Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve, one of my favorite days of the year.  The gifts are wrapped, the family is together, we're on our way to church and then my mom's for dinner and presents.  We'll have Christmas brunch here in the morning, relax for awhile and then go to my in-laws for dinner.  It is a truly fabulous time for our family.  Here's our tree ready for the family.  Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some Machine Embroidery

I've had this Viking Designer sewing machine since March and had some problems getting my groove with the embroidery software.  My husband handles the computer and design end of it for me right now and I handle the machine.  This is our first 2 color project!

Here is my laptop with the image design.  I have right next to my sewing machine. 
Then I hoop the tshirt and load it onto the embroidery arm.

I learned to change colors with this project.  The other day I just did some single color
names and a monogram.  So I'm moving on up!

We made two shirts for my husband's secretary.  They have a massage table (spa),
a fifth wheel (RV), two boats (marina) and about 15 fishing reels and poles (bait and tackle). 
I'm pretty happy with the finished product!  I'm getting in the groove.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Stockings were Hung . . .

These are our family's Victorian Christmas stockings I made about 20 years ago.  I can't imagine
the hours I spent on each one.  They were crosstitched and will be in our family forever!

This is my husband's and is perfect for him.  We go cut our Christmas tree most
years and he is the one to wield the ax and drag the tree to the truck.

This one is mine.  I do love to bake but don't as much these days.  All the goodies are
too tempting to have around the house!

This is our daughter, Laurie's.  I made it when she was about 8 months old.  It's funny I
chose this scene for her.  She loved to sing in elementary and middle school!  She
still has a wonderful singing voice.

And this is Emily's stocking.  She was always hard to get to sleep growing up.  She just had a
night owl schedule.  And then she was hard to get up in the morning.  I would tell her
I knew she was tired but to wake up with a smile. And she usually did.

So these are our treasured Christmas stockings.  I'm sure most of you have some great
stockings with many memories attached to them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Christmas Treasure

This is another very special Christmas piece made by my wonderful friend, Loretta.

It's the Merry Christmas crosstitch piece.  Isn't it beautiful?  We cherish this.
It's in front of our fireplace.  Here is a closer look.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It all began . . .

This is a new Christmas decoration for us this year.  I completed the stitching last year,
bought the frame at Material Girls in South Jordan, UT (
and couldn't figure out how to get the piece into the frame correctly!  Well, I
found the directions and was successful!  This is hanging in our dining room.  The paper
pattern is from Two Blonde Mice.  I just love all their patterns and own many of
their line.  Their website is  if you'd like to see
their line of patterns.  I can't even count how many pieces I've made using their
patterns for gifts.  Here is a closer look at this piece.

It truly expresses my feelings about this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Cards

This is one of my favorite handmade decorations.  I made it year ago and lost the pattern!  These are just the sweetest Santas ever.  We put our Christmas cards in the three pockets.  It's hung in a place everyone can see as you walk down the hall or walk in the front door.  Guess I need to get busy sending out our Christmas cards!  I just love receiving Christmas cards in the mail.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas is Still Coming!

It seems that Christmas is coming sooner than I thought.  We have been getting into the spirit around here.  Our tree is up as well as our decorations.  My husband is outside right now fooling around with the lights.   He just had to run to buy a few more strands.  What happens to those lights packed up in the garage all year?  It seems they migrate somehow to places unknown.  Presents are wrapped and ready to go under the tree.  And Christmas music is playing on the radio, in the car and on Pandora any chance we get.  Last night we went to see the play, "The Christmas Carol". 

I have a very dear friend that also loves to sew, quilt and stitch.  We've been friends for almost 30 years now!  She sent this to me for Christmas one year and it's hanging on our back door.

It brings all joy to see it as we spend time together in the kitchen and family room.  I can also see we need to touch up the paint a little on that back door! 

I hope to post again tomorrow.  I've been busy finishing up gifts and thought some of you might want to see some of my homemade Christmas items.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas is Coming!

