My Blog List

Saturday, May 30, 2009

newsletter 2009

Hello Everyone.

Well I missed the Rotary Cutter Anniversary in May.

The orginal OLFA rotary cutter.

Can you imagine making quilts without using a rotary cutter? It was 30 years ago when Yoshio Okada, inventor and founder of the OLFA Corp. of Osaka, Japan, developed his brainchild, the first rotary cutter.

According to the people at OLFA, Mr. Okada's inspiration was a rotating automobile tire. From that simple motion, he developed a cutter that would cut fabric safely, accurately and easily. This simple tool revolutionized quilting. Quilters could cut multiple layers at one time using a rotary cutter, a ruler and special cutting mats. No more marking and cutting individual pieces of fabric for simple shapes. The rotary cutter was also easier on the hands than cutting with shears or scissors.

Today there are many manufacturers of rotary cutters. You can find them with ergonomic handles, in different sizes and in right- and left-hand models. You can also find them with different safety features. A variety of blade types are available -- scrapbookers and card makers often use this type of blade. Go to and type 'rotary cutters' in the search box to find several different models of OLFA rotary cutters and replacement blades.

It is that time again. I have not got much news, so I assume that everyone is great. It sounds to me like the last of the snowbirds went home when the temps made it up to 100. It has been so cold here in Minnesota. We had winter until about one week ago. Then we had a couple days of August weather. It went from 50’s to 84 in one day. Sorry to tell you that I am a wimp. I like spring and fall. Now we are back to cold, so I had to turn the furnace back on.

Okay. Who was sending me the cooking recipes? I am still waiting. Maybe I will share one of mine at the end of the page if there is space.

Let’s see, what do I know??

Natalie has been sewing prom dresses again. Good for you. I wish I had the courage to do that. I have only been making water bottle covers.

Well Janice has had a problem with her phone company so she changed companies. They would not let her have her old number so the new one is one different. These are not her exact words…I had to edit them, but the number is 250-919-7402

I was surprised to hear that Janet N. is in Flagstaff AZ. This must be a big change for you, Janet.

Tip of the Day Get Rid of Stitch Whiskers After ripping out a seam, there are often little whiskers of thread that need to be removed before re-stitching. Now, I don't need to rip very often (NOT), but sticking them onto tape or picking those little tufts of threads one by one is simply a pain, and leaving them in and re-stitching is worse because they'll be stuck like that forever. These days, I simply reach for my eraser... Run (don't rub) the eraser over the whiskers and they'll come out of the material where they can be easily brushed away. I've been sewing (and unsewing) for 35+ years and this is the best idea since rotary cutters. --Marilyn Gore from

Tip of the Day Make Your Mitered Binding Corners Perfect Every Time When you apply mitered binding, stop sewing before you reach the corner of the quilt, ending the seam the same distance from the approaching quilt edge as the width of your seam allowance. Lots of instructions tell you to end the seam 1/4" from the edge, and that's fine if your binding seam is 1/4" wide, but it isn't correct for narrower or wider seams. Follow that simple rule and your mitered corners will always be tidy.

Now for a little song: Lets' all sing along as you read the rest of this letter.

“Take Me Out to the Quilt Shop.”

Take me out to the Quilt Shop.
Take me out to the Mall.
Buy me some Moda and a Stack-N-Whack.
I don't care if I never get back.
I will shop, shop, shop for the new quilt.
If it takes all day, that's a shame.
For it's one, two, three yards and more at the old quilt shop!

From Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting

Trim Triangle Tips to Match-up Your Patchwork Edges

When you assemble patchwork, you'll often need to sew the long edge of a right triangle to the side of a square. The triangle's edges will always overlap the side of a square due to the extra seam allowance we added to compensate for the angles.

One way to deal with the difference is to fold both pieces and crease at their midpoints, matching up the midpoints when you sew them together.

Another way to solve the problem is to trim away 3/8" from the tip at the end of the two long sides of the triangle -- tips often referred to as the "dog ears." Align your rotary ruler as shown, adjusting it to remove 3/8" along each side. Now the side of your triangle should match the side of the square or rectangle that it's being sewn to. I can't get the picture to print, but you can lay your triangle on graph paper and make a template using the lines. Try it with paper first if you'd like to experiment.

Have you finished the challenge block yet? Louise has received several already. Sorry to say that I have not started mine. I work best under pressure so think I will do mine after Christmas. They will be on display at the 2010 quilt show. I know I can have mine done by then.

If I get bored for new ideas, I go down to my local quilt shop. Any time that she doesn't have a class you may bring your machine and sew at her place. I get lonesome here with no sewing pals to chat with, so this works for me. I always come home with lots of ideas. Yea, that's where I bought the pattern for the fish shaped water bottle holder. I hope to have pictures on the blog soon. I am thread painting on the fins. The next one will have fins made of fussed scraps from my trimming bag. She has wonderful fun fabrics and she also loves chickens. I get most of my wako chicken ideas here. Her new website; if you have time and a computer. She would gladly sent you a package in the mail.

Please send me news for the next newsletter. I love getting emails too. Yes, I know I'm hard to get a handle on. I am working at the grocery store and sometimes forget to turn my phone back on. The rest of the time I'm working on my yard. Oh, did I tell you that my favorite niece is getting married on July 4? No I'm not making her dress but I am doing the veil and making cream cheese mints. I am so excited for her!

Keep all your stitches in the ditch and keep in touch.


Homemade Ranch Dressing

½ cup reduced fat buttermilk

½ cup light sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

2 TBSP chopped chives

2 TBSP chopped parsley

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tsp lime juice

coarsely ground pepper

Combine in a bowl and whisk well. Makes 1 ½ cups