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 basked in the sun, quenched a thirst with lemonade, or eaten your fill of watermelon, sweet corn, or home-grown tomatoes?

Instead, I “preserved” a bit of summer to savor whenever I please! My Strawberry Patch doll quilt was just the thing to capture the sweetness of the season.

I asked my friend, Ruth, if she’d quilt and bind it for me. To my great delight, she agreed!

Just look at her tiny, even stitches, and the way the yellow perle cotton catches the light. She crosshatched through the 2" squares...

and quilted cables in the border.

There are strawberries on the back too!

Thank you, Ruth, for your consummate needle skills and willingness to see this project to fruition. I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out!

Strawberry Patch 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!


Linda and Mark hosted a 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 had me convinced 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 these triangles,

poking through a bed of white,

just to dance with abandon,

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" pattern from Lori DeJarnatt's 2014 Humble Quilts sew-along.

Isn't it exquisite? I've never seen such deep, saturated blues or lively cheddar prints. Double-click photos for more detail.

The gentle curve of "teacup" quilting softens all those patchwork points and angles,  

just like the gold silk thread that subtly blends into the background, rather than drawing more attention to itself. 

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

As the label indicates, Barb originally made her quilt for our friend, Mary. When Mary died, the quilt was returned to Barb. She said it kept reminding her of me and thought I might enjoy having it. You bet I will! 


If you'd like to make your own version of "Midwinter Blues," instructions are still available at Humble QuiltsPart 1   Part 2   Part 3   Finale.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope this finds you well and looking forward to a brand new year.

For those of you living outside the purple zone on the weather map, it’s bitterly cold here, with single-digit temperatures and double-digit below zero wind chills. That’s breath-taking cold. Bone-chilling cold. FROSTBITE COLD! My husband, Jim, has kept his "arctic" 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 under a cozy new quilt that my friend, Mary Conley, made me for Christmas. "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 years before, when I first started sorting life into projects worth my energy to complete and those that were not. 

Apparently, Mary saw more potential in my castoffs than I did. Can you imagine her rescuing my blocks and returning them to me 20 years later in this lovely lap quilt? It's so typical of her kind and selfless nature!

I like how she placed the nine patches on point, offset with a cozy homespun plaid. There's homespun on the back too. And what's more fitting than this swirly, wind-swept quilting design?

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mary! I still can't get over your wonderful surprise. XOXOXO 

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 Spider Web design in a fabric swap with my Elmhurst "Piecemakers" quilt group. 

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

On swap day, 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.