Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New year

And I mean that from my heart.
Above is my bee party. We all exchange gifts with a
$2-$3 limit. It makes for some very creative gifts.

Needless to say, I've been a busy girl. I won't
bore you with the details because I'm sure that they are
the same as many women all over the country. I do, however,
have the Christmas spirit and am enjoying the busyness
and underlying panic. My panic usually comes from
worrying if my three kids (they are all grown and on
their own, mind you!) have the same amount of gifts.
They have never worried about it but I do, for some
strange reason. I just want them all to have a wonderful
Christmas. Well, I consider myself truly blessed if that's
my biggest worry, huh?

Here is the cutest bag I made for Hannah, my second son's girlfriend.

The top pic is the front and the bottom is the back. It is the cutest thing with lots of pockets. I also made my son-in-law some San Diego Chargers PJs, pillow case and two bandanas for their beagles. He is a big Chargers fan and I bought three yards of Charger fabric and just about used all of it.

I truly hope you all have a peaceful, loving holiday.

Until next time...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Quick gift

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled
with family and friends and...calories!

After my marathon cooking on Thursday, this is what
I worked on this weekend. (Oh and after I got home
from shopping on Black Friday--out the door at 6:45!)
We're having our supper club (5 other couples) over on
the 13th and I wantedto give each couple a small gift.
I just took a 12" block and made a mini quilt for a
table topper. Each one took exactly 1/2 hour to quilt.
Wouldn't it be nice if all our projects went so fast.
The pattern is Christmas Star from the quilterscache.

I have a long list of quilted gifts to finish before
1. Finish quilting my son, Matt's quilt
2. Make two pillowcases for my daughter, Maggie
3. Make a quilted bag for my second son Scott's
girlfriend, Hannah.
4. Make two dog beds for Maggie's beagles
5. Make two PJ bottoms for Maggie and Hannah

I'm not panicking yet though. Have to get through
this dinner party first.

Until next time...

Friday, November 21, 2008

New backwards quilt

Sometimes when you see a piece of fabric, you just
know, without a shadow of doubt, that it is yours. That's
the way when I saw this.
I have been collecting blues and whites for a few years
now and planned on someday making a beautiful blue
and white quilt. Something classy and clean and crisp.
The pile of blues ranged from dark indigo to bright royal --
the same ones that sat near my window and
some of them faded. So I am using the dark indigo
ones for a triple nine patch along with apple green
(I know sounds weird, but it caught my eye--more
on that one later) The royals will be used for the front
of this quilt. Here are the fabrics.
And this is the pattern I am using. It is from the book
Quilt Along with Emilie Richards Sister's Choice.

This quilt is meant to be. I even know I am going to
quilt it from the back following the print in the fabric.
I just love it when the stars align and all the pieces
fall into place. Now all I have to do is make it!!! Sadly I
don't think it will be until after the holidays.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quilting Backwards

There have been two instances in my quilting journey
where I have started a quilt with the back. This is the
first one.
Sorry about the wonky photo. I asked my husband to
hold this up as he was walking out the door. So not
only were we in a hurry, but this quilt is king size and
no one else was here to help, so this is it folks!
I saw this cute fabric at
JoAnn's about 5 years
ago. It says "Life is just a
bowl of cherries. They
only had three FQs so I
bought them thinking
that someday I would
make something. Then
I ran across Aunt Sukies
Choice in Nancy Martin's book Make Room for
Christmas Quilts
. This was the quilt that I could
make with my cherries fabric for the back. It would
still be red and green but not Christmas. Around the
same time (and I can't remember which came first)
I saw this fabric on a bolt and bought 15 yards. The
quilt was starting to come together. I started collecting
red and white lights and darks and black & white lights.
Then I found the border fabric. Perfect!. I even had
enough to make two pillowcases, and I still have
some left.

So I started with the back and a quilt was born.

Until next time...when I'll show you my newest
backwards quilt...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quickie Quilt

I will consider this my two-week quilt. This picture was
taken this morning (Thursday) and the only thing left
to do is finish the binding. (I am not labeling this quilt
because I don't know the recipients that well and in 20
years they won't remember me anyway. They will have
their own stories/history about this quilt). I started it
last Sunday-11 days ago. I
got it all cut out on Sunday,
sewed the center of the quilt
from Monday through
Thursday. I was off work on
Friday so bought the border
and backing, and got those
sewn on. Then I basted it
on Saturday, got it quilted
from Saturday through Monday (I was off work again).
Now I am binding it. Whew, it's amazing what you can
accomplish when you have a deadline. This was a
self-imposed deadline of course. I work in a very
deadline oriented business (magazine production)
so I try not to give myself many self-imposed deadlines.

