Saturday, November 29, 2008

Be sure and join the giveaway...


There is only one more day to join the giveaway!!! So hurry!!!!!! I'm getting excited about it, aren't you????

Of course, I still need to put the binding on the Basket Quilt Mini.....and then all I have to do is add the both quilts!!!! LOL

Happy Quilting!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I am grateful for this place I call HOME.......The United States of America. I am grateful for the men and women who left the place of their birth, braved terrible conditions and hardships, in search of a place of freedom. Because of their sacrifice, we have freedom of worship, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and many others which we take for granted. Freedom is not free, and the price is still being paid.

Count your blessings!!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Confessions

True Confessions.......

Thanksgiving is officially held at my house now. Because of Dear Hubby's illness, travel is too difficult. Being away from home and his own bed is too much. While we aren't having a large group this year, we are still having 2 grandmas, future daughter in law, and all four of my kids here.

Phone calls were made, invitations issued, and confirmations received. I was excited. I sat basking in the warm glow of Thanksgivings past. Family, comfort foods, fun times.....ah, I LOVE THANKSGIVING. Then, late last week, reality hits. I'm not worried about the meal. Grandma is in charge, I'm just an assistant.

No.....what strikes terror in my heart???? The thought of all my quilting stuff sitting out where everyone can see it. I mean, it's relatively organized....relatively. Not really. I just don't have room here at mom's for all my quilting stuff. When we moved here 1 1/2 years ago to help her out, we thought it would be short term, so I wasn't concerned about all my sewing stuff. But, as I've sewn, I've pulled things out....and stacked them up.....and yeah, it's a mess.

So this past weekend, I started clearing off the sewing table. (My sewing room was once a breakfast room.... yeah, right in the big middle of everything.) Here is a pic of the containers that are out of the sewing room and are now on the way to the storage place for a one week stay!

Then it's all coming right back....I NEED every last piece of fabric.

The brown box on the bottom has current projects in it. And, some stuff from the top of the sewing table. Like magazines, papers printed off the internet, a few books, some scissors, pieces of fabric, etc. The green containers have strings in them. The brown paper bag and plastic bag are scraps that are awaiting delivery to a quilty friend here in town. (I've had them here waiting for about 4 months....we don't see each other often.) The clear rubber maid box are just scraps waiting for inspiration or to be cut into strips. And, the white baskets are strips....lights and darks from 1 1/2 inch to 4 inch and some squares, etc. These are my scraps...not what I call stash.

They are organized, I just don't have any place to put them. They have been stacked under the sewing table, behind the cutting table, under the cutting table, beside the cutting table, etc. right where I can get to them. But they aren't attractive. It looks horribly messy and just had to go.

So, true confessions....I'm hiding stuff in the storage building until after Thanksgiving and I suppose I'll have to do it again for Christmas. It's not easy downsizing. Cause I'm certainly NOT downsizing my fabric!!!!

True confessions.....what are you hiding for Thanksgiving????? LOL

Happy Quilting, stuffing, stashing, and hiding!!!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Black and White Challenge

I've joined the Black and White Quilt Challenge (see the link on the right sidebar)....and I'm so grateful that I have one year to get a quilt done. Actually, you can make anything: a tote, a wall hanging, or something wearable. Anything quilty! I'm really pretty excited about it, but I'm not planning on doing anything on it until after the holidays! Now, I have to decide what ONE color I'm going to pick to go with it. Then, I'll have to choose a pattern.

This really is a challenge for me. Read my post on the B&W Challenge Blog to see my fabrics. There is even a 2 1/2 inch strip that I am willing to part with. The first person to comment on my B&W Challenge post and ask for the fabric will get it!

My Dear Quilty Peeps got together on my 40th birthday (a few years ago) and gifted me with some black and white fabrics. Here is how they were presented to me. Very cute!!

And here, is what I did with them. The leftovers will be used in the challenge quilt.....if I can find them!!! LOL
Happy Quilting and Happy Challenge!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Some sewing going on....

