Friday, May 29, 2009

When life hands you scraps....

...make quilts. When life hands you red scraps, make this:

I make this pattern often. This time I used only red/pink squares for the four-patches and I put them together randomly so there are no continuous diagonal lines.

I played some more with the Pro-Stitcher and quilted huge daisies all over the quilt.

The American Idol finale gave me some much-needed time to finish the binding.

For those counting: TWENTY!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I've lived in New York for over 20 years and have never really taken advantage of all that the area has to offer. Since our nest is soon to be empty, hubby and I plan to see the sights, locally and elsewhere.

On Sunday we went to a local winery for a Strawberry, Chocolate, and Wine festival. Now I ask you, what better sort of festival could there be?

I don't drink much, so looking at a list of 16 different wines that I was going to taste was quite overwhelming. The fellow who poured the wine kept thinking I didn't like it when I took a sip and dumped the rest, but sixteen sips of wine = more than I usually drink in 2 months!

The strawberries and chocolate were wonderful, and a few bottles of wine followed us home.

OK, maybe not that many.
Baldwin Vineyards. Check them out.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


My daughter is graduating from high school this year and has asked for 10 graduation quilts. If that's not challenging enough, I haven't finished graduation quilts for my son's friends who all graduated FOUR YEARS AGO!

Here's another flame quilt for one of my son's friends:

If you've ever wondered if a computerized quilting system is worth it.... it is! Check out what my Pro-Stitcher did while I was cleaning my sewing room:

If the Pro-Stitcher could bind my quilts for me, too.............

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

weekly update

the weekend that was: Strip & Stones Club at the Quilt Basket on Saturday. Even though I promised myself I wouldn't, I bought the kit. More on that later. Sunday was a trip to a local winery for a strawberry, chocolate, and wine festival. More on that later. Monday was exciting: tons of laundry and a bunch of quilting.

where i am at the moment: Home!

on my to-do list this week: Quilts, writing, class samples

what I'm sewing: my new quilt kit, graduation quilts, and other presents

books I've read: Dog on It by Spencer Quinn. You must read this book. A detective story told from the perspective of the dog. It was worth the overdue fine at the library.

movies I've seen: X-Men, Sex and the City, and at long last.... Wall E.

next trip: College graduation in Ohio!

what I'm looking forward to: my book release party on Sunday!

In case you needed proof

I really have made my mother 15 tablerunners.

And she really does have a top to her head. Sorry for the bad photo, mom.

More tablerunners to come.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Quilt Market, again

Since I showed my not working photos, I'll share photos in which work was actually completed.

If you've been to a quilt show (or a trade show of any type), you've seen the booths all finished and ready for the public. Less than 3 hours later, the convention hall could look like this:

Those pallets are stacked about 5 feet high.

The Handi Quilter crew, waiting for the shrink-wrap guy to arrive and wrap the pallets:

Great job, ladies!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quilt Market

I worked hard. Really, really hard. Especially during the dinner cruise.

My hometown as viewed from the water:

My travelling companions (sorry Elaine, it was the only photo that wasn't fuzzy):

All good things must come to an end:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


and I don't know what I want! Ahem, enough Alice Cooper for today.

My eighteenth finish was an apple quilt for mom. I had it quilted and machine bound before I went to visit in Pittsburgh, but had to hand finish it while I was there. When I carried the quilt into the house (unwrapped), mom started dropping some serious hints about how much she liked it. "Good thing, Mom, because it's your Mother's Day present!" I couldn't leave for home until the binding was complete. She threatened to unpick the stitches while I was at Quilt Market, just so I'd stay longer. Yeah, my momma loves me.

Mom and Dad with the finished quilt.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

weekly update

the weekend that was: I was in Pittsburgh for Quilt Market. I got to see all that is new in the quilt world. Added bonus: I'm from Pittsburgh so I got to visit the family and attend my nephew's confirmation.

where i am at the moment: Home!

on my to-do list this week: Quilts, writing

what I'm sewing: graduation quilts and other presents

books I've read: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. Some fun stuff about Star Wars in there, but annoying beat out interesting and I couldn't finish the book. Also listened to Getting Things Done and Me, Inc. during my long car ride.

next trip: College graduation in Ohio!

what I'm looking forward to: graduation, graduation, wedding, college, cruise

Friday, May 15, 2009

Girl's best friend

Another graduation quilt (72x72 inches), courtesy of:

*my 2-1/2" strip scrap bucket
*Bonnie Hunter's "Scrappy Trip Around the World" pattern
*my HQ Sixteen Pro-Stitcher for quilting swirls on the quilt while I cleaned my sewing room
*my 10-1/2" square scrap box
*my roll of leftover binding strips
*a Frankenbatt

Also brought to you by:
*a sunny day. Doesn't the sunlight look great in this photo? Sunlight is as rare as hen's teeth around here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Found on the web.....

Woodstock Quilt Supply is one of my happy places. I'm fortunate to live within driving distance of this must-see (must-buy) quilt shop. This shop is eye-candy galore!

They wrote a lovely blog post about my new book. Check them out! And while you are buying some fabric for yourself, please remember that I turned 40 last week and love all things Kaffe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Working on......

