Christmas in My Heart

Ok, I have to admit it, I’m double-dipping here and I hope no one minds.  I recently entered my first two mini exchanges on Instagram and decided to let my #mostwonderfultimeoftheyear2015 project do double duty as my Christmas in my Heart project.  Why?  Well, funny you should ask…

As soon as I began thinking of a Christmas mini, I began thinking of “Silent Night” as a theme.  Life is chronically hectic right now for me and just thinking of a starry night, snow and quiet was enough to make me smile.  I searched around for that “just right” blue…not too dark, not too solid and started trying out patterns.  I may have printed two or three different paper-piecing patterns before I came on this one by Jennifer from Sewhooked (here’s a link to the free pattern on Craftsy.) So, I had a house that fit my vision and away I went!  I added a free-pieced Christmas Star and, of course, a bunch of snow on the ground.  While I pieced this, I was reminded of one of my mom’s stories.  My mom grew up on farms outside of Joliet, Montana.  She has told me many times about still, frozen winter nights and the wail of the train whistle across the open spaces.  “It was the loneliest sound I ever heard,” my mom will say.  So, unseen in my little Christmas quilt is the echo of those faraway trains and the immense comfort of being tucked up safe and warm in the cold.

My wish for you this Christmas Season is the warmth of friends, family, traditions and stories…the kind of stories that bind us to our history with gossamer threads of imagination.


And, in celebration of the season, I’ve got a little giveaway gift.  I’ve yet to meet a quilter who didn’t enjoy a few more fat quarters so here’s a trio to give away.

Actual colors could vary depending on if this is the set I already sent to my partner or not!

Actual colors could vary depending on if this is the set I already sent to my partner or not!

Just leave a comment, and, yes, I’ll ship internationally (although I don’t guarantee that it will arrive for Christmas.)  I’d love to hear some of your Christmas or Holiday stories but any comment will do.  Enjoy the rest of the hop and may all the blessings of the season be yours!

Happy quilting!


P.S. Please don’t spill the beans to my instagram partner…I don’t think her package has arrived yet!

Oh, and there’s a great giveaway from the Fat Quarter soon as I can get the codes to work, I’ll let you know.  The giveaway is the same on all our blogs today so you only have to enter once!  Special thanks to FQS and Seams to Be Sew for all the fun! (I’m pretty sure you can hop over to Seams to Be Sew and enter, too.)




Christmas in My Heart Starts on November 12th!

Christmas is coming, goose is getting fat…please put a penny in the old man’s hat….


How can you resist?

Do you remember that one?  It’s one of my favorites to sing around the house.  And Marian from Seams to be Sew has put together another of my favorites…a blog hop!  Here’s the schedule (I’m on the 17th) just so you can start planning to hop along!

Thursday, November 12
Bejeweled Quilts
Quilt Shop Gal
The Quilting Queen Online
In The Boon Docks
BumbleBerry Stitches

Friday, November 13
All Thingz Sewn
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
Jane’s Quilting
Grandmama’s Stories
Just Sew Quilter
Batts in the Attic

Monday, November 16
A Stitch In Time
Apple Avenue Quilts
From This To That
Just Let Me Quilt
Quilting Affection Blog
Kwilt Krazy

Tuesday, November 17
Just Because Quilts
Words & Stitches

Feather Your Nest
Patchwork Breeze
Quilt In Piece

Wednesday, November 18
Pink Doxies
Miss Loreen’s Schoolhouse
Morning Glory
In Stitches and Seams
Moose Stash Quilting

Thursday, November 19
Tea Time Creations
Selina Quilts
Living My Dream
Seams To Be Sew

Sponsored By The Fat Quarter Shop

A Trunk Full of Quilts


Soma over at Whims and Fancy’s is hosting a linky party trunk show so I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and show you some of my favorite quilts.  This is going to be a photo-heavy post so I’ll keep the words to a minimum…

The Cowboy Quilt

The Cowboy Quilt

2009 Band Raffle Quilt

2009 Band Raffle Quilt

CMQ - Also known as

CMQ – Also known as “Memories for Amy”

Winnie checks out my workmanship! (The Laughing Dog memory of my dog, Spot.)

