A Purse: A Brown Floral Messenger-Style Purse

It's almost like the day after Christmas....the build up, then poof and it's gone.   That's the way I've been feeling this week after finally finishing all my half-square triangle projects for the upcoming demonstrations.   The ones I've been working on for the past 3-4 months!   One could say I've been in HST heaven, and coming back to earth....I find that there is time on my hands with nothing on the drawing board or design wall.


The first demo will be Thursday at our quilt chapter meeting, then I move on to Ruston next Thursday to do the Piney Hills Quilt Guild program, then back to Monroe for the Cotton Corner Quilt Show.  I'm excited about this whirl-wind tour of HST's but am at odds as to what to do with myself:

So, to fill the void.....I just made a purse!  I didn't want go into overwhelm with the floral, so decided to make the bottom of the bag and the straps out of a coordinating brown.  Over the shoulder and away I go.....If I hurry, I'll only be 30 minutes late ~

Hand made stationery: for love notes

I saw Ludid's video about making stationery on her blog Turn Up The Sound and just had to make my own love notes:  Perfect size to say 'thank you'  or 'get well soon' or 'love from me to you'!

I'll just draw a little flower or a heart or doodle a bit to give each one a personality as I write my notes.

4" x 5" fits beautifully in the envelopes I have on hand. 

Cluster - Sowiesoso

I can't describe how this makes me feel....it's just nice music to listen to as I work!

To Do or Not To Do The To Do List:

I had a really long to-do list today:

1.  Make North Louisiana Quilters Guild February calendar for blog. 
      Job completed

2.  Make an 'About Us' page for NLQG blog.

3.  Make  business cards with new email address:  martymason1608@gmail.com

4.  Put Winter Tree art quilt on FaceBook page

5.  New post to add Amish quilt to Marty In Motion

6.  Figure out how to use my new Pinterest board

and this is just the computer stuff I wanted to get done.....there was also clean the toilets and vacuum sewing room floor on the list: 


What was not on the to-do list was for me to stamp on fabric.....but guess what I've been doing. I have a project in mind and needed to make fabric designed by Marty! One of my favorite fabric (and watercolor paper) design stamps is the end of a toilet tissue roll. Just smear some paint on wax paper, add a drop of water, then dip the end of the cylinder in the paint then on the fabric....yep, it's that easy and that inexpensive!

Here is some stamped fabric from the past: 

and the stamp I made to use: 

Having fun doesn't have to cost an arm plus leg....just think outside the craft store expensive stamp box! 

Transporting a work-in-progress.....

from the design wall to the sewing machine to the ironing table can be tricky when there are lots of little loose quilt blocks to transport.  One simple solution is to use one of those rectangular oil cloth table cloths....they have a flannel-like backing that the quilt blocks will cling to.  I  bought two yards of oil cloth on sale which serves the same purpose. 

Once I have my design on the wall completed, I just simply spread out my oil cloth and place the quilt blocks on it, making sure to keep each block in the right order. I usually grab my camera and snap a picture of my project at this point so I have a ready reference anytime I need it down the sewing road. 

 Rolling the oil cloth keeps the blocks from shifting.  Once I get it to my sewing machine, I can unroll a bit at a time so everything stays meek and tame. 

As I sew, I place each completed segment back on the oil cloth and transport to the ironing table.  After pressing, it's all rolled again and I can hop back over to the sewing table and before I can convince the cat that he can't mess up my unrolled plans, the project is complete.

Quilt projects store beautifully this way for days and weeks.  This is the perfect way to get a project together to take to sew days with quilting friends.   As a matter of fact, while you are at the fabric/discount store,  might as well get  several yards.....more than one project can be arranged, rolled and be ready for transporting.

 A big thank you goes out to my friend Mary for this wonderful idea.  She is a great teacher and full of ideas to make life easier. 

tuesday morning

It's an ongoing love affair ~ me and onion, garlic and celery! Along with red, yellow and green bell peppers, I put them in some combination or other in practically every dish I make....a must in stew, soup, gumbo, bisque and quiche recipes.  So, here are my store-and-save solutions: 

of course, the most obvious thing to do is chop and store in freezer bags to use as needed.  And that's okay for most recipes....just pull from the freezer and saute for some recipes and just use as is for others...but sometimes, fresh celery is needed.

