Christmas In July and other Holidays too!

Yesterday and today is the big quilt hop in town.  All us quilters bring our work to the director of the visitor center, and she sets quilt displays all over town.  It is fun finding your own and discovering many beautiful works of art.

There were quilts at the libraries, the museums, the visitor center, the snap center, and the armory (the list goes on)

One place in particular that I visited was the Snap Center.  The Snap center is where meals on wheels prepares the food for the local recipients who need it.  Those who need it that are able to get out, go to the snap center and eat there.  This is also ground zero for hand quilting services done by volunteers which assist the snap center with toilet paper, paper towels, and other non-food items.  Out of all the places I visited, this is my favorite every year.  Vast selection of any kind of quilt you can name.

The theme this year was Holiday at the snap center, so the pictures posted today will be all holiday based.

When I think of holiday I think of Christmas.  I have never made a Christmas quilt, and probably never will as the display time is so short, for so much work.  But it is nice to gaze upon others.

This 3D wall hanging was done by my Mother and gifted to a quilter friend.
An Album Holiday. I just love the beautiful blue sashing fabrics! Lots of different techniques in this quilt. Nicely done!
Here is another version of the album holiday but with no sashing, nice and scrappy with a few extra blocks.
And this is a birthday placemat, yeah your birthday IS a holiday, but only if you make it so!
A beautiful sampler done with wintery blues!
Holidays: Valentines and 4th of July. The Be Mine quilt is made from colors of the heart candies, neat idea ladies!
Embroidered quilt squares in a Halloween theme, I know I have never seen anything like this, have you?
Here is different spin on a Halloween quilt, witches shoes! My fav is the sandal looking one in the corner. This whole quilt is dreamed up by my Mom. A styled witch, with quite a wardrobe of shoes! (I have read this sentence three times, and no I am not talking about my mother, I am talking about the quilt, for clarification purposes.)  That poor green faced woman, her toes must ache! I can relate.
A holiday ornament string quilt, with very precise piecing. Nice Job Ruth Ann (a dear follower of my blog and an excellent quilter!)
The fabrics in this quilt were brought to you by me! Ok, so I bought a scrap bag from fat quarter shop. With no description other than scraps that were equal to 12 lbs that were anywhere from 3/4 yard to 4 inches. The only thing I did not want was Christmas fabric. And that is what I ended up with, so I gifted much of it to mom. She put it to good use. Very festive and scrappy!
A maple leaf quilt ready to warm a body in the fall. Nice variety of fabrics/colors. I need to make one of these!
So this quilt was actually at the library due to it’s size. It is probably a door hanging, I know I would love to have it hanging on mine. Just look at his rosy cheeks. This is adorable, I love pictorial quilts!
Scrappy Rail Fence Holiday!  I like the placement of the white, it is in perfect contrast!
I just love these primitive trees!  Another great idea, perhaps on the bucket list now!
Do any of you have a Thanksgiving quilt?  I have never ever even seen one, definately a one of  a kind, with a nice message “EAT MORE PIE”!  This is a great way to bust up the oranges in the stash!
And just look at all this work!  A classic twister quilt, wall hanging size.  I used to have this tool but gave it away as it intimidated me.  Spookily delicious pumpkin, yummy on the eyes!

Well, this concludes holiday in July.  I think we have covered all of them…hmmm except for St. Patricks, oh and labor day.  But, there is enough labor in each and every one of these quilts, that counts!

Stay tuned, I will continue to post lovely photos of the Quilt Hop.  And tell a story about a slave owned quilt.  Please subscribe to my blog.  I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment in the comment section.





Jewel Box Stars Flambe

Texas has been hot!  Hot!  HOT!!!  And I am looking forward to less than 105 degrees hopefully tomorrow.  Thank goodness I have NOT been out in it, but I can feel the warmth through the walls of my house, especially the afternoon brunt of high temperatures.  Just walking 100 ft to the car seems like extra intensive labor due to the excessive temperatures.

