Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Men That Quilt

I absolutely love the Nebraska quilt project book.  It is well done and has won several awards.  One of the best state quilt books out there, and one that I use to judge other state project books.  In the back of the book they include famous Nebraska Quiltmakers.  One of those is Ernest B. Haight of David City, NE.  It is often said by his wife, that one day while quilting a quilt made by her grandmother, Mr. Haight said something about the exactness of her piecing.  She told him that if he thought he could do better, he should, otherwise keep still.  Well he took her upon on that challenge.  Not only did he piece intricate quilts, he developed a system of machine quilting, that even Harriet Hargrave mentions in one of her books. 

In March of 2011 there was a presentation about Mr. Haight and his quiltmaking, which can be seen by clicking here.   If you would like even more information, you can click here for a quick biography by Shelly Burge.  Below are pictures of two of his quilts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have a Happy Chanukah from my house to yours!

Monday, December 19, 2011

String Quilts

Wondering how to make your own string blocks.  My friend and fellow string quilt lover Mary Johnson has a great tutorial on her website which you can get to by clicking here.   She also has other fabulous string quilt patterns on her website Mary Quilts.  And because her instructions are so much better than mine, here is some eye candy to look at.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Last of the String Quilts

I was only going to do two posts about string quilts, but when I saw this quilt, I thought it needed its own post.  Look at how the maker used color and value to achieve and interesting design on the surface of the top.  Just look at what we can do with a bit of strings, and a foundation to sew those strings on.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

String Quilts Part 2

Here are some more lovely's for your enjoyment.  Think of all the choices of design one would have with a simple box of strings.  And if you don't want your strings, send them to me!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

String Quilts Part 1

I love string quilts.  I love making string quilts.  It all comes back to using what you have to make something to keep your family warm.  I also love The Quilt Index almost as much as I love string quilts.  So for the next couple blog posts I am going to show you some variance in string quilts.  I remember reading somewhere about a new quilter who was asked for her strings, and she gave them away...her lesson learned was that even humble strings can be beautiful if given a chance to shine, which she learned when she saw the quilt the other person made with her strings.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How I started quilting...

I have been quilting since I was a kid.  One of my fondest memories was sitting at the dining room table cutting out a blue Dresden Plate quilt with my grandmother.  I still can clearly see that day in my mind, and it was in the winter, so I remember looking out on the empty field which was the view from her dining room window, and like always, I remember the window being open. Yes open, because they heated with a wood burning stove, there was never a happy medium. 

So its easy to say, that I was quilting before the rotary cutter was something that most quilters had.  We cut templates out of cardboard, and traced every single piece, and cut them out with scissors.  I was still quilting much like this when I graduated high school.  I remember the first time I got a rotary cutter, and the plain green mat with no lines.  We used it to cut sashing strips and binding.  That's about it.  At the time I didn't know much about quilting, but I did know that I liked old fashioned style scrappy quilts. 

For graduation, I received a book by Grace McCance Snyder from North Platte, Nebraska.  It was a autobiography of sorts about Nebraska's most famous quilter.  Because of that gift, from a high school English teacher, I immersed my self in quilt history.  Now because of this, I have done countless hours of research, and I also teach quilting.  Something I do enjoy a lot.  Below is a quilt from Grace, one day I hope I am able to make at least one Masterpiece Quilt.  In the mean time, enjoy Grace's quilt.  Maybe it will inspire you to make your own  masterpiece someday like it has me. 

Flower Basket Petit Point Quilt. She copied a design on a China Plate.

Mrs. McGill's Cherries

Grape Quilt...Click on pictures to make them larger.  Obviously she made more than one Masterpiece.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Everyone knows that I love to read.  One of my all time favorite authors, and one from Nebraska is Bess Streeter Aldrich.  She was born in Iowa, but moved to Nebraska as a new wife.  After her husbands early death, and needed a way to support her family she turned to writing.  She mainly wrote fiction, and some of that fiction was based on her own parents and grandparents experiences.  They often had a tinge of romance, but there was also death and how people dealt with it.

