Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shop round-robin...

The employees at the quilt store where I work part-time are participating in a "round-robin". We all purchased the same four fabrics which were leftovers from previous shop projects:

There are very few rules to this round-robin other than we had to use these four fabrics in our initial block. We then could add as many other fabrics as we wanted as long as the fabric is of quilt-shop-quality. We can embellish the blocks if we want....oh, the possibilities are endless. Probably the most difficult part of this project is knowing when to stop creating!

Here's how I manipulated the first block I received in the round-robin. The co-worker who pieced the center block, didn't really like the fabrics chosen for this project, but used them to create a little jewel of half-square triangles bordered in a fun stripped fabric (originally. 8" x 8"). I decided to enlarge this sweet little square into a wonky star using some of the brights from the stripped fabric along with some embroidery stitches here and there for good measure (the amoeba-like object in the upper right fabric is outlined in a purple running can almost see it in my photo).

I fell in love with the stripped fabric she used and quickly purchased a yard to add to her block and to add to my stash. My additions to the original block created a 24" square .....wanting to keep the "wonky" look, I cut off a couple of inches on one side....the overall block is now approximately 24" by 21".
Hoping my round-robin block is having this much fun.....will have to wait and see.....I promise to post more of this fun project.

14. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 6, 2012...

"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the 
American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."
                                                                                                                            Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, September 17, 2012

Beaver Island Quilt Retreat, 2012 and more...

Recently attended Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat White Birch Lodge in lovely Elk Rapids, Michigan. This year's retreat focused on Liberated Medallions. We had a talented group of quilters in addition to awesome weather. In my opinion there couldn't have been a better place to sit and sew than in the large dining hall with windows all around us and Elk Lake about 100 yards away.
Our group creative sewers surrounding Gwen who is in the middle on the first row. 
One of the many medallion quilts Gwen had made and brought to show....the fabric in the center of this quilt is a reproduction of a John Hewson print from the 1800s.
This is the first of two medallion tops my friend Vicki pieced while at the retreat. The center is a vintage piece of linen she found at an estate sale....the colors were printed on the piece before being embroidered. Vicki used one of Kate Spain's line of fabrics for the pieced borders.
This is my mariner's compass medallion that I pieced over 25 years ago....I finally found a use for the block. One of the great things I discovered about medallion quilts is you can start with a pieced block or whole cloth block and then just add as many borders, either pieced or whole cloth as you want to get to the size quilt top you want. How cool is that. I really think medallion quilts are in my future, especially for showcasing a piece of fabric that I love and don't want to cut into. I used a lot of men's plaid shirts (from Goodwill) in my borders. Learned a valuable lesson....I needed to spray starch the blocks to prevent some of the stretching that occurs with a looser woven fabric. 
This cheerful top was stitched by Sharon Taggert....she came to the retreat with the center block and three of the inner borders already pieced. I think this is just stunning.
Switching gears, I wanted to show the "wonky" top I have been working on for over a year. It is another coop project with my friend Vicki. She pieced some of the houses and a butterfly and a tree or two....she also has some of my wonky blocks in her top. This is about 99% done as I have some appliqué I want to add yet.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New potting bench....

While I was gone to a quilt retreat last week the hubby made me a potting loving it! I had told him I wanted one, but knew it was low on the list of "to do" projects. Maybe I should go away more often...who knows what "honey-do" projects will get done! Thanks, hubby!!!
My sister-in-law out in Vancouver, Washington is getting creative with her gardening efforts. Her hen-and-chicks plant now has its own lovely vintage chair. Love the shabby-chic look. Am wondering if she has another one of these chairs I could talk her out of?

“Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.”  William Cullen Bryant

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wonky house quilt coming together...

Another "ufo" is finally back on the sewing table. Started piecing these "wonky" blocks back in December, 2010 and January, 2011 with my bff, Vicki. As fun as it was to make these blocks, the thought on how to put them together was overwhelming at first. Maybe that is why they stayed on the design wall for so long. I finally gave myself permission to "play" and add other strips and pieces of fabric to make the blocks fit together in different panels. Wow, I was amazed how a little trimming here and adding fabric there worked. Now I have a fun and playful community of blocks that is about 36" by 45". Now, on to adding strips of borders and pieced pinwheels to make it large enough for a good sized lap quilt. Oh, what dreams I will have taking a nap under this little fellow.

"We have had cloning in the South for years, it's called cousins."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's all in the bag...

