Thursday, November 14, 2013

Artists' Showcase at AccuWeather

 Last week AccuWeather sponsored their annual Artists' Showcase. 

I entered the Lancaster Diamond quilt in the "Traditional" section.  There were 13 entries in the category, but I had been the first to step up and say "Yes!"

Here are a couple of photos from the show:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Quilter's Shirtless Men and a Spicy Burrito Calendar 2014


 My regular readers (all 9 of you) may be aware that I have participated in the QSMASBC (Quilter's Shirtless Men and a Spicy Burrito Calendar) since its inception.

In fact, Mark was not only "Mr. October", but also the calendar cover model for 2012.   He is displaying a quilt that he designed and made. 

Oh, the funny looks we got while shooting this!  It's not every day there's a "naked" man holding a burrito and a quilt in a cornfield in Central Pennsylvania!

BUT, the October pose was so popular that at some quilt shops, it was repeated as a "costume" for Halloween! They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 

In 2013, he became Mr. April.  On display this year is a quilt that his mother made for him.


We're going for a THREE-peat this year. 

If you'd like more details, perhaps even getting your sweetie to join in the fun, read the "rules" at The Bitchy Stitcher - Quilters Shirtless Men and a Spicy Burrito Calendar 2014 

And, even if you don't participate in the calendar creation,  please consider purchasing the calendar.  There's lots of eye candy -- quilts, men and burritos (if that's your choice).

The calendars make great gifts!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spreadsheet Update

In the quilt:
  • 137 full diamond block
  • 20 short half-diamond blocks (top/bottom)
  • 12 long half-diamond blocks (left/right)
  • 4 quarter-diamond blocks (corners)

  • Completed:
  • 37 full diamond blocks
  • 10 short half-diamond blocks (top/bottom)
  • 12 long half-diamond blocks (left/right)
  • 4 quarter-diamond blocks (corners)

  • Left to complete:
  • 100 full diamond blocks
  • 10 short half-diamond blocks (top/bottom)
  • 0 long half-diamond blocks (left/right)
  • 0 quarter-diamond blocks (corners)

  • I have drafted 951 pieces.

    The last block I drafted (H2), was two pieces. A giant leaf appliqued on a background. Not very challenging. <*smile*>

    Remind me of this when I get into those three blocks with over 100 pieces each! <*grin*>

    Monday, April 22, 2013


    Drafting quilt blocks: precise and tedious, yet fun.

    I have a total of 52 with 714 pieces.

    As I draft, I've been making notations of the colors of pieces that you've seen in my posts about the Lancaster Diamond Sampler Quilt. 

    How long has it been since YOU used a protractor and/or a compass?  :)

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Oops!... I Did It Again!

    Well, not quite, but I am going to!

    I have started drafting the blocks for the second Lancaster Diamond Sampler Quilt -- the one created by Fanny Bucher.  My friends and co-workers who have seen me working on this the past couple of days (during my lunch break) think that I'm insane. They saw the first quilt (The Lancaster Diamond Sampler Quilt), for which Ann Holte drafted the patterns. They know the work that went into that quilt using someone else's patterns.  They chuckle when I sit there with my rulers and calculator drafting the blocks myself.

    As I have been studying the quilt, I note that Fanny did not do a  lot of applique.  That is not to say that there is none in the quilt, there just appears to be less than in the Lancaster Diamond Sampler Quilt done by her friend/relative/neighbor.

    "That block" .. you know the one .. the one with 120 pieces shows up in this quilt, too.  Fanny must have enjoyed piecing small pieces as there's a similar block with 110 pieces!  She also enjoys making Lemoyne Stars as there are four in the quilt, and two Mariner's compasses!

    In one of the blocks, I have found the initials "H.W" and the date 1860. I believe that I am going to follow suit, and place my initials and the year in the same block in this quilt.

    If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I am a numbers geek. I love spreadsheets! 
    In the quilt:
    • 137 full diamond blocks
    •     2 short half-diamond blocks (top/bottom)
    •    12 long half-diamond blocks (left/right)
    •     4 quarter-diamond blocks (corners) 
    •     3 full diamond blocks
    •     2 short half-diamond blocks (top/bottom)
    •     4 long half-diamond blocks (left/right)
    •     4 quarter-diamond blocks (corners) 

    Left to complete:
    • 134 full diamond blocks
    •  18 short half-diamond blocks (top/bottom)
    •   8 long half-diamond blocks (left/right)
    •   0 quarter-diamond blocks (corners)

    So far, I have drafted 108 pieces in 13 blocks. I have a lot more to go, and I am looking forward to it!

    Monday, February 11, 2013


     I received a phone call on Tuesday that my quilt was finished.   I think that I showed great restraint by waiting until Thursday to pick the quilt up (I could have gone on Tuesday, as Elizabeth, the Amish/Mennonite lady who hand-quilted my quilt is only at home on Tuesday and Thursday, the other days helping at her daughters' school).

    On Thursday Lorna, a friend from the quilt guild who knows Elizabeth and her family, went with me to collect my quilt.  She was happy to be the first person to see the quilt in person. We took a few side trips, and made the better part of an afternoon of the journey to Belleville, PA.

