Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hooo Do You Love?

This is a baby quilt for my daughter's best friend's sister's baby (got that?). Hey! I have to quilt and I have over 100 quilts in my house (although some of them are the antique quilts I collect) so I need to have excuses to make them. What better than a baby?

This is a panel kit I purchased while on vacation near Portland Oregon. Holly Hill Quilts in West Linn Oregon is a fabulous quilt shop! We were on our way to the airport to fly home when we stopped here and when my husband, who likes to take a nap in the car while I'm in quilt shops, came in looking for me after about 40 minutes. I took one look at him and said, "You go ahead Dear. I'm going to just stay here. LIVE here. IN this quilt shop".

I bought the kit before we knew the gender of the baby but now we know it's a boy so this fabric with all the adorable little owls on the border, will be perfect. It's backed with orange Minkee.

2011 UFO Challenge

Over at Judy Laquidara's WONderful blog, Patchwork Times, she's created a challenge to the bravest quilters: post 12 UFOs you'd like to finish and work on one a month to see if you can complete 12 in a year. Judy will draw a number on the first of each month and that's the number of the quilt you need to finish. Here is my list:

1. Jelly Roll Xmas Quilt, top completed in 2007
2. 12 Days of Xmas, pattern by Nancy Halvorsen, top completed in 2008

3. Pastel Stars from a Linda Ballard mystery in 2004

4. "Michigan Hideaway", black and jewel-tone top completed in 2006

5. "Big Easy", a yellow, black and quilt top made in 2008

6. "Glory Bee" red, green and white top started in 2009

7. "Twinkle Little Star" a little Xmas quilt started in 2006

8. "September" wall hanging.

9. Brocade Jacket--I assume garments count?

10. Red and black skirt--ditto #9 (I haven't even started this one)

11. VQG Challenge quilt. This is my own quilt guild's challenge; we have 2 fabrics, add can only 2 more making something with the theme "Blooming Fun".

12. Kaleidoscope. Ricky Tims' pattern. This one's pinned, I only need to quilt and bind it.

As you can see, my 'bog down' point is when I have to pin the quilt. Hate that part! So I have a lot of tops. Some of these I really like and want to complete. Others, not so much. They will be donated to one of the many worthy causes in my life.

Good luck to all my fellow Judy Laquidara aficionados!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I can finally show everyone this quilt I've been working on for 6 months! My quilting group "Calendar Girls" selects a block and color-way every December, we make 16 blocks, exchange them in June and 'reveal' our respective quilts in December (yesterday, actually). Since I know some of my quilting buddies read this blog, I had to keep this under wraps because it's a very hush-hush thing every year.

So this is my quilt! We were to make any basket block we wanted in red and white. I came up with about 15 additional blocks because I really wanted a mish-mash of sizes and shapes. This is the 10th year we've been together so I commemorated this fact in the top with paper-pieced lettering.

So what did the others Calendar Girls make? Oh MAN! Every quilt was outstanding! I was surprised that only 5 people chose to add other colors to their quilts. One tea-dyed hers, one added butter yellow stars, one appliqued pink-ish red flowers with green leaves and 2 others added all the colors of the rainbow! The rest were pretty much true to red and white and they were all FANTASTIC!! I'm so lucky to be part of such a tight group, all of whom have become really great friends!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mended Hearts

A couple of months ago, I told you all about my dear friend Lee who passed away after an 18-year battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 60. The day before she passed, she called from her hospital bed to "ask me a favor". She wanted me to complete the 2 quilts she'd started for her daughter and her niece. You saw her daughter's, here's the niece's quilt, Mended Hearts, in progress to be finished for Christmas. This is a 'quilt-as-you-go' method, a little different than I'm used to. Once you applique the hearts on to the background, you stitch with different decorative stitches in varying colors then cut some of them in half and 'mend' them together. Then you butt the blocks together to finish the quilt--which is the part I have left to do. I'm sure it will be a touching moment when her husband delivers the finished quilt to her niece.

Miss you, Lee. . .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Got the Extra Fabric!!!

