Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
We visited five fabulous quilt shops, saw the Mustangs sculpture in Irving, and enjoyed an all-day "sew in" at yet another shop. I bought some wonderful fabric and patterns, which made my bag weigh about a ton! Best of all, I got to meet these great people in person. It was very memorable and just the lift I needed.
During the big "sew in", I demonstrated the applique method I use, which I learned from the wonderful teacher, Nancy Pearson. Six of us worked together to make the heart blocks for this quilt top, which Debi will quilt and bind and donated to Project Linus in North Texas. I call it "Warm Texas Hearts".
Now I am back home in St. Louis, which is coated with ice, and more is on the way. It's a good time to dig into that new fabric!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Probably I will never know what effect, if any, it has on the parents of the tiny, premature babies, but I hope it gives them hope.
In the bottom picture of the angel, if you look closely, you might be able to see the hand quilted star in the upper left corner of the sky. I quilted straight lines radiating down from the star to represent beams of light.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
As soon as I attach the floor fabric, I can begin to applique Mary, Jesus, and a group of animals clustered around them.
Maybe I will also find some fur or hide fabrics tomorrow!
So far I am happy about the way this is turning out. I hope the NICU people will like it!
In between applique sessions on the Away in a Manger quilt, I've been trying to get the Pioneer Braids assembled. There are two more strips to add before I trim it up and add the two borders. This one is shaping up well. Once again, another project has been put in front of it, but DH has about six other quilts to choose from if he gets chilly!
The last bit of progress is in the area of exercise. DH loaded the bicycles and me in his pickup truck, and we went to check out the new Levee Trail here in Chesterfield, Missouri. Our city is building this asphalt trail for jogging, walking, and cycling along the levee that borders the Missouri River. The first four miles are finished, and it is very nice. (Unfortunately, there are wetlands and trees between the levee and the river, and you can't see the river.) We rode the four miles going east and turned around at the point where construction has stopped. Eventually, it will connect to similar trails in other communities. The first part was a breeze! Then we turned around and had to peddle into the breeze--and a very stiff one at that! The return trip was not as much fun. I need to find something I can do standing up for awhile 'cause my backside is sore!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
For someone who makes quilts, it is also a great pleasure to be able to get out and use the quilts I have made over the years. The closeup shot here is part of a quilt I named "North Woods Cabin". The logs are only 3/4 inch wide! What was I thinking? The craziest part is that it is all hand pieced and hand quilted and queen-sized! My hands just can't do that any more, but I'm glad I did it then because it is really special to me. I started piecing it on a trip to northern Wisconsin and bought some of the green fabrics up there. The rest is from my stash. I see two fabrics that I bought at a guild meeting from the stash of a member who had died.
There is one juried and judged show in the St. Louis area, and I entered it for several years. This quilt won a blue ribbon in the traditional pieced category, but the best compliment I got on it was when one of the other prize winners said to me, "This quilt reminds me of what 'quilt' really means."
Saturday, October 20, 2007
(By the way, if you like that pattern site, you will find it is now reorganized and there are even more patterns on it now. If you like chickens, check out the home page.)
One of my favorite things about this pony quilt is the backing, which I have had in my stash for several years. I designed the quilt top so that it would just fit the piece of backing that I had. When I was finished sewing on the binding and trimmed off the excess backing, there was no more than 1/2 inch waste on all sides! To me it is a reversible quilt. The binding is a bias-cut plaid.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
As usual, when I went to the Fat Cat site, I found another new pattern I love--Tea Pots! She has designed 8 darling teapots. Here I go again...
I have finished the pony blocks and have set them into a top and started the quilting yesterday, so now I'll be doing that when I want to do handwork and making more braids when I want to do machine work.
It is so cool here today--downright cold, actually! It energizes me so much that I think I will go clean house!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
The upper left corner shows what the braids will look like when I trim them. I don't want to trim more than that because the braid becomes very stretchy with all of those bias edges exposed! Tomorrow the LQS is having a one-day sale, and I think I will look for a dark brown for sashing and the inner border. I have already purchased a Moda print for the outer border from the Acorn Hollow collection.
