Category Archives: Quilting

Flags on a Stick Blog Hop (and a giveaway.)

It’s my day! Well, mine and some other wonderful, talented stitchers. As always, I’m honored to find myself in such talented company and oh, so grateful to Madame Samm and Thearica from Pig Tales and Quilts for orchestrating all this fun and to our sponsor, Flags on a Stick. Now, I have to say in the spirit of full disclosure that my flag grew a tad bigger than intended. I started out with 11×17″ drawing but I did the whole thing freehand piecing and well, fabric sometimes has a mind of its own! I’m still excited by my little flag which displays my motto for Spring.

??????????I had to catch a shot between rain showers so the lighting isn’t the best of but it says, “Bee Happy” across the top.  I like the play on words but I also like the idea that happy is something we decide to be, not a circumstance we find ourselves in.  And speaking of happy, I’m so happy you hopped by today!

Also showing their creations today are the following fabulous and talented people:

Bumbleberry Stitches

Quilted Delights

Red Quilts

On the Banks of Frog Creek

Words & Stitches – you are here!

K and S Sweets and Stitching

I know you’ll want to see every stop!  And, now, since you made it this far…how about a giveaway?  I’ve got another 1/2-yard of blue fabric to give away.  (I liked this one so much that I bought a fairly good-sized piece of it but I’m keeping the last piece for me!)

DSCN2822Just leave a comment about anything although, if you have a motto, I’d love to hear it.  I’ll have Mr. Random draw after the hop is over and, yes, I’ll ship internationally and, no, you don’t have to be a follower (but you can if you want!)

Do know that I read each and every comment and will try to respond but something life just gets away from me.

Happy quilting!


Happy Spring Break, Flags on a Stick, and What I’ve Been Up To

First, let me apologize for not responding to comments on the blog hop.  I can assure you I read every one (and they were great fun!) but I was in the middle a very busy week including lots of small children and a root canal.  Funnily enough, the unknown tooth infection was making me quite unwell and therein lies one of the problems with having thyroid disease.  When you start getting tired and not well, you just assume it’s your thyroid and forget to look for other causes!  So, now that all is beginning to be well in my mouth and the infection is cleared up…I’m off and running on projects!  First on my list is this wedding throw that my mom requested for an upcoming wedding.  The blocks are 24″ each and I’m planning a large scalloped border.  This is a photo from my border auditions.  Unfortunately, you can hardly see the one I ended up choosing because it’s on the very bottom.  This week is Spring Break for us and that translates to no small children and my younger daughter is on a mission trip so I expect to get a lot of sewing done!


Now, on to winners.  Maureen M. was drawn by Craftsy to win the free class and they will have notified her directly.  Mr. Random drew #28 and I’ll be getting Joan’s snail mail address to send the fabric.


Now, if you really liked that blue fabric, you’ll have another shot at winning some of it during the Flags on a Stick blog hop which starts tomorrow.  (I hate to confess this but I have my project all lined out but haven’t done more than pull fabric yet…can you guess what I’m doing today?)

Here’s the complete schedule…I think there is going to be a ton of inspiration coming from this group of talented people!

March  25th
Pig Tales and  Quilts
Marjorie’s Busy  Corner
Jane’s  Quilting
Seams To Be  Sew

March  26th
Living with  Purpose
Life In The Scrapatch
Devoted Quilter
Made By Me In Red
Quilting Quietly

March  27th
Bumbleberry  Stitches
Quilted  Delights
Red  Quilts
On the Banks of  Frog Creek
Words &  Stitches
K and S Sweets and  Stitching

March  28th
How arT  you?
Just Let Me  Quilt
Robin’s Fabric  Nest
Patchouli Moon Studio
CeLynn’s Sunflower  Patch

March  31st
Grandmama’s  Stories
More Stars in  Comanche 
Pampered  Pettit
Farm Gate Creations

April  1st
Sew Incredibly  Crazy
Quilt Doodle  Designs
Buzzing and  Bumbling
Why Knot  Kwilt?
Creatin’ in the  Sticks

