Sunday, July 31, 2011

and I'm Home!

Home from Kansas with lots of pictures, but they'll have to wait until I get them into the computer!
What a wonderful week I had.  We had 10 attendees but only 8 sewers, but when we thought a bit more about it, 2 of us spent more time sandwiching quilts to be quilted then actually sewing- but it was a chore that needed done and we did it!  Oh, why only 8? You ask.  Well, Bea comes with her sister, Mary, and she is a fabulous person.  She trims and sorts and designs.  We'd be lost without Bea!  and the other... Jade- a wonderful 20 yr old who loves her G-ma to pieces and she came along for the ride :-) .  We had Donna, our youngest sewer who at one point I said she looked liked a California Surfer Girl! She's a gem and I love her, but don't tell her I said that!  We had Phyllis who sits quietly (sometimes!) and assembles the most beautiful creations.   Her work is astounding, now if we can only convince her of that.  Oh, and Mary (Bea's sister), what a source of information.  She seems to have one of those minds that can recall where she found what at a moments call, and what lovely quilts she produces -another of our Gems!  Paula, Jade's Granny - she has  appropriately replaced the Energizer Bunny - she just goes and goes.  She sat down at her Juki and started quilting and just kept going and going and going and going (you get the picture!)  Tracy, Another prolific quilter who doesnt know her own worth!  all I can say about her quilt tops is WOW!  Tracy just seems to have that natural ability to know how to put things together.  And we have Cathy...... Not only a very dear friend but our main organizer.  She's the glue that keeps us together.  Without her encouragement I don't know how'd we manage to do what we do - she's amazing.  And we had the pleasure of Mickie stopping by for a visit.  I've had the pleasure of quilting many of Mickie's quilt tops and her work is amazing.  It was great to finally meet her in person.  She is warm and upbeat - what joy! 
Yes, I will be posting pictures in future posts, but I wanted to introduce you to the lovely ladies first as they are the Thread that Binds!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sew Fest

Okay,  I was trying to post some pictures, but I guess blogger doesn't like me!
I'm at Sew Fest in Stafford, KS  and really enjoying the time.  We're all being very creative and getting a lot done.  Come back for some great pictures!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Scrappy Saturday

This is sort of scrappy…It’s made from smaller pieces, no yardage required Smile

As I have made (and use) one of the bottle cap rings, I thought why not a wrist cushion??? I have a nice little wrist cushion that someone made me and I really like the size and all, but the pins go right through it.  So, when I emptied the mayo jar, I kept the cap and here it is!


Oh, you can’t see the cap, well it’s here!



I added a bit of lace and rick rack around the edge to dress it up some.   And used a scrap of fabric to make the wrist band which is, of course, elastic covered with a tube of fabric.

And when I’m not using it on my wrist, it sits nicely on a little jar and can be used next to the machine!


Until next time……

Wantobe Quilters

This is a great opportunity for all those just getting starting in quilting and also for those of us who have been at it awhile.  Head on over to Stash Manicure (see button on the right) and get some details. 
Calling all Wantobe Quilters?

"Hello friends and followers, I would love to welcome you

to a Wantobe Quilters Campaign over here. (

They are having quilting supplies to giveaway 5 x a week for 12 weeks.

Supplies that will have you quilting

before you know it...From sewing machines to irons, to die cutters,

to mats, to rotary cutters, sewing baskets, scissors, batting, needles,

rolled sewing machine bags, patterns, books, magazines...everything

you could imagine to assist you in being a NEW Quilter.

Even if you are already part of this community you can win

quilting stuff too...Tuesday and Thursday are days for us..

All you have to do is give me your name and phone number

and email sew I can submit this to the organizer, because if you win

anything I can win something too.

All you have to do is be my follower and a follower

That is all! There are over 49 Sponsors involved.

I am pretty excited to be part of this, sew should you.

I love being a QUILTER!

