Monday, August 29, 2011


Hello Everyone,

England gave us the FAB FOUR, and now England has given us PICK FOUR by Sue Abrey.  Let’s all get A Ticket to Ride and hop on the double-decker bus and drive down Pennie Lane on a book blog hop.  There will be a total of ten stops along the way which means you have ten chances to win an autographed copy of PICK FOUR.  The best thing about this book tour is….you don’t have to pack a bag!  No airport security, just the security of knowing that you will have a great time going Here, There and Everywhere.

Do You Want to Know a Secret?  Once you get a copy of this book, you are going to want to quilt Eight Days a Week!  First of all, I read the book like a novel.  Sue’s very matter of fact way and essence of being a quilting Paperback Writer, makes you feel that she is right in the room with you, coaching, encouraging and sharing her knowledge, love of quilting along with her sense of humour. (That spelling is for you Sue.)  She figuratively Holds Your Hand through the process of quilt making from beginning to end.

Those of you that follow my blog know my quilting style.  I’m a scrappy quilt maker for a couple of reasons.  I love the complexity of a scrappy quilt.  I love the challenge of combining all different colors, styles and scales of fabric together.  I have hundreds of fat quarters all begging to be selected for the perfect placement in a quilt.  When I first sat down with my cup of coffee and Sue’s book I thought, “I’m in trouble now!”  How can I decide on only four fabrics in a quilt, when I’ve been known to use over four dozen fabrics at one time? 

So here was my challenge…..PICK FOUR fabrics Lynn…..only FOUR and Let It Be. Rein in your thinking. Think outside the box while staying in the box. Remember, the fewer the fabric choices, the more important those choices become. I achieved this by applying Sue’s technique for choosing fabrics which is fun and not the least intimidating. She’s a Woman who understands that it isn’t always easy to select fabrics for a quilt. I followed her technique as I selected the fabrics for the two projects I made from the book. Four interesting fabrics equal one interesting quilt.  Here are the fabrics I selected to make Stars at the Crossroads.

Block #1.

Block #2.

In no time at all, thanks to Sue's clear, concise directions and illustrations, I had a table topper ready for quilting.  (Sue's book has full size quilt designs, for the sake of time, I made smaller versions.)

The book is broken down into four sections.  Sue will take you full circle from fabric selection, quilt making techniques, to choosing a quilting design. Then comes the fun part, the projects, for beginning to advanced quilters.  I’ve Got a Feeling you are going to make more than one of Sue’s wonderful designs.  This is where I had another problem, Because I couldn’t decide which project I wanted to make first!  There are 12 beautifully designed quilts in PICK FOUR. 

I didn't want to stop at just one project!  I selected another grouping of four fabrics and started making Lis's Midnight Flower Garden. (I feel a song coming on Dizzy Miss Lizzy, and I know it's a stretch, but you have to work with me people.)  I'm thinking to myself that I'm really getting into this Pick Four!

This has the appearance of a complex block, yet is not complex to make.  Surprise yourself and your friends when you make this quilt.

 I zipped through this and made another wonderful table topper. 

Sue is a master at creating a secondary design when the blocks are sewn All Together Now. She also addresses searching out the secondary designs when you start thinking about how to quilt your quilt and gives you so much Help. One section of the book is a detailed set of questions that walk you through making your quilting decisions. Every design in the book includes a section on color alternatives and quilting options. There is none of this Quilt as Desired business!

Here is a great example of a secondary design.  I have lots of open space to do some wonderful machine quilting.
I learned so much from Sue’s book.  I was intrigued by the way she illustrated how to make a large block, cut it apart, and before you can say, “Bob’s Your Uncle”,  there is a whole new design before your eyes!  She experiments with different layouts and encourages you to do the same.

