Florine Johnson Designs - Hand & Fusible Rooster Appliques for Quilts & Crafts


Working on the churn dash wall hanging had became an obsession. Quilting on the sewing machine is not something I'm really good at but something urged me on to the detriment of getting other things done. That's just not right. Finishing is my goal, but not to the point of neglecting the joy of the journey. I woke up this morning and realized this particular journey had become work, not a pleasure.

From now on, the journey itself will be sufficient, something to enjoy and done carefully to hone my skills. Once a project is finished and out there in the world, the pleasure of working on that project is gone. They become things, for which we need to find a purpose. If they're regular sized quilts they can be used to keep warm. Wall hangings need a blank wall and I'm running out of wall space. This particular wall hanging is personalized with greetings, drawings and signatures of the makers so it's a keeper. However, next time I make something, I will decide whether to sell it, give it away or keep it, even before I start the work on it. No more frantic obsessions to "get 'er done."

For those uninitiated with the usage of UFO in the quilting, crafting world, it's UNFINISHED OBJECTS.

Sew on and sew forth!

UFOs And I Are Staring Each Other Down and I Intend to Win!

Finally, at this age, I get it. Adopting the idea of choosing one word for the year, I chose "FINISH." Beginning in December it looked like I might be able to finish a project I drew out of a jar. Listing about 20 UFO's, numbering them and cutting up little post-it notes, I wrote a number on each one to cover each UFO and folded them shut so I couldn't see the number. Into the jar they went.

The second list of the UFO's contained the location of each of them. Most projects went into a box together, but some couldn't fit and I had to find another location for those. This list of locations will save me many hours of searching when I've drawn a number for a project that isn't in the box. Yes! I need this list.

The first UFO I pulled out of the jar wasn't my first choice. But I made the rules and must abide with them. This first project is the Churn Dash blocks given to me by the Hall County Quilt Guild way back in 1999 as a gift for being their presiding president that year.


The photo shows the blocks put together as a 27" x 33" wall hanging, but still needs quilting, binding and a label. Maybe I'll get it finished by the end of February. You think? I can't wait to see what the next project will be. Sew on and sew forth!

Getting Back To Work

I've been neglecting working on any hand applique for a while.  I really wanted to keep up with it but life has a habit of getting in the way.

When asked recently to do a 8 1/2" block for a retiring business friend, the realization hit me that this was the perfect chance to get back in the game. The work was started and completed in just a couple of days. It was so great to be working on one of my favorite pastimes again and here's the photo of the block. The design is one by Nancy Pearson. In one of her classes years ago, we learned how to create depth using fabrics with this rose. I've kept that sample hanging in my studio all these years for inspiration.



Hand Needles and their numbering system

Hand Needles and their numbering systemI've always been flummoxed by the numbering on hand needles.  I thought that the larger the needle, the larger the number should be.  It was confusing to me and I think to a few other handwork and hand sewing  people too.

However, the other day I was remembering a book about inventions I had read years ago.  One story really struck me.  It was about King C. Gillette. One day in about 1895 the idea that he called a safety razor came to him.  Back then they had straight razors and had to sharpen them on a strop back and forth. (Leather belt like thing.)  I remember my dad doing that.  

So Mr. Gillette had the safety razor but it had no blade.  No one made steel thin enough to fit into the razor.  After many tries he was about to give up.  Finally in 1903 (eight years later) someone came up with a method of rolling the steel thin enough to fit into the razor.  And the rest is history. 

Now I know that the hand needles had to go through the same process.  The processes and technology had to evolve in order to make the first large, wider needles smaller and thinner, little by little.  Maybe that's why the finest needles have the largest numbers.  

No more confusion for me.  Yea!  I love reading.


What do quilting and cereals have in common?

Check out the newest blog article and find out!

Cereal and Quilting ?

Remember Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry cereals from the 70's? They've been pretty much unavailable since 2010. But now they are coming back for Halloween and will be available in September. These 3 cereals will have a limited time period in which they can be purchased.

So why am I writing about this you ask? And what do General Mills cereals and quilting have in common? Well nothing really, NADA, except.......General Mills wanted to redesign the characters for the cereal boxes.

They contacted DC Comics who, in turn, arranged for artists they've worked with to redo these characters. DC chose our son, Dave Johnson, to redesign Franken Berry. (I love his fingernails.) Credit to the
designers appears on the side of the boxes. The new designs are really cute and we're proud of our son, Dave.

I can't wait to see them in the stores so I can grab a few boxes. So if you remember Monster cereals or have sons and daughters who remember them and/or have grandchildren who've never heard of them, get to the grocery store and take a look.

If you would like pictures of how they look and the article written about this, click here.