Now, I’ve promised myself in an effort to get some Spring cleaning done that I will work 30 minutes on each floor of the house each day this week (and I get to sew for all the rest of the day!)  A la Flylady, I will break it into 15 minutes sections so first I’m doing my downstairs time and then I’m going upstairs to play.  I’m hoping that some Spring has found you where you are…if not in your weather, then in your spirit!
Happy quilting,

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

I’ve probably mentioned this before but I went to elementary school with Irish nuns.  Very Irish nuns.  These dear ladies had only come to the states ten years before I started first grade (they were fresh off the boat when my brother started 10 years earlier.)  I was quite a bit older when I realized that not every child learned the jig in elementary school!  To celebrate the big day, we usually had green popsicles courtesy of the nuns.  It’s still a tad chilly for popsicles in Oregon so this morning I made these.  Gluten-free sugar cookies with green sprinkles. The recipe is from Gluten-free cooking school at  Mary Francis has my undying gratitude for her pizza crust recipe…what a lifesaver!


Saturday, as you probably know, was International Quilting Day and I got a fabulous gift!  There was an opening for a person to attend our guild’s workshop for free…I just had to help a little with transporting some equipment and being early to open the room.  It fell into place like a perfectly easy puzzle.  7:30 – drop younger daughter off for a Girl Scout trip then drive to class by 8:30.  I even had time to get a hot chocolate on my way!  The class was Helene Knott’s new totem patterns.  You can see them on her web site here.

Then, after it was all done and cleaned up and I was feeling oh-so-rested by the gentle hum of adult quilting voices, I stopped in the thrift store bin store and found these two vintage pieces of fabric…for a whopping 67 cents!


After that, I went home and sewed the second George Washington panel that Debby Kratovil had sent me to surprise my husband with.  I’ll try to get a photo of him with it to post here.  Of course, I told him it is HIS job to keep it dog-free!  It’s proudly installed on our bed where Winnie had to give it a good sniffing to see if it was dangerous or not.


Gizmo, of course, is immune to such worries.  The only thing that really worries him is when his “mom” (yours truly) isn’t home or doesn’t come to bed on time.  One of his funny little habits is that if I come to bed late then he curls up above my head instead of on my shoulder.   Speaking of pet funnies, so many of you had such fun pet stories!  I’m just getting to answer them now but do know that I read and enjoyed each one!  Tomorrow, I’ll draw for the fabric and let Craftsy know to draw for the class.  Oh, and speaking of Craftsy, they extended their sale on classes through tomorrow.  (The link on the sidebar will take you there.) If you’ve been thinking of a class but you’re not sure, they also have several free ones, too, that make great opportunities to check them out!

Now, dinner, then returning the guild equipment and some sewing…and some long-overdue book reviews!

Happy quilting,




Some Winners and a Pair of Finishes

Snuffle, snort, sigh, sneeze…someone pass me a tissue, please?
Ah, the dangers of working around kids and then working in the candy shop for Valentine’s…I caught the dreaded cold that was going around! I worked until 11 on the Friday night of Valentine’s Day and then woke up Saturday with a full-blown head cold. On the plus side, colds call for tea, many, many cups of tea and my older daughter brought me a lovely box of tea from England. I love drinking my tea from a little Winnie the Pooh mug the girls got me for Christmas one year. The graphics and the memory of their thoughtfulness both seem to make the tea even more sweet!
In the tangle of extra job and head cold, I’ve got three winners to announce. Mr. Random has pulled a winner for “She Who Sews,” “Hugs & Kisses” and for the “Grow Your Blog Hop.” They are Carol for “She Who Sews,” Lyn for “Grow Your Blog,” and Marlene for the “Hugs & Kisses” hop.  I’ve sent each of them an email to get their addresses so I can send off fabric prizes.

