Sunday, December 27, 2015

Santa Sack Swap 2015

I joined the Santa Sack Swap for 2015 for the first time and had a great time choosing and making gifts for my partner Sharon. The swap started in July and was to be mailed near the end of November. Each person was to make a stocking, bag or basket with 5 gifts -1 per month - most were to be handmade We both decided to wait until Christmas to open our packages but that meant about a month of looking at the bag, or trying not to look at the bag, and the wrapped gifts inside. The wait was definitely worth it!

This is the outside of the bag- the front and the back- and I am in love with this fabric!

When I took everything out, here is what I had - I was pretty sure that there was a jelly roll in here!

I was right - the jelly roll was by Me and My Sister designs - one of my favorite designers. Great colors!

And then there was this intriguing "folder" tied with a ribbon. Inside I found a great pair of small scissors, a little snap pocket, a place for pins, and pouch pockets along the bottom. What a wonderful way to carry some sewing supplies when I travel! 

There was also a bag of goodies, a wall hanging, and a table runner.

The colors in the hanging and the table runner will work perfectly in my house! Thanks so much Sharon for these wonderful gifts!

I am joining Pat Sloan in her "UFO Busting Plan 2016"  in an effort to finish up some of my projects that are "hanging around".  She has a plan for us to use to get us started. If you want to read more about this and make a dent in your UFO stack, you can read about it on her blog here:  

Along with finishing up some UFOs, I plan to do better in 2016 with keeping up with my blog - so I'll see you more next year!

I hope you had a good Christmas and that 2016 brings you good things.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Where Does the Time Go?

This post was originally written in June and never published. So I'm going to put this one out there so that I can jump start myself ! So this info is old but still valid. I will begin working on a new update and see if I can catch up.

Does it ever just seem that a whole bunch of time has passed and you didn't really notice? Of course you know that time is moving on but sometimes it is hard to believe how quickly. I can't believe that it's already mid June and I have not written a post since April. I've had things to do during these last couple of months but not so much that I couldn't write. I think a lot of it is because blogging is fairly new to me and it's not a habit yet. 
With that said, I'll give an update on what's new with me.

I'm still working on my vacation block of the month with Pat Sloan. May's block is done and June's block is in the planning stages. 
This is the block for May, called Beach Bag.
I've narrowed down the fabrics for June's block but have been busy working on other things so I put it aside for now. When we started this BoM, we numbered our fabric and usually I just use whatever "number" fabric that Pat has used but this time I decided to do it differently. I started my color palette with a FQ pack that I had and added extra fabrics to with those fabrics. When using Pat's set-up with a certain number of each color, I had a few fabrics that didn't really work as well for one reason or another. I decided to pull one of them for the center of this block because they just seem to work well. Now to decide which one! Here is what I'm considering.

I've been working on this one with the fabrics that I showed you last time.

Talk to you again soon - hopefully in a few days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I found this post I had started in late April and never finished so I'm posting it today as a preview of the blog I'm working on that show my projects - from these fabrics and others:

I've got several things planned for the near future and this is one I'm really looking forward to.
There's a special little girl who will be 2 in July and guess what (who) she really loves. You're right, it's Minnie Mouse - in red, not pink (a girl after my own heart!).
This little lady is my almost granddaughter - I got to travel with my best friend, her grandmother, from Texas to Marystown in Newfoundland Canada when she was born. Her parents are there for a while for work and will be back in Texas for her birthday. I made a pretty pink quilt when she was born so I'm going to follow it with a cute red, black and white Minnie quilt now that she's getting big. Watch for more later - I designed the quilt in EQ 7.

Speaking of grandchildren . . . .  I'm going to be a GRANDMOTHER in September! I can't 
believe that I haven't shared that before! This is some fabric that my daughter-in-love picked out with her mom to make a quilt for the new one (her mom is one of my quilting friends and will make the simple quilt they picked). It has the colors that she wants to use- gray, teal blue, and lime green - and her theme is zoo animals. She is keeping things generic because they are not finding out if it's a boy or girl.
I bought this striped fabric from the same line to  make a skirt for the crib and the gray for a sheet (maybe).

The last fabric I'm showing today is one for a quilt for a special young man - he's my oldest son. Several years ago when I was just starting to quilt, I made a quilt for my niece and took it to her shower. He was there and said "now I know where I stand: you've never made me a quilt". (That's not true but that's a different story!) Anyway, since then I have been looking for the perfect quilt for a young man in his late 20's. This is the fabric I have collected over the course of a year. 

