Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Little Pink Houses Latest Update

The following is what I received from my contact at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital:
"over $450.00 was raised.  Mission accomplished!!!
Many thanks to you and the block contributors!
You are helping to make more birthdays!!!!"
Nice to know that we are helping to make a difference! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Just Beautiful!

The other day I heard a radio DJ comment on the colors of the trees here in the Great Lakes area.  He said that he thinks they are prettier this year than they've been in a long time. 
The trees are starting to turn here in my area and I would agree with him.  I'll be driving along and come upon a group of trees whose color just takes my breath away!  Wish I could capture these images on film so I could remember them forever. 
Looking for  color ideas for your next quilt?  Just take a drive (and remember your camera). 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pink Houses Project Update

A week ago I said good-bye to the last of my Little Pink Houses quilts.  It was a bit sad to do so because that project had been part of my life for almost a year.  But it  also made me happy because I knew that the project was done for a good cause. 
The quilts were delivered in time to be part of another fundraiser at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital.  I haven't yet heard how much $$ they helped raise for the low cost/no cost mammogram program at the hospital.  Hopefully the quilts got the intended message across and sold well. 
This being Breast Cancer Awareness month, are you up to date on your mammograms?  Hope so!  Cure rate is great when caught early! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Don't know how they do it!

A couple of weeks ago I made up my mind that I would blog more see how far I got with that!  I don't know how people can come up with something to say each and every day on their blogs!!!  I feel like I've been "brain dead!"
I have also decided that my sewing room is meant to be in a constant state of disarray because I constantly have several projects going at one time, talks and workshops to plan for, and new ideas to pull fabrics for.  That's just the way I work.
I did spend one long evening in my sewing room sorting fabrics and putting them away, sorting thread and putting it away, filing a few papers and putting books on the bookshelf.  But things won't stay this way for long, and I'm no longer going to feel guilty about it! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In Trouble Again

I decided it was time to start blogging again. And I'm beginning with a confession. My sewing room is a mess again. Here's why:
1. I traveled to lots of quilt shows and shops this summer. Everywhere I went I bought a little something. But I've been too busy to really unpack it all so the purchases are still in their bags, in my sewing room.
2. I'm traveling to Norman, OK next week to work with the quilt guild there. But because I got such a good deal on airfare and am not driving, I am limited in what I can take. Therefore I have put together a power point presentation for my lecture to take the place of the trunk show. That meant that I had to photograph lots of things...dig them out of their hiding places, photograph them, then try to put them back where they came from. Not always successful in doing so.
3. I'm in the midst of MANY projects, each one requiring different materials. Many piles.
4. We've reacquired two quilt racks (that my husband made many years ago for our mothers). I already have one of my own...where to go with the extra two? One of them is in the middle of my sewing room.
5. I'm writing several different articles for the Quilting Quarterly and using books from my personal quilting library as references. Not necessarily put back where they belong.

I just need a few more hours in the day...anyone have some to spare???

Monday, June 25, 2012

It Was a Winner!

Were you able to make it to the NQA show in Columbus earlier this month? If so, perhaps you saw my challenge quilt hanging with the other little quilts in the "Little Quilt Auction" display. There were 8 of us who took part in the challenge and NQA members had a chance to vote for their favorite challenge quilt. I am happy to report that MY little quilt came in 2nd! What fun to see it hanging there, sporting a ribbon!
When the quilts were auctioned off Friday evening, the 8 quilts brought in over $1000 for the NQA grant program. I don't remember who bid on my quilt, but I'm hoping that it went to a good home!

Friday, May 25, 2012


As you can see from the photo, some of the "Little Pink Houses" quilts have been delivered to my local hospital. On Wednesday I presented Milica Kay (of the Cancer Care Center of Henry Ford Hospital, Clinton Twp., MI) with "Clear Skies" and "Chance of Showers." It feels good to have them all finished and ready for new owners. The plan is for them to be auctioned at a "survivors' event" on June 22nd.
The remaining 3 were promised to her just as soon as I can get them finished. I've started quilting "Hazy," but with my busy summer schedule, I'm not sure when it will be completed. I'll keep you posted on my progress and on the $$ we raise for free/reduced fee mammograms. :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Change of Plans

After looking at the calendar, seeing what the coming weeks are bringing, and realizing that I have to have some "Little Pink Houses" quilts to the hospital by May 25th, I changed my plans. I put aside HAZY for now and pulled out CLEAR SKIES. Quilting 9 blocks seemed much more manageable than quilting 12 blocks.
I got right to work marking the quilt top, then layering it up. I've been working on it steadily (and have a sore finger for proof!) and am just about finished with the hand quilting. Just have to quilt along the border on both sides.
CHANCE OF SHOWERS now has the binding sewn on by machine. I just have to do the hand stitching to finish it off. And I'm in the process of making labels for both quilts.
I feel confident that these two quilts will be ready on time! Yay!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm back!

