Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Log Cabin- circa 1982

One of my previous posts mentioned that I was going to document a few of my quilts and share their stories. so in no particular order......

This is probably one of my best loved quilts, really I should say best USED quilts. It is also one of the first quilts that I had machine quilted in a wonderful all over snoopy loop design. At the time commercial machine quilting was fairly new. Machine quilting and the talented machine quilters have single handedly reinvented the art of quilting. Machine quilting has also helped facilitate making more quilts. Thank you for that!!
 The general poop about this quilt is as follows:
The strips are 1" finished. The layout of these blocks is done in a big barn raising style. The border is a mission valley woven. Traditionally the center of log cabins were red or yellow representing love or warmth in the home. A friend of mine hung this quilt in her den for years. She needed something to cover the wall while decorating for a party and we both thought this quilt was just the thing. Since her home was like my second home the quilt stayed there for years until I pointed out to her that the corner of the quilt still needed the binding sewn down.
Since then this quilt has been on many a family picnic, fort building adventure and now resides as a play mat for my little grandson.
Another tidbit about this quilt is that I used all kinds of fabrics. In the 80's I was a young mom and a fairly new quilter. There were not very many quilt stores around at this time. I would go to any fabric store and buy fabric by the inch. Can you believe that?
That would be insane now.
 I would go and buy a few inches of as many different fabrics as I could possible find. Since the selection was limited this also meant that not everything matched or maybe I was not yet very confident in my color choices or both.
I sent the quilt top to a machine quilter in another state. This was in the early eighties and keep in mind, the quilting resurgence started in 1975. There were not many quilt stores, and there certainly were not many home machine quilters. I found a company that quilted fabric for those big puffy bedspreads.
I convinced them to quilt my patchwork and NO, I did not want 3" tall batting.
I am sure they thought, oh this poor young thing, she has no hope or sense of color.
Little did they know that I had a plan all along. I wet the entire quilt and threw it in my washing machine along with a little bit of tan rit dye. I thought what the heck, and loved the look of the quilt when I was done. Some how magically the tan dye made all those calicos "go-together."

You could possibly say this was the beginning of my love of jelly rolls. And I do still love to experiment with bleaching and dyeing fabrics!!


Monday, February 9, 2015

Block of the Month

Back in the day,
{I am aging myself}
I had the third Thursday of the month sewing group and the first Monday PTA meeting and the every other Saturday produce co-op. Before I knew it every day of the month was filled.

(These two photos courtesy of Joanna Figeroua)

Just like I was a sucker for the "every other" type of meeting, I have little control for Block of the Months.
What is different? They are wonderful little packages delivered right to my door as a little gift. No other obligation!

Right now I only have a couple of block of the months in the works. I missed out on Fig Tree and Co.'s BOM from last year so I was not going to let that happen again. This one is a mystery so I have no idea what it is going to be. Anticipation.....

I am also doing the Austin Bluebird by Minick and Simpson. This one is a real challenge for me since I do not do the "A" word. Applique that is, but I love anything red white and blue.

Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings is the queen of designing BOM's shared a bit of fantastic advise that I wanted to pass along. Lisa recommends that no matter what, cut your block out each month. When you have a few minutes to sew your pieces will all be cut and ready. I thought this was great advise and keeps your blocks from piling up.

I love the freedom of quilting and there are so many ways to do each step along the way. There is no right or wrong way, just what works best for you.

I have a question for you.
Do you press your seams open or to one side? and why?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cleaning Lady

I will admit that I haven't been able to get it all done
and have suffered from
SuperMom Syndrome.

I have had to resort to having cleaning lady from time to time.
The night before she came I would run around the house barking orders for the kid's to
get their room picked up. 

oh the groaning and complaining

They would whine, why do we have to pick up if the cleaning lady is coming!!
This is completely understandable. But she was there to clean not pick up their mess.
How could she even get to the bathrooms over the
jungle of toys, clothes and other paraphernalia?
Fast forward, years later and I find myself once again
scurrying throughout the house.
This time it is to get ready for a quilting retreat.
I have been planning, cutting, organizing
and stacking projects for a
long weekend of
non-stop sewing.

I have my basket of red and green strips
and 4 patches for the APQquiltalong.

I have another stack that includes my blocks all cut out and sandwiched between fabric squares and design boards.
I cut out 40 blocks but do not have 40 design boards
or the space to pack them.
I finagled the few design boards I had along with
some squares of fabric and even a few squares of
batting so all my blocks are ready to sit and sew.

These two boxes contain two more UFO projects for retreat sewing. Does it count as a UFO if it is just cut out and I haven't started sewing yet?

 So leave it to one of my kids to say,
why are you doing all that cutting,
aren't you going to a quilt retreat?
Just like the prep work it took to get the house cleaned,
there is prep work to get ready to be able to
sew non stop for several glorious days. 
The only thing I may have forgotten to do is to
see if I could get a cleaning lady
to come while I am gone to clean up all the
mess I have left behind.
Hope you all get some time to sit and sew. It is good for the soul!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

No Fair

The second annual #APQquiltalong has started. What I mean by started is the April issue of American Patchwork and Quilting is now available. There really is no start date or deadline. A quiltalong is just a way to share your process along the way.

