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Friday, August 31, 2007

Twinklers are a-twinkling!

Finished the Twinklers quilt top and the stars do twinkle! It was fun to do and I recommend it as a great stashbuster! I used up quite a few fat quarters and some leftovers of off-whites! All of this quilt was from the stash. What a great feeling! After quilting and binding this quilt will go to the East Texas Chapter of Project Linus.

The block pictured is for a "comfort quilt" for a friend on the Quilting Passion forum who is going through a rough patch right now and this is our way of cheering her up. Many of us on the forum send a block to one person who sets them together, quilts, binds, and labels the quilt, then sends it to our friend.

The block is called Rosebud and is from Marcia Hohn's site Quilter's Cache. This site is a wonderland of quilt blocks that Marcia develops and then shares free of cost with the quilting world. She asks that we honor her copyright, which I feel is the right thing to do and not too much to ask! What a wonderful service she provides! She is a lovely lady and her patterns and instructions are the bestest (my made-up word!!!)

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Thursday, August 30, 2007


Working on "Twinklers" today--a pattern from a new book called Slash Your Stash Quilts by Claudia E. Plett. Claudia is the moderator of the Quilt Shoppe forum and has a wonderful webpage that is full of great ideas and an Ask Granny column that is full of quilty tips and laughs!

Step 1 shows all the 2.5" and 1.5" squares I cut out of my plaid and solid homespuns and light beige and tans. I went a little crazy cutting and probably have enough for 3 quilts cut here!

Step 2 shows the chain piecing of the 1.5" squares to the corners of the 2.5" squares to get the points on the stars.

Step 3 shows 2 completed blocks. Easy peasy! Just the kind of non-thinking kind of thing I need for a dreary sort of day outside and inside of my mind today, too!

I thought the name was so appropriate for this quilt--"Twinklers"-- the stars in the picture in the book seem to twinkle and I hope mine do too! The word just brings a smile to my face and I hope this quilt will bring joy to the child who receives it, since I will be sending it to Project Linus.

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Schoolhouse Rock Rocks!

The Schoolhouse Rock top is finished and ready to baste and quilt! I love how the pencils march around the schoolhouses all ready to stand up and write! I'd better get busy and quilt this one in order to hang it up for the 1st of September since that is just a couple of days away!

I've been so busy working on my challenge blocks that I set the schoolhouse aside for a couple of days! The ideas for the challenge blocks came to me and haunted me until I finished them! Wish I could show you pictures, but since they're not due till October 1st, I can't! Last night as I was stitching on the applique one, Maynard reminded me, "The blocks are due October 1st, not September 1st!"

Seems like I don't like to let things go until the last minute, while others get the most done when there is a deadline facing them. Good thing we all work differently, isn't it or maybe nothing would get done!!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Monday, August 27, 2007

Time in a Bottle!

Quite a few years ago, I made this quilt Time in a Bottle. I based it on the song "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce. The first line was "If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do..."

So I made bottles and filled them with things I like to do and have liked to do in my life. There's tea parties with my daughters and now granddaughters, music for time to play the piano and pretend to sing! Time to watch the clouds go by, time spent on a vacation in Hawaii and time spent enjoying chocolate. Paddington Bear is in a bottle to remind me of the times I spent reading--to my girls and to myself! One block is dolls and several are flowers reminding me to stop and smell the roses and also to remember lovely gardens that I have cultivated in the past.

I'm sure you get the idea. There's also a bottle where butterflies are flying out--signifying the time that gets away from us all.....

This quilt was a lot of fun to design and sew and think about. I could have filled a hundred more bottles with things that I like to do!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tiny Pin Collection Quilt!

I mentioned this little quilt in the previous post so thought I would show a picture of it today. I made it to show off my collection of quilt shop and other pins that I have collected over the years. Some of the quilt shop pins are so pretty that I didn't want to just leave them in the drawer!

