"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)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Swap blocks finished

I finished off the two swap blocks that I was making this month.   One will be swapped (top block), and I'll keep the second one for myself (bottom block).

In doing these two blocks I reminded myself of two things - first I can do hand applique, and nicely if I say so myself....lol.   And the second thing I reminded myself is that when I did the second block I inadvertantly missed one step in the instructions before fusing the machine on and stitching it down............apparently I still insist on doing things my way and marching to the beat of my own drummer.....lol.   Can you see where the difference in the blocks is?  

I'm really looking forward to the next block which can be seen here -

1- Good friends and coworkers who put up with me even when I'm coughing like a mad woman with this bronchitis.

2 - I'm feeling a little better even tho coughing more at the present time.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

completed swap block

Finished up the swap block that I'll be swapping, and the one I'm keeping.   Good thing I was planning on keeping the second one 'cause I definitely didn't manage to follow the pattern on mine....sigh............  And yes I do tend to do my own thing, but I really did mean to follow the pattern.....sigh......guess the tendency to quilt to the beat of my own drummer was just too strong....lol.

Baby shower for my coworker was tonite.   And the bibs that I made went over well.  =)


1. 2 more weeks till fall break!!!!!

2. Cough seems to be getting a little better.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Swap block finished

I'm in a Row-by-row swap that is looking like it'll be a lot of fun.   An online friend is designing it and Deana does great work.    You can find details on the swap Blog.   And by scrolling down you can see the blocks that have been made in September by clicking here.

The theme of the quilt is "A Quilter's Garden" and the first row has 4 different sewing machine blocks.  

To the left is the one block i've managed to get done to swap this month.   And believe it or not, I even hand appliqued the body down......I know shock of shocks.  What can I say - i never said I can't do it....I just normally choose to not do it because it's too slow for me....lol.      I do plan on making one more for myself from the same fabrics, but have been feeling so cruddy that it isn't started yet.   I do plan on doing machine applique tho on mine for the body.


1. New meds from my doc that will hopefully get rid of the bronchitis and the skin infection.
2. a long weekend with an extra day off from school and only two weeks away from Fall break!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Quilted Pouch/Basket Tutorial

A few months ago, when Easter merchandise went on clearance at Joann's I picked up a free standing felt pouch.   Meant to be used to hold whatever you wanted, I thought it might have the start of a fun idea for a quilty gift.

The original bag is made from heavy weight purple felt.  It stands 7 inches tall before the edge is folded down and the base is 5" square.  

I decided to use a piece of green wool felt I had on hand as my base.  I tried estimating the size needed for the felt to make one the same size as the purple and cut it at 18" by 11".   As it turns out, that wasn't correct, but that's beside the point here.....lol.   Will have to go back and think and measure before making another one.

 Once I had the felt cut to size, I then dug out a strip of greens that I had left over from another project.   I laid it down on top of the felt and then quilted it to the felt to hold it in place.

Next up was continuing to add more fabric strips till all of the felt was covered.

I then trimmed the excess fabric back so that it was even with the felt panel.

I then  folded the panel in half and stitched down the sides using a 3/8" seam allowance.

Once the seams were sewn I cut a 3.5" square out of the corners on the side where the fold was.
The size you cut here determines how big the pouch will be when finished, and can be played around with.

Next sewing step was to bring the center of the bottom fold up to match where the side seams are.   Then stitch across the cut edges using a 3/8" seam allowance.  Repeat for both sides.

Turn right side out and press seams flat.

Final step was to turn the top edge (1" down) and then stitch down for a finished edge to the pouch.

 Pouch finished up half the width of the original one and a little shorter, so I definitely need to tweak measurements.   But the process will be the same no matter what dimensions you cut to.

Hope this sparks a desire to try something new for you.

1. A good nite's sleep
2. 2 days off next week from school!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Orphans no longer

I'm still working on finishing up some of the baby bibs that I've had in progress for years.  

