Friday, December 01, 2006


Well, it is has been awhile... I've been busy as usual, but spreading my creative wings in a different direction. Hailey is going to be in a Christmas program this weekend and will be a cat. She needed a costume. I didn't have a pattern as I don't "sew", I "quilt". And I don't know enough about patterns to know what would be best to buy. So, I let her pick out some fabric and sat in the middle of the living room floor with my scissors and this is what I came up with. I thought it turned out rather well considering it was my first costume. I was really stressed out about how I was going to do it, but once I got started, it all kind of came together. It must have been a blessing from God Himself. I used fleece, so she can wear it for pajamas after the play is done. I feel better about spending the time and effort knowing she'll wear them more than just for the play. I've also been making some ornaments. Do any of you have any favorite ornaments you enjoy making? I'm always looking for new ideas.

Monday, November 20, 2006

More instructions...

Cut from your template plastic a 3 1/4" square.
Then, mark to the right of each point with a permanent marker about 5/8" in from the left. Connect the points to form an off-centered X.

*Label it with the word "top" on the front as it will be very important that you use the correct side!

Next, place the template on the quilt on every seam matching the X with the seams. Trace around the outside of the template.

Then using a good pair of scissors, cut out each new "square" that you had traced on the line.

Lay out your squares putting them together like a puzzle to create the pinwheels. (They go in the same place they were in when you cut them out, just turned.)

Sew them together. Add another set of border strips.

Using more template plastic, cut a 2 1/2" square, then cut on the diagonal. Use this triangle to trim off the corners.

There you go, top completed. You can either birth it and quilt, or quilt and bind. Whichever you choose, but both methods work well.

Well, has anyone started one yet? I hope to see some soon!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Very well then...

You ladies are adorable. How can I resist? ;c)

Okay, we all have limited amounts of time, so I'll just be giving small amounts of instruction at a time. Also, I'm going to assume that everyone knows how to cut, measure and piece, etc. So, I won't always be going into really specific details. However, if you do have a question, please let me know either here or email.

You will need at least 3 fabrics, but you can have as many as 13.
  • You will need something either solid or very busy for the border fabric as it should blend easily with itself when cut and pieced back together. You will need four 2 3/4" x WOF strips per placemat.
  • For the pinwheels, use a variety of value in your choices. You can use only two fabrics if you like (checkerboard style), or you can pick 12 different fabrics. You will need twelve 4 1/2" squares.

Sew your squares together 3 x 4. And add a border around them with your strips. I used a simple diagonal layout, but feel free to go as random as you like. Just make sure that you don't have two matching fabrics side by side or top to bottom. I would also suggest pressing VERY well and using spray starch! You will be cutting using scissors in the next step and it will so much easier if your piece is nice and flat with a bit of stiffness.

Okay, this should keep all busy long enough for me to take a nap. I only had about 4 hours sleep last night and spent nearly that long at church this morning, followed by a shopping trip with hubby and the kids. Needless to say, I'm worn out!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Tessellated Pinwheel Placemats...

Okay, there have been a few questions on how to make these. Would you like me to post instructions? Perhaps in installments? Let me know and I'll see what I can do. We'll think of it as an early Christmas present from me to you. :c) It really is easy, but you will need some clear template plastic.

Raspberry Tea in Tuscany

Yippee! I finished the top of my Raspberry Tea in Tuscany quilt! I am ashamed to admit that I started this quilt about three years ago. But being that it is for myself, it kept being put on the back burner while I did quilts for others. Now, who knows how long it will take before it is actually quilted. LOL!

TPP Top Done

Here you are as promised. The top is done, but I won't be quilting it today. I'm going to work on some borders of another quilt. As you can see, the top is finished off by adding another set of border strips and then trimming off the corners.

TPP Part 3

Here you go... I've sewn the pieces back together. This is such a fun pattern. Now, I still have a bit more to do to finish the top and I'll post a pic of that too. It really is amazing... you cut and sew squares together... you cut up the piece into more squares, then sew the new squares back together. This is truly the easiest way I've come across to make pinwheels. My mom loves pinwheels and because I tend to be such a perfectionist, I have yet to make her anything as I don't want to drive myself crazy trying to get a whole bunch of triangle points to match up. Not the case with this pattern! Just regular square seams to match, so no problems with that! Okay, I'm off to finish the top of this one now. I'll be back shortly to post the pic.

