Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Borders on Sallie

Hello Everyone,

I really haven't been dragging my feet too much on finishing up Sallie's quilt. I've been waiting for the super queen wool batting to arrive at the shop. The batting arrived yesterday, so today I put the borders on before our company arrives. I'm teaching this class down at the shop next month, so I have to get this done and soon.

First she looked like this without her border...... ....then the black border was added.
Last but not least, another 6 inch red border was added and the quilt top is ready for the quilt machine when we get home. I love just about every phase of quilting....except for adding borders. It's the measuring and crawling around on the floor that I'm not too crazy about. Zinny always thinks it is time to play and jumps all around and over me while I'm trying to measure. I'm still trying to decide how I'm going to quilt this. I'm hoping for some inspiration in the next couple of days.

I had my drop-in Party in the Garden class on Monday night. Look how Evelyn made her flowers. She is going to stuff the flowers with fleece then quilt around the petals to achieve a 3-dimensional look.
Carol added some cute little brown center and yellow french knots on her trellis.
I love the little flowers on the garden gate too.

During class, we concentrated on making the hexagon flowers. Mary added little birds to her flowers. There was lots of creativity in the classroom!

Take care everyone and have a great week.
As always,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two Years Ago Today......

Hello Everyone,

Exactly two years ago today, June 28th 2008, Kade Wilder was born into our family and our hearts. So quickly you've grown from a little baby to......

a little boy full of wonder and sense of adventure.

Two and a half years ago I started making American Jane's Playtime pattern for little Kade. Our son and daughter-in-law didn't want to know if they were going to have a boy or a girl.....but they wanted me to make an appropriate quilt. At the ultrasound appointment, the technician slipped me an envelope with, "It's a boy!" written on the piece of paper inside.

I kept the secret for the longest six months of my life! I didn't even tell Joe, but it didn't take him long to figure it out.

I never spilled the beans.....not even once. Not even at the baby shower did I utter the Boy word.

The kids had to call first before they came to see us. No more just dropping by because I had quilt parts and pieces all over the house.

I stuffed each and every one of the marbles. I must have been half crazy at the time.

Before I blink, Kade will be old enough to drive this little roadster.

My wish for Kade and for all of us is to keep the sense of adventure and wonder in our hearts.

As always,


No work and all play......

Hello Everyone,

Today was just one of those days when you wanted to keep a low profile and not do much of anything since the thermometer hit 104 degrees in sunny California. Joe and I decided to pack a picnic lunch and headed over to Les Chenes Estate Vineyard in Livermore.

The owners, Richard and Candice, will give you a warm welcome. (It was an especially warm welcome today!) Joe has a couple of items on consignment at Les Chenes and we wanted to drop some things off. Don't worry, you don't have double was the angle of the sun on the side of the tasting room. We enjoyed a pleasant lunch under the grape arbor. There was a little breeze and we were nice and comfortable while we sipped a glass of Deux Soeurs wine with our lunch.

The vineyards surround you.

There are nice little "touches" wherever you look.

The tasting room is very cool and beautifully decorated.

This beautiful vintage mirror came from Argentina on a ship. Wouldn't you love to know the images reflected from this beauty?

Richard lived in a house designed by Julia Morgan, as in the architect of Hearst Castle Julia Morgan, and she purchased this gargoyle in Paris. Evil spirits dare not enter......there are only good wine spirits here!

I just wanted to stay at the winery today, sip wine and read a good book in this nice comfortable spot. Check it out the next time you come out to Livermore.....after your visit to In Between Stitches of course!

Okay, I'll get back to my quilting now. I need to get all of my class supplies ready for my quilting class tomorrow evening down at the shop. Hope to see some of you there.

As always,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mr. Snowman Bearing Gifts

Hello Everyone,

Okay folks, I don't know if you want to know this but it's only 183 days until Christmas. Here I am up at the cabin trying to complete as much as I can in complete peace and quiet......and I forgot to bring the background fabric with me.....aarrgghh. It's not that I don't have other things to work on. I just so enjoy sitting in the evening stitching away on my applique....not this week. I can't work on the embroidery either. So just pretend the snowman has an arm holding up the present. Oh yes, a face would be good also.

