Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sneaky Sneak Peek, Three

I am very excited about this quilt.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sneaky Sneak Peek Two

Glittery gold metallic thread, multicolor rainbow colored thread... I am in love with this quilt.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sneaky Sneak Peek

My Black Box quilt is quilted and now it is on its way back to me. This is a very small part of the magic Chris has done. I am beyond thrilled.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Low contrast T - H - E. These letters are about 4-1/4" tall.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Word Quilt Idea

"Go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is."

I was ironing fabric last night, when I heard Wynonna Judd say it on Dancing with the Stars.

She didn't originate it, Mark Twain did. "Why not go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is." Former US President Jimmy Carter shortened it to the version above.
The phrase hit me just right, and I think it will be my next word quilt. I can already see fun free pieced letters, birds, butterflies, made fabric leaves, and a big fat piece of fruit (apple, orange, lemon, pear??) hanging from the end of a branch.

But I will finish my low contrast "Use all the crayons in the box." Partly because I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and solve the tight problem it presents in an interesting way.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Finally, for Michele

Hi Michele,

I finally got this little house panel finished. It will be flying to you soon. I hope you like it!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Aunt Annette

This is my Aunt Annette.

My Aunt Annette is my Mother's only sister. She was the one who gave us books every birthday, who brought us to museums and to special events.  She was a college professor who lived five hours away, so we didn't see her very often. She married late in life, and then retired to sunny Florida.

Annette had cancer which spread to her liver. Three weeks ago she asked if my sister and I could make her a quilt. My sister and I went to work quickly. I had a top already sewn together.

My sister made a wonderful scrappy top with her usual bright happy colors and uniquely wonky style.

My sister and nephew put the two quilts together with a puffy batting between them, then tied the quilt.
My Mother and I added the binding. This is my Mother, wrapped in the quilt, arranged so both sides are visible. We sent it to Annette via overnight delivery. Annette loved the quilt.

Annette died last night. She was 83 years old.

Her husband asked if he could keep the quilt, because there was so much love in it. Naturally we all said yes.

Quilts are love, and quilts are magical.  I make quilts for a lot of reasons, and I love the artsy quilts, but really, the best reason to make a quilt is to show love.

If you have a special Auntie, give her a call today and tell her how much she means to you. If you live close by, go over and give her a hug.

I'm going to miss my Aunt Annette.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I submitted the Quick Brown Fox and The Black Cat Rules to the "What's My Line" quilt exhibit at the Whistler House Museum of Art. I'll know by May 30th if I have been accepted. 

The Blue Exquisite flimsy is complete. I have sewn up the backing and binding, and now it needs to be quilted.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Judy (and I am sure many others) want to know why I am doing this:

when I usually do this:
It's a good question.

I don't make a lot of quilts. Sure, I make them for babies, and cats, and when somebody asks. I make them for beds, and sometimes I make them for gifts.

But mostly I make them for myself.

There are lots of lovely "Low Volume" quilts floating around. They are very soothing and have obviously struck a nerve.  You can see them here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. They are so popular that all you have to do is type "low volume quilts" in the Google search engine and click on "Images" to see page after page of them.

Judy is right. This is NOT my normal color palette. I live in the land of bright color.  But I got started with the idea of what I call "low contrast" a few years ago, when I made these words for the No Rules for Julie quilt:
I really liked the way the "hidden" funs would disappear in different light.

Now you see them, now you don't.

I really pushed that idea to the maximum when I made three WOW hidden "funs" for the White Rules quilt. They looked great, but disappeared when the quilt was quilted. Lesson learned.

I don't (usually) just make quilts because I want to try this pattern, or that pattern. I make quilts when I have an idea and I want to push it around and see what happens. It just so happens I work with fabric, so the result is a quilt.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, and I can tell you all that I spend the last six months writing a book, I can say that while I didn't do much sewing, I did do a lot of thinking. This low volume kick made me think. If I made a "low contrast" quilt, could I make one with free pieced letters? Would they still be readable, and from a distance, even if the quilt was quilted?

