Monthly Archives: January 2013

Pollyanna meanders the blogosphere

Lyda here.

We’ve been getting some “likes” on recent posts, which has lead me to explore some new blogs, which leads me to introduce some of them to you…

Find out about Carol’s Life on a Dirt Road where the quilting is plentiful and beautiful and so is the scenery. I love this blog! It is going on our blogroll for sure.

And Carol’s blog lead me to Lucie The Happy Quilter, a blog I’m going to enjoy checking out.

And there is lots of quilting going on over at I Am with you always. I love her striped quilt! Bright colors! 

My next project is definitely going to have bright colors. I love the Quilt of Unusual Size, with its muted manly fabrics, but I’m starting to crave some bright hues.

But I digress…

Pollyanna Can Dream, Right?

Lyda here.

I just found this slideshow about creative design solutions for home offices. I love the idea of tranforming a wall into a white board (with IdeaPaint), especially since it comes in a clear version that you can paint over any color.

How cool would that be for a studio? Or a kid’s room? Or a wall in the kitchen or entry to leave notes and messages?

The best would be to paint magnetic paint, then the color you want, and then the clear IdeaPaint over it. I wonder if that would work? Because then you could also use magnets to put stuff on the wall – inspiration photos, encouraging quotes, whatever – as well as doodle on it.

And then I saw the price for the IdeaPaint.

Um… okay, maybe chalkboard paint instead, which comes in any color and is washable. And can definitely go over magnetic paint, because I saw it on HGTV and they would never lie to me.

Maybe this is why people just put stuff on their fridges…

Pollyanna Wrestles with the Quilt of Unusual Size

Lyda here.

When last we saw our intrepid quilter Pollyanna, she was trying to figure out how to spread out the Quilt of Unusual Size (QOUS) flat, so that it could be pinned.

Then a thought struck as I was tidying up after a meeting at work…

And that is why these pictures were taken in a mysterious conference room to remain unnamed.

I would like to emphasize that if this kind of thing were to happen in the office where I work, it would happen after work time, and with the full knowledge and consent of my boss. Not that this is what happened in this case at all. 

I carefully folded the quilt top in half lengthwise, and then in half horizontally, and put in a large safety pin to mark the center. I repeated this with the quilt back.

I spread the quilt back out on the conference table, and used masking tape to tape it in place. The masking tape held the fabric well, and did not damage either the fabric or the glass top of the table. They sell quilters tape, which might be better for silk or delicate fabric, but for this all-cotton quilt, the masking tape was fine.

Note – Don’t do this on a wooden table without protecting it, as the safety pins might scratch the wood. I’ve used cardboard to protect surfaces in the past, or my cutting mat.


Then I spread the batting over the backing, and carefully spread out the quilt top. It is essential to get all three layers laying completely smooth and flat, with no wrinkles, and to line up the center of the quilt back, the center of the batting, and the center of the quilt top. Even with my center safety pins to guide me, this took some time, especially since the table was only big enough for half of the quilt.


Then I began pinning the layers together, using a massive quantity of large safety pins. With pinning, one starts in the middle and works toward the edges, smoothing as one goes.


Once I’d done the whole quilt, I flipped it over (which took some doing, as this quilt is a bit heavy) and spread it out again.

Curses and swearwords! Wrinkles in the quilt back! Foiled again!!!


So there was unpinning, and smoothing, and re-pinning, of a large section of the quilt – almost half of it.

At last – success!!


Ain’t he a thing of beauty!

And it only took 7 hours over two nights. Geez, I must be nuts.

Next time – How to baste a QOUS, and why you might prefer basting turkeys

Pollyanna and the Quilt of Unusual Size

Lyda here.

This is an actual fiber-related post. With pictures and everything. Alert the media, y’all.

I have been working on a new quilt for my son, the Sith Master. This was to be one of his Yule gifts… but… well… there were a few… delays in the construction schedule. So he got to see the quilt in progress that day, rather than receiving the finished product.

Y’all know how it is.

