Monday, December 31, 2012

I am surprised at the changes to blogger since I last posted. 

I am starting the new year with a new blog.  Sorry to have been gone for awhile.  More changes coming up!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Go Heels!

Not much sewing going on but plenty of basketball! We are supporting Kendall Marshall our Tar Heel point guard who broke his right wrist last weekend by wearing his number on the inside of our right wrist.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


My email was hacked yesterday.  If I you got an email from me on Tuesday afternoon do not open the link.  I was really surprised that I got hacked.  I have a MacBook and I thought they didn't get hacked.  My daughter changed my password and I thought the problem was solved and then Hotmail locked my email account down last night.  I had to jump through all kinds of hoops to get it back up. 

I had some time over the weekend and I continued my paper piecing project.  I appreciate all the advice.  I am not sure how I feel about paper piecing.  For one thing it is tedious!  I love the result but it sure takes some time to get there.  My main problem is not cutting my scraps big enough.

This is my quilt top for our church's Spring Fling.  Now I have to sandwich it and quilt it.  I used the triangles I found in my mothers stash. 
I love the effect of the bright colors,  very dramatic.

I thought I would do something smaller for the church sale.  I have this darling nursery rhyme print.

I have used that print a number of times and I really like it.  It makes two quilts in one!  I made my neighbor one when her little girl was born and she enjoyed using the print to tell her daughter nursery rhymes at bed time.  This is the front,  nothing spectacular. 

I am having issues with my left hand which is really crazy since I am so right handed.  I went to the doctor and I have arthritis at the base of my thumb.  Does anyone know of a brace that might work better than this one?  I refuse to quit sewing!  I need support at the base of the thumb almost at my wrist. 

No post in March would be complete without a shout out to my beloved Tar Heels!  What a great win over our arch rivals Dook on Saturday.  Even their coach said they were "overwhelmed".  Also our Big Z (Tyler Zeller) is ACC player of the year.   Lets hope our guys can maintain this momentum into March Madness!  There won't be much sewing the next few weeks but lots of basketball.

As Kenny Smith said "There's only one blue!! No explanation needed".  Sorry I do tend to get a bit excited about Carolina basketball. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I felt like an archeologist when I was cleaning out some of my mothers stash a couple of weeks ago. I am sure archeologists have the same questions I did when they find something.  If you want to know what will happen to your UFOs and fabrics when you don't need them any more I can tell you.  I threw a lot away.  Lots of the fabrics were dated calico prints but I found some real treasures.

My mother loved what she called the Dutch Doll pattern.  She made myself and each one of her 3 granddaughters a quilt using this pattern.  I found squares she had completed but never made into a quilt.  I also found parts to make more Dutch Dolls.  When and/or if I have a granddaughter I can use these squares to make her a beautiful quilt that was started by her great grandmother. 

I found 96 triangles already cut from this print.  I am so-so about this print and there was not any more of it.

I wanted to make something for my church's annual Spring Fling.  I thought why not use these triangles that are already cut.  I decided on the zig zag pattern.  The Modern Quilt Guild website is featuring Use what you have and that is what I did.

Now this I want you to see!  This is the first arrangement which is the traditional way of doing it.

I was looking at it on my design wall one day and thought why not do something else.  I flipped the orange section and look at this!!!

It makes the design so much more modern!  I used a dark navy with pindots for the border which I haven't done yet.  I really like the progression of the colors.  The red is the only color that is actually in the triangle fabric but I really like the way the yellow, orange and purple look with it.

I found this tool in my mothers stash.  Does anyone know what it is or how to use it

And believe it or not I found more triangles already cut and squares sewn together in my mothers stash.  I would love to know what she was thinking of when she cut these pieces.  She preferred to use templates to cut her pieces.  I found several cardboard templates.  It made me feel so close to mother looking through her fabric.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Paper piecing

It is a nasty day in ENC. Snow is predicted to the north and west of us.  We are on the snow rain line,  lots of cold rain.  A good day to stay in and sew!  I finished the placemats for my daughter in law.  I was really pleased with the way they turned out.

