Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Greeting from sunny south east Virginia, USA! Fabulous weather here! Yesterday my friend Sue and I went to lunch at a place that sits on the water of an inlet just off the Chesapeake Bay. It was so warm and delightful that we sat out on their deck. As you can imagine, they have great sea food around here. We had Greek salads and blackened salmon. We love these outdoor restaurants! You never know when a warm spell will come along, and in fact, we even sat outside one time in January! Hey, we are from Minnesota! That is a big deal! The ice is just starting to break up on the lakes back home!

I have been working on my Home Sweet Home blocks. I get so excited every time I complete a block! Since I last posted I have finished "dressing" these three house. I really am pleased with the way the red berries brighten up the first block! And I love the yellow sunflower! I need to find a way to add a little more yellow to the quilt. I love some of the fabric choices, and others - not so much. Hopefully in the end the total combination will be good. I actually changed the vase fabric in block #3, three times until I was satisfied. I mean I had the vase all prepped to sew down three times. Sue and I were talking about second guessing ourselves yesterday. I guess we all do that. I suppose there are people out there who can make choices without always questioning and re-questioning their decisions. If you are like that, please do NOT comment on my blog! Leave me some sense of normalcy.

I am also in the midst of making more 3 inch 9-patch blocks to finish a UFO. So many of you are making great progress on your UFOs. I offer my congratulations! I hope I can focus in on some of mine also. I wish I had been in a 9-patch exchange for this quilt. There are sooo many 9-patches! I have about 200 left to make. Of course we are going for variety here, so I am digging through scraps and strips. I actually like that part, but it can be rather slow going. It feels good to sit at my machine and sew little pieces together. I feel like all I have been doing lately is applique prep work. That is OK too. But I do love to piece blocks. Wow, the choices I have to make: should I applique or piece today??? I LOVE doing this stuff!

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Just thought I would post a little bit about the progress of my "neighborhood". I mentioned previously that after we had each made a couple blocks, my little group decided it would be a good idea to construct the houses, then proceed with the trimming. We thought, and I agree, that it would help us achieve some balance of color, etc. So here is how my blocks look at this point. Three blocks are completed, and all the houses are constructed. The small house needs windows sewn in place, (they are glued now). Except for the small house, all are sewn to a block base. The two center, lower blocks look odd right now because they have lots of trim to be added to fill all that space. But they are all progressing! Can you see that there are two alternating background fabrics? One is the Blackbird Designs Sampler fabric, which is adorable, but I am second guessing myself and wondering if I should have used the background from their "Nell's Flower Garden" line. Decisions, decisions. Too late now, so I will be happy with this. I am excited to see this quilt moving along (because I have so many others pushing and shoving their way to the front of the line!)

Did you see the meme on Yankee Quilter's blog? It also appears on Quilting Bebbs' blog and Clare's blog. (Dordogne Quilter). Probably others, but those are the ones I have seen. It is a list of 100 books. Go to one of those blogs to see it. I have read 38 books on the list. I am interested in the comments on those that I haven't read to see which ones I should pick up. There were a few I have not heard of. Some really good books on that list! Here are a few of my all time favorites that are not on the list: From Sea to Shining Sea, by James Alexander Thom (and everything else he has written!); These is My Words, by Nancy Turner (and also Sarah's Quilt, a follow-up); Katherine by Anya Seton (I should read that one again!). Also, if you are looking for something uplifting and faith promoting with Easter coming up, try The Robe and/or The Big Fisherman, by Lloyd C. Douglas. Two very old books, but well worth reading (try the library). There are so many good books out there! I get caught up in Vince Flynn, Harlan Coban, Jeffery Deaver, Preston-Childs, and I also love Belva Plain and Maeve Binchy. Talk about variety! Never enough time to do all the things we love. But I try, I really do!

Friday, March 16, 2007


I have this antique quilt top that I just love. I think it is interesting that each block is so unique. A half-square triangle is placed in the center of each Log Cabin block. According to some of the blocks, it really didn't matter if the HSTs were all the same size or not. The maker just added logs to bring the block to the right size. Also of note is that the logs are not all the same width. Another display of frugality, I imagine. My favorite, however, is the pieced strips. This is especially noticable in the black check. Oh, and look at the strips in photo #2 where the logs were pieced to make them long enough.

This quilt is so fragile. I wish it was quilted, but it's a little late for that! Can you see the strip that has decayed down to the threads? I am no quilt historian, and I can't remember which color was famous for doing that. Was it purple? Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to when this top was constructed?

