AQS Syracuse 2015 Favorites: Counting Fish by Yiting Lin

“Counting Fish” by Yiting Lin

My mom and I went to the AQS Quilt show in Syracuse at the end of last month. There were many gorgeous quilts. Yiting Lin’s “Counting Fish” was one of my favorites.  For those of you familiar with the Storm at Sea quilt pattern, you may recognize it in this wall hanging.



I love the way the quilter just changed the colors of certain pieces to add fish. And shaping the whole piece like a fish bowl is the perfect finish!




There are tons of embellishments in this quilt.  All sorts of shapes and sizes and textures of embellishments are used to create the idea of bubbles. Some “bubbles” are escaping the fishes mouths and some just float and swirl about.


Did you see who was “Counting Fish” by peeking into the bowl, from the bottom right? I don’t think I saw the cat the first time I looked at this quilt in the show. I remember wondering what the 2 green squares were supposed to be. Sometimes these things are easier seen when looking in through the camera lens.


Things that make me smile:

  • A quilt show vacation with mom, especially when we see fellow guild members!
  • Fresh picked tomatoes.
  • Roller skating. Yes, I said “skating” not “blading”. I still have my roller skates from the 1980’s and I’m not afraid to use them. I went roller blading once about 10 years ago. It was not a good experience. I will try it again, but not until I get some knee pads and elbow pads. Besides, it feels good to say I could still wear something I wore in high school.

Let’s go spread some sunshine!


Question: How to Organize Embroidery and Sewing Supplies…

Answer:  A Shoe Caddy that hangs on a door!20150714_201539

In May we had a great quilt guild meeting where some of our members shared their favorite tips. This is one of the ones I brought in. Fifteen years ago, when I got my first embroidery machine, we made a caddy for our stabilizers in our new owners class. But, it only held 5 stabilizers. Well, let’s just say that in 15 years, I’ve bought more than my fair share of different stabilizers.

One of the best things about this caddy is that you can hang it inside a closet door if you want a clean looking room. I use it mostly for embroidery stabilizers, but you can use it for lots of other things as well.

I know they used to make them out of clear vinyl also.  I remember seeing one years ago that someone had sorted all her scraps by color into the different see-through pockets.

It’s easy to keep the directions in the same pocket as the product. And if you’re not real good at putting things away as soon as you finish using it, you may want to use a safety pin to attach the directions to a sample of the product.


There are a lot of similar products, especially when it comes to fusible webs, etc, that required slightly different iron temperatures. Having the directions right there every time is priceless!

Another option is to put your item in a ziploc bag and label it.

I’ll share some of the other tips soon.




I wish I could say that I’ve been sooooo busy enjoying the beautiful Buffalo summer weather, but I’ve really been locked in a dungeon for the better part of a month. Ok, well, it’s not really a dungeon; it’s a basement. And it’s not really locked. But I have spent far too much time sorting the junk in the basement because we are having it waterproofed soon. We have to get everything away from the walls so they can install drain tile. What better time to do some sorting and tossing? There’s the garage sale pile, the keep pile, and the garbage pile.

It’s fascinating to see how fast some of the “not really worth selling at a garage sale, but I hate to see it put in a landfill” stuff goes. Since our garbage pick up is Monday morning, I put anything that someone might want to the curb early Sunday morning. There’s always someone who’ll come by and grab stuff. I’ll never forget the velvet Jesus on the cross painting. We put that to the curb a couple years ago and it went within an hour! To the neighbor across the street in his 20’s none the less!

Things that make me smile:

  • Cards with good friends.
  • Being in on a surprise visit from my boyfriend’s college friends
  • The Rolling Stones Concert! That was an amazing show!

Let’s go spread some sunshine!


Burlap Heart Update

Burlap Heart UpdatedNever be afraid to rethink a project, even after you finish it. And after you post a photo of it for all the world to see. Since the class samples had a big bow on them, I thought the gold bow would look great. Well… not so much. So, as usual, mom was right. It needed a pop of color. I considered just changing last months post, and deleting the photo with the gold bow, but this blog isn’t by a perfect quilter/ crafter. It’s by a human, who isn’t afraid to make a mistake. Sometimes, it’s a design mistake. Sometimes, it’s a technique or skill that needs improving.

