Snow day…

As you read this, I may or may not be in the office.


While it was sunny and beautiful outside Thursday morning, there was a thin layer of ice under that snow so the roads are still a mess and probably won’t be clear until late Friday morning.  The good news is that this kind of day let’s me catch up on a few things – like my mail.

This book arrived last week and I finally had a chance to linger over every single beautiful page.


If you like scrap quilts, you’ll love this book.  It’s simple – the book is that good.

I can also get to some of your questions from the Tip Jar.

After I shared the tip about using fusible thread for bindings, a friend asked me if I was really going to do that for all my bindings.  No.  I think it’s a cool trick, and I know there will be times – like right before Market – when I will need a binding to look “finished” so it can be hung.  The fusible thread is perfect for that – as is glue-basting, another trick I like and use.  So I’ll still use my beloved binding clips, but I’m happy to know about this method.  It’s a great tool for my “toolbox”.

To answer two questions – no, the fusible thread doesn’t leave a hard edge on the binding.  The folded edge that you’ll be stitching down isn’t adhered to anything.  Only the underside of the fabric directly over the seam allowance is fused.  In that respect, I prefer the fusible thread method to glue-basting as that can sometimes leave the edge hard, especially if you I’ve had a heavy-hand with the glue.

And the method will work with bindings made with strips cut at 2 1/2″.  There will be a little more of the binding that isn’t fused but the thread is only there to hold the binding in place for stitching.

Cleaning your rulers – yes, you should be doing that.  Think about anything you handle all the time… like maybe your cellphone.  How often do you wipe off the fingerprints, grime and oil?  While you don’t see it on your ruler, it’s still there.  There will also be build-up on the underside from your hands, as well as any sizing or starch, soap residue for the pre-washers, and whatever is used to finish fabrics at the mill.  So every three or four months, I use glass cleaner to clean both sides of all the rulers I use regularly.  I also remove and replace any tape, sticky dots or whatever on the underside.  (Just so you know, I don’t do windows.)


I think you’ll be surprised that you will start seeing a difference – seeing being an operative word.  It’s like changing the needle on your sewing machine, it doesn’t take long before you notice the difference.

You are changing your sewing machine needles regularly, right?

Do I use the lines on my cutting mat to align my fabric?  Nope.  I know a lot of people who do with great success but I got better results using just the ruler, maybe because that’s how I learned… back in the olden-days before rotary mats had lines.  Old dog, old tricks.  (And the lines aren’t showing on my mat because I’m using the “wrong side” until it’s used-enough to need replacement.)

While on the subject of cutting mats, yes, you should soak your mat every so often to keep it moisturized – flexible.  Full disclosure – I’m not good about doing this.  Meaning, I think I’ve done tried it twice in twenty years.  I didn’t have a bathtub big enough and I didn’t have much success trying to use a kids’ wading pool.  As soon as I started filling the pool, Rosie climbed in because surely it was being done for her enjoyment.  The best information I’ve found on caring for your rotary cutting mat can be found here.

Tearing fabric?  Absolutely!  In fact, we’re working on the pattern for a quilt kit coming later this year that will require the border strips to be torn.  It’s simple – a good quality quilting fabric will tear well without much loss on the edges.  The higher the thread count, the better it tears.  I know it bothers some quilters to do it but I’ve never had any problems.  So I let her rip!

Snow day / sew day?  Maybe just a tiny bit.  I worked on some log cabin blocks last night – they’re for a Log Cabin book I’m contributing to that comes out next year – and I have plans to sew this weekend.  After I finish that quilt top, I’ll get back to these…


No. 1.  I only need a few more of the triangles for my pink and yellow strip project so these will probably be first.

No. 2.  I haven’t made any progress with my Repro Stars but I did get enough pieces cut for another 20 blocks.  I’m now officially behind – big surprise – so I’ll try to get caught up this week.

No. 3 and No. 4… I started a new project using Gardenvale and Bella Solids in Fog and Maize.  If you’re wondering why the Gardenvale squares are hanging, I decided to try something Lisa Bongean showed on her blog.  Instead of spraying the fabric with sizing/starch and pressing it dry, the fabric is sprayed and then left to dry.  Then it’s pressed flat with steam.  Genius.

