Over this past weekend I worked on lots of UFO's.  I must say it is a wonderful feeling getting things accomplished.  I finished the teddy bears up, which was no small feat. Actually there are 4 small feet. heehee. ok, I know it's corny :)

  I finally bound and hung the bargello quilt which I have dicided to call The Arroyo.

 On top of that, I managed to finish up the  border on this heart quilt I started for Valentine's Day.This is a project found in Jelly Roll Inspirations by Pam and Nicky Lincott called Candy Heart.   This was one of those projects I started and thought, "I be able to just whip this out in a couple of days."  Yea, six weeks latter...

  All of that and my children are alive and accounted for.  Now that is successful!


I'M Featured!

The super nice ladies over at Quiltstory blog are featuring my Great-Grandmothers Quilt in todays post. Click on their button below to check out the post and their seemingly never ending supply of energy!

Quilt Story


Mystery Solved!

Let me just say.  These are SO DARN CUTE!  

I would have never guessed that the mess of knitted pieces would amount to these two adorable Teddies.  (Yes, despite pictures to the contrary that may have accompanied the last post; I do mean Teddy BEARS and not Teddies that you wear.)

I used Debbie Bliss Pattern for the Teddy Bear.  This pattern can also be found in Debbie Bliss' book Simply Baby I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in Ecru and a US size 3.5 needle.  

Sadly, it was only after I knit up the pattern did realize I had to seam up the all of those tiny pieces.  I checked in at the ravlery.com web postings for the Bear and was quite disappointed I had not read the reviews earlier.  Almost every other comment said "I adapted the pattern to knit in the round to eliminate seaming."  Now they tell me.

It took me the entire Sunday to sew up the seams on these Teddies.  The whole time I was seaming I had this verse running through my head, over and over.

Me and my teddy getting all ready
getting all ready to play.
Me and  my teddy getting all ready,
getting all ready to play.

As if the seaming wasn't annoying enough.  For those of you who had young children who watched Barney,  I am sure you remember this "classic"

Now that these 2 Adorable little guys or girls are sewn up, they are off to 2 equally adorable little girls. I know they will get lots of hugs and kisses and be loved like proper bears should.


Guess What!

Would you look at this mess!  I have been knitting and knitting for at least a month and this is what I have to show for it.  

Some of the pieces look a bit strange, I know!  The pattern I followed and the book I checked out of the library assured me this was correct.  

Emma and I had a bit of fun with the assorted pieces.

Do you have any idea what this could be?  Any guesses?


Thought for today

I had a few extra letters left over from the Laundry Room Project.  I decided to use the leftovers to add this image to wall by my quilting area.

I think it is very appropriate.  I have been wanting to make a quilt with the same sentiment for several years.  For now this will have to do.


Warm Heart.

I cannot believe I forgot to share this little craft I put together for Valentine's Day.  Short term memory loss already!  Now what was I saying? :)

A late Valentine's Day craft.  Here are the Heart-Shaped pot holders I made last week.  I just think they are so very cute, and practical too.

 I used this great pink floral fabric I picked up at Hobby Lobby.  The pattern calls for 3 layers of batting, for the insulator. Instead, I used some insulated batting, great stuff if you can find it!  I found the pattern here ate Martha Stewart.com

I am not sure if you can tell from the picture but they are almost an oven mitt. You slip your fingers and your thumb into the two little semi-circle shaped on each heart.  Then when you use them to pick up  your pan/baking dish or pot you actually fold the heart in half.

Since I didn't get around to sending them off for Valentine's Day, I think they would make a cute little Mother's Day present.  The came together very quickly, I think it only took me an hour to make both of them.  The only problem is they are so cute I almost don't want to use them. Perhaps I need to make some really ugly ones.


Quilted Bargello

I have had this Bargello quilt finished for months, possibly a year now, backing finished and all.  It has been hanging quietly in my sewing room just waiting patiently for me to quilt it.

The problem was I didn't know what to quilt on it, and quite honestly I was terrified to start.  The quilt was such a huge accomplishment for me to finish.  Just the thought of quilting it and not liking how it turned out was enough to deter me from starting.

About a month a go I broke down and just loaded it onto my long-arm machine.  I thought maybe if I just looked at it everyday for a while I would be struck with inspiration.  Well it worked.  I sat down and sketched out idea after idea until I found one I thought I could live with.

The fabric I used on the border faded ever so lightly from Tan to cream, as you may be able to tell from the not so high quality photo. I knew I wanted to incorporate this fading into the quilting design.  What I came up with was a flower and vine combination that, in theory, was to be densely quilted in the darker areas and fade to a lightly quilted design in the lighter area.

 I'll admit I got a little carried away and the design did not fade as much as I would have liked.  However I still love how it turned out.