    We were chatting away, and missed the turn to Elizabeth's, so, we decided to modify our initial plan of "quilt, fabric shop, bulk foods" to "quilt shop, bulk foods, quilt."  As we went along, the plan was modified more, but that is the fun in the adventure. :)

    Our first stop was Mary Lee's Fabric Shop where I found a reproduction 'cheater' fabric that I decided would be nice to cut on bias and use as my binding for my quilt.  The original quilt had a brown/blue/red plaid that I have had a hard time finding a reproduction of anything similar to.  While here, I also picked up the black fabric for the setting triangles of the 'sister quilt' by Barbara Bucher Snyder. I also purchased more pink fabric for the Fanny Bucher quilt. I love these three quilts! We also ventured to another quilt shop, and then to A.J. Peachey and Son's store, before going to collect my quilt.

    I am quite pleased with the work that Elizabeth did.  Her price was quite reasonable (I think she under-charges for her work!).  

    After a few long days of work (6A-11P), I sat down with the binding fabric on Saturday evening, thinking about folding and cutting the binding. I decided that I did not want to make a mistake while cutting, and put it off until the morning. Sunday, I put a new blade in my rotary cutter, grabbed my ruler and started cutting. By the end of a long evening, I had the entire binding sewn on the quilt.

    It still smells like the wood-stove Elizabeth uses to heat her home, but I snuggled under it last night, and was quickly asleep. I love my quilt! 

    [Photos to come later, as I was falling asleep as soon as I finished the binding just after midnight.]

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013


    Mid-afternoon on New Year's Eve, I joined the State College Area Rollers in helping at an event for the kids at our local rink. I got there early, and quickly decided to take the plunge. The last time I had been on skates was around 1985 -- 25+ years ago. I was in college then.
    After the initial, "bambi on ice" experience, I took to the rink. Left. Right. Left. Right.  I did okay.  Several other adults came up to offer gentle advice.  Once I was able to get out of my own head, the movements came back to me.  Push, glide ... push, glide.  It wasn't beautiful, but it was 'okay.' 
    Soon, I found myself 'sucked' into the center of the rink -- where the good skaters were.  Those who were going fast. Far faster than I cared for.  Oh! And the disco ball ... it was making me very dizzy.  I scared a couple of young girls as I was desperately trying to get off the rink. They were headed straight for me -- I am sure that the mutual terror on our faces was priceless. There was one teeny-tiny who was using a 'skate assist' like a battering ram, that seemed to be constantly gunning for me. I skated for about 45-minutes to an hour. I managed to stay upright. I only goosed one guy in my efforts to stay erect. [Well, that's my story and I'm going to stick to it. He didn't seem to mind, but his wife/girlfriend gave me looks that would kill!]
    There's a reason that I am a NON-SKATING Official with our local roller derby league; however, I do see new skates in my future. I may never get up the nerve to even try to qualify for the team, but the 'taste' was enough to remind me how much I enjoyed skating.

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

    Photo staging

    Staging photos in a lumber baron home. The home was built in 1900 by John and Daniel Linck - twin brothers.

    Saturday, November 17, 2012


    After a marathon day of sewing, the Lancaster Diamond Sampler Quilt top is assembled.

    Thank you to the Rose of Sharin' Quilt Shop (Danville, PA) for holding a quilt retreat weekend this weekend. Thank you Amy Sackett Goodwin for coming with me. Thank you, Mark for bringing me my missing fabric this morning so that I could cut and finish the sashing.

    A special thank you to Ann Holte for designing the pattern and encouraging me to finish.

    Now, to have it quilted!!

    Sunday, November 4, 2012


    I sewed the two sections together. The top is now Rows A through J. Row J is the center of the quilt.

    Rows G through J

    This brings me to the center of the quilt. Row J is the center.

    Rows A through F

    Up this morning sewing. There is progress!

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    Piece Count

    I took a few minutes to update my GoogleDoc of piece count for this quilt. In the end, I finished with 26 more pieces than Anne had. This is mostly because of slight differences between Anne's designs and my photographs of the quilt. For ease of sewing, Ann may have left out small extra pieces. These did not interfere with the design nor integrity of the quilt. However, I chose to add the pieces into my diamonds.

    That being said, in one diamond Ann has chosen to piece a fabric that I believed to be a plaid in the original quilt. [Block N13 for the curious] Because I used a plaid, my block had 21 less pieces than Ann's block!

    Piece counts

    Ann Holte = 3340
    Ida Lively = 3373

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    The Assembly Begins

    As I promised myself last night, I finished cutting the setting diamonds. Today I cut about 2/3 of the sashing -- I have about 108 pairs cut (out of 154).

    I was tired of cutting so I began to sew. Honestly, I was anxious to see
    what the quilt was going to look like.
    (I know from the photos approximately what it will look like, but
    My fabric choices are different, and I paper-pieced some blocks without reversing them to correct for the reversing effect.)

    Not everything is straight. Not everything lines up perfectly; however, thus far, I am pleased.

    What say you?

    Saturday, October 27, 2012


    All fabric for the cornerstones is cut. About half of the cornerstones themselves have been cut. By the end of the day they will be finished.

    R21 - The Last Block!!!

    Wow! What a ride! This is the last block in the quilt. Now, just to cut all of the sashing and setting diamonds.