Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Tea towels

Cute, quick and easy from Nancy Halvorsen.
The angel we will take as a hostess gift when we go to a party
tonight. My daughter will get the red Santa and the green
Santa will be mailed on Monday to my sister-in-law.

I just might have to make some of these for myself.

Here are steps 1 through 3 of the Carolina Crossroads mystery
from Bonnie Hunter . The next step is just nine patches
without the accent fabric. I probably won't get to them until
after Christmas. Don't ya just love a good mystery?!

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sewing Sitters

Aren't these just about the cutest things you ever saw!!!??
They are resin and each one is about 4" tall so they
can be seen really well sitting on a shelf

I found them last year and bought two sets. One I gave
as my brown-bag gift exchange at our guild retreat in
February. Needless to say it was stolen a few times.
I just googled Sewing Sitters and found them on ebay
and at which is where I bought them.
I paid full price and I see they are drasticlally reduced.
Oh well.

I worked on Bonnie's mystery last night and I'm almost
done with the nine patches. I am so obsessive about
random that I cut all my strips into 3.5" pieces and
mixed them up. Then I cut them again into the 1.5"
sections. All this while watching NCIS and The
Biggest Loser. I love to multitask!

Until next time...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Winter WH and Scrap Musings

Another Bare Roots pattern. This one is for winter. I have
small wall in my foyer that is perfect for a little wall
hanging. I have one for each season. (See fall's in the
Oct 1 post). I think I changed the words on this one too.
I think it said Merry Christmas and I changed it so
I could leave it up until I put my Spring one up. The cute
little wood hanger I bought at a quilt show.

After my last post about Bonnie Hunter's mystery I
received a few comments that touched me.
I realize that we quilters all have some sort of
compulsion about our fabric. Some of us love to cut
it up and some of us agonize over cutting it up and
alot are in the middle somewhere. I do have some
fabrics that are so special to me that I will probably
never cut it. I had mentioned that I had trouble
cutting whole fat quarters when I am making scrap
quilts and Marilyn said she had the same problem
about cutting into yardage. Well, I have that problem
too!!!. It's a wonder I get any quilts made at all.

I do love my stash and I do use alot of it. I buy alot too
but I am not resolved to use my stash until it is all gone!
Sometimes I buy fabric for a specific use and sometimes
I buy fabric just because. Alot of times I start collecting
certain colors or styles for a future quilt. (i.e. blues, civil
wars, novelties) I don't keep tiny pieces to use and until
recently threw small pieces away. (I define small as less
that 1.5" strip or square) I have now started throwing
them in a bag and plan on making two large dog beds
for my two large dogs.

This eases my guilt.

Until next time...

Friday, December 7, 2007

OK, I'm doin' the Carolina Crossroads mystery

Well, no one had to twist my arm!
It is Bonnie Hunter's mystery on

I worked on it last night and this morning, and have half of the
rail blocks done. It does go fast.

I have all the blocks done for another a black, white and red
top using Jackie Robinson's Strip & Slash pattern (see
August 22 post)and I had lots left over so....

...since we are supposed to use our stash (which is hard
for me BTW! What if I need these exact fabrics
someday!!!???) I am being very disciplined and

I have another confession to make. Sometimes when I am
cutting strips or squares for scrap quilts, when I come across
a whole, uncut FQ, I don't cut it!!! You see, I have all my
fabrics grouped by color. There are large 1-3 yard pieces
mixed in with FQs or smaller. When I want to give a FQ
or use FQs for a specific quilt I have to unfold each piece
to find one. So as I come across whole FQs I am
separating them in a separate bin. So is this a
justification for not using them or what!!??

There should be a twelve step program for scrap quilters!

Until next time...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winter quilt on my bed

Just in time for the snow here in Maryland!
This monster is 110" square and has heavy batting, made from
all civil war reproduction fabrics, shirtings, and many from
my stash that look like civil war era. It was my challenge to
be completely random. My quilt friends tease me because
I do have trouble in that area. I have actually coined the
phrase "planned random."
This quilt won second place for large pieced quilts this year
at the Southern Comforters Quilt show.

Until next time...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Joy to the World

I know you all have seen this pattern by Nancy Halvorsen.
It was fun to make and JUST fits over my mantle. The
mantle (as well as the house) isn't completely decorated yet
but I always can't wait to hang this so it goes up first.