Friday, November 17, 2006

TPP Part 2

Here you go... part 2. I cut up that beautiful piecing into 20 pieces! Seems like a shame doesn't it. LOL! If you know where I'm going with this, you know it is a good thing. If you don't, come back soon and you'll see. ;c)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Trying Twelve Companion

Last year for Christmas, I made the Trying Twelve quilt for my sister (which is really a smaller version of Turning Twenty). This year I decided to make a pillow for her with yarns to match. There are some gorgeous metallics mixed in there, but you can't see them in the pic.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

TPP Part 1

This is the first part of the Tessellated Pinwheel placemats I'm making for my mom for Christmas. I don't know where this pattern originated from, but I saw a friend do it and had to give it a try. I have been dying to do it ever since, but have way to many UFOs to justify doing something new... until I realized it would be a great Christmas present. LOL!

Countdown to Christmas

This was a mystery project I did several years ago. It is an online mystery... 15 minutes or less a day for 15 days. It was so much fun! To make it even more fun, I had my hubby pick out all the fabrics by himself. I think he did a pretty good job!

Thanksgiving Decor...

I just love the fall season with all it's autumnal colors. I could hardly wait this year to put up my Thanksgiving quilts! This first is the November one of the calendar series. The second one I made up quite a few years ago when I was first learning how to quilt.

Underground Railroad BOM #3

We presented our Flying Geese blocks in class and discussed how to best make the next block. And, oh how excited and blessed I was to win the drawing... the Triangle Square Up ruler by Eleanor Burns. What a great treat!

The discussion centered mostly on food this time around. That the Thanksgiving feasts would probably consist more of beans, corn, roots and berries. How precious it was, the candy we still have today that was made in that time (Necco Wafers). That they started out with a huge breakfast and left the food out to be eaten at lunch and dinner. And in the summer, they would suffer from the "summer complaint", not realizing it was from the left out food in the warm temps. Thank goodness for the refrigerators today!

We also talked about "visitors" and how they would easily stay for a month or more! Can you imagine??? However, unlike today, they were expected to pitch in and help out. And if the everyday person wanted to visit, they needed a calling card. If they showed up early instead of at the correct time, or without a card at all... there was no obligation to see them. Now, that is something that could be useful in my life sometimes! LOL!

Halloween Costumes

Forgive me for the overdue updates. Been sick, but am feeling so much better now. The kids had a wonderful time for Halloween. The kids had me make Eeyore's Rice Creepy Eyeballs. Which are really rice crispy treats rolled into small balls, covered with white icing and topped with a red hot candy and with red food coloring painted veins. They were pretty gross looking, but oh, so yummy! Gentry was Pinocchio and Hailey was Ariel...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Stairstepper Completed

I finally finished the binding and gave the Stairstepper to my step-mom. I have two quilts that we picked out for me to make for her and this was the first one. I won't be starting on the next one until after the New Year.

I also managed to make another angel hug. A flannel rag quilt that I made from donated charms from my dear friend, Donna.

Today will be all about cutting! I have several projects that need borders and such, so when I head over to the church I probably won't even bother taking my machine... just fabric and cutting supplies.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Round Two

Finally! I just finished my round on Marge's block (Round 2). It took me forever to finally decide what I should do for it! I do hope I made a good choice.

The next "robin" came in the mail this week... Jane's. The colors are so different from the other two and will be a nice change. It is very geometric and I'm thinking of softening it a bit with some applique. Applique is definitely not one of my strong suits, but I'll do my best. I'm just not sure exactly "what" I should applique on to it. I do have an idea... (Hint: Inspired by part of the star.) I'm definitely open to suggestions though!

I also got the next theme for the Ostrich Challenge. At first, I thought it would take me forever to come up with an idea, but in less than two minutes later I was inspired! It's a secret though and one that won't be revealed too soon, as I have many other things that need my attention and a few months to complete this round in the OC.