Look for more about these fabrics in the next post, hopefully soon!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Past Time!

It's way past time to post a new entry for my blog! It doesn't seem like I have done much sewing but I guess I've done more than I realize.

The last several weeks this is the project I've been working on. It's actually a UFO from the fall of 2012. I got the top made and started doing some stitch in the ditch when I realized that I needed to go across each row of squares not in the ditch. So I pulled out my stitches (not too many, fortunately), set it aside and got busy with other things. This is made on the fusible grid interfacing and had the shape drawn on it by the class instructor. We placed all our fabrics on the grid and used a small iron to secure them before we began to sew. We folded between each column of squares (I think they started out at 2") and sewed a 1/4" seam. After sewing them all one direction, we had to clip at each intersection and sew the other way. It was quite a new technique for me but I did enjoy it.

I've had it on my "to do" list since the fall but had an incentive to get it done before the middle of the month. A local church is going to have a quilt show where they drape quilts over the pews for display. I was asked by a friend from that church I if would loan a quilt or two and I thought this would be really different from any other quilt. It did not take much to finish it but now I am looking for the embellishments that I bought for it and just recently put "in a safe place" (I'll send it without if I can't find them in time).
If you look close, you can see things that I consider important, either in Texas: state symbols, professional sports teams or for my family: colleges, occupations, recreation.
I hope you enjoy it - I know I can't wait to put it on the wall after the show. 
Next week I'll give the link to the show in case anyone from around Houston is reading and would like to go.

This is the Block of the Month I'm doing for 2015. I joined Pat Sloan's Vacation Time for this year's project. (There is a link on the right to the supply list and patterns.)  So far I have made 4 blocks - one each month this year, and yes, I have done them during the month they were meant to be done. Somehow, though, I have not shared them before today so here they are!

First is January's block "Down by the Boardwalk"

Next is "Toes in the Sand" which we did in February.

March's block is called "Surf's Up".
 And for April we have "The Penny Arcade".

Here are all the blocks together. 

I'm using a FQ bundle that I had bought for a quilt for my father-in-law. I was debating what to use and decided this would be a good pattern for his quilt. I added in a few more fabrics and the yardage needed for background and borders. 

It's a nice soft but manly palette and I like the way it looks so far. I will be adding in a few extra blocks so that it will fit a twin bed. I plans to have it finished for him for Christmas.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mug Rug Swap

Last post I gave you a little peek of something that I had finished working on but couldn't share yet. Now I can tell you more. I participated in a mug rug swap sponsored by Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

The theme was spring and we were to make our mug rugs and get them in the mail by March 2. The snippet that I showed you was a small part of the rug that I made. Here's a picture of the whole rug.

I went searching for "spring" things and I really loved this little butterfly. I made it with one of my favorite colors - purple. I sent it off with a little extra of the print fabric and a small amount of two solids that would coordinate with it.

I received my mug rug in a box about a week before the "mail by" date. Inside the box was a really cute mug rug in one of my other favorite colors (green), a mug, some tea, and some really neat fabric. Oh yeah, there was a really delicious cookie in the box too . . .  yes, I've already eaten it. The fabric is really neat - it's not fabric I would normally buy for myself but I love it. I can't wait to find something to make with it.
It was sent to me by Tanyia, who lives in Florida and has a blog called 
Domestic deficit disorder. Check out her post about the swap and look around while you're there.
We weren't sent any information about who we were sending our rug to so it was one of those times when you make something that you like and hope that they like it too. I didn't realize until I addressed my package to her that we were actually swapping with each other, which was kinda neat. The appliqued mug rug that she sent me had a silhouette on it which reminds me of the logo for the subdivision that I live in and I love that. Are you ready for pictures now?  Here is the mug rug

and all the goodies she sent with it (minus the cookie).

While my husband is at the deer lease trying to shoot some pigs, I will be cleaning up my sewing space and finishing up a wall hanging UFO. I'm trying to get it finished so that I can display it. Hopefully I can share it soon!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Block of the Month Finished . . . What's Next?

My 2014 Block of the Month is finally finished - quilted, bound, and on the bed (at least for the weekend). I'm pleased with the way it looks without adding a border. I found this really nice blue dotted fabric for the binding. It has both  medium and dark blues in it and the dots also range from almost white to light blue. It looks great with the background of my quilt.
Here it is on the bed that my niece slept in this weekend when she came to visit.

 And here is a close-up of the binding. I put it on by machine, which was a new thing for me.

