Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I wish you all a safe and happy day.

Here in the mid-Atlantic it is windy, cold, and with occasional snow flurries. I am in my warm house with the bread maker humming and the fragrance filling the house. I am truly blessed.

I wish you all the same blessings and may we be grateful for what we have.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Quilted Dinner in Houston

I just returned from the Quilt Market in Houston, Texas. The weather was 10/15 degrees warmer than what I left at home. I prefer warmer tempts, so I was a happy camper to start with. I made note of all the trends (nothing really new) and the upcoming fabric collections (I like the Studio E’s collections).

The real purpose of my trip was to see the Quilt Show – especially the exhibits. As the Quilt Festival has now begun I am able to announce that I have an entry in “What’s for Dinner” exhibit. It is the second time I have enter something in more than my local guild show, which is an excellent way to start showing your quilts, but this is the first time I have been accepted.  It is a real boost for the ego.

The premise of the ‘What’s for Dinner’ is to create a placemat featuring a meal of your choice in fabric. I chose a young child’s meal of Mac & Cheese, green peas, and watermelon slices. Spill milk completes the meal. I made fabric tubes and inserted pipe cleaners so they would bend for the mac & cheese. The peas were made of felted wool balls over dyed to the correct color and the watermelon seeds are beads.
There were many wonderful meals presented. I hope you enjoy the pictures of some of the meals.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rummage Sale


The ladies society for the local hospital hosts a rummage sale each year. The proceeds funds various health related items in our hospital and county. The event is free or one can buy the ‘early bird’ ticket for a small fee, which allows entry one hour before the official opening. This event has taken place for 76 years. Each year it seems larger than the last. It currently is held at the Equestrian Center which has a huge arena and several barns.  The large arena hosts the electronics, furniture, kitchen ware, linens, and vintage items. Everyone attends; people do come from an hour or more away.

Of course my husband had a list of tools he wanted to look for. I did not have a list; my job was to limit the number of items my husband would want to bring home.  I was wandering in the vintage area and saw 2 treadle sewing machines. One was a Singer which had a sold sticker on it. The other was a Pfaff.  The Pfaff stand and table looked to be in very good condition but the wood cover was locked so we could not see the machine itself. The key was missing and no could open it with any tools available there; this is likely why it had not yet been sold.

I took a leap of faith and said I would take it as is. The outer appearance looked in such good condition I could only hope the machine would be also.  I paid the $50. and we loaded it in the van.

My husband has placed it in the basement for the time being. He found a tool to open the cover without damaging the wood cover.  My faith was rewarded. The machine can be a treadle; but the machine and cover can be lifted out of the table to be portable. The machine has a hand crank in its portable mode. I did an internet search and the serial number places the machine to have been made in Mannheim Germany in 1905. In the coming months we will clean and polish and place it in a place of honor in our home.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Old time Qulting

A neighboring town is on the National Historic Register. It was founded before the revolutionary war. With such a history it is not surprising that the town is proud to show off each year with a Colonial theme Autumn Fair.  Vendors with handmade crafts fill the open park areas and several historic homes are open for tours.


My local quilt guild was founded in this 'village' in 1982. We now meet in another nearby town but the ties to the village are still strong. Each year our quilt guild demonstrates the art of quilting over the 3 day fair. We raffle a quilt especially made for this event.  A large share of the proceeds from this quilt supports a one room school house. The school house has a living history program for 4th graders in our and surrounding counties. Children are encouraged to dress the part of students in the 1900's style and experience lessons on a slate board. No computers in this classroom.


The picture is me sitting at the quilt frame demonstrating on a quilt which will be donated later. It is not the raffle quilt.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fun or Work

My husband and I just returned from Orlando Florida. Yes, we did the Disney World and Universal  Studios thing. It was still very warm/hot there compared to the 70's at home. I thought we were crazy to go then but we had an opportunity arise and decided to go for it.

We enjoyed the theme parks and saw the newest attractions. At the Disney Star Wars attraction I had a picture taken of me with a light saber. I think a caption of it being the largest quilting needle sounds good don't you? Think of how many stitches one could load on that needle.

At Universal Studios I really liked the Despicable Me - Minion Mayhem section. The ride was great fun. All rides , of course, exit into the gift shops. At the exit of the ride we were greeted by 2 Minions who entertain us with disco music and were available for picture opportunities.  I was sorely tempted to 'capture' the minions and put them to work in my sewing room - like the elves in the 'Cobbler's Workshop' story. Perhaps then I would get more projects completed.  In the end I settled for pictures and a stuffed minion doll.  Back to work.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Joys of Homeownership


I have a long arm quilting machine in my basement. It is located in a narrow area but it is finished with lights and storage. I have a table against the opposite wall.  Early last week I took a quilt top down to load it on the long arm. I began to set up and pulled out a plastic bin from under the table and my heart sank as I saw the water seeping out from the wall.


