Folk Tails

I’ve been busy quilting some of last year’s Sue Spargo BOMs, a really fun quilt called Folk Tails.  It’s full of the animals and imagery of Africa, where Sue is originally from.  I saw a great exhibit of African textiles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art back in the spring which gave me a lot of inspiration and  I’ve also been listening to a lot of Johnny Clegg and Savuka.  This is a little clip of the last one, created by the google photo assistant which is a cool little tool that accesses your photos and makes things all by itself!​  Enjoy!


New Year’s resolution fail


This year I resolved to update my blog more frequently.  It’s already January 25th and this the first post, so you can see how that’s working out…   Part of the problem is I already post a lot more on social media, mostly Facebook, but I am now posting on Instagram and Twitter as well.  The biggest reason for my increase in posts is a new phone!!  Instead of having to take a picture on the camera, find the right cord, load them onto our network, open in in Photoshop, reformat it and then upload it, I can just press a few buttons and I am done!  I think I love the camera more than the phone part – it even has better resolution than our old camera.  So here’s to technology.  You can find me on social media using these links:


See you out there in cyberspace!







A Wild and Woolly Spring!

I was busy this spring quilting about a dozen wool quilts, mainly “In Full Bloom” the 2014 BOM by Sue Spargo as well as a few earlier BOMs also by Sue – Bird Dance and Earth & Twig.  Each quilt was quilted differently, although a lot of clients liked the hummingbird I put in the first quilt so it was repeated several times.  I had fun creating different textures in the wool.  The coolest thing was seeing how each quilt was different – very inspiring!

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Wilhemina Marie is going to Paducah!

Alice named her Beyond the Cherry Tree quilt Wilhemina Marie, after her mother.  She wanted me to quilt it with the original patterns which I did and I also added some here and there in a similar Naif style to keep the quilting even.  It was accepted to the 2015 AQS show in Paducah!  Congratulations Alice!

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Proof of My Insanity


Like a lot of quilters, I have a hard time throwing out scraps.  I have a couple of large bins to prove it!  Some scraps are kept segregated, like Amy Butler and sock monkey, and of course all of my Lancaster type reds, greens, yellows and cheddars.

For Christmas last year I asked for this book.  There are many blocks with tiny little pieces so I thought it would be a good use of those scraps:


This morning I finally had a chance to play a bit and make my first block!  Only 136 more to go!


I am also making progress on Block 1 of Minick and Simpson’s Austin Bluebird Sampler.    I don’t usually like samplers, but this one really appealed to me, so much so that I actually bought the kit for it!  I have been very pleased with the kit so far, it’s a wonderful change to actually have fabric left over!


I am also making progress on the first of nine blocks in a sweet applique quilt that I am using almost 100% feedsacks for:


Workwise, I am busy quilting several of last year’s Sue Spargo BOM, In Full Bloom, but Sue has asked that we refrain from publically sharing any pictures until she has published the pattern.  I did do a few more Bird Dance quilts before starting on the IFBs, here’s a quick peek at some of them:


A few weeks before Valentines I was surfing fb on a Sunday morning, as you do, and I saw the cutest little pomegranate quilt called Love Apples by Jo Morton.  As luck would have it, Jo herself was online and told me which book the pattern was in.  It is in her latest book For All Seasons, and was also published in Quiltmania.  I set to work on it as soon as I received the book, and here is my version – I do think it is possibly the fasted I have ever completed a quilt in, at least in recent memory:



We are under yet another Winter Weather Advisory – March is coming in like a lion!  After enduring the second coldest February on record, I am looking forward to spring!


A look back at 2014

Well, I successfully managed to avoid both updating this blog and setting up an e-commerce webpage for several months!  I think I may go back to etsy instead of setting up my own page.  The freebie software is not very intuitive, and frankly, I’d rather be quilting than building a website!

It’s gotten really cold this week, and I have been seeing all sorts of birds.  Today there were three tundra swans just sitting on the frozen lake with some gulls:


and some bald eagles have been hanging around.  Here’s one in a tree:


Perhaps he is hoping for a peek at my Kent Island Eagle quilt:


The eagle in this quilt is based on another Kent Island Eagle quilt.  The original quilt dates back to the 1830’s and is predominantly made of indigo on a light background.  When I saw the pattern that Kay Butler and the Kent Island Historical Society had created I knew I had to make it!  I had a yard of real indigo that I wanted to use, and some ecology cloth for the background.  I did make some changes, especially to the eagle as the original had a weird thing coming out of the top of its head, almost like a turkey.  As I was working I wondered what the heck the original quilter was thinking when she made her eagle like that – a political statement of sorts perhaps?  The original quilt is very large and I was hoping for a wall hanging so I did not make all the borders, but instead added on the red and white striped border which is kind of reminiscent of the American flag.  My triple rod crosshatch quilting in the center is appropriate to the original period.  I have finished the quilting but still need to get the binding on.  It will be hanging in the Greebelt Courthouse show this year along with Pennsylvania Hearts and Hands.

This is what I am working on now:


another scaled down version of a quilt, this one from Blackbird Designs  “When the Cold Wind Blows” called Love Letters.  I am calling mine Abridged Missives of Devotion.  The original had nine of these huge blocks, but since we have cats that like to sleep on our beds I don’t think I would ever use such a quilt so I made only four of the blocks.  I fell in love with the border stripe fabric by Edyta Sitar (from her Sweet Sixteen line) so I added it as the outer border.  It was quite challenging to try and get the pattern to match as it didn’t quite fit.  I am hoping to finish soon, but the quilting seems to be taking forever:


This is a macro lens shot, those little swirls are at most 1/2″ wide, often less…  very, very time consuming!  Hopefully the finished product will justify all the trouble!

