Monday, May 29, 2006

You Say KLEM-a-tis, I Say kle-MATT-is

What a happy year it has been for my clematis vines! I always have to laugh at the many different pronunciations I hear for the various flowers in my yard. I say pee-OH-nee, a friend says PEE-a-nee. I say why-JEEL-ya, my friend says WEE-ja-la, and on and on!!! Hummingbirds have begun to visit the new feeder--yay! Now Natasha can sit atop the sofa back and watch their flitterings till her heart's content. This Memorial Day weekend has been one of remembrance, family, and friendship. On Saturday my "baby" sister and I visited the cemetary to decorate the graves of our parents. I still had a few irises and peonies left in the garden and added in some loosestrife, a couple of Stella d'Oro daylilies, and some catmint for a scrumptious bouquet to place between two wreaths my sister brought along. We stayed graveside for quite a while and reflected. She is 11 years younger so our childhoods were somewhat different but also had a lot of common experiences. I think it is good to remember. We didn't have a lot of money growing up but we ALWAYS knew we were loved. Saturday evening DH and I attended a 40th anniversary surprise party for dear, dear friends. Other close friends came in to KC from Indianapolis to attend also. What a great evening of visiting, laughing, remembering old times, and--more laughing. Yesterday was devoted to the yard. DH is working hard to get out any poison ivy and other noxious weeds so I can work in my gardens without RASH! Of course, I have to follow him around to make sure he doesn't throw out the baby with the bath water--if you know what I mean!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Babies Are Fun!!!

Porter's "drag around" quilt is ready to be pressed, squared, layered, quilted, and bound! I always like to give new babies one of my sock beagles, too.

Another one of my favorite little things to add to a new baby's present is a little fabric picture book (as found in Gwen Marston's book). Heck, I even like to make them for grown-ups! They are so fun and quick. I have a hard time resisting cowboy fabric (as well as Dick and Jane fabric and paperdoll fabric) and have a decent stash of it. One more "necessity" for the baby's loot bag? A KC Chiefs sweatshirt, of course!!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Little Progress

A little progress was made in the sewing--er, uh, quilting studio this morning. I picked up and put away--enough that I could at least run the vacuum and have surfaces to work on. And I didn't even need my shovel. I am feeling a strong urge to move things out and relegate them to the basement. Things that only get used occasionally or looked at once in a blue moon. 'Course the bad thing about that is, "Outta sight, outta mind." But then I could free up shelves to put my fabric stash out in the open instead of in boxes. I could actually tell what I have available! I made block number twelve for the lucky auction quilt. I think I'll call this quilt Lee's Surrender. The lady who made the first 11 blocks is named Lee and also my husband, who is the designatee, is a history buff. He especially loves Civil War history so that title should suit him and I do feel a need to pay homage to the lady who started this whole thing.
Next I worked on this little bear quilt. A very dear young couple has a new baby boy named Porter. He arrived about a week and a half early--so this quilt needs to get bumped to the top of the list. I need to go through my stash this afternoon and pull out limes, reds, and blues and see if anything will work for surrounding blocks. His big sister, Amelia, will need something too. Off to the "quilting studio."

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Good Mail Day

Today's mail brought two treasures! First, a 1935 KC Star quilt pattern of Snail's Trail that I had ordered from an eBay dealer. I love these old patterns clipped from my local newspaper years and years ago and lovingly preserved. I always wonder about the person who cut out the pattern and whether she got around to making it--or, was she a collector? If she did make it, what were her fabric choices? The patterns were in black and white so she was free to imagine any color scheme she desired. Did she make it from clothing scraps or feedsacks or new fabric from the department store? Snail's Trail is one that keeps popping up in my mind as one to use for my older son's quilt. Remember him? He likes black and white and burgundy!!! I'm drawn to the suggestion by Jeanne to throw in a little teal--at least Mom would like that LOL! Such fun to see these old clippings and to read the news on the backside too. On this particular day, November 20, 1935, farm prices were reported: hogs and lambs had showed some moderate net gains while cattle continued to lag!! Butter continued its "spectacular" climb with net gains amounting to 2 cents. Oh, such simpler times. The ad on the back side was for Cane Molasses for steers. Mmmm. Next to come out of the mailbox was the new issue of Quilting Arts. Oh, how I LOVE this magazine. I do love traditional quilts, but there is something so vivacious about the beautiful art quilts and fiber creations that come out of this magazine!!! I think I am like a flea on a dog--jumping from one choice part to another--when it comes to quilting. I love it all!!!

