Sunday, October 30, 2011

Anniversary Quilt

My parents were married in 1957, so a few years ago they celebrated their 50th anniversary.  Mom's Alzheimer's Disease was pretty bad by that time, but she was still able to talk with people and remember many of the people from her younger days.  
The eight of us children got together with our respective husbands and threw them a party.  In the meantime, I had begun a quilt for mom and dad using the bow tie block in a pretty blue and yellow.

While looking over some of the photographs in my computer, I found the photos of the quilt and though I'd post them tonight.   I have a penchant or making large quilts with blocks in the middle and a border of flowers that coordinate with the block fabrics.  
Unfortunately, the colors are rather muted in these photos.  I took the photos in the late afternoon but apparently the sun was still too bright.

Thanks for visiting my blog.  I hope you enjoyed seeing my parents' quilt.  I really enjoyed making it and look forward to making a quilt something like this one again.  I had forgotten how much I like blue and yellow together.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Flower Pins

I spent a little of the day in the studio.  Not working on a quilt: there wasn't time for that.  I've seen a few handmade flowers on several blogs lately and decided that if this is the next big thing, I'd need to get to work figuring out the process.  It turns out that it's really quite easy.
I made this one before going to Marley's birthday party.  I put a loop on the back so that it can be worn on a headband.  Not bad for a first one, I suppose.  

After we got back home and had supper, I ran out to the studio for a while and decided to play a bit more.
I decided to try a red, since Christmas is not far away, and in the process, figured out a few things.  For starters, I definitely like the rippled effect rather than the flat flowers I've seen in some photos.

I also like the beaded stamens that I added to the last few.  They have a 3D effect and, although it takes longer, I can make several loops like the stamens in the purple one that I made.
And, finally, I really like the black netting.  

I've decided not to include netting on all the flowers because some moms probably won't want the netting on flowers for their little ones.

It does add a more grown-up look to the flowers.  Some I will put on pin backs so customers can pin them to purses, jackets, dresses and so on.  Others I'll simply put on loop backs so they can be worn on headbands, looped onto ponytail holders, or bobby pins.  

My hope is that they'll sell at the Arts and Crafts Fair in Natchitoches in December.  I suppose if I make a few more, I'll have the system down and will be able to make them a little faster.  As it is now, it's taking me quite some time to make one or two.  But there is a learning curve to overcome.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Josh's Quilt and Pinterest

Have you ever had great plans and just couldn't get to them?  It's beginning to annoy me to no end.  I finally found fabric and a design that I'm really happy with, and I can't seem to get into the studio.  Isn't that always the way?  

Since tomorrow is one of the days when I'll get home at a decent time, I'm determined that I absolutely will get into the studio.  If I can find the energy to work a couple of hours after work, I may be able to load Josh's quilt onto the long arm Saturday.  I really want to finish the quilt and get it to Angie in the next few days.  
Photo from Romanian Quilt Studio

Do you follow anyone on Pinterest?  I've just begun using it but have found that it's a wonderful place for inspiration and to look for pictures of other quilters' studios.  You'd have to register but that's easy enough.  On the upper right-hand side of the screen is a search bar.  I've typed in quilts, quilt studio, quilt stash and quilters on different visits and have found hundreds of photos.  My favorite photos are of the modern quilts.  I'm thinking I like the clean, bright look of modern more and more.  

Photo from Tallgrass Prairie Studio
One of the really nice extras to Pinterest is that when you find a photo you like, clicking on it once enlarges the photo, clicking on it again opens another tab with the website of the person who originally pinned the photo.  So, if you were to click on this photo to the right, you'd automatically get a tab for Tallgrass Prairie Studio.  Not bad, right?  No having to figure anything out.  Isn't it worth that alone?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review: then she found me

Yes, I'm reading the book.  Actually I didn't realize that it's now a movie, despite the list of names across the top of the front cover.  I have no idea what drew me to the book, except the blurb and maybe that cover photo.  At any rate, I found it slow going at first.  I really do not like the character of Bernice G! April Epner, the Latin teacher is my kind of gal, but I assure you that the librarian is not a pretty guy in my mind's eye.  There's an actor whose face I can't see but whose voice is definitely that of Dwight. 

