Sunday, March 29, 2015


All of the lattice (or is it lattices?) are pieced and some are actually applied. All random. All fun.

Loving this quilt more and more as it moves along.

When it is all together, I'll be looking for help in deciding whether in wants a border.

Already know the binding will be scrappy. Just might want a thick row of dark shot cotton.

We'll decide.  Together. When it's done.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dancing Ladies Learn New Steps?

They've been my logo for years now, as far back as I can remember, really.

I've made them for friends, appliqu├ęd them on the back of a vest, made a wall piece for over the bed, stitched them on tote bags, given them away.

Usually they are batiks, but one time they were black silhouettes on a background of gold stars in a blue-gray sky.

People have, over time, asked me to share the pattern, and I've declined. I don't think I'm selfish, but they are too personal to have them showing up here and there in all kinds of fabrics.

As my quilting has evolved, it occurs to me, perhaps so should the dancing ladies. It might be time to enlarge the pattern and use different fabrics.

Like these.

Monday, March 23, 2015


A Leader-Ender will remain a leader-ender for only so long. In my studio, I tend to breed outspoken leader-enders who demand to be made real projects. Eventually, I give in.

Here's the latest of them. About half of the 36 blocks were true leader-enders. Then the clamor became too intense, and it turned into a real project.

The lattice is planned. And cut.

And the die is cast; it's a Real Project, no longer a Leader-Ender.

You'll be seeing more of this.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Elfsters at Last

At last, this week our Guild met! Our January and February meetings both had to be canceled because of terrible weather. Guild is always fun and something I look forward to; this time was particularly enticing because we were finally going to have our Elfster Exchange. Elfster is like a Secret Santa; we do it in January because no one has time to make anything else in December.

I was given the name of Cathy, an energetic lady that I like a lot but don't know very well. Her wish list included a particular ruler and a particular book; I bought both of these. We are encouraged to make something or purchase something hand-made for our Elfster; I love to make aprons and most people -- whether they wear them regularly or not -- like having a pretty apron to put on when they have guests. So I enjoyed making an apron for Cathy, who seemed pleased.

My name had been drawn by Jordyn, again someone I've liked but don't know well.

Visiting her FB page has revealed that we have things in common: moving frequently (well, not any more for me but 13 times in 13 years early in our marriage), a fondness for canning and preserving (again, infrequently now but all the time in younger years), and our particular political bent.

I had put  place mats and black and white fabrics on my wish list; Jordyn made me the best place mats (they look great in our kitchen and have inspired me to pick up a bunch of daffodils this afternoon) and added a marvelous owl print to the stack of B&Ws she picked out. But that wasn't enough -- included were various home-made goodies: pickles, relish, and the Best Exotic Marigold Scented Soap one could imagine! Said soaps have made their way into my bureau drawers; we have sampled the yummy relish, and this morning's coffee was enjoyed in the sewing-theme mug Jordyn had so thoughtfully included.

Generous Jordyn spoiled me mightily. And I'm loving it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Young Lady

It feels as though it has been a long, long time since I've felt the need to moo.

But here we are.

I've noticed recently that people are using a particular form of address that rubs me the wrong way.

Waiters, clerks in shops, and strangers on the street have been addressing me as "young lady."

And I don't care for it.

"Young lady" takes me back to childhood, when teachers and parents used the term in a sharp tone as a form of insult.

Besides that, I am not a young lady. I'm no longer what I'd consider middle-aged, but I'm not old either. I think I'm an older lady. Not that I expect anyone to call me that, mind you.

What happened to "ma'am"? Or even "miss"?


Oh, and while I'm on this particular form-of-address rant, I'd like to point out that I give waitstaff a more generous tip if they don't call my party "guys."

We're neither guys nor young ladies.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Lancaster Quilt Show, 2015 Report

So, Bobbi and I went out to the AQS Show in Lancaster yesterday and had a right nice time. The show isn't as big as the old Lancaster show at the Host used to be, but that's okay. The quilts were stunning and the special Wicked exhibit at the Cherrywood area was fascinating. We did a little shopping, but not a lot.

First the fabric. I don't know what I'm going to do with those wild cats, but I had to have a FQ of them. Please click to enlarge and see their intense faces!

And while you're enlarging, look at the selvedge on the Odds and Ends by Moda. It's the same fabric I used for the "labels" in the clothing I made for Aberdeen, just in a different color. Some folks had asked what fabric it was, and I didn't have the selvedge any longer.

Those rainbow F8 bundles are Cherrywood.

Over lunch (a really good taco salad, by the way and when was the last time you had one of those?), Bobbi was talking about some needles she had bought for hand sewing. She said they were not inexpensive, but were wonderful and my interest was piqued.

I found the stand where she bought them, and spent a fair amount of time there looking at the vast selection of hand-sewing needles. I decided since I'd not really spent a lot of money on fabric, I'd buy a variety of good hand-quilting, hand-sewing needles and try them out to see what I liked best. I also bought a box of nice new pins (my supply is dwindling and deteriorating), and since Elizabeth's blog is and pins, she gets a shout-out today.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Flattered, Near Philadelphia

Towards the end of last week I received an email from another quilter/blogger who is also an author. She's organizing a blog hop to promote a book that she wrote and wondered if I would consider being one of the hop's stops. It sounded like a fun thing to be part of.

