Friday, December 31, 2010

Selvage Cover for a Kindle

Talented selvage enthusiast Jill Bunis of New Jersey has a new Kindle so of course she's been making selvage covers. Aren't they wonderful? Look at those fabrics. I love that zipper fabric. Visit her blog Cre8fmomquilts to see her son Matthew's artwork too. What a creative family.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pinky's Looking for Adventure - Giveaway Today

Pinky has been living in a storage box for a year, and now she wants to travel. She was looking out the window this morning when I took her picture. As her mom, I want to make sure she goes to a good home, you know, a quilter's home. Can you resist those eyes? She says her best features are her 3 stegasaurus thingys on her back, her fancy pants, and she's very loyal. Oh, and she's reminding me that she has a great sense of humor too.

So leave a comment for the random drawing. I hope you're having a good week closing out the old year.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

AQS Quilt Art 2011 Engagement Calendar Giveaway!

Are you in the market for a new calendar? This one is spiral bound so it lays flat on your desk. There is a page for each week, and beautiful quilt photos to inspire you all year long.

Leave a comment to enter the random drawing. Tell us the first thing you're going to sew in the new year. I'll go first. I'm going to make a string quilt in the spirit of Bumblebean's blog about 15 Minutes Play. I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in New Zealand

Remember yesterday I said, "If you're in the blizzard, I hope you're warm and safe. If you're at the beach, send a picture!" Well Leeann in New Zealand did just that! This is what Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) looked like at Ruakaka Beach, south of Whangarei, NZ. Isn't it breath-taking? It was 86 degrees F and Leeann was swimming here. She says the sand is white silicon. Lovely. We're walking on white stuff too, but not as toasty.

Now that we have quilting friends around the world, I'm more aware of the fact that someone's enjoying summer when we're in the middle of winter. I always knew it, but now it's more real to me. I'm more aware of the fact that it's every hour of the day and night somewhere too. Hello to all our neighbors on Planet Earth.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Come in and visit! Tonight the wind is howling ferociously and it's snowing hard. I love a good blizzard if everyone's home and the power is still on! Reading by the fire with a glass of wine and one of those chocolate haystacks that I was complaining about yesterday is so nice. This afternoon I took some more photos to show you. (I'm writing this on Sunday evening.)

The photo below was taken from inside the dining room looking into the porch.

The quilt room below is starting to take shape. I'll have more photos soon. I like the Statue of Liberty next to the bolts of backing fabrics. Knitting needles are stored in vases on top of the other bookcase. The wire bird cage thingy is from Pier One Imports.

While I'm getting unpacked I thought I'd show you around. I'll get back to selvage stuff before long. If you're in a snowy place, I hope you are warm and safe. If you're on a sunny beach somewhere, send us a picture!
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm Leaving Candy-Making to the Experts

I promised to report about my candy-making efforts. These "Snowshoes" were the prettiest. They're basically buttercream frosting with a pecan pressed into it. Way too sweet, even for me. I won't be making these again.

The "No-Bake Chewies" below were really disappointing. The ingredients looked yummy: dates, raisins, walnuts, granola, and dried cranberries. I heated the mixture of buter, honey, Karo syrup, and I forgot what else, but when mixed with the first items, they didn't "stick." So I just spread it out on a cookie sheet. My DH said it was good ice cream topping. I'm not so sure. Confectioner's sugar is sprinkled on top. If they had been a success, I would have come up with a better name. Why name them for a process that isn't used in the making?

These chocolate "Haystacks" were pretty good. All you do is melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler, then mix in some chow mein noodles and drop in little haystacks. Well, okay, I admit that I was looking at the kids section of my cookbook by this time. Haha.

So I'll be saying good-bye to the kitchen and heading up to my quilt room. It's just as well that I don't learn how to make some delicious treat that I'd have to try to resist. If you're wondering why the candies are on aluminum foil, I didn't have any waxed paper, and I didn't want to waste my freezer paper because I need that for important stuff.
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you're enjoying a wonderful Christmas Day today - quiet moments as well as happy times with loved ones. I'm hoping something special will warm your heart.