I work in a quilt shop one day a week and I know the resource I’m going to turn to when I hear someone say, “I have the hardest time choosing fabrics.”  The illustrations are excellent as well as the commentary.  I will be using PICK FOUR as a resource long past When I’m Sixty-Four
Now for more fun.  In the comment section, tell me your favorite Beatles song and relate it to quilting in some way shape or form. My 2-year-old Golden Retriever Zinnie, will be the impartial judge and select a winner of an autographed copy of PICK FOUR.  All decisions are final, and the judge can be bribed with Kibble and dog biscuits.  The comment section will be closed at 12pm Pacific Standard Time on Saturday, September 3rd. 

I want to thank Sue for giving me the opportunity to review her book and her generous offer to give one of her books to ten lucky winners over the course of the blog hop.  If you don't win, please go to your local quilt store, or Martingale Press to get a copy of the book.

Here are the rest of the stops along the way:

  • Wed 31 Aug - Paulette at Sweet P Quilting

  • Fri 2 Sep - Trudi at Quilting Prolifically

  • Sat 3 Sep - Hazel at Cotton Cocktails

    Have fun and enjoy the blog hop. I'm anticipating great comments from many of you!

    As always,


    Yo Yo Quilt

    Hello Everyone,

    This is one quilt that I can work on while company is around.....the yo yo quilt. This is a fun, mindless project that doesn't require the precision of an appliqued quilt.  I need to make sixty-four of these blocks.

    I have over half of them completed.  I think I'll start sewing them together in groups of four.  First you make the yo yo's then you applique them on to the block.

    I just keep making yo yo after yo yo and have a nice little pile to put together on a little hour glass block.  This quilt is going to be unlike any quilt I've made in the past and I'm so anxious to see it come together.

    The blog hop continues at Darlene's today.  Head on over and enter her contest to win PICK FOUR by Sue Abrey.

    We are off to Calaveras Big Trees State Park today for a hike and a picnic.  My cousin is going to kill me with all of our hikes.  If she lived closer I would be in much better shape!  We've been walking four to five miles a day along the scenic mountain trails.  Today's walk is a little more my speed....only three miles.  Wish me luck!

    As always,


    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    The Hop Continues

    Hello Everyone,

    The Blog Hop continues over at Barb's today.  Stop by her blog to see the beautiful quilt she made and read her interview with Sue Abrey, the author of Pick Four.  Don't forget to enter her contest too!

    Yesterday I said we were taking our company to the PeeWee rodeo.  Well, pardners, I would like to introduce you to 3-year-old Jess, the Faster Stick Horse Rider in the West!  Look at the size of the belt buckle he won!  That's my Grandson!  I wish I could say this is a skill he learned from his Grammy, but I don't like to run, let alone with a stick between my legs!

    Today it's hiking in the morning, wine and olive oil tasting this afternoon.  Life is good.

    As always,


    Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Pick Four Blog Hop Day #4

    Hello Everyone,

    I just have a quick second for a post.  Our little grandson Jess, is in a peewee rodeo this morning so we are headed out the door shortly.

    Just wanted to share a picture of a quilt I made several years ago.  This is a stash buster, scrappy quilt that is easy and fun to make.  I don't think I repeated a fabric very often at all.  I call this one Lil' Orphan Scrappy.

    Don't forget this is day #4 of the blog hop.  Check out Kim's review HERE.  Answer Kim's question on her blog and you could be a winner of your own copy of Pick Four.

    So Ridem Cowboy were off to the rodeo!

    As always,


    Friday, August 26, 2011

    The House on Edgewood Lane is Home for a Visit

    Hello Everyone,

    The House of Edgewood Lane quilt came home for a two-day visit this week.  She has been on display and on the road with The Quilt House, a beautiful  shop in Gardnerville, NV.  Now she is on display at ThimbleCreek in Concord, CA. 

    This is the first quilt I designed and it holds a very special place in my heart.

    I'll be teaching The House on Edgewood Lane at ThimbleCreek on Sept. 7th and Oct. 5th.  It is a simple block and the applique isn't too intense! 

