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Susan @ Raisin Toast
Charlotte, North Carolina
I am a wife, mother, artist, teacher, writer, and I love to sew and quilt too!
Interests: reading, writing, photography, painting, teaching, sleeping. ha!
Recent Activity
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I get so busy with everyday tasks, I forget to share important milestones. For instance, this wonderful commission of the Naval Academy Chapel for a collector in Texas. It took months to complete, in oil on canvas, but was worth... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at Raisin Toast
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I get so busy with everyday tasks, I forget to share important milestones. For instance, this wonderful commission of the Naval Academy Chapel for a collector in Texas. It took months to complete, in oil on canvas, but was worth every minute. I am so proud of this piece. Finding that one perfect reference from thousands of photos taken over the years can be daunting, and being a studio artist that works primarily from good, quality images, that can be difficult. Then, taking that image and putting my personal spin on color of light and shadows, interesting texture, and more,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at In the Studio
I completely agree, Michael! It is so sad! I remember a time when customer service was a priority and people were actually grateful for their jobs and work ethic. I recall a time when people actually cared for others and their experience. Not anymore. Everyone is out for themselves only and could care less about customer service and quality. They only want to do a crappy job, as little as possible on all fronts, and go home. We have failed this country because of the frame of mind of people in the workforce. Instead of challenging oneself for superior service to others - and that includes Cracker Barrell from the executive level down to the server, we are all doing a job aimlessly waiting for the opportunity to go home. It is so sad. I see it everywhere, unfortunately, in all restaurants, in all service establishments, and in retail stores. Mom and Pop businesses are the best. The small family owned cafe, the boutique around the corner. These places are the ones I seek out, avoiding the franchises as much as possible. The service in local small businesses and restaurants seem to provide the best service. No more Cracker Barrel for me either! Thank you for your comment! - Susan Vaughn
1 reply
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In this post, I will show you how to bind a quilt. Then you can do it too! Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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The Binding. Binding can be complicated, but once you've done it a few times, it's not so bad. You may get frustrated fussing with the quilt under the sewing machine, especially if it's a big quilt like this one, but when it is complete, you'll know it was worth every effort and every stitch. As for this quilt, when I trimmed the excess backing fabric and batting from around the quilt, I had more than enough fabric to make the binding. I decided to use the same fabric as the backing for the binding. For me, and for the size... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2017 at In the Studio
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Meet Big Ben ... The newest addition to our home. Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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Meet Big Ben. Here is our story... When Bob and I were married, we had long conversations about our dreams. What kind of home we hoped to have someday. Bob wanted a home with a baby grand piano. I wanted a magnificent grandfather clock. And so we dreamed together. When we purchased our first home, a townhome in Olney, we purchased some Ethan Allen furniture and a grandfather clock made to match the furniture collection we purchased. That was 21 years ago. We’ve enjoyed the clock for all those years, and in that time we purchased a Yamaha Disklavier Baby... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2017 at My Opus
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It's almost done! It is completely hand-quilted and off the frame. In this post I show you how to prepare your quilt for binding! Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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Finally! I bet my readers thought I'd never get her quilt finished! But, last night, I hand-stitched the last stitch needed for quilting the entire 75x80 quilt on the frame. Wow. I can't believe I finished the quilting! My fingers are very grateful. They've taken quite a beating. After I removed the quilt from the frame, I needed to square up the edges. But first, I had to admire my handiwork. LOL I still can't believe I made the whole thing! Hey Mikey! (You have to be old to remember that commercial) Okay, down to business ... I made the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2017 at In the Studio
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With the Christmas season fast approaching, it was time to get busy making gifts for friends and family! This year I am making quilted table runners, quilted Christmas stockings, and a Double Dutch Quilt for my mother. So, I'm definitely... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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Table runners. They are easy and fast to whip out on your sewing machine, and make great gifts for family and friends! Fast and Easy - my kind of project with a big impact when the recipient opens their gift! What could be better! And I'm going to show you how to make this holiday table runner in this single post! Stopping by my favorite quilt shop "The Quilt Patch" in Stallings, North Carolina, I grabbed me up a slew of interesting holiday fabrics, including a black and white striped fabric I thought would make a cool binder around the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at In the Studio
