Monday, December 28, 2015

Necessary = 2 new pair of PJ Bottoms

Not much to say.  Still fighting some medical challenges.  Busy cooking healthy food which I seem to be enjoying to excess.  Finished my PJ bottoms just in time for the snow-sleet storm due to start tonight.  I do not sew these because I enjoy making PJ  bottoms.  I can not find any comfortable ones to buy.  I have tried for years.  NO luck for my long legs.

I LOVE the fit and comfort of these.  PLUS I enjoy the large pockets and color combinations I have never found in any store.  The small cuffs at the bottom keep them from riding up at night.  I mate these with 100% cotton knit tops.  Great for winter wear in Maine

Now I need to decide IF I should make 2 more pair now that I have the pattern fit exactly the way I like it  or IF I should make a warm indoor jacket because I am sick of fleece?    Of course everything will have to wait until Morgandy and I have time to do some holiday cookie baking.  What FUN that will be.  Looking forward to her return from Christmas visits tomorrow.  

My simple altered pattern that fits me.  I see no need for side seams on PJ bottoms.  The less seams = the more comfort.  PLUS, I added something I have not seen anywhere, Ann's Comfort Crotch.  I thought of calling it something more gentile like, Ann's Comfort Gusset.  However, that does not really explain it.  Notice the lack of curves at the front and back?  That is where the piece in the center goes.

Photo was taken on my dining room table set up for painting-dying.  Heavy plastic table cloth was suppose to protect the top.  However, with pin holes and small slits, it did not work very well.  It is really not a problem because I use it more as a cutting table, paint table, dye area than I ever did for a large dinner group.  I have a table that seats 6 in what has become 'Ann's Tea Room.  I only heat that room/large hall way when I am expecting company.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Houston 2015 opening remarks

Just returned from Houston.  I thought it was FABULOUS!  Yes there were disappointments.  However, overall I really enjoyed it.  Since I often sit and watch people look, the art quilts seem to intrigue more people for a longer time.  I think that was because it is new to most + they understand traditional quilts.  Sharon Shamber was not there.  Even though I am an art quilter, I felt this loss.  Her work sets the standard.

Much better than last year except that a few categories were combined.  Small painted and large painted were combine to Painted Quilts.  This was what happened in many categories.  I know they used to have large and small because I had a painted quilt in the small category a couple of years ago.  There also used to be a rule about only one quilt per person in a single category.  When someone like Hollis has two quilts in a category, it really limits the expectations of all the others.  YES, she is someone I admire for her subject matter, composition, painting + quilting.  However, IF she takes 2 of the 3 prizes, what are the chances for anyone else?  I am very disappointed that she used other peoples photos for both of her award winning quilts

The BIG problem with Houston this year was the construction.  What a mess!  Photos on this post.

I took LOTS of photos of the exhibits.  However, some seem to have disappeared.  I had a glitch on my first down load when my batteries went dead.  When I tried the next day, the message said, "No new photos".  Eventually I found a way to find a few.  Please remember this when I start posting by category.  I did photograph every quilt in most art quilt categories.  Some I can not find.

Because I am hungry for some of this fabulous sea food, 2 quilts in the "Whats for Dinner" exhibit by Frances Holliday Alford.

I especially like this one.  Guess someone else did too because it was sold when I first saw it.  The dimensionality of this is amazing.

The following quilts by Deborah Langsam were part of The Moda Exhibition.  I really thought these were WONDERFUL!  ENJOY. Sorry these do not show up as well in my photos as in person.  All of the close ups from the shoes which made up the feet were too bleary to show.  It was impossible to count how many photos were in each quilt.  ~~ LOTS!

I think this is the correct view.  Not sure, so I included the one below.

