Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Bit of a Break....

So much has been going on over the last couple of weeks that has kept me away from blogging or even catching up on my blog reading....

Most of my time has been spent worrying and caring for my precious pup...

It all began as routine blood work before having some dental work done.  But her blood work was a little off and so she was put on prednisone.  While on the prednisone she contracted a nasty intestinal bacteria.  Needless, to say we spent several sleepless nights.  She has been on an antibiotic and is feeling better...but she is an old girl - 14 yrs old.  We all love our pets so much and seeing them get old or ill is very difficult.  But for now she is doing much better.  

In between all the puppy care, I have had a couple of projects to complete for Quilt Market in Houston.  I should be able to tell you more about this later...

It is fun to be able to work with fabric not yet released....and this particular designer is pretty darn it is always a joy to work with her fabric!

And, in the last couple of weeks, there have been birthdays!  Mine and a very good friend who has a birthday just a few days before me!   We both love all things Anthropologie!  So a little yummy smelling bar of soap and a handmade needle case fit the bill!

I enjoy making these needle pouches...and they are very useful!

Perfect pink stripe lining and a piece of wool felt for tucking needles into.  

I also had some left over blocks because of a measuring error on my I made a couple doll quilts for a couple of cute little girls....


a very scrappy quilt with a scallop border.

And then for the little sister another scrappy quilt!

Now Emma and Madeline can keep their dolls nice and warm this winter!

As I said, I also celebrated a birthday!  And received some wonderful handmade gifts!

My dear friend Rachel from Family Ever After stopped by one evening with the most precious mini Dresden!

The Dresden Plate block is so near and dear to my heart!  I love this teeny version with sweet embroidery!  It was a happy day!

And my other dear friend, Susan, from PatchworknPlay sent a package bursting with fun!

she knows my love of fun socks!

But best of all, is the Dilly Bag she made using a piece of vintage patchwork I sent to her last year!

Amazing!  I absolutely LOVE it!  Thank you, Susan!

And I finished my birthday celebration by having lunch with my good friend, Mary Jo!  She is another lover of fabric and quilting!  It was great to see her impressive stash of fabric and chit chatting about quilting.  She is dear.  

Lastly, I have to say to my bee mate, Mary from Mary On Lake Pulaski...your block should be at your house this week!  Sorry I am so late!

happy sunday!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop...

Hi!  It's my turn to share a bit about myself on the Around the World Blog Hop!  I was asked to share my story by Jacqueline from Bind can find Jacqueline here....
I met Jacqueline through Instagram, and like a few of my other friends she comes from the land down under!
The blog hop is fairly simple....answer a few questions about yourself and nominate a friend or two from near or far to do the same!

So, here we go!
1. What are you working on?
Well, I just finished a quilt for a new baby boy in our family, Miles.  Miles is my youngest niece's first child.  And if she has read the last two posts, then she is already well aware that this quilt will be arriving at her house this week...oops.  

Adapted from Denyse Schmidt's Proverbial Quilt Pattern

There is more information about this quilt a couple of posts back...I will make you work for it...hehe!
I, also, just finished a fun little doll quilt which I will share later.  This is a surprise for someone special, so I don't want to spoil it.

Luckily, these projects are out of the way because I will be doing a little sewing for Quilt Market in October!  Sorry...I can't tell you about that either!  Wow!  I am just full of information!

2.  How does my work differ from others?
Well, I am not sure how it differs, but I think I can best answer that by telling you what I like and where I feel comfortable. Let's begin with the design and the fabric.  I feel very comfortable with traditional designs done with a modern flair.  I know when I look at designs that I am often drawn to curves or circular designs....I like symmetry.  But at the same time I like my quilts to have a "thrown together" look.  I always imagine myself out on the prairie preparing for the winter ahead and using every little scrap of fabric I can find to make a quilt for my children!

Bullseye...traditional block
             Cathedral Window....traditional block

   Lark ;)
Not every design I choose involves curves...I have completed quite a few triangle or pyramid quilts...
Like Lark...which was one of the rare occasions I used a single designer's line exclusively....of course, it was the amazing Amy Butler!

If I were asked who I most admire, I would have to say Denyse Schmidt and Gwen Marston. I love their feels so right to me.  Not fussy...just warm, relaxed, perfect in every way.  And Denyse Schmidt not only writes quilt books that make me go back for more, but she is definitely my go-to girl as a fabric designer.

  Courthouse Steps...pattern by Denyse Schmidt

Point Me by Denyse Schmidt
I rarely, do a quilt from a single line...I like to mix things up...not too matchy matchy.  Personally, I would throw color theory out the window!  Go with what your heart tells you looks good and works together.  

There is one thing I know for certain about myself, I like happy fabrics!  I like fabrics that are bright and saturated in color.  I love print next to print and color next to color!
That doesn't mean I don't like less flamboyant fabrics...I do. Text prints for instance...brilliant!  The one thing I do grow weary of are fabrics and trends that are formulaic.  Those things that have been done, done, stick a fork in it...done!  I will not cry if I never see another chevron.  There are more than a few trendy prints that have been done way too much...and I never really understood bringing back the 80's.