It is no secret that this is the height of summer and July is usually hot across the country.  I aim to have my jewel box stars quilt top finished by the end of the month.  I can do it, I only lack the sashing on one square, and ironing that square and sewing the 5 blocks together for the last row number 6.  And rightfully so the theme of this quilt is hot colors of fire like oranges and reds, with golds and yellows too.  Flaming Flambe.  I am not certain what backing I will use for this quilt, nor do I have a fabric in mind, but I think it needs to be quilted in a flames pattern.

This quilt block is a free pattern offered by Bonnie Hunter.  I have it linked in another post.  Click this link to get to her link.

I chose the larger 16 inch blocks, and had pulled so much red fabric from my stash, that the blocks over-runneth the shoe box I had them in.  I originally wanted to do every other square in red then white stars.  This became to busy for the naked eye.  So I sashed them in the scrappy way I know how.  I am so close, but pooped now.  This quilt was just fabric in my stash on the second of July.  And today I almost have a 92 X 110.  I have this ridiculously laid out on a twin bed, I was NOT taking it outside for a photo opp.


The only fabric that is uniform is the corner stones in the sashing.  I do believe my plan worked and the stars are now more distinguished.  There was a oops on my part.  They are not every other one between the dark stars and the light stars.  Not sure what happened, if I laid it out originally wrong or if I got turned around while making them.  Tis fine by me.  It does not look like it has rhyme or reason behind its placement.

Tomorrow I drop my quilts off for a show in our local town and promise to post pictures of that event next weekend as time permits.  I am looking forward to a top finish and have sent one to the quilters for quilting.  They have quite a backlog and it is not expected for at least 10 weeks.  That is ok, no hurry, I waited almost a year to send it off anyhow.

Well, I am off to cook tacos for supper.  Interested in the recipe?  I suppose I need to make a post on my other blog for tacos, be looking for that post.  And thank you for reading my blog!

Leader Ender Modified! And Acrylic Pour Painting!

Two things about this post.  Originally the idea behind a leader ender quilt is to have pieces ready to be sewn next to your machine to prevent clipping/wasting extra thread, and to prevent the tangle of beginning sewing as you will always have something under presser foot preventing the birds nest (another thread/time waster and this may be a run on sentence ha).  I have scrapped the idea of leader ender for the Jewel Box Stars Flambe.  !

First of all,  logic behind this change, it is going so well that I am treating the play ball charm packs cut by the accuquilt as the leader ender, and am totally focused of Jewel Box Stars Flambé.  It is fast and furious and have come a long way since the 2nd when this was announced.

Secondly, I really liked the reds in the corner of the stars and thought what if I were to lay out the stars every other one with whites in the star points.  Perhaps I thought this would break up the pattern and you could actually see the star.  What do you think?

Every other star in this is white and red.  It looks nice on camera but in real life even squinting the stars get lost with all the colors and not so neutrals.  A lesson in value of fabric here.

So proceeding I will continue with every other star in white and then red.  I will be sashing these and am in search of ideas.  I would like to have randomness with the sashing but no so much piecing with the assembly.  I am also thinking of a wedge border, which would be beautiful, and I certainly have enough fabric.  We will see if I lose steam.  I have 24 sixteen inch block sewn, and will be making 5 more.

The true leader ender is now the fabric line called Play Ball.  I am working these like a row quilt, some will be like the ones pictured, some with be just hsts.  I really have no plan for this quilt just a lazy idea.  We will see where the lazy idea takes us.


Also above is another homemade jelly roll for a race one day.  It will go into the box ready for a flaming race one of these days.  You know I used to dread cutting and pressing fabric in the start of a project, but I am changing my mind on this.  It wasn’t the actual process that I dreaded it was the  lack of space.  I would iron, only to have to iron again and again.  Since my thrifty purchase of a wooden clothes dryer, I set a day aside to pull fabrics, starch and press them regardless of size.  Once perfectly crisp, I drape them over the rungs of the dryer, and that is where they stay until I pull them off to make cuts.  Strips are easily stored there as well, ready to be subcut.

I recently took a class on acrylic pouring.  What is acrylic pouring?  Google it, you will be amazed at the beautiful sedimentary designs this painting technique produces, and you could be 5 years old and have the same success as someone who is 100.  In other words, no skills required!  Click here to see a youtube video of this painting in action and directions/how to.

