• 29Oct
    Categories: musings, quilting Comments Off on Timeless Treasures Booth

    Today was the first day the vendor booths were open here at Quilt Market.

    Timeless Treasures really increased their booth space this Market, and everything looks fantastic–including this adorable line, Bavaria! 😉

    Only one yard of each print was flown into the office in New York, and it had to be cut up for 20 samples, so each salesman would have a set so they’re very tiny!

    Needless to say, I’m quite fond of the Orange Crush line.

    Timeless does fabulous batiks, and Mango Salsa is really pretty.

    I’m thinking I need to make a circle quilt!

    Isn’t this a pretty purse made from the Tonga Treat?

    Everything old is new again!  My bedroom in the early Seventies was hot pink and orange.

    More pretty fabrics.

    Black and bright is always stunning.

    Wild Ginger.

    Mixed Media Mosaic.

    Made from pre-cuts.

    More eye candy.

    This is Monica Lee’s Cardigan Girls.  I got to meet Monica this Market, and she’s a hoot!

    Catch of the Day is adorable with lobsters and crab.

    L’amour de la vie is a cute little French line.

    Mechanical Genius is a first line from Mo Bedell.  Perfect for boy quilts!

    Don’t’ you love how the selvedges are incorporated into this pillow?

    Sweet on NYC by Sugar Pixie.

    Bella Verona is a beautiful new block of the month.

    And Timeless has an exciting new division called Dear Stella.

    So much inspiration! And all this in just one booth!


  • 28Oct
    Categories: musings Comments Off on Quilts in Sweden

    Greetings from Quilt Market in Houston!  Today was Schoolhouse–15 – 30 minute sessions all day long introducing new products that are going to premiering at Market.  Well, when I saw a title called Quilts in Sweden you know I had to go! Turns out that’s the title of a new book by Kaffe Fassett.

    Much to my delight, the quilts were photographed at Skansen, the open air museum in Stockholm.  Historic buildings have been brought from all over Sweden to this museum–including one from Anna Lena’s farm!  These photos are washed out because I was taking pictures projected on a screen, but I thought they were worth sharing with you.

    I love this quilt on the outside of a typical Swedish log cabin–square logs and Falu red paint.  This paint, which is prevalent all over Sweden, is a by-product of the copper mining.

    I recognize this as the inside of the main house at the Delsbo farmhouse.

    I love this balcony shot!

    This photo was taken inside a manor house at the museum.  Don’t you love the geometric design of the quilt and the geometric design of the floor!?

    Beautiful painted wall–and beautiful quilt.

    Kaffe said they topped off their day with tea at the Tea Room!  Perfect!

  • 28Sep
    Categories: musings, travels here Comments Off on Corner Quilt Shop

    When we were in Deer Lodge, Montana recently, I stumbled upon the most adorable quilt shop.  It’s in an old bank building.  The building is great looking even from the outside.

    But when you go in, it gets even better!  Check out that marble counter.

    It was a long narrow space with very high ceilings and a loft.  There was even marble on the stairs going up!

    There was a great view of the shop from up there!

    Isn’t the millwork around the door beautiful?

    The displays were so well done, with kits and patterns hanging near all the samples so I didn’t have to ask.

    It was a great shop!

  • 15Sep
    Categories: brilliant ideas, Everything!, musings, quilting Comments Off on New Block Challenge – Hour Glass

    We had so much fun with the Summer Bow Tie blocks that people are clamoring (well, at least asking) if we’re going to do another block for fall.  Well, of course we are!

    What was the Summer Bow Tie Block Challenge all about?  It was about making a quilt block a day.  It was about getting into your sewing room if even for just a few minutes.  It was about using up some scraps!

    If you’d made one quilt block each day from the beginning of summer until the end of summer, you would have made 94 blocks!  I’m not sure anyone managed the one-a-day approach, but it still kept many people sewing.  Lots of people are finishing up their quilts now and posting them on the Facebook page.  Here’s Toni’s that she posted today.  There are lots of photos on the Facebook page.  Feel free to check them out.

