Monday, October 22, 2012

Design Wall Monday Oct 22, 2012

Have you ever made a "Winning Hand" by Quilt In a Day?  This is fast, fast, fast and fun!  I picked up the pattern/booklet at a garage sale several weeks ago.  When I showed it to a quilting pal, she said she'd never made one and suggested it would be a good one to try on one of our stitchin' days.  I made mine scrappy, but used the same colors throughout.  And yes, it is so easy. 

When I assembled the blocks, I tried to put the colors in the same position in each block, but messed up about three.  So to try and cover it up, instead of setting them exactly the same, I mixed them up.  Not sure about that.  I made 15 blocks for a twin size, but I might re-set them to match each other and just have a lap size.  Heaven forbid I take the three apart and re-sew them.  Nope.  I'm using the deep purple for sashing, and the floral for the border.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Whoop! Whoop!! Oct 12, 2012

Yay -- I got something quilted, at last, at last!!  My shoulder has been giving me fits, so I've been getting chiropractor-ed for several weeks, and I'm almost good as new.  Well, as new as you can be at my age ;-)  

This quilt is one of two that belongs to my friend Phyl.  She had a box full of full fans, fan blades and bits and pieces of fabric that her grandmother and her mother had worked on decades ago.  Some were hand-stitched, some were machined pieced, but putting them together created some interesting fans, none of which lay flat.  She had decided they were beyond help and wasn't going to do anything with them.  Another friend, Sally B, and I protested loudly!  Phyl gave in, and the three of us cut and pieced and stitched and smooshed and ironed the fans into submission, added centers with rickrack around them, and made enough full fans to make two twin bed toppers!  I was able to finish quilting the first one, and I believe they will be treasured for generations to come.  

Whoop!  Whoop!! 

Go to Sarah's place to find more accomplishments:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Anita's Arrowhead Tutorial

Since there was interest in having a tutorial for Anita's Arrowhead blocks (see my last post), here you go!  First, I have to say, this is a pattern from a Quiltmaker magazine, but that only date that appears is 2011, so I can't tell you which issue.  

This is a really unique technique, and fun to do.  That said, the first few times you make it, you'll probably want to refer to the instructions.  The main thing is, watch where the darks and lights go when you lay it out for stitching!  

The pattern calls for 8" squares of fabric, that are cut at 2".  I already had a big stack of 6" squares, so in order to have it look better proportioned I cut the pieces at 1 1/2" and that's what I'm referring to in the directions.  

Stack a dark and a light square, right sides together. Make a mark on the top right and bottom left, 1 1/2" from the edge.

Sew 1/4" seam down from the mark at the top right, to the bottom, pivot and continue across the bottom and sew off the edge.  Turn and do the same on the other side.

Yes,  you'll have two open spots!  Weird, huh?  It's ok.  Then you will cut the square diagonally, once.  Watch the direction of the diagonal.

Now take the top triangle, turn it and stack it on top of the bottom triangle.  
Now you'll cut a strip 1 1/2" from the left and from the bottom.  

You'll wind up with an assortment that looks like this.  Snip the rabbit ears and press the seams open.
Rearrange the pieces according to the following photo, paying attention to the placement of the darks (brown) and the lights (print), and sew.
Trim to make it a 6" square.

Tada!  Now you can put a bunch of these on your design wall and decide on the layout.  (I still haven't decided on mine.)

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Design Wall Monday Oct 1, 2012

Which-a-way should I go?  This pattern is called "Anita's Arrowhead," and appeared in Quiltmaker magazine last year (thanks, Debbie!).  The technique is really fun to make -- you start with two squares sewn right sides together, leaving 2" open on the top right and bottom left.  It's then cut diagonally, stacked and cut twice more.  When it's rearranged, this is what you get!  Maybe I should take photos as I make a block so you can see?  Then when the blocks are laid out, you can put them together with dark edges against light (top picture), or light to light and dark/dark.  Which way do you think it looks best?  I can't decide!

