Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Inspired by a Kaffe Fassett design, which was a reproduction of a quilt made by Jane Austen, this quilt has been simmering on the back burner for a while.  I made some design decisions which I regret now as I'm not at all happy with my version.  If I were to do it again, I would include the center medallion and arrange the fabrics in a trip-around-the-world configuration, like the original,  instead of the random placement.  However, I would really like to add some more interesting elements to this one first.  It's crying out for something, I don't know what.  I started adding french knots, as you can see in the lower photo, but stopped with two as thread heavy enough to show up would tear holes in the fabric and I wouldn't be able to take them out if they looked a little silly.  I'm open to suggestions if you have any.  I would like to save it as I love the fabrics and the diamond motif.  :o)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Matching Pillow

Dilemma:  how to make a pillow to coordinate with Annabelle's quilt with only the snippets of leftover fabric?  I borrowed the tree from the tutorial by the generous and talented Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew!  I chose to hand-applique it because I need a take-a-long project for my Thanksgiving holiday.  Wouldn't want to suffer sewing withdrawal!  I'm planning to handquilt it--maybe a falling leaf motif?  I'll bind it with the leftover binding from the quilt.  I'm gratified when my save-everything habit pays off!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's NOT 27 years old! Is it??

One of my earliest efforts, from 1982, I made this one for my little son.  He chose the fabrics and pattern.  Such a sweet boy, he is still.  It's all poly/cotton blend fabrics and poly batting--just what was available at the time.  See how it droops?  It is quilted only around the bird and once around the border.  There is no binding.  The front is wrapped to the back and whipped.  I really didn't know what I was doing.  The applique is fairly decent - that I knew how to do.  The parrot has features but they are so off-scale, you have to stand close with a magnifying glass to see them.  I pulled it out to give to him as quilt-storage space is at a premium here now, every square inch.  I'm sure he will be thrilled.  ;0) 

Now I'm wondering if I should try a modern version (I still have the McCall's pattern), just to show myself how far along I've come.  I know I could make it better but doubt if it would be better loved.


For Annabelle's big-girl bed,  it's a very simple combination of four patches and half-square triangles. It seems the simpler designs appeal to me most, especially when I'm using my favorite fabrics and colors.  I used nearly the last scrap of my 30s repros and am hoping to be able to sew a couple of pillow cases to match.  Failing that, a little toss pillow?  I've only ever seen this design in two colors - cheddar and cream - and had no idea how a scrappy version would turn out.  I was surprised and extremely pleased when I saw it "whole" and hanging on the fence.  Annabelle's mom saw this quilt when it was just a top and liked it.  I hope Annabelle will, too, as it's meant to grow up with her.  I'm planning to visit with them for Thanksgiving week so will give it in person.  Always satisfying!

I don't know a traditional name for this design and am hoping one of you quilt historians will!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Can't tell me cats don't wear dresses.  I've known kittens who would not only wear dresses and bonnets, they would lie on their backs in doll carriages!  This is another cute design by De Powell at and I'm just thrilled with it.   I hope three-year-old Elizabeth Katherine likes it as well.

About the quilt she's sitting on:  I made it in the mid-nineties and it's one of the oldest I still own.   It is certainly the softest and wrinkliest.  The fabrics came from all over and haven't faded.  I chose them to look old and faded.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I love stuffing stuff, pillows, pincushions, toys and animals and have been collecting  baubles and beads, buttons and bows and glitter and glitz for years with the intention of becoming really very good at it.  Annie Lou is my first serious effort at dollmaking.  She is nine inches tall and missing her buttons and bows as she is meant as a toy (and hopefully a keepsake!) for baby Annabelle Louise.  The design is by De Powell of .  More adorable dolls there than you ever thought possible.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ooooo! Halloween dress

I made two identical dresses, for Elizabeth and baby sister Annabelle.  Their mom supplied the shirts and fabric; my job was to make the dresses with twirly skirts and send them north.  Warmed my heart to hear that Lizzy tore open the package, put on the dress and refused to take it off for two days--she even slept in it!  I think I need to start planning Christmas dresses...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The "golden rain" fell a few days ago from the golden rain tree, leaving the apricot/russet blooms behind. Here in central Florida, we call this "autumn color." We must be especially vigilant to catch it!

It's time to tidy up the yard and garden but we don't know what to do about the five little beauties who have taken up residence in the pool. I've tried in the past to relocate frogs to the boggy spot in the park across the street but they hop right back overnight, seeming to prefer a more toxic-chemical environment. They're safe for now as none of us has the heart to turn on the pump.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Little Nine Patch

The quilt is a big ol' thing--the ninepatches are small, finishing at 2.25 inches. It's a version of a 1930s quilt owned by Kaye England which she shared in APQ a few years ago. She says she thinks hers was made by a child, judging by the less-than-perfect stitching and it's handquilted. Imagine handquilting through all those seams. It called out to me, too, and I thought it would be the perfect use for my smaller scraps. I love all my fabrics and can't bear to throw away even the tiniest bit. The 1400 ninepatches add up to 12,600 three-quarter-inch squares. It's very heavy due to the number of seams and required a surprising amount of thread. I'm happy and feeling satisfied that I finished this quilt but can't imagine doing anything like it again!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Help me finish this?
Still longing to finish some of my UFOs. I want to find better homes for them, thereby creating space for more and putting some lovely fabrics back into circulation. I also enjoy basking in glory and feeling righteous!! Next: this lively little wallhanging, measuring 18 inches square. Begun in 2002, it needs embellishment and some creative quilting, best accomplished now, while the weather is hot and steamy! It depicts New Smyrna Beach, Florida, shark-bite capital of the world, early morning, already a storm is brewing! The people have sought shelter, abandoning-- what? I would love to hear your suggestions.