Monday, December 13, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened....

Well, I discovered a new and exciting experience on my way to my trunk show and book signing on Saturday. On my way to pick up my helper for the day (my niece, Meghan), my front driver's side wheel popped off, bounced across the road, and landed in a ditch! What a way to start my journey! FOrtunately, my cell phone was charged and I called my favorite auto mechanic (my Dad) to come fix me. He did and we were relieved that there was only a little bit of damage to my fender (from when the wheel jumped up). After a bit of a delay, I collected Meghan and we were finally on our way! I don't think I'll ever forget that trunk show and signing! Ha Ha!

Have you checked out the book reviews in the new issue of Fabric Trends magazine? Well, Mark wrote a wonderful review of my book, Orphan Block Quilts. Thanks, Mark!

By the way, I am still working on my Christmas projects and will have more photos soon. I even made new fleece jackets for my two dogs, Gizmo and Poohka. Gizmo's jacket is royal blue with white buttons and Poohka's is red with black buttons. I didn't realize until after I had finished them that they now look like DOnald Duck and Mickey Mouse! Oops, sorry, boys! I am thinking about making some little felt toys for my cats too (with catnip, of course)....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Frightful Weather

Well, the weather is decidedly frightful, as the Christmas song goes. At the moment we've received about 16 or so inches of snow since last night. We will get perhaps another foot or more until this snow breaks in three or four days. Oh, add this to the four inches we had already. I won't be surprised if we ended up with hree feet of snow. It's really sad when your hometown is mentioned on the weather channel -- twice -- because of the foot of snow overnight.

Don't get me wrong, I think snow is lovely and wonderful as long as I can be inside and have nowhere that I have to be. Like work. Or the grocery store. Or the gas station. Snow only bothers me when I have to shovel it or attempt to drive in it.

One good thing about snow, though, is that it makes me want to either head down to my studio to get in some serious quilting or to curl up in my armchair with either a good book (and a quilt, of course), or some hand-sewing while there's either music in the background or a nice Christmas movie.

Okay, now reality intrudes...the cats are fighting. The dogs have to go out. Football is blaring on the TV. Dinner is burning. And the phone is ringing. Sigh. I can dream, can't I?

One thing I don't have to dream about right now, though, is a white Christmas. With perhpas three feet of snow, we might melt by spring. Maybe.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Magazine Features and Christmas Projects

WOW! I am so excited! My work has been featured in two magazines recently. It was an amazing feeling to see my completed quilt book, but now to see additional projects featured in populat quilt magazines is pretty awesome. Remember that song from Flashdance? Oh, What a Feeling? Well, that basically sums it all up. AND, I've got two more magazine features yet to be published in 2011....

Both magazines are available on the newsstand right now, so get your copy today!


Now, on to Christmas projects. Are you quilting for Christmas? I truly hope so because there's nothing as special as a hand-created gift tailored to the one who receives the gift. SO far, I've made a poinsettia wall quilt for a coworker, a snowflake wall quilt for one of my best non-quilting friends, and the really hip charm square bag for my sister.

The too-cute bag pattern, Madquilter's Charm Square Jewel Bag, is available free online: It's a little tricky the first time you make it, but stick with it and you'll have a great bag when you are done.

I also do some non-quilty Christmas projects. I really enjoy making my own Christmas cards and Christmas ornaments using paper crafting supplies.

I'll try to have some photos of my non-quilty stuff in my next post.

Anyway, what are you waiting for? Get quilting and creating for Christmas!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Are you a forgetful quilter?

Sadly, I must admit to this fault. It's not intentional -- not at all. It's just that I get so much stuff -- cooler stuff, more fun stuff -- in my head that it crowds out other things. Like my email password. Or my facebook password. Or even reconciling my checkbook (it still has money it, so what's the point?).

I think I need a secretary to attend to all of those annoying little details of everyday life. Then I can create more quilts. What do you think?

