Monday, December 27, 2010

Mysterious Stars

I do not have any children of my own, by choice, but not because I do not like children! So I enjoy the fact that I have gotten to know my best friend Michelle's two daughters, Joey and Sim, quite well over the years. So well, in fact, that I have become their honorary auntie and they my honorary nieces. This is a special treat since my flesh and blood nieces and nephews live thousands of miles away in Denmark and I don't get to see them nearly enough.

Therefore, when Joey turned 13 in December, I thought it only fitting to give her a quilt, just as I had given my nephew Jens a quilt for his 13th birthday the previous year.
Fortunately, the quilt I had been working on as a result of a "mystery block of the month" project in my local guild, seemed to be a good choice. I had been pretty frustrated with the "mystery block" project; we had not been given enough information - I thought - to make good choices about how to pick fabrics, and as a result a couple of the early blocks turned out very strange. So I started cheating and not cutting my fabrics until I actually saw what the blocks looked like :). I just could not see making all those blocks and having them turn out useless.

With the help of Tori at Wilderness, who picked out the yellow fabric, which I didn't originally have as part of this quilt, I think the project turned out pretty nicely at the end. It was a mystery to me, because I generally have a pretty good idea of what my quilt will look like when I start working on it.
I usually like to piece my back out of what remains from making the top, and/or use big pieces of fabric I already have. But I fell in love with the piece which is at the center of the back here, one day at the shop, and knew it would look pretty good in this quilt so I got it for the back and I am very happy I did. Even though I still had to piece some strips to make the back wide enough.

Isn't that just like a teenager! A very mysterious way of saying Thanks Auntie! I love it. Of course, it was Joey's wonderful mother, Michelle, who insisted on taking the picture, but at least Joey didn't run away screaming or completely hide behind the quilt.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


My friends Jan and Mou had been waiting to adopt a baby for a while. Last year, they lost a baby when the birth mother changed her mind after the baby was born. They had waited on this particular baby for many months, the birth mother had chosen them to adopt her baby and they traveled to be with her at the time of delivery, but once the baby was born she changed her mind, as, of course, she had every right to do. Nevertheless, it was as close to a miscarriage for them as you can get when you are not actually pregnant yourself.

So we were all overjoyed when they were suddenly notified that another baby was available, less than a week before Baby Jaden was born! Unfortunately, because of the short notice, I didn't have a quilt ready. I had started this, way back, but never finished it, so I had to hustle when I suddenly heard they had left to pick up a baby boy! Several weeks after they returned to Danville, I was able to go visit them, meet the little wonder, and hand over the quilt.

I put some random African prints on the back.
I hand quilted the Madagascar panel, and since Jaden is African American, I thought the African theme, ended up being a good fit! By the way, Jaden seems to be an amazing fit with Jan and Mou also and is growing into a big, strong and very happy baby boy, who will soon be much taller than at least one of his moms.

Dog Bed 10

I always get a lot of stuffing for dog beds when I visit Atlanta, and especially when I also attend a quilt retreat. My dear friend Michelle, has been a particularly generous contributor of scrap materials lately because she has made a lot of absolutely stunning T-shirt quilts. (When you make a T-shirt quilt, you use only a small part of the shirt, the part with the logo or image, and the rest becomes trash or dog bed stuffing!).

So, last time I went, instead of carrying all the scraps back home, I brought with me a dog bed cover and made the bed while in Atlanta. And I left the bed there with Michelle to give to somebody in need of same. As it turned out, Michelle donated the bed to a silent auction held for the benefit of VOX, an Atlanta based non-profit organization dedicated to giving teenagers the opportunity to express themselves and tell their stories through publication of a news paper by the teens themselves.
Before she gave the bed away, Michelle made and attached this beautiful label. I love the label, and wish I had thought of the idea and a way of making some kind of labels for the dog beds. I may still come up with something for the future - feeling sure that Michelle will not mind if I do copy her good idea. However, as Michelle and I discussed, such labels will have to be attached by machine and not as this is by hand, as a curious dog can too easily tear this off.
Dog Bed 10 sold at the auction for in the neighborhood of $50, and I am so happy that our scraps have helped make that donation to VOX possible. Since I have no idea who bought the dog bed, however, I obviously do not have a photo of the lucky dog on the bed :)

