BQ. (Before quilts and quilting.) Before all of this quilting that I am so head-over heels about-- I somewhat dabbled in cross-stitch.

I actually purchased this cross-stitch project because the entire thing was about purses. And I have this thing for purses. It took forever (a few times I just wanted to get rid of the whole project because it was soooo time-consuming.)

My hat is off to women who love this type of stitching (and I envy your stick-to-it ability to do this type of stitching) but I have found that although this came out quite impressive, my love still lies with quilting, sewing and embroidery where the choices seem to be endless as far as what you can do to make it come alive.


And the fabric in the first picture is for a bag that I was asked to make and auction off for the Leukemia Foundation later in March. I'll be posting that when it nears completion.


dresden plate mat

I recently found this book at the thrift store and paging through it found so many cute fabric crafts to make.

Now, how cute is this pattern for a Dresden Plate Mat?.....(and the house tea cozy and cat tea cozy that you can kinda see in the upper corners are just so, so, so adorable! The house tea cozy reminds me of dutchblue's tea cozy ----hers is so doggone, incredibly enchanting, I could move right into it!)
and improvising, I pulled together fabrics that I thought would work........

added rick-rack (my new love---I swear I have to add it to everything!)

And because the middle looked a little too plain (okay, sometimes I can't leave well enough alone) I rough-appliqued the flower and petals.

Not too bad for a vintage book find and scraps of fabric---especially for me.
Okay, so there are some lumps and it doesn't totally lie flat....
But ha! I love this!--check out this video --it gives reference to the 'Quilt Police'--and having those unsightly mistakes on a quilt---thank you, Lisa.


little mice

I needed a small gift for 4 sisters who just got a brand new baby brother. Friends of ours welcomed their 5th child recently and they were thrilled that after 4 precious girls they were blessed a baby boy. Yay!

I remembered this adorable mouse pattern from Molly Chicken awhile back and thought--"wouldn't 4 little sisters love to get 4 little mice?" (And Mom welcomed the boy outfit we purchased----after all of those pink, girly outfits she is thrilled to be dressing one of her babies in blue and bold!)

Here are 2 of the mice. My, oh, my, they turned out adorable. And Molly Chicken also
includes the how-tos for making a sleeping bag to go along with the tiny mice.

They were so much fun to sew and so very easy and quick.

The girls loved getting them and I will definitely be marking this project as a favorite and filing it under "sew-cute-to-make & sew-cute-to-play-with"!


sew-in-love with embroidery

This is the pillow that we received on our wedding day from my Aunt Anna Mae. Her work is exquisite.
I would stay on their farm every summer and she, with needle-in-hand, taught me how to embroider. Thus began my love affair with embroidery.

Now go back 4 decades and this is my baby quilt embroidered by the same aunt who made the pillow top for our wedding.

The stitches have traveled in time from her hands into my heart.

A set of matching pillow cases with intricate embroidery. Purchased from the thrift store.

I have such a passion for this type of embroidery work.

This quilt was also purchased in the $1.49 bin at the thrift store. The embroidery is so miniscule and the hand-quilting has survived the many hands & years that have touched it.

Yup.....sew-in-love with embroidery.


only 36 more to go.......

I wasn't going to post pictures of this forget-me-not doily until I had at least one row of flowers completed, but.....this is becoming so pretty, I just had to post pictures of the progress.

Only 36 more flowers to go!
With winter still being very much in evidence here at our house, well--- we need a bit of spring-time flowers to pique our interest for that soon arriving season of spring.
And although this is still the view of our front yard, the kids are itchin' to forget the whole season of spring--jump start to summer and get the pool uncovered and to soak up the hot sun while swimming.
I think the weatherman is predicting otherwise.
So, for now, it's back to crocheting flowers instead of searching for them in our gardens.

using up the leftovers

I am using up the leftover fabric scraps from that 'secret' quilt that I made for our tween's birthday next month.

