Monday, October 31, 2011


I attended Jo Morton's School House Class at Market and was the lucky recipient of her newest book, hot off the press Prairie Flowers EncoreShe showcased a several quilts from her new line of fabric as well. 

I feel so fortunate that my name was drawn out of a packed room of probably 250+ quilters.  At the end, Jo gave away about 10 different items.  The first few items were won by international attendees, then a person from Oklahoma won something.  The next few items were by, you guessed it, international attendees.  The final name drawn was mine.  Someone commented rather loudly, "Well Texas is a country of it's own", so guess they considered me an international attendee also. The room broke out in a chuckle on that comment. And everyone also received a tote bag made from her fabrics as well.  Can you say Jackpot!

Most of you know that I'm not a huge fan of civil war repro's but I'll have to admit they are growing on me.  This quilt was very beautiful and I might even make it.  I like the fact that the applique is fairly large pieces (as far as applique goes) and wouldn't be too much of a challenge.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Oh, What to tell you!  I just got home from Quilt Market in Houston and I saw so many neat things.  I don't even know where to begin.  I'm exhausted but so inspired.  I would like to just hibernate in my studio until I can produce all the ideas stirring around in my head.  Hey!  What a weight loss plan that would be.  Locked in my studio, no food..... hmmmm

I'll start with the class I took this morning.  It was Sew Simple Pineapple with author/designer Karin Hellaby.  She is from Suffolk UK and I just love to hear her speak.  She makes a very complicated block soooo easy.  It only took me about 15 minutes to make this 8" block.  A huge thanks to Northcott Fabrics for supplying the fabrics and Bernina for supplying the sewing machines for our class.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Sometime in the middle of the night, a week ago today my email account was apparently hacked!  It sent an email to everyone in my contact list stating that I was in Madrid Spain, that my luggage and all my credit cards and passport had been stolen.  Of course the hackers wanted all my contacts to "send money to get me home". 

My phone rang off the hook all day Saturday!  I got lots of emails and text messages stating they were sure it wasn't true but if I needed help to let them know.  I assured everyone that I was home in Brownwood but they could still send money if they wanted.  Haha!  No one sent me money!  Several friends wanted to know why I didn't invite them to come along!  That's one trip I don't think they want to go on!

I also assured them that I was fine other than being really irritated.  It seems that when I went into my account to change my password and implement a couple of other security measures, it deleted every single contact I had AND deleted all my messages in my inbox, draft box, sent box.  Guess what wasn't deleted... my Spam box.  Yep all 50+ messages in my spam box were still there; everything else gone!  I lost all my quilting contacts, my long lost friends/classmates, every contact. 

Have I whined enough yet about losing all my contacts?  Now the task of adding as many contacts back as possible.... URGH!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Are you a thrifty quilter or do you throw small pieces of fabric away?  I used to save almost every little scrap until I had soo much I was on scrap overload and I don't even make scrappy quilts.  Then I read a magazine article about organizing your scraps.  It advised you to pick a few sizes and cut your scraps up into those sizes.  If it didn't fit into those sizes, throw it away.  I chose 2 1/2" squares, 2 1/2" strips, 3 1/2" squares, and 5" squares.  I now have quite a collection (as in my totes are overflowing) with those sizes.  Other than the 2 1/2" strips, I rarely use any of the other sizes.  Remember, I don't make scrappy quilts.  I love scrappy quilts.  I just can't seem to make them.  I can't just grab a light and a dark and put them together.  I have to "plan" it.  I have another friend that calls that "Planned Scrappy".  Even then I have a hard time doing it. 

If the price of fabric continues to rise, and I'm pretty sure it will, I may have to do what my grandmother would do, go to the thrift store or goodwill and purchase clothing to recycle to make my quilts.  Of course, I also have quite a stash that I could probably make quite a few more quilts before I have to resort to that.

