Monday, December 19, 2016


I just finished this comfort quilt for a young friend - one of my daughter's best friends. Her mom died a few months ago - way too quickly and way too young. I showed her daughter photos of Passage Quilts made by Sherri Lynn Wood and offered to make a quilt in that style for her.

A few day's later, I had a bag filled with some of her mom Peggy's clothes. The light blue is a soft bathrobe. There were many soft jersey t-shirts, a gold party dress, several beautiful silky dresses and even a sweater. I commenced with the cutting and stripping pieces together. I backed some of the silkier pieces with knit interfacing but found enough stability in the rest of the fabrics to piece them as they were. I included a few details - the robe pocket, belt loop, some labels ...

The quilt is backed with a soft gray flannel. It's 43" x 72", a size you can fold around your shoulders, take a nap with and lay at the foot of your bed. Machine quilting it was surprisingly easy. It is the softiest, cuddliest quilt I think I have ever made. Just perfect for it's purpose - comfort.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Shop While It Snows

Since many of us are snowed in this weekend, I imagine the internet shopping will be brisk. I notice this weekend's C&T BlowOut Sale features some of my favorite Kansas City Star books of all time. Too many to mention, really, but here are a few particularly close to my heart.

You may not know WHY Carrie Hall's Sampler is one of my favorites. Well, that is my quilt on the cover. Barbara designed this as a block of the month quilt for our quilt guild long ago and I made my quilt month by month. When I began quilting, I never imagined I could ever do applique so finishing this sampler made me really happy.

Scroll down a bit more in the sale titles and you will find my 2005 book Quilter's Stories. What a joy it was to put that book together. I got to interview my favorite regional quilters and share their stories, my husband got them to grin at the camera as he shot their portraits ... and it's 140 pages long! Publishers truly don't make books like that anymore.

You can also find one of Bea Oglesby's loveliest books ever, Art Nouveau Quilts; Gloria Nixon's amazing first book Feedsack Secrets; Maggie Bonanomi's beautiful With These Hands -- and the list really goes on and on of what is being offered for the lowest price ever.

From what I hear, this might be the last time you can buy these books for this price. Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

1,000 quilts for kids

Quilt #1,000 to warm a child in Lawrence, Kansas was delivered yesterday by yours truly.

This is a satisfying, grass-roots kind of story. Some members at a Kaw Valley Quilters Guild meeting several years ago were bemoaning the piles of quilts they were storing at home. They had volunteered to collect quilts made for kids in the Headstart program at the church where we meet. Headstart needed 40 that year but guild members had produced 80+ quilts.

I proposed expanding the program so that quilts went right to kids throughout our community instead of taking up room in someone's house. The guild board agreed.

Need came knocking. First we gave quilts to First Step, a local alcohol recovery residential program that allows moms to bring their kids along. Their nursery, at the north end of the building, got chilly in the winter. The kids only had fleece blankets so a thoughtful college student working there asked her quilter mom where they could get quilts and her mom asked me. It was Christmas time and our stitch group quickly produced the quilts they requested for Christmas, 2010.

Guild members stepped up to help. They made 74 the first year (2011), 148 the next year and the numbers have increased ever since. In 2015 they made 245 quilts and I challenged them to make 265 this year so we could say we've reached the milestone of 1,000 quilts for kids.

They did it. A true point of pride is that members donate the materials themselves. From time to time there are donations of fabric and batting, but most of the materials come from members' own sewing rooms.

Quilts have gone to the Lawrence Homeless Shelter; Pieces for Pediatrics (Marla Welch's program to supply a quilt to every pediatric patient at Lawrence Memorial Hospital); First Step at DCCCA; Family Promise; Headstart; GaDuGi (now the Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center); The Willow Domestic Violence Center; CASA of Douglas County; the local Oxford House; Kennedy School Preschool: and Cordley Elementary School.

I'm stepping back from the program to let someone else have the fun of collecting and delivering the quilts. Guild members have responded magnanimously to support this program. The goal has been to get quilts to local kids who need them every month. We have succeeded!

Every kind of kids quilt is welcome. We ask that they be sturdy enough to be washed frequently. We accept all sizes as the recipients range from newborn to age 18.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hankies Come in Handy

Hankies. Old-fashioned relics these days, so of course, I collect them when I come across them.

