Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I ran out of fabric...

I blended some other similar fabrics into this...
Not sure I wan to keep doing that, but i will keep playing with scraps until I get
a bit more solids to finish this.
I love it!

So instead, I worked on this:

And a little of this..

And decided I want to make this one into a whole quilt.
I love the colors.

It makes me smile like this scrappy happy quilt.

Why not have another!


And the Pixie Dust has it's borders on!
It looks amazing.

I'm going to applique a few things in the borders... to jazz it up.
Then it's off to be quilted!

(it's a funky gray dark day, not a good bright picture day!)

pay it forward.

So i have seen people doing this pay it forward idea, and thought it would be fun.
I got in at the matthews family blog, and now, part of the deal is,
I pick three people and send each of you something hand made,
and then each of you three, pick three people to hand make something for,
and so on and so forth.

I like projects like these. It keeps me thinking.

Wanna play along?
leave me a comment.

I'd like to say before Xmas it would be nice to send these items on...
although in John's post, he says you have a year.
But the way I think, I know I will forget about it and then leave someone hanging,
So I am sticking with, these will be sent out before xmas...
tis the season, right?

and mary
you are in.

if you are looking to get in on the fun, run over to their sites... quick!

now, where was I?
see, how my mind works?

scrap tales

Ahhhh, scraps.
Don't ya just love'm
When I get stuck in my head, I have to get out my scraps,
and just sew my brains out without thinking...

It makes me so happy.

These little trees ( below) that Shelly and I did, are sort of that way too.
Cut, sew, cut, sew...
I'm finishing mine off...I can't show you, as I will bring it to Houston
and will have a show and tell with her then.

Darn those Batiks are addicting.... Love them.

And I have Tonya's parting words to me, still in my head...
Use more solids....
OK. For today, that works for me!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday rambles

I put together a new website for the new block gather project.
Please head over there to show, inspire, ask questions and to stay up to date on the project.
I sent invites to all participating so that you can post,
if you have not gotten the invite for some reason please shoot me an email.
I did notice one person's email, whom I email regularly has come back for some unknown computer issue.

I thought it was humorous when I posted this quilt the other day that several people commented, they liked the "Chopsticks" quilt.
I thought, that was a clever name, then it was pointed out that it wasn't so unique!
go figure! I guess I don't read enough quilt magazines. ;-)

My inspiration came from two sketches I have here in the studio.
The blue and green one, was for a mural painting I was going to do in my new
kitchen at my house, but it never came to be..
So it has been hanging here for a good 5 years, and looking at it every days,
I thought, hmmm, that might make a nice quilt.
I'm thinking the mural still needs to become a quilt that actually resembles the sketch... the whole blue green thing is indeed very "me!"

Just below the above sketch hangs this black and white sketch.
Same concept, different mediums, simple, yet striking.
(match sticks, chop sticks, counting by 5's, etc. etc.)
I need to pick a nice name for this quilt...

which goes to show you: Nothing is original... But hopefully authentic.

One particularly great thing I picked up from Shelly this past weekend,
was when machine quilting, put on its undergarments before you start quilting it!
This, first I thought very funny, Shelly does have a fun sense or humor.
And second, it made a lot of sense.
She said stitching in the ditch does two things.
one, sets up the quilt in a way you can take out the basting pins
which will make it easier to quilt,
and two, gives the designs more refinement.

So don't forget your quilts undergarments!

I finished up these two little projects with her theory.
I think it will help me a lot and give me more patience in machine quilting larger pieces...

And lastly,
The PIXIE DUST BLOCKS go together today! Yippee! I just made a few adjustments to the layout, after I took this image. And now will begin sewing them together, and decide on a border choice... I am still amazed at how lovely this quilt looks already.
You guys are talented & awesome!

Monday, September 28, 2009

errand day

I have used this fabric (right image) in the past and after trying to find something to border this quilt, I decided after finding a scrap of this fabric above, that it is perfect.
But guess what...
No selvedge....

