Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gone Astray!

A few have you have noticed my absence. Please don't be worried as I am doing fine. If you've sold a house recently, you will understand when I tell you that I've been super busy getting my house ready to sell and, now, keeping it ready for those invisible buyers that come through every few days!
 I barely let my husband sit on the couch, poor guy. You never know when that next house shopper is going to want to stop by! No, we don't have a house in mind to buy. We have just decided that the time is right to move back to "town". It's an adventure!
 You may remember that I've been sewing in my bedroom for several years. Well, that might seem strange to potential buyers, so I've moved to this cute cubby in the basement. I love the lighting...so much better than the bedroom. It's also very cool during the hot summer days. Now, if I can just find time to sew!
 I did make my three year old granddaughter, Lois, a little dress a while back to welcome her home from Nepal. Do you see those words "easy-to-sew"?
 Well...Miss Simplicity lied. This placket was a killer. It looks simple, doesn't it? That's just what I thought. But, no! Trust me on that. The pattern was only a buck on sale, so no tears were shed when it landed in the circular file, let's just say!
 The result is cute and fits Lois perfectly, although it's hard to tell in this blurry photo! 
 And just to prove to you that I'm still alive and well, here is hubby and me with six of our grandies right before shooting off a bunch of really cool fireworks on the 4th.
We will miss that next year, I know. 
Thanks for sticking with me.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Floating Squares

My sewing time has been limited lately, but this week I carved out a few hours to recharge my batteries and finish up my project for the KCMQG Quilt-Along using Sherri Lynn Wood's new book on liberated piecing.
 Sherri Lynn led a workshop for the KC Modern Guild a few month back and some of us got hooked on her fun methods! We enjoyed ourselves so much so, that we've decided to work through the book, one chapter at a time, and challenge ourselves to make up a project using each of the 10 Scores included in her book. Floating Squares is up first.
Lately, I've been drawn to fabrics by Kaffe Fassett and have managed to accumulate a nice collection. I've decided this QAL was a fine spot to start using the fabrics instead of just collecting them. For the floating squares method, you only need three fabrics. Here are my choices, cut into various square shapes without using a ruler...
Using white as a filler fabric, I began by sewing a couple of squareish shapes together...
...until I had formed a section like this. In the beginning, I had planned to join together several sections made of different fabrics.
But, it just wasn't doing anything for me so I continued on with the aqua, pink and white original choices until I had used up most of the Kaffee print and pink Cherrywood solid. 
Once I squared up the edges, the top measures about 24 inches by 26 inches. Since the fabrics are sometimes not joined on the straight grain, I sewed along the edges to keep everyhing from stretching out of shape. At this point, I'm not certain if I will create a small quilt from my effort or join other "scores" to it to make a larger quilt top. 
There were around eight of us that came to the modern guild meeting last night with our first score ready to reveal. Heres' mine hanging out with friends!
We all agree that making our Floating Squares was a very enjoyable experience!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


What fun I had making these cute baskets for Carla! June is her month as the queen bee for the Mid-Century Modern Bee. She chose well, I think, don't you! What a darling quilt she will have after she collects all the pretty baskets.
Making the liberated blocks reminded me of how much I enjoyed sewing my own basket quilt a few years ago. Here's my favorite ...tall and skinny.
At the top, I used some wonky letters to spell out the word baskets (in case someone mistakes them for pails, I guess.).
The four basket blocks were all tied up with a pretty bow...
...for my sweet grand daughter, Haven. 
I'm feeling like I might need another quilt full of colorful baskets in my life sometime!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Does It Matter?

Once, someone very close to me described me as a Quilt Factory.  Another time, a family member asked me how many more quilts I'd make before I was finished. Not sure how to take these comments, it has caused me to ponder, at times, why I do what I do.  This is a pile of quilts that I collected a few years ago to give away to children I've never met.....
Some of these quilts I made myself and others were lovingly created by a few other women, who, like me, enjoy giving something handmade to special people... To show them love and value... To give them comfort and encouragement. Oh, there are lots of other reasons to make quilts.... being creative; loving pretty fabric; using my hands; hanging out with like-minded people; mastering a challenging pattern; learning something new; I'm really a hoarder; it's just fun....on and on. But, on the bottom rung of all the other reasons that I quilt, is that foundation, I think: Giving.
A few weeks ago, a fellow quilter asked if anyone would like to buy an extra quilt she had. It was kind of a new thought for me, as I've never sold any of my quilts. Would I have the same love for quilting if I was making them to sell? Not sure. But this I am sure of....I love to give away things that I make. Especially to children. Some that I'll probably never meet.
My son, Drew, took several quilts with him to Nepal. This little boy has become very special to him.
 I think that quilts can matter. Do you?
It's worth pondering.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


We called them maxi-skirts back in the '70's. Now they are popular again. Even kindergarteners want one, it seems! I used some double gauze fabric purchased recently from Sunny Day Fabrics to make Lula's dream come true...
I've used this Burda 9442 pattern before and knew that it was a great fit and cute style. The double gauze is so soft and drapey...perfect for a skirt.
This time, I used a coordinating fabric for the yoke, left off the bow and created the longer version.
 Some things never go out of style!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Distraction Sewing

