Friday, June 29, 2007

A Strong Desire

If you know me, you already know my love for handwork. About this time last year I decided that I was going to learn how to hand applique. Vicky gave me the gentle shove off the fence and Patti mentored me - thank you again, Ladies! It's become something I enjoy immensely.

Now, I have a strong desire to learn how to hand quilt. I bought this book a few months ago and feel that it might help me. I need advice from the pros - there are so many of you that appear to enjoy hand quilting so can you help me?

Where do I start? Any tips, thoughts, ideas?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Journey of a Quilter

I believe that my quilting has been a journey with many winding roads. I've heard many people talk about how "bad" their first quilts were and even apologize for how bad they are. I choose to look back at my first quilts and know that they've been part of my quilting journey and I've learned along the way.

When I first discovered Aussie designer, Leanne Beasley's pattern "Journey of a Quilter" I knew it was one I had to do. I found Leanne's blog and asked about the availability of her patterns here in US and unfortunately no one was carrying that particular pattern or for that matter any of her patterns. I ordered the entire set (it's designed to be a block of the month) from Honeysuckle Cottage and since it's arrival I've carried them from room to room, studied the designs, etc. I finally settled on exactly how I wanted to approach this pattern and decided to start with Block #5 (it's in the center) and work from there. I'm not quite finished with it but I couldn't wait any longer to share it with you. Besides I wanted to post a picture for Nadine to see before she leaves on her long anticipated vacation. :-)

I will be sharing my blocks as I complete them - there are 8 more. Thanks for visiting my blog!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


When my sweetie goes to get the mail every afternoon I like to tell him that if he doesn't have "fun mail" for me then he should not bother to return. teehee
Well, yesterday the mailbox was full of "fun mail" all for me. WooHoo!!!!

A package from The Fat Quarter Shop
A package from May Britt
A Fons and Porter magazine

And a delightful package from Carol, Brown Quilts and the owner of The Good Home Quilt Co in Orlando, FL. I adore Carol and want so badly to visit her shop in Florida (someday - SIGH). I keep telling her that I'm going to however one day I just might. Carol, thank you so much for the "fun mail" package - it's a joy to have you in my life.

Soon, there will be "fun mail" packages making their way across the skies to some special friends. ;-)


Friday, June 22, 2007

Giggling and Smiling :-)

Look! I've been playing with the Calico Spool pattern. One in a bright novelty fabric with black background and then some "leftovers" from my 30's Pinwheel Stars quilt.

Maybe I've fallen off the end of the Earth but they sure make me giggle and smile. :-)

Can you say HUGE???
Most evenings you can find me watching baseball on TV, however, with no games the last two evenings I've been chained to my sewing machine. I have almost finished my 30's Pinwheel Star quilt that I shamelessly copied from Doe (thank you, Doe). The center is finished - need to add the corner triangles and the borders. The pattern calls for piano keys on the border but I need to think about that a day or two. This is going to be a HUGE quilt - 95" x 112". No, I didn't pay attention to the dimensions when I started - 50 blocks - no big deal. Whoa, baby! LOL

I'm anxious to get back to my Spool Blocks and the dark version of the Pinwheel Star.

Giving credit where is due: Please, please do not give me credit for this quilt - the pattern shows it done in 30's with a yellow center. I saw it on Doe's blog with red centers and thought it was beautiful. So, now here's mine - just like Doe's!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


This adorable pin cushion was enclosed in a box from a dear friend recently. I knew what would be in the box however this little tidbit truly surprised me. I try really hard to be a good friend to all however sometimes I believe that this person is a better friend to me than I am to her.

I truly do realize that she's a Blessing in my life and I need to let her know that more often.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Libby has been having more fun than a barrel of monkeys! And, I spent all day Saturday and half of Sunday having some serious playtime in my sewing room.

I made more Pinwheel Stars in dark colors and I'm quite crazy about them.

And, then Saturday night while I was laying in bed waiting to drift off to sleep, I had a thought. I could take the leftovers and make Calico Spools. And by the way, if you haven't visited Marcia at Quilter's Cache you simply must. I have not been able to stop thinking about those spools since Vicky posted a picture on her blog. She won't send hers to me so I had to make my own. :-) I have pulled scraps to make more and each one brings a huge smile!

