Category Archives: quilts

I’m Baaaack

It has been a wild ride in the time I’ve been out of the loop. After 5 days of Hurricane Matthew preparation, hunkering down with no internet, tv, cell or landline service and then clean up, we headed to Mayo Clinic.  My husband underwent a minor cardiac procedure, as if ANY cardiac procedure can be minor.  He’s just fine, we’re back home and now I’m back to blogging and sewing.




First, I want to share this cute, quick and easy Halloween faux-pieced wallhanging that I really enjoyed making just before Matthew made his unwelcome visit.  A complete photo tutorial is posted here at Brother’s new blog, Stitching Sewcial.  The designs are from the new Disney Halloween Collection at

There is still time to whip up this kid-pleaser for the increasingly popular Halloween season. Unlike corn stalks or hay bales, this decoration can be packed away for next year and more years to come.

Children love this, especially when they see Goofy’s skeleton glow in the dark.


Goofy by day


Goofy by night

Goofy by night


I especially like the yo-yo pumpkins that dangle from each side. Continue reading

Wisteria Lesson Photo Transfer



This little piece is one of my favorite projects.  Embellishing any worthy image is incredibly rewarding but with today’s technology, it could be done so much more easily.  When I stitched Wisteria Lesson, each of the embroidery designs was positioned one at time with a printed  template then stitched one at a time.

Now with my Brother Quattro I can scan the image and then position all the designs on the computer.  By using the sort feature,  most of the design using the same color, such as the dark purple, would be stitched at the same time.  This would eliminate a huge number of thread changes.

With this advance in technology, I could more quickly and easily embellish a photo of my grandchildren romping through a field of bright pink phlox and black eyed susans and one of my garden and one of the treehouse with the azaleas blooming nearby.  And as soon as I finish sewing Vivian Rose’s 2nd birthday dress, mending my daughter-in-law’s couch pillows, resizing my daughter’s tablecloths, making new pillowcases to match Alastair’s new bedding, and….and….

Well, there are a few other must-do’s but I definitely plan take on one of these photo transfer projects as soon as possible.  Read all about it in this earlier post.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This project surely must warm the heart of anyone who has shared the joy of needlework with a child. When the 1913 edition Embroidery Lessons with Colored Studies was added to my library of vintage and antique needlework books, I was enchanted with the cover illustration.

The goal of the teacher to inspire and instruct, the challenge of the eager young student to succeed, the scent of the wisteria, sweet and heavy….I experienced all of this as the intimate vignette drew me in.  Under that idyllic arbor, I dreamed of teaching my fantasy granddaughter to sew.  (Hurrah!  I have TWO and 10 year old Laurel is already an accomplished little sewists!  Vivian Rose’s turn comes up in a few years.) I went so far as to plant a wisteria vine right then and there, though I had planned to do so for some time.



Wisteria Lesson, my title for this charming scene, has been transferred from the booklet cover to a sheet of specially treated silk which was bonded to paper and run through my inkjet  printer.  The silk image was layered with thin cotton batting and a backing and machine quilted.  It is embellished with machine embroidery and a few hand embroidery stitches.  This really fun project was made possible by the very talented and creative Sue Lord.

The first time I met Sue Lord was at a workshop.  She showed samples and offered detailed instructions on photo transfer to fabric at a workshop. In her musical Georgia (pronounced “Gaw-ja”) accent, Sue drawled so much new information and so many creative ideas that I returned for the repeat session in  the afternoon.

Coming back would have been worth it just to hear her talk again, regardless of what she said,  but Sue seems incapable of simply repeating a class.   She added new material and even more inspiration to the re-run! Or maybe I was just getting the hang of the drawl.  Whatever.  At any rate, my head was spinning when her lecture/demo was over.  Raring to go, I left with enough handouts and confidence to tackle a photo transfer project.   I knew Wisteria Lesson would be that project.

Continue reading

Stetson Mansion Christmas Tour



My–Oh–My!!!  How I wish you all lived close enough that together we could all visit the breathtaking Stetson Mansion in my hometown DeLand, Florida.  The historic (1886) Victorian home of John B. Stetson is  gloriously decorated for Christmas.

dining room


Even I,  whose Indian name surely would be “Woman of Many Words,” cannot begin to describe it.  Make Room for Quilts by Nancy Martin features one style entitled “Too Much is Seldom Enough.”  That’s as close as anyone could come to accurately describing the look.  In a 10,000 square foot home, how could too much be enough?

The 1-hour Christmas tour with my PlayGroup Mamas was so spectacular that I am returning for another visit with my older grandchildren and other family members this weekend.

Tour guests waited on the veranda until the tour began.



The Frozen-themed reception parlor was so realistic that it gave us Florida gals a chill. Continue reading

Expo Inspiration+Free ME Yo-Yo’s

Pattern: Flamingo Cove

Pattern: Flamingo Cove    Notice the yo-yo’s on the fish, turtles, crab, pelicans, flamingos, bush and more.  My favorite is the sun yo-yo, surrounded by rick rack.