Yesterday I ran across this from the All People Quilt website.   Tips for Thrifty Quilting from Darlene Zimmerman .  My favorite is the pieced binding.  Are there any of these tips you would use?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


It's finally finished!  My challenge quilt for the Quilted Angels Quilt Club.  Whoo Hoo!!!  I used the Lil Twister Ruler and the Miniature Twister Ruler and had so much fun with it.  Now I need a name for it.  What do you think?  I don't want to call it a Twister Wreath as there is another quilt similar to it that has that name.  I asked Gregg what it reminded him of and he said... (what else?)... a wreath.  I said no, can't use that.  It has to be more interesting than that.  He says a circular saw blade!  Huh?  Well, yes I guess it does but that thought never entered my mind. Next I asked William what he thought.  Guess What, same answers.  Really?!!  I said it has to be more original than a wreath.   Besides it's red, cream, and blue.   William says how about an American Wreath or an American Saw.  No, No, No!!!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


My 3 year old granddaughter Raleigh is going to be a cowgirl for Halloween and Nana made her this cute little cowgirl skirt to go with the pink western shirt with rhinestones and fringe, pink boots, and hat.  It took me less time to make this skirt from start to finish (exactly 1 hour) than it did to drive to the closest quilt shop, purchase the fabric and drive back home (almost two hours).  Of course, I also chatted a bit with the ladies at the quilt shop and scheduled a teaching class for the God Bless Texas Quilt after the first of the year.
Here's how I did it.  I began by cutting a rectangle 3/4 times the desired length and twice as wide as her waist.  In my case 12" x the width of the fabric (WOF).  It's hard to see in the picture but aren't the cowgirl boots and glittery horseshoes cute in this fabric? 
  Sew the raw edges together to form a tube and finished the edges with a zig-zag stitch.

Then I cut a strip of fabric 1/4 of the desired length and twice the width of the skirt top for the ruffle.  In my case two strips 5" wide x the WOF.  Sew the ends together to form a very large tube.  I then hemmed the ruffle tube on one side and sewed a set of gathering basting stitches on the other side.  When you sew the gathering stitches, make two rows of stitching, setting your stitch length the the longest available.  The first row is 1/4" from the edge, the second row is 1/4" from the first.  Be sure to leave a long "tail" of thread, about 4" or so that you will be able to pull on to gather the ruffle later.

Divide the skirt top into fourths and place a pin to mark it.  Now divide the ruffle tube into fourths and place a pin to make it.  Match the pins together.  Pull the gathering threads to gather the ruffle to fit in the space between the quarter pin marks, distributing the gathers evenly.  Add additional pins to keep the edges even until stitched down. 

Wrap the pulled tails of threads in a figure 8 pattern to temporarily secure the gathers. 
Sew the ruffle to the skirt, stitching down the center of the two rows of gathering stitches.  When you come to the threads wrapped around the pins, remove the pins and pull the threads out straight just before you stitch over the thread.  When you have stitched all the way around the ruffle/skirt, pull the gathering threads to remove them.

Now you're ready to add the casing for the elastic to the top of the skirt.  Begin by turning down the top edge 1/4" and press.  Now turn down once again the width of the elastic plus 1/4" more.  In my case, my elastic is 1" wide so I turned it down 1 1/4". 

Pin in place and stitch.  Be sure to leave an opening wide enough to insert the elastic into the casing.  I also add a second row of stitching on the top edge.  It helps prevent the elastic from "rolling" in the casing.

Cut a piece of elastic the measurement of her waist minus just a bit but not too much.  You don't want it to be too tight and uncomfortable.  Place a safety pin in the elastic and thread it through the casing.  Stitch the elastic ends together and sew up the opening. 

 TA DAH!!! A COWGIRL SKIRT!!  Won't she look adorable in it!

Monday, October 24, 2011


We are making progress in the FREE QUILTING GIVEAWAY.  Remember when I posted this in September?  Well, we are another follower closer to giving the quilting away.  We just need 100 followers in order to give the Free Quilting Away. 

