Oh, my goodness, Oh, my gosh !

free motion quilting - graffiti style

This has truly been one of the best years - 2015.....but, then, I say that about every year.  Of course, there's been some hard days and some cry days, some busy ones and slow....but it's truly been one of the best years.  I love it when I can go to bed with a clear mind and wake up refreshed and willing to accept what my new day has in store for me.  That's  not to say that I don't plan.....I do....but sometimes even the best laid (layed) plans are aborted around here. 

For instance, just this morning,  my eyes popped open very early and I was eager to get the day going.  But, it was then that I dropped one of the cat's food bowls.  Instead of getting right down to sorting fabric for an improv pieced border for this one,  I had to clean up slithers of glass while listening to grumbling cats.  Or, was I listening to the grumbling stomachs of hungry cats? 

improv - modern - on the design wall - Marty Mason

In the days order, I then opened email.  Are you a Pinterest?   I'm hooked.  If so, you probably got the same email as I did.....you know, the one about deep cleaning....getting a head start on Spring cleaning.   There were pens on how to clean a mattress and then stove burners and even how to wash walls.  One pen even gave me the ultimate way I would want to spend the month:  A 30-day cleaning challenge!  Starting in the kitchen on day one cleaning the microwave, then the oven and ending the 30-day cleaning frenzy by cleaning the vacuum and cleaning supplies.  And the final entree.....just click to print (the list of chores for the next 30 days).   What a hoot!  Who knew there could be so much excitement over vinegar and baking soda!    I'll have to pass on this worthwhile venture and continue to sing a happy tune amid my muck and mess. 

Thankfully, and just in time, I found a pin board with some lovely fall inspired fonts to download.  Just in case my thoughts were straying toward a dusty shelf, these newly found fonts got them back on track.  From that pin, I found a most useful blog.....And We Lived Happily Ever After with tons of information on graphics, printables, photo editing. 

Oh, and I cannot get enough of the home machine free-motion quilters' projects.  I've been doing quite a bit of free motion quilting....not yet proficient, but I'm told that it takes practice - lots of practice.

free motion - graffiti quilting - feathers and more

Anyway, I found a new-to-me free motion quilting design this morning and the best tutorial at A Few Scraps blogspot and have just the perfect quilt ready to be quilted that I can do a test pattern using Wibbly Wobbly.  More on my personal best as I progress. 

As I went for my second cuppa, passing the design wall - stopping again to audition more border fabric. 

A little free spirit, alexia abeeg, more cotton and
steel, along with a denise schmidt and jen kingwell

Yes, this year is almost over and while I've had a few regrets and wish I woulda/coulda/shoulda moments,
it has truly been one of the best years.  

fabric from the collection 'etoffe imprevue'
Looking forward to you 2016
Happy New Year


'Tis The Season ~

These aren't my dogs!  But aren't their little faces filled with joy and peace and love. 

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

Like A Blur ~

       December 2015 Calendar
December is passing me by like a blur.   Even though  I've been moving at a fast pace, according to my calendar, I'm still running out of time.   I suppose the count down began without me. 

Happy Holidays


Thoughts ~

No one sees it as you do.

Decorated Christmas Tree

                                                 Christmas tree, oh mine.  It is personal to me. 
 I love it - that every tree branch is filled with not just one ornament, but most often two or three and then one more.  I like that my handmade ornaments go back to the early 1970's and that I have ornaments given to me by family and friends and especially that I have many of my Mom's ornaments that hung on her tree for years.  I love my eclectic tree and know that no one can possibly see it the way I do. 

                              I love that we downsized our Christmas tree last year, yet I can still find all the
room I need on the small version of the large one for not just one, but two or three and then one more
special Christmas ornament.  Oh, Christmas Tree - no one sees you as I do

Happy Holidays

Interpret This!

I have a recurring dream.  Well, the dream isn't always the same but the scenario is. I'm always driving a car - at night -  and the car lights are not on and I can't figure out how to get them on and for some reason I don't stop the car.....I just keep on driving in the dark.    It's scary.  Okay, someone.....interpret this! 