I snapped a photo indoors and though, geez, when I photograph a quilt, I take it outside so the color is true.

So here are photos of inside and outside.  I would be interested in selling or trading something for this painting if anyone is interested and totally smitten with it.  This painting will probably lead to another hobby.  Which is ok, as my dream is to create a canvas, and then create fabric from that most original design.


The funny thing about this painting, when you take a class, you are doing it somewhere else, so you have to make it home with it wet as wet can be.  They provided pizza boxes for transport.  As much paint was used in the making of this, it was puddled on top.  I did not pour it off the edges like some do, and so my flowers, taking a curve in the car, ran off the top edge.  My flowers turned to butterfly wings, which is not a bad thing at all.  (note all paint ran into the pizza box, so the car was fine, another note as old as my car is, it would have added something pretty to it I suppose).  I am still amazed gazing upon this painting at the little eddy currents that formed and then the sediments in the paints brought some to the surface as a lighter sediment.  Very earthlike, and very nature like too.

If you have any suggestions for sashing the Jewel Box Flambé drop me a note in the comments section.  And thank you for reading my blog!



Quilting on a featherweight

Some weeks bankrupt me of my sewing energy.  I have struggled with this week.  My quilting machine is in prison right now (safe in a cool place waiting to have FMQ demonstrated for a demo), I really wanted to quilt.  So I tried out the featherweight.  It worked!

New machines vs old machines.  For those of you lucky enough to have new sewing machine technology and old technology you can get vast differences, while quilting.  The reason?  Old machines did a regular stitch.  All the new machines produce an over lock regular stitch.  What is an over lock stitch?  It means the threads will stretch with the fabric when you stretch it.  With the invent of polyesters and jersey knit, most modern machines accomplish sewing these items perfectly.

These same newer machines, when free motion quilting with them, are electronic and try to over compensate with the over lock stitch which has given all us quilters problems of some type.

The first thing I tried with my featherweight was removing the foot all together and going with nothing.  That did not work.  The hook and race did not catch the top thread at all.  So with feed dogs up, and 1/4 foot on, I managed regular sewing with a bunch of twist and turns through three pieces of batting, in some cases 8 layers of fabric plus the backing.  The featherweight did WONDERFUL!  No thread tension issues.  No PUCKERS!  Same weight of thread on the top and bottom.  I did try it on a small project, keep in mind the throat space of one of these machines is very small, so your project is going to have to be small.  There would be a learning curve for me to go so slow in stitch speed, but I am still amazed by the results!

So a pot holder happened!  I had all these squares left over from my spools toga quilt, that I laid them out in a bear paw.  The scrappiness of this is right up my alley.  I like how the bear paw in the middle formed by joining the blocks as I did.

I also installed the binding with no walking foot, again on my featherweight.  Again old technology is easier to use, no over lock of thread which means no tension issues, which translates to a good even stitch.

Have you ever tried to quilt something on your featherweight?  Leave a comment in the comment section, I would love to hear about your experience!

Thanks for reading my blog!  And I just posted a recipe on my other blog, check out Rhubarb Pudding Cake.  


Have a great weekend!

T.O.G.A. Quilt Top

If you are thinking you will see a Jim Belushi style sheet draped over a young body on this blog, think again!  T.O.G.A. stands for Treadle On Gathering Academy.  I attended 2018’s North East Texas T.O.G.A.  If you would like to read more about that experience, please click here.

We all made 6 patch quilt blocks and swapped for a wonderful scrappy future quilt.  I am not gonna lie to you but, I had almost all the blocks sewn together and then I just stopped.  So this weekend, I had a nice clear place for my design wall (a bed that was getting everything washed), and figured out the last step.  I was hung up on that last step not sure what direction I should go.

I put my big girl pants on and sewed.  I wanted the 2 inch smaller squares to be part of the border around the quilt, but that meant digging through my stash and re-cutting strips, lots of strips for scrappiness.  This is a huge effort and makes an even bigger mess.  So I used up what I had already made.  I kept it simple.

