Monday, November 26, 2012


Hi there,   when I was showing my booth for the sale I had in early November several people asked about purchasing notecards.
The cards are now listed in my Etsy Shop "Creations by Gene Black"
The cards sell as a set of six for $7.00  You get to choose which ones you want in your set.
If you are interested go over to my Etsy Shop and check them out.

I hope you are having a great week.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sewing a Mystery

I have had a wonderful holiday time the past couple of days.  On Friday afternoon, I started work on a new quilt.  I can't show you much, but I suppose some simple blocks won't spoil the surprise if the recipient is reading my blog.
Here is a picture of a 4-patch block and a plus block that I made as part of the quilt.

Since I have been enjoying family and friends for the holiday that is all I have to show.  I made several other blocks but I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise by showing the ones that would give too many clues.

I am also entering the Christmas Quilt Show 2012 with a wall quilt that I made for my supervisor at work. This was made in 2011. The triangles for the trees were die cut the stars and presents under the tree were cut free hand with scissors and/or rotary cutter. This was hanging loosely when I took the photo.  In reality it is square.
Go visit the show and see some other fun Christmas quilts.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Being Thankful

In the USA today is Thanksgiving.  Yesterday I mentioned being thankful for small things like the color yellow.  (But is that a small thing?)
Today I want to tell you a few things that I am thankful for.
I am thankful for:

  • little birds singing outside my windows;
  • that I have windows and a home; 
  • those bits of thread that I keep picking up off the carpet, they remind me that I have things like a sewing machine, needles, electricity, fabric and a creative mind to sew;
  • colors - there are so many shades, tones and hues of color to enrich my life. I am blessed to be able to use them in paint, fabric and other forms. I am blessed to be able to see color. 
  • food - I have food to eat and can usually be picky enough to eat only foods that I really like.
  • computers - they allow me another form of creativity.  They allow me to write this blog and share videos with wonderful people around the globe. 
  • coffee - I confess that I don't like to start a single day without a cup of black coffee. I realize it is a luxury not a necessity. I enjoy the warm cup in my hand as well as the intricate flavor of the brew. 
  • And of course, I am thankful for YOU.  Without readers and followers, (and commenters) writing a blog would be less fulfilling. Thank you for reading. 
Those are a few of the things for which I am thankful. 

If you like, tell me one thing that you are thankful for today. But please, regardless of where you live, take time to be thankful today. 

Here is some "color" for which I am thankful:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Another Hand Stitched Work

I suppose I should say that this is machine AND hand stitched.  I have been working on this piece off and on for quite some time. I believe that I started it in August of  this year (2012.)   It is now near completion.  Last night I thought it was completed...but in the strong morning light, I found places that need tweaking.
If you have been reading my blog long enough,  you may remember that this is fabric that I hand-dyed.  The light part in the center is not as "glaring" in person.  There is also a lot of texture from the quilting.
This was quilted over the last two nights while I watched the conclusion of a mini-series and a movie. The quilting is rather dense.  I would love to quilt an entire quilt this way, but it would take seemingly forever.  Ha ha, I am typically not that patient.
In the USA, this is the week of Thanksgiving.  Tonight or tomorrow morning I will be making a couple of dishes to take to the gathering at my mother's house. I will also be going early to help her finish things Last night I was there wrestling with the turkey - I hope it finished thawing properly and is ready for her to cook today.  
I realize that I have many things to be thankful for and if you are reading this, you do also.  For you see, you have vision, access to the internet, and electricity in some form.  There are so many things to be thankful for. Driving this morning I saw a glorious yellow tree.   I thought "The color yellow is reason enough to be thankful and to celebrate." Think about the things you pass every day that are reason to be thankful and to celebrate.  Rejoice in those things and you fill find that your life is suddenly better and more fulfilling.
Peace be with you,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Finish and a Plan

On Saturday, I finally got the mojo to sit at the sewing machine after the less than spectacular sales at the show.  So I took leftover pieces of binding strips from various other projects and made a fun scrappy binding for the baby quilt.  I am beginning to think that I really like scrappy bindings.  There are four different fabrics in this bias binding.
I sewed this binding to the back with the walking foot first. Then I ironed it to the front. I sewed it to the front using the walking foot also. It is really so much faster that way.

