Friday, July 28, 2017

End of July Projects

Sorry for the crummy pictures, it's a very gloomy day here today with a storm approaching.
I finally finished my granddaughter Brynn's quilt. I am so happy with the way it turned out and think she will have fun looking at the the fussy cut centers as she gets older.

These are some of my favorite blocks. I stitched in the ditch, which (lots of rhyming words there!)is not one of my favorite ways to quilt but I think it is appropriate.

 I even made a label! I am not very good about labels (-: I did the in the corner method and liked it very much and will do it again.

I also dug our some swap blocks that needed my attention.

These red with solids (broken dishes?)were from a swap last fall I did with Barb. The bowties and 4 patches were from a previous swap with Barb and some from a guild swap. The blocks are 4 1/2".

I did not have enough of the red blocks but plenty of the 4 patches and bowties. They went around the edges twice (border). I used EVERY SINGLE block! Yay for an almost finished UFO. This will be a nice lap size quilt for the winter.

No thought was given to placement, I only changed groups of like colors or same blocks that were next to each other.
I feel like I got my sewing mojo back. This quilt was practically already made, I just had to make a plan for it. So get out your UFOs and lay them out on your design wall, you never know what you have hiding in our closet!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Last week our guild had Melissa Averinos for a workshop and lecture. Her workshop is called "Making Faces". It was so much fun and everyone had a blast. Please consider her for your guild you will not be disappointed. She is warm and very genuine. I am hoping to get this quilted soon instead of adding it to the UFO pile.....

 I have been working, very slowly on my granddaughter Brynn's quilt. I am really enjoying picking out the fabrics and fussy cutting the centers. I better get going she is almost 6 month old!

I make piles of fabric combinations so I don't have to cut them all out at the same time. A little cutting, a little sewing and a little deciding.
I am still not sue how I am putting this together. The only thing I think I might do is half square triangles along the outside edge, in pink of course!

I have been reading voraciously! It's so much fun when you get a good selection of books. This was a tough read but very good. I love when the person in the story triumphs! It was a true story.

I so wanted to like this book. I read about it on line and it looked like a winner. An artist, a writer and quilts, what's not to love? I felt like she was very whiney and so self absorbed. Enough said. True story.

This one I happened on in the new non-fiction section. Who doesn't want to read about the last hermit? I found it fascinating and interesting. He lived in the woods (Maine) for 27 without ever being found. I won't tell you anymore but definitely worth a peruse.

This is the one I am currently reading and it is good too. It's all about hoarding and also is a true story. I just happened to be in the library when all the new released good books were put out so I scored.
I have a stack of about 7 books left to go. Sitting on the porch at night, no matter how hot it is reading, is truly a summer pleasure not to be missed.

I have a bunch of sewing ideas in my head but they aren't ready to come out. Maybe after a few more books (-:

Please let me know if you have read any of these and your opinions are always welcome.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Reviews Plus a Tutorial!

For some reason I love to read excessively in the summer. Maybe it is the slower pace.We have a wonderful screened-in porch that lends itself to a lazy afternoon or evening of reading.
I had a few people email me wanting to know what I was reading. In some ways it feels so personal but at the same time I am always on the hunt for a new read too! Please know these are my own opinions and not necessarily the end word. My mood greatly influences what I like and don't like at any given time. I am also a huge fan of the library, I could be in there for days....
So here we go!

The picture above:

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich---- I read this book halfway through and stopped. I just lost interest.

Prayers and Lies by Sherri Wood Emmons----Childhood in a small southern town in the 1970's. I liked her writing and the fact that you get hooked in the first or second page. The characters are rich and complex. I give it an A and liked it so much I also read her other book called.....

The Sometimes Daughter by Sherri Wood Emmons----This could have fallen into the "hippie" themed books but it was fiction so I seperated them. Again good characters and a good story. It also get an A.

Baby Doll by Hollie Overton----This was a good beach book and you could probably read it in a day. I was interested in the twin sister part of the story. Different as night and day (to quote Patty Duke!) I give it a B.

My Infatuation With Hippies Reading Picks

Arcadia by Lauren Groff--- I wanted to love this book but give it a B-. It was interesting but I wanted more....

Naked In The Woods by Margaret Grundstein---I did enjoy this book and felt for the woman who wrote it (it's a biography). A common theme in this genre is that Free Love came at a huge price! I gave it a B+

Notes From Nethers by Sandra Lee Eugster biography ---This followed the difficult relationship of a mother and daughter living in a commune. The mother was finding herself and the daughter just wanted to go to school and be a normal kid. She was torn between her father who lived a normal life and her mother who did not. I enjoyed her writing and give it an A.

