Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I've been PIF(fed)

I will be receiving a PIF gift from Elisa at Old Ragged Threads sometime within the next year. (
Now it's my turn to ask you to play :)
If you would like to receive a hand made gift from me (by September 2010) please leave a comment at this blog. I need at least three people. If there are more entries I will do a drawing. I am also sharing the PIF at one of my other blogs.
If you are chosen you then run a PIF at your own blog and choose three people to send a gift too. Sounds like a whooooole lot of fun to me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scots Corner - Dumfriesshire

Let's go visit the borders of Scotland. This lovely view can be seen in Dumfriesshire as you are driving along the A74(M) towards Lockerbie.
I was aiming for some of the local wildlife and missed them entirely :)
The Bard himself, i.e. Robert Burns lived near Dumfries (the town) for about 5 years.
Robert Carlyle was born at Ecclefechan and the home of his youth is a lovely, very small, museum.
It would be remiss of me not to mention Thomas Telford of engineering fame since he was also from the shire.
Further back in time there was much border clashes going on between the clans and against the English. Robert the Bruce did some rampaging in the area as well.
With all the historical rampaging and heated debates that went on in this part of the borders it's a wonder the area has survived as well as it has. Beautiful, peaceful, countryside with lots of interesting villages and towns to visit. For the born romantics, I guess having Gretna Green in the vicinity helps considerably :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blog Hop - Gallery of Samplers

My flower for this week goes to Carol Sutcliffe at and all the other contributers to the site.
I've been researching samplers for a few months now with the intent to design and make some of my own, and also replicate one of the antique family samplers that I own. I've learned through going to this particular blog, and a few others, that there is more to samplers than just bands and alphabets.
Gallery of Samplers is not just about Carol's fabulous work but showcases the work of many other talented stitchers as well. It has been running since January of 2008. So if you love cross stitch samplers (and even if you don't) you should hop on over and visit for a while.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Projects update - 25 September

I've been working on fabric postcards, a mini quilt for Postcard Pizzazz and blocks from the Grandma's "project". Scroll down to see the photos. (Just felt like doing them separately.)
There is another project I've been working on this week which is about finished. Just got to put the hangers on and a label on the back. It's for an event so the reveal will happen in a few weeks :)

Postcard Pizzazz - Fall exchange - The Last Leaf

Postcard Pizzazz - Star light, Star Bright, mini quilt

GBFSQB - Shoo Fly

GBFSQB - Prairie Queen

GBFSQB - Signature Circles

GBFSQB - Ohio Rose

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Local Life - Nashville Temple

When I am working at the Franklin FHC this is what I see as I drive along Mack Hatcher Highway. The building was dedicated in 2000 by James E. Faust and I had the honor of singing in the dedicatory choir. My goal is to visit inside 2-3 times per month.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What do you want to see before you die?

I was at the library yesterday looking for sources for a research project. Came away with something much more interesting :)
Fabulous book with pictures and descriptions of gardens all over the world. Would I be able to visit them all in my lifetime? Doubt it but so far I've visited 16 of the ones mentioned. Doesn't sound like many but there are some that are not included that I have visited.
So DH knows to start planning on "camera in hand" visits stateside and we will be compiling a list for our next visit to the UK :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Scots Corner - A River (Dee) Rushing Through

Scots Corner - Ya gotta love the Highland "beastie"

Mmmmmmm - Is Blogger playing with our followers section?

I noticed early this morning that my followers section is blank on all my blogs so I took a wander round some other blogs and they have the same thing going on.
Just thought I'd mention it since Blogger follows the blogs :)
(Thankyou kind folks. Mine is now fixed. 7.00 ish)
Well what do you know it's back off again (12.00 ish). Darn, I like to go visit while I am eating my lunch :(
Oh well back to the sewing :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Flower of the week - Leah Day @ 365 Days of Free Motion Quilter Filler Designs

Sorry for the separate picture and word postings. Ever since blogger changed the way photographs can be uploaded I've been having problems getting both in the same post consistently.

Leah is a young, talented quilter from North Carolina, who has set herself a challenge and as a result we are the lucky recipients.
She machine stitches a square a day and explains her thought process. There's little videos, degrees of difficulty, sewing tips and humor.

The link to her blog is in my side bar under tutorials. Everyone go give her some hugs she is feeling sick at the moment.

And the winner is ..........

