Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Self Portrait Collage

Last night at the monthly meeting of ArtCGirlz, we worked on self-portraits that we made from pages from magazines. The meeting is only 2 hours long and the first hour was spent catching up with each other, some of our projects, and tearing out pages from the magazines we brought. I don't save magazines, so I ended up bringing travel brochures from places we have been. Gettysburg, North Carolina, and so forth. I borrowed images from another person in the group for my eyes and lips. Thanks Mary Ellen C.!

The hour we all spent putting our collages on paper went fast. I tried to get mine done so I would not take an unfinished project home. I have enough of those around my studio!

You can view the portraits on the ArtCGirlz blogsite at:

Mine came out like this:

I can't wait to do this with my grand daughters. I think they will really like making self portraits this way.

A short post today. It is an absolutely gorgeous fall morning. I will be going out to show some lake property in about an hour. It will be beautiful there and I hope to get some fall foliage shots along the way. If I get some good pix, I will post them sometime soon.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Rows for the Row by Row Round Robin

I waited to post photos of the rows I made for the Row by Row Round Robin (RRRR) that I participated in with my quilt guild, The Museum Quilt Guild, because I didn't want to spoil the surprise for any of the participants by showing them here before they received them. Everyone has their rows now, so I can show you the rows I made and also the photos of the rows next to each other. I described in an earlier post how the RRRR was arranged. (See February 27, 2013).

The first row that I worked on was Carol M's.

I paper pieced the 8-inch star blocks while I was on a mini vacation on Chincoteague Island. I thought I had brought enough fabric from my stash for the colors I needed, but as it turned out, I needed to shop for just a little bit more fabric, so we made a trip to a little quilt shop in Pokomoke City, Maryland.
This photo shows the row of 12-inch Maple Leaf blocks I received from Carol beneath the row I made.

This second row I worked on was Kathy B's

I made a row of traditional Court House Steps 8-inch blocks.
I bought beautiful batiks to make these blocks.
 This photo shows Kathy's 12-inch Snail Trail block at the bottom.

The row above it is a pinwheel block made by Carol M.
My row of Court House Steps is at the top.

The third row I worked on was Jeri M's.

I  made a row of 8-inch paper-pieced blocks that are supposed to be tulips. 
Because Jeri's theme was Desert Southwest/Native American, I renamed the blocks to Thunderbirds, to keep with the theme.
This photo shows Jeri's row of 12-inch blocks at the bottom, with Carol and Kathy's rows above. 

 I forgot to take a photo with my row in the picture!
The final row I made was for Mary L.

I made a row of paper-pieced fans. I went shopping again for more batiks!
This photo shows Mary's row of 12-inch blocks at the bottom with Kathy's, Carol's and my rows above.

 One more row was given to Mary at the guild meeting. I didn't get a photo of it.
It is a very cool row of paper pieced blocks that resemble Japanese lanterns.

This is a photo of my row that I passed on to Mary L.

I made four 12-inch Star Blocks.
When they are next to each other, the star kind of recedes and the central squares on point seem to emerge.
The rows I got  back are pictured below, with my row at the bottom.
I love all the rows that everyone made for me! The bottom row is mine, the next is Mary's, on top of that is Jeri's, Kathy's, and the top row is Carol's. Now I need to decide on how I will assemble the quilt top!
I had never made anything in a Desert Southwest/Native American or an Oriental motif. I was very challenged at first. But, some of the reasons I joined in on the RRRR in the first place were to learn new things, challenge my creative self a bit, and get to know a few other quilters in the guild better by working on their rows, and having them work on mine. It was a lot of fun and I can't wait to do it again! A big Thank You to Kathi Everett, who arranged it.
I have been working in my studio on a couple new mini albums and boxes. I will get them finished soon and post them here and on YouTube. I wish there were more  hours in the day, because I have sooooo many things I want to make and could be crafting 24 hours! I joined an on-line craft group today and I am excited to start chatting with the other members of the group and join in on challenges and swaps of all kinds. I will be posting a greater variety of handmade things here on my blog in the future. Stay tuned!

What I have learned:
I really really REALLY like using batik quilting fabrics!

 What I want to learn:
 I can work outside of my quilting comfort zone and enjoy myself and the results!

What I appreciate:
The chance to get to know others through our shared love of quilting.

What I want:
World Peace. Amen.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Follow your dreams, even if you have to chase them.

Today is September 11th. A day to reflect, observe, honor and remember those who lost their lives on this date 12 years ago, and to support those who lost loved ones and colleagues in the terrorist attacks on our nation, and give thanks to those who served in the aftermath.

