Sunday, November 28, 2010


I'm filled up with it....gratitude that is.  I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  I had five days off work, I spent time with family at my cousins house in Oklahoma, I sewed a LOT, I relaxed.  Ahh......what an amazing life I have.  I am a very lucky woman with many blessings.  I have a husband who loves me dearly, a home I love, family close by, loads of wonderful friends and time to sew.  What more could a girl ask for?

On Thanksgiving Day, I got to see my 94 year old grandmother and her younger sister.  They are such fun women and a joy to be around.  Their mother lived to be 103.  I come from a family of women that live long, healthy lives.  My great grandmother died in her sleep at 103 and was still incredibly alert.
My son drove down for the day and it was good to see him and spend time with him.
And, on top of all of these blessings, I won a giveaway from Daisy Janie.  I won Giveaway #5!  I won these two eight foot panels.  What shall I make with these?  The fabric has a wonderful hand to it.  It is from her Geo Grand line and I won the Ogee and Caravan panels.  The colors are fabulous!
What a box of loveliness!  It was a happy mail day on Saturday.

Thanks to all of you who show up here to read my blog and leave your much appreciated comments.  It's been almost a year since I started blogging and I am continually amazed at the worlds it has opened up in my life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You complete me

I have been in a mode of finishing up loose ends lately.  I have just not felt "right" about starting new projects with so many lonely little WIP looking down on me from the shelves of my studio.  It has felt very cathartic to be wrapping up all the little loose ends.  Don't get me wrong, I have a TON of new projects in my head that I am dying to dive into!  And all those new lines of fabric about to come out in a month or so.....DON'T get me started!  (Like Central Park, Parisville, Sherbet Pips, Shades of Grey, to name a few!) So, I thought I would take the next few weeks to complete a few WIP's.  I was really tired of my normal puzzle piece type of stippling, so I used a completed baby quilt top that I finished um......7 years ago (gulp)and this is what I came up with:
It was initially for a charity quilt drive for a guild I used to belong too.  Their requirements were polyester batting (yuk, but it is safer for kids?)  Anyway that is why it is such a poofy look, but I kind of like the quilting design.  I just love the way my new machine does free motion.  No pulling of the stitches on the back!  Yeah!  This quilt is on the machine right now and about 1/3 finished.

I'm liking this design as well.  It's really fun to just start playing.  I find free motion quilting very soothing.  Very.  Soothing....

It's funny, my tasted have changed dramatically over the last couple of years, but I still am really having fun working on these old projects.  I am totally excited about the Winter Wonderland Quilt I blogged about here.  After much debate in my head, I decided to have that one professionally quilted.  It's a pretty good size and it took me over a year to do all of the redwork.  I did not want to take a chance that I wouldn't be happy with the quilting I did on it.  So, I sent it on over to Christina to work her magic on it.  I am excited beyond words to get it back and see what's she's done with it.  She gave us all a little preview of it yesterday.  It looks awesome!  And I felt a little famous having my quilt on her blog!

As a little tease, there will be one new quilt coming in the next couple of weeks that is a new pattern that my business partner Lisa designed.  Remember this lovely stack of fabrics I purchased at the Trinity Valley Quilt Show?  Well, I'm going to use it to sew up Lisa's pattern.  She sketched it out and I used Electric Quilt to make it into a working pattern.  I hope to start work on that over this long Thanksgiving weekend. My bosses decided to close the office tomorrow so I have five whole days off work!  We will be with family in Oklahoma on Thursday, but otherwise, I hope to be at my machine.  How about you?  What are your plans for this long holiday weekend?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Problem Solved

Earlier this week I was telling you about the Nicey Jane quilt I worked on at the retreat.  I wanted so badly to have the top completed when I left the retreat and in my singleminded-rush to get it finished at the last minute I cut the borders about 6 inches too short.  And I did not have any more fabric to cut new ones.  So, after I got home and unloaded everything from the retreat, I laid it out to assess the damage and find a solution.  I love to solve a problem.  As far back as I can remember, I view them as a puzzle and always believe there is a solution in there somewhere.  Don't you just love that feeling when you figure something out that's been nagging at the back of your mind.  Okay, I digress....this wasn't nagging at the back of my mind, it was screaming at me in the face.  I waited so long to find the perfect project for the Nicey Jane fabric.  I love every piece of this fabric.  I don't often like the entire line of any fabric, but this one is an exception.  It's evokes a happy, carefree feeling every time I look at it.  So, I was quite distressed when I messed up the borders.  Here's what I was left with as my problem to solve:

See, too short!  And I SO wanted to miter the border on this one.  I am planning a scalloped edge for this border and I thought using a miter instead of a "log cabin" type border would look so much better.  And, with the way I cut these borders, I didn't even have room to do the log cabin type.  So, I sat and thought and looked at it and walked away and came back and looked at it again......
Voila!  Problem solved!  And I think I like it just as much as a mitered border.  I went ahead and serged the edges of this since I am planning on hand quilting this one.  The fabric was already starting to fray pretty badly, especially with all of the messing around with it trying to fix the borders.  Then, I pinned the whole thing to my bedroom floor and sat down to baste it.  Since I am going to hand quilt, I wanted to thread baste instead of pin basting, and I thought "no big deal, can't take that much longer than pin basting, right?"  WRONG!  It took a total of 4 hours to get this sucker thread basted.  It felt like I should have it quilted in that amount of time!  And don't even get me started on how sore my butt is from crawling around on all fours for that amount of time.  I cannot wait to see this one complete!  I am SO excited!!!

