Thursday, December 10, 2009 2 Comments »
When writing out your Holiday cards this year, please consider sending one to:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20307

If we pass this on, think of how many cards these special men and women would get!

Pieces and Peace,

Random Thoughts

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 3 Comments »

A friend sent me this. I laughed so hard that I had to share -- sorry it's so long!

  1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer's history if you die.

  2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

  3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

  4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

  5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

  6. Map Quest needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my damn neighborhood.

  7. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

  8. Bad decisions make good stories.

  9. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

  10. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to the ten-page document that I swear I did not make any changes to.

  11. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.

  12. I hate it when I miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!)but when I immediately call back it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

  13. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

  14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

  15. My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the heck do I respond to that?

  16. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

  17. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.
Got any Random Quilting Thoughts?

Love and Pieces, Pat

Dressing up

Monday, December 07, 2009 4 Comments »
My daughter Kate and I were talking the other day about the general stresses of the holidays. She knows that I get very uptight and anxious around the holidays, so she shared something that has made a huge difference for her.

Her pastor gave a sermon a while back about getting dressed in the morning. She talked about how most of us take great care to put on the right outfit, make sure our hair looks presentable and that we’ve got a little makeup on; it gets us ready for the day. But what about out mental outfit? Why not take that same amount of time to dress our psyche for the day ahead? Put on a good outlook? Instead of going out the door knowing it’s going to be a terrible, aweful, no good , very bad day, tell yourself it’s going to be a great day.

Kate said that this whole concept really hit home for her. She’s a 5th grade teacher, and has daily challenges with her students as well as with some of the parents. Those days when she woke up on the wrong side of the bed generally turned out to be crappy days, with that bad feeling carrying through to everything, including her students. Her attitude had a way of spreading to others like the flu. But once she started dressing herself in confidence and the notion that she could handle whatever came her way, she noticed a huge difference.

Well, I’m gonna give it a try, shake those holiday blues. Today I put on some enthusiasm, brushed up my energy and decided to wear my joy. It WILL be a great day. Such a simple idea, and it didn't cost me a dime.

So, what do you have on?

Love, joy and pieces, Pat


Wednesday, November 25, 2009 4 Comments »
I have ever so much to be thankful for, but today I just wanted to give extra thanks to all of you who have enriched my life in quilty blogland.

Here in cyberspace, we have no age; physical appearance is not an issue; distance presents no problem; our homes are always clean and ready to welcome company; our stash is always organized. We are who we are in each other's lives because we share a common interest. When that common interest leads us down untraveled roads, we gladly take that journey, and our little world expands.

We rejoice in each other's accomplishments; we pray for each other when support is needed; sometimes we agree to disagree (always gracefully however); we vent our frustrations and proclaim our joy; we share. We have quilted ourselves a blanket of friendship.

Be Thankful!!

Piece and love, Pat


Monday, November 16, 2009 1 Comment »
Maybe this struck a chord with me because my daughter was a college softball player. Maybe because it redefines who we call "winners". Or maybe because I wish all of us (myself included) would just do the right thing more often.

Anyway, it's worth 7 minutes of your time. Trust me.

click here to watch The Home Run.

A Reason for the Sneezin'

Saturday, November 14, 2009 1 Comment »

Use up your scraps and spread some love during the Sneezin' Season.

Just blow on over to Kim's Blog (an oft traveled road) for a details and a tutorial.

Let's Share!

Friday, November 13, 2009 3 Comments »
Let’s share some tricks of the trade! I certainly can’t claim originality for any of my faves, but I sure can pass them along.

Empty plastic spice jars have a lot of uses. I keep one of the half-sized ones next to my machine to hold dead sewing machine needles. There's a regular sized one in my featherweight carrier to hold pre-wound bobbins. Another regular sized one lives in my desk drawer at work with 3 old bobbins wound in black, navy and white thread, a couple of safety pins and a scrap of felt with several sewing needles.

How about an old, squat jar to keep hold used rotary blades? I think it was a jar of body butter in its former life.

Then there is the tall cylindrical container I bought at an office supple store to hold my rotary cutters on the cutting table. A big coffee can or a cylindrical oatmeal/grits box would work too. I figure it’s the same principle as putting your pens & pencils in a pencil can. Most of the time I remember to put the cutter back in the container so it doesn't get lost under a pile of fabric!

