Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

from my studio to yours....

May the peace that is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ surround you and yours this holiday season.

Monday, December 1, 2014

November in my rearview.....

Wow.....I am so glad that Thanksgiving gives me an excuse to sit and be still.  It has been a crazy month!

We got to travel to Arkadelphia Arkansas to see the infamous Battle of the Ravine.  A 80 some year old rivalry football game between Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University - both located in Arkadelphia.  They even share a parking lot. We were thrilled to get to spend time with both of our college boys (Noah drove up to Frisco on Friday, so he could ride up to Arkadelphia on Saturday and see his brother's team.)

B O T R 2014

Ouachita beat Henderson 41 to 20.  Finishing their season undefeated, and champions of the Great American Conference.  Way to go Tigers!!

I participated in the Flickr mini quilt swap, Little Quilt, Sew, Vote Swap.

Little Quilt, Sew, Vote, Swap Nov 2014

I made the crazy hats quilt and traded it for ice cream cones!  I love my new quilty.

And, as if all of this wasn't fun enough, I also quilted 27 quilts for clients of Tops to Treasures.  I have never, ever, quilted so many quilts in one month. I wouldn't be terribly hurt if I never do again either.

Tops to Treasures - Nov 2014

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family.  God bless you all.

Monday, November 3, 2014

October in my Rearview

Photo taken by my brother, Richard Bradley in Lebanon, OH

October was as glorious a tree in full foliage, slowly turning to crimson and gold as the cold weather sets in.  It was long as a summer's day, and as exhausting as a holiday season in which a new child is born into the household....just after moving to a new home.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

My October started out slow - I enjoyed a long weekend quilting with my friends from the Scorpion retreat group. There were about 12 of us enjoying wonderful food and friends at the Sunset Retreat Center in Sunset, TX.  If you get a chance to go take it.

Scorpion retreatx

I got home just in time to finish the last quilts in line for Sew Loved John 3:16.  A friend from church asked if I would help her complete 9 quilts for kids with cancer.  In conjunction with The Portrait Project, she was making a quilt for each kid. We made 9 quilts in 9 weeks.

Sew Loved John 3:16 Project

The quilts were presented to the kids on October 9.

Next up - a trip to the north to take in the fall colors - and love on my big brother and his family.

October Trip to Kentucky

The week was quiet.  We sat around and visited and enjoyed the cool wet fall they were having.  On the one day that did turn sunny we ventured out to Lebanon, Ohio.  I could be very happy living in that little town.  The photo of the beautiful tree was taken by Richard out of the roof of his truck, with his iPhone.  He definitely knows something I don't about photography - maybe that is why he is successful as a commercial photographer.

On the way home we got to stop and have lunch with my Johnny.  It was so very good to see my boy. We spent an hour visiting and then headed on home.  His team is now 8 and 0.  I'm not sure when we will see him next....I'm kind of sad about that part, but excited for the success of his beloved Ouachita Tigers.

Tops to Treasures plowed ahead  - finishing 10 quilts in between excursions. Three of which I also hand bound.

October 2014 at Tops to Treasures

And, last, but not least we finally got my youngest to go car shopping. I don't know what the deal is, but he really has no interest in driving.  I wonder what happened to the adventurous toddler he once was.  We had to keep a rope on Ben to keep him from jumping into the pool before we were ready.  I lost track of the number of times family members pulled him out of the drink.  At 16 he is more than happy to sit in the dark and play on a computer all day.  Too bad for him.  I think learning to drive and get around in the world are all part of growing up.  It is just something you need to be able to do (like swimming).  

I leave you with a pic of my youngest boy and his little copper colored car.  Don't worry, I made sure, before it was purchased that it would hold a full roll of batting! I can't hardly wait until December 22, when he will have his drivers licence and I can send him out on Minion errands.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

September in my Rearview

What a month it has been.  September was so full that it spilled over into October, at least the need for rest did.

Tops to Treasures quilted a record 21 quilts.

Tops to Treasures September 2014

9 of those included hand finishing, and only one of them was my own.  (That was a birthday pressent for my oldest brother...for his 50th birthday, which he celebrated 6 years ago. Thanks to my Mom for finishing the piecing.) having my boy home.

I also enjoyed a visit from my Johnny!  The wonderful stinker told everyone he was coming home for the weekend, except me.  He told them and followed it by "But don't tell Mom!"  I have to say it was one of a handful of times in my life when I was actually, and joyously surprised by someone.  I couldn't resist hugging my boy every few minutes just to make sure that it was really him.

The many faces of my Noah. Happy Birthday bud!!

I celebrated my Noah's 22nd birthday this month as well.  I have no idea how he got so old, but I am delighted by his friendship.  I can't wait to see what the years have in store for him.

And I got to see my quilts, 5 that I can see in the photo, displayed in the Moda Bake Shop booth at the AQS show.

5 of my quilts playing at the AQS show with Moda Bake Shop

I finished off the month with a well deserved three days off, at a quilting retreat with my Mum, and other quilty friends.  Thanks to the fine folks at Sunset Retreats for having us.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August in my rearview

I'm not sure that this cartoon is completely accurate....there have been moments when I was more like the toddler than like the Mom.  Yes, I do enjoy my boys that much!

