Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Resolutions

I don't usually make resolutions, but this year I have decided to set a quilting goal for myself. See that cubby on the left side of my sewing room?

It's full of UFOs and I want to finish up some of those projects that have been sitting in there for entirely too many years. Yes, YEARS!!! Don't look too close or you might see the dust that has collected on some of them!

So I took an inventory tonight (exciting NYE night life at my house!) and here's the list:
  • 1 Border Creek Station mystery quilt
  • 1 Row by Row Experience quilt - yet to be designed
  • 1 embroidery mini quilt
  • 1 4-patch scrap quilt - size to be determined by number of scraps
  • 1 'Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas' quilt-along with Lori Holt
  • 1 Merry-Go-Round quilt
  • 1 patchwork & applique wall hanging
  • 1 round appliqued Christmas tree table topper/tree skirt
  • 1 3 Dudes jelly roll quilt
  • 1 sunflower quilt
  • 1 Square in a Square BOM
  • 1 shop hop quilt kit
  • 1 flannel & denim rag quilt
  • 2 Thimbleberries BOMs
  • 1 Buggy Barn stack & whack quilt
  • 1 layer cake quilt
  • 5 One Block Wonder quilts
  • 1 design wall project
  • 6 quilts to bind (bindings are in the cubby)
Now I can hear you say "Is that all?" because any good quilter has more than a lifetime of unfinished projects. And, no it's not. I've got other UFO hiding sewing desk, closet and even a rolling cart....

But I'm just going to concentrate on that cubby. I'm realistic, though, and know I can't get them all done in one year, but I'm going to work on them this year before I start any new projects. (Ha, ha, ha, I hear you laughing). Maybe by telling you, it will keep me more accountable (now you're rolling on the floor with laughter). Well, a quilter can hope, can't she?

I also hope you have much love, laughter and quilty fun in 2015!

(This little quilt was in my cubby and I finished it today! Yea me, I'm off to a good start!)

Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Rustic Country Christmas Greeting

What do you make when you only have 2 hours until sundown? A rustic country Christmas greeting to grace the side of a barn!

With just barn wood, wagon wheel, saw, hammer, nails and ribbon, you can welcome your holiday guests with some warm down home country charm.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Vintage Quilty Christmas

I have a collection of Christmas santas, snowmen, etc. made from vintage quilts that I love to decorate with during the holidays - and for me, the holidays could last until Valentine's Day because I hate to put them away! So I thought I'd share a little Christmas joy with you...


Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Very Rusty Junk Country Christmas

Miss me? I've enjoyed a few weeks of rusty junkin' travels but I'm home now and so excited to start decorating for Christmas! I saw lots of beautiful, creative Christmas décor during my travels and have had my own ideas floating around in my head. I decided the unpacking can wait, the laundry will still be there tomorrow, but my creative mojo needed attention now! So I dug out some junk that will make perfect rusty junk country Christmas décor for my back door.

With a few spools of burlap ribbon, raffia, barnwood scraps & a few logs, I transformed my rusty junk into a festive Christmas entry.
I love my old sled. It was my grandparents' sled and I bring it out each Christmas to enjoy. It's all decked out with a burlap bow and rusty bells.

I have two matching cream cans, perfect for gracing each side of my door. With tree branches tucked in the top and more burlap bows and rusty bells, it looks great next to an old bucket filled with wood, mistletoe freshly picked while it Texas and pinecones. A rusty metal angel and rusty stars definitely say Christmas to me.

Joining my sled on the other side of the door is another cream can, more rusty stars, and one of my favorite finds while on my junking travels - an olive bucket purchased at the Junk Gypsies garage sale in Round Top, Texas. I even got Aimee, Jolie, and their mom and dad to autograph it!

And here is the completed phase 1 of my back door project. I found the cutest wooden stars that match my gray chevron burlap ribbon and I hung them from the tree branches. Can't wait to show you what I have planned for the other side of this entry, so stay tuned!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vintage Sewing Finds

Enjoyed an afternoon of antiquing today. It's always fun to see what vintage sewing goodies I can find, even if they don't make it into my shopping bag.
Here's a few things I perused today...
A yoyo quilt.
An ornate Singer.

Linens & lace & crocheted doilies.
Chenille bedspread.
Old spools of thread.
Old patterns.
Upcycled spools as Christmas ornaments.

