Happy Halloween Everyone!  Here's a few pictures of our pumpkin carving and trick or treat garb.

What a transitional year for Pumpkin Carving!  Traditionally Mom has been the one to "help" with the cleaning and carving of the jack-o-lanterns.  This year the kids were able to do almost all of the carving themselves.  Let me tell you that the "Control Freak" in me was really bothered by this.  I had to step away and leave, just to stop myself from taking over!  I walked away and left them to clean out their pumpkins, despite the fact that my "Mommy Senses"  were tingling.  Wouldn't you know they had pumpkin food fight not minutes after I left them.  Fortunately, they were outside.  It was also fortunate that my deck really needed a good cleaning and now I had three volunteers to clean it.

Mark became,"too old" to Trick-or-treat this year.  It was sad for mom to think back to when he was little and went as "Bob the Builder."  They do grow fast.  Not to worry Mark hung out at home and watched football and ate, I mean passed out, candy.

Jack and Emma were still ready to go and collect their treats.  This  year they teamed up and decided to go as Hermione and Harry!  They looked Great!

John and I tagged along behind them, just far enough away so we wouldn't completely humiliate them.


Candle Mat Swap

This month, because I obviously didn't have enough to do, I signed up to participate in a Quilt Bloggers quilt swap.  This swap is trading Candle Mats, Designed by Sandi Anderson. Check out the pattern.

The Pattern called for a charm pack of Christmas Fabric.  My swap partner, who is to remain anonymous, said she liked Blue and Silver Christmas Fabric.  I was unable to find a charm pack in a color other than Red and Green so I ended up ordering these lovelies.  They are from the Holiday  Renaissance collection from Hoffman Fabrics.

I was ever so pleased with the colors!  They are just beautiful!  I also ordered these additional white, lavender and teal with silver accents. These are also from Hoffman Fabrics but are from the Wrap it Up collection.

 I don't think I'll use them for the candle mat but aren't they just beautiful?


We've been BOO-ed!

Until moving here I guess you could say I was innocent in the ways of Halloween Neighborhood edict. That is to say I had never been BOO-ed.  Oh, sure I've had the occasional "boo!" or "Oh, that was bad!" after one or two of my slightly sarcastic comments.  I was always boo-ed by a family member or friend.  Never had I been BOO-ed by a complete stranger before. At first I wasn't sure what to feel.  Fear, confusion, excitement they were all muddled up.  Now after being a second year rookie I can honestly tell you "It is so much FUN!"  If I would have known I would have boo-ed my neighbors long before now.   For those of you who still may be in the dark, I'll educate you.
The Boo Gifts 

To qualify as a Boo-er you must be alive at the time the Boo-ing is going on.  I am sorry but that part is essential.  You must have a Halloween gift basket of sorts to share with your neighbors.  Nothing big or extravagant just something to say,  "HEY, IT'S HALLOWEEN!" You and your cohort must be sneaky, quiet and above all FAST!  The object in Boo-ing is to not let the person you are Boo-ing know who the gifts came from.  You need a boo sign and a boo poem to instruct the Boo target on what they are to do next.  You see one of the really great things about boo-ing is spreading the joy of Halloween to your neighbors.  

You have your kids sneak over to the neighbors  house with the treats, ring the doorbell and RUN!  It's a lot like ding-dong-ditch with permission.  Your neighbors are so excited you left them treats they forget the fact that you rang their bell, made them get up from their favorite chair, miss the ending to their favorite TV show, just to answer the door when no one was even there!  "I'm just sayin', perhaps that could be a scenario."  Here's a link to help you figure it all out!

Boo TReaT BAgs

This year we left these really cute, I mean scary, treat bags filled with sugary goodness.  I found the pattern, Small Treat Totes,  on Allpeoplequilt.com.  They were quick, easy and made completely from scraps.  If you are the ambitious type these would make great goodie bags for a kids party or baby shower!


crazy quilt-er

I have been busily sewing this last month in preparation for the elementary school "HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA!" (echo,echo,echo)  I have never participated in a "craft fair" as a vendor; and I am interested in seeing how it goes over. An experiment of sorts. I have days when I am optimistic and see myself selling out of all my quilts and then there are days when I envision myself sitting, bored out of my mind for hours.  I am sure it will be a mixture of both but my anxiety level is running high theses days.

