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.