Saturday, December 31, 2005

aunt janna and mini me

Our camera is broken, so I am mining the data base of old photographs. Here is my sister, Janna, and our niece, Faith, on Christmas 2003. As we got ready for church, we noticed they were dressed alike.
The quilt in the background is an anvil pattern I made for my sister, Beth, a while back.

Friday, December 16, 2005

cat quilt

Here is the first cat quilt I made--Catherine is working on a free form style that looks great--check out her progress.
This one is all reds. It is being held by a couple of kids attending Eve's Christmas party. I am chaperone to about fifteen 12-14 year olds who are at this moment using a kareoke machine someone brought along. My husband was able to escape with Seth and Paul was very happy to be invited to a friend's house for a movie. I would go sew but that would be in the attic where I would be too far away from the action and too cold.
The girls are very sophisticated and clueless. The boys are unsophisticated and clueless. They are a good group of kids and I am glad to see them enjoying themselves. And I will be even more glad at 10 pm when they go home.

Oh, good Christmas Story--Seth asked at about age 4 when it would be Christmas Seth, he had enough of Christmas Eve. A similar thing happened when Eve was about that age, she asked our pastor if they could change our church's name from St Pauls to St Eves. Sibling rivalry pops up in the best places.

Monday, December 12, 2005

winter in the city

Now, I grew up on a farm in Iowa, and there is no more beautiful place on earth than that place in Sioux County, but there is a magical beautiful to life in the city too, especially in winter. Here is my house and my gargoyles with tinsel collars.

And here is one of my favorite sites in Chicago in winter--the neighborhood children turn their front steps into sled runs. I had never imagined such a thing before I moved to Chicago.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

St Nikolaas Day

Yesterday morning the shoes were filled with chocolates--Seth (8) asked the question we have anticipated, "How come St Nikolaas only came to our house on the block?"
I said we are the only Dutch family on our street, and the other families celebrate their own traditions. Satisfied him for now--the older kids know that whoever questions openly gets only sticks in their shoes.

Beth's Roman Stripe

My sister, Beth, loves to quilt, but her busy teaching and lecturing schedule leaves little time. She fits in quilting one hour a week during her daughter's guitar lesson.
She made this top many (17?) years ago, and for Christmas last year, my mother had it quilted and I did the machine work of the binding. This gave her another hand-work project of getting the binding done over the year.
My mom has had several of my tops quilted as presents for me--a wonderful gift.

Monday, November 21, 2005

spinning stars

(((Lost this post when I tried to make a correction!)))
I made this little (about 20" by 28") quilt back in 1996. The pattern was in Quiltmaker. They used brights. These fabrics were from a challenge at my guild.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Fine Art of Fiber

My guild has a cooperative show with the weavers and knitters guilds, the Fine Art of Fiber. I displayed a beautiful quilt that was given to me this spring from the board in appreciation for being president. It is all different tulip blocks, made with many techniques. I love it.

The Ricky Timms pretty purple quilt was made by my friend Eleonore Hauser, and the wonderful geometric one is by my friend Leslie Riley.

The tiny lantern log cabin is a great quilt by my friend Donna Cook.
Eleonore, Leslie, Donna, and I are members of a small group of 13 that meets to encourage eachother in our work. I look forward to this every month.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

another one of Bonnie's wonky houses

I just finished another quilt top using Bonnie's wonky houses. This one will be a fund raiser for my church--they participate in Appalachia Service Project each year. I think about 50 will go this year, including my husband and our two oldest children.
It is interesting to see the kids reaction to rural poverty, very different from the urban poverty they see here in Chicago.

Monday, October 31, 2005

red stars

I've been working on this red quilt for a while--finally at a place where I can concentrate on it and finish the top. Trying to figure out borders.
The reds are from my stash.

