Monday, October 31, 2011

The Tale of the One Armed Quilter

ONCE UPON A TIME in the Great Pumpkin Patch, there lived  a grandmother named Lolly, who thought she could fly.
One dark and spooky night, as she was descending her staircase after a visit to her mysterious sewing closet in hopes of finding just the right fabric to make a tiny baby quilt, she decided to try out her wings. After all, she reasoned, since she was already running it seemed the perfect plan to just skip that last step and fly instead. Lolly's super powers apparently were not engaged properly that night and that is how she became known as "The One Armed Quilter"!
 Now, despite being on a hearty dose of pain medication, Lolly was determined to finish the little quilt because everyone knows that even a premie who lives in NICU needs the loving comfort of a cuddly quilt made by her grandmother. Using the elbow on her now incredibly pink and useless arm to hold down her acrylic ruler, she still managed to cut and sew a sweet little blanket from the Sherbet Pips charm pack she'd found buried in her mysterious closet. 
Lolly even somehow managed to spell out the tiny baby girl's name on the back of the quilt so that it wouldn't get  mixed up with any of the other baby quilts in the NICU. (smile!)
 Baby Lois has lots of little girl cousins who are looking forward to someday playing dolls with her at her grandmother's house...

but, in the meantime she is gradually growing bigger and healthier in her special bed at the hospital.
Even though Lolly isn't allowed to hold little Lois yet, she is happy to see her snuggle with her mommy in the quilt...
and to know that it makes a cute curtain from the overhead lights.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Something

"Show me your ways O Lord, 
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me, 
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long."
Psalm 25:4,5

Friday, October 28, 2011


Welcome to the Blogger's Quilt Festival everyone! I am so excited to show you my entry, Happy Housekeeping. This simple log cabin quilt makes a big impact through the use of color blocking in each of the 12 inch blocks.
 The happy-colored 30's fabrics make me smile every time I look at them. An all-over, flowery quilting pattern works great to give the quilt an antique look when washed and dried to crinkly perfection!
The backing fabric features some old-fashioned kitchen elements and, combined with vintage inspired charm squares, is a fun compliment to the log cabin front.
 I have many happy memories of hours spent with my friend and soul-mate, Jan, as we sewed on the blocks over the span of about one year. We each would make two exact blocks and share one with the other, creating twin quilts. I think Jan and I have created close to a dozen different quilt patterns in this way over the last 20 years!
 Making quilts with a good friend is one of my very favorite things to do.  Sharing them with you is another!
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of the quilts in the festival.

Monday, October 24, 2011

And Baby Makes Seven!

Sometimes babies arrive weeks before we are expecting them to....
like this wee one...weighing in at only 3 1/2 pounds!
 Meet my seventh grandchild, Lois Cora, born seven weeks early. She will have to live in NICU for awhile, and I have yet to get to hold her but her nickname may be Spunky because she is doing an amazing job of surviving! You can see from the smiles on her family's faces that they are happy to have her here
 despite the drama involved.
How thankful we are for wonderful hospitals and the advancements in medicine that help make pre-mature births less scary. God has blessed us with a tiny miracle!
 So, Lolly has had to step it up and get busy on a little quilt for Baby Lois because she wasn't quite prepared.............more on that next time, I promise.
I think my son, Drew,  might be excited about having a daughter, don't you...
Even a super tiny one!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Something

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.
That my soul may sing praise to You 
and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
Psalms 30:11,12 NASV

Friday, October 21, 2011

Farmer's Wife Friday--Country Home Life

Our writer this week, in the Farmer's Wife Magazine writing contest, is from Cascade County, Montana. Her letter is a simple no-nonsense read, revealing the reasons she would want her little girls to grow up and marry farmers. The accompanying blocks accent her comments very nicely.
 Our first block is called 'Friendship' and I love the imagery of the four different background fabric each tied to the other with the square (circle) of friendship. Mrs J.J.T. expounds that her first reason for hoping for a couple of farmers as sons-in-law someday, is that "the country home life is more nearly complete in itself, and therefore productive of real happiness." Being friends AND family that's a perfect combination!
 "The school or community hall is usually the place for social gatherings which are made a success through the efforts of all the members of the family." Here's 'Square Dance'.
I'm sure the family attended a few of those, don't you!
 I'm excited to be nearing the half way point in the Quilt Along and like the black/white spotty fabric addition this time.
The maple tree leaves have deepened their color this week.... 
 and many have fallen onto the ground.
We even had a frost last night I hear. 
Time is marching on.
 I wonder if the weather is cooling off in California, where Cindy lives.
I always look forward to seeing her blocks and reading her comments about the letters each week. I'm headed there now!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My 3X6 Mini Sampler Bee Quilt

