Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CQJP fabric

These are some of the fabrics I will be using for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012.  I have been thinking about using photos in a quilt for awhile but I was trying to come up with something a little unique. Making a crazy quilt should give me the opportunity to make the quilt very personal.

I'm in amazing company in this group and to tell you the truth it's both intimidating and exhilerating.

AAQI Update

Beth Hartford is an AAQI Board Member and Priority: Alzheimers Art Quilt registrar. This post is about her purchase of one of the priority quilts at the Houston IQF this November.  If you have purchased or donated a quilt to this worthy cause, you should read this post.

The AAQI also recently held a Stanley Cup Quilt-Off which raised over $17,000.  Here are photos of the amazing and beautiful quilts that were donated, and the quilters who made them. 

It is a joy for me to make these quilts and donate them to a cause that is so dear to my heart: a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.  My mother and three of her siblings had Alzheimers and now my mother-in-law is suffering from the disease. To be able to do something I love, and that Mom and her sisters so enjoyed doing together, and also help fight the disease that took so many of them from us, is a privilege. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

December 2011 & January 2012 AAQI

Here are my December 2011 and January 2012 AAQI quilts. Very easy & simple but I imagine I'll be making quite a lot of this type of quilt for them this coming year. The first quilt is December 2011 and the second will be submitted for January.  Debra sent me a number of machine embroideries awhile back and this is one of them (my daughter fell in love it).  I'm trying to get some easy quilts done to submit to AAQI next year.  Once I've done 6 months worth of the Monthly Challenge, I may take the pressure off and drop out of that challenge, just concentrating on my $1,000 pledge. I'm more than halfway there but it may take next year's Houston Festival to reach the goal. There are just so many quilts being submitted at this point, people have a lot of choices. But that's perfectly fine with me. I know they sell tons at Houston and I'm happy to contribute.

Now that I'm ahead of that game, I plan on getting blocks ready for the CQJP 2012  and Take a Stitch Tuesday challenges. I'm joining a great group of quilters/stitchers and I'm excited and looking forward to a year of getting to know them all. Keep up with our progress at the Tuesday Stitchers blog. I'm honored to be part of this group!

Getting up a 4 am is not unusual for me but this morning not only did the dog need to go out but I got up to redo Stella's bandage by myself. Fortunately, she was uncharacteristically calm. I didn't eve have to hold on to her, she just sat there and meowed a few times. She did keep looking at me but it was more of a "Gee, thanks. That thing was nasty" look. Not like the other day:
 I don't know if you can see the eyes but they are totally dilated. When I see eyes like that on a cat I generally move slowly away.....

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Do either of these fabrics work with this 9 patch? Either as sashing or maybe an alternate block? Maybe both?

As I let the dog back in this morning, I looked toward my neighbor's house & saw this lovely sunrise.

December Alzheimer's Art Quilt Auction

The AAQI December Auction begins in four days. Mini-quilts make great gifts. Like this one and this one and this and here.

All the quilts are donated by quilters around the United States. All proceeds go to the AAQI which supports research and awareness initiatives about Alzheimer's Disease. AAQI has raised more than $679,000 since January 2006.

Please support the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Take a Stitch Tuesday

I have signed on for the Take A Stitch on Tuesday challenge, hosted by the incomparable Sharon. This is in conjunction with the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.
 And I've been scrounging through stuff I've been holding on to for a long time hoping to use one day. This is why I never throw anything out.

Today I'm getting organized, contrary to what that picture says, because I am committed to seeing this through.

Registration is still open if you want to join the fun and stretch your creative horizons.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This is what teamwork can do. I handed this quilt top over to Debra at the Houston Quilt Festival. Some of the prints were in my stash but many of them were from other quilters, and sent to me by Debra. So it's a collaboration of a number of quilters, most of whom do not know each other. But we love to quilt and we love to donate quilts to worthy causes.

Finished quilt - pieced by me, quilted by Debra.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Here's some inspiration to get me going on my Crazy Quilt adventure:

Lots of inspiration here

...and, oh my, here!