But I digress…

He asked for a Manly Quilt, with only manly fabrics and done in a manly pattern. And red.

He had approval on fabrics and the main design. The quilt is an adaptation of the Stripescape quilt in Kaffe Fassett’s book “Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts(I highly recommend this book for both inspiration and patterns – this won’t be the last of his patterns I use). I changed the pattern just a bit, but I loved the idea of using all striped fabrics in rows. As the author suggested, some of the fabrics were cut slightly off, so that the lines do not go straight across the fabric strips.

First I cut some 2″ wide and some 3″ wide strips from the fabrics. Then I cut random lengths from the strips.


Then I sewed the lengths together randomly to make long 2″ wide and 3″ wide pieces. Well, as randomly as my undiagnosed OCD would allow…


Then I sewed these pieces together to create the top of the quilt.


(Sorry about the picture quality on this one)

There would be a completely different effect if you cut the fabric across the stripes. I may try that sometime.

Once I had the top finished, I didn’t think it wasn’t big enough. I wanted to make a king-sized quilt for him.

So I added more fabric to all 4 sides, alternating full-length strips of the striped fabrics with the solid red that is the backing fabric.

Once that was done, I had to make a large backing piece. The red fabric was not big enough on its own, so I pieced together a backing with the red and the striped fabrics.

I splurged on expensive and thin all-cotton batting (on sale, 50% off).

With all my layers completed, it was time to lay them out flat and pin them together.

This is when I realized just how big this quilt is. There was nowhere in the condo (also known as Chez Disney, bless my roommates’ hearts) where I could spread the quilt out flat. My room? Tiny, crowded, and with almost no floor visible. The upstairs landing? Not big enough? Dining table? Not big enough? Living room? Nope, not enough floor space. Also, thanks to my furry roommate, the Disney Dog, I would have had to vacuum first.

I may have overdone it just a tad.

Who, me? Never!

And that’s when this became known as the Quilt of Unusual Size.

“QOUSes? I don’t believe they exist.”

(Behind the scenes with ROUSes)

Okay, just one more, of the cast talking about the movie

Sometimes digressions are necessary…

Next post: the solution to the space issue, and more quilt-in-progress news.

Still a fiber blog!

Pollyanna and Her New Love

Lyda here.

The mourning period is over.

Meet my new special friend.




The lady at the store said that this brand is the Rolls Royce of sewing machines (and who am I to disagree with a salesperson trying to sell me something?). This is the simplest (read “cheapest”) of their machines, and it was the floor model on massive post-holiday discount. 75% off or something. Plus – Drop in bobbin! Automatic needle threader! Love at first sight.


Oh, the quilts we will make, the zombies we will sew!

Pollyanna versus the Bad Grammar Perps

Lyda here.

Be warned.

I’m unleashing the Zombie Army on the next person who says “in regards to.”

What they mean… well, how do I know? Their woolly minds are a mystery to me. And I don’t mean “woolly” in a wonderful fiber-related alpaca-like way. Just in case you were wondering. But I digress…

I’m guessing that they are trying to say “referring to” or “concerning,” per this definition. In which case, they could say:

  • In regard to
  • With regard to
  • As regards
  • Regarding

Or they could just say “concerning.” Which might be a word they could use correctly. Maybe. Possibly. Perhaps.

By using “in regards to,” what they are actually saying  is:

  • I’m trying – and failing – to sound intelligent.
  • My education was a failure.
  • I can’t write properly either.
  • I’m too pompous to speak plainly.
  • I’m too dumb to check with Dr. Grammar.

And as of now they are saying:

  • Please send the Zombie Army to consume me immediately.

Pollyanna Moves On (finally, a fiber-related post!)

Lyda here.

Last month, I realized it was time to let him go. We’d been through so much, sharing disaster and triumph and long days and nights of work. He was a good and faithful worker. Age overtook him, but it will never diminish the memories.

With him, I learned to sew. He was with me every step of the way on each quilt I made.

Goodbye, old friend.