Thursday, December 3, 2020

Mystery Block of the Month Step 3


No you're not seeing triple! We are repeating what we did last month (only with longer strips to make our blocks a wee bit bigger!) Don't worry, this is the last time we repeat this step I PROMISE. Just grab another pile of strips and start cutting and sewing. Here's the details...

Step 3


Cut 2 matching strips 1 1/2'' x 9''

Cut 2 matching strips 1 1/2'' x 11'' from the same fabric

Repeat for each block you are making:

  • Queen Size-cut 36
  • Throw Size-cut 20

Sew the 1 1/2'' x 9'' strips to opposite sides of each block. (sewn last month)
Press the seams toward the strip added.
Sew the 1 1/2'' x 11'' strips to the remaining two sides of each block.
Press the seams toward the strip added.
The finished unit should be 11'' x 11''.

Repeat for each block you are making.
Each block will be bordered by four strips of the same fabric. 
The strips can be lighter or darker than the center square or previous strips.

Go HERE to print the instructions. Scroll down to the end to see the latest step.

See the Introduction post for more options and details.
If you are sharing your progress on social media be sure to use the following hashtags so we can find you!


Enjoy every stitch!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

November 2020 Instagram Review


Best book I've read in quite awhile, customer version of Lime Twist, designing with EQ8
Boomer, a butterfly emerges, the latest Mystery Sew Along step
Choose Hope, sunset, truth,
Buddy loves his sweater, smoothie, pumpkins

Is it really? Boomer, vintage toy machine
A perfect day at the lake, twins, snow globe beginning
long walk, work day, good book
birdhouse, Pumpkin collage, fall color

Snow Globe progress, snuggles, happy mail
wine, watching and waiting, wall hanging
truth, a holiday theme emerges, on the table
video of 'personal space', customer quilt, winter view

Just like my mom's, snow globe progress, tis the season
sibling love, flowers, first puzzle of the season
love birds, family love, before the buffet,
home made apple pie, the dog show tradition, binge watching

Thanks for sharing this crazy journey called 'life' with me. I hope your November was filled with lots of good books, yummy foods, long walks and whatever makes you happy.


The fine print: a few of these links are affiliate links which means I earn a tiny reward from purchases made through them. As always, thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

November 2020 Book List

 Anxious People

This book is written by one of my all time favorite authors so I had super high expectations. I have decided that I need to revisit it when I am in a different place in my life. I found it confusing and hard to follow and while some of the humor did resonate with me, I'm afraid I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for a comedy when I listened to this on Audible. I would highly recommend this or this or this book by this author though!

Murmur of Bees

This is one of the books I bought for myself recently and had some idea that I had heard something about it somewhere but couldn't put my finger on it. Oh what a lovely and beautifully written book. It is a 'magical realism' kind of story where there are obviously folk tales woven into the real story and that is exactly my favorite kind of book right now. Like a fairy tale for grown ups. I think this is the kind of story that helps me escape and feel transported to another place and time where magical things happen but they are just assumed to be real. There are deep ties to the social and cultural issues of the time and setting of the book and that makes it even better in my opinion. I couldn't put this book down!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

I purchased the Audible version of this book when I knew I would be driving a long way (and audio books are a MUST when I'm driving!) This book has recently been recommended by quite a few folks I follow on social media and I must say this didn't disappoint. The fact that it is 'historical fiction' and 'magical realism' and well written is really just my perfect combination! I love the main character and her flaws but determination to pave her own path in spite of what her family and society expect. She obviously gets into trouble but doesn't give up. She is creative and resourceful and couldn't we all use a little of that right now? I highly recommend this book!

Enjoy every story!


THE FINE PRINT: as always, this post contains affiliate links which earn me a small reward from each purchase made through them. I appreciate your support and enjoy a free book or two each month thanks to your help! 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Holidays are for Sharing (free pattern with purchase!)

Get a FREE pattern for a friend with every purchase!

 As I was sipping my coffee this morning I wanted to find a way to help all of you share the joy of the holidays. I also know that it's been a rough year and you probably haven't treated yourself to enough sweet treats so here's what I came up with...

For every purchase you make from my SHOP you can treat a friend to a free PDF download pattern! Here's how it will work (because I'm tech challenged.) When you purchase ANY item from my online shop you will see a comment box at checkout. In this comment box, leave the EMAIL of the recipient, the PATTERN NAME and who is sending the gift (just say SECRET SANTA if you want to remain anonymous). Your item will arrive to you as usual, and the gift pattern will be sent to your recipient with a cute email saying that they've been treated to some holiday cheer! 

