An Award? For me?

I’ve been awarded the Premio Dardos Award from Dawn at Subversivestitch.

This award is for bloggers who distinguish themselves for showing cultural values, ethics, great and fun writing skills, as well individual values, through their creative writing.

The rules are:
1) To accept and show the distinct image of the Premio Dardos Award.
2) Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.
3) Pass the award to another 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.

Thank you, Dawn for being a reader of Michigan Quilts! And thanks to the following individuals and their blogs for giving me some awesome, regular reading through their writing. You make my day/s!
  1. Pat at Bird Nest on the Ground
  2. Wendy at Ivory Spring
  3. Mimi at JuJuBaby
  4. Ronda at Ronda’s Creative Quilting
  5. Tanya at Taniwa
  6. Jenny at Postcards from Cairo
  7. Deb at More Whiffs, Glimmers & Left Oeuvres
  8. Libby at A Simple Girl
  9. Craig at Jasper Jack’s Pressure
  10. Tracey at Decaf, Please
  11. Carla at Feathered Fibers
  12. Vickie at Field Trips in Fiber
  13. May at Abyquilt
  14. Lucy at Quilting With the Past
  15. Nanci at Quilting at the Cottage
  16. Jeff at Notes From the Journey

If you haven’t yet visited these blogs, please make it a point to do so. These are on my regular blog-read list. They are great blogs for either visual and artistic inspiration, thought and reflections, or connecting with people in other cultures.

Yes, my list has 16 blogs mentioned, and the rules said to tag 15. Jeff is busy shepherding a large flock at Flushing United Methodist Church… but I wanted to share his inspirational and thought-provoking blog with you. It’s worth reading!

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What is your pet peeve? Mine is interruptions. I’m one of those people who get very focused when they are working on something. It doesn’t matter if it’s reading a book, quilting, cleaning, or doing a task at my REAL job (w.o.r.k.). Interruptions throw me off. The only thing worse than an interruption is someone who constantly interrupts a conversation. It’s bad enough when you’re with a group of people and the same person keeps interrupting, but it’s worse when you’re having a one-on-one discussion with someone and they keep cutting you off while you’re talking. Doesn’t that make you feel like you’re not important? I have decided to speak up and point it out to “the culprit” more often, because it’s really getting on my last nerve!

If you’re surfing the Internet, here are some very pleasant interruptions that you probably won’t mind at all!

  • Ronda’s Creative Quilting – Take a look at the beautiful quilt that Penny finished and Ronda quilted. Stunning!
  • Pine Ridge Quilter – Laura is posting a quilt each of the days of Christmas and has started already! Check out this beautiful antique quilt, and bookmark her blog so you can follow along. What a super great idea!
  • Treadle Quilts – A spectacular miniature quilt called “Underground Railroad.” Wow!
  • Real Men Quilt – I could be Adam’s biggest fan. I love his quilting. It is so detailed! Check out his new quilt in progress!

    Lastly, I want to share this great picture with you. Dean and I visited the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday and saw an exhibit of the great masters. This is one of my favorites that we had the pleasure to see up close. It is called “July: Specimen of a Portrait” c. 1878 by Jacques-Joseph Tissot, a French painter who lived from 1836-1902. This picture of it does not do it justice. It’s a fairly large oil painting on fabric, and the detail on it is exquisite. It looks like a photograph! The way he used his paints to show the sunlight is simply amazing. Her dress just shines! If you ever get a chance to see his work – or any of the masters – in person, please take the time to go. You will never regret it!

It makes me wonder what people 200 years from now will look at that we have left behind!

The Truth, Revealed

I visited Amanda Jean’s blog this morning while I drank my first cup of coffee. This is part of my morning ritual… coffee, read quilters’ blogs. Amanda Jean’s was the first blog entry I happened upon. I looked at it, read it, scratched my head, thought about it, read a few more blogs, then came back to hers. I was baffled. I still am. Before I go any further, please go read her blog entry so my story will make sense to you.

