Sunday, December 23, 2012

December Small Quilt of the Month

December Small Quilt of the Month

The December Quilt is Turkey Tracks, from Kathleen Tracy's book, Remembering Adelia.  It has a lot of triangles, which make it a bit more tedious for me to do, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I suppose making a dozen small quilts this year has been good for my piecing, if nothing else!  I was determined to get this one done before Christmas, so I machine quilted it.  I think it is one of my favorites from this year.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  

May God bless your celebration of His Son's Birth!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Meet Christine

The dress for the last of the three Izannah Walker dolls is finished, and so is Christine!  It seemed fitting that she'd have a nice, bright, festive dress for the Christmas season!

Monday, December 3, 2012

November Small Quilt of the Month

November's small quilt is the Amish Nine Patch Quilt.  The pattern is from Kathleen Tracy's book, American Doll Quilts.

November Small Quilt of the Month

The binding was sewn to the front on November 30th, and the quilt was finish on December 1st.  I discovered that it is really difficult to get a good photo of these bright, clear colors.  I need to work on a few places where the pencil marks for the quilt design didn't completely wash out.

I'm pretty excited about December's quilt.  I picked out the fabrics yesterday.  I hope I can finish it and share it with you this year!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Meet Betsy

I'm please to share Betsy with you.  She is my second Izannah Walker doll made during the Dixie Redmond on-line workshop.  The dress pattern is Dixie's, but I made the pattern for the pinner apron myself.  Betsy's chemise, pantelettes and petticoat are made from a linen like fabric - left over from my kitchen curtains!  I suppose that Betsy will be a thrify one!

Izannah Walker Doll

October's Small Quilt of the Month

My October Quilt has been finished since before Hurricane Sandy, but the sun never wanted to come out for me - at least not when I was home and could take a photograph of it to share!  I enjoyed hand quilting this one - it brought back pleasant memories of making hexagon flowers while vacationing on Oak Island last summer!
October's Quilt is from Kathleen Tracy's book:  The Civil War Sewing Circle and is called "Hexagon Flower Quilt."
I saved the cardstock paper hexagons - there could be another variation of this one in my future some day!  I'd love to do it in Civil War reproduction fabrics!

October Small Quilt of the Month

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

September Small Quilt of the Month

Dove in the Window

For September, Kathy Tracy's SmallQuiltTalk Yahoo! group made quilts based on a single quilt block called Dove in the Window.  Once again, I was able to make the quilt using fabrics from my stach.  I picked the fabric for the large squares first, and then picked fabrics that I thought would work with it.  My husband helped me decide on the borders after I had narrowed my choices down to a handful.  I was really happy with how it turned out, so I decided to hand quilt it - nothing fancy, just 1/4" from the seam lines, like I learned to do more than 20 years ago!  I finished the quilt on a rainy weekend, so getting a photo in good outdoor light was delayed even more!  

My October hexagon flower quilt top is done - just waiting to be basted, quilted and bound!  I hope that I can finish it within a few days of the end of the month - November will be busy enough without starting it already behind!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meet Ailene

My First Izannah Walker Inspire Doll

I have finally dressed my very first Izannah Walker inspired doll, using the pattern as given in the Dixie Redmond workshop.  I trimmed the neckline using some very old off white rick-rack that was in my grandmother's things.  I've named her Ailene.  It means "Little Eve,"  which I think is a very good name for the first Izannah Walker inspired doll I've made.  I may make her a necklace, or maybe a kitty - I still feel like she needs a little something.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Almost There

My 3 Izannah Walker web-workshop dolls are nearing completion - they now have pantelettes, chemises and slips.  I've signed and numbered each doll, along with the year, on the bottom of their "chest plate" on their backs.  They are getting a bit tired of being called #1, #2, #3 - they are a bit too old-fashioned to find any similarities with Star Trek amusing!    I think the first (far left) looks a bit pensive, maybe a touch sad.  The second looks like she is thinking some happy thoughts and the third looks like she is thinking of some very grand, intellectual thoughts.  It is fun to see how these all emerged so differently.  When I do this project again, I think I will focus on only ine.  While doing three has been a great learning experience, I do think I would have taken more time to get her just right.  Three was more tiring.  Somehow, not one of these dolls ended up looking straight ahead.  I guess they are mirroring my busy, distracted mind, finding it hard to just concentrate on what is right in front of me!
So, they would like names...what do you think, should I name them alphabetically?  Agatha, Betsy, Clara...?
Know any other good, old fashioned names to suit these young ladies?

