(Ok, I'm not really a witch, but I probably would have been burned at the stake in 17th century Salem.
I am a big fan of midwifery, pirates, and eating a peck of dirt before you die.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

So, how cute is THIS!  I've always been intrigued by these spit-em-out coasters (easy, peasy, lemon, squeezy) and when my dear, Dear friend Yami said she loved my chicken quilt and would buy it for her friend who (also) is raising hens but she can't quite afford it, I said: Never Fear. Fabric/Chicken Woman is here!   I stayed up late starting a new Chick to Chick quilt, but then I thought of this. Good, fun, homemade chicken coasters!  Hope that will be ok, Mims...

Also, it was my birthday this weekend.  So I treated myself to this (from Runner Girl Fabrics):
and, very excitedly, this, from Whiptstitch Fabrics, who had a 40% coupon On My Birthday:

Castle Peeps! By Lizzie House! I can hardly stand it! I have no idea what to do with it, (well, a couple of ideas, like this one from Julie at Jaybird quilts--great blog post)

And yes, I have become a true dork quilter, and am gathering fabrics for xmas crafts.  I confess! Go ahead, call me names....

Now, off to work on step 4 of AmandaJean's Quilt A Long!  I hope you are joining us!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I mean.... wouldn't you?

I must admit it felt odd at first. 

Sitting in this Adirondack chair by the side of the lake of my soul , watching the kids play endlessly in the cool, early summer water, sewing away at the binding of my latest. 

And I wasn't "working". Or sweating. Or doing laundry or painting a room or raking up last fall's debris or oil-soaping the cabinets or trimming the rhodies or ...

I was just taking a few hours to enjoy the place I love the most, simply binding a quilt.

And being with my kids for Real. 

(I definitely got wet.)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

ooo...such plans

Yes, indeedy.  I have such plans for you.
And you. pillow cases, perhaps?
And because my inner soul is made of pastels (I mean, whose isn't?)....

there is a Master Plan for these.

and this mini-bolt (yes, I purchased 10 yards of this fine, fine white at my local quilt shop's sale today)

Stay tuned...

What if...

... you really don't love a project?

So a project rears it's (ugly) head.

My dear, dear Aunty Anne and Uncle Batch ("AA&UB") live REALLY close to Keepsake Quilting store in NH.  You know, it is only Mecca to us quilters. 

AA&UB are two of my few living relatives closest to my heart. They moved to NH from NYC where they were working deep in the theater and theatre-making community. UB: co-pres of Staging Techniques of NYC, lighting Pink Floyd's "The Wall", and the unveiling of the Boeing 747 and among many, Many others; AA: head of Casting at Young and Rubicam/NYC, y'know, one of the leading casting agencies on the east coast.  She (AA) is my dad's younger sister, he (UB) and his kids (my cousins) spent every xmas with us since 1970. We. Are. Close. I LOVED visiting them in their Awesome NYC apt on Riverside drive which they bought for peanuts in the 70's and sold for millions in the 90's. As I was getting immersed into the theater world, I used to live with them for a few days twice a year for the Equity LORT auditions that People's Light used to have to go to.  Hey, living in NYC ain't so bad if you can live like that...

But then they got older, and wanted to leave the Big Apple.  She grew up in the White Mountains of NH, with my dad. *Pow* right when she gets her first AARP letter, she (can you tell who wears the pants in this relationship) says, We are buying a House in Wonalancet, NH.  (It's not on the map. don't bother looking.) They'd both gone from innovators to retirees.

This is a long way of saying that they love my quilting, but they don't really get it.  And it is hard for me, that these people, who were the epitome of modern thinking in my life, are only interested in very, very, traditional crafting.  They've stuck themselves in 1975.   That was Modern! Crazy! to me . . . at the time.  Now... not so much.

So, each birthday and xmas, they send me a fat quarter packet of fabrics from Keepsake Quilting. It is a Very Fine Gift.  But I've been gathering 10 years of  FQ packs that haven't really interested me AT ALL, but, as said, are Very Fine.

I must do something with these fabrics, I said to myself, every year I got a new one.

Now, it is happening.  But it is such a chore.

I'm not crazy about the fabrics (never have been, clearly AA loves them), and they've been gathering dust in my stash for, oh, years.

Ashley made a string quilt look like so satisfying, I thought it would be a perfect project to use up this fabric for a quilt for AA&UB.

all good, but not "moving" me.
it takes a long time.  every piece needs to be chosen, sewn, and ironed.
I started working on this in March, during down time in LEAR, pasting white center strings to foundations (recycled REAL SIMPLE mag pages).

