Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mary Christmas!

A Mary Christmas to you from me. Here is a picture from last Christmas taken when grandson

#4 was 2 1/2 months old. We wrapped him in a blankie, laid him in my old trencher bowl on a quilt to look like Baby Jesus for this Christmas. Quilting can wait a few days, it is time for family. Blessings.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Blue Willow

Most of last summer, the ladies over at Good Wives were working on an applique willow pattern that they were inspired to work on from a photo of an antique quilt. I knew when I first saw their work that I would be buying their pattern to make one. I needed a handwork project and this would be the perfect one. Last week I started my first of four blocks thinking I would stitch a few stitches here and there. That didn't happen. I was addicted right off and finished
my first big block, about 20" square, yesterday. Today I am lecturing myself to put that second block down and to work on Christmas decorating and sewing gifts. Time will only tell if I listen to my lecture. The ladies at Good Wives are making theirs in red and green and they are lovely. I chose to make mine a blue willow on a teadyed colored brown background. Yesterday I sent this progress photo to my sister who emailed me back a little surprised. When she opened the attatchment, she wondered why I was sending her a picture of ribs. O my! Not knowingwhat to expect, I can see where she may have been confused wondering why I was going to applique dinosaur ribs. (ok, disclaimer here: she works second shift and comes home very tired, hence the confusion....maybe?) See what you think:

Ooo, that photo is way too ribs? Hmmmm............

Good Wives Co is a wonderful quilt shop in Marion, Ohio. If you like reproduction and civil war'ish type fabrics then this is the place for you. The shop ladies are always friendly and ready to talk about what you are working on. Lots of shop samples and some decorating items for you to purchase. Search the internet for them. It's my favorite quilt shop and worth the ride over anytime I need inspiration.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Weddings are a lot of work! One of my daughters wedding was less than two weeks ago and we are still worn out from the planning, setting up, visiting with family and friends and just plain old having a great time. With Thanksgiving preparations so quickly following the big event, whew............I'm still in a tizzy. Sandwiched
in between all this was our 37th wedding anniversary. I had not had a needle in my hand for a week and a half; feels good to needle fabric again!

Dear daughter's reception was at the old reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio. Movie
buffs may know that this is the prison Shawshank Redemption was filmed at. Some of the prison has been demolished since the movie but a good part has been preserved for tours and ghost hunts that have been featured on a few tv shows of this type. The central guard room is available for rent for wedding receptions. It's a great
place. While we were setting up for the reception, a tour of the prison was going on and we could see visitors walking thru the old cells. There is memorabilia
from the movie around to see, also. Air Force One was also filmed here

This is the tunnel Andy Dufresne crawled thru in his escape from Shawshank in the movie. The prison is a good tourist destination............something made good from what was a terrible place. My job on set up day was to make salads down in the kitchen area of the prison. While making the salad cups to put in the walk in cooler for the next day's party, I was down there by myself a good part of the time. I did not see any ghosties, but when my mind would wander it was kinda eerie thinking I was sitting all alone in a haunted prison. Yikes! Anyone can look up the reformatory on the internet for more history. It is a beautiful piece of architecture and am glad some of it has been preserved. Here is a view of the back where we were bringing in wedding decorations.

Wishing everyone in blogland and beyond a happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Simple Goods and schoolhouse blocks

