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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year, New Direction

Since 1999 I've been making quilts for competition. The majority of these quilts are quite large, for example 64"x77", 46"x62", 53"x65". The story is the same on every quilt: enjoy the design and assembly phases, dread the quilting phase. Free motion quilting is not my strength and the challenge is magnified when working on a big quilt. Currently I'm quilting a 66" square piece and it feels like wrestling a walrus. This time the frustration factor is so intense that I'm losing the joy of the quilt. This is unacceptable.

So I am slightly changing my focus now to smaller quilts. Smaller quilt, easier to handle, hopefully a less frustrating free motion experience. Not that I may never make another biggie, but this is a deliberate change of direction to rejuvinate my quilting satisfaction. I've sketched my next competition piece and it will be about 28"x24".

This decision just happens to coincide with the start of a new year. Here's some food for thought as you contemplate 2011. From The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley.
Looking ahead we are often deceived into thinking that life is a series of unrelated decisions and somehow we will end up where we want to be simply by force of will or luck. But if you can see a path in the rearview mirror that reflects where you've been and explains where you are, then there must be a path ahead of you as well. A path that, like all paths, has a specific and oftentimes predictable destination. And that bring us . . . to the principle of the path. Direction--not intention--determines our destination. Simply put, you and I will win or lose in life by the paths we choose. Direction determines destination. Every time. You don't have problems to fix; you have directions that need to change. The road I'm on always determines where I end up.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yellow Stuff

That little yellow button on my TV remote is labelled SKIP FWD

What an invention. It has spared me from many inane commercials. Taping a show and watching later saves time and aggravation. Not to mention the fact that I rarely sit and watch a program unless I am cutting, sewing or quilting my latest project.

Sometimes technology fools us into thinking we can SKIP FWD through the mundane things in life. Take quilting . . . changing thread on the machine, winding bobbins, unsewing mistakes, cleaning up the mess I make. Well, that wouldn't be reality. Here's a better way of looking at it:
Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous. --Bill Moyers
Keep quilting!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord . . . Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. --Luke 2

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Bob Eckstein is the author of The History of the Snowman. The earliest snowman illustration Eckstein found is in a religious manuscript, Book of Hours, written about 1380 and preserved at the Royal Library in The Hague, Netherlands.

Snow sculpting was popular entertainment during the Middle Ages and a way for artists to display their talents at winter festivals. Even Michelangelo sculpted snow figures in 1494 in Florence, Italy, and during an event that became known as “The Miracle of 1511” in Brussels, Belgium, artists and nonartists alike populated the city with 110 snow people in scenes with social and political meaning.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shine On!

Here's a simple mini quilt (9" square) using glitzy Christmas ribbon and shiny fabrics from my scrap box. Made as a donation quilt for The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI), this piece recalls my husband's Aunt Jean.

For more info on AAQI, see

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Faith Rings

This is the third quilt in my Virtues series based on the verse: Three things last forever: faith, hope and love. Faith Rings is a Christmas quilt celebrating the birth of Christ.

A Christmas themed quilt doesn't have to scream traditional red and green. I started with these two Christmas fabrics featuring cranberry red and teal green.

The color scheme expanded to include various tans, pinks and some jewel tones to liven things up.

A marble floor laid in 1268 in front of the high altar at Westminster Abbey inspired the design. The actual floor is shown in this article I wrote for American Quilter (Summer 2006) featuring all three quilts in the series.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hope Flourishes

Hope Flourishes is one of a trio of quilts in my Virtues Series based on this verse: "Three things last forever: faith, hope and love."

This design is an adaptation of floor tiles by Minton, Hollins and Company circa 1865.

There's much more than a bit of yellow in this quilt. The use of cherry red adds some unexpected zip to the yellow/caramel/blue scheme. I like to take my color cues from some of the fabrics. Always audition your choices on the design wall.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Love Blossoms

The next three posts will focus on my Virtues Series. These quilts are based on the verse that says: "Three things last forever: faith, hope and love."

Love Blossoms was adapted from tiles produced by a 19th century French tile factory. Two fabrics were my starting point in selecting a color scheme.

From the caramel and lavendar in these fabrics, I branched out into orange and purple.