My bee (there are 9 of us) goes out to dinner for our
Christmas party. We then go back to someone's house
for desert and exchange gifts. We have done a block
exchange, drawn names, or exchanged fat quarters.
But our favorite gift exchange is one we like so much
we have done it for many years. We give each friend
a gift but our dollar limit is $2–3 each. You have to
get very creative when you can only spend that small

Last year I made everyone slippers. I bought that
rubber shelf liner stuff to use for the soles. This year I
made everyone a cover for a square tissue box. They
are all made with sewing theme fabric to be used
in their sewing rooms. Here is a photo of three of them.

The one on the left has cats in a quilt shop. Then
Sunbonnet Sue in the middle and the one on the
right says "Quilter are Piecemakers". I have thimbles,
hearts, and needles and thread but they aren't done yet.
I have time, our party isn't until the 19th.

Until next time...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Two more gifts done!!-Boxes

Aren't these the cutest???!!! They are for my two sons' girlfriends,
Angela and Hannah. The boxes turned out better than I expected.
They were very easy, so much fun to make and the directions were
very clear. I would like to buy more of these kits (fabric not
included) but I bought them last year so I don't know if I can get
them again. I will be on the look out. I know I could probably find
them online but for now, I need to concentrate on Christmas.

And by the way, my daughter loved the Christmas wallhanging.
(See First Gift... post) She is constantly surprising me because
she said she wanted to hang it on the wall as opposed to using
it as a table topper. So I kept it this weekend and sewed a sleeve
on the top and the bottom to insert dowels. I sew sleeves on the
bottom, too sometimes to help the wallhanging hang better.
I was also surprised that neither she nor her husband knew
what a dowel was. Ah these twenty-somethings live in a
different world sometimes huh?

And I had said she wasn't the wallhanging type!!!
Who knew???

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pin Cushions

Every year, at our guild retreat, my friend Georgia demonstrates
a pin cushion for us to make. It started with the chicken (center).
Then the cathedral window square came next. Last year was the
strawberry, then the year before that was the crab. The mouse
was the hardest one to do, mainly because of the tail. The puffy
pillow wasn't made at our retreat but I bought it from our guild
table at our quilt show. It was made by Pam B. The only pin
cushion that is not included here is the turtle. I made it but
never stuffed it and now I can't find it!!! And I really want to
find it and finish it since I am a Terp alumni. (University of
Maryland for anyone like me who doesn't know college mascots
except for their own!)

And that segues into my messy sewing room. I have been working
on Christmas gifts and as of Friday at 6am I will be in my mad
Christmas panic so I don't forsee any organizing going on in my
sewing room until after the holidays. I just hope I don't lose
anything too important. I mean it is bad. I have a path from the
sewing machine to the ironing board. I will be cleaning off the
sewing table after the gifts are done to use as a wrapping station.
Maybe I can find a few stolen minutes to at least get started.
EEEK where do I start??!!

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nine-patch Pizzaz

Ta-da!!! I think I like it! It was a long road but I think it is
worthy to give to my son's wonderful girlfriend, Angela.
The borders made it I think. I had it all put together and
decided to add another row. So I took off the bottom border
and added the row at the bottom. I hope she likes it. I know
she will appreciate it. She is such a special person. (Shhh
don't tell anyone but I hope my son asks her to marry him!!!)

Here is a pic of the back. I had these nine-patch blocks
leftover. I didn't want to use this color combination on
the front.
I will baste it before our guild meeting on Wednesday
and start quilting it. I think I am just going to stipple
all over.

Until next time...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Lucy's doll quilt

A few years ago, my two cousins and I cleaned out my Aunt's house.
She was going into a nursing home with Alzheimer's and since she didn't
have any children, the task fell to us. We discovered lots of old family
treasures. Luckily a few years back we spent an afternoon with Aunt
Marcia going through old family photos and she identified them and
we created a rough family tree. It goes back to the early 1800s.

There is a little piece of paper pinned to the back of this sweet
treasure that says "Lucy's quilt." It is made of satin and taffeta.
And since it is only 15" square we figured it was a doll quilt.
Aunt Marcia told us that Lucy died when she was nine-years-old.
Her Great Uncle Carl Loy was my Aunt's cousin. That would put
her somewhere in the late 1800s. They lived in New Castle, PA,
(near Pittsburgh)

I had it appraised and I was amazed at how much it was worth.

