Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Passing the Torch

My mother was an accomplished sewer. She even made she and my dad matching shirts and dresses for square dancing. I have been passionately sewing since my early 20's. (No, I won't say how many years that has been). My repertoire includes adult and children's clothing, household items, crafts and quilting. No, much to my delight, the torch has passed on to my daughter. She has made window treatments for her home and a friend's home. She sewed almost all her Christmas gifts, including handbags and aprons.

I was so delighted to receive an apron from her on Christmas morning. The apron is even lined - a step further than I think I would have taken it. She is even talking about making a quilt. So sew much to share with her. No doubt, I will be learning from her!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bags, Bags, Bags

Handbags and Tote Bags - I am finding these to be so much fun! For Christmas gifts, I made a cute and simple summer bag for a teen. It has interior pockets including one just the right size for a cell phone. For a dancer, I made a large tote - good for dancing shoes and dance wear. The flower pattern on the fabric was perfect for beading. What started out as a few beads turned into hours of beading. I've never been much on handwork, but for some reason the beading is so much fun. It adds some great bling to the work!
A while back I had also made a bag for my daughter, using three different fabrics in the same design family. It also had interior pockets and a zipper closure.

Hand made bags make great gifts and they are a great way to accessorize without spending too much money. Watch out Louis Vuitton - Joyce is the new bag lady!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Quilt, New Baby

Welcome to Madison Faith Coleman, my great niece. I've done a quilt for each of my sister's grandchildren - hopefully they won't have too many! This one is called "Cuddle Bugs", because there are just the cutest little bugs on the fabric. She was born in November, so at least I wasn't too tardy. My daughter's baby quilt turned in to her "10 year old quilt", and I haven't heard the last of it yet. The piecing was easy and I did a fair amount of handquilting using pearl cotton. Madison also has a cute little older sister, Ella, who is three. The sad part is that I have not met either one of them yet, but hope to in 2009.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Do you know someone who served in our military or is now serving? Please give them a big thank you today! I am displaying a flag outside today to help others remember the importance of this day. I am proud to say that my father, brother, husband and son all served, as did my father-in-law and brother-in-law. It's not easy sending a son off to basic training, but I will always be grateful that he took that path. Don't know anyone who has served or is serving? Then please take a moment to thank God for their commitment to our country. Happy Veteran's Day!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Patient Craft

Uncle Jasper, my husband's sister's husband, is one of those men who can tell a story, or "spin a yarn," like no other. My son especially, can listen to his storytelling all day. Always amusing and interesting. Now retired, Jasper has built himself a super man cave in the form of a large barn where he "piddles" with various projects. He recently gave my husband some of the arrowheads he had fashioned from stone and glass - he very patiently sits and grinds and shapes each one until it is just the right shape. As most treasures of this kind, it was headed for Bob's dresser drawer. I couldn't help think that this would be such a shame, so I mounted them on velvet and placed them in a frame so we can hang it on a wall for us to admire whenever we pass it by. We are honored to have these treasures, and best of all, it will always bring to mind Uncle Jasper (we don't get to see him too often as he lives in Alabama). Can't you just hear him telling one of his tales as he painstakingly crafts an arrowhead?!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Just A Little Jealous

Last week my daughter was at the Houston Quilt Market for her work. She works for Westminster Fibers, a company that represents many fabric designers. There she was - amongst thousands of fabrics, quilts, quilting tools, machines and threads. I enjoyed her level of excitement whenever she called. Yes, I'm excited for her, but just a wee bit jealous too! She even got to meet and schmooz with a few celebraties - some from the world of quilting and others from the world of television. She met Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, Jay McCarroll (of Project Runway fame and now has his own fabric line) and Marie Osmond (of music and television fame and also has a fabric line).

One of the things I have enjoyed most about her being part of the fabric industry is that it has sparked an interest for her in sewing and she is designing and making some marvelous things. For me to see my child enjoy doing what I have enjoyed doing for years gives me real joy. You go Elyse - can't wait for your next market!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Attention Quilters!

