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A Little Sticky, Some Blue and a TIP

the "chickens" on the longarm

Its been a little sticky and blue In the Creative Space. A picture of the ‘chickens’ loaded on the longarm was in the last post. So far that hasn’t changed, still no thread.

The Sticky

So what about the sticky and blue? I use a lot of fusible products and I try as many as I can find and afford. The favorite is paper backed, because I can draw my design and then transfer to fabric, with very little waste of either. I love Misty Fuse because it stays soft and retains a beautiful drape. Since Misty Fuse is just a web, getting the exact result is more difficult, because you need another way to transfer the marked lines/design to Misty Fuse, which can add another step to the process.

photo showing good stick with Barely There Fusible
Good Stick!

Last year I tried Barely There (the review) and in the store here. The few small things I tried it on worked out for the most part. Except for the occasion, where I forgot to use the correct heat setting on the iron. Oops! I used both Barely There and Misty Fuse on the ‘chicken’ quilt. Barely There for the construction of the chickens and egg flowers. While stitching down the chickens, I discovered some loose pieces. Not completely coming off, but enough that things could have shifted. So a bit more testing was in order.

I was afraid that I may have made an error when I decided that I liked Barely There! What could possibly make a fusible not stick well? The only thing, if all else was done correctly; the proper iron temperature and setting (made that mistake with the gecko) and/or the correct amount of pressing time would be the fabric. What could be wrong with the fabric? With fabric, the manufacturers finish or starch will keep a fusible from adhering well. So I prewashed the fabrics for this piece. Then I printed the pattern on to the Barely There, fused them to fabrics and proceeded. Verdict? Much better stick!

Stick was very important in this case because this piece is raw edge applique using regular quilting cotton, not batiks which have a finer thread and tighter weave. Regular ‘quilting’ cotton tend to have a thick thread and looser weave, making them susceptible to fraying. By prewashing the fabric good stick was achieved and with less fraying on all fabrics!

The Blue

the piece with the blue lines drawn

So what about the blue part of the sticky and blue? For the quilting, I drew a grid with a blue washout marker. Getting rid of the grid after quilting these days is the real problem, especially if you don’t always prewash your fabrics, (ask me how I know about this too). I have been sewing and quilting long enough that I remember the marks coming out fairly well with just a spritz if only one layer, and maybe a good wetting if more than one layer, (top, batting, backing). But here lately, you might actually have to submerge a project to get the blue out.

a corner with blue lines and lines erased with water

I have used just about every product made to remove the blue, and none of them seemed to work any better than water if they did anything at all. But while surfing, reading blogs and posts on the Internet, Facebook or Instagram, one day- I ran across a tip. Wish I could remember from where and give the kudos and credit and link directly to their page, but I can’t. (edit- I found it!) For the story from the tipper go to I even tried a search and a look back through daily history. But no such luck. If you know who…please tell me, I’ll add it!

The Tip

Quilting done, blue lines gone

Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 cup cold water. Mix well and place in a spray bottle. And then proceed as normal. All the blue came out, no resprays or touch-ups. I left a corner and as you can see, it was a rather thickish line. I used the Mark-B-Gone from Dritz, it makes a thick line but marks fast and for a simple grid, it works great! Going to keep a spray bottle with soda water in it. I suppose a flat bottle , (as in no bubbles), of soda water would work too, now that I think about it!

Have you had difficulty getting the blue out? Do you have another method that works well? Please share in the comments if you do!!!

More later-Beth

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That Time of Year …

Its that time of year… when looking forward… into the new year requires a look back into the old year and some planning ahead.

Inventory and taxes and some website improvements . So that is where the time has gone this past week!

What did we see?

picture of rows of numbers
photo by

During the inventory, we discovered that during the Internet woes last year a few of the stock items didn’t get added. The product pictures are in the library, but the product information is GONE! Poof! So, yesterday in an attempt to fix the deficit, technology reared another ugly side.

A Store improvement, that was sort of implemented- caused some navigation problems. Once you arrived, you couldn’t go anywhere else. But the time to figure out and correct the problem took about 3 hours… Bleah!

So today, a little more tax work and some product fixes… and may we can do better on the blog… There are so many ideas floating… and in the process, but the prep time just doesn’t flow between the scheduled (and unscheduled) events!

Chicken quilt loaded  on the Longarm
Ready to be quilted!

