Episode 96: Potholders, etc

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I’m a potholder-making machine, girls:

Here’s my latest blocks for the blocks without a name quilt:

The top two rows are definite go’s. Don’t know about the other rows. We’ll see how things play out.

Tried to take a picture of the Hexagon Garden quilt quilting so you can see the tiny pieces of paper which are the bane of my existence:

Speaking of quilting, here’s a link to Jaye’s post about Saran transfer paper. Thanks, Jaye!


0 Replies to “Episode 96: Potholders, etc”

  1. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but had to comment anyway. 😉

    Tweezer might work for the Hexagon Garden quilt. You might try wash-away paper next time.

    Keep all of your HST blocks and decide at the end. A quilt guild will love the blocks you don’t use as will babies in the NICU or old ladies in wheelchairs.

  2. The word sewist annoys me too, but I think the problem with ‘sewer’ for some people is that it has 2 definitions: a person who sews or an underground system used to get rid of waste water. But I can tell the difference between a sewer and a sewer by the context, can’t most people?

    To me, Thangles are fussy. I don’t like working with long strips, just for the reason you mentioned: they shift. I much prefer Triangle Paper if I am making a lot of little half square triangles (2 inch finished or smaller). If I’m making just a few half square triangles, I use Eleanor Burns Quilt In a Day triangle square up ruler.

  3. Congratulations on the new book and reviews!
    I have to admit I have used “sewist” once forcthecreason stated above- I see sewer, carrier of sewage, not “one who sews”, regardless of context actually. But I only used it once because it bugged me. 🙂

    I agree wholeheartedly on the use of the word porn so casually. Reminds me of the scripture good will be called evil and evil called good. (or something like that.) Pornography destroys lives and marriages and making light of it is not okay.

    Sorry to hear the Thangles did not go well for you. I have better success with them than trimming even with my square it up ruler. I have the strip tube ruler that is supposed to make fast easy HSTs but either I need tutoring or it needs better instructions. There are several rulers that are made to help with trimming. There was one highlighted in the Quilting Gallery Quilt Along I want to try, but I don’t know what it is called.
    Yay for pot holders! They are on my to-try list, but I need some Insulbrite or the like first. No $$$ 🙂 as always.
    Have a great week!
    Oh! I just got a length of a darkish blue and purple batik that you are welcome to if you want it. There is a photo on my blog here: http://harriethomemakerstrikesagain.blogspot.com/2012/08/quilt-along-blocks-and-goodies.html if you are interested. It has some blues and purple.

  4. dear francis,
    it is funny that you should talk about the word “sewist” because on sunday i used it for the first time. i was making up business cards for my new etsy shop and needed a word to describe me in reference to my shop. sewist just seemed BETTER than sewer. although most of my things are quilty (new word?) things, i am also putting in things that i’ve sewn and not quilted. i wanted to cover both the quilting and sewing aspects of what i do. people do not think of quilting when you say sewer. sewist, being a new word, seems in my mind to cover more ground. the cards are ordered so i can’t change it now! as far as the word porn…….it should not be made light of and by saying things like “knitting porn” we are giving it an upgrade that it doesn’t deserve. congratulations on your book review and i really enjoy your podcast. i’ve been thinking of doing one myself one of these days, but in the meantime, i’ll enjoy listening to yours. nancyb

  5. The Unnamed Quilt looks like little mountains. Maybe call it Mini Mountains or Many Mountains? Cute Mountains? Facing Forward Triangles? Candy Points? Arrrggg I’m losing it.

    Elegant Stitches I perceive to be a tad larger that Thimble Pleasures, but it might not be, you’ll be the judge of that soon I hope. They have fabric and supplies for many different sewing pathways aside from quilting, such as baby heirloom items and clothing. I also got a few cool sewing patterns there on one of the three visits I made to Elegant Stitches over the past 6 months. (I am from North Carolina.)

    Down in my temporary (or could be permanent) neck of the woods, on St. Simons Island, Georgia, we enjoy a sweet little shop called Stepping Stone Quilts. They also do repairs on older Singers. My favorite thing in that place is their scrap basket. Some pieces are pretty large and it’s $3 for all you can stuff in a quart size Ziploc. My good “bag packing technique” means more fun fabric. And they always have a large rack of sale bolts. In January they are going to have a fat quarter sale, $1 each if you buy at least 20 of them. Oh twist my arm.

