Friday, October 31, 2008


This was my "to do" stack when I arrived at work at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

Of course, that doesn't include the weekly report I had to write that was due at noon (got it done at 1:30) or the e-mails and telephone calls and walk-ins I had to deal with throughout the day.
Here's the stack at 6:45 p.m., just as I was about to leave the office:

Pretty good, I'd say. Until my boss, who was also working late, did this:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baby Rose

Here's my latest "finish" - the Baby Rose (yet to be quilted) from Jo's Little Women series 7 is done! Question: When you finish something, do you feel compelled to clean your sewing space? I do. It's hard for me to go directly from a finish to a start (or a restart as the case usually is) without cleaning the sewing room first.
I love the color variety in this. Haven't figured out how to quilt it yet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Favorite Job

In 1993 we moved to Birmingham, Alabama. We stayed until 1996. It was a sweet time in our lives and I loved it there. Our daughter was two when we moved there; I was a stay-at-home mom; the part of town we lived in (Homewood) was lovely and friendly and I had some really nice stay-at-home mom friends. I was sorry when we left.

A few months after we arrived I happened to be in a quilt shop one day (where else would I be?) and saw a notice posted on the door that McCall's Needlework magazine was looking for stitchers to work for the magazine, bringing the designers' work to life for photographing for the magazine. I didn't even know McCall's Needlework was published in Birmingham. I wrote them a letter the minute I got home and sure enough they called me to come in and bring samples of all the needlework things I could do. They sent me home that day with a needlepoint project. This one:

Over the next three years I worked on a number of projects. In addition to needlepoint I did cross-stitch, counted thread work and embroidery. I also did some finishing work for them.

It was soooo enjoyable to sit on my sofa while DD was at mother's day out or preschool or napping, drink Diet Coke, do needlework, and watch tv, and then, get a check for doing it! And then get to see my work in the magazine! I absolutely loved it.

I have specific memories about some of the projects I did. The hunting dog needlepoint, for instance, took hours and hours of work. I remember that I watched the entire O. J. Simpson trial while working on that project!

And these little jewelry pieces caused me to need reading glasses for the first time in my life!

Credit where credit is due: Marie Barber was the designer of the two needlepoint projects. I'm not sure who designed the jewelry pieces.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Recent Project

Over the long Labor Day weekend I decided to go through over 15 years (yes! it's embarrasingly true!) of saved quilt magazines. Don't tell my husband, but some of these magazines have moved with us eight times. I wish I had counted them before I started - or maybe not. Anyway, this is the result:

I saved instructions for quilts I truly loved/might make/would be loved by family members; articles on quilt history; and articles about decorating with quilts.

The rest of the magazines went in the recycling bin. My sewing room closet is much neater now. Or, at least it was neater for a few days!

The interesting thing was that there were very few (like five or so) magazines that went into the bin intact. In every other magazine was at least one project I felt like saving. I had multiple copies of all the most popular magazines: American Patchwork and Quilting, Quiltmaker, McCalls Quilting, etc. By far, the magazine that had the most pages going in the books and the fewest going in the bin was American Patchwork and Quilting. None of those were discarded intact, and most of them resulted in multiple articles from any one issue being saved. Just a personal preference thing, I guess.

So did all that work (it really took me all weekend and then some) cause me to rethink my magazine buying habits?


Monday, October 6, 2008

Quilt Restoration

I've been trying my hand at quilt restoration. I'm working on a friend's grandmother's flower garden quilt. All of the yellow hexagons in the quilt are disintegrating. I read about this in a magazine article once - I think it's caused by a chemical in the dye.

So here is a before:

And an after - it's not the same block, but you get the idea.

It's not a perfect match, color-wise, but it works and after months of searching, it's as close as I could come. It actually looks a bit closer in person than it does in the photos.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Baby Whig Rose - Center

Here's the center of a Baby Whig Rose, one of the projects in the 7th Jo's Little Women series. I've participated in a Jo's Little Women club at my LQS since 2006, and it's a high point of each month for me. Jo Morton, designer for Andover Fabrics, has created these patterns for small-scale quilts and designed a club around them. So fun. Check your LQS, they just might have a club going on, too.