So today I'm headed off to a class at my local quilt shop. I'm looking forward to learning a new technique. The class is called Turned Edge Machine Applique and we're making a table runner. Here are my fabrics -  the white is the background, the colors are for petals of flowers, and the green will be the leaves. 

I probably won't finish today, which is good since I haven't picked my backing yet, but I should get a lot done. I'll report back in a few days with my progress.

Here's what I'll be working on in the next several weeks:
1) my block for March Vacation 2015 (by Pat Sloan) done
2)quilt my January Aurifil block
3)make February Aurifil block - they run from the 15th to the 15th
4) work on quilts for 2 family members

Before I sign off, here is a sneak peek of something that I made for  a swap. We'll be sharing in about a week and I'll let you see the whole thing!
Have a great day and a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I have been working the last week to finish quilting my 2014 Block of the Month quilt. I decided that I wanted to do a different design on the mugs so they would stand out a bit. When I quilted those rows, I just stopped my stitching at the edge of the mug and pulled the quilt forward to the other side of the mug. Once I was there, I lowered my needle right at the edge of the mug and quilted to the next mug. I repeated this for each of the mugs in the row and for the rest of the rows that the mugs were in. When I was finished with the mug rows, I went back and cut the threads and tied off each of the ends. I then had to decide what kind of design I wanted on the mugs. I finally chose a a star that has a little heart in it. The pattern was a free download and had several sizes to choose from. I cut out 2 of them, chose the size I liked and marked my quilt. I don't trust myself to free hand something like that because one mistake will stand out a lot.

At this point I had to take a little break because it was the weekend. Because my hubby doesn't really like me to sew/quilt on the weekend, I try to only do little things that don't keep me in my sewing area long. I wanted to concentrate on these designs and do them all at the same time so I elected to wait until Monday to finish up.

This is after I gave the snowmen some eyes. What a difference it makes!

I laid it out in the entry hall and trimmed it.

It's finally ready for the binding.

So now I need to make the binding and the label. I just got the material for the binding but couldn't cut it until I move my sewing machine back to it's normal spot. I have been moving it to my "peninsula" for quilting because the quilt has room to go off the back of the machine. It's normal place has a wall behind it and I use the peninsula for my cutting mat, which stays out all the time. I'll post pictures when it's all finished.

Here's a little project that I worked on over the weekend. I cut the pieces on my small mat (placed in my sewing machine spot) and sewed it a little bit at a time over the weekend.  It's the Aurifil
block and it's just 15 inches square. The first picture is all the parts and the second one is after it's put together. I need to sandwich it, quilt it and then bind it. Since it's so small, I can work a little every day until it's finished. I can't wait to hang it in my sewing space! 

This block can be found here (read to the end to find the pattern): 

I hope not to be long posting pictures of my finished block of the month, which was finally titled "Minnesota Winter Wonderland".

See you soon!
Have a blessed day!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Block of the Month 2014

I hope you have been enjoying seeing all the quilts inspired by Cindy at Quilt Doodle. I'm going to tell you a little bit about my quilt today.

This is the second block of the month that I have done with Cindy and I have enjoyed both of them. At the beginning she told us that this would be a theme quilt and after the first block, or should I say row, it was obvious that the theme was to be winter. I live in the south so I wasn't so sure about a winter themed quilt because we don't have a lot of winter most years! I had another reservation because it became obvious that the quilt would be built with 2.5 inch squares and I struggle with making so many seams meet. I decided to go ahead with the quilt and use it as a opportunity to get better at making my seams meet. Most of the blocks were actually rows which was different from any other BOM that I had made but I loved the way they went together. The only row made of blocks is the row with the trees and houses - it has 4 blocks. I used a cording foot for the first time and it was really easy once I tried to stop guiding the cording and just sewed where it was supposed to go. I found out that applique is a skill I'm still perfecting!

As I laid the quilt out to decide what order to put them in (I found Cindy's layout was the best for me), I found a little (big?) mistake. My row of mugs was 5 squares too wide - I had added an additional column of squares to each cup as I made it. So I took out my trusty seam ripper and began to find the easiest way to remove a strip from between each cup. 

Success! Here are my sections before they are sewn together. 

I changed the tree on the right to 2 trees that were different sizes because I wanted something different.

Here is the quilt top all put together. I have chosen not to add a border and I did a little embellishing after the top was put together (not shown here). I just added a reindeer in the trees and a wreath above the door.

I chose this lovely print from the Snow Happens line for the backing of the quilt and began to quilt. I chose snowflake pattern that I saw on It's linear and I made one line of quilting in each row of blocks. I like how it looks so far.