Winnie checks out my workmanship! (The Laughing Dog Quilt…in memory of my dog, Spot.)

Spot, 2004

Spot, 2004

The Promisory Table Runner - formerly known as MQ4 (or was it three?) (A batik IOU)

The Promisory Table Runner – formerly known as MQ4 (or was it three?) (A batik IOU)

A reminder to hangs in my kitchen.

A reminder to myself…it hangs in my kitchen.

And another thought in solids...this was for the Kona Blog Hop.

And another thought in solids…this was for the Kona Blog Hop.

When tragedy struck a very sweet friend, I made this quilt. When her friends added their love and thoughts in fabric pen...the quilt became a group gift!

When tragedy struck a very sweet friend, I made this quilt. When her friends added their love and thoughts in fabric pen…the quilt became a group gift!

Boo Kitties for the Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop

Boo Kitties for the Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop

A quilt for my brother...I do love a sawtooth star!

A quilt for my brother…I do love a sawtooth star!

Sarah's graduation from nursing school quilt...complete with her new initials and her grad date.

Sarah’s graduation from nursing school quilt…complete with her new initials and her grad date.

Sunbonnet Sue for my mom for her 75th from a pattern from Keepsake Quilting.

Sunbonnet Sue for my mom for her 75th from a pattern from Keepsake Quilting.

The Ladies Do...celebrating some of the trips my mom and sister and I have taken...

The Ladies Do…celebrating some of the trips my mom and sister and I have taken…

Yellow Fish Rule...I need to tell this story...but not in this post.

Yellow Fish Rule…I need to tell this story…but not in this post.

Stamp Blog Hop

Stamp Blog Hop

Quilt without End...I made two of these and still find batik pieces hiding in my sewing room!

Quilt without End…I made two of these and still find batik pieces hiding in my sewing room!


And, as my last photo, in honor of Veteran’s Day tomorrow…the quilt I made for my husband who is a Vietnam Veteran.  Thanks for joining me for my trip down memory lane.  These are just a fraction of the quilts of the last few years but I’ve really enjoyed sharing them with you!

Happy quilting!

“Center of Gravity” Will Keep You Reading!


One day Ava  is living her dream life: two kids, a handsome successful husband, a beautiful home.  Then there is a call from the school, a chance encounter and Ava finds her world turned upside down.  Now, she is fighting for her life, her reputation and, most importantly, her children.  As the life she thought she was living unravels, she begins to see the cracks and fissures that existed in the facade…but can she save her children before her whole life crumbles?

Laura McNeil does a stunningly good job of taking the reader on an epic thrill-ride of a novel where multiple narrators create an almost 3D image of a family in danger.  Without giving up too many plot points, let me just say that this is a terrific read and will keep you reading.  The mother and son voices are lovely and authentic.  The father perhaps a fraction less so.

However, I give “Center of Gravity” my wholehearted endorsement.  I can’t imagine anyone who loves a good suspense story not enjoying this one!

This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

October Re-Cap, November Goals and What’s Next?

Boo!  Just that quickly, October seems to have come and gone!  I had a fun, busy October with some very special events.  I’ll just give you the quick re-cap in pictures.

Reunion Weekend with my veteran...

Reunion Weekend with my veteran…

Bringing the all-important "In-N-Out" care package back for our volunteer "scarer." She was one happy haunter!

Bringing the all-important “In-N-Out” care package back for our volunteer “scarer.” She was one happy haunter!

Having Sarah home for her birthday was a hit with the whole household!

Having Sarah home for her birthday was a hit with the whole household!

Sending my Featherweight home with that's when you know you trust your offspring!

Sending my Featherweight home with Sarah…now that’s when you know you trust your offspring!

Fall color outside one of our school windows...I love the way some leaves are pasted on the glass.

