Tuesday, March 25, 2014


A few months ago I made some circle blocks from a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilts.  I can no longer locate the tutorial and wish I had saved it on my computer. 

I used three layer cakes, two solid white and one printed.  I very carefully cut 6.5" circles out of the center of the printed squares.  Then the cut-out circles were machine appliqued to the center of a white layer cake square and the 'frames' of printed fabric that once held the circles were laid on top of white layer cake squares and stitched 1/4" around the circle.  I later decided to trim away the white fabric on the back of the 'frame' pieces to eliminate bulk in the seams for myself and my LAQer.  This sort of raw-edge applique will fray a little when the quilt is washed which I think adds to the charm. 

The fabric line I'm using is called Zoe and it's sort of retro and sort of chic.  Jeff thought it was odd at first, but since I'm sewing rows together he loves the clean lines. What do you think?

There are three more rows to add and then I have to make a decision about a border.  I know I will add a narrow white border around the outside whether or not I add a larger border.  To my eye this quilts borders on being Modern style and doesn't necessarily need a border.  I would love your input.  I think this will be our Summer 2014 quilt. 

I make a bright quilt every Summer.  Here are our summer quilts from the last few years ~~



One of the best things about being a quilter is that I can step outside my comfort zone and go wild with color and design. 
The Summer Bazaar quilt was super simple to make with two sizes of tumblers and a layer cake by Ty Pennington. 

The Jellyroll Race quilt was made from one jellyroll by Amy butler called Soul Blossom and a little extra fabric for borders and binding.  This became my granddaughter's quilt along with some matching pillowcases. 

The Tomato Quilt was made from scraps from my stash.  Jeff grew wonderful tomatoes last year and this quilt will remind us of Summer 2013.

Do you dare to step outside your comfort zone and make something that lightens your heart and makes you smile! 

Wishing you a day filled with Peace & Plenty ~~~  Barb

Friday, March 21, 2014


I can breathe a sigh of relief because Jeff's double Slice quilt is done except for the quilt label.  He wants me make one on the embroidery machine.

It was hard getting a picture of the whole quilt because it's so large.  I used two layer cakes from the Birchbark Lodge line by Moda.  It made a very generous queen.  The blocks are set 8x10.  If I ever make this quilt again I will make an extra block and set them 9x9.  My friend and long-arm quilter, Reggie, quilted the center of the quilt with her free-motion stippling.  She quilted the borders with oak and maple leaves.  The outer border is from the Birchbark line.  The backing is black/brown swirls.  There is a great tutorial on making a Double Slice quilt at Missouri Star Quilt Company. 

The Girls, Dottie & Olive, are totally curious about anything new that appears in their house.  They sniffed the quilt and gave it a little snooze test and approved with flying colors ~~



Now I have to pull out another UFO and see if I can finish it.  This could go on all year if I'm not careful!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I finished making the items my daughter needs for her new business yesterday.  Everything is boxed up and ready to mail later this morning.  I'm also sending off two little quilts for a Bereavement group I belong to at Missouri Star Quilts.

The staff at the hospital where these will be sent are doing a touching thing for the parents who lose a child.  I pray that my meager efforts will be a comfort to them.  These two quilts are just 19"x19". 

I did some reorganizing in my sewing room yesterday.  I had some old yarn on hand that was occupying a large cubbyhole in my fabric cabinet, so that has been bagged up to be donated to our community center.  I now have a roomy (already filled) place for juvenile and baby prints.  I seem to make a lot of items for youngsters lately.  Speaking of my sewing room, here is a rare spontaneous peek at what's going on behind closed doors ~~

I have three double-door cabinets for fabric storage.  Cabinet #1 holds blacks/grays, pinks/purples, greens, browns, blues and oranges.  The cabinets are deep and in the back fabric is rolled onto comic book boards and placed standing up like little soldiers.  Everything one yard and larger goes onto the comic book boards.  Smaller amounts are folded like fat quarters and are lined up in plastic shoe boxes.  Then you can see additional fabrics and folded and placed in front.  Yes, there's a stuffed owl and a jar of old buttons on the green shelf.  The drawers are wide and wonderful and hold miscellaneous notions and embroidery hoops.  On the bottom right is my stash of stabilizers for machine embroidery.  Okay, ready for more...