Now I have a plan for Mom's Christmas present.  I have mentioned before that I am making a quilted cover for her headboard. I plan to add three tabs at the top to to attach it to the headboard.
Friday night I took pictures of fabric and sat with Electric Quilt 7 and played.  I imported my less than great pictures into EQ7 and used them to help design it.
Here is a picture exported from EQ7:
The floral fabric is (I think) a Samoan print. I will (attempt to) fussy cut the floral pattern so it joins into one nice ribbon of flowers. I am using the burgundy because it is a color she mentioned that would look good with the room. (and I concur.) The other is a rich yellow/gold with colored squares on it. Yellow is Mom's favorite color, so it was an easy choice.  Plus it looks great next to the other fabrics. (Yes, better than this picture. LOL)
I plan to use Floriani Stitch N Shape as the "batting" for this. It has a firm texture and holds its shape nicely.  The roll I bought has fusible on one side. So I will fuse the front onto it.  It also stitches nicely. I have used it for a couple of other projects and I really love it.  It comes in non-fusible, with fusible on one side or with fusible on both sides. I wish I had bought the roll with fusible on both sides.  Mom always said "Live and learn."  I hope this goes well, I am pretty sure she will love it.

FYI  Kelly at IHAN has Stitch N Shape with fusible on both sides . She also has the non-fusible Stitch N Shape.

Okay...surprise!  The plan is nearly a finish too.  I worked on it a lot on Saturday and all I have to do is sneak in and do a "fitting" to be sure it will hang right.  Then I can attach the hangers and buttons.
Wanna see?  Of course you do.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

30 Years - wow!

I don't know if you know it, but Sewing with Nancy is celebrating 30 years on-air.  I am thrilled to see that so many other people love it as much as I do.

The great part is there is a giveaway with THIRTY prizes.  I am hoping I win one of them, but I wanted you to have a chance also.
Sewing With Nancy Giveaway

Also there is a 30 year retrospect program with that you can watch online (ha I didn't have to wait to see it!)  It is on the Sewing With Nancy website here


PS - Nancy, if you read this "We love you!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fabric & More

I have always  loved doodling, drawing and creating with colored pens. I have quite a collection of mini art pieces that I have made.  So a couple of them were converted into fabric after I carefully cropped them to make them repeat well.  Since I found out that Spoonflower will now print on Kona cotton again, I had these two printed on Fat Quarters so I could see if I wanted to have yardage printed.
I have made both of them available for sale on Spoonflower in case you just can't live without having some of my fabric for your very own.

I have to say that I love the top one best.  The colors are more saturated and it already looks "quilt like."
The lower one is interesting. I could really see fussy cutting some of the motifs from it.
Here are some of my favorite bits.

I think I would like this fabric more if I had made the image print larger.  However, I think it would be excellent made into a woman's dress.

I have won a couple of things  that I haven't posted.  First up is a cute kit I won from Color Me Quilty.
 You may not be able to read it, but the little quilt says "Gotta Quilt!"   Yeah, perfect for me.

Next up is a lovely collection of Flannel FQ's by Connecting Threads that I won on It's Sew Kiki.
I want to make something for me out of this.  I am thinking a nice lap quilt.  I am just not sure how I will proceed.
However,  I have some other projects lined up first.  Christmas is coming waaay too fast and I have to get Mom's present made.  And I have a baby quilt to make too!  Sometimes it is just too busy. ;-)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Something Special Today

Happy Veterans Day!  

I just want to say thank you to all the men and women who have served our country in the United States Military and protected the many freedoms we enjoy.  You are NOT forgotten.  Peace be with you.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Booth

The sale day has come and gone. My booth looked decent - ha ha....but after seeing Quilt Market pictures....well, you know.
Here is my booth.

I have a window area - which I used as a wall, at least as much as I could. I hung a quilt as a backdrop and put some paintings in the window.  I had a rack full of quilts too. There are even two on the table under the quilt rack. You may notice some open space on the table in the center.  I used that space to lay out my bookmarks.
  It was a beautiful day, in fact too beautiful for most people to be shopping. After several cold days, today was warm and sunny. So along with the not so great economy the weather and other events in town, sales were down this year.  I have lots of note cards left. Several of the bookmarks are left and a number of the quilts are still with me.  (Hey, I could do a trunk show!)  Anyway, I made my booth rental and some profit.  I even sold a small painting to a lovely lady who said "I think I just have to have this."  So I am happy.  Tired? Yes, but happy.  I suspect I will be listing some things on Etsy.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Show and Sale - Set-up Day

Today (Friday)  is "set up" day at the place where I will have my Show and Sale tomorrow.  I have my booth all set  up, but I forgot to get a picture.  (sigh) I thought about it, but my camera wasn't with me.  However,  I got my embroidery machine back from the shop yesterday and I am working on free-standing lace bookmarks as fast as I can.  Since it had an "oops" and had to go to the shop, I lost a week with it.  Fortunately, I am making up for lost time.  Here are some pictures both in progress and finished.