School starts back up with the kids and I tomorrow. I have really enjoyed this fall break and figure it will take me a few days to get back in the swing of things. It doesn't help that I'm hoping we can take a field trip on Tuesday. It is up to the hubby, but I'm hoping to take the kids to the corn maze!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Underground Railroad BOM #2

We had our second presentation for the Underground Railroad BOM this morning. I had finished all of the cutting for the blocks and completed the Log Cabin block. Forgive the lines, I had it folded and stored in a ziplock bag and didn't bother to iron them out before taking the picture. This month we will be working on the Flying Geese block. Today we talked a bit about aprons, or should I say "pinner aprons", as they were pinned with straight pins to the clothing... they didn't want to "waste" the extra fabric to make the strips that could be used to tie them on. They were very frugal in that time apparently. I do wonder how many were poked with those pins. Hmm...

Halloween Time...

Okay, well, we are still a couple of weeks away, but I already started hanging my decorations. Here are two wall-hangings. The first is one that I made 11 years ago when I just started quilting.

The other is part of the calendar series. I have two other ones I started last year, but I don't know if I'll find the time to get either finished yet.

Retreat Part 3

Okay, now on to Sunday. Got up early and dressed up in our tiaras, gloves, jewelry, etc. for Breakfast at Tiffany's! On the table were little gift bags that were made to look like purses. Inside each one was a FQ and the most adorable ornament... mauve with black feather type stuff on the top, the words "Quilt Diva" written on it! Can't wait to hang it on my tree this Christmas! We are supposed to use the FQ in a Breakfast at Tiffany's quilt in the next three months. We voted for the best Audrey and she got a prize.

Afterwards, we changed back to our normal selves and started packing up our rooms. Once that was done, we had show and tell followed by the auction. I didn't bid on anything, but my friend did and won this adorable pumpkin plate with coordinating fabric... she kept the plate and gave the fabric to me! Now, I just need to decide what to use it for???

Then we packed up all our sewing stuff and headed home. Now, what I haven't mentioned yet is that there were not any cell phones that worked while we were there... completely cut off from the rest of the world it seemed. As we were headed out of the area and on to the highway, all the phones started going off at the same time! Lots of loved ones demanding to know why there calls were not answered or returned. It was pretty funny hearing all the ladies trying to explain the situation all at the same time on each of their phones. We drove straight home and that was the end of a glorious weekend. I hope we don't wait too long to have the next retreat!

Retreat Part 2

Got up early Saturday morning after just a few hours of sleep and barely got dressed in time to eat breakfast. Afterwards two other ladies and I went on a hike while others went to their classes. We almost got lost as the trail ended up being hidden by not only a ton of fallen leaves, but also a fallen "tree"! LOL! However, being that it was a "self-guided" trail, I wasn't about to give up! So, I finally found my way around the tree. Then we walked down to the dock on the lake for a bit.

After that I broke off from the ladies, went back to my room for a nice refreshing shower and some peaceful time of grooming (something I never get to do at home with the kids running in and out every two seconds. LOL!).

Then, I took a little while to add a couple more rows to my log cabin quilt and visit with the ladies until lunch. After lunch it was time for the winner of the chocolate FQ basket, which I didn't win.

Finally, it was class time for me! I was so excited about finally getting to take one of the classes. The overall design is great! However, it took longer than expected and I was lucky, as were the others, after several hours to have one block done!

I was so pleased when it was finally dinner time, as I needed a bit of a break! At the table we had these cute little plastic champagne glasses with a pretty piece of chocolate inside. Attached was a note inviting us to Breakfast at Tiffany's in the morning.

After dinner we played a game and I got my goodie bag (every one got one) along with two picks from the goodie basket. The goodie bag was filled with all sorts of things including a tooth brush, an adorable notepad, pens, bottled water, peanutbutter crackers and even three FQs! The two items I retrieved from the goodie basket were a thimble and a 1/4" seam guide. The game that was played involved being put into groups, given a paper bag, pen and poster board. You had 5 miuntes to empty the contents of the bag and create a story by taping the items to the board. The story had to begin with "Quilting is better than..." We didn't win, but it was fun anyway. And I can't post the little tale, as it ended up being a tad racey.

