Thursday, January 31, 2013

And another one bites the dust....

Texas Butterfly

Yeeeee-haw!  November 2012 block for the Star of Africa Bee - FINISHED!!

Better late than never...

...and just a little Tacky.
Tacky finished!

This is my offering for Nicky of Mrs Sew and Sow fame.  I was supposed to make a block depicting a favorite children's story book character....preferably from our home lands.  I was supposed to make it last October...something went horribly wrong with my timing.

I chose Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester, and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger.   Tacky is a wonderfully quirky bird who doesn't quite fit in with the flock.  It might have something to do with his Hawaiian shirt.  There are several Tacky books.  Check him out.  I think you will be glad you did.

Sorry it took me so long Nicky.  He will be flying off to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


"Out the Door"  featuring Round Robin by Karen Shmitz for Moda

Out the Door

The quilt measures 66 x 80 and features 32 reverse applique blocks spelling out a love note to my boys.  These are the words that I whisper in their ears as they go out the door each morning on the way to school.

Out the Door
Quilted in Vicki Malaski's "Dove Flowers".
If you look closely you can see the dove quilted in the picture above.

Out the Door

The cats love this quilt.  I couldn't get them off of it.

Out the Door

Hanging by the front door to remind my boys as they go in and out.

Out the Door - Cover photo

The pattern should appear in Moda's Bake Shop sometime this spring.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The robin came home with two cats....

On November 19, 2010 I started a Round Robin with 7 other members of my local quilt guild.

I gave them this....

Playing with Rainbows 6

 Last night it came home.

FQG Round Robin

I think I would like to make it a little bigger....and that it might benefit from another light and scrappy round so that the cats have a place to shine.  My eyes get sucked into the center of this piece and I almost miss their antics.

What do you think?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy Birthday to Tops to Treasures.blogspot

Tops to Treasures Blog Bd

And the gift getter, as selected by Mr. Random Number generator is....

True Random Number Generator7Powered by RANDOM.ORG
A hem....
That would be...
 Deb at A Simple Life Quilts whose happy place is... " My happy place is Kauai... We have been going every 3rd year since 1992 and it feels like our home in Paradise. "
Congratulations Deb!!
I have to tell you all....this is amazing....
Last week I decided out of the blue to have a give away.  I picked a $25 gift certificate to Happiness is Quilting....the amount seemed like enough to be a prize, but not so much that it would break the bank.  Truly it was a fairly random amount.
That afternoon I got an unexpected thank you note in the mail from someone whom I had made a gift for.  They insisted that they give me $25 by way of paying me for my services.  They understood that I didn't want to be paid...and so told me to give it away. 
How cool is it that God sent me the money that I had already decided to give away in my drawing?! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

L.O.V.E. I need a little

Me and my big ideas.....
.....taking a break from DQS13 today. (Went up this morning to see how it had is square....but the orange and fuscia have bled a bit.....then Jack wanted to roll around on top of it.....I decided it was best to step away from the project for a little bit.)

I am working on a new project for Moda Bakeshop. This isn't like anything I have offered up to date. The gist of the project is "words". They are getting ready to do a series on texty things. So far, so good.
Every morning when my sweet boys leave for school I give them a big hug and whisper in their ears.

"BE SAFE....
"BE GOOD....
"Love you."
They have been teasing me for a while, asking when I was going to make a mini to hang by the door. I keep telling them that there are too many words for a mini. Although, last night John (my 17 year old) told me that if I would embroider the words, then they would fit. True, true my sweet boy.
Camera Roll-42
But, I have already "sold" the idea to MBS. I got fabric for my "Out the Door" throw on Tuesday.
Now I am trying to figure out the best way to create the letters. I want them to be seen in negative space.
My first thought, and the one I pitched Moda, was a ticker tape type quilt where the bits were moved aside to make the letters. Cool idea....but not one well suited to precuts and/or writing directions. I would be creating so many more UFOs in the world that I killed the idea when I was ordering fabric. (Besides, I couldn't figure out how much fabric to order doing it that way...the top would end up being a double layer all around.)
Camera Roll-43
To simplify I went back to the idea of a grid with one letter per square.....but how to get my negative spaces.
 This morning I tried two different methods of reverse applique.
Raw edge (the L and E) - I drew the letters on a piece of paper; Layered the paper on top of two charms, both with right sides up; sewed just to the outside of the lines; ripped off the paper; trimmed the top layers of fabric; fray checked it; then did some hand embroidery to hold the little edges down further. I have to say this is probably the easier of the two methods. However, as a long arm quilter I have to say that I hate raw edges. They get caught on things.
Needle turn (the O and V) - I drew the letters on a piece of paper; traced the letters onto the right side of the top piece of fabric; basted the two pieced together around the edges; then hand appliqued the bits together along the tracing lines. (NOTE TO SELF - remember to do the centers first!). I like the finished look of this method best.....but it took much longer.

Do you have a method of reverse applique that you like?  Tell me about it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I love this little quilt...or at least the idea of it. I am pleased with the way the piecing came out.

Camera Roll-37

What I am not pleased with is the wonk.  You can see it in this picture.  The bottom edge is lined up with the bottom line of my cutting mat.  Look how far the top edge shifts to the left!
I haven't tried to block it yet.  I'm not sure how to do it...but am pretty sure that doing it before quilting it is a good idea.
As to quilting it....I have two thoughts. 
My first is to hand quilt it with pearl cotton .... echoing the bright bits in the text.  I hesitate because there are a lot of seams to go through and I am not sure how my skill measures up to the task. 
My second thought is to put it on my long arm and quilt this pattern on it.
The pattern is called Ribbon Dance by Vicki Malaski.  I would quilt it out as one large pattern centered on the quilt....the wonk wouldn't be a problem here as the computer can adjust the shape for me.
What do you think?
How would you go about blocking it?
Should I start over for my swap partner and turn this beauty into a pillow?