We've given thanks and feasted on turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and all the other fixings.  Now we look ahead to Christmas and all of its wonder.  I just finished another UFO in time for someone special to use as their tree skirt.  I used a couple of charm packs for this, it's a charm pack friendly pattern.  A dear friend gave me the pattern a year or two ago.  I tried my hand at free motion quilting to finish it myself.  I struggled a lot with my machine and will find time this coming week to trouble shoot it thoroughly.

I put a sweet label on the back of the tree skirt.  And I added a really sweet tag that says "P.S. I love you".  I tried to take several pictures of it but my little digital camera was having trouble with such a close shot.

You can kind of see it between the two ties.

I'll tell you later who the tree skirt recipient was.  They'll get it sometime this upcoming week  and they may be reading this blog!  So my lips are sealed a few more days.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I'm sure you're all busy preparing for the big feast on Thanksgiving Day.  We're going to my sister's (across the street) and are in charge of pies and stuffing.  Then my husband has us make a turkey on Sunday so we have our own leftovers.

This is a wall hanging I made many years ago -- in fact my youngest daughter was in kindergarten (she's now a junior in college).  I made one for my mom too.

Isn't this sweet?  It was done using Wonder Under.  I quilted around the pictures.  I love the border fabric.

And aren't the pilgrims and turkey cute?

As you all gather around the Thanksgving table, remember to give thanks.

Lake Tahoe Sew Days

It seems I've neglected my new blog the past couple of weeks.  I spent a fabulous 5 days sewing in Lake Tahoe -- just time with friends, sewing, eating, walking and did I say sewing?  I sewed so much my 1934 Featherweight was smoking.  Of course, this is not a good thing and I'll get it to a repair shop this week.  I NEED that machine!  It's so perfect for taking to sew days and classes.

We all made a scrap quilt as a group project.  We brought scrap strips, put them in the middle of the table and sewed!  This is a picture of us with our finished (and partially finished) projects.  Two of us, myself included, didn't have our border fabrics yet.

This pattern was in a magazine from McCalls Quilting, Spring 2009, America Loves Scrap Quilts.  It's Sonja's Windows, designed by Candace Hassen.  There's a really cool technique used to make the blocks.  I will definitely make another one of these quilts!   I plan to quilt it myself using the water quilting design.

I also almost finished (didn't have enough border fabric) a scrap project using leftovers from this year's club project.  We used Kaye England's Back Home Again fabrics for the quilt.  I just ordered backing and border fabric to finish it.

This pattern is Olde Hickory by Pam Puyleart.  The website is  I highly recommend this pattern too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Quilt Class and Sampler

This is another first step on my journey as a quilter.  I took a beginning quilting class about 15 years ago at a local quilt shop.  And I made my sister (who did not own a sewing machine at the time) take the class with me.  A very gifted quilter taught us to hand piece this sampler.

There was lots of paper involved in this wall hanging.  We traced patterns, made templates and took copious notes.  This teacher taught us to be perfectionists -- which didn't last long with me!  Of course, it was hand quilted after all that hand piecing.  And there was no rotary cutting with this piece!  It was a wonderful introduction to the world of quilting.  It obviously got me hooked, I figure I've made a couple hundred quilts since then.  It was a modest beginning but it opened the world of quilting to me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wizard of Oz Stitchin'

This post combines two things I love -- embroidery and The Wizard of Oz.  One of my favorite movies has always been the Wizard of Oz.  I have a modest collection of Oz items.  This is one of my completed projects.

This was made using the pattern, Things, by Lasting Treasures.  The pattern is for a pillow but I decided to make it a picture.  I found a frame at the Dollar store, painted it red, then covered the paint with a layer of red glitter -- of course!  Lasting Treasures ( has several other Oz patterns.  They include Ruby Red Slippers, Scarecrow and Toto Too!  I have Toto too all prepped, just need to get the stitching done.  This one will be framed too.  Maybe the Ruby Red Slippers is next.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kaffe Fasset Quilt -- a humdinger!

I have the most fortunate experience to be in a monthly quilt club group for the past three years. A very talented quilter and teacher has a studio in her home.  I take many classes from her in addition to the monthly club class.  I'll share each of these quilts with you as the months go by.  This monstrous quilt was my first club experience.  And it's a big one  -- 118 X 125"!

