23 09 2009




Welcome to the journal of my work.  I’m looking forward to chronicling both the old and the new. Ideas, inspirations, mistakes, and progress will all be celebrated.



500 Traditional Quilts: look for the new book

22 08 2014

Soon to be released is this fun new book 500 Traditional Quilts by Karey Patterson Bresenhan, which just happens to contain 3 of my quilts.

Click here to see the book’s preview online, featuring my Food Quilt on page 19 of the preview.

I have written about these quilts before, but I’d like to brag and showcase them again here.

The Food Quilt, made entirely of vintage “kitchen” fabrics, reminds us of an era when all women sewed and made their own kitchen curtains, tablecloths, dish towels, and aprons.   I featured this quilt in this blog when I was describing my love of all things vintage, as well as my fascination with foundation piecing techniques.  Read the entire story of this quilt here.

The Food Quilt 74" x 86" Photography by Sibila Savage

The Food Quilt
74″ x 86″
Photography by Sibila Savage

A second quilt featured in this book is Dot to Dot, made for my daughter’s high school graduation.  It features only dotty fabrics and was a joy to work on.    Read its full story here.

Dot to Dot 74" x 83" Photography by Sibila Savage

Dot to Dot
74″ x 83″
Photography by Sibila Savage

The third quilt selected is Redwork Revisited,  which continues my celebration of all things vintage, this time incorporating vintage embroidery transfers..  This one was another in the labor-of-love quilt series, and please do not ask how long it took to make it.  Read this quilt story here.

Redwork Revisited, 2011 71" x 89" Photography by Sibila Savage

Redwork Revisited, 2011
71″ x 89″
Photography by Sibila Savage

I am very proud of all three of these quilts and quite pleased  they have received this recognition.

You can see these quilts in person at the International Quilt Festival Houston 2014.  Redwork Revisited will be shown in the Ruby Jubilee: Celebrating 40 Years exhibit, which will showcase red and white quilts.  The Food Quilt and Dot to Dot can be seen in the 500 Traditional Quilts exhibit, along with other quilts from the new book.

Vintage Fans Quilt

8 08 2014

Another from my vintage quilt collection, this former fan quilt top is now a quilt.  It is filled with really great vintage fabrics, some of which are strikingly unusual, and I wish I had a few yards of some of these.  These complementary colors of lavender and bright yellow create a very strong contrast, and provide a good background for these great fabrics.


Vintage Fans, date unknown 81" x 81" Photography by Sibila Savage Photography by Sibila Savage

Vintage Fans, date unknown
81″ x 81″
Photography by Sibila Savage

This detail shows some of the great fabrics.  This is a great quilt for the summer.

Vintage Fans, Detail

Vintage Fans, Detail

Also, if anyone interested in owning one of the cross-stitch pieces from the previous posts, contact me for details.


Cross-stitch II: more fabulous flowers

1 08 2014

Continuing the cross-stitch story from the previous post . . .

Before I discovered all the roses,  I had discovered other Lilac Studio designs for wonderful flowers and groups of flowers.  These were all delicately shaded, artfully composed,  challenging to complete, and very attractive to me.

A Bouquet with Hydrangea

One of my all-time favorite flowers, this hydrangea is one of the ones still on display in our home .


Hydrangea detail



My next favorite—these freesias have a mix of both bold and muted color palettes.


Freesia detail


Sweet Peas

Loved the blues in this design.



And, on display during December



Some of these patterns are available online on occasion, most likely on Etsy or eBay.  I recommend this as a meditation exercise or a compact travel project.

I just did a search and found two more patterns that I had not seen before;  am desperately trying to resist the urge to start another of these fun projects.  Don’t know if my eyes can handle it anymore.  Alas. . .

Photography by Paul Hennessey


Cross-stitch I: the roses

18 07 2014

I need to confess that I have needlework loves other than quilting.  I have showcased my  embroideries in previous posts, and herein are the cross-stitch pieces with which  I was fascinated about 30 years ago.

I was introduced to cross-stitch by friend jackie peters, the wife of my accounting mentor Paul Hammond.  Turns out this was a perfect craft for someone with obsessive leanings.  I made small gifts, birth announcements, samplers, etc., using commercially designed patterns for many years.  These were great projects for someone concentrating on a career;  I could pick them up at anytime and then neglect them, if necessary.   I also combined a number of different motifs and designed this huge sampler for my son’s birth.


Later  in my cross-stitching “career”, I discovered quite a few patterns that I just loved  by The Lilac Studio , and I subsequently got much more crazy for cross-stitch.   I’m trying not to count how many of these I made.  Here are just a few of the roses I made to decorate my living and dining rooms.

from pattern Rose Duet II, The Lilac Studio


Gorgeous pale pink:  one of the first I made.

