Friday, September 30, 2011

Country Charm(er).....GIVEAWAY

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick post to show a finished Country Charm(er). I haven't decided on the final name yet.  That's YOUR task.

I love decorating with quilts.  This 8 foot red ladder is perfect for a corner that needs to be brightened up with a quilt.  Key the Christmas music and let's put up the Christmas tree!  A bit premature, but I am in the Christmas spirit after finishing the red/white check binding.

I draped the quilt over/through a non-functional sled that I purchased at a junk shop for a song.  My daughter-in-law gave us the little blue kerosene heater.  It is so funny how many times people give us something and say, "This would look great at the cabin!"  The little heater is a wonderful addition to our collection of treasures/junk shop finds.

Since I'm in a giving, Christmas about a GIVEAWAY!!  Let me know in the comment section or via email  just what I should name this quilt.  You can vote for Country Charm or Country Charmer or come up with something completely different, and you could be a winner of a pattern to make your own Country Charm(er).  This contest is going to have a quick turn around time, so vote by Tuesday, October 4th, 12pm PST and the pattern winner will be announced Wednesday Oct. 5th.  I don't care where you live, I will send the pattern anywhere in the world.

As always, Zinnie will be the judge with a little help from Mom and Dad.  She is more than willing to be bribed with Kibble and doggie treats, and the decision of the judge is tag-wagging final.

Have a great weekend.  You know the saying, vote early and vote often!

As always,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tools in My Toolbox

Hello Everyone,

Time to get out the old toolbox full of Civil War fabrics and start making blocks according to my own directions for Country Charm.  This is how I create.....I surround myself with some fabric, paper, pencil, computer and Bernina.

The directions are almost finished.  It is time to check and re-check.  The next version of Country Charm is going to be made using Civil War fabrics.  Every color of Civil War fabrics I can squeeze into it!

I chuckle when people tell me they would love to see my "quilting studio".  Here it is, the dining room table at the cabin!  When it is too chilly to eat outside, I have to clear the table.  There have been times when I didn't want to clear the table and disturb a thing, so we ate outside wearing jackets.  Mr. Joe draws the line when it comes to wearing mittens with his meal! 

Back to work for me.  My toolbox is full of ideas that need to get out of my brain on into the computer.

Hope you all have a creative day!

As always,


Monday, September 26, 2011

Window Into My World

Hello Everyone,

This was a busy weekend that included a birthday party, a car show and Quilting in the Garden.  By the time I left the shop and the birthday party, the quilts were coming down from the trees.  I just have a few pictures to share. 

The quilts are hanging throughout Alden Lane Nursery.  Just the nursery in itself is very park-like setting.

Everywhere you look is color, from the flowers and plants to the quilts.

There were a few clouds on Saturday, more on Sunday that squeezed out some rain.

The oaks trees are ancient and grow throughout the whole nursery.

This was a very interesting display of color.

Next year, I'm going to be there earlier.  Have a great week everyone.  I'm off to the shop this morning.  Lots of new temptations, I mean fabrics have arrived.

As always,


Friday, September 23, 2011

Quilts and Cars

Hello Everyone,

Country Charm just came off the quilting machine yesterday.  I'll take a picture of the whole quilt after the hanging sleeve goes on and the binding is week.  Mr. Joe thinks I should rename this one to Country Charmer.....I might do it!

Lots of one-inch crosshatching on this one!  Now to finishing up the directions for the least favorite thing to do!

In addition to woodworking, Mr. Joe likes to tinker on old cars.  To make a long story very short, he spent six years restoring Miss Vicky,  a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria.  This is a fun ride that we've driven all over power steering and no air conditioning.  A couple of years ago, our car club was asked to attend an event during Fleet Week in San Francisco, and we were lucky to get this picture in front of the Blue Angels.....what a day!