I'm so happy to report that I was able to get enough of the red fabric I told you about last week to finish the binding on my red and white quilt--woo-hoo!! I called the shop, they still had some, my son picked it up for me and got it to me! Just when you think it's a lost cause, the Universe surprises you! The photo here is not the quilt, just my cute kitty Bobo with another red and white basket quilt I made a few years ago. I will post a photo of the Calendar Girls quilt on Monday, December 14th the day after the group has their 'reveal'.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Corn Pudding with Buorbon


I cut this out of the Sunday paper in 1998 and it’s wonderful!

Just make sure your corn is thawed if it’s frozen and if using

canned kernels, drain well.

3 eggs

1 1/8 cup evaporated milk

3 cups canned cream-style corn

3 cups corn kernels

3 T butter, melted

3 T brown sugar

3 T cornstarch mixed w/3 T water

3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

4 1/2 T bourbon

3/8 tsp salt

3/8 tsp white pepper

Preheat over to 350ยบ and butter a 2 quart baking dish

Beat eggs and evaporated milk together in large bowl. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake 45 minutes (might take a little longer) or until slightly browned and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot. Serves 8-10

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Case of the Too Short Binding

I am part of a wonderful group of 16 quilters who have been together for 10 years; The Calendar Girls. Every year, we pick the parameters for a block, make 16 of them, have a block exchange in June then make a quilt and have "Reveal Day" in December. Reveal Day this year is December 13th and it is my favorite day of the year. The Taj Mahal couldn't rival the splendor of the decorations of our host, Cooky. We gather around 11 am, everyone brings goodies and other edibles, we pick at them and visit, then we sit down at the magnificent dining table set with Spode Christmas china, crystal and the 'good' silver while surrounded by her Santa collection, her Christmas quilt collection (decorating every spare wall space and chair back) and the lighted village that runs all through her home.

There's show and tell, a gift exchange, then dessert and more visiting! Then we get down to business--The Reveal. Everyone's quilt is wonderful, stories are told about the sewing of them, photos are taken (to be kept in a comprehensive scrapbook, almost 3" thick now!) and at last, we choose a theme for the next year's block. (This year's was red and white baskets).

I can't show you the whole quilt, which is 98% finished, because it's a surprise and they might peek but I have a little problem: Yesterday as I was putting on the binding I cut months ago, I realized I didn't have enough and had run out of fabric! I remember where I bought it (wonder of wonders) but that's a 2 1/2 drive--each way! I've scanned the fabric and emailed it to the shop and will call them tomorrow and see if they can send it to me. (Good thing I'm one of those people who finished things early instead of waiting until the last minute. Do YOU do that?)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tree Skirt

A completed project! F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!! I started this a couple of years ago and were it not for a UFO Challenge at our quilt guild, it would have probably been another 2 years. So, just in time for the season. . .

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Cat Wears a Different Hat!!

That Cat in the Hat fabric quilt I had on my design wall last week just wasn't working for me. I love Sandy Klop's "Triple Crown Quilt" pattern but just didn't like how it was turning out with this fabric. So I tore it all down and tried something different--and LOVE IT! Most of the left side is sewn and the right side will be added today sometime.

Unfortunately, I need to make 5 more triangles out of the light fabric--the one with all the words on it--and have run out of fabric! It means I won't be able to finish it right away--ARGH! I only need a 2 1/2" WOF piece!! I called every quilt shop within a 50 mile radius and no one has it! (I bought this online). Guess I'll have to order a whole half yard and wait for it to come in the mail. . .

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Little Bags and The Cat in the Hat

I found this little pattern by Valori Wells at PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) a couple of weeks ago and can stop making these cute little bags! I'll give them to my friends for Christmas . You can put a lipsitck, a tissue and a couple of cards inside. Or, better yet, all those punch cards from all your favorite quilt shops!! Snap the snap and put it in your purse or pocket. Easy-peasy!

Finally getting back to this project which will be a Christmas throw for my daughter and her wife. They're writers (creative and screen, respectively) and love all the classics--Dr. Seuss being one, of course. This quilt isn't easy to put up on the design wall, I've found. Quite confusing with all the colors but I'll get it. Need to make at least 5 times more blocks (with 6 triangles apiece!) before I can begin to put this together.