I do own all her books, most of them are paperback reprints from the University of Nebraska Press. However, this  year for my birthday, a friend gave me a first edition with a dust jacket of A Lantern in Her Hand.  Which was also the One Book One Nebraska a couple years ago.  I was so excited to have gotten it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What are you reading?

I have discovered a new to cozy mystery series.  I tend to like cozy mysteries because I don't want to know how the person died in morbid detail.  These are more focused on who did it with amateur sleuths.  In this new series that I found, they are set in the Cotswold region of the UK.  One of my other favorite series are set in this location as well.  Those are the Aunt Dimity Series by Nancy Atherton.

Today, I am talking about Agatha Raisin, a cross between Miss Marple, Auntie Mame, and Lucille Ball.  To me, Agatha, is mostly Auntie Mame, with a touch of the other too.  Perfect.  There is at least 15 books in the series, and the nice thing is, they don't need to be read in order.  The author of these books is MC Beaton.  She also penned the Hamish MacBeth series as well.  Those I am not to fond of, but they are well written.

If you are looking for some holiday reading, try the Agatha Raisin Christmas books.  They are wickedly funny in some spots, and sometimes, having a bright display of Christmas lights could get you killed.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Disappearing Nine Patch

While I was looking at the other strip quilts from the previous post, I spotted this quilt, also from the Louisiana Quilt Project.  It reminded me of the Disappearing Nine Patch quilts that people are making today.  However, this is another one from the 1940 to 1950 era.  I love its graphic quality.  Though it is different in pattern of the newer pattern, this one would be just as easy to make.  I think I might just make one of these soon.  Maybe.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The View Outside My Window

Jelly Roll Race Quilts

These are not my favorite quilts, but I can understand why they are being made.  Great for immediate cover.  Though the pattern in and of itself has been done many times before.  I found a couple of examples from the Louisiana Quilt project from the 1940's.  Seems to have been popular about 70 years ago as well for quick cover.

I am never amazed at something new, because with a little research, it almost always shows up as something that has been done before.  I must say, I prefer these past strip style quilts because they were made with not a limited fabric done by one manufacturer but with what they had on hand.  The type of quilting that I really like!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nine Patch

So after the star quilt, I finished piecing this quilt top, and got it loaded and I started quilting it.  First time using wool batting and I love it, it needles so easily, as easy as polyester and much better than cotton.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Carpanter's Star

I finished quilting my Carpanter's Star Quilt before the Thanksgiving Holiday.  The binding is now done.  Its made out of vintage 1970's and 1960's fabrics.  Just a scrap quilt with fun Baptist Fan Quilting.  I think you can see the quilting on this picture. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Singer 15

I am hoping someone out there can help me.  I am using my normal machine and for last couple days, I have been trying to sew binding onto a quilt, and I can sew maybe three or four inches and the top thread breaks.  I have cleaned the tension, cleaned the entire machine, changed needles.  I even switched different brands of thread and I am still having the same problem.  I even adjusted the foot pressure.  It sews fine while doing patchwork, just cannot get it to work on sewing binding on.

If any one is familiar with a Singer 15, let me know what I might be doing wrong.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nebraska the Good Life....

If things continue to go well for me, starting the first Tuesday in January of 2012, I will be presenting a book club in relationship to the North Platte Canteen.  The book, Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greene will the selection.  Because of the great service the women of North Platte, Nebraska displayed to people whom they had never met before, and whom they most likely would not see again, our book club is going to do something special this time.

Because I feel its important to give back to your community in any way you can, we will be making quilts that are inspired from the World War II era.  Those quilts will be then finished and donated in the area to local shelters for immediate need in the area. 