It was fun to work with all of these scraps! I wished I had more of some of them, bid some of them "good riddance" as I finished the amounts I had in my stash, and wondered why the heck I even bought some others! The great news is that I have reduced the browns and greens in my stash so much that I was able to combine them into one container and free the remaining plastic bin to store my granddaughter's blocks!
Grandmother note: Yesterday Avery came up to me, said, "Mmmmmm, Maw-maw" and spontaneously kissed my cheek for the first time. That made me feel more bubbly than a glass of champagne!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Three more pony blocks will complete this set, and then I will assemble them for a Project Linus quilt. I don't know what fabrics I will use for the top, but I have a beautiful backing plucked from my stash that has horses galloping across fields.
We have been out of town a little bit, so the prairie braids haven't grown much, but I have crocheted about a dozen little caps for the hospital nursery. Making those little things is like eating potato chips. As soon as one is finished, I'm starting another. It makes the car travel go faster.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
For the past couple of days I have been going through my older fabrics (I became a fabriholic in the early 80s) and cutting the smaller pieces into 2 1/2" strips. I'm also cutting a strip from all of the bigger pieces. I started with the browns and today moved on to the greens. Quite of few of them have leaf prints, including some fall leaves, and some have pine trees or pine cones. I've decided to include ivories and light tans and make a "controlled palette" scrap quilt--kind of a woodsy theme. I think I will sew braids six inches wide and separate them by 3-4" strips. While I've been cutting, I've also been marking and cutting an apple core shape from each fabric for a hand-pieced charm quilt. I haven't done any hand piecing for so long that I marked the first 30 or 40 on the right side of the fabric, like I would do an applique shape! Duh!
I would like to say that my fabric bins have gone down a lot, but there is still a lot in them!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I also wanted to post this clown's picture because he is leaving home today. He is the medallion that starts a Round Robin Charity Drive quilt for Quilting Passion Forum. Linda in Minnesota is adding two borders, and Dorothy in Kansas will quilt, bind, and label the top. Then the quilt will be sent to a Project Linus chapter somewhere in the USA that has asked to be on our waiting list. I started this quilt as a "speed challenge", so it will be fun to see how quickly we can get this little guy in the arms of a deserving child, spreading his joy in life. To me he looks like a guy who really enjoys his work.
This pattern, along with many other delightful patterns, was designed by Sindy Rodenmayer at Fat Cat Patterns.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Woo hoo! "Calico Friends" is finished--another UFO bites the dust! (Unfortunately, this was a fairly "fresh" UFO. The really old ones are still sitting there rotting.) This quilt will go to the hospital with me the next time I volunteer. I know that "technically" it probably needs a wide outer border, but it was already 43 x 43, and I thought that was big enough for a very young child. I couldn't see any of the adolescent boys picking this one!
Now I can devote most of my attention to the Autumn Challenge at Quilting Passion forum. The challenge leader, Kimberly, chose a theme fabric for us. We each got one half yard and were charged to make a quilt for Project Linus. I can't reveal it here yet, but I feel sure that this is not a fabric that any of us would have chosen for Project Linus! It is very pretty, though, and has many beautiful colors in it, so the challenge should produce some super quilts. Everyone keeps their quilt a secret until after the voting on the forum. Kimberly graciously provides prizes for the top three "vote getters". I won't say "winners" because there are many winners in this challenge process.
The weather guessers are telling us that this may be our last ultra-hot day for awhile. That is music to my ears, as I wilt quickly in the heat--rather, I dissolve in a torrent of perspiration! I am so ready for fall. I propose this--we all start cutting our fall-colored fabrics into strips and begin making scrap quilts, and maybe that will give autumn the hint!!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
These quilts were made with the little scraps from the big jar blocks. They are hand appliqued (of course!) and the jars have little lids of a striped grayish fabric.
You can't see the rest of the kitchen--it's not presentable right now!!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
These little blocks were in my tote bag on our vacation to Colorado in 2000. See--I can do something besides applique!
Today was volunteer day at the hospital, and this afternoon we get to see our son and granddaughter--fun!! Our son is cooking dinner for us. Now that is a surprise!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The inspiration for it was a set of Alexander Henry salesman's samples that were donated to me by Mr. Irv Horwitz when he retired. I really like the scenes of cowboys on the trail at sunset and thought they were compatible with the "barnwood" fabric I had recently purchased. I remember quilting this on a family trip to Branson, Missouri. You can't see it in this small picture, but I quilted in the space around the stars by tracing circles and bracketing them with straight lines.
After finding out that Avice and Cami Hoff were starting a new Project Linus chapter in Northeast Montana, I decided to send it to them, thinking it would be appreciated by someone with a western lifestyle. Almost immediately upon its receipt, they learned of a teenage boy named Shane who had been very seriously injured in an ATV accident and delivered the quilt to him. We were all baffled--and thrilled--to learn that the quilting design I described above was actually the brand of this family's ranch!
The next year, Avice emailed me the following letter from Shane's parents:
"Dear Avice and Cami,
After Shane's accident last summer, you brought him a Linus quilt made by a lady from Missouri, At the time, the quilt meant so much and as Shane got better, the quilt really became a blanket of love. It covered his legs all day and night and still does.
You know how his granddad was very special to him. Dad called or visited each day, wrote poems and songs, prayed to God to give Shane back his health and walking abilities. He had started a poem about the "Cowboy Up Spirit Quilt".
Granddad died of a heart attack after Christmas. We think he actually died of a broken heart over Shane's accident.
Shane couldn't go to Granddad's funeral but he sent his quilt to serve as a pall at the funeral and Pastor Dave intwined it with the sermon which gave us all something happy to remember and think about. Lots of people admired the quilt and touched it and prayed for Shane. When I took the quilt back to Shane and told him about Granddad's services, he was so touched and hugged the quilt. He said it didn't smell like Granddad so I spritzed it with some Old Spice, cause that is what dad always wore. It helped Shane to believe and try hard.
Last week, Shane was able to stand up on his legs with help from the therapist. We think the quilt holds a special power of love and belief. Shane wants to ride again and has his granddad's saddle and tack in his room to remind him each day.
Thank you and thank you to the lady who stitched Shane a new life in accepting, believing, and having determination.
We are so glad Shane has recovered so well. It didn't look like he would live."
The satisfaction I feel from making that quilt is greater than anything else I have ever made. It seems that I was guided in a divine way when I made it. I encourage every quilter to make at least one quilt to donate to a worthy cause. You will be richer for it!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
So far I've made and donated 104 quilts to Project Linus and intend to keep going as long as I can. Although I seldom learn what happens to my quilts, I know they are doing good work.
I encourage anyone reading this to visit the Project Linus website, find a coordinator near you, and learn what you can do to support this wonderful group.
The Quilting Passion Forum on Delphi has been making quilts round robin-style for Project Linus for over five years. We welcome new members who want to help with this project.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
I’m fussy about the details; and when I started quilting in 1985, I was frustrated by hand appliqué. I wanted it to be just so—smooth curves, sharp points, shapes that were undistorted and correctly positioned. When I took a workshop with Nancy Pearson in the late 80’s, I finally was able to do appliqué the way I had hoped. Her method really clicked with me, and ever since I have been doing more appliqué work than any other technique for making a quilt top.
I love the pictures you can create with appliqué, and I love the way I can take it anywhere and work on it with a minimum of tools. There is always a baggie in my purse with an appliqué project when we are traveling.
Connie Sue Haidle offered a BOM on her website, Apple Blossom Quilts, that I have recently completed. Her floral patterns gave me all the appliqué challenges that I needed! Now…am I supposed to set these blocks into a top? I will—eventually.