Well, last night I had another car dream and decided I had to get this one documented before I forgot its details.  I was in Baton Rouge driving toward the old state capitol building and there was lots of construction going on.  My car was not my current car....it was kinda junky and it started making a strange gurgling noise....I was clearly running out of gas when I spotted a Texaco sign but there was no station there.  All the buildings AND the street for as far as I could see were in a state of demolition.  There were deep holes where a street,  bridge or building once was.   I was behind a bulldozer and just kept following him into more and more destruction.  I guess I could have turned around, but for some reason didn't.  What?  It's just a dream and thankfully, I awoke from it.    So, okay.....interpret this! 

I would add one of my art pieces here, but that would probably cinch that my world is a bit wierd so I'll just add a touch of sanity with this little quilt block instead. 

And wish you all a Happy Holiday Season:


ColorBoard No. 32

The Color of Outdoors - A doorway in Natchitoches down under on Cane River Lake

Colorboard - A doorway in Natchitoches down under on Cane River Lake

I love old doorways.
When they are open, I tend to take a peek inside just to see.
When they are closed,  I allow my mind to wander:  
What's going on in there? 

Then I move on. 


Leftovers ~

It's a day for Thanksgiving
and I am thankful
for a most wonderful life
filled with blessings
and all things left over

Isn't it fun the day after putting together another imaginative meal or two with the leftovers.  Soups and salads and turkey and ham sandwiches for days.  And finally when you say ENOUGH,  all the remaining leftovers go into the freezer to be pulled out in January for another round. 

Not really changing the subject:  But there are leftovers in so many segments of life.   Time left over from busy stuff may filter down to family.  Community service and church may get what cash is left over after the bills are paid and the entertaining is done.   And our left over trinkets, collections, furniture, and clothes may be carted off to thrift stores and consignment shops.   What I'm thinking is that leftovers are important and shouldn't be dismissed as unworthy of serious thought. 

Back in August,  I started a project while on a beach party quilting retreat.   I put together all the leftover blocks I had on hand.  All done....well, not yet.   I decided it had a few too many leftovers!

Improv sampler quilt made from leftover scraps

I cut out a few busy blocks and added some that were more calm.   It just needed a little less of this and a little more of that to give me just the right taste I was seeking.  

Improv sampler quilt made from leftover scraps

It's a leftover improv sampler quilt that I'll be using for an upcoming program/workshop.  Thank goodness it's now ready to be quilted.  

Happy Thanksgiving.  Count your blessings and your leftovers. 


why are my hours rearranged?

It's November 2 and my hours have been rearranged and I am confused ! Again ? 

I've gotten back from Houston Quilt Festival and have just a few pictures.  I could show more but my hours are confused.  My watch has one time but my I-phone has another ! What time is it ?  Really !

One of my favorite things to do after any trip is to unload and get an after picture.  This on-the-day-after are my bags filled with loot.  A picture after my credit card was used until the plastic was thinner than before.  Yes, three days of shopping and I now have four five bags filled with fresh fabric.  Can't wait to start planning, cutting and sewing fabric from Denise Schmidt, Jen Kingwell, Marcia Derse, Cotton and Steel, CherryWood hand dyes, indigo, linen, wool and cotton from Moda, Art Gallery, RK, Kaffe Fassette, from the US, Australia, London, Japan - and did I mention Texas!

bags filled with fabric loot from Houston Quilt Festival 2015

It rained our last day in Houston and all the way home yesterday.  I loved this picture taken out of our hotel room window on Saturday.

So many beautifully displayed quilts provided by so many quilt artists put my head into overwhelm.  I gaped and gasped and took lots of closeups for inspiration. 

I left home Wednesday with this little neutral, improvisational-pieced, machine free-motion quilted, quilt hanging on my design wall. 

After digesting the beauty of each and every quilt I saw at Quilt Festival, I continue to feel comfortable in my shoes, knowing that I have a long way to improve, but rejoicing that this one is finished and that I had the heart to take on the free-motion quilting challenge. 

