Monday, July 27, 2009

Double Rain Showers

I wanted to join this at the end of the last post, but it didn't work.'s a new post. This is a sight I have never before seen. One of the wonderful things about living in the Southwest is that sometimes one can see a storm cloud just drop its rain. However, I've only caught a couple of pictures of such sights in all the years I've lived out here. Yesterday, on the way home from church, we saw these two storm clouds dropping their rain at the same time--and, I caught it with the camera. What a lucky day!
By the time we reached home, the two clouds had joined into one, so I'm very, very glad the camera was in my bag!
I love monsoon season--except when we lose electrical power!

As always, for a larger view, you can right click on the photo and open it in a larger format in a new tab or new window.

More Summer Song

Here's a picture of Ms. Bobbie's Summer Song on the patio of her lovely garden. (See those lovely pavers? Over 20 years ago she hauled them in, cut and arranged them--something it had never occurred to me that I could do myself!)

This is a view of about 1/4 of the quilt. At one point I wished I had had more of the brown floral and that I had used it to set all four strips of whirligigs. I just love the huge stripe Robin designed for this fabric line. Although I used only three due to limitations in the amount of fabric I had available, there are four stripes across the width of the goods. (I also wished I had bought two yards instead of just a yard and a half. If I'd had more, I'd have run the stripes vertically instead of horizontally.)
This view shows the wonderful backing I found for this quilt--picks up all the colors but reflects a slightly different time period.

And here's one final view of the quilting on the red border--so much fun to do!

Border Inspiration for Summer Song

As I was quilting the border for a small quilt [Mrs. Lebo's Kitchen], I knew I wanted to make a quilt with a red border with a fancy feather.

I had taken several fabrics from Robin Pandolph's Chateau Rococco Line for Free Spirit--so I purchased more and set about making whirligigs that I could set between borders.
Here's the finished quilt--I finished it while Alexandra and Ms. Bobbie went to see the premier of the new Harry Potter movie. Then we rushed outside and held it so I could get some pictures. This is the only complete view I have--and will not have a chance to get more since the quilt now resides in Tennessee.

Here's a detail of the gold feather quilting on the red border. (I used a gold Fil-tec thread.)

I will post more photos with details later.

Dora, the quilter

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Quilt Story - Summer Saga Backing

Not much color in today's post except for the quilt's midsection, above. To see the details of the quilting on the photos of the back below, right clicking on each photo and opening in a new window or tab will yield a copy of the photo in a larger format.

Like all my machine quilts, this was quilted on my Viking/Husqvarna model 6430 purchased about a year after I graduated from college. I pieced it on my Singer Featherweight 221. (I'm still looking for a treadle machine so that I can continue to work when our power goes off--which can be frequently since our street does not have three-phase electrical lines and we're on an rural electrical co-op which gets its power from other suppliers.) All these designs are done freehand, nothing marked on the fabric--feed dogs down, many different threads, Schmetz size 90 and 100 top stitch and jeans needles. For piecing and bobbin thread on the back of the quilt I used Superior Threads Bottom Line thread.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Saga I - Chapter 3 (Sorta)

It would be incredibly difficult not to be inspired by scenes like these. I moved to the desert from this region 21 years ago. While I don't miss having to sweep pine pollen from my car before I can drive it every spring, I do sometimes miss the green--and the trees--and the oldest mountains on Earth. Alexandra had seen the green of the Midwest, including the green hills of Wisconsin, but until we were here, she'd never really understood what the Appalachians are like. Now she does.

This was the back porch of the cabin the day I was auditioning block positions. When it was cool enough or when rain was not blowing onto the porch, I pieced and quilted there too. The day I sewed the blocks into the layout, some pretty strong breezes came up, so I decided I'd better take some photos, just in case the sheet I placed on top of the layout was blown off.
Here's to upper section of the finished quilt.
I took photos of every part of the quilt--I thought--but now realize I wish I had taken more--of course!