I will wait.

OK. I think by now you have looked at Amanda Jean’s “Stash.”

Amanda Jean makes some very beautiful quilts. She’s a talented lady!

But, in all honesty, (and I love you Amanda Jean), Amanda Jean could make many more quilts if she wasn’t so obsessive about folding her stash into neatly arranged 5 by 5 squares. I thought about this for a long while… ok, maybe only five minutes… but the question that popped into my mind is this:

Do most quilters spend so much freaking time

folding their stash into neat little squares?

It may be that I need a psychiatrist who can help me analyze my sewing area and habits and help me grow into a better, more “normal” quilter. Perhaps. So I’m asking my blog-o-sphere quilting friends to give me some honest feedback.

Your comments will be read without any negative reactions. (Yeah, right). On the first day of November, I will send a small part of my stash to a “randomly selected quilter” who has been brave enough to respond. Yes, this is a FREE GIVEAWAY. I will use a number generator to determine the “winner.” That person will receive “some stash.” It could be a little, it could be a lot. It will probably not be pressed or folded. But then, there is a chance that it will.

So, here is the state of MY stash. Please click on the photos to open them up and see the real, raw honesty portrayed here. Keep in mind, the sun is STILL not up, and I am on my second cup of coffee.

First, a view of my Quilting Studio.

OK, it’s the basement. There are no walls containing the studio. I call it “free range quilting.”

My stash is kept in several different places. We’ll say it “oozes” from one spot to the other. But in my defense, I know (mostly) where my stash is, and can find it in a moment’s notice after much digging and swearing. I’ll let you enlarge the photos and look around. If you can find the purple paisley fabric I bought recently, please let me know where it is. I want to use it.

Just so you know that this system of stash storage works (kinda), here is the little Dear Jane block I finished yesterday. It is F 7 – Star Struck, free at last.

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Win a FREE quilt!

This beautiful quilt could be yours. All you have to do is visit her blog and comment on the post to let her know to include you in her giveaway! Click on the photo of the quilt to see more of the beautiful sunflowers, and leave her a comment. While you’re there, check it out. It’s a GREAT blog!

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I’ve been tagged by my friend Elly!

Oh geesh, I’ve been tagged. That hasn’t happened in SO long!!! Thanks, Elly!

Here are the rules for being tagged:
1. Link to the person who tagged you. OK, I did that. Click on Elly’s name above.
2. Put the rules on the blog. Did that too! You are reading them.
3. Write 6 random things about yourself. See the list below.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

6 Random things about me:

1) I’d love to live in Montana, on the side of a mountain overlooking a stream. Lots of beauty and quiet.
2) I hate shopping. Yes, people, there is one girl in the world who doesn’t like to shop.
(Shopping for fabric does not count!)
3) I was adopted at 4 months old and have 5 biological half-siblings, 4 of which I have met. I am the oldest. When I was 8, my brother Bob was born. He was a pleasant surprise!
4) I have never been to Florida, and have no desire to visit due to the heat and humidity. This is a rare claim if you are from Michigan.
5) I attended the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan for two summers in high school as a vocal music major.
6) I have never been able to do a single pushup. Ever. My flabby “grandma arms” are a testiment to that.

I am tagging the following people, friends from up close and far away. I love how the Internet can connect you to people you would probably otherwise never meet. Please visit their blogs and tell them Caron sent you. Check out their GREAT quilts and writing!

My “Tagged People:”

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Kaleidoscope and Pincushion

This little block took awhile to piece, but I love how it turned out! It’s F2-Kaleidoscope for my Dear Jane quilt. It looks a little puckery here, but that’s only because of the way the scanner squished it to take its picture. It turned out so nice and flat.

Do these colors look familiar? They are left over from my Paper Lanterns quilt. I offered a giveaway after posting hints about the quilt, and JoAnne won this little pincushion.
I am amazed by the quilts produced by Diana of Diana’s Art Quilts. Visit her Etsy shop by clicking on the link, and then see her slide show here.

