Monday, March 12, 2018

Snow Day In March

Snow Day

Well, isn't this a surprise? Two inches of snow this morning gave me an opportunity for a breakfast of snow cream. A fluffy, pretty snow stuck to the trees and grass but not much on our roads. Now the sun is melting it fast. Not too unusual for Tennessee, though, because I remember snow on St. Patrick's Day and on Easter.

This winter table runner is made from a batik snowflake print, using AccuQuilt wedge die. I whipped it up earlier this year on a snowy January day. 

The backing is pieced from two fat quarters. I used a decorative snowflake stitch for quilting. Snow Day is 21” x 25” size.

Now, forward to Saturday's holiday: St. Patrick's Day! With a last name of Ireland, you know I have to celebrate.

Citrus Mint Stars
I used my LeMoyne Star die to create this little quilt called Citrus Mint Stars. Little pieces, but easy to cut, sew, and piece with the die. Tan solids contrast nicely with two green prints framed by batik sashing. 

For the back, I combined a leftover block with green and cream half square triangles to make one large block. This one is 35” square, quilted with a wavy stitch in tan thread. It's hanging in my kitchen right now.

Gotta go, I need to add extra steps to my daily walk, after snow cream and the lemon pie I made for my husband's birthday.

“Spring is when you feel like whistling
even with a shoe full of slush.”
~Doug Larson

Monday, March 5, 2018

Spring Geese

Today's lap quilt is the result of saving scraps and remnants from other projects. I paired bright spring pastels in yellow, lavender, pink, peach, and aqua with colorful mini dots and a white on white triangle print for maximum contrast. The backing is a coordinating stripe. I quilted with white thread down and across the geese rows in straight lines, then outlined the center blocks. This girly Spring Geese quilt is 48” square.

I had already cut the pieces using the Accuquilt flying geese 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" die. I've been trying to keep up with cutting leftovers into sizes that I frequently use. I store them by size in plastic bins labeled with washi tape, so my stash stays neat and organized. As a bonus, when I want to sew something scrappy, I can just grab the pieces and start right away.

I like to use EQ8 to design, but this time I arranged the flying geese on my design wall as I sewed them. It's sort of like working a jigsaw puzzle. My design wall is simple: just a 40” x 60” piece of 3/4” foam board wrapped with white flannel, hanging on the wall beside my machine.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Green Onions

Green Onions

I had spring on my mind and a song in my head while working on this little quilt. Remember the cool instrumental number by Booker T and the M.G.'s? What a classic!

The blocks were quickly cut with Accuquilt 3 1/3” tumbler die, using colors of clear navy, spring green and crisp white prints. I randomly arranged them in rows, then framed with a subtle white and grey print. Single tumblers were appliqued onto the navy corners. I outline quilted each piece in white, using a straight stitch. Backing is a diagonal navy and green floral print.

Green Onions is 30” x 36” finished size. It reminds me of sunny spring Saturdays, cruising around with my mama in her '62 Pontiac Catalina, with the windows open and the radio cranked up. Gotta love those memories!

Music is the way
our memories
sing to us
across time.
~Lance Morrow

Monday, February 19, 2018

Color My World

How about a bright scrap quilt for this unusually warm February morning? I don't think we'll need to snuggle up in it today, but it still looks cheerful as a decorative accessory. 

A variety of mixed prints were combined with white dots on black to make this 44” square called Color My World.

I arranged three columns of 3” half square triangles with four columns of stacked 3” x 6” strips. All were cut from my scrap stash with Accuquilt dies. I finished by quilting variegated black/gray thread in rows with a large scallop stitch. Backing is a colorful crazy quilt print, with black and white dots for binding.

I'm not sure the ground hog got his prediction right, at least not for us in Tennessee. It sure feels like spring; last Thursday it was 75 degrees and I had windows open to air out the house. Today looks the same so I'm looking forward to taking my daily walk outside.

Thanks for stopping by, make your day colorful!

COLOR is a power
which directly
influences the soul.
~Wassily Kandinsky

Monday, February 12, 2018

Feel The Love

Feel The Love
For this Valentine's week, my featured quilt is a sweet little wall hanging. Scrappy red and white hearts float on a background of pale grey mini-dots. Feel The Love is 23” x 33” and could double as a table mat. Red and white diagonal peppermint stripes are used for backing and binding.  Quilting was done in straight lines 1/2” apart with white thread.

I had a few red squares left over, so I whipped up a 6” square mug mat. These two were last week's project, along with straightening up my work area. Somehow things from other rooms in the house make their way into my space: shirts for ironing, receipts, magazines, sale flyers, etc. I took care of all of that clutter; now my space looks ready for creating more goodies.

Today I am sending lots of love to Fayetteville, Tennessee. Sir's Fabric was destroyed by fire on Saturday evening. What a heartbreaking loss for the owners, the employees, and the community. Thankfully, no one was physically injured. Sir's was a family owned business and I can't imagine how devastating this must be for them. I didn't go often, but I really stocked up when I was there. I am in mourning for the lost fabric.

Valentine's Day...
I'm waiting for the
on the 15th!

Monday, February 5, 2018

How About Them Apples?

Red Delicious
This mouth-watering lap quilt was finished in early January. I used the Accuquilt apple core die that I got for Christmas. Cutting was a breeze...I can't imagine how long it would have taken me to cut out this shape by hand! Notches helped make sewing together the pieces much easier. I did have to slow down a bit to maintain accurate seams. No racing at full speed on this one.

Red Delicious finished out at 43” square. Red prints and a cream/black modern geometric are alternated for the center. Black fabric with gardening tools is used for inside border, backing, and binding. Outside border is a red burlap print. I quilted a straight stitch along the curves for the interior, and used a decorative serpentine stitch with black/grey/cream variegated thread to accent the red border.