I spent the afternoon working on my challenge blocks for our guild's challenge and am happy to say that I have the traditional one done, but alas and alack I can show a picture of it yet because the deadline isn't until the first of October. I very happy with it and had a ball doing it--I guess that's half of it right there, isn't it??!!

I have the applique one chosen and the freezer paper cut out. I'll use needleturn applique for that and still have the marking and cutting of fabric to do. I hope that one will turn out like I envision it!

Sometimes that's half the battle isn't it--getting things to turn out like we envision them!!!! Whether it be a quilt block or an apple pie or the raising of a child!!! LOL!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Plano Quilt Show was great!

Today was the Plano Quilt Show "Labors of Love" and it was so much fun. There were 6 of us from the DFW Quilt Gang from QP Forum that met up and did the show and then went for lunch. We declared ourselves a guild today and to make it legal, we had chocolate at the meeting!!!!! Debi gave us our challenge fabrics--we have to do a 12" finished traditional block and a 12" finished appliqued blocks using the fabric shown in the first picture. I have some ideas going around in my head already!!! Then Debi will judge the blocks when we turn them in and sew them together for a quilt for Project Linus!

The second picture shows some darling coasters that JanJ made for everyone in the group!--Thanks Jan!

The third picture shows my loot from the show--I had fun finding the little tin and filled it up right away when I got home with some 30's blocks! Also found train fabric which we collect and some tan FQs for my next project. And some quilt shop pins for my little quilt that show off all my pins. I'll show a picture of that another day!
All in all a wonderful day filled with friends, fabrics and finds!!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Schoolhouse Rock and Pencil Border Started!

Here's the blocks finished for Schoolhouse Rock from Fons and Porter . They are waiting for their sashing of blue. Also shown is a picture of 2 of the pencils that will make up one of the borders. The last border will be red. I managed to use up stash for all of these blocks, but don't have enough for the sashing or the red border. But I'm still happy that I could whittle down my stash this much.

There's a saying that "She who has the most fabric when she dies, wins!" Well, I disagree with that and think it should be: "She who uses up the most fabric, wins!" I have quite a stash, but it's so much fun to be able to go to the cupboard and put together a quilt just like the one I did, without having to buy all the fabric, every now and then! Most of my stash now is from leftovers from making quilts. I used to buy lots of fabrics, just because I liked them and still do some, but not so much anymore since I'm retired and try to be more careful with the funds!!!

We'll see what happens tomorrow at the Plano, Texas Quilt Show where I know some fabric will just jump into my cart and I won't know how it got there!!! My hubby is going with me and also we're meeting all the DFW quilters from the QP forum. Should be a fun time! If you see a medium-sized group (6-8 quilters) having a fun, laughing time, it's probably us, so be sure to say "hey!"

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

2 blocks of Schoolhouse Rocks!

Real Life intervened into quilting time today, but I did manage to get 2 blocks of Schoolhouse Rocks done! They cheer me up somehow with their happy prints and cheerful, bright windows. I've always leaned to the brights when I've picked out fabrics and maybe that's why making quilts for kids has been so much fun over the years! We are so fortunate to have so many resources for fabrics these days that sometimes it feels like "over-choice" (is that even a word?) to me and I simply can't make up my mind! Do any of you have that same problem? How lucky we are to have that problem and not have to wait for clothing to wear out before we can have fabric for a quilt!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A day of cutting up!!!!

Today I spent several hours at the cutting board, cutting out "Schoolhouse Rock" a paper pieced (I did say never again once before didn't I--ha!!!) pattern by Fons and Porter (in the Sept/Oct. 2002 For the Love of Quilting magazine.) I made this quilt before but gave it away, sorry don't have a picture of it to share with you. It's a bright and cheery schoolhouse that will be a wallhanging for my seasonal wall. I like to celebrate lots of seasons!!! Maybe I should call it my "monthly" wall since I change it that often and more!

