Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ain't Packing Fun!?

Just a quick update with no pictures because my house is in chaos! No, I'm not packing to go on vacation (sure wish I were though) but rather to move! My landlord has sold the property to developers and our lease has been cancelled so I have until the end of the month to find a new home and move! I knew it was probably going to happen eventually, all of the other small apartments in this area have been sold over the years and replaced with either monster condo complexes or McMansions. Our landlord held out for a very long time but I guess the money offered was too good to turn down and so I've been spending the last week looking for a new home. I found an adorable little house, still relatively close to work and has a perfect room for a quilting studio, I should know next week if we are going to get it.

So my friends, I'll be absent from my blog for a few weeks until I get through the largest part of this mess. I see it is close to my first blogaversary (how does one spell that anyway?) so maybe once I get settled I can host a little giveaway (and finish my PIF that is still due!)

So TTFN! Be back soon....

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Treasured Memories

It's been a sad few days in my family. The sweet little baby in this picture is my Aunt Catherine, my Dad's oldest sister, with my beloved Grandmother. Mary Catherine was her first child. This week, 74 years after this picture was taken the little baby went home to be with her mom and dad. With this picture and many more I have many treasured memories of my dear aunt. I remember my Mom and I going with her to quilting bees at the church and I would sit at the corner of the frame listening and watching. Memories of our families camping out, fishing and going to the races. Big sister and baby brother (my Dad) were always very close so this has been difficult for him, for us all. But despite the sadness, there is no more pain and for that I am grateful.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thank goodness for air conditioning!

Today was another quilting day at the park and I should have known it was going to be fun when I got in Petey, my PT Cruiser, and saw the temperature was 96 degrees already! ACK! And here I am in a long sleeved, high necked, floor length dress and I'm going to sit outside and quilt for four hours. All I can say is I'm sure glad I didn't get my new dress finished because I have plans for at least one petticoat for that dress. I don't have a petticoat for the old dress so at least it's only one layer of cotton! And you are asking why am I sitting outside to quilt? Normally I sit outside on one of the porches or at the cook house but the houses are air conditioned...well they are supposed to be! I do have a couple of spots inside that I can quilt if the weather is bad but the air conditioning system was not working today so it was just as hot if not hotter inside! So, I sat on the lower porch, in the shade, with a hand fan and bottle of water (discreetly hidden) and quilted to my hearts content while visiting with our guests (and praying for a breeze!).

You've seen some pictures taken of the garden and cook house in a previous post but here is a picture of the main house, the Dickey House, built in 1840 originally on land in Dickey Georgia, near Albany but moved to the park in 1960 and restored. It is a beautiful house. I'll have to go out one day when I'm not supposed to be quilting and get some pictures inside.

I usually sit on the lower porch in one of these beautiful white iron chairs. They are a heavy cast iron but surprisingly quite comforatable. Here is my small quilt challenge on one of the chairs.

These curved brick stairs are one of my favorite features of the house, they are called "Welcoming Arms" stairs as they curve around the porch, like arms welcoming you home. They also serve as a nice backdrop for quilts too, don't you think?

I pieced this pink and brown star quilt at the park in the past couple of years but I haven't taken a good picture of it yet. I wanted to hang it from the top porch but there was no one there to help me the stairs will have to do for now! It is just a top, ready to be quilted but waiting for winter when it's cooler!

When I finished quilting for the day and got back into Petey, the temperature read at 99 degrees! Whew...all I can say is thank goodness for air conditioning.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Small Quilt Challenge

Back to the is my latest finish. I'm a member of a YahooGroup "SmallQuiltTalk" started by Kathleen Tracy, author of the books American Doll Quilts and Prairie Children and Their Quilts. The group is new and Kathy is posting periodic challenges to the group to make a small quilt using a specific pattern and suggested colors. The challenges are really not strict but rather an opportunity to play with patterns and color and perhaps challenge ourselves to do something new. The first challenge deadline was May 28. The colors to use were pink, blue, and green. Although I have all of those colors in my stash and have no problems using them in quilts I really did have a problem getting started on this challenge! In fact, I had decided not to do this challenge. But I kept playing with fabrics until I found four that I thought played well together and off I went. This is probably the quickest I've ever done a quilt, I started on May 16 and finished the binding on May 28 - all hand pieced, hand quilted and bound. It's not perfect but I love it! I need to block it and get a better picture in daylight but for now here is another addition to my future little quilt wall.

