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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bare Trees

Don't they look all sad and lonely?
They need ornaments!

I got an email yesterday from a teacher who googled "ornament exchange"
She needs 30 people willing to exchange ornaments with some 6th graders.
Now 6th graders aren't little kids. I am expecting some very nice ornaments here. 
Please, if you are willing to do JUST ONE that would help so much.
We need 30 DIFFERENT people. 
Thank you!!

P.s. The ornaments can be made of ANY medium, just of a good quality.
Deadline to enter is November 1st. Open to worldwide participation.
Mailing date December 1st.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Learning to do Dresdens.

Oh my goodness!! Husband is at work. Seth is at his dad's. Stephen is in bed. I ran around in circles for 5 minutes wondering which beloved thing I should do first!

Blogging won! Here is what I've been working on when I get a moment here and there. Hand sewing sure has been nice to take along with me through out my day on these busy days.

Months and months last spring sometime, my friend brought me a huge pile of clothes:

These clothes were mostly handmade. My friends mom passed away when my friend and her sister were just young girls. But the girls hung onto all their handmade dresses that their mom made them before she passed away.  My friend wants me to make 2 identical quilts out of these for her and one for her sister. 

We decided on a dresden/photo combo. It was going to be really pretty. I have some lacy things in the pile and all those buttons. I was going to make the photos kind of framed like and then put lace and buttons near the photos. BUT just last week my friend changed her mind and said no photos. (I don't much like doing commissioned projects for this reason.) So, I redesigned it over the weekend. I need to make 28 more dresdens to finish the quilts. OH MY!!! I guess this will be my hand project for quite sometime still!!!!

Here's what happening so far:

I started out by using a dresden ruler and making them on machine. The first two look like this:

OH...there are no centers on ANY of these until I get done. I haven't figured out which fabric to use where yet on the centers.  Now, on the machine, I had some trouble getting them to lie flat. This fabric was a mixture of knit and things though and I didn't think to use interfacing at the time. Also the points are not great at all. They don't line up well. I don't like them:

Not having even heard of EPP yet as this was last spring, I made some more, only this time I did corner fans.
I actually was going to make them into full dresdens and changed my mind. So I now have some extra little fans. That's a good thing. Fillers for where photos were going to be!
(But still by machine and not perfect)

So, then came EPP. I played around with some Hexies and things until I had the hang of it and moved onto making some dresdens for my friends quilts. This time I also used interfacing on the fabric. These are a different size so I designed the quilt to accommodate:

Lookie how nice those dresdens line up! Yippee Skippy!
I will NOW do dresdens by hand forever more!  

(Will somebody please explain to my husband how I can be more accurate by hand instead of by machine. He just doesn't get why I can't do better by machine at this. We got into quite a discussion about it one night.)

Ok, new problem. I was holding them side by side when whip stitching so that the stitches wouldn't show, but then I discovered a problem. They didn't lie as flat and sometimes would have gaps like this:

I know, hard to see but I don't like them. So I went back to normal whip stitching...and you can see my stitches:

Well, you can see them if you enlarge it. And believe me, they show up in person. 

So, which way to go??? I am going with seeing my stitches and doing regular whip stitches. Durability wins out. Only my next 16 dresdens are red and blue. So...which color thread do I use??

Well, regardless, I have been working on something! Of the dresdens shown above there are 2 of that multi colored brown,
8 of those corner fans, and 4 of those EPP dresdens. That's something anyway! More to come...eventually...
(good thing my friend is patient in the waiting game!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mabry DQ-DV

Guess what? I will have time to catch up with all of you this week. Yay!
Today, Monday, I will spend on trying to read your blogs...I have plenty to keep me busy all day.
So I probably won't blog on Tuesday, but then you better watch out because you won't be able to shut me up since Seth will not be doing school this week. (He's hunting with his dad.)


Oh no! 6 blocks again this week. I am a very pushy teacher, aren't I?

4 pieces

5 pieces

5 pieces

3 pieces

5 pieces

4 pieces

Now sew all of todays sections together in the same manner as we did last week.

And here is last weeks and this weeks connected together:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Stephen fills in

Hi! I have been noticing that my mommy has not been very good at blogging lately. I guess that leaves me to all the work around here too.

Granma Patty (you should go visit her RIGHT HERE) understands just what I am going through. She sent a great big package with MY name on it. She sent several things for me to share with my family, but she said that I get to choose who gets what. So I worked really hard on deciding. I chose these for Daddy:

They are napkins for him to eat his football yummies on. Sometimes when he's watching football he eats bad stuff. Sunday night he had pizza rolls and I served them up for him on his special football napkins. 