I have a bunch of old cookie sheets/trays that I use to keep my cut pieces for a project together. As I cut, I put the pieces on the tray and use it to bring just those pieces to my sewing station. The cookie sheets really help to organize projects & keep them separate from other projects. If it’s a bigger project, I’ll keep a copy of my fabric cheat sheet (see below) on the tray as well.

My friend Kimberly, started me doing this with her mystery quilts. Whenever I start a project that requires more than 5 brain cells, I make a fabric cheat sheet by using an extra copy of the cutting/fabric instructions, or by using an 8.5” x 11” brown mailing envelope. My preference is the envelope. I draw a grid on the envelope, then tape small samples of each of the fabrics to the grid. The instructions can be stored inside the envelope.

To make the process of hand-sewing binding a little easier, I pre-thread several needles. Many hand quilters do the same thing. Since my eyes aren't so good any more, I use a needle threader; I just have to get it out just once to thread multiple needles. Doing this also helps me to “eat the elephant one bite at a time”. Instead of looking at the huge task ahead of me, I say to myself: “Tonight I am going to sew 3 needles”. When I’ve done 3 needles' worth of sewing, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do 4.

And here’s the last one, although it’s not exactly a sewing tip. I have a pair of Croc-like shoes I wear when I’m on my feet a lot. They are ugly, but they provide great support and are good for my feetsies when I am spending hours standing at the cutting table (they also offer protection from falling rotary cutters!). SInce they are not made of a breathable material, they really start to stink after a while. I’m not talking a gentle odor, I’m talking offensive stench. My darling sister, who raised a couple of athletic boys and was used to hauling equally smelly athletic equipment in her car, suggested dryer sheets. She puts them in her tennis and refereeing shoes (she’s a jock), and makes her hubby put them in his golf shoes. Darned if that trick didn’t work for my stinky old Quarks. As soon as my feet come out of the shoes, the dryer sheets go in. I bet those dryer sheets would work in other smelly areas (like the dirty laundry section of your suitcase when you are traveling?). Thanks, Sis!

What are some of the little tricks you have for keeping your sewing more organized, or for making life easier?

Love and pieces, Pat

Fairy Dust

Thursday, November 12, 2009 1 Comment »

I am taking the easy way out today by sending you to one of my favorite blogs for inspiration. This young woman has tremendous talent, and has equally talented customers.

Please take a few minutes to go look at The Green Fairy's magical quilting on a stunning quilt!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009 0 Comments »
Take a minute and remember.

Baby Shower

Monday, October 26, 2009 1 Comment »
The baby shower was lovely. Many wonderful gifts and much womanly bonding. Most of the attendees have known Kate since she was an infant, so the joy of seeing a new generation begin was palpable. Kate, the guest of honor, looked slim and lovely, with the only evidence of pregnancy being the "basketball" grafted onto her abdomen. Now why couldn't the rest of us have carried like that!

The shower was hosted by Kate's mom (and my dear friend) Jan, and Kate's sister-in-law, Jen. Together, they did a superb job.

My God Daughter is an Art teacher & and artist; her husband Sean is in graphic design. Recently Sean has developed mad photographic skills, as you can see by these beautiful portraits of Kate.
Between the two of them, they came up with a very cool idea for a shower activity.

They took a large canvas, and gridded it out with pencil lines -- semi random squares & rectangles (very quilt-like). Acrylic paints (in colors to coordinate with the baby's room) were provided, along with paint brushes. and print- outs of suggested designs. They also brought the diaper stacker from the nursery decor set to provide a little inspiration.

The idea was for each guest to paint a square, with the finished work to be hung in the baby's room. There were a few artsy types in attendance who did a really really nice job on their squares, but most of us picked a simple design like a sun, a flower or a tree & tried to do our best. Somehow it all worked. The over-all effect was very cute; Miss. Grace Isabel certainly has a spiffy, original work of art for her nursery. I am sure Mr. photographer took some snaps of the finished painting, so I will post when I get them.

Yes, "Amazing Grace" was a hit, and here's hoping it gets loved/used until it shreds!

Piece and love, Pat

Amazing Grace

Saturday, October 24, 2009 5 Comments »

Well, it's finished. Good thing, because the shower is tomorrow. I debated wheter or not to wash it, but I am glad I went ahead and did. Now the quilt has that nice, crunkly, soft old feel to it. Sorry that the pictures are not so hot, but my camera does not do well indoors, and it's been pouring rain all day.