What is not to like about schoolhouse quilt blocks? They are a top favorite of mine. I have made numerous ones and don't get tired of the look or of the piecing. Thru the years I have sold a couple but still own two larger ones I made and a recent mini one. These blocks were started over the summer and set aside for working on the heart/star flag quilt. Last week I finished setting them into this large wall hanging or throw size top. Have been considering doing a quilting pattern on this I have never done before..........baptist fan. Still thinking on that one and will decide soon. Will need to ask help from a friend on that since I never attempted doing this.
If you are a lover of very primitive antiques and grungy crafting, you missed a wondeful show of this type this past Saturday. The Simple Goods show is held in the spring and summer in Mt. Vernon, Ohio and features the best primitives imaginable. Like in the old issues (not these last couple of years, ugh) of Country Living magazine. Candy Looker and Max Squires put on the most wonderful shows. I haven't missed one yet and each show tops the previous one. Please
google Simple Goods show for information for future shows and pictures of past ones. They are on facebook and have fabulous show pictures posted.
I found a great............but very brittle, shredded and worn to death..............vintage doll quilt at the show from the vendor Tinkers Wagon. My loves in antique fabrics are the old blues, navy and brown along with centennial fabrics. Ooooo! Years ago I won a tiny square of a centennial cheater cloth on ebay and get it out now and then to admire it all the while wishing some fabric company would reproduce it now for our new "old" quilts. Folded up on a table I found this distressed doll quilt of the same cheater cloth in just awful condition, but a wonderful find for me all the same. Here you can see my worn little ebay piece with the newly acquired very tired out piece. Both treasures to me!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Primitive stars and stripes quilt top

For some years I have admired a certain patriotic quilt in quilt history books and on the Smithsonian website. You may have seen it, too...........a center medallion of appliqued stars applied to a red and white striped ground with a border of the same appliqued stars. There has even been a smaller size in some books where the word "baby" is also stitched over the center stars. My only reason for holding back on making a similar one for me is that I applique a lot of stars on my projects and I was dreading doing that many more star points.

This summer I was spending a couple mornings with a quilt friend, Sharon Pinka, who showed me photos of a quilt she was writing a paper on for the publication Blanket Statements for the American Quilt Study Group. She said this quilt was in a museum in Norwalk, Ohio, not all that far away. When I saw her pictures............o my...............I was doomed.

One look at those primitive stars on this quilt sealed my fate. I was making one for my personal enjoyment. Look at those stars...........rounded little pointy upside down narrow little heart with a triangle on top. Prim for sure! I guessed by the photo and looked up the similar more polished quilt like this one and went for it.
I practiced making one star. It was fun and pleasing to my eyes. In my fabric cupboard I had a solid old red, a tea dyed looking aged piece and a "I hope I have enough left" dark blue that would be perfect for this reproduction civil war quilt.

After a couple weeks of handwork, I was ready to make the striped background. O no! I put the center on it and it scared me..........all I could see was a big circus tent. Yikes! But when I attatched the borders, it contained those stripes and all was fine. I now have my version of the quilt and am waiting for winter to baste it and decide how to hand quilt it. I have a few ideas.

Here is my folky primitive repro of an Ohio civil war quilt. Thanks to Sharon for showing me her photo and sharing it with me, otherwise, I would still be dreaming of making all those pointy points and never getting around to making them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

spellbound with hexies

I have been hexed with hexies. A spell has been cast on me by the quilting gods. Ooooo, it isn't that bad. Years ago I did not like these little six sided shapes. I think I saw way too many
grandmother's flower garden quilts at flea markets and garage sales. Nothing inspiring; they were everywhere and they mostly looked all the same. One night long ago at a quilt meeting the nice speaker brought samples of hexagon quilts...........hoo hum to me and I was resigned to suffer was quilting, it for the cause. At the end, she showed us how to baste a hexie to old card stock and how to join them and she called it English paper piecing.

Was I an idiot to prejudge.

I liked doing them! I went home and started doing hexies from scraps. No granny's gardens for me but a little hodge podge project to put on a table or such. I had fun. I liked it. I really liked it. Mindless hand I could dream dreams and think thoughts while stitching my hexies.
I hand appliqued my little hexie scrappy maze to a background and use this little quilt often. Here I have it for fall with some buckeyes.

Good memories to remind me not to just jump to conclusions of not liking something in the quilting world before I know more about it. At least try not to!

So I do have a little bag of scraps that I cart around and stitch on when I have nothing to work on and after a little time, progress can be seen. I will make these until I get a good idea of what to do with them. They are fun and good for a take along. Thought has crossed my mind to taking them to church and piece thru the sermon at Mass. Rethink that one; I don't want to be made the sermon subject. But it has crossed my mind since I do think and listen better during handwork...............hhhmmmmm..........