( p.s you will not be eligible to win anything if you do not register

with a blogger where you see this message)


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I will be MIA

Today is Wed. - middle of the week - hump day ..... whatever you call it, it's here!   I've had a busy week so far and so much more to do.... Monday was a trip to Tucson for a doctor appointment and some shopping - those trips almost always just blows the whole day.... Yesterday was getting some laundry done and getting some embroidery done:

These designs are 5 X 7 and from an Anita Goodesign collection.  I can't go into detail in case someone is reading..... but they are embroidered on T-shirts as special 'gifts' for some 'special' ladies.

As to why I'll be MIA.... I leave Sunday morning for Stafford, KS for a week of the best times a sewer can spend!  I'll be at Sew Fest with 9 beautiful ladies where we'll work like we're in a sweat shop, we'll laugh, we'll tease, we'll share and we'll cry when our week together is over.  This is a picture of one of our evenings out from last year.  It was at a very fun restaurant in Kansas City, I'm sorry I don't remember the name but we had so much fun....
I don't know if I'll be back to blogging before Sunday, but if not.... I hope everyone is able to stay cool during the heat wave affecting most of the country.   


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Boys and Sewing

If you follow my blog, you know I'm a grandma and proud of it.  I spend at least one day a week with my 16 yr old granddaughter and she's learning her way around a sewing machine quite nicely!  But then I have these guys: 

These are my two youngest grandsons (the oldest is almost 20!) And they are all boy.  They rough house and fight like brothers.  But then there is this:

Still all boy!  Totally relaxed with his sucker and sewing along :-)

Look at that concentration!    Now this great guy actually  just pushes the button for whatever decorative stitch he wants and goes to town.  He hasn't actully sewn any seams yet, but he is at least getting comfortable with the machine.

That was yesterday and I loved every minute of it.  Today I'll see them again as we're getting together to celebrate their dad's 31st B-day.  Darn, I can't believe my baby is getting old.  He keeps having B-days, he's going to catch up with me because I'm not having anymore - they just make me old :-)

Hope everyone has as good a day as I know I'm going to have.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Scrappy Saturday

I will call this "Angel of the Stars".  I did this applique piece at least 3 or 4 years ago (maybe longer) .  The little Star Blocks were actually made from scraps and put into a row that reflected four seasons.  The picture doesn't show but the stars are L to R top row - autumn leaves, blue snowflake, spring floral and summer dragonflies.  The border is very multicolored with stars.  The star blocks are only 4" blocks and this quilt is really small, about 22 X 30.   I decided to utilize all the parts to make something...... I knew I wouldn't be using that row for anything, so took it apart to use what I wanted from it.

This is a trivit / hot pad made from half square triangles that were cut down from left overs from doing flying geese units.  Again, I've had them in a baggie for awhile.  And the center square is another 4" block that I was 'playing' with and decided to use somewhere.  I put it all together using Insulbright batting and then just cross hatched quilted it.  I even used an orphan block on the back - but after cross hatching, it's sort of ugly - so no picture :-)

I need to make some more trivit / hot pads and I'm thinking I might as well use up some of those orphan blocks I have.... They sure add some color to the kitchen :-)

Hope everyone is having a good weekend..... I'll have some cute sewing pictures coming up later.  Today was a 5 and 7 year old in the sewing room with grandma - what fun!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Jane, Farmer’s Wife and More


Quilt books... Quilt Magazines.... Quilt software.....Do you have them? Some of them? Do you really use them? What entices you to buy them? Me.... well let's start with magazines. At one time I had literally hundreds and have no idea how many subscriptions. Then one day it dawned on me, they were all pretty much the same. All pretty much the same basic patterns. Well, at least that's how I saw them. And then I asked myself “how many quilts have I made from these magazines?” My answer to me??? “a total of one”. And that was because it was applique and I'm terrible at drawing. I have since discovered that the internet has free coloring pages that would work well in applique (but that's another story). So, I went through all those magazines and kept maybe 20 that I felt I would refer back to for ideas or inspiration. The rest I gave to a friend who's daughter was wanting to learn to quilt. Do I ever buy magazines now? Yes, on occasion when I see something that jumps out at me, but no more subscriptions.

