Thursday, November 29, 2012

Small Quilts from a Land Down Under

Someone special from Australia has made quite a few small quilts this year.

Marian lives on 2 acres in Tanjil South, Victoria, Australia with her partner Andy and 2 small furry boys - Elmo and Oscar. (Cats - she has four adult children as well).

Her mother was a seamstress and Marian was taught at a young age to hold a needle and thread and stitch a needlework tapestry. Her "mum" also let her sew on her Singer Featherweight and by the age of nine Marian had already made clothes for her dolls. In her teens, she also made most of her own clothes on the Singer. Lucky Marian, she still has that sewing machine.



Marian has an associate diplioma in Art and Textiles and, in addition to quilting, weaves scarves which she sells through a few local art galleries. I am lucky enough to have been the recipient of one of them!

She made her first quilt, a queen-size log cabin, in 1999 which was hand quilted and finished just in time for the Millenium.

Love your color combinations here!
By 2008 Marian had discovered civil war reproduction fabrics and Jane Stickle’s "Dear Jane" quilt and says she was definitely "smitten." To date, she has made 22 DJ blocks, each sewn by hand, just as Jane’s was.
(This is from one of my "Schoolgirl Club" patterns )
(Schoolhouse quilt from Prairie Children & Their Quilts)

Here's what Marian says about making small quilts :
"On a sleepless night back in 2010, I stumbled upon your [Kathy's] blog, quite by accident . . . imagine my surprise!! As it happened,  I already owned a copy of ‘American Doll Quilts’ and ‘Prairie Children and Their Quilts’ and here was the author’s blog, what a thrill!! It was while reading your blog that I discovered you had a Yahoo quilt group, so I signed up immediately because although I had never made a doll quilt before, I was keen to get started . . . and I’ve been happily making doll quilts ever since. 

"I love the whole process of making a small quilt, but above all I love to hand quilt . . . it’s such a lovely, relaxing thing to do. I must admit that I’ve enjoyed the Small Quilt monthly challenges immensely. One of the things I’ve discovered while doing the challenges is that I’m really having fun with personalizing the designs, adding my own twist, if you like. I’ve also discovered that I love the challenge of making smaller versions . . . I’ve become addicted to minis LOL!!"
Inside Marian's studio
Thanks, Marian. I've so enjoyed seeing your beautiful work.

Visit Marian's blog at  You're in for a treat!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Craft Sale

On Friday after Thanksgiving, instead of hitting a mall to start Christmas shopping,  my friend Ingrid and I went to a special craft sale at Karen's home. She had some wonderful things and I'm glad we stopped.
I decided I could not live without this wool appliqued Merry Christmas banner and bought that along with a wool appliqued case for my glasses. (I have not worked much with wool but it's on the list. . . )
I love Christmas greeting signs and am sure that Karen made this especially with me in mind, LOL. How did she know??
(Scrappy Stars quilt is from my book Remembering Adelia)
I haven't started decorating for Christmas yet but think I will hang it above the doorway from the front hall to the living room.
This black frame is the perfect size to show off a small, primitive appliqued quilt I'm working on (no, not wool).
(FYI - Karen said this case is made from a Kim Diehl pattern.)
It also works as a case for your rotary cutter.
On the way home we stopped at a couple of local shops, avoiding the big malls and the crowds.  I hate shopping on Black Friday but the crowds were not too bad at a few of the small malls we went to and I was able to pick up a few stocking stuffers for my daughter, including this adorable coffee/tea travel mug with pink dog bones on it, so sweet.
(Don't worry about me spoiling the surprise. I'm pretty sure my daughter would not be caught dead looking at my blog, LOL . . .)
We also stopped at PetSmart but I could NOT find a battery-operated crazy ball for the dog, darn it. We used to have one for the other dog and it broke. My kids are grown and there are no small children in the  family so I have to get my Christmas jollies buying toys for the dog, how sad is that?
Please, please won't you buy me a new toy for Christmas? "Sheepie" is starting to get a little ratty looking . . . . By the way, speaking of ratty, I could use a haircut too.
I was sooo tired when I got home (the three days of cooking, cleaning and entertaining for Thanksgiving finally caught up with me) that I just heated up some leftovers and crawled under a quilt and read and watched TV for a few hours, LOL. Then I got up and ate some pie. A good day.
 (Soldier's Cot quilt from Remembering Adelia)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I'm feeling very grateful lately. I have a wonderful family - we have a roof over our heads and more than enough to eat. Sometimes I wonder, what else do we need? Not everyone in this country is as blessed right now.
I'll be starting the cooking and baking today and tomorrow we'll have a bounty to share with family and friends. Even more to be grateful for.
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."   ~H.U. Westermayer
"Thou hast given so much to me, Give one thing more, a grateful heart."   ~George Herbert

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude."   ~E.P. Powell

I burned the pecan pie a bit last year so wish me luck -  I'll be trying it again!
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.   ~Meister Eckhart

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you - the wonderful quilting friends I've met through this blog. I am especially grateful for your support and kindness all these years and hope that those of you who are celebrating the holiday with family and friends have a blessed time and safe travels.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Karen's Quilts

If you love traditional quilts you'll enjoy seeing what Karen Schultz came up with for her challenge quilts. Like Sue, who was profiled here last week, Karen also made the quilts from this year's small quilt challenge.

Karen (middle) flanked by Becky and Melody (who are also members of my Small Quilt group)

Karen has been quilting for over thirty years and started out making simple patchwork quilts for friends and family. "They were all large quilts so you can imagine how happy I was with the invention of the rotary cutter!"  

Like many of us, she became interested in small quilts when her two girls "needed" them for their dolls. Patterns from the Little Quilts books (and my books too) gave her the inspiration to create a number of small quilts to go along with the primitive decor in her home.


Karen and her husband Bill started their craft business Stitches & Wood Chips in 1993 when they set up a booth in a Country Sampler shop and have now moved on to making mostly primitive items which they sell at craft shows. After 38 years of marriage and 8 grandchildren, they still enjoy crafting together. You may remember seeing some of Karen's primitive items on my blog now and then. I especially love the 2 doll beds that they crafted for me and the black wooden tray that's shown in the picture of this month's quilt.
Don't you just love her displays?? I think this one is my favorite . . .
No, wait, maybe this one . . . .

Thanks, Karen, for letting me show everyone the great work you've done with the quilts for the challenge this year. Can't wait to see more of your creations in our Yahoo group!
(If you live in the northwest suburban Chicago area, Karen is having a Holiday Craft Show with some of her primitive wares next week, Nov 23 -  24, Friday and Saturday. I went to her show last year and picked up some great items. E-mail me for details. Or, if it's too far from where you live and you are interested in purchasing a doll bed of your own, e-mail me again and I'll put you in touch with Karen. It's the perfect way to display some of the little quilts you've made!)