"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)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

500th Post Giveaway

To celebrate my 500th post I'm having a giveaway.   There will be two prizes - both will be a copy of this magazine (it is the Fall 2014 issue of the magazine) and a FQ of my choice in a color that you like.   I will mail outside of the US, so all are welcome to enter.

To enter, leave a comment below telling me how you found my blog and what color FQ you'd like if you win.    Please make sure that I have a way to contact you if you are an anonymous blogger!   Leave a second comment if you follow my blog telling me how you follow for a second chance at winning.

This giveaway will be open until March 8th.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Final F2F Blocks Complete - Don't look Claire!

First thing to be completed after returning from QuiltCon were the final two F2F blocks for Claire.   The colors to be used in these were a bright blue, orange and lime green, with white for the background.

These blocks are the final ones for the swap.   Here's hoping that the colors I chose are what she wanted.  =)

1. The fun of having been a part of this swap over the last 9 months.

2. Spring weather!

New Machine

Quilt Con has come and gone, and the trip to the show was great.   Had a fun time with my friend Susan.

Visited three lovely quilt shops while in the Savannah and Macon areas.  And came home with a few goodies from the shops.

Saw lots of lovely quilts at the show, took lots of pictures of them....(they will be written up when I've had time to work with the pics), and wandered through the vendors.  Enjoyed the lovely spring weather at lunch time and after we left the show each day.

Only spent a total of $5 cash at the show......but did spend a wee bit more than that when I financed the new sewing machine that I bought at the show.  Did a gulp at the thought of how expensive the machine is, but when I consider how many years I hold onto the machines the price becomes a lot more 'affordable'.  Did get a great deal at essentially 1/3 off of retail on the final price.  And yes, it means another flower on my 'paintings' or perhaps a new one.

It is being shipped to me so I won't actually have it until the end of this week at the earliest.  Am looking forward to getting it and using it.  =)   Pic below show the machine (and me with my new haircut) and the gals at the booth who sold it to me.  

It is an Elna eXcellance 780 and more info about it can be found here.

1. For all of the commissioned work that I have and is looking likely in the foreseeable future....will make paying the machine off easier.

2. For good travel to / from QuiltCon.

Monday, February 20, 2017

More UFOs finished

Today I put together a couple of sets of UFO blocks that were made for Sunshine Quilts.   Both of these will hopefully make some little boy happy.  These finished out my UFO weekend.


1. Thankful that my UFO blocks can be used to bless someone else.

2. Time spent with friends in my small group.

Commissioned Bears - Progress

Two more teddy bear blocks were made this weekend.  

First up is Charles who is getting ready to plant his summer garden.   And second, is Maria who is enjoying the summer and dancing up a storm.

I've three more drawn up, and three more to design for the quilt.  I'll be able to start putting it together soon!


1. The storm here last night did not do any damage.

2. One more day till I leave for my weekend at QuiltCon.

UFO work and finishes

This weekend has been UFO weekend in one of the quilting groups that I'm in.  Over the weekend we are supposed to put in 8 hrs of work on an UFO that has been stalled for 6 months or more.

 This weekend, I worked on two different UFO's.   The first one was this table runner.   The center block and a couple of oddball fabrics was all that made.  I also had a fat-eighth of the oriental fabric left to work with.   Because I've got a commission coming up that will feature origami swan blocks I decided to test the pattern that I'd drawn up for it, and also added an origami swan block to it finish out the runner.   The border fabric was used in the two applique blocks and finished off the fabric from the pineapple table topper.  The corner blocks are the 4 sections from one of the extra blocks that had.   I'll quilt it at some point in the future.

The second UFO project I worked on was sewing these 4 patches together.   They used up the blue/lime and purple/lime HST's that had been made months ago.   The HST's are made from batik fabrics and I used a WOW from my stash with them.   They will now go back up because I have not decided with how to set them together.   I might go through my novelty print fabrics to find something that would work with these blocks and set them in a double 4-patch setting.  

All fabric for these were out of my stash.  =)


1.  It's a long weekend with a holiday today, and a very short workweek for me!

2.  Cool, rainy weather today.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

UFO Day.........

