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June 29, 2019
20 Skills Every Sewist Learns from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Have you ever wondered what skills you've learned as you picked up sewing? It was a topic of discussion on one of the Facebook groups where I'm a member. The writer mentioned several and others chimed in. I've compiled the list of skills with a few examples of each. This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it's a great way to get started thinking about the many skills you have learned along the way.
  1. Artistry (creating and designing, use of color, fit and form)
  2. Chemistry (fiber content, treatment and care of fabrics, glues)
  3. Color theory (using ...

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January 28, 2019
Making an Impact with Aurifil and Dream Green from From My Carolina Home

Making An Impact, something we can all do. While having lunch last month with a group of friends, I was once again appalled at the server who set down our water glasses, then haphazardly tossed eight straws on the table for five people.  I immediately grabbed the one closest to me, and said loudly to get her attention “PLEASE don’t just drop these on the table, ask if the customer wants one.”  Whereupon one of my friends said behind her hand to the server in a stage whisper loud enough for the whole restaurant to hear “just ignore her ...

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January 17, 2019
Switch & Stitch Improvisational Stuffed Fish from Gefilte Quilt

Stuffed fish, high in fiber, yum! Here are a couple of whoppers (11" x 5"), made from blue jeans, though you can use any fabric. They serve as pillows and/or toys. This fun and forgiving method makes two at the same time, stacking and switching pieces. It can also be used to create four applique fish, if you're making an underwater quilt! My pair: Fish 1, 
And Fish 2,

With minimal embellishment, they exude serenity. One has a coconut shell button eye. 
Its partner started out with two vintage mother-of-pearl button eyes, and decorative stitching on the seams ...

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January 7, 2019
Stuffed, Embellished Creatures from Denim Jeans for Sensory Stimulation! from Gefilte Quilt

My beautiful, artistic, Aunt Ruthie is 94, and although her mind is  sharp, she's both visually and hearing-impaired, and has severe arthritis in her hands. Last month, we flew to Arizona to visit her and her daughter, my cousin Nina. By accident, I brought her the perfect gift, which she's holding here: 
What the heck is that? Why, it's a hairy, sensory stimulation, two-humped camel, of course! 
The "hair" is 6-strand embroidery floss. Thread it through a large-eyed needle, tie a knot about two inches from the end, bury the needle, bring it out 1/2" away ...

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January 2, 2019
New Year, New Purpose! from From the Strawberry Patch...

I have two traditions for New Year's Day: The first is to gather all the Christmas cards and disassemble them. Fronts are carefully removed from the backs, unless they're photo cards, and neatly stacked. The insides, with the card sender's name(s), are punched and threaded onto a ring where they will reside with our Bible and devotional material at the kitchen table.  Each morning, after

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New Year, New Purpose! from From the Strawberry Patch...

I have two traditions for New Year's Day: The first is to gather all the Christmas cards and disassemble them. Fronts are carefully removed from the backs, unless they're photo cards, and neatly stacked. The insides, with the card sender's name(s), are punched and threaded onto a ring where they will reside with our Bible and devotional material at the kitchen table.  Each morning, after

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December 10, 2018
Candy Wrappers, Broccoli Bags, or Both? Upcycled Polyhedra to Sew from Gefilte Quilt

In my last post, I showed off several polyhedron projects from my  new book, "Stitch-a-hedron: English Paper Pieced Polyhedron Gifts and Accessories to Sew." For those projects, I used quilting cotton, or necktie silks.


As much as I love working with gorgeous fabrics, I also get a kick out of working with upcycled materials - aka the trash.

First, we have a half stellated dodecahedron with a message. It's  made with candy wrappers wrapped around cardstock templates, and sewn together by hand. It sits mysteriously on a surface with a peak pointing upward.
When you flip it over and look ...

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My New Book! English Paper Piece a Polyhedron! from Gefilte Quilt

I am having an out-of-body experience - after two years in the works, my new book just went live on Amazon! And on etsy, too! It's not about quilts...it's about the joy of stitching polyhedra! 


What, I hear you asking? Polyhedra? You probably haven't given a dodecahedron or icosahedron much thought since high school (unless you play Dungeons and Dragons).  Neither did I, until last year. So how did I get from quilts to polyhedra? 

Through English Paper Piecing.

If you're a quilter who's tried English Paper Piecing, you know it's a fun, addictive ...

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December 6, 2018
Dryer Balls from The Quilt Rat

I have been hearing about the use of dryer balls more and more lately and decided to try making a few to see how well they actually work.
If for some unknown reason you have not heard of these, they are suppose to replace the use of dryer sheets, reduce static cling, provide more airflow around your garments in the dryer which should result in less drying time.  Clearly lots of benefits
Of course, a quick Google or You Tube search will yield many tutorials on how to make them. I tried a couple of things, this is what worked ...

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October 28, 2018
Mom - there's nothing to eat! from Crazy Quilter on a Bike!


We're all familiar with that phrase. Except that my kid is gone. That was me who said that this morning as I glanced into the refrigerator this morning. I got a text from DH yesterday asking if I could stop and pick up groceries. Ah - since I left the house about 8 AM and wasn't planning to be back until about 9 PM, I don't think that's going to happen. I come home to find that he ordered pizza for dinner and there is NOTHING - I mean NOTHING to eat in that fridge or the cupboards ...

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September 22, 2018
Over Japan, Quilt 1 (As in: You Never Get Over Japan) from Gefilte Quilt

If anyone asked me what country red, white and blue represents, I'd mention the US, of course; the French flag; and then I'd tell them about Japan's traditional fabrics and quilts. My 75" x 96" quilt below is a tribute to the latter. 

