Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lavender and Yellow Baby Quilt

Finally, an actual quilt on this quilting blog. lol A few months ago, a friend of the Blanketeers donated a completed baby quilt top, along with plenty of batting and coordinating fabric to finish it off. I volunteered my services and here it is, all done after sitting all sandwiched and ready to quilt for weeks and weeks.
It was only 30" by 40", so it was quick and easy to stipple. As you can see, the back matches the binding. I tried doing a single fold binding again, this time making it 2.25" wide. It was still pretty tight and I had to pull pretty hard to get it to overlap properly. 2.5" would probably be better. I think I'll use 2.75" on the Minkee backed quilts; they are very thick.

I just love my new camera. Look at all those stippling nooks and crannies! 8-) The colors are very accurate too. I can fix the aperture wide open for lots of natural light. My mini-tripod works great when I have something to stand it on.
Well, I got my December finish done, and I'll have something to turn in at the next Blanketeer meeting too. All in all, a productive few days. 8-)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Siggies

I got two new international siggies. This lovely one is from Elfriede (Elfie) Novotny in Vienna, Austria. I'm glad my new camera is working so well, otherwise I don't think you would have been able to make out the delicate spiderweb background and the spider would have been out of context. lol
This cool kitty is from Gert van Raalten in Utrecht, Netherlands. I think Gert may be the first male with whom I have swapped siggies. There just aren't that many male quilters. The kitty's name is Arnie, just like my "nephew" the golden doodle. Gert recognized me from this blog; how cool is that?

This next siggy is very special because it is from my sister, Cindi (Arnie's "Mom"). It is a picture of her... sigh... tattoo; and a very lovely one it is too. Now Cindi doesn't sew, but she sent me this fabric, which coordinates exceptionally well, so I put it together for her (well, for me, but you know what I mean!) And no, Cindi is not confused as to the year. She drew the center in 2008, then lost it for a year. 8-)

This next siggy is from my sister-in-law, Denise. We last saw Denise and her family a year ago on Thanksgiving, when we all met in Shreveport for Turkey. This year we missed them because we were up in Green Bay visiting Cindi and the rest of my family.

Carina (age 6) is Denise's daughter. She drew this lovely flower for her Aunt Susan, and I learned that the words "on point" have absolutely no meaning to a child. 8-) I put these two siggies together as well. I really like the butterflies for Carina, and her Mom's fabric coordinates, which I think it appropriate!

I'm pretty pleased with my new Cannon Rebel. I set up a little tripod on my ironing board and played with all the settings until I got the results I liked. I think I'm getting lots more detail than I did with my old point & shoot camera.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This is what we woke up to on Christmas morning. It was beautiful, but very icy. Everywhere the sun shone was clear in few hours, but despite temperatures well above freezing, shady spots still have snow two days later.

I could not believe how warm it was in the sun. I played with my camera wearing just a sweater for 20 minutes without getting chilled. There was no breeze. After the blizzardy gales of Christmas Eve, it seemed very quiet.

The delicate nandinas wore their winter coats well.

So did the sturdy boxwoods.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas from Great Big Giant Santa!

It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's GREAT BIG GIANT SANTA!!!! My buddy, Joe P, got all excited on the phone at work in early December. His daughter had located a GBGS and wanted to know if she should buy it. Joe told me how they used to have a GBGS, but it wore out and they could never find a 12 foot replacement, only a dinky little 6 footer instead. Needlesss to say, she got the green light, and GBGS was on the move. Joe promised me that it could be seen from down the block. lol I wanted to try some night photography with my new camera, so here he is, in all his Christmas glory... Great Big Giant Santa!

Along with (apparently) Dumbo, his Christmas sidekick.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Blanketeer Delivery to the USO at DFW Airport

After lunch on Sunday, Rachel, Rhonda, Brandy, and my husband & I met at Macaroni Grill to form a convoy to deliver baby blankets and kid's books to the USO Reading Room at DFW Airport.
One of our Blanketeers made four little ducky hats to match four adorable ducky fleece blankets. We just couldn't resist trying them on.

Here we are with Yolanda, a USO volunteer, and all 80 blankets and 442 books. We totally filled up the USO storage room with blankets and books! We had a goal of 50 blankets and 100 books, but we blew through that like a hot knife through butter. The Blanketeers want to thank everyone who donated books, blankets and time to make this effort such a success!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Virginia's Yummy Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Virginia brought this pumpkin roll to the last Blanketeer Bee and was it ever good! She brought vanilla and pumpkin ice cream too, so we had it ala mode. Yum-oh! I would have taken a picture of it, but it disappeared too quickly - lol.