The schoolhouses themselves are pretty sturdy, being an array of browns in color, but the borders are bright and cheery sort of like you'd think of school as studious or quiet and then recess as a "shout!"

These schoolhouses remind me of the one room schoolhouse I attended as schoolgirl in Northern Wisconsin just a few years ago !!!!!! We had all 8 grades in one room for a total of 14 kids in the whole school. I loved school and always looked forward to school starting in the fall. For that meant new pencils, paper and books. There was always so much to learn. Just like now--so much to learn--we shouldn't let a day go by without learning something new--no matter what it is!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Wonderful Thank You!

Last year in 2006 Maynard and I made 100 quilts for Project Linus through the forum at Quilting Passion. As a surprise to thank us, members of the forum sent us 30 yards of the most amazing fabrics. What a wonderful and truly touching outreach of love and tribute to our quiltmaking! We were blown away to put it mildly!

So of course, I got busy looking for the perfect patterns to make that wonderful fabric into quilts that would show off such marvelous fabrics to the best of my ability and here they are! The first one is "DLightful Stars" by Jackie Theriot of Black Cat Creations. The blue and yellow fabric just had to be stars, I thought!

The second one is renamed from a pattern called "Crow's Feet" to "QP Fall Friends" from a pattern from a Fons and Porter magazine. It has 480 HSTs in it--I used Thangles to make those, but bought the wrong size so end up trimming them all anyway--at least they were all the exact size!!!!

Both quilts were fun to do and brought a lot of joy to my heart as I thought of the friends who had sent the fabric. Thanks again to one and all for thinking of us in this special way!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Monday, August 20, 2007

Dear Janes Numbers A-10 and A-11!

Dear Jane Number A-10 is aptly named "Which Way is West" and A-11 is called "Hourglass" and is a substitute block for one called "Pebble's Protest." Only I was the one who called the "Protest!" I really did try, but instead of really getting all stressed out about it, I decided enough was enough and went to the "Alternate Block List" and made another choice of one I knew that I could do.

Sometimes we have to know our limits don't we?--Learning to say "no" has been hard for me and you'd think after 60+ years, I could do so with much more graciousness than I do, but I find myself more often than not, saying "yes" and regretting it later. Not only do we do that with things that take up our time, but I think we do that when we make choices in our eating. I have been trying to lose weight and find myself saying "yes " to foods that I should be saying "no" to instead. Oh, if it only was as simple as "yes" or "no!" Maybe it is and I have made it harder in my mind!!! Something to think about!!??!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hand Quilting Lives On!

This is a picture of "Sweet Tea" and I am hand quilting her--whew! This is the first large size quilt that I have hand quilted and it is taking me awhile to do. It's especially hard to do in hot weather, since I use a square lap hoop to quilt. So I haven't been working on it a lot this summer for obvious reasons. I do like working on it though because it is very soothing as I think I have mentioned before and am probably repeating myself (bear with me--I'm getting old!!!) It looks so nice, too when it is done properly and about a quarter of mine are done correctly now that I took a class and learned the proper technique. Our teacher was so good and put up with my gushing over her time and again about how much I was learning from her!!!

"Sweet Tea" is taking on a personality all her own and at times can be as soft as a purring kitten, but other times very sassy, as in not letting me place those stitches exactly where I want them to go. Do your quilts talk to you, too?

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Three more Dear Janes!

Three more Dear Jane blocks completed! Slow, but surely these blocks will get done! My friend Debi and I have decided to be each other's cheerleader to cheer each other along as we work on our Sylvia's Bridal Sampler (Debi's) and Dear Jane (mine) quilts. It's always nice to have someone "rooting" for you from the sidelines and taking an interest in what you are doing. Maybe that's why so many of us are writing blogs nowadays. Everything has become so impersonal in our world today that this is our way of coming back around to the personal side of things again.

I personally love reading blogs and seeing what others are working on and I also love sharing what I'm doing and maybe a few thoughts of the day no matter how far fetched they may be; someone else is no doubt thinking the same thing! Here's to the person who first thought up the idea of a blog!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Follow the Yellow Brick Road!

