Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ring Out the Old

It's about time these "oldies" got out!  Am taking them to my friend Ruth's  mystery marathon quilting party for New Year's.  Who knows how they will look after this two day event.  Will post ...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Lights Up!

  Christmas lights are shining everywhere.  The days are getting longer now.  Hope and Peace to All!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas is A' Comin'

Santa (aka Kathie) came to my house early this year!  He brought this jolly Bow Tie quilt top and a huge bagful of postage stamps.  I must have been a very good girl this year!

Christmas cards have been arriving, too.  This special Baltimore Album card from Kim came stuffed with more fun and fabulous scraps.  Love the monkeys and other critters.  The yellow marshmallow Peeps may go into my Easter quilt, too.   I can hardly wait to cut these up, but what to do first?  Sew another page... quilt my Bow Ties...or write my Christmas cards???   I am wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas now (just in case those cards don't get done)

Friday, December 7, 2012

City Quilter

   I went to Victoria's trunk show at City Quilter last night.  It was so mesmerizing that I didn't think to take any photos of the event.  You really had to be there to feel the wonders she creates with fabrics and her generosity of spirit.  I have a feeling everyone went home encouraged to start a new quilt!  

But I must confess, I have sunk to a new low.  Spied this 1 1/2" scrap in the CQ classroom trash can.  Well, you know the rest....  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Page Ten...

....but who's counting.   I will probably go on making these forever.  Today's block has Shiela's fabrics mixed with mine...and a cupcake from Margaret...and a scrap from Kim.  There is a Liberty Lawn floral in there, too.  You have to hunt to find this shy little sweetheart.  Sorry if I am boring you with all my little loves....

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guess How Many???

How many stamps do you see here?  I stopped counting after a hundred, but I intend to try again...and I will enjoy each and every one again....and again as I add them to my album.  Thanks a million, Margaret!!!  My quilt is bound to be jazzed up by your huge colorful contribution.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


The first pieces of the Kandinsky puzzle are coming together.   All the different mediums and techniques will surely add a look of mystery.  But there are quite a few missing pieces yet.   The suspense is building....

Friday, November 30, 2012

Kandinsky Modular

My Metro Mod challenge block is nearly finished.  It started out with some hashed bits of hand dyed fabrics and Misty Fuse on a muslin base.  Some sheer fabric is holding down the "brush strokes" and is quilted with monofilament.   The colored bits needed blending, so I added water soluble oil pastels.  More is needed for smooshing those colors now.  I thank my friend Naomi for sharing her palette of tulle fabrics.  Pinned in place, I am ready to do a final stitching.

 I am so anxious to see how everyone's module will look together.  We all got a different piece of the puzzle.  Mine is shown  above.   And you can see Naomi's below...and Victoria's is on her blog today,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just in...

...from the left coast!  These special stamps are going straight into another new page today.  I love the Seattle stamp best, but the cute kitty, and the smiling sun, and the moos  are runner-ups.  I love the whole collection, actually.  Thanks a million, Sue!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Four for Sandy

My blocks for Sandy are in the mail today.  They are on their way to Donna in Tennessee who will make the top for a much needed quilt for someone in New York.  So it will be a round trip for them!  Thanks to Michele for organizing this drive.....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Looking on the Bright Side

What do you do when life gets tough?  Quilt, of course!  How do you stop feeling sorry for yourself?  Make a quilt for somebody who needs works!!!  Today I am making Wonky log cabin blocks for Sandy victims and getting my energy back.  Scraps are flying here again!!!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Storm Weary

The past two weeks have taken a toll on everyone in this area.  I have listened to so many personal accounts ranging from tragic to miraculous,  despairing or hopeful, anger, laughter, tenderness, gratitude...etc.  However, the overwhelming theme seems to be our dependence on one another.  The first responders as well as neighbors helping neighbors -- all are essential to our community.  My dear neighbor Mary brought me a thermos of hot coffee every morning when I had no power.  I am nominating her for sainthood!