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Survived Quilt Market anf Lived to Tell About It

Whew! I did it! I attended Quilt Market as a new author and I survived.

People had warned me that Quilt Market was huge, but I really had no idea until I was actually there! I mean, I've been to Early Childhood Education conferences before, but this was just too big to even fathom. Look at the photo. It only shows part of the trade show floor. The first aisle was 100 and the last aisle was 2500 or more.

My friend Leslie went with me to Houston. We flew out of Pittsburgh on Thursday. We couldn't beleive how quickly we made it through baggage check in and security -- it went very smoothly. I really didn't mind the flight, believe it or not. It was the second time I'd been in an airplane so I had some idea what to expect. I was quite fascinated with looking out the window (I was in the aisle seat). It was so surreal - like watching tv. Very cool! I saw the Mississippi River and it was really interesting with all of its smaller branches and inlets. We tried to take a picture but it didn't turn out very well.

On Friday, we went to Schoolhouse lectures all day to find out what was new and exciting in the quilt world. I gave my lecture, promoting my book, Orphan Block Quilts, right after lunch time. I was so very nervous -- especially when I got off track on my notes. But I think I did okay. It was a nice turn out and we gave away five books to participants. Although Leslie and I went to the lectures following mine, I really don't remember them -- I was just trying to calm myself down.

Saturday was our free day on the trade show floor. We must have walked like 10 miles that day. But it was great, we almost made it through all of the vendors.

On Sunday we finished going to all of the vendors and while Leslie went to some book signings/demos, I had two booth demos/signings myself. I intentionally did not plan anything for these events. I did it totally off the cuff. The people who came got really excited about the topic of Orphan Blocks which in turn made me get more excited about talking about them. Great people! Signed something like 40 books that day. Whew! Leslie and I made the rounds to all of the quilt magazines to introduce ourselves to them. It was great to put a face to the editors I've been working with!

OH! Almost forgot to mention that there was a room almost as large as the trade show with many different quilt exhibits in it. So, yes, we even looked at quilts!

We had a great time! I especially enjoyed the hot tub in our hotel!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Houston Here I Come!

Well, in little more than 24 hours, I will be on my way to International Quilt Market in Houston, TX. I will be promoting my book and trying to make as many connections as possible. Beyond that, I have no real idea what to expect. THAT IS DRIVING ME NUTS! I do not like staring into the unknown -- I never have. I guess that's why I've mostly stuck to the things that I know and understand even if I didn't like or enjoy them -- I stuck with them because I knew what to expect.

Now It's like I'm standing on this precipice -- do I jump and hope to sprout wings or do I turn around and head back down where I've been? I've made the decision to jump, but that doesn't mean it's not scary. I'm scared to death -- but I'm also extremely hyped about what could be....

Wish me L.....................U.....................C..................K..............

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Antique Study Group

Last night I spoke at the Antique Study Group. It was a lot of fun. I took the pre 1920 quilts from my book along to show as well as pre 1900 blocks from my collection. I hope they got as much out of the experience as I did.

I am pretty much a self taught identifier of dates/eras of fabrics. I have a lot of books and I've done a lot of reading. I had some practical hands-on experience working in museums and historical societies.

I was very pleased to see that I actually do know what I'm talking about when I date fabrics. The group members were in agreement with me about the dates of the pieces that I showed. In a few cases, though, they thought perhaps the items in question could even be earlier!

I am fortunate to have a piece of early chintz which to me looks like perhaps circa 1830. I showed off this prized possesion last night and the retired quilt appraiser and the current quilt appraiser spent some time looking at it closely. They thought it could actually be earlier than 1830! WOW! Pauline, the current appraiser said that it was a hard piece to date because she hasn't seen enough of it to determine a date for sure. How cool is that? I feel quite honored to have this particular piece of fabric in my collection.