It has been a very long time since I wrote something for my blog. I've been busy--stitching, traveling, writing, speaking. I guess I am thoroughly back to being myself--immersed in everything quilt-related. That's a good thing! :)

Last weekend was my annual quilt camp retreat. I did a bit of machine work, but the bulk of my time was spent quilting the first of the "Little Pink Houses" quilts. The first one I chose to work on was "Chance of Showers". I just have to quilt up the sides along the borders, and then it is ready for binding. The next one I'll tackle is "Hazy." I'm hoping both will be finished before Memorial Day so that they can be auctioned off at a Survivor's Event in mid-June. So far, everyone who has seen the quilts and heard their story has been moved. I hope that they will raise lots of $$ for the low-cost/no-cost mammogram program that my local hospital is starting.

To see all the quilts and close-ups of the blocks, go to:
I'll record my progress and the success of the quilts here in my blog.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Charity quilting

I just put the final stitches in the binding of a charity "kid" quilt. Feels good to have that done! This is the second one I have finished this week--both have been in my sewing room, waiting to be made (I won't tell you for how long...).
I've also been working on the "Little Pink Houses" quilts and have the quilt tops just about completed. They are turning out so neat! I received enough blocks to make two 12-block quilts and three 9-block quilts. Once I finish the final embellishing, I'll photograph all of them.
It really is a good feeling to work on charity quilts--giving of myself for a good cause! I hope you feel the same way when you work on charity quilts!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scrap bag find

I finally went through a bag of scraps that I was given almost a year ago--lots of great scraps in there, in fabrics different from what I have. They will be fun to work into some of my future projects.
Tucked in amongst those scraps were these two pieced heart blocks. With the addition of only a few fabric strips (some of which came from that same scrap bag), I had a table runner! I chose to put no batting in it--just backed it with some homespun from my stash, and did a little bit of "in-the-ditch" quilting to hold it all together. Quick and easy because the hard work was already done. I love the way it came out!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Discovered: More Storage Space

The other day I was looking for a picture that I thought would look good in our newly painted half bath. I was sure it was stored under the bed in my sewing room, along with other pictures and art class projects in large flat boxes. It wasn't there. I later found it peeking out from behind the small bookcase next to the bed in that room.
But I did discover that the largest box under the bed contained my older daughter's art projects from high school. She's almost 37 years old! I certainly don't need to be keeping those projects any more. That box will travel to her house with me next month. In the meantime, I'm thinking about what I can store in that space under the bed!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What a difference!

All my bear making fabrics and tools are now in two 18 gallon plastic tubs in the basement. Packing that stuff away really freed up a lot of space in the closet in my sewing room. I'm now thinking about what should go in that space.
I also did something else that really makes a difference in that room. All my sample quilts were folded and stacked atop one another on the bed--they took up a lot of space that way, the quilts were getting permanent folds in them, and the stacks of quilts made the room seem crowded. I decided to open each quilt out flat on the bed and store one on top of the other in that way. (I thought that I could actually hear them saying "thank you" as I did this!) I then covered the entire bed with a sheet--much better for the quilts and definitely a much less cluttered look to the room! There is now space to "store" things (projects in progress, for example) on the bed, atop the quilts. The only time I'll have to be concerned about this storage method is when we have a house full of overnight company...but that doesn't happen very often, and I'll worry about it when it does!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Problem realized

I'm back to sewing a lot--guess I can't really stay away from it! I'm tackling some of those UFOs I discovered while sorting my sewing room. I'm finishing up some of them, and in so doing, I've finally discovered my biggest bad habit: When I am finished with something (tools, fabric scraps, pattern, thread, etc.) I just plop it in my sewing room and don't put it away. That is how my sewing room got in such a mess to begin with!
So now, whenever I take something back to my sewing room (yes, I'm still sewing downstairs on my dining room table...), I make a concentrated effort to put it back where I got it from.
I will try very hard to do this each and every time--another "new year's resolution"!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Good Suggestions

I'm still working on my sewing room, doing a little each day. It is getting less and less intimidating, which is a good thing!
When we moved to this house 14 years ago, many of my sewing things were left in boxes and put on shelves in the basement. Little by little over the years, those things have made their way into my sewing room, leaving empty space on the shelves.
One quilting friend suggested that the things I am not using right now, but don't want to get rid of, should go into plastic storage tubs and be put on the basement shelves. Why didn't I think of that?
All my bear-making supplies will (hopefully) fit into an 18-gallon tote so they can be stored on a basement shelf. That will free up lots of space in the closet in my sewing room! Hmm...what else can I put away in a storage tub in the basement?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oh My!

