Friday, October 31, 2008


I have been working on a Christmas project and doing letters. What fun! If you want to have a ball go to Tonya's letter tutorials. I was reluctant to try it but making the letters is really fun. I am going to work some this morning. I decided to split my houses up and make two quilts instead of one. One house was so different from the others. I don't know why I did that.

I am playing with Quilt Pixie using Mary Lou Weidman's approach to making a story quilt. My idea is "getting older". Not growing old or getting old but GETTING OLDER. After all we are all getting older from the moment we are born. When I was young I thought it would be awful to get older but now that I am there it isn't so bad at all. "Getting older" brings up lots of thought for example:
gray hair
aches and pains
more time/less time
empty nest
elderly parent(s)
middle age spread
loss of loved ones
Any suggestions?

Monday, October 27, 2008


I had a most productive day yesterday. I am definitely on a roll, Bridget is working over time. I made some blocks for the Home House Pantry group. I also made some letters, what fun! I should not have sewn them together. I won't do that again and I could take these apart if I need to.

I followed Tonya's tutorial on letters. Making letters is really fun. It is much easier and very intuitive. you are almost doing a mental exercise as you make them.

This is the first quilt I made in Sept, 2006 before my grandson was born. I still love it, particularly the technique of the wonky squares.

Going to vote today and taking my 90 year old mother. I also have to take my beloved featherweight in for a tension adjustment.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Neat Tricks

My Mary Lou Weidman book, Whimsies and Whynots came in the mail yesterday. It is very interesting reading. Her quilts are not like anything I have ever done or may want to do. She does have some great ideas on creativity and encouraging your creativity. we are all born creative and through life without encouragement we lose it or it gets pushed to the back burner.

I have discovered Ottlites!! I love them. I won't tell how many I have. They are so easy on the eyes. I have a big one on my se
wing table that has an outlet for my small travel iron.

when I am feeling lazy I don
't have to get up. I can sew and iron and not move from my chair. I also bought a small one for the bedroom when I read at night.

bought my daughter one for her birthday. She is getting an MBA at the Kenan Flagler Business school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and she is doing a lot of studying. She told me yesterday that it is so much better on her eyes.
The owner of our local quilt shop showed me this rotating cutting mat and it is great for those of us who are not very accurate. you can square up your block without moving the block, you just turn the mat. It is so neat. I put it right on top of my big cutting mat.

I got a lot of work done this morning. I just love it when that creative energy is flowing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Introducing Bridget

This is Bridget, my creative inspiration muse. She has been on vacation for the last couple of weeks but she is about ready to come home. She occupies a prominent place on my sewing table overseeing all activities. I am encouraging her and offering her all sorts of incentives to co
me home.
I have been working even though Bridget is out of town. I just love the disappearing nine patch. One of my daughters in law has several friends who are having babies and I offered to make some baby quilts for her to give as gifts. I found this darling fabric for the backing at Wal-Mart. I think some Wal-Mart's aren't carrying fabric any more but ours has a good selection and the prices are great.

I am hoping Bridget will back soon because I
have lots of things I want to do. I have joined Quilt Pixie in a creative experience. For years I worked and took care of my family and suppressed my creative side because there wasn't time for anything but what had to be done. I am trying to rediscover that part of my personality and Bridget is a huge help! (I am a nut if you haven't already figured that out!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quilt Show , Partee & Pimento cheese

We had such a good time this weekend. On Friday we went to the Durham Orange Guild Quilt show. The quilts were amazing. I didn't realize the husbands were going. My husband is not at all a quilt nut but he kept coming to get me to show me some wonderful quilt he had found. I was so impressed with the workmanship and design. I met a wonderful long-arm quilter Jan Struble that had done many of the quilts in the show. She showed us a quilt that a woman had found in a pillowcase in a thrift store. It was all a lot of fun and very interesting.
Saturday night we had an engagement party for our daughter. It was really fun. The best thing was everyone in the two families was there. Our future son in law is the son of some of our oldest and dearest friends. We made lots of pictures of both families separately and together. We have known his parents since before they were married. It is so great that the four of us have now grown to 14, soon to be 15!! Our theme for the party was tailgating and we prepared lots of the food ourselves, And as usual great desserts

Including ham biscuits and pimento cheese. I b
et some of you are wondering what pimento cheese is. In my extended family lots of us make pimento cheese and we all make it differently. I grate sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheese and add pimentos (not drained).

