Saturday, January 31, 2015


I've been missing in action from the sewing machine.  I'm up to my eyeballs in boxes.  They are everywhere!  And there is lots of stuff that hasn't found it's way to a box yet either.  Now don't get excited!  They're not my boxes.  (very heavy sigh and very sad face).  They are the boxes at my parents home in southwest Missouri.

They recently purchased a new home and are "movin on up... to the east south side... to that deluxe apartment in the sky (ok no apartment but very nice LARGE home in the high class part of town)...  I do believe there's a song that goes something like that along with a TV show.... I watched it when I was a teen... The Jefferson's.....

Ok, I'm off track a little.... my parents are moving from the house they moved into in 1970, the house that I grew up in, the house my kids went to every day after school, the house with so many memories.... the house that is jam packed with stuff, junk, crap, treasures... call it what you want but it's all that has to be moved to the new house.

Here was our first load on Wednesday afternoon.... mom's scrapbook albums.... do you think she has a few?!?

We've had lots of help and mom has done a ton of packing ahead of time.....but it's a big chore and this old body and knees are screaming form carrying boxes and climbing stairs from the basement to the main level of the house for 3 1/2 days!  I'm WORN OUT!!!  Sewing and quilting is much easier!  I can't wait to get back to the sewing machine and creating something fun and exciting.

Until I do, please check out what's going on at the We Support You Blog Hop.
There is plenty of creativity and support going on over there.  My day is coming soon.  I have my project ready and can't wait to show you my support.  You can see the full schedule here.

Oh and just in case you're wondering or thought you missed something.... you haven't.... no our house in Texas hasn't sold yet, the King is still living in a hotel, and I still have the cast/splint thingy on my hand.  I'm hoping to be rid of that apparatus on Monday when I go back to the doctor for my 6 week check up.    



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday - Half Square Triangles

Pinwheels are one of my favorite blocks to make.  They really are pretty quick and easy.  This weeks Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday we're making half square triangles needed to make pinwheel blocks.

There are also a million, okay maybe not a million, but a lot of ways to make a half square triangle.  There are also quite a few tools or gadgets or rulers out there to help you with your process too.  Until recently, my favorite was the old fashioned, cut a square, draw a line diagonally, stitch on both sides of the line, cut it apart, press, square it up to the needed size and ta da, a pair of half square triangles were made to make a pinwheel block.

Then I found this method.  I have seen it before and have even used it a few times.  But I never knew the magic formula to be able to make any size I wanted or needed. It is so easy.  It's called the Magic 8 Formula.

Finished Size half square triangle + 7/8" x 2 = Size Square to make Magic 8 half square triangles.
So lets say I'm making 3" finished half square triangles.  This is the formula:
3" + 7/8" = 3 7/8" x 2 = 7 3/4" square to make Magic 8 half square triangles

So let's get started.

Take 2 squares 7 3/4" and place right sides together.  Draw a diagonal line from each corner, both directions.

Stitch 1/4" from the drawn lines, on each side of the drawn lines.

Now place the sewn squares on a cutting mat and cut on the drawn lines without moving any of the pieces.  Also cut down the middle of the square and across the square in the middle.

There you have it, 8 half square triangles, just like Magic.  Now you can press them to the darkest fabric.  Sometimes if I'm not in too big of a hurry, I press the seams open as it will give you an even flatter pinwheel block.  There are a lot of seams coming together in the middle of a pinwheel.  

At this point you can also square them to the needed size.  In my case 3 1/2".

Lay the half square triangles out to form your pinwheel blocks.  Be sure to use one of portable block design boards I posted about here.  And don't forget to do the Twist like I posted about here.

Don't you agree that this Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday on Half Square Triangles really is Magic!

I'm linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts on her Let's Bee Social post.  I really love linking up with her.  I've found some really neat blogs with her Let's Bee Social party.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Portable Block Design Board Tutorial

I've been making a few of these Portable Block Design Boards.  I just love them and thought you might like them too.  They are really pretty easy and oh so handy to have.  I can't believe I've pieced thousands of blocks without them.