I'm also working on a Block of the Month quilt pattern to post on here.  I don't have it completed yet but as soon as I do, I will let y'all know.  It is going to be a seasonal sampler and I'm trying to decide if it should be a mystery or if I'll show you the whole thing in the beginning.  It is my plan to have it ready starting Jan. 1st.  I think I could have it ready by December 1st but if you're like me, I wouldn't do the first block in December because of the holidays and then I'd be a month behind right off the bat so January 1st it is.  Besides, it could be the start of your New Year's Resolution... to stay caught up on a BOM!  I know, I'm delusional but hey, optimistic!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Friday evening one of the girls in my quilting group has had a stressful few weeks, ending in the passing of her father, who lives in several states away.  She was in need of some desperate girlfriend time and we were just the friends to help her out.  We ordered in pizza, had Halloween sugar cookies and sewed away for several hours.  I tried my creativity on another twister wreath.  This is a picture of it after I cut three rows with the twister ruler.
This is the three rows sew together.
These are the corner stones in the outer border

And this is the corner stones "twisted".
I can't wait to show you the finished wall hanging.  I have it in the quilting machine and hope to have it quilted tomorrow.    This is also my Quilted Angels Online Quilt Club October Challenge with Quilts With A Heart


Thursday, October 20, 2011


My friend and customer Linda made this oh so cute quilt called Henrietta Whiskers by Bunny Hill Designs and brought it to me to quilt.  I couldn't resist sharing it with you.  I don't even like squirrels and I'm very tempted to make this.  If you're interested, be sure to go to Bunny Hill Designs and download the free pattern.  But hurry, it will go off their site on December 31 and will only be available for purchase.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I worked on two of the house blocks for my House Quilt  BOM from Quilts With A Heart.  I'm caught up on the houses and only one more month to go in the program.  Each house also has a stitchery piece that goes with them.  Wish I could say I was caught up on the stitchery pieces also.  I am only 3 behind so a trip to Missouri will catch me up.  You can get a lot done in 10 hours in a car one way.  Guess that probably won't happen until Thanksgiving though.  And then I'll have 4 to do!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Today was Quilt Guild day.  I belong to two groups and they both meet on the same day; one in the morning and one in the evening.  Our morning group's program was Irons - Past, Present, Future.  Benita gave a very interesting talk about irons from the past and showed several antique irons.  I love antiques, especially if they has something to do with sewing or quilting.  I forgot to take any pictures of Benita's irons but here are a few of the irons I have.  My favorite is the little blue Coleman iron.  My pedicure lady, Mary gave me this.  She is so nice to me! 
This evenings group, Razzle Dazzle Quilters program was on making prairie points.  Connie demonstrated a really neat ruler to make prairie points and a "ric rac" border.  Again, I forgot to take pictures but will post information about the ruler in my next post.

Monday, October 17, 2011


One of my favorite side dishes is Fried Apples.  I don't know why, but I usually only fix them in the fall.  That's the only time I remember getting them as a kid so guess it's taboo to have them any other time of year.  They are so easy to fix and I think I could eat my weight in them.  Well, not really, but you get the idea, I LOVE fried apples. 

Growing up mom always used Jonathan Apples but I have used other varieties with good results.  The only kind I didn't like the results of was Delicious Apples.  I haven't tried Granny Smith apples but would imagine you would need more sugar for them. 

I sliced a skillet full of apples (I think there were about 6 large apples).  I just wash the apples, slice them in a skillet with a very small amount of oil in the bottom and cook with a lid on till tender, usually about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.   There is no need to peel the apples but you can if you want.  This skillet is a 12" skillet and before I started cooking it was full to the top with sliced apples.  When they are tender, I remove the lid, add sugar to taste (I used about 3/4-1 cup of sugar), 1/2 stick of butter, and cinnamon (about 2 tsp.).  I let that cook about 5 minutes more and they're done.  Sometimes I serve it with ice cream or whipped topping as a dessert but usually it's just fried apples.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I have been working on quilting this monster  oh I mean Halloween 1904 quilt all week and finally got it finished!  It wasn't a very big quilt, just 94x96!  It belongs to my customer Jan.  She LOVES Halloween!  She wanted it quilted "old fashioned" so I did a lot of echo quilting, piano keys, and just a basic curved line in the half square triangles.  Someday I will make one too!   