My DH and I are planning to attend church on Christmas Eve, then spend the day at home visiting with our two grown sons. We may sit by the fire, open presents, play games, listen to Christmas music, and eat some goodies together. I'm going to try making chocolate candies for the first time. How hard can it be? Haha. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Hugs to you, my blogland friends.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Readers' Sentimental Ornaments

Gail from the Cozy Quilter blog has two very special ornaments (above and below). The bell is from her in-law's tree. When Gail's daughter was 3 years old she couldn't resist reaching out and taking the bell in her little hand, shaking it and saying "Look Mom, I'm making spirits bright!" Gail says "She certainly did, and she still does. She just turned 19, and Grandma gave her the bell to put on our tree."
This angel ornament was also given to Gail's daughter from Grandma the year that her daughter was an angel in their church Christmas pageant. They arrived early so she could get into her angel costume, but when she saw the costumes, she decided that she didn't want to wear one. But she still wanted to sing. She was the "rebel angel" that year. I think I'd really like that church. :) And Grandma too. What heart-warming stories. Thank you, Gail.

Joan Jordan has had this ornament (above and below) for many years and it's her favorite. She doesn't remember where it came from or when. It measures 2x3 inches with the doors closed. Isn't it sweet?

And here's a little present for all of you: some good news. Remember Myra in New Zealand who is dealing with cancer? Many of us have made heart blocks to cheer her up. (See the blue button in the sidebar.) Well, her friend Karen Jones reports that Myra is doing well. The initial tumor has shrunk, and the pain has stopped. Yayyy! In 3 days Karen will visit Myra and they'll do some sewing on the hearts quilt. Karen says Myra loves receiving all the blocks and good wishes.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Veronica's Selvage Christmas Card/Ornament

Veronica from Spain made her Christmas cards with selvages this year! What a wonderful idea. It looks like you can take the ornament off the card and put it on your tree also.

You've seen her selvage spider web quilt and selvage bag here before. She has some tutorials for making bags on her blog: Las Cosas de Vero. Feliz Navidad, Veronica!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More of my favorite ornaments.

This little pink man-in-the-moon has glitter on the back. I know it's weird, but I like it.

This harp has gold thread, and hand-painting on the bottom. Kinda elegant.

Speaking of elegant, I really love this one. We can't remember where we got it! If it was a gift, I hope they don't read this blog. The little metal angel-shaped tag on top says WC.

This is a favorite too, a big purple pansy. It has big green leaves on the back.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Here are some of my favorite Christmas ornaments.

My Dad and I found this ornament in a Christmas shop many years ago. He bought it for me. He and I were very close and enjoyed many long talks. He died 13 years ago after having Parkinson's. I'm lucky to have had him for a Dad, and this ornament reminds me of happy times. This ornament isn't fragile, and it should last a long time.

My DH and I bought this ornament in a department store when we lived in Tennessee. Each year everyone in the family would choose an ornament. The guys chose cars and hiking boots and boats. I always chose fruit or flowers or something wildly colorful.

This ornament is from the gift shop at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. I think it was made in South America. I have several. Isn't it pretty?

I think this angel is so graceful, and I like how the white shape stands out against the green tree.

Okay, now let's see your favorite ornaments. Email a photo to me at
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Welcome to my new home!

Here are some photos of our new home. We moved in a week ago. We worked like crazy to unpack and clean up for a family Christmas party on Saturday. It was such a wonderful time. We had a turkey dinner then a Yankee swap (Everyone brings a wrapped "white elephant" gift, then each person chooses a gift, opens it, trades it, etc. Lots of fun.), apple pie dessert, and lots of good visiting. You can see we are still waiting to put the cooktop backsplash tiles on the wall. (See above the flowers on the island.) But most of the house is finished.

We had just about everything we needed for the dinner, except I couldn't find the serving spoons, so we used long handled iced tea spoons instead. My sisters shared one water glass and one wine glass between them. Haha. We had such a good time. I'm still feeling a glow from the wonderful family day. Everyone happy and healthy at the same time.

This is the entrance foyer. A neighbor brought us a pointsettia. The "streaks" of light on the wall are created by the light fixture. More photos to come. Thanks for visiting. :)

Oops, little mistake. If you're looking for the post about ornaments, it'll be here tomorrow.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We Moved!

We have been building a house in Connecticut, and I'm happy to tell you that we just moved in! We've moved 8 times in 33 years. It's such a big project! You pack and pack, then when you think you're done, you still have to pack things like the telephone and the food in the refrigerator. And clean the fridge too! Then you have to start unpacking! And we're having a family Christmas party on Saturday. I caught a cold during all this, but things are looking up. Thanks for listening; I just had to whine a little.