Today I finished this top: a Yellow Brick Road done in a baby print for friends of ours who are adopting a baby. Such fun to do in this cute baby animal print. The fabrics don't show up as such in the picture, but they are all swirls prints and not plain like they look. Lots of visual content!

"They" say that babies like bright things and contrasting colors..... In fact I made my grandson, Nathan, a Baby Genius quilt that would knock your socks off it is so bright, but I think he likes it!!!!!!

For his brother, Evan, Maynard designed and we made together a Memory Game quilt that was very bright also. I guess we gravitate toward the brights!!!!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

See more chickens getting fit and trim!

Here's a link to see my friend Doris' chicken quilt that she is giving to her Physical Therapy Group for helping her through her knee surgery--how fitting--yes??!!!

http://pollyanna.250free.com/broadwaypt.jpg See blog below for further details. Many chickens are getting fit and trim these days!


Chickens and birdhouses??

My fellow quilter/friend Pollyanna aka Doris posted a picture on the QP forum of her chicken exercising quilt and so I got to thinking about mine and had to pull it out and put it up on my seasonal wall. Maybe it will encourage me to get on the treadmill! I giggle every time I see those silly chickens! This was a pattern that came from a Dutch website that I can no longer find to give them the credit for the pattern--sorry. It's from about 2 years ago. I used several techniques on the quilt--from color crayons to embroidery and patchwork--it was a fun one to do!

The second picture is of the Blooming Birdhouse block and is the third block in the Forever Flowers BOM. It will have sunflowers and a bluebird on it. At least I hope it will. Those sunflowers look hard to do and I may save them for the retreat in September that the applique teacher will be heading up!

Yesterday at Sit N Sew we were talking about cleaning out our sewing rooms and getting rid of projects that had been around for "too long"--ones that we knew we were never going to finish because we had lost interest or we didn't like anymore or were just plain "ugly!" One gal was just plain throwing hers out and another gal was tagging hers for a scrap sale that her guild was having. Either way sounds good to me--I like the idea of starting over or starting fresh--it gives you a clean feeling where you know you don't have those things hanging over your head anymore and you give yourself permission to forge onward to new things!!!!

So this afternoon I will be spending time in my sewing room cleaning out and sorting through and putting things aside for the one gal's scrap sale and who knows--maybe *gasp* throwing out.....

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Small Grandmother's Flower Garden!

Today was Tuesday Sit N Sew day at the LQS and I worked on my English Paper Piecing Grandmother's Flower Garden mini quilt which is now at the point of being appliqued to the background fabric. I almost finished that task today! Next will come some embroidered vines and an appliqued basket at the bottom right hand side holding some appliqued leaves and flowers and vines. At least that's the vision -- we shall see what evolves.

The hexagons are 3/4" on a side and quite a nice size to work with and it's good carry with you work. The photo shows the "rough, being worked on image"--having not yet been ironed, since I still have some more to applique on.

The applique did come much more easily today than before, so there is truth in the old adage of "practice, practice, practice" and "the more you do something, the easier it gets!!!!" If this keeps up, I might even get to really, really like applique and not cringe every time I hear the "A" word!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Magic Diagonal Charm Quilt!

Thanks to my fellow quilter/friend Lynn I have a new pattern to share and what a fun one it is! Step 1 or first picture shows how to sew 123 5" charm squares together in 14 rows of 10 squares with placement of 17 plain or light colored quares in certain positions, so you know where to cut them apart--yes you are going to cut them on the diagonal of the light squares when they are all sewn together!

Step 2 or second picture shows the cutting in progress--that was hard to do---especially taking that first cut--I found it easiest to cut with a scissors while it was hanging on the cupboard or wall or whatever you hang your tops on to take pictures! You will get 4 pieces that you will put back together just like a jigsaw puzzle.

