hidden grace & goodness

One of the things about making a resolution to finish projects that have been hidden in the unfinished object basket is that you get to say hello to old “friends”.

20180130_102114-1_resizedHello, strange pink colored fabric that I have moved/touched (feeling a bit guilty) every single time I flip through my extra pieces of stitching fabric…..since 2005.  I ask you (as I said aloud to the dog), what was so vital in my life that I didn’t have time to complete 8 stitches and then sew together into a pin keep?  Yes, 8 stitches.    The good news, it didn’t take but a few stitches, a bit of sewing and a little charm.  All of a sudden, a bit of goodness to sit on a table.

20180130_094535-1_resizedHello, quilted wall hanging I began years ago to always remember my sister-in-law.  When I saw this pattern, it reminded me of the first time I had dinner on their farm.  They passed around a Polaroid picture of the chicken (one of 80,000) they raised, and all that went on that morning .…so that we could eat fresh chicken for dinner.  YIKES!  That was a first for this girl.   Janice got a good giggle out of that.  She was a creative & kind sister.  She always treated me so well.  She baked like I have never seen before.  She was the best example of a mom. She was the first person to ever tell us we were raising our boys well.  I will never forget her.  I don’t need to sew a quilt to remember.  It is just a nice piece to work on.  It affords me the time to remember so many bits of goodness about Janice.  I’m guessing that she would be belly laughing that I now have 5 chickens. 20180130_094542_resized


Oh, hello sweet thing.  That little coin purse hardware has sat on my sewing machine table for way too long.  I sat down one evening and in less than 2 hours had this adorable little bit of limey green goodness finished. 20180122_204630-1_resized_1

Three hidden projects brought out into the light of day and it is only January.  Every time I spy a completed item, it feels like I am bathing myself in grace & goodness.

I would love to hear what projects you are creating or finishing.  Maybe we can inspire each other?

“You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelo


In this together friends,

Chat soon.


Love Notes

Every work morning for 34 years (minus away time for the Army) my husband writes me a letter.

This  year for Valentine’s Day I am him a small quilt called, “Love Notes”. 20160210_145058-1-1

I sewed an extra block onto the back of the quilt.  I slipped my own love note inside.20160210_144402

I am so grateful that I am reminded every single day, someone loves me…

and….. I love him right back.

(I am just better with a sewing machine, than trying to get up at 4:30 am in the morning to write a coherent letter.)20160210_145121

Have I mentioned lately what a grateful and lucky girl I am?


Fingers crossed he likes it.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ps.  He loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Easter in July

You have heard of Christmas in July?  This is Easter in July.
This is a picture of a quilt top I made 20 some years ago.  I never got around to quilting it.
It is called Easter.  I like that. New beginning, starting fresh. 20150728_093941
I usually only take pictures of my quilts that are neatly pressed and the pet hair has been removed.  Heck, I have had this quilt top so long, we have several different colors of pet hair somehow magically stuck to it.  (I can’t get some glue sticks to make a picture stuck to a card, yet somehow, pet hair is magnetic.)
The time has come.  I am going to hand quilt this puppy.  (not an actual puppy).  Here’s a question, how on earth, did I manage to drive around collecting all those colors of fabric while we still had two kiddos at home, I worked part-time, I was volunteering and driving and going and doing and making dinner and I somehow found extra money to pay for said fabric?  Weird.
Extra weird that I brought it out to show a friend while we were talking quilts.  She made the exact quilt! I had forgotten that tid bit of goodness.  One teeny, tiny exception, hers is quilted and in use already.  She inspired me to get a move on. Finish it for goodness sakes.
color 1The colors make me happy.  They give me hope and make me mighty grateful.  I love that the time has come to make this into a real quilt.  Why did it take so long?  I have absolutely no idea.
I must say the points are pretty darn good.  Do you ever do that?  Look at something you made years ago, and speak like it was someone else.  “My, she did a good job on her points.  Interesting, she chose that color, goes very well.  Wow, where did she find the time to piece this?”
I am learning to be kind and gentle, to myself.  I find myself being pretty darn critical.  I sort of smile and secretly like it when I say nice things about something I made or did.
Okay, it’s a start.
Maybe, just maybe once this is quilted I will be gushing and going on and on about how wonderful a job I did.  Maybe I will write 3 blog posts about the amazing gift I have to put together color and make it into a cozy quilt.
Okay, I don’t see that happening.
Maybe, I will be proud of myself for finishing another project?
I am grateful that I have surrounded myself with vibrant, saturated color.
Color is most assuredly helping me to heal and do a little jig, with jazz hands of course.color 2
By the way, I am seriously considering burgundy highlights.  I have been told that they are bold and sassy.  I am feeling saucy.  Yes, I think I may do it.

dust off our souls

french city hallEarlier today, I read about a small town in France.  The town people have always been somewhat artsy and each artist has been expected to donate one of his /her paintings to city hall.   Each person that goes to see the art is asked to leave a donation which goes toward the upkeep and restoration of the collection.


