Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in photos

Some photos of the highlights of my 2009!

My first book was published!

I turned 40!

Son graduated from college.

Daughter graduated from high school.

Son got married!

Cruise to Canada.

Trip to Las Vegas.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fifty Finishes cancelled due to illness

I've come down with something nasty and will not be able to finish. Maybe next year?

Happy New Year, everyone. I'll post again after the plague has passed.


I pieced this shop sample in my hotel room at the Vermont Quilt Festival last summer.

It's been hanging, unbound, in my local quilt shop ever since. Again, I pulled it off the wall to finish the binding so I'd have a chance at reaching my fifty finishes. I have no shame whatsoever.


I needed a quick gift a while back, so I quilted up a sheet of potholders. I cut them, sewed the binding to the front, finished two potholders and let the rest sit for many moons.

Since it's gift-giving season and I needed some more quick gifts, I pulled the stack of unfinished potholders out and bound them.

Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


My husband is good friends with a young man at work and I'm friends with his young wife. (We find that very convenient.) We met them shortly after they married. I've always felt bad that I didn't give them a quilt for their wedding, so I'm giving them a quilt for Christmas. It won't be delivered until they come to our New Year's Eve party, so I was given a few days grace to finish it.

I'm sorry for the dark photo -- we were chasing daylight.

Does anyone have a copy of Thimberries Beginner's Luck book? I do, and I cannot count the number of quilts that I've made from it. All of this fabric was in my collection (stash is a dirty word). It was pieced quickly, quilted quickly, and bound by machine (gasp!).

Monday, December 28, 2009


Last spring I went to Quilt Market in Pittsburgh with my friend who owns a quilt shop. She let me sit with her while she shopped for new fabrics. I ooh-ed and aah-ed over all the pretty colors, but my friend noticed extraordinary joy when I saw Birdie fabric from Moda and ordered the fabric for her shop!

Since I picked the fabric, I got to make the sample:

I pieced and quilt this around Thanksgiving, and it's hung on the shop wall, unbound ever since. Since nothing will deter me from finishing 50 quilts in 2009, I pulled it off the wall and bound it. That makes it officially finished, does it not?
Here's a close-up of why this is the happiest fabric on earth:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Forty! (Iike me)

Once upon a time, I made enough blue and white blocks to make five baby quilts. Quilts 1-4 have been quilted, bound, and given away over the years; quilt 5 has lain unnoticed in my studio for several years.

As I am striving to reach my goal of 50 quilts finished in 2009, I pulled this forlorn little quilt top out and finished it!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thirty-nine (for the first time)

My daughter's friend has an absolutely adorable neice. I made a quilt for her birthday last year. Fortunately it was child-sized, or my daughter's friend would have stolen it and let her neice be quilt-less.

Since I finally finished my son's friends graduation quilts (after only 4 years), I'm working on my daughter's friend's quilts (only 6 months late). I reproduced the little girl's quilt in a person-sized manner.

It even has a cool purple spider-web back!

Eleven more projects to go this year. I'm still not sure if that's gonna happen, but I love the empty spaces in the sewing room as the projects head out the door!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Replacement Quilts

Five years ago, a lovely girl graduated from high school. At that time, I made her a quilt. About 5 minutes later, her mother stole that quilt from her. This lovely young lady is now in her own apartment, quiltless. My 38th finish of the year should rectify that situation.

I make this scrappy four-patch quilt whenever the 2-inch square bucket overflows.

It even has a scrappy back!


I finished this quilt a little while ago (notice, no snow in the background):

After it's lived it's life as a sample, my daughter has laid claim to it. "I don't want to keep it, Mom, I just kind of like it." Alrighty, then.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

If you don't have fun saying Kokopelli.....

.... you're probably pronouncing it wrong.

This summer, my son got married (yay!). At the wedding, my husband's uncle asked if I could make a Kokopelli quilt for his wife. I promised to get right on that, after the mother-son dance and other trivialites.

In early November, I had a "holy crap!" moment, when I remembered that I had promised this quilt by Christmas. I found paper-pieced patterns and embroidery patterns for Kokopelli and they all screamed one thing to me "we'll take FOREVER to make!" Off to the internet I went to find Kokopelli quilt fabric.

Once the fabric arrived, I quickly chopped it into large pieces thanks to "Beginner's Luck" by Thimbleberries.

I finished the binding and mailed the quilt before Christmas. I deserve chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.