This is cabinet #2.  You will notice as we progress that each cabinet gets progressively more messy!  This cabinet holds white/creams, reds, holiday fabrics and batiks.  The third shelves (right and left) hold a growing stash of precuts.  I consider this a stash within a stash.  On the left are charms and jellyroll precuts.  On the right are layer cakes.  More wonderful drawers that hold rotary cutters, needles/pins and assorted small rulers and templates.  On the bottom left and right are some projects in the works and assorted bottles of Best Press and Bounce pressing spray.  Here we go....

Cabinet #3 holds solids, my UFO shelf (second on left), yellows/golds, 1930's reproduction fabrics, 108" wide quilt backings and /baby/juvenile fabrics.  On the bottom left are large cuts of fabric (4 yards or more) and on the bottom right is a Featherweight machine and more bottles of pressing spray.  The drawers hold quilt blocks, assorted strips, orphan blocks and bindings.  The jar inside the yellow/gold shelf holds hexagon papers.  The tiny basket on the quilt backing shelf is full of thimbles. 

I have a bit of space between the cabinets and the walls and that's where I store bags of batting and other miscellaneous items.  I need to do something soon about my thread storage.  I machine embroidery and I have hundreds of spools of embroidery thread.  Hubby has promised to make me a special storage shelf/rack.  My large cutting mats hang on a hook behind the door.  I keep a large cutting mat to the right of my sewing machine and a 24"x24" pressing board to the left of the machine.   

This is not the limit of my stash.  My sewing room also has a closet full of flannel, battings, bolts of fabrics, quilt tops waiting to be quilted, etc.  I refuse to open that door for anyone!  I consider my sewing space to be organized chaos but I can always find what I'm looking for, so it must be working for me.

Add two curious Scottie dogs to the mix and my life is complete!

Thanks for looking!  Have a great day!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I'm just popping in for a minute.  We have a busy working weekend planned.  Hubby will be painting at the apartments and the Girls and I will be working at home. 

My wonderful LAQer, Reggie, called yesterday to say my quilt is ready to be picked up.  I have the binding cut and sewn together, so maybe I can sneak in a quick trip to her house this morning.  I look forward to having some hand work so I have an excuse to sit down for a while!

I hope you have something wonderful planned for today.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 14, 2014


The project of making pillowcases, pillow covers and runners for my daughter is coming along quite well.  Take a peek....

The project has morphed into the kitchen. and taken over the table and the island.  These are a few fabrics I've been working with.  All are from my stash.  Above are eight more cases rolled into tubes waiting to be stitched and transformed into something recognizable.  Here are a few more of the cases I finished yesterday....

The blush cases in the top photo are my daughter's favorites.  She also really likes the bamboo print in the second photo.  The bottom cases are my favorites.  Both of the fabrics are unique.  The green cuff is so much like silk it's incredible. 

Although this project is fairly simple sewing there is a lot of cutting.  When you make standard pillowcases you are working with the width of the fabric, but not so for travel pillows.  If you are interested in making tube pillowcases (no raw seams) there is a great tutorial at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  They also have a YouTube site with their tutorials.

Last night I took my machine apart to remove lint that has been piling up the last few days and it really wasn't as bad as I thought.  Today I can start out with a clean machine and a new needle. 

Wishing you a good Friday and a wonderful weekend.  I will try to post a little on Sunday.  Tomorrow is going to be impossibly busy for us.