Of course my quilting has not been without mishaps. Below is an example of what happens when you don't listen to your machine. My machine had been jumping a bit on this row but I ignored it until it decided to stop. When I looked on the back, this is what I found. Yuck!

As I ripped out this entire row of quilting, I found a seam that had come apart in the middle. Wierd, huh? So before I moved on, I got out my needle and thread and sewed the entire seam together. 

I didn't get completely finished with my quilting - I've gotten about a third of it quilted but should be finished in a couple of days. After I finish the quilting I will add the eyes to the snowmen. I took a few pictures so that you could see it so far. 

This is what I have quilted so far.

  I started my quilting in the center row and did 2 rows above that one then 2 rows below it, alternating the side that I started on. I'm continuing this method the full length - I'm hoping to keep the quilt more square by doing it this way. I had my snowflakes too close together at first (you can see this at the top of the house and in the tree) so I marked a pattern on a few rows to get more of a pattern started. You can see that I alternated the spacing of the flakes on each row, and put in a "snowball" every now and then.

I'm trying to think of what I can quilt on the mugs so that it will be a little different and stand out a bit - I don't want to do any more applique. I'm sure inspiration will hit when I get there!

 Be sure to check out the other quilts on the hop.

January 24th 
January 25th 

Thanks for stopping by to see my quilt!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Final Catch-up Day

I think I'm finally at the last post to show you what I worked on while I took my vacation from blogging.

Did you know about the NASA Astronomical Quilts! Block Challenge issued by Astronaut Karen Nyberg? She created a star quilt block while in space and she issued a challenge to quilters to create and submit star blocks. These blocks were combined into quilts that were displayed at International Quilt Festival in Houston.

I created 2 blocks - one was in response to a challenge by Pat Sloan and the other was a block that I had been thinking about making and sending in for the challenge.

When I got both blocks finished, I decided to send in the green one (I love green!) because I thought it would be different from most other blocks. I'm saving the red, white, and blue one for some other quilt some day.

I made another baby quilt! It seems that all my friends' kids are beginning to have kids of their own and that's why I've been making so many baby quilts.

This quilt was made for a sweet young lady that I have known for all but the first 2 years of her life. She and her husband had their first child, a little girl in October. I love to make quilts that have the same color scheme as the nursery so I went on a search for pink (bubble gum pink and hot pink), gray, navy, gold, and elephants. The elephants were easy - I had some of that cute Ed Emberley designed elephant fabric left from a quilt earlier in the year. The pinks weren't too hard to find, I left out the gold (way too hard to find the right shade), but the navy was a little trickier. When I found all my fabric I began to talk to a friend about the pattern that I planned to use. She also knows this young lady so I thought she would be helpful. Boy was I wrong! Since she "just loved" a quilt I made another friend's grandchild I began a search to find a similar pattern. (I don't really want to repeat patterns just yet). To make a long story shorter, the pattern we settled on didn't work with the fabrics that I had but I couldn't really tell until I got all the pieces cut. 

I began experimenting with what I had, which was mostly 2 ½ inch squares. 
   Here's what I came up with .

I decided to use a variegated thread for the quilting - this way the quilting didn't jump out at you at any particular place on the front. I just did some leaves and flowers - I divided the quilt into quarters, drew a basic path to follow and then concentrated on just one section at a time. This really helped me not to get stuck or lost and miss a spot. In the center I did a stitch in the ditch diamond and a large elephant inside the diamond.
 One more quick thing - I did finally finish the weighted blanket that I was making for my great nephew. I got to him just before school started and it really helps him. This is a close-up so you can see the pockets - they are filled with poly pellets and the whole thing weighs about 8 pounds.

This is the last of what I did the last half of 2014. 

So what's up for 2015?
I'm working on another block of the month - it's one designed by Pat Sloan and it's called Vacation Time. I plan to give it to my father in law for his twin bed but I'll have to lengthen it a row to make it long enough. I also have a few UFOs that I'd like to finish, I've already got the pattern for a quilt for a friend who is hoping to have a baby this year, I need to make my son a quilt (fabric and pattern already picked out for that one) . . .  you know the story.

Cindy at Quilt Doodle Designs has sent out the schedule for viewing 2014 Block of the Month quilts.  I hope you'll take a little tour of all the quilts.

January 24th 
January 25th 
January 26th

I hope you have a good week! Come back on Jan 25 to see my finished block of the month from 2014.