Sunday, October 2, 2011

More Memories

Gary (Patrick's Dad), Patrick & Kelly and the signature quilt

Diane, our dear friend, Kelly & Patrick - Lots of smiling that day!
A young man very dear to us recently got married to a lovely young woman.  His mom has been a dear family friend for many years.  I really wanted to do something special, so I sent out fabric squares to friends and family of the bride and groom, asked folks to sign it and write a message if they wanted to, and send them back.  I had it finished a month before giving it to them!  They were married in Montego Bay, but 2 weeks ago there was a reception for them here in town.  I gave them the quilt before the party started so it could be displayed for all who participated to see. Love and best wishes to Patric and Kelly. A very special couple who now have a signature quilt to cuddle with.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another Signature Gift

The Bride-to-be. If you look closely, you can see the signatures.

The pieced rectangles making the top of the apron.
My daughter is the maid of honor for a dear friend this fall.  They've known each other since they were 2 years old, roomed in college a couple of years, and remain good friends still. She recently gave her a really special bridal shower. Having known this girl for so long, I wanted to do more than buy something off her bridal registry.  I knew it wasn't going to be a quilt, so I came up with an apron pattern.  I pieced rectangles on the top, making every other rectangle a white fabric.  The skirt of the apron is a print and the whole apron is lined.  What made this special is that all the guests got to sign their name in the white rectangles! I hope this is something she will treasure and that it will remind her of a special time put together just for her.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Once in a Blue Moon

I am so excited to announce the "Once in a Blue Moon" retreat that will be October 4 thru 7 with Susan Brubaker Knapp at Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Susan is an amzing quilt artist, designer, publisher and teacher. Susan is designing two brand-new projects just for this retreat, based on her new book, Point, Click, Quilt! "You’ll learn the skills you need to go home, take your favorite photo, and interpret it in fabric using fusible appliqué and thread sketching." I know I can't wait to see the pumpkins and passion flowers that are created at this retreat.
The fun begins on Thursday afternoon with a kick-off that evening.  There will be two full days of instruction on Friday and Saturday, departing Sunday morning.  You will be treated to homemade breakfasts and lunches and have the choice to experience some of the great dining in Black Mountain or nearby Asheville. There is also the choice to dine at the Blue Ridge Assembly Hall for an additional fee.  

We'll be in a private lodge - you may stay up all night and you may even stay in your p.j.'s if you wish! And...there even may be some prizes!

Be sure to check out the flier and registration form and sign up today to join the fun - there are a limited number of spaces!

The beautiful and peaceful Barnhardt Lodge will be your accomodations for the retreat.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

4 Out the Door!

I have felt such an urgency lately to get projects finished.  It could be because I have so many going! I had success this weekend - 4 quilts going out the door!  2 are baby quilts for Project Linus.  No, they are not quilted. The person who heads up this effort in our guild is gracious enough to quilt them, so I finished the two quilts, and prepared the backs and batting. The one pictured is cotton flannel - so cute with lions and elephants.  The other didn't photograph well.
The pinwheel quilt is going to a professional quilter (machine quilting is just not my thing - I only do really small ones).  I started this quilt about 3 years ago and just finished it a few months ago.  Getting this one out the door is a real accomplishment!  The fourth quilt is a signature quilt that is a gift, so no picture being posted. I won't get to post that pic until September. By then it will be quilted and the binding done.  I'm determined to bind the 2 quilts that are coming back to me as soon as I get them. Of course, the one being a gift will definitely push me.

It just feels SO good to have these done. Now I just need to dig into the pile of 12 or so projects I have started and get a few more out the door!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Back to the Garden

Up until a few years ago, I spent very much of my "disposable" time in the garden.  On my days off it was not unusual for me to be out there from sunup to sundown. Then, my gardening gene seemed to have shut down. Maybe it was the droughts, excessive heat, or the voles that plagued my hostas, wiping out a whole bed in  just a few days. I also started to quilt more about that time, replacing one passion for another.
This past year my husband put a sprinkler system in the front yard. Wow! That has really made a difference.  No more lugging around heaving hoses, and rearranging them every hour.  Now with just the flip of a switch or two, I have zones I can water. We've also been blessed with a fair amount of rain this year.
As for the voles, our cat has eliminated over 50 - yes, 50! But the varmints continue to plague the hostas. Just this morning I found 6 mutilated hostas.  I have not given up yet.  I'm working on a new strategy and will give it another go in the fall or spring when I can find a couple of large varieties on sale.



