Friday, December 20, 2019

"Merry Christmas to us all . . .

. . . God bless us, every one." (Dickens' Christmas Carol)

                                                (The Adoration of the Shepherds, Honthorst, 1622)

I hope that in the midst of the hurry and the scurry, the hustle and the bustle, the madness of commercialized Christmas, that you will all find an opportunity to sit down, and to breathe.

To contemplate the rich blessings God has gifted us with. To thank Him, each in our own way. To get up from our meditation a calmer, more tolerant, more grateful, and more joyful human being than we were before.

I hope you won't mind if I post a snippet from one of my favorite movies here for us to enjoy and to think about:

Tonight, I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts.

But especially with gifts. You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the Child born in a manger. It’s His birthday we're celebrating. Don't let us ever forget that.

Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched-out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.

From The Bishop’s Wife, 1947

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Christmas gifts for our besties

And you know who I mean . . .

Yep, this is an unashamed commercial interlude for KitNipBox! If you click on the links in this post, you will get awesome opportunities for discounts and cool stuff for your kitties!

Come on, you know you put their names on your Christmas list, right? (I hear heads nodding.)

After all, they are awesome furriends.

Official Quilting Buddies.
Quilt Inspectors.
Block Arrangers.

Fabric Box Occupiers.
And more.
They take their duties very seriously.
(And I see on the interwebs that there is a company called BarkBox, too, so all of you pup parents can do a similar gift for your canine companions!)

But having had a studio cat, my heart will always warm to the tummy furs and purrs of a feline friend!

KitNipBox is starting the Black Friday fun early! They emailed me to let me know, and I'm passing the news along to you!

If you enter BLACKFRIDAY25 on the checkout page of the KitNipBox website, you will save 25% on your first box! And you will be starting a subscription that will bring your kitty a lot of joy!

Here is a link to whisk you over to KitNipBox's site. And yes, I'm an affiliate, so I need to let you know that I will earn a small commission if you purchase -- but your price does NOT change!!

So what are you waiting for? Hop over to KitNipBox and part of your Christmas shopping will be done! And you will get a pawsome discount with that coupon!!


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Progress on my Summer Moon blocks

Have you joined us in making this fun sampler quilt from Carrie Nelson? (Just a quick note, that's an affiliate link; I will get a tiny commission if you purchase, but your price won't change. Ain't technology wonderful?)

Anyway, our buddies at the Fat Quarter Shop have reduced the price on the book, so you might want to jump in and join us!
The Summer Moon quilt along is ongoing, through February of 2020 - you can work at your own pace, so we hope you will jump right in! (Here is where you can find all the particulars!)

Slowly but surely, I've been able to carve out a little time for piecing!

Here are some pix of my Summer Moon blocks lately:

Those up there are called Pinwheel Geese . . . as usual, each block is made in three sizes: five, six and one half, and eight inches unfinished.

The next one is called Bear Tracks, and I knew this one would be challenging for me. I hitched up my Big Quilter britches and worked up a trial block in brights, to see how it would go. You can see the small size of these pieces when you remember that the cutting mat behind it is marked in one inch increments!

Now that I had the process down, I started on the three sizes of blocks . . . if y'all are piecing along with us, take my dear niece's advice - "a SCANT, scant quarter inch seam allowance!" Here are a couple of her cute blocks:

Don'tcha love her colors? Gorgeous!
My sweet sis is working in a completely different colorway:

Love those, too! You can see that she is a smartypants and is paper-piecing hers! They look so awesome and precise!

And now, in all their orange and low volume glory, here are mine!

I really like how the low volume prints for the backgrounds are different from a simple white background . . .

I hope you are finding some time to sew!
What's underneath your needle lately?


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Whew! Has it really been this long?

I've missed you peeps!

Summertime sure is busy, ain't it? (Grin)

I have news!
(Oh, I always forget. I need to tell you that some of the links you will see are affiliate links. If you purchase, I will receive a teensy commission, without any change to your price!)
Now that THAT is out of the way . . .

I'm a lover of all things "Farm Girl Vintage," aren't you? We happily participated in some of the festivities on Lori Holt's last books, and created some of her fun blocks!

Vintage Christmas was lots of fun:

And the first Farm Girl Vintage blocks were so cute!

She has a new book out!!! Click here for Farm Girl Vintage 2!!

Oh, you'll love it!

There are forty-five unique blocks, in six inch and twelve inch sizes.
Take a peek!

And she has instructions for thirteen projects in the book! From quilts to mini quilts, pillows to pincushions!
Speaking of mini quilts, aren't these doll bed quilts fun?

And my personal favorite - the sampler quilt! Check out some of the cute blocks that you can use for a sampler!

Be sure to stay tuned for Lori's upcoming Sew Along, starting in November on her blog.  The kick off post will be there on her blog on this Friday!

In the meantime, grab a copy of the book! And you might want to check out the quilt kit, too! All the fabrics (well, except for the backing) you will need to create your own sampler quilt! The cute little buttons are available here, and the trims here (love the wooden spool it's on) and here

Pardon my dust! I'm headed over there to grab a book before they're gone!