So.....when I bring celery home from the market, I chop off the heart....and munch down on the sweetest part of the celery immediately!  Wash and store the stalks standing on end in cold water. I don't skin my celery....I think that only encourages faster decomposition at this point.  Try it....
 it's amazing how long the stalks will stay fresh with this feet-in-water trick. 

Garlic.....storing garlic is easy when you purchase jars of minced or crushed garlic stored in oil.  I just store in the refrig and spoon out as needed.  When I need to roast garlic for a recipe, I just buy a pod, roast and use and don't worry about storage.  Life can be too short. 

Onions and bell peppers don't normally last long enough in my kitchen to worry about storing.....but should I have any part of them not used, I just put in zippered bag and store in refrig crisper for tomorrow! 

But, for now....it's time for breakfast.  I think I'll have a banana smeared with peanut butter and a glass of milk ~

It's nice to have computer issues resolved and have my light-hearted self back! 

Am I A Control Freak?? Or What??

Oh, yes, there are some things I really, really like to control.....my computer, my emails, my pictures....for instance.  So when some juvenile-frame-of-mind-with-obviously-no-life-person hacked my emails....I lost control, and I didn't like the feeling.  And, what's more I didn't know how to undo!  Thank goodness for that annual contract with the computer folks.  I went there and for free they told me to go home and change my passwords.  Then, I decided to change my email too.  Now all I have to do is figure out how to get all my stuff reconnected!  Every day brings me a little closer to being back in control.

 We are the team....the two of us

Some may have done this much more rapidly than I.....you see, I am a blogger, not a computer guru.  But anyway, I have high hopes....last night HuMan gave me a hug and told me how smart he thinks I am and how proud of me he is that I know so much about computers and solved the problem so well......bless his dumb little computer-degenerate heart!  My dumb little computer-degenerate heart goes out to him~ 

Friends Favorites and Flickr


Collage No. 17 was a favorite of MBSchaeffer.   I have a slow-growing series of photo collages....now up to No. 20...that I post in my photography blog - Reflections Unfurling (as each day begins and ends.....).  Love is having more than one blog and  Flickr Friends who Favorite You! 

A Quilt: Flowers In The Wind....was added

to two Flickr galleries curated by zsummer:  Applique Quilts and Floral Quilts.  My quilt is (and I am) loving the attention. 

I selected as many different pieces of  red and pink I could find in my fabric stash for the flower petals and outside border centers and machine appliqued them on to 12 different backgrounds to come up with delectable scrap happy quilt:  a pattern out of The Best of Black Mountain Quilts by Teri Christopherson.  Quilted by a local long arm quilter friend....Kay Thode.  Love is having a scrap of fabric to put into a quilt and having it featured in two galleries!  And, yes....it is for sale along with others in Marty in Motion where all things are for sale!

It's all about the feet: Bernina sewing machine feet...that is

and what a life saver some Bernina specialty sewing feet are: 

Friend Dorothy gave me a scrap piece of oil cloth, so I decided to put it to good use.  An oil cloth tote bag for this and that: 

What really came in handy was foot #52....Bernina calls it the Zigzag Foot with Sliding Sole.  I call it my foot for all things difficult - photographs, plastic, faux leather, etc.   If it's sticky, grippy or shiny, then this is the foot to use. 

I don't know a lot of things.....but I sure didn't know this!



  • Incorrect pronunciation: sherr – berrt
  • Correct pronunciation: sherr – bet
This is one of those words that ultimately had to abandon its crusade for righteousness and now has been corrupted to the point where dictionaries may list the incorrect pronunciation as acceptable because of just how rampant the ignorance grew to be. But there’s only one ‘R’ in “sherbet,” America… no matter how awesome the rainbow flavor is, there’s still only one ‘R’.
I wonder if Theresa named her table runner Sherbet how she would pronounce it! 

High Hopes ~

Yea.....I'm the eternal optimist.  I start every day and every year with high hopes.  And when I'm not downright busy, well then, I'm just busy.  I got busy yesterday updating my website and I'm liking the fresh look.  There's still a lot of adding to do but I rid the site of Etsy and added my other shopping venue - Marty In Motion.    Go check her out and let me know what more I should do.  I can use all the input you have to offer to make Marty's Fiber Musings sing out loud.

and I have to leave a picture -    this one is dubbed "and the beat goes on".....an art quilt.  I like the simplicity and fresh, modern look.   The chartreuse, well, that just gives it the vibes I wanted....when in doubt, add chartreuse (thread or paint)! 