Drum roll please ........... Eileen H.
(Eileen sent her entry in off blog due to a posting problem. She is a member of the fabulous LearningFA yahoo group that I also belong to.)
Congratulations Eileen. I hope you enjoy using the book and the pattern. Please contact me with your mailing address.
And now I am off to put my best china bowl back in the cupboard :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Where Did We Begin?

There's a fun idea going on courtesy of Robyn at Daisy Quilts called Where Did We begin? (see the link in my sidebar). The idea is to share stories and hopefully pictures about when we first started quilting.

Back in the age of the dinosaurs a bonnie wee lassie in Scotland of about the noble age of 10 took the compulsory sewing and cooking classes provided by the country noblemen. Twas a joyous experience and the monarch of the home economic realm, the divine Richardson, took said noble lassie under her wing and taught her almost everything she knew.
7 years of learning wondrous sewing techniques and taking dreaded exams passed. Some favorite things to do were setting fabric on fire (legally) and designing/making costumes for school plays. The lassie passed her exams and moved on to college where she kept her sanity by sewing and knitting wondrous, and sometimes very odd, creations.

Moving on many years i.e 1987.

Said lassie, now a lady (of sorts) moved to the colonies a.k.a. USA to marry her knight in shining armor. Hand made wedding dress and veil, with hundreds of teeny tiny pearls was created.
Here, in the colonies, she was introduced to the amazing art of cutting up pieces of fabric into even smaller pieces to create something called a quilt and her first sight of a thing called "a stash"(mother-in-laws "sewing room" that could only be entered by vandalism and some very creative climbing.) So this was/is QUILTING.
Looked interesting but she did not feel inclined to participate much and had left her beloved sewing machine back in the home land.


As an aside - The lassie actively encouraged her new mother-in-law to enter one of her queenly sized creations in the State Fair. After 2 years of gentle nagging she caved in and it won best of show. Woohoo.

Time moves on, as always, and the little family increased somewhat. Then came a move to a new abode wherein the quilting thing took a turn to the serious side.
Some new friends invited the bonnie lady to join their quilt group. They nagged, they bribed, they eventually won. They set her cheater fabric of flowers and birds up on a  quilt frame and helped her hand sew in DMC pink floss all the hundreds of little stitches. Even her little princesses got in on the act and sat under the frame on occasion passing the needles back up through the fabric and attempting a few stitches.
Do I still have the quilt. Noooooooo. Do I have a picture. Yeeeeeees.......... somewhere in one of the family albums.
Enough of this story telling. I love applique and hand sewing the most and do mainly wall hangings. If I had my time over again I would have trained in Textile Design instead of Interior Design but such is life. I love my hobby. Next two entries show some early quilts.

P.S. Thanks to those of you who have entered the drawing thus far. It's been fun getting to know some of you better and visiting blogs :) For those of you visiting today and wanting to enter please scroll down to Wednesday's blog entry and leave a comment there. Runs till tomorrow (Saturday).

Where Did We Begin - First tied and first applique

The alphabet baby blanket for daughter #3 was my first real attempt at tying a quilt on a frame (1993). My mother-in-law showed me how to do it properly. Up until a few months ago it spent most of it's time hanging on the wall in my daughter's bedroom. She learned how to spell words using it and red is still one of her favorite colors.
The other quilt, laying in a heap (there's a reason for that), is my first attempt at "own design" applique friendship. We were moving to Michigan and one night I woke up with a completed picture in my mind and drew it down on a piece of paper. It took a wee while to buy all the fabric and supplies and draw up the design on the fabric. Then I had people sign the hearts that were to be embroidered. Unfortunately this is also my oldest "work in progress" (14 years) because I did not finish off the applique hearts first. Trying to work in between the embroidered hearts is really awkward but it will get finished and hung on our living room wall.

Where Did We Begin - First attempt at piecing a quilt

My very first attempt at piecing was (about 1995) "Ann Orr's Rose Garden" from Rotary Riot 40 Fast and Fabulous Quilts. I had previously bought the book to learn about rotary cutting and at that point still did not have any of the supplies (waaaay to expensive for my tiny budget). I really wanted to make this quilt so bought the fabric, ruler measured, pencil drew, and hand cut ALL the little squares. Aaaargh, took a long time.

All I will say is this - I was not fast and it did not look fabulous BUT I was able to save a lot of the blocks for other projects which were given to other people :) The one I am most pleased with is hanging in the hallway at my mother-in-laws house but I cannot find the photo of it.

