These Boots…..


Remember Nancy Sinatra?

This quilt top makes me think of that song every time I see it.

I would guess it is from about 1970 or so.

This one is not mine but I will be hand quilting it when I finish up with the others I have started.   It belongs to Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  Fortunately she is not in a rush for it.   Check out her website, she is an amazing quilter, with her travel and teaching schedule I don’t know how she finds the time to make such cool quilts.

It might be hard to tell in the photos but the background and sashing is a very pale blue and the cornerstones are white.

The boots all have some lace added

DSCN7383 DSCN7384

I imagine that the design inspiration was actually Victorian boots/shoes.


I am not ready to start anything new but I had to share this because I think it is really fun.

There is a very similar quilt in the book Unconventional & Unexpected  American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 by Roderick Kiracofe


Not a lot new in the studio.    I got the desktop hooked up.


I need to hide all those cords!   I have a large screen so I can see it without glasses.   I wear bifocals and they work for quilting, and distance, but not the computer…..I’m not ready to try trifocals :)

Most of the desk is filled.


I spent more time in the garden, or more correctly what will be the garden.   There is still so much prep work to do before any planting can happen in the side yard.


The big patches or bare earth are there because I have been moving the soil from the high spots into the low spots.    It was so very uneven it was even hard to walk.    There is still a lot to go and I will have to add some additional soil to fill in all the holes.      Eventually there will be planting around the perimeter which will hide the chain link fence. I have finally got most of the tree stumps dug out and cleared away.

That semi-circle around the bird feeders in the front is rocks.   I have never had any luck growing anything under bird feeders so I used more of the rocks from all over the yard to made an edging and will just keep that area for the birds.

Mostly sparrows so far.


But there was a wren thinking about it.


There really are a lot of  different kinds of birds in the neighborhood …they just haven’t found the feeders yet.

Teddy is ready to take a nap….being outside tires him out.


I have a ton of boxes to unpack so back to it.

Happy Quilting



Before and after

bafore and after

The tree crew came today to trim up the street tree and get it out of the power lines and remove the dying tree in the cornet of the fenced lot.

Teddy had a really hard time with it….so much noise and activity!   I am so happy with the results …I can see the house so much better and the side yard is so much brighter.





next I will get to work cleaning the back deck and staining it


and then I can start planting the new garden.

Here are some more pictures (click pictures to enlarge)

I plan to get some hand quilting  done too before I forget how!


Happy quilting


Hand quilting at the frame.


It rained last night.   A lot!   Pretty strong thunderstorms here in Lansing but other parts of Michigan were hit harder, hail and tornadoes.  Gardening in  wet soil is never a good thing because it compacts the soil so I decided to work indoors today.

It has been so long since I worked at the quilt frame that I really had to warm up.


The way I guilt I am most comfortable quilting away from myself and to the right (could be because I am left-handed).   In a hoop I simply turn the hoop to change directions but the frame is stationary so I have to change the direction I am quilting.    The result being that I was a bit slower until I got back into the rhythm.    I made my way across the frame once and cranked it up to the next area to quilt.


Teddy likes to sit in my chair when I get up.


It was sunny most of the day so the garden dried and I did some pruning and weeding.   Nothing like the piles of the new garden but it is always amazing to me how fast things grow,


Here are some garden pictures from this evening.  Click pictures to enlarge

Happy quilting


Hand Quilting Frame


I moved some of the stuff into the studio space.    I do not have fancy specialty cabinets as work stations.     I have recycled kitchen cabinet bases with boards on top.


I still have a few door to put back on.   The top on the center table fits the 3 foot by 5 foot cutting mat.     the table with the metal legs is also 3 x 5 feet and that has a pressing surface on it.

My main machine is in a vintage 1950 machine in a vintage 1950 cabinet.


It is a Singer 301A and it is the best machine ever made in my opinion.    Just straight stitches and that really is all I ever need.


The right side of the room gets my desk and bookshelves …..tomorrow I hope. I have so much stuff!!

I set up the quilt frame and look forward to getting to work on the quilt that has been in the frame forever.    I just had so much stuff in the way that I couldn’t work at the frame. but with the new space I have the room for it.

This one is a cool scrappy 1900 quilt that I am free-form arc quilting.



You can see that I also have the Grace hoop ready to go with the antique applique quilt in it.

The living room is full. I need to have that clock repaired but it is nice to have a space for it where it isn’t tucked behind a door and unseen.


I still have to hang quilts and do window treatments.

