Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hitting the Ground Running for the First Weeks of 2017

They go by so fast! Here is what I have been up to since the first of the year.

I have been working on finishing the 3 quilts I got back from Regina, late last year, adding bindings, labels, and sleeves. That is pretty pleasant and relaxing when you are tired, and brain dead. Especially after you get the machine sewing part done. I should have some finished quilt pictures done before too much longer. 

I am also getting ready to go on a quilt retreat with some of my very favorite people in the world. Hooray! Hooray!

Quilts I want to work on at retreat:

It is time for this quilt to get done, especially since it only has 16 rows left before it is there. I am really looking forward to seeing it finished, but I work on it less than others because it is less portable than the next quilts I will tell you about.  

 I have started another quilt in my Jacob's Ladder series. Or as I like to call them: "Quilts comprised entirely of HST and four patches". Now THAT is portable. During the holidays, I cut out my pieces, and paired them with a mate. I have been sewing the units together in the evenings, when I am tired. Then, when I go to visit friends, I carry a box of the units, with a small, portable ironing board, and iron, and sit and press, as we chat. I already have all of the HST done. When I get the four patch strips pressed, I will have to cut them into 2 units, then sew the center seam to make a four patch.


Here is my Drawing.
The colors of this quilt make me think of a rose garden. I want to make as many HST and four patches as possible before retreat, and start building the blocks at retreat, where I know I will have large blocks of sewing time.     

By the way, here is a curious question. Do you notice that my text is centered in this portion of the post? It is not because I think that it is artistic. I have been trying everything I can think of for the last 15 minutes to get it to justify to the left. I have pushed the text down from the quilt photo above. I have gone up to the icon and clicked the left justify button at least 50 times by now. I even justified the quilt photo to the left, hoping the text would follow along. No dice!!! If anyone knows what this is about, I would love to know! For some reason this blog post is just not a left justifying frame of mind.Go figure!

I have also been trying to sew together some strip sets for the remake of this quilt.

 Okay, so the photos will justify to the left, but the text will not, maybe later?

Keep calm and carry on.

What else have I been doing the last couple weeks? Working on my technological skills. Can't you tell? I did successfully add a tab to the top of this blog that shows my speaking and teaching schedule for the year so far. I also added the rest of my quilts, classes, and patterns to my stand alone
As with so many things lately, it took a day and a half to figure out how to do it, and then another half day to actually do it, but I did it.Yippee! That is one thing I can check off my New Year's goals list. 

I have edited my guild talk. I had to move some things around since I added some new quilts. 

I have written 3 Youtube video scripts, and spent some time watching Youtube videos about how to make Youtube videos. I confess, I am a bit nervous about getting the editing right, not to mention, having to see myself on camera.  I don't even like to hear myself on tape!

I have started writing the first of several patterns that need to get written. I have sworn that I an going to learn to use InDesign, or something similar, so I can use the computer to draw the figures, instead of doing that by hand. At the rate things are going, that should be exciting.

So that is what I have been working on. I Hope the first few weeks of 2017 have been good to you, and you are accomplishing what you want to get done. Maybe by next post I will be able to justify to the left again! Check back and find out.

Thanks for stopping by!



Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has been having a lovely holiday season!

Now that the New Year is almost here, my thoughts are drawn to what I can do to make the most of the coming year.

For a couple of years now, I have wanted improve my technological skills. Navigating the digital world has not come very naturally to me. A couple of years ago, I felt completely lost. Then I learned that you can find videos on how to do almost anything imaginable on YouTube. That helped some. I have since discovered

They have classes geared towards people who are trying to pursue some type of creative endeavor. There are always many classes about photography. I have learned many things about my digital camera that I never knew. There are also a lot of classes on using Adobe Suite programs, and different aspects of digital marketing for creative people. I have always wanted to figure out how to add computer drawn figures to my patterns, instead of the hand drawn figures I have been doing. That way it would be easier for me to sell a digital copy of my patterns if someone prefers that to a hardcopy. The classes there are quite meaty. They are not too expensive, and there are lots of sales. Also, they always have about 6 classes you can watch for free. But, to see them for free, you have to watch them when they are on, like old style broadcast TV. To watch them on YOUR time schedule, you have to pay for them.

