Tuesday, December 31, 2013


This year has been a series of ups and downs... I have been faced with some health scares, that have definitely left me a different person than I was before. I am seeing what people mean about really taking in each day and filling it as if it was your last. As this year ends I am more than happy for a new start, but mainly I am glad that I am well...ish... and able to move forward with the things that I have recently learned. While there have been some difficult moments I must remember that there have been some great times this year as well. By far one of my favorite was going back to Italy, there are days and moments when I am still thinking about it. I have traveled, read lots of books, and kept my hands busy sewing. When I wasn't working on my own things I tried to spend time with those that mattered and really that has meant so much to me. I hope that 2014 brings more good, and less scary, but mostly I am glad for the growth that has come with this year, because every day I know more and more what I am made of, and that is what will help me slay all of the dragons that may come. I am going to focus on something that in college used to be so important to my making process, and recently I was re-acquainted with it.
-What mark do you want to leave...-
I wish you all a great end to the year and a brilliant 2014 that sparkles with all that is good!

Monday, November 25, 2013

on the cutting table

This is the project that is currently on my cutting table and working wall. I still have not decided on the final placement of the blocks, but I am liking the ombre effect... at least some days, these blocks have been moved a lot... I am using floral fabrics as the pin wheel and tiny prints, mostly civil war and primitive for the background. I am wanted to make something that references traditional quilts but with a modern twist, so far I think it is working well, I like the collage look of it... This whole thing is paper-pieced which I love for the precision! I have noticed that I go through fabric a lot faster, because it requires more with the paper piecing, but it is really worth it.

This is the line of fabric that I am the most excited about at the moment! It is Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander. I loved her first line architectures, and used it in so many different projects. This new one is beautiful in color and line, I am in love with the whole line, and can't wait to use it and am mix it with everything else! 

sewn, stitched, and bound

I managed to get this "looking at you" quilt and my camping quilt finished before Halloween... They came back from the long-arm quilter and they were bound and ready within a day. It felt so good to have things move so quickly with these two projects. The camp quilt still needs to be photographed, but honestly it is so bitter cold I don't want to be outside at the moment... and it will photograph better out there... Anyhow this one turned out really great, I love how a simple log-cabin design made such an impact when it all came together. 

This was a nice quick project that I got to use some favorite fabrics on. I had the long-arm quilter use a interlocking circle pattern to contrast all of the solid lines. I am pleased with the effect. 

Looking at you


I feel as if life is moving so quickly lately, and I am standing still watching.. waiting... thinking... trying to grasp every moment. I hear and feel everything that is happening, but my subconcious seems so far away that it is almost like living in a dream-like state. I turned 30 this month on the 7th, anyone that knows me, knows that my birthday is my favorite holiday of the year. I had a wonderful time with  family and my closest friends. I am happy to be in this new decade. Happy to finally be at the "grown-up" table, considering that I have never really felt as if I belonged to the children's table. Turning 30, went along with some strange things happening in my body... the reason that I feel as if I am standing still watching... waiting... 
I have had a less that good year when it comes to my health, having been the kid that never missed school for being sick. ever. makes it hard to accept that things are not as they have always been. Before this year I can not remember the last time that I had a even a slight cold. At the moment I am waiting on further results, before they can pro-ceed to the next step to know what is going on. All that I really know is that when I went in with my fourth cold/flu this summer and they took my blood and things were off... my levels are not where they should be... and have continued to get worst. Some things have been ruled out but they are still doing more tests, and waiting for results... that is the hardest part of all this... the waiting. I can barely sit still on a normal day, this is making me want to crawl out of my skin. I do not often go into detail on my personal life on this blog, however, this experience has made me think so much about what I want, that I feel it is important to put here. It is so much a part of what my story is at this moment, and honestly it is definitely being reflected in my work. Hopefully soon I will know more, and I am hopeful that whatever the outcome that it is a fixable problem. Until then I sit and think and think and move my hands quickly to sew tiny pieces of fabric together, because that is what keeps my mind from going to deep, dark places. 
The hexagons in these photos are made from my scrap bin, a nice grouping of all of the work that I am doing. It is nice to have this project to work on, on the couch or wherever. One day soon I hope to make a large piece out of these small pieces, as a reminder that sometimes taking it all in, moving slower, and having stitches to keep my mind going is what will keep me moving, during all of the waiting... 

