Thursday, June 28, 2018

Finally a Finish!

Hey everyone.  My grand-daughter is on her way to France and Iceland for about 6 weeks.  I am thrilled for her.  She has worked extremely hard for this opportunity.  So when asked what she was taking with her, she mentioned the 13th birthday top from 3 years ago.  She wanted to take her quilt with her.  Long storyshort, I misplaced the top and finally found it to finish it.  It was quilted by my friend Sandi Verbridge in Newark, NY.  She is amazing.  Got the binding on fairly quickly and off to Amari it goes.  I hope she finds comfort and joy in it while she is away from family.  It has lots of lime green to make her smile.  On the back are owls...her favorite.

Until next time.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Houston Quilt Show 2017

As promised, I managed to take a few pictures at the Houston Quilt Show.  Unfortunately, I did not save the pictures right and lost quite a few of them including a picture of me with Jenny Doan, but here are a few of my favorite ones.  Thanks to my trusty scooter, I actually viewed each quilt at least once.  So much to see and I would not have been able to see everything with out the scooter.  I actually kept coming back to this one because I was in awe of the detail.

This quilt was created by Danny Amazonas.  He is becoming huge in the quilt world.  The quilt was about 6 feet across, so it was big.  The picture does not do the actual quilt justice.  Very colorful with lots of texture.

 I love everything about New York Beauty Quilts and this one was a stunner.  Don't have the quilter's information any longer, but the colors were very vibrant.  It was a stunner.

This little lady was probably my favorite.  There was a special exhibit of quilts made by Haitian woman and this is one of them.  Very bright and cheerful and colorful.  Enjoy.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Catching Up...

Hi everyone.  It has been over a year since I last posted in my blog.  I was dealing with some challenging health issues and wasn't sure that I would be able to post again.  Thankfully, my health and my spirit are on the mend and I feel like catching up a little.  This will be a very short post.  I had 2 monumental adventures over the last year.  My granddaughter and I took a quilting cruise to Bermuda.  We traveled with Cottonwood Quilt shop out of Charlottesville, VA.  No classes, no set schedules - Just quilt Rest and Relaxation.  It was fun and my granddaughter had a ball.  They had a kid's camp on board so while I was sewing UFOs in the sewing room, she was hanging out with about 50 kids her age having fun.  Just a few pictures from the island.  Absolutely beautiful.

Then, in October, I received clearance from my doctors to travel to Houston, TX for the big quilt show.  It was a blast!  The quilts on display were beyond belief.  And quilt personalities were everywhere.  Jenny Doan, Ebony Love to name a few. I will add photos of my favorite quilts on the next post.   I still don't know how to take pictures.   I looked at every one of the quilts there at least once.  And visited each vendor.  Not much buying.  I bought 6 fat quarters, a magnetic pin holder and some charm squares.  That was it.  So much amazing talent and creativity.  Until next time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hexie Fever

Despite the incredible heat wave we are having here on the East Coast, I have been sewing on projects...starting new ones (I shouldn't do that) and working on an endless pile of UFO's and flimsies. 

And so continues my love of everything Hexie.   This is my latest creation based on the Half-Hexie quilt tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I used about 100 different Aboriginal prints.  There are a couple of repeats, but I only repeated a fabric when I needed a punch of color.  The Aboriginal prints tend to be rather dark some times.  I love the large prints and this pattern allowed me to showcase the beauty of the Aboriginal patterned prints. It almost looks like a stain-glass window. It is going to the quilter soon, as it is a gift for one of my grand-daughters.  I love this pattern, so I will probably experiment with another version soon...maybe holiday fabrics or give it a modern look with lots of lime green, tangerine and turquoise.

I think this one turned out really well.  What do you think?  More to come soon...