August started out with a bang - I finished John's quilt!! Each red petal took about 40 minutes to create from start to finish.  There were 180 petals in the quilt.  It took two days to custom quilt.  And several hours to sew down the binding.  That doesn't include piecing the rest of the quilt.  I told John that the quilt has 147 + hours of love stitched into it.  He  needs to make it last.

Ta-done & claimed.

He helped me with the photo shoot and it took him exactly that long to get it off of the grass and over himself.   He (and it) were the first ones to leave the nest this semester.

Home Sweet dorm room.

He is now firmly rooted in the glory that is playing football for a smallish college.  Go Tigers!!

Pre season football
John is the guy on the right.
A few weeks later Noah left for his Jr. year at Angelo State University.  I didn't get to go with him to help set up his room. He sent pictures.  His room is sweet, definitely a step up from his brothers. And we took our parting shots...then went inside and cried cleaned.  (both are true).

It doesn't get any easier. Noah is off to San Angelo

Just a few days later my baby (he's 16) started preseason work for his Jr. year of high school.  Like his oldest brother, Ben enjoys being an athletic trainer.

It is hard coming to grips with the fact that my boys are going up.  It is the right thing to happen.  It is normal and good.  However, it leaves me feeling a little .... vacant.  I'm not sure how to progress with out them about.

Keeping up with my wonderful quilting friends has helped.  This month I quilted 14 quilts (John's is included in the list.)

Aug 2014 in Review

I'm slowly getting the hang of September, being a Mom taxi service again, and having a very quiet house during the day.  I might even be starting to enjoy it.

I hope you are enjoying all of the changes that September brings to your corner of the world.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July in my rearview

After the fireworks fade there is still a lot of summer to be packed into the 31 days that are July.

Most summers we are roasting by this point and have begun our annual summer hibernation.  Not so this year.  As I write, it is overcast and raining.  The temperature is a mere 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Compared to a norm of  highs in the 90s, and our recent past summers of day after day of unrelenting 100s with little to no rain. This feels like the end of the world. In which case, I totally vote for the end of the world as I know it. Bring it on!  I've got places to be.  (Thank you God for the rain and the cool temps.  They are awesome.)

This month I got to go on a retreat with my Mom.  We joined the gang at Happiness is Quilting in McKinney, TX for a four day quilting vacation at Greenbriar Retreats.  All I can say is if you ever get a chance to go visit Judy, do it.  Don't think twice.  You will have a wonderful time.

While I was gone my boys painted my studio for me.  They erased all traces of their old game room and replaced it with a cheery place for me to sit and work.

Studio Collage

I had another pattern published on Moda Bake Shop this month!  Meet Summer Sun & Stars - pieced by my awesome Mom.

I don't know what is up next for me and the Bake Shop, but I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Tops to Treasures quilted 13 quilts this of them my own.

Tops to Treasures July 2014

And I've managed, I hope, to get my two oldest sons ready to head back to college.  I am going to miss my boys, but am excited for them and their new adventures.  It will be odd to only have one boy at the dinner table...but maybe he will be able to get a word in edgewise without the competition.

Noah, Took, & John

John has declared his graduation quilt a success....he helped me take pictures of it in the yard (note how green the yard is.  This is not normal for this time of year.)  Then walked away with it....

Ta-done & claimed.

My Photo Stream-325

I hope all of your quilting endeavors this past month have been received with equal enthusiasm.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Sun & Stars

Summer holds a lot of happy memories for me.  I always loved school, but I also loved adventuring and hanging out with my family.  That is what summer is for.  It is for staying up late, playing outside under the stars, and relaxing on sandy beaches.

Catalina Batiks by Moda brings all of those happy memories tumbling back to me.  The only thing that would make them do it more would be if they smelled like coconut oil and salt air.

cover photo.1

Add to the beautiful fabric my mother's beautiful piecing - check out those wonderfully pointy points - 

cover photo.2

and Anne Bright's "Paisley Sun" and you get one wonderful quilt!!  AND the pattern for the quilt is now available for free on Moda Bake Shop.

closing photo

It is a great way to celebrate summer...piece it while you are hiding from the heat...finish it to make a wonderful beach throw...or a place to rekindle that summer time warmth during the cold months of winter.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 2014 in my rear-view...

What a wild ride this month has been.

We had a graduation - my second son, John, graduated from high school.  He is on the left in the photo.  The boy on the right is my nephew...who also graduated this month.

Camera Roll-82

We had camp - my youngest went to camp for a week in Colorado while the rest of us stayed home and entertained my inlaws...and helped my oldest get over Mono.

Camera Roll-75

My two oldest then helped out at our church's vacation bible school.

Camera Roll-121

This was the first time that John helped...after years of his oldest brother telling him that it was fun...John placed in a crew of all girls.  LOL   As you can see they warmed up to each other by the end of the week.