And the one thing that did end up going home with me - a wooden child's hanger in my favorite color of green!
Can't wait to find the perfect spot in my sewing room to hang it! 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

QR Code Quilts - Say It Modern

QR code quilts are the epitome of modern. They're graphic, bold, and, well, just cool.

What is a QR code? It's a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone. Creative Grids started putting QR codes on their rulers. When you scan the code with a smartphone that has a QR code reader app, it will take you to a video that demonstrates how to use that particular Creative Grids ruler. Pretty cool.
You can make your own QR codes by using one of the many free QR code generator websites. You can make codes for website addresses, You Tube videos, telephone numbers, etc. You can even enter your own text to say just about anything. How cool would it be to make a QR code quilt for a child that says his or her name, or a QR code label for a quilt that gives all the details about the quilt.
I decided to make a QR code for with the intention of making my own QR code quilt.
Then I drew the code onto graph paper to create a pattern.

I think I'll make my quilt in jadeite green and blue. I found lots of inspiration on Pinterest. Check out my pins here. I'll post a tutorial after I finish my quilt - stay tuned!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Vintage Chenille

I love using vintage chenille in quilts. So cozy! I saw these at a junk show today but, alas, none of them came home with me.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quilting Apps

Is your online quilting obsession so great that you have to take it on the go? I have several quilting apps downloaded on my smart phone, but have to admit I haven't really used them. So i decided I needed to take the time to explore some of them.

The first one I found was Art Quilting Daily. The description grabbed my attention - "Love contemporary quilting, surface design, wearable arts, mixed media, embellished quilting, crazy quilts, beading, silk ribbon work, and fabric painting?" Yes, I do! So I downloaded the free app. It features blogs & videos from Interweave staff, who produce Quilting Arts; Studios; & Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazines. 

In the blog section, the 25 most recent blogs are shown. After reading a few, I realized that each blog was an advertisement to purchase one of their magazines, ebooks, etc. That's not all bad, there were a couple of articles & projects I was interested in & will probably purchase the magazine if I run across it in a store. There were also photos of projects for inspiration & simple enough I wouldn't need a pattern to make.

The video section may be fantastic, but after several attempts I gave up trying to open. On my phone while traveling, there just wasn't enough signal to download the page much less the videos & I had 4 bars! There is also a quilting glossary which gives definitions of quilting terms & a place to sign up for their free newsletter.

If I'm really bored, I might glance through this app again but it won't be on my favorite apps list. What about you? 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Steampunk or Vintage? A Sewing-Themed Bracelet

The latest craze in the world of jewelry design is steampunk. But what is it? Steampunk started in the literary & film world, and it typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century - think Victorian and gears. It could be described by the slogan "What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner." Of course, what is in the movies spills over into fashion. In fashion, it's the art of combining antique components and brand new items, creating modern pieces with a vintage flair.

With my jewelry, I combine antique components (usually sewing related) with brand new items to create a vintage flair, but I'm not sure you would call it steampunk. I just call it fun!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bye-Bye Birdies

I took a little time out today to sketch an embroidery design to work on while traveling. I've had these scrappy blocks for awhile and decided to make an embroidered pillow to go with one of the quilts I made from this fabric. I think these little birdies will be so cute all decked out in these colors, don't you?


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Big, Bold & Beautiful

I love the trend of big block quilts. They're big, they're bold and they are beautiful. My first foray into making big block quilts was a few years ago, and I've always wanted to do more. On several of the 'sew-cial' media sites I follow, Sundays are share days, so I thought I'd share too. Click here for my Big, Bold & Beautiful pattern. Happy sewing!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


It's October, and the hubby and I are itching to hit the road once the fall crops are harvested on the farm. One of my favorite things to do on road trips is to find new quilt shops to visit (and antique stores too)! I discovered a new website the other day that will be the perfect trip planning tool for our next road trip. It's called QuiltingHub ( and I think it will grow to be the most comprehensive quilting site on the internet. 

It has a number of features any quilter would find handy - including lists of quilt shops, services, groups and events; internet stores; quilt blogs; maps and a trip planner. It also has resources, such as quilt articles, and forums to chat about quilting. New information is constantly being added and is maintained by the quilting community (meaning people like you and me). The site is free to access the information; however, to 'like', manage favorites and post in the forums, you can register with an email and user name. 