Looking forward at this time of year, The “chickens” are loaded on the longarm and now to find the courage to begin the quilting. Unfortunately, we still need to acquire the thread. A trip to Louisville for some color analysis and decisons? Mother Nature may get in the way… as we are expecting some snow. We already have the frigid temperatures. Today, before sunrise it was 21F (-6C) and felt like 13F (-10C). It has gotten warmer up to 24F (-4C) and currently feels like 19F (-7C), but hey the sun is shining, and that is a good thing!

So off to load some books to the store. Coincidentally, the books are some really great free-motion quilting/longarm books too. I just might have to give them a perusal for the above-mentioned chickens… If you are looking for a good book on quilting and design, “Step by Step Free-Motion Quilting” from Christina Cameli, “free-motion Quilting Idea Book” by Amanda Murphy, the “Longarm Quilting Workbook” by Teresa Silva and “Free-Motion Meandering” by Angela Walters are all really great for ideas and courage to quilt! Look for them in the store or click the book title to go directly to book.

More Later! Beth

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a look back at 2018

When I look back my the accomplishments of 2018, the first thought is disappointment. It doesn’t seem like much happened… especially on the creative front.

Where did all that time go?

Much of 2018 was spent working on the “I Have a Notion™” website. I still need to make some corrections, make some additional changes, and do more work. But that takes time… and the creative front is calling my name!

Some time in a booth!

When I look back at the calandar I see that I attended an event in February as a vendor called Quilters Day Out. In the booth, I displayed a quilt called ‘Chicken Dance’. (The quilt on the left in the first picture). It is one of my favorite quilts. It is bright and cheerful and constructed in batiks. Many asked if there was a pattern for the quilt. I still had to say not yet, but I will. I made the original quilt on the fly. No notes or measurements written down. I did have the pattern template for the chicken. I have been recreating the quilt in a 4 block quilt size, so now we have measurements and an idea of fabric requirements. The new ‘4 block “Chicken Dance” quilt’ is on the longarm. Now to write it up. The big question is do I quilt it or write it up first?

3 venues photo

I was a vendor at 2 other venues as well this past year. A local quilt show and a ‘one stop shop hop’. I love to vend and be ‘in person’. It is so much fun to talk to people and help them find a solution. Even if I don’t carry it. Helping to solve a problem a great way to stretch the brain and think outside the box. I don’t think I would like to be on the road every weekend doing shows but a few a year is fun.

Some time creating!

Early in December, I put the 3rd top made with what I thought was last of the Presidents Blocks (from my days in Paradise) on the longarm and quilted it. It has a deadline for the end of January to meet a guild goal. It is has been quilted and is waiting to have the binding stitched down. YAY! While I was cleaning out the box that all those block and bits have been residing since I began turning those 50 or so blocks into quilts, but I found 9 leftover blocks in the box. These blocks all had varying problems, from a bit too wonky or too small or the colors just didn’t want to fit… so I threw them all together into a top, and now they wait for a border fabric to tie them together more or less. I’m going to count it a finish!

4 Prez Quilts Collage

Something New

In addition to creating the ‘Chicken Dance’ quilt, I was creating a table runner and a table topper to give as gifts, and to show some other settings for the pattern. Fortunately, these were not as Christmas gifts. Unfinished still.

chick gift pieces

Something Fun

Another pattern in development is a coneflower. The one on the right was a sample for a class I teach. It was made using all batiks. The new sample uses all regular cotton fabrics. I am in the midst of quilting the purple one. I think I may make a third using a combo of regular cotton combined with batiks.

photo of purple and the orange cone flower quilts

Something old

And this project that has been hanging around for more than a year. The original plan was to quilt it on the longarm. My skills are not quite where I would want them to be to quilt this. Mostly because I haven’t spent much time practicing on the longarm this year. I made the decision this past week to machine quilt it on the domestic and get it done. I am using the recent purple coneflower to play with the background quilting designs I want to use on this one.

Sneak Peek of the orange tree


Now, as I look back I would have to say I had a pretty productive year. While I didn’t have too many quilty finishes, I did have lots of new experiences and fun too. There was of course much more that filled the days, but you don’t want to hear about that! In 2019 I wish you the best of everything in the coming New Year. Whether it is adventures, finishes or brand new starts. Have fun.

Happy New Year!