Monday, December 31, 2012

Remembering Mom

Eight years ago, on New Year's Day, my mother died after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease.
I miss her every day.
Love you Mom.

Finish Line In Sight

Well almost; and thanks to all you who apparently visited from the CQJP 2013 web site. Here are pictures of my last three blocks which, if I have to stay up all night, will be finished before tomorrow:

Oh wait. This is our new foster puppy, Brit.

December block

November Block

October block - still in progress

(edited: new colors for a new year)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Catching UP

My vacation really got me off track, big time; however, here are some photos (assuming Blogger will let me upload them) of my progress since then:

Okay, so blogger won't let me upload. Here is a link to my Flickr account if you're really interested:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Getting Close

Here's what the whole piece will look like. I finally decided on how to approach the center block. This looks okay to me.

Not finished with the handwork, you know how long that always takes me.

But, I like it. Can't wait to finish.

Leaving for London Sunday night, then to Tel Aviv. I will be gone for 2 weeks, then it's time for Houston. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Full quilt - new idea

Another thought is to do away with the center picture and do another cq block. Perhaps add some smaller photos.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

CQJP Blocks: Gimme some lovin' , please.

Here are two different versions of the center block. If I go with the bottom version, I'd do a lot of hand embroidery around the picture on the white linen. Do you like the roses on the first version? I'm not sure. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

CQ blocks - finished?

All the blocks together. Still not sure what to do about the center. 

Every time I look at it, I see something else I need to do.... :-)

It's been fun. But to complete the challenge, I need to do another small project.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

If you haven't seen North & South, based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell, you've missed a classic.  Written by the author of Cranford, it's a much darker view of Victorian England but compelling and romantic. This was my first glimpse of Richard Armitage, a phenomenal actor and that assessment has nothing to do with the fact that he might be the most handsome man I've ever laid eyes on.

It's extremely well done as only the BBC can do, much attention to detail, beautiful costuming, and an excellent adaptation of the book. WATCH. IT.

You can also read the book (it's wonderful) but watch the series first so you can envision Richard Armitage for all 300+ pages as John Thornton. :-)

Then watch season 7,8, and 9 of MI-5 because RA plays Lukas North....for three seasons. Then you can watch Robin Hood (RA=Guy of Gisborne)..... and don't forget about The Hobbit which comes out in December (RA=Thorin Oakenshield...I may have to re-read that book...)

I've done my research!

August CQJP Block & the Big Picture

Almost there.

The August block is the middle one on the left. I still have a few spaces to filling.

My next project is the final block, the one in the middle which consists of the large picture of the Aunts at the quilt frame.

I tried using pieces of linens, but that really seemed to swallow up the picture. My thought has always been to use plain linen fabric and do some nice floral embroidery and applique around the photo.

I have a beautiful dresser scarf, something no one uses any more, that is either a really fine cotton or linen, I can't tell which. The embroidery is lovely but I don't want to use it here. There's a large enough piece in the middle that I can use to mount the photo on and use for the center block.

I was thinking of framing the picture in lace.  Another thought was to use some wider silk ribbon, secured with embroidered roses, perhaps.

Your ideas and comments are appreciated!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CQJP - Some New Details

I haven't been posting much because my camera is broken. I'm saving my money for a trip in October, and debating whether I want to get it repaired or buy a smaller camera for the trip. Thus, no decent camera right now.

Lately, since I'm pretty much caught up with the CQJP blocks, I've been evaluating and enhancing what I've done.  Here are just a couple of details:

Here I've filled in some blank spots on the original linens, and added lots of beads to the buttonhole stitch curves above. I used green and lavender to echo the colors in the linens.

More leaves.

I'll be so happy to get a decent camera. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Camera (the good one) is still on the fritz so I've posted my TAST stitches over on Tuesday Stitchers. I won't reload them here.

Last night (actually early this morning) I watched Margin Call. You can read about it at It was a completely engrossing film about a particular investment firm which is staring into a financial abyss. Would anyone do the right thing? Makes you wonder how often this kind of stuff goes on. Is that a naive observation? Probably. Great acting - great line by Jeremy Irons, telling a young genius to explain the situation to him: "talk to me as you would a small child, or a ...golden retriever"

Two months until I go to Israel!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Catching Up with the CQ Blocks

Below are my July and August blocks for the CQ project:

And here are all the blocks together, not quite finished with the right and left blocks in the center. 