I’ve managed a pair of finishes, one of which is my alternate February finish for the “Lovely Year of Finishes, 2014.”  My oldest daughter is at the age where her friends are marrying and having babies.  A few months ago, I saw this adorable Toy Story print on the remant table at Fabric Depot.  There’s a baby boy on the way so I decided to make this.


Also, I’ve been working this weekend on quilting a lovely, Paris-themed throw that a friend pieced. In between working on that, I’ve pillowcase turned this little doll quilt for my guild’s charity projects. I picked up two kits for lap robes at guild last time and then used them to practice my treadle piecing. I’m debating doing the pillowcase turn on them, too, as the kits didn’t provide binding and the color scheme is limited. I may just resort to a red binding as it always looks good with blue. The doll quilt is a small-scale version of the lap quilts, made with the scraps leftover. Unfortunately, the photo of the quilt, which I took on my phone (along with Mr. Random’s results) won’t transfer over to the computer.  But don’t worry, Gizmo is looking into it.

Next on my to-do list is my Jamestown Landing. We’ll see how I do with finishing that one.  I’m only goaling for the flimsy stage.  There are still a few days of February left and I’ll try to make them count!

I’m linking this up to a Lovely Year of Finishes.

Snow Daze (and goal setting.)

Whew, what a busy few days! I’m not sure quite where the first week of February went. We did have the excitement of a few flakes of snow which, even by Oregon standards wasn’t much. Today, however, there’s a storm warning and, in Oregon fashion, we are panicking.  Well, not me personally, but the schools are closing two hours early and my husband just gassed up our truck and said the lines were long…I think I can hear the East Coast giggling at us already!  Here’s a photo of all the snow we got earlier this week.


So far, I’ve only made one block for February, the oven mitt for the retro kitchen (technically, I finished it at 11:39 on January 31st but couldn’t get it to upload so I think I’ll count it as my first block for February.


I was trying to make something that would work with the teapot block I had tested but, to be honest, I’m not thrilled with it.  I’m planning to re-make it with a softer background and a few more vivid prints.  This one isn’t going to waste, though, I’m picturing the quilt label sewing right onto the pot-holder part.

I’ve also been treadling some and piecing a couple of lap robes for our guild’s charity arm.  My goal is to finish both this weekend so that I can turn them in on Monday.  I’m still working on my accurate 1/4″ seam allowance on the treadle.  My next move is paper piecing with it!

Now, for my goals for February.  Well, there’s the Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop project (you’ll just have to wait to see.)  Then there’s a baby boy quilt that is my #1 for the Country Thread UFO game and, since I gave myself a easy and a harder option, my other option was my Jamestown Landing.  I doubt I can get it done and quilted this month but I could get it to the flimsy stage, I hope.  Oh, and I have to get my ruffles together, too.  Whew!  That’s a lot for three more weeks.  I guess I’d better get busy.  Oh, and book reviews…except an onslaught.  I’ve read some marvelous (and some less-than-marvelous) books lately that I’m eager to share!

Here’s a photo of Jamestown Landing in its current state…


If all goes well, there will be flimsy and a Toy Story baby quilt instead by month end!  What’s on your list for February?


Wake Up to Kona Blog Hop (and Two Giveaways!)

Ok, first, I have a confession to make. Back in the old days, everyone at my house knew that the “S-word” meant solids. I was, frankly, not a fan of solids (for about my first 27 years of quilting.) Then, I began seeing all these lovely modern quilts and some “s-word” whites and reds crept into my piecing. Black solids weren’t far behind but they were still rare in my work. So, why did a formerly solids-disliking quilter sign up for an all-Kona blog hop? Well, to challenge myself, of course! During the course of planning (and re-planning, and re-planning again), I hit a few bumps in my personal road so, I finally decided on this for my Kona piece…


a piece of advice I needed to give myself and I very much needed to follow!

I improved the letters a la WordPlay and then played with the geese and stars until I liked how they looked.  The striped star centers are made from my leftover bits of the letters sewn together and then cut into squares on the bias (and then oh-so-carefully pieced so as not to stretch them.)


