Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Mug Rug Hug

A few weeks ago I asked my friends on FB who drank warm beverages, coffee, cocoa, cider, tea etc. I had never had so many comments on one post. Starting to wonder if they knew I was doing a little Christmas recon work. These mug rugs are slated for gift-giving this year, along with a mug and some of my snowflake cookies. I saw a finished one somewhere, can't remember where, and just fiddled until I got it graphed out right (hence I have 4 different sizes). Anyway, back to binding~ I think there are still 12 more to go...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chips and Salsa?

This year I have decided that table runners are more veratile than full on quilts for Christmas presents , not to mention they take a fraction of the time :). I bought this bold bright stripe fabric on sale and could see the possibility of making tile-look squares. The result looked like mexican tile. Although the stripe was not designed or printed in a way that made the individual motifs equa-distant, the block still look ok. Good enough to house a big bowl of chips and salsa not to mention a plate of tacos.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let It Snow!

Saw this pattern in a magazine while I was waiting in line to get fabric cut and thought it was cute, added some quilting etc. The center is chenile so it's really cuddly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's good to be the guy...

While waiting to find Disney Princess fabric for my two favorite tiara wearing college girls, I thought I would work on something for a little guy whose parents have really made an impression on me. I don't even know their names, or his for that matter, but each Sunday I see them in the hall watching our church service on monitors.
Now some may argue with their choice of not letting their under 1 year old little boy go to the nursery, but I remember not wanting to miss a baby minute with my now 18 year old, and I truly admire their commitment to not only be with their son, but to be there every Sunday even if it's just sitting in the hall. I have often kidded them about how their little guy is going to have it made in a few years- we've had no less than 12 little girls born or come to the church in the last 2 years. I plan to give them this quilt with the tag... "It's good to be the guy!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

folk art finish

I like the colors, just wished I would have hand appliqued the thing- of course it wouldn't be done now would it? I sort of re-worked the pattern, from Piece O' Cake and made up the border. Looking forward to feeling better so I can do some bigger pieces again. Never realized how good echo quilting feels on a finished quilt- quite different than stippling etc.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A few weeks ago I treated myself to Piece 'O Cakes new book. I have always liked their applique work, but it also seemed very complicated. This book was more folkart inspired and it's applique more simple. This is center block will be surrounded by a leaf and circle applique design with a continuation of the red piecing. When done it should make it's way to a friend who has really been devoting herself to running a local food pantry- the colors remind me of her- extremely cheery :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So this is taking time off...

A few weeks ago I injured my shoulder, and hubby said I had to take 6 months off from quilting- WHAT? So I sort of compromised and said no gaming on the computer and no "quilting". I believe a small amount of piecing is fine :)
Still in love with bright colors on white, fresh and clean looking. Have a couple of babies coming to our church family and I can imagine wrapping a sweet little girl up in it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

As I have mentioned before, I love quilts from the 30s and 40s that used white muslin as a background for happy colors. The combination doesn't really go in my primitive log home, so most of these become gifts- especially for new babies. These are the blocks for my newest project, although I think I'm gonna use them as a border for a simple checker-board of tourqoise with a red border. I believe it'll make a nice cuddle quilt for the next sweet baby girl that comes along.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why do we wear black to funerals?

Today is Emily's funeral and I really don't want to wear black. It's not because everything I have that's black is really too small, except what I wore to the funeral home yesterday; sad but true. It's spring, can't I wear pink? Emily liked pink. She liked pink and balloons and tiaras, although wearing a tiara really isn't my style, I'm quite sure a 5 year old would hardily approve of me dawning a rhinestone crown in her honor. Black is what people expect, so black is what I'll wear. I guess it really doesn't matter and it seems pretty self-absorbed to be thinking about clothes when someone's little girl is gone. But if I think about Emily too much, it's hard to function, so wardrobe seems safe.
Emily was 5 years old and had cancer that spread throughout her whole body. I never had the pleasure of meeting her. All I did was make a quilt to help raise money for her family. But circumstances being what they are and quiltmakers being who we are- you get attached to those you create for. Everyday I would stitch and pray for her and her family. I got to know members of her family, some in person some just through e-mails. In an odd turn of events, Emily's brother was able to bring the quilt home to his sister. Two days later she passed away sleeping under that quilt of pink flowers. Her services will be held in the church where I volunteer and I guess it would be appropriate for me to wear black... but I do have a wonderful pink jacket that might be nice.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sometimes things end up as they should be. Emily's benefit was a huge success. Emily's Garden was put in the $5 raffle along with 3 vacations in Gatlinburg. Emily's brother Austin bought a ticket and won one of the vacations. He then approached the person who won the quilt and asked if they would be willing to trade the quilt so he could bring it to his mother and sister who had to be at home.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Emily's Garden is in the quilting stage. This is the largest quilt I've done in a few years, and the first large one on my new machine (which is performing wonderfully!). Emily, the 5 year old girl with brain cancer for who's benefit this quilt is made and will be raffled off in little more than a week, is home now and doing better than expected. Her cancer is still terminal, but bringing her home from the hospital so she could be with her family for the time she has left, seems to have been the right decision. Please continue to pray for her and her family.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Emily Update