I have more antique quilts from the same closet, I'll save for
another post.

Until next time...

Monday, November 5, 2007

First Gift of the Season, done!

For my daughter who just celebrated her first wedding anniversary.
She is hard to read when it comes to quilts but I think she will like
this as a table topper. (She isn't the wallhanging type)

I made it at a Square -in-a-square class I took last weekend. I am
proud to say that I actually got all the fabrics from my stash.
The center was finished at the class and the applique finished
on Sunday. Got the borders put on during the week and quilted
it at a sew-all-night on Friday sponsored by my LQS, Tomorrow's
Treasures. I like it so much I think I will make one for myself
with a cardinal in the middle. (Maybe not for this Christmas though)

I liked the square-in-a-square technique but didn't like all the
bias edges. And I do mean ALL!

Next gift to finish is the pesky nine patch pizzaz for Angela.
(did I mention that she is my son's wonderful girlfriend)
(see previous post.) I got the top put together (started all over
from the book and I like it better now but I still don't love it)
and had to order more fabric for the border. When that
comes in I will decide if it is worthy to give to her. If not
I have a plan B. It's funny because my bee always jokes
about giving quilts to "quilt-worthy" people. This time
I am worried that the quilt itself is not "worthy"!

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just not sure, must keep at it

These are very rough, preliminary layouts but so far....hmmmm....
I don't know. When you pick a fabric and have a vision in your
head and then have trouble getting that vision out of your head...
well that just makes me want to give up, throw it in a box and
move on to something else. Unfortunatley, I want to give this
quilt to my son's wonderful girlfriend for Christmas, so giving
up is not an option.

Many people in my guild have made spectacular quilts using
the Nine-Patch Pizzazz book. I am trying but am not likng
this at all. I think I am over thinking things. The colors are
perfect so I think I will ask my art director son to help me
arrange them better. Ugh this is frustrating.

Here is another disappointment. I bought this pack of twenty fat
quarters at the Annapolis quilt show in June. It is Roman Holiday
and I thought it would make a good Christmas quilt for my daughter.
Well, I just know she probably won't like it and I'm not sure I really
like it. I mean, it's beautiful, just not what I had expected. There
is too much blue for it to be a Christmas quilt, but the reds have
holly on them. Oh well, this one might not get quilted until next
Christmas. Maybe I'll give it to my cousin.

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Back to Reality and mystery solved!

Quilt retreats are good for the soul.
Sewing, laughing, eating and sleeping -- in that order.

We all decided that next year we are going to go an
extra day. The weather was unseasonably warm this
year, but we just turned on the fans and didn't let
it slow us down.

All seven of us got alot done too. New projects
started and old ones finished.

Here are some of the mystery quilts we put together.
It is called Fractured Crystals by Linda Ballard and
I got it from the HGTV web site.
This one is Georgia's
This one is Cathy's

And this one is mine--without borders.

I wanted to miter my borders since there will be three of them and
duh- I forgot my large piece of the outer border (dk blue)
More people from my bee are still working on theirs and I'll show
you those as they finish. I should post them all together too so you
can see how different they all look depending on the value.

I will leave you with a final picture. Since we all looked, hmmm,
shall I say "comfortable" I couldn't possibly show the world what
we looked like.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chilly nights and Counting down

Here's my fall quilt that is now on our bed. FINALLY the weather
is more like fall here in Bowie, MD. This quilt has heavy batting
so it weighs a ton! It won first place in the large pieced category
at our quilt show in March 2006. You can just ignore the woman
holding the ribbon! I think it won because the men who came
to the show liked it and voted for it. I can't remember if the
pattern is called Cabin Full of Geese or Geese in the Cabin.

THREE MORE DAYS until I get to look at this view while I
am sewing away all day--for four whole days!!! My bee will
be on retreat starting Friday here at West River, just south
of Annapolis. My dining room table is being piled high
with fabric and gadgets. I take my own sewing chair and
my little plastic three drawer storage. I keep changing my
mind as to the projects I want to work on. (I have so many
to choose from, dontcha know!?) I know I will be working
on a Christmas lap quilt and table runner for my daughter
and my son's wonderful girlfriend's graduation quilt. I also
have two patterns for boxes that you cover with fabric for
the both boy's girlfriends. Plus many many many more.
Gosh I would have to stay at least a month to get it all done.