The title of my post is the result of my thoughts about my life and how I live it. I can't take credit for the idea. I saw it recently on the internet and I have not been able to get it out of my mind. To go about my days without direction or purpose is an insult to the memory of those who have gone before me --  my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, pastors, friends, and colleagues. They laid a foundation for me to build on.

This is not to say, I do things at every minute of my day with this in mind; however I am making a conscientious effort to keep an awareness of this as a daily habit. As my mother used to say, when she got into her 70's and 80's, "I have a lot more days behind me than I have ahead of me." It makes a whole lot more sense to me now that I am on the "other side" of 60.

Life is fragile. Life is unpredictable. I attended calling hours yesterday for a woman who I had known since I was in third grade. We went to school and church together. We were in several classes together until we were seniors. We played at each other's houses. Her parents and my parents were brave enough to host annual pajama parties for a lot of little girls from the time we were about 12 years old until we were 16 or so. Together, she and I ruined her mother's washing machine when we tried to die yards and yards of fabric to use as a backdrop for our Junior prom decorations. After our college years, we eventually lost touch with each other and that is something I regret.

I discovered yesterday that she was a quilter, like me. I never knew that. About a half dozen of her beautiful quilts were displayed around the room where calling hours were held. Having them in view must have been a comfort to her family while they greeted people in the long line that extended out the door. She made a quilt for each of her siblings, her children and her grandchildren. While making them, she could never have known that the day would come this soon in her life when they would be a lasting sign of her love and caring for each of them. She made the time, took the time, to create something lasting and beautiful for them.

Seeing the quilts around the room and hearing the stories about them from her family was a reminder to me that it is important to get to it, do the things I say I will do, make the things I say I will make, visit the people I say I will visit. The opportunities to do those things can change in the blink of an eye, which reminds me of another of my mother's often-made remarks. "The dishes can wait." She would say this when I asked her to take a ride with me after dinner. I am glad she would let the dishes wait to spend time with me. That is a memory I treasure. My mother valued time spent with me more than she did washing the supper dishes. Those times we spent together is the fabric,  our laughter and tears are the threads of the quilt she made for me.

When I was a kid, I was always making something out of bits and pieces of cardboard, paper, string, and cloth. My mother was so busy trying to keep house and make daily meals for our hired men on the farm, that she never had the time to create things, except beautiful floral bouquets from her gardens. I used to use up all the ink in my father's ball-point pens when I needed to borrow them from his desk drawer to decorate something. That is why a new PapeMate pen hung on the tree for me every year at Christmas!

I have not changed a lot over the years in regard to making things out of cardboard, paper, string and cloth! I made a harvest-theme mini album and covered box this past week. Below are some photo of it. I will be putting a video if it on YouTube later tonight. Tomorrow I will take it to the little shop where my things are sold.

 Painted and Covered Box

 Handmade Mini Album (Cover)
 Handmade Photo Mats, Tags, Booklets


I didn't know where this post would go when I sat down to write. I am feeling a little melancholy today. I am missing the simpler times of my childhood when we
  • didn't type on our phones, we talked on them.
  • went to visit someone face to face instead of facebooking them.
  • didn't shop on Sundays because the stores were closed and; instead, we spent time at home with our families. 
  • sat around the table for home-cooked meals instead of lounging in front of the TV with a take-out dinner.
  • wrote a letter to someone, instead of blogging to everyone.

Our lives are faster paced and full of activities these days. I like all the technology we have available to us. We all benefit from it in many ways. Yet, for me, it sometimes steals me away from my plans. I get drawn to email, the Internet, online shopping at any hour I choose, text messages, facebook, faxes and voice messages. I need to walk away from it and remember what I want to accomplish every day so I can follow my dreams . . . and chase them when I need to.

What I have learned:
How I choose to spend my days does make a difference, not only in my world, but in THE world.

What I want to learn:
How to find the balance I need to do the things on my To Do List

What I appreciate:
Today.Right Now.

What I want:
World Peace. Amen.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Weekend 2013

I am having a home day, in fact, I have had pretty much a home weekend . . . and I am loving it! Fall is really on the way. A lot of leaves have fallen off our trees and by tomorrow it will be cooler and this humidity will go away. Whew! That will be a very good thing!

I have been in the studio off and on the past few days. I go in and paint something, leave and let it dry, then go back and do the next step a few hours later. I am kind of liking having that schedule. I have always admired people who did things in stages. I usually end up getting so absorbed that I can't pull myself away and end up doing a marathon. So, for me, this is growth!