So please, come into my garden. Enjoy the daylilies, phlox and big elephant ears. Sit on the glider in the back yard for a while and enjoy the peacefulness of the fern bed. I'm so glad to be back to the garden.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our Quilt Show

Lake Norman Quilters' quilt show was this weekend. I am continually amazed at the talent in this group.  To see all of the quilts and winners, go to our site:  A big congratulations to Teresa for winning the Viewer's Choice.  This was my favorite quilt.  I also know that Teresa worked very hard on this one and am so glad for her - isn't it a beauty?!  I'm also very proud of young Diana.  This is the daughter of one of our members and she is a fine young lady.  She has come to our meets and shared some of her sewing projects.  Her quilt is the picture quilt just above her.  In a few years she is sure to walk away with many ribbons!

I was also both surprised and pleased to have won two second place ribbons.  One was for a quilt I gave my son last Christmas and the other for a pillow I gave him the year before.  I reminded him that he is now the owner of award winning work!
An awful lot of work goes into the quilt show and my hat's off to Michele and Liz who co-chaired the event and to the many who put so much of their time and effort into the planning and execution of the show.  Thanks also to the many husbands who not only worked tirelessly during set-up and take-down, but who supported us during the year while we sewed our little hearts away!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lampshade Dress Up

For quite some time now I've wanted to dress up a lamp shade for our guest room.  My daughter did one from the Pretty Ditty blog (  Once my husband did the math, it wasn't hard at all! It was especially fun going through stash to pick out the 8 different print fabrics I used.  I decided to use a black and white for the top and bottom bias finished edge and liked the look.  What would I change? If I were to do another, I would add more sections.  This was not really specified in the tutorial.  I used 8 sections on a small lamp shade.  I wish I had used 10. Other than that, I love it and it really looks good with the light on - bright and fun!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

99 Blocks off the Wall

Finally!  My scrappy quilt top is done. This is one I started several years ago with romantic notions of using up a bunch of scraps.  The scrap supply, however, has increased mightily since then.  There are 99 blocks, each containing 13 pieces not counting the black and white sashings.  I wish I had kep count of how many bobbins of thread I went through - many, many, many. I do plan on quilting this one myself sometime.  It's back on my project shelf, but I do feel quite a sense of accomplishment.  Will I ever do another scrappy quilt?  Oh, probably sew!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


A beautiful old bridge.

Went to Cincinnati last week for work for a couple of days.  There was no time to go to sites like the zoo or gardens, but we did enjoy some beautiful architecture on our early evening walks.  Rain had been predicted for our stay there, but the weather was perfect!  In the main hall of the convention center I was surprised to find this wonderful quilt hanging.  I cannot find where I wrote down the name of the artist, but did want to share this.  It was really glorious in person. There was so much detail and so many embellishments.

One of several old churches.

"Freedom" Quilt
 On the way home I treated myself to a quick visit to Batiks, Etc. in Wytheville, Virginia.  If you have never been here and like batiks, you will love this place. There is a whole room devoted to batiks and they are glorious! The sale room is filled with them as well.  Amazingly enough, I behaved - I was out in 30 minutes and spent very little. I'll have to remedy that my next trip in that direction!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tower of Storage

This is it! My Tower of Storage! I got to pick this out as my birthday gift from Ikea.  It's about 72" tall and holds an amazing amount of supplies. And yes, all the drawers have something in them, but all are not full - YET. One of the features I love is that each bin can pull out completely.  Very handy to pull out the paint bin and take to the work area I will be painting in.  Or a bin with fabric fat quarters that I can bring to my cutting table and work at picking and choosing.  I am going to label each bin and am pretty sure I have it organized the way  I want it.  There's also a solid top so I can store a couple of items up there that I don't need to reach for very often.  This new storage allowed me to eliminate a couple of other pieces in my studio area  which made it look neater  and less cluttered.   I admit, I am a bit of an organizational junky. Now maybe I'll get more sewing done!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Big 6 - 0 !

The moment of surprise.  Took me a moment to realize what in the world was going on!

I was just taking it all in and trying to not cry!

Me? Sixty?  How and when did that happen? My family made it the best day ever.It started out with Bob and I at Amelies, a really cool French bakery in Charlotte's arts' district.  We then hit a couple of furniture consignment shops and on to Ikea.  Now, that's a good husband! That's where I got my present, but I'll save that for another post.  The plan was to meet our kids at a nice restaurant in Mooresville.  I knew the hostess and we chatted all the way up the stairs to join the kids.  I turn the corner and there was a big "SURPRISE" shouted out by 8 of my favorite people. What a bunch of sneaks - I had absolutely no idea.  And what a great evening. Lots of laughter and fun.

