Monday, February 28, 2011

Marching into March

There are no National Holidays in March - BUT did you know you can celebrate the following days as special events?
March 1st is — National Pig Day
March 5 is — St. Piran’s Day
March 9 is — “Barbie Doll” Day
March 11 is — Johnny Appleseed Day
March 14 is — Potato Chip Day
March 15 is — True Confessions Day
March 20 is — Corn Dog Day
March 21 is — Spring Fairy Fun Day
March 23 is — National Puppy Day
March 30 is — National Pencil Day


This was Thursday's (2/24) new block

This is Monday's (2/28) new block


This wallhanging was a 2010 BOM. Simple paper pieced blocks from Regina Grewe:
I just used my serpentine stitch and varigated brown thread to machine quilt. My two son's are fighting over it.

A small mandela cross stitch. There are a lot of beads in this and mix of silk and hand dyed floss were used. It is quilted and fabric framed.


Yes, these little chicken pincushions are made from just 2 squares. I used 1" scrap strips to make log cabin blocks, but you could use some splashy prints. I just made mine from looking at one that one of our class members had received as a gift. I did find a tutorial:

If you have some special fabrics you want to showcase, the snowball block is a great way to set them. I made this wallhanging with some left over charms and used 1.5" squares to make the corners. Quilted each snowball with metallic thread for a little bling. Done in 'baby' prints, this would make a fast, cute baby shower gift.

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."
- William Wordsworth, Daffodils

Sewingly Yours

Thursday, February 24, 2011


It has been too cold for too long! February here in NY has been snowy and sub-cold. Both my boys (27 & 28) happened to stop in the same night, of course around dinner. Boy that hasn't changed. So a quick, what's easy, filling and warm you up meal can I fix? This is a quick meal I use to make when they were kids. I use to use Bisquick to make my own dough, but remember (?) I don't bake.
Chili Cheese Dog Pot Pie
3 cups chili with beans (cans)
1/2 pound hot dogs, sliced
2 cups shredded cheese (I had Taco blend on hand)
1 Family size flaky layer biscuits roll
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees .
Spread half of the chili into the bottom of a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Make a layer of the hot dogs over the chili. Cover the hot dog layer with cheese, then top with the rest of the chili. Pop open the biscuits and separate layers. Lay the dough over the contents of the dish, and poke a few slits to vent steam.
Bake for 15 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top crust is golden

Block Party:

This is the newest BlockaPalooza block. I just love this line - Buttercup - by Moda.

And the next block for the Layer Cake Quilt Along. I used up one left over group of FQs , so now using another group. My earlier blocks will go into a small sampler and the last few blocks in this line will go into a table topper. Wow, Christmas presents done already.

The next step of Happy Quilting Quilt Along. Those 16-patch blocks have been sliced, diced, and sewn back together. I gave them a final pressing with starch as now all the outer edges are bias.

A Finish:

This star sampler I made 3 yrs. ago - cannot remember what Quilt Guild website I got this BOM from. It is my February UFO finish for the PatchworkTimes Challenge. It is handquilted - took all month, but it is done!

I tried to work on this when the 'Queen' was off for her nap. Thought I was clever in keeping it in a bag, so she wouldn't get on it. She was gone during her usual bedroom nap time, so I got it out of the bag to finish the last corner and few inches of binding. I tugged and pulled - lo, she had crawled in the bag and into the quilt folds to take her nap. Quilt has now been 'cat scanned'.


Moving on to the 9-patch block. This little project is for the Moda Bake Shop Charm challenge. I'm using Breakfast At Tiffany's - Moda. I set out all my charms into 9's and then just chained sewed til' all the blocks were done. Think it took longer to decide what charm to use where then the sewing.

These have then been sliced horizontally and vertically for the split 9-patch block. No tutorial as there are lots out there if you need. Hopefully I can get the rest of the project completed by this weekend so I can bundle it up - top, backing, batt - to send to the longarmer. I want a special quilting - another Christmas gift. Oh, I'm filling that box fast.

This is a quilt my MOM made - her version of my Garden Bed charm and 4-patch quilt. These are 3.5" squares with 3.5" (using 2" strips) 4-patch, set into beds - 'Red Beds'. Sashed up with borders - how pretty. She's slowly learning to use her stash - we put her on a fabric diet. It's time to use those 4 rooms of fabric. (she probably has more hidden)

February has held a flurry of snow and cold - and lots of projects! Will March enter as the Lion or the Lamb? And if which, how will it inspire my next month's fun with fabric?

