Sunday, February 16, 2014

S'more Rows.6 Paper Pieced Tents

Paper Pieced Tents
(rows 3 & 7)
I am thrilled to have you back again this month.  I was a little afraid that last months blocks may have pushed you over the edge. 
This month we have another paper pieced block.  The principle is the same as last month - if you need a refresher in how to do it go back and read my tutorial on paper piecing.  This works the same way.
Fabric Requirements:
  • Background - 13" x wof (a generous 1/3 of a yard) - I used Aqua Star bursts (SKU#37075-17)
  • Brown - 1/4 yard - I used various scraps
  • Inside Tent - 1/4 yard - I used various scraps.
  • Paper - 12 sheets - I used regular printer paper
Cutting Directions:
  • Background
    • A4 & B4
      • cut 2, 6 1/4" x width of fabric (wof) strip
      • sub cut each strip into 14, 3" x 6 1/4" rectangles
      • you will have 4 extra
  • Brown
    • A2 & B2
      • cut 1, 2 3/4" x wof strip
      • cut 24, 1 1/2" x 2 3/4" rectangles from it
      • set remnant, 2 3/4" x 6 ish" aside
    • A3 & B3
      • cut 1, 4" x wof strip
      • cut 24, 1 1/2 ' x 4" rectangles from it.
      • set remnant, 4" x 6 ish" aside
  • Inside Tent - This is a great place to use some fussy cut pieces.  Imagine someone looking out from the tent!
    • A1 & B1
      • cut 2, 4" x wof strips
      • sub cut 21, 4" x 2" rectangles from 1st strip
      • cut 3, 4" x 2" rectangles from 2nd strip
      • set remnant, 4" x 36 ish" aside
  • Paper
    • When you print the pattern be sure that your settings are as follows
      • Fit to printable area - NO!!! 
    • Print one page and measure the pattern pieces
      • The largest solid line rectangles should measure 2 1/2" x 5"
    • Once you are sure the pieces print out correctly, print the remaining 11 pages.
    • Print 12 copies of this
    • Cut into rectangles, A and B
Break time!!
Before you scrunch your nose up and say "Ewwwwww", let me tell you that I wasn't so thrilled with this idea at first either.  But then I drew it and I have to say it brought back some very sweet memories.
Once upon a time I lived and worked in a place affectionately referred to as "Tent City."  It was a beastly place to live during the day.  Good thing no one was there while the sun was up.
If you have a friend or relation that spent time working at a summer camp, they might have lived in one of these places too.  Wouldn't this make a cute throw pillow?  The fabric requirements are the same as for the row you are working on....just add a couple of fat quarters for the borders and Bob's your uncle. 
now back to the regularly scheduled directions....

Sewing Directions:
  • Assemble blocks - just like you did last month only you are making tents now instead of trees.
  • Assemble rows -
    • Gather
      • 12 tree blocks
      • 12 tent blocks
    • Arrange 24 blocks into 2 rows of 12 each.  Scatter the tents and trees so that your campers have some privacy.
    • Sew blocks together.
  • Remove papers
    • Ya, it is a pain.
    • It is okay to tug on your fabric while you are gathering the tiny bits of paper.  In fact I recommend it.  Pull the fabric perpendicularly from the seams.  It will help to pop the perforations of the paper.
    • Papers come of easiest when you gently abuse the blocks.
  • Finished rows should measure 5 1/2" x 60 1/2"

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I'm still trying to get my computer set up.  Geeeze.  I hadn't realized that it had been 4 years since I set up the last one.  I forgot how many hoops you have to jump through to get all of the software working together.

Even so, I am confident that I will get there....eventually.

My boy is coming home this weekend!  Yahoo!!  He heads home today after lunch.  I should have him in my arms by dinner time.

On Sunday evening the next great adventure beings.  Noah and Johnny head off to Arkansas to visit Ouachita Baptist University.  They have both been accepted to attend there next year - John as a Freshman and Noah as a Junior.  They are headed there to check it out in person, meet the coaches etc.

Noah & Johnny @ 1998
Noah is 6, and John is 2 1/2
It tickles me that they are still close even after 16 years.  I pray that they stay that way forever.

Noah & Johnny @ 2013
Noah is 21, and John is 18

I am so jealous of the fun they are going to have.  I can't believe I will only have one boy at home....and soon no boys at home....

Ben @ last little boy...not so little 15 yr old.

Maybe I will turn their rooms into a giant quilt studio/retreat center.  As if that is going to incredibly sub-urban home isn't much of a destination...but maybe my toys would prove a decent draw.  I'll have to think on it. might help to fund 2 boys in college at a time.  Might have to think harder on that.

Time to get back to the chores....I hope you are having a lovely day.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Quick Fix....

It was bound to happen.  It always does sooner or later.

