Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Recap

     Well, It's the time of year when we all record for posterity what we have completed in the year that is drawing to a close. And as usual, I failed to live up to my own expectations, but vow to do better in the next year. Stay tuned and wish me luck for 2014! And of course, I will do the same for you.

Missing Monkeys
     This quilt was inspired by a paintings by Gustave Klimt. While I was working on it my friend Eleanor often asked me " How are you doing on that quilt with the monkeys?" Monkeys? What monkeys?

A Maze Zing
     The idea for this quilt came from a jelly roll race. It's not very often I get a top pieced in a couple of weeks, but this one I did.

Tangerine Twist
     This quilt was  collaboration between Karen Daniel from and I. It was so much fun to work with her. I also produced the pattern for this quilt this year. I am going to count that as another finish.
Let's Polka
     I actually finished this quilt a couple of years ago, but I finished the pattern, and taught it as a class for the first time this year. It is a great class for beginners, but with so many different blocks, simple though they be, it makes for a full day!
Double Star
         I finished this quilt a couple of years ago, and sold from my Etsy shop at The person that bought it ordered a second one this year.

      This quilt was a small class sample that I made to give students taking my Pineapple Storm class the option of starting a smaller quilt. I machine quilted this one myself. Something I don't do very often, but I am trying to do more of with small quilts.    

     This is a T shirt quilt I made for a client. This is the first time I showed a photo of this quilt because it was meant to be a Christmas surprise. Many of the T shirts are unique to this person, and I did not want to take a chance, however slim, of spoiling the surprise.

     The next two quilts are borderline cases. The tops are finished, and Regina has them. The are waiting to be quilted, and don't even really have proper names yet. One you will notice is rather similar to Tangerine Twist. It is the quilt that Karen saw in progress that was the jumping off point for Tangerine Twist. 

     I made this top while I was making the pattern for Native Harvest. It is the same pattern, but I did not go as wide with this one. I meant for it to be more of a lap size. I think these proportions are actually better. I always thought that Native Harvest was a bit squat.

Native Harvest

      I am especially looking forward to getting this quilt back. I want to get it bound in time for my next trunk show.

     The main things I wanted to do in 2013 that I did not accomplish were things I wanted to do with my blog. I wanted to work up to 2 postings a week. I barely averaged one a week this year, and there were a few times when I went over a week without a post. I also want to add a gallery tab to the top of the blog. Maybe start adding a couple of free patterns. Hopefully I will get to that in 2014.

     My most urgent goals for the beginning of 2014 are to finish what I have started in reorganizing this sewing room. I have 2 custom orders that are priorities. I have hit a snag on my fussy cut quilt.

     I think it needs more variety, so I am looking for different blocks to replace the alternate blocks. Maybe I just need to do something different with the setting triangles. I would really also like to get patterns made for my Arabesque, and A Maze Zing quilts before my Arkansas trip in March.

     So many quilts-so little time! Hope your New Years festivities are fun and safe, and your 2014 gets off to a happy start! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Odds and Ends

     Once again it looks like I have neglected to write a post for a couple of weeks. I am trying to think of what I have been doing that might be blog worthy. Unfortunately, not much, I am  afraid. I have accomplished a couple of things that have needed to get done for a long time, but, not much designing. 

    I finally got the back made for my blue and green strip pieced quilt made, and got that to Regina. I did not take a photo of the back yet. It was too large and unwieldy. I will make a photo of the back when it comes back from Regina. For those of you who want a reminder of what the top looked like, it was this one:

     I am reorganizing my fabric. I picked up a few shelf units very inexpensively at an estate sale, last summer, and I am just getting around to putting my fabric on them. These are two of them stacked. I have my traditional fabrics on these. So far I have done all of my warm colors, neutrals, and purples.

     They all came out of this dresser, which just has not been very space efficient for fabric.

     My blues ad greens are still in there. I have 2 more larger shelf units. I still need to move the blue and green traditional fabrics, batiks, solids, stripes, paisleys, and contemporary designer fabrics.  I will have to find someone to help me move these dressers before I can proceed further with this project. 

