Episode 198:

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I recorded this podcast before my trip down to Atlanta for the Chatahoochie Evening Stars Quilt show (this picture of me signing books was taken there). I had every intention of posting it before I hit the road, but sadly that didn’t work out. Tune in next time for all the Atlanta news and pix!

Author Frances O’Roark Dowell signs copies of her new novel Birds in the Air on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at the annual conference of the Atlanta-area's Chattahoochee Evening Stars Quilt Guild. Birds in the Air (Milton Falls Media, Sept.) is Dowell's (Dovey Coe, The Secret Language of Girls, Trouble the Water) first book written for adult readers. Marianne Fons calls it "a truly enjoyable read" about "the power of quilts to connect, heal, and restore the soul."







Some recent helpful links:

Machine binding:


A great resource re: educational quilting articles:


How I learned to make a temporary quilt sleeve:


5 Basic Tips on How to Photograph Your Quilts!

7 Replies to “Episode 198:”

  1. 1) I hope I lived up to expectations! ????????????
    2) I think supporting The Scrap Exchange is just as important as supporting a local shop– it sounds like she’s doing something really important for the neighborhood!
    3) Can’t wait to hear you talk about the debut and the show!

  2. Congratulations on your book and taking on the challenge of doing a study of doing the quilts! I want to so a series of drafts or sketches as Gwen Marston calls them. I have to say thay doing bindings is not easy for me and I watch the how to videos over and over….I am getting better.

  3. Totally agree -I want my quilts to look handmade, therefore, expect imperfections. When I forage for fabric scraps and then piece them into cohesive quilts, I feel a connection to the women of centuries ago who did it this way. It’s not about being thrifty; it’s the thrill of the hunt. When you talked about finding that near-perfect red at the Scrap Exchange in ample supply, I knew just how that felt. Being slightly “off” but within range of artistic excellence is key. That’s what gives it individuality and authenticity. That’s why I had to send you the “salmon” fabric that I had convinced myself was “the one” you were looking for. I’m glad it worked out somewhere else so that I can share in a small bit of your celebrity. Congratulations on your amazing book, Atlanta, Stitch TV appearance . . . . . . life is good!

  4. my new copy of Birds in the Air has been sitting on my night table calling to me while i finished my previous book, the Poisonwood Bible. i finally finished it last night (wonderful book) and dove right into Birds in the Air and there in the early pages was none other than the Poisonwood Bible! such an astonishing coincidence i thought i would mention it! it must be significant of something!

  5. I am terribly far behind in all my podcasts. I haven’t spent the time to deal with iTunes, which means I was behind before I went on vacation. Then I didn’t listen to very much while I was away. All of you podcasters were soooo prolific in September that I am now farther behind. Today, I am trying to make a little dent.

    I am sorry to hear about Thimble Pleasures. I wish someone would buy it. That happened to my mom’s shop, though someone decided to buy at the very last second. I know that you have another podcast after this one (I wanted to listen to before and after the quilt show), so there may be more news. Fingers crossed.

    You are such a hero to make that repro BiTA quilt! I don’t think I could do it. Good for you for picking a fabric that worked with the other fabrics, but was in a different section and not necessarily repro.

    I think it is good to like your quilts. I also think it is nice to want to get better and I have seen how much you have improved since you started podcasting. I don’t think perfection is a question for me. I don’t think I will ever be perfect. For me, I always strive to get better. Some of the quilts I make are not difficult in terms of piecing, but there is always an aspect I am trying to improve. Often it is color. I try not to make quilts that I don’t like. Sometimes I finish a quilt and end up not liking it.

    I just noticed your new and improved Blogroll. What a nice long list! I think I’ll have to use it as a favorites list. 😉

    Since I am behind in your podcast, I didn’t hear about your mother-in-law. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much work it is, how tiring it is before and after. I think grief is also tiring as well. Perhaps you can go to Okracoke Island in your head? Or for a few days in a month? My friend says “people are messy”, which I also modify to “life is messy”. My ‘messy’ I mean that stuff happens. Not all of it is bad, but all of it interferes with our lives. I also like the word messy in this context because it is not as negative as another word such as ‘terrible.’

    You can make thinner binding by changing the size of the strip. Yes, it can be harder to maneuver. I have had success with 2.25″ and also a little wider or narrower – like 1/16th narrower or wider. It is a challenge to find the ideal width of the strips and I think I have come to the conclusion that it varies by quilt.

    I am happy that you have finished the Twilter BiTA quilt. I am sad, though, because I meant to send you a block, even though I didn’t participate in the exchange. I didn’t get to it, so this should be my lesson to get on things faster. Let me know if you decide to make a set of couch cushions. 😉

    I use that fusible tape as well to put pieces of batting together. I think it does save money, but also I like using up those random pieces. Often I will use them for charity quilts, but also for smaller quilts. I find it to be too much work for larger quilts. I don’t start and stop. I sink threads when I finish a line of quilting. It is a pain, but it looks better. It is the same technique as when you bury threads when you are sewing a binding on my hand. Do you bury threads when you sew a binding on by hand?

    I am so impressed with how you use your books! You often mention that you looked something up. I want to have my quilt books more accessible so I can do that. When I find something useful, I do put a post-it note on it. I need to get more bookshelves.

    I also love my slow cooker. I usually prepare the ingredients the night before as I don’t have time in the morning. Also, I feel great just sticking the crockpot in the holder and heading out to whatever I need to do. I tend to make a few recipes (check out Stephanie O’Dea’s slow cooker cookbook. If you buy it, I will tell you which page the chicken tortilla casserole is on. Delicious!) over and over, though I tried a new beef stew recipe recently that was great and I will make it again. Being empty nesters has had the unintended consequence of making our regular dinner choices unsuitable. They taste good still, but are too much and we don’t always feel like eating the same dinner 4 nights in a row! Thus, we are trying new recipes.

    Congratulations, again, on the book!

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