If you are interested in learning more about the North Platte Canteen or would like more information about the upcoming book club and community service project, please a comment and I will respond when I can.  I have a new e-mail address so those of you with my old address, please leave a comment as well and I will get in touch with you with my new e-mail address.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why hello!

Yes it has been a long time since a post.  I am feeling much better and things seem to be going ok for the moment.  I have felt like quilting again and I have been working on some very simple quilts.

Pictured below is the hand quilted quilt that we finished.  I taught this class once a week as I could.  It feels great to have it done, and it looks pretty good too. 

Not a whole lot is going on right now.  Its pretty quiet around here these days.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quilting Update

Here is some pictures of the quilt that I am teaching hand quilting on, we have rolled a few times and I have worked on it extra...its so relaxing!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To Small to Save....Part Deux

So, a lot has been going on here on the home front, personal wise, so last night / today / early this morning, however you want to look at it, I set the top together, and am thinking about using yellow, red gingham, and a black and white polka dot for the border of the To Small to Save quilt. I think I like, but that just could be I have been up all night thinking about things, and mindlessly sewing.  It certainly helps me to relax...and I know there should be sheets on the bed, but why?  It's currently just being used as a design wall.

So what do you all think of the border choices?  They aren't pieced on the top yet, just cut, I am getting tired!  HaHaHa

Wow two posts in one day, what is up with me?  Work is going well, the hand quilting class is good, I am feeling better, just tired most of the time when the end is done.  But alas, the world is still spinning and I have a lot of stuff to I best be getting to it! 

To Small to Save....

When people give me boxes of fabric from deceased family members, there is always a shoe box marked "Quilt Piece's to small to use."  I always found that funny, but then I realized I did the same thing.  This quilt top is made from pieces like those.  Pieces to small to use, but use them I did, and one shoe box crammed full yielded enough to make a top 60" x 80".  I will probably put a border on it and machine quilt it and use it on our bed.  Its a good utility quilt, and all the past quilters will see that those pieces, were just right to use...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What I am working on....

is a crumb quilt.  Now that I have most of my fabric packed and weeded down to basically 5 totes, I am trying to use up some of the strings and bits I have found while purging other things.  I am just doing mindless sewing, its easy and its what I need at the moment.  I need 35 blocks, and I have 15 made, so almost half way there.  I am still knitting socks, which is relaxing while waiting at the doctor's office.

Sorry this picture is blurry, I  just used my phone to take a picture, not to good at taking pictures in low light.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Quilting has begun....

This is the quilt that I pieced many moons ago, that I pulled out to teach hand quilting on.  It will make a nice utility quilt for the couch.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Persian Pickle Club

Since I still in the area, I will be doing a short class on hand quilting at the Keene Memorial Library in Fremont.  The title of this selection is The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas.  To learn more about this offering please click the Hands On Book Club link at the top right of the screen.

You can also check out the libraries website to see what else the library has to offer. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Have a wonderful Independence Day Weekend!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stormy Night

It seems that this past week has been a stormy one!  At least that's what Mother Nature decided to bring.  Stormy not so much on a personal level though.  It seems that we had some strong wind come through the area and bring more rain, which we hope wouldn't happen.

However, things are going ok for me as well.   I was accepted into a program at UNMC in Omaha for treatment.  Its very promising as the doctor is one of the leaders in research from what I am diagnosed with.  Good news there.  Other than that everything is probably going about the same.

The pic is from a local newspaper...the weather people say it was high wind, people who were in the heart of the storm say it was a tornado.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So here I am

back, and feeling much better than I was a couple weeks ago.  Things are looking better, than I expected.  And as my friend Henrietta says, "No sense crying over spilled milk," I am back and feeling better about where I am.  I had  a lot people asking what exactly was wrong.  In short, there was a lot of things happening to me all at once, and I just needed to set down and handle everything in my own way, and sometimes that caused unintentional pain to the people that were the closest to me.