I save them in a box. When I go to a memorial service, I take an extra along in case someone needs one. I give them to people when they are sad.

I was at a funeral a few years ago, sitting by a friend. Her dad had died too recently for her to hold it together during a funeral. She started crying, hard. Hankie to the rescue. I pulled it outta my pocket and she put it to use. Afterward, I told her it was hers to keep.

My mom died last week. Yesterday, I got a card from that friend. Inside were these 3 beautiful hankies. They belonged to her husband's grandmother. She wants me and the girls to have them at the memorial service. We will use them. Thanks, thoughtful friend.

Friday, December 2, 2016

On Sale This Weekend

Making Memories for only $5. A very sweet book ... one of my all-time favorites!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Quilt for Cassius

I am looking forward to meeting a new little guy named Cassius. He was born a few months ago so I made him this quilt. I followed my old Gee's Bend housetop style blocks - starting with centers and just adding strips log cabin style. I used a few contemporary fabrics but of course, mostly vintage stuff and old shirts. The border fabric came from an old skirt I really like. The quilt measures 42" x 40". That way little Cash can lay on it now but drag it around later.

I actually thought ahead and got his name and birth year on the back before I quilted it.

Here's a close up of the border fabric:

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Such a Deal - Christmas is coming!

C&T is offering lots of Kansas City Star Quilts inventory at bargain basement prices. If you want a copy of my first book at a bargain price ($5), click here. Shop today, sale ends tonight! The designs by Frances Kite are truly wonderful - it's a great deal!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

You're Invited

Come to our show! The City of Lenexa makes space available in their City Hall for artists to show their work. Our stitch groups' latest is on display from now through the end of November. It's called Finding Our Voices. You'll see an assortment of textiles, collage and more.

Also - join us for a reception this Thursday night from 6-730 pm. There will be food and drink and even a little ukelele serenading. Hope to see you there!

For more information, click HERE.

Landscape by yours truly

Saturday, October 29, 2016

True Blue Royals Fan

Our friend Bea Oglesby is still going strong. She lives at Lakeview Village in Lenexa and visits my folks often, that dear woman!

A summer project for Bea was knitting stripes into a scarf according to the win/lose fortunes of our Kansas City Royals.

The colors have significance. Bea explains:

"The scarf was busy work, but fun to do every day of the season. The royal blue was for a win at home and the light blue was a win away. The white was a loss at home and the gold was a loss away.

I do not think I will make another. I should send a picture to the Royals and ask them for free tickets to next years games."

That Bea. Way to go.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Homemade Hillary Sign

How I cheered when I noticed this sign up briefly (now gone) near the intersection of 13th and Haskell in Lawrence. It's rare to see a homemade sign these days - this one is so simple and to the point. Hooray!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Final Vantage Point Details

Look for more about Maggy here.

A scary section of Vantage Point.

Just wondrous.

Some of the smallest details are my favorites ...

So many of these sections are amazing - so the entire piece is rather overwhelming.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vantage Point Details 2

Many of the applique pieces are added broderie perse style but some textiles are there intact, like the corn piece top right.

This definitely gives us permission to keep collecting those wacky kitchen textiles ...

This incorporates several pieces - and they are so great together! I have to go back and look at this again!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vantage Point Details 1

Those of us who love vintage textiles will be delighted at what Maggy Hiltner did with them in her 2015 piece currently on display at the Lawrence Arts Center. Here are some details:

Here's a shot where it turns the corner. It shows the narrative that runs along the bottom - it also runs across the top.

It is beautiful and grim all at once.

I like the stitches Maggy used to applique her pieces in place.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Home Ec Project Gone Awry

Right edge of Vantage Pint
How often is there wonder right in our own neighborhood that we almost MISS!!

I almost missed seeing this fantastic textile work, Vantage Point by Maggy Rozycki Hiltner, at our very own Lawrence Arts Center. Alert stringer Georgann Eglinski let me know about this when she saw it yesterday. I was there this morning and learned the piece will be on display at the Lawrence Arts Center until July 23.

Go see this! It is described as hand-stitched cotton, found embroidery made in 2015. It measures 46" x 864". Yes, that is 46" x 72 FEET! I am just agog at the wonder of Maggy's work and very sad I missed her talk in May.

