Saturday, December 28, 2013


Nanette, Jodi, and I usually go to Stashbusters at a LQS on the 4th Saturday of the month.  But today they weren't having it -- taking a holiday rest.  So we got together to stitch and laugh and eat at Jodi's.  Isn't her sewing room beautiful, roomy, and light.  Love it!  We had a super time.

Here I am trying out Jodi's Tiara.

Nan was busy with a secret project.

Here's Jodi at the cutting station.

This is the pressing area.

Jodi stores her fabric in an adjoining room.  I didn't get a picture, but it is all very well organized fabrics, folded, on bolts, and in tubs.

Oh, did I mention more talking than stitching might have taken place???


It was wonderful to get together with friends to sew together.  We need to do it more often!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


My friend Carol gave me 3 'stitchy' gifts for Christmas.  The little bag and the shirt showcase my favorite Loralie gal.  The one on the shirt is something else, LOL!  Below is a close up of the Lego sewing machine.  Isn't it cute?  Thanks, Carol.

Hope you are enjoying your holidays too, however you celebrate.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Merry Christmas to all my readers and online friends.  Our lawn is ready to receive our king.

And indoors, the tree is up and the packages are ready,
Less is more is our mantra these days :)
A bit of baking tomorrow, on Christmas Eve, an evening service at church, and I'm all ready.
Whatever holiday you celebrate, and in whatever way, my wish for you is for a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Look what I picked up from the "Free Table" at guild this week. 

First, that Simplicity Sewing Book is dated 1972.  Lower left is the price, $1.  It is filled with the clothes and accessories I wore when I was 21 years old.  Even my husband had fun looking at it.  Mini skirts, knit fabric bell bottoms, jumpers, crochet short pullover vests, etc.  Too fun!  It also contains lots of tips and tricks still in use today.  Fun!  Fun!

Top left is 'Historic Australian Quilts, by Annette Gero.  It was published in 2000, and was signed to by author in 2002 in Houston.  I've read lots about the history of quilts in the USA, but very little about that history in Australia.  So much history, such rich photos, lots of good reading here.

Top right, 'Quilts of Illustion' published 1988.  This one includes photos of old antique quilts in patterns such as Delectable Mountains,  Tumbling Blocks, Stairway to Heaven, etc. While there are a few patterns, this is mainly a historical documentary book.  Love it!

All three of these books are in brand new condition.

Bottom right, you'll recognize a brand new pattern for doll clothes.  Not of historical significance, but cute doll clothes.

I'm off to finish wrapping and cleaning for the holidays.  Hope you have a productive weekend.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Pie baking with granddaughter Alicia Hessert yesterday.  One coconut cream and one pumpkin.  So happy someone in the new generation wants to carry on the tradition. 

Some folks are known for great accomplishments.  I'm known for great pies!

Once again, thank you Mrs. Ott.  And Grandma Dorothy.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Our guild Christmas party was this week.  The committee did a wonderful job!  Here's how the tables looked. 

Love those little long john place favors.  Santa ran out of stockings, so we got long underwear stuffed with candy instead.  Sorry about that blurry front close up!  The saying is, "We looked for a stocking, but couldn't find a spare................So we ended up stuffing Santa's Long John Underwear!"  One member made all of them from felt.

There was an elf quilt challenge.  My friend Jodi won a prize for hers :)

Isn't it just the cutest?  Here are a few of the others.

This is the Christmas raffle quilt --  Sunbonnet Sue and Sam celebrating Christmas.  They made over $700 on it.  The money will be donated to the local 'Shop With a Cop' program.

It was so nice to dress up, meet with friends, and have a wonderful meal served to us, all in a lovely country club setting.  I do need to mention that we still call it a Christmas luncheon, and we still say grace before eating.  I love it!  We also say the Pledge of Allegiance before our meetings too.  I'm old fashioned that way and proud of it.

This picture has nothing to do with the rest of this post.  It's my granddaughter, Corina Rose and me, showing off our 'matching' pink Minnetonka moccasins.  We wore them on Thanksgiving.

