Thursday, December 16, 2010


In the mail today was this fun surprise package from Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures. Look at all the new patterns and 2 new books. I'm so excited! I won these when I entered a blog hop drawing from her blog. I can't wait to sit down and look through each pattern.
Also coincidentally today my sister-in-law called because she opened her Christmas present I sent her (I knew she'd open it early, she just can't wait) and was thrilled to have her new tablerunner, which just happens to be an Anka's Treasures pattern. I posted about it just earlier this month. I'm glad she loves it and she even sent me a picture of it on her dining table.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Material Girls Idaho

Here's a few sneak peaks of some of the projects that were shown at my quilt group's meeting last week. Aren't they cute!

My Material Girl buddies out did themselves this month and we had a great show and tell. Here's a link to the group's page so you can see what everyone came up with this month.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Check, it's done. I'm probably going to have a hard time giving this one away because I really love it. They're colors I love and use in my home, but I actually am more excited to give it as a gift.
I finished it with some machine quilting.

I love how it turned out and it was fun using the 60 degree ruler to make these hexagons. The pattern is from Heather Mulder Peterson's book, Sizzlin'Sixties.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gingerbread search

I bought this cute little gingerbread girl and ever since I've been looking for other gingerbread people to add to her family. It's so cute and I would love to have more things with gingerbread men on them. I may just have to make a quilt, but I really do love this little knitted girl. Maybe I'll find the time to use a brown sock and beads and make my own, but I could really use a pattern. I'm better at copying something cute rather than coming up with something cute on my own.

Finally got the tree all put together last night. We always put a picture of Christ on the tree so He doesn't get lost amid all the glitter and glam of Christmas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Decorating and gift making

For some reason this year, as soon as the last mouthful of scrumptious turkey and dressing were off my plate and into my mouth I was excited to start ushering in Christmas. I asked my sons who were home from college to "go get Christmas." They knew what that meant-trips into the house with large plastic bins full of Christmas decorations. I carefully packed away Thanksgiving, turned up the Christmas music and began the joyous ritual. A ritual that has become a tradition and also becomes a trip down memory lane as items are unwrapped and almost discovered as if for the first time all over again. It's amazing how you forget what you have packed away.

My fun snippets wreath wallhanging has a new home right in the kitchen. It was fun to make and even more fun to look at each day.

In the meantime, I'm still putting together gifts for Christmas. This beginnings of a tablerunner (below) is now going on the back burner as I have come up with an even better plan for my #2 Christmas gift. My daughter likes the hexagons though and wants an entire quilt made of these, so that project will have to wait until after Christmas. So for now, I'll try to finish the 3 other gifts I have going all at the same time. #1 gift is in the machine quilting stage, so I'm nearing the end. #2 gift is now ready for the final piecing. #3 gift is an embroidery which has about 2 more hours worth of work, then it will be ready for the finishing stages. I enjoy making things when I know exactly who I'm giving them to. I only wish those whom I'm making these for could know how much I think of them while I'm working on their gifts. Handwork and quilting cause me to slow down a bit in an otherwise hurried and frenzied season. That's a gift to myself!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

A few more things to do before our home is filled to the brim. Grocery shopping, changing sheets, setting out clean towels and fun magazines for the guests in their rooms, dusting, vacuuming, menu planning, etc.
But one thing I never want to lose sight of is just what my embroidery says, I must always give thanks for my bountiful harvest. I see the hand of the Lord in my life and I would feel so ungrateful not to acknowledge where my blessings come from. I look forward to being with family this week, laughing together, playing games, eating, listening to each other's stories and laughing some more. I love seeing how excited my youngest girls get when they know cousins will be coming to our home. They already know at such a young age that family is what matters most.
Have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moving a bit closer to Thanksgiving

Now the table setting is starting to take shape.
First to come into town is my oldest son who arrives this Saturday. He'll be a big help in some of the heavier work to be done for preparations. Second to arrive is second oldest son on Monday. Again, more hands to help, but also more fun around the house. We love to play games as a family, so I'm feeling a big game night coming on. I'd love to hear about everyone's favorite family games.I love Jim Shore's creations and this is one that I leave out all year. For me giving thanks is a daily action and this beautiful piece reminds me to find things I'm grateful for each and every day. That's easy because all I need to do is look around.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting Ready, bit by bit

Mr. and Mrs. Tom Turkey salt and pepper shakers

I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving guests next week, putting a few things out each day, picking up, cleaning out, etc, etc. Bit by bit things are coming together.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


While looking for something else, I opened a box with many of my UFO's-- blocks with no home, leftover blocks, and just changed-my-mind blocks.
It's actually been quite some time since I've seen the contents of this container so looking at everything brought back memories. I think they're over 10 years old now.

