Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year 2012

I just want to say Happy New Year and want to thank all of you that have followed my blog.  I know that I have not always been good about updating my blog but many of you have continued to follow.  I have my own computer now which makes it easier to update my blog because now when I get a serge of ideas to post on my blog I don't have to wait til someone else(DH for one) to get off.  Then I forget what I wanted to post.
Speaking of that, I don't know why I don't write this stuff down.  What makes me think that I am going to remember what I wanted to write 3 days ago, let alone a month ago, for that matter 1 hour ago.  I have a note book right there on the table in my sewing room and I still didn't write down what I wanted to say.
This year I promise I am going to make sure I keep my posts going.  Not to say that I will post every day but I will be posting more often.
I love sharing what I make and fabrics that I find with other sewers. I love to sew and I love anything that has to do with sewing.  I want to try every gadget or tutorial that I see.
In my sewing room there is a poster by Sark that I bought a a garage sale about 14 years ago.  It is called "How To Be An Artist".  I love that poster because when I say to people that I am an artist, they always ask me what I paint, or what do I draw, or what university I went to.  Well if being an artist means that I have to have gone to an art school then I can say I went to the University of Sark and here's my diploma.  If you ever read what she says about being an artist you will see that to be an artist you just have to be you and love what you do best.  I can sew, I love to sew and sewing is my art form.  Fabric is my medium.
Latest chenille jacket 

Go to my Etsy Shop for more details.
Anyway that is all for now, until next time.  Please leave a comment it is nice to know that someone has read your blog.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I would like to share this little story about someone that has been very special and instrumental in my creative process, that is my cousin Sereta.
It has taken a while for me to piece this together because you see my cousin passed away a few years ago. I still think about her and the ways she influenced my life.
For one thing Sereta was very tall (about 6 feet) and when I walked next to her I never felt short, I felt proud and as tall as she.  I would have to walk, all most run to keep up with her.  She would say, "hold up your head and suck in your belly, walk from heel to toe and you will be able to walk all up and down these hills" we was living in Oakland, California at the time and did a lot of walking in San Francisco.  Anyway back to the story I wanted to tell.
When Sereta and I was growing up, she lived with her grandparents, and in the Summer when I would go visit my grandmother, who by the way was Sereta's grandmother's twin and lived in walking distance of each other, I would spend hours at Sereta's and we would make dolls out of sticks and dress them in leaves.  Sereta was so creative and she could make a rock look like the best thing in the world to play with.
Sereta always had the most interesting items in her room, whether it was a rock she found or a stick doll she made and dressed in a magnolia leaf.  One thing she did is collect boxes, all kinds of boxes and some she decorated and embellished with ribbons and shells or small rocks. I loved to go into her room and open the boxes and look inside and see what little surprises she had hidden inside them.  Sometimes it would be a rock, a piece of candy, a bead, or a feather she found laying in the yard. Once I was visiting Sereta and there was one box that she had decorated and it was sitting on the dresser and of course I went straight for the box to see what was inside. She said "nooooo that box is special and you cannot look inside, that is my special box". Well that peeked my imagination and my curiosity, I just could not imagine what was in that box that "I" was not to open. Every time I visited Sereta I wanted to look in that box. And it became more intriguing as the Summer went by. Well Sereta never let me look in that box. She knew that I was intrigued by the box and  she kept me guessing about it's contents.
Years later after years of being separated from my favorite cousin and many boxes later ( you see I started a collection of my own) I was able to ask her about that box and what she had in it that I could not see.  She said "magic stuff" and "you didn't know that I was magic did you?"  I never got to know what was in that box but I still think about it and sometimes I think " a box full of rocks probably" or "feathers" I'll never know for sure but it keeps my creativity flowing. When you come to my sewing room you will find that I too have a lot of interesting boxes in my collection hoping to peek someone else's creative nature and curiosity.
Just before my cousin went home I was able to go to California and visit her, and while there she handed me a beautiful round box that I still have.  I still don't know what was in that box.  But I will let you guess what is in this one.
This is the box that Sereta gave me. It is very special to me.

I have started creating boxes also. Here are two boxes that will be available for sale in my Etsy Shop. I think that boxes intrigue me because they have tops on them and you always wonder what is inside them.  Some are just plain shoe boxes. Some boxes have jewels on them.  But one thing for sure, when you see a box sitting on a table or a dresser, you want to open them up and see what is inside, but sometimes it is better to just look at them and wonder. Set one of these boxes on your coffee table, end table, or your dresser and watch the curiosity of your guests.

Made with muddcloth and leather these boxes are embellished with beads and shells and are very sturdy, you can also use them as gift boxes for that special gift. Or just keep someone's curiosity going.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Word Play Quilts, Zaren's Quilt

This book by Tonya Ricucci is one book I am so glad I purchased.  It has so many wonderful ways to add words to your quilt.  It is so easy, I have started making quilts for grandkids with their names on them.  The good part about it is the easy to follow directions for each letter that are in the back of the book.  I have enjoyed reading the book from cover to cover and trying the many ways to make numbers and letters in a quilt.  If you, like myself, are more of an art quilter or have never made a quilt and would like to.  Then this is the book for you.  Also this is the latest quilt top that I am making for my grandson.  It is just a small cuddle quilt, but I think that kids like having a small quilt to drag around.

