Archive for June, 2006


Off on vacation!

June 20, 2006

The kids and I are off to Indiana tomorrow to visit family for 3 weeks! I am looking forward to seeing family, wandering around my hometown and relaxing in the quiet of the country. I am hoping to be able to post while I am gone but I’m not sure if I will be able to…

I have all of the important stuff packed; my camera, some fabric, needles, thread, scissors and a couple of embroidery books: Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches


and An Encyclopedia of Ribbon Embroidery Flowers. Those should keep me busy during the down times.


Then, what else do I need to pack? Oh, maybe some clothes…


JQC June

June 19, 2006


For my June Journal Quilt Challenge I wanted to explore texture. I tried to achieve texture in two ways. First through the paint on the fabric and second through the quilting.

Since I am not a painter the painting portion was a challenge. I played around with dipping the brush in one color and then another color and then painting on the fabric without mixing the colors. That gave the painting some interesting streaks and textures. I then outlined everything with black to give the lines some “crispness”.


The quilting I did freehand and I think it added a lot to the piece. There are spots where the bricks aren’t the right size or the lines aren’t straight but that doesn’t really bother me because it still gives the texture I was after.

Overall, I am very happy with this June Journal page. I learned a lot from it and had fun experimenting.


Dresden Plate; It’s Done!

June 16, 2006






On the Reading Table

June 15, 2006

We read aloud at out house a lot. It has built good listening skills into each of my children and it has also developed a love of books in each of them. We all enjoy our afternoon reading time.


To my teenage boys I am reading Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey. They are currently studying Medieval Times so this book fits right in. It is about King Arthur’s quest to aquire large horses for his army to ride into battle. It also suggests how and why horseshoes were developed for these horses.


My daughter is now hooked on this book; It Feels Like Snow by Nance Cote. We are reading it over and over and over…. it is a delightful book about Alice and how she can tell that it is about to snow when her toe throbs or her elbow clicks. She warns her neighbors about the snow storm coming but they giggle, ignore her or call her a silly old woman. In the end, Alice must decide what she should do when her neighbors are not prepared for the snow.

So that is what we have on the reading table right now. I’m looking forward to our reading time this afternoon!


Dresden Plate; Continued

June 14, 2006


I also played around with the idea of adding a photo of my grandmother to the quilt. But I didn’t have the skill to pull that off successfully so I stored that idea away for a later time.
At the same time as I was playing around with all of these ideas, I was taking a class on fabric dying in progessive values. So I started playing around with what I could do with the fabrics I was dying and the Dresden Plate pattern I had created. I really liked this design and decided to put Granny’s pieces away and work on it.


This is the final design in EQ. It is completely quilted and just needs some touch-up work and a binding and label. I’ll be glad to see this one done as it has been over a year in the making.

And don’t worry, Granny’s pieces are safely tucked away and will be pulled out again some day.


Fruit Salad Finished!

June 13, 2006

Fruit salad is another Kiddie Quilt for my guild. Someone else pieced it and I quilted it and put the binding on it. It doesn’t really have any fruit on it. But I found when I had it hanging in my studio that I had fierce cravings for fruit salad. Must have been because the colors of the quilt reminded me of cantalope, honeydew melon, pineapple and red grapes. It’s been good though, I’ve been eating a lot of fruit lately.
The back is a green Fossil Fern. In this photo you can see the butterfly meander that I did in the center of the quilt.



In the two borders I also did meanderings, stars and leaves. The finished size is about 52″ x 64″.

So now this quilt will be off to comfort a child!

Next on the quilting table I need to reload Dresden Plate. There is a little section where the tension went bonkers on me and I ripped it out and must redo it. That shouldn’t take too long. Then my QOV quilt will be next on the quilting table. I am looking forward to doing it. I’ll be using a stars and loops panto for it.


Dresden Plate; The Story

June 12, 2006

Dresden Plate is the quilt that I now have on the finishing table. It has a very long story behind it.


My grandmother had cut out these pieces many years ago. When she passed away the pieces came to me as I am the only quilter, even the only seamstress, of the family. I am sure most of the fabrics came from dresses and shirts that had worn out as my grandmother was very frugal. Some probably also came from neighbors and friends as she liked to trade with others. The pieces are all very neatly cut and a few were sewn together in quarter-circle pieces. I’m not really sure what my grandmother planned to do with the pieces but I assume that she was going to applique them either in circles or fans.


About a year and a half ago, I decided I should do something with Granny’s pieces. I wanted to use the pieces but I don’t like to applique. So I started playing around in EQ to see what I could do with the pieces using machine piecing instead of applique.


My goal was to use the pieces in a way that would honor my grandmother and the traditions of quilting but to take the quilt one step farther in a contemporary design. These are a few of the designs I came up with.



Next time: Dresden plate takes a drastic turn.


Free-style Quilts

June 9, 2006


I gave in to temptation this week and purchased another quilting book. This one is by Susan Carlson and is titled Free-style Quilts.

Her work is beautiful. The realism that she is able to achieve with fabrics is incredible. My favorite is her series of images taken from the local farmer’s market. She also has done a series of fish, of beetles and some flowers and butterflies.


In her book she does a good job of explaining the techniques and process she uses, which involves cutting the fabrics, glueing them in place and quilting it all. Sounds simple, huh?


Wheat Germ

June 8, 2006


I am on a mission.


I am on a mission to feed my family healthier foods. The challenge is to complete this mission without the whole family moving out of the house, or even starving to death!!


I was doing a little research yesterday and found that there are more nutrients per ounce in wheat germ than any other grain product or vegetable. One 3.5 ounce serving of wheat germ provides 27 grams of protein- more protein per volume than most meats. Who would have thought?! Wheat germ is also high in iron, potassium, vitamins B1 and B3, phosphorous, lecithin, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc and vitamin E. I didn’t find any info on its fat content, but I would venture to say that it doesn’t have a lot of fat. :-)I learned that wheat germ can be substituted for 1/2 cup or so of flour in my favorite recipes. It can be added to meatloaves, breads, salads and cassaroles. It can be used to bread chicken or fish. Fresh wheat germ must be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used in one week. For longer shelf life it can be frozen.

So, don’t tell the family, but I am going to start sneaking some of this wonder food into everything I can get away with.


Dresden Plate

June 5, 2006

I have fallen in love anew, with quilting. I got a longarm quilting machine 4 months ago and it has really expanded the possibilities for my quilting. I am finally able to do all the designs I have in my head.
I am no longer limited by what will fit under the sewing machine throat, by what direction the quilt can move and by what my brain can figure out what to draw by moving the quilt under the needle rather than by moving the needle over the quilt.
These are photos of the current project on the quilting machine, Dresden Plate. It is about 3/4 done and I am having such fun with it!!