to my readers

This blog is now all about my personal life, including updates concerning Jerry's health. For quilt and pattern related posts please visit

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Learn Along With Hillbilly: Paper Piecing Heart

Want to learn how to paper piece?
You first need to READ THIS POST.
You will find your heart for this post,  as well as I talk about the papers you can print it on.

If you are reading this post, then hopefully you already have your heart printed out and some scraps ready.
Set your stitch length on your sewing machine to something very small. I like my 1.5 setting.
It is small enough the paper will rip easily when I am done, but not so small the paper rips while I am working.

On the above photo, you will see that I circled all the 7's and the number 1 in red.
They are the background, and should all of the same fabric and should contrast your heart fabrics.
The 8's and 9's are the block borders; so pick something that contrasts well here as well.

This ruler is often used in paper piecing, but I didn't learn with it,
and I am not going to use it today.
I assume that those of you learning today don't have one anyway.
The project that I have planned after the landscape quilt uses one,
so eventually we will learn together how to use it.

Grab a scrap of your background fabric.
It should be at least 1/4" larger than spot number 1 on all sides.
I like it larger than that even.
(I waste some fabric in my method of paper piecing. 
But the scraps can all be used in other projects, so I don't mind.)
Once you know for sure that the fabric completely covers number 1,
move it to the back of the paper, RIGHT side OUT.
So, the WRONG side of the fabric is facing the WRONG side of the paper.

When I am paper piecing, I move a lamp near my sewing table. (Or a light box.)
You need to make sure that your fabric for piece number 1 is indeed covering spot number 1.
This is where the light helps alot!

Now, you need to tack that  piece down. I prefer glue, as pins get in the way.
Just to be clear, you are gluing the WRONG side of the fabric to the WRONG side of the paper on piece 1,
and it will look just as it does in the photo above if you are looking through the paper.

Now is when it gets tricky and everyone gets confused and lost.
I will try not to lose you!!!
Grab a scrap of fabric that will completely cover spot two.

Now, you are going to move it to the back side of the paper.
Only this time, you are going to put the RIGHT side of the fabric down,
so that it and number one are right sides together, just like when you are piecing a quilt.

When you put your piece down on the back, it needs have at least 1/4" covering the entire line between piece one and piece two. Hopefully this photo of looking at it from the paper side will help that not be so confusing:

Do you see how it covers more than 1/4" over onto the '2' part, but it also is long enough to completely cover the entire line between piece 1 and 2? 
See the wiggly line in this photo:

Now, pretend you were going to sew on this line between one and 2. If you did, and you flipped the fabric down after sewing, then all the fabric of piece 2 should cover the #2 section, with at least 1/4" seam allowance beyond piece two.
In other words, it should actually cover all the way out to the purple lines in the photo above.

{{I went back and decided to illustrate this a bit better, only it is with piece 3 instead of 2. 
Use a pin, and put it on the line between 1 and 2 just as I have done here between 2 and 3.}}

Looking through the paper, piece the fabric completely covers section two, with at least 1/4" extra on all sides.

TRUST ME---if you are confused read just a bit more and I think you'll get it.
I have my fabric in place and I am going to sew on the line between 1 and 2 (red arrows):

When I sew, I am actually going to start 1/4" or more before the line and end 1/4" or more after the line.
(Making the line longer.)
Look closely at the photo above and you will see the sewing extends the line at both ends.
Now, If I flip my piece number two down, so that the WRONG side of two is on the WRONG side of the paper, it should cover all of section 2, and beyond out to at least the purple lines. If yours covers even more...that is fine!
This is the same photo as above, you can see where I sewed it and how it covers.

Now, trim off the excess fabric that is in the seam allowance of the line that you just sewed:

See how I didn't trim anywhere but near the sewing line? 
We will do the other trimming in a bit.
Now flip it back over and iron it without steam.
I like to keep this little iron handy when I am paper piecing:

Now, we do piece number three just like we did piece number two.
First, find a scrap the covers piece three completely, with lots of room to spare.

Move it to the back side of your paper, wrong sides of the fabric together.
Make sure that after you sew on the line between 2 and 3,
circled in green on the photo, that when you flip it down, it will cover all of spot 3 with at least 1/4" extra all the way around.
Oops! Do you see the mistake if I had sewn mine?
It is not out far enough in the top left corner. I would have NO seam allowance and it would not have worked. I had to re-adjust so that after it was sewn, the whole thing was covered.

