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?