Hope all my readers are having fun with preparing for the holidays, whatever you are up to.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


The kit arrived today.  Yeah!  Love this one, and can't wait to get started, but it will be 2014 before that happens, I do think.  I really like how this one incorporates fabrics from all 4 Downton women's lines.

But, I also must say that I love Violet. She is my favorite character.  I want to be her when I grow up.  And I also am called to this quilt from her line.  Applique and piecing mixed - a favorite of mine.

This quilt, from the fabric manufacturer, Andover,  calls to me too.  There are many patterns out there for this fabric line, and of course, you could use your own imagination too.  Here's a link to Andover's patterns.

I know the fabric is flying off the bolts.  I'm glad I ordered as soon as it was available.  My kit is from The Fat Quarter Shop.  Now I'm eager to see what everyone makes with Downton fabric.  I've seen other 1920s lines coming out too.  A new trend, like CW or 30s?  Do we all secretly wish we were flappers in the 20s?

Monday, November 25, 2013


Downton Abbey backing fabric arrived today.  The kit is expected to be here tomorrow.  Odd, since I ordered the kit first, but, won't get to it until after the holiday stitching anyway.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I've been working on my Gloria Loughman class wall hanging today.  Now I need to find more threads.  Might need a trip to the quilt shop.  The background tiles are all stitched down with Superior Rainbow thread.

Below the piece is the original inspiration post card.  I really don't care if it turns out similar or not, but you do need a starting point of some sort.


Saturday, November 16, 2013


The star swap is complete and my pretties are here.  I requested Christmas red/green/gold.  I had thought about making two table runners with these, but now I'm thinking maybe make a Christmas throw.  I love the secondary pattern that would be lost on a runner.

These are paper pieced 12" blocks, with 72 pieces per block.  Thanks to Bea who ran the swap and to all the participants.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I was so fortunate to take a class with Gloria Loughman, from Australia, for the past two days.  We began with a trunk show and slide show with the whole guild.

We had the opportunity to examine her amazing work up close.

Here's a close-up of part of one of her panel quilts.

This is the Linear Landscape she teaches on Craftsy.
Our class involved tiling the background like this wonderful sample.

After lunch, those of us taking the class got set up.  Where to start?
That large spread out piece is 1/2 meter of Gloria's hand dyed.  I used it for my background and the tiles on top.

My friend, Jodi, seriously at work.

A photo op with Gloria.  Need to get more serious with the diet!  Second day lunch we ordered out pizza.  Yummy, but.......
Maybe Jodi got a better picture of me?
And here's my progress so far.  The tiled sky (not yet stitched), The proposed land on the horizon, and my piece of water reflecting sunset.
This was made by painting (me, painting?) over a commercial fabric that I used for jar lids a few years back.  Again, me painting?  Well................  Gloria had demonstrated; she did get me started; well, ok, in the end she did it for me.  I think she sensed my fear every time she tried to hand me the brush :)  You can see on the far left, where there's no paint, what the fabric looked like in the beginning.
And what was that I said about not having to line up points on an art quilt?  Hmmm.............  Not exactly true here.
If ever you have the opportunity to take a class with Gloria, do it.  She is an amazing teacher -- very friendly, hands on, calms your fears, helpful, etc.  I learned so much and had so much fun.  Very worthwhile indeed!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Here they are, all 10!  Each participant selected their color scheme and the location of the Kona white was fixed by the hostess.  But after that, it was up to the maker.  There are two blocks for each.  So with making two of your own, you'll have 12 blocks in your colorway to work with.  I requested Christmas red/green/gold.  I'll show you what I received when they come.

I improved my point matching in the process, but I sure hope I'm not sending to any quilt police!  I have a ways to go with that learning curve on blocks with 72 pieces each.  Paper piecing helps the accuracy, but geesh!  72 pieces in one block?  They are 12".

The swap was coordinated by Bea Quilter.  She modified the Persian Star pattern from Women of the Bible Quilt, enlarging it and leaving off an applique center.  I will check with Bea and Carol H. about sharing the pattern, as several have asked.

