Saturday, November 5, 2011

Quilts: Questions and Quests

Crazy quilt bought at resale shop.  Fabrics literally disintegrating.

Hand Pieced and hand quilted.
     The class goes well.   We've learned a great deal about the history of quilting in the USA and had several guests in to share quilts made by family members and/or maybe purchased ( or rescued) from flea markets, yard sales or resale shops.  Students are researching the traditions of quilting from other cultures across the world and will be sharing their findings within a few weeks.
       The majority of the students are constructing a Log Cabin block, and a few have ventured out and are working on blocks they designed themselves, which is proving to be an interesting learning experience too.
       Students are reading Chiaverini's The Runaway Quilter and we'll be discussing that next week.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


        I've gotten nothing done this week for browsing around in Pinterest.   It is totally absorbing.  There is something about exploring your own and others likes and dislikes that makes this site so fascinating.   It provides lots of other things as well, such as DIY projects, Recipes of all kinds, all kinds of products, and processes you can get lost in.   I must break the habit before it becomes a habit.   But Alas, I think it already has.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


We have six birthdays coming up in the Red Hatters, so BD cards were in order.   Since I've been so lax, I decided to make a few cards for the upcoming occasion.   Nothing like a Red Hatter Birthday Celebration.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Roaming the WEB

Plummer Pettway (1918-1993)  Roman Stripes

I've spent way to much of today roaming the web.   Decided earlier to catch up on what my favorite blogsters were doing and learned about a site called "Pinterest"from Melody Johnson.   It's a fascinating place where people digitally pin-up their favorite sites of interests and others can see this and access the sites too.  It's fun seeing what others have pinned-up that is of interest to you also.

It was there on someone's Pinterest that I found the Gees Bend site.  I've always loved the black and white Pettway quilt from that group, along with several others.   

While roaming around in the Pinterest site, I found also a vegan-non fat site that had some awesome recipes.   Even though I'm following pretty closely  Dr. Fuhrman's  Eat to Live advice, I still find I crave sweets a little sometime and she has some recipes that appear to be what I need to address that craving.  
I sure intend to try some out over the next few weeks.
In visiting the blogs I follow, I found several other new ventures that people are embarked upon and joined one or two new blogger sites.   When I've been away a while, it takes sometime for me to get back up and at 'em.   I can feel the surge rising in me now though and I getting antsy to get downstairs to my studio and get going. Vegan

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where has the summer gone?

I can't believe it's been over two months since last I posted here.  Where has my summer gone?

I've been traveling...

to grandsons graduations in Buffalo

And another graduation in Michigan

And to the beach in NC --after Irene

And online with Carol Miller at Quilt U.

studying gradations and transparencies.
Our quilting group took a break for the summer and now it's time for us to start -up again.   And I'm teaching a seminar at the university called 'QUILTS:  QUESTIONS AND QUESTS. "   It's been and is a busy time, full of joy and good  times.   So much to be thankful for.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quilt National, 2011

Hatano-Color Box
My Personal Favorite

On Saturday, June 11, three friends and I drove over to the Dairy Barn in Athens, OH to see the new Quilt National '11 exhibition there.   IT BLEW OUR MINDS.   It was amazing.   My personal favorite was the quilt above, but there were so many works of art that I was astounded.

I hope to return with a class of students in the fall before the exhibit begins to travel to other venues.

I finally finished and sent in my quilt for the Ebony Stitchers Exhibit in Atlanta next month.   Well, I sent in the digital photos, the application and the entry fee, now I'm waiting to see if it will be accepted for the show.   It will be in conjunction with the National Black Arts Festival  starting July 5 - 27.  

I titled it, "AFRICAN INSPIRATION: Made in America" ( wish I'd had real african fabric then so I could have entered ethnic theme category).  The piece was first conceived when I was making the tote bags with the African masks.   Later it became a wall hanging for a friend, from whom I borrowed it back and enhanced further with beads and ribbons, then added the background quilt as frame of hand quilted burlap.

Now, back to WIPs and dreaming of new projects.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Finished Pieces

          The Piecemakers had their show last Sunday.   Now we are on break until the fall.   We had a great end of  the year meeting to decide projects for next year for ourselves and for our community give a way.   I'm torn about that because often times I just want to do what I want to do and not what the group wants.  Still I enjoy seeing the things the group does, but I'm just not one for doing the same block 30 times for a full size quilt.  Well we'll see what the new season brings later.

The Pineapple trial kit

the final finished  quilted
fabric photo, 

TWO deer stopped by to eat flowers and pose in yard/

My friend' Sandee's " Birthday Card.
It always feels good to finish up a piece, no matter what.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Piecemakers annual quilt show

     The Huntington WV Piecemakers had their annual show on May 22, 2011.   To see some lovely quilts, go to  Huntington WV Piecemakers  and enjoy.   It was a rainy day, but we had a wonderful turn-out, good food, and joy and appreciation by all.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Amy's Creative Bloggers' Online Quilt Festival:: Spring 2011

Hellooooo Amy's followers.
Below you will find my entry into this year's Bloggers Online Quilt Festival. Since this is my first entry, I am very excited.

The quilt is titled Mountain Mama's Garden. I've done several quilts focused on the hills of West Virginia; the earlier ones were wall hanging sizes, but I've wanted to do a big quilt using this theme for quite some time. Last fall, I took a class in crazy quilting and decided to try a crazy quilt landscape. And VOILA!

The Process
I love the effect of light caught in facets of space that is created by the crazy block form and the mix of color values. I enjoyed making this quilt. Piecing the blocks was exciting and I couldn't wait to finish that part. A few weeks before I began this quilt, I'd purchased some gold and silver thread at a yard sale that seemed perfect for hand quilting the sun and a few rays.

A closer view.

My sun center rather resembles a bird.  Hmmmm, maybe a phoenix.

 I debated back and forth between hand quilting and machine quilting. I have a fairly new Handi-quilter 16 and decided quilting this piece would give me more practice in using it. So I machine appliqued a few clouds in the sky and  echo quilted around them. Then, I quilted the hills, and lastly the flowers. The machine quilting went well until I got to the hills and changed threads. It seems the tension went haywire. It didn't return to normal  even stitching until after I'd finished that section and changed treads again.  I learned that I need the same kind of thread on the spool as in the bobbin for smooth quilting.   Each time I use my handi-quilter, I learn new things. My handi-quilter is the sit down model, with the table, so all quilting is hand guided.  As I am still learning to machine quilt, tips and suggestions are very welcome.

Mountain Mama's flower garden.

I am so happy blogger is back up and I can participate in this spring's Blogger's Online Quilt Festival.

Amy's Creative Side | Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Thursday, April 14, 2011

For Springtime is Your time is My Time...

                                                  In the cracked pot

                                                   on the front patio;
                                         where no one but I could see them
                                           Bloomed the sweet hyaccinth.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


 I am determined to finish up these WIPs this year.   In addition, I have some other projects that I want to get going, but I refuse to start something else until these are out of the hopper.  A couple have been in that bin for over two years.  Does anyone else get started  excitedly on something new, then something immediate, like Fall Bazaare or Christmas cards or a new commissioned portrait takes you off-track, then you can't quite get back to finishing up what you wanted to do or began earlier?

I started this one last fall.  It's part of my WV Hills Series and I'd planned to enter it this year in Sacred Threads, but alas, it wasn't finished in time.  I'd changed name from Mountain Mama's Garden to PEACE IN THE VALLEY.  The sun looks like a bird, so I'm going to have to edit that some and I want to hand quilt the rest of it also.   I love hand quilting, so I'm not worried really about finishing this one.

This quilt is made up of African themed fabrics and originally (in 2007) I had decided to make it out of strips.  When I put it up on the wall, I felt the strips looked terrible so I let it set a year as I pondered what to do with it.
 A year or so later, I cut up the strips (with trepidation) and began a mandala or medallion like design.  I like it better, but again I got so far and didn't quite know where to go next.  Now I'm determined to finish this up.   The fabrics are beautiful and I hate it just laying around unfinished.

My sister retired from teaching in 2008.   I told her I would make her a bed quilt for her retirement and asked what she wanted.  Sometime in 2009, she brought me a huge bag of T-Shirts,  her favorites and requested I make her quilt from those shirts.   I'd never made a T-Shirt quilt.   Got me a book, read it,  and cut out all the logos. Somehow I missed the part about ironing them to a stabilizer. Then came the hard part of arranging the logos and figuring out how to size them so they'd work out in blocks I could sew together.   Whew, finally figured out sizes and  numbers of sashings I would need.   Now to just get started with that step.

While visiting my daughter in Michigan, she took me to Haberman's fabric shop.  Lord, Fabric to die for.   I brought this piece of Merrimako and decided to quilt it and practice using my Handi-quilter.
It started off fine, but then, the thread started breaking and I became quite frustrated.  Working through a machine problem takes patience and time and I didn't have much of either then, so I hung it up to keep it in sight, and forgot about it for the past six or seven months ( maybe 9 or 10 months).   It's such a gorgeous piece.

 In the fall, I took a class at a local quilt shop called Quilt-as-you-go-Crazy-Quilt.   It was fun.   I loved it and was asked to teach the technique to our local quilt group.   In the process, I made quite a few blocks and decided to start sewing them together into a quilt.  After teaching the technique though, I became a little tired of flip and sew and put it down.  The  PEACE IN THE VALLEY quilt uses the CQ design for the blocks and I was finishing up that landscape about the same time.   I'll get back to this, because it does move fast and I've a ton of scrap fabric I want to use up, plus I get to practice quilting by machine with these blocks.
     And finally,  my good friend Beth's son got married in April, or May of last year and she asked that I do a fabric portrait of the new couple as her wedding present to them.  Wellllllll, that didn't happen.  It's almost done and will be done by the time of their first anniversary (God Willing).   What I learned is that it is difficult for me to do a portrait without having four or five pictures of the person or either knowing them very well.  I discovered different pictures present key features and characteristics quite differently from a real life view.  I'm working on compleitng this one now.