13 more bibs have been finished for a total of almost 2 dozen so far.   Most of the ones finished in this bunch stand alone as bibs without  any additional trim or embellishments.     But I did use three small orphan blocks to decorate three bibs.   All different hats, they will eventually go a baby boy sometime.   Still have 30-something yet to finish up if I use all the wash-cloths that I have set aside.   Haven't decided if I'm going to do that or not.   Will eventually use all the 'pretty' ones, it's just the solid ones that need embellishing that I've got mixed feelings about.   Of course that could be just because I'm getting bored doing them.....lol.

Why do I have so many you ask?  Well, there for a while it seemed like all of my married friends were having babies.   And the time just wasn't there to make baby quilts for everyone so I got started on making baby bibs for them.   And as these things go, I saw lots of cute bibs (prints or colors) that would make great bibs so I bought them a few at a time.  Just never got them made up.....sigh......  the new babies have slowed down now but I still need baby gifts every so often so I try to keep some made up and on hand to pull a quick gift from.

What do you make up ahead of time for quick and easy gifts?

1. The weekend is almost here!
2. For students that want to learn how to do something right even when it's a hard topic.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy Orphan Blocks

Most every quilter has them.....those pesky orphan blocks that they just don't know what to do with.   Odd shapes, sizes, patterns that didn't quite work out right, colors that don't work out the way we planned, or ones that we 'inherited' from someone else.   I suspect for most of us they just sit in totes or boxes waiting patiently for us to be struck with inspiration on how to make the most of these gems in the rough.

I have my share of orphan blocks, I'll take them out every so often to look at and play with and think about what to do with them.    Most of them have been stubbornly silent tho so they remain in my tote of orphan blocks.   Occasionally though some of them will start whispering to me about what they'd like to be when they grow up.  

This week two of my little orphans decided it was time to tell me their dreams of greatness.   The first block to speak to me was one that passed onto my by an online friend.   It was a lovely fan block, but in colors that I rarely ever use.    I'd been working on various tote bags over the weekend and had pulled out a very soft looking plaid in blueish-grey and tan.   The block looked great up against the plaid.   So I ended up quilting it after backing it w/muslin.  Then attached it as the outer pocket on the tote bag.   Haven't decided what i'm going to do with this, might sell it, might give it as a gift.

Another happy little ex-orphan as of tonite is this little sailboat block that now has a home on a baby bib.   This will be going with a stack of other bibs as a baby shower gift for a gal at the store.

So two orphans are orphaned no longer, and I have fewer 'voices' clamoring at me to do something with them.   Wonder what will speak to me next demanding their turn at the sewing machine?

1. Being able to sleep in bed for a few hours even tho I'm still croupy with bronchitis
2. Meds that are helping to bring everything back under control

Monday, September 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was tagged for the Around the World Blog Hop by Susan of Desertsky Quilting.   The link will take you to Susan's post about her creative processes.   I met Susan online about 18 years ago, through online quilt group at that time.   We met in person when I moved back to Phoenix after completing grad school in Boston.   We've remained friends over the years, and are always willing to get each other into trouble when out shopping or when considering new quilt projects.

There were several questions that came with the blog post directions, so I'll branch off of those to tell you a little about me and my design process.

If you read my blog on a regular basis you'll know that a lot of my work goes to American Hero Quilts and Sunshine Online Quilt Guild.   American Hero's delivers quilt to wounded service men and women, Sunshine makes quilts that are given to kids around the world through a couple of different programs.  There are many other projects though that I end up involved with because I make a lot of gifts.

1. What am I working on at the present?

Like normal there are multiple projects in various states around here.   I'm working on finishing up the Block-of-the-Month that I've been posting on my blog and website and have the top almost half together.  I have a finished quilt top for the mystery quilt that i'll be hosting next year.   the finished top will be posted in December when the final step of the BOM is posted.  Then there is the block robin waiting on borders to be put on.   So far tho that quilt is being contrary and not telling me what it wants for the final border.    So it sits in "time out" will i think about it.

This past week I've been sick and so didn't feel like working on anything where I had to really think about what I'm doing, so I worked on making some tote bags and a kitchen towel that have been prepped for several yrs.  At least one of the totes and the kitchen towel will be a Pay-It-Forward gift for this year.   The others may end up as gifts at some point or sold.   Still more fabrics in my stash for tote bags, so I'll have some 'mindless' sewing to do for a while.