The important thing is I am comfortable about where I am at in the grand scheme of things.  My illness will never go away, however, it will be controlled very well with medication and being under doctors care.  Rest assured its not my MS that is bothering me.  The people that I am close with know the diagnoses and I am not yet comfortable letting the "whole world" know what exactly is wrong.  Just know that I am going to be fine.

One of the main problems that I am running into is dealing with insurance companies, which is a royal pain.  It also means that I am having to really buckle down and save because the cost of new medications really astounded me.  Lets just say that a years worth of medication, just the basics could cost upwards of $180,000 a year.  That is just the medication, not the actual doctors appointments or anything else, just the medicine itself.  Right now, I am having to pay that out of my own pocket.  Needless to say, that means no new fabric, yarn or anything fun.

The good thing is I know what is wrong, and even though its not curable, it is able to be managed.  I think its just a huge relief knowing what was wrong.  Now its time to move on and start living live.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Posts for a long while....

While I was never great at posting lots, I did post and manage to have quilt related information. But time has come in my life, that things need to take priority, and quilting and blogging at the moment have feel to the wayside. 

There is a lot of personal baggage that is making its way into my life.  Either from people that I love, or have loved, or from being distracted when I should have not, which has all mounted into one large situation that needs to be dealt with in a way that only I can do.  Its time for me to reevaluate what is important at this time in my life's struggle and face these challenges face on.  Its time for me to grab the bull by the horns and take control of my life back, which for sometime has been, for lack of a better word, out of control. 

Things in the past week have changed, both who I am, and what I want to do with my life.  I have realized that life is short, and life needs to be fun.  I need to do what I want to do, and if that means telling people how I really feel, and moving on, whether it hurts or not, this is what needs to be done.

Never fear!  I will be back, in time, I need to heal and work through some things.  The healing process has already started.  It also means that quilting will play a role in my healing and dealing with what my life choices have caused, it also means a new direction, a new artful direction.  More painting, more sketching, more ART.  It's what has helped me this far, and what will continue to help me grow, as a person, as human, and as a person who is learning to love again, loving myself for who I am, sickness and all. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Latest Quilt Lecture

Here is a quick snap of me giving a lecture to The Friends of the Library at their annual meeting.  The quilts pictured are from my private collection.  Please ignore the gentleman in red, he was conducting information about the annual book sale, but I like the view of my quilts and the way they were displayed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


What are you working on?  Since I just got my 301A all tuned up and purring like Winnie, I have finished 52 nine patch blocks made from vintage 40's and 50's fabrics.  The note with the fabric says I need 27 blocks pieced and 27 alternating blocks, or for a big one a total of 72 blocks.  This note is dated 1953.  The template is a receipt Mrs. Krouger got for selling eggs the day after Christmas in 1952.  She had eight dozen of Ex. Large A eggs and was paid 31.5 cents a dozen for them from Shaffer and Sons in Lebanon, Indiana.  I cannot quite remember where I got this box of pre-cut quilt blocks from.

I am also working on some postage stamp blocks. These are made from 1 1/2 inch cut squares.  They are quite fun to piece and work up quickly as long as I am not wondering how many blocks I need!  I am also working on a scrappy quilt made with 2 1/2 inch squares alternated with cream muslin.  Those are fast and fun too. 

I found these three boxes of cut pieces while attempting to clean out some other space in the house.  Instead of cleaning, I have been piecing. 

I will try to post photo's when I locate the missing camera, which might be at work!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Double Nine Patch

I have been teaching the class at the library, and last week we worked on making Double Nine Patches.  If you would like to see pictures of students' blocks, just click on the great new button, made by Henrietta, and you will be directed to the blog with the info about the classes. 

Here is my block that I used to teach them handpiecing with for the Double Nine Patch.

Monday, January 10, 2011


The perfect movie for a cold and snowy day, along with some homemade chicken and noodle soup!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow, Snow, and more Snow!