We have a new assistant pastor at our church and
there is something about this young man that I just
love. (Besides the fact that he is an awsome preacher!)
He and his cute wife are expecting their first baby
(a boy) in January and the church-wide shower is
this Saturday. I know they could probably use
practical things like diapers and gift cards for
formula and stuff but I just had to make them a quilt.
I like to imagine all the many happy hours,
raising a sweet boy, playing I Spy.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

OK, OK, I'm back

Yeah, I know, I've been back from retreat for two weeks
now. And I do have lots of excuses for not posting, but
let's just say I couldn't get to it. It has a little to do with
my sense of rebellion and, well, all those excuses.
So let's just move on.
This was our view from our little cabin at West River
(south of Annapolis). Just one hour after getting there
and unloading the car, and setting up the tables with
Georgia, and setting up my sewing space, the world
just fell away. I mean it is the total opposite of stress.
Four days of it. Four days of sewing, laughing, eating,
sleeping, laughing and sewing. We all got so much
done this year.
I worked on this wall hanging from Pat Sloan. I bought
the fabric kit from Traditions at the White Swan who
vendors at our quilt show. I won't tell you how many
years I've had it. Georgia was making one too.
Loretto finished these cute wall hangings.
Marcie had the best idea of the weekend. She bought
some Vera Bradley napkins and some other fabrics that
coordinated with them and started a quilt with this
pattern. Each napkin will yield four blocks. I just love
it and think it's going to be stunning.
And BTW, Cathy embroidered that cute spider along
with pumpkins and haunted houses and more for
each of us.
Here's Cathy working on her new Grandson's quilt with
Kim watching. Cathy was sooo diligent, working on
that quilt the whole weekend. She made major progress.
Loretto (ironing) and Marcie holding up her cute
TP wall hanging.
Terri holding up a cute purse that Flo made. Here's Georgia sewing on her new machine.
You might recognize her from last year.

We sewed on all sorts of machines from a 25-year-old Singer to the newest Viking Diamond. So now I'm depressed to be back in reality. The next retreat is February. After the holidays I'll start counting the sleeps.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One more sleep

..before retreat day arrives. Tomorrow's the day.
I really do have alot to do, but it's fun stuff, like food
shopping, laundry, figuring out what to leave for my
husband to eat for four days, and packing.

I bought some of these cake takers at Wal Mart. Bonnie
at Quiltville told us about them and as much as I hate
WalMart I ventured in and bought all they had which was
only four. I figured that I would use two and sell the
other two to one of my friends. That's my brown and
beige Hunter's star in one and my indigo blue double
nine-patch in the other. Hopefully I can show you pics
of these tops when I get back on Tuesday.
Here's my retreat list. You can click on the picture to get
a larger view. I have had this list since my very first
retreat in 2000. I have added to it over the years and the
large pink stickie (with previous lists underneath) has this
retreat's projects.

All this look's like I'm organized but I'm really not. I
hope I can sleep tonight without thinking about all the
stuff I forgot to do or buy or pack or...

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Retreat time!!!

Yes, three exclamation points!!!
I have decided that the anticipation, packing, and
planning for retreat is almost as fun as the retreat itself.

We arrive Friday at noon for our small, bee, fall retreat
at West River (which is conveniently only 40 minutes from
our town) and we will be sewing, laughing, eating, and
relaxing until Monday. (Notice I didn't mention sleeping).
(Someone once told me I write and speak very
parenthetically. (Don't you just love that word?
Say it out loud, par-en-the ti-cal-ly)).

So here are the beginnings of my piles on the dining room table.
The left pile of Royal blues is really an afterthought. I'll
save that for another blog post, post retreat. The pile
under the blueberry pie pin cushions is the Turning Twenty top (see right) that I put together last year at retreat and has hidden in the closet ever since. I will put the borders on. See the Jelly Roll that slid off the pile over there on the right? The page under it is Mary's directions for a cute box block quilt. Get her directions here. Then I have some asian fabrics that I will be making a wall hanging for my office. (I am sick of the
one that is up there now. That will be another blog
post later. (PS-I always say "Asian" instead of "Oriental"
because our daughter is Korean and she hates it when
people call her Oriental. She always corrects them to
say Asian instead).

