Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Previously I mentioned that I would display my Quilt Fest finds. Here is most of it. I found some repros that I had not seen before and could not resist. I also bought the book Prairie Children and Their Quilts and a Lori Smith pattern. I loved the Liberty Homestead booth and got a beautiful "straw" colored hand dyed piece. Also a couple of pieces of wool, etc. The Olde Green Cupboard, from Jacksonville, FL had a booth that was sensational. They bought patterns from me a while back, so we renewed acquaintances.
I finished another house from the HOME SWEET HOME book, so that is coming along amidst everything else.
And now, it is back to the sewing room!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


For all you cat lovers out there, I wish you could have seen the beautiful display of quilts at the show featuring cats, made by Ann Fahl. She should do a line of greeting cards or something. They are so adorable! (I added her name to the quilts for my album).
I don't have much to report, except that Quilt Fest is over for another year. Now it is time to get busy and put all that wonderful fabric to work! Maybe I will show you a glimpse of that tomorrow.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Did anyone notice that I used Fiona’s blog title, Scraps in Progress, as the title of my last post? I realized it when I was visiting her blog. Just goes to show that I never have an original thought. Thanks for sharing, Fiona!
I finished the second round on my little quilt the other day. Ain’t it purdy? I am working on a second one like it so that I can give the shop accurate kitting instructions. I love using up all my little pieces, but people love to buy kits. I can understand that.
This is as big as it is going to get. It is another Patchalittle Project. It is 16 inches square. Big enough to put a lamp on, or a plant, etc. All the cute patches show around the edges. I played with the idea of a plain border on the outside, but decided against it. Easy enough to add if anyone chooses to do so.
My friends and I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton yesterday. It is a Mancuso Brothers event. It was previously held in Williamsburg, VA, but starting last year, it was moved to the coliseum in Hampton. It is much more spacious. I think it is the best show I have been to since I moved here from Seattle 6-1/2 years ago. I have gone to this event for the past 6 years and the quilts shown have always been quite artsy. Not my taste. This year there was a nice mix. There were some outstanding traditional quilts with fabulous hand quilting. I will share a few over the next few days. I know there were others in our blog ring that attended, so I am anxious to see what impressed them and what they show on their blogs. The vendors were great, of course. I found a huge roll of shirtings that I had to buy. I didn’t recognize any of them! I love shirtings and find that quilt shows are the best place to get a good variety.
Now that I have discussed how much I love traditional quilts, the quilt pictured is far from traditional. Look closely. They are all little stuffed goldfish. It is called Synchronized Swimming, and the creator is Kathy York from Austin, TX. I think she really had a good time making this. It is a riot! I was so busy looking at the fish that I didn’t notice, until I put the picture on my computer, that the background fabric is dyed with the rings appearing to be little waves in the water. Very clever! Very, very fun day! More later!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I have a new small project in progress. This is the center. It will be a small medallion quilt without a pieced center. The fabric center is six inches. Actually at this point it is the size of a block. The fabric in the center is from a recent Jo Morton line and I think it lends itself to this type of focus. It is like old fashioned elegance. Then add lots of wonderful reproduction scraps and I can hardly keep from drooling all over it. The LQS loves my projects, but hates kitting them. Guess why? Too many fabrics--it drives them nuts! I just counted 21 different fabrics in this piece. I LOVE playing with my scraps! Tune in again for the next installation. I have to get to the sewing room and create!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


As usual, I keep jumping around on projects. Anyone out there identify? I am almost done with the signature blocks! yay! I can't mail them Monday, because it is President's Day and there is no mail service. But Tuesday for sure, they will be off to Cynthia in Australia. Bless her heart for taking this on! All the sorting and shipping for 40 of us quilt bloggers-we appreciate it Cynthia!

I have been working on the Home Sweet Home quilt with my friends. I have two blocks done. This quilt is so much fun that it is an effort to force myself to do other stuff. I am not an accomplished appliquer, but I do enjoy it, and hopefully, after this is quilted, I will have a quilt that I am happy with. It all takes time: choosing fabrics, preparing the pieces, etc. We all must love the process or we would just buy something pre-made. Right? I do love the process. I love to dig through my stash looking for the piece of fabric that is just right. Sometimes it takes a while, and I change my mind a couple of times before I am satified. I love being able to machine stitch the bigger pieces and then hand stitch the smaller pieces. I am using the method of machine applique that the Blackbird Design girls taught us, and I know Barbara Brackman and others teach it as well. But for the smaller or trickier pieces I am happy to use a needle and thread. There is satifaction in using a needle and thread that you don't get from a machine. And I say that while having great love for my sewing machine. In fact, I would be lost without my sewing machine! But handwork is a whole 'nother love.
Also pictured is my friend Sue, and the beautiful bird she just finished from the BBD book, Birds of a Feather. Take a close up look of how she placed the bird fabric so the eye is in the right place. Then she added a teeny-tiny piping around the block as a frame. Really nicely done!
Well, I am off to see what today holds. Hopefully I will get some sewing in!