I pulled these 3 blocks and decided I should turn them into pillows, an easy fix for lonely one-of-a-kind blocks. This red and yellow one will actually look awesome in my family room, so it's probably the first one I'll transform. Can't wait to see how they turn out.

A few more touches

All I have left on this one is to attach the flowers, sandwich, quilt and bind, then Ta da, on to the next project (actually I've already started my next project. I can never just have one thing going at a time). This was fun to make and I loved using lots of my batiks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

tis the season

Pretty much every year as soon as Halloween passes by I get the wonderful season fever. It's a fever of anticipation, love, family, giving, thanking...did I say family! I'm looking forward to having a house full here for Thanksgiving. Our house has become the destination spot for Thanksgiving and I love it. Two of my brothers (I have 6 brothers so it's not really even a majority) and their families will be coming.

Last weekend I went to a holiday bazaar with my friend Tracey and my daughter Kristina. The hand made items were all so cute, but I must say that I think the women don't charge enough for their awesome crafts. I know how long they take and what talent it takes and I was so surprised at some of the prices. With that said, how could I pass up this cute tree and the 2 houses. Each piece sold for a little over $2. I should have splurged and bought one more house. Tracey bought 3 houses and I'm thinking that's what I should have done. Oh well. I love how it looks.

In the meantime, I'm busily starting to get my plans together for my handmade Christmas presents. This is a preview of what I'm working on now. It's on my design wall. I think it will be perfect for "her" (can't say who in case she pops in on this blog.) I've pinned the flowers on to see if I like them. I love them! So now I need to decide how to attach them.

The key to a less stress holiday season for me is to do only a few handmade items since they take so much time (there's always next year for other friends and family) and to make lists. The other big help for me is to play Christmas music while I'm working around the house. It always sets the tone of the day. Is it too early to play Christmas music? Not for me. My DH is a big fan of Christmas music so we have tons of CD's to choose from. Lucky me!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Swap block

Here's my November block for my flickr group, Bee Scrappy. This will be a fun quilt when it's all put together. It's based on this blog from Nittany Block Party. The hardest part is matching the white strips. Took me a couple of tries.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Artist in the family

I have no drawing skills at all. In fact, my stick figures are even hard to recognize at times. But my 10 yr old daughter Leah took an art class and came home with these beautiful pictures. I had to frame them and show them off. She loves drawing and is feeling that wonderful confidence that comes when we recognize a new talent. I love seeing her beam with pride at the pictures she can paint or draw. It's hard to find good art classes for young people, so when I passed a sign along the road for art lessons, I jumped on it. I'm hoping her teacher will continue to hold more and more classes. She's a great teacher and taught several different techniques.
So now I've told Leah that she's an artist on paper and I'm an artist with cloth. She gets that. I've also told her how great it feels to be creative in life. It feeds our souls and feeds the souls of those who behold it.

Binding on...

I finished my mosaic quilt and showed it at my group, Material Girls Idaho. I quilted it at my friend Tracey's. She just got a new Gammill and it was fun. I didn't like putting it on the machine, that was a little confusing and time consuming, but the quilting was a breeze. It sure beats trying to wad up my quilt and fit it under my little sewing machine to quilt it. Not that I didn't make any mistakes, but it makes me want to try again. I know lots of practice will make things better each time. So now I will gather a bunch of quilt tops that never made it to the quilting stage and use them for practice.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Turkey Carving

After my rotary cutting mishap, I managed to keep quilting (the next day) and finished my turkey quilt. I'm calling it Turkey Carving in honor of the sacrifice I gave to make it. It went together quickly and I even managed to find the border fabric on the sale rack at my local quilt store Quilt Expressions.
The only thing I added to my pattern by Country Threads, was the wattle on the turkey face. My girls thought it looked too much like a chicken and needed it and I agreed. It's always good to have daughters in the house to add second, third and fourth opinions (whether I ask for them or not :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Turkey trouble

I'll spare the details of my injury while working on my turkey, it wasn't a pretty site, but I now will use much more caution and even slow down while using a rotary cutter.

In fact this may convince me more into getting an Accuquilt for Christmas.

