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Outlander Stitch Along – The belated August block- Claire Fraser

I finally got this one done. I love this block so much. I think it may be my favourite so far. Can you guess what the next block will be? *wink wink*

Click Here for the Pattern

LDQ #74 The End of an Era

In this episode, I gave brief updates on several things. Senior year field trips, and Renaissance Faire costumes. The end of one of my favourite podcasts, Books on the Nightstand. The end of Quilter’s Newsletter, and the unexpected connection to one of my other favourite things. I talked a lot, about nothing at all, but that’s kinda what you came for, right?

This is the black cactus quilt I mentioned as my husband’s favourite.

Twilt On!

Outlander stitch along delay

Hey guys, I had hoped to have the August block ready by now, but I’m afraid it will be delayed a bit longer. Just wanted you to know I’m working on it.


LDQ #73 Jumping Time

Take Two! I lost the first file of this episode, so here goes the second take.

I talked about what’s happening at work, and what I will be doing when the shop closes at the end of this month.

I spent some time sharing my thoughts on what’s going on with the quilting industry, and how things are changing. While I still believe in supporting small businesses where we can, we have to accept that even with doing that, some shops will close. Probably a lot of them will close. The quilting industry has become bloated and consumers can no longer support it in the same way. The industry is changing. I think it’s like an over inflated  balloon, and the shops are the air inside. The balloon has popped, and as it contracts, some of the air inside will manage to be in protected spots, and remain there. Most of it will go away.

Some shops have multiple contributing factors like location and buying power, that will keep them afloat during the period of reduction. I hope some lovely quaint shops are still standing when this is all over. I hate to imagine a world where the only place I can actually see and feel the fabric I am buying is a big box store.

DISCLAIMER- PLEASE NOTE, I do not claim to be an expert on ANYTHING, whether it be quilting or economics. All my opinions are simply that, opinions, which are based on my observations of the world around me. I sometimes make generalizations in my podcast when I talk about groups of people, sometimes based on age and stage of life. I never mean to exclude or offend any groups. I can only comment on what I’ve seen, and experienced. Please don’t take it personally if you don’t fit into those sweeping generalizations that I sometimes make.  I KNOW THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, AND SOMETIMES I AM JUST COMPLETELY OFF.

Twilt On

Back To School

I survived the Shop Hop. Goodness, that was a hectic couple of days. I’m not used to working all day, I usually work half a day. The craziness of the clearance sale made it extra hard. We did a lot of cutting and my wrist needs some rest so I will not be sewing on my day off. Not that I have lately anyway. I’m hoping I feel like sewing again after a break from the shop. Our last day is August 27. And then the cleaning starts.

I finally made time to edit and realised the episode I recorded last week didn’t save properly, so I need to start over. The idea exhausted me, so I’m walking away for a few days.

This week, I have to focus on hemming school uniform skirts, shopping for school supplies, and getting ready for school to start in three days! Yikes!

When things calm down in a few days, I’ll try again to record a podcast episode.

You’re KIDDING?!

The Top Five Comments From Customers When We Tell them We’re Going Out of Business

(And my mental responses to them)

Some of you know that for the past two and a half years, I’ve worked in my local quilt shop. The owner recently made the tough decision to close. Since the announcement that the shop would be closing at the end of August, I’ve heard a lot of responses to the sad news.

Most of them are understanding and comforting. Some of them are just a gut reaction to the prospect of living in a community without a local quilt shop. Trust me, I’m just as sad about it. Some of them leave me scratching my head and wondering if people think about their words before they speak. I even got one that took a step back, gave me the side eye, and a strange kind of hostility that I didn’t quite understand.

Here’s a short list of the highlights, and my responses. (Which I mostly try to keep in my head and not my mouth)


(Yeah, it was just a joke. Gotcha! Teehee!)

2. What will we quilters do for fabric now?!

(Well, I guess whatever you’ve been doing for the past couple years because I’ve never seen you before.)

3. Are you still going to teach classes?

(Yes. Meet me at my dining room table on Tuesday, at 9) All joking aside, I have extended this invitation to a few of my favourite students and customers, but the question from random shoppers still feels weird.

4. Are you retiring?

(Blink. Blink.)

(We’re 30 and 40.. We need jobs)


5. Is another shop going to open then?

(Let me consult the oracle on that one… Hmm, nope, the magic 8 ball says “highly doubtful”)


I totally understand the denial, disbelief, and sadness. I wish things were different. I’m trying to deal with my sadness by using humor. I’m sure I fail miserably at times, but I’m trying to keep smiling and laughing.

Unfortunately, a local shop can’t compete with online vendors. I’m afraid we will continue to see quilt shops closing all across the country. The nearest shop will now be a hour away 🙁

Outlander Stitch Along

Happy Wednesday Twilters!

