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November 25, 2015
Black Friday? How about Blue Wednesday? from The Ardent Thread

Blue because I like blue, and blue is like indigo, which I love even more. I’m rambling.


Speaking of rambling… here is the house. So many of you have asked me how the paint job turned out and I had been meaning to post a photo, and now I have. Everything turned out great! The house is green, the garden is green, and I am happy.

We’ve finished off our shows for the year and I’ve been unpacking our booth inventory to blend it with our Etsy inventory, which means a generous helping of items previously “sold ...

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November 8, 2015
India, indigo, inspiration from Stitch and Yarn

I'm still thinking about ways to tell you about India. It was so intense in such a short time. I look back at the pictures, and sometimes I can't understand why I didn't capture certain things to show you. And then I remember the heat, and that my brain was always a little fuzzy and it was probably enough for me just to look and listen and do nothing more. So, until I find a way in, I'm going to tell you about what I've done since. A project inspired by indigo. 

In Jaipur, we ...

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October 30, 2015
Houston International Quilt Festival 2015 from The Ardent Thread

Things started off so well. I dropped off our boxes at the trucking terminal, with all the boxes neatly stacked so they fit together like a 3D cardboard Tetris.


Unfortunately, that’s not how things turned out once the shipment arrived in Texas.


Notice the missing lumber. Almost every box was smashed. Thank goodness it was only fabric and not something fragile, right?


The crew at the George R Brown Convention Center are pretty awesome and they get things done. Here is Steve, who helped set up the booth hardware and reminded me of someone… oh yeah! Shōki 鍾馗.


Joyce ...

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October 8, 2015
New video: Sashiko thread vs. tangled knots from The Ardent Thread

As promised, a short video on how to open a new skein of sashiko thread.

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October 7, 2015
Marking a quilt from Janet Ann Creations

Woke this morning with creative juices flowing!
Finally hit upon an idea on how to quilt my 
applique / sashiko quilt!

This has stymied me for some time now…
but this morning things seemed to start to fall into place!

Since my quilting is done on a domestic Janome 6600
I like to mark my quilts before sandwiching.
Gives me a sense of direction on exactly 
where the quilting needs to go, and if it will fit!

Using simple tools the areas are marked
with a Clover fine White Marking Pen
(my favorite for marking dark fabric!)

Finally found a good ...

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October 1, 2015
New video, upcoming shows, and classes for October from The Ardent Thread

Finally got done editing part 2 of the Deconstructing Kimono videos. They were both long, I’m working on shorter videos but sometimes I have too much fun to keep things brief.

voodoo_kitty1Class space is available for the two Sashiko classes I’m offering this month: Voodoo Kitty Pincushions. These will be relaxed, all hand sewing using vintage kimono silk, and include a full kit except for scissors. Each 3 hour class offers the basics and some really fun fabrics to play with. Pick whichever date works for you, weekend or weekday. They are the same class.

Sunday, Oct. 18 ...

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August 7, 2015
AQS QuiltWeek Grand Rapids Michigan & Japanese Textile Lecture from The Ardent Thread

Helloooo, Grand Rapids! I’ll be heading your way August 11-16 for AQS QuiltWeek and I am very excited. I’ll hit up my two favorite haunts, Reserve and San Chez for fantastic food and drink, do a little shopping downtown, and check out the beautiful architecture of this little gem of a Midwestern city.

AQS QuiltWeek brings top-notch quilters and textile artists to the region for one of the best shows of the year, and while I will be there with my usual booth on the vendor floor, I’m also slated to do a lecture on Japanese textiles ...

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July 22, 2015
Took a ride to a Quilt Shop from Janet Ann Creations

The day started out with a quick trip to have 
my car serviced for routine maintenance…

Perfect time to get in a little Sashiko stitching!
Making good progress on this block

It is a great take along project,
easy to handle without a lot of moving parts!
Fabric, thread and a needle!
Love it!

Then I decided to jump on the highway and zip
(45 minute zip!)
to Heart in Hands Quilt shop in Weymouth Ma
to pick up a Row by Row pattern and License plate
and a few other things!

Just loved Melody Miller's 2014 Cotton + Steel ...

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July 16, 2015
New organic cotton fabrics from Cloud9 and Monaluna, and our latest quilt show from The Ardent Thread

Last year we quietly launched our new Etsy shop, Blue Star Organic Fabrics. We’re still building inventory slowly and collections we ordered last fall at Quilt Market are arriving a bit at a time. Last month we got Haiku from Monaluna, and this month Morning Song from Cloud9 arrived. Both collections are gorgeous, and more grown up than the usual juvenile organic cotton prints so widely popular in the market.


Cherry Blossoms from Monaluna Haiku Collection

Clover from Monaluna Haiku Collection

Clover from Monaluna Haiku Collection

There are six designs in the Haiku line, three with metallic accents. The colors are rich and bright ...

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July 1, 2015
Silk Sashiko class registration almost open for Houston International Quilt Festival 2015 from The Ardent Thread

IMG_5222Class enrollment opens July 3 for the Houston International Quilt Festival! If you’d like to take my SILK SASHIKO class on Saturday, October 31, (#749 in the class catalog) be sure to sign up early as last year the class sold out by mid-August.

I’ve had all year to work on improving the class so it will be more organized and well-thought out (I didn’t have my templates printed on time last year), plus I’ve had an extra year to collect more beautiful fabrics to use in the class. The class supply kit include vintage Japanese ...

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June 22, 2015
Welcome Summer! from Americana Queen Quilts

Happy Summer!

As for my's been Karate Gi sewing constantly!
That's okay, they are all coming out fantastic and once the
first big order for these is complete I can do the rest as
orders come in.

I am really enjoying stitching on the Baby Lock Sashiko machine.
And, surprisingly enough, I am not getting bored doing the same thing
twelve times!!!

In between the custom work on the Gi tops and sitting, watching the
embroidery being done (it is mesmerizing) I have been deciding on a layout
for my grandson's log cabin quilt.

The ...

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June 2, 2015
It's been a few weeks since my last post... from Americana Queen Quilts

Yup, it's been a while since I have been on here.
No excuses, just life!
But, I have done a lot more home organizing in between a few project sewing sessions.

There's been practice on that new Sashiko machine leading up to the reason we purchased it in the first place.

Here is a photo of the Karate Gi top for the Black Belts at our dojo.  Plain, boring, black.

Now, here's a photo of one that I have "embellished".
Some embroidery, a little patch and some Sashiko cross hatch stitching.  
It looks so much better and ...

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May 24, 2015
Hand-stitching this week from The Cozy Quilter

I was the passenger on a couple of car trips in the past week. I often fall asleep in the car when my husband drives so I try to bring along a hand-sewing project to keep myself awake and make good use of the time we are in the car.  Last weekend, I finished off my sashiko stitching which I started on our recent vacation. Some of the stitches are a bit uneven because some of the roads were a bit bumpy! I plan on making this into a small wall hanging. 

I also worked on the curly quilting of ...

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March 7, 2015
More finished Sashiko pieces! from Alderwood Quilts

I'm working on 2 different Sashiko projects.  I do that with most of my hand work (knitting, Sashiko, quilting, etc).  I like to keep from getting bored. :-)

One of my projects is Sylvia Pippen's Chinese Bird Series.  I did the owls last month and just recently finished the albatross.  This series is pre-printed on the fabric so it's super easy to stitch over it.  A very relaxing project.  I'm not sure yet how I will use them.  When I'm finished stitching the whole series, they will most likely become the focus blocks of a quilt ...

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