I first learned of these cute, handy dandy boards when I was reading Lori Holt's blog Bee In My Bonnet.  She has a tutorial for them as well but her method is completely different than mine.  Lori uses hot glue and I'm not a huge fan of hot glue.  I always burn my fingers.  I thought there had to be another way of making these cutie pie boards without it.  You can check it out and decide for yourself which way you like better.  Either method you use, you're gonna LOVE them.

I have made 2 sizes, a 10" one and a 14" one.  I use the 10" one for smaller blocks less than 8" and I use the 14" one for 12" blocks or less.

Here's what you'll need to make one.  I'll give you instructions for the 14" one.  If you want the 10" one, just change the cutting directions accordingly.

1 - 15" square of flannel (I pre-washed mine)
1 - 15" square of backing fabric (I used a fat quarter)
2 - 15" squares of fusible web (I used wonder under)
2 - 15" squares of heavy, heavy fusible interfacing (I used Pellon's Peltex)
1 - 14" square of heavy card stock (I used the photo matting board material that I bought at Hobby Lobby in the photo department.  I comes in a large sheet about 36" x 48".  Poster board is NOT stiff enough.)
2 - 2 1/2" x WOF for binding

Begin by adhering the fusible interfacing to the backing square

And to the flannel square.  A steam iron is a must to get the fusible interfacing to stick.

Next fuse the wonder under to each of the squares (backing and flannel).   Peel off the backing paper of the Wonder Under.  Now position the card stock square in the middle of the flannel square and then place the backing square on top of it.  You are making a sandwich of flannel square, Peltex, Wonder Under, Card stock, Wonder Under, Peltex, and backing square.  You should have a 1/2" margin around the card stock.  Now fuse that together with a hot steam iron.

Now you're ready to prepare your binding.  I'm going to bind it just like I would a quilt or placemat.  Join your two 2 1/2" strips together with a bias seam.  I lay them at right angles and sew a diagonal line across as shown below.  

Trim the seam to 1/4" and press open.

Now press the strip in half lengthwise.

Begin sewing the binding to the back side of the board.  I turn under 1/2" at the beginning.  

Sew to the corner, stopping 1/4" from the corner.  Remove from the sewing machine.

Flip the strip back at a right angle .....

Then fold it forward down the next side, making it almost even with the previous edge.  You want it to stick out past the end just about 1/16" of an inch.

Begin sewing down that side, sewing all the way to the next corner, stopping 1/4" from the edge.  Repeat this process for all 4 sides.

When you get back around to the beginning where you started, overlap the binding 1/2"

Now flip the board over, bring the binding around to the front side and top stitch the binding in place. When you bring it around to the front, you want to just barely cover your stitching line used to sew it on with.  You want to attach the binding in the 1/2" margin.  You don't want to stitch on the card stock.  Your needle might not like it too well!

I used pins at the corner to get my miter nice and neat.  I also found that a bent pin works best as the board is stiff and the bent pin is easier to manipulate in the binding to hold it in place until it's stitched down.

Ta Da!  And there you have it.  A PORTABLE BLOCK DESIGN BOARD.  
The front.....

And the back...

The boards are great to lay your block out on, move to the sewing machine and sew it up...

 move to the ironing board and press it...

 move back to the sewing machine, and never get your block out of order.  

Go make yourself one or two or a dozen.  You'll love your PORTABLE BLOCK DESIGN BOARDS!


Grow Your Blog & Giveaway

A few weeks ago I was visiting another blog.  Vicki over at 2 Bags Full is hosting a party.  Everyone likes a party, right?  It's a "GROW YOUR BLOG" party.  Well of course, I'm always looking for ways to grow my blog and get new followers.  By golly, I think I'll join in the fun and party with the best of them.

Vicki suggested I tell you about myself.  For my readers that already follow, I'm not really sure I can tell you something you don't already know.... you know I love to quilt.... after all, I'm the Quilting Queen.  You know I love to scrapbook.  I recently finished up 6 years worth of scrapbook photo albums for William's graduation party.... you know I love to garden and work with my flowers.... and you know I love to cook.  But quilting is, has been, and always will be my passion.

