Wandering Wednesday: CoopCrafts of West Virginia

There are so many creative people in the quilt world, and Sarah Cooper of CoopCrafts is certainly one of them! Her blog’s tagline says a mouthful: “I gotta eat, i gotta sleep, i gotta make stuff.” When I think of Sarah, I imagine a light bulb of inspiration shining brightly over her head, and her creative engines working full speed to make the ideas happen.

Stars Courtesy of Sarah Cooper of CoopCraft dot comI have been looking at Sarah’s work for quite a while, quilts and other endeavors, and was certainly not surprised when she was selected to create the West Virginia block for the AMB Road Trip License Plate Quilt. You can see it on her home page summary of 2014’s creations. You will also find painted tables, her hand-crafted kitchen full of personality, and lots of other inspiration. Her Quilts page shows some superb examples of her use of color and her creative nature.

There are lots of Tutorials on CoopCrafts, and ideas that will make you look at your own home, fabric stash, furniture, and more in new ways. Some of these tutorials are unexpected, like her Homemade Laundry Soap.

Chevrons Courtesy Sarah Cooper of CoopCraft. dot comCurrently she is working on a stunning quilt for her wedding anniversary, and when she posts it on the blog, I will send you back for another look! There are more great photos of her work on her Flickr pages. And if you use Instagram, check her out at @coopcrafts. You can see how stitching a chevron quilt inspired the chevrons painted on her dining room wall, among other things. There are marvelous pictures of the new anniversary quilt in progress there as well.

Please be sure to leave Sarah a comment telling her how much you enjoyed seeing her work!
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comWandering Wednesday CoopCrafts of West Virginia© 2015 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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Here there be Daleks

Yes, this is a post about quilting! But some of you might appreciate a little background first.

The Curious Quilter make a Dalke table runnerI admit it. I grew up loving the British television show Doctor Who. If you are not familiar with the show, it is a sci-fi classic. The first ones are extremely campy, and the newer ones, while the graphics and effects are better, well, they still have their moments of being a bit hokey. Doctor Who himself is a Time Lord, he travels in time in his TARDIS ship which is supposed to change its appearance to blend with any background. This one, however, has gotten stuck and always looks like  a British police box.

Loving the show as I do, when a friend on Instagram announced a new mini quilt (or other creation) swap, I said count me in. And so I joined the Make a Dalek, Make a Friend Swap (#makeadalekmakeafriend on IG). Rae from Rae’s Making It blog got it going.Over 100 crafty people signed up and were assigned someone to send their creation to in a few weeks. It could be a quilt, a painting, a purse, anything made by hand.

dalekThis is a Dalek – from the current version of the television show. Daleks are one of Doctor Who’s original nemesis’ from the original show in the 1960s. Without going into a lot of detail, their favorite word is Exterminate, and they are annoyingly vicious despite the fact that the first ones looked like garbage cans with plungers and whisks attached.

tardis2And this is the TARDIS, which many crafter chose to create instead of a Dalek, and that was certainly allowed! Actually many of the characters and creatures form the series showed up by the end of the swap time. Some were funny, some very serious, and some quite beautiful.

stitching on the backThe info about the person I was sending my Dalek to told me she had tons of “Whovian” stuff at home – so much so that her hubby had said No More! However, when they saw this swap, they both thought it would be a blast. Her favorite episode was also the scariest; upon reading about her young children though I opted for a simple version of Daleks that might not terrify the kids. I decided it had to be useful and easily enjoyed by  the whole family.

Table Runner by The Curious QuilterAnd so I made a table runner. I used fabrics found on Spoonflower, mostly created by fans of the show. I did fusible applique Daleks, with lots of stitched details. When I finished the first one, I got a pleasant surprise–the back was even cooler than the front! The sashing between the Daleks is miniature TARDIS’s. It was a lot of fun to make, but each Dalek took more time than I expected (of course!) I heard from her later saying that the whole family loved it.

Tiffanys TARDIS for MaryAnd I received a mini quilt in the mail from another swap member–this great rendition of the TARDIS! I am delighted with it, as personally I much prefer the TARDIS to a Dalek any day. Thanks to Tiffany, this now adorns my sewing room walls.

The creative and crafty people on the internet share so many great things, and a funky swap like this really brought out some unique items. Dalek by Julie PersingerKnitted Dalek tea cozies, TARDIS Swoon blocks, cross stitched Doctor Who characters, great little satchels with fab Whovian fabrics, and lots more. One of my favorites is this great Dalek close up created by Julie.

If you want to see more of these fun items, hop on the Instagram app, and search for #makeadalekmakeafriend today!
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comsignature© 2015 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It has been a wild and crazy fall, with a big PSQ swap, a new job, an extended bout of pneumonia, and winter deciding to crash the party and hit early and hard. But this weekend brings Thanksgiving, and a time to enjoy friends and family.No Shopping on Thanksgiving! We all need a break from deadlines and are ready to make simple decisions. Apple or pumpkin pie? Why not both?

