"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hobbs Commission Progress

I've started the next commissioned quilt and have made good progress this week.   The finished quilt will have 30 blocks set 5 wide by 6 long.

There will be 21 t-shirt blocks, 8 blocks made from string-pieced ties, and one applique block.   The applique shirt will feature a square from a white dress shirt and a 'tied' tie that was worn on the couples wedding day.   Should be fun to make.

At the moment I'm in the middle of deconstructing the initial batch of ties needed for the 8 blocks that I need to make with them.    Next up gotta find the muslin that I need to preshrink for the foundations for these blocks.

1. The deconstruction process is going faster and much easier than I was afraid it would.

2. It's Sunday, and a time to fellowship with friends at church.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Felt Needle Book Tutorial

The instructions below will take you through the steps that I used to make the needlebooks.  However, keep in mind you can change up the sizes and how many colors of felt that you use in your needle books.  =)


Materials Needed:  

6” by width of fabric in either one or two colors of wool
                          felt for the main body of the needle book 
                          (Note: this will make 4 needle books if two colors are used)
10” by width of fabric of wool felt for the pages of the needle book
matching thread
appliqué or piece of needlework to embellish on the front
Optional – 4 inches of 1/8” ribbon and one small button

Step 1
Cut the following size pieces from the felt:
Outside of needle book -  1 piece 5” by 10” of the felt that you want
Inside pocket – 1 piece 3.5” by 4.5” and 1 piece 2.5” by 4.5”
Inside pages – 2 pieces 4.5” by 9”

Step 2
On the side of the 5” by 10” piece of felt that will be the outside of the needle book, center your appliqué or embellishment.   Remember to center it on the right side of the felt.   Stitch it down.

Step 3
Turn the felt over and lay the 3.5” by 4.5” piece of felt on the right hand bottom corner of the cover piece.  Stitch around the two sides and the bottom of the piece.  

Step 4
Lay the 2.5” by 4.5” piece of felt on the right hand top corner of the cover piece.  Stitch across the top of the piece.

Step 5
Center the two pieces of 4.5” by 9” felt over the back of the needle book.   Stitch down the middle of all three pieces.

Step 6
If desired add a ribbon loop to the back of the needle book.   Fold it over to the front and sew a button on to hold the book closed.

1. Wonderful fall weather and temps right now.

2. For good friends, here and around the world.

Been working on little bits of this and that this week.   I've trimmed all the t-shirt blocks for the next commissioned quilt down to the right size.   6 of them I need to sew additional fabric to top and bottom in order to bring them up to the full size.     I've also trimmed one t-shirt to the right size for a pillow for the same customer.   Next up for this quilt is to start taking apart the ties that I'll need for the alternate blocks in the quilt.

Then yesterday and today I put together these four needlebooks.   Two of them feature little cross-stitch pieces that I made many years ago (back in the late 80's.....), and the other two feature squares from a panel I'd picked up 12-18 months ago.   At least one of these will be used a Christmas gift.  =)  

Next up to be worked on:

-- center block of the commissioned quilt

-- start the quilting on my contest quilt

-- draw up the pattern for my stretching art quilt so I can get started on making it

-- finish the last F2F block for the month of November.   Have the fabrics, but need to decide what pattern I'm going to use for it.

1. Remaining bloodwork came back and my cholesterol came back at the bottom end of normal - way lower than it has been at any point in the last 30 yrs......eating right does help.  =)

2. It's getting easier to eat the way I need to in order to feel good.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Business Thoughts So Far

As I thought about getting business cards, it became clear that I needed to think about several things.

The first of these was what kinds of work have I done in the past or currently am doing.   Followed very closely by what do I want to do in the future.     So in thinking back, I've done the following in the past - recovered sofa cushions and pillows, made new pillows and pillow covers, t-shirt quilts, t-shirt pillows, custom designed quilts, memory quilts, redone the cover for an antique baby carraige, custom fit leather knife sheaths, baby bibs, scrub tops, and a couple of bridesmaid/flower girl dresses.   I'm sure there were other things along the way as well, I just don't remember what they are.

For the future, I've decided that any of that or similar work is fine with me with the one exception being I won't do anymore bridesmaid dresses or similar work....actually decided that a very long time ago!   lol, it is just too big of a headache and too little return for the work.

I also would like whatever business name I select to cover my quilt/pattern designing because I intend to do my best to also grow that part of my business (meaning actually selling my patterns, not just drawing them up!).   And I'd like to be able to have it separate from where I do my normal blogging and FB activities.

Some of the thoughts I've had, or that have been suggested include -

  • Designs by Moira
  • A Stitch in Time (suggested by an online friend)
  • Creations by Moira
  • Timely Creations
Anyone have any other ideas for possible business names?


1. Some of the bloodwork results came out good, others didn't show anything so it's more tests ahead.

2. The weather is getting cooler, fall really is here!  =)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Weekend work......

Lots of running around this weekend as I had blood work done to start the process of figuring out what has been causing some of the things that have been driving me crazy the last couple of months.  A probable answer is hypothyroid.......and that can be dealt with by medication.   We'll know when the blood test results come back.   Next thing after that is working even harder to change my eating habits so that I can start losing weight again.......have a lot of pounds to go, but gotta start somewhere.

Once my errands were done yesterday, I continued making blocks for my American Hero Quilts and finished up the next 6 blocks.   These range in size from 8" finished to 12" finished.  The top right one is a Carolina Lily block....I loved that one so much when I made my quilt, I found a pattern that only uses those blocks to make the quilt.   One of these days I'll actually get it made.

The sorta log cabin blocks at the bottom right were originally the corners of the piano key border.  

Next up were the first two out of three F2F blocks for November.  

These are for my friend Susan and I love the colors she chose.  =)   Both are made from my designs.   I've made them both before, but I played around with color placement on these blocks.  

Still thinking about what I'm going to do for the third block.

Final thing I did this weekend was to go to Joann's and pick up some light grey felt.  Then with some thumbtacks that I had here, hung it up on the wall beside my desk here in the living room that I use as my sewing room.  First time in all my years of sewing that I've actually had something to use as a design wall.  =)

1. Doc didn't give me grief over the bloodwork I wanted done.

2. Finances are slowly stabilizing.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Business Cards.........

Earlier this week I started out thinking about and playing with business card designs for the commissioned sewing and quilting that I do.   To this point I've done work based on word of mouth only with and had nothing that I could give out to people who were interested in my services for the future....hence thinking about business cards.

For the designs  used the name of my blog as the name of my business, and what I came up with are shown to the left.   Any ideas on them or what you like to see in a business card?

But after talking the head of my company (I've known her for 9 yrs or so), and listening to what she had to say, I've got some things to think about.   Things like what kind of an image do I want it to have, what kind of connotations do I want the business name to have when people see it for the first time (things like would "The Quilted Snail" tell people that I don't get work done fast because snails are slow moving), what kind of work / business do I want the business to encompass (the commissioned work, designing and selling patterns and so on....), and other questions.

I also need to think about things like receipts for paid work, order forms and so on.    Lots to think about.....some of which I might not need to do if I just keep this as a hobby business.

At the moment I'm thinking I might use a company name like "Designs by Moira" as my company name.   How would that sound to you?

1. 2 months has passed at work and I'm still enjoying the work.

2. Time to sew is on the horizon for the weekend.