Monday, March 30, 2015


Currently my sewing room 
is being repainted, 
rearranged and redecorated.  
This was initiated after (I believe) 
my cat, Bobbin jumped on 
a 30-year-old bookcase shelf. 
I found a shelf of books 
on the floor one morning.
It was the final straw.
I was prompted to act.
So I accepted the help of friends, 
hired a painter and the project took off.  
I will send photos when it is completed.

The downside is that 
nearly everything I use to quilt 
is covered, packed up 
and stored up in various areas.

I really miss my piecing therapy.  

Yesterday I pinned a small quilt 
on Roscoe (my Gammill Statler Stitcher) 
and long armed it.
It is not squared off, 
but it won't be until the sewing room is back!
So here is a preview.

This quilt was a mystery quilt 
at Scrap Happy Quilt Guild 
around five years ago.
Audria Humphreys and I chose it.  
Honestly I don't think 
it was very popular with the group, 
but we liked it.

That reminds me 
I have yet to start my 2015 Mystery Quilt. 
And the quilt room renovation 
will only delay me further.
But to be honest, 
I haven't even picked out my fabrics yet.

Hope you are not as far behind as I am.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hot off the Statler Stitcher!

My latest Civil War quilt has just been squared off 
and is ready for pink binding.

My paternal great-grandfather Jacob Buck 
served as a Union infantryman 
in the Ohio 29th Volunteers from 1861-1865.  
He fought in 19 major battles and never missed a roll call. 
 Only three soldiers in the entire war had that distinction.  
Amazingly he was never wounded and
 left the military as full lieutenant colonel.
I learned all this recently 
as I was unaware of much history on my father's side.  
His parents died when I was a child and he died when I was 7 1/2.
No one was there to pass on the family stories 
and I wasn't interested then anyway.

I am making a series of Civil War quilts 
and each is being named to commemorate a battle 
in which Jacob fought.
This quilt is named Columbia, South Carolina.
Columbia was burned to the ground in December, 1864 
by either withdrawing Confederate soldiers, 
drunken Union soldiers, or by 
out of control fires that spread by the blowing cotton fibers 
which were used as fuel.
For these reasons, 
I used the machine quilting pattern "Fire" by Cyndi Herrmann.  

The backing I chose is a red and black streaked fabric 
to represent blood and charred wood.  

I clipped this photo from a magazine
several years ago 
and always knew I would make it.  

Okay, okay I know it says 
"Turn-of-the-century quilts from the Midwest", 
but I figured since I was using fabrics from the Civil War era, 
it would become a Civil War quilt.
And that's all I'm going to say about that.  

Two of my sisters think this latest accomplishment
 is a waste of my time and fabric.  
(And hope that I soon finish this Civil War phase
and start using some prettier fabrics.)

Each of the Civil War quilts is being made 
from the same pool of 1800's style fabric, 
but is based on different blocks and 
has various settings and different border fabrics.
Some have been inspired strongly by Civil War quilts 
in books by Barbara Brachman
and others have come from my collection of quilt ideas.

Since I am a quilt artist, I am creating as I am inspired.
Also they are quite warm, bed-sized 
and are most often used when eyes are closed.
So I see it as a win-win and a part of my estate when I die.
Someone will be drawn to it, surely.

Actually when you think of it, 
we still are fighting some of the same battles today.
State's rights, civil rights, economic development,
political turmoil, etc.
Humans are so ornery.  
They never learn to truly work together, 
each giving a little and doing things the best way for the majority.
Most keep their stubborn habits.

Speaking from experience,

* * * * * * * * *

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Special Trip Around the Midwest completed!

In 2005 I retired and moved 
from Buffalo Grove, Illinois to Clarinda, Iowa.
The relocation went well, 
but I really missed my church and quilting friends from Illinois.

In 2007 
my friends Cindy Kiel, Lenor Davis, Glenda Foley, 
Carmen Talbott and Beth Carroll 
drove in to Clarinda from their homes in
 Illinois, Oklahoma and Kansas to visit me.
We talked and quilted for four days and 
all went to the Praise Band service on Sunday at 
the Clarinda First United Methodist Church. 

Before they left, they gave me a gift of several fabrics 
and I added some of my stash
and made a quilt using the Trip Around the World pattern
to remember their visit.

I machine quilted it and my sister Judy Steeve 
just whipped the binding down.
Thank you, Judy!

Lovely fabrics....great friends....
Special Trip Around the Midwest!

* * * * * * * *   

My sister Deb Corcoran came today 
and helped me pin on another Civil War quilt.
Thank you, Deb!
Last night when I was choosing one to quilt, 
I found I had two (almost) identical  108" square quilts.
It appears I forgot I already made one 
from my "to do" list and remade it. 

Well, I really do like the pattern!

When they are both done, I'll send pictures. 
I can't believe I forgot I made two almost exactly alike.
(I do remember being grumpy 
because I was almost out of fabric.)  

Hope you don't do that...unless you want to.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

February quilt bonanza for Elllowyne and Linus!!

My niece Brittany Loudenback pieced this bright quilt 
for her 26-month-old daughter, Ellowyne's big girl bed.  
I chose a simple and sweet machine quilting pattern
that features hearts, flowers and circles.
The cotton flannel backing makes it so cuddly.

* * * * * * * * *

My sister, Jo Anne Souza pieced
 a Duckling and Puppy quilt for 
her new grandson, Linus Franklin Loudenback 
born February 15th.

* * * * * * * *

Ellowyne enjoyed making a snowman 
during the ongoing snowfalls in Connecticut.

My sister Debbie Corcoran pieced 
this Tawny Scrawny Lion quilt for Ellowyne.  
The illustrations on the quilt are based on 
the Golden Book of the same name.
Ellowyne will receive both the quilt and a copy of the book.  

My family loves quilts which makes me very happy.

* * * * * * * * * *

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Great progress on Civil War series of quilts...

My plan is to name each my Civil War quilts after a battle
my great-grandfather, Jacob Buck fought in
during the War Between the States.

With the help of my sisters,
Deb Corcoran and Judy Steeve, 
Gettysburg, the Civil War modified rail fence quilt
shown on my last blog, is completed.
Deb helped me pin it on Leticia,
our Gammill Classic Statler Stitcher. 
 I used the Goose Down pattern
designed by Dave Dennis.  
Judy helped me square it off.  
I prepared the binding and sleeve
and attached them to the quilt.  
Now Judy is whipping down the binding and sleeve.  
I so appreciate their help so
I can get so many quilts completed.  

* * * * * * * *

When I saw this photo (above) 
in a Country Living magazine years ago, 
I knew I would be making it some day, 
so I ripped it out and placed it in my 
"Interesting quilts" file. 
 I decided it would be a unique one 
using Civil War fabrics 
and solid "School Bus orange", red and pink. 
This one (below) is still unnamed.

I used Electric Quilt to design it
to my preference--the 100" x 100" size
and determine fabric yardage needed.

 My family is not enamored with it, 
but I really like it.  
I'll have a better photo after it is quilted.  
I think I nailed the original, don't you?  

* * * * * * * *

Bobbin (below) in her felted wool cat cave.

Well, Bobbin, my mackerel tabby cat 
is giving me the "stink eye" 
as she is ready for "us" 
to go to bed as it is after 11 p.m.  
I can't wait to start 
another Civil War quilt tomorrow.

Hope you are staying warm
during our cold snap.