Anyone have any idea who made this?
I need to find more....
I'm crossing my fingers I can still find it...


I can't believe you knew it! I tried to thank you but your a no reply...
thank you, thank you!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

what fun!

Busy Little bees!
Shelly, me and Andrea made a fabulous mess this past weekend.

We had some machine quilting lessons from Shelly. She made me some geese for my blue green quilt! Love them!We made improv tops to practice our machine quilting skills, and made some improv tree blocks too...

We worked on some Sis Boom POW blocks with Jennifer Paganelli fabrics.
this is my second block, Again trying something I've never done before, a dresden and will applique it down on the block.
I will be cutting up the fabrics this week, to be sent out by Friday! (fingers crossed)

It's going to be one colorful quilt!

I've never had a big sewing weekend like this before. I highly recommend it! Picking each others brains about how to do things, or what works and doesn't has already made me feel like a better quilter... And who doesn't like some good old chatty time!

So, if your making the Donation applique blocks, try something new! get creative! It's good to try some new things, when you are making just one or two blocks, instead of getting overwhelmed by a huge quilt...

I can't wait to see what you come up with!

We had such a great time.
Thanks Shelly for schlepping your sewing machine up to NY!
And you too Andrea! up and down subway stairs is no easy feet either!

Happy Sunday!

I will be putting together the Pixie Dust blocks this week. Yippeee! They look so great!

Friday, September 25, 2009

quick note

We are full for the Sis Boom Pow block gather!
thanks everyone! this is going to be fun!

If you've recvd a email from me confirming then you know your in.

You can take the button if you'd like to add it to your blog.

Gotta go sew!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Playing with fabric

Playing with the SIS BOOM DAY fabrics!

For all those who think they can't do applique, This new to me too! My first attempt in 20 some years, was that stones quilt, and I had fun stitching those circles, so that is were this challenge for the new donation quilt, Sis Boom, POW quilt came into play.

I ordered this book above, Applique outside the lines, just because I loved the quilt on the cover. Indulgent right? well, the whole book is filled with lovely things.
A lot of great ideas...

For those of you who are new to my blog. This will be my third gather quilt for donation.
You can see the original Quilt here:
9 patch gather
One in the works now here:
Pixie Dust

And sign up for this one:
I have room for about 10-12 more people as of thursday a.m.

I took only a few minutes to play with the above square, and weather or not it stays this way, I think it's a good Happy start.

You don't have to Applique! It's not a requirement.
But I dare you to challenge yourself, Like I am with this project.
Why not learn something new?

Come play with me!

I will send scraps, and 2- 10.5" white squares.
You, create.

Please have them returned to me by Novemeber 14th.
That way its done and out of the way of the holidays, and it won't get los in the bustle.
I know it will be a busy time, but, it will be somethign fun.


the Pixie Dust quilt is up on my wall, And I will begin putting it together next week.
I'm working on the layout, and overall designof the quilt. (and taking a better picture.)
my camera was beign difficult adn wouldn't load my images... so I had to use my phone.


The 9 patch gather, Nothing But Kisses Quilt.
The money from the 9 patch quilt was donated to love without boundaries.
little baby Dessie, has had her surgery and well, here's the latest update!

Dear Victoria,
We have checked on Dessie, and I am happy to report her recovery from surgery is going well. The update indicates she has been more active, more adventurous, and has a greater curiosity about the outside world since her heart surgery. Her foster parents report that Dessie is attached to them and gets upset if they are separated. The update also noted that Dessie is very interested in cameras. When someone takes her picture, she insists on inspecting the camera to see her photo. I attached a recent photo of her for you. She is precious!!

We will continue to check on Dessie periodically, and I will update you whenever I receive new information on her.

Thank you so much for giving Dessie the gift of a healthly heart!

Anne Little
Heart Surgery Coordinator
Love Without Boundaries Foundation
"Changing the Lives of Orphans in China"

How sweet is that. Yep, my eyes get teary every time... You all made that happen!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


remember this box?