I had hoped on posting more frequently, however until they perfect cloning I will have to settle for this random method I have going now.  Here are several of the quilts I finished up last week.
I added a couple of baby quilts to my stash, to be able to offer some lower priced items.  And, to be truthful, I just got really tired of making College quilts.
Baby Quilt
OH!  Look!  A Clemson University Quilt!  Notice the blocks in the corner.  These blocks evolved from the post I made here.  Thanks to everyone who commented!  Your comments were inspiring!


This is the second baby quilt I made this week.  It is quite obviously a Girl Quilt.  I was inspired not only by the pink but also by the sweet treats the fabric is covered in.  Sugar and Spice and all that.  My son's comment was "BOY, is that PINK!"  This quilt I love because it is backed with the softest lavender flannel.  Yummy.
Baby Girl Quilt
SURPRISE!  Another college quilt.  This time it's an OHIO STATE BLOCK "O" Quilt.  Go Bucks!

Block O
This is my latest attempt at the OH-IO quilt.  Not sure I really feel the mojo on this one.  Still have to get this one loaded and quilted.

Now I must be off to drop off my truck for a few "minor" cosmetic repairs.  (Just a Little run-in with the garage during a blinding hail storm!)

The Damage

Ginger slightly confused (ok even more than usual) at the sight of the fog.

Their was so much hail on the ground and the temperature was so warm we were immediately engulfed in a sea of fog.  Happily the rest of the hail damage was minor.  

Tomorrows post:  Severe weather and the effect on your quilting:)



AGHAST- (adj.) - Filled with shock or horror - The mother was aghast when her daughter finally agreed she was right.

Okay, perhaps that is stretching it, like I could ever be right! HA.  Here are pictures of Emma's costume for Dictionary Day.

Emma's word was indeed, AGHAST.   What a difficult word to dress up as.  I think she did a pretty good job of coming up with her costume.

The Ghost Dress is a pattern from Sugar Bee found here.


Football Block--Tutorial

I came up with this football block several months ago.  I am sure I am not the first to think of this but here is my version.   I used it once in a college themed quilt and really liked the way it turned out.  Since football season is well upon us I thought I would share the way I make mine.

You will need:
Brown fabric scraps-(solid or print)
White fabric for background
white thread

Cut your brown fabric the desired size of your finished block plus seam allowance.  I used 6.5X6.5 inch square blocks here.
Cut two white fabric squares for each block.  Cut these 1/2 inch larger than 1/2 the width of your finished block.  (My finished block will be 6X6 inch.  My white fabric was cut 3.5 X3.5 inch)
Cut interfacing 1/2 smaller than you cur your brown fabric- I cut my interfacing  6X6 inch square

Draw a diagonal line on the back of both white squares.  Place white block in corner of brown block, with right sides facing.

  Sew down diagonal line.  Place second white block on opposite corner of brown block. Sew on diagonal line.  Press white towards corner.

Cut off excess fabric leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance. Square up block if necessary

Fuse interfacing to back of block. I have found if I do not use interfacing on the back of the entire block my block puckers when I sew the laces.

With water soluble pen or chalk draw a diagonal line down the center of brown block the desired length of football laces.

For the laces I like to use my button hole setting on my machine.   It makes the perfect parallel stitching, No measuring required!

Once center laces are sewn mark in the short perpendicular lines for laces.

I try to make 4 or 5 of these shorter laces using a narrow zigzag stitch.  (Be sure to loosen your bobbin tension to decrease pull on the fabric caused by short stitches.)

Press block once more and sew into your favorite sport quilt!  TA-DA!

This block can be made to any size.  I have made 5 inch and 6 inch blocks.  I usually add the blocks to a quilt as a corner but they would look great anywhere.  I think making a large block and inserting it into a t-shirt quilt would be just too perfect!


