Monday, March 29, 2010

spread a smile

Did you know that fabric can smile?
Obviously it can, and it can spread smiles too. Kathy and Amber have cooked up a little project you might want to participate in. Kathy's son had a rough beginning and she would like to donate some quilty goodness to say thank you to the hospital staff for all their good work. When Kathy contacted me I knew I wanted to help. My son had a similar experience and I feel very much the same about Children's Mercy Hospital here in Kansas City. You can find out the details of their project on Kathy's blog. Both Amber and Kathy are having giveaways as an incentive to help. Check it out, and help a mom say thanks to some really deserving folks.
I spent the weekend in St. Paul, Minnesota celebrating my youngest son's 19th birthday, but when I got home I had a few minutes to play with these. I have all the interior curved piecing done. I have 6 arcs completed. Now to figure out what to do with them. I'm really loving them as arcs...More to come!

Don't forget that Quilting Month begins April 1 on Sew Mama Sew. There is so much great stuff won't want to miss it. Thanks to all of you who commented on my interview. I was doing a happy dance all weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Church Ladies

The ladies of my mom's church have asked me to make the quilt for their church raffle again this year. This time they wanted to participate. They liked my 'monet's flower garden' quilt and they thought they could collect sheets for me so I could make another quilt like that for them. These are the first two panels. It's going to be a double so it takes a LOT of sheets. It was a challenge to go through what they collected and choose what might work for a quilt like this. I hope it's going to be pretty. I need to get this done for them. I have it about half done.

It's been an exciting day for me. Sew Mama Sew asked me to serve on their board and help plan this year's Quilting Month on Sew Mama Sew. I love quilting month so I was thrilled with the invitation. I'm working with some fabulous quilters, Kajsa of Syko, Rita of Red Pepper Quilts and Kellie of Don't Look Now. Now those are some amazing women. My interview is on Sew Mama Sew today and you can check out the posts for those other three ladies too. April 1 is the start of Quilting Month. Don't miss it!
Thanks Jane...for the little push. You're the best!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

color...glorious color!

52 stacks of fabric.
52 4" strips cut selvage to selvage
156 wedges
one set laid out flowing from one color to the next (a little tweaking here and there)
sewn into sections

i'm adapting Jovelle Hoverson's pattern from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. Mine is going to be a BIG quilt...with multiple wheels of color.

color, glorious, color...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

i celebrated

I celebrated National Quilting Day on Saturday by sewing not what I had to, but what I wanted to. I made this quilt after playing with some drawings...I love retro shapes...I think this has potential for a large quilt. There are some things I would change, but it was a good experiment. A bit of a different direction for me.

I wanted to share the new logo for the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild designed by Lauren of My Aunt June. It's so great to have such talented folks in our group. Isn't it fab?

I've been basting and quilting too...I should have some finished quilts to show this week.

It could happen.

I want to kinda beg forgiveness for not visiting my blog friends or responding to comments like I usually do. Between lousy internet and simply crazy busy days, I haven't been very good about it. I know...excuses, excuses.

Friday, March 19, 2010

i think i might have found it

Ikea puts the LARGE in large scale print. This puffball is about 2 feet by 3 feet. My son gave me the fabric for Christmas...It's already sewn into a top, but it's not right.
I found this fabric, Andrea Victoria by Riley Blake, the other day. I think it might be just right to put with this big puffball fabric. The mini puffballs in grey and blue are eerily similar in design. I'm going to see what I can come up with.

Did you know tomorrow is National Quilting Day? Who knew we had our own holiday. I'm going to spend it quilting. What will you do to celebrate?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I've been fussing with some quilt designs for a project I'm working on, and frustration set in. I decided to organize a closet to clear my mind (spring cleaning time, you know) and I found this piece I picked up at a thrift store awhile ago. It was a window valance made from a sheet. I took it apart and started cutting. The roses are so large they begged to be large squares. I added a little kona snow, some blue and one square of gray and I had a quilt. It's about 50 x 70, perfect to snuggle under or to spread on the grass for an impromptu picnic.

Sometimes I tend to overcomplicate things and I forget simple can be beautiful, sophisticated, and satisfying.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tidbits and the KC Modern Quilt Guild

This weekend I made another set of these placemats for a friend's birthday. I neglected to get a photo of hers before I packed them up and sent them. Hers are in orange/brown and gold and the pieced strip is a little wider (her request). These are a great way to use up scraps and fabulous to practice free motion quilting.