For those stitching along, I wanted to let you know that the August Outlander block is going to be a bit late. I hope to have the pattern uploaded by this time next week.

I’m actually still stitching the sample Ack!

With things getting busy at work, and prepping for our final back to school season ever, (insert mom tears here) some tasks have just gotten away from me lately.

You’ll still have plenty time to get it finished before September rolls in. Holy mackerel.. September! Where is 2016 going?!

whew, I’d better get back to it.

Twilt on!

Am Writing

It is no secret that ever since I was a small child, I’ve loved books and reading. I learned to read and write at a very young age, long before entering kindergarten.  I was rebellious and headstrong, and sometimes the only threat that could coax acceptable behavior from me was the fear of losing access to My Books. 

I also tend to be a do-er. When I admire something, I eventually want to create things in that vein.

I loved candles, so I started making them. I enjoyed handmade soaps, and then started making my own. I loved quilts, and became a quilter. That avenue has been the most enduring so far, and actually led to a professional position.

I’ve written a lot of poetry, and many short stories over the years, most of which were set afire in fits of self doubt and loathing. I’ve lived enough years now, and learned enough lessons to understand that it’s a painful shame that those things are lost to the ether.

I am now working on a novel length story, and in the process I’m learning so much about who I am, who I’ve been, and what I want to become.

I know enough now to resist the urge to destroy my early drafts. I’m saving them so that I may look back and see where I started.

I am thoroughly embracing the idea (and the hashtag) of “am writing.” So much about this journey is just being aware of the space I occupy.

I find myself looking at the world around me through a different lens. One that is simultaneously more critical and more tolerant.

I’m examining nature with a more critical eye, taking note of the reactions of all my senses, and how those reactions affect me, and possibly those around me, and my responses to them.

I’m becoming more tolerant of others and the ways  they interact with their world, and their place in that world.

I think writing (or trying to write) is making me a better human, and because of that it doesn’t matter that I’ll never be a best selling author. It doesn’t matter that I won’t sell a frajillion copies or create the next big series that is turned into a huge HBO hit. None of these lofty aspirations are part of my goals.

It is enough to be moving on.

It is enough that I am exploring who I am.

It is enough that I am true to the characters I channel.

It is enough that I am writing.



Who cares?

So, we are now a society divided into two categories yet again, those who play Pokemon, and those who make fun of the ones who do.

We hear a lot about about how certain politicians have divided us, but we’ve only ourselves to blame. No one can divide us without our consent. We do that to ourselves. Let’s stop blaming others for the state of the world and start looking inward. Let’s start by examining our own hearts, and asking how we’ve contributed to the chaos.

Is it any of my business if a grown adult wants to play a game? Should I think I’m smarter, better, cooler for not playing? It’s a harmless game. The insults directed at the players, are themselves a sort of game that deserves a bit of scrutiny.

Perhaps it’s possible to be a decent human being who is a productive and responsible member of society, deserving of respect, who also plays video games.

Let’s stop being so damned judgmental about how others spend their leisure time. Unless they’re out there kicking puppies, throwing rocks at strangers, or some other horrendous crime, does it really matter what game they play? Some of the same folks throwing shade (is that what the cool kids say?) on Pokemon Go players are the very ones from whom I had to block endless FarmVille requests.  At least Pokemon Go gets you up, and moving, and interacting with real people. We hear so many complaints about young people having too much screen time and not enough human contact. This game is bringing people together.

If you have time to criticise how others entertain themselves, consider taking up a hobby. I recommend starting with reading a book. Try this one, Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall. It’s an instant classic, in my opinion. It deals with issues of loss, race, redemption, and love.  I gave it five stars, because I couldn’t put it down. This engaging story will have your nose buried in a book, instead of someone else’s business.

The Hard Binding, The Easy Way

I mentioned on a past episode that I would take some pictures the next time I did a binding join so I could show you how easy it is. It really is simple, though it may take a little practice. I don’t use any special tools.


Step One

Leave some of the binding unattached at the start and end, and lay your quilt flat on a table. Open the ends of your double fold binding. Turn one end up, and one down, on a 90 degree angle, and finger press a firm crease in both ends.


Step Two

Here’s where that slack comes into play. If you find there isn’t enough room, seam rip a few inches back to loosen up the area to give yourself room to work. If the binding is sewn down too close to the area you’re working on, it will be a struggle.

Match up those finger pressed lines and put a pin in place.


Step Three

Sew on the finger pressed line.


Step Four

Lay the quilt flat again, and double check that it fits perfectly. It should lay flat, no slack, but not too tight either. If it’s not flat, now is the time to pick out that line of stitching, and try again. If it’s not flat in step one, it won’t be flat in step four.


Step Five

If everything looks good in step four, now you can trim off the excess. Don’t do this step until you are sure the binding is fitting perfectly.


Step Six

Finger press this seam open.


Step Seven

Finish sewing down the binding.