Wednesday, December 24, 2014

May your Christmas be full of His joy!

Joy to the World Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


A couple years ago I took two classes from Claudia Pfeil. In one, she showed us how to use commercial stencils to make up our own design to quilt on a whole cloth. The piece is about 40" square and it sat, and sat, and sat. I started to think those blue markings would never come out, so finally loaded it on my longarm and quilted it.


I'm not crazy about the results, so I named it Learning-01 and put it on the black and glass table in our dining room... where it looks pretty, if you don't look too close. The close-up shows the craziness of lighting. This table topper is WHITE, not even the slightest bit creamy. Oh well, the good news is that there is not a trace of blue anywhere! (Oh, and I learned a lot about what does not work, where I need more practice, and oh joy, it is finished.)

Friday, December 5, 2014


This is where I most like to see a quilt top... on the machine and a some stitches in the ditch. Will it be done for Christmas? Maybe... but with dark blue background and dark blue thread, I can only work on it when the sun is shining and the lights are all on!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Top is Done!

This top is finally finished. I am quilting it soon... the blank space is for quilting the recipients name, which will fit nicely. I've the backing (same as the lighter border) but not pieced yet. One block is leftover, and it will make a great label.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Welcome to my Blog!

How nice to be invited to this tour of blogs by quilters from Canada. I trust you are enjoying your virtual trip to each studio, and of course enjoying the quilts.

I have been at this since 1995, and so far have made about 170 quilts, large and small. Here are the links to a few of my favorites posted on this blog:

A Narrow Sea 
Because of Valor 
Detail from Butterfly Trails
Blessings of Friendship 
Blue Collection 

K-5 Fractured and Frazzled Flowers
Kali's Cherry Tree
Lighthouse and Friends
Mariner's Sunset
My Dear Jane
My Mountain
Only in my Dreams
Split Rail Fence
Tall Mountains
When God Became a Man (Note: these patterns are all sold)

Sunflowers and Asters
Check out the other pages (top right) for more photos. I've also an Etsy Shop, but am busy finishing a degree so am not too busy there, for now. Study is taking a lot of time. Fortunately, my sewing machine is near my computer, so when my brain gets heavy, I can stitch for a bit of relief. 

Do come back! 


Monday, November 17, 2014

Lord of the Rings quilt

FINALLY! The blocks are sewn together with sashing between. The large dark space is for the recipient's name which will be quilted in. It begins with a J so that will drop down into the left as if it is lower case. I found the perfect font for this spot. 

I am thrilled with this quilt so far! Just needs two more borders and some backing... and lots of thread to quilt it.It will be about 67" x 80" and will belong to a real hobbit fan.

The patterns came from Regina Grew, however I changed the sizes for some of them (and the colors). It took a long time to piece it (the white tree is applique), but whose counting?!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Hobbits ready for sashing

The last block is finished for the Lord of the Rings quilt. It is a view looking out from Bilbo's home, like a porthole. I also did two others. Here is the photo. Sorry it is crooked, but I'm always in such a rush these days...

I've put up a few colors for the sashing. So far, this "denim" blue seems to suit all the blocks and will definitely suit the recipient (age 14 boy). Now to buy that fabric and start cutting strips!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I'm still here...

Oh, my last course was a tough one... now it is over and I'm taking Beginner Greek, which is even worse. However, so glad that the sewing machine (and relief for an over-taxed brain) is just a few steps away. Also that some bright fellow posted a youtube that helped me learn the Greek alphabet in less than 10 minutes. It is corny, but it worked. Learning how to write the letters is another story.**

I only finished a couple more blocks for the Lord of the Rings quilt so will take pictures when the third one is finished... it is close. There are two more after that, then comes the challenge of selecting fabric for the sashing/borders, and arranging the blocks. What a journey this has been. I wonder if the time it took has any relationship to the length of those movies?!  :-)

Now and then, Pinterest attracts me away from doing any work. Can you believe all the marvelous quilts that are out there! I've been saving those that inspire me, and have very itchy fingers when I look at them. Btw, I graduate May 15, so hope all that ambition and my sanity are still with me so I can turn some of the vision into reality.

In the meantime, here is a photo that makes me want to sew a tree ...

** I'm finishing a Masters degree online, started it in 1993 so it is a huge UFO project!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lord of the Rings Quilt

Here are four more blocks finished (I didn't move the lower left one out of the picture, but it was finished last post.) 