    I like this quilt so much, that I think I need to make another one for ME!  I rummaged through the magic fabric pie safes the other day and pulled out a good beginning for another quilt.  I found some older Mistletoe Manor by Moda and combined it with the new Grace fabric line.  Again, all of my required elements of stripes, checks, polka dots....but wait where's the plaid?  Back to the magic cupboard to find some plaids.

    Today is day number #3 of the PICK FOUR book blog hop.  Go on over to Pat's at the Silver Thimble and enter her contest to win a copy of Sue Abrey's new book.

    Have a great day everyone. 

    As always,


    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Lots of Mailboxes

    Hello Everyone,

    I get so much delight from seeing my patterns made by others.   Yesterday, I had a chance to see Brandie's first block from my Party in the Garden pattern that she posted on her blog. Check out Brandie's mailboxes HERE.  We met virtually through our blogs and we've been following each other for several months now.  Brandie is a very creative quilter and seamstress and she is extremely prolific. It is so much fun to follow her blog.  She lives in Paradise, the town where I grew up.....we are true kindred spirits.

    Here are my two mailbox blocks (say that 3 times fast!).    I love what Brandie did with my pattern. I loved all of her embroidery on the post....and the fabric selection was perfect.  You made me proud Brandie! She made it her own and added her special touch and embellishments.  Brandie is a woman after my own heart.....she added a flange!!! Now why didn't I think of that???  Here are my mailboxes.
    Version #1

    Version #2
     Some of the girls in my drop-in class were very creative also and swapped out all of the flowers and replaced them with three-dimensional flowers.  They were so cute that I made a tutorial.  Click HERE to see the tutorial.
    Don't forget, today is day #2 of the Pick Four blog hop.  Hop on over to Mary's at Quilt Hollow and enter her contest for a chance to win a copy of Pick Four by Sue Abrey.  The quilt that Mary made from Sue's book is absolutely gorgeous!

    I hope you all have a wonderful day quilting.

    As always,

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Cleaning, Sorting, and Tossing....Oh My!

    Hello Everyone,

    Company arrives tomorrow...can you feel my elevated heart rate through your computer monitor? Sometimes I think I would never have the WHOLE house cleaned, both upstairs and down, if I didn't have company.  Mr. Joe and I worked on the cabin last week, this week it was time for the house in the suburbs.  Carpets cleaned, check.....mattress flipped, washed, check.......all dust bunnies rounded up and headed out from under the beds.....double check!  The list goes on and on. My only place of refuge is my sewing room, so of course I started there.  I can be working in there all day and not feel like I'm working at all.

    I folded, and rearranged this whole pie safe full of goodies.  I found fabrics I don't remember buying.  What fun to discover new things that I didn't know I had.  That in itself is a good reason to reorganize and sort through your stash.

    While I was sorting, I found these blocks from Vintage Valentine by Verna Mosquera.  This is my second applique project that I started.  It is a UFO for the time being.  Some day when I retire for real, I'll finish this beautiful quilt.  You can tell that I loved plaids, stripes and checks from the very beginning of my life as a quilter.  Somethings just never change.

    Head on over to Hazel's and enter her contest to win an autographed copy of Pick Four by Sue Abrey.  Hazel is a delightful writer and you will enjoy her review of Sue's book.  Pull up a chair, pour a cup of tea and enjoy.

    My break time is over.  Today is menu planning and grocery shopping.  I wish you could all be here and at the cabin with my cousin from North Carolina and my sister. Hopefully my cousin will fly out  before the hurricane arrives.  The food is going to be excellent, the conversation will be full of laughter and we will be in a spotless house/cabin!!! 

    As always,


    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    PICK FOUR blog hop starts tomorrow!

    Hello Everyone,

    Exciting news! I've been honored to be on the PICK FOUR blog hop which starts tomorrow, August 24th. Hop on over to Quilt Sue's blogsite and see where the trip is going to begin. Follow along and enter the contest everyday for the next ten days!  Sue is so generous to let each of the reviewers give one autographed copy of her book away in a contest.  That gives you ten chances to win a copy of PICK FOUR.

