Thursday, January 31, 2008


It's not midnight yet, so I wanted to squeeze this in under the wire! I actually did finish a UFO this month! I bought this pattern last fall while in Arizona and started it there. It is designed by Renee Plains. Pretty darn cute design! I had fun with it! I finally completed the quilting and hung it on the wall. My quilting isn't that great, so don't dwell on it. Lol! This one contains fabrics designed by my hero, Judie Rothermel. Most are from the Sturbridge Miniatures. The sashing is hers also from a few years ago. I felt happy to find it and incorporate it into a project with some of Judie's newer fabrics. I think I even said, "Oh look, you can live here with your new family". Do you ever talk to your fabric? Aren't they like old friends? By the way, I saw Judie's Merrimack line today (by Marcus Fabrics) while I was at the quilt shop. Be still my heart! I wanted that fat quarter pack sooo bad! Someday soon it will be mine! In the meantime maybe the anticipation will help keep the blood pumping through my veins. My own form of aerobic exercise! I gotta run...(don't take that too literally).

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I have been playing with scraps again this week. I decided that I wanted to see what Williamsburg Medallion, the quilt I showed a few posts ago, would look like in scraps. I replaced the toile center with a star that I felt complimented the design, and dragged out the fabrics for auditioning. You know what that does to a sewing space! I actually had just sorted through little mounds of fabric and put each in its own container according to color. I really whipped through it, so it wasn't exactly pristine, but that's why I have cabinets with doors on them! Anyway, suffice it to say that my room is back to "normal". This was lots of fun to make, by the way! I would love to see what Libby would do with this! She has such a flair for the primitive look!
Now I have a question for you. Do you think all medallion quilts look the same? I have had two people look at Williamsburg Medallion (#1) and comment that it looked like another quilt I made. One said it looks like Homeport (#2), and another said it looks like Chesapeake Star (#3). I do like medallion quilts, it's true! Am I just making the same quilt over and over again? I thought I was making different quilts with interesting borders that I can change each time around. I am finding that I really have to defend myself lately!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Last Friday was a fun day! There is a Quilting Bee that meets at the LQS every Friday, and they invited me to join them there for lunch. The reason is that they had swapped Shoofly blocks for my pattern Pioneer Trail, and they wanted me to come and see the finished quilts. I was excited that they had chosen my design for their swap! Five of the ladies had completed their quilts. In spite of the fact that many of the blocks were of the same fabric, each quilt had its own look according to how the quiltmaker placed fabrics and the border fabric that they chose. Each quilt was a beauty!
In this quilt the Shoofly blocks represent the wagon wheels rolling west along a dusty zig zag trail, hence, the name Pioneer Trail. Each of these quilters had fun deciding how much grass or mud to include in their own trail.
Barb is holding her quilt in the first photo. Barb chose a fabulous Ginny Beyer print fabric for the border of her quilt. It looks lovely!

In the second photo Mary Lynn shows her quilt. Mary Lynn included a pieced border on hers as my original quilt had.

The border that Betts put on hers, in quilt #3 is a poison green from the Pennsylvania Plain and Fancy collection. It looks great!

Pat, with quilt #4, chose a beautiful border fabric for her quilt that really sets off the colors of the blocks.

The final quilt, #5, was made by Bobbie. She actually completed her quilt for Christmas and gave it as a gift. I took this photo back in November, I think, and Bobbie's face is nowhere to be seen! Great looking quilt though, and someone received a great gift from her. I know I have posted at least two other quilts that Bobbie has made on my website (Patchalot Patterns) in the gallery. These will all be posted there also for inspiration to anyone who views them.