Then we had the trunk show/lecture with Janet Jones Worley (author of "Quilts for Chocolate Lovers"). She was hilarious!

Afterwards, I put the mystery stuff away and went back to log cabin and finished up the center. Woohoo! I was so pleased with myself at that moment. However, it was now after 2:00 am again, so off to bed for me.

Retreat Part 1

I've been back from the retreat since last Sunday night, but I had a sinus infection and haven't been able to accomplish much of anything, including writing about the wonderful time I had. But I'm better now and ready to catch you all up on everything!

I had a blast!!! It was so much fun! The activities were great, the ladies (probably around 18)were great, the food was great! I got lots of free goodies while I was there, which was good as I had no budget for the vendors (there were two) or anything.
Let's start with Friday. When we stopped in Jackson for the quilt stores I found some of the elusive Jennifer Chiaverini Cross-Country Quilters fabric that I need for my Autumn Sampler. So, yes I bought a half-yard of each as that was a bit more than my weekend budget would allow.

Next we arrived at Natchez Trace at the Pin Oak Lodge. The area was so very beautiful and peaceful that I could have stayed forever and the weather was wonderful. Once we got settled in, we had a great lunch... catfish, roast beef and all sorts of side dishes... yummy! Actually, all of the meals were great... no complaints! Then we set up our sewing stuff in a big meeting room. They split up into groups for various classes. I didn't have a class at that time so I sat near one of the groups and worked on a binding. One of the ladies made a mistake so I spent some time trying to help her correct the problem. It all worked out in the end, thank goodness!

Later after dinner, we did the block swap and the purse scavenger hunt. I won two prizes for the hunt for having band-aids and a tin of Altoids in my purse. One prize was a fabric wallet and the other was a little purse type of thing that I can't remember what the name was... something like hugga-bug??? Anyway, it is made from flannel and is like an oversized change purse type of thing that could hold a cell phone or who knows what. It is really cute though. If you know the proper name, please post it for me. :)

For the swap, they placed the blocks on a table and we walked around in "cake walk" fashion while one of the ladies clapped a beat, picking up a block wherever we stopped. Once we all had 12 blocks we then did some swapping among ourselves to try to get a better balance. I spent the next hour or so putting them all together. I didn't use a sashing or anything as I didn't have any extra fabric with me, but I did think of an idea for what I want to do with the border... so I know what I'll be working on in the next few weeks. I'll take a picture after I get that part done.

The rest of the evening I worked on getting my log cabin blocks (Raspberry Tea in Tuscany quilt) put together. Taking along some UFOs was a great idea! I stayed up until sometime after 2:00 and then called it a day.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

6 Days to go....

I finished six of the twelve blocks today for the retreat block swap. The other six will have more red than green. I will probably not be able to work on them tomorrow though. We have a special day at church and then will hopefully make it to the fair. I am really looking forward to eating cotton candy and a funnel cake. :c)

I had a great mail week! I received all sorts of goodies. One is from my Aunt Kathleen, well actually my husband's great-aunt, but all the same to me. She sent me a book that I have been looking everywhere for... "Hidden in Plain View". It is a story about underground railroad quilts and is so timely considering my BOM class. Thank you again, Kathleen! ;c) And I got a package with wonderful puzzle books for the kids, both are about Ancient Egypt, which I'm fascinated about. My dear friend that sent those also sent me a great deal of flannel charms for me to use in making more angel hug quilts. I also received the latest Quiltmaker magazine and Keepsake Quilting catalog. There were a few other arrivals, but those were my favorites. Don't you just love have good mail days? But good mail weeks are even so much better!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Countdown to Retreat! 7 Days to go...

I'm excited and overwhelmed all at the same time! I have so much to do and prepare for that I am not completely positive that I'll get it all done. For now, I'm focusing on the block swap. I'm making 12 blocks, all of which are red, green and cream, as per instructions. Yes, it is for a Christmas quilt. I'm doing some chain piecing so I have 6 of them half done. I'll post a picture tomorrow.

