Sunday, November 30, 2014

Good Eating

I am so happy to announce the release of my new cookbook. It is time to have healthy food and good tasting food at the same time. Changing to a vegetarian diet was a difficult twist that upset my life. I understood all of the rational for eating better, but could not find food that tasted like the food I was used to eating. I set out on a journey to learn more about food and soul food cooking. I wanted to know why soul food was considered so bad.

My family was pretty upset about my change. They all love soul food but I never liked chitterlings, so maybe that is why I leaned towards a change easier than many others. I also want to be healthy. I found that we are not taught what it takes to make our bodies healthy, especially where food is concerned.

Over time I found some answers. I tried recipes in a lot of cookbooks to no avail. Then I remembered that we basically ate fresh food right out of the garden. I also remembered that my Home Economics teacher said that beans were a high source of protein. So I started there. Much to my surprise, I found out that people had been eating vegetarian food for over 100 years-maybe longer. I couldn't help but wonder why I had never heard of different kinds of eating while others knew a lot about it. And if it encouraged health, why wasn't that information made readily available to all of us.

I can't say enough about my love of biscuits. I didn't want to give them up, but I had long given up lard and crisco and that is how my auntie taught me to make them. I tried to make them with my new found ingredients. We often laugh about those hard little pieces of bread that were reminiscent of rocks. My nephews say they would use them to throw at the apples to make them fall from the top of the tree. I got to say that it was pretty bad. Whole wheat flour and cold pressed oils only made biscuits that were a far far cry from the light and fluffy biscuits of Marie Ponder's kitchen.

After so much trial and lots of error, I finally got it together. It was more about the technique than the ingredients. Don't get me wrong now, the ingredients do play a roll but the soft melt-in-your-mouth texture is in the touch. Breads and desserts are the biggest challenge. I could always stir up some squash, steam some broccoli or cook some lentils, no real challenge there, but that bread! I have now become know for those biscuits. When I travel to visit friends, they ask if I will make biscuits.

Now many foodies swear off bread and that is alright too. I like to live in the world of moderation and I think of bread as something I can have in moderation. Anyway, long story short is the birth of "Cuisine On The Nile Vegetarian Cookbook." Check it out at

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sewing It Up

I think of this as a big puzzle and I love puzzles. As a matter of fact, my whole family love puzzles. My brother talks of fond memories of putting puzzles together with our Mom. Not to mention all the puzzle fun we have had at family reunions.

Once I get all the pieces together, I stand back to see if it all works. Then I am ready to sew down all of the pieces. I use two different techniques for sewing the pieces to the foundation. I opted to sew this one with straight stitches as opposed to a zigzag stitch. You can hardly tell where I stitched.

Of course I still have a long way to go with the stitching but so far the start is promising. I'm still in the process of deciding the background. Pretty sure it is going to be a print pattern although I usually use a solid fabric for the background.

I haven't started to sew the lips yet. I saved them for last. I need to have a stretch of uninterrupted time to focus on them. I don't want to lose that look with rushed and bungled stitches.

You may have noticed that I finished the blouse and all outside edges. What I absolutely love- is the fact that the work ticks along over time. It is as if I have done what I always say is the key to art. I have arrested time and I will slowly bring it back to movement as it develops.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Great Beginnings

I am feeling really good about the start of this quilt. Each day I get a little bit done and then I put it back on the design wall.  I have so many things to think about on it. Like the background, I haven't even thought about the background.  I would like it to be a print that doesn't distract from the portrait but I am not sure yet what that will be.
I also can't wait to start sewing all those pieces down. And I plan to do some thread painting in the hair, especially in the gray area. I just need to finish that little spot near the eye.

A couple of days passed and I was able to finish piecing the entire face. The next step will be at the sewing machine.
I will post the next stage as soon as I can find a little bit more time to work,. You'll see

Monday, October 20, 2014

In Focus

I find that as the days tick by, the face gets more and more in focus. Just filling in the little sections now. Can't hardly wait to move to the next phase. I get a little anxious thinking of what comes next as I get to the end of each phase. Didn't get to the nose yet but I am so happy with the eyes and the mouth.