Tomorrow will be a day to work in the cooler temps on the yard. My husband and I will be cutting back some of the overgrown bushes around the house. It was too hot most days we planned to do it this past week! Now we won't have that for an excuse.

I put a couple slide shows up on YouTube today. They are photos of the projects that I already posted videos on. I like the still photos a lot and maybe I will start adding those for all my projects. You can see each page a lot better in a photo. And, you don't have to listen to me talk! :-)  My videos do tend to get long, even when I try to make them short!

Here are a couple photos that I used in the video slide shows. They show the boxes, mini albums and some of the components inside.

This one is ABC Primer.
I used Graphic 45 specialty papers.

I am on the look out for more boxes like this.
If you know where I can get some, please let me know!

I made the mini album from scratch.
I cut the chipboard for the pages,
made the pocket pages,
and fussy cut the papers to fit the box & album pages.

I made the inserts, photo books,
little journaling booklets and tags
that I stained with various techniques.
You can view the little slide show at:
on my Studio Emmy YouTube channel.
There is another slide show there, too, that I posted today.
It is a Halloween mini album and gift box.
I used some really cool specialty scrap booking paper that is like kraft paper.
Here are a couple photos of it from the slide show:
The mini album and gift box.
The components inside the mini that are the embellishments.
The interior of the covered gift box and the mini inside.
I put some orange tissue paper underneath the mini album.
You can view it at:
I have more photos of another mini and gift box to make a video slide show on YouTube, but will do that another day. It is time to get on with a few other things before the day is over.
What I have learned:
I can work on projects in sections and not exhaust myself by working on something from beginning to end in one day or weekend!
What I want to learn:
How to divide my time up evenly between my studio, my home, and my real estate career . . . or at least how to balance them better!
What I appreciate:
All the people who support me in the various aspects of my life.
What I want:
World Peace. Amen


Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School . . .

It is time for the new school year to begin. I always liked this time of year when I was a child. I liked school for social reasons; and, truth be told, probably a lot more than I liked it for academic reasons! Summer time at home on the farm was quiet and seemed to last a very long time. I filled the days of summer with helping my mother a little in the kitchen by setting the table for dinner (what we called our noon-time meal) and by washing the sink, putting out clean towels and making sure there was a bar of lava soap for them to scrub up with before they came to the dinner table. We ate dinner at exactly noon Monday through Saturday and there was usually 5-6 of us gathered around the table. My mother prepared a huge meal every day. I spent the rest of my days riding my bike around on bumpy dirt roads, and I would often go swimming at the local swimming hole, Call's Pond in Morganville. After supper, I sometimes would ride with my father in his pick-up truck to a field to cover up a wagon or implement with canvas because it was going to rain, or to pick up bales of hay or straw that fell off the wagon during the day when it was being loaded and we would cart them to the barn. Cousins and friends would occasionally come out to visit and stay over night and that was always a blast. We found all kinds of ways to have fun and get into trouble! But, even though summer was fun; when September rolled around, I was more than ready to get back on the bus and go to school.

As a teenager I poured over the pages of the big Fall issue of Seventeen magazine and marked all the pages in the Sears & Roebuck catalog where I found things I hoped my parents would order for me. Of course, I marked practically every page! One of the reasons I started sewing garments was due to the influence of looking at all those clothes on those pages. I knew if I wanted lots of clothes, I would have to find a way to buy them or make them. My babysitting money went toward additional pieces at the Bette Shoppe, or the Town Shop in LeRoy or Scott & Bean, Alexander's, C L Carr's, or Marlee's in Batavia; or toward fabric ordered from Sears from little black and white photographs of the cloth! Not quite the same as it is now with Internet shopping! In fact, the nice people at the stores would often allow me to take clothes home, with a small deposit, for my parent's approval. I don't think that would happen today!

Even now, as an adult, I think I still consider September 1st to be more of a "new year" than January 1st! There was a whole lot more preparation and excitement in my childhood days for school than there was for the new year. Although, my parents used to have a family gathering on New Years Day, with a big meal, which meant, at least for my mother, there was a lot of preparation! But for me, getting ready for school and narrowing down my choices to couple new dresses from the catalog and buying new notebooks, pens and pencils and getting a new pair of canvas sneakers was a fantastic feeling. :-)

But . . . getting back to September 2013, . . . I have just finished making a couple mini albums and matching covered boxes that are school themed.  I have put videos up on my YouTube channel. They can be found at the following links:

