October 29, 2012

Crazy Quilting!

My friend Colleen and I are in a crazy quilting round robin together and her requests was for linen, old lace, and old metal things.  I think I hit the mark.  I am right proud of this block and I hope she likes it!  It is headed to the next person in line and then her set of blocks will go home to her. :)

Yes... those are washers and old rusty screws in her button cluster!
Trust me, this is right up her alley and I hope it makes her smile. :)

October 25, 2012

The FIND Of A Lifetime!

I LOVE to Ebay!  There is no telling what you might find on any given day of the week there.  More things to tickle your fancy than you can shake a stick at! I was browsing crazy quilts last week when I just happened upon 2 auctions very near to finishing.  They were both crazy quilts from the late 1890's - very early 1900's time period... both from the same family. I could not believe my eyes at where the price was when I looked at the close up photos!  These quilts were far superior to most crazy quilts that I had ever seen!  The work was highly impeccable! I HAD TO BID!!

I waited until the last few seconds and bid on the first. I won!! I then went to the 2nd quilt's page and bid there as well.  Someone ran the bid up over the final 2 minute period but I still paid FAR FAR less than what it was worth!

I actually hit the mother-lode!

I received these quilts yesterday and my first initial reaction was tears!  HOW could the family members allow such treasures to go outside of their family??  Upon closer inspection of each block and the embroderies on them, it is clear to me that they surely must be blocks made by friends and families for a certain couple that married and then put in to a quilt.  That just sent shivers down my spine!  There were actually so many blocks made that 2 quilts came from them.  There is no doubt they were made at exactly the same time by the same group of people.  The fabrics and colors tell that story loud and clear.

These quilters painstakingly took hours of their time to create these blocks!

I sent an email to the Ebay dealer and asked him to call me.  he did and I asked for some family history if he had any. he said he would try and find anything he could and get back to me.  These need to be documented!   I have googled the names Samuel Pierce and Blanchie Darst and have sent a couple of emails out to family members I found.  I have one distant relative calling me this afternoon.  I am excited to talk to them.

I know there is no end to how far the internet can reach so if you know of family relatives of this family please let them know about this blog post.

Please enjoy the photos...

 Samuel Pierce and Blanchie Darst Pierce Family Crazy Quilt

October 23, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Witch!

hehehehehehehehehehehe Come here my pretties......

Today is day #2 on the Wicked Blog Hop dreamed up by Madame Samm and  hosted by Wicked Wendy !  This is going to be an awesome blog hop for all of you Halloween lovers!!  There are going to be witches and goblins and black cats a' plenty!!  So come on in with your costumes on and enjoy the party!  I have my witches cauldron brewing and will be serving up some spider cider tonight! yum yum! 

I just got word that there are some other quilters handing out Halloween candy today so when you are full of spider cider, take off to the other parties to see what they have for you!!

Terrifying Tuesday
23rd of October

My first initial idea was to do a witches hat in the crazy quilt design but then I heard there might be some other crazy quilting going on and I wanted to do something different.  I love working with batiks and black fabric.  I googled free witch patterns online and found Sonja's blog with this wicked witch all done up in paper piecing! arrgghhh
As much as I hate spiders!!
So, I improvised! ha!!!
A little Steam A Seam lite does the trick!!  I traced around the paper pieced pattern shape and ironed me some fusible to the black fabric and in no time I had me some witches flying on their brooms! ha!
I wanted to do a table runner but 4 turned out to be too long but 3 was just perfect!
I will have to make a candle mat with the 4th block!
I wanted to show you a little quilt that my friend Donna sent to me last year.  I think I blogged it but don't remember if I did so I am showing it anyway.  I just love it and it has Halloween written all over it!  
It plays so nicely with the witches. :)
And I must show you a beautiful witch dotee doll that my friend Lois made for me!  Art of this caliber should be shared and it doesn't matter how many times! :)
The backside of her dress is so pretty!

Spider and all!
And look... She is holding a pig charm in her hand!
She better not put him in her cauldron!!!
I hope you have enjoyed my Halloween Wicked Party!!
I have something to give away to one lucky reader!!
These 2 Halloween towels and a bag of Tootsie Roll Pops is going to come flying in on my witches broom to one lucky person!  Yes, you aren't seeing things... My hubby ate your candy!!  BUT, I will buy another bag!  I promise!
Please leave me a comment to get your name in my pot!!  
..... and make sure your email is available in your profile and if it isn't, leave it in your comment!  
Happy Halloween everyone!!  

October 10, 2012

My Friend Nichole!

Friends are the gems of our lives!  I count myself the richest person because over the course of my life, I have collected so many gems that my cup overfloweth!  My friends live all over the world and we came to know one another through quilting!  
Yes, isn't it amazing how quilting connects so many people far and wide!  

Take my friend  Nichole Webb Rivera for instance.  She lived in the far left hand corner of the United States... way over there in Washington State and I lived way over here on the East Coast in North Carolina!  What was the chance of us ever knowing the other existed or even becoming good friends as we have?  The odds were against us until that one thing allowed us to meet... "quilting!"

