Twins from The Root Connection



I am almost done with that other quilt I shared in previous post. I am going to have to wait to bind it until I get home again.

I basted two quilts before leaving for San Diego. Small quilts don't really take that long to quilt, especially when you have lot of time on your hands.


I am really glad these are small quilts too. After moving to California, I have missed seeing my quilts on the walls. This door in our apartment has become quite the feature lately. I have taken pictures of different quilts. You may have ...

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July 23, 2018
Birdseed Bag Totes from From My Carolina Home

When going to the grocery store or pharmacy or department stores, I have made the decision stop using the single use plastic bags.  As much as possible, and it is very possible to do this on every visit to every store, I will refuse those store bags in favor of my own reusable bags.   Even if I forget to bring in a bag, I’ll still refuse those plastic ones, like I did recently at a big box store.  I just had the clerk just put the items back in a cart and then I packed the bags standing at ...

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July 11, 2018
Creating Yard Art from From My Carolina Home

Gardens full of flowers are a joy to behold.  Sometimes it is nice to have some art pieces in with the flowers to add some interest when they finish blooming, or before the blooms appear.  Something to add a bit of charm to the flower bed like this miniature rusty bicycle.

Yard Art Project at From My Carolina Home

So, with that in mind, I wanted to do something with these doves.  They were our bridal cake topper when we got married, in the 70s.  It has been stored away in my cedar chest for years and years.

Yard Art Project at From My Carolina Home

The piece is plastic, with a lot of yellowing on ...

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