Well, it seems that I am close to being ready for Houston and International Quilt Market. Or at least as ready as I can get. I have a basic plan for my Schoolhouse lecture and then I will do a shortened version of the lecture for the booth demos. I've got the two quilts from the book that I am taking and also I've made five sample quilt top variations of the finished quilts. Sigh......wish me luck.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quilt Market Here I Come

Well, it's just past the middle of October and it's time to get ready for International Quilt Market at the end of this month! This will be my very first (and I hope not last) Quilt Market. I go this year to promote my new book, Orphan Block Quilts, which came out the end of August. I will be doing a Schoolhouse lecture on Friday, 29 October and 2 booth demos on Sunday, 31 October.

I've been brainstorming until my brain cells hurt, trying to figure out what to do for my Schoolhouse and my demos. I'm limited when it it comes to bringing stuff along since the flight from PA to TX is kind of long and I don't want my quilts out of my sight on the plane. I think I've finally got an idea. I took a quilt design from my book and I'm going to address common problems and thier soultins when it comes to working with orphan blocks. The problems/solutions will be addressed using the same basic format, too. Sigh....I hope it goes well.

This will only be the second time I've been on an airplane and I can tell you that I'm still kind of nervous about it. I know three hours isn't too long of a flight, but that's three hours that I'm not in control of my own destiny. It's hard to give theat control up, know what I mean? I'm very fortunate that one of my best friends decided to go with me to Houston. We're going to have so much fun and will be so exhausted, too!

I am hoping to make a lot of connections in the quilt world because I'd like to see how far I can go. I would like to do some design work for fabric manufacturers and then perhaps some day maybe fabric design. We'll see. Right now though I am just hoping to present my Schoolhouse without falling down or throwing up on my shoes.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fabulous Fall

It's hard to believe that almost a month has passed since I last blogged! I do think about blogging, but when I finally have time to sit down and do it, it's old news. Do you know what I mean? This past month has been pretty busy as I've been working on promoting my book, Orphan Block Quilts. I've had book signings, a workshop, displays, and even a trunk show. It's lots of fun and I'm really enjoying meeting new people. At one of my most recent events, my fifth grade teacher came (she's just getting into quilting) -- she bought a book for herself and one for my sixth grade teacher too! It really makes me feel wonderful to know that some of my teachers still remember me (then I get to wondering why I was so memorable. Hmmm...). But, just the same, I think it's pretty cool. I'm proud to show them that I turned out okay and that I am doing something that I love!

Onto another topic...

Well, I don't know what fall looks like where you live, but here in NW PA, the leaves are turning into shades of red, orange, and gold. LOVELY.

Yesterday, my family decided to take a ride to enjoy some of the fine fall weather and the gorgeous fall colors. We decided to head for Kinzua Dam in Warren County, PA. It's about 1.25 hours away. The ride was great -- since I wasn't driving, I even brought a long a small quilt to work on.

Of course, when we went past a great quilt shop in Pittsfield along the way, it just so happened to be open, so we had to stop. After a little impromptu shopping, we continued on our way. The views at the Dam the Allegheny River) were so beautiful. I took lots of pictures. Please enjoy them!

The colors of fall make me either want to rake leaves and jump in them or else make a leaf quilt....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Purses and Chautauqua

Well, I finally finished making the dresden plate half-block purses for myself and three of my friends. I tried to coordinate the fabrics to each person's colors. I got them done just in time too. Next week is our annual trip to the Quilt Week End at Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua NY. My friends and I rent a cute cottage called "Bee Haven." It's a very homey place. All we need to bring is clothes and food -- everything else is there.

This is our fifth year going to Chautauqua! I can't believe it -- how fast time flies when you ARE having fun. This year will be a little different, though, because this will be my first real show where I am going to promote my book, Orphan Block Quilts.

I have a very dear friend, Cheryl, who has invited me to be part of her vendor space. I am very excited. I've mad a few pin cushions out of little orphan quilt blocks to sell. I also culled some blocks from my collection. AND I made up some doll quilt kits with vintage blocks and reproduction fabrics. All of these things will promote and support my book.

