Monday, September 29, 2014

Celebrate National Coffee Day!

Who knew September 29 was "National Coffee Day?"
I found out when my friend Shannon Shirley challenged her quilting buddies to create celebratory quilts for her book, Celebrate the Day with Quilts: An Art Quilt Challenge.
Since coffee fuels me each morning, I decided this was a day I could honor in fabric. Here is my effort, now published in Shannon's book. Thanks for the opportunity, my friend!
The book is available at the following link: Celebrate the Day

Monday, September 22, 2014

Perfection... it really IS overrated!

big stitch
I'm hand quilting again and enjoying the process. But, I first had to get over the fact that I'll never master small, straight, even stitches. Oh, I still prefer machine quilting for its speed, but there's something to be said for having this portable work. And, for accepting my hand work for what it is. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Quilters' Gathering quilt registration submitted. Check.

I need to get my work out there more, so I'm hoping Brush Strokes might be accepted for the QG show in November. It's a piece made in 2012 for one of our Fearless Designers challenges. It's a fabric interpretation of a watercolor exercise done while dabbling in that medium. I had fun doing the tiny "pebble" quilting in the background. Close up: 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sharing the (Fabric) Wealth

I admit I'm a packrat. Especially when it comes to fabric. Even through recent downsizing, I couldn't part with some leftovers. Although, I DID sell and donate many bags of fabric - that's another blog post. Later.

THIS, however, is from a bin labeled: pre-cut strips, blocks, etc. The whole pile will be called into service this week when I attend 'Fiber College' in Searsport, Maine. I am taking a 2-day workshop with the Gee's Bend Quilters and the supply list includes: fabrics to share. I can definitely do that! 

More info on Fiber College of Maine:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Patchwork carpet!

I didn't know carpet tiles came in such an array of choices. I'm 'piecing' my own design for an entry and long hallway. Who knew carpet-building could be so much fun? These 20-inch square carpet tiles can be mixed and matched. I think I've found my new color palette. I had never heard of this company: FLOR. You'll have to Google it because my attempts to link it here are not working. Anyway, the available colors, textures, and options will keep me busy for awhile!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Two steps forward, one step back

Mama said there'd be days like this...

When I decided it was time for a website makeover, I knew I didn't want to spend hours and hours rebuilding it myself. So, I decided to hire a web designer this time. Holly is fantastic to work with and has been, right from the start. However, my dream of not spending a lot of time on the project went down the tubes when I realized I needed to provide her with better quality quilt photos.

She has great 'how to do it' instructions on her photography page. The setup looked simple enough, so we built the light stands and I now have a mini-studio in the sewing room. (I'd show you a picture, but my camera battery is recharging. It's always something.) That was the easy part. Getting more familiar with the manual functions of my camera was another story. I've always used the auto function!

I have succeeded somewhat, but images are still not quite to my liking. I'll be spending more time photographing quilts in the next few days. Stay tuned for a revised website coming this fall!

And, here is a link to my web designer, Holly Knott's website. Enjoy:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Photo inspiration!

What inspires you to create? Nature's beauty is at the top of my list. This recent Maine sunset will likely find its way into a future quilt. The challenge of recreating a fabric version - be it realistic or abstract - is a motivator. Don't look for this quilt anytime soon, though. Most ideas percolate for a little while, or a very long time, before they come to fruition!    

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just a few more days until the Maine Quilts Show in Augusta. Join us Thursday evening for the champagne preview - always a great way to see the quilts before the daytime crowds. The show continues Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. More info on the website:

I'll be conducting appraisals there for the last time, since I plan to retire from appraising at the end of this year. However, I'm not leaving the quilt scene anytime soon! My new focus will be to share my passion for quilts by offering programs to clubs, guilds, historical societies, and discussion groups. More information is on my website:

Appraisals are available on a walk-in basis, as time allows. Or, contact me to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I'll bet many of you didn't know...

Did you know there is a Quilter's Hall of Fame? Really. The sports-minded folks in my family snicker whenever I mention of it, but those who make, study, and appreciate quilts know this Hall of Fame is worthy of respect  - even if no athletic prowess is involved in achieving quilt fame.

Next week the QHF celebrates the 10th year of its grand opening of the Marie Webster House in Marion, Indiana. Ruth McDowell will be the 45th honoree to be inducted. There are several programs, lectures, and workshops being offered. More information is on their website at:

At the Heat Fair, (c) 2008, Ruth McDowell

For more info about quilt artist Ruth McDowell and her fabulous work, visit

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Another Quilt Show. Another tote bag!

The Vermont Quilt Festival 2014 is now history, and I am again so thankful I can attend this one nearly every year. I am never disappointed. There are fabulous workshops, exhibits, lectures, door prizes and vendors.

