"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, October 31, 2016

Goals for Halloween Week

The way I've been going if I don't actually put these down in writing they won't get done....I'm very easily distracted these days....lol.

To be done this week, ranked in order of importance -

1. Quilt half or more of the Modern Block design quilt (it's pinned and ready to quilt) - due date is 11/14.  (Good thing I work well under pressure!)

2. Make little t-shirt dress for my Christmas Child box (have fabric and t-shirt), due date is 11/13 or so.  (Trying to make a plain black t-shirt little girl friendly.....think this fabric will work?)

3. Get final F2F block made for November so that I can get those mailed off.

4. Get interfacing ironed onto the tie sections and cut needed sashing squares out of them.

5. Put together the commissioned quilt top.

6. Complete pillow cover from t-shirt (for same gal the quilt is for)

On-hold -

-- Make my Stretching Art Challenge quilt top
-- putting together the F2F blocks I received in September

Not many things on the to-do list, but a fair amount of time tied up in them..


1. Someone is coming over the end of the week to help me figure out where the air filters are and get them changed.

2. Love my job.  =)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hobbs Commission - I can still do it........lol.

What is "it" you ask.......that would be tie a men's tie.   Been a long time since I've done it, and it's much easier doing "on myself"  than just around a shirt collar like this....but I can do it!  Which is really good since I need to in order to be able to make this final block for the commissioned quilt.

I will have to take the stabilizer out of the tie so that it is easier to stitch down but that won't take long for me to do.

Before I get the block put together though, I need to make a decision on the backing for the block.  I have two choices shown here -

The light grey will match what I've been using to bring other blocks up to size and on the tie blocks, the dark grey matches the sashing so the sashing and backing will all blend together.  Or I could use black and that would stand out from the sashing and the shirt wouldn't blend into it.

Not sure which one I like better, so I'm sending a msg to my customer to see what she wants.  =)

1.Having no TV means I missed all of the election crud on it....woohoo....

2. Only 2 wks till my appt with the endocrinologist

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hobbs Commission - progress....woohooo............

Finished up all of the tie blocks this afternoon, so I've only got one more block to get made for this quilt.    I have the shirt for that one in the dryer now after washing it.   Might get the base of the block done this evening.

I'm not a 100% sure I like the color placement yet on the shirts so I'm still mulling that over as well.

Still to be done for the quilt before I can start sewing it together - finish cutting out the sashing strips (had to change blades after running my cutter over a pin....oops), iron interfacing onto the back of the ties sections that the sashing squares will be cut from and then cut the sashing squares.  

Other than perhaps getting the final square prepped tonite.   Need to actually get busy working on the quilting for my contest quilt......deadline for that is coming up and i need to get busy with the quilting.   It's only been in the last week or so that I've had any real idea of how I wanted to start with the quilting....oops.

1. I finally came up with something that I could take to a potluck tomorrow that I can eat.......

2. A plan for my Stretching Art challenge and the story of the inspiration for the quilt is coming together.  =)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hobbs Progress...........

4 of 8 tie blocks have been sewn and trimmed to size.   Will finish making the remaining 4 tie blocks tomorrow.  Will be washing the shirt for the final block tomorrow as well.   Want that one prepped so that I can take it to church on Sunday and get one of the men to help me tie the tie for it.....I can do it on me (well eventually) but not sure i can get it done correctly for the block.   lol...

1. Elevating my feet really does help the swelling........guess where I'm headed after this?

2. Blocks are going together quickly for this.  =)


All quilters use various tools when they are working.........scissors, rotary cutters, rulers, sewing machines and many others.   But how many of us use things that are originally designed for something else?

One of the 'tools' I've been using since Easter is this little Easter Basket.   Shaped to look like and function like a old-time strawberry basket it works wonderfully at controlling the bits and pieces I trim off of fabrics and blocks as I'm quilting.  Thus helping to keep my sewing cart/table cleaner.

What kind of non-quilting tools do you use to make quilting easier for you?

Then for lunches (I take my lunch to work) I found these really cute little 4 oz canning jars.  I'd tried using some of the littlest ziploc containers but they aren't that sturdy and don't seal perfectly.   These tho work great and seal w/o leaking.  =)    I bought two originally, but I'll be going back for more of them and then getting rid of the little plastic ones.

