Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our Christmas Baby

Back in October I posted about a cute little stray that started coming around. He (or she?) was quite skittish and not a regular. Well, after some vary cold, harsh, wet weather, "Snow" is here to stay! Two kinds of cat food are in the cupboard and a jar of treats on the kitchen counter. He has full access to our screened in porch and a little "house" to protect him from the harsh weather. And yes, I broke down this weekend and let him into the house a bit. Now it will be off to the vet for shots and spaying or neutering. I'm glad to say that he's not so skinny anymore and has gotten so friendly now that he knows he can trust us and count on us for food and shelter. We really didn't want another pet, but he is just so sweet and we are such big saps! Merry Christmas Snow, you have a home.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cubicle Christmas!

Oh how I have wanted to post this pic, but it was a gift and had to wait to present it! I have done 4 cubicle quilts now. I'd like to make one for every month, but I'm not sure the recipient would be too excited about that. They are so much fun - a nice small size. This one did turn into the project that didn't end - I kept adding something more to it. The tree and Santa are appliqued. Some accents are done with paint and glitter. Those are jingle bells attached to the bows and I embroidered the "Ho, Ho, Ho." If you know anyone who works in a cubicle, these are a great gift idea - they can change their "scenery" one cubicle quilt at a time!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

What a Great Show!!

The Lake Norman Quilters Guild had its second quilt show this weekend in Mooresville, NC. One word sums it up: WOW!! There were approximately 230 pieces entered in the show!I continue to be amazed at the level of talent and the diversity of styles of this group. There was a great show of traditional, contemporary, art quilts, wearables and accessories.

I so enjoy this group. They are inspiring, helpful and just so much fun to play and work with. Putting on a quilt show this size takes a great deal of team work and commitment. There were those who led the way and everyone else supported them.

Drum roll please....I won 4 ribbons!! This was my second quilt show and my first ribbons. What a thrill! I've posted a pic of me with my second place quilt, "Drink 'Til He's Cute" (joke between mother and daughter when she was in college), and third place for "Selvaggio e Caldo" (Wild and Crazy). They are both my design and are two of my favorite quilts. To see pics of the show and some of the winners, go to our guild's site, to to for some really great coverage.
Now look at our ribbons - they were all pieced by members! Someone even did all those cute yo-yo ribbons to wear on our nametags so we could strut our stuff if we won! Thank you ladies for all your effort. And not to just those who made ribbons - this show could not have happened without the great leadership and dedication of so many.

So, mark your calendars for October, 2011 for the 3rd Lake Norman Quilters Quilt Show!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Too Cute!

A while back a skinny little white kitty showed up in our yard. We fed him a can of tuna, but he was still a bit skiddish. He came back a week later, but all we had was a can of anchovies. Well, he wasn't all too enthused about it, but did eat a bit and let us pet him a bit. Next day I bought some cat food and we had a bowl ready to fill for when he showed up again. Today the weather was great and "Snow" finally showed up again. Bob immediately fed him the cat food which Snow chowed down. Bob petted him and played with him a bit and got some great pics of the cat up in a shrub. I sure hope he comes back this weekend while I'm home. He's definitely not well fed and we'll gladly adopt him as an outside cat. Now really, isn't he just too cute?!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Remembering...20 Years Later

For the past week the newspaper has been filled with remembrances of Hurricane Hugo. It happened in September, 1989 - 20 years ago. The memories have not faded too much - it was such a major event in our lives here. Our yard was quite messed up, and we were without power for 9 days, but we were lucky. These were just inconveniences. Many had their homes devastated and some lost their lives.

I remember our waking to the noise of the storm Last we had heard, the storm was headed up the east coast, and not having watched any television or listened to the radio for hours before we went to bed, we had no idea that the course had changed. I turned on the TV, and just as the reporter said "the eye of the storm is about to pass through Charlotte, NC," the power went out. A might oak in our front yard went down, away from the house, and took out the power for our whole neighborhood. We woke the kids and scooted them downstairs - we have a finished basement and this would be the safest place for us all to stay.

It seemed like forever until daylight came. It was hard to believe what we saw when we went outside. There was a sea of leaves everywhere and many trees were down. The large oak that went down out front had been completely uprooted.

The week turned into an adventure. Some family came to help with some of the yard clean-up. We once again had use for our camping equipment. We even learned that a frozen pizza could be cooked on the gas grill. Friends who had gotten their power back much sooner than we did blessed us with meals.