Friday, October 28, 2005

cowboy quilts

I buy plaid cotton shirts at the thrift stores--here in Chicago the big chains are Unique Thrift (half price on Mondays!) and Village Discount. I take them home, launder them to get rid of that "thrift store smell" and take apart the shirts.
I'm always looking for good cowboy prints to use for these quilts.
My neighbor and friend, Sharon, is a quilter and a thrift store treasure seeker too, and we have a deal where we give each other a sleeve off each shirt we buy.
Lately, I have been finding lots of yellow and orange shirts--must have been a fashion trend a year ago that passed me by.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

go go white sox!

Chicago is full of Sox fever and I laughed when on the radio this morning the sports guy went on a rant about how there were no hotel rooms to be had in Houston because there were "all these damn quilters all over the place." He had to be in a hotel 15 miles out of town because of "these little old ladies who have a compulsion to quilt booked every hotel room in town."
I may invite him to our show in November...

Friday, October 21, 2005


I guess I can join the Halloween bandwagon with this quilt--not Halloween colors, but has cats. I am not a cat person. We had cats on the farm growing up and we played with kittens, but they were there to do a job in keeping the mice and rats under control. I can see no reason for the existence of the cat that lives in our house other than my husband and children adore it.
I do like cat quilts, though, and have a popular cat quilt class. This one I gave to my sister who gave us the cat. She has the better end of this deal.

Monday, October 10, 2005


I am a hospice nurse and have days where I come home feeling like I have carried too much, and others when I come home exhilarated by the events of the day.
It is a priviledge and honor to be with people at the end, and I take it very seriously.
It is also a job, with typical job stresses, companionship with co-workers, and trying to get out on time to be with my family. I have finally gotten the message from my teenage children that there be no more "Death Talk" when I get home. I try to have funny stories, or hopeful ones. But, it being hospice, Death is kind of the point. So, my sisters and husband get those thoughts.
And, I guess you too, as it is 2am and I've been home 2 hours and they are all asleep!

Friday, September 30, 2005

t block making stars

I made this quilt from scraps-it is just a rail fence block made with 1 1/2 by 3 1/2 strips and two 1 1/2 inch squares on one side to make it into a t block, and 3 1/2 inch squares. I love how the stars pop out. I saw this quilt made with just 2 fabrics and on a much larger scale. I like the scraps (many from my floor...) and smaller scale.
I gave this to a friend who had a chimney fire--the quilt is ok, just a bit smokey. My sister had one of my quilts fall off the wall into her fireplace (at least that's her story!) I should warn people not to have my quilts in rooms with an open flame.

autumn stars

I had many wonderful brown large scale prints and put them with some corals to make this star quilt last winter.
Some blocks are low contrast and blend into the setting squares.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

squirrel protection

My favorite fall picture of Seth with his pumpkin in 2003. He and a neighbor decided to squirrel proof the jack-o-lantern with tooth picks--it didn't work.

Monday, September 26, 2005


My father-in-law's funeral was yesterday. His ashes were buried in the church gardens. They had to be in a biodegradable container, which was a simple cardboard box. I made a cloth cover with Irish Chain blocks and embroidered my Irish father-in-law's name on the top.
I did not photograph it--I liked that it served its outward appearance for the day, and now is in the ground, returning to the earth with the ashes.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

shawl ministry

Women from my church have a knitting group that has a shawl ministry. This spring we made shawls for women struggling with life issues and at risk of incarceration.
I am a very basic knitter, but it was good to add mine to the pile of beautiful shawls.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

And another...

Here is another buzz saw, set into a circle block. To make the block a square, you have to add a 2 inch strip to one side. You can then set 4 squares together into a circle. Or, use them like log cabin blocks into any log cabin setting. I did my first one in the Perikomen set--have to hunt up old photographs.
These I made with brown batiks, keeping each batik together in a block. I used one mottled background. Again, I used left overs of the browns for the border.
I love this quilt--gave it to my husband.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

another buzz saw--green and cream

This buzz saw started with 6 1/2 inch blocks, cut 1 1/2 inches into strips. I used mainly dark greens and creams. The borders are a bunch of greens, cut 6 inches wide.
I like to do a scrap border with close in color fabrics.
Oh, the camera charger--it was found at my sister's house, about 4 hours after I bought one for $43.00 and used it. We have this problem in our house. Can't find anything until we replace it, then there it is.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Buzz Saw