Friday, September 30, 2011


Isn't he cute? He is battery operated. Mary at Quilt Hollow blog posted a photo of the little guys she found at Lowe's for $5. I was at our local store yesterday and look who found his way into my cart. Thanks, Mary, for the idea. He will do double duty come Thanksgiving when his light will turn off and he can face a wall and just be punkin-y then.

He is sitting on another blogger pattern creation. I made this up from Kathleen Tracy's book The Civil War Sewing Circle. It is the scrap squares doll quilt on page 25. I was going to make it scrappy like in the book but that can wait for another day.........thought it would look good in some deep browns and a chedda' for the fall season. It's very seasonal when you see it in person. My camera makes the whole picture too bright. This would be a great easy and fast
pattern to make in any fabric to match any holiday for your decorating. I'm seeing Christmas fabrics........and Valentine's...........Easter............patriotic doesn't end! Fun!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lovin' those pillars............

What is not to love about pillar fabric? For sometime I have been noticing them and decided to purchase a few reproductions slowly over the summer. There has been talk about them in blogland, too, so I will share some photos of my purchases. I understand Barbara Brackman/Moda have a new pillar out in a couple colorways but I have not been able to see it yet in the few shops around my area. I will be on the lookout!

Here is a pillar print repro by Blue Hill in brown tones. What could make a pillar print even better? Add eagles. Ooooooooooo! This is from their American Independence line.
Then there are these two beauties from Andover from their Winterthur Toile line. One appears to be black on a darker tea-dyed background. The other is a brown on a lighter tea-dyed
background. Both are wonderful and hard to pick the better of the two I like most.

Here is my most recent purchase. This lovely blue/brown beauty is by Windham and from their line The Presidents Collection.
There is a backstory to this piece. In the recent quilt book STARS! A Study of 19th Centry Star Quilts by the American Quilt Study Group, published by Kansas City Star Quilts, a quilt on page 79 caught my eye. A pillar print! This quilt was reproduced from a larger quilt by Florence McConnell. I was able to make contact with Florence and she graciously shared the maker of the pillar print with me. Although I could not find it in the red colorway she used for her quilt, I did find it in the blue which is just as pretty to me. Thank you, Florence! As a side note, this
is a great book if you like to reproduce antique quilts..........a keeper for sure.

If pillar prints appeal to you, here is a good start for you to google away or to look closely thru the inventory at your local quilt shops. Right now I am happy to only look at my small
pillar collection but I'm sure it won't be long before the scissors and rotary cutter come out to make some great projects with them.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


The large tumbler top is finished and will be added to the "needs to be quilted" pile. It will make a nice long lap quilt for recliner naps when finished.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tumbling back to the 80's

Way, way back in the dark ages before the internet opened up rapid fire ways to see quilter's projects and ideas, we had magazine photos as one of the main ways to find inspiration. I had a good sized fabric collection back then but when the idea of wanting to make a charm quilt
popped into my head, there needed to be a way to exchange charms other than with local quilt friends who had the same fabrics I had. In some of the quilt mags of the day, you could find in very tiny print on some obscure page next to bad advertising, requests from ladies who wanted to exchange charms one for one with anyone answering their ad.
I happened to answer a few of these request ads and if you wanted your request to be passed around to even more traders, it was done. All thru the mail. Some wanted 5" charms, some 6", always prewashed. It was always one for one. Every now and then someone didn't play by the rules and would send nasty and not quilting cotton fabrics where I would send it back to them for not playing right. :-)

Here is my tumbler charm quilt made from those exchanges that were so fun to receive in the mail.

And a closeup of some of the 1980's calicos of the era: My tumbler quilt has charms traded from Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Nevada, Arkasas, New York and Washington. I also received packages from Australia, too. Getting the mail was so fun that summer.

Since I have been seeing big and small tumbler quilts on blogs for months now, earlier in the year, I also made a small doll size one, called a thimble quilt.

