Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Keep the ball rolling....

Some days I spend so much time keeping the ball rolling ...
"Keep the Ball Rolling"
 ...that I don't stop to enjoy the ride.

Days pass, boys get to school, laundry gets washed, quilts get quilted for customers....lots of days, lots of school, lots of laundry, lots of quilts...and it all becomes a blur.  Little by little I forget to show up.
 Work is not the opposite of play!
I find myself contemplating "my work".  What the heck does that mean...."work" ... it used to be clear.  I used to be employed by a large company, that requested my input to create a product for it's employees.  I measured my days by pay checks, promotions, staff meetings.  That was work.  It paid well, but I dreamed of a day when I could spend my days with my kids, or my hobbies...playing.
After 11 years that dream came true and I gleefully left gainful employment and headed home to take care of my family.  Truthfully, I had over played the idea of free time.  Taking care of a home, and toddlers takes a lot of time and energy, just as much time and energy as working for my employer had.  But spending days with my boys was delightful.  Nothing like a big, wet, sloppy, hug from a jelly covered toddler.  "My work" became playing with my boys.  Those were good days.
So long for now
That was a lot of laundry ago.  Fast forward, literally, 17 years and my messy toddlers are now messy young men.  I am still at home.  Work has changed....again.
Now my days revolve around quilts - quilting tops for customers; writing quilt patterns and making quilts for Moda's Bake Shop; teaching about quilts and my patterns - and laundry. 
I have discovered that I really love writing patterns - I could spend all day at my computer figuring out how to put something together, and drawing pictures to illustrate it.  This part of my day is definitely play.

Mr potato writes a letter
Teaching is pretty fun too.  I like sharing the things I love with other people.

Teaching love for Autumn
but Sewing....well lets just say that sewing and I have never been bosom friends.  I do it, because it is part of the "job".... realistically, if I consider which side of my bread is buttered on, sewing is the job.  It is the only part that actually brings me a pay check.

Thus, I am sitting at my computer, on a rainy day in October, contemplating what work is.  What is "my work" and why do I do it?
Duct Taped Dictionary
My dictionary was no help....maybe you have some ideas?  Please share!!
I'm off to do another load of laundry.

S'more Mountains Class

S'more Mountains Class
November 2, 2013

10:00 am - 4:00 pm
S'more Mountains
There are still openings.  Come join us!
I'd love to sit and visit with you...oh...and show you how to build this quilt.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

And the winner is.....

Today is the day!!!  I hope you found the first installment of my pattern .... and are already having fun making my Stars & Diamonds blocks.

As promised, we have a drawing to do.   I had 17 commenters.....drum roll please....

Nancy said...
Watching a sleeping cat make me happy, granddaughters Juliet and Sarah make me happy, and sitting next to my husband make me happy
Congratulations Nancy! 
 You are the winner of the jelly roll from
The Fat Quarter Shop!

S'more Rows.2 Stars & Diamonds

Stars & Diamonds
(row #5)

This row is made up of 6, 10" x 10" finished blocks.  (If you measure your block from edge to edge it will measure 10 1/2" x 10 1/2."  The extra 1/2" is for the seam allowances.)

The Stars & Diamonds block is a nine patch block made of 5 square patches, and 4 pieced patches that look like open beaks!

Fabric Requirements:
  • Background - 1/3 yard - I used Bella neutral (SKU #9900-12)
  • Diamonds - 1/3 yard - I used S'more Love aqua star bursts (SKU #37075-17)
  • Stars - 6, 10"x 10" squares

Cutting Directions:
  • Background
    • cut 3, 3 7/8" x width of fabric strips (wof)
    • sub-cut 2 wof strips into 10, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares each for 20 squares
    • cut 4 additional 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares from the third strip.
    • set remnant aside for later blocks.
  • Diamonds
    • cut 3, 3 7/8" x wof
    • sub-cut 2 wof strips into 10, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares each for 20 squares
    • cut 4 additional 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares from the third strip.
    • set remnant aside for later blocks.
  • Stars - cut one set of the following from each of 6 squares - one for each block
    • cut 1, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" square
    • cut 4, 3" x 5" rectangles

Break time!
It is always good to take a break between cutting and sewing a project.  Cutting always wears me out...except for when I can convince my husband to do it for me!  Taking a break lets my brain relax a little and makes piecing easier.
While we are taking a break check out this idea....

If you multiply my requirements by 7 and add some fabric for the borders, you could make this quilt.  It is made of 42 blocks in 7 rows of 6.  It measures 70" x 80" finished with two borders.  The inner border is 1" finished and the outer is 4" finished.

