Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Garden Faire

The family went to Garden Faire at Winterthur on Saturday. Winterthur is a Museum/Garden near Wilmington, Delaware which was the home of Henry DuPont, an avid collector and gardener. Garden Faire features incredible vendors, lectures and exhibits, and this was the second year we have gone.

Of course, I just wanted to buy everything. But I used incredible restraint and only got a couple of things. I got this flower pot which is hand thrown (they also had demonstrations) and I just love it. I put fabric in it instead of flowers (big surprise!)
I also got this old metal gate- it will look pretty cool in my garden. Isn't it funny the old rusty things that we find beautiful- I once bought a rusty piece of metal for the garden and my dad offered to paint it for me! When I explained that I like it that way, he didn't get it!

Some photos that my husband took....

My 13 year old daughter took these (I didn't crop or adjust them in anyway). I know I brag about her a lot, but gosh she is talented!

I get so inspired when I am surrounded by beauty- it reminds me that God is the ultimate Creator, and it makes me want to create in my own little way. In using our creative gifts, we truly honor and give glory to Him.

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
You have set Your glory
above the heavens...

When I consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which You have set in place,

What is man that You are mindful of him,
the son of man that You care for him?

You made him ruler over the works of Your hands;
You put everything under his feet:

All flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quilt Backs and Other Stuff...

This is the back that I put together for a quilt that I recently finished. It took a fair amount of time to put together- not difficult, but obviously more time consuming than using just a solid piece of fabric. I used to just use muslin for the backs of all my quilts, because it's neutral and inexpensive and I could just buy bolts of it at a time. But recently I have decided that that is just boring, and I'd hate to think of myself as a boring kind of girl! And I figure that if I spend lots of time on the top, I might as well make the back just as pretty. So once this is quilted, it will really be a reversible quilt. 2 for 1- so practical!

Taking the photo was not easy, though. I had the thing thumbtacked to the barn wall and the wind was blowing and so I had to keep tacking it back up. And I had to wait between gusts of wind so that the quilt would stop moving around so I could take the photo.

While I was back behind the barn, I noticed this delightful little wild strawberry patch. My daughter had told me that it was back there and I had forgotten. She loves to spend time outside. When she was little, she would play all kinds of games out there, now she spends her time taking photos. Reminds me of when I was kid, we lived in a rural area and it seemed I spent all of my spare moments outside on all kinds of "adventures". And I knew that yard, the woods, every tree, like the back of my hand. Those were the days!

I also managed to grab a shot of a wasp and a bee on some goldenrod growing up along the fence.

My oldest daughter is coming home from college for the weekend. Her only request was that I cook- anything! Apparently she is tired of dining hall food! I am planning on making something that involves some of her favorite foods- eggplant, pasta, goat cheese... Stay tuned!

Finally, make sure you stop over at Martha Stewart's blog, she recently did a show all about blogging and has some great tips!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Sign seen at local quilt shop:

15 Reasons for Buying Fabric

1. It insulates the closet where it is kept.

2. It helps keep the economy going. It is our patriotic duty to support cotton farmers, textile mills, and quilt shops.

3. It is less expensive and more fun than psychiatric care.

4. Because it's on sale.

5. Because I'm worth it.

6. A sudden increase in the boll weevil population might wipe out the cotton crop for the next ten years.

7. I'm participating in a contest: the one who dies with the most fabric wins.

8. It keeps without refrigeration, you don't have to cook it to enjoy it, and you never have to feed it, change it, wipe its nose, or walk it.

9. I need extra weight in the trunk of my car for traction on snowy, icy roads. This is important, even in Florida and Southern California- you never know when the weather will change.

10. Like dust, it's good for protecting previously empty spaces in the house, like the ironing board, the laundry hamper, the dining room table....

