Friday, October 31, 2008


Well, here it is, all bound and labeled and ready to get sent out as soon as I can part with it! I'm thrilled with the way it turned out and had loads of fun working with the Asian fabrics.

In addition to starting a new blog, I am also new to the whole digital camera thing (can you believe that?!). I am finding quilts are rather difficult to photograph but from what I understand, I'm not alone in having this problem. Here's a close-up of the quilting.

I didn't want to be bothered messing with metallic thread so I did what I've done before. Used an ersatz technique, gold-colored cotton thread. Not the same effect but then again not the same annoyance as working with metallic thread either.

This is my favorite fabric in the quilt, she's just so cute! It also reminds me of a miniature wooden doll the size of a grain of rice that my father gave me. He was in the Navy and brought it back from Japan. It just fascinated me as an eight-year old.

I decided not to use the gold plaid fabric I recently purchased for the binding. I liked this black with gold much better. I also liked the way it looks like a frame around the quilt with its scallops.

If you've read earlier in my blog you know I have a fondness for birds particularly cranes. I just had to put them on the back. What with their connection to the Orient and all.

Here's a close-up of them.

Oh, yes, the quilt measures approximately 23 inches square. I think I'll keep it around for a few days before I send it to my DQS5 partner. Do you think she'll like it?

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cuting Edge

I have always been loyal to Olfa Rotary Blades except for a brief stint when I tried Fiskars brand several years ago. I was very displeased as the blade skipped almost right from the start and certainly didn't stay sharp for very long.

Well, I was shopping at Wal-Mart recently and found the Fiskars blades again and thought I'd see if they had improved any. Woo woo! they had improved big time! In fact, I think they last longer than the Olfa. I ran over a pin today trimming a quilt for binding and the blade still works with no ill effects. Really. I've done a little research and apparently the standards for the Fiskars have been improved to equal the Olfa.


I am by no means a celebrity watcher, but was surprised when I read this morning that Joaquin Phoenix was quitting acting. He was just superb in Walk the Line.


Do you know J Casa: Handmade? Well, you need to get right over there and sign-up for her giveaway. She made a sweet little quilt and wants to make one for you, too, if you are the winner of her drawing, but you can't win unless you enter, so go on over, I'll wait! I'm going to tell her to make mine in greens and yellows, what colors are you choosing?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Candy Corn

Aren't these great? Sugar cookies that look like candy corn. Found 'em at The Recipe Girl. Gosh, I used to love candy corn when I was a kid, now I wonder how I ever could stand anything so sweet! Halloween was such a fun holiday, second only to Christmas for me. And from what I read, most people in the United States and Canada feel the same way. How about you, is Halloween a favorite?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Arrived home late last night from St. Louis and I can say a good time was had by all despite the uncooperative weather. We tried out a number of restaurants on The Hill, all great food. A treat for me was seeing all the fall foliage. And of course, before I left I checked out the quilt shops and found one that I had to visit! It was featured in American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Sampler Magazine in 2001, The Quilted Fox. It's a great store with a huge collection of Asian, African, and Australian fabrics. It was difficult but I restrained myself and only bought a few items, two greens, a small red stripe, and a pattern for a doll quilt...

I mentioned previously my dearth of light Asian fabrics so I bought a few half yards. The store does half yards rather that fat quarters. Most of the fabrics on the bolt could be found in half yard cuts.

And finally these two Asians, the red was so pretty I couldn't leave it as well as the luscious purple.

I visit Bonnie Hunter's blog, Quiltville and had ordered her book. It came right before I left. I've been through it briefly and recommend it highly. If you like scrap quilts you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Here's the finished quilt top. The picture really doesn't do it justice, the colors are richer and prettier in person. I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I have so many scraps left I might just duplicate it for myself! I will machine quilt it sometime next week. I plan on using this metallic gold plaid for the binding.

This is the issue of the magazine that got me started collecting the Asian fabrics, AP&Q February 1997.

This is the project but looking at it again I realize I don't have nearly enough variety of lights to complete it. Asian lights seem to be hard to come by.

I'm off to St. Louis early on Thursday for Parents' Weekend at Washington University. Keep your fingers crossed for nice weather, see you next week!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Design Chosen

If you remember I was thinking about using some golds, reds, and greens for the Doll Quilt Swap. Well, coming across this Bento Box pattern in my sewing room and never having made one, I decided to downsize it and use that.

I had started a collection of Asian fabrics years ago with the intent of making a quilt I saw in a magazine. I decided now was the time to use them for my Baby Bento Box. I didn't have as many lights as I would have liked but here is some of the fabrics I used.

Each Bento Box is made up of 4 small blocks, 2 dark and 2 light. These 4 are sewn together to make 1 large block. I cut my strips to 1.75 inches so my finished quilt of 3 blocks by 3 blocks would be about 22 inches square. I've got 6 blocks made so far. I really like how it's turning out. The fabrics are mainly from Kona Bay, with a few Hoffman. I tried to keep a bit of an Autumn theme going as my recipient listed reds, greens, and golds as a hint of what she liked.