And when I found this line of patterns at Needle in a Haystack in Alameda CA, I also discovered their many batches of hand-dyed, mottled-looking  linens in all different colors.  Most of these beauties are stitched on either 32- or 36-count linens using two strands of DMC floss.


What attracted me to these particular patterns was the detail with which the colors were selected.  This, of course, made the patterns a bit more challenging, and the result of this challenge is a sophisticated realism that few other patterns exhibited.  The detail below shows the subtlety of the mix of all these colors.


a fun small one


from pattern Rose Duet II


An even smaller one


Another small



I contacted Cindy Rice, the designer of all the Lilac Studio patterns, to thank her for her work, and to see what she was working on currently, only to find that she has moved on from cross-stitch to a totally different art-form, namely doll clothing and accessories.  To see a sample of the absolutely fabulous creations Cindy is now making, click here.  And take a second to view her galleries, etc.;  quite amazing.

These roses represent approximately half of the stitchery I sewed.   Stay tuned for more flowers next time.




Vintage Double Wedding Ring

11 07 2014

Another quilt from my vintage collection, this large Double Wedding Ring quilt shows a wonderful array of vintage fabrics, held together by the jade green and pale orange dancing four patches.  This is another of the quilt tops I  purchased, and it was a bit wonky, which may have been the reason for its never having been quilted before now.

Vintage Double Wedding Ring 80" x 90" Photography by Sibila Savage

Vintage Double Wedding Ring
80″ x 90″
Photography by Sibila Savage

Melissa Quilter took on the challenge of making it all work, and her quilting detail does this one proud.  Click on the photo to see a closer view.

It has been a long time since I have bothered to fuss with a curved binding like this, but I think it really makes a statement.  I was pleased to have found a new Kona cotton that is almost a perfect match to the original from 70+ (?) years ago.

Double Wedding Ring, Detail

Double Wedding Ring, Detail

Since it is so bright and cheery, this quilt has been a nice “summer” quilt for the house.


A non-quilting project

I could not resist this fabric at my local shop;  I really never know what will catch my eye, and this one turned out to be perfect for a shirt for my brother Dave.  There is a possibility he might actually wear it on occasion.




Scrap quilts: more leftover fun

27 06 2014

Sometimes,  when I am working on a challenging or laborious project, I feel as though I just want to sew something simple, a project that does not require a lot of brain power.

This is one of those quilts.

My daughter Maggie made a quilt for her college friend Kristin (see that quilt at the bottom of this post), and she gifted me all the leftover pieced scraps, as well as some of the remaining yardage.  Just sewing one piece to another, squaring them up, and sewing on something else was very relaxing and gave me this quilt.

Kristin's Leftovers, 2013 39" x 47.5"

Kristin’s Leftovers, 2013
39″ x 47.5″


I quilted wavy lines up and down the pieced columns, put diamonds in the spacing columns, and double diamonds in the borders–very simple.

Kristin's Leftovers, Detail

Kristin’s Leftovers, Detail

Just another example of the wonderful philosophy of never throwing away anything, especially if the scraps are  already matched and sorted and were previously used for a proven winner!


And just one more for the scrap quilts and leftovers categories:

After making a pile of quilt kits for the Children’s Quilt Project from a small bundle of donated miscellaneous batik fabrics, there was fabric left over, so I cut it all into 2.5″ squares, made this small top, and added a kicky border from my stash.  Whoever receives this quilt when it is finished will never know that because of what I was doing when it was made, I have named it

World Cup 2014, Group Stage




Vintage Scrappy Triangles

20 06 2014

Blue Triangles is another from my vintage collection of quilt tops that have been made into wonderful quilts that we use.  As I have described before, I love to complete the work of someone who has come before me;  it feels right somehow.

The pattern is a Thousand Pyramids variation, set sideways.  Using a slightly different dark/light arrangement, it would be Streak o’ Lightning or Lightning.  Almost all of the lights in this quilt are vintage men’s shirtings.  And I am just guessing that at some point it needed to get just a little bit wider, and additional scraps were found.

Blue Triangles, date unknown

Blue Triangles, date unknown


I used this quilt top to help me learn to machine quilt, managing to quilt the whole thing without marking.

Blue Triangles, Detail

Blue Triangles, Detail



Back to the present—A Sneak Peek

Remember the wheels from the Wheel Medallion in the most recent post?

In addition to the many other preconceived notions I had regarding that quilt, I also thought it would have a snaky border of these fan sections, but that did not turn out to be the case.  Sooooo, I had 30 of these block parts leftover.  I LOVE leftovers, because they challenge me to solve the puzzle of dealing with them.

So here is a glimpse of how I am working on with them.

Seriously, people:  Never throw anything away!



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