Because I do a lot of block designing, I will make test blocks from most of my patterns to see how they work out before posting them or submitting them somewhere.  And that often results in a lot of UFO blocks that can accumulate.

To help with that problem I've been making them in a RWB palette most recently so that I can use the block in an American Hero quilt at some point in time.  =)    However, there are some older sample blocks that I didn't do this with and my sewing today started with one of those.

The center block on this table runner was a sample block from several years ago.   Today I made the two applique blocks  on either side of it using the bits of fabric that I still had of that oriental print.   The block on the left is an origami swan and the one on the right is an origami crane.   this now will go with the rest of my completed tops and I'll get it quilted at some point.  I'll probably end up selling it after it is finished.

I'll be using the swan pattern on the next commissioned quilt, and the crane as an applique on a t-shirt for a friend (commissioned by him).   I also have a friend who wants the swan pattern so that will need to be written up soon as well.   I'll release it to Craftsy.

And I've also got an idea for a quilt made from the center block.  Need to play around with designs on that so I can think about making it for a sample and a pattern.

Gotta love it when I can get a double punch when I design block patterns.


1. Celebrating the 50th birthday of a good friend tonite at an open house

2.  Got home safely today even though traffic was a bear

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Commission Quilt Progress - Setting Blocks

Here are the first 11 of the third style of setting block.  Yes, it's similar to the first one, only the size of the inside block is different (and thus the width of the border).  First eleven are done and fabrics have been pulled for more blocks.   Won't have enough for the remaining 13 blocks of this type and the final 8 blocks, but I'm getting closer!


1. 6 more days till QuiltCon.  =)

2. First 6 months in the new job are done as of yesterday and I'm still loving the job.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Commissioned Quilt Progress - Bear #5 and setting blocks

I've finished making the 5th bear and have started working on the setting blocks for the quilt while drawing up the next few patterns.

This is Colette and she is wearing her new Easter dress and is waiting for the Easter egg hunt to begin.  =) (Yes, I know this is a repost on the pic....lol)

There will be three different setting blocks in the quilt.   I've finished all of block 1 (qty 5), started working on block 3 (11 of 24 made, but not trimmed to size yet), and still need to make 8 of block 2.  No pic yet of the latest setting blocks, but it will be coming.

As I was working on pulling fabric for the setting blocks, I was looking for blue prints that would go with the focus print fabric I'm using in setting blocks 1 and 3.   And fast came to the conclusion that the blues I like tend to not be the light to mediums that are in the print.   I've tons of medium to dark blues, teals, and turquoises.....but not the lighter ones....sigh.   Hmmm, maybe I should ask for those next year for my shoebox....lol.

At any rate, this quilt is progressing and I hope to have a good bit of it done by the time that I leave for QuiltCon next week.  =)

1. QuiltCon is almost here, and that means I'm closer to spending time with a long-time friend.  =)

2. Love the way my new camera is working.  =)

American Hero Blocks

I'm still working on using up the leftover paper-piecing block patterns that I've had stashed for 7 or more years now.   Don't actually remember how long I've had them....but they need to be made up.  =)

At this point I have -

-- 11 more block patterns to make up
-- and, 19 blocks done plus the 4 blocks that I finished this past weekend.

All total that will make a total of 34 blocks of assorted sizes that I'll add to the final 4 flag blocks (those were also made from additional pp'ing block patterns from this bunch), and several 12" blocks that I've got  stashed.  When I start laying them out I'll be able to figure out if I have to add more blocks to get a finished quilt of the right size.   And if I do, then what size sections/blocks will I need to make.

All of the blocks I'm making right now are coming from scraps, so this will be  a fun quilt with lots going on once it's put together.


1. one week till QuiltCon....wooohooo.....

2. A bright sunny day after a day of gloom and rain yesterday

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Commissioned Quilt Progress

Applique block #5 finished up.  And the first 5 setting blocks have been finished.

This is Colette and she's wearing her new Easter Dress.