Thanks ladies, for inviting me to share in the unveiling of your finished quilts and for allowing me to share your beautiful quilts with my blogging buddies!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I am in shock, and so thrilled! I feel like I won the lottery! Just yesterday I asked for help finding the Moda Georgetown Flags, and thanks to my blogging friends, they are ordered and on the way! Several people gave me suggestions of places to look, and today I was going to do that. I opened my e-mail this morning and had a message from Tazzie directing me to an E-Bay site! I never even think to look at E-Bay! I ordered them! Then Sue at Monomaniacal Quilter sent a link to some at Thousands of Bolts. I ordered 2 yards there also! Well, that is a lot of flags and now I am back in business! I really figured I was in for a long search! Thank you, thank you to my blogger friends out there. You are the best! All of you!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Help!!! Pictured is one of my patterns, Homeport, that I designed a few years ago. It still is a big seller here in Virginia Beach. As you can see from the cover, I include a flag in the package for the center. Well, I have finally run out of flags! The flags that I used were from Moda, and called Georgetown. Granted, this was several years ago, but if you know of any, or have any to spare, I would love to buy them. The flags were printed in rows, and each flag measured about 5-1/2" x 7".

The shop here will contact Moda on the chance that they might have an old bolt laying around. And I know I can provide directions for making a little flag, if necessary. However, people seem to really appreciate receiving the flag in the pattern. So please keep your eyes open! Maybe somewhere out in this wide world there are some Moda American Flags looking for a home! Thanks! --Marcie

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Last week I mentioned that I would have pictures of a Civil War Diary Quilt that my friend, Connie, made. So here it is! Connie and I began this project in a class at the same time last year. I made about 10 blocks and look what she has done! Her quilt is amazing! Her color selection is wonderful as is her construction. On top of that she made photo transfers of some of the prominent figures in the Civil War and placed them in blocks. I tried to get close-ups, but they turned out fuzzy. Connie took her first quilt class from my friend Sue a year and a half ago! She then took several of my classes, and so we have had the chance to get to know each other. She recently retired from the Navy and her husband bought her a long arm machine, so now she is really rolling! Connie is always cheerful and enthusiastic. I really enjoy her! She doesn't have a blog, so I am pleased to display her amazing quilt on mine!
You may know that these are 6 inch blocks, and each block tells a story. Yes, each block represents, or "stands for something". As you read the book the the author explains what she wants each block to represent.
Another book that I really enjoy is Facts and Fabrications, by Barbara Brackman. Brackman is the Queen of Block History and Definition! In this book she selects blocks and wraps a bit of Civil War history around each one. Most blocks have names, and many have more than one name. Rocky Road to Kansas and Catch Me if You Can are blocks that begin to tell a story just in their name. If you want your quilt to represent something, or tell a story, that is perfectly acceptable. Actually, I really like the idea. Barbara cautions us though, that it is a good idea to write the meaning of what we wish to portray on the quilt for the benefit of those who view it.
Addendum: I forgot to mention that Connie is originally from Gettysburg, so I am sure her interest in CW history comes quite naturally. Also, along the line of adding symbolism to our quilts, Connie added a red inner border around her blocks to represent all the blood spilt in the war. Very poignant!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I was happy to receive so many thoughtful responses to the quilt block question in my previous post. I think it is pretty clear that, while we all would like to put that piece of history behind us, it won't go quietly. And really, that is a good thing, because the Holocaust is not something that should ever be forgotten. It has only been sixty years, and already there are those who are trying to deny that it ever happened.

The quilt itself is a lovely thing, and quite innocent. It was created before the Swastika became the symbol of Hitler's Army, a symbol that we associate with hate, violence and evil.

As much as I like the quilt, with its soft faded colors, I don't plan to re-create it. That design now stands for something. And I don't want to make a quilt that will cause anyone to question where I stand on that issue!

I want to stand for something too, and I want it to be something good!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Pictured is an old quilt that my husband and I bought a number of years ago at a yard sale. At the time I was not really into quiltmaking. I just loved quilts and the whole idea of owning an old quilt seemed romantic, in some way. We took it home, very delighted with our purchase, and spread it on the bed to examine it. We could see right away that it was well worn and more damaged than we would have liked. That is probably why it was left by the collector ahead of us who bid it up to $30. Well, we aren't collectors and we didn't plan to re-sell it. The idea that it had been well used only added to the romantic notion of owning a bit of the past. I loved the pink sashing and the worn and faded colors. We have used this quilt quite sparingly over the years, and even less since I now make quilts myself. The other night my husband pulled this quilt out of the closet and spread it on the bed for an extra layer of warmth. I smiled when I saw it, and thought how comfort sometimes has more to do with sentimentality than anything. I like to think that the maker of this quilt would be pleased that it still brings pleasure and comfort to people. (Here's the part where all good quiltmakers are thinking, "Quilt Labels"! And I don't even have to write more on the topic, but if you want to read a Cute Quilt Story click on the link and scroll down.)