Pumpkin Roll
Serves 10

¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional - the one we had at the bee had no nuts)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 15-by-10-inch jellyroll pan; line with wax or parchment paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle tea towel with powdered sugar; set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto sugared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together. Cool on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in small bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

I usually make 2 at a time and divide 1 can of pumpkin between them (this would be a heaping 2/3 cup). A tea towel is a towel that you used to use to dry dishes, but it is not knobby (it is like linen). I either use Watkin’s Vanilla or real Mexican vanilla. I think it adds more taste. When I didn’t have either, I doubled the amount of vanilla (but I have not tried that with this recipe). I prefer parchment paper to the waxed paper. I have never remembered to sprinkle the roll with powdered sugar, we are usually too busy cutting it for consumption.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Two Minkee Backed Quilts Completed

I just finished these two quilts yesterday. I tried the new style binding too, using single fold binding instead of double fold. The jury is still out on which I prefer, though the walking foot is a must with the Minkee.
Look how velvety soft the Minkee backing makes these two yummy quilts! They got even softer after I washed them.

There is so much more drag when pushing around the Minkee; I really needed all my upper body strength, but I was able to stipple much larger than usual because of it. Fortunately the quilts only took about an hour apiece to stipple, which is good because I have four more to go. I'm all out of the yellow Minkee, but I have some pink, pale green and turquoise left.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Dolly from my Secret Pal gets a new Hairdo

I got a sweet little doll from my secret pal last month, only she was bald. She seemed... unhappy about this hairless state, so one of my missions in Houston was to find some hair for Sally Ann (the first dolly I've had in about 40 years, BTW). I had no idea I would have so many choices. A helpful vendor steered me to this lovely ragamuffin remnant, which for only a dollar, was able to provide her with a thorough coiffing. I dug out my hot glue gun, which had been resting for about 10 years, and voila! Sally Ann has a new 'do.

Another cool thing that happened in Houston was that I got to meet the daughter of Roxanne of Roxanne International Thimble fame. I had always wondered if the size 3 1/2 thimble I had purchased was too small for me since it's very snug. Roxanne's daughter fitted me for a thimble and assured me that I had purchased the correct size. She was very surprised because "Everyone who tries to fit themselves ends up getting too large a thimble." I told her that I was an engineer and followed the instructions "exactly". "Ah, an engineer", she said, "that explains it. They're the only ones who actually follow the instructions." 8)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Completion - Quilted Ornament

Here is the little Christmas ornament I made for Vickie's pink & green Christmas tree. It's my October completion for the one project a month challenge.

This was my first attempt at working in miniature, which poses challenges all its own. I think it looks like a tiny little quilt... with beads 8) And at least I know that Vickie won't have another one like it despite her thousands of Christmas ornaments. And she's a tremendous crafter too, so I think she will appreciate it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Great Links from the Houston Festival Vendors

I didn't buy too much in Houston last weekend, but I picked up lots of information on merchandise that intrigued me. I've been checking out their websites since I got home and here are some of the best ones:

Laga Handbags & Travel Bags - I seriously LOVED these. Each Laga handbag is handmade by, and sustains, a tsunami survivor. Their website is awesome; be sure to check out the video. I'm considering getting a travel bag and a purse. They would also make wonderful Christmas gifts. Get this, they're made on foot-powered sewing machines.

Great Ruler - I wanted to buy one of these, but we couldn't find the booth the next day when we went back. There were SO many vendors and all the rows looked pretty much alike. lol I think I'll get one on-line.

Joy's Fabrics & Quilts - My favorite purveyor of great hand-dyed fabrics. She's a local (Godley, TX) so I see her at every show. I never fail to buy something. Her pastel fat quarter collection is the greatest! I branched out into her Earthy Greens/Golds FQs this time, 8 for $20. Not bad!

High Fashion Fabrics - I finally broke down and bought a yard of that naughty shirtless cowboy fabric. (It's getting hard to find!). I think there's a very special pillowcase in my future. Also a great source for cuddly velour.

Splinters & Threads - Great redwork embroidery for my Bernina. I'm thinking about doing a BOM Christmas quilt next year (from last month's shop hop) with embroidery blocks mixed in.

