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!