"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)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

More Realistic setting samples

Decided to up the realism factor in my test layouts to decide what I might like the best by using pics of the blocks I have completed in the layout.

Second layout uses the same alternate block as #3, but has the direction it is turned rotated 180 degrees. 

After doing these, I'm leaning towards #2 for my finished sample quilt, followed by #1.   Now to make a decision.

1. For all of the blessings ..... and frustrations .... that I have in my life.

2. For the weather starting to cool off, finally.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

More Setting Choices

More options for the alternating blocks to go with the military bears.

Both are simple blocks, thereby allowing the bears to take center stage.

I'm leaning towards one of these with a calmer palette of colors.  Probably with a darker blue than the background and maybe gold in addition.

I kind of like the bottom one the best, and might play with the blocks a bit before making a final decision.  The thing that is a wee bit nerve-wracking with it for me it that there is a lot of open space for quilting and that is not my strength.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.....

What do you think?

No matter which I pick for my blocks, I'll most likely give the possibility of several layouts in the pattern so that anyone who buys it can make their own choice in how to set it.

1. Making progress on last minute assignment at work today

2. Weather might be cooling down by the weekend

Tuesday Finishes

Finished putting the commissioned Teddy Bear quilt top.  I've got it laid out on top of my queen-sized bed.  It is 84" square. 

Next step is to pull backing fabric for it and get that sewn together.

I also finished sewing down the binding on this quilt.  Just need to get pics done of the back and then I can get it listed for sale.

Next up - cutting enough 2.5" squares in assorted grey fabrics for the next planned scrappy quilt.  Have enough black and WOW pulled for the quilt.  Also need to check the chart again and see if I need a background fabric or not.  Will be using a free cross-stitch chart for this quilt.

1. Latest bone graft seems to be healing ok....but won't get implant until about the middle of December...sigh

2. Ear isn't hurting today!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Layout Possibilities

I still have 3 more of the military bears to draw up and make, but have been thinking about layout possibilities for them. 

My current plan is to not only do individual block patterns for the 5 designs, but also to do at least one layout from them.  And have been "doodling" on the computer thinking through designs for the layout.  So far I've come up with two possibilities, I'm not sold on either one.   
The solid squares would be where the bear blocks are.   The light blue is similar in shade to the fabric I'm using for the background of the block samples.   I plan to also use it for the background of the setting blocks.

Of the two, I think I like the stars better, but am not sure of the colors......

What do you think?   Any ideas?

1. Dentist appt this afternoon getting stitches out and next appt scheduled = progress, hopefully

2. Bears commissioned quilt is almost together

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Weekend doings

Progress this weekend included finishing up three new teddy bear blocks.   All of them will be new patterns, the two military ones though will not only have individual patterns but also one or more quilt patterns containing all of the blocks.

The first military block is Clark, and he is in the Army.

The second of five planned military blocks, is Jerry and he is in the Marines.   Still to come is the Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force.

The final Teddy bear block for this weekend is Sherry.   She out walking one of her dogs, and is looking good in her tunic and leggings.   She's sporting a new purse and a stylish headband.

 The final thing I've made progress on this weekend was getting the top 3 rows sewn together for this commissioned quilt.   And I've already got a quilting plan in mind for the quilt.....woohoo.   that is where I usually struggle.

1.  Fall is here even if the temps are still saying summertime.

2. The bills are paid!

Friday, September 22, 2017

New Tool....or Is That Toy.....

I admit it, I'm old school when it comes to designing my applique patterns - I still draw them up by hand. 

It has always been a pain for me to get my applique patterns drawn up because it is difficult to see through the paper to what is below unless i'm using tracing paper.  

So this week I gave in and invested in one of the new light pads that are out there now.  And I'm loving it!  Ordered it on Wednesday early in the afternoon, and thanks to having Amazon Prime it was delivered before 7 pm that evening.  Drew up two patterns for my teddy bear series in less than half the time it would have taken me before getting this.

Lighter-weight than an Ipad, this is about the size of an 11" by 14" piece of paper.   It is powered through a USB port on the computer, but if you had a wall plug with a long cord and a micro-USB connection on the other end that would also work to power it.    I bought mine through Amazon and the price was reasonable.   If you do any amount of tracing I would highly recommend getting one!  And nope, I'm not an affiliate.

1. A big (for me!) weight loss this week.

2. The new light pad works wonderfully!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mail Call

The mail (or Amazon Prime delivery) have brought me several goodies over the past few days.

The starry sky fabric on the left is earmarked for the sky portion of a commissioned wall hanging using my row pattern (pattern can be seen in this post) for a longtime friend.

The digital camo print on the right will be the uniform on my planned army teddy bear block.  Debating on who to name it after - I have a niece and a nephew in the Army National Guard.   It is in their honor.

