Monday, November 30, 2009

Two down...

Two blocks down, eleven to go. Yep, I'm working on a new block of the month pattern for Quilt Market next spring. I know--two plus eleven is thirteen, not twelve, as in months in the year, but trust me on this.

I'm still obsessed with the 2 1/2" strips (won another five or six yards of them, which makes over 20 yards that I've won playing Left Center Right). My friends are definitely getting suspicious, but really, you can't "fix" the game. Just lucky, I guess.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

There has been some on-line discussion about non-traditional family trees, so I'm posting a photo of my grandson's family tree quilt that my daughter and I designed earlier this year. It's now one of my patterns ( ), and we named it "Whooo's Your Granddaddy?". The close-up shows Jake as the baby bird in the nest, with mom and dad nearby, and on the branches are the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, with their relationship and name written on the leaves. We have a very non-traditional family, so this worked well because you can add as many birds and leaves as you want.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I like to hand-dye socks and sometimes I give them to my friends just for fun. Eight of us are going to Anna Maria Island, Florida, today and I dyed a batch aqua because that seemed beachy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cross Timbers Artists Guild Tour

I was forced to do some panic cleaning for the tour that took place last weekend. What a fun experience! I almost hate to start a project because my sewing room is tidy for once. If you want to look at some more photos of my quilts and other things that I set up for the tour, go here:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

And the Roses Just Keep Blooming!

The roses are still putting on a pretty good show. Le Marne, Knockout, Penelope, Iceberg and Graham Thomas are shown here. You can see King sitting in front of the Knockout. That bush is about eight feet tall.
It seems later in the year than it really is. My schedule is all mixed up because Quilt Market and Festival were two weeks early this year. I'm accustomed to loading everything into the greenhouse before I leave for Quilt Market but I didn't have to this time.


It seems like the best sunsets happen this time of year. We made it home from El Fenix last night just in time for me to run outside with my camera.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Every year I intend to prune the asters during the summer so they won't be so leggy and every year I forget. By the time I think about it, the flower buds are already forming. I couldn't bear to throw away this old wicker chair that is rotten, so I put it in the flower bed, just below the little rock wall where the asters grow. I just love the way they look growing through the chair. I'm glad I didn't cut them back this year!

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Assistant

I was trying to photograph a new pattern model. My assistant, Kingston, isn't all that helpful, but he IS handsome.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Quilt Market was lots of fun and so inspiring. It's always exciting to see all the vendors with their new merchandise. It just sets your head to spinning! The creativity is contagious, I'm sure. This year's IQA show is amazing, as always. I was excited and humbled to have two of my quilts in the show. Here I am with my Iguana. I do love those Tsukineko inks that I used to paint him. The other quilt that is in the show is my Carrot Farm--a very different look than the Iguana. I made it in response to Judy Kriehn's challenge to make a "long skinny" quilt for the Dallas Quilt Celebration. It seems that the "large applique" category only specified a 72" dimension on one side, so the other side...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quilts and Dogs

Every time I try to photograph a quilt, EVERY time, one of the dogs has to help.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Spider Lilies!

Just when you think there will be no new blooms until next spring...SPIDER LILIES! I love their color. It's like the inside of a watermelon. They are popping up in places I don't even remember planting them. And the garlic chives bloomed with a vengeance this year. The bees loved it. I wonder if the chives make the honey taste funny.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Great Day For Dyeing!

I hadn't planned to dye today but a girl's just GOT to sometimes. I pulled out a couple of extra-wide pieces that were already dyed light green and decided to overdye them to use for some quilt backs. A little fuchsia, a batch of golden yellow--let the dyeing begin.

It's a beautiful day in Double Oak, Texas, and only 85 degrees at 11:00 a.m., but it only takes a few minutes to break out in a sweat, or a "glow" for those who prefer a more ladylike term. As we Texans say, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity."

Along comes one of my best helpers to inspect the work.

He leaves behind a mud resist.

Can't waste leftover dye! Toss a little turquoise into the fuchsia, maybe a little more turquoise...

Now I MUST get back to the sewing machine--quilt binding's a'waitin'.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Last Time I Saw Them...

By August 22 the caterpillars had grown a lot. In the morning, they looked like this. By evening, they had disappeared. I'm hoping the birds didn't get them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It Bloomed!

I repotted this orchid a few months ago because it looked so pitiful. It has been resting in a happy place all summer next to the little pond in front of the kitchen window. A few days ago I spotted what looked like flower buds and this morning...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More Caterpillar Happenings

The black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars have at least doubled in size in 48 hours. It makes me laugh when they put up their little orange "horns" to try and scare me away. It's hard to capture that in a photo, though, because they stay up for only a few seconds and by the time I focus, the "horns" are gone.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Caterpillars, Day One

Exciting stuff! It looks like the black swallowtail butterfly I spotted in the back yard last week laid eggs. Today I saw some teeny caterpillars on the parsley. Stay tuned for caterpillar updates. Yeah, big times in Double Oak.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Love That Sewline Pencil!

I was at Quilt Country today and saw Sandy's display of the Sewline pencils. Everybody has been raving about them but I kept forgetting to get one. I knew that I was going to have to draw the butterflies in the corner triangles of the Make A Wish quilt because there was no way I could just freehand them and keep them fairly symmetrical.

