Friday, July 31, 2009


I've been wanting to improve my applique for years now. This spring when I was no longer working, I sat down with some Hawaiian applique and did four pillow sized and one tulip pattern in a 40 inch wall hanging. Then I decided to go for it, and I'm making all the Fleur de lis from the Baltimore album blooks. I thought some might be more than my abilities can handle but by the time I finish with 30 or so of them, I should have improved my skills! So here I am, almost halfway done, except I have big plans for setting them together. I think my skills have improved. So far I am happy with all of them. I have an unorthodox way of cutting them. I make the 1/8th pattern and fold my red into 8ths and draw around my pattern. Then I cut them out, all the layers at the same time, Hawaiian style. This works great, but I haven't got to the intricate ones yet. With them I may have to make a full freezer paper pattern. I fold my white squares in 8ths, press and then open the red and lay it on top, matching the pressing lines, baste, and then needle turn. I have to baste because I hate working on work with pins stuck in it. Also, I took these in the car on the way to California and it is much simpler to have basted them when you are working in cars and hotel rooms. It's an extra step, but the design never shifts, and it is working perfectly.
Of course our dear Roady, Rhoady, or Roadster, as I call him ,sat on them the second I started laying them out. He was my daughter's cat, found as a stray when she was in college. He was hiding under cars covered in oil, out in the apartment parking lot, hence his name. I've had him now for years. Someone declawed him, and although I probably would never do that, my leather and wicker furniture is all the better for it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sea World and Shopping

I'm just back from a mini-vacation to Sea World and I had to do some shopping for fabric while I was gone. First off, I got lots of good stuff including a bolt of Timeless Treasures batik from a small shop in Sahuarita near Tucson. It was only $6.00 a yard if you bought the bolt. Plus that shop had lots of polka dots and happy fabrics for a project I have in mind. It was a double wide mobile home, in the middle of the desert, stuffed with fabric. My daughter had been hiding it from me!
Then in San Diego, I had to stop at Rosie's. They advertise 20,000 bolts of fabric and I believe it. I came out of there with a heavy heavy bag full!
Now today, I'm off to one of our biggest shops, 15,000 bolts, which is having their annual July sale! It's been a great week, lots of fabric and quality time with granddaughters number 1 and 4. AND it's not hardly over 100 degrees today....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kelly tagged us, so I'm going to try to answer her questions. I'm not really a chatterbox, so bear with me.
1. My favorite fabric, hands down, Moda! I seem to use much more of it than anything else. They always seem to have a collection I'm in love with. Most recently I've used the Kashmir IV collection. Love their prints!
2. The pattern I'm looking forward to? Whatever my next one is! I am getting away from other people's patterns, and I have a notebook full of ideas for my own quilts. I'm working hard on improving my applique, so I have several of my own designs in applique in the works.
3. My weakness food? Well Chocolate! I eat semi-sweet chocolate chips for my snack of choice. Ghirardelli only. It was my husband's idea to mix them into the peanut butter jar. :)
4. If I knew I couldn't fail, I would have done things a little differently 40 years ago. But here I am and I love life.
5. The best life advice? Think before you open your mouth, because what comes out can't go back in.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Charming Girls Quilt Club

I joined the Charming Girls Quilt Club a little late for July, but I'll be posting something for August. What will it be? My patriotic redwork? My fleur de lis appliques? Finishing the quilting and binding a log cabin? or something else? I have many many projects in the que! Silly me. Sometimes it's overwhelming. So this club is a good thing. One small step at a time.

I quilt in the loft of my home. It's about 350 square feet, and besides my cutting table, my sewing table, an antique cradle full of quilts, multiple shelves of books and fabrics, shelves of my family glassware, it is also full of handmade bears, ABC baby plates, children's books, some pottery, three twin beds covered in quilts, cast iron flower doorstops, and of course me. We call it the Goldilocks room because of the three beds and the multitude of mohair bears in different sizes, and an antique picture of Goldilocks talking to three teddy bears. Come to think of it, maybe there isn't room for me in there! Anyway, I'll find something to work on and I'll get it posted soon. A short trip to Sea World with grand daughters number 1 and 4 is in order first....Oh, I forgot my daughters' vintage Strawberry Shortcake doll house is hidden up there too. Granddaughter number 1 who will soon be three will probably discover it soon. Last trip to see me, she curled up on one of the beds and talked and looked at books while I sewed. Cozy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I can't really show you the last 3 or 4 I finished - top secret - ha ha. No really, I hope to make patterns of them someday, but maybe this will do. I just started to hand quilt this quilt two days ago, pardon the wrinkled look in this photo. I really like this quilt, it's an antique replica, and I hope to put tons of hand quilting on it. Carrie, how's the handquilting going? Didn't I read somewhere that you were trying it out?
Gosh, there are about a hundred quilts of all sizes in between my first one and this one and some of them were on my flickr patch, and now since I upgraded Internet Explorer yesterday, flickr isn't working. grrrrr - off to figure out why and fix it.

Carrie and Camille have challenged us to put up our first quilt and the last one we have finished. This is sort of my first quilt. I think it dates to 1975. I say it's my first one because it's my first quilted quilt. All the others before this were tied. I got really bored one day in my mobile home with my one year old, and pulled out all my scraps and some transfer patterns (from my grandmother ) that I'd been dragging around the country. I enlarged one by hand, and this is the result. It's rather embarrassing! The stitches are HUGE! I'm new to this blogging stuff, so I just realized that I should have done my latest one first - oh well!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Here's another quilt I did 'back in the day'. I do love antique reproductions and I seem to make plenty of them. This particular one was hand pieced and hand quilted. It's not very big, those sunbursts are probably six inches across. But there were plenty of them! I do admire the women of the last century for their handwork.