Sunday, October 18, 2009

Salt, Pepper and a Dash of Spice

Even with the partial seam assembly, these blocks go together quickly. Here are four Pepper Mill blocks together to show the red pinwheel accent. I'm going to call this one "Salt, Pepper and a Dash of Spice."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Black & White - Day Two

Yesterday afternoon, I cut through the rest of the fat quarters and the black yardage for the black and white and red quilt from my last post. I didn't realize I had so many different prints!
This is all I have left to cut from - the white yardage and the red accent fabric. As this seems to be an afternoon project, I hope to get this done today!!
I would have posted Day Two last evening, but we had a terrific thunderstorm here last night! David's newly built trash "dumpster" had a real test!
Have a glorious day, all!!
Barbara Ann

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Black & White Day One

McCall's Quick Quilts' November issue had a quilt in it that definitely caught my eye. And, unfortunately, I can't leave well enough alone and had to add my own little quirks to the design (above).

I've been collecting black and white fabrics for a few years now, and the magazine gave me just the right boost to get started on a new quilt.

I bought this red fabric off Ebay, with the sole purpose of jazzing up a black and white quilt. At the time, I really didn't have a pattern or design in mind.

So, this afternoon, I spent my time cutting up some fat quarters, 10" inch squares from a quilting forum swap and some odd small pieces of black and white fabrics. I have the black FQs to go and then I'm going to cut a little bit from my yardage pieces to be sure I have plenty of variety. I'll figure I'll have quite a few leftovers, so a neat idea for the back occurred to me:

It's very sloppy because I was in a hurry to get the thoughts down and back to cutting, but I think you can get the idea. The main graphic is the flying geese wandering from bottom left to upper right.

Wish me luck!!

Barbara Ann

Friday, July 3, 2009

Second Big Blocks top

Here's a picture of the second big blocks top - four blocks strong. I was trying to make this one purely from my stash, and love the burgundy floral print.
However, I have this obsession with matching colors in a big print, so I had a rough time finding a light olive print for the corner sections. I finally found it, started cutting out the 6 1/2" squares and then promptly ran out of fabric! In order to get the last 8 squares, I had to piece the scraps together!! The second picture shows how much I squeezed. . .

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm still alive - honest!

I just wanted to add a short post to let y'all know I'm still breathing! My business area is operational again and I'm up to 3 orders now off the website - not groundbreaking news, I know, but considering that I haven't been able to finish getting all the products on it, it's pretty good to me!

My sewing room is almost back together - we brought back the buffet and I cleaned out the drawers as they went back in (more yard sale fodder!). I sorted all the quilting magazines into boxes - I ran out of boxes after 12 and had to use regular USPS boxes to hold the others. SOMEDAY, I want to scan in the projects and ideas I like and get rid of the actual magazines . . .

My sewing room table is sanded and ready to restain, but now my husband, in an effort to pack up his stuff from his den, has loaded my table down again. I'm still waiting for him to take his things to the storage unit! When I can get to my table again, I'll stain it and then it's ready to go back in, too.

I've been working on a couple quilt tops this past month - trying a new tactic - BIG BLOCKS! Both tops are only 6 blocks because the blocks are 32 inches! The one to the right is made of the Timeless Treasures Briarcliffe line from my shop. I wish I had carried the cream on around the rust color, but it still looks good, I think. I made two more blocks after this picture was taken and added them to the bottom.
I don't have a picture yet of the other big blocks top - maybe I can get one tomorrow. We have plans to take a short trip to Ohio this weekend and I hope to drop these two tops along with the green baby quilt off at the fabric shop in Arnoldsburg. Mr. Badgett will pick them up there - he does fabulous long arm quilting at a very reasonable price - he's very popular - I think she said there's 35 to 40 tops ahead of me!
Tomorrow's a sewing day, so wish me luck!
Barbara Ann

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New digital camera

I'd been having a lot of trouble with my previous digital camera, so while we were in Charleston on Friday for Young Writers Day, I stopped in at Ritz Camera and bought a Nikon D5000 SLR digital camera. It was a bit more expensive than I was completely comfortable with, but I think it will turn out to be a great investment. I've been playing around with it and took the above pictures of my family to share - my daughter, Jessica, my son, Alex, and my husband, David.
I hope to get my sewing room painted this week - maybe even finish the sanding on my sewing table so it can go back into the room. I am SO ready to start sewing again!!
Have a grand week!
Barbara Ann

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Texturing is kinda fun!

