From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


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Reworking Artwork Frames

One of the things I really dislike about our home is the hideous mauvey pink color of the countertops and tub surround in the master bathroom. Personally, I don’t think things this expensive to replace should even be available in anything but neutral colors. This color was very dated and old when the bathroom was remodeled in the late 1990s before we purchased the house. It is unfortunately in good enough condition that is doesn’t make economic sense to replace it with the cream color I’d rather have. So, I do my best to make it look more like light burgundy by putting a lot of burgundy accessories in the space – towels, candles, and burgundy in the pictures on the walls. The picture I had over the large tub was one that constantly brought up bad memories because of who I bought it from. Every time I looked at it coming out of the shower it brought up feelings of betrayal and hurt, so it needed to go. But finding a replacement wasn’t easy because of the size.  So, when I saw this stunning magnolia at the thrift store, I had to buy it to replace the other one.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

I love the picture, and the burgundy background will fit nicely with my decor. But, the gold accent on the frame was not my cup of tea.  I am not a fan of metallics, and this wasn’t actually guilded, it was painted.  I wanted more burgundy, so I decided to paint it. I set up two sawhorses in the workroom in the basement, and put the picture on them.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

I taped off the creamy white part with green painter’s tape to keep it clean.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

One corner of the frame accent piece was broken, so I needed to fix that.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

I didn’t spend a great deal of time on this part. I used spackle to fill in the hole.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

Filling in the space with a putty knife, I let it dry and then added a bit more to make the corner appear the same as the rest of the frame.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

I allowed it to dry for a day, then painted the gold part with burgundy wall paint. This is the color of our guest room, so I have a small jar for touch ups.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

It didn’t seem dark enough on the frame, so I put a second coat on the next day.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

It still wasn’t the color I really wanted, so I mixed up a wash of acrylic paint in a darker shade, adding a bit of black to the burgundy. I brushed that over the top of the other coats which darkened the color and added a bit more depth.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

Peeling off the tape, the contrast is really good now, and it picks up the burgundy in the picture well.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

Compare that to the original gold accent, and it just looks so much more dramatic with the contrast in value.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

Plus, hanging in the bath, it helps tone down the awful countertop and tub surround color.  BTW, we’ve used this tub only a handful of times.  On the mountain with our well, it takes almost 30 minutes just to fill it with water.  Why the previous owners decided to put such a massive thing in the bathroom with our low water pressure is beyond comprehension.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

So what did I do with the other picture? Well, I put it out in a garage sale and didn’t get any interest, even when I lowered the price to just $25. The frame and glass was worth that much! Anyway, it didn’t sell, so it went to the basement to await donation. Then I got a re-print of my favorite all time painting, Andrew Wyeth’s Wind from the Sea after the original was donated to a museum for the Looking Out Looking In exhibition. I had this print my college days, and it hung on the wall in our home for a couple of years. My dad badgered me into giving it to him, then his idiot third wife threw it away instead of giving it back to me like I asked him to do if he ever decided not to hang it anymore.  I say idiot because that original print is now extremely valuable. I have wanted to replace it for years but it is rare and collectible now, not something I could afford until the re-print was issued. The print without the white edge would fit the frame, so I decided to cut it down and use the frame instead of buying a new one.  Careful measuring and cutting, measuring several times to be very sure it was correct, and using a paper designated blade on one of my rotary cutters, I got it cut to size.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

I mounted it in the frame, then set the whole thing on the sawhorses, preparing to paint over the silver marbled edge when I noticed that it was bubbling up in a corner. Pulling on it a bit, it was found to be an overlay, not even glued down, and underneath was a really nice creamy white!

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

So all that had to be done was to carefully pull it off, and use a box cutter to cut the edge where it went under the gold painted accent part of the frame.  There is still a tiny edge of silver inside the gold braid, but it doesn’t really draw attention, so I left it there.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

I may eventually paint that gold in a soft green to better match the print, but for now it is fine the way it is.  It isn’t a metallic gold, so I don’t mind it as much.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

It went on the fireplace wall in the dining room for now, but I think I’ll move it to over the bookshelves.  When we use the fireplace, the wall above it gets hot as these are ventless gas fireplaces.