Project update - Bowtie - 1920 to 1950 section

Project update - Lattice - 1890 to 1920 section

Project update - Fabric postcards for Postcard Pizzazz swap

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Local Life - The Nashville Symphony

The Nashville Symphony is fabulous. We are truly blessed to have such a cultural group of excellence in our midst.
Their relatively new home (opened in 2006) - the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is lovely. It's kind of shoehorned into it's site, because down town is so built up, but it's worth a visit. The seniors get prom pictures taken outside the building. They all look so gorgeous/handsome in their formal attire. Brings a lump to the throat and a few tears to the eyes of many a proud parent !!!!!! (I openly confess to having been one of them.)
Tomorrow night we are going to listen to Stephen Hough playing Tchaikovsky's 1st. Piano Concerto. Woohoo ......... Looooove Tchaikovsky. To see a historic video highlight go to
The "Schermer" has an interesting feature. The symphony hall can be transformed into a hardwood floor ballroom by lowering all the concert goer seats under the floor.
The statue is called "The Recording Angel" by Audrey Flack and is one of my absolute favorite pieces in downtown.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'tis a gift - I'm doing a give-away :)

The give-away is open till Saturday (19th). Leave a comment at this entry or send me an e-mail.
I will announce the winner on Monday (21st.).
The book is called "Happy Endings - Finishing The Edges of Your Quilts" by Mimi Dietrich and the quilt pattern is called "Butterflies" originally designed by Laura Wheeler and adapted by Nina Shrock. (The antique quilt is in The New England Quilt Museum.)

Just for fun :) Anyone that has ever left a comment at this blog (up until yesterday) is automatically entered into the drawing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Scots Corner - Culross

Doesn't this look like it should be a scale model?
This ariel photograph comes courtesy of
I've been to the village a few times and love it. The yellow building is Culross Palace but in reality was a  merchants house built for Sir George Bruce. Now owned by the National Trust it's a great place to visit, as is the rest of the village.
Put on a good pair of walking shoes and enjoy the narrow cobblestone streets, the hills and the views.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Flower of the week - In memorium - George Cram

My cousins in Scotland had to attend their father's funeral today (6 hours ahead so probably done by now.) He died suddenly on Tuesday of last week.My parents were also planning on being there.
This flower is for them and the employees at the "family firm" Robertsons Interiors of Dundee.
Robertsons has been in business for about 140 years and at least 4 generations of the family have been involved with it.
How are we connected?
My great-uncle George Robertson was dating a lady called Edith Colville. One of his close friends was my grandfather. He started dating her sister Jessie and the rest is history :) Their daughter, my father and my aunt basically grew up together and during the summer would go on holidays together (whenever they could.)
Daughter got married and my brother has the same first name as one of her sons.
George was an astute businessman and well respected in his community. He lived a productive and meaningful life. Last time I saw him was three years ago at my younger brother's funeral. It was a good visit. He, and his family, made the day so much more bearable for us. I hope someone has been there today to help lighten them.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge today and the anniversary of the bombings. We observed a moment of silence at our genealogy group this morning.
Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on that day?
I was getting my kids ready for school and felt strongly impressed to turn on the T.V. The news was on and I watched the second plane hit. Then I cried. I spent the rest of the day watching events unfold both at home and at the middle school. The sense of shock and disbelief was very evident.
I have a number of Muslim, Sikh and Indian friends, here and in Europe, who were seriously impacted by this event in a negative manner just because of "the color of their skin and their clothing."
May we each remember and try to understand the losses that happened to all people and do our part to show more kindness to each other.

Project update - Grandma's Best ......... blocks

Here's one of the 91/2" blocks from
"Grandma's Best Full Size Quilt Blocks" that I have already done - in two different color ways.
The block is called "Butterfly in Flight" and can be found in the 1920-1950 section.
I have a stack of the blue butterflies sewn down to the background block just waiting to have the embroidery finished. There is enough fabric left to do the borders. The iris butterfly is a one off for a gift to a family member.
I think it's fun to play around with different fabrics to see how they can change the look of a design. The iris fabric definitely gives a much softer, more feminine feel. The blue gives a more 30's style look.
I don't like how the antennae turned out so I may make some of the others curly and more gentle looking.
I think it would be fun to take the same pattern and do a sideways in flight look by narrowing the body down a bit, using one wing and adding legs as if it is landing on a flower.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Local Life - The Warner Parks

