Tina’s Painted Rocks

In this post I would like to feature the incredible work of my sister Tina. She is a very talented rock painter who only began painting rocks two years ago. Her training as a draftsperson and attention to detail have resulted in beautiful rocks that she gifts to our family and I am so happy to own and cherish a small collection of these beauties.

Here’s what Tina has to say about this:

“I paint rocks and I love it! I sometimes paint words, or people or even animals. The superhero and animal ones are a favorite of my grandson. My favorite designs to paint are mandalas. These are circular geometric designs, painted on the rocks using dots. I love to do different color combinations and different patterns. For me, it is relaxing and something I very much look forward to doing.”

Tina lives in Connecticut, and I live in Texas so we don’t get to see each other very often, but when we do, we always enjoy hunting for good rocks for her to paint, beach combing for pieces of colored glass and going out to get some lobster rolls!

Here we are together (Tina on the left):

A Quick to Stitch Scrap Quilt

Here’s an easy and quick to stitch lap quilt design that practically makes itself. Start by pairing up 2 different fabrics that complement each other and cut 6″ squares from each fabric.

Next, stack the fabric pieces and make a horizontal and a vertical cut as shown below:

Separate the pieces-

Separated piles after the cuts are made

Then rearrange the piles into blocks for stitching:

Ready to sew

After stitching the blocks are 5 1/2″ unfinished.

Blocks all stitched

Here’s a closeup of my layout, finished size of the blocks are now 5″ by 5″.

I used an alternating dark/light layout for stitching the quilt.

And the finished quilt top looks like this:

Finished quilt top

This quilt was 8 blocks by 12 blocks, (40″ X 60″) a perfect size for a lap quilt. It’s fun to play with the fabric colors, or try it with batiks, holiday fabrics or kid fabrics. You can use up your scraps, change the size, rotate the setting, whatever suits your fancy!

Pysanky- Completed!

The last time I posted about this quilt I had finished piecing 25 egg blocks and was trying to decide how to set them and finish the quilt. I stitched the eggs on point and placed them next to each other to see how that looked.

Preliminary Layout

This was okay, but it didn’t have any definition of blocks, it needed some separation with a sashing to set the blocks off. So, I started looking at sashing designs and came up with this:

Blue and white sashing strips

Yes! The blue and white sashing tied in well with the blue and white eggs.

The next issue to decide was how to quilt it. I went with heavy stippling around the eggs to make them pop. The eggs themselves were quilted along their design lines. Around the triangle border I quilted large feathers and in the navy blue border quilted an on point checkerboard.

Close up of quilting
Marking the border for quilting

Here is the finished quilt. I was thrilled to have it accepted in the International Quilt Festival’s Sapphire Quilts Special Exhibit. It will be traveling to other shows across the country for the next two years.

Finished quilt

Cana Jars

On a trip to Israel in October of 2017 with my church group, we visited the little town of Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding feast. A church has been constructed at this site and inside the church, on either side of the altar stood 3 stone jars of the type and form that were used during Jesus’ time. Here is a photo of what they looked like:

Church at Cana, Israel with 6 water/wine jars on the altar.

The jars really caught my attention and I knew that they would make a great subject for a quilt.

I began by making paper shapes of the stone jars and arranging them on my design wall. I imagined the jars to be painted different colors and started building them one by one using fabrics in a collage method.

Building the first jar

First two jars with paper outlines of placement of 3 others.

Next post will show the remaining jars and the finished quilt.

The Ugly Christmas Stocking

I was hanging the Christmas stockings the other day and took a good look at them as I hung them by the chimney with care.  I had carefully cross stitched my kids stockings by hand, and crocheted my husband’s stocking  with a yarn that allows expandability to fit all those goodies inside and the stockings looked like they could have been on a Christmas card.

My kids and Husband’s Christmas stockings

Then I hung my own Christmas stocking.  As a long time quilter and stitcher, it’s embarrassing to admit that my own stocking was probably purchased from Walmart more than 30 years ago and has long been in need of an upgrade.  But who has time to make something for yourself in the midst of all the busy-ness of the Christmas season?  But then , how could I put up with this ugly stocking for another year?  Here is the old one:

30 + year old Walmart Stocking

So, out with the old and in with the new.  Here’s the replacement I came up with.

New Paper pieced Christmas stocking with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, little snowmen, trees and shiny snowflakes!

This quilter/mom now has a stocking that is worthy to be hung by the chimney with care and hopes that Santa notices the new stocking and fills it with nice goodies for me!

Husband’s comment:  The green stocking is an engineering marvel.  It expands to proportions that only an elf (or cosmic physicist) could produce.  I once got an Acura TL in there along with the usual goodies.  Everyone should have one of these, especially if you’ve been really good this year like me!