Thursday, October 16, 2008

Beyond The Borders - Adventures in Dyeing Coffee Filters

Joined a new group yesterday that I have wanted to join for quite some time. I know that there is a lot of creative 'stuff' floating around in my head that I just need to let out. Beyond the Borders (BTB) is a contemporary art quilt group they encourage everyone to "embrace creativity while coloring outside the lines of traditional quilting".

I was especially inspired by the coffee filters that Liz produced and immediatly tried to dye some coffee filters myself! Well, first of all I took the coffee filter out of the coffee pot from this morning, thinking that was a good start. I proceded to dump the grounds out of the filter and rinsed it. Duh, all the dark colors came out. I put the filter in a plastic container, and poured a little bit of the leftover coffee from the pot on the filter. I let that soak over night. Nothing. Same off white color as when I rinsed it.

To make a long story short, after checking the internet, maybe I should be using 'Instant coffee' . The other tip I found was that the dark the roast, the darker the stain. (I'm using HEB San Antonio blend- should that give a red cast?? LOL) .

Today, I went over to Wally world and bought a small jar of instant coffee. Tomorrow, we are going to try the spritzing method. I found this recipe at this Folk Art blog:

mix 5 tablespoons of instant coffee crystals in half a cup of hot water.
Add a few drops of vanilla extract to for a great scent
Using an old sponge, blot the dye on the fabric, adding more until you get the desired look.
She will then put in a 200 degree oven for about 10 minutes to facilitate drying.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

eBay is a dangerous thing!

While we were in Atlanta, sitting out Hurricane Ike and waiting on new grandbaby, I found some great buys on eBay! Always a dangerous thing! I will post some pictures of the quilt tops that I scored! Now I will need to update my list of things to do!

I'm really pleased with this bear claw top. It's old, and hand pieced. I would like to finish this one, just need to find some appropriate fabric for the backing.
I'm showing a couple of the pictures. Probably paid too much for them, but what is it about that little thing that makes you keep bidding once you've found something you like? This blue and yellow one is pretty nice, trying to figure out what kind of quilting it should get.
One of the auctions I won, said it was VINTAGE AMISH BLCOKS. Well, I don't buy that after receiving them. Since they were pieced on foundation paper that had "Shoofly Part A" printed on the backside. Of course she didn't mention that in the description. Well, with any auction you take your chances, and for the most part, I was very pleased with what I got. I only paid $3 for the blocks, and they are nicely pieced, so not a total loss.
Another one that I'm very pleased with is this bouquet flower top. I have always loved this pattern, and have always wanted to make one. I think this makes it so I don't have to piece it, but now just need to finish it. Again, need to find something appropriate for the backing. Think I might go with a nice muslin or colored solid that is representitive of the 30's.

Friday, September 26, 2008

More on Chloe !

Chloe is still less than a day old, but you can grandma and grandpa Baker are surely proud of her! Those grins stayed on our face for quite some time! The nurses wrapped her up like a little burrito, but she insists on getting her hands free and up by her face.
Not a lot going on in the hospital. We stayed most of every afternoon to keep mommy company, and give dad a chance to run some errands. We got lots of walking in, as the only place to eat was on the other side of the hospital complex. Lots of flowers and well wishes were sent by friends and family.
The hospital staff was great, and didn't try to kick us out. Was kind of surprised at how 'open' visiting hours were.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome Chloe!

Our first grandbaby was born Sept 20, 2008! Came in at a whopping 8 lb. 6 oz. Of course she is beautiful and has already won our hearts!

Little Chloe Michelle has settled in for the day. She likes to sleep all day and keep mom and dad awake all night!

Both sets of grandparents were there and waited for this first grandchild on both sides of the family. Chloe grabs on to our fingers and gives them a squeeze!

More pictures to come!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Women's Small Business Craft Show

Last month my neighbor and small business woman Jody T. hosted a craft show for the small business owners in Cypress Texas. Since I was right next door, I used the entrance to my studio as my booth. Since I was promoting my T-Shirt Quilts business, I had several t-shirt quilts hanging prominently, along with some other quilts that I had worked on.