I did just a straight line of strips down the back, and added a label.
I hope Miss Grace likes it.

Now if Nora could only quilt.......

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1 Comment »

Like my friend Kimberly, I know that many of you have feline Quality Control Managers in your sewing rooms. Check out Nora! Make sure you have the sound on.

More CATcertos available here.

Slow Cooker Season

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2 Comments »
It's slow cooker season again.

Head on over to this awesome slow cooker web site for some ideas and inspiration. Just click on the recipe links for everything from warming beverages to main courses to desserts.

Stephanie's recipies are very good and very easy; I've tried a bunch of them and can attest to their yumminess. Her daughter has a gluten allergy, so all of her recipies use gluten free ingredients, but you can easily swap out for non-GF. I can't wait to order her book!

Who needs to spend all that time in the kitchen when you could be quilting, or even watching those Phabulous Phillies!

Piece and love, Pat

Rainy Weekend

Monday, October 19, 2009 3 Comments »

Miserable, cold weekend -- just perfect for hunkering down and working on a quilt! I kicked the cat off my sewing throne, made innumerable cups of herbal tea, started working my way through the 8 DVD collection of The Dutchess of Duke Street, and sewed to my heart's content.

This quilt is for Miss Grace Isabel Flanagan, expected to make her formal appearance sometime in December, but being showered in advance next weekend. Her mother is my God Daughter, Kate Duerr Flanagan; her Grandmother is my very dear friend Janice Duerr, and her Great Grandmother is Isabel Ruddick. Kate and her hubby Sean have been trying and trying to create a mini Flanagan for a while now. Fertility treatments, in vitreo, all with no success. Well, sometimes things happen in God's own time, and such it was with Grace. When Kate and Sean least expected it, shazzam! God planted a seed, and Miss Grace Isabel began her journey.

This is my first attempt at creating my own pattern, and winging it. It was a leap of faith. Yep, I made a couple mistakes (right in the center of the picture), but I don't think anyone will mind. This quilt is a meant to be a work of love, not a work of art. Tonight I'll finish the machine quilting, then start the binding while I watch the Phillies beat LA (can I still sew with my fingers crossed?). Once the quilt is finished, I plan to wash it so that it gets that nice old-fashioned, soft crumply look.

I like to name my quilts, but it took a while to think of a name for this one that reflected all of the joy and love that this baby brings. Finally it came to me. It's called "Amazing Grace".

Piece and love,

Apple time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 5 Comments »
Apple, Bleu Cheese and Smoked Ham Tart

We love bleu cheese in our house, so when I saw this recipe on the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day blog, I practically drooled on the keyboard. Add a salad, light a nice fire, and pour yourself some apple cider, chilled white wine, or a cold brewski -- you're all set to watch the game!

I happen to like the AB5 method & usually have dough in the fridge, but a good alternative would be to just buy a ball of dough from your local pizza shop.

Click here for the recipe.

Quilt Out Loud!

Friday, October 09, 2009 2 Comments »
Friday, October 9, 2009

A few months ago, I attended a taping of several segments of Quilt Out Loud at my favorite sewing machine store, Byrne Sewing. QOL is an internet TV program available only on QNN TV. And yes, you need to have a paid membership to QNN. No free lunch, as they say.

Anyway, it's a rather refreshing concept in that it doesn't focus on making quilts. It focuses on all of the things that quilters might be interested in -- including making cupcakes decorated like quilt blocks for your guild meeting; visiting a garden center to get color inspiration for your quilts from the plants; and book reviews. They even have "door knocker" segments where they knock on the doors of various quilters, and go into their homes/quilting spaces during the surprise visit. The hosts are Jodi Davis, a very sweet lady with a great on-screen personality, who makes beer in addition to being an accomplished quilter, and the outrageous (and funny) Mark Lipinski. I really like the program/segments a lot.

The two most recently released segments (filmed at Byrnes) are interviews with two women involved in designing fabric, Michelle Benko and Gail Kessler. For those of you from Pennsylvania, you might recognize Gail as the owner of Ladyfinger's, in Oley. She is also the Marketing Director for Andover Fabrics. They talk about topics like: Why do fabrics start looking the same? Who determines trends, both in fabric pattern and in color? and What about knock-offs? It's very interesting. Gail brought along her Golden Retreiver, Rosie, who was the inspiration for her most popular fabric line, Dimples -- a blender that's now available in a gajillion different colors. Michelle designs for Henry Glass, and has started her own company to produce "green" fabric.

