Friday, January 25, 2013



What fun it has been to play with Dresdens again. I have always loved this block but it has been a long time since I stitched one. Thank you to Christine and Madame Samm for all the work they do to allow us to create.

This is a Dresden I made in the 1970's. It is showing its age but is still warm and well used. These blocks are all hand embroidered and while the fabric has aged well  the embroidery thread securing the Dresdens  had literally rotted away and must be replaced. This quilt is special because I was teaching school at the time and a group of senior students were making baby blankets. I brought in the top to demonstrate how a quilt goes together and one student wanted to quilt it. I relented and she took it home. We pinned, basted and marked. I expected she would stitch around one of the plates but she kept working and returned it finished. When I spoke to her mother she said that she stitched on it hours every evening and on weekends until her fingers hurt. This led to many quilts when she graduated.

New methods of stitching and strip piecing mean these blocks become very quick to assemble.

A dear friend passed away many years ago. Her husband gave me some quilt blocks she was working on and they sat on a shelf for almost 20 years. When I looked at them last week I found hand-stitched dresden plates, some attached to backing and other part sections.  It was interesting to work on these because while the dresdens were cotton they were sewn to polycotton blocks. I had to match 20 year old prints to get enough fabric to complete the top.  There was enough fabric for some sashing and a small piece of matching blue to create centers and corner blocks.  Did I say these were hand stitched ? And the stitches are so tiny.

I think I might hand quilt this winter. It sat on a shelf too long to be put away again. And what wonderful memories of Joyce I have had all week. A found treasure indeed.

Dresdens may become baskets, butterflies or flowers. I wanted something cheerful to make me think of spring as we strive to keep warm on these cold days.


Sew grab a nice  hot cuppa tea and peruse all the other stitchers who "Dare To Dresden".


Tuesday, January 22, 2013



In spite of wonderful New Years resolutions to lessen the UFO pile in 2013 I have too many starts in the 21 days since Jan 1.

The first block is called Jumping Jack Flash ..... How could I resist a block bearing that wonderful name ?

Just Us Quilters on FB is featuring a spool block for their stitch a block a day. I resisted buying a cute tea cup panel when I spotted it before Xmas but as soon as the spool pattern appeared I knew it owned me.  Fussy cut tea cups will become the block centers.

A memory quilt for a very special person.

And who could resist the Mystery Quilt from the Quilts By Darlene blog ?

And then I got hooked on Dresdens. Make sure to check out my blog on Friday to see the direction my sewing energy took this week. There is even one which might be considered a UFO if 15+ years of sitting on a shelf counts.

My dream is that these not be on my UFO list next year. 


Monday, January 7, 2013



Choosing theme words seems to be in vogue as 2013 begins. I keep running up against JOY. Checking the definition of joy I find: 

* Joy is an intense and ecstatic happiness;

* an emotion of great delight or happiness, keen pleasure;

* an emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune;

* a source of great satisfaction as in a "bundle of joy";

* to be glad, to delight, to exult,to rejoice.

I stitched these runners  as Xmas gifts from Pat Sloan's pattern. 

Joy was in my environment over Christmas.


" Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift." Albert Einstein

"Joy is a net of love by which you catch souls." Mother Teresa


JOY just might be my word for 2013.

Wishing you a joyful day.