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Remember this quilt from a few months ago? I just got it back from my quilter friend and look what a nice job she did! Thanks Marae!
This is a design from Teri Christopherson, of Black Mountain Quilts. She does darling stuff! She has a very nice web site that shows all her books as well as the quilts in them. This one is from her book Sunflower Patch. Check 'em out! Don't you think every quilter should have a spool quilt for her very own?

Wednesday I got together with my two friends to work on our Home Sweet Home quilts. (The one pictured here is Alma Allen's from Blackbird Designs.) We are all at different stages at this point, but we love to get together and feed off each others energy. Since we met I have been in my sewing room choosing fabrics, etc.
After making a couple blocks, we decided it made more sense to choose all the house fabrics, and then accessorize with the trees, flowers, etc. This way it should be easier to coordinate the detail colors. We learn as we go, right? I am trying to get as much of this completed, or at least prepped, as I can while I have a momentum going.
My friend Joan figured out that it is easier to spray starch the edges and press them in place over the freezer paper templates than to glue them. Cut your template. Press it onto the back of the fabric. Trim to include a seam allowance. Spray the fabric edges and press over the edge of the paper. Remove the paper and give the shape one more press. This works for most shapes, and you don't have to cut the back to pull the paper out. I like it! We are all excited about this quilt! It was so gorgeous to see it in person. I hope some day I can show you MY finished quilt. It takes so much time, but I do enjoy the whole journey!

Sunday, March 04, 2007


"Moving right along", as Kermit the Frog used to say/sing---isn't it funny how some things stay embedded in your brain?
I completed my little medallion quilt, now named Attic Treasure. I made two, in fact. This is the second, and it made up quicker, since I already had the design and fabrics in mind. With the second quilt I tried using a controlled amount of fabric as if from a kit. I tried not to over-duplicate. In the end, I couldn't help myself--I had to add a few more little pieces, especially around the outside border.
The shop always keeps my quilts on display forever, and so if I want to keep one myself to enjoy, I must make two! Which is not at all that difficult when they are only 18 inches square. I love the look of lots of busy fabrics. I guess you can see that! As always, my quilt contains old and new fabrics mixed. There are a few in there from Windham's Harriet Beecher Stowe collection, and always lots of Judie Rothermels fabrics. I learned a long time ago that I am not the only one who loves to look at quilts and point to fabric pieces that I recognize and perhaps own. Aren't we funny?

Friday, March 02, 2007


I don't often post pictures of my family, but I couldn't resist this one. This is my youngest grandchild atop a snow bank at her house in Minnesota. Or Minnesnowta, as they call it this time of year. Doesn't she look like a little pink plumpkin? I love that we can exchange photos so easily by email these days. She will be two years old in May. Look out Patti at Quilting is my Passion and Carol at Brown Quilts (both new grandmothers) these babies don't last nearly as long as we would like.
It wasn't that long ago that my first grandchild was born (pictured in the 2nd photo). She is now almost 18 and a senior in high school. She has been accepted to Brigham Young University and will be on her way in the fall. Does she look old enough to leave home? Was I really that young when I left home for college? It doesn't seem possible. I was a kid when rock and roll was born! Now it is something I do while trying to raise myself out of a chair! Not that I am really complaining. Life has its seasons and I have enjoyed them all and whatever season I am in right now, I am enjoying that too! (I just have to be more careful!)
I thought I would mention a couple of good books that I have read lately, in case anyone out there is interested. I recently finished THE WIDOW OF THE SOUTH. It is a story of a woman in deep depression due to the death of her children. When a general of the Confederacy comes to her door she is told that her home is being taken over as a hospital for the wounded soldiers in her area. It is not her desire to nurse them, but she does what she must, and it becomes a driving force in her life. In the end, she has thousands of soldiers buried in her backyard and she has painstakingly identified and marked each grave. It is a fictional account of a true story. Absolutely amazing.
Another book that I thoroughly enjoyed is PEACE LIKE A RIVER, by Leif Enger. It tells the story of three children being raised by their father in Minnesota during the 1960's. The story is told by the middle child. He describes himself as a witness to miracles that his father seems to perform. The characters in this book are so endearing and well defined. The little sister writes poetry and by the end of the book you are hanging on her every word. This is definitely a book I will read over and over. I read lots of murder mysteries and enjoy them, but a book like this will become a classic in our family library. Let me know if you read these or have read them, and what you think.