Imagine that! No sooner do I say that I will never get a picture of the dog on the bed, than Michelle emails me this picture! The person who purchased the dog bed at the auction, emailed it to her. So here is the dog, a rescued, retired grey hound - name and gender unknown - on Dog Bed 10. I don't know a lot about grey hounds, other than they can run incredibly fast, and that when not forced to race they can be very lazy and love to lay around the house. I hope this retired dog will get lots of time to lie on this bed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hip Hop

Even though I have already made two complete frog quilts, I still have lots of frog fabrics left. It is quite amazing how much frog fabric I managed to buy when I was collecting them to make a quilt for my nephew several years ago. I obviously didn't at all try to buy only as much as I would need for that quilt! Oh well, since when have I ever done that? If I did, I wouldn't have any kind of a stash. Nevertheless, I am a bit amazed at how this frog fabric collection is still quite substantial.

So, here comes a froggy baby quilt, which I made for my good friends Mike and Amy in Atlanta when they became parents for the first time in June.
Their adorable daughter, Elena Lucille, was born the day before my birthday, and though I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting her, I am sure that with parents like Mike and Amy, she will grow up to be quite an amazing person. She is bound to turn out to like not only frogs, but also to honor and appreciate all other living creatures.

I was quite happy with this, my second adventure into using clip-art to spice up the label.

Dog Beds 6 and 7

I try to remember always to take a picture of every project I complete before I give it away, and in the few instances I have forgotten, it has generally been possible to visit the recipient to make up for my mistake.

Unfortunately, with regard to Dog Bed 6, that appears not to be the case. It was the biggest dog bed I have made so far, and it was pretty cool too, if I do say so myself, with a Marimekko fabric covering. I gave it to Linda, a fellow Happy Paws Spay Neuter Clinic volunteer. Linda needed it for Buster, a big German Shepherd/Chow mix who'd recently wandered into her life desperately in need of a home. It seemed like just what Buster needed in his dog house in the fall of 2009, as it was turning cold outside.

I always ask people to whom I give a dog bed, for a picture of the dog on the bed, saying that is the "price" I ask for the bed, and Linda said she would take a picture of Buster on the bed. At the time, I didn't realize I had forgotten to take a picture myself of the bed so the one Linda promised me would be the only one I would ever have. However, not only has Linda not produced a picture so far, but she has also told me that it only took Buster three days to shred the bed and scatter all its insides all over her yard! Not exactly what I was looking forward to hearing :) Linda was the one who had to collect A LOT of fabric and batting scraps from her yard and I will gladly continue to make dog beds. I was just sorry that the pretty Marimekko fabric had to go to waste so quickly. Fortunately, most of the dog beds last a lot longer than that and are well worth making.
Dog Bed 7 above, went to my friend Jean Ann, who is a quilter and quilt teacher, who I met when she taught at the retreat I have been attending at the Episcopal retreat center, Kanuga, in Hillsboro, NC, in January for several years.

When I took the bed to Jean Ann, who lives in Marietta, GA, in April 2010, she promised me a picture of her dog, Chloe, on the bed, which I have yet to receive. But at least in this case, I did remember to photograph the empty bed myself, before handing it over. Chloe is a small dog and I feel quite certain she has not destroyed the bed, it is much more likely that her human just has not gotten around to taking a picture for me yet.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Barn Quilt Block

As soon as I moved to the country two years ago, I started wanting a Barn quilt block of my own. I had probably seen some of them before I moved here, but once I was here, I started paying particular attention to them and noticed how many there were. They are quite prolific in this part of the country as well as in rural Tennessee and Ohio - and in other parts of the country as well, I am sure. And they really brighten up the landscape as well as pay tribute to our art and the tradition of quilting.