Now for the CONSTRUCTION + WEATHER on Saturday. Nothing to do in this down pour.  There was an ART-CRAFT exhibit set up on the Green.  The path between the booths looked like a river.  It was running so fast and furious it had some 'sea' foam at the front.   Luckily, I had a room at the Hilton so I could just wheel over on one of the sky ramp connections.  This is the only reason I stay there.  As far as I know, no other hotel even has accessible buses.

Mess Over View 1

Mess Over View 2

Mess Over View 3

Mess Over View 4

Mess Over View 5

Construction in other parts near my hotel.
Another building under construction.

Love the palms on top of this hotel.
Still it was very difficult trying to walk on this side walk.

Long View of Construction

Morning View going to Festival.
Really really grateful for the sky bridges.

PS.  PLEASE count all the people you see working on the construction sites.  For me, it was hard to find more than 3 on any single site.  Hope it is finished by next year.

Fare Well View

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gold Fish for Frances Holliday Alford

Gold Fish

This actually looks better on point.  However, I think Frances will probably put it into her quilt as is or turned 90 degrees.  The fish is actually gold lame.  I think it is too reflective to show the real color.  Frances said she loves gold fish + red, so I hope she likes my little addition to her 70th Birthday Quilt.

Frances, PLEASE resend your address.  I had it on my worktable when I started sewing this afternoon.  When finished, the address was gone?  I live alone, so I am always curious about stuff that comes missing.  Maybe it is with my favorite gray sock?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

91 Days

91 Days
A Tribute to George Junius Stinney, Jr
4' x 4'

George Junius Stinney, Jr.

1929, October 21: BIRTH
Alcolu, South Carolina, USA

1944, March 23: 2 white girls ages 8 and 11 beaten to death.

1944, March 24: ARRESTED along with his older brother, Johnnie; Johnnie later released.

[His sister Amie said he was with her during the estimated time of the killing.]

[Stinney's cellmate, Wilford Hunter, said Stinney told him, “I didn't, didn't do it.”]

When Stinney was arrested, his father was fired from his job at the sawmill. His family was ordered to leave town immediately or endure retribution.
Fearing for their lives, they fled.

Without family visits and support, this unsophisticated boy had to endure his trial and death all alone.

1944, April 24: TRIAL 2:30PM: trial begins


SHERIFF [only evidence]: “Stinney confessed”
[no written record; NO corroboration.]

DEFENSE: politically ambitious TAX ATTORNEY,
asked for change of venue; DENIED. 

NO other witnesses were called.

5:00PM: Jury sent to deliberate.

5:10PM: Jury issues verdict, “GUILTY”.

Stinney's Attorney chose NOT to appeal.

1944, June 16, 7:30PM: EXECUTION
Stinney was too small [5'-1”, 95 pounds], for the adult sized electric chair.

Phone books and/or the Bible he carried to his execution were needed for a booster seat in order for him to get strapped in and reach the electrified helmet.

2014, December 17 CONVICTION VACATED.

This project started in December 2014 when I answered an invitation from Jennifer Marsh, [Dream Rocket project and others], to create a tribute to George Junius Stinney, Jr. After reading about this case, I felt compelled to make a tribute. My art will join that of others in a traveling exhibit. 

 Because of recent events in South Carolina and Texas, where people were judged by the color of their skin, I believe this exhibit is more important than when I began.  The persecution of people because of the color of their skin has to STOP!

For more information about Stinney, check out the links below.

These both show the photo I used to make the portrait.


Thursday, July 2, 2015


This small quilt evolved from my emotions when looking at the scans of a baby at 20 weeks.  The whole story is below.  I created it for the 'Sacred Threads Exhibit ' in Herndon, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC.  It will be on display July 10 - July 26, 2015.  Hope you have a chance to attend.

11 3/4" x 35"

Precious, detail

The Story:

In October 2014, I saw scans of a baby at 20 weeks of age. I was totally surprised at the development. The open eyes really caught my attention. What did the baby see? I could not get this image out of my mind. At this time, I was also told that it is a viable birth. Because the parents did not want to know the sex ahead of time, I could not call this little one he or she. I did not want to call the baby an it. I thought the baby very precious. Thus, Precious, became the baby's name.