All of the quilts that others made were wonderful and each one is very different. It's amazing how the same pattern and color palette can result in such different quilts. If you like to make small quilts please check out the group. The next challenge is not due until the end of July.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Four Seasons Quilt Swap

Well, I've gone and done it now. I've enjoyed following along with the Spring swaps in the Four Seasons Quilt Swap and just couldn't resist signing up for the Summer swap. Summer is my favorite season and I am having so much fun making my little quilts that I thought to myself...self, you can do this...and so I did! Well, I did join at least, now I have a little summer quilt to make!

Today I received the email telling me who I'm making a quilt for and I've had a good time reading their blog and getting to know them a little bit. Oh the ideas are swirling around in my head already! This is going to be fun!

And just to share a little bit of summer, here are some quilts I made years ago. The little sunflower is from a "buttons & plaid" challenge from my quilt guild about 11-12 years ago. It hangs in my kitchen now.

The next one is one of my personal favorites, it hangs in my hallway all the time. It is "Bill & Sue's Miracle Gro Garden". Miracle Gro since the flowers are larger than Bill and Sue! For those who don't know "Miracle Gro" is the brand name of a variety of gardening products including plant foods, fertilizers, etc. I've always loved the little Sunbonnet Sue/Dutch Doll quilts. This one was made in 1996.Someday I'll share my very first quilting adventure, a little Dutch Doll pillow top made when I was 9 years old, with the help of my precious Grandma. And along with that I'll share the Dutch Doll quilt she made for me many years later - obviously my most precious treasure.

And last is a basket quilt made in 1993/94. This is made from fabric from the first quilt shop I ever visited. It was a new shop in Chattanooga, the only quilt shop there at the time and while I had been quilting for quite a while, I had always used either scraps from my Grandmother's scrap bag or fabrics from Hancock's (the chain, not the Paducah Hancock's) or other local fabric stores.

Just a touch of my quilting history today. I have more to report on my current little quilts progress and will share that tomorrow I hope!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I have returned!

First, let me thank you all who sent good wishes for my Dad in his surgery. He is doing well, healing nicely and running my mother ragged! But that is nothing new :-) and she is doing well too.

I didn't get to do as much quilting as I had hoped but I do have one finish to report! Yes, the Little Bow Ties is completely done, quilted, bound, and labeled. Some of the chalk marks are still showing but they will go away. Here it is pictured on the old chair at the park - picture taken this past Saturday.

I'm about 2/3 done quilting Frosty & Fries and hope to finish that one this weekend. I also made a decision about borders on the 1930s Basketweave little quilt - yep, I added the borders and I'm glad I did. It seems to add that finishing touch. It will be the next piece in the little quilting hoop.

And finally, I thought I would share some more pictures from my quilting at the park this past weekend. Sunday I sat in the garden behind the cook house quilting - here is my little set up followed by some pictures of plants in the garden itself. It is such a lovely, peaceful place and I'm finally getting the hang of the macro on my little digital camera!

I can't show you what I was working on at the park this weekend yet. It's for a challenge that is due at the end of the month and I want to finish it completely before I show it off! So stay tuned next week!

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Little Quilts

I'm really getting into a groove with these little quilts. I've been enjoying reading a couple of books recently purchased on, in particular the following book:

There are many lovely quilts in this book covering the generations of one family. This one in particular really leaped off the page at me. I love Depression Era quilts and I thought this was a particulary lovely pattern.

I think I would love to do this as a bed quilt some day but thought I would start small first! This was so much fun to do! Again, all hand pieced, 1.5 inch squares.

I can't decide whether to add the plain border around this little one or not. I think I like the idea of stopping here, quilting it and bringing the back to the front for the binding. This is the way my Grandmother bound all of her quilts and it's the way I learned first.