I got my very own nano second of fame when they panned the audience at the start of the first segment. I'm the blonde in the center of the 2nd row, wearing a bright bue jacket & grinning like a fool. Hey, fame can do that to you. See my agent for autographs.

Unfortunately, Mark Lipinski is no longer associated with QNN or with Quilt Out Loud, so the current series of shows are the last in which you will see him. Personally, I think he was a hoot, and brought a lot to the show. I enjoyed meeting him immensely. He has bowed out of Quilter's Home Magazine as well. Sorry to see you go, cupcake!

I will try to post pictures later from the taping itself. The process is fascinating!
Love and pieces,

Hangin' on my Fridge?

Friday, October 09, 2009 8 Comments »
Sept. 26, 2009
I should be hanging this on my fridge. It's at least as worthy as the fingerpaintings my grand kids have done, or the assorted invitations for upcoming events.

Alright, it's not even close to perfect, but it's my first attempt at foundation piecing, and it's only 7 1.2" on the longer sides. Did I mention it has 30 separate pieces? Can I take into account that the classroom was about as well lit as a badly lit closet?

I will be doing more, and they will be better. Cross my heart.

Oh, and this is what the pattern looks like when it's done by George.

Move you feet, lose your seat!

Thursday, September 24, 2009 Posted In , 5 Comments »
Sept. 24, 2009

Geez, Junior!
No wonder I always have threads and fur clinging to my pants when I run out to the store.
Good thing I have an extra chair in my sewing room.

Fabric Bee Fabrics on Etsy

Thursday, September 24, 2009 3 Comments »
Sept. 24, 2009
I'm always looking for sources of spiffy fabric, so when I saw a link to an Etsy shop called the Fabric Bee on Red Pepper Quilts, I had to surf on over. Red Pepper has a weekly feature called "Sunday Stash" that always gets my fabric envy juices flowing. This week was no exception.

Lynett, the owner of the shop, does business out of Arkansas. Lovely, bright fabrics, offered as yardage or in nifty bundles, and great prices. The bundle on the left, for example, is 10 one-half yard cuts from Patty Young's Mezzanine Collection. $38.50, plus modest S & H. Fast shipping as well -- I ordered online on Sunday & the package arrived at my Pennsylvania doorstep on Wednesday.

Go take a look for yourself!

Love and pieces, Pat

Caught on Tape!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 2 Comments »
Sept. 22, 2009

I'm going to share a tip here that I picked up at a class this weekend. The class was taught by George and Virginia Siciliano. For those of you who are not familiar with this dynamic duo from Lebanon, PA, go check out their website.

They team teach their classes, providing an information-filled, very entertaining day of doing one of George's unique patterns. This particular class did Birds of Paradise, a pattern also available on their website. If you ever have an opportunity to take one of their sessions, please do yourself a favor and sign up for it; you will not be sorry! You will have a great time, and feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when you see what you are able to create. The Sicilianos are also available for guild meetings -- check out their site for details. By the way, Virginia's area of expertise (other than keeping George in line) is hand quilting. Her work is so fine and so exact, you would swear on your featherweight that it was done by machine. She is a indeed a master.

George told the class that he always had trouble making an exact match at critical seam joins. No matter what he tried -- pins, double pins, even a stapler(!) -- the fabric would always shift ever so slightly. Sometimes he guessed correctly & was able to compensate for the shift when he pinned, but that was hit and miss. Then he came up with the idea of using double-sided Scotch brand tape. The kind marked "permanent", not the kind marked "repositionable". First, he takes a couple of stitches at each seam on the edge of the block so that the seams won't separate when he starts to sew the blocks together. Next, he matches his joins using the old pin-through-the-seam/point method, holds it tight from the 1/4" side, lifts the fabric up from underneath, then puts a piece of tape on the fabric just beneath the join but below the stitching line. Then he squeezes the taped portions firmly to make sure they're good and stuck, checking the join from the top to insure it's spot on. Voila! No more shifting!