I cut out the rest of the background pieces for my Indian Hatchet blocks....

And, worked on the Bear Paw Mini......

Quilting and then trimming....

Cutting the binding strips.....

Machine basting the edges before actually binding. I do this using my walking foot. For some reason, sometimes when I attach the binding, the back migrates. So, I've started using the walking foot and machine basting BEFORE adding the binding.

Attaching the binding by machine on the hand on the back.

The completed top. Just the label and washing and the quilt will be ready to travel to it's new home!

Have you joined the give away???? If not, VISIT THIS PAGE to comment and have your name added to the drawing, or click the link for A Latte Quilts Give Away in the right hand side bar!!!

Happy Quilting!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quiet on the Home Front

Things have slowed down in the sewing room. We've made two trips to the Dr. this week. Once for Dear Daughter who has Scarlet Fever. And, then today for Dear Hubby.

Dear Daughter is doing better. Her throat is feeling better, but is still having the itching on her wrists and feet from the Scarlet Fever rash. She finishes up her Aspirin therapy tomorrow, but continues her antibiotic for a while longer. Follow up is scheduled for Tuesday. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers for her.

Dear Hubby has pulled a muscle in his back. Yes, that's right. He battles his legs pretty often, especially at night. He gets spastic (Multiple Sclerosis) sometimes and those old knees don't want to bend. So two nights ago, he was struggling with his legs and pulled a muscle in his back. So, now he's going to be a good boy and mind his Dr. (and his wife) and take his medicine! He is really suffering right now.

So, my week has been consumed with taking care of ill folks and doing a bit of sewing here and there. The Bears Paw quilt is hand quilted, all I need to do is trim it and add the binding. The label will wait for a bit. Now, to get started on the Basket Quilt!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Sometimes, it's not what you say, it's what you DON'T say that speaks volumes. And, you know, I agree with you!!!

The Basket Mini Quilt in the giveaway is....yawn....boring and uninteresting and frankly, I'd be afraid to enter a drawing of those two quilts, afraid I'd win the Basket Quilt!!!! LOL


Here is Basket Quilt Extreme Makeover Edition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ta this better???

I hope so, cause I'm not making any other changes, just quilting! So, click here, and don't be afraid to enter the drawing!!!!

Happy Quilting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blog Give Away

Ok everyone, it's time!!!!! November 10th marked my First Blogversary and soon.....very soon, I'll have 200 posts. I think we need to have a double giveaway, don't you? One prize for my 1st Blogversary and one prize for my 200 posts.

All you have to do is comment on this post before November 30, 2008.

Be sure and give me a way to contact you......either through your blog or put your e-mail addy in the comment box. If I can't contact you, I will draw another name.

Since I'm giving away two prizes, I will draw two names.

The drawing will be on December 1, 2008.

The reason? I want to give people plenty of time to comment and be entered in the drawing. And, I need to finish the two give away gifts. LOL

Here they are:

One Year Blogversary Gift, Bear Paw Mini, Finished size 19 inches:

200th Post Gift, Basket Mini, Finished size 22 inches (notice the new borders on this one!!):

And, of course, I will be adding a few little extras. Maybe a little cookbook, some chocolate and how about a Fat Quarter? Does that sound good to you??????

The tops are done, and I have started hand quilting them.... LOL. Sign up and tell your friends!!!!!

Happy Quilting!!!!! And, thanks so much for reading and commenting. You are what makes having a blog such fun!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Em's Scrapbag

Here is a quilt made by Emily at Em's Scrapbag, using the Indian Hatchet block. She made it well before my tutorial but was kind enough to let me post it here for you to see. Visit this post to read about her quilt.

If you make blocks or a quilt using the Indian Hatchet, any version, let me know and I'll post it here-with your permission.

Happy Quilting!!!!!!!!

Quilt A Thon - Last update for the evening....maybe

I finished up the rest of the Indian Hatchet blocks that I had cut out. I need to cut some more muslin before I can finish all of them.