As you can see, my scrap for spot 3 was very large. I like to use really large scraps sometimes when the spot I am covering is a 'funky' shape and hard to judge from the back if I am covering it all the way or not. 
There is no question that using a piece of scrap this big will get that spot number 3 covered on all sides.

Trim 1/4" just along your sewing line, then press piece three down.
Continue with pieces 4, 5, and 6 using the same methods.
Utilize that light to make sure your pieces will cover enough after you sew them!
Here is what mine looked like after pieces 4, 5, and 6 were sewn on and pressed.

You will notice there are four different #7sections.
Do them in any order. Just make sure they are the same fabric that you used on spot 1.
Don't let the corners fool you. The process is exactly the same throughout.

Next do the two number 8 sections--your side borders.
Then do your number 9 sections.
When you trim your 8 and 9 sections, make sure that you have enough to extend 1/4" beyond the block,
just like any normal quilt block.

Now comes the fun part. Or the dreaded part.
(Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person?!)
You get to rip off the paper. An anonymous tipster says to spray the paper with a fine mist to loosen it and keep from distorting your stitches.
I like to use my seem ripper to pop up stubborn sections.

If I am making a whole quilt,
like in the landscape one we start next week,
I don't rip the paper until the end. 

I believe this was the hardest tutorial that I have ever had to write.
Paper piecing is much easier to teach in person, but I think according to comments that I did ok!

Randomness Hillbilly style (more Hee Haw too!)

A few random things today....


I went to the doc yesterday. The update is in the medical journal.


Although my blog has a lot of quilting on it right now,
I still like to blog 'life' things too; It keeps things exciting.
Plus I have a BUNCH of non-quilters that follow.
(Seth and Stephen have a following of their own I guess.)
So, hang in there you non-quilters.
We like quiltsy things around here, but we like life too!


My Bible Study on my new blog starts Tuesday.
I am very excited! 
I don't expect to get near the followers as here,
but at the time of this writing there are already 10.
That makes for a very nice Bible study!


I am NEVER disappointed by you NOT joining in on a project. 
Do you see all those projects (BOM's) on my right side bar??
I am only working on ONE. 
The others I will save until later.
I want my blog to be a place of learning for you.
The instructions will always be there for when YOU are ready.


I have to go to a funeral tomorrow.Very sad situation. 
My friend Jeannie died about 6 or 7 years with a brain tumor. 
She left behind her husband, Neil, and her two sons.
One of her boys is my daughters age, and they were very good friends.
(In fact Jeannie used to tease me that I had to make sure our kids marry each other.)
Jeannie's husband, Neil was a very good, quiet, humble man.
Let me prove it with a little story...

I was a single mom for a couple of years, 
and I found a job several blocks from home. 
Amy had just turned 16, so I gave her my car and I would walk to work.
I would close the store, and walk home about midnight.
Now, mind you, my hometown is a small safe town.
But, I guess Neil didn't like me walking home late at night,
because one day he showed up to work and gave me Jeannie's car to keep.
Neil's one request was that no one would know that he gave the car to me.

After I remarried and Jerry got re-located, 
we had to sell the to pay for the move and two as we had to drive 
the moving van and the truck with us, so no way to get the car there.
Selling Jeannie's car made me very very sad.

Jeannie's husband Neil went on to re-marry as well.
And earlier this year, he contracted cancer.
His funeral is tomorrow. Sigh.
The boys are in their early twenties.
No mom, no dad and no living grandparents.


You all make me smile.
Thank you. 
Here's some Hillbilly type smiles for you:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Learn Along With Hillbilly: Paper Piecing

I had a question about the difference between paper piecing and English paper piecing.
Today we are going to be learning FOUNDATION PAPER PIECING.
We actually will sew right to a foundation (in this case paper) and then remove the foundation when finished.
The pattern will be drawn right to the foundation, and you follow the lines when you are sewing.
This technique makes very intricate patterns much easier than you would think.

