Blog Strolling · Sewing · Something to Think About

Sewing Up A Storm (or a maybe a Breeze)

So why lead with this picture?

Usually I put up a quilt (keep scrolling, they’re coming!), so you quilters all go ga-ga and quickly pin it into a file or a pinboard, and because, mainly, I try to keep this site aligned along quilt lines.  But this is a prelude to explain what I did this weekend.  That is a photo of my daughter and I, and now she has a little girl–actually two.  But once upon a time, before puberty hit and all you-know-what broke loose, I used to sew us matching clothes.  This was a summer outfit: Laura Ashley jumper and blouse for me, sweet little ruffly pinafore with eyelet slip (and a blouse) for her.  I was a Clothing and Textiles major in college and sewed clothing before I could sew quilts, but have done them in tandem since I was young mother, like many in the blogosphere.

I haven’t sewn a lot lately, but last week on the way home from school I stopped *here* and bought this:

It’s some of the Riverwoods Colletion by Karen Combs, which looks batiky, but isn’t.  I bought extra of the one on top (who wouldn’t?) yet realized that it would make a wonderful summery skirt.

I got out my roll of Zyrtec examining-room-table paper, given me by a former rep for a drug company, as it is perfect for clothes patterns (ask your doctor for some!), and got to work duplicating a pattern of a favorite skirt.  Why, even though I have that pattern sitting there for a prop in the photo?  Because the skirt I like is cut on the bias, with a comfortable waist and the right amount of ease.

I wore it to school today.  And while you can’t see them, I have blue toes to match (that took six rounds of trying different blue nail polish).

And since I’m headed into making another skirt (Oooh–we wanted the Scrappy Stars!  Nope.  Not today), I thought I’d show you what some of my quilting friends are doing.

Bert Garino, who is the creator of the In Perfect Harmony quilt, flashed this picture up on Facebook one day.  Wow.  I was totally blown away (reference back to storm in the title of this post) by the colors she used.  Okay how many of you have made a quilt using the Storm at Sea block?  Okay.  And how many of you used sea and storm colors?  Yep.  Just as I thought.

It would take a woman of Bert’s vision to turn this quilt into a total stunner by using such delicious jewel tones in her quilt, and avoiding those aquatic sea-colored tones the rest of us use. So I wrote to her and she sent me some more pictures, including the label, as she is one of those wonderful women who makes stunning quilts and gives them away:

Thanks, Bert, for sharing these.

Lisa stopped by last night to show me her watermelon table runner, for which she’d borrowed my triangle ruler to fit the end pieces together.

She also has been busy with EPP, too:

Lisa’s daughter is in band — if you have ever had a band kid, you know what we’re talking about — but in case you haven’t, that involves sitting around a lot, waiting waiting waiting.  She said she would have gone nuts had it not been for piecing together her rose blocks.

My friend Judy went to visit her sister in Utah, and that sister and her daughter were working on the above quilt.  At first you can’t quite tell what’s going on, but then your eye begins to believe that you’re seeing hexagons everywhere.

And then you see that it’s a triangle–kind of a kaleidoscope/StackNWhack sort of enterprise that is happening here.

But instead of that awful (sorry, but it’s awful) dresden-plate looking affair with the stacked-n-whacked medallion plopped down into a sea of plain blah (like the one to the left–in the old-style way it is usually made) this quilt is sheer brilliance for how those pieces interact with each other.

The niece’s name is Lisa DeLong and her website is  And maybe she has hexagons on her mind because she just entered a fairly prestigious worldwide art competition and was accepted, and her piece of art is based on hexagons:

Prayer Circles • Elise DeLong • Handmade watercolor and ink on paper

And last but never the least, is Elinor Peace Bailey, the dollmaker of quite-a-bit-of-reknown.  You know her daughter, Laura Gunn, as the woman who brings us that beautiful painterly fabric which we all love.  Elinor has been making dolls and dolls and dolls but her creativity just leaks out of her in boundless ways.  I was entranced with her recent bag, and asked if I could show it on the blog.

She said Yes, as along as I mentioned her upcoming hand-made journal-making retreat in July.  Here’s the flier:

Maybe since I put up the flier, she’ll let me show you a doll.

Title: Sweet Harper and the Clown.

I’ve always been in love with Elinor’s dolls–and certainly Elinor herself.  She’s actually my sister’s friend, and once gave me some very good advice when I was going through a divorce.  Elinor can cut right through the mustard on any topic you want, and I needed some mustard-cutting at that time.  Every time I think a clean, fresh modern look is for me, I haunt her blog and come away convinced that More is More and that I’d better go out buy some buttons and bric-a-brac or something and embellish a suface.  Seek her out and take a class from her; an experience of a lifetime!

8 thoughts on “Sewing Up A Storm (or a maybe a Breeze)

  1. Wow, Elizabeth, such a lot of beautiful things in this post. I have wanted to make a storm at sea forever and I just love your friend’s colours!

  2. Hi Elizabeth – just got back from VA and an amazing Karen Stone workshop with all our MVQU friends. I have to add a disclaimer to my “Storm at Sea” quilt. I did not pick those wonderful colors, John Flynn did. They were a laser cut kit that I bought from him. It was fun and challenging to work with all those pieces to make a pleasing layout and it gave me lots of opportunity to quilt. Thanks for the nice comments. Smiles, Bert

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