Sunday, November 30, 2008

Talent & ingenuity all in one

I am referring to my friend and fellow quilter Pat La-Pierre McAfee.
She is a super talented free motion quilter and an inventor besides. She was just in Houston at Quilt Market (did I mention I wasn't, boo-hoo) and did a fabulous video for QuiltersTV demonstrating her Supreme Slider. It is the neatest tool. It is a teflon mat the you put on the bed of your machine to create a zero friction surface. This enables you to move the quilt very freely and eliminates shoulder and muscle fatigue while you quilt. I love it and use it whenever I do free motion quilting. Of course, my machine quilting cannot compare to Pat's but it is much better than it was thanks to using the Supreme Slider. One of my first quilts that I quilted on the Free motion Slider was the Lenny the lizard quilt. It's just a wee little quilt, only 9" x 11", but I wanted to fill in the surface well as it is a raw edge fusible applique pattern. You can see in the detail view that I was able to fill in the arm with free motion quilting that didn't look like a 5 year old did it (maybe a 10 year old). Anyway, after that I was a big fan. If you've been hesitant to free motion quilt, watch her video clip and be brave and try free motion quilting, it's a lot of fun. Here's the link to her video clip on QuiltersTV. You can find the Lenny pattern on my website.
Have fun and try new things, it keeps you young!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Time Lapse

Oh my goodness, has it been 2 weeks already? Don't say I didn't warn you. Well, I have been scurrying about gearing up for 20 guests that are coming for Thanksgiving day dinner along with my day to day routines of writing instructions, shipping orders and stitching designs and samples. I hope to be able to show you my new design soon, my photographer a.k.a. my dad, is working on the images and as soon as I have them you'll get a sneak peek. Anyway, I have also been tending my precious squash and ta-da we have squashes! Now remember this is Florida and these are summer squash. They are called Pattypan squash and are very similar to zucchini and yellow squash. At the rate they are going I will soon be sharing them with friends until they beg me to stop. I'm sure that any of you that garden know what I mean. Here are a few pics since the first I showed you which were taken several weeks ago. You'll notice that we had to cage in my earthbox and the reason why is standing in front of my garden. We seem to have acquired a gang of squirrels that rove our yard and they are fond of yummy things like veggies and peanuts. We have gray squirrels and we also have some very cool fox squirrels that have also joined the gang. This one has babies tucked away somewhere because she is obviously nursing. She usually shows up around mid day for a snack. So, back to the squash........ I just love the blossoms, they are so numerous some days, and quite large, about the size of my hand. They are such a beautiful glowing yellow orange, who knows, my squashes may inspire a future design. I have been told that the blossoms are also very tasty, no really. I'll have to try them soon. The bell peppers in front are getting crowded out by the squash but they are holding their own.

Time lapse......Here are my first squashes!!!
The one my husband is holding I already picked as it was getting giant, The other I will pick tomorrow and we'll eat them at Thanksgiving dinner after our game of croquet.

Granted with 20 people coming I will have to add a few other veggies in the mix, but I can't wait to taste them. Time for me to put the stitching aside for a day or two and get busy cooking.

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Marinating & pumpkins

While I don't have a pumpkin patch, I do have a couple of nice squash vines growing right now. You may have noticed a link in my friends and favs to
This is a picture of my Earthbox planted with squash and some bell peppers. It's my first attempt, I'll let you know how they all progress. Optimist that I am, I hope to be serving squash on Thanksgiving. Anyway, about marinating....
I've been asked many times where my ideas come from for my designs. Well, they tend to pop into my head any old time and I seem to have spurts of ideas rather than a constant scheduled trickle of inspiration. Because of that I keep a sketch book handy and make some basic notes and sketches so I don't lose an idea. I am usually working on more than one design at once and usually in different stages of completion. For example I may be binding one quilt while cutting out another and also writing the instructions for one of them.
When I am getting ready to start a new project there are times when I have to let the concept marinate for a bit before I get started. While I am marinating an idea, I will sometimes take a break and stitch up some fun little whimsy of a project for a change of pace, after I water my squash of course. I enjoy doing redwork and so I made a couple of redwork wristlets as gifts and then had so much fun I made a few more and put some in my Etsy shop. I still had some more marinating to do, so I drew up a couple of little redwork illustrations to share with you.
Yes, one of them has a pumpkin. You can download them both for free from my website or and stitch them into fun little projects for yourself. Hope you enjoy the marinade results.

Monday, November 10, 2008


When was the last time you contemplated the longevity of our art form - quilting?
Are we taking our quilts for granted?
I was reminded of these questions this weekend when my husband and I took a spin up to nearby Ft. Myers Beach to enjoy the artists that had descended upon the sand, or more aptly put, into the sand. The art medium for these artists is the powdery white sand itself.

We stood mesmerized as we watched small mountains of sand transformed by, trowel, hand, brush, bucket, and numerous other tools, into breathtaking works of art.
But for these artists, their works of art, unlike our quilts, are exposed to
the mercy of the wind, the rain, shore birds, and of course time. They toil for 2-3 days creating imaginative, and unbelievably detailed sculptures knowing full well that their fantastic sculptures will, very quickly, once again become the beach sand we walk upon.
So it is also the same with the artists that use sidewalks as their canvas, or the patient monks that create intricate sand Mandalas, food artists, graffiti artists, and more, all making art that is fleeting in it's physical form.
Imagine for a just moment if you had to shred or burn your quilt when you had finished it. Could you? I am grateful to all these artists that are willing to spend their energy and creativity to share with us their imaginative works of art knowing that only a memory or photograph is all that will be left. Would it be enough for you?

until next time,