I pressed and trimmed the other 2 inch HSTs. Another 35 or so.....Now I'm up to about 135 of them.

I got tired of the Indian Hatchet blocks, didn't want to cut more fabric tonight..... So, I moved on to the Everlasting Wreath blocks. I made another three of them tonight.

Now I have 10 of the 110 that I need to complete the top. (Only 9 are shown.) You see in this pic many of the fabrics repeat. They won't be placed close together when I assemble the quilt at some time. I just pull some fabrics out and I'll worry about placement down the road. I'll just keep sewing along until they are all done....someday!!! LOL

I'll be sewing more tomorrow unless Dear Older Daughter needs to be taken to the Dr. I don't like for her to drive herself when she's sick. She's a southern girl like her mom and has a tendency to faint when ill. I'm really hoping she's better tomorrow. She's had a fever and a really sore throat, aches and pains and has gone through 1/2 a box of Puff's Plus. Poor dear.....doesn't matter how old they are, you still can't stand to see your children suffer. She may have strep....again. Ughh. Poor thing.

Edited to add: Dear Older Daughter saw the Dr. on Monday, the 17th. She has Scarlet Fever. Not feeling well at all. She had a large shot of penicillin and is on antibiotics and aspirin therapy. Poor girl!

Happy Quilting!!!!!!!
Quilt A Thon Update #2

Here are the 2 inch HSTs that I have pressed and trimmed, all 100 of them. I'm going to save them and see about using them in a border for my Indian Hatchet Quilt....otherwise, I've got a great start on yet another quilt! LOL
Quilt A Thon progress report:

Whoo hoo.....It may not seem like much, but I have 12 Indian Hatchet blocks sewn together....and 1 million little 2 in. HSTs. (That might be an exaggeration!) They just need to be pressed......maybe I'll do that now.

I'm on a roll and I'm trying to get lots accomplished. We'll see. On to pressing HSTs.

Happy Quilting Everyone!!!

My QuiltAThon Begins!

I'm just getting started on my own personal part of Judy's Quiltathon! I'm hoping to get lots of Indian Hatchet blocks done today, and also quite a few Everlasting Wreath blocks done.

Of course, all this will take place in between care giving and watching over my adult child who is really sick this morning. I might not get as much accomplished as I want, but I am doing as much as I can.

We have always attended church, but with DH's chronic illness, we aren't able to now. So, in some ways, it feels VERY STRANGE to be home sewing on a Sunday! I'll get over it....I'll listen to some good music and that will make the time fly!

I'll be posting throughout the be on the lookout.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Indian Hatchet Tutorial

Here is a tutorial for this easy block.....even a beginner will be able to sew this one!

If you decide to make blocks or even a quilt, send me a pic and I'll post them for everyone to see!

For this block you will need:

(1) 4 inch square of muslin or other "light" fabric
(2) 3 inch squares of a "dark" fabric

Place your dark fabric in one corner and sew on the diagonal, from corner to corner. Use any method you would normally use. I like using a piece of green tape on the bed of my sewing machine to help me keep the needle in line with the middle of the square. You can draw a line on the back side of the "dark" fabric and sew on that line, but sometimes it's difficult to see the drawn line.

Cut away the triangle, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Keep the triangle lined up carefully. Press the corner of your block open carefully.

Sew this HST (half square triangle) together and set aside to use in another project or as a pieced border later when the top is completed.

I use these small HSTs as leaders & enders between sewing these blocks......Try it, you'll get a rhythm going before too long.

Take the other 3 inch square and place it in the opposite corner, as shown. Sew from corner to corner on the diagonal as before.

Cut away the triangle, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, as before, keeping the small triangle lined up carefully. Press the corner of your block open.

Sew the other HST together and start a pile. These little HSTs add up quickly.

Here is what you end up with.

Join 4 of these little 4 inch blocks together (3 1/2 in. finished) and you'll have a 7 inch finished block.

Please note, the blocks shown have not been sewn together.

Here is a picture of several lined up, showing more of what the quilt will look like.