The Kaffe blocks I had on my design wall last week just didn't want to come together.  So I lost interest, and they're packed away (story of my life).  But I still wanted to play with Kaffe fabrics, hence the blocks shown above.  This is a good project to work on during my stitching days with friends because they aren't difficult.  You just have to make the first one to use as a reference -- and trust me, you really, really need to have it :-D

So there are you are, for this week's design wall Monday.  Go to Judy's website at to see links to other design wall projects, that's always fun!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Design Wall Monday Sept 24, 2012

Meh.  I'm not so much in love.  The fabrics make me so happy when I fondle and pet them, so I cut 10" squares, and planned to cut them diagonally twice, then insert 1" strips of a contrasting fabric, with a square of a third color in the middle.  The pattern is "Hot Cross" from Schnibbles Times Two.  Before cutting every piece, I decided to audition the squares with strips.  Just not feeling it, at least not today!  I'll play some more, and maybe put away the 10" squares and strips to use another day.  A dear friend of mine keeps reminding me that there is no requirement to finish a UFO, so I'm sure the same holds true for a design wall experiment :-D

However!  A friend was visiting last week and I showed her some things I'd snagged at a yard sale, including the Eleanor Burns' book, "Winning Hand."  She said she's had the book for years, but has never made one.  They are so easy-peasy, we agreed to have our fabrics pulled and we'd make one at our next get-together.  Here's what I've gathered -- the floral will be the border, while the cards will be scrappy yellow, green, blue and pink/fuschia.  I haven't decided on the background -- the floral print has a pale green background.  Wish I had enough in my stash, but, remarkably, I don't!
So there you have it, my design wall and future design wall in one show and tell!  Go see what others are working on at Judy's blog: and join in!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

IHAN winner! YAY!

Lucky me!  Last week, sweet Kelly Jackson of I Have A Notion, sent me a sushi roll that she got on her tour of Hoffman Fabrics, as a giveaway winner!  Whoot!  It arrived on Saturday, and looky here!
There are some of Hoffman's wonderous batiks, to die for.  I've already added the four light greens and the pale lavender to a stack of fabrics I'm collecting for a project.  (I have no idea what the project will be, but I'm loving the look of the colors.)  At the top right of the picture is a cute Christmas print, together with a glimmery green -- I'm going to have to shop for some of that, it's striking!  

In the second picture is something I haven't even heard of yet -- 3D fabric!  Yes! You get these 3D glasses -- which are different from the old-fashioned red lens and green lens that I remember -- and while the fabrics are cute in themselves, the pictures actually come forward in a true 3D fashion!  I've got to come up with something really special to use these fabrics.  Kiddos will get a huge bang out of them, but Mr. Happiness and I had a blast going through my stash, looking at various fabrics that look really weird thru 3D glasses.  

Thank you, Kelly, for your generosity in sharing the yumminess!  Go see this special gal at her blog and shop, she always has some kind of mischief interesting things going on.  You can catch up with her (or try to) at 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Whoop! Whoop! Sept 7, 2012

Fall Fantasia went to the Fair, and came home wearing a blue ribbon!!  I'm just thrilled :-)  Another quilt, my Mary Engelbreit "Friends" lap quilt also won a blue ribbon.  Woohoo, happy dance.  And Whoop! Whoop!  
The pattern for this quilt was pretty easy, it was a download from  But the best part was the fun of pulling out all the batiks I could find that would work for an autumn quilt!  The blocks were pretty small, finishing at 6", but they were enlarged by adding 2 1/2" sashing strips, log-cabin style, on just two sides.  Alternating strips on the right side then the bottom quickly added up to be a 12" block!  You could use virtually any block for the center, add sashing to two, three or four sides and you've got a quick way to make a bigger block!

During the time I worked on the Fall Fantasia, I quilted a huge quilt (100x110, I think it was) for a friend, and forgot to take its picture.  She had made it some time ago, and it was doomed to the storage closet because she'd decided to hand quilt it.  But because it was so large, she just couldn't take that first bite!  I did a wavy line from side to side, inserting some swirls to give it a greater swoopy feel, and it turned out nice.  

I had a remnant of upholstery fabric I'd picked up years ago that I intended to use on the two bar stools we have at the kitchen counter. Just wanted to spiff them up a bit, and there was a spot on one seat that I just couldn't get clean.  I hadn't done any upholstery before, but after Mr. Happiness took off the seats, I cut and stapled awhile, and suddenly they were like new!  Easy, peasy, and quick! I really love this fabric and wish I had enough to redo the dining chairs.  