3 Workshop Dolls in Chemises  and Slips

Onto dress making!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

August Small Quilt of the Month

I finished the August Small Quilt of the Month on September 1st, but the rest of the Labor Day Weekend was rainy and dreary, so taking a photo was put off until today.  This one is called Charming Quilts Doll Quilt and the pattern is in Kathleen Tracy's book:  Remembering Adelia.  There are 72 different fabrics making the little rectangle coins.  I used a quilt stencil and a mechanical chalk pencil to mark the quilt, before machine quilting it.   

August Small Quilt of the Month

The September Small Quilt of the Month is a pattern that Kathy put together for her Yahoo! group, using the Dove in the Window design.  I cut out the pieces for the block today, but while I've selected the fabrics for the borders, I'm not cutting them out yet, until the center part is pieced.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hanging Out in the August Heat

We were at my brother and sister-in-law's house earlier this month, and this squirrel was relaxing in the tree in front of their house.  There is a nest in a near by branch, but apparently, it is cooler to hang out in the trees. He was sleeping, but I think he heard us talking about him, and decided to watch us, like we were watching him.

Hanging around!

Just can't get comfy!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Update on My Izannah Walkter Workshop Dolls

Least any followers think that my Izannah Walker dolls are languishing somewhere half made, never to see the light of day, rest assured, slow and steady progress is being made.  I was about to antique them one evening this week, only to read the directions on my antiquing to learn that they should be sealed with a matte sealer first, so I did that instead.

Here are my girls before antiquing.

Progress on my Izannahs

What do you think?

Their arms and legs are all ready to be antiqued as well.  Maybe on Sunday.  Then the fun of attaching legs, making and attaching the body covering and sewing on arms!  I love to see a doll come together - and once they are together, the delight of making their clothing can begin!  I do hope to complete it all before August is out.  Time is flying by, I best get busy!

Back from Vacation

It has been about a week since we've gotten back from our wonderful vacation at Caswell Beach on Oak Island in North Carolina.  It was a wonderfully relaxing time to catch up with some family that reside closer to there than here, to spend some quality time together, enjoy the ocean and just relax and rejuvinate.  On the drive there and back, I began working on my hexie flowers for the October Small Quilt of the Month.  I finished the final 2 on the road trip home.

Hexie Flowers for October Small Quilt Challenge

We enjoyed amazing views and wonderful beach walks. The view from our rental condo's deck:

Balcony/Deck view

We could see two lighthouses from the beach, and there was no competition for space at the beach.
Caswell Beach, Oak Island, NC

As a general rule, I don't post family pictures on the web, but here are my kids on one of our evening beach walks!
Caswell Beach, Oak Island, NC

We got to do a little sight-seeing in the vicinity.  Here are a few photos of some things that I found interesting and related to my interests.  This was one of the displays in the Visitor's Center at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson.  They told the history of this Colonial town that ended up being the sight of a Civil War Fort.

Display from Visitor's Center at Brunswick Town

I found dolls at the NC Maritime Museum in Southport!
Doll parts at the Maritime Museaum

And there was a 19th century sewing machine there, too!
Sewing Machine from between 1863 - 1888

We really loved Oak Island, especially the Caswell Beach area.  It is a very relaxing, refreshing and rejuvinating place to stay!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July Small Quilt a Month Challenge

I think this is a new record for me, and probably not one I will beat this year - my July quilt is actually pieced, quilted and bound and it is only July 8th!  Not too shabby, considering that the July quilt wasn't announced until 7/2!

This month's quilt is from Kathleen Tracy's first book, American Doll Quilts.  It is called Indigo Blue and White Doll Quilt.  I was nervous about this one - all these triangles - how many points could I get nice and sharp - and meeting nicely with it's neighbor?  Well, I am satisfied with how it turned out.  I was tempted to go onto the web to find true "indigo" reproduction fabrics and shirtings, but I stuck to my stash and used what I had - lots of blues, but the lights are mostly not shirtings, and the darks aren't all indigos!  It was fun to do a 2 color quilt.

July Small Quilt of the Month

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June Small Quilt of the Month

The June Small Quilt a Month Challenge Quilt was a quick one!  I had fun using "leftovers" from a larger quilt that I've put together but still needs to be quilting.  Then I used other fabrics from a charm pack I'd ordered from Keepsake Quilting.  I love the patriotic and retro prints, and I have a special doll in mind for this quilt.  I hand quilted this one and it turned out nice and straight, but my grass makes it look a bit wavy here!