So here are some goals I am planning to work on for 2017:

1. Synchronize imagery in my blog, FaceBook page, Website, Pintrest, and Etsy site. Notice the new banner?

2. Add rest of my quilts to my Website.

3. Learn InDesign, and use it to layout patterns, and add illustrations to those patterns.

4. Start a YouTube channel-I already have several quilting related video ideas. First I am gonna have to learn to make and edit a video. Before I do that, I probably going to have to get rid of this pesky cold. 

5. Make an email newsletter so I can let people know when I have uploaded a new video, have a new pattern, or quilt. 

6. I have always wanted to write a book, but my quilt designs tend to be pretty varied, and I struggle with tying enough of the together with a cohesive concept. I might try to write an ebook. That way I can experiment, and not be restrained by a publisher's idea of what will sell.

7. I want to add projection to my trunk show. Sometimes I want to show a quilt I no longer have to make a point. It would be really nice to be able to project a photo of a quilt I no longer have on hand. 

8. Last I hope to be a better, more consistent blogger in 2017. 

So that is what I will be striving for in 2017. What will you be working on? I would love to hear what your goals are. 

Here are some quilts I finished in 2016:

Sand and Sea Glass-complete
Hoopla-pieced and quilted, still needs binding hand stitched, sleeve added, and photographed

Burgeoning Spring-likewise, piecing, quilting, and binding machine attached, but I still need to sew the hand sewn side, add the sleeve, and photograph it.  

Ablaze-pieced and quilted, partially bound, but still needs binding hand sewn, sleeve, and to be photographed. I have also added a boarder since this photo was taken.

 Dresden plate-I haven't gotten it quilted or named, but the top is done. It will probably be the first to get quilted in 2017!

Baby quilt for Dori-completed and delivered.

Baby quilt for Madelyn- shame on me, I finished this quilt, but forgot to photograph it. In a year when I have so few finishes, I am not about to exclude it anyway!

I hope you all had a good 2016, and best wishes for all of us for a 2017 filled with good times, good friends, and good quilty fun! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Show Time

     In a couple of weeks we will have The Yellow River Jam here in our sweet little village of Porterdale. It is the second annual event. In the morning, there will be a paddling event on the Yellow River, which runs through the center of town, followed by a day of live music. Their tagline is boats, bands, and brews. This year they are adding some artist booths, so I will have a booth there displaying my quilts, and a few other small items. 

     To that end, I have been putting together some chicken pincushions, made from hand dyed, hand woven wool fabrics, and some potholders. 

     Yesterday, I was supposed to have a tennis match, but instead we all had a rainy day! I was really happy to see the rain we really needed it, and we got 1.2"! Yeah! I keep track of the rain for a newsletter I write for our town, and I hadn't had a rain entry since August 22! 

     So, anyway, I got a whole day of "found time". I spent a lot of that time weaving, then I started making some potholders. This, BTW is a great use of scraps. I especially love working with "sewn together" scraps. These are orphan blocks that can be cut up and used, or leftovers from strip sets, and the like. I use the "sewn together" scraps in conjunction with my smaller than 1 1/2" strip bin, and my   1 3/4" to 2" strip bin. Sometimes I add in from my small triangles, medium bits, small bits, or dig through my large pieces (but smaller than FQs) to find pieces to cut up and use to tie a set of potholders together visually.

     I have been working on potholders for a week, or so now, and already had pieced these, but was still working on sewing the binding down. The pair in the upper left hand corner is completely finished.

     Yesterday, I pieced these. This morning I chose what I will bind them with, and pinned them with that fabric, to the design wall.

     I had already cut a bunch of squares for pincushions, and pinned them together with their beaks, and combs. I like to use red rick rack for the combs. I had a whole stack of the put together.


      This week I added the tails. I have hand sewn on beads for eyes.

       Now, I just have to stuff them, and sew up their little tummies. 

       So that is what I have been up to this week. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Design wall Monday

     I am currently working on making potholders for a fall show, and gifts, so I haven't accomplished much on the quilts that are on my design wall and/or design floor.

     Actually, these are last years crop of potholders. I haven't gotten any photos of this years crop yet. I will photograph them when I get some more finished.

     I have been working on the units for the next row of each though. here is how they stand now. I wrote more about the idea behind the Jacob's Ladder quilt in the previous post, and to see more about the idea behind the strip pieced quilt click here.

     That is what I have been up to. Check out what other quilters are up to at

      Thanks for Stopping by! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Slow and Steady Progress

     I haven't had many large blocks of time for quilting lately, but I have been sewing a bit at the end of every day. The exception is yesterday, when I went to visit my friend Eleanor, and spent the day cutting out a new quilt start. (Well, half of one anyway) More about that in a future post. 