Last night, I went down to my empty sewing room with the intent of filling in the nail holes in the walls with drywall mud, but realized after getting started that it just wasn't going to cut it. See, we are buying our house on land contract (getting ready for the balloon payment this summer, actually) and we've been here for nearly 10 years now. Before we moved in, the house had been rented out by the previous owners to college kids (we live in a college town). Not promoting the stereotype of reckless, irresponsible college kids, but the room that became my sewing room had BLACK walls and the drywall was banged up pretty badly. I don't remember how many coats of hiding primer it took to cover the black, but it became the cream and raspberry colors eventually. The point is, the drywall still vaguely shows the scars.

So, I'm filling in all the divots and holes with mud. I look back along the wall, and it looks like a little boy's knees in September after riding his bike in gravel all summer. Nothing but patches. When my husband built on my sewing room closet, I textured the walls in there and then painted them a creamy tan. Brain storm in the room! I watered down the mud a bit and used a big paintbrush to texture the top half of the walls to hide the holes and dings. It went a lot faster AND I don't have to sand the walls down before I can paint.

I have one long wall and above the window left to do this evening, and it should be dry by the time we get back from Charleston tomorrow. Then maybe Saturday I can paint (ugh, I really don't like painting - I'm way too messy at it!) and start bringing back my stuff the first of the week. David fixed the overhead vent last night and will be removing the "dead" vent on the other side of the room today. He's also putting up one more piece of trim around the door and the baseboards.

One room at a time . . . . .

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Still waiting to get my rooms back!! :(

Well, be forewarned! Just when you think life is going your way, a big ole stinkin' pile of bad luck plops down in your path!

I had loaded my washer with fabric (of course!), turned it on, turned off the light and contentedly went to bed - which I have done a hundred times or more in my life. Around 5:30 the next morning, the bathroom was calling, so I'm sitting on the pot, thinking to myself, "What IS that I hear running?" I stumble down the dark stairs to the basement, turn the corner from the landing, two steps more to land my foot in over an inch of icy cold water! The valve on the washer messed up, so the washer pumped cold water onto the basement floor continuously from 9:30 pm to 5:30 am. After several choice words escaped and with the water turned off, I began the tedious and back-breaking clean up.

Of course, my dear husband was away for military training, so with the invaluable aid of my in-laws, we started moving out all the STUFF that has accumulated in our basement for the past ten years. Four rooms were carpeted, including my sewing room and the business area - all of that is being replaced. Only minimal areas of the drywall need to be redone, but we're going to repaint the rest of it with Kilz anyway to prevent any unseen growths.

Since my husband has been home, we've taken numerous truck loads of STUFF to the storage unit and just pulled up two more rooms of carpeting last night. The carpet layers will be at the house on Wednesday (tomorrow!) to put new carpet down in my sewing room and business area. Steve, the carpet boss, told my husband that he wanted to do "my" rooms first, because he knew that his wife would be progressively more upset the longer her rooms were out of commission; therefore, he's taking care of those areas first. I knew I liked him for a reason! :)

Anyway, the insurance is being just super and taking care of everything, even the storage unit and the UHaul rental. We had been slowly finishing the basement on our own for the past few years, so we're going to take this opportunity to put in the bathroom and small kitchenette while we're doing this rework. Hopefully, when all is said and done, we'll have a completely finished basement (with at least two floor drains - whoever heard of building a house without floor drains in the basement???). Let's hope anyway!

So, for the time being, just about everything except my stash and a few shelves of books are packed up and stored away. I'm really anxious to get everything back in order, but I'm going to do any repainting and fixing before anything goes back in. Not to mention the massive sorting and tossing that I hope to complete AS it goes back in! It's a whole lot overwhelming to think of all the work coming up, but Rome wasn't built in a day, right? We'll just have to keep moving forward - one step at a time!

Tiredly yours,

Barbara Ann

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Oh, how I wish I didn't have to have a full time job! I have so many projects (not just quilting) going on at one time that I'm never able to finish any of them! I was just thinking about all of my unfinished quilts on the way home from Jessie's track practice today. I'm almost afraid to list them as it might be too depressing!!

Well, Columbus took a chance, didn't he??

1. Purple/green/white RRRR quilt from Quilting Passion forum - need to applique R in each of the four corners then send it off to be quilted, bind and label
2. Animal baby quilt - send it off to be quilted, bind and label
3. Blue and green Tennessee waltz - finish piecing, borders, quilting, bind, label
4. Trojan pride throw - finish piecing, borders, quilting, bind, label
5. Pastel stars - finish piecing, borders, quilting, bind, label
6. "Pond Path by Moonlight" wallhangings - unsew one, piece (and repiece), borders, quilting, bind, label
7. Unknown number of loose block sets
8. New York Beauty wallhanging - finish paper piecing and sew together, borders, quilting, bind, label
9. Memory quilt from craft day - hand quilt???
10. . . . . . .

I'll keep updating this list as I go - my brain's a little mushy right now. I'd like to completely finish at least three of these this year. At least that's my goal! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!!