As the holidays passed, I still thought about the images I had seen. I wanted to share these with others. I had known about Sacred Threads. Upon discovering the show was this year, I emailed the mother of Precious for copies of these images. From these images, a quilt was developed specifically for the Sacred Threads exhibit.

While new technology allows me to print in any color, my design decisions included printing the images in black and white so that they look like photographs.

I chose the color yellow for many reasons. Yellow is the lightest hue of the spectrum. It is also the color of the room where the newborn Precious will sleep. Yellow is considered uplifting, illuminating, full of hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. Yellow is considered the best color to create enthusiasm for life. It is said to awaken great confidence and optimism.

The color yellow is also the color of the yolk of an egg, nourishing the growing embryo inside its' shell. Thus, it symbolically nourishes Precious in the womb.

I chose the color purple because it symbolizes spirituality, creativity, dignity and royalty. Purple is also the most powerful visible wavelength of the electromagnetic energy field.

I decided to do a gently gathered border, using a very soft fabric because I thought the baby needed to be cuddled.  This turned out to be trickier than I thought it would be.  However, with knots of gold thread holding it in place, my vision came to life.

I am sure all will agree this child is very Precious. Definitely worth more than gold. Thus, I used gold thread as a symbol of the worth of this spirit filled being.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


This is truly an April fool joke on me.  I've seen wisps of snow in April and May and even June.  However, I've never seen piles of snow like this so late in the year.  Of course this has been the worst winter I've ever seen in my life.

View Up the Driveway

Close View of Above

View Toward my Kitchen Windows

This is the entrance I use.  The 'stick' on the far left of the snow pile, is what is left of my lilac tree.  I hired someone to chop the snow off the driveway until it got near the planting areas.  

View from the Garage toward the Street.

The fence is ~6' high.  The horizontal just below the lattice is ~5'.  The four units here share two raised planting beds.  One person is anxious to know who wants to participate this year because she is anxious to start seeds in preparation for spring planting.  Another person is anxious to share a space as soon as spring arrives.  He thinks that may be July.  Hope he is wrong.  It has been a hard winter.  I just hope the tree listing toward the driveway can be saved.  I planted it in 1999.  Thanksgiving Day the slush storm uprooted it and it was laying across the driveway.  I was able to get it semi-upright, tied it up until the snow encased the area.  Do not ever want to experience another winter like this!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Finally a New Quilt Started

I have been working on this off and on for several weeks.  I have a plan.  However, it was not working.  Last night I trashed it all except my sketch on the background.  Determined, I started again today.  Planning, in my head, the neutral colors I would use.  I started again.  Followed some of the 'rules'.  I was hating the work.

Finally, I broke free = did my own thing.  I know I am now on the right track FOR ME because I'm excited and very enthused.

Design Board in my 'Working Hall' 

The background is my bed in the alcove  Opposite the bed is my computer, library and bill paying area; in effect my study.  On the left is the one bock that I like.  On the right is a lovely piece of fabric I found in my stash of 'decorator fabrics'.  The white marks are my chalk sketch of a person on the background purple I plan to use.

One Quilt Block

It is happily a wonderful start for me.  After much trial and error, I feel good about this.  Lots of texture, fringe, gold trim and shiny next to homespun = all the things I like.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Spy Quilt for Baby Oster

I Spy Baby Quilt
30" x 42"

Finished just in time for Amanda's baby.  My second cousin, Stuart Oster and Amanda were married in a beautiful, touching ceremony April 30, 2010.  This is the first grandchild for my cousin Tom and his wonderful wife, Carla.  This baby is coming into a large circle of LOVE.  I'm in the process of making a small wall quilt out of the scans done at 20 weeks.  When Amanda and Stuart came for a quick visit last fall, I was totally amazed at these scans.  I wanted to make this quilt first as the baby is due in early February.