This was made using only Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  He is an incredible needlepoint, quilt and pattern designer.  This quilt is the Museum Sampler from his Museum Quilts book.  My friends and I spent a year putting this together (as well as searching high and low for his fabric).  This is a close up of the center.

I just loved all the techniques in this quilt -- hand applique, paper piecing, y-seams, setting triangles, half square and quarter square triangles, square in a square and flying geese to name a few!  Here's one of the corners. 

I will say this is one of my most challenging quilts ever. It is made in four mirror image quadrants around the hexagon center. It almost got the best of me and I had to put it away for a few months.  We live in a very warm climate so choosing the batting was a challenge.  The quilt is so heavy due to its size.  So for the first time ever I used silk batting. It was a great decision for a quilt of this size.   This was on our bed this summer.  Everytime I looked at it I found another new block or fabric I loved.  

This is a beautiful book.  I still find myself looking through it and admiring all the beautiful fabrics and quilts.  Someday I'll make another quilt from the book.  And I'll always love Kaffe Fassett's fabrics.  I am very drawn to any bright and colorful fabric.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Inspiration Piece

I have been a quilter for almost 20 years.  One of the drawbacks at times is that when you are a quilter, other people don't make quilts for you!

This changed for me when a very special friend gave this to me.  It is titled "Inspiration".  My family was redecorating our family room and I used deep brown and robin egg blue as my new colors.  This was a huge change for me as for the past 12 years my kitchen and family room had a definite "cottage" look.  There was lots of red, yellow and white with many touches of Mary Engelbreit.  Making a change was scary.  This quilt definitely served as inspiration.

We all love this quilt.  It is draped over the back of our leather sectional when it isn't draped over someone while they watch TV!  My dear friend even made us a monogrammed pillow to match -- now isn't it something!  Of course my sister immediately wanted a monogrammed pillow.  Well, maybe she'll get her own for Christmas!  I bet she's reading this!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Where I Started

This quilt will always be very dear to me.  It is the first quilt I ever made, more than 21 years ago when I knew a lot about sewing but nothing about quilting.  I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Emily.  This hung in her nursery for a couple of years and was the inspiration for all the nursery items I made for her -- curtains, bumper pads, crib ruffle, sheets, mobile, wall decor and more.  I just love bright colors and thought they were best for babies.  This was a labor of love and I shudder now when I study the technique and fabrics I used!  We have a very fond memory of making this quilt. I waited until I was about 8 months pregnant before doing the hand quilting.  And that included layering and basting the three quilt layers. My big pregnant belly kept messing up the smooth layers as I bent down to baste it!  As you can see, it was finally finished and was Emily's first heirloom.  And she was as special (and still is) as can be to our family.

Some Paper Projects

It seems I fell down on the job with my blog.  My goal since starting was to post two to three times a week.  It was on my daily list of things to do but the end of the day came so fast this past week.  We had to work on a few paper projects -- my husband bought a new truck.  That sure takes a lot of paper and pen!  He's needed one for months and he actually found just what he wanted.  And the deal was decent, so we're all happy! 

I had some time to cut and paste a little this past week.  I made some fun Halloween cards.

They're all done and ready to send on their way to some special friends and family.  I used a great pattern I've had for years from a class I took at a local scrapbook store.  You use one piece of any patterned paper, a stripe or dot and two solid pages (plus your card bases) to make 10 cards!  Then you add any embellishments that make you happy.  I just dive into my extensive stash to add the finishing touches.  I think they will brighten many mailboxes this week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween Part 3

Here's the last of my handmade Halloween decorations!  And these are another two of my very favorites.  And they are oldies too.

This is a little witch stitchery!  Say that three times fast!

I made her years ago and don't have the pattern anymore.  You can see it is quick and easy primitive stitching on muslin. Then I added some 2 inch borders, batting, and backing.

And my little mummy has been with us forever it seems.  He is coming unraveled -- I don't think that is so good for a mummy.  I really wish I still had this pattern.  It would be so much fun to make some up for fun Halloween gifts.