Sunday, February 11, 2007


It seems that I haven't posted any actual quilts for a while, so I thought I would share two that I made a couple years ago from a block exchange. I can't remember how many of us were involved, but we had a nice sized group here locally that I swapped with. The rules were that we use quilt shop quality fabric that was a 19th Century reproduction. This was the first such project I was ever involved in and it is responsible for my head over heels attraction to the Civil War fabrics. It is amazing how many truly ugly fabrics it takes to make a fabulous quilt. The blocks in this quilt are six inch finished. We traded the HSTs and some geese for this project also. When we all got together to exchange blocks, it was a riot! The squeals of delight as we pored over our new stash! So many cool fabrics that I had never seen before. Our local shop here in V.B. (What's Your Stitch) has great repros, but I was amazed at the variety from other sources as well.
We did several block exchanges before I dropped out from exhaustion. I have a couple other quilts in stages of incompletion that I would love to finish this year. That sounds like such a "glass half empty" comment. I should say that I have a couple quilts that I have made quite a bit of progress on. Yes. Much better. I WILL get them out and finish them this year!
The other quilt that I finished from this group exchange is the Lady of the Lake quilt. I loved this one so much that I made extra blocks and I hand quilted it. Hand quilting is something I rarely do on large projects anymore. I love the look of it, but I am slow and I am afraid if I start something big I may never complete it. Between the achy eyes and the achy hands...it slows you down! But this quilt demanded that I hand quilt it, and I am so glad that I did. Again, you can see some strange fabric in this quilt. It is funny, but everyone loves the lime green block at the bottom. It is a weird one. What do you think? Can you pick a favorite block?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I finished this cute little Blackbird Designs project called Old Crow Sampler and framed it this past weekend. I happened to find a frame at Michael's that worked great! He turned out pretty cute, didn't he? Even my husband likes him! He is from the book Fresh From the Garden; published in 2000. I bought it recently when the BB girls were in town. It was suggested in the book that the alphabet could be done free hand, and so I gave it a try and it turned out great. It actually wasn't difficult. I think the material that I used was helpful because the threads were large and I could actually follow the weave somewhat.

Yesterday two of my friends came over and we had an all day workshop playing with fabric. We are planning to make the Blackbird Designs quilt Home Sweet Home. We are hoping that if we work on it together we will keep each other motivated. Plus, it is fun to do projects with friends. We select fabric together and share tips and opinions and ideas, etc. We all picked our fabric for our first block. I worked on mine last night and am getting excited about the whole project. This whole applique thing is a new venue for me, and I am enjoying it.
My sewing room actually was presentable for my company yesterday. It really helps so much to have shelves and storage convenient for knowing where to put things away. I have never had that before this year! Isn't that nuts? I am so thrilled with it! My fabric is sorted by color, mostly. Wow, what a concept! Organization--it really works!
I haven't been spending as much time blog hopping as I did before Christmas. I try to catch up a little every day. But I need to focus on my projects too, so please forgive me if you don't hear from me quite so often. I will stop by your blog when I get a chance. I really enjoy the blogs, but it sure can soak up time so that nothing else gets done. I am striving for balance. Is that possible?

Friday, February 02, 2007


Lemon Chambers: Born 27 August 1869, Died 20 November 1916- Great-grampa Lemon (seriously)was a local merchant of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, who ran a billiard hall. Notice the cigar in his hand. He had a pet crow, or raven, that would sit on his shoulder and actually spoke a few words. He must have been quite the character in that little town.
Of course everyone in our family remembers that today is GROUNDHOG'S DAY! Our family has been celebrating this day, literally, for generations. Long before Bill Murray made it so famous with his hilarious movie. My great-grandfather, Lemon Chambers, was one of the original founders of Groundhog's Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It has changed a bit over the years. According to my grandfather, in the old days they had tables in the park loaded with groundhogs that they roasted for everyone to eat. Not exactly the way Walt Disney might portray the event. These days we look to the TV to return us to Punxy and watch the locals who are watching the groundhog, to prognosticate the weather. Will we have six more weeks of winter? It is all determined by whether the groundhog sees his shadow. I don't know about Punxy, but if their weather is like ours in Virginia, there will be no shadow today! Will we have six weeks more of winter or not? My guess is "yes"! I wonder if the groundhog knows about global warming? I wonder if most of the country knows about global warming? Everyone has been experiencing winter storms. Happy Groundhog's Day folks, where ever you are celebrating! (Our friends over seas must think we are nuts! Well,if Bill Murray is any indication...)