Wednesday, August 31, 2011


My needle has turned into a magic carpet....taking me places I would never have experienced and allowing me to meet so many wonderful friends.

Several years ago I taught for the Cobblestone Quilt Guild in Charleston, SC......where Southern Hospitality was born. It was there that I meet two gals who accompanied me on one of my quilting cruises....we bonded totally and have been in touch ever since.

Fast forward.....I now live only about 5 1/2 hours from these buddies so we made plans to gather on one of the barrier area that happily hurricane Irene pretty much by-passed on her recent terror along the East Coast.

The sea on Folly Beach were we strolled for sea shells was still a bit churned up.......yet still awesome.
Looking down can draw attention to so many interesting 'designs'.

This shell encrusted plant material was so strange...... I confess to knowing and experiencing very little about the ocean.....I am going to become more informed to better enjoy future visits.

We found 2 live star fish just out of reach of the waves.......this little guy was struggling to make its way back to the water. We helped one and then thankfully, a young girl came along and assisted us with the other!

Any time quilters and tell is required. My friend Beverly Cone shared block after block of her exquisite hand applique work. We all got a kick out of her clever tote bag. It was made from blue jeans.....a rather large size. Notice the silk ties she attached onto the belt loops to create her handles. Clever!!

She also enjoys using the 'big stitch' on her pieces......believe it or not, this main fabric is flannel cheater fabric!

Most of her blocks hand hundreds and hundreds of pieces......all beautifully and invisibly hand appliqued. We had such a wonderful visit....ate too much and stayed up too late.....making us all happy and content!!

Monday, August 29, 2011


We got a nice suprise.....our 3rd. place winning quilts from AQS's Ultimate Guild Challenge will be in their upcoming magazine.....thought you might like to see a sneak preview so you can be sure to pick up a copy which will of course be filled with photos of all the other fabulous winning quilts in the show.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I don't have much to show for my week......though gosh....I wasn't just sitting around eating bon bons! I'm trying to fast track this project so before it's out of my hands, here's a look at a partially completed baby quilt.

Which reminds me.....I need a wife! (to take care of household errands, cleaning, bill paying, cooking). Wouldn't we all just love to devote every waking minute to our sewing?!?

I recently posted the layout of this quilt on my design wall. It's now assembled, the body is machine quilted, and today I'll quilt the recipient's name along the borders. It will be bound in the same green paw print fabric and mailed off to CA as quickly as possible. So....I wanted to share it with you now before a brand new baby girl starts to love it.

For all you in the path of Irene.....stay safe..... The only impact we are having here in the mountains of NC is some well needed some drenchers last night and are actually hoping for more.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Seriously, this area is teaming with talent.....and I count myself lucky to be pals with so many artists and all around good people.

I met with a couple friends for a looooong gab fest over coffee and lunch. Naturally, the chance to see what each of us are currently working on is so inspiring. Knitting isn't on my radar....but seeing their beautiful work might make me pick up some needles.

Cindy showed this shawl sampler.....are you kidding me? She shrugged it off as something she just whipped up.....thanks to a white napkin under it, you can see the interesting stitches she used.
Here's another piece in progress. The yarn alone was totally yummy.

Cindy Blackberg brought a stunner.....she's a master of hand piecing, hand embroidery, and hand quilting....... I simply love the way she incorporates embroidery into traditional patterns.
Click on her name above to visit Cindy's website.

Cindy often uses variegated and hand dyed threads to add texture and interest to her work. She offers many of them at her website.

Vita Marie Lovett's work is equally stunning...... They almost appear to be photographs, rather then fiber wall art because they are so realistic. Her subjects are often barns, windows, and even chickens (she's passionate about her chickens and kitty cats).

This is all traditional thread......stitched and oversitched so much it appears that heavy thread was used. Don't you wonder what her thread collection looks like?

Vita stitches on canvas....and often paints the fabric before she starts her stitching. Here's what the background looked like before her skill with the sewing machine began.

This is a smaller piece she recently completed. Honestly, it's amazing in this photo....but in person.....the detail, depth, texture is simply unbelievable.

I'm always drawn to work of artists such as Norma Rockwell.....but don't have the skills to stray too far from my folk art style.......this is the kind of art I'd like to make when I grow up!!

You can see more of Vita's work sure to have a handkerchief WILL be drooling.

A fun day was had by all......and we plan another gathering in Oct.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I spent many, many a day exploring the rocky jetties along the shores of Lake Michigan,

It appears so serene in this as an adult, I could now sit for hours reflecting....

