• 31May
    Categories: brilliant ideas, Everything!, fabric design Comments Off on Dish Towels

    Our show-and-tell at Redwork recently was Dish Towels.  I especially love the days-of-the-week themes.

    I believe this pattern is by Grace Drayton, who also drew the Campbell Soup kids.

    I love the expression on the face of this little Dutch girl.

    I’m not sure she’s cut out for housekeeping!

    Melinda had these.  I think they’re most unusual.  It’s from the rhyme, “This little pig went to market, this little pig stayed home, this little pig ate roast beef, this little pig had none and this little pig cried ‘wee, wee, wee’ all the way home!”  I remember it from my childhood!

    Melinda also had these towels made from a 1940′s pattern called “A Sweet Little Miss.”  It’s the basis for my Merry Margaret patterns.

    Here’s a set of mine, where I drew Merry Margaret doing her chores.  I call the pattern All Week Long.

    Here are some pretty flower pots with matching fabrics from Happy.

    Tea pots seem to have been a popular motif.

    Some in Redwork.

    Some in pretty colors.

    Some in Bluework.

    Well, you get the idea!

    These are cute with the kitty faces.

    I loved these canisters.

    Melinda made this for me several years ago.

    This bluebird is adorable!

    But I think the most unusual was these mushrooms!

  • 30May
    Categories: Everything!, travels here Comments Off on Las Vegas – The Hotels

    We stayed at the Belagio while in Las Vegas.  The hotel is beautiful, starting with the glass installation in the lobby ceiling.  It’s by Washington glass artist Dale Chihuly.

    But the truly amazing thing is the garden at the end of the lobby.  I love the wild foxgloves that bloom near our woods, but these were pretty impressive.


    And orange tulips!

    I love this glass water feature.

    There was a lot of whimsy in the garden, like these giant ants and mushrooms.

    And I loved this pot spilling flowers out–and the giant trowel.

    Here’s another view of the trowel.

    In front of the Chihuly Studio, there was glass mixed in with the plants.  How perfect.

    I think this was my favorite water feature.  Next time it rains, I’ll picture giant watering cans pouring the water down on me.

    At Sally’s suggestion we also wandered through the Wynn and Encore.  It was decorated just for me–with butterflies!

    I loved the marble floors.

    And it was okay that they threw in some dragonflies.

    Not only were there butterflies in the marble floors, but the carpets, too.

    Isn’t the mosaic work incredible?

    I loved the whimsy of these lights.

    This atrium was fantastic with the umbrellas.  They just need the giant watering cans from the Bellagio!

    Sally and Melissa.

  • 28May
    Categories: Everything!, musings Comments Off on Nasturtium Quilt

    I try not to look at quilts on Ebay.  Really, I try not to!

    But sometimes, they pop up on my screen anyway.

    And sometimes there’s orange in them.  And nasturtiums (along with California poppies) are my favorite flowers.

    What’s a girl to do but look.

    It was sooooo beautiful.

    I didn’t intend to buy it, but I did send the photos to my friends and family.

    They encouraged me to “go for it!”  So I did!  The quilting on it is amazing.

    And it looks great on my Aunt Gloria’s old bed.

    And in case you wonder if I’ve always liked orange, this is the dress Melissa wore when she was flower girl in my wedding in 1974!  The bridesmaids wore the same.  Yep, I’ve always loved orange–and nasturtiums and California poppies!

  • 24May
    Categories: Everything!, travels here Comments Off on Las Vegas – The Food!

    A few weeks ago, my mom, my sister, my daughter and I went to Las Vegas–not to gamble but to eat, shop and be entertained!

    Mom and Sally.

    Melissa and me.

    The afternoon we arrived, we had a late lunch in our hotel, the Belagio, at Olives.  Lunch was delicious, but dessert was even better.

    The chocolate cake with raspberries was yummy!

    As was the chocolate mousse.

    Sally had the creme brulee.

    And Melissa opted for a second Lemon Drop!

    Our very most favorite restaurant in NYC is Le Cirque.  How lucky that they have one at the Bellagio, too!

    We started off with a celebratory Cosmopolitan.  I’m always trying to help out the cranberry growers!