Hop on over to Judy Laquidera's blog to see what everyone else has on their design walls!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Cat in the Hat meets American Jane

I didn't mean to start a new project--I really didn't! But how could I resist this new Cat in the Hat fabric knowing my daughter would LOVE a quilt made out of it for Christmas? Never mind that she's 25 years old--I think she likes Dr. Seuss more now than she did when she was little.

I've chosen Sandy Klop's American Jane pattern "Triple Crown Quilt" and think it will look great. I'll be getting a few more different fabrics in this Cat in the Hat line and have already purchased an aqua Minkie for the back, another thing my daughter will love about it!

Oh, the dreams that she'll have with this quilt!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Someone else's 'design wall' today

Cover Narrative.jpgI'm traveling on the east coast for a couple of weeks so have nothing to show on my design wall--however, that does not mean I'm not steeping myself in sewing and quilting along the way! Today I'll be visiting the Folger Museum on Nantucket Island, MA to see the Susan Boardman exhibit of the most exquisite hand work imaginable! When I first saw these works in a magazine, I thought I was looking at applique on quilts that were quite large. Oh, no! These are completely hand worked with fine gold and other threads, tiny beads and accouterments on very small incredible works. This is a photo of the front of her book documenting the lives of 'notable Nantucket women" many of them whaling ship captain's wives, left for years at a time while their husbands were off at sea. This 'quilt' is less than 14" x 16" and every stitch is hand wrought with single strand silk thread and a beading needle! I'm so lucky to be able to see these works of cloth arts in person.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Design Wall's a Secret. . .

This quilt is not technically on my design wall but what I've had on my design wall for a couple of weeks now is my Calendar Girls group block exchange blocks. Since I think there are a couple of women in the group who read Judy's wonderful blog, much as I'd love to show it off (as I'm VERY happy with how it's turing out!) I can't post photos of it as it will spoil the surprise of our annual 'reveal' in December.

This is a small quilt I finished just before the 4th of July. It started with a Schnibbles pattern but then I added the 2 border edges, the "fireworks" complete with fused on crystals and hand-appliqued circles, and the flag. I love the way it turned out!

For the next couple of weeks, I'll be on vacation on the east coast so I won't have any input but I'm bringing my computer with me so I won't miss Judy's or anyone else's posts. I find I LIVE for Design Wall Monday and all the inspiration it brings! Thank you, Judy Laquidara for your wonderful "Patchwork Times" blog!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ready to Quilt

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about my friend Lee who passed away a couple of days after asking me to finish 2 quilts she'd started, one for her niece Caitlin, which was my last post, and one for her daughter, Elizabeth. Lee had finished the center part of this sampler and had included a dozen or so fabrics in a neat bundle, including enough for the back. I chose this peach-colored first border and a piano key outer border to enlarge it to the queen-sized quilt she'd planned for. Another of Lee's friends and I will be quilting it later in the week.

It's amazing how I felt Lee's presence while working on this quilt. I felt her smiling, as she always did, and encouraging me. I also thought of how Elizabeth will think of her mom every time she sleeps under it. The fact that it was so important to Lee to get these quilt finished will make Elizabeth and Caitlin realize just how special they were to her.

--On another note: for those of you who live in MA, ME or NH, if you have a favorite quilt shop you'd like to tell me about, I'm vacationing there in mid-September and will need my quilt shop fix! We're traveling from Cape Cod through Boston and up to Camden ME. Then over to Lincoln NH then down to Manchester. Thanks in advance--

Monday, August 2, 2010

Design Table Monday

In a couple of hours, I'm attending a "Celebration of Life" at our local arboretum for my dear friend, Lee who passed away last week after asking me to finish her 2 quilts for her daughter and niece. I haven't been in a particularly productive mood for a couple of days and have been moping around just being sad.

Lee's unfinished heart blocks which were on my wall last week are on my cutting table at the moment. I found out that this was to be a "mended hearts" quilt and had to change my idea about how Lee wanted the quilt to go together. (I wondered why she had a pile of 8 1/2" squares of batting cut along with a pile of red and black polka dot squares 8 1/2" squares).

Never having put together a quilt like this, I found a description of it online (what CAN'T you get online!) and am in the process of sewing different decorative stitches in bright colors across each sandwiched block--polka dot back, batting and heart top square.