Package 1 was this great print for use in making one of the next series of planned teddy bear blocks.  This is as close as I've seen for the blue digital camo that the navy uses for their uniforms.   This was sent to me by my cousin in Indiana.   Gotta love having cousins that quilt!
And lastly, I ordered this new light pad yesterday to make designing my applique patterns easier.  And thanks to having Prime and a distribution center here in the DFW area my order was received last nite about 7 pm.    I'm planning to work with it over the coming weekend.  =)


1. For the progress that I can see in how some of my bills are going down (unfortunately some have gone up.....).

2.  For losing enough weight that I'm finally able to get my grandmother's ring back on, albeit on a different finger!  (drat that arthritis that is making my joints enlarge....)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Weekend Progress

Found out that the lady who'd ordered a rush commissioned baby quilt cancelled thanks to the DIL changing her mind about it.   Thankfully I found out before I had done more than iron the fusible web onto the applique fabric.   So I'll still end up making the quilt and then selling it, but won't have to rush on it.

So that left me lots of time to work on other things.  First project worked on was the flamingo quilt.   I added a pink with white polka dot for binding and that is now sewn down.

The next project I worked on was baste and quilt this scrappy kitty quilt.  The quilting on it has been finished and I just need to find a binding for it.

I was also able to get the blocks trimmed to size and the sashing onto them.  I'm contemplating whether to add a final border of the same mottled green that the blocks are made from or to just bind it in the green at this size.   Currently it is 45" square.

Someone I know will be making an embroidered label for me.   And I will be sending it out to be quilted for me.

1. My free food box arrived safe and sound today.

2. For praying friends

Friday, September 15, 2017

Scrap Happy 15th.........

The quilting on my scrappy flamingo quilt has been finished - woohoo.

I'm planning on doing a scrappy binding on the quilt if I can find the bags with my bits and pieces of leftover binding.
 Close-up of the cross-hatching quilting here.

1. My jaw is finally feeling better after dental work on Tuesday

2. For the two commissions that has come this week

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Christmas Carol Row Along - My turn!

Hi!   Welcome to my blog The Quilted Snail!

Welcome to day four of the 3rd annual Row-A-Long, hosted by Marian at Seams to Be Sew.

I'm Moira McSpadden and I'm excited to be a part of this wonderful group of bloggers and designers that are bringing you the Christmas Caroling Row Along.

As you download the patterns, be sure to leave comments thanking the designers for their work.  All comments will be appreciated by the designers!

Today is the day for my row to be shown and available for download.  

Northcott Fabrics is the main sponsor of this row a-long and has generously provided some fabrics to each blogger for use in making their row.    The fabrics that I used from Northcott were the starry sky, the TOT black I used for the Wisemen, and one of the browns in the hills.

The song I chose to portray is "We Three Kings of Orient Are" because it is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  I love how the three Wise Men followed the star that had been prophesied of in complete faith that God would lead them to where the Christ Child was.

In making my sample quilt I ended up making two different samples, very similar to each other but still different.    With small adjustments to the pattern you can make this one your own.

There are several easy ways to customize your quilt.   I've described three of them below.

The first way to customize your row is by varying the width of the pieces that you use for the hills and the sky.

The pattern is designed for a 10 inch width.  However, by simply cutting your fabric wider and then continuing the line for the top of each hill you can make the row wider.   When you do this the length of the overall row will also be increased as shown in the side-by-side shot here.  

You can also play with how you arrange the Wisemen.
This picture shows the star that I made on the smaller of the two wall hangings.   It was embroidered with gold metallic thread.  The rays from the star were quilted both in blue and in the same gold metallic thread.

In the second wall hanging I appliqued the star using a metallic gold cotton fabric.  The quilting for the star was done in the same manner as I did with the embroidered star.

Patterns for both types of stars are included in the pattern

Another way that you can customize your row if desired, is to add a border around it or just finish it with a binding if you choose to not put it with other rows.

The pattern will be available for free for a week and then will be offered for sale on Craftsy.   The link to it is given later in the posting.    To download the pattern, click on the link below.  This will take you to my Craftsy page where you will find my pattern.   I hope you enjoy it!

Today's giveaway is this wonderful FQ set of  Moda's Basic Grey Berry Merry Bundle.  the retail value of it is $40.   You can find a full description of it by clicking here.   The giveaway will run September 14, 2017 and will end September 21, 2017.   Shipping Is Anywhere / Shipping Cost must be paid by winner.

Moda Fabrics

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition, Northcott is sponsoring a weekly giveaway throughout the Row A-Long, as is Calibre Art.  Click HERE for more information on these giveaways and the links to enter both of them.

