Monday, December 19, 2011

American Girl visits Orca Bay

The sewing machine has been humming, going back and forth from capes and dresses, to what seems like thousands of black and white HST's!! Here's my progress so far.... all the blue string blocks done and I'm making serious headway on the HST's.
I am really intrigued to see what Bonnie has in mind for all these. I still have a bunch more, but I am more than half way there. The rest will have to wait until after Christmas, I'm done for now.

These little dresses are for my granddaughter's AG doll and a matching one for her best friend's doll. There is something so enjoyable about creating gifts for children/ grandchildren, especially your own! One of my friends suggested maybe a business opportunity in light of my imminent unemployment. I'm not so sure about that, but I had a blast doing these and a matching flannel nightgown for my DGD and her AG doll.

Until next time,


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Batman Visits Orca Bay

I want to say thanks for all the kind words and good thoughts regarding my recent job loss. I've been busy trying to distract myself, and I seem to be doing a pretty good job. This Batman cape I made for my 4 year old grandson for Christmas. I found pictures online of both blue and black capes, but when I saw this blue fabric, I was thrilled. I downloaded the image and machine appliqued it on. I put a velcro tab on the neck so I hope that works. It's really cool looking in person - I think he'll be thrilled too.
As you can see, I've fallen prey to Bonnie Hunter's latest challenge. I had never done a challenge before last year, when I made Roll, Roll Cotton Boll. I actually waited until I saw the finished quilt to decide I wanted to do it. This time I'm playing along..... very behind on the weekly assignments, but going along at my own pace. This afternoon, I helped pass the time making the blue string blocks by watching/listening to Les Miserables - the 25th Anniversary edition. I am completely smitten by this musical after watching it on PBS several months ago. And this video is phenomenal!!

I have to make 72 blue string blocks, and I am just over half way there. The black and white triangles are a little more time consuming. I'll have to psyche myself up to finish 448 hst's or 224 hourglass blocks!! Yikes, I might have to put Les Miz in more than once!!

Thanks again for the encouragement, I'm coping pretty well at the moment - trusting that just the right door will open up.

Have a great day,


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Angels watching over me

My Joy Angels are done and mounted over the picture in the dining room. My idea to make a rod pocket on the back and hang it directly over the picture frame worked well enough that I am very pleased. I'm not too picky, it just has to pass my expectation :).
Of course my camera never quite gets the color right, but with the lights dimmed, it really looks so soft and homey.

I am so glad I added the berries - they didn't take that long and they added just the punch of red I needed to balance things out.

In my last post, I mentioned changes for us. I found out last week that I am being let go from my job. I have been so happy and have been there almost 18 years. I am only 2 years away from retirement. I think I'm still in shock, but trying to figure out things day by day. The one thing I do know, is that I believe that God has a wonderful plan for my life and this journey is part of it. It's kind of amazing to me to know that weeks ago, when I felt "prompted" to make this angel wall hanging (after having the book for 15 years), I would have a tangible reminder hanging on my wall, that God indeed does have His angels watching over me.
We are all blessed and this season is a perfect time to be reminded of that again.

Until next time,


Saturday, December 3, 2011

100 Degrees!!

No, that's not the temperature, but that's how much my DH was able to bend his knee at PT!! He's really doing so well. Life is slowly getting back to normal. There are other things going on that I can't talk about yet, but it will mean huge changes for us. But last night, this was how we spent the evening, reading, enjoying the fire, taking a small breather. My Christmas fireplace quilt looks so cheery. And what you can't see is my DH is covered up with the Apple Core quilt!
The tree is up now, no decorations yet, and I need to get out the Christmas quilts - it's starting to look festive.
Until next time,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Almost Antique Apple Core Quilt

Isn't it funny that so many quilts have such specific memories attached to them? This quilt's story began in 1995 as our family was preparing to head out to Colorado to go skiing. I always take a hand project in the car, and driving from Florida to Colorado required a substantial project!!
I have been a charter member of this magazine, it's my very favorite!! When I saw this pattern, I was immediately drawn to the plaids. Back in 1994, I was knee deep in trying to collect homespun fabrics and build my stash. So when I got this issue, it was screaming my name!!

Notice this is only issue 8!! How awesome that 17 years later it's still going strong :). So in the weeks leading up to our departure, I cut little apple cores out by the scores! I was using only reds, blues and tans (my favorite color palette).

With my little bag of pieces, I hand stitched these little darlings into long rows mile after mile. I didn't know at the time that this quilt would not be finished and quilted until 1999, but it did get finished and is still one of my favorites.

I decided not to do the wavey edge, and just cut off the outer edge and added a checkerboard border. Of course back then, machine quilting was not even on my radar - everything was hand quilted. I try and pull this out every fall, I was a little late this year (can't imagine why *wink*).

