Thursday, December 1, 2011

After the pain meds have cleared…

My post on November 15th was not to be my last prior to surgery…but as things happen someone had other plans.  Two trips to the emergency room and approximately 48 hours later I was being wheeled in for emergency surgery about midnight on Friday.  So how did you spend your Friday night? LOL

Now just one day shy of two weeks recovery under my belt and I feel awesome.   Just need to give the incision some time to heal and I will be “all good”.

The week of Thanksgiving is a blur, obviously, I was so doped up I think I saw the kids.  No just kidding YES the kids came home for five days.  It was the best medicine this Mom could receive.  And now I am just counting the days to Christmas break.

I am on strict “best rest” orders so I have been hexing…..ALOT.  And didn’t wish to post yet another “hexing” post.  So I looked around a few days ago when the pain pill fog began to lift for a simple project to share.  

A fellow blogger, Passing Down Crazy, shared her verisions of the Aneome Hat on her blog and I showed it to Paul (this is prior surgery).  He wanted this hat and asked for it in Blackhawk colors.  So a quick trip to the yarn shop and I chose Cascade Handpaints 220 in the red/black colorway.  










It is a very quick knit. Took me three days…but remember I was a bit unfocused…so in real life I would say an experienced knitter could whip this out in two evenings….there is still time for Christmas!

I know there will be a few more of these in my life…so expect other versions to pop up.



As you may imagine…Paul and I own a lot of artwork.  We are always buying new pictures, photography, paintings, mixed media.  And displaying this work and being able to switch it out easily say every month has been a bit of a problem. 


During Emily’s time home a friend posted to her Facebook wall a great idea she found on Pinterest for displaying artwork without putting any holes in walls (rental housing) or tape/adhesive on artwork.  I love the idea and yesterday when I went on a “field trip” with Paul we stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy the necessary pant hangers.  

The original idea was to use this type of hanger ($6.99 for 4)  to clasp artwork.  




I found these hangers in the clearance area for 1.99 for 7 (WOWsers!) and thought the additional hardware would look cool…plus the hanger itself was bigger. Note the clips do have a rubber grip in them so no artwork is harmed.



I think I may buy some mat board and place the artwork on the mats and then hang to display to give even more impact.  But that will have to wait most likely to after the holidays as I was accidentally bumped in the store and I don’t want to risk that again.  

















So for now I sit on the loveseat, hexing, reading, knitting away.  When I stumble upon something I think you may be interested in I will blog.  And I promise to longtime readers to get a picture of Paul and Emily at Christmas….I myself can’t believe how grown up they have become.

Enjoy your day,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What did you do today? I hexed.

As promised a blog with an update on the “Hexie Quilt”.  

It has been named…and it is

Whist Jubilance

Kind of a haughty name for such a scrappy quilt.  But there is meaning.   Basically if you break it down it’s a fancy-smancy way of saying “Quiet Joy”.  

And that is most definitely what this quilt has been.  First the quilt then the back story.




As I type ONE SECTION (SECTION #2) has been done!  Woot!  Well except for the appliquéing of the 1 3/8 circle in the center of each inner flower (10 have been done and you might see them randomly).  I am saving this job for later (this will make sense in a few paragraphs)







This is basically next to my seat in the living room where I have been spending countless hours since October 20th. I am quite organized. 


Side bar: my friend Brenda’s hubby makes these fantastic seam rippers…if interested you can contact Ken at the following email addy.



I am almost thru a second section being put together.  You might note that I am figuring out the layout of each section on the design board in my studio but sewing them together upstairs in the living room.  What gives?  The comfy cozy chair in my studio left in early October to join it’s partner and the couch in the living room of Paul & Emily’s apartment in Arkansas.  I have found a chair I like but as of right now I haven’t purchased it yet.

During the putting together of the first section I would whip stitch a few flowers together and then run downstairs for more “parts” of the section to add on.   This arrangement was not gonna happen for the remaining sections this I was sure.  Too much running.


So I came up with lightly taping a section of the section (how’s that for confusing) to some butcher paper and viola I have a couple hours worth of work right at my fingertips…no more stair running.

So this has been my life of late…lots of hexing.

Ironically between lots of doctors appointments and tests. I will be having some surgery later this month that will most likely put me out of commission for awhile. So if you see a few week gap in blogging well just know that I am resting well.   You can always friend me on Facebook for daily updates.