Somehow, I've managed to pinch a nerve in my neck and I have pain down my shoulder, along my arm and into my little finger.  So I've been chilling on the couch for a couple of days, and I really didn't feel like going to my guild meeting today.  But I promised someone I'd meet them there, so off I went.  I'm so glad I did!!  It's so refreshing to visit with my girlfriends, experience the comraderie of fellow quilters, and be inspired by the talents of the ladies in my group.  I'm chomping at the bit to start on another quilting project, but I have to be good for another day or two.  

Meanwhile, go to Sarah's blog -- -- and see what the Whoop! Whoop! is all about!

Celebrate the changing of the season!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Design Wall Monday August 20, 2012

I hesitated before writing the title of this post, because, well, it's not exactly true.  And I hate to tell a lie.  Except a little white lie.  You know what that is, right?  I heard a story -- don't know whether it's true -- that I just love about little white lies.  Lady Bird Johnson (for you youngsters, that's Mrs. Lyndon Baines Johnson, First Lady, eons ago) who was being interviewed by a snarky young reporter who was trying to get her to say something bad about her husband.  Lady Bird was a true Southern lady, sweet and gentle, who always stood up for her husband, no matter what.  He asked whether she ever lied for him, and she said she never lied except for an occasional little white lie.  He pounced on that and said, "What's the difference?  What's a little white lie?"  She very sweetly replied, "Well, for example, remember when I said, 'I'm pleased to meet you?"

And speaking of Lady Bird, if you have ever driven along highways in Spring, when the roadsides are masses of glorious color, you can whisper a thanks to Mrs. Johnson.  She was instrumental in instituting the Highway Beautification Act in Congress.  It was considered silly at the time, but we are still reveling in the results.

But I digress.  Maybe I do that when I'm trying not to lie.  So I decided I would take an actual picture of my design wall.  

However, I have done a LOT of quilting since my last post!  I finished my autumn quilt (quilted and bound it) and pics will follow once it's on the bed.  I quilted these three (not the one my friend is holding, the one on the frame!), and also one other baby quilt I forgot to photograph.  Whew, I've been busy!  

AND, I pieced the Wee Village top.  This picture is from when it was on the design wall.  I'll post it again when it's finished.
In between, I've been rummaging around with  My son started doing this a couple of years ago, and I've watched the progress. Then it became like a mystery, trying to fill in the blanks.  So he's added me to his account so that I can get in there and add stuff that I know about.  What fun!!  

I'm going over to link up with Judy's blog, and check on other Design Wall Monday shows!  Come along:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Woohoo -- we have a winner!

How about Maple Leaf Rhapsody?
Or my 2-year-old granddaughter's favorite new word is fantastic, so how about Fantastic Fall or Fall Fantasia?
Beautiful quilt!
Mary, congratulations!  And thanks to her little granddaughter for inspiring the name I chose for my autumn leaves quilt -- "Fall Fantasia".  I'lve emailed Mary and will be sending her "Maple Leaf Quilts" next week.
Thanks for the great participation in naming the quilt, it was a tough decision with so many great suggestions.  You guys are awesome!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday and Giveaway!

It's coming together, or at least, it's being arranged!  110 leaf blocks are (nearly all) up on the design wall today.  
I've been calling this my autumn leaves quilt.  But I have to come up with a sensational name for this quilt!  Any suggestions?  How about some incentive?  If I select the name you suggest (with assistance from Mr. Happiness), you'll receive the book "Maple Leaf Quilts" by Ilene Bartos, That Patchwork Place.  

Be sure to go see all the other design wall beauties at!

Stay cool all y'all,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Whoop! Whoop! 7/27/12

Not a finish, but it's getting closer!  I calculated that I'd need 110 of these blocks, but I didn't keep a count when I was cutting the pieces.  I finished up the center blocks with the fabric I had cut, and wound up with 105 -- pretty close!  
I know I have plenty of the sashing pieces cut -- in fact, probably way too many, and they may go into the outer border.  So I have just  five more blocks to make.  This is really an easy pattern that I got from (free download) a couple of years ago.  I have two flimsies that need to be quilted this month, so when I get these blocks put together, I'll have time to quilt and finish it in time for autumn -- YAY!  (Oh dear, did I just make a plan?  Oh, oh.)

Stay cool, out there, all y'all!  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

$2000 Bathroom Faucet!

