Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I am at war with a squirrel! We have an upper deck on the side of the house that is surrounded by live oak trees. Southerners call them water oaks because the grow near the ocean. They look nothing like the traditional oak trees that grow in the north. The leaf is entirely different, as are the branches, etc. But they do drop a million little acorns in the spring. I had heard of live oaks in books and never really understood what that meant. Strange name. Live oak as opposed to dead oak? That was the question that always entered my mind. But no, it's a different variety. The branches spread way out from the trunk and sway easily in the wind, or perchance, hurricane. And our trees are filled with squirrels!
I used to think squirrels were these cute little guys who pranced merrily around in trees chasing each other. Playful, carefree. Now I see vermin waiting to destroy when they think we are not looking. They chew like new puppies. In the past they have found their way into our attic, in the eaves of the house, and under the floor of our deck. We have trapped and released quite a few. My husband always drives them across the Lesner Bridge and figures they won't cross the bridge and come back. Recently someone told us of a man who lives over there and traps them, then releases them on our side of the bridge. Great! They DO cross the bridge!
Our latest bold little adversary jumps out of the trees onto the deck and looks for trouble. Recently I caught him chewing holes in the nice, expensive cover that I bought for our gas grill. Why would he do that? Is he one of the squirrels that returned with a vengeance? Yesterday I chased him off the deck and then watched as he came back four times to taunt me. He jumped on the deck in the same spot each time, did a little dance, then raced down to the far end and flew into the trees. He is laughing at me. I am beginning to identify with Elmer Fudd and his war with the Waskely Wabbit. I'm not happy about this.
I am now going to stand guard over my premium vinyl grill cover. This must end. He may be younger and quicker, but I am older and I have more insurance! He better hope I don't meet him on the street!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I know you are all sitting on pins and needles, and probably threads and fabric strips, waiting to hear how the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest was. Well here is a photo of me feeling very proud of the display at Nancy's Calico Patch booth with my Williamsburg Medallion quilt front and center! To the left is part of my Pioneer Trail quilt. The whole booth looked very nice with the overall theme being CW reproduction quilts and fabrics. I was happy to be a part of it. They sold a ton of my patterns, so I am really happy about that! My friends and I were there shopping and looking at quilts for the day on Thursday (2-21-08) and we had a great time.
I didn't take too many pictures, but I do want to share this one quilt that I loved! A huge variety of toiles went into the quilt, and the designer did a great job with it! I should have been better about getting the name so I could give her credit. If anyone out there knows, I will be happy to add it. Isn't it great?!
Apparently the HatBox quilt is a design by Kaffee Fassett.
Apparently the Hatbox quilt IS ACTUALLY Kaffe Fassetts!--Thanks Katie!

On another note, I heard from Nicola in Australia that she was making Bonnie's Bargello quilt, so I added her to the list on the side. I don't plan to leave the list up too much longer, so be sure and take a look at what she has done. You may want to see what progress has been made on the other blogs while you are at it. Unfortunately I, myself, have done nothing more on mine. I plan to make it bigger and have lots of strips cut, so enventually I will get it done! For me it is a good project to pick up when there is a lull in the work at hand. Again, thank you Bonnie for all the inspiration and directions.
I hope I can sew today. I am all charged up to create after going through so many inspiring vendor booths! Happy weekend!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


How many of you out there are going to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest this week? It takes place at the Hampton Roads Convention Center beginning on Thursday, Feb. 21 through Saturday. If you are going I hope you will check out Nancy's Calico Patch booth (#412). My new quilt, Williamsburg Medallion, will be on display there. I made a model just for them. This one consists primarily of the fabrics from the Windham line.
Nancy is devoting their booth to Civil War era reproduction fabrics this year, and focusing on the Williamsburg fabric from Windham and the Jamestown fabric from Andover. I am excited to be able to participate. They will have a couple of my other quilts displayed as well, so stop and shop and say hello. Well, I won't actually be there except in spirit, but say hello to my quilts and Nancy!

Also, I am very excited about the quilt that Libby made using this pattern! If you know Libby, you know she loves all things primitive. Can you believe this is the same pattern??? She appliqued a pineapple in the center (ala Linda Brannock), added the Welcome, and there you go---it's a Libby quilt! This stuff just never gets old, does it?

When I was trying to think of seven things about me for my previous post I was talking about it to my husband. He suggested that I write about how I am really into quilts. (Turn on laugh track). I told him that everyone already knows that. It is why I have a blog. "But do they know how much you are really into it?" he asks. "Honey", says I, "They are ALL really into it"! This is what keeps us hopping to the computer between seams---so we can see if our friends posted any new quilts today!

