Friday, February 27, 2009


Yesterday was such a great day! Sue, me and Joan, pictured above in that order, drove up to Newport News to attend Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest! We are the Three Amigos, and sometimes just as goofy! It is so fun to be with friends who all relate to each other in a relaxed way that only good friends can. It is funny how different we all are, and yet how many things we have in common. Sue was at the top of her game in the humor department yesterday. We were laughing all day.

It was exciting to see my Indian Paintbrush pattern made up and kitted at the Olde Green Cupboard booth! See it on the wall behind us? They did a beautiful job, as they do with everything! I love their booth. Everything in that shop speaks to me! Gloria, the owner, does an amazing job with color and fabric in the quilts displayed. It was an honor to have my quilt right smack in the center! I hope they sell lots of kits and patterns!

I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Goodneedle herself! She is totally wonderful, and I loved visiting with her. Funny how well you can get to know someone through their blog and just get a feel for what kind of person they are. I wish we could have spent the entire day together. She was there with her friends too, and it was good to connect in real life!
By the way, the quilt behind us is all wool! It was being offered as a block of the month, and my friend Joan signed up for it. She is thrilled! It is a design from Primitive Gatherings.

Mary from Quilt Hollow was at Quilt-Fest also! We met up at the Olde Green Cupboard booth, where Mary bought the Indian Paintbrush kit! Yay Mary! Maybe she will show us her progress as she works on it. Mary and I have been e-mailing back and forth for a while, and it was so fun to finally meet up with her! I am so glad I was able to meet both these blogging friends, and seriously, if we hadn't arranged it, I never would have found them. It was not nearly as busy as last year, but still, the size of the facility is so large that I wouldn't have found my friends that I went with if we hadn't arranged a place to meet.

This last shot is another picture of the Olde Green Cupboard, just to show you how lovely their booth was. They even had lamps, giving a nice warm glow and making their booth appear so inviting. Above is one of their needle-punch projects beautifully framed. They also have demonstrations going on for needle-punch (or is it punch-needle?) and rug making.

Oh look! On the wall on the left side is a quilt made by our own Karen Dianne, Mistress of Leehaven! Gloria told me that Karen does beautiful work, and I got to see it for myself! Your quilt is wonderful Karen!

Monday, February 23, 2009


According to the poll it looks like Dream Catcher is the favored name for my new quilt. I am really glad because now I don’t have to over-rule everyone! 60% of those who voted chose Dream Catcher as the name for the quilt pictured in the post below this one. I loved Stina’s comment about Fudge Factor being the quilt’s working name.

Dream -catcher, for those who may not know, is a Native American tradition that began in the Ojibway (Chippewa) tribe. All the dream-catchers are similar to the one pictured, yet unique, as they are each hand made by individuals. So, like quilts in that way! Most seem to have feathers hanging on them. That gives me the idea that I need feathers on my quilt! The dream-catcher is hung above the beds of sleeping children to protect them from nightmares. The bad dreams will get caught in the web of this Indian charm. Good dreams are allowed to pass through. This sounds like a tradition we need to incorporate in every quilt we make!

You remember my last quilt was named Indian Paintbrush, and Karen Diane says she is feeling cosmic vibes with the Indian names. Let’s hope that is a good thing. I personally really enjoy Native American folklore. I believe the Native American culture has had a huge impact on us as Americans, not only in our history, but in how we are learning to respect and treasure our Mother Earth. It makes me happy to pay tribute to them in some small way through my quilts. Now I am thinking about my next quilt…maybe Dances with Scraps. What do you think?

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Yay! I finally finished this quilt top! I added a checkered border on the top and bottom, giving it a little more length. It now measures 68 inches by 87 inches.
So here is what I need to know: Do you REALLY want me to name this quilt Fudge Factor? I originally was thinking more like Dream Catcher. The blocks remind me of those dream catcher things, you know? So I guess I will have to take a vote. Please take note of the polling place on the side bar.
Now if I can get a back put together I can send this off to the quilter. Writing the directions is a whole nuther problem. Not my favorite thing to do.
I have to say though, after all my discussion about fudging, this quilt came together very nicely. Accurate cutting and sewing is definitely the answer. It pays off with good results!
Don't forget to vote!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


My dear friend Michele from With Heart and Hands, is once again diving in to help others in need. Michele is one of the most generous people I know, both with her time and her talents. This time she has picked up on the need for helping those involved in the Australian bush fires. We can grab on to her coattails in this effort and each make a block to be added to a larger quilt. Easy! Be sure to go to Michele's blog for details.

I see Mary at Heartstrings is contributing also through her Heartstrings group. So there is another avenue for you to contribute.

To our sisters in Australia, we are praying for your safety and hope these fires will end soon.

Monday, February 09, 2009


After so much good advice I was in an even bigger quandary. My last post showed two colors that I was contemplating for the alternate strips on my quilt. Personally, I was so torn on which fabric was best. I liked them both! You know how you sometimes ask for help from a higher power? So here I am asking God what my best choice would be. In my head I heard a voice say, "I am forwarding you to my Artistic Angel". Well, I have been on hold ever since. I guess that shows you where this priority lies in the grand scheme of things!

