Saturday, March 29, 2008


I know you are all asking, where have I been all week? Well, my 16 year old granddaughter and her friend came to visit for Spring Break, so we have been busy! They arrived a week ago, Friday night (3-21-08). They had tickets on the only through flight from Minneapolis to Norfolk, and it was late arriving, so it was after midnight before they got in. My husband decided he wanted to take them to New York for the weekend, so Saturday morning we left early and drove up (about 6 hours). We had hopes of going to a show or two, but of course they were mobbed over the weekend. We raced all over, from theater to theater looking for tickets. We ended up going to Legally Blonde on Saturday night. It's a musical! Who knew? It was not our first choice, but we saw the movie and figured it should be OK. Well, it was more than OK, it was great! Talk about the perfect show to take high school girls to see! Be sure to click on the link and play the video clip. That show was so high energy I know I must have lost weight just watching the performers work so hard! We were in the 4th row in the center and I am sure the cast would recognize us on the street. Anyway, it was very cute and funny and had lots of great dancing and music that will be ringing in my ears for a long time. Naturally we got the CD. It is not Rodgers and Hammerstein, but it was lots of fun! (I buried the CD so they couldn't play it all the way home in the car. It didn't matter, they sang it all the way. It is permanently imbedded. "OMG, OMG You guys!" Who can forget lyrics like that?)

We did lots of touristy stuff also. FAO Schwarz, the big toy store, was a bigger hit than we expected. The girls loved it and I enjoyed it too. The soldier was in front of the store and he was adorable. My granddaughter is on the left and her friend on the right. Great weather for running around. We were so lucky!
We drove home Tuesday and the weather in Virginia Beach could not have been any nicer. Yesterday it was 80 degrees (today is 45!) The girls had lots of fun running around on the beach. We live close to the Chesapeake and the beaches are wonderful! The tourists are all down the road on the Atlantic. In the photo behind the girls you can see the huge container ships lined up out on the bay waiting to go through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. This bridge is 20 miles long and parts of it go under water so the ships can pass over.
Early this morning we took them to the airport and when we came home I went back to bed and slept until noon!
If you came by for quilts today, please come back again. I will soon be back to my normal routine, which is much slower paced, by the way. This week was really a fun change and my husband and I had a blast, and the girls did too!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I am just screaming with joy! You may (or may not) remember that I mentioned a while back that my darling little granddaughter used to call me Grandma Mousie, back when she was much smaller and could not pronouce her R's. I got such a kick out of that! Well look at the drawing my cute and talented friend, Karen Mowery did for me! Take a good look and see if you recognize the quilt on her lap. It is my Williamsburg Medallion!!! Is that not the cutest thing ever?! I LOVE it! Thank you Karen!!! You are amazing!

I have spent some time sewing in the past few days. I am still excited about the pineapple quilt, and so I have been working on that. I haven't sewn the blocks together, as you can probably tell, but I layed them out for a picture. They are so fun to make. They just ease right into my OCD without a problem. I was a bit afraid that there was not enough contrast in the light and darks. What do you think? Should I focus more on adding darker fabrics? Do the blues jump out too much? Should I set it on point? Oh so many decisions. Feel free to express your opinion (as long as you don't expect me to follow it). These are 10 inch blocks. I have a ways to go!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Well, I did it. I started another project. I couldn't help it. One of my friends here at the shop was teaching a class on making a pineapple quilt using a paper foundation. So I spent quite a bit of time cutting 1-1/2" strips of darks and lights this week getting ready for the class. I have always wanted to make this quilt, and taking this class was just the excuse I needed. I have no idea how many projects I have that are in various stages of completion (there is an optimistic word!). I would know, if only I had them in nice neat boxes all stacked and labeled so I could count them. (I know some of you out there do just that--and bravo!) Today someone in class commented that this would be a great project for cleaning up the sewing room floor. Now there is someone who I can definitely identify with! This is a great scrappy project and I am digging through my stash finding all kinds of good stuff I can use. This quilt is like a walk down memory lane, using fabric pieces from the beginning of time. "Oh look! I think Eve had this in The Garden". Talk about someone who had to work from scraps!

As I was slicing my 1-1/2" strips I ended up with many pieces that were more narrow than 1-1/2" wide. "Oh goody!" says I, " I can sew them into scrappy strips". So I did. The one pictured is trimmed at 3" wide and looks so pretty to me. I am going to continue to do that just for fun and then decide how to use it. It would make a pretty border. It would make a pretty band around a tote bag. Oh the possibilities.

This week was also spent working on the border pieces for the star quilt I posted previously. I am excited to put this together! I have all the Tri-Recs geese sewn in strips, so maybe tomorrow I will see if they will fit in place. Yes, tomorrow is Monday. Another fresh start. Where will it take us?

Addendum: When I was writing earlier I didn't have this info in front of me, but anyone interested in the foundation papers for the pineapple can find them at They are by Lynn Graves. Your LQS may have them or could order them. They sure make it easy and precise!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


These are a few of the happy people in my class last night. We had fun! It was class 2 of the Williamsburg Medallion. Everyone was zipping right along with very nice results. Peggy, in photo one, always keeps us smiling. Can you tell?

Heaven knows I am not the greatest teacher, so I sometimes bring homemade oatmeal-raisin cookies so they will think kindly of me. It seems to work.

