Thursday, May 21, 2020

again with the houses...

I'm having great fun making houses! I'm up to seventeen for a swap (only swapping 15, but I can't stop making!)
These are all 6 inches finished. I got to thinking.... what if I went smaller? So I made a 3 inch house and that didn't feel tiny enough, so I did one that finishes just under 2 inches....
what exactly does one do with such tiny houses, you ask?
why, you make teeny tiny pin cushions of course! yes, I may be going a little crazy around here.

Just when I thought maybe I was nearing the end of my house making phase, I received the June prompt from Jessica for the Solid Seven..... guess what she wanted? HOUSES! woohoo, I've gotten quite good at those..... I got right on it and whipped up three houses and a tree, black/gray/white per her request, with print (GASP!) thrown in for fun. I absolutely cannot wait to see her finished quilt!
you haven't seen the last of houses from me, but I promise to bring you something else next time. 

Monday, May 11, 2020


Last week I was inspired by my friend Jayne once again. She was cranking out little house minis and they were so darling! I downloaded her Heart of the Home pattern, and made this mini for a friend's birthday...

This one is the 8" (largest) version of the pattern. I had so much fun fussy cutting the windows. I'm pretty sure that is hubby in the window, sweeping the kitchen floor while I am off in the sewing room!

My friend, Diann, had also gotten hooked on house blocks and said to me, "let's do a swap!" Well you know me! I'm all in.... and we rounded up some more local friends to swap with us. We are making 6" houses and I added a couple more FPP patterns to my collections (from center street quilts shop). So far I have 9 blocks made to swap.
I can't think of anything better to celebrate these days than home sweet home! I hope you all are staying well.

Monday, April 27, 2020

trying something new

There's nothing like social distancing to nudge me to try something new! About a month ago, I ordered some watercolor paints, paper, brushes and micron pens and started to play......
Since that day, every morning I paint a random background. Later in the day, when the paints have dried, I add some doodles.
At first, I was totally just copying doodles from things I found on Pinterest. as time goes on, I find myself just going for it and drawing whatever comes to mind.

Not bad for a kid who was always told she couldn't paint or draw! It's time to shed those childhood labels and break free.
I don't think I'll ever be a great painter but I'm having a great time exploring. If not now... then when?
Have you been trying anything new lately?

Monday, April 20, 2020

Another improv round robin

Well it's been about six months now, but last October my improv small group, Comedy Club Quilters, did another lightening round robin. This is becoming an annual event because we all love it so much! You can read about the first one we did here, and learn more about our process. This second one was done in the same manner.

Here's the improv block I made for the "center" of my quilt....

It was fun to see everyone else's starting blocks when we arrived at the retreat center...

Eight of us participated in the round robin this time. I didn't take process pictures this time. It was a whirlwind of a day, with fabric and quilts flying around the circle of improv quilters. At the end of the day, this is what we all had to take home...

Wow! We have all evolved in our individual improv styles and it shows. I loved my final quilt top. Brought it home and tucked it onto a shelf in my studio and promptly forgot about it! Life happened. There was a trip to see my parents and my son in Phoenix. A graduation in Austin. Christmas. Quiltcon..... then WHAM Coronavirus hit the world and lots of home time caused me to dig through old projects and get to work! Last week I quilted this one up on my domestic machine and added faced bindings. What a great finish! Big thank you to my improv buddies for their contributions to this quilt.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Positively Spring

My friend Jayne, from Twiggy and Opal, recently designed a beautiful table runner for Modern by the Yard called Positively  Spring. When she posted her second version, made exclusively in Peppered Cottons, I fell instantly in love and knew I needed to make one too!
I have to back this up a bit and tell you a story..... more than a year ago, at Quiltcon 2019 in Nashville, Jayne and I finally got to meet face to face. We had a great time chatting and getting to know each other better. On the final day, Sunday, I was sitting on a window sill outside the vendor hall, resting my weary feet when Jayne came dashing out of the door in front of me, a huge stack of beautiful Peppered Cottons, in all of the bright and cheery colors. Now, I had been a fan of Peppered Cottons for a while, love the woven texture, the soft hand.... all of it!  It was all I could do not to tackle Jayne right then and there and run off with her stack!

