Archive for the ‘Insight into by brain’ Category

YAY or NAY Challenge on Facebook

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

For those who are part of the Facebook family you may of caught the start of this challenge/exercise yesterday but for those who aren’t let’s back up a bit and I’ll explain.

20150622_104650Yesterday I tossed up this picture of three fabrics with the question “Yay or Nay?”.   The answer is would you use these three fabrics together in a block.  And if so what color would you add to the block if you could.

This exercise is to help people imagine color combos/textures beyond the obvious.   Yes, the obvious choice would be to remove the brown and go with a teal, orange, or lime green.   And those choices will make a nice block.   But not always an exciting block.   Those choices will make an easy quilt to view…but I strive for an interesting quilt to view.   Yes I want it to be pleasing.  But I also want it to be intriguing.   I want it to invite you in to explore it further.

And so I use colors that don’t always completely match, that are a little off.  I call them my “crazy aunt” fabrics.   20150623_093231

Think of it every family has a “crazy aunt” and she is usually the life of the party.   She brings the joy to family gatherings (quilts) and you are still talking about her long after the event.

So the brown fabric here is the “crazy aunt”.   Not all crazy aunts are loud.  Some stir the pot in the background.

Here is my sample block using these three fabrics and white on white background for this exercise.   Notice how that brown kinda goes with the rest of the group.  That is because the blue tints in it play to the blue in the dotted fabric and the gray undertone of the brown does to.  This is important.  If it was a red under toned brown this would not work.

20150623_093436(0)Now I heard (or saw)  the uproar for teal.  And while I originally did not plan to do away with the brown for a teal, the exercise remember is to work with all three fabrics, I decided to make a block to satisfy the masses.  And because it will help make my point that sometimes you need the “non steller” blocks to boost the other blocks.  Stay with me here.  It will all work out in the end.   Here is your teal block.

20150623_093506Sandy posted that she would like to see a charcoal color added.  And I agree that could be interesting.   So I slipped it into every other star point for what I call the twinkle effect.   My apologies the pic is blurry.  It was a long night of storm watching.  This is the only one not so good.



20150622_181602And Barbara posted that she would try a bright yellow.   That peaked my interest to so I went a pulled a bright pure yellow off the fabric wall and set it next to the other fabrics. 20150622_181656



I was about it cut it, it is pretty, but then I saw this piece in my yellow 2.5″ bin.

Just that little tinge of gray makes it one of the family for me.

So sorry Barbara I tweaked your request hope you don’t mind.

And here is that sample block.



Ok.  I know several of you are still unconvinced that the brown can work.  So here are some images of the blocks together.


Yes a quilt made with the teal points would be lovely…but a quilt made with both would be interesting.  And using that brown makes the teal even more spectacular. 20150623_093603I myself would go with this combo if I had to use just two blocks.  By using the twinkle block with the brown & charcoal it makes that block special too.

20150623_093204And here are all four blocks together.

I looked at this set of four for a few minutes and then as I was just about to head upstairs with these pictures to load into the computer I spotted a fat quarter of fabric that was purchased in Paducah this year. 20150623_093944

OH MY I thought…that is what I would use in this quilt!

It bridges everything and pulls it all together.

But would you of made the brown star point block without urging?  I hope so after reading this.

Or I hope you would at least play and make an experiment block or two.  I am always making blocks combos like this and just playing in the studio.  So pretty awesome combos for quilts have been born this way if I say so myself.

As I posted last night.  Thanks for playing along with your comments and suggestions on my MDQuilts facebook page post.    I will do this again.   I am enjoying it and by the responses I am thinking you are too.

Keep your eyes peeled next week!

I am off to Atlanta in the morning for some fun with the East Cobb Quilt Guild.   I have been home for 16 days…it’s time to get my road warrior feet back in motion.

Don’t forget I will be posting the next block in the 2015 On The Road Challenge on July 1st.  In fact there may be sneak peaks of parts of it on Facebook when in Atlanta as that is what I will be working on in my hotel room at night.

Take Care,




p.s. There has been a lot of updating and additions happening on the website.  Check out the new workshops and my new store page.  Would love to hear what you think!




This goes here and That goes there

Friday, February 7th, 2014

messy deskIn a crazy fit of organization madness yesterday I finally did something I conjured up several months ago on my fantasy “to do” list.