This beauty should remind me to eat apples more often. It's said they keep the doctor away, you know. 

An apple a day keeps anyone away
if you throw it hard enough

🔴...feeling a little saucy here...🔴

Why not upset the apple cart?
If you don’t the apples will rot anyway
~Frank A. Clark

Monday, January 29, 2018

Farmhouse Kitchen

Farmhouse Kitchen
This fun little quilt features windmill blocks made from 2 1/2” strips. The watermelon red, burnished gold, black and cream colors blend together beautifully. A cream and red vintage print nicely frames the blocks. Backed in a cheerful apple print, the 24” x 30” size is great for a table mat or wall decoration. It's quilted on the diagonal with a swirling leaf stitch.

Speaking of kitchens, I've been doing some reorganizing in ours this winter. Now that the pantry is sorted again (how does all that stuff get pushed to the back?), I can find things more easily. 

I also pared down my unruly collection of plastic food keepers. Out went old stained and cracked ones, odd lids and sizes; replaced with new clear stacking storage containers. These new ones (Brilliance by Rubbermaid) are leak proof and have a lifetime warranty. We'll see. They do take up less space in the cabinet and refrigerator.

A side note on storage: I found the prettiest little storage bins last week at Dollar Tree and could not resist! They are PURPLE to match my sewing room walls. 

I bought several sizes to hold current projects and to replace the shoe boxes I had been using for scrap storage in my rolling cart. Cute, huh?

Life's more fun
when you're organized.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Free Spirit

Batik fabrics are high on my favorites list, so I tend to use them often. For this project, I chose coral, purple, navy, and turquoise, then added in small coordinating prints. Kite blocks, cut easily with an Accuquilt die, are fun and quick to sew. The light tan background is also used for sashing, giving the kites prime focus, with a few watermelon squares to tie them together. Borders are a neutral beige with a navy/coral pattern, also used on the back.

Free Spirit

It's a happy, free spirited quilt, measuring 48” square. The back features three flying geese blocks I had in my sampler box, set in a long center strip. I quilted with natural beige thread in a small serpentine stitch, 2” apart.

Those kites look ready for March winds and prettier days than today's rainy forecast. Our 5” of snow from last week is finally gone, along with those frigid temperatures. I did enjoy a couple of batches of snow cream but I do not like single digit temps. However, it is Tennessee; the weather turns on a dime.

“Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.”
~Lauren Bacall

Monday, January 15, 2018

Roses In Winter

Rose Trellis
Our cold snowy weather, along with a couple of power outages, has made for a challenging weekend. Although I do like snow, I'm glad I don't have to drive in this icy mess any more. One thing, though, I can't sew when the power's off, so I cut, sorted and organized scraps and cleaned the sewing room. And of course, I made a batch of delicious snow cream and read by the fire.

A few of my friends have already been wishing for spring, so for them I'm featuring a pretty little green, dark pink and black quilt which I finished back in October. Rose Trellis is 24” square, made up of flying geese blocks with 3 1/2” squares. Don't these cheerful rose prints bring a smile and a hint of spring to a cold January day? I used light green thread to quilt diagonal swirling wave patterns across the blocks, and a straight stitch to outline the green squares and triangles.

If the electricity continues to go off, I may have to convince my sweetie to start the generator, or convert my sewing machine to battery power. Maybe we can fix up his Granny's old treadle machine...she made plenty of quilts on it. Stay warm and cozy, y'all.

is the power
to gather roses
in winter.

Monday, January 8, 2018


“Well, it's a marvelous night
for a moondance”

~ Van Morrison

What better way to remember the amazing supermoon than a quilted table mat? I used the 6” AccuQuilt circle die to easily cut the moons, then appliqued them onto swirling black and grey 9” squares. Keeping the fabric flat and ravel free was easy: I used iron on interfacing before cutting out the circles. For quilting, I double outlined each circle in grey. This 35” square would look great on a wall as well.

January started out cold and frosty, so we have mostly stayed in. Mornings and evenings by the gas stove are relaxing and cozy. On the days we had to get out, I was thankful for heated seats in my Escape. 

Of course, we don't have to worry too much about getting cold around this house. 

I happen to have one or two extra quilts lying around.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Reflections And Resolutions

This new year started cold, with a low of 4 degrees this morning. Our electricity went out about 5 am. Although it was back on in an hour, I was very happy to have a gas fireplace and range. There was another good side to being up so early...we were able to watch a beautiful full moon setting followed by a brilliant sunrise.

2017 was a good year. There were a few challenges along the way but everything worked out like it was supposed to in the end. We went camping several times at Defeated Creek and Dale Hollow Dam. We spent a refreshing week at Island House Hotel in Orange Beach. We started eating healthier and walking at least an hour per day. Home improvement projects and hobbies kept us busy and we were never bored.

It was a stellar year for sewing! I scored big with fabric and sewing tool purchases. I completed a total of 58 sewing/quilting projects, the most ever since I started a sewing journal. Needless to say, I cherish the hours I spend stitching.

For 2018, I plan to continue living a quiet, happy retired life. I will stay on a healthy eating path and increase my walking time. There will be camping, reading, maybe another beach trip, and lots more sewing. 

I'll make an effort to give myself time to fully experience each moment, to linger instead of rushing. Laughter with friends and loved ones, lively conversation, and learning new things are on my list. Most importantly, I want to practice awareness so that I don't miss a thing.

Wishing you all a happy and fulfilling 2018.
May you revel in the simple pleasures of life.