Interesting Tidbits & Tools

It’s Spring in the Upstate of South Carolina and outside projects are calling to me. I shared the picture of the veggies coming up and they are growing like crazy – – – I can almost taste them! Peter and I are having our annual debate about what shrubs to yank out and how to make some of the gardens smaller. He bought a new tool which enabled us to take out some stumps fairly easily and now I am going to have a large cutting garden! Indoors, I am quilting away on the Mash Up quilt, weaving the rag runner/mats and trying to get going on the double nine patch quilt again. I thought I would share some tidbits with you…

At some recent quilt show or other, I bought this set of nesting circle templates. It’s really been useful. I used it to decide what size the center circle should be on the Dresden Star pattern. In the past I have wandered around the kitchen looking for plates or saucers or lids for the proper circle size, and used bobbins and spools and coins for the smaller ones, but this set plus Karen Buckley’s Perfect Circles is about all I need now. This size is just for templates, but there is a thicker size to use in machine quilting.

Circle templates

At the same show, I bought this hangar to wrangle my rulers. After I bought it, I realized that a belt or scarf hanger would have worked, so you can go buy one of those! All the rulers can be a mess and despite this nice hangar, they are generally all over the place. Oh – I also use rings to keep templates for a particular project together. Nothing like finding them lying about and wondering which pattern they belong to!

Hanging template holder

When I took the class with Edyta Sitar at the Phoenix AQS show, she said that she had sprayed our fabrics with Best Press for extra stability. And then she said she hadn’t actually used that product but made her own – out of potato vodka and water! I Googled it and below is a great post by a woman explaining how to make quilt wash and color catchers. I always pre-wash my fabrics and so I often use something to stiffen them a bit, so vodka is on the shopping list!

A few years ago a blogger got me going on watching the Decorah IA eagle cam. This year, I came across the D.C. one. The eagles are named Mr. President and The First Lady and they have two eaglets. It is the best cam I’ve seen – there are two cameras and it’s infrared at night, so when I was not sleeping last night, I checked up on The First Lady and she was not sleeping either… Often when the eaglets are being fed, someone zooms the camera so you can see everything. It’s addictive for sure.

And here I am jumping up on my soapbox! Pinterest is one of my favorite places on the Web and I can lose time when I’m on it. The ads that started appearing a bit ago were annoying, but fairly easy to get rid of. Now my page is so full of recommendations “from my recent browsing history” that I can hardly find pins by the folks I am following. I am VERY unhappy about it. I found a survey to take about Pinterest, but I don’t imagine they care what I think…

So what’s up in your neck of the woods – peas, snow, tulips, too many UFO’s ???

4 thoughts on “Interesting Tidbits & Tools

  1. Clearly, here in NM we have UFOs, Deb. The kind flying around the sky and the ones in my laundry room that I finally steamed yesterday. Have to finish them to sell this summer. Wind is crazy here. All kinds of dust and pollen. Can barely make out the mountains across town. Love the eagles!


    • You’re a funny lady Laura! Speaking of odd stuff, we used to drive down to Santa Fe from the Denver area and there is a kooky house in NM that’s made of cans and all sorts of crazy stuff. We always took a little detour through the town to look at it. Always hoped to see the inhabitants. Peter may rememeber the name of the town…


  2. Those are pretty cool tips, Deb! I especially am interested in the recipes for the home products. Do you wash your quilts when they are finished, though? I know critters will infest and chew on stored fabric that has starch left on–I wonder if the potato vodka would attract them, too?


    • Yes, I wash my quilts 99% of the time. The only ones I do not wash are the ones with fusables on them and even then I wish I could. I think it’s because I started out as a weaver and wa taught that the item wasn’t done until it was washed. No matter how you weave it, there’s always shrinkage. And with quilting, I feel like the quilting stitches sort of sink into the piece and it just looks (and smells!) better. And that’s why I prewash quilting fabrics – to get the sizing and stuff off of them and to make sure the color is okay. I started out in quilting doing a lot of hand stitching and it’s so much nicer to use washed fabrics…


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