Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Villages Quilt Show–Part 2

It took an absolute master at piecing to create the Mariner’s Compasses in this quilt.
The piecing and the quilting are also top notch.
One thing I have noticed each time I have attended a quilt show at The Villages is there are a lot of beautiful well done applique quilts.
This one is no exception.
Another beautifully done applique quilt.
I am guessing this is a quilt done by various Village residents. It showcases well known sites in The Villages.
I am sharing one last quilt as a puzzle. Click to Mix and Solve And with that I leave you until next time – one more quilt show post to come!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Villages Quilt Show 2013

I waited until 1:30 on Saturday, the last day of the show to see it. It was a good decision as it was not crowded and I was able to take pictures for you without people in them!


This quilt, more than any other in the show symbolizes what The Villages is all about. You can go anywhere in your golf cart. There are more golf carts than there are golfers. A golf cart acts as a second car.

To make this quilt Donna Wolff took a  picture of her husband in his golf cart and put it on fabric which she placed on the quilt.


The designs on this quilt were done with the embroidery feature on a sewing machine. This was beautifully done.


Here is a close-up of one of the motifs. The dots are each crystals that were applied to the quilt.


This is another image from that quilt. They all have a lot of crystals on them. This was a popular type of quilt at this show.

It takes a very complex and expensive sewing machine, a lot of different colors of thread, a big assortment of crystals, a great sense of design and a lot of time to create something as beautiful as this.

Beth Landas created this masterpiece.

I will be sharing more quilts from the show in future posts.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Eagle River Quilt Blocks


We used to spend 2 or more weeks each summer in Eagle River Wisconsin.

There was a wonderful quilt shop there and they carried the best selection of North Woods fabrics.

All of these fabrics were purchased there.

These fabrics were not my style and they never will be!

But there was something about living where the woods and water meet that drew me to starting this quilt.

I just made a group of blocks and intended to make a few more and set them together with sashing strips and some checkerboards.

Somehow I lost my enthusiasm for this – maybe because we haven’t been there in years.

When I see these blocks on my design wall it makes me think I may want to revisit this project and finish it.

For now it will put away as I finish the reorganization of my studio/closet.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More Sampler Quilt Blocks


As I am continuing reorganizing the closet and the studio I dig deeper and deeper.

I found several more sampler blocks. When I taught a class I usually ended up with several examples of each block. My favorite (and my students favorite) teaching method was generally lecture demonstration.

Occasionally I was able to demonstrate only 1/4 of a block so you can see some partial blocks in the picture. If I taught the class 4 times I’d have a completed block.

I do not intend to put these all in the same quilt or wall hanging. Right now I have no idea what I’m going to be doing with them. Seeing them hanging on the design wall will let me analyze them and decide how I will resolve this.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Surprises Surfacing In My Studio Reorganization


Quite a few years ago I taught a class I originated making a sample quilt from Nine 9 inch blocks.

The blocks were not original creations.

I chose 9” blocks as 9 is divisible by more numbers that most other numbers. It also make a quilt that was a reasonable size to use and FINISH!

My original class piece is awaiting quilting and I don’t have a picture.

When I found these blocks (and a few more in progress) I decided to put them on my design wall and study them before deciding what to do with them.

I have a new very portable design wall I finished right before I started the studio reorganization.


I made this with a gray flannel sheet, 4 pieces of PVC pipe and 4 PVC pipe elbows. I can simply prop it against a wall anywhere.

It is very portable and I can just move it out of the way if I want. It fits through doorways. It is larger than my previous design walls.

It’s biggest advantages are it is gray – a much  better color than black or white for a design wall, and it can sit in my great room where I can look at it without it being in the way.

If it is in the way I can easily knock it down and roll it up.

The hardest part of making this was finding a medium gray flannel sheet that was affordable. I looked for several years before I found one at the end of the winter season.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Studio Closet Organization Expanded To Entire Studio!

I decided one necessity was to organize the fabrics in my studio. They had been purchased and shoved in any available nook or cranny.

It was interesting to see what I had. I found I had almost no true blue – no navy, no royal, and no powder blue and very little brown.