Now it's your turn to go and make your own.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dalayla's Day With The Long Arm Quilter

My granddaughter, Dalayla, came to spend part of the Summer with me and we had such a great time sewing together.  She took to sewing like she had been sewing all her life.  Well she did spend a lot of time with me when she was a toddler.
One thing we did while she was here was to go to one of my quilting sister's, Jean, and quilt Dalayla's quilt on Jeans long arm.
Here is a video of Dalayla using the machine

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cathedral Windows Quilt

The Cathedral Window Quilt pattern is gorgeous. The Origami-like folding of fabric, the jewel like tones of the "windows", the layers of fabric and stitching - all combine to create an amazing, complex looking quilt. The reality is that the process is not that hard, and with a little learning and patience, you can do it quite easily.
Well this blog post is not a tutorial. It is a story about my experience with the pattern.  I taught myself to make the block when I got a little card in the mail with the instructions on it I learned to make the block very quickly and before I knew it, I had completed 4 panels. It is a very addictive block to make.  It is done by hand and you quilt as you go, so as you finish a block , you are also finishing your quilt.
This is my story about the Cathedral Windows quilt and my experience.  I started teaching a group of women from my church to make the block a few years ago, but right in the middle of learning the block, I moved away and I did not get a chance to see any of the finished quilts in that group.
Well back in June 2011 I was in Cedar Rapids and visiting the church when Lois, one of the ladies in that group came to me and said, "I would like for you to see my quilt" she said that after I left she continued to work on her quilt and it took her about 5 years to complete the quilt. She was so proud of her quilt and I was too.  She let me take pictures of her quilt and said that she did not mind if I put the pictures on my blog.  I just want to say that this is a very fun easy quilt to make.  I looks hard. But when you finish a quilt you will be so happy you made it. There are so many tutorials on the internet to show you how to make one, and so many ideas.  I made mine and while making it I got the big idea to add photos in the windows. So some of my CW quilt has photos of my family and friends.
Here are pictures of Lois and her quilt.

Now I know that this makes you want to get started on your own Cathedral Windows quilt.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Edit Profile - Threads

Sewing and displaying what I sew is so fun to do.  There are many sites on the internet that makes it easy.

Edit Profile - Threads

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Neck Tie Quilt

I am finally creating at a good pace and it feels good.  Good enough to write a blog post about it.
A few years ago, my cousin presented me with a tote full of neckties (thank you CeCe) and through the years I have added to that collection by going to the thrift store and buying more, and by taking any and every tie that was donated to my collection. I ended up with a barrel of ties.  My darling husband was so kind to take three days and make ready all my ties by cutting them open and taking all the filling out.  Thank you Bobby.
I decided that I would make a quilt out of the ties first, then what is left will go into a jacket.  I did not realize all the beautiful ties I had collected, my husband even traded a couple of his ties for the ones he found in my barrel.  There are silk, satin,cotton,wool, and also some polyester.
I have started on the quilt first, I decided to use the foundation piecing method since I have all different kinds of fabric and textures. It is hard to use some of the ties because they are so beautiful, I keep putting different ones back for the coat.  So now I am closing my eyes and whatever tie I pull out, I have to use.  That makes it a lot easier.  I am going to put the quilt together row by row as I go along.  I am not going to worry about what colors or textures should go next to what, it is an art quilt that when it is done, won't win any contests(?) but will be beautiful in it's right.  I will continue to post about this quilt and when it is done you will see.  My husband said "if you don't do anything with these ties after I have done all this work, I will not do anything like this again" So that is another instinctive reason for me to get this quilt done.

As you can see, there are many nice ties going into this quilt.

Here is a picture of my first block. 

Here is a sneak preview of the cuddle quilt I just finished for the quilt guild that I belong to. Go over and take a look at that blog also.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

How to Get Back To Sewing After a 2 Month Vacation

Well here it is February, we got back from our vacation in December and this is the first month that I have had so many projects going at once.  It is very hard to get back in the flow of sewing and designing new creations when you have been on a long vacation.  One thing I did before I left was reorganized my sewing room, that was not such a good idea, why? When I returned and tried to get started, I could not remember where I put everything. Ha ha. I had rearranged so well that it took me a week to get everything back the way it was so that I could find it. I know it doesn't make sense to you but it does to me.
On thing I made was this vest for my husband. He asked me to make him a vest to go with a suit he had and I looked through my stash and found this beautiful upholstery fabric. It goes perfectly with his suit.

This is a close-up of the fabric.

A real nice fit.

Looks nice with the suit.

I also made this 3 piece linen ensemble and have listed it in my Etsy Shop.  You can check it out there and also check out some of the other items I have listed there.

It is really a cute outfit.

I love the buttons they really make the fabrics come alive.
Check out my shop to see all the pieces. This is a very comfortable easy going suit and you will feel so cute in it.
I had to just get myself in gear and get back in the groove.  Every day after my vacation I did a little more than I did before.  I reorganized my sewing room, and went through all my fabrics to remind myself what I had.  Also before I left I had a stack of things that I wanted to make, so I just pulled one thing and started working on it. I did not try to finish it right away. I did not want to put any pressure on myself.  I did set some new goals and challenges for myself.  Just taking it a day at a time. But guess what, it is time for another vacation.