Any questions??? Please leave a comment and I'll answer in the comment section.
No title today, because I can't always come up with a good one. So, I'll see if I like posting without titles.....

Hopscotch was so nice and cooperative and I was able to put the borders on last night and the remaining one this morning. Feels good to have this one as a flimsy. I really am happy with it.

I think the thing that I'm enjoying about these tops right now, is that I am using stash with just a piece bought here and there for sashing or borders. Makes me feel good to know that I'm using what I have.

And look what I started cutting out last night. Yeah, they are Indian Hatchet blocks!

You know, from the quilt I saw hanging at the quilt show? Here is the story, if you missed it. Amazingly enough, I made the blocks without purchasing any additional gadgets. I was able to assemble the blocks using just my rotary cutter, mat and a 6 1/2 in sq ruler. Imagine that!

And, look, here are the HSTs, just waiting to pressed and trimmed.

I can't believe that I was able to do it without purchasing a $9 pattern and $10 paper guides! Loving the fact that I saved $20 and I'm using strips from my 3 in strip bucket!

I need to spend some time today working on the Everlasting Wreath blocks too. I think I'm behind.....maybe I'll check into that today. I'd really like to get it pieced. I did tell Dear Sister that I would make the quilt, but she would have to pay someone to quilt it for her. I just couldn't commit to that, since I hand quilt. I read some blogs of some great long arm quilters, so we may be contacting one of about 6 months!! LOL You know me....or at least you're beginning to!

Lots to get done today and I still want to make some time to sew!

Happy Quilting!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Diddle Daddle Designs

I won a giveaway on a blog recently and wanted to give a great big shout out to Teresa at Diddle Daddle Designs!!! She let me pick any two items in her Etsy shop and I found two really great items.....choosing was not easy, except I had already visited there and both of these items had already caught my eye!!! As a matter of fact, I went back and chose what I liked when I signed up for the giveaway.....I was pretty sure I would win!!!!


The first item is a wonderfully made, beautiful purse. It has sweet little musical cats on it with a band of red fabric and a black polka dot fabric up top. Then, notice the sweet little yo-yos!!! My it's pretty. The inside is lined with a black prequilted fabric and that's what she made the handles of too. The stitching is really nice and I love the quilting on this purse. I was thinking I might give it for a Christmas gift, as she suggested, but no....I think it's got my name on it. Too cute.

The other bag is made from decorator weight fabric and great cotton fabrics. A green gingham, a pale pink floral, a striped fabric and a couple of other pretty prints. It's shabby chic and ADORABLE! More quality stitching and quilting!!! Yeah, well, I was thinking about giving this one too, but you know, it has wonderful pockets inside. It would be PERFECT for carrying my hand piecing project, so I'm going to keep it too!!!! LOL

I'm a terribly selfish person, I know, but I just can't help myself.

Thanks so much Teresa!
They are both lovely and such a generous gift!!!!

When good quilts go bad

My Hopscotch quilt was having issues. So Monday, it went into solitary confinement. It was being rebellious, difficult to manage. My idea was that "when a good quilt goes bad", you have to take drastic steps to rehabilitate it. It sat all day Monday and Tuesday. This morning, I went in to see the quilt with full intentions of keeping it in solitary if it wasn't ready to turn a new leaf and behave. We sat and had a long talk, me and Hopscotch....and what do you know??? Hopscotch cooperated and look what we were able to accomplish together....just the two of us and a machine.

I cut out the borders and have the first two ready to sew on. Maybe I'll get them done this afternoon. It's been a great quilt...well all except for Monday and Tuesday. But, I'm not dwelling on the past. I'm looking to the future with a renewed sense of hope.

Happy Quilting!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Son

Just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my Dear Younger Son. Today is his birthday.

Son, I'm grateful that the Lord gave you to our family 20 years ago.
You have been a tremendous blessing to us and I'm proud to be your mother.

Designers Beware

I was reading a post on Megan's blog earlier where she talked about pattern issues. She was frustrated by a lack of real instructions included in the pattern. No pics or illustrations either.

