Monday, December 7, 2020

New Quilt Pattern KARMA My Gift to you


You should see a couple new pages on my blog.

One is a tab/page for my virtual programs.  

I am hoping to connect with many of you 'virtually' next year.  Please take a look.  I have several programs and will be adding more.  I can work with a group and also plan to do some independent programs.

The other new page is for my free pattern, 'Karma'.

I walk you through the quilt in detail.  This one is all about color placement.

I also provide a count of the hexagons needed.

If you read all the way through you will see a little surprise about the fabrics.  You will be 'charmed' I'm sure!




Friday, November 27, 2020

Houston 2020 Virtual Exhibit

The year 2020 has thrown us many curve balls!  We have to look for the opportunity in the changes.

Our Noah and Matilda Exhibit changed from a live exhibit to a virtual exhibit - giving many more people the opportunity to see it.  They were able to take our exhibit proposal photos and turn them into a virtual exhibit.  With full quilt photos, and detailed closeups; you can see 

Now, wherever you are in the world for a $10 USD ticket you can attend the entire show!

Click HERE:  Link To Tickets and Details

We hope you join us!!


Sunday, August 2, 2020

Interview on You Tube

When I first announced my book - I said I would eventually do a post about what the process was like!
This interview is the start of that process.

Gary Parr of Fiber Talk invited me to his show for an interview.
He asked many questions about me, my stitching, collections and the book.

You can listen to the audio, or listen to the audio with a slide show of photos NOT from the book but related.  Floss Tube is a channel (free) on You Tube with all kinds of stitching related content - Fiber Talk is one of the best.

From the Fiber Talk website - you also have access to three years of content!
I subscribe (free) to both the podcast and YOuTube/FlossTube video channel.  
I usually play the programs while I stitch.

I hope you enjoy the interview!

If you have questions - let me know.
Happy Stitching,

Link to signed copies of my book:

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Summertime Stitching

We've been keeping busy at home.

Gardening includes hatching some praying mantis, keeping track of a little tree frog living on the porch and enjoying bumble bees.

Simple things are often best.

We added a large new shade garden and have a few vegetables and herbs.  We are sharing them with the deer and rabbits.  

Hoping we have enough for all!

I have been doing lots of stitching - quilting and embroidery.

I am enjoying our Facebook stitch along for our new pattern, Fig Leaf and Flowers.   I hope you join us if you haven't already!

It is fun to see the color ways - underway.
Dargate Jellies, red/green, gray/cream, fussy cutting - it is inspiring!

I have a few cross stitch finishes and starts.

I completed this band sampler - chart is a pdf from 
iStitch.  Technically I don't think it's finished as I have to do something with the tip!

I used an old mill spool to roll all 40" of stitching up!
I stitched part 1, 2 and the bonus.

It was fun to stitch;  easy to pickup and put down in short found moments of stitching time. 

I also stitched and finished this La D Da Workbook.

I purchased the kit from Stitchville USA.

It folds open with interior pockets for scissors, thread and needles.  Lovely thread loops and a wool needle page.

I chose a favorite quilters cotton for the lining.

I've been taking some online classes.  
Next week a friend and I start Mabel Tuke with Sassy Jacks.

I chose the 40 count linen in silk.

Looking forward to this class project!

I was thrilled (and a little surprised) to see my little mending bag project on the Fall cover of Piecework magazine.   

It was another fun project - based on a box of vintage fabric pieces I found while antique shopping.

I also wrote a post for their blog that tells a bit more about the project and textiles.  You can subscribe to their blog and have a wonderful hand made themed post in your inbox weekly!

Great fun!!
"Mend and Make Do"

We also learned the bitter sweet news about our Noah and Matilda Exhibit.

It was/is selected to be a special exhibit at Quilt Festival 2020 - That's all up in the air as I write this post.    13 Quilts!
Stay tuned for more on this in a future post!
*Just as I released this - got the cancellation notice*
**stay tuned for virtual option updates**

I am working on finding new homes for a collection of thimbles.