I cut some cabbage roses from the fabric Debra sent me. I really have in mind to surround that center photo with flowers somehow but I don't want to overwhelm it. I've also got more linens, and some beautiful hand crochet trim I would like to use, since it was made by one of the ladies in the quilt.

Just keep playing around & see what develops.

The last month has been crazy, with planning for my trip in October and then right on its heels, the Houston trip. Also, it's the end of our fiscal year at work and it's always a stressful time.  I'm doing an awful lot of garment sewing on the weekends and trying to keep up with the TAST (I'm 2 stitches behind) and CQJP (pretty much current).

I think things will calm down after August.

But, I did get a promotion at work. That's the good news! And, there isn't any bad news, knock on wood.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

July block

July CQ, still in progress but nearly done (I think). This is the Aunt Peggy block, Mom's youngest sister. Pictures are from the 1960's.

The rick rack in the upper left is from Malaysia. I found it on Etsy. Sorry about the picture quality. My good camera is broken & I haven't made it to the camera shop yet.

The bonnet stitch is one of the later TAST stitches. It was done on the seam in the upper right hand side.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

CQJP - June and an Overview

Here's a view of the completed block and my July block, which I've just begun stitching. 

Looking at the photos, I wish I'd thought of  arranging them so that they form a big circle around the quilt. Just didn't occur to me. I noticed this when I put the bottom middle block next to the bottom right one. That would have really made the eye travel around the quilt. Next time!

The middle block will consist of the photo I have up and I am thinking I'd like a lot of flowers - appliqued, embroidered, ribbon, fabric - something of that nature, surrounding the photograph. 

I also need to soften the angles of the linen pieces in the middle, perhaps some of the florals overlapping those would help.

Your comments are welcome!

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Small Problem...

...which has been corrected.

Here is the preliminary layout of the entire quilt (disregarding extraneous photo in the middle). This is the back of my design board. I had something else on the other side and I've just never switched these over. The other side is much nicer looking.

This is the sixth and final "aunt" block. It should be in the lower right hand corner, chronologically. But I realized after stitching my mother's block that hers should have been the middle block, with the two linen pieces pointing up. That was my first screw up. So I decided, what the heck, this is for me/my daughters and we know who came first. And if anyone doesn't know, does that really matter that much? No.

Then I started block 6, Aunt Peggy (bottom pic) and stitched the basket (lower right). Pointing those linen pieces in the right direction will make the basket upside down. So I pulled out the pics, which I had really just tacked down. This will be the first block in the second row-as you can see in the top picture. I'll have to do another one for Peggy, bottom middle, with the correct placement of linens and pictures.

Eventually, I will be doing something to soften those hard edges and angles created by the linens. They're too stark for the overall effect that I want.

This will probably work out better anyway, since one of Peggy's photos is a little large, and I can make a larger space to put it, and place it so it is balanced and fits in with the other blocks' photo placement.

I've got to start thinking about the middle block and how it's going to look.

I hope you followed that. It's very early and I'm probably not making sense.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I survived my third Independence Day Parade in Marietta, where it was in the 90's - practically a spring day after last weekend.

However, between not getting much sleep, the heat, the sun, and a visor that was gripping my head like a vise, I have had a splitting headache all day. Bitch/moan, bitch/moan.

Just for fun, and because I don't have a thing to post today, here's a really sweet Youtube video that I watch about once a day because it just makes me happy:

If you haven't seen this, you've probably been in Siberia for the past few months.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

CQJP: June Block Progress

Not much progress. It's slow go, and I can't find decent photos of my mother's youngest sister, Peggy. Here are some details:

You can see my Palestrina Stitch over at Tuesday Stitchers. Once I got the hang of it, I really liked it - as with most stitches.