Sewingly Yours,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Once Upon A Season

I just had to showcase the lovely gifts I received from Sheila as my 'Fall' season swap. This wallhanging is just so be-fitting of the New England fall season. The center tiny piecing (those are 1" squares) is a touch to my heart as I love working with bits. The applique is just wonderfully done. I'm a beginner with applique, so this really is special to me to have such a lovely piece.

And this matching needle case - look at that lovely applique again. But there's more...

Look at this on the inside. Lots of little pockets to hold your class work needs. A little acorn pinkeep - she tucked in some needles, threader, and some fall season color floss - I love floss.

And here is the entire outside as it's opened up. I just love this design. I am going to have to embroider my name on it so it doesn't disappear at my next guild class.

Thank you Sheila - my Nova Scotia quilting swap partner
Sewingly Yours,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pay it Forward

**** I have my Pay It Forward sign-ups FULL - THANK YOU ****

I like to send 'surprise' gifts along to people anyway, but joined in the bloggyland "Pay it Forward" in the hopes of encouraging others. I know quilters send so much love around to those in need and forget to 'gift' themselves. Here is a great way for quilters to say THANK YOU to other quilters.

The rules are simple:
I need three people that would like a gift from me.
I send each of them a gift sometime in the next year.
In turn, you send three other people gifts.
I don't think this is too hard a task considering we have a whole year!!
No need to be big and fancy, just kind and considerate.

Sewingly Yours,

Sunday, February 20, 2011


"The earth laughs in flowers." - e. e. cummings

So many bloggers are showing their wonderful flowers starting to appear. I am so jealous! We won't expect to see Spring and sprouts for another 3-4 weeks.

So when given lemons, make lemonade. I decided to have a little FUN sewing and make my own flower.


5 background charms (silly me I only show 4 in the photo)
4 'flower' charms
2 charms - one for stem and one for leaves
1 charm for vase

Flower unit: Take one background charm and cut into quarters - four 2.5" squares.

Draw a line diagonal and pin right sides together to corner of flower charms as shown in photo.

Now sew on your drawn line - you can quickly chain sew these units.

Trim off the excess corner and press out to the corner. Square up if needed.

Lay out your 4 'petals' and sew together. I pressed all seams open to eliminate bulk. Just like making a 4-patch unit! These blocks make quick little flowers for a quilt, too. Just add a yo-yo center and you have a blooming baby quilt.

The stem unit: I cut a 1.5" strip from one charm for stem, but you could use a piece of scrap for this. Sew to one background charm and then repeat to the other charm . The leaf was made by cutting the other charm diagonally. Then I pressed in half and zig-zaged the edges. Remember this was for FUN - no fussing.

I simply overlapped the leaves and zig-zagged across the bottoms of the leaves to attach - giving a 3-D effect. Trim stem/leaf unit 9.5". Have fun - try big rick rack for stem and wool applique leaves for texture.

Vase unit: Take your vase charm and fold in half - wrong sides together. Pin 5" raw edges to right side of one background charm. Take your second background charm and lay face down on this matching edges - pin and sew seam. See photo.

First press seam open from back, turn over and press 'vase' piece centered - another 3-D element.

Sew all your units together. I used a scrap piece of batt and scrap backing to sandwich out my flower and just some simple quilting. You could add a sashing around entire piece if you like. I like to hand stitch binding, so I used a scrap piece of binding. Or you could use the method of turning your backing to the front for a faux binding. Which ever finishing you prefer. This is to be FUN. Add some fun embellishments - I love buttons -

When I have a small, light weight wallhanging that I am using binding sewn to the back, I like to use this method of a hanger. Just take a square of fabric - these were 3.5" square, fold diagonally and stitch across bias fold. THen baste stitch to top corners. They will get caught in with the binding finishing to the back. Then I can slide a dowel in and hang from a nail or tack.

Feel free to share with your friends, make any design changes, express with embellishments. Have FUN. I would love to know if you make a SPRING FLOWER of your own. Wouldn't it be fun to see these sprout up around the net?

Sewingly Yours,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winter is for the Birds

February is National Bird Feeding Month
Established by Congress in 1994 to bring attention to the plight of wild birds, National Bird Feeding Month is celebrated each February, typically one of the harshest months of the year. It’s estimated that one in three American households feeds wild birds in their yard. It’s a great way to maintain a connection with nature and reap the benefits of stress-relief and enjoyment from something as simple as putting out food for birds.

A surprise package was certainly a pick-me-up from this LONG winter. Someone remembered I was trying to get this book and every time I placed an order - it was out of stock. Thank you Kris (The Quilting Garden). I just want to make every one of these quilts! I'm doing the happy dance - well, something similar.

