Thursday, December 31, 2009


We're going to eat cake and think about you today. 
Hope you're having a good day!
We miss you!!
We love you!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tabatha's Log Cabin Quilt . . . . Quilted!

This beautiful blue log cabin quilt that Tabatha sent to me to quilt has a few sparkle fabrics in it so we decided a few stars would fit right in. The rest of the quilting is "loopy" and it's all done in a very soft blue thread.

Monday, December 28, 2009

No-Sew Block Swap - UPDATED

All participants and their groups are listed at the bottom of this post.

ENTRY TO SWAP IS NOW CLOSED.... watch for another swap in the near future.

UPDATE: The R/W/B swap is full so I've added a second R/W/B group - there's lots more room!

UPDATE:  Several swappers have asked about participating if they are outside the US.  No problem!  We can use Paypal for postage.  So far we have swappers from Germany, UK and Canada!

I just learned about this kind of quilt block swap. It sounded like so much fun I decided to host one (really two!).

When I first heard about this I was confused.  How do you get blocks if you don't sew them?  Well you do sew, but only your final blocks.  That means you don't have to worry about your sewing and whether or not it's good enough! (of course it is, but still, less worry) and, if you are particularly particular, you don't have to deal with someone else's less than perfect sewing.

Here's how it works...

1.  Select a 12" block pattern at  (only pieced blocks - no applique or paper piecing)
2.  Cut all the pieces for the block, but don't sew the block.
3.  Place all the pieces in a baggie.  Put a sticker on the baggie with the name of the block.  Include your name, city/state and, if you wish, your blog address.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 nine times.

4.  Keep one baggie for yourself and mail the remaining eight baggies to me by February 1st.  Include a self addressed stamped envelope. (Get your package weighed before you seal it and then use that amount of postage on your SASE.)  Any participants outside the US can use Paypal for the return postage.

5.  As soon as all packages are received I'll divvy up the baggies and mail each of you a package of 8 different baggies.  Look up each block on and commence sewing!

You have two choices:   Red/White/Blue No Sew Block Swap   or   Pink/Green/White No Sew Block Swap.   Also, please see the poll for what color Pink/Green.

Interested?  Sign up by leaving a comment. Tell me which swap you want to do. Sign up will be open until January 10th.

Amy - Nelson's Victory
Karen - Friendship Star
Kathleen - Calico Puzzle
Katie - See Saw
Sara - Star of Virginia
Robin - Broken Sugar Bowl
Kathleen - Churn Dash
Balinda - Brasstown Star
SC Jenn - Sawtooth Star

Pat C - Carrie Nation
Gill - Bear Tracks
Lynn - Basket Weave
Candy - Antique Tile Block
Marion - Love In A Mist
Mavis - Annie's Choice
Marj - M. Washington Star
Nikki - Glory In Scraps
Nici - Jacob's Ladder

Karen - Hour Glass #3
Lexilooo - Calico Puzzle
Lois - Lover's Knot
Balinda - Ranger's Pride
Mimi - Prairie Queen
Kate -Squares Upon Squares
Sandee - Brasstown Star
Pat S - Morning Star 2
Kathleen - Louisiana

Jane - Mini Bow Tie
Robin - 1930's Square
Georgia - Box Kite
Rebecca - Twisting Star
Jeanie - Noon and Light
Debbie - Shoo Fly
Sharon - 4 Patch Fox&Goose
Diane - Pinwheel
Kathleen - Oh, Susannah

Katy - Star Puzzle
Christy - Castle In The Air
Jenn - Card Trick
Carrie - King's X
Wendy - Woven Ribbons
Emilee - Pieced Star
Lisa - Chimneys & Cornerstones
Susan - Sarah's Choice
Kathleen - Starflower

Jeanie - Album
Lynne - Tennessee
Andrea - Louisiana
Lea - Sunlight & Shadows
Karen - Shoo Fly
Karie - Rail Fence
Diane - Churn Dash
Wanda - Tulip Lady Fingers
Kathleen - Prairie Queen

Friday, December 25, 2009

O Holy Night

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mine! All Mine!

