Sunday, October 31, 2010

Days gone by

For 3 full days, we were without power as were many many others.  We have never experienced this before, but of course it happens.  All the things one takes for granted related to the need for electric energy - it's, well everything!  Fortunately we could still get to town and enjoy our wonderful library and eat out.  So, what else do you do with no power?  I thought it was neat sitting by the fireplace reading my kindle at night with nothing but a book light:  very peaceful, no TV or distractions.  I couldn't use my sewing machine or iron to do my usual sewing and quilting, but I was able to work on my hand quilting during daylight - again with no distractions.
I haven't always designed my own appliques and a few years ago, I started this quilt which is a Piece O' Cake design from the book "Stars in the Garden." I used a variety of machine embroidery and applique stitches to finish the motifs.  I had a few blocks left to do, so I finished them last winter, then used my old fashioned wooden quilt frame to stretch and pin baste it for hand quilting. 

I use #8 Perle Cotton and a modified "big stitch" when I hand quilt.  I'm adding beading and  other embellishments as I go along.

Leo and Lily supervise.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pine cones and Pollen

This is block #2 of my "Power of the World" quilt in progress.  You'll see pine cones radiating from the center of this block.  I had found a neat looking tiny pine cone on my walk one morning and just set it aside on my desk.  A few days later, a nice little pile of a very brilliant yellow dust appeared.  I discovered this to be a pollen producing pine cone - thus the pine cone design emerged for this block.  Dark green pine needles were added and well, those yellow circles on the outer border are supposed to be pollen spores - they really are beautiful in photos.  I added a tiny bee to complete this design.

I do love applique, and starting November 3, I will be leading an Applique Artists group at Your Arts Gallery in Manitowish Waters.  There is no sign up and no committment;  just bring whatever you are working on and the group will proceed in any direction we decide.  And we will have FUN!  The group will meet monthly on the first Wednesday, from 6 to 8 pm. 

The web site is:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ferns and Fiddleheads

As promised I want to share my latest applique project with you.  

I've been enamored with circles and mandala designs for some time now.  I made a large quilt which was one huge mandala a few years ago and always wanted to make another.  Lots of circles show up in my applique projects - I have 2 neat set of circle templates and even a real draftsman's compass for designing! 

This new quilt is comprised of nine circle or mandala blocks, each one a different wildflower or plant which I have collected and dried or studied.  It is entirely applique;  the only piecing is of the circle borders.

The block pictured here is "Ferns and Fiddleheads" and also pictured are the dried ferns which I used for design and inspiration. 

Speaking of plants:  Leo my kitty loves to sun himself in the now empty deck planter.  "Snooze where you are planted" is what he says.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn a little longer

Most of our beautiful fall leaves in the northwoods have fallen and the trees are bare.  My quilt titled "Bittersweet" gives another look at autumn. Being my favorite time of year, I wanted to make a quilt with all those great colors.

It's based on the traditional log cabin block, arranged with the help of Electric Quilt.  I added the oak leaves and berries and the fall themed border appliques.  I machine pieced and machine appliqued the entire quilt, then hand quilted it with Perle Cotton, using a modified "big stitch."

I've sent this quilt around to many shows and it's won a bunch of ribbons, but the best I think was recently winning "Viewer's Choice" at the Ladies of the Lake Minocqua show in August.  Fellow quilters (and non-quilters) chose my quilt among aproximately 250 entries as their favorite.  This, to me is an honor, knowing my peers liked my work. 

In my next blog, I will share my current "work in progress" with you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This is my first post.  Just trying things out.  I've attached a photo of "Flower Power" my latest finished quilt. I'm sending it to the Treasures of Tomorrow quilt show in Marshfield, WI.  Dates of show:  October 29 and 30.  Their website is:  It's always a great show.  I'm also preparing to enter it into the April, 2011 AQS show in Paducah, KY.  It's early;  deadline for entries is the first week in January, but I might as well get my entry in now! 
I love this quilt.  I designed all the applique motifs and used the traditional Flower Basket block to set them.  I was inspired by  great colorful, retro fabrics and all things retro. It sure was fun to make.  I used my usual raw edge, machine applique technique. Cheri Trexler of Arbor Vitae. WI did the machine quilting.  By the way, this quilt was shown at 2 other shows so far:  the NQA show in Columbus, OH in June (winning Honorable Mention) and the Ladies of the Lake show in Minocqua, WI in August (First place award).