In many places, the visitors' bureaus, chambers of commerce, or other organizations keep lists of the barn quilt blocks, and will provide brochures and driving routes for persons interested in viewing them. I found out that where I live, the Extension Service will actually, for a fee, make a Barn Quilt block and put it on the barn for an interested citizen of Boyle County. But, after consulting our farm manager and getting his assurance that he would mount the block for me if I made it, I decided to do one myself. Steve and I don't actually own a barn, we just have a house on one acre, but there are plenty of beautiful barns on the family farm, and the quilt block would, at any rate, have to be on a barn where it could be seen from the road, which would not be the case where we live or on the barns which are back here around our house. So the block was always destined for a barn on the part of the farm where Steve grew up and where most of the family live.

It took almost two years, and it was definitely a group effort, I cannot take credit for much more than the idea, but it is finally done and up on our barn:
For those who are local, it is on a barn facing Lexington Road, just east of 3248 Lexington Road - which is on the south side of Lexington Road. It is easiest to see if you are coming towards Danville, in which case it will be on your left and immediately before the 3248 Lexington Road address. In other words, after you pass Sallie and Jim's house and just before you get to the tenant house where Gerald lives.

It looks tiny to me now on that huge barn, but it actually measures 8 by 8 feet, which is the standard measurement for the blocks errected by the Boyle County Extension Service. I designed the block and chose the colors. I wanted a star to commemorate Benjamin, and I have always liked the friendship star. Friendship is very important and it is nice to be friendly. I would have liked to include the color green for the farm, but thought it would be too dark against the black barn and its obvious contrast - red - would make the star look too Christmassy. So yellow and blue it became. Since the friendship star is such a simple pattern, I added the black and white border for some interest.
Participants in Farm Camp 2009, primed the plywood to ready it for painting. Above, Michelle Hiskey is starting out, and below, Joey, Sim, and Grace are putting on the finishing touches.
But after Farm Camp left, I didn't continue and as I wasn't getting anything done, I finally asked my niece, Trish Bredar, an art student and artist, if she could help out and did she ever. She did all the measuring to transfer the pattern to the plywood and all of the painting of the actual quilt block.
But even after Trish finished the painting, the block still sat in my garage for almost a year while I was busy procrastinating application of the finishing layers of sealer. Finally this past summer, my sister-in-law, Sallie Bright and her husband Jim Bredar - Trish's parents - came over on several hot summer evenings and did the work applying sealer to the quilt block.

And, while I was in Denmark in August our super farm manager and jack-of-all-trades, Kenneth Thomas, and his right hand man Gerald fought wind and gravity and put the quilt block up on the barn.

I love having it up there and am so thankful to everybody who has helped make it happen.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Place mats

I made these six place mats for my sister and hand delivered them when I visited in August. They are all six identical; in the picture three of them show one side and three the other side. Since there is so much beautiful fabric available, I thought I might as well feature at least two different prints. I used the heavier home dec type fabric and put a layer of canvas "batting" inside for some stability.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fugleornitologi for Avancerede

This quilt has a Danish name which translated to English means approximately "Advanced Bird Ornithology." It is in Danish because I made it for my father, who is Danish and a big birder. ("Big" because he is a tall and large man and he is REALLY into birding). I know that "bird ornithology" is duplicative and silly, but my father and his friends have for years referred to themselves as bird ornithologists. They not only like to look at birds, they also like to be silly and play with words.
The main fabrics in this quilt are state bird fabrics which I collected several years ago when they were being sold, shortly after the first set of state flower fabrics. I was never sure that the full set of state bird fabrics were ever produced or that I was ever able to get all of them but eventually I stopped worrying about that and made the quilt with what I had, which turned out to be 21 different fabrics. However, only 20 of the fabrics made the quilt, logistically it worked out better that way, and the cardinal fabric didn't go that well with the rest.