Monday, December 21, 2009


I haven't thrown in the towel yet. I'm quilting my fingers to the bone, and searching my brain for finished quilts that I haven't yet photographed. This is one of the latter:

There is some fun quilting in the black that can barely be seen. It has long rows of feathers, made with Handi Quilter Groovy Boards.

This will be a gift for a special young lady (who I hope doesn't read my blog!).

Fifteen quilts in 10 days.... can she do it? Probably not!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cute overload

I'm not dead. I've been silent due to travel, both work and personal.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to publish Fifty Finishes by the end of the year. I've finished over fifty projects, but many are secret to-be-published projects that I cannot share here.

Last night I made the cutest. apron. ever.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

What do you make of this?

I recently had the worst Scrabble tiles ever:

As these were the last tiles availble, I couldn't pull off an eleventh hour comeback for a win. Just a game? I think not.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm haunting my daughter

One of the benefits college students enjoy is getting away from their parents. This isn't working out so well for my daughter for two reasons.

1. Every time she looks in the mirror, she sees me. Can you say clone?

2. Every time she washes her hands (often, in this Swine Flu / H1N1 season), she sees me:


This past weekend was parents' weekend at my daughters college. It was great too see her.
While I was there, I noticed that all of the hand soap dispensers had my name on them. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I know that some are betting against me finishing fifty quilts by the end of the year. Truth be told, I have finished over fifty quilts already, but they aren't fifty quilts that I can share on this blog. I'm counting personal sewing only, not commissioned work or samples for my next book. Even with those limitations, I still hope to finish 50 quilts.

Thirty-three is a twin of a quilt I made earlier this year:

Some baby somewhere will enjoy this.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Christmas in October

Run to the store to purchase Quilting for Christmas. I worked on one of the quilts!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I haven't been posting much, and I haven't been quilting much, but I did finish one quilt during my blogging hiatus:

It's a baby quilt for my pastor's new baby.
Think I'll finish fifty by the end of the year?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Where in the world.....

.... did the time go?

Since my last post, I've been to:
  • Maine Quilts
  • Quilt Odyssey
  • Images in Lowell, MA
  • quilt classes in Pennsylvania
  • college! (and I left my daughter there)
  • Canada (for a well-deserved vacation)
  • quilt classes in New Jersey
  • quilt retreat in New York
Wow, I'm tired all over again just reading that list.

Thanks for your patience with me.

Friday, July 31, 2009

If I had...

... a hammer good internet connection, I could upload photos and write an interesting blog post. This will have to do until I get back home from back to back to back to back quilt shows and hotels with sub-standard internet service.

See you then.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It is July, after all

After our piggies went to the beach, my friend and I went to Maine Quilts. Winter sure does come early up here.
The only coat I brought with me was my Steeler hoodie, a less-than-popular garment up here in Patriots country. It was so cold that I risked life and limb just to stay warm.
When I saw these signs, I thought they were left over from the winter months, you know, like January.
Apparently they are appropriate for July, too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

This little piggie.....

...went to the beach! My friend and I went for pre-wedding pedicures last week. I don't think our toes showed much at the wedding, so we needed to take the piggies on a road trip.

Both of my feet actually came with me to North Hampton, NH, but the other one is out of photo range, balancing me to make sure I didn't fall down into the water and all of that. I do have some class, after all.

The bright orange piggies actually have a person attached to them. See:

Yeah, she's my friend. You can't have her.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My first quilt (and more)

In case I haven't mentioned it, our entire house is in turmoil. My son got married last weekend and he and his bride are moving in with us until his teaching job goes full-time. We're excited to have them here, and it was a great excuse to clean out two bedrooms, a closet, a bathroom, a dining room, and more. We've touched nearly everything that we own in the last few weeks including the first quilt I ever made:

I strip-pieced and hand-quilted this quilt when my son was in grade school.

He was a huge NY Knicks fan, hence the blue and orange and basketball quilting motif:

I loved the large white quilt blocks that would showcase my quilting:

I quilted an unbroken chain in the borders:

The basketballs (and batting) have gone flat. The chain (and quilting threads) have been broken. This quilt went everywhere with my son. It's been to Mexico a few times and even to the Ukraine.

We visited the quilt at college for Thanksgiving my son's freshman year and realized the quilt had outlived it's usefulness. The binding was in tatters and the quilt was a worn, thin, dingy mess. I rushed home to make him a replacement quilt for Christmas.

I found the same pattern, but chose Ohio State University colors and music-themed fabrics. I made sure that the four-patches met diagonally and made a secondary pattern. I quilted this one by machine:

This quilt was completed in three weeks and is not fancy, but took my son through the next 3-1/2 years of school. It's going in my his linen closet now.