Last week was crazy busy. I did a guild presentation/trunk show on Tuesday night to the Kansas Capital Quilters Guild in Topeka. I had a ball and I think they did too. It was so much fun showing and talking about quilts. They're a big guild and pretty traditional, but they welcomed me with open arms. Thanks ladies!

Thursday night was the third meeting of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. 70...count em...70 folks packed into Harper's Fabrics and Quilts. It was such a great meeting! That's me leading the group. We're making lots of progress getting organized. We had a fantastic book share where we broke into 4 groups, shared out fav books and even some projects made or inspired by those books. Show and tell with this group is always inspiring. The picture was taken by Shea, our VP.

My studio is in chaos...packing up 30 or so quilts for a trunk show takes a lot of time and energy..i need to get it all put away and things cleaned and organized. I have lots of sewing to do!

Friday, March 12, 2010

starting to arrive

January was my month in the Common Threads virtual quilting bee and trips to the mailbox are yielding lots of quilty goodness. I've made a bunch and I've received a bunch from my bee peeps. The blocks are 6.5" square and I'm starting to get a vision of what this quilt might look like. I need a whole lot more blocks to make it the size I want it to be, so I'm trying to make a couple every day.
It's pretty cool to see what variations can be made from a simple, basic cross block. The creativity of these ladies is inspiring.

Thanks for all the quilt love for my selvage quilt and for Angela. To answer a few questions:
No, I won't sell the quilt.
Yes, I'm making another one of these.
No, I don't sleep with it, but I thought about it.
There are about 1600 selvage pieces in the quilt.
Yes, Angela is available to quilt for you.
Yes, it took a LOT of time to make.
No, it's not my favorite quilt that I've made.

Have a wonderful weekend. It's cold and rainy here, but the grass is turning green, the fields have been fertilized, so spring is around the corner.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Artistry, Passion, Collaboration

Before I say a word, simply drink it in. The 'selvage quilt.'

I knew when the top was finished that this quilt needed more than I could give it. I'd recently met a longarm quilter through the KC Modern Quilt Guild. Though her quilting impressed me it was her passion for her work that came through right away and was the reason I approached her.

I shared this quilt with her one night and we talked. She touched it like I did, with awe, and studied it with an artist's eye. Her name is Angela Walters, and she is the genius behind the quilting on this quilt. We collaborated on the design, but the idea and the execution are hers. And while this wasn't the inspiration for the quilting, I think it looks like the antique tin ceilings that are found in some of the older buildings in town. It has a modern and vintage feel simultaneously. The quilting transforms the quilt.

I have very little experience working with longarm quilters. I love to quilt my quilts myself. I love simple quilting and graphic, harder shapes. I don't like flowers or lacy things, but look how those things enhance the work I did on this quilt. I loved working with Angela for a lot of reasons, but mostly because she quilts for the same reason I do, love of the process. She simply loves what she does. She's a risk taker, has mad skills, and she is willing to push herself and me into places we've never been. Lastly, she's an artist in every sense of the word. Imagine where we can go together...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just a Peek

It's so close to finished...some hand sewing on the binding and then I can show the whole, gorgeous package. It's going to a trunk show tomorrow. I'm excited about sharing it and talking quilts with a group of like minded folks.
i can't stop looking at the quilting...on wednesday i'll tell you all about the was the perfect collaboration between two artists.

I've been working with this set of fabric over the last week. Large scale prints can be challenging, but I really love this set of fabrics. I think I'm making them work.

Have a great week everyone. I'm enjoying every minute with my youngest. There's MUSIC in the house again! Thanks for checking out his all are the best!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just Let Me Breathe

my boys playing together (jon on the left, ben on the right)
In a few days my youngest son, jon, is coming home from college for spring break. He's in music school and is crazy talented. This is one of his songs...he calls it epic pop. It's not a style he works in usually, but it is my favorite of all the compositions he's done. (except for a remix he did of some Chopin) It used to be titled 'Breathe', but now it's 'To whom it may concern'.

Today I was thinking of him and feeling a little stressed out. I reminded myself to breathe, and then I listened to this song. It always brings tears to my eyes. I'm not sure why. Makes me proud too. Some days a little music is the best medicine. I wanted to share it with you. You can listen to it here, and in case you want to read the lyrics while you listen (I like to do that), here they are.

It's worth 5 minutes of your time.