And here is a listing of the participating bloggers -

The Christmas Caroling Row Along Schedule
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Barbara Dieges
Cynthia’s Creating Ark
The Quilted Snail
Ms. P. Designs USA
                                                        (sponsored by Just Let Me Quilt)
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Cheryl LaPlante
                                            (sponsored by Quilt In Piece)
Morning Glory
Pampered Pettit
Fun Threads
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Show and Tell Day
Bloggers will be announced at a later date

Rules and Guidelines For Giveaways
Please take the time to read it.
  1. Giveaways offered by sponsors are assigned to the various bloggers for their featured day.
  2. There are no prior announcements on who is doing which sponsor except to the sponsor themselves.
  3. You’ll have to visit the blog or the featured blog to enter the giveaways. Not all giveaways can be entered at Seams To Be Sew.
  4. I will start announcing winners on September 12, 2017, and finish announcing winners on October 12, 2017 with the exception of the Calibre Art giveaway, those will be available after each featured day, starting September 06, 2017.
  5. In most cases, the blog where you won at also will announce their winners.
  6. You must give a valid email address when you enter the giveaways, any email returned to me, loses the ability to win automatically.
  7. With the exception of Show and Tell Day, all giveaways run for approximately one week.
  8. You are given 3 days to answer the email, if you do not answer within 3 days a new winner will be drawn. Check those spam/junk mail folders, you may miss that winning email if you don’t do so because there are no exceptions to this rule.
  9. If you are notified that you are a winner, in most cases, you will need to provide your name, address, city, state, zip code, country, telephone number, and email address.
  10. In some cases, you will be asked to comment on the blog to enter the giveaway… do the right thing and thank them for the time it took to create the pattern, thank them for the pattern and…
  11. Thank the sponsor by buying their products for the giveaways. This helps them continue to offer great prizes for these types of events. You can also comment on their social media pages. Even if you don’t win, letting them know you love their products is a huge incentive and they really do love hearing from you.
  12. No purchase whatsoever is necessary.
  13. You must be 18+ in order to win a gift.
  14. You are responsible for claiming and paying any tax owed on the value of any gift that you win. Prizes valued at $500.00 should be claimed.
  15. All winners are chosen at random.
  16. All winners will be announced on the blogs via the Rafflecopter entry form and/or post by the blogger at the site where they won and here at Seams To Be Sew. All winners must allow for their first name and first initial of their last name to be announced on this blog.
  17. Odds of Winning a prize are based on a total number of rafflecopter entries during each week and in total for all giveaways.
  18. This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.
  19. Participating bloggers may enter any of the giveaways.
  20. The word giveaways in the rules and guidelines are also known as sweepstakes.
Most of the giveaways are international shipping this year
in some cases, you will be asked to pay for shipping your giveaways.
I am not rich and I do not ask sponsors for money, they provide prizes only.
If they shipped the prize to me, you will be asked to pay for shipping.
All giveaways will be shipped that are in my home within 48 hours of my having heard from you.
An invoice will be sent to you via Paypal, and shipping will take place via Paypal, so your Paypal email will be needed to send the invoice. You will receive a tracking number except for overseas shipments. All shipping will either be first class which averages out at 2.77 to 4.00 up to 13 ounces. Paypal fees are added to that amount to cover that fee. All fabric bundles from Michael Miller, Hoffman, and Moda will be shipped via Priority Mail to protect the fabric itself.
Please note, every effort is made to protect the prizes. They go into a plastic bin when I receive them, and it is covered by an air tight cover. I have a dog in my home and I have a smoker in my home, so I do everything possible to protect the prizes.
Most companies are very good about getting prizes off to customers quickly also, but some companies are overseas, so please allow all sponsors a 2-week time period before you report to me that you still haven’t received your prize. When the company is overseas, it can take 6 weeks to 90 days for an item to also arrive.
Whether or not you read the above, the rules for giveaways are in place to protect everyone. I do not want to hear you didn’t read them, they will be posted on my blog daily during each featured day. There is no excuse for not reading them.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Using up scraps/remnants

In prepping more WOW's fabrics for more scrappy critter quilts, I found a stack of 12 already cut/marked Cream-on-Cream squares in my scraps. 

I didn't want to put them back into the bin, so I kept them out.   Then pulled two large scrap pieces of fabric from one of my many stacks - 20" of the shoe print, and 14" or so of the green.   Using these I made HST blocks with the fabrics.   None of the shoe print is left and there is only 4" or so of the green to end up in the bags of scraps.

1. For groups that I know of and work with that funnel quilts to kids and others who need them around the world

2. For the blessings of friends who have come through Irma with only minor damage.

Monday, September 11, 2017

New Commission

And the next commission has come in as of this morning. 

I've found my inspiration for the figures, and believe I have the stencils I need to make the lettering....where they are and finding them, well that may be a different story...lol.

