Friday, February 20, 2015

Back to the Beginning

3 years ago I designed the first Log Cabin Trim Tool. It is 8" and makes a traditional Log Cabin block. Since then I have added tools for strip-pieced blocks for the pineapple, hexagon, curvy log cabin and more. Now it is back to basics as basics are always "in". You can order the trim tool from my website:

Last week I was in Hailey, Idaho. It was 59° there, almost summer! I gave programs for the quilters in Twin Falls ID and in Hailey. Here is a quilt made by a member of the quilters in Hailey using the original Log Cabin Trim tool. It was started in a workshop taught by my sister, Janet Houts (holding the quilt on the right). I like the planned color scheme and the way the quilt came together.

And here is another Log Cabin quilt made by Sharon Wyeth using the Log Cabin Trim Tool Two and a pattern from our book, Log Cabin Basics. Sharon is also from Hailey Idaho.

Basics can also take an interesting and creative turn. What about this Red Hot Logs quilt made using the same trim tool. Debby Kratovil, who designed quilts for me while I was editor of QUILT,  is always coming up with a new way to use a traditional quilt block. Here is a Greek key quilt she made using the 8" Log Cabin Trim Tool. The clever placement of the red and white fabrics makes a very different quilt.

Debby is featuring the quilt on her blog She has a Cut Loose pattern for the quilt and is having a drawing for one free pattern this week. She also has 11 patterns to sell for $3.99 if you aren't the winner. Visit Debby's blog to enter the drawing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sewing is a Family Affair

Last may my oldest grandson was married to a lovely young lady who came with a sewing machine, a Janome! We both like the same machine. So far Elizabeth hasn't made a quilt, but you can see how very crafty she is. They are going to England in March for a short vacation and you can see Elizabeth has been busy making a personalized passport cover.

Now if I can just get her to make a quilt. So far she has requested and received a quilt from me to keep them warm this winter. Rob sent me a thank you note that said "Thank you for the blanket". You would think after all these years he would know the difference between a blanket and a quilt! Oh well, he's a guy.

 Elizabeth's passport cover

Rob and Elizabeth

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It takes a Quillage

Lots of pictures of quilts came from my recent trip to teach 3 days of workshops at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. Here are two photos of quilts that were made (or are being made) as a group effort.

Jan, Charlotta, and Mary (left to right) have been coming to Kanuga with their friend Michele for 10 years. They are fast friends at the conference and for all the days they quilt at home. Jan and Charlotta live in Tennesse, though not near each other and Mary and Michele live in Atlanta. They have embarked on a Round Robin project and proudly showed off the quilts they are helping each other design and sew. Jan is a veterinarian, Charlotta a lawyer, Michele is a journalist and Mary is a scientist. Quilting binds them together. 
Jacalyn quilts with a group that made blocks for each other last year. Here is the block Jacalyn chose. Her friends did a great job of making the blocks in vibrant colors. Jacalyn completed the free motion machine quilting and binding at Kanuga, then started another project.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Threading the needle

Still at Kanuga leading a workshop with lots of enthusiastic quilters. One of quilters, Maralee Veazy, came all the way from London, England. She met up with a long time friend from New Orleans to spend a weekend sewing together. We supplied a loaner sewing machine and she was challenged as she learned to thread it.

How happy can you be when you can finally start sewing!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kanuga Year 'Round

For the past 8 years my sister, Janet Houts, and I have been leading a workshop at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. It is always Martin Luther King weekend. Check it out and plan to come next year!

Many of the quilters come year after year and have formed close friendships they maintain throughout the year. Yesterday everyone arrived to set up their work space and last night we had an impromptu show and tell with some of the quilters.

Several quilters decided amongst themselves to do round robin quilts to keep in touch. Here are some of the quilts that are currently in progress. Can't wait to see what they add for the next round of borders.
Jan is on the left, Charlotta is in the middle and Mary is on the right. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kanuga Time

Every January for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend my sister, Janet Houts, and I travel to Hendersonville, NC to lead a 3 day workshop. We each present a project or participants can bring their own project and we will help them.

When I travel I have to board my dog. Here in DC I decided to use the service called, Dogvacay. I found a wonderful couple who have a dog that has become Chloe's new best friend. Last night I dropped Chloe off and here she is settling in for the night (and a few nights to come). Chloe is the light colored dog and her friend is the black dog. And, yes, that is an antique quilt from the 1930's that Chloe likes to sleep on. My dog sitter's mother is a quilter from Raleigh, NC. I said, "please don't tell your mom that my dog sleeps on an antique quilt," but I bet she told her.

My Hexagon Trim Tool was created because Anne from Mississippi came to Kanuga and brought an antique quilt with rows of strips around the center hexagon. She wanted a pattern to make one like it so Janet and I worked one out for her. Naturally, I was inspired to do the Hexagon Trim Tool and you know the results! The rulers are available on my website:

Monday, January 12, 2015

There's No Place Like Home!

About 25 years ago I made this quilt. It was my first art quilt and my first strip pieced quilt. Then 20 years ago someone really wanted to buy the quilt. I didn't really want to sell it so I quoted what I thought was a hefty price - $400 - they would turn down. But they bought it! I had to say goodbye as my quilt moved to Chicago. I had even forgotten that I had named the quilt Midnight Musings.

Then 2 weeks ago my friend, Pepper Cory, sent me an email to tell me she saw a quilt on ebay for sale that had my name on it as maker. I followed the link and was surprised to see the quilt I had sold. Bidding followed and after several up bids I finally bought my quilt back for $58.00.

Today the quilt arrived, still in good condition so I could tell it had been well taken care of for all those years. Now it is home again. I could have called this posting "Coming Home" or "Home Again" but in the end I thought there is no place like home! Thanks Pepper for taking the time to let me know about the auction. I am very happy to have this quilt back in my own collection.