Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let's Have Tea - New Year's Eve

Let's make a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy a quiet moment at the end of the year.

Are you planning any New Year's resolutions? I'm skipping my usual diet/fitness plans because I've never made it past a week. I'm thinking about writing my memoirs this year though. I've written a huge list of topics, and I plan to write essays about them as the mood strikes. I've written a few "chapters." Sometimes I start to write about Topic A and as I get into it I realize the real story is about Topic B so I go there instead. It won't be chronological; it will be organized by themes.

Why write memoirs? Well, first of all, I'm curious to read my story. Every life has a story, and I know there must be something funny or interesting there somewhere. Also, someday a grandchild (if I have any) might be interested in knowing something about her/his ancestors. Probably "her." I would love to read an essay written by one of my grandmothers or great-grandmothers! I would want to know the common everyday things. What did she like to do? What did she have for lunch? What was her favorite recipe or song or flower? What were her thoughts and feelings? What was my mother or father like as a little kid? Would I be disappointed if she didn't write elegant prose? No! I'd love to hear her own conversational "voice." So I'm not going to worry about saying it just right. I'm just going to write it like I'd write to a friend. Like I'm doing now.

Twenty-two years ago I asked my Grandmother to crochet a throw for each of my sons to be given to them as wedding gifts. They were only 1 and 4 years old at the time, but I told her I'd wrap and keep them until the time came. She really liked the idea, and she added wedding cards too. They're still in storage. She died 20 years ago. Maybe I'll write a little story about this in my "memoirs." Maybe a cd with lots of photos should be part of it too. This is going to be fun.

Have any of you done this? Do you have any advice?

Wishing you the best New Year yet! Hugs to you!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Also known as Cape Malay Quarter, this is in Cape Town, South Africa. Aren't the colors shocking and kind of wonderful? I think I like this! What do you think? Would this get on your nerves after a while?

Photo by stenbough on

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - A Good Read

This is one of the most satisfying books I've read in a long time.

Elizabeth Gilbert, (author of "Eat, Pray, Love") has this to say about "Guernsey":
"I can't remember the last time I discovered a novel as smart and delightful as this one, a world so vivid that I kept forgetting this was a work of fiction populated with characters so utterly wonderful that I kept forgetting they weren't my actual friends and neighbors. Treat yourself to this book, please - I can't recommend it highly enough."

This book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is rated 4.5 (out of 5) on Amazon by over 1,000 reviewers. Here's the link to Amazon:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Stunning Quilts by Sunday Garcia

Sunday Garcia of Tennessee has created some new amazing quilts!

Yes, this is a quilt, not a painting! She calls it "The Maddox Building." Read what Sunday says about how she got started:

"i took my first quilting lesson a year and a half ago. i went online to look up patterns and came across art and landscape quilts. i was hooked. i had never seen them before. where i live in Tennessee they are traditionalists. i was determined to learn how to make them. so i went online and bought several books. i read those books over and over. i emailed several of the authors with questions. one author in particular was so helpful. her name is Joyce Becker.she wrote the book "beautifully Embellished Landscapes. She took the time to email me and talk to me on the phone. i found her books to be very informative. my other favorite book is Coloring With Thread by Ann Fahl. It taught me how to machine embroider/decorative top stitch and free motion sewing. i decided i could do it."

I would say you certainly can do it! I am in awe!

Do you remember Sunday's other quilt that was featured here? Click on "Sunday Garcia" in the list of Labels below to see it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Karen Jones of NZ - Hand Bag Challenge

Karen Jones of Wellington, NZ created this lovely "hand-bag" for a guild challenge.

Above, you can see inside the bag. Wow, what a neat job!

Here's what she had to say about it:

"Well, last month I won Viewers Choice at my new Quilt Club in a bag challenge. We had to use the Club logo which reads Hand of Friendship.

So I rang some of my quilting friends and asked them to draw around their hands. I also rang my sister (who I have taught how to quilt ) and I already had my Dad's hands. He had enormous hands and we had drawn around them before he died.

I used these hand prints to feature on my square hold-all tote.... I also used 3 of my grandchildrens hands to make the HANDle.. and my oldest grandson's hand which were too big, I used to make a needle book. I used old buttons and cottons given to me by friends and my Mum over the years. It was certainly a challenge putting it together but I am so proud of my idea. And now everyone in my new Club knows me already."

Well done, Karen! What a grand entrance into your new quilt group. That bag is stunning.