I bought my first longarm quilting machine in 2006 on a whim!  Take this from a 27 year hand quilter!! I had never quilted anything on my domestic machine let alone one of these giant monsters!!  I tried the machine out when I got it home but no matter how hard I tried, I could not get my quilting to resemble anything close to my hand quilting!!!  This machine daunted me to no end!!!

I had my hand quilting frames set up in the same room with the longarm and I would sit and hand quilt and just look over at the machine and say to myself, "WHAT was I thinking!" I could not get my work to look worth anything AT ALL so I started refusing to quilt on it! (truth is, I had not really given it a chance... a couple of tries and my work looking shotty and I had no use for the dang thing!)  My husband would come and stand at the door and ask me when was I going to practice and learn to use the machine and I would say "Soon" even though I knew soon was a long way off!  I was happiest hand quilting anyway!

I started googling photos of longarm quilting and found a group that met at LongarmChat.com.   I joined the group to get some inspiration (hopefully) and this is where I met Nichole!  She was offering classes right under my nose! (or so I thought)

The Story Of How Nichole and I Met!

Nichole was offering longarm classes so I went to her website to check them out.  The information said she would be in Clarksville, VA not 30 minutes from me!!! (yep..uh-huh)   How could I not go to those classes!!!  My husband came in for lunch that day and I was eager to tell him about the classes!  I was afraid he might say no because one day costs 250.00 but he just had to say yes because they were so close under my nose! right??  He agreed faster than a rat on cheese!!  He was so ready for me to learn to use that machine that he had paid good money for that it would not have mattered if the class had cost 500.00!  

So, I skip happily back to the computer after lunch to go sign up!  I clicked on that Paypal button so fast it would have made your head swim!  TA-DA!! I was signed up for my first ever longarm class!

I was looking over my printed receipt....But wait!!!!  Where did that W come from????  I could have sworn that Clarksville had a VA to the right of it!!  Now there was a WV there!!!  I think I was just so happy to find a class over on the East Coast that I had not looked past the word Clarksville!!! haha!  I googled Clarksville, WV and found it to be about 500 miles from us!!!! Geesh louise!!  I knew hubby would stroke out!  He would have to take me and he might not like that idea!

He came in for supper and I told him I had something to tell him.  He asked "what" and I told him he had to promise not to get mad!  He asked again "what is it" and I said "you have to promise first"! So he promised and I explained the situation to him.  He wasn't the happiest camper in the woods but once he found out I would not get a refund he agreed to take me!

Class day came and we left in the wee early hours of the morning to get there! I had the hostesses home address because that is where I thought the classes were! NOPE!!  I finally found a neighbor that helped me get down in to town where her quilt shop was and that is where I found the class!  It had just gotten underway by the time I arrived.  I walked in and Nichole was perched on a stool with a writing tablet in her hand.  She looked at me and asked "Can I help you".  I smiled and said "I am here to take your class" to which she replied "UH no, you're not" and I said "Yes, I am" and she said "No, you're not" and I said "I paid my money" and she said "I am expecting a William and certainly not a woman" and I said "OH! William is my husband and our Paypal is in his name" and she looked at me and we both burst out laughing!!  We have been the best of friends ever since!

I hosted her at my home that winter for almost a full week and we had the best time.  There were 5 students here every day learning to quilt like a Rock Star!!!  She helped me so much that soon I took down the hand quilting frames and I have never looked back!  Yes, some days I do miss it but I have learned to make peace with my longarm "who is now called Sassy!" and I love machine quilting and I do owe it ALL to Nichole!  IF I had not taken that first class from her and had her in my home where I got some one on one instruction and sat through another 4 days of classes, well... I may have just sold that darm machine!  The photos throughout this post are of some of my past quilting.

I would love for you to meet Nichole!

I received an email from Nichole in late June asking for my address because she wanted to send me something.  I asked her what was she sending and she told me it was a surprise.  So I waited for the mailman to come and one day here comes a box from Nichole!  When I opened the box tears immediately came to my eyes!!  Inside was a beautiful quilt all finished with her awesome quilting!

Nichole is the best edge to edge quilter I have ever seen!  Her designs seem to flow so effortlessly as she moves the machine across the quilt!  I think there is something "extra" in the atmosphere on the West Coast!

 (photo borrowed from Nichole)

I called her on the phone to thank her for this wonderful gift and she told me that she was leaving her legacy and I was #1 on her list to receive a quilt!

(photo borrowed from Nichole)

The quilt stays in the living room where it is getting much good use!  it sure keeps the chill off at night when I am in the recliner watching NCIS!  And whenever I need a hug all I have to do is wrap up in the quilt and Nichole is hugging me tight! :)

Please go over to Nichole's website to check out her work!

Nicole loves my fruitcakes and I love her quilting and we go skipping merrily along down the path of friendship together! :)

I love you Nichole!