I have to say a huge thanks to Madam Samm and Carol from Just Let Me Quilt for all their hard work in putting all this together.  And, of course, the wonderful sponsors…Amanda Murphy, Robert Kaufman, and Aurifil who helped make all this possible.

Now, as I mentioned, I have not one but two giveaways.  First, just leave a comment on this post (perhaps with a good piece of advice you’ve given or received over the years) and you’ll be entered to win these four Kona fat quarters…


I’ll have Mr. Random draw after the 22nd of January and, yes, I’ll ship internationally.  Also, I’ve been given a Craftsy class to give away and you can find out how to enter here.

Thanks for hopping by to see me and please be sure to visit all the talented quilters showing today.  Even if you used to be “anti-solid”, you’ll find yourself being inspired and awed by all the wonderful color you can achieve with these rich, vibrant solids.  I have to admit, I’m pretty well converted now and I imagine you’ll be seeing more solids in my future work!  Here’s a list of the rest of today’s bloggers.

Day 9 – January 17
Words & Stitches (That’s Me!)
Happy quilting,
Oh, and as it is my first finish of the year, I’m linking this post up to a Year of Lovely Finishes (the 2014 version!)

The Return of the Sew-Jo!

On Wednesday, my daughter called me.  “Mom, did you make a doctor’s appointment?”

“Well,” I replied, “Not yet.  You see, every morning I wake up thinking I feel just a little better than the day before.  So, if something happens to me, you can just tell people your mom died of optimism!”  My nursing student was unamused by my quip.  However, I have been getting better as evidenced by the second set of quilt blocks I finished on Thursday (and the ten more in progress from Friday.)  I tallied it up and that puts me at 39 finished blocks so far for the month of January.  (I decided that letters should be counted by the word as blocks, not the letter.  True to form, I spent an inordinate amount of time debating if that should really be phrases or lines but words won.)


When I finish the ten on the machine now (I chain piece them) then I will be left with less than twenty of these to finish and I’ll be able to start quilt assembly on my Jamestown Landing quilt. You can see a photo of Bonnie’s quilt on Pinterest here.


In the meantime, here’s a not-very-good photo of my Sarah when we were leaving to take her to the airport for Italy!  She’s doing a short study abroad with school.  3 weeks in Italy (starting in Rome, ending in Milan) followed by  some time in London and Paris.  I can’t even begin to say how excited I am for her!  And, yes, I think I really will call the doctor on Monday (after quilt guild.) Otpimsim, it turns out, can only take you so far in fighting a nasty bug!

Happy quilting,


Celtic Solstice and One Happy Cat (and his Quilter!)

So, I’m  sure you’ve heard by now that there’s an entire line of “Downton Abbey” fabrics hitting quilt shops.  Well, being that I’m a HUGE fan of “Downton Abbey”, you can probably guess what was on my Christmas wish list.  The fabrics are sorted by character with four of the leading lady characters being the inspiration for the line.  Here’s Griffie holding court on my three fat quarter sets and one half-yard set.  Doesn’t he look like a cat who got just what he wanted for Christmas?


Now the thing I didn’t want for Christmas was a nasty cold (at least I was the very last one in the shop to succumb.)  It arrived anyway and I’ve been snuffling and snorting my way through the week.  Several cups of tea and daytime cold medicine can do wonders!  I managed to do some cutting and a tiny bit of piecing on my Celtic Solstice and here’s what I have so far.

wpid-NCM_0733.JPGI actually have a few more 1/2-square triangles pieced but I’m really noticing that white fabrics are scarce in my stash…who would have thought?  Speaking of white…I’m going to be piecing my project for the Kona blog hop this week and it gives me a perfect chance to use Celtic Solstice as leaders and enders.  I doubt I’ll be caught up but I’m sure enjoying the project!  I’ll be posting a new kind of review later today or early tomorrow.  I had a chance to review a Craftsy class and, the best part is, I’ve got a chance to give one away, too!  Keep watching as I finish my book reviews and get that one posted.  In the meantime, I’m linking this up to Bonnie’s Quiltville Linkup. 