Wyeth Wind From the Sea framed

One more look at the magnolia.

Frame DIY Projects at From My Carolina Home

Have you ever re-worked frames on your artwork?

 

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Sew Day with Friends and a Pretty Table

I am delighted to be joining a group of bloggers working with Fat Quarter Shop on their new Classic and Vintage quilt.  This will be a quilt along for readers in December.  It is fun to see the project in advance, and I began by pulling some fabrics.  I thought this would be a good time for a Quilt of Valor to support the local guild’s efforts, so out came some stars.

Secret Project for FQS at From My Carolina Home

The thing is, this is a secret project. It is all to get you excited to see what Fat Quarter Shop has in store for readers with a Classic and Vintage design.

Secret Project for FQS at From My Carolina Home

So, although I can tell you it is coming, and temp you with my fabric choices and chain piecing…

Secret Project for FQS at From My Carolina Home

I can’t yet show you the whole design yet.  But it will be fun!

In the meantime, I set up for the first of two sew days so I can see my friends and have some fun. I am lucky to have a huge amount of space in the basement to play. I need to use all my machines a bit more to keep them in good working order. My workhorse Kenmore machine had to go to the shop for service, as there are some things I just cannot do. I got it back, and DH found a replacement bolt to get it back in its cabinet, so it was ready to use. I put the Brother machine on the other side of the table so two could sit comfortably.

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

Around the corner on the work table, I set up three more machines.  My Featherweight really needs service too, although it is sewing fine, it is sewing really slowly.  My Janome Gem and the Pfaff 7550 are ready for use.  In the space for the fourth person, I later set up a cutting/marking station with a small mat and some tools.  I had 80 squares to have diagonal lines marked to make 160 half square triangles.  You know I love my HSTs, LOL!! The pictures are a bit dark, there is more light in here as the track lights warm up.

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

Just to give you some perspective, here is the table looking the other way, with the longarm in front of the windows.  So, six people and six machines to use, with space at the cutting table for squaring up and the ironing board for pressing available when needed.

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

We worked most of the day on the units for the other new pattern I have done, and enjoyed a pot luck lunch. I have some good cooks in my quilting circles, just look at the feast, starting with two salads, one spinach and one layered.

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

I got a pic of the two baked dishes before they went into the oven, a shrimp-bacon-onion-cheese quiche and a baked fruit compote.  That Pie Shield is a great thing to have when baking pies, as it prevents the edge of the crust from over-browning.  It is much easier to use than foil, and it has cut-outs on the edge for the handles on the pie plate.

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

Fresh baked onion and cheese bread was sliced to serve.

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

And a variety of desserts for after the meal, my goodness it was wonderful!!

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

I forgot to get a shot of the quiche right out of the oven, but did get a quick one of the last piece leftover after lunch. It was yummy!

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

I reset the table with everyday dishes, the leaf salad plates and everyday flatware for a less formal lunch.

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

The turkey place card holders got their first use, I love these little guys.

Sew Day at From My Carolina Home

No, I didn’t show the ladies the secret project, we worked on another QOV with lots of bits to use up scraps. I need to come up with a name for it, and I’ll show it to you soon. Our first sew day was yesterday, and I am having more friends come over later in the month to finish up the top on this project and perhaps start another.

What are you working on now?


20 Comments

November in the Garden

November is finally getting cooler, more like real autumn weather.  I’ve been waiting for the right time to plant some bulbs, and finally got the perfect time.  It was a cool day earlier in the month, plus the forecast was for rain for the next several days, so I could be sure all the planted bulbs would get watered in well.  I gathered up the bulbs I had purchased a month before, some tools and bone meal, and set out to find spots for all of them.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I started the planting with the crocus bulbs. They are planted fairly shallow, so I put them between the rhizomes of my iris plants. Since I had divided the irises last spring, there was plenty of space. Adding the crocus bulbs will give a longer bloom time for this bed near the front door. I threw some bone meal in with each bulb. Some places I could scratch out a long trench and plant several at once.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Hyacinths were planted in a random pattern in the middle of the front bed, scattered just like nature does.  I am hoping for a fragrant display in the spring.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Then I put the pale peach ruffled daffodils in the brick planter between the asters and the irises there.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Next thing I knew, looking at the planter the next morning, the bloody squirrels had dug up some. I had wanted to put some green plastic fencing over the bulbs, but thought I had another day to get it done. So, I fixed that.  The fencing did keep the squirrels from digging in the bed after that, although DH noticed one sitting on the brick looking at the fencing like he was trying to figure out what to do next.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Look who stopped by, a beautiful young deer.  This photo was taken through the screening from the Carolina room on the backside of the house.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Very young, likely born just this past spring, his antlers are just beginning.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