I'm looking forward to this. I've been looking for some different way to create a memory quilt using photos and keepsakes I've been hanging on to that I wanted to display. I think this will give me that outlet.

I Did It.

I tried to resist but I couldn't. I really didn't want to do this. I read about it here first, then there was this and it seemed someone was trying to tell me something. So I went over to here to read more and by then it was too late. I was like a hoarder in a thrift store. There was no going back. Help me Rhonda.  I signed up.

Guess what?
I've never done a crazy quilt. Never. But oh my. Aren't they wonderful? Who wouldn't want to make one? I haven't signed up for a challenge (except AAQI) in a long time, so it's about time I drove myself over the edge. Because I don't have enough to do, right?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sewing Room Revisited

I spent a couple of hours reorgainzing today and things look much better. I have a few more bins to go through & decide whether to keep or toss but most of my room is organized and I have a pretty clean, clear space for sewing. I even managed to get all the knitting & crocheting in the closet you see. I still need some shelving for the books and some miscellaneous stuff that is still upstairs but this is a big improvement.
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Trying to go from this: 


to this:

to this:

has not been easy. That little circle on the bottom of the cup has been giving me fits. My daughter says it looks like the cup is upside down. I'm hoping that quilting around it to give it more definition will solve that problem. Otherwise, I'm pretty please with this as a first effort. I loved the process. I read several articles and web sites on doing this kind of thing, all very helpful and I see where I could change some things and make it easier next time. It's always fun to try new things, even if I get stumped.

Today I am on the hunt for storage bins to organize the new sewing digs. It's ridiculous - so many bags and bins. I like this arrangement:

from this website which I think is a great idea. Clear bins let you see what is in them, no tops to keep up with, take on and off, etc. I like this.

I'm leaving in a minute or two to have breakfast with the family, then grocery shopping.  Later I plan on organizing my shopping and doing some online research to see if ordering some things online would be more efficient and cost-saving than driving to the warehouse place (B.J.'s), given what gas has become.  I know some sites offer free shipping for a minimum order. has a lot of stuff I normally buy about once a month, and they offer free shipping with a $25.00 order.

I hear the clump clump of DH's boots. I guess it's time to go.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quilt Suggestions Needed

I've been asked to make a quilt for someone's daughter's wedding. She wants to incorporate pictures of her daughter in the quilt so I'm looking for a simple, easy idea.  Does anyone have any ideas or links? It will be a wall hanging, I'm thinking; maybe 36" or so, incorporating 4 or 5 photographs, perhaps in 6 or 8 inch blocks. Something along those lines, and I'm flexible.

Any ideas?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Crazy Quilt

A beautiful crazy quilt here at Yesteryear Embroideries. The handwork and detail is gorgeous. Lots of details at the link.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


You little minx!

Fun website, Bramcost Publications, for lovers of Vintage knitting, sewing, crocheting, etc

In Other Quilting News

More pictures of my progress on the November AAQI quilt:

I chose a polka dot background since it's a little on the whimsical side and that's the direction I'm going with this:

Cut out the fusible pieces and placed on the outline. The fusible material I use allows you to reposition the pieces before ironing which is just great.

Finally the pieces in place - I'm pretty pleased except that she looks a little angry, which is not what the photo looks like. Some of the details were drawn and I have some more work to do but I'm pretty pleased with this first effort.

Making Disorganization Work

In the process of trying to organize this train wreck I've created by switching rooms and dumping all of my fabric, sewing projects, etc. down here in the spare room I came across this lovely red and green block which I probably made twenty years ago. I was looking for some hand embroidery patterns online to make a table runner for a friend. She recently bought a cottage at Callaway Gardens and plans on spending her weekends and holidays down there. This block is pretty large so it may turn into a table topper instead but I'd forgotten all about it and I think it's a good starting point.