Virginia uses tons of the tape herself to help with pattern matching on borders and to ensure perfect miters. Together they use so much of the tape that they buy it in bulk at places like Sam's club. The tape is reusable a number of times; George just sticks the used pieces on the top of his machine where they are at the ready to use for the next block, kind of like you would do with pins in a pin cushion. In case you are wondering, the tape has no adverse effect on the fabric whatsoever.

The class that I took with the Sicilianos was wonderful. I had never done foundation piecing before, so I learned a new skill in addition to meeting two gifted teachers/artisans. But even with a not-so-great class, sometimes all it takes to make that class worthwhile is one great tip you can take away. This tape thing is going to make matching geese and other types of seams a breeze for me. Kudos to George (and Virginia) for coming up with it! Feel free to share, but make sure you give George credit -- I wouldn't want an ex-Marine coming after me.

Love and pieces, Pat


Tuesday, September 15, 2009 3 Comments »
Sept. 15, 2009
My friend Kimberly Einmo has started a new Mystery Quilt on her website, and it's not too late to catch up on the clues. It's free! It's fun! This time Kimberley's featuring pre-cuts -- a jelly roll and a layer cake. I am especially excited about my fabrics, and cannot wait to see how the mystery plays out!!!!!

You can also check her out in the latest issue of Mark Lipinski's magazine, Quilter's Home. They asked a number of professional quilters about what they felt was their most important quilt. Kimberly's was one that she was asked to make in honor of Air Force General Greg Martin when he was presented with the prestigious Order of the Sword. Lovely article and great picture on the inside of the mag. That's Kimberly's name on the cover, cupcakes, right under the adorable gray pug. Sure hope that pup doesn't drool.

Goin' Quiltin'

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 0 Comments »
Sept. 15, 2009
The Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza
September 17-20, 2009

I'm gettin' my quilt on & heading out to the QuiltFest, in Oaks, PA this week. This show has been on hiatus for a few years, but just resurfaced in the new convention center in Oaks. Everyone has told me it's quite a spiffy facility. I signed up for a few classes, a lecture or two, and plan to wear out my feet cruising the exhibition & vendor areas. You can bet that my camera will be all charged up & ready to go as well.

One of the show sponsors is my very favorite sewing machine dealer, Byrne Sewing Connection. They will be participating as dealers for Bernina, Babylock and Brother (are you sensing a pattern here?). They are the best for quality machines as well as for machine repair, so I am thrilled to see them have the opportunity to strut their stuff at the show.

I spent last night packing up my goin' quiltin' stuff, and putting all of the supplies for each class in separate Art Bin organizers. My house may be a mess, but I am very organized when it comes to my quilting. Tonight I will go through my check list to make sure I haven't forgotten anything -- don't laugh, the last time I went to Lancaster, I forgot my Bernina cord and foot pedal (duh). Fortunately, that show was sponsored by a fabulous Bernina Dealer in the area who was very happy to lend me some spares. Aren't quilty people wonderful?

Piece and love, Pat

A stunning give away from Trends and Traditions

Sunday, August 23, 2009 Posted In , 1 Comment »
August 23, 2009
Heather Mulder Peterson has some scrumptious patterns and even yummier quilts. Have you ever seen those nifty Little Charmer patterns in your local quilt shop? They are hers!!

Go visit her web site,
Trends and Traditions, to enter for a chance to win this lovely quilt. While you're there, take a look at that precious cupcake princess with a cupcake that matches her table cover!

The storms last Friday fried the ethernet adapter in my PC, so I perfomed a daring act of surgery this morning to replace it. Who says that we quilters are just one-trick ponies? I figured that if I could unsew a whole quilt block & put it back together, I could pop the hood on my PC and swap out a board.
No guts, no glory, as they say!

It's oppressively muggy and hot here in PA today. Time to crank up the air in my sewing room, get a big ol' glass of iced tea, catch up on the new season of Mad Men, and stitch me up a purse. I'm using the fat quarters I sneaked (snuck?) into the house yesterday. Please don't tell!

Lancaster or Bust!

Friday, August 21, 2009 Posted In , , , 2 Comments »
August 21, 2009
Ms. Penguin broke the news on her blog: the Lancaster quilt show will be back! The American Quilter's Society has picked up sponsorship, so the show is joining the ranks of other AQS productions like Paducah, Knoxville, and Des Moinse. That's great news, especially for those of us on the East Coast. March 24-27, 2010. Save those dates!
By the way, is anyone going to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XVI, September 17-20, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, Oakes, PA? I'm taking some classes, but I'd love to meet up with some fellow bloggaholics while I'm there. Add a comment to let me know your plans.

