Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yard Work or Quilting.....that is the question

Hello Everyone,

Here I am at the cabin while my current project is sitting back at home in my sewing room. So what would you do? Would you do yard work? Clean the cobwebs out of the rafters? Or.....start a new project that has been waiting patiently? Well, you guessed project it is. I've been stockpiling fabric from Fig Tree for years. It is just too gorgeous to stay hidden away in my fabric closet any longer.

Several weeks ago I gathered it all in one place just to see what I had on hand. It is almost, but not quite embarrassing to see the volume of fabric I have from this designer.

The possibilities with this fabric are endless.....but I've had this idea floating in my head for awhile and had to capture the thought before it drifted away.
I love making the small 1/2" hexagons and I've been making them in the car the last couple of trips up and back from the mountains. I knew someday I would use them.....but how?

I decided to put small flower clusters in setting and corner triangles. This will give me some room to possibly try quilting some McTavishing around each of the clusters. When it comes right down to the quilting, I will probably chicken out....but it is a nice thought.

I love putting flanges around my areas of interest. I think it sets them off beautifully yet subtly. Just that hint of diagonal print is all it takes....just 3/4" of an inch folded in half makes a big statement for something so small.

Now tonight I can applique all the flowers that I made. Just a nice, easy project during TV time. A project where I don't have to think too hard!

I'm thinking about naming this pattern Summer's Blush. The peachy tones remind me of peach cobbler, peach crisp, peach pie and peach ice cream. Now that I've gotten all of us hungry....I'm getting back to work in this wonderful mountain air.

As always,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Go To The Head of the Class Photos

Hello Everyone,

How do you approach a new quilting project? Do you buy the pattern first, then select the fabric at the store or do you shop in your own stash? Or do you have just the perfect fabric in the hope of finding the perfect pattern?

The ladies that signed up for my Sallie's Quilt class all approached the project in about the same manner. They brought in baskets and tubs of fabric from home.

A couple of the ladies bought the kit of fabric that I chose for the project from the wonderful fabric selection at In Between Stitches. Each block needs five different fabrics.

After the five different fabrics were selected for each block, some of the ladies put them in plastic baggies.

....and others rolled them into perfect little bundles.

I was lusting over Jean's basket of reproduction fabrics!
Then the girls got right to work making their blocks. Some of them did their homework....I'm not going to mention any names here!

Janice stopped by to show us her doggie quilt that she was making. This got me to thinking this would be a fun "I-Spy" quilt.

She's been buying fabric with doggy prints on it for as long as she can remember.
Kay's blocks have a "hint" of Autumn in them. The black sashing adds a dramatic touch and makes the blocks just pop off the wall. Kay's daughter liked this quilt soooo much, that Kaye will be making two, yes two of them!
By the end of the second class, Jenny finished all of her 32 blocks! She is one speedy quilter.
Carole used a mix of reproduction fabric with a sprinkle of other fabrics from her stash.

Ladies, your quilts are going to be fabulous and I can't wait to see them. Thank you all for the two evenings of fun.

Sallie's Quilt pattern, available here: is a great "stash-buster" quilt. The largest piece of fabric you need for the blocks in only 4-1/2". It's a fun block to make and you will become addicted to selecting your fabrics for the blocks.

My quilt is done and now I'm down to the binding....oh my....wish me luck!

As always,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lotta' Quiltn' Goin' On

Hello Everyone,

Between my granddaughters quilting, the two classes I'm teaching next week, and almost finishing up the quilting on Sallie's quilt.....I'm pooped! I wanted to get the majority of Sallie quilted and get it off the machine before we left for the cabin for a couple of days. I still have to turn her and get the long borders quilted.

I can quilt feathers left and then right, but I don't do so well going up and down the quilt. So in most cases, I quilt from top to bottom, take the quilt off the machine and turn it. I took the quilt off the machine to let it rest (not to mention letting me rest) so the sides won't get their "knickers in a twist" before I get back to it in a couple of days.
I'm still planning to have it completely quilted by Monday night for the second part of the class. The binding is a whole 'nother story! I usually work on binding in the car.....but not on Sallie. She is so big, she would act like a permanent air bag and I'd be safe, yet I wouldn't have any room to move.....nor could the both of us fit in the front seat at the same time.

