Friday, November 30, 2012

Nov 30th Quilt-Cam Time!

I've really enjoyed the photos of your quilt-helper pets in my inbox!  It's very fun to share them with their stories....This top photo here is Raisen, and here is his story!

Cathy writes:

I was looking thru a drawer of pink fabrics and left it open.
There is only one comfy chair in the sewing room, the first dog in usually takes it and the rest get the floor.

Or, in Raisen's (not misspelled, someone wanted him to be 'special') case, they get creative...
Obviously, Raisen prefers pink!!  And we know they will take over any comfy spot for a bed -- including a drawer full of fabric.  What a sweetie!

I also have to send a huge shout out to Jim and Laurie in Ottowa -- I received a huge gift box today full of Canadian yummies!

Some things ARE yummy and can be eaten!  Maple Cream cookies I remember from our Caribbean cruise adventure last year!  Maple Syrup!  YUMMY!  

Some things smell yummy but can't be eaten --- the whole package smelled like this spiced apple candle...I'm burning it down here in the studio tonight and it smells heavenly!

Some things look yummy but are neither of the above -- I love the pumpkin pincushion -- the button in the center looks vintage, SO CUTE!!  And the two little clothespin ornaments are adorable as well.

Thank you friends for thinking of me!  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you both!

I'm raring to sew some more tonight ---I hope you'll join me!

What am I STILL working on??

Yes, MORE Moth in the Window blocks!

I need to keep working on these -- I've got a couple other projects going, but I am not going to let this one become a long time UFO -- I'm pushing it through!  Will I finish the top in December? I hope so!

I'm going to hang around an hour or so. Want to join me? Grab a project and come sew!

You can leave a comment in the comment section below, or leave one in the guest book by clicking the blue guest book button in the left hand side bar, While I can't answer them all ---I do pick randomly and try to answer questions as I sew!

Quiltmaker Magazine, Jan/Feb 2013!

There is a new issue hitting your news stands and your mail boxes right about now!

I was very excited for this issue because there are so many great quilts in it.  And as always – it’s like Christmas for me when the magazine shows up in my own mail box because I have NO CLUE which of the scrappy blocks I had sent in for my Addicted to Scraps column are going to show up in any particular issue – I batch send them for the year, and then the creative staff at Quiltmaker decide which one will best fit each issue.

I turned to the page of my column to find that they had chosen a block I’ve nicknamed Ceiling Fan!

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Aren’t these cute?!?

Along with our discussion earlier this week on playing with color on color, or playing with light/dark values – here’s one that is a combination of  BOTH.  Two shades of the same color family play in each block…..what a fun way to dig through the scraps! 


I envisioned blocks made with common color families in light and dark values:  Red paired with pink, medium blue paired with navy, and medium brown paired with dark brown and so forth…..go on and do a lighter green with a darker green, a lighter purple with a dark purple, etc…These little blocks don’t take a lot of fabric – and I bet you can’t make just one!

The creative staff at Quiltmaker came up with this idea for a layout:


They’d be great set on point with a plain alternate block as well --- or sashed – so many things you can do with these!

Hopefully you already have a subscription to Quiltmaker.  If not – get one!  Or find this issue at your nearest news stand.  Remember the issue that had Moth in a Window in it – that issue sold out and is no longer available and I am not posting these Addicted to Scraps column blocks on the blog as a free pattern.  You have to have the magazine to get them!

They may end up in a full quilt design for a future book – but being as book releases take a long time to come about, you’ll be waiting a long time ;c)  If you subscribe you'll never miss an issue!

I’ve been sewing away on a book project that I am using a past block from a past issue today –-  I won’t be showing that one until it is published!

I WILL be sewing more Moth in a Window blocks this evening on Quilt-Cam, so join me at 9pm Eastern and bring something to stitch.

See you then!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

With Heavy Heart ---

I just received a phone call from Rosemary –who I had a great time running around Lansing, Michigan with and who chauffeured me to the home of Claire and Ray Vlasin.  I wrote my first of many posts about Claire and her quilts just this morning.

I’m now feeling like I shouldn’t have waited this long – I should have posted them immediately after my return ---unfortunately Claire will never see my posts.

She passed away last evening.

Rosemary and I had a good cry ((At least I did-)) while she gave me the facts as gently as she could, imparting what she knew so far.

Claire had been ill for some time and was dealing with on-going chemo.  But it was a problem with a heart valve that was the final straw.  She ended up in the hospital on Tuesday.  Wednesday evening she and her husband and life-long love, Ray shared a meal in her hospital room and watched a basketball game together.  I’m sure it was an MSU game --- basketball is HUGE at MSU, and MSU fans are huge basketball fans.