I have found this to be true when shopping for patterns. Now, when I like a pattern, I refuse to purchase it until I've looked at the instruction sheet. I skim through it to see if I can understand it and if I can, I will purchase it. Sometimes, we aren't able to hold the pattern in hand, like when shopping online, but I do it every time I can.

Example: Bonnie Blue's Pattern for Sallie's Quilt. Last year, at the Quilt Festival, I saw this quilt from afar hanging in the Bonnie Blue booth. I fell in love with this quilt from first sight. As I looked over it, I realized it was an easy pattern. A two block quilt with sashings and cornerstones, set on point. But, she had done all the work. I hadn't thought of the idea. I asked her if I could open the package and look at the instructions. Well written and worth the price for the picture alone. I purchased it within 5 minutes.

This year at the Quilt Festival, I found a pattern that I really liked. Now, for me, I usually spy a quilt that looks like a great scrap quilt pattern. I RARELY (read only one time) buy a pattern and purchase all the fabric needed at the same time. Most of the time, I buy a pattern and use what I have and supplement what I don't. I'm trying to use some of this stuff up.....

Anyway, back to the story. So, I spy this quilt and think it would be a great scrap user. So, I went into the booth, looked around and couldn't find the pattern. I asked, and a lady said, "Sure, it's right here. We also have this great little gadget to help you make the blocks." I'm not a gadget person, I like to make things with as few tools as possible. A universal ruler or one like the EZ Angle. Something that can be used for a lot of different quilts.

Not wanting to be rude, I watched her demo. The neat gadget was a piece of vellum with sewing lines on it. You sew along this line, turn it around and sew on this line, cut here and you have two HSTs. Ok....not impressed. I can certainly make a HST without this special little paper.

So, I ask if it's ok for me to open the package and look at the pattern. I really had every intention of buying. I just needed to see if the instructions were clear......and they weren't. The instructions called for the neat little gadget in order to make the quilt. In order to make it without the disposable vellum paper, you have to think and think and do some math. I stood there dumbfounded. The pattern price $9. The vellum? $10. And, those $10 papers only made a lap quilt.

If I find something I like, I try to buy the pattern because someone went to a lot of work to make the pattern up, and I respect that. But try to hoodwink me into buying something that can EASILY be made without your expensive twice the price and I'm likely to walk around the corner and draw out the block on a scrap piece of paper.

Here is a pic of the block I made when I got home that evening. See what I mean about simple.?

The vellum was to help you sew a second seam 1/2 inch away so you end up with a HST for the border. I can do that for free.....don't need to pay the extra $10, thank you.

I would have purchased the pattern just to have the pic of the quilt on the front of it, if only I hadn't felt like they were trying to rip my head off. I was going to have to buy the paper and then rip it off and throw it away. And if I ever wanted to make another quilt, I'd have to call the pattern company and order new papers. Too rediculous!

So, pattern designers beware....we're not stupid. We love what you do, but please don't force us to buy crazy little gadgets and stupid disposable papers that can only be used once or just for this pattern only. We like things to be versitale. Believe me, I don't mind spending money on something that I think I'll use over and over again. But I'm not laying down my hard earned cash easily.

A Give Away!!! Hooray!!

Check out this give away from Old Red Barn Co. Amazing, huh??????

Happy Veterans Day!!

I'd like to say thank you to the men and women of our military. I am so grateful for the ones who serve our country so selflessly and honorably. Please pray for the safety of our men and women. I personally know too many to count. Several who are serving in Iraq, some who are home resting from their time spent there, some stationed here waiting for deployment and one, somewhere out there aboard a nuclear sub.

We have so much to be grateful for, don't we??

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sneaking in a trip, I didn't really sneak in a trip, everyone knew when I left and where I was going, but I did make an important run to the LQS (local quilt shop). I HAD to get two pieces of CW fabrics for my Hop Scotch quilt that I am working on. I didn't have anything in my stash that would really "work".