Next I chose these for mommy:

I am thinking Daddy will probably be glad that we aren't made of money because mommy said if we were then she would make living room curtains out of that orange flowery one. She loves orange but I don't think it should be used for curtains. Do you?

Next in the box were these. I gave the bracelet to Sissy, and each of us got a sticker. We all got tops too but Bubba keeps taking them and playing with them. He's not a good sharer like I am. Oh, and that is cardboard on the bottom. Of course mommy wanted that. She has this weird fetish for cardboard.

Granma snuck this neat tool in the box all for me. You see I like to hide mommy's pins and pincushions. I hid her tomato pincushion that has all her glass headed pins in it. I didn't think she needed glass headed pins. Sounds dangerous to me. But I kind of forgot where I hid them so Granma gave me this to help find them. (It's a magic magnet wand).Um, Granma Patty--It didn't work! But it did work good when I knocked a new package of pins off mom's sewing table the other day.

Finally was the best of all sneaky stuff ever!
She sent me carrots and peas.

I put them right on my lunch plate along with my beans and cherries. 
Only they aren't really peas and carrots. See?

Sneaky sneaky huh? Thanks Granma Patty!

My Bubba knows how much hard work I have to do around this house so he bought me something to help me out a bit. I call this my Zoom Zoom:

Mommy or Bubba can push it from up top and I can just ride along. I have a cool box there on the back. I have been using it to deliver apples to the neighbors. 

I am sorry Mommy hasn't been very good at talking to you. I promise I will come back more often. After all, it's adventure season! 


Monday, September 19, 2011

Mabry DK-DP

Confession time. I still have not touched the sewing machine in over a week. But I was a week ahead on Mabry already. I knew that I might have a hard time getting to it so when I had a sewing day...I just worked on. Next weeks blocks are done and the post is already scheduled too (and has been since last weekend.) Hey, at least you are getting a blog post out of me in spite of my lack of sewing time! and stressing. Just go at your own pace. There is no need to rush through to stay caught up to me. :)

The blocks get more and more tiny as we go along here! This week it was actually better to do six blocks, so here we go! Oh, in advance I must apologize. I really have trouble keeping these itty bitty blocks from being blurry on the camera.

One thing I have learned in this journey: I had some vellum on hand and decided to try it for my paper. Many people use it for FPP. When you are doing blocks this tiny, the numbers and colors are hard to see as it is. Even worse on vellum as it prints a bit blurry!

2 pieces
 The top edge is a bit mussed up but will be hidden in the seam allowance. I like to use my itty bitty scraps up.

9 pieces

This piece is so tiny that it is about the size of 3 pennies side by side.

9 pieces

5 pieces

6 pieces

6 pieces

Now blocks DK, DL, and DM can be pieced together.

My pudgy little fingers should give you a bit of size reference here.
Next piece blocks DN, DO and DP together.

And they all come together for a small little section with a whole lot of pieces in it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

School Days

For those that have sent an email asking where I've been, thank you! It's nice to be missed :)

Today I'll explain why school is such a struggle for us and why it takes up so much of my time. Way more than the average homeschool situation. If you are not the type that likes to hear 'personal stuff' in blogs and would rather just hear about quilting--well come back next week. I know that several of you homeschool though and it helps to know that there are others out there that completely understand. Ok, here is a bit of Seth's homeschool story....

Our homeschool schedule is not the norm of most school kids. I have been in a 5 year battle concerning my 14 yr old sons schooling. Sadly he is a child that suffers from divorced parents and his schooling has taken the brunt of it. I tried 5 years ago to put him in school when he was in 3rd grade and it was a horrible experience. Seth's father doesn't like school (him and his brother and some nieces and nephews all dropped out), and therefore he tried everything to keep Seth from going to public school. It was a hard time as I was a single mom, working full time and trying to homeschool the best I could. Seth only lasted 2 months at school before I just had to bring him home.

After bringing him home I insisted that his father help me. Custody is 50/50 so Seth spent half his time at his fathers house.  His papers would come home in his dad's handwriting. Seth never did his own work--especially math! I would blow up and accuse his father and he'd say, "We did it orally". I struggled with this situation until last winter when I could not take it anymore. I called DFS, I called legal aide. Seth was so behind in school and it stressed me so much. His father had quit doing school with him all together and Seth would call all upset that he didn't understand math. (This is when I found out that his dad didn't graduate high school--he admitted it to Seth and I never even knew! And I was letting him 'teach' our son?!)

So, anyway, I sent a 'here's how it is going to be' letter last winter. Seth's father took it to his lawyer...and guess what? His lawyer wouldn't touch it and told Seth's father that he had better just accept what I lined out. He told him that it looked like I was just thinking in Seth's best interest. LOL--his dad was mad about it and spouted off the whole conversation to me in anger which just made me a bit more smug than I should have been. VICTORY!