Fall color outside one of our school windows…I love the way some leaves are pasted on the glass.

Mother/daughter pumpkin carving!

Mother/daughter pumpkin carving!

Me with my "Grumpy Pumpkin."

Me with my “Grumpy Pumpkin.”

And, follow that with an 8-hour shift at the candy store on Halloween and here we are in November! (I got to pass out candy at the “trick or treat the mall” event…such a parade of cuteness!)

Now, as far as November goals….I just have one.  I’m going to finish that darned shirt one of these months and it should be this one!


Of course, the shirt is short-sleeved and winter is upon us but, well, spring will come eventually!  I have a few other finishes I’d like to do, too, but some are of a Christmas variety and cannot be disclosed at this time (lol, don’t I sound official?)

Either way, I had a lovely afternoon of sewing today and I’m finished with the project I’ll be showing for the upcoming Christmas in my Heart blog hop.  In the meantime, I’m linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes and wishing you all a happy November!  (I’m also wishing I hadn’t watched quite so many episodes of Grimm while I sewed today…now I’ve got to head to the grocery store in the dark!)

Oh, well, I’ll be home again soon…November is the month for gratitude, not spooks, right?

Happy quilting!


Sew Spooky…It’s the Halloween Haunts Blog Hop! (And a giveaway!)

Ok, ok, I’m probably overdoing it with the “Sew” titles but I think I’m compensating for not have enough actual sewing time.  (See my previous post…I have a new job, oh, and there’s a giveaway there, too.)  So, here’s what I was working on….I won this cool basket of Halloween fabrics at guild and found a few more on the free table.


I had some really good help…


And some not-so-good but oh so cute help.


And I finally had to concede that my grand plan was not going to happen in time for this year’s hop.



But quilting is all about learning to adjust, right?  We run out of fabric and find another.  We discover that the points don’t quite match and we love it anyway.  And, above all, we use that wonderful creative side of our brains.  Or, we use what other wonderful, creative brains have done an that is just what I did.  I used Tonya Ricucci’s letters (from her Wordplay book) and Soma of Whims and Fancies paper-pieced pattern to make this little wall hanging.


Those aren’t borders, it’s pinned to my  dining room shades at the moment and I wish I could capture the spooky effect the eyes have when it’s dark in the room.  I’m thinking of binding it in black and hanging it on my door for Halloween…what do you think?

In the meantime, there’s a little giveaway of, you guessed it, Halloween fabrics.


These fat quarters will all go to one person and, yes, I will ship internationally.  To enter, just leave me a comment and tell me how you would finish this mini…border, no border, black binding, orange binding…or whatever else you’d like to chime in on.

Also, there’s a Fat Quarter Shop drawing for every day of the hop!  You can enter here as soon as I figure out how to add the codes.  Click here for now!

Fat Quarter Shop

In the meantime, hop over to my fellow haunters and see what chilling things they’ve stitched up!  Sew much fun!  (Oops, I did mean to stop that!)

Featured Haunts on Friday, October 16
A Stitch In Time
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
Words In Stitches
Quilted Delights

Oh, and a special thank you to Marian from Seams to be Sew for all her work putting this together!

Happy quilting!


Sew Dog Gone Cute! (And a Giveaway!)

Ok, so if you read my last post you’ll know that I’ve had a life change and I’ve closed my business watching OPC’s (other people’s children) and have re-entered the outside work force.  And I love, love, love my new job, the staff  I work with, the setting and everything about the job.  However, it does cut a bit into my sewing time.  No more stolen moments of stitching on the Featherweight in the kitchen while the kids play legos at the table, etc.  Add a second job and, well, it all adds up to one.  Yes, one adorable dog block was all I got done for the hop.  Sigh.

The minute I saw this pattern from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, I knew exactly who to make it for.  My nephew has an adorable little dog named Ollie and his ears remind me of these pups.  I bought and downloaded the pattern and started playing with color ideas.  I asked my sister for ideas and she reminded me that my nephew is red/green color blind.  So, I decided on black/white and brown dogs on a light blue background (it worked in the pattern so why mess with such adorableness?!)