Once that is done, you stack a light background block with a dark background block and slice them any which way, then zig-zag them together so one side is dark and one light. It's a "quilt-as-you-go" process so when you get done zig-zagging the rows together, all you do is bind it and you're done.

I'm sure after tonight's memorial, I'll have the spirit I need to get going a little faster on this wonderful quilt.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Sad Story

A dear friend of mine has been battling her third bought with non-hodgkins lymphoma in 8 years. She'd tried an experimental treatment at Stanford 2 years ago and it destroyed her lungs. Her long list of friends have been watching her suffer ever since. Last week her lungs colapsed and she refused further treatment.

Three days ago, with a great deal of effort, she asked if I would do her "an enormous favor". She asked if I would finish 2 quilts she'd started, one for her daughter and one for her niece. I've been madly appliquing these hearts, hoping to get the top done for her to see it. Lee passed away last night and we're all devastated. Lee was a happy, kind, wonderful human being, only 61 years old.

I'm honored that she asked me to finish her quilts and I'll be working on them with love in my heart for her, her lovely daughter and loyal husband.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A productive week

I finished the little lighthouse quilt from the class I took a couple of weeks ago with Marcia Stein ( I'll definitely do another one of these satisfying quilts but first I'll have to go out and take some interesting photos. The 'shingles' in the lighthouse and the 'catwalk' at the top of the lighthouse are made with threadplay. The top window is shaded with black tulle. If you go back a couple of weeks, you'll see how it looked before the quilting.

And here's the finished top from the Kaleidoscope quilt I posted a last week. I used the leftover 'strata' for the inner border and the outer border is Ricky Tims' hand dyed fabric.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Boy was I busy this week! I took 3 days with my quilting buddies in Lake Tahoe and we sewed practically the whole time! I wanted to try the Ricky Tims' Kaleidoscope idea using some of the hand dyed fabric I'd purchased and although it was a very long, tricky process, I'm pretty happy with the result. Here's the center of the top. . .

. . . and 3 of the 6 steps to getting there, in reverse order.

Now I have to figure out what borders I need to add.

Thank you, Judy ( for the opportunity to share these Mondays with your other creative quilters! I swear, if it weren't for your blog, I wouldn't get nearly as much quilting done!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Brant Point Lighthouse, Nantucket, MA

I took a class from nationally known fiber artist Marcia Stein ( last week where we created a mini quilt from a photo. What you see here is my 8 x 10 photo on top of the fabric image I'm creating. Still needs a few details but I think I'll be able to finish it today. This is the kind of project that can do 2 things: turn you into a better photographer and hook you on making photo quilts!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hand dyed treasures for my 2nd Design Wall Monday

I spent 3 days in a Ricky Tims / Alex Anderson / Libby Lehman quilt seminar last week. What an informative and entertaining time I had with 650+ other quilters-- and there wasn't a sewing machine in site! I learned so many fun tips, tricks and techniques and saw so many fabulous quilts, I don't know which ones I'm going to try first!

There was a lot of stuff for us to buy in Ricky's 'store' but the biggest draw for everyone was the beautiful hand-dyed fabrics that Ricky Tims produces. They're pricy, ($27 a yard) but when you see Ricky's amazing quilts, you just have to buy some and attempt something with them yourself.

So this week I've put them up on my design wall for inspiration. Sometime soon, I hope you will recognize them in a fabulous new project of mine!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My first Design Wall Monday (even if it's Tuesday. . .)

Inspired by Judy Laquidara's blog "Patchwork Times", I have created this blog just for me and those who wish to follow along with what I'm accomplishing in the world of sewing. I mostly quilt but I'm getting back into garment making too after a hiatus of decades!

I love Judy's "Design Wall Monday". I've been so inspired by all the creativity I see from those around the globe who post EVERY Monday! I wanted to be a part of that too so here I am. Sixteen of these red and white blocks are from a block exchange with my Calendar Girls group and the others are from a drawing at a retreat. I have to have a quilt from these blocks finished by December 13th.

This seems to be such a welcoming and gracious group and I hope I can play a part too. Thank you for all your inspiration and the time you put into this wonderful passion of ours.