ENGLISH PAPER PIECING is where you have little shapes of paper,
and you use them as your templates to sew shapes that are hard to do by machine.
They are very accurate when done by hand, and actually quite relaxing.
An example of English Paper Piecing are the Hexagon Flowers that are so popular right now.
But 'hexies' are just the beginning of English Paper piecing.
 I will show you more about this technique later this week on our Saturday Learn a Long.

But for today let's get back to the original Foundation Paper Piecing plan.
Our first pattern is a scrappy paper pieced heart, and was kindly supplied by Marcia.
Here are several photos of hearts that she has made using this pattern:

Please pop over and thank her for sharing this pattern!

What you will need:
  • 1 sheet of foundation paper (I'll explain paper at the bottom of this post)
  • Printer to print the pattern onto the foundation paper
  • scraps for your heart
  • the pattern...available RIGHT HERE.

Just like every other thing having to do with quilting, 
paper for your foundation is a matter of opinion--
and there are several options.
Some use the normal Foundation papers for paper piecing
(by Carol Doak or some other manufacturers.)
Some use Vellum---available at your office supply store.
Some use regular typing paper.
Me? I use a cheap scribble tablet of paper.
The scribble papers are larger and may need trimmed to fit your printer..

After you learn the heart, then next you may start on this:

You need to buy the pattern,
available RIGHT HERE.
You might also start collection fabrics.
We will start at the top first and work our way down
(very slowly---only a couple of blocks per week),
so work on getting your sky and mountain fabrics first.

And PLEASE let me know if you are going to Learn Paper Piecing Along with Hillbilly.
Thanks! If you have questions...ask away!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mode swings.

Mood swings...we all have them.
Trust me, my husband knows just when to go out and buy the chocolate!

But today I am not talking Mood Swings.
 I am talking Mode Swings! Do you all get Mode swings?
I am a Mode Swingin' kind of gal.(someone needs to write a song about that.)
Although I am a woman and can easily multi-task,
I get into these modes. Like a blogging mode.
When I am into a blogging mode about a billion ideas pop into my head,
and I could write more blogs than you'd ever want to read.

Or a cleaning mode and I'll find myself scrubbing even cabinet doors and (carefully) cell phones.
(these things do need cleaning, you know.)

Right now in my quilt world I am in a Learning Mode.
I want to learn everything! I've already shown you all the techniques that I want to learn.
In fact I spent a whole week showing them to you.

I was in an embroidery learning mode.
I really have checked out all kinds of library books,bought books, and read blogs.
 There are TWO really awesome embroidery learning blogs going on right now.
On our little side bar pole, embroidery is one of the top picks.
But I am going to wait, follow these two blogs, and see what they come up with.
 You will find them on my side bar.
 Click on the button for "Embroidery 101 with Clover and Violet" and click on "Stitched Sundays".
 They both promise to teach stitches.
 I had in mind to go into greater detail with types of linens and even some history,
 and I probably will eventually, after we see what they do.

So, what else am I up to learning?
Thanks to Lisa--the Inspired Quilter, I now am stuck in an English Paper Piecing mode.
She sent me these papers and fabric:

Here is the hexagon flower I made:
But, I am not all about hexagon flowers.
I think it will be fun to do some with fussy cutting, but I wanted to see what else was out there.
I did some looking and I found all kinds of wonderful intricate stars.
(I love intricate stars...and they are so accurate doing them this way.)
I will be sharing my findings with you.
Oh, yes...another thing to "Learn Along With Hillbilly."

Which brings us to my new  "Learn-A-Long with Hillbilly" Schedule:

Starting tomorrow we will be doing Foundation Paper Piecing.
Posts will be Tuesday and Thursday.
It will be a one block easy design this week, and a more intricate landscape pattern starts next week.
We will move slowly so that everyone can easily keep up.

Starting Saturdays we will also "Learn-A-Long with Hillbilly" ENGLISH paper piecing.
Why? Because I learned some techniques last week that you may not know about,
and because there is more to this method than Hexie Flowers,
and because I am in a mode. So there!

The Learn a Longs  have separate tabs up top so that you can find all the steps easily.
And will it be overwhelming to do both?
Did I stress that enough? I don't like having more than a project at a time going--with one exception.
I like having a machine project (foundation paper piecing) and a hand project (English paper piecing.)