Books... What enticed me to buy one? Usually the cover picture. I did get caught up in the Dear Jane fever a few years ago. Bought the book with CD (I knew I wouldn't make those 4” blocks) and will I ever complete the quilt ? Umm no I won't. I have made a few blocks in a 6” size and will maybe, someday make some more. I recently bought the Farmer's Wife book with CD that I've seen all over blogland. Will I made that quilt? It's too early to tell but I do like the simplicity of the blocks and I've enjoyed reading the Farmers wives letters. I do have a couple of other books that I tend to pull out more than others. “Lazy and Lovin' it” I have used that book more than any other in my library and yes, I do have the ruler to go with it. “Twist n Turn” another book that I use often. I love that setting when I want something a little different, especially on children's quilts. But I have to say here, I have many, many more books that if I took to the second hand book store, I would never miss. May be time for me to review my library and clean it up a bit.

Okay, so Quilt Software.....I have EQ5 (nope never upgraded) and I do use it. Do I use it to it's full ability? No. And that's my own fault. I simply have never taken the time to learn it to it's full potential but it's on my “have to do” list.

So with all this said, I now have a few questions. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you prefer to make a quilt from a pattern? Or do you prefer to create your own pattern? And.....Quilting TV whether on PBS or the internet shows, do you watch them? Are they an inspiration if you do? I do subscribe to QNNTV and I will probably continue to do so. I love the variety there and have learned a lot.

So what was this post all about? Curiosity more than anything. When I started quilting around 2001, I bought the magazines, the books, surfed the internet, read forums, etc.... I learned a lot. I tried different techniques that accomplish the same goal and came up with what worked best for me. I love to read the blogs and see what others are working on. They give me more inspiration than some of the books I see. I enjoy coming up with my own ideas for patterns. They may not be original, per se, because let's be honest here, most quilts are made up of squares, half square triangles, quarter square triangles, strips, etc... so it's the combination of those different shapes that make a pattern come together.

Okay, I've rambled on enough..... I'll leave you with my 'latest' EQ design that I still need to work on......

PatrioticI layered some embroidery from the EQ library just to give me an idea of what it would look like.  I only have 12 of the quilt blocks that will be used, so will have more embroidered blocks than pieced blocks.  I’d like to set them on point, but will have to tweek the measurements some…….



Monday, July 11, 2011

Didn't make it!

I didn't make Scrappy Saturday this week!  I was lucky enough to have a friend who I haven't seen in a year (she lives in another state!) stop in with her 2 children on Friday and visit - it was so wonderful to see her!  Kari was here on Saturday and she made a book bag for her friend and then made a wallet for herself - she's becoming quite the sewer!  Then I forgot to take pictures of the mug organizers I was making for my roommates at SewFest before I packed them up so here's a picture of the one I made for myself and really love it.

It's a 'cover' made to fit over a cup/mug.  I found a tin cup at the thrift store which I think is perfect for these organizers.  And... they hold a ton of stuff (as you can see!)  I believe that Nancy's Notions has a free pattern for a "mug pinafore" that is similar to this.    I think a tin can could also be used for this but you'd have to come up with a handle - Maybe a handle attached to the cover that has some 'boning' in it to give the handle substance..... ummm, Now I'm going to have to hit the pantry and see if I have some larger cans..... Oh, dear, like I don't have enough to do, but when I get something in my head, I have to try it!

'til next time,


Friday, July 8, 2011


I'm reaching into my archives again as I don't have a current project picture to show.  This is the quilt I did a year ago for my son's 30th B-day.  He loves eagles and wolves.  The eagle designs were smaller than the wolf designs so I made the squares smaller.  I wanted to put the eagle pillow panel in the middle and work out from the center.  But using the 2 different size blocks of the eagles and the wolves - it worked out pretty well.  I apologize for the poor quality of the photos - they were taken with the old camera :-(

another view to give you a better idea of the wolf designs and the block pattern used.

