Saturday, March 9, 2019

Sisty's Quilt

Today I'd like to show you my Sisty's quilt that I mentioned in my last post.  I needed to attend to a family member's health and some follow up visits to the doctor, but I'm back now and ready to show you what I was talking about.

Here's an overview of the wall hanging.  The colors are rich and warm.  Sisty has a knack for making things look like they've been around forever.

This is one of the blocks.  I was so happy to be able to use my new, curved edge grid pattern on it.

Just so you can get a better view, this block shows the center of the grid better.  

And here's the border, with doublet piano keys.  The sashing needed some design to finish it off, so I used circles in that.

And that's it for today.  The rest of the day is dedicated to hubby's birthday, starting with a belly bursting, old fashioned, king size breakfast.  We're planning on skipping lunch since we're going out for Chilean Sea Bass tonight!

Have a happy day!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Cute Pattern

One of my quilt guild buddies, Norma, brought me an adorable quilt made with 30's fabrics.  It consisted of blocks of appliqued primitive flowers with pretty sashing in between and a nice border.
Now, I shudder when I have to quilt around applique, but Norma saved my day by wanting a nice old fashioned grid over her posies!  We agreed on a quilt map, and I went to work:
The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the somewhat cold or harsh appearance of the points where the grid lines met, so I found a sweet new pattern where those points were softened into curves.  If you click on the map above, you can see what I mean.

Here are some blocks from her quilt.  Aren't they pretty?

She chose feathers for the wide sashings:

And a scalloped pattern for the outer border, but, as usual, I forgot to photograph the entire finished product. However, you can see the pattern on the map.

I used the same soft grid on another quilt made by my Sisty, but that will be for another day.

Monday, February 18, 2019

"Pilgrim's" Progress

You know how John Wayne used to call all the novice settlers and those just passing through his town Pilgrims?  He was referrng to the definition of those who journey to a foreign land, often for religious reasons.  It also refers to those whose journey is to a place of special significance.

That could be my Lurkim.  My studio.  My sanctuary.  But it also means to me my journey to the somewhat elusive land of DONE!  Today I got a little closer to DONE on two projects.

This is the graduation quilt I am making for #4 grandson, Adrian, who graduates high school in May.  From there he has decided to go into the Armed Forces -- Navy, I think.  He hasn't quite settled on what he wants to do for the rest of his life, so he' s going to go off into the world and see what's out there.  This very patriotic quilt is to honor his decision.  Of course, he can't take it with him, but it will rest on his bed until he returns for leave and later finishes his commitment.

The second project is a mystery quilt that I started more than a year ago.  It's done in rows, and this is number five out of seven. So I still have two more rows to finish, but I used to have three, so that's  this pilgrim's progress for the day.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

UFO's No More!

Every once in a while I find myself working on all eight cylinders for an extended period of time and then have trouble coming down from the "flight or fight" state of mind.  When that happened recently, and the sudden influx of several quilts all having the same "due date" caused this heightened energy excess, I looked around my Lurkim for some UFO's that needed finishing.
This first one was the result of finding a stack of 6" lavender and yellow squares on the "freebie" table at a guild meeting some years before.  I found where they were hiding, put a yellow one on top of a lavender one, sewed  1/4" on either side of the diagonal, cut on the diagonal and had lovely two tone half square triangles to work with.  I put them in a zig zag arrangement, sewed them together and put a border on the whole thing and named it "La-Z Days"

But!  I still had some pent up energy, so I dug out a project I had started seven or eight years ago and grew tired of.  For a loooooong time!
The focus fabric was a very busy and bold melange of desert flowers and cacti.  I decided to meld a kaleidoscope design with a Dresden plate arrangement and came up with a series of quarter circles that were joined into full and half plates or medalions.  The background is a pale, dull yellow.
The first border is the same as the background, and the outer border is the original fabric from which the matching wedges were gleaned.  The name for this one was obvious:  Desert Flower.

But that wasn't all!  I actually made labels for these!  I hated making labels with pigma pens, but I have discovered how to print them out on predecorated cloth.  

These two quilts have been donated to my guild for their Bingo night prizes (Desert Flower) and their special charities (La-Z Days).

