Calendar BOM: December!

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Are you participating in the Calendar Block of the Month?  If so, here’s a sneak peek at December:

Yes, I know… right now it’s pretty boring.   But you need to be on the lookout for a brick or stone fabric.  A fat quarter will do you just fine. 
More to come!  I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already!

You CAN Get Something for Nothing

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poorApparently there aren’t enough good deeds in the world.  At least, according to a quilt forum I recently frequented.  I had an idea for a project I wanted to undertake that would provide quilting information from experienced quilters to non-experienced (or mildly experienced) quilters free of charge.  Many quilters around the world don’t have the good fortune to be able to afford quilt books or to attend seminars from “famous” quilters.  When you can barely afford to put food on your table, things like that just are not options.
secret It’s a well-known fact that when you are working on a large project, no matter what it is, there are times when you need to keep the important details to yourself.  Think about inventors.  Think about composers, authors, scientists… the list could go on.  You and I know that there are times when you need to hold your cards close to your chest to prevent others from knowing what’s in your hand.  Once they know, they have the potential to take it from you.
I’ve been an active participant in a particular quilt forum that will remain nameless.  I wanted to know what questions fairly new quilters had about the quilting process.  So I posed the question that you see in the top right corner of this blog.  Quilters started responding and submitting some FANTASTIC questions!   They were eager!   They had a lot of curiosity and weren’t afraid to ask things that were on their minds. No question was stupid!  I also asked my own guild the same question.  I emailed several different groups that I belong to, and in 5 days time, have received way over 200 great questions.hitthefan
And then it hit the fan.  Someone asked what, specifically, this was for.  Who was making money from this?  What was this book going to be called?  Who was the publisher? Etc.
I will admit, I responded in a very vague manner.  I clearly said this wasn’t a book (and it isn’t).  There isn’t a publisher… there is me.  There is no charge, hence there is no money being made.
cop And then a very nasty quilter replied and started throwing accusations around. Not. Nice. At. All. Then the forum cop showed up with her deputy badge and threw the whole discussion in jail, slammed shut the door and turned the key.
I wrote to the Admin of the forum.   The owner.  The top topdogdog. 
He wrote back several times, and judging by the tone of his writing, it could  be the same person as the grumpy complainer mentioned before.
“Will it be available for re-distribution on other sites or do you plan to attract people to your site by advertising the free download hosted there?”
“Will the file itself be used to promote/advertise some website or blog with links included in the file?”
“I’ve been selling e-books, offering freebies and doing other kinds of online marketing for over 10 years. And I’m sorry to tell you, but the “idea” of asking the target audience about what they want to read in order to produce “just the right” content is really old. So I wouldn’t worry about someone stealing that idea. It has been stolen, sold, and rented out more times than one can count.”

OK, so I’m a stupid idiot, huh?!?!? 

Nope, I don’t think so.  So I tossed my credentials and alphabet soup at him, (B.S., M.A., Ed.S.) and said  “If you would prefer to NOT have the thread on your site, please by all means take the entire thread down. I’m sensing a lot of skepticism on your part, and my project is only about assisting quilters. I thought that was a GOOD thing.”
So, the discussion was removed from the forum, and his response?  Get this:
“Frankly, I’m more skeptical when people state that their only motive is to “help others” than of anything else.”
Yes, what a wonderful world it would be if people stopped helping others. 
crazy Good grief.
So even though I’ve come into contact with a couple of NUTCASES over the last few days, the project is still on, and yes, I am really looking forward to providing quilters with answers to some of their important questions.  
After all, we don’t have anything to hide in the world of quilting, do we? 
I have a great list of questions.  If you’d like to be one of the people who helps a new quilter understand something better, for FREE, please drop me an email. 
And if you live near me, I’d be happy to show you how to hand quilt.  For free.  Really.

There’s Always a Nutcase in Every Forum

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Inside every forum there is at least one NUTCASE.  I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of any forum that didn’t have one person who either

  1. thought they were the only expert in the world
  2. served as Gestapo and policed the site with vigor
  3. threw around snotty comments directed at other people
  4. argued with everything that was said

Yesterday was such a day for me, and I’ll not likely be back to visit that forum, which is a shame… lots of nice people there. 


Should you decide to join a forum, make sure you:

  • –Read all the rules that the OWNER of the forum has created (remember, someone owns the forum), and decide if you can live with them
  • –Be a lurker at the forum for awhile before you decide to post anything.  Get a feel for the people.

–Decide if you want to use your REAL name or make one up; this is important!

–Also decide if you want to provide a link to your website or blog.   Remember the NUTCASE that lurks in every forum. He or she will treat your website/blog the same way he/she treats the forum (remember your blog may allow people to leave comments!).

Center Completion on Feathered Cheddar

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Hooray!    The center portion of the quilt is now complete.  Now to focus on the border.  This measures 39.5 inches square.  I’m thinking of 10 or 12 inch appliqué borders (blue on cheddar), followed by a narrower solid blue.   What do you think?

9232010BThe small swirl in the center does what I wanted it to do.  It allows for quilting a feathered circle in the middle… or some such intense quilting.  It also hides the intersection of the four squares.  Note:  I clipped away the cheddar fabric underneath the circular part of the inside of the swirl so that there is not a lump of any kind underneath.

9232010CAnd as always, it is necessary for cat approval.  Stormie held back for a few moments while I took the above pictures, then came flying in from the other end of the house to check things out.  “Hey!  What does the back look like, mom?”

