Monday, February 28, 2011

Quilting and Family History

I have been quilting for about 8 years.  As I started getting more interested in quilts, quilt patterns and where they originated, my husband mentioned to me that his great grandmother was a quilter.  Surprise!  I had no idea.  I know my mother quilts, her mother quilts, and her grandmother quilted.  I even have a “Sunbonnet Sue” quilt square, (The quilt had been cut into squares. Cringe!)  from my great grandmother that was passed down to my mother, who then finished the edges and gave a square to each of her daughters.  Lucky me!  It is pictured here.

Vintage quilt
I really wanted to see the quilts that had been passed down in my husband’s family.  So, while we were visiting his Grandmother in Utah one year, I asked if I could see them.  I am so glad I did!  This first quilt was made by her Grandmother.  (That would be my husband’s Great Great Grandmother!)  It was made with the “Drunkard’s Path” block.
Drunkard Path Quilt
The next two quilts were made by my husband’s Great Grandmother.  She was an amazing quilter and also received one of Utah’s Mother of the Year  awards. 
The first quilt is a beautiful pink “Wedding Ring” quilt.  Grandma says that when she looks at the quilt, she can see fabrics that were used for her and her siblings clothing were cut up and then used in this quilt. 
The second quilt is a bright and colorful “Trip Around the World”.
pink wedding ring quilt
Trip Around the World Quilt

I have a picture of Great Grandma standing next to this quilt, but when I called to ask permission to use it, she didn’t want me to.  I’ll just have to keep that picture in the family archives.  I’m so happy I got to find out a little more about my husbands family history through quilting.



Friday, February 25, 2011

I Love Pinwheels

Don’t pinwheels just make you smile?  When I first started quilting, I heard of this lady who made a set a pinwheels using leftover fabric from every quilt she made.  After collecting these pinwheels for years and years, she finally had enough pinwheels to make a quilt.  It was huge!  The pinwheels were about 4 inches and the finished quilt could cover a king size bed!  It was extremely impressive.  I wish I had a picture of that amazing quilt.  Instead, I gathered up a few photos of other great pinwheel quilts for your browsing pleasure.  Hope you enjoy!

This cutie is from Moda Bake Shop.
Moda Bake Shop
This adorable pinwheel was made by Kaye Prince from Miss Print and was featured on Moda Bake Shop.  So cute!  I’m still trying to remember where I got the next picture.
busy pinwheel quilt
Sweet Jane Pinwheel Quilt
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one.  It’s Rachel’s from PSIQUILT.
And this is her pinwheel sampler quilt along.  It's also super cute.
I love the red and yellow in this pinwheel.  I found it here in this flickr pool.  I can’t copy it and can’t find a way to ask permission, so just click on the link to go see it.

This is just a great quilt I found on HSN.

Are you in the mood to make a pinwheel quilt now?  I am.  I believe I’ll start on my pinwheel sampler next. 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meadowsweet is finished!

I love I love I love finishing quilts.  A big part of the excitement is because the quilt top has been sitting around my sewing room for an embarrassing amount of time before I decided to actually finish it.   Fortunately, my Meadowsweetie only had to wait 3 months.  But, all my other quilt tops sitting on the shelf are now crying out to me.  “Why won’t you finish me?” , “I’ve been waiting for years!” and “Don’t you love me anymore?”.  (If you give inanimate objects feelings, does that mean you have some kind of psychological problem? If so, be worried.  I’ve done it for as long as I can remember.)

Anyway, this is my first real attempt at applique.  Don’t look too close.  Really.   I wasn’t very patient and didn’t exactly read the instructions.  Also, when I quilted around the circles in the flowers, it did not go so well.  I tried three methods of quilting and none of them looked very good. (I’m just not that good at free handing circles.)  If anyone knows a good method, please let me know.

So, here is one of my favorite finished quilts!  Despite the fact that I had to unpick large amounts of stitches, I burned myself on the sewing machine light bulb and the applique didn’t go so well. I still love it.  Actually, I originally picked out the fabrics because one of them strongly reminded me of my grandma!  I couldn’t figure out why though.  I took the fabric to show my dad and to ask him if he knew.  He said he knew exactly why.  The green plaid fabric was very similar to the wallpaper in her upstairs hallway!  Oh Yeah!!  The family picture wall!  So, whenever I look at this quilt, I think of my Grandma. Meadowsweet Quilt

I’m very anxious to start my next quilt.  But, not until I’ve finished one more top.  My red and white Disappearing 9 Patch has to be quilted first.  Hopefully, I can keep the excitement going before my good intentions break down….

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I love pre-cuts! (and FedEx)

Such wonderful little packages.  Whomever had the idea for precuts should be given some kind of award.   I bet over half of my quilts start with some kind of precut.  Imagine, 40 little pieces of fabric, mostly different, to sew together immediately to make something wonderful.  (And I thought the rotary cutter saved time!!)  I’m also a big fan of FedEx.  Huh? You ask. Since I live in the middle of nowhere, there are no quilt shops around me.  Sniff.  So, I order a lot of fabric online.  And how do they come?  FedEx.  I love the sound of the FedEx truck.  I get excited when I hear it.  I run to the door and……… sigh.  It’s for the neighbors. Sad.  Hmmm. I think, “ Maybe I should order fabric so the FedEx guy can bring something to me."  Hmmm….   What shall I order?  There is that new line that just came out… I  need a binding for the quilt I’m quilting.  I don’t have anything in those colors.  I definitely need that. I think.”   (My husband probably isn’t going to like it when he reads about the goings on in my mind.)