I also finally finished my October bee block on the retreat and got it in the mail this week.  I came home from retreat with a great case of bronchitis, so it's been a slow quilting week at Tapestry Tree!  The NKOTB Bee is talking the month of November off and then it's my month.  I am still a tad bit undecided about what I'm going to send out.....better decide soon and get the fabric cut and packaged up!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I just spent four whole days on retreat and it was awesome!  The DMQG hosted their first annual retreat at the Compass Centre.  If you haven't been there, it's really a great retreat center.  Melissa is an amazing host that has thought of everything.  The meals were great (not to mention it was so nice to just sit and sew and have no meals to worry about or dishes to wash), the beds were comfortable, the sewing area fully equipped and a shop right on site!  It is down in Mt. Calm (just east of West as a friend of mine delights in saying!)  And look what sits right out front:
He looks like he is saying...."What??" or maybe "Hey, what was that?"  I love him and wish he sat in my front yard!  The weather was perfect all weekend, but I never poked my nose outside!  I sewed and sewed and sewed some more.  I worked on a quilt that was a kit I bought over five years ago.  And I spent almost a full day on this little item:
Long story, but this was a little kit that I also bought about five years ago had never taken out of the package.  I pulled it out to bring on this retreat and worked most of Thursday evening on the little log cabins.  But, they were not these little log cabins.  The fabric in the kit was awful!  It was some thirty repros, which I usually adore, but these were terrible choices.  They were ugly, but even worse, they were all medium value and the wrong scale for such little pieces.  But still, I pushed on making each of the four miniature log cabins.  When I was finished, they didn't even look like log cabins!  I just couldn't bring myself to spend any more time on them, but now I was obsessed with completing this kit!  I have a challenge to win!  Like any good retreater (word?), I had packed plenty of fabric to take with me.  So, I used a little tiny "baby" charm pack of It's a Hoot.  I just love how this came out.  It made me happy every time I looked over at it sitting there so cute on my sewing table.

Several months ago, I bought a fat quarter bundle of the entire line of Nicey Jane because I loved it so much.  LOVED it.  And then I spend all of those months trying to find the perfect project to use the fabric.  Every time I would think I had found the ideal quilt, I just couldn't bring myself to cut into the fabrics.  Ever do that?  I was at a Saturday Sew with Lisa and she was hand quilting a quilt that I suddenly knew would be perfect done in Nicey Jane.  It is an American Jane pattern called Popsicle Posies.  It calls for three charm packs, so I pre-cut my charms before retreat.  I laid out the blocks on the fabulous design wall on Friday night and they looked like this:
I worked on this quilt most of the day Saturday and it looked like this:
I love the way it's turning out!  I am probably more excited about this quilt than any I have worked on in the last year.  Today, I added borders and then it was time to pack up and go home.  In my rush, I cut the borders too short and had to come up with a work around.  More about that in the days to come.

As I sat there last night feeling a little sad that the weekend was almost over, I looked around the room at the groups of women clustered together chatting, sewing, sharing ideas and snacking on foods they normally don't allow themselves to eat, I was overwhelmed with gratitude at the new friends I have made over the last nine months or so.  I love the sound of women's voices laughing, and sharing their passions.  I got to know all of these women a little more over the last three days and let them know a little more about me.  We shared ideas and inspiration, we cried on one another shoulders, we laughed til we cried.  It's a wonderful thing......

Monday, November 1, 2010

Well, I did it!

I attended my first Quilt Market!  And it was SO cool to be there.  I saw some amazing things, got great ideas was generally awe-inspired.  But, my feet are tired!  Wow!  That's a really big show.  I have been to the International Quilt Festival many times, but it has been several years since I went.  I had forgotten how large that place is.
Look!  I made a photo collage!  Some scenes from Market.  I was pretty proud that I figured out how to do this little collage.  Okay, I can admit it to you guys.....Photoshop intimidates me.  I always have to ask G how to do anything in it.  So, today I sat down and worked on it until I figured it out.  Yeah!

See that cute teapot/cup fabric up there?  It's from the Echino booth.  Isn't it cute??  And I really want to make that Amy Butler raincoat out of some laminated cotton.  Here are a couple of other shots from Market.  There were a lot of new lines that we are interested in adding to the shop.

I am busy the rest of this week packing projects for the quilt retreat!  The Dallas Modern Quilt Guild is hosting their first annual retreat at the Compass Centre.  It's going to be three whole days of sewing, sewing, sewing!  I hope to bring a few WIP's and maybe one new project.  I really want to bring all new projects, but I've got a challenge from G to get WIP's done!