As you know, I've been working my way around my sewing room, sorting and organizing. I never realized how long this would take! My head is seems that everywhere I look I find UFOs. Add to that all the "wannados" I come across. I'm thinking that I need to stop organizing right now and get busy sewing! That's much more fun, anyway! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Papers, Papers, Papers

Several days have been spent sorting papers--copies of quilt patterns from magazines, books or the internet, quilting articles saved from newspapers or magazines, etc. Over the past few years, these have just been stacked in a box. I figured it was time to put them away in the file cabinet that sits in the corner of my sewing room.
The file cabinet has 4 drawers. Each drawer was already pretty full because I've been saving files of quilting articles and patterns for YEARS. Plus, anything that didn't seem to have a place got stashed away in one of the file drawers. The drawers are now a bit more organized and the sorted papers have been filed.
One day I should just concentrate on that file cabinet. Leafing through the files, I realized that some of them are no longer relevant. If those were removed, there would be more room for future pictures and patterns. :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fabric Play

Yesterday was "put away fabric" day. The "falling over" pile of fabric is gone and all the large pieces of fabric are now back in their proper places--reds with reds, blues with blues, etc. As I was sorting through project boxes (I keep the fabrics and pattern for each project in its own separate flat box, and have the bad habit of just leaving everything there when the project is finished...) I came across bags of squares, half square triangles and extra blocks. I pulled them out so they are visible and accessible. For me, these things are the beginnings of charity quilts. What I found will keep me busy for most of the year!
Last night I thought to myself "this room is actually beginning to look organized." But I still have a long way to go!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Container Search

After reading a recent magazine article about creatively using containers, I've been on the lookout, both at home and in the stores. I found a canvas "basket" that was on sale at JoAnn's and that now holds all my embroidery patterns and projects. I bought a couple more scrapbooking storage boxes (~12" square and ~4" high). They are great for projects, especially projects that I want to take somewhere. I put the word out to my quilting friends that I was looking for a large glass jar--like a big pickle jar--in which to put the collection of wooden spools I'd discovered.
When we had a gathering of quilting friends on Friday, one of them walked in with a jar for me--perfect! The spools now have a new home, and look great atop one of my bookcases.
Friday I took with me several bags of items that I'd weeded out from my sewing room. But I ended up bringing most of the items back home. My quilting friends have enough "stuff" of their own, and weren't really interested in mine! I'll find a good home for these things somewhere...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Floss

Just when I thought I had my embroidery floss all organized, I discovered more!!! I've been sorting my wool embroidery box and my regular embroidery box--I found skeins of floss tucked in with patterns I've used. More to wind and file. Will that job ever be done?
I also found a few UFOs and sorted out patterns that I will probably never use. I have decided that my paper piecing patterns will "go", too. I do not enjoy that technique, so might as well pass those things on to quilters who do!
A quilting friend reminded me of the Bloomingdale Sale that takes place at Quilt Camp each April. I'll probably have a whole trunk load of things to add to the sale this year!

I Cheated

I have to confess. I cheated. Being surrounded by all that fabric and those projects made me want to do some sewing. I came across a collection of someone's leftovers, cut in the funny shape you see in the picture. Those leftovers said "piece me together" so I did. I put 4 of them together randomly and then trimmed them into the rectangles you see in the second picture. Now those are waiting to be set together to make a baby quilt. I have an idea, just haven't acted on it. (I did pick them up from my living room floor--my design wall--so they are no longer in the way.)
I also cut and attached binding to one of the quilts waiting to be finished, and I made one more block (so I now have 9 to work with) for the project I started in a class with Gwen Marston over 4 years ago. Time to finish that up and put all the extra fabrics back where they belong!
The urge to do some sewing was just too strong, but in a way, this is helping to clean my sewing room, right???