Wednesday's projects:

A chair full of quilted quilts awaiting their bindings:

Blocks for a baby quilt:

My Pro-Stitcher is making short work of an apple quilt for my mom:

A wedding quilt for a customer:

What are you working on?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's the time of the season for.....

.... graduation quilts.

I have five quilts ready for graduation, but I need several more. Fortunately, I have boxes of pre-cut scraps. Time to get sewing!

My 1-1/2" strip scrap bucket was overflowing, so I pieced them into 6-inch blocks to make this 60x72-inch quilt.

I had a stack of 10-1/2" squares cut, so the backing was easy to piece:

I still had extra binding strips sewed together in a roll, so the binding is scrappy, too.
Confession: I zig-zagged together large batting strips for the batting, too. Frankenbatts rock! And they help empty out the overflowing box of batting scraps, too.

For those counting along, SIXTEEN!

Monday, May 11, 2009

the weekend that was

(this format was stolen from inspired by marko)

the weekend that was: Saturday morning, I taught my Longarm Quilt Club at the Quilt Basket followed by an early Mother's Day sushi lunch with the family. Home to the studio. Sunday was church (I've missed my church for the last few months!)and more time in the studio. Hubby cooked a most excellent steak dinner.

where i am at the moment: home!

on my to-do list this week: lots of quilts, lots of writing.

procrastinating about: quilts and writing!

book i’m in the midst of: I'm almost finished with Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Really enjoyed it! This week I also made progress on my Stephanie Plum-a-thon. I'm waiting for number 8 from the library now.

next trip: Pittsburgh, to go to Quilt Market and visit with mom and dad. I'm jazzed!

Quick Baby Quilt

I'm sad to say it, but this won't count toward my "Fifty Finishes". It's an old quilt that I've used as a teaching sample. I'm retiring it from travel and giving it away.

Some baby, somewhere, will love this I Spy quilt.

Friday, May 08, 2009


It's been a long while since I finished something. It's the downside of travel.

I just finished the binding on a scrap quilt. I used up my scrappy 9-patches and some scrappy 4-patches for this graduation quilt. My Pro-Stitcher quilted this quickly, and then I bound it with scrappy leftover binding strips.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

When work is play (updated photos)

I signed up for a class at my local quilt shop. We're making Marie Antoinette from Timeless Treasures. It will take about a year, but I really love this quilt

Some of my favorite people are in this class. I took photos of the top of their heads while they were working diligently:

Our first block had a lot of half square triangles. The shop owner had a new cool tool to help:

It was great to sew all those HSTs without marking!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Count me in!

Today I turned 40. I am completely not upset by this. In nearly all areas of my life, I'm the youngest in the crowd. While I'm still the youngest, I finally feel fully adult.

My daughter left this for me:

So, how do I feel?

Let's see. I started today having breakfast with a friend. It was great catching up with her and watching her baby girl swim in her belly. Elbows and knees and other pointy body parts stuck out of her abdomen at random. She's due at the end of the month and I can't wait to meet the baby!

After 8 long months, I got my hair cut this afternoon. The old cut held up for about 6 months, but the last two months have been looking kind of ragged. I was travelling and sick and didn't have a chance for a hair cut until today. My Jennifer is a marvel and I won't wait another 8 months to see her again.

Next came the toes. I decided to stop for a pedicure. My hairdresser recommended this place and they were amazing. The service was awesome. It actually made me rethink how I serve others. I want to be like them -- gladly anticipating and meeting the needs of others.

After this tiring list of unpleasant chores, I stopped for my favorite tea (Panera chai tea latte). I stopped at home to work briefly before dining with my family.

Red Robin burgers all around! They made my day by carding me. Their policy states that they card until 39 1/2, so I must look at least six months younger than I am!

A little blue box showed up at my house. Way cool! My wrist has been shockingly unadorned for far too long.

I think I heard mention of cake. I love cake.

In short, I feel great! If every day of 40 is like this, I'll take it gladly and recommend it to others.


Wisdom of the ages: when you get a pedicure, be sure to wear sandals so your pinky toes aren't polish-free by the time you return home. I know this, now that I'm 40.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

More presents

This weekend I worked at the Northern Star Quilt Guild show. It's so much fun showing people how to use the Handi Quilter!

I bought myself a birthday present (or 10):

They'll have to season a while before I use them, but aren't they gorgeous?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Facing the inevitable

This week I'm having a significant birthday. You know, one that ends in a "0".

My favorite lawyer gave me a be-yoo-ti-ful thermos to celebrate:

Isn't it cute?
I may be turning forty but I'll be stylishly hydrated!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Happiness is.....

.... going to the mailbox and finding:

and then opening the magazine to page 108 and finding:

a writeup of my book!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Good news!

Last year, Handi Quilter developed fingertip controlled micro handles for their HQ Sixteen. I was so excited to get mine!!! I quickly pieced a small top and started quilting. Ten hours later, I finished my quilt. The quilt had some minor issues, but I was happy with the sample. I was not happy with my dry eyes and sore neck. I advise against micro quilting for 10 hours at a time; 15 minutes and then a break seems like a much better schedule.

This winter, I decided to enter my micro quilting sample to a regional show. It was accepted.

Did you notice the blue ribbon? I won first place in the miniature category!

Here's a closeup of the quilting (but the blue ribbon is still there, I promise):