When I started quilting that was about all that was available and I had boxes of those colors.


I decided if I wanted fabrics visible and accessible I would have to fold them so I could see each one.

No more “stacks” of fabric in a drawer.

For everything over 1/4 yard I found my 6 inch ruler was the perfect tool.


I laid the ruler across the fabric that was folded in half crosswise.


I start by bringing the end of the fabric over the ruler.


I continue until the entire length of the piece is rolled around the ruler.

Then I slip the ruler out, which slides out easy.


I then fold the entire piece in half. If it is from 2-7 yards this is the end of the process and I put it in a drawer with the edge up.


If it is from 1/2 to 1 yard I fold it one more time and it is ready to be put in a drawer.

I did not come up with the idea of using a ruler to fold fabric. I read about someone else doing it.

But – I did have to come up with a way to fold my fabric into a size that worked in my storage drawers.



This shows two dresser drawers that hold most of my 1/2 to 1 yard pieces.


This shows one of the Elfa drawers that holds larger pieces of fabric or collections of similar fabric.

I found fabrics that I had forgotten about or never knew I had. I have a lot of fabrics that were given to me for winning quilt competitions and that is why I wasn’t aware of some of them!

I hope this may be the spark that gives you an idea of how to store your fabric palette.

It is so much easier to design a quilt if you can look at your fabrics and see what you have.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Studio Closet Organization


I made some great progress on organizing my closet yesterday. The delivery came about 4:30 p.m. so I went right to work.

These are most of my solid color 1/4 yards. I had so much fun refolding them and putting them in the basket. Made me want to start cutting and creating.


This is what the room currently looks like while the reorganization is in process!


This tower of shelves is my answer for using that 26 inches of wasted space to the left of the closet door.

Silly me, I thought I’d get the drawer frames would be all put together. Oh, no – you had to put them together yourself.

After a false start when I put the tops on the bottoms of the side pieces I was able to take them apart and do it right.

It is amazing how much one can fit in a drawer this size.

I also have the makings for another unit this same size. I found out that it was a little too high as there was a closet shelf bracket in the way.

I ordered a 4 runner unit to replace the 7 runner unit and next week I can finish this up.

I’ll use the other 7 runner unit somewhere else is the house.

These are all Elfa drawer components I ordered from the Container store.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Organized But Not Accessible

When we moved in to this house 7 or 8 years ago the only fabric I brought along was the fabrics to make drapes and bedspreads.

Somewhere along the way things began to change!


This is what you see when you open the left door of the closet. What you don’t see is the 24 inches at the far left behind the wall that is very hard to access without moving a lot of things.

I’ve made an attempt to organize this with plastic bins, drawers and other things, but…………….


This is what you see when you open the right side of the closet. There is also the area to the right of the door that is hard to access.

You may be saying how did she accumulate all these supplies?

I can trace the beginning back to volunteering to give a demo for our quilt guild. My idea was several people would give short (5-10 minute demos) of an interesting technique.

Well, Beth built up my demo so much I had to do more than the little demo and the rest is history! I visited the local quilt shop and stocked up with a wonderful collection of quilting fabrics – maybe 40-50 quarter yards.

No, this is not all my fabric and yarn!


I have filled the two chests in the room with a palette of colorful fabrics and yarns.


I have also outfitted this tall storage unit to hold thread, notions, embellishments, smaller works in progress and similar things.

Some of this came from our wonderful local quilt shop that it was my duty to support. (It closed last year)

Others came south with me either in the car, or sent by USPS!

Hopefully you’ll see the “AFTER” picture in a few days.

I am expecting a delivery today of the ELFA drawer units I ordered a few days ago.

I am hoping they will contain a major portion of these things in an orderly accessible manner.

This will be a major undertaking as I hope to store like things together and most used things in the most easily accessed spots.

I have plans for storing the other things that do not fit in the drawers.

After I get this organized, if I see I need more ELFA storage I will then order those.

I expect having things organized and accessible up north made it so much easier to work and put things away when I finished.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Catching Up With Christmas–Part 3

Although I didn’t remember to take any pictures of our annual Sibling Christmas Dinner I still have a few pictures to show you!