1.  I'm learning to like more veggies.....oh and eat them as well.....lol.....

2. Feet aren't swelling as badly as they were as I get my diet corralled into what needs to be the new normal for me.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hobbs Commission - Tie blocks Started

This mess of ties has been deconstructed and pressed flat.   Process was a lot less time consuming than I thought it would be from what I've done in long ago years.   It was an interesting process to see not only what was used inside of the ties, but how much extra fabric was utilized in the making of the ties by the manufacturers.   Seam allowances definitely varied by the type of fabric (the silk ties had smaller ones!).   I was wishing I knew what one of the stabilizers was so I could get some by the yard because it would work great for my purses.

With the ties being pressed flat, assembly of the pieced blocks has commenced.   this is a learning process, or maybe better worded, a re-learning process!   Each time I sew a piece on I will have to press it flat with the iron.   Finger pressing the seam just isn't working with the silks and poly's of the ties like it does with cotton fabrics!

I'm using the ties at full width so that I don't end up losing their great patterns and to make them easier to work with since the material is cut on the bias and the silkier/lighter weight the fabric the harder it is to work with out pulling it out of shape.  The blocks will be finished off with corner triangles made from either muslin or the same light grey that I used to bring some of the t-shirts up to the right size.

I have a dk grey that I will be using for the sashing on the quilt.  And the cornerstones are from the ties as well.

1.  Am feeling better (feet and legs especially!) as the diuretics have taken off almost 20 lbs of fluid in two weeks.

2.  Appt with endocrinologist has been set for 11/16.

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.

Final F2F blocks Received.

The final blocks for my month were received this week from my friend Susan.   And they are so much fun.    I especially love the polka dots.  =)

These will be going into American Hero quilts.


1. Doc appt tomorrow.....and I'll see if my research online might help lead to the root cause of several of the problems I've been dealing with.

2. The weather is cooling off finally.

Monday, October 10, 2016

F2F blocks received from Kate

Wonderful blocks from Kate were received over the weekend.  these came from Australia and are lovely.  The kangaroo fabric is one that she uses on quilts for military heros from Australia.   Love all of the blocks.

Kate also included a lovely appliqued tea towel.   I look forward to using it.


1. Good recipes as I work to overhaul my diet and eat better.

2. Work continues to go well.  =)

Sewing again.

Now that the reunion is over and I'm back home, I've been able to get back to sewing and quilting.   The quilt for the design contest is basted.....but I may have to redo it because I think I forgot to press the top first............sigh...........at least tho I have an idea on how I'm going to quilt it.

Over the last week I've been able to get another couple of blocks designed and sample blocks made of the patterns.   Now to get busy and start working on the patterns for them.  

I also worked up a bunch of extra blocks that will be used as fillers on future American Hero quilts.

1. Eczema is better and totally driving me demented at the present.

2. Have a doc appt scheduled for this Friday to deal with the edema - next up dealing with what I think is low thyroid.

Reunion recap............

Had a great time with my my 40th reunion 9 days ago.    Loved seeing friends from school that I hadn't seen in 30 yrs for the most part.   So thankful tho to be friends with a good number of them through FB.  Did make it to the one quilt store in my hometown and came home with a number of goodies....alright a lot of goodies 'cause they had a sale on precut FQ's.  =)

A few reunion pics are below.  First two are of the four of us who were best friends all the way through school starting in Jr High.  (I'm on the left in first one and the right in the second one.)   The last pic shows all of those that were there from the class of 1976.  =)

Gratitudes -

1. Life long friendships.

2. Beautiful weather for the trip.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New block design..........

Designed another block this past week.  And stayed in a similar profile to the latest two blocks before this one.   Did this because I'm thinking of putting them together into a single quilt and want them all to work together.  =)

The sample I made of the new pattern was done in hot pink, orange and navy blue for the background.    Finished size is 12".

First two blocks in the series were the two shown at the bottom.  With one more design, I'm thinking that I might could come up with a nice lap quilt.

And then write up the pattern to offer on Craftsy as either a full quilt pattern (lap quilt size), or as individual block patterns.    These are all pp'd patterns which makes really nice points.

One thing I'm trying to figure out is how much to price the patterns at for a full quilt pattern or as individual block patterns.   Guess I need to do some exploring online to see what others are pricing them at.   If you were to buy something like this as either an individual block pattern or a full pattern for a lap quilt, how much would you be willing to pay?

1. Travel to/from the reunion was good (well with the exception of narrow seats on the plane!).

2. Beautiful weather in Southern CA for the reunion and my time there.