Step 3 or third picture shows the parts all put together with the diagonal plain/lights in half triangles around the quilt like magic. Not hard to do and fun to make!

If you have questions or a comment, write to me, I'd love to hear from you.

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Nature Panel Finished!

Cool weather can come now because I finished another UFO (the top anyway!)--the Nature Panel that my fellow quilter/friend JanJ gave me last winter (thanks again Jan!) All I needed to do was put borders on it and I have a lovely wall hanging for Thanksgiving time for my seasonal wall! The saying by Charles Dickens says: "Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of it's own." A very nice quote!

More thoughts on UFOs: I told my friend Sheryl and I would like to share here, I think UFOs have gotten a bad rap and that as quilters we should expect to have some UFOs; therefore, I propose that we should stop calling them UFOs and start calling them "OLD possibilities" and the new things that we start would be called (go figure!) "NEW possibilities." Doesn't this have a much nicer connotation to it that of UFOs? Think about it!!!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Friday, August 10, 2007

Fall Pumpkins Top Finished!

Here is the top called Fall Pumpkins. The pattern came from my Quilt Wizard--a pattern from them of 09-2006. I tweaked it to my liking and chose soome fall colors and so can claim it as mine! Nice to think Fall since it is 100 degrees today! I had wanted something that was fall and yet not Halloween for my seasonal wall and couldn't really find anything I liked until I came across this and knew it was what I wanted!!! Now to work on a Thanksgiving/Fall theme panel that a fellow quilter/friend JanJ gave me last winter (thanks Jan!) that has been patiently waiting for me to finish!!!!!

Funny isn't it? How things get put back with good intentions on being done, and then something else comes along and we work on that, and things get put on the back burner, so to speak, and there you go,----- but that's part of quilting, isn't it?--the planning and looking ahead at the "what lies beyond"...otherwise what would motivate us to keep on going--there's always the thrill of what's to come and what will this look like and "Did I really do that?"--"Hey I DID do that and it looks GOOD!!!!" (We won't talk about the things that don't come out so good---those are called "Learning Experiences!!!!!")

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect??

Today I went to an on-going needle-turn applique class at my favorite LQS taught by a lovely lady named Zita. After ripping out the centers of my flowers in Forever Flowers, Block One, I tried again with her help. She taught me how to do tiny stitches and to stay on the line as I turned the fabric under and that I needed good light and that I needed to Practice, Practice, Practice....Hummmmm.......... where I have I heard that phrase before---well, in just about everything I have ever tried from piano playing to pie crust making!!!!!

We don't like to hear that do we? We want to be able to do everything right away and do it well, but I could see an improvement in my stitches as I worked this afternoon---in just 2 hours time, so I know she's right. And of course, being a mother how many times did I tell my kids the same thing....what goes around comes around, I guess!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!


Pumpkins in August???

Yesterday at Tuesday Sit N Sew several of us were picking out orange fabric for pumpkin quilts even though the heat index hovered around 100+ degrees. Made me feel a little bit cooler to think fall thoughts!

Here is one of the finished pumpkins and the fall leaves to go with my pumpkins. Every time I do paper pieceing, I think "never again," but I always find something else that I like that's paper pieced and this pattern on my Quilt Wizard was no exception. So after tweaking it to my liking, I trudged forward and did the paper pieced pumpkins and once again after doing one said, "Never again!" and I still have 4 left to do. I did learn now to do freezer paper paper piecing once in a class, but it's all the same idea, ya know??!!

But it's good that we all have likes and dislikes in the quilting world because otherwise who would buy all the boatloads of notions and diverse array of fabrics? Who would try all the variety of techniques and actually prefer to do paper pieceing or applique (you know who you are, Sheryl!!) I know I prefer just plain old piecing and am happiest doing that, but find fun wandering into the forest of "other" techniques every now and then--just for fun and something to "blog" about!!!!