Specifically you would need the following....
  • Outer border - 1 1/2 yards
  • Inner border - 1/2 yard
  • Cream Background - 2 1/4 yards
  • Diamond background -  1 1/4 yard
  • Stars - 42, 10" x 13" rectangles
  • Binding - 5/8 yard
  • Backing - 4 1/4 yard
and back to the directions.....
Sewing Directions:
  • Make one block at a time.
  • Gather
    • 4, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares cream background
    • 4, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares diamond background
    • 1, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" square star fabric
    • 4, 3" x 4"  rectangles to match star fabric square.
    • Gather
      • 4, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" squares diamond background
      • 4, 3" x 4" rectangles
    • On the right side of diamond background squares
      • Mark 3/8" from the bottom of each square on the sides.
      • Mark 3/16" on either side of the top center of each square.
      • Draw a line connecting each lower edge marking with the nearest top marking.
        • These lines mark the edge to which you align the star fabric.
This is only a sample - you block should be 3 7/8" x 3 7/8"
 NOT 5"x5" like the one in the picture.
    • Sew one point
      • Align star fabric, right sides together, so that the fabric falls to the larger side of the square.
      • There will be "bunny ears" sticking out beyond the edges of the square.
      • Sew 1/4" from the line you aligned with.
      • Iron star fabric up and over edge of square.
      • Trim star fabric along the longest axis.
        • Use this scrap to add the star point to the other side of square.
    • Sew the other point
      • Align star fabric, right sides together, so that the larger end is at the larger end of the triangle you are going to cover on the background.
      • There will be "bunny ears" sticking out beyond the edges of the square
      • Sew 1/4" from the line you aligned with.
      • Iron star fabric flap open.
    • Trim to size
      • Making sure that there is 1/4" star fabric beyond the intersection of the two triangles, trim piece to 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" square.
    • Repeat to make 4, 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" edge blocks

  • Assemble Block
    • Gather 9, 3 7/8" blocks (4 corners, 4 edges, 1 center)
    • Arrange blocks so that star triangles meet beside the center block.  The diamond triangles should be pointing toward the center.
    • Sew blocks together to make three rows.
      • Rows 1 & 3: cream square; edge block pointing down; cream square
      • Row 2: edge block pointing to the right; star square; edge block pointing to the left.
    • Sew rows together to make block.
    • Trim to 10 1/2" square
  • Repeat 5 times for a total of 6 Stars & Diamonds blocks.
  • Sew 6 blocks in a row to complete the Stars & Diamonds row of this project.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Three days and counting......

I'm so excited for this to start!!

On Wednesday the first installment of patterns will post for S'more Rows
S'more Rows Finished!
I will be completing the drawing that I started last month.
If you would like a chance to win this yummy jelly roll from The Fat Quarter Shop, go leave a comment here.
For those of you who live near me in the North Texas area, I have arranged with my friends at Happiness is Quilting to do a monthly demo of the block in the most recent post on the third Saturday of each month.  The demo's are free, come and go between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.  I'd love to see you there!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Midwinter Red

I've heard it said that the we think the sweetest things are red.  Red drinks, red berries, they all get picked over the not so rosy varieties.
Red berries
Red catches our eyes.

Toy Car
I think maybe that is why we turn to it in the bleak months of winter.  Red mittens, red scarves,
red sweaters.... 
Red Mittens
the winter holidays would not be complete without them....without red.
#3 Canine 113 pictures in 2013
Minick & Simpson did a great job in their latest fabric line for Moda.  Midwinter Reds is all of these things - sweet, eye catching, an instant holiday classic. 

Midwinter Reds Doll Quilt
I am featured on Moda's Bake Shop today with my little quilt, Midwinter Cozy.  (I know!  How cool is that?!)  If you have hopped over from there, welcome.  Stick around.  Kick the tires.  Enjoy yourselves.  I'm glad to have you.  Even if you are not stopping by from the Bake Shop I'm glad to have you.
In honor of the occasion I am giving away my left over fabric.  I have 8 candy charm packs that would love to have a new home.  If you would like them....and you know you would...leave a note and tell me about a favorite childhood toy.  You have until November 4, at which time I will announce the winner.
Annie is one of mine...she belonged to my mom when she was little.  My uncles used to move Annie around while Mom was sleeping.  Mom would awake to find her dolly doing all sorts of things.  This dolly has a place of honor in my house full of boys...that is why she has a new cuddly quilt to snuggle under!  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hello October!

It is about time you got here!  September was a long hard month for me.  I am grateful to be done with it for another 11 months.
Tops to Treasures continues to thrive.  I quilted 11 quilts for customers....
September 2013 - Tops to Treasures
I finished two quilts for patterns.....
S'more Rows Finished!

S'more Rows is all ready for some crisp October weather!

Join me on October 16 for the first installation of the directions.  If you haven't yet signed up for the give away go leave a comment now!  I will announce the winner of a S'more Love Jelly Roll from The Fat Quarter Shop on October 16.

Midwinter Reds Doll Quilt
Midwinter Cozy - has been scheduled for October 4 on  Moda Bake Shop
I also received a few more blocks from the Star of Africa swap.

September 2013 - Swaps
Add to all of that quilty fun - Johnny's EP study and ablation and his two day stay in the heart hospital; Noah turning 21; a visit to Weatherford Texas to watch Noah's team play; a 4 day, 3 night quilt retreat; and a whirlwind visit from Noah and you have my month in a nut shell....but it better be a pretty big nut.
Today is a new day.  (Thank You God)
Lily's Quilts