Here's the thing: I haven't finished the book, but I'm well over half way and it's nothing like the movie trailer, which, I assume is like the movie.  I know, not having seen the movie, it's too soon to be upset that it's completely different from the book.  Except, a main character in the novel is Dwight, a tall, shy, high school librarian with whom April has a beautiful relationship.  His name does not appear in the list of credits at all.  What happened to him?  Is he too ugly, too shy, to bookish to appear in the movie or did the director decide to make him into something else altogether?   Strangely enough, April is not married in the novel but is separated from her husband in the movie.  Maybe that's what happened to him....she's married and now separated from Dwight.  But that doesn't work for me either because their relationship is built on trust, friendship, know, those ideals that make a marriage.  

I find it frustrating that a movie based on a book is not.  Is it too much to ask that something based on something else actually BE like the original?  Is it too much to ask that everyone who has anything to do with a movie based on a book actually READ the book?  I'm thinking it would be really nice if the screen writers read the book!  But that's me, I have high expectations.  I figure that if a writer wants to be creative, he/she should just start at the beginning and write the screenplay based on whatever is in his or her head.  Leave another writer's work intact.

What do you say?  Do you prefer that the movie follow the book closely, or does it matter at all if the movie is so far from the book that a main character does not even appear?  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Irish Chain Failure

I spent a few days working on a quilt for my great-nephew, who is 12 or so.  His grandmother, my sister, has commissioned quilts for her grandchildren and we're taking one family at time.  Not that we planned it this way, but it's working out quite well.  Except that Josh has been a hard one to pin down.  He asked for a black and green quilt with X's.  

I thought of nine patch blocks in green and black placed so that the blacks would form the X that he requested.  I figured that I could easily add a second block for color and variety.  The nine patch would form an Irish Chain pattern and the secondary block would be something simple and quick.

Since Angie wants me to use some of mom's stash on each quilt, I thought I'd add in the olive green plaid that I used on Seth's quilt.  That is until I saw it on the design wall with the nine patch blocks1

It just doesn't work.  No matter what I tried I came up with the same problems.  So on Sunday when Richard and I ran to Alexandria for new tennis shoes for me, I insisted that we go by Hancock's.  I found a  couple o f green that might work, but nothing that had me thrilled.  Eventually I found a fabric that I like.  There's enough green that the fabric didn't clash with the black/green nine patch blocks.  

A closer look at the new fabric reveals little sea turtles swimming all over the place.  The green is almost the right color, there black outlines and soft golden yellow background to tone it all down a bit.

Not having to worry about what to do with the spacing between the nine patches really freed me up yesterday.  I even had a great chance to sew up a bunch of black/green strips.  Now to get back into the studio to press, cut and sew them into the 27 blocks I'll need.  I figure that if I work each day the way I did yesterday, I'll be delivering this quilt in a week or two!

Oh, now what do I do with the olive green blocks that I took out?  Any suggestions?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Flowers for All Saints' Day

As Catholics we observe All Saints' Day on November 1st of each year.  Part of that observance means that we clean the graves of loved ones and place fresh flowers on them.  On the Sunday before the observance, the priest and congregation go into the graveyard to pray and ask God to "Grant them eternal rest" by bringing them to heaven.  

 Because I live close to "the old home place, " I'm often asked to do these things.  This year is no exception.  So on Sunday Richard and I made a little shopping trip and found some very pretty fall flowers at Michael's.  I picked up enough to make three bouquets--one will go on Ma-ma and Pa-pa's grave, one on Uncle Dave's, and one on my mom's grave.  They all match, sort of, but are also a little different.

