Sunday, May 25, 2008


I decided to let you have a bit of a peek at my sewing room. I am in the beginning process of cleaning it up. You can see a few shelves of the light backgrounds that I have straightened up so far. I have a good ways to go yet doing that. I am also getting together a donation bag of fabrics that I am not going to use or am done with.

My poor lamp had an accident one day and the globe broke. We could not find a replacement globe. I just have done nothing about replacing the lamp. I like the globes that bounce the light onto the ceiling and then around the room. It lights up things much better.
I have bad knees and a bad back so I no longer can stand up to cut pieces for my quilts. I had a really nice cutting table. It was actually a wood rolling kitchen island piece. I gave it to my daughter for her kitchen. Now I cut on a small table right beside the sewing machine. I have the ironing pad on a folding table to the right of the sewing machine and the cutting table to the left. This makes a U shape. It works well for me. If I need to cut something big, I take a rotary cutting board to my kitchen counter and do it there. The bad thing about having to work at a small, low table is that my fabric piles up on the floor and makes a mess. I just deal with it and move on. After I finish the straightening up process, I will photograph the whole room. It will never be the neatest room in the world but it works for me.
I am going to share a picture of a quilt that I made for my friend Vicky. Vicky is a quilt artist so it is hard to make something that fits her style. Not all of the chicken blocks are originals nor are they the same size. I bordered them to make them fit the layout. My friend, Karen from Texas, did the hand buttonhole stitching on the blocks. Vicky did the machine quilting. A group project that was fun to do. Vicky does love it. It is displayed in her dining area.
The picture of the tree quilt is of a original piece that Vicky made. It hangs in her living room. I love it! Vicky has won many awards at art shows for her quilts.
Look at the basket I found at a thrift store. I was looking for a low- sided basket for my growing pincushion collection. I did find one but also came across this. The size of this basket just begged for it to be filled with quilts. I think I can find one or two to fill it up.

The last picture is of a quilt top I finished last night. I made a duplicate one this morning. The tops will go to two sisters who do the finishing work. Esther and Janet are members of a quilt guild that I belonged to for many years. The guild makes crib quilts as a charity project. Ester and Janet have done the sashings and tying of many, many of the quilts. Sometimes other members do part of the finishing work. I remember when the guild reached 2000 finished quilts and that was a long time ago. I don't know how many total have been donated. Most of the quilts are made from nine patch blocks. I like to put extra work into some of the ones I make. I have a bunch of shabby chic type fabrics that I want to use up. The baskets are fused to the background. My friend, Karen has been buttonhole stitching them for me.
I had lunch with four friends that I used to work with. We have been friends for close to twenty years. We had a lot of fun, both at work and sometimes outside of the work place. It was good to get together to catch up on the news and talk about the old times. We get together a couple times of year. Lots of laughter!
Have a great holiday weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Well, maybe he hasn't really lost his head but it looks that way. I am working on a Bonnet Girl block and have not finished the little boy. Some of my quilting friends, including myself, are working on a joint Bonnet Girl quilt. I selected the block called "Karen" because that's my name. It looks like a Fourth of July block. The boy will be holding a flag. He needs his hands & feet appliqued down yet and he gets a straw hat instead of a real head. I sure will be glad to get the block done. This style of applique is not my cup of tea. If you are not familiar with the method, you are supposed to turn under the edges and visably embroider down the edges.

My friend, Karen from Houston (another Karen, huh!), has been visiting for a couple days. If you come to stay at my house, you are going to have to make a wool pincushion. Karen was happy to oblige. In fact, she chose to make a second one. She is holding the finished pincushion in the picture below.
I want to share with you the framed crazy quilt piece that Karen made for me a few years ago. She used a design from a Piecemaker's Calendar. Those designs always involve a lot of embroidery which Karen is very good at doing. We both bought the calendars but I knew I would never make any of the blocks. She surprised me with the fall block. The workmanship is wonderful. It sits on the mantle above the fireplace. Karen asked me to take a picture of it with her to the side so she can forward it to her new friends in Texas. She is part of a crazy quilt group. Crazy quilting is her specialty. Aren't I lucky to have received such a beautiful gift!

I had a tote bag out that I made a couple years ago, so I thought I would share a photo of it also. It was from one of the Australian patchwork magazines. I am sorry that I do not know who the designer is. The bag is big enough to carry a fair sized cutting board in but mostly I use it to tote a new quilt in for Shown n' Tell.
That's all for now. I need to make sure my guest is stitching away. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.