     Today, I set up the 404 straight stitch Singer my friend, Eleanor gave me last summer, and actually sewed on it a bit. This type of foot petal is a new experience for me.

      At last, I have started quilting Kimberly's graduation quilt. I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long to get the back made and start quilting it. The back was the main stumbling block. I also didn't have a thread that I wanted to use, but finally remebered to get some. I forgot to take a photo of the thread this time. I will try to remember that for the next blog post. Wish me luck on this. Machine quilting is not my forte.  This poor girl as been waiting for this quilt since summer-2012! How did that happen! Sometimes, things just get away from me. At least she is in the Navy, and spent a good bit of the time on training, and on a ship where she would not have been able to use it anyway.

      This quilt was inspired by a jelly roll race I did at a quilt retreat. It has 2" bands alternating with 1" bands down the length of the quilt, and I am quilting a zigzag line in each band.

    I have only 2 more days left of my seasonal job at Patrick's. Hopefully things will get a bit more normal around here after that. The last 2 months have been a total blur. I have lots I want to accomplish in 2014, but that is for another post.

Hope you all are enjoying this holiday season, and doing lots of fun things with friends and family. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Design Wall Monday

     It has been awhile since I have anything happening on my design wall. I have been finishing up a custom quilt order, and making small items like chicken pincushions and potholders for a craft show in November. I don't want to show the custom order on my blog until after the first of the year because I don't want to take a chance on spoiling anyone's Christmas surprise. 

     Finally, there has been some significant movement on my design wall. I have been making the scrappy strips for my fussy cut quilt by using them for leaders and enders while working on other projects. I finally got past some deadlines and spent some time assembling them into blocks. So far I have all 9 of my  "A" blocks done, and 3 out of 4 of my "B" blocks done.They look the same at first glance, but the difference is that on the "A" blocks a 2" scrappy band goes around the center, followed by a 3" band. They are reversed on the "B" block so that I do not have the 3" bands next to each other. I only have 1 "B" block left to make, and all of my full blocks will be completed.

      You can see on the right hand side, where I auditioned some slightly wider sashing between the blocks. You can also see the beginnings of a setting triangle idea.

     There have been many holiday festivities going on in my small town of Porterdale, GA this past weekend. Thursday night we had a tour of homes, and some live musical performances in our newly remodeled gymnasium amphitheater. The Oxford Youth Singers, Newton County Community Band, and the Covington Regional Ballet all performed. I really like living in a county with such an active Arts Association. I have not taken a photograph of our new musical venue, so that will have to wait until a future post. It was originally a gymnasium, built in the time when this was an active mill village. Several years ago it burned leaving the brick walls, but nothing inside, and no roof. After sitting dormant for many years, due to the prohibitive cost of repairing it and putting on a new roof, it has been remodeled to become an outdoor music/events venue. The town is very excited about it. 

     On Friday night we had our annual Christmas parade, which culminated in a visit from Santa with some actual live reindeer. I am in the community garden, and we participated by passing out little bags of sunflower seeds that we had grown last summer. It was warm for the parade-73 degrees!

On Sunday afternoon we had Tuba Christmas, and the temperature was 50 degrees for that! With the wind and misty rain it sure felt much colder. What a difference a day and a half makes! I know that for most of the country, 50 degree days in December is no big deal, and they really are not all that rare here, but the contrast between Friday and Sunday was quite something.

     Are you familiar at all with Tuba Christmas? I had never heard of it before I moved to Porterdale, but there is quite a history behind it. The short version is that Tuba players gather together and play Christmas carols. For more information click HERE
One of our City Council people is the head of a very musical family, and he has spearheaded Tuba Christmas in our town. It is a lot of fun. It doesn't show very well on the photo, but some of the Tubas have Christmas decorations on them!

    So, that is what I have been doing lately.  I am off to make that last "B" block. Don't forget to check on what the other quilters at are up to.

     Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Catchin Up

     Contrary to what you must be thinking, I have not fallen off off the edge of the earth. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving among lots of family, friends, and good food.

