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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





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.

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


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.