Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sarah's Quilt

I've been busy working on several quilts at once: Hand quilting my Mary Mannakee, piecing "Surf's Up" for my grandnephew to be finished after Christmas, doing the prep for a bed runner for my good friend in Arizona, to be appliqued on our next trip and finishing the king quilt for Sarah. By the way, I received a grateful thank you from Japan for the American Heritage wall hanging I mailed off 2 weeks ago.
I've finished Sarah (Niece) and Mark's quilt in time for Christmas. It was taken to the quilter in October for a special deal. My favorite quilter has been training a new person so she offered to do any size for $30! She did a terrific job. The binding is done and ready for my Sister and I to give to this special couple.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seeing Double?

I finished the wall hanging to send to our hostess in Japan. I chose an American theme representing traditional blocks.

Using my miniature American Heritage quilt design as the template, I enlarged the blocks, simplified my choices and machine pieced rather than by hand. I densely quilted it by hand.

Since Mrs. Motani has featured fabric wall hangings from Japan and far abroad in their home, it is my hope that this quilt will find a place as well.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I just returned from a trip to Japan with my sister. Our love of all things Japanese was instilled at an early age by our father. He had spent a month in Japan as a aviation adviser during the Korean War. I found a small group tour focusing on ceramics for 2 weeks, staying in Japanese Inns, visiting artists and their studios and traveling in the countryside. It was the perfect tour for my sister, Director/Curator of the American Museum of Ceramic Art and gave me a chance to travel with my best friend. Although most of our time was spent looking at clay, we also experienced the culture, were guests in homes,

ate the food,played with clay,slept on the "floor",

bathed communally, and rode on the fast trains. I also got to shop for old fabrics

and our hostess invited me to cut a stack of fabrics from some "old clothes" (her great aunt's kimonos).

I promised to make her a wall hanging which is in the works.


My friend Mary, of 30 years, loves to decorate for the holidays. Since I hadn't quilted something for her, I asked if she would like a reversible table runner. She chose Halloween and Christmas.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

American Heritage Sampler

As you may have guessed, we have been traveling again. I hand pieced this miniature sampler quilt on a March cruise from Beijing to Anchorage (7 days at sea),

put them together when we got home and then quilted it while traveling this July from NY to London on a 18 day “Fir & Ice” cruise including Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Shetlands, & Norway.

This idea started with a barrel marked 15¢ a strip in a San Diego quilt shop that specializes in vintage fabrics. I had fun sorting through odds and ends with no end product in mind. My design plan was to include as many representative patterns as possible. These traditional blocks range from 1800-1860.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Strips 'n Curves, final step

I finished the top, 80x88. It's ready for a 10" border and quilting. My goal is to have it completed by Christmas as a present for my niece and husband from my sister. I've made this pattern once before but I needed a refresher. I will be teaching this quilt at the Fabric Patch, Montclair, CA in September. There are some tricks and trouble shooting that my students will welcome.

This photo doesn't show the true colors, the "browns" are really green.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Donated Blocks

Someone at church donated 2000 cut 6" blocks to our quilting group. One member sorted them by color but didn't know what to do next. I was given the challenge. I have planned and sewn blocks for 5 quilts approximately 55x70. Triangles were the best solution.

When left with a number of floral prints, I tried a different pattern. Since the "squares" weren't always true this has become a greater problem. I have 4 more sets to finish before stringing them together for a slightly smaller quilt.

The finished quilts are destined for the "House of Ruth", for battered women and their children. I still have more color coordinated squares but not enough to make a quilt without adding sashing.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I've been busy

I know, I've been away for a while!

I've been traveling, involved with family and of course quilting. Thank you for all your helpful suggestions for quilting Mary Mannakee. I haven't started yet but I'm leaning towards a grid with some outlining and feather stitch. I want to investigate using bamboo batting. I've been told that its like sewing through butter. Have any of you used this product? What are your experiences?

On our last minute cruise from Beijing to Anchorage, I
hand pieced this sampler using Civil War fabrics I picked out of a scrap barrel for 15 cents per strip. I designed this small wall hanging (20x24) to include as many traditional blocks as possible. I still want to add a border.

Our best friends are expecting their first granddaughter in September. It was a joy to make a quilt for this special baby and two of my favorite receiving blankets. The pattern came from
Better Homes American Patchwork and Quilting, April 2010. I reduced the pattern by 40% and made it square. The applique is edged by machine but the quilting is done by hand.

The receiving blankets are made with two pieces of flannel, sized to the width of the fabrics, hemmed with turning the outer piece twice to cover the inner smaller piece and finished with a feather stitch of embroidery thread. These were my son's favorites and for many babies that received them as gifts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Real Progress

Mary Mannakee is ready to quilt! I'm not sure what patterns I'm going to use. All I know is doing a diagonal grid would be too boring although the result would be traditional. Any suggestions?

Here's my progress with Strips 'n Curves. I've cut and sewn about 2/3 of the 110 blocks that I planned but I may do less and add more border. The placement of the blocks is not set in stone and I'm open to rearrangement as needed. Each block has to be planned to match up with what's next door so progress is slow. I hope I like it and above all Sarah (my niece) likes it when it's done.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Disappointed but pushing ahead

I was excited to visit the DAR museum in DC and see the Mary Mannakee quilt up close only to find the exhibit hall closed for installation of a quilt show for April... I was so disappointed. I have enlarged jpgs but cannot see how it was quilted. I'm almost done with the last side of the border and ready to sandwich. Any suggestions? Where can I look?

Here are the only quilts I found on display in DC:

Fredrick Douglass' home

Museum of American History

I'm making headway with my Strips 'n Curves. About 1/3 is cut, planned and some sewn. This is my makeshift planning wall. The flannel backed tablecloth hangs curved over my bookshelves with velcro.
Its definitely better than having no design surface.