I have now officially "signed my life away" as in I am now a volunteer family historian for the Warner Parks and this is where I will be hanging out on a regular basis (The Nature Center at Edwin Warner.) I've already put in a goodly number of hours over the past few days and I have to say that I am really enjoying what and whom I am researching. (Can't tell.) Yesterday I got to see a humming bird up close and personal.
This is the main entrance to the nature center and the path leads to the library, admin building, pond and experimental garden.
The parks cover about 2,684 acres and are split into a number of areas. The main sections are Percy Warner and Edwin Warner Parks.
The land was donated by Percie Warner Lea and her husband Luke Lea and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984.
I love this lichen loaded bench/old swing.
One of the tile mosaics on the "moon phases" patio.
Just because I like butterflies. This is the base of one of the bird baths.
That reminds me. Sometime next week I am going to do a giveaway and it involves butterflies:)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

'tis a gift - Christmas is coming and BOM's:)

Aaaargh it's that time of year again.
Christmas is coming and I hereby promise that I will not put one of those "count down to Christmas" blinky things on any of my blogs :) (A still one maybe, but not a blinky.)
Kris and I are hatching a gift idea. It involves cookie cutters and brightly colored fabric, that I let her pick. We are sewing the working models together and contemplating the "bling".
The quilt block has nothing to do with all of that but is related to gifts of a different kind. There appears to be a plethora of BOM's this year which is great but the decisions about which ones(s) to make, now that can be hard.
I have been diligently collecting the Gail Pan block designs (now in a little blue folder) but did not want to go with the red/green suggestion. This week I had my "AHA" moment and will be doing shades of brown/tan with a few spots of color thrown in for good measure. There will be something going in the triangles. I'm at the sewing blocks and drawing designs in stage.
So thanks to all you wonderful people out there who have been gifting us with BOM's. Y'all are great. AND thanks to Barbara at our LofS group who has so diligently tried to keep up with all of them and do a monthly reminder.
(and yes the picture loaded sideways. I have a very packed day so don't have time to work it out.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Scots Corner - Isle of Skye

Totally love this place. Lived there for about 4 years and have been back 3 or 4 times. One of my brothers was born there. Most of my images are prints that I have not scanned into our computer yet or were digital ones taken on the notorious "fog and rain moved in and obliterated the view" type day.

For your delight and delectation take a gander at the Skye photography of Brian C. Smith at I guarantee y'all will become smitten too :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Blog Hop - Luminous Quilts

My flower for today goes to Cynthia at Luminous Quilts
Cynthia and her family are currently living in Alabama but for a number of years lived here in Nashville and attended the same church as us.
She became a keen and inspiring participant in the quilt group we had during her time here.
Cynthia started quilting about 8 years ago and I actively encouraged her in her pursuit :)
As her family has grown so her quilting has simplified but all are wonderful and much appreciated by those who have been the lucky recipients. I have one of her early wall hangings in my collection.
Cynthia's blog is fairly new but I hope you find it interesting. Maybe some of us can convince her to do a "show and tell" of some of her earlier quilts. She has a book with all the details.
So hop on over and see what she is making for some of her lucky relatives.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Project Update - "In The Good 'Ol Summertime 20009"

It sat for a few days then all of a sudden I got busy with it. Just have to finish up the bird and add in a few flowers.
I've decided to call the piece "Guardian of the Wheat field."
A closer look at the top right hand corner. The flower is three dimensional. I had fun trying to do that and it proved to be fairly simple to do. I'm contemplating adding a yo-yo to the center.

The bird and leaves are also three dimensional. I just have to add an eye and legs to the bird.
I definately want to do some more three dimensional projects. Gives wall hangings a whole different feel. Once I've refined my process I'll do a little tutorial.
As for other projects. I made something, and sent it, to my recipient in the Angel swap. It went international and because of tightening up of security at their end I had to sign a customs form. So much for trying to remain anonymous :)
I'm also working on some fabric postcards but they are not ready to "show and tell" yet.
The "Whoopsy Daisy" pattern I won from The Quilted Fish arrived in the mail a couple of days ago. Thanks Amanda. I think I might adapt it slightly and do a mini version of it.
If you have read down this far then head on over to my other blog for a small giveaway I am running till Thursday.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Local Life - Out and About