Though, regretfully I failed to acknowledge her significant contribution on the label, I could not have designed the quilt without the help and encouragement from my friend and fellow quilter Debbie Steinmann. It was Debbie who encouraged me to use the many diffferent tree, grass, and leaf fabrics in a strippy sashing which I had 1) worried would be too busy and 2) been reluctant to embark on because other options would have been a lot less time consuming. However, I am so glad I took her sage advice and very happy with the effect and outcome.
The quilt, which is throw sized, was machine quilted to perfection by Regina Carter. I brought it to Denmark in person this August to hand to my father as a belated 78th birthday present, as I am loath to send quilts in the mail from the US to Denmark. I am pleased to say that my father seemed very happy with the quilt.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blooming Paducah

I bought the fabrics for this quilt quite a few years ago the first time I was in Paducah. On the way back from a visit to Kentucky, while we still lived in Atlanta, Steve and I stopped by Paducah and visited the National Quilt Museum. I also got to visit Hancocck's of Paducah while Steve and Jesse stayed at the hotel and it was then I bought fabrics for this quilt. But they sat around for several years before the opportunity to make the blooming nine-patch finally came around.
I hand and machine pieced the quilt which finished at 80" x 90" starting a couple of months before we moved to Kentucky in 2008, so it ended up being a longer than usual process as it had to be packed away while the actual packing, move, and unpacking took place. After I unpacked it again and finished it, the quilt itself went back to Georgia to be machine quilted by Regina Carter.
But then it happened to be finished just in time to become a perfect wedding present for our friend Jim Jenkins. Jim, a fellow Atlanta criminal defense lawyer, married Ann Roan, a mother of two and training director of the Boulder, CO, public defender office, on June 5, 2010, and we got to go to the wedding. Jim is a wonderful friend and supporter of us and our work, and he is very generously letting Steve use his Atlanta condo so Steve has a place to live whenever he is in Atlanta. So I was especially glad that I had a nice quilt ready which we could give to them for their wedding.
Jim and Ann have told us that they plan on hanging the quilt in their home in Boulder and have enlisted the help on Ann's mother, a master seamstress, to make a sleeve for the quilt.

And voila! About 6 weeks after the wedding, I received the following picture of Ann and her mother posing with the quilt which now has a sleeve and hangs on an invisible hanger!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Eye Candy

I know some people theorize that it is better for babies to look at simple shapes with stark color contrasts - such as the red, black, and red ones in this baby quilt - or perhaps the theory is that these are the only kinds of things that babies can actually see? Obviously I am no expert on either babies or their eyes, but I loved the panel with its silly figures, and in my opinion, a baby quilt, and at least the intricacies of the fabric choices, is probably enjoyed a lot more by the quilter and perhaps the parents of the child, than by the baby to whom it is given.

But "my theory" about baby eyes together with the licorice candy fabric which a friend had given to me, which I put on the back of the quilt, led me to name the quilt: "Eye Candy," and I thought that it would at least be a lively, fun, and colorful quilt for a baby. So, I sent it to California when our friend and former co-worker Kate gave birth to her first-born Leo.

Fortunately for Leo's parents, it does not appear that bright colors, silly shapes, and sharp contrasts will keep him awake. Here's to hoping that he continues to be a good sleeper throughout his time on earth.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pieceful Challenge

One of the first friends I made here in Danville was Bev. She is a quilter and a "dog person," on the Board of the Humane Society and an active volunteer with several of its programs. So we have a lot in common. Bev invited me to join her guild, the Pieceful Hearts Quilters, which meets at the Extension office in Lincoln County.
I made this quilt in last year's guild challenge. It was not a very difficult challenge. We were each given 8 fat quarters of coordinating fabrics of which we had to use all but one. We could add as many new and as much fabric as we wanted, had to make at least a 40" by 60" quilt, but could use any pattern we wanted.