I made an email file for every engagement I have on my books.   Yes I did.   Now I have multiple email files for every company I work with, newsletter I subscribe to even All Recipes has it’s own file that new recipes fall into immediately and wait there for me to see.   But I never got around to doing the engagements.  It was just one of those things that kept being put on the back burner.imagesBY62AV5Y

Yesterday I decided I was not leaving the desk until it was done.  It took 2 hours.

I linked the contacts email addy to the file so if any email comes in from that person it automatically drops in to that file.   The file will show me that new email is in there waiting for my eyes to see it.

While this may seem like an over the top type A activity it is really a brain cell saver for me.

Last year I had three guilds in the same month that the contact person was named “LINDA”.  My head was spinning.  I admit I actually made a cheat sheet with their full names and guild that stuck to my computer monitor for the three months prior to gigs.  The last three months is the heaviest correspondence time as all the little details are worked out.

Many times correspondence comes from a guild after they have been contracted without any identifying information regarding which guild this person is associated with.  And I understand that as the contact person feels that you should know who they are.  I do pretty well in remembering names, I do a little grade school memory game in my head as soon as they officially contract in an attempt to associate the name with the guild immediately.  But sometimes that fails then I have to do an email search of their address to find other correspondence from them to figure out which guild they are with as I don’t want to be rude and say “Hey…who are you?”.

letterI realize that many guilds don’t understand the amount of email that comes thru on a daily basis.   And sometimes keeping all the conversation (email strings) in order is a challenge.

Now life will be so much simpler.   It took awhile but the feeling that chaos is somewhat removed from my inbox is so satisfying .

How many guild files you ask?

At present the count is 47.  I am thrilled that so many wish me to visit.   And now I can easily keep track of them.  😀

Off to sew…I’ll check my email later…it will be easy peasy.


It’s that time of the year again.

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

late December…that gap time between Christmas and New Years.

It’s a awkward time when people hurry between two holidays tying up loose ends from one and getting ready for another.

In our family there is a birthday between.   Paul’s father.   And we make a point of celebrating that day as all birthday’s should be especially the ones that can easily be swallowed up into another holiday.  Last nights family dinner brought 13 of the 17 of us together.   I caught the smile on my FIL’s eye when he looked down the table (past his 7 cakes!…lol a bit of a signal cross on who was bringing the cake) at the family before him.  It’s been another tough year for the Depre’s but we got thru.

imagesCA36GY5DPersonally in this gap time there is a lot of reflection for myself.

Because in this gap time now 26 years ago I fought my first battle for my life.  When you view the paddles from the lying on the table side at age 21 it really sets a path for you of appreciation for every day you are upright and taking in air.

Now as I enter the age where unfortunately more and more of my family and friends and their love ones begin to face medical situations …. well I get it.  I feel like I look at these situations with 20 years of experience.

So join me today to truly reflect and to celebrate your year here on earth in 2013.   And make public not a resolution for 2014 but a goal.  A goal that can bend at times when it needs to be but will remain a goal to achieve.  After all life happens.

Comment one thing that gave you personal pride in yourself in 2013 and something you strive for in 2014.

And today take a moment to really let those who share your daily life know just how much they mean to you.

and live life.






2013: Personally my pride was bursting at it’s seams when Paul Jr. and Emily walked across the stage to accept their college diplomas.  The pledge to send our children to college was made between Paul and I before we were even married.   So this goal is definitely now check marked  in the DONE column.

2014: I plan speak up more and be clearer in what it is I am needing.  I am pretty self sufficient but I have times when I need some help from time to time.  My fault is I really don’t vocalize this and expect those around me to pick up on my hints (which I think are strong but must not be since 99% of the time they go unacknowledged and then I get frustrated/hurt).  So I plan to be more vocal when I need a bit of a hand….or want to see a certain movie or do a certain activity.   I won’t hint I will tell.    This will be tough for me but I will try.

p.s. best reflection happens when surrounded by fiber…just sayin’.    So feel free to take a day or two and comment later after you have had some material therapy.

The Great Stash Bust!

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

I spent the last two days in the studio cleaning up.

