Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010


40 years ago today, Tom and I were married. From the photos we looked very much in love, we still are.

Happy Anniversary!

down the aisle

wedding toast

wedding getaway

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Placemats and Napkins

The placemats and napkins I made a few years ago have become worn and stained. Time for some new ones. I started out to just make eight. When they were nearly competed I looked at all the white on them and started thinking about BBQ sauce spills and decided I would just use them when we had guests at the table. I used those four feature fabrics in all the placemats, but put them together so each mat is different. It’s a variation on the Lazy Girl pattern.

modern placemat

I had a lot of scraps left over, so I made these string ones for everyday use.

string placemat

The napkins are two sided and serged with a rolled edge. I have a lot of bindings to hand stitch, but I enjoy doing that.

placemats and napkins

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Advent houses

Take a trip over to Lisa Cox’s blog spoonfullofsugargirls. She has posted a photo of my Advent houses. She’s the talented creator of the original pattern featured in Quilting Arts Gifts, and I was honored that she asked to post the photo on her blog. They have already left my home as a gift for Laurel and Jeremy. I just may have to make another set for me.

Christmas countdown villageIMG_2299

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mad Men

Tonight is the season finale of Mad Men. I am a fan. I love the sets, the clothes, the music, and of course, Don Draper. It’s the 60’s only better. The first time I saw it, I was reminded of the Broadway musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In the early ‘70’s I had a part in a local production in Madisonville, KY. We practiced all summer and put on the show the last week of August. I was a member of the chorus and have never forgotten the number, “A Secretary is not a Toy.” Here’s a video from the 1967 film production.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Switching Gears

I recently made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in the studio. Some things are wet work, others strictly sewing machine and ironing board. Today I did some prep work with adhering paper to fabric.

new paper

I reworked some pieces that I didn’t like and made a couple of new ones in preparation for making more Christmas garlands, like this.

whole garland2

I’m thinking of making some of them vertical. I have some time to think about it because the next step is painting the paper and adding embellishments.

As soon as I get my studio cleaned up, and make sure my iron is ready to work with fabric, I’ll begin work on some placemats for Chez Clayton.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Virtual Open Studio Tour

Thanks for visiting on the Cloth Paper Scissors Virtual Open Studio Tour. Welcome to my studio. I am lucky to have an extra bedroom in our home to use as my studio.

We’ll start in the corner with my sewing table. I invested in this table six years ago, and I’ve never been sorry. When I am working on a big quilt, I can pull it away from the wall and open up the drop leaf to double the surface. The roll around carts hold threads and notions. I’ve recently put up my serger and find I use it more often.

sewing area

Moving clockwise, is my design wall and closet. I took the doors off the closet and put up a curtain rod. The curtains are normally open, but I can close them when overflow guests need to use the studio as a bedroom. My design wall is floor to ceiling, about 8 feet wide. It is thick Styrofoam insulation covered with cotton quilt batting, and I could not get along without it. It’s big enough for a large bed quilt, but usually has inspiration photos, and in process projects displayed on it. I only showed half the closet, the other side looks worse than this one, and it never gets any better than this.

design wall and open closet2

I’ve been so inspired by the Quilting Arts Gifts Magazine projects that I have put up some of those projects for decoration. For details on the Advent houses, click here. For a post relating to the stockings, click here. For the vertical bird strand click here. For the Christmas garland, click here. The green squares are destined to become coasters. For more info on the coaster project click here.

design wall christmas projects

Moving clockwise from the closet is my ironing/cutting/work table. The table is an inexpensive one I purchased about 7 years ago at Jo Ann Fabric. It folds up to just 12” wide and is on casters. The thing I like best about it is the ironing pad that goes with it. I’ve been through about 4 in the life of the table.

work table area

Continuing clockwise, are my bookcases. These were “repurposed” when I changed some furniture. In the ‘80’s they were in our living room, in the ‘90’s the girl’s TV room, and now in my studio.