Most fabrics in the large blue rectangles (each about 14" x 19") were dyed in Japan in the early 1990s. I can testify to that fact in a court of law, because I was there.

My husband had a conference in Japan, and I tagged along. I had lived in Tokyo a decade earlier ...

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September 6, 2018
I like Thursdays from The Quilting Reader's Garden

I like to re-purpose and this past week I've done a bit of that.  This block has scraps of black and a paisley I saved from long ago. Then I took an old pillowcase from my rag bag and cut out 8 squares and made that block into a twinkle star for a new project (New Project for 6and6 in 2018). Then I pulled out my scrap bag of batiks and hand dyes and started this crumb block: I have an idea

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I like Thursdays from Quilting Reader's Garden

I like to re-purpose and this past week I've done a bit of that.  This block has scraps of black and a paisley I saved from long ago. Then I took an old pillowcase from my rag bag and cut out 8 squares and made that block into a twinkle star for a new project (New Project for 6and6 in 2018). Then I pulled out my scrap bag of batiks and hand dyes and started this crumb block: I have an idea

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August 14, 2018
Vintage Linens Patchwork Quilt - A Finished Quilt from Red Pepper Quilts

Vintage Linens Patchwork Quilt - with Faced Binding | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018

It feels great to have finished this quilt which has been languishing as a quilt top since 2014! I usually like to finish what I start, and don't tend to work on more than one (or two) projects at a time. It's what works best for me; although as you can see I am not immune to setting a project aside, and letting it sit unattended for quite some time. 

Vintage Linens Patchwork Quilt - with Faced Binding | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Vintage Linens Patchwork Quilt - with Faced Binding | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018

As mentioned in my previous blog post featuring this quilt I have finished this quilt by using a light weight cotton batting called QuiltLite. Quiltlite is a woven ...

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August 13, 2018
Vintage Linens Patchwork Quilt - Work in Progress from Red Pepper Quilts

Vintage Linens Patchwork Quilt - Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018

Recently I spent some time sorting out my fabric stash; tidying, folding, editing. My sewing space was out of control! It's a task that is time consuming and usually things get a whole lot worse before it starts to look better. During this process I came across this quilt top that I pieced in July 2014, and at the time I even prepared this blog post (as follows) complete with photos. For one reason or another the blog post was never published, and the quilt top was stashed away and not thought of again. Till now. 

Vintage Linens Patchwork Quilt - Work in Progress | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018

The plan for ...

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May 23, 2018
Something Fishy: More Quilted Silk Scrap Brooches from Gefilte Quilt

In February, I showed some Valentine's Day hearts made from felt, silk scraps and tulle. After the holiday, I wanted to go beyond hearts, so I dug up my aquatic life pattern e-book, printed out shapes, and used them to make....this butterfly fish...
...a winking crab....

 ...a lumpfish...
 ...a surprised angelfish....
,,,a bored Angelfish...

Same eye, different fish:
...a second seahorse (first one was here)...


A couple of snipefish...

...and cichlids...

...and sharks....


...octopii...

And so forth. Because I was running low on pin backings, I stitched gold safety pins to the back (You can also stitch a ...

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May 14, 2018
A Going-to-College Tee Shirt Quilt, Only 6 1/2 Years Late from Gefilte Quilt

Happy Mothers Day to all moms! Here's a project that's poignant but therapeutic for mothers and other empty nesters. It will move all of your offsprings' impossible-to-throw-away tee shirts out of your house!

I wanted to have this quilt ready for my son to bring to college in September...of 2012. It took longer. But I finally finished and presented it to him this week!

The quilt has two themes. Front: Oh, the places you've been!  (Tee shirts from childhood through college).

Back: Oh, the places you haven't been! (Fabrics from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Africa, three ...

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May 12, 2018
Low-Tech Wearable (Quilt) Fitness Tracker/Wrist Entertainment System from Gefilte Quilt

Are you frequently stuck about what color to use next? Or do you have trouble remembering what color you used last? Then you may need to make this low-cost, low-tech, quilter's wrist color fitness tracker which, although nearly useless, will at least entertain you and people around you. 
I know it's entertaining because I wore mine to a quilt show (specifically, QuiltCon 2018), and people laughed at me. (OK, 3 people in a coffee line with me laughed. I don't actually know if they were laughing at me or with me). It's stitched to a stretch ...

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April 15, 2018
Things Learned from Neckties: Flap Purse Tutorial from Gefilte Quilt

How I love playing with neckties - the quirkier, the better. Quilts are my favorite thing to make from them, but a close second is purses. Here are two flap bags finished recently. 

First, a bag made from three gold neckties. The groovy tie on the far right, with the colorful O rings, is one of my all-time favorites (I'm guessing it's from the 60s or 70s). 
Open view below. The signatures on the lining of my favorite tie, over on the right, say "John Weitz," so I did a Google search for him. It turns out that this ...

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March 11, 2018
Epic Rhyming Quilt: Just Attach Trash! from Gefilte Quilt

SAQA, the Studio Art Quilt Associates organization, recently hosted a "Rhyme or Reason" challenge, and entries closed at the end of February. Here's the piece I entered. 
If you like crossword puzzles, Scrabble, and other word games - and sewing tiny random things to quilts - you might want to consider making a variation of this kooky, obsessive project. It's a brain teaser for the maker as well as the giftee. 

I started by sewing 100 2" squares together. 
(I'm hooked on running up and down the value scale and all around the color wheel, brightest values in the ...

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