The trip planning tool, though, is my favorite. Just type in your current location (or starting point) and your destination and a list of quilt shops along with an interactive map provides you names and addresses of shops along your route. It's a good thing my hubby is a good sport when it comes to my quilting addiction!

Another tool I like is the events search feature. You can select a location and a calendar of quilting events for the area is displayed.

Switch the calendar over to map mode, and now those events show on a map with event details displayed on the left.

I'm anxious to test out the trip planner for our next road trip - although with all the shops listed, we may never make it to our destination!


P.S. This blog is listed under "Blogs" at QuiltingHub, so please go and 'like' my information page.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Design Boards

Ugh? I can't believe it - no, really I can - but so disappointed at the moment. I was on my last set of blocks for the sample of my new cutting & sewing technique and I miss-cut the block! No way to salvage it & no extra fabric, so now I'm waiting on more fabric. In the meantime, I needed to store the parts I will be able to use once the new fabric arrives, so I decided to make one of Lori Holt's (A Bee In My Bonnet) design boards.

This quick & easy project uses a foam core board of your desired size, a piece of batting (I prefer white) large enough to cover one side of the foam core board, enough 2 1/2" strips of fabric to bind the edges of the board, spray glue & a hot glue gun/glue. The end result is a portable design board that will hold block pieces until you are ready to sew them.

My board is 15" x 20" which is big enough to store the parts to my 11" block, but I think a whole stack of different sizes is in my sewing room's future. These will be great to stack & store my quilting projects, since I seem to have several in progress at any one time.

There's no sense in reinventing the wheel, so click here to head on over to Lori's design board tutorial. Note: the only thing I did differently than Lori is I used spray glue to adhere my batting to my board. Have fun!


P.S. After that, I made Oatmeal Scotchies. I'm sure sugar will make it all better:)

Leaders & Enders

I've heard them called 'starties & stoppies', 'leaders & enders', 'thread bunnies' and even 'hairy spiders'. They're those little scraps of fabric that you use to sew onto and off of your blocks. I use them because my machine seems to like to eat the fabric when I try to sew directly onto a block. Some people think that it is more efficient to use them when chain piecing.

Bonnie K. Hunter of Quiltville has opened my eyes to a whole new concept of efficiency with leaders & enders! She uses her scrap 2" squares as her leaders & enders, sewing two together to form four-patches, nine-patches and more that eventually end up in scrappy quilts!

Well, I too, have stacks of squares cut from my scrap fabric, and making them into a quilt is on my to-do list. Now, I can work on sewing those scrap squares together while I'm working on my other quilting projects - kind of a two-for-one!

I'll confess, I used my 'hairy spider' to sew onto that first pair of scrap squares, then chain pieced my blocks of my current project (only six blocks to go on my super secret sample of my new cut & sew technique - yea!).

At the end of my chain piecing, I sewed onto another pair of scrap blocks. Those blocks are now sitting under my needle waiting for the next time I start to sew. I have my scrap squares tucked under my sewing machine table, in easy reach at any time. For a more detailed discussion on Bonnie's leaders & enders concept, click here.

And now I can say good-bye to my 'hairy spiders' for good!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Top Secret!

I'm making progress on my sample using my new cut and sew technique using layer cakes. Can't wait until I can reveal it!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chenille Pumpkins

I love vintage chenille bedspreads! They just have a cozy feel and are so fun to recycle into other things.

I found this green chenille bedspread on my latest treasure hunt. Of course, I had to snatch it up since it was green :)

With the crisp fall feel in the air today, I decided I needed some fall decorations....and my green chenille bedspread was perfect to make a few pumpkins to tuck among my jadite green glass collection.

Pumpkins are really easy and quick to make. First, cut a circle from your fabric. I cut 13" and 10" circles for my pumpkins.

Next, run a gathering stitch around the circle, approximately 1/4" from the edge.
Pull your gathering threads up and stuff the inside of your pumpkin with fiber fill.

On the larger pumpkin, I sewed a shank button on the top and bottom of my pumpkin like you would sew a button on a tufted cushion, pulling the thread between the two buttons to create a squattier shape. (Is 'squattier' a word?) Then you are ready to decorate your pumpkins. I hot glued ribbon on wooden spools and glued them on the top button of the pumpkins for stems, then tied raffia. The top buttons hide where the fabric was gathered.

A cute - and quick - fall décor project! Wouldn't you like your own pumpkin patch of chenille pumpkins to enjoy this fall?