I just found out that a few of the participants have already finished their quilts and sent them! I forgot to mention our group includes 3 men and international swappers. I hope my quilt comes from one of them! Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I have been remiss in not showing my sewing room. It is not a large room, only about ten feet square. It does have a nice large window but the tree outside blocks much of the light. The best light coincides with dinner preparation time, unfortunately. I sew on a Bernina 1530 and absolutely love everything about it. I've toyed with getting something newer but fear I won't like it.

Here is my faithful, constant, true-blue assistant. She always keeps me company while I sew. She likes to help by rearranging quilt blocks or pieces and liberally strewing her hair about. And of course, she tests all finished quilts for comfort. Carrie has her Miss Rosie, while I have my Cinabella!

I finally settled on a design for the Doll Quilt Swap 5 I am participating in. More about that in my next post. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

For the Birds

I know whenever they conduct polls asking people where they would choose to live if they could live in any state in the country, Florida ranks right up there after California and before Hawaii. I also know that this opinion has been generally formed through the artificial lenses of vacation. People are staying at hotels, eating yummy restaurant food, visiting the beach, and relaxing. Dang, you say to yourself, I'd like to live here. Well, I am about to shatter your illusions. Year round inhabitants deal with traffic clogged roads, hurricanes, insect and wildlife infestation, and oppressive humidity to name a few. However, there is one thing that makes it all worthwhile for me, and that is the vast variety of birds. Hundreds of them. Four hundred and eighty-five to be precise.

This is the Sandhill Crane. As soon as I saw this bird, I was smitten. How could anyone not be? Standing 4 feet tall they are an amazing sight, truly a joy to behold as they go about their business, intent on living life on their terms. While the Sandhill Crane is a seasonal resident in various states, the Florida species resides here year round.

Photo from

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Love This Book

I picked this little gem up at the local library recently and I highly recommend it. Five hundred and ninety-eight pages of everything about quilting. The author, Meg Cox, is very thorough in her research and it shows. The author writes for the Wall Street Journal and spent a number of years on the book. She covers history, tools and technology, fabric, teachers, shows, retreats, and museums, just to name a few. It's a great resource for info on the web. It's beginner friendly, but it's more than that. I think all quilters, no matter their skill level, will find many things useful and interesting in the book.

I peeked ahead and saw that the last third has tips and a number of projects, can't waitto get to that! Even though it is intended as a resource book, I find that I am reading it page by page. It is simply amazing. I am definitely buying this for myself. My only complaint, I wish the publisher had printed it as a larger book maybe with a spiral binding, but then that would have increased the price.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I sewed the sashing and cornerstones together this weekend using the small brown check as the gold was way too distracting. I can't decide if it needs some borders, maybe a narrow muslin inner border to match the background of the houses. I don't know what would work for the outer border. Any ideas?

I actually, or so I thought, ran out of the yellow I used for the windows. I decided to put a small dark check in to indicate one house had its lights off. I had pieced that house and sewn together that row when I found more of the yellow! Decided it wasn't worth it to take things apart, so there it is.

These are fabrics I've been auditioning for the Doll Quilt Swap. I've always loved reds, yellows,and greens together and as it turns out my partner does too. Maybe a little log cabin or an Ohio star?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Finishing Up

This is a picture of a project I've been working on for the past few days. Bonnie has it over at Quiltville's Quips & Snips. I decided to use homespun as I had a 12 pack collection of Block-of-the-Month fabric I had purchased when my daughter was in kindergarten. She's now a freshman in college! I haven't decided what to use for the cornerstones, that's the design wall peeking through now. Either a muted gold medium check, or a tan/brown small check. My choices limited by whether I have enough. I'd like to get this project all sewn together before moving onto the Doll Quilt Swap. I've got plenty of ideas swirling around about that!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


They're out! The Doll Quilt Swap 5 partner assignments, that is. The ideas are simple swirling in my head. Applique? Paper pieced? Something traditional? Contemporary? Beaded? Embroidered? Oh, the possibilities! Stay tuned as decisions are made and progress occurs.
I've posted what little rules we have,
This is a secret swap.
- Quilts due on December 1st. (delivery confirmation preferred, international swappers please ship early)
- Please send something that is of a quality that you would like to receive.
- SIZE: from 12×12 to 24×24…any size or shape in between.
- MATERIALS: natural fibers/cotton, wool, linen, etc.

I am also new to blogging, so please be patient with me! Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap

I got in just under the wire! And I am so excited! I will be participating in a quilt swap. We are paired with a secret partner and in December, we send our partner our finished quilt. These will be small little creations, ranging in size from 12 inches up to 24 inches.