I was really taken by this quilt but I had never paper pieced.  I tried to piece it on my own.  I am not even going to show you that.  I went to YouTube.  Did you know you can find almost anything on YouTube!  I followed a couple of videos and this is my first two attempts at paper piecing.

 I need some good advice on paper piecing.  I honestly had a fit with it.  I think maybe I didn't cut my pieces big enough.  HELP!  I would love to make that quilt!

 I have always wanted to do a value quilt.  One where the blocks are arranged by color and value.  To be honest this looked better on the wall than in the picture.  This may have to wait until another time.
Somehow this is harder than I thought it would be.

We took the grandkids to the circus.  Who enjoyed it more,  the adults or the kids?  A good time was had by all! 

I am working on finishing a couple of things.  First the quilt for my other daughter in law.  This is the scrappy nine patch.

This picture turned out so nice I decided to show it again. 

The back.

This is the quilt I made for my daughter in law's Relay for Life team.  They are going to sell chances on it.  I love the way this one turned out. 

The back.

I spent Friday cleaning out more of my mothers stash.  If you have ever wondered what will happen to all those projects you never finished stay tuned!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Creative Energy

My aunt and I got together for a quilting weekend this past weekend.  When I cleaned out my mothers house I found about 130 nine patches that she had made but never put together.  I wanted to share these with my aunt.  She inspired me to begin quilting.  I will never forget her showing my Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking! 

These are the blocks laid out on the bed.  This was ok but didn't really speak to us.

I tried a piece of Persian Blue as striping.  WOW!  It made such a difference.  I wish I knew more about how colors relate to each other. 

Mother used several pieces of plaid seersucker.  She has a bunch that were a red and blue plaid on a white background.  This is a close up of some of the squares.  I sewed them together in groups of 4 and set them on point.  

Now all I have to do is to finish sewing all these blocks together and come up with some cool border.   I was thinking maybe a spiky sawtooth but I am not sure.  Maybe I should do something with blocks.  I was thinking I would do something with solids.

This is the view from my aunts front porch.  This view might be the reason for all our creative energy,  so beautiful.  We had dinner with our husbands at night and a great brunch on Sunday.  It was close to a perfect weekend.

 The idea was for my aunt to have half the squares and both of us will have a quilt that mother started.  It is our way of honoring and remembering her.  My aunt is going to use the square in a square idea and bright colors. 

Darn!  I hope I don't like her quilt more than mine!!!

She is also working on a Grandmother's Garden quilt.  She likes to have some hand work and she is doing all of this by hand.  Her quilt group gave her some floral prints to use.   Very cool. 

It is unbelievable how inspiring and motivating it is to work with a talented quilter.  My aunt and I would love to do this every few months.  We both got so much done and feel so motivated.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Real Happiness

This is a quote from a wonderful article.  I had never heard this before but it is true for me.  I was in my "studio" yesterday and it was so relaxing and healing.  I love making these placemats.  I would offer one word of advice.  Plan Ahead!  I used raw edge applique for these trees.  I am not sure I will do that again.  I thought it would be easier than piecing.

Also added a border to the Starry Nine Patch #2.  I found this fabric in my stash,  sort of a orangy pink batik.  I wish I could remember where I got it.  I am almost out and I love using it. When you put the nine patches together you come up with some very interesting combinations.  I pay very little attention to arranging them.  If two patches that are alike end up next to each other then fine.  You can see that happened a couple of times.  That just adds to the patchiness (is that a word).

Here is a close-up.  I am having camera issues.  Something happened to my trusty Nikon Coolpix.  The camera store says the lens is broken but I have no idea how that happened. 


I have had the print in the background for literally years.  I really want some placemats for myself.
I pulled these fabrics to use.  I have no ideas yet but pulling fabrics is fun.

Tonya mentioned this book and I could not resist.  Believe me I was not disappointed for a second.  The quilts in this book are not only gorgeous but so so creative.  I am sure the women that created them experienced a "dopamine 'hit'".  I don't usually enjoy reading commentary about quilts but the one by Joe Cunningham is so interesting.  He points out wonky components of several of the quilts.  It makes you look at them in a new refreshing way. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

So square!

My aunt told me she was cutting squares so not to be left out I have been cutting squares from my scraps.  I thought I would go one step further and not just stuff them into a box but sort them according to predominant color.  I can tell you that I now get it.  It makes it so much easier.  I also got some cool boxes from Target.  I feel so organized!!