Monday, October 28, 2013

post book-dom

At the beginning of the month I finished reading the latest book in the Inspector Gamache Series by Louise Penny, How the light gets in. As expected it was wonderful! Her books are well written and interesting and this one tied up some loose ends from the previous books in the series. I love how visual her writing is, you can almost feel the places that she is writing. In my opinion that is one of the signs of a truly good book, feeling as if you have escaped into whatever world, place, time, that the book is taking place in. That is the reason I love to read sometimes, the escape into other places. I did feel some sadness when I finished this book because it might be the last in the series, and after nine books in the series I was really loving the familiarity with the characters. Hopefully there will be more... 

I have been on a reading rampage lately, and after I  gave myself a few days to mull over the ending of the last Gamache book I jumped into Dan Brown's Inferno. I love Italy and art and Brown's books are so well researched that they make even the art historians enjoy the story being told. The latest is definitely my favorite, over the past 2 days I have almost finished it. I am sure tonight I wont be able to sleep until the last page! It is so well woven with what is happening in the world today and Dante's Inferno. When I am done I may re-visit Dante's Inferno it has been some years since I have read any of it and it is still a mesmerizing depiction of hell, and humanity. Inferno is definitely a great read and one I recommend, just be ready to give up 2 days to it.... because it is impossible to put down! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

fast output.

I had the whole weekend off last week, and even extended it to Thursday and Monday... and the most amazing part is that I mostly stayed close to home. I love to travel but when I do that means that the studio work gets put on hold... well being around home a lot got done and I still had time to take a couple of day trips. On Thursday I went to the quilt expo in Fredericksburg with my mom, which was lovely,  and then on Sunday some friends, Sandra and I went to Charlottesville to see the autumn colors beginning to turn, it was a really nice time. I had some time to rest my brain as well as gather inspiration. 

The view from Blue Mountain Brewery is always one of my favorites in the Blue Ridge mountains. One of the perks of living in Richmond, is that we are an hour away from this, and two from the beach, and if I ever start to feel that I am becoming to soft from living in the south, I can fight the traffic and go home to D.C. where I am reminded of city living... anyhow I digress.. 

So with my long weekend I had finished my camp quilt, and started working on this... It is a log cabin pattern, and I made it for a little boy baby shower. I never really stick to blue for boys, pink for girls, and I have been wanting to make a black, white, grey, and minty color quilt for a while. I used the animal eyes fabric for the middle and then used dark on one side and pale on the other. I guess technically this is really a courthouse steps pattern. It came together much faster than I planned, so instead of quilting it myself I took it in to be quilted with the camping quilt. I will post better photos when they both come back home and are bound. 

I was pleased with the finished outcome, and happy that an image I had in my mind came out pretty clear once it was complete. 

quilts by others

Last weekend I went up to Fredericksburg, VA and attended the "Original sewing and quilt expo". There were lots of vendors and quilts on display, there were also classes and seminars. I was mainly interested in going to see what this kind of event was like, and to maybe find some unusual supplies, meet and converse with people in the industry and gather inspiration. My mom joined me which was nice since she also has an interest in needle-work and making with textiles. 
I was surprised at myself but my favorite vendors were the primitive ones. They had all the fabrics with tiny prints, which I love! They remind me a bit of Liberty of London, but more casual. I also love all the wool applique... if my plate was not already full with things to make, I would jump on making things with wool, for now I will just admire the beautiful look of it. My mom was in the same boat, but I thinking having to much to make is better than having a dry spell of not wanting to make anything... Anyhow enough rambling from me... below are some of the quilts on display that I thought were interesting and impressive with their technique. 

Primitive gatherings quilt shop
From the Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop booth, they are based out of Wisconsin and had the most amazing quilts to show, they sell patterns and supplies and I had to get some from them. I spoke to the guy in charge of the booth and he said that his mom makes all the quilts and designs the patterns, I was very impressed with the work. Some of the pieces are so tiny that these pictures just do not do them justice.