Friday, November 11, 2011


As promised:

This first piece is from Scrap Quilts by Judy Martin, a great book with loads of patterns for pieced, paper pieced, and applique - if you're a pattern kind of person, and sometimes I am.

I'm only showing the center of the wall quilt because it has a hideous pink border around it at present, and I'm going to change that. I'm also going to change the darker green leaves for a more muted green. I was never happy with those leaves! Amazing how our tastes change. I'm actually glad that I never finished this because I would have been very unhappy with the results.  These fabrics are so 1980s! I like to think, perhaps incorrectly, that I've grown a little as a quilter in that I am somewhat more selective, maybe even a bit more sophisticated, about color. It's something I am constantly working on.  

The next three are from Mimi Dietrich's Baltimore Bouquets. I started these blocks a mere five years or so ago for a monthly challenge. The idea was that I'd make four different sets using four different color schemes or fabrics or techniques. And I did finish two of the sets! One was a monochromatic color scheme using some of the same dupioni silk you see in these blocks.

I look at these blocks as sort of a poor gal's Baltimore Album quilt but they are lovely in their own right. I've seen various blocks from this book in numerous quilts.  I love the textures and I added to that with some embroidery and beading.

The little book opens up by the way:

This is my priorty UFO at the moment so I'll keep posting as I go along.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November AAQI and Houston

Right now my favorite thing is the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (November auction going on now, by the way [EDITED: Auction ends tonight!). November's AAQI monthly challenge - one of them - is a self-portrait so I decided to do a portrait of my daughter instead. She is a lot easier on the eyes. I read about the technique below on the Internet somewhere. Ah yes - it was the Interpret This! challenge hosted by Debra Spincic a while back.

I took a picture of my daughter doing what she does frequently, drinking coffee, then edited it on Piknik where you can choose an application called "posterize". This gives you a sort of outline which I traced with a big sharpie, then traced onto fusible web. Next step is to chose the fabrics.

I've never done this before so  I hope I don't get hung up on getting it "right". In fact I might go for some truly whimsical fabrics just to force myself out of that box.

I read Debra's rundown of the Houston quilt show and I pretty much agree with her assessment. I do love the Japanese quilts, however. I doubt I will ever tire of them. I know Debra likes lots of color and I do too but I love the elegance of the Japanese quilters. I agree with Debra - not much new, nothing really blew me away. I did love the 12 x 12 International Art Quilt Challenge which I thought was the most original exhibit there. Lots of inspiration in those pieces.

I'm kind of over the extreme machine quilting I see. The top honors for a couple of years have gone to phenomenal quilts but it make me wonder how much farther can this go?  It's certainly admirable and has it's place.  I really am more impressed with handwork:  applique is my favorite. The Baltimore Album quilts last year alone were worth the trip. Scrap quilts are a very, very close second.

It's all in the process for me. I love making quilts and giving them away or donating them. Quilting should be enjoyable for everybody and there is room for everybody. I've learned that every quilt I make doesn't have to be the best quilt in the world. But it sure is great to see those breathtaking examples of human creativity. 

Tomorrow: pictures of REAL authentic UFOs.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I came back from the Houston Quilt Festival with a lot of pictures, inspiration, and good intentions. I have actually pulled out a UFO that I'm determined to finish. I've also committed to continue this blog, for what it's worth, and to minimize my time on the evil Facebook, the spawn of Satan. Moreover, I've moved all my sewing downstairs

which gives me more room although it needs a tiny bit of organization (I'm working on it, okay?). While I don't think I'll be  invited to join this crowd at least I'm not squeezed into a broom closet like before. (Also, nice shot of the trash can.)

On the right is the lovely lady who bought one of my Alzheimer's Art Quilts. We shared not only a love of quilts but our names: both Deborahs and even had the same surname. . Hey, we even LOOK alike (a little). Got to meet Ami Simms, too. Four of my quilts sold at Houston!

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the UFOs I have dragged out to salvage and hopefully finish--some early applique work. You can offer advice on how I should finish them.