Thursday, August 30, 2007

New stuff

Today I found out that this quilt that I did for a customer last year won a red ribbon at the Augusta,ME quilt show this week! That kind of news always makes me happy!
Well, here it is. What a difference a table can make! The only thing is, there is no batting roller! Yikes! What to do with all those rolls of batting?? My guest closet already has 2 rolls in it. The 2 rolls that were under my old table are now standing up against the wall in my guest room. I'm used to storing 2 rolls under the table. Well never fear, Don is going to make me a roller for under the table...just soon as he gets 'round to it'... lol. But never fear, I will P&M so much that I bet he'll do it this weekend!

Don't scrutinize my feathers too much...I was concentrating on tension, not form.

My biggest concern about getting a new machine, was that my old premier stitched PERFECTLY. I mean perfect tension, perfect everything. I could run any kind of thread without issues. Well, I spent the afternoon tweaking the tension on the new machine and playing with different threads and it is fine! Whew...what a relief. And the new machine has some new features that the old one didn't. Not to mention a warranty! And my dealers were great as always. Happy, happy, happy! Very glad I went with the custom table; fits in my studio, and has the extra space I need.
All in all, a very good day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A change of "plan"

There is a slight change of plan. In an earlier post I had 1 mariners compass block and a "plan" for a quilt. Well the plan changed, as often happens, and I designed a new quilt for this block. Only trouble is, for this design I now need 4 mariners compass blocks. OK, so I SUFFER through paper piecing 3 more of these blocks. And by the way, whoever said paper pieced blocks are perfect?? HELLO....mine sure aren't!! Anyway, I digress. So, now I have 4 mariner's compass blocks and a 'plan'. Well, after all that trouble of piecing those 4 PITA blocks, it surely is a waste to use them all in 1 quilt!

So, now, the new 'plan' is to make a series of 4 quilts...each starring their very own mariner's compass block in some way, shape or form! Brilliant, don't ya think!

Earlier, I was in a discussion about pre-planning vs 'flying by the seat of your pants'. Well the gist was, that I'm a fly by or wing it kinda gal. So the above makes sense to you now, right?

And as to that earlier discussion, my sister Mary made a post and this is for her: I am NOT more creative than you...we just create different things, and they are all art in my view, yours, mine and everyone else's too. And for those of you who haven't seen the wonderful charitable work she does just look here Mary's blog and here Heartstrings project. She does it for the greater, well.............

I do some charity quilting, but it doesn't even begin to compare with what Mary does.

My post cards are done and in the mail. Thanks, Vicki for coordinating this exchange. And the theme was perfect. I used a piece of fabric I hand dyed that looked like 'stormy skies' to me. I made a sheet of Angelina 'fabric' and cut my sun from that. Then I took some embroidered flowers and some yarn and stitch them on. And last, added hot fix crystals to the flower centers, and voila! Postcards are born. And I can't wait for the next one! It is such a neat way to collect art from your friends, old and new.

And thanks to all who commented on my beautiful new stained glass windows thanks...Gina, I'll tell them you're adoptable and a good deal at that!

And first thing tomorrow morning my new machine and table arrives, yippee! then, I guess the foolin' around is over and it's back to work!

Don't know how I ended up with so much empty space at the bottom.??? Oh well. Have a good night all.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What a wonderful gift!

Today I spent finishing removing the 'stuff' from under the longarm table in preparation for the new one arriving in the next day or 2. I store 2 rolls of batting plus two -3 drawer chests for fabric and thread, and two-2 shelf bookcases, and various baskets full of stuff under the table. So now you can't even walk into my guest room! I will be sooo glad to get the new machine and table in and everything back to normal so I can get back to work.

But the big news is this: One of my friends(also a great customer!) and her husband came over today. Her husband does stained glass work. Well ,he made me these windows as a thank you for the quilts I have done for them( mind you, they paid for the quilting). He installed them too! They are so beautiful...I am nearly speechless! (you'll notice I said 'nearly') I have been staring at them all afternoon. Can you see how they even match my curtains and walls!!!
What an incredible gift from 2 wonderful people! Thanks, Richard & Joyce!!

Oh, and my postcards are done and will go out in the mail this week!

