Sunday, September 18, 2011

Such a difficult year....more quilts to come.

I realize as I write this that there are so many worse things that could have happened. I'm thankful that that the results were so positive overall.

But, I lost my Zao. That alone makes me cry, though I know it is the way of all things. He lived his 10 years and then got sick and it was over. But my Biggy bud is gone! I did take this harder than losing my beloved and very close sister, as several people have pointed out to me. However, I will attribute this to several points.

1. I was responsible for Zao. I did not observe his health going down so quickly, (Probably did not want to see) and had to make the decision to "put him to sleep." My sister made her own choices, I (and my husband) were responsible for Zao's.
2. I feel sure that my sis kew that her choices had consequences, and is in heaven and in a better place than she was in her miserable place here.  I don't know WHAT I feel about what happens to out pets....
3. Zao was my CONSTANT, "moment by moment" companion. All he wanted was to be by my side. Nuff said.

Also my stepdad died this year, he was 88 and ready to go, an entirely different experience. Life and death are old, old, partners.

I'm ready to "try" to embrace a new chapter in my life. Quilting will still be a large part of it.... quilting without Zao lying beside me while I sew.  I do pray that I will be able to take the love I have for him, my sis and my dad, add it to the mix, and create beautiful things that honor the growth in me which has come from these experiences. May God use these sorrows to create the beauty which only comes from loss and show His face.

Monday, March 28, 2011


There's value in having a deadline... Thanks, Thelma!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Betty and Eventide

I learned something about myself this last week.  My younger sister Sally and I had a 3~way call with Betty, our older sis, and then I called Betty back and had a LONG... 247 minutes... call with her, all on Tuesday. She was really "into" Pet Society on Facebook, (she had 8 pets!) and that day she taught me how to have my own pet, "Fred" and his "petling" kitty, "Honeybunch."

She had a lot of fun telling me what to do! LOL~ something she always loved was telling me what to do!....

Betty was in very poor health, and one of the topics during our call was what a terrible night she had gone through the night before, so when I hung up I told her to call me even if it was in the middle of the night. I live in Indiana and she was in Texas, so there was really nothing I could do to help, but I told her to call anyway, whatever the hour. I said, "And tomorrow, we'll set up "Fred's" new room."
She said, "Yes........ tomorrow." We said we loved each other and hung up.

The next morning I called her, but she didn't answer.  Later in the morning, Sally called me and asked if I had heard from Betty, because she hadn't answered the phone for Sally either. It totally could have been the case that Betty just didn't want to answer, so Sal and I just let it go... but a few hours later, Sally called me back and told me that Betty's son had called her and told her Betty had passed away in her bed the night before. She and I both sobbed, because really the three of us were so close.

Now here is the strangest thing to me. When I got this call from Sally I was in the process of assembling my Eventide blocks into a top. Rich was outside working in the yard, but when I hung up from talking to Sally I had the STRONGEST urge just to keep sewing. I argued with myself that I should go tell Rich the news, but, I SO wanted just to attach another block. I forced myself to tell him instead, but then, after he hugged me and held me and listened to my stories, I immediately went back down to the sewing room, which I guess is "my" spot in the house. I wandered around for a few minutes touching the fabric bundles and the machine, and the iron, etc.~ and then I just gave in to my impulse and sat down and sewed. I was literally sobbing and sewing at the same time. I was crying so much I couldn't see the needle and had to keep blinking and pushing the fabric through!  (I just didn't understand why it seemed so necessary for me to do that, but it made perfect sense to Rich. So maybe even though opposites attract, there may be deeper similarities between us that are not immediately apparent.)

I'm still processing all this stuff, but I found that such an odd reaction from myself. Overall, I realize that piecing quilt tops is not just something I do, it IS a part of me that I only found 2 years ago. And also I think it's so very appropriate that the quilt I was working on was named, "Eventide." I've always been a "name" person, and part of the reason I love Eventide is it's name, but who knew it would have anything to do, timing~wise, with Betty's Eventide.