Now, the downside to all of this is that now I have too many projects in progress and I want to work on all of them NOW! Focus, Darlene, focus! :-)
As I like to say "Quilting puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart".
The Fantastic Artichokes update: The shirts were a huge hit with the other members of the bowling team. Seth was beyond excited! And, to add to his excitement he got his first strike and broke 100. WooHoo!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

He's called Papa!

I have to tell you about the man in my house. I call him Honey, Sweetheart, RJ, Buster, etc but he's also known as Daddy and Papa! As a Daddy he did numerous things for our kids but I won't bore you with those details - I want to tell you what he did last night for our 10 year old grandson, Seth. You need to know that he and Seth have a true bond that was established the day Seth was born - it's a mutual admiration. LOL

And now my story! Papa loves to bowl and Seth enjoys bowling with Papa. For Seth's 10th birthday we decided that we'd give Seth a bowling ball and bag and then he and Papa could join a summer league together. I can't begin to tell you how excited Seth has been and full of anticipation (his birthday was in Feb, so he's been waiting patiently). They started bowling on an adult/child league a couple of weeks ago and last week the team had to decide on a name and they settled on "The Fantastic Artichokes" - LOL! Now, they must have team shirts - so Papa spent a few days designing something for the back and front of the shirts. Yesterday we shopped for shirts and purchased four green shirts and iron-on stuff. Papa spent yesterday evening perfecting the design (had to have the right colors) and then printed the designs on the "stuff", cut them out and pressed the design on the back of all four shirts. Then he reduced the design and added their names so they could have the design on the front of the shirt, as well.

You should know that no one has seen the design or shirts so Papa is super excited today about bowling tonight with Seth and the other two team members!

When I praised him for what he did as a father he'd always respond "I'm just being a dad". And now when I praise him for what he does as a grandfather he always responds "I'm just being a Papa".

Sweetheart, thank you for being a terrific "Daddy" and "Papa" but a huge thank you for being such a great husband, too. Happy Father's Day - thanks for being YOU!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Night and Day - edited Saturday evening

I found Doe's blog not long after she started blogging! She's incredibly talented and an absolute delight. While reading her blog I saw a picture of her Pinwheel Star blocks/quilt and I was downright smitten. I HAD to make that quilt so I called and ordered the pattern. Yes, I'm a shameless copycat, however, I chatted with Doe and she said it's OK - thank you Doe! I assembled 28 of the required 50 blocks and then I had a light bulb moment - how would these blocks looks in darker colors???? I've pulled some lights and darks and made the first block this morning. What an incredible difference! As my Sweetie said, "they're like night and day" - he's right. :-)

The 30's blocks will be set on point as shown in the pattern but I'm not sure how I'm going to set the other blocks. I'm still playing - LOL.

I've seen a similar quilt in the Nickle Quilts book, however I didn't want to cut everything into 5" squares so I just followed the instructions from my Pinwheel Star pattern.


edit: I've just spent several hours responding to the many e-mailed comments that I'd been saving. Thank you again for playing my silly game, helping me celebrate my first blogiversary, for visiting my blog, for taking a few minutes to leave a comment or two and especially for all the inspiration I get from you! And, a special thank you to my Sweetie for coming up with the game to celebrate my blogiversary. It was a ton of fun!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

We Have a Winner!

Are you chomping at the bit - are you anxiously and patiently waiting - are you getting frustrated with me? LOL!!!

Here's a picture of the Hat Box with it's treasure trove of goodies:

We scrunched up all the winning comments and put them in a brown paper bag and had my neighbor Weezie draw the winner.

And, the winner is Sharon in New Jersey!
(no, Sharon, you can't have my cabinet - LOL)
Please send your address via e-mail and I'll put your goodies in the mail.

Thank you so much for playing my silly game, leaving such incredible comments and helping me celebrate my 1st Blogiversary. I hope I will celebrate many more.

I have pictures of most of the quilts in my Big Red Cabinet so stay tuned and soon I will direct you to a spot to see them all. BTW, I'm ready to purchase another cabinet (or two) because I have a huge pile of quilts in our bedroom and you've seen pictures of the quilt tops waiting to be real quilts. :-) Yes, I love to sew!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Did you guess 50?