This pencil is THE BEST! Several colors of lead are available--I bought green and white. I used the green on the blue fabric to draw the butterflies and I was surprised how easily it went on--no dragging and pulling the fabric. The fine line is perfect and the lead is very strong, although you don't have to apply much pressure to make a mark. The marks stay on long enough to get the quilting done, but they are easy to remove (there is a special eraser on the pencil, but I just rubbed the lead off with cloth--okay, it was the sleeve of my T-shirt).
Top photo: lines drawn on fabric
Second photo: right half of butterfly quilted
Last photo: butterfly completed

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Here is our new, gigantic puppy. Kingston (a/k/a King, or The King as we fear he will become) is only four months old but he is almost too big for me to pick up. If the loose skin and gargantuan feet are any indication, he will be approximately the size of a cow someday. Dolly is bossing him around and he is taking it well. Cici the cat is still in hiding.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quilt Crawl at the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science

The hair on my arms stood up the first time I saw my quilts hanging at the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science. When I was a child, my parents would bring me to Fair Park to visit this museum, which at that time was called the Museum of Natural History, if I recall correctly. The building is so familiar to me, and walking up that staircase, running my hand along that cool, smooth metal banister, well, it was a wonderful feeling of deja vu. And to imagine that I would someday have my work hanging just wasn't something I could have imagined.

I spent last Saturday at the museum, talking with visitors, many of whom were participants in the first of three Quilt Mania II Quilt Crawls ( Eighteen Dallas-area venues are participating in Quilt Mania II and you can check the web site for locations and schedules. Here are a few photos from my visit on Saturday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mikey, The Certified Safety Professional

Looking over my shoulder, he said, "Why is that funny?" Yes, it is his jacket draped over a heater. No, the heater wasn't on, but still...

But Can I Drink It?

I'm always on the lookout for odd signs. This is one of the best ones I've seen lately. I was so glad I had my camera with me (I try not to leave home without it). I navigated a quick U-turn in the parking lot, briefly parked my car in a no parking zone, ran up the incline to the construction site--to the puzzlement of other shoppers--but it was worth the effort.

I know what it was supposed to say, but I couldn't help but think of possible captions for this photo.

1. So, how did it get here?

2. How will it get back?

3. Okay, I can't move it, but can I drink it?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lucky Woodpecker!

I was in the bedroom when I heard the louder-than-usual "thud" on the living room window. I always cringe when I heard that sound because I know that a bird has flown into a window, mistaking the reflection for the wide open sky. Just a couple of weeks ago, a goldfinch crashed and I picked him up and put him in a safe place. In only a few minutes, he regained his senses and flew away. But this poor woodpecker looked like he might not survive. He had knocked himself unconscious, so I couldn't tell if he was dead or alive. His little pointy tongue was hanging out and he didn't move at first, but then I saw him blink. I put him in a notch in our biggest tree where he could not fall out. In half a hour or so, I checked on him and he was perking up, so I took this photo. A few minutes later I checked on him again and he jumped up and flew to the top of a big tree, apparently as good as new.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Naaahhhh, I'll Stay Inside Today

There's lots of fresh snow in Breckenridge! Everybody went skiing today except me and I had a fine time sitting by the window, watching the snow blowing by. It was too windy, too cloudy and too cold for a fair weather skiier like me!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Tidying My Dyeing Workspace

It might look messy to you, but I should have taken "before" pics so the relative tidiness could be fully appreciated. My little shed feels so spacious now, even though Mike moved my boxes of printed patterns in there. He put lots of heavy duty shelving up to hold all those boxes (and get them out of "his" garage to make room for his fancy new table saw). Having a clean (sort of) space has inspired me to do a little dyeing and fabric painting in the last few days. We got a tiny refrigerator from our neighbor's garage sale so that I can keep dye solution cool in the summer, and I've also got my old microwave out there for batching small things during the cold weather, like one or two yard pieces or socks.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Brown Sugar Meteorite

I found this mysterious object in a bag of brown sugar. It was darker and smoother when I found it. It has been sitting on the spice shelf for a couple of years. It always makes me smile when I see it. I thought I'd better photograph it before it deteriorates more.

Dye Discharge Mystery

The spot remover removed not only the butter spatters but also the dye (see previous post), so I thought I'd finish the job, this time with an intentional dye discharge since the shirt wasn't fit to wear in its current condition. My first attempt involved using the same spot remover that had removed the butter and the dye. I gathered the shirt in pleats and put rubber bands on it and put the spot remover on. After two attempts, no additional dye had been discharged. So, I rinsed the shirt, mixed up a thiox solution and applied it. Again, no luck. Odd, it always worked before. I thought maybe I'd mixed it incorrectly, so I made ANOTHER thiox solution and applied it and, you guessed it, no luck! The shirt was ruined anyway, so in desperation, I rinsed the shirt again, pulled out the chlorine bleach, applied it to the shirt and TA-DA! The color disappeared in a wink. I had some anti-chlorine drops on hand, so I soaked it in a solution, so the shirt should be okay.