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Sewing with family!

Are you quilting along with us on the fabulous Summer Moon quilt?

I may not be speedy, and I may not get things done right on time, but I'm workin' at it! And my sweet sis AND my adorable niece are joining me on the journey!

We live about six hours apart, so this is a fun way to keep in touch! We are all using different fabrics and it is exciting to see the differences in the blocks!

I hope that our progress will inspire you to quilt along with us on the Summer Moon! Here is a link to the beautiful book from Carrie Nelson!  Grab a copy and join us! (I'm required to let you know that's an affiliate link - no change in your price, but I will earn a tiny commission to help pay for what else? More fabric!)

The three blocks for the first month were the Album block, Fool's Puzzle, and the Churn Dash block!

My sis chose some lovely fabrics - check out her Album blocks!

Next, the Churn Dash and the Fool's Puzzle blocks, all lined up:

And just to show how industrious she is, check this out - she's putting the borders on some of her blocks already! They are so, sew cute!!

My niece chose gorgeous reproduction fabrics -- here is her Album block:

Isn't that sumptuous? I am so excited about how different all of the blocks look, simply from our choices of fabrics to use!

Now, here are my "creamsicle" oranges and tangerines, in the Album block:

Here's my Churn Dash group:

And finally, the Fool's Puzzle blocks:

I really hope that you will use this linkie: CLICK HERE and join us as we put this fun sampler quilt together!

I'll post some more progress soon!!


Monday, June 10, 2019

Disappointed....let down......


OK, so I guess that last one is a bit over-dramatic.

I get it from my kids, I guess. (Grin)

You know how it is, right? You have some drama peeps in your house, too?

Anyway, here is the reason for my disappointment:

All these years, I've never used this guy too much.  But all the blogs and articles sing the praises of the walking foot for straight line quilting. That it can handle upper and lower fabric plus batting without blinking an eye.


Doesn't work too well for me! Here's my story:


I recently got some orphan blocks out and decided it was their time to shine. I put them together with some Civil War repro fabric lattice strips, and made oodles (that's a hard-core quilting word for when you make a lot of something and you actually lose count) of half square triangles.

Two more borders to bring in the colors of the room it will hang in....

Sandwiched ……

Then a quick (ha!) stitched line around the outside edge to prepare for binding. I often do this to keep me from having issues when I use a narrow binding; I love the look, but it can give ya problems!

Got out my walking foot and started around the edge. I was getting more rumples than ole Rumpelstiltskin.  

See? I upped the contrast on there so you could see more of what I'm talking about.... 
The only way I could get it to work was to apply a small amount of tension "fore and aft" and go very. Very. Slow.

Please tell me, peeps, have you experienced this? How did you get things to go more smoothly?

Inquiring minds want to know!!


Monday, May 13, 2019

Starting my Summer Moon - tips and tricks

(Let's get business out of the way first, ok? Some of the links in my blog posts are affiliate links, and if you click on them, I will earn a small commission, but your purchase price won't change a bit! Thanks for clicking through!)

Are you hopping on the Summer Moon train?

I hope so; we are already having sew much fun! Here at the Lilypad, I'm using all kinds of great orange prints and low volume neutrals for the backgrounds:

If you would like to see what Carrie Nelson is making, check out this Jolly Jabber blog post: CLICK HERE. She's using a modern Christmas palette, and it looks like it will be gorgeous!

In the blog post, you will find information on the bloggers who are participating in the Block of the Month.......they will be featured both on their blogs and on the Jolly Jabber, and the schedule is there for you.


Now, the whole reason that I wanted to do this particular sampler quilt is that I'm a sucker for punishment, er, I wanted to really stretch my "precision" muscles. (Grin)

If you've gotten your Summer Moon book, you will see that we are making three of each block pattern. We make them in small (5 inch square), medium ( 6.5 inch square) and large (8 inch square). Those little five inch blocks are going to be tough for me!

But I'm loving how the borders are added to the smaller blocks so that you end up having all the same size to assemble into your quilt top!

As I struggled, er, worked diligently to have precise quarter inch seams and lovely points and corners, I found some things that helped me get things right . . .

The first block I tackled was the album block. I found it quite helpful to make certain that the pieces were centered. Some of y'all may be better at "eyeballing it" than I, but this is the process I used:

First, I folded each piece to find the true center (above). Then, matched up those creases with right sides together:

I found that pinning them with going twice through the fabrics made them stay put a little better:

Here, you can see more of the block going together:

And I also found it helpful to grab something to help keep seam allowances from rebelling as they went under the needle . . . those little guys have a mind of their own! You may have a favorite seam ripper or a stiletto that helps you - be sure to grab it for this smallest album block!

I love my results! Pretty blocks -- small, medium, and large album blocks:

I'm really happy with how the background fabrics are working -- not stark white, but some interesting tone on tone and tiny prints!

I'm not sure which size is my favorite! The eight inch blocks really are nice:

Hope you have your copy of Summer Moon! Let me know in the comments if you are sewing along with us! If we have enough peeps playing along, we can have a linky party!