11. When the Big Earthquake comes, all the quilt shops might be swallowed into the ground and never be seen again.

12. Stress from dealing with the Fabric Control Officer (aka husband) made me do it.

13. It's not immoral, illegal or fattening. It calms the nerves, gratifies the soul, and makes me feel good.

14. Buy it now, before your husband retires and goes with you on all your shopping expeditions.

15. A yard a day is all the quilt shops of America ask.

I think we all can relate.... Enough said.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Giveaway Winner / First Day of Autumn

Well, my younger daughter picked the winner last night. And the winner is... Valerie from Life's Little Garden, a really lovely blog. Thanks again to everyone who entered! Make sure to check back- I will be doing more in the future, 'cause they're just so darn fun!

First Day of Autumn...
Some photos I took at a local roadside stand, I love the light at this time of year...

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
- Albert Camus

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thanks! / Free Pattern

CLICK HERE to get the free pattern for this baby quilt, called For Ella's Sister.

Thanks to EVERYONE who entered the Super Stupendous Truly Tremendous Really Remarkable Giveaway! I will post the winner on Monday!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Last Chance for Giveaway/ Baby Quilt is Done!

Last chance for the Giveaway, it closes at Midnight EDST tonight- CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

I'm so glad it's done! I tend to work on several projects at a time, but I worked on just this one all week, and I'm ready to move on to something else (I have lots of ideas for new projects, or should I work on the 15 or so that I have already started..... Hmmm....)

As promised, here is the FREE PATTERN/TUTORIAL for this quilt. CLICK HERE to get the pattern and directions.

I also wanted to mention that Sandi has had an absolutely adorable sunflower pattern published in Cotton Spice, a free online quilting magazine. Click Here to go to Sandi's blog to find out more. Congratulations, Sandi!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Create and Decorate Holiday Issue

CLICK HERE to enter the Absolutely Amazing Giveaway....

I have a project in the latest issue of Create and Decorate Magazine! Pick up the 2008 Holiday Issue to get my Fraktur Style Christmas Tray pattern. The issue is available at Barnes and Noble, as well as other stores. Then sit down with a mug of tea, relax, and peruse the beautiful projects inside... Sure to get you in the holiday mood.
Thanks for the dinner suggestions yesterday. I even got a great soup recipe from Joy, which I will try soon. I ended up taking some chicken out of the freezer, and roasted it (doesn't get simpler than that.) I rinsed and dried the chicken, placed it in a baking pan with some potatoes, threw in some sprigs of rosemary from the garden, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and threw it in the oven. Served it with peas and refrigerated crescent rolls. Done! Delicious!

Still working on that baby quilt (For Ella's Sister), almost done...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Almost Done!

There's still a couple of days left to enter the Really Remarkable Giveaway- CLICK HERE TO ENTER. (And I still like alliteration...)

The baby quilt is almost done- it's all pieced and machine quilted, now I've just gotta get the binding done. Here is a little preview, I hope to get the binding done tonight and then I can post the whole thing tomorrow. I gotta say, this is one of my very favorites that I've done, and it came together fairly quickly. I'll try to get the free pattern up here, soon, too.

I thought I'd show off a wool table runner that I made a few years back. Originally, I made it to put out just for fall, but actually it stays out almost all year, because I like it so much. The pattern is from the Cottage Threads Book by Need'l Love, I think it may still be available, click here to go to the Need'l Love website.

It is cool and clear and feeling like fall here, all the windows are open. I'm trying to figure out what to make for dinner- for some reason I just can't think of a thing to make. I feel like making something that says "fall," but I don't know what. Any ideas?

Monday, September 15, 2008

What's Going on in the Studio Today

There's still time to enter the Truly Tremendous Giveaway (I just love alliteration- don't ask me why....) Click here to enter.

As you can see, Maddie has been very busy "helping" in the studio today..... By the way, she has decided that my chair is her favorite chair, so I have spent the past couple of weeks standing at my work station. That's right- the cat spends the day sleeping on my chair, and I stand to work. Why? I don't know- it seems the pets tend to run the house.... I'm sure many of you can relate!
Today, I am working on a baby quilt. My husband's cousin, who lives in the U.K., is expecting her second baby at the end of this month. So I am working feverishly to get this done so I can ship it so they'll have it for Christmas. I am calling it "For Ella's Sister," since I know the baby is a girl but don't know her name yet. And Ella (now only about 20 months old) will be welcoming a new baby sister.