The super-duper uber-cool awesome machine I had on loan from the LQS is working. Apparently I didn't really break it.  A little part switch just in case and all is well. That was good news. 

But, even better, I was given a price in case I really did want to buy it.  And WOW!  I couldn't NOT buy it.  They were so generous.  I am so thankful.  I love it!

(do I sound like a spoiled brat?)

And look!  It does real embroidery! It takes data thingy cards!  It connects to a computer!

And look at all these built in stitches!
And it sews faster than the speed limit!
And threads it's own needle!

Whew!  I gotta go take a breath and maybe lay down.

But isn't it just the coolest?!  I love it!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Always When You Need It Most

My sewing machine had a breakdown last summer the very morning that I needed to turn in quilts for the County Fair.  I know, if I wasn't such a procrastinater (I really excel in that department) I wouldn't have been sewing at 5:30 in the morning for a 8:00 am deadline on the same day.  It should have been a lesson. But as I've mentioned in the past I'm a slow learner.

After turning in what was done to the fair, I took said machine to my LQS and they very nicely loaned me a machine.  I don't know if that's a regular practice or not but they lent me an awesome, very fast, very fancy, very expensive machine.  Since they had a little trouble fixing my machine - mostly because he's busy - I've had this super-duper machine for quite a while.  I'm hoping they never fix my machine.  I have asked how much they want for the one I'm borrowing and haven't gotten a figure yet, but I'm afraid it will cost too much.

Not to change the subject, but I just got into Christmas mode yesterday.  (There's that procrastination again.)  Wanting to make several gifts I got to selecting fabric, cutting, sewing, planning more.  Almost to the finish of the first gift and it happened.  My needle broke.  No big deal.  I replaced it.  Something didn't sound right.  Apparently there is a burr or nick or something on the part that holds the bobbin case and it drags. No sewing is happening now.  So again, just when I need it most. 

There's good in this though...

- I'll have all these projects cut and ready to sew when my machine is working again and some people will be getting surprises in the mail when they least expect it.

- I have at least two tops waiting to go on the frame - I know I'll have fun quilting those and won't feel like I'm taking time from other sewing.

- I've been neglecting the house a bit, with all my other sewing on teapots & other stuff. Now I have time to clean things up and do some holiday decorating and some baking.

I guess I'm gifting baked goods. 

I just hope there isn't another cake-tupperware-fire incident.

Don't ask.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pretty Star Blocks

Quilternity had a giveaway recently and I won!  These beautiful star blocks arrived in the mail yesterday and Terri included a bonus fat quarter!

These blocks will be the perfect start for a Quilt of Valor.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My First Horse

Bingo Ladd

Bingo Ladd was my first horse. I think I was 14 and "working" as a trail guide. Pay was $10 a day and $12 a day on weekends. So, not much money to spend on a horse. I partnered with a co-worker and we paid $100 for him. I bought her out a month or two later. He was a rescue horse and about 200 pounds underweight when he arrived. He packed on the pounds fast though. I loved throwing a Navaho blanket over his back and riding him that way with no saddle.

Thanks for the picture, Karen.  What a surprise to see it this morning! 

And, yes everyone, I know he's funny looking.  I didn't care!  He was MY HORSE!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Sweet Tea

This is the alternating block for the Sweet Tea BOM.  There are four of them just like this.  I'm becoming a fan of applique....mind you, not an expert (I need LOTS of practice), but a fan.

I really like the borders.  I'm working on the border for the five unique tea pots and those are even more cute...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cooper, Dexter, Trains and Santa

Since John had to work all weekend, Sarah, Cooper and Dexter came to visit for a few days.  They needed to get out of the house and Sarah needed some adults to talk to! We had a good weekend with lots of laughs, a bit of a break for Sarah, and lots of needed grandkid time for me and grandpa.  Sunday we took Cooper to see Santa on his train (the reindeer are resting up for the big night)....

Cooper thought looking out the window of the train was pretty cool....

He liked all the decorations....

His eyes lit up when he saw Santa...from a distance that is. 
Close up was a very different story...who IS this guy?! Help me!!

One last look at the trains.  Time to go to Mac-a-donalds for lunch.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Has This Ever Happened To You?

