Sunday, June 29, 2008


Today I am posting a picture of a quilt that I just finished. The quilt has a little story. I was given some quilt blocks that my husband's grandmother painted back in the mid 60's. At the time, Artex paints were popular. Does anyone remember those? The quilt blocks were done with a berry pink on white polyester fabric. Of course, polyester fabric was the "in thing" at the time. The design was a sort of wreath shape of little flowers. Grandma never put the blocks into a quilt. She passed away in 1986. Her youngest daughter, Nina, ended up with the blocks. Nina had intentions of making a quilt with them but was not able to. She used to sew a lot and very well but has bad arthritis and can no longer do anything like that. She passed the blocks along to me. I had the blocks for about a year and a half before I could decide what to do with them. I did not want to do just a plain sashing around the blocks. I wanted to make something a bit more exciting. I found some cotton fabrics at the quilt shop that I thought would look good with the berry pink. I came up with an idea for sashing that would be a little bit creative but still couldn't make myself start on the project. Then one night when I was having trouble going to sleep, I was thinking about basket blocks for a quilt. The thought popped into my mind that flowers & baskets go well together. I could cut the flower blocks into triangles and add them to a basket pattern. Voila! I gained some enthusiasm for making the quilt. I selected several green fabrics for the baskets and did an on point setting. I opted to have the quilt professionally machine quilted. I sewed the binding on yesterday. This morning I put a label block on the back. Grandma had painted a West Virginia state block (she lived most of her life there). She had painted her signature on it and the year she was born. I took a photograph of her and scanned it onto fabric. The picture was appliqued onto the label. Then I added my name and that I am the spouse of her grandson. Grandma's name was Lula so I think the quilt name will be "Lula's Flowers".
Now the quilt will go to a relative to take to the family reunion. They hold a small auction at the gathering. Each family is supposed to donate something for the auction. I hope that someone gets it that will appreciate the quilt.

I tried to get a space between the two pictures but it just isn't working. I know I posted a picture of this reproduction basket quilt not very long ago. At the time, the binding was not on. I did that a couple days ago. Binding a quilt isn't the most exciting thing to do. Good handwork to do while watching television, though. Anyhow, I promise this is the last time I will post a picture of the quilt!
Thanks for stopping by for a visit and come again.


Thursday, June 26, 2008


I have been busy doing lots of handwork and a little machine stitching. I finished two pillows. The pineapple pillow is for my family room sofa. It sure needed something besides the pillows that came with it. I think this will add some life to it. The pattern is by Sandy Gervais. I used a plaid homespun for the background and wool for the appliques. It was a very fast and easy project. The second pillow is going to be sent to a friend who really likes the primitive style. It is a Buttermilk Basin stitchery pattern. It is the July block from the "Sheep in the Willows thru the Year" set. I enlarged the pattern to make it easier to do wool applique. The background and the plaid border are also wool. The blue plaid was a thrift store find. It is also on the back of the pillow. This was a one day project. Really easy!
Kathie is working on a four block quilt applique project. I want to share a quilt that was supposed to be a four block quilt. I had not been doing applique very long when I started the project. I like the princess feather designs but I did not know that all the curves would take so long to do. I was tired of doing them by the time I finished one block and could not face making three more identical blocks. I decided it would make a nice wall quilt. The pattern is from a book entitled "Roots, Feathers & Blooms" by Linda Giesler Carlson. It is handquilted with a feather design and cross hatching. I really like where it hangs in our home. It is up high in the living room. In the picture you can see some vintage sewing machines that I have collected. I used to have many more machines but have sold or given away most when we down sized to this home.
I made some progress on the "Patchwork Garden" applique. I have it 2/3 done. I am taking a little break on it to finish another project that I had started. The other project has wool applique and is going fast. Maybe I will have a picture to post next time.
I purchased a new book yesterday. It is the "Fig Tree Quilts - Houses" book. Today I received three Fig Tree patterns that I ordered. My favorite pattern in the house book is the one with the coverlet looking center and a border all around with houses. Naturally I had to order some fabric for the center.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit. Please leave a comment just to say "hi" and to let me know you were here. I enjoy hearing from you.