Just imagine!  Here's what happened.  Mr. Happiness and I were at Lowe's a couple of years ago, looking for a bathroom faucet to replace the old one in the master bathroom.  (This house has all the cheapest builders-grade crap materials, the kitchen cabinets are exactly the same ones we put in a house we built in 1979!)  Anyways...  As we were looking at faucets, a Lowe's emplyee came by, adding new stuff and shuffling faucets around.  She asked if we were looking for a kitchen faucet, because she had this one that was being clearance priced to something ridiculously low -- I don't recall exactly, but it was less than $20!
Of course, it was such a deal, Mr. Happiness snatched it up, saying we could set it aside since we knew the existing faucet would give up sooner or later.  

And here's the new bathroom faucet that started it all.

Then a couple of years pass....  drip, drip, drip.  Of course, the kitchen faucet became unfixable, the sprayer hose was always a battle to use, so it was time to dig out the kitchen faucet we'd bought.  It was so pretty! Shiny!  Fancy!  Spiffy!  Modern!  And the countertops we had were awful.  Scratched up.  Stained.  Old-fashioned.  Since I had saved up some dinero since I bought my Avante, I asked Mr. Happiness what he thought about getting new countertops.  He agreed, so I hustled over to Lowe's and began shopping!

Now I'm going to show you a "before" picture of the kitchen -- but you have to promise not to look at the people in the picture, just behind us at the kitchen.  Promise?  Cross your heart?  OK.
Just wanted you to see the wallpaper border, and the color of the walls (which really were darker and kinda dirty looking in real life).  I knew you could resist looking at the folks in the picture (no one I know, never saw them before, they just showed up in my kitchen).  You're such well-behaved peoples :-D
The countertops were installed, and I am so loving it!  They're HiMacs, with gorgeous built-in sinks, and the new faucet!  Of course, that gave me good reason to re-paint the kitchen.  I got samples and painted stripes on the walls.  I tried greens, blues, off-whites, taupe, but my kitchen insisted on remaining yellow!  It's a lighter, brighter version of the old, and it looks so... well, sunny!  And naturally, I had to paint the window trim again.  So while it's so good to have everything bright and fresh, my poor ole bod is really, really, mad at me!   

See the little circle on the floor beside the rug?  A little sunflower?  Cute, eh?  I've been using a small dishrag as a floor mopper -- when I drip, I can just move it around with my foot.  Not terribly attractive, but it kept me from having to bend over.  Of course, everyone who came over would pick it up, thinking I'd dropped it.  When I explained this to a friend o'mine, she knitted up a little sunflower to use specifically for that purpose!  Clever girl!!  

The windows in the eating area face north, west, and south.  Always lovely light.  But the windows still needed a little something besides the blinds.  I took two of the old plaid curtains, cut them into thirds, and remade them into valances.  They turned out to be just long enough to keep that intense afternoon sun from blasting too much into the room.  I'll probably do something different later, but it works for now.  

So in the couple of years, I have new countertops, new floors, new dishwasher, new range, new disposal, new kitchen faucet.  I am soooo happy!  The fridge is about 20 years old, but it keeps on chugging along, so it will stay with us awhile -- I hope!  And I can ignore the old cabinets.  They were abused by the former owners, who put their coffee-maker underneath, where they steamed the finish right off.  Anyone know a way to (painlessly, please!) re-finish the cabinets?  

Life is good.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday 7/9/2012

I'm so thrilled that we have some rain in the forecast, and, best of all, a couple of days with high temps in the 70s!!!  YAY!!!  In this hot weather, I've been indoors and stitching.  
I made more 6" leaf blocks, and have only 7 more to do.  Then I'll be adding the sashing strips (like in the top right corner).  There are lots of little pieces in 110 leaf blocks!  I have been tempted by other projects that I've run across in magazines, books and, most especially, online.  But I'm trying so hard to be strong and get this finished for autumn.  Thankfully, each block is totally different, so it's interesting to see how they'll look, and it will be exciting to add the sashing.  

I also got some quilting done during this hot spell.  

The first one is made by my stitching buddy, MA.  She just cut a layer cake into 5" squares, sashed them, and had a wonderful quilt to show!  The third one is hers, too -- her first jelly roll races!  The all neutral jelly roll she chose seemed too boring, so she added the turquoise bits in between, and for the border, and it really sparkles.  Unfortunately, the photo just doesn't do it justice.  

The second quilt is a girly twirly Lil Twister, made for my great-grand niece.  I hope the parents like it, but since I haven't hear anything from them, maybe they're being polite by not saying anything (yeah, right).  The last one is a baby quilt made by another quilty pal, Val.  Loops and hearts all over!