Mom's bouquet is not pictured because there is no vase here.  I'll take it with me and arrange the flowers in the granite vase that Daddy put on her grave some time ago.  It's engraved with a pretty little sewing basket, which is perfect for her since she loved to sew and quilt.

What do you think about these flowers?  Aren't they pretty?  I love the rich fall colors, and the green vases with little flecks of burgundy are perfect for these colors.   What's great is that the same vases will work when I put Christmas flowers in and, if they survive the winter, they're bright enough for spring flowers at Easter.  Does your family observe All Saints' Day or a day like it on which you honor those family members who have died?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights

photo from
The Natchitoches Christmas Festival begins in less than a month!  I'm getting a bit excited to attend this year--one of my sisters recently bought a house in Natchitoches, and we're making plans to spend a weekend at her house to attend the parade, see the lights, and enjoy the fireworks.    

This picture is the 2011 festival poster.  Isn't it just gorgeous?  I have a small collection of festival posters and am thinking I'd like to add this one to my collection, although I have no idea where I could display it!  

phtoto from
I used to have the posters in my office at school but this library doesn't come with an office and there's is no wall space in the house!  I guess I need to 
think about whether I really NEED this purchase.

If you enjoy festivals, this is definitely one to attend.  You can find lots of information at the official website here.  All photos on this page are from the site, which also has information about the 
poster and the artist.

Do you attend many festivals?  Do you prefer the larger festivals or the smaller ones?  

Quilt Campus Class

My class with QuiltCampus began today and got a little tense when I realized that I'd left off some important information.  Thank goodness Cindy, the business person behind the scenes, was willing to drop everything and fix my boo boo!  

Within an hour or so, she called me back to say everything was done and I could inform my students that they could access the information.  I wish I could explain my error, but I'm chalking it up to inexperience and my usual kookiness--a bad combination!

Although our opportunity to talk came about because I made an error, I am happy to have spoken to Cindy.  She is quite nice, obviously very competent and extremely helpful!  Her ability to pull something together and make it look good is pretty amazing.  I could learn a few lessons from her!  

Don't you just love it when you need help from someone and the other person is kind and understanding?  Do you get that from people very often?  Do you share the experience with others when it does happen?  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Facebook Fun

My sister Angie sitting on our maternal grandfather's lap,
then maternal grandmother and paternal grandmother. 
I had a great idea a few days ago after we ran across some really old family photos.  These photos are from my childhood and since we are eight sisters, it's easy to mix up the faces.  I found that I had to look on the back of the pictures to figure out who's who.  Thank goodness mom wrote the names there.

Me and Angie
It occurred to me that my sisters might want a few of the pictures, so I decided to post some on Facebook.  That gave me the idea to make it into a game.  Every night I post a few pics and everyone tries to guess who the people are.  I've posted pictures of our grandparents that had our children
discussing who they might be. 

Me (seventh grade)
Everyone seems to be enjoying the game, and I can say that I have never had so many comments  before!  If nothing else we're having fun, and the younger generation is learning about those in the family who have passed away, in some cases before they were even born.

If you have older children, you might try this game as a way of teaching them about your family.  One of the surprises is how many stories we've shared since we started playing.  Wasn't that a brilliant idea?  Do you think it would work so well for your children? 

Thank you to those who voted for my blog on Picket Fence.  It's gone up to 130 votes and moved to page 22!  I don't expect to move to page one....that takes about a 1000 votes, but it's fun to see the blog move up the ladder, albeit slowly.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Red Hot

Definitely this little quilt fits the red hot description.  It's a somewhat copy of a quilt I made for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative  (AAQI) over the summer.  

I am making a few small quilts to display in the studio.  I had some of the pieces already cut and decided to stitch them up.  
It was fun remembering how to quilt using the Bernina.  I've used it only a few times since we bought the long arm machine two years ago.   

The quilting could be a bit better, but it's not horrible and I like the feathers.....even the crooked ones!

What do you think?  