  6. Congratulations on your new book and good reviews,You are entitled to be proud, I am sure one of the other pod casters commented on it’s publication, but which one I can’t recall. Your no name quilt reminds me of P Class yachts, the tiny ones for beginners which can be seen following one another like ducklings, really cute when there are many and their sails are multicoloured.It was the first image that came to mind when I saw your photo.By the way, how is your tummy trouble?, I am hoping that it has improved as you did not mention it.

  7. dear FrancEs,
    well, i finally decide to come out of my shell and reply to someone and what do i do? i KNOW how to spell your name but still spelled it like my uncle frannie’s. SORRY!!!!! nancyb

  8. I do like it when you discuss Miss Frances. I think for some of your older readers/listeners (like me) who experienced the Women’s Movement (there were a lot of discussions back then about the brave women at the turn of the century – the First Women’s Movement maybe) we get worried that we are backtracking. So keep discussing.

    I am sure others have heard Laura Wasilowski’s song about the Tale of the Unknown Sewer. It is so funny and her slide that goes along with the song starts with a picture of a sewer grate. So sewers be proud. Actually I am an old fogie because I didn’t know about the sewist. Ist means “one who follows.” Er attaches to one’s occupation. So maybe we quilters are sewerists.

  9. Oh my goodness, you were channeling my own linguistic pet peeves this week. Fabric porn? Not finding its way into my vocabulary. I rather feel the same about “eye candy” but to a lesser degree, believing that phrase to refer to beautiful people one wants to ogle after. I personally am uncomfortable ogling over the physical attributes of another human being. So thank you Frances for putting your thoughts out there. Also, I believe your intentional use of your words is one of the things that sets your podcast apart from some others. Great messages without literary junk!

    Sewist? I am a Seamstress when I am sewing garments, a quilter when I am doing quilts stuff. Perhaps Sewists are people who sew non-garment, non-quilts things. Dunno.

    Then on the Thangles, you once again voiced my thoughts. One more step with a cost attached no less, that does not provide a return either time-wise or accuracy-wise in my opinion. I recently made 800 HST in a long day mixed withchasing after the two year olds and, using a method similar to yours, achieved great accuracy. Pinning into paper is always a bad idea for me. With my quarter-inch foot, there is that tiny vertical “wall” that helps with the seam accuracy but that plays havoc with pins that are not removed early enough.

    So you are batting a thousand for me this week. Sew on my friend. !

  10. On the pieces of paper stuck in the quilt, do you think they might wash out? If the paper is light enough it could just disintegrate in the wash.

    Good luck! I don’t envy you that job. :p

  11. Congratulations on your new book! How exciting to hit the New York Times.

    I have an entire backlog of quilting pod casts by a number of quilting pod casters to listen to. I think in a few cases that the podcasts may go back to early June. Reason being is that a new policy came into being at work. We can no longer have any cell phones or devices that have music on them that do not belong to the company. Anyone caught with the devices will be written up. Soooo, my ipod stays at home. I have been listening to the podcasts while I am out walking in the evenings. I walk for a little over an hour so I am slowly catching up on my listening. Listening to pod casts while walking has one drawback though, I can’t take notes on the great ideas that podcasters share with listeners.

    Just a suggestion along this note line, can you list the books you recommend on your blog? I like to hear about book recommendations from other quilters. I have already reserved the book, What Alice Forgot, from my local library.

    I like the disappearing star quilt. It is beautiful. My first quilt that I made for a gift was a half-square triangle Ohio Star block and Friendship Star block, scrappy queen-size quilt. It turned out really pretty. There was a lot of cutting of squares for days it seems like though.

    Do you still need blue fabrics? I would be willing to send a bag your way, if you still need some.

    You mentioned about getting back in the swing with school starting. I don’t have any school-age children any longer, however, today was the second day of school for many of children here in the Black Hills. With the temperature reaching up 105 degrees, schools let out two-hours early. Many of the schools do not have air conditioning or have air conditioning systems that can not cool properly with temperatures over 90 degrees.. We do get some very hot days up here in the summer but not so much during the school year.

