Friday, February 28, 2014

2014 Spring Mystery Quilt Clue #2

Good morning!

The second clue of our Spring 2014 Mystery Quilt is now ready for download


Please don't freak out about all the pieces.  It'll be worth the effort. If it's any consolation, there are more pieces in this clue than in any others that you'll do as part of this Mystery!

Have a good day and I hope to see you at Tonight's Simply Colorful FiberCast where we'll make Units #2A and #2B together.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Mystery Quilt Clue #1 is Live (Spring 2014)

 It's time to make 64 Unit #1As. (Note: Large A triangle is on the lower right - ALWAYS.)

And 64 Unit #1Bs (Note: Large B triangle is on the lower right - ALWAYS.)

What are you waiting for?

Download the full clue #1 and get started!

See everyone tonight on Simply Colorful Fiber Cast!  We can make our units together.


P.S. If you're new to the Mystery, here's how to prepare.  It's not too late to join the fun!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's True: We're Doing a Spring 2014 Mystery Quilt

Several Fiber Cast viewers have asked about a Mystery Quilt.

I think it's a great idea!  We start THIS Friday!


For anyone who wishes to participate, I'll post clues on Friday mornings and then we can sew together on Friday nights and share our progress throughout the week.

The Mystery quilt is a scrappy quilt with lots of pieces.

It will measure 72” x 90” when complete. (Twin)

The first clue will be published Friday morning, February 21st, on, TwitterFacebookand Google at 7AM EST. A new clue will be published every Friday thereafter until we’re done. (In six weeks or so.)

Here’s what to do between now and this Friday morning:
  • Select a print with at least 3 colors in it.  The motif should be medium-to-large. You should love it and have 5 yards of it because it will become your quilt backing.
  • Cull through your scraps
  • Create a pile of Neutral scraps (approximately 1.5 yds) (Greys or Blacks can be substituted here.)
  • Select 3 colors in your backing and create 3 piles of scraps in those colors (approximately 1.5 yards each) and label them A, B, C.
  • Load your sewing machine w/ grey or beige thread and a new needle
  • Sharpen your rotary blade, prepare your matt and ruler
  • And get ready to play.

To give you one idea, here's my backing fabric:

And 3 buckets of scraps, plus neutrals.  
(Yes, I purchased some 1/8ths and 1/4ths of yards to augment my stash.) 

Looking forward to Friday already!

P.S. Remember Fiber Cast Archives are always available for viewing on the YouTube Simply Colorful channel, so it's okay if you miss a week or a clue because you can catch up anytime.  

No pressure.  This is just meant to be fun!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Beaded Knit Scarf is Done - Finally!

2 years and 11 months isn't THAT long...right?  

That's how long it took to complete my first beaded scarf.

I bought the yarn and beads at The Fiber Studio in Henniker, NH.  The yarn is rayon and cotton.  There are many hundreds of beads.  The scarf is knit in 2 pieces, starting at each beaded-end, then joined with a Kitchener Stitch at the neck.  (Don't look closely -- even with video tutorials, grafting is difficult to do well!)

And guess what... I have beads and yarn for 2 more scarves!

Stay tuned ... but please don't hold your breathe. :)

Happy Valentine's Day!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Once a Piker, Always a Piker

Today's BLOG isn't about quilting.  

It's about sewing on a patch for a friend.

For as long as I've known him, our friend Mark has been making annual trips up to Lake Champlain, Vermont, to ice fish.  He tells me it's "catch and release" Pike fishing. (ice fishing images here)

I think he has as much fun planning the trip, the meals, and the sleeping arrangements as he does drilling the ice holes.  (No wonder, have you ever seen how thick the ice becomes up that way?)

The Pikers dress in style.  This is the back of the jacket.  The Flag patch is on the left sleeve. 

Which brings us to the patches on the right sleeve. 

I sewed the round blue "40th Annual" patch on this morning.  It took 10 minutes.  (Taking pictures and writing this BLOG is taking me longer!) 

40 years!  Seriously?  Mark CAN'T have been making the trek for THAT long?  Could he have?  I'll have to ask him about their math.  Seems a bit "fuzzy."

And finally, here's their group motto - emblazoned on the front.  Maybe for their 50th Annual, they'll add a line.  How about something like " If you can't take winter you don't deserve summer ... or you'll just have to move to Florida!"

That's all from the Simply Colorful Fiber Studio for today.  

I'm off to work on my Valentine's Day quilt! 5 days left.  Happy Sunday!


P.S. Did I ever tell you my UVM ice fishing story?  A bunch of us college students drove out on the lake. I found what I thought was a frozen dead fish. I put it in my pocket, thinking I could play a trick with it back at the dorm.  The problem with that plan was that half-way home, while I was still packed in a care with10 of my closest friends (half of whom I'm sure I'd only met that day), the fish started to move in my pocket?!  It completely freaked me out. It was all I could do to roll down and fling that thing out the window.  Joke was on me. :) 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Paper Piecer is Born! #QuiltLove

Isn't this paper pieced heart wonderful?  
Pattern by out of Geneva, Switzerland.
Sells for $3.50 on here.  
My sister sewed it last night while watching me on SimplyColorful Fiber Cast.

