December 26, 2010


My guild,  Eastern Long Island Quilters Guild, honored me by asking me to quilt the 2011 raffle quilt!  The pattern is Granny's Star by Nancy Mahoney, and was featured on the cover of the July/August 2009 issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting.
This is just a sneak preview until the official photo is taken.  Lots of yo-yo's were sewn on by hand after I returned the quilted top to the guild.

Piano key quilting on all four sides in the center of the outer portion of the border

Ruler work, ribbon candy, and a freeform flower in the blocks and sashing, stippling in the border area not quilted with piano keys

The block from the back

November 14, 2010

The Goody Box!

Okay, I told you in my last post that Handi Quilter sent me a goody box, even though I missed my HQ Story retreat.

First, my name quilted out!  The Handi Quilter machines are all run through several different tests before they are shipped out, and one of those great Handi Quilter people had the super cool idea to stitch our names out in fabric! 

A binder that had autographed pages of all those who had their HQ Story chosen, and quilting designs!  The pin cushion was made by Catherine Sprague, another woman that was not able to attend the retreat.  Wasn't that nice of her?

Two Handi Quilter tote bags and several different types and brands of batting!

Markers, scissors, prewound bobbins, different types and brands of thread!

Jelly rolls, layer cakes, charm packs!

Books and magazines galore!

Batting scissors and preview paper!

Complete set of Quilter's Academy Series One DVD's!

Rulers, rulers, and MORE rulers!

Yessiree, Bob, Christmas came early to MY house this year!!
Thank you so much, Handi Quilter!

November 11, 2010

Handi Quilter makes great people? Or great people make Handi Quilter?

Do you remember how excited I was that I my HQ Story was chosen by Handi Quilter?  My flight to Salt Lake City for their planned event was scheduled for early Sunday morning, October 11th. 
Well. . . . . . .the Friday morning before that I arrived at work perfectly healthy.   I swear.  The picture of health.  By the time I left on Friday afternoon, I sounded like a Nyquil commercial.  My co-workers were pleading with me to see a doctor.  "Eh, it's a cold, I'll be fine."  Saturday morning I went to work for 6 hours, felt like I'd been run over by a train, and decided maybe it WASN'T a cold.  I went to see my doctor to see if I could get medication before I left on my trip (Yes, my doctor's office is open Saturday AND Sunday, and until 8 pm during the week---isn't that amazing?  Sure, I have to wait, but I don't need an appointment.  I  much prefer a two hour wait in the office to a two week or two month wait for an appointment time to be open.  I also may not always see the same doctor every visit, but I was in the military so that doesn't bother me.)
ANYWAY, they took x-rays, listened to my breathing (which, frankly, they could hear in the next room, without amplification equipment), and told me I had pneumonia.  I received a breathing treatment with a nebulizer, a shot of steroids, and prescriptions for antibiotics, prednizone, cough syrup with codeine, and two inhalers.  I asked the doctor if he knew if I could travel with inhalers on a plane. 
He said, "Just where do you think you're going?" 
"Salt Lake City, " I responded.
Him again, "I don't think so."
Then there was a lot of whining on my part about how important it was, and how excited I was, and how I MUST go.
He said, "At that altitude, you'll feel 5 to 10 times worse than you do now--you could end up in the hospital."  But he gave me a medical note for airport security that I needed to carry my meds with me.  Yeehi, Salt Lake City, here I come! 
So while I'm waiting for my prescriptions to be filled, I start thinking about it and decide maybe I should let the people at Handi Quilter know.  I called Brenda, the Director of Marketing & Education for Handi Quilter, knowing she was vending at a show, and left a message about my predicament.  I don't remember much of what I said except that I still wanted to come, but didn't want to put them in a bad situation and could she please call me.  I then proceeded to take a nap.  When I woke up, I felt like the train backed up and ran over me a couple more times.  Reality set in.  Along with a megadose of disappointment.  There was just no way I was going to be able to travel.  None.  I called Brenda again, apologized for acting like a four year old who was going to get what I wanted no matter what, and told her I would not be attending this special treat for those whose HQ Story was chosen.  And THAT made me feel worse than the pneumonia!
SHE WAS SOOOOOOOO GREAT!  Really.  Unbelievably understanding.  First thing to do, she said, was to cancel my flight, so I could transfer the ticket to a future date.  She said to let her know when I was able to come, and she'd schedule HQ educators to give me training for a day.  Then she said, no, she had a better idea.  She invited me to attend an HQ Retreat!  I was flabbergasted.  I mean, it's not THEIR fault I got sick.  I figured I just missed out on it, and that's how life goes.  No way did I expect such a generous offer!
So, along with being sick with pneumonia, I was in mourning for a few days for the fun I was missing.  But again, Handi Quilter was so great.  They left me on the emails that shared photographs and videos of the things they were doing in Utah.  They got a tour of the facility, training, a field trip to a local quilt shop, dinner at the CEO's home.  They were videotaped sharing their HQ Story and quilting tips.
Once they got home, the attendees started blogging about the once-in-a-lifetime experience provided by Handi Quilter.  They came home with rulers, magazines, fabric, batting, scissors, thread, and heads full of ideas of new ways to use new tools.  I was getting a little green (but this time it was envy, not pneumonia! LOL), but I assumed that when I finally made it to Handi Quilter for the retreat, they would shower the goodies and knowledge on me, too : )
Then, lo and behold, they emailed me to tell me they shipped a box to me!  YEEHI!!
I'll tell you all about those goodies in the next post!!