Camera Roll-139

The next week Noah went to camp with the pre-teen ministry.  He had a crew of 5th and 6th grade boys to coral.  Don't tell them, but his threat of making a 5th & 6th grade head shish-ka-bob on that stake was just a trick to get them to behave.  He would never have done it.

In and out, and in and out, we could have installed a revolving door.  All the while I was busy quilting.

Tops to Treasures quilted 15 quilts this month.

June 2014

One of those is my own...and it will be featured on Moda Bake Shop sometime in the next two months. I'll let you know when.

I also received a sweet thank you from our friend Chad.  
"Dovahkiin" for Chad!

Remember this quilt?  My husband and I made it for him.  He was so thrilled that he turned around and painted me a priceless heirloom.  A Benjamin Satchell original!!  (Chad is his middle name)

Thank you Chad!! #minionkitty

I laughed until there were tears in my eyes.  My Minion-kitty now hangs proudly with the mini collection in my studio.

I hope July is just as sweet....but a little more restful.

Monday, June 16, 2014

S'more Rows.10 Rows & Borders

Assembling the top!

Are you as excited as I am?  At this point you should have 11 strips of fabric, some pieced, some not, that are 60 1/2" long.
You know what to do!!  Go for it.
EEEEEEEK!  We are in the home stretch.  Measure your top.  It should be close to 60 1/2" x 72 1/2".
For your borders you will need to cut the following pieces...
  • From inner border fabric (I used Bella Evergreen SKU#9900-234)
    • cut 7, 1 1/2" x wof strips
    • cut 4, 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares
  • From outer border fabric (I used Cars on Cream from the S'more Love line  SKU #37071-11)
    • My choice was directional
      • Cut 4, 5 1/2" x wof strips
      • Cut 2, 5 1/2" x 62 1/2" - fussy cut along stripe
    • Otherwise
      •  Cut  7, 5 1/2" x wof strips
  • Attach inner border -
    • Gather 7, 1 1/2" x wof strips
    • Sew 2 sets of 2,  1 1/2" x wof strips together along the 1 1/2" edge.
    • Iron seam allowance open.
    • Attach to long sides of quilt top.
    • Iron seam allowances towards the border fabric.
    • Trim
    • Cut 1, 1 1/2" x wof strip in half so that you have 2 1 1/2" x 22-ish" pieces.
    • Sew 2 sets of 1 1/2" x wof + 1 1/2" x 22-ish" strips together along the 1 1/2" edge/
    • Irons seam allowances open.
    • Attach to short sides of quilt top.  (If they are too short add the pieces that you trimmed off the long edges until they fit.)
    • Iron seam allowances towards the border fabric.
    • Trim
  • Attach outer border -
    • Gather
      • 4, 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares inner border fabric
      • 5 1/2" x wof strips outer border fabric
    • Measure quilt top.
      • Record dimensions here: ________ x ________
    • Assemble 2 sets of 5 1/2" x wof strips making them 5 1/2" x the length of your quilt.
    • Attach to long edges of quilt.
    • Iron seam allowances towards outer border.
    • Assemble 2 sets of 5 1/2" x wof strips making them 5 1/2" x the width of your quilt as recorded above.
    • Add a 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" square to each end
      • Iron seam allowances towards the outer border fabric.
    • Attach pieced units to the top and bottom of your top.
    • Iron seam allowances towards the outer border.


You now have a completed S'more Rows quilt top.  Take a picture of it and share it with me on my Tops to Treasures Flickr stream.

Friday, June 13, 2014

And the winner is.....

It is a fact of life that sometimes things get forgotten.... my promise to draw and announce a winner on 6/12/2014.

A day late isn't too bad.  Without further ado, drum roll please......

True Random Number Generator  3Powered by RANDOM.OR
Commenter #3

HP said...

I love this fabric and your pattern! I would love the red! Thank you!

HP, I have no contact information for send a response to this notice to claim your prize.  Congratulations.

PS If I do not hear from you I will draw another number.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Congratulations John!!

Today is the day you have been waiting for....


You are walking the stage to get your high school diploma.  I am sorry to see my boy all grown up, but oh so proud of the man you have become.

Well done Johnny!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

May in My Rearview

May is traditionally a month of welcoming spring flowers and graduation celebrations.  We had well as the allergies and moving madness that accompany both of them.

Noah graduation
Noah (the handsome blue shirted boy with no stole in the center)
and his class mates
Noah is now home for the summer!  Yeah!!!  and today we found out that he has Mono....not yeah. Hopefully he will be over it before he heads off to Angelo State University for the fall semester.

My pattern, Peaks & Paddocks published on Moda Bake Shop this month....and there is still a give away going on if you want to win some fabric.

I attended a women's retreat with my friends from church.  It was good to be among like minded women.....even women who do not quilt!  Sometimes you need a change.

AND I quilted 11 customer quilts....
may 2014 at Tops to Treasures

as well as several table runners for my Mom.

Today at Tops to Treasures

Top that off with the opening of my Etsy shop and I'd say it was a very productive month.

Now selling. $5 each (not including postage) profits benefitting the Frisco Quilt Guild