All I can really say is, that it definitely helped me to put those blocks together on that afternoon. "Life is Beautiful" ~sometimes in the strangest of ways. And Eventide will always be "Betty's" quilt and very precious to me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well, it's a marathon... who knew?

My sister Betty died, the day before yesterday. She had been in poor health for years, and had experienced so much loss in the last year of her life... her husband Paul, and both of her beloved dogs, Molly and Lady.

We were prepared... but not really~ "today" is never supposed to be"the"day ~right?
When I finish "Eventide" it will be amazing... and so appropriately named. What a quilt for such a time as this!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Update on Eventide

I have proceeded along as quickly as I can on Eventide. It has been an interesting process. The worse I felt, the more minutes it took to complete a block, (and I timed this).... and now that I feel better, the blocks are going together more quickly, and look better, as well! This illness has been so informative for me, in so many ways! Special thanks to those who reached out to me in such a special way... and renewed my faith in the positive side of human nature when it seemed silly to believe in that!
Here is my progress so far, I have 8 Ohio Star Blocks still to complete,  and then the inner border and setting the top together. I think I will make it!
And~ I think~ that whenever I am not feeling well, I will reach for Eventide!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Quilts are love

I made this for my son because he asked me for a quilt! He said, "When are you going to make me a quilt? I would love to have a quilt by you."

LOL~ with a 25 year old son, it doesn't get much better than that!

I'm so proud of Ryan. Love him so much!!!!!

(This quilt was a bit harder to make than it looked, because of the offsetting rectangles.  Pretty, though. It looks great in Ryan's house!)

Ready to go

I got the Ohio Star blocks (for Eventide) pressed and now all that's left is to make them up into blocks! Choices, choices. Future post soon on progress...

Also, I'm making headway on "Snow Garden" the fourth on my journey through Blackbird Designs "Anniversaries of the Heart" series. When I finish (!!!!!) it, I'll post.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Inspiration for my life.

"I shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me. Or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility. Win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny." - Og Mandino


This quilt was difficult for me. My daughter asked for a Double Wedding Ring quilt and I tried to avoid templates and curves, by piecing this one. I made one block at a time, interspersed with more forgiving projects, all year long... and never gave up! (Special thanks to Stephanie for encouragement!)

This is a good example of a quilt that was not too enjoyable to make, for me, but is lovely to snuggle under.
I still owe my daughter her Double Wedding Ring quilt... when this one was finished I couldn't give it away!

It's a Fig Tree Quilt Pattern, made with a Patisserie layer cake.

Oh, BTW and if you decide to make a layer cake quilt, make it immediately, (while the fabric is still in stock somewhere) or don't make ANY mistakes!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Eventide Progress

It's been a long week around here. I was diagnosed with pneumonia on Wednesday, which stopped my forward progress on Eventide, quite effectively!
But I do have SOME progress to report... I've completed all the large quarter triangle squares for the big background stars, and sewed all the Ohio Star block quarter triangle squares. I still need to make the final cut on most of them, and press them.
Then the next step is to make the Ohio star blocks by adding 3 1/2 inch squares, etc.

Maybe next week I'll have some real progress to report! I hope so!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Anniversaries of the Heart

This is a very cool series of patterns by Alma and Barb of Blackbird Designs. I cross stitch as well as quilt~ when I find a truly inspiring project. This project will take some time... 12 monthly patterns which can be personalized as I desire, with two bonus patterns to round out the group.

I'm stitching it on 30 count Mocha linen, here is my progress so far...

The first block I finished ( and which inspired me to create this project) was "Swan Lake" which is the July block, and is in the center of the project. I always start in the center. It is dedicated to my husband Richard, who tells me he is my "swan"~~~ swans mate for life.

The second block finished was the bonus block which was included with the Swan Lake pattern. In the project it sits directly above Swan Lake so I proceeded right along to it.