On a different note, please take a moment to click on the Picket Fence button on the upper right.  I'd love a few more votes!  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review of "Here Lies the Librarian"

Being a librarian is great fun for me.  I really do love my job.  Imagine my reaction when I ran across a book by Richard Peck titled Here Lies the Librarian.  Surely no one would kill off a librarian in book!
Well, that's half right anyway, the librarian in Peck's young adult novel is already dead when we meet Peewee and her brother.  Hum, interesting plot.  What makes it more interesting is that after two years, the city council will finally replace their dead librarian. 

The story is set in the early 1900's when Peewee and Jake hope to become famous as auto mechanics now that the new road is being built right past their house, which Peewee states is "in the weeds."  Enter Irene Ridpath and three of her sorority sisters and let the fun begin. 

You will fall in love with the quirky, down-home characters, their folksy ways and phrases and their first automobiles. 

If you've not had the pleasure of reading one of Peck's many books, let me recommend them all.   I read Here Lies the Librarian in an afternoon and now plan to pick up a copy of The Teacher's Funeral.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh, what fun!

Thankfully, I had an entire Sunday afternoon to play in the studio.  And......

play, I did!
This little quilt was so much fun!
Check out the 3-D flowers and vintage buttons.

Talk about easy....just cut some flowers 
and stitch them down.
Some I cut using my Accuquilt Studio cutter
others I hand cut.  
Can you tell the difference?

What do you think?  Is it a like 
or, ehh, not so much?

Monday, October 17, 2011

In Memory of Ma-Ma!

Some time ago my sister Sid and I were at mom and dad's house looking for a particular quilt and ran across one of the ugliest quilt tops I've seen.  Seriously, it was hideous!  Sid insisted that I "save it."  I felt a tinge of guilt because it had been hand sewn and who else would do anything with it?  So I rolled it up and tossed it into the backseat along with a few other things--
but not the quilt I was there to pick up.

Look closely and you'll see that the fabrics are awful.  The brown fabric in one block was spliced with white thread, and the maker used it that way.  There are tucks and pleats all over the place, and much of the fabric is some sort of stretch fabric from the 70's and 80's.  I call it velour but Richard says it's fleece.

And that's how I know that my grandmother, Volcie Couvillion Lacombe is the maker!  Richard recognized some of the fabrics from his days at Garan's Mfg. when he was the head mechanic there.  

Sweet darling that he is, he would occasionally pick up some of the larger scraps and bring them home.  I'd pass them along to Ma-ma and she sewed them into quilts.  She added fabrics she picked up from just about anywhere, but none were what we today call quilting cottons.  

So, in the end, I decided to do something with it.  After a week on the longarm......TA DA!

It's a beautiful quilt, after all, 
and not just because Ma-ma was the maker.

I somehow worked out most of the issues or simply stitched them down.  I decided on stippling the quilt so that I could do just that and also stitch on top of the seams so that they would not pull apart.  Now that it's done, I really love it.  So many people in my life had a hand in this quilt: Richard provided most of the fabrics, Ma-ma cut and pieced it, Mom saved it, and now, I've finished it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quick Goodnight

I spent the afternoon playing in the studio.  How wonderful!  I completed a small wallhanging and began working on another, but the camera is out of commission, so it will be tomorrow before I can post pictures.  I am feeling some guilt, however, because I haven't said hello in a few days. 

On a happy note, my online class with will begin in a week!  We'll be making the quilt on the right, which I call "Three Circles."  If you're interested in taking the class, you just need to go to  The class begins on the 22nd of this month and the forum opens on the 19th so that we can get to say hello and get to know each other a bit before class begins.

I sure hope to see you in the classroom!

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Etsy Shop Profile: Averylee Designs

I'm beginning to feel human again.  It's amazing how much a good night of rest will do for the body.  Since I am up to an interview today, say "hello" to Sheryl and Peggy, two grandmothers from Oregon who just happen to create some of the prettiest needlecrafts for their Etsy shop Averylee Designs.  They happen to be great friends who met in one of my favorite places....a quilt class!