Saturday, October 15, 2011


I attended the Goldthwaite, Texas Quilt Show today.  As many quilt shows as I go to, it never ceases to amaze me the talent on display.  I didn't count them, but I think there were as many hand quilted quilts as there were machine quilted quilts.  Of course, I couldn't resist taking a picture of this Americana Quilt.  You know I'm a sucker for them!
I also couldn't resist this little dress quilt, some awesome applique and hand work on this quilt. 
My quilts I entered didn't win any ribbons but I really didn't expect them to.  It is viewer's choice and we all know it is now what you know, but who you know (or in this case what you quilt).  I'm not known in Mills County Texas at all.  Actually I doubt I'm very well known in Brown County Texas.  I just like entering quilts in shows so others can enjoy them as much as I do.



Last night Gregg went to bed before I did, which is nothing unusual.  After all, he has already been asleep for a couple of hours on the couch.  I am usually quiet and don't turn on the bathroom light until I've closed the door so as not to wake him, but last evening was different.  I left the door to the bathroom cracked open just a bit and out of the corner of my eye I saw the light reflect off of something.  What in the world was that?!  Upon closer investigation I discover that my pillows have been wrapped in the dry cleaner's bag; the one that says do not let children play with due to possible suffocation... and oh yeah, inside EACH pillow was a plastic hanger on EACH side of the pillow!  It was all I could do not to put that plastic bag over his pillows with his head on them!  Sweet Dreams!!! I hope he has nightmares of my trying to do that!  He thinks he's sooo funny!


Friday, October 14, 2011


If I could sing to you right now, and thank goodness I can't, I'd be singing the song "Walking in a Winter Wonderland".  I don't know if that's the title but I know those are words in the song.  It goes along with the quilt I'm working on called "Winter Wonderland" from Crabapple Hill.  These are a few of the blocks I worked on yesterday at Judy's.  I have several of the embroidery blocks completed also.  I stitched them in a medium blue thread.  Would you call that bluework instead of redwork? 

And now of I have silly song in my head and will be humming it over and over all evening at the football game!  Maybe the halftime performance of the band with put something different in my head.


Thursday, October 13, 2011


I have always thought the whole "play date" thing that moms do with their kids these days is... well we just never did that when we were kids or when my kids were kids.  But today I had what some today would refer to as a "Play Date" with my friend Judy.  We love to get together to "play" but I prefer to call it sewing!  We always have the best time.  We talk about anything and everything and "what happens in the sewing room stays in the sewing room" is definitely true!  We do manage to get quite a bit of sewing done too.  It keeps us both focused and on the task at hand instead of getting side tracked with other things.

Today I added a narrow navy border to the Americana quilt top I thought I finished previously.  I took the border off of my little Angel Josie's baby quilt and cut it down, and re-attached it so that the pieced border will now fit properly.  Pieced the pieced border together and realized I am 4 blocks short so couldn't finish the quilt until I make more blocks. And started piecing blocks in my all blue "Winter Wonderland" quilt top.  I got three 6" blocks completed and one 12" block completed before I realized it was 6:15 and Gregg was probably wondering if I was coming home or spending the night at Judy's house.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I'm still waiting to give away $100 worth of free quilting.  I need 100 followers to do so.  Please tell your friends to follow me.  I don't think I'll lead you astray or down the wrong path if you do!

I'm also still waiting to find my jean capri's.  I don't have a lot of clothes, and especially don't have a lot that fit me so when I wear something out or in this case can't find them, it really puts a strain on my wardrobe!  I know I wore them last week so where could they be?  I  asked Gregg if he remembered seeing them in the laundry.  By the way, I am very lucky to have a hubby that does most of the laundry.  I didn't say I particularly liked the way he does it, but HEY, it's clean and I didn't have to do it!  Anyway, he didn't know anything!  His question back to me was "Where have you been taking your clothes off at!"  Haha!  Very funny Gregg!  I even called my mother in Missouri to see if I by chance left them there when I was home visiting my little Angel Josie and my little Princess Raleigh. I was sure I had worn them since I had been back but it was worth a shot.  Can you believe she asked my the same question Gregg did!  Not funny again!  I have looked everywhere except the land of no return (aka William's room).  Have you been in a 15 year old boy's room lately.  Reminds me of a stinky boy's locker room at school.  I'm desperate though so wish me luck!   