So after much deliberation, and pretty much by popular vote, I decided to go with the brown fabric and the name Fudge Factor. No thanks to my Artistic Angel, who may be off trying to decide what color to paint the sky today. I admit they do a fabulous job with that.
So, I decided I better look up the definition of Fudge Factor before I name my quilt. The online dictionary gives this definition:
an arbitrary mathematical term inserted into a calculation in order to arrive at an expected solution or to allow for errors especially of underestimation

OK, that fits. I just wanted to make sure it didn't say something like, "too much sugar in your system can make you stoopid".
So Fudge Factor it is! The photo shows the progress I made yesterday. It may not look like much progress, but I always end up at the computer for far too long. I have to admit, I am feeling better about this quilt. Thanks for your input, and I will have more to show later, after I get a haircut, run to Target, stop at Home Depot, shop for groceries, fix dinner, do laundry, vacuum.... Or maybe I won't have more to show for days.


Mmmmm, sounds like a good name for a quilt! But what I really was getting at is how much finagling do you do to solve a problem? When I first began making quilts I fudged quite a bit. I was quite good at it in fact. Fabric got stretched or eased into place as needed. Between that and the steam iron, everything seemed to work out fine. Granted, I really didn't know what I was doing, and I wasn't a very good judge of quality, but dang it, I could get those seams to match! I have to admit, that was back in the day of cheap fabric too. Obviously that was a good thing. If you are going to learn the process, you may as well do it on cheap fabric! Now I am paying for the good stuff and I want a good quality product.

The beauty of rotary cutting equipment is that your cutting can be very precise. You must make sure that you don't let that ruler slip around. In the past I would put a piece of rubber mesh shelf liner under the ruler to hold it in place. Seriously! Now there is a filmy product you can stick to the back of your rulers that I really like. I especially like it on small rulers. For some reason they seem to be more slippery. Better yet, the Omnigrip rulers have the non-slip surface on them. Also you need to learn where to place your fingers to hold the ruler in place...and that is out of the path of the cutter!

I was thinking about all this yesterday as I sewed blocks together. I love to make scrap quilts, and so I can't help but make a mess as I drag out fabrics from various boxes in my sewing room. I love to mix up the fabrics into several different configurations. If there are three or four fabrics in a block, I try and dream up three of four possible scenarios. I cut up all the pieces and make nice little piles for each block. I have discovered of late that it is best to do the fabric coordinating in the daylight. So that is when I do my cutting. The light is good, and I am better able to focus on the process.

Blocks are finally completed and scattered over the surface of the quilt to the best of my ability, according to fabric and "heaviness" of the block. In other words, a block with darker colors appears heavier to me. I aim for balance. Next step: Figure the size of the setting triangles. You always want the vertical line of the setting triangles to be on the straight of grain. I always make one tester piece to make sure it is the right size. In this case I make 11-1/4" squares and cut them twice diagonally like an X. Perfect! One of my favorite words! Sew the setting triangles on each block and sew the strips together in long rows. Here is another situation to monitor: Make sure the rows don't curve. This can happen easily because the seams are all diagonal. I pin like crazy to avoid this. As you smooth the strip over the design wall you may see a row that curves a little. Here is where we go back to the Fudge Factor! It is necessary to adjust a seam just a tiny bit to take it up or let it out. All the rows need to measure the same also, which may bring the Fudge Factor back into play once again. Hopefully my quilt won't require too much of this!

I am now at the point where I need to make a final decision on the alternate strip fabric. In a perfect world I would have had this figured out first and then played the block fabrics off of the main fabric. I started out thinking I would use the narrow blue strip. It has been in my stash for years and I want to use it. I had quite a few blocks done when I held up the brown fabric. I love this nice rich brown with red accents. Back to the blue, maybe I would like it better if it is wider? These are the dilemmas I now face. Maybe if I use the brown I will call the quilt Fudge Factor!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


OK, I'm back--down to earth that is. It was a thrill to see my quilt in print, and I am hoping I can drum up some business from that. But by far, the coolest thing was having so many fellow bloggers drop me a note saying they were excited too! I really enjoy your friendship through the blogs we share with each other. Thank you so much! And I know McCall's Quilting magazine will enjoy a huge surge in sales this month! LOL!

And now--back to real life!

My darling son, my baby, has announced that he is getting married! My son Renn and I are pictured above. Soon I will have to share him with another woman. His alligiances are changing. Well, that is one of the rules of marriage! It's a good thing! However, there is a sucker punch -- they are getting married March 14th in Las Vegas! Yikes! But never fear, they are not headed for the Elvis Chapel, they have a reservation at the LDS Temple. All I can say is that I am glad he has finally found the woman of his dreams. He is 30 years old, and I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. Congratulations Renn! May all your dreams come true!