This Sunday is the BIG Altamont Cruisers Car Show in downtown Livermore and Miss Vicky will be there.  So while you ladies are at the quilt show, drop the menfolk off at the car show and you will be good to go for hours and hours.  In Between Stitches will be open in downtown so you can visit Alden Lane Nursery for Quilting in the Garden, come back to the shop, and then tour the car show.  Something for everyone!

As always,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Country Charm Machine Quilting

Hello Everyone,

Remember this quilt that I haven't been working on?  I finally made the backing and put this quilt on the quilting machine yesterday.  I've had this quilt marked with blue, water soluble pen for the last month. I just couldn't bring myself to quilt it.  I wasn't happy with my decision, so I removed all of the blue markings and started over with a clean slate.  The 'clean slate' was refreshing and let me explore new quilting ideas.  The crosshatching is just what the quilting doctor ordered to frame this block.

Once I changed my mind, I dove right in and love the results.  Let me tell you, it takes longer to remove markings than it takes to put them there in the first place!  The micro-stippling is going to drive me crazy, but as usual, I tend to make lots of work for myself.  I found that I can sit on a tall stool while stippling which helps to alleviate back pain.  The stool is an old one that my dad used in his workshop for years.  Now it's getting a new life in my workshop/sweatshop and is just the perfect height.

In my absence over the past couple of days, I've been binding Party in the Garden.  I just have to make the label, and this quilt is ready for Quilting in the Garden this weekend!  For those of you lucky enough to attend the show, don't forget to stop by the In Between Stitches booth and check out all of the quilting goodies we've been preparing. 

I'll be at my quilting machine for the next few days.  It takes me 45 minutes per block - times 20 blocks, plus do the math!  But it will be worth every stitch.

As always,


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Minglewood Quilt

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, I chained myself to my Bernina and finished 84 sashing sections, 49 nine-patch blocks, 3 new blocks........and a partridge in a pear tree!  Yes, I am going a bit bonkers trying to get this quilt finished.

I'm making four blocks out of the leftover fabric to fill in the appliqued area.  This block is called Coronation and I love the way it turned out about 10 o'clock last night.  I'm using up every little scrap of fabric I can find.  I have to cobble one more together....that could be challenging as I only have tiny pieces left.

For whatever reason, (I'm not sure why), I skipped making an additional Broken Star block.

I also had to make another Mosaic Variation.  Now, I'm down to the final two blocks.

I'm renaming this to quiltus gigantus.  I have to pull out my kitchen step stool to get a picture of this mammoth quilt!  Zinnie has been tip toeing around this quilt all week and she hasn't run off with a block in her mouth yet!  She zipped across it only once when she ran to the window to check out the five deer walking through HER yard.

I ordered Baptist Fan groovy boards for my Handi Quilter.  I've never used groovy boards before, but I think an elegant all-over design is just what this quilt needs.  I'll have to practice first to see how it goes before I start in on this big boy!

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone.  It is time to chain myself to the Bernina again and get this quilt together.

As always,


Thursday, September 15, 2011

More Minglwood Blocks

Hello Everyone,

I'm going to spend my day doing some power sewing on the Minglewood Quilt. Here is another Christmas Star block. I've always wanted to make a pink and brown quilt, as I love that color combination.

The last block in the book is Aunt Dinah.  What a difference it makes to change the colors around.  Same block different placement.

The floor in the 'great room' isn't great enough for this quilt! The final size will be 101" x 101".  The black borders still need to be added. I'm just in the playing around stage with block placement.  I'll study this picture and the actual blocks on the floor before I decide on the final arrangement.  Pictures can show you so much more and errors tend to pop out with ease. Only five more blocks to make!  I decided in the very beginning that I wasn't going to include the center applique in my quilt.....and you know how much I love applique. 

When this quilt is finished, it will go on one of the beds at the cabin.  The little kids like to play trampoline on the log beds, so I thought it best not to include any applique.  (I don't want to spoil their fun!)

I'm off to do some uninterrupted power sewing on sashings and nine patch blocks.  Boring.....but they aren't going to get finished just by thinking about them!

I hope you all have a very enjoyable, quiltingly wonderful day.

