August 26, 2012

Inspirational Words

What a wonderful way to think!

These famous words are from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:-
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and endless plans.
That the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred.
A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now.


July 9, 2012

Play Day

It finally cooled off here and I finally took a day off from working.  So my husband and I took off for the mountains.  It was beautiful.  We had to drive through the clouds in the park to get above the clouds.

At 12,000 feet you feel like you're on top of the world and all is calm.  Of course there's always a critter or two that you might spot.  Looks like this marmut has been eating well.

We went to Grand Lake where there's a wonderful place to sit awhile and look at the lake.  Should I sit here -

or here -

And then just looking at all the trees is what I find relaxing.

And now it's back to work.  Hope you enjoyed the little day-cation like I did.



June 12, 2012

Orange Peel Quilt

I've been so so busy with customer quilts that I've truly been ignoring my blog and my family and friends.  I feel bad but I also need to maintain my focus and try to catch up.  I'm sure you know the feeling.  But since I just finished this customer quilt I thought I'd snap a few photos and share them with you.  It's made from japanese fabrics and they are really lovely.  Lots of colors and muted shades.  It's a very simple quilt and very easy on the eye.  Enjoy.

And the back photo:

I'm sure hoping my customer likes it!



June 5, 2012


Ever find yourself so busy, so swamped, so distracted that you just simply "forget"?

That's been me lately.  But in trying to keep my priorities straight I took time to bake some banana nut muffins.  They turned out great except that the baking time seemed totally off to me.  They did bake in about half the time.  But they were beautiful.

The trouble came when my husband tried one.  He said they weren't very sweet.  And then it dawned on me - I totally forgot to add the brown sugar!  No sugar at all!  But we are making up for it by adding honey with every bite.

The recipe I used came from this wonderful blog:

Maybe one of these days I might slow down some......



June 3, 2012


I've been a bad blogger of late.  First it was my daughter's wedding which was absolutely beautiful.

Then I was buried with customer quilts - now that can be a good thing or a bad thing.  It's always good to have the extra money and it's good to have something to keep you busy in a cool basement while it's hot outside.

On the other hand why is it that all quilts come at the same time?  And of course, there's always those that have deadlines.  Whew.....I am busy.

But after finishing one quilt today I am taking the rest of the day off to "smell the roses".  This bunch of roses is from one rose bush in our backyard.  And all of them are from one stem - that's right - one stem.  Most of the stems are so heavy with blooms that they are laying on the ground.  But it's a beauty!



May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

September 1, 1980 was the day I became a "mom".

It forever changed my life.

It remains one of the most beautiful days of my life.

My little girl, all grown up and getting married in one week.

I love you Christine.

May 3, 2012

New Year's Quilt

Remember when I first started marking this quilt on January 1?  The center was a linen that I received as a gift from Cindy Needham and I wanted to make it special.

Well I finally got a block of "me" time and yesterday I finished the quilting.  I actually used an entire 3000 yard cone of Bottom Line Thread in the bobbin!  And I did add a vintage doiley in the middle.  I still have binding to do and lots of beading.  But this is it so far.

I'll share more pictures as it progresses and hopefully I can show the entire quilt.  Thank you Cindy! 



April 24, 2012

Change is Good

Now this could be a very philosophical post about change but it isn't.  It's more about me deciding that I'd lived with something a certain way for a number of years and deciding that I needed to change it.  My grandmother made me this needlepoint picture a LONG time ago - probably when I was in my teens.  Originally it was framed with a plain brown frame - I can't even remember if it was matted.  Years later after I was married I decided that I wanted to spruce it up.  So I had it framed with the burgandy mat and the sort of goldish frame.

Fastforward to today and I changed it once again.  This time I used the same frame but I color washed it to soften it and change it to a color more my liking.  And I reused the mat and covered it with fabric that was softer.  I sure like it a lot better!  What do you think?



April 20, 2012

Ribbon Embroidery

I recently finished a project that I purchased from Di Van Niekerk ( who is located in South Africa.  I wanted to try my hand at ribbon embroidery and I am now fully hooked.  I just love working with the silk threads and ribbons.  Her dress has an organza overlay on which you then work the embroidery.  It also has lace incorporated into it.  And her hair is actually doll's hair which you tack on and then embroider a ribbon as if she has it tied up. 

