Sewing With Friends

Friends getting together to sew makes for a super fun weekend.  Take a look at some of the silliness and fun at last year’s Ucross Quilt Retreat.  There’s definitely some serious work, some goofing off, some collaboration and some playtime.

Isn’t this parade of elephants adorable?

Late at night is the ever-popular and hilarious fat quarter game:  Left, Right, Center.  I actually won!  — piles of fat quarters, which I (selectively) shared with the “losers.”  What a fun activity for crazy friends to do together!



Ucross 2018

The end of this week is a special weekend that my friends and I look forward to every year — the Ucross Quilt Retreat.  To show you how much fun it is, I’m sharing some pics from last year.  The old ranch at Ucross is a beautiful setting, especially mid-winter.  Isn’t it gorgeous?


Challenge Improv

For my Color Challenge at the local quilt guild I decided to use some of the improv skills I had recently learned.  I started by choosing fabrics that matched the color chips I’d been given.

Then the plan was to make decisions on the design wall, little by little, before sewing them together.  You can see some of the ideas I tested.

The problem was that I started sewing pieces together before I was certain of the placement.  I had to do a lot of ripping out.  For instance, I decided the turquoise piece across the top (and in several other places) did not match, so I ripped all those out.

I also had the large cream-colored rectangles sewn in on the right before deciding to add slashes, and had to rip one out, along with everything around it.

I also had to rip out a lot on the left when I decided not to use the full blue piece.  But it all worked out eventually.  Here is the finished piece with the corresponding paint chips.

I had learned how to make a no-binding finish, so that is what I did with this small wall hanging.  I love it!  Next time, I hope I can make more definitive decisions while it’s on the design wall!



They Took the Challenge

Here are some of the quilts from the Color Challenge at my quilt guild.  Each one was placed on a table with a number next to it so we could vote for most creative, and best of show.

Following is a sampling of some of the projects, along with the paint chips showing what colors they were supposed to use.

Here are the winners — Most Creative:

Best of Show:

Congratulations to all participants!  I’ll show my finished piece in the next blog post!

Color Challenge

Our local quilt guild had a fun project for us last year–a Color Challenge. We were each randomly given an envelope with three paint chips inside.  These were colors we would need to use in some type of quilting or craft project.  A beautiful example was provided on the table for reference.

Several people immediately started trading colors when they saw ones they didn’t want to use, but I decided not to “cheat.”  No trading.  I had to work with the colors I received, which were not ones I would normally sew with, but that was the point of the challenge.  Thankfully, we had several months to come up with something.  These are the colors I had to work with.

I put it off for several months.  In the meantime, my friend Kathleen had been in and out of the hospital several times.  She had nearly finished her block and called to ask me to complete it for her by adding the borders, quilting it, and sewing on the binding.  I was very willing to help.  This is Kathleen’s beautiful, finished block.  I quilted flowers on each corner and hearts around the edges.

It was ready in time for the big “reveal” at quilt guild, and Kathleen asked me to show it to others, since she wasn’t able to come.

Isn’t it pretty?


2019 Word

It’s time to announce my new Word of the Year.  This word has been jumping off the page to me for several weeks.  It’s a great word to think about this year — “Kind.”  One of the most common derivatives of this word, of course, is “kindness,” so I’ll be watching for both words.

The word first came to my attention while singing a worship song on a walk.  It brought tears to my eyes to imagine the kind heart of God.  We all need kindness:

You’re rich in love and you’re slow to anger.

Your name is great and your heart is kind.

For all your goodness I will keep on singing

10,000 reasons for my heart to find.

If you have never chosen a word before, I highly recommend it.  What word would you like to focus on this year?  Each of my previous words still stay with me to this day and jump off the page when I see them–Hold, Way, Trust, Refuge, Journey, Presence, Pain, Worship, Cast, Joy.  They’ve become deeply meaningful, personal and special to me.  Powerful!

Here are some quotes using my word, “Kind.”

He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgive our sins.  He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.  — Ephesians 1:7-8

Old-Ma sitting in her rocker by the fire, wrapped up in the coat that had belonged to Old-Pa, so long ago that those times were hardly a memory, a thick-set woman shrinking with the years, everything about her shrinking but her heart.  And that heart was as large as the mountains.  Larger.  Her whole life was nothing but kindness.  It warmed him, just the thought, and lifted his feet as surely as it lifted his spirits.  He knew he was home then, really home, and that all the rest of it was done now.  Because Old-Ma would be sitting there, maybe sleeping in her rocker, or maybe still working through a chapter in the Bible that had come to belong to her, as surely as her hands and feet did, a Bible marked and turned down and spotted with decades of touching every single page.  And she lived that way, if nobody else in the world did, nobody but her.  She lived a Christian woman’s life so that it didn’t even seem like there was any trying in it, as if it had been born into her, as if her kindness was natural as breathing.  On those days when his father’s hard face eased a little he was fond of saying that Old-Ma would’ve fixed a plate for Judas Iscariot, if he ever came by, and prayed him along on his travels.  — Owen Parry, Our Simple Gifts, pg. 105-106

When you give a word of kindness for someone who needs it, that’s an act of worship.  — Max Lucado

My wish this holiday season, is for people not to make assumptions about others, to put themselves in others’ shoes, to respect others as they wish to be respected, to respond with kindness even when they disagree, to live and let live.  — Julia Ioffe, Washington Post News Service, 12/25/18

Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  — Colossians 3:12 (NLT)

What is your Word of the Year?


Improv Fun

The second quilt I started at Quilt Wyoming with Rayna Gillman as the teacher is one I call “Improv Fun,” because that’s what it was.  The rules for the class included “no rulers” and “no patterns.”  Here is the previous post about the class.

I came home quite inspired and made several more blocks and started placing them on a design board.  I had no idea what shape the quilt would take.  I tried them straight and wonky and decided on the latter.

Then I had to try to figure out how to put sashing between each block.  It took a while to figure it out, but I did.

I did have trouble trying to plan how to quilt it though, so I took it to my friend, Virginia, for quilting.  She did a wonderful job as always.  I’m super happy with the result!