The fancy boat slip areas are new and have helped to revitalize the whole lake front.

Memories of days playing on the sandy beaches and jumping the waves in the lake came flooding back. I'm so grateful to have grown up in a small, safe town where we spent entire carefree days going anywhere we pleased on our bikes. What a change from the current society/life style where most kids' activities are programed and Mom or Dad drive them everywhere...... Sometimes I think progress isn't progress at all.

As quiet as Mother Nature was this day at the isn't always of course. When the harbor was being readied for its face lift......this old schooner was salvaged and thankfully saved for us to appreciate. The following two photos are clickable to enlarge....enjoy a bit of America's history......

Monday, August 22, 2011


"The husband" and I just returned from a quick trip to Wisonsin......and my home town of Sheboygan. If I were to move again....that'd be the place to go (hummmm but oh ya.....there is winter to maybe not.)

Besides our numerous stops at Culver's, beginning the minute we see the first blue sign somewhere in KY.....another annual stop is Gosse's.

So many restaurants don't survive their first rarely see establishments that can fill every table, every day..... But this one can and that make their own rules: they only take cash, and are only open for lunch and early dinner. The door gets locked at 7:00 PM, if you aren't in by are out of luck. The menu consists of about 8 items....seriously...... The main fare is brats, steak sandwiches, or fish fry. All swimming in Wisconsin butter!

Sheboygan is one of the tidiest towns I've ever been could easily eat off the streets it's so clean. I'm loving how the old building downtown are being rehabbed....


This city is located on the shores of Lake Michigan......where commercial fishing was a rather large industry when I was growing up. The old fish shanties are being brought back to life..... you can see here. Good restaurants, nice shops, coffee houses.....charming!

........All located on a canal leading to the lake.

The board walk has made it easy to stroll along the waterways and enjoy the sights. The weather during our stay was picture perfect......

Saturday, August 20, 2011


ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???? Yup....I am......and it's time to celebrate with the 2nd pre-season no-huttle last minute win last night.....

Jennings doing the famous Lambeau Leap!

AZ just couldn't hold back the Green and Gold!!

Sorry you non-football loving readers.....I can't help myself. We've had so many years of Super Bowl dreams.....that I'm still savoring last year's win. I grew up about 45 mins. from Lambeau Field.....cheering for the Packers through thick and thin is in my blood. AND...this year finally Farve didn't even threaten to make a come back......Rodgers is the doubt about it.

Friday, August 19, 2011


The new beading group I joined recently proved to be quite particular beader's work stood out for me since she was working with felted wool.

A big thank you goes out to Katie Caron for allowing me to share some of her work with you!


On a walk recently, our granddog.....THE smartest bestest dog in the world.....okay, I know what you are thinking......YOUR dog is the best.....welllllll.... maybe there are more than 1 best dogs.....

Anyway, Nali found a large stuffed dog and dragged it home with her.....she LOVES this new pal.

I wonder if she's she trying to hatch it??

Here she is cuddling it......clearly she would have made a good Mom!'s true love......

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I'll be having fun very quickly as I piece this baby quilt together.....a gift for our god daughter who just had her 3rd healthy baby girl.

The project is a quickie thanks to the stash of 'fussy' precut 'conversation' fabrics and setting squares. Several of us pooled the fabric together at a PTA retreat to make baby quilts two years ago. Naturally, there was a lot of leftovers and we can now access the stash when needed!!

I found the perfect good quality doggie print fabric in lime green on sale....for the sashing. These types of fast but fun projects are smile making activities!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


About a week ago I unveiled a new wool felt project, click here to refresh your memory.

The edge finishing of these projects provide an opportunity for new creative ideas. Here's how I solved that challenge on my newest piece.

Working with the hand-dyed gauze to make the stem and leaves gave me another idea....why not repeat the color and material to 'frame' the piece.

Two long pieces were fused together to provide extra strength and eliminate the issue of fraying edges. Next I rotary straight cut one side and the other using a scallop blade.

These strips were applied to the edges of the piece, first fusing 1/2 of the strip to the top, then folding it under and fusing the remainder to the back.

I decided to allow the end of the stem to extend beyond the piece.....and if you've been reading this blog for know I couldn't possibly call this complete without......

HEIRLOOM 8" x 12"
Available for purchase needs to be photographed for a publication
first so email me if you are interested and we can work out details.

Yes....without.....adding beads to the binding. That step served two purposes..... 1. decorative 2. further securing the gauze strips to the piece.