Thursday, July 31, 2008


Carol, today's featured retreat attendee, is our piecing queen. Piece by piece, quilt after quilt, she gets an inordinate amount of work done and each quilt is a delight to see - just like her winning smile.This is her "Chocolate Covered Cherries" quilt.
Next she worked on the wonderful border of this little quilt.
Every once in a while she would take a break to make a block from some BOM's she is doing. In no time at all she produced this table runner.
Lastly, she had a big container of hundreds of strips for a log cabin quilt. Quietly and steadily she sewed and ironed.
Carol usually hosts our Christmas and Spring potluck dinners. Her home is large and comfortable with a huge screened-in porch for the Spring dinner and a large dining table for our Christmas dinner. There are quilts everywhere in her home - red and green for Christmas and wonderful pastel flower quilts for Spring.
Carol is a retired school librarian. Her children lead very interesting lives and we love to hear the stories she brings to our group.
Tomorrow you will meet Lindsay............

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Meet Aline

The second retreat attendee to be featured is Aline. She is a retired graphic artist. Her quilts are precise and well thought out. She finished this Bullseye quilt top in no time and everyone agreed that her borders add greatly to this exchange-block quilt. (Please notice Gus, the dog, who you will meet later.) Here is Aline at work on a Thanksgiving quilt done from a panel which she is very accurately cutting apart.
The finished Thanksgiving quilt. The words - Give Thanks - will be added later.
Aline working on a crazy 6-patch batik quilt. Once again she is very, very carefully measuring.
The finished colorful quilt.
Aline also does redwork and beautiful embroidery. Her handwork is as precise as her quilting. Quilt labels done by Aline are as wonderful as her quilts. Lately she has been doing a lot of machine quilting and her artistry shines through in that also.

Come back tomorrow for the next featured person. There is talent galore in my little Bee group.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Please allow me to introduce you to Gail. Gail is our teacher/coach/encourager and fixer-of-problems in our Bee group. We just got back from our annual retreat and I decided to feature our retreat attendees one by one. Gail is first. She is retired (from being a high school teacher) but continues to teach at the local quilt shop where she makes shop samples too. She also tends to her horses and dogs and her husband. This Big House quilt was in her binding stack. This is Gail, on the floor, laying out a pink and brown quilt.
And here is the quilt all put together.
Gail is very proficient and we finally decided that she must have a twin hidden away who makes half the blocks. No one can get that much done by themselves!
This is Gail on the first day, only a short time after we got started she had the basket quilt finished and up on the wall.

Close-up of the basket quilt.This is a little Christmas quilt she whipped up next.Here is dear Gus guarding another of Gail's quilts.
Here is the quilt finished. The star centers were exchange blocks.
One of Gail's many secrets to success include her daily nap. There she is going past the window on the way to her cottage for her afternoon nap.
Gail is always cheerful, helpful, and ready to share her techniques and ideas.

More coming tomorrow........

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Finish

YES ! ! ! A counted cross-stitch finish! This is Little House Needleworks "Necessities Sampler" chart #40. I lost the name of the fabric, but I'm sure it is Laguna 28count - just don't know the color.
My next counted cross-stitch project is going to be small and easy as I plan to take it on my quilt retreat next week.
Forever optimistic, I plan to take at least four quilt projects, one counted cross-stitch project, a knitting project and three books to read. How much will I get done on a five day quilt retreat? Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Measure, Cut, Turn, Cut, Measure, etc.

20 houses made of 31 pieces each means lots of measuring and cutting with my trusty rotary cutter, mat and rulers. Persistence pays off as I count up the final pile of pieces.
Now everything is packed and labeled. This project is going with me to my Quilt Retreat next week. Even if I work constantly on this project for the whole retreat, I probably cannot finish it, so I don't even plan on trying. I'll work until I get bored and then work on another project.
Now I have to decide which of the other projects (unfinished and waiting in the wings) I will take on the retreat.

Today I am grateful for -
1. Air Conditioning
2. Persistence
3. Phone calls and E-Mails from friends.
4. Caller ID so that I am not annoyed by the unwanted calls.
5. Sweet, sweet red grapes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm a real cut-up

6-1/4 X 6-1/4, 2-3/8 X 2-3/8, 3-3/4 X 3-3/4 - and on and on and on. 750 pieces need to be cut out for this quilt that I am taking on my upcoming retreat. So far I think I have about 410 pieces cut and organized. Everything is getting labeled and put into Ziplock bags.
The throw-away pieces sometimes get near the waste basket.
But seriously folks, I'm cutting fabric into 750 tiny pieces so that I can sew them back together again into one large piece. And I do this for fun!!!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Finished Fob

Finished is good. Since I went shopping today and bought three more counted cross-stitch projects, I decided I better finished up one of my stitching works-in-progress. Here is my Rhodes Butterfly Fob designed by The Sweetheart Tree, Belfast linen, 32 count, Platinum.
The FrontThe back
For anyone familiar with the design, you will know that I eliminated all the little viney lines as I seem incapable of counting those itty-bitty stitches. The front also has a big mistake - the butterflies are supposed to have been stitched with the varigated thread as on the back instead of the plain pink. The instructions also call for a tassle to be made from the leftover floss, but the one I made looked too big for the fob and I decided I liked it without the tassle. Despite the mistakes and eliminations, I'm very pleased and proud of this piece.
Now I need to leave it laying about so that visitors to my home will be amazed at the fine stitching I have done. (I have no shame.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tonya's Letters

At my friend Moe's urging, I gave Tonya's letters a try today and had a great time creating my name. The fabric I used as the background for the letters was just a small piece so I had to add some black fabric to the sides and tops. It still looks OK, and with the crumb blocks I have the beginnings of a liberated quilt. Today I am grateful for quilting friends, good books, and as always............Peanut Butter (yum)!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Judy's BOM

The big decision has been made.......I'm officially joining Judy's Block of the Month quilt group. Here is my fabric selection and it is looking very Christmasy, but it all came from my stash. My stash consists mainly of small pieces of fabric - one yard or less. It is very easy for me to find enough fabric for a scrappy quilt, but finding large pieces for the borders is a challenge. This quilt will end up being partially scrappy, especially the center stars. And the outer border will be the Thimbleberries Christmas fabric (which I bought a while back to make a tablecloth).

Thanks Judy for your generosity in sharing this quilt and your excellent instructions.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth

Happy Fourth of July. Today I made some more of the Lazy Girl Purse Pouches.
As I worked merrily along, not paying attention to the instructions because I have made so many of these, I was surprised when I went to trim this one and turn it right side out. Oops, I forgot to open the zipper before sewing the edges closed and I surged off the most important part of the zipper!
These are some patriotic looking quilts made for me by my sister. She is no longer able to quilt so these quilts are treasures to me.
It was a beautiful day here in the Chicago area and I am very grateful for blue skies, cool breezes, and living in the good old USA.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Lazy Girl

Today I stopped at JoAnn's to buy a supply of zippers to make some Lazy Girl Designs Perfect Pouches. Several years ago I made these little bags as gifts but never made any for myself. They are so easy to make that I quickly made two and................ picked out fabric for five more! It is a practical way to use up a little bit of my stash.
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July and since I do not like loud noises (booming fireworks), I shall enjoy being in my basement Quilt Studio making pouches and crumb blocks.

Today I am grateful for........
1. Amazingly blue skies.
2. Sweet grapes.
3. Delivery from UPS.
4. Feeling content in my retirement.