Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

As usual, I'm not going to see the ball drop (usually I'm in bed reading), but I wanted to wish every one a happy and healthy new year. May you always have good friends and loved ones like the pair pictured here (my two little munchkins)!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Ornament Junkie has her fix

These are my newest additions to my holiday decorations.
The Snow Queen is from Chris, my partner in Laume's Magical Yule Swap. She captured perfectly what I wished to be when I was a little girl- The Snow Queen, glamorously clad in blue and silver. The goofy little reindeer with the stubby antlers is Rudy, one of Saralee's ornaments. It was only after I bought him at her open house that I realized last year I also bought a reindeer- nothing like Rudy though. If you go back into my archives for Dec. 2007 you'll see last year's reindeer. The two stockings made from a cutter quilt were won at my guild's silent auction and were made by Barbara Barber (or, as we refer to her in the guild, the AMERICAN Barbara Barber, as opposed to the ENGLISH Barbara Barber). The wooly lamb was from a craft show at the middle school, crafted from wool from an area sheep farm. The crafter had reproduced all kinds of sheep, but this little guy just spoke to me more than his more exotic cousins.The tiny sea glass reindeer came from the bazaar today- whoda thunk ever turning waveworn beer bottle shards into a reindeer?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm not really in the land of the lost...

I'll be vending at the Ashaway Holiday Stroll Saturday, so I'm frantically making crafty giftie things to sell along with my Six Gables Designs patterns. Stay tuned...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Still time to make this

My contribution to Cotton Spice's Gift Countdown went up on the Cotton Spice Blog yesterday. This is the casserole/plate carrier I made for my quilt guild's silent auction. Click here for directions. These are very quick and super simple to make, but the rings can be a bit challenging to find. You can use key rings, as I did here, but they are a bit pricier. If you can find packages of metal or nylon rings, I would suggest you stock up, as you need 8 per carrier and you will probably want to make several. Other than the rings, if you quilt, you probably have plenty of fabric and pieces of batting already in your stash.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Laume's Magical Yule Swap

Here is my Magical Yule gift for my as yet unknown swap partner. It grew from my original intention of making a weasel in its winter coloration watching the sun rise at the winter solstice. Turn the panel to the sunset side, swap the winter weasel for a summer colored one, and you have a summer solstice decoration.
"Why weasels?" you may ask. It all started with the two-hundred some-odd ferret angels I made for Chere to raise money for her ferret shelter. From ferrets it was only a tiny step to weasels, and I loved the idea of the winter and summer coats.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ugly Quilt Number Two

Here, at long last, is the second quilt I made from other quilters' so-called ugly fabrics, fabrics I thought were actually quite pretty. These were Gloria's uglies. I immediately thought the striped fabric would make a good wallpaper, and the streaky white and lavender looked like whitewashed wood. The diagonal rose fabric looked like tiles. So I created a still life on a "shabby chic" table against a background of two coordinating wallpapers separated by white chair rail molding. I quilted circles in the corner blocks on the border to resemble the circular designs carved into old moldings at the tops of doorways.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ugly is in the eye of the beholder- or is it?

I've posted here several times about my penchant for using other people's fabric. I've even told about using other people's ugly fabric. But what I've never done (until now) is use other people's ugly fabric to make a present for the giver of said ugly fabric.

Let me start by saying I have a lot of ugly fabric. Or, more accurately, a LOT of UGLY fabric. So when Listmom Linda of Fairiegoddessmothers asked for suggestions for a new swap or challenge, I rose to the occasion. I'm hosting an Ugly Fabric Swap. The rules of the swap are simple. Participants are paired off. Each person sends three pieces of ugly fabric to her partner. The partner has to use those three fabrics, plus no more than five other fabrics from her own stash, to create a small quilt, one nice enough that her partner would display it in her home. She then mails the finished quilt to her partner.
We are far enough along in the swap, that several of us have completed quilts. Luckily for me, I think most players are enjoying the challenge. I know I am.