Friday, August 24, 2007


I am participating in a fabric postcard exchange thru MQ Resource. And in today's mail I received my first one!! This one was made for me by Brigitte. Isn't it beautiful! I love it, thanks Brigitte.If you've never participated in a postcard swap before, give it a try. If there isn't one going that you can join...start your own! It is really fun to get little pieces of art from others. And they're fun to make and give too!

There are several books out there on the subject, and I think I remember and article in Quilting Arts Magazine about the subject awhile back. But if you're interested in giving it a try and need some instruction...check out this link to get started.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A new quilt design

I had started a new quilt using a mariner's compass block. The compass blocks are made and were shown in an earlier post. I designed the center floral applique here to go with those blocks. Then the other day, I was asked to design to an applique pattern for my guild's next raffle quilt....they wanted tropical...and this floral was perfect! So I then designed the setting triangles to surround the floral center. What do you think? And, before I started the applique on my personal quilt, I wanted to try the applique foundation that Sharon Schamber uses. You leave it in, and when the quilt is washed, the fibers soften and become "fill". Gives a little extra loft....nice! Of course, lazy me did not turn my edges...I just did a buttonhole stitch around.

New Header photo

Mary has been after me to change my header photo. She thought it was too large and distracting. It took me a while to find one that I could stretch without distorting. This is the closest I could get. It's a little dark, but you can still see those beautiful faces!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A little progress

The last couple days I've been working on some guild projects, so not much has happened on my own stuff. But today I did pull some fabrics to use with the mariners' compass I pieced this past weekend. Most of these will be cut and pieced into a background for the compass and it's companion, yet undecided applique. (yes, I've said I'm not a piecer, but I do piece backgrounds)I still need to decide on a yellow and orange...maybe tomorrow.
And this is what I found when I got home from the market this cute is that?
Some things just make you smile!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm not a piecer

I'm not a piecer, but that doesn't mean I don't piece....I do. Most of most quilts (except the wholecloths) have a pieced element. But the things I like to do best are applique and the quilting. Mary loves to piece and she is very good at it. My quilts though they have pieced elements, it is never the only thing...there is always some applique that is the dominant theme and the piecing takes a supporting role.
Paper piecing is my least favorite thing to do.

However, that being said, I have always wanted a mariner's compass in a quilt. And since Mary hasn't made one for me I decided to do it myself! Now don't look too closely,'cause you'll find lots of mistakes. ButI'm hoping, once the rest of the design comes together (with lots of applique) the piecing flaws will be less noticable.
I do like the fabrics and the vivid color. Look for many things tropical as this design comes together.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


My oven died over a week ago--it was 20 years old, so I guess it had a good life. However, it was a built in double oven. Trying to get a new one to fit the space of the old?....quite the challenge. And for a reasonable price?? impossible. But I finally found one 'close enough' to the size and ordered it...10 days ago. Well, today it came, and the installers got it to fit...after some 'er' carpentry work (and I use that term loosely) on the cabinet.

But in the end, I have a nice new, modern double oven. And best of works!!

Vicki asked if I worried about shipping quilts. the answer to that is yes, somewhat in the back of my mind. I always ship with UPS.... and have not had a problem so far. Sharon Schamber though had a big problem ( the truck burned up with 2 of her quilts in it!) Most large shows will call or e-mail you when your quilts safely arrive, and that helps allot. In fact I was notified today that my quilts did indeed arrive safely in Jacksonville.

And speaking of the Jacksonville show...Mary teased me the other day with the possibility that she might join me at that show, only to say no later..... But in fairness, she did redeem herself somewhat. Today I received a package from her with a cute birthday card and a beautiful picture frame. Aren't sisters' great?? Guess I'll have to make Cheryl Winslow's apron for her after all!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Back in the groove

Loaded and started another quilt today. This is the second of it's kind, made for a clients' granddaughters. I finished the other one last week. It it Norma Sharp's 'Rose vine' in the body of the quilt, with leaves in the inner striped border and a piano key outer border. Of course using luscious King tut thread.
And this is a sheet of 'fabric made from Angelina fibers from my textile group workshop on Monday. this will make beautiful shiny leaves for a future quilt!

And this is another Angelina 'fabric' sheet. This one made from the newer crimped fibers. love this stuff!! it has more sheen and better drape. Can you see beautiful flowers coming from this? I sure can.

This also is Angelina 'fabric'. On this one I made the sheet of 'fabric' then embossed it by ironing it over a large foam dragonfly stamp. then cut it out. Now it's ready to applique!

