Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Resolution

Well, I thought my only New Year's resolution was going to be to drop 10 pounds, but my friend, Sharon has encouraged me to add blogging to my list.  She recently twittered about my Fussycutter blog, which is embarrassing since I haven't written anything for 6 months!  So here I am, ready to add in the new creations I have been working on during this holiday season.  The first creation pales next to its recipient-the amazingly gorgeous Evelyn DiNicola!  Welcome to the world little girl!  Wrapped in Heather Ross is a great beginning to a magical childhood!

I have been working on a quilt this Christmas break for my amazing intern, Sam.  Sam has been with me for three years and I think I learn more from her than she learns from me.  She has the gift of youth and sees everything with fresh eyes.  She sees hope in all things and is a great balance for me when I am swayed by the despair of others around me.  She recently asked me how she could get one of my quilts and I told her that she had to get married or at least engaged, or have a baby-in any order for I am a liberated thinker.  But I have changed my mind and think that for being my intern all these years, she has earned a quilt which means I have added a new category for quilt recipients!  For Sam, the design had to be edgy and sophisticated to match her Brooklyn roots.  And had to have the color black because she likes black.  And I liked that this fabric has punctuation since we have to write to many darn reports!

I also decided this holiday season that I wanted to try my hand at something a bit more intricate, inspired by my friend, Rhea.  Rhea owns Alewives Fabrics in Maine.  Her fabulous staff are my first choice for quilt finishing with their long arm when the chore is too large for me.  She always comes up with a really cool quilt for the annual Maine Quilt Show.  One year she made  Jazz Hands or Erika's Honesty-both have the same design in the main hexagons.  I have been thinking about this quilt every since she talked to me about how she tried to create movement in the quilt by designing the block as though it were a kaleidoscope.  My former husband, Ben loves kaleidoscopes and had a very big fancy one that captivated me many years ago. So I thought I would try to work a little magic myself.  I have made one square and I am not so creative that I can stray from one collection.  I had lots of scraps from my Anyway You Slice It  quilts by Denyse Schmidt with her Chicopee line.  So I made my first block with greens and yellows.  I am moving on to some pinks and oranges next.  One block at a time!

 I have also been going through my left overs and have been thinking I should whip up another strip quilt given how cute Evelyn looks in hers.

Ok and here is the last project (making up for not blogging all year).  I lost the lovely Ally and the resilient Josie has had many health issues this year and my friend Lynn was there for me in so many ways with her lovely assistant Melissa.  I made Melissa a scrub with fun dogs to thank her.

Ok must stop writing now so that I can get to work on some of my new projects!  Happy New Year!
Thanks for the kick in the pants, Sharon!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 2013

Since I got back from vacation and my conferencing, I have been finishing up projects that I have cut out in the past, but have just not had the time to finish.  Alas, they get stuffed away in a drawer, forgotten.  The problem with putting things away and letting time go by is that you end up missing some of the pieces or forgetting where you put the directions to the project-or worse yet, the person has grown too big for the project or that special occasion has slipped away.  So...finishing projects was on my list these past two weeks before I get busy again with my work!

First, I fixed some handles that were not initially sewed up properly on the Anna Maria Horner Multi-Task Bag.  I love Etsuko Furyara's birds and polka dots!

I finished Amy Butler's Sunday Sling.  I changed the handles a bit because I tend to carry large loads and I thought the ties on the top might hurt my shoulder blades.  It is fun and colorful for hot summer days!

Then, continuing on in the Amy Butler inspiration, I made three Origami Bags which all fit into one another-I think this makes such a great gift.  I used my Heather Ross stash!

I then put together some old Turning Twenty squares and examined my scraps to make a few more squares and this will make up a great baby quilt for someone special at school.  I planned to use Heather Ross's new Briar Rose line to make a strip quilt, but I am not feeling it for a baby boy quilt:

Let's see then, because it is my dear daughter's birthday, I finished a Made by Wendy from Anna Maria Horner voile for a birthday present.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Whole Lotta Lotta

I am posting after such a long time.  I am in Maine, on vacation, relaxing with Fred and my sewing machine!  I made a couple of throws from Lotta Jansdotter's Glimma line.  I just love the designs.  I used my wonky nine square technique I learned from Liberated Quilting by Marston.  I made a second one with my extra squares and added some Joel Dewberry.  I got the idea from Hawthorne Threads website-check this out

I have also been working on a third quilt and limiting myself to just using Glimma left-overs-challenging, but I think when I get home and go through other left-overs, I might have something good-stay tuned!