This was a private collector and her sister.

The grandson doesn't want them - but he also wants them to go to good new homes.

Same with the lace - I will be adding to our Etsy shop over the next few weeks!

Happy Stitching!
I hope you are making the best of July!


Link to Fig Leaf and Flowers Fig Leaf
Esty Shop Our Shop

Sunday, May 31, 2020

NEW PATTERN Fig Leaf and Flowers

Pattern Cover
We are pleased to announce our new appliqué quilt pattern, Fig Leaf and Flowers.

The pattern is a reproduction of a 19th century quilt quilt in our collection.   The quilt finishes at 80" square.  The original quilt is not perfectly aligned by today's standards - but the pattern is!  The outer edge has a bit of a wave - the pattern does not.

For now, it is a digital download only, available on the pattern page here and on our Etsy shop.  It is designed to print on your home printer - no enlargements needed.  The full size pattern includes registration lines, full sized pattern and cutting instructions.

My center with some of the medallion vine in process

Since I can enjoy the original red and green quilt I decided to make mine with deep indigo vines and a multitude of reproduction fabrics.  There's a nod to the original with red tulips and green leaves.

I was amazed at how quickly the center appliqué went - each petal is simple with no point or inside curve to work with.

Charm Selection

To start, I cut 200 2.5" reproduction fabric squares.  It gave me a colorful pallet to contrast with the indigo I used for the curving vines.

There are no repeats in the center petal fabrics.
It was fun to work with so many of my favorites fabrics.  Something like a box of chocolates...which square will I pick up next?

In case you are wondering - about 750 total petals combining the center and four borders.

In Process Border

I back baste, then needle turn appliqué.
I basted the center not duplicating any of the fabrics, setting the remainder of each charm square aside for use in the borders.

I basted the border strips with the rest of the charm fabric pieces.  In most cases I got three petals from each charm square.  That's about 500-600 petals from 200 charm squares.  In some cases I just had to selective cut - and I certainly have more fabrics to work into the border - SO FUN!  Going back into the stash is an opportunity to cut more charms.

The Indigo vine in the center and outer border ties all of the variety together.

BTW:  I've had the entire quilt basted together to test all the measurements and markings.  You'll be able to get to stitching right away.

Dargate Jellies from Reproduction Fabrics

I had considered other colorways that I think are equally lovely.

I think the Dargate Jellies would be great - maybe with the blue for all of the petals?

I also think several of the new Moda's would be gorgeous.  Maybe an aqua or sea foam?

I think the outer appliqué border could be traded for a wonderful patterned fabric.

Oh, the possibilities!

I did some research on Fig Trees and discovered there are several varieties that grow across many planting zones.

The maker is unknown, as is her inspiration and motivation to make the quilt.  We can only speculate.

 I am captivated by her layout and composition; using the fanciful and real shapes.

Our antique quilt

I made a few changes based on personal preference.

I changed colors in several places.  (The pattern includes the original color labels),  I left off the tops of a few center stems, and balanced the use of green in all four corners.

Happy Stitching!!


Etsy Pattern HERE
Charm Sets HERE
Blog Pattern Download HERE

Monday, May 4, 2020

Scissors and Piecework Buttonhole Sampler

Velma on my NEW project
I have a couple new projects to tell you about!
I have been heads down stitching - and enjoying every minute.

First, it seems to take longer as Velma wants to be in the center of it ALL!  Yes, that's an all white project...needless to say it is a bit fortified with cat hair.

That's OK.

See more details below.

Ad for one style of scissor

Second, I have a web article for Piecework magazine - just out today.
You can read it HERE.

What does my project and article have in common?

I was happy to write about buttonhole scissors.

Magazine Preview Page
Photo Credit Matt Graves

The summer 2020 issue of Piecework has the pattern and instructions for a buttonhole sampler by Deanna Hall West.  The informative article by Susan J. Jerome is equally fascinating.

I have admired these hand stitched decorative buttonholes for a LONG TIME.

