Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Terrain Potholders

I love small projects and using up scraps! These two potholders were constructed from the smallest pieces of fabric that were left over from a charm pack of Kate Spain Terrain fabric.

One was pieced improvisationally - then wide linen sashing and hand stitching with variegated embroidery floss were added.

The second one was finished in the same manner but the patchwork piece in the middle was foundation pieced to muslin that had the pattern printed with a rubber stamp. My friend, Dianne, gave me a few of these muslin squares that she had in her quilting archive. She and her guild pals used to hand stitch these as portable projects. Mine was done by machine just to try it out; the block is double thick when finished so it makes a good mat or potholder. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Next up in the rotation of projects is a triangle quilt. I have a 60 degree ruler and have cut a pile of triangles from 5.5 inch strips. Its a double whammy because I have had shot cottons on my to-do list for some time and half the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett shot cottons in shimmery colors.

 We'll see. I am tinkering with the layout and have more cutting to do...


Monday, July 23, 2012


My mama died.  

Alzheimer's disease crept in and caused a progressive mental and physical decline in her health. After four years in assisted living, my dear mom had a stroke last week and passed away a couple of days later. She did not seem to be anxious or in pain; she just stopped breathing and was gone.

My sister took such great care of her. We were all involved, of course, every step of the way, but Alicia had most of the day-to-day responsibility and poured on the love and attention. We were so grateful to the caregivers who worked where Mom lived and to the Hospice staff who directed her care in the last few months. Mom's final days and hours were greatly improved because of the planning that took place prior to the stroke. 

Dementia is no way to live and death is a part of life - but it is so very sad and final. Love and kindness surrounded our family and we had a nice backyard gathering with our children, grandchildren and friends on a sunny day in Reno. We will always have warm memories of our mother.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Meh Projects

Last winter, at some point, I got all excited about felting. I saw a demonstration of pre-felt making at a fiber school exhibition and I spent a few days pouring over some borrowed books and gathering materials. I was going to make a bag.

I didn't have any trouble figuring it out and the process was pretty fun. It was cool to see the fluffy fiber transform into something else entirely. But I didn't like the bag at all. The color became muddy and I really didn't know what to do about a handle and I tried to jazz it up with some embroidery - but, yuck, I don't like anything about it.

Some socks I just finished are also in the "meh" category. I was using up some leftover yarn, and, well, that part of the project was a success. The yarn became socks but they aren't especially pretty. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Quilting Bee

I am happy to have joined my first quilting bee. The old version of many quilters gathered around a frame in a neighbor's living room, stitching away together, has been replaced by the internet and the postal service. 

Rachel, at Stitched in Color, has organized a large bee on Flickr that has grown to almost 200 members. It is called do. Good Stitches; quilts are made collectively and donated to charities. After applying online, I was invited to join the latest circle called The Cheer Circle. We will each make a block or two a month with our first project designed by Claire. She chose a blue and white theme and a block called X Marks the Spot from Sew Crafty Jess. I think our first finished quilt will be donated to Project Linus. 

It will be fun to get to know some other folks who are quilting and blogging. So far, I only know first names and where the others live - Texas, California, Oklahoma, Maryland, Georgia and Nevada. Far flung, but we can make some quilts together!

Here is my first block - I will mail it to Claire in Austin. It will be great to see the finished project.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

NE Oregon Camping Trip

Dave and I went camping for a week in NE Oregon. Ray was finally out of school and off on his own vacation with another family so we loaded up the truck with a cooler and a tent and off we went. There is so much pretty country out there! 

Dave is frequently out touring on his motorcycle and he brought home some information a couple of years ago about the Oregon Trail Museum near Baker City and a brochure that outlined a loop around the Wallowa Mountains. It was enough of a plan to get started and we figured out the details as we went along.


We stayed off the freeway and tried to go slow. The map showed routes that looked interesting and we ended up on a few roads that were down to one lane dirt tracks in some pretty lonely places. We sure didn't wish to trade our four wheel drive truck for a brace of oxen and a covered wagon. The canyons and rivers were huge, and even now, with the landscape tamed by asphalt and dams, it is hard to imagine how people made it across 2000 miles in one season.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Rose Star Quilt Top

The top is finished! It took a VERY long time to sew together. There are 32 blocks, 6 half blocks and so many background pieces, I didn't want to count them up. 

The borders were hand stitched as well, not because I was a purist, but because it seemed the best way to get it all to lie flat.

 It measures 57" x 68".