Saturday, November 9, 2019

Fall in Indiana and Beyond

It's still fall here, but it's starting to feel more and more like winter isn't too far away.  I love fall colors and use them in a lot of my quilts whether it's fall or any other time of the year.  I'll take you on a little tour of some of my fall decorations and on our fall trip to the mountains.  

This sits at the end of my island in the kitchen.  I made the table runner ages ago and right now I'm unsure of where the pattern came from.  The centerpiece is a basket that I had with some faux pumpkin decorations from Hobby Lobby.  The brown ceramic leaves were made by our cousin Sandi from North Carolina.  

This is the view out my back windows.  The tree is actually in our neighbor's yard, but I enjoy it just as much as they do.   

I like to decorate the mantel for the seasons.   These are mostly faux pumpkins along with some real gourds.   I need to make sure I remember to sort out the real ones before I pack the decorations for the year.  

Here's a better look at the quilt draped over the back of the chair.  This is my version of Fall Foliage Spectacular by Judy Martin.  (It's from her book Cookies and Quilts.)   That border is a Fossil Fern fabric.  You remember those?  Some like this one were just great to pull out the colors in a quilt.  

The pillows and little quilt are all made from my patterns.  Another way that I like to display smaller quilts and pillows is in baskets.  Sometimes I drape them over the edge as shown in the photo, or I will roll them up and display several in a basket.  (The pumpkin spice sign had to move from in front of the fireplace because it's been cold enough to turn the fire on the past few evenings.)

The pumpkin quilt below is the Mini Pumpkins by Cluck, Cluck Sew.  The Welcome sign and the Pumpkin Spice Me signs are from 
Joyfully Said Signs in Middlebury, Indiana.   I love their shop and try to visit every time I'm in the area.  

I'm still trying to keep up with making holiday cards for the grandsons.

This is another fall quilt.    It's a watercolor quilt made from (I think) the book Impressionist Pallet by Gai Perri.

This sunflower quilt is a two color applique'.  These are fun and easy because once you have the pattern basted, there is no thread choice.  You choose one color and off you go.  This pattern and others like this are available from Pacific Rim Quilt Company.  
Sorry for the photo overload, but here are a few photos from our fall trip to the Smoky Mountains.  
At the time that we went, the weather was still too warm to see the fall colors.  I still think it's one of the most beautiful places.

I think the photo below is a photo of a beautiful stream from a car window doing about 65 or so......

We were going a bit slower for this photo.  Photos don't really do some of these things justice.

We drove through Cades Cove.  It's a valley in the mountains where settlers lived before the land became a National Park.  

Whenever you are in the park and see one or more rangers parked the road, you need to slow down and start looking around because they are there to keep an eye on the wildlife so that neither one interferes with the other.  Somehow this little cub had wandered away from his family.  I was in the car with the window down just enough to get a half way decent photo.  We also saw an elk, but when you looked at my photos you couldn't tell the elk from a bunch of sticks and twigs so there's no photo of him.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Catching Up With You

Dear Readers

Thanks to everyone that wrote to ask if I was still among the living.   Yes, thankfully, I am.   I've just been really busy this summer and fall.    The weather has turned from fall into winter, and now we're back to fall again.  We had heavy snow flurries on Halloween night along with strong wind so there's a  lot of candy left over which is why I buy candy that we like.  During the summer, I spend a lot of hours sitting out on the porch stitching.   So I either choose stitching or sitting at the computer to write this blog.   And you know which one I did this summer.  I love to stitch outside in the natural light.

In the last month, I've done 3 trunk shows/programs for guilds.  This is how my bedroom looks when I start pulling quilts to pack.  I normally take anywhere from 35-45 quilts along with me depending on the time allotted.   The first program was at the Mudsock Guild in Fishers, IN.  The second was out in Crawfordsville, IN, which was half way to Illinois from here.   The last program was for the Indianapolis Quilt Guild South.   I enjoy getting out and meeting other quilters.   I want to thank my friend, Theresa, for coming to the Indianapolis South guild meeting.   She not only assisted with holding my quilts and packing them up after the meeting, but she was able to share some of her quilting experiences that we both have been involved in over the years.   Thank you Theresa!!!!   You were a great addition to my program!


Here are some of the quilts I finished.  This is the Kingfisher Stitch Along quilt.  This was an on line stitch along by Tales of Cloth and Stitched in Color bloggers.  There are 46 - 1" hexagons.  They are all hand pieced, and I did the machine quilting.   The photo was after the quilt had been folded for several days.