You should recognize this man… I just know you’ve seen him before!!! Can you believe this is a QUILT? She is also a member of the DESIGN STYLE GUIDE – INTERIOR DESIGN ETSY TEAM that I also belong to. Please check it out.

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A Dear Jane Spotting at the Fenton Quilt Show


I went to the quilt show at the Fenton United Methodist Church (Michigan) today. I met my friend Susan who lives a ways away, and we had a wonderful time visiting the vendor’s booths and admiring all the beautiful quilts on display. There were quite a few quilts from the 1800’s and early 1900’s which is always fun to see. Most of the newer quilts were machine quilted, and a lot of talented long arm quilters were represented. A beautiful Dear Jane quilt by Donna Barnes was on display. Simply gorgeous!!! I couldn’t get far enough away to take a photo of the entire quilt straight on, but this gives you an idea of the beautiful work she has done. I love the black sashing between the blocks. It sets them off so nicely!

In working on my own Dear Jane (or Dear Sammy Jane, as I call it) I thought for sure I would hand quilt it. Now I’m not so sure! Donna’s quilt was stunning with machine quilting on it. Each block had the same quilting pattern over it,, and they were lovely. I tried to get a few blocks and tris to show Donna’s quilting off. So, so pretty!

The show was a beautiful exhibit of all kinds of quilts. Here are just a few of my favorites; click on the photos for a larger view.

We had a lovely lunch while we were there. The quilt show happens every other year… if you missed it this year, be sure to catch it next time ’round! It’s well worth the trip!

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I love this quilt. My mother made it for me when I graduated from the University of Michigan in 1989. I went back to school after my boys were in elementary school, and finished my bachelors that summer. It’s all hand-made, and the cool thing about it is that it’s the first quilt I ever saw my mom make. Actually, I didn’t see her sew it at all; it was a total surprise to me. But the most amazing part of the whole quilt is that my mom was legally blind when she made it. She could see out a little bit with one eye, but the rest was all blurry. She described it as cutting a tiny little one-eighth inch hole in a piece of paper and trying to see through that. Check out the detail in the second picture.

It’s all hand-quilted, and she embroidered the lines inside each fan shape. It’s her own design, and knowing that I always name and date my quilts, she embroidered the name of it and the date on the back side:


Quite a fitting name, wouldn’t you say?

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Meet My Quilting Friends

It’s a big, wide world. If you have little ones at home, you might recognize PEEP from Ready Set Learn! on TLC and the Discovery Kids Channel. But it’s a big, wide world for adults too, especially if you are a quilter!

No longer are quilters just sitting in home or in church basements quilting with friends. They are flying around the world – and visiting other quilters from all walks of life. They are attending quilt shows, gallery exhibitions, and art exhibits. They are meeting with fabric companies to design their own line, with photographers to capture their work, and with publishers to get it into print. Yes, quilting is not the same as it used to be.

If you’re a blogger, you probably have quilt friends you haven’t ever seen face to face. Yet, you keep in touch with them and have formed a friendship based on your love of quilting. You share your joys, concerns, ask for help when you need it, and celebrate with each other over big and small accomplishments. It’s marvelous to have great quilting friends – even from afar.

Here are few of my quilting friends (from near and afar). Visit their site and tell them you stopped by. Tell them Caron sent you! NOTE: photos are from each friend’s website, which I hope you will visit by clicking on their names.

Wendy Sheppard – I found Wendy’s work online and was instantly in love with her meticulous quilting and sense of design. And what a sweet person! Wendy is a writer, and you may read one of her articles in the July/August 2008 issue of Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine.

Ami Simms -You can’t be a quilter if you haven’t heard the name Ami Simms. But did you know she has a blog? Ami is a fantastic quilter and teacher, and no doubt you have had an opportunity to take one of her many classes. She was named Teacher of the Year by Professional Quilter Magazine in 2005. Ami is also the Founder & Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. Ami and I are old quilting buddies from the early 80’s (old as in we go way back, not as in age), but she’s done far more in her lifetime than I will ever hope to accomplish. Check out her blog!