See Karen Jones' blog at:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kathi Price's Selvage Stool

Kathi Price of Texas is creating with selvages again, and this project is outstanding! I love it. I'm keeping an eye out for just the right chair or stool to add selvages to. Here's what she had to say.

"This was a stool from my Grandmother and since selvages came into my life I have wanted to cover the stool. Viola! I've loved the things you have been featuring especially the beautiful scenery from your travels."

Katrina's Fabric Ornament

These ornaments are so easy to make. Katrina in New Zealand has a tutorial on her blog: Can you picture these made with Asian fabrics or batiks? Or how about some striped fabrics or bright Kaffes?

Thank you to Anna from Sweeden for finding this tutorial.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Susan White's "Bird in Hand"

Susan White of Topeka, Kansas made these ornaments for her Quilters Knot friends. She used felt, selvages, applique flowers, and some fluff on top of their heads! I like that black blanket stitch too. What cheery gifts. Susan got the idea from (10/27/09 post).

Do you know there is a town in Pennsylvania called "Bird in Hand?" Here are some more: Hospital, Foot of Ten, King of Prussia, Bath Addition, Congo, Two Lick, Library, Intercourse, Japan, Of, and Scalp Level. Okaay. Hello to our friends in Pennsylvania!

Button Ornament by Martha Stewart

Isn't this button ornament charming? This would be fun to make with kids. (I'd have to find some kids, though.) I'm thinking year-round ornaments, not just for Christmas. Very nice. Visit for directions.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to You!

I hope your Christmas is touched with love and joy, more than you were hoping or imagining!

Meet Aneela in the UK

Meet Aneela, a young mom and creative crafty lady in the UK. This is just a tiny sample of the great photos she has on her blog:

I like this garland that she made with felt stockings. Have you noticed that garlands (Christmas and otherwise) are getting very popular?

I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas Day! Hugs to you!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Improvisational Christmassy Quilt

Most quilters either love this kind of quilt or they can't stand it; not many fall in the "take it or leave it" category. I like this quilt, but I really loved making it. It's basically a log cabin quilt of course, but done in such a light-hearted way. Merry Christmas!
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Sarah London Crochet

I love to visit Sarah London's blog and see all her wonderful crochet projects. I want to try this one, but I'm not sure how to get started with the first row; a long chain? Anyone have any advice? Check out her blog at:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gingerbread House Heaven

Isn't this the most beautiful gingerbread house? If you've made one of these, you know how hard it is to be that neat! Click on this link to see a great collection of gengerbread houses.

Do You Mind if I Knit?

I can hear everyone thinking, "No, I don't mind!" But that is the name of a wonderful blog I found today: I don't know this knitter's name or where she lives. Some bloggers play it pretty close to the vest, but she has a load of creativity on her blog so take a look. I love those curly thingys at the edge of the knitted piece above.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Virtual Christmas Presents for You

Here are some special presents that I found on the Internet for you. First, some chocolates. Then I thought a castle in France would be nice.

Finally, how about a vacation on Emerald Beach in St. Thomas. Stay as long as you like. Oh! I could really go for a week here, couldn't you? The water is nice and warm.

I hope the fact that these gifts aren't "real" doesn't detract too much. It's the thought that counts, right? Hugs to you!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hexagonal Granny Squares

Lucy from the north of England shows us how to make these wonderful hexagonal granny squares. Her how-to photos are excellent, and she has written the directions in a conversational way that is fun to read. I'm going to try this.
Thank you to my dear friend Pam Stahl of who sent me this link.

Quick Christmas Store Window

I saw this window display in New York City and wondered if this was really intentional! Or did someone say, "Wow, Look at this mess! Let's just take the whole thing and throw it up there!" (so to speak) I remember we had those big Christmas tree bulbs when I was little. They would get hot after a while. I hope you're having fun and making memories.Posted by Picasa

Quilts for Injured Soldiers

Here is a nice story about quilts made for injured soldiers. Click on the link to see a video: I liked watching this guy look at his new quilt and read the message on the back. This inspires me to make some of these quilts in the new year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lori's Candy Stix Quilt

Lori in Oregon just finished this gorgeous quilt to give to her niece. She used the pattern that I designed for my Empire Quilter's Guild Block of the Month. But she put her own spin on it, and I think it looks fabulous! Now I want to make one like hers.