I'll pull yardage for the background.  3 FQ's or equivalent should be plenty for the remainder of the elements - red, light blue and white.  I plan on using tone-on-tone fabric types for this.

I should have most if not all of the fabric needed to make this already in my stash, so I'll hunting for it today after I get home from work. 

The customer really hopes to have it before her DIL has her baby the end of September or beginning of October.  So my plan is to have most if not all of it done by the end of next weekend so that it can be finished and into the mail before the end of September. 

Now to not get distracted by too many other things so that I can keep to the schedule!   I'm hoping this leads to other referrals and commissions.

1. For friends who refer customers to me through a variety of means

2. For a stash that allows me to take on jobs with short deadlines w/o having to stress over how I'm going to get the fabric needed for them.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Finished Top

Finished off the snail this weekend.

This was made with 2" finished squares, all cut from scraps.  There are 30 rows and 21 squares in each row for a total of 630 squares in the quilt.

This one will be finished and sold to help pay bills off.

Didn't see a real difference in the bags of green scraps but at least they close now....lol.

I'm thinking that the next scrappy critter I make may be done with some of the very large pile of black scraps (kona) that I have.   But then again I may change my mind........


1. Temperatures have finally cooled down

2. Had a great time seeing friends last week.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Scrappy Goodness......

Sewing before and after work I've been able to make progress on the current scrappy critter quilt and it is finally to the point where you can tell what it is going to be. 

Only more7 rows left to add to it and it'll be done.  I
I've also started the basting/quilting process on the flamingo.    You can see that I've got the quilt draped over my little cutting table (24" wide by 36" long").   I've got about 30" by the width of the quilt basted and waiting to be quilted.   Once that is done I'll baste more of it and then quilt that part.   Will be cross-hatch quilting it.

Once both of these are done I plan on raiding all of my binding scraps to make scrappy binding for them.

As I get closer to finishing the top for the snail, it's time to think about what kind of critter I want to work on next.   Any ideas?


1. It was a wonderful 62 degrees outside this morning when I left for work!

2.  Dinner out tomorrow night with a friend from England is on the plan....woohoo.....

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

And the winners are.....

And the winners of the copies of Vol. 14 of Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks are -

Elaine, Chris B, and Grace T.    I've emailed them and am waiting to hear back from the with their mailing addresses.   If I don't hear back then I'll draw another name.

1.  Payday finally got came for me

2.  The temps here are finally cooling off!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Weekend Progress

I had a great time sewing and doing other related quilting related activities over the holiday weekend.   First thing up was to actually clean in the sewing room because it was driving me nuts, not to mention it was getting hazardous to get to my thread totes.

Still have stuff that didn't sell on ebay to get rid of but I've made a lot of progress and it looks much better than what it did.

This is what I pulled out of the brown scrap basket on the shelf of my cutting table.   Yes, it was overstuffed!   And there were two final bags of scraps from the row-hopping as well.  All that is now in their proper bags and in the scrap totes........and I have no more room in them so I need to sew more, and sort thru them to get rid of more.

One of the projects I worked on is actually for me - I know shock of shocks...lol.   All blocks are now finished for my hankie butterfly quilt.  I used 8 hankies in the blocks.

The center block is a very lightweight linen fingertip towel that I folded to fit the block and then appliqued down.

Closeup of one of the completed blocks.  The grey fabric it is resting on is a mottled grey that i'll be using for the sashing and border.   Will bind in more of the green.

Backing will have 4 more hankies that didn't work for butterflies on the front appliqued to it.   One of them I'm going to send off to an online friend to embroider the label onto.   Will have to back it with some fusible interfacing to make it work for the embroidery.
 I then added the top and bottom borders to this quilt.   Thinking about adding a final border around it to add a little more size to it.
And after cutting a bazillion 2.5" blocks from my green scraps with no discernible difference made to the amount of scraps that I have, I've started piecing the next critter quilt for sale.   This pic shows the first 16 rows together - halfway done.  from here up is a mainly the WOW background, so it should not take as long to piece as this part did.   (Some of my WOW's are in strip-sets for faster piecing.)

I started with 3 stacks of the green squares that were almost 3" tall and stacks of WOW's in squares and strip sets and am now down 1 stack of the green and have made a dent in the WOW's.   But have enough cut for another quilt.


1. Lots of visits with friends coming up this week and next with friends from Austin and England being in town

2. For a dentist who will let me reschedule appts so that I can see friends who are in town only over night.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Block 8 - Colette Has Been Released

Block 8 of the Teddy Bear Block-of-the-Month has been released.

Meet Colette who is dressed in her new school dress and eagerly waits to go to her first day of school.

This block is sized to work for a 10-12" block.

The block can be downloaded from here on Craftsy.

Have fun with it!

1. Abundant design inspiration to keep me thinking and planning for future designs

2. For finishing up projects and being able to send them off to their new homes