I've also completed the first of three different setting blocks that will be in this quilt. Only 32 more to go in two different styles.....lol


1. My new camera arrived yesterday and the color in the pics is much truer to life than in the old one.

2.  Rain today instead of snow and ice!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

American Hero Quilt Top Done

Finished up the American Hero quilt top in progress today.  It will go with the finished tops till have have a couple of more ready to ship off.

Next one is in progress, but I still have blocks to finish up for it.   And plans are drawn up for the third one. =)


1. Today was a toasty warm, windy day.

2.  For the freedoms that we often take for granted, that our service men and women are willing to give their lives for.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Next American Hero Quilt

I always have multiple projects in progress, and this is one of the ones currently being worked on.  Yes, I fully admit to being bored if I have to only work on one thing at a time....lol.

In between other things, I'm working on putting the next American Hero quilt together.   Blocks are complete after getting a border on the square ones.  There will be 3 rows of 4 blocks and 2 rows of flag blocks in the quilt.  

I need to put sashing in between the rows to bring it up to size and to float the flags in their rows, along with a border of it.

Was thinking of using the remaining fabric of the lighter one that I used as block borders, but in looking at the remaining fabric I don't have enough to do what I want.  so will use a piece of shirting that works with the fabric in the blocks.  A friend had suggested maybe a colonial blue, but I don't have anything in my stash that color and I don't want to buy anything to finish off the quilt top.


1. Had time this week to make progress in getting the next three BOM patterns written up....it's good to be ahead of the game.  =)

2. For blocks already being made that I can work with when I have time for them.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Designing on the Fly.....

.........well on the cut that is....lol.

I cut the focus fabric for the commissioned teddy bear quilt yesterday and I found that I didn't have enough for all of the setting blocks.  

Because of the size of the print I had to cut 8.5" blocks of the fabric.    And I'll be putting a border of assorted blue prints around them to bring them up to a 12" finished size.   I did have enough of the fabric to make 5 blocks with a 6 inch finished center of the print.   I'll also be making 8 blocks with 4 patches in the center of them.  

The two possible layouts I've come up with are to the right.   What I'm debating about at the moment is whether to make 13 bears instead of the twelve I'd planned on or to put a pieced block in the center.

What do you think?


1. No snow or cold weather down here where I am.  =)

2. Quilt Con is in two weeks....woohoo......

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Final Choices for Business Name....

I'm down to two final choices for the 'formal' name of my business.   I'll use it on order paperwork (invoices, etc), business cards, etc.

The choices are -

--- Moira's Quilted Creations


--- Moira's Sewn to Own

I like both of them, the first one obviously refers to my quilts and all that encompasses.   While the second one is more encompassing of all that I do and is more catchy in how it sounds.

My plan is to make a decision this week and then I can start working to get a blog for the business, business cards and the paperwork design ironed out.

Still thinking about a logo as well.

Definitely a learning process through all of this, but that is a good thing.


1. Friends and coworkers who help me think through things like this name change.

2. For the opportunity to grow in my pattern designing and commissioned quilting.

Fabric for Setting Blocks

I've started pulling fabrics for the setting blocks that I'll need for the commissioned teddy bear quilt.  The pattern for the setting blocks will be similar to that of what the quilts on this blog posting look like.

The center of the blocks will be this teddy bear print. I haven't a clue how many years I've had it, but it will have a good home in this quilt.

The person I'm making it for loves the color blue, so I'll be using lots of different blues around the center square of the bear print.

The three top fabrics in the picture to the right, and possibly one of the FQ's in the bottom picture, are also going to be used in the applique blocks for clothing.

Will be starting on these blocks this evening along with prepping the next applique block.

1. A glass desk at work that makes it easier to be able to sketch my patterns.

2. Lots of yummy fabrics to choose from.

Machine Applique Hints

For those that are doing the BOM in machine applique, but aren't necessarily that experienced in doing it, here are a few hints that might help you.

1. Adjust your tension in the upper thread so that it is just a little less than what the bobbin is set at.   This will pull the upper thread to the underside of your block which will keep your bobbin thread from showing on the front of the block.