And if I -did- try that, what would the letters SAY? Because I love making my viewers really LOOK, and I like it when I can give them a good swift kick of surprise at the same time. So the quote had to be something opposite to what the colors of the quilt said.

It means that the soft low tones of the quilt said "tranquility," "peace" and "calm", my phrase had to be a bit more, well... loud. It had to kick the low volume thing right in the pants. It had to say, "I am blatantly making fun of you. I am speaking softly, but my message is LOUD."

So when I came across "Use all the crayons in the box," I knew it was perfect.  Because (to beat a dead horse) low volume quilts sure as hell don't.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Have an E...

It was a very busy day on Sunday, and I didn't have time to write the post I had planned about why I am making the Crayon quilt. That will come later. In the meantime, enjoy this E.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


The first two letters of the word USE.


Obviously these letters aren't trimmed to size yet.

Anybody got any ideas as to what words follow "Use all the..." ?

 Hilda is right!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Next Words...

I have chosen all the fabrics and the design for the next word quilt.
Here's the first part of the quote.

Damn, I keep forgetting how to make these "A"s
Oopsie. I knew that was going to happen...

and check this out:

Yes, I am playing with something here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sneak Peek

These are some of the fabrics I have selected for my next word quilt. I have the phrase, and now I have the fabrics. I am still working on the design of the quilt. I am very excited to get started.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


What? You thought I was kidding?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Do Not Adjust Your Screen..

This is a test.

This is only a test.

Whenever I hear what's-his-name ask, "What is your favorite word," I think of mine.


What does all this have to do with the price of tea in China?  Not a whole hell of a lot, but you all deserve some quilty eye-candy after my months of absence.  A new word quilt is in the works, and you know I'll share every detail.

PS Michelle, I have not forgotten you. Please be a tiny bit more patient. I promise a package will be flying to you by the end of the month.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blue Exquisite, Continued

It's so nice to get back into the sewing studio and play with fabric. I sewed all the blocks together into rows, then sewed the rows to the rest of the flimsy, so it is complete. Whee!

I've got the backing fabrics all washed and ironed, ready to assemble. I'm done for the day, however. My back hurts and it's time for me to give it a rest.

Friday, March 8, 2013


My wordy project has reached a major milestone. I have completed the first draft of the book I have been writing. It is 79,724 words and 277 pages.  Now I shall set it aside for a few weeks.

I'm quite looking forward to sewing again. I've got a few projects started, and I've got another word quilt gestating.  Woo hoo!

PS Although quilts are important in this book, it isn't a quilting book. It isn't a how-to book.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rinse, Lather, Repeat

Remember this?

I loved the colors but once the top was finished, I was less than impressed with the finished piece. I got it ready to send to the longarm quilter, but never did it.  I showed it to my son, who was equally ambivalent about it. Actually, he was quite specific. He didn't like it at all.  So after we talked about it, I decided to get right to it and implement his suggestion.
I didn't just delicately unsew each stitch, I just lined up the ruler and sliced it apart!
Oh! Better already!
 Oh yeah! Much better!

Monday, March 4, 2013

O Happy Day!

My son is here from California for a short visit. He surprised his young cousin on his 16th birthday.  Yup, the younger one is taller.

Here's a blast from the past:
My son is on the right this time!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Here is the Yellow block for the Missing U Quilt. My son asked for a yellow quilt a few years ago, and I bought a lot of yellow gold fabrics for it. Many of them are in this block.

VeeV asked yesterday if I liked lemons or the FLAVOR of Lemon. Both, actually.  I think Lemon is my most favorite flavor...

Lemon juice in ice water!!
Lemon curd between layers of a white cake!!
Lemon curd, actually, any way, shape or how.
Lemon juice on fresh green beans.
or Asparagus, Zucchini, Carrots...
Caesar Salad

Lemon juice on cooked fish
Lemon juice on cooked chicken
Chicken Piccata (with Lemon!)
Lemon drops (the hard candies)
Lemon sorbet

You can enjoy the flavor of lemon in every meal, and I usually do. It is a crisis in my house if there are no fresh lemons.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


The next colored Missing U block will be....

Have I told you how much I love lemons?