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Merging Past and Present: Crafting for All Ages

Merging Past and Present: Crafting for All Ages
March 7, 2009

Gilmer County Senior Center, Glenville, WV

This is the article I wrote up for the local newspaper to publish about the crafting event we held on March 7th.

Despite the lack of electricity for the first few hours, it seems that all who attended “Merging Past and Present: Crafting for All Ages” enjoyed themselves with the variety of sights, smells and sounds of the event. Those who chose to take a class or spend time with a demonstrator learned new skills and techniques, while perhaps gaining a friend or two. Personable vendors offered beautiful and beneficial wares for shoppers, while talented individuals volunteered to instruct visitors in the ways of knitting, quilting, crocheting, weaving and spinning. Delicious food was served all day long to warm the body and the traditional sounds of bluegrass and country music filled the evening air, enriching the soul.

Sponsored by Heavenly Hills Fabrics and Crafts of Glenville, the event offered eighteen classes taught by knowledgeable persons from the surrounding area. Although class sizes proved to be small, the individual attention given was perhaps more beneficial to the students. The following persons must be commended for offering their talents and time to teach: Bob Henry Baber, Tresha Cottrill, Tammy Cundiff, Rosie Fisher, Joyce Jones, Sadie Kelble, Heather Papouschek, Sue Papouschek, Sandy Pettit, Jeanette Ramezan, Sandy Sonderman, Cathy Sowa, Caren White and Lynn Yurkiewicz. The wide range of crafting classes ensured that anyone and everyone could find something new to try and learn.

Almost anywhere one could go, there was something to see or do. Vendors displayed their products in the foyer and included Debbie Adams, Marie Frymier, Lost Creek Candle Company, Mountain State Press and Heather and Sue Papouschek. Demonstrators included Joyce Cain, Betty Crofford, Joyce Jones and Lynn and Joe Yurkiewicz. Visitors to the quilt frame could sit and learn to hand quilt with Betty Crofford, JoAnn Hill, Geraldine Marks and Marina Stewart. Event attendees were also asked to add their signatures to the quilt as a remembrance of the day. Beautiful finished quilts were displayed in the main room and back hallway for viewers to vote on their favorites, with Rosie Fisher’s “Rooster Quilt” winning the Viewer’s Choice ribbon. Fawn Valentine, the keynote speaker and a well-known author, presented a lecture on quilts and quilt making in West Virginia’s rich history, and also performed quilt readings for interested attendees who had brought along family heirlooms or found treasures for her to examine and assess.

Sharon Jones provided child care and crafting activities for the very young in a relaxed and fun environment, assisted by Larisa Gordon and Jessica Jones. Invaluable aid was given by volunteers Judy Meads, Barbara Wellings, Lurenda Allison and Monna Beamer. With the assistance of these cheerful and personable ladies, the welcome table and that of the sponsoring business ran smoothly and efficiently. The Rosedale Senior Group provided a wonderfully prepared variety of food for breakfast, dinner and supper. Their warm smiles and friendly manner complimented the tasty dishes and gave a rich flavor to the event.

As the classes and other activities concluded, the event continued with music from local talents including Dan Bonnett, Pat and Patrick Brooks, Jerry Helmick, Steve Holloway, Glen Jones, Roger Lydick and John Poole. They deserve so much gratitude and praise for appearing on such short notice and playing so very well for the gathering crowd. The Gilmer County Stardust Dancers also performed, entertaining the crowd with their lively routines and musical variety. The final act was given by Betty Jo and the Countryaires, an entertaining and gifted musical group with strong Gilmer County roots. They provided wonderful music in a relaxed and, at times, amusing way.

Barbara Ann Beamer Jones of Heavenly Hills Fabrics and Crafts was very blessed by all the help and assistance of so many individuals and groups. First and foremost, she would like to thank her husband, David, for his unwavering assistance, support and encouragement through the event’s conception, execution and conclusion. Our children, Jessica and Alex, were tremendous helpers as well, and their patience, understanding and many kindnesses throughout the last six months are so appreciated. David’s parents, Rodney and Joyce Jones, provided invaluable help with the set-up and clean-up of the event, not to mention their support through out the day itself. During the clean up time, it was such a huge help to see all the extra hands working unselfishly – thank you, Lurenda Allison, Monna Beamer, Sallie Mathess and Bill Wolfe. Gerry Moore, a very dear friend and part of the Rosedale Senior Group, was so very encouraging and supportive to Barbara – always ready to listen and offer advice whenever a brainstorm raged. Sadie Kelble, Tresha Cottrill, Cathy Sowa, Betty Crofford, Judy Meads, Lurenda Allison: your creative ideas, thoughtful and encouraging words and kind assistance is so appreciated. The event ran so smoothly because of your time and efforts. Barbara would also like to thank Sallie Mathess of the Gilmer County Senior Center for her extra time and effort, not to mention answering all kinds of questions and never sounding annoyed. Even though we did not receive the grant for which we applied, we were able to continue the event with the quiet aid from Waco Oil & Gas and an anonymous donor.