     Last week I turned in the last piece of the very very large run I had been weaving.

     Here is what the top of the rug looks like.

      That's 22 feet of rug rolled up on that beam. I wove the center of the rug, then wove 2 side borders to bump up the width to almost 15 feet! The finished size of the rug was 19' 10" by 14' 8". I know that seems a bit small given the dimensions I just gave you, but you would be amazed how much it shrinks when you take it off tension. 

    Later this week I will be starting another rug that will be woven in three 5' by 18' panels. I already have the loom set up for that. Okay, so much for the "day job update".

     I have made a fair amount of progress on this quilt. I don't really have a name I like for it yet, so I have been referring to it as "Diamonds".

       Only 16 rows left to go, and this quilt will be finished.

     I have been planning to start a series of quilts using the Jacob's Ladder block for a long time now. It all started when I was searching for an idea for a quilt for a wedding quilt I needed to make. As I was working on the design for that quilt, I got ideas for so many other quilts. Here is a photo of the first quilt in the series.

     I have been looking forward to using this block in a zig zag configuration, and trying a larger scale. The quilt above is made from 6" blocks this next quilt is made form 9" blocks. Here is a photo of my drawing.

     At first, I designed the quilt to be larger, but then thought that it is enough of an over all design, and this would be a good opportunity to make a smaller quilt, since most of the quilts I make are pretty large. So, I took a couple row of horizontally, and vertically. I have 3 rows sewn together so far. There will be 10 rows in all.

      I decided to use the same fabric all across the row so the pattern would be easier to see. Because of that, I can only use fabric that I have a half yard of.

     That is what I have been up to lately. Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Looking Forward to Fall

     I was recently inspired by the folks at Arhaus to talk about using quilts in living rooms, and what my dream sectional sofa and quilt combination would look like.

     I admit, at first it was kind of difficult to think about curling up on a beautiful sofa with a quilt, a hot cup of tea, and a good book, more maybe a watch a movie. But in the last couple of days, the heat has let up just enough for me to think that fall may actually be on the horizon, and I could think back to those times when I was wearing sweaters, and trying to enjoy some warmth and coziness. Soon, those days will come again. 

     I do agree that every living room should have a quilt in it. First of all, it is wonderful to be able to have a quilt close at hand when you are relaxing during those long winter months, but even if you are not cold enough to want to crawl under a quilt, they can do so much to add interest to a room. A beautiful quilt can be a focal point that you  use to draw you entire color palette from. 

     They have lots of gorgeous sectional sofas that the whole family could pile onto for an afternoon of cozy togetherness, but my favorites are the Wessex, because I think the tufting on that is really pretty, also, I love the curve of the arms, and the Rockway, because of it's clean lines. For reasons I can't explain, I have always loved to be able to see the legs on sofas, rather than those with skirts that go to the floor.

     I can just see myself curled up on this sofa while watching a movie, and hand stitching a binding while something yummy is roasting in the oven. 

     Here is the quilt I would like to pair with it. 

     That is what I have been thinking about lately. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Design Wall Monday

These are the 2 quilts I have been working on most of the time.

This one is the one I am working on most.

I am making this in three panels. The center panel is finished. The other 2 panels start where you can see the break going across. The 2 panels will be the same, making the quilt symmetrical.

This is my drawing.

 The bottom edge is the center quilt. The quilt will repeat in a mirror image at that point. 

This is a quilt that I made a couple of years ago. 

It was inspired by a Pendleton Indian blanket I saw in a book. I have always liked this quilt, and I really enjoyed making it. I wanted to make another quilt using the same idea, but this time, I wanted to repeat the diamonds all over the quilt.

This is the drawing for the quilt I am using as leaders and enders, a la Bonnie Hunter.

 It is meant to be an abstract version of the sky. I intend to applique airplanes on it. This quilt is a commission, but they are not in a hurry for it, so I am working on it slowly.

Here is the quilt background laid out on the wall. The lower right hand corner is missing, because I transferred it to a free standing design wall that I cam put next to my sewing machine.

That is what I am up to these days.

I will be linking with Judy Laquidara's  Design Wall Monday, for the first time in a long time. Check out  to see what other quilters are working on. It's always fun to see!

Thanks for stopping by