Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marlowe Sampler Blocks

Two down, six to go! I finished hand-stitching my True Lover's Knot and Steps to the Altar (variation) blocks:

I also realized I have a mulberry tree growing in the corner of my yard! This is my first encounter with fresh mulberries, and I think they're fine!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Salutations, new followers! I'm pleasantly surprised by your presence and look forward to being a small part of your life!

Mazl tov, Cindy!

We try to mend clothes rather than toss, and when something is beyond repair I try to salvage as much fabric as I can to re-make it into something else! I love the memories seeing the items in new clothes or bags, etc bring up.

Thanks for all the cheery, eco-happy comments! Lots of you are fans of grocery totes. I've noticed that Kroger and Target are starting to take .05 off purchases for bringing your own bags. Sweet, no?

And speaking of sweet, just because it's "quilt-ish"...

I made "cathedral window" hamentaschen! They were such a hit at the farm potluck that the guy who grew up Orthodox asked for the recipe! I just wrote it up for him, so if you'd like it, let me know. Poppyseeds... Citrus... Quilt inspiration... Delicious!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day

Happy Giveaway Day and welcome to my blog!

To those of you popping by for the first time, salutations! My name is Mary, and that's my great grandmother and me in the title photo. Her name was Lillian, and receiving one of her quilts for Christmas a few years ago inspired me to document my own sewing. My blog is a way to honor the women artisans of my family and provide context for my work.

What am I giving away? Fat quarters and crochet in a chocolate-raspberry color scheme! (Sorry, no actual chocolate involved. I'd send you strawberries, but the farmers sold out of 'em at market and I don't get to pick up until Tuesday...)

Browns are full fat quarters, pinks are just shy. The crocheted bangle (coffee sleeve?) was made from yarn "rescued" from an ugly thrift store afghan, and the granny square ornament (gift tag?) consists of embroidery cotton leftover from another project. Hooray for repurposing!

To enter, please leave a comment before March 26 and tell me what you do to live simply, live "green" or live holistically. Winner will be chosen by, and comments dated after March 25 will be discounted. I am shipping from Nashville, Tennessee, and unfortunately will *not* be shipping internationally.

Thanks for popping by, and enjoy the whirlwind!

Come Live with Me and Be My Love...

There's a Christopher Marlowe poem that's been running through my head lately, so much so that I've started planning and creating a new quilt!

I'm using mostly grays with bold colors in sampler blocks, coupled with the first line of the poem.

Pages of sketches.

I've got fabric cut for the Steps to the Altar block, and I've begun hand-stitching the True Lover's Knot.

Yesterday a friend and I spent an afternoon painting. This is what I came up with!

The theme of love continued as I finished my day at a wedding! The bride especially is a friend of mine. I remember her attempts at growing vegetables, and with recent connections to local farms, I thought I'd help her out! I started by making a kneeling pad from Martha Stewart's tutorial, modifying it by using ribbon rather than elastic and stuffing it with strips of old t-shirts and batting. Then I nestled it among plant starts carefully selected the morning of the wedding from my local farmer's market!

Bonus:  I caught the bouquet!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scrap Placemats--Complete!

The Music City Modern Quilters Guild met on Saturday for some free-motion practice! While there, Leah from Burgundy Buttons dropped off a gift from Deb Strain, designer of the Java for Moda line. It was a thank-you for entering Burgundy Buttons' mug rug challenge (I think! Here is my entry):

And now... onto free-motioning! I practiced on some scraps dyed in leftover Easter egg bath.

I figure I can use practice pads for bedding for these little guys, found in my shed last week. That is, if their mama will stop hiding them from me!

And here's how my mats turned out!

Love my binding--turquoise and white homespun--and gray overcast light was just perfect for picture-taking!

Like I said, I love my binding!

All done!

The MCMQ gals called me fearless, not only for my pedal-to-the-metal work but also for making white placemats! I'll keep the spaghetti sauce away, but I love the look so much it's worth the risk!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I threw my Fabric Fast out the window. I'm still trying to be conscientious when purchasing, and maybe I'll take another hiatus, but, well, I did budget "blow money"...

Here's $12 of remnants:

And fabric from Royce as a thank-you for naming her latest art quilt (did I cheat by playing the Music City card?):

And half-yards of Sunkissed that I patiently waited for until they went on sale (thank you for local pick-up, Burgundy Buttons!)...

And, minus these delicacies, my current stash:

To do: finish before beginning something new! At least finish in the same category before beginning something new (for example, hand-piecing, garment making, machine-quilting, knitting...) In the meantime, the sketchbook is my friend!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

After being inspired by the other participants in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, I decided to join! Here are pictures of the Walnut Dye Quilt completed early this year.

Precut squares were hand-dyed in walnut dye by the third grade. I helped each child align the squares and sew them together. Every child in the class participated. Sometimes they had to go back over seams with smaller stitches. It was great fine motor practice!

The backing was a plain sheet tied up and tossed in the walnut bath.

I was learning to free-motion quilt at the time. I actually became more comfortable with free-motion than using my walking foot! I decided to echo-quilt around the dye patterns, saving a "bubble-free" square in the center for a special message:

Because of the drab colors, I made a scrappy, cheery binding and blind-stitched it on.

The quilt measured about 60x60 when complete and was donated to our school's charity silent auction. A third-grade parent bought the quilt for over $700! It's lovely to know my work paid off in such a powerful way!

I loved working with this quilt, not only in teaching young sewers to piece but also in allowing the fabric to dictate the quilting. When I finished the quilt, it was really the second piece I'd done on machine. I'm still a relatively new quilter, so this one was a milestone for me!

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to check out the other inspiring quilts in the Festival!

Amy's Creative Side

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Patternless Pintuck Top

Evangeline's wardrobe is growing!

I was really excited about the idea of a top to go with the circle skirt, so I decided to create my own pattern and play with pintucks!

All hand-stitched with running stitches.

Even managed a facing--and decided not to continue blanket-stitching that edge because, after all, it is only doll clothes.

Sleeves have tended to present challenges to me. I almost didn't put them on, but I'm so glad I did!

Little blue vintage mother-of-pearl buttons finish off the look and pick up the blue in the skirt.

Up next... warm weather clothes for me!