I added several fabrics from my stash and also bought some until I had a total of 21 fat quarters which is what this pattern, which I found in a magazine, called for. The pattern by Karen Dumont, is called "Warm and Cozy Patchwork." I hand pieced the top while I was in Denmark during the summer of 2009, and the quilt, which finished measures 60" x 70", was machine quilted by Regina Carter.
One of the things which is so nice about living here in Danville, is that we get to visit with Steve's extended family on a more regular basis. The Richardsons, though not actually related, are nevertheless as close as family can be. Guy Richardson was best friends with Steve's father since they were about 3 or 4 years old; his wife Sue is Steve's mother's best friend; the Richardsons' four children grew up with Steve and his siblings like cousins; Steve worked bagging groceries in the Richardsons' store as did Steve's nephew; and when Steve argued at the Supreme Court a couple of years ago, the Richardsons traveled to Washington, DC, to hear him.

I happened to get this quilt back and have the binding on it right in time for Guy Richardson's birthday and as it also happened that he had to go to the hospital on his birthday, it occurred to me that he could probably put it to good use so Steve and I gave it to him when we went to see him shortly thereafter. A few weeks later, we took him out to lunch and I sewed the label on while we ate lunch at O'Charley's.

This quilt has definitely found its rightful home, I am only sorry I didn't know from the minute I started working on it, that was where it belonged.

Not My Sister's

This quilt was a real stretch for me. I saw it hanging in my local quilt store, Wilderness Road Quilt Company, here in Danville, KY, and just loved the way it looked, so when a class was offered in the spring of 2009, to make the quilt, I signed up without paying a whole lot of attention to what it would involve. And now that the quilt is finished, I have no regrets, but making it was not only fun and games. It took a lot longer than the class allowed and I really had to push myself to get through it.

So far, I have never not finished a quilt I have started, but if I had not loved this quilt and the fabrics I had chosen so much, this could have become the one! Before I started, I had paid no attention at all to just how many small individual pieces were involved in piecing those six outer borders of the quilt. And I never did count how many, but it was an awful lot of individual pieces, and almost all of them were triangles! I did not enjoy that process.

I also had never previously made a Dresden plate, and probably never contemplated making one. That was fun, however, and I can see doing it again.

Overall, I am very happy with the quilt and glad I made it. It was beautifully machine quilted - as always - by Regina Carter, who used a lovely bubbly pattern I had never seen before.
It was also a whole lot of fun to take the class and make the quilt in a group, and to see how very different our "identical" quilts turned out to be. Leslie and Tori, owner and employee of Wilderness, had each made her own version of the quilt before the class, so two versions of the quilt were hanging at the shop; as they had two, they named it "Sisters." I originally thought I would give my quilt to my sister, but when I talked to her about it and described it, it appeared that she would really like a throw size quilt, not another big quilt like this, it is 80" x 80". So I decided to keep this one for myself and named it: "Not My Sister's."

I am working on a quilt for my sister which will show up here one of these days. Stay tuned!

Kittie Blankie

For this little blankie, I hand pieced the top and used a little fleece blanket for the back, but since I did not use any batting it is actually not a quilt. The technical definition of a quilt requires that there be a top and a bottom layer sandwhiched around a batting and the three layers be stitched, tacked or tied together. In this case the middle layer is missing.

I machine stitched the top to the fleece and then turned the edges of the fleece over from the back to the front for the binding. I like the way it came out and though it is thin, it feels plenty substantial enough for a baby blanket and the fleece was thick enough to hide the seams.

I gave this to our neighbors, Erin and Jon Meyer, who I discovered had a new baby girl, Rachel, two months ago! They already had two children, 5 year old Noah and 2 year old Grace, who I know and had occasionally talked to over the fence. Their yard backs up to our 1/2 mile long driveway, so we see them when we walk to get the mail or I occasionally stop to talk when I drive by. But during the winter, there wasn't much interaction, which I suppose is my excuse for missing the pregnancy and new baby!

Fortunately, I had just finished this little blanket.

Dog Bed 8

I am still continuing to make and give away dog beds. And the only "fee" I charge for the dog beds is that I ask the recipient to give me a picture of his or her dog on the bed. Unfortunately, some of my customers have been a little slow at paying for their beds. At this point I am missing pictures of dogs on beds 6 and 7, so I have delayed postings on them.