    My day to review Sue's book is Tuesday, August 30th.  Be there or be square!  This is going to be fun.

    As always,



    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Another Quilt Top is Finished!!

    Hello Everyone,

    Version #2 of Party in the Garden is now ready for the quilting machine.  I finished the four, 6-1/2"corner baskets then started in on the borders.  The half-square triangles finish at 1/2".....pretty tiny but oh so cute!

    Here is the quilt in all its glory!  I'll be so anxious to get going on the quilting, but I don't want to load it on the machine and just have it sit.  I think it would be rude of me to escape to the quilting room while my company from North Carolina is here.  So, it will just have to wait until after the Labor Day holiday.

    I think a lot of you have voted in the Quilting Bloggers contest, and I thank you all.  But if you haven't voted, please click HERE and vote for your favorite quilt. Don't make me grovel folks.....but my Party in the Garden quilt is way behind in the polls.  The polls remain open until you have lots of time to vote!

    I hope you all have a perfect Sunday.

    As always,


    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Party in the Garden - Version #2 - Almost......

    Hello Everyone,

    Well, Party in the Garden version #2 is almost finished. I'm working on the corner baskets today and the borders tomorrow.  I'll machine quilt it after the next round of summer company leaves.  I still can't believe that I made this quilt twice!  Once in a lifetime would have been quite sufficient!  This is the version for the BOM at ThimbleCreek Quilt Shop

    I entered the original Party in the Garden quilt in a online contest at Quilting Bloggers yesterday. The theme of the contest is Quilts With Flowers.  So now I'm asking for your help.  I would love it if you all went to this SITE and voted.  I would be ecstatic to have you vote for my quilt, Party in the Garden, but as you will see, there are many beautiful quilts in the competition.  But just remember, I've made this quilt twice and that in itself is worth a vote!  The quilts are listed in alphabetical order, so you will be doing lots of scrolling to get to mine.  The contest ends Sunday, so you will have a couple of days to cast your ballot.  You can only vote once....oh darn!

    Happy Friday!

    As always,


    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Minglewood - Month #2

    Hello Everyone,

    Those of you enrolled in the Minglewood Monday BOM offered by In Between Stitches, have probably received the bundle of fabric.....selected, cut and packed by yours truly.  As always you will be making four blocks per month.  The .pdf files will soon be posted on the In Between Stitches blog site so you will know what fabric goes where and how many pieces to cut of each fabric.

    You will make two Flaming Star blocks.....

    You will be making two Star and Pinwheels blocks.

    Some general tips about this months blocks.

    1)  Start with good rulers.  When I say a good ruler, make sure it isn't warped or has a corner that isn't square.  Also, make sure you are using a ruler with clear 7/8" markings.  You will become ONE with 7/8" markings by the time you finish making all of the blocks for this quilt.  The whole quilt begins with good, accurate cutting. 

    2)  Prepare all of your components for each block from the half-square triangles to the flying geese.  I have a little board with a sandpaper-like finish that I use for marking and take the whole board to my machine with my prepared components.

    3)  Working with triangles can be a bear if you let it.  The center cut will always be on the bias and tends to stretch.  Place the bias piece closest to the feed dogs on your machine and let it do the work. 

    4)  Trim off all the little tails or dog ears.  These are all the little triangles that extend beyond the pieces after the units have been sewn together.

    5)  Don't forget when working with stripes to mark your blocks correctly for the half-square triangles.  Draw one line \ and the other line / across the diagonal.  Refer to last month's directions if you are confused.

    The main rulers I used for this month are:

    -Creative Grids 6-1/2" square ruler
    -Omnigrid 6" x 12" ruler
    -Bloc Loc 2" x 4"  and 3" x 6" finished flying geese rulers
    -Bloc Loc 2-1/2" square and 3-1/2" square rulers
    -Omnigrid 1/4" ruler used for marking

    You certainly do not need to have all of the above listed rulers.  You will be able to make the blocks perfectly well without them.  I find they improve my accuracy.....and I'm all for that!