The biggest highlight has been the arrival of my signed copy of Victoria's book.  I am thrilled to announce that my "new favorite quilt" is appearing on page 17!  I made this with a lot of help from my 15 Minutes Bee pals who are listed in the book.  Thanks again for all who contributed bow ties and "made fabric" for this special quilt.  It's another great example of community effort.

Now I want some down time to recover and get ready for whatever happens next.  Thanksgiving will have a whole new meaning this year.........

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In Case of Emergency....

I so appreciated everyone's kind words and concern during Sandy's siege.  This morning I finally finished cleaning out a soggy mess of spoiled food and then had to restock for our next storm.  Yes, we are getting a snowy Nor'easter today, as if we weren't humbled enough!  Got the usual nonperishables, of course.  If I had to choose my three most essential emergency items, they would be my little flashlight that hangs around my neck, dark chocolate (any brand will do), and my favorite quilt.  Skip the candles that are too dim for my elderly eyes, and also the bottled water and granola...yecch!  I just want to cuddle up with a good book and nibble away until the storm passes.  But....I packed up 2 suitcases of winter clothes for the hard hit folks living in Long Island shelters today.  Had some lap quilts to spare as well.  I know that when I am feeling most threatened, knowing that folks do care helps most of all!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012


After what seems a lifetime, I am back on again.  Am luckier than many folks here on Long Island, however.  It will be a very long haul for those who lost everything.  But everyone has been so friendly and helpful so far, that I do expect miracles.  I lost electric power but had heat.  My friend Kerrin asked me to keep her parakeet warm since she had no heat at home.  So darling Lily entertained me while I cut a zillion more postage stamps. She has a song and dance act which is just as good as any on Letterman.  I think she deserves a quilted cage cover for her efforts!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stamps From Across the Pond

This glorious packet of fabrics arrived from Sheila via airmail just in time.  I am preparing for "Sandy" this weekend, stocking up on canned food, batteries, etc....and looking forward to arranging more pages of postage stamps.  Who knows... I may even try hand piecing these little gems if we lose power.  It's been done before!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lifetime Project Update

I feel like this quilt will never end, and that's okay with me.  The cutting, sewing, and pressing is slow-- but far from tedious.  I find every minute I spend is pure joy.  Revisiting my old fabrics and combining them with new ones from friends is the best!!!  Today I will be playing with Lynda's bits....

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grandmother's Gifts

My friend Naomi delivered these homemade gifts to her grandsons last weekend...  IPad covers for Benjamin in blue, and in red for Zachy.  The Jungle print wipe-off board cover is for 4-year old Yaakov. I do believe that Grandma's are the greatest!  Mine made the best Swedish meatballs ever.  Her secret was in her hands is Naomi's.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More Adorables

These little cuties came in the mail today!  Lynda, a follower of mine, has generously sent these for my stamp collection.  I am amazed how much my day is brightened by bits of cloth!  Lynda is a blogger now, too.   Check out her curtains....or rather Quilt-ains.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Squares Squared

Pauline's doll quilt called to me at a recent Empire Quilters guild Show & Tell.   Squares squared -- my current obsession -- so simple yet charming.  I am busy cutting and sewing my postage stamps today.  Page seven is my favorite so far.  Still accepting offers  and am going to do some trading with "Shiela77" next.  Am very excited to include some fabrics from her delightful stash.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Inquiring Minds

A few days ago, my friend Earamichia asked about my Postage Stamp quilt.  I had to admit my progress was minimal due to the fact that I have countless works-in-progress.  I find it nearly  impossible to resist all those fun bees and delicious quilt-alongs out there.   Today I will start another page---  Thanks for asking!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Not a Lost Art . . .

. . .but a disappearing one---thread basting.  In the old days (here I go again!) before basting spray, long arms, and safety pinning, our only options were thread basting either in a grid or in radiating lines.  My, what a division of opinions that caused!  Then the discovery of using extra long basting needles speeded things up a bit.  And for a short while, the tacking gun!  We've come a long way since.