Wishing you bushels of Peace & Plenty! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


My daughter will soon be launching her new career as an Esthetician (skin care expert).  She will be using travel size pillows on her facial table, which need cases.  Guess who gets to make the cases and a few runners.....  Here's what I have so far~~

You will notice a bit of a purple theme in the cases.  The top two and the left picture is photo 2 are from the Elizabeth fabric line.  I like the soft blush case in photo 2.

This fabric is from the same line as the blush fabric above.  The accent strip is something I had in my stash.

The picture doesn't do the cases above justice.  The fabric looks like linen and has sheet music in French in the background.

Does anything say Girlie better than high heels and red lips!
These are just for fun!

I'm off to sew up a few more.  Wishing you all the best.  Barb

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Welcome to the new followers here. So glad you dropped by!

We are still pretty much iced in.  My garage door won't open and Hubby doesn't want me to force it for fear the rubber seal will be damaged.  So I'm still suffering from Cabin Fever until this Ice Age begins to melt.

Yesterday I was wishing I had a little bit of hand sewing to do.  Since I had nothing I made a small bereavement quilt for a group I belong to that provides small quilts to the parents of stillborn babies.  This gives them a little something to bring home from the hospital. 

The little quilt is made from nine 5-inch squares with two little borders and a touch of machine quilting.  I used my Baby Lock Sashiko machine for the quilting.  It replicates hand quilting on the top side but there is a straight line of stitching on the back.  The Sashiko machine only stitches straight and doesn't go backwards.  You can adjust the length of the stitch and also the amount of space between stitches.  This is a beautiful machine with loads of possibilities for quilting, home dec and crafting. 

I'm heading off to the kitchen now to put together some ricotta/parmesan stuffed shells for our dinner tonight.  I will serve them with chicken parmesan and a salad. 

Wishing you a wonderful day...Barb

Monday, March 3, 2014


We have about three inches of snow on top of two inches of ice currently.  I took the Girls out twice today to take care of business and Miss Dottie was totally frustrated because she can't smell through the ice and snow.  Poor little thing, she plunges her nose as far down as it can go and she comes up gasping for air because her nostrils are filled with snow.  This is a big adjustment for two former California Scotties.  Sweet Olive is much more adaptable than Dottie, but she's younger and that can make a difference.  The Girls have polar opposite personalities and traits. 

I'm in the mood to do some Spring Cleaning.  Before we go too far into this topic, what I think I'm really in the mood for is opening the windows to air the house out.  Tomorrow I plan to tackle Jeff's closet.  He has quite a number of old shirts that need to go bye-bye.  They are beyond wearing or even cutting up for quilts.  We have a small house and a we both store quilts in one corner of our closets because we don't have a proper linen closet.  I will make sure our next house has a walk-in linen closet.  I had one of these gems once and it was my favorite spot in the house. 

In the meantime, I finished paperwork that had priority over sewing today and tomorrow after cleaning Jeff's closet I will sew the rest of the day. 

I hope you are warm and safe and doing something that makes your heart sing!

Sunday, March 2, 2014


We woke up to thunder and lightning at 3:45 this morning.  I jumped out of bed to unplug the electronics and Tvs.  Then the sleet came down so hard it sounded like rain hammering on the roof.  We have about 2 inches of sleet with a light layer (so far) of snow on top.  The Missouri Highway Department has declared this a No Travel Day.  We still have our fingers crossed that this is as bad as it is going to get.  We let Dottie & Olive get on the foot of our bed this morning and they curled up and slept there for hours snuggled up in our mink blanket.  We may have created two little monsters who think they can sleep on our bed all the time.  Olive is easy to sleep with but Dottie is restless and she gets off the bed to get water.  When she comes back she cries to be lifted back up on the bed.  Of course this happens on my side of the! 

I haven't cooked anything yet.  We munched on cereal and coffee cake for breakfast.  It's a hot cocoa kind of day for me.

Stay safe and warm if you are in the path of this latest winter blast.  Nothing is worth trying to drive on ice.  I have had misadventures driving on just a little ice two years in a row.  I learned my lesson well and I won't set a foot outdoors until further notice!