So many of you have been supportive of my project for Emily, I thought you might want to know. Sadly Emily's cancer is now in her spine and diagnosed as incurable. Her family has taken her off her ventilator and meds to make her more comfortable and alert, giving her the chance to be more there for the time she has left.
We are still going ahead with the benefit and I am still stitching away on the quilt. Please pray for Emily and her family, she had only one chemo treatment left and they had such high hopes. Remember, God has given each of us only a certain number of days- touch the lives of others in whatever time you have, just like Emily has.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Here's the progress on Emilys Garden, a quilt to be raffled off at a benefit for Emily Young, a 5 year old girl with brain cancer. Had to re-calculate and now need 25 applique blocks. YIKES!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Emily's Garden is well under way. Emily is a 5 year girl with brain cancer. We were priviledged as a church to be able to pray over Emily and her family in mid Feb. A few days later, I learned of a benefit being held for Emily. They were in need of items to be auctioned. My mother died of a brain tumor when I was 12, and so I really wanted to do something to help her and her family. I asked if they would be interested in auctioning a quilt, and they said, "Sure". I struggled with what pattern to do. I have admired the work that Victoria at Bumble Beans has done in the area of charity quilts and in surfing her BLOG one day, I came across this simple applique pattern that she created for her Sis Boom Pow project. She was wonderful about me adapting the pattern for Emily's Garden. I was planning on doing 9 app. blocks alternating with a scrap double 4-patch variation, but these blocks are so much fun that I could see it growing. Go here to learn more about emily

Friday, February 26, 2010

My Chains Are Gone

Finished my Liberated Amish Quilt. Tonya, who's new website is now up and running, presented us with challenge to take inspiration from an amish quilt and liberate it, through color, design, layout- whatever you wanted. The main idea was to sort of cast aside your rulers and other exacting devices and free-piece. We were also to add free-pieced letters to the front. My inspiration was an unamed pattern that resembled chains to me, hence the title. As I tried to break-down the pattern, I realized it was a simple Rail Fence. I was amazed at the creativity it took to create this tessalating pattern and how modern and graphic it appeared despite the fact that the maker had no books, internet or quilt guild in which to take inspiration. The back has an example of what I would piece modern day...

Thanks Tonya, it was great fun!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Benefit Auction Questions

I have volunteered to donate a quilt for auction, to help raise funds for a 5 year old girl with brain cancer. I don't have lots of time, so I need to make the pattern simple. Any ideas? Should I do it kid-like or use nuetral colors? Probably needs to be lap sized at least, right? Didn't have this problem with the raffle quilt I did, but an action is different as you've got to make people want to spend the $$$$ instead of just buying a ticket.
As you can see, Izzy has trouble waiting for a quilt to actually be quilted before it becomes her own personal place of rest.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pillow-paloosa or cheap is a choice

Among our friends, my husband and I are known as "cheap". Not frugal, not smart shoppers, not any other ufamism that would save our feelings or make us feel better about our spending. No - I guess no other word truly describes our choice to owe less and to not participate in the credit card buy now pay later mentality that seems to be the norm. We are cheap. We have a vehicle that runs on waste vegtable oil, a woodstove to heat our home using the dead wood that our property so eagarly provides us. We are debt-free with the exception of our home that will be paid off in 7 years. We repair instead of re-purchase and make due instead of buy new. We are cheap.
The latest installment in the ongoing saga of our "if you don't need it don't buy it, and if you need it, think again" deals with pillows. Not sure if you have noticed or not, but pillow forms have become quite expensive. I'm not talking about the down-filled organic materials high-end stuff. I'm talking about the normal poly filled cheap-o variety. The type that become cushions that are just as likely to become non-bruising weapons in an all-out pillow fight as to a decorative object to be admired. I became very frustrated when even at 1/2 price the cheapest pillow forms I could find were nearing the $5 mark. Then, during a trip to Wal-Mart, the place of many miracles, I passed by a huge stack of sleeping pillows. $2.50 each! OK, so they were 20 in. by 26 in., but with a snip here and a de-stuff there (oh that lessening my girth was so easy) and a quick run through the sewing machine, I ended up with a pillow and a half for less than $3.
I admit it's a little messy and not as quickly satisfying as just inserting a form right out of the pkg, but as I said before, we are cheap. So let the pillow gift giving begin... it's a pillow-paloosa!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quilt Inspectors run amok!