Because we wound up with an odd number of players, I took on two partners. Both my partners promptly mailed their fabrics. Chris's fabric arrived first, so I made her quilt first. Let me start by saying I thought her fabric was very un-ugly. Not only that, two weeks previously, I had sketched a vase of moonflowers. I planned to appliqué this design in the near future, and tucked the sketch away in a safe place. When I saw Chris's fabric, it could not have been more perfect for this quilt. So, here is "Moonflowers Bloom at Midnight". Click on the photo for a larger view. Come back again soon to see what I do with Gloria's uglies.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

DH and I got up early and were at the polling place at 6:30 a.m. It was much quieter than I expected for a state that does not have early voting. Polls opened at 7:00 and I was the first person in my precinct to vote; by 7:12 I was back in my kitchen making coffee (no Starbucks here for my free cuppa Joe).  We both have Tuesdays off- I spent the morning doing 3 loads of laundry, running errands (grocery shopping, picking a couple things up at the Family Dollar, and going to the bank), helping replace the rotten boards on our back steps, and working on some quilty projects for sale. Now it's after lunch, I'm home for the rest of the day, and it's back to the sewing machine for me!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pack up the candy, Halloween's over

I had hoped to have October go out with a bang, at least a few good photos from last night, but the sad truth was, Halloween was a bust! We both worked late enough to miss any little little trick or treaters who may have come, and only had two older kids. This is the one day a year I envy those people who live in housing developments where parents drop off their kids by the van full.
I did get to see a family all dressed up in coordinating costumes get out of their car and go into the restaurant next to where I work- Santa, Mrs. Santa, and elf, and even a tiny reindeer! Well, Halloween IS the beginning of the holiday season, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To Market, to Market

When we last left little Barbara, she was a mere stripling of a girl, only 53 years old. Now she is a grown-up lady of 54. Not only has she polished off her share of her b-day cake, sadly not chocolate, as her husband is allergic, she has some news. But we'll let her tell it in her own words...

I celebrated my birthday morning by being the first "official" customer at my LQS's (Local Quilt Shop for any unfortunate non-quilters who may be reading this) new location- they moved from the other side of the next town, to 1.3 miles from my house, literally down the street. I didn't buy anything- just wanted to say hi and fondle some fabrics. I'm on a mission to use up at least a tiny portion of my stash before I buy more, but I DID have to go back two days later (honestly, my car just swung in there after work) to buy two quarter-yard pieces to be able to finish some projects. You know how that goes. Having the shop so close means I can probably just kiss my paycheck goodbye, which may not be Spooky, but is definitely Scary!

My newest patterns, the ones that will from here on be published by Quiltwoman, rather than myself,  are on their way to the International Quilt Market in Houston. While I'm impatiently whiling away the time waiting for the results, I've taken a brief break from creating new patterns to concentrate on making some finished pieces for some holiday shows. I just was invited to another one this morning, an open house/craft sale hostessed by a teller at my bank (if you go back into last December's archives, you will find a cute reindeer ornament I bought there last year).  Last week's show was poorly attended, but it did get my patterns into two more shops - one in MA and one in NH, so I can't complain too much.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quilt Dash has begun!

Come one, come all, and join the fun at the Quilt Dash. Register to play and you may just end up winning some great quilty prizes.

Finally Posting Spooky again!

Okay, so when I last posted, the batteries in my digital camera had gone dead. No problemo, just recharge them for a few hours and we'll be good to go. Yeah. Right. The bleeping batteries wouldn't charge. A day and a half later they still hadn't charged. So, rather than scavenge two batteries from the miscellaneous clocks and radios in this house I bought four more new rechargeable batteries. Here is the picture I promised the other day. The second picture is a tablecloth (not shown are the eight matching napkins) I bought yesterday at a local consignments shop. I have lighter green candles to match the stripes in the cloth, but I have to trim down the ends to fit into the candleholders. I love my antique candleholder/bowl thingie. You can also see it on the cover of my Double Pinwheel Table Runner pattern, bedecked with satin Christmas balls.