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Hand quilting has begun. It isn't as difficult or as intimidating as I had anticipated, and as for design of the stitching ... I'm being very random, and enjoying the process Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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Hand quilting really isn't all that difficult. It just takes patience and callouses on your finger tips. Two things I did not have until today. Now that I'm in the swing of the quilting, it's enjoyable. It feels good to complete an entire section. I can look on with pride for the results and then roll the quilt down onto the front bar to expose more of the quilt to be quilted. I am not using templates or patterns. I am just drawing freehand a design onto the quilt and then stitching over top of the marks I consider myself... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2017 at In the Studio
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Boy was this a process! Yesterday was all about getting all three layers of the quilt onto the hand quilting frame! I've gotta tell you, it was not easy, and finding instructions on how to do it was impossible with... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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I had high hopes of completing this quilt swiftly, by handing it over to a professional long arm quilter to do all the quilting for me. And, I could have, but then the design would cover the entire quilt as one large design, rather than a single design around the sashing and in the large blocks. That is what I envisioned anyway, was having a quilting design that complimented the quilt top. Oh well, so much for that idea! So, reluctantly, my Big Bear and my grandson, Glen, pulled out my 96" Grace EZ3 hand quilting frame from the attic.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2017 at In the Studio
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The quilt top is complete! Now the actual quilting begins. But first, let me show you the finished quilt top and how I got there! Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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Progress is a beautiful thing, especially when that progress settles into a finished quilt top!! And here is how I finished the quilt top for the Double Dutch Quilt! This is the largest quilt I have ever made. I've made many a lap quilt, but never a queen size quilt like this one. Intimidating? Yes. Possible? Well, so far so good. Today was all about the remaining sashing around the perimeter of the quilt. Following the instructions, I matched squares with rectangles, clipped the seams, and pressed. These pieces, once sewn together, will be the final quilt block pieces for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2017 at In the Studio
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I made it this far today without having to rip out any seams. That's a good thing. Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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It always feels so good to know that I had a productive day, especially when I'm on a tight schedule to get this quilt made and other projects completed for the holidays. I feel today was one of those days. By last night, I had completed 1 or 4 columns of the center of the quilt. I pinned it to Bertha, my dress form. I completed the remaining 3 columns of 3 quilt blocks and 4 strips of rectangular panels. Following the instructions, I was now moving on to the next stage of the quilt, creating the sashing that will... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at In the Studio
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I like to check my stats. If you have a blog, that's the fun part, especially if you haven't been blogging in a while - my bad. But since I'm back in the swing of the saddle at my desktop again, and blogging like a pro again, I can honestly say I was surprised to see my post from 2010 of a plush stackable toy I made for my granddaughter, Reagan, shared twice in the last two days. Yesterday it was shared on "All Women's Talk" Blog "37 Fabric Crafts that You'll Love Sew Much!" and ... Today, it was... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2017 at In the Studio
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Today was much more than just a day of sewing. My 93y/o mother made it up the stairs with help from my Big Bear, and worked with me on her quilt. We shared stories and laughter and she enjoyed being... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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A productive day sewing - with my 93y/o mom! She helped me rip out seams on a block that I had screwed up. Why am I not surprised? It all worked out great though. Mom and I had a few laughs and she told me stories too. Stories of her mother and how she made quilts entirely by hand when my mother was a little girl. She also told me a story about this one "Flower Garden" quilt her mother, Margaret, had made out of every scrap piece of fabric she had. Mom told me it was beautiful and she... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2017 at In the Studio
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This post will have you piecing like a pro, trimming for perfect squares, and creating beautiful full quilt blocks! It always feels so good to complete the first quilt block. It's a confidence builder that I didn't mess up on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2017 at Raisin Toast
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I've been a busy bee today working on Mom's quilt as her gift this Christmas. This is the Double Dutch Quilt in beautiful blues and whites from ConnectingThreads.com. Love that site! Moving right along, you will have pieces that are rectangular and pieces that are small squares. Place them per the instructions on one side of the rectangular piece. Sew along the marked line you place diagonally on the back of the small square, and then clip off to a 1/4" seam allowance. When you are done, press the seam open towards the dark piece so that you have a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2017 at In the Studio
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What can I say, education is key to success in life ... but so is letting our kids follow the passion of their heart and what brings them joy in their life ... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2017 at Raisin Toast