    The food is as delicious as the presentation.

    Sally’s “Risotro in Harmony with the Seasons.”

    The guy at the next table was having the shellfish appetizer, and I just had to have a photo!  Thank you, Mister.

    My lobster.  Mmmmm.

    Filet topped with foie gras


    But the best–chocolate souffle!  Four, please.

    Our last night, we ate at Circo, and their souffle was Grand Marnier.  It wasn’t chocolate, but it was a close second!

    Mom and Sally had fresh doughnuts with two dipping sauces.

    As you can see, we were well fed–especially in the dessert department!

  • 19May
    Categories: brilliant ideas, Everything!, fabric design Comments Off on Dear Dorothy
    Categories: Everything!, fabric design Comments: 0

    Carol Osterholm is a member of my Redwork Club.  Some time ago, she brought in a stack of blocks that her mother, Dorothy, had made in the 1930’s.  She was wanting some advice on how to put them together.  The blocks were adorable–cats, pigs, dogs, elephants….  Some were familiar to me, and others I’d never seen.  The prints in the appliques were very nice, too.  ”Hmmmm,” I mused.  ”These would make a great fabric line.  Would you mind?”  Carol said she wouldn’t mind, Timeless Treasures Fabrics loved the idea, and now the fabric is here!

    First, the fabrics.  I always like to have a large scale print in my lines.  Of course large scale in the Thirties is different than, say, Joel Dewberry large scale.

    There was a great large scale print in the elephant block, but it was a small piece, and not really big enough to see the repeat.

    I had the perfect substitute–this laundry bag.  Isn’t it fabulous.  Every laundry bag should have feet!  This, and Dorothy’s original blocks, served as the inspiration for the color palette.  The green is a great Thirties green, the pink is very raspberry and the orange, which is in this print and the little boy block of Dorothy’s, is a very muted orange, like it’s been washed and washed.  The yellow in the blocks is very buttery, and the blue is a clear, sky blue.  I just love the way they work together.

    I wanted a medium floral print, and the duck block provided that.

    I always like a monochromatic print, and there was one in the bunny block that I fell in love with.

    And what would a line be without a dot!  The kitty block had a great dot.  So, there you have it!  Those are the fabrics in the line.

    Now for the blocks.  I think Timeless Treasures did a fantastic job with the artwork on the panel.  The printed blocks look just like they’ve been stitched around.  Below are the different blocks, first, Dorothy’s original, then the reproduction under it.

    For the elephant, we changed his trunk, because an upturned trunk is the sign of a happy elephant!

    I’ve seen this cat with the big ribbon in other old quilts, but we took away part of the ribbon for our version.

    We didn’t need to do a thing to the dog.

    I’m not a big pig fan, but I have to admit, this one is pretty cute.

    I think the bunny is my favorite, both the animal and the print.

    Here’s the duck.  I’m not sure why we closed his mouth!

    There was a cute Sunbonnet Sue, but to me, there’s only one Sunbonnet Sue–the one my Grandma Kennedy made, so we substituted her.  I hope Dorothy understands.

    And I loved this boy.  His hat reminds me of a sombrero.

    When Carol saw the original blocks among her mother’s things, she asked if she could have them.  Her mother referred to them as, “Oh, these old things!”  I wonder what she’d think of them now.

    Here are Dorothy’s original blocks up on my design wall.  Carol is putting them together now, and I’ll share a photo of her finished quilt when it’s complete.

    Here’s the panel.  I designed it so it could be used just as it is, or the blocks could be cut apart and set together differently.

    Here’s how I chose to put them together after I cut a panel apart.  The free pattern for this is up on my web site.


  • 15May
    Categories: brilliant ideas Comments Off on Welcome to Gull Cottage

    Our dear family friend, Lil, became ill last fall and recently passed away.  When she went into a nursing home, it fell to Bob and me to clean out her house and ready it for sale.  It’s a cute, two story house with a very open plan, and the living space upstairs.  Lil had lived there for 23 years, along with many cats.  And, oh, Lil was a smoker!

    We decided we had to remove all carpets, draperies, bedding, etc., and start over.  I didn’t take many before pictures, but here’s the living room after we (read Bob) had torn up two layers of carpeting, the first glued down.