You can make any amount. I did about half chedda
r and half jack, if you want it hotter, use more pepper jack. I use enough mayonnaise to hold it together. My aunt makes it and uses cheddar and parmesan. We use it on crackers or to make sandwiches.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Busy Week

We have had a busy week this week so very little sewing. We bought a wedding dress on Monday. It is honestly not a wedding dress but a wedding gown. Our daughter was home for barely 24 hours and had made up her mind she was finding a dress during that time. The one she chose is so different from what I thought she would chose. We had a great experience at the bridal shop. The owner gave us her undivided attention for 2 hours. Our daughter must have tried on over 100 dresses over the last year. On Monday we started with 7 or 8 and narrowed it down to 2 and she chose the more formal one. I am so glad she found one she is happy with.
I took the Hope quilt to my friend last night and she loved it. Her surgery is next week and we all hope it will be successful.
The weather has been beautiful all week, warm and sunny. Looks like it will turn chilly for the engagement party we are giving our daughter on Saturday. It always seems to happen that way. This is the lantana in my backyard. I just love it and the colors.

My grandson is moving into a big boy bed soon to make way for his little brother. His room
has whales painted on the wall so
Nana is going to make him a whale quilt. I don't know if I am going to use this or not but it is a beginning.

I did a Disappearing Nine Patch today, Quilt Pixie introduced me to this. It is easy, goes fast and looks much more complicated than it is. You do need to make your squares bigger than smaller. I am making some baby quilts for friends of my other daughter in law.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Running on low

My creative juices are running on low these last few days. I keep trying to jump start something and it just isn't working. We are keeping the grandson this weekend so there won't be much time for quilting. I volunteered to make some baby quilts for my daughter-in-law. I thought I might try the disappearing nine-patch that QuiltPixie used. She shows you how to do it on her blog. I made the mistake of cutting my squares 3 1/2 inches. That was too small. I am going to try again with 6 inch blocks. It is a neat thing to do. I love the way it looks. It looks so much more complicated than it is. My mother used nine-patch and I love it too.

What do you do to get your creativity back up to speed?

My rotary cutter and pin cushion are so lonely!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Who said "I didn't really say everything I said"? My husband and I enjoy the quote of the day and this was one of our favorites. In my classroom I covered the walls with quotes, some serious, some inspiring, some funny and some just plain silly. The kids loved it.

What do you do when you wake up at 3am and can't get back to sleep? Some of us organize our solids!

Do you have a area d
edicated to sewing or quilting? Do you work in the corner of a room, do you have a spare room or are you fortunate enough to have a studio. I always wonder about other people's work areas. Do you work on a table or a desk?
Do you keep your fabric so you can see it or is it in storage bins? Do you organize by color or some other way? About a year ago we did some work in the kitchen and my daughter suggested I move my pie safe to my sewing room and put my fabric in it. What a great idea! I can open the doors and see it all. Well not actually all, I do have some in containers.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whil
e you are working? I listen to Elvis, it is amazing what you can do while listening to Poke Salad Annie.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hope quilt top

I finished my hope quilt top yesterday. I am going to do my quilt sandwich today and start machine quilting. I am pleased with the way it turned out. One of the many things I love about liberated quilting is that if your measurements are a little off you just add or cut a bit off. I used Tonya's tutorial on wonky hearts for the heart down at the bottom. My husband was off playing golf so I had most of the day to myself. If anyone has any suggestions on quilting please let me know. I don't have anything in mind yet.

I used one of the blocks I made at the quilt ret
reat for my color inspiration. This block is similar to one of Gwen's in her new book. It doesn't may not look like it but it is purple, orange and red.

Some of the ladies at the quilt retreat from Seattle use clothes from Goodwill in their quilts. It was
so cool to see how they use old jeans and shirts. One lady cut up corduroy jeans to use in her quilt. It gave the quilt such a nice look and texture.

Last night we went to my husband's high school class reunion. I won't mention how many years ago he graduated! It was fun to see how much some people have changed. Of course he had changed the least of anyone, at least that is what they told him!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Good reads

To read or to sew, that is the question. I have had a long run of good books this summer and I thought I would share some of the titles. The first two are by Beth Gutcheon. Beth wrote The Patchwork Primer and taught quilting with her husband Jeffery for years.

Leeway Cottage describes Denmark during WW2. It is excellent if you are at all interested in that time in history. It is appalling what people went through and how brave they were. If you read Leeway Cottage you won't think it is about Denmark in the beginning but stick with it.

The Moolit Cage is about a young woman growing up in Afghanistan during the 1800s. Those Who Save us is also about WW2 and how the lives of normal people who tried to go on living were affected.

Agate Hill is by one of my favorite authors. it is written in diary form about a young woman following the Civil War or as we refer to it in the South, the War of Northern Agression!

I recommend all of these books. A perfect day for me would be at the beach reading in the morning and then sewing in the afternoon.

I did buy some fabric at the quilt shop the other day, a red batik and I found some Jan Mullen fabric on sale. I really like her designs. I bought enough of the Jan Mullin fabric to use as a quilt backing. Her use of color is fantastic. Her designs are wonky (her word).