Lots of booths and traffic through the booth. Have gotten several commissions as a result of that day.

Went to the leg doctor today, and got scolded for being 'up' too much. Need to keep that leg up and quit worrying about dishes and housework. ALL RIGHT! Finally, permission to not do dishes. Just wished I had gotten it in writing so that hubby would believe me.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Time Warp

Apparently I've been in a time warp. No posts since APRIL? Where have I been? All I can say is that life has been busy. Lots of new things coming and will have lots of pictures to post.

Going to join the Grandma Club. That exclusive club that only your kids can help you join. Rachael is due September 23, and we're planning on being in Atlanta in time to see new grand-daughter. Rachael has sent pictures of the ultrasound. Can't believe how detailed they are. You can see the little nose and cupid lips. She is going to be a beauty! Oh, and did I mention BIG? Rachael is a whopping 5'4" (I think) and is on her way to having an 8lb 14oz baby!

My home business has kept me busy. Between professional machine quilting and T-Shirt quilt business (as my buddy Sharon says) "I'm busier than a one-armed paper-hangar"! OK, maybe a one-legged paper hangar since I've had surgery on my leg this week.

Supposed to stay off my feet for 7-10 days, so have been trying to hand sewing projects lined up that I can work on this week and prepared to take with me to Atlanta.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Patchwork Friends Bee

What a nice day! The Patchwork Friends Bee took a field trip to my studio Friday for a little workshop taught by Nancy V. She showed everyone how to make those cool quilty pillowcases. We had everything from Susan's cabbage roses (which we all decided needed a whole bedroom full of these roses), Helen's Elmo & red pillowcase and all the others.

Apparently, the camera I was taking pictures with was not mine, so I didn't get pictures of everyone with their finished project. I'll try to get those and post later.

I did get pictures of some of the ladies quilting charity quilts on my longarm. I think we got 4 of them quilted that day.

I love the look of concentration! Susan V. is feeling much more confident and getting quite creative. Each quilt had them doing everything from stippling to loop de loops!

Geri is looking over Arlenes shoulder and giving her expert advice. I think it was 'breathe' ! Lisa is looking on from the other side of the machine and ready to take another turn.

There is a cool little tea room down the street from my house, ( where we all took a break for lunch with wonderful selections. I had the creamy zucchini soup and spinach pie. No room for dessert, so had some to go!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charity Quilt Challenge

I'm in several quilt bees, and one of them came up with a 'challenge' where everyone in the bee used a yard of fabric (from the same bolt) and have 4 months to put together a quilt top using at least 4 others fabrics. Well, I tookI took the idea to one of my other bees, (otherwise known as the Thursday Night Bee) and had just gotten in a bolt of some wild fabric.
Rules are simple.

1. Have to recognise the original fabric (in other words you can't cut it up so small that you don't recognise it)

2. Use at least 4 other fabrics from YOUR own stash.

3. Complete it the top in 2 months

4. Have to donate it to the comfort quilt project a the April Guild meeting.

We had bee at my house Thursday, and got 5 of them quilted on the longarm. A couple others were quilted already. Since we are going to let the guild vote on which one they like best, I won't show any pictures until we have the vote. They turned out totally different!
How about you? What a great idea to take back to your guild. Challenge your sewing groups to get their creative juices flowing!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

National Quilt Day - Mar 15th

March 15th is National Quilt Day. Find details at NQA (National Quilting Assoc).

Here are some suggestions of what YOU can do on our special quilt day!

* Finish a UFO (unfiinished project). Let's see some movement of projecs from the UFO list to the Finished or Ready to Quilt Lists!!

*Start a NEW Project! This can be from existing stash or go shopping!

*Teach someone to quilt. Get a group of friends together, your kids or grandkids and introduce them to quilting with some beginning quilting lessons. Think of how much knowledge YOU already have.

*Learn a new technique Look through all those books and patterns that you have already and try something new! Could be applique, needle felting, or even paper peicing!