Flower Children by Maxine Swann---It was way over my head and I missed a lot of the symbolism and had no idea what happened! It gets a C-

North of Normal by Cea Sunrise Person biography---I LOVED this book. The common theme in all the "hippie" books is that the kids did not like it, felt adrift and just wanted to be normal kids doing normal things.
My overall take away is, as much as the adults thought they would be ok with multiple partners, they weren't. Hurt feelings and jealousy was the norm, for both the men and women.
The parents were very absent and very into themselves, as much as they were looking for a forward, free thinking, equal world they were very selfish and there was a hierarchy, even though they didn't want to admit it. All the adults were parents to all the children, in reality no one was paying much attention to them. Insecurity was a common feeling for the children and all of them had difficult relationship issues as adults. Sometimes it made my want to cry! Again this is just my opinion!
I think I am done reading about Hippies for now, unless you know of a good one for me!

Now for a tutorial.....

Some of you may remember this quilt, Winter Moon that I made last winter. A guild contacted me and asked me if they could make it as their raffle quilt. The guild is called Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild.

Cut a square about an inch bigger than your finished size, this is 6". Size is something you may have to experiment with because depending on how you sew will determine the unfinished size.

Use your rotary cutter and slice it down the middle. Change it up, put it on an angle or make it straight etc.

Next cut your branches. Again make them different every time to make it more interesting. This part is important-----once you cut your square, keep it together on your mat or table. It is easy to mix up the pieces.

Cut some contrasting fabric for your branches. Depending on the size of your starting square this can be any size. For this one they are about 1 1/4".

Cut them longer so you don't have to worry about matching anything.

Next sew the bottom background fabric to the branch followed by the top background fabric. Don't worry if they don't match exactly, we are squaring it up at the end. Now do the other side. Press all branches toward the branch fabric, not the background. You may have to trim the seam allowance up so it is not bulky.

Take your ruler and clean up the inside edges, take the smallest amount you can, keeping the same angle (or not) the choice is yours!

Cut out a piece for the trunk, this one is larger than the branches but you can do whatever makes you happy!

I decided I wanted this one to be a little more pointy at the top, so I trimmed off some on the side.

Sew it to the one side pressing towards the trunk.

Next sew the other side again pressing towards the trunk. On this one as I was sewing I wanted it to be more pointy at the top so I just made my seam allowance a bit larger rather than stopping to change it. Press towards the trunk and trim the seam allowance as needed.

Next take your ruler (or not) and square it up. I was able to get 5 3/4" from mine. In the Winter Moon quilt, each tree block is a different size.

So there you go, one tree that was easy as can be to make! If you have questions for me please email and I will try to answer them. I may just need to revisit this block maybe in autumn colors????


Thursday, June 29, 2017

How Can It Be June 29th??

So I finally went to the Vermont Quilt Festival! I was helping my friend Cheryl of Cheryl Lynch Quilts in her booth. We had a lot of fun but they are long days on your feet doing lots of demos. I will say the quilts were amazing!

 I bought an antique baby quilt that I just love. I want to reproduce it in my colors.

This is the result of a workshop I did with a member of our guild, Cindy Z. It was worth every cent! She sat down, deciphered and corrected all the directions that were in Quiltmania! It was crazy how many mistakes there were. Thank you Cindy, I did not have the patience even though I have wanted to make this!

For an almost fun project, I cut apart my Kona color card and put them on a chain. It took FOREVER to punch all those holes. They are not in color order but soon they will be.

Lace Cap Hydrangea

Salsa Echinacea

My garden is slowly growing as the weather has been delightful and not scorching hot. We have had lots of rain which is wonderful as I did not have to water. This weekend there will be lots of weeding, trimming and fertilizing.

I got this book a few weeks ago and it is amazing! It's like a coffee table book but smaller. Lots of inspiration for everyone. Do check it out.

I bought these at the Quilt Block yesterday. My sewing mojo has been wanting of late. Those whales and birds will go into granddaughter Brynn's quilt.


There have been lots of family things going on as well. Jax and Cam are almost 2! They are typical active 2 year olds and talking up a storm. How cute is this place to give them haircuts, keeps them occupied.

Griffin, Elliot, baby Brynn and Maddy
 Brynn's baptism was a few weeks ago. She wore the gown I made over 39 years ago. If you are thinking it's an heirloom, it's not, polyester blend before I knew any better! It even has a slip.  I love those little chunky legs! She is such a little lovey.
Dylan and Kevin 
The other exciting news is that my son, Dylan and his friend Kevin are opening up a micro-brewery in Downingtown. It's called East Branch Brewing Company (after the east branch of the Brandywine creek). For the locals it is where Molly Maguire's used to be in the old Minquas fire house, 202 E. Lancaster Ave. The opening is hopefully scheduled for sometime in August, stay tuned.

For me summertime is reading time. Last month I read almost 6 books. I am trying to get motivated to sew but it just isn't happening. So maybe soon I will have something to show but then again maybe not!