    Ready for the next challenge?  How about Hour Glass blocks for fall?  Did I hear a moan?  Really, they’re easy.  It’s just a twice sewn half-square triangle–kind of like biscotti–twice baked cookies!  If you make one block each day during fall, you will have 91 blocks made before the first day of winter even sets in!  Here’s what an Hour Glass block looks like.

    A few minutes ago I decided to make a few blocks and takes photos so I could post this tutorial  Since I have shelves full of fabric bolts, it’s really tempting to just pull a few down and start cutting.  But, I really need to do something with all my scraps.  So, I pulled out one of my scrap bins.

    I cut a bunch of 4-1/4″ squares.  These will make a 3″ unfinished Hour Glass block.  Note: You can make any size blocks.  The formula is this–add 1-1/4″ to the finished size you desire.

    I cut some cream solid to go with them.  You can get ten 4-1/4″  squares from a strip.  Mark a diagonal line on the solid squares.

    Pair a solid square with a print square, right sides together.  I used two matching solids and two matching prints.  This will yield four Hour Glass blocks.

    Stitch 1/4″ on each side of the drawn line.

    Cut apart on the drawn line.

    Press to the print fabric.  (Yes, I have an orange iron!)  You’ve made a half-square triangle–and you’re half way finished!

    Now take two of your half-square triangles and put them together, light against dark, dark against light.  Snug up the center seam.

    Draw a diagonal line that passes through your stitched seam.

    Stitch 1/4″ on either side of the line and cut apart.

    Voila!  An Hour Glass block.  Wasn’t that easy?

    Here’s a little pressing tip.  Wiggle the intersection a bit to loosen a stitch or two.

    Finger press seams in opposite directions.  This really eliminates bulk in you seams.  A teeny tiny four patch will show up in the middle if you do this correctly.  Your seams will press to the light, but that’s okay.

    Turn it over and give it a press.  Trim away the dog ears.  There it is–your first Hour Glass block.  Actually, you’ll get two blocks from each pair of fabric.

    Since I did two pair, I ended up with four blocks.  This is a very traditional way to put Hour Glass blocks together, but there are lots of possibilities with this block.

    Use two different prints when sewing your half-square triangles together.

    Much more scrappy.

    If you put your four blocks together with all the browns facing in, it forms a pinwheel.  Magic!

    Or you can just mix them up for a scrappy effect.

    You don’t even have to use a solid if you want to go totally scrappy, like this.

    I hope you’ll join in the fun.  Come to the new Facebook Page, A Quilt Block A Day.  Even if you don’t make blocks, it’s fun to watch everyone’s progress.


  • 29Jun
    Categories: Everything!, musings Comments Off on Glad Midsommar

    Last weekend, we celebrated a Swedish Midsummer here at home.  I would rather have been in Sweden, but this was the next best thing.

    I was up early to get started….

    The front porch was decorated with flowers, birch branches and Dala horses.

    It all starts with the midsummer pole.

    We had fox gloves and rhododendron blossoms adorning it this year.  Melissa and Matt helped!

    And, for the first time, we had a rooster on top!  In Sweden the rooster is another symbol for the renewal.

    Time for the ceremonious raising of the pole.

    As you can see, our small one only requires two (strong) men.

    Cole helped lock it in place.

    The rhodies were a nice addition.

    And speaking of nice, we had a really nice day.  Even my mom, who doesn’t usually enjoy nature, was comfortable sitting outside.

    Dad was here, too.

    And Melissa…

    …and Matt.

    Of course Sally was here, and so was Ray, but he was taking pictures and didn’t end up IN any pictures!

    Cole was here.

    We all danced around the maypole, even my dad!  That left no one to take pictures, but that was okay.  Dancing is always more fun than taking pictures.

    Then we spent a little time in the cabin.

    All seemed quiet around the troll house!

    I have two new chairs on the porch.  They were made by Josh Blewett, who also made the stairs in the cabin.

    I found a good supply of wild daisies to pick for decorating.

    And Melinda shared some flowers from her garden.