*Go to a Quilt Show This might not be as easy for some, but here in Texas, you can find a quilt show on almost any weekend. In fact, I think the Dallas show is this weekend!

Me? I'll be puttering around my studio. I'll work on some UFO's, do a little organizing, and get caught up on some quilting!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I've Made Someone's Day!

What a nice feeling to be told that you have made somone's day! My buddy Linda Minton (and charter member of FMLC) who indicated that I had made her day! Linda is such a free spirit and I'm always ready to run home and start a new project after spending any time with her at all.

So now, I get to pass it on ... to five bloggers who make my day! I have to say that most of my buddies do NOT have blogs. We just email or talk all the time. There are many blogs that I read on a regular basis and feel a connection. I'm just going to mention several people that make my day on a regular basis. Since they don't have blogs, welll... maybe they will start one!
There is Nita. She will be 70 this year and gets more done than anyone I know. She lives her life like she is half that age. She always has a smile and gives of herself to everyone; and I don't think she ever met a stranger.
Sharon D. - WHEN are you going to get a blog? Another charter member of the FMLC! What can I say about you? Mentor, friend and a GREAT SINGER!
Barb K. - What a fun person to be with. Can't wait for retreat next week!
Arlene S. - What an inspiration. You are always so positive, and encouraging to others. You make my day every time I talk to you! (She just got email, so I'm thinking a blog will be coming soon!)
Pass the award on; here are the details:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make your day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the You Make My Day Award logo (copy and paste).
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by Commenting on their blogs with the news.

Friday, February 22, 2008


As I have moved my studio from the upstairs to the new location, I have been finding things that I had not seen in YEARS (may DECADES). This is a cool quilt (top) that I had even started hand quilting (yes - I used to hand quilt all my quilts) !!! This is the quilt that I had the leftover 1.5" strips that I used in my Bargello Bowl top. I totally laid this one out and designed it myself. No patterns on this one. In fact this was done about the time Rotatry cutters were coming in vogue (how many of you actually remember quilting BEFORE rotary cutters??) . I started to hand quilt this one, and ended up putting it away. Think I started this in the late 1980's or early 90's. Anyway, plan on removing the hand quilting, and am adding it to projects that are to be finished up this year!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tom Russell Class - Working with Color

We are so blessed in the Houston area that Tom Russell is a local guy, and has been teaching some classes. ( I took his color class at a retreat a few weeks ago) and another class from him that was also working with colors but a different class at a local quilt shop.
Tom is holding my piece up while talking to the class. All of those circles and leaves are made up of several pieces of fabric. The background kinda blends into his shirt, but it is made up of a bunch of 'dark' squares.
Here the class is hard at work putting the background together.
The center squares are a little lighter, but there is a black flange strip that separated them from the outer darker circles. You just see those peeking out from the flowers on the surface. Lots of funky leaves and circles make up this piece. We learned a lot about porportion, scale, value and all that stuff.
Tom hamming it up with my friend Nita (grey hair) and myself. Tom is a sweetie!
I think most of came home with the top put together. We just need to finish the Quilting, embellishing and then for the finale - adding BEADS. How fun!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Batting Stands

Lots of discussion on one of my longarm lists about Batting Stands that Checkers Dist. sells. I took pictures of mine, you can probably get someone to make one for you!

You need scraps of 2x4,
a scrap of 2x2,
4 caster wheels,
and a little screw assembly that is inserted to attach the 2x2 to the base.

Check out the pictures, I put a tape measure in there so you can see the sizes. I think the end of the tape measure is covering up the screw part that goes into the base.

That little circle in the center is what the 2x2 screws into. Don't know the technical name for it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bargello Bowl progress

This is a picture of the fabrics that I chose to use in the Bargello. They are 1.5 inch strips, as they were leftover strips from another project. Just had to cut a few more to make enough. I'm doing a little more ordered layout instead of random.
Tom Russell was at our retreat, and since he was doing a class on COLOR, he helped (OK, he did most of it) layout the color order. He was drooling the rich colors! (PS - he was working on his BEAUTIFUL wall hanging that will debut at Houston Market this year in the Timeless Treasures booth featuring his batiks! What an artist!)