The pic here shows what the back of one of my blocks look like.   I've used the same color thread through my stitching (and nope, it doesn't match the colors on the front!).   You can see where the thread from the front has been pulled to the back, esp. in the lower left and upper right of the pic.   This is what you want.   However, don't get the tension off set too much or the fabric could pucker.

2.  For pieces where what is being stitched down with a satin stitch is very small, like the eyes, I will typically do two things.  First, I'll stitching around the outside of the piece.  Then, second, I will stitch in vertical, overlapping rows over all of the piece so that all that can be seen is just an embroidered section.

3.  I highly recommend using an open-toed presser foot when doing satin-stitching or button-hole stitching.  This kind of foot will give you greater visibility and will make it easier for you to see where the edge of your fabric pieces are.   If your machine did not come with one, then you should be able to find one on the internet without a lot of problems.

Now if only I could remember to put mine on before I start stitching!  LOL

4.  And last hint for today, remember to use a stabilizer such as "Stitch-n-tear" when doing your satin stitching in order to keep the fabric from puckering.  You can either put one big piece behind the entire block, or like me I put a 1.5" strip along the edges where I'm stitching


1. People seem to like the BOM blocks

2. I have a window in my office which allows me to see outside and to feel the warmth of the sunlight, even when it is blinding as the sun rises in the morning.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Commissioned Teddy Bears.....

Teddy bear blocks 3 and 4 have been completed for the quilt.    Meet Seamus and Buster.  Now to prep the next two or three blocks and get them made.   Am also getting ready to pull fabrics from my stash to start the setting blocks for the quilt.   =)

1. A stash of threads that allows me to pull what I need when the stores aren't open

2. Friends who proofread my patterns for me.  =)

Bear Quilt Moving Along

The second block has been finished for the teddy bear quilt.

Valentino is holding a heart for the one that he loves.

Two more blocks are prepped -

Block 3 has Seamus holding a shamrock and hoping to share his good luck.  Block 4 has our handsome teddy bear (name still to be decided on.....) waiting to give his true love a lovely red flower.


1.  QuiltCon is coming up soon and I'll only end up working one day that week....lol.

2. A job that i love, even when something isn't working correctly.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Thinking and Planning......

One of my best quilting friends and I are in an annual Shoebox swap and have been for yrs now.   It's a swap where each person decides on 2 colors (or prints) of FQ's that they would like to receive at the end of the swap yr, and a couple (or more) other things are included in the box.  I almost always end up buy half-yd pieces and then splitting them in half.

This year, due to circumstances, my friend and I ended up with the box I had prepared for my swap partner last year.   The fabrics the original intendee had chosen were snowmen and red/white fabrics.

So we decided to challenge each other to make something from them this year.   It only has to be a top, not a finished quilt.   

In looking through the most recent Hancock's of Paducah catalog I found inspiration for the Red on White and White on Red prints that I had bought.   It is the Near and Deer quilt that you can see by clicking here.      To the right is my interpretation of the layout for it that I've come up with in colors.  The sketch isn't full size, but gives the idea of how I'm envisioning this quilt to look when finished.

I'm planning on donating the finished quilt top to American Heroes, hence the color scheme.


1. Beautiful, warm weather

2. Good suggestions for places to hike reasonably close to where I live from friends here in the area

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Update to Teddy Bear BOM - Pattern 1

Thanks to a friend a goof was found in the numbering of the pieces on page 2 of the pattern when compared to the layout figure.  The update to the numbering key is below.

Piece Number
Number to Cut

Bear Body
Cut one piece
Right Leg/Foot
Cut one
Left Leg/Foot
Cut one
Cut two
Cut one
Right Foot Pad
Cut one each of the left and right foot pads
Left  Foot Pad
Cut one each of the left and right foot pads
Bow Tie
Cut one
Leave in the 14” square, it will be trimmed to final size after appliqué is completed

I will update the actual pattern tomorrow when I can get to a scanner.

And in addition, the pieces are full-sized, so they do not need to be enlarged before use.   I do recommend that you take and print the pages without "Fit to Page" being checked.

1: Friends who let me know of pattern corrections

2. warmer weather

Saturday, February 4, 2017

2017 BOM - Block 1 - BowTie Teddy

Block 1 of my 2017 is this Bow Tie Teddy.
He's going to a party and looks especially handsome with his polka-dot bow tie.