Personally, I am looking forward to a quiet Thanksgiving, with family, food, football, and conversation. If you have to work on Turkey Day, you have my sympathy. I am not heading out to shop on Thanksgiving Day. I can think of nothing that I need more than time with family and to decompress. Certainly not anything I can only buy on sale that day.

111123052640_small-business-saturday-logo (1)After Thanksgiving, I know the stores will be busy.Why not off to shop until Small Business Saturday. I will visit shops in my area, family run business, small enterprises that help keep my money working in my neighborhood. I will find great gifts and unique items. After the gifts are found, I hope to also shop for me at a local quilt shop. Check out my post Small Business Saturday: Nine Great Ways to Shop Local, Shop Small on that other blog I write for. It includes a link to a site where you plug in your zip code and get connected with small businesses in your neighborhood.

All that said…

Quilter's Despair!

Nightmare on Quilt Street?

It has been four years since I wrote The Dream of the Mad Quilter’s Ball. Nothing like visions of hopeless “to-do” lists and piles of fabric and lint to give someone a nightmare. I had to have some fun with our collective goals for making gifts.

“Now, Singer! now, Brother! now, Janome and Elna!
On, Kenmore, Bernina, on Pfaff and Gammill!
Each machine in its place, Though we know it’s still Fall!
Just stitch away! stitch away! stitch away all!”

That’s a sampling. If you have not read the entire piece, you might enjoy it!  It may inspire you to take some time this weekend to edit down your own  to-do list.

I hope you are able to enjoy your holiday, stay safe, and recharge for the busy month ahead!
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comCurious QUIlter Happy THanksgiving© 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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Happy Day Before Another USA Election Day

I know, about every two years I repost this piece. And I am doing it again, partly because I have a ton of new readers. Here in the US we have elections tomorrow. I hope that most voters do not base their votes on the political ads that are bombarding us on TV! But a little fabric parody? That’s a lot more fun. I hope you enjoy it! After all, who can resist a quote like “I am Mottle Blender, and I am throwing my threads into the basket and asking you to choose me for your next quilt”?


I am The Curious Quilter, and I Approved This Message. First posted October 17, 2010.

Wikipedia Commons Fall Scene
It is the middle of October {okay, it is now November} , and in Minnesota the fall color has given way to falling leaves. Football is now sharing air-time with hockey. Pumpkins are on doorsteps, Halloween goodies in the stores. And, with an election less than three weeks away, we are simply inundated with campaign ads on the radio, television, in the mail, and even online. I think that campaign ads are a nightmarish way for voters to get information. Thankfully, this advertising strategy (often accusative or negative) has not hit other marketing arenas as hard. Can you imagine trying to make purchasing choices based on this style of ads? Well, I can…

Cali Co portrait, Fabric Candidate“My name is Cali Co, and I want to be your quilt fabric of choice! Nothing is more important in supporting a sleeping family than providing the comfort and warmth of a traditional quilt. I will work hard on your behalf to bring colorful traditions back into your quilts. I am a classic, and you can count on me to finish with cozy results!”
Paid for by the Calico Fabric Section of quilt shops everywhere.

Rich Solid portrait, Fabric Candidate“My opponent, Ms. Cali Co, calls herself a classic, but what can be more classic than a basic, solid foundation? I am Rich Solid, and I have a lifelong track record of working well with other fabrics, and getting the most striking results. When you make the choice to go with Solid, you choose enduring color that will never go out of style.”
Sponsored by the Basic Solid Fabric manufacturers’ associations.

Ba Tik portrait, Fabric Candidate“It is time to bring fresh life and vibrancy into your quilts! Nothing says ‘I love you’ better than a cheerful quilt made from vivid colors. No solid fabric can give the wonderful sense of motion and natural flow that I am well-known for. No busy calico has my clarity of color. Choosing me will bring new energy to your quilting! My name is Ba Tik, and I approved this message.”
Paid for by the Wax and Dye Society on behalf of Ba Tik.

Mottle Blender portrait, Fabric Candidate“In this selection, everyone seems to think that these extremes are the only choice! Cali Co and Ba Tik can both offer color to your quilts, but see how they clash with each other! Rich Solid can be striking, but his flatness is so severe. What we need today is a middle ground, combining the base of a solid, with the textural quality of calicoes and batiks! It is time for a working compromise that can bring quilters everywhere together. I am Mottle Blender, and I am throwing my threads into the basket and asking you to choose me for your next quilt!”
This advertisement was developed by the Middle Ground Blenders Association.

Rich Solid portrait, Fabric Candidate“Ms. Blender has accused Cali Co and Ba Tik of clashing with each other, perhaps over the use of color. She has even called my own colors flat and severe, and offers herself as a middle ground. As quilters, you have the right to choose, and not just between muddy blends of colors, or clashing sets of prints. I offer you a crisp, fresh approach to the sense of flow and pattern. By choosing Solid, you show that you do not need the clutter of prints and textures to make a quilt sing! Choose Simplicity! Choose Boldness! Make the Solid choice!”
Sponsored by the Basic Solid Fabric manufacturers’ associations.