I have a Buzz Saw class that I really enjoy. These photos are of one I made in scraps. I think I started these with 7 1/2 inch squares. Bonnie has directions for this type of block on her web site--I think it is called delectable mountains.
I'll post some more photos of quilts I made with this when we find the charger for the camera...
The quilt can look so different depending on the fabrics used and setting of the blocks.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

pastel batiks

My small group gives each other fat quarters for our birthdays--I try to put them into my next quilt. This one I made 2 years ago for my daughter, Eve. I had asked for pastel batiks. It is a pattern from Judy Martin's website. Judy included a slide of my quilt in her cd-rom Stars and Sets.
The quilt has several of my "ghost blocks", made in low contrast.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Hand dyed fabrics

A small quilt made with hand dyed fabrics I purchased about 12 years ago. After many years of being pregnant or breast feeding, I finally a few years ago was able to start dying my own fabrics. I have a top I made with some of them, I will try to photograph it this week.
This little quilt, machine quilted in channels of ripples, I sold. I don't sell very many--usually I can't part with my quilts for money, although I give many away.
This quilt was made in the same way the quilt features in my earlier posting of August 7th.
It is one of my most popular classes.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Our family attends St Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago, where I am happy to make paraments and vestments. These red ones were for the congregation's 160th anniversary. You can see them with their academic gowns and their pastoral albs. The anniversary is on Reformation Day, a day of the Spirit
so the color of that day is red. It was so wonderful to work with red. The insides of the stoles are a firey orange batik, commemorating the
Spirit, and the church rebuilding from the Chicago Fire and another devastating fire in the late 1950s.
I used a different log cabin style for each pastor.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Framed Nine Patch, triangle label

A framed nine patch, the darks being from the floor of my really needing to be cleaned up sewing room, and multiple pastel backgrounds. On this one I clumped the backgrounds together as I did later on the taupe quilt I posted. I gave it to my mother.
You can see my triangle label--I include labels in the corner before I put the binding on. I make both rectangular and triangle labels--the triangle ones are really easy as there is only one line to applique, and no corners. The other sides are held on with the binding stitches.

Monday, August 08, 2005

This quilt is made from the book Scrappy Duos by Donna Lynn Thomas. I rarely follow the colorations of someone else's quilt this closely, but I loved Linda Kittle's Prairie Harvest.
I pushed the colors a bit more than she did, and made the quilt bigger.
I call it Marigolds.
It is held by my son Seth and neighbor Claire, back in about 2003.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Made with Batiks and Hand Dyed Bali fabrics. For the 30th anniversary of my cousin Gerald's ordination. 2004.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I was happy to find Bonnie's site
Here are two quilts I made from her ideas.

Made from taupes. I like to use multiple backgrounds.
I include a low contrast block or two in quilts--I call them ghost blocks.
On my design wall I had worked to make sure the backgrounds were scattered and it didn't look right. So, I clumped the backgrounds and am much happier.
Still at the top stage.
This is redrafted to a smaller size from an Atkison book, Confetti in the Corner.

Teal fabrics from my stash, held by neighbors. My family is less than enthusiatic anymore about helping me photograph quilts, so I grab neighbors. Our block's houses have porches that are great to hold a quilt off of for photographing.

We live in a great neighborhood in Chicago.
This summer we will hold our 50th anniversary block party.

Friday, August 05, 2005

quilting in Chicago

August 2005
I belong to Illinois Quilters, Inc, a guild of about 300 quilters from Chicago and the northern burbs.
My small group of 10 years, with a revolving name as we cannot agree, is currently called Urban Quilters.
I teach quilting at The Portage Park Center for the Arts.

klein meisje quilts

Klein meisje is Dutch for little girl--what my beloved grandfather called his 12 granddaughters because, I fear, it was easier than trying to remember our names.