Rosa Robichaud is a fellow Dear Jane friend, and I sincerely wish she lived next door to me. Her humor and personality and willingness to help anyone is to be commended. Rosa is collecting 30’s fabric, lives in Canada with hubby Gilbert, and is also into GeoCaching.

Elly Dunbar – Elly lives “just across the pond” in Caithness, United Kingdom. She’s another quilter I met through working on my Dear Jane quilt. Elly has been quilting a little over 10 years now, but you’d never know it from looking at her beautiful work. Elly and I are the same age, both have two kids, and have a lot of in common. I’ve always wanted to go to the UK, so one of these days I might just knock on her door. Hey Elly!

Susan Moore – Susan is from Australia, and though she doesn’t have a blog (that I know of) clicking on her name will take you to her WebShots album where you can see her stunning work and beautiful photos of her farm. Some of Susan’s fabric is in my Dear Jane quilt, and some of mine might end up in her Baltimore Album quilt. She is also a Dear Jane gal, and I envy her owning sheep. (Note to my hubby – If Susan can have sheep, why can’t I?)

Susan is also a dedicated sponsor of Compassion. From the Compassion website:

“In response to The Great Commission, Compassion is an international Christian child development ministry, committed to child advocacy and working in partnership with local churches around the world to foster the spiritual, economic, social, physical and emotional development of children living in extreme poverty in over 25 developing countries. Compassion’s ministry to children is distinctly Christian.” Please visit the Compassion website and consider sponsoring a child.


In thanks for all my quilting friends and in honor of children and quilting, I’m giving away three kid-friendly fabrics and 1 dozen quilt postcards. If you want to participate, leave your name in the comments and let me know you were here. Stormie will help me pick a winner from the entries on June 21st. Tell your friends!

Thanks for being MY friend,

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This, That, and a House Tour

I regularly read the blog “Quilting With Karen.” She’s been doing a house tour featuring photos of her house. What a great idea! So today is day one of Caron’s House Tour, starting with the living room. If I were still in real estate I could give you a virtual tour – a 360 view, but I’m not, so these will have to suffice.

My leather chair was a gift from Dean several years ago. It’s my favorite place to curl up and hand quilt with my hoop. I can see the TV from there, the fireplace keeps me warm in winter, I can see the kitchen, and out the back window into the woods. The living room and dining room are open to each other, and to the kitchen. The area has a vaulted ceiling that I love. It makes it seem so open!

I have to share with you a quilter I met via her blog this week. Her name is Wendy Sheppard, and her quilting is out of this world! I am always drawn to quilts that have lots of intricate quilting on them. I think hers are the most impressive I’ve ever seen. She has a quilt in the “Quilting & Embroidery” Summer Issue presented by Quiltmaker. The quilt is blue and white, and is called Ivory Spring (which is also the name of her blog.) I don’t want to put a full photo of her quilt here without asking her, so please click on her blog and scoll down to the May 8, 2008 post. Tell her Caron sent you! If you can find more beautiful quilting than that, I’ll eat my stash. Here is a cropped glimpse of her quilt to entice you to check out her blog.

I also want to mention another blog I happened upon yesterday… Annie’s Quilting Stash. She has a podcast that is worth downloading to your computer or ipod. I have listened to several of them so far, and they are fantastic. Check it out!
Thank you to everyone who has either commented on my post or emailed me about finishing Samantha’s christening gown. Your comments are cherished and much appreciated. I have removed the christening gown from my list of To Do’s. On to finish another project. Oh, and start two more. I owe some people some “Pay it Forward” items, and I owe my dear friend Cheryl something special for helping me sell my condo in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Everyone needs a friend like her. If you need a good Realtor in the West Michigan area, please contact Cheryl Moberly.

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