Now I am cutting tumblers from blues and browns to make another and maybe I can show my progress on the next post. In the meantime, here are the tumbler and the thimble one together.
Who knows, maybe a blog reader was a charm trader with me back in the day and has one of her trades with me in my quilt.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Primitive eagles reproduced

A number of years ago on an online auction site, an old eagle crib quilt was up for auction. The eagles were primitive and appliqued in red and green. I bid on it knowing it would go very high and out of my budget. I kept it in mind, tho, for a future project.

Then a year later, it was up for bid again. O my gosh! I bid a couple times and it went out of my reach again. There was only one solution: draw a similar eagle and make my own. I could afford that! Decided to make mine red and blue. Then I thought to make it more prim style, I would applique an uneven jagged edge around it all and it would look more like "me".

Here it is, out of the cupboard for this post.
Here you can see the funky, wacky prim sawtooth border.
Looking back, I wish I would have put more quilting in the outside border. O well, don't dwell on it now. When I made it in 2003, it was to commemorate Ohio being a state for 200 years. And just to make my own of that antique beauty I saw online years before.

One last look at an eagle..........
Always will be drawn to eagle quilts like many quilters are. I'm sure this won't be the last one I make.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bradbury centennial quilt reproduced

For years I admired the Bradbury centennial quilt posted on the Smithsonian site.
I had also seen photos in some books but never a good close up until I found it online. I had collected various patriotic prints from different companies, designers and lines for ages to make my version. Last year I made mine. After Kathie posted
pictures on her blog July 24 th ( of the same print I used on my backing, I decided to show some closeups of my repro quilt.

Since some fabric companies are making new fabric lines reproduced from an antique quilt, this is one I wish they would make a new fabric line from. I would make it again! Where I could not find a close enough repro print, I made up my own, such as in stripes.

This picture shows a couple more blocks with one featuring the same George Washington print a friend was kind enough to trade with me for.
George again:

And more assorted prints used in other blocks:
Finally, the backing which shows the same print Kathie used on the back of one of her little quilts.

On the Smithsonian site you can click under the quilt photo to see closeups of the quilt and the back. I had fun making's not an exact replica, but a good repro for my tastes to have my "own" quilt like this antique one. I would love to see it in person. In fact, I had so much fun making mine, I didn't want to stop and added an extra row. You may have to look close to see where it is.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Too hot to quilt!

O my............we are sweltering in Ohio, just like I am sure most of the country is. Can't stand it anymore; cuts into stitching time, right? (We have NO a/c at home and fans barely help at 95 degrees.) Just to post something and wish for cooler weather, I will show a picture of the reproduction crib quilt top I basted a couple weeks ago. I only have the center applique piece hand quilted now. Last year I took this class over at Good Wives Co in Marion,
favorite quilt shop. It's a 40 minute drive for me but so worth it. The last local quilt shop here closed a few years ago so I drive to Good Wives. They have just what I like.

I changed the corner blocks on mine as I did not want to make the carpenters wheel blocks the original had. I needed something easier to get the top done. Streamlined it. I kept the color placements the same, tho. This is so pretty in person and I am looking forward to having it done and draped everywhere. Now to wish the heat away so I can go back to quilting on this!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm a lucky winner!

The other day I was happy to learn I was the winner of a new quilting book when my name was drawn by Kimber over at My win just arrived and wow, it is amazing. Here is a photo of the book History Repeated by Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle. Kimber edited the book as you can read on her great blog. I can't thank you enough for this copy. The pictures are lovely and enticing for future quilts. The color of the quilts and the photography are beautiful. Of course I had to show the book on my version of the quilt in Gone To Texas by Betsy Chutchian. I am a happy, happy quilter today...........