Working On Sidebar Links

Working on adding links to the sidebar. With the help of Linda and Sherrie, I am slowly getting there! Thanks so much, gals. Right now the links look wonky but I am getting ready to work some more on this project. I have so-o-o many wonderful blogs I want to add to the links. Quilters and bloggers are the best!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

May Blooms Part Deux

Primrose, columbine, waterlilies, white and pink peonies welcomed me too! Yesterday, while watering the columbine, I saw a cute little hummingbird hovering over top of it! Love to watch their antics. Must remember to get out the feeder and clean it and fill it with nectar. Other birds who have seemingly homesteaded in the backyard this year are the wonderful cardinals, robins, goldfinches, house sparrows, wrens, and of course, the noisy guys, woodpeckers and bluejays. Bring 'em on, I say!!!

May Blooms

A brief stroll around the backyard with the camera found these lovelies awaiting me! I always like to snap the first blooms of the different flowers. The yellow iris is around the pond. The lavendar clematis is climbing on a trellis. The blue nepeta is hogging its share of a small bed. Dark pink peonies are weighing down the bush. And my husband's Paul Scarlet rose is climbing towards the sun. Love flowers and gardening. Just wish whatever makes me rashy and itchy would GO AWAY!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Quilt To Ponder

I bought this quilt at a family auction on my husband's side several years ago. I think it is called Carolina Lily. I have always loved it for its graphic quality and folk art look. It is hand-pieced and has exquisite hand quilting; however, the handles and stems are appliqued by machine. Sadly, the green has really faded. Since I have been the owner, I have tried to keep it out of direct light and to refold it often. The yellows and reds have held up well. The pictures don't really show those fabric colors that well though. We think it was made by DH's great grandmother--wish she had put a label on it or signed her name. Lessons to be learned here!!! I hope to reproduce it someday. I didn't come from a family of quilters, but married into one!!!

Today was a good mail day! After Laura mentioned this book in her blog the other day, I immediately did a search and found a used one on Amazon for $14.00. Wowzer, jumped right on that and I got it today. You're right, Laura, it is an excellent source. Love the roses and tulips. I like those 4 block quilts too and I see that she (Gwen Marston) has a new book, Folk-Art Quilts, coming out in June. Yep, I'll probably have to have that one too!!!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mini-Group Day

Today is my wonderful mini-group. This is a group of 8 ladies who get together in each other's homes to sew and eat and chat. Love this group to pieces!!! We usually bring some kind of handwork and today I decided to try to get some cutting done. These 8 stars are from the Jo Morton book, Hearthside Stars. I am doing them as a 3-blocks-a-month through my local quilt shop. I have 5 more to make to get caught up before the June stars are ready. I will take my rotary cutter and cut away while we "solve the world's problems"!!! This quilt will eventually go to my younger son. His condo is browns, golds, beiges, and--did I say--browns??? My older son would like a blackish, grayish, maroonish quilt. So am looking for something that could pump up those colors. Any ideas??

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Thank goodness for handwork! This is an adaptation from Linda Potter's book, Quilt and Embellish in One Step. I'm calling it Maui Sunrise.


Headed upstairs to the "Quilt Studio" to start on block 12 of the lucky auction quilt this morning. EEEEEKKKKK! How did this happen? It was such a mess, there was no way I could think of sewing in there!!! I'm sure no one else in blogland experiences such chaos... I could have uploaded even more photos of the disaster area, but Blogger was so repulsed, it said "No more!" Piles everywhere, UFOs hung over the door, purchases not put away, remnants of quilt show projects strewn here and yon, books and magazines lolling on work spaces...well, you get the picture. I will work on cleaning, straightening, and organizing. But first, I am getting a haircut, then shopping for bras--both much needed. Maybe in a few days, there will be pix of a decent "Quilt Studio"--fingers crossed.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sometimes Ya Just Get Lucky...

Every January my guild holds its annual auction of "stuff" that members want to donate--UFOs, fabric no longer wanted, notions you once thought you needed, old magazines and books, etc. Some years it is pretty hard to find something to bid on! However, once in a while a gem appears among the piles of "stuff". This year was one such time. The quilt blocks in the photo were donated by a dear friend. She had started them years ago as a BOM. She made 11 of the 12, then lost interest. Can you imagine?? Fabrics for the remaining block, sashing and border fabrics, and complete instructions were included--as well as a couple of Marti Michell rulers. Whoa, Nelly! Well, a bidding war ensued and, surprise of all surprises, I actually won the bid!!! $40 later I was a very happy camper. And the icing on the cake was that my husband loved these blocks. So I dug them out this morning and will start to work on them. He will hopefully receive the finished quilt by Christmas. He is always bugging me to make a "blue" quilt so I hope this qualifies! On another note, the new Quilt Sampler magazine is such a delight! One of my favorite local shops is featured--Quilters Station in Lee's Summit, Missouri. It is a haven of primitive and folk art. But my quilting buddies who prefer more traditional design can also find lots to love there too. Quilting calls so off I go to the quilting studio. (A speaker at my guild once told us to call it "quilting studio" rather than sewing room. Sounds so much more official LOL.)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mothers' Day