Guess who just got invited to go to Quiltcon in February?


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DQS13 Top Done

DQS13 top done

Just finished the top....and I have to say I am a little disappointed.  It isn't quite square...that is to say it wonks to one side.  I'm wondering if I could block it to fix the problem.  Have any of you ever done that?

How do you think it should be quilted?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Doll Quilt Swap #13

Many of you know that I participate in the occasional on-line swap.  At the moment I am firmly committed to three...that is to say I have a partner and some sort of plan, even if it is just a due date.

This past weekend I worked on a mini for my Doll Quilt Swap partner.  I started with her list of likes and dislikes...  I'd quote her, but I wouldn't want the secret to be blown...let's just say she likes words, and saturated color.

Then I found a block that intrigued me on Pinterest.  (Anyone else addicted to this treasure trove of inspiration?)

And I started playing with it.



Next I had to see if I could actually make the block....
DSQ13 Test blocks

What do you worked!

And choose a final layout.....
DQS13 idea #4

And a final color pallet....

Dsq13 fabric selection

Cut all of the pieces....


I finished piecing the smaller units on Sunday.

DQS13 progress

And am now nearly done piecing the center.

DQS13 progress
I'm actually a bit further than this.  I have only one long center row to finish.  However, I've run out of steam for the day.  (and I still have an hour or so of quiet before the boys get home from school.)
It suddenly dawned on me that I need to come up with a plan to quilt this puppy.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Remember a while back I told you that Mom was giving away some of her needle work?

She worked for years (like 20) in a cross stitch shop.  When the shop closed she got to keep all of the samples that she had made.  That is a bunch....more than she could ever display in her home...and it is a rather large home.

I chose the picture I liked best and took it home on Christmas day.  I have a soft spot for Dickens.

My Quilty Haul

It now hangs in my entry way....

....not a great picture, but it is there to the left of the mirror.

I told her that I liked another one, and she wanted me to take it home too.  It looked so pretty on her wall that I told her I would collect it when she switched out her decorations.

I picked it up yesterday.  Isn't it beautiful?  I believe it is an old Shepherd's Bush pattern, circa 1992.

I spent the day with her  - We sorted out her quilts (oh my she has many.) We went out to lunch.  We stopped at the local quilt store so I could pick up stuff for the guild's block of the month.  We shopped for clothes.  It was a good day.

As I was leaving I noticed that she had tucked a few extras into my sack.  Want to see?!  I know you do...

Patched Santa
 I don't know who designed this Santa...Mom stitched it in 1992.  Yes, she is/was quite prolific in her needle work.  I'm thrilled to have it and agree with her.  It will look wonderful in the middle of my  collection of minis.

Set Sail

I found this mini amongst her quilts.  Isn't is awesome?!  It is paper pieced and must have been done many moons ago.  Mom doesn't paper piece.  She doesn't like it.  Maybe this is the reason why.  The little stars can't be bigger than 2" square.  I think her work is amazing.  This will look great in my son's nautical themed bedroom.  I've hung it there already.  (Want to start a pool on whether or not he will notice it?)


Happy Birthday! almost

Tops to Treasures Blog Bd

My very first post was on January 20, 2011.  That makes me just shy of 2 years old...with 135 followers, and over 300 posts.  Wow.  How did that happen? 

This calls for something about a give away?!   I'm thinking a $25 gift certificate to one of my favorite local quilt shops.   It is one of the happiest places on the planet...honest.

Sooooo....leave me a comment....tell me where your happy place is....and I will pick a random winner on the 20th.  International entries welcome.  Please make sure I can get a hold of you  - no anonymous entries.  AND it would be nice if you are a follower too, but I'm not going to check.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It is a mistake... (and other random notes)

to work on a pattern.....

...that is all black and greys....
...on a day that does nothing but rain!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
On a much happier note, just got work from my son.  Doc loves the quilt. 
The text I got from Noah said, "In the words of Doc, "the quilt is bad ass!""  I'll take that.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And the giggle for the day...I spent a few moments cleaning my guest bath this morning.  For the record, cleaning a toilette on a rainy day is not my idea of a fun time; however, today the kitten decided he had to help.  Sorry, no pictures.  Between the cleaning supplies, the kitten, and chuckling there was no way I could have snapped a photo for you.  As I was cleaning the bowl Mr Jack kept popping his head up over the rim from the back.  He was fascinated by the motion in the water.  What a silly kitten.
Smuggling Jack

Hope your day is sunny!

Monday, January 7, 2013


I've two finishes! Wa-hoo!

This one I designed for my son's boss/coach/sponsor at Howard College. It is to be gifted to some lucky participant in the Everette Blackburn Rockin' Rodeo Sports Medicine Clinic in April. If you look closely you can see the ropers quilted into the large white areas. It is on it's way to Big Spring at this very moment....with my Noah. (I thought it would get easier to say good-bye....but it hasn't. I'm not crying my eyes out like I did the first time....but I have been distracting myself with a flurry of house cleaning. Both tears and house cleaning are signs that something is up with me....I don't often do either.)

My second finish is "Rar!" I whipped it together last week for the brand new baby of one of our pastors. The back is a yummy green cuddle that I found at JoAnn's...with a 40% off coupon...I love the way the Animal Tracks by Vickie Malaski looks....giant fossils!

Can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the finished quilt...oh well. I hope it blesses the socks off of my friends and their new little boy.

Time to go back to the frantic cleaning...either that or start crying and that gives me a head ache so cleaning it will be.