Always remember to.............

improv piecing, free motion quilting - a neutral modern by Marty Mason
.....love the one you're with ~

A Lyric ~

Rhythm Of My Heart ~ A lyric to live by

At the beach ~ ocean and sky

after four months of drought
rhythm of the rain this morning is making me happy
playing around with pictures of a sunny day on the beach
listening to the rhythm of my heart ~

ocean and sky


"What if?" ~

Do you play the "What If?" game?  What if I had more money?  What if I had a fabulous sewing studio?  What if I had more time in the day?   What if I had a cook, housekeeper, gardener and all around good person to look after me???

He doesn't like his picture taken, but this is where my all around good person sits to pay the bills, make his chore list and plan his day. 

My mind is playing the What If? game like this:  What If?  I took out my basket of scraps and made a simple block each day.  Simple as in log cabin....simple as in very scrappy....simple as in each block doesn't have to have the same center color.  Simple as in each block should be the same size, probably 12" square, because I'm thinking....       "What If?" I made a simple, scrappy, log cabin each day for one year.  Just imagine the possibilities.  What if I decided to make community service quilts out of my 365 log cabin blocks.  If I used the 4 blocks across by 5 blocks down layout, 20 blocks each quilt, I could have 18 quilts made by the end of the year.  Or, what if I used the 3 across by 4 down layout, 12 blocks each quilt, the yield could be 30 community service quilts.  

Realistically, I probably won't get 365 log cabin quilt blocks made in the next 365 days....but, hey!  time's a wasting and I'm counting on one being made by days' end. 


Now, shut up and sew!

I'm a little screen print

I've been dibbling my toes in screen printing.  I took the Celina Mancurti screen printing workshop while at QuiltCon 2015 and loved the process but just haven't found the time to pursue that career....until last week.   Quilters' Guild Acadienne in Lafayette, Louisiana, had the most delightful program  - Mary Felder on screen printing and Judy Momemzadeh on Gelli plate fabric painting:  both teachers awakened a new desire in me to jump in.    I ordered a few thermofax screens from Mary and it was love at first sight when I saw her sandpipers printed on my fabric. 

Sandpipers - screen printed on fabric

Then taking another giant leap of faith, I first printed her poem, then topped that off with the sandpipers.  Be still, my heart!   Just looking at these prints allows my mind to wander to the beach, feeling my toes in the sand,  gaily strolling along, the sandpipers and me, side by side, soothed by the sound of the surf.   

Mary's poem reads:
"The sea soothes my soul,
My spirit sways in harmony
with the gentle winds.
I roam the sands like the busy sandpipers.
They seek food - I seek a
reason for existence."
                                        MC Felder

In the good ole summertime ~

Just flipping through quilt photos and ran across this one from the past.  I still like it....made from fabric that was no longer my favorite....fabric I didn't want to give away so I used it to make snowball blocks.  At least, I think these blocks are snowballs! 

snowball quilt
That was then, and this is now.  Funny thing on the way to finishing this quilt top.  It was finished, but when I spread it out to get a picture, it seemed too heavy....so, I cut the seams out of each row, then cut out the blocks that I wanted to replace and inserted a more calming block.  Of course, this meant that I then had to shift the rows to the left or right since the vertical seam lines no longer met!  Oh, well....nothing like making this quilt twice in one day!   But cutting out the seams was much faster than ripping.  Doesn't bother me that some blocks are 8" and some are 7" or perhaps 7 1/2".  If it bothers you, just keep quiet about it....please. 
Improvisational half-square triangle quilt top
and while in Florida, I made this fantasy 4-patch.  I am so intrigued by Joe Cunningham's Craftsy class - quilting without a pattern - that I've made four more: each one with different fabrics for totally different looks.  Instead of using two contrasting fabrics as Joe suggests, I used several to get the right amount of yardage needed.  I found a strip of dark  fabric to eek out a skinny half-border, then used the left-over scraps to add the half side and bottom border. 
 I like the mix of fabrics and the asymmetry. 

Look what's on the design wall. 
Black and white with color:  improvisational piecing.
improvisational quilt top

Still thinking about yesterday ~

I've been saving my little fabric clippings for quite a while.  Some I pass on to a nearby animal shelter for dog beds, some I keep for myself for the beds of cats that have adopted our house.   Some I save for the two pathetically lazy inside cats. 

