Monday, December 30, 2019


Fun and color were on my mind when I designed this week's featured quilt. Using up some of my scraps is a happy bonus. I cut crossed canoe blocks and 5” squares in shades of aqua, red, blue, yellow, orange, green and purple with gray contrast.

I laid out the design in EQ8 software so that I could experiment with color placement. Daydreams is 45” x 54” in size. Backing is a white and gray wide print. I quilted with gray thread in a scallop stitch.

Accuquilt dies used:  
Crossed Canoes 55181
5” square 55010

Final 2019 project count is fifty-one. I've enjoyed sewing each and every one and though I always want to keep them, I have gifted a few.

I'm looking forward to the new year, even though the temperature here in Tennessee has been unseasonably warm. 

My 2020 quilt to do list is growing quickly, but first I'll take some time this week to organize the sewing room.

As for other resolutions, I say make a few, break a few, but always live the life you choose.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Festive Pillows

Blazing Star pillow

I have a confession to make. These pillows are made with dies that are Christmas gifts. During Accuquilt's Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, my sweetheart of a husband suggested that I order dies for my presents. So I did. He's the best Santa.  

When they arrived, I had to check to make sure they cut properly, right? Of course, they worked perfectly so I wrapped them with our other gifts. But then I had test pieces lying around. What to do? Make pillows!

I've wanted Blazing Star (55051) for a while and it sews up beautifully. Red, cream, black and gray for high contrast shows off the design with a holiday flair. I added a border, and what a pretty pillow cover it makes.

The second die is Snowball (55330). I sewed two 6" blocks in red and aqua, then added matching nine-patch blocks made from 2 ½” squares. I'm calling this pillow Vintage Charm.

You'll see more of both these dies in larger projects once I get to open them on Christmas Day.  

Oh, and in case you're wondering, a child I was sneaky and sometimes peeked at my presents before Santa came.  

Hope everyone has a peaceful, happy holiday.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Merry Trees

This small Christmas quilt is so cute! Diamond shapes and triangles are arranged to form rows of little trees.

I used Hattie's Choice Accuquilt die again to cut the red and green shapes, then added half square rectangles on each side. A bright border of red with green dots just sets it off. 

Backing is a holiday print of nested squares. Using green thread, I quilted in serpentine stitch horizontally and vertically.  Nice for a wall hanging or table mat, Merry Trees is 23” x 35” in size.

Accuquilt dies used:  
Hattie's Choice 55220
3 ½” x 6 ½” half rectangle triangle 55411 

I'm enjoying a simple, quiet Christmas season. No parties, no nonsense, no drama. We haven't wanted to shop (except a bit online), so we avoided the pressure to buy just for the sake of a sale. It's empowering to ignore others' expectations and satisfying to do what you like.

Remember, it's your Christmas,
so march to the beat
of your own little drummer boy

Monday, December 9, 2019



Simple quilt blocks are quick, fun to sew, and easy on the eyes. This one uses 2 ½” strips with 4 ½” squares to make a peaceful snuggle quilt in a classic style.

Cool blue and white prints in medium and light shades from my stash coordinate well with the grey and white border and backing. I quilted with white thread along each seam.

Crossroads finished size of 43” x 51” is just right for a comfortable recliner nap.

By the way, my lovely fabric from the beach is inventoried and filed away in baskets and cabinets, just waiting to be chosen for the next quilt. So many ideas!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Oasis + Fabric

oasis: something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast

As I hinted last week, we've just returned from a seven day trip to my favorite oasis – Alabama's gulf coast. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offered sunshine, balmy temperatures, and an escape from daily routines.

The highlights:

Morning and evening beach walks. Calming sound and scent of the waves. Amazing sunsets. It didn't take long for me to slow down to beach time.

Outstanding meals, including “the best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world” at Doc's Seafood (it absolutely is!), Parmesan Encrusted Flounder at DeSoto's Seafood Kitchen, fried whitefish with corn fritters at Mikee's, and a perfectly awesome bacon cheeseburger at Duck's Diner.

Touring the wonderful exhibits at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, plus the bonus of Blue Angels flying down our beach daily.

We shopped at thrift stores, local shops, a giant flea market, and …. FABRIC STORES! As usual, I filled a grocery cart with quilting prints at Fabrics by the Pound in Summerdale, AL. 

A & E Fabrics in Pensacola started their Black Friday sale early (50% off); so many beautiful designs that it was difficult to choose! It was my first visit, but I'll be back. My stash has grown by another 67 yards thanks to encouragement by my tolerant, generous husband.

Everyone needs a break from routine life now and then, even retirees! Find your oasis and plan your escape.


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