Monday, September 2, 2019

Summertime Preserves

Summertime is turning to fall, but I'm just not ready for the change of seasons. There are too many summer essentials I missed out on ... watermelon, sweetcorn, homegrown tomatoes! Instead, I "preserved" what I could in a little quilt satisfy my cravings for summer, any time of year!

I pulled out a project that perfectly fit the bill! You may remember it from HERE.

I asked my friend Ruth if she'd finish the project for me. She's a consummate needlewoman,

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

Hello everyone! 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. Read more about it HERE. 

Quilting friends brought "show and tell" 
with their visits! Here's Sheila with her Sunflowers and me with Wanda's Zigzag.

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

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. Listening to Bev was absolute bliss!


Linda and Mark threw 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. Believe me, it did not disappoint!

Thank you for all the love, my friends. You're the best!

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 crocuses, tulips, and other flowering perennials. "Flowers on Fargo" as it's known is quite a local sensation!

Crocuses are the first to emerge, often while there's still snow on the ground. They seem to dance through the garden like they're happy to be leaving winter behind.

This vintage Dutchman's Puzzle is my favorite quilt for spring. Years of use have left it soft and lightweight. Just enough to keep off a chill.

Do you suppose the maker had crocuses in mind, or was this just a popular color scheme in the 1940s?

More "Flowers on Fargo" 


Friday, March 16, 2018

Midwinter Blues

Hello everyone! I had another birthday recently and with it came this gorgeous quilt from BarbThe pattern is "Midwinter Blues" from Lori DeJarnatt's 2014 Humble Quilts sew-along. 

Just look at these exquisite fabrics! Have you ever seen such deep, saturated blues or "sharp" cheddars? Double-click photos for more detail.

All those patchwork points and angles make for a "lively" quilt, but Barb softened the look with gentle curves of "teacup" quilting.

Another way to minimize the visual energyI love how the machine quilting practically melts into the background.

There's a beautiful patriotic print on the back -- "E pluribus unum" or "Out of many, one." 

As you can see from the label, Barb originally made this quilt for our dear friend, Mary. After Mary passed away, Barb thought I might like 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!

Hello everyone! 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 in weather like this, braving the elements only to trek down the driveway for mail or to clear the sidewalks of 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 hunkered down 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 could hardly believe my eyes! Here were those selfsame blocks looking fresh and new in a jaunty on-point setting. I love how that homespun plaid accentuates the nine-patches and ties the quilt together. 

There's homespun on the back too, and a swirly quilting design for that final wintery touch.

Mary’s kindness comes as no surprise to those who know her well. She's always ready to pay a visit or provide a meal when needed.

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2018!

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.