Friday, December 18, 2009

Yes, it has been forever...

Finally got the explanation of why I have been deep in the lumps, not to be confused with the dumps. Mono... such a lovely gift for the holiday season.

So little is done, inc. no tree this year and very few presents, baking and stitching, have been finished. ~sigh~ Pic above is the one gift I must complete. My SIL/BIL quilt. They are too hip for me, so I just went with simple geometrics and will hope for the best. It is warm, so at least it can make a nice bed for their cat if nothing else.

Now for the good news portion of our program, the As For Me And My House Quilt Raffle went really well and in the end 150 Afghan orphans got blankets to keep them warm, plush heating coal and flour. God is really good!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

As For Me And My House Raffle Quilt

Been so busy, haven't had anytime to work on quilts except this project...

I have a friend who ministers to women and children in Afghanistan. After talking on evening about the plight of orphans there in winter I was led to try to raise some funds to purchase shoes, clothes and blankets for these little ones.

Have only done this 2 other times for schools, so here's hoping an praying that people are prompted to buy tickets. Still gotta quilt it...

Thanks Tonya for your tuts and encouragement!

Monday, July 27, 2009

cool quilts

In the mid 80's I lived in a small town in FLA. They had an incredible antiques market that I would visit often called Rennigers. There I was introduced to what I call "cool quilts". These quits from the 20s, 30s & 40s were mostly scrap quilts with muslin backs and backgrounds. Because of the generation of the quilts, my guess is that they had manufactured cotton batts. Not sure if it was the fabrics, the backings, battings or a combination of all 3 but these quilts were cool to the touch, even in the hottest of summers. I was able to rescue several of these quilts from the "quilt farmers" (contemptable people who would cut up perfectly good works of art in favor of creating pigs and chickens out of the material. I hope when I get old and worn, no one cuts me up for parts). I also inherited a small collection from my husbands grandmothers, both quilters.
I have begun making my own "cool quilts". With the inspiration of wonderful blog A Quilt Is Nice here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


SEWN is a new website, with great info, terrific interviews and amazing giveaways. I haven't been one to enter giveaways, but with the prize being new hand piecing papers, I couldn't resist. Suprise suprise, I won. Can't wait until they get here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quilting a large quilt is like...

Trying to get my fat behind into a size 10 pair of jeans!
There's lots of pushin', pullin', sweatin', and gruntin'! Hopefully this will be done by tomorrow since the beautiful baby girl it's for is already 8 months old. YIKES!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quilt Quality Inspectors and Love's Fresh Lemon

It has been a rough 2 weeks, but I did finish Love's Fresh Lemon, for a new baby girl at church. I asked for Izzy's opinion. As you can see she is very discriminating and hard to please. Commi felt he needed to be a part of the process. He is an expert on binding and all things wiggly. Izzy did not appreciate his imput or his comments, especially those concerning her very attractive and irresistable tail. It is apparent that they are still working out their relationship as Quilt Quality Inspectors and roomates in general.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Karen's quilt

Over the last several years, I've been trying to get my sister to quilt. Despite great artistic abilities, she lacks confidence and has a nasty habit of wanting everything to be just right. We live in diferent states, so my encouragement has had to be via phone and e-mail. Occasionaly we have a "class" when we are together. Every attempt to get her to relax and draw her into my quilt world has failed. Then comes my brother-in-law to the rescue, like a white knight entering to save the princess, he charges in bearing not a lance and trusty steed, but a top-of-the-line Bernina, classes at the local quilt shop and lots of "Go baby go!". Yes, he truly is a prince! She now has several tops under her belt, her latest pictured above, and yes she machine appliqued the letters- got to love a Bernina. She is still working on that machine quilting thing. But she is gaining more confidence and truly enjoying her new artistic outlet! Of course now I have to find something else to replace the years of quilt presents...hmmm fabric!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Love's Fresh Lemon

Here's the first few blocks. Really easy to sew... cutting is a minefield for those of us who are directionally challenged and cut out things in right-side-together pairs. I believe I have enough segments to make a duplicate quilt of reverse blocks :)

So here's the update:

Air in my car is fixed, YEA! My hubby is so brilliant. The air in the house is much better. After crawling under our house (a really unpleasant job) Jim found out that a gizmo was stuck and we were heating and cooling at the same time. Said wonderful husband unstuck gizmo and now we have air!

I have also been coveting my sister's new Bernina (she has a fab. hubby as well who purchased this BMW of sewing machines for her as a surprise). Coveting is not good, so I resurrected an old class machine that I had, small and portable not fancy. The great thing is that it fits right in a space that puts my feet right next to the floor register, me under the ceiling fan, and my body facing a window unit that we have in the loft for cooling. A primo spot!

