The Sewline Air Erasing Pencil


How many marking pencils are in your quilting inventory?  Do you have four different colors from half a dozen different brands?  If yes, your supply looks like mine.

After reading an article on marking pencils, I decided to try Sewline.  Mimi Jones was standing near the notions wall in Pieces & Patches while I was perusing which Sewline to purchase.  Mimi recommended the Sewline Air Erasing Pencil.  I added it to my purchases.

This is a great marking pencil!  Thank you Mimi for the recommendation.

If you purchase this marking pencil, note two key words:  Air and erasing.  The eight strips I marked last night for binding, with the intent to sew today, well, don’t I feel silly.  All the marks are gone.  Air and erasing.  I get it now.

Declutter Days

Friends, we have a clutter issue.  I read that 27 percent of Americans think their homes are “very” or “somewhat” cluttered. In many cases, we simply let that clutter build up and eat us up. Buy one – get one; sales so great and with the additional percentage off because you have a branded credit card with the store or are earning points for more stuff you don’t need but will purchase anyway.

I recently reached the end of a roll of Pathmark brand waxed paper.  This roll of waxed paper came with me when I moved to SC in 1995.  I continued to use it even though it was past the recommended expiration date.  Do I really need to replace this with a six roll multi-pack from Sam’s?  I think not.

Shortly after retiring I purchased new hangers.  After I wore an item, it went on a new hanger.  Between Christmas and New Years, any garment on an old hanger was scrutinized for donation.  Since the weather had not yet turned cold, I gave myself license to keep some unworn items.  Three trash bags full of clothing and shoes donated to Goodwill.  The part-time job I was going to get with a temp agency, who am I kidding?  A suit is not required to teach quilting.

Gary was not feeling well yesterday and stayed home from work.  While he slept off and on throughout the day, I kept things quiet by organizing fabric scraps, stitched up a little charity quilt, followed by a purge of quilting magazines.  Instead of keeping an entire magazine for one “I want to make that someday” article, I removed individual pages.  Today I purchased sheet protectors and a binder to better organize the keepers.  It’s no surprise how much shelf space is freed up.

In preparation for a future move, quilter Aby Dolinger started a 2016 Quilt-A-Long to use up her hoarded fat quarters.

Have you recently completed a declutter?  What process did you use to part with your beloved items?

Let’s Strip & Twist

15-021 Strip & Twist Devine [6329270]Using the Strip & Twist ruler from Nancy’s Notions, I completed this quilt top in 2015 for my guild.

The ruler is easy to use and makes a great pattern.

What I didn’t care for are the amount of lost fabric that remains after the strips are cut.

As I straightened and organized in the sewing room today, I came across the scraps from this top.

After arranging and cutting and re-arranging, this is the result.  This orange and purple batik was in my stash and worked out perfectly.  Another charity quilt for my guild.DSC_0239

Student Strings

Today I’m posting pictures of string quilts finished by students from my Stash Busting String Quilts Class.

This is a great way to use up your scraps and fabrics you wonder why you purchased in the first place.  WARNING:  String quilts can be addictive.

If you are a former student and have finished your quilt, I would love to see a picture.

Mosaic Quilt of Valor


A few days ago I wrote about a completed quilt top (  made using a free pattern, Mosaic Quilt, from Studio e Fabrics.  Collecting scraps from previously completed Quilts of Valor, I was able to assemble another top.  The pattern only has one border; I think it gives a more finished look when a second border is added.  The additional border was purchased but everything else is from the archives bin.

On to the next project.

The LuoPad Project


Luo –  Greek verb  – to loose one bound; set free

Today was a sew day at Northeast Presbyterian Church for the LuoPad project.  Please consider joining us in February for the next sew day.  If you don’t sew, you can cut or turn, Susie has a job for everyone!

I encourage you to view this short You Tube video which explains the initiative.

This is what we have accomplished.

Dear Sewing Sisters,

WOW WOW and WOW! Our Hands surely did His Work today. 

Today’s results:

Largest group to date: 29 ladies used their time and talents today.   Welcome to 2 first timers: Amy Tolar and Sherry Tinman. So glad you came.

To date, largest number of sewing machines used: 20 and the lights did not go out.

3 sewing sisters, using their own materials, completed 123 pads at home and brought them today. Materials can be supplied to you for home sewing.