    Mom, Melissa and Matt enjoying the sofa.

    Then Melissa and Matt had to check out the loft.

    Here’s one of the weavings my Swedish cousin, Berit, has made for me.

    And the corner cupboard I bought in Sweden in 2008.

    This wonderful embroidery is new-to-me.  It talks about the red cottage with it’s weeping birch tree and remembering your childhood days.

    This candlestick is a copy of one from the 16th century and it has a LOT of symbolism.  Rooster – Watchfulness; Three candles – the Holy Trinity; Two jagged arches – Christ’s Crown of Thorns; Ten holes – the Ten Commandments; Heart – Love; Twelve leaves – the twelve Apostles.  Whew!  You can see another beautiful weaving of Berit’s under it.

    In Sweden the lupine is always blooming profusely during midsummer.  The best we could do were these wild foxgloves at the edge of our woods.

    Inside I pulled out some of my Swedish souvenirs. The three dolls in the middle are dressed in parish costumes.  The blue one is from Transtrand where Melissa’s grandpa’s family came from.  The boy and the girl in the red dress are dressed in Nås clothes.  Nås is the town Anna Lena came from.

    These adorable candle holding girls I bought in Sigtuna, Sweden–the oldest city in Sweden.

    Of course midsummer isn’t just about a maypole, it’s also about FOOD!  My sister, Sally, loves dishes and has, shall we say, several sets.  She brought her blue and yellow ones, which were perfect because they are the colors of the Swedish flag.

    There are two styles of plates.

    And lots of adorable serving pieces.

    Our meal consisted of hard bread.  One of my favorite Swedish finds is this Dala horse server.

    The hard bread is a brand from Dalarna–my “home” province.  My grandma always told me Dalarna was the prettiest part of Sweden!

    We had a variety of cheeses to go on the bread.

    And, of course, pickled herring, served in a special herring boat.

    It wouldn’t be midsummer without meatballs and lingonberries.  I made 150 meatballs for 9 people!

    We had new potatoes with fresh dill.

    Pickled beets.

    And cucumber salad.

    And, of course, we had TWO desserts.  I made a Princess Cake.  It’s my third one.  This year I wanted to do something different, so made a long loaf rather than the traditional round cake.

    And we had to have a Strawberry Torte.

    It was so much fun to be with family and sharing a bit of our Swedish tradition.  Maybe next summer I’ll be in Sweden, wearing my Nås dress and dancing around the may pole.



  • 14Jun
    Categories: musings Comments Off on Happy Flag Day

    Just in time for Flag Day, here are some Patriotic Quilts, Wall Hangings and other show-and-tell from Redwork Club.

    I love the “Long May She Wave!” wall hanging that Mary brought.

    Linda said this flag was one of the first things she ever quilted.

    Ann made this wall hanging.

    My mom stitched this many years ago, and I quilted it.  There’s a LOT of stitching on it!

    This wall hanging also belongs to Mary.

    Robin always does such nice work, like this primitive piece…

    …and this one, too.  Love her choice of background fabric.

    Marla made this patriotic table runner.

    Ann made this patriotic chicken with the wild hair.

    Mary brought this Democratic donkey…

    …and the elephant, too.  Way to be non-partisan, Mary!

    These belong to Marla.

    Hope you all remembered Flag Day!


  • 12Jun
    Categories: Everything!, musings Comments Off on Wisteria and Other Purple Flowers

    On the back side of our house, we have a pergola–which is like an arbor, only an arbor is free standing and a pergola is attached to a structure like a house.  I’m sure you can rest better now, knowing the difference!

    It’s the first thing I see in the morning when I look out our bedroom window.

    A few years ago we planted wisteria on it.

    It’s finally growing in really well.

    And this year it’s blooming like mad.


    I just love it!

    And it smells sooooo good.

    The fragrance reminds me of carnations.

    My flowers seem to like our cool, wet spring.

    The irises are very lush.

    The ceanothus had some winter kill…

    …but that hasn’t stopped it from blooming.

    Even the columbine is doing well.