I love the fabrics in this- I started with the ginger/orange fabric from the Figtree Quilts Folklorique Collection (Moda). I wanted to avoid making this just pastels, and I thought the orange was an interesting choice. Then I went this weekend and picked up a yellow paisley from the April Cornell Paisley Collection (Moda), which I just LOVE.
I am planning on posting this quilt as a FREE PATTERN when I get it done, so make sure you check back. I think it's going to come out really great.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Some Quilts


This fall, I will be teaching some classes at a local quilt shop, Needles and Pins, run by my fun friend Marie. I will be teaching 3 of my own designs, Ladybug Garden, Happy Harvest Wall Hanging and Pillow (shown on the cover of The Country Register/NJ this month), and SunBlossom Tote. If you live in the southern New Jersey/Delaware Valley area, come visit the shop and maybe sign up for a class or 2 and meet some wonderful fellow quilters. All of the patterns are available on my website, along with some free patterns and recipes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Promise to Never Forget.....

"American Banner" by Michael Belden

Old Glory you wave o'er the Land of the Free,
Home of the Brave
Sweet Liberty.
Old Glory you stand for the whole world to see
The price we will pay
For Democracy.

Old Ribbon transcending the mortal design
Your standard the stalwart to which we attain,
Our Allegiance inviolate, our legacy divine
Reliant in battle, defiant in flame
American Banner, the red, white and blue.

Old Ribbon unfolding against every wind's sweep;
Your bountiful, beautiful banner yet waves;
The crack of your furl in the voice that you speak
The resolute accord of our inalienable brave.

There are moments in time our nation cries;
Mourning together our great sacrifice
For our fallen in battle
For our terrorized skies
Paid for forever by the blood of their lives.

There are those whose salute you laid down to rest,
Sown out of beauty, reaping the wind
Stolen in glory in tyranny's quest
God Bless America, freedom manifest.

And the stars in your heaven united they sing
Exalted, ennobled, in grandeur they ring;
Emblazoned in Gallantry, arrayed in love,
Defined by the fire, made whole by the blood.

And the shining light that your stars refine,
And your stripes united in defining line,
And your colors brilliant beyond all time,
Resplendent, ascending, sublime.

From the ocean deeps to star light years,
From the reaches of space to the wall of tears,
From the rages of war to a lasting peace,
Glory, Oh Glory, may you long increase.

Oh Liberty sweet, forlorn and alone,
We honor and defend you abroad and home;
In war's raging fury we will strike down our foe,
That our peace be healed and our love made whole.

And your Stars forge lightning against the sky
And your Stripes in union peal a thunder bay
And your might and your valor
With the last words to say
God Bless America; God Bless the USA.

Giveaway Update

I had so much fun today, shopping for some goodies for the giveaway! As far as I'm concerned, it's never too early to start thinking about Christmas and the winter holidays- so here is a little something to get you started (if you haven't started thinking about it already.) The giveaway includes:

Gooseberry Patch Christmas Book
Gooseberry Patch Tote Bag
Book of Recipes for Gift Mixes
Package of 8 Santa Teddy Christmas Cards
Package of 8 Bunny Holiday Cards
Christmas CD
4 Fat Quarters
2 Packages of Christmas Buttons (so cute!)
Spool of Green Grosgrain Ribbon
Spool of Red Grosgrain Ribbon

The retail value of this giveaway is almost $60.00, so don't miss out! (So sorry if I sound like a TV infomercial- I'm just so excited about this....)
Here are the "rules"-

1) leave a comment on this post or click here to comment on the previous post and get 1 entry into the giveaway
2) sign up to be a Fellow Artsy Folk (right side bar) to get 1 entry
3) mention it on your blog and link back here to get 1 entry (email me or comment here to let me know that you have done so)

....So, you can enter up to 3 times, enter by midnight EDT Sept. 18.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Giveaway For My Henchmen