I attended a day-long workshop with Velda Newman about techniques for creating texture on quilts, as well as one with Jane Davila, entitled "Working in a Series." More about those in a future blog.

I now take technique workshops, rather than project-based classes. I already have way too many unfinished projects! Techniques provide more tools for creating art quilts.

What to do with all those tote bags? I use them for various tasks, including shopping and storing projects. Ultimately, I rotate them out by filling older ones with items to donate to Goodwill and they go with the donation. Just one step in downsizing. Downsizing. Now that is another whole SERIES of blogs!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wouldn't you think I have enough fabric cutting tools? Alas, the two rotary cutters on the left need larger replacement blades than I currently have on hand. And, of course, that is precisely the size I need to take to my workshop! Another trip to the store.

Friday, June 20, 2014

It's a Small Quilt World

18" x 24" Overall
Each 4-patch block is 3.5 inches square.

My newest program features, guess what, SMALL quilts! Doll quilts, baby quilts, and wall quilts. I bring 20+ varied quilts to show and discuss. This is the newest addition to my collection. It measures 18" x 24" and features some sweet novelty prints. It comes to play when I do the Small Quilt World program and the "Tickled Pink" trunk show. Fun quilts!
Close-up of one 3.5 inch block

Mid-20th C cats, maybe?

Monday, April 14, 2014

A quilt top finish!

I've been testing this pattern for a friend, Kate, who will be publishing it soon. Her company is Seams Like a Dream, and this pattern is called "gRadiant." This is just one of several different sets to choose from. And, the colors - although not specifically planned that way - will go with the bedroom in our new digs! I love when that happens!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Maine Modern Quilt Guild welcomes Rhonda Galpern of Sew Fresh Fabrics

I am in love with the fresh, new look in the quilting world, so I want to share an event I attended. 
The Maine Modern Quilt Guild met in Auburn on Saturday, April 5th. Guest speaker Rhonda Galpern of Sew Fresh Fabrics in Ipswich, MA was greeted enthusiastically by us winter-weary souls! Seeing not only the quilts showcasing new modern fabrics, but also some quilts that incorporated older fabrics and even some older blocks, inspired the feeding frenzy seen in the photo above. Rhonda was selling for Sew Fresh Fabrics and many of those attending were delighted to buy!  
Maine Modern Quilt Guild meets monthly in the Lewiston-Auburn area. All are welcome. For more information:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring - or, make that late winter - is for purging...

My condo sewing room - feeling blessed, but crowded!
Many items must go!
The process is ongoing. Having downsized last fall and winter for moving into a condo, spring (if it ever gets to Maine) brings another round of purging.

How could I still have so much stuff? Secretly? I confess; I rented a storage unit to stall and buy some time during the move. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. But now what? I must re-evaluate the quilt collection, fabrics, books, everything sewing related. So, what's a person to do? I've given away, donated to Goodwill and American Quilt Study Group, and sold a lot.

Now, it's time to scrutinize what I couldn't part with on the first go-round. So-o-o-o-o-o, I've rented a table at a Quilters' and Crafters' Sale and will be selling more (new and vintage) fabrics, patterns, blocks, scrap bags, quilt tops, books, gadgets, yarn and other knitting stuff, and more. Maybe even some scrapbooking things. It all depends on my progress this week.

For those in the Augusta, Maine area, the sale is next Saturday, March 29 from 9 to 1 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 9 Summer Street. I think there will be about 20 vendors. It should be a fun day!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Accidental genealogy discovery

My lecture/slide show/trunk show entitled "Six Generations of Maine Quilt makers" includes my maternal grandmother, Lillian Robinson.   I am constantly discovering more about my ancestors. Sometimes by active research, other times purely by accident. Although I knew my grandparents lived in Portland, Maine for a time, I didn't know exactly where or when. I certainly could find out by active research, but hadn't yet done so. 
Today, while searching through an old box of buttons, I came upon this: an envelope addressed to my grandmother in May of 1946. My Uncle Bob was in the Navy and had sent her a letter, revealing their street address. Eureka! So, I now have a springboard for more research. My grandmother had saved a set of buttons in this envelope and tucked it away in her box of buttons. We just never know what discoveries await us! 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Thoughts on Blogging

Blogging does not come naturally to me. So I was intrigued by the newly published Kindle book "Plentiful Posts: How to Create Blog Content that Connects with Readers" by Sue Allen Clayton. 
The author lays out a plan for developing a blogger's mindset and goes on to suggest topics to blog about, from sharing travels to sharing your knowledge and more. This approximately 35-page e-book is a quick read packed with great ideas for the reluctant blogger. Now, if I could just implement her suggestions, I would be a blogger extraordinaire! We shall see.