This is my second baby quilt.  The first one was for Morgandy.  Not knowing what I was suppose to do, this quilt was also an "I Spy".  I can't remember exactly how big it was.  However, it was too big to drag around.  I wanted this new quilt to be small enough so that the child could drag it around for play.  Like my first quilt, I wanted it to be interesting for a child.

The baby's room is yellow like the back of the quilt.  The crib is one of the most beautiful pieces of furniture I've ever seen. It is wood stained a soft gray.  The grain shows through.  It will become a headboard in later years.  Because of the gray, I used all different gray fabrics to boarder my groups of six .  I think this will allow the quilt to be interesting to the child, yet fit the bedroom decor.

All fabrics and batting were washed before cutting.  I wash everything that comes into my house. I've also learned to test ribbons and trims.  While making my first baby quilt, one of the pieces of grosgrain bleed.  Luckily I found it immediately because I was using a steam iron to press the pieces over. Because this hopefully will be used for a newborn, I washed it again after quilting and binding. It is lightly quilted to keep it soft and cuddly.

The batting is "Warm & Safe" by the Warm Company.  It is naturally fire retardant.  It is also non toxic, non allergenic, and free from chemicals.  Luckily I had some on hand, because I can not find this anymore.  When I used it for Morgandy's quilt, I bought an extra bag to keep on-hand.  

We are having a blizzard at the moment, so it gives me a chance for quiet quilting and posting this quilt.  It will go in the mail Thursday when the roads are hopefully cleared.  Hope it is loved.

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

First baby quilt is here

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Quilt Photo Year 7 in Review

This is a really late post.
My quilting year goes from the first of October to the end of September.  I usually post in October. This is because of when I started to blog. Obligations and necessities took over + Festival.    I knew I had 5 months of personal business that occupied all of my time.  However, I could not figure out why I had such a little bit of output for the other 7 months.  Then, as I was looking at last years calendar to update to 2015, I found the reason.  I remembered that I put a LOT of time into this quilt.  Did not realize how much until I looked at my calendar notes. My calendar notes revealed the whole story.  I started sketching this quilt on 24 January; finished piecing 21 March; just made the photo deadline on 2 May.  I know that later I had to do all of the back finishing, including putting on the sleeve.  I also know that my hands were in too much pain from arthritis to even think about doing hand work.  Therefore, following advice from my very supportive Quiltart group, I did all of my finishing with glue, namely 'liquid stitch'.  It worked wonderfully.  

Blue Rose

Blue Rose center

Chair Bag for Festival 2013
This worked GREAT!  A few folks did notice that I was from quiltart.  However, the biggest use was for storing stuff collected/purchased during the show.  Big stuff of course was shipped.

Butterflies for mobile
This was a Fast Friday Fabric Challenge.

Mobile in Motion

Chemo Quilt

Chemo Quilt

Chemo Quilt

Quilt of Honor

Drone Quilt block
This has become part of a quilt protesting drones.

Star for Houston
too small

Star for Houston
too small

Star for Houston
Frustrated with my pieced stars ending up too small, I used a large piece of yellow linen as the backdrop for this GLITZy star.  What FUN to find it in one of the quilts in Houston commemorating time in the space station with astronaut Karen Nyberg.

Fun Wear
I received the bath robe and a  long night gown as a gift from my cousin Carla.  Not one to wear long gowns, I did a major remake.  I added/revamped the robe belt with a quilted one.  After making a shorty top [with added fabric to trim the bottom] from the night gown, I used the fabric to make PJ shorts, mini top for really HOT weather [that did not get much use] plus made some coordinating short pants and added trim to a Salvation Army collared knit top to complete my night wear ensemble.

This review is NOT in any special order.  The photos are in the order that my program uploaded them.  However, basically, it is what I created during this slice of time.