Monday, July 11, 2016

I Left my Heart in Alaska

Yes, I am still here.  Life stuff took hold of my mind and body for a while, but I have recalibrated some things and I am slowly working my way back.  I have been quite busy.  Most of it to do with the quilting world.  Most recently, I traveled to Alaska via cruise ship.  It was one of the most breathtaking adventures of my life time.  It was a quilter's dream come true.  While at sea, we took classes with Gyleen Fitzgerald, Jeanette Walton, Sue Nickels and Laura Wasilowski.  We visited the ports of Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia.   We sailed into Glacier Bay, visited the Raptor Center and saw bald eagles, totem poles (amazing)  endless mountains (no bears, but that was fine with me) and quilt shops.  Yes, there were quilt shops in every port and we had plenty to choose from and to buy if we were so inclined.  I met up with friends that I had made through my limited knowledge of social media and we didn't know we were going to be traveling together.  So, it was a delight to meet up with Jeanette Walton and Dee Huffman,  Donna Swinborne from Australia and so many more.   I am sharing a few pictures.  But, you know me and picture taking.  I had a camera around my neck and my I-phone in my pocket, but I was so awestruck with the breathtaking beauty of this place, that I only snapped 7 pictures.  Dee Huffman helped me out, with a few photos.  However, this trip was the best thing I could have done for myself. Good friends and camaraderie, awesome food, more entertainment than you could ever experience in 7 days and did I say quilt shops in every port.  Did I buy something in every port?  Yes, yes I did.  Abby's Reflections in Sitka and Satin Moon on Victoria Island were my favorites and held onto my credit card a little longer than the others.  We also visited Changing Tides quilt shop in Juneau and the Whale's Tail in Ketchikan.  All wonderful and well stocked shops.  The Janome dealer who supplied the sewing machines on board the ship for our classes did pretty well too.  I bought a couple of goodies from them as well. 

Here are few photos to share...

Port of Seattle

Downtown Juneau

Downtown Ketchikan
Sitka the Bald Eagle

Oldest Church in Sitka

Best table in the House. Overlooking the Wake of the Ship

Buy one - get one free! So I did!

Glacier Bay!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Trying to Play Catchup

Life has a way of throwing obstacles in your path, creating all types of setbacks as has been the case with my temporary absence in posting on this blog.   I  lost my Mom in April after a long and painful illness.  Her life transition has been a difficult one filled with much sadness and hurt.  But, I am slowly working my way back to some aspect of normalcy.

I had completely stopped sewing.  I just couldn't find the energy or brain power to work on anything much, but I have started to recover some and I am doing better each day.  I have a huge collection of Aboriginal and tribal-inspired fabrics mostly with large prints.  Like a lot of quilters, I can't stand to cut into my large prints because they get so chopped up that you can't see the intricate detail.  I have recently taken an interest in finding patterns that lend themselves to large prints.

In the first picture, I used Aboriginal prints.  It was hard to cut into them.  They are so beautiful and expressive.  Each Aboriginal print or drawing tells a story and this particular pattern allows you to see the design work.  It is based on the Intersection Quilt pattern from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

My oldest grandgirl is turning 13 in a couple of weeks.  I wanted her to have a new quilt with lots of bright colors in celebration of her bright future.  I think the last one that I made for her was with the "Very Hungry Caterpillar" themed fabric.  Babies grow up so fast!  So I made the intersection quilt again with a couple of changes.  Actually, I think I sewed the rows together much for creativity.  I really like this one, especially with the shades of lime green.  I am going to add a couple of coordinating borders to make it a bit larger.  I love this fabric and I think Smooch will too.

I also had a lot of black and white 2-1/2" strips so I whipped up this variation of the log cabin quilt. It turned out very nice.  It wasn't made for any particular person.  I just saw a quilt similar to this one at a show.  Liked it.  Had a thousand black and white strips along with all shades of lime green.  So, I just cut them up and made it from memory.  It was super easy to put together.  Now I need to find a nice backing for it.

These quilts are not on my WIP list.  They just happened.  I have much more to share, and I will post again soon.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It "Has" Been a While...

But I haven't been laying around like a lazy couch potato.  I have been mostly shoveling snow from the walkway and scraping ice from the car windows.  But in between that time, I have been able to do a little sewing along with some other fun experiences.  First up - I participated in a Facebook group to create a mystery quilt by Gyleen Fitzgerald.  It was a five-part mystery using my existing scrap stash.  The mystery has ended and the final quilt revealed.  It is called, Odds, Ends, and Leftovers. The pattern can be found on Gyleen's website.  It was a lot of fun to make and instructions were easy to follow along.  While I used my scrap stash, I basically kept the color scheme to varying shades of the Mardi Gras colors,  purple, green and gold. I was surprised that I had soooo much of each color.  I didn't have to sneak and buy not one thing.  I renamed the quilt "Home for Mardi Gras."  The top is done.  I found a piece of backing fabric large enough to complete the back and it will soon be off to my friend Carrie for quilting.