June - Small Quilt a Month Challenge

The pattern from this quilt comes from Kathleen Tracy's book:  The Civil War Sewing Circle.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

May Small Quilt of the Month

Well, I am managing to almost keep up with the Small Quilt a Month Challenge - put the last stitches in the binding today for my May Quilt.  The pattern selected was "Civil War Stars" from Kathleen Tracy's book Civil War Sewing Circle.  I've had this Tom and Huch fabric medley for years and have been trying to figure out how to use it.  Instead of using 4 patches as the block centers, I fussy cut out the small vignettes of Tom & Huck.  There are a few things I'd do differently, but I am pleased with how it turned out.  I think the goal of making one quilt a month helps you "just do it" and maybe learn by trying instead of spending too much time over analyzing!  Please forgive the wrinkles - I need to do a better job "staging" my quilt photos!

Tom & Huck's Civil War Stars

I am looking forward to the June Quilt - it is going to be an easy one, and I'm going to try for something to match a larger quilt that I've pieced, but only begun to machine quilt.`

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Izannah Walkter progress

On Friday night, the stockinette was applied to the heads. It is a stange, but wonderful feeling, to watch these little people become who they are are.  Personalities are emerging, friendships are forming, and bonds are being made.  They are no longer wads of clay, fighting change.  Now they are growing, like buds forming on flowers, trying to become something larger than the sum of their parts.

Tonight, they are a group of aliens, with antennae sticking out of their heads.  Actually, their ears have been made and glued on, and stick pins are holding them in place.  For some reason, that just didn't seem like a very dignified way to have one's photo taken!

Mother's Day Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.  After my daughter's piano lesson on Saturday morning, my husband, daughter and I drove to the Eastern Shore to spend the day with my Mom.  We went to the Farmer's Market in her town, had a terrific lunch at a little place called The Lemon Leaf Cafe, visited a few little shops,and spent the afternoon visiting and helping around at her house.

In addition to some lucious tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers and pies, I picked up a few pieces of pottery from a local artisan.

My husband replaced a self-closing hinge on her door from the house to the garage, and stained the new threshhold for her front door, that he'll seal and install later in the week.  I helped Mom stake up some flowers in her garden. 

This morning, we went to early church, and the ushers gave all the mothers carnations as we were leaving.  Since my son was ushering, he picked out this one for me.

After church, we made our usual trip to Target for Starbucks, then went home to change before heading to Six Flags to "break in" our season passes and pick up the annual coupon book.  We rode a few rides, enjoyed walking around a bit, had pizza and Cold Stone ice cream before heading home.  The weather was very nice - not too hot, a gentle breeze, sunny - so it was a good day to be outside.

Wishing all the mothers, and people who have mothers, a wonderful day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Head Work!

I've been slowly scuplting my Izannah Walker heads with paperclay over my softbodies/heads.  This is the first time I've worked with this material, and it has been a good learning experience.  The next step is to cover these with a knit fabric - if I decide that these are done!

Sculpting - 1 of 1 Sculpting - 2 of 3 Scuplting - 3 of 3

Friday, April 27, 2012

All Gesso'd Up

In addition to the Small Quilt a Month Challenge, I have been working on another project.  I am taking Dixie Redmond's on-line Izzanah Walker workshop.  It began April 1st, and wraps up at the end of June. I am feeling a bit behind, having been delayed by my 13 year old sewing machine ceasing to work, and then a false start with some fabric I had on hand that just wasn't going to work.
I have managed to get three torsos and heads sewn, and the heads are now gessoed up and ready to go!  The next step is scultping with paperclay, something new for me to learn!  I am looking forward to trying a new medium out and seeing how well I do.  Wish me luck!

Doll Cores All Gesso'd Up and Ready to Go

April Small Quilt A Month - Doll Nine Patch

I am actually keeping up with my Small Quilt a Month challenge!  Here is what I did this month.  April's quilt was designed by Kathleen Tracy and shared in the Small Quilt Talk Yahoo! group, rather than being based on one from one of her books.  This one was quick and simple.  I used a charm pack that I'd gotten a year or two ago from Keepsake Quilting for all but the borders, binding and backing.