    So now I've been thinking.......(Mr. Joe hates it when I say that because he knows it will involve more work for him).  But, I have been thinking about making a Minglewood Christmas quilt!  You could make one along with me each month.  Make your Christmas block first from fabric out of your stash.  It will be a good 'practice' block before you get to the real blocks from the BOM.  So what do you think?  Are you ALL IN as in Texas Holdem?  I plan on making just one of each block design. I haven't thought about the final layout just yet.

    I rummaged through my Christmas fabric cupboard and came up with these combinations today.  One Flaming Star......

    ....and one Star and Pinwheel.  They each have my required elements of strips, polka dots, plaids, checks, and florals for good measure.  One of these days, my magic Christmas cupboard is going to run out of fabric.....but not in the near future!

    Remember, I'm just an email away if you every have any questions.

    As always,


    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Finally Back

    Hello Everyone,

    I worked an extra day at the shop this week, so instead of quilting for myself, I was helping others select fabric for their own quilts.  Selecting fabric for quilts is one of my favorite things to do.  Whether it is my quilt or a quilt that someone else is is still so much fun to find the perfect fabrics that sing together.

    I've been busy working, but that doesn't mean I've been too busy to stop eating!  I prepared this recipe the other night that was just too good not to share with all of you. 

    Smokehouse Burgers

    4 slices Texas toast
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large portobello mushroom, sliced
    1/4 cup sliced green onions
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    Seasoned pepper
    4 - ground round hamburger patties
    shredded Cheddar cheese
    lettuce leaves
    1 medium tomato
    1/4 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)

    -Toast the bread slices and keep warm.  We heated them on the grill.

    -Heat the olive oil in a large pan and saute the mushrooms along with the green onions and garlic for a minute or two.

    -Sprinkle the hamburger patties generously with seasoned pepper and grill the patties to your desired doneness.  (Is that a real word?)

    -Put a cooked hamburger on a piece of Texas toast, pour on a little barbecue sauce, sprinkle with mushrooms, onions, lettuce, a little cheese, and put a slice of tomato on the side.  Add an ear of corn on the cob and you have a great summer meal.

    On a personal note, those of you that have been following my blog for awhile know that I had surgery last November for bladder cancer.  Yesterday was the day for my 3-month scan, and I'm pleased as punch to say that all is well and I don't have to see the urologist for 6 months!  Now I can breathe a little easier, life is a little sweeter, and I look forward to enjoying every single day more than the day before.

    Enjoy your day everyone, I know I will be enjoying mine!

    As always,


    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    August Christmas Quilt Along - Post #2

    Hello Everyone,

    I got all of the squares stitched together and then as an afterthought, I decided to add red setting triangles.  What do you think?  I like the way it frames the quilt.  I ran out of room on my design wall, so you can't see the whole quilt just yet.

    The little kiddies are here, so it is play time for Grammy. 

    As always,


    August Christmas Quilt Along - Post #1

    Hello Everyone,

    Welcome to the Christmas Quilt Along hosted today by Cathi from Shakerwood Quilts.  I signed on to her blogsite bright and early this morning and she immediately emailed me the next set of directions for the Scatty Christmas stars quilt.

    I made the 20 rail fence blocks, and now I'm ready to sew them altogether.  I have to hurry, since five of the six grand kids are going to spend the day at Grammy's house.  Busy day ahead and I hope I can post one more time.

    As always,


    Friday, August 12, 2011

    It's All Coming Together

    Hello Everyone,

    Party in the Garden will be all stitched together fairly soon.  Yesterday, I finished the three hexagon flowers.  This wasn't on my 'to do' list this week, so I didn't get the opportunity to check it off the list!  I find great satisfaction in creating my 'to do' list every morning, and greater satisfaction when I get to check something off the list.  Hexies.....CHECK.

