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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fabric Shopping in Hawaii

I recently visited the Discount Fabric Warehouse on Kauai, in Lihue, Hawaii. Had hoped to visit a couple quilt shops in the area, but they were further away than they looked on the map, and besides....we got lost. But we were not disappointed!
This colorful quilt greeted us at the front door.  I knew immediately this was gonna to be good.  Although we just wandered in without an appointment, staff were friendly and accommodating - even treating me to a personal "trunk show" and allowing pictures of everything.
I presume this piece was done to illustrate paper piecing techniques.  Very colorful.  One thing I can say about Hawaii - you won't see any Civil War Era fabrics.  Lots of bold, beautiful hues.  In fact, I even saw tropical themed fleece.  Not one woodsy snow scene to be found.

They have a nice selection of Asian prints at the Kauai store.  There are stores in Hilo, Kona and Maui too.

I'd have been happy to take home a few bolts of batik fabric, but I don't think the TSA would have appreciated my extra luggage.  Good thing I can order more (and you can too) at:

I've never been a big fan of orange, but isn't it striking against the teal in this quilt?  Stunning.

I like to alternate simpler projects with more detailed projects.  This is a great beginner quilt project and gives life and movement to a monochromatic quilt.  Great fabric selection!

I know this pattern as Sawtooth, but the quilt is titled "Buzz Saw."  All of the quilts pictured here were done by the same Erika Hessheimer.

Ms. Hessheimer has a knack for selecting just the right backing fabric, and makes her own labels.  What a nice finishing touch. And look at that perfect binding.

They sell a lot of embroidery programs, and the following three pieces show some of the things you can do with them.  Flowers...

texts of various styles and sizes,

 ...and a lot of other fun stuff!

This modified sampler quilt in island colors is bright and cheerful.

This example demonstrates how one design can be re-sized for different applications.

Batik traveling stars with an Asian print backing.

This quilt pattern gives the appearance of being interwoven.  I like how the color gradient and size of the pattern goes from smaller and lighter to darker and larger.  And what a lovely backing.

And the coup de gras - my personal favorite - a Hawaiian print Whack & Stack, with a brilliantly colored pieced border.

Here are my favorite stars - the fire star...

 ...and the flower star that resembles a beautiful lei.

When I asked what products or patterns could I find there - that would NOT be available on the mainland, I learned the blue print in the Whack & Stack was one made for and sold only in Hawaii.  Of course, I had to have some!  So I bought a couple of yards in red.

Eye candy!  I'll have to think a long time about what to do with it before cutting. Below is my other purchase, not specific to Hawaii, but I've been into roosters lately, and after seeing them all over the island of Kauai, this kit seemed fitting.
Here's the real McCoy. This picture was snapped a block or two from the fabric store.  LOL
Other products of interest were Hawaiian pillow kits, suitable for machine embroidery (most kits are for hand embroidery only) and an excellent selection of blender fabrics.  I must thank the kind folks at Discount Fabric Warehouse for their assistance and hospitality.  
Thanks too, to my ever-patient hubby who not only accompanies me to quilt shops, but takes the time to look them up and plan them into our trips.   He's a keeper! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Quilt Retreat Synergy

I did some quilting for the second time since I moved in September.  I completed two and half blocks for this spring-hued lap/wall quilt.  Above I'm auditioning fabrics for the alternate blocks.  Will need to find a nice outer border.  Working with spring greens has boosted my winter-weary spirits.
Sue W. is using up stash.  In this Amish-style quilt she's using her solids.  My favorite block is the pink and red pinwheel star in the far right column.  Love the contrast!
Here Sue laid out a Christmas BOM she's assembling.  Such beautiful fabrics and applique.  My photo doesn't do it justice.  The inner red border will frame it up nicely,, and the green outer border will provide a place for the eye to rest.  Sue's a talented lady!

Other quilters departed before I could snap a pictures of their work.  

The synergy of this retreat was my biggest takeaway.  All the energy and ideas in one room helped me get my quilting mojo back.  Within the week I'll be getting rid of some extra furniture, so I can finally set up a proper sewing room again.  Only then will I truly feel this house is a home!  :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Surprise, Surprise!


Well, Golly!  Free fabric for life!?!
Click link below to enter the contest:

Tell 'em Chris sent ya!  :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Heartfelt Wedding Gift

A dear and talented friend made this quilt top as a wedding gift.  But she didn't make it all by herself.  She did something extra special.
Over 50 of my friends/coworkers signed pieces of the quilt.  How she got some of the signatures I'll never know.  I hope to baste and quilt it in time for Valentine's Day. 