Am I the luckiest big sister in the world?  I used to offer to pay her to let me have a sleep-over in her bedroom - that's how much fun I have hanging out with my sister.  And to think, all these years later, after very rarely letting me bunk in her room, she's willing to spend her time sewing with me.  

Anyway - enough about me!

Here's another of Karen's creations:
Pattern by is available for free this week on here.
How about this bird? 
Nothing like a winter cardinal to brighten the day!

And a similarly-colored cocktail to enhance the night! (compliments of hubby TGBob)

Thanks for sharing Karen!

Just 6 days left until Hallmark says we're supposed to tell the people we love that we really do - in fact - love them. Why not say it today...a lot can happen between now and next Friday!

Sew on,

Here's one more free pattern to celebrate the season of Love.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pink Quilt for Valentine's Day

Remember my leader/ender pink half-square triangles?  

I'm using them in a Valentine's Day lap quilt!  
10 days and counting.  

People have asked about my quilt making process.

I'm a "loose" quilter.  I don't follow formal directions anymore.  Instead I draw inspiration from the fabrics, colors, and pictures of other quilts.  Then I just start cutting, sewing, and laying out.

Don't get me wrong.  I do think about lights and darks.  I think about design repetition.  I think about balance.  So I plan in that way, but I just don't seem to have patience for reading every line of complex patterns.

Here's where I'm at with my pink quilt so far:

The Chateau pattern from Timeless Treasures is my inspiration. 
Free on

I have plenty of extra pink fabrics - both lights and darks.

Isn't it interesting to see how by changing just 1 fabric in the above 2 photos it looks so different?  (lower left flower fabric in top photo is replaced with a pale pink batik in the lower photo)

Which one do you like better?

We'll have to play with different combinations this Friday on Simply Colorful Fiber Cast!

8PM EST, 2/7/14

Until then, stay warm, and sew on!


P.S. I'll post the Fiber Cast URL link on Friday morning to both and on the Simply Colorful Google+ Page.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Smocking Anyone?

In a glass case at The Sewing Studio in Maitland, FL.
Ever heard of the Smocking Arts Guild of America (SAGA)?

Up until last week, I'd not known of its existence either.  

I discovered it while visiting The Sewing Studio in Maitland, Florida.  (What a store, but more on that in a future post.)

They have beautiful, fine batiste in every color, pleating boards for sale, embroidery floss, and inspirational children's outfits under glass. 

Another heirloom outfit at The Sewing Studio in Maitland, FL.
I've only ever done one smocked dress (for my niece Alexa), and that was 20 years ago.  I recall it being quite fun and easy.

Here are a few smocking images I just found on Google.


Honeycomb examples
Design examples
Here are some books if you want to learn more:

A-Z of Smocking Book (Amazon)
Best of Sew Beautiful Christening Gowns Book (The Sewing Studio)
The Joy of Smocking Book (The Sewing Studio)
Treasury of Smocking Design Book (Amazon)
And finally -- if the smocking bug bites, you may be interested to learn SAGA's Annual Conference is September 17-21, 2014 in Orlando, Florida. 
The Convention brochure will be posted by March 1, 2014, and Registration starts May 1, 2014.

Smock on,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Making New Quilting Friends in Florida

Happy first day of February!  What a night we had last night at the   Cornerstone Quilt Shoppe in Orlando Florida.

If you were on Fiber Cast, I apologize for the spotty video and audio.  We were streaming through a local internet service provider, it was raining outside, and I only had my laptop PC camera and microphone.  Add to that, I jostled the PC as I moved it around the store ... and it made for a not-so-interesting-or-pleasurable experience for you - our viewers.  

I'm so sorry about it because the stories were priceless, including Fiona's.  As a member of the Royal School of Needlework, she worked on Kate Middleton's wedding dress.  (Did I mention she's also an aeronautical engineer?)  Cindy III is a nurse and a natural-born story-teller and producer (tiaras came from her!) She wants to say hi to her family in Austin. "Original Cindy" grew up in Berwick Maine and knows Keepsake Quilting, so we bonded over that.  Mary's grandchildren are named after presidents (Reagan and Lincoln - so far), and Patty started her needlework sampler in 1990!

Anyway, thanks everyone for sticking with me.  Next one will be better....

Nothing ventured, nothing gained ...
You don't know until you try ...
Yadda, yadda, yadda!

All technical difficulties aside, I consider myself so fortunate to have met new quilting friends.  Each one shared their story and passion for quilting with me.  They were open to trying a LIVE broadcast, and they clearly enjoy each other's company.  

A big thank you to Original Cindy, Cindy III, Mary, Patty, and Fiona!

Here are some (rather grainy) photos from last night. 

Here's the red FIAT I rented all week, in front of the store.
Here's "Arthur" the long arm quilting machine working on a snowflake design.  

Here's just one corner of the store.  Isn't the pineapple scrap quilt punchy and bright?

Here's just one of the quilts that "Original Cindy" machine quilted.  They do 100's of quilts a year, and people send their quilt tops to be done from as far away as Denmark.  If you have a quilt top in need of machine quilting, I highly recommend Judy Dickerson (Shoppe owner), Cindy, and the team at Cornerstone Quilt Shoppe.  Their machine quilting work is top-notch.  
Phone: 407-207-6500, email 

I'm about to board my plane back to Boston.  Have a great Saturday everyone!