The no fair part of this blog post is just that. It is no fair that I didn't get to quiltalong with everyone else. Okay, Okay I guess it really so no far that my quilt is already made, quilted (Thank you Maggi Honeyman) and even bound.

I can't pass up this APQquiltalong so I am starting on version 2. I had some squares left over from my project, so wanted to put them to good use. Plus I love a deadline and the shear possibility that I could have a Christmas project done in the first half of the year would be over the top incredible. I thought I would try something a little different by combiing red and green together in the same 4 patch instead of lights and darks.

I worked with strips approx 10" so I could use scraps from jelly rolls or pieces of layer cakes for variety. Putting the strips right sides together before subcutting already pairs up the 4 patches.

I don't think i like green and red nine patches only, so then I added some light backgrounds also.

My plan is to use my size of four patches but use Edyta's layout design. I am on the lookout for the perfect fabrics to use in her layout. In the meantime I will quiltalong on my four payches with all of you.
For more eye candy or to just follow along on all the versions, search #apqquiltalong.

Gotta go sew a few more four patches before work.

Have a wonderful day.


Thursday, January 29, 2015


This is how I use to document the quilts that I had made. Sad but true. I came across these two worn spiral pages that I have saved for over 20 years.

I may have pictures of some of these quilts somewhere in a shoe box in the attic but reading this list has brought back so many wonderful memories.

Many of the quilts were gifts that I have made over the years. A few were made as special orders. This also makes me think of a wonderful family that I grew up with. The mother was one of my best customers and looking back she didn't really need anything she bought, she was just helping me as a young mother make some money while doing what I loved. I grew up with her 6 kids and still see several of them.

As I have grown up I have continued to witness her generosity and encouragement of others. Her children have grown up and had children that went to school with my kids. 3 generations of one family making a difference in so many lives in my area. I recently ran into the matriarch of this family at a funeral and got to thank her for what she has meant to my family.

I don't know why I went off into that story but these two worn papers
made me reminisce.
Okay, back on subject. I am going to be doing a little bit of documenting some of my quilts in no particular order. No I am not going to add more pages to a beat up old spiral. I am going to get a few pics and share about the quilts. So consider some of these future posts my own little quilt journal, you know for history sake. What happens on the internet stays there forever, so no more spiral pages for me.

If you are new to quilt making, please take the time to document and label your quilts. They are a piece of you and part of a chapter in your life. As I say to my kids, Do as I say and not as I do.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Words are a powerful thing.

They can build you up.

. They can be used to inspire and encourage others.

Words can heal and make you laugh.

I think my Pinterest board
-words of wisdom -
has more pins than my
-quilts to make in the lifetime -
Sometimes it is the written word and some times it may be the spoken word. You never know where it is going to come from. The spoken word can come from a complete stranger in the most unusual situation.

By now you probably are wondering where this is going. During quilt market there is a super crazy event called schoolhouse. During the sessions everyone is swarming in and out of the classroom settings with only a few minutes to spare. Well it was during this time that someone's words truly touched me.

The cutest young gal reached over to me as I was walking down the aisle. She said I really enjoy reading your blog and wish that you would post more than once a year.

OUCH, right?

She was right on the consistency or lack there of in my posting schedule.
I have thought about this so much since then. What could I possibly have to offer this gal? What made her go completely out of her way to stop me and say these words?
Powerful words. Kind and inspiring words. Crazy but true words.

Thank you.... You know who you are and thought I should let you know what your words meant to me.

So I am back on track working on my words and planning on putting lots more of them down in print right here on this little ol' blog.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

11 months and counting!

One of the girls at work loves Christmas and I mean she really loves Christmas. Beginning January 25th she starts the count down by posting on my calendar, 11 months until Christmas.

No matter how you look at it, 11 months until the next Christmas or 1 month after last Christmas it comes every Dec. 25th. This also means approx. 10 months until my family starts the moaning and groaning about our annual handmade Christmas gift exchange. Two years ago, I started a tradition of drawing names for a handmade family gift exchange. This concept has not been well received by all of the family members but this is only year two and I am not giving up. They are creative in so many ways and don't even realize.

One of the kids has always written quirky poems to all the other family members. One plays music, a few of them are fantastic cooks. A handmade gift does not just mean creating a patchwork quilt but I think my family associates handmade with a sewing machine.

Being creative also has a lot to do with making or doing something just prefect for the one person on your shopping list. I was lucky enough to draw the name of one of the girlfriends who is fairly new to the fam. I was playing around with an older Moda pattern and had already started making it in red and blacks.

The name I drew was a graduate of Texas Tech so this was going to work out perfect.

I think they enjoyed hamming it up for a photo shoot.
This quilt had black snuggles on the back and finished out as the most yummy cuddly project ever. Everyone in my family now wants a quilt with snuggles on the back.

Bob made Grant a really cool wooden bench. He cut down the tree and created a new family heirloom. {I tried to sneak this bench home with me, but I couldn't even lift it. }

Bo received a special monogrammed chefs coat and proudly wore it the rest of the holiday break. That was creative and not just something you could buy off a rack at the mall.

Jarrod is the uncle to little Nolan but he has also been named the baby snatcher since he seems to always be the hogging the baby. Others received trophies, paintings, gift cards for cleaning and other thoughtful, creative gifts. We have drawn names for next year so we have 11 months and no trading names!!
What does the word handmade mean to you?


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