Thursday, March 28, 2013

A little time for a little quilt

 We all lament the passage of time and I am no exception. Where does it go? It evaporates into space and leaves us wondering. I truly feel that the older you get the faster time flies. I can't prove it, but ask anyone of a certain age and they will testify as I have--it's next week already! The past few weeks have been filled with doctor appointments as my husband and I prepare to use our insurance while we still have it. He is trying to retire, but doesn't feel comfortable about it until he knows that my voice problem has been resolved. So tomorrow I go in for that surgery that I mentioned a few months back. I can't wait to get this over and out of the way. My grandchildren are beginning to make fun of me! We were doing 'facetime' on our phones the other day--the kids love that. All of a sudden Isaac (age 3) began talking funny. My husband picked up on it right away and had a good laugh.

After thumbing through my Primitive Quilts and Projects magazines I decided to make this little quilt by Lisa Bongean from Primitive Gatherings. This is from the Summer 2011 Issue. I love a little wool with scraps! I feel very happy picking up small projects right now. And I love playing with scraps. I pretend that I am cleaning up in my sewing room if I sew any small scraps together! I have so many little pieces laying around that it is like a scrappy blizzard in there.

This little quilt is the remains of a class I taught for my Old Elegance quilt. I made several blocks to demonstrate color options and to show how to use the Tri-Recs Tool for the star points. Since I just had nine blocks I added a sawtooth border to finish it. I think I would have gone on to make another whole quilt if I had more of that plaid that I used in the 9-patch block. But now it will be a table topper or wall quilt. You can see another color option of this design on Patchalot Patterns Facebook page. JoAnne at the Patriotic Quilter was in my class and her quilt turned out great! By the way, if you go to that Facebook page be sure and hit LIKE will you?

So many great things going on with quilters these days. I really love what Rose Mary has done with her favorite star. Take a look at Applique 'n Patch for an eyeful of her talent and skill in design! What a delight it is to meet so many wonderful quilters and peek in on them as they share their projects! 

Hopefully more next week from me after a bit of down time.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Are your quilts labeled?

Labeling quilts is a priority for me. I try to get my quilts labeled right away, but it doesn't always happen. When I was checking quilt backs last week I realized that a few needed to be labeled, so I got busy.
My method is a simple one. I open a Word Document and write in what I want to show on the label. For example:

My Happy Place
Marcie Patch
-Patchalot Patterns-
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quilted by Marae Harris
80-20 batting

I iron a 8-1/2" x 11" piece of freezer paper to a piece of fabric that is cut just a little smaller. Usually the paper curls a little so I press it under something heavy while it cools. I try to do a few labels at a time on the same page. The fabric side faces down in the paper drawer and rolls up to be printed on. Often the top edge catches when it starts going through the printer and the top of the page gets smudged with ink, so I leave a large margin at the top just in case. This isn't a fool proof method, but it works well enough. The more you do it, the more you know what to expect. 

After your page is printed on the fabric you can peel it off the freezer paper and press it with an iron. The heat seals the ink so it doesn't wash out. Now trim down each label, leaving about an inch around each side of the lettering. Add little borders to make it cute, if you wish. Next I sew it right side down to a piece of light colored fabric on all four sides. Carefully slit open the back and turn it in side out. Pull out the corners, press it and it is ready to stitch on to the back of your quilt. You will thank yourself for doing this in the coming years! 

I also like to give notice as to who designed the quilt. Sometimes it's me, but not always. Also, who quilted it, what batting, etc. Sometimes there is a story behind a quilt that you may add. 

Another thing I have done when I make little gifts for friends is to simply make a bunch of little labels with my name and the year, fold all the raw edges in and tuck it into the binding so you have a little tab label.  

I know people document their quilts in different ways. If we post them on our blog we can do a search with the right key words. Today I was able to find a post by Karen Mowery about a quilt that she made that was recently won at an Ebay auction. My friend Paula the Quilter was the high bidder and when she received the quilt there was no label. Luckily we were able to find Karen's notes about the quilt on her blog! It was a great find because it not only gave the date she made it, but also who quilted it and the fabric line and her inspiration in creating it! Now Paula can make a really interesting label!
By the way, a few of you have asked about Karen's cats, especially Rembrandt, and whether they found homes. Yes! I am happy to report that Karen's son Tim found homes for both her cats! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Who Can Resist?

Spring is in the air and history or nature or 
something brings on thoughts of LOVE!
Even the little ones can't escape it!