 The blue will be a rosebud with stem and leaves.  Those open holes will be leaves. 
 Here are two in the hoop in a lovely lavender shade.
 Here are several finished designs.  The rosebud ones are in the upper right.
Here are a few more finished bookmarks. The machine is working on a blue cross right now.  I need to get back in there and watch it.  Ha ha.  It is wonderfully hypnotic to watch it.   But really I need to sew down a quilt label.
Tomorrow I will be up bright and early so I can be at the show by 7:45 a.m. - yes on a Saturday.  No sleeping in this weekend.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

e-book Giveaway

I got an email from Clare O'Donohue's publicity manager today.  Since I have enjoyed all of the Someday Quilts books she has written thus far, I wanted to share this with you.

Clare O’Donohue, author of the Someday Quilts mysteries is running a special contest for the release of her new e-book CATHEDRAL WINDOWS: A Someday Quilts Mystery (On-sale: November 13th for  $2.99.)  Ms. O’Donohue is running the contest in cojunction with The Quilt Show (the online show with Alex Anderson & Ricky Tims.)
Here is a little synopsis/teaser that was included in the email:
Christmas is just around the corner in the Hudson Valley. Nell and her friends at the Someday Quilts shop should be making eggnog and finishing up the stitching on their last homemade gifts, but when an arsonist strikes and a beloved teacher becomes a suspect, the ladies rally behind him to clear his good name. Will they succeed in time for him to spend Christmas among loved ones or will this be a chilly winter for the town of Archers Rest?

To tell you the truth, I really hope that *I* win this.  But to be nice, I am giving you the link so that you can enter too.

Good luck!

P.S.   I have boxes packed and I am getting everything ready for my show and sale on Saturday.
Here is another image that will be available as note cards:

Of course the notecards are a better quality image and don't have the watermark.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Today is voting day in the US for the Presidential election.  So if you are a registered US voter, please go and vote today.  Vote with your heart and your mind.  Voting for officials is one of our freedoms. Use it wisely.
I have been packing boxes for my one big sale of the year this week so I haven't gotten any sewing done.  
So here is an image of one of my paintings.  I will have these printed on notecards at my sale (but without the watermark)

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Oooh Oooh...Baby Baby

After several days of not sewing, I finally got back in the groove today. Other things in life have taken up my evenings when I normally sew. Today has been wonderful.  The baby quilt is now backed and quilted and all in one piece.
I have read every day of Petite Design Co.'s 31 Days of Walking Foot Quilting. So I was ready to quilt this with my walking foot.   I started with the idea of straight lines - but where is the thingy that attaches to the walking foot to use as a guide?  Hmmmmmm.. so I tried it without it.  Ha ha.  I have some organic lines that aren't very straight.  Those run side to side on the quilt.  Then I crossed those with wavy lines from the top of each section to the bottom of the section.   Not bad, not bad at all.  See:
I also had to avoid quilting over the applique embroidery designs.   So there are some interesting lines in the quilting.  Ha ha.
I used leftover pieces along with some other pieces I had for the backing. I love the planned randomness of it.
That is straighter than it looks in the cropped picture.  There was an extra row of blocks (top center) that was leftover.  I had one extra piece of the yellow sashing, so I sewed it to a red strip and the cut those into sections the same length as the two extra blue blocks. I added extra strips of blue to it and made that row just above the bottom row.
How do I "plan" the backs?  I am glad someone asked that in an email. I take the section of the quilt and lay it face down on the floor.  Then I take the pieces I am hoping to use and put them together sort of like a jigsaw puzzle until I get something I like. Then I take a small section at a time to the sewing machine and start putting it together.  I always make the back pieces bigger than the top so I have some wiggle room.  I think it works pretty well.

Now I have to decide on binding.  I was thinking "red" but I have several pieces of leftover binding from various other quilts.  So I may make a scrappy binding.  What do you think?

Oh yes,  I am in the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy'sCreative Side.  My Quilt is number 280.  I would love it if you voted for me.