Addendum: I didn't mean to imply that I won't be at Quilt Fest. I will be there all day Thursday browsing around quilts and vendors. I am not working the booth or anything like that. But I will be there! If you recognize me please say hello!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I have seen these things going around on blogs in the past, but have never been tagged, and never jumped in. Well Lea tagged me, so I guess I will reveal some things about me that you may not know. Be sure and read about Lea on her blog. She always brings a smile to my face!
1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

So here are a few things about me:

1. My ancestors are from England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Germany. You could plop me in any of those countries and I would look like a native.

2. When I was a child of 10 or 11, I was on a TV program in Buffalo, NY, called Fun To Learn. My mom's best friend was the main person on the art segment of it. She encouraged us to be very creative and make projects from junk, like cardboard milk cartons and straws, etc. I was quite good at that!

3. I have four grown up children who live in four different states. I love it when we are all together around the dinner table and they laugh and joke.

4. I can't sing worth beans! But when I am alone I sing anyway!

5. Even though I can't carry a tune, I can make up silly words to go with any melody. I entertain my grandchildren with this talent. They think I am nuts.

6. I have a terrible sweet tooth. My husband always brings me treats when he comes home from business trips. He knows I am always happy to see him!

7. I am happy, and content with who I am, but still think I can do better. I no longer stress over not being perfect, but I am having more fun along the way!

Here are a few of my blogging pals I would like to tag so they can share some little know facts about themselves.

Karen at Log Cabin Quilter, seems to enjoy the same style of quilts that I do!

Joan at Keeping you in Stitches, "sews like the wind!"

Mary B. at NanaB Quilts, is a new blogger, but has been quilting for a long time.

San at Gypsie Quilter, always has lots of pretty quilts to share.

Darcie-October's Child, does wonderful long arm quilting and hand dyes fabric!
Oh, that's plenty for you to enjoy for now! I just posted that picture of a quilt I did a year ago to catch your attention. Did it work?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Oh you people make me laugh! Yes, I guess we quilters all think alike! Ask a quilter if she wakes up seeing stars and she will add the alternate blocks to the picture as well! (Referring to my last post). It seems we all think in geometric shapes. Math has never been my strong suit. When I took geometry in high school I remember my teacher telling me that I had a creative way of finding solutions. At the time I took it as a compliment. Now I realize he meant that I took the long way around to find the answer. In other words, I am slow! This probably still holds true for me today. But I do have fun!

Two of my favorite bloggers commented yesterday that they use cardboard templates and sew by hand. Luckily neither of them were insulted by my flippant comments. In fact one reason I love these two ladies is their sense of humor AND they laugh at me! We who think of ourselves as comedic love to be surrounded by people who laugh at our jokes! I know that sometimes I am not as funny as I try to be, but I can't stop myself. It's the way I was raised. You should meet my Dad!

Back to those two bloggers I mentioned: I met them on line when they each made my little tree pattern at Christmas.
Annamiek is from the Netherlands. You should visit her blog and see the funny correspondence she recently received from Marcus Fabrics. She really had me giggling!
Lea lives in Japan. The darling heart block pictured here is from Lea. She makes the neatest primitive quilts. She has such a joyful spirit. you will enjoy her work and her happy heart!
Blogging has opened up doors all over the world and we are fortunate indeed to find sisters that share our interests and encourage us in our endeavors. Really, I haven't had this many girl friends since high school! So ladies, if you want to use cardboard templates, you do whatever makes you happy. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 11, 2008


This morning as I was snuggling under the covers in bed, not quite wanting to get up yet, listening to the furnace come on and off, on and off, my mind wandered back to the Vintage Quilts magazine I was looking at last night. I was reading the pattern directions for a quilt that instructed you to cut 2-3/8 inch squares. Hundreds of them. Sympathy wells up in me for these wonderful makers of the vintage quilts. Can you even imagine having to cut all those little squares, and then at 2-3/8 inches to boot? Dull scissors, worn cardboard templates, no strip quilting - ugh!

Well, we don't work that way today. So next I am thinking, "How would I convert that measurement? Would I change it to 2-1/4 inches or 2-1/2 inches"? Naturally all the other measurements in the quilt would change accordingly. The end result would be a quilt that is either a little bit smaller or a little bigger. Let's go with bigger, because the vintage quilts are usually on the small side. Ok, this problem is solved!

Now what about the quilt with all those HSTs? No way am I cutting a million squares at 3-1/8 inch and cutting them in half and matching them to another triangle and sewing those bias edges together! I have to convert that quilt so I can use triangle paper or another quick method! Ok, now I really do have to get out of bed and get my calculator and EQ6! Thus begins my day.

Word of warning: Don't ever ask a quilter, "What are you thinking?" Unless of course, you are a quilter!

