26 November, 2014


I bought this book, The Quilt Block Bible, with a conventional flat binding. It was fine that way, it held the pages in as it was designed to do, but as I work my way through the book, writing up directions and stitching out the blocks, I found myself weighing down the book's cover by what ever means within arm's reach: a magnetic pin cushion, another book, whatever it took to hold the pages open to the desired page. This wasn't always a satisfactory solution.  Last month, during our "Bible" study work session, Quiltkeemosabe and I took a field trip to our local office supply store and surrendered our books for a spiral re-binding (as shown here); this was the best $5 I've ever spent, no more frustrating flip-overs! 

Now, our books stay flat and open to the proper page as we work our way through, without any weighty assistance! We'll meet again next week... I still have five more blocks to go before then, I'd better get busy. We're about one eighth of the way through the book and still enjoying every stitch, all while amassing an ever-growing collection of unique and colorful six inch blocks!
Life is Good!

22 November, 2014

Making The Bed

I've spent the afternoon making a bed... or, I should say, making bedding!  This is a doll bed for Lucy Ann for Christmas. There's no better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than spending hours on end in the sewing room watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and making gifts. I do hope my granddaughter, and her dolls, will enjoy this bed as much as we have already; because, before I could make this bed up, Mr. Goodneedle actually made the bed; this is a gift of handmade love from both grandparents.
It's a trundle bed; Lucy Ann's doll can have a doll-friend sleep over!
The bed is a treasure, handcrafted from maple, it will match the furniture in Lucy Ann's bedroom.
Mr. Goodneedle designed the raised panels and cut out the heart detail for the panel in the arched headboard; he made the mattresses for both beds from a thin sheet of plywood wrapped in upholstery weight batting.
The upper bed is completely outfitted with a fitted sheet/mattress cover, top sheet and matching pillows. The lower bed will have to wait until next week to receive the same treatment. I added a bit of piping to accent the sheet and pillow cuffs. The trundle bed's mattress is a bit smaller; the sheet set for it will be the opposite fabrics as the top (periwinkle polka dots with the whimsical print cuffs) so that Lucy Ann won't be frustrated trying to figure out which sheets fit which mattress!
I made the quilt from my stash collection of 2.5" strips, pulling out coordinating colors. The quilt is backed and bound with the same print as the sheets. (The quilt for the lower bed will be backed and bound likewise with the polka dot.)  Instead of batting I used a heavyweight flannel to achieve a soft quilt with a "drape" to it, I didn't want the quilt to be too thick or stiff and not hang well when the doll is asleep in the bed; I chose to quilt it simply with diagonal lines. Without a doubt, this is the most fun I've ever had making any bed!

Life is Good!

19 November, 2014

17 November, 2014

Suffering From Quilter's Block?

If you're stumped by what to quilt look no further than your collection of accumulated stencils; you know you have them by the drawerful! I went through all of mine over the weekend and found exactly the right motif (in stencil form) to translate into quilting stitches on "Coming Up For Air".

Use a marking tool that you trust to come clean and have at it!
This little "Meandering Leaves" border stencil not only fit nicely into the outer borders but also offers a corner turning option that I decided to use as a leafy "handle" suggestion over these strip pieced "baskets".

VoilĂ !

What's gathering dust sewing space? You might just enjoy 
getting reacquainted with your stencil collection as much as I did!
Life is Good!

15 November, 2014


My husband is outside blowing leaves...
while I'm inside quilting them as fast as I can.
Happy fall y'all~
Life is Good!

14 November, 2014

Coming Up For Air

"Coming Up For Air" ~ 60" X 78"
I've been on a roll lately, the queue of "to be quilteds" isn't quite as long as it used to be; I've been using up a lot of fabric (backings), quilting thread and batting too; it's all good. I'm loading this String quilt  top today, it's the product of an Ami Simms class that I took at Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival back in February of 2012. I was hunting for enough backing fabric (5 yards) for this one when I received a message from a friend last week that she had found an odd bolt of Marcia Derse fabric (no longer available) by Troy that's about as old this quilt top. She remembered that I had been looking for this fabric some time ago and set the bolt back for me, she assured me that there was enough fabric remaining to back this String quilt. I stopped my my LQS and purchased 5 yards yesterday! Score!! Or so I thought.
When I got home and introduced the front to the back it was apparent that this fabric just wouldn't work... it's too mushroomy-gray compared to the honey-toned creams on the front.; this wasn't turning out to be the match made in heaven that I had hoped.  Now I was faced with another decision; piece a back from matching scraps left over from the class or dive a little deeper in my stash closet... I chose to take the plunge!

When I came up for air this is what I had clutched in my hand... and, yes, there's enough; it's a fabric ("Painted Desert" line from Hoffman International) that I loved so much back in the mid 1990's I bought all that I could at that time; a long-ago purchase that's paying off today. It's the absolute perfect backing for this quilt... and, a name has been assigned to this quilt now too, in honor of today's diving adventure:  "Coming Up For Air"; that moniker describes not only the sky quality of the quilt's backing fabric but also my recent full-on run at finishing up quilting projects. So, what to do with a now prewashed and pressed 5 yard length of Marcia Derse fabric? Not to worry, it will likely come in handy twenty years or so from now... after all, I'm on a roll!
Life is Good!

12 November, 2014

Nearing The End Of The Road

"It's The Journey"  ~ 48" X 60"

All good journeys must, eventually, come to an end. I put the final quilting stitches in this quilt today... it's been a long road to the finish line.  It all began here, just over a year ago; with what was known as the Head For The Border challenge at my LQS.  There were some false starts, more than a few stumbling blocks, and many, many decisions along the way. The quilting was just as challenging for me; a wide variety of components tested my abilities every step of the way!  This evening I've been trimming the edges and preparing the binding. Just like with every great trip I'm rewarded, at this final juncture, with a wealth of happy memories; from the initial planning to all the stops and sidetrips taken in transit. My plan is to hang this wallhanging between the two front windows in the studio, directly over Snowbird; it will serve to remind me that life never is about the destination... it's always about the journey. All in all, it's been a great adventure, thanks for riding along with me!

Life is Good!