I am planning to split my time between enjoying the show myself and being in my friend's booth -- it's actually a whole room. There is usually a special guest at the show. This year it is Kay Woods. I'm looking forward to meeting her and going to her lecture/trunk show.

I will make sure to take lots of pictures to share, so check back in a week or so....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Antique quilt

My quilt book is now officially out! WHEW! I still can't believe it, although you would think that I would since I have boxes of books sitting next to me on the floor.

Well, I've done two real book signings now. They went very well (of course I really don't have anything to compare them to). While I had a quilt exhibit of the quilts from my book and a signing at the Venango Historical Society in Franklin, PA, I was fascinated with this quilt from their collection.

It was called a Sampler Quilt and dated circa 1885. But that brief description doesn't do this piece credit at all. The more I looked at it, the more I saw. It really was truly an "orphan quilt." Fabrics seemed to span about 50 or 60 years, from early chintz and block prints to the roller prints of the late 1800's. Blocks were chopped to fit into the space needed. I really love this quilt. I hope that you enjoy the photos, too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


My cat Grey (first photo) was curled up in the center of a sunny spot on my bed so I decided to join him and plopped down with my laptop to check my email. Then suddenly, my dog Gizmo (second photo) begs to come up too. Then, lo and behold, my crazy but adorable kitten, Pip (thrid photo) comes leaping onto the bed, landing halfway on my laptop keyboard and skidding across the bed.

Grey and Giz are really only concerned about snoozing in the sun while four month old Pip is having ball trying to play with my laptop. She begins by rubbing her face on it and then she tries to sneak in a nibble or two (she's in that stage where everything goes in her mouth). I watch her and tell her "no" when she starts to nibble. You can tell in the third photo that she had just been scolded for trying to eat my computer -- she looks a little sheepish.

My pets make me smile. When I'm working on binding or nadwork in my favorite chair in the living room, Gizmo insists on sitting with me, with as musch of the quilt under him as possible! Pip tries to eat thread, lint, and fabric and not necessarily in that order. She also tries to steal papers, scissors, spools of thread, or anything not nailed down. Grey is a senior citizen so he is much better behaved -- he can sometimes be found either draped across my feet or else sprawled on the edge of a quilt on the floor (the one I'm trying to sew binding on, of course).

I am surrounded by furries and they enrich my life. They are my first quilt-testers to make sure the quilts are comfy, warm, and soft. They love me even when I'm grumpy or have a bad hair day. With so much help, what more could I ask? Maybe stock in a lint brush company?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's been almost a month since I last blogged. I really don't have any good excuses, except I keep forgetting/losing my password to login. But, I guess I have been busy promoting my soon-to-be released book (five days to be exact).

What this means is that I've been doing a lot of networking, setting up book signings and programs, etc. I never really knew how much work was involved after the initial work of writing the book.

I've also been trying to downsize mt collection of unfinished projects just sitting around. I am happy to say that my stack is getting smaller. Slowly.

I did make a new baby quilt for my very good friend, Rita. I am also planning to make a matching diaper bag, but I haven't started it yet.

I am also working on making a series if small purses. I used a favorite purse pattern for the body of the bag, but made the handle extra long so that it can be worn across the body. I also substituted half of a vintage dresden plate block for the flap. Cute, isn't it? I'm making them for myself and my three friends for shopping and quilt shows. I wanted a smaller bag that went across my body for when I go to International Quilt Market in Houston at the end of October.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

What's New

Well, I finished destroying that quilt. I took the blocks I removed and made a new quilt around them. Then I quilted it using my own style. It worked out much better the second time around. I'd show the quilt, but it's on its way to Quiltmaker Magazine to hopefully be included in their Jan/Feb 2011 issue. More on this at a later date.