You get the idea.  So, yesterday the FedEx guy did bring me a package.  Hooray!  I have 3 charm packs of “Dream On” by Urban Chicks and I needed a border, binding and backing.    I decided to take a risk and order a border and binding from different lines.  Recently, I saw a quilt with a bright tangerine polka dot binding on it and I LOVED it.  So, I had to go find a bright tangerine dot for my quilt.  Big risk.  Fabrics obviously  don’t always appear on your computer screen the way they are in real life.  I tried it anyway.  I REALLY wanted the tangerine dot.  I also found a super cute Amy Butler fabric with pink, green and tangerine wavy lines.  It would make the cutest binding. I held my breath and ordered.    So…… to make a unnecessarily long story longer, I got it yesterday.  The tangerine is awesome!!!  YEAH!   The wavy lines not so much. BOO!  The greens are off.  But, I got my dots!   Now, I have to go find a solid at my local Hobby Lobby to match.  They have a very limited selection of Kona cotton, so I’m really really hoping I can find something that matches.  (I just can’t guess on solids online.  I’m not that gutsy. )  Don’t you think there should be some kind of guide that tells you what Moda Solids go with what Moda lines??  Especially for  those of us that can’t just run to the fabric store.  Me too… We should let it be known. 

I’m rambling…   So, I’ll just shut up now and show you some pics of my happy and not so happy fabrics.

Dream On Charm Pack, tangerine dot

Doesn’t it look awesome??

Amy Butler wavy stripe

Notice how the green wavy print is just too dull?  Not so awesome.

Anyway, once I find my solid and binding (fingers crossed) , I’m going to make this fabulous quilt.

Charming Stars Quilt

You can get the “recipe” here at 

Happy Quilting!



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh Dismay!!

Oh drat!  Oh frustration! Oh phooey! Oh curses! Crap! 

I promised myself I cannot start another quilt top without finishing two quilts first. (I have about 12 tops waiting to be quilted.)  So, I pulled out my Meadowsweet quilt top I finished just before Christmas.  It’s great.  Totally different than I’ve ever done before.  I wanted to quilt the top today, put on the binding tomorrow and tadah!  But, unfortunately in my hurry to get finished, I neglected to check my tension after I had to rethread my machine.  When you are quilting on a Mega Quilter, that is a BIG NO NO!  This is what happens when your tension is not right.

Major tension problem
Riiiipp It Riiiip It
Ripped out thread
The whole length

Yes, one entire pass along the length of the quilt.  So, instead of finishing my quilt top today. I spent an hour on my knees riipppping…..  Moral of the story:  Please check your tension (on the underside) of the thread every time you start quilting.  It may take an extra few seconds.  But, it is totally worth it

Friday, February 18, 2011

Our Baptism Quilts

The eighth birthday is a fabulous birthday in our religion.  It is when you get baptized!  At our house, it’s also when you have extra  family members around, whom have traveled to see the event. We always have a big ‘ol birthday party!  Our kids also receive their  first set of full scriptures and a special quilt  made by mom.  My oldest three girls have all turned eight.  (My third daughter within the last  5 months.) So, I thought I would share some pictures of these quilts I have made for them. 

triangle quilt
Pinwheel Quilt
Layer cake quilt

I loved making these for my girls.  I’m excited that my next baptism quilt will be for my little boy.  I wonder what it will look like…… Anyway, my kids all love their quilts and sleep with them most nights.  My oldest daughter’s has the soft worn in feel and my third daughter’s is still a bit stiff with newness.  One day they will all be the worn old quilts my grandkids will cuddle with.  It makes me all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I’m a day late, but I was super busy yesterday and didn’t have time to post my HAPPY VALENTINES  post.  Sorry!  So, I’m a day late, but here I am now wishing you a belated HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

Here are some pics of my wonderful valentine’s.

My Sammie Valentine
My Valentine's
Sierra's Heart HairSabrina's Heart Hair
Sierra's Bday Cake

I hope all of you had a wonderful Valentine’s like I did.  I told my hubby not to get me anything since we went out to dinner to MY favorite restaurant on Saturday, but he’s a sweetie and surprised me with a few treats to enjoy during my long bubble bath….

My Valentine's Treats

I have such an awesome husband.  He knows all my favorites.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

I love red roses!