Happy quilting,



A Free Craftsy Class and Other Fun, Free, Quilty Stuff! (And the “For the Boys” Hop Schedule.)

Have you tried Craftsy yet? Now, nothing can replace taking a class with friends in real time but, let’s face it, sometimes it just gets hard to schedule. With Craftsy, you can take a class in your own sewing room with national instructors like Carol Doak. For me, I’ve found that my Kindle Fire works great with Craftsy. I can prop it up next to my sewing machine and have an instructor at my elbow while I learn a new technique. One of my favorite machine quilters, Leah Day, has classes on Craftsy as well as many, many others. This week, you can take a quilting class for free (it’s a beginning class but still a fun way to check out a class. There’s also a free photography class.) I’m planning to try both…want to join me?  There’s also an affiliate program, if you want more information, you can click here.  The other thing I love about Craftsy is the number of my favorite designers who are on Craftsy.  The Doctor Who Quilt Along blocks are all on Craftsy along with the Wonky Castle Block of the Month.  My Craftsy account lets me keep all these patterns in one place to use later.

And, speaking of free things, Jennifer at The Quilted Cat posted a blog post about a free mystery paper-pieced block from Paper Panache.  I’m a sucker for mysteries, are you?  And, of course, I’m all excited for Bonnie Hunter’s new mystery!  Carol Doak has a new mystery quilt on her Yahoo Group.  It’s free to join in this one, too.  Now, the only thing I have to figure out is how to make more hours in my day…or at least more quilting hours! Tomorrow is a no school day for our district so not much sewing going on tomorrow but Saturday…watch out!  (I’ve got my For the Boys project to finish this weekend.)

“For the Boys” has already started and if you haven’t seen the schedule, here it is…

November 6th
November 7th
November 8th
 November 11th
November 12th
November 13th
November 14th
November 15th 


Number 46 is my “Wicked” Winner!


The Great and Powerful Random Generator has spoken (oops, that’s the wrong movie, isn’t it?) Oh well, Mr. Random has picked again and I’ll be contacting the author of the 46th comment to get their snail mail address.  In the meantime, thank you to everyone who stopped by and  commented.  I didn’t get back to everyone but I did read and appreciate each and every comment! Even Gizmo did the happy dance over all the kind words!


The funnies thing about my Halloween night was cat related, too.  My big, fluffy cat, Zoe was quite certain she wanted to go out.  I was equally certain that I don’t like my cats wandering on Halloween…they’re far to likely to be spooked by the trick-or-treaters!  So, Zoe would come and hang out by the door giving me glances of deepest reproach for not tending to my door-opening duties.  When the doorbell rang, Nick (our 106-pound Lab) would bark.  Zoe would dash up the stairs because Nick was barking.  I would open the door, greet the trick-or-treaters and things would quiet down again.  Then, we’d start the process all over again.  I was by myself most of the evening but was laughing so hard at this little dog, cat and doorbell routine that I didn’t have time to get lonely!

Speaking of time, I decided to invest a little time into co-oping a table at a local craft fair.  I decided on snap wallets…they’re quick and I thought they might sell well.  Here’s my little display for the table (I stole the coffee mug holder off the kitchen counter…shhh…I don’t think the family has noticed yet!)


If you haven’t tried these little wallets, they’re quite fun and easy to make but I’d highly recommend getting the pattern.  I like supporting other artists by purchasing their patterns  and I’m really just no use without a pattern most days!  And speaking of most days, most mornings (except today) my dog and I go on a morning walk.  I love this time of year because of the beautiful sights along our little route.  Here’s what greeted us last week.  I’ll leave you with this pretty and I’m off to run errands.  I usually like to do them on a Tuesday but this is an unusually crowded week with three doctor’s appointments for the girls and a few other things so I’m off to do the “necessary” so I can get back to quilting!

Happy Monday and happy quilting!