I joined the 3X6 Mini Sampler Bee in January 2010. The idea behind this fun bee is that every three months I would choose a quilt block design and create 6 blocks, one for each of the other participants, using my block choice in their chosen color selections. At the same time, the other "bees" would each be making a block for me in my colors of aqua, green and white. By staying in the 3x6 Bee for the entire year, I ended up with a total of 24 different blocks, plus the ones I made as design samples each quarter and a couple more.
 One of the things I love about this particular Bee is seeing the various blocks come alive in every one's color choices. What started as a small Bee has now grown to include more than 20 "Hives" with 7 "Bees" in each Hive, all doing the same thing. You can see by the numbers, just how popular it is. New this past quarter was the addition of Hives that are doing "modern only" blocks. As the 2010 ticked by, I enjoyed going to my mailbox and finding lovely blocks. Only one time the entire year was I worried that a fellow participant would flake out and not send me a block. In the end, all 24 participants came through and I as able to put together this beautiful quilt that I've named 
"Swimming Pool Sampler" because the color combination makes me think of the tiles in a  pool. The quilting is an allover paisley pantograph design.
 I even tried to make the backing look like a refreshing pool floor...
 I took a couple of quarters off, but found that I missed creating the blocks so much that I decided to start collecting again with a new color combo of orange and aqua (I'm kinda stuck on turquoise lately, I think!). The blocks have once again been arriving in my box...I'll show you soon. Maybe you would enjoy this type of Bee.
Sign ups are going on for the next quarter, if you are interested.
 I'd love to have you join me!
I'm excited to see my newest 3X6 Sampler take shape.
Stay tuned!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quilts in the Park

I belong to two quilt guilds. A few weeks ago, I showed you a beautiful outdoor quilt show put on by The Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. That day could not have been more perfect, and I was pretty sure that it couldn't happen twice. I'm so happy to report that I was wrong.... Another gorgeous fall day for another beautiful outdoor quilt show!
The Blue Valley Quilters Guild, in conjunction with the local Parks and Rec. Dept., displayed around 200 quilts in a casual setting at the Shawnee Mission Park near Kansas City. With highs in the low 70's and lots of sunshine, the weather could not have been more perfect for our quilt display. 

 Everywhere you looked, there seemed to be quilts in any color, style  and size...something to delight any preference! 
The fence surrounding the pavilion made the perfect rack for dozens of quilts of every description....
 Anything standing still had a quilt hanging on it...(I was excited to show some of my quilts, of course!)....
This beautiful Art Nuevo style quilt is an original design by Trish Price and is this year's Opportunity (raffle) Quilt for the guild.
Another popular money maker Saturday, was a display of gift baskets put together by guild members and won by random ticket draw...
The mini quilts lined up on these tables were sold during a silent auction....
Children attending the show with a parent or grandparent got the opportunity to use a sewing machine to make a pillowcase to take home. There were other fun crafts for the  younger kiddos along with an I Spy game to play with prizes for finding hidden motifs in various quilts on display. (I even liked playing that game!)
I can't end this post without showing you two quilts that I was smitten with. Both happen to be antique quilts that were used to cover tables inside the pavilion....

Love. Love. Love!
Hope you enjoyed the show!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Something

I rejoiced with those who said to me,
"Let us go to the house of the Lord."
Psalm 122:1

Friday, October 14, 2011

Farmer's Wife Friday--The Threads of Life

Wow! How the days fly by. Friday has rolled around once more and it's time to show you this week's blocks in the Farmer's Wife Quilt A-Long. There are four again. Whew!
 First up is a block named after something I'm very familiar with, especially this time of year: Spider Web. The garden spiders seem to have a knack for spinning their delicate filaments in spots where I will unknowingly walk right into it among the trees. I'm betting that this week's West Virginia farmer's wife and author experienced the same sticky sensation a time or two!
 Having been born on a farm and later moving to the city, she experienced the positives of  both life-styles, mentioning the comfortable life of the great, middle-class but missing the family life because of her husband's long hours in the city job. When circumstances changed, and they returned to the farm, "We took up the threads of the life again...but the birds sang, the flowers blossomed everywhere and the trees whispered their soothing secrets." Here is Wild Goose Chase....
 This next block, Farmer's Daughter is a good representation of the delight Mrs. Farmer takes in knowing the influence farm life has had in growing her girls "until, at budding womanhood, they are as genuine and wholesome as the color of their cheeks...".
 Her cup is very full as she pens, "As I look at them, I realize that motherhood is the greatest, the biggest and the holiest thing any woman may experience; and I firmly believe that should motherhood be theirs, they will be better prepared physically, mentally and spiritually because of their rural environment...". Here's my favorite block this week, Fruit Basket...
 These four get me closer to the halfway point. I added a little black and white check to my fabric selections, but am not real crazy about how the block turned out. It's a bit "mushy" and low contrast. I should have used pink instead of green, perhaps. Oh, well, many more to go and I'm not going to love them all, I know!
 Here are all my "babies" hanging out together. 
I think I'll make them stand in lines next time!
 The maple tree is pretty bright this week,
 and some of the leaves are on the ground already....
 Aren't the leaves just gorgeous!
I"m going to hop over to Cindy's blog and take a look at her lovely blocks.
Join me!