I had the clippy-things from years ago and while they’re working well, I’m going to try using a couple of Command hooks to hang a clothesline over the bathtub so I can do more than one Layer Cake at a time.  I’ll let you know how that works.  I’m also going to need more starch.

Are the roads clear yet?

(Have a good, safe weekend wherever you are!)

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16 thoughts on “Snow day…

  1. I saw your photo and am roaring…there’s such a difference between a Texas snow day and a Nova Scotia one. I’d give anything to be able to attach a photo of the highway home taken last week…you’d be chuckling…the snow banks are a good ten feet high, and it is coming down so thickly that you cannot see any highway – in fact, it looks like I’m on a narrow country road somewhere!!! By Atlantic Canada standards, that’s a “starter” snow day in your photo!!!! LOL. Can’t wait to get the Jen Kingwell book, I’m just starting a Gypsy Wife quilt in ocean colours…and, along with Rosie designs, Jen Kingwell is my other big favourite. Great tip on the rulers…foolishly, I have never thought of washing them, and of course, it makes perfect sense. Love the hang fabric to dry after starching idea as well. I spend a lot of time starching and ironing (a trick I learned from your other blog). Enjoy your Sew/Snow day…and take it easy on those roads!

  2. Thanks for the tip about cleaning your cutting mat; that’s a new one for me. Mine really need it. Also, I’ll look into the “clothesline over the bathtub” set-up. With our daughter away at college, I could turn her bathroom into my drying room.

  3. I can only concur to Andrea’s comment – I always have to lol when I see/hear how what we regard as just a little dusting of snow seems to be paralysing a huge area. We (in the Bavarian mountains) can only dream of snow days without school – remember exactly one in my son’s 13 school years and none in mine. Not being able to go to work because of snow/power outage – not happened once in my lifetime! I think I’ll have to move – would love to enjoy some snow/sew days!.
    Thanks for all the great tips you’re passing along – I enjoy every single post though I have to say I still miss you terribly at Miss Rosie’s.

  4. What a full, fun post! On the subject of to tear or not to tear…when I first learned to quilt, my lqs always tore their fabric, so it is not a no-no in my book, but I had gone away from it over the years…until I began to finish a Dresden project handed down from my Great Grandmother, whose little snips I found every 3inches along the edge of her sashing material….I took a really deep breath, and tore into it! It was frightening and fun all at the same time 🙂 I still don’t prefer to tear, but am willing if need be! Happy Sew Day 🙂

  5. Just want you to know I love your posts! Your writing style is like having you in my house for a good chat over coffee! Delightful! My favorite blog to read. Thank you.

  6. Love the idea about hanging the fabric after spraying but …. They still make liquid starch. Mix up a little batch in a big bucket, submerge your fabric, squeeze out the excess and then hang. The BIG difference is that you are not breathing in all the excess spray that is introduced into the air that you breathe. And there is no excess spray on ironing boards or tables where you did the spraying. You only get one set of lungs – take care of them.

  7. The little Clover “binding” clips you have would hold scads [official unit of measurement] of starched fabrics on a wire hanger without taking up much space. I use them for my strips.

  8. O course you filled the tub just for Rosie’s entertainment why else;-) But thanks for the reminder that my mat needs some cleaning.
    I hate when fabric is torn, both the sound and the edges, uagh. Just can’t stand it.
    Jen’s book is already on my amazon wishlist and I hope to have it soon.
    Have a wonderful and hopefully snow-free weekend!

  9. I always save your email for last when I’m going through my new mail. It’s the best and I want to read every word with care. And see every photo that you share!

  10. Thank you for your comment on tearing fabric. I have been doing it for 50 years. My current quilting friends have been horrified. I can’t use a rotary cutter to save my life. Even if there was some fabric loss with tearing, it couldn’t possibly be more than I have lost trying to use a rotary cutter, Hooray! I am a Happy Quilter again!

  11. Hi Carrie!
    I have a completely random request. I purchased the Hubble pattern from Miss Rosie about a year ago. I never down loaded the pattern, at least that I recall. I attempted to download it last month and it didn’t work. Would you be able to help? I still have my order email if you need it.

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