Thought I'd post a photo of the pond as it looks mid-May. As the weeks go by, it should get more colorful with the water lilies and the annuals I planted this morning. Also the tiger lilies and Stellas will add some color soon. So many fish survived the winter--and lots of new fry! The tadpoles are growing fast. Love to sit out beside it and hear the water trickle down the waterfall. And I anxiously anticipate the return of my beautiful iridescent dragonflies. Also picked a few peonies this morning. Peonies always remind me of my mom who passed away about six years ago. She liked to place peonies on her mother's grave on "Decoration Day" as she called it. Hope she's looking down with a warm smile on her face as she sees the gorgeous deep pinks, pale pinks, and white blooms. And, mmmm...are they ever fragrant. Hope that all the moms out there are having a wonderful day.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Quilt for the Garden

First round of annual shopping! Doesn't it just look like a little patchwork for the backyard? The goal for the weekend is to get these babies planted around the pond, then continue with the dreaded weed-reduction-program. I have had to curtail much of my gardening due to a mysterious something in the yard that makes me break out with an itchy bumpy rash. We have pretty much eradicated all poison ivy but there is still some noxious something-or-other than doesn't like my skin!! DH will help with the planting---so, Happy Mothers Day to me. LOL

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Very Quilty Day

Yesterday was a day filled with quilty activities. My monthly guild meeting was delightful. One of our very own members did the program and its topic was Friendship. She showed many, many quilts she had made over the years--and exquisite they were--but the best part was when she showed similar quilts that she and her best friend had each made. She told how they each had a different take on the very same quilt. Quilting friends are the best kind! Then, a friend from the guild invited me to tag along with her to attend the Machine Quilters Association show out in Overland Park. Wow, what a treat that was!! I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I now love machine quilted quilts even more than handquilted quilts! Longarmers can do so many amazing things with those machines! Things I think a handquilter could only dream of. Since we left for the show right from the guild meeting, I didn't have my camera along :( but I can tell you the quilts were amazing. I was also impressed with those set-ups where the longarm machine is connected to a computer which sends the design. Such perfection. The friend I attended with is a longarmer and thinks that the computer-attached set-up really takes away the creativity. But to me, it's another way to GET THOSE QUILTS DONE!! Vendors were also great at the MQA show. Yep, I did some damage to the budget. One dealer had the most incredible collection of batiks I'd seen. Had to have a few FQs of those, for heaven's sake. Also bought some Bottom Line thread to try out. And--yay--the new Quilt Sampler was out! Had to buy that, of course. A few other things found their way into my bag. One thing I was hoping to find but didn't was Misty Fuse. Been seeing it in magazine ads, but so far I haven't seen it in any of my LQS's. May have to order it online.
The two photos above are from my own stack. The larger one was purchased from a dealer years ago and is a "bonneted ladies" hand appliqued. It needed refolding so I snapped a quick pic of it. The smaller one is one I made following a trip to Oregon a couple of years ago. (Yes, the trip included Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!) I made some crazy blocks, then embellished with ocean-y kinds of things. Fun!
KC is chilly today with brisk winds. I am hoping to get annuals out this weekend. Maybe we won't have one of those late Missouri frosts--shut my mouth! Closing this morning with a photo of the first irises to bloom in my yard for the year. They began to open last week and today there are lots of purple and peach beauties out there. Iris is my most favoritest flower. I love having a few on the kitchen table. Peonies have now started to pop and will try to get a photo this weekend. Love the smell of peonies!