 Stephanie's block for the Mid-Century Modern Bee took a little bit of time, but the end result is this Gorgeous Gertie designed by Lily's Quilts.
 The little parts all come together precisely with paper piecing. It's even neat from the back!
 I love the block and am looking forward to seeing all twelve together. You can check out some of the other combos here.
 The truth is, it felt good to be sewing again. I've been pretty distracted by news from Nepal as my son helps with relief efforts there. He has been interviewed several times by Skype for local stations. It's been wonderful seeing and hearing him! Lauren and the children have left Nepal and will be coming back to the U.S. soon...so happy about that. 
You can read a couple of Drew's latest blog posts written since the earthquake here and here. Thank you for praying for Nepal.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Some of you know that my son, Drew, and his family have been living in Nepal since late March. They are there through May doing a support effort for a medical mission agency who works with the disabled.
Here in the US, my husband and I learned of the earthquake in Kathmandu, where they are, via Facebook in the early morning hours on Saturday. Fortunately, Drew was able to call us a few hours later and assure us that they were all safe. He had just helped rescue two toddlers from their crushed home! He, Lauren, Oliver, Ezra and Lois were getting ready to all head back outside to a field to wait out another heavy predicted aftershock. The blessings of our present day communication systems are never more apparent than during tragedies like this! We are so thankful. 
view from their headquarters building before the earthquake
I've decided to share some of the blog posts that Drew and his wife are posting describing what life is like for them right now inside Nepal as they live through this life changing event and strive to help the people suffering there. Read them if you are interested. I'll get back to quilting one of these days.
Working for Water

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Morning

This photo of the Himalayas was taken last week by my eleven year-old grandson, Oliver. He emailed it to me after he and his family took a 4 day trek in Nepal where they have been living for the last 5 weeks. My son, Drew, his wife Lauren, and their 3 children are staying near Kathmandu, helping with a medical mission there for the disabled, mostly children. Their plan was to stay another 5 weeks. Then the unimaginable  happened. We know that they are safe after the earthquake that hit Saturday. If you would like to read my son's post about their experience, you can find it here. Please pray for them and for Nepal. 
Thank you so much,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Do You Doodle?

That's the first question that Sherri Lynn Wood asked of the class last Friday morning.  After an interesting and entertaining presentation by Sherri Lynn to the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild the night before, I could hardly wait to take her workshop on Doodling with fabric the next day. Here's the project that I made...course, I've got more doodling to do before it's finished...crazy, huh!
With only six quilters present, our class was a small one, so we had room to spread out and got close-up-and-personal input from our attentive instructor. I especially enjoyed the evaluation exercises spread out over the day. Here's our small beginnings, all grouped together, awaiting input from the class. 
Several hours later, our projects had grown in size and we were beginning to feel a flow to our work. Some of the questions that we were to ask ourselves included: What surprised me? What did I discover or learn? What was satisfying and dissatisfying? We gave each other constructive feedback and it felt like we were truly creating modern art!
Here's Sherri Lynn showing us one of her completed Doodle quilts. It looks pretty in the photo, but believe me when I say that, in person, it is even more  beautiful and happy!
Sherri Lynn's first book, detailing her methods for improvisational piecing, will be available for purchase later this month, but our guild was privileged to get to purchase it early. Of course, I snatched one up!
 The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is a gorgeous book full of beautifully photographed quilts and tons of detailed pictures of the techniques used to make those quilts. I own several books that describe improv piecing but this one is, by far, the most stimulating how-to. Here's a glance at the table of contents...
 Reading Sherri Lynn's book from cover to cover will be a delight and I already have a good start! In her book, she outlines 10 different scores (Her term for deciding a set of rules or limits to work within as you create an improv project.) to help the quilter jump into this exciting and modern way of creating a quilt. 
Honestly, I don't know when I've ever taken a workshop that was more fun or purchased a quilting book that has gotten me more excited to try new things!
In fact, I'm seriously considering going through the book, chapter by chapter, and creating a project. Anyone game to join me? Get the book and let me know!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Family Reunion Dress

 A few weeks ago I placed an order with Sunny Day Supply for some darling fabrics. Today, I want to show you what I made with some of the yardage, Snail Trail by Cloud 9 Fabrics. I've had the Family Reunion Dress pattern, by Oliver & S, for awhile now, but this was my first attempt at sewing it.
 You know that I adore the style and creativity of the O & S patterns. This one is a keeper for sure, and one that I'll be using over and over again for my granddaughters' little dresses. This rendition is size 4 and is the largest size included in the pattern. I may have to see if they make it in larger sizes.
 Jane, who is four, is petite for her age so the neck was perhaps a little bit wide on her. I could have made the size 3 and just lengthened it if I wanted a perfect fit. But, then again, little girls grow. Right!?
 As usual, the pattern instructions were clear and clever. I love the pin tucks on both the front and the back of the bodice. Buttons down the back are my favorite closing for little dresses. For some reason, I think that it looks classier than a zipper.
 An extra special touch is the faced hem which adds body and weight to the bottom of the dress making it hang nicely.
 Together, the super cute fabric and classic design of the dress make for a darling summer frock.
I think Janie likes it too!