I have a Saturday job at a local quilt store and was asked to share a "how to" project for the shop's blog. Part of this assignment was to select 6 or 7 fabrics that inspired you and tell why, I decided to use the same fabrics in my project:
On a side note, I love fabric and am blessed to work around so many lovely bolts, oh, and the people are nice TOO! 

"There is no blue without yellow and without orange," Vincent Van Gogh

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New banner...

Have been cleaning, re-organizing and playing around with my fabric stash and decided to change the banner at the top of my blog page....not sure how that is related, if at all....just seemed like a thing to do. Actually I have wanted to re-design my banner for a while, let me what you think?

While rearranging, I came across these wonderful old photos from my great-aunt Marian's high school home economics class in Kingfisher, Oklahoma (circa 1940s). Can't think of any reason for the photos other than maybe document various class projects. Anyhow, I love these photos from back when the world was black and white....the hair dos, the clothes, the furnishings. I feel like an invisible voyager when I stumble across vintage photos like this....I wonder about the people, what they were like, are they still alive and just what were they thinking at the time the shutter was snapped...

"Commander, set a new course. There's coffee in that nebula."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saturday nite, bath nite...

We are 99% done with the master bath remodel.... just need to do some touch-up painting and fill nail holes. I think every bathroom needs some art, esp. this one since this remodel has taken in honor of the remodel, I created this art quilt for one of the walls this past week.
Close-up showing the awesome acrylic buttons I found at a local quilt store.
Ignore the blue painter's tape you see reflected in the mirror (which still needs to be hung)....the ceiling in the shower needs to be painted yet....somehow that got over looked. I am so loving the job the hubby did with building the corner cupboard out of two upper-kitchen cabinets. It turned out to be the least expensive way to deal with storage for a small space.
Somewhere along the way during this remodel, I talked the hubby into making this jewelry rack using random knobs I found on sale at Anthropologie. The weathered board is a "floating panel" from a door we took off the old milk shed at the farm in Indiana. Love having this piece of history on my wall.

"We were Christians after all, or so we told ourselves every Sunday from 10 o’clock til noon."
Roxanna Slade, Reynolds Price

Friday, August 10, 2012

To the moon, Alice...

One plant that seems to be thriving in our extreme heat is my Moonflower (Datura). In "googling" moonflower for more information for this posting, I discovered how poisonous this plant is....YIKES....I never knew. Thankfully, we have no small children about nor do we have any intention to digest this plant, we are just enjoying the size of the plant and the multitude of blooms. 
"For example,Datura have the property of being able to change size of plant, size of leaf, and size of flowers, 
all depending on location. The same species, when growing in a half-shady damp location can 
develop into a flowering bush half as tall as a person, but when growing in a very dry location will 
only grow into a thin little plant just higher than the ankles, with tiny flowers and a few miniature leaves."  Wikipedia

My plant is in the upper part of the garden and gets all the sun has to offer from about 11 a.m. on and I really haven't been watering it as much as my other plants.....yet it seems to be thriving. Actually I think this may be two or three Daturas that have banded together as one.

A close-up of one of the lovely trumpet-shaped the delicate ruffle around the edge.
Before blooming, the bud is a lovely creamy butter color.
The seed|fruit pod on the Datura....the spines on this pod are very prickly especially when it's dried. (Thank you Wikipedia for this pod photo.)
Mr. Dragonfly seems to enjoy his perch on a piece of glass in my flower bed.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ―John Steinbeck

Sunday, August 5, 2012

July flowers and butterflies....

We are enduring another summer of triple digit heat here in northeastern Oklahoma. I was hoping that last summer's heat wave was only a novelty, but it seems we aren't going to escape another dry hot summer. I did manage to pick a few bouquets of zinnias, tiger lilies and wild flowers earlier in July before the thermometer began hitting a 100°+ each day. Right now, we are using the sand point well to keep some of the garden going and the grass a reasonable shade of green. 
When we lived in Indianapolis, I had a devil of a time trying to grow hard could that be you are probably thinking.....well, when you live in a neighborhood with an overly healthy population of chipmunks, sunflowers seeds were most likely eaten before they even hit the ground. Am thrilled some of the sunflower seeds I planted here in Oklahoma actually had a chance to grow and bloom.....not sure of this variety, but it was a lovely, short plant with several blooms. 
Here's the collaborative butterfly and moth wall quilt I have been working on since 2010. Check out earlier posts to see some of the process. Happy to report it's finished!
And here's my quilt (on the right) along with my bff Vicki's quilt. We have entered them in the Norman Area Quilters Guild Quilt Show for this August 17-18th. Looking forward to seeing them hanging side-by-side for the first time! The hubby is looking forward to my quilt coming home.....he says there is a bare spot on the wall in our bedroom, guess he got use to it hanging there!