After Ray left for home ---Claire quietly slipped out of this world in her sleep.

I only was blessed to be in the Vlasin home for a mere 2 hours.  I could have easily stayed 2 weeks!

I had planned to share Claire’s quilts one at a time during this coming week ---and I feel that she would still want me to.  I only feel bad that I waited so long – what with Thanksgiving, and the basement re-do, and wanting to post my days and class slide-shows in order –and then the Mystery and a pre-scheduled blog hop ---I wanted her quilts to be the icing on the cake of that trip, and they were.  They still are.

And so, in honor and memory of Claire, I’m going to start in a different order than I had planned. 

What I hope is that you will view these photos with very few words to follow them ---in a moment of silence.  Please keep the Vlasin family and those who knew and loved Claire in your hearts for they are surely grieving the passing of a wonderful lady.

This wool crazy quilt was a special anniversary gift from Ray to his lovely bride Claire as a surprise:

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Wool Crazy quilt on top of tumbling blocks on top of another quilt I’ll share later--

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Bottom left corner detail.

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Bottom right corner detail.

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Left side detail.

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Close up of center block with cute kitty.

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Upper left corner.

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Upper right corner.

As I think back to my time with Claire – I remember seeing what she was currently working on.  A paper pieced block in bright 1870’s Pennsylvania Dutch colors and civil war era reproductions.  She was a girl who loved her quilts, adored color, enjoyed digging into her scraps -- a girl after my own heart.


In so many ways I hope that my life emulates Claire’s ---piecing and quilting in found moments of every day until I slip away in my sleep leaving behind such a legacy to be remembered by generations who come after.

I remember it being mentioned that arrangements have been made when the time comes for Claire’s quilt collection to be donated to a museum.  Such a gift she was and still is, and still will be.

Much love to you Claire- God Speed, my new friend --

A Visit with Claire & Ray Vlasin!

I had an afternoon flight out of Lansing on the day that I returned home from Michigan.

An invite from Claire and Ray Vlasin to view their beautiful home and their quilt collection was a welcome way to fill those hours – and my mind—with some amazing quilts!

Claire is a very accomplished quilter herself, and we found ourselves with so much in common!  She loves traditional scrap quilts and is an avid piecer.  She started collecting antique quilts many years ago, and is lucky enough to have a hubby that encourages her and supports her in her endeavor to preserve these priceless heirlooms.

Not only does Ray gift her with antique quilts for special occasions, such as a birthday or an anniversary, he is also an avid collector of beautiful art glass, and his pieces can be seen displayed throughout their beautiful home – the colors of the glass complimenting perfectly the radiant colors in Claire’s quilts.

One special quilt – I wish I had thought to photograph it --- contained photographs of their long life together from the time when they were young, in love, with their whole life ahead of them.  I remember seeing Claire in her nurses uniform after graduating from nursing school.  Her smile in that long ago photo sticks in my mind, and she has that same smile and twinkle in her eye today.

Not only do they revere and collect quilts – they are preserved and stored in a climate controlled room – complete with special racks and a quilt storage unit that Ray designed for Claire.

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This rack holds many of Claire’s quilts and some antique quilts!

Just as with my visit to Michigan State University and the Great Lakes Quilt Collection – these quilts are rolled on museum quality acid-free tubes made of cotton rag.  The covering you see is NOT plastic, but breathable mylar and protects the quilts.  Don’t you wish you could unroll and view each and every one of these quilts? 

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Another rack lines an adjacent wall!

Those quilts looked wrapped up as giant pieces of eye candy!  Which one would you unroll first?  If you look to the right of the photo…you’ll see some drawers…these drawers slide out much like highly designed kitchen cabinets --- each drawer chock full of beautiful antique quilts on rollers.  Look:

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Wow!  I definitely wanted to unroll that tumbling block!
((And we did! I’ll share that in another post!))

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I spy a Carolina lily in cheddar and red!
The blazing star with the pink print background calls to me too…Yummy!

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Oh goodness!  Each drawer so full of treasures!

Evening star, Crazy Ann, bring them to me!

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Close-up of print fabric on the Evening star!  Bright and clear as if it was new!

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Remember Mr Rogers?  One of these things is not like the others?

From the back to the front we have Axe Head or Apple Core, Sunbonnet Sue, Broken Dishes, and ---

I was so honored that Claire had made a quilt from my Crabapples pattern and included it in her archive of special quilts.  Fun to see what fabrics she used too!

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Drawer after drawer of incredible workmanship – a testament to the lives of Quilters Past.

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Each quilt is tagged with information about the quilt, when and where it was acquired, etc.
Rosemary leans in for a closer look!

Other vintage items are stored in archival boxes on the shelves behind.

