Sunday, April 29, 2012

What's on my Design Wall

I know, I know...I wasn't going to start any new projects this year other than those I needed for a specific group that I'm involved in. But sewing is my "therapy"--cheaper than seeing a shrink, right--and I needed a "mindless" project that I could work on in between some other obligations. So I was thumbing through my Jennifer Chiaverini quilt books and came across this wonderful log cabin called "Gerda's Log Cabin." It's from the Runaway Quilt book (loved that story!). I have a 4-drawer unit with all my Jo Morton fabrics in it, and some of them are really getting old and tired of just laying in that drawer. So I took a bunch of them out and cut them into 2 inch strips. The block starts with the 2 inch black square in the center, and you only need 8 more logs and you're done with the block.
It's very easy to make 4 of them at a time, and I am making a big dent in my "old Jo" stash! I have 46 blocks made. If I follow the pattern, I need a total of 140. I may adjust the layout a bit, we'll see. I usually draw something up on EQ before I start stitching, so I'm actually working backwards this time. Still, the blocks are easy and I like it so far!

What's on your design wall?

Till next time, keep stitchin'

Friday, April 27, 2012

Generals Wives

The block-of-the-month quilt I'm working on (The Generals Wives) was especially interesting this month for several reasons. First of all, John Singleton Mosby was a colonel in the CSA, not a general. But, he was born in this county (a local boy!), lived in Virginia for a large part of his life and fought in Virginia during the Civil War. His wife, Pauline Mariah Clark, was born in Kentucky and was a devout Catholic. Her father was a lawyer, as was her husband. The couple had 8 children, 4 boys and 4 girls. One of their sons died in 1873 and another son died in 1876. Mrs. Mosby died at the age of 39, shortly after the birth of her last son. It amazes me how much heartbreak families during this time had to endure: everyone was touched by the war, losing sons/husbands/brothers/friends, and then there was the horrible death rate due to disease. How blessed we are to have modern medicine!

Col. Mosby's war activities are particularly interesting. With only a few local men under his command, his ability to strike fast and then melt away before an effective pursuit could be organized kept the Yankee forces awake and often snarled in knots. With daring feats like capturing a Yankee general out of his bed within his defended headquarters, Mosby made his name a synonym for guerrilla warfare. Col. Mosby earned the nickname "The Gray Ghost." He wrote his war memories, which you can find available for free on the web.

Here is a picture of the home--called Brentmoor--that Col. Mosby purchased in 1875 (photo taken 2009) in Warrenton, Virginia. This classic Italian-villa style house was built in 1861. Col. Mosby was the third owner of the property.

The block was fun to do. I did however, make a few fabric substitutions. I had enough leftover fabric of the deep red to use as the center square and the 4 smaller squares, and substituted the darker blue for the blue stripe the pattern called for. And again, here is the block:

Oops..gotta run, Who Do You Think You Are is on now!

Till next time, keep stitchin!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Little Women

I have to finish posting the photos from our Little Women group that met on April 14. But first, a funny pet photo....

So what do you do when you deep six the big box tv in favor of a bigger flat screen...and you leave this big gaping hole above your fireplace mantel? Well, you could turn it into a kitty hide-away! Guess I need to make Dusty a cushy pillow if I expect him to keep using this space ;-)

Okay, as promised...quilt photos...
1) Half Square Triangle Challenge
2) From the latest Fons and Porter Magazine
3) From Moda Bake Shop--Vintage 1860's

4) Point of View

5) Emma Ann

6) Lizzie's Little Quilt

7) Pam's take on Courthouse Steps
8) Half Square Triangle Challenge
9) Point of View
Most of these quilts are from Jo Morton's Group 10, except where inidicated. Our ladies were really good at finishing projects this past month. I have another 10 photos to post, so come back for more.

Until then, keep stitchin'

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rudy Day for April - #2

Today is April 25, and that means it's time for another Rudy Day!
The theme for April's Rudy Day is "Christmas Dishes."

So, here are photos of my Williamsburg Christmas. It's really not complete without the apple cone decoration as the centerpiece. You can check my post from yesterday, April 24, to see my apple cone project. Yes, it can be done even in April! Williamsburg is one of hubby's and my favorite places, anytime of year, but especially at Christmastime! I think the glasses I purchased from CW set the tone, along with the "woodland" placemats. The pottery dishes I'm sure some of you recognized as Longaberger pottery. I love love love my Longaberger.

The silver is actually called Deepsilver...the pattern is called Laurel Mist, it's by Oneida, and I purchased it about 45 years ago for my hope chest. We have used it for every holiday.

And a little more Christmas spirit is provided by the Byers Carolers, Colonial Williamsburg collection. The woman 2nd from the left in the green toile dress--can you see what she is holding? An apple cone! The 2 little boys represent our two sons, who are now all grown up! And the dishes in the background are from my Liberty Blue collection. And yes, I have used them at Christmastime also.

 This is our breakfast eating area, from December 2010. I used my Pfaltzgraff Christmas pottery, and the full set of Byers Carolers along with the Williamsburg houses backboard.

And here we are ready for a Christmas Tea with the girls, all set up with my "Old Country Roses" by Royal Albert china. I'd love to have you join us!

