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Taking care of your hands

Needleturn for hand health

As you know I am a needleturn girl and love the process of stitching by hand but I have found that when I do this for many hours and days at a time my hands tell me they have had enough. I am sure this is something many of you have experienced. Add to that a touch of Arthritis and you have the perfect storm. READ MORE >
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Otavalo Ecuador

Textiles and More

Weaving

While in Ecuador we took a little trip to Otavalo. Otavalo is known for it's textiles and their Saturday Market. We spent some time wandering and took it all in. I have created a slide show of some of the sights. We were there for the Saturday Market which is the biggest day of the week. It was a bit overwhelming there was so much, however we went back on Sunday and it was so much smaller but there were no food vendors. It was fun to be able to see the spices and fruits and vegetables out on display. I think the thing that got me was how these hard working people set up and take down each day. I just can not imagine doing a quilt show where I had to pack it all in, set up, sell all day, pack up and haul it out... Every single day!

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Amigo Vision

Clinic Days

Amigo Vision patient

This is a bit of a diversion from my typical quilting Blog posts but I wanted to share a little bit about our recent adventure to Ecuador.

Our trip to Ecuador was primarily a Medical Mission trip with a few fun excursions in-between. We traveled as an Amigo Vision team of 16 people from Oregon and Washington to Quito. While we were in Quito we would travel by bus from our hotel one hour each way to a Nursing Home in the north end of Quito which was owned and run by the Rotary Clubs of Quito. They had a great space where we could set up and leave the clinic set up so each day we could just come and work. The local Rotary Clubs took care of scheduling 50 patients to arrive by bus every hour or so to go through the process of having their eyesight tested and evaluated. Some of the patience required additional help with glasses or a referral for additional services. In the 10 clinic days we were able to see 1957 patience many of them required glasses. Below is a slideshow of the photos I took of patience while we were there. It was an amazing experience. There were many people who were given the opportunity to see clearly for the what may have been the first time. You could tell by the smile that would come across their faces when they put on the glasses that were selected for them. This little guy in the photo to the left was one of my favorites. When I put the glasses on him he just grinned and gave me a huge hug! Then he would go back out with his Mom and came back in about three times. It doesn't get much better than that!

This was the first time Mark and I have ever been a part of something like this. It was so wonderful on many levels. I hope you enjoy these wonderful smiling faces!


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Pacific International Quilt Festival

PIQF Booth with Mark

This month was the first time I have had the opportunity to vend at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara California. What a wonderful experience it was! It was a lot of work for sure but it was all worth it. I knew it was a large show with many vendors but it caught me a bit off guard. It is huge! Not as big as the International Quilt Festival in Houston but it was BIG.

So many of you came by and introduced yourselves and you were all so very kind! I have said it before and I will say it again, I LOVE my customers! You are an inspiring amazing bunch and THANK YOU!

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Customer Question on Batting

Delicate Beauty Hawaiian Wall Quilt PatternChoosing a batting
Q: What batting do you use?
A: This is a question asked on-line, in our booth at quilt shows and classes quite often. Our answer usually begins: "How do you intend to use the quilt?" And that is a good question to ask yourself.
For our Hawaiian Quilts we use high-loft polyester bonded batting because it provides loft for our Hawaiian quilts. The air between the polyester fibers makes it easy to hand quilt, and keeps the batting fluffy between the rows of echo quilting. The quilting shows beautifully from across the room when you use a high-loft polyester bonded batting. We have never had any trouble with bearding (batting fibers migrating to the surface of the quilt), so we use it all the time for our Hawaiian quilts.
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Echo Quilting

A characteristic of Hawaiian quilts

Sea Turtles and Dolphins Hawaiian Wall Quilt

One of the distinctive characteristics of Hawaiian quilts is the echo quilting. Echo quilting is not a different way to make quilting stitches, rather it is the pattern of quilting lines that radiate out from the applique edges on a Hawaiian quilt. These quilting lines are often described as looking like the waves approaching an island, or the ripples created when dropping a pebble into water.

We have been told that many Hawaiian quilters used their little finger as a guide to space their parallel quilt rows. Put your little finger on a ruler and you will see that it is probably about 1/2 to 5/8 inch wide. Rather than use our finger, we prefer to use a ruler, or sewing gauge and a chalk pencil to mark our quilting lines.
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Time is Valuable

Do More with what you have

Crowning Glory Applique Quilt Border and Runner PatternQuilts come together when you have inspiration, tools, materials, and time. The perfect blending of these four ingredients result in complete satisfaction. But, what happens when you find you have inspiration, tools and materials - but no time? Frustration, that is what happens. So, here are our tips for squeezing moments of productivity from your already too busy day.
  1. Whether you use a pillow case, a zip-close plastic bag, a shoe box or a pizza box...keep everything you need for a project in one bag or box. (Yes, even the special notions, thread and tools you need.) Having everything together in one place means that when you are ready to work on that project no time is wasted hunting for anything



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Applique: Points

Woodland Lei Hawaiian Wall Quilt Pattern

We find it is often the outside points that are the most off-putting to people considering an applique pattern. Far too often we watch someone put back a pattern with a comment like, "Too many points!" It makes us sad to think that someone would not choose their favorite pattern, just because they don't feel they can applique the points. So, we want to show you our technique for outside points, and hope that you will never again turn away from a pattern you really like, just because of the points.

Two Secrets for Sharp Points:
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I want a Smaller, No a Larger Quilt

We are frequently asked if a wall-hanging pattern can be enlarged for a bed quilt. Or, if a bed quilt pattern can be reduced to make a wall-hanging. Here are our thoughts and suggestions.
In general, we design quilt patterns to be a specific size. We fill the available space with motifs and elements that are proportioned to that size. For a large quilt we can fill the space with more flowers, leaves or whatever the design elements are to create a pleasing arrangement that is typically more intricate than a smaller design. It is generally best to choose a pattern that you like from the patterns available in that size range. We believe you will be happier with the outcome.
If you want to make a small quilt larger: first consider these things:
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