Maybe the next time I post I will have all the little spots filled in. It has been hard for me to find a big block of time to work on it. I am sure that I'll at least get one of the sections finished. Thanks for checking in with my progress.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Moving Along

I am moving along with this project. Each day I put on a few more pieces. The good news is that I don't have to finish until next spring. I love when I can take my time and don't have to rush through it.
I already see something that needs changing. I am glad I see it now and not later like I have on so many other quilts. Every time I do a new one, I learn a lot more. This time I was concerned that I might not be able to capture the smile in her eyes. I was so worried about it because her mouth is not really turned up in a great smile. I could tell from the picture that she was smiling and hoped that I could capture that. It seems that I have.

I still have a long way to go but it feels good so far. I am still waiting to hear what all of you think. Maybe when I do a little more work on it you will tell me what you think.
I do have to say thanks for checking in on my progress.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Just the other day I met a wonderful lady who told me how much she enjoyed my blog. I was surprised and then I realized that one never knows who is reading the gibberish that they write. She said that she truly enjoyed following my progress on After the Funeral-1943. Upon hearing that, I thought I might take the plunge and step out with another project in progress.

It will not be easy for me and just know that it WILL change as time goes on. At the bottom of my well of fear is that someone may judge the unfinished project as a mess. It's true it is always a mess until it is finished. Maybe I am afraid someone will go away at the half way point and never know how beautiful it turned out. or maybe???????????? Now is a good time to stop my rant.

Today, I throw caution to the wind and post my latest work in progress. I don't have a title yet but hopefully I will be inspired with one soon. Please write something so I will know what you think. I love knowing what other people think.

The lips were the hardest part so far, although I have found that if I don't set the eyes just right You can loose the whole likeness.

Don't forget to write something.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Been Working

I was amazed to find that I had not written anything since July. The months are rolling by so fast, but I have been working. Maybe that is why it seems like they are going by fast, because I had my head buried in my work.
Then I go from the sewing machine to the long arm quilting machine. I am thoroughly enjoying myself. I have said so many times that I feel guilty when people suggest they love my work. When you do what you love it doesn't feel like work. Sometimes it feels like the quilts spring from my fingertips. What I do comes to me easily. Sure time and skill do go into the work but the pleasure I feel is such a great reward.
I am going to split my time a little better and Keep this blog alive. But for now I have to rush off to work. Promise to post new stuff soon. :-)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Patrice Lumumba Birthday

(From Wikipedia) Patrice Émery Lumumba (born Élias Okit'Asombo; 2 July 1925 – 17 January 1961) was a Congolese independence leader and the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo). As founder and leader of the Mouvement National Congolais, Lumumba helped win his country's independence from Belgium in 1960.
Within twelve weeks, Lumumba's government was deposed in a coup during the Congo Crisis. The main reason he was ousted from power was his opposition to Belgian-backed secession of the mineral-rich Katanga province.[4] Lumumba was subsequently imprisoned by state authorities under Joseph-Desiré Mobutu and executed by firing squad under the command of the secessionist Katangan authorities. The United Nations, which he had asked to come to the Congo, did not intervene to save him. Belgium, the United States (via the CIA), and the United Kingdom (via MI6) have all been accused of involvement in Lumumba's death.
This new t-shirt is a commemoration of the great leader just in time for his birthday!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Truth

I have to admit that I have not been keeping up with posting these shirts each week like I promised. I am finally getting it back together.

This week's t-shirt is focused on a saying that my grandmother used to say. I laugh now to think of her saying "It's easy to remember the truth."

Please check out my and order a shirt today. The orders will not get filled unless all 55 shirts are sold. Please please help me  reach this goal.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

New Book

I wanted to create something that was unlike all the art quilt pattern books available. I also wanted to make it clear and easy for all levels of quilters. This turned out to be a great way to use all those saved scraps.