Someone asked me to post a photo of my version of the Alpine Quilt Group BOM quilt I had done. I really changed my tastes thru this one from the pastel florals in the center to the bolder colors on white. It really needs something to bring it all together - probably why it sits. I changed it up quiet a bit and stopped half way thru - keeping it more balanced (her's was too long and very narrow). I have saved the other steps as they would make another great quilt.


I was surprised when the next block for the 'BlockaPalooza' quilt along was the same as what I had made the tutorial for. ESP, fate, coincidence? Although they had all their little squares a mix of fabrics - I chose to keep it simple so the large squares of mocha/peach print fabric would stand out.

Melissa over at Happy Quilting (see button on side) is having a quilt along using charms. Has nicely made charting for several sizes and has a great tutorial with lots of photos to help the beginner with this project. There is still time to join in the fun. As you can see, the scrappy side of me came out and I am using charms I cut from my green scrap bin which is overflowing - just calling "use me".

This quilt is on it's way to a new home, needed a photo before it is gone. Just to show another way to use those precious little squares. I made a similar one of these (someone who had purchased a kit and had trouble getting the sashing to line up) and then started saving scrap oriental fabrics for my own project. Seeing this, I think I need to check my oriental bin - maybe a small project as I don't have a lot of these fabrics.

As I work on several projects, hand quilt, and stitch away on that cross stitch - I am saving all my threads, snippets, and noodles. Not for the 'throw out' catcher, but I saw on another blog (sorry forgot to write it down to give credit) where she puts these out for the birds as nesting material. I love to bird watch with my grandson - he has his own little binoculars. This will be fun to put out the 'quilty' nesting materials with him and then later look for any color snippets/noodles that the birds have tucked in their little homes. So why winter has been for the birds, I look forward to adding to their joy in feeding them and providing them with some colorful home making materials.

Sewingly Yours,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Purple Valentine

"The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear."

The gemstone Amethyst is the birthstone for February. It is associated with spirituality, wisdom, sobriety, and security. The gift of Amethyst is symbolic of protection and the power to overcome difficulty. It is said to strengthen the bond in a love relationship, so it is an ideal anniversary or engagement gem.

I participated in the Once A Season Swap - Since my swap partner has no blog, I am posting a photo of what I sent her. We are following Australia's seasons since this is being hosted by Cheryll of 'StitchinCubbyHole' blog - Australia. 1st season is FALL - but I sent a Valentine, too as my partner is in USA.

These are the lovely Mug Rugs I received from my swap partner in the Quilting Gallery Swap - funny, my partner was from Australia. I will put them on my wall with other 'art' items received from other swaps. I just love all my goodies.

Someone asked if I was still stitching - totally forgot last time to post photo. I received a kit from my grandson for Christmas - I don't usually work kits as I don't like their quality of floss. But he picked this picture because it reminded him of 'Nana's Farm'; so I will stitch it up, frame and gift it back to him.

I took this on an angle to hopefully show the quilting. This is my February UFO challenge piece for Judy's list - PatchworkTImes. It is a star sampler I found on the internet 3 yrs. ago - so sorry I don't remember the Quilt Guild that had the BOM. I have to keep it covered or furry tries to pull the basting/pins out - and as you can see on the black, it isn't helping to keep the cat hair off. I'll wash it with a 1/2 cup of ammonia added - great for removing animal hair.


A few people asked me to show something using charms with the Squared Up section. Take 2 charms - one light, one dark or medium - place right sides together and sew on the two opposite sides. Then cut in half vertically, and without moving, cut in half horizontally. You will have four 2-patch pieces. I finger press seams to the dark and sew the 2-patches into the 4-patch. (4.5" unfinished square)

Trim 2 charms to 4.5" and use in opposite corners to the 4-patch. I sew these four units together to make an 8.5" square block.

I had some solid color charms, but you could cut from yardage. It gives it a different look.
Or you could complete the same with yardage. I am making another picnic quilt so cut 5" squares from a red pindot and from a cream pindot. I like to continual sew, so whipped down one side, with out cutting threads, sewed down the opposite side so I had a chain of squares.

Again - made my vertical and horizontal cuts to make my twosies.

Fingerpress the seams to the dark and pair up for making 4-patch units. And I streamline sew all of them.

Pressing from the back, first I press the side units flat. Then I press the center seam open. Flip them over and press the front for a crisp finish.

I found this wonderful spring green gingham print with cherries and strawberries dancing across it. These are my opposite blocks. I will add a green inner border and then a white with cherry print border, bind with the red pindot.

So you can use your charms, cut your yardage - even change your block size to 6.5" or 8/5" with yardage. This is a quick quilt and great for those specialty prints in the setting blocks accenting with the 4-patch.

What ever color your Valentine is today, I hope you have a happy one,
Sewingly Yours,