     I have been keeping many balls in the air. Some are not too quilty. Others I am reluctant to show photos of just yet for fear of spoiling a surprise for someone. I know it is unlikely that it will be seen by the wrong person here on my little blog, but I hate to take the chance.

     Anyway, I will try to catch you up on what I have been doing the last couple of weeks.

     I had a 9' by 12' rug to weave. I thought I was going to get this assignment in October, then I thought I was not going to get it at I was not going to get it at all. Then I DID get it just after the show. By that time I had, taken on another part time seasonal job, so I ended up doing both at once. 

     Let's start with the show. If you can remember back that far, I promised photos, so here they are. These are different sides of my booth.

     The show was held in the back yard of a friend. It was a beautiful yard with a living space with a  pergola, an outdoor kitchen, and a fabulous stone fireplace.  Sorry, I guess I never did get a photo of the fireplace. This was meant to show the other artists booths. We also had more artwork in the house. Fortunately for us, the weather was  beautiful that weekend. We had a good crowd of visitors.

     Last weekend a dear friend came to visit as she and her son were passing through on her way to spend Thanksgiving in Tennessee. I was shocked when she decided to buy La Lique, and ordered Anastasia with some color modifications!

La Lique

      There are many festivities planned in our town for the end of this week. A tour of home, live music, and a holiday parade with real reindeer! We wanted the community garden looking pretty for all of that so Melanie and I put some greenery on the fence this weekend.


     Another of our garden members, Bob, is planning to add lights this week.

     Remember a couple of months ago, I was processing a bunch of sunflower seeds from our garden? Well, this week I sewed a bunch of little white bags from leftover white on white fabric (when is the last time you saw me use that in a quilt?) They will be stuffed with the sunflower seeds, and we will walk in the parade, and pass them out to the crowd.

     So that is what I have been up to the last couple of weeks, and why I have not been writing much lately. 

     I am planning to be in another show at Allen Memorial Methodist Church in Oxford on December 14th.

     Soon, I will be caught up on some of these other things, and I will have something more quilt related and interesting to share. Thanks for stopping by! 


Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's Crunch Time

     I hope all of my blog readers took the opportunity to check out the Blogger's Quilt Festival that is going on over at Amy's Creative Side. There was so many beautiful creations to see, and so many new friends to meet!

     Last week I focused on getting my trunk show out and organized, and a class put together for The Spirited Quilters in Duluth GA. I had a great time with them! We worked on paper piecing pineapple blocks. I have always felt that if you are new to paper piecing, the pineapple block is a great place to start because it has so many parallel  seams, which make it easier to predictably cover the spaces. I bet that sentence didn't make much sense to those of you who have never paper pieced. If you ever do paper piece, I think you will understand my meaning. It is one of those concepts that is not so easy to put into words.

    This weekend will be the show I have been getting ready for the last few months. I have been working on more pot holders, and some Christmas ornaments.

     About half of these pot holders still need their binding tacked down. So far I am just 1 pair of potholders short of my goal!

          Here are the Christmas ornaments. They are made from roof flashing and beads. I was hoping to get 10 made, and I did it, although I took this shot before I made the 10th one.

     Bars of soap.

     I got a brainstorm, and decided to cut squares out of some of the wool fabric I had woven when I was weaving blankets. I had been making pin cushions and pillows with out of it, but with so many people working with wool these days, I thought, maybe I could just sell the wool. Since it is hand dyed and hand woven by me, it is a bit different from what is available in the quilt shops. Though, I must admit, it is a bit hard to let go of since I am not doing that kind of weaving any more-once it is gone, it's gone.

     Oh-one more thing. I sewed these blocks together. All I need is a back, and I can send it to Regina be quilted! No point in hurrying though. You know how busy long arm quilters tend to be this time of year. I don't really need it before Christmas, so it can wait. I would like to have it done for my trip to Arkansas though.

    Tomorrow is set up day, so I better get back to binding those potholders! I will try to take some good shots of the show to share, and if you happen to be in Jasper County this weekend, come and visit! There will be several other artists there.