Teddy is exhausted! he has made so many trips up and down the stairs today.  He is napping on the floor where it is cooler.  But he did decide to have his picture taken first.


Maybe some gardening next time

Happy Quilting




Moving stuff into the studio today and I also got some stuff moved into the Living room (or break room ) I like quilts on chairs.   I will hang quilts on the walls a bit later.  I need to make some drapes for the windows…I am not a fan of just blinds.

I have the important part of the kitchen set….the coffee pot. Coffee is needed all day long.

And I found a spot for my old radio…which still works.   I am a big fan of high tech LOL


The garden is pretty green…..but everything is getting ready to bloom if I get a bit of sun. When you look close there are lots of blooms just starting and hiding .

And it needs weeding so I know what I will be doing tomorrow if it doesn’t rain again.

Happy quilting and gardening


Crazy stairs to the studio


I don’t have the studio space set up yet.     I am starting the move but packing it all up takes time and organization is not my strong suit.   These crazy steep stairs lead up to the room that will be the construction room.



The sewing machine will be here, and a cutting table and Ironing table  and supplies and a desk for the computer.

I added the AC unit today… central air and it gets hot in the summer.     When I finish the gardening the view out the window will be great.

The door at the back on the right is the storage closet.  The collection of quilt tops and all the finished quilts will go there .   It is a large closet. You can see less than 1/2 of it in this picture.


One of the rooms on the first floor will be the quilting room…where the actual hand quilting will happen.   The frame will be there and a hoop on a stand, and a comfy chair or 2 and shelves for quilt books.   .

It is an old house (126 years old) and one thing it retains is the old tub.


perfect for soaking old quilts.

Moving and organizing is not something I am good at so it will be a while yet before I can show you pictures of the work spaces all set up.

Happy quilting


Something New


I have been working on something new.  As you know I love my garden and I add more every year.    I am nearly out of space. There is still a very small amount of grass that I could make into garden but I think some grass is needed in the back.     The little 2 bedroom house next door has as much yard space as my current garden and I have lived next to it for about 12 years thinking how much I would like to work on it.    The house came on the market and I couldn’t resist.


It was built in 1889 so it is just a few years newer than next door.

Houses in the area took a real tumble in the real estate meltdown and are VERY affordable ( I know people who have spent more on a car) ……there was a time a few years ago when it seemed that every other house had a for sale or a foreclosure/auction sign on it.    Those have mostly worked their way out of the system and some of the really bad houses were demolished.   I think it was the right time, just as prices are beginning to go back up (fingers crossed).

So I have been working on 2 yards, keeping up the existing and starting a new one.

The yard is fenced and is really a side yard to the left of the house.  It is a chain link fence which isn’t the most pretty  but it gives teddy a lot more space to run around. There were a million and a half trees growing along the fence and entwined in it. So cutting out branches, digging up stumps, and bagging up weeds and branches has been the major activity.

As is normal I got too excited to start and forget to take before pictures but here are a few from part way.   There is a wide area between the sidewalk (which is also the same antique bricks as next door)  and the fence.   Here it is with about 1/2 of the trees and weeds removed.


Piles and piles of branches.


They were cut up and put in bags and the city picks them up.


45 bags so far and I imagine there will be 10 – 15 more.

Here are some of the stumps from the saplings that I dug out.


and some smaller branches


There is a huge old tree that needs to come down.   It is hard to tell in the picture but it is ready to fall down on its own.


There is also a tree in the front of the house that really needs trimming, some of its branches actually nearly touch the ground when it rains and the water adds weight to the leaves.


I have a tree service coming to take care of that, hopefully in the next few weeks.

here is a part of the back yard cleared (you can see some stumps that still need to be dug out along the back fence).  See that pile of rocks in the back corner?


I used it to edge the bed next to the sidewalk.   The soil level is over a foot higher than the walk so the rocks should help hold it in place.


This area will be replanted after the big tree comes down and I see how much sun I have.   I should have enough sun in the fenced area to even grow some vegetables.

As much as I enjoy garden work I am even more looking forward to getting the new quilt studio set up (that is the quilting secret I talked about in an  earlier post)   No more calling the dining room table and living room floor a studio.  I will have space for the full-sized frame, and plenty of space for cutting table, sewing machine table, shelves, storage, etc.  It is going to be so much fun and I will post pictures when I get it done.  All the yard work has kept me from spending my normal 6 hours a day of hand quilting but I will be back to it soon and post pictures of that as well.

I took some garden pictures today just as it was starting to rain……(click pictures to enlarge)

Happy Gardening and Quilting