I hope you've enjoyed my Halloween creations.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Halloween Part 2

Here's another fun Halloween decoration that has been around here for years.  It's my Great Pumpkins quilt!  This was really quick and easy -- just used some Wonder Under on all the pumpkins.  It's draped on our sectional in our family room.

Here's the first prize winner!

Which is your favorite?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Halloween Part 1

Things are gettting a little spooky around here!  We got out the Halloween decorations today and maybe tomorrow they'll be up.  I wanted to share a some of my favorites with you -- handmade of course!

Here is the little witch that hangs on our front door every year.  In fact, she's been hanging for about 18 years!  A local quilter designed the pattern and taught the class.

Here's a close up of her!

Don't you think she's sweet?

And today is my mom's birthday.  So here's a big shout out to her!
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Mom,
Happy Birthday to YOU!

There's some more Halloween fun to come!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Redwork Quilt by my Mom and I

This is one of my very favorite quilts.  It's a wallhanging that is hung on the wall behind my sewing machine.  I get to see it a lot this way!  It's made from a kit I bought years ago.  It was sitting in my project pile for a few years when my mom volunteered to do the redwork embroidery for me.  I know there are embroidery programs you can buy to do redwork these days.  But nothing is as good as the real thing -- handwork.

These are my favorite embroidered blocks:

The pinwheel blocks are adorable.  I love the 30's vintage reproduction fabrics.  I have several quilts made from these.  A reason this is one of my favorites is my mom did the embroidery!  My sewing skills were very suspect when putting the blocks together and the machine quilting was pretty rough too.  But every time I look at it I think of my mom!  Sorry about the rotation on the quilt picture, I can't seem to fix it right now and wanted to get this posted.  I'll play with it tomorrow.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bag Lady

I've always loved bags and fancy myself a "Bag Lady". This is my newest and favorite. I bought the pattern at a wonderful quilt shop in Overland, KS == Harper's Fabric and Quilt Co. You can check them out at I also found the charm pack, lining and handle fabrics there.

One of the many things that makes this bag so fabulous are these braided handles.

The pattern is easy to read, the directions are well written and the bag makes up nicely. It was designed with a charm pack in mind. You could also use and 5" squares you make yourself. I know I'll be making more of these bags as Christmas gifts. For now, I use mine for traveling, stashing embroidery projects or carrying my stuff to classes.

The pattern designer is Renay Martin and here is a link to her website: The pattern is #14, Simply Charming. I bet you'll see some other great patterns as you browse.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sew Day - Peppermint Hearts

It was so much fun to read all of your kind comments. I think this will be a lot of fun, having a blog. I will definitely become a little more tech savvy.

Yesterday was Sew Day for me and my fabulous group of quilting friends. We plan one day a month to sew together at someone's home and have a fabulous lunch. There are six of us now and we all have various skill levels. Yesterday's project was a true "quilting bee". We made a quilt for our friend Nancy's first grandchild!

This was my sewing station. I usually take my Featherweight out since it is so easy to transport and does everything a quilter needs.

This was the cutting station.

These are the finished blocks.

Here is the finished quilt. The pattern is Peppermint Hearts from the book Log Cabin Fever by Evelyn Sloppy. We all used our scraps to make a special quilt for a beautiful and special baby.

I hope your day is a great one!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let's Get Started!

I've been quilting here in the desert for the past 20+ years. I wish I had some time to sew each day but things don't usually work out that way. I just love playing with fabric, paper, and scissors!

I spent a lot of time with those three things as I made this Double Wedding Ring quilt. It is the most ambitious quilting project for me so far. I love the traditional quilts and the 30's reproduction fabrics. This is on our bed with a lovely rose patterned chenille bedspread under it.

This picture shows a single ring. The corners were made using solid 30's fabrics. The quilt was made using Judy Niemeyer's Foundation Paper Piecing method and pattern. The
longarm quilting is a traditional pattern for a very traditional quilt. It was done locally by a fabulous longarm quilter.

I used a leftover arc to make my quilt label. The writing was done with my Viking Designer 1 sewing machine.

My other interests include card making, some scrapbooking, embroidery, cross stitch, and home decorating. I'll try to stop in and share thoughts and creations a few times each week.