Camping in the Upcountry

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled quilt blog for a little R&R.
Lake Keowee

 After a week or possibly two of quilt craziness and jet-laggedness, John and I decided it was time for a little break.  We took full advantage of the travel soccer schedule and an extended weekend from school to drive up to the 'Upcountry' in South Carolina for a camping trip.  Prior to leaving, when maybe I was supposed to be packing,  John caught me sneaking in a little extra quilting time.  Exasperated John exclaimed, "If I let you finish this last quilt will you promise to relax this weekend?"  I agreed.  Mostly, I agreed  just to get him out of my way, so I could finish my last binding. However,  it wasn't  long until I was able to uphold my part of the bargain.   Once the car was packed, the kids loaded and we were driving, I crashed.  I slept the entire 2 1/2 hour car ride up and still managed to get to bed by 9:30 that night.  Can you say sleep deprived?  Saturday morning John handed me a cup of coffee and said, "Perhaps I wasn't clear.  I wanted you to relax, not become comatose."  All joking aside I did relax.
Soccer on the Mountain

We took in 2 soccer games on Saturday, lost both, unfortunately.  Took the short break in between games to run Mark to Urgent Care. No family trip would be complete without one. What happened? Well, I'll tell you,  it goes a little something like this....

Driving Trail

The boys could not resist a short and bloody game of "Dodge Stick" during lunch.  What is Dodge Stick you ask?  Funny, I didn't know what it was either until this weekend.   Apparently, when you don't have a Ball to play with you can, in the mind of a 10 and 13 year old boy, use a stick to throw at your brother.  He then has to try to 'dodge' it.  Mark while successful at dodging the stick Jack threw at him, was unsuccessful at dodging the rebounding stick as it ricocheted off the near by tree.  Said stick impaled Marks upper lip.  Thus leading to a short trip to the Urgent care for some sterri-strips and superglue.  Fortunately this was our only medical emergency.


We spent our evenings roasting smores and joking around the campfire.  Sunday we went off exploring Lake Keowee Park.  We hiked up to Jump-Off Lookout, and assured the boy's there would be NO jumping off.  We enjoyed the coolness of the season, the start of the fall colors and the fact that we had no child to carry on the trail.  We also hiked up to the falls and enjoyed the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It was wonderful.



Let me just show you how busy I've been!

I quilted and bound all four of these quilts this week.  And boy are my arms tired.  (OK wrong joke but you get the idea.)

 I have been preparing for a craft show, something I have never done before, and I have been trying to build my inventory.  Not sure how well received Quilts will be.  Since this was a last minute decision and admittedly not necessarily a wise decision, I have been running on little to no sleep.  My days and nights have gone pretty much like this.

*Wake, get kids to school, quilt, eat, quilt, pick-up kids,  drive here and there and everywhere, make dinner, help with homework, quilt, take care of kids, quilt, quilt, quilt, go to bed when eyes will not stay open any longer and repeat from*


October Wreath

I pondered the possibilities of this months Quilt Wreath design as September drew to a close.  Among the things that made my list for October were, pumpkins, leaves, pumpkins, witches, bats, pumpkins, mums, ghosts, pumpkins, full moon, haunted houses, pumpkins. (You can see that pumpkins were high on my list of quilt blocks to make.)  I felt certain that I would indeed make a pumpkin block.  There are certainly 100s of patterns to choose from on the web, not to mention the holiday books I checked out from the library. 

Yet, as is typical of my life and creative process, I just couldn't bring myself to make something so cliche.  I know that sound terrible, there is certainly nothing wrong with pumpkins or Jack-o-lanterns.  I just could  not decide on a pattern.  Or more to the truth, nothing jumped out at me and screamed, "YOU WANT TO MAKE ME!"  Silly I know, but it's how I work.

Then I ran across this FREE cat pattern from Artisania and it said, "You have so got to make me!'  And I thought, "Who ME?"  Really, I wasn't sure it was talking to me personally. You see, there's a catch, it is a paper pieced block.  I have wanted to try paper piecing but, NOW. Are you sure?  I kept searching and searching but kept coming back to the cat.  

Initially, I started out with this Wreath Project to increase my machine quilting skills.  I have to say I have tried many new patterns I might not have otherwise tried on a larger quilt.  It has been a great way to increase machine control and try out new things without committing a new pattern to a larger project. (Or more specifically without being committed personally after trying a new pattern.)  The more I thought about it the better the idea seemed.  Why not try paper piecing this months block.  It's something new.  It certainly helps me increase my quilting skills.  Seriously, how hard can be?  Yeah, Okay, how many times have I been burned by that!

After one bad start, one miss placed piece and one placement of the wrong color,  I completed this months block.

October Wreath

 I even managed to squeeze out a few of the cliche things on my list. Let's just pretend it's an eye-spy game. Come on and play along.

I spy with my little eye.
A ghost, a moon, a tree and bat
And one totally awesome paper pieced black cat.