I am making a baby quilt for a friend of my daughter-in-law that is on her traveling team.  I have used this idea before,  make random nine patches and stars.  I also inserted squares of a fabric she selected with some of the places where they had traveled. I love the way this is turning out. It is on my design wall.  I like to leave it for a few days to see if I want to move anything around.   I stole this idea from my aunt.  It is so versatile.  I can't decide on a border. 

This is the back,  last year they traveled to Asia and she wanted something to represent the time they spent there.

My other daughter in law fell in love with the placemats I made for the boys and she wants some for her house.

Working on small projects is very satisfying and I love doing houses.

This is the set up in my sewing room/studio.  In the background you can see my new design wall with the starry squares quilt on it.  I can sew, cut and iron without getting up from my chair. 

When I moved things around a couple of months ago I bought a table from Overstock and put my sewing machine on it.  I lowered it and put the quilting table on it to give me a big flat surface. 

I find it so relaxing to be engaged in creative pursuits.  I try to look at what I do and not compare.  I feel that you can lose focus if you start comparing.  It is hard not to compare with all the great quilting ideas on the internet. 

A quote that I find very meaningful to me.  Does this speak to you too?

Courntey Carver:  It's usually when I don't know exactly how to do what I am doing that I do my best work.  Don't let process and perfection get in the way. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


This is how I am feeling these days. I am overflowing with ideas.

IDEAS > TIME!  A little of my math geekiness comes out sometimes. 

I finished this quilt top over the weekend.  It is a very interesting pattern with lots of possibilities.  It was fun although I generally like being more liberated and free form.  I enjoy using a pattern but it is so much fun just to start and see where you go. 

I see all these folks organizing their fabrics and I just had to join in.    It seems most folks organize by color but what other ways do you use to organize your fabric. 

I would really like to combine all these fabrics into one area but I don't see that happening right away. This pie safe has some of the first fabrics that I started with 5 years ago.  I really enjoy going back through my stash and remembering what I did with each piece.

I saw someone who made some I Spy placemats and I cannot remember who or find the post.  I LOVE making Tonyas letters.  If you have not tried it please do.  Pick up a copy of her Word Play Quilts if you don't already have one.  I need to work on my W.  Making letters/words is addictive.   These placemats are for my house.  I would really like to make them some more and make the letters smaller.  There is a lot you could do with this idea.

The back is  a fun  fabric my daughter in law gave me a couple of years ago.

I am really getting into this placemat thing.  I have some houses I made a few years ago and I have never done anything with them.  I am wondering how they would work in placemats.  I also want to explore negative space.  I also have a quilt to make for a co-worker of my daughter in law.  

See what I mean,  more ideas than time!

I talked to my aunt the other day and when she has a few spare minutes she is cutting squares out of her scraps.  I really need to do that but I am wondering how other folks store their squares,  boxes, bags,  what?  Also,  what sizes do you cut or do you cut various sizes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Do you or don't you?

Do you make New Years Resolutions or don't you?  Do you assess the last year or don't you?  I notice a lot of bloggers showing all the quilts they made this year and it is very impressive.  I lost my mother in 2011.   Someone else is living in her house for the first time since 1962.  I didn't go to her house on Christmas Day for the first time since 1962.  But as they say you have to keep on keeping on. 

I made 14 aprons for Christmas.  This is a group of friends I have had since the second grade.  We all started at a brand new elementary school in the second grade.  My oldest grandson will go to that school next year!  They are wearing the aprons I made them.  We are all very different but respect those differences and are great friends. 

I also made my two precious grandsons smaller aprons.  Notice their aprons are Tar Heel aprons!!

I did a little quilting after I cleaned up the Christmas mess.  My daughter in law has a Relay for Life team and she asked me to make a quilt to raffle off.  This is a pattern from Esch House Quilts.  She was offering this pattern for free at one point.  I love it.  

Happy New Year to all.  Someone commented the other day that it was amazing how much a comment from someone you had never met meant.  I almost said someone I do not know but I do feel like I know many of you.  I do appreciate all my blogging friends.