His family has been eating my hostas, but I don’t mind at this point. They will die off soon anyway. I planted more crocus bulbs between the hostas. I have one little clump of them there now, and wanted to add more.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The island of land created by the circle driveway needed some color. There are azaleas there, but I have wanted to add daffodils there for some years. I planted gladiolas in this spot years ago but they never came up. I suspect the squirrels dug them up and ate them.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Bigger bulbs meant deeper holes, plus this area has a ground cover of vincas making the digging more difficult.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Down on the south side of the island, I planted more daffodils in this open area where I had some azaleas taken out a couple of years ago.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In another area of the garden, I created another stand of daffodils. All total, I planted 155 bulbs, and we will see how they do come spring.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Up on the veranda, I planted a gold chrysanthemum in the large pot next to the front door. The torenia baskets were finished, and looking bedraggled so they were taken down and the plants removed.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There was a frost in the forecast, and my tomato plant was still heavy with tomatoes.  So I picked them all, and pulled up the plants to clean up the pots.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home<

I put them on a plate to ripen inside. Some may never ripen, but that would be OK.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Amazingly, days later, one had fully ripened and others were looking like they were coming along. It has been nice to eat them as they ripen, and there are more to come.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Moving inside, the Thanksgiving cactus bloomed with just five blooms total.  I repotted it this fall, so that might have made a difference.  Here, three red and one pink bloom came out first.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

One white one came out later.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A month ago I bought a white amaryllis, you all know I love white flowers. Just days after potting it up and watering it, several leaves had grown and the bud was coming up.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A few days later, the bud is getting taller on the stem.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

And this past weekend, a beautiful flower is opening with the promise of three more to come.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Gorgeous isn’t it, this white with a pink blush is called Appleblossom.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Outside, the trees have come into fuller color, and the bird feeder is in full use.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Looking down the driveway, nice golds and oranges in view.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Looking over the house to the mountain behind and the very tall trees that surround us.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There is still a bit of green yet to change, but overall it is autumn here.

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Here’s a look at the meadow, lovely!

November in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I haven’t seen the turkeys in three weeks, and I think they have moved on for the season.  I wish they would come back as I love watching the males fluff and preen for the females.

What is going on in your garden now?


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Black and Yellow Geometric Quilt

A friend recently asked me to do a quilt for her, and I was delighted.  She is a fantastic piecer and this beautiful black and yellow quilt just showcased her skills.  Look at all those little bits in the middle of the rectangles!  She’ll slap me for talking about her, so I won’t reveal her name, but this quilt was an absolute joy to quilt.  I spread it out on the longarm bar to make sure I had the backing oriented correctly.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

I loaded the backing, then unrolled the Warm and Natural all cotton batting over it to cut to size.  I find this works better than measuring with a tape measure, and I can cut a straighter line.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

I floated the top as usual, and stitched the top edge down. Then I did my normal check, folding the bottom edge of the quilt up to the bar to see if there will be any adjustments to the quilting for borders.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

Look how flat it is, heaven to quilt!  Didn’t even need a single spray of Best Press.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

She chose a medium grey thread Essentials thread, and I used grey Aurifil Thread in the bobbin.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

The pantograph is called Halcyon designed by Hermione Agee for Lorien Quilting.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

The dragonflies in this pretty yellow tone on tone…

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

and the bees in this print made the quilting look a bit like flight paths.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

The pantograph design brings clouds to mind over the greys.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

One more look at the quilting, the side borders are nicely flat too.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

The grey really does go well in the wide grey outer border.  Taking it off the longarm, I trimmed it up for her.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

All done, the quilting is nicely subtle from a distance, and gives some lovely texture and pattern to the solids and tone-on-tones from close up.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

She is coming to get it this week, and I hope she likes it.