My sister in law Mary found the absolutely perfect cocktail napkins for our party!

My brother’s name is Bill, but when he was a little boy we called him Billy. How perfect are these.

And here is my favorite brother Billy sitting on our Dad’s lap!

Since I didn’t take any pictures this year this is a picture from 2 years ago. All the sisters are wearing the Jane Steinberg scarves I gave them the previous Christmas.

My clever wrapping for the scarves!


And here they are opening the scarves.

I make the main course and everyone brings something. The food was awesome.


Appetizers by Mary

Spinach Balls

Rueben dip with crisp rye crackers

Salad by Clay and Karen

Fresh fruit salad with molasses and lime juice and zest

Main course by Kay

Mexican chicken and rice

Dessert by Connie

Simply delicious home made cheesecake

Yes, we all love appreciate great food and can create it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Catching Up With Christmas–Part 2

A few days after Greg’s family were here for the “gift-giving” Jeff’s family came over.

Of course we started our evening with the traditional Pizza Fondue – a favorite of Jeff’s from years ago.


One of Jeff’s gifts was this lacquered box from Russia.


Heidi is showing her collectible Angel.


Everyone receives a Radko ornament from my collection. Dana is showing off her stocking ornament.


Jeff Jr. is showing his Kiwi fruit ornament.


Just about every year everyone gets a Slinky. This year they were miniature Slinkies.

Kierstin decided hers made a good bracelet.


Cooper LOVED his green Beanie Baby bear. Green is his favorite color. I was surprised when he told me it was his very first Beanie Baby. The older siblings each must have had over 100 of them.

It is getting harder and harder to get all the kids together at one time as they each go to different schools and have a lot of activities. But, with Dana’s organizing skills we did make it once again!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Catching Up With Christmas

My son Greg and his family from Minnesota visited for several days after Christmas.

They celebrate their own Christmas at home (as it should be) and then head south to spend time with the rest of their families.


This year it was Greg and Julie’s turn to wear the Christmas shirts. I made these for Jerry and myself at least 25 years ago. They still look like new. Using good fabrics when you sew is really worth it.


Jessica is modeling the hat and cowl I knit for her. Those sure are her colors.


Nicholas is show the Bicenntenial coin set he got.


Jared is showing off the bird figurine he received.

If you are wondering why I haven’t shown Blake he wasn’t here this year. He was in Memphis playing in the Iowa State marching band at the Liberty Bowl.


It looks like Blake and his friends were having a good time in Memphis!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Studio Reorganization–The Corner


I couldn’t wait to get this corner reorganized after these cabinets were delivered yesterday.

Not only do they make the corner look neater, but they provide convenient hidden storage for things that added to the messy look.

I have all my supplies for baking polymer clay in the cabinets, as well as some of my stamping equipment.

The file drawers are great for holding tall items and keep them out of sight.

There are even a few empty drawers!


In case you forgot, this is what the corner looked like “before”!

Many of things you see in this picture have been moved to other places.

What hasn’t been moved is in the new cabinets.


From her new location the the corner Quilting Granny can see everything that is going on in the studio.

I suppose she’ll be inviting the girls over to quilt soon, and to see how neat the studio looks now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Studio Reorganization–Getting Ready For The Final Lap


I spent a lot of time this past summer reorganizing my studio.

I am now ready for the final lap as I get this corner finalized.

I found some cabinets that will make this look a lot neater on eBay and they will be here tomorrow.

Everything has been moved out of the corner to make room for them.

I actually expect to have some empty drawers in this area!

Next time you see this you’ll see the new arrangement.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Ultimate Packer Backers


My son Jeff is the ULTIMATE packer fan. He took the family to the Packer/Viking playoff game last night.

This is my granddaughter Heidi showing her enthusiasm!


Heidi and Jeff.


The girls: Heidi, Dana and Hillary!


The whole family minus Heather – I think she probably took the picture.

Dana, Heidi, Jeff, Hillary, Jeff Jr. and Cooper!

Can you believe that Kierstin and Colin didn’t want to go to the game?

Of course the Packers won and they will be playing in SF next week.