As always,


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Minglewood Month #3

Hello Everyone,

Those of you working on the Minglewood BOM through In Between Stitches will be receiving your shipments soon.  This month you will be making two Kaleidoscope blocks.  For me, this was the most challenging of all the blocks.  TIP: Make sure when you make the half-square triangles with pieces C and E that you trim them to 1-7/8".

Just take your time on this block and it will all come together beautifully.

I made two Forest Path blocks.  But you have the option of making only one if you wish.  You could change this up and make a Lawyer's Puzzle on page 45 of your Minglewood book.  Since we live in the forest, the Forest Path block was the block for me!   TIP:  Cut your light 5-3/8"(A)  squares first before you cut all the rest.

My blocks are quite similar.

Enjoy your day.  Be creative and have fun.

As always,


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Christmas Quilt Along - Post #2

Hello Everyone,

Finally, twenty-six hours later, Party in the Garden is quilted!  Very densely quilted I might add.  My back is a little achy from leaning over the machine and working on all the feathers and micro-stippling.  So it's not a Christmas quilt.....but just pretend.....OK?  At least the house is red!

Now to the binding and I think this quilt will be done and hanging at Quilting in the Garden on September 24th!  There are still a few BOM slots left at Thimble Creek Quilt Shop if you are a glutton for punishment, I mean interested.  You know that song, The Second Time Around?  The Frank Sinatra version, not Lady Gaga. Well, I'm in love with this quilt, but I'm not sure that love is lovelier the second time around. I am one tired quilter and I won't plan on making this one again.

Now, about that nap!

As always,


Christmas Quilt Along - Post #1

Hello Everyone,

Today is the Christmas Quilt Along.  Sue is hosting the day, so hop on over to Sue's and check out what other quilters are working on today.

This is where I left off last month.  After I'd sewn all of the internal blocks together, I decided to put in setting triangles.  Not a good move on my part since that meant I had to remove several inches of seams, and then sew the triangles in place.  That will teach me to plan ahead a bit better in the future.  I may work on the borders later on today.

But first, I want to get back to machine quilting Party in the Garden.  So close, yet so far....I have borders that need to be quilted.  I'm vertically challenged when it comes to quilting side borders.  I will have to take the quilt off the machine, turn it, and load it back on the machine.  Sounds like too much work for me today!  Is it nap time yet?

As always,


Friday, September 9, 2011

Machine Quilting Day #2

Hello Everyone,

My plans for quilting all day yesterday disappeared before my eyes.  I only managed to get a couple hours of quilting in throughout the day.  Lots of detail to quilt around on this block......

.....and this block.  Last March, I purchased the micro handlebars for my Handi Quilter and it does make my life easier when it comes to quilting around applique.

I also finished a few more 9-patches and sashings for the Minglewood quilt.  This quilt is gong to have to move to the floor since it extends beyond the design wall. I'm just in the beginning layout stage since I have three more blocks to make and put them into the mix.  Zinnie loves to have quilts on the floor so she can tippee toe around them.  So far, she hasn't run off with a block in her mouth!

Tomorrow is the Christmas Quilt Along.  Head over to Sue's in the morning and see what she has planned for the day.  Also check out what quilters around the globe are working on for Christmas.

Happy Friday to all.  I plan on quilting. How about you?

As always,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Machine Quilting Day

Hello Everyone,

Today will be another machine quilting day for Party in the Garden.  I thought quilting would be easier the second time around....but it hasn't been easy so far!

Basically I'm quilting it the same way as the first version.....which is very time consuming.  I use rulers in the border, and I'm not too fast when working with rulers.  Sometime ago I lost my concentration while working with a ruler and it slipped under the needle.  The machine stalled, it took me forever to extract the impaled needle in my ruler....and then the timing was 'off' on the machine.  So the lesson learned for that experience was to slow down and concentrate on keeping all appendages out of harms way!

It is very hard to get good pictures of machine quilting.  I was playing around with different settings on my camera and I think I've got the correct setting!