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reporting Progress

I didn't get as much done in my sewing room this weekend as I'd hoped. My husband decided to finish the redecorating of the 1/2 bath that we started MONTHS ago, and I was enlisted to help a bit. Final coats of drywall paste were put on (in removing the old wallpaper, we also removed chunks of the drywall. Obviously the previous owners did not properly size the walls!!!), sanding was done and everything taped. Yesterday we purchased the paint and by last night it was applied and drying. Today we did touch up work and I cleaned everything up. Now to put the toilet back together, cabinet doors back on, light fixture and mirror back up, towel bar and paper holder on the walls and we're good to go. It looks so much better than the 15-yeqr-old wallpaper did!
In between being called on to help, I worked on my sewing room. One reader suggested that anything that doesn't apply to sewing/quilting should be removed from the room. Well, that meant a large part of my teddy bear (Boyd's and others) collection went into a box. It does make the room less cluttered, but now what do I do with the bears??? Another dilemma...
I dug out one corner that contained a stack of boxes and some bags and went to work on those containers. I sorted cardboard templates that I'd collected. The ones that use unique cardboard are definitely "keepers." The ones that are pretty "rough" went in the trash. I came across my whole collection of wooden spools and I want to find a large glass jar in which to display them. Fabric for blouses and skirts that I know I will never use will be donated. Odds and ends of batting were measured, labeled, rolled and tied, and stored in a big box that is in the closet. And I sorted and organized embroidery floss, merging my mother-in-law's collection with mine. Four boxes went down to three. Still so much to do...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Getting Behind

I'm getting behind on my goal to do a little bit in my sewing room every day. I started teaching income tax to AARP volunteers on Tuesday and have come home tired. I've also spent the evenings getting ready for the next day.
But that doesn't mean my mind hasn't been busy. I stop in front of the sewing room door and look inside, wondering "If I moved this there and put that over there and got rid of that..." I'll be back at it this weekend, hoping to put into action the things I've been planning in my head!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Magazines Sorted

While sitting in front of the TV this weekend, watching football, I sorted through quilting magazines. I am happy to say that I have a 7" high stack of them ready to go out the door. Hopefully other quilters will find them interesting. I've come to the conclusion that, for me, the old (I mean REALLY old) magazines are more interesting than the current ones. The old ones will definitely stay in my collection.
As I went through the magazines, I bookmarked some designs that I thought would work up well into scrap quilts. I sketched out those designs on graph paper and added notes for how I would "scrap" them. I also bookmarked a few interesting articles which I will photocopy at the library today.
This was time well spent while the games went on in the background...I knew the Lions/Saints game would end up the way it did, but there's always next year for our local team. Guess I'll cheer for Drew Brees as the playoffs continue.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Magazine Collection

I'm feeling good about the progress I've made--all the little odds and ends are in their proper places right now. The next steps will take longer, however. I've decided to postpone the fabric sorting for now--seems every time I have a piece of fabric in my hand, I start dreaming of the possible uses for it. Not good!!!
So, I've decided to attack the stack of magazines. Time consuming, because I'm flipping through them for scrap quilt ideas (as if I need more!!!), but also interesting. The old saying "everything old is new again" keeps coming to mind. The newest edition of APQ magazine advertises a book on big-stitch quilting. Well, guess what? A 1997 magazine features a pattern that is big-stitch quilted, with instructions on how to do it. And, even before that, I did big-stitch quilting on a Blizzard Quilt that I made in a class at my local quilt shop. Definitely not a NEW technique (but fast and fun...have you tried it?)
Going through these magazines will take me several days, but it's a fun thing to do while sitting in front of the TV. I'll be watching the Lions tomorrow night, hoping that they make a good showing against New Orleans (but I'm a Drew Brees fan, too).
PS: The magazines I no longer want will be passed on to fellow quilters.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I've started! I decided to work with the things on the floor first, so I finally opened shopping bags and emptied tote bags. I came across the things I'd bought at antique shops while on vacation in the Paducah area. One was a grungy bag of (what I thought were) scraps of vintage fabrics. Imagine my surprise--and delight--when I discovered that the "scraps" were actually these blocks along with LOTS of cut-out butterflies! What FUN!
The floor is basically cleared off now. I also put loose spools of thread away in my thread box and put balls of pearle cotton in the drawer where they belong. Progress, and it feels great!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What A Mess!

When you take a look at these pictures I snapped today, you will agree with me that my sewing (?) room needs help. My biggest problem is that there is too much stuff for the room...if the spare bed weren't there (yes, there is a twin bed in the room...can you find it???) perhaps that space could hold a storage unit of some kind. But, that is not to be, so I need to get very creative this month and figure out where everything is going. Will I ever be able to sew in that room again? We will see...