{john & christina under the mistletoe}

John and Christina finally realized that the only thing that had stood between them and true love's kiss was their carrot noses.  Problem solved with gumdrops!  Block #6 of Tell Me A Christmas Story Quilt

{roxanne and her wreath}

Roxanne loved taking a little bit of Christmas with her every where she went.  who needs a scarf when you have a festive wreath?  Block #5 of Tell Me A Christmas Story Quilt

{pumpkin & the Christmas lights}

Everyone was shocked when Pumpkin volunteered to be in charge of the Christmas lights again - especially after last year's tangled fiasco!  Block #4 of Tell Me A Christmas Story Block
Hunting for shrooms

This block is dedicated to our anxiety ridden Pumpkin cat who sat in our garage and pulled out her hair.  The only time she seemed at peace was when she ate the brown mushrooms that occasionally grew in our lawn.  We could always tell when she had eaten some because we would find her sitting on the lawn and gazing peacefully at the clouds.


{frank's olympic dreams}

Although Frank failed to medal in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, he carried warm memories of his hometown of Provo being chosen as one of the Olympic venues.  It was hard not to wonder what might have been if only he had landed his quad . . . 
(Block #3 of Tell Me a Christmas Story)


{tell me a christmas story}

Block #1 - Lucy hangs the last ornament

I love to create a name with the story behind it for each quilt I make.  My brain thinks in terms of connections and so it is natural for me to have a heart connection to quilts with a story.  I purchased the book, Intentional Piecing, a few months ago and had planned on making several of the quilts.  I put it in my "Project" pile and focused on finishing a couple of Christmas quilts I started last year.

Block #2 - Frosty & Flopsy

But then . . . I stumbled across the #tellmeastoryholiday blocks complete with stories on Instagram and I WAS HOOKED!  I don't pretend to think that this quilt will be complete by Christmas Eve but the first two blocks have left me giddy and anxious to do more.

I going to do "just one more" and then I really must finish the tree . . .  


{david's quilt}

I rarely don't love my quilts once I've finished them (I put a lot of thought and heart in them) but sometimes a color combination just makes your heart sing.

I was slow to fall in love with gray but I have decided it is a true and dependable friend in the color world.  It can stand alone and be striking but it can also take a step back and let other colors shine.

This quilt is based on the Vintage Baby quilt pattern by Yoyo Mama Designs.  The great thing about this pattern is that by top stitching the raw edged 2 1/2" squares to a background/batting/backing sandwich, you "piece" the top AND quilt the quilt at the same time!

The first time I made this pattern, I used a water soluble marking pen to mark my grid and pins to hold my squares in place while I sewed.  By the time I was finished sewing all of those straight lines (and trying to dodge all of those sharp pins), my arms looked like I had wrestled a porcupine.

This time I used a Frixon pen (the ink disappears when ironed) to mark my grid and Roxanne's Glue-Baste-It temporary basting glue to hold my squares in place while I sewed.  Lifesavers!!!  If you don't own these two sewing tools, buy them.  I have found many uses for these two items.  They might seem a little pricey but the glue goes a long way and the pen is so versatile.

The pen eliminated having to dab my quilt with cold water to remove the grid lines after the quilt was sewn and four tiny dots of glue - one in each corner - held my squares firmly in place once I had finalized my design and while I sewed/quilted this darling quilt.  I love this basting glue because it washes out and leaves the quilt soft to the touch.  

A white flannel with a tiny green dot pattern and a Bonnie & Camille navy print with a green dot cut on the bias was the perfect binding.

I've realized that every quilt has taught me something about myself, quilting or life (I guess they're really all one in the same).  This quilt taught me to not let long held opinions or thoughts - "I don't like gray." - dictate how I feel or think today.

A few years ago my dad declared that he did NOT like Mexican food.  When I asked him the last time he had eaten Mexican food, he answered "Never".  He just knew he didn't like it.  To my dad's credit, he was willing to go to a great local Mexican restaurant and give it a try.  He found out that some of it he didn't care for but other entrees he actually enjoyed.  Isn't that the challenge and the adventure of daily living, to stay open to life's possibilities and be willing to give new things a try.  Thanks Dad for being willing to try refried beans.

And guess what, I LOVE gray!


{fancy nancy portable quilt design boards inspired by lori holt}

First, 100% credit goes to Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet for her great idea to make smaller, portable design boards to use during quilt block design and construction.

This is my Fancy Nancy version using basting spray and Duck tape to construct my boards.

Materials needed -
Foam core board (use your coupon at Hobby Lobby, Michaels or Joanns)
Basting spray (I like 505 spray), glue gun or craft glue
Duck Tape - it comes in a wide variety of patterns (use your coupon at Hobby Lobby, Michaels or Joanns)
Batting (great use for all of those odd scraps)
Cutting mat, ruler, pencil and scissors

With your quilting ruler as your guide, cut your foam core board to size.  You can use a rotary cutter with an old blade, a sharp knife or exacto knife.  Just be sure to have your cutting mat underneath your board.  I have found 15" squares to be very useful.  I did make one board using the whole piece of foam core for those really large quilt blocks.  If you do teeny, tiny piecing you could make a smaller board.  Make what you'll use.  There is no "wrong" size.

Now cut a piece of batting 1/8" smaller than your board.  If your board is 15" square, cut your batting 14 7/8" square.  I like doing this for two reasons.  First, I have found it much easier to cut your batting first rather than try to trim it flush to the board after it's glued.  And second, cutting your batting slightly smaller gives you a sharp edge when you apply your Duck Tape.

On the "back" side of your board, measure in 3/4" and draw a pencil line on all four sides.  This give you the perfect amount of Duck Tape on both sides of the board.

Take your board outside and spray the whole "front" side of your board (the side without pencil markings) with basting spray.  Or you can use a thin layer of craft glue or your glue gun glue around the edges to secure all four sides of your batting to your board.

Secure your batting to the board.

Flip your board over to the wrong side and line up a piece of Duck Tape just a hair beyond your pencil line.  Make sure that it extends about an inch on both sides.

Turn your board over and bring the Duck Tape to the front and press with your fingers to secure.  On either end squeeze the overlapping edges together and cut next to the board.

Repeat on the opposite side.

On the two remaining sides you will do the exact same thing EXCEPT this time you will notch the tape that extends on the BACK side of the piece.  This will allow you to fold the tape back on itself and will give you a clean corner.

Sadly, I have to report that the Duck Glitter Tape was a huge disappointment.  It did NOT have the same "stick" as the other designs.  I ended up having to go back and glue my corner pieces.  I'll use my one Fancy Nancy Glitter Duck Tape board but I won't use the glitter tape on any others.  Duck Tape, I had such high hopes . . .

This version of design boards does not require an iron.  I think my dislike for the ironing part of quilting harkens back to my childhood days when everything was cotton and so everything needed ironing (today it doesn't seem to matter as much if things are ironed but I still love the smell of my ironed pillowcases and the look of a well pressed dress shirt).

I spent many an hour seated at my Mom's Ironrite (it probably wasn't that often but it sure seemed like it!) ironing pillowcases and imagining that they were the curtains being raised on "Let's Make A Deal" or "Queen For A Day" to reveal the Grand Prizes.  Don't you love the sales pitch?!?  The end of "home's last drudgery!"