I've almost finished the 3rd block, "Valentine Rose," which is dedicated to my father in law. You can see it on the left of the bonus pattern in the picture which shows my current progress. Well, progress is always changing! I will post it, and update on my Eventide progress, tomorrow.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Worked on Second Saturday blocks today....
grrrrr.... yes that really IS a one and one half inch finished quarter triangle square ~ or, octagon~ :( in the center of the brown one!

I'm "behind" on these blocks... to be caught up I need to make 4 more in the next two weeks. I debated about whether to make a Second Saturday quilt this year, because the blocks only finish to 8". I like to at least have the illusion that I will end up with a full size quilt as I make the blocks throughout the year... that's what motivates me to keep on.

I finally decided that at the end of the year, when they come out with the lovely awesome settings, I don't want to be empty handed and wanting to make all 36 blocks! But these are very intense, at least for me. There is NO margin for error, no even a thread width, it seems... so my very best concentrated effort ended up being wavy. I'd better get a bit more precise, or I dread to see the quilt. I do understand what I need to change...I just despise pinning at EVERY juncture.

Then I moved on and worked on Eventide for a bit~ comparatively, what a blessed relief!!! That's my main project for tomorrow...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big Red

This is my 2nd Saturday "Block of the Month" quilt from 2009. I finished it in January of 2010. My first quilt block, (with its directional horsies,) is in there, 2nd block from the right on the 2nd row. I love this quilt~ it is my favorite. It represents a lot of growth, fun and joy for me. Although it is not that "big," (72x72) it is a very big quilt in my life... my new avocation came to me with this quilt!

I made up the setting for this quilt, and it shows that I was a new quilter.... a straight 2" sashing and cornerstones... but I had finished "True Blue" by then, so I added Miss Rosie's piano key border from that pattern. It is lovely in my eyes! I'm also posting a pic of the backing, which I thought brought it all together... a revolutionary war toile, depicting George Washington's apotheosis! I'll never be thrilled with my choice for the inner border~ it is too "white" and has a glaring effect. Also, it is a paisley, which would have appeared in most American homes later. I decided to pretend I was Abigail Adams and had access to exotic fabrics at the time!
(learning, growing...) Big Red has Hobbs Wool batting to make it extra "crinkly" and is heavily quilted in a classic feather pattern. Block designs and quilting by the wonderful ladies at Quilts Plus, Indianapolis, In.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"For My Grandmas"

This is a quilt I made early in my quilting journey. The pattern is "For My Grandmas" by Brenda Riddle of The Acorn Quilt Company. My local quilt shop had a model of this quilt and sold a kit, and I was so taken with the stars that I plunged right in! Sadly, the model was stolen from the shop, along about a dozen other quilts, not too long after I finished mine.

I'm posting both the flimsy and the completed quilt, because there's a funny ( or not so funny) story about this one. I made a terrible mistake.... I washed the flimsy! I spent HOURS picking out fuzz, strings, and repairing seams... finally got it quilted and now I'm afraid to wash it, because the quilting fabrics have been washed and dried but the batting hasn't! When I get up the courage, ie., when I have to do it, I'll post the results. Needless to say, I have LEARNED not to wash the flimsy!

In process

Over the weekend, I cut out (and sorted!) all the pieces for "Eventide," and today I made my first five blocks. This is going to be a very pretty quilt!

I also worked on piecing the backing for "Dark Shadows." Yuk. Piecing the backing has to be my least favorite thing to do! The fabric gets so heavy.

I tend to be over a quilt top the moment I finish piecing it. Not long after I starting "quilting" I decided that in order to be able to call myself a "quilter" I needed to "quilt" something, so I made a very cute table runner, made the sandwich, quilted it on my machine, and made and applied the binding. It's still the one and only start to finish thing I've made! I decided to stick with what I like best, which is piecing.

It's a very rainy day here in Indiana... my sewing room is in the basement... and I took the pics with my the picture quality is poor.
I SHOULD go get the camera and use flash, but wrestling with piecing that quilt back wore me out!!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Dark Shadows"... (aka "The Beast")

It's finished and ready to go the quilter ~the decks are now cleared to start work on Eventide!