Just in my “town” (read that as people in my life who live in many different places) I have the privilege of knowing some amazing artists.mariner compass

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Pablo Picasso

I am very grateful for the artists in my life.  They enrich my life and the saturated color is woven into my world.

I have a friend, she is an artists. She is also a mom, wife, friend and loves her horses. Her amazing talent lies in the canvas that her paint graces.

I know a master knitter.  Who knew there was such a thing?   I happen to possess one of her master pieces.  A hand knit knit lacelace shall.  Stunning and breath-taking at the same time.  Her handwork in fabrics and quilting and embroidery are exquisite. Just by looking at her work, I find myself inspired to try a tiny bit harder at handiwork.

I have a friend who is second to none in hand embroidery.  Oh my goodness, the flowers and vines she creates with just a needle and thread make you pause and take a second look.  So good in fact, she inspires me to try embroidery all over embroidery-kit-02again.

Several of my friends are true artists in the quilting field.  I know hand quilters second to none.  I am lucky to know machine quilters with the gift of design and pure talent.

In my “town”, there is a metal sculpture artist, a couple of photographers, a master gardener, a bead artist, a glass artist and the list goes on.

Just think what level we all could achieve if we encourage one another?   If we were “expected” to donate one of our masterpieces to the town hall?

What if instead of yakking about politics or who wore what, we talked about a music score that was written for summer? What if instead of talking about what someone said about another at work or droning on about the weather, we spoke of the amazing quilt we got to see up close and personal?

What if, instead of spending time watching television or being “busy” more of us spent that time, creating beauty and perfecting our craft to share with our town?

Just for the sake of day dreaming, what if we helped each other accomplish beautiful works of art for the sake of dusting the daily life off our souls?

scrap beauty

In 1998 I made a special quilt to mark our 25th wedding anniversary.  Prior to making that beautiful quilt, I spent 2 or so years collecting all sorts of gray (a nod to the silver of the anniversary) fabric.  The pattern is called 25 X 25 and I was searching for 25 different gray fabrics.

After making the quilt, I saved all those beautiful grays.  I had oodles of scrap pieces left over.  I knew one day, they would speak to me.

20150521_101300Enter Spring 2015……..inspiration strikes!

Trying to surround myself with color, rich, saturated color of healing.  Color lifts our spirits and urges us to move forward.  Color helps us see beyond the dull, mundane daily aches and pains, physical and spiritual.  Color heals my soul and spirit.

For years and years and more years, I have machine pieced and hand quilted my quilts.  I am embarking on a new process. While I still machine piece, I am learning to machine quilt.  Yes, you read that correctly, learning something new.  What was the last thing you learned to do?  Are you keeping your brain jumping by introducing new and different creative endeavors?   I am trying something completely new and different to me.  Mistakes are a plenty.  I am making adjustments.  Raising my chair, turning the music up louder, trying to let go of old habits…….change is tricky after 30 years of doing it one way.  Tricky but exhilarating.

20150519_095748I used all scraps.  Even for the backings.  I used up odds and ends. I used up different colors of thread.   I made a Whirly Gig and a Star Bright wall hangings.  I practiced and practiced.  Guess what?  I need more practice.  While I think I will continue to send out very large quilts to be machine quilted, I am enjoying this new to me genre.  Somewhat freeing and tugs at me to finish more and more.  20150515_160801-1

I took up the challenge of a project called String Bean quilts.  Use only scraps and put the strips together in any fashion.  I did use a beautiful yellow piece I collected while in Alabama.  Pretty satisfying to see some of those bits and pieces somehow “randomly” tossed together to create scrap beauty.

20150519_200926-1What would have taken a month or two to  for me to hand quilt, I can finish in one day.  The satisfaction in that alone, is mighty appealing. 20150521_121150-1

I will let some of the scraps, speak for themselves.  I will add photos.  Do you see a favorite pattern?  Does the star make you smile?

It certainly feels nice to get some of those “to do” projects off my list.

BOM, September

20140906_161642This month’s mystery Globetrotting Block of the month, is called Barcelona, Spain.
The block has a pin wheel variation in the middle, inspired by.. can you guess? TILES, and the incredible Barcelona buildings.DSCN5274

Next Month will be the four corners, they will be all the same, and the sizes will be given for setting it all together.

It went together so nicely.  I keep looking at it just in case I see an upside down seam.

It was a pleasure to make.

The quilt is coming together nicely.

