Monday, September 2, 2019

Summertime Preserves

Summer has turned to fall overnight, but I'm not quite ready for the change of seasons. There are too many quintessential summertime pleasures I missed out on. What’s summer, after all, if you haven’t felt the sun on your skin, quenched a thirst with lemonade, or eaten your fill of watermelon, sweet corn, or home-grown tomatoes?

Like homemade pickles or jars of jam, my “Strawberry Patch” doll quilt preserves a bit of summertime to savor whenever I please.

You may remember the project from HERE. I'd set it aside years ago when I quit doing handwork. Even so, it nagged at me like a craving for something sweet, until I finally asked someone to finish it.

My friend, Ruth, is a consummate needlewoman who excels at everything she touches--sewing, knitting, quilting, embroidery.

Just look at her beautiful stitches and how the yellow perle cotton catches the light!

She crosshatched through the 2" squares...

and did cables in the border.

Look, more strawberries on the back!

Thank you, Ruth, for your willingness to see this project to fruition. You did a marvelous job and I couldn't be happier with the result! 

Summertime Preserves

15” x 17”

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Scenes of Summer

How was your summer? Mine was filled with extraordinary moments shared with extraordinary friends...

like Wanda Hanson of Exuberant Color, who surprised me with one of her signature batik colorwash quilts. How lucky am I to gaze at this every day? Read more about it HERE. 

Quilting friends brought "show and tell" with their visits. Here's Sheila with her sunflower quilt and me with Wanda's zig-zag.

Foodie friends, like Jenny and Jean, shared the bounty of their gardens and kitchens--fresh-picked cherry tomatoes and basil, delicious peach cobbler, and the best blueberry pie I've ever tasted!

Friend and local troubadour, Bill Glaysher, serenaded me one afternoon. Swoon!

Which enabling friend helped make this online purchase? I couldn't resist a few new American Jane fabrics!

I asked a bookish friend if she'd read aloud to me. Thanks, Bev. It was bliss!


Our friends, Linda and Mark, hosted a lovely bridal shower for their daughter and son-in-law-to-be. What lured me out on a 97-degree day was the promise of mango mimosas and eight different kinds of cake. It did't disappoint!

What would I do without my friends? By summer’s end, they'd even convinced me that I deserve love, respect, and the occasional niceties of life. There's no better gift than that!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Spring At Last!

What a welcome sight—crocuses blanketing the landscape like a colorful patchwork quilt.

Every spring, this private garden in Geneva, Illinois bursts into color with flowering trees and perennials, most notably, tulips. "Flowers on Fargo," as it's known, is quite a local sensation! 

Crocuses are the first blooms to emerge, often while there's still snow on the ground. I love how their hardy blossoms spread through the grass, like they're dancing with joy to be leaving winter behind!

Do you suppose the maker of this vintage Dutchman's Puzzle quilt had crocuses in mind, or was this just a popular color scheme in the 1940s?

All those triangles,

poking through the melting snow,

just to dance with abandon, 

in the greening grass

sure look like crocuses to me!

Enjoy your spring and summer everyone!

More "Flowers on Fargo" 


Friday, March 16, 2018

Birthday Blues

With each passing year, I'm more and more grateful for my February birthday. Having something to celebrate in these bleak winter months helps keep "the blues" at bay... 

or so I thought. As I opened this gorgeous quilt from BarbI recognized the "Midwinter Blues" design from Lori DeJarnatt's 2014 Humble Quilts sew-along.

Aren't these fabrics exquisite? I've never seen such deep, saturated blues or "sharp" cheddars. Double-click photos for more detail.

The gentle curve of “teacup” quilting softens those patchwork points and angles,

just like the fine silk thread that blends right into the background.

On the back is a patriotic print, "E pluribus unum" or "Out of many, one." 

As you can see, Barb originally made this quilt for our dear friend, Mary. After Mary passed, Barb thought I might enjoy having it. You bet I will! 


If you'd like to make your own "Midwinter Blues" quilt, instructions are still available at Lori DeJarnatt's "Humble Quilts" blogPart 1   Part 2   Part 3   Finale.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!

For those of you living outside the purple zone on the weather map, it’s bitterly cold here in the Midwest, with single-digit temperatures and double-digit below zero wind chills. That's breath-taking cold. Bone-chilling cold. FROSTBITE COLD!  My husband keeps his expeditions to a minimum, braving the elements only to trek down the driveway for mail or to shovel snow. Each time he opens the storm door, it whines in icy protest as if to ask, “Are you sure you want to venture out today?” 

I'm keeping warm with a cozy new quilt made by my friend, Mary Conley. "The blocks might look familiar," she whispered, as she placed it in my lap. Indeed they did. They were red and green nine patches I'd abandoned almost twenty years ago. 

I couldn't believe my eyes! Mary had taken my ordinary blocks and  elevated them beyond utility quilt statusaccentuated the nine-patches by putting the blocks on point, against a large scale homespun plaid. cohesive design ordinary

There's homespun on the back too, and a swirly, wind-swept quilting design.

Wishing you well in the new year!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Will Strip for Fabric!

Hi everyone. Hope you're keeping cool this summer. I get so lethargic and irksome in this heat. Most days, it’s hard to do much more than nap! 

My Piecemaker friends shared photos of quilts they made from our Spider Web fabric exchange.
 It’s fun to see each quilter's interpretation of this classic string-pieced design. Enjoy! 

And here’s our friend, Patt, dressed as a stripper. How else would you dress for a "strip" swap?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hey, Macarena!

It’s been a while since I posted a bona fide, start to finish, pieced with my own two hands kind of quilt. I made this full-size Spider Web or Kaleidoscope quilt in a fabric swap with my Elmhurst "Piecemaker" quilt group. 

Our theme was “pastels.” To ensure that everyone got a good assortment, we each contributed six yards of precut strips to exchange with the group.

On the day of the swap, we paraded around the room to the festive rhythm of “Macarena,” snatching a strip from each table we passed. Between the music, laughter and fabric flying, we looked like a crazy conga line or raucous game of musical chairs. "Hey, Macarena!" 

Some people chose strips randomly, while others had a particular color scheme in mind. I selected 1930s-style colors and prints for my quilt. 

After sorting and sewing strips together, I used this 45 Degree Kaleidoscope Wedge Ruler to cut the eight segments required for each block. 

Coordinating the placement of colors within blocks was lots of fun... 

but, I liked the scrappiness of mixing random strips almost as much.

Nothing went to waste. My leftover strips found their way into the scrappy border.

I chose a 1930s-style print for the back and bound it in pink.

Kaleidoscope or Spider Web 
84" x 100"
Machine quilted by Stover Quality Quilting.