     Well, that is what I have been up to lately. thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival- Fall 2013, Entry #2

      Since I noticed that some participants are putting 2 entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side at   

      What a wonderful event this is. It is so much fun to see so many beautiful quilts!

     So, I have decided to add one more entry myself. I tried to enter this particular quilt last spring, but I was running late that week,  and it was already closed when I tried to link up. I am pleased to have another opportunity to add it.

     This quilt is called "Anastasia", because my friend, Eleanor said that it looked Russian to her. I think it reminds her of the onion domes at St. Basil's Cathedral.

     The initial concept behind this quilt was that I wanted to do something that combined Kaffe Fasset, stripes, and batiks. I decided that a kaleidoscope block would be a good pattern for this, which was good since I had wanted to make a quilt with that block for some time. I planned out the color placement on EQ. When I went to print it, I found that I did not quite have enough ink in the cartridge, so my drawing came out like this. 

     It is easier to see in person, but there is a gradation in the background colors from one corner to the opposite corner. See how it is more yellow green in the bottom right, and more peachy gold in the upper left? I thought-hey! I could do that on the quilt! It is a subtle thing, and I wish it was a bit stronger. I do think there is something to be said for some elements of the design that are not so immediately obvious, and you see more the longer that you look at it.

     This quilt was the quilt I started my blog with in 2012. Click here  to go back that 1st post. A couple of other posts that involve this quilt are  here  and  here .

     This quilt was quilted by my dear friend, and excellent long arm quilter, Regina Carter.

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013 Entry

     I tried to enter the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side last Spring, but I was working on some deadline that week, and I didn't get it posted in time. This fall I am getting it in early.

     I have chosen to enter a quilt that I call "My Waterlilies".


     Here is a detail of the fabulous machine quilting by my dear friend, Regina Carter. Since the subject matter was watery, she chose a very watery looking pattern for the quilting. She always knows just what to do to bring out the best of your quilt.

     I guess this quilt is on my mind today because someone wrote to me to ask me if there was a pattern for it. There isn't. I can't make a pattern for it because it is nothing but half square triangles. 

     I am sorry, I cannot provide links to past blog posts about this quilt. I finished this quilt right before I started blogging, so I never wrote any blog posts about it.

     A couple of years ago I was browsing through a book of paintings by Claude Monet. I found a painting that I loved and wanted to try to interpret in a quilt.  

     You can see that this is a well worn copy of that photo. It got carried around quite a bit for about 2 years. I might have finished more quickly if I hadn't sold one house, bought another, and moved while I was working on this quilt. Can you see how a grid is drawn on the photo?

     The idea was to divide the photo into a grid and interpret each square on the grid as well as possible by choosing batiks with the same colors. I thought that batiks would enhance the watery feel. This could never be a pattern, since it is all about which colors you choose, and how you place them. I would love to teach it as a class though. I love that you get something that is at once alike and very different than the original subject. 

     I am currently working on another quilt like this, but I am using a different block, different fabric styles, and of course, a different painting.


Monday, October 21, 2013

A Small Decision, and Still Getting Ready for my Show

     I know it looks like nothing much has happened on my design wall this week; but I did make an important decision. I am not supposed to work on quilts until I get all of my show stuff done; but using it for leaders and enders while I was making potholders, I did try something out for the alternating blocks for my fussy cut quilt (soon, I will have to come up with a better name than that). For some reason, this quilt keeps tugging at my sleeve even though I know I am supposed to be working on other things. On my previous blocks, the first scrappy row was 2" wide. The second scrappy row was 3" wide. When I put the blocks next to each other, the 3" bands were right next to each other (albeit, separated by sashing). I wasn't sure that I liked that. I made a block with the 3" scrappy bands first, followed by the 2" scrappy band, so that when I put them with one another, the 2" and 3" bands alternate. It's a subtle difference, but I like it much better.

     The before picture:

     Can you see what I mean? If not, look along the sashing. I think this will really make a difference in the finished look of the quilt.