The mini albums and boxes were fun to make and I am now making a Halloween theme mini album and covered box. I hope to finish that by tomorrow so I can move on to Autumn and Harvest and then to Christmas mini albums! There was a big scrap booking trade show in Buffalo this past weekend, and I planned to go, but re-thought that idea because I know I would probably come home with even more paper crafting things . . . and I need to use all the beautiful things that I already have in my studio stash!
It is a rainy day today. Not what I expected. I can cross yard work off my list and do some things inside instead. There is always more than enough to do inside and outside!
What I have learned:
I can practice self control and not go to every scrap booking event to check out the newest items.
What I want to learn:
How to organize my paper crafting stash in a way that makes sense so I know what  I have on hand and where it is!
What I appreciate:
A rainy day that seems to settle me down a bit.
What I want:
World Peace. Amen.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I am still here . . . really!

Perhaps you have looked on occasion for me and my blog. Or, maybe you haven't!  At any rate, I am here. I did not leave the planet. There is a reason why I have been so quiet in the blogosphere. It is because most of the things I have been working on have been for a project that has yet to be revealed to all the participants. So, I did not want to show any photos here on my blog of the things I have been making for the project. The project is the Row by Row Round Robin project that the Museum Quilt Guild is doing. I am one of a group of 5 quilters. I think there are maybe 5 groups in all. We will be revealing all the rows made for each participant at the September guild meeting. So, stay tuned. After that meeting in September, I will post the photos I took of the rows I made for the project for each of the other 4 quilters in my group. I have photos, too, of the rows put next to each other as they came to me and along with the row I made. It has been fun and it will be great to see all of them revealed next month! The rest of the time that makes up my days, and often my evenings is my real estate career . . . so that takes me a way from my studio, and is not what I include in this blog. We are especially busy at this time of year when our real estate season is very active. My husband and I are a real estate sales team. I try, however, to get into my studio very early in the morning or very late at night when I have some "spare" time!

I have been making a lot of things in my studio at my paper crafting station. I have my studio set up for all the steps I need to take as I make an album, or a quilt. I have a sewing station, a painting / stamping station, a cutting station, a table for assembly of album components and a table for my various machines, storage for my stamps and  dies for die cutting used in making albums. I have lots of paper stored on my bookshelves and paints, ink and stains, and embellishments in bins on rollers with removable drawers that are nestled under and in between my work tables. I can remove the drawers from the rolling bins and place them on the little table next to my chair so I can see what is inside without having to practically stand on my head to see what is in each drawer! The windows face north, so the light is very nice for working in my studio in the daytime. I have taken over what used to be our TV room. I think when our house was built in the 1840's, what is now my studio was a library. It is just the right size for me and I like to be on the ground floor where I have access to the kitchen, the porches, and the living room. I can work in my studio in the evening and listen to the TV so I can "watch" along with my husband . . . even if I am only watching with my ears! My husband is very kind to me and he often pauses a show so I can run in and catch something especially good.  :-)

There is another small table across the room that has my portable sewing machine, Ott light, threads, rotary cutters, cutting mat, and iron and mini ironing board on it. I have been doing a lot of paper piecing lately. 

Machines, die cutting supplies, adhesives, punches, rubber stamps, & rulers (for quilting, too!)

A place to use my inks and storage to the left for my papers that are in tablets.
My studio angel, that my husband gave to me as a gift, watches over me when I am working.

Storage beneath and in between my work tables, and the little that I use so I can look in the drawers.

I have posted a couple of videos on my YouTube channel of mini albums I have recently made. I have more to post in the next day or so. I have two minis completed that are related to school days and another I am working on that is a Halloween theme. I will be making some Autumn/Harvest theme, some Thanksgiving theme, and of course, some Christmas and Winter theme minis. In addition I will make some engagement, wedding and new baby theme minis, too. There are so many topics that call out to me for mini albums. They are a nice size to hold, to leave out on the coffee table, and to give as gifts for just about any occasion. My paper collection is rather extensive, so I am anxious to get more and more of it used up! It is too beautiful to sit on the shelves in my studio!

I am mailing a mini album out today to a special little girl named Teri. I made a quick video of it and posted it on my YouTube channel. You can view it at:

Here is a photo of the cover of another mini I made for a client who wanted a gift for a young woman who is engaged to be married. I made it with the idea she could commemorate her wedding planning and shopping trips in the album. There is a video of this on my YouTube channel, too.