The Lakeland Quilt and Sewing Expo in Lakeland was the highlight of last week for Suzanne Sawko and me.  We were swamped with inspiration!  Our last minute trip was scheduled too late for us to register for classes, but the vendors and quilt displays made the trip more than worth while.


Lion's Den

Lion’s Den pattern

Continue reading

Quilted for Tea Time

rug violetsCR

Isn’t this just the most elegantmat?  This was a birthday gift from my dear friend Suzanne Sawko who has honed her free motion quilting skills to a level that qualifies as real art.

The varied textures and intricate patterns on this piece make it almost too pretty to use.  The stippling is so tiny that those areas appear flat.   The quilting designs vary from large and open to small and tight.  Variety makes this such an interesting piece to study, especially while enjoying a cup of tea.

rug alone

Suzanne is a great fan of on-line classes and has taken several quilting courses.  One of these focused on free-style feathers and other free motion quilting techniques.  The designs are not drawn onto the fabric, but created like a pencil sketch drawn with no eraser. Continue reading

Kisses and Hugs Kid Quilt

Another county fair has come to a close.  The ferris wheel, flying elephants and merry-go-rounds have been broken down, loaded up and driven out of town.

All three grandchildren rode the rides, checked out the exhibits, ate the junk food and saw the ribbons on Robert and Laurel’s entries.

7 year-old Robert very sweetly humored 3 year-old Alastair by joining him on the flying elephant.

Big winners were Robert’s blue ribbon chocolate chip pumpkin bread and Laurel’s Best in Class Kisses and Hugs quilt.  While they learned new skills and had fun, I savored each minute of quality Nana-time as they prepared entries. They were so proud of their accomplishments.

Robert’s hocky game, Santa pillowcase, stuffed in-the-hoop dinosaur, football tote and Gator tie tee shirt–Laure’s Girl Scout tote bag and monogrammed handkerchief

Continue reading

Sewing at Nana Camp

We’re having a big time with granddaughter Laurel, 8, who is here for the week.  While brother Robert is at basketball day camp, she is here at sleepover Nana Camp, where there’s a lot going on.

This is Laurel’s new sewing area.  She has finished more than half of the 9-patch blocks and 4 oval yo-yo’s.  The blue painter’s tape helps her maintain the required 1/4″ seam allowance.

A new sewing station has been set up for her in my sewing room.  From here, where my cutting table, iron and all my equipment is located, to the dining room where she has sewn before, it’s a  three day trip.   Her new spot is much more convenient. This is a permanent set up so she won’t have to put her sewing away at dinner time.

The antique sewing table where her little Brother machine is perched was a birthday present from my dear husband several years ago.  See the “yard stick” printed on the table top? Continue reading

Luke’s Quilt

Luke’s twin size quilt–shown on queen size bed

It is so easy to come up with sewing projects for daughters and granddaughters.  But finding things for the boys, especially as they grow older, is a real challenge.

My dear friend, Suzanne Sawko, has always made fabulous things for her four grandsons. Now, she is on a quilting binge and the boys are quite pleased with their birthday gifts.  This one was made for 11 year-old Luke. Continue reading

USA Mini Quilt

I am always moved by Independence Day celebrations and they start early this year due to the 4th falling in the middle of the week.  But I’m busily working on an entredeux tutorial so this patriotic mini quilt post is being re-run.

I hope you are all enjoying picnics and fireworks and celebrating this wonderful nation in which we live.  God bless America!


We can’t all be Washingtons, but we all can be patriots. Charles F.  Browne

Don’t you just love 4th of July?  Flag waving at the parade, fireworks, picnics, and  proud Americans, clad in red, white and blue, professing their patriotism on their backs.

The bell is rung every morning before we begin our homeschool day.  One of the reasons I love homeschooling my grandchildren is that it gives an extra opportunity to teach them about patriotism.  The bell ringing is followed by a time honored educational ritual no longer practiced in most public schools, the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of God Bless America.   My little students currently are learning the Star Spangled Banner.  In fact, 7 year old Laurel was just selected to sing our national anthem with a group of other children at a special Florida Symphony performance. Continue reading

Estate Sale~Shop Now!

NOTE: If you see something you want, let me know ASAP so I can snap it up for you Friday morning.  Leave a comment or e-mail

crochet 80 x 84" ~~$40

In an earlier post there was information about an upcoming HUGE estate sale.  Check that post for prices on the items shown there.

one textile pile before being sorted

If you are in the area, you will want to be there.  The sale date is Friday, June 9, 8:00 or 8:30 a.m.  I’ll find out for sure sometime today (Wednesday).  The address is 812 W. Highland, DeLand, Florida.  Because the street is just one block long, this location can be hard to find so check your GPS, google maps or some other map source.  It is in the southwest corner of DeLand.  Tip:  The house directly across the street is a charming cottage with a yard full of flowers.  The front walk is lined with pots of red geraniums.    The estate sale house is a gray/blue two story. Continue reading