Monday, January 31, 2011

Quilt Block Embroidery

Almost finished with the blocks for this little wallhanging.  I have two more full ones finished and ready to be bordered with the prints.  The staggered middle strip will have half blocks at the top and bottom - then I'll decide on a border.  As mentioned in an earlier post, I think, the fabric is from a Moda charm pack and I love it so much.
Here is the third block of nine that I am making for another wallhanging.  I need to look through my Kaffe fabric for some more greens.  Fussy cutting is fun, but you certainly make swiss cheese out of fabric.  I think I have plenty of it, though!!  If I ever use up all my fabric,  I will be well into my 100's.  (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Hannah

Sunday is my youngest granddaughter's 22nd birthday - and as you who read my blog know, Hannah is in Africa in the Peace Corps so it may be Sunday over there right now or getting very close.  No one has ever asked me to sing or even encouraged me a little bit, but I did find this cute little kitten to be my stand in for a happy birthday song to Hannah.  I had an e-mail from her this morning and she is planning on posting to her blog this weekend - I am so anxious for that. 

Here is Hannah on her birthday that doesn't seem all that long ago and I think it was her 8th and it was a bowling party.  How do they grow up so quickly?
In the meantime, my dear granddaughter, you are loved, being thought of  and wished a fun birthday way over there in Africa.  xxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooxxxxxxxxxxxx from your Grandma.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fashion Friday

 Models today are my sister, Joanne (Jo) and me standing in front of her house when we came back for a visit to Chillicothe probably from Kansas City.  I am not sure of the year but it probably coincided with a reunion of my high school class in maybe 1976 or 1981.  There is my "higher the hair the closer to God" hair!  I don't recall where we were going, but the glads I am holding probably came from Jo's yard.  I am wearing white pants and a sleeveless knit shirt and scarf tied in a bow.  Jo wears light colored slacks and a pretty knit shirt with a collar.  Both of us carry big white purses.  The outfits we wore were not nearly as fancy or fun as those worn by our mom, Nan, and her sister, Nelle.  Different times.   Goodness, where have the years gone?  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One More Retreat Post

Here are two of the blocks that I worked on at retreat.  I think I did more talking and laughing and, yes, even eating, than I did laying out my blocks.  That's okay, though, since I had such a good time with all the gals there.  It was probably one of the coldest periods of the winter and the coldest weather I can remember in my 18 years in Michigan.  Sunday morning it was -17 and that is very, very cold.  I didn't go back for Sunday brunch, but I had not planned on that anyway.  As for the wallhanging these blocks are a part of, there will be 7 more to make.  Will keep you posted.  (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More Retreat Pictures

 Here are Linda and Kathy - Linda is our paper piecing extradordinaire who does such incredible work.  You can see she is working on a lovely rainbow colored hanging right now.  Another of her projects is a fused wallhanging of a giraffe (there is a zebra one, also), and she is getting assistance from our fusing expert, Kathy.  We have so much talent in our group of quilters.  Kathy also has another area of expertise - she has become a very accomplished freehand machine quilter.  For  the proof, just take a peak at the pictures below.  They are spectacular and look as good on the back as on the front.

This wallhanging is also freeform quilted, but is handpainted after it is quilted.  Isn't it spectacular?  You will want to enlarge these thre epictures for sure to see the lovely work.  The top one is the closest in color to the originals, but they are all beautiful.
Here is Kathy with another of our members - Leslie.  Leslie makes beautiful quilts, also, and does much of the work by hand.  She has a lovely young daughter who is a figure skater and she takes Elle to all the places she needs to be for her practices and training.  She always has a project or two packed up and with her for the time spent waiting.  Leslie has two sons, also, one in college and one still in high school.  Great, great family.

The last picture is of Janna - the lady who plans the retreats.  There are now three a year - one in October and two in January.  This is maybe the 14th or 15th year and they are just so much fun.  Held at a local college, you have very nice hotel rooms, catered meals and plenty of room to spread out all your sewing equipment or whatever you wish to use.  If you have ever thought about attending one, I highly recommend it - lots of fun!  Janna is working on a New York Beauty block for a quilt as a gift.  Behind her is a great looking wallhanging being made from a panel.  She is another very talented gal.  (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Some Retreat Pictures

Attending the retreat this weekend was a group of sock monkies - such handsome fellows!  If you take note of the second chap, you will see that he is somewhat ananotomically correct.  They came along with Lori and her sister.   

Here is one of the stars from the paper piecing class given last fall by Linda, one of the members of our guild.

The star was done by Helen, pictured here.  Helen is one of our long time guild members and one of the nicest women you could ever meet.  Coming along with her to the retreat is

Trish - can't you tell immediately they are mom and daughter?  Trish works on her scrapbooking while spending the weekend. 