However, for you newbies, you may not know that I'm married to The King (aka Gregg).

We just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.  Well actually there was no celebration.  He is in DeKalb, IL, I'm in Brownwood TX until the house sells.  He was recently transferred with 3M (his employer for 30+ years).  But like any good husband would do to stay out of the doghouse, he sent me these roses.  There are 20 of them; one for each year.  There are also 3 pink ones for each of the 3 kids and 4 white ones for each of the 4 grandkids.

We have 3 grown children.  Drew and his wife Bethany live near Nevada, MO and are the parents of 2 of my grandchildren Josie and Emmett.

Hollie and her husband Kyle live in Sasebo Japan (where he is stationed in the Navy) and are the parents of the other 2 of my grandchildren Raleigh and Kameron.

William is a freshman in college and is living at home still.  I call him my webmaster, court jester, and sometimes the King as he thinks he is most of the time.  He helps me a lot with my blog!!  He and are are hosting Tasty Thursday and he is doing all the cooking so far.

Obviously you are interested in quilting or you probably would not have visited.  So here's a quilt I made to wet your taste buds.  It's called Luvin Texas and features hand embroidery blocks and pieced blocks.  I also have Tuesday Tips, Tricks, and Tuts that features a helpful quilty related post.  I'm a longarm quilter and will post from time to time photos of the quilting I do for my customers and the patterns I used to quilt them.  I participate in several block of the month programs and post my progress on here.  I've been published in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 8, Volume 9, and Volume 10 and hope to be published in many more.  I also participate in blog hops at Sew We Quilt and am always looking to participate in other blog hops.  You just never know what you might find quilt related on here.

Now if you're still with me, you deserve a chance to win something.  I'm so glad you've stopped by to visit.  I have a signed copy of a book that I got from Quilt Market last fall that I'm giving away.  All you have to do is leave me a comment that you follow me and how you follow me.  I'll give it away on Feb. 1st.  It is open to anyone, just make sure you're not a no-reply blogger.  I have to be able to contact you to tell you you've won.

Be sure to link up to Vicki at 2 Bags Full and check out others who are joining the Grow Your Blog Party.


Friday, January 23, 2015

If This Box Could Talk

If this box could talk, I wonder what it would say?  My friend Joy recently received this treasure box in the mail from a friend of her husbands.  It seems Joy was the only person the friend knew that quilted.  His mother had recently passed away and this was left behind.  If I remember correctly, he thought they might have belonged to his grandmother and then his mother inherited them.  He couldn't bear to throw it away so he sent it to Joy.  Wow, what a neat gift to receive in the mail.... and an interesting one too.

Here's what she got:  
Double wedding ring arcs.  And the newspaper pattern...  Probably not enough for a top but a wall hanging for sure.  

 String blocks, and lots of them.

String blocks with the foundation newspapers still on the back of them.... dating 1930 and 1931.  Don't you just love to read the bits and pieces of the news on the back of these blocks?

A large stack of star blocks... more than enough for a quilt.  Why did she just keep making blocks and never put them together for a top?

A stack of signature blocks.... several with a date of of them is the grandmother of the man who gave Joy the box.  She's going to set these together in a wall hanging and give it back to him.  Wonder why they were never set together in a quilt?  

And the most interesting thing of all, in my opinion, in the box.  I wish that I had taken a better picture of the whole thing.  It's a quilt top with holes in the center.  I wonder how the maker intended to finish it?  Was she going to applique it to a large solid background (which is what we all suggested Joy do with it).  Was she going to hand piece the center circle of fabric to the unit?  

I suspect that all of the UFO projects... (wonder what they called them back then.  I'm sure it wasn't UFO's though)... were made by the same lady and all about the same time.... 1930's, maybe early 40's.  Some of the fabrics are pre 1930's also.  Oh IF THIS BOX COULD TALK....

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