But in the meantime the leaf in the dining room table (the only table in this small abode) has been put back in….meaning Paul and Emily will be home soon.  

My heart is filled with more joy.




p.s. I am counting on doing all the center circle appliqués during my recovery. 

      How’s that for ambition!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sometimes the “Type A Personality” slips out


I like things organized.   At least when the creative part of a project is over and the “get ‘er dun” part is taking place.

When I am working on a new quilt I screw around with bits and pieces testing what I see in my imagination and once I am satisfied I flip over the the “Type A” part of me and break it all down to the fast and most efficient way to progress.  

So I decided on Saturday night I was far enough into the “Hexie Quilt Project” to fall in love with it completely and thus it was time to devise a plan to bring it to completion.  I have a time table in the head…as always.  I work best with self imposed deadlines. 

This is what the final tally is in regards to pieces needed for the quilt:

Border Flowers : 42

Green Fillers : 80

Inner Pieced Flowers: 95

Odd Ball Flowers shapes : approximately 12-14 flowers total

I counted up what I had done randomly and I was just about halfway there.

I went into full pieced Hexie production on Sunday Morning.  And by Sunday late afternoon I had all the pieces cut, stripe sewn in, and ready for English Paper Piecing.  The same with the Border Flowers.  And the filler Hexies were done.  I would leave the “odd balls” to the very last to be able to play with color placement when it came to them.

I took my sketch of the finished quilt and divided it into 8 sections.  And not all sections are created equal.  Some are much bigger than others.  Trust me there is a method to my madness…when I feel a lull encroaching on this project I will put together a small section and viola the motivation to keep moving on.

Now I need to divide all the Hexie Flowers I have done and the cut flowers (but not done) so I can guarantee that fabrics and colors flow nicely across the quilt.

With masking tape, I divided the counter in the back of my studio into 8 sections. 

Then I put a note in each section with it’s assigned number and the numbers of each items (Border Flowers, Green Fillers, Inner Flowers) that is needed for completion. 

The shuffling of flowers around took less than 10 minutes.  



And lo and behold one of the smaller sections (#6) already has all the pieces needed completed…it can be put together immediately if I wished.

I elected to save it for one of the “lull periods” and am tackling section #5.   I hope to have a few sections done for you by next week….that is the plan.

p.s. Please note that the last pic is actually only about half the “items” laid out…just realized I forgot to take a final pic…but I think you get the idea.

Friday, November 4, 2011

And then there was a pattern

On Tuesday Morning I logged into Facebook to change my profile pic from “Lucy in her witch costume” (think Charlie Brown fame) to well…hmmm.

I wanted to do something to set the tone for November and the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving.

I looked around.

Then I spotted the table runner that I created back in 2002 for a basic quilting class for exchange students that I taught at the local college.   Seems a requirement for graduation was a American Craft for these students and thus I had to develop a simple project.  Most students did not have access to a sewing machine so this pattern worked well as we spent weeks completing the appliqué and then I put together a bank of about 6 machines for one class and we sewed the entire table runner together in class and then moved on to hand quilting.  Having students for and entire semester was a new and wonderful experience.  But we are getting off the subject….so….

I snapped a picture of the center of this table runner and posted it to my fb page.  And within an hour I had two private messages asking for the pattern.  And by day’s end there were more.

So I went looking for my original pattern file.  This pattern was self published as that is pretty much required by the college system. 


I have self published a few patterns over the years and had be thinking about revisiting this idea with the acceptance of PDF patterns growing.

I found the disc…I was a genius on March 8, 2006 because I actually stored the pattern info in PDF form!   All I did was reshoot the pictures because technology has come a long way in digital cameras since 2001.   And viola!


“Autumn Pumpkin Harvest” table runner pattern is available to purchase on etsy at this time. You can link here or at the side of this blog.

In searching for the pattern so many other pattern ideas were unearthed.   Let’s just say I am going to be very busy.  Most of these ideas have never see life beyond these walls.  

I am a firm believer in things happen for a reason.

Stay tuned for an update on the “Hexie Quilt”…but first I need to clear off the design wall.

Monday, October 31, 2011

It was a dark and spooky night…. It’s Halloween!  YES! Love this holiday.

For many years when the kids were little and I was still working in the Insurance World…well Halloween was where a lot of creativity was released.  I’d like to say that Paul & Emily were some pretty decked out costumed kids each year.


Well Emily was easy…she just wanted to be some type of Princess each and every year.   