Did we get to see ACTUAL quilts rolled out?  Yes, we did!  I plan on sharing those with you one at a time so we can fully enjoy them together.  The whole morning was magical!

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Guess what is on THIS roller?!

Be sure to come back for future posts so you won’t miss any of the gorgeous quilts we got to see!

Have you checked back on our Mystery Monday Link-Up?!  There are over 200 people linked and sharing their posts on their mystery progress!  HOLY. MOLY. MYSTERY, Batman!  That’s a LOT of linkies!  Click HERE to check out what is going on all over this globe!

You have until tonight at 11:59pm Eastern time to add your link to this linky --- if you miss it, don’t worry, you can share any progress of any part on the next Linky-Up that happens next Monday. 

One thing I’ve forgotten to say at the beginning of this mystery is to RELAX.  It’s NOT a RACE.  Do what you can.  Sew what you can of each step along the way, but when the next step starts ---stop what you are doing on the previous step and move on to the next one.  That way you will have some of each done and it will be easy for you to go back later and finish what you didn’t get far enough on.  It will keep you current and involved and raring to go with the next step.

Tomorrow morning --- Part 2 is revealed!

No Quilt Cam tonight --- but look for me tomorrow night, Friday evening at 9pm Eastern.  You can be sewing mystery parts while I still plug away on Moth in the Window blocks ;c)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nov 28th Quilt Cam!

I love the pics you've sent of your pets or YOURSELF playing along with Quilt Cam!  What a fun way for me to see what is on the other side of your monitor!  Keep them coming -- this is great!

Tonight we have Ricky and Lucy!  I'm not sure which is which but they belong to Carol!

Aren't our pets SO helpful!!  

I know I smile more times a day simply by the things my dog and cat do -- than I would without them.  They do put a song in my heart and a smile on my face!

I spent sometime with something else that put a smile on my face today:

I feel like Jane Jetson just sewing away on her super rocket model sewing machine!  Wanna come see how this baby runs?  Come join me for some Quilt-Cam!  Bring a project -- some hand work, some cutting out, or move the laptop to where you are doing dishes ---let's spend some time together!

What am I STILL working on??

Yes, MORE Moth in the Window blocks!

I need to keep working on these -- I've got a couple other projects going, but I am not going to let this one become a long time UFO -- I'm pushing it through!  Will I finish the top in December? I hope so!

I'm going to hang around an hour or so. Want to join me? Grab a project and come sew!

You can leave a comment in the comment section below, or leave one in the guest book by clicking the blue guest book button in the left hand side bar, While I can't answer them all ---but I do pick randomly and try to answer questions as I sew!

iPhone-o-Gram! Still at it!

The purging, the downsizing, and organizing that is!

Now that the basement is mostly done – I'm back to finding one area each day that I can tackle and make better in my month home.

The thing I really dreaded tackling? Shoe overload!

I have a whole big trash bag of shoes to be donated. Why do we women think we need so many pairs of shoes?

Of course the same thing could be asked why I feel the need to have so many sewing machines as well!

Let's just say I cleared out enough shoes to make room for more machines :-)

Quilt Cam at 9 PM! Be there!

Side-Bar Badge Tutorial!

I have had so many thumbs-up on the Linky Tutorial and many have asked for instructions on how to place a coded badge or button into their side-bars -- So  I thought I would slide this into the queue for this afternoon.

I know we have many NEW bloggers this time around, and it makes it so exciting to discover who you are and where you live and what you do –

I want to welcome you for joining in and for including the badge for the Easy Street Mystery in your blog side bars.

The reason WHY you want to use the provided code that is found in the box below the side bar photo is that it will automatically link back here where others can find the directions for the mystery too.

It does more than just say you are participating -- it shows others the way to get here so they can participate as well.  They just have to click your side bar badge!

The first thing you need to do is find the badge with the code in box below it in my right side bar.  It looks like this:


Right click in the text box and choose the option "SELECT ALL,”  The code in the box will be highlighted blue.  Right click it again, and select COPY.


Scroll back up to the top of your browser page, and  left click on DESIGN.


A page with a menu opens up like this….left click to choose LAYOUT!


This is the layout for your whole blog!

Click Add a Gadget ---If you have two columns you can choose it on either side.


The gadget menu will open up – scroll down to find HTML/JavaScript and click the +


A small box will open up!  Put the title or any text you want in the title box – and then right click and choose PASTE to put the saved code into the content box.

Click SAVE and you are good to go!

To change the placement of where your badge appears in your side bar, go back to the layout page.  You can click and drag your widgets into the order that you want them to be.

Click PREVIEW and it will open in another browser page to show you what it will look like.  If you don’t like it – simply hit CLEAR!