See Lori's blog at:

Also, take a look at the new Blocks of the Month:

Directions for this block:
To make the block, you start with a background square, mine were 6.”
Cut the square in half diagonally.
Insert a 1” strip. Press.
Then cut the square diagonally in the other direction.
Insert a 1” strip. Press.
Cut the square in half vertically, insert a strip, press.
Cut the square in half horizontally, insert a strip, press.
Then trim the finished block back to a nice 6" square.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Granny's Last Dollar

On a recent visit to The City Quilter in Manhattan I saw this dollar bill with a red crocheted edge! And there are red beads surrounding George too. This was made by Katherine Knauer and she calls it "Granny's Last Dollar." This souvenir of the economic crisis of 2009 sells for $47.50.

Visit The City Quilter at: or go to 133 West 25th St. between 6th and 7th Aves.

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Jill's New Selvage Cornices

Remember we were trying to guess what Jill was up to when she showed us her selvage project-in-progress? Well she was making cornices, and she's finished already. Doesn't this look great? You can see "how-to" photos on her blog: . Take a look.

Jill, is that your portrait to the left of the window? :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Selvages in "Down Under Quilts" Magazine

Have you seen the new issue of Down Under Quilts from Australia? They're featuring selvages! Erica Spinks' authored the articles, and her beautiful selvage quilt is on the front cover. She used a solid beige fabric with her selvages, and she added hand quilting with black thread to echo the selvages. Terrific idea. This is the first selvage quilt to appear on the cover of a magazine!

Above, do you recognize my Tree of Life selvage quilt and Jodie Carleton's selvage frock? They also show Jodie's selvage chair on another page. Below see the selvage shopping sack by Linda Robertus.

Below, see my "Twilight Star" selvage quilt (left) and Linda Robertus' "Salvaged Selvedges" (right).

You can get a free digital edition of this magazine at:
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Terisa's Christmas Dress

I am so lucky! I just found "Running With Scissors," a blog by Terisa Brooks-Huddleston who lives in Napa Valley, California. You are going to love this blog! Make a new cup of coffee or tea, and click here: What a feast!

The photo above is "White Queen" by Nicole Marnati, Art Direction and Styling by Marcel Wardens Studio, Make-up by Palapa. I found this photo on Flickr and "Running With Scissors."

I was going to wear this dress for Christmas too, but it was too loose in the waist.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meet Michele Hardy

Michele Hardy is a very talented art quilter. You can get a peek at some of her quilts in this photo, but to see more visit her website: . Michelle sells her quilts at prices ranging from about $600-$5,000. Nice work, Michele!

Knifty-Knitter Flower Loom

When I saw this "Knifty-Knitter Flower Loom" it brought back memories of craft projects that I loved as a kid like weaving pot holders and making a long tube with yarn on a wooden spool that had little nails around the top.

I found this photo on Heather Bailey's blog: I bet you could find something like this at JoAnn or Michaels. Wouldn't this make a great stocking-stuffer (with some colorful yarn, of course)!

Remember when we used to call fabric "material?" Why did we do that?

Selvage Candy Cane Ornament

This candy cane ornament was made by Mrs. Schmenkman. She used Mod Podge. I'm going to ponder this; I feel some new ideas starting to percolate! Nice work, Mrs. S! See her blog at:
Thanks to Brenda at for telling me about this!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas in NYC

On Saturday I went to NYC for the Empire Quilters meeting. Afterwards I walked around taking some photos to show you. Above you can see the tall art-deco Chrysler Building. Grand Central Station (my destination) is lit brightly above the big taxi. This is 42nd Street looking East. If I turned around and walked West, I'd be in Times Square.

Above, you can see Bryant Park. This is behind the New York Public Library (Fifth Ave. & 42nd). The vendors booths were loaded with tempting merchandise. I'll show you some. The crowds were everywhere on Saturday, but it's a polite crowd and you get used to it.

I like Russian dolls; they remind me of my Lithuanian grandmother. The ornament below made me chuckle. This vendor had ornaments that he would customize for you with names or the date. I wonder what you would write on the ornament below.

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Mola Shoes!

Can you believe this? Mola shoes and boots. This vendor is "Mama Shaman, Briniging You the Wonders of the World." Natalia Swanson's websites are: and Her card says: "Unique Eco-Fashion, Hand Made, Fair Trade, Vegan." So there you go, all you need to know about the products. :)

I think I like these shoes (above). But I was in a "just looking" mode.

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