Monday, January 31, 2011

Two Feet of Snow

Thanks to my friend Kim who sent me this photo of "two feet of snow." Victoria of Bumble Beans says it was made in New York City last year. And we're expecting more snow tomorrow! Where are we going to put it all?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Next Step on Improv Solids

It looks like this is going to be a center medallion after all. I really like the sawtooth border on it.
Maybe a border of piano keys will come next (below), then another sawtooth border?

This time of year colors look especially delicious. I hope you're having a delightfully quilty day.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Quilters - Sweet Moment

Do you remember the first time you heard the word "quilt," or the very first piece of fabric in your stash? I don't either. But I witnessed it with some newbies.

Yesterday I started teaching quilting at a clubhouse where people with mental illnesses come to socialize, have lunch, etc. We hand-sewed pretty 6" squares together to make small quilts. When they started to get some pieces sewn together, the questions began: "What exactly do you call this?" (quilter's cotton fabric), and "How do you buy it?" and "How much does it cost?" "It's so nice and soft." "Do you have any more bright colored ones?" "Look, this one has birds." "Can you buy these already cut?" Everybody got a zip-lock bag with needles, thread, scissors and a pile of fabric squares that they chose. Next week I'll bring more bright ones. There were four students, but we'll have more next time I bet. How can you resist having that much fun sewing and chatting? One quilt will be for a new grandchild and another for the quilter's mother. Sweet.

The illustration is called "Summer Flowers" by John William Godward from Painting Here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Quilt Top is Done

It feels so good to be settling into my new quilt room. If you're a frequent visitor you've seen this quilt in progress. My favorite way to create a quilt is to make it up as I go along. I'm always surprised. The outer edge of this quilt looks a little like a postage stamp to me. This quilt measures 55" square. Now I have to go look at all those title ideas you suggested!
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Little Side Project and More Snow!

It was a dark and stormy night, seriously. But I had the lights on so I could watch the snow and do some sewing. The quilt top that I've been showing you is finished (photos tomorrow). The 15 Minutes Play blog inspired me to make this happy improvisational block. It measures 10"wide x 13" high. Maybe this will be a center medallion, or maybe I'll just keep making more blocks.
If you're the one who's been praying for more snow, enough already! January has been a record-breaking month for snow in New England. I love it. This little porch is full!

That's my DH in the tractor. We had to pay someone to plow one recent storm when the tractor wasn't working and it cost $100. Can you imagine? That's 10 yards of nice fabric!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Antique Quilt by Marczella Szabo

This stunning quilt was made in 1948 by Marczella Szabo for her grand-daughter Norma. Doesn't this look like the modern quilts that you would expect to see in a book like "Material Obsession?" I'll ask the authors of that book to take a look and comment on this post. I love the fabric combinations she chose. And those blue squares on white look very modern to me.

Marczella was a very talented quilter and crocheter, and she was the great-grandmother of Mirja, a quilter and blogger in Michigan. Mirja says the applique is perfect, as is all the hand quilting. You can see more on her blog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Selvage Rosettes - Giveaway Too

Heather at the How Do You Do This Again? blog (you know her as the mom of fabulous fashion model Lily Bear) likes to embellish her selvage creations. Look at these charming selvage rosettes! And I love the look of stacked buttons too. Even a bead on top of the buttons is nice, or a pile of beads.

Heather made three little selvage bags and you can win one on her blog. Good luck.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Selvage Straps from One Shabby Chick

Have you seen what Amber from Hawaii has been up to on the One Shabby Chick blog? She made a beautiful quilt using yellows and grays, and it looks great. Then she combined some selvages and patchwork to make camera straps. She'll be putting them in her Etsy shop. Nice job, Amber!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Selvage Spools Quilt Top

Have you seen Jacqui's clever Selvage Spools quilt top? Like the Post Office, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," Jacqui will get her quilt photo! (The above quote is inscribed on the James Farley Post Office in New York City. I thought it was the Post Office's motto, but not so, according to Wikipedia.)

Back to the quilt; you can see more photos on her blog: Tall Grass Prairie Studio. Did you notice that the selvages match the spools? She also has links to sites where you can donate to Australian flood relief, and a photo of her quilt that appears in Stitch magazine. Jacqui is one talented lady!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Meet Bari J.

Bari J. is the author of a new book published by C & T, "Inspired to Sew." I took a look at her blog and was so impressed with her style, that I had to show you some photos of her work. The machine applique above includes a little selvage - now that's high style indeed! Visit her blog and see the pretty blue hexagon quilt.

Bari J (the J is for Jill) is also into quilts, collage, jewelry, handbags, crafts and clothing. She has designed three lines of fabric. Bari J likes to create patterns for vintage looks for modern women. Is that jumbo ric-rac in the quilt below?

She has such a unique style. I really like this. Can't wait to see the book. Has anybody seen it?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mystery Giveaway and a New Blog from Colorado

I'm not tellin' what's in this box. You have to win it to find out. See below.

I couldn't resist this photo of Lily Bear: great smile, chubby toes, couture outfit, the works! It's from Heather's brand new quilt blog called How Do You Do This Again? See her selvage bag there too.

How to Win: Visit this new blog and sign up to Follow, or leave a comment, or just take a look. Then come back here and leave a comment. Nothing fancy. It's a random drawing. (Sorry, you can't win the baby!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Serial Quilt and Baskets in Denver

Here's the latest on my current quilt project. Yesterday I added the outer border of red triangles and started making the gold piano key border. I'm liking it. Maybe one more border. We'll see. Thanks for all the great name suggestions!

