Friday, April 22, 2011

Celtic Knots and Coloring Books

Currently I have the pleasure of serving my profession on the national board of directors of my music teacher association. This work can be done while in my pajamas and hanging out with my young children. Twice a year, however, I pull out the good clothes and attend national board meetings away from home.

On these trips I often take hand work since I don’t yet own a laptop to keep me busy. This Celtic knot was to be my latest donation to the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, until it met Mrs. G.

Mrs. G, a colleague also on the OAKE national board of directors (, kept inquiring about this little piece and her interest in AAQI grew. When she fell in love with it and asked to purchase it, I had to reply, “No, I’m sorry. It is for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative and their fund-raising efforts to support Alzheimer’s research.”

“Well, I just want the top to frame. Can you make me one?” asked Mrs. G.

The side of my brain which is inherently lazy, thought ‘Great! I don’t need to quilt it! EXCELLENT!’ The perfectionist side thought, ‘If not quilted, is it a quilt?’

So, after months of internal debate, Mrs. G made me a very generous offer for this piece and second one (soon to be posted--when it’s finished) and the donations are being sent to AAQI.

So, what about coloring books?

Did you know that Dover Publications, Inc. allows the use of up to ten illustrations for commercial or non-commercial use from one of their books without formal permission? (For more information contact I certainly didn’t until this project.

Therefore, the design of Mrs. G’s Celtic Knot is from the Dover Colouring Book, “Celtic Knotwork: Stained Glass Colouring Book” by A.G. Smith. After tracing the design from the coloring book onto the background fabric with chalk, I laid it out and glued some gold bias left over from a Christmas project. Then the hard work of hand sewing the gold to the background using a blind appliqué stitch began. This part took months of on-and-off work as I really didn’t dedicate “just get it done” time to this little knot.

The result is stunning and will be a lovely addition to Mrs. G’s home, I’m sure. Thank you for your support of my work and Alzheimer's research, Mrs. G.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Spy Quilts

I love those novelty kids fabrics! Don't you?

These two quilts were recently given to my music teacher colleagues at our conference.
Both women have multiple children and the "I Spy" quilts make nice entertainment as well as a play or picnic surface.

The 5 inch hexagons were cut from the template seen in the link enclosed here ( as were the triangle setting pieces. To save time and my mental health, I cut multiple layers of novelty fabric at once.
I also pieced together the horizontal strips before adding on the next strip.
As for quilting, I simply stitched in the ditch everywhere. With busy backing fabric (one was the Eric Carle kids from the book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?" and the other a school bus and neighborhood print) the quilting did not distract at all. Yes, I could have quilted more, but decided against it as time was limited to complete these gifts and actually give them!!