Monday, December 7, 2009

Carolina Christmas Quilt

I always seem to get in the mood in December to begin a Christmas quilt, but, of course, don't have the time to sew it. I decided to at least begin the mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville, called Carolina Christmas. Above are my fabrics I have pulled for starters. To challenge myself, I often put limitations on my quilts. I am only going to use fabrics from my stash, even for the backing. That should take abouto 20 yards out of my closet when completed since it is a bed-size quilt.
Above are my neutrals all pressed and ready to go!
The first step is sewing some 2 1/2" strips of gold and neutrals together and then subcutting. I have now completed step 1. At least that was an easy step to do. I used the June Tailor shape cutter which seemed to speed up the subcutting. Now onto step 2. Thanks, Siobhan, of Scraps and Threadtales for your inspiration!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails
to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, "There, she is gone!"
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and spar
as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load
of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"There, she is gone!" there are eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout,
"Here she comes!" -
and that is dying.
- anonymous
This poem was given to our family when we were at the hospice center and then a friend sent it to me also. It was so true. We watched my mother as she disappeared from our sight and was taken into the heavenly portals as others were watching her coming.

Monday, November 30, 2009

One More Lollypop Tree

I continued to work on my Lollypop Trees while staying with my mother these past two months. It is amazing how fast these go just by doing a couple of leaves or circles per day. Working on block 16 now (which is the last large block)!! Then come the appliqued borders. . . . .You can see this completed quilt at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Mother, Corrinne Britt Bonner

My dear, precious mother passed from this life to her heavenly home on Monday afternoon, November 9, 2009. She was 87 years young. She had her third large stroke on August 25. She suffered for 11 weeks with pain, anxiety and many other stroke related problems. We were advised by her neurologist to take her to a hospice facility. My sister, Sylvia, found Peachtree Christian Hospice and we took her to this most beautiful, peaceful facility. She was surrounded by her family and beautiful harp music playing at her bedside that sounded as though it was coming directly from heaven. She was only there for three days, but was no longer suffering and her husband of 63 years and children were all by her bedside as she passed from this life to be with Jesus. We miss her tremendously but are thankful she is no longer in pain anymore.
My mother was one of the most optimistic people I have ever known. She always had such a beautiful attitude and a smile on her face, as you can see above. This picture taken at Christmas 2008, was typical of her. She was cheerful, always smiling, and the greatest encourager ever to her family and anyone else that came in contact with her. She could always see the bright side in any situation and would help you to see it also.
My mother had the gift of cooking and had helped for years with church cookbooks but in her later years she wanted us to do a family cookbook. We spent months going through recipes with her and compiling hundreds of them for "Supper at 6". We also added many family stories to personalize the cookbook. We surprised her by putting her picture on the cover. My sister, Patsi, found this photo as she was going through some slides. It was taken in the 1960s at a family Christmas gathering at our house. My mother would never have done that herself as she was a 'behind the scenes' person but she loved it and was so thrilled. It was always exciting to her when we would receive calls or notes from people who had enjoyed reading or receiving the cookbook.
I could literally write a book telling more about my mother but I will close for now. I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and will be making her famous dressing in the morning for one more family gathering.
I have been truly overwhelmed in the last two weeks by all the kind expressions of sympathy we have received. I thank you for every card, prayer, call, email, flowers sent, attending the funeral service, care and concern. It has been such a blessing knowing so many people cared to take the time to reach out to us during this difficult situation. A special thank you to all and may God bless you richly! And, we love you, Mother!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

More of Kaffe's Class

Here are some more pics from the class. As you can see, all so different, yet interesting! Imagine all the color schemes you could do yourself and all in sewing easy is that?
We wondered about the turquoise vertical line on the right but all in all, it seemed to blend with the others and make a statement. Kaffe was complimentary of everyone's quilts! Brandon Mabley also assisted Kaffe with excellent instructions.
Much stronger colors above.
This quilt had many polka dot fabrics, including black and whites....very nice!

The lady next to Margaret and I. Said this was totally different than anything she had done but ended up with beautiful thirties looking pastels!

Kaffe Fassett Class

This gorgeous quilt was designed by Kaffe Fasset and in his book, Country Gardens. It is called Diagonal Madness. So, the class was designed to help you learn about color, not to COPY his quilt, even though it's beautiful. We picked a color scheme and cut 4" squares and 2 1/4" squares with the 4" going diagonally up and across the quilt with the small squares going vertically. So many options, in fact, there were 30 people in class and no two quilts were alike at all.
Here is Margaret Hunt's quilt as it is going up. And to think, she did not cut any squares until she got to class. Very beautiful pastels mostly but the stronger colors help you see the lines.
This is my quilt as I brought it home. Kept changing some of the lines. For a while I lost the large diagonals so Kaffe gave some suggestions to bring those back out, for instance the zinnias with lime green and the brown planets - they both made a huge difference.