My pal Suzanne at Painter of the Past has introduced me to a new blogspot feature called "Followers." (There is a link on the right sidebar.) To set this thing up, you have to give it a title- I'm not sure I like the term "followers," it does kind of remind me of a cult, or at least a band of marauding misguided youth. I looked up the term "follower" in the thesaurus, and this is what I found in the way of possible labels for you folks who may want to sign on:


Oooooohhh, Henchman, I kind of like that, but I'm not sure that that is completely appropriate.
So, I have decided to go with "Fellow Artsy Folks," because I figure that if you're reading this blog, you probably have a propensity (boy, I am full of big words today) toward creativity, even if you don't consider yourself an artist per se. And being creative makes you an artist. And if the word artist intimidates you, at least consider yourself to be artsy. So there it is- a really long explanation for the title that I have chosen for this little tiny bit of my blog. I am drained. Being so detail oriented and obsessive compulsive (narcissistic????) can be exhausting, at times....

So anyway, in an attempt to build up my number of followers, I mean, Fellow Artsy Folks, I am going to do a give away for anyone who signs on as a Fellow Artsy Folk between now and midnight EDT September 18th. (It has come to my attention that you can only be a follower/cult member/fellow artsy folk if you have a Blogger account, so if you don't, and you'd still like to be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment here.)

That's right- basically I am trying to buy friends!!! But I promise to make it really FABULOUS and worth your while. Once I figure out what I am giving away, you will be the FIRST to know......

UPDATE: I have decided on the theme for my giveaway- I am still hunting/gathering, I will probably have a photo of the goods up tomorrow, so check back. Here is a (big) hint-


Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Little Color

There is still some color in the garden, as captured here by this little arrangement my daughter put together and my husband photographed (I pretty much don't have much to do with this blog anymore.....)

Friday, September 5, 2008


The dog was incessantly barking outside this morning, and I thought she was just being annoying (she does that sometimes, just barks at imaginary adversaries, I think because maybe she is bored and is looking for something to do.) I looked out the window to see what she was barking at, but saw nothing, and told her to quiet down. But she kept barking, so I looked out a different window and saw that she had cornered a black snake against the back step (good dog!) In the 30 seconds it took me to bring the dog in and grab the camera, the snake had slithered off, but left me this little beauty......
And now on to a much more pleasant subject, we will be driving up to pick up Sam at college this afternoon, go out to dinner, and then celebrate her 18th birthday here tomorrow. Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lots of Pins

Today I am making pins- lots and lots of pins. I tried to take some photos, but they weren't coming out, so I asked my 13 year old daughter, who happens to be very handy with the camera to give it a try. She got right to it and soon came back with these, and she has put me to shame......

These are all her photos, I didn't bother to put mine up because mine are actually pretty stinky. Thank goodness I have her around. I am thinking she should just skip school and come work for me. I can't afford to pay her in cash, but I could give her room and board (hey wait a minute, I already do that....) Well anyway, she is worth every penny that I cannot afford to pay her.With her dad's encouragement, she has started her own photoblog. She has a great eye and I can't wait to see how her artistic talents develop in the next few years.
Today was her first day of school and now she gets to "rule the school"(her school goes K-8th grade.) However, after 13 of years of having the bus stop in front of our house, they have moved the bus stop to about 1/2 mile down the road. There is no side walk (actually, not even a shoulder, since we live in a fairly rural area), so I now have to drive to the bus stop twice a day. Not so bad when the weather is decent, but when it is raining or snowing, I tend to stay in the house as much as possible. I have been so spoiled. Also, the intersection where the bus stop is doesn't really seem to be a safe place for a bus stop (this morning a car passed the bus while it was stopped there to pick her up), so we'll have to see how this goes.
Even though I miss her and my college co-ed daughter while they are at school, I must admit it is kind of nice to get back into a routine. This summer I did way too much sleeping in and slacking off. I actually enjoyed being up and showered and dressed by 7 am today (we will see how long this lasts..........)


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