The table is placed in front of the access panel to the air conditioner/heat unit. So began the joys of homeownership. By the time my husband came home from work I had turned off the unit, moved the storage bins from under the table, cleared the table of my computer and printer, and began the mopping up the water.


A common problem is a clogged condensation tube/pipe. We cleaned it and put it back together again but it still leaked. We realized we would not have air conditioning that night. The next day I phoned the repair service and made arrangements for someone to come out, 2 days later.  In the end it cost us the price of the house call to find out that one must replace some water in the tube/pipe to create a suction to drain. We had stopped one step short of success and I lost 4 days before returning to my quilting machine.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Too Much Fabric?

Too Much Fabric?
Early this summer I joined many other quilters to help a Quilt Shop owner liquidate her shop of fabric and notions.  Her prices were rock bottom and we all went crazy and emptied our pockets, checkbooks, and credit cards.  We stood in lines and called out to each other asking “how much will you be taking of that green fabric? I’ll take 2 yards”.  I filled my closet to bursting and then filled a box to sit on the floor too.

I have made several items over the summer using this newly replenished sash but still have enough fabric to ‘win’ the saying of …’the one who dies with the most fabric wins…’

My husband and I just went to Lancaster, PA for a couple of days. The quilt shops there are wonderful and very reasonably priced.  I usually go there with a list of what I want to replenish in the sash, new collection set, or a coordinated for a project.  There is so much fabric there that it is easy to be overwhelmed.  I stood among all that beautiful fabric and couldn’t bring myself to by armfuls of it. I bought 2 pieces to coordinate with something in my sash and that was all.

I never thought it would happen that I would go into a quilt shop and not buy – worst yet – not want to buy fabric.  What is the world coming too?!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Field Trip!

I had a block included in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol.7’ issue this spring. A friend of mine, Renelda Peldunas Harter, also had a block in the issue. We used the opportunity to visit with several quilt shops in our region.  Visiting the shops was great fun. It was the first time I had been to a couple of the shops and they were wonderful in atmosphere and quality.


We each gave a talk at the shop about the blocks we had designed. We spoke of what inspired us, how we design – paper or digital, or both- and the construction the featured block. We brought samples of the featured block, a quilt, and other quilts of interest from past block entries.
We encouraged the attendees to try their own design process and perhaps enter them into fairs or magazines. You never know when or where the next great trend may come from.


The Shops we visited:

Capital Quilts, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Patches Quilting & Sewing, Mt. Airy, Maryland

Seminole Sampler, Catonsville, Maryland

The Scrappy Apple, Winchester, Virginia

Monday, June 17, 2013

Quilts for Grandson

I had the pleasure of seeing my first grandchild graduate from high school last week. All the family – parents, grandparents, and his Aunt told stories of memories (actions) of his childhood. His younger sister took great pleasure in these embarrassing stories until her Aunt reminded her that in four years it would be her turn to be embarrassed.


I have made several quilts for him (my grandson) though the years. The first item was his christening gown and then an heirloom quality quilt to match. The next quilt featured cars and trucks with yo-yos for the wheels; it was dragged on the floor for several years.


This year I made a wall hanging of Boy Scout fabric in honor of his Eagle Scout achievement.  This summer I will be busy making a bed covering long enough for those dorm beds. We are very proud of him as you can tell. Congrats to all graduates and their families.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Boulder Crest Quilts

A few days ago I went with a group of fellow quilters to tour Boulder Crest Retreat. Boulder Crest is for wounded military warriors and is located about an hour out of Washington D.C. It is still in the construction phrase and expects to open in the fall 2013. The area is being built entirely by donations. The land (37 acres) was given by a retired military man. The 3 cabins are being furnished by donations also, furniture, cabinets, appliances have all been given by nationally known companies. Boy scouts have worked on landscaping for eagle projects. And the local quilt groups- Waterford Quilters Guild, Joshua’s Hands, and local Bee groups- are providing quilts for beds, laps quilts, and give away quilts for children. Our tour included a nearly completed cabin. Each cabin has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, kitchen and living area with a fireplace. They are lovely and functional for handicap needs. Each unit has lots of windows and a balcony to view the Blue Ridge foothills as well as the fishing pond on the grounds. There are big plans for this retreat. They hope to serve several hundred warriors and their families per year. Some will stay 2 nights or 2 weeks as they are able, giving the warriors a much needed break from long term recuperative strays and quality time with families. You may be sure that the local quilters will keep them well supplied with quilts.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

