Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Yesterday I was judged into the Catskill Mountain Quilters' Hall of Fame!  I am delighted and honored.  Induction ceremony will be September 15. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Always something beautiful

 The challenge:  Riding mowing for 7 hours over the last two days in 90+ heat and humidity with one hand.  If you recall, I severed the tendon and cut into the bone on my right hand (dominant hand) on June 23.
The reward?  I have seen a zillion butterflies.  And look!  This one has an injury as well.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Last I posted was June 23.  Night of the Super Moon.  I was reveling in the aromatic roses that grow in my garden.  I as finally catching up on yard work that was hampered by all the flooding we had been having.  I was working long hours in the garden.  As evening was getting late, I wanted to ride that wave of goodness and get just a little more work done.  I was weeding a bit of a raised bed where speedwell was overtaking the area.  As I was tugging mightily on those stubborn plants, I drew back my right hand, fistful of weeds and S.L.I.C.E.D. the back of my thumb on a ceramic mushroom's broken edge.  I invented a new cus word.  Then, gazed down at the damage and knew I had to have stitches.  I went over to the neighbors and let them know I was driving myself to the ER and could they keep an eye on the brush pile I was burning.  They offered to drive me in, but the cut didn't hurt much and the hospital was just 20 minutes away.

At the ER, all agreed I needed stitches.  And a tetanus shot, antibiotics and x-rays.  Now, I realized I could not bend or extend my thumb - that was very concerning.  While waiting on x-rays to see if garden debris was preventing my thumb from moving, I asked the staff if I could go outside to see the rise of the "super moon".  They laughed and agreed.  What a glorious moon it was!

Four hours after arriving in the ER, I was released with 5 stitches and told I had not cut tendon.  However, I needed to see a hand specialist due to the inability to move my thumb.  The next morning I called that doc's office.  Got an appointment for Thursday.

On Thursday, it took the hand surgeon all of 10 seconds to realize I severed the tendon completely and needed to have hand surgery the next day!  Unfortunately, that meant I had to miss attending the Beekman Boys' wedding.  :-(

Surgery showed not only did I severe my tendon, I also cut into the bone!  The joint had to be debrided, the ends of the tendon found and sutured together.  I woke up with a cast and told I would have to wear it for months and have physical therapy for months.

Naturally, it is my right hand!  Stitches were removed July 8 and replaced with steri-strips.  A new spica splint was made and I was bandaged up again.  Under strict orders not to use my right hand as I could easily rupture the tendon repair. 

So, no stitching.  Not supposed to work in the garden. Did I mention I also have rheumatoid and osteoarthritis?
I've been doing what I can and trying hard not to do those things that will damage my hand further.   I've just added a new pattern to my craftsy site.  It's a sequin bird motif that can be stitched as is or added into a sweet fan.  Looks great on a crazy quilt block!  Thankfully, I had this stitched up already and just had to type up the directions.  There are a ton of close up photos in the pattern!!


The pattern for the sequin bird motif and fan is only $4.00! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Small Stitcheries for Sale

 For your amusement and enjoyment...I've created a few small stitcheries.  Using vintage and contemporary materials, I've created some adornments for your home.  The first measures 8" x 5" and has a wide vintage ribbon for the background.  Antique black lace graces the image of the lady dressed for a night on the town.  Careful!  A nightbird is whispering not-so-sweet nothings in her ear!  $45 plus shipping.  Email me if you wish to purchase.
 Next, is something a little sweeter...A beautiful child with a chain of daisies in her hair graces this heart, which measures 6" x 5".  Vintage tatting and a silk ribbon trim provide interest in the background.  The ecru lace motif is highlighted with pearls.  $30, plus shipping.  Email me if you wish to purchase. 