When the power went on, it was bittersweet. The four of us really pulled together that week and made the most of the situation. The kids were real troopers - helping as much as they could with cleanup and amusing themselves. I really enjoyed having dinner delivered every night. When the lights went on, so did the television. It had been so nice to be without it. Although, I do have to admit, one more game of Monopoly might have done me in!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pop o' Color

I recently painted a bedroom all white. I know, it looks yellow in the pic, but it really is white. I added white bedding and white curtains. What was I thinking?! Peaceful - sanctuary like, that's what. It did need something, though. I went through some scraps and chose 9 warm colors (oranges, yellows, pinks) and 9 cool colors (purples, greens, black & whites). I did a quick machine quilting in a radiating pattern and added a button to the center. It just wouldn't be complete without a few beads added on top of the button. Yup - I got my Pop O' Color!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Heartfelt Group Effort

At the first retreat at Waterfall Mountain this past March, the group decided to do a wall quilt for the center's owner. Our theme had been heart's desire - and yes! The hanging is of mostly hearts. Each person did a square and signed their name to it. Grace generously and masterfully put them together using sashes and borders. Jean quilted it. Joan, not even part of this group, graciously sewed on the binding. I then hand sewed the binding down and sent it off to Amy. It was so much fun to hear her squeal with deslight! (I do have a better pic, just saw it the other day, but just can't seem to locate it on the 'ol compputer.) The quilt now hangs at the center and I cannot wait to go see it in its new home. Unfortunately, that won't be until 2010, but it is sure to be a treat. Thank you ladies for so generously giving of yourselves. Quilters' generous hearts never cease to amaze me!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Goin' Crazy Again!

It took me forever to do my crazy quilt so I thought that I would never do one again. The first was no sooner finished when I began the second! This is a color coordinated crazy quilt with the same base pattern on all squares. The embellishments are also coordinated. It will be a wall hanging for a bedroom. So here is a peek at a few of the finished squares.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Very Giving Effort

For some time my friend Jean had a vision of starting a quilting group at church. She would teach the ladies how to quilt and then they would make donation quilts. What a delight to have seen this vision become a reality. The group meets twice a month for almost a full day. Some had not quilted before. Jean is not only extremely talented, but a patient and gifted teacher. A fabric company donated many yards of fabric and they all got to work.

The presentation at church one Sunday was quite impressive.

Unfortunately due to my work schedule, I cannot join this group, but I can encourage them, applaud them and pray for them as they continue to make another great batch of cheerful and beautiful quilts.

The beautiful quilts have made their way to Hospice and will soon bless patients. Hopefully the quilts will both warm their bodies and warm their hearts. I know they did mine.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Blogger!

There are so many creative beings out there, and I love to see their latest accomplishments and ideas through blogs. I especially like to encourage new bloggers. A great new one to check out is Above is a pic of one of her newest - a bright batik sewing machine cover. Also notice the shelf in the upper right corner - instead of the usual wood or metal brackets, she used ribbon! It's not only decorative, but does a good job of holding up the small shelf.
Although taught as a young girl, Elyse is fairly new to the sewing world. She doesn't mind new challenges and is fairly courageous (multiple zippers didn't eve phase her on one of her earlier projects!). I enjoy her choice of bold, bright colors and her use of large patterns in small spaces - something I just don't have the courage to do. I also love the generous spirit she has shown in making her friends so many beautiful gifts.

And yes, she's my daughter of whom I am very proud. Interesting is how I'm now learning from her. It's a direction I have embraced and would like to give her all the encouragement possible. She is a joy, and so are her talents.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quilts for the Cubicle

I don't work in a cubicle, but if I did, I would definitely want to brighten it. I was so inspired to create three cubicle quilts for my daughter. The first one was this flower CQ that I gave her in May. I had fun using cording, paints and beads.

The second was inspired by her return from Quilt Market. As we quilters know, "Most Fabric Wins" - definitely! I wanted to make this one very three dimensional. I baked yarn for the hair (wet yarn wrapped around a dowel).

I filled the little pincushion and those are real pins in there - just made shorter with a wire cutter. The handbag, well, MK is her favoriate handbag designer and this was the only way she was ever going to get one from me! I went to GoodWill and bought a little purse, cut it up and began to sew. It so reminded me of when I sewed Barbie clothes - I never enjoyed that much either! But just this one was fun. The shoes were a challenge. I was finally pleased with them after I added the glitter paint.
To finish it off, instead of a traditional binding, I used yarn - zig zagged three rows around the edges.

The third was for the Fourth of July holiday. We love Lady Liberty, so I used a silhouette of the statue. Again I chose not to use a traditional binding. I used a "fabric fringe" binding - made it so much more fun!
Wouldn't it be nice to have a CQ for each month of the year?!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June Retreat

Once again a group of creative souls went to Waterfall Mountain to creat to their heARTS desire! And once again, SO much was accomplished! The weather for this retreat was perfect. Beautiful temperate mountain air and sunshine. Seven of us made it up the mountain to see the waterfall that was flowing full as a result of the recent rains. We saw deer and a busy groundhog that is apparently an unwelcome inhabitant under the house. Sorry Liz, no giraffe was spotted this trip! There was also all the beautiful flora and fauna. It was such a treat to see the beautiful maple tree outside the window in full leaf - quite a change from its bare self in March.

Jean has sewn quite a stack of her metallic squares. It is going to be such a pretty quilt!