  12. Hey! First, congratulations on your new book and Times review. Nice to be recognized for your hard work.

    One book I have calls the block-w/o-a-name “four-patch sawtooth”, but I don’t think that’s very poetic. You should rename it. Don’t you suppose that this must be one of the oldest blocks, “designed” as soon as ladies became bored w/ sewing squares together? You are in touch w/ history!

    A very quick google tells me that “sewist” is a combination of “sewer” and “artist”.

  13. And that the word is hotly debated. It seems more popular w young people who like the modern sound.

    Thank you for reminding us of our feminism concerning the word “porn”. You are, of course, right. Semantics is everything and words have a lot of power.

    What size blue scraps do you need?

  14. Well, as so many others have already pointed out, the problem with sewer is the homonym. We struggled mightily with this over at SeamedUP, and finally settled on sewist as the lesser of two evils. I wish there were a better word. Seamstress always implies garment sewing to me for some reason.

    As for porn, I agree. I think it is not meant to elevate actual porn but to imply that some images (whether of food or fabric or people) are viewed entirely for guilty pleasure. Also, you should get some extra hits on your blog for having the word porn in the comments so many times. You’re welcome. Maybe this would be a good time to talk about AdSense revenue. ;o)

    I have to share about the Glad Press and Seal. It does work; however, picking out the tiny pieces of plastic when you are done is only slightly more irritating than picking out pieces of paper. I have largely given up on marking unless I need really straight lines.

    Congratulations on the book! Someone told me they read it and I had to stop myself from saying out loud, “I know her!” Because people who don’t have friends in the computer don’t really understand.

  15. Congrats Frances!
    How exciting to be so recognized for your latest book.
    I love your podcast and agree with everything you say!! Especially about the use of certain words creeping into our language where they should not be!
    Also had to stop watching some of the edgier TV shows, just don’t want to see some of the creepy drama! Even some of the mysteries I listen to on audio are getting a little too edgy. So I went to the library and got M.C. Beaton’s new Agatha Raisin mystery! “As the Pig Turns”, I think you would enjoy her books! I saw you listed on fantasticfiction.co.uk, it’s a great sight to find every author out there writing fiction. I also checked out “shooting the moon” and “dovey coe”. Your new one is not in my library yet.
    Thanks again for the many, many podcasts!

  16. Congratulation on your book! Checking the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman, two sources called your block “Mosaic”, one “Ann & Andy”, and another Triangle Tiles.

  17. Congrats on the great review!!!

    Just to pop in with another idea on how to more neatly make HST’s, I found this tutorial really helpful – http://quiltingtutorials.com/all/fast-easy-pinwheels/ – obviously, you don’t have to use the HST’s in pinwheels, and it can take a bit of math to figure out what size squares to start off with, but I’ve made a few this way, and find that they come out very regularly and consistently sized and shaped.

  18. Hi Frances
    Your discussion of the terms sewist and porn was very eloquent and thought provoking. I especially liked your phrase, “You live at the level of your language”. So true! I react when I hear women boast about having a “real potty mouth”. What is good about that? Is it a sign of being liberated to curse? I’m of an age when I remember men apologizing for accidentally letting a curse slip in my presence. I kind of liked that they felt a woman had higher ideals when it came to language.

    A funny story for you: Once, at work, my coworker (a man) was dealing with a fellow who was cursing with every second or third word. My coworker, in an attempt to get him to clean up his language, said, “Excuse me!”. This fellow misunderstood, and thought he wasn’t being heard. He started his story over, louder, complete with all the curse words!

  19. Thangles tip – iron the two pieces of fabric together and then pin the thangles on. Ironing helps the fabric from shifting. I made a king sized quilt with 36 64-piece carpenter’s wheel blocks. I would have gone crazy without them.