Pincushion Boutique - Excellent source of fat quarter collections called "Sweet Treats". I bought the "Freshly Fallen Snow" collection of 8 FQs for next year's Christmas quilt for $21.95. It's 8 white on whites, no two alike. I may need more 8-).

DbarJ Quilts etc - Cool source for a square up ruler that really caught my eye.

Dutch Quilter - I had never heard of hot ribbon before. It's a no-sew technique that provides a very nice finish for rough edged applique. Sweet!

French Connections - Great source for french and african fabric and baskets.

Meg Hannan Rag Sky Art Studio - Very interesting fabric "jewels". I had never seen anything like this before. Pretty cool.

Pin Peddlers - OK, I just love pins. And they make great little gifts too. Very nice website.

Sewing Machine Cases - Bags to fit every possible sewing machine; accessory bags too.

And would you believe these people don't have websites yet? Come on, people, it's almost 2010 already!

Sew Steady Portable Tables - I really liked their portable sewing tables with the bendable light. Nice looking, solid acrylic. Supposedly you order by the model number of your machine (from Featherweights on up, sergers too.) The biggest one is 2 feet square.
Email:, phone: 1-800-837-3261 Ext. 5.

Make your Own Quilt Labels - I watched this woman make the prettiest label for several minutes. I believe you purchase a book of traceable patterns, which you transfer to your label material, then finish off with Pigma Pen painting. Very delicate and lovely. Almost bought the book. Would have, but nearly all my quilts are donated to the USO and don't need a personalized label. 8(
Email:, phone (563) 324-8128

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Houston Quilt Show in Detail

Larry and I went to Houston for the Quilt Festival this past weekend. Wow. It was incredible. I was awed by the quilting and artistry that was on display. It was very humbling.

We took MANY pictures of probably 10% of the quilts. I took multiple detailed pictures of many of the quilts. I'm going to be making multiple slideshows so people don't have to slog through hundreds of pictures because I hate that! Here goes:

Tribute to Tolkien by Sue McCarty of Roy Utah. Congratulations on winning the Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry ($5000) AND the Viewers' Choice Award ($500).

A Tribute to Jane by Patricia T. Mayer and Karen Watts. The only Dear Jane quilt in the entire show that I could find, and then, not in one of the judged venues, but rather, in the Texas Guilds' Award-Winning Traditional Quilts display area. It is a fine example of the Dear Jane traditional style, with the triangles being done whole-cloth style in muslin, with the original patterns quilted into the cloth. Very very nice!

Best of Show - "On the Wings of a Dream" by Caryl Bryer Fallert of Paducah, Kentucky. Congratulations on winning the Handi Quilter Best of Show Award ($10,000). Ms. Fallert also had four other quilts in the show, one of which, "Watch Master" won First Place in Digital Imagery ($1000). I don't have a picture of that one or "Adelpho", but I do have pictures of her other two entries.

Innovative Artistry - "Clam Session" by Karen Stone of Beaumont, Texas won the Maywood Studio Master Award for Innovative Artistry ($5000). I was fortunate to meet Ms. Stone who graciously posed for a picture with her fabulous quilt and winning ribbon. She calls this a "one patch", ladies!

World of Beauty Award - "Hearts and Garlands" by Liz Jones of Leominster, Herefordshire, UK won the World of Beauty Award ($7500). Ms. Jones was answering questions for the crowd. She claimed that "Hearts and Garlands" took her only 10 months to complete, because she "works very quickly". I'll say! Congratulations, Ms. Jones, on winning the festival's second highest award for your magnificent quilt.

Art - People, Portraits and Figures - This category had four quilts that really caught my attention, including "Bailout" by Liz Joe of Dallas, TX that I featured in my slideshow on the Dallas Quilt Celebration. Another standout is the Australian Entry by Jocelyne Leath of Perth, which won first place ($1000). Congratulations Ms. Leath!

Boston's Fenway Park a group quilt by Bobbie Sullivan, Lynn Conover, Betty Crowell, Ann Marcin, Sandy Gregg, Geri Barr, and Penny Myles of Scituate, MA. Congratulations on your third place finish in the Group quilt category.

Wearable Art - Incredible fashions! I took LOTS of pictures of the 14 entries in this category.

Friday, October 16, 2009

International Siggy Swap - The Summer Haul

I didn't initiate any swapping this summer, so I was lucky to be chosen by the following four ladies as a swap partner. Here is Inge Slaats' siggy from the Netherlands. I love the bright yellow fabric combined with the little appliqued dutch doll.