Monday, July 11, 2011

Two UFOs finished

I kept telling myself I was not to start anything new until I finished the three UFOs I have had since last year. For once I listened to myself and here are the first two finished. Even #3 is in the works as I started hand quilting on it last week. Here is the little quilt from the class with Jo Morton last June in Columbus. In order to get mine finished, I did leave off the border of triangles all around it. My decision was to finish it faster by putting a plain border on and I am glad I did it this way. I like the framing on it better with the plain borders. #2 finish was the signature quilt from last year that I passed around for quilt buddies to sign. It is also a Jo Morton pattern. But I'm not a purist. I like to mix her fabrics with others and not limit a pattern to just her fabrics only. Altho, project #1 is all her fabrics since I took the class with her. Her repro prints go so well
with other fabric companies lines as you can tell by looking at any quilt magazine where quilters use many of her repros in their projects. Now it is going to be catch up time on the Barbara Brackman civil war blocks of the week, more tracing templates on some schoolhouse blocks and maybe getting to those blue and brown tumblers I have been wanting to stitch together. Better be getting off this 'puter and get to stichin'!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Salvedges...nothings into somethings

I have been amazed at salvedge quilts for some time after seeing some amazing creations on various blogs. At first when I heard of these quilts, I thought: wow, some quilters are really anal.......I mean, I save tiny scraps all the time for future applique projects, but come on, saving salvedges was just a bit too much.
While working on the Civil War Tribute quilt, where the fabrics had salvedges on both
fabrics ends, I thought I would save a few to use on the back label showcasing
Judie Rothermel fabrics for enternity on my quilt.

Then I saved a few more. And a few more. And soon I had a large ziplock bag full. Then I was thinking of going thru my whole fabric cupboard and tearing all the salvedges off. Then I slapped myself out of that last thought remembering sometimes I need the story those ends tell in case I needed to search for more of a certain fabric.

You can see where it can get to be obsessive, tho, can't you?

So one day I stitched some diagonal salvedges on a piece of backing fabric and liked how it looked. Very much. And I was really having fun picking colors and the names and titles on these scrap pieces. O my. Now it was ME who was anal about it all.

Here is my little quilt. I suggest if you would like a mindless little project to give this a try. And then maybe you would want to go bigger and better with larger patterns. Google these kinds of quilts for a new look into the quilt world.

The joke was on me. Something I took as a little weird turned out to be a lot of fun. I don't dare throw out a salvedge edge now because those little words could be
important in a future little quilt. And there are great memories in those little fabric morsels showing the line and a little bit of the print. A veritable scrap book of scraps!!!!

Has anyone else made one?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A quilt or two for Tuesday

Before I tackle my laundry piles, I thought to post a quilt just because it Tuesday. I know that doesn't make any sense but I'm just killing time before I turn that washer and dryer on. Here is one for today that I made a few years ago.

This is an older Jan Patek pattern and I think it was from a booklet of hers about Fat Quarter Quilts, but I'm not totally sure. It features a blackish/brown print with shirtings, reds, olives, blues and tans. And my favorite stars and moons theme.
It was a challenge at the time because the triangle arcs were paper pieced and I'm not much of a fan of paperpiecing. A little, like this, is ok and worked out well.

Here's one more to add. I made this top last year. It was on the wish list to make for a long time so finally it got made. Not quilted yet. Want to save it for this winter as it's pretty large and I am going to hand quilt it. This is also an older Jan Patek pattern from The Winter Book. More stars and moons. More blue and brown. The striped blue indigo is a favorite piece of fabric. I bought tons of that print and never get tired of it. Still have some left; I'll be a sad quilter whenever the last of it gets used up.

That laundry mountain is calling at me...............

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I love old blues and browns

These are my favorites..........add in an old red and some tea dyed tans and beiges and I am in quilt heaven. Needed a little project in between ufo's recently and decided to just cut some simple squares of blues and browns, whack them in pieces and stitch back into squares for a simple little doll quilt or table topper. Ooo, I love the rich deep shades. Once I get some projects finished up from hand quilting, me thinks I will draw out a template for a large tumbler block and maybe use these same colors into a lap size or bigger tumbler. I think a bigger quilt in these deep tones will be a beauty mixed in with my other quilts. It's a plan. Now
to just get 3 good sized wall quilts finished and hand quilted sometime and the plan can go into motion! I'm trying my best not to start anything new until my ufo pile gets slimmed down. But starting new is soooo much fun..........