My Halloween quilt top is stitched together and I found a piece of purple, black and white camo fleece at the Remnant Shop this morning for backing. Finishing it up will be my project for this afternoon. Oh yeah, I also found a sparkling orange and black wreath for the front door. Pictures later.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No pictures (spooky or otherwise) today

I took my camera outside yesterday to take some pictures of this year's parade and after the second shot my batteries went kaput!  I'll make up for it tomorrow.

 I finished a cute Halloween wall hanging- bought the pattern at my last quilt show and actually USED it! It was a fun fusible project, stitched down and quilted in one step with clear monofilament. Then I finally pulled out some Halloween nine patches from a block swap about five years ago- maybe some of you remember- or may even have participated. I have twenty blocks, enough for a cuddly throw, so I stitched the blocks into rows, now have to stitch the rows together. I thought in lieu of batting and backing I'd look for a Halloweeny fleece backing. No luck at WalMart; they didn't have ANY Halloween fabric and I find it hard to believe they sold every single bit of it with more than two weeks to go. I could have gone with solid fluorescent orange fleece (like for hunters' vests), but it was just sooooooooo orange. 

I pulled my fabrics for an Ugly Fabric Challenge I'm hosting in a group I'm in. I will send them on to my swap partner who has to use them, along with up to five fabrics from her stash, to make a small quilt. Then she sends me her quilt, and I send her one made from her ugly fabrics.
Yessiree Bob, I do have ugly fabrics!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Columbus Day Parade Eve

The Columbus Day Parade is to Westerly what Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is to New York, only more so. If you're not at the parade watching it, you have only one excuse- you're in it! Okay, I don't think anyone really believes Christopher Columbus discovered Westerly, but this is a big deal. A very big deal. And we live on the parade route. Here are some pictures of last year's parade.

What would a parade be without a Pinpoint Doppler Weather Vehicle? I love this Cub Scout Float. And every year that fife and drum corps shoots off that cannon right in front of my house!

Not shown are the numerous politicians who come from all over the state, often both party's candidates, which makes for some interesting parade viewing in this bluest of the blue states. The governor waved to my dogs one year. Like they're not spoiled enough!

Kitchen Witch or Domestic Diva?

Obviously Kitchen Witch. Domestic Diva would have gone the frou-frou route; cupcakes with fluffy pink frosting. I don't do fluffy pink frosting. These are my traditional (this is the second year now) Columbus Day Parade snacks- my baked, not fried, mini donuts.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 9

Okay, so I missed Day #8. I have an excuse.

I was gone from 7 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. First I had to drive the 100+ miles to Waltham, Mass. for a 15 minute appointment. Mosquito had a follow-up visit with the veterinary oncologist; she had a malignant tumor removed in July, then 3 weeks of radiation in August. Waltham was the closest place to bring her-I'd drop her off Monday mornings and Rick would pick her up Friday afternoons.  It seems our little alpha brat became the Belle of the Boston 'Burbs during her time there. When I brought her in yesterday they announced over their PA system (do they still call it that?) "Mosquito is in the building", and all the vet techs came out to give her a hug. While I was sitting in the waiting room, a vet I had never seen there before walked through and greeted her. Her vet gave her a clean bill of health, and she was very pleased with the way her radiation site (left side of her neck below her ear) has healed. Then I headed back home to gobble down a very quick lunch, go to work, gobble down an even quicker dinner, then pick up the woman I carpool with and go to my quilt guild meeting. 

Our guest speaker was Karen Eckmeier, and seeing her accidental landscapes and happy villages up close and personal was a real treat. Unfortunately I didn't take the today off to take her Accidental Landscape workshop, but I did buy her book Happy Villages, which looks like a lot of fun. 

I was able to cut some fabric for quilted handbags this morning before work; trying to get a bunch of them cut out so I can sew them assembly line fashion. I'm using up my stash- well, a tiny bit of my stash. I lucked out at the thrift shop the other day- stopped in to see their new location and walked out with exactly what I had hoped to find, but truly never expected to- a bag of zippers! Sixty-five of them, to be exact. For $2.75. 