Primitive gatherings quilt shop

Primitive gatherings quilt 

Victoria Findlay Wolfe

I really enjoyed seeing some quilts in person that I have seen on the pages of Quilty. That magazine has become one of my favorites, for their clear directions and beautiful designs. Please excuse the quality of some of these photos, I was using my i-phone and there were a lot of people around so it was hard to get great images...
Quilty Magazine

Quilty Magazine

Quilty Magazine

Quilty Magazine

These below are some others that were interesting to me, again a lot of primitive style work. It is something that constantly inspires me, pulling from the past and treating it in a modern way.

Monday, September 30, 2013


The quilt top, backing and binding are all complete for my camping "explosion". This is one of the silliest things I have made in a very long time, and I must say... I really had fun making it! I used a lot, A LOT, of different fabrics... maybe too many, but don't really care. It is what I wanted a bit kitch with some nostalgia, and all the things that are related to camping without the realistic aspect of what it actually is like. 

I finished the top the other day and I had to step back and look away for a minute because I was afraid I had gone off the deep end for a minute, with so much going on and no order... very unlike me... and then I was flipping through a magazine and saw the advertisement below for Target Threshold collection for fall... 

Notice the colors... similar to my quilt. and the patterns.... lots of them.... and then I realized I was just starting the fall trend with this thing. (sense the sarcasm) And I didn't care anymore if it was "too much" because sometimes "too much" can be just right. 

This one is getting sent off to the long arm quilter to be finished, hopefully with a "plaid" type look. Better photographs after it is finished!

september inspiration

It is the beginning of my favorite time of the year, fall. I love the crisp air, the warm sun, and the colors everywhere. Growing up summer was my favorite, it meant freedom to spend my days doing whatever I wanted. However now fall is the best! Here in Richmond there are a lot of festivals and events this time of year which is also nice, and not melting from being outside is a really nice feeling! 
A few things inspiring me at the moment:

The last of the tomato harvest, the colors are the best they have been all summer. 

British, Country Living the covers of their magazine is always beautiful. Every month I am pleased with their aesthetics, and the magazine itself is visually delightful and interesting. (Still love country living U.S. version too.)

I wait from spring until September for these to bloom. Love the combo in the garden and in the house! 

I cleared some space on my metal shelves in the studio by adding these to the wall for my little collections of inspiration. I have really done a lot as far as making my space the most workable for me. It feels a little bit lighter and less crowded which is great. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

yes, off topic...


I have followed Dexter since the very first episode. Watching season after season... I rarely watch television where I am actually sitting and watching, normally I am working on something else at the same time, but this show, I did actually sit and watch. The writers, got me and so many viewers into the show rooting for a serial killer, against all odds, we thought of him as the good guy. And then.... there was the last episode..... spoilers coming....
WHAT the hell was that!?!
Kill off one of the main characters and turn Dexter himself into a lumberjack.... It did not sit well with me and I would have been happier just leaving the series ending with all of the serial killers at Dr. Vogel's for dinner.
Alright back to sewing, I just had to get that out of my system.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Loving the late summer blooms in the garden. Noticing that this time of the year is filled with pinks, purples, green of all shades, red, brown, and white. Taking advantage of picking my own flowers and the last bit of vegetables from the garden before fall really kicks in and there is little left. 

Thinking a lot about collections lately, what they mean, why collect at all, how some people are facisnated by one thing and no one else gets it. Making arrangements out of the small collections I have around the house, moving some things around, replacing some, purging others... always seem to be purging something around here, realizing that I have hung onto some things far too long. 

Thinking a lot about drawing, not realistic, refined drawing but that of a child. Uninhibited. Watching a child draw recently I was reminded of how they don't overthink where a color, line, shape, image is going, they just do. With that I want to explore drawing more, at least play in my sketchbook more.

Thinking about images in general. I have been looking and pin-ing on pintrest a lot lately. my pintrest looking at images of everything, from drawings, quilts, artwork, home decor, couture, inspiring people... it really is the visual library I always wanted... 

At that place in a project where I want to put it away and not look at it for a while, but knowing that if I do that I will not ever finish it... Taking a break to sketch and doodle in my sketchbook... Hoping that from that I will have the will-power needed to finish this task. Still enjoying the mixing of many fabrics at once. All the colors, shapes, patterns...