Sunday, June 22, 2008


Look what I won! Stina was having a giveaway for her 100th post. I don't often win things so I was very surprised when she notified me that I had won. It is just the cutest mini quilt. And she also sent some chocolate candy. Who wouldn't like that! The pinwheels are 30's type fabrics. She did nice embroidery on the border. Thank you Stina. My friends that were over yesterday really liked the quilt also. A couple of them were thinking that maybe they could make one similar for the quilt guild mini auction that will be held at the next show. Stina lives way across the ocean from me but I feel like she is a very good friend. The internet brings us quilters together.I had nine guests yesterday for our monthly Saturday get together. We had a really good time. There were seven Bonnet Girl blocks turned in. The bigger block with the blackboard, students, and school teacher still needs a little work. We have to cut Pat a little slack on that as she had more applique to do than anyone else. We decided on a layout for the quilt. The teacher block (and Pat is a high school home ec teacher) will go in the middle. There will be a block above & below it and one on each side. The blocks will be framed with a darker color. The rest of the quilt will be filled in with a pale floral fabric that looks a bit old-fashioned.
Kenyan brought a guest. It was Ann for Oklahoma. Ann is pictured below showing one of the kimono blocks she & Kenyan have been making this past week. Kenyan says she will show the group how to fold the fabric to create the kimono when she hosts the group. She says it is an origami technique. Ann will be moving to Florida south of me in about 1 1/2 years. Her & hubby already have purchased a town home just across the highway and in a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. Ann just retired from being a grade school art teacher. She always does very creative quilts. Kenyan is also a teacher. Well, really she is what we used to call a school librarian but now they are called a more technical term and I have forgotten exactly what it is. Seems like we were surrounded by teachers yesterday.
The next two pictures are of the ladies working on their wool pincushion kits that I had prepared for them. I think everyone enjoyed making them. Two of the ladies worked fast and got their pincushion all stitched. The others took them home to finish.

I had snack stuff ready for the ladies when they arrived. Fresh strawberries with chocolate dipping sauce, bing cherries (I couldn't find any Ranier cherries, Libby.), watermelon, cheese & crackers, Sarah Lee coffee cake, and fresh baked cookies. With all that, you would think we would have all been stuffed and not ready for lunch. But come 1:00 pm, we were off to a local barbecue restaurant. Lunch tasted really good. And darn, it was about four blocks from a quilt shop. We had a real downpour storm just as we were leaving the restaurant. We braced ourselves and got to the cars and off to the quilt shop.
I noticed that the quilt I had left at the shop about two weeks ago is on one of the big quilting machines ready to be stitched. I haven't had a quilt professionally machine quilted in several years. I will post a picture when I get it back. I expect to get a call Monday or Tuesday telling me it is ready.
I bought some black fabric with a little bit of red on it. Need it for two projects. Other than that, I was good. You've seen my stash, so you know I don't need much of anything.
Pat gave me a tote bag she had made. It is so bright & pretty. She said it was made from some pieces of fabric in a jelly roll. She had made herself one & took it to school with her. Came home with orders for several. It has nice pockets inside. I don't know what pattern she used.

I experimented preparing three hexagons for English paper piecing. I am using 1/2" hexagon pieces. I feel very clumsy trying to hold and do what I need to do. Hope it gets easier soon.

Also, I am trying to figure out how to use the Aunt Philly's toothbrush tool for making a rug. It sure is confusing. It looked so easy when I saw it demonstrated last year. What I saw being demonstrated wasn't the starting part, though. I think I need to buy a DVD with instructions I can view.

Time to end today's post. Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, June 16, 2008


Hello! It's a beautiful, sunny morning here. I want to get a few things out of the way and then sew the rest of the day. Sounds like fun, huh!