I've one left to sew together which is J. R.'s initials, and another one that so ugly that I'm going to pitch it (no photo of that one!) 

These are scenes from the movie, and I love the one with the blue mountains, Grey Havens. My plan is to do some quilting 'reflections' on the water so that vertical line of contrasting tones isn't quite so prominent.

I'm also glad that I didn't have to put eyes on Gollum. That character gives me the creeps!

I do have a question... if anyone has any paper-pieced patterns that are Lord of the Rings, but different than these, I'd be very interested. I need a couple more blocks and don't want to make duplicates. I might be able to make patterns, but it would be nice to find some already made.

I'm now planning the general layout for this quilt. The plan looks good so far. Choosing the background color and fabric is a challenge though. I'll take pictures of my options and see what you think. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

And another three . . .

These 7" paper-pieced blocks are time-consuming, but I like the precision and the ease of 'pick up/put down' without forgetting what I am doing from one sewing session to the next. 

They represent scenes from the Lord of the Rings movie, including Merrie and Pippin. They are not totally accurate in color because the movie had a lot of dull gray and black which does not make discernible or eye-pleasing contrast for a quilt. I've plans in mind for quilting them in ways to enhance the shapes, etc. I'm still undecided on sashing. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Three more blocks

Here are the most recent finished blocks for the Lord of the Rings quilt. Again, they will finish at 7" and are foundation paper-pieced. I do love the technique so am having fun. My plan is to quilt-as-you-go if the arrangement will allow it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Eighteen blocks finished

Progress on this hobbit/Lord of the Rings quilt is slow as I am still taking a degree program online and putting most of my time into that. However, this foundation paper-piecing is fun and easy to put-down, pick-up. 

Here are the 18 blocks on the design wall, in no particular order. Note that some of them are bigger than the 7.5 size. Also, I didn't like three of them, so redid them. One is the prancing pony. I checked it out online and realized I should have done that first with all three. This one is the sign for a pub named The Prancing Pony... and the sign was green with a white horse. 

The hobbit home and the beer mug had the same values all over and were hard to identify. As for that white tree, there was no way I was going to do it at 7"!

The next photo shows the top of my work table with the next block about half finished. It is handy to my desk so easy to just stop reading and writing and go sew.

The photo below it is my folding table loaded with bits and pieces of the colors that are being used. Not sure what I'll pick for the sashing and borders, but there is lots of time for that. 

The pattern calls for 29 blocks, but with the resizing, it may need some more to make it work out. I'm still not sure what size either, but it looks like it might be a queen. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Patience needed

NOTE: My Internet connection is not working so these posts must go up in the evening instead of early morning. Long story, but I'm in a coffee shop doing this and listening to online lectures for my studies, at least for a few days. Thanks for your patience - and please pray for me to be patient also! One good thing... I quickly realized I have more time to quilt when I cannot read email!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

More Hobbit blocks...

Two more Hobbit blocks. Hope my artistic license is not messing too much with the original colors!

This is slow going, not because these patches are impossibly difficult or small (well some of them are only 7" including the bottom one) but because I'm taking a course right now with a huge amount of reading. No time = the bane of most quilters?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eight and Nine

This are blocks eight and nine. They have names from the Hobbit movie, but I'll do that later. Some of those names are long and hard to spell!

This is fun. I look up the scene on the Internet to see about color, etc. but am not always enlightened. Some artistic liberty is called for, particularly  when there is little color or contrast. However, some are "dark" in tone and color, so must remain that way to reflect the story. 

Foundation paper piecing is one of my favorite techniques. The 7" (finished size) blocks can be made in a couple hours or less, but this 7" x 23" one took a few days. It has lots of itsy, bitsy pieces.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Checking in...

My computer has an alarm set to ring every 50 minutes with a voice telling me to get up and work on my UFOs and other projects. Does it work? Yes, but I don't always listen to it. Taking a Master's degree and trying to do much else is a bit frustrating, but when my brain is overloaded, the sewing machine is good therapy! 

These are the latest three blocks in the Hobbit series. There are 29 of them, so I have 22 more to make. The one on the upper right could be upside down. I need to find an expert in the writing of those who live in Tolkien's world to be certain. My goal is one block a week, which seems easy, but I could use a 'personal assistant' to keep up with everything else that needs to be done. 