So I'll prolong the anticipation (mine--not yours) and
post more packing piles tomorrow. Oh, but before I go
I want to show you what happens when my boys come
to visit.
They both had one eye on their lap tops and one eye on
the Redskins game. It was Matt's (left) birthday so all
my children were over for dinner. I was a happy Mom.
(That's Scott on the right).

Until next time...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Quilt Bingo

I'd better get this post in this week about our Quilt Bingo
we had last Sunday.
We made this quilt with Bingo fabric for Joe, the Bingo
caller, who donates his services. We presented it to him
before the fun began.
This is one end of the stage showing the prizes.
Here are the prizes at the other end.
Leslie and Margaret at the basket raffle table and in
front of the special prizes. Do you recognize the
Carolina Crossroads there on the left? The baskets were
so beautiful. We had an Italian themed one, a
scrapbookers delight, a relaxation one, a reading one
and more but I can't remember any more. They are a
very easy money maker because the guild members
donated most of the contents.

Elfrieda (sitting) and Amy (who designed this quilt) in
front of our 2009 raffle quilt. The theme for our show
and raffle next year is "Down by the Sea".
View from the front of the hall. Some of these ladies
are very serious about playing Bingo. We had a great
time and our guild made lots of money.

This weekend I will be organizing for retreat. I have
some decisions to make about what I will be taking
to work on. (I always take too much).

Until next time...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Full Quilting weekend

On Saturday I took a class (sponsored by our guild)
from Deb Tucker. She has come up with a really easy,
fun way to make Hunter's Star blocks and some
amazing ways to arrange them. Click here for her web
site. She is a great teacher and made the class fun.
Notice I have said fun alot (well two times). If you ever
get a chance to take one of ther classes I highly
recommend her.
Here she is holding one of her smaller pieces. That's my
friend Debi on the left. (We'll be going on retreat together
in a few weeks, in 11 days exactly-although Debi is going
this weekend too).

Anyway, Deb Tucker brought lots of her quilts for
inspiration and boy was I inspired. I love her tool and
plan on making more Hunter's Star quilts. I also thought
her Tucker Trimmer tool looked interesting too. One
thing at a time though-yeah right!

I had finished a few projects and was (was being the
key word here!) at a point to decide what to work on
next. Well, that is a dangerous place to be girls. I now
have at least five projects started. That means the fabric
is bought, washed, ironed, sorted and designated with
a pattern. Some are just in a pile, some are cut out,
some are half sewn and ...well that's enough huh?!!!
So I am amidst chaos and I am HAPPY!

Now I need your opinion. I really can't decide which layout
I like best for my brown and cream Hunter's Star . I only
have half the blocks sewn and they are just laid out
roughly on my design wall so please use your
imagination. Which one do you like best?
Version 1-traditional Hunter's star lay out.

Version 2-One of Deb's layouts. You can see completed
ones here on her web site.

Tomorrow I'll talk about our fabulous Quilt Bingo
we had yesterday.

Until next time...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Another surprise find!

So, back to my Aunt's linen closet.
After I found the 1843 quilt I pulled out a Montgomery
Wards box that had this crazy quilt in it. The maroon
velvet border was like new and the back was a beautiful
dusty pink polished cotton in perfect condition. After
a very brief inspection I didn't see any wear on the
front so I assumed it was a reproduction bought at
Montgomery Wards. I didn't make a big deal over it,
just put in my pile and hoped my cousins wouldn't
want to inspect it further. I was so excited over the
other quilt, I barely thought of this one. Crazy Quilts
aren't really my style and I thought this one was newer.
So I left it in the box for a few months. I got it out at
Christmas and draped it over an overstuffed chair.
My bee came over one night and one of the ladies
noticed it. We examined the squares and I saw some
of the silks were disintegrating. Hmmm that means
its older than I thought. Then my friend saw a date
embroidered on it, 1886. Well it was a reproduction,
so I guess they wanted it to look old. Then she saw
the surname Hanna embroidered. OMG...that is a
loud shout OMG. Hanna is my great grandmothers
maiden name. This quilt was made by my great
grandmother Rachel Belle Hanna McCleary (and probably
many of her friends) in 1886. She is the daughter of
Margaretta Virginia Loy Hanna who signed the 1843
quilt. So of course we examined every beautiful block.