From the moment I planned this quilt I knew what I wanted the visual aspect of this quilt to represent.  I started this quilt in El Paso, and our moving plans had already taken shape.  I chose colors that would represent the mountainous, dry areas of the city and the cool flowing water of the Rio Grande. I used a combination of water and pebbles to quilt the entire surface of the quilt inside the border.  Also, symbolically representing El Paso as the Rio Grande acts as a border for the U.S. and Mexico.

 What I was trying to accomplish when quilting this is the feeling of flow.  I wanted to be reminded of the trip we took daily climbing from the valley up to our home on the mountain.  The flow of the water was also important and water it's self is essential in the desert environment of El Paso.

Ultimately when I get this quilt bound and the rod pocket sewn on I plan on using it to replace this quilt hanging in my dinning room.  (also another El Paso inspired Quilt!)


New Kona Colors

Look what I just got in the mail!

My selections of Kona solids from the Kona your world swap!  Aren't they just BEAUTIFUL!  It was the perfect little pick-me-up for that 5 o'clock slump I aways get into.  I have the perfect pattern in mind for these bad boys.  I have been working on a tessellation pattern and I cannot wait to try it out!  Keep your fingers crossed for me!



Here are 2 new pillows I just put up in my Etsy shop!  They have been sitting around my studio for what seems like FOREVER.  I cannot tell you how happy I am that they are finally finished!  They are Block O pillows and I think they look striking with my Block O quilt, I'm just saying.  I appliqued the 'O' on after using some light fusible interfacing, added a couple of borders and WhaM-o.  Two 16" pillows completed!

While I was in a pillow frame of mind I finished off this too cute Valentine's Day Pillow.

 Initially I had planned on using this pattern for my Door Wreath this month.  Since I didn't look at the completed size prior to making it, never a good idea, it came out much to large to hang on my wreath.  With a few adjustments and a pillow form it became a cute little Valentine's pillow for all of my little Valentines to fight over.


Heart Tutorial

As promised here is the tutorial for the String Heart I designed recently.  I used the paper pieced method to construct the pieces for this block.  There is a wonderful tutorial over at Film in The Fridge check it out if you have never used this method before.

You will need 4 pieces of paper cut to the following dimensions. (I used newsprint because I it tears away easier.  However any paper will work.)
- 6 7/8" X 6 7/8" square - 5"x 5" square - 7"X7"square - 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" square
The 8 1/2" and 5" squares are used for the heart and the 6 7/8" and 7" squares are used for the background.

You will want to cut a variety of strips which vary in width.  I chose 1" -to 2 1/2" strips in red and white.

Take one square and run a strip diagonally from corner to corner.  Use one of your wider strips to do this step, eventually we will be cutting the square in half.  You can use a glue stick to secure the first strip or pin the strip to the paper.

After your first strip is secured place a second strip, right side down on first strip.  Make sure you choose a strip long enough to cover the edge of your paper when this strip is turned. Don't worry about the excess hanging over the edge of the paper, you will be trimming your blocks once they are complete. Align edge and sew 1/4 seam allowance.  Sew right through the paper. Make sure your machine is set on a short stitch length.  The perforations caused by the needle make removing the paper backing easier.  Once first strip is sewn press open seam with dry iron.  I'm a bit lazy with this step and usually just finger press.

Repeat this step with next strip, laying it right side down on top of the piece you just sewed.  Continue in this manner until all four sheets of paper are covered with fabric.  Like this.

Press entire block open with a dry iron.  This time you have to iron, (press! I mean press) :(

Once all of your pieces are pressed, turn blocks fabric side down.  Following paper square as a guide trim block with straight edge to the size of the paper.

Now you can remove the paper backing.  The needle makes a nice perforated edge for you to follow but you still may need to score the peroration with your finger nail before the paper will tear.

Now take each of your heart blocks (mine are red) and cut them in half on the diagonal going the same direction as the fabric. Set smaller triangles aside.

Now take smaller background square and cut in half diagonally as you did for the above. Align large heart triangles with background triangles on diagonal edge, right sides together.  NOTE: The background triangles are not going to be the same size as the large heart triangles!

Sew on diagonal with 1/4" seam and press open towards background.

Using a straight edge trim excess red, making a block width of 6 1/2".  Now sew lower half of heart together using 1/4" seam.  Press open and set aside.

Take larger background triangle and cut in half diagonally.  Then take first of these triangles and cut in half again.  Take second triangle and cut to 5 1/2"

Lay pieces out as follows. With 5 1/2" triangle in the center.

Sew outside background triangles to heart triangles first and press seam.  Then sew 5 1/2" triangle in between the two units you just made. Press seam.

 Trim off excess points, aligning ruler with top edge of background triangle.  

You will now have two pieces that look like the above.  Sew those pieces together.  This should give you a 12x 12 1/2" block. (If it does not it is entirely my fault--just ask my daughter!)