155 pads completed today and lots of flannel, towels and batting already traced and cut for future use.

Most productive day yet with 278 high quality pads sent home with Dana Cassell.

1356 pads completed in 10 sewing days since March 2015……….

meaning  monthly freedom for 339  Zimbabwean ladies and teens.

Thank you very much to those who donated and/or brought: pads made at home, flannel, batting, towels, thread, extra sewing machines, money, coupons, scissors, rotary cutters and pads and even cookies. Our greatest need currently is flannel or funds to purchase flannel.

Our next sewing day will be Tuesday, February 23rd. Please plan to attend if you are able and bring a friend or neighbor! 

Well done good and faithful sewing sisters!

Our Hands-His Work,


Painted Moon

DSC_0218I’ve finished another charity quilt for the Ronald McDonald House.  The pattern, Painted Moon, is from Villa Rosa Designs.

This pattern is easy.  The bias cut stars, which could be easily stretched out of shape, make it a pattern I would not recommend as your first quilt.


Abbie First Quilt.jpgYou may remember a posting from this past summer about my granddaughter, Abbie, making her first quilt top.  And she selected Painted Moon.

I like that young people are encouraged to think outside the box and color outside the lines.  “I’ve never made a quilt before but this is the one I want to make.”

With a little help pinning and pressing, Abbie finished a perfectly flat and square quilt top.  Unfortunately, we did not get it quilted before she had to leave.

 Miss Libby to the rescue!  Abbie takes sewing lessons at Libbylicious ( in Wyckoff, NJ.  Thanks to her teacher, Abbie was able to finish her Painted Moon.Abbie Quilt

JoAnn, JoAnn

JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts is reinstated to the list of retailers I boycott.

Rotary blades, storage bins and scrapbook notions with the 40% off coupon makes for a great deal.  It even appears they have improved the quality to one or two of their fabric lines.

But the overcharges – when you pay double, there truly is no discount.

Several months ago, after several instances of overcharging, I decided to boycott JoAnn.

I’m working on a project that requires ‘D’ rings, so off to JoAnn.  Browsing through the store, I noticed the half-off fabrics were on sale for an additional 50% off.  Several cat and cat and dog fabrics caught my eye.  They were 100% cotton and a good quality for kennel quilts; I added them to my cart.

At checkout, it seemed my bill was high; but, I had added a 40% off storage bin and two 50% off scrapbook paper pads to my ‘D’ rings and fabric.  I could have spent that amount.

Once home, the full price charges on my receipt immediately raised my blood pressure.  Back to the store I went.

I made it easy for the cashier to calculate my overcharge by returning everything I purchased an hour earlier.  How many customers will not look at their receipt thinking what a deal on the sale fabric that they really paid full price for, all because of a “computer problem?”

Mosaic Quilt

DSC_0217Another Mosaic Quilt top complete.  I find this free pattern works great for charity quilts.  I have made so many, I have lost count.  It works great as a leader and ender project.  Before you know it, all the blocks are done and you are ready to put everything together.  This is a great scrappy quilt, which is what I am doing, trying to use up all of my juvenile and oriental fabrics.  The pattern doesn’t include a second border but I like to add one to give a more ‘finished’ appearance.

This top, with backing and binding, is now ready to be turned in to my guild where another volunteer will quilt it.

This pattern makes a great Quilt of Valor.  Hopefully the one I am working on will be complete and ready to share within the week.

Best Friends – Cindy, Sally and Bernina

DSC_0204The rain did not damper the excitement of driving to Martinez (Augusta), Georgia, with Cindy Munn, to pick up our new sewing machines.

Bernina produced a limited quantity  of their Best Friend edition.  The front is covered with paw prints, and one heart.  Bernina, one of the corporate sponsors for the Kennel Quilt Project, is donating a percentage of sales of this machine to Petfinder.  You can read about Petfinder at

I cannot say enough about the customer service at Branum’s.  It is A+.  If you are in the market for a new machine or just need service, it is worth the drive.

It was great to see and spend time with Sally King, who drove in from Aiken for retail therapy.  The three of us enjoyed each others company over lunch at California Dreaming.

A quick stop at Pieces & Patches on the return trip to Columbia was the end to a great day.