At least sewing these little guys is fun, mainly because I'm one of those quilters who likes foundation paper piecing. These are 7" finished, but I might leave the bottom one bigger. A few others are 11" and there will be sashing between... not picked the color yet. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Finished: LIghthouse & Friends. Started: hobbits and rings and things...

A while back, Regina Grewe offered foundation paper-pieced patterns depicting scenes from The Lord of the Rings. I've a grandson who is an avid fan, so decided to download and save them all. It took some time as they came available only once a month. So far, I have these four finished. They are supposed to be 7" square finished, but when I looked at the size of the pieces in the larger one, I worked out a different layout and made that one 11" - as will be a few others that have insane tiny pieces. I will be embellishing these also. The horse is also wider than 7" because I don't want the side pieces to be too narrow. Lots more to come for this project.

And this one is the latest finished quilt, "Lighthouse and Friends" that is just waiting for a label and to be delivered. I noted that the last picture was March 8 and cannot believe it took me this long to get it done. I really enjoy looking at it, partly because all the "friends" are hard to find, even though I sewed them on myself. This is about 47" x 71" and a gift for my dear DIL.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Horseplay wins a race...


Finally, I can show you this latest finish. Apologies for the light in the corner but without it, the quilting almost disappears. This piece was for a competition within my local guild. The guidelines were simple. It could be no bigger than 36" on the longest side, and the theme was "DOT." My immediate thought was Bob Coonts who gave me permission in 2009 to use his art as inspiration for quilts. I had to make one of his spotted horses.

This one called for a variety of techniques, piecing, foundation paper piecing, hand applique, machine applique, sweat and laughter. What fun. 

The annual guild banquet and award ceremony was last night. There were about six prize categories plus two honorable mentions. "Horseplay" won the prize for "Most Effective Visual Impact" and I was purring! But then they announced the plum - the Viewer's Choice, and my dotty horse won that too, and I was over the top! 

The Viewer's Choice award is sponsored by the Canadian Quilt Guild. Both prizes came with a cash award too. (Note: In Canada, a first ribbon is red, not the blue of the USA. Our guild uses green/pink for first place in this annual contest because it is called "The Prairie Rose" competition)

Making this spotted horse was a big challenge and I learned much, but it was also so much fun. I'm thankful for the opportunity to try it, and for the encouragement of the judge and my peers in taking home a couple of prizes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sewing on a facing - the easy way

I have been busy... but also working on quilts. One is just started (a Hobbit quilt) and one is nearly finished. I put a facing on that one and because it is 36" x 72" came up with this idea to make the hand quilting much easier.

First, I have this comfy chair in my sewing area. It folds out to almost a bed (which is a whole other temptation). I put a lamp on the table to the right, and a pole lamp on the left.

Then there is this small folding table that is low and light, but sturdy. I use it to select fabric, spread out patterns, etc. This went in front of the chair. That plastic drawer thingy peeking out at the right is my "hand sewing" box of tools. It has several spools of thread in it, but I had to go find some white to sew this facing on the back of the quilt.

The last photo is the quilt plopped on the table. Normally, I like 'neat' 'folded' etc. but that puts creases in a quilt and I didn't want any of those in this big wall hanging. So it was loosely arranged with the side to be worked on along the edge of the table facing the chair. I have a TV, but if the television programs stink (normally they do), there is my Bose CD/radio to the left. I found some calm music and had this facing stitched securely in no time. 

Now all that is left are the sleeves (I'm putting one at the bottom to hold a strip of something to weigh it down) and the label! A finish-photo is next...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Competition Quilt ??

It is hard to post when the quilt I'm working on is for a competition, and I don't know who is looking at this blog... could be the judge who isn't supposed to know who does what??? 

Anyway, here is a small peek, just to let you know that I am doing SOMETHING. It is applique, piecing, foundation paper piecing, and this shows a small section. I am having FUN. More later, when it is allowed...

In the meantime, any guesses?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ready to finish...

Here are the better photos, as promised. The first one shows the correct color, and the second one, with "brilliant sunlight" from the overhead light, shows the quilting. 

I plan to sew a facing to the edges and mount it on a stretcher frame.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Finally, the quilting is done and it is blocked, but not trimmed. Don't ask what the white thing is... I had just enough time to snap one picture and write this short post before heading to the kitchen.

A better shot soon, I promise!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I'm still quilting the lighthouse, but nearly done. It needs some detail work done on my DM after it comes off the longarm, particularly on the lighthouse.