Since November, I've been in "thankful mode."  I'm very thankful for dear friends.  They are truly a blessing!!  :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

This is the first pumpkin I've carved in YEARS.

It's it amazing how the smell of a fresh cut pumpkin can bring back a multitude of memories. Give me a fresh apple and the smell of burning leaves and I'm in heaven.  Good for the soul!

I carved this pumpkin for a contest - at the last minute - on a lark.  Didn't give any thought to what to name my entry.  So when they asked me what to call it, I just said the first thing that popped into my head: Arachnophobia!

Most of the other entries had already been on display for 3.5 days, so they'd had plenty of time to collect votes.  Mine was on display for less than 2.5 hours.  So I was VERY  surprised when Arachnophobia took Second Place!  All proceeds went to charity, but I have a nice little trophy and a coupon to McD's for my effort.

Being a dietitian who dislikes fast food - I find that VERY SCARY! LOL

Happy Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Back to Quilting & Crafting

I haven't posted in a long time, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy.  One year ago, my Sweetie and I decided it was time to sell both of our homes, buy one together and plan a wedding.  Pictured is our new home, and we were married a few days ago.  
Even our scarecrows dressed for the occasion!  After this picture was taken, I hung wedding bells from the tree.  They looked lovely, until it started raining.  LOL
I have a very talented and generous sister who made the flower arrangements for the altar/head table, bouquets, boutonnieres, table favors and even wraps for the bridesmaids.

With the help of a friend, I did the flowers for the wedding cake (not pictured) and the bird cage card box.
The entire day went off without a hitch.  We were surrounded by family and friends at the church and enjoyed a wonderful meal and music at the reception.  It was truly a dream come true!

As life gradually gets back to normal, you can look forward to more frequent blogs very soon! :)

Friday, May 31, 2013

In Loving Memory of Clara

This is my Grandmother in 1928, at age 19.  She passed this week at the age of 103.
Grandpa said it was love at first sight.  He saw her at a party in a blue dress and thought "I'm going to marry that girl."  And he did!
Here they are with their children, my dad and aunt.  Because my photo albums are packed to move, there is a bit of a gap here.  I'm missing pictures of my dad as an adult, and my own childhood - in which Grandma taught me to garden, bake, knit, embroider and sew.  These passions have shaped my life - and I've tried to pass them on to future generations.
This is Grandma in her 70s at my cousin's farm.  She loved animals of all kinds.
Here she is in her late 70s.  My first child had 6 months of severe colic, and Grandma stayed with me for a month, so I could get some rest.  She doted on him the entire time!  She loved babies - even a colicky one.
Here she is at 80, with my younger son.  I don't know who's cuter!
And here she is at 101.  Socializing and enjoying her birthday cards.
Today there were a lot of people at her funeral.  She had 7 brothers, all of whom had families, so there were 29 cousins in my dad's generation.  Most of them had kids, and a good number of them came to say goodbye to their Aunt Clara.  It was truly amazing how many lives she touched in her 103 years on this earth.  Many called her their favorite aunt and told wonderful stories of things they did with my Grandma and Grandpa in their youth.  She brought tremendous joy to so many. 
"Go in peace, faithful friend of God, as you take our love to paradise.  God's holy angels will lead you home to the wide waiting arms of the Lord."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Little Quilting - Finally!

I've done a little sewing at long last!  Took me forever to find my fabric, thread, bobbins, to set up my machine and remember my piecing settings!  Have had my supplies packed to move (in just a few weeks now).  It actually took me longer to get set up than to make the block itself.  LOL

But I'm leaving my stuff out now.  It'll go with me to my next (temporary) home.  Can't wait until we get settled into our (yet unknown) final destination.  There WILL be a new quilting room in my future.

This block is for a group project.  It's perfect for a group project because it can be completed by all skill levels, even beginners.  While I'm kind of a particular about my points, its nice to know the points don't have to be perfect to look good because they don't come all the way to the edge of the block.  This is also a plus for the person putting all the blocks together! 

You can find the pattern at

Hope you have fun! :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Garden Report

I no longer have to look to my garden flag just to see color. 
I dug up some perennials I'd like to take with me when I move. 
I have so many kinds of hostas, I can't leave them all behind.
The Licorice Ferns are in bloom.  Can't get enough of that smell.
I potted a small one to take with me.
I've never grown pansies before.  
With my big tree gone, I can grow sun-loving flowers.
I DO wonder where my flowers and I will end up. 
Everything hinges on when my Sweetie's house sells. 
Just goin' with the flow for the moment.
My day to play outside was delightful,
but now its time to get back to packing and moving!  :)