And here we are my husband and I and our two great kids. They really pulled this one off. 
 I am so very blessed!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

She's Published!

Okay, I'm going to be the impossible proud parent here.  My daugther was published in the April/May issue of Sew News! She made this amazing reversible raincoat from laminated cotton and wrote an article on how to work with the fabric and various tips and tricks. She really stretched herself with this project and executed it most expertly.  It really is a kick when your children surpass you with their talents.  Honestly, I would not have even attempted this project.  Way to go kid - can't wait to see what's next!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yeah Retreats!!

Once again I had the privilege of spending a weekend with fun and talented ladies!  We started on Thursday night and finished up Sunday morning.  I especially enjoyed that I got to sew this weekend.  And sew we did!
Of course, we also got to laugh.  Cathy is obviously having a good time here as she sews her cute little chicks for a baby quilt.

Lucinda finally got
started on her daughter's wedding quilt.  It will be a king size and she finished half the squares in just a day! 

And what do you get when you have five quilters arranging the squares for the final design?
A REALLY cute baby quilt!  This quilt was not only bright, but soft looking - it made me want to hold a baby!

 There really is order to Teresa's "mess" - and she merrily sews her way through it.  I'm just sorry I did not get a pic of the quilt being laid out in the other room - it was truly beautiful.

Jean is one of those intense creative types - and creative she is.  She put together 20 crazy quilt squares amongst other projects she brought.

Sewing buds forever!

We had a "block building" competition.  Each was given 9 squares to put together a nine patch, cut it apart, and sew it back together.  Of course, this only makes sense to quilters!  The end result was 4 large blocks to put together as a project Linus quilt (baby quilt for a hospitalized child).  See the determination on Lucinda's face?  She was the winner! And yes, she won fabric to cut apart and sew together.

This was a nice little quiet moment as Cathy did some handwork.  But the best part - check out her footwear!

I came home tired and energized all at the same time.  I can't wait for the next retreat this fall.

Monday, March 7, 2011

99 Blocks Not On The Wall

Three years ago I started a scrap quilt. I think I had this romantic notion that I would delight in going through my scraps and watch them disappear.  Fast forward to the past few months.  I finally dug this project out and began to cut more strips from the 4 color groups I had chosen.  I sewed, sewed, and sewed some more.  There was also much ironing and trimming.  I wish I kept track of how many times I empties my little trash bag. I stopped counting at 12!  Why so much sewing and trimming?  They are 6 1/2 inch squares with 13 pieces in each square. It is a wacky log cabin, thus all the trimming.  And I needed 99 of them!  The squares are finally all complete, but they are packed away to take to a retreat this weekend where I plan to sew on the 240 sashing pieces! What amazes me most about this project plastic containers with all my color sorted scraps are not at all visibly leaner than before I got busy with this project. And, at this point, I am left with
99 Blocks not on the Wall!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Free Quilt Patterns

Last year I was given the opportunity to design four quilts for Free Spirit Fabrics.  Two were for Spring market and two were done for the quilt market held each year in Houston.  It was a wonderful challenge for me and I learned so much throughout the whole process. It was a lot of fun to work with new and fun fabrics.  Take a look - the patterns for all the Free Spirit quilts are free!

"Blossoming" fabric line by Kathy Davis.

"Asian Prints" by designer Alfred Shaheen.  This design and construction was a totally new concept for me. It really is not difficult - there are two concepts that may be new to some, but very doable.

"Happy Go Lucky" fabric by Nel Whatmore.

"Irving Street Flannel" by Erin McMorris.  Working with this flannel was a dream.  All 17 of the fabrics in this line are in this quilt!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This past weekend was the Needlework Extravaganza in Statesville.  Basically, it's 40 vendors selling all my favorites - fabric, thread, ribbons, patterns, yarns, embellishments, sewing machines - it was like one big candy store!  I was there before they opened. Being seasoned vendors, they had the doors opened early for those of us SO anxious!  I finally got a quilt ladder, and not a moment too soon. The gentlemen who makes them is retiring and this is his last show in the area. I know he will be missed but he has been doing it for 40 years so I wish he and his wife a very happy retirement.
This larger one was made from orange batik and the center with yellow batik fabric.  I used silk leaves and clumped beads in the center.

I made this one smaller using a very lightweight grey polka dot fabrick.  I added some silver embroidery thread to the center, some large beads and dangled smaller beads.  I finished it off with black fabric  flowers.
 I picked up a template to make these sassy little flowers.  As soon as I got home I started to rip fabric strips, sew, glue, and them embellish.  I liked it so much I did another on Saturday!  These are going to make great little gifts and will sure adorn many a handbag.