This hexagon sew along was in the June issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.   These are 1" hexagons, and I machine quilted this one.

This one is made up of 1" octagons.   It's not my favorite because I used all one line of fabric instead of pulling my own fabrics like I normally do.   

I've taken a couple of classes at Back Door Quilts by Brian Haggard.   He lives here in Indianapolis and does what I would call free style embroidery.   This is done on black linen with very little marking.  The left hand block is what we did in class.   The second one is the same except that I just kept adding more branches and stems.   Brian showed an example in class where he used alcohol based markers to lightly tint his work.   I have the markers and instead of trying them out to see how it would look, I've kept stitching.   That way I won't mess it up, right?   You are using all one color of perle cotton and ribbon so there is no agonizing over color.   This is a fun and relaxing stitchery project which is different from anything I've done before.

Here's the front of the house decorated for Halloween.   The decorations need to come down in the next few days.   I always hate to see them packed away for another year, but it's not the same feeling as packing away the Christmas decorations.  

I'm rambling a bit here.   I'm so far behind with updates, that it's hard to just jump back in and start writing.   I'll try and get back here more often.  

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Old Projects and Some New Ones

Hello Dear Readers

Today someone wished me a happy holiday, and I responded, "What holiday?"    I'm not totally sure what happened to the month of June, but it's almost over.   I spend a lot of summer afternoons sitting out on our screened porch with a big glass of iced tea listening to some music and doing some stitching.  The time just seems to fly, and the day is quickly over.   Here we call this "porch time" because when you are sitting out here in the quiet you really do lose all track of time.   I wish I could stop life just until I could get caught up.  But, since I can't do that I'll tell you a little about what I've been doing.

We spent almost 2 weeks at the end of May down in the Smoky Mountains.  This is the view from our cabin.   We've found a place that we can go to relax and get away from it all and just unplug and regroup until we get back there again.  


While visiting Tennessee, I always get to make a trip over to Mountain Creek Quilt Shop.  It's always good to get to visit with Teri, the owner, and see just what is new at her shop.   Her shop is the only one that I've visited that carries Tilda fabrics.   Here are some that I bought on a previous trip.

These are the new ones that I bought last time along with a charm pack.
I wasn't sure what I was going to use them for, but when The New Hexagon book by Katja Marek came out, I ordered the paper pieces pack from   I had them sorted and stored with the book, so I thought I'd try the Tilda fabrics out on these blocks.

Here are the first dozen or so blocks.   I also used some polka dots that I bought at a shop in Lexington, KY, and some tiny pin stripes that are available at Back Door Quilts.   There are only 52 blocks in this quilt.  How long could that take?   I thought I could do about 10 a week and be finished in about 5 weeks.  I need to make up more block kits so I can keep going on this.  I thought this would be fun for a summer project.   

I also have enough Morning Glory blocks to make a small quilt.  These are all English Paper Pieced.
The pattern is by Annette Williams at

This one is called 1797 Revisited.  If you are on Instagram, you can search #1797Revisited to see other's finished quilts.  I have a ton of hexagons cut, and I'll get back to this one day.  I bought my elongated hexagons at Yellow Creek Quilt Designs.   After I started cutting these, I ordered the next larger size and decided that I really liked the smaller size better.   If you take a look at the quilt it's kind of interesting.   You keep adding rows all the way around and eventually fill in the corners.   

These are my double hexagons.   I have 32 which was my plan for a quilt.  After I took this  photo, I started adding the path to the 1" hexagons.   I'm about a third of the way finished.   

This is a sew along that I started because I spent too much time on Instagram.  This is called 
Dutch American Sew Along.  #DutchAmericanSewAlong.   You request the PDF file from one of the girls on Instagram, and you cut them out and make the star.   I English Paper Pieced mine, and some are foundation paper piecing heirs.   This one attracted me because they are using Dutch chintz fabric.   I've had an envelope of chintz that I ordered from a shop in Texas that is no longer in business.   I think this was about 7 years ago.   So here was my chance to let those fabrics see the light of day.  The chintz is really beautiful as you can see in the last photo, but it is really stiff and hard to hand sew.   I went ahead and made the star anyway mostly because I knew it would be a challenge to get all 12 of those points to spin and lay flat in the middle.   