So, now I have to finish the quilting on my Little Bow Ties, just need to finish the border, and then I have Frosty and Fries to quilt and this one. I'm heading off to my parents this weekend for a few days while my Dad has surgery. I'll have plenty of time waiting around in waiting rooms so I'm taking these to quilt while I'm there. I'll probably take a little piecing as well, it's not like I don't have any to do! Hopefully I'll have three little quilts finished to report when I return.

To all the mothers out there I wish you a very Happy Mother's Day! My furry kids "gave" me a lovely little Vera Bradley Pink Elephant wallet for my present! How sweet of them...tee hee hee...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Frosty and Fries Please...

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted! It's been busy, busy, busy here Casa Debbie. I've been busy doing some handpiecing and haven't had time for much of anything else. Why, you ask? Well, a certain sweet little dollie has been longing for a quilt of her own. And how could you resist this face!

I mean really! She seems to like her comfy spot on the bed but it has been getting a bit chilly at night and the big quilts just smother her. So...what to do? Make a little quilt of course! And that's what I've been doing for the last week - it still needs to be quilted but here is the top, entirely hand pieced, measuring about 17 x 19.

She seems to like it, don't you think? She tells me polka dots are her favorite.

Okay, I know what you are thinking. So what does this have to do with a Frosty and Fries??? Well, that's the name of the quilt!

Huh? Okay, to try to make a long story short... For those who have never heard of the chain of fast food restaurants known as Wendy's, they have a dessert that is like a really thick milkshake, called a Frosty. You really do need a spoon to eat it. One of my very favorite guilty pleasures is to have a small Frosty with french fries - you dip the fry in the Frosty and eat them together...yummy! May sound strange I know but it's a great combination of sweet and salty. As for how the quilt came to be so named it is because Sweetie and I were having a conversation one evening about sweet and salty flavors and how well they worked together. He has never enjoyed a Frosty and Fries!!! Poor boy has lived a deprived life. Needless to say we will be enjoying one soon. Anyway, as I was working on this little top during that conversation we began to joke that this quilt would be called "Frosty and Fries" and so it is...

Monday, April 21, 2008


And now for something different...

Now that the Inklingo hexagons are pieced and the Little Bow Tie is being quilted, are you wondering what is in my little hand stitching tin? Well, maybe not but I couldn't stand for my little tin to be empty so what else to do? Do you remember this picture? Of course you do!

And here it is ... filled with little tiny half inch hexagons on their way to becoming a version of the lovely quilt in the above picture (this is in Australian Patchwork and Quilting, Vol 16, No 6, February 2008 by the way). They call it Insanity but I am sane, truly I am!

I decided to pull from my abundant stash of 1930s reproductions and related prints. I'm using unbleached muslin for the background and either a blue or green solid instead of the salmon pink border in the original. Needless to say, this will be a very long term project. But it's perfect for my little take along tin!

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it...I'm not insane, I'm just a quilter!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Pieceful Day

For several years now I've demonstrated quilting at a local antebellum plantation one or two days a month during the warmer months (spring/summer/fall). Today was my first day for this season. The weather was perfect and it was not very busy so I was able to spend some nice quiet time just quilting. I was able to get a lot of handquilting done on the Little Bow Ties. It looks a bit wonky in the picture but it's just the angle I was shooting, it really is straight! I thought this old, worn chair made a good backdrop.

And just for more pictures, here is a four patch quilt I made several years ago at the plantation. I liked the way it looked on the chair. The next picture is on the curved steps of the main house.

And finally, here is a shot of my Circles top on the grass. I want to add a couple of borders but I don't know what yet. Perhaps a solid border first then some other pieced blocks. Any suggestions?

And yes, I do dress in antebellum costume (working dress, no hoops!) but I have a great time sitting on the porch, talking to people, and doing my handwork all at the same time!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

An Introduction

Please allow me to introduce you to a new member of the family! She arrived this week after a long cross country journey. At first she was a little shy in her traveling cloak but when she learned we have many things in common she was quite ready to come out and play.

Meet Dottie Ann, Dorothy Ann to be more precise but she prefers Dottie. A fine name for a newly arrived Southern Belle.

She comes with her own heart cookie cutter so I predict some cookie baking in the near future.

Isn't she adorable? I've seen many of her friends on different blogs that I visit and knew I had to have one. You can find out more at Raggedy Old Annies and on Nicole's blog.

