Friday, July 19, 2013

An Applique' Quilt

My first  appliqué quilt has just returned from being quilted by my friend Deb, who has a longarm quilting business Stone Valley Quilting. These days, many quilters take their pieced quilt tops to a longarm quilter for quilting, rather than hand quilting or machine quilting it themselves.  Heretofore, I haven't felt any of my quilts were of the caliber to deserve the investment of having them longarm quilted, but this quilt, pieced and appliquéd from this Pat Sloan pattern was different. Presenting a technical quilting challenge for me, the finished quilt was a triumph.  I am not sure I will ever do another, unless of course, I embark on one as I did this one, under the tutelage of a master teacher (Deb again!) and with the camaraderie of a group of fellow quilters.  I guess that is why so many quilters continue to take classes.  Learning is, after all, effective when it is social.

My husband had no idea why I was having this quilt longarm quilted, until I brought it home and showed him what such quilting looks like.

 After calling this quilt a "family heirloom," (how nice!), he commented that the addition of these beautifully patterned stitches added a completely new dimension to the quilt.  I agree. I love it.

Now, all I have to do is attach a binding and hand hem it to the backing.  

I would describe myself as a prosaic crafter.  Instead of knitting complex lace or cabled patterns, I almost always choose simple garter designs, and in quilting, I typically gravitate toward uncomplicated patterns. I like a process that allows me to operate in a quiet zen zone rather than swirling within a buzz of heightened artistic challenge.  However, even though I am quite okay with driving in the comfort and safety of the slow lane, I must confess to a modicum of pride in the making of this quilt.  Someday, I may even do another...I really should.

(I offer my gratitude to Deb Kerr for photographing and quilting this quilt.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Family vacation--is the term an oxymoron?  Maybe, but we do it over and over again, cramming now 20 of us into a couple of  houses for a frolickin' week on a beach in North Carolina.  With a new crop of babies and toddlers, we chill more and organize less.  We spend a lot of time at the beach...

doing all things beachy.

We spend time just hangin', around tables...

and chairs.

We eat....

and sleep

and love each other.

With faces like these, the loving part is really not so awfully hard to do!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Summer Bouquet

Basil and parsley
perch on the windowsill
to savor summer...