I'll have lots of fun pics...
Until next time...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mystery blocks--Shhhhh

Mystery blocks A, B, and C.

If some of you recognize these blocks and how they go
together, please don't tell for a few weeks. I will announce
the pattern and the designer after I let my bee put theirs
together. Those that are going on our retreat next week
will know the answers, but those that aren't going will
have to wait until we get back.

And speaking of the retreat....7 days and counting!!!!!
I love the weeks before almost as much as the actual
retreat itself. The planning and organizing and anticipation
is so exciting! I basted my celtic Christmas quilt at the
guild meeting last night (see Sept 17 post) so I will be
machine quilting that. I will stitch in the ditch around
the knots and just stipple all the background. It should
go fast. Especially with no distraction (except visiting
the snack table!) I have to remember to stop by
Tomorrow's Treasures tonight to buy some red and
green varigated thread.

I have lots of projects planned to work on but will save
them fo to blog about later.

This weekend will be busy as our guild Quilt Bingo
is on Sunday. I've never played Bingo and instead of cash
all the prizes are handmade quilts. I am working and not
playing but it should be fun and hopefully a big fundraiser
for the guild.

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Scrappy blues

Sorry-the title could be misleading. I am not feeling blue, I am
finally starting my scrappy blue quilt. I have been dreaming,
collecting, planning, searching and cutting for years now.
All the stars must be aligned because I found just the right
pattern and have . . . started. (Which as we all know is a very
long way away from . . . finishing!

This block is called Mary's block. I'm sure that it has other
names but if you want to peak at the end, you'll see it.
I have also changed the sizes a bit so I can use my Easy
Angle ruler. It is the same basic principle as my black &
white & red quilt. (Sorry I don't know how to link the page

There are many many ways to set this block and I am cutting
other colors to make another scrappy one . . . someday!
Actually, it would make a good leader/ender project.

So the first pic above shows the components. 2.5" squares,
2.5" x 3.25" rectangles of the lights and 4.5" x 5.25"
rectangles for the larger triangles. Piece the squares and
small rectangles as shown above.

Then put the larger rectangle right sides together and
cut both with the Easy Angle ruler. (above) Sew each
together diagonally. Very easy.

This is the setting I am planning to use, but the
possibilities are endless.

I will be working on this at my retreat coming up later
in the month. In fact in 15 more days, not that I'm
counting or anything. I will be posting about my
preparations later. I believe that the anticipation,
planning and preparing are almost just as fun as
the retreat itself.

Until next time...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy Fall Pt. 2

I am always very happy when I switch to my fall decorations.
Cooler air and preparations for the coming winter put me in a good mood.

This wallhanging over my mantle was done from the book Crossroads.
It is machine appliqued and I love the colors, golds, rusts,
with a touch of purple.

The matching quilt has the same border fabric as the wallhanging.
I took this class years ago at Cottonseed Glory in Annapolis, MD.
You take 10-14 fat quarters, stack them and cut out the pieces.
Then when you sew the blocks you switch the placement of each fabric.
So even though each block is the same pattern, they look very
different. I wasn't really happy with it at first but now I really like it.

This is a Bareroots pattern and I have one for each season.
I changed the wording a little because it had something to do
with Halloween. It's odd, but as much as I love fall, I really don't
like Halloween. This hangs in my foyer and I got the cute oak
quilt hanger at a quilt show.

The only thing I did not switch is my bed quilt.
Maybe I'll get to that this week.

Until next time...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy fall

This cute little thing (about 16" x 13") was made by a guild member and
I bid on it and won it in our silent auction at last year's quilt show.
It hangs on the door of my sewing room.

Now, I have done paper piecing before and I gotta tell you, I am not that
crazy about it, but I certainly do appreciate all these little pieces .

Tomorrow, my wonderful husband, Jim, and I will celebrate our 33rd
wedding anniversary. We will probably just go to dinner and a movie.
Sorta like a date!

Another thing I love about our anniversary is that means that Fall is
here!!! I love Fall. So this weekend I will get my fall stuff out.
Stay tuned for pics next week.

I have a busy month coming up. Saturday is a sew day sponsored
by my guild at the library. Then October 14 is our QUILT BINGO.
On the 19th my bee is going to a retreat for 4 days. (I am so excited
I can hardly stand it!) Part of the fun is in the planning.
And the very next weekend on the 27th is a square-in-a-square

I have some Christmas gifts to finish and another wedding quilt
to start so I hereby declare October to be QUILT MONTH!!!

