Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Doll Quilt Swap

Last night we had our first Doll Quilt Exchange with our DMQG small group.  It was so fun.  The instructions for the quilt were to make one that reflected who "you" (the sewer) are.  As we exchanged we explained our inspiration and if we had to change or improvise on our original idea.  Most of us did not end with the original idea was the case in mine....
This is my Doll Quilt:

Photo provided by Joellen at Just Say Sew

My inspiration: Redwork, vintage illustration of a child (I collect them), Mary Englebreit (black fabric); reproduction, retro fabric; puppies; primary colors (red, yellow, black) and polka dots.  I originally envisioned pin wheels around my embroidery but it proved too involved for me to I went to Plan B....

This is my quilt label.....(of course I put it on upside down!)

Here are the other quilts:

Susan's quilt ( by Joellen..

Susan's inspiration: MoMo "It's a Hoot" fabric, triangles, paper piecing, liberated square, box in box square...
Look at the quilting awesomeness!!!!

Sarah's quilt, received by Christy

Sarah's inspiration: her valentine's birthday...note the hearts, and wonkiness, black and white and rick rack, fussy cut designs of her favorite things!

Janet's quilt, received by Sarah
Janet's inspiration: her pink and green wedding :)   and daisies, applique and rick rack!
 Christy's quilt, received by Susan
Christy's inspiration: needle turn applique, batiks, hand quilting

Joellen's quilt    (received by ME!)

Joellen's inspiration: roosters, applique, 3d quilting, her connection to friends, MoMo "It's a Hoot" and polka dots! 

Notice the chicken wire quilting!

 Look at this awesome back:

I love them all....and hearing and comparing the inspiration to the finished product was sooooo enlightening! We had a great time! :)

Pam, one of our members, showed us her first finished quilt that she pieced and quilted herself using the Kate Spain Fandango....(deja vu @    It was beautiful and she did an awesome job.  Unfortunately, I don't have pics of that (Boo!).....Can you go wrong with Kate Spain fabric?  I don't think so.  We love you Kate Spain!

Girls!  I had a great time and can't wait for the February swap!

P.S.  My Santa was featured on Feeling Stitchy (blushing)...

Thursday, December 23, 2010


This photo was taken yesterday...
This is what Christmas in Texas looks like. 

Yes, my yellow rosebush is full of blooms...She certainly isn't feeling Grinchy.
Happy Holidays to all of you!

Monday, December 20, 2010


I finally bound two quilts that are Christmas presents....

 It took me longer than I thought it would but thankfully they are done. The first quilt is one that I started after my first quilt retreat.  I was sitting by Sandy   and she was using the Kate Spain Fandango fabric (as was Jenny in flannel) I was hooked.  I immediately ordered a charm pack when I got home.  I think the Amy Butler looks good with the Fandango colors.

The second quilt is for my 6'6" nephew.  It will not be big enough but it still felt like I was wrestling a bear when I was putting on the binding.

Confession:  I used my machine for both sides of the binding...I know....not the norm but I was in a hurry.  I had them both quilted by a long-arm quilter.

I have to admit that my holiday so far has resembled the portion of "It's a Wonderful Life" where George's discontent is evident....the part where he calls Uncle Billy a "silly, stupid old man," and his impatience with this children is really laughable because it feels so real....
"what do I look like, a dictionary?" 
"why do we have so many kids?"
"why do we live in this stupid town?"

I actually said out loud (three times) to my children and my husband...."I hate Christmas.".......Pathetic, I Grinchiness.......

I am trying to slow down and appreciate the season...appreciate the simple things and let go of all the "other stuff."

I will work on letting go of my Grinchiness over the next week......keep your fingers crossed! :)

For a holiday chuckle, check out this wonderful blog

Sunday, December 12, 2010


It has taken me a week to get my Christmas decorations up and out.  I don't know why Moms are required to attend sporting events (like lacrosse tournaments in Austin) when CHRISTMAS is just around the corner.  I could use an elf or two....

This is my favorite Christmas decoration:

You are saying "What the _______??""  but is.  This was made by my daughter in 2nd grade.

It reminds me more of a wonderful friend than it does of her (still love ya sweet daughter!).

I never knew that elementary school would be so rife with gossip, intrique and outright cattiness....and that was the MOMS.   Plus, some of the Moms were pushy about their role as "homeroom mom" and were disinclined to listen to any other suggestions.  The above project is an example.

Take twenty-five children in each class....add the five classes and you get 125 students (public school here).  Add the green paint and red paint, the burlap (that was not cut before time) and then add the paint that must be put on 250 hands and then each set of  hands must be placed on the burlap twice.  Oh, and their name and date put on the corner......and Merry Christmas at the top even though we were not celebrating Christmas in public most definitely was a Winter Celebration (!)