Only thing is, Dottie Ann needs a quilt of her own! Stay tuned....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Day 2 Quiltathon

I didn't get a chance to post again last night but this where I stand with the hexagon quilt. I've decided to make it a rectangle instead of square and so two corners are now done. Yes, that leaves a lot of "open" space but I have plans! I also plan to add a solid border of one of the reds in the center. The majority of the fabrics in the center are from Judy Rothermel's Civil War Classics line and I really love those reds! So, I just need to finish off the other two corners and then do the border. It has not yet been pressed so it's a bit wrinkly in this picture. It's different but I like it!

Notice I also found a place to hang it up for a picture! This is pinned to a small wall quilt I have hanging in my hallway. It's a narrow space so I won't be able to hang large tops here to photograph but it will work for smaller items. And speaking of smaller items....Ta Da! Here is the little bow tie with my final border choice. Yes, I went with my first instinct of choice number one. This is also a Jo Morton fabric. Now I just need to baste and quilt it!

In case you are wondering, yes, that is a mirror below the hexagon quilt above. It is a very heavy antique mirror that I've had for years but it's too heavy to hang here so it sits against the wall in the hall. I would show more of it but I just realized it really needs a good cleaning....oops!

Well, Sweetie has a pot of chili cooking and I think I'll take a break and have a late lunch, early supper before getting back to the next project!

Thanks for stopping by and a big thanks to those who commented and helped me decide how to complete these quilts!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another Quiltathon Weekend!

This is just a quick post to update on my progress in this weekend's Quiltathon. Luckily I only have a few small chores to do so I can spend the weekend quilting to my little hearts content. Here I'm posting an update on the Inklingo hexagons I won in Tilde's giveaway. With your help I decided on the big hexagon layout and found the perfect background fabric at Little Quilts last weekend. It's from Jo Morton's Biscuits and Jam line and I love it!

So here is the filled out center piece and I'm beginning to work on the corners now. I hope to post pictures of my corner plans later this evening. Oh and this is all hand pieced!

I know many have asked about what border I chose for the Little Bow Ties and I'll share that later as well! I've had a good quilting week. I've been able to spend at least a couple of hours piecing every night. Now for a bite of lunch then back to quilting.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Family Stitching

I've been away this weekend visiting my parents and I thought I would take the opportunity to share a little of my family stitching history. First I want to thank everyone for helping me decide on how to finish my Inklingo hexagons and the border for my bow ties. I'll show my final decisions in the next post!

Back to this weekend...I have a couple of quilts to show everyone. The first was on my bed when I got home and was such a pleasant surprise to see again. It's a strawberry quilt made by my Great Aunt Rachel. Unfortunately she passed away when I was young so I didn't really know her but she was quite the prolific quilter and had given several to her sister, my grandmother. My grandmother moved in with my aunt this past fall so the family treasures were split up among the children and grandchildren and my mother came home with this quilt and the next one. I also was given one of Aunt Rachel's quilts which I'll have to show in another post. I need to get a good picture of it.

This next quilt was made by my maternal grandmother. She didn't quilt a lot, only to make utility quilts when my mom and her siblings were young. She did make this string star quilt I'm thinking in the 50s or 60s. I'm not sure and bless her she doesn't remember any more. I learned to quilt from my paternal grandma and that story will take many posts!

My maternal grandmother was much more of a crochet grandma. I have many, many pieces made by her and her mother which I will also share later. But these are two special pieces that my mother now has hanging in "my bedroom" at home. The first one is a piece made by my great grandmother and is framed along with one of the bone crochet hooks she used. The second one is even more special. It was made by my grandmother while she was awaiting the birth of my mother. When it was close to time for the birth of any child in the family, my great grandmother would go and wait with the expectant mother and usually they would crochet. This piece is made from thread from unraveling a feed sack.

My grandmother always had an eye for history and saved many important pieces in the family and had the good sense to label many with their story long ago. It's a good thing now that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's; we are lucky to not lose our history to this dreaded disease.

Anyway, just a tiny look into my family stitching history...I have much more that I want to share over the months to come.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my little musings and for leaving such wonderful comments!