I do enjoy classes, whether I am teaching them or taking them. It is fun to pass along tips and techniques. We all do things a little differently, so it is fun to learn how others tackle a project as well. When I teach a class I like to go over my method of construction and then let the class progress on their own and ask questions as needed. I also encourage them to follow their own instincts. New quilters are often hesitant to make their own decisions on fabric choices. As I was helping a new quilter with her fabric decisions last night, I was reminded of when I first began. My friend was a seasoned quilter and I asked for her help with every decision I made. After a while I realized that we had different ideas of what the quilt should look like and I began to make a few decisions on my own. Last night I watched two new quilters do just that. They both started out with kits for the project and as they progressed each made their own changes. For seasoned quilters this is never a problem, but when you are just beginning you don't always have the confidence to know if your choice is acceptable. Maybe we worry too much about how others will view our work. It has taken me a while to reach the place where I can say, "You don't have to like it-I did it the way I like it"! In the end, I think that is where the satisfaction comes from.

Charlotte, on the right in the photo, completed her whole top by the end of class last night! As you can see, she opted for a blue version. The photo doesn't do it justice. It looks great!

Another point of interest is that our LQS, What's Your Stitch N Stuff, kitted up Karen's (Sew Primitive) Tornado pattern! Doesn't it look cute! Check out Karen's blog to see the pattern.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Last night was so much fun! I took a class from Connie (of the Civil War Diary Quilt fame). I can't believe all that she does. She is such a sweetheart and I enjoy being around her and am constantly impressed with her talent. The class was for making the Bow Tucks Tote (designed by Penny Sturges). The first bag pictured with the sailboats is one that Connie made. (Whoops, the handles flopped over). Connie also has become very proficient at machine embroidery and is doing wonderful things on the pockets of the bags she makes. Everywhere she goes people admire her bags, so now she makes them and personalizes them for people. The purple one with the big embroidered W on the front is a baby gift that she made that includes a darling baby quilt inside. Connie did a great job teaching this bag. She has made so many of them that she made it very easy for the rest of us!
My bag (hasn't a button yet) turned out great too! We actually finished the bag last night, in our second class. We had some quilting homework, but that was simple, even for me! Notice how the bag has cute little ties on each side. The bag gets "tucked" in on the sides, and then you tie the "bows", hence the name Bow Tucks Tote! Everyone in my family is going to be begging me for one of these!
Also, let me direct you to Dawn's blog, in case you haven't seen it. She is working on her own rendition of Williamsburg Medallion, and you must see it! She also shows Libby's and Karen's quilts with links to their blogs. I love the way they think and then do it! I am so impressed and honored to have them make my pattern. And I love that they each show their own creative talent in the process.

Monday, March 03, 2008


By an overwhelming number of comments on my squirrel adventures, it would seem more of you are interested in that than quilts. Well, too bad, cause this blog is mostly about quilts. Ha! However, it is gratifying to know that someone out there is reading my blog. I plagiarized a quote from Fried Green Tomatoes and was assaulted with cries of Towanda! Of course that was the image I was trying to portray, but I didn't realize it had become a war cry of the abused! How perfect! I haven't seen the movie in a long time and didn't remember that Towanda was the name of Kathy Bates' character. She is great! Now I want to watch that movie again.

Pam from My Creative Mind offered a suggestion of using ammonia in a spray bottle to spray around the deck where the squirrel was likely to go. I took her advice and was spraying along the edge of the deck where I saw chew marks in the wood. The deck is not free standing, but rather it sits on top of the roof of a lower floor. All of a sudden the squirrel shoots out from that area and flies into the trees! I didn't even know he was in there. I guess he didn't like the smell! Hooray!!! I don't know if he has been around since, but I continue to spray out there each day to discourage him. Nice call Pam! I tried to link to you but couldn't find your site. But thanks so much for the great advice!

I have actually been sewing over the past week, between chasing the relentless rodent. I drew up a design on EQ6 and went to work with some beautiful fabrics from the Jamestown fabric line, by Jo Morton. I found I needed to add some lighter colored fabrics to create the look I wanted, so you will recognize some of the fabric from places other than Jamestown. The 9-patch blocks are primarily from scraps. The rows are not all sewn together yet, but at least I am finally to that step. Then I get to play with a border idea. It is always a challenge to come up with a border design that contributes to the overall design in a compatible way.

My e-mail is through Google (g-mail). I really do like their whole e-mail design. Well, Karen from Sew Primitive and I have been chatting via e-mail. We were discussing toile fabric, and somehow Google picks up on bits of conversation and provides links to places that might be of interest. So this link shows up for toile fabric: Here is a great variety of toile! I am sure it is designer weight fabric, but still, they would work for focus areas of a quilt, such as my Williamsburg Medallion, or even the Kaffe Fassett Hat Boxes quilt. Take a look at the yellow and red one with the hen and chicks. I love it! Maybe I should make another medallion quilt. I will probably not get my other quilt back from the shop until they are good and sick of it. I am really tempted.
By the way, take a look at the additional site that Karen has set up to display her new patterns. She is designing some really cute things under the name Folk Art Children! If you like the new Wizard of Oz fabric, you will love what she is doing with it!