When I admired her purchase (ok, maybe I coveted it a bit?) Jayne told me that one of the vendors (gosh I wish I could remember which one!) had marked them all more than 50% off! Jayne pointed me in the right direction and settled herself into my seat on the window sill and off I went! You don't have to tell me twice!

Minutes later, I returned with my own yummy stack of Peppered Cottons, which have been displayed on my studio shelf ever since. I've been waiting for the perfect project  to entice me to cut into them, and this was it! 

I will tell you that Jayne's pattern is flawless..... clearly written and easy to follow. Also, Jayne has a link on her post where you can get the pattern for free! Score! I had the top together in a matter of hours (honestly the hardest part was choosing colors and creating my layout!).  Before it could disappear into my stack of "things I really need to quilt but am afraid of ruining" I stuck that baby under the needle of my Janome and began straight line quilting. 
I'm getting better at the quilting, but I still have a long way to go. 

Now all I need is an excuse to clear off the table and display my new runner. Also, don't be surprised if I make another one of these. or two?

Monday, April 6, 2020

feelin' groovy

Hello friends! I hope this week finds you well. I am pleased to share a couple of finishes with you today. First up, my feelin' groovy quilt made with blocks from my Solid Seven friends...

Blocks for this quilt began arriving last November and I finally put the last borders on last month. As we were just beginning to shelter in place, I turned to my stash to build a back for this good sized quilt. I had some extra blocks and pieces that had been sent to me that I used on the back too.
I dropped it off for my friend Diann of Happy Quilts to quilt for me (no contact, handed through her door. Normally our exchanges involve Dairy Queen. I look forward to returning to that tradition!) Diann found some awesome groovy flowers to quilt it with.
Another finish is my God With Us quilt. I had shared the quilt top with you before. I quilted this one myself on my domestic machine. Simple linear quilting with my walking foot. It works!

So two quilt finishes, two things checked off my UFO list!

Monday, March 30, 2020

finding joy

Hello friends! How are you doing? I hope you all are well and safe and finding ways to enjoy yourself despite these crazy times.  Last year my word of the year was Joy. Well, just because the year ended, that doesn't mean I ditch my word. So, I thought I'd share a few ways I am finding joy during these days of social distancing.

First off, FAMILY! Today hubby and I did a group FaceTime with all three of our adult children. Our kiddos live in three different states and the nearest one is a 4 hour drive away from us. They all stay well connected, but to have them all on the screen at the same time was a real treat...
Hubby and I even checked in on separate phones, adding to the fun. Oh and I'd say 2/3 of the time we were looking at Malibu, not Ally....
Another thing I find helpful is to get outside. Today hubby and I went for a drive to find the blooming Texas Bluebonnets! Our favorite field of bluebonnets was in full bloom and there were very few people around.... score! We took lots of pictures...

They really are a sight to see! On the way home, we drove through the McDonalds drive through and got milkshakes...
yes, I had a shamrock shake. don't judge me!

Of course I am doing lots of quilting and weaving to stay occupied. While I'm busy in my studio, I like to listen to podcasts that lift me up. One real favorite of mine is Andy J Pizza's Creative Pep Talk. Andy is a graphic designer/illustrator and public speaker who is so much fun to listen to!

A new favorite podcast is Brene Brown's Unlocking Us. Brene is a well known social worker, author and public speaker who I have admired for a long time. Podcasting is new for her and her timing couldn't be better. She has some incredible insights for living in these turbulent times. 

When I'm not listening to podcasts, I'm often listening to music on Amazon music. My favorite station is the Colbie Caillat station.

What are you doing to keep joy in your life? Do share!