Sis Boom.... POW!
Do you know what I love?

Jennifer Paganelli fabrics.

Know what else I love?

Charity quilts and all my helpers!

For more info on my charity quilts see post from first quilt
here. all the posts from the 9 patch gather here
and yet to be completed, pixie dust quilt here.

Ok, so who wants to help?

This project will be slightly different.

We want a theme here...

POW! factor a must.

I want knock your socks off kind of blocks.
Ones that make your skirt fly up!

I'd like to invite you applique folks to sign up.
It's not a requirement, but I'd like lots of applique in this quilt.

We're talking stars, flowers, leaves, some real zingers with this beautiful lot of fabrics that Jennifer Fabulously donated!
(in fact go tell her how fab she is! here)

We had a lot of beauties in the last batch for Pixie Dust and I was really taken with the great applique work, so I want this next Donation quilt to push the envelope with applique.

there are so many great books out there right now on fun applique projects, and knowing I probably won't ever make one. I'm enlisting you all for help.

I will take up to 30 people,
2 blocks each

I'll be making two quilts,
one for donations and one for me.
Hey, the last two were a lot of work, and selfishly, I'd like to be able to keep one!
Do you blame me?

IF you can not complete the project, please don't ask to join to group.
It takes a lot of time to cut mail and send, and then not to get them back,
is a real bummer.

So if you want in.
Leave me a comment by Friday.

OOH! what fun this will be!

Thank you Jennifer!!!

THE PIXIE DUST QUILT: I will start putting that together October 5th. If you still plan on sending in your block, please have it to me by October 3rd.. or it won't be included. thank you
Stay tuned for a post about choosing a charity for that quilt.


How long do you think this will last?

It's clean! Shelly comes tomorrow. Can you imagine the mess we will make in here?
I doubt we'll be able to find the sofa by tomorrow night!

And Amy and Andrea are stopping by friday...

ooh! let the wild rumpus begin!

Magazines. Old lovely magazines....

After all the cleaning, I am left with a stack of magazines that are about 10 years old. craft mags, Martha Stewart kids and baby, domino etc.. they are tied up and ready to be thrown out tomorrow on collection day.

But I am having a HARD TIME LETTING GO!!!! sigh. So many wonderful ideas. no time...

I'm biting my nails....anyone else relate?

Monday, September 21, 2009

monday, get set,

A year ago when I started quilting seriously, I made the below quilt out of scraps.
I had it finished. The binding was folded over from the backing,
as I had not learned real bindings yet...
and it was one of the first quilts I machine quilted...
Well, last night it got revamped. off came the old binding, on with the new blue binding.
Circles, gone. And a wee car has parked itself in the middle of this quilt.
It's washed up all nice and wiggly and is being sent off, wished for by Penny of stitchinpenny,
for baby Johnathan. Please click the link to learn more, or possibly donate.

I'm happy this quilt is finding a home. It was made from scraps from all of my daughters quilts that I have made over the years. Happy loving memories.


Also being revamped!
the above baby quilt got me thinking
The new stones quilt is growing into a sweet baby quilt....

It's getting some big pink borders to go along with it...
I used the same fabrics but reversed the color patterns, and kept the size cuts the same.

Do you love brownies?
you gotta try these... the recipe is on my cooking blog.
try this yourself
to die for.

Scrappy fun. I hit the scrap bins just before I went on vacation.
I still need to finish this. It was so fun to make, I can't wait to have it done.
note to self: my what BIG feet I have.

got more work to do.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stones tutorial

Small Stones Quilt tutorial

A few supplies you'll need:

A compass, for those perfect circles.
cutter and cutting mat are helpful
straight edge for cutting


For the back ground strips,
I selected one fabric that had an assortment of colors to use as my palette.
pink, browns, blues, and light greens with a touch of yellow
yet over all it is a Medium toned fabric. Not to dark or light, not to bright...