This was the perfect motivator to get me stitching.  I have been finishing a series of red counted thread samplers - this project is the perfect compliment.

The issue includes full instructions with detailed stitch diagrams so you can make one too!  Since I was at home, I used materials from stash - proof it is a timeless flexible pattern.

My start on the decorative buttonhole sampler

This is my start.

 The tan threads are my basting threads marking my place on the linen.

I have more eyelets and the red alphabet to add.

To further personalize it, I plan to make a decorative pulled thread hemmed edge.

Because you stitch over several threads at a time it works up fairly quickly.

Cover Summer 2020

If you want to stitch it, you can start right now - the issue is available several ways -

* Newstands & Bookstores
* Needlework shops - I know Stitchville USA carries it and does mail order

* From their web store HERE
   Indivisual Paper and/or Digital issues

* Subscribe HERE
    (you get access to 10 years of back issues!)

I hope you enjoyed my web article.
Please take a look in your sewing supplies and check for various buttonhole cutters.
I'd love to hear about yours!

Happy Stitching,
More new projects and patterns coming soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Apron Challenge

Four of the aprons - Chicken Scratch Embroidery
Hmmm....It wasn't a hard decision, I immediately said YES!

Last month I was invited to join extraordinary quilters Allison Aller and Rhonda Cox Dort making quilts from aprons.  I added a caveat I would also make some sewing smalls.

The aprons are from Deborah Turner Ursell's fantastic selection.

Aprons embroidered with rick rack

The first step was to checkout the aprons and start developing some inspirational thoughts.

The colors, rick rack the soft feel of the woven gingham made me think of a stash of men's shirts I had left from a previous project.

Maybe I could use them together - like "his and hers"?  Her aprons and his shirts - together....and so it began....

As I thought about my project, I examined the construction of the aprons.
So much hand stitching!
Not just the embroidery, the construction too.  Hand mitered corners included.

I took the aprons apart so I had all the pieces available for my projects - separating the waist bands, ties, pockets and main body.

I discovered other interesting features.
The pink gingham was hand gathered with a double strand of thread.

Chain Stitch

The green gingham was stitched with a machine chain stitch.

Anyone still stitching on a chain stitch machine?


With everything dis-assembled I sorted ties, waistbands, pockets etc into separate piles.

Each apron is about 1 yard of fabric.  However, being cut into ties and smaller pieces I wanted to use the small pieces for piecing, maximize the decorative portions and have plenty of fabric for larger areas I might appliqué.

To selective cut or not?

I had to decide if I would selective cut the woven gingham on the thread lines.

I decided not to - I then decided to do the same on the men's shirting.

One hexagon has a chicken scratch center

I love hexagons and decided to make a few and see how the gingham worked.  I used floral hankies for the hexagon centers.

Then I placed a few of the completed hexagons on the men's shirt pieces.

I liked the look!

Next, I made a few pieced blocks.

The chicken scratch embroidery is rather bulky - usually stitched in pearl cotton.  I featured it in the larger pieces of the quilt.

The crochet rosette's are off the edge of a sheer white batiste apron.

I added to some of the blocks, layered and off center.

The green is a pocket.
The pink is a man's pinpoint oxford dress shirt.
The center of the hexagon is a lace hankie.

I left plenty of pink space for some quilting fun.

It was time to play on the design wall.

 Move things around.

Think about the "story" I was working with.

Make more blocks.

Leave some open space for quilting fun.

Feather Stitch around Gingham Heart

I mixed some hand and machine work.

In the finished quilt, I hand quilted this block and a few others.

While the design wall rested and I considered my options - I made some sewing smalls.

Velma approved of them.

Sewing rolls, pinch purses, pin cushions and more.

So pretty to work with!

These are some lace examples from pillow cases and hankies.

Seems appropriate to use vintage embroidered linens to make sewing smalls for our needlework!

Some embellishment from the original linens, some added by me.

This sewing roll uses pockets from aprons as pockets for the roll.  Love the needle pierced strawberry.  The binding is quilters cotton.