Linda's taking a rest, planning her next move with the quilt she is generously putting together for a neighbor.

Cheryl diligently works on a handbag - wish I had a pic of the finished bag - it was wonderful!

Margaret spent the weekend appliqueing. Her work is just so meticulous.

This is a beautful pinwheel quilt top that Cathy put together - one of many projects she worked on over the weekend. She definitely took the prize for the most prolific quilter!

All their hard work just tuckered out Maryline and Marianne.

Unfortunately, we did not get a group pic taken. That will have to be done at the beginning of the next retreat.

I so enjoyed spending a weekend of fun and creativity with this group of talented and delightful women!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back in Clay

I haven't "played in clay" in a very long time. I have a small handbuilding room and my own kiln, but I just haven't been inspired to go in there and and get my hands dirty. My friend Diane has a handbuilding studio, , that I went to several Monday evenings. I built many things but am pleased with just a few. I made this textured vessel and love the earthy, primitive glaze.

Because I spend most of my creative time quilting, I thought buttons might be fun and I could incorporate my two crafts. I really like the larger one. This was experimentation and I'm looking forward to making lots of buttons using different techniques and glazes, especially now I have an idea of how they'll come out.
The best part about the time spent at the studio was the fellowship with other crafters. Three that were there were new to clay and it was so much fun to see their joy when crafting their creations. One young gal was a professional potter, having honed her skills in college. Much could be learned from both her talents and cheerfulness. Thanks to Diane for opening her studio for a fun experience!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cute Gift Project

It's graduation time and the usual gift is a check. Although it is surely very much appreciated by the recipient, I wanted to make it just a little more special. I purchased a card, but made a fabric envelope - a little more special than a paper envelope.

Here's how: Carefully undo the envelope and lay it flat. Take two pieces of coordinating fabrics cut larger than the envelope pattern, and fuse them together. Trace the envelope onto one of the fabric sides and cut out. Score the fold lines and fold. I used a strip of fusible web to close the envelope sides, or you could use some glue.

I then positioned a button on the back so the envelope flap would slip under the button. I added a couple of beads to the button that just happened to match the fabric patters - how cute is that?! To personalize the envelope, I painted the graduates initial with Lumere paint on the front of the envelope. It was quick, fun, and easy and hopefully will be a little keepsake.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Who Who!

We have lived in our home for 24 years and have had many great "nature experiences." One of the great joys of having so many trees is that there is an amazing abundance of birds in our yard. We often hear owls hooting and on occasion see an owl in the woodsy part of our yard. I even had the incredible experience once of seeing an owl swoop down and catch its prey - what I believe was a baby squirrel. Last week Bob noticed that an own stayed perched in one spot for most of the day for many days. Then the ol' eagle eye spotted why - an owl's nest and a baby owl! This was such a treat and we spent a lot of time with the binoculars enjoying this young fuzzy creature. He left the nest sometime during the past two days and the adult hasn't been seen either. What a treat it was - worth the 24 year wait!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

To the Finish Line

Haven't posted any blogs lately, but I have finished quilting projects! Two of the quilt tops had been done for some time and needed to go to the long arm quilters. I just did not want to tackle quilting these, as an awful lot had gone into them and my quilting skills are just not there. The first one is "Almost Christmas." It is my first paper pieced quilt (and maybe my last!). At the end I ran out of fabric to put a much needed border, so I pieced one. I think it added so much to the quilt, moreso than a plain border would have, but it took almost as long to put together as the body of the quilt! Judy Whitehead did an overall quilting design and did a wonderful job. Unfortunately, with the fabric pattern and all the pieces, you can't really appreciate her excellent job unless you look closely. The quilt is now at the end of our bed and I love it.

For some time I had collected black and white fabrics for a quilt to put in our home office. I began putting it together following a pattern, but just didn't care for it. I then started to play and put together a design that I just love! I knew it needed to be custom quilted and Chrintine Sholtz tackled this quilt for me. Just look at the detail! Every section was customized. These long arm quilters are truly amazing - they just seem to have a natural talent to know what needs to go where. Of all the quilts I've done, this black, white and a little bit of red is one of my favorites. So far it is unnamed - Any suggestions?

Last, but not least - Ta Da! The Crazy Quilt is done! "Twelve Years of Crazy," cuz that's about how long it has taken me to do. The more I worked on it, the more I realized I love beading. I'm already collecting fabrics and beads and will soon start another. This one will be a wall quilt, so hopefully it will take less than 12 years. I even did some detail in the corner of the borders and put on a satin binding. I don't recommend it. As you can see, it's not very smooth and was a bit tough to sew on. But it's done and I love walking by it in the living room every day.

If' I make a quilt that I'm going to keep, unless it's seasonal, it will be out to be seen and used. I just can't hide them away - after all, it is a piece of me that's gone into making them and I want to share them with my family and friends. They're also nice to curl up under and take a much needed nap.