Here are two close up photos of basket quilts at the Denver Art Museum. They allow photos. Red and green quilts are such a classic. The cherry basket below is woven green strips.

I hope all is well with you today.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow Day Quilting Again

We had snow and ice all day yesterday, and you know what that means: guilt-free sewing time. I added a border of dark "piano keys." Next will be a repeat of the red triangles. Any ideas for a name for this quilt?

On Monday, before the storm, I took this photo of the post office (center, above) here in Litchfield. The snow piles are massive. I wonder how long they'll be with us this spring.

As the sun was setting, I noticed how pretty these flowers looked. They smell like springtime. More selvages and giveaways coming soon.
I hope you're having a quilty day.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whimsical Tree Block from Applique Today

Have you seen the wonderful blog Applique Today? Joanna is originally from New Zealand, but is now living in New Hampshire. You can find this block in her sidebar (on the left) and click for a tutorial. Such a simple and delightful block. Fancy binding on this little quilt too.

Also take a look at Leeann's blog Quilt Whangarei in New Zealand. She has a tutorial for a Disappearing Four-Patch block that looks tedious to make, but is quick and easy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quilt Progress and Sunday Drive in Connecticut

My new quilt project is coming along little by little. I wasn't planning on including any "humility blocks," but they showed up anyway.

My DH and I went for a drive yesterday in northwestern CT and we saw this "patchwork" bear in front of a little gift shop, the Wish House in West Cornwall, CT. Below, you can see the covered bridge.

Then we drove to nearby Millerton, NY to get some tea at Harney Tea. Yum!

Welcome Thalia, follower #1,000. Can you believe it? At first I wondered if anybody would sign up! She will receive a prize. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Woven Selvages and Myra's Heart Blocks

Carol from South Dakota made a bag with woven selvages for her quilting buddy Jenny who lives in New Zealand. Carol introduced Jenny to selvage quilting a while back. Very clever weaving idea, Carol!

Take a look at My Fat Quarter to see Myra's collection of heart blocks made by quilters from all over the world. Many of them are Selvage Blog readers. You can still participate. (Click on the blue link in the sidebar.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Empire Quilters Raffle Quilt

The Empire Quilters made this fantastic quilt called "Subway Series" to be raffled at the Quilt Show in NYC coming up on March 26 and 27. Isn't it a beauty? The scenes are from New York City subway stations. Click here for more info or to buy a ticket.
Pineapple center medallion work in progress: Some of you asked how wide the strips are in my pineapple block in yesterday's post. The strips are 1 inch wide (so about 1/2 inch finished).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blizzard in Connecticut is Cause for a New Quilt

We got 22 inches of snow! I took these photos yesterday after enjoying a day of sewing and baking. I spent the whole day having fun and didn't feel guilty for a second. This tradition was firmly established when I was little and school would be cancelled because of snow. That meant a day of fun and no work.

The porch on the second story at right (not above the front door) is off my quilt studio. I opened the door, took a picture, and closed it! See below, haha.

I don't really need all this thread to be right next to my machine, but I like seeing it there. My machine is a Juki 98Q. It's very fast and sturdy but it doesn't do anything fancy, not even zigzag.

Wanna see the quilt I started? First I spread out all my solids on the floor and picked some colors. Then I went wild with a big pineapple block (it's fun to make them by eye) and decided to use it for a center medallion. Now I'm making borders to surround it. I'll keep you posted as it develops. I love to make up the design as I go along, and try not to "overthink" each decision.

Do you plan a quilt design completely before making it, or do you decide as you go? They both have their advantages.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Won the Blogland House Blocks!

Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt in California asked quilters to make a house block with the name of their blog on it (if applicable), and send it to her. She was celebrating the friendships we quilters enjoy in blogland. I made one that had some selvages on it, of course, and sent it to her back in October. She divided the blocks into groups of 9 and I won a batch!
It's going to be fun to put these together in a quilt. I really like that big Canadian flag. That's from Riel at The Q and the U. What a good idea! Every block has some red "tying them together" and I love them all. I never expect to win things, so this is quite a surprise. Thank you, Beth!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quilting Has Taken Over His Family

Take a look at this article written by Oliver Willms from Canada who's mother, grandmother, and sister are all quilters. What a lucky guy!

Thank you Gail for sending me this link. (This unrelated photo is one that I found on

Winner: Patty from Michigan won the book "Picture This." Yayy, Patty! More giveaways coming soon so stay tuned.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Field Trip Today! We're Going Swimming

Yes, it's another surprise Selvage Blog field trip! Since this is a virtual trip, you are just in time. And it's free! As I write this, the wind is howling and it's freezing cold! Isn't blogland wonderful? (Each place is described below the photo, just so you know.)

This infinity edge pool was featured in Elle Decor magazine. Isn't it exquisite? They don't say where it is.

The largest indoor swimming pool in the world is the "Ocean Dome" in Japan. It's 300 meters long by 100 meters wide. It looks like it has waves.

The world's largest outdoor swimming pool is in Chile. It's 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, and holds 66 million gallons of water. I bet it's easy to get a room with a pool view here.

The Joule Hotel in Dallas, Texas is famous for its pool which partially hangs off the 8th story! That would make me really nervous. I hope that glass wall is very strong. No group cannonballs, ladies!

The pool above is in Bali, photographed by Sean McGrath, posted on Flickr. Oh yes, please!
Which is your favorite?