Sunday, May 23, 2021

Meadow by Jen Kingwell: The Quilting

The Close Ups

I want to get this post out this morning as there's so much happening. May is a crazy month between garden and studio. Some days I think I've got things hammered down, and a day or so later I'm backed up both places. 

Beneath the busyness, I'll think, "This is something I think people would enjoy seeing," and then I'll forget. That's irritating. Also, subjects and threads are easiest for me to write about while they're still relevant. When I'm deeply involved with a subject, I have a swirl of emotions along with the process. It's that I hope to convey.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Blue Skies Inside and Out


Surely you expected I'd wear pink Crocs to work. I have a raspberry pink shirt on right now, too. Color is a powerful thing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Garden: My Other World

Grounded to the Earth

Like so many quilters, I have another life. Quilting elevates me, and sustains a need I have to create with cloth. But the Garden is my alter world. Most days this time of year you'll find me barefoot, grounding myself with the earth. I dabble in everything, but especially heirloom varieties of flowers, vegetables, herbs and edible weeds, and the quest for a righteous compost bin. This spring has been a windfall of salad crops, and diabolical episode of gray mold. It's nothing short of Lord of the Rings out my back door.

Friday, May 7, 2021

A Quilty Catch Up

Currently On the Frame

How's this for a happy spring quilt to lift the mood of a rainy day? Isn't a beauty? Donna Young made this appliqued and pieced top from a Jen Kingwell pattern. I've had it in the studio for several weeks working out how I would quilt it. At the 11th hour the light bulb went off, and I'm so glad it did. Sometimes you have to let a project brew until you see the perfect answer--even on another person's project.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Another Spin Drift in the Works

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Gnadenhutten Quilt Project Pulls to a Close

The Gnadenhutten Quilt Project Closes

Posing with the last quilt bound by the Gnadenhutten Quilt Project are a few of our unofficial team members. Our core group was made up of 7 talented women that worked at every aspect of quilt and comforter making over nearly 3 years. We estimate we made and shared over 200 quilts and comforters during that time! 

Monday, April 5, 2021

My Daughter's House Exploded and All Survived

Isabella with Pippi and Vera

Gas Explosion in Port Washington, Ohio
January 14, 2021

It's been a long time since I've posted anything, and I didn't want you to think I'd disappeared completely. I haven't given up quilting in the least, but life has been complicated. This post will explain a large part of it. While I'm not one to share often about my family life, we felt this went beyond the needs of our privacy.

It started with a phone call after we'd gone to bed. It was the middle of January past. Our daughter, Isabella, said she thought there might be someone in her basement. She heard what she thought was her man door being kicked down. I remember saying to go outside, and we would be there as soon as possible. While trying to get my shoes on in the front hall, our house shook some 4 miles away. I tried and tried to call her back, but she didn't answer. My shaking fingers wouldn't do what they were supposed to by then. We were panicked, but steady running for the truck. She called when we had reached the end of our driveway screaming that her house was gone! It had exploded! Her dog and cat inside were gone, but she had Pippi in her arms. She said she was okay. 

Writing this now still makes me cry. The pictures are still hard for me to look at, but please do. Izzi has a public link to an album at the top of the post which reads Buy a Gas Detector. There is also a video of a camera at the end of her road. 

She stood 5 feet from the house when it blew up if you can imagine. Our family wants people to understand what happened, the absolute miracle of it all, and how to protect your own home. Gas detectors are inexpensive, and can save your life. She didn't have one because we didn't know there was such a thing. Now we do, and now you do, too.  

Thank you for reading this important story.

The Morning After

When another daughter and son went back the next morning to look for the missing animals, there was just wreckage. My daughter took pictures, and when she blew this up she saw Vera sitting in the middle of a still smoking house waiting for someone to find her!

Petra, found in a piece of tin after 4 days, burned badly with very little hair left. She lost part of her ears, but otherwise fully recovered including her whiskers.

Hi friends, As many people have heard (and literally felt from miles away), my house was leveled in a natural gas...

Posted by Isabella Stocker on Friday, March 26, 2021


Thursday, December 3, 2020

Teapot Cozy: No Math

Teapot Cozy
Keep Your Teapot Warm
No Pattern Needed

Quilters are made to believe they "need a pattern" for the most basic of things, but breaking out of that thinking is incredibly freeing. We don't need a set of numbers or directions for everything we want to do or make. The makers before us drew mainly on their own ingenuity, imagination, and make-do attitude. If you've never done worked with a pattern, I encourage you. There is a satisfying feeling of creating with your own ideas! 

If something doesn't go as planned, it may be reframed as a positive design element instead of a mistake in understanding poorly written pattern instructions. It stimulates your critical thinking, and creates a one-of-a-kind object. Whatever the outcome, it's a feel-good-thing, and we all need that now. Right?

Let's get creative!

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Family & Pets Issue

The Anna Quilt

I have said before I come from a long line of Anne's, and one Anna. Edyta Sitar has a line of beautiful reds, pinks, and creams right now called Anna, and a quilt pattern to highlight them. It's simple, and perfect for the not-quite-a-jelly-roll I had from a Tim Holtz line. (It was closer to 2 5/8" than 2 1/2".)

This quilt is for a son who never asked for a quilt because he didn't need one. I do think it's finally he would like one from me more than than a need to stay warm now, and that makes me very happy, if you must know. When he asked, I started sewing. The fabric had already been bought, and I was just waiting for the cue. I knew he'd come around sometime.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Secret Surprise Quilting on Back

ABC Child's Quilt

I realized the other day I had not posted in some time. I'm keeping very busy quilting for clients, and at a time like this that's good. Each day seems to bring a new twist with the sunrise. Ohio has had rising Covid cases like most other states, and it has inched closer to my circle. Many members of the extended family, and our children's families have it, and we are hoping for uncomplicated cases. I'm thrown back to the days in the past when I'm sure many women felt helpless with the diseases that swept through their own lives, and like them am finding relief in turning fabric into something useful.

Having so much on my mind makes me long for simple projects, and small quilts. When a few last minute Christmas quilts came in, I was tickled with this small one. It was for a little boy, and he loves trucks of all kinds. Instead of a basic E2E, I wanted it to be special when he flipped it over to the red backing.