Until then, keep stitchin, and happy Rudy Day!
To join the fun, check out and my post from yesterday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rudy Day April 2012

I saw Santa today! I was sitting at the doctor's office in front of a roaring fireplace (it's 59 degrees here today in Richmond, Virginia), reading my December 2011 copy of Christmas Cottage, waiting for hubby, when in walks Santa! He was wearing dark denim blue jeans, a light denim t-shirt and had that unmistakable white/gray long hair and beautiful full white beard! And of course, I did not have my camera with me, or I would have asked him to come sit on the hearth, hold my magazine, and let me snap a photo! The hubs says, never mind, we'll go pose the photo and he'll play with Photoshop and come up with a similar facsimile!

You'll be relieved to know Santa is not sick, because he wasn't there long enough to see a doctor.

Then we went to breakfast and in the parking lot of the IHOP was a trailer with several large for-sale cast aluminum figurines--including a REINDEER! How do you like that! A Santa sighting and a reindeer sighting all in the same day (and NO camera...grrrrr)!

We stopped at the grocery store to buy some beautiful red delicious apples, and a pineapple so I could make my Williamsburg apple cone. These are the pieces you need to assemble the cone:  A pineapple (real or faux--mine is real), apples--nice shiney red ones, magnolia leaves (mine are faux), greenery for filler (I used pine needles from my backyard, but boxweed is the traditional choice), and a wood apple cone form. I purchased my wood form eons ago from

And, here is the finished product: 

Come back tomorrow for more of Rudy Day, on the actual day it's celebrated! We celebrate Rudy Day on the 25th of each month. Now go check out and join in the fun! The theme for April Rudy Day is "Christmas Dishes" so tomorrow I'll be posting some table settings for you to see.

Till next time, keep stitchin'

Monday, April 23, 2012


Our Thimbleberries group met last Thursday, and since we are all doing the same quilt, I didn't have anything in particular to show you. So, here are some other Thimbleberries quilts I can share with you. The first top is my most recent project called "Halloween Party" from the book You're Invited. You're Invited is one of those seasonal books that I love so much--projects for each of the four seasons that you can use to keep in step with the seasons.  It is by Lynette Jensen, copyrighted in 2005, but I bet you can still find copies available. The inside cover says "Join us for a whole year of quilting inspirations to help you make your home festive for every occasion." For whatever reason, I don't have any decorations specific to Halloween. I go from fall theme--apples, multi-colored leaves and Indian corn, straight to Christmas. So I decided that this year I need to make a few Halloween quilts, and buy a few Halloween decorations. Here's the cover of the book I used, and here's my table-topper quilt. I'll send it out to my favorite long-armer, Joyce, to finish the quilting. Oh, and here's a page from Lynette's book with the quilt on display for Halloween.

I have another Thimbleberry quilt to show you. This is a "UFO" that I started at least 5 years ago. Our Thimbleberries group had a friendship swap with the mitten blocks. Each of us made mitten blocks--one for each person in the swap. We had to have a Christmas design of some sort on the mitten, and the fabrics had to be Thimbleberries. This truly is a favorite top of mine--I have to get it quilted for this year! I'm sorry, but I don't remember which book the pattern for the mitten was in. I can tell you, the mitten block is 6 inches square.

The last photo is another Thimbleberries UFO...I cannot remember where the pattern came from, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the pattern may be a Pat Sloan design, not a Thimbleberries design. But I could be wrong! I was learning to machine applique with this project, and I think it turned out pretty well. Another UFO to quilt...this is small enough I should be able to machine quilt it myself. It's actually a fall design (the acorns and pumpkins say fall to me) but the colors are very Christmasy...perhaps it can go either way!

Till next time, keep stitchin!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is like my "happy place." Hubby and I first stayed overnight here on our honeymoon in December 1968. We were on our way between northern Illinois and his duty station at Ft. Hancock, New Jersey. Over the next several years, we visited Williamsburg more than 8 times. Our love of Williamsburg was part of the reason we moved to Virginia--well, that and a new grandbaby!  Now that we live only a short drive from there, we try to get down for a visit at least once each season. Christmas of course, is my favorite, followed by springtime. Here are photos of our most recent visit in March. We had a very warm spring here in Virginia, and everything bloomed earlier than normal--by at least 2 or 3 weeks.

The last photo above is of a magnificent Magnolia tree. The magnolia leaf is featured in many floral arrangements throughout the area. I remember buying fake Magnolia leaves in Illinois to make my apple cone decoration. We don't have to buy fake anymore! Virginia is where they keep them for real ;-)

In addition to the wonderful plants and gardens, are the animals. Here are two of them you see frequently in the historic district:

You can't go to Williamsburg and not eat at the Kings Arms. It's our all-time favorite restaurant there. They have a delicious chicken pot-pie only on the lunch menu. And then there are the fabulous peiod interpreters you meet along the way. We had an absolutely delightful conversation with this couple over lunch. Would it spoil the image if I told you they drove down from Maryland in their RV for the weekend?

And last but not least, a few additional photos.  Colonial Williamsburg, one of my favorite places on earth!

Until next time, keep stitchin!