Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lessons From The Plain People

I had the privilege of attending an auction here in Southern Maryland put on by the local Amish population. We are not at all like Lancaster Pa----thank goodness---and work quite hard to keep the outside world away from these families. We support them in a way they respect by employing them as builders and buy their products from fresh produce to quilts. Many people do not even realize there is a considerable population that lives here. We all know they live without many of our modern conveniences.
I spent all day there yesterday feasting my eyes on their quilts and other products that were auctioned off. The prices were much lower this year due to our economy I am to assume. There were just as many buyers there as previous years.
But the very best part of this day is watching and talking to these families. I am a quilter myself so it is easy to strike up a conversation about a common love and passion. They use the proceeds of this day to pay their medical bills as they do not have insurance. They accept NO government assistance in any way and take care of their own. All children born to these families are a gift from God. If one is born less than perfect, she is accepted and raised by the family. They do not clamor for special education, buildings to be rebuilt to accommodate her or a one on one aide paid for by the overburdened State or Federal government to follow her around in school. If she cannot attend the local school, she is taught what she can learn at home. The elders in their population have a place of honor for their knowledge and experience. They work until the day they die if that is at all possible. Retirement is a foreign concept to them. They would never want to be idle.

When we talked about making less money on their quilts and what to do….she answered I guess we will need to make more to sell next year. The whole family worked here making the day successful. Teens were helping their families as were the very young. There was no whining and complaining as the goal was to make money for their community. There was a huge amount of food to sell and it sells very well. They price things fairly and do not desire to gouge people.

When there is problem to be worked out, they do not have to consult blogs or news people who are actually more celebrities than news reporters or surf the internet to try to find some obscure fact. They talk in person and figure out how to fix it. Gas prices are of no concern to them as they use a horse and buggy. The byproduct of the horses is the valuable manure used to help grown their food. I doubt they even know the stock market has fallen as their money is kept in a savings account at the local bank.

There is very little complaining about much of anything. These are people of a great faith and do not question why certain things happen. They adjust their life to accommodate the happening and then work in into their lives. They waste no time wondering “WHY”. If it happened, it was meant to be.
They are excellent business people and are masters at figuring out ways to earn extra money. Their workmanship is highly sought after and their work ethic one of honor.

So, the question I wonder is---------who is better off today?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fall is Here

Fall is definitely here and has produced some lovely colors in the leaves. I also had a huge flock on geese is the corn field behind our house.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I planted some cosmos from seeds this year. They are one of the smallest seeds I have ever seen. But the plants that come from them are HUGE. It takes a long time for them to bloom but will give color until our first frost.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Potholder Fun

I am woefully behind on the wonderful blocks Carol Doak gives those of us on her email group. She has started another BOM and I thought the first one would make a perfect potholder. It went together easily.

I find striped fabric to be a challenge but putting it the other way makes it much easier.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Machine quilting FUN

I have finally reached the point in which free motion quilting is fun. This has been a long journey for me.

I decided to do an Irish Chain in fall colors. I wanted to put a cat motiff in the white part and wanted it to show up. So I used a varigated thread. I knew every single mistake would show up and went carefully.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Company at our House

Tuggy is visiting for a week while his Mom and Dad are vacationing in Las Vegas. He knows our dogs as they have stayed at his house. He is a good boy but BIG. I call him Hoss sometimes. I am teaching him to sit and stay while here. He is smart and learns fast. His Mom will be impressed with him. BTW--- Mom is my daughter.

He loves to watch the world go by outside out window.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Buckeye Beauty

Here is the quilt I just finished. I wanted something very light weight for the summer. I used no batting in this and just did stitch in the ditch quilting. I did pin very well as I hate puckers.

This pattern is by Eleanor Burns in her book Quilts through The Seasons. It was supposed to be made using 5 inch charms but I just cut up my own. If I were to make it again--I would cut them 5 1/2 and trim a little. They came up a little small.

Another great quilt pattern that was fun and easy. And just the perfect weight for summer.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fusible Fun

I have decided to try making smaller projects. I have several bed sized quilts and struggle quilting them on my sewing machine.

While in Nashville I purchased a couple of patterns by Amy Bradley. Hers are quirky and lots of fun to look at. I have a good sized space on my wall at work and will make different ones to fit that space.

I changed the pattern a little bit to make the borders easier. The little quilts were a bit of a challenge but turned out well. I decided to try a quilting thread that would really stand out. My stitches are getting better.

The big white buttons were from a coat my Mothers used to have. She removed them to save them for something else.

Monday, September 1, 2008


My husband and I went to the Nashville Quilt Show. We stayed at the beautiful Gaylord Hotel in total luxury. I was able to meet up with many internet quilting friends.

I went to a Show and Tell with Eleanore Burns and brought one of my Quilts of Valor. She is such a fun and gracious lady. I was able to read the letter from the soldier I received.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Double Wedding Ring ala Eleanor Burns

I just completed this quilt and a challenge to myself. I wanted to see if I could quilt a queen sized quilt on my Janome. I was able to do it with just a little difficulty.

I really enjoyed making the blocks even though there were so many of them.

I used the Crayola Washable markers for the quilt motif. I was a little worried they might not come off the white but that was no a problem.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Irish Chain

This is the very first quilt I made after getting my wonderful new sewing machine. I bought the Janome 6600 Memorycraft. It is the most wonderful machine and makes sewing easier and faster. It has the cutting mechanism that cuts your threads with the push of a button.

I decided this was too big for me to handle and sent it off to a longarmer. I wanted the wreaths to show in the white sections and asked her to quilt them using blue. It is exactly what I wanted.