I made these entirely from stash -- FQs and smaller.  Why is it when you pull stash scraps, the volume gets larger, not smaller.  Oh and my creative mind is so messy!  This is what my studio looks like at the end of this project.

I can hear friend Carol saying, yes, that's how it always looks.  And friend Jodi saying tsk, tsk.  I need to pull fabric for one more scrappy project - Nan's round robin border - and also for an art quilt class.  Then the studio is getting a thorough cleaning/tidying.  Geesh!  What a wreck!
Art quilt class?????  What was I thinking?  That is so out of my norm.  But it's the only international teacher my guild has coming this year, so I'm doing it.  S-t-r-e-t-c-h!  At least I won't have to worry about matching up points!  And Jodi is in it with me, and it's even more a reach for her.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I've been working on stars all weekend.  Bea designed this paper-pieced block in EQ.  They finish 12".  Each block is made in 8 sections (two print to a page), and there are 9 pieces in each section.

Yup.  That's 72 pieces in each  block.  Yikes!  Worse yet, I was getting up and pressing and cutting after each line of stitching.  New system, all set up at the machine now.  Whew.  I've gotten it down to 15 minutes a section, so that's two hours per block, not counting selecting fabrics, cutting to size for piecing, and removing the paper.

This is not a swap to let slide!  But I did.  Life happened on so many fronts, and I'm under the wire now.  Back to stitching.  I need 10 total, 2 each of 5 colorways.  Plus my own, but that can and will wait.

How's your weekend going?  I'm thankful for the extra hour.  Hey, that's half a block:)

Friday, November 1, 2013


Nov. 1 is All Saints/Souls Day to me, when we honor those who passed before us.  In Mexican tradition it is called Dia de los Muertos -- Day of the Dead. 

In honor of this holiday, our guild had us dig out the skeletons in our closets -- yes, our oldest UFOs -- for show and tell  Too fun.

Here's mine, an applique Santa from about 1991 or 92.  I think.  I know it was near Desert Storm time and it was a kit from Keepsake Quilting.  What is really funny is that all necessities are in the baggie.  The pages have yellowed, but check out that Dual Duty cranberry thread I was using for needle turn applique!  Geepers!

In my defense, I was living in Saudi Arabia at the time, and probably used whatever thread I could find to match.  There's also a neat spool of 100% cotton thread from France.  I'm sure that's from Al Zamil's.

I was just learning to use freezer paper for applique, and look.....   It is still ironed on after 20+ years!!!

Here's how far I got back then before it got boxed up and put into storage for years.  Hmmm.............  Maybe I should finish it for this year.

The oldest UFO and grand prize winner, was a quilt top our guild president made in 1976, her first year of teaching.  She traced and embroidered each 2nd grader's hand print, and added their names.  The top is all complete, but not quilted.

So, what's hiding in your closet?  Do you have any skeletons?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I won our little block lotto this month.  I requested 9-patches, any size (3", 6" 9", or 12") and any colors.

These cuties arrived from Marianne.  4 of them finish at 3" and the giant is 6".  Too fun!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


So, after guild on Tuesday, we went to the quilt shop.  I got this new cutting system, by TrueCut.  They are the ones that show the children using it in their ads --  easy - safe - accurate.  We shall see.

Notice the partially cut selvage on the left.  That's where I left off last Sunday.  Haven't been in the studio all week.  The finger is healing nicely so far.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Second cut of the day, and I sliced off a tip of finger skin  Ouch!  Much blood and pain later, here it is.  Maybe I need to get one of those Klutz Glove things.!  Ouch!

Friday, October 4, 2013


This is my first Loyal Union Sampler block, B-2 Camp Curtain.  These are 6" blocks and the quilt is by Jennifer Chiaverini, my favorite author.
No, I didn't need another ongoing project.  However, I do want to do them as a quilt along with others, and the group is starting now.  You can learn more about that, and join in if you want to, here.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Sunrise over Whitefish Bay this morning.  -- Picture compliments of Village Fabrics and Crafts, my favorite LQS.    They live a few miles south of us on the same shoreline.  As she commented,  perfect inspiration for a variegated yarn or a batik fabric.  Nature is the BEST inspiration!