I just entered a contest on Keepsake Quilting sponsored by Quilters Club of America. There are 50+ prizes, the main one being a 20-year supply of fabric! Here is the link to enter the CONTEST. If you win, send me a fat quarter (grin).

Friday, February 7, 2014

Panel quilts?

Does every quilter have a guilty feeling about making a quilt using a printed design? I don't. Every now and then, life either becomes so complicated that I just want to make something very easy, or a baby shows up and a quilt needs to be made right now.

This one falls into the first category. I won't go into my tales of woe, but live is difficult right now, and this cheerful little panel gave me pleasure with its bright colors
and innocent motifs.

It will go to an organization in our city called the Zebra Child Protection Centre.
This marvelous groups works with our city police to take care of, support, and make safe children who are victims of abuse, neglect and crime. They have a place where the children can feel at home, and a selection of things for each one to "take your pick." This includes basics like toothpaste and towels, but it also includes games, toys, and quilts. I am a big fan of the Zebra Centre, and because this cheerful panel has a zebra on it, this seems a logical home.

Now, confess... do you make quilts from printed panels? and just don't tell anyone? Or am I now about to be scorned as not a "real" quilter?

NOTE: The original title for this post seems to be a magnet for spam (lots of it) so I changed it, kept getting spam, so I deleted it. I also removed the link to the Zebra Centre in case that was the attraction. This is a copy of the original which was posted December 4, 2007.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Slow Progress is better than no progress!

This quilt is still "in process" but the time I can spend on it is very enjoyable. I love this kind of freedom and do much better with it than more formal motifs. The full view is posted earlier, so check that out here.

I've finished down to the rocky embankment in the scene, minus the lighthouse which still needs to be done, and the trees that can be seen on the right in the first photo.

Also needed is some stitching on the grass patch and a bit more overhanging on the edge of the embankment. I'm motivated because of another project that has a deadline, but this one needs to be finished first.

------------------------ XXX -------------------------

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Slow progress

Yesterday I began quilting the sky in this quilt, a landscape with a lighthouse. It is sort of a scribble pattern. The example in my book is even and regular, but my mind can't seem to do repetition. I think more like jazz than chords or toe-tapping. Anyway, it is started.

It seems that my biggest procrastination is not so much picking a quilting motif as the fear that my lack of skill will mess it up. Translation: I need more practice. That seems to be impossible right now. I should have a practice sandwich on the long arm all the time. For this, I mounted the quilt a bit to the right and put a practice piece on the left to try my threads, etc. so maybe that will help.

Another project is on the wall. This one is for a competition, so I'm not going to reveal all of it, only enough to say that the photo on the right is one front leg of a horse. You can see the pattern for the other front leg to the left of it. I'm making it in a combination of foundation paper-piecing and applique. So far, this is lots of fun! The pattern is my own design, sort of. I have permission from a wonderful artist to use his paintings as design ideas for my quilts.

We had a month holiday in SC and that was a good rest. Now I'm back at full-time studies and trying to squeeze in time to quilt and other artistic endeavors. Actually, this changes concentration from one side of the brain to the other and works well as a break... beats cleaning and other housework. My reasoning? How can the house get dirty when I'm on the computer all day?!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Being away from my sewing machine for over a month has left me lean and hungry. I did manage to buy a couple yards of fabric at Mary Jo's in Gastonia, NC (a great place) and sew on a button, but that is all. Oh, that was difficult. 

I was going to take a project with me on this trip, then buy a used sewing machine to leave at my daughter's house, but after seeing all the models that Baby Lock has to offer, I knew I would not be able to buy a simple used machine, and if I bought a less-than-simple new one, leaving it behind would also be difficult. 

So instead, I developed a new pattern while my hubby was golfing and my daughter was working. Remember the nativity scene quilt? (Link) I developed and quickly sold this pattern (all that I could make by copyright permission). I'm still getting requests for it, so decided to do a new one, this time not needing copyright permissions that would limit how many I could sell. It isn't quite ready yet, but watch this space! I will have to make the quilt too, but can post a picture of the pattern when it is done. A finish is soon expected. 

For now, the lighthouse quilt (Link) is on the longarm and I am trying to decide how to quilt it, starting with the sky. I could follow the design of the clouds in the sky, or do an allover motif that looks like clouds. Opinions and suggestions are welcome.

Happy New Year!