Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Good Day


Any day spent with friends is a really good day!
Quilt friends, Sheila, Kathy and Mary.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Garden Maze


It finally feels like Spring around here... time to celebrate with something fresh and new! Marian Edwards posted this little quilt on her beautiful blog, a must read for anyone interested in antique and reproduction quilts, especially of the small variety.


Marian designed  her quilt using bits and pieces left over from other projects. Hmm... I had similar bits lying around my own sewing room:

a single Dresden Plate block,


a couple of appliqu├ęd flowers,
embellished with buttonhole
stitch embroidery,

and strips of 1930's style fabric.

These particular bits were left over from classes I'd taught. By making my class samples and demo blocks out of 1930's style fabrics,  I easily incorporated them into a new project later on.


Kathy Smith used my pieces to create a miniature 1930's sampler quilt. Of course, she had to add quite a bit to the remnants I gave her, but what a worthwhile effort it was!  She brought new life to what certainly would have remained unused scraps, if left in my care.


Kathy hand quilted simple designs, reminiscent of 1930's quilts.

I've named it "Garden Maze," for the labyrinthine pattern created by the strip pieced blocks. The quilt measures 27” square and is backed with a sweet jonquil print.


Our grand kitty, Gandalf, laid claim to the quilt as we tried to take pictures. I love the way his little tippy toes rest right at the edge. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Birthday Treats



What’s sweeter on a birthday than cake and ice cream? How about a new doll quilt from my friend Barb?

I’ve mentioned before, our tradition of swapping doll quilts on birthdays. Half the fun is the anticipation, knowing exactly what the gift will be, yet trying to guess which pattern and fabrics Barb will use. She's delighted me every time!

This year’s birthday quilt is a Courthouse Steps Log Cabin, made from double pink fabrics and shirting prints, particular favorites of both Barb's and mine.




Each log measures ¾ inches
.



Of course, Barb included a surprise on the back of the quilt too. This time it‘s Parisien advertising labels ~ so pretty!



There were plenty of birthday treats from other friends as well. Terri baked a tray of mini cupcakes, using this classic Chicago restaurant recipe. They were moist, light, and way too easy to pop into my mouth whole. When Linda visited a few days later, she couldn't have known that the peppermint ice cream she brought for dessert would be used as a prop in a photo shoot (or that she‘d be enlisted as photographer).   


Thank you, dear friends, for indulging me so beautifully, so lovingly and so sweetly on my birthday. Your friendship enriches this tiny world I live in and makes it easier to face each day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Every Stitch a Blessing, Every Stitch a Prayer


This is not the blog post I'd hoped to start the new year with. My dad’s health has been declining since Christmas and sadly, he passed away last week. Dad had Lewy Body Dementia, a cruel combination of symptoms similar to both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Dad died peacefully in his sleep while in the care of hospice. He didn’t suffer, he didn’t linger and for that we are grateful. He was a devoted husband, a great dad and grandfather and an all around good guy who will be remembered for his cheerful and fun loving spirit.


People handle grief in different ways. For me, it 's natural to turn to needle and thread for solace. During the mid 1990’s, my needle got quite a workout when we lost several family members and friends within a few short years: a beloved aunt and uncle, my dear brother and his partner, a favorite grade school teacher, and the owner of the quilt shop where I worked. In the midst of it all, I also received my diagnosis of MS.

It was tempting to wallow in self pity during those years, but I had to keep it together for my health and family’s sake. In true “fake it till you make it” fashion, I turned to quilting to cope with my grief and loss.




I worked intuitively, without a pattern or color scheme, randomly pulling fabrics from my scrap basket, giving them a casual trim with scissors, and putting them in piles of lights and darks. When I had enough pieces to run through the machine, I sewed them into "liberated" log cabin blocks.



What began as mindless stitching soon became a prayerful experience. Snip, sort, sew. Snip, sort, sew. The quiet focus and familiar rhythm helped soothe my broken heart ~ a testament to the therapeutic value of quilt making.