Last week, my quilt buddies and I made our annual trek to Hampton, VA for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.  Now, if you are a weather junkie, you know that we have been experiencing some rather strange weather on the east coast as well as in the Washington, DC area.  We usually look forward to getting away to Hampton because it gives us a break from the February cold.  But not this time.  While the forecast in Washington, DC called for a dusting to possibly 3 inches of snow, the Hampton Roads area got almost 12 inches of snow.  This was an anomaly for them and they were a bit overwhelmed.  But we persevered and made it through the weekend with late night sewing sessions, lots of eats and good friends.  I always look forward to this event.  Seeing all of the wonderful and creative quilts usually gives me encouragement, a jolt of creativity, and a sense of inspiration.  Here are a few photos of quilts at the show that were snapped by my friend Michelle Perkins.  She is a wonderful quilt artist and so inspiring.  Plus, she keeps me in line when I try to wimp out or have one of my moments.  She has created a line of patterns and I am proud of her.  Take a look at her website here.  I took the picture of the quilt inspired by Judy Niemeyer's Marine Compass.  It was made by Susie Jacobs from Lynchburg, VA.  This quilt is definitely on my quilt bucket list.

I wish the producers would create a CD of all of the quilts.  You just can't see everything.   A lot of the smaller shows have them and it just makes enjoying the quilts so much nicer.  I keep making the suggestion.  Maybe one day they will actually read them.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Bag Full of Scrap Goodies

Hello...I have been away for a while.  There has been too much going on to go into detail, but I am working on projects, every chance I get.  I am also keeping up with blogs and newsletters.  And speaking of newsletters, I was reading the newsletter from Delray Fabrics and they were having a give away. Tula Pink has a new collection called "Bumble."  They were giving away the scraps left over from a couple of small projects.  I left a comment and guess what...The scraps are pretty sizeable.  I have a couple of projects in mind but nothing decided yet.  The colors are really soft and blend really well. They are beautiful.

And I guess everyone in the quilt world knows that Bonnie Hunter has revealed the new mystery quilt for this year.  It is called "Grand Illusion" and the colors are based on the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island.  If anyone has seen the 80s movie "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, the movie was filmed at the hotel. 
I have about 15 Bonnie Hunter UFOs and flimsies, but I took the bait again.  Bonnie says this one is not as intense as "Celtic Solstice" but we will see.  After many false starts, I came up with a collection of fabrics that I plan to use based on her color selections.  I like controlled scrappiness, so I won't be using as many fabrics as suggested,  The first clue will come out on November 28th...Let me know if you plan to join in.  Here are my color selections:
I think there may be a few pieces in the Bumble scraps that will go well with this collection.  I will audition them all to see what works. 
The weather is changing here.  Maybe I will get something finished!  Until next time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Miles of Pillowcase Smiles

Sunday was such a perfect day to spend with my quilt girls making pillowcases for children with cancer.  The organization heading up this wonderful and deserving program is ConKerr Cancer.  The pillow case program is aptly called "Miles of Pillowcase Smiles."  We set up an assembly line and the 3 of us whipped up 23 pillowcases.  We kept up our strength with a wonderful lunch and praline peach pie (oooohh!) and ice cream for dessert.  There is nothing sweeter than good friends, good food and a good cause.  Here is a photo of a few of the pillowcases.  They should warm a child's heart...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Celebrating Alba... and Shark Week!

Alba has been our international intern for the past year.  She arrived here from Granada, Spain last September barely speaking English and all of us barely speaking Spanish.  This has been a wonderful year for Alba.  Not only has she learned to speak English quite well, she coordinated lunch and learn sessions to teach us to speak her language. She has tons of energy, is always very gracious and has a warm, friendly personality.  So, she leaves us this week as her internship comes to an end.  She is headed back home to Spain for a few months and then hopes to go to graduate school in Nova Scotia.  She will be missed, but she has promised us that we will not be forgotten and that she will come back to visit every chance she gets.