I have two fabulous cats, who appreciate quilts just about as much as I do. Commi (what else would you call a Blue Russian) is very discriminating and has to give not only the front of the quilt a thorough going over, but the back must past inspection as well. Izzy is very camera shy, but will make an exception for a chin scratch. These are very valueable since Izzy is missing a back leg. Both were Blue Russian rescue cats and are the real rulers of our home. The quilt pictured still has to be bound before it makes it's way as a house warming gift.

New Baby

OK so there was now pink or blue stork sitting on my front lawn when my husband brought home my suprise, but that hasn't stopped me from taking pictures and ohhh-ing and ahhhh-ing at it's every little movement. No 50,000 stiches like my sister's Bernina, but that's not what I wanted. It sews straight, it sews fast (1,500 stitches per minute) and it quilts like it was made for it (which it was). Anyway the new baby has been sewing up a storm.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Whole Lotta Love~Love Hurts

How many of you remember Nazareth's hit song Love Hurts? Well the result of my Vikings swan song quilting performance may just have a new title. After performing spendidly for 23 years, piecing, quilting and finishing many a quilt, the Viking is being retired and replaced by my new Baby Lock quilting machine. I thought I would let the old girl finish one last quilt, but somehow we know when we are being demoted. She had some trouble with tension before, but we were always able to work through it, but this time the outcome was heartbreaking. The quilting of my love quilt was going fine, and then in mid-stitch, something happened, although I didn't know it until I turned the 1/2 quilted quilt over while changing a bobbin and realized it. To make matters worse, my temper got the best of me and after adjusting tension etc. I kept sewing on the already ruined quilt (the stitches were so tight, removal was impossible). I mean how much worse could it be, at least the front would be presentable and worthy of a table top and the spillage of spaghetti and other food items wouldn't send me into fits. Without paying attention I proceeded to quilt opposite of where I had been~instead of quilting swirls into the background like I had previously, I quilted the inside the last x's and o' sad. Love Hurts and so did the finishing of this quilt now relagated to a cat cozy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I love creative people...

but in a small rural town, many artsies keep on the down-low. Some don't realize that what they do is inspiring, others have not been encouraged so they hide. Often times I miss being in the company of these odd characters who "make stuff" so I have to go looking for them. When I first discovered blogging as a way to share what I was creating, I came across what I think of as going on a "creative drive" through my computer. I have always liked taking drives to look at houses, old buildings and unique shops, and my creative driving is similar in that I can go anywhere (as long as my fuel holds out) and I can see amazing things that people have created, all from the safety of an enclosed space. Did I mention that people sort of make me nervous, and the idea of someone asking me what the heck I'm doing looking at them or their work scares the crap out 0f me?
Anyway, I recommend you try it, of course it's likely something you already do, but in case here are the keys to an enjoyable trip: Go to a creative blog you enjoy, then look at what they enjoy and visit those blogs, then see what they enjoy and go visit them and so on. Hint: leave a trail of bread crumbs, many is the time I have wanted to make a return trip and can't find my way. I also keep my "add a blog" page up so in case I find a location I want to visit often, I can add it to my page and go there anytime without getting out the GPS.
I can't tell you the number of artists I have been inspired by and how generous they are. So fill up your tank with a snack or a pleasing beverage or as in my case both; and go and check out what's out there. It's a great BIG creative world!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Not sure if I'm done or not. Will throw some x's and o's on the back if I am. This one will have to sit and age a few days before I decide. Suggestions are more than welcome. I do have to say that Led Zepplin playing in your head does help in the whole liberated wonky free-piecing letter creation process.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Whole Lotta Love

A few months back my son Matt (18) came into the livingroom and told me about a great female vocalist he heard, but didn't catch her name, just the lyrics of the song. After much deciphering we figured out he was talking about Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. I love that my son and I share the same taste in music, Rolling Stones, The Doors, Boston, Pat Benatar, Queen, Eric Clapton and of course Led Zepplin. After looking at a test block for my newest quilting project and the pile of 20-30 solids in shades of burgundy to baby pink, I sighed..."that's a whole lotta love..." Hence it's title a'la Zepplin.

Same Ol' Song

For years I have done scrap quilts using my favorite
fabric, homespun. I live in a rustic log cabin so those
quilts are right at home. Over the last 6 months or
so, I have been playing with very bright and clear
colored fabrics. I've been enjoying the vibrant
colors especially paired with a crisp white. But as
New Years rolled around, I decided to
make my first quilt of 2010 in my old style.
This is from the book Bird's Nest and just a
sampling of the large quilt I want to do. Not
totally happy with the contrast, the background
fabric should have been darker, learn on the
small projects, not on the full size ones!