Fred is having his first one man show at Wake Robin!  He is working on his quilts and is setting up his Kaffe Fassett inspired work to quilt up on the very hot deck!

I am visiting with my good friend, Ginger while I am here.  I am sporting my Nani Iro shirt made with Hot Pattern's Plain and Simple Superfantastic Shirt pattern!  This is a super roomy, great, comfy shirt.  Just ignor her crazy husband in the background-he is jealous that he isn't sporting Nani Iro!  I have Phiona at Nido's to thank for the pattern and fabric.

Back home, before I left, I made a Study Hall Skirt by Anna Maria Horner for my friend, Karen and a ruffled skirt for my pal, MC Baker's gal, Ziva!  The Study Hall Skirt is super cute and hope to get a picture of Karen in it!  And if you haven't seen this ruffled fabric on it out as well as the tutorials!  I made a ruffled skirt for myself, my friend and Ziva!  Ziva looked the best in it!

Finally-here is my Summer Washi in Kaffe Fassett's Persian Vases ready for dinner at the restaurant where Fred proposed 8 years ago! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shoeman's Puzzle

I have been working on a quilt for a very special person who is marrying in September.  She told me once that she was looking for something muted for bed linens.  I am not drawn to muted generally speaking and so I had lots of help from fans of muted tones to choose these colors to make Denyse Schmidt's pattern, Shoeman's Puzzle.  Fred had to hold it up outside, but he kept dragging it on the muddy ground and well, it is a wedding present, and although the bride is a Vermonter, it is nice to get wedding presents that are clean.  So I had to crop this photo a bit and there I am in my shadow at the bottom!  In any case, let's talk about this pattern.  Look how cool it is that your eye can play tricks on you and you can see squares, but then again, you can see circles.  I love that!  At Denyse's suggestions in her book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration, I used Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton in Melon for the lighter green and a Kaufman Kona Cotton in Sage
for the darker color.  I used a coordinating print from Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee line, Circle Cross, for the back.  My great friends at Alewives quilted it with their long arm.  I hope my bride friend likes it!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Positive Behavior Support And New Bee Bags

At one of my schools we have a set of behavioral expectations:

Be Kind
Be Safe 
Be Respectful

And we have a Bee theme.  We were doing a presentation and  I made us all bee bags (to carry our warm buzzies) for a presentation!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Old Candide Patterns and Quince and Company

I have been feeling rather nostalgic about my old days raising sheep, dying my own fleece with roots and berries and spinning away.  Oh, those sweaters were ugly, heavy and smelly!  But very organic.  In any case, I was thinking about my old Candide patterns.  I had a hankering to knit up my old Herringbone Raglan, only this time as a V neck.  I obviously don't have any of my old lanolin, naturally dyed, hand spun wool.  I could not find the right weight of yarn anywhere to get the 4 inch gauge on size 10 needles.  And then... I discovered Quince and Company after I saw Phiona's post on the linen she purchased from them.  I went on line and ordered some skeins of Osprey in Snap Pea and Clay.  I am making the Herringbone from Snap Pea and the raglan from the top down in Clay.  I have been so happy, knitting away on these last snowy, windy, gray days of March in Vermont. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I love typewriters...who doesn't?...The machine that makes our words look as though we could all be award winning authors?...The machine that makes the worst penmanship readable?...

The machine that was with you through those all-nighters when you had a paper due the next morning-who else stayed up all night with you and helped you finish the requisite number of pages and words for the assignment? No wonder we have a love affair with that word creating machine! 

I once had a turquoise selectric IBM typewriter.  I knew I had arrived when I was able to obtain the Russian alphabet special ball for my typewriter so that I could type my final paper for my degree in Russian (I was a Russian major in college).

Currently, I am sporting my Melody Miller gel skin on my Mac. 

I also love this shirt pattern from the Built by Wendy book.  She gives you instructions for changing things around and it is just a great shirt pattern! Stay tuned for my shirt with key tab shirt!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Field Study

 I love Anna Maria Horner.  I have said this before, but I will say it again.  When you look at her collections on the shelf or in a pile, you wonder what she was thinking.  Then when you put them together, a whole new magic occurs.  I loved her line, Loulouthi and I was afraid I couldn't love her new line.  And while I am still more enamored with the colors of Loulouthi, I have an appreciation for the organic-ness of Field study.  I made this piece in the style of Turning Twenty.  My friends at Alewives machine quilted it in a pattern that looks like spiders building webs.  It is just gorgeous!  I am also placing this quilt in my Etsy Shop. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Girls at Play

 This has been a lovely weekend.  We did not get half as much snow as Maine or Massachusetts, but enough to stay in and get some project done and not enough to keep me inside all week-end!  I finished up my patchwork made up of left overs from two baby quilts last winter.  I just love Sarah Jane's Children at Play line!  I also put this quilt in my Etsy shop.