April Small Quilt - Doll Nine Patch

Monday, April 9, 2012

March Small Quilt of the Month - Civil War Baskets Quilt

     March's challenge was from the Remembering Adelia book by Kathleen Tracy.  This is one of the quilts that I really wanted to make, so I decided to make it using the full book pattern rather than the smaller alternative of a single block!  Appliqueing all the basket handles slowed me down a little bit, but what really slowed me down and made me "miss" my self imposed end-of-the-month deadline was when my Janome Memory Craft 9000 decided to stop running 10 mintues into the machine quilting.  Luckily, my wonderful husband had suggested that we purchase the Service Manual years ago, so he did the diagnostic testing and determined that either the motor needed to be replaced (about $110) or one of the 7 boards (A board = $650), n,eeded to be replaced.  Since it had seemed a bit sluggish lately, even at the high speed, we decided to order the motor from a local dealer and see if that fixes it.
     While waiting for the motor to come in, I was really stressed out and missed my machine very, very much.  I decided that I wanted a new "back up" machine as an "early birthday present."  I spent about a week reading reviews and had finally narrowed my choice down to 2 machines.  I showed them both to my wonderful husband, and he suggested that I get the one that was the more expensive of the two (a Janome 2012).  It arrived while I was visiting Longwood Gardens last week!  I finished the machine quilting and sewed on the binding on Friday, and then hand sewed the binding to the back while watching movies with the family on Easter evening.  I wanted to take a photo outside, but the winds were working against me today. Tomorrow ends my vacation, and I have to go back to work, so please excuse the "kitchen table" photo!


I made good use of my final day off, too!  I photographed the apple blossoms and lilacs blooming in my yard (look for another post later this week), backed up my folder on our home server to my laptop's "scratch pad" drive, and pieced the April Small Quilt of the Month top, using squares from a charm fabric pack, my fat quarter stash, and some fabric left over from a dress I made for Felicity.  April's quilt is a special design by Kathy that is shared in the files of the Small Quilt Talk group., rather than selected from one of her books.  It is a nine-patch doll quilt - stay tuned for more photos in the upcoming days and weeks ahead.
I hope you are enjoying the Spring weather and finding time to do what you love!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wishing You a Joyous Easter

East Lilies in Conservatory

Jesus Christ is Risen Today!

Remembering the Empty Tomb today,
we know that Jesus Christ fulfilled all prophecy, 
Conquering Sin and Death
In order that we, poor and miserable sinners, 
Through faith in His Saving Grace, 
Will spend eternity in Heaven with our Risen LORD and Savior!

He is Risen, indeed!


Wishing you faith, joy and peace on this Holy Day.

Conservatory Lilies

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Year - An Early Spring?!!

It is really hard to believe it is February.  Yesterday it made it into the 60's!  Today was a little cooler, but look what I found:
It must be leap year!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February Quilt Completed!

Today I put the finishing touches on the binding on my February Quilt in the 2012 Small Quilt a Month Challenge. I used the revised format on the SmallQuiltTalk group site, posted by Kathleen Tracy.  The original pattern is from her book, Prairie Children and Their Quilts.   I've had this top ready to quilt for about 2 weeks, but took last weekend to work on my Hitty House. I enjoyed the little bit of embroidery in the center block, I should do redwork more often!  Doing a quilt in various red prints was a challenge for me - something I've never done before.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

February Quilt:  Broken Dishes

Monday, January 30, 2012

January Quilt Finished and Photographed

Completed Crosses Mourning Quilt

I was able to finish quilting my quilt 2 Saturdays ago, but it took me a long time to get around to photographing it. I decided to just prop it up on an extra chair in my kitchen with my Raggedy Ann that I made using a Gail Wilson kit. I quilted in the ditch along all the sashing edges, and then quilted the crosses and diagonal lines in each block. I was able to figure out how to go down each side of the cross, across the diagonal line and then across the next cross side to get each block quilted in one "run."

Now, what will Kathy choose for February? I bet it will be fun, and maybe a touch romantic!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January Crosses Mourning Quilt Top

Slow and steady progress is being made!  Today I was able to combine the blocks with the sashing pieces, inner and outer borders, and stil watch the second half of the Ravens game.

The Top is Ready!

Little known quilt fact:  when I started, I couldn't find any navy thread, so the top is put together with Ravens Purple thread - seems appropriate given that they have made the Play Offs this year, and my family are fans of the Ravens.  It doesn't show enough to really stand out on the top.  I bought navy thread yesterday, so it will be machine quilted with a color that matches.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I've Got Blocks!

What can I say?  Saturday was very productive for me!  Piecing these blocks together was a lot of fun, and not hard at all.  There was one block that I had to "unsew" twice, but fortunately I caught both mistakes before I even finished the seam I was sewing, and I'm really good with a seam ripper!  Guess trying to get a good fit on dolly clothes pays off!

So, here are the blocks.  Now, to figure out how to arrange them... I think the one with the darkest light corners will be center.

January Block 1

January Block 2

January Block 3

January Block 4

January Block 5

January Block 7

January Block 6

January Block 9

January Block 8

In addition to getting all this sewing done this weekend, I managed to get laundry (almost) done, take M. to her piano lesson, go to church, go to the grocery store (twice), and watch some good "on demand" movies!  What a great low-key weekend.