After finding this picture in the recent Keepsake Quilting catalog, I fell in love with the vibrant fabrics set against the rich black background in this Baltimore style quilt.
And since I no longer fear hand-applique-I think I am actually in love with this technique. Why?
#1. It's so doggone easy to lug around--each block can be carried just about anywhere
and there is no sewing machine to worry about
#2. The needleturn technique is so easy I can't believe it--much easier than
scratching my head wondering about the geometric equations of
properly setting certain block configurations. (Even saying that
glazes my eyes over and puts me into catatonic state)
#3. I love the grown-up girl style of coloring without crayons but using instead the
rich, jewel-tone hues of so many endless fabric choices
#4. You can make up your very own patterns for each individual block

Although I do love the rich look of the bright blues against the black I hate that this black fabric is a hair-magnet for every miniscule hair that seems to float throughout my house. I think there's more cat hair woven into each stitch than the actual thread itself.

When finished, maybe I can call this block---Ode to Cat Hair.


diamonds are a girl's best friend

Who knew that taking a pile of diamond scraps could actually be sewn into this?

I saw the pattern for this table runner and the directions stated to cut the fabric into diamonds using the 60* line on your quilting ruler. The only time 60* has registered in my mind is when the weather man has said it and then it's only because I am trying to decide between a long-sleeved shirt or a short-sleeved shirt. I didn't even know a 60* line existed on my quilting ruler!
And how in the heck do you go about cutting with it? Oh, well. After staring at it long enough, tilting it every which way, I figured it out.
I wanted to use these fabrics because I do love the apron-that-my-grandmother-wore type of fabrics. And yes, I do remember my grandma in her home-made dress and matching apron. Every day a different one. And every day she looked smashing.
This is from a quilt she made me. And almost every block is a patch from those aprons.
From an apron to a table-runner.

And I was amazed (no. astounded, actually) that my seams met at points. In the past anything that I have attempted with seams that need to meet......well, let's just say I wasn't even in the ballpark.
But either it was these wonderful fabrics, or just my slowing down/breathing easy/enjoying the piecing aspect of this---it just fit together & meshed so wonderfully.

To my smashing grandmother adorned in her color-coordinated dress ensemble---you are my inspiration.

That's my sister & me (I'm biting my lip because I am wondering--are you sure this bag goes with this outfit?) with my grandma on the front steps of her house.


heart day

thanks to orange flower for this heart tutorial.
I found a place for those rick-rack flowers...............

Happy Valentine's Day.


rick-rack flowers

I found some old rick-rack that my mom was throwing away (what's that saying? ---

"Grandma had it; Mom threw it away; and now I'm buying it back."

Well in this case I didn't have to purchase it, but I did need to jump up and snatch it before she stuffed it into the waste-basket.)

So I started putting colors together. I have this Simplicity pattern from a loooooooooooong time ago and it shows how to make these funky rick-rack flowers.

So this is what I came up with. Not too funky, but actually quite, hmmmm...I don't know. Whimsy-like flowers.

Pretty nifty! I love the 3-dimensional quality of these and oh! the possibilities of where I can put them. Maybe a tote. Or a zippered pouch. Or a dish towel that is-not-to-be-used-it's-only-for-decoration. (Ha. My husband loves those kind of towels.)
Or maybe something added to a quilted wall-hanging. Who knows. I'm still scratching my head about what to do with them. But for now, they look pretty in the sunlight that was streaming through the window.



Boy, there is just something about adding a border to a quilt to make it look more complete.

Undoubtedly this is a record for me----pieced and put the borders on a quilt in just days. (Ha. Now getting this thing properly backed, batted and quilted....yikes, just the thought of it is scaring the daylights out of me.)

And trying to get a picture that shows the rich colors--------that's proving to be difficult too.

Of course, little-miss-I-must-be-in-every-photo-op Daffodil is musing about the colors too.

pincushion & pj's

Our teen daughter is taking a fashion design class at school and her first project was to sew a pin cushion...

A chicken pincushion!

I love the simplicity of the design and the chicken design gives it such a whimsical look. It's filled with sand and she's 'pleased as punch' about how well her first project turned out.
They also had to make some pajama bottoms. This was her first attempt at clothing, and man! oh, man! she did such a good job.

She has about 10 other pairs that we have either purchased or gotten as hand-me-downs, and she says these are the most comfortable pair she owns!

Yes, they do have that slept-in look don't they?