Episode 39: A Lot on My Hands

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First, my new, temporary design wall. To the left is Betty, in her night gown. I still haven’t found her the right spring dress. The blocks on the left are the blocks I made this week for my quilt class with Jaye. By the way, if you click on the photo to enlarge it, it looks a lot more in focus. Why is that?

A closer look at the batik blocks:

(If there’s a theme emerging here, it’s that I’m not a very good photographer)

Some hand quilting shots–the pattern is ginko leaf.

Here’s the newest, revised stack of fabric:

I added back two of the darker fabrics for a little more contrast. Hope it helps!

If you’re interested in the Sewline Marker, go to


0 Replies to “Episode 39: A Lot on My Hands”

  1. razzle-dazzle is looking great! and after all that wondering about your choices for the sampler–those 2 blocks are really pretty too. just listened to your last podcast–your talking about your crush on alex anderson is too funny 🙂 i’m a little mixed about her–i used to watch her HGTV show back in the day (even have them taped on vhs tapes!) and would get annoyed with her perkiness. but after the show was done, i watched other quilting shows and really started to appreciate her professionalism!

  2. Frances, Just a quick thought that comes to mind when I hear you mention the focus of your photos: I just have an expensive point and shoot camera, and when the photos start looking not as sharp, it means that the battery needs to be charged. I am sure that you have already given thought to this, but thought I would mention it.

    I really enjoy listening to your podcasts while driving to and from work.

  3. I love your quilts in progress! I am especially loving the batik quilt – I haven’t tried batiks yet. Your pictures look blurry at the smaller size because they are large files. If you want them to look sharper at the smaller size you have to reduce the file size and sharpen them (optimize for web). I think it’s just as easy to leave them large and let folks click to view the larger image. Your hand quilting looks good. I found when I hand quilted my quilt that it was easier for me to not use a frame – I just held the quilt in my lap. The frame made it too hard for me to ‘rock’ the needle. I am by no means an expert (I’ve only done the one quilt by hand) but it’s worth a try?
    Keep the podcasts coming – I’ve enjoyed them from day one. They make car trips and walking so much more enjoyable!

  4. Hello Frances,

    I, too, am a CAF fan. I e-mailed Jenna’s blog and told her to catch your episode 39 podcast. What an amazing place the internet can be that my favorite farm girl and favorite children’s author and quilting podcaster intersect in the Universe. I wanted to tell you that Alex Anderson’s book on hand quilting was user friendly and helpful to me.

  5. Your batik quilt looks really nice and I appreciate your humility about your photo skills but really your pictures are just fine. I enjoy the podcasts very much
    Its nice to hear somebody has warmth and sunshine ( speaking from the still snowy mountains in Alberta, Canada

  6. Fabulous blocks! I love the fabrics you chose. They look very much like Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr’s work. I was going to suggest the Sewline to you, so I am glad you found it. The batik blocks look GREAT! Keep up the good work.

  7. Oh yeah – forgot to mention how much I love retreats. I really “get” that for an introverted person you can spend a lot of social capital at one of these retreats. However, I went to Asilomar this Spring Break and it was truly an unforgettable experience. I will be processing the experience and what I learned for months.

    And – your hand quilting looks pretty, pretty good for a beginning hand quilter. And you are correct – by the end of the quilt you will get better and better at it.

  8. Your batik blocks are very attractive. I like the colors you are using. I have not attempted hand quilting yet, but I think your hand quilting looks good.

  9. Frances love the folded quilt wall wonderful idea. Tell me can you let me know that quilting novel name & author again please. Sounds great. Loving the podcast and the diaries. Thanks Vanessa (australia)

  10. Re: markers/pens, etc. Check out this podcast: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/driven-to-quilt-episode-4/id156134540?i=8684851. It may be a bit dated. I think I heard that the blue marker was reformulated and I think you are using a different kind, but Nadine does a great job on her podcast and I thought this was an interesting episode.

    Re: Razzle Dazzle. I am not familiar with the book you are using, but the thought I had about the sashing was that the pattern may not have it because of a secondary pattern that may be formed by placing the blocks next to each other. I always go by Lorraine Torrence’s adage “make visual decisions visually” which means put the blocks on the floor or on your design wall and look at them together and apart before you decide. That being said, I don’t necessarily think that you should stick to the pattern. If you think the blocks need sashing, then by all means, put it in. Make that quilt your own.

    And, finally, yes, Frances, there is always more fabric. 😉

  11. Just want to say, I enjoy hearing about the 80 degree temperature you are having. Up here where I am at, temperatures are still ranging anywhere from the mid-30s to the lower 60 degrees, during the day. Hearing you talk about your warm weather lets me know that by mid June that up here there will be days in the mid 80 degrees as well. I also loved hearing the birds out in your yard as you were podcasting. The dear little robins here have to huddle and puff themselves up to keep warm. Last weekend when it snowed, yes snowed, the little birds looked like Christmas ornaments placed on the bare tree branches. No pollen here blowing, just more snow falling. Today, however, the snow is gone and the sun is out, the temperature is 64 degrees at 4 p.m.

  12. Hi Frances! Thanks for checking out my blog! I read your interview over on coldantler farm. Great learning more about you. I am so inspired by you and Jenna!

  13. Frances,
    I have just recently learned of your podcast. I listened to it durning a car trip and was very entertained. I grew up in Greensboro and it is fun to hear all the NC references. Anyway, took your advice and watched TQS episode 313 with Jinny Beyer -you are right – life changing! Keep posting and podcasting.
    Jodi B

  14. Frances, I really enjoy your podcast. Not sure who told u batiks were color stable but they are notorious for bleeding. The darker, the worse they are. Been quilting/sewing for a really long time and I do love batiks but don’t trust the color………………..

  15. Hey Frances!
    Wondering how you are doing in all the craziness of the storms. Hoping you are well. Your quilts are awesome! Your hand quilting looks amazing to me. Thanks for sharing!

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