Tomorrow morning I have to head over to Gales Ferry, CT to do a home visit for an animal rescue group. I've never done one before. No Ali, I'm not going to end up adopting another critter.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 7

While this doesn't exactly qualify as spooky, I just pulled out my copy of The Witches of Eastwick to give it a re-read, before the sequel comes out later this month- ya just gotta love a book with a character who laminates her hubby into plastic placemats! The not-so-ficticious Eastwick is just a few towns away in Wickford. Years ago we knew a family who lived in a house on a tiny island in the middle of a salt pond, accessible by a narrow causeway- surely Updike must have borrowed that location for the devil's home- the description fits to a "T", although their home was far more modest.

Another great October read is The Lace Reader. The title character is one of a family of women who read bobbin lace in the way that others read tea leaves or tarot cards. The story is set in Salem, Massachusetts, complete with a sympathetic portrayal of a modern day witch. I was drawn to this book because I used to make bobbin lace, and it was while on a visit to Ipswich, Mass, the center of the lace industry in America, that I visited Salem. Check out the author's (Brunonia Barry) web site- pun intended, she draws you into the lace like a spider at its web.

Today's picture is a cute Frankensteinish candy/dip bowl I bought last October at a local independent supermarket. It must have been left from the previous Halloween, as it was already marked down half price. It reminds me of DustBunny with her little smooshed-in face!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 6

This little quilt was done in a year long challenge at Linda M. Poole's Fairie Goddess Mothers group. In Linda's original pattern, the goddess is holding a heart over her head. Each month we had a different color scheme or theme for our goddess- needless to say, this one was October's!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 5

Truly spooky- this is my cousin's web site. I don't have an appropriately scary photo to do it justice, but this was my pitiful attempt at being Martha Stewart last year. This year I'll expand on it. 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 4

Dinner went well- I made a chicken and pasta dish I made up a couple weeks ago (threw together after work one night) and it was a big hit! I used my nifty new favorite kitchen gadget, my julienne tool. Funny how a few shreds of zucchini makes you a gourmet chef. Anne brought a carrot cake from a new recipe that was (although I never would have thought this was possible) even better than her "old" recipe. I am STUFFED!

Today's photo is not at all spooky, but it IS autumnal. I love how the late afternoon sun gives my house a lavender tint that makes the orange lanterns pop!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Posting Spooky Day 3 - Dark Angel

Actually about the spookiest thing I could possibly post right now would be a picture of myself. It was a very long day. Had annoying little projects to finish, shopping to do, errands to run this morning. Rushed like a madwoman to make it in to work for noon, 2 1/2 hours earlier than usual. Then back home spending what should have been a peaceful hour or two refilling the pantry- I haven't been able to store food in there because of a leaky roof and all the rain Ike and his buddies brought with them. Hopefully Rick fixed the leak because cartons of food on the dining room floor gets real old real fast! Now I'm finally sitting down with a nagging headache and not hot enough cup of tea. 

Today's picture is one of my ferret angels. For several years I made them to donate to my friend Chere's ferret shelter. She'd sell or auction them and use the money for the vet bills. I started with "traditional" ferret Christmas tree angels, then branched out. Mona Weasel, Library Ferret Fairies, miniature wedding cake ferret toppers, angels in outfits made from friends' wedding gowns.  This is my Goth ferret angel. Click the picture to see it larger. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 1

The Halloween countdown begins! Laume has urged her readers to "Post Spooky", and so I am!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Upcoming show/trunk show/workshop schedule

Six Gables Designs patterns will be available at the following quilt shows:

Oct. 4-5, 2008 - De Kalb County Quilters Guild, De Kalb, IL
Oct. 4-5, 2008 - Belknap Mill Quilters Guild, Laconia, NH
Oct. 18-19, 2008 - Tewksbury Piecemakers, Tewksbury, MA
Nov. 9-10, 2008 - Champlain Valley Quilters Guild, Shelburne, VT
May 2-3, 2009 - Sinnissippi Quilters, Rockford, IL
Oct. 23, 24, 25, 2009 - Ninigret Quilters, Westerly, RI
Also, I will be selling my patterns at the Ashaway, RI Holiday Stroll; not sure of the exact date, I think it's the first Saturday in December.
Trunk show/workshop:
Oct. 14-15, 2009 - Clamshell Quilt Guild, Waterford, CT - trunk show and workshop "Earth, Air, Fire, Water"

Friday, August 22, 2008

For the foster furkids...