One red rose

I know I already posted about RED QUILTS, but this morning I woke up with some pretty extreme spring fever.  I had memories of my teenage self, waking up with the smell of roses all around me.  I would leave the window open the night before, so I could see and smell the red climbing rose bush outside my bedroom window  first thing in the morning.  Then, I would go outside and clip roses  from my mom’s many rose bushes and create beautiful arrangements to sit around my bedroom.  When they started to wilt, I would hang them upside down to dry resulting in LOTS of dried roses all around my room.  My dad would refer to them as “rose corpses”. 
For the past year I have been trying to decide how to decorate my sewing room. My moods change so often, I have been afraid to decide on one look.  As I thought about how long I have loved roses and especially red roses, I decided that was the look I was going to go for.  Cottage Rose.  Here are a few of the inspirational pictures, my local rose garden pictures, and some fun pictures I found while browsing online.  (The shoes are just because they are awesome shoes.)
Rose Bedroom
cottage rose bedroom
El Paso Rose Garden Red Roses
red rose shoes
Red Rose Teaset
Red rose quilt
Even if you’re not a fan of red roses, I encourage you to compile some pictures of things that you LOVE.  My pictures always seem to cheer me up, help in decorating, or just give me something to flip through when I’m relaxing.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentines Décor… Kinda….

I used to decorate for the holidays.  Well, really more for the seasons.  In my storage room and garage, I have boxes of decorations.  But, it seems like the last few years have flown by and those holidays just tend to sneak up on me.  I started slowing down with baby no. 4, but baby no. 5 just did me in.  The only thing that went up was Christmas decorations.  Now that baby no. 5 is a little older and a little easier, I’ve been thinking about changing my mantel  for each holiday.  (I know, I always have such big plans!) So, for this Valentine’s day I have made two simple crafts.  The third not so simple craft is still sitting in my garage untouched…  It might get finished in time for next year….
Valentine Decor
Valentine Mantel
I know, I know, it’s fairly simple. But, hey, it’s a start right? The felt heart is everywhere in blog land because it is so amazingly cute and you can finish it in a couple hours. You can get the instructions here.  Subway art is also super cute and some wonderful soul designed it all in a few color palettes, so all you have to do is click on the one you like and print.  You can find it here.  Then I went digging in my storage room and found an old frame I wasn’t using anymore, painted it black and Ta Dah!  If I happen to finish these conversation heart blocks before Valentines I’ll post a picture.  But really, don’t hold your breath.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sew Serendipity

I used to sew for my older daughters when they were little.  Then, I really got into quilting and sewing clothing just wasn’t as fun.  But, recently sewing your own clothing has become popular again and the patterns that are coming out are amazingly cute!!  So, of course I started sewing clothing again. Especially since my youngest daughter was born.  (How can you not make clothes for a baby girl?)  Here are some of my recent projects.
Girls in skirtsSavvy's Skirt
Samantha Origins DressSierra's Darla Skirt
Samantha's Dot Skirt
My girls all look so cute, maybe you can understand my excitement when I found the Sew Serendipity pattern book for adult size patterns during my latest trip to Hobby Lobby.  Kay Whitt is a designer for Serendipity Studio and has come out with the cutest dress, skirt and jacket patterns in her book.  I cannot wait to try them out.  And, they are for me!  Now, obviously I won’t look anywhere near as cute as my girls, but I can try can’t I?  You can find her blog here
And here are some of her gorgeous designs…

Monday, February 7, 2011

I miss my sewing machine

It’s been a long 6 days…..  Today was the 4th day school has been canceled.  Sigh.  Don’t get me wrong, we had lots of fun.  We played games, we partied (birthday and Super Bowl parties), we slept in, we shopped, but sewing with 5 kids and a husband at home???  Ha ha ha LOL!  Today I went to visit my sewing machine for just a minute and this is what I found….
sewing machine, Bernina, Activa
School starts again tomorrow.  My sewing machine and I are going to be spending some quality time together.
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

It’s COLD!!!!

I know, I know for many of you it’s not abnormal for single and negative digit temperatures. But, for those of us who live in Texas, it’s COLD!  We had no phone, no internet, and rolling blackouts yesterday that will continue again today.  My kids are all home from school again and many of our friends are without water because of pipes freezing.  This morning we woke up to a frozen pool. Oh no!  We have no pool heater and now we are worried about the pipes breaking.  My older two daughters have been busy sewing Barbie clothes to keep themselves entertained, so no sewing for me. (Boy, am I glad I got my daughter’s birthday purse done early!) Here’s a couple a of pictures for you to laugh over. Maybe you could even have a little sympathy  for us poor freezing Texans…
El Paso Snow
Iced over pool
Wish us luck in our adventures and woe!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another Birthday Purse

Did I mention in my  last birthday purse post that I LOVE this pattern?  It is so fun to put together and it goes together very quickly.  This is the medium size pattern.  It took me about 2 hours from start to finish and that’s with a busy little toddler running around and climbing on and off my lap so she could “Help”.    This purse is for my soon to be 11 year old daughter.  I love the more grown up fabric and this time I’m going to stuff it with more grown up gifts like earrings, gift cards, lip gloss, etc. (Thanks for the ideas Stacie and Shellie.)  The only problem is I have to wait an entire week to give it to her!
Birthday purse, purse pattern, birthday present
Birthday purse
Birthday Purse, crafts, sewing
I’m sure I’ll be finding lots of reasons to make many more purses in the future.  Maybe I’ll make the big pattern for me!!