The only rule- it starts now but has to be completed by Dec. 15, 2020 (as I have surgery scheduled the 17th and will be in hospital.) This year has been brutal financially for small businesses like mine, and for friends who can't be together with loved ones. So when you are small business shopping for the holidays, I hope you will treat yourself to something and let me treat a friend of yours! 

Please email me if you would like to send a group gift for your bee or guild and we can make that happen! I have group rates available depending on size of the group.

Let's all spread a little holiday cheer this year!


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Tis the Season for Christmas Quilts!

Before you yell at me for getting ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday please remember that I posted a wonderful Autumn Checklist and Autumn Quilts and Feeling Thankful post. I also know that if I wait until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas I will never finish in time!

My goal to finish this Snow Globe Collage Quilt is still  possible and I work on it a bit every day. I am really enjoying the process. I got addicted to the technique when I made the pumpkin quilt and really enjoyed all of your comments on that post. It got me to thinking I could make anything, but to be honest, I might need a collage 'break' after this one because it's a doozy!

I start by pulling out some of my favorite holiday quilts which include Under the Mistletoe and 

Piney Grove, along with the table runner version of each! And I toss Christmas quilts on the beds as well! I will slowly start replacing pumpkins with Santas and Christmas decor. I won't put up the tree until I have a house full of helpers at Thanksgiving. 

I might make new stockings this year, as we've used the same ones for over 20 years. This year is all about starting new traditions and making new memories! I honestly hadn't planned on having surgery before Christmas, so we will have to see what happens and what doesn't. After this year, anything is a bonus, don't you think?

Merry Everything Y'all!


Sunday, November 15, 2020


It goes without saying that 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year! I don't have to tell you what has gone wrong and what continues to weigh heavy on all of us. But I discovered a long time ago that giving thanks and feeling grateful for my blessings is the best way to cope with all of the things that have gone so terribly wrong in life. Personally, this year has been soul shattering in more ways than one. This year has also offered me gifts that were unexpected and amazing! More than anything, 2020 has been a year of extremes. 

But I choose to focus on the things that make me so thankful right now. So here's my list (you had to know I made a list, right?)

My Health

After years of joking that 'menopause is trying to kill me' I have finally found a diagnosis! I will spare you the details but I'm thrilled to say that I have a surgeon I trust, an answer to the cause of my symptoms, and a solution! I will be having a hysterectomy next month. So I am thankful for the healthcare and technology that found some answers to my questions and the perfect timing of it all. My kids will be home next month to help take care of the dogs (and me) while I recover. I am looking forward to feeling better than I have in years! I'm also looking forward to pain free days and increased energy! While I'm not looking forward to the surgery, I am so thankful to see better days that will follow it.

My Family

My 3 kids are nothing short of amazing. They are all doing well in school and coping with COVID with determination, courage and grace. I'm so incredibly proud of how they continue to work so hard in the face of so much disappointment and sadness. They have lost so much of their college experience this past year and faced so many challenges of learning online, and missing their friends, and being robbed of the campus life they loved so dearly. Their resilience has been an inspiration to me. And they are moving back home for Thanksgiving and will remain home until the new year! That is something my mom heart is so thankful for!

My Friends

During the worst of my challenges this year, my friends have stepped in and offered me grace and love beyond anything I could ever imagine or deserve. My online friends send encouragement and offer opportunities that continue to bless me. My local friends surround me with support and kindness and a listening ear to my endless worries. If I'm going to take credit, I've chosen my friends well, but mostly I think the credit goes to them, for being outstanding pillars of support and love through the worst of days.

My Work

I'll be honest. I REALLY miss traveling and teaching and meeting amazing quilters. While they say I give so much, the reality is that I get so much in return. Sharing skills and ideas and information is just a vehicle by which we can offer each other encouragement and help and hope. I miss all of those things. The beautiful quilters I meet along the way warm my heart so much more than any quilt ever could. So I am grateful for those memories.

I'm also grateful that my work has allowed me to contribute to my kids' college education. What a blessing to do work I love and share the rewards with my children. The financial situation of my work has changed drastically, but I am so glad I was able to do what I could for as long as I could.

I'm thankful that new opportunities like teaching online, and designing fabric are now on my daily agenda. Designing my first line of fabric (and soon my second) has been a dream come true. I am so thankful to the folks at Blank Quilting who offered me this opportunity! But the friend that recommended me to them is someone who will never know how much she has blessed my life when I needed it most!