Don't be afraid to learn new things!!
 I have been for years in my quilting and I've missed out on so much.
Get into a mode and Learn right along with me!

Yay for changes!

Just a quick very late Sunday night post...

I have made some changes. The mystery quilt along has been moved into the quilting tutorials section.

YES--there are two new tabs up top. How observant of you! Hey, if we are going to learn paper piecing, then let's learn it! More details to follow.

YES---the new Bible study blog is up and ready for us to start! Click on the button to join in. (Women's--with and 'e' and Woman's with an 'a'. --After spending over and hour on my header, I am not starting all over again. Excuse the typo with an 'a' instead of an 'e'. Oh well! )
That name has already been taken, so the blog url is actually
Was I just completely confusing? Too much late at night computer work. I'll see ya in the morning!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Guess what?

I took a walk with Stephen tonight!!
My knee has been feeling better and I just couldn't stand it anymore.
I didn't go as far as we used to but it was several blocks and as soon as it started hurting,
I headed home, and propped it up.

But it was so nice...
and it made me realize so many things that I take for granted.

I just wanted to share with you this small (but huge to me) accomplishment.
I think Stephen has missed our evening walks too.
He just smiled and jabbered about the dogs we saw along the way.

What a Blessing!!

I am a Kool Guest :)

I am guest blogging here today:

Friday, June 24, 2011

I am getting so much done!

I just hate it when I have to take these little blog breaks. 
I could spend all day writing and reading blogs...
and never tire of it!

I have been getting alot accomplished though.
Besides the boring stuff, like medical calls and house cleaning,
I have re-organized my Creation Station...
and I am ready to pump out the quilts!
In fact, I started on my H2H quilt..FINALLY. 
(I wonder if I am the last one?)

I will probably be back in a day or two.
I need to give the house a bit of attention
before I can go back to blogging full time.
(I wonder if I can make money for being a full time blogger?)

Next week I begin talking about our 
"Learn Along with Hillbilly: Paper Piecing"
Yay! Get your WIP's all caught up....
get your machine cleaned up....
dust off your printer and make sure it has ink!

I'll leave you with a couple of fun photos.
Several of you have asked about my kids...
let me see if I can straighten things up a bit.

My oldest is Amy. 
She is 21...and her and I are not much alike at all.
(But she got my eyes!)

Seth is next. He's 13 and writes the herbal posts here on my blog.
He is very much like me in many ways.

Stephen is 18 months old now. 
He writes his adventure posts.
We print his adventures in a blog book at the end of the year.

I rarely get all three kids together in one place,
(Amy is on her own and works for Hallmark Cards, 
and Seth is always on the go like any teenager)
but we ate out for Father's Day last weekend,
so I snapped a quick photo.
(LOOK---they all three have blue eyes just like their momma)

My husband is gonna kill me for this but I snapped a photo of him too.
We have taken all bread, sugar, potatoes, corn,
well anything that is yummy out of our diet.
So this Father's Day Chicken sandwich was a rare treat.

Seth had a banquet at church a while back and had to dress up.
He insisted that he needed a fedora.
I guess Stephen insisted on it too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We all need down time...

I got a wonderful gift in the mail today...

and I'll tell you about it next week.
That's mean, huh?
I am just so crazy busy!
My husband is working 95 hours this week. 
Seriously, I am not kidding.
 He works two jobs and his second job needs him all week.
And, the pile of medical paperwork is crazy!
It is starting to overwhelm me...
so I just need to set aside some time to devote myself to calling places,
getting forms, you know all that yucky stuff.

I'll be back as soon as I can,
when I can focus on more pleasant things.
Like discussing our first Paper Piecing project,
and some other fun stuff up my sleeve.

I'll be visiting your blogs as I can,
but I may not comment as much...
thanks for understanding!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Stephen's Fun with Daddy

Happy Father's Day to my Daddy!

Daddy's are for cuddling,

and for falling asleep together.

Daddies are for teaching things;

Like how to swim,

And play guitar,

And fight dinos.

Daddy's are for playin in the mud with,

And goin' tool shoppin with.

Daddies are for tellin' me 'bout Jesus,

And eating candy with.

My daddy is a hard working daddy.
Just like I am.
Cuz I'm..

I Love you, Dada!