And here's the quilt on the porch swing:

My Friend Cindy

My friend Cindy has cancer. She has a husband and ten kids. She's a Christian. Her challenges have been great lately, and she still maintains a thankful heart.

Years ago when my daughter and I were experiencing monumental challenges, Cindy was one of the "Amazing Moms" who helped us get through them.

Her blog is at:

Linny is spearheading a day of prayer and fasting for Cindy. You can read about it here:

Please join us in praying that Cindy will be healed so that God will be glorified and her children and husband will continue to live daily with the the thousands of big and little things she does that make her the Amazing Mom she is.

Dora, the quilter

Quilt Story I - Summer Saga Details

This post has lots and lots of photos, so it will take a while to load, especially on dial-up.

Most often, this is part of the view that greeted me between six and seven a.m. when I carried my cup of coffee out to the front porch. The fog would burn off a little later in the day, but early on I loved sitting and listening and watching the surroundings. Several days there was a ground hog in the field across the road--first a very large one, later a small one. We joked that Alexandra should try getting up early, borrowing a rifle from the neighbor who had been trying to get those guys to go elsewhere, and seeing if she could scare them off. Of course, that didn't happen!

In both the start-to-finish quilts I made while there, I used Quilter's Dream, Request batting. I do love that batting! (I also often use Mountain Mist Rose.) While there was lots of vegetation in many of these prints, I did manage to use only two prints with flowers. Enjoy!

Dora, the quilter

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quilt Story I - The First Summer Saga Chapter

The finished quilt, hanging off the porch at the cabin. I do have photos with more detail, but for today, I wanted to show how I quilted the scenes that I made into part of the body of the quilt. Apparently I didn't get or else deleted the scene where they were whitewashing Aunt Polly's fence, and that was my favorite!

Here's the fishing scene followed by the flying geese and four patches that help it fit into the body of the quilt.

Here are some other scenes and the quilting I used to highlight them.

I used Superior's Bottom Line thread in tan to highlight those scenes because I wanted a very fine thread that would almost disappear into the fabric. In the rest of the quilt I used a wide variety of Sulky, Superior Rainbows, and Fil-Tec thread.

I've tried to load these photos for two days and just kept getting errors, so I hope we can be error free today.

Later, I'll show details of the quilting in other areas of this quilt, but right now it's bath-time because I'm exhausted from cleaning and moving furniture. Alexandra decided that would be a great project for our first week home. I'll be thrilled when we're done and can begin to enjoy the "new" spaces. She grossly under-estimated the amount of time it would take (just like her mama!), and then she managed to get a deep cut on her thumb while opening a can (no stitches, just butterflies), so we're plugging away quite slowly. But now we need baths so we can fix a quick supper and head off to church for choir practice and youth group.

I'll try to add more pictures to the story of this quilt tomorrow!

Dora, the quilter

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quilt Stories

This is my friend's cabin near the Cumberland Gap at the crossroads of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky where I busily dreamed, cut, pieced, and quilted for up to 16 hours per day some days. Alex did target practice with a rifle, got her first fishing license and went fishing, picked and strung beans, went to Bible school at a nearby Baptist church, played with a toddler, rode the neighbor's Mule, and had so much fun she wants to go back. It's one step from Heaven.

Over the next several posts, I'll talk about the quilts I worked on.