I am having Scottish oatmeal for breakfast and boy is it bland. Needs more something - sugar? butter? I thought grits were tasteless without accoutrements.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

CQJP Progress & TAST Stitch

This is the Cabled Chain stitch which you can see on right. I'm using it as a basket handle. Or, you can interpret that motif as an ice cream come, whichever you wish. This is block 6 of my CQJP project, dedicated to my Mom's youngest sister, Peggy Ann, for whom I am named (the "Ann" part). Today, Peggy is the last of the eleven children in my Mom's family still living. Sadly, she does not communicate with the family. But she was a fixture on Wednesdays at the quilting bee/sewing circle/coffee klatch, so she has a block in the quilt.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Semi-Daily Detail: CQJP Block 6

Chain, detached chain and bullion
using some of the variegated perle cotton . LOVE the colors!

 Ready for my close up, Mr. Demille...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tennessee Waltz

Years ago I made this quilt with the intention of having my aunts quilt it for me. However, before they could get around to it, or before I could get it finished, they moved out of the old neighborhood and no longer quilted. So it sat in a closet for years, until finally Debra got her long arm quilter and whipped it out for me one afternoon. :-)

Now it's hanging in my new office, and I think it looks super.

One UFO down, many more to go....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Daily Detail: CQJP Block 6

Perhaps I should retitle these posts "Every Other Daily Detail" ;-)

My tried and true, go-to vine & rosebuds - feather plus French knots. I love the texture.

Buttonhole wheels and laisy daisy.  Plus cretan stitch on the right. More embellishments needed. I'm doing the basic layer at this point.

Couldn't resist: on sale at Hobby Lobby:
Variegated perle cotton floss...

Monday, June 18, 2012

CQJP: June Block

Only a couple of weeks behind schedule, I'm just beginning my June CQJP block:
I'm off topic a little here but I've been doing some garment sewing recently. I saw this fabric at 
where I often shop. However, I think they've sold out.

I love this skirt pattern: New Look 6053. It takes me a couple of hours to stitch it up. I even lined this one with some wonderfully soft rayon I bought a few years ago when I thought I was going to hand dye fabric. That didn't last long, and I was stuck with about 4 yards of beautiful 100% rayon. I thought about making several white blouses or tanks but it worked beautifully as a lining.
I prefer skirts and tops to dresses. I'm so long-waisted that dresses are (1) hard to fit and (2) uncomfortable.

Here's the top I made (New Look 6735). This fabric is a very soft rayon knit blend, which I bought in white and pink. I never had much luck with knits so I practiced on a piece of knit fabric that I wasn't crazy about. I like the way this turned out although  the neckline is a little wider and lower than I normally like but it will work. Having a serger has made a big difference. Now I just need a coverstitch machine.

New Look patterns offer a lot of  easy, basic, versatile pieces. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

CQJP - May Reveal

It still isn't complete but I'll leave it here for now and revisit it later. I still see more and more possibilities every time I look at it.

I'm particularly pleased with the border around Mom's later photo. It's one of my favorites of her, actually both of them are.

Happy Father's Day to all Dads! We had a nice traditional Sunday breakfast with home made blueberry muffins. Now we're all just enjoying a beautiful sunny day. I plan to work on more garment sewing today and  hand work tonight in front of the telly.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Daily Detail: CQJP Block 3

Since I have a number of photos in my blocks, it's been challenging to come up with unique and appropriate ways to attach them to the quilt. I relied on lace and trims initially. Here I've used ricrac couched with a zig-zag chain, then added a fly stitch and laisy daisy on the outer edges. 

I love this photo of my Aunt Mae. She must have been very young here - in her 20's - because her hair turned gray at a very young age. She's quite attractive and was very intelligent. She never married and had a deep sense of duty to her family. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Daily Detail: bullions and barred chain

Mom's picture, surrounded by barred chain with French knots and bullion roses - my first attempt!

Didn't realize those basting stitches were not well hidden so I'll have to deal with that.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Daily Detail: Chains, Cretans, and Bullions

Looking back at several blocks that needed just a little something else:

Three rows of zig-zag chain stitch

Bullion and chain. Below, cretan and straight stitch.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

RIP Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

"I am a librarian. I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. Before I fell in love with libraries, I was just a six-year-old boy. The library fueled all of my curiosities, from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt.
When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven. I discovered that the library is the real school."