I haven't blogged for what seems like a long time, but it's only been two weeks -- a lifetime for some. But I have a good excuse -- my advance copy of my book, ORPHAN BLOCK QUILTS, finally arrived unexpectedly in the mail. It was quite a moment in time when I realized what I held in my hands. I stopped breathing for a second and then I started screeching, I think. It seemed to take an eternity to rip open the package and to pull out the two copies of my book.

I shouldn't have been so surprised -- it's not like I didn't see the book as it developed, but to see it all put together and in one place was a feeling like no other. I've never given birth, but I think I can liken it -- at least somewhat -- to holding your newborn infant in your hands for the first time. This book is my baby -- it's part of me. I couldn't wait to crack the binding for the very first time. I had tears in my eyes as my heart pounded in my ears. Well, I'd better move on before I bore everyone with the details.

A few days later, after I'd had to chance to accept that I was now a real author, I had the opportunity to attend a quilter's picnic for another quilt guild in the area. It was so much fun! We had make and take projects all day long, but you weren't made to feel like you had to do any of them if you didn't want to. We sun dyed fabric (which I'd never done before), made several different flower pins, tried sashiko, and even made fiber scarves. It was a great experience -- and I got to try some new things. There was, of course, lots and lots of food, too. We snacked all day during the mini projects and then had a potluck dinner at 6 pm. It was like a mini quilter's holiday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quilt Destruction

Have you ever destroyed a quilt on purpose? I know, this sounds like a really evil thing to do, but sometimes you just don't have any choice.

I made this great quilt top and was very happy with it. I wasn't sure how I wanted to machine quilt it so I went against my better judgement and tried to do someone else's design, not only that but I tried to do it "their way." If you are a machine quilter who does your own work, loud sirens are probably going off in your head right now as you read this AND you already know how this story turns out, I'm sure.

I'll just say that the quilting did not go well, but I gritted my teeth and kept quilting it, even though I was beginning to hate the quilt (actually not the quilt, but the quilting). I finally made myself stop quilting it when I was more than half-way done. I just couldn't go any further, feeling the way that I did. At tis point, I gave myself a few different options:

1) rip out all of the quilting and requilt it
2) throw away the quilt and start over.

Option one was not a good idea -- it was already over half-way quilted and I was afriad to inflict damage if I tried to rip out the quilting. Option 2 seemed like my only choice except I was loathe to throw away the 16 vintage (irreplaceable) quilt blocks that were part of the design. OH, what could I do??????

I actually came up with an alternate solution that was a combination of Options 1 and 2 -- I decided to remove the vintage quilt blocks from the quilt and then remake the quilt. The vintage blocks had the least amount of quilting but it would take some time to free them from this bad quilt.

Finally, after a week of ripping, I freed the vintage blocks and removed the outer border (which hadn't been quilted yet. This is what is left of the quilt:

As sad as it is, the new and improved quilt will be much better. And, I learned the hard way to quilt my own way.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

History Came Alive

On the Fourth of July, my family went to an "Old-Fashioned" Fourth of July Celebration held at the Riverside Inn in Cambridge Springs, PA. The Riverside Inn is an amazing and graceful lady from the days of elegant women in flowing dresses and men in suits and hats. It was built around the turn of the century to house vacationing folk seeking the waters (sulfur springs) at Cambridge Springs. The hotel is magnificently decorated with Victorian furnishings -- it's like taking a step back in time.

Anyway, we went to the "Old Fashioned" Fourth and it was great! It was truly like taking a field trip to a simpler, less complicated time. There were Civil War reenactors and an encampment. The ladies even hosted a cotillion and taught some dances. Old fashioned fun included games, pie eating contest, seed spitting contest, hot dog eating contest, as well as a bar-b-q with all the fixings. Yum! One thing that I really liked about the reenactment was that inside the tents, on the cots, were quilts! Of course!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What I've Been Working On

I'm very happy to say that I've actually been getting quite a bit of quilting time as of late. I've actually flip flopped my routine and instead of quilting late at night I am now quilting in the morning most days for 2-3 hours. In the evenings I'm now working on hand work and binding. I can't believe what I've been able to get done. Here are three things I've been working on:

This tablerunner was just featured in the Quiltmaker magazine special feature about small quilts. I loved the colors and fabrics and knew that I had similar fabrics. I had never tried English paper piecing so I thought I'd give it a try. It was definitely challenging, but not impossible! It took me three weeks to finishe the hand-piecing and then another week to machine quilt and finishe by edges by hand. I am very proud of this project -- it was great trying something new. I'm already planning another one using Christmas fabrics but in a hexagonal shape (like Grandmother's flower garden).