The thing that makes my studio work for me is the work triangle I created. I can move easily between the three main areas, design wall, cutting/ironing table, and sewing table.

Adjacent to the studio is a bathroom. I should keep it neater than I do, but it’s where I wash brushes and clean up. It has a door that opens to the lanai where I have a clothesline strung.

studio wet area

Thanks for visiting!

Christmas Countdown Village

When I saw the cover project from the latest issue of Quilting Arts Gifts Magazine, I knew I had to make these little houses. They are designed to hang on the tree or on a garland, and the idea is the fill the back pockets with treats, messages and trinkets to discover each day in December before Christmas. I just love the way they look hanging together.

Designing the roofs, windows and doors was fun, and suprizingly I enjoyed sewing the blanket stitch numbers for the back pockets. If I did them again, I would used fusible web on the back of the doors and windows to control raveling.

Christmas countdown villageIMG_2299

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A new Christmas stocking

My daughters rejected new stockings, preferring the ones I made them over 25 years ago, which have grown a little grubby over time. And might I say, they are a bit juvenile. However, we do have traditions, and nothing brings out tradition like the Christmas season. Having no matching stocking for Jeremy, he gets a new one. I chose Jane Davila’s pattern in the latest issue of Quilting Arts Gift magazine. Fun to make! I’ve been trying to figure out how to get his name on it, and the idea of using waste canvas and doing cross stitching on just occurred to me. Wonder if they still make it?

christmas stocking

Yes, they still make it. I found some in 14 and 10 stitches per inch. I started with the 14, and couldn’t see where the stitches were supposed to go. I switched to the 10 canvas. It was a little better, but I could only work on it in direct sunlight. Gotta get my glasses changed.

christmas stocking with name

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heroic Stitchery

Every now and then I find a gem online. Have fun with this one.

Find your color personality

Better Homes and Gardens offers this quiz to help you decide what color to paint your walls based on your answers to eight questions. My color personality is yellow. Yellow? Not much yellow in my house, but lots in my garden, so maybe that’s it. I was a bit uncertain about some of my answers, so I took it again. Chose Scotland over Rio, and it came up green. Mix them together and you have chartreuse, one of my favorite colors. What color are you?

To celebrate yellow, here are a couple of photos Tom took at the dahlia garden at High Hampton Inn in 2008

Dahlia Yellow spike

Dahlia Yellow

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Japanese Stab Binding

I told myself before my surgery that I was going to learn another bookbinding technique, and last night I cut the pages and cover. Today I watched two videos that gave step by step instructions. Here’s my first effort at Japanese Stab bookbinding. It really was very easy. I’d put the holes closer to the edge next time.

japanese stab bookbinding

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tutorial turns into class

I’ve never made money with my art. I’ve had a few commissions for art quilts, done a store display quilt and sold some baby quilts. Mostly I just spend time in my studio because I enjoy it, and give the resulting projects to my friends and family. I recently stopped in the Sewing Garret a quilt shop near my home. I wanted to buy some Kona cottons to do bleach discharge. The salesperson asked me what I was going to do with the fabrics I was buying and I told her about my project. She was interested, and asked me to bring samples. After seeing the samples, she put me on the calendar to teach a class on coaster construction and surface design in November. It will be fun!

We’ll do some sewing with scraps and decorative machine stitches, we’ll learn two easy methods of coaster construction, and we’ll do some discharge dyeing with bleach pens. I’ll have lots of ideas on how to translate these techniques to other projects.

coaster samplers

1—couched threads

2—bleach discharged on black fabric quilted with metallic thread

3—bleach discharged fabric thread painted with multiple threads

4—scraps and decorative stitches

5—scrappy background with fused and stitched elements

6—scrappy background diagonal format

7—bleach discharged fabric quilted with fluorescent thread

8—bleach discharged fabric with machine and hand stitching

9—easiest of all, simple fabric coaster