Poor Silke in Germany had to wait forever for my return siggy; she caught me at a really busy time! I couldn't even remember if I had sent her a siggy at all. Fortunately a quick email exchange cleared that up. Isn't the giraffe cute? It looks like a pretty postage stamp for kids to me. This was the only one of the four I got this summer that wasn't made of bright fabric. I love the delicate blue plaid.

I had to look at this one closely to understand what I was seeing. My eyes just did not want to read two tiny little mice sitting down to a delicious cheese dinner. lol Tini from the Netherlands sent me this one. I really like the batik she has chosen; I bet no two of her siggies look alike.

This little teddy bear is from Sieglinde in Germany. She has feather stitched the little bear in place and hand-embroidered a leafy box in variagated thread as a frame to the applique. That's a silly blue bit of thread laying on the bear, not a nasty pen stroke or anything bad! I really like the orange fabric; this is not a great picture of it. The fabric is actually bright orange and the little branches blend into the fabric instead of standing out. They aren't really pink either. I really should get a new camera. 8-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Giveaway at Bitty Bits & Pieces

Kim is having a Fall Giveaway over at Bitty Bits & Pieces that is well worth visiting. She's giving away a beautiful Dresden plate charger that I would dearly love to win! Go take a look and see for yourself. I've had Bitty's as a blog link on my sidebar for nigh on FOREVER, so I'm not sure if I'll get the extra points for adding it; here's hoping I do!

Here's a fantastic tutorial for the charger, as well as several other coordinating items. Check out the fabulous table runner!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quilted Xmas Tree Ornament - the next steps

I'm still working on the pink & green Christmas ornaments. Last night I paper-pieced the side sash pieces, because I really didn't want to deal with 1/4" square cornerstones by themselves. Here you can see the two rows of blocks next to the pre-made sashing.

This sashing was really easy to make by paper piecing because I just measured it out on graph paper and luckily all the seams fell on grid lines. You can see I labeled the paper "P" for pink and "G" for green. It's surprisingly easy to get messed up, even on a simple thing like this!

I may have gone over the legal limit for pins per inch here. It took 12 pins for less than 5 linear inches of seam - and I had to do it four times over.

It ended up being much more accurate than it would otherwise have been without the pins though.
Now I just have to figure out what to do next. Do I bead or do I make my tiny little quilt sandwich and quilt it, then bead it? Any hints? I'm afraid if I bead it first (and I plan on LOTS of beads) then I won't be able to quilt it without running into the beads, even with my 1/4" foot. It's a worry; I guess I'll sleep on it. 8-)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pink & Green Quilted Christmas Tree Ornaments

I'm working tiny today. I just got my secret pal gifty posted, as well as my last owed siggy, so I decided to get to work on some pink & green quilted Christmas tree ornaments that I designed in EQ6. My Sister's SIL, Vickie, decorates for Christmas in a BIG BIG way. Last year she had 9 trees decorated, each in a different theme. My DH and I have been invited to parties at Vickie's home in Green Bay the past two years (or maybe we just crashed them because we were in town) anyway, we were made very welcome by sis's inlaws, so I wanted to make Vickie a thank-you gift I know she will appreciate.

When I saw Vickie's pink & green Christmas last year I immediately thought of the pink & green quilt I had been working on, since it matched the tree perfectly. I have some fabric leftover, so I came up with these: (I wish they would lay flat for the camera, since they came out so nice and square.)

I'm going to add green 1/4" sashes and tiny little pink cornerstones. I strip paper-pieced the first seam to get these blocks really accurate, then cut them to the right length and sewed the blocks together. I plan to add the green horizontal sashes so I'll have two vertical strips of little blocks. I'm going to use large green chunks of fabric for the horizontal sashes, then cut them to fit. No sewing with 1/4" strips of fabric for me! I then plan to strip paper-piece the vertical sashes and cornerstones together first so they'll be super accurate. I don't want to work with tiny little pieces here either, so I'm not going to cut the paper-pieced strips apart until they are sewn onto the blocks. It sounds harder than I think it's actually going to be... I hope!

My second Christmas ornament is going to be a simple 3" square pink & green friendship star made with Thangles. I've made lots of friendship stars this size before, so they're not a big deal for me, not like the little quilt. I may even make two and reverse the colors.

