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September 21, 2017
It’s officially fall — bring on the Halloween decor from Gray Barn Designs

Last night was open house at school for my teenager. To state that he wasn’t into it is an understatement. He likes school a lot this year (as a junior, they are moving into a more interactive model of instruction — more like college than simple rote learning). This makes me happy. But anyway, his best friend (the Boy scout who came to rescue Boots, if you recall) came to the house while his mom went to open house alone (better mom than me — but I love her just the same).



I love to hear those boys discuss their day ...

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September 18, 2017
My old boyfriend Vlad from Gray Barn Designs

We are just days away from the end of summer, so I thought I’d dust off one of my old quilted boyfriends and give him a little sunlight. I designed Vlad the mug rug last fall.


Vlad 2.0 (pattern here) has a new look because I finally, finally bought a new-to-me Bernina and I am venturing into the world of true quilting, not just piecing. To be sure, I’m no Lori Kennedy nor am I a Tim Latimer, but the meandering stitch on Vlad makes me somewhat hopeful that I will be able to <eventually> become self-sufficient ...

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September 13, 2017
Pix-elated Skull from Gray Barn Designs

I spent a fun weekend in Erie, Pa watching my roommate’s son-in-law run a marathon. SIL is a fast runner and the Erie race is a good one for qualifying for the Boston Marathon. The site of the race, Presque Isle state park, is lovely — I will definitely return to Erie for the beachfront, the shopping, the wine and the food.



Calm Lake Erie on the morning of the race. The weather was perfect for runners.

SIL qualified — in personal best fashion. As a former (much slower) marathoner, it was a thrill to see him cruise across the finish ...

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September 11, 2017
Stuck on the Border from Gray Barn Designs

A few years ago, a friend gave me some cute fabric from “The Magic of Oz” collection by Wilmington Prints.

I love shoes (almost as much as I like fabric) so the ruby slippers print was the perfect gift for me.


In the process of cleaning my sewing room, I found a favorite book by Sandy Bonsib.  I love Sandy’s patterns and there are several in this book that are on to my “to do” list.  The pattern “Kaleidoscope Kaper” seemed like a good fit for my ruby slippers fabric!


I cut out all my triangles using the template ...

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September 5, 2017
Scary Stuff from Gray Barn Designs

I’m feeling a little guilty because I took 2 days off from work during our busy opening season. Since I work on a college campus and classes are in session on Labor Day, I haven’t enjoyed the holiday for nearly 10 years. And, wouldn’t you know it, disaster struck on Friday, which was my first vacation day: the campus bookstore flooded due to a water line break. So my peaceful sleep-in morning turned into a social media posting fest.

The remainder of the weekend was much less stressful: I helped my mother and her best friend prep ...

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September 2, 2017
My past few days.......... from Exuberant Color

I was totally blindsided by the events of the past few days.  I ended up getting a pacemaker put in.  This is the same person who walked 55 minutes mowing grass 2 weeks ago with a push mower.  I was going downhill fast since last Saturday and this is why I couldn't get any quilt finishes in the last few days of last month.

I won't be answering any comments but do enjoy reading them.  Thanks for those who sent good wishes the last 2 days either silently, through comments or emails. 

I will do a couple more ...

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August 31, 2017
Stressed by the Mess II from Gray Barn Designs

In a previous post, I mentioned the need to organize my sewing space.  Yesterday, I just decided to jump in and get busy!  I pulled everything off the closet shelves and just threw it all into a great big pile in the middle of the floor.  Talk about stuff!


My sewing buddy, Norma, a Bearded Collie, wasn’t sure what to make of all that stuff on the floor so she decided to mind her own business off to the side…wise girl!


I found a “few” dust bunnies.  Hmmm, I really think they are Norma fur mixed with miscellaneous ...

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August 29, 2017
Relationship Goals from Gray Barn Designs

When I was about 10 or 11-years-old, I fell in love with Donny Osmond. He could sing, he could dance and he had the cutest smile! And he had a neat sister that I could relate to! My childhood best friend, later in life to become my Quilt Pusher, was a big fan too. When Polaroid cameras became all the rage, I asked my dad to take a picture of my friend and I on our brand new 90cc Honda motorbike. My plan was to send it to Donny. I was pretty certain that one photo would motivate him to ...

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Greetings from Harveyswamp, Texas from Chocolate Cake Quilt Designs

Harvey needs to leave. It’s almost 7:30 p.m. and it has

Not.    Stopped.    Raining.    All.    Day.

Fortunately, we are still dry, although last night I was uneasy about the water lapping at the top of our curb. It has since receded, but the anxiety returned with news that the Army Corps. of Engineers was planning to release water from the Addicks and Barker Cypress reservoirs. This excess flows into Buffalo Bayou, (already reported to be overflowing) which runs behind our neighborhood. It’s so close, you can walk to it from our house.

It’s so saturated ...

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August 24, 2017
Stressed By The Mess! from Gray Barn Designs

My sewing room is a mess and I must admit I am stressed!

I have piles of unrelated fabrics that have to be sorted!  Right now the burlap is crammed on a shelf with the minky, the fleece and the flannel.  Dearest hubby doesn’t call me “the stuffer” for no reason!


I have bins full of unrelated colors and who knows what else lies beneath this mound?!


Threads are thrown together in a haphazard fashion!


I have too many pinks and the drawer is overflowing!  I tried to cram them back in the drawer but they won’t fit ...

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Curious Wildlife from Bayou Quilts

Wildlife Photographers unexpected encounters.