Until next time,


P.S. My DH is doing well, but PT is currently winning the battle :).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Full Bloom

The Christmas cactus are almost in full bloom. It was so pretty out Saturday, I sat on the back porch and quilted away. The leaves rustled and the birds chirped and I finished the appliqued berries. Such a nice way to spend a few hours after the hustle and bustle of a holiday.

Hope you all had a restful day.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On the Other Side

Thanks for all the support for the berries. I've actually had quite a bit of time to work on my Joy Angels while sitting in the hospital. My DH has successfully come thru total knee replacement surgery and we are on the other side. He's still in the hospital, doing very well, and I'm trying to manage him, work and home :). It's all good.
This morning I saw this on my back porch and "stopped to smell the roses" and enjoy the beauty.
Have a great day,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Berries or No Berries??

My Joy Angels are appliqued, basted and ready to start quilting - yea!!! I've marked a simple grid to start.
I'm was able to get some quilting done while we flew to Charlotte to spend a long weekend celebrating our oldest granddaughter's 7th birthday.

So my big question is this - do I add some red berries to vine or not? The original pattern called for red pears but I didn't want to add that much red since I added the red border. I'd love to hear your opinions..... :).

Until next time,


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blogger's Festival

It's that of year again - the Blogger's Quilt Festival. This is my quilt "Going Home" which was made for the 100th Anniversary of Naval aviation. It was accepted into the traveling exhibit and has been touring the country since January. Here it is hanging in my office - it was up for one day before I had to ship it off!

Of the quilts I've done in the past year, this one stands out as being very special to me. I'm kind of a traditional quilter and so this "art" quilt was a stretch for me. You can find the whole story here. It's also the first time I've entered a national contest. So even though I didn't win an award, just being selected to be in the traveling exhibit was a thrill!

The rules stated that the quilt had to finish at 40 x 40 and my squares finish at 1". So there are 1,600 squares in this. My biggest challenge was creating the setting sun and trying to reflect the sunshine on the water.

The planes are WWII F6 Hellcats. I learned a lot about planes doing this. I was pretty pleased with the quilting on this too.

While looking thru my pictures to decide what I wanted to use for this post, look what I found. A picture of Rodger - checking it out!! This almost made me cry. I don't even remember taking this picture. He was always so interested in my quilts LOL!! He might have been my biggest fan!! Still miss this little guy...

Anyway, thanks to Amy for this opportunity to share our work with each other. Go by and check out all the quilts!!
Until next time,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend work

I've been working on the vine and leaves - almost done!! I can't tell you how exciting it is to pull out an old book and make a project that you've been thinking about doing for years. That's how it is for me with these Joy Angels. I sure hope the whole "hanging it on the picture" thing works!!
When I hung this up this morning to take a picture, I saw my fall fireplace quilt - it's been up for a few weeks now. How I love changing these out for the seasons. You can check out the label list on the bottom right for more posts about my fireplace quilts (if you're new and have no idea what a Fireplace Quilt is :).)

I think it may be almost time to make a new fireplace quilt, that will have to go on my to-do list for 2012. Oh me, my list is already getting full for next year- LOL!! But for me, there is just something about a New York Beauty......... it makes my heart sing :)!!

Have a great Monday!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Joy Angels

I have owned this book for probably about 15 years. I love Folk Art quilts and I've made lots of them. But there is one project in this book I've never made. I've used part of it, but never the way it was designed....... until now. This is the Joy quilt. I love these angels and have wanted to make this quilt forever!! But it's 61" x 21". That is an odd size. I guess you could use it for a table runner, but I wanted to hang it up. Where do you hang something that long and skinny? So I started walking around my house seriously looking for a place to hang it, and I ended up in the Dining Room.

Several years ago my DH painted my DR a brick red and I still love it. On the big wall is a fairly large watercolor painting (52 x 32). It struck me that if I made the quilt shorter and wider, maybe I could use the picture as a base and make a pocket of some kind on the back to hang the quilt. I've pulled out my precious stash or Robyn Pandolph Folk Art Christmas III and IV. It is still unbelievably gorgeous after all these years!! I am modifying the vine placement and adding a distinct border.

Can you see it???? How wonderful it's going to be??? I am very excited. And very grateful to Kim who came to the rescue with the perfect piece of green for the vine. How lucky for me that she hadn't cut it into 2 1/2" strips yet - LOL!!! Robyn decided to change the green on IV and there is virtually nothing on the market now that matches it. But now I've got a piece to make my vine, so I'm on my way.

I'm still working on my pink and green baskets (sort of) and also working on a secret project that I can't show for a while - but it's sooooo cool. I'm going to prep the applique for hand work as we're taking a trip in a few weeks and this will be perfect!

