The Easy Friday List, July 6

This is my weekly list (posted every Friday) of items that have made my life easier in some measurable way these last seven days. Maybe they can make your life easier too. Friday should be easy, right?

Curtain Rings: The type with little clips attached are great.

I Heart Curtain Rings at fig+fence.

Seriously. Such is their greatness, I was even inspired to graffiti the picture of my koi wall hanging.

They solve all kinds of problems with style.

Coffee: Stuff of life. I couldn’t drag myself out of bed without the promise of coffee. I couldn’t keep myself out of bed without drinking coffee. I try to keep it down to two cups, but who am I kidding? My coffee cups are 20 ounce tankers. I am, even as I write this, halfway through my second “cup”.

And hey! Two cups of coffee a day are good for you, right? It solves all kinds of problems, too.

My only question is, when they say “two cups”, do they mean two regular 8 ounce cups or do they mean two coffee cups? ‘Cause the coffee people are a little nuts; one cup of coffee in your coffee maker is 5 ounces. (As if the American system of measurement isn’t screwed up enough already, the coffee people have to go and confuse the matter even further. And I’m calling it the “American system” because the official name, “the English system”, is stupid – the “English system” isn’t used by the UK anymore. They use Metric. Anyway.)

Anyone know? Does “two cups” in the study mean 16 ounces or 10 ounces a day? It makes a difference, doesn’t it?

I drink about 40 ounces a day, so I guess it doesn’t make that much of a difference to me. Still. Knowledge. Good. All that.

Hello topic! Coffee makes my life easier.

Rotary Cutters: You never know how wonderful and necessary these things are until you run out of sharp blades unexpectedly in the middle of cutting fabric for a pieced quilt. And trying to cut fabric with a dull blade? Well, I already have tendonitis in my right wrist and shoulder, thank you very much.

Also, dull blades are dangerous; you have to use so much pressure just to get them to cut, it’s easy for them to get out of control and off course… which means that any fingers on the other hand in the vicinity of the blade are in danger.

So, only use sharp blades! Easy and safe!

At Dragons Gate

I finished the koi wall hanging!

At Dragons Gate by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

"At Dragons Gate"

I’m so happy with it, I’m silly.

At Dragons Gate by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

Tail detail: some of the beads swirl out onto the black area.

He’s so pretty.  I love the way the beads turned out, though it is a little hard to see them in the pics.

At Dragons Gate by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

Head detail: his eye is a sodalite coin bead.

His whiskers are hand embroidered.

I’m really happy with how detailed the appliqued curves turned out. Sometimes you can lose depth when appliqueing a deep concave curve. Also, the tight convex curves didn’t turn out all pointy – another common problem with appliqueing.  I really like this machine applique method even though it does use twice as much fabric as the traditional hand applique method. Though, I don’t have to buy the heat resistant plastic template material with this method.

All in all, I’m thrilled!

I’ll explain the legend of the koi in another post. I’ll post a pic of the back plate then, too; I was so excited about finishing, I completely forgot to take a picture of that.


Alternately titled: Oh Thimble, Where Art Thou? 

I’ve been beading the koi wall hanging crazy-mad these past few days. And somehow, I don’t know how, I forgot to use a thimble. At first, I didn’t even notice. I’ve been hand quilting for years and my fingertips on certain fingers are tough. Still, after repeated abuse, my fingertip finally objected. And that’s when I noticed the lack of thimble.

Using a thimble now is no-go; that fingertip is too swollen and tender to fit in even my largest thimble. So, the koi is on hold until I can fit my finger in a thimble without hurting. I was making such progress, too!

The koi wall hanging at fig+fence by Janet Millsapps.

I'm still really happy with the free motion quilting. Not perfect, but pretty stinkin' good. (The yellow in the picture isn't part of the wall hanging; it's the ottoman under the wall hanging.)

Binding on. Lotsa beads around the koi. Some beads in the large swirls – that’s the part that’s incomplete. Oh, well. Next time I’ll remember the thimble ’cause seriously? Ouch.

While I’m nursing my abused digit, I have other projects waiting in the wings. Up next: I’m covering two balsa wood boxes.

Covering balsa wood boxes with paper at fig+fence.

I'm very into butterflies right now. Don't know why.

Covering balsa wood boxes with paper at fig+fence.

It's a whole lotta pink there. I'm distressing it with brown and black later, so it won't be quite as pinkerific when I'm done.

The boxes and papers are from Micheal’s and Hobby Lobby.

Side note: I’m on Flickr! There’s also a link on the right sidebar.