       And then there are all the quilts in my head, . . . . . . just waiting in line.

Fairy Godmother
Bless our WIPs and U.F.Os
  to sweet completion!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Altar Cloth

     On Sunday, February 27,  St. Peter Claver celebrated Black History Month and the onset of Women's History Month with a presentation by Brother Michael McGrath on the life and times of Sister Thea Bowman.  Through his art, Bro. Mickey, as he refers to himself, created a series of paintings which represented key events from her life.   Bro. Mickey is a well known artists,  whose sacred paintings are spiritual  meditations and teaching stories in themselves.
Brother Mickey

Sister Thea Bowman
 In his presentation, he spoke of being inspired by a film of Sister Thea Bowman's life at a point of deep grief in his own life. Shortly afterwards, he created a series of nine paintings representing her life.  His book This Little Light   is a result of this work and appreciation of Sister Thea Bowman, who is  now being considered for sainthood.   My altar covering  is a representation of the painting of Sister Thea that appears on the cover of his book of her life.

May your joy increase
May your love and work be blessed
 May you be happy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New project beginnings

Colors?    Fabrics?    Patterns?  Textures?   Values?   

Why is it that every time is the first time again?

May your new beginnings be blessed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ms. Ida's Boys and Girls

Made by Ms. Ida Murphy of  Thoomas, WV

      This quilt was appliqued by Ms. Ida.   I love it.   It is tied.  I love the girls and boys representing a period of time before African Americans were free.  Still here is a quilt of beauty depicting an ugly time .  This is what I love about my people who have consistently in the face of the inhuman and unloving, created of it a thing of beauty and dignity and love.  
      Ms. Ida, the mother of my friend, Ilene Evans, is in her 80s, recently quilted the civil war quilt that is being raffled off  by Ilene's organization, Voices of the Earth.  She amazes me.

May you be inspired!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The fabric portrait I made.
Close up of portrait

Ken and Elaine Blue

Carolyn, Dolores Elinore and Victoria (selection readers)

ON SUNDAY, February 6, the Huntington Museum presented "THE PRESENTATION" of  Elaine Blue's art  at the gallery.    There was a full auditorium of people and a short program  of readings from selected plays she wrote and from her books of poetry.   Afterwards, there was the exhibit ( which I should have taken some pictures of) and a reception.   It was a wonderful tribute to a very talented lady.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Free Motion quilting

I've decided to practice everyday freemotion quilting until I am able to control my movement more.  I'm having trouble with the HQ machine.   The thread keeps breaking.   Don't know what the problem is, but I keep working with it.

May you learn lots of new things.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The New Year So Far

This is the story of January.

      Last year i signed up to take two courses online this winter:   Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist  with Abbey of the Arts ,  and Still Life at Quilt University.  Both classes have started.   And I like them both at this time.  WMPA keeps me very busy, as there are 25 people enrolled and they post new stuff everyday or send in photos they have taken.  WMPA has to do with instilling into your work your spirituality.   I learn that most of the people there are affiliated with some religious grouping of some kind, but not necessarily Catholic.  It is a fascinating class and the people are from all over the world.  They are traditional painters and mixed media artists.  There is even another woman there who quilts.

The Still Life class is one where I'll be making a still life scene from fabric and learning basic rules and regulations for the GIMP (freeware and like photoshop)  I feel that I will learn a lot from it.
and meeting and talking with the healthy

May your blessings continue this new year!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The New Year--2011

Made for gift exchange among Piecemakers

      The New Year has rolled in all quiet and quick.   Already, 10 days have flown by.   At our annual Christmas party, the Piecemakers exchange gifts through some sort of fun game activity.  This was the bag I made for that event.   it turned out nicely with the sewing theme even followed into the lining, which I found at Ingrams'.

      Since then, I've been working away on model blocks for the CQ Sadie and I are teaching to the group.  Several of the ladies said they'd always wanted to know how to do a CQ.   And because we're teaching a QAYG technique too, several have expressed interest in learning how to do that also.   I had great idea to make several white on white blocks to use to teach quilting (on your home machine)  using either straight lines  or free motion .  I hope everyone who wants to try the free motion was/is able to get darning foot for next meeting.    And maybe one with white background as we plan to use as background and sashing for all the blocks.  Will post pictures of model quilting on blocks soon. 

May 2011 bring lots of quilting joy!


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