I began doing the applique on a project I prepared several months ago. My friend Jeanne is working on the same project only she has actually been working on it and not thinking about it like me. I had all the pieces cut out and the applique marked. I really shouldn't have let it lay around as I forgot exactly where I intended some of the cut pieces to go. The quilt pattern is called "Patchwork Garden" and is by Jan Patek. If anyone intends on making this, beware of the quilt layout diagram. Some of the measurements for cutting are wrong. I didn't have much trouble remembering which squares went together for the nine patch blocks. I am just having to remember which backgrounds go where. Some of the applique pieces are repeats and in different fabrics. I have to figure out what placement I intended for those also. The applique is easy as the shapes are not intricate. The project is going fast now that I have applied myself to doing it.
I want to share a picture with you of another one of my quilts. Remember I was supposed to be showing you the quilts from the cabinets. Well, this one does not reside in a cabinet but on a rack near the cabinets. It is called "Chips and Whetstones". I was inspired by a picture of an antique quilt (circa 1845) in the book "Treasury of American Quilts". I chose colors that were similar to what was used in the original quilt. The thing I did differently is that I used a border stripe print to create the centers of the stars. The stripe blended well with the fabrics I chose for the project. The effect of the stripe gives the centers a sort of kaleidoscope effect but it does not jump out at you. I made this in 1997. I am very attracted to quilt patterns that create circles.

I bought a jar with a lid at Walmart the other day. I have been wanting something to display a small collection of cookie cutters in. Some of the cookie cutters are vintage and some modern. I prefer the vintage cookie cutters. My friend Karen has given me many of the vintage cookie cutters that I have. One of my favorites is the witch pictured below. Karen said she thinks the copper colored cookie cutters were given free with a purchase of a certain brand refrigerator.

This past Saturday was my turn to host the applique stitchers. Carol (Brown Quilts) is part of the group but she is off playing with her grandson. That left three of us. Jeanne and I both worked on our basket quilts. Susan is hand piecing round swirly things for a wonderful quilt project. The day passed quickly and was much enjoyed.
Next Saturday is my turn to host the larger quilt group that I belong to. I host them once a year because they have to come so far to get here. I live anywhere from 60 to 95 miles from the ladies (a rough estimate). Of course, I have to drive just as far to go to their homes. The ladies will car pool over. Sometimes I drive to Beverly's house (about the closest) and we carpool together to the homes that are furthest away. It breaks up the trip for me and it is pleasant to visit on the way. With gas prices so high, it is a good thing we only meet once a month. I am going to prepare wool pin cushion kits for them to stitch on. I have to make a trip to the pet supply store for some more crushed walnut shells for the filling. I hope they enjoy working on the project.
That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Hello, friends! I finally feel like I am getting somewhere on my quilting projects. I have been flitting from one thing to another and not getting much of anything done. I took a break from the sewing room clean up project and went on a marathon hand quilting frenzy. It took me two days to finish quilting "Baskets for Betsy". I had a good bit of the quilting done but had just not taken time to get back to it. I retreated to my little corner in the bedroom where I do a lot of my handwork. I popped in videos and also watched a lot of HGTV (love those decorating shows). The quilt needs the binding attached but I couldn't wait to post a picture. I forgot to mention that the pattern is by Carol Hopkins.

Next I moved onto the snowman that needed the buttonhole stitching completed. I know it is not snowman season. I shouldn't say that as I saw that Seattle had snow yesterday and there is snow in Montanna today. Don't they know that it is June? Anyhow, the snowman piece needs quilting (probably by machine) and big buttons for his vest. I made one of these snowmen without the January lettering as part of a quilt back on a snowman quilt I put together for a friend. That turned out really nice. The pattern is put out by Joined at the Hip. There is a series of twelve patterns. I sewed the snowman together probably two years ago and never got any further on it. I found him while cleaning in the sewing room and decided it wouldn't take much to finish.

The last finish was the Bonnet Girl block. I sure didn't get a good picture of it. The block needs pressed and doesn't look quite as wompy as it does in the photo. If you remember the photo from a previous post, the boy needed his head attached and feet and hands appliqued down. My heart was not in this project but I had agreed to participate with a group. This block is called "Karen" and since my name is Karen, I chose it to do. I dislike this method of applique. The pieces are embroidered down with contrasting thread instead of an invisible applique stitch. I like the look but wanted so much just to applique it down and then go back and do the embroidery on top. It would have been double work. I opted to do it as the instructions called for. I don't plan on doing any more. I'll be glad to turn this in at our next group gathering. I am anxious to see how the other ladies are doing with their blocks.