Now I have started sewing again on a new project. I'm not really a "yellow" person, but I felt like stretching and found a great mod lemon fabric by Alexander Henery. I had some stray yellows, so I started sewing this Whiligig pattern I saw on Nettie's site (she has become a great inspiration). After laying out all the fabrics and savoring that lemon fab, I was taken back to the 70s when my older sister wore something called Love's Fresh Lemon. Usually I would make it for her, but since she got her new machine and some color confidence, she's been sewing quilts of her own. I'll post some pics when I get the camera this afternoon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

on-line classes & inspiration a cure for being broke

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
Currently we are without air in 2 out of 3 vehicles, the air in our home is barely functioning, but on the bright side we can cool off in the shower since our water heater is out of order as well. All that to say that new fabric, quilt classes, the purchase of a new gadget or book is out of the question. But in this summer of broke, I have still managed to feel creative through the inspiration and instruction I have found on-line.
My first class was in free form piecing with Tonia, the result was wonky houses.
I continued to experiment with Live, Learn and Love which created lots of scraps. Not being able to purchase anything new and wanting to use up these pieces, I came upon my next piece of inspiration from Nettie. the result is "Think Pink" a Commi fav (see pic), it sets off his steely coat so nicely! In my daily surfing I came upon an amazing site, which set me on my next journey and learning experience. Sue Spargo is one of the most talented fiber folk artist I have seen in a long time. Armed only with a few pieces of old wool scraps I had accumulated 15 years ago, I decided to try my hand at dying wool. I had no $ for expensive dyes, but I did have paste food coloring, left-over from many a christmas cookie and cake decorating adventure. My hubby also had a gallon jug of vineager (we never did figure out why he had that). So if it's good enough for eggs, it's good enough for old wool skirts, right? Pictured above is the result of my dying adventure and the lop-side wool needle keeper that I did.
Two of my friends were leaving on summer trips this weekend, so to send them off in style I made a "free" gift. They were thrilled, well the one who grabbed the blue batik wallet was... the other friend gladly took the leftover pink and aqua. The tutorial is easy to create the wallet. It has sections for credit cards, cash, checkbook and extras. This one is a must for Christmas presents this year!
I guess the point is, yes it's a hot summer and I have been coveting many of the fabrics I see on the various sites I visit, but it's been a summer where I can learn how much I do have and how far inspiration and creativity can take you. Besides I can sew in front of the open refrigerator door if I have to.

Friday, June 5, 2009

quilt appreciation-real men like pink

Izzy my new kitty is starting to adjust. We have discovered she has a flea allergy and we are battling that, such a miserable thing! We have to go to the vet, but meantime we are using combing, which as you can tell, she finds very relaxing, or maybe it's the quilt?
We are in the midst of a new project, using pink scraps and I have never seen Commi so excited about a project, real men do like pink! Will post when done, or mostly done.

Monday, June 1, 2009

live, learn and love

This may a bit long, so consider yourselves forwarned...

A few months ago, some dear friends started the process of adopting 2 beautiful children a little girl 5 months and a boy 2.5 years. As you can imagine, as never-before parents, they were quite over-whelmed. At church we planned a baby shower, and I started a baby quilt for my "little teacup" (her ears dip in and look like delicate teacup handles). I thought hearts would be a good theme and began appliqueing many shades of pink. After finishing the applique I began to plan the border only to find out by accident that the new momma was not "a pink person"- *sigh*. I put the body of the quilt to the side and made another really pretty quilt with lots of bright pastels and more yellow. Everyone loved the quilt and I called it a success, but what to do with the hearts?

In steps Tonya with all her wonkiness, and I thought it might be a good learning experience to try words on the borders of this quilt before actually working on something meant for someone. I began all wrong and and gave up several times, including just letting sit on my studio floor as a cat amusement...Commi was the only one who appreciated my effort. Then I saw Clare's Licorice Lane. She had a mishap in the cutting process and cut a portion of her quilt. Did she dispair? Well maybe a little, but she finished it and it's great. So I gave Commi another pile of fabric to scoot on and finished Live, Learn & Love. Well the top at least. I wish the hearts were wonky and that I had known to do the components individually instead of doing each word (amazing what happens when you read the instruction), and then trying to make it work...but live, learn and love.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

RATTLE and WARM ready for snail-mail

still getting the hand of the letter thing. no matter what i intend the words end up bigger than planned. hmmmm pratice practice practice

my son stole my Mother's Day cat!

She was supposed to be my belated Mother's Day present (I got a new potty on Mother's Day, not a good present). A beautiful Russian Blue, just like Commi (Jim's cat) for me. Her name is Izzy, a rescue cat with 3 legs, and is kind of compact like me...but who does she choose to love and bond with? My rotten 17 year old man-child who insists on calling her Tri-Pod. She does love fabric though, so maybe there's hope for a somewhat meaningful relationship when he goes away to college.
Kitty Update:
Matt still calling her Tri-pod, but he's sleeping through most of the summer so I'll have more time to make her name stick and Tri-Pod will disappear. Commi has been trying to introduce himself, but she is very shy, playing hard to get. But they did spend a 1/2 hour together in the bay window watching birds. Funny Commi hasn't been in the bay window for months now. Amazing how a new friend can make the same ole' thing look brand new.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