To whom it may concern

I’m coming closer
There's no lights on
Just the glare of the tv
Let's me know you're here

Begin to talk
It's like it used to be
Can you remember me
Can you remember me

I know that this can never be
But at least I'll hope for something
And i just wish that you could see

That it's just wrong
But it feels so right
And i wrote this song
All about that night
When i first saw you
And looked into your eyes
That's when i knew
That's when i realized

That i can breathe
Just let me breathe

I hate to break this
But i cant take this
And i know it hurts you more

It's been a long time
Since we've talked
But baby i know
I remember everything

I know that this can never be
But at least I'll hope for something
And i just wish that you could see

That it's just wrong
But it feels so right
And i wrote this song
All about that night
When i first saw you
And looked into your eyes
That's when i knew
That's when i realized

That i can breathe
Just let me breathe

And you'll say its okay
And the look that you gave
To me, I know that
It's true

Kiss you
Love you
Forever and ever

And i knew it all again
That there's never any end
And can't you understand
This wasn't in my plan
I know it went so fast
But i swear that this can last
We found a place of our own
A place called home

oh, oh woah, oh oh, oh woah oh

Kiss you
Love you
Forever and ever

And it's just wrong
But it feels so right
And i wrote this song
All about that night
When i first saw you
And looked into your eyes
That's when i knew
That's when i realized

That i can...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Learning to Live in the Country...Danger!

Some of you know my baby, Bruno, who we adopted last fall. He's a transplant from the city and has spent the past months learning to be a country dog. Some lessons are more fun than others. Look at that face...not an aggressive bone in his body. He loves everyone and is always looking for a new friend.

Last night before dinner he and I headed out the back door to play ball. In an instant I knew we were in trouble. An opossum was busy eating a luscious dead cat not three feet away from the back door. Bruno didn't see a wild animal, no, only a potential playmate. He was on that opossum in an instant with a happy grin and wagging tail. Needless to say, the opossum had other ideas. If you've ever stumbled upon a possum mid-meal, you know they can be decidedly testy and they don't hesitate to show their sizeable teeth and sharp claws. In addition they are truly butt ugly and disgusting.

Thank goodness Bruno is pretty obedient...I screamed NO!!! and COME almost simultaneously and Bruno obeyed. The opossum curled up as if to try to disappear from the bubbly dog and crazy woman. I got Bruno inside and he looked at me with that confused, 'what did I do' kind of look. I caught my breath and took him out the front door and we played ball while the opossum finished eating and disappeared into the woods.
As if that wasn't enough, we headed out for our walk this morning. It's warming up here, the sun was shining and the snow is finally melting. I was deep in thought and walking ahead of Bruno. I was getting ready to head up the back hill towards home and I heard a crash...a crash of ice and water and we were in trouble again. Bruno loves water and this fall learned to love to swim. Well, he had wandered out on to the ice on the back pond and fell through. My heart jumped and I turned and ran back to the pond. Thank goodness he was on the frog pond, which is the smaller of the two ponds and never too deep. He was in over his chest though and as I was freaking out calling him to come to the edge, he worked himself out and hopped up to me. He shook that icy water all over me and looked at me for an explanation. I wonder if that lesson will sink in? I didn't even think to watch him as the ponds start to melt. Lesson learned for me too.

On a lighter note...I made a bunch of these this weekend. I like to have these on hand and ready for gift giving. They make great hostess gifts and don't need wrapping. My kind of gift.

p.s. They're potholders with grommets...9 inches square.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Couldn't Think of A Title

I couldn't think of a catchy title for this post. I simply have a few things I want to share. This is my 'urban garden' quilt.
It started as a personal scrap challenge, a handful each of orange, green and brown scraps and a commitment to make something from them. I started with the idea of fields viewed from a plane and it evolved into more of a community garden, you know those communal gardens where a bunch of folks share a plot of land to plant gardens. There are those well-tended plots and those more hap-hazard ones and plenty of land left to plant. The quilting reminds me of furrowed land. I'm pretty happy with it.
I've also made a few quilting bee blocks..this is underwater sister's portrait gallery for Valerie of the Pieced Together bee.
A close up of the portraits.
A block for Nadia of Common Threads. This is 'the fractured forest' for her brand new baby Gus!
Lastly, this is a picture from the second meeting of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. 69...count 'em...69 folks showed up and we had a ball squishing into the room, enduring the heat and getting to know each other. If you'd like to be a part of the group, head to our ning site, or join or start a group in your neck of the woods.