Friday, January 31, 2014


Last week I showed you my finished pieced blocks - well, the first two.  This week I have finally finished quilting each of them.

I love the straight line quilting I did.  I tried to do something a little different in each of the different fabric components. 

I tried some curves in the dark gray and I love those.  Makes me think of a river.

I also did some pebbles.  Hmmm, not sure I like these.  I know I will not pick them out, but may not do anymore of these.  Free motion quilting is not relaxing for me and it will require a lot more practice time than I want to give to it.

Speaking of practice:  I am calling this entire project a "practice piece" even though I intend to use it in public on my guest bed.  I am not planning to do any ripping out if something doesn't quite "hit the mark".  I learned the term "organic" when I went to Quilt Con - the first Modern Quilt Conference - in Austin, TX last year.  The term refers to doing "straight-line quilting" mostly in a straight line.  The "mostly" part is what I like.  So my quilting is very organic.

I also chose to do some larger areas with contrasting thread.  It creates a little "sunshine and shadow" effect, I think.

In other areas, I linked together a few components that I could quilt together and make an interesting quilting design.

I guess my very favorite style of quilting in straight lines is what is called matchstick quilting.  These lines are very close together.  Again, this is very "organic". 

I am having a lot of fun with this project.  This is the first two blocks of nine.  I think the size of these  blocks (27" x 30") will give me the size I need for my guest room bed.
I need to make another block, then I can "connect" my blocks for the first row.
Each time I get something finished, I will post.  So stay tuned . . .


Monday, January 27, 2014


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.    Ecclesiastes  3 (KJV)

A special man lost his battle this week to a disease called emphysema.  He left this place knowing that he had lived his life to the fullest and with all the love he had for his God, his family, and his friends.  Those left to mourn for him will always remember how special he made them feel.

May you rest in peace, George Rhea Smith!!  Your family will miss you but all of us realize you are in the better place!


Friday, January 17, 2014


Here are the fabrics I chose for my Improv Quilt.

My friend,  Denise, is teaching an Improv Class that she is calling Magic Numbers.  From all of the fabrics I am cutting several squares and rectangles of "magic" sizes:  3 1/2 inch squares; 3 1/2" by 6 1/2" rectangles and 6 1/2" by 12 1/2" rectangles.  After cutting these components I am using a design wall to "build" blocks.
This week's first blocks look like this:

Next week we are to start quilting them.  She has suggested some free motion quilting.  Hmmm, I am not sure about that.  I really do like the straight line quilting on my modern quilts.  Stay tuned.

                                              ~ sandi

Monday, January 13, 2014


Friendship and quilters just naturally go hand in hand.  I have had the great pleasure this last year to go on several retreats with lots of different quilters in several different places. 

Each retreat has its highlights and special memories.  It would be difficult to pick the one I enjoyed the most.

This past November I went with an awesome group of women to Grand Oak Retreat Center in Scottsboro, AL.  These gals call themselves the Lotus Blossom Quilters.  Each one of us made a rail fence block using fall colors with a neutral as the  center bar to put our autograph on.  After arrival we then exchanged these blocks with each other and now each of us has enough blocks to make a small wall hanging; or, we could add blocks to it and increase its size to bed size.


My blocks had my name and the name of the group with the date.

I decided to take the suggestion of my friend, Linda, and I made 9-patch blocks which I then "fractured" to make new blocks.
Putting them together became a fun little project and I chose to use asymmetry for a couple of rows.  That offsets the predictable, traditional style of this pattern.

Each block echoes the style of the maker.  It is such a fun quilt to look at and enjoy with each person's name and her fabrics.
I quilted it on my domestic sewing machine with concentric circles and pebbling in the centers.
No project is ever complete without LilBit's approval!



Saturday, January 11, 2014


Silk Painting by artist Chris Sandow

Happiness, what is it?  For me a real sense of contentment.  Trying to analyze what makes me happy takes some effort because I often overlook the simple things that count the most.

Awaking in the morning to the sound of my beloved saying to my little Yorkie and me, "It's that time, girls" reminds me of how much I am appreciated, respected and loved.  Being awakened by a gentle, kind voice starts the day in a much more pleasant way than the sound of some mechanical tool.

Another simple thing that makes my heart smile is to hear the voice of one of my grandsons on the telephone.  Or, in the twenty-first century style, seeing a text from one of them.

Opening the post box and finding a card from my sister always touches me.  She is so thoughtful!