  20. loved your rant about words-i think it’s generational–i’m in my 40’s and have been quilting for 20ish years and feel that “sewist” is a little pretentious. but i get the point that some/most? people like to dabble in different sewing crafts so a quilter or seamstress wouldn’t be accurate, and “sewer” really hasn’t been used commonly. so live and let live–but i’m a quilter. your rant about the use of the word “porn” was also enlightening–and i agree how using the word in such a light-hearted casual way just keeps bringing it into the mainstream. get back up on your soapbox–write an article about it and submit it to all the quilting magazines–i wonder if they would dare print it! 🙂

  21. Hi Frances,
    I’m the kind of listener who listens to you while out of the house/in the car so I can’t comment right away, but I’m always sending my good thoughts :))) The brand for Will is Under Armour, I love it too! They have really good quality athletic clothes. He has good taste I have to say :))) I’m not sure if I’m at the right episode though 🙂 Your quilts look really lovely and I just realized that I wasn’t subscribed to your blog. That changed now! Congratulations on the NY TImes book review, you must be very proud! Keep up the great work, I’m always looking forward to your relaxed podcasts!
    P.S.: I know it’s a podcast later, but when you were talking about “sewist” the same thing came to my mind: a mix of sewer and artist. 🙂

    1. i have to tell you all a funny story about under armour. i was school shopping for my grandchildren and my son told me about the under armour clothes that the kids like to wear when they play soccer. being the enthusiastic grandparents we are, we immediately went out to find the grands some. we found 2 shirts at tj maxx for our grandson but our granddaughter is very petite and we could find nothing for her. so i went around the store asking people if they knew of any place i could find “under arm” clothing in her size. btw, my husband of 42 years knew i was mispronouncing this and didn’t correct me. i got a few strange looks from the first two clerks i asked but when i asked a customer who had her daughter with her that was about the same size as my grand she said quietly (without a hint of a smile) “do you mean under armour?”. then she told me about the UNDER ARMOUR store that they have in our mall! who’d a figured that they’d have a whole store for this stuff? our 3 sons played all kinds of sports but since they are all hitting 40 i’d say this grandma is definitely out of the loop. boy frances…….talk about misuse of language!!! nancyb….p.s. our granddaughter got a reversible under armour shirt in just her size. :>)

  22. Dear Frances,
    I finally listened to your podcast. I found 3 of your episodes on my iPod today and am not sure how that happened. Obviously, a few busy weeks and a week when the gym was closed=no podcast listening. I have some Pams, Sandys, Katies etc to which to listen. YAY.


    The direct link to my blog post about Saral Transfer Paper is at: http://artquiltmaker.com/blog/2012/08/saral-transfer-paper/ I am liking it as I work on the whole cloth quilt. I also use a Nonce pencil (white) and a silver pencil from Roxanne’s for marking. I am not much of a quilter (language again; I prefer the term quiltmaker, because I do more than quilting). I send most of my quilts out, but I get a wild hair (as Pam says) every once in a while. I have not found a way to mark and entire quilt and keep the markings on through the entire quilting process. If I want special designs, I will draw them on one block at a time with one of the 3 methods above. Yes, this can be a bit annoying, but it is good for me to stop, take a rest and stretch. I have also been using the Sewline pencils to darken the Saral lines that have faded a bit. This works for me. I mostly do not wash my quilts, so washing out paper or whatever isn’t an option. I haven’t tried the Dritz paper. I am allergic to everything so try and minimize chemically smells, so I am concerned about the Glad Press & Seal method, but I don’t know anything about it, so will have to reserve judgment.

    Re: language. Everyone has made really good points above. I have taken to using the term quiltmaker rather than sewer or sewist. I have to admit that I prefer sewist over sewer, because I don’t want my passion to be associated with waste disposal. Silly, perhaps, but there you have it. I remember someone thinking it up in the late 1990s in an online group I was in. I am sure they didn’t think it up, but that is the first time I remember hearing it. I am with you on porn. Don’t like the word, don’t the like connotations. I think we have to think up something to replace it, because I think it’s usage comes from the naughty/rebellious culture we are in. Other things I see that tell me this is a cultural phenomenon are: more prevalence and usage of swear words, including in print and in business offices/meetings, and not dressing up for work – people wearing ripped jeans, not shaving or combing their hair. I think that it was cool to be daring enough to use certain words or dress a certain way. Now the media has adopted these behaviors and the rest of us feel like we have to follow along.

    I think your block is called Mosaic #17.

    Keep up the good work.

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