I am delighted to post this picture, however, of Dusty on Dog Bed 8.
Dusty is a young male terrier Shih Tzu mix who was adopted from our local shelter by my mother-in-law, Pat, just a few weeks ago. He seems to be a very agreeable and sweet dog. He is house broken and very friendly, apparently doesn't even yap a lot, which is unusual for a dog of his size and breed. He definitely has the terrier prey drives and has already attacked a baby raccoon, but otherwise he is very gentle and friendly and gets along famously with my great niece Grace, Pat's great-granddaughter. After just a bit of prodding, he took very well to his new bed.

I wrote this post quite a while ago, but never got around to posting it.  So before I actually do so, I will update it.  Dusty was and is a very good and sweet dog, but he turned out to be too much for my mother-in-law.  He was probably only about a year old at the time, and needed daily play, exercise, or stimulation - more than she was able to give him. And when he didn't get that, he tended to become "naughty," he barked much too much, chewed on things he wasn't allowed to have, got into the trashcan etc.  Of course, he was acting out because of frustration and boredom,  

Fortunately, Pat was able to find a new home for him with a man who does a lot of handy work and walks around in the small town in our county where he lives.  Last we heard, he takes Dusty along everywhere he goes, so Dusty gets plenty of exercise and stimulation and is a much happier and better adjusted dog now, because that is just the right type of situation for him.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Charity Quilt IV

At some point last fall I sent off to for a kit to make a quilt for their project. Unfortunately, life interfered, and it took me a lot longer than they would have preferred for me to finish their quilt. They prefer 4-6 weeks. It took me more like four months!

Quilts for kids is a program sponsored by Downey and other companies which receives free fabric from some fabric companies which it then passes on to volunteers who make kids' quilts. These quilts are given to hospitalized children at certain hospitals which participate in the Quilts for Kids program.
Seems like a pretty good and easy idea. And it is. It took me such a long time, I guess, because they require that absolutely everythign has to be done by machine. The label has to be sewn on by machine, the quilt has to be quilted by machine, the binding has to be sewn on, completely, by machine, etc. etc. So, this became the first quilt I have EVER quilted on my machine. And, before I could do it, I had to get a walking foot and learn how to use it! I have to say I didn't particularly like all their strict rules - though I understand the necessity - the quilts will be washed a lot so they need to be able to stand up to that, is their reasoning.

And I am happy that I now feel like I can machine quilt my own baby quilts, when and if I feel like doing that. Otherwise, I generally hand quilt them, but it is nice to have that option.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Noah's Ark

Last year a lot of people I knew had babies - some of them quite suddenly and unexpectedly - to me at least, hopefully they had some idea it would happen! As a result I found myself making a lot of baby quilts, some of them without much notice. That wasn't as much fun as I like for quilting to be, and therefore I decided that when time allowed, I would try to get a bit ahead of the curve and once in a while make a baby quilt - even if no particular baby was on its way - at least not one that I knew of. So I would have at least one baby quilt, should I suddenly need or want one to give away!
Here is a picture of the first such "extra" baby quilt I made, held by my adorable Little Sister, Marisela, who I "acquired" in August of 2009, through Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. Let me take this opportunity to give a big shout-out to Big Brothers and Big Sisters. It is a great program which needs lots of big sisters and brothers - the latter is in particularly short supply. One person can really make a difference in a child's life. I have no illusions about what kind of difference I may or may not make in Marisela's life, but I know she and I both have a great time hanging out together. She makes my life a lot happier and she gets to do things she could never do without me.

We found a use for this baby quilt this past weekend when we made some new friends. I met Lin through my volunteer work at our local low-cost spay/neuter clinic, and at some point told her about Marisela. Lin suggested we might want to get together with her and her granddaughter, Kayla, to do something fun once in a while. That happened for the first time on Saturday and it was a huge success. Marisela and Kayla got along famously and it was uncanny how much they even looked alike, they could've been sisters separated at birth! Kayla's skin is a bit lighter than Marisela's and Marisela's hair is a bit less frizzy than Kayla's but otherwise it is very close! And after playing together for a couple of hours they were both ready to have play dates every day!