This quilt I call "Scarppy Charm." It was a practice piece that I whipped out a few mornings ago. My primary reason for making it was to practice a twisted ribbon quilting design that I am going to use for my quilt that is going to be in the magazine, Quiltmaker, in Jan/Feb 2011. I wasn't quite confident about the design so I also quilted the next quilt too, using the twisted ribbon design.

As I said above, this quilt was my second practice piece for the twisted ribbon quilt design. I had made the top a few years ago, but had never completed it. I pulled it out and decided that I could use it to practice the design, too. I call it "Candy Ribbons." It's not often that you get to see the back of a quilt, so I included a photo to show you the quilting. I'm pleased with how it turned out and I'm now ready to quilt the magazine quilt -- not only did I quilt two quilts in the process, I even finished a UFO!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Purse and Bags Oh My!

Here are a few of my purses:

I've been on a quilty purse kick recently and I've made a total of 14 purses! Do you think that's a little over the top? I'm hoping to sell some of them so that I can go the Quilt Market in Houston, TX in October.

Making a purse is a nice change of pace from making a quilt. I like to pick a design that is quick and fun and takes less than three hours to make. Some designs I've gotten so comfortable with that I can whip them out in a little more than an hour. I can use up odd pieces of batting and small pieces of fabric from my stash -- I particularly like to use charm squares because lots of different fabrics makes texture and interest in a purse or bag. A pack of charm squares can be a purse just waiting to break free!

Purses also make great gifts for female friends who are hard to shop for. Most women use purses at least some of the time. Purses are also great gifts for friends who quilt. And don't forget to make one for yourself....or maybe three....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I am a very indifferent gardener. I like growing things. But I don't like taking the time to do it -- I'd rather be quilting.

Recently, I just finished putting in my vegetable garden. Stay tuned for pictures as it grows.

But today I wanted to talk about my black eyed susans (I call them sunbonnet sues!). Have you ever tried growing them? They are really easy to grow. A little water, a little fertilizer, and they're good to go. I've been growing black eyed susans for a long time now -- I've got cool plants that reseed every year so I don't have to plant much. Sometimes I do have to transplant a few plants when they grow where I don't want them, though. All in all, a beautiful and easy to grow flower.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Flea Markets

Have you ever gone to a flea market? My friend Cathey and I went to a flea market in Ohio recently. We took a load of items, including quilty stuff, to sell. We left home at 4:30 in the morning. Ugh. We were there early enough that we got a good space towards the front (near food and bathrooms). We set up and unfortunately, we were rained out. We left after 10 A.M. Only sold two items.

I did get a chance to walk around the flea market. I hadn't been to this one for a while so it was really interesting to see how other sellers set up their spaces. Some people just dumped stuff on tables, while other people arranged items very attractively. Items for sale included plants and shrubbery, minor antiques and collectibles, garage sale merchandise, food, some furniture, primitives, and lots of other stuff.

If you've never been to a flea market, you should try it. When I was a regular flea market goer, it wasn't unusual to find a vintage quilt top or quilt to buy. Maybe I'll see you there!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Designing a website

Whew! I never really realized how much work it is to design a website. I set up a basic website a few months back and now I'm revamping it, and boy, it's taking me forever. It's only five pages long, but I've only got four pages completed. I think it's all the back and forth between pages and then pulling pictures out of my computer hard drive cave (it's dark and cavernous, you know). I'm even using a web hosting service that has the website templates and all the tools, but it is still time consuming.

