Category Archives: Connections series

Colorplay #4 : Too Much Orange

     I always love what I see after I complete a piece and look at it through the camera lens and on my computer screen. With this one, I see two things: 1. The light purple line on the top left is way too distracting for me and doesn’t seem to fit. 2. I really do not like the teal green combo but wanted to try it. On a positive note, I was bold and tried the orange thread. I can see my machine quilting is slowly improving with tightly spaced quilting lines.

Colorplay #4
16 x 25

     I am trying to do a better record keeping job in hard copy and in my journal. Maybe it will give me a better perspective when I can look back and see things in one place.

     I seem to have lost another day with blogger issues. I know tomorrow is unlikely for a post but hope to post during my week away. I  have no idea how I will be ready to go by Sunday morning at 8am. And then my father-in-law is having open heart surgery on Monday so I am leaving Marc with a real mess.  I feel badly leaving but he says -go. Is everyone’s life this crazy? Maybe.

     Being creative definitely keeps me sane. Try it, my friends!

A Little Orange

     I like orange but never have really used much in any of my pieces. So, in the wonderful quest of self improvement and art improvement that I am on,  I chose orange. ( Yes that was a little sarcastic but I did choose it because I wanted a  little challenge.)

                                                                    Colorplay #3

     Funny how I go back to simple strip piecing and am happy with it.

     I continue to like tight dense quilting. It just looks crisp and clean.

     I had a proud mom moment this week. My son Ben won an award at the speech meet. He recited the JFK inaugural address without an one mistake-boldly and confidently. I was beaming. The pictures were all blurry so I am waiting for another mom to send me some of hers. Which led me to schedule an eye appointment for today! I kept noticing how blurry everything was I was taking. Ughh… I hate missing kid photo moments.

     The sun came out after the ice storm . All my class fabric samples from the last month and it captured the sunlight so beautifully.

     I am off to Connecticut this weekend for a funeral of a dear man and pastor of the church we used to attend.  I haven’t been there for a visit in a long time. It will be a time of re-connecting with old friends and memories. Must pack and get the kids ready for the weekend. They are staying home with Dad.

     Appreciate those you are with, my friends. And be creative.

Onward and Forward?Finish #4

     I have spent the past 48 hours trying to move forward. And I am. I keep reminding myself of that.  I have added a computer to our household-for my husband. I have spent hours deleting old files and then getting the data transferred. He has been very patient but is tired of searching for our one and only desktop throughout the house. By the end of the month- or should I say Christmas day- we should have 4-yes four operating and efficient computers. It is a huge deal to us as we have been operating on one for the past few months- limping along- going nowhere fast.( My daughter is taking a graphics design class and is hogging up the time at night.) I am very excited. More than excited.

     I have also spent way too much time(and money) getting my beloved Yukon fixed again. Yesterday. An unexpected and unwelcome start to the week. The Yukon had problems after the decision was made on computers so no looking back. She has 115,000 miles on her and she is mine. This is a sentimental kind of thing. She has been reliable. She is old and very dog friendly , if not a little smelly. But repaired and good to go today.
     Now, back to my quest to finish things. Finish #4: Carnival Ride.

     It’s for a table in Vermont. Table art. Carnival Ride, 14×33, 2010 , and it’s finished!

     My daughter Hope chose a winner for this last giveaway. She pulled out the name –Lynne– you are the winner. You will love the velvet. And the paints. I’ll mail it out tomorrow.

     I want to join in the holiday fun over here. It might totally distract me from this finish thing. Remind me next year not to do this during December. Motivation to finish works- in- process needs to come in November.

Thank you again for stopping in.

Be creative, my friends!

If You Have Known Me Long Enough….

        ………’s not hard to believe this story. After a very busy day unrelated to any kind of sewing, I finally sat down to fix my piece from yesterday. I had three different pieces sewn on to the bottom of the quilt and after much fussing and picture taking, I decided on the simplest one and was very happy to just have to press it up. I even had grand delusions about basting it and being ready to actually quilt this tonight. Well, I needed to go pick up my son from school and left it on the ironing board to press it up.