The stems of the flowers are simply stuck through the burlap. There is no glue, so if you’d like to swap them out for another flower, or something else all together, or perhaps nothing at all, you can do it very easily. I’ve donated it to the silent auction at our guild’s next quilt show in October 2016.
To hang the heart, I’ve sewn a piece of ribbon onto the back, attaching it in 4 places. I stitched it down at both sides, but was concerned the ribbon might show if the weight of the burlap pulled it down too much. So I added 2 more tack downs towards the center. This way it can be hung either by 1 spot in the center or by 2 points, on the sides. I thought the weight of the flowers might pull that side down lower, so this should cover all bases.

Things that make me smile:

  • Learning new quilting tips! The program at our last guild meeting was about sharing our favorite tips and tools. Next post, I’ll share a few of my tips for those who aren’t in the Musuem Quilt Guild in Batavia, NY or who just weren’t able to make it to the meeting.
  • My boyfriend’s daughter’s high school jazz choir taking First Place in their division at the Festival of Music in Boston last month. Their concert choir took Second Place in their division. And almost more important, their school’s musicians as a whole won the “Esprit de Corps”. That’s an award given for being the most curteous, paying the most attention to the other musicians, basically good sportsmanship. Their band got at least one award too.
  • Sunny days!

Let’s go spread some sunshine!


Burlap Heart for Silent Auction

A couple weeks ago I went to a Floriani machine embroidery seminar and this burlap heart was one of the In-The-Hoop projects. Each half of the heart is stitched in the hoop separately. Even the button holes were stitched in the hoop by the embroidery machine! After stitching each half heart, another piece of burlap is put in the hoop and the 2 halves are put on top if it. Then a top to bottom line is stiched just outside the buttonholes so the whole thing is in one piece.

All I need to do now is add a hanging loop in the back. I think it is intended to go on a door. I’m going to donate it to the silent auction at our quilt guild’s next quilt show. The show will be in October 2016. It may seem a long way off, but it will be here before we know it!

Things that make me smile:

  • Sweet t.v. shows like When Calls the Heart on Hallmark Channel.
  • Dinner at 800 Maple with Jim. I think this was the first time I tried halibut and I would definitely give it a 2 thumbs up!
  • A night of laughter with friends from grammer school (and one of their daughters) – The four of us went to a Murder Mystery Dinner called Killigan’s Island. Yep, you guessed it… it was based on Gilligan’s Island. In this version, Gilligan and Ginger got married, Mary Ann was murdered by being stabbed in the back, and Mr. Howell was murdered by being thrown overboard and drowned. My friends Caterina and Chloe solved both murders, making our table 1 of 2 tables out of at least 20 to solve the crimes!

Let’s go spread some sunshine!




Wool Applique

Saturday at quilt guild we had a wonderful trunk show and talk on working with wool by Susan Ralyea of The B C Woolery. She did a great job explaining the different types of wool blends and what works best for applique.

wool applique

Susan taught a workshop after the regular guild meeting and I acutally finished my project today! This is one basket from the “Geranium Baskets” pattern by Primitive Gatherings. The original pattern is for a table mat or candle mat that has 8 of these delightful baskets in a circle with a scalloped edge. This was a great workshop because it taught the basics without being overwhelming. Now all I have to do is find a suitable frame for this cute little basket!

I will definitely look for Susan and B C Woolery at future quilt shows. Right now she is just vending at shows, but she will be set up eventually so that people will be able to come schedule an appointment to go to her home shop to purchase supplies.

Things that make me smile:

  • Hand stitching – I actually find hand work very soothing. It also takes away the guild of sitting and watching t.v.
  • Finishing a project less than a week from when I started it!
  • Cookies and milk

Let’s go spread some sunshine!