I do know that I will be happy with it when I'm done, though.

I decided to revamp the site because it's less than 3 months until my book comes out and I wanted the website to LOOK GOOD. Of course, what looks good to me might not look so good to everyone else, but I'll keep my fingers crossed and will hold my breath that the website is presentable.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quilting Blahs

Have you ever had one of those days that you just can't decide what to do? Well, I've actually been having a few weeks like that recently. Then again, it was pretty much the whole month of May too. My "me" sewing time has been drastically shortened due to life getting in the way. I've made a few baby quilts for donation but not much else recently. It's like I have so little time and so much that I want to do that I can't seem to settle on a project and "just do it." It's not that I'm not interested,m I just can't seem to pick a project. I did make a few graduation gifts yesterday and today. Quilty "pad folios" as my sister calls them. The fun pink and green on is for the daughter of one of my best friends and the red, white, blue one is my my cousin's daughter who is headed for the Navy. A great project. It's called the Daily Doodler and the pattern is by This and That. It only takes a couple hours and you can use fabrics from your stash. In fact the only thing that I need to buy is a couple matching buttons for the front flap.

The folio has two pockets on the left, a pen loop, and a pocket for a legal pad on the right. The whole thing closes with a velcro tabbed flap. They are really cute aren't they?

Looking back, I guess I haven't been as nonproductive as it seems. I also quilted three quilts for my friend Cathey and submitted three designs to a magazine. Hmmm....maybe things are not as bad as I thought, but why is it when I approach my sewing machine and see the piles of things to do that I can't decide where to start?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Orphan Blocks


I haven't had a chance to blog for a while. Isn't it terrible that life gets in the way? Anyway, recently I've purchased some new antique quilt blocks so I thought I'd show them to you.

This is a partial set of star blocks that my friend Leslie gave to me. She bought them on eBay of course! She kept her favorite blocks and gave some to me too -- what a friend! Anyway, these blocks are circa 1860-1880. Hand pieced of course. Some great 19th century fabrics too, including early purples and madders of the time.

This set of 10 blocks are not quite finished yet. They are called many things but I'll call them snowball blocks for this blog. These are actually string-pieced snowball blocks from the 1930's. Wonderful fabrics -- lots of "feedsack" types. Blocks were hand pieced to old Montgomery Wards pages foundation and then the four sections were machine sewn together into the snowball shape. The foundations are still intact which makes for some really fun reading, too. I did find a date of 1936 on one of the foundations.

This is an interesting set of blocks -- ninepatch dimaonds. Hand pieced, from the 1890-1910 era. SOme great fabrics, including cadet blue wuth red floral accents, red and black prints, tons of plaids and checks, and even a few older fabrics like some Lancaster blues from 1860-1880.

This is probably my favorite set of blocks right now. Although unfinished, they have lots of potential. This is a set of wild goose chease blocks circa 1830-1880. Some really awesome fabrics -- very early. Even a few purples that haven't turned brown yet as well as pinks, madders, plaids, and some great greens.

Well, I hope you enjoyed a peek into my quilt block stash.


Thursday, April 29, 2010


My friend Cathey and I are going to make a bunch of quick baby quilts. So I went shopping. In my own stash, of all places. I found focus fabrics and then found coordinating fat quarters and yardage. The quilt pattern that we are going to make takes 12 fat quarters and makes 12 big blocks. We are going to use six blocks in a quilt so one bundle will actually yield two quilts. Cathey of course is way a head of me with three tops ready to quilt while I'm still picking out fabric. It's really fun to play in your own fabric playground -- you'd be amazed at the friends that you've forgotten. Stay tuned for photos soon!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Country Charms Quilt Show

This weekend my quilt guild had its annual quilt show. The quilts were wonderful and the show went off without a hitch. Here are some great pictures for your enjoyment: