Sunday, September 30, 2012

Student Hand Piecing Finishes

I'm beginning to feel like a slacker!  It is so exciting to see so many flimsies from this year's classes!

First up is Colleen.  This is her first hand piecing class AND her kids guilted her into setting the whole top by hand!

A detail shot of those sharp points!  I love the colors.

Traci is very prolific!  Here is her first Monthly Bliss 1 top.  Beautiful greens, burgundies and golds (much better looking than in the picture).

Did I mention prolific?  Here's Traci's second MB1 top!  Check out the ultra cool sashing fabric!  Isn't it amazing that all three of these quilts started with the same block patterns?

Here's Vickie with her completed Mariner's Compass flimsie!  Of course, the first question everyone asks is: "Is it paper pieced?"  The answer is a resounding NO.  This is totally hand pieced--absolutely no applique either!  Check out the striped fabric used in part of the smaller star points.

And a close-up of the center.  Notice the fussy-cutting Vickie did on the large star points and the center.

Impressive, no?  I am so proud of all my students--you ladies rock!

More finishes tomorrow.  October 1--how can that be?  See you on the flip side.

Blissful hugs to all,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Great Day and a Fabulous Quilt

On Saturday I spent the day with twenty women from the Susquehanna Valley Quilters who were eager to learn my method of hand quilting.  We had a wonderful day, which ended with a downpour and double rainbows!  Everyone did a great job with the quilting and we had many laughs along the way.  A fun day for all!

When I was at this same guild in the spring, they were working on their raffle quilt and on Saturday I saw the finished result of their efforts.  It is absolutely beautiful!  I think it is a "happy" quilt, all those plates tumbling over each other.  It certainly makes me smile!

The good news?  You can buy a ticket that might win you this beauty!  For more information contact  

Julievk correctly identified the hummingbird moth, which I had incorrectly called a butterfly moth.  Thanks, Julie.  You're so smart, girlfriend!

I may have a finish to show you tomorrow.  I started the project this afternoon and have just the binding to hand sew!  How's that for almost instant gratification!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I just finished listening to I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge and have started Unnatural Acts by Stuart Woods.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Not-to-Miss Quilt Show

In a departure from the usual, I am giving you a heads-up on a great quilt show coming up this weekend.  As well as the wonderful special exhibits listed, you will get a chance to see many of the quilts that have been featured on this blog!  That's right, many of the student finishes from prior posts have been entered.  Don't miss this opportunity to see these flimsies-NOT up close and personal.

Here's the info:

The Endless Mountains Quilt Guild is hosting a quilt show at the Lynch-Bustin Elementary School in Athens, PA, on Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23.  Hours are 10-5 on Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday.  Come see approximately 300 quilts made by guild members, plus an exhibit of Portrait Quilts by Marilyn Belford, a display of antique and reproduction Civil War quilts by Betty Neff, a 40 quilt collection from the newly released Hoffman Challenge, and a bed turning of antique quilts paired with modern versions.  Quilted items made by members will be for sale.  Food is available.  The facility is wheelchair accessible and parking is free.

For more information, please visit their website:

What's the photo about?  Glad you asked!  That's the opportunity quilt that you, yes you!, could win!

Trust me, it'll be worth the drive.  Tell them you heard about the show here!  

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry (I may have listed this before; I can't remember) and I am reading Animal Magnetism by Rita Mae Brown (non-fiction); it is excellent.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Butterfly--Bushes and Moths

Nature is just amazing.  The butterfly bushes have been just loaded with blossoms even with the drought conditions.  A few days ago I took my camera out to get some pics and had an unexpected visitor!

You don't really notice the delicacy of each flower that makes up one blossom.  Check out the flower heads in the pics below.

And the visitor?  A butterfly moth!  Or at least that's what I've been told it is.  Some of you readers may know it by a different name.  When you first see them, they look similar to a hummingbird.  The color and antennae and the multiple legs are kind of a give-away upon closer inspection!  The wings go as fast or faster than the hummingbird's.  Here they look transparent because they are moving so quickly.

Wings still moving, but body set down for a brief rest on the flower.

And a side shot.  They are quick!  Even with the sports setting and image stabilization on my camera, it was hard to get even these shots.  And, these are the best of the bunch--I took lots, hoping for that one magic moment.  

That's it for now.  

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Random Sunday

1.  When I am President, everyone will have broadband or higher for internet!  It takes me so long to wait for dial-up that I have started knitting while I wait....

2.  The word "eely".  It means slippery.  Just saying the word eely makes my skin crawl.  It's in crosswords quite a bit.