I'll show close-up photos of this one and the other one
after I figure out how to get clear shots.

Until next time...

Monday, September 29, 2008

My life BQ

That's "before quilting". Before I was obsessed with
fabric, I was obsessed with beads. My friend at work
got me hooked on beading in 1991. I made this
bracelet years ago and I have gotten so many
compliments from quilters that they asked me to
help them make one for themselves. It is from Carol
Wilcox Wells' book Creative Bead Weaving.
I started making one in all blues. Goodness knows I
have enough blue beads. Hmmm this could also be
why I have more blue fabric than any other color.
I was so inspired when I got home I made these cute Christmas trees on Sunday.
They are for my friend Teri who lives in Paducah. She is
the one we stay with when we go to the quilt show. I
actually made myself a pair with a gold star and base
years ago. I wore them to church one Christmas Eve
and Teri liked them, so I took them out of my ears
and gave them to her right there on the spot. She likes
them but asked me to make her a pair in silver. So
here they are! I will mail them some time in November.
I just have to make myself another pair... SOON!
They are too cute. (BTW the pattern is from
Bead & Button
Dec 1998)

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


This is why I have always begged quilters to label
their quilts. I'll tell you the story how it happened.
My Aunt Marcia (my father's sister who had no
children) had to go into a nursing home because
of Altzheimer's disease. My two cousins, Anne
and Jane, and I spent a weekend cleaning out her
house. It was a task, let me tell ya. She kept every
piece of paper that ever crossed her path. But, she
also kept many family heirlooms. I pulled this quilt
all balled up wrapped in a sheet, from the
back of her linen closet. I had only been quilting
for a few years at the time, but my heart started to
pound. I could tell it was old. On further
investigation Anne and Jane and I realized that
there were names printed or stamped in the centers
of those hexagons. My heart kept pounding! We
recognized two names as our great-great-great-
grandmother and our great-great-grandmother.
Then, OMG, we saw a date!!! July 3, 1843. (It's
written in the green hex in the bottom right
corner) Well I just about fainted. There was no
question about who this quilt top was going home
with. Poor Anne and Jane didn't even hint that they
would want this because I think they knew I would
fight hard for it. I think if I had any hint of
resistanceI would have grabbed it and ran!

I am having trouble getting a clear picture of the
date but I will try again tonight. We also found
some more goodies that I will share with you all later.

The moral of this story is LABEL YOUR QUILTS. At
least name, date and place. Imagine who will be
holding your quilts years from now and how excited
they will be to have just this small connection to
their past.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Before and After

Ta Da!
You guys are great. I completely forgot about synthrapol. I had some in my pantry. I bought it for some Cherrywood rayon that I made a jumper out of. It was a few years ago but it still worked. Next time I am at the grocery store I will buy some dye magnets. There is still a very faint tinge of pink but it is hardly noticable.
Thank you to all of you for your suggestions.

Until next time...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pre-washing vs not

This isn't a survey but I would like to know if and why you all pre-wash your fabrics or not. I usually prewash everything before it even makes it into my sewing room except kits or BOMs with small pieces. I do it because I don't want the fabrics to shrink at a different rate. Now here is another reason.
This is in the Star Struck soldier quilt that I just finished. It must have been one of the reds that I swapped. I usually wash the quilt before I give it away.

So here's the question. Should I wash it again? Will that make it better or worse?
I don't usually have this problem.

Until next time...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mary's triangles progress

These blocks are so much fun and so versatile. This is
what I have so far and I think I will make it larger.
It is just a lap size now and I think I will get it up to
a twin. Not sure about borders but I will keep you posted!