This meant I put away all the fabric I used in the next book.  I had been stacking all the used fabric pieces in a special bin…well bins by the time I was done.  So that I could guarantee that a fabric would only be used once during the making of all 84 commercial fabric samples for the next Pieced Hexies Book.  Each sample uses a minimum of 4 fabrics, with some designs up to 6 fabrics….so you can see a whole lot of fabrics were used.

So the goal was to straighten up everything.  Shoehorn all the fabric back into the appropriate bins.  And take a deep breath.  And sew.

While shoehorning I ran across some old friends which have lived in the fabric neighborhood for years.

It is time to move them out of the stash and into a quilt.

First group to be removed.  The hand marbled fabrics.

This collection has not been touched in 10 years minimum.  Time to take action.






I started by cutting the pieces into 2.5” strips.











Then I remembered the huge pile of black kona “odds–n-ends” left over from all the backings of the samples.


Guess what!?!  These fabrics are going to land up as some crazy 9 patches….maybe to go on to live as Sisters Choice blocks…or something else.

But it’s happening!  That marbled stash is needs to live in a quilt for all to see!

I challenge you to take a good look at your stash and find the hidden treasure that you have held on to for ages and cut if up and start to “move it out”!.

There is more.

This is the Civil War and 30’s stash.  They are up next for “moving out”.



And then it’s on to this stash.


This is gonna take awhile.


It’s one of those days.

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

You know the type of day, you wake up thinking I have not much to do and this day will be a breeze.

And then every turn you make unveils something else that needs your attention NOW and before you know it the day is almost over.  And you are exhausted.

Welcome to my day.



On Monday I finished my manuscript.  Well 95% of it.  There are a few more elements to go into it but until my editor does her thing and gives me a standing page count I am not sure how much room there will be.  So I will finish these elements by months end when I have an idea how many pages I may have.



But regardless.  The core of the book is done.  DONE!  My original due date was Oct 1st and in June I was given a new due date.  And I did it.  I am pretty darn proud of myself.  It was 32 days of a 12-14 hour days to finish it in time.  Thank goodness I had about 40% done prior.

So yesterday I was walking around the house with absolutely nothing to do.  So what did I do.  I tackled half of those fore mentioned book elements. I think I have forgotten how to relax.  I remember relaxing in early January.  I don’t think I have since.  In fact I am not sure if I even remember how to sleep in.   This is sad.

Today I envisioned that relaxing that I passed by yesterday.  Didn’t really happen.

thCAGB6LLTTomorrow I am off to North Carolina at 6am to teach the Collaboration Celebration Retreat with Bonnie Hunter.   The retreat runs to midday on Sunday and the days will be filled with fun and sewing.

Sunday afternoon Bonnie and I are taking off to spend a few days in her cabin in the mountains. We both need to just have a few days of nada.

thCAJ9A437Cell phone service and internet will low key.  We think this will actually help.  We plan to just veg.  and sew.  and sleep.   and veg some more.

Why do I think we are going  get either nothing done or a whole lot done.

What do you think?


p.s. my new book will be out mid January 2014

A Winner, A Quilt, and a Tease

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

….walk into a bar….LOL.

Doesn’t that title just feel like a set up to a bad joke.

Well no joke in this blog.

First a winner!

CAROL mom to Annie, Greta and Cadeau you are the Sit & Stitch pattern/fabric winner!

Now on to a quilt.  Or rather quilt top.

As I sit work on the illustrations for the next book I give myself incentive breaks.   For example:  When I finish this batch of 25 drawings I can peruse eBay for a $10 purchase or hold onto said imaginary gift certificate (gc), draw 40 more items and have a $35 certificate.   Or really push it and get a total of 100 drawings done for a $75 certificate.  But if I crack at $35 then it’s back to the beginning.  (note shipping is not included in said imaginary gc)

This helps when the days are long and tedious.

Last week I held out for the $75 gc….and I perused ebay.

And this treasure came home.  And it didn’t cost the entire $75 even with shipping.  (see Paul I am saving money!!…lol)




The box arrived yesterday and I didn’t open it until I was done for the day.

This provided the incentive to get done yesterday.  DOUBLE WIN!





Here it is in all it’s scrappy 30’s glory.

I am in love.  I can’t stop looking at it and all the wonderful feedsacks in the Lemoyne Stars.