As part of her internship, she was required to complete a research project and to give a presentation on that project.  Her presentation was on the migration of fish populations in the Atlantic Ocean.  Intriguing stuff...right?  Her presentation was stellar.  So, I wanted to give her a gift that would be unique, funny and a remembrance of me.  I found this really cute kit and pattern online that I thought she would like and of course there are fish.  I initially just thought it was a simple fish on the ocean pattern that was a little over-embellished with some prairie points.  Now if you read one of my previous posts here, I think I said I would never do prairie points again.  But I relented, because well this was for Alba.  I sent a picture of the top to my friend Wendy to show her what I was working on.  She responded saying that the prairie points looked like shark teeth...OMG...they are shark teeth.  I had no clue and everyone that I have showed it to since got it right away.  So I am doubly happy.  I absolutely HEART SHARKS!  It is a small wall hanging - 26" x 26" and it went together fairly quickly.  It is called "Big fish...Little fish."  I plan to make it again using different fabrics from my stash to hang in my office. 

So here's to Alba and to Shark Week...a wonderful combination!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Fun Day Filled with Mystery!

It was a day filled with Quilt Mystery!  A group of my friends got together to participate in Merry Mayhem's one day quilt mystery.  It is usually a New Year's Day event, but I understand that now they pop-up through out the year.   I haven't done one of these in a long time because I could never keep up with the hourly clues and frankly I would get bored.  But this time, I was much more prepared and little bit older and wiser.  The fabric requirements were sent out early, so that you could select your fabrics along with the cutting instructions.  That helped the anxiety.  I was prepared to see this mystery through to the end mainly because the objective was to complete a quilt for Quilts of Valor.  Making and donating one of these quilts has been on my to do list for a very long.  My friend Carrie was the hostess for our group and she was wonderful.  Tables were set up, power cords were plugged in and pitchers of refreshing ice water was waiting for us.  We had good music playing in the background and from time to time, one of us would break out in dance.  We had a wonderful lunch and just enjoyed the quilters' camaraderie.  We all diligently worked on our quilt blocks with the hourly clues.  I am thrilled to report that we all finished our blocks and actually started to put the tops together.  I feel like that I can complete this top for QoV and get it ready for  a worthy recipient.  And we were all pleased with how the mystery turned out.   We ended up with three very different quilts, but all turned out beautifully.  Here are pictures of the completed blocks on the design wall.   I am thrilled about how they turned out.  All of the fabrics came from my stash, so I could make room for a little more and I can scratch something off my long- suffering and ever growing "to do" list.  It was a fun day

Thanks Carrie, Wendy and Daniel.  See you next time.

This is Daniel's rendition of the Mystery Quilt.  He is a genius with color.

I made this one with dark reds, blues and tans.
Carrie made hers with lighter reds and blues.

 You can check out the Mystery Quilt phenom at

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Triple Finish

Spring has finally sprung (and so has my allergies) and it seems that everyone I know has had a baby, multiple babies, and expecting babies.  And with these welcome family additions, everyone who knows someone who makes quilts wants a quilt for their baby.  Not a store bought quilt, but a real made with love quilt.  So that is what I have been doing quilts.  I have made quilts for my granddaughters, but they were not what you would call baby quilts.  They were big enough to wrap themselves up while watching a movie or TV.  One even told me that she thought she needed a new one because she had loved her other ones a little too much.  So the quilts keep coming. 

So, the first 2 quilts are for a set of twins (Jessica and Robert) born to one of my colleagues this past December.  They have been waiting patiently and they are finally done and on their way to the twins.  I get stressed out when I fall behind and I absolutely do not do my best work when I am stressed.  So, there are a few flaws (I am not telling where), but they were meant to be laid on, crawled over  and under and to have the occasional accident.  So I don't think the glitches will matter.  And knowing their Mom as well as I do, she won't care either.  I made them from my extensive Laurel Burch Ocean Songs and Sea Spirits stash.  It was difficult for me to cut into them, but we work for an ocean conservation organization and everyone wants seahorses, whales, fish, turtles and yes, even sharks.  So I had enough to make to make a scrappy braid for both of them and not use up too much of my coveted collection.

Then my colleague/friend told me that she was pregnant at the first of the year and guess what.  She wanted to commission a quilt.  I don't do commissioned quilts. Its too stressful, so I told her that she had to trust me.  She had seen my other quilts and knew I would do my best.  I struggled with this one more, because I knew the baby's name and gender well before it was started.  She is expected to arrive in less than 2 weeks.  It had to be special.  It hit me one afternoon, while searching for inspiration.  Pinwheels.  So much color and fun.    Of course her room will have seahorses, turtles and fish, so out came the Laurel Burch again with a couple of hand-dyed complements. It was a first for the prairie points and while I like them they drove me nuts.  It turned out great.  My machine quilting leaves a little to be desired, but I am getting better.  Thanks to my friends for their help in getting the binding done.  This is Caroline's quilt and her Mom Amy.