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mystery for Bee

I am either brave or stupid!
I am running a mystery for the members of my bee.
Eight other women are trusting me to make this quilt sight-unseen.
I found a great pattern and of course I had to make it a little larger.
(The pattern was for a square quilt and I am making it more rectangular).
This makes it harder to figure out the yardage and the number of
pieces to cut.
I like mysteries that are harder to figure out until the very end.

Let me tell you I am losing sleep over this.
I have checked and re-checked my figures.
I am pretty sure I have it right.

We are on step three so far.
Above are my fabrics and below are some of the pieces.

Everyone wanted to use fabrics from their stash, which I agree with since
they don't know what it will look like. I gave them guidelines like a print,
a dark, an accent, and a background. We needed two yards of the dark
and the print which made it limiting (for me at least) to find large enough
pieces that would coordinate.
I know they will like this quilt, and I'll keep updating as we go.

Until next time...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fun quilty weekend

Well, my laundry didn't get folded, my carpet is fuzzy from dog hair,
and we had leftovers for dinner on Sunday but I finished my celtic
quilt top!!! I actually finished the center knot in class and the rest
during the weekend at home.

On Saturday I attended this class sponsored by my guild, Southern
Comforters of Bowie, Maryland and taught by Peg Bingham.
She has published many books on Celtic knots and lives in Ohio.
Take it from me, if you ever get a chance to take one of her classes,
go for it. She is a great teacher and her patterns are amazing.
This looks complicated doesn't it? Peg's books are so organized
that all you have to do is follow step by step. In each of her books
you can choose from many different sizes and shapes too.
This quilt is called Overhand Knot. I actually changed it a little
and Peg was gracious enough to help me figure it out. She liked
my change so much she is going to put it in the next printing of
this book.

Here is Peg (on the left) holding up some of the samples she brought.
She talked about color and fabric selection too.

I took a class from Peg a few years ago and made this table topper/wallhanging.
This pattern is called Square Knot.

What a pieceful weekend I had.

Until next time...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Best job in the guild

Here is a photo of a corner of my sewing room. This is the guild
library. (Part of my stash is on the shelves above--and I keep my
own personal books across the room so they don't get mixed up.)
I haven't counted all the books but I would guess its in the
hundreds. I bring around 20 different books every meeting
(twice a month) and sometimes members come over to browse.
My budget this year is $350. I am in the process now of taking
inventory and removing the outdated books. Next week we are
having an auction to sell them at our guild meeting.

Each evening I have been doing one of three things depending
on how I feel.
1. Piecing my black, white and red
2. cutting scraps
3. finishing hand work on the binding on my Trip-around-the-world

I have ADD (made worse by menopause!!!) so I like to have
many things going at once. I try to give myself a limit on
the number of projects that I am activly working on at once
so I am not completely all over the place.

Last nights guild meeting was a lecture by Peg Bingham.
She will be teaching a class this Saturday on one of her
celtic patterns. I took a class from her a few years ago
and she is delightful. Last time I made just a small table
topper but this time I am making a twin size quilt with
Christmas fabrics. You can see the fabrics in my Aug 20
post. I'll be sure to take pics and share them.

Until next time...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Displaying quilts

I have quilts all over the house, draped or folded over chairs and
various quilt racks, but this is my favorite way to show my quilts.
I bought it at a quilt show a few years ago. I keep my king-size
quilts in it along with some of my antique quilts.

This weekend my plans are to continue with the mess in my sewing
room, work on the binding on my trip-around-the-world that I
quilted last weekend, cut some blue scraps, and of course some
piecing on my black & white & red. I bought a tall plastic drawer
thing that I want to find a place for and start filling it up with my
cut scraps. Instead of hand work at my bee I have been taking
scraps to cut. My dream is to get caught up on organizing my
scraps Yeah right..that'll happen!

Have a great weekend.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


My grandmother (we called her Gam) made this quilt (the one on the
right) sometime in the 1930s. I had it on my bed when I was a little
girl in the 50s and when I got married my mother gave it to me. I swear
I don't know how it got in this condition. It was kept in the linen closet
for years, moving with us a few times. When I started "officially"
quilting in 1999 I dug it out and it was almost in shreds. And this is the
good side!!!! I decided that someday I wanted to recreate it and went
in search of the right color pink. Believe it or not it was hard to do
because many of the reproduction pinks were too peachy. I finally
found it along with the curve master foot.