I am so excited that I'm finally making my own Joy quilt - I can't wait!

Until next time,


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wedding Memories Linger Update

I have spent another lunch hour quilting - how wonderful is that???? Just wanted you to know I have not forgotten about this one - it's just a long term project.
I'm in the big light border right now. I think I've been there forever..... although, wait, I did have a sweet little 8 lb. 4 oz distraction born almost 6 weeks ago. How has it been that long??? I miss that little munchkin! So in between a new grandbaby, work, life, etc. I can definitely tell I'm making progress on this. And I will tell you that my thoughts do linger as I quilt over these fabrics - there's really nothing like recalling all those sweet memories. My daughter is coming up on her 10 year anniversary next spring and my son will celebrate 4 years in a few weeks. So 10 years ago, I was just starting to collect fabrics for her wedding quilt - and it all started at Mary Jo's!!

I just love the solitude of hand quilting.... even in the midst of a busy law firm office!

Hope you're having a great day,


P.S. Angie, if you're reading this, I need your email - you keep showing up as a no-blogger.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Journey has Begun

I finally got up the nerve to count all these baskets - 179!!! And they say it starts with one. So after several days of trying to decide on a quilting design, last night I started quilting. I am so conflicted about this quilt. I love it so much, and I'm so afraid I will be disappointed when I'm finished. I started this in either 1998 or 1999. It was either the second or third project that Kim and I worked on together. I have zillions of memories of the two of us using our lunch hour appliqueing basket handles on the prettiest pink and green fabrics we'd ever seen. I still feel that way too. This quilt is one of my all time favorites for many reasons. Here is the monster on my table. Can you see the puffy wool batting? This is one of my issues.

I always meant to hand quilt this and I love to hand quilt with wool batting. But now that the decision has been made to fmq, the wool is very puffy and doesn't really hold the layers together the way a cotton batting does so there are little tucks all over the place, and I've only done like 10 blocks! I'm so wishing I had a nice piece of 80/20.

While I'm pretty happy with this design, my stitch in the ditch skills are quite lacking :(. This is really an understatement - it's quite discouraging. I know I will improve over the course of 179 baskets, and I'm hoping the overall look will hide the individual mishaps. Here is what the back looks like.

This shadowed picture shows the pattern better. It will eventually have little feathers on the other side of the basket. So far, this can all be done as continual quilting, not having to break the thread or do any back tracking - which I really like. I have a hunch this will go on and off the machine often as I can only do so much of this "custom quilting" and I use those words loosely LOL!! I've already changed a few things and I'm not going back and rip out!

Sorry to do so much whining. I guess I just needed to vent. Now that I don't have my buddy Rodger to talk to when I sew (still miss that little guy), I'm glad I have bloggy friends.

Until next time,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One Stitch At a Time

Well, after 3 days of ripping, all of my hand quilting stitches are gone from my basket quilt. I'm using a wool batt, so those little darlings were way down in there - arghhhh!! But I truly know in my heart, I would never have finished HQ this quilt.First off, it got way too big, and secondly, the quilting marking design was almost impossible to see.
So I am happy that one day my beautiful baskets will be done.

My problem now is.......... how to machine quilt this. Here's my basket post from a few months ago. As always, any suggestions are more than welcome.

Have a great day,

Friday, September 23, 2011

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

I am not sure how it got to be almost the end of September. I've been off in North Carolina being "Nana Girl" to my newest granddaughter and my 2 older grandies. What a blessing and what fun!! Before I left I had been working on this - my latest T-shirt quilt ready to go to Dallas, TX. Binding is done, it just needs a label.
The 2 biggest challenges with this quilt were the color palette for UCF (which is black and gold) and the fact that my niece is a size zero and these were the smallest t-shirts I have ever seen!!!!!! Her husband is also a UCF alum, so she included some of his shirts too. My first ever his and hers in the same quilt.
This block best shows the black and gold color palette.

There was also a navy shirt - oh well, I just had to ignore that one. But the quilting does show up good :). I free motion quilted an overall flower pattern.

Instead of going with the gold I decided to lean more toward the yellow.

I found a line of fabrics called Mellow Yellow that were kind of retro looking and so fun I knew immediately I would build the colors around that.

I found a black batik with yellow dots and swirls and a geometric in black, grey, gold and white which were not in the line. Perfect to even out all the daisies and flowers.

All the other fabrics used in the sashings were from the Mellow Yellow line.

The shirt is the top left corner was one of my nephew's shirts and I had to leave the placket in to be able to include the little knight. Looks kind of cool I think.

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. Each t-shirt quilt has it's own personality and that's the part of the process I like the best.

Until next time,