All in all, I am a happy girl.  Love it so far!

Four Feathered Crown Blocks

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Kathie from Inspired by Antique Quilts asked me last night if this pattern was in a book.  I found it long ago in Yvonne Khin’s “The Collector’s Dictionary of Quilt Names and Patterns.”  As you can see below, I drafted my own pattern.  I liked the image on the left, where the feathery swirl in the center just about fills the center.  The one on the right just makes it seem too lost, floating in the middle.

Feathered Crown Quilt Block:

Feathered Crown Quilt Block I’ve done a search online for the pattern and could not find any reference to it other than to a little wallhanging I made some 20 + years ago. 

Last night before I went to bed, I put all four blocks together and took their collective pictures.  I’m really liking how this looks!  Tonight if time permits, I will sew them all together and put one of the little feather swirls in the center to join them.  One of the large feather wreaths would fit in the center, but I want to quilt a feather circle around it.

Ahhhh, the border… what shall I do?  

Any suggestions?  What would YOU do?

It needed a little something more…

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From this:

To this:

I decided I wanted to include the center portion of the block after all.  It needed it!

Now to sew all four blocks together… and think about the border.  Do you plan out your whole quilt before you make it?  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  I have ideas for this border, but I want to play a bit before I start creating what’s in my mind. 

This is actually a traditional quilt block called “Feathered Crown.”  What other quilt blocks do you know of that have the word “feather” or “feathered” in their name?

Two Color Quilts

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Q:  Just what is a two-color quilt?
A:  A two color quilt is just that… a quilt with ONLY two colors in it.   Actually, the name “two color” is a misnomer.  It should say, “Two solid color”, as that is the true definition of a two color quilt.
There is a difference!
This is a true two-color quilt:

It is a quilt I made from a small stack of old quilt blocks I purchased at an antique shop in 1982.  I put them together and quilted it.  I loved the simple nature of the pinwheels.  It’s blue and white.  that’s all… nothing more, nothing less.

This is another two-color quilt from the Angry Chicken blog:

How many fabrics do you see in this picture?
TWO.  Just two.  The background and the red.

Humble Quilts has a collection of nice two-color quilts on her blog.  Please go take a look.  Here’s one peek:

Again, just two colors: red and white.  The same red solid throughout, the same white solid throughout.

While it might look like it at first, the following quilt is NOT a two color quilt:
Wheel of Mystery
This is a small slice of a quilt I made years ago.   The green is actually a PRINT.  Yes, there are two fabrics in the quilt, but only one of them is a solid.

Here’s your TWO-COLOR QUILT test:  can you pass?
A two-color quilt has:
A) lots of different fabrics in two colors
B) lots of different fabrics, but two main colors pop out at you
C) only two printed fabrics
D) only two fabrics, both of them being solids
If you picked D, you were right!!!   Good job!

And then there were three…

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Three blocks for Feathered Cheddar.   Only one more to go! 

I picked up my Floral Star of Bethlehem from Longway Planetarium where it spent the past week on exhibit.  

It came back with something extra…

2010 Longway

It won the Viewer’s Choice Award for 2010! 


Susan Lenz had her opening reception for her Decisions Portraits last weekend as well.  The quilt she made with my face(s) is in the photo above, far right.  Photo copyright Susan Lenz.

Underneath my face are the words “I contacted my birth parents” and a small photo of me as a toddler.

All of the photos Susan has taken for her exhibit are posted on her blog along with the information about each one.  I do hope you will go take a look.  I really wish I could have gone to the opening!  If you are in the area and can stop, the exhibit is at City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, SC September 10 – October 10, 2010.

What an exciting week this has been…

What Do People Know About You?

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You have probably already tried to Google your name.  I know you have!  When I Google my name, I get angry.  I worked for about three years as a R_E_A_L_T_O_R (spelled with spaces so it doesn’t get picked up by the search engine) and did a lot of marketing to get my name out there for business.   Now when I search my name, I still find references to THAT profession no matter how hard I try to get rid of it. 

But have you ever gone to Google Images and searched your name there? When I did that, I was trying to see what pops up the most.  What am I recognized for?  What do people think of when my name comes up?  Is it good or bad?  Here’s a peek at what I found when I did that.  I love that my Floral Star of Bethlehem quilt pops up all over the place!


Sometimes you’ll be surprised at what you find.  Like, who’s the guy I circled above?  His last name is Mosey.  My son and daughter-in-law’s wedding pictures is also on there because I posted about them after the wedding this summer.

Sometimes it’s good to check your reputation online.   How’s yours today?  Let me know what you find!

Good Morning, Deer!

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It was a normal, relaxing weekend… we celebrated my father’s 88th birthday by taking him to breakfast on Saturday.  Hubby Dean created this table for a birthday present… it was made from a slab of wood he’s kept since cutting the tree down on our property in the early 60’s.  He was SO excited to get it!


On Sunday morning, I was walking through the living room and happened to catch some movement outside the window.   We had visitors!   The deer come up every fall from the creek to eat the apples off our tree. 


This little one also checked out the bird feeder to see if there were any yummy snacks there for her. 


A walk downtown, grilling out on the deck, a good movie (The Book of Eli) and some appliqué on “Feathered Cheddar” made for a great time.  No stress.  All relaxing.   What could be better?