The rest of Vantage Point

Below is a photo of Maggy's complete description of this work, along with an artist statement. This work is hand-stitched and incorporates household goods and the story of the area where Maggy grew up in Pottstown, PA. I will let her work and her words speak for themselves. I took a lot of detail shots and will post them in the next few days.

In the meantime, enjoy! And if you can get to Lawrence this week, be sure to see this.

One detail shot for you today, more soon:

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Wonder of Blogging

I've been totally seduced by blogging. I think it's accurate to say it has changed my life.

I've found it to be the diary I have never been good at keeping on paper. This blog has meant a lot to me since I started it 8 years ago. It's been my own record of projects and collecting over those years. It's been such a wonderful way to connect with so many of you that feel like I do about quilts. My kindred spirits! I am so happy to know you.

These days I turn more of my energies to personal blogging. Several of these are pretty private:

  • I keep a blog about our home, recording events, things we have seen (sunsets, bee swarms), a record of when flowers bloom ...

  • I keep a blog of my time with my parents and the amazing things I learn as they cope with decline.

  • I also keep a scrapbook type blog - pictures mostly - of my new hobby, mosaic.

So if entries in this blog seem a bit infrequent, that is why. I suspect I will be back to this blog when some of those current interests wane.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Our Quilt with Words

For several years, I had the pleasure of attending a quilt retreat at Point Bonita, California. It was heaven for me: a week to sew, visit with friends, hike, be fed by very good cooks - all right by the San Francisco Bay. Julie Silber stopped by one year and showed some quirky quilts. One of our favorites was what we called a quilt with words. It was made up of odd little sayings embroidered on wool. My favorite was, "Mister xxxx ran through the screen door." We were mesmerized and my stitch group decided to make our own version of it.

We recorded personal events, phrases that we overheard, favorite quotes, pictures of our pets, whatever! We stitched them for a long while ... finally, someone (CGJ I recall) gathered all of the pieces together and stitched them to a wool background. Someone else (LF) added the rickrack and it was displayed at our guild show last month. It is 53 inches wide and 60 inches long.

Blocks were contributed by Kathe Dougherty, Carol Jones, Georgann Eglinski, Barbara Brackman, LInda Frost and me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Mini for Our Quilt Show

Here's a mini-quilt I made recently. I named it Hot Mess. You can bid on this quilt and a host of other wonderful minis at the Kaw Valley Quilters Guild quilt show on April 2-3. It's in Lawrence at Crown Toyota, 3430 Iowa Street. Hours are Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 9-3.

Proceeds from the sale of our minis benefit these local non profits: Douglas County CASA, GADUGI, Habitat for Humanity, The Social Service League, Spencer Museum of Art, the Lawrence Humane Society and our guild.

Bidding ends just before the show ends on Sunday! Here is more information about the show.

Be sure to hear Marge Banks' talk - her Seminole scraps inspired my Holy Seminoley!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Alice's Aprons 5

Last but hardly least. Our apron seamstress went nuts on this one. She must have had a new sewing machine with fancy stitches - note 2 colors of thread used on this decorative stitching!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Alice's Aprons 4

This apron shows no use at all and there was clearly more fabric available for it ...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Alice's Aprons 3

Another apron that celebrates flowers! Look how the lace outlines the pocket. I am having fun imagining WHEN these were worn. Just for ladies teas? They truly are more for show than anything else ...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Alice's Aprons 2

I love the way these aprons use fabric pieces. This one was cut so the pocket is accessible from both sides.

It sounds like these aprons come from Alice's family - they lived in Westphalia, Kansas long ago ...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Alice's Aprons 1

Happy Spring! Our mid-century modern book club met last night - we discussed Russel and Mary Wright's Guide to Easier Living, originally published in 1950. It's a manual for the modern family - how to entertain, organize a home, clean ... I have read that this book influenced and inspired none other than Martha Stewart. You get the drift.

As we discussed housework then compared to now, the conversation got around to aprons. My friend Alice had a few she wanted to pass on so you-know-who brought them home. Me. They are dressy aprons. A few were used, a few not. I'm going to post an apron a day to show them off.

This apron got the most use and you'll see why - it is reversible, which makes it the most functional one of the bunch. Note there are 2 layers - the chiffon (with the pocket) and the cotton.

Here's the other side. It shows the use. How about that fussy-cut waistband.

The pocket is darn cute too. I love the tiny rick rack.