PS to this post: I have added this again today because I had trouble with the blog yesterday and today, so I am sorry I lost my comments from you from Wednesday. I apologize for this. Hopefully this will be the last of the problems!!!!!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Boot Scootin' Boogie

Just finished this quilt for my 4 year old grandson, Evan, to hang in his room. It is a pattern from an old Fons and Porter magazine. Fun to do. My husband, Maynard quilted it and I just finished the binding on it this afternoon. I'm not a Country Western music fan, but just might try some line dancing if I had a pair of boots like this--ha ha!!! I like to listen to light Classical music Bach and Handel and some of those types especially. To each his own--right? But every now and then , it's fun to turn the radio on and listen to the old rock and roll music from the past and get into a "rhythm" while free motion quilting--it does help you to relax and enjoy what you are doing and that's what it's all about--right? ----enjoying what you are doing!!!!

Let quilting help you make someone smile!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Truly Tulips Finished!

Block 2 of Forever Flowers is called "Truly Tulips" and I finished this one today. This one even has a pretty little butterfly for an added effect! Now I am one day ahead of this BOM--what a good feeling! I pick up the next one on Tuesday at the LQS.

Now to do some hand quilting on a big quilt that I have been working on for quite awhile--hand quilting is very therapeutic in my mind--you can think about other things and you can think about how your grandma used to do this and you can transport yourself back to a different time and place if you want. We talk about the "good old days", but I for one, would NOT want to be without my air conditioning, microwave and nice car, not to mention my good washing machine and dryer, plus there's lots of other things we could name. Maybe we miss the company of friends and family and the slower pace of life,---but are those things really totally impossible now,---- I wonder????

Friday, August 3, 2007

Anne's Sunshine!

Today I finished the top of this quilt for my daughter, Anne. It's from the April Cornell collection called "Sunshine." The original pattern is from Suzy's in Garland, Texas called "Stars and More." I made it half the size of the original pattern. The fabric was such fun to work with --besides being soft and easy to handle, the colors made me happy as I worked with them.

It didn't turn into a "What was I thinking" or "why did I start this" type of quilt as some have in the past! Maybe that's why we have an unfinished pile or UFO's---we start something with good intentions and really love what we are doing, but then something better comes along and off we go down another "rabbit trail" following another bright idea until our pile of UFO's is bigger than what we want it to be--oh dear, how did that happen?

Now we feel over whelmed. This is what has happened to me and now I want things to be DONE and I've forgotten how to enjoy the journey. Really it's okay if things aren't done, what's the hurry anyway, unless you do really and truly have a deadline, why not just enjoy the process???!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Mission Accomplished!

It does feel good to accomplish a goal and I accomplished two today--finished the BOM for Thimbleberries for this quarter (still have part to do though) and completed the block for the first Forever Flowers. Hopefully the second one will not be such a long drawn out process--or I won't make it such a long process this time!!!!! Sometimes I do that--make mountains out of molehills and then wonder why in the world did I do that?--it was such a simple thing and I made it so hard....I wonder how many other folks do that with any task at hand?

Now my next Misson to Accomplish is getting supper on the table....sigh!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Lost in the Cornfield

"Lost In The Cornfield" was hung up today on my seasonal wall and I thought I would share it with you. It's a good one for this time of year because the corn is so high and growing so well in most parts of the country. But it also has another meaning for me as well--SLOW DOWN!!!!!! These little chicks are in a big hurry don't you think? They end up running in circles, which is what we so often find ourselves doing--so much that we meet ourselves as we turn the corner. I had this quilt hanging in my office when I worked in Medical Records at a nursing home and called it "Lost In Medical Records". It seemed fitting since there was always so much paper work in medical records and at times it seemed overwhelming as so often life can seem overwhelming, too.

Maybe that's why I find quilting to be such a "pieceful" undertaking--it is broken down into little pieces--sure we look at the end goal and see the whole, but we break it down into little pieces to actually do it and therein lies the key--taking the little parts to make the whole--as maybe we should for life perhaps?