October 14, 2010

Ann's French braid

Before I die, I must, MUST make myself a French braid quilt.  And I hope I do half as good a job choosing fabrics as Ann!

The full quilt

leaves in the braids, pebbles in the small diamonds

leaves on the darker braids

Concentric squares

horizontal lines in larger sashing with ribbon candy in smaller sashing

concentric squares fill setting triangles at top and bottom of braids

Closeup of backing

September 19, 2010

I actually know someone with a prize winning quilt at Houston!!

Sigh.  No, it's not me LOL!  It's my dear friend, Janet Atkins.  She's an EXTREMELY talented hand quilter.  She's on the finalist list  for the International Quilt Association's 2010 "Quilts: A World of Beauty" , with other famous top notch quilters, she just doesn't know exactly WHAT she won yet.  Her quilts have won many ribbons at many shows. 


Close up of the quilting on the back--look at those teeny tiny stitches!

And just to prove I really DO know her, this is the beginning of that quilt, which I believe was started at a retreat in Wiawaka in 2005.

February 2006--some of the fabrics in the quilt were from fat quarters given to her by our online group for her birthday -- isn't that cool??  (Well, WE sure think it is!)

December 2007


Our online group has been together about a dozen years now, and this is not the first prize winning Atkins quilt we've followed from begining to end.  And I know it won't be the last. 
Congratulations, Janet!!

Mary's first quilt!

Mary took a beginner class at Pieceful Quilting and now she has this beautiful quilt.  She must be hooked, because she hasn't seen the quilting on this one yet and she asked me to add her name to the list for another one!  This one is quilted with the pantograph Hyacinth Grande by Patricia Ritter.

The full quilt

Close up

Close up of back

September 18, 2010

Jane-Marie's "Granny's Choice"

This quilt belongs to Jane-Marie. I quilted it with the pantograph Splash by Willow Leaf Studio.  It's one I've had for a while but, at 15", it was too large to use on my HQ16.  But now that I have the HQ24 Fusion, it was a snap.

I ironed this top, loaded it on the frame, and quilted it. Yet I didn't notice that striking diagonal design until I took a picture at Pieceful Quilting when I dropped it off! 

That happens to me sometimes at quilt shows, too.  I take pictures of every quilt and then some detail shots.  Then I go back through the show to really examine the quilts and take more photos if something catches my eye.  Yet still, when I upload to my computer later, I'll see something that I didn't when I was at the show.  Sometimes it's a large design element that requires viewing from a greater distance.  Sometimes it's a tiny charm, or an unusual quilting motif that my camera caught unintentionally when my eye was attracted to something else in close proximity. Either way, it's a nice little bonus : )

The full quilt


 close up of back

September 13, 2010

Sandy's Country Village

Don't you LOVE this quilt??  I do.   And I had a blast deciding how to quilt each area.  Sandy left it up to me, and that always makes it more fun for me.  I emailed her yesterday and asked if she wanted me to wait to post pics until after she saw it in person (tomorrow).  A girl after my own heart, she said no, post the pics.  I took so many pictures that I fell asleep last night in front of the computer while I was going through them LOL! I'm sharing 22 pics, so be prepared to spend a little time with Sandy's eye candy.  Clicking on each picture will let you see it more in detail.

The full quilt

Corner design from a ruler class with Handiquilter educator Debby Brown

Lots of different quilting for each row

The last row and the two borders

And some pics of the back