I decided to start a subscription to Alex Anderson/Ricky Timm's internet quilt program. I watched three of the past episodes yesterday while working on the above projects. There is a wonderful applique block of the month pattern that members can download for free. It is called "Bouquets for a New Day" by Susan Garman. I printed out all that are available so far. It takes many, many pieces of printer paper. You can see a picture of the quilt on Sue's blog at Look at the December 26th, 2007 entry.

Time to get busy on projects for the day. Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Hello to all of you stopping by for a visit. It has been a busy week for me. I did not do any sewing but did work on cleaning my sewing room. Also, I was preparing for company. My older grand-daughter, Jessica, and great grand-daughter, Alexis have come from Texas for a visit. They arrived on Saturday afternoon. On Monday morning we took them to Orlando to visit our daughter who is Mom & Grandma to these two. I will pick them up on Saturday for a return visit to our house for one more day and then back to the airport.

It has been a while since we had a little one in the house. Alexis will be four years old the end of July. All I had to go by were pictures of her since we had not seen her for two years. I watch John & Kate Plus 8. The sextuplets are almost 4 in the recent series, so that is about what I expected in activities and language skills. Alexis is a bit shy but talks really well. She warmed up to her Great Grandpa before she did me but seemed to adjust after a bit. We had toys for her to play with. She finally got in the pool after I got out. I don't think she had warmed up to me yet! Below is a picture of the two of them.

I have a 9 year old grand-daughter named Jennifer. She is sister to Jessica. They are 16 years apart in age. I had a picture of her in the pool also but it has disappeared from the computer album for some reason. I will have to post her picture another time.

I took Jessica and Alexis to our local zoo. It is about 3/4 of a mile from our house. It is not a big zoo but is very interesting. There are always lots of people there. It sure was a hot and humid day. I took along a good book and read while they did the zoo trails. I have a bad back and knee, so I can't walk far nor can I stand for a long period of time. Grandpa took them to the beach in the late afternoon. We live so close to the ocean but don't often go to the beach. Okay, now to the sewing room. I worked in there about 5 days of last week refolding and stacking fabrics attempting to make it a little neater. The first two days, I was pressing and trimming threads from the fabrics. I did that through the off whites and greens you see in the left of the first picture. I decided I would never get done if I kept that up. I settled on just refolding fabrics that needed it, pulling out some to give away, and then making them neat. I have them sorted into colors. The reproduction fabrics are in a section of their own to the far right in the picture. I did not sort lighter browns from darker browns, etc. Just what fit into the brown category best as I could. I dislike the heavy duty plastic storage unit you see pictured in the second photo. Every time I sort the fabrics and pull out for give-aways, I think I might be able to take that unit out of the sewing room. It never happens. It is sturdy and very usable but I like the white cubicles better. I refuse to buy any more of the cubicle units. I feel I need to pare down instead of adding on. Maybe someday.
The plastic unit holds the more neutral plaids from my collection and some larger pieces of fabric for backings. The reds, greens, blues, and other colors of plaids are in the two cubicle units shown in the right side of the picture below. I love plaids! As you can tell from photos of quilts I have shown and from the fabric collections in these pictures, I like darker fabrics.

I have a small portable DVD player in my sewing room. I rent DVD's through Netflix. I kept it going while working on the fabric pieces. Kept me entertained. I am watching a television series that I have seen a few times, so I could listen and not really have to concentrate on watching.

I now have to get into the closet and clean it out. That is where a lot of the unfinished projects are and quilt tops waiting for quilting. I am looking for a baggie with churn dash block pieces in it. I found the setting blocks that go with them but not the churn dash ones.

I have several plastic grocery bags of fabric pieces ready to give to a friend of mine. She takes them to a senior citizens quilt group for their use. Several of the ladies cannot afford fabric so I feel good about passing on pieces I no longer want. Most of us have bought fabric with good intentions but that never get used. We seem to always want what's new on the market and what appeared so wonderful a couple years ago does not appeal any longer. And these women get good quality fabrics to use.

While I was sorting through fabrics, I came across some various pieces designed by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts. I also came across a pattern by her. That sent me on a mission to gather fabrics for the quilt. I ended up ordering a fat quarter bundle and some 1/2 yard pieces. I am waiting for my last purchase to arrive so I can play. Am I crazy? I promise not to let the fabrics linger on the shelf!

Have a great day!