And for the 'weekend'....... My granddaughter will be here tomorrow to sew a book bag for her friend for her friend's B-day.  Not sure when the B-day is but Kari will be heading to Mexico for 10 days to visit with another friend and go to a wedding.  The same weekend she gets home, I head to KS for Sew Fest, so we're spending a little time before 'we' do our traveling :-)  Yesterday, Kari & I did some babysitting of the  two youngest g-kids.  Then back here to work on making a cover for her Ipod.  I'm working on a couple mug sewing organizers (pictures later) to give to my room mates at SewFest and because of that, I'm not sure what I'll have for Scrappy Saturday.  Well, maybe the organizers can be considered 'Scrappy' because they are made with small pieces....ummmm - we'll see....
Wishing everyone a happy weekend with much creativity!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

moving along

I am trying to get all my lose ends tied up before I leave for Sew Fest in 19 days.  I have some personal projects that I'd like to have done as well as the things I need to have ready for Sew Fest.  And..... I will also be shipping a box ahead of time (can only take so much on a plane!)  I am planning on working on my DH's veteran's quilt.  He has ohhed and ahhed over the ones I've made for several years and I think it's time  he get his.  I will give it to him for his birthday in August.  I have the embroidery to get done, I'll need to get the borders cut and then I'll put everything together in a kit to assemble.  I will quilt it when I get back ..... I'll have to figure out a way to get him out of the house for a day!
Our monsoon rains have finally started here in SE Arizona and we so need them!  Once we get our rains, the desert greens up so pretty.  This is one of my favorite times to get out and ride my ATV but because of the cataract surgery, I'm sort of 'grounded' until the end of Aug..... ah such is life!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Scanning blogs

This morning while DH is still snoring :-) , I'm scanning quilting blogs  - actually I do that every morning , but usually I only take the time to read those blogs that I follow and read Quilters Blogs in the evening.   Anyway...... as I'm scanning / reading blogs, I'm seeing quite a bit of reference to the 4th of July, Independence Day, Americana  and seeing quite a bit of red, white and blue.  I'm right there with them!  I love my country!!!  And I know those who live in other countries love theirs as well and bless them for that.  Do I complain about the 'state' of our Union?  Well, sure I do - nothing's perfect.  But I feel so fortunate to be able to complain and not worry about retribution.  But I don't discuss politics - and respect the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinions/beliefs. 
OH, sorry, got lost somewhere along the way (it does happen sometimes :-)  )   So, yes I'm working on things red, white and blue this weekend as well.  Have made up some sets of blocks for Sew Fest, managed to assemble a row quilt, and in general have been using up some red, white and blue scraps that I'm, quite frankly, tired of looking at!   This next week I really, really have to get my stack of Patriotic quilts quilted before Sew Fest.  Some are lap size and will probably take longer to get on the frame than to actually quilt.
As for 4th of July celebration plans...... Yesterday our ATV riding buddies came in the morning and we did breakfast outside ( everything taste better cooked outside!)  Yesterday was some record high heat here in SE AZ, and because of my cataract surgery - we're not riding.  Today we'll have an early dinner at friend's - BBQ ribs, but I'll take chicken as I don't 'do' BBQ (I know... how unAmerican of me!)  Then tomorrow, we'll go to my son and family's for another cook out (son cooks a delicious steak!) and then fireworks.  And would you believe this all came together just yesterday :-)  I love impromtu!
Wishing everyone a wonderful 4th of July weekend - whatever country  you live in!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Scrappy Saturday

This was a quick scrappy project – well maybe not exactly a project as it’s something I wanted to try but not sure how far I’ll take it!
after trimming became this:
And when all the elements are added becomes this:

So this is truly scrappy but what happens if it’s ‘controlled’ scrappy?
I had these trimming left over from a project and really not enough to do anything with but let’s try another New York Beauty:IMG_0667IMG_0669
These New York Beauties are small – see the ruler to the left?  4½” !
So which do you like better?  I think I like the totally scrappy better.  One thing about making these so small?  I think it’s time to get the 1/8” seam down.  the 1/4” really is too large for these small of pieces.  The curved seams I will trim!
So another sort of scrappy project this week came from  making these:IMG_0671

The red & white is cut from strip sets and when I got to the end of as many as I could cut, I still had about 4” or so left on the strip set.  So I cut them into strips to make a 4 patch square and those went into these:
This square measures 6 1/4” so I will add strips to frame this out and make it a 10” (finished) block.
Hope you all have a Happy Scrappy Saturday!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A big Thank You

I have to say a great big THANK YOU, to Kitty over at "A Left Handed Quilter" and she knows why :-)