When you like what you’ve got – click SAVE ARRANGEMENT and you are good to go!

Things around here are moving quickly!  I’m off to the post office in a few, and then heading into High Point to take Missy the Magic Bus featherweight to get her timing adjusted.  I’ll be back and eager to sew for Quilt-Cam tonight..look who I’ve got up and running:

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I checked her serial number out and she’s a 1963!  That means the search for the elusive 1962 machine is still ON!

See you at 9pm Eastern--

Wandering to Wilkesboro!

Yesterday didn’t turned out like I planned.

But let’s look at it this way --- if I start the day with a pair of broken glasses, it can only get BETTER from there, right?!  And it did!

I got a phone call from my friends Marti and Deb who were on their way from Western North Carolina back home up to Delaware.

 “We are passing through Winston Salem on our way home and wanted to say hello!”

It turned out to be the best thing ever because I use the Optical Department at Sam’s club – was going to need to go there anyway to fix the glasses, and very close by and right off the interstate for lunch is a Chilis I like.  We made plans to meet at 11:30 at Chilis for lunch.

And I got to love on their cute 1 year old boxer mix dog, Maggie…what a cutie pie!

It was really good to catch up, enjoy soup and salad for lunch topped off with a big bowl of chips and roasted corn guacamole ---MMmmmMMMMM!

After we said our goodbyes I ran over to get my glasses fixed.  These are rimless ---and there is a bracket that connects through two holes in the lens, and that is what had come undone.  The tech was able to fix it –I hope it holds until after my next eye exam!  I don’t want new frames now when I’m going to have to change my prescription later – gotta be able to thread those needles, you know?

Before leaving for lunch, I packed Shamu up with everything I needed for my visit to Wilkesboro – Where we met for lunch was 1/2 hour drive closer to Wilkesboro than home---and since it made no sense to go back home only to have to double back again a couple hours later ---a plan emerged.  OH yes it did!!

I don’t have to tell you where I went, do I?  The picture at the top of this post will tell you!

I haven’t done a lot of wandering up in this area, even though it is only about an hour from my home.  But I did a quick search on my phone for antique malls in the area and I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s a great way to take up a couple extra hour’s worth of time!

I didn’t find many quilts --- just this one:

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Circa 1930s!

I love the orange and blue and yellow together.  It’s been used and loved hard ---parts were shredded along the border.  I wonder who slept warm and cozy under this one??

And I had to laugh at a couple items that I would lable “ONLY IN NORTH CAROLINA!!”

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Andy Griffith!

Only in North Carolina would you find a framed picture of the Great Andy Griffith in an antique mall.  He is quite the hero in this area.  But it still brings to mind the question – who had this hanging in their home in the first place and why?!  May he rest in peace --

And this one had me rolling in the aisles:

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Rev BillyJo Truelove?!

Bring yore own serpent, 6pm Sundy Night!

Prayer Warriors are always on duty and standing by $4.00/hr!

Notice and Caution:
The preacher and congregation are not responsible for anyone that gets bit.  If you get bit, the church will stand by you and pray for you.

Also, the same goes for drinking the poison.


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Sweet chair love!

I would have loved to see what quilt this seat was recovered with ---love the mourning grey prints against that solid red!  I didn't take anything home with me from this stop but my giggles and photos.

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Next Stop!  Elkin Antiques!

I almost drove past this one without seeing it.  It’s in a converted old gas station!

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This little iron came home with me!!

I’d been looking for a small vintage iron that gets hot-stays hot for a while…and I wanted one with a rubber cord, I don’t quite trust the ones that are thread wrapped – and this one is in great shape and works.  It says UNIVERSAL on the side.  Price?  $11.00

And that was ALL I was going to leave with until I asked the guy about sewing machines.  I felt safe about asking because I didn’t see any! And then he dropped the bomb – there are 3 in the garage bay outside. 

What could it hurt to take a look??

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Guess what else came home?!? :cD

It’s a singer 500A also known as the “Rocketeer”.  And it does look like a space ship, doesn’t it?  It is in AMAZING condition, as is the table ---Good grief.  It’s still in the van ---- I haven’t told anyone yet.  How am I going to explain this one?! $60.00 in the cabinet.  I may keep the cabinet, I may sell it – it all depends on if I can find a place for it, or swap out another cabinet that I don’t like as well.  Machine heads are easy to store…cabinets?  NOT SO MUCH!  ((Not as easy to hide either!))

I haven’t checked the serial number to date this one yet---I’m thinking early 1960s.  I’m a 1962 baby, and I would love a machine that was born the same year I was.  Have I found it?!

Look for me on Quilt-Cam tonight at 9pm Eastern.  Maybe I’ll have this one in and up and running by then :cD