But back to yesterday's thinking:  At the guild meeting yesterday, I found a scrap of giveaway fabric.  Well actually, it was about a yard with humpty dumpty printed on both sides with instructions to cut out humpty dumpty along the scissor lines, then sew on the dotted lines and stuff up to make a humpty dumpty doll. 

humpty dumpty fabric for cut out doll

I wasn't falling for that stuffing!

But this morning I did make the two pathetically lazy inside cats a new (and clean) nesting pillow, stuffing it with my saved fabric clippings. 

The biggest pathetically lazy cat found it first and begun his nesting in. 

 But, lol, when I came back later, I found that he had just about been nestled off by the second pathetically lazy inside cat. 

Neither one is complaining about the smaller than necessary nesting pillow.....
they know a good life while living it. 

I've been roped in!

When asked to do a quilt guild program, my first response is usually YES.  I strongly feel that being a member of any organization or group- even family -  means giving back.  So when Christie asked me to do the fabric wrapped rope bowl program for our quilt group this month, I told her I would.  Yikes----I've only made one! and really didn't know what I was doing.  I found a u-tube and Christie loaned me a book, I bought rope, cut strips and off I went.  For the past two months, I've been teaching myself how to wrap a rope and make bowls.

Bowl No. 2 (I've already given away bowl No. 1)

I've even taught myself how to paint a rope and make a bowl

and make a floor mat and make it more personable with paint.

I've made nesting bowls.

and I've made teeny bowls with teeny kitchen twine - you know the cord you wrap around the Thanksgiving turkey legs to hold them together!

and a little jute twine bowl with frilly edges. 

But all this working with rope paid off today.   The theme for this months Art Quilts Around the World challenge is "Uniform":  meaning a piece of clothing worn by a group, or something being like another something, such as pieces of coiled rope that look somewhat like other pieces of coiled rope. 
All coiled and stitched onto scrap fabric, layered, then free-motion quilted.  I've named my art quilt "The Path of Least Resistance." 

Art Quilts Around The World:  Uniform Theme - by Marty Mason

I'm hopeful that at day's end I can say that I've finished working with rope for a while. 
Yes, I did....I let Christie rope me in. 


May your day be filled with sunshine ~

I have unapologetically been away from the blog for a few weeks.....had some sad days mourning the death of my brother-in-law.....had some glad days traveling, visiting and sewing with friends....had some great conversations with my sister about her life with Paul in the days and nights leading up to and after his passing from his temporary life.  Had some great conversations with friends about just about everything.  What I found as we talked was that we cried.  And we laughed.  Oh, the power of talking and crying and laughing.  Add in the most powerful element - prayer.   

 Accepting that where there is sunshine, there must also be a shadow. 

Pears:  Blemished, yet  perfectly tasteful



Gone Quilting ~

Back soon, but in the meantime: 

face sketch - Marty Mason

Just enjoy the little things

But they all have a name ~

black cat
Black Cat
I didn't have a child to name, but I had a dog, Sweet Pea.  Then Missy came along to keep Sweet Pea Company.  Sweet Pea got shortened to Sweeper at some point and she liked that nickname a lot.  Katherine Cat, AKA Katy, liked her shortened name better than her birth name. 

Mom once had a hound dog named Houney.  I have a a cat named Carport Cat and one named Kitty.  My niece has a dog named Porch Dog.   They are all extremely happy animals. 

I like names.  I like Alexandria Marie, shortened to Trixie.  I like  Anna Elizabeth - not shortened at all.  I name my art people....Sulynn, MayBeth, Anne Marie, Sara Jane, Sachie Claudine, Georgianna, Willie May, Mary Linda , Emma Jean and Arabella, just to name a few.     I like names and often wonder why my intrique.

 I'm not alone in my infatuation with names......a quilter friend who is also a dog lover made a quilt for her dogs.  Pictured and named on the quilt are her dogs:   Domino, Booger Beau,  Lucky Pup and Sugar Boy.  Interesting?  Is Domino black with white spots?  Does Booger Beau really:::::  Stop it.  Stop it right now!! 

I'd rather be watching as the world passes before me with Stretch in his favorite window. 

cat in the window



thread sketched fabric art card  - Marty Mason
Aunt Mildred


thread sketched fabric art card  - Marty Mason