Black and Yellow Quilt at From My Carolina Home

What are you working on this week?

Check out today’s Flash Sale.

Fat Quarter Shop Daily Flash Sale

Get started on your holiday shopping for family and friends with these links. If you want to get some of gorgeous fabrics for your holiday sewing, check out the Fat Quarter Shop’s Moda Line.  Get spools and cones of the fantastic Aurifil Threads at Fat Quarter Shop Aurifil Threads.  Be sure to see all 17 pages, there are a few of the collections on sale, and special pricing on bundles of fabrics with Aurifil threads. You’ll love the extra light with the Sewing Machine LED Lighting Kit.  If you would like to have a pair of wonderful serrated edge scissors, click on Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Scissors to get your pair from Fat Quarter Shop.  Or, get the 4-inch ones at this Amazon link-  Karen Kay Buckley 4-Inch Perfect Scissors.  Get your Olfa Splash Cutter at FQS too – Olfa Splash. Thank you for using my links!!

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More cards in November

Stamping more cards in November, I decided that the prize winners from Autumn Jubilee needed a card to go with their prizes.  Since I was mailing several at once, it was easy to go down to the stamping workbench and have some fun with paper and ink.  Pretty paper bits were utilized in these cards.  I liked the one with the words Harvest and Apple Picking, so I built the card around that piece.  I used a leaf  paper on the side, and stamped a harvest image on the cardstock.

November cards at From My Carolina Home

I decorated the inside with a harvest image, just to add some interest.  I planned to hand write a special note to each winner.

November cards at From My Carolina Home

Sometimes I think if I don’t show you the back with my stamp, you’ll think I forgot it.  I hope you aren’t tired of seeing it!

November cards at From My Carolina Home

Using the same leaf paper and harvest stamp, I started the next card.  This one got a curlicue sticker on the top, and a dragonfly sticker for dimension.  A few falling leaves were added too.  The inside and back got the same stamps as the previous card.

November cards at From My Carolina Home

Stamping isn’t limited to cards.  I used a couple on the label cards inside the seed bags.  I hope that the seeds are good.

November cards at From My Carolina Home

Cute garden birdhouse and butterfly.

November cards at From My Carolina Home

One more for a special prize going out of the country.  Having international readers and winners is so much fun for me!  The sentiment ‘thankful for you’ sums it up perfectly, as I am grateful for every reader of this blog.

November cards at From My Carolina Home

I am still in a stamping mood, maybe a few more Thanksgiving cards will be done before we begin on that red-and-green one.  Not ready to go there yet!!

Are you having some stamping fun?

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November cards at From My Carolina Home


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Chicken Chili – Hot, Filling and Gluten-Free

Chicken chili was on the menu in September when we had a cold snap, and I was working on the recipe.  Sometimes you just want something hot and filling, thick and richly flavored, a stick to your ribs kind of meal.  The best news for my gluten-free readers is you can eat this!  I didn’t do anything special, the recipe is naturally gluten free, thickened by pureeing some of the beans.  The green chilies are mild, yet full of flavor.  There is an axiom among chili enthusiasts that “if you know beans about chili, you know chili has no beans.”  But I am going to say it doesn’t apply to chicken chili, right?

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Economical too, it starts the night before with dried white beans.  I like the Great Northern beans for this as they let the chicken flavor shine.  Place the dried beans in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl.  Don’t use your cooking pot for soaking, it will impart a metallic taste.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Cover the bowl and let the beans soak until the next day.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Drain the beans, and put back in the pot.  Add onion and black pepper.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Then turn down the heat and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until tender.  Do not add any salt at this time as it will make the bean skins tough.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

When the beans are done, drain beans and return to pot. In a blender, place half a can of low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth and about half the beans.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Blend until smooth, and add to beans in pot.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

With the remaining broth, blend with green chilies and add to pot.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Bring heat up to medium to return to a simmer.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and chicken, saute on high heat until lightly browned, turning chicken as needed.  Don’t move it around too much, developing good browning and flavor takes a bit of time.  The chicken starting to stick to the pan makes the best fond.  Any boneless chicken will do here, white meat tenders or boneless thighs, or a mixture of both.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

The better the chicken is browned, the more flavor the dish will have, so take your time with this part.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

When nicely browned, add chicken-onion mixture to beans. Chicken will not be done, but will finish cooking in the soup.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Add salt and pepper.  Simmer soup for 15 minutes more to be sure the chicken is cooked through. It can hold on low heat for an hour or more after that.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or sour cream if desired.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

If you like your chili spicier, add a few drops of hot sauce, or some dried red pepper flakes to the final simmer.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Thick and creamy, without any flour.  Gluten Free!