These tiny little ribbons were giving me fits until I nailed them down with a little dottie. All of the plaids that I have in my stash have really come in handy on this quilt. I've been having just way too much fun designing this one.

Today hasn't been all quilting. The Pine Needle Patrol sent us a notice to remove all pine needles from our gutters and roof. Our deadline is the 25th of June to have the job completed. After spending all morning in the yard and on the roof, we finished with one day to spare!

Hope all of you are having a wonderful day.

As always,


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Infinite Possibilities and Choices

Hello Everyone,

Now that our little "mini" vacation is over, it's time to get back to quilting for me and woodworking for Joe. I decided to get back to the Civil War Tribute quilt and make more "mini" blocks from the leftover fabrics. I also started thinking about a setting design. There's this way.... (the way that Joe favors)...

....and then this way. Just two ideas out of many rumbling around in my head. What a difference a layout makes! Just as in life, the possibilities and choices are infinite. Now just what do I do? For starters, I'll keep rearranging and changing my mind until I'm completely satisfied with the end result. I haven't even thought about what I'm doing in the border yet. This is definitely a dynamic work in progress. (I'm leaning toward this layout....I like the little blocks on point.)
I've been trying to make at least five additional blocks a month out of the leftover fabric. I'm falling a bit behind....or one knows that except you and me! I'm trying not to buy any additional fabric to add to the leftovers.

Every scrap of fabric that you see is from my stash. I know you will understand when I say that I haven't made even a small "dent" in my fabric accumulation.

Since it is so close to the 4th of July, I'm on a patriotic theme as you can tell. I only have one patriotic quilt so I think it is time for another one.

I picked up months 7 through 9 at the shop on Monday so I'm going to be busy cutting and sewing three months worth of Civil War Tribute blocks together.....maybe.....maybe not. I may get back to my applique quilt instead. This is just another choice that I have to make.

Here's hoping you have lots of fun choosing just what projects you want to work on this week.

As always,

P.S. If you would like the pattern for the 6-1/2" mini-block, send me an email at and I'll email you a .pdf file of the block I call Lil' Orphan Scrappy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Company

Hello Everyone,

Summer is here and the summer company is starting to arrive at the cabin. Actually the company started to arrive before Memorial Day this year. This week, Bev and Mark from Washington drove down to spend some time with us in the mountains. Bev and I reconnected on Facebook and realized that we had not seen each other in thirty years. We've known each other since we were five years old. Mark, Bev and I all graduated from Paradise High School together many moons ago.

Bev is also a quilter and look at the fabrics that she brought to work on. These fabrics are a feast for your eyes!

Bev has been collecting batiks to make a wall hanging for her older son and his wife. She is going to make an abstract quilt with an optical illusion.
She brought a great selection of books that I enjoyed reading.

Bev and Mark stopped off at The Quilt House in Gardnerville, NV on their way down and bought some more batiks to add to her collection.

We drove down to Angels Camp yesterday to The Country Cloth Shop and Bev found more beautiful batiks. It's always fun to stop and say hello to Ginger, Patty and Pam and see the new classroom.

We have been fondling all of these luscious fabric for the past couple of days.

So what have you been working on this week? Are you busy creating and having fun? I'll be posting more pictures of Toyland Tree next week.....this week I'm busy being the "hostess with the mostess." Tonight we are headed over to Murphys Classic Cars to keep the men happy.

As always,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Party in the Garden - Month #2 Flowers and Basket

Hello Everyone,

Here it is June already and Month #2 of Party in the Garden BOM. The packages are ready for pick-up for all the locals. The rest of the mailings were sent on the 15th.

I included a detailed tutorial on English paper piecing in the pattern. If you need more explanation, there are several good websites that include tutorials on English paper piecing.
Here is one at Connecting Threads

...and here is another tutorial that may be helpful.

These cute little flowers become very addicting and you will want to make more and more of them.....and you will later on during the year.

My only word of advise for the little basket is TAKE YOUR TIME. Cut and sew accurately and you will end up with a very precise adorable little basket. Make sure your machine is sewing a precise 1/4" seam and you will be fine.

If anybody has any questions please post them to the blog and I will answer them for you. Don't forget the drop-in class on June 28th from 6-9. We can work on your quilts together while having a fun evening.