    The flowers go between the flower box and the arbor.....separated by a green and white checked flange....of course!

    This weekend, I'll get the embroidery finished on the window box, then this section is DONE!  Now that this quilt is winding down, I can concentrate on pattern writing and quilting this quilt and Country Charm.

    On the water leak front, the drip is down to 1 drip every 10 seconds.....which is much better than yesterday.  So Candace, it will be hard to fill up the moat at that rate!

    As always,


    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Lighting the Way

    Hello Everyone,

    The project that I choose to work on yesterday was the lamp post for Party in the Garden.  I love this sweet and simple block. I guess that is why I saved it for last.  Sometimes when I'm pulling a new block together, I change my mind constantly with the colors I've selected.  I couldn't tell you how many times I would make a flower one way with a certain color set, then put the whole thing aside and make it again a different way.  But not with this all came together 'just right' the first time. 

    I'm often asked where I get my ideas for blocks.  I remember driving down a road in the community of Tracy, CA (on my way to a quilt shop), and admired the street lights.  I always carry a sketch book with me and drew a crude sketch.  I still have to add in the embroidery of tendril and berries in the bottom flower container. 

    I started stitching last night and I will continue working on it today in between chores around the cabin.  We have more company coming this month, so I have to de-cobweb the place and dust off the logs.  I also have more yard work to do while Mr. Joe fixes a water leak in the back of the lot.  We discovered a leaking pipe when we saw a flock of birds frolicking in their own personal bird bath!  Luckily we found the source of the problem and we....I.....thought it would be easy to fix.  (Famous last words....this is day two of plumbing issues!)  Lots of mud, bailing water, digging, many trips to the hardware store and throw in a healthy dose of blue words to help the job along! 

    I hope you all have a great day doing what makes you happy and may your pipes not leak!

    As always,


    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Party in the Garden - Mailbox

    Hello Everyone,

    Those of you that signed up for the Party in the Garden BOM through ThimbleCreek quilt shop, have just received, or will receive block #1 soon.  To help you with fabric placement, I've posted a picture for you to follow. 

    Just click on the picture to enlarge it.  Have fun working on your new project!

    I'm almost finished with all of the appliqued blocks in the new colorway!  I'm down to the last one, the lamp post.  I'll post a picture of it soon.

    Have a wonderfully creative day.

    As always,


    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Cabin Time

    Hello Everyone,

    Time again at the cabin to do yard work....and I do mean work! The cabin is situated on a hill, so I either rake downhill and cart everything up, or rake uphill, and it all tumbles down. There is a distinct difference between gardening, and yard work. Gardening is more gentile, I'm into the blood, sweat and tears of YARD WORK!

    Since I would bore you to tears with pictures of pine needles, here is a picture of the first quilt that I semi-designed and got the creative juices flowing.  Several years ago, In Between Stitches was in the process of moving to a new location right before a big shop hop.  Melissa and Leslie had so much on their collective plates, so I opened my big mouth and volunteered to put the shop hop blocks together and design/make/quilt the quilt for our shop.

    After the shock wore off that I HAD to do this, I literally stared at the 20 blocks, made by all of the other shops for a few days wondering what in the H-E-double toothpicks was I going to do?

    The shop's logo is a beehive, so I knew I had to have a beehive or two in the mix.  I love applique, so that had to be included.  I love the look of nine-patches, so there you have it.  I got over my fear and started in with pad and pencil and came up with this design.  Then I had to quilt it!!  The turmoil started all over again.....the deadline was approaching for the Shop Hop and I wasn't done.  Several late nights later the quilt was done and proudly on display for the Hop. 

    Zinnie loves to have her picture taken and posed for me for this shot.

    Breaktime is over.  I have to get back outside and attack the yard with my pitchfork and rake.  Zinnie of course will be a big help carrying pine cones one at a time for me.  May your day be filled with raking downhill!

    As always,