Monday, March 28, 2016

Grandma's Peaches

"Grandma's Peaches" 46" x 62"

It started with a peach print blouse and thoughts about 
my grandmother, a Texas farm girl.  
One day she ate a peach while sitting on her front porch.
It was so delicious, she wondered if she could grow a tree of them. 
So she planted the pit in the ground.
A tree did grow, and then another and another.
One was planted in our backyard, 
but it was unhealthy and 
had to be taken down.  

I started the top in 2011 with Stella Pettway in Sisters, Oregon,

And finished it in 2013 with Loretta Bennett in Arlington, Washington.  
They both liked the story about my grandmother.

I finally got around to hand quilting it this year.  
I used Perle 8 cotton and Barb's Baptist fan stencil.  

I had fun working around the shirt pieces that I left in the quilt. 

For binding, I folded the backing fabric around and stitched it,
like the Gee's Bend gals do.  

Maybe the pocket will hold the next delicious peach pit
until it can be planted in the ground.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Three Days with Gwen

"Housetop"  59" x 59"
I've just returned from a lovely three-day retreat on medallion quilts with Gwen Marston. 

While preparing for the retreat, I thought I'd take all my spare blocks 
and work them around this Gee's Bend inspired log cabin.
It might have worked, but I decided to expand on the original design instead.

One old dress, two tablecloths, an apron and a friend's scrap later, 
it began to take shape.  
The corners are one log cabin block that I quartered--
one of Gwen's many brilliant suggestions.

The retreat was in beautiful Port Gamble, Washington, 
offered by the Quilted Strait quit shop.  

This sewing room was right across the street from the quilt shop.

This is the view from my sewing table.  
It's a miracle anyone got anything done!

Some of us ate lunch outside and enjoyed the quiet surroundings.

I caught the sunset on the ferry ride home.
A perfect weekend!

A windy photo shoot.  Good thing Mr. Nifty can perform Photo Shop magic!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Amish Quilt for a Modern Baby

A friend's daughter is having a baby.  
We don't know if it's a boy or girl.

I was told the baby's home is "very modern...
clean lines, little color, mostly white and gray."
Definitely not my style.
What to do?

I consulted my go-to book for baby quilt inspiration.
Amish quilts look modern to me.  
They're also something I like to make.

I settled on this one.  
I like it for its scrappy strips and unique sashing.

I modified the design, used a modern color palate,
and quilted it with a modern grid. 

A quick bow and an Ikea bag,  
and I'm ready for the baby shower!

Saturday, January 9, 2016


"The French Connection" is quilted!

It's a good thing I finished this quilt a few weeks ago.  
I've been snuggling in it ever since, recovering from a virus 
and then a sprained ankle.

Remembering the joys of going to France last year 
and meeting wonderful quilting friends.

Feeling thankful for the many friends I've met through
being a quilt maker and blogger.

Pondering the changing world around us,
with all its joys and sorrows.

Contemplating the life lesson that always seems to hit me over the head--

Paix et la Joie en 2016!
Peace and Joy in 2016!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Guess What!

You've got a friend in SIMPLY MODERNE!

This summer I got an email from Carol Veillon, creator of Quiltmania publications.
She and her husband, Jean, would be in Seattle.
Could she do an article about me and my quilts?  Sure!

A week later, they drove up on a motorcycle, leathers and all.
After coffee and a short conversation, we began digging through 
the nearly 50 quilts in my closet and made a very fun mess.  

She especially liked my quilts made with old clothing and other thrift store finds.  
Good thing, because that's the majority of my collection!

Santa, my only Christmas quilt, had to be included in the December issue, of course.  

I feel like Christmas has come early at my house.  
What a gift to be included in this beautiful publication!
Merci beaucoup Carol and all the staff at Quiltmania!!

Monday, November 30, 2015

The French Connection

Warning:  This is a sad post.

The Paris attacks on November 13 struck me utterly speechless.  
Like most of us, I mourned for the French people and for all of us 
who can no longer take our safety for granted.  

"The French Connection" 58" x 70"
I found myself compelled to make a quilt that reflects this sadness. 
I could not help but drop everything and make this over the last two weeks.

I used simple hour glass blocks.  I knew I wanted to make it quickly.
The somber colors would communicate my feelings.

I started with my small collection of French fabrics.     
The top right block uses fabrics given to me by Willemke and Katell 
when I visited France last summer.

The other fabrics are from my stash, including shirt stripes.  
The blue is another treasure from Willemke. 

The border is an old French curtain.  

Friday was France's official day of mourning.
Katell told me they named all 130 victims on the radio.
Most were in their 20's and 30's, from 26 nationalities, leaving 50 orphans.
I finished the top on Saturday.  

I will quilt it soon and use it all winter,
sending wishes of comfort and healing to the victims, their families, all Parisians, 
the people of France and all of us as we try to make sense of this changing world.  
I know you all are joining me in these wishes.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

LeMoyne Star Quilt

Back in 2011, I visited Marit and her mother in law, Linda Dodd.  
Linda has a rich quilt-making heritage.  She kindly showed us some of the family quilts.
This one really caught my eye.  I took several photos and vowed to make one like it.
You can read the quilt's story at the bottom of the post.

After studying the quilt closely, I realized it was pieced by hand.  
I tried, but couldn't find an easy way to piece it by machine and keep the integrity of the original.
 Besides, I needed a travel project.

So I bought Jessica's great book and learned how to do English paper piecing. 
Her instructions are very clear and easy to understand. 
Plus, she shows you how to make the perfect little travel sewing kit. 

Forty-nine stars--mostly made on trips--and over a year later, 
I decided it's time to start connecting them.
My plan is to make 100 stars.  

I found the red I wanted, and began cutting squares.

This weekend I began connecting stars and squares.  Very exciting!

I can't believe I've taken on such a labor intensive, long term project.  
But something about this quilt kept talking to me.  

Recently I remembered this block is called LeMoyne Star.  
My mother's name was LaMoyne--a different spelling, but still--
and her favorite color was red.  

Here's the story of the quilt. 
Linda's grandmother, Dora Stevens, made the quilt from 1940's feed sack remnants. 
The remnants came from dresses that Linda's mother, Elsie Mae Peterson, 
had sewn for two of her daughters, Ester and Carol--Linda's older sisters.  
It was war time, and Elsie took great care to find matching feed sacks 
so the girls could dress alike. 

The quilt is tied with red embroidery floss. 
It has a pieced back.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

White and Red and Stitched All Over

I was at the beach last weekend, and used the opportunity to photograph my recent finish.

This quilt was started over three years ago! 

Most of the quilt is stitched in ivory perle 8--hard to see in the photo, but lovely up close.

The top row is stitched in red perle 8.  
Here you can see the large Baptist Fan design from Barb's wonderful stencil.  

The border is a table cloth I found in a thrift store in Norway several years ago.

The back is another thrift store find.

"Quadriga Aprinette?"  According to Google, it means "five sided apron."

Some good reminders from the beach.