Monday, November 29, 2010

Itching To Stitch

I hope my U.S. readers had a very nice Thanksgiving holiday...

Very little quilting and sewing went on in my house this past weekend. That's because college boy was home for the holiday and of course I had more important things to do...things like baking cookies and doing his laundry! Hopefully, it's back to some stitiching this week.

In the meantime, here is a photo of a quilt that I made in early 2008 for my cousin's first baby. The Carpenter's Star is one of my favorite patterns. So easy, yet so impressive-looking. I just wish that I had taken some close-up shots of the quilting that I did in the triangles.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lucky Me!

Thanks to Karen Griska of Selvage Blog fame, this will be showing up in my mailbox soon. Karen recently sponsored a giveaway on her blog, and I was lucky enough to be a winner. Check out the block that Karen contributed to this issue on her blog here. And while you're visiting her blog, take a look at all the other cool stuff that she shares. Be sure to put her blog on your blog won't want to miss a single post.

Thank you, Karen!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ready To Go

Today I'm off to give a quilting presentation to our local second-graders for their annual Colonial Days. I've lost track of how many years I've done this, but this is at least the fifth. They keep asking me back every year and I never get tired of doing it, but I do get exhausted by the time I'm finished with presenting the program three times in one morning!

I usually bring a bunch of my completed quilts (the teachers don't mind if they're machine quilted, not hand quilted), a quilt top so that they can see what the seams look like, a few blocks, and some scraps to give them an idea of the kinds of pieces that quilts start with. I also bring along a quilt that I started at least ten years ago, but haven't touched in years except for the annual presentation. It's the maroon and gold one that's in the hoop. The fabrics are not my colors and I don't really want to finish the hand quilting, but it comes in handy to demonstrate what a quilt sandwich looks like and how to hand quilt. I just take a few big stitches every year during the's a good excuse not to finish the quilt...I'll need it for next year!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Now This is Color

Earlier this week, the guest speaker at my guild meeting was Louise Young, a local fiber artist who spoke about the Kuna people of Panama and their art of creating molas.

Louise was very gracious and passed the pieces around so that we could all take a close look at the exquisite workmanship. I'm afraid my pictures don't do the molas justice, but you can get an idea of what they looked like. If you ever have a chance, you must see a mola in person.

I love the use of color and the delicate work of the teeny stitches.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Last, But Not Least

My friend Moddy has been feverishly working on making six quilts for family members as gifts at Thanksgiving. She finished the last of the six last week and I quilted it for her over the weekend so she could finish up the binding in time.

She used a Disappearing Nine-Patch pattern; I just free-motioned flowers and loops.

To see more of Moddy's quilts, just click on the "Moddy's quilts" label on the right sidebar of my blog. She's quite prolific -- her family members are very lucky!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who Doesn't Like Leftovers?

I'm catching up with posting photos of quilts that I made B.B. (Before Blogging). This is a baby quilt that I made for one of my husband's great-nieces in early 2008 made from leftover fabric from these two quilts from 2006. There was not much of the fabric left once I got done with this one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hiding in Plain Sight

My husband and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather yesterday for a drive to Lyman Run State Park in Potter County, PA (less than an hour from our home). It's quite a bit out of the way for most people, so we practically had the park to ourselves. We enjoyed a wonderful walk along the lake and were rewarded with a visit from a couple of bald eagles. They were on the other side of the lake, so it wasn't worth my while to take pictures with my cheapy camera, but I had a great view through binoculars.

On our way home, we stopped at the Brick House Deli and Cafe in Galeton, PA for a great lunch of homemade soup and sandwiches. If you're ever in the area, I recommend a stop there for a bite to eat. They don't have a website, but if you're on facebook, you can find them there.

As I went up to pay for our lunch, I happened to notice that one of the display cabinets in the cafe had a quilt hanging on the back of it. We had been sitting on the other side of the room while we were eating, so I didn't notice it until we were on our way out.

I asked the guy at the cash register if it was a family quilt, but he said that he thought it was in the house when they bought it several years ago. According to the blurb on the back of the menu, the building was originally built in 1895 by a well-known local doctor who used it as his family home and office until his death in 1942. Over a period of time the building was converted into apartments and it aged a bit, but in 2004, a new owner saw the potential and started renovating it. It was bought again in 2007 by the current owners, who continue to restore it and run a great cafe at the same time!
I would have taken a bit more time to examine the quilt if the table in front of it didn't have some very ravenous gas workers sitting there who were waiting for their lunch. They probably would have wondered why this crazy woman was so interested in a dirty old blanket!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

Do you have a love/hate relationship with your serger? I do. When it works, I absolutely love it, but when it doesn't, I really, really hate it! It usually serves me faithfully, but once in a while, something goes wrong with the threading and then I start hurling a lot of 4-letter words all over my sewing studio. Rethreading means getting out the manual and attempting to thread the threads through all of the various little holes and loopers and such, awkwardly using a teeny screwdriver and tweezers and needle threader. It usually takes forever. I spent at least an hour on this the other day, and I finally got it to work (I think).

You'd think somebody would come up with a better design...Yes, I know there are some new sergers out there with automatic threaders, but I wonder how well they work...anybody have any experience with those? And even if they work well, I'm not ready to spend mucho dinero on a new serger (at least not until college expenses are done with).

Monday, November 8, 2010


This is "TR-8, Brigadoon", an intermediate-level triangle for which I used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method.

If only small-town life was really as enchanting as life in Brigadoon...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Movie Recommendation

Thanks to Netflix, I have a chance to see movies that you wouldn't normally find in the local movie-rental store...This one was a delight. Here's a link to the trailer.

This is so much better than cable TV....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Almost Forgot

I just realized that I never posted a photo of my finished project for my guild's September exhibit "Out of the Box" challenge -- some of you may have seen a few photos of the process several months ago. Click here, here, here, and here if you want to refresh your memory.

The name of the piece is "A Quilter's DNA". I love the name, but I'm not all that fond of the final result. It's kind of ugly, if you ask me. The piece should really be three-dimensional to get the complete effect of a double helix, but when this hangs from the ceiling, it twists a bit and moves around, so if you stretch your imagination, it sort of works.

It now hangs in my sewing studio, never to be seen in public again! You can click on the photos to get a closer look (but why would you want to?).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trudging Along

This is "TR-10, Precious Gems", an intermediate-level triangle that I paper-pieced.

I can't wait until these triangles are finished...I'm not really enjoying the process...