Sometimes you can see the oddest looking things when you are out and about. I went to Cheekwood Botanic Gardens on Tuesday and look what I parked behind. I did not know what to make of it to begin with ...... then I took a look around and realised the the Outdoor Scarecrow Exhibition has started (well almost). Some of the posts are still vacant and at least one was being put together while I was there.
The main theme is related to Mark Twain. Nashville, it would appear, is having city wide celebrations and this is Cheekwood's contribution. The Twain scarecrow is just down the pathway from this one and there was another one doing a head stand right in front of whatever this charming creature is supposed to be.
This outdoor event of fun and frolicsomninity runs till November 1st. I think I'll take my kids :) We probably should pack a lunch since they are all over the estate.
Oh and next year - I can hardly contain myself - the outdoor exhibit is going to be by the amazing glass artist Dale Chihuly (May 25 thru Oct.31). In conjunction with that the Frist Center for the Visual Arts will be having an exhibition of his work May 14 2010 thru Jan 2011 and the Symphony will be presenting Bluebeard's Castle May 20-22, 2010 with DC's stage set.
Cheekwood by, the way, is about 10 minutes from my house.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

'tis a gift - really and truly it is (was)

I've mentioned my White treadle machine in past postings and here it is. With all the re-arranging I did in my sewing room I now have space for it. Nik helped me haul it up from the basement last night and I gave it a good wipe down and check up.
It appears to be missing a key for the drawer locks, wooden hood for the machine and (unfortunately) the bobbin holder, bobbins and needles. The holder might be underneath but I have not lifted the machine all the way up yet.
The foot plate works just fine. A wee bit stiff but that can be fixed no problem. The band is a bit loose and while everything is able to turn somewhere there is a jam of some kind that prevents the needle shaft from working.

All the drawers are very sturdy. I love the designs on them. The two on the end have been decorated with what looks like oak leaves. The two at the other end are hidden by the drop leaf most of the time so are plain.
The middle drawer has a nice curve to the front of it and the carved oak leaves. It has some round holes just inside that are meant to hold something but I have no idea what.
I feel fortunate that the drawers are unlocked because they have a decent amount of space in them to hold some of my small supplies.

I love all the little drawers. And look - inside one of them is .........

A full set of presser foot equipment by the looks of things. One of them is a quilting foot with a width guide that can be attached if needed :)

So generally the machine looks like it has been well used. There is a bit of damage to the surface of the wood bed and some rusting but that can be fixed.

I've seen a picture on-line of the same model but it had no information about dates etc. Most of the White treadles were made between the late 1800's and the 1920's and I would "guesstimate" at later rather than earlier.

So my White, which I scrounged off my neighbor who was getting rid of it, is now going to be used as a bedside table of sorts and I will let you all know how our fixing up effort goes. (John seemed interested in helping with that.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Scots Corner - Blair Atholl Distillery

I hope nobody (including my parents) with Scottish blood in them whacks me for what I am about to say - I don't like whisky. Some of my cousins are now probably rolling in their graves because they made the stuff at the Glengoyne Distillery near Loch Lomond and were good at it.
So why this post. Because whisky has long been part of Scotland's heritage and safe to say the best on the planet comes from there :) I even know a site run by Steve Woodworth, whose wife I might add does not like the stuff either :)
Also because what just so happened to be across the street from us when we stopped of in Pitlochry for another kind of fill up. (Deisel for the van.) None other than the Blair Atholl Distillery which is famous for Bells Whisky. It's one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland having been established in 1798.
I'm not sure what was going on in Pitlochry when we drove through (trying really hard to find a decent parking spot and failing miserably) but the place was jammed packed with cars and people. It's a very popular tourist destination and two of my brothers used to work in the village. I have a cousin that lives there and loves the place.
So back to the whisky. There is a whisky trail that is very popular not only for the liquid gold but also for the food and the scenery. Some of the buildings are pretty interesting to see. I spotted my favorite one when we were driving down a mountain and managed to get a photo of it as we charged on by. Woohoo :)
Long ago (17th century) when the Scottish government realised that they could maybe make some money off of this "peat water" they decided to tax it. Silly people. A lot of the production went "underground" i.e. into the woods and hills and finished produce would turn up in places like coffins and churches. After an Act of Parliament in 1823 to reduce license and duty costs some of the illicit stills became "official" and still exist. The earliest documented distilling dates from around 1494 so the Scots have been pickling everyone for a mighty long time :)
Whisky comes from the Gaelic "uisge beatha" which means "water of life" and was originally used for medicinal purposes. Ho, ho, ho. I guess it does dull the nerves somewhat. For you Americans out there did you know it was used as currency during the Revolutionary War and that it it partly responsible for the formation of the IRS?