As always,


Friday, June 11, 2010

Chelsea Cottage

Hello Everyone,

I was so excited to see my Party in the Garden quilt on the Blackbird Design June 8th blog posting. The very least I can do is return the favor and post one of their designs that I made a couple of years ago called Chelsea Cottage. Check out their blog site

Moda has a new fabric line coming out called Park Avenue by 3 Sisters which would be perfect for this quilt. Just the right combination of browns, blues and red. The layers cakes, and jelly rolls have arrived at the shop. Check them out!

I love quilting feathers. I quilt feathers in my dreams. I put a little red flange around my house to set it off from the rest of the quilt.

The pattern is from the book called, You're Invited by Barb and Alma. (I feel that I'm on a first name basis since my quilt is on their blog!) Such a creative duo.

This book is so enchanting. Curl up with the book and read it like a novel while sipping a cup of tea and dreaming about Chelsea Cottage in the English countryside.

As always,


Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Hello Everyone,

It feels so good to be home and get back to designing, holding a needle, and working on Toyland Tree. My applique, oh how I've missed you! Unrealistic person that I am, I took my applique with me to Paradise last week thinking that I would sit down in the evening and work on it....not a chance. We were barely able to stay awake 'til 9pm we were so exhausted cleaning and packing up a lifetime.

Most of you know that my passion is applique. I'm the queen of fat quarters since I need such small amounts of fabric. So, I searched through my fabric cupboards, closets, drawers and bins, and gathered every piece of fabric I thought I might use for this quilt and put it out on the guest room bed. It's a good thing we don't have any guests using this room in the near future since it is now decorated for Christmas! I love the look of all the plaids, checks and stripes fun on my little Jack. (You'll be able to see his smile better after the embroidery is done.)

One of the things I enjoy so much about quilting is selecting the fabric for a quilt. Finding just the right fabric is so much the fabric for Jack's body....perfect! I used to be terrified and didn't trust my own fabric selection judgement and only bought kits. Now I have a closet full of kits. Slowly I'm disassembling the kits and incorporating the fabric into my stash.

If you don't do it already, trust your own judgement when selecting fabrics. Don't worry whether it is right or wrong....just go for it! You know what you like and what looks good.

Speaking of looking good, what do you out there in blogland think I should put on the front of Jack's box? Should I put a "J" for Jack or my grandson Jess. Bells? Stars? I'd love to hear some of your ideas.

As always,

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Return to Paradise

Hello Everyone,

Those of you that have been following my blog are most likely wondering what happened to me this week. Joe, Zinny, my sister Gail and I have all been up in Paradise, California cleaning out our old family home. For the most part, the little cottage in the woods has been vacant since 1999, when our Mother passed away. Our parents bought this house in 1959 for $12,000 dollars....can you imagine. To make a long story short, we finally decided it was time to get the house ready for someone to rent. What a long and exhausting week we've had.

My parents took great pride in their yard and created a park-like setting that they thoroughly enjoyed. They often said they felt like they were always on vacation. We've had a handyman for the past eleven years that tried to keep the house and yard look lived in. It must have worked as we didn't have any vandalism for that period of time.
It is very lush and now all spruced up and ready for a new family to love.

There are split rail fences that haven't fallen down yet, but they are close to it!

We also did a bit of yard work to make the house more presentable. We've scrubbed, cleaned, washed, starched and ironed that is a chore. We've cleaned out the back shed and a storage area under the house. Everything that was so familiar to us is now either packed away, hauled away or delivered to the Hope Hospice Thrift Store or sold to Aunt Mabel's General Store.

I found a Black Widow spider under this pot and decided to leave it there in its home. The image of "Home" takes on many different meanings. I only lived in this home for twelve years yet I returned home many times over the years for visits and Holidays. My mother lived in this home for forty years.
I couldn't tell you how many times over the past week I looked at the wall where the Seth Thomas clock used to hang. I also can't tell you how many times I would look in a mirror that was no longer hanging on the wall. The mirror right by the front door that I would always glance at myself before opening the door to welcome my high school date.

So what makes a house a home? It is the furnishing, the aromas, the "stuff" that we cart around with us, the people that live in it, the people that love you. I haven't lived in this home for thirty-nine years.....but it is still "home." So it is time for me to let go of this home and let someone else love it just as much as I do and always will.

As always,