Cali Co portrait, Fabric Candidate“It is time to put Solid back in its place, as a modest, receding background for the glorious traditions of finely crafted florals, vines, and dots that been the workhorses of the quilt industry for decades. Your choice of Cali Co says you embrace the history and roots of quilting! You are not mottled in your clarity, you know just how important it is to have a balanced print that brings your projects to life! A vote for Cali Co shows respect for our heritage!”
Paid for by the Calico Fabric Section of quilt shops everywhere.

Ba Tik portrait, Fabric Candidate“Cali Co has claimed to be rooted in the history of quilting. I say she is stuck there, along with her cousins Repro and Duction. We need fresh brilliance to shine through projects! Blender wants us all to take the middle ground. I call on you to take a stand for color, pattern, and the earthy naturalness that makes life rich! Let Cali Co live in the past, Solid stand alone, and Blender strive to have minimal impact. Ba Tik will make your quilts shine for generations!”
Paid for by the Wax and Dye Society on behalf of Ba Tik.

“Heritage? Solid, you would never have existed without me, and sometimes your colors run! I was around long before Cali Co tested her first patterns. Ba Tik is nothing but a swirl of dyes set against the resistance of wax! I am Mus Lin, and I AM the classic choice for quilt foundations and backs everywhere!”
The Unbleached Muslin shelf is responsible for this advertisement.

“Quilting has evolved into very sophisticated craft, and Mus Lin needs to head back to the utility fabric section” – Rich Solid.

“Perhaps the grapes on the vines that Cali Co so loves have fermented her judgement” – Ba Tik.

“Ba Tik may be an illegal import” – Mottle Blender.

“Let’s keep this debate focused on quilting traditions, values, and basics” – Cali Co.

“The basics? You can’t handle the basics!” – Mus Lin.

Tye Dye Fabric Guy loves all fabrics“Chill, dudes. Don’t you know that all fabrics are beautiful? I am Tye Dye, and I say we gotta work together. We all shine on! Peace out, brothers!”
Opinion of the Aging Hippies Who Quilt Society.


The views and opinions laundered by these fabricated characters in no way represent The Curious Quilter (well, except for the last one!) The Curious Quilter, as all followers know, thinks all fabrics are wonderful (even ones not mentioned here.) Perhaps that is why she makes so many scrappy quilts!
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comSignature
© 2010, and 2012, and again 2014! by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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All swap emails are out!

Swappers, donors, and Newbies you should all have mail. Watch your SPAM folders if you don’t see it. Remember that Newbie donors and Newbie emails come from DJMat and the swap emails come from maryeoriginals.

Mailbox common licenseOnly two people who signed up have had their emails bounce back – both because the email they supplied when they signed up was not a valid address. If you do not have your matches or Newbie info yet, drop me an email with your name and correct email address, please.

I appreciate your patience with the last mailings. It took a couple days longer than I hoped, but than the pneumonia lasted longer than I hoped as well!

And I am sure there will be a few adjustments to be made over the next couple of days. It will all work out soon!

A special thank you to this year’s “Newbie Goddess”, Ms. DJ Matulewicz, fellow quilter and Doctor Who fan! Having help getting all that set of matching done is a BIG DEAL!

Bedtime in Minnesota – Good Night Happy Quilters Everywhere!Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com© 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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Swap emails coming out Oct 18-21

Yeppers. I know that’s later than I expected. But there is a very good (and unavoidable) reason for that.

Late in July, a job listing showed up for my nearly ideal job. I applied, got the perfunctory note saying “we got it” and heard nothing. If you have been in the job market lately, you know that you must do a lot of letting go and moving on . . . so I did. Then I caught a nasty cold. Life goes on.

The day the swap started, they called me. Quick interview process, and just before the swap closed, I started my new job. My cold shifted down to my chest. Work was fine, as the first couple of weeks would involve tons of reading and learning, mostly online. Birch Tree In FallActually, my new boss was wonderful about the whole thing, even when the chest cold turned into “walking” pneumonia. Sitting still was good, moving around and sleeping were horrid. Learning new stuff while feeling that way was tiring! Missing out on long walks in the lovely Minnesota Fall has been hard too.

I kept plugging away on the swap matches, and DJ on the Newbie assignments. Actually we are pretty close. The thing is, I hit a wall mid-week and had to let myself crash for two days. I did, and it has worked wonders towards my turning the corner for feeling like ME again!

So the weekend is dedicated to swap matches, lots of fluid intake, and more rest! About 500 sets of charms are looking to head to their new homes, it is always a fun thought. I love doing this, and knowing what delight these little packets bring people.

Thanks for your patience, I really appreciate it! And please do not comment about me getting better, etc, because I am healing well and getting my usual energy back! I just thought you all deserved to know why I have been moving in slow motion here.

Watch for your emails in the next couple of days . . .

– Mary
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com© 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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