I put several sections together, and was a little disallusioned at how 'small' the sections were (well duh - started with 1.5" strips). Anyway this is not going to be a very large piece! LOL
Misplaced my camera for awhile, so still need to take pictures of my progress.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bargello Bowl

Of course! Of course I'm joining in on another project ! Bonnie ( had to whip up a quilt for a workshop she is doing and has invited everyone to join her to make this quilt instead of watching the superbowl.
Think I am going to do mine in a bunch of Amish solids that I have. hmmmm....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

At The Movies! Another UFO Completed!

This is one of 6 quilts that my friend Linda G and I designed and put together. We found this cool movie fabric at Quakertown Quilt Shop in Friendswood TX last summer. We used that in the center, and there are paper pieced boxes of popcorn in the corners. There are markee lights running around the movie fabric. Cool huh! Didn't get it done in time for Christmas (Although Linda got 4 done). This will be a birthday present for a lucky son-in-law in June!

This is me showing it for Show and Tell at the Greater Houston Quilt Guild meeing in January.

Oh, the gal that was going to buy the whole of pantos backed out. Now I've got to list them again. Bummer....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Quilt for our Buddy!

One of our close friends has had a super rough year. She was having horrible headaches and went to the doctor in early summer 2007. She just recently heard that the growth had actually shrunk by about 50%, but we as concerned Bee Buddies (otherwise known as 'The Herd') decided that M.M. needed a quilt to cuddle under while going through her many tests and recuperation. We finally presented it to her. This was one of those projects that we 'thought' we could put together in one afternoon, but ended up taking several days. Designed, peieced and quilted with love; by Gail S., Linda G., Ann K. and myself. Here is a picture of Michelle holding her quilt.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Quilt Panto Library for Sale

Many of you know that I upgraded my Gammill to include the IQ. So, I don't need my entire library of pantos any longer.

There are about 130 of them listed. Nice assortment of Level 1 and Level 2 with some serious Level 3 in there.

This would be a GREAT investment for someone who has a small library of pantos. I would like to sell the whole thing as one purchase, but will be listing them for $8.00 each after getting them typed up. I will give those on the lists first chance then if any are left, they will go on eBay. I will consider offers for the whole shebang before selling individually.

The pantos are in good shape, lots of them only used once or twice- if at all.

Let me know your interest. but please just email me at betty dot baker at usa dot net

Here is the link:

Friday, January 04, 2008

More UFO's Bite the Dust!

There were 6 of us at the sew-in on New Years Day. Everyone brought superbowl type snack food and everyone worked on their own projects. No sports tv or radio broadcasts could be heard; only the sound of the sewing machines and ladies chattering about fabric.
Finished the top of this batik spider web. We officially dubbed it "Piece 'O Pie" because they are more like pieces of pie than of cake! I can move this one from UFO to Ready to Quilt!
This next one I started this one just before Christmas 2006, and didn't get it done in time for gift giving, so it ended up in the UFO pile. Just needed the borders completed. It is all flannels and very scrappy. The pattern is Terry Atkinson's "Cheese and Crackers". It took longer to the borders than the inside of the quilt. The pattern wasn't with the pattern so wasn't real clear on what you were supposed to do in the corners, so I just winged it, and just used all blues (no lights) in the corners. Another one moved from the UFO list to the Ready To Quilt list.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Mini Quilting Retreat at Shadywood Quilts

Several members of the sub-bee stopped in and sewed over the vacation days after Christmas. It was nice to be able to sew on my own things and not think about customer quilts for awhile. My goal was to complete things that have been on my UFO list for awhile.

First item to mark off of the list is my Fractions Quilt that has been ready to quilt for over a year!! The status is now officially COMPLETE as in quilted and bound! Yippee!

This was a fast and easy quilt, done in batiks and metallics. Most of the fabrics were purchased at Sew Batik at MQS in 2006.