...belly bands! Twenty-two of them went out to the Just A Touch Rescue this morning to assist the little boys in their potty training.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Trunk Show

I'll be doing a trunk show for my guild, Ninigret Quilters, at our September 10th meeting at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Charlestown, RI.

Friday, August 1, 2008

New patterns for Sale

Patty Piper and Five Yard Dash are ready to go. Order them at Six Gables Designs.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What's new Pussycat?

Whoo-hoo!!! I had some of my patterns accepted by Quiltwoman. This frees me from some of the more tedious aspects of self-publishing, and with only one day off a week, I'll take every extra minute of freedom I can get. I'm looking forward to at least a couple of my patterns getting broader exposure (I can see it now...the Brangelina twins in my Patty Piper quilts)! I celebrated by working on a new pattern.

On the book front, seems like every day at work our members are recommending books I MUST read. I recently read Couldn't Keep It to Myself: Wally Lamb and the Women of York Correctional Institution; I couldn't NOT read it, seeing as how Rick worked there for twenty years and knew a couple of the women whose writings were in the book. Just finished John Dunning's Bookman's Promise, which I picked up at the library bookfair. Good, but disappointing ending; his first two Janeway novels were better. Betsy just loaned me Susan Vreeland's Luncheon of the Boating Party, which I am itching to begin.

My knitting (yes, crazy woman that I am, I knit in even the hottest weather) is coming along...sort of. Shawl #1 (the easy one) is almost done. I used worsted weight and smaller needles, so I have a lot more rows than the shawl in the picture, which was mistakenly photographed inside-out and does not show the texture of the pattern. I'm substituting fringe for the crocheted loop edging. Shawl #2 (no picture, no links- it's a mystery shawl) will be done sometime around 2017. It's black lace, and right now is about 1 1/2" in diameter.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Recent books read

The Alienist by Caleb Carr. Back in my bookstore days several customers recommended this book. Not exactly my cup of tea, but what a pageturner! I zipped right through it. Okay, okay, those who know me would say I'd read any book that had Theodore Roosevelt in it!
Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothers by Barbara Hambly. I was disappointed in this book, felt the story line linking the four women together was more than a bit of a stretch. I think I would have preferred separate books about each of the women (Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and Sally Hemings).
The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks. I'm about 1/3 through the book and am very impressed. This is a fictionalized account of a real person I had not heard of, nor was I familiar with the battle of Franklin, Tennesee. This was a nominee for the Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War fiction, and as I am a major fan of Michael and Jeff Shaara's books, I felt this would be worth reading. Coincidentally, Barbara Hambly also was nominated for that award (though obviously not for Patriot Hearts).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Newest patterns

The top picture is Five Yard Dash, which uses five 1-yard pieces of fabric. I purchased the fabrics as a packet at my last show. The quilt measures 56" x 68". This solves the problem of "I purchased that packet of great fabrics, but now what do I do with it?"

The other two pictures are the two quilts made from my Patty Piper Pieced a Pair of Painless Pointless Pinwheels. This pattern makes two quilts at a time and is fast, fast, FAST!- add different borders and you have completely different looks for your two quilts. The pattern also includes directions for a pair of twin quilts- great for siblings who share a room. Choose border fabrics representing each child's interests.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Quilting update

Two tops quilted, one more to go. The rest can wait until after I'm done vending at the Clamshell show next month. No pictures today as they still need to be bound.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quilt Top at Last!