We really haven't had much snow this year, unlike last year, but alas, I think the time has come that we will get some snow.  Since  I live northwest of Omaha, and northeast of Lincoln, we have the potential of seeing 15" inches plus of snow from today, until tomorrow.  I might not be able to go to Lincoln tomorrow as planned, we will see.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

There really is no title for this blog post.  I just want people to reflect a moment of thought for the families of the victims, and for the family of the person who did these deeds.  We will never know why, but it affects a lot of people, and those are the ones that will be in my thoughts.  I would appreciate it if you would think a kind thought as well.

For those who don't know, shortly after noon on Wednesday, a Millard South High School student, shoot and killed his Vice Principal, and severely injured his Principal, he then left the school and took his own life.  MSHS, is located about 25 miles from where I live, but we have several students who attend MU, that use the library, that are from MSHS.  It can happen any where, any day, any time, and we will never be prepared.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011: The Year of Quilting Dangerously

That's right, I have declared 2011 the year of quilting.  I have a lot of tops and blocks that need finished, and I think this is the year its going to happen.  I really want to get into the swing of things and start getting quilts finished and on the bed, no sense in the tops and blocks being stored, they aren't very warm that way, and besides, I want to regain some closet space back. 

I am also going to being teaching more this year than I have in the past, and most of it is going to be local, which is going to be very nice.  I actually started a hand piecing class tonight, based upon the sampler quilt from the book, The Quilter's Apprentice.  Several of the students are quilters, but not hand piecers, so that is exciting for me that they are willing to try something new.  This is a 12 week course. 

After that class, I will be teaching sock knitting, and reading a knitting related book, that has yet to be determined.  This is also a 12 week course. 

The third class will be another quilting class.  And I am not fond of the Elm Creek Quilt series by any means, not that I don't think they are ok books, they are, just not my style.  I tend to prefer something more a long a mystery.  I am toying with an idea of reading The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas.  It's set in the Coffeyville, KS area during the depression, and relates to a group of hand quilters that are at the root of a mystery.  Its a pretty good read.  I think it would also be a perfect book to get people introduced to quilting styles of the Depression Era and scrap quilting.  I found out tonight that many people want a really color controlled quilt.  I think a Dresden Plate quilt would be fun, with the quick piecing of the wedges, that are made like a facing.  You get a wedge that is pointed and ready to be appliqued all at once.  I think this would be fun to have each student bring 10 long quarters of fabric, and they trade, so the wedges are all scrappy.

And since I am doing all the piecing for these classes, I hope that makes me not want to piece at home and quilt.  And something very strange happened to me this week.  I gave a friend a quilt.  They liked the quilt because of sentimental reasons, but their spouse didn't.  The quilt was returned to me, and the person was quite upset about it, since it was a gift that had meaning to both of us (the spouse didn't want something crafty in their modern home).  I told them I wasn't upset at all, and I am glad that the quilt wasn't destroyed or given away.  I told them that I would keep the quilt until they wanted it back.  I am just relieved that they thought enough to give it back to me.  My feelings were not hurt.  I am sure other quilters would feel the same way.  I feel so much better knowing that this quilt is stored at my house, than being used as a pet bed at theirs.

Not to much other stuff is going on, I am just getting over another nasty cold.  It seems I got it double this year!  No goals have been accomplished, nothing! 

I really need to get some stuff mailed to people!  I hope to do that Friday.  And, Henrietta, since Lori might be coming down this way, this month, I think that's what she said, should we save the postage and let her take it home with her.  That is if you could trust her with this fabric!  LOL.

Oh, by the way if you are interested in following along in the Quilter's Apprentice book / quilt a long, click the cover of the book at the top of my blog.  The HTML under it will also provide you with a button to the quilt a long.  Though this is basically hand pieced, it can be machine pieced with ease.  If you are interested in following along, I will see what I can do about posting full size templates of some of the more challenging to draft block components.

The quilt at the top is the sampler quilt from the class, just because a blog post without photo's is boring I think!