If you think in terms of steps.
the back ground strips, which can be made from fat quarters...
got up in value in 4 steps.

light medium dark and very dark

2 LIGHT Neutral & Pink
3 medium tones= 1 brown, 1 blue, 2pinks
2 dark tones, 1 brown and blue
one VERY DARK brown

SIDE NOTES: Select a range of fabrics. We, my daughter and I, used this as a challenge to find fabrics that matched the original idea, and then laid them all out on the floor to see if they read nicely together...
My daughter quickly pointed out that I had to many large floral prints, so we yanked them back out and tried a few more. We found that smaller prints work better for this project.
But Hey! PLAY! There is no right answer!

Here are the fabric sizes and pieces you will need:

Strips left to right:
#1 = 6.5" x 19"
#2 = 5.5" x 19"
#3 = 10"x 19"
#4 = 2.5"x 19"
#5 = 1"x 19"
#6 = 5"x 19"
#7 = 1"x 19"
#8 = 1"x 19"
#9 = 5"x 19"
#10 = 3"x 19"

Cut your strips per the lengths in order as listed above.

Sew these together in this order #1-10, as a 1/4" seam.
press seams flat.

Select your fabrics for the circles

Using your compass, Cut out templates and circles per measurements listed below:


Paper card stock templates cut:
you can also use freezer paper, I like card stock, holds tighter and doesn't warp.
(Your templates should be 1" smaller than you fabric circles...)

Cut 2= 6.5" card stock template circles
Cut 8 = 5.5" card stock templates

Fabric Circles cut:

6.5" circles

1 dark tone
1 bright tone
1 medium tone
5 light toned fabrics

Large background circles cut:
7.5" circles

1 medium tone
1 light tone same fabric as circle # 4

Once you have you fabric circles cut, Set your sewing machine to a long basting stitch
Take one circle at a time, stitch 1/8' around circle, be sure to back stitch when you start,
but DO NOT back stitch when you complete the circle leave long threads at the end.

insert you paper template circle to middle of fabric circle,
and gently pull the thread to pucker the fabric so that it folds over your paper template.

try to get it as fit as you can, then iron down the folded over puckered fabric.
this will give you a nice sharp edge and make appliqueing the circles
on to the background much easier.

Layout of circles:

#1 = 5.5" light tone circle on top of larger 6.5" medium tone circle
#2 = 5.5" size BRIGHT toned circle
#3 = 5.5" size DARK toned circle
#4 = 5.5" size light toned circle
#5 = 1 large 6.5" light toned ,Same fabric as #4 fabric, circle
with medium toned 5.5 size circle on top
#6 = light toned 5.5" circle
#7 light toned 5.5" circle, cut in half (same fabric for #8)
#8 same light toned 5.5" fabric circle as #7

pin the circles in place. You can then begin to applique the circles onto the background.
I am no expert on applique, but the tricks I learned in Jr. High School seem to get me through this process quite nicely!

I start from the bottom edge of a circle, just underneath the circle taking a bite, then again down to the back ground fabric... if you keep your stitches just under neath, they will be well hidden when you complete the stitching.

As you are about half way around a circle, pull out the paper template and complete the circle.

Once you have appliqued the circles, you can layout your batting, and select a backing.
Pin and quilt as desired.

I like to hand quilt the small projects with perle cotton size 8.

Highlighting the circles, and using a lighter thread to quilt out the back ground in lines, or diagonal boxes or cross hatching...

Cut three inch wide strips of various fabrics, join, and iron in half.
aprox. 120" of mixed 3" wide strips will get you all the way around the quilt.

A great circle tutorial by mrsschmenkmanquilts, which is the same process I use,
just using card stock instead of freezer paper.

And Amanda Jean has a great tutorial for bindings, if you need more help.

Since this was my first attempt at writing a tutorial,
if you have loads of questions, I won't be surprised!
ask me anything, email me.
;-) I gave it a shot... Now I better go finish my new one!

Please show me if you make one!