My Longarm

Quilting for others on my longarm has been such a wonderful thing for me in many ways! I get to quilt beautiful quilts, I make a little money, and I get to use some creative energy while playing with fabric and thread! I'm so blessed to be able to quilt almost every day, and I will be even more thankful when I can return to quilting after my surgery recovery. Maybe I'll even get a few of my own quilt tops quilted? 

My Home

My home is my sanctuary. I love that it's cozy and filled with reminders of all the people and places I love. Who knows when or if I'll ever get to travel again, but I do know that I have collected a lifetime of good memories and I am so lucky to be surrounded by them. I will cozy up by the fire this winter, plan my spring garden, and walk my dogs and laugh with my children. I will read good books and stitch beautiful quilts and bake lots of cookies. I will relish my new kitchen and maybe start planning the next project (minor bathroom redo?) between sewing and reading and baking and walking and loving on my people.

My Furbabies

Buddy and Bailey are getting so old (14 and 12) but I plan to spoil them rotten in their remaining years. I will make sure Bailey always has a soft bed to lay on and Buddy always has a warm sweater to wear. They will give me kisses and snuggles and companionship in return.

Boomer is 6 now, but still a massive ball of energy and enthusiasm. Our daily walks are my therapy and his larger than life personality entertains me all day long. Recently I took him to visit my kids at UGA and he loved every minute with them. He didn't want to let them go (neither did I!) but I noticed on the car ride home, he sat and looked out the window for over an hour. He was taking in all the sights along the way. He might have been leaving his kids, but he was with his mom and going on an adventure and he didn't want to miss a thing. I try every day to be more like him, open and eager and happy! We never know what is coming next, so we might as well greet it with a good attitude!

I do hope that you are able to focus on the blessings and find reasons for hope and joy each day. This year has been a doozy and we all need to do whatever we can to make each day a little bit better, even if it's just for ourselves. Please be good to yourself, and find something to focus on that makes your heart thankful, it's amazing what it will do for the rest of you!

And if you are reading this, I consider you a friend and would love to offer you support in any way possible. Hang in there!!! We will get through this together by helping each other.


Monday, November 9, 2020

The Great Pumpkin Collage


I finished my first collage quilt this weekend! It was super fun once I got into the rhythm of it. I learned a lot and I'm glad I started small because it can get out of control quickly if you let it. This was my warm up/ practice project because I have plans to make the Laura Heine Snow Globe for Christmas. I know I'm nuts, but I think that's been established for quite some time... 

My friend Janet gave me a cute pumpkin drawing to get me started. She suggests looking online for coloring pages or simple clip art pumpkins and just enlarge to the size you like. Make any adjustments to suit your taste. It's not only a great way to get good outline shape for a pumpkin, but any simple shapes you might need.

After I laid out the pumpkin pieces, I started adding the fussy cut elements (that I had already added fusible to on the back) and it's easy to see how one can get really carried away! It was fun adding little bits and pieces all over the place, but in the end, I decided to add some but not all of the options. for those of you that know me, you won't be surprised that some selvages made it onto the final layout!

Once everything was fused, I was able to layer it and start the grid quilting. I began with a simple beige thread and sewed lines through the center and along the edges to serve as my basting. Then I added randomly spaced lines throughout the quilt in a grid. It was so fun that I decided to add additional color threads. The more the merrier!

Once again, the hard part was knowing when to stop! I could have continued with more thread colors and more quilting but decided to stop when most of the lines were about 1/4 inch apart. I did not mark any of the lines, I just used a walking foot and it's not perfect but it's 'organic' and I like that!

Here it is all quilted and just waiting for the binding. usually go with a dark binding but I didn't want it to stand out too much, so I went with this neutral print. It is a favorite and was already laying on my work surface. See what I mean when I say all of my quilts are mystery quilts, even I don't know what they're going to look like in the end? It's a fun perspective and sounds more professional that 'flying by the seat of your pants'! LOL

As you can see in this photo from the back, it is heavily quilted and could probably stand up on it's own. It is about 16 inches square and I used 3 full bobbins for the quilting alone. I added the binding by machine. I sewed the binding to the front, and then put an invisible thread in the bobbin before stitching the binding down from the back. Because the quilt was small and so stiff from all the quilting, the binding went on like a dream!

I hope you enjoyed the story of my first pumpkin! I'm no expert at collage by any means but if you want to try it, here are some resources for you to check out.

Note: you will use much more fusible and pattern ease than you realize. I was shocked at how much fusible I went through for this tiny project. (probably more than a yard!)


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