A couple of days before we met Kayla, her mother had given birth to Kayla's first sibling, a baby brother named Conner. So Marisela and I decided to give Kayla the baby quilt for her new brother. Between lunch and the afternoon play date, we came back to my house and wrote the dedication on the label. Marisela liked putting her name on it and wrote in the card that she hoped Conner would like the quilt that "Charlotta and I made for him!"

I look forward to making a quilt for Marisela and perhaps even helping her make one herself, or at least helping her design something which I can then sew for her.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Peace by Piece VI

It makes me so happy to see that some of the young women members of the Peace by Piece quilters are still quilting away even in my absence. Of course, quite apart from being quilters, they are also dear friends of mine and it is an honor and a joy to be able to spend time with them when I visit Atlanta. Meeting as Peace by Piecers is just a good excuse for me to get together with the youngsters who, I am sure, have much better things to do than indulge an old woman like myself!

In October it was exciting for all of us that Ela had her finished quilt to show off. She had finished hand piecing the top and elicited help from one or more of the other Peace by Piecers - plus staff at the Intown Quilter- to make the decision about borders. Then it was machine quilted by Regina Carter, and Ela took a class on bias binding, taught by my friend and fellow AIQ guild member Patty Murphy, also at Intown Quilter. All of which resulted in this gorgeous quilt:
Here Ela, proudly and happily, shows off both the front and the back of her quilt with the help of Mica. I had no idea what she had put on the back: fabric from the Tree Top Fancy collection by Anna Maria Horner, which I just love.

Meanwhile, Shelby also sent me a picture of a quilt she finished. While she is still working on the quilt she was doing for Peace by Piece, she had always wanted to do a quilt from old jeans she had been saving. I had discouraged that, saying it would be to hard to work with for a beginner. Silly me, a quilt teacher should NEVER say anything to discourage students! Here is her jeans quilt, pictured with one of her cats.
Of course, I do not have a favorite student. Something a teacher also should NEVER have. But I must say that Kirsten definitely is the most prolific of the Peace by Piece quilters (not counting myself, of course, but I don't really count - if for no other reason, then because, unlike every body else, I don't have a full time job).
Here is a quilt Kirsten recently finished - after soliciting advice from all of us, via facebook, on the border. She had another one originally, but actually took it off and put this new one on. Either one would have worked, I think, but if she didn't think so, clearly the first one was wrong.

Kirsten even came to visit me - the first of the Peace by Piecers to do so - I await visits from the rest - around Christmas. She and her adorable puppy Theo, stopped by for overnight visits on their way to Chicago and on the way back. It was great.
Here is another Kirsten quilt, pictured with Theo. I know Kirsten have other quilts in the works - or perhaps even finished - and I hope pictures are forthcoming. I also know that Mica will finish her beautiful purple quilt. And I sure hope to hear again soon from Marie - who has traveled the world and is now a busy public defender in Washington, DC. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome to the World

This map of the world cheater cloth is very colorful and though infants obviously have no idea what is going on there, parents think it is a lot of fun, so I bought a couple of them for this very purpose. I hand quilted this one and gave it to our friends, Chris and Helen Adams, for their son and first born, Elias, who was born in August.
And, lo and behold, here is a picture I recently received, of Elias on the quilt. He must be around six months old in the photo and sure looks like a very cute, happy, and healthy kid!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tiny Tree Skirt

A couple of years ago, Michelle and I made tree skirts from a pattern I had bought. I kind of made her do it with me but as it turned out we had lots of fun. Since we never have a big tree, I gave mine to my sister - but I have never heard whether she has used it? Then, subsequently I decided to make a tiny one - it is about 24" across - for my own tiny tree. It was only finished now, in January! several years later. But I will surely use it this year.

The tree skirts aren't at all hard to make, with the pattern I have. So why did it take so long? Because there are too many quilts to make and too little time, I guess. The only reason it actually was finally finished, was because of the Closer Club. Thank you Michelle, Closecutive Extraordinaire. (And for those of you who don't understand this reference, don't worry, it is really very much of an inside reference :))