Then I found this blue fabric in my stash.   It's from the line Elizabeth's Dowry by Karen Styles.   I'm adding the half square triangles and will keep going until it feels like the right size.   

Here is the chintz that I have plus a couple of books just full of Dutch quilt inspiration.

That's all for now.   I'm sure there is something that I've forgotten so I'll try not to stay away so long next time.  

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Shipshewana Retreat and New Projects

The last week in April was our semi annual Jane Stickle Retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana.   We have a lot of fun, and we count the days until we can return to do it all over again.   It is always fun getting together with friends I've known for years and making new friends.  On my last day at the retreat right before leaving for home, I met a new friend Barbara who is as obsessed with English paper piecing as I am.  She is doing her Dear Jane quilt using EPP.  Wish I had gotten a photo of what she has done so far.   I'm looking forward to seeing her projects and visiting with her when we return in November.

There are horse and buggies everywhere you go in or out of town.  This horse and buggy sits in this covered area right outside the Blue Gate Restaurant and is available for rides through town.

My friend, Pam and I went out southeast of town to the Copper Top.  As you can see she had a salad.  It had a cheeseburger underneath all of the veggies, but it looks pretty healthy.  I went off the deep end and had their signature burger and homemade chips.  They won a Burger War at some time, and their hamburgers are wonderful.  Mine had a breaded, fried pickle and onion straws plus the regular toppings.   

I always try to head over to Middlebury to visit the Joyfully Said Home shop.  I've bought a couple of their signs, and I love what Chelsea has done with the shop.  They have expanded and have a nice selection of home goods.  You can order from them at


No trip to Shipshewana would be complete without a pretzel from Jo-Jos.  There is no way to explain their pretzels, but those of you that have had them understand!

I also stopped in the shop across the street from the Blue Gate.  They sell Christmas things back in the corner of the shop, and one of my smaller Christmas trees had lost part of the lights.  I really did try to shop with a bit of focus...…

I also stopped in to Lollys for a bit of Stash Enhancement.  

I also went to Yoders another day for a little more fabric.  I also went out to Caroline's Cottage Cottons one day but have no photos.   I came out with a bit of fabric there, too.   

This quilt is in progress by Connie.   I really love this.   It was nice to have Connie, Janet and Donna at the table right next to ours.

My birthday was the Friday we were at the retreat, and some of the girls bought me this cake along with cards and presents.  Thanks to you girls for making my birthday so special.  You know who you are.

This quilt top belongs to Judy that does Design Wall Monday.  She blogs at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts       Each retreat we have some sort of a challenge quilt that many of us try to reproduce.  Our inspiration usually comes from Rebecca that owns Rebecca's Arts and Antiques in Shipshewana.   Rebecca always comes to our Friday night show and tell and most always brings a quilt or two to show us.   One retreat she brought an antique basket quilt, and that was all it took for some of us to start another quilt.  Here is Judy's top.  She was showing it to me, and as she unfolded it a little cheddar basket fell out.  She handed it to me and told me that now I have one.   I love it!

Here is Judy's last basket and my first!   You can see just how small these baskets are by comparing it to the dime.  They will finish at 3 1/2".

Since Judy gave me one, I've made a few more.  Connie helped me out by making a few of my handles while I was away from my machine.   And, almost ten years ago when I had knee replacement surgery my friend, Vicki from Minnesota sent me a little box with scissors, thread, needles and this same little basket pattern.   The pattern isn't in the box, but I had cut several baskets while I recovered.   Some of them are shown in the photo below.   I don't know how many I will make.   At show and tell some showed basket quilts with 12 baskets, and some had made 300 baskets.  I'll keep you posted.

I've also joined the Circa 1800 club at my local quilt shop, Back Door Quilts in Greenwood, Indiana.   I knew about half of the girls in the group, and I am enjoying making these tiny blocks.   These finish at 2 1/2".   As I read through my pattern I saw Janet's name.   She blogs at Rogue Quilter.
She traded some of these tiny blocks with several quilters including Pam Buda that drafted the pattern for this incredible quilt.

One of my posts wouldn't be complete without showing hexagons.   Here are the last few I've made.  I have 24 completed so far.   I have block kits made for a few more, and then I'll see if I can put them together somehow.   I have a big stack of quilt tops that I really need to get busy quilting.   I'm thinking about trying a bit of hand quilting.   I am practicing on smaller quilts now.   

Since Judy gave me one of her baskets, and those are on my Design Wall this week, I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday over at Judy's blog Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today!

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