Friday, September 28, 2012

There's More Than One Way

Sometimes the best strategy 
when a project is driving you crazy
is to go back to the basics.

As I continue to work on the 
Just Takes Two blocks for
this wonderful red and white sampler,
a few of the designs have been 
quite challenging and 
down right hard.

The recommended piecing technique 
has been foundation piecing.
But if you've read my blog lately,
you might remember how that doesn't work for me.

So the best solution was
to hand piece these particular blocks.
Yes, it might have taken more time,
but the trade off was:
it's relaxing,
extremely accurate,
 my stress level remained low,
and it's something I love to do.

It's good to push yourself
and try new things.
Buckeye Beauty Block

But there's always more than one way
to get that block done.
Happy Stitching.

  Until Next Time-

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Little Bit of Football

I'm not what you would call athletic.
 I don't watch a lot of sports on TV 
or rarely go to a live athletic event.

But this past weekend was
full of surprises.

  It was football
and Ag Days at 
  Colorado State University.

CSU was a land grand college
founded in 1870 so agriculture was key and still is.
 To commemorate that part of the university
you can sample
Colorado agriculture products 
 during Ag Days
and if you're lucky,
you can enjoy the company
of the former dean of the 
School of Natural Resources.

 There was beef, lamb, pork, beans and tators and more.
I discovered that the original colors of the college
were pumpkin and alfalfa.

Fortunately, the color scheme was changed  to
Green and Gold.

 And from Aggies to Rams.

The best part was that during the game 
we were guests in one of the sky boxes.
with a bird's eye view

and comfy seats

and good munchies.

I did watch a little bit of the game.
 I didn't bring them good luck.
But, it was fun anyway.
Until Next time- 

Monday, September 24, 2012


I had another opportunities to get a quilting fix.
  This weekend
 the Colorado Quilting Council
put on it's annual 

 It's a combo of vendors, quilt show,
 demos, and more vendors. 

A slow economy?
Look out.
 Quilters can move fast 
when there's new kits, pattern and fabric available.

My friends and I circled around
and through the booths.
then making a few purchases.

One of my favorite booths 
is an antique booth from Sioux Falls, SD.
I always seem to find something.

Sure enough,
underneath other things
were these delicious indigo blue and shirting 
churn dash blocks.

There are 39 blocks
in mint condition.

 Mostly machine stitched,

a few hand pieced,
but a wonderful collection of indigos and shirtings.

It's now been added to the list
of "some day."

 Until Next Time-

Friday, September 21, 2012

Just Takes Two

good things just sneak up on you.

 I was surprised how many blocks
I had recently gotten done.

 Until Next Time-

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Way back in 1985,
 I went to a 
Colorado Quilting Council meeting
and was brave enough to participate
in the show and tell segment of the meeting.

I had worked on a kaleidoscope design
using a Jinny Beyer border prints.
This was a new concept in fabric then and
her fabrics were hot and fun to use.

It's such a common concept now,
fussy cutting fabric to create 
exciting new patterns,
but it was new then.

I loved 
Her color palette with the deep rich colors and 
intricate designs.
So I worked on a variation of a kaleidoscope pattern
using the play,
The Quilters
as my inspiration.


After showing my quilt,
I was approached by one of editors of the
Quilters Newsletter Magazine
 who thought it would make a great pattern
for their readers.

I was so excited and honored
and also so surprised.
It has been my one pattern "published moment."

My piecing is far from perfect and
I certainly know a lot more now than I did then.
But it's part of my history.

If you have a magazine collection,

You can find me in the September/85 issue
Page 21.

Until Next Time-

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bag Lady

Every weekend I travel from Denver to Fort Collins. 
And then back again.

I've become a Bag Lady.

I'm not very stylish when I travel
back and forth.
Just toss it in a recycle grocery bag,
and off I go.

This week
you'll find in my bags,
some fall clothes,
vanilla bean paste,
powdered sugar
some hand stitching, 
and a chuck roast.
Not to worry,
that's in my cooler.

 Until Next Time-

Friday, September 14, 2012

Broad Perspectives

September brings about a positive
change in the temperatures.
Hopefully, the oppressive heat
of summer is over,
and the cooler temperatures of fall are 
on their way. 
That always brings a renewed enegry 
and broader perspectives.

September's show and tell is 
all about that broader perspective, 
broad wide borders!
 This quilt was a variation of
the North Wind pattern.
80" x 92"

One of the ways I would encourage 
new quilters to feel comfortable choosing
fabrics and colors was to have them 
look for a large print and let
the fabric lead them to the perfect color choices.

Using the large floral border as a tool,
makes it easier to create a palette.
As more and more fabrics 
were becoming available at this point in time,
it was fun to select several fabric for each color family,
which was the beginning of a "collection".