The hexagon pin cushion sides are gingham apron pieces and the top is an embroidered doily.

What about the pieces that are hard to use?

Two dye lots of embroidery thread

This waistband was embroidered after the apron
was made.
The embroidery went through all of the layers.

Taking the band apart would have ruined the embroidery.

Needle Roll

I finished the ends and added a tie.  I embroidered the wool and scalloped the edges.
The finished wool was invisible stitched by hand to the waist band.

Wa-La  A Needle Roll!

Then... It was back to the quilt.

All this time Allison and Rhonda are zipping ahead on their masterpieces!

I ended up with this layout with a few changes as I went.

I moved a few pieces around as I assembled it in sections.

All the while I kept to my his and hers - opposites attract theme.

With the top assembled, I started machine quilting.

I did all of the ditch sewing to get the pins out of the way.  Then I added some free motion quilting.  Last, but not least - I also added some had quilting.

This is my finished quilt.
Scrappy binding.

I think of it as a child's quilt or adult's lap quilt.  Family fabrics - aprons, shirts and hankies - all filled with memories.

It was great fun to step out of my normal project line up and join such talented quilters in this challenge!

This is Allison Aller's Finished quilt.

The center is beautiful chicken scratch embroidery.  The white round is a Quaker Lace table cloth.  Allie followed the lace design in her machine quilting.

The more you look, the more you see in this beauty.

Pattern, texture and color!

Back of Allie's Quilt

Rhonda's quilt features the apron in the center medallion.

She made the nine patch blocks and added vintage Dresden plate blocks to the corners.

She did the long arm quilting herself.

Beautiful, isn't it?

I told you they are extraordinary quilters!!
I am thankful for the opportunity to play - Thanks Deborah, Rhonda and Allie!

Happy Stitching!

Rhonda's Blog HERE
Deborah's Sale Pages
      Click HERE
      Click HERE
Also see the Facebook Group Quilting Vintage!  HERE

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Projects From Stitching Friends

Ferns and Berries - Florence Block 1
Checking in with my stitching friends!
Wishing you all the best, thinking of you.

A couple stitching friends sent me photos of their current work and gave me permission to share with you.

Florence shared her Ferns and Berries project.  She's using a small reproduction indigo print with red berries and reverse applique.

For the berry stems, she's using an embroidered chain stitch.

Antique Quilt from our collection

This is our original - from our pattern cover.

The antique quilt is very heavily hand quilted with detailed motifs.

The original had embroidered stems that connect the berries to the foliage.

Florence shared her berries in process.

There is no one best way to do berries.

She is enjoying the berries - and the project!

Just like that... she has a pile of berries ready to applique.

I often find repetition relaxing for a portion of my day.  The Mary Witherwax quilt had many berries.  Doing a few each day, broke it down and before I knew it - they were done!

Ferns and Berries In Process

This is the block before the vase, berries and stems.

It's pretty as is - but completed - it's a stunning block.

Looking forward to seeing the next block!

Blackbird Designs

My friend D is a quilter and does embroidery.

She's enjoying a lot or red these days!

I've shared her work here before, so I think your will like
seeing what she's up to this month.

Part of D's Stitching Stash

More from her stitching stash
I don't have to worry about D running out of things to do.  She's a prolific and talented stitcher.

WIP - Close to a finish
Ready for framing
I bought this chart and antique ivory linen
This sampler is so sweet - Check the name - then the sampler motifs!
Little Red Chair Sampler

And - there's more!  I told you she's a prolific stitcher!
Will Update with Chart Source

Will update with chart source
Thanks to D & Florence for sharing their work!
I've been busy too!  How about you?
In my next post I'll show you several of my projects...The apron challenge, some embroidery and more.

Stay Home and Keep Stitching!!
Stitchville USA currently taking mail orders by phone and email. HERE
Pattern:  Ferns & Berries HERE

I'm still having problems leaving comments on blogs.
Not sure if you can comment here.  Feel free to email directly.