    All the woodwork in the house was dark and the walls were white.

    The kitchen cabinets were also dark, with very plain door and drawer fronts.

    I wanted to give them some style, so we decided some Shaker detail would be nice.

    Once painted white, they looked terrific!  Eventually we added brushed nickel hardware and replaced the countertop, too.

    The cleaning started last fall, but the actual remodel started in March, and we are now one project away from being finished.

    Welcome to Gull Cottage!  The front door is new, as is the exterior paint on the house.

    A beachy touch in the entry–and a new light fixture.  In fact, all through the house the light fixtures have been replaced.

    Once you enter the house, you turn left and head up the stairs.

    You’re greeted by a spectacular wall of windows facing toward the ocean.  If you look closely, you’ll see the outside trim was blue.  We’ve changed it to a dark gray.

    At first I had a wicker chair by the stove, but replaced it with this chair.  And notice the hardwood laminate floor that
    Bob put in in the entire upstairs.

    The wood burning stove is a great feature.  It did have red tile under it, but we replaced that with this new hearth pad.

    The new sofa sits with its back to the stair railing, now painted white.

    On the opposite wall is the dinette.  I love the wicker, iron and glass set.

    The kitchen is small but efficient.  I love the painted cabinets.  The bar is on wheels, so you have great versatility.

    We replaced the kitchen counter top.

    Since the bedroom and living room were open to each other, we got this track and panel system from Ikea.

    You can slide the panels open, if you prefer.  And look how cute Lil’s desk looks tucked into the little nook that was created!

    Queen sized bed.

    Opposite the foot of the bed–closet on the left, bathroom on the right.

    The bath off the bedroom.  I love the Ocean Breezes art that I found.

    We upgraded this countertop to granite.

    The vinyl floor looks like tile.  We used the same flooring in the entry and downstair bath.

    Downstairs is another large, open room.  The only thing left to do is finish the headboards we are making and painting them and the night stands white.

    I found a great fabric that matched the bedding and made valances.

    Update – June 6.  Bob made these headboards.  Don’t they look adorable?

    Here’s the carpet we put in the downstairs.

    The downstairs sitting area.

    There was no bathroom downstairs, so we took some room from the garage and added a nice bath.

    That allowed us to add this big closet.

    Which houses the washer, dryer and hot water heater.

    We even finished sheet rocking the garage.

    And I spread bark and topsoil in all the beds.

    It was a lot of hard work, but I love the way it turned out.  I also learned that I’m not ready to start flipping houses for a living!

  • 07May
    Categories: Everything!, musings Comments Off on Tea Linens

    For about 12 years now, I’ve been part of a Redwork group.  From time to time, we branch out from Redwork to other needlework styles.  Recently, we decided to start having themes for out meetings.  A recent theme was Tea Linens.  Everyone brought a pretty tea cup, Linda made scones and I made tea sandwiches. 

    Show and tell is always the best part.  Here’s a vintage card table cloth that I picked up years ago for just a few dollars. 

    And, of course, when you’re being served tea in bed on a tray, you must have a proper tray cover! Notice the little pocket for your napkin.

    This is a pretty design with an interesting stitched edge.

    Here’s a closer view.

    Ethel made this pillow as a store sample for Anna Lena’s a few years back.  It’s a pattern from Darlene Zimmerman.

    One of the ladies brought these pretty dishtowels.

    And look at this pretty quilt.  I think Loretta made it. 

    I love the delicate rose on the corner of this tea tablecloth.

    These stitched tea towels are oldies but goodies.  Don’t you love how the thread color matches the bands on the towels?

    The bias tape scalloped border on this cloth is really interesting.

    The bias tape is checked!  How cool is that?

    A few years back, our project was these blocks from Crabapple Hill Designs.  These are Eleanor’s–still waiting to be put together.

    She’s a Red Rose tea drinker, so personalized her tea bag.  How clever!

    Monica designed this setting for her blocks.  It is so very sweet–just like she is!

    This is so pretty, but I can’t remember whose this is.  Oh, me bad!  Somebody, help!

    Ethel made a tablecloth with her designs.

    And I did a crazy quilt with my blocks.