Please be safe :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beautiful Batik block

These are 2 blocks for my flickr group, Beautiful Batik. I'll send it out in the mail tomorrow. It's a very simple block but I think the quilt will be stunning when all the blocks get put together.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

All Because 2 People Fell in Love

I made this wall hanging for my parents. They'll be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary next year. My mom suffers from severe memory loss which has been progressing slowly for the past 10 years.

She doesn't remember any of her 12 children (all of us were adopted), so I thought I'd make this wall hanging with all the kids' names and their children's names underneath so at least the names were there for her. I'm already behind on 4 more grandchildren.

The older I get, the more I realize how incredible my parents were and are. They made parenting seem fairly effortless, but oh, do I know better now. Their love and their concern for all of us came from their strong love and bond for each other. Their
prayers for all of us must have worn down their knees because we sure needed a lot of praying for.

Family values are disintegrating all around us and it makes me even more vigilant in my own efforts as a mom to help my children know who they are, how important they are in this world, where they can turn for peace and how much they are loved. It's a foundation in life that every child should have and deserves. Thank you mom and dad for giving me that knowledge.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Good to go

I've decided this top is done. I had some ideas of changing a few things here and there, but I'm ready to move on and I need to just call it "good to go". It was fun doing the mosaic tile look in the center, I'll probably use that technique again on another quilt. From here I'll pick out a fabric for the back and then I'm off to my friend, Tracey's house, to quilt it. She just bought a new longarm quilting machine and I'm anxious to see how I do with it. I'm pretty sure I'll get addicted and will need to hang out at Tracey's house more often than she may want me. But she says she really wants to see her machine being used rather than just sitting there (her husband feels the same way :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Design Wall

What's on my design wall right now? Here are a few of the things I'm working on:

This is some kind of free form piecing. I love mosaics, so I thought I'd put a little grout between my pieces of fabric.

Here I'm auditioning a piano keys border to go around my mosaic tile quilt. So far the vote in the family is unanimously in favor of this border. I always make everyone come into my quilt room and vote. I have to see their reaction sometimes before I can move forward. So I'll trim it up and add it to the sides.
In the meantime, I also managed to finish another pizza box square for one of my fellow Material Girls. Wish I had paid attention to which way the stripes were going, but as I look at it now, it kind of adds interest to the card tricks square. I'll just say I did it on purpose...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pizza Box block

Just finished my next pizza box block for the Material Girls Idaho block exchange. This month I got Jeanie's box. I made one square using the disappearing 9-patch method. Hope she likes it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Block for Bee Scrappy group

Here's a block I made for my Flickr group, Bee Scrappy. This month we're making a whimsical block for one of the member's who requested trees, houses, birds, etc so she can make a quilt for her 9 year old son. I hope she likes it. I saw this block on
Flossy Blossy's blog and made some variations to it so it will fit a 12" square.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Green Room

My oldest daughter (14 almost 15) has agreed to share a room with a younger sister. We made a deal with her that if she shared the room, she could pick the decor of the room. Well, here's the chosen colors. I actually love it and thought it turned out really cute. My husband had a hard time seeing the beauty of it while helping us paint, but he couldn't deny the enthusiasm and anticipation in the girls' faces.

The nice thing about this is that it's pretty minimalistic. Both girls are not leaving things out (so far) because they don't "fit into the chosen color scheme". We'll see how long that lasts. We'll even be adding some black floating shelves on the walls-probably next month, but until then, I popped my black and white quilt up on the wall for some interest. The flowers on the right are just the peel-off removable stickers.

The great thing about being a quilter and having scraps is that I usually have whatever color we need for whatever project is at hand. With my black and white scraps I covered 3 canvases. Notice who still gets number spot on the board-ZAC!!

I love all the new stick-on-the-wall art that's available now. The best part is that it peels off and can be moved so easily. This was a roll I got from Home Depot, so I just stuck it on top of the dresser to see how it looks. I think we'll keep it there. I'll also be adding black, white and green knobs on the dresser later.
When I go in their room now, it makes me smile-can't say that's what it did for me before. So this has been a fun project. After all, they're only young girls for such a short time...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dresden plate chargers

I saw this tutorial on Moda Bake Shop and instantly knew I wanted to try them. They were easy, fun and I would definitely make them again. I think they would make a great gift. The tutorial calls for wool as the background, but to save some money I used felted fleece and it worked beautifully.