And here is a sheet of silk fusion, made from soy silk roving...again beautiful flowers will come from this.

And this one also is silk fusion. These colors would be good for flowers, but I can also see that they could make their way into one of my seascapes. What do you see?
Or a sunrise background for our 'new beginnings' postcard swap, eh Vicki?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Shipping quilts again

I shipped off 2 quilts today that are in the quilt show in Jacksonville next month. This one, "Reef Rendezvous II" was juried into Mid-Atlantic Quilt show this past Feb., but didn't ribbon. It's wholecloth and I hand dyed the fabric. The photo above is of my quilt hanging at MA-QF. I wasn't there but my Mother and Aunt Nancy(above) were there with Mary, who took this photo for me.
I used airtex 16oz. batting for the trapunto and Superior King Tut thread.
And this one, "Some like it Hot....Frog Legs Cajun Style" some of you have seen before. It won an honorable mention this year at MQS. We'll see how they do in this know different judges, different opinions.

I will be going to this show. I also know of 2 other quilts that I quilted for customers that are in as well, both ribboned in the Southwest Florida Quilt show this past Feb. too. It'll be fun to be there and it's always a kick to see your work hanging in shows.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A weekend off, sort of

Well, no quilting this weekend. Don had his last sailboat race of the summer series today, and we had the after race crew party. so I've been cleaning and cooking for the last 2 days.And tomorrow is my textile workshop, we will be working with both Angelina and silk fusion to make fabric for various uses. So I got my class samples made, and the handouts typed and printed; and all the participants supply kits put together.Then Tuesday, I'll be back to customer quilts. And of course you have to see the latest photos of my babies!

And check out the latest quilt that Mary looks great!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Back to normal

So, now that I know Mary and Keith are OK and I have gotten a little sleep; life goes on. My heart goes out to all those affected by this terrible tragedy.
This afternoon, I finished one quilt and loaded another. Though I will not start work on it till Monday. Tomorrow is guild, and then Saturday I have to do all my final prep for my workshop on making fabric from Angelina and silk roving that is on Monday. Sunday, Don has a race and we are having a crew BBQ here after the race, so I have to cook and clean in prep for that

And today, I got an e-mail from my wonderful friend and neighbor when we lived in Deltaville. Her beloved golden retriever died. My heart goes out to her, as I well know how awful this time is for her. We just lost our 2 kitty companions in the past year.These cats were 16 years old and had traveled the islands with us on our boat. I was devastated when they died... and within 8 months of each other. I think of them every day, and many days I still cry. My heart goes out to Susie and the pain she is now enduring.
And, though I miss my Sidney & Ira every day( pictured above), These 2 new little babies, my precious ragdolls Chloe and Harry brighten my days and help to ease the pain of the loss of Sid & Ira. What's not to love here?!
Sorry to be so sad.... some days are just like that. Tomorrow I'll be better. And I hope Susie will be too



Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Well, today on our new favorite forum, there was a question; who are your mentors. I had been thinking about this all day. And I think I'll duplicate that post here. My Mother taught me to sew as a very young girl on a treadle machine, no less! (guess that gives you a hint about my age) My first projects were doll was so cool to have clothes for my doll that no one else had or could buy in the stores. From there I expanded into my own clothes, then my children's and eventually my granddaughters. Along the wayI also did home dec stuff, curtains and the like. (I'm still doing that and boat sewing!!) When my kids were little, I made quilts, and again when my first granddaughter was born. But quilting did not become the obssesion that it is for me today until afterI retired. By that time Mary had found quilting and was encouraging everyone. But, the initial credit goes to Mother for giving me the love of needle and thread from a very early age. Now, my love of color came from Dad...but that's a story for another day.

As for the longarm, Mary gets the full credit there. She got hers first and convinced me I needed one too. And she was right! Thanks, Mary. And the rest as they say, is history.

And on a more serious note, the news of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis tonight.. that is downtown where Mary lives and walks. Needless to say I was frantic. I couldn't get her by phone...all the circuits were busy... her cell didn't answer, she didn't reply to e-mail or IM. I even posted a message looking for her on our new forum. Finally, thankfully she called me, and is OK.

I guess the lesson here is we never know what the next minute will hold...enjoy each one, and tell those you love, that you do love them. And, even though we have our differences, I do love you, Mary. And I'm sure Keith is fine too. Hang in there.