While I was working on this quilt top, I encountered some of my personal dark shadows... such as impatience... my tendency to get things turned upside down and/or backward...willingness to go back and correct things when I'm in a hurry.... and willingness to keep at it when I am just downright tired of the project. So I named it "Dark Shadows."
(Not to mention that Johnny Depp is making a movie based on the T.V. show I remember so well!)
However, toward the bitter end,
I just kept thinking, this thing is a BEAST! (It measures 80x96, my largest quilt so far.)
So I guess it will always have a nickname as well as it's name!
It's a bit difficult to see the Log Cabin surround blocks and setting triangles in the picture... those were the main source of those upside down/backwards moments! They are really what make the quilt so special.

True Blue

True Blue, (pattern by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company,) was my first "full-size" quilt. It measures 80x80 and was so much fun to make! I really think, though there are so many quilts and so little time, that I will make this one again... just for the fun of it! It gave me such a feeling of early success... I KNEW I could make quilts!

I gave it to my husband for his bedroom at our farm in the country. The farmhouse is 125 years old this year... the room is done in old fashioned blues, and has an antique full size bed. True Blue fits the bed perfectly, and is right at home!

Also, my hubby is a very true blue guy~

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sal's quilt

The third quilt top I finished was a very simple one. The Pattern is "All Aflutter" by the Pattern Basket. I loved the Morris Workshop fabric, and I had told my my sis I would make her a quilt, so I went for it. She uses it in her computer chair.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My first finished quilt

Right after I started making 2nd Saturday blocks, I went to Texas to visit my family. I found the coolest quilt shop in Arlington, Tx. ~ "Lone Star House of Quilts." They had a quilt pattern which I loved, with hearts on a brown background, by a designer named Betsy Cutchian. ( It's still available at their store and on their website.) I was inspired! I bought the pattern and fabric, and brought it all home in my suitcase. The result was my first finished quilt top...

"Hot For Chocolate"

This quilt eventually went to be with my Mother in Law, who was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, and was her bedcovering when she passed away. It now belongs to my Father in Law.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My first quilt block

How well I remember~ it was made for the January 2009 2nd Saturday event at Quilts Plus, in Indianapolis, from a tiny kit with JUST enough fabric to make it happen!
My friend had advised I use a rotary cutter, so I went and bought a cutter and mat at Joanne Fabrics. I was terrified to cut those tiny fabric pieces! How to do it?

Now that I've been quilting for 2 years, I realize.... it's just fabric! Fabric CAN be replaced... but truly... this fabric had lovely little (directional) horse heads! Which way to turn them? So glad I figured it out... I was very pleased with the quilt... which I will post later.

Work In Progress

When Thelma ( decided to head up a sew along for Miss Rosie's quilt, Eventide, I was so excited. This is a quilt I've wanted to make for a WHILE. I love the soft colors, and the quilt (and it's inspired name) seems to perfectly evoke the character of the fabric line, Luna Notte (~by 3 Sisters for Moda~)

I am so UP for this project!

However, I have a Work in Progress which I need to complete PRONTO to clear the deck for Eventide! It is the setting assembly for my 2010 "Second Saturday" blocks. My quilt store, like many others, creates it's own "Block of the Month" and we meet to get our new block on the 2nd Saturday of each month. This year, the setting I chose for my blocks is a whole 'nother quilt in itself!

I now have all the Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps surround blocks completed, and it's just a matter of assembling the sashing, cornerstones, blocks and setting triangles into a top.

Eventide has put the pressure on... on my way to a finish!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Joining in on "Eventide"

In hopes of jump starting my seriously derailed blogging career, (and creating a beautiful quilt!) I'm joining in with Thelma and friends as they stitch "Eventide," a lovely quilt pattern designed by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.
Since I can't remember how to write HTML, I'll just direct you to Thelma's blog,
where you can read all about it!
I'll be posting as I go... I look to get started in the next few days!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

For the Record....

Hoping this blog will help me document my dreams and create new realities!