It has been so busy around here. Today was fun with the kids after school was all done. They wanted to make a craft, so I took leftover felt and decided to let them make some pumpkins, well actually Jack-'o-lanterns. I don't know where I came up with the idea, of sewing two pieces together using raffia, but it worked great! I highly recommend it!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


That stands for Wednesday Night Alive which kicked off last night at our church. It is Youth Club for the kids and a choice of classes for adults. We also have dinner there which is usually pretty yummy. :)

The youth club consists of bible study, crafts, recreation and choir. It also has a theme each week. Last night was "school spirit" and the kids were supposed to wear school shirts. So, I finished the shirts on Tuesday. LOL!

Hubby and I are taking the same class, "Mighty Acts of God" which comes with a 400 page book covering both Testaments. It sounds very interesting, and while I love reading, I tend to be a slow reader. I keep going back over the text, making sure I didn't miss anything, etc. So, we'll see how well I'm able to keep up with everyone.

Worked on the binding of the angel hug today. A little hard as I have a sore thumbnail... or what is part of a nail. Jammed it several days ago and it tore about 1/3 of the way down, but only part way off, so I still have to keep it bandaged up so it doesn't snag on something and rip even more. I haven't had this happen since I was a teenager, forgot how much it hurts. I did see stars at the time though. LOL!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Exciting News!

Before I go into the exciting news, I want to thank Quiltpixie for the wonderful suggestions! I think the idea of going to a museum is perfect! I love to go and very rarely ever do. So, thank you very much!

Also, I finished the quilted name tag. It didn't turn out as well as I would have hoped, but it will definitely work all the same.
I have the Stairstepper quilt over 75% quilted and hope to work on it tonight. Isn't it amazing though how your day never really goes the way you thought it would? So, best laid plans and all that.

But, first, I have to make some school shirts for the kids. They have youth club tomorrow night at church and the theme is "School Pride"... so, I'm making them shirts. For Hailey I'm also making a ponytail/hair thing and decorating the cuffs of some socks. I'll post a pic when I'm done.
Now, on to the big news! I'm going on my very first quilt retreat! The closest I've ever come to going on one is by reading Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilt books. LOL! It is in October and will be full of all sorts of "quilty" things. I have a lot to do to get ready for it though. I need to find the fabric and pre-cut it for the class I'll take there. I need to get fabric for and make 12 blocks for a block swap. There is also a basket to fill with FQ's that someone will win in a drawing, I need to get the fabric for that as well. I'll post more on these things and on the rest later on. I'm so excited though I've had trouble sleeping at nights. LOL!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Oh, what a wonderful start to my Thursday morning! Hubby has to go wait for service people at a rental property, so he took the kids with them and they are going to do school there... I get the day off! And, I get the house all to myself! I have tons of PMs and emails to catch up on and then I'm going to work on quilty stuff!

I did manage to get a bit done this week, not nearly enough though! A friend gave me a gift of a membership to the local quilt guild which was so very sweet! And very needed as I could use the time out of the house. So, I've been working on some stuff for that... the BOM for this month is Antique Tiles, such an easy pattern. So, I did that. And we also are supposed to turn our name tag into a little quilted name tag. Now, I could have just put some fabric strips around it and then quilted it like that... but why would I do that when I have so much time on my hands... NOT! LOL! Yes, I do tend to make things more complicated than they have to be. I have two sides done... some pieces consist of HST that are only 1/4"! The rest is more of a random crazy type patchwork, but without the embroidery. I'll be sure to post a pic when I'm done. I would like to finish the top of it by this weekend.

During my spare time... however minimal it may be... I've been reading "The Preacher's Daughter". So far, I really like it. And I have often longed for a much simpler existence, like those of the Amish. Sometimes I think that all of our "modern conveniences" are really just making things more complicated overall. As say this as I'm typing on my computer... LOL! Yes, I do feel a bit like a hypocrite. LOL!