You go into the sewing room....

Ok, right there, except for crafter extraordinaire daughter Sarah and quilter extraordinaire neice Karen, I just lost all my family and most of my IRL friends....

You have a quilt ready to be quilted - and I mean READY - the bobbins are filled, the design had been decided, quilt & back have been pressed and are ready to load on frame.

You have a quilt top in progress with the next pieces sitting right there at the other sewing  machine and the fabric for the next pieces to be cut laid out on the cutting table....

Now I lost all the uber-organized sewers that will only work on one project at a time (how do you do it?)....

You have other projects lined up to be next - fabric is right there next to the cutting table....

And you find yourself cutting and sewing with fabric that you haven't contemplated using since you bought it. Making something you had no plans to make, no deadlines, no purpose, but doing it anyway.

Well, I got it out of my system. 
Back to the teapot blocks. 

But the Moda Peace On Earth charm squares keep calling too. 

What to do, what to do....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Sneak Peek For Sara

Sara - no, not our Sarah - this Sara, is taking advantage of my half-price offer.  She sent this beauty to me to be quilted.  The border fabric is so cute and the center has a subtle bit of red.  I almost made the mistake of using red thread for the quilting.  I think red would have changed this pleasant, bit of red quilt and turned it into an "in your face" red quilt. 

So white it was.  Seems to be just right.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Jeans Have Come Full Circle

When I was a young mom there was lots of time spent on the ground playing or helping a little one. Tying a shoe, kissing an ow-ey, fixing a toy, playing with legos, picking just the right book. As a result all my jeans were worn at the knees, the older they were the more worn of course, until there were holes. I'd wear those jeans until the holes were really big. And, yes, I'm old. So this was way back in the dark ages before it was cool to have holes in your jeans. It just meant you were broke.

Years passed, kids grew, money improved and along came the horses. Then I needed jeans that were long enough so that, when riding, the bottoms didn't ride up to the top of my boots. That meant that, when walking, the jeans were too long. All my jeans wound up with ragged hems.

More years passed. Things changed and we said goodbye to the horses. The kids grew some more and had their own kids. Now the jeans are the right length but it's down on the ground again . . . to help, to play, to get the best hugs and kisses in the world. And my jeans are worn at the knees again. I love it.

Now if I could just get the jean size to come full circle.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Adam's Quilt . . . Finished & Mailed

I love knowing who a quilt is for when I am working on it.
I feel such a connection with the person.
That made this one extra special since Adam is so far away.

Here's a bit of a close up of the quilting . . . .

And a piece of the back, quilted . . .

He should have it soon.
Hopefully he'll feel a connection to home when he gets it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Two Sweet Tea Blocks

These are the last of the unique blocks. 
Next to make are four teapots that all look alike and then, for the border, 22 teacups.
It'll be awhile before this is finished.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Two Quilt Finishes

In October I signed up with Finn for her New Year's Eve UFO Challenge with eight UFOs. I'm not sure if I'll make it but I do know that I probably wouldn't have finished these without that gentle push. 

First is a summer holiday table topper that I started back in May, pieced it then quit.  To finish it I quilted with white thread and kind of played around a bit.  I tried to think fireworks and bunting.  The quilting leaves a bit to be desired but that's ok - it's just for me. I now have it quilted and bound. Finish #1.

Next up, an appliqued wall hanging.  Straddling Snowboy is just one of the Straddling series by The Wooden Bear.  Same story here... the top was finished but needed to be quilted, bound and embellished.  Finish #2.

I like the way the little bird is pulling the boy's bootlace.
Binding has a little Christmas bell stitch.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quilt For Kids

Quilts for Kids is an organization that takes discontinued fabric that is destined for landfills and makes quilts and other items for kids in need. Heavyweight fabric is made into many other items such as wheelchair bags and tote bags.  Lightweight cotton is made into quilts that comfort children in need globally.  Kits are available by request.  You ask and they send a package of fabric that is already cut into strips, and a simple pattern, plus fabric for the backing.  You provide the batting and do the sewing and quilting. Of course a donation of a quilt made from your own fabric is welcomed!  I made this simple quilt from one of their kits.