100 Blocks Blog Tour!

Welcome to the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 7 blog tour. I hope your travels have been enjoyable, at least you are not having to pay baggage fees with this tour. This issue features my block, 'Counter Spin'. Don't let the name blow you away. It's easy to make and has lots of color and layout possibilities. Her are some layout ideas. The table is very easy and a great gift idea. Row by Row is a bright and cheerful 9 block wall hanging. I have noticed that older I get the brighter my fabric choices. If you like traditional color themes then 'Pioneer' might be to your liking. The squares could be various fabrics just use one color choice to unify all the blocks. I chose brown to represent a water windmill of the old west. Have fun. Be sure to leave a comment and will be entered in the Quiltmaker's drawing for 2 great prizes.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine

What a hoot! I get to say that I’m in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks magazine, Vol. 7. Each issue of this magazine the completion gets tougher. The blocks are always great; these issues are terrific resource magazines for the future quilts you know. Need a gift, pull out the magazine. Check out my blog on Friday May 3 for quilt samples designed with my block. Look for it on newsstands or your favorite quilt shop on 7 May.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Turkish Needlework

Last week I gave a lecture to a local quilt guild. I hadn’t given this particular talk in several years so I was glad I still had my notes, along with all my props- needlework, scarves, and rugs. The lecture was on the needlework of Turkey. Some 20 years ago my husband had an assignment there and the entire family went with him. It was the most eventful and character building assignment we ever had during his military career. We arrived 10 days before the invasion of Kuwait and as a result we had to be vigilant of our surroundings. The events brought people of every culture together- American, British, Italians, and Turkish in a bond created by hardship. Due to this bond we all share our cultures a little more deeply than we might have otherwise have done. The needlework of the Turkish culture is ancient and beautiful. I am fortunate to have learned and collected bits and samples of them. They are samples treasure for my memories. This lecture allowed me to reconnect with those memories, good and difficut. The focus of my lecture is on Oya. Oya is the crochet trim on the edges of scarves. It conveys a woman’s thoughts or emotions thru the language of the oya. Each design of trim – be it flowers, beads, or grass sends a message. Chili pepper oya might say my marriage was unhappy from the start.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quilt Show with Husband

My husband and I took a long weekend away from home and work. We went to Colonial Williamsburg to rest and see some friends. We slept late and had dinner out each night. We enjoyed a walk thru Colonial Williamsburg although it was very cold. An agreement was made that I would get one day for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show in Hampton (30 minutes south of Williamsburg). On Friday of the show we bought admittance tickets. My DH is no stranger around my quilting world; in fact he has made a few quilted items himself. Lately he has been making placemats as retirement gifts for coworkers (they must be retired military like him). We looked at the quilt exhibits but he began to get excited at the vendors area. I had a couple of small items I wanted to purchase at the vendors area and did so but my DH came out the winner of the buying game. Every time we came across patriotic fabric he had to look. He compared the bolts with his mental inventory of his own sash. At the first booth purchased he was taken back a little by the prices. But by the third booth purchase he just whipped out the credit card and picked up his yards of fabric. He returned home with more than a dozen yards of patriotic fabric to add to his sash and enjoyed the show very much.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Year Resolutions

Every January I take an inventory of unfinished projects. I categorize them on the degrees of completion. Some only need the binding sewn on, some are waiting to be quilted, and some are packaged with fabric and pattern but not yet started. This inventory tells me 2 things, how many I have waiting and have accomplished in the previous year and what area of work I tend to neglect. Every year my goal is to complete more than I start or at least as many. Of course each year I fail – because there is always more beautiful fabric appearing calling to me to make a quilt from it. However not to sound like I don’t finish anything, I do. I do complete several quilts a year usually for business. This year I finished a several personal UFO’s that I donated to various organizations but I want to do more. Giving back to the community is my other resolution this year. The 3 years or so I have been busy and pursuing my own interests and that’s fine. I have though pushed my community work aside in doing so. This year I resolve to contribute again in that area. For me that means quilts for others. My quilt guild has a strong commitment of making quilts for others and I plan on attending the gatherings to help.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A new year with new goals. I am delighted to start this year with the annoucement of Quiltmaker Magazine re-releasing the very first issue of their popular '100 Blocks' magazine series. What a way to start the year for me! My block is # 61 named Ahoy on page 42. I love this block and have made several quilts using it. Each time I made a this quilt block I have rearranged the layout of the blocks giving the quilt a whole new look. If you have not bought yourself a copy yet hurry and do so. They are now collectibles. 100 possiable quilts to make in one magazine.