Photo from McCall's Vintage Quilts, Dec. 2007 - It's great!

Friday, February 08, 2008


You may have heard of Bonnie's invitation to join her in making a bargello quilt on SuperBowl Sunday. Forest Jane even created a very clever logo! I mentioned in an earlier post that I had joined in and I displayed a picture of my progress. As I have been cruising around Blogland I have seen evidence that some of you have been working on that project as well. I started adding a link or two, and then it turned into several, and so I decided to add it to my side bar for a while. I didn't mean to take this pleasure away from Bonnie, it just kept getting larger! We all know Bonnie is in the middle of moving right now and has other things to think about. I will just leave this up for a short time to give people a chance to visit Bonnie's Bargello Bloggers! Let me know if you are stripping (oh mercy!) and I will add a link to your blog.

On another note: Sometimes new bloggers are hesitant to add their email address to their blog. I know I was in the beginning. I relented because quilt bloggers are so friendly that they often want to write you back when you make a comment. So I opened a g-mail account just for blogging. (That's Google and I like it a lot). You can adjust your settings so that comments from your blog go directly to your e-mail account. This is much better than returning to your blog every day and checking the number of comments that have been left. I actually did that in the beginning! Then be sure to edit your personal profile so that the show e-mail address is checked! I was trying to figure this out for a friend the other day, so while it is fresh in my mind I wanted to share it with anyone out there who cares! (Lea, did you check that box?)
These little cuties, the Plumpkin and her brother, are two of my grandchildren that I share with another quilter who is lucky enough to live close to them in Minnesota. Yes, both of their grandmothers are quilt freaks! Recently the other grandmother, Mary, started a blog of her own. Mary is a long arm quilter extraordinaire, and also keeps busy with her guild as well as Minnesota State Quilters. We both have entirely different interests in quilt fabrics and styles, and isn't that what makes the world go round?! She has done some fabulous work, I can tell you that! Currently she is into Paint Stiks. We will have to ask for photos! Go check out her blog and say hello!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


It was my pleasure to have the book, The Named Me Marjorie, this week. This is a very sweet story of a remarkable little orphan girl who was shuttled around to various families, and in spite of it all kept an amazing attitude of good will. The book is written by her granddaughter, who also happens to be a quilter, and who memorialized the story in a quilt.
Finn began creating interest in the Orphan Train with her blog having to do with orphan quilt blocks.
This book has been making the rounds among quilters, and particularly those who have orphan block quilts posted on Finn's blog. I am the 9th person to have this book, and now I will mail it off to Terry the Quilt-Nut. As far as I know, there is no one else in line. So if you are interested in adding your name to the list please contact Finn. She doesn't really want to be in charge, but I think it is falling to her anyway! She is the engineer on the Orphan Train, after all! And if you haven't been to Finn's Orphan Train blog, go check it out! You will be delighted!

Monday, February 04, 2008


Bonnie Hunter's invitation to join her working on Scrappy Bargello quilts this past weekend came at a time when I was ready to dive in. I actually made a few of these blocks while I was in Arizona over Christmas. I am making her Scrappy Trips version. Both are the same technique and directions are found on her Quiltville web site. I spent a couple hours on Saturday making little piles of strips for blocks. Now it is easy to sit down and sew strips together, press, cut, sew into blocks. Voila! I got several more blocks completed, and a number of blocks ready to go. And since prep time is usually the thing that holds me up, this will be great to work in whenever I need a no-brainer. Thanks Bonnie, for this quick method and all the inspiration! I have to note that my husband is not too pleased with this project. He needs things to be very organized. He tried to arrange the blocks to make sense to him. This project is so carefree! To me that is the charm of it.

This past week I changed a wall arrangement, and I thought I would give you a glimpse of it! My little brown churn dash quilt is called Table Scraps, as I was mostly using up lots of pieces off my cutting table. Such yummy little morsels that I wanted to sew them up into something!
You may recognize the sampler as one I did a while back from a Blackbird Design book, Fresh From the Garden. I found that little bird's nest smack in the middle of the hydrangia bush when I was trimming it back for winter. It is so precious! And the big platter was a wedding present to my great grandparents in 1888. That is one of my very special treasures!

Addendum: Paula at A Latte Quilts worked on the Bargello/Trips project Sunday also. Check out her blog!
I see Dawn at Quilts and Pieces is at it also! As is Tracey at Quilting in Connecticut! I am getting a kick out of see who all jumped in the fray, as it were! Joan at keeping You in Stitches actually has hers done and quilted! It's embarrassing. She did start a week early, but still...
Katie, In My Sandbox is making the Bargello also. Anybody else?