Here are two more of the quilters joining in the fun - Steph and Debbie.  Stephanie made this lovely Christmas tree wallhanging that features some beautiful little beaded pieces made by a woman who is now deceased.  It is a gift for a relative of the woman.  The little beadings are just incredible - try clicking to enlarge the picture and maybe you can see the lovely intricate little peaces.  Deb seems to have cornered the market on polka dot fabric and is making a turning 20 quilt using the dots.  That will be a great piece, Deb.

This is installment one of the retreat.  Stayed two for installment two in a couple of days!!  More to come.
(Click to enlarge)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fashion Friday

Modeling today are three Moss sisters - Martha, Ann and Jane.  Ann is my other daughter and has been for almost 30 years - it will be 30 on Valentine's Day!  There is one more Moss sister, Marilyn, who came along at a later date.  The three girls are wearing dresses that were so popular back then with the full ruffled sckirts and probably a sash in back.  Puffed sleeves were usually the order of the day and  looks like peter pan collars on Martha and Ann's dresses.  Way back then, we ironed - and ironed and ironed - little dresses like that along with almost everything else that our family wore.  Thank heavens for dryers and permapress!  The three sisters each wear cute little black shoes and anklets - Jane has knee socks.  Someone must have said something funny because they all have beautiful big smiles!!  (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tomorrow's Retreat

Fiddling around today deciding which blocks to do with the fabrics I have picked out to take to the retreat this weekend for fusing.   I have the patterns for My Whimsical Garden which I showed in an earlier post and I do like those.   However, I have been checking out all the gorgeous applique done on  and am so in love with what is being done using mainly Kaffe Fasset fabrics and the beautifully designed reproduction quilts by Kim McLean that I decided to go with this more folk art pattern and use the pretty bright fabrics.  So I just put a few pieces on a block and the big chunk of fabric lying there with some polka dot in the center will probably be the main flower in that block.  I really love the way it looks.  Laying out the blocks is my favorite part of quilting - I adore working with all the colors.
Here is another one of the blocks that will be used.   This will be a wallhanging and not too big, but it should be bright and pretty.  Supposed to be really cold this weekend.  (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wine with Friends

What can be nicer than a glass or two of wine with friends and neighbors on a cold night?  I think a lot of my across the street neighbor - she is one great gal.  I love having her across the street - she is one of the nicest people I have ever met.   Every once in a while we get together for some wine and for solving all the problems of our condo complex and the world.  Joining us sometimes is another neighbor and friend who lives over on the next street.  Tonight they came over to my house and we had a fun evening solving problems and discussing and maybe even cussing a bit a lady from Alaska who may or may not run for president!  What a nice bright spot in the dark of winter!   

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quilting on an Old Project

Here is what is left of a project that started out sometime in about 1996  and that was going to be a full size quilt.  The idea came from a really lovely 1997 calendar with  wonderful embroidered blocks and the chain blocks.   After I had it started and was working on it a lot, my life went through a big change with the loss of my husband, selling our home and moving into this little condo.  Everything for this quilt was in a big plastic bin and it just kind of stayed in the basement waiting for me to get back to it.  I would get it out and work on it once in a while but just never really could get too enthused with it again.  So here it is about 15 years later and during the past year I got it out and put this much together for a wallhanging.  The rest of it I bundled up and put in our bazaar we have in connection with the guild's quilt show.  One of the Q2 members bought it and I even found some more of the background fabric for her so hopefully she will be able to make something out of it also.  Today, I layered and pinned it and have started quilting. 

Here is a closeup of one of the blocks.  I have used this pattern several times in my quilts - I think it is so pretty.
Here is the little bird block - note all the older fabric in this piece.  It would be much different if I laid it out today.  However, I still love the look of the little old prints and think they add a lot of interest.  (Click to enlarge)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fashion Friday

Today our sweet little models are Nan and Nelle Pearce, my mom and my aunt, when they were very young little girls back in the late 1890's.  I have this picture in a pretty old antique frame hanging by my fireplace in a group of other old photos.  This is so sweet.  Nan is wearing a dark long dress with a lace trimmed collar.  Nelle wears a lighter colored dress with a double ruffle feature around the neck and shoulder line.  Both little girls appear to be in awe of the camera - do you suppose it was one of those that the photographer went under a dark cover when the picture was being taken?  I may have featured the little sisters before, but it would have been a long time ago and you might enjoy seeing them again.  (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tag Trade

Julie from and I are still trading the tags each month.  The very pretty  one above is Julie's and those at the left are the ones I made.  I didn't have enough of either of the trims to make them the same, but that's kind of the idea anyway. 