Today I had a lovely hike with Fred and Moxie.  We had tried to climb Camel's Hump, but when we got to the parking lot, we learned that we were not the only ones with that idea.  So we had a new adventure hiking around Gillette Pond in Huntington with Moxie.  Check out Freddy's hat, also fashioned with left over yarn from the stash!

Yesterday, I went to Essex Tech with my dear former student to look at all her options for programs next year.  Looks like Automotive and Graphic Art won out!  We had the best lunch at Martone's with cookies from Mia!  Thank you, Mia and Tony!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Day!

Any Way You Slice It with Chicopee and some Hope Valley

Yeah!  We are having a snow day!  That means catching up on reports and drinking lots of hot tea, thinking about my project I get to work on when I finish this report!  But first, a few updates!  I finished Any Way You Slice It by Denyse Schmidt using DS Chicopee with some coordinating Fats and some old Hope Valley for filler.  I had it in mind for a male.  But the challenge was to find masculine looking fabrics and a cool modern pattern.  I thought maybe this might do the trick, but Aretha was not so sure!  So she consulted Steve, the boyfriend/consultant on all things male and he gave it the thumbs up.  He said that the 'cool' factor made up for some of the flowers and pinks.  He also said that he was impressed by the randomness of the pattern and declared that a computer programmed to randomize could not have done a better job!  So thank you, Steve!  But I still wonder if I should do something in solids for a guy.

Now onto my latest project which is a baby quilt made with Aneela Hoey's Little Apples line.  I have been reading Liberated Quiltmaking II by Gwen Martson which I highly recommend.  She helps rule-following, conventional types like to become brave enough to walk on the wonky side.  So, with her help and inspiration, I made my first wonky log cabin.  And here it is:

Making the squares was so much fun!  I just love the way Aneela Hoey captures the joy of play in childhood!  I am putting this quilt in my Etsy shop for sale.  The back is grey and red-very much unisex!

I am on a mission to use up my scraps inspired by Sunday Morning Quilts by Nyberg and Arkison.  I had lots of left overs from making two Tiny Turning Twenty Quilts with Sarah Jane's line, Children at Play.  And I have enough left overs to make a smaller Any Way You Slice It, baby size quilt.  With the NHL out of their lock out and back on the ice, I barely get to see Fred who is so happy to be watching the Rangers and the Bean Pot and Middlebury and UVM!  So I am happily sewing away! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Back in the Saddle

All Set Skirt
I have not been blogging since the Summer.  Sigh.  Such a long time.  And I don't have much to say for myself except that I did have 19 students in this Fall's Psychological Assessment course this year and that meant reworking my course and lots of papers to read.  I also had a busy Fall at work.  But now I welcome below zero temperatures and lots of snow because I can convince myself that it is ok to forgo outdoor exercise in favor of fiber arts!  So  I am recommitting to blogging.

My first post was inspired by the awesome art teacher at school, MC Baker.  She redrew a cover for a photo album I ordered from Apple for Ben this Christmas.  This was a real lifesaver after Moxie chewed up the package on the front stoop!  So I to give back, I made a skirt for her daughter from Anna Maria Horner's new pattern.  The skirt is the cutest and I made it from Lizzyhouse fabric, which I purchased at Nido's in Burlington.  Ziva loves it.  MC wants one in adult size and I think I want one, too.  Anna Maria Horner, could you make an adult size pattern?

My second project is a fabric box from Zakko Style.  You know already that I love Melody Miller!  So I fashioned up a fabric box using her fabrics.  Lots of hand stitching which went by quickly at Snack and Sew at Nido's last month.

Any Way You Slice It
And last and certainly not least is my Denyse Schmidt Any Way You Slice It  quilt-in king size!  This quilt was very fun to make and I made it from a huge pile of fat quarters of her Chicopee line with some solid Kaufman Kona cottons I picked up here and there and from my stash.  I also added some old fabrics from her previous line, Hope Valley.  Then it was so huge, I went to Knits and Bolts in New Haven, Vermont and purchased 108 inch wide fabric for the backing.  Then off it went to Alewives for some long arm quilting in a wind pattern with dark red thread.  I have just finished binding it and had to hang it over my upstairs porch in order to photograph it!  I love the results!