Last night my husband was watching football and as I sat and shared the same space with him I was looking through a book of antique quilts. I noticed one from 1910 that contained the same blocks as our old pink quilt. This block was identified by several names, including Whirligig, Fly Foot, Devil's Puzzel, Indian Emblem, and Swastika. The author claims that this block was quite popular for many generations. It lost popularity when the block symbol became associated with Nazi Germany. I showed the page to my husband and he said he never noticed Swastikas on the quilt. In fact, he wondered why I never made this block, and decided it must be too difficult for me. "Excuse me?" I say! "Well", he says, "It's all curved lines going every which way"!

Isn't funny how differently people look at things? Any quiltmaker would look at the block, break it down and see that it is simply Flying Geese! I feel like I have had a challenge thrown at me. There is no question that I can make the silly block! The question is, has enough time passed that we can bring this block back into our quilts? Can we see it as a Whirligig rather than a Swastika? I am sure there are many opinions out there around the world. What do you think?

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Well, did I catch your attention with the photo? It's my granddaughter. Doesn't she look happy? She is learning a lot in her freshman year of college. Photoshop, for example. I think I will try and get me a date like that! Oh why bother. I don't even like to go out anymore!

I did go out this afternoon though. The local quilt shop, What's Your Stitch N Stuff, had their Open House today to intoduce new classes. The shop was busy and quite a few people signed up for classes. My new quilt, Williams-burg Medallion, was very well received. In fact, the shop is going to make kits using many of the same fabrics that are in the original, including, of course, the Williamsburg Toile. I don't have the pattern ready yet, but if anyone wants a kit, call the shop and get on the list! (757-523-2711)
A lady e-mailed me the other day saying she had seen my blog and is from Virginia Beach. (Hi Joyce!) I mentioned the Open House to her and she came over and we met. That was really cool! I haven't ever actually met anyone as a result of blogging. I e-mail with several bloggers, but so far no face to face meeting. Meeting at the quilt shop was on pretty safe ground. She had never been to the shop before and I think was a little amazed. It really is an awesome shop!
My friend Connie brought her Civil War Diaries Quilt to show me. She has all the blocks pieced and sewn together into a top. It is amazing! I will post some photos of it soon. (That is supposed to be a little teaser, like they always do on the news. "Did Jeb make it across the tracks in his old pick-up truck before the train? News at 10:00").

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Since posting my Trees on the Table pattern last fall I have had the pleasure of meeting some new friends in Blogland. One of those friends is Lea who lives in Japan. She made the trees quilt and sent me a picture, giving me the opportunity to meet her and see the beautiful work that she displays on her blog, Simple Pleasures. Lea has honored me with the You Make My Day Award. Ironically, her blog is one that I would have nominated! Thanks Lea!

The rules for this award say to choose up to 10 people whose blog brings you happiness & inspiration and makes you feel happy about Blogland. Let them know by posting a note on their blog so they can pass it on.

There are so many blogs that I love to read that I have trouble getting to all of them. Not for lack of interest! Here are a few special ones from the many that I enjoy. They make Blogland a pleasant place indeed! I hope you will drop by their blog and say hello!

Eileen at My Quilting Porch in Maryland

Annemiek at Carpe-Quiltem in Holland

Paula at A Latte Quilts in Texas

Kairle at Happy Valley Quilter in Utah

Gwen at Scrappy Angel in Germany

Michele at With Heart and Hand in Oregon

Pamina at Quilts on the Way in Germany

Saturday, January 05, 2008


I asked my friend, Marae, to let me take a picture of her with my new quilt. She lives here in Mesa, AZ, and does most of my quilting. As always, she did a beautiful job quilting for me. I love doing my part of the designing and piecing, and she frosts the cake with her beautiful work! Thanks Marae!
I am excited about this new design. The toile is from Windham Fabrics Williamsburg Centennial Line. I probably should have bought more from that line, but I had just received the fat quarter pack from Judie Rothermel's Old Surbridge Scarlet. They go beautifully together, along with a couple pieces from Barbara Brackman.  I leave here for home on Monday and then I will get the pattern directions written, etc. It always feels so good to see each stage completed. More later from Virginia!