Finally, I plan to embellish them with the pink & green beads I bought 9 months ago, when I first thought of making these ornaments.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Peppers & Pinatas - My Quilt, Starry Night

I designed Starry Night using EQ6, then pieced and quilted it myself. It's the main reason I didn't have anything else completed this summer. lol I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I started with the basic Ohio Star, and chose 3 other star variations and paper pieced the lot of them. Starry Night follows the color wheel around the circle, dropping one color and adding the next in line; yellow/orange/red, then orange/red/red violet, etc.The first set of blocks I did were the yellow/orange/red Ohio Stars. I had never paper pieced before, so this was very much a learning experience. You could really tell from the backside which blocks were my earliest paper piecing attempts, lol I was very glad to get the quilt sandwich made up so all that could be hidden away permanently!
I stippled, of course, this is me after all, with red on top and blue on the back. The backing material is the same blue fabric as the blue in the red pointed star. I didn't have enough of the orange in the first set of Ohio Stars to make the last block, and wouldn't you know this was fabric I bought in Canmore, Alberta! Fortunately, my friend, Neelu, and her family went to Calgary for a lovely Indian wedding and then on to Banff for a vacation. For a very small bribe Neelu happily went to the quilt store in Canmore and found a VERY similar fabric. If you look very closely (don't) the orange fabric on the star in the upper left corner is very slightly different from the ones all in a row. Thanks again Neelu, and also to your two boys who were sooo not thrilled about going to a fabric store on vacation.

Here is Pat of Marty & Pat's Frame Shoppe, on literally the day before the Peppers & Pinatas silent auction. Talk about being just in the nick of time! Next time I hope to work a little further in advance of need, because this one was a killer!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Peppers & Pinatas Group Quilt

What a busy summer this has been! I ended up making my own quilt for the Peppers & Pinatas silent auction last Tuesday as well as putting together the group quilt. They both turned out just lovely.
Here is the group quilt right after Larry and I decided which block went where.

It took us about 45 minutes to decide on the layout. We knew we were done when our last three changes got changed back to the way they were.

Here is the quilt top, ready for our quilter, Karen, to work her magic, and what a relief it was to finally turn it over to her for quilting and binding (thanks again for binding it, Karen!)

And here it is upon delivery. I thought it turned out great! Look at the pretty quilted hearts Karen quilted.
That's Virginia on the left, who made 4 of the blocks, and Pat on the right. Pat is coordinating the Peppers & Pinatas silent auction donations.

Let's see if I can remember who did which block: From the left:
Top row: Virginia, me, Sheila, Mary
Second row: Brandy, me, Sheila, Virginia
Third row: Rhonda, Rachel, Mary, me
Bottom row: Virginia, Sheila, Bea, Virginia
Quilting and binding: Karen
Way to go Blanketeers!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Started Sashing the Quilt of Valor

I'm still missing one large and one small patriotic Ohio Star blocks needed to complete the Quilt of Valor, but I decided not to let that stop me from starting to sash the existing blocks. Sheila made up lots of red and blue sashing, and I've spent part of the day attaching it to one side of the large blocks. Looking at the individual blocks is a good way to identify virtually every possible paper piecing error known to quiltdom; however, when put together, this QOV is going to be one stunning quilt! All those lovely stars; it's going to be really beautiful.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pencil Marks!

So, the Blanketeers inherited 7 "mostly made" (ha!) baby blankets, and I took one through to completion to see how it would go. The quilts came pinned wrong sides together with lots of pins. I serged around the outer edges of the first one (only slicing through one pin - oops) then turned it it inside out. Unfortunately, it had been sitting in the sun so long that the fabric had faded badly in places, though this only affected this first "test" quilt. That's not even the bad part, the bad part is that someone marked pencil lines (PENCIL lines!) to form quilting guides all over the top of the quilt. Ugh! Sadly, everything I've ever heard about the impossibility of removing pencil lines has proved to be all too true. And they weren't even terribly careful with their lines, in places there are multiple parallel lines, and I could only sew over one. The lines are not too apparent unless you look closely (and the fading on this one totally disqualifies it from wearng the Blanketeer label anyway IMHO) but the other 6 quilts have the same pencil marks all over. What to do? Anyone know how to get pencil marks out? I tried a direct application of OxyClean, no change. Sigh. We'll have to decide what to do with the remaining 6 quilts; I do NOT want them to become permanent fixtures in my closet!

Here you can see pencil marks in the top center vertical quilting line. There's a dark line along the top of each line on this side of the quilt.

Here you can see the large faded section in the middle of the quilt - for once it's not my poor camera or photography skills that are messing up!