     I went to press it when I had a few minutes before dinner. This is what my quilt looked like prior to me leaving for school.

And this is what it looked like after the dog ate the corner of it off.

And there is no more of this hand-dyed purple left. She eats things when she has a sick stomach to make herself sick. And I guess the quilt was the next best thing when I was gone.

 No wonder she wouldn’t look at me. Some things are more amazing than others in my life….Guess I will have to find out another solution to the borders on the quilt.

Hope you have fun sewing.

Something Simple

     Life is picking up speed. My oldest came home from college on Thursday night for spring break. My husband took my eleven year old to Florida for Tigers spring training-baseball for those of you not eleven years old! It was his birthday present and the they had a great time in sunshine. I stayed home with the two girls and we had a great time too. Despite three soccer games in 30 degrees and snow (just a bad dream of winter returning for a short time), we had fun just not doing much.. Spring and  sports will make me very busy soon and I am just enjoying the peace before the craziness begins.

     I decided to pick up some scraps yesterday and just go backwards a bit. It felt good to just let what was there in my box of scraps come to life.I  I just worked at my machine and didn’t even use a design wall. Simpler-one piece at a time determining the next with no big picture in mind. The scraps you will probably recognize. Old familiar friends they felt like. And I finished it. Even better despite the size.

 I think it’s about 12 by 14 and has no name yet. And it’s very happy to be outside-my first outdoor picture without snow. Spring is coming.

Happy Sewing, my friends!

A Walk in the Woods

     I am enjoying seeing the patches of grass that are starting to peek through the melting snow. The sunshine,  brighter blue skies and longer days definitely  made my weekend! I was at a soccer tournament this weekend and realized I better stock up my bag that I bring for the long car rides with some hand stitching. The soccer season is just beginning.

     When I visit Vermont, one of my favorite things to do is to take a walk in our neighbors woods. It is actually cross country ski trails but you can walk for miles and always find your way back home. I especially like to go right after the snow has fallen.

The texture of the trees and snow always intrigues me.

Peaceful….I just don’t know what I would do if I ran into a large animal…

So after being inspired by the greens and blues of this walk, I created this piece.

 A Winter Walk in the Woods- 36×32

I haven’t done the binding yet. I must dye the deep navy blue again and am waiting for some pfd  fabric I ordered.  Maybe I will put a visible binding on it. What do you think? I heavily quilted it with the lines being less than 1/4 inch. And I quilted each block separately which added some time to it. Heavy quilting also added some wave so I wet blocked it. It did help. I think I need to flat bind it because it is not a perfect square!

I like this piece because it captured what I wanted to represent visually from my walk.  I know from an art perspective it isn’t a great composition but I do like it. And I will take that today.

Now I must move on to spring colors. Happy sewing, my friends.

Hearts, Pink Things and Things of Long Ago

     I had  fun rounding up this little Valentine’s day treat for you. Enjoy all the pretty things that remind me of the day.

Pink mittens and handmade hearts on linen
A heart bowl filled with bits from my Vermont Sunshine quilt
Handblown glass heart
Old thread spindles from the New England Mill
Vermont Sunshine and Wildflowers
Unquilted top-18×20   
Hope you enjoyed your day and were able to sow or sew a little love with your hands. It makes you feel better. Happy Sewing and Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends. Hugs!

The First Present

     Well, because of the blizzard and three cancelled school days, everything is happening in four days instead of two weeks.  I repeat everything- concert, 5th grade play, teachers luncheon and class party. Amazing how it can all be compacted into four short school days. Even more amazing that I signed up to help on all four events. Please remind me next year to take blizzards into account when I sign up for school volunteering in September .My kids are done this week Thurs and my girl comes home from college on Thurs too.  I am ready to take a break with no schedules and no sports other than outside fun stuff.