Our little Micah has a friend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March Melody of Quilts

Greetings Blogging Buddies, I want to thank those of you who, even after my absence, are kind enough to keep by blog on your sidebar and come back and read my blog. I told my husband that blogging friends can show up after several years and when we connect again it's just like old friends. I love that! I am trying hard to get back in the groove. I have been trying to visit some blogs and see what is happening, always a fruitful endeavor! If you haven't seen Lori's Jubilee Jubilation!!! post you must race there immediately! Her talent just keeps growing! 

I haven't had the time to do much sewing these past few months, and I keep running into these unfinished projects and spare parts laying around now that I am home. Something must be done! I am going to make a concerted effort to complete something very soon!

Meanwhile, I did lug home a bunch of quilts from the local quilt shop last week. After the loss of a couple of great shop managers who bought the kind of fabric that would lure me into the shop, they have decided to go in a different direction and will be focusing on brights. I know, I know, it's what all the young quilters are looking for. So I guess the old geezers like me will have to look elsewhere. There are no other shops close by for that, but I have a few online favorites! Thank heavens!  

 I see bloggers post stacks of quilts and always find it charming, so hopefully you will enjoy these photos of some of my older designs. It's good to have them home. some have been at the shop for YEARS!

So speaking of fabric, have you seen Civil War Melodies, by Judie Rothermel (Marcus Fabrics) This fabric line is a must have for me! Judie-Judie-Judie, I can always count on Judie! Thankfully I can also always count on Michelle at the Fat Quarters Quilt Shop in Vista, CA to carry everything Judie! And they ship FREE!

  Be still my heart.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Come to a Spring Retreat in West Virginia!

Who doesn't love a quilt retreat?  The Woolen Willow Spring Retreat happening April 25-28.   It will be held at the beautiful Blackwater Falls State Lodge in Davis, West Virginia! Bring projects to finish up ...quilting, rug hooking, etc...anything!  They promise that it will be fun!
More info is available at this link:

You can also visit The Woolen Willow website and there's a menu tab just for the Retreat on the side!  (

 Remember, these are the same gals that bring us the beautiful magazine, Primitive Quilts and Projects. I love promoting them, because they really are nice ladies.

This photo shows me in the middle of the three "Prim Sisters", Jenifer, Judy and Gretchen. This was at their booth at Quilt market in Houston last fall.
And guess what, I have a project in their next issue! Their current issue is out now and is fabulous!

So if you want to head to a fun retreat in April, follow those links above and check this out!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Lifetime Achievement Award goes to my dad!

I have been gone so long from my blog that I feel like I am quietly slinking back and pretending that I have been here all along. I feel like I have been, as I keep thinking that I need to write about one thing or another. Those of you who are kind enough to keep up with me may recall that I have been in Arizona since before Christmas. I delayed coming back to Virginia because my Dad was about to celebrate his 90th birthday and we were planning a big party. Two weeks before his party he suffered a stroke. It was not a really bad stroke, but bad enough that it jarred us from our reluctance to admit that he was really that old. He has been, for the most part, very healthy and active. The stroke did slow him down, but by the time his party rolled around he was doing very well, thankfully. He is not up to speed on his former energy level, or his reflexes, or his memory for that matter. But he still does very well. We are so grateful for his good health and his wonderful attitude about life. My brother presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award! Isn't that neat?
 My Dad, Jim Winspear, surrounded by grandchildren and greats!
His party was amazing! Family came from all over the country to celebrate with him. We paid him tribute in words and in song and dance. It was so much fun. I wrote more about it HERE on my family blog.

 This is my darling granddaughter Becky (mother of the twins). She is wearing a dress that my grandmother made for my mother when mom was about 16 years old, I am guessing. This is such a darling cotton dress and looks so cute on Becky. So it was made by Becky's great-grandmother! What a treasure!

I have hardly sewed a stitch this year. I am in desperate withdrawal. I worked on a couple small things in January, but left them in AZ. 
I am doing crazy things, like trying to start the microwave with my ATM code, and things like that. I still recognize the improbability of that, but let's face it, I am spacy in the morning. Later that afternoon we went to the Social Security office to apply for benefits. Do you think there may be a connection? I'd like to warn you young 'uns that the years between 45 and 65 go quickly and do not end up with pretty results! But you can find happiness at every stage of life and for that I am grateful. My dad is the best example!