So, here’s the first of the 16 blocks I’m making…



I must admit that fold-over-corners are not usually my thing but I loved how this pattern came together.  I download most of my patterns on my Kindle (I have a theory that this will keep my sewing room tidier than if I print them out…lol) and I did end up printing the dog face requirements out so I could look at the sizes while I sewed.  The only real panic I had was when I thought I cut something wrong because no way was this block coming out twelve inches…and it doesn’t, it’s about 12×18!

So, my new goal is to finish my pups for the linky party!

In the meantime, I’ve got some dog-gone fun fat quarters for one winner.  Just leave me a comment.  Maybe, in view of my new “outside the house” working status, tell me a good time saver.  After all, minutes saved add up to sewing time! Or, any other comment you’d like.  I’ll get Mr. Random to draw a winner at the end of the hop and, yes, I’ll ship internationally.


Be sure to check out my fellow hoppers and see their adorable pups.

FINAL Blog Hop Schedule

Tuesday, October 6

Karen of Run Sew Fun

Kris of Kris Loves Fabric

Anja of Anja Quilts

Kelly of Quilting it Out

Tish of Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Thursday, October 8

Carol of Just Let Me Quilt

Nina of Inchworming

Doris of The Quilting Queen Online

Brandy of Pampered Pettit

Leena of Creative Instincts

Tuesday, October 13

Ruth of Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner

Tanya of Tanya Quilts in Colorado

Laurel of Quilts by Laurel

Kathy of Kathy’s Quilting Blog

Deb of New Creative State

Thursday, October 15

Anita of Daydreams of Quilts

Gina of Quilts and Cakes

Beth of Words & Stitches You are here!

Rachel of Quiltineering

Julie of Mack and Mable

Tuesday, October 20

Cathy of A Quilting Chick

Selina of Selina Quilts

Shauna of Shauna’s World

Gayle of Pedal Sew Lightly

Kathy of Kayak Quilting

Thursday, October 22

Sandy of Upstairs Hobby Room

Heide of Heide’s Quilty Hugs

Britt-Inger of Hill Valley Quilter

Judy of How ART You?

Louisa of Sewmotion

Tuesday, October 27

Teje of Nero’s Patch and Post

Stephanie of Jak and Will

Valerie of Val’s Quilting Studio

Ellen of Georgia Florida Studio

Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts

Thursday, October 29

Abigail of Cut & Alter

Magdalena of iloveneutrals

Jenn of A Quarter Inch from the Edge

Anne of Batiks by the Bay

Susie of Susie’s Sunroom

Tracy of Tracy’s Bits N Pieces

And, check back tomorrow for a bit of Halloween fun! (I’m having back-to-back blog hop fun!)

Happy quilting,


Sew There’s That…

So, once again, I didn’t actually fall off the planet but I did…drum roll please…CHANGE JOBS!!!!!  So, after thirteen years of running an in-home childcare, I’m back into the world of work clothes and all the fun of working with grown-ups. (Well, I work in a school setting so I still get to be around kids, so that’s nice.)  Like any major life change, it’s been busy, hectic, a tad stressful but I am so, so happy!

That being said, I was also happy to sign up for the Halloween Hop over at Seams to Be Sew.  I had this wonderful prize basket I won at guild a couple years ago and a plan.


There was a bunch of cutting of strips…


Some very talented help…


Some less-talented but still cute help…


And then the realization that with two “outside the house” jobs, there is just no way I could make what was in my head happen in the time I have.  So, there’s a Plan B (because we always need  a Plan B in life, right) and I’m excited to show you Plan B on Friday (and I picked up some very yummy fat quarters to give away.)   In the meantime, I’m hoping to review a couple of books that I really enjoyed.

Sew there’s that…my busy, happy life in a nutshell!  Hop on back on Friday and see what I cooked up!