It really feels good to see some accomplishment lately :-)  Hope you've been able to do some good stuff, whatever has made you smile!

Go see Judy at to see what others have been working on lately.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

Much happiness and joy and blessings to all y'all on this 4th of July, and thank you to all of you who work in small ways to keep this fabulous country free.  My parents came here from Finland, via Canada, in the early 40s, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  I love the United States of America with all my heart.  Celebrate!
"Happiness is Lady Liberty Dressed Up in Her Best Red, White and Blue"

Monday, July 2, 2012

Design Wall Monday 7/2/12

Was I hallucinating?  Have I been in a dream for the past 8 1/2 years?  If yes, why did I wake up now?  I think the highest temp we've experienced since we left Texas at the end of 2002 was around 93.  This week, however, it's been nearly 100 for a few days, and even 103, and it sure does feel like Texas here!  I realize I shouldn't complain -- we have a good air conditioner and electricity to run it, and there are those who don't.  But I was so happy in the night when I heard thunder and even a few raindrops on the window -- a sure sign the high pressure system has moved away-- woohoo!  Years ago while in TX, during a particularly lengthy dry and hot summer, we had a sudden rainshower in the night that caused much whooping and hollering.  My friend told me later that she and her husband were so thrilled, they pulled off their clothes and danced naked in the rain :-D 

But I digress.  

The autumn leaves have been calling me, and I've managed to make several more! And just for fun, on a few of the leaf blocks I added the sashing that will finish all the blocks just to see how it looks.  Oooooh, lovely, if I do say so myself!  And I made another little pile of leaves to add to the show.  Just thinking of crunchy colorful leaves underfoot and the little bit of rain last night gives me a sense of a change in the weather, and I'm looking forward to that!  Mr. Happiness and I will be flying more often, enjoying the amazing beauty of our part of the world when the leaves are showing off.  

Go check out more design wall projects at Judy's site: -- she doesn't have anything posted yet this morning, but she will, I'm sure!

Stay cool, all y'all!  (See what happens when I think about being back in Texas!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Design Wall Monday 6/24/12

It has been awhile, but I'm finally back on track -- whatever that may be!  I've been working on quilting some great quilts for friends, and shop hopping -- more on that later! 

I have a great collection of batiks, but I had no idea how great it was until I started pulling them for an autumn quilt.  For the pattern I'm using, I'm going to make about 100 6" leaf blocks that will have log cabin-like sashing added on two sides.  When I counted how much fabric I had in autumn colors, I found I had enough that every block could be a different batik.  YIKES!!  Not all the pieces are yardage, many are small pieces left from other projects, but enough to make a block.  I've decided not to make every block different, however, because I just love some fabrics more than others.  Here's what I have so far....

Nice, right?  I just hope I don't do as I frequently do, and get distracted by another project.  I'd love to have this on the bed by the time leaves begin to change color around here!

What's on your design wall?  Go check out Judy's blog to see what others are working on today!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Report of Busyness

Hello, all y'all!  I'm here to tell ya: I've been a busy girl since last we visited!  Went to Paducah a couple of weeks ago -- you know the song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco?"  Yeah, I did that.  But I left my money in Paducah, ouch!  However, I did procure couple of pieces that I needed to begin work on my Rhapsody -- Ricky and Justin were so sweet to help me pick out some pretties at their booth -- woohoo!  No photos, sorry.  But some day down the road I hope I'll have some Design Wall stuff to show.
I did get some quilting done since I've been back.  My friend Val made a gorgeous tablerunner and asked if I could get it quilted really quick, so here it is.  Isn't it yummy!?!?!?!
This quilt was made by my pal MA, who gave this to me to be quilted a couple of weeks ago.  I just got it done before Val gave me hers.  Black and white is always so pretty -- I just did some loops and Diane's Headbands, which is what was in the white with black border.  I think she liked it!
And I've started quilting a special quilt for a special someone -- here's a sneak peek:
My baby boy sent me a gorgeous little flower basket with pink and purple "purties" for Mother's Day.  He had it sent on Friday so I'd be able to enjoy it all weekend.  I'm a lucky Mom!
Annabella has been a great assistant and supervisor of all my efforts. However, she's completely worn out!  And in quite a knot -- which paw goes where?