If you have kids, especially teens, I don't have to tell you what a joy it is to be Right.  Most days I believe they think I am just a tad bit smarter than the dog.  My kids are forever telling me things that usually start with, "I told you.." or "It's your fault that..."  Only occasionally will they with throw out the, "I can see what you mean."  which they only use just to pacify me and my attempts at getting them to admit I do know something.  They seem to have forgotten that, yes Mommy did go to school and I do have a college degree.  Contrary to popular opinion, I do function quite capably while they are at school.

My third grader had a report that was due today.  For two weeks she has been procrastinating, and doing a stellar job at it.  I have had two other third graders at one time or another and I can tell you third graders hate homework. Other grades hate homework too, but at least they sit down and do what needs to be done. Third grade seems to be the grade when homework and long term projects take off at an astonishing rate.  Such is the case this year.

All year I have been badgering and nagging Emma to get her homework started when she gets home.  Occasionally, I will let her "take a break"  which only leads to more stalling and excuses.  With this project I worked with her off and on, reminded her when it was due but did not badger or nag.  I remained uncharacteristically calm and composed.  To her credit she worked on it, not all at once, but pacing herself at a rate any seasoned procrastinator would be proud of.  Last night she had no homework, so she said, other than to finish the project.  When she went to pull out her project she found that she had left it in her desk.  Oh the horror!  The screaming, the crying and the hollering was terrible.  Her brothers scattered.  One even hid in his closet to do his homework, where the screaming was at least "less loud."

Oh, the mental anguish this child put herself through, it was torturous to watch.  All of my suggestions, recommendations and conciliatory remarks were batted aside.  The world was quite obviously coming to an end, and we were all going down with her. Finally, not knowing what to do I called her father to have him talk with her. If anyone of us were to stand a chance it would be him.  Because, "Daddy" can fix anything.

He listened as she described the problem, consoled her while she cried, and brainstormed with her on how to finish the project with the information she had.  All the while I listened just out of sight.  Right before she got off the phone I heard her say the magical words, "I should have listened to Mom. She was right."  WooHoo.  Oh the bliss.  I know it may take 20 years for me to hear those words again.  I reveled in the glory of it all. May I say, It was wonderful.

This morning I was once again a drooling idiot, because I should remember that today she has computer because yesterday she had art. (duh.)  But,  yesterday for a brief 60 second moment I was RIGHT.


February Wreath (and other blocks)

February Wreath

For this month's wreath I decided to go traditional.  Just a simple heart, right?  Well, since I have a plethora of ideas bouncing around in this head of mine, you couldn't be more wrong.  The ideas are pouring out of my head faster than I can get them on paper!  I came up with this String Heart after searching for Heart Blocks for the February Wreath.  I don't know if something broke or just started working but suddenly all the blocks were broken down into basic shaped inside my head.  I just started coming up with plans and ideas right then.  Of course none of them were simple ideas and none of them were at all easy to assemble.  I am aways shocked at how difficult it can be to take an idea and turn it into an actual 3 dimensional object.

String Heart

This months block is a string heart block.  I sewed strips of fabric onto paper templates then cut them into the triangles I needed to make the heart.  After much calculating and fiddling I was able to get this heart and the background into a 12" X 12" square.  I took pictures of the entire process and plan to post a tutorial soon.  I also have two other heart shaped projects in the works which I'll share later this week.

Saturday night I was overcome with a wave of creativity.  I sat up into the wee hours of the night sketching, calculating and coloring.  I seemed to have more ideas than I did paper!  I guess I have been storing up these ideas for sometime, and  since The Quilt Story Blog is having a "Block Party" my brain decided now was the time to spew them out.  I came up with a total of 4 blocks and I still have one or more bouncing around in my head.

The actual idea was inspired by a drawing my son did.  Occasionally, when I get out the graph paper to play with a design my kids ask for a sheet or two to draw on.  Over time I have collected these drawings and use them for inspiration when I am running low. ( As an added bonus they are also good for a smile when I am feeling low)  I took Jacks drawing an modified it to a 12 inch block and then came up with a few of my own.  I am planning on making them into a cute quilt that I want to call, Kid, You're out of this world! or something like that.

Lights/Rocket Flairs

We come in pieces

Cute alien Dude
Both blocks were done in Kona Cotton and I added some hand stitching for the Alien, the antenna, the lights and the windows.  I may fuse the windows on the next two blocks to see which I like better.  I'll definitely be fusing the planets!  My favorite part, other than the cute alien dude, is that I used prairie points for the rocket flairs.  Jack said it best when he said, "They move just like real fire."

3,2,1 Blast OFF!

beautifully hand stitched windows
I have some ideas on planet blocks I need to get down on paper.  I am not sure if I will be able to come up with a pattern but I intend to try.  I would also like to try to get a pattern made for the entire space quilt.