Daily Detail: Slightly Late

Here I added a feather stitch stem, cretan stitch leaves and a few French knots. 

I've had issues with this space. I finally decided on this stem stitch vine with lazy daisy flowers (pay no attention to those French knots in the corner) which I found in Carol Samples book.

I hoped these daily posts would keep me motivated and on track. It's worked fairly well, although I've missed a couple of days.

Saturday is my day to do some garment sewing. With both girls at work, DH asleep, and the dogs at the groomer's, I had a quiet and productive day to sew, take a few breaks to check the Internet (you never know), and was able to go back and watch Season Two of "Walking Dead". In spite of the gore (which doesn't bother me since it's only make believe), it's (to me) such a good series. I can't wait for Season Three.

Of course I'm hopelessly addicted to zombie movies. I watched two last week, Rammbock: Berlin Undead and They Came Back (Les Revenants). I'd give them both about a "7" on the Zombie meter. "Berlin Undead" was pretty typical -- something (a virus probably) has turned mankind into flesh, moth foaming zombies, folks are trapped, try to get away -- and reminded me of the book I Am Legend it that it was very claustrophobic, all taking place in the confines of an apartment building for the most part.  (I Am Legend would be  a great movie if it followed the book more closely.) "They Came Back" was unusual in that the zombies were peaceful folks, inexplicably rising from their graves (13,000 in this one small town) to find their loved ones. The French did not get excited, they just formed a committee to decide what to do. Funniest line: "they are in excellent health". LOL.

I think tonight I will add more beads and embellishments to Block 5 and then get started on Block 7 tomorrow. I still reserve the right to return to previous blocks and enhance them! It's already June, can you believe it!

Please leave a comment! I love knowing who is out there!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Daily Detail - Bullion and Barred Chain

Barred chain and detached chain.

Vintage buttons create the center of a bullion flower detail.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Daily Detail - May CQJP

Embracing the bullion stitch:

I think I've conquered the bullion. I found it was much easier to do, and looks nicer (to me) using perl cotton . I also used a larger needle. In the bottom picture you can see my progress. They get better as yougo around the button. :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Daily Detail - May CQJP

It's coming along....

This is the weekly TAST stitch, knotted cretan although I only knotted half of it. :-) I couched a piece of blue/green ribbon, combined it with a detatched chain & added tiny buttons. It creates some nice texture.

The block is coming along, but I am a slow stitcher. Now I'm already into June and should be working on block number 6. 

Speaking of which, block 6 will take care of all my aunts who were part of the Wednesday quilting group. Then I get started on the middle part of the quilt, which I have some ideas about, and let's just say they are ambitious. It'll take a lot of discipline to follow through on that plan.

A lot of this was stitched while watching The Walking Dead. Anybody a fan? I thought the final episode of Season 2 was fantastic. I can't wait until October!

I'm happy to see that my little AAQI quilt (number 9587) is up to $90 and there are still several days to go. BID, BID, BID!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

CQJP - Daily Detail

I was finally inspired, after receiving & pouring over Allie Aller's book,   with so many ideas for treating Mom's photo - this is what I wound up doing:

I love the vintage buttons here. This seems perfect to me, and I'm very happy with it.
Work on this block is going very slowly, not sure why. Allie's book really recharged my thought processes, though so I'm sure I will get a lot done this weekend...if I can stay off this computer!

Today is such a lovely day, very sunny but cool and breezy. I have the windows open, reminds me of home somehow. 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Oh, and do stop by the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative June Auction to day - my quilt is up for auction - "For Aunt Mae".

Happy stitching!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wee Folk

Sally Mavor's work just blows me away. I could look at it all the live long day.

Monday, May 28, 2012

CQJP Update - May Block

I'm still plugging away on the CQJP for May. It's not finished but I've made some progress in the past few days.

I found a use for the little piece of rick rack I bought in Savannah - part of a small package of "vintage" scraps of ribbon and other goodies. 

This is my favorite. I like how it turned out.

This block is my mother's - this photo was taken when she was in her early twenties, I believe. I haven't decided what else to do here - probably use some narrow ribbon and beads as I have on other photos.

It's slow go with hand embroidery. Now I think I should have made smaller blocks!