I love quilting all the little vignettes in this quilt.  Each section is unique and needs to be quilted differently than the section next to it.  Fun, yet exhausting!  After a few hours of this, both Zinnie and I are ready for a walk!

On a side note, life goes full circle.  Our sons played football and soccer throughout their youth and in high school.  We sat in the same section of the bleachers for years watching them play. Then our daughter played soccer at the same high school, and we sat in the same section for another four years. The kids said they were going to carve our initials 'on the pines' that we warmed for so many years.  Tonight, we head back to the same bleachers to watch our grandson Austin play freshman football on that same field.  Hopefully the same bleachers are there, molded perfectly to our backsides......well maybe the wood has expanded a little... wink, wink!

As always,


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Minglewood Sashings

Hello Everyone,

Time to get back in the swing of things and dig in on my projects that have been patiently waiting from my return.  I've not been quilting for the past three longest hiatus from quilting ever!  I started in on the sashings and corner 9-patches for Minglewood.  The Little Gathering fabric line from Moda is perfect for this quilt and frames the blocks nicely.  There are still openings for this BOM at In Between Stitches.

Over the Labor Day weekend, we had a booth at Ruby Hill Winery for the Harvest Wine Festival.  So many of you ask me what my husband does while I work on my quilts for eight hours a day.  Well, Mr. Joe makes items out of wine barrels in his little wood shop.....just like Geppetto!  He loves working with wood and comes up with some great designs.

He makes doggie beds out of wine barrels.  We call this a Bark-A-Lounger.  (I know we have way too much time on our hands!)

....and here is a planter box.  From Cribbage boards to Lazy Susans, he makes them up at the cabin.  My contribution to his hobby is to go along for the ride and write up the sales while sipping a glass of wine....not a bad deal at all and I'm qualified for that position in our little Mom and Pop Company!

Today is machine quilting day.  I have to work on Party in the Garden and have it finished for Quilting in the Garden.  This is a fabulous quilt show in my hometown of Livermore.  Check out the slide show on the website, the classes being offered, and the featured artists.  Hope to see you there!

As always,


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Zinnie Picks a PICK FOUR Winner

Hello Humans,

My name is Zinnie and I'm your guest blogger today.  My human mom and life companion Lynn, let me select the winner of the autographed copy of PICK FOUR by Sue Abrey today.  If you only knew how long I had to wait while my humans got everything ready for me to do 'my thing'  and I don't mean doing my business in the yard!

First, my dad had to go to the store twice and buy three boxes of Vita Bones.  Two boxes weren't enough for all of the comments.

My mom wrote numbers on every single bone representing each and every comment from all of you blog readers.  I personally want to thank you for keeping me supplied in Vita Bones for a long, long time. YUM, my favorite treat!

All of the bones were gently put onto a quilt.....or course....what else would Lynn use to display my treats???

Oh, the anticipation of selecting a winner and enjoying my treat at the same time.

Boy, do they smell good.  I'm showing great restraint here folks.  Remember I'm only two and sometimes it is hard to behave.  Now who is the lucky winner going to be?

I think I'll pick this one!  Now here comes the tough part.  My humans aren't quick enough to get my treat away from me, so they don't know which number is the winner.

So back we go into the kitchen and reorder the remaining treats and look for the missing number.  Tail wag please.......

.....and the lucky winner is.......#64 Quiltin' Sandy from Australia!!!!   Let's give her a paw!!

I'm just showing off here so you can see that I am one, fine looking too!  It's Been a Hard Days Night and I've Been Working Like a Dog!

Sandy, please send your address to Lynn at   Sue will be sending an autographed copy of Pick Four to you from across the Pond.

This has been so much fun.  I want to thank Sue for her generous giveaway.  I also want to thank everyone that commented on the blog.  I'm in doggie heaven with all of my treats. 

Barkingly yours,


P.S.  I want to do a 'bark out' to everyone that tried to bribe me with kibble and treats in your comments.  Better luck next time!