The original quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted. I duplicated
all the sizes exactly but machine quilted in the ditch. I then copied
the daisy for the large white areas to hand quilt and the cables
for the borders. I have finished the center and now working on the
borders. The batting is just a good quality flannel, making it a
dream to quilt through.

I think about Gam alot when I am working on it. This is one of
the joys of quilting...feeling a connection to the past as well
as making a connection to the future. Does anyone else feel this?

This old quilt doesn't have a label but you can bet the new one will.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I am not a perfectionist, but...

I did it!. I finished quilting my king-size Trip-Around-the-World. I started
Friday night and finished on Sunday night. You can see the backing fabric
at the top of the picture. Don't you just love finding a piece of fabric and
knowing that it is perfect for something? That is how I felt when I saw this.
I didn't get the border fabric in the photo. That is a perfect border print that
I found the same way. I will take a pic of the whole quilt when I show it
at show-and-tell at guild after it is bound.

I started this quilt in a class at my LQS given by Norma Campbell. She
has very organized instructions for the piecing, and the pressing. Since
I am a pressing nut, I was very impressed. I wanted to make the whole
thing from my stash, but didn't know if I could find 24 half yard pieces that
would match. So I walked to the other side of the room, turned around, and
gazed at the shelves holding my stash. I was looking for the thickest folded
pieces that would indicate it had 1/2 yard or more on them. Well the pieces
that jumped out were blue and yellow prints. I filled them in with greens,
lighter blues, yellows and darker blues. The fun part came in deciding
the order of the fabrics.

Now here comes the perfectionist part. I had some sections left over from
cutting the borders and thought if I had enough I could use it for the binding.
I squeezed out enough, all 408" and sewed it on. As I was doing the hand
sewing on the back, I decided that I didn't like the way the print showed on
the front, so I ripped--literally ripped-- the binding off. It wasn't an anger
thing, but a practical thing. If I had to pick all the stitches out it would
have taken me days. So I just ripped it! It didn't hurt the quilt or the
binding. I re-ironed it and will sew it on tonight and start over. I am usually
very laid back when it comes to my quilting but this really bothered me
for some reason. I knew that every time I saw that quilt on my bed I would
zoom in on the binding. Now it will be perfect--I hope!

Until next time...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beautiful blues

Did I mention the I love blue!!!?
When I took my trusty Bernina 153 in to be cleaned (it sure gets noisy when
it needs a bath!) I couldn't resist these blues.
I think they were featured on the cover of McCall's Quilting magazine.
I also saw this cute pattern and thought it would be perfect for these fabrics.

The bottom fabric will be the border. I have no idea what I am going to do
with this quilt but I just had to have these fabrics. Sometimes you just have
to listen to your heart and my heart was screamin' at me !
Won't bet anything on when I'll get to cut into it though.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Scraps aren't just for quilts

See, you can make lots of things with scraps!
This bag is about 24" long and 12" high and 8" deep.
It has sturdy denim handles, four pockets on the inside, a hard
cardboard bottom and little round button feet.
I use it as a weekend overnight bag or to carry fabric to retreats.
Let me tell you, it holds ALOT of stuff, space-wise and

A few years ago, at our guild retreat, we all made these as our
mystery project. We were told to bring ugly squares and we all
swapped. The light triangle have signatures. The construction
was a little difficult but not impossible.

I will fill you in on our retreats in a later post. But just to give you
a little teaser, I go twice a year, once with the whole guild (but
only about 45 women attend) and once in the fall with just my bee.
We will be going the weekend of October 19. Stay tuned!

We had guests for the weekend so I didn't get much sewing done.
BUT this weekend, I am actually going to start quilting my
trip-around-the-world. Can't wait--really!

I also am going to make a REALISTIC list of things I want
to get organized in my messy sewing room. If I am brave enough
I will take before and after pics.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Black, white and red all over

Otherwise known as the newspaper quilt!!!