Can you imagine how messy and chaotic this project became?

Can you imagine how many times the hands did not combine with the burlap to make a wreath and had to be done again?

Can you imagine 8-year-old boys and this project?

Did I mention that I did not volunteer for this craft?

Did I mention that my sweet friend did? you can see why this hand wreath reminds me of her recounting of this ghastly still makes me laugh....hard.

So...I am almost finished decorating......

What about you? Now on to bind four worries here!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I live in "the metroplex,"  as in Dallas/Fort Worth area.  I have lived here for 22 years.  I grew up in a small town in East Texas...we had three corner Drug Stores...all with "soda fountains."   I would order something from the drug store and say "charge it to my Daddy."  We had one movie theatre...The State Theatre.  My parents were certainly not rich but my Dad always worked hard and I can't ever remember needing was an idyllic life in many ways....

After working in the DFW area for a few years and in the area of the criminal justice system, I began to see the  sordid side of things...and to tire of it too.  One day, as I was taking my young six year-old son (about eleven years ago) to the Doctor, we were stuck in traffic.  My son, looking at a billboard, said "Mom, what does (spelling out)  C-O-N-D-O-M-S to go mean?"  Like a good Mom, I said "I don't know" and turned up Radio Disney.

That is when I realized I was living in Pottersville:

 From the classic, It's A Wonderful Life, Pottersville is the town that George Bailey returns to after he has "never been born."  Pottersville is a town where
Uncle Billy is a lunatic, George's Mom runs a boarding house, his younger brother dies at age 9, Bert and Ernie have failed marriages, Violet is a hooker and Mary is, gasp, a librarian.

Pottersville is a horrible place and that was by 1946 standards!  I don't want to live there...I want to live here:

While I fail miserably on so many levels...I try to adhere to the spirit of Bedford Falls....honesty, decency, helping a neighbor or friend, taking care of my family....Lassoing the Moon....So, in this Advent season, I will work in that spirit....and search for Zuzu's petals!

P.S.  I hear this guy is coming to town!

 Redwork Santa completed over Thanksgiving and soon to be a Christmas gift.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Underappreciated Crafter

I love vintage things....especially vintage craft things.  Recently, I was in an antique mall (I once had an individual [notice I did not say friend] that said I used the word antique "loosely."  It was "loosely" an antique mall....which does require some digging.  I came across this

It was marked $22.95....of course I bought it.  This is what drew me in:

and this:

and this:

and this:

I got it home and hand washed it...there are no spots or stains and no missing stitches or is in really really good shape.  And so, then I looked at it more closely......

For goodness sakes people....DO YOU NOT SEE SANTA AND HIS REINDEER??? Done by satin stitch?

Visions of suger plums dancing in her head??????

Or this?

Look at this sweet patchwork quilt top on her bed??!! and the cat....too cute.

Someone put a lot of time and effort into this sweet little topper.  Obviously this person was an underappreciated crafter in her family.  This goes into my special Christmas "stuff" from now on..... where crafting is appreciated!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010


It has been a week since I was at the DMQG has been blogged about here:

This was my first retreat and, while I had been to the last four months of DMQG meetings, I only knew "the girls" from the was a little apprehensive...."I'm new at this"...."I don't know them very well"...."what if they don't like me?"....."what if they freeze my bra?"......kidding but you know that feeling of going forward on blind faith due to a love of something?!

I'm sooooo glad I did.  It was was fun....the food was great....hospitality was wonderful....It was nice to laugh alot...outloud....and if you have ever been around Gina you will laugh....I promise.

Most of the "girls" in this group are younger...much younger than me....but so creative.  As I told one of them, I am humbled and rejuvenated at their creativity.

I am finishing up a few projects that I started while I was there which I will post later.   I think my table mate, April (Artsy Fartsy Designs)  finished fifty quilts while she was there! :)

Sooo....I will definately be at the next Retreat....but I am still hiding my bra.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I can blog about Halloween now since the weather finally feels like Halloween here!  Today was a high in the 50's and rainy....

Sooooo....Halloween day was really really warm but I'm glad I made the effort to decorate as we had so many trick or treaters.  They were so cute.

My favorite Halloween was when I was about seven.  A neighbor friend had a party that included bobbing for apples and other Halloween games.  His Dad told a spooky story and held a flashlight under his face....SCARY!  I was  a princess (original, I know).  My costume consisted of my Aunt's pink prom dress (circa 1963).  My Mom made my crown and sceptor out of aluminum foil (remember, no Party City at that time).  Of course we went trick or treating before the party.  My favorite house was Mrs. Wimberly, she made homemade popcorn balls. YUM.