And I am still working on a couple of flimsies...who knows when they will be quilted.  Hope floats and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Playing Hooky

It has been a while since I updated my blog with all of my quilting goings on and I have a little catching up to do.  So, I have been playing hooky with life, work etc., but I also put together a little quilt titled "Playing Hooky."  I like how it turned out.  It was easy to piece and I love fish.  So this little school of fish are all swimming in the same direction except one.  There is always one that "plays hooky."  I am going to embellish it with colored beads and quilt the open space with my interpretation of waves.  It is a cute piece.

In February, my quilting girlfriends and I made our annual trek to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA.  We stay several days and always have a good time.  This was my first year driving and transporting 3 women and all of their quilt gear was a challenge in my little Versa, but we made it.  We saw lots of quilts (I had my camera, but only managed to take the one picture below of one of my favorite quilts); too many vendors to count and good friends that we look forward to seeing every year.

I have tons of UFOs and I am trying to stick to my commitment to complete a few of them before starting something new.  Well April 1st is next week and I haven't quite made the mark, but I have time to catch up.

Playing Hooky

My favorite quilt at Mid-Atlantic Quilt  Festival

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year !!!

Happy New Year to all of my friends in the blogosphere.  I have been absent for a long while for a variety of illness, crazy work schedules and the fact that I have slowed down on working on my projects.  I was just plum tuckered out.  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so I needed the break to get rejuvenated and to come out swinging in the new year!  I am working on a couple of things but the main one is my interpretation of a reproduction wild goose chase quilt.  Lots of pieces, triangles, flying geese units, etc.   It's funny because I never liked doing flying geese blocks.  The ones I have done in the past have always turned out wonky.  But I love this quilt, so I looked at videos and did a lot of practicing to get the points perfect. I am sharing a photo of my first couple of blocks.  They are not so perfect but the points are not chopped off and that is HUGE for me.  I am doing it in reproduction fabrics and think I will like the final results.  It is a fairly large quilt -- 64 ten inch blocks -- so it will take some time, but I plan to have it ready by June.

I am also continuing to dabble in modern quilts.  They fascinate me.  I love traditional quilts, but I am exploring the combination of the traditional and the modern.  Anyway I will show some photos and share some of what I have been doing in my next  blog.  I also made twin baby quilts for one of my colleagues and have one more on the horizon.  They all have an ocean theme.

Have a wonderful 2014!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen -- Day Seven

Here is the link to the whole schedule that Debby will be crowning us as hexie queens in the making

Well this is the last day of the Be a Hexie Queen Blog Hop and it has been amazing.  Many thanks to blog hop hostess Debby Kratovil for coordinating this wonderful blog hop.  And many thanks to Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt for allowing us the opportunity to have this much fun.   I got a late start do to family illness and thought that I couldn't complete the blog hop.  But I persevered and  was able to start 2 projects from the many projects that I tagged.  Both of my projects were made using tools by Debby Kratovil, our blog hostess.  I used the half hexagon template and the spider web template.  Both templates were beneficial in getting my projects out of my head and put together.

Half Hexagon Template
Spider Web Template

Twisted Hexagon blocks
I am making this quilt for my youngest grand-daughter who does not have a quilt yet.  She loves the cartoon "The Dinosaur Train" so I thought I would make her first quilt with some whimsical dinosaurs.  I will add 3 more blocks with the black center.  They were a breeze to put together with the spider web template ruler.

My next project pays homage to the modern quilt movement.  Hexagons are not just for traditional quilts.  The quilt was based on a pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It was made with 2-1/2 inch strips and the hexagons were pieced with Debby's Half Hexagon template ruler.  The original pattern called for a piano key border, but I like the clean modern look without the borders.

So starts my love affair with hexies.  I have more ideas than I have time.  Here are today's participants.  Enjoy visiting each blog and remember to leave a comment.  Thanks for joining in the fun!!

Wednesday, August 28
Marjorie's Busy Corner   

Livinbluequilter   (you are here)