"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy Orphan Blocks

Most every quilter has them.....those pesky orphan blocks that they just don't know what to do with.   Odd shapes, sizes, patterns that didn't quite work out right, colors that don't work out the way we planned, or ones that we 'inherited' from someone else.   I suspect for most of us they just sit in totes or boxes waiting patiently for us to be struck with inspiration on how to make the most of these gems in the rough.

I have my share of orphan blocks, I'll take them out every so often to look at and play with and think about what to do with them.    Most of them have been stubbornly silent tho so they remain in my tote of orphan blocks.   Occasionally though some of them will start whispering to me about what they'd like to be when they grow up.  

This week two of my little orphans decided it was time to tell me their dreams of greatness.   The first block to speak to me was one that passed onto my by an online friend.   It was a lovely fan block, but in colors that I rarely ever use.    I'd been working on various tote bags over the weekend and had pulled out a very soft looking plaid in blueish-grey and tan.   The block looked great up against the plaid.   So I ended up quilting it after backing it w/muslin.  Then attached it as the outer pocket on the tote bag.   Haven't decided what i'm going to do with this, might sell it, might give it as a gift.

Another happy little ex-orphan as of tonite is this little sailboat block that now has a home on a baby bib.   This will be going with a stack of other bibs as a baby shower gift for a gal at the store.

So two orphans are orphaned no longer, and I have fewer 'voices' clamoring at me to do something with them.   Wonder what will speak to me next demanding their turn at the sewing machine?

1. Being able to sleep in bed for a few hours even tho I'm still croupy with bronchitis
2. Meds that are helping to bring everything back under control

Monday, September 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was tagged for the Around the World Blog Hop by Susan of Desertsky Quilting.   The link will take you to Susan's post about her creative processes.   I met Susan online about 18 years ago, through online quilt group at that time.   We met in person when I moved back to Phoenix after completing grad school in Boston.   We've remained friends over the years, and are always willing to get each other into trouble when out shopping or when considering new quilt projects.

There were several questions that came with the blog post directions, so I'll branch off of those to tell you a little about me and my design process.

If you read my blog on a regular basis you'll know that a lot of my work goes to American Hero Quilts and Sunshine Online Quilt Guild.   American Hero's delivers quilt to wounded service men and women, Sunshine makes quilts that are given to kids around the world through a couple of different programs.  There are many other projects though that I end up involved with because I make a lot of gifts.

1. What am I working on at the present?

Like normal there are multiple projects in various states around here.   I'm working on finishing up the Block-of-the-Month that I've been posting on my blog and website and have the top almost half together.  I have a finished quilt top for the mystery quilt that i'll be hosting next year.   the finished top will be posted in December when the final step of the BOM is posted.  Then there is the block robin waiting on borders to be put on.   So far tho that quilt is being contrary and not telling me what it wants for the final border.    So it sits in "time out" will i think about it.

This past week I've been sick and so didn't feel like working on anything where I had to really think about what I'm doing, so I worked on making some tote bags and a kitchen towel that have been prepped for several yrs.  At least one of the totes and the kitchen towel will be a Pay-It-Forward gift for this year.   The others may end up as gifts at some point or sold.   Still more fabrics in my stash for tote bags, so I'll have some 'mindless' sewing to do for a while.

I've got several new designs, both blocks and quilts, in progress as well.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

If I have to classify myself, I'd say I'm a scrappy quilter or maybe a "multi-fabric" quilter.   I do tend to quilts that use a lot of fabrics in the tones and colors, vs just one fabric in a color.  

The wedding quilt I made for my nephew and his new wife is an example of this.   The greens are about 2/3's scraps, but the remaining greens and the back fabrics are new ones.    I lost count of how many different fabrics are in this quilt, but love how it turned out.  

A lot of my quilt are definitely on the geometric side of things, but I do design a wide variety of quilt types.   I participate in an online art quilt challenge every year and what I end up doing depends on the challenge each year.    This year's quilt is shown to the left.     I like to use more than just fabric in my quilts as well, this year's entry used shiny tulle and linen cross-stitch fabric as well as the cotton fabrics in the quilt.

My designs have ranged from paper-piecing blocks and quilts, to applique to pieced.   Most any fabric works for me - except those that are muddy in tones.