Here is one shot with some bright yellow dots on the far right. Just too overpowering and had to be changed. You don't know until you try other options and I guess finally you say, okay, it is done and sew all the squares together.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More PHQ Pictures

This quilt, Spring Garden, was made by Connie Burleson with gorgeous applique surrounded by flying geese. Beautifully done and she let me quilt it. We're still trying to figure out where the ribbon is. Great job, Connie!
Margaret Hunt won a blue ribbon for her Lone Star quilt surrounded by applique. I think it's a Piece of Cake pattern - at least many of the fabrics are. The star seems to spin in the center. Outstanding colors!
Another Piece of Cake pattern, Everyday Best, made by Barbara Albright - dots everywhere and luscious colors! I'm still collecting my dot fabrics.......BG!!

This fabulous quilt was made by Ille Waters and quilted by Judith Lockhart. The pattern is from the book, At Piece with Time, designed by Kristi Steiner and Diane Frankenberger. You actually make a journal of your life story as you make this beautimous quilt and customize the quilt to your colors, flowers and likings. This is the center square. Below, see the full sized quilt.
A second prize ribbon was won on this quilt in the Applique or Mixed Technique category.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pieceful Hearts Quilt Show

Since I love bright colors, this quilt quickly grabbed my eyes as I walked into the show on Saturday in North Augusta, SC. And to think, I cut out the paper piecing for one of these years ago and it's still waiting to be made. Now I am definitely inspired by Rachael Thomas to make mine! Isn't it beautiful? She started with the Karen Stone pattern and then added more blocks, chose her own fabrics and Wow!!
This Lady Nolly won Best of Show by Margaret Hunt. She made this after Katrina hit the New Orleans area and it was in the Houston Show in a challenge! Very artistically done!

Nothing Up My Sleeve by Rachael Thomas also - judges choices. Rachael has a gift at making these miniature quilts heavily quilted and beaded.

Best Hand Quilting by Pat Wooke - you can't begin to see all the details in this photo, plus just perfect triangles in the triple feathered star! Beautiful, Pat.

This quilt of mine, Baby Bella, won Best Machine Quilting for the show. I began this tiny quilt - 23" x 23"- in a class with Linda McCuean earlier this year. It is gold silk with navy thread. Quite a challenge but worth the effort.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quilts of Fall

As much as I love brights and pinks and loud colors, when Fall comes around each year, I just can't wait to pull out my Fall Quilts and display them around the house. I really love the fall weather, too, when you have the cool, crisp mornings to go walking outside. It took several days for it to finally get here but now we are enjoying that weather and even seeing a peek or two of colorful leaves! Above see a butterfly quilt made using the blanket stitch on my sewing machine. This pattern was taken years ago from a quilt my mother-in-law made by hand when she was 12 years old. Paired with it is a pineapple quilt that was for a quilt challenge with the PHQ guild in the mid nineties.
This quilt is from a Country Threads book, Wear Warm Clothes, which had small quilts for all the seasons. So far, just have the one for Fall, but who knows, I may get energetic and make the others one day!
These quilts were both mystery quilt classes taught by Julie Sherar, again, back in the nineties. They were such fun classes and I made 4 quilts with the pattern in the front. Mindless sewing with such a delightful pattern that came from it.
This quilt is called The Great Unknown. It was a kit I bought and love the vibrant colors in it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's A Challenge!

This little quilt is for the Pieceful Hearts Quilt Challenge being held in a couple of weeks. If you read Scraps and Threadtales, you might be familiar with it. You receive one vintage block and then I believe some blocks or other vintage pieces were swapped. Since I live out of town, I was mailed the block and some other extra pieces to use. I hand appliqued all the pieces down onto a vintage piece of fabric that came from my mother-in-law, which has the feel of feedsacks and definite fading, yet it seemed to be in yardage. So, except for the binding, a truly vintage piece. It is interesting when you find old blocks and pieces that did not make it into quilts. Often times you realize why. This dresden plate would not even come close to laying flat until I removed one of the spokes and then made a few more little 'tucks' to make it lie flat, but it worked. And now, who would ever know?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Sondra & Rich!

Today is Sondra and Rich's first anniversary! Congratulations to you both! I managed to get their wedding quilt completed a few weeks before their anniversary..........

Here are a couple of close-ups from the quilt. My pics are not as clear as I would have liked. Think I need to figure out what's going on with me or my camera.

Busy Times

Wow, this past month has been quite full of events for us. Here is our son, Doug, as he is graduating with his Masters degree from UGA the first of August. And yes, with a 4.0. We are quite proud of him and his accomplishments. He has worked very hard the last couple of years but it paid off!
Here are Doug and Dora also. She's been a great support for him during this time at UGA!! And now, they have just moved to the DC area where he took a job with the Census Bureau as a cartographer......... and they are looking forward to their time up there.