I used 4 different colors of fabric in this block for the applique.   I also chose to machine embroider over the eyes rather than just stitching around the edges.

Have fun with the block!

The pattern can be downloaded HERE.  You will be able to download it for free until the end of February.

I'd love to see pictures of your finished block, add your link below to share a link to your completed block!

1. A stash that has most any color of fabric I could want or need for my projects.

2. Being able to raid the stash at any time of the day or night instead of having to wait till a store is open.

Friday, February 3, 2017

2017 Block-of-the-Month -- General Information

In 2017 I will be posting a series of patterns for 12 applique teddy bear blocks for everyone to enjoy.   The blocks will be available for free for 1 month, and then available for sale on Craftsy for a nominal fee of $2.

There are no set colors of fabric in this BOM, so you can customize your bears to whatever color you would like to use.   I will be using various browns, tans, and golds for my bears.  I will be using scraps for any clothing and accessories the bears will have.  Because I'm not designing for set colors with this BOM, I will give generous fabric requirements  for each fabric required to make each block in the pattern for it.

The blocks will finish at 12".

The first block will be posted sometime this weekend.

Overall Fabric Requirements -

Background -
  • If using the same for all of them - 1.5 yards
  • If not using the same for all blocks, then you will need a 14" square for each block. 
Bears - 
  • You will need approximately a 12" square each month
Clothing and accesories
  • Will vary month to month, sizes will be given in each pattern


1. For the ability to design and create

2. For the night time leg cramps that remind me I have legs I can walk with.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Continuing to count the UFO's as they surface, I could really get overwhelmed if I allowed it.  As of today I'm showing:

  • 53 quilt tops of various sizes from mug rugs to queen-sized quilts
  • 28 sets of blocks, mainly from swaps.  Sets range in numbers from 11 (made by me, but were rejects for a swap) to over 100 in a couple of sets (yikes!).  Sizes range from 6" to 12" finished blocks.
  • 23 commissioned scrub tops that have been cut out since last summer
  • 38 or so cross-stitch pieces that have the stitching finished but I've never made anything with them.  (The smaller ones of these are what I've been making mug rugs or snack mats out of.)

What hasn't been counted and added to my spreadsheet yet are the projects I've had in my umpteen project totes (the ones by Artbin, both the super satchel bin and the double deep bin).   I know I've got several more UFO's tucked away in those, most if not all are not in the spreadsheet so that I can keep track of them or actually work on them.  Need to get that done as I clean up and sort through stuff around the house.

I think there may be more things tucked away in one or more totes as well, but until I can manage to get through all of my quilty totes I won't know for sure.

Thankfully, one UFO at at time I can make progress on getting these numbers whittled down.  And I really need to look at the blocks and see if I really want to work with them all or get rid of them somehow (sell or giveaway).


1. Everything doesn't have to be done instantly

2. Understanding customers when I don't get things done quickly

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Just a Few UFO's.........

Most of my UFO's have been entered into my tracking spreadsheet.  Still need to add in the mug rugs that I have completed tops for but haven't finished up.  Gotta find that tote though first.   Wonder where I stashed it....lol.

Current counts of UFO's are as follows:

  • Tops of various sizes waiting to be quilted, not counting the mug rugs - 49
  • Sets of blocks, most from various swaps over the years - 28
  • Mug Rugs - probably 15-20 that need to be finished.
The blocks date back to as early as 2006, and some I'm sure are older than that because I don't have dates for them.

I'm thinking I might want to get some of these finished up.....lol.


1. A job that is never quite the same, but always interesting.

2. A car that runs well.

Pineapple Progress

Quilting is underway on the pineapple table topper.   I think I'm through in the dark brown areas.  Still thinking on that, but am now working on the blocks themselves.

Picture below shows the quilting I did in the sashing and what i'm doing in the blocks as well.   Just 12 more blocks to go and I'll be ready to put the binding onto it.


1. A job that I like, but that I don't have to take home with me at night.

2. Being able to breathe....even if that is sometimes difficult because of my allergies