Yes those solids are ….ahem…”packers colors”…but I am choosing to ignore that right now and just concentrate on it’s lovely scrappy goodness.




I will be adding a 3-4” border around the edges to stabilize and make it easier to quilt.  I know it will be a solid but still debating the color choice.  I am considering turquoise.  Any ideas?








96OK…blurry pic sorry. I can’t see to the find the one I took before sending this treasure on it’s way so this is swiped from the auction.

Side bar: also love ebay for quirky items.  Found this turn of the century Murad Cigarette Trading Card featuring Hendrix College.  This item is on it’s way to dear son for his office.  Image advertising a college on a pack of cigarettes in today’s world?



Now for the tease. Cathy's Booksmudged

Tuesday a book goes up for giveaway.

Cathy a friend of mine really loves her copy….she has gone thru it already and made all the blocks.  And she is sewing them together into a quilt as we speak…err..I type.

I will post a pic of her awesome quilt for ohhing and ahhing with the giveaway.  no pressure Cath.  Smile

Enjoying a cool and dare I say brisk July day,


Things I never miss.

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Yesterday I happened to enjoy two things I NEVER EVER miss.  So I thought I would share.








Absolutely never miss it. And by that I mean if I do miss an episode on Sunday night (rare) I watch it as quickly as possible on OnDemand before the next airs.  I never let myself fall away from Mad Men.  Even when some of the storylines frustrate me.  I hang in there.

I am thrilled that a long forgotten storyline was touched on in last night’s episode.   I was hoping it would be resurrected before the series end.  I would like closure. 

I am not one for seeing a movie twice let alone a TV episode.  I drives me crazy to “rewatch anything”.  But Mad Men will someday be an entire snowy weekend event where I plan to watch all episodes back to back to back.

mm3The love of Mad Men is also shared by Emily.  In fact she is the reason I initially got hooked.  That first summer home from college she quickly caught me up on the series.  And then last summer she hooked me into Downton Abbey but that is another story. 

Thru the eyes of my daughter I see that this series opens up the discussion that many things in the world today are the same as it was 20 years ago when I was her age and even 40 years ago in the world of Man Men. 

Every generation likes to think the “times” are unique unto them.  But if we are honest.  It’s much the same just the wardrobe and music are different.  

Now onto my second never miss.

A new release book by Mary Kay Andrews.




The latest was released a mere 6 days ago and downloaded by 8am on release day to my Nook.  I held out for three days hoping to keep the book on my “to be read” shelf by June 18th when I hit the road again.   I failed.

496 pages later.

I finished it last night.  Smile

A fun little chick read. 



Revolutionary-Summer-201x300Next up.




Revolutionary Summer by Joseph J. Ellis.

I like to mix it up like that.


What are some things you never miss?






Now two other things I am missing….Paul Jr. & Emily.

this may take awhile to get thru.

Lessons Learned

Sunday, May 19th, 2013


I’ve learned a lesson this month.  About myself.



It’s ok to ask for help.

That was a toughie for me.  I am very independent and don’t like to bother others.

But I realized sometimes I need a helping hand.


Actually I learned two lessons.FlockedFULLWeb

The second is that I need to be more direct.  Funny I know.  I am about the most brutally honest person out there.  …..well I do know someone more brutally honest than me but she will remain nameless. 

…..  err OK I know two….maybe three….  ok “birds of a feather thing I know”.  






     Back on track.


I tend to think “they know what I need from them.  They understand.  They will get it and come thru.”  When I need to just tell people. imagesCAFPJU2W

And then I am hurt and disappointed when “they” don’t.   And it’s no one’s fault but mine.   I am learning if I need something from someone, or I need them to realize something I need to pipe up. 

backsI think I lost two good friends this month because I didn’t do this.  I just kept to myself my confusion and hurt about a situation that I know truly no one meant any harm it was just one of those “not seeing things from my perspective” things.  And finally when forced to face this fact I felt overwhelmed and extremely hurt that they didn’t get it before it grew into this situation.  And well I honestly don’t know where I stand now.  I realize there is a lot of hurt on both sides. 

So I am putting myself out there with my lessons learned. 

Sometimes it helps to write it down to when trying to figure out a solution.  

And of course there is always hexing to help the thinking process.  Smile


Piece out.