Another day is almost over. Now that it is past mid-August, there is a definite tinge of fall in the air at night. The night sounds are different now. The bugs seem to be singing with deeper voices. The leaves on the trees are drier and they sound different now in the breeze than in the spring when they were young and tender. The hummingbirds will soon be stocking up on food at our feeder for their flight south. I love this time of year and tonight there will be a spectacular full moon. I plan to sit on our deck with my husband and enjoy the sights and sounds that late summer brings to our backyard.
What I have learned:
There are many nice people in the world. I meet some of them every day.
What I want to learn:
How to streamline my paper crafting activities.
What I appreciate:
My husband who supports me and encourages me in all the aspects of my life.
What I want:
World peace. Amen.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What I have been up to since my last post in March . . .

It has been a few weeks since I posted anything here . . . been thinking about it and have some pictures to share, too. It is still cold and dreary most days. So, it is a good time to continue working on UFO’s and also start some new and fun things. I have sorted and re-sorted my stash and have said goodbye to some fabrics that I know I would never use. They are all bagged up and ready to take to the next quilt guild meeting for donation to the community service committee. They will find uses for them, I am sure. Our guild is a very generous group. They use those donated fabrics and sometimes orphan blocks to create really nice baby quilts and lap quilts for our guild to donate to various charities. I have collected fabric for quilts since the early 90’s and kept scraps from things I have made. I used to give away everything I made, so all I have left are the scraps! I don’t even have photos of many of the things I made. Now I take pictures of the construction and the finished product.  

One of the women in my small art quilt group is having chemotherapy every other week. As the time approached to begin treatments, one of our group members suggested we each make a block from fabrics that we thought she would like . . . purples and batiks mostly . . . and then it was assembled, basted, and then machine quilted by some of the  members. It was a nice feeling to be involved in this project from the heart, because at a time when you can’t do much to help on a daily basis, it is at least a reminder to her of how much she is loved by her little group. She was given the quilt a few weeks ago, before she started her chemo and she takes it w/ her when she goes to her appointments. She has told us that the nurses and many other people have remarked on it . . . we can “hug” her with the quilt, even if we cannot be with her.  

Here is a photo of the finished quilt.

I am still working on the two mini albums that I have had on my work table for a month. I have had a bit of a creative block  . . . and need to just get moving on some of my ideas to see how they turn out. I am working on some of that today before I go into my office to work on real estate. I would like to have something completed, or nearly completed, so I can take it with me tonight to my little art quilt group that meets once a month. I have missed way too many meetings and show and tell lately!
Things are picking up in the real estate biz, as they do here in WNY in the spring. Budgeting my time between all the things I am interested in for quilts and albums and real estate is something I keep working on. Getting up very early in the morning seems to work best for me to ensure I get my creative time. I do some handwork in the evening after we settle in, but I grow weary and my eyes start to close . . . and before I know it, I have drifted off to sleep and have missed the TV show that I was watching w/ my husband. Thank goodness for DVR. We tape most of our fav shows and then watch them when we have time!

I took a book home from the quilt guild library and have been using it to teach myself how to make cathedral windows for a wall hanging. I have tried to teach myself how to do this about three times without any luck. This time, I made myself sit still one evening until I had completed one little section. My skill with maneuvering the fabric has improved with each attempt. It is a bit of a time consuming task to prepare the parts, but I have worked on cutting the squares and sewing the components on the machine when I can and saving the handwork for evenings. I might pack some of these in my purse, too, for times I need to sit and wait at a doctor’s office.

Here is a photo of what I have done so far. I am using the fabrics left from the block I made for the little quilt that is pictured above. You can tell which block is mine from the fabric? Hint: It is the log cabin block.  :-)
I have worked on some New York Beauty blocks, too. I have wanted to make this block for years. They are paper pieced. I am trying to make bigger blocks with my fabrics. These are 12 inches finished.  I will get my quilt tops done sooner and use my stash sooner if I make bigger blocks . . . at least that is part of my plan! These are all from my stash fabrics. The lightest one may need to go into a pillow cover or something because it does not have a lot of contrast, but the more I have looked at it here in the photo, the more it has grown on me! I do like these and like how they are coming out. I had to dig thru my stash to find some greens to use. I discovered I have a lot of stripes in my stash. They don’t lend themselves to some of the blocks I want to make, or they require special cutting . . . and I don’t want to get slowed down with that kind of thing right now! I contemplated ditching my RRRR blocks that I shared in my last blog post and using this pattern instead; however, that task is complete and I was proud of what I made for the RRRR – especially because I used all stash fabrics for it! By the end of 2013 my stash will be reduced by maybe one eighth. . . . I have WAY too much fabric! It needs to be used, not hoarded!