Thanks so much for playing my silly game and for the wonderful comments.

I'll be back tomorrow (Thursday) to draw a name and show you the contents of the Hat Box!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What is "IT"?

Have I kept you in suspense long enough? LOL

IT's no big deal - really it isn't. It's my Blogiversary! Well, actually my First Blogiversary is June 11 but I'm leaving tomorrow for a few days so we need to start celebrating now!

A year ago I was cruising and surfing blogs and thoroughly enjoying everything about blogs and blogging so I decided to take the plunge and start my Blogging Adventure. And, what an adventure it's been. I'm a member of a wonderful International Guild with friends in every corner of this world. Blogging has been a huge blessing in my life.

So, let's party!
Shall we play a game? Please leave a comment with a guess regarding how many quilts I have in my BIG RED cabinet in the picture above. Every correct guess will be entered in a drawing for the beautiful loaded hat box in the second picture! I'll be gone until late Wednesday, 6/13, so I'll check comments then and draw the winner from the correct guesses on Thursday, 6/14.
Remember, guess how many quilts I have in my BIG RED cabinet and all the correct guesses will be entered in a drawing. The winner will be drawn on Thursday, 6/14.
Since you've got to stop and leave a guess would you please tell me why you read my blog! :-)
Until Thursday, my friends! Have fun and remember to miss me. :-)

Friday, June 08, 2007


This is my sewing box that I take with me when I go sew with my friends or on a retreat. It used to hold some very basic items and slowly over the years I've added many, many things. I got to the point that I purchased duplicates of many things in my sewing room because I got tired of "forgetting" something. That grew old very quickly. :-)
I started with a regular sized plastic pencil box and then upgraded to this larger one as I kept adding stuff.

So, why am I showing it to you? I need your help - I don't like this thing but I've searched high and low for something better, cuter, prettier, etc and can't find anything. I have lots of cute Longaberger baskets but they don't work for travel (everything spills out).

What do you use? What do you recommend? I need your ideas and thoughts, please!

By the way, I thought "it" might be coming today but "it" won't be coming till either tomorrow or Sunday! Stay tuned. teehee

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

IT'S DONE!!!!!

I've completed my first punchneedle project. While it's not perfect, it's not bad for a first project. LOL I enjoyed doing this very much - it was a very nice change of pace. I have a few more projects I want to work on so stay tuned for more. I really want to thank Wendy for all her help and guidance.

IT'S COMING - IT'S COMING!!!!! In two days - in two days!!!!! Be sure to visit again. :-)

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm Punchy! I'm Punchy!

Let me share my punchneedle story with you! Two years ago I had the opportunity to visit the quilt show in Paducah - don't be impressed I was there helping a friend with her booth and I got very little time to enjoy the show. Anyway, I did manage to sneak down to a booth that was selling punchneedle patterns and kits. I was in love as I'd done some NEEDLEPUNCH when I lived in Japan (the same and yet different). Anyway, I came away with a handful of patterns and kits. After I got home they never saw the light of day. LOL Then last year, a friend and I went to the Quilt Festival in Chicago (this one I got to enjoy - LOL) and once again I was intrigued with punchneedle. I kept going back to the booth that was doing the demo just to watch. I was smitten once again. LOL Once again, I purchased a few patterns, kits, hoop and needle. A week after we returned from our trip I had to have emergency surgery and was down for a few weeks - perfect opportunity for me to do some punchneedle. Well, I did a little, got frustrated and put it all away. All those kits, patterns, hoops and needle have not seen the light of day until recently.

My punchneedle guru Wendy enticed me to pull out all the projects and try again. I've been playing with it off and on for the past couple of weeks only to admit defeat and failure. My guru was away on a quilting retreat so she wasn't around to help me along. When she returned she received my "failure" e-mail and sent one with two key tips that she'd given me before and I'd completely forgotten about. How to hold my hoop (against my chest) and how to punch (toward myself). Oh, my goodness that made all the difference and now I'm in Punchy Hog Heaven. Yesterday I worked on my project during the baseball game, then I pulled out quite a bit of the work because the overdyed floss I was using didn't look good and I changed to a different overdyed floss that worked much better. I'm quite proud of myself - still alot to improve on but not bad for a first project. LOL :-) Needless to say, there are lots more projects looming!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...