Thursday, November 20, 2014

The season for giving

'Tis the season!

While so many of us are celebrating the holidays, I would like to take a moment to talk to you about a very special woman in my life... my beautiful niece Susan. Things haven't been easy for her, and yet she GLOWS with a beautiful spirit and showers the people around her with love. Her smile just lights up the room, and being around her makes your day just that much brighter.

When Susan was only 31 years old when she was put on oxygen and told she would need a lung transplant in order to survive. She was diagnosed with an extremely rare lung disease called Pulmonary Capillary Hemangiomatosis that caused shortness of breath and oxygen dependency and for which she was put on the lung transplant list. There was no cure for this disease so this was her only hope for survival. In January of 2005, she was admitted to the hospital to undergo the extensive surgery to attach the new set of lungs. Because of her amazing team of physicians, she was blessed with the opportunity to see the next 10 years of her two small children's lives. Milestones that included her son's kindergarten graduation and teaching her daughter how to drive a car.

Last year her mother, my friend since childhood, died of cancer, and this year her father, my beloved brother Jim, died of a sudden heart attack. Now, to top off all that grief, she finds that 
her second set of lungs are failing. She is again dependent on oxygen to survive and has been put back on the transplant list. She is, again, in desperate need of the funds necessary for the complex procedure and the extensive recovery of such a procedure.

Susan has many dreams in her life that are unfulfilled due to her lung disease. Her biggest dream now is to get her new lungs so she will be there for her children who desperately need her. If anyone ever deserved to have help with those dreams, it's Susan! There isn't a lot I can do for her, but here is what I thought might be feasible...

From now until Christmas, any and everything I sell on my Etsy site:

 (patterns or quilts), will go to help pay for those expenses. The same will be true for the embroidered quilt labels and quilting I'm doing for my few exclusive personal clients. 

Or, if you'd rather donate directly, please feel free to do so at the site set up for that purpose:

For those of you that don't like doing credit card type things online, and prefer doing things by check, email me directly, and I can work something out with you for patterns and/or quilts by regular mail by check for this purpose only. My email is:

Thank you all for your support and for your love through the years!
Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan

Monday, October 27, 2014

Redwork Flowers And Stars

For this quilt I did a series of redwork flowers as the centers of my patchwork stars.
I've always like the old fashioned look of redwork, so I decided to use a background
fabric that reminded me of tea stained beige you see on some really old quilts. I
like the result here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Arizona Arrowheads

I finally got the hand stitching done on the binding for this quilt. That is the one chore I tend to procrastinate on. I'm not sure why... I'm fairly fast at it, and I do a lot of other kinds of hand work, but for some reason I just don't enjoy doing binding. But I DO enjoy seeing the finished results. So, anyway, here is my latest quilt...

Arizona Arrowheads

I made this one extra long, to use on the sofa or on a twin bed.
See.... even on my own original patterns, I don't always do them "by the numbers".
I like being able to vary things, making different sizes to meet my needs given
whatever uses might come to mind at the time. *grin*

Monday, October 6, 2014

Aaron's Quilt

Aaron's Quilt

I'm finally back in my sewing room after being out of the loop for a long while. I recently lost my beloved brother, and it was devastating for me. I didn't feel much like sewing or anything else. So here is my first finish... a quilt for a nephew that came over and helped me get some things done!

I chose to go with something that combined both contemporary and traditional elements. Aaron is a bachelor who likes blue. The gray background gives it a neutral look that should help it play well with whatever other design elements he has in his bedroom. This king size quilt should work well for his needs and age, I think. It's nice to be sewing again, and it was a joy to do something for family. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Designing as I go along!

When You Run Out Of A Fabric....

Well over a year ago I decided I wanted to make an old fashioned hand pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. I decided I had PLENTY of a certain green fabric on hand that I would border each of my flowers with just that one, so I started on my merry way:

Best laid plans of mice and men, as Robert Burns would say! Yep... ran out of that green fabric! And did not have enough to do anything really the way I wanted, but had already put together my pieces in a way that didn't lend themselves to incorporating OTHER greens in with them. The moral of the story is don't sew your pieces together as you go along I guess. *sigh* I had a very large square quilt unit. Not a comfortable size for much of anything. Stuck, stuck, STUCK in a mire of my own making! So... I framed it, looked at it, looked at it some more, and put it aside for a while and brooded on it.

Now, there is a LOT of hand stitching going on there. I'm not willing to give up and call that a big old square sofa throw! (Brood, brood, brood, pout, pout, pout!) I'm also not willing to throw ten unrelated borders on the top and bottom to make it long enough to cover the top of my bed! (Brood, brood, brood, pout, pout, pout!)  I finally came up with an idea that I thought might work, even though it would normally be way outside of my wheelhouse.... appliqué! I don't do hand appliqué as a rule. I don't feel like I'm very good at it, so generally I stick to machine piecing. But this had so much hand work to begin with, I figure... why not? So... I decide to make a pillow tuck with appliqué work on it.

Not too bad for someone who doesn't do much of this sort of thing. So now I attach that to the body:

Ignore the ripples and wrinkles... it really does lay flat, I promise. I'm just having some trouble getting down to the floor this morning. LOL! 
So now all I have to do is design the side and end drops and I'll have a bed quilt again. I guess I'm back to the brood and pout stage until I come up with ideas for that, because I REFUSE to applique all of THAT! LOL! But at least I feel like all of that work wasn't wasted.

Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Log Cabin Goes Modern

Log Cabin Goes Modern

That's what I decided to call the finished quilt! LOL! Anyway, it's all done now! It's even already been put on my Etsy site for sale, and so has the pattern for those who would rather make their own! (You'll find a clickable link to my Etsy shop over to the right of your screen.) I decided on a modern geometric print for the backing. I kind of like the effect. What do you think?

Now I'm busy on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt again. I've gone as far as I can with that green fabric I had, so I'm now removing paper from what is done so far. It was enough to make a medallion type center that will cover the top of a queen size bed. Then I can add borders for the drop. I think that removing the paper is taking almost as much time as basting the paper in did to start with! It's turning into one of those "what was I thinking??" projects! Once all of that is done, and a border is put around that, I'll decide how I want to proceed on the rest of that quilt. I may just do the rest in appliqued hexie flowers... way easier!!

Happy quilting!
Jean MaDan

Sunday, June 22, 2014

New Top

I've been working on a new top this past week. This time I've put two old faithful blocks together... the log cabin, and the churn dash. This was the result:
 As you can see, I do tend to favor Kona black to offset all these scrappy colors. I think it really makes them pop! And so far all the men in my life that have seen them (now come on... I'm talking relatives here... be nice!) have really liked this one!

I really do need to get busy on the quilting side SOON! I'm building up quite a stack of tops in my sewing room that need attending to. I was waiting for a supply of batting to magically appear I guess. LOL! (What I had on hand got used up in my last round of soldier quilts.) But I just did a couple of baby quilts for a customer, and that put some funds back in the batting kitty, so hopefully this week I'll be able to get a few finishes done to show you guys. I really haven't been as indolent as my blog might imply lately! *wink*

Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan