Wednesday, January 30, 2013


This morning I finished up an Easter mug rug I've been working on.  The hand-embroidered vine wrapping around the cross was fun to do, but doesn't show up very well in the picture.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Patchwork Posse's Winter Wonderland sew along has started.  The first row is Delectable Mountain blocks.  She has a really easy way to make them, so although I really planned to just follow, not sew, this quilt-along (QAL), I had to give it a go.

The block finishes at 12x8, and she says to make 4.  That would make a 48" row.  I'm thinking maybe I'll make three for a 36" row.  We shall see.

Anyhow, here's my first block, and below is how to make them.

To start, cut two 8.5" squares, one of each color.  Put them right sides together, draw a line down the diagonal, stitch 1/4" each side of the line, cut on the line, open and press.  In other words the way you probably already make hsts (half-square-triangles).  I squared mine to 8" at this point.

Lay them rst (right-sides-together), opposite colors facing.

Slice into 4 two-inch strips.

Arrange the strips like so, and stitch together.  Voila!  A quick and easy block.

Here's my row of 3.  It's 8 x 36; seems pretty big to me.  She says to make four, for a 48" length.

There's a link to this row-along on my side bar, and in an earlier post.  I still don't know that I'll be stitching all of it, but this would have made a super block for a row swap I was in last year, for the theme northwoods.  Hmmm.....................

Monday, January 28, 2013


This week we are studying Delilah.  Her story of course includes Samson.  Samson's mother was told that God was giving special strength to the son she would bear.  In return, his part of the bargain would include living clean and not cutting his hair.

Delilah was a prostitute who three kings offered a large sum if she could learn Samson's secret to his strength.  The secret of course was God's promise to his mother.  Delilah used her feminine wiles to nag and beg Samson to tell her.  When he finally did, she cut off his hair while he lay sleeping, his strength was gone, and she delivered him over to the Philistines. 

They gouged out Samson's eyes and imprisoned him.  While in prison his hair grew back and so did his favor with God.  In the end Samson used his regained strength to kill many Philistines, and himself, when he took down their temple by knocking over the supporing pillars with his strength..

The block for Delilah is called Blind Man's Fancy.  Since Delilah used her beauty and feminine powers to learn Samson's secret, I decided to use feminine colors for this block.  I used the stripey one, because it reminds me of hair, and hair was a key player in this story.

This lesson makes us think about times we have used manipulation to achieve our goals. It also reminds us God uses all sorts of people, not just saints, to further his plans.

This 6" block is fiddley, with many small pieces (as this picture demonstrates), but with paper piecing it is not difficult.

There is a paper piecing tutorial on my blog tutorial page.  Sometimes it helps to see how many people do it, and use what works for you.


These are the 'blocks' I'm hand-stitching for Clue 3.

And here's my convenient set up.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Patchwork Posse is starting a row robin this week.  The free row patterns are by various designers and will be posted twice a month.

Not sure if I'll be sewing this one, but I do love row quilts and will surely follow along.  Read all about it here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


While at the Jennifer Chiaverini book signing for her new book, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, I also asked Jennifer to sign my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler pattern book and my copy of her book The Giving Quilt.  Those books both have pins associated with them, and she so generously gave me these.  Love them!  I will add them to my quilt pins collection.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

JAEL, redo

There are times when you live with less than perfect blocks, and there are times when they drive you crazy and you redo them.  That's the case with my Women of the Bible block for Jael, Arab Tent.  Jael was quite the strong woman; after all, she killed Sisera with a tent peg through his temple.  My wonky block wasn't doing her justice.  So this afternoon I took out part and redid it.  I like the moons in this fabric much better, and the curves are better this way too.  Still not perfect, but much better!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Don't forget to support your LQS tommorrow.  I shop on-line sometimes, but nothing beats a brick and mortar store.
I sure want my LQSs to stay in business!

Monday, January 21, 2013


Tonight I went to Jennifer Chiaverini's book signing in Vero Beach, FL.  She is my favorite author and I have all of her books.  Friends Nan and Jodi were there too.

Jennifer's newest book, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, is not a part of the Elm Creek series, but is a stand-alone.  The book is historic fiction, based on the actual dressmaker who stitched for Mrs. Lincoln. 

Jennifer was so sweet.  She signed not only her new book for me, but my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler pattern book, The Giving Quilt, and two fabric squares.  She also gave me pins for two of the books I had signed - The Giving Quilt, as well as Sylvia's Bridal Sampler.

In all Jennifer has 4 books coming out in 2013, including one in time for the holidays next year that will have family trees for the Elm Creek series, a new floorplan for the newly remodeled Elm Creek manor, and other Elm Creek information.  The other two will be the Union Quilt pattern book, and a book about a union spy.  Just a hint (spoiler alert), she is a character from a past book -- can you guess?

She's a great speaker as well as super author. Sure hope she comes to FL again next time around. 

If you aren't familiar with Jennifer Chiaverini or Elm Creek Quilts books, you can find Jennifer on FB and all things Elm Creek at Elm Creek dot net.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


The Women of the Bible yahoo group has caught up this go-around with where I left off last time. Here are my two most recent blocks.

Above is my Deborah, Honey Bee, block from last week's study.