Monday, July 20, 2009


In earlier posts, I've mentioned four young men (in their 20s) who have yet to receive their high school graduation quilts. The fourth is finished:

Check out the other one two three.

These quilts were finally given to their owners last night. At my son's wedding. More on that later.

At thirty-one quilts finished for the year, I'm on track for Fifty Finishes. How are you doing?

Friday, July 17, 2009

I've been blogged!

A new quilt blogger blogged me. Check her out.

I'm having fun finishing my quilts, and my sewing room is getting a wee bit cleaner in the process. Is anyone else making progress on their UFOs?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This little piggie....

.... went with a friend for a pre-wedding pedicure.

After weeks of work, work, work, work, work, it was good to take an hour and get some pampering.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This finish is a small one. I pieced it at my quilt retreat in January but quilted it last week, just in time to give away. I actually wrapped it before taking a photo (the horror!).

My husband delivered the quilt to a cousin at a family reunion this past weekend. I was teaching classes and could not attend, but send along this hostess gift:

The quilting in the light stripes says: "forever .... in peace.... may you wave"

The hostess' home is decorated in Americana and I knew it would look perfect. I also knew that my husband's aunt (a quilter) would understand my panic call to my husband begging him to take a photo. Those would be Aunt Marilyn's rings in the photo.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Did anything special happen early last fall? I'm trying to figure out why I'm being called upon to make an unusually large number of baby quilts this season.

I'm not sure who this one is for, since there are so many new babies:

Friday, July 10, 2009

For the baby

My daughter and I are an interesting mix. We look exactly alike. We have many things in common. Like many daughters who are so burdened, my daughter tries to be different from me in as many ways as she can. One noticeable difference between us is.... she's not a quilter. She's not even a fan of quilts. Gasp! But I love her anyway.

I show her every quilt I make and ask if she likes it. I always get a variation of "it only matters if you like it." Imagine my surprise when I asked her if she liked a recent quilt and she replied, "Yes." She even explained why she liked it. I was bowled over with shock. And then I gave her the quilt.

Since my baby is going to college in a very cold and snowy location, this is first of several of my baby's college quilts:


Thursday, July 09, 2009


I had a little extra fabric from the placemats and napkins, so I put together this little tablerunner for the bride-to-be:

Don't tell my mom, though. She thinks all tablerunners should be hers.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I surprised all the guests at my daughter-in-law's bridal shower by NOT making her a quilt for the event. Instead, I made placemats and napkins to match her dishes.

Sorry, I caught as much sun as I could! Moving the house seemed a drastic step to get full-sun for a photo.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


In previous posts, I've described all the wonders that are Jennifer. She's pretty much the best hairdresser in the whole world and she's mine all mine. For about a dozen years, I've been looking for an excuse to make her a quilt. Finally, she opened a new salon and gave me the reason I've been looking for (for which I was looking?).

Here's her quilt:

The pattern is Bento Box and I love it!
My quilt holder has graduated from college and is back to his true work:

Isn't that a patient look on his face? I think he had been awake for about 3 minutes when I asked him to help with the quilt. Such a good boy!

I know I've mentioned that he's looking for a job as a music teacher, but that is no longer the case. Students in grades K-2 in a local school district will benefit from his daily attention. Now he'll be able to support the bride he's taking in less than 2 weeks!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Guess who?

It's the bridal party! I attended my future daughter-in-law's masquerade-themed bridal shower over the weekend.

The bridal party. I think they might all wear matching dresses in the next group photo. Less than 2 weeks to go!

Friday, July 03, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night........

We've had our fill of dark and stormy nights lately, but this one was when my baby graduated from high school.

Even with the soggy hair, soggy clothing, and the too-tight quarters, my daughter and 502 of her closest friends walked across the stage and graduated.

My son was proud of his sister:

My babies are all grown up now. Maybe I can retire now?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Words to Live by....

I'm not a shopper. At all. Since my son is getting married in a few weeks, I've had to venture to the 10th circle of h*ll known as the shopping mall for shoes and other items for the festivities.

I'm always on the lookout for some amusement, though, and the mall did not fail me.

I walked past a stroller rental:

Do you see the tiny black bag hanging from the bottom of the stroller? Here's a close-up:

At least my day at the mall wasn't a complete waste of time.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


A baby quilt headed for the give-away pile:

The fabric was all scrap and the pattern was Splash from Fourth & Sixth Designs.