This morning I finished putting the last border on my latest quilt top. That now makes a grand total of (yikes) five quilts, one table topper, and one runner that I have to quilt/have quilted. Hopefully the heat wave will break tomorrow as predicted- it's too hot and sticky to wrestle with machine quilting right now.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Books I've Read Lately- all highly recommended!

Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. I love all her books. This one is a must read in light of the current political situation in the Middle East.
An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear. I generally don't like series, but this one is wonderful. Maisie Dobbs is one of the mystery genre's most engaging characters.
The Winter of the World by Carol Ann Lee. I wasn't familiar with this author, now I want to find her other books.
Atonement by Ian McEwan. I've had this book in my library literally since before it was published- my copy is an ARC (advance reader's copy). It took the movie trailer on tv to get me to finally read the book.
The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian. I am amazed at the skillful way he worked the characters from The Great Gatsby into this book!
King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett. Okay, so what if 11th century northern European geopolitics aren't everyone's cup of tea? This isn't an easy read, but what a book!

Thursday- no quilt top yet, books are beckoning!

I got all the blocks pieced and half of them stitched into rows and two of the four rows put together, so I'm pretty far along. Was planning on finishing it before dinner, but a well-needed nap intervened, and I'm just not in the mood to work on it tonight. I stopped off at the library yesterday morning and have three books awaiting me, two of which I've already started, The Buffalo Soldier, by Chris Bohjalian and The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another WIP, and a reprieve!

Yesterday I finally created a pattern for my packet of five 1-yd. pieces of fabric, and cut all the pieces for it. Another very easy pattern but the interlocking design makes it harder to spot the blocks. It wound up being larger than I thought I'd be able to get out of that amount of fabric- 56" x 68". I'll start sewing it today, hope to have the top done by Thursday. I'm thinking of having a contest for the best name for this quilt- winner wins the finished pattern.

The day started out great- zipping right along on above mentioned project; wrapping it up to go to work when the phone rang. Not a good thing at that time of day- it could only be...Work! Looked like my one day off per week was going to go by the wayside for the forseeable future (read "forever", or at least until early autumn when my hours at Job #2 are cut back). the end of the day, the Powers That Be did a bit of creative schedule juggling and gave me a (different) day off!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Patty Piper Pieced a Pair...

...of Painless Pointless Pinwheels. Not great pictures as they're not quilted yet- these are just some quick shots I took to go to my pattern testers. This is my latest pattern; I'm going to introduce it at a show next month- oops, make that possibly two shows, I'll be vending at one, probably exhibiting at another the next weekend. And teaching it at a not-yet-determined date. It was the most fun project I've worked on in a while. Two tops in a weekend- ya gotta love that!

My Baby's Back! Meet Lady Macbeth

I decided after owning it for only almost two years, it was time to get my Featherweight 222K in running condition. Here's the story:
DH and I go the the flea market in nearby Charlestown, RI nearly every Sunday in the summer. One day I decided not to go, and of course that's when hubby found it. Like all quilters, I had lusted after one, and the price was good, the visuals were great, and I became the owner of my long awaited Featherweight (and case, and attachments). After drooling over it for about half an hour, I suddenly realized it was a free-arm; at that time I didn't know free-arm Featherweights existed. A bit of research and I discovered how scarce they are, and what a great deal DH had gotten. It was running (barely), but I knew a Featherweight repairman, and it was certainly worth putting a bit of money into.
So- now it runs like a dream and maybe one of these days I'll actually have time to do some sewing on it.
Oh yeah, why Lady Macbeth? It seems like Featherweight owners like to name their machines, usually dorky old lady names. I'm not the Emma Lou type, and as free-arms were all made in Scotland, the obvious choice to me was to name her after one of my favorite literary characters.

2028 pieces (but who's counting?)