Piece and love, Pat


Thursday, August 20, 2009 1 Comment »
Aug. 20, 2009
Nancy, near Philadelphia, posted about her book club today. One thing led to another, and that got a conversation started about DVDs. I said that I have a very small TV set up next to my sewing machine, attached to a cheap-o DVD player. I love nothing better than putting on a good DVD & just sewing away.

I'm currently fixated on old Masterpiece Theater series or series done by the BBC.

In the winter, there's usually a big mug of hot herbal tea handy; in the summer it's iced. Sometimes Maggie the Wonder Dog will stop by, or Junior the tabby cat, or even DH, checking to make sure I haven't stitched myself off into oblivion.
Nancy says she doesn't like to put anything on while she sews. I'm assuming she means on TV, and not that she sews stark naked -- that could be hazardous on sooo many levels. Just kidding, Nancy!
Anyway, what ambiance do YOU like when you go off to your own, personal Planet Quilt?

Piece and love, Pat

Yikes! Where has the summer gone??

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 Posted In , , , , , 0 Comments »
Wow, the summer has really gotten away from me! I've been plugging away at Annabelle's flying geese quilt, but it's been s-l-o-w going. Just haven't felt like locking myself in the sewing room. I've finished five 4-block rows, however I think I need one more. Don't you hate when that happens? You think you're almost done, but you're not. It's the Quilter's Curse.

I need to apologize for not being a very good blogger. I've been playing around with the template to make it a little easier/cleaner to post. Haven't found anything that rings my chimes yet. Any suggestions? And of course indecision leads to procrastination, so I guess it's yet another UFO.......

I've also discovered that someone mentioned my blog in my college alumnae quarterly. If any Wilson College grads are checking in, glad to have you aboard! Please leave a comment or send me an email. I'd love to hear from you.

The list of favorite blogs over there on the right is growing. Go check some of them out! I particularly like the ones from Australia; such bright & happy fabrics! Check out those foodie blogs as well. If you are into food porn (obscenely enticing pictures of food) and general folksiness, visit Fat Johnny's Front Porch. He's a retired chef whose Cajun/BBQ-centric blog makes me drool. Oh, and that slow cooker blog is wonderful as well! Get up early on Saturday or Sunday, put stuff in your slow cooker, turn it on & retire to your sewing room for the day. 8-10 hours later, you'll have a lot of quilting done, and a fabulous meal waiting for you when you finally poke your head out the door!

Stay tuned for one of my next postings about the taping I attended for a new internet show called
Quilt Out Loud! I just don't want to post any pictures until I get their blessing -- I'm kind of old-fashioned that way. The taping was held at my favorite Babylock/Bernina/Brother dealer, Byrne Sewing Connection, in Doylestown, PA. The hosts, Jodie Davis and Mark Lipinski, are just the bee's knees, and so is their new show! You will need to join QNNTV (pay an annual fee to watch videos), but it is well worth it.

Love and Pieces, Pat

Check out this beatiful bag!

Thursday, July 09, 2009 8 Comments »
July 9, 2009

Suzanne, at Just Another Hang up has created a lovely bag that she is giving away. Go check it out! Hurry. Go now! It's really beautiful.

By the way, I have the pink bag that's pictured in upper right-hand corner of her blog, and Annabelle has one of her cute little cupcake purses. Both are even better in person than they are in the pictures.

Crossing My Geese

Sunday, June 28, 2009 Posted In , , , 4 Comments »
June 29, 2009
My Bernina is at the sewing machine spa getting her annual spiffing up. Last week she sent me a message via her computer screen telling me that she had been used enough and needed some TLC. I've learned that it's really worth my while to get her tuned regularly, so now she's on vacation for a few weeks and "Baby" is substituting.

Baby is a fine little featherweigh. My DH surprised me with her for our anniversary last year. He dabbles in antiques and collectibles. When I started quilting, he began to take an interest in older machines. After some research and some prowling around flea markets and auctions, he happened upon this little gem. She's a 1951 centennial model, with all of her attachments and her original carrying case. He had her tuned, set her atop a little sewing stand he also found, put a big blue bow on her head and waited for me to come downstairs. Wow. To say that he knocked my socks off is an understatement! I am so blessed to have a husband who understands my quilting addiction!