The first scrappy quilt I made was such a hit, I thought that maybe other quilters would want to know how to do this. I also wanted this pattern to be a break from rigid rules of piecework. The blocks are free form and ever changing. It gives the quilter a chance to be creative in building the blocks.

The book features the pattern for applique of a lady with flowing hair. So easy to use.

I am excited that this book is available now at


Order your copy today and think of a gift for a quilting friend.

Atlanta Pride

I moved to Atlanta many many years ago. I find that without travel one tends to take home for granted. Recently I visited South Carolina and it opened my appreciation of the dry land in Atlanta. While in South Carolina, I looked over at the wet marshland off the side of the road as we moved along, just curious about walking in such an area. I could see myself sloshing through with big rubber boots, not the cute sandals I was wearing. That was not my idea of an afternoon stroll. I do have to admit that I loved the massive old trees that had been so strategically preserved.

Yesterday, I was riding along an Atlanta highway and I looked over to the dry grassy area. I found myself thinking that I like the dryness. Instantly realizing that it was training and association that fueled that love but loved it none the less.

I appreciated the wetlands but couldn't wait to get back home. This new t-shirt is my tribute to the city I have come to love. The picture is from my quilt A-T-L which is the skyline of Atlanta. This week I have offered it in two colors.
Get yours today at

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tees that Matter

I am on a mission to create a new t-shirt every week for the rest of the year. When I am finished, people will own some beautiful and meaningful t-shirts. My starting point will ensure that I create 40 t-shirts by the end of the year.

I have so many wonderful t-shirts planned. Don't worry, one or more of these weeks I will hit on something that you want. Help me spread the word by telling everyone you know about this project. And when you see one that looks just like one a friend will love, share for me. It is my prayer that they all will be a big hit.

This weeks' shirt is Lumumba/Africa and last weeks' shirt was Quilters are loved.
I will post a new one here each week. Do me a favor and be on the look out for them and get ready to get some! They make awesome gifts too.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

After The Funeral-1943

I am so pleased to present the final version of After The Funeral-1943. When I started this quilt I had no idea what a great adventure it would be. I was terrified to share my process-step by step, but I took a deep breath and dived in.

I can truly say that I followed the path of the yellow brick road. I meet some scary creatures along the way and I hung in there. I found out that this picture was after the funeral of my grandfather- John Lindsey Lewis. He was born and lived his entire life in McDonough, GA. He was a great family man-father of ten children. A wonderful side note is that almost all of his children went to college and graduated in the 1930's and 40's. I am sure it was a sad day for the grown ups, but the children saw it as another day to play in my grandmother's wonderful yard. Two cousins (Aileen Harris and Darryl Lewis) are missing from the picture, however, I am sure they were around somewhere. I started this quilt because I wanted to be in an exhibit about Georgia landscapes and people. Sad to say that I was not accepted into the exhibit but ended up with a family treasure about a great Georgia family-mine!

I was surprised by the reception of this quilt at the family reunion last year (as unfinished as it was). I pray that I will be able to bring more of the old family pictures to life. I'm pretty sure, I probably won't broad-cast the process to the world. I like the solitude of the work. I cherish being alone in a room making the magic happen. I found that I like looking at the end result and knowing inside the mistakes I made and how I fixed them. My secret.

Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Andrea Jones

Andrea Jones was born to Walter Jones and Marion Lewis Jones. She is the sole survivor of the children featured on this quilt. Andrea is a very creative person. She makes beautiful soft sculpture dolls and other miniature items. She made countless Cabbage Patch dolls at the height of the Cabbage Patch craze. Andrea has also made many Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls.  Her favorite thing is to work with children.
I am proud to present Andrea Jones as the final face on this quilt. I know it has been a long time coming but I have gotten swept up by Life. Forgive me. Trust that I have been squeezing the most gusto out of it though.