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What if a fabric company used your swatches and then you never heard back from them after the fabric was printed????

For many years I have collected old indigo pieces of fabric from the late 1800's or early 1900's. My favorites being the stars and especially moons. Many times over the last 15-20 years I have dreamed of having new fabrics made from them. In March 2010 I sent antique swatches to Blue Hill asking if these could be made into new fabric as I have
wanted repros of them for years to buy. That April I got a call from Blue Hill Fabrics saying they were using some of my swatches and they would be in a small line called the Moon and Stars Collection. How fun! The line came out early in 2011 and I have been buying up the ones I liked in the navy, burgundy and browns and have used some in my projects. They didn't use every swatch I sent in but did use my favorite ones. There are some striped ones in the line I did not send in and also a cheater piece they combined the pieces in. The line is credited to their house designer, Sara Morgan, who is an imagined name used by the Blue Hill
people. They did send me the ordering flyer to see the samples from.

Would it not have been nice to get some free fabric????? Yes! I didn't get any free fabric but am happy to see it in print and able to buy what I have lusted for these many years. I think my quilt friends will get very tired of seeing moons and stars in my future projects. So fun!

While I was so happy to see my antique swatches made into new fabrics, I was disappointed that Blue Hill never contacted me when they were due to be in stores. Bummer, I had
to find out on my own.

When I told hometown quilt friends and mentioned it to the online Yahoo group I am on, so many quilters asked if I received any complimentary fabrics from Blue Hill from the swatches of mine they used. Hhhhmmmm, no I did not receive any complimentary fabrics. It was suggested to me a number of times that I write to Blue Hill and request the mentioned complimentary fabric so I did. It kind of felt like begging to me for something that would have been a nice guesture on their part. Then I did write to RR, the man who put the production of my swatches into gear and I never heard anything back from him.
So while I was happy at the fabric being printed, my experience with the process was
not that great. Seems once my swatches were used, I was left hanging to be a consumer (which I was happy to be) and only left with a copy of the swatch ordering leaflet.

Quilters, I would be interested in your opinions on this matter..................

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

needing to finish some UFOs

Last summer I passed around small blocks for special quilt friends to sign as a memory/signature quilt using a Jo Morton pattern. This summer I want to get some UFO's finished to the basting stage where at any future time they will be able to be picked up and hand quilted. Have a number of these to get to that stage but this one
is a beginning. It is now basted and ready for stitching when the time permits. Now to get a few more to this stage. I don't like too many ufo's around so hopefully they look more finished basted. Friends from my applique group, a local quilt guild and the ladies from Good Wives signed memory blocks. This was a good project. Where
I didn't have names for the size of quilt I wanted, I wrote in little quirky quilt sayings like: dull women have clean sewing rooms. Ha! I know my sewing room is in a constant mess.............

More Jan Patek patterns I made.....

These two other Jan Patek patterns were made a few years ago. The larger one is named Country Paths. I worked on this while my husband was in hand therapy some time ago. While his therapist put him thru pain, I was happily stitching the time away on the applique. I will always remember this when looking at this quilt. The basket quilt's name leaves me right now. Love the way Jan Patek makes normal objects look so fun and wonky.

older primitive quilts I have made.......

These are two oldies but goodies made from Jan Patek patterns. One is her block of the month called Collector's Series. I. Love. This. Quilt. The other is her Primitive Primer. My gosh. These early Jan Patek patterns are my favorites of hers.
There are still a couple more of her early patterns I need to make.........they are somewhere on my to do list.

catching up

Extra basket blocks I made were turned into these sweet little mini's that I made for one of my sisters (I have 8), my mom and one for myself. Great for tucking here and there! Have always wanted a little red and white school house quilt so after the red and white quilt extravaganza in NYC in March, I used a small block from a Judie Rothermel pattern and stitched this for myself. I machine quilted it in the style of some old doll quilts from the 1800's you sometimes see. Washed it right away so the cotton batt would shrink and make it look older instead of brand spanking new.