Happy quilting!


Sew Much Fun!

The planets aligned and I had the whole weekend off!  What’s a two-job quilter to do?  Well, there’s only one real answer!



I sewed, of course!  Well, ok, I did actually cook and press some shirts and shop, too, but let’s just stick to the truly important stuff!  This is my first dog for the Dog Gone Cute Quilt along.  I’m way behind as the instructions are already up for several blocks but check it out at Sew Fresh Quilts. Isn’t he adorable?  He’s the first of twelve blocks for a Christmas gift and I just love him!  Now that I have one done, I expect the others to be slightly easier.  I did find that printing out my cutting directions and having them nearby as I sewed was a help. This little guy has a friend nearly done and then on to the rest!   Oh, and be sure to read the block sizes…I went right by the “larger block” size and spent several minutes trying to figure out how that top row could possibly end up 12.5 inches when the block actually measures about 18×12!  Suddenly it all made sense.

I’ve also started on my Halloween project…which may have to be content to be a top at the rate I’m going.  I started with this fun basket of fabrics that I won at my guild a couple of years ago.


I added a few fabrics from the free table this month and a couple of fat quarters that had been hanging around.  I’m pretty sure I know where I’m going with these but so far, I’m just here

Actually, the stack is twice this high, now!

Actually, the stack is twice this high, now!

I do love those 2″ strips!  I have two quilting projects that need to get done as well.  One donor quilt and one for a friend (she made an adorable top for her husband.)  I’m starting to feel the “oh no, how will I get it all done?” panic setting in so I thought I’d make a list of projects with set-in-stone due dates and, when I got to 7, I decided to take another approach.  So, I’m working on the dogs, the beginning of Halloween, a pattern test and a mini in the kitchen and quilting two quilts upstairs.  That way, I can move between projects and get in my exercise with all the stairs!

Isn’t that a great problem to have to be surrounded by so much quilty fun?  I do love it!

Happy quilting,


The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far…

I’ve been dying to share this story with you all (and I have a ton of other exciting news) but it’s been super busy. So, here goes…

A friend posted a Row by Row from a shop in Colorado that she wanted and so I asked my eldest if the shop was anywhere nearby. Well, it took a while with her busy schedule but she squeaked in on the last day of the Row by Row. She called me after she left the shop and said, “Well, I got your row pattern and I’m not sure how it happened but I left with a stash, rotary cutter and a mat!”

Sarah's new stash!

Sarah’s new stash!

All I could think to say was, “Well, you know that verse about ‘raise a child up in the way she should go and when she is old she will not depart from it!'”  I can remember Sarah at 1-year-old knocking my Bernina off the table in her attempts to push fabric through it like I did.  At three, I was teaching her cousin to sew and, to keep her occupied, I gave her a stack of 2″ squares to line up on my flannel wall.  When I surprised her with the squares sewn together, she told me that the “yellow was supposed to be in front!”  She had a yellow square in the top left corner and one in the bottom right that was one square in from the edge.  I was so surprised to realize that she was “designing” not just putting squares in rows! (She got over her disappointment when I turned the piece over and assured her the yellow was still “in front.”) The finished little quilt still hangs in my kitchen today.

All my girls learned  to quilt and the two oldest even took classes at the Sisters Quilt Show but Sarah’s hectic high school, college, and critical care new grad program kept her from pursuing very many hobbies other than working, sleeping and studying.

Now that she’s a fully fledged nurse, her schedule has finally opened up a little and she’s back to quilting.  She’s a natural for the “slow quilting” movement as she prefers to hand piece.  The funniest thing for me was that her purchase included one fabric I had just bought (the minions) and one that was remarkably similar to one I had just bought and used.

Sarah's black and white

Sarah’s black and white


I’m almost sure this print is related to hers!

So, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree and I’m so excited that she’s quilting again.  We always joke that we share a brain but now we can share our quilting adventures again!

Happy quilting,