She was a Princess,Another Princess,a Fairy Princess, a Angel Princess and a Medieval Princess.  Yes this should be a bit of a warning sign for those “Princes” out there.



Still working on the “Hexies”…if you are a friend on Facebook you know this by my daily status updates.  Will post some Hexie info here and there on the blog but I am trying to keep the material different and fresh.

During the late summer I was drawn back to eBay and it’s vast array of vintage quilt block offerings.   I think having my tablet(a new toy!) and being able to just quickly check in and bid on things was a factor…but let’s just say a few block purchases….ummm….address relocations happened.

I pulled out a set and put them up on the wall.  I am going to let them stay there for a few days so I can enjoy them and they can speak to me regarding how to finish them.

I love vintage blocks from the 30s/40s.   WHAT?!? Aren’t you a “whimsical” art quilter? I can hear some of you saying…and some scratching of heads.  

Truth be known I love BOTH Art Quilts and Traditional Quilts. It’s just the Art Quilts are what I am known for in the industry. 





But if you look closely (not to closely yet..still working on a website update…but soon) you will see traditional blocks have been making their way into the backgrounds of my art quilts for a few years now.  

So I have decided with this “new leaf” of a blog to just as I say

“Let my Traditional Quilting Freak Flag Fly”

So this blog will cover both.  Art Quilting and Traditional Quilting (heck I even love to do needle turn applique!)

and some knitting…

…and some kid stories….and whatever wacky thing that Paul Sr. does…

…stick around….

it could be interesting.

p.s. Look closely at this fabric….I’ve seen it before haven’t you?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It’s been a “hexing” sabbatical.

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all fine.  I have been thinking about the blog these last few weeks and finally decided it’s time to bring it back.

You might note that all the past entries are gone…and for this I apologize.  But it was either archive the old posts only to my computer so I could start fresh or start an entire brand new blog.  And since I love the name of this blog, I wanted to keep it.

I have learned a few new tricks and cataloging is one so this will be a very organized blog that will make locating past info extremely easy….I hope.

So a brief update for some of my long time readers (and I do hope a few of you find your way back).

P&E are now Juniors at Hendrix…and the talk of plans after graduation have begun.  Looks like graduate school is on the agenda for them both…and this makes us very proud parents. 

They are out of the dorms now and sharing an apartment.  Emily is loving having her own kitchen and is cooking up a storm much to her brother’s delight.

We are enjoying being “empty nesters” and have fallen into a very nice routine although the house is very quiet at times.   I sure wish they would hurry up and invent the “Jeanie Transport” as I call it so I could just blink my eyes and pop up for a few minutes to hug them both on campus.  I know they would love that…lol.

I traveled quite a bit in the last six months and just finished up my last “on an airplane gig” for the year.  I am doing some teaching locally but the load is very light.  This gives me some time to explore and create.  And I have hit the ground running.

A few months ago as I was ordering supplies for kits I added a pack of English Paper Piecing Hexagons to the virtual shopping cart.  You may better know these as “Hexies” and from now on this is how I will refer to them. 

Bonnie K. Hunter is a very good friend of mind and she has been working on a “hexie quilt” while on the road for a couple of years now.  In January we taught together at the Road to California and I got a glimpse of her spectacular quilt…and I was in “hook, line, and sinker”. 

The only problem is I just didn’t have time to start this project, so on the back burner it went.  And then I ordered the Hexie Papers and they sat and fermented.  

And last week I finally put together a travel kit of some hexies and fabric squares and hit the road to Oklahoma.  

Let’s just say all that “fermenting” was dangerous because by the time I was whip stitching my second flower together I was dreaming up all kinds of designs for the Hexies….using a technique I am calling “Pieced Hexies”.   

These are just some (yes the word OBSESSION has been thrown around) of the Hexie flowers I have completed in the last week.  These wild flowers will make up the border of the pattern I have designed. 

The center will be made up of “Pieced Hexies”. 

Yes…this quilt is going to take awhile…with a total of about 150 flowers needed for completion…but after all I have a very quiet house now…and full control of the TV remote.   And they are like potato chips…I just can’t seem to stop.   p.s. YES..there is going to be a workshop…and a pattern… several of you have already inquired from my Facebook posts.  Thank you for your interest.  :)

So signing off for now.  I am thinking 2-3 blog posts a week will be the average.  After all life is a bit slower around here with just the two of us.