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Day At Home....Ahh

Nothing is sweeter than an unplanned day! After a very hectic last four days, I am reveling in being home with my sewing machine, computer, and cats. (Well, that darn washing machine and vacuum, too.) Yesterday was spent pulling--ugh--weeds and just generally sprucing up the yard and gardens. The new computer is now up and running. Still need to buy a new printer but for now, the old one will do. Thought I'd post a pic of my ladder of quilts too--just for fun! When I first got back into quilting a few years ago, things had changed so much from the early 70s when I started quilting. Instead of cereal box cardboard templates, there were now rotary cutters, selfhealing mats, and acrylic rulers! However, skills were rusty so I practiced a lot on little quilts and doll quilts--a few hang on this ladder. They are scattered throughout the house too. I love all the new inventions but am usually trying to make things LOOK old!!! Today's goals include adding beads to my quiltlet from Saturday's workshop, making several Sawtooth Star blocks for younger son's quilt, and adding to my calendar quilt (from Pat Sloan's Yahoo group) . Hmmm...that unplanned day suddenly got scheduled!

Great Big Thank-Yous!

I am so indebted to Deb H , Judy , Linda J , and Jeanne for their help and patience in showing me the ropes on blogging!!! Their directions were so much easier to follow than the Blogger help. Oh, and I do have more questions but won't bug them for awhile!!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Just A Little More Folk Art...

Just a couple more folk art pix......Oak Leaf, pattern from Pat Sloan's Brambleberry book (love her patterns and her online group) and block 4 from Birds of a Feather (KC Star BOM from the Blackbird gals). Still need to stitch in some bird legs---maybe tomorrow.
Today I WILL practice linking!!! I WILL practice linking. I WILL practice linking. My brain is still a little fried from the last two days LOL. Posted by Picasa


Two days of quilt show volunteering have left me pooped LOL! I love our guild's show but am always glad it comes but once a year. Our attendance was down. We really need to find a better location, someplace in the midst of other activities. We are definitely looking for a better spot for next year. My class with Deana Hartman, area professional art quilter, was wonderful. She is a delight, well-prepared, a great "pacer", and so-o-o incredibly talented. I have decided not to post photos of her work because I didn't think to ask her permission to put it on the internet. She does have a website that can be googled. Photos are three quilts that I put in the show this year Sweet Land of Liberty (a Blackbird KC Star BOM from couple of years ago entitled Women of Grace and Charm) , Sweet Potato Pie (a Turning Twenty quickie) and Savannah (a result of a pink and brown 9-patch swap with my online group). Today I will work on learning how to link to other blogsites, using the wonderful info sent to me by some generous fellow-bloggers. I will , once this skill is learned, link to them!!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Yo Yo Diet

Inspired by Jeanne's photo of her yo-yos on her blog (sorry, I STILL don't know how to do links!!), I am posting a photo of a vintage yo yo coverlet from my collection. Most likely from the 30s, it is another "cheery" quilt. I love to make yo yos as they are fairly mindless work to do in front of the TV, but can't imagine making enough--then handwhipping them together--to make anything large enough for a bed!!! Yo yos and hexies are some of my favorite handwork.

New computer arrived yesterday late afternoon--hurray! I will not be able to get it all setup till Friday evening. Today is quilt show setup day, plus a bit of shopping at the mall to search for khakis that actually FIT! I think something is shrinking my clothes while they are hanging in the closet!!!! Tomorrow is the first day of the quilt show so I'll spend several hours working/shopping the vendors there tomorrow. Then Saturday I'm taking a 4 hour class from our featured quilter, Deana Hartmann, who makes beautiful art quilts--can't wait. I am also responsible for counting Peoples Choice ballots so will be there most of the day.

I am hoping that the new computer will help me to post better photos. It will have some media stuff that I don't have now. Wish me luck on the pants search!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hexies From the Past

So many beautiful hexagon patterns have been posted on various blogs lately that I decided to post a couple of photos of two quilts from my collection. The bottom one dates to the late 19th century and is a mosaic style. I purchased it from an antique dealer many years ago and never tire of it. The fabrics are so great and I love how the maker made almost a concentric ring of hexagons. It currently hangs folded on a rod in my living room.

The top one is one of my all-time favorite quilts. It, too, came from an antique dealer several years ago. It is one of the cheeriest quilts I own. It is a Grandmother's Flower Garden. I often wonder about the maker and how she developed such a keen sense of color. The antique dealer thought the fabrics dated to the 1930s. Perhaps these bright colors brought smiles during the Depression. I have it on my dining room table for a while--just so I can look at it every day.

I recently bought a package of teflon hexagons to make some new hexies in contemporary colors. You run a basting stitch around the fabric which is cut 1/4" larger than the template, pull the thread tight, then press with a hot dry iron. You remove the template before using the hexagon. I like that idea of not having paper to remove later.

Today is one of those "hurry up and wait" kind of days. The TV repairman is due any minute and my new computer is scheduled to arrive sometime today. Think I'll ready some of those hexagons for a hand project....better than twiddling my thumbs!