Thursday, February 28, 2008


I've been so lax! I'm really good about adding pictures of my newest work to my flickr page, but I'm not so quick on the draw here. Abi and I have been talking a lot lately about figures of speech. So don't be surprised if I pepper my speech with every cliche under the sun.
Anyway, not to beat a dead horse, and because time waits for no man, here's what's newest out of my studio.

I finished a custom order for a numbers quilt sized for a twin bed and a matching pillow sham. It required an amazing amount of quilting and I was sweating bullets until I started the binding.

I also made another Nate pillow.

And filled some fabric orders.

I also had a chance to revisit my Great Aunt Irma Patchwork Pillow series. I think I'll be adding this pillow to my shop tomorrow as I have another pillow nearing completion and want to add them together.
OK, that's it, for now. Back to the grindstone!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


You know the expression, "Put that in your pipe and smoke it," well, because of another hand-me down from Great Aunt Irma, I've got some actual pipes.

I don't plan on smoking anything, either in these pipes or otherwise, but I do enjoy looking at them.

Now, as liberated as Irma was, she was not the kind of woman that would smoke a pipe. Rather, these pipes belonged to her husband, Chester. Needless to say, it's been decades since they had any tobacco in them.

I think they're beautiful and I love the variety of pipes Chester collected.

And, I love that Irma kept them even though Chester preceded her in death.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Oy! Should I skip the number thirteen? Is that being superstitious? I love that line from The Office when the bumbling manager, Micheal, says," I'm not superstitious, but I'm a little stitious." Well, I'm only a little stitious myself, so thirteen it is.
First off, I have to say a huge thank you to Beth over at Sew, Mama, Sew for mentioning my quilt as part of their Quilt Month extravaganza. I got a huge kick out of seeing it there and reading all the comments folks made. I have been following the daily updates at Sew, Mama, Sew and have really enjoyed seeing loads of wonderful quilts, reading a terrific feature about Denyse Schmidt, and discovering the almost boundless passion people have for quilts.
I also want to say thank you and hello to all the folks who've stopped by here after having seen my Twinkle quilt. I'm waving hello. I know you can't see that, but I am really waving.
I was asked by one of my newest internet friends if I had any recommendations for books about fabric dyeing.

Well...Yeah! But I've decided that rather than recommend a bunch of books, I'd focus on my desert island favorites.

If I was Tom Hanks in Castaway and I had to decide between saving Wilson the ball or this dye book, well Wilson wouldn't stand a chance. Surface Design for Fabric by Richard Proctor and Jennifer Lew is my all-time favorite reference book. It's incredibly complete and thorough, covering everything from direct dye processes to batik to basic shibori. It's been revised several times and despite the lack of color is a great beginners book.

Creating Color by Judy Anne Walter is my other must-have dye book. Like the Proctor/Lew book, it's not big on images. Come to think of it, I don't think there are any pictures in the entire book, but there are so many dye recipes.

This is how my copy looks after several years of love. If you want a basic recipe for mixing a dye bath, this is your book. If you want to know how to make graduated colors, this is your book. If you're the scientific type and want to know exactly how many grams of dye powder you'll need to dye a sheet in your washing machine, this is your book.
Neither of these books is big on inspiration. Their focus is information. But I'd be lost without them.

Monday, February 18, 2008


There are several places in my house that are light filled and walking by those spots always puts a smile on my face. One of those spots is my bedroom. It's an east facing room and by 9 in the morning it is bathed in light. It is, without a doubt, my favorite place to be on a weekend morning.
As the sun moves across the sky, my studio space captures that light.

I'm often not in it at that time of the day, but when I walk past this particular window, I find myself saying something like,"Oh my." I really enjoy that quality that light has when it completely enfolds a space.
The other day, as I was awed by the noon light, it struck me that the two pillow tops on my design wall "went" together. I hadn't really planned them as a set, but they seemed to be coming together that way. So, I decided to finish them in similar ways by backing both with graphic black and white fabrics and closing those backs with similar vintage buttons.