This week we are on to Jael, and the block representing her is called Arab Tent.  This was a very challenging block, and as the DJs say, finished is better than perfect!  Perhaps it is during a shamal, with the wind blowing the tent every which way.
Both of the women are from the time of Judges, when women were leaders in Israel.  God used them both to forward his plan.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Here are my first 7 blocks for this swap.  It's my block, Patience Corners, with their fabric (and mine).  I am happy with how unique each fabric makes the block look.  So far 7/20 done, LOL!  The latest two will be in the mail to their owners tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


This fried egg mug rug would be nice to use with a mug of hot coffee for breakfast.  There's plenty of room for an egg cup with your poached egg too.

I'm starting to love free-form mug rugs.  I'm thinking Easter Egg shapes would be fun.


After 4 tries and giving up to verify that I'm not a robot on someone else's blog, I once again took word verification off.  Of course spam started. 

But now instead of word verification, I'm just using moderator approval, so it may take a few hours more for your comment to show up, but they'll be easier to leave.  You won't have to prove you're not a robot!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


After finishing my coasters, I still had some valentine charms left so I decided to play with my Twist n' Stitch ruler.  This is similar to the Twister, but I can cut multiple sizes with this one ruler from June Tailor.

You do get quite a bit of waste (scraps) with this method, but some gals use the tiny pieces for smaller projects.  I just put mine in my scrap basket for applique.  You get a great looking product this way, and it's much easier and less complicated that the finish looks.
I also decided to get some practice with big-stitch quilting on this project.  I used a #8 perle cotton in pink.

This mug rug is on the large size, about 9 x 12, so there's plenty of room for a mug of coffee and a piece of cherry pie.  Yum!

Or a bowl of fresh grages and a cup of tea, to keep it on the healthy side.

I'll probably use it as a mat for some valentine/heart things I display in February.  Mug rugs are versatile!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Today I received my first block back, made with my fabric.  This is "Carol's Star" from Carol.  Love the way she featured my fabric, and the ones she put with it.  Great job on the star too.  You are a star, Carol.

Here's a collage of the ones I've made for others so far, featuring their fabric in my Patience Corners block.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


The Quilting Gallery is again hosting an international swap.  Remember my mini-quilt from last year "Friends are the Flowers in the Garden of Life"?  Well now we are swapping mug rugs, and sign ups are open until Jan. 28.

You'll receive the patterns for both these mug rugs when you sign up for $5.  You can find all the information over at The Quilting Gallery, or by clicking on the link on my side bar.  Hope you join the fun. 

Last time my mini quilt went to Australia, and the one I received came from S. Africa.  Quilters making international friends, one swap at a time:)

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Here's my first finish of 2013, a set of 6 criss-cross coasters for Valentine's Day.  I like working on valentine things in January, to get me over the winter blahs.  These coasters are easy to make with charms, or you can cut your own squares.  Check out my tutorials for how to make them. 

My Criss-Cross Coasters tutorial, as well as Criss-Cross Coasters Another Way (with the triangles like this), tutorials are the most viewed pages on my blog.  Sometimes simple is best.  And for sure, less is more.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


One of my yahoo groups does an annual Friendship Swap with signed blocks.  This year we voted to do something different, loosely based on a swap in one of Jennifer Chiaverini's books, The Cross-Country Quilters.
We each selected a fabric that represents us.  Mine is above.  I love the soft flower colors, and that's how my green thumb is -- in fabric, not plants!  We mail a FQ of the same fabric to every participant.
The receiver has chosen a block to represent her.  I'm making Patience Corners blocks, from quilters cache.  Any idea why I'd be needing patience, and how it might represent me???
Anyhow, I received Debbies FQ, a lovely floral with large roses.  I fussy cut them to make my first Patience Corner block, which will be sent back to Debbie.  I had the perfect (IMHO) fabric to go with it, green leaves, in my stash.

In the end, I'll be receiving back twenty 12" blocks, each containiing my fabric and whatever the others put with it, in blocks representing them.  It's a nice tie for us -- a fabric representing us, made up in blocks representing the whole group.

Our group is worldwide, hence the name, Around the World Swap.

It's already the 6th, and this is my stitching of the year!  But I have done some straightening in the studio, and that is much harder.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

13 IN 13

Happy New Years quilting friends.  Do you make quilting resolutions for the new year?  No new projects until old ones are complete; no new swaps until BOBs from old ones are put together; less fabric buying, more stash using;  keeping up with BOMs and BOWs; etc., etc.

There are yahoo groups to help you -- Stashbusters and Work in Producers to name two.  Last year there was a group doing BOM Rehab.

This year I'm trying something new, 13 in 13.  That's 13 finishes in 2013.  Doesn't matter how many a month, old or new, large or small, knit, quilt, whatever.  Just FINISH 13 projects in 2013.

I have at least 10 quilt tops that just need quilting and binding.  I've put them off hoping for a new machine with a larger harp area.  But doesn't look like that is happening anytime soon, so...............  I've done twin size on my little 6" area.  But many of my tops are queen sized.  Maybe I should concentrate on smaller projects, given the limitations of my equipment.  Or getting good at quilt as you go.  Hmm...............

My friend Carol and her daughter-in-law Donna came up with the idea of encouraging each other in finishes this year.  Anyone want to join us? 

Feel free to snag the photo for the theme for your blog.