Here is a photo of the New York Beauty Blocks. Obviously, just pinned together for the photo.

What I have learned:
If I really look into my stash, I can find some fabrics that look great together. . and, if I was not challenging myself to use up a lot of my stash in 2013, I might have skipped over them and ended up at the quilt shop purchasing yet MORE fabric! An article in the recent American Patchwork & Quilting magazine addressed putting unexpected combinations of stash fabrics together. That issue arrived in my mailbox just in time for me to put the info into action!
What I want to learn:
How to decide on borders for some of my quilts.

What I appreciate:
The gift of a new day.

What I want:
A world at peace.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still in Winter's Grasp!

With the warm temps on Sunday, I was hopeful that we would be past another cold spell...but here we are with temps in the teens at daybreak and cold and wind! But . . . it is sunny and the snow has either melted or blown away today!

I went with my cousin Rosie to Honeoye Falls to see the RAFA (Rochester Area Fiber Artists) exhibit at The Mill on Tuesday. Friends Elaine (Blog: Elaine's Blogging World) and Kathi (Blog: Pearl Street Road) have pieces in the exhibit. Love what they created! I have such talented friends! What a neat show! It is amazing what people do with textiles! Loved it and then had a nice lunch at the cafe across the street. It was good to spend time with Rosie, who I see way too infrequently. When we finally do get together, it is hard to part because we have so much to talk about and we seem to just pick up where we left off, even though it has been months sometimes!

I have been busy in the studio with getting some of my UFO's out and working on them. Of course, I also just had to start a new project! I signed up for a class at Mt. Pleasant Quilt Company, a quilt shop in York, NY. It was for the Stack 'n Whack technique. I took the class yesterday and loved what I was able to get done in just six hours! I learned a lot from the instructor and shop owner, Barb Miller; and now I feel skilled enough to finish the other 11 blocks on my own and get them in to the modified Irish Chain setting. It will be a work in progress, but I was so excited when I got home from the class that I spread all the pieces for the blocks out on the back of the sofa last night and looked at them and rearranged some of them and then pinned them into sets so I could sew them in the same patterns I had them arranged in. With this kind of technique, using stacks of diamonds, you can use the pieces to make a block with either end at the center, so you do have choices. Each block is completely different from the next and it is really fun to see what emerges when you put the block together. I won't show you all of my blocks until I get the top done, but here is my first block completed at the class yesterday. I feel like a little kid when I finish something like this and want to run home to have Mommy put it on her refrigerator door!

I love the fabric I picked out. It is by Timeless Treasures, a fabric maker that I seem to be drawn to! I used one of their fabrics in the recent Literature Challenge my quilt guild held. The colors in this fabric are ones that my husband and I both like and he thought the blocks were beautiful and was surprised that they all came from just one fabric. He is my biggest fan and he indulges me with my daily studio show and tell!

Today was a home day, and although it is already 6 o'clock, it doesn't feel like it because it is light and sunny! That is a nice thing about the time change...more daylight at the end of the day.

A trip to Penn Yan is in my near future to get my Bernina machine in for maintenance. It has had a rugged workout lately and as I finished my last block of 32 for my Amish Stars quilt, it finally stopped stitching correctly. So...I will be without that machine for a while, but it will force me to use my other machine that I keep in a cabinet upstairs. I get a little lonely up on the second floor landing, but I will see how it goes sewing up there. It really is a great machine...I just may find I enjoy sewing up there after all. In the afternoon there is light from the south, so that is a plus! It has not been used in a long time, so I hope it works! It may need to go in for maintenance, too!

I have named this quilt "Stars Over Chincoteague". I started it way back in 2007! Another UFO that I have been happily working on. Paul and I love to go out at night on Chinoteague Island on the road that leads to Assateague Island and gaze at the stars. We have spent many weeks there in the winter, with the exception of this year, and love the slow pace on the island during the off season -- not to mention the mild temperatures and lots of sunny days!

(  That isn't fabric between the rows! . . . The blocks are lying on the floor on my patterned rug.The rows will be sewn of black fabric like the background in the blocks. There are two more, there are 8 in each row. )

Oh, and I worked on the first row for my RRRR (Row by Row Round Robin) that I am doing with my guild. At first, I didn't like it, but now I do. Here is what I came up with. I think it will be fun to see what the next four people in my group do with it.

If I don't have a machine to use, I have other projects to work on, that is for sure! Knitting my beautiful cable scarf that is almost done, starting some cathedral windows quilt blocks. . . . a handwork project to keep next to my chair in the living room so I can work on it during TV shows, or my wool project from a class two years ago . . . and of course, my album making.