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A Labor of Love

My "Sisty" has one of the sweetest daughters in the world, Jenna. So when Jen decided to marry her Love in 2017, Sisty went to town on a beautiful quilt for her.  When it was finished, she asked me to quilt it, and it was a real labor of love for me.
Here you can see part of the design of the quilt and my choices for the quilting embellishment.  The colors of the quilt are so beautiful!  The background is a soft teal pattern on off white.  I sent Sisty a picture of the two threads I was considering using, and she chose the medium teal.  
It was just right!  
The quilt consisted of rows of  baskets placed on point, alternating the direction of the "points".  
Here's an example of two rows joined to make all kinds of secondary blocks for me to fill with quilting. It was a king size quilt, but undaunted, I plunged into the challenge happy to help give this dear girl something really special.
All told, I used at least 9 different patterns:  cross hatching outside the basket handle, point to point arcs in the basket body, feathers between the body and the handle, straight lines between each basket on the side, different feathers in the space created by the basket bases, a third feather pattern for the inner background border, corner beaded feathers for the junction of the sides of that border, a curved grid under the triangles of the outer border, and a lacy trefoil for the darker triangles in this border. 
One of these days I'm going to take a photo of this quilt on Jen's bed.  I keep forgetting to do that - take pictures of the finished product.  This beauty took at least 120 hours of work.  The only other thing that I have ever created with such love and determination is my two wonderful sons, and they only took 33 hours total labor!  Hmmmm....  I wonder if they make quilting pitocin?


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Back in the Saddle!

It's been almost 2 years since I last posted.  Those years have claimed my attention and energy elsewhere, but life is slowly coming back to normal.  A family member's prolonged illness and now gradual recovery left me little creative spark.  So now I'm back in the quilting saddle -- and back in my Lurkim!
For one thing, I finished this applique and pieced quilt, which ended up going to BFF Mary's daughter for her newborn baby girl, Amelia.  I miss Mary.  She moved to Florida over 2 years ago. She is the most creative person I have ever known.  You can catch her at
Then I made a whole bunch of these cute little ditty bags to hold those great new wonder clips and gave them to my table at the guild Christmas party.

Got a lot of quilts done for customers, but forgot to take pictures for most of them.  They were all finished in time for Christmas, though, which was a real race!
Found time to do something nice for my sister, who likes to "keep me busy", bless her heart.  She does come up with some pretty quilts!
I started this quilt 6 years ago and finally finished it in 2018.  It's waiting to be quilted and bound, but that's for another day.
This beauty is a customer quilt.  She did a great job with that curved piecing.  I tried doing a New York Beauty once, but never finished it.  One of these days I will take up that challenge of these days.
Look at this bright and colorful quilt!  This customer is going to have a very happy grandchild!

That's it for now.  See you at the next update!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Proud Mom

I have two sons, the eldest of which had to take a social sciences "filler" course in college where he was studying architecture over 20 years ago.  He chose  a course in criminology, during which he had to do a "ride along" with the local police department.  The next thing we all knew was that he abandoned his original interest in architecture and decided to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.  And when that was accomplished, he then entered the police academy for another year of study.

Fast forward about 25 years, and lo and behold!  he has worked his conscientious way through the ranks to Deputy Chief!  Our family has attended his promotions with pride, but this one was especially prestigious, and proud just didn't quite describe the exquisite exhilaration of seeing him achieve this remarkable goal. This man has put his life on the line time and time again for others and yet has remained the kind of guy who adores his family and cuddles his dogs and patiently paints the bathroom yet again when his wife changes the theme.  He has taken time off to go to school concerts and football games and dance recitals and family reunions because he knows he has to stay in touch with the things that really matter. 

My youngest son, Jon, started out as a teacher in Maryland, inspiring his students a la Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society.  He taught them high school English, how to prepare a resume and survive an interview, and how to think for themselves.  He chose high schools whose students were challenged -- by economics, by environment, by the English language, by lassitude, by poor study habits and years of substandard performance, and he poured himself into showing them how to learn, to think, to participate.  They began to realize that their opinions and knowledge were also valuable.  They started recognizing that education was the key to possibilities.  They learned that their contributions counted because they mattered to him first.  And now he's in administration in his county's education system, teaching struggling teachers how to be effective, diminishing the attrition rate of new teachers and helping to develop methods that generate involvement of the students in the learning process beyond the regurgitation of what's in their books.

Here are the two most enduring loves of my life.  They have given me purpose, taught me patience, brought me joy and terror, and inspired more love than I ever knew was possible. They have truly been a gift to me, and I am grateful for them every day.