I actually have some finished quilts to show today. It feels like it has been a while but apparently Benjamin thinks that “Grandma is always making things”…

I want to start with the lovely pillows my friend Sue has in her family room.


Sue is a very good friend. She suffers my quilting adventures almost gladly and has even been on some with me. She has heard my African Folklore Embroidery lecture three times and has been in at least two classes. Sue had beads left over from a previous crafting experience and added them in wherever possible.

Here’s her butterfly.


More beads on this flower. I like the satin stitch leaves and the chain stitch/cross stitch combination on the stem.


And here is Sue’s chameleon.


Did you notice the Mola Barbara wrapping above the face? I love how everyone takes their designs and makes them unique.


So the quilts!

I received my packet of Michael Miller fabrics for the latest Modern Quilt Guild Challenge a long time ago and they stayed sitting on the side in my studio…

I finally got around to putting them together in a very simple arrangement with 1/4 inch sashing and then had some fun with the quilting. I started with the machine lines to keep everything stable and followed them with lots of big bold stitches using my box of Aurifil 12wt. threads…


Here’s a close-up of the hand stitching.


and a view of the back so you can appreciate the hand work…


It’s not going to win any prizes but I had fun making it!


I don’t often get deep and philosophical, and I’m not going to start now, but the quilt I made yesterday does have a story behind it…

About this time last year I began to get some offers I had never dreamt of and  I was getting more than a little nervous. I already had teaching for AQS in Des Moines on the calendar but then all of a sudden I was preparing for four slots on Quilting Arts TV…

Anyway we sang a song at church one Sunday morning that addressed the situation as I saw it and I set forth keeping my eyes above the waves.

(you can listen to the song if you feel so inclined…)


I have an even more challenging Fall lined up this year and wouldn’t you know it, the same song was on the set list this week? I came home inspired to make a quilt and here it is,

Keep my eyes above the waves, (21″ x 26″)


It was totally made from pieces out of my scrap bag that I stitched together without the benefit of a rotary cutter… I just trimmed the outside after the quilting was done. The borders and binding were from a jelly roll I bought a long time ago so no new fabric was cut to make the quilt!

Here’s a close up of where the waves meet the horizon. I gave myself a double stitched spiral to focus on…


I know it’s not the best piece I’ve ever made, I finished it in under eight hours, and I have some issues with the quilting design… does the combination of straight and serpentine really work? But, it fits the bill and it’s done! Making a truly improvised quilt was a good exercise. Using fabrics from the past 18 months worth of work brought back memories. I had a super day.

What’s next? I took this picture at the Arboretum over the weekend and I really want to use it as the inspiration for my next quilt.

I don’t often use orange so we shall see…


  1. Beautiful work. I love your improvised quilt and the story behind with the song. Sometimes we get exactly what we need.

    July 8, 2014
  2. sue said:

    I did not even see you taking those pictures! Always fun to go to your classes/talks – motivates me to finish my work!

    July 8, 2014
  3. Sandra Hess said:

    Your work is so beautiful. I enjoy seeing what you do.

    July 9, 2014

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