I always have plenty to do . . . not to mention working with my husband on our real estate career. I might even start my spring cleaning . . . no, maybe not . . . why rush the season? But, my husband did  mention to me today that he is interested in rearranging some furniture. I love rearranging furniture in rooms, so I better strike while the iron is hot!

It is dinner time and I need to help in the kitchen. . . Chicken and Asparagus for dinner tonight! Yum!

What I have learned:
I CAN keep up with the group in a quilt class!

What I want to learn:
How to do everything on my list by day's end!

What I appreciate:
Sunshine and more daylight at the end of the day.

What I want:
People to practice kindness.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back from Museum Quilt Guild Three-Day Retreat . . .

It seems like I just got back home from the retreat, but that was Sunday evening and it is now Wednesday evening! I am still settling back into my studio, putting things where they belong . . . since when I go to a retreat, I seem to take about half of my studio with me!

I worked on three projects while at the retreat.

1.      I finished putting the blocks together for my blue and yellow log cabin. Now to add the flange to the edges and then a big wide border.

2.      I made the four parts of a black and white 8-inch paper-pieced block and assembled it. I need to complete eight more blocks and I will set it into a lap quilt. It will end up being about 50 inches square, which will be a nice size for the sofa or a wall hanging. 
3.     I trimmed the blue and yellow paper-pieced flying geese blocks I took with me. I need to make several more and will put them into a wall hanging OR a lap quilt . . . haven’t decided which, yet.

Using the blue and yellow fabrics helps me keep my pledge to use up a lot of my stash this year and actually FINISH many of my UFOs (Unfinished Objects). I have some beautiful fabrics and they need to be put into quilts  . . . or aprons, coffee quilts, or whatever! I have such a big collection of blue and yellow fabrics, . . . (I definitely over-bought when I was in the acquisition stage for the log cabin quilt!) . . . that it might be all I work on for quite some time, in addition to the black and white blocks and guild challenge blocks and the new project we just started in our guild…a Row by Row Round Robin (RRRR) quilt.

For the RRRR, there are five to six people in a group. It starts this month and we will start with a row of four 12-inch blocks that we will make and take to the guild meeting in April along with four to five strips of 42x6 inch strips to pass along to each of the four people who will work on the next four rows. They need to use part of the fabric you send along in the blocks they make. You can state in a little journal you send along with the quilt that you like certain colors, want a certain look, or that it is for a certain holiday, or whatever, and the other people in the group will try to do something you will like, but hopefully something that also represents something of what they like, either in the style of block they choose, or the other fabrics they add to the quilt blocks. At the end of the Row Robin, we will get our original row back with four to five additional rows, each with a different size block for the block set. The project will end in September when it has gone Round Robin! So, I will be digging in my stash this weekend to discover what I have that I want to use for this project!

Along with three other women in the guild, I am planning to go shopping at a quilt shop this weekend to buy some fabric for our next Museum Quilt Guild raffle quilt. The quilt is for the show in 2014, which seems a long time from now, but between deciding on the design for the top, to completion of the quilt, there is a lot of planning and sewing to be done! It is our hope that we can get a lot of the guild members involved in the creation of this quilt by offering techniques that will include patchwork, applique and hand quilting. We want everyone in the guild to have the opportunity to use their skills in completion of the quilt. Then, after the quilt is completed, there is the sale of tickets, publicity and planning the venue and all the other things that go into a successful quilt show.  You will be reading more about this here in my blog and in the Museum Quilt Guild’s blog: 

as we go forward with plans. Check out the Museum Quilt Guild blog for some fantastic pix of what kinds of things our guild members make and what kinds of activities they are involved in.

While it snowed big fat flakes today, I stayed home and wandered around the house working on this and that . . . and worked a bit on my newest mini album design. Here is a sneak peek at the cover. It is a metal tile that I found at Michael’s!
What I have learned:
I can get quite a lot done in a retreat setting!

What I want to learn:
How to pack (and unpack) more efficiently for retreats!

What I appreciate:
Down time and a day at home.

What I want:

More days like today!