I'll show you some photos soon. The quilt studio is shaping up. I can't wait to spend some quality time in there. Our Internet connection isn't working so I'm visiting our local Internet cafe to say hi to you. As you can imagine, I'm way behind in my emails. But I'll catch up and be blogging again soon.

I hope you are enjoying some peaceful and joyful moments. Hugs to you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Selvage Checkbook Cover Tutorial

Amanda Jean in Wisconsin at Crazy Mom Quilts has a tutorial on her blog showing how to make checkbook covers, including this selvage version. Nice gift idea. I know she did it 2 years ago, but I just found it, thanks to Sharyn at Kalama Quilts. Thanks, Sharyn!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Selvage Postcards with Rick Rack

Kay M. Peterson (from the Midwest, USA) made these pretty selvage postcards with a dash of rick rack. Her blog is called My Olive Branch because she assumes she'll eventually annoy all the readers, and the title is her official and continuing apology. Are you getting the idea that she's one hilarious quilter? You're right.
On another topic, we're moving today!! Finally our new house is finished. So I'll be unpacking boxes for a while (probably years, I hope not). Can't wait to get into that new quilt studio. I'll show you some pics soon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quality Time on the Computer

Haha. This is from Knitting Help. Have you ever noticed that non-knitters think you hold knitting needles the way you hold a pencil? The Keebler elves knitted like this on a tv ad too.

It would be kinda fun to build your speed and accuracy with a computer though. So much for the zenlike qualities of knitting.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stunning Selvage Quilt from Texas

Quilter Liz Broussard from Houston, Texas calls this quilt "Salvaged Selvages Sloped." The selvages were given to her by a fellow Stashbuster (a Yahoo group). Liz used telephone book pages for the foundations. Talk about upcycling! I love the zig zags going on here. It reminds me of the rippling pattern of water in a swimming pool. And the quiet black border is perfect. Great job, Liz!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Quilt from New South Wales

This delightful Christmas quilt was made by Soft Treasures in New South Wales, Australia. Quilts are offered for sale on that site. I love the curly branches. Isn't this a festive quilt?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Book Giveaway - Kool Kaleidoscope Quilts

I'm really excited about Ricky Tims' new book "Kool Kaleidoscope Quilts" published by C&T. First, he shows you the basic method summarized on two pages. Then each step is presented in detail. Basically, you sew fabric strips into strata, then cut triangles and kite shapes to create your big wedges. Take a look at the photos on the back cover, shown below.

Ricky has taught this method many times so the directions are clear as a bell. There are also many photos of inspirational quilts made by his students. He says he doesn't plan the quilt in advance; he just chooses fabrics he likes and lets the design develop. That's my kind of quilt! This looks like so much fun, and the quilts are gorgeous.

One thing though, this fellow chops up his selvages! What is he thinking? Somebody tell Ricky to trim off his selvages before cutting his fabric into strips, in case he wants to try selvage quilting. Some even have his own name on them! Haha.
If you get the chance to see Ricky's performance at a quilt show, don't miss it! It's wonderful.
Leave your comment to enter a random drawing for a copy of this fabulous book. As usual, you must live on Earth to qualify. Happy quilting!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Improvisational Christmas Quilt

The first step in creating this quilt was to make two Courthouse Steps blocks using just red and taupe. Next, I cut them both in half and stacked them for the center medallion "tree." (To make this work, the center "squares" were actually rectangles to start with. Otherwise the tree trunk would have ended up looking like short stubbs. You log cabin aficianados will know what I mean.)
This quilt grew from the center outward. It was fun to play with the reds and greens to make positive and negative spaces in the blocks. I took inspiration from the Gees Bend quilts for this one. I think the red and white striped fabric adds a little pizaaz, although it's a little hard on the eyes when viewed on the computer screen. I don't know if this quilt says Christmas, but it sure was fun to make. Happy quilting! Hugs to you.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Selvage Christmas Trees from NZ

Jenny in Wellington, New Zealand of the Romany Quilting blog recently made two selvage quilts using her Christmas fabric selvages. One is for a friend and the other is to keep. I like how the ric rac looks, and it covers up the raw edges too. Very clever, Jenny! Merry Christmas!

To read more and see the other quilt, click on over to Jenny's blog. Scroll down to the post on November 29.