This is a shot of the back of the quilt. I'm liking the intricate design on the back. It is such a pleasant surprise when you turn the whole quilt over and view the secondary design on the back. Just one of those quilting "treats" that come along once in awhile that are completely unanticipated.

Well my friends, some yard work needs to be done up here at the cabin. My Toyland Tree quilt is taking on a new and improved look. Pictures will be arriving on your computer in the near future!

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

As always,


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Quilting Gene

Hello Everyone,

Is there a gene in the human DNA for quilting? If you met my nine-year-old granddaughter Harleigh, you would probably agree that such a gene exists. Harleigh has been wrapped in my quilts since birth so she must have an instinct for quilting that seeped into her every pore through quilting osmosis.

She was so proud of her quilt which is going to be a gift to her Mom. She picked out all of her colors on her own.....without help. I was amazed to see just how well her seams matched.

Harleigh spent a fun week at In Between Stitches Kid's Camp taught by Dee Christopher. If you ever get the opportunity to take a class from all means jump at the chance. Dee is a party-time (Freudian slip...I meant part-time) employee at the shop. She is also a designer, check out her website here and best of all, Dee is a natural-born teacher. Dee teaches beginning quilting to adults and children. She also teaches classes from her own designs.
I started working with Harleigh when she was 8 and her feet could just barely reach the foot pedal of the sewing machine. She has always loved playing with my scraps and would arrange the squares and triangles into interesting designs.

She loves color....the brighter the better.

In the next couple of weeks, we are going to load her quilts onto the long-arm quilting machine so she can quilt them herself. I have a feeling that she will be quilting rings around me soon.
What a little doll! The time we spend together builds memories to last a lifetime. I still remember the happy hours I spent sewing and quilting with my Grandmother. Little did she know at the time the gift she gave to me.

Share your favorite hobby or passion with a child. They will love you for it. Trust me, you will gain just as much from the experience as they do.
As always,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quilting Sallie's Quilt

Hello Everyone,

I promised the girls that took my Sallie's quilt class last week that I would have it quilted by the next class meeting on the 26th of July. This is the largest quilt that I've put on my quilting machine. In fact, it is the largest quilt that I've made. If any of you are wondering what batting I use, I've totally switched to Dream Wool batting. I love it so much that I purchased a 20 yard roll of it. I love the way it quilts, I love the way it drapes on a bed or hangs on a wall. When you think of wool, you think of "heavy".....this batting is light and airy and washes well too.

I have some very pretty pantographs but I just couldn't bring myself to quilt an all over pattern on Sallie. She is special and deserves to have each block quilted individually. This is going to take me days and days to quilt.

I'm definitely guilty of "over-engineering" a quilting project. I have to think about what I'm going to quilt for a long time. In fact, the entire time I'm making the quilt, I think about how I'm going to quilt it.

When one of our fabulous machine quilter's come into the shop, I ask them how they would quilt a quilt like this. It is my process of information gathering before I start off on my own. I was going to quilt cross-hatching on the border. I even marked one side then I changed my mind to long, flowing feathers. There is a small geometric pattern in the red border, and the cross-hatching and design in the material were competing for attention. Trying to decide what to quilt is the hardest part of machine quilting for me.

It is just so hard to tell how the quilt is going to look, when you can only see 16" of the quilt at a time on your machine. I'll try to get a few more rows quilted today....then off to the shop tomorrow to see all the wonderful customers with their fabulous creations.

I can't change my mind anymore.....I'm totally committed to the direction and style this quilting is taking me.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week quilting to your heart's content.

As always,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Party in the Garden - Month #3

Hello Everyone!

Here we are at month #3 for Party in the Garden. Your sweet packets of fabric are in the mail, or if you live locally, your packets are ready for pick up at the shop. I have only four more openings for the block of the if you are interested, call the shop or apply online

This month you will be creating this adorable little watering can. Those flowers in our gardens need to have lots and lots of water! We are experiencing a mini-heatwave here in California which is making my garden look a little droopy.

What do you think about embroidering some water droplets coming out of the spout? I wish I'd done that on my quilt. I guess it's not too late.....I could still add it to the quilt. Don't you think the Garden Party fabric by Blackbird Designs is just wonderful! The colors are unlike any other fabric collection on the market today.