This is obviously a quilt from the 90's.
Mauve and country blue are the stars.

Notice the other dating clues,
the pin dot which is fading just a bit.
And there's probably Jenny Beyer's original piece
of eyelash fabric.
Pretty sharp points without all the newer
methods for creating half square triangles.

Back then, I hand quilted everything.
The 8 inch wide floral border made a perfect
opportunity to quilt this wide cable design.

It really shows up on the back.

Before I started putting a separate label on the back,
I embroidered my name and date on the front lower right corner.
I'm glad I did that because
there would be absolutely no way I could remember
when I made this.

Another wide bordered quilt is this
Kaleidoscope pattern

 80" x 94"

The large border fabric had a definite Asian feel and
I used it exclusively in the quilt along with a single background fabric.

 Without picking other pieces of fabric to 
bring out the colors, I let the large print
 do all the work.

This block has 12 points coming together in the center.
 I was continuing to hand quilt and 
on this 8 inch wide border I chose the Baptist Fan design.

 My labels had moved from the front of the quilt
to the back so I could include more information.
And to make them more secure, the label was added 
before I quilted.

 September is a month that brings a different
viewpoint and opens up new possibilities, 
just like those large prints
 opens up color opportunities. 

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's Cookie Dough Cupcakes

It confession time.
 How many of us have been caught with our fingers 
in the mixing bowl eating the cookie dough.

With school back in session,
Elizabeth and I decided that we needed
cupcakes that reminded us of an 
after school snack of 
Milk and Cookies

This month we called in a 
special apprentice pastry chef to help
us with our 
"Chocolate cupcakes with 
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Frosting."

The best part of these
delicious treats
was the peanut butter cookie dough frosting.
Guess what,
it's Egg Free.
Did I feel guilty this time for
eating the dough?
No, way.

We used the recipe that you'll find
over at 

The cookie dough frosting is 
exactly like a cookie recipe minus
the eggs and leavening.
We did find that we needed to add
a little bit more milk to make the frosting
softer and more spreadable.
As you can see, we piled it on.

These cupcakes did remind you of
an afternoon snack after school.
They were perfectly awesome and 
we didn't
even have any homework to do.

  Until Next Time-

Monday, September 10, 2012


 Did you feel it?
I hope not.

I'm sure the Seismologists had an unexplained
high reading on their equipment yesterday afternoon.

If they pinpointed the disturbance,
they would have found it came from my house.

It was created by the extra loud
The stomping of feet,
the banging of my head on the sewing machine,
and the
aggressive ripping from
"Jack, the Ripper."

I have come to the conclusion
that paper piecing is not for me.

I was working on the 
Just Takes 2 blocks.

This simple airplane block 
to be exact.
I had the worse time.
When I would try to sew the background pieces
up against the angle of the red,
they would never cover the area it was suppose to.

Rip, rip, rip, rip.

If I had known it would be so challenging,
I could have cut out the pieces and sewn
it the regular way.

I certainly would have had it done faster.
I can't even tell you how I got the 
block to be right.

But I can tell you,
I won't be paper piecing
these blocks again.
I'd rather hand piece the hard ones.

I wasn't happy.

(I'm better now)

Until Next Time-

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lots of Pink

I had company last weekend.
The house suddenly seemed
filled with 

Everdeen Kate
came to visit Nana.

It looks like we had fun.

And we did.

Hope you have a fun weekend too.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The 4 B's

It was amazing how many times at the quilt store,
we would get this type of conversation.

" Hi, can I help you?"

"Yes, I need to choose some borders for 
my quilt.
 No,no, not borders, I mean backing.

Oh, did I say backing, I meant to say binding.

Or did I need batting, hmmmm."

"Sorry, I can't remember.
I know it was just one of those B words."

For the past month, I've been 
working on my Olympic quilt
which is part of the 
11 PP Plan.

The 11 Project  Progress Plan is a very clever
idea my quilt group, The Quiltie Buddies,
have been working on all year.

It involved identifying eleven unfinished projects, easy...
giving each one a number, 1-11, easy...
drawing a number each month, easy...
and then progressing that project forward, easy..

Notice the word progressing.
It is not the word, finish.

So far it's been very successful.

So back to the 4 B's.
My progress this past weekend 
was applying borders,
piecing a backing,
getting the batting,
and making binding.

The top is ready to be sent 
to my quilter.

But wait...
there seems to be something missing.

There are 80 berries missing.

I didn't fizzle out,
 just waiting.

I'm making the berries out of wool 
and adding buttons.
I didn't want the quilting to go over the wool
so to make it easier,
 I'll add those when I get the quilt back.

In the meantime,
the number 10 was drawn.
I'd better go check my list.

 Until Next Time-