Sunday, May 11, 2008


I would like to share a quilt with you that I made for my mother, Ruby. She passed away in 1995. The quilt has 34 family photos on it. There are pictures of my mother, my father, my step-father, all four of her children (both when they were young and as adults), all the grand-children, and great grand-children. The pictures are done in an Attic Windows setting. Some of the photos are color and some black and white. A friend printed the photos onto fabric for me. At the time, products for printing photos onto cloth via your home computer printer were not available. I don't know how she did the images on cloth other than she used a large copy machine and what she called her "secret formula" of chemicals. The quilt has been washed and the images are still good. What I liked about her method was that the fabric stayed soft unlike other methods that were available at the time.
The second picture is a close-up of a photo of my mother when she graduated from nursing school as a Licensed Practical Nurse.My mother did not think black fabric of any kind belonged in a quilt. She did not know I was making the quilt, even though she lived with us at the time. I struggled with what fabric to use for the settings and borders. Her favorite flower was the rose. I tried many different fabrics but kept coming back to the roses with a black background. I finally decided to go ahead and use that fabric as nothing else seemed to work. Mother could be very verbal about her opinions when it came to quilts. I took her with me to a local quilt shop once where she saw a quilt with a lot of black fabric. She said, "If I had that quilt, I'd just throw it in a corner and hide it." I was a bit afraid of what her comments would be about the photo quilt. I did not have it finished but gave her the quilt top for Mother's Day in 1994. She surprised me by actually liking it very much. She said it was the most beautiful quilt I had made as it had pictures of her on it! We had a good laugh over that. She asked that I not quilt it for a while because she wanted to take it with her on a trip that summer so she could show it off to several family members. She came home and told me how much everyone liked it. She wanted me to make photo quilts for a couple of the relatives.
Mother was born in 1913 in West Virginia. She lived out in the country. She was a good student and even went to school an extra year because there was nothing else to do when she graduated. She married and had three children, two boys and a girl. Times were hard and her husband was not working. She said there were holes in the floor where they lived, the kids were hungry, and things were not going well. She ended up leaving and getting a divorce. She left the kids with family and moved to Ohio during the war years to work at Goodyear Aircraft. That is where she met my father. They married and the kids came to Ohio to be raised by my father. Mother worked off and on during my growing up years. There was always a big garden and fruit trees. She sewed most of the clothes for my sister and myself. I don't remember about the boy's clothes as I was too young. She also sewed some for other people. Mother said she made quilt tops during hard times in West Virginia for a lady who could afford to buy enough fabric for two quilts at a time. The second one would be for my mother in payment for the first one. Mother said she did not do much hand quilting. Her sister did most of that.
My father died when I was sixteen. I was the only one still at home. My mother went to work at a plastics plant for some income. Then she registered for nursing school and attended classes for a year. Mother remarried but her husband had a serious stroke about two years into the marriage. She took care of him for quite some time. After he passed away, she went back to work as a nurse.
Mother lived with us the last ten years of her life. My husband still jokes today about having lived with four generations of women at one time! Our daughter and grand-daughter lived with us at the time.
Just wanted to share these memories with you on Mother's Day. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Hello to all! I have come a long way since I started this blog in January. It took forever and a day to do a post when I first started. Getting pictures in and words where I wanted them turned into a two day ordeal when I did the first post. I could not remember from one post to the next how I found the photos to download and how to get them into the post. Now I just go at full speed ahead. I have made some new friends via blogging and find it all much fun!

This past Tuesday, I had three friends over for a little stitching party. They live about an hour away. My guests were Mary, Terri, and Linda. I have known Mary & Linda for a number of years. They introduced me to Terri, so I now have a new friend. I told them to bring a thimble if they use one for hand stitching but did not give them any other clue as to what the project for the day would be. Surprise! It was a wool pincushion project. If you have been following my Blog, you know that I am in the midst of a pincushion making frenzy. I don't think any of them had worked with wool before. Terri did not know how to hand buttonhole stitch. They were quick learners. Terri said that if anyone had asked her ahead of time if she wanted to make a pincushion, she would have said no. She said she has changed her mind and really enjoyed the project. I had the designs fused to the wool background to speed things up. You can see one of the pincushion in process in the second photo.

Please note in the first photo the stained glass chicken hanging in the window. My dear friend Kenyan made it for me. She has a talent for the craft of making stained glass items. She created the chicken from a quilt block pattern.

We took a break for lunch and went to a local barbecue place. And what a surprise! The barbecue place is about two blocks or so from a very nice quilt shop called "The Quilt Place". We all managed to find some fabric and supplies to purchase. One thing I bought is the new log cabin book by Judy Martin. I am in the process of cutting for the "Kentucky Log Cabin" quilt.

After the quilt shop, we came back to stitch some more and then had a quilt cabinet show. You can see all the quilts in a jumble on the living room floor.

I have two photos of quilts from the cabinet to show you today. Part of my ongoing show that some of you asked for. The first quilt is a log cabin quilt. It is a smaller piece. It was made in 1997 and I titled it "And Lions and Tigers Too". The fabric selection is a bit wild for me but they are browns like I like. It is machine pieced and hand quilted.

The second quilt is also a log cabin quilt. It is from a pattern by Cheri Saffiote called "Rise & Shine". I made this for Carol (Brown Quilts) as a shop sample when she had her quilt shop. It hung for a good while and sold many patterns. Carol picked the fabrics and I did the stitching and quilting. It is machine pieced and hand quilted. The chickens are fused and then button hole stitched by hand. Made in 2000.
And last, I made five more Civil War blocks. They are the blocks in the top row.
My sewing room is a disaster right now. I need to get in there and cut more logs for the log cabin quilt. Then I can put some fabric away and make heads & tails of things.

Thanks for stopping by for the visit.