I'm susceptible to wildlife photos, and these make me smile.  The last one is my favorite because the snowy woods and the fox look as if they were drawn from a fairy tale, but each one is delightful in its own way.  Sometimes we all need a little positive reinforcement, and these photos make me happy.  

Now to transfer the laundry to the dryer...

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August 21, 2017
Eclipse Day 2017 from Gray Barn Designs

Today was a fun day, wasn’t it? Although the eclipse was less than full here in western New York, the event created a festive atmosphere in the dog days of August. I snapped an over the shoulder shot just as the action was starting — don’t worry, I took the picture without looking, so my vision is safe.



The sun at about 1:15pm as the takeover begins.

The college campus where I work is about to explode with life and I can’t wait. Here’s a pic from this morning — the proverbial calm before the storm.


The ...

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August 17, 2017
2017 Ohio State Fair Quilts – III from Gray Barn Designs

I wanted to share a few more quilts from the 2107 Ohio State Fair with you.

Pinwheels are a favorite of mine and these batik fabrics were quite lovely.


No words can describe the amazing quilt below.


Another pinwheel quilt….love it!


The quilting below was as interesting as the colors and patterns!


This quilt depicts downtown Columbus, Ohio.  Lots of nice quilting details!


Below is a favorite of mine.  Notice the words quilted into the design.  They are all words relating to the State of Ohio.  LOVE!!!


Check out these Cathedral Windows…wow!  I mean wow!


Color, pattern, texture ...

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August 8, 2017
I’ve Got the Blues from Katy Did Art

Bluegrass fever that is! DH and I spent a wonderful week at the Pickin’ in Parsons Bluegrass Festival. My goodness, if you like bluegrass music, this is one great place to go! I cannot say enough good things about the owners/organizers (they do so much to help everyone have a wonderful experience) the venue (Five Rivers Campground – the stage, the covered pavilion, the camping!! All wonderful!) and the line-up (Wow! Just Wow!!!) We are definitely going to do this again!

But, of course, all good things must come to an end. It’s back to the same old grind ...

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August 3, 2017
2017 Ohio State Fair Quilts – II from Gray Barn Designs

I spent a lot of time in the 2017 Ohio State Fair Quilt Exhibit.  I enjoyed studying all the techniques that quilters use to create their masterpieces.

I am in love with the colors and texture in the quilt below.


What’s not to love about a 3 dimensional quilted carrot?  This was so cute!


I think we know why the quilt below won a blue ribbon!  Applique, embroidery and quilting really packed a charming punch!


Below is another blue ribbon winner!  I can’t even imagine the hours it took to make this work of art!


Scrappy is beautiful ...

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August 1, 2017
2017 Ohio State Fair Quilts from Gray Barn Designs

The Ohio State Fair has many beautiful quilts on exhibit and I’d like to share some of them with you.

The pattern for the quilt below is titled “Artful Album Quilts” by Jane Townswick.  Ruth Pennell, the creator of this quilt, accomplished a beautiful mix of colors in this bright album quilt.  Her applique work is something I can only hope to aspire to!


Second Place Winner – Ruth Pennell

The quilt below is called “Circle of Friends” and won a third place ribbon.  Rebecca Hamilton, creator of this quilt, used a nice mix of colors and textures.  Very ribbon ...

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July 28, 2017
Birthday and Done from Gray Barn Designs


My Paddlwheel quilt finally set sail yesterday. After a frantic midnight until 3 a.m. binding session, I was able to gift the quilt to my roommate who reached a big mile-stone birthday yesterday.

I know he really likes it, because he immediately installed it at NASA, er, his home office.


In other news, last week we picked a hot afternoon and headed over to the Allegany County Fair. Our small county puts on a wonderful old-fashioned, family-friendly event every year. However, it’s been several years since we’ve attended. So, Wednesday night we took our time and strolled ...

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July 25, 2017
Free Pattern: Christmas Joy Pillow from Gray Barn Designs

While Sandy was visiting, we went to the Red Rooster Quilt Store in Dublin, Ohio.  They have a great selection of 2017 Christmas fabrics in stock!

Jingle Toss by Maywood Studio caught my eye because it has a colorful mix of Christmas words and graphics.  I bought 2 fat quarters, a few coordinating fabrics and designed a pillow cover.  Here is the result!


I designed the pillow cover to fit a 16 x 16 inch pillow form.  It’s the perfect size for my couch…not to big and not too small!


I used three pairs of ties at the ...

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July 20, 2017
Family Will Every Time from Gray Barn Designs

Last Saturday Cindy and I attended the annual summer reunion for my mother’s side of the family. Cindy, her son and his wife drove up from Ohio and we surprised mom by walking in just as the party started.

Mom grew up in Buffalo NY in a very large family. She was child number 10 of 12 original siblings. After her mother passed away, my grandfather created another family with 5 more children. Let that sink in. Dude had 17 children. Only three generations away from their roots in Bavaria, this group certainly made their presence known in WNY ...

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July 17, 2017
Ohio Rocks! from Gray Barn Designs

My visit to Cindy’s home in Ohio last week was very lovely and relaxing. She gave me the guided tour of her favorite quilt shops and we did the initial phase of research into a <potential> new machine for me. We visited Red Rooster Quilts in “downtown” Dublin, OH and Quilt Beginnings in the shopping mecca of the Columbus area: Sawmill Drive (also in Dublin).

Have you ever walked into a fabric store and your head started swinging back and forth as you gawked at all the luscious fabrics? You wanted to touch, feel, consume each one, but you ...

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  • miscellaneous
  • Page 1 of 8 ( 160 posts )