I spent a bit of time going back through our picture files from last year, and here are some of the quilts I worked on last year.  Not all are included, some pictures didn’t turn out so well and some I neglected to take pictures of in my rush to deliver them back to their owners, so if you don’t see yours I apologize, I think I may need a new camera soon:























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That’s all for now!

Very late on Sunday night…

Past my bedtime actually!  I am struggling trying to set up the long-threatened e-commerce page to sell the lovely Aurifil Lana, and maybe some cotton too, but at this point the darn cart won’t even show up.  I am going to call it a day and dig in again tomorrow.  Thank you for your patience!

Long Time Coming

As the title of this post indicates, its been a while since I’ve update this website.  It’s also the lyrics in a Tragically Hip song, Long Time Running, an oldie but goodie off of Road Apples.  I almost always quilt to music, it gets me in the zone.

This first quilt was on the machine from mid-December until the end of January.  The pattern is Beyond the Cherry Trees by Gay Bomers of Sentimental Stitches.  It was a free BOM a couple of years ago, and Alice really outdid herself!  She wanted the original quilting patterns, which are in a sort of naif style of leaves, flowers and stars and the like.  Where the quilting was uneven I just added more with the same feel.  I was on an Amy Winehouse kick while quilting this one.



I spent February and some of March finishing my Gypsy Star.  I started it in a workshop with Kaffe Fassett back in Houston in 2012.   This makes me think of The Temptations “I’ve got Sunshine on a cloudy day…”

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I also finished Three French Hens, a project started when Sandy Klop (aka American Jane) came to visit our guild several years ago.  It uses mostly all American Jane fabric (A Breath of Avignon) and I just love how it turned out.  I did change the orientation of the blocks, so it will fit nicely hanging in my dining room.  Le Lait: L’Album Blanc was the soundtrack for this.

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Next up, a couple of Sue Spargo’s Bird Dance quilts, her BOM from last year.  I was a little concerned that the blocks were quite small, but it all worked out and they turned out really fun!  I think I was into the new Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings album around then.

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My Earth & Twig won a teacher’s ribbon at MQX in April – Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” about sums that up!


I bought a new toy!  She is looking pretty good considering her age.  More Amy Winehouse playing this time in the car while I went to pick her up:


And finally, after quilting this:


and this:

Piece of Cake Alice

I decided I really had to make my own!  Luckily Alice still had the pattern, by Piece of Cake and in an old issue of American Patchwork and Quilting (2005 or so?).  Anyhow, I put it in the guild show and so I had to name it, and I must have been listening to my summer playlist because I decided to call it “Hot Fun in the Summertime”.  It is mostly all Vintage Modern fabrics by Bonnie and Camille, although the strip background and bindings are from the Scrumptious line.  I took the pictures outdoors when the sun was low to try and get the dense fill to show.  The diagonal is following the fabric, and on the dot I drew a 1″ grid and filled them with lines alternating horizontally and vertically.  The dense fills along with a double batting of cotton on the bottom and wool on top really make the applique pop.

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Hope you had fun looking, and got a good earworm or two!



Warm Winter Blessings


This was one of my favourite quilts from Quilt Market so of course you know I’d end up making it. It’s a pattern by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings and was quick to make.

I also finally used my twister templates that I purchased in Houston to make a fun little twister wreath! Here it is before quilting: Twister-Wreath

I quilted this beauty last fall:


It’s called Fox Chase, a pattern by Maggie Walker. Here’s another shot where you can really get a good idea of the dimensionality of the applique:


After searching for a couple of months for the label for my Earth & Twig I finally found it carefully stored in a plastic sleeve with the pattern. Gee, you would think that might be the first place to look! I must stop putting things away in a safe place. Anyhow, the label is on and the sleeve has been added, it’s all ready for AQS Lancaster!


I decided to plant a garden this fall, something I’ve never tried before and I’m not sure if I will continue. I sowed rows of kale and chard, cilantro and dill. The kale had some sort of cabbage looper type worm, the dill was devoured by Swallowtail caterpillars and the chard was completely eaten by these lot:


Last fall I discovered Irene Blanck’s beautiful quilt designs and replied to her on a posting about tins. I made this tin probably when I was in university. You know it’s old because postage in Canada hasn’t been 17 cents in a LONG time!! Tea-tin-with-stamps

I still have a thing for tins as is evidenced by my some of my collection here in my kitchen:


You can see her lovely quilt designs here:

Finally, for the gratuitous cat photo, here is my old friend Mango, carefully inspecting one of last year’s Salvation Army Bear quilts:


October already!

Fall is in the air! Morning mist over Northwest Creek: Misty-morning

A small woolly quilt, pattern by Buttermilk Basin but I added borders (loving that Jo Morton fabric in the outer border!)

I finished my barter quilt and decided to call it the Turner’s Lathe quilt. It’s like Carpenter’s Wheel, only different, right? Here is the finished quilt:

And a peek at the quilting from the back – I digitized some chestnut leaves and curved crosshatching:

Enjoy the cooler weather!