I've been away from the blogging world for a while, so I appreciate your checking in every once in a while!

"Friends and good manners will carry you where money won't go."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring ...

Thanks for sharing these "spring" photos with me and for stopping by.

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread 
with one, and a lily with the other.  ~Chinese Proverb

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Assisi embroidery vs. Aunt Martha...

I recently offered a bunch of vintage embroidery patterns free for the taking. I was thrilled when Tizana ( voiced an interest. I boxed up the embroidery patterns, which included a lot of Aunt Martha's patterns, and shipped them off to Italy. In return, Tizana generously send me these handmade linen gifts from Italy. This first piece is known as Assisi embroidery which is a form of counted-thread embroidery...I think this is just lovely! (
This next piece is a wonderful hand-crochet (by Tizanna) and linen pillow top that coordinates perfectly with the colors in our bedroom. It's almost like she knew what color we painted our walls! How fun!
The last bit of my gift was a beautiful vintage pillow cover with an inset of filet crochet.
Thank you again, Tizana! Again, that was a very generous and very special gift.

...women are the fruit of creation...

Art in a box...

Have always loved the art of Joseph Cornell. Just finished my own art box. It's an anniversary gift for the hubby... the theme is all about Jim Croce's song Time in a Bottle
Front: found objects, old leather bound book cover, watch parts, etc. I collect old dictionaries and books that can be used in collages...this is a page on "chronicle to chronoscope".
Close up of inside: more watch|clock parts. I have been collecting old watches for quite a the intricacies these tiny machines.
Close up of right-hand side: small glass vials contain antique watch parts I found on-line, Croce's song is hand-written on continuous velum strip inside large bottle.
Now, should I sit it somewhere or hang it on the wall?
"Women's real value comes with: self knowledge, self acceptance and self delivery"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fresh out of the oven, a jelly roll top...

It's taken me a while to change the thought pattern feeling I needed to purchase fabric by the yard(s). Have always thought I needed at least 2 yards or 3 or even more of a particular piece that caught my eye. No specific project in mind, but at least I have this absolutely beautiful fabric tucked away, just incase I think of something wonderful made out of this fabric! Surly, I'm not the only one in the world thinking this way. So it has been a process to limit myself to buying "fat quarters" of a must have piece of fabric. This has gotten easier when I finally realized a smaller quantity of fabric is OK to have when used in just the right project. Am I making sense?

Anyhow, one of my favorite quilt shops has a big roll-around basket of fabric strips, pieces, etc. for 25¢ a piece... needless to say that basket has become an important destination every time I visit the store. Last week I found several nice long strips of fabric that begs to come home with me, They found their way (along with strips I cut from fabric I had) into the jelly roll lap quilt in the photo above. The top is quick and fun.... I love the randomness of where the fabric fell in piecing.

Here's a link with the directions for making this quilt: This tutorial uses pre-cut jelly rolls, but you can have fun making your own!

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fresh from the Garden...

It's my birthday this week and I received the nicest surprise in the mail yesterday... this WONDERUL wall quilt from my friend, Vicki. I was thrilled... what a AWESOME BFF I have, don't you agree!! I love the embroidery which she did from a sampler found on eBay and the lime green and checkered borders are perfect... it went up on the dining area wall immediately. Also love the hand written label on the back of the quilt... I like that it tells the history of this art quilt. THANK YOU, THANK YOU again, Vicki!

Free Patterns: 
I have some freebees that I want to offer to anyone interested. Vicki shared a box of vintage embroidery, crochet and quilt related patterns with me recently. They are from an estate sale. We both have gone through them, saving what interested us, so now I am wondering if there is anyone out there who would like to have a bundle of vintage patterns. I have bundled them in to categories: kitchen related, pillowcases, Aunt Martha, vintage crochet, vintage quilt related and a big pile of miscellaneous embroidery patterns. They are available on a first come, first served basis. just leave me your e-mail address in a "comment" and I'll get in touch with you. See the photos below for a sample of what I'm offering. 

Kitchen related:
Aunt Martha:
Vintage crochet:
Quilt related:
Miscellaneous patterns: (not the whole box, just what is in front)
Just to clarify, if you are interested in say the "kitchen related" patterns, let me know and I'll send you the whole bundle. So there are 5 bundles of delightful goodies here if you like this sort of thing. Thanks for looking!

"The greatest gift is a portion of 
thyself" ~Ralph Waldo Emerson