My big beautiful computer is getting hinky.  It likes to take power naps while I am in the middle of working on projects and posts.

My dh checked it out for me....he couldn't find anything wrong.  Isn't that just how these things in the expert and the problem vanishes.

In as much as I need to use my computer we decided to buy a new one.  Enter the snazzy lap top.

Today I am surrounded by discs and cords and manuals trying to figure out how to transfer the programs I use from one machine to the other.  This can not be accomplished with a rotary cutter, needle and thread. Those I could handle.  Add to that the fact that we are having another "episode" of winter in North Texas - the sky is flat and grey, the air is cold and wet, there is a thin layer of ice coating just about every surface, AND they are telling me that they expect it to spit some more frozen stuff out of the sky.  I call it that, frozen stuff, because that is what it is.  It is not snow, not sleet, nor hail.  It is if the clouds were drooling and need a bib.  That slobbery wetness freezes as it finds it's way to the ground.  It is about as attractive as it sounds.

So, I took a bit of my own advise.....circa a three year old blog post...and have Googled "sunshine" and looked for images.

The desired effect was almost immediate.

Now...that is better!

I hope you enjoyed that quick fix as much as I did.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Credera by the Sea

A few months ago my sweet husband was offered a job.  He wasn't looking for one at the time, but was intrigued by the company.  He visited with them.  We talked.  He decided to go ahead and leave the company he had been with for the past 13 years.

Two weeks later the company that he had been with started laying off employees.

We both breathed a sigh of relief when we realized what our God had saved us from. (Thanks again God!)

But the amazing story doesn't end there.  Turns out Credera, his new employer, was planning a company trip.  A trip for all of the employees, as in every single one, and their spouses.  "Hello, welcome to the company.  And by the way, you and your spouse are invited to spend 4 days and 3 nights with us, all expenses paid, at the Fairmont on Knob Hill in San Francisco."

Cool.  I didn't think it would really happen.  People say a lot of things.  It wasn't until we were packing to leave that it hit me.  I was terrified.  I shouldn't have been.


This is the entrance to the beautiful hotel.  We couldn't have wanted anything more.  A little less might have been dandy.  Turns out Michelle Obama was having a fund raiser there during our stay.  The employee, get to know each other, game of  "Assassin" was curtailed for obvious reasons.  Seeing secret service agents loitering was interesting, although why they call them secret is beyond me.  They stuck out like sore thumbs.

The view from our room was beautiful.  We could see the roof top gardens, and downtown San Francisco.

It was pretty at night too.

San Francisco Winery 6

Our first night there we were treated to a fancy dinner at The Winery.  It didn't look like much from the outside.

Inside was pretty enough to make a wedding planner's heart leap for joy and any bride giddy.  

The table decorations were charming - definitely Pinterest worthy.

The food was delicious....even the mouse cake.  (We were a little worried about that.  So glad it was a misspelling.)


After a good nights rest, day two was full of adventures.  They had planned a team building scavenger hunt on Fisherman's Wharf.  I have to say I was skeptical.  I hadn't realized that my sweet heart worked with people that were mostly 18 - 28 years younger than us.  Our 27 years of marriage was only beat by one couple...who had been married 30 years.  The rest of the couples were either newly wed or in their teens.

The group was split into teams of 8 or 9 persons, randomly  mixed by age and type of work.  We spent the after noon chasing our 20 something year old team mates around the wharf taking pictures, answering questions, and being generally silly.

This laughing lady was in a penny arcade museum, Musee Mecanique.  She laughed for 1 minute 20 seconds straight, which was somewhat unnerving.  You can hear it if click the link...but be is kind of creepy.

Part of the game included interacting with various characters around the pier.  This is a picture of Gilbert and the illusive Rooster! 

We chased up and down and round about for several hours....did I tell you that we were playing with people a lot younger than San Francisco, the city built on hills...big hills.  It was exhausting.  When the game was over we headed back to the hotel to get spiffed up for dinner.

I have no pictures of that event....however, it was lovely.  AND we found out that our team won the hunt! Who would have thought that?!  We won, even though we were handicapped with two old(ish) party poopers.  The prize was a nifty Chromecast gadget for each team member.  Cool.


Day two was a free day!  We had our choice of tours and a $300 debit card to buy food with.

We chose a tour that took us across the Golden Gate to Muir Woods and Sausalito.  

Muir Woods

The woods were lovely, dark, and deep.  Everything you would expect of them.  We had a wonderful stroll in the little canyon where they grow.  We enjoyed reminiscing about another time and place where we did the same thing for the very first time.  (Gilbert grew up near Yosemite.)


Sausalito was pretty, a tiny town of tall houses stacked by the bay.  They reminded me of salt and pepper shaker cottages displayed on a set of shelves. 


Lunch time found us eating crab and enjoying this view.  See all of the boats on the bay?!  We are told the weather was unusual...which seems to be the norm for everyone lately...we enjoyed the sunshine immensely. God planned a perfect day for us.