A great resource for free quilt patterns is For each designer's collection, a quilt was designed, made, and posted with the complete pattern and a great picture.

You can also see all the latest offerings of the Free Spirit fabrics, with designs by Tina Givens, Donna Dewberry and Jay McCarroll to name a few. You can also take a peek at all the newest Rowan fabrics, on - the newest Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett designs. I sometimes find viewing ahead of time inspiring and time saving!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

2 Artist's Sites to View

I'd like to share two websites of 2 artists I so admire - their creativity and their persons. I have watched both of these women's creativity grow with growth spurts that resulted from tough times in their life. One with physical demands and both caring for elderly parents and both losing their beloved fathers. I firmly believe that all women possess creative talents. Although they may not paint, sculpt or sew, they perhaps set a beautiful table, play an instrument, plant a great garden, or write lovely notes. The list is endless. To see the talents realized, grasped and pursued, is a real joy.

Diane O'Malley, clay artist, has been a dear friend of my whole family for many years. She is "other mother" to my children. She has taken many workshops to help develop her technique and has a great eye for form. She is now offering classes, so if you've ever wanted to "play in clay," take a look at her site, seize the moment and sign up!

I met Jeanelle through the church I work at and she has been a blessing to know. Her jewelry creations are so unique. She marries semi-precious gemstones and wire in a way I have never seen before. I also love the way she honors her mother with a special element she adds to each piece, as she explaines on her website,
I hope you enjoy visiting with these two artists and Happy Creating!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Creative Again with Passion

Two weeks ago I attended the "Live & Bloom in Full Color" retreat in Blowing Rock where we did a mixed media project. This wasn't the type of project I would normally tackle, but it was fun being with 49 other creative ladies and I did learn much. It was also fun to be able to just sit and play with paints, glue, dyes and so very much more!

After coming home I had surgery, and while recuperating I completed the project - boy that felt good! Basically, this is a decorated box turned "bird house" (see the nest in the attic?). Inside hangs a book.

My theme for the project was PASSION. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was in a small group where we talked about "living fully"...well I'm going to do it passionately. I'm not going to obligate myself with blase projects, but only those I'm passionate and excited about. Yes, I will still be cleaning house, but that's different!

So my friends, no matter what you do, go at it with passion - whether you quilt, garden, paint, write, cook, bake, compose, sing, decorate, arrange flowers, or set a pretty table - do so passionately and see your gifts come to life!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Living Fully

I was recently in a small group study on Living Fully, Dying Well (I'll get to the second part another time). It made me realize that I tend to put too many things off for not very good reasons. So, this past weekend I planned a two day trip with two good friends to Floyd, Virginia. We stayed at the brand new Floyd Hotel which is a green facility and everything in our suite was handcrafted - bamboo floors, solid wood doors, original artwork on the walls, down comforters - an amazing treat.

What a great place! One in twelve residents in Floyd are artists or musicians! There were several galleries with wonderful artistic creations. There was also the Jacksonville Center for the Arts - a great art show and a place where you can take lessons in various mediums for a weekend or a week.

On Friday nights the town is filled with music. Musicians are on the street playing their fiddles, mandolins, guitars, etc. and the Country Store has a music show. The pleasant mountain air and great restaurants added to the pleasure of our two days. It's also a great place to find antiques at reasonable prices.

Having been in school last year I didn't do much other than study. I have come to fully appreciate that there is so much to do and enjoy, and especially enjoying it with good friends. I encourage all to Live Fully, and if you get the chance, do take a trip to Floyd, Virginia.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Joyful Task

My 95-year old mother in law "tasked" me with making her a lap quilt. I immediately bought the fabric and went to work. I just didn't like the results, so on a Friday, I bought more fabric. The goal was for it to be bright (her eyesight is no longer 100 percent) and to cover her lap to her toes. On Thursday I delivered it! Choosing batik fabrics was definitely the ticket. The best part was seeing how surprised and pleased she was. Definitely a chocolate moment!