Thursday, January 26, 2012


Quilting collaborations take on many forms, from simply fabric swapping to Round Robins, Blocks of the Month, Mysteries, and my personal favorite-- I'll do this part and you do that. Working together is how our quilting ancestors finished their large bed quilts and prepared to establish their new home with a new husband. Now, I collaborate mostly to create gifts and quilts for charity. Here are two examples.

From a pattern called "Flower Garden" by Lucy Fazely and Michael Burns, this lovely sampler was chosen by my guild's Block of the Month Ladies as few Springs ago. Each of us had to make two flowers blocks, then a random drawing revealed me as the luck winner!! Sizing each of the supposedly 6 1/2 inch blocks was a challenge, so I allowed the green sashing to help me. It was finally quilted and given as a gift to my mother, for "Mother's Day"--- you can decide the year (as I presented it just after Christmas!). HA!

"A Little Nature for Neva" is a baby quilt creation which my Mother-in-Law and I worked together on for a new baby in the family. It contain nine blocks of little critters.........a snail, butterfly, turtle, seal and two catterpillars. The machine embroidery is from the Husqvarna/ Viking Machine Embroidery Disk #93 called "Sweet Dreams with Thread Velvet." The window box settings are original and the quilting if free motion and stitch-in-the-ditch.

My Mother-in-Law prepared the top and then I made the border, pieced the backing, layered and backed it 
before beginning the quilting process. A very nice collaboration which was not completed for Christmas, 
but at least it is well before the child is six months old!! Below are close up photos of those cute animals. 

Friday, January 6, 2012


Definition of Epiphany by Merriam Webster Dictionary (
1-January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ
2- an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being
3- a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b : a revealing scene or moment

Above is the response to the inspiration of Epiphany. Stars which guided the wise men to the manger, stars which continue to inspire, and stars in the eyes of those struck with moments of "illuminating discovery" which can only come from a greater source.

The blocks are 9 inches finished and from Marsha McCloskey's book "Block Party, A Quilter's Extravaganza of 120 Rotary-Cut Block Patterns" (c.1998, Rodale Press). The fabrics are "Fairy Frost" by Michael Miller Fabrics.

Within the light blue blocks I quilted stars drawn by my daughter onto sheets of paper. The backing is a winter berry fabric of unknown designer, and I used cream thread to set off my daughter's stars (seen below).

This year I am reflecting on giving and being grateful. I am keeping a daily journal of gratitude in the attempt to recognize the numerous gifts I have been given and continue to be given by God, others, organizations, etc. in my life. The idea of giving what one can as the wise men gave what they could, is beautifully noted in this poem by Christina Rossetti.

In the Bleak Midwinter 
by Christina Rossetti (1872) 

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

To listen to a beautiful setting by composer Gustav Holst and performed by the Choir of Kings College, Cambridge, England, click here:

Happy Epiphany!