At this point we abandoned the tour and took the ferry back to the city.  On the way we met this fellow. Pete is the self proclaimed "oldest living hippy." He and his dachshund friend entertained the crowd while we waited to board ship.  His dog was adorable...and I'm not sure, but I am fairly confident that the dog played and sang better than Pete did.  It makes me think that with enough nerve you can make a living doing just about anything. (Please don't tell my boys that.)


On the way from the dock to the trolley stop we discovered Noah's.  We had to stop.  It isn't every day you can have a bagel from your son's bakery....not really, but the name is what drew us in.  (Yes, we did buy him a mug with the logo on it.)  Bagels and cream cheese was the perfect dinner to take back to our room after pigging out on crab for lunch.

Cable Cars

The picture doesn't do the "hill" justice.  All over the city the streets were steep, greater than 45 degrees, hills that terraced at intersections.  We tried walking up a few.  Even at sea level there was not enough oxygen to convince my lungs and legs that we should keep walking.  Thank you Credera for providing us with passes to ride the cable cars!  It was quite an adventure.  No seat belts.  Often standing room only.  These cars went up and down the streets all day long.  I kept thinking that they would never be allowed in Texas...besides the fact that no one would want to ride them in the extreme heat...I don't think Texans are patient enough to deal with passengers darting out into the street to catch a ride, or passengers hanging off the sides.  Perhaps native San Franciscans are just grateful that they don't have to walk.


We had breakfast with the gang from Credera.  Would you believe, out of a group of around 300 people, we ate with two couples who both lived within a block of us?!  One of the wives even taught kindergarten where our oldest sons attended elementary school, at the time that they were there.  What are the odds of that happening?  I honestly look forward to bumping into them at the grocery store.

Which brings me to the end of my story and the most important part.  I did have a good time.  I didn't expect to. I was afraid and intimidated by people with jobs, people that I didn't know.  I didn't know what was expected of me.  In retrospect I know that they didn't really expect anything at all from me...other that I come and have a good time and get to know them.  

It humbles me to know that God planned this too.  He planted my husband in this company - with overtly Christian values and a belief in family.  He knew that it was time for a change, that this trip was in the works, that it would be a blessing.  He knew that it would all be good.  How could I ever have doubted.

Do me a favor?  The next time I get worked up about doing something, the next time that panic attacks set in and drive me over the brink, remind me that God is good.  He is good all the time, and I have nothing to worry about.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Happy Day

Does anyone not like to get packages in the mail?!  I didn't think so.

I want to share two, yes 2!, that  recently warmed my box and cheered my heart.

First up....Animal Whimsy pattern.  Amy Bradley, of Amy Bradley Designs was having a contest on her blog.  I didn't know I had entered until I won.  Hot dawg.  These patterns are adorable.  Can't wait to make them for someone special.

Winner winner chicken dinner

AND....I just got back from a long weekend in San Francisco to find my DQS14 swap quilt waiting for me.

DQS14 Received

Made for me by Karin Kajsa in Sweden - isn't this little quilt delightful?!  Such happy little rainbow birdies. Wait, there is more....

DQS14 Received

Karin also included this boat load of swag.  Yummy sweets, fun fabrics, and beautiful linen floss.  

My thanks to Amy and Karin.  Quilty friends are the best kind of friends.

If I go away again will I get more yummy mail?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January in My Rearview....

Bye bye cold and blustery month.  I can't say I am not glad to see you go.

This month was a whirlwind.

Jan 2014 Tops to Treasures

Tops to Treasures long arm quilting finished 11 quilts for customers.  It was amazing how the quilt tops trickled to do box was never full...still isn't...but there was always work to be done.

Tops to Treasures patterns had it's 16th pattern appear on Moda Bake Shop.  And has been busy behind the scenes to produce three more patterns for the coming months.

Look for "Tile" to be released sometime in February - featuring Printemps by 3 Sisters.  The model for this one will be the 2014/2015 Raffle Quilt for the Frisco Quilt Guild, with an extended, printed pattern being produced for sale along with the raffle tickets.

"Tiles" sneak peak
"All Good Gifts" to be released sometime in March features the brushed cotton version of "Mixed Bag" by Studio M.  If you watch my flickr photo stream you will get a peak at it when it is quilted.

"Summer Sand & Stars" is still in the writing stage...but trust me, the fabric line is a bag of Jolly Rancher candies!  It will make your mouth water.

On the swapping/gift making front... I only had two makes this month.

When a boy asks me to make for him I can't resist.
Noah needed a bigger bag....the old one wouldn't fit his tooth brush!

Done at last!  Need to make a label.
Made for....and off in the mail as I write.  This cutie will be in it's new home before anyone reads this.
Hello February - the month of valentines!