I sew the strips to the foundations. One. At. A. Time. and iron them One. At. A Time.
and even though my blocks are large-ish (8"x8"), it takes For. Ev. Ver. to get enough of them done to feel like you have a shape for a quilt.

Maybe I'm just impatient.

It just takes so long to get here.

Or here.
My plan calls for 48 of these blocks.  I have 18. And I've been working since March. Oy.
Sometimes love for family is hard work.  And I Do Love You, AA & UB.

Friday, June 18, 2010

And....we're back.

I've been barely able to contain my euphoria lately, as my daughter has begun making her first quilt!!  She's always been into the fabrics (she was instrumental in helping me organize my stash), and she's been bugging me to teach her how to use "her" machine (actually, it was my mother's, a 1935 workhorse White.  Makes the straightest seam I've ever seen.  I learned to sew on it, and it will, eventually, be passed onto Ella, but it's not officially "hers" yet.)  But when she saw me sketching out a plan for a new quilt on paper with colored pencils, she clearly got the Process Pledge bug.
She was really into it, until she realized that she was wasting time drawing the mermaid in Heather Ross's Mendocino, when she could be handling the real thing.  So she got the gist with the plan, and then laid out all the 6" x 6" blocks (which I cut for her, even though she was dying to use the rotary cutter...uh...I'm all for kids learning their independence and trying to handle tools by themselves, but I draw the line at rotary cutters big enough to cut off all five fingers of her little hand with one fell swoop).
It sure will be cute!  She's already got all the blocks sewn into rows! What a clever girl.  Cute, too.
Sometimes she likes to dance on the back deck while I work in the studio. Always to Miley Cyrus. It's become my quilting soundtrack. I'm so proud of her, and thrilled to be handing down the joy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What I'll Be Missing

So, I'm fretting because I'll be away from my studio all week.  (pesky day jobs!)  I snapped some comfort shots the other night, just to tide me through.

a key for a fancy quilt I made for the Theatre auction....
....a portrait of my grandmother, painted by my great-grandmother...

random things that have heart and meaning to me from many moons ago...

....glass art and paper (coupon) weights from Maho Bay on St. John....

....another painting by my great-grandmother, the sea shore where I grew up....
...two of my favorite pix of my kiddies...

...men I love, and who I wished loved me....

...my next tattoo...

... my work:  scripts and scraps....

...spurs, wine, and New England sentiment.  In my world, they go together....

I'm gonna miss my space. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Good, The Bad...

... and maybe it's ugly, but in a beautiful way.

It's the top of the New Wave quilt! Pattern by Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson!  It's a fun way to showcase fabrics, but I can see where I need some discipline in choosing a color scheme.

the Bad:  What up, cutting mat?  I think you're dying a slow, flaky death.  I keep finding blue specks all over my fabrics.
and all over my rotary cutter.  Hmmm... I smell a 40% coupon at joanns in my future...

The Good:  I'm a WINNER! 

So I'm  spending WAY too much time on line, stalking old and new quilt bloggers, and entering giveaways, because, well, that 's what we do, isn't it? And I get a comment on one of my posts (which is exciting enough!) that I've won a Giveaway! I ran to tell my husband, who I know doesn't really get it, but I was bursting with excitement!
The prize came in the mail today.  I was happy just with the beautiful stamps on the outside...

and the sweet tissue package and sticker! And Cindy at Sewing on the Edge wrote a very nice note even! I felt like it was my birthday, only better!

and look what was inside! One of her pincushions made from selvages of Tufted Tweets by my heroine, Laurie Wisbrun!  I've been a big fan of Laurie's Urban Circus line, and just this morning caved and bought up a bunch before she discontinues it.  I'm waiting for my local quilt shop to get Tufted Tweets in.... waiting...waiting...

 so cute. that's the back.

and there it is, in action!  I'm so excited to have a little something to remind me of how much I love my new quilty "community".

what tool or object do you use in your crafting that makes you happy?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Be my friend?

I'm making all sorts of new friends as I wallow in the depths of quilters/crafters blog-land.  You can see a long list of blogs I love on the side there, and I keep making more. Check out Jennifer over at Sugar Stitches.   I love her Wordless Wednesday post.
a picture says a thousand words, yes?

I hope you make a new friend today.  And while you're at it, will you be my friend?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I am committed to Process.

So you get to see it in action:

Here we go!  Cutting into the background, Kona White.

Lots of strips....

Labeled carefully...

Then add my homemade jelly roll strips... and voila!
Ready to start sewing, AmandaJean!