1. Explain your business partnership.  Our business partnership was birthed from a long term friendship. One that is seasoned with the joy's and challenges that life delivers. All it took for us to begin crafting together was taking a beginning quilt class. Since taking that class we have delighted in each other’s developing artistic skills and started Averylee Designs a year ago with the desire to help others grow in creativity and teach the skills we had to share. Recently we opened an Etsy shop to sell our creations.

2. Where/when did you learn to make such beautiful cross-stitch and needlework? Peggy was introduced to needlework while thumbing through a magazine about twenty five years ago and was inspired to learn the craft. Through trial and error it began to blossom in design and intricacy. Sheryl was first introduced to needlework as a young school girl. In the fifth grade her teacher had each student create an embroidered piece on burlap. She remembers very vividly the owl in the tree she stitched. The other wonderful gift of needlework is that it allows us to relax and have a peaceful moment.

3. What are some of your favorite designs to make?  Peggy chooses design by color. She is always drawn by the seasons and her favorite season is autumn. Sheryl really enjoys the French Country designs with the "hidden treasures", such as suddenly you see a squirrel in the center of the design. 

4. How would you describe your creative process?  The creative process is like an adventure, a discovery process. You cannot be overtly perfectionist when you are being creative. Auditioning each medium or project and then committing to starting and finishing fulfils the intrinsic desire in each of us to be creative.

5. Who has influenced your art the most? In what way(s) did this person influence you?   Both of us believe that creation itself speaks volumes and cries out to be duplicated in likeness. Sheryl also gives credit to her mom who allowed and encouraged her creativity as a child.

6. What does "handmade" mean to you?   Handmade is equal to a personal touch. When we hand stitch a piece we not only spend a lengthy amount of time creating, but we also find ourselves emotionally investing in the piece, curiously wondering who will be the recipient of this lovingly created artwork. 

Is there anything else you'd like others to know about yourself or your shop?   Our greatest treasure are our grandchildren of which our business name is created from. Avery is one of six grandsons that Sheryl has been blessed with and Rylee is Peggy’s granddaughter. If you put the two names together it forms the name AveRYlee.

To visit Sheryl and Peggy, go to their shop at

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So Sorry

for myself especially, since I'm apologizing for not posting for almost the entire week!  That would be because I became violently sick on Saturday night (one bad oyster can do that) and took until, oh, Monday to recover.  Just in time, it turns out, to drive to the hospital to meet our granddaughter after she broke her arm!  Needless to say, it's been a long week and I'm still dragging.  Okay, enough whining from me.....I do have something fun to share from Saturday.....

Richard and I had a little alone time in Ponchatoula at the outdoor quilt show!  It was such fun.  We strolled and looked at the 200+ quilts hanging from storefronts.  That is, I had a blast until I realized that I'd forgotten my camera!  These photos come from the Berry Batch Preservation website gallery.  I did take a few photos using my phone, but I can't find those.  So until one of the tech savvy grand-kids comes for a visit, I'll have to be happy with the ones on the site.  

Many of the quilts were older quilts and I especially enjoyed looking at the vintage quilts and figuring out the patterns, but all of the quilts were stunning, and there was definitely a huge variety of colors, patterns and styles.  If you have an opportunity to attend one these exhibits, you should drive to Ponchatoula and spend the day.

After we saw all the quilts, we popped into the Corner Cafe and had a delicious lunch.  I definitely recommend the salad with Pepper Jelly Dressing.  How wonderful, and had we known, we've have gotten one to share.  (Although, I will admit that we ate all of the food they brought us.)

Then we moseyed over to a couple of antique shops.  I walked away with a few goodies, but you'll have to wait a day or so for pics. I've not recovered that much!
If I'm correct, this is my 200th post!  Go us, we've hung in there for a while.  I do want to say thank you for hanging in with me.  I have the best followers! Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!
Happy Quilting!