I carved out some time today for a quick trip to Painted Pony N Quilts in La Porte. They have been closed down since Hurricane Ike. They opened Saturday before the Quilt Festival here in Houston. They had some roof damage and water got to some of the fabric. I was told today that some of the guild ladies got to the fabric very quickly, took it all home and washed it. It's now in storage awaiting a big sale day. I'm thinking.....pre washed fabric and it's on sale! Hmmmm. Of course, I'm not sure about that. I would have to inspect it for myself.

Here is what I've gotten done so far today on the quilt.

I cut out all the squares and sashings. I'm loving the brown with the rich pink/lt. red. Of course the rows are just laid out on the floor, not sewn together. I decided to just sew the rows together and then move everything around until I'm happy with it.

I've also been working on my secret project and have already sewn a total of 12 hours on that.

And, it looks like I'm nearing a momentous occasion. I noticed a few days ago that I am fast approaching my 200th post. And, November 10th will be my One Year Blogversary. It's a double whammy!!! I'm thinking I'll do a double giveaway. Two in one. So, be watching my blog for info. I'll let you know when the time is approaching. Fun, fun, fun.......

Happy Quilting Everyone!!!! And, thanks so much for visiting.

Star Quilt Along Top Done

The colors aren't accurate, really. It was dark when I finished it up, but I couldn't wait to post a pic of it. So glad to have this one crossed off the list.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sewing Spree!!

I'm enjoying a sewing spree! I've been on a roll since quilt show. I suppose all the lovely quilts, fabrics, patterns and quilters inspired me.

The first thing that I thought of this morning was my Star Quilt Along Quilt. I really needed to add the borders to that quilt. But I wasn't too sure what I would do. I'm a big fan of saturated color and too much white has never been a favorite of mine. So, I was thinking about adding a two inch border of the fabric that I used for the setting blocks on this quilt. I had already looked at the leftover bit and just knew there wouldn't be enough. Yes, I even did the math and there wasn't enough, I was one 2 1/2 inch strip short. So, it sat while I thought things through, trying to decide what I would do for the first border.

This morning, I walked into the sewing room and evidently, my mother had walked through and saw some fabric hiding behind a table. She picked it up and left it sitting on my cutting table. Guess what it was???? A 2 1/2 inch strip of that same fabric I needed. I must have dropped it at some point when cutting the strips for the setting blocks!! Yippee! I was so excited that I added that border on right away and continued working on the next border. How cool is that? And how often does something like that happen???

For the outer border, I'm using various greens in different lengths. Two sides are sewn on, and the other two are cut and just need to be sewn. But, since I have a little issue with concentration, I set it aside for a bit to sew on something else.

I've had this little project, Everlasting Wreath, cut out and waiting for a while, but just couldn't make myself sit down and start on it. This first pic of it is the pic from the pattern front.

I decided that I needed to make this one a block party quilt. When I use the term Block Party, all I am going to do is try to make one block a day and before I know it, all 110 will be finished. Who knows, one day I might get all tickled and sew 3 or 4!! This way I don't get bored too easily! It worked for my Off Centered Log Cabin blocks and Dear Younger Son's Double Four I'm hoping it will work for this quilt too.

Here is a pic of two of the blocks that I've gotten done.

And here, is one I found online that is gorgeous!!! I can't remember where I found that last pic, but it's beautiful. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know and I'll give it proper credit.

And lastly, over the past few days, I've been madly cutting strips and sewing up these Double Four Patches for a quilt I'm going to call Hopscotch. I fell in love with this quilt I found at Quilting With The Past. It's amazing, and has my very favorite piece.....squares. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Thanks so much Lucy for sharing the pics of your beautiful quilt. Here are the blocks for my version. I'm making them using my CW reproduction fabrics. I'm loving it!!!

And, so.....on goes the sewing spree. I hope it never ends, but I know that at some point life will interfere and I will have to put down the fabric and get something done, like lunch or dinner. But, for now, I'm having a wonderful time, and I'm staying out of trouble!! (Well mostly.....)

Happy SEWING and QUILTING!!!!!