I also kept all the hst trimmings from using the Simple Folded Corners ruler and decided to corner stone opposite corners of the quilt block central with that motif.  Is this how I wanted it exactly?  Nope.  But I have moved this project half a dozen times because it was in my way, awaiting patiently the last step of assembly, a simple decision.  I can now say the top is complete.  This drapes nicely on a twin bed, perfect to use and abuse.

Some of these blocks are signed by swap participants.  Some of you would think, “how could you use this quilt?”  Well, my logic is, as I gaze upon it I remember the wonderful day I shared with complete strangers, but felt completely connected with them.  If I never use this quilt, and it becomes handed down after I pass, no one will ever know the story behind the quilt and the names and significance it was in my life, the quilt will have no respect.  Using it, will be a reminder everyday that there is kindness in this world.  I assume as I age that my noggin will have memory loss.  It is already happening a bit.  By the time I am elderly, I will not be able to tell the story of that day to my children and grandchildren.  So I want the memory….of my family to use it as much as possible in their younger years.  Before it wears out, I will put is away.  And when I pass, they will remember my stories I told about that day better than I will be able to remember in the later years.  They will remember safety, and warmth, and love from their momma’s sewing and finishing the project for them to use.  They will remember the the kindness of strangers, and what happens when people come together for a purpose.  The quilt will have already earned it’s respect.

All quilters respect quilts, but when you gift a quilt, there is a chance they will never understand the respect the quilt should get.  That quilt will probably never be discarded.  I new memory will be associated with it.  Something that stands for me, and if I am gone, will be more of a treasure with yet more memories attached to it.  More memories than the day of completion.

I still have some of the hst’s left over.  I am taking all of those and sewing a doll blanket to match somewhat.  So if the doll quilt is not taken care of and lost, when they get older, they will see the life size version and remember the doll quilt made with scraps.  Let’s face it, life is scrappy, sometimes without the s.  They will see that with all those scraps saved, that it does amount to something one day.

Here is the before I could decide what to do with the signed blocks.

And here is after I added some more blocks I sewed as well as those that were sewn for the T.O.G.A. swap.


The lighter prints in these blocks added a neat border on two edges.  Very unsymmetrical, and unbalanced, which is what life has been of late.


One large Hst sawtooth corner and one small


And because this was a sewing machine retreat, I modified the 6 patch block with a large hst and a small hst on opposite corners, which created the spool block.


How did I figure this out.  It was at the ironing board.  Some corners flipped under, and so I played with that idea.  And the spool block was then designed into the quilt.  I have always wanted a cheddar quilt.  And made all the spools with a fabric that was given to me by someone who no longer wanted it.  Using the simple folded corners ruler, made this easy.  Now I am not sure if I will send this to a longarmer to quilt or if I will do this myself.  I have thought of using the bar tack part on my machine for making the top and bottom of button holes.  This motif would keep the quilt very soft, but also comply with batting quilting requirements.  I am undecided, but want to get this done.

Have you ever participated in a block swap?  This is my second this year.  I am pleasantly surprised by this swap, everyone minded their 1/4 inch seams so it went together rather well.

If this quilt was under your sewing machine foot, how would you have done it?  Differently?  Sparsely?  Scrappy?  Not Scrappy?  Spools?  No Spools?  Different border?  When people look at blocks they all get a vision and know of their direction somewhat, what would be your direction with the block below?step5

Now, I have come into some Rhubarb brought to me from the mid-west and am going to figure out something to make with it.  Be looking for that post on my other blog,

I am linking up with a linky party Oh Scrap! 

I really appreciate the comments no matter how long or short.  A different perspective, is refreshing.  Please leave a comment in the comment section.  I enjoy hearing from you!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Whoa! What a workshop!

As July 7th, 2018 came to a close, I reflect of the do’s and don’ts with the small crowd of sewists I worked with on the iron caddy tote.  It was just a few people, managable for me.  I think we all had fun.  If it would have been a couple of people bigger, I would have struggled to show and help those who needed it.  I heard many thank you’s with “we learned a lot!”. In some cases we learned what did NOT work.  Things that did not work for one individual, worked flawlessly for the next.  Some completions with button sewing goodness, some preferred this step in the comfort of their own home.