    I FINISHED #7!  I am so excited to think I can actually make this crazy challenge goal. It will be so odd not to have this huge pile of UFOs  to start the new year with. So here it is…(not many are blogging so I know you need pictures…) I do like the next two quilts you will see.

                                                    Connections #

I just did random kind of straight line( improvisational at a very fast speed) quilting. It is made from packet of  hand-dyed fabrics from simply robin and a few of my own. I can even say this is one I like.

   Please indulge me on seeing a present my kids bought for me for Christmas. They couldn’t wait to give it to me and wanted me to hang it up now. Did I tell you I am the world’s worst cheater on gifts? If my gift is in the house, I will find it and PEEK. I am the worst kid at Christmas. I can act surprised too if I have seen it before I open it. My husband does not bring my gifts into the house until Christmas Eve. I have been known to unwrap it. Really bad and I can’t believe I have told you this. So this is my present from the kids- a vintage Christmas wreath-

     You really needed to see the wreath today. I even took my quilt down above my breakfast nook to hang it up. It needed a place of honor. Look at all these ornaments and I know you will remember them from your Christmas’ of long ago-ok when you were a kid.

                                                                The sparkly pear.

                                                                  The satin wrapped bulbs.

Plastic green bells.

And your calico ornaments. What more could I ask for? I  love it and I love my kids. And it makes me smile every time I come into the room because it is just over the top!
     Well, I am over the top as well with a list so blogging must be last on the list the next few days. I have really enjoying catching up with friends I have met over the years at workshops. I will let you know when I finish # 8 . Otherwise, enjoy time this season with your family and friends.
     Sit by the fire and stitch quietly and remember why you love to sew. Merry Christmas and happy sewing, my friends!

Snow Day: Giveaway continued

 This is what it looks like outside my front door today-school is closed and at 8:30am they are all outside playing already. It’s beautiful out there. One more for those of you who don’t have snow.

      I am working on # 6 yet. Just seem to have too much Christmas stuff to do to get any sewing done. I’ll show you my first commission that I finished last spring. The new owners are very pleased with it and since it was hand quilted I was more than relieved that I was done with it. Looking at it now, I would not have put any borders on it but let the center composition stand alone with a flat binding. What a difference a few months makes !

   These are the colors they wanted and fabrics they chose. Much easier to have someone buy something already made! But rewarding to have pleased them.

GIVEAWAY: See Sense of Community post below. Just leave a comment to be entered or drop me an email if you don’t feel comfortable with that. ( Only three people have jumped on board and there are 3 prizes. Giveaway on Wed Dec 9th.

Off to play today. Happy sewing, my friends. Have a good weekend.

Almost #4 and #5 for Project Joy

     I know, I know that almost doesn’t count but this has been crazy week and I want to show you almost. This blogging thing is a bit crazy and I have to admit to you that I missed it this week when I couldn’t keep up with it. I felt like I was letting you down. Or I wasn’t pulling my end of the deal . What is really strange is that I am completing things, I am not sure I even like. Just to have something to show you. Which makes me feel a bit vulnerable and not necessarily proud of what I am producing. But what I am ” getting out of ” this whole thing is a great bit of humility, a great sense of respect for those who do this blogging thing well and much improved construction technique for sewing  just because I am sewing more.

     I have finished #4 except the binding so I know it doesn’t count just yet. It looks like a spider web and I am happy to say Betsy -my new machine-did her part. After a software update and two new parts for a machine less than six months old,  she still needs to win me over though. I am skeptical.



      The binding will be done tonight while I watch tv with the kids. I did some random crazy quilting over a very chaotic quilting.

  # 5 I am not sure it is worth saving. It was in the middle of the whole sewing machine debacle and I am sick of wavy. So am in a quandry of whether or not to finish. I did spend 2 hours trying to pick out bad stitching. Yuck.

       My husband brought home thirty roses yesterday to celebrate our first date thirty years ago. What a nice and romantic guy I have.

     I am very grateful for him! Now, on to sewing. Happy sewing, my friends.