...and that's only one quilt. In the past 2 months I've made four quilts, a table topper, and a runner, all awaiting quilting, as soon as I get my batting. Still no definite ideas for the packet of pale lavender and aqua fabrics I bought at the show last month; right now leaning toward something with curved piecing, maybe some slightly darker piping. No good pictures of any of these projects yet. But to keep everyone happy I'll share a cute pet picture. This is Mosquito in costume last Halloween. I cropped out a lot of the background and gave it a catchy title, "Aerial View of Flower Girl Walking Down the Aisle".

Friday, April 18, 2008

Narragansett Bay Quilters Association Show

Just popping in to post a picture of the booth.

Green Lightning

Green Lightning will be making its debut this weekend at the Narragansett Bay Quilters Association show this weekend in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
This is a "strippie" quilt, with a streak o' lightning setting, hence the name. It was designed to take the fear out of making a quilt with that setting, and is quite easy to make. Shop owners take note- this is a fun pattern for class, or for using a new line of fabrics. Many thanks to my testers Stacy and Denise.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Six more weeks of winter...

...our local groundhog (Pawcatuck Pete) saw his shadow today. So did Mosquito and DustBunny- they enjoyed having the sun back shining in the window over the couch, something it doesn't do in December and much of January. They sit in the window and watch the world go by (and bark). On cloudy days they just want to sleep the day away. Yes, there are two dogs there- the half of a face is Mosquito, the foot belongs to DustBunny.

The green strippie is finally basted and about 1/3 machine quilted. No pictures at this point. Pomegranate will appear in a magazine in the future- more details later.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Scrappy Little Teddy...

...made his appearance today. See earlier post "Scraps du Jour". And I STILL have enough of those flannel scraps to make another project; I just can't decide between two possibilities at the moment.
Right now though, I want to get my green strippie quilt basted so I can start quilting it this week.
But, in the spirit of procrastination, I'll share my dinner recipe from tonight:

Almost Fat-Free Turkey Loaf
1 pound 99% fat free ground turkey breast
1/2 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup EACH finely chopped green pepper, onion, and carrot
1/4 of a 16 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and all moisture squeezed out
1/4 cup Egg Beaters or 1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all ingredients except ground turkey breast until well mixed. Add turkey, mix gently until ingredients are evenly incorporated into the turkey. Form into a loaf shape, place in ovenproof pan. Bake for 1 hr.

I like to serve roasted potatoes and carrots with this, or any other kind of meatloaf. Cut up potatoes (with skin on) and carrots into pieces about the size of your thumb. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite dried herbs, and add to pan around the loaf. Turn veggies once about midway through cooking time.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ali made me do it...

update my blog, that is. Hey, Ali, this post's for you.
Here's my latest project. It hadn't been around long enough to qualify for a UFO; as I started it back in early autumn. It was begun on one of those days when I needed to start a new quilt project- RIGHT NOW! I have had a long-time love for pomegranate motifs in crewel embroidery, but the traditional pomegranate appliqué patterns just didn't excite me. This is my version- soft curves, voluptuous globes of fruit, fast and easy to appliqué. I didn't want to take the time to shop for fabric, so I pulled from my stash. More OPM (see earlier posts) to the rescue- the background fabric, as well as the backing (another tone-on-tone tan) were quilt guild freebies.
When I pulled out the top last week to add the borders, I was unable to find the leftover tan fabric I had set aside for the pieced border I had planned. In retrospect, I think that was a good thing, because I really love the simplicity of the wide red border. Machine quilting it was simple; I used fusible Mountain Mist batting and was thrilled with not having to remove basting stitches or pins.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Scraps du Jour - One project down...

I made this tea cozy today, and I still have half the scraps left. Tomorrow is another day.