This event was a success not only because of its community outreach focus and the variety of activities offered, but primarily due to the people involved. The teachers and students, demonstrators and vendors, presenters and lecturers, musicians and dancers, volunteers and helpers – you all made this event into a success. Your kind generosity with your time, talents and efforts are so appreciated. May you continue to be blessed with health and happiness always. THANK YOU!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Come in! Come in!!


It's just a little corner of the world, but I like it! I spent most of yesterday cleaning, organizing and sorting. (What was I thinking when we put carpet in here! I had to vaccum the threads by hand!!) Anyway, I reorganized my fabrics in the closet my accommodating husband built for me:

In these two photos, you can see the top shelf which has the longest, multicolored fabrics - mostly large prints. In the picture on the left, the next shelf down has a stack of fabrics that are bundled together for particular projects. There are other projects in various stages of completion in small totes and baskets on the floor under these shelves.
This is looking into the closet and to the right. The basket on the top is filled (read as stuffed!!) with plastic bags of blocks waiting to put into quilt tops. Some are from block exchanges, but most are purchased embroidered blocks from Ebay. I've since stopped buying them, as I have so many sets and have yet to use them. My checkbook breathed a sigh of relief!
On the floor under this corner shelf is a small clear tote of little scraps I'll crazy-quilt-style sew onto 10 1/2" squares someday!

If you look to the left from the door, you'll see this. On the left of the tip top shelf is the Christmas prints, two stacks deep - one behind the other. The small stack in the middle and the one on the right are smaller cuts of multi-colored cuts - and yes, there is another stack behind this front one!

The multicolored continue onto the second shelf and are two stacks deep with two small stacks deep in between.
The bottom shelf is fat quarters, two piles deep. Under this shelf is a two drawer filing cabinet and three plastic drawers with cut squares separated by size. The bottom drawer of the filing cabinet is patterns with the overflow on top. That little face you see is a large doll that was my Grandmother's, then my Mom's, and now mine. Here's a better picture:
The little doll is one of the very few toys my Mom had growing up. She is one of eleven children raised in rural West Virginia and there just wasn't enough money to go around. The larger doll is one of about four that my Grandmother had. She would cut and style their hair, even give them permanents!

Now for a little swing around the sewing room itself. Starting from the door and working our way around:

The bookcase bottom (behind the concealing doors) is filled to the brim with quilting magazines. The binders on top are quilting magazines, too. The top two plastic drawer organizers are thread, with the bottom one being buttons. The wooden buffet came from our local college's auction, with the countertop costing much more than the piece itself.

This buffet is crammed with stuff - lace, ribbon, embroidery floss, cross-stitch patterns, paints, notions, felt pieces, bobbins - all kinds of stuff!

That box on top is one of the last spots to clean - it's papers, my worst nemesis!

This is an old recliner that found its way into my sewing room. My husband built in the two bookcases which are also full to the brim. The large white binders have more quilt magazines. There are all kinds of books here: quilting, sewing, cross-stitch . . . even coloring books I've purchased from the dollar store for embroidering.
You can see a corner of my sewing table with cut pieces for my next project.

A straight-on shot of the bookcase under the window.

If you look closely at the very first picture in this post, you're looking directly at my sewing table. It's not fancy, but it's very solid with two drawers in front. I bought it at the college auction also.

This framed block is hanging on the wall beside the window. When my beloved sister, Sonja, was killed in a car accident in 2000, I made the block for her funeral. She loved peach and green together and it helped me focus on something besides our loss. I keep her business card in the corner of the frame.
Sonja Sue Beamer
September 26, 1966 to April 6, 2000
Hanging directly in front of my sewing machine is a quilt top I work on off and on. It's from a class I took at Jackson's Mills to Kerri Smith:
Past the closet doorway is a small cutting area:

Yes, that was a hole in the wall - we used to have a phone there, but while finishing the basement, we moved it. My husband patched it, but we just haven't gotten around to painting the wall. Because with my type A personality, that would mean taking everything out and repainting every wall!!

Under the table are more drawers for different sizes of strips, not to mention a small tote and three boxes of scraps for the aforementioned crazy quilt!

These are three dresses Mom saved for me from my own childhood - I'd like to find some older decorative wire hangers to hang them with.

Okay, so it's not a grand studio - but it works wonderfully for me and I'm tickled to pieces just to have a room of my very own! When it's nice and clean like this, I can go down and sit and just relax. Even if I do nothing but sit there, it's so nice to be surrounded by my favorite things!