I've got several new designs, both blocks and quilts, in progress as well.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

If I have to classify myself, I'd say I'm a scrappy quilter or maybe a "multi-fabric" quilter.   I do tend to quilts that use a lot of fabrics in the tones and colors, vs just one fabric in a color.  

The wedding quilt I made for my nephew and his new wife is an example of this.   The greens are about 2/3's scraps, but the remaining greens and the back fabrics are new ones.    I lost count of how many different fabrics are in this quilt, but love how it turned out.  

A lot of my quilt are definitely on the geometric side of things, but I do design a wide variety of quilt types.   I participate in an online art quilt challenge every year and what I end up doing depends on the challenge each year.    This year's quilt is shown to the left.     I like to use more than just fabric in my quilts as well, this year's entry used shiny tulle and linen cross-stitch fabric as well as the cotton fabrics in the quilt.

My designs have ranged from paper-piecing blocks and quilts, to applique to pieced.   Most any fabric works for me - except those that are muddy in tones.

I also to take part in swaps and round robins.   the cat quilt to the left is just one example of one of my quilts from a round robin. I made the cat, and used rick-rack for the whiskers.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I create and design because I love it and normally it relaxes me.   My doodles are most often ideas for new quilt blocks.   I can't imagine not designing, even if a lot of it happens on the fly as I'm working.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

My creative process starts with graph paper (typically quadrille paper for ease of scaling) and various pens/pencils.   I'll get an idea for a block and draw it out on paper to get the idea down.   Once I have an idea of the block, then I'll switch to Visio and draw the block up in it.   Visio makes it easy for me to make multiple copies of the block and then play around with quilt layouts to see how things go together.     Once I'm happy with one or more layouts then if it is a pp'd pattern I'll create the sections in Visio and then print them out for use.    Otherwise I'm "off to the races" and sewing away.  =)

That's is my basic story and my creativity process.    I'm sending you today to the blogs for three people whose work inspires me.  

Claire is a friend that I met in the same online group that I met Susan.   We've known each other for several yrs now, and have met in person several times at quilt retreats.   And for a while we even lived in the same little town as i went to grad school at Purdue University.   Claire is taking a Master Quilting class and her work in it is always fascinating to me.   She will be posting on the 22nd on her blog KnitNkwilt .

Sophie is another quilter that I've been blessed to be able to meet in person.   I love her work, and she also is able to get me headed down rabbit trails that I hadn't intended to go down.    My tea towel quilt (proving to be stubborn!) is an example of that.    I love the tea towel pieces that she has done.   You'll be able to find her post on the 22nd here at Sophie Junction.

The last friend I'm sending you to is Deana.   I met her online 3 yrs ago when Susan talked me into doing Deana's mystery quilt.    I loved what she did with it, and the process has proven inspirational to me as I worked on developing my mystery quilt for next year.   She is hosting a row-by-row swap these days featuring her designs.  You can also check out her latest mystery at - Daughters of Dorinda Mystery Blog.

Gratitudes -
1. For meds as I recover from acute bronchitis and an acute UPR and the latest flare with my ITP
2. For bosses who understand when I'm not working to 100% because i'm not feeling good

Monday, September 1, 2014

Block Robin together.....

Woohoo............the block robin is together except for the borders.   And with the exception of a little minor tweak to the filler blocks on the bottom center it all went together almost perfectly.    Gotta love it when that happens.  =)

The final two blocks added ("Faith" and the interlocking hearts") were inspired by a couple of different quilts in an Australian quilt magazine that an online quilt friend sent me.  

Next up is adding the borders, and I'm debating on a couple of options for that.    


1. God's provisions for my needs even when I don't see how things are going to work out.

2. The PT job that I do have currently to help pay the bills and put food on the table.  

September block posted

The September block for my Block-of-the-Month has been posted.

I named it Lantern because it reminded me of paper Chinese lanterns that are often used in the summer time to light up patios after dark.

You can find the link to the pattern here -


I hope you enjoy making the block.

Gratitudes -
1. A three day weekend.  =)

2. 4 weeks already finished in school.