It is now framed and hanging in my bedroom.  I just love the old, romantic feel that it portrays of a time gone by.  I wanted to share it with you.



April 16, 2012


Yesterday was supposed to be a quilting day but it wasn't.  I got busy organizing and cleaning and well, you know how that goes.  Move one thing and then you move 100 more.

But one thing I did was organize my pearls, beads and buttons.  I had ordered this box online.  It's very rustic and when it arrived it was mostly wood with very little paint.  So I spray painted a little more but kept it sparse to keep that vintage look that I love.  Have you noticed the little latch that it came with?  I just love it.

So now when I sit down to bead a quilt or add pearls or buttons I have everything in one place.  No more searching or wondering where I put something.  Of course with the cleaning and "organizing" that I did yesterday I'm sure the day will come when I wonder "now where did I put ....?"



April 14, 2012

Me Time

Remember when I started marking this quilt on January 1?

Well today I have finally found some "me" time.  The quilt is loaded and it will be on the frame until completion - however long that might take.  Here's a little preview:



Approaching the midpoint of the top border:

This one is certainly going to take some time.  I'm not even going to think about the number of hours.  I'm just going to sit and watch it progress and watch it unfold into something new.



April 6, 2012


I don't know about anybody else but there are just certain rooms that I love walking into.  Rooms that give me a sense of peace and tranquility.  This room would be our bedroom.  I just love our bed and the softness that it evokes.  A quilt I made a few years ago and lots of pillows.  It's just so cozy -



April 5, 2012


A couple of days ago I posted a photo of a quilt top for a pattern from Kansas Trouble called Bird's Eye View.  Have you thought about how YOU would quilt it?  With the large center block (the one with the black) not even being in the center of the quilt and the 3 birds sitting on a ribbon just floating somewhere on the quilt the decision of what to do was rather difficult.

Also, keeping in mind the customer loves wool batting and the puff and dimension that it gives a quilt, the choice to quilt a heavy background fill in the open area wasn't an option.  Besides, quilting a heavy background and then having to balance the rest of the quilting with it would have been hard.

So here is what I "saw".  A large tree branch or bush at the top - so I carried the branch/leaf theme further into the quilt.  Where there were flowers/leaves I added more.  Where there were butterflies I added more.  Where the 3 birds sat on a ribbon I turned it into the top of a fence and added a floral vine growing on the fence and vines hanging from it.  At the bottom I created grass in the final area of the cream fabric.  In the outside border I did piano keys radiating from the 4 centers of the quilt and in the gold border I made "ghost" blocks and leaves on either side.  Was it a success?  What do you think of my interpretation?



April 3, 2012

Bird's Eye View

Here's a picture of a quilt that I received from a customer.  It's to be done custom with wool batting.  The quilt is a Kansas Trouble pattern made from their fabrics - it actually uses every color of every fabric in the line.  I found it to be a rather odd pattern in that it doesn't seem to have anything to tie it together.  The big block in the middle sits higher than the middle.  Then there's the three little birds that sit on a ribbon - what's the deal with that?  Apparently all of the pieced blocks are historically to represent birds.  So how would you quilt it?

Keep in mind the customer loves wool batting and the poof that it gives so no need to quilt everything down as in a heavy background fill.  I'll show you how I finally quilted it in a later post.  Happy thinking....



March 31, 2012

Broderie Perse Traditional

I just finished and delivered a quilt to our local quilt shop for the upcoming Shop Hop.  The shop owner wanted traditional, which to both of us, meant crosshatching the middle.  Now this quilt is large, 104" square.  That means the middle is also large (Huge).  This was a pretty daunting task to accomplish, first marking then quilting.  With a longarm, a ruler is used to guide the stitching process and even with the use of a ruler guiding the hopping foot one still runs the risk of wobbling off the path and varying the degree of "straight line" which is only noticeable once the quilt is off the frame.  Only then does it jump out at you with a "see me!" attitude.

I was told by a few longarmers that I was very brave in attempting to crosshatch such a large area.  I was successful although I'm not sure I'd attempt it again.  It was definitely a lot of work and took lots of time and care to get it right.

I also stitched around each and every motif on the quilt, from the littlest of leaves to berries.  Chevrons were added in blank areas of one border to draw the eye around the quilt and in some areas I quilted ghost branches/leaves.  Piano keys were placed in the 2 busiest borders about 1" apart.