It's been a busy week for me working at the shop on Monday and Wednesday so I've not had much time to prepare a post for the blog. I taught a class on Sallie's quilt on Monday evening. What a fun group of ladies! I'll be posting pictures soon from that class.

So my friends, time to sign off for now.

As always,


Friday, July 9, 2010

An Opportunity to Help

Hello Everyone,

I've posted this quilt before and it's a good time to post it again. I made this quilt for my sister Gail when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The quilt is from Elizabeth Scott's book called, The ABC's of Words on Quilts. This quilt meant a lot to my sister and it was healing for me to make it for her. I felt that I was doing something to help her. What is more important than Home - Love - Friends - and Family.

I received an email the other day from Jeffree Itrich, a Sr. Clinical Trials Communication Specialist for the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study at the University of California, San Diego. Jeffree started a project to give quilts to Alzheimer's patients who are enrolled in their clinical studies. Jeffree saw my blog and contacted me to see if I could help spread the word. Here's the article about the program:

Quilts brighten the lives of Alzheimer's Patients

Quilters have long known that a quilt is a loving tribute that bonds quilters with recipients across generations and across vast distances. The warmth of a quilt is enhanced by the often bright patterns and colorful images which frequently suggest a simpler time.

Under a unique donation program organized by Jeffree Itrich of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS)and the University of California San Diego, quilts are brightening the lives of Alzheimer's patients around the nation.

The Alzheimer’s Study Quilt Program began in late January 2010. As a quilter herself, she knows how positively people react when given a quilt and how quilters are amazingly generous people. Her plea for quilts to give participants in the NGF Nerve Growth Factor) Study was picked up by numerous quilting newsletters. Good
Samaritans circulated the request for quilts and they began arriving from communities all over the U.S. The program has received nearly enough quilts for
all the NGF Study participants and are now looking for quilts for our IgIV and
ADNI studies.

Those study participants who have received quilts so far realize that the quilts were made with love, sincerity, and gratitude (to the volunteers for participating in the study and helping future generations). Many of the quilters had family members with Alzheimer’s (AD). One woman who lost her mother to AD made and donated 12 quilts and another whose grandfather had AD provided 11 quilts. A woman in Pennsylvania made five flannel quilts in one week!

If you would like to donate a lap-sized quilt to the Alzheimer’s Quilt Study Project, please contact Jeffree Itrich at

Here is the link to the site

Alzheimer's took my uncle's life just last year. I feel that this is a worthwhile program and would like to spread the word. I know the healing power of a quilt.

Enjoy and love your Home, Friends and Family this week and always.

As always,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Good Morning Everyone,

I always wanted a horse and this is just about as close as I'll ever get....a pretty pink pony.....with a plaid saddle.

Growing up in the house on Edgewood Lane, we had two horses that I faintly remember. I was so little and they were so big that I recall being terrified of them.

I just can't believe that it is July already! When I look at the calendar and then look at my "to do" list, there just aren't enough days in the week to get everything done in time for Pacific International Quilt Festival in October. Our summer is filled with family time both at home and at the cabin....mainly at the cabin. Who wants to quilt when there are little kids around to play with and love?

My deadlines are self-imposed. If I get Toyland Tree finished it would be great. If I don't get it done....then oh well, there's always next year. Or maybe I'll get it completed just in time for Christmas. What is that saying? Something about time flies, but remember, you are the navigator.

So here's to clear sailing and navigating through your day, week and months ahead. I'm off to work at the shop today. Stop on by and check out all of the new Christmas fabric. It is wonderful!

As always,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you have a happy and safe 4th of July with loved ones. I've hand quilted only two quilts in my life and this is one of them. Long may she wave.

I looked up the word "bunting". It's a strange word but fun to say. It is believed to be of German origin from the word bunt. "Strips of cloth or material usually in the colors of the national flag, used especially as drapery or streamers for festive decoration." My front porch is festive.

The table is decorated....a little bit. We have to leave room for all of the food.

Even the raccoons are joining in the fun.

Enjoy your holiday, your family customs and your independence. It's a time for memories to be made with those you love.
As always,