However, I am delighted to find a few quilters still use traditional methods and do wonderful work.  My Japanese friend Eri is basting this Indigo panel she brought from her home country.  The care and respect she puts into  everything she makes is inspiring.  She also makes delicate quilted jewelry and gorgeous Origami ornaments.  She is camera shy, so you will have to take my word that she has a beautiful smile as well!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ditch It!

Quilting in the ditch was the least preferred method when I began quilting way back when.  Have to admit I felt guilty every time I've resorted to it since.  But I was delighted when I read an article about it in my new American Quilter magazine.  I learned a few new tricks, which usually involve "unlearning" some old rules.  One starts at the outer edge of the quilt, not the center, and bastes 1/4 inch all around.  Then moving inward, stitch in the ditch all the borders,  then the sashing, and finally within the blocks.  Also gave some tips on thread...finest possible...and needles...#70...needle position to the right...and more.

Well, I put on some country music and put the pedal to the you-know-what and before I knew it, quilted the whole darn thing this afternoon.  I used a decorative stitch in various colors for the Color Block Challenge blocks.  That took the longest, but it highlighted each block so well.  Now all that's left to do is bury those threads and get an ice bag for my aching neck.  But it was worth it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Now You See It...

...Now you don't.

The Disappearing Nine-Patch strikes again!  It is becoming one of my favorite scrappy-looking methods.  Very easy, very fast , and I like those little bow-tie thingies that always happen.  I am making this quilt for the Thoman Knauer Baby Challenge.  I took on the challenge last spring as a summer project, but the summer whizzed by and it's soon due.  Better get quiltin' now.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

White Lightning Progress

Am adding my zigzag blocks slowly and working horizontally.  Reason?  It is a real mind-bender for me (borrowing Nifty's phrase) and it is not so easy doing black and white.  Achromatic, I believe it's called.  It is making me a little dyslexic too!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Any Excuse

Do I really need this fabric?  I can usually find a reason.  I hadn't checked the weather before I went to Quilters Take Manhattan on Saturday.  When I came out of Penn Station, I was hit with a brisk breeze and wearing my too summery outfit.  First impulse...go to City Quilter and get something to wrap around me.  Well, this fabric just "said party"....and it was half price!  So when I was seated at the event, I whipped out my yardage and covered my shoulders,  ignoring the titters from the folks behind me.  Yes,  I could have bought a shawl off one of the many street vendors, but my Dots 'n Roses is going to appear next on the back of my Color Challenge quilt!

Does anyone have a favorite excuse to share?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Love

What a delightful surprise!  My cousin Merle flew in from California for the Open and stopped in for a visit.  Have to admit I had my first real crush on him when I was nine and he was twelve.  It's pretty evident that my feelings for him haven't changed!  "True love never dies"....

....and I still feel the same way about quilting after forty-six years.  My Dump & Sew project has me pumped today.  Love to see what happens when I just put scraps together.   Call it chemistry?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to School Colors

A flashback when the school bus appeared on our block this week---the brand new box of Crayolas!  I just had to start another quilt today using my basket of solid scraps.  Beth's Dump and Sew Linky Party is my inspiration.  Gotta go and sew now....

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September Storm

Yesterday's tornados in New York did not deter the Empire Guild members one bit!  We had a wonderful guest speaker from Australia who had some stories from her home country about indomitable quilters, too.   The photo above shows a detail of one of her exciting landscapes.  You can see more on

Aftermath of the storm involved picking up the sticks.   And the lucky Block of the Month winner took home over sixty "Orange Pick-up Sticks" blocks!

Luckily, no one was hurt....and a good time was had by all.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Naomi made this quilted back-to-school Ipad cover for her grandson.  Looks so handsome in that blue plaid, doesn't it?  She is on her way to the Apple store to check out the fit.  Bet she will be taking orders for more when everyone sees it.  Great tutorials online for these, folks!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kindle Sllp Cases I & II

I made this quilted case for my son's kindle today.  It took less than an hour to make!  My first attempt took all day and has quite a few "mistaeks" so I will keep that one myself.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Little Quilted Gifts

Naomi and I began making little holiday gifts for our special guys today.  We don't want to spoil the surprise here, so we can only say we are using One Shabby Chick's tutorial for ***** cases.   They are small, so they should be finished in no time.  Yeah, right....only if we could cut the chatter.  But that's no fun!