I also to take part in swaps and round robins.   the cat quilt to the left is just one example of one of my quilts from a round robin. I made the cat, and used rick-rack for the whiskers.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I create and design because I love it and normally it relaxes me.   My doodles are most often ideas for new quilt blocks.   I can't imagine not designing, even if a lot of it happens on the fly as I'm working.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

My creative process starts with graph paper (typically quadrille paper for ease of scaling) and various pens/pencils.   I'll get an idea for a block and draw it out on paper to get the idea down.   Once I have an idea of the block, then I'll switch to Visio and draw the block up in it.   Visio makes it easy for me to make multiple copies of the block and then play around with quilt layouts to see how things go together.     Once I'm happy with one or more layouts then if it is a pp'd pattern I'll create the sections in Visio and then print them out for use.    Otherwise I'm "off to the races" and sewing away.  =)

That's is my basic story and my creativity process.    I'm sending you today to the blogs for three people whose work inspires me.  

Claire is a friend that I met in the same online group that I met Susan.   We've known each other for several yrs now, and have met in person several times at quilt retreats.   And for a while we even lived in the same little town as i went to grad school at Purdue University.   Claire is taking a Master Quilting class and her work in it is always fascinating to me.   She will be posting on the 22nd on her blog KnitNkwilt .

Sophie is another quilter that I've been blessed to be able to meet in person.   I love her work, and she also is able to get me headed down rabbit trails that I hadn't intended to go down.    My tea towel quilt (proving to be stubborn!) is an example of that.    I love the tea towel pieces that she has done.   You'll be able to find her post on the 22nd here at Sophie Junction.

The last friend I'm sending you to is Deana.   I met her online 3 yrs ago when Susan talked me into doing Deana's mystery quilt.    I loved what she did with it, and the process has proven inspirational to me as I worked on developing my mystery quilt for next year.   She is hosting a row-by-row swap these days featuring her designs.  You can also check out her latest mystery at - Daughters of Dorinda Mystery Blog.

Gratitudes -
1. For meds as I recover from acute bronchitis and an acute UPR and the latest flare with my ITP
2. For bosses who understand when I'm not working to 100% because i'm not feeling good

Monday, September 1, 2014

Block Robin together.....

Woohoo............the block robin is together except for the borders.   And with the exception of a little minor tweak to the filler blocks on the bottom center it all went together almost perfectly.    Gotta love it when that happens.  =)

The final two blocks added ("Faith" and the interlocking hearts") were inspired by a couple of different quilts in an Australian quilt magazine that an online quilt friend sent me.  

Next up is adding the borders, and I'm debating on a couple of options for that.    


1. God's provisions for my needs even when I don't see how things are going to work out.

2. The PT job that I do have currently to help pay the bills and put food on the table.  

September block posted

The September block for my Block-of-the-Month has been posted.

I named it Lantern because it reminded me of paper Chinese lanterns that are often used in the summer time to light up patios after dark.

You can find the link to the pattern here -


I hope you enjoy making the block.

Gratitudes -
1. A three day weekend.  =)

2. 4 weeks already finished in school.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thinking about possibilities....

.....for changes to the pink/turquoise blocks so that they aren't quite so prominent compared to the other blocks.   I'd like to keep them in there because I know who made them and would like something from her on the front...........and not just in the label on the back.

One thought I've had is to add WOW triangles to each block after frog-stitching the groups.    Finished block to look something like what is shown in the middle of this pic.   blocks could be arranged in multiple ways so the spacer sections would not all be the same.  

What i'm not sure tho is if the turquoise settles down to a more 'decorous' level....lol.  

How do you think the possibility looks?

Gratitudes -

1. beautiful weather
2. A God who knows what is happening in my life even when i have no clue about what will happen in the future.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


....someone in a small group that I'm a part of posted a comment about the colors of blocks in the block robin - particularly the turquoise/pink half-square blocks.    Her comment was to the effect that the blue really stood out among all of the other colors in it.

Now this is something that I had wondered about but at this point haven't made up my mind on what to do with the block sections.   The cross stitch piece that this started with does not have any blue in it.   The two turquoise-greens are in there, but not a turquoise-blue.

Am waiting to "hear" what the quilt says it wants because I'm not sure what I want to do.   I have pulled a fabric that will work as binding in the tonal family as the greens that are there now.   But should I use some of it to replace the turquoise blue blocks - that is what I'm debating now.

Any thoughts out there?

Gratitudes -

1. Labor Day Holiday - No School!!!!!

2. Tests from the past two yrs being available to edit and tweak for classes this year.  =)