Getting a phone call from my daughter who is on her way home from work.  Chatting with my daughter/friend leaves me with a warm glow in my soul.

Yes, these are some of the things that make me happy!  Family is very important to me.

So, at this very moment --  I am indeed happy!

"Happiness is not a possession to be prized.  It is a quality of thought, a state of mind."  -Daphne du Maurier

Thankful for my simple moments of happiness!!!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Fabrics collected for my Magic Numbers Quilt
A couple of my friends, Carol and Phyllis, are going to take a class with me that is being taught by another friend, Denise.  It is called "Magic Numbers Quilt" and it is a Modern, Improv, Quilt-as-you-Go quilt of any size you choose.  I am thinking I want mine to be queen size for my guest room bed.  We shall see if that is what I do. 

I have been collecting grey fabrics for a while to make a quilt for my guest room.  Here is the perfect opportunity. 

All of the fabric has been starched and ironed and ready to start.  This is an 8-week long class. 

Lots of talk has been going around about "low volume" quilts.  This will be my attempt at "low volume".

I will continually post as I progress through each class.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Most of the time I make quilts for the sheer pleasure of creating.  I want to try a technique, a pattern, or an idea I have.  It is not common practice for me to always have in mind to give my quilt to someone.  I have made quilts over the years for gifts, of course, but I make more quilts just for the joy of the process.

In the past I have offered to make a quilt for my hubby to use in his recliner when he is watching TV.  His usual response has been that he is  concerned that he might get it dirty or ruin it somehow. So I had not made him a special quilt.

This is the man who is so appreciative of my art and talent and shows me the greatest support as I pursue my craft.

I decided a few months ago that this was the year that he would get a quilt for Christmas.  Since I have design walls behind the door in every bedroom in the house, he usually sees everything I am making in all of its stages.  In fact, I often discuss and ask his opinion on projects.

This Christmas gift quilt had to be a surprise for him.  I was at a quilting retreat when I pieced the top.  After I came home, I finished the back.  However I did not get it quilted before Christmas, so his box had a top, a back, and a note that said "to be finished" in it.

It thrilled me to see the expression on his face when he opened it on Christmas morning.  He was so surprised and pleased!!  He thanked me several times.  I counted it a success.  He said "I never saw this one as you were making it."

I finally have it quilted, bound, and labeled.  The pictures are not the greatest but I was taking them outdoors and the temp was about 12 degrees today.

Hubby is a real music buff and I chose to use two different music fabrics for the backing.  Of course, LilBit is checking to see if she can read this music.  LOL
This quilt was started in 2013, but I am counting it as my first finish for 2014.  The pattern, Lawn Chair Quilt, came from Moda Bakeshop.


Sunday, January 5, 2014


Cute wall piece by Linda Meck

"When you perform . . . you are out of yourself -- larger and more potent, more beautiful.  You are for minutes heroic.  This is power.  This is glory on earth.  And it is yours, nightly".
-Agnes deMille

Just going through the motions -- living life like it is a dress rehearsal. 
"Life's not a dress rehearsal" is a saying we have used many times.  Today I am giving it more thought.

I have taken great pleasure in being a master of multitasking over the years.  The more "plates I could juggle" the more accomplished I felt.
Multitasking robs me of living every minute consciously.  Doing many things simultaneously means my focus is dispersed in so many directions that I am not fully involved in the moment and the activity.

It takes more effort to slow down and relish each moment or each hour or each day.  The up side to slowing this pace is a sense of peace and contentment at the end of the day.

In this new year I am asking myself what are the most important things I want to do or get involved with.  Choosing a reasonable number of acts to perform on my stage of a real life journey is forcing me to slow down and relax.

I think there is going to be more power, more excitement, more fulfillment out of real life more frequently if I follow these

Trying to do one thing at a time with full intention sounds like a lofty goal  but I think it will give me a richer life; not just a full life.  Of course, it will encourage me to think twice about how I spend my time.


Thursday, January 2, 2014


I had hoped to open a new blog this year where I could talk about things that just come to my mind from time to time.  After many attempts to get an accepted name for the blog, I simply gave up that idea and decided to make a section on FROGPOND STUDIO where I just chatter about things that cross my mind.  I am calling this section  PORCH CHATTER and it will appear once in a while.  I don't want to set a schedule right now.  It is still formulating in my mind.

FROGPOND STUDIO blog will continue to offer the happenings in the studio and relate mostly to my quilting journey.

I will continue to share the antics of LilBit and the happenings with my grandchildren.