Monday, April 17, 2017

Another Angle

Another Angle
Here's a quilt of many colors that I worked on back in February.  

Using lots of scraps, I cut triangles and set them in rows alternated with a medium turquoise small print. 

Experimenting with placement on my design wall was fun but it took a while to decide on the final layout. Diagonal quilting in a dark turquoise thread accentuates the triangle pattern. The final 40” x 49” size is good for a wall hanging or picnic blanket.

It's a good thing I have been using up scraps, because I got fabric gift certificates, coupons and discounts for my birthday. Let the shopping and ordering begin!

In life, we all come with baggage.
Mine's just full of fabric!

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Day Worth Living

What will you do today? Make choices so that you can look back and say that this was a day worth living.

Share a smile or a hug.
Be productive.
Express gratitude.
Get some fresh air and sunshine.
Move: walk, run, stretch.
Learn or do something new.
Pamper yourself.
Make time to just be.
Laugh and have fun.
Enjoy eating great food.
Compliment someone.
Seek beauty in the ordinary.
Be in the moment.
Find adventure.

These are a few suggestions for your consideration, however, please choose your own.

We are not here to live out
someone else's idea
of a satisfying life.”

Monday, April 3, 2017

Tomato Soup & Crackers

Tomato Soup & Crackers
It seems that I may be on a food theme for naming quilts this year. I've used the tomato colored fabric again, this time for a 45" square lap quilt.

I finished this one back in February, using 4” blocks set on point. The neutral tan and beige fabrics were mostly scraps from other projects, with a few new solids tossed in. The back is one red/beige block surrounded by cream strips.  Machine quilting is free motion twists.  This one is currently displayed on the wall in our living room.

Tomato soup sounds good for this week, since it may be chilly. It's comfort food that I remember from childhood. I think we just had red bud winter with dogwood winter not far behind. In Tennessee, these mini-winters usually start in late March or early April, and only last a couple of days.  I believe they're coming earlier this year.

Strawberry Winter: late March
Redbud Winter: early April
Dogwood Winter: late April
Locust Winter: early May
Blackberry Winter: mid May
Britches Winter: late May
(after this one you can wear cotton britches)

If you can't be in awe of Mother Nature,
there's something wrong with you...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hello Springtime

Wild Mulberry Lattice
Even though we had warm temps in February, then frost last week, it's officially spring today.  

This wall hanging is a perfect springtime project. Wild Mulberry Lattice is constructed with 6” squares set in a lattice pattern. The 29” x 34” size is easy to sew. Purple, white, grey and navy prints are gorgeous together, and match my sewing room walls.  I quilted diagonally with an angled blanket stitch alternating with a straight stitch. I finished it in February during one of those warm spells.

Have a great day—go outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather!

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Twist of Lime

A Twist of Lime
This week's theme is green, for St. Patrick's Day on Friday.   With a last name like Ireland, I have to celebrate with shamrocks and all things Irish.  And, even though I married into the name, one or two of my ancestors came from Eire. 

This little table mat measures only 17" x 31" and was quick to finish.  I like the twisted rectangles in bright lime and white prints.  It looks great on my kitchen counter with a wee pot o' shamrocks.  I picked the cheery daffodils before the predicted snow but we only got flurries up here on the ridge. 

 ☘️ ☘️ ☘️

 I may be old and gray on the outside, 
but inside I'm young, redheaded and Irish!  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Neatly Stacked

Neatly Stacked
I love the color combination in this quilt, and of course, the cat prints! The fabric is a 10” square sampler collection called Cat Lady, from Connecting Threads. I cut cream squares, sashing and borders, then used a quickie method of sewing and slashing to make the large half square triangle blocks. It went together like a dream: I cut, sewed and quilted this 42” x 52” wall hanging in about 8 hours.

This quilt was finished in 2016, just before Christmas. According to my sewing log, I completed 27 quilt projects last year, eight of them in November and December. My new Janome sewing machine has been getting quite a workout, and I love to sew on her!

▩  ▩  ▩
Never underestimate the power
of a woman with a sewing machine.

▩  ▩  ▩
If anyone ever tells me 
that I have enough fabric 
and don't need any more, 
I will stop talking to them. 
 I don't need that kind 
of negativity in my life!

▩  ▩  ▩


Monday, February 27, 2017

Morning Meditation

Quiet mornings are one of the delightful benefits of retirement. Sitting with a cup of coffee, I usually read, pet Callie cat, talk to my sweetheart and plan my day. Sometimes I just breathe and enjoy the stillness.