Meanwhile, my mother had her third large stroke towards the last of August, so I have spent a lot of time at the hospital with her and now at a Center where she is receiving therapy. Thankfully, we are seeing progress every day, and that is a blessing. Also, thank you to everyone for your prayers and concern during this time. We so appreciate that.
She will turn 87 years young this Saturday. However, today, she is only 86. She never wanted to claim the next year until that day and her daughters and my daughter, all cling to that. We are not "going on 87", we are just "86", until the time!! So, Happy Birthday, Mother! She was my greatest encourager when I wanted to sew at age 12 and my parents bought me the top of the line sewing machine at age 14 and I've been stitching away ever since!
As you can see, I am showing two of my Lollypop Tree Blocks. I have a hard time sitting with idle fingers so I have been carrying my applique along with me and gotten a lot of stitching done. That is my therapy. Just a few stitches at a time and you'll be amazed how quickly hand applique comes together.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mt. Rainier

Wow, has it really been June since I last did a post? It's been a busy summer, quilting and we did make a trip to see our daughter, Sondra, in Washington. Here are a few pictures taken at Mt. Rainier. Isn't it funny, wearing shorts and sweating and snow on the ground all around, and some on the trail, too. We had to be rather careful as it got slippery in the snow (at least for me the older person). What an awesome mountain! You just can't begin to realize how large it is until you view it in person.
Here is Sondra and Wayne as we are moving on up the trail.

This is Reflection Lake. The reflection this day was in some very shallow water near the edge!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lollypops and Fig Trees

Here is the last Lollypop block that I completed. I think this makes 11 out of 16. Getting there.....!

Recently I came across a verse in Habakkuk which was put to music in the early seventies on an album called Prepare Ye the Way, Part 2. I think my Dad probably gave me both of the albums and I nearly wore them out playing them because I loved the music so. It was all scripture put to music which was kind of new in those days. Here are the verses, which are so fitting at this time when so many are suffering without jobs and the economy is rocking and people feel uncertain about their future.

Habakkuk 3:17-18
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.

Now, if you want to hear this music, click on the link below and find song #10. Though the Fig Tree, and hit the play button. You can purchase the music but also just play it. Enjoy!! I know it will bring back memories for some but is still beautiful and true today!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chinese Coins - Slowly Coming Along

Seems like my chinese coins quilt is just waiting patiently on my design wall. I don't seem to have the time to work on it but here is an idea of what it will look like. I also plan to put some wording in the borders, which may take a little time. Meanwhile, it is brightening up my room - all from scraps or stash!

Monday, June 8, 2009

40 Years Together!

Sunday, June 7, Wayne and I celebrated 40 years of marriage! Wow, I sure thought people that had been married that long would be a lot older than I generally feel.......guess I was wrong! We met Doug and Dora for lunch at the Blue Willow and then found a shady spot and sat and visited for a couple of hours. What a wonderful way to spend your anniversary - with your dear children. Now Sondra, our daughter, was born on our fourth anniversary but she is living in Washington now so we were unable to be together today!

Here are Doug and Dora - a nice sunny day to enjoy!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chinese Coins at a Mile-A-Minute!

I first heard of Mile a Minute quilting from the American Quilter Magazine, Winter 2000, in an article by Carol A. Coski (page 49). Basically you take your scraps and just sew the pieces together rather randomly until you finally have some pieces large enough to cut some blocks. I had so many scraps left from the Challenge Quilt I showed recently because I was playing the whole quilt by ear or improvisationally, not really knowing what would work and having to slice off large bits of fabrics that I did not need. So above, you can see all my scraps left - plenty for another quilt.
I began sewing pieces together, even as small as 1 1/2". Leftover triangles turned into squares and there were many strips left to add to the odd shaped pieces I was coming up with. I finally decided I would make a quilt called Chinese Coins. Roberta Horton has one in her book, Scrap Quilts, the Art of Making Do. By the way, she has inspired me greatly through the years with her work and from taking her classes several times at the Houston Quilt Festival. She likes plaids to be 'casually off-grain'. I really like that as opposed to having to have them all match up perfectly. She helps free you from those rules instilled in us in HomeEc in high school.

Here are some of the pieces sewn together ready to be cut into rectangles. I came up with the measurements for my blocks to be 5" x 7", so my scraps had to be a minimum of that size.
I then laid the ruler on the piece to be sure it was large enough then cut my rectangle. I took the leftover pieces and began adding them to other scraps. Now towards the end I had some pieces that were almost all seams because there were just little strips left but I ended up with 40+ blocks. I found some beautiful magenta fabrics in my stash that I will use for the vertical sashing, which is what makes the chinese coins pattern. Just several vertical rows of blocks. It will be a while before I get the sashing added as I have some longarm quilting that must get done. So, until next time - Happy Quilting and Stitch when you Can!