Tuesday, February 19, 2013


No, it isn’t Christmas, and I am not Santa Claus, but I am packing for a three-day quilting weekend retreat and want to be sure I don’t forget anything! However, I will be with many other quilters who, I am sure, will share a notion or a scrap of fabric, should I need it!
This will be the second year of a weekend getaway at Silver Lake, in Perry, New York. The sewing room is big and bright and the cook feeds us three meals a day, so all we need to do is sew, sew, sew. It was a lot of fun last year and it is a great way to get to know other guild members better.
What I really like to do is walk around and see what everyone is working on. For me, it is a great way to learn new techniques and learn about new notions. The show and tell at the end of the weekend is always spectacular. So . . . I won’t tarry here for long on my blog today because I have to give my pile of UFOs another look and decide for sure these are the three or four I am taking with me, along with an applique project for times when I get tired of cutting and sewing on the machine.

Three projects I am taking to the retreat. Putting it in a photograph makes it more real for me and hopefully will help speed me along to completion!

Besides quilting, I have been continuing to make mini journals. I just posted a new one to my YouTube channel. I made it for a friend and sent it to her, a page a day for five days, as a surprise. You can see it by going to my YouTube channel at

The mini I am currently making is a custom order that is for a bride-to-be who will record her dress shopping excursions in it.  Doesn't that sound like fun? I love the ideas that customers come up with for their albums! The papers are beautiful and I can’t wait to finish it! But . . . that is going to have to wait until next week . . . time to finish packing.

What I have learned:
Planning a project takes me much longer than making it!

What I want to learn:
How to plan less and create more!
What I appreciate:

My husband, who encourages me, supports me, protects me, and loves me for who I am.

What I want:
Same as always . . . more hours in a day!

Saturday, February 9, 2013



I found the January 18th post that I lost!

Brrrr!  It is creeping up to 20 degrees . . . and the bright white snow cover  on the ground brightens up my studio . . . so, that is where I will spend the afternoon. I will finish my challenge quilt for the quilt guild "literature" challenge today, so it can be revealed with all the other ones at the guild meeting tomorrow. I can't wait to see what everyone else has done!

Working toward a year of finishing projects in 2013 . . . some that are very old that I started and put away for some reason . . . others that are just ideas that I already purchased materials for. If things are not appealing to me at this point, they will just have to find a new home. It is crazy to keep things around only to handle them when I clean out a closet . . . and restash them back in the closet! My DH is right when he says he can hear out house utter a sigh of relief every time we carry a donation out the door to be delivered to a charity.

I turned 60 years old yesterday . . . It is really very hard to believe I am this old! Where did the years go? They really do fly by faster as I get older. I think my parents would be proud of me and would love the man I married. I just wish they could be here to get to know him and all of my family. They would love to spend time with their grandchildren . . . and great grandchildren. :-) I am so very grateful for the time I spent with both of them and realize what sacrifices they made to give me a good, safe, loving home.  

I will be back in a few days to post a photo of the "literature" challenge quilt I made . . . maybe after the show is installed at the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia in February.


I wrote a blog post about two weeks ago, had it ready to go, wanted to make a correction, hit the back button, and POOF!  It disappeared!

Having just celebrated my birthday, I wrote about turning 60, about the snowy winter, and the projects I had been working on in my studio.  

2013 is the year I am calling my “Finish It” year. The UFOs – unfinished objects packed away in totes in my closet – will come out of hiding and WILL get finished. That is my pledge to myself, my husband and my house. There will be a lot more space in my home come the end 2013 and I will have more examples of my work displayed on the walls and shelves in my home and ready for exhibits at art and quilt shows. My husband has remarked that he lives in our house with an artist, yet we have nothing on display to show it! (In the past, I gave away almost everything I made.) And, many times I have missed the opportunity to exhibit something because it is still a UFO!  

To jumpstart my “Finish It” year, in January I finished a small quilt. All it needed was the binding! That was finished in the span of three nights while watching TV with my husband. Currently, in February, I have pulled out the dreaded mending bag. Jeans for garden work just needed some patches and buttons sewn on . . . and they will be DONE by the end of the month! One wall quilt and two mini quilts will get their borders and backing and will be machine quilted. What a feeling it will be to actually have finished these things that have been waiting for a long, long time! 

I have put another of my handmade mini albums and boxes on my YouTube channel and am working on another video to upload soon. I am making a custom order mini and box now for a client to give as an engagement gift. It is really fun for me to work on something like this because it allows me to make a very pretty and romantic piece. I will be sure to post photos and a YouTube video when it is finished.  

What I have learned:
Write blog posts first in my MS Word so they don’t go POOF!

What I want to learn:
How to make the photo at the top of my blog smaller.

What I appreciate:
My family and friends who support and humor me when I ask them to watch my show and tell.

What I want:
More hours in a day to work on all the things I love doing . . . and even the things I don’t love to do, but still need to be done!