Then, I waited until around 9 the next morning and took pictures of the pair in the sunlight that filled that other favorite place.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I want to note follow through here. I say a lot of things and sometimes(oftentimes?) don't follow through as well as I should, but today I'm officially following through. "On what?" you ask. My announcement last week that I'd given myself a photography assignment. I'm steadfastly documenting the wonderful treasures handed down by the indomitable Great Aunt Irma.

Does anyone remember the skit on Saturday Night Live where two actors would stand facing the audience/cameras and all they would say was, "What the hell is that?" Is that what you're asking right now? Well, these are telephone pole insulators. Way back when telephone lines were above ground, the telephone companies placed these glass or ceramic caps on the telephone poles. They would wrap the telephone wires around these insulators. Neat, huh?

Apparently, Irma thought so too, so she saved a few of them when the poles in her neighborhood were taken down.

I usually have these on a windowsill. I love the way the light comes through them. What I hadn't noticed until I took these pictures was the wonderful scalloping on the bases of these insulators.

And you gotta love the raised lettering. I'm so glad Irma thought they were worth keeping.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


My sewing machine has been seriously humming around here lately. Not because I dutifully clean and oil it. After all, I was the person that took a previous machine in for repair and was promptly called by the repair dude with inquiries into what exactly I had been doing with my machine and how had I managed to decimate a part that was supposed to last 25 years. No, the humming is the result of lots of machine piecing and quilting. I've been working on a proposal, though I'm not going to go into anymore detail about that right now. But the folks that contacted me about this "proposal" did find me via my flickr page, so I think it would be OK for me to share a few photos.

I pretty much pieced and quilted this puppy over an intense three day period. Honestly, those circles were more work to quilt than I had originally envisioned, but once I'd made one, I was committed. That's the thing with machine quilting. It's such a bear to rip out that you better be pretty darn sure that's the pattern you want. I'm happy with it now, but I was counting down the circles still left to quilt by the end.

I also used my new favorite technique on this quilt. I machine washed and dried it after it was bound. I'm such a sucker for the texture that creates.

I'm calling this quilt XOXO. See, I spelled it out in blocks.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Sorry. Couldn't help that Beatles reference.
I'm taking on a first today, though I've been thinking about it for quite a while. I've given myself a photography assignment. Taking pictures is not a new activity for me. I've been doing that for a while and hopefully learning something in the process. But, I've never taken on a "project" before. It's really not that monumental, but exciting for me nonetheless. Truth be told, I've already photographed some of the subjects in my self-assigned project, but I'm still going to count this post as the official start.
I've mentioned before that after my husband's great aunt Irma passed away, we found a quilt top at her house. Now Irma was probably one of the original flappers, so the likelihood that she sewed this top is practically non-existent. Being the only person in the family that sews, I inherited the quilt. I've previously taken and shown pictures of of the quilt blocks and the repurposed pillows I've crafted out of some of them.
I'm lucky enough however to have several items from Irma's vast and eclectic collection of stuff. And that is the focus of my photography project.

These wooden blocks once belonged to Irma's son Mickey. Unfortunately he passed away in the 1960's, but had he lived he would have been well into his 70's or 80's.

Unlike contemporary wooden blocks where the letter is printed on, these blocks feature a beautifully carved and painted letter.

They're just amazing little gems. Also, each block is adorned with a little drawing that corresponds to the letter that's featured on the block.

The blocks were obviously well-loved by the child who once played with them, but I don't think they're sweetness and beauty took his breath away like they do mine.

So here it is. The second and yet first installment of my project. I've added a set to my flickr page exclusively devoted to these images. Check that out if the mood strikes you.

Friday, February 1, 2008


I've got a few new things to show off and the beginning of a new month seems as good a time as any.

I remade an old design for someone who'd seen it over on my flickr page.

And then again for another flickr user.

I worked on some new fabric designs.

And even used some of it as a backing to a new pillow.