Here's a sample--more details later.
I cut, sewed, and applied the binding for Tuscany, so it is now ready to be sent to one of my dear friends. Except for the off-white backgroud of birds, all the Tuscany fabrics are from Moda's Charisma line.
These colors will work beautifully in my friend's living room, although I think she's expecting a quilt that contains robin's egg blue, brown, and cafe au lait.
At last (meaning after probably nine or ten years) I layered and began quilting this Blue and Yellow Hexagon Strip quilt. The fabrics for the triangles were cut from layers of a blue and yellow fabric. I was working on this quilt before Bethany Reynolds published her Stack 'n' Whack quilt books and patterns. (Just shows that sometimes more than one person picks up on some of the wonderful ideas out there floating around in the universe.) The hexagons are surrounded by my own hand-dyed fabrics. This quilt is still only partially quilted because I waited too long to order some blue thread from Tracy at Sew Thankful. (She gives great service; however, the thread was out of stock. She had to back order it, which she did even though she's no longer going to carry that brand of thread, and the thread was waiting for me when I arrived home.)
My friend's cabin is so cute that it should really be featured in Cottages & Cabins magazine.
Then I layered and began quilting this lap size quilt, which I call Mrs. Lebo's kitchen because the Cherry Jubilee fabrics in the four patches remind me of my first grade teacher's kitchen. It was going to be a Victory quilt, but Alexandra loves it and admitted that she really wants it. (There is a second similar quilt that I didn't get layered that will be a Victory Quilt.)
This is a quilt I had no idea I would make. That is, I took the Tom Sawyer fabric and a [very] few coordinates knowing I would piece some stars and make a small quilt. While in Cleveland, TN, we had a very brief visit with a man I've known since we were in first and second grade. While showing me his new home, we saw the now too-worn quilts his mama had made. She died in the 1950's, and I just know that if she were alive, she'd make him another quilt. Since she can't, I did. This is totally unlike any other quilt I have ever made! I've never before understood why people like Civil War reproduction fabrics. Now I do! However, that's because they were just perfect with this Windham Fabric Mark Twain-inspired toile-like fabric. The quilt does include the fabrics I had taken with me that were not reproduction fabrics. I picked up the reproduction fabrics [by Fay Burgos for Marcus Fabrics] at a delightful fabric shop in Tazewell, TN.--The Mark Twin/Tom Sawyer fabric was purchased last summer in Hannibal, MO at a quilt shop across the street from Mark Twain's childhood home.
This is the second quilt I had no idea I would make. These fabrics are from Robin Pandolph's Chateau Rococco line for Free Spirit Fabrics. I took several of them with me, thinking I would make a small quilt. I had so much fun with the feather on the borders of Mrs. Lebo's Kitchen that I knew I had to do a quilt with a red border quilted with gold feathers.
I picked up additional yardage at the shop in Tazewell and pieced the top, got the borders added, and layered and basted it. However, then it was time to leave so that I could see my niece who lives in Oregon and who had returned to Cleveland, TN for her good friend's wedding. I figured the quilt was going to come back to New Mexico to be finished and then be mailed back to Tennessee. My daughter and Miss Bobbie convinced me we should extend our visit so that they could go see the new Harry Potter movie together the day it premiered. They saw the movie, and I completed the quilt in time for us to go outside and take pictures.
By the way, to see any of these photos in a larger format, meaning you'll see more details, you can place your cursor over a picture, right click, and open it in a new tab or a new window.
We began the long drive back to New Mexico early Thursday morning. We had a lovely first day's drive in mostly drizzle from East Tennessee into Oklahoma, where the sun came out. The sun shone brightly the rest of our return trip except for a few drops of rain between Tucumcari and Cline's Corners. But any way you look at it, a trip of 1400+ miles is lllooooonnnnnnng!Obviously, the summer monsoons fizzled early here. NM is very brown except where there is irrigation. We spent Saturday tackling weeds and yard work; I gave in and got out the Round-Up; we had a few more drops of rain last night, probably just enough to wash off the Round-Up; we'll see.
More posts with quilt stories later!
Dora the Quilter

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quilting Retreat

We spent a wonderful few weeks in a mountain cabin at the junction of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky very near Cumberland Gap--which we could see if we climbed to the top of the nearest hill. We had no land line, no e-mail or internet connection, and no cell phone [unless we drove to the nearest town]. I designed, pieced, and quilted two quilts from start to finish. I'll post pictures when I get them transferred to the computer. I took way too many things to work on--quilts take a lot longer than we realize. Spent a lot of time in prayer and was definitely inspired by the landscape and the peace! Felt like we were one step from heaven!
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