Like the quilt on the bed, this particular quilt will be hand quilted.  Easily my favorite part of the process.

forest pathway

20140725_211441The parents of Grand #3 have chosen a forest theme for the nursery.  While sinking my toes into the lime green, shag rug (to mimic the grass), I looked at the beautiful dark wood crib and spied a mischievous fox peeking out from a storage container.   For some reason, the song “Teddy Bears Picnic” by Henry Hall started playing in my mind and I can’t find the pause button.

“There’s lots of marvelous things to eat and wonderful games to play 

Beneath the trees where nobody sees they’ll hide and seek as long 

as they please”

20140811_130221It was my privilege and honor to make the new perfect grand baby to be, a quilt.  I used the greens and browns of the nursery.  The pattern I chose is called “Forest Pathway”.  The quilting thread is lime green.

I purchased a sheet from their registry and promptly cut it up into pieces. Triangles were used for a celebration name banner, long rectangles were for the burp cloths and the remainder became the focal points for the quilt. 20140811_131342

Cut, stitched, quilted, labeled, wrapped in paper, mailed, opened, smiles shared….now we wait.

The quilt is safely tucked into a crib in California.  Just waiting, waiting to wrap a baby in love and goodness. DSCN5224

“Because today’s the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic”DSCN5222DSCN5219Welcome to our World.  

BOM August

DSCN5147The journey continues.  I continue to glob trot through the world, with a different Block of the Month.

This month we travel to Paris, France.

Yes, I am one of the lucky girls who have indeed traveled to Paris.  I was the  person who held the map and shouted, “oh darn, you should have turned back there.”  I looked at that city map so long, I have it memorized, to this day.

Our trip to Paris, France was amazing, breath-taking, educational, lovely, inspiring and fun.  The city, not the quilt block.

I will say, this month was not my favorite pattern.  It is supposed to be colors that almost fade together in mystery.  Not to my liking, so a little switch a roo and I have something I can live with.

May I present the August Block of the Month. DSCN5144


Sweet Home Alabama

DSCN1027In the beginning there was color.  I was drawn to the oranges and patterns printed on those inspiring swatches of fabric.  I found jelly fish, hedgehogs, paper clips, numbers and commas.  I over use the comma.  I fell in love when I spied commas printed on fabric.

Then I had to find a way to line them up and give them some type of order and somehow pleasing to the eye.  I found some aqua that would give my eye a rest from all that juicy orange.

The more I danced with the colors, the more I wanted to button it all together with buttons of course. DSCN1026

One afternoon, a quick, off the cuff comment “oh, I love those colors” directed my path.

That afternoon, the quilt name was born.  Sweet Home Alabama was to become a house-warming gift for part of our family.  I sewed and ironed and re-arranged over and over.

Ah, thanks  Lynyrd Skynyrd……………….Sweet Home Alabama, Where the skies are so blue, Sweet Home Alabama, Lord, I’m coming home to you.   Now that is a welcome to Alabama song for sure.

I found a new to me, machine quilter.  Connie who does amazing and wonderful work, was originally from Alabama.  She moved to Washington.  The quilt was born here, machine quilted in her studio,  then sent back to her home state. Our collaboration was meant to be.

I drew a beautiful Magnolia flower on the label.

No, I was not thrilled that part of our family moved to Alabama.  However, when you hear them talk about their new home, you know it was a gift.  I wanted to send them with love and pure goodness.  I wanted a splash of color to warm their hearts and souls and new home.

DSCN4789D,G,Z and A ……..may your sweet home be filled with laughter (belly laughs), great food, prosperity and may you bathe in the Grace of  pure family goodness.

No matter where you roam, you are loved and of value.  I hope the wall hanging reminds you of that every single day.

Love, Mom

ps.  in the beginning, there was color and it was good.


BOM July

DSCN4900Halfway through our travels and the globetrotting continues.  July’s Block of the Month,  is called Sydney, Australia.

B-I-N-G-O .  Believe it or not, my Grandma Dilley (the person who taught me how to sew) won a trip to Australia for her and my Grandfather!  While playing Bingo, she won the trip & spending money.  It was the biggest, grandest adventure they had ever gone on.  They had been married about 52 years when they took the trip.  They had the time of their lives.   They traveled from small town Blaine, Washington and became world travelers.  She even made a scrapbook of everything they saw.

The quilt block went together very smoothly…..until the final seam.  I have to come clean.  I broke my own  “three times a charm” rule.

It took five rip outs and extra pins and a couple of “magic” words to make those final two blocks match up like a beautiful marriage.  Ah….. deep breath. DSCN4897

For all you non-quilters, the extra 1/4 inch you can see very clearly on the edges of the block will be taken up when the seam allowance is hidden with borders, once  pieced together.

So today, with the fan swirling and the sweet dog snoring near my feet, July’s beautiful block came together.

Isn’t it funny how creating one simple block can make your entire spirit dance?

Love the dance.