Scraps du Jour Update

It's in progress and it has prairie points!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Scraps du Jour

If you've read my previous posts you know I'm a sucker for free fabric (give my your tired, your poor, your unwanted scraps longing to be put into a quilt). This little pile of beauties has me itching to create- I hope they tell me soon just what they want to be when they grow up.
They're flannel, and as you can tell from the photo, the pieces are quite small. Except for the plaid in the upper left, they appear to be scraps from a single project. Stay tuned to watch them get turned

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The last of the Christmas presents... finally done. Now I can get on to working on some new patterns. Here's a picture of the gift quilt- machine pieced, hand quilted, about 72" square.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


No, it's not Other People's Money; it's something even more exciting to a quilter- Other People's Material. OPM is the next best thing to being given a gift certificate to the LQS (local quilt shop). In some ways it's even better- saves time and gas and that nagging indecision between this chartreuse tone-on-tone or that purple batik.
My first experience with OPM was a packet from a fellow member of an online quilt group. She was clearing out some scrap fabrics and had some Japanese style prints she was willing to part with. My frugal nature couldn't bear the thought of any fabrics going into the landfill, so I said I'd take them. A few days later the package arrived.
We apparently use different dictionaries. I was expecting scraps, as in small pieces, something most quilters would be unlikely to put to use. Her definition of scraps included fat quarters and half-yard pieces - lots of them! I sat on the fabrics for a while before putting them to use- Japanese prints didn't play well with my country calicos and reproduction fabrics. But darned if they didn't keep calling me. Suddenly it clicked. Here was my chance to play outside of the box- to break out of the nicely coordinated fabrics that the quilt police had taught me were necessary to an aesthetically pleasing quilt.
I dug out my very few batik scraps. Did they "go" with the Japanese prints? I thought so. I laid out the fabrics. I arranged and rearranged. I stepped back. I came back later. Finally I decided to take the plunge.
Making the blocks for my Moon Over Mount Fuji was about the most fun I've ever had making a quilt. But then it was time to put the blocks together. I needed sashing and borders. Never having used oriental fabrics I wasn't even sure my LQS carried them. I had something in mind (a small scale, predominately green print to quiet the boldly clashing blocks), but was almost certain my trip would be futile.
I bagged up my blocks and drove to the store. Before Diane could even ask if she could help me, the perfect sashing fabric nearly jumped out at me. From then, it was a simple matter to find the darker green batik border fabric.

My next experience with OPM was quite different- again, the scraps were large pieces of quality fabric, but this time they were flannels in medium to dark solids and subtle prints. The colors were more to my liking, and I had already designed the perfect quilt to showcase them. Ferret Frolic was originally intended as a miniature quilt in two colors plus a subtle hand-dyed background fabric. I had completed the top several years earlier, but never finished the extensive hand quilting. I enlarged the pattern and went to work on it.

I was onto something. If I could only keep those free scraps flowing...
Then I joined a quilt guild. Every month members would donate bags or boxes of unwanted quilt fabrics, patterns, magazines, or what have you. We would hold a Chinese auction to raise money for the guild's coffers. Every month I would dutifully pay my dollar for five tickets. Most months I would win something. One month I hit paydirt! Somehow the cup with my ticket got switched with another cup and I found myself dragging home two huge trash bags of the most gawdawful fabrics I had ever seen. Daisy print double knits rubbed shoulders with scraps from lavender bridesmaid's gowns. Psychedelic prints snuggled against wide wale corduroys. It was a rerun of the Worst Fabrics of the Sixties! As tempting as it was to just leave them in my trunk and drop them at the dump at my earliest convenience, I knew there was a quilt just waiting to be made.
It wasn't long before the opportunity presented itself. Linda M. Poole, listmom of the Fairiegoddessmothers threw down the gauntlet and I rose to the challenge. We were to use Linda's Day Dreamer fairie pattern to create a fairie with a unique persona. Then we were to (gulp!) write a poem about our fairie. Okay, Linda, you asked for it! No sweet and pretty fairie from me. I was going tacky big time! Hey, my fairie now had a name, Tacki. With a name like that it was obvious she had to be a Decorating Diva.
My trash bags provided me with the fabric to make the quilt, but Tacki's room lacked those all-important accessories. I foraged in my Miscellaneous Things I Know I'll Need Someday Box and came out with the perfect fabric for her disco ball, clear plastic for a lava lamp, and those all-important pink feather drapery tiebacks!