Until next time...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


We all know exactly where we were and what we were
doing seven years ago. I was at work here in Washington
DC, three blocks from the White House, listening in
horror to the radio. When I heard there was a fourth
plane missing and presumed heading to Washington,
I grabbed my purse and left, not even waiting for our
boss to let us go (which he did about 30 minutes later).
It was 10:15am. It was a mad house out on the street.
Everyone, and I mean every single person was on their
cell phone. I couldn't get through to my husband but
I could leave a message. So I called him every 15
minutes to let him know where I was.
It took me 1 hour to travel 6 blocks. Everyone
was polite and seemed calm. I remember thinking on
my way out of town that this could be bad so I stopped
at the grocery store, the bank and the gas station. I
arrived home to lots of messages on our answering
machine checking on us. We all spent the rest of the
day glued to the TV. My boss told us to call the next
morning to see if we could open. We were able to come
to work but there were army guys on every corner with
machine guns and so many emergency and military
vehicles crowding the streets. I didn't want to stay home
the next day. I wanted to come downtown to make sure
everything was still the same. Every thing was still the
same but every one wasn't.

Let's not forget NYC, the Pentagon and the Shanksville,
PA crash. I truly believe that it is entirely possible that the
plane crashing in Pennsylvania could have saved my life.

I will never forget.

Until next time...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Finished Star Struck

A commenter asked for a photo of the finished Star
Struck and here it is. It was so easy that I think I have
to make another one. I finished the binding and put
the label on yesterday evening while my boys were
over watching football with their dad. They (the boys)
have started hanging out at our house on Sundays.
They live together about 3 miles up the road and I do
love having them around. I usually cook a brunch
after church and something yummy for dinner. Last
night we had chicken barbeque. I must admit though
that since they don't have internet access at their
house that could be the reason they hang out with us.
They both had their noses in their lap tops most of the
day. That's OK. They were home and I was content.
Don't get me wrong. I do love our empty nest and I've
said many times that I like my grown children better
when they visit!!
Here is the label on the back. Have I mentioned how
important it is to label ALL your quilts. I embroidered
the top part. I'm still a novice machine embroiderer.
And while I'm here let me say that the Embroidery Library
is my favorite site for designs. They have the cutest
designs, lots of ideas and their site is one of the easiest
to navigate. I love them.

Until next time...

Friday, September 5, 2008


It's been two weeks since I've posted. I don't have any
excuses except that I tend to rebel when non-life-
threatening things hang over me. I also have had some
health issues, computer problems, camera problems
and been screaming busy at work. But I have had those
before and still managed to post.

I have also noticed that I have had more than 10,000
visitors and missed my 1 year blogiversary. This
weekend I will decide on a giveaway and announce it
next week. I don't usually get many comments on my
posts, so maybe this will generate some.

So dear readers (Hello...hello... is anyone there???) I am
sorry and will try to do better.

Now every time I thought to take pictures as I was
sewing these past two weeks I was working on
something that I had posted about before. I finished
the Carolina Crossroads, label and all that I will be
donating to our Guild Quilt Bingo. I decided not to
name it Carolina Rebel because some people might
take offense. I am now binding the Star Struck that
I will go to Leslie, a guild member and Red Cross
volunteer who actually has the privilege of handing
out quilts to wounded soldiers at Andrews Air Force
Base. I put borders on it and just now realized I
haven't taken its picture.

Pat and Debi, if you are reading this please don't
look at this picture.

Our guild is having a pin cushion swap this Wednesday
and I made this one. It was designed by Ami Simms.
I used real tart mini-pans (that Georgia gave me, if I
promised to make her one) and glued some heavy
washers in the bottom to give it some weight. I made
it a little differently than the directions (what a surprise!!!).
I also made this cute little pin cushion with a golf tee
that fits into a spool of thread. I got the pattern from
Arlette at Polka Dot Pineapple. She has the cutest things
and a few tutorials too. I need to raid my husband's golf
bag to get some more tees.

My cousin's daughter is getting married tonight so we
will be with all our family and I am looking forward to it.
(Especially since we weren't together at the beach 'cause
I got dragged to Alaska!)

Until next time... (and I promise it will be soon!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Warning-sun damage

I've been collecting indigo blues for some time now
and I have finally found a pattern that will use some
of them. More on that later. I had been throwing
them in a stack on a shelf under a window. (After I
washed and ironed them of course) This window
was shaded by large bushes but must have
had a sliver of sun peek through because look at
what happened to just two FQs in that stack. I don't
know if they were on the top or middle of the stack
but boy did the fold fade. I can still cut around them.
I am just surprised that these two faded so bad.
So consider yourselves warned.
Have a great quilty weekend.

Until next time...