Morning Meditation
I designed this lap quilt back in November with those relaxing mornings in mind. Calming blue, cream, brown, and beige squares are set in window pane blocks. Finished size is 42” square, so it could also be a wall hanging or baby quilt.


When you arise in the morning,
think what a precious privilege it is
to be alive -
to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
~Marcus Aurelius

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tropical Dash

All this warm weather in winter has given me some tropical inspiration. Back in January, I paired brilliant turquoise and coral fabric prints into churn dash blocks set in rows of three to make a colorful, cheery quilt.

For quilting, it seemed right to use bright coral thread in a scallop pattern that looks like waves. The back is one long row of scrap strips, set off center in dark turquoise.  

Finished size is 43” square, perfect for a wall hanging or table topper.

Tropical Dash

Instead of hot chocolate, this 2017 winter calls for coconut rum on the rocks. Hmmm, maybe that's another quilt idea. 

True living is
finding paradise
wherever you go.

Find things that shine
and move toward them.
~Mia Farrow

Monday, February 6, 2017

Inspired By Chips & Salsa

Chips & Salsa
One of our favorite snacks became the inspiration for my latest quilting project. It started when I ordered some red fabric called tomato. Scraps of yellow batik print and a dash of lime dots gave me the classic colors I needed.

Now for a pattern with triangles. I found Grandmother's Puzzle, a vintage block that takes on a modern look with these fabrics. The multiple sized pieces are time consuming to cut and sew, even with a few short cuts. I'm glad I didn't plan on a bed size quilt for this one! The diagonal overall quilting was the  right finishing touch for this 15” x 27” table mat.

You can find inspiration in everything.
And if you can't, look again.
~Paul Smith

Don't waste time waiting
for inspiration.
Begin, and
inspiration will find you.
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cheatin' At Cards

Cheatin' At Cards
My latest creation features an easy version of the vintage card trick block. The center is a four patch square, bordered by four squares and four rectangles. I used 3” squares and 3” x 6” rectangles in black and white prints, with white squares for the corners. Each block is set on point and joined with white sashing, then bordered with black gingham and white triangles.

The fun part was outline stitching each set of cards with a mock hand stitch and using a cross stitch pattern in black thread to accent the corners. White thread quilting finished off this striking 44” square wall hanging. Who said black and white is boring? Not me! 

♥ ♣ ♦ ♠

Life is like a game of cards.
We don't choose what we are dealt,
we choose how we play.

♥ ♣

Monday, January 16, 2017

Shady Green Spaces

Greenery is the popular color this year, but green has always been a favorite of mine. It reminds me of peaceful nature and the great outdoors.

Calming and refreshing shades of celadon, olive, pine, and moss are prevalent in this new wall hanging. I used 5” squares with 2½” x 5” rectangles, alternating green prints and batiks with light tan solids, set in a grid pattern. I finished it off by quilting with variegated thread in a triple serpentine stitch. 

I worked on this during a cold spell, thinking of spring days to come. Now in the middle of January the high will reach 70° today. I need to finish another quilt, but I think I'll open a window, then go outside for a walk.

Those who find beauty
in all of nature
will find themselves
at one with life itself.
~L. W. Gilbert

Monday, January 9, 2017

Freshening Up

January seems like the perfect time to freshen up things around the house. It's kind of like fluffing the nest before a long cold spell. After taking down Christmas decorations, I like simplicity and cozy corners for winter relaxation.

Last week we updated our guest room with a clean coat of light grey paint and rearranged the furniture. I packed away memories and pared down knick-knacks. An older soft quilt in navy, hunter green and burgundy makes the bed just the right spot for a nap.

Having a comfortable, warm place to call home is important to me. It doesn't have to be expensive or fancy, just a simple, basic place where my sweetheart and I can enjoy life, retirement, and our hobbies. Home is our sanctuary.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Necessary Solitude

Isn't it peaceful to experience quiet moments without distraction? I think so.

Our holidays were low-key, without any fuss or stress, most of the time just the two of us. We watched old movies, cooked, read novels, and talked. I had time to sit by the fire with my coffee and dream.

Days like today, when there's a foggy drizzle, I'm happy to be inside enjoying my solitude. Everything is so quiet when you turn off phones and TV to let the silence soothe your mind. It's also quite refreshing to step outside and absorb the sounds of nature.

Seeking solitude is beneficial to your body, mind, and spirit. It invokes feelings of contentment, and helps improve concentration and problem solving. Find a few moments to recharge, renew and regenerate.

Solitude is the soul's holiday,
an opportunity to stop doing for others
and to surprise and delight ourselves instead.
~Katrina Kenison

Solitude is a kind of freedom.
~Umberto Eco