Friday, January 04, 2008


This is the missing picture from the previous post! I don't know where it went. It may be floating around in cyberspace.  My daughter called and said, "Mom, there is no picture on your blog." Well, let's hope this one sticks! 

My son had another back surgery this week. He had a stimulator implanted. I hope this does the trick. He has been in so much pain for so long. So this morning I picked him up from the hospital and now he is home and sleeping in his own bed. This was not an easy surgery, but I suppose none really are! He is so glad it is over. I am too, and glad I could be here to help. His wife is so wonderful and works so hard to keep things going in the family. We are all truly blessed by her. 
The beat goes on--keep smiling!

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Hey, I did it! I figured out how to load photos to my son's computer. He has an Apple, so it is different than my PC. The photo shows the afore mentioned Scrappy Trips from Bonnie's Quiltville site. I have about 10 blocks made, and they are so addicting, which suits me just fine with my OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder, in case you are the rare quilter that doesn't have it). This photo shows 4 blocks sewn together. Isn't it cool? Your eyes just race all over the lines and colors. This will be a great quilt for stash busting! Thanks Bonnie!

I went to lunch today with my Dad and my sister for my birthday. Well, that was our excuse, but we would have gone anyway! We went to a Mexican restaurant that I love! It is so darling inside and out! It was built a couple years ago and is in an old Mexico adobe style, with a courtyard in the front and lots of pots of flowers, etc. Inside the walls are Mexican colored picture tiles part way up the walls. I sat in our booth wishing I had my camera, because several of those painted tiles would have been beautiful quilt blocks. I almost always order the Glazed Shrimp Quesadia. It is the best! I never get enough good Mexican food! Love it!

Thanks so much to all who stopped by with good wishes. I even heard from some that I haven't met before. You all are the best! It's sad that I have to beg, but look at the great results I got! VBG!!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Happy New Year to blogging friends near and far. I am still in Arizona and enjoying time with my family. Christmas was great and so nice to have both my sons here, as well as my son's wife and the kids, my Dad, sister, aunts and uncles, etc. My daughters were both missing and were both missed. I sure love them all! It is difficult to get the whole family together in one place very often as we are so spread out across the country.

December 26 my husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. If I was home I would find an old picture of us when we were young and cute. I actually still think he is pretty cute! We are the epitome of the couple who has nothing in common except the kids. Somehow we have stuck together through all kinds of weather. He has actually become sweeter and more sentimental as time goes by. But I really think it is the laughter and the ability to not take things too seriously that has held us together. I always say it was the first twenty years that was the most difficult! LOL! He is already back home and going to work to pay for the lifestyle in which I have become so accustomed. What a gem!

January 2nd is my birthday. Another day that can go unnoticed, as far as I am concerned. I only mention it to see who reads my blog and wants to wish me happy birthday. It's amazing how many people who love me have to be reminded. (Seriously, I'm joking!)

I got my trusty old Bernina out the other day so I could mend a couple things for my Dad. Once out, it does not like to go back into the box too quickly, so I thought I would take it for a spin. I have been sewing strips together to make Bonnie's Scrappy Trips Around the World. Yes, I have a small stash here at my son's house so I can play. I love those blocks, by the way. They go together so quickly and I love the scrappy look they create. I really want to get on the Sunshine Band Wagon and do some serious stash busting this year. Judy L. has a plan. I don't quite have enough confidence in myself to sign up, but I want to at least make the effort to use more yardage than I buy.
I mentioned previously that my youngest son was bringing a girl home to meet the family. I am afraid to say anything about her for fear of jinxing the deal, but I want to say, "Can we keep her"? She is a real sweetheart and they seem to have a good connection. We all voted and she wins. Don't tell anyone though or I will be in trouble for opening my big mouth again. It's a problem I seem to have!
I may be able to add a picture or two tomorrow, until then --Happy New Year 2008! (Who knew I would live this long)?