I LOVE the way it turned out.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

March Fun

Saturday was National Quilting Day. I wanted to do a quick little project to honor this important day. I started on Friday and just ran out of time. But here she is in all her brightness. I wanted something to go on the wall of my office to brightened things up. This sure will do the trick.

This was one of those all in one sewing on the strips and going through all 3 layers. Slick and quick.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Janome Free Motion Foot and ME

I finally received the new Free Motion foot and bobbin case for my Beloved Janome 6600. I have 4 tops ready to be quilted and 3 are already pinned. So I grabbed one of my Quilts of Valor. I knew the first thing I needed to do was all the straight line stabilizing quilting. This is done very easily with the wonderful accu feed system.

The first 2 blocks were stenciled with my blue wash out marker. It was almost impossible to see the lines on all this busy RWB fabric. This was discovered after making these 2 blocks. Then I switched to the continous curve system of no marking. This is quite easy once you get the pattern memorized.

The result was getting 2 tops all quilted. One is even bound and the label sewed on. I made all 3 labels at once using the momogram program on the machine. I still have not figured out how to save lettering on this machine. The second one needs the binding cut and then sewn on to it. That will probably happen today after work.

I sent away for the new accu feed SITD foot and will see if that makes life even easier. I should be able to quilt most of my own as long as I do not let them get too big. I still cannot imagine doing a Queen sized one.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Scrap Quilting

I have never ever done a scrap quilt. BUT, I have been quilting for just 3 years and learning so much with each quilt I complete. The Delectable Moutains I consider scrappy but I am now doing a really huge scrap project. I believe it is called 4 Patch Ladder. I know the pattern came from Quilters Cache which is a fabulous website.

I think there will be lots of red and blue in this quilt from the left overs from the Quilts of Valor. I try not to have any of the same fabric in the same block and that is IT for any rules. And sometimes that even is not the case. It is a big lesson on value.

I am enjoying this and finally figured out what to do with leftover fabric. I cut it into 5 inch blocks or 2 1/2 inch ones. If it is long becomes a 2 1/2 inch strip.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Delectable Mountains

This is my very first foray into a scrap quilt. I wanted to make something different for Quilts of Valor. I found the directions for this on Bonnie Hunters website.

If I do this again, and I probably will, I would make the mountain side the same fabric. It was quite confusing trying to get everything in the right direction. Then I had so many seams to line up. I finally decided to line up every other one. I think I could have lined up just the ones on each block also.

But it is done and really quite striking.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Super Fun Socks

I am also a knitter and just love making socks. I think they are easy and there are so many wonderfully designed sock yarns. I could never get the hang of knitting with a couple of different balls of yarn but there is no need to do that.

I am going to try some different yarns this year. The first new one I tried was Sockotta. This has some cotton in it along with wool and some nylon. I really like how they look and feel.

Next I am using some fancy hand dyed yarn. After I bought it I see it is hand wash. So I will have to be extra careful because I usually just toss all my socks in the washer and dryer.

I have found I like having some white in with the colors.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quilt Police

I often hear things about the quilt police. Apparently they are people who will arrest you for not making a block right, points not matching up, etc.

The other day I put down an older quilt for my constant sewing buddy to lay on. He obliged me and I was able to snap a picture of him.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Decision Made- Exchange block happiness

I just love the paper pieced blocks by Carol Doak. I just received her new book Mariners Compass and found the perfect block. I may not have enough of this fabric for all the bocks but have another piece of the darker that is just as beautiful. I bought some beautiful blue fabric at Keepsake Quilting in New Hampshire in October. We went there to attend my son's wedding to the most wonderful and beautiful girl in the whole world.

These blocks are not due until late October so I have plenty of time to get them finished. I will probably make a couple each month. Each section has 4 pieces and there are 8 sections.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I decided that is was time to pick the star block for an exchange that I am hosting. This is my online WW quilting buddies and due next October.

I have a free pattern from Carol Doak of a Mariners compass. This took way too much time for an exchange but I do love the way that it turned out. It will go into that quilt but I will pick another block for the exchange.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Catching up with Carol Doak Group

I belong to an internet group of paper piecers using Carol Doak's method. She has the very best patterns and instructions. She is giving us a block each month for an entire year. I decided to make these in red white and blue for a Quilts of Valor

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Little Break

It is always fun to take a break from making BIG quilts. I decided to try a pattern from Elenore Burns Book Quilts Through the Seasons. It is a heart block made the Crazy Quilt Way.

I made the 3 block wall hanging for my living room. It is sad to take down the Christmas decorations and I wanted something new and fun for Valentines Day. I then decided to make one block for my daughter to put up in her office. I got out some of my buttons to sew onto her quilt.

I am now going to make a small one for my office. These are fun, easy and slightly addictive.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008 Will be great

I started off the New Year by finishing a quilt for my oldest son. He lives in Las Vegas and was given the gift of music when he was born. He plays several different instruments and has a marvelous singing voice. He did not get any of this from me or his Dad.

I found the perfect fabric and was able to purchase only 1 yard. I had to come up with a pattern showcasing the orchestra fabric. It ended up a little too square so I added just a top and bottom border to get it a little more rectangular. I found the perfect border fabric.

I am getting better with machine quilting with each quilt that I do. It is not my favorite part of making a quilt but is one of those things that just needs to be done. I will mail it off tomorrow after I make sure I have the right mailing address.

I am now working on a Valentines Day Wall hanging for myself. I needed a little break from Quilt of Valor and these 2 projects have been just perfect. I will piece another top when I get the wall hanging done. I have a place in the living room for small seasonal quilts.