I related that story last year to a client's grandparents after Grandma told me she made homemade popcorn balls each year for Halloween.  And today who showed up at my front door but Grandpa delivering his wife's homemade popcorn balls?!  It seems they didn't forget how much I loved them!  How sweet, wonderful is that?  I popped one in my mouth as soon as I could get it unwrapped! DELISH!

I have also been watching posts of Quilt Market.  My favorite so far is Tula Pink's Parisville 

I can't wait to get my hands on this! 

Finally, election day.  Hubs and I voted this morning...I hope all of you did as well. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

One True Thing

This movie  (One True Thing) was playing last night on Lifetime.  It is one of my favorites....Meryl Streep is terrific....take a glance:

Be sure and have your kleenex'll need it!

Favorite quote of the movie: "It's so much easier to be happy. It's so much easier to choose to love the things that you have, instead of always yearning for what you're missing, or what it is that you're imagining you're missing. It is so much more peaceful."

Friday, October 22, 2010


For all the games Hubs and I went to see at the old ball park...before we were married and new to this City.

For opening day of the new ball park which Hubs and I  were able to make...and where I used our binoculars to scope out Troy Aikman (!)

For Nolan Ryan and his seventh no hitter which Hubs got to see...and he came home like a little kid bouncing off the walls....

For Nolan Ryan  putting Robin Ventura (the player that charged him at the mound) in a headlock (!)...Hubs loves the replays of that....and you can see it here:

and for making it to the World Series!!!

(and a moment of silence for the New York can you not like Derek Jeter?)

Saturday, October 16, 2010


My "piecing" of the table topper was to quilt.  I am new to quilting as in I HAVE NEVER QUILTED ANYTHING BEFORE.  Time to jump in...but I should quilt something small first.  There are so many blogs out there to help new quilters... I especially liked Tall Grass Prairie Studio (what a wonderful quilter and provides such encouragement and inspiration!);  Oh Fransson; Anyone Can Quilt; Stop Staring and Start Sewing; Posie Gets Cozy; Fresh Squeezed Fabrics; Sew Mama Sew and many others. 

I better quilt something before I try to tackle the topper.  I whipped up a mug rug (I love this Martinque fabric)

O.K.  I know how to put on the walking foot...that's good.  I have a free motion foot... that's good. am I going to quilt my table topper?  The idea that kept coming to me was a spider web....I searched for images of spider webs and began to play around with the idea in my head.

The next morning....I took the topper and drew (with my blue disappearing marker) the spider web (on husb's big poker table but don't tell him)

Now to cut my backing fabric........oops.....too short.....time to recut my backing fabric......

Time to cut my batting (Warm and Natural) is a little messy.

Time to make the quilt sandwich.....oops....
Time to make the quilt sandwich......oops...
Time to make the quilt sandwich......oops....I feel like I am making a quilt thanksgiving meal rather than a sandwich.  I  DO NOT like this part.

OK...put on my walking foot and here with go....oops broken needle number one we go.....oops broken needle number two....time to use the right size needle
And we are OFF....hey  I'M QUILTING!!! I'M QUILTING!!!!

It reminds me of What About Bob and sailing....'I'm Sailing, I'm Sailing!!"

 This is actually going pretty well...I am 1/2 way through....break time.....

Back to it....almost through.  I decide to check the back side...MOTHER OF PEARL....what the heck??
It looks like all the quilting I've done since the break doesn't look as good as the first part.  Oh wait...when I turned the machine back on it didn't go to the settings I had for tension and stitch length...grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Time to RIP OUT ALL OF THOSE STITCHES....grrrrrrrrr!!!!!!

Time to start again!

I never expected to enjoy the quilting aspect so much....the feel of the fabric with the batting.....positively yummy.  And there is certainly a quilting zone you enter.....

Everything is quilted.  Now time for the binding!!!  Probably the one thing I disliked throughout the whole process.  Since I don't know how to sew, I don't know how to hand sew binding on the back.  I ended up  using a blanket hand stitch which was fine for this project...not so much for the next.  Plus, I am pretty sure my binding should also show on the front and mine didn't....oh is the finished project.

Hub's quilting effort shown above

Positive:  I love the way it looks on the front...almost exactly like I envisioned
Negative: The back (since it is on a neutral fabric) shows ALL quilting mishaps.  It looks like my spider took a hit of acid before she started spinning....or she is Charlotte's crack whore sister, Charlene.
But hey, I was able to quilt it and that feels great!

Do you think Gwen would approve?  or Jacquie (Miss Tall Grass Prairie)?