3.  Why, in crosswords, are we allowed to use "lira" or "lire" depending on which ending fits the puzzle?

4.  Do real female cops and FBI agents (and other alphabet agencies) really wear high heels on a take-down?  Can you imagine chasing a perp and getting that heel caught in a grate?  Have there been tests to see how fast women can run in heels?  Rest assured, if I am elected President, no funds will be expended for that research.

5.   Why are geese already flying south?  It seems way too early.  But I'm loving this cooler weather.

6.  Why isn't every book I want available on CD?  I can listen a lot more than I can actually read.  If you haven't done the Harry Potter books on CD, you really should, even if you've read the books.  Jim Dales is spectacular as the reader.

7.  I pulled out a project from quite a while ago, already basted, and have it over half quilted in just one evening.  

8.  Today I cut batting for 80 quilt sandwiches for class and muslin for 52.  Have the 52 layered ready to baste.  I don't suppose anyone wants to volunteer to help baste?  I didn't really think so.

 Okay, I guess that's enough randomness for now.  Have a great start to the week!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Home Front by Kristin Hannah.  Compelling!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What the Flock?!?!

Taken this afternoon.  A sure sign of fall--flocks of starlings.  You can't imagine the noise they made!  All those black spots are birds!


Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I heard that collective sigh of parents as school started today!  And who can resist the back to school supplies!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Retreat 2012: Part Three

It's never too late to change your mind.  Here's an example:

This is the original retreat project.  The navy border, while perfectly mitered, made the left and bottom edges disappear.  The tree?  Not a deal breaker yet.

Dissatisfied, I removed the tree, which took almost as long as appliqueing it on!  I still didn't like the border, so off it came too.  I replaced it with a woody looking fabric, which looks more like a window or picture frame.  (The colors in the above photo are closer to real.)  I am much happier with this version.  I will admit that if I had basted and started the quilting I might not have ripped it back.  But I have been known to do exactly that.

Remember the smaller version that several of the students did?  Here's mine.  The white lines you see in the border are for quilting.  I am using Quilters Dream Cotton Request unwashed for the first time--and I like it a lot.  Mostly ditch quilting, except in the sky and in the water.

A close-up.  I started with the sky and water fabrics and filled in the rest.  I just love this piece.  I'll share more of it when it's finished.

And to end the retreat retrospective, here are a few photos I hope you enjoy.

Blissful hugs to all,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Retreat 2012: Part Two

One of the evenings we were at retreat, there was a spectacular sunset.  Not living on a large (or small!) body of water, it always amazes me how much more beautiful a sunset is over water.  

So serene.  And so fitting with our Adirondack landscape project!  More pictures to come!

Blissful hugs,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Retreat 2012, Part One

A couple weeks ago, the quilters again met in Lake George for fun, chocolate, and lots more.  It really did look more like a sweatshop than a retreat!

Here are pics at the start of the project.  So serious!  And I didn't even have my whip out yet!

As the days progressed, here is what resulted from all this hard work.

Cindy with her landscape.  She started with the sky and water and worked from those.  It is so serene.  And Cindy is one happy quilter!

That's Kathleen hiding behind that beautiful piece!  She chose to work in the medium size--just lovely!

This is Kay's first "real" applique project.  She was a bit apprehensive about three days of handwork--but she didn't whine and she did a fantastic job.  She even said she couldn't believe how much she had learned and improved over the three days.

Nancy also worked in the medium size.  Her addition of the birch trees was inspired.  She also added an embroidered bird and had the piece almost quilted before we left.

Sandy and Kay are sisters!  They work and play well together and are a joy to be around.  Sandy had her top completed and was happy with the results.  Sandy is an excellent landscape painter--I told her my applique design was more the Grandma Moses style!

Sharon G. chose to use fabrics with a more realistic feel.  She did a wonderful job--and I know you can't tell from her face that she's happy with the results!

A view of the classroom building.  See where the water goes underneath the porch?  It's just a magical place.

Two of the ladies did not want their pieces photographed before they were finished, so I hope to have pics of them later.  All these ladies did a superb job and made me so proud with what they accomplished.  

Tomorrow will be part two of the story...I'm not sure if there will be a part three or not.  Probably depends on how many pictures I can download tomorrow!  Ten pictures in one post must be a personal best!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  Kathleen, loved your QOV story.  Please be sure to thank DH for his service. And your quilt is beautiful.

P.P.S.  Check out Sharon Stanley's blog,  She is under contract for TWO children's books!  That's so exciting!

P.P.P.S.  I am listening to Dead Even by Brad Meltzer.