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


 For the past six issues, McCall's Qulting Magazine has had a 6 part series entitled "America The Beautiful".  Since I'm such an Americana, Red, White, and Blue fan, of course I couldn't resist.  Even more importantly, my friends in my little quilting group were all making it too.  I couldn't be the only one not making it.   This is the picture from the magazine.  It really had a little too much green and brown in it for me so I had to put my own touch on it. 
 I really wasn't sure about the purple mountains in my red, white, and blue quilt but the words of the song say "purple mountains majesty" so in go the purple mountains.  As you can see, I also substituted the 3 diamond blocks in the original quilt for the 3 snail's trail blocks.  I thought they represent "from sea to shining sea".  I mentioned earlier that there was too much green in the original quilt.  My friends told me my  "amber waves of grain" across the bottom couldn't be navy blue and gold (the original was gold and green) but mine is!  hehe...  I really don't like ending a quilt with the pieced border so I think I'm going to add another row of solid navy fabric for the final border.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


What a beautiful day in Brownwood.  Cooler temperatures, much needed rain yesterday, attended Sunday School and Church, wonderful lunch with my quilting group and sewing all afternoon with them, and then home to decorate the cookies I baked yesterday.  Raleigh and Josie will love getting their package from Nana this time.   (Well, maybe not Josie, but her mommy and daddy will love them.)
William tells me while I'm baking the Halloween cookies that "Oh by the way Mom, I need a dozen cookies for the FFA meeting Monday evening.  Do you have an FFA cookie cutter?" 
Me - What?  Do I have an FFA cookie cutter.  Noooo.... and I really doubt there is such a thing. 
William - Well then can you just do a circle and write FFA on them? 
Me - Great idea, I can do that.  That's easy enough.  (And what do you know, it's not Monday afternoon, or thirty minutes before the meeting.  So here are the FFA cookies.
Tomorrow I will post pictures of the "America The Beautiful" Quilt I finished today with my quilt group.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


UFO COOKIES.... bet that got your attention.  Actually it was referring to what I did today.  I baked Halloween Sugar Cookies and I finished a UFO... well kinda! I didn't kinda bake the cookies, I really did do that.  It's the UFO that's kinda finished.  And since the cookies are Halloween cookies, they are kinda in the UFO category.  I know, that's a stretch!  Anyway, Here are the cookies.  There are ghosts, pumpkins, and boo's - OH MY!  Now if I only had them decorated.
While I was quilting a Halloween quilt - and no I didn't finish it yet; it's a custom quilting job so will be a couple of days, it put me in the Halloween spirit.  I try to always make decorated sugar cookies for my kids and my little princess, Raleigh and now for my little Angel, Josie.  I decided I had better get them done and in the mail soon.  Halloween will be here before we know it.  So will Christmas, by the way, but we're not going to think about that yet.  If you'd like the recipe, leave me a comment and I will post it.  It's not a real sweet sugar cookie, which works well since the buttercreme icing I used to decorate them with is very sweet. 

Just before I put he Halloween quilt in the quilting machine frame, I put in this UFO that I started 2 1/2 years ago.  There are two of these quilts made from a jelly roll.  It was suppose to be a really quick and easy project; just sew the precut strips of the jelly roll together.  And voile, you have a small quilt or in my case, a table cloth for a set of card tables for a party 4th of July.  Guess I missed that deadline!  It was a quick and easy piecing project; it was the quilting that bogged down the progress.  But now, finally, the quilting is done.  The red photo shows the quilting on the back.  I used a Signature red, white, and blue variegated thread called Stars and Stripes.  Now to get the binding on them.  That shouldn't take long and I will be able to cross that off my list. I love checking off items on my UFO list!  

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