connecting threads

My wonderful husband and I were discussing the value of Facebook and other networking sites. First let me say that my husband is a very simple guy, straight forward, believing that everything must have a very specific purpose (which makes understanding my wish to just "have" a beautiful fabric nearly impossible). The idea of a virtual social network where you can learn and discover things through someone named LazyGal, for instance, just doesn't make since to him.
I tried to explain how I had been able to see the quilting artistry of people from all over the globe from my computer screen simply by following the trail left by other quilters. My set of links for these quilters are a creative life-line for me, a chance to see what others are creating without stepping foot in a quilt shop or buying a single quilt magazine... which is absolutely necessary since I can't spend money right now. I think that part got my husband's attention the most.
I am really greatful for this daily quilt show that comes into my home each day. I'm thankful for kitty updates from Tonya, for amazing images from France on wordless Wednesday, for a taste of delicious batiks courtesy of Wanda. I am inspired, encouraged, challenged and amazed by all those gracious enough to share their talent and the art that it makes possible.
Thank you so much!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

for better or worse it's done

I took these outside at the church, only to realize that freshly mown grass sticks as well as that inch coat of yellow pixie dust we in the deep south refer to as pollen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

golly-be! I used to like doing binding

I am finishing the binding on my little country spider web quit and I am so disappointed in the finishing. I have never done a binding with inverted points before. Got the whole 60 degree corners fine, but those insides are murder. Will post pics later.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

taking a break with some hand piecing

I'm a little wonkied out, and needed some structure. Besides, I have been under the weather, so I have been doing some hand-piecing. It's a little odd that I find hand quilting painfully slow, yet I find hand piecing sort of relaxing (in small amounts).
These are some blocks I did from a pattern I saw called "Wee Spin". The strips are 2.5 inch, so it's perfect to do with jelly rolls. It's a strip piecing project that uses a 60 degree ruler to cut out the wedges. Very easy, especially when you consider that there are really no points to match, as long as your blocks are the same size.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

so nice

I have been so overwhelmed by all of the kind people who have posted...just wanted to say "thank you" and take the opportunity to post another Commi pic. He is rather camera-shy, and would rather be loved in person. He slid into the spare bedroom where I sometimes lay-out my "to be quilted soon" projects. Apparently he approves of this newest baby quilt. Here's hoping it gets finished before the little girl is in pre-K.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

quilt history

Christmas 1998

made for my son who would rather sleep with a cheap asian made quilt 2004

old, old, old still cross-stitching that's how old maybe 1993

one of my favorites...hand-pieced, but got lazy and machine quilted it...everyone say "arghhh" 2002

not sure how I got the border to come out right back in those days 1992
Someone asked me to post images of my quilts in my log cabin...does lack of house cleaning equal rustic charm? Except for the Christmas one, all of them came out of my head, a scary place to be but not a bad place to visit. Sorry they are old quilts, my newer ones have all been given away. My mother-in-law has many, probably 15 or so. If she wasn't so wonderful I'd have her give them back. lol

subdivision looking for an "entrance sign"

OK, so the body of my neighborhood is done. It's amazing that everytime I went upstairs (I live in a log cabin and sew in my loft) I would say, "just two more houses." It's almost complete, which is good since I get bored easily. I need some ideas on what to put around the outside border. I want wonky words, but each thing I think of doesn't seem to fit.
I was thinking of giving the quilt to a kindly man in his 70s who is the contractor on the new church addition we are building (I volunteerf ull-time as a media specialist and creative arts person for our church). He has been so wonderful about all the delays, just last week we threatened to bring shovels ourselves and start digging for the foundation. Anyway, I want to do something nice for him and the "construction" of houses I would build seemed perfect. Trouble is, it doesn't really look like a "guy" quilt...maybe I should just finish and keep this one and do another that's a little more masquline for him. What do you think? And what words do I put on the border?

Monday, May 4, 2009

lesson #1 in scrap quiltmaking

Making a scrap quilt is like throwing a large party, the more colorful participants you include in the whoop-de-doo, the less you have to worry about who's sitting next to who and the more time you can spend having a good time at the event.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

playing with new friends

How many of us remember meeting someone new and joining in on their fun in progress? For me it was nearly impossible and made me a loner. I am no different today. But we all have to grow and change, even at 45...YIKES did I say that?

I have joined in with some ladies in a free-piecing challenge, no rulers, measuring, templates or special cuts. Just a pair of scissors and whack and stitch. The project is the sounds of Halloween, my sound "rattle". Here's the finished block, ready for the lead person to form into a quilt...ho-pefully, not sure if it's good enough. Remember there was no measuring, no applique, just guess and go.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wonky houses

Like most quilters, my creations have changed over the years (remember when a 7 fabric log cabin was a stretch in imagination?), but I have recently been challenged to set aside my rulers and try a new free-form style of are the results, along with a look at my "old" neighborhood.

more than a place for my cat to lay

there are some days when I believe tht no one enjoys the quilts I have made more than Commi, my fabulous Russian Blue feline, with what my son believes are marxist tendencies. Spread out blocks, fabric or a near finished piece of work and he is right there to investigate. I would like to think that he is appreciating the color, pattern and countless hours of decision making that goes into each quilt, but the truth is, it's just a comfortable place to grab some attention and some zzz's.