    I’m trying very hard to get some lupine established on the edge of our woods.  Note the little star shaped flowers underneath it.

    These lupine came back from last year.

    The little star flower I mentioned above is miner’s lettuce.

    It’s completely a wild volunteer and grows in drifts along the edge of our woods.

    Foxgloves are another wild flower we have in abundance in this area.

    As you can see, we live in an area with lots of lush plants around us.

    Tucked in amongst it all, is my Swedish log cabin!  You can read more about it here, here and here!

  • 03Jun
    Categories: Everything!, musings Comments Off on 1941 Camp Fire Project

    I often post our Redwork show-and-tell, usually each month.  I just group everything that everybody brings together in one post.  Well, this deserves its own post!

    Melinda recently brought a letter from 1941 that was written by her husband’s sister Donella when she was 11 or 12.  It was written to an older sister who was living away from home.  It says: At school I am using a protractor and compass.  I am diagraming sentences too.  And am just after the Revolution War in History.  Mom is going to write and send you a check. (Moms never change!)

    Did I tell you about what I was doing in Camp fire? If not I will tell you.  I am making a bag like a crossword puzzle only using much larger pieces.  I am getting our handles from Mrs. (?)  They are like this, only larger.

    Then she draws a picture of the handles.

    Not only did Melinda have the letter, she had the bag, too!  And sure enough, those are the handles that Donella drew!

    She goes on to say: The bag is like this tho design is like this with different kinds of stitches around them. I am going to line mine.

    Once again, she has a great illustration…

    …which nicely matches the finished bag!

    The rest of the letter says: Next in Camp Fire I am going to make a pillow just for fun. I am going to send to an upholster company and get some samples…

    In a different handwriting, perhaps her mothers, a date has been added.

    What a fun treasure and a peek back into the past.  Thanks for sharing, Melinda.


  • 28May
    Categories: Everything!, musings Comments Off on April Redwork

    I’m so far behind posting show-and-tell from Redwork, but I’m determined to get caught up1

    Cortne` brought her finished house blocks.  I just love how she framed the black stitched blocks with black and that little touch of yellow.  Also, isn’t it cool how she did her layout four by three rather than the usual three by four.

    Here’s a close-up of that great yellow accent.

    Here are the same blocks done by Marla.  She used black floss, too, except she added green crayon to her trees and a little bit of red floss when there were chimneys

    She also added yellow crayon to her windows.  What a great effect.

    Other show-and tell included these snowman blocks.

    I think Marla did these, too.

    They’re adorable.

    Robin had been working on her Over the River blocks.

    And y mom’s show-and-tell was her polka-dot raincoat and hat!

    And her TWO new canes with Swarovski bling!

    Carol O. brought these.  I grew up saying the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer every night.

    But I had never learned the morning companion prayer.


  • 27May
    Categories: musings, travels here Comments Off on More Neon Signs

    Quite some time ago I posted photos of some cool old neon signs.  On our recent trip , mostly through Utah but with a few detours into Arizona and Colorado, I was able to snap a few more.

    Some had a distinct Southwest feel.

    Love the chicken, and we all know about drive through dining, but what’s the deal with Drive Thru Parking?

    Cool old bank sign.  I wonder if this is where they keep the old money, as in, “He comes from old money?”

    Not only had the Wash-O-Mat seen better days, so had its sign.

    Check out the sky in some of these photos.  Not the best weather!

    When I was a kid, we had a local, tiny place called the Shake Shack.  I really wanted to stop here, but we’d just eaten.  My ice cream consumption was WAY down on this trip, and that’s not like me.

    Here’s an oldie, and so Southwest.

    Oh, perhaps we should stay here!

    Or maybe not.  But it was a great price.

    Cool signs, though.

    This was in Page, Arizona.  Again, check out the sky.

    A great combination of old and new!  I wonder what happened to the pool?

    So many motel choices in our travels!

    I love the starburst on this one.  So very Sixties.

    Cute deer on this sign.  Looks like he’s being chased!

    I thought this Fiesta Theater sign was terrific.

    Uh, we weren’t in Utah anymore!