A fun little project.  (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Off to Africa

This past weekend, Sherry did some shopping for things Hannah was in need of and that she wanted for everyday living.  My assignment and contribution was to pack it up and send it on its way to our Peace Corps volunteer.  Toiletries, some spices, M & M Peanuts, etc., along with spatulas, magazine, peanut butter, parmesan, tums,  etc., really mostly everyday things that we so take for granted  were packed in two large flat rate USPS boxes.  I added some Mike & Ike candy (had never heard of it), Sour Patch Kids (she used to get those when at the movies) and some Skittles.  One thing she wanted were things for her walls - so I did some shopping in my closet and came up with these bright wallhangings that I think she will like.  Both of these were done in classes our guild had in the past.  The little one with flowers was in a Mickey Depres class several years ago, and the scrappy one in a class by Gwen Marston.  So they will now grace Hannah's wall in Mozambique.  Her 22nd birthday is the end of this month - I hope she gets her box of goodies from us by then!  (Click to enlarge) 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Winter Work - Love It

Every year Janna, one of the gals in our guild, sponsors a retreat at a college here in town. She actually has two of them this month. I am signed up to go but will just go for the day and come home after dinner then back next day. I really don't like hauling my sewing machine and all that goes with it so decided to just do hand work.   Kathy, who is going also the same weekend, said she is bringing along everything necessary to fuse some applique blocks. Great idea!! Me, too! The above two pictures are what is swirling around in my mind.  I have been following the blog for some time now and just in awe of all the beautiful quilts being made and the progress posted by the various quilters. They are all working on quilts that have been designed by Kim McLean. They are all her version of some very famous old applique quilts and in the folk art style. Just gorgeous. I am not wanting to make a big quilt, but I am ready to do another smaller wall hanging with Kaffe Fasset prints. The second picture is one group of patterns I could use, but I also have two others that I like so will make that decision soon. I am wild about the piece of fabric I picked up the other day at the new quilt shop. It is the stripey dots - isn't it splendid? So for the retreat I will cut out some blocks, pack up fusible web, fabric, iron and ironing surface, scissors and just join Kathy in being regular cutups at the retreat. I can also take some embroidery along so won't even miss my Bernina. All my life I have always liked January and February and being in where it's cozy and just doing my thing.


Here's the Merry-Go-Round table topper pieced and ready to be put in a quilt sandwich after pressing.  I said it was easy-peasy, right?  Well, not quite right!  Putting it together in rows was kind of dicey but I am not the best piecer among quilters and piecing isn't my favorite part of the process.  However, it's together and looks just fine and I do like it.  Was discussing the binding of it at our little group that gets together several times a month (that's a lot of fun) and my friend, Kathy, suggested making a facing for it.  How cool is that and much easier than binding!  That is what I will do.
I got to thinking about backing fabric and found this down in my stash - there is a lot of it and it looks to me like it will be just about perfect.   Keep warm!  (Click to enlarge)


Friday, January 7, 2011

Fashion Friday

Back in about 1960, three couples from Ft. Madison, Iowa, drove to Detroit, Michigan, to attend the National Square Dance Convention.  What a great time was had by one and all.  Ray and I, Dick and June and Herb and Darlene had one set of matching outfits.  Our skirts were purple with three tiers and worn with white peasant blouses that featured embroidered purple and other colored flowers around the neckline.  Of course, there was a big cancan slip underneath the skirt and pantaloons for when we twirled around.  Most of the girls wore very flat, soft soled shoes.  The fellows had white western shirts with purple bolo ties.  A fingertip towel to match the outfits was always at the waist of the fellows--to mop their brow when dancing at a fast clip.  Talk about good aerobic exercise!  That was one of the only times that Ray and I actually got away to be all by ourselves for more than an evening at a time.  (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Merry-Go-Round Blocks

I'm just fiddling around today - have been playing with a jelly roll I ordered quite some time ago.  There is a quilt I have seen on the internet that I really like and found out it is called merry-go-round.  Looks like hexagons set together and at first glance appears to have lots of intricate piecing.  However, it's easy peasy!!!  Done in rows, it is easy sewing.  I have decided, though, that this fabric is not the look I am going for so this will be a very nice, bright table topper.  
This will be the size of it approximately but I may change out a couple of the blocks.   Looks nice and springy especially on a snowy day.  The only drawback I can see is binding!!!!!  I imagine it will have to be bias binding and lots of nipping and tucking to get around the edge.  I could add pieces to make it straight but I think I will just go for it and give it a try.   Later on, I plan to make another one using this same block in a smaller size and in sweet little Aunt Gracie fabrics.  That should be cute as a button.  (Click to enlarge)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Stained Glass Hanging

The other day I decided to hang my paper pieced star that I have shown earlier on the blog.  I really like it so much and thought it might be nice to be able to see it.  This little wallhanging has been hanging over my basement stairway for a long time so I took it down as that is a great space for the star.  It's the one and only stained glass project I have done.  It was from a Dover book of actual patterns for the glass projects and I took the pattern out to Staples and had it enlarged to about  maybe 20 x 24.   It's been so long that I made this that I can't even recall exactly how it was done, but I do know when I sewed the tape down, that did the quilting.   (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

 May 2011 be a healthy, happy year for you followed by many more!