But I declined.

Here's why:

. . . The technique used in  her book is one that I've heard of, but never had any interest at all in trying. I've seen the results of the technique -- my friend Bobbi brings it along sometimes when we are all doing handwork together -- and thought it made pretty things. But pretty things for someone else to make, not me.

. . . What if I were to accept, use the book to make a project, have miserable results or -- worse -- detest the book? I'd have to write a dishonest review or tell the truth and be ungracious to this nice lady who was offering me two copies of her book in exchange for my participation: one for me to keep and one to give away on my blog.

I wrote back to this truly nice person, saying thank you but no. I believe there are others who would be more appropriate to review this particular book

But it was lots of fun to have been asked.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Deja Vu All Over Again

Wait! Didn't I just show this quilt yesterday? Out on the deck? With Blackberry lurking around?

Well, no. This is the twin sister to that quilt. Same dresses, different placement. Slightly different lattice and border.

As mentioned, it is a gift for someone who has just had a daughter.

I think I still have a lot of those Liberty scraps left. Perhaps I'll go down and bond some more dresses. It's a very nice hand-work project to have around.

And people will continue having daughters.

Saturday, March 07, 2015


One of the teachers at my school is expecting her first baby, a little girl, in a few weeks. I had so much fun hand-buttonholing these mostly-Liberty dresses that I began a second similar quilt for someone else expecting a baby girl.

Thanks to Himself for being a temporary quilt rack out in the cold air this morning. I took two photos. The other one was a wee bit better of the quilt, but Blackberry was in a kind of Downton Abbey opening credits pose, and I couldn't have that.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Fewer Than Fifty

Turns out it was the final layout, with just one or two blocks moved about. I'd posted the temporary pic on Facebook and a friend made reference to a certain popular book-into-movie and that suggested a name for this quilt. The blocks, 90 of them, finish at 6" and the border is four inches. The inspiration came from a block my friend Jan put up on Pinterest. I used some Australian fabrics I'd picked up at City Quilter back in November, some grays I'd been collecting for no particular reason, a couple of other odd things like the aqua typewriter, and a dash of Kaffe.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Perhaps the Final Layout

And perhaps not.

It always helps to take a photo before sewing blocks together.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Someone I Used to Know

I've had two dreams about her recently. I wonder what that's about.

We were friends -- really good friends -- for more than forty years. Then something happened that ended it, and there's no going back. We both know that. So there's been no contact, not even Christmas cards, for a long time. It has been nearly four years since I last saw her, and I've no idea what is going on in her life.

That last may  not be true for her. I have reason to think that every now and again she pops into my blog and looks around. If I'm right, here's a message for her:

I miss you. Our shattered relationship cannot be repaired, but that doesn't mean I've forgotten the good times, the laughter, the dinners, the books, the stories, and especially the laughter. I miss you and your wonderful husband and I hope you are both well. I always appreciated your wit and your wisdom. I hope your children are still making you proud and that your grandchildren are filling your life with joy. 

You have a birthday this month and if my often faulty math is actually correct, it's a major one. I hope it is a happy one. I hope you are traveling and sewing and cooking and laughing. Perhaps we'll run into each other somewhere; if that happens, I'll say -- honestly -- "It's so good to see you." I'd like to hope you feel the same.

Oh, and hug your people. You never know, do you?

Tuesday, March 03, 2015


For the past few years, each January someone posts either via blog or Facebook, that there is a Pay It Forward happening. The gist of it is that the first three (or five) people to comment or sign up will be the recipients of a personally selected gift; sometimes it is handmade and sometimes it is a purchased item. The catch, of course, is that each person who signs up must post the same offer. A glorious pyramid scheme!

I've enjoyed participating for the past three years. Last year it was the first week in December before I got my final gift to its rightful recipient. I'm determined to do better this year.

Pictured above are the contents of the box that arrived here from my [as yet] blogless friend in California. The binding tool is something I really do need; I'm still finishing my binding via the old, somewhat bulky overlap technique. The magnetic scissor minder is as gorgeous as it is functional. And those thick, luxurious flowers are actually hand-crocheted (or knit?) and will be just the thing for under hot casseroles on the dining table.

I've got one of my PIFs nailed so far. Just four more to go.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Orange Chicken

I read this post with tears spilling forth.

Joe B is a terrific writer.

Coincidentally (?) his blog came across my radar when I first started working at The Little Church, when I first became really acquainted with the world of autism.

I've read everything he's ever posted, on his previous blog, on this one, and in his book that I bought.

I could picture the scene at the food court. There are students at the school where I work who are as big as Mike is. Students who could hurt the women who teach them, though I've never seen as extreme a display of anger/frustration as Joe describes in this post.

But it made me think of the courage of these young women who regularly leave the school to take the kids out into the world, to have lunch at local restaurants, to shop at Target, to go to the grocery store to buy ingredients for their baking projects. Each time they venture out on one of these junkets, they take the risk of a behavior problem, an outburst of frustration coming from not having the words. At the very, very least, they risk stares, disapproval, disdain. And they go anyway. They're not "chicken."

"If you can't touch Brother Joe, then touch someone who is touching him," the pastor says.

Touching Brother Joe with this post. And giving thanks for those who touch the kids at the my school.