The third offering for today is a 7" x 7" square of delicate beauty.  The fabric image of the child holding roses is enhanced by a silk bias ribbon rose that I created and stitched to the vintage lace.  A silk ribbon trim of petite rosebuds frames the right side of the image.  Vintage lace motifs were added, along with the pearls and sequin motifs.  $45, plus shipping.  Email me if you wish to purchase.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Wild Garden of My Heart"

Finished~!!  I am quite impatient for spring to arrive here in the northern Catskill Mountains.  Still several inches of snow on the ground, it's 38 degrees and the winds are howling.  But, this piece is most definitely spring like.  It's not crazy pieced...I used a packet of Pomegranate Bali Batik squares as the background.  I then cascaded a rose-bronze lace and wired ribbon, added some vintage lace motifs, lots of beads, embroidery and silk ribbon.  I quilted just a bit of the background.  Then, I bound it with a velvet ribbon.  Note the green man (or two), dragonflies, butterflies and fairies.  Yup, 'tis truly the wild garden of my heart.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Hover of Dragonflies!

It is 7 degrees on this snow-covered, first full day of spring!  But, I am not despairing because a Hover of Dragonflies has appeared!  Okay, so I spent yesterday stitching them, but that's still magic, right? 

These dragonflies are beaded.  Some day I will do a sampler of embroidered ones.  I wanted to show ideas for dragonfly wings and bodies using beads I had on hand.  The large, dark dragonfly in the center has actual beetle wings for his wings, a glass face bead and crystals for its body.  The upper right dragonfly has natural pearl sticks for wings and AB crystals and spacers for the body.  I did add legs to that fellow.  It's fun to play.  And who knows, maybe I have invoked the spirit of spring and warmer weather will soon follow.

Saturday, April 20, 10-3:  Crazy Quilt Piecing By Hand.  Middleburgh, NY.  Learn to create the foundation for beautiful crazy quilts in this class.  Whether you are a complete beginner or already have skills, but have become frustrated with the art of crazy piecing, this class if for you!  I'll show you how I piece and think about layout.  No more painting yourself into a corner.  It's all by hand.  $50.  Bring your own lunch.  To sign up, Email  me

Sunday, April 21, 12-3: Drink to Your Good Health - Herbal Teas.  Middleburgh, NY.  Sample some lovely herbal teas and learn to grow them in your own garden.  In addition to being tasty, these teas have health benefits too.  $30.  To sign up, Email me

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Here's the February block for the CQJP 2013.  I chose the Scilla fairy fabric, although it is still very frozen here in the northern Catskills of NY state!  Scilla don't appear hear for another month or so.  The vintage image of the girl with the snow muff reminds of us that winter is still very much here.  
 I made the Scilla Fairy's outfit dimensional with Hannah bias-cut silk ribbon.  There is also 7mm silk ribbon in the collar. 
A closer look at the hand embroidery. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Elderberry Fairy CQJP 2013

I am participating in the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2013.  I started last year's CQJP, but only got the January, February and March accomplished.  I was working with the paisley shape. 

This year, I am making blocks using Flower Fairy Fabrics (a Michael Miller fabric) with images by that renowned artist, Mary Cicely Barker.  I'm also an herbalist.  When I can blend my two loves together, it's a good thing. 

This year, Elderberry is Herb of the Year.  I had the elderberry print from the fabric line, so, it seemed a natural for the January block.  All the work is by hand.  Even the beaded fringe at the bottom, which I had made years ago and had waiting for the perfect project.  Because elderberries are often found in hedgerows in England (I lived there for four years), I wrote Hedgerow Magic on twill tape and added it below the fringe.  Elderberry is exceptional medicine - every year I make elderberry syrup, elderberry tincture and sometimes, elderberry glycerite.  And, of course, elderberry pie!  Often, elderberry chutney makes it way to the table.  I make elderflower syrup and fritters as well.
 I painted the fairy charm, she started out as silver.  The silk ribbon flowers above the fairy are elderflowers. 
 I dyed the lace flowers that are on the right side of this photo.  The heart is stitched with a cable chain stitch in silk pearl.  Gold #4 braid for the intersections within the heart.  Then, burgundy pearls and the beaded dragonfly were added.  The flowers on the green velvet patch are made with pearls, seed beads and twin-hole beads.
The fairies wings were stitched #4 braid.  The leaves are silk ribbon and silk chenille with silk floss for veining.  The elderberries are size 6/0 beads.

I'm sure you know that folklore holds that if you sit under an elderberry bush on Midsummer's Eve, you have a chance of seeing the Fairy Queen and her procession ride by!