Rather than hand sew the binding I first sewed in onto the back of the quilt, then brought it to the front and used a machine decorative stitch to secure the front of the binding.  Quicker and more secure than my hand sewing.

And less time sewing binding equals more time to make more quilts!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I've Got Your Back

Quilt back that is . . .

Hate is a strong word so I won't use it.  But I really, really, dislike piecing quilt backs. If I want to do piecing I'll make a quilt top. I love quilts that have pieced backs and love the way they look but I'm too impatient to do it for my quilts.  When that top is finished I want to load it on the frame and quilt it. Now.

   The LQS sells extra wide fabric (108") so that's what I've been using since I discovered that section of the store.  But I couldn't find a back that would work for this quilt.  The only ones that would work color-wise had flowers all over them.  This quilt is for Adam so flowers won't do. 

So I had to stop whining and piece a back. Well, I didn't really stop whining, but I did do the piecing.  It was nice to use up the scraps and the oops pieces.  I had set them aside thinking they would come in handy for some project some day. And I like the way it turned out.

And here is the top . . .

Now I can get it all loaded on the frame.  Hopefully I can ship it to Adam this week so it will keep his back warm while he's got our backs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When I Dream About Quilting . . .

. . . does that mean I'm quilting too much or I'm not quilting enough?

How much quilting time is taking care of myself, and how much is indulgence?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Randi's Bright Batiks Quilt . . . Quilted!

This was the last of Randi's quilts.  Done.  All three quilts will be in the mail tomorrow on their way back.  For this particular quilt I auditioned at least a dozen thread colors.  I was totally surprised by the color that I thought looked the best.  I sure hope Randi agrees.  I wonder what color others would have chosen.

This one was a lot of fun to quilt.  Usually there's a least a little problem to work out.  But this one was smooth sailing from start to finish. Fun. Fun. Fun.

A Family Weekend

Not this weekend, but last weekend, Jim, Mike and Mom all came to visit.  Jim was in town from CA for just the weekend and he drove all the way down here for one of the days!  And Mom said it was a long, long drive.  Mike was the driver in his spiffy new car.  So what did I do when they got here?  I put them to work - shame on me.  First we had coffee and I had bought some sweet rolls to soften them up.  But Mike brought bakery sweet rolls so we had his instead.  We sat and talked awhile and then I sprang it on them.  "As long as you're here do you think you guys could help me move something into the basement?"  Silly boys said yes without looking to see the something.  It was a big two piece sideboard / hutch thingy. Nice heavy wood.  It's been taking up room in the sunroom as it just doesn't go in the dining / family room.  I realized last week that it would be perfect in my sewing room for fabric.  I'd been trying to figure out how to move it myself if I couldn't wait until one of my boys came to visit. I'm pretty sure if I put it on a dolly and headed downstairs it would've been a wreck.  Heck, just getting the top piece down and on the dolly would've been a wreck. So, Mom visited with Scott and I put my other guests to work. And I love it down there.  I haven't filled it yet (busy quilting) but it's just right.  THANKS GUYS!!!! 

And while they were in the basement looking around (this was their first visit since we moved from the farm to town) one thing led to another and they were replacing our back-up sump pump.   That I did NOT mean to happen, but they wouldn't let us wiggle out of it. I think Jimmy was the mastermind and Mike was the backup.  We so appreciate it.  Nothing like peace of mind.

Hamburgers and salads for lunch, but by then I was wishing I had bbq'd some steaks!

Then Sunday we all met at you know where for breakfast . . .

Jack was pressed into service as the morning's photographer. Thanks Jack!

He brought his Grandma Penny.

We were gathered to visit with Jim since he was in for a quick visit (and it's been a while!).

But we were also celebrating Mike's big birthday (did I mention he is my older brother - I just hadn't realized how much older).

Trish . . .

and Kevin hosted and treated everyone.

My favorite younger sister was there with Alyssa.

Donald was there.

That was Terry earlier giving everyone "bunny ears".  He works so hard that when he gets a day off he has to cram in as much fun as he can.

After breakfast it was back to Mom's for more conversation, laughs and sweets.

A good weekend.