I must be in a silly mood this morning. It is a dreary, rainy day
in Washington, D.C. so I guess being silly is better than being

I am a reality TV junkie. You know, Survivor, Amazing Race,
Big Brother. My co-workers and I discuss them at lunch so that
makes them even more interesting. So as I was day-dreaming
while driving to work, (don't worry, my car knows the way so
I don't have to think much!!!) I realized that this is why I have
become hooked on quilt blogs. It is like reality TV for quilters.
Catching a glimpse into your lives and what everyone is
working on keeps me inspired and makes me realize that I am
not the only one who is loves quilting.

This is my current project. I have been collecting black and white
fabrics for years now and found this pattern by Jackie Robinson
called Strip and Slash. It is so much fun--no triangles--
and perfect for my growing piles of black and white.

The top pic shows the steps (although out or order--sorry!) and the
second pic is a few blocks laid out on my design wall.
The layouts are limitless and will be fun to play with when the
blocks are done. I will need 192 blocks to make a large lap size.
I am thinking that I might like to do an asymetrical layout.

I do have to put this away for a while while I wrestle with
my king-size trip-around-the-world. I need to get that quilted
so I can cross that off my UFO list. I'll take a picture of it this
weekend. We are having my Paducah friend here for a visit so
I won't be getting much sewing done.

Until next time...

Monday, August 20, 2007

What a haul in Lancaster, PA!

Here is a pic of Angie's quilt. Well, it will be a Nine-Patch Pizzazz quilt
before Christmas. Angie is my son's wonderful girlfriend who
just moved away for
eight months. She just graduated from college and I
want to make her a quilt.
I bought the fabric on my trip to the Amish quilt
shops in Lancaster, PA.

Five members of my quilting bee (me included) took a day trip to
Lancaster, PA on Friday.We left at 6:30 am to avoid rush hour and
walked into Sauder's at 8:45. It is an Amish quilt shop in the basement
of a house out in the middle of farm country. There is electricity in the
shop but none in the house. There is also no bathroom! If you HAVE to
go you can use the outhouse. But the fabric selection is current and
the prices are around $6 per yard. There is also a bargain table with
folded pieces and many bargains.

Above is fabric I bought for a celtic quilt class I will be taking with Peg
Bingham sponsored by my guild,
Southern Comforters. I have already taken
her class
a few years ago and made a table topper. She is a great teacher and
makes the complicated piecing very easy. This time I want to make a larger
quilt and thought that Christmas fabric would
be nice. The background will
be the red, green and gold print and the knots will
be the green, red and gold.
I don't think I will use the lighter gold and white.
I bought it before I saw the
darker gold. I will post more about this class in September.

We then drove to Intercourse, PA and our first stop was the pretzel
and lemonade shop. We had hot-from-the-oven homemade pretzels and
fresh squeezed lemonade. Then on to some serious shopping at Zooks,
right next door..

Here is a photo of the miscellaneous fabric I bought. The top is a charm pack,
blues and since there is a scrappy blue quilt in my not too distant future,
I just had
to buy it. I know, I know, some purists wouldn't consider it a scrap
quilt if you
buy fabric to make it. But my definition of a scrap quilt is the use
of many, many
different fabrics. The white-looking piece is really a cute
shirting with tiny blue
flowers. The next two pieces are sewing theme fabrics.
Whenever members of my
bee see a sewing themed fabric we usually buy a
few yards and give each other
a FQ. Needless to say we have all accumulated
lots. The last piece is for our guild's strip
exchange for September, the theme
is blues. Well you know me and blue fabric.

We also visited the Old Country store. and while there was a raging
thunderstorm outside we all shopped and browsed. This store has a
beautiful craft section in the front, fabric in the back, and quilts
(already made by Amish women) as well as a museum upstairs.
It is a beautiful store and a must to visit if you are in
Lancaster. By the time we left, the sun was shining again!

This is my splurge. I saw an ad in the quilt magazines for this quilt using
Alex Anderson's Cottage Rose collection. The pattern is available free on
PB Textiles web site.

My bee gives fat quarters for our birthdays. Flo wanted blue batik, Terri
large print flowers in pink or red, Mary wanted bright batik,
Georgia wanted
brown and pink, Karen wanted brown civil war, Cathy
wanted red or yellow and
white, and Lori wanted brown, beige or rust.
My choice is --guess what--blue
and white. I feel very organized now
that I have everyone for the whole year.

We stopped at a few more little shops mostly selling quilts and then
ate at an Amish smorgasbord. On the two hour drive home we all
shared what we bought and I spent the weekend washing and ironing
my new fabric.

What a wonderful day!

Until next time...