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

But if you can have bread, it is lovely to add a piece of garlic bread, or a thick slice of French sourdough.  Yum!

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

It is so good, I made it again just last week.  Of course, I had to be sure the recipe was right.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Tasty the next day as well, just a cup finished it off for lunch.

Chicken Chili at From My Carolina Home

Chicken Chili

2 cups dried great northern beans
Water
1 thick slice of onion,separated into rings
2 large cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 4-ounce can green chilies
1 15-ounce can chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
16 ounces boneless chicken,cut into bite size pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Optional – few sprigs of fresh parsley
Optional – dollop of sour cream

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add beans and boil 2 minutes. Pour into a stoneware or glass bowl, cover and leave overnight to soak on the counter.

The next day, drain beans.   Place in a large pot and cover with water. Add onion, garlic and pepper, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2-2 hours. Do not add any salt at this time as it will make the bean skins tough. Drain beans and return to pot. In a blender, place half the can of broth and about half the beans and blend until smooth. Pour over beans in pot. With the remaining broth, blend with green chilies and add to pot.

In a small skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and chicken, saute on high heat until lightly browned, turning chicken as needed. When nicely browned, add to beans. Chicken will not be done, but will finish cooking in the soup. Add salt and pepper. Simmer soup for 15 minutes more, then it can hold on low heat for an hour or more. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or sour cream if desired. Enjoy! (update – serves 8 right away, or 4 large servings, or 2 with leftovers)

Download a pdf of the recipe – Chicken Chili

Enjoy!!

Do you enjoy a bowl of chili on a cold day?  Ever had a Chicken Chili?


23 Comments

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising

This barn raising setting for the next Quilt of Valor was so interesting with the variety of patriotic prints and mix of colors with a bit of gold.  I liked the transition from a light beige to a darker beige background as the blocks go from center to edge.  I loaded it longways in order to get the maximum amount of quilting per row.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I folded it up to check the borders.  Look at that, perfectly straight!  What a joy!  I do not know who pieced the top, but she (he?) did a fabulous job.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

The pantograph is one I use a lot.  It is called Fascination by Lorien Quilting for Willow Leaf Studios, designed by Hermione Agee.  The gentle curves go so well with just about every quilt piecing design, and especially on those with lots of hard angles.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I didn’t even audition thread, I knew I wanted to use red from the moment I unwrapped it.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

This is Superior thread on top, with Bottom Line in the bobbin.  The batting is Warm and Natural cotton.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

The quilting went so easy because this quilt was so well pieced and flat, that I finished it in an afternoon.  Stitches were perfect without loops or issues.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I hope the service person who receives it loves it as much as I enjoyed quilting it!

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I want to get more QOVs done in the coming year, so I have hatched a plan to have friends come over and help me.  I will pick up my workhorse Kenmore today from the repair guy.  I had cleaned it as best as I could, but there was something just gumming up the gears.  Likely it was old grease or something that hardened with lack of use.  The hand crank would move but with a lot of drag.  With six sewing machines needing to be run regularly to stay in perfect sewing shape, it makes sense to have some sew days and use those machines to get some blocks made.  If you have any patriotic orphan blocks sitting around (any size), or you want to make a couple for this project, I’ll take any that you have.  Local friends, let’s sew!  Out of area friends, let me know and I’ll send you my mailing address.

I have talked on several forums recently about how I do Best Press, buying it by the gallon as I use a lot.  The price per ounce is the cheapest this way, plus I dilute it 50% with water so it goes twice as far.  It may seem like it is a bit expensive, but if you use a lot it really is the least expensive way to buy it, plus it will qualify for free shipping.  Click on my Amazon affiliate link – Best Press Unscented Gallon size.

What are you sewing now?

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