     Yesterday, When I came home from my tennis match, there was enough light, and it was warm enough for me to go on the deck, and get a few more centers fussy cut. I thought I would cut more today, but it is cool and cloudy today, and I don't have much of an urge to be outdoors today. And, I there are plenty of more pressing things to tend to.

     Really, I am supposed to be making pairs of potholders for a show that I will be in in early November. I made 5 pairs this week. I am 11 pairs short of my goal of 36 pairs with 3 weeks left to work. This sounds great, but I have to do many other things in that 3 weeks. I am in the process of preparing a trunk show and workshop for The Spirited quilters in Duluth GA, and I have a class scheduled at A Scarlet Thread in McDonough GA on the 8th of November.

      I am making them 2 different ways. The 3 pairs to the left were pieced with the "flip and sew method" through the back and batting, then binding was added, and will need to be hand stitched down. I know that many would machine sew the binding down, But I don't like how it looks when I do it that way.

     On the 2 pairs on the right, I pieced the tops, then sewed around the edges to attach to the back and batting. They don't need a binding, but I still have to quilt them. I started doing them this way because I thought it would be quicker to quilt them, the to make and attach a binding, but now I am reconsidering that. I think I like the way the bound type looks better, and I can carry the finishing anywhere without worrying about having a sewing machine with me. 

    As I mentioned before, while I have been working on these potholders, I have been using the scrappy strips from the fussy cut quilt for leaders and enders. I am getting a surprising amount of strips done that way, so when all of the potholders are finished, I will have enough scrappy strips to make several blocks.

     That is what I have been up to. Go and see what others quilters have been up to on patchworktimes Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Self Indulgence, and Design Wall Monday

     When I was making the pot holders that I showed in the last post, I used scrappy sashing strips for my fussy cut quilt as "leaders and enders". I realized that I made enough strips for 4 more blocks. So, even though I should have been making more pot holders, I made up 4 more blocks, so that I could see what they looked like when the block was repeated, with 1 1/2" sashing.

     I was thinking about doing 3 blocks across, and 4 blocks down, however, since these blocks are about 24" inches across the center, from point to point, that makes a quilt which is 24" longer than it is wide. I usually like to make my quilts longer than they are wide, maybe 12"-15" longer or so, but, I think that 24" is too much, so I am rethinking this. Perhaps I will make the quilt square, or think of some other way to elongate the quilt that will make less than a 24" difference. I have a couple of ideas that I can try out, but that will have to wait until I get the quilt that is currently on the big design wall done, so that I can move this quilt to it.

     I really like using the fussy cut motif in the setting triangles. I am not sure what I will build up around it to complete the triangle.

     I am still not sure that I want the same block, and not some kind of variation in the alternate spaces between the blocks. With only 5 blocks I am talking about the center block, but really, I am referring to what will go between all blocks. I thought about doing blocks where I put the 3" bands around the fussy cut motif first, and then the 2" bands after to alternate what is happening in the original blocks. I also considered doing rows of triangles around the fussy cut motif. I had considered making blocks of more free form shapes with no fussy cut motif, but right now I am less enthusiastic about that idea.  

     Even though I made 4 more blocks, somehow my scrap box doesn't look like it is getting any emptier. They must be multiplying behind my back!

     What else have I been doing this weekend? I have been looking up guilds on the internet to send them information about my trunks how and classes.
      That is what I have been up to. Head over to to see all of the fun things that other quilters are working on.
     Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

More Pincushions and Potholders

     I have been working on items for my upcoming show. I got all of my pincushions stuffed. These are all that I plan to make, so I can call this job finished. There are 24 in all. It is hard to see the size difference in this photo, but there are 12 larger and 12 smaller ones.

     I have several sets of new potholders. Today I cut batting for all of the potholders that I want to make. When I run out of batting squares, I will know that I have made enough potholders. I am using leftover batting from quilt trimmings. I am using 2 layers of batting in each potholder. They are pieced, but not yet quilted.

     The weather here has been so pleasant that I am taking every opportunity that I can think of to work outside on the porch.

      That is what I have been up to. I hope you have been working on some fun things.Thanks for stopping by!