And still more pencil lines. Not too noticeable from a distance, perhaps, but very obvious up close (you know, by where the baby would be!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Blanketeer's - June Project Day

June 12th saw the Blanketeer's hard at work at the "Quilt in a Day" Project Day. Our goal is to complete 20 quilt tops for the USO reading program at DFW Airport before the July Blanketeer's meeting. Judging by the level of industry and enthusiasm, we shouldn't have any trouble meeting the goal. Brandy is in the foreground with Sheila hiding right behind her. (Thanks again to Brandy's church for letting us meet in this wonderful space!) There is Rachel hovering over her daughter, Veronica. Bea, Sheila's Mom, is sitting in front of Virginia P. (standing), Mary has her back to the camera and Virginia is facing her.

Here's Virginia hard at work on her block for the Peppers 'n Pinatas quilt effort that Brandy is chairing. We're so glad to have Virginia with us, since the last project day (fleece) Virginia had quadruple bypass surgery followed months later by an allergic reaction to an antibiotic that put her in the hospital almost the whole week I was in New York.

Look how pretty Virginia's block turned out too! (I need a better camera, my current one doesn't capture soft pastels very well at all.)

Here's Rachel and her daughter, Veronica, who joined us straight from driving up from school in College Station today to start her summer vacation. This was the first time most of us got to meet Veronica, and it was a great pleasure having her with us for the day.

Bea, Sheila's Mom, often makes it to our project days, and there is a very strong correlation between her being there and us getting lots accomplished! lol Bea is our most experienced quilter and is always happy to share her expertise. We almost got her to promise that she would teach us how to applique for our next Quilt of Valor project, if we promise not to paper-piece anymore stars. lol (Bea is a member of the Trinity Valley guild, and apparently their group projects have a heavy bias towards stars, so much so, that Bea is heartily sick of making stars, besides, she much prefers applique!)
Here's another picture of the back of Mary's head. Mary is new to quilting and made excellent progress on her "First Steps" quilt during the project day.

Here are Brandy (on the phone) and Sheila. I just noticed the TV behind Brandy. I never even saw it there before! We certainly didn't have cause to turn it on.

Here is Sheila with "Kissing Kitties", a "First Steps" inspired baby quilt. We were all admiring it as it was one of the first quilts completed, and the kitty-patterned fabric is adorable, when Sheila noted sadly that she didn't intend for the four patch "steps" to meet color-wise (aqua to aqua and purple to purple). I jokingly said, "Oh, that just makes it the Kissing Kitties Quilt", and a quilt was named forevermore. lol I think the colors are stunning. Sheila added the outermost border, which sets it off from every other "First Steps" quilt I've ever seen.

We were glad to have Karen join us at the end of the day, bringing the fruits of her machine quilting labors back to Sheila. (Karen very generously machine quilts any of the Blanketeer charity quilts for free - thanks, Karen!)

Here's what was in the bag. Check out the absolutely fabulous heart in a heart pattern quilted on the back of Sheila's panel quilts! Some happy little kids are going to be the lucky recipients of these beauties.

Virginia P. was soooo happy to finish her Quilts of Valor Ohio Star block. The last little bit gave her LOTS of trouble, but with some coaching she was able to easily finish it. What an accomplishment! And look how great her corners turned out. More paper-piecing, Virginia? lol

Here are Mother and Daughter holding up Bea's Dutch Girl quilt. Bea is hand quilting this for friends at church who are expecting a baby girl. We all oohed and aahed over it; it's really something special!

Here's a better picture of the Dutch Girl quilt. Isn't it lovely? I especially like the lace on the bonnets and the dresses. OK, Bea, you really need to teach us how to applique like that. Your skills are phenomenal!

Here's what Bea did on the project day. I think she called it Bales of Straw. It's a design of her own making and it looked just darling when it was done. I'm not sure how she's planning to quilt it. (I can see I forgot to ask lots of pertinent questions during my brief stint in photojournalism. lol Better not quit my day job!)

Here's Brandy's Delight (also named by yours truly, but sewn entirely by Brandy.) I just love the dimensionality of the design, the dark blocks seem to leap out at you in this picture. Brandy is a fellow stippler, and I can't wait to see the finished product.
Funniest thing heard at the Project Day: Rachel asking, "But, how do you get a stash (of fabric)?" Most of the rest of us just cracked up laughing, but Sheila I think it was, gave the best answer. She said, "You just buy the fabric that speaks to your heart, without any idea of how you're actually going to use it!" Perfect!