Each of the bags I have made all had their own gremlins, perfections, and ordinaries.  So even though the bags are all the same, they are all a little different.  I will narry make another.  Four is enough!



This week, with the Fourth landing smack dab centered, marathon sewing happened. Lots of 4 patches and HSTs going on.  I have learned doing this blog that some quilts are not photogenic, even though they are beautiful in person.  My leader ender jewel box stars get washed out with the naked eye, but on camera, it looks ok.  So I will probably sash them with a neutral, it is not like I don’t have plenty.  I will be playing with ideas in the back of my head during every stitch.

This looks great, you can see the stars.  But in person, everything gets washed out and you loose the stars.
So yesterday while at the workshop, I laid this out on the floor.  The person who commented asked what the block was, and I had to point it out to her.  So for the naked eye, there is too much going on.  I see I have a block turned wrong too, can you see it?

Today will probably be a catch up the household day, with sewing squeezed in somewhere.  I am thinking about changing my sewing setup of over 5 years.  Now the children are older, and leave every day things in my sewing corner alone, back to the cabinet a sewing machine will go.  My feet will look forward to resting while I sit at the table instead of stand at the buffet.

I will do my best to get another recipe posted.  Did you catch my last recipe?  If not, click here to see how to make crockpot peppered beef tips.

Whew!  Where has the weekend gone?  Life has sped up so fast, I am afraid of the looming speed bump with no warning.  No mountain, probably a mole hill….just waiting for me to happen along!

And can you believe I just came to my second blog-aversary?  Gee wiz time flies.  I must be having lots of fun as the old saying goes!

Enjoy your weekend!  And thank you for reading my blog!

Challenge Accepted!

Not much has been going on in the quilting department at home.  In preparation for a workshop, and not wanting to start something I would not have time to finish, quilting flatlined.

The heartbeat has returned!  This weekend I made a decision on a motif for a baby boy quilt that is due in Dec.  I also found out I need to plan one for a girl in Nov.  These things come in threes, so I am certain I will learn of another quilt that will be needing designed, cut, sewn, sandwiched, quilted, and bound.

I have used my accuquilt system and chose charm packs to cut down into QSTs.  I will be sewing on these and have determined to make rows of different layouts of the same cuts of fabric.  So this is currently on my table.  The day after I cut this out and started going, Bonnie Hunter announced the leader ender challenge for 2018.  A very nicely compiled block based on an antique quilt she found.  I am really liking this pattern, I have plenty of fabric so why not?  If you are interested in challenging your stash to work for you, visit her post here for all the free pattern cutting details.

While prepping for this quilt, I pulled some strange neutrals.  Some you would not think of them as a neutral, but they must get used up.  Now is the time!  I did decide I would color coordinate mine with yellows, oranges, and reds.

Last summer I was in a 10 inch layer cake swap, where you cut up yardage and swap with others to get a very coordinated layer cake.  The theme was anything in the yellow, red, or orange family.  You can see all the swapped beauties here in this post.

I have left overs from On Ringo Lake which were oranges.  I started dedicating a dresser drawer to these  beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges colors.  The drawer became full.  Time to purge!

Within this past year, a coworker’s grandmother decided she would never sew all her good fabric intentions, so I graciously accepted a car load of fabric.  Beautiful fabrics from the 80s and 90s, all very usable, and different from my own stash.  I did not keep it all, but kept what I liked.

So my theme/scheme is jewel box flambe (pronounced flam bay)!  Such happy colored fabrics!  And I cut yards and yards of 2 1/2 inch strips with the goal of making the larger size version of this leader ender.  I will have enough of those strips to make a homemade jelly roll, perhaps this will be one of the baby quilts for Nov.  The future holds lots of fabric lint for me as I work through my heaping pile.

So I guess you can say Challenge Accepted in the leader ender concept.  I did sew enough to lay it out to see if I like my idea melded with Bonnie’s.  This idea and colorway are in agreement.  I look forward to showing you more.


I am linking up with freemotion by the river.  Want to see what other people are creating?  Click here.  And thank you for reading my blog