The last thing I will say about what makes me feel comfortable...  hand quilting.  As many of you know, I love to pick stitch or quilt with perle cotton. There are so many reasons I love to hand quilt.  It is relaxing and makes my mind slow down.  It's not perfect!  I don't care for perfect...I can buy a perfect quilt at Macy's.  Quilts are a reflection of the quilter.  It's a process, from the quilters mind and dreams, to the choosing and editing, stitching the pieces together and making adjustments, to finally the quilting.  The quilting is your signature on the quilt....

   Stashbuster... pattern by Sarah Fielke    
Whirligig...pattern by Sarah Fielke

Flowering Vine...pattern by Denyse Schmidt
3. Why do I create?
I have to.  Being creative and creating is like breathing.  I just have to do it.  Chances are everyone reading this feels the same way.  Our minds are not still, even at night, because we are dreaming of the next quilt, the next idea to try.  My father was a trained artist...attending art school....worked as an artist for Ohio Art Works and then as a graphic artist for a major aviation company.  I began my college career in Fine Arts and then switched to Elementary Education.  So it has always been a part of my life.     

Log cabin and 
4.  How does my creative process work?
 That depends on whether I am following a pattern or playing out my thoughts.  If I am following a pattern, my focus is on the fabrics I choose, the layout, and the quilting.  I enjoy following patterns.  Recently, I have had the opportunity to work on a few projects writing instructions and I found that process very enjoyable.  So following a pattern is just fun!

Made to Measure...pattern by Sarah Fielke

spider web quilt pattern from Material Obsession 2 pattern by Kathy Doughty

Swedish Bloom pattern from Patchwork Please...pattern by Ayumi 
Sometimes my creations are a combination of a traditional block and my own interpretation...

my version of Courthouse Steps

Apple Core Block

Flying Geese Block

more Bullseye blocks :)

Then, sometimes, its just me and my brain....


One thing is for certain...I stood on a lot of chairs!
I have asked a couple of very good friends to join along in this blog will be able to see their posts next Monday the 29th.

First is a dear bloggy friend from Oz....Susan from PatchworknPlay 
The wonderful thing about blogging and quilting is that you have the opportunity to meet wonderful people in far away places.  I met Susan when I reached out to her for assistance with a pattern.  I knew she had made the same quilt and I needed just a little help to get some instructions squared away.  We became friends.  I can't wait for the day when we meet in real life!

And my second victim Rachel from Family Ever After.  Rachel is a friend but not a far away friend.  In fact, Rachel lives just around the corner from me....different neighborhood, but I drive right by her house to go to the grocery!  So I drive right by her house about every other day! hehe! I adore Rachel...she is exactly as she seems on her blog.  She is bright and cheery, a good friend, a wonderful mother....she is like Mary Poppins!

I know you will enjoy learning more about them!  Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Just a Quick Sunday Hello!

I am just popping in to remind everyone {and myself...hehe} that I will be posting for the Around the World Blog Hop tomorrow....

and while I am here....I wanted to share with you another Flowering Snowball Quilt from Audrey...
You can find the blog post about her quilt here!  At Quilty Folk!

I love it! It reminds me of Fall!

See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Quilt for Miles....

My niece, Mary, welcomed a baby boy into the world last week...
Of course, I knew the due date was closing in, but I thought I might have another week to put together a baby quilt.  But babies have their own time tables and Miles has been in the arms of his  loving family for nearly a week now!

I pieced his name - MILES - using Denyse Schmidt's Proverbial Quilt Pattern.  Like most of Denyse Schmidt's patterns, I have used this one more than's that good!  And makes a fantastic (personalized) quick quilt!
All of the letters for the name are from the same black and white gingham...the background fabric is Essex Yarn Dyed in Steel...with a little text fabric and ticking stitched in.

BUT...for the first time I used wool batting.  This is a Pellon wool batting and I have to tell you....I may never use anything else.  It is absolutely amazing!  This batting quilted like a dream!  I have never felt such a difference!  

I quilted with large 3" loops [with Aurifil thread].  Using the seam for the name strip as my bottom edge guide, I placed a piece of masking tape 3 inches above that seam.  My loopy quilting was contained between the seam and the tape.  Always a good idea to contain your loopy-ness ;)  hehe!  The wool made the quilting so much easier!  So fluid and fast!  I finished the quilting in just 3 hours!  Amazing!

I do prefer to hand quilt, but when I machine quilt I like a simple pattern.  So these big loops fill the bill.  Simple, not perfect, but yet add a nice texture...I am kind of smitten.

After I finish a line of quilting, I simple move my tape 3 more inches above the loops of the previous line.  It keeps my loops fairly straight and similar in height.  

I used the same black and white gingham for the back of the quilt as well as the binding.
His birth date is fussy cut from a fabulous number fabric from Kokka  [more on where you can find that later ;-) ]

 It just wouldn't feel right to call it finished without adding some hand stitching...and a little perle cotton....
so I added some red stitches with Valdani perle cotton to the binding and to the numbers!  
I love the stitching on the binding....yes indeed!

And in case you were wondering about washing with the wool has been washed in cold water with a color catcher thrown in for good measure.  And dried on low.  PERFECT!!!!

 This one will be wrapped up with lots of love!
happy monday!
xo mary