Now Seth is at my house for 10 days and his dad's for 5...there are exceptions at Christmas, spring and summer. Time is still 'even'. I just get my bulk during the school year. I still don't get the 180 days to school my son that other people get. AND we are also behind and trying to make up.

Seth is in 8th grade and is working through Saxon 7/6. (Which is really a 6th grade book.) He's still in his 7th grade history and science book as well. On the ten days he's here we do school 9 of them. He doesn't get a full weekend off even. Well...usually he does and then we kill ourselves to make up for it. He has friends that I want him to hang around. It's not his fault that he's behind.

Every school day,  We do 2 entire math lessons. Those are the worst. He's smart but he's got a lot of catching up to do. We do one lesson in the morning and one in the afternoon. We don't work extra in science or history for now. We are just happy to be doing them as we should and not getting further behind. Between trying to do normal house stuff like cooking, dishes, cleaning and laundry AND having a toddler underfoot, blogging takes a back burner while Seth is home. So does sewing. Haven't touched it since last Sunday :(

BUT--Seth is slowly catching up. And feeling better about himself. That is the best part of it all and worth it. We are hoping that by Christmas break he'll be in the next Math and science book. That will give him a great boost of confidence.

So, if you have read this far, thanks for listening. Now you know why I am not around much for now. But I'll be back!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mabry DF thru DJ

You are all so wonderful! I really try to make this blog perfect for YOU--I know it is MY blog but that is what I want from my blog. :) So, given the feedback, we will move forward as planned. Speaking of moving forward I am making some blogging changes. Starting right here, right now...

As I was sewing my Mabry Mill blocks for the week, I got to thinking how hard it might be for someone following this along later (a few said that they might) to find a certain block if they were having trouble with it. So starting this week I will put the whole week on one day- Much easier for finding!

10 pieces

5 pieces
(and super easy!)

5 pieces

At this point these three pieces need to be combined together.
Pins are necessary to match the points.

Now we can combine this block with some from last week.
 This little row is going to sit for a while. We won't be using it again until the mid-E's.

30 pieces

8 pieces

The above two can be combined now.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


So what is it with Foundation Paper Piecing anyway? Just wondering.

I mean do you ever feel like you are doing what everyone else is but you didn't mean for it to be that way???

I wasn't going to post this morning but this is just a spout off post. I am frustrated that when I seem to always be a step behind (or ahead?). I don't want to do what everyone else does. I like to be DIFFERENT!

So I did a split four patch...and guess what happened after that?

Next I did Foundation Paper piecing---um, you all know where I am coming from if you follow many quilting blogs. I am going to teach a COMPLETELY different method soon though. Better hurry before some one else does, huh?

Next I wanted to do a Learn along of embroidery, taking the time to really teach the different stitches. This has been on my mind since before May for Me. Along comes along two blogs that beat me to it. And they are doing a wonderful job! I especially enjoy Stitched Sundays. (see side bar)

Next I wanted to do English Paper Piecing. Along comes along the Hex A Long. Well, no matter, I still have SOME things to teach you about this if I hurry. (Didn't I just say that I needed to hurry on FPP??!!)

Do you all remember the poll that I had on the side bar that I took of who would want to learn what?
Well, after Embroidery, FPP, EPP came Lone Star quilts. Two lovely ladies have or will be doing this soon. Although I am going to take the books and teach it as if I was teaching a class. At least my style is different, huh?

Then I wanted to do Bargello. Then woven backgrounds.

So, should I forget the Lone Stars? Anyone want to learn anything I haven't listed? I am open to suggestions here because I like to be DIFFERENT. And, I love to teach. I really do. Thanks for listening. As if you had a choice. Blogging is a wonderful thing! *grin*

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beginner surpasses teacher!

I have much to blog about but frankly I would rather sew tonight. Aren't I nice? I really do love blogging but I need to get some things done so all you get today is Mabry Mill.

Before I show you new blocks I need to show you Linda's progress. She is doing better than I am. Her red tree lines up! And she is the beginner here!

I love how she used the tape measure to show you how small this actually is. 
She took one of the back too:

Here are the rest of the blocks for the week:

5 pieces

At this point DA, DB and DC need to be sewn together:

10 pieces

9 pieces

These two need to be joined together now as well:

Have a great weekend!
I am going to sew, sew, sew.
Well, probably not but I'll think about what I would like to sew anyway!
(and I will keep telling myself...slow down slow down slow down. I find that so hard to do anymore. It is like a race the minute I put the baby to sleep. But I need to slow down when I am sewing. Ugh!)