Now I'm off to Shreveport to pick up my newest sewing machine:  A Bernina!  Every sewing studio needs two or more.  Agree?

A Fabulous Seating Find - at Walmart!

I found a picture of this wonderful mid-century Borge Morgensen leather sofa....unfortunately it has been sold!

So, an alternative sofa from Walmart!!! was found and purchased to complete the man's cave, office, music room, photo gallery, leisure time sanctuary sans former guest bedroom.  We had to wait a few weeks for delivery, but the price was right and it's real leather and its structurally sound.....and it snugs the wall in the man's cave just perfectly. 

#1 Man's Cave

He likes the open floor plan!  I had to twist his arm to get him to pull his Fender stool and music stand from against the wall and put it more in the 'room'.  His guitar is still against the wall.....and while he did allow one of my modern quilts to drape the back of his sofa..... he has invited me to say out of  #1 Man's Cave!

And here are the before pictures:  While I loved this bedroom and it's furnishings, the room was not being used to it's full potential.....The #1 man thanks me for allowing the conversion. 

Moral:  Change is not painful.  Matter of fact, it is downright fun! 


It's quilted and it's a simple half square triangle design: A star to remember

Lovingly called Kat by her friends and family:  Professionally known as Kathy's Fancy Stitching is my shining star today.  She just sent me these pictures of my labyrinth star half-square-triangle quilt that I started here....it's now quilted and in the mail back to me.  It's a Debbie Maddy....Calico Carriage  quilt design.

Kathy says she was just playing around....well, I think LSU might have been just playing around with Alabama Monday night, but with all these quilted feathers and the fleur-de-lis design....I think this is more than playing around....brilliant design work is more like it. 

This is now officially one of my samples I plan to use in my "Addicted to Half Square Triangles" demonstration at the Cotton Corner Quilt Show February 24-25....West Monroe, LA.  Ya'll come and get up close and personal with this quilt and more HST samples! 

A quilt off the design wall

Finished the week-end quilt.  Loving the Robert Kaufman medium gray surrounding my orphan half square triangle blocks.  The zebra print is truly the greatest! 

Humming the tune - Paul Simons' Betty.....if you'll be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal, oh and by the way, you can call me Al!  I know, I paraphrased the song, but this pretty much sums up the scene above! 

On the design wall ~

And sew it goes: 

I saw this strips and wonky cuts technique at the most delightful Oh, Fransson! blog and decided it would work very well to put the half-square triangle remains from different quilts together into one!  I just grabbed a few HSTs I thought would compliment the center focus fabric that  I picked up at our quilt chapter's rummage sale.   The neutralizer is a Kona Kaufman gray.   I ventured slightly from Elizabeth Hartman's technique by making my strips different sizes so the different blocks would come together more easily (I think)!  Elizabeth's tutorial is excellent....a different approach to giving  leftover scraps some mosaic energy. 

So, there is my design wall update....now I can continue sewing.

When I'm absent from my blog that means I'm quilting!

or something.  I have been dazed with computer stuff that I don't know how to do!  So, yesterday, I took a break and made a little quilt....a little 12" x 12" er! 

For the time being I'm simply calling it red tree collage.  Perhaps when my brain clears of all the computer mumbo jumbo....I'll give it a real name.  But then, again, red tree may just fit it nicely.  It's not a big piece so a big handle wouldn't seem nice! 

Atkinson Designs - a zippered pouch

as simple as one - two - three - four:  these Atkinson Design zippered pouches are just too darn simple not to make more:  four completed and I'm looking for more coordinating scraps and zippers: 

I may be well on my way to completing my stocking stuffers for Christmas 2012!  Perfect for makeup....pencils.....sunglasses.....money and credit cards.....I've made all four of these different sizes.  The technique is the same regardless of the size!

And a signature brush

stamped on Vicki's hand dyed fabric

This is a test....this is only a test to see if my hand made signature brush worked......okay...it did.....now I can move on! 

Tuesday's Tune

It's still dark outside but night will soon become day. A Bob Dylan performance at its best. You either like the music or not.....I do!

There's more than meets the eye

A fruit cake recipe (without a fruit cake picture) - give you three guesses as to what happened to the fruit cake before I got a picture!  No, it wasn't stolen and No, the dog didn't eat it.....

On page 155 in Looking at Cooking