Quiltpixie, you mentioned my weightloss. I'm still working on it, still losing, slowly but surely. However, I don't have a "treat" planned for my 40 pound goal. And after the expense of this past reward, hubby has definitely said I need something a lot less expensive this time around. And with the holidays coming, he is absolutely right. So, I'm definitely open to suggestions!!! I have already done a book and a computer game, so I would like something different. Please post any ideas... I really think it helps to stay focuses when you have something to look forward to.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Underground Railroad BOM #1

Well, today was the day! I finally got to go to my first BOM presentation for the Underground Railroad (a treat for losing 30 pounds). It was great!

It was only an hour long so we had to spend some time going over all the stuff we were given... we got our book, "Underground Railroad Sampler" by Eleanor Burns. We were given our wonderful reproduction fabric. Instead of reds, we are using pinks, which pleased me a lot as my living room walls are mauve and red would really clash!

And we were given 4 sheets of pre-printed labels to put on each and every piece of fabric we cut before storing them in separate baggies per block. Our homework is to cut ALL of the fabric for the entire quilt (thus the immediate need for the labels and baggies) and to make the Log Cabin block. Ours is to be made with a black center to indicate a "safe" house.

I did learn several interesting facts, some of which I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing publicly or using a voice above a whisper , as they deal with "ladies of the night" and also issues of a hygienic nature. LOL! However, one fact I found interesting is that out of then entire US population, 3% had slaves. I always thought the number was a lot higher than that... though any percentage at all is horrible. And I was always under the impression that the main reason for the war was slavery, when actually it was more about state's rights and that slavery was already on the way to being gone. I do love the thought that women used this wonderful means of quilting to help aid those on the run.

I worked more on the Stairstepper last night and the quilting is half way done. My back is really hurting me today so I'm not sure if I'll get to work more on it tonight or not.

My step-mom and I decided to go to Paducah again next April. Now, we just have to find a place to stay...

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's Friday!

And that means no school tomorrow. It also means "The Underground Railroad" at the LQS! Tomorrow is the first day of the BOM presentation. I'll get the book and fabric then also. I can't wait! I'll be sure to write all about it!

I got the next RR in the mail the other day. I haven't decided exactly what to do with it.... I have it up on my wall, giving it the opportunity to speak to me, but so far it has been rather silent. Hmmm....

In the meantime, I finished quilting the angel hug and have the binding sewn on to the front, the back will be hand work for me to take along whenever I need something to do. I also started quilting on the "Stairstepper" quilt. I found the perfect variegated thread for it... it is one of the Sulky Blenders... "Caramel Apple". I was able to quilt about 1/4 of it last night.

As for home-schooling... well, mixed feelings. Gentry is doing better and better each day. He is enjoying all of his subjects, except penmanship which I have to make fun for him to get him to even do it. I count the number of letters on each line, multiply times 10 and start counting backwards. He tries to finish them before I get to one. Hailey is doing really well in every subject except for math... which she is actually really good at doing, but she just doesn't want to do it, so she just stares at her book or daydreams or whatever. It is driving me crazy. I've tried to get creative with her, but it is really just a battle of wills and some days I honestly don't know who is winning. And I'm sorry to admit that while I have no problems at all when someone has trouble learning, I find myself very impatient when someone knows very well how to do something and is just choosing not to. Thank God she doesn't dawdle in the other subjects! It is funny as last year math was her favorite and now she hates it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

September and Angel Hug

Happy September! Here is a picture of the September "Back to School" calendar quilt. You can't tell, but there are two stick figure children faces in the windows of the school house. A girl and a boy... I wonder who they could be? ;c)

I also managed to find a tiny bit of time to make a top for an angel hug quilt. The blue fabric has the sweetest little teddy bears on it.

Hubby went out to the quilt store today and picked out some thread for me to use to quilt the Stairstepper quilt. We'll see how he does. :c)

And one week from today I'll be at the LQS for the Underground Railroad BOM presentation. I'm so excited!

I'm hoping to get three quilts basted this weekend... I guess I need to be super nice to the hubby. LOL!

Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

He loved it!

Gentry loved his quilt! He was so shocked to see all his artwork in it, but very pleased. He also claims that it is very cozy. ;c)