Was a struggle getting that little ***** on to my free arm to sew in the lining.  Kinda like squeezing into shoes after a barefoot summer.   Stay tuned....more to come.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Approaching Storm

My lightning blocks are so easy to make that I am on auto pilot today.   

Ooops, something happens when I add another row....hmmmmm.   Not so easy as I thought.  Maybe I should recalculate.  Better put my brain in gear again!

Friday, August 24, 2012

White Lightning

My plan for summer was only finishing up last year's tops, and I have made a bit of progress there.  But I simply cannot miss the opportunity to join the quilt-along with Smazoochie!  I have been admiring the zigzag quilts that are appearing everywhere....LeeAnn's, Sujata's, Kim's and Beth's, just to name a few...and I am jumping in with my black & whites.  This graphic design is most exciting to me in these dog days of August.  Getting a real charge!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Barb's Been Busy

My friend Barb brought over her latest quilt today and really knocked my socks off.  Karen Griska's Asterisk block has been done so many ways, but it never fails to "wow" me.  The black gives those Amy Butler fabrics a whole new look...very chic!  Also like the square shape and skinny border for this design...very Mod!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Old & Ugly

When my friend Irene was about to toss her "old & ugly" charm squares, I just had to rescue them.  I figured that if you cut any fabric small enough, it looks good.  I have spent many months happily hand piecing these little 3-inch nine patches.   All together they have a genteel look...age appropriate, I think...and not ugly after all.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Snowballs in Hell

What does a person do when it is 90 degrees and 99% humidity?  Sew a quilt, of course!  I assembled 54 snowball blocks today, made by my bee pals at Two's Company and myself.   I love the scrappiness of each person's choice of reds and whites.  Have the backing and binding fabrics ready to go, but I need to buy some batting.  Want to use wool batting, as I plan to use this quilt for my naps next winter...ahhhhh.   Does anyone have a brand to recommend?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bucket List Bag

My friend Dottie is making this tote bag from The Creative Thimble.  Looks like the ultimate bag, so I am putting it on my bag bucket list.  It holds an umbrella, water bottle, phone, magazine, newspaper, laptop, business cards, keys, pens, and whatnot.  Pockets for ID, passport, and boarding pass are good for airplane trips.   Secure compartments are zippered....I need to master those...and magnetic snaps...those, too.
She sent me samples of some fabrics she's using.  They are going into my postage stamp quilt immediately.  I always hug my postman when he brings me fabric from friends!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Flag Finish

Was asked how I finished this little flag, so here's a close-up of the edge.  I received so many good ideas and finally settled on Diane's suggestion in her comment on July 7th...stay stitching the outer edge, cutting the backing the same size and the batting slightly smaller, then turning in raw edges and hand sewing them together.  My backing fabric shows a smidgen all around which gives a piping effect, and that's just fine with me.  I love the primary colors.  Big stitch quilting waves hold it together.   Finally,  I nailed it to my door (gasp!) so it would not blow away.  So that's the story, folks....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stars & Stripes Forever

My new flag is up and waving on my front door today.  Plan to keep it there forever, because I love it so much.  Thanks to you folks!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

OK...Now What?

I finished my 15 Minutes Play color challenge blocks and am ready for the next step.  How do I set these?  I had thought of joining the blocks and doing some fancy gold embroidery in the black spaces, in a Victorian mode... or adding some more splashes of the challenge colors as cornerstones.... or offsetting the blocks to create black zigzags.  Back to the design board...(I welcome ideas)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Come Sail Away...

...on Naomi's delightful craft.   I love the way she depicts waves...and that wonderful sky!  I so want to climb aboard and get away from it all.   I wonder where she will go next....