When I went to the Lancaster Quilter's Heritage Celebration this Spring, I took her with me to most of the classes & couldn't have been more pleased. That was quite a leap of faith for someone so attached to a computerized Bernina! Kind of made me feel good, though, when I walked into John Flynn's class and saw him sewing on an old black Singer as well.

While I was at the show, I found a gentleman who made the table you see in the picture. He calls it a "retreat table"; it's light weight, with legs that fold up to make it portable. Now I can even bring my Baby down to the family room in the winter, set her up in front of the fire and sew away. For now, however, she's in my sewing room filling in for her big sister Bernie.

I decided it was time to pick up one of my UFOs, a project that I started at Lancaster. It's a pattern from one of Kimberly Einmo's classes, called Flying Geese Crossing. Her flying geese ruler (mentioned in an earlier post) makes those geese a breeze to cut and sew.

Once the quilt is finished, it will go on Annabelle's big-girl bed. She requested Pinks and purples, even helping her GG (gorgeous grandmom) pick out some of the fabrics.

Can you tell that pinks and purples are her favorite colors?

I hope that all of those cute pinks going one way, and purples going the other, will allow visions of sugar plums to dance in her head! Miss Annabellarina, as you can see, is quite a dancer herself!

I'll be sure to post pictures of the progress. I have a feeling that this will be my summer "thang".

Piece and love, Pat

No More Jelly Roll Blues

Monday, June 15, 2009 Posted In , , , , 1 Comment »
June 28, 2009
My friend Kimberly has come up with a new ruler. It's called the Simpli-EZ Jelly Roll Ruler. No, it's not going to change your life, or even make your quilts assemble themselves. What it is going to do, is make cutting/sub-cutting those pre-cuts like jelly rolls and charm squares so much easier. I just got mine in the mail on Saturday and have been playing around with it every since. For those of you who think you don't need another darned ruler, think again.

Here is Kimberly's own description of what the ruler does:

· It works perfectly with Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns, Charm Squares, Layer Cakes and Turnovers.
· It allows you to make cuts fast and accurately. It's designs so you can cut basic units such as squares, rectangles and triangles from 1½” and 2½” strips, and 5” and 10” squares!
· The ruler has two-colors which makes the markings easy-to-see and easy-to-use. The mint green “highlight” lines denote the most commonly used sizes from pre-cut fabric strips and squares.
· There are no 1/8” lines on the ruler; only ¼”, ½” and whole inch markings make viewing clear and uncluttered.
· It’s just plain fun to use!
If you want to read more about it, check out Kimberly's blog entry, A New Ruler. Unfortunately, the giveaway described in the blog has expired.
You should also check out the Easy Stars & Geese Ruler on her web site, This ruler makes doing stars and geese so very easy, eliminating virtually all fabric waste when cutting the triangles from strips.

As a matter of fact, I used it to make "Pinwheels for Ian" for my 2 year old grandson.

The pattern is based on Kimberly's Pinwheels and Flying Geese, and was started during one of her classes at the 2008 Quilters' Heritage Celebration in Lancaster PA. How easy is the ruler to use? Don't tell anyone, but that was only my 4th quilt - ever!
This one's from Kimberly's pattern called Bermuda Triangles. It was started during one of her 2008 QHC classes as well, but the pattern also comes packaged with the Easy Stars & Geese ruler. This version is done with batiks; it looks beautiful in a more traditional colorway too. I called it "All Decked Out" because it was for my son and daughter-in-law's wedding anniversary.

Don't you just love a good mystery?
Do yourself a favor and take a trip to Kimberly's web site. In addition to her blog, she has started a nifty little thing called "Do U Do KMQ's?". A KMQ is a Kimberly Mystery Quilt. So far she has done two free MQ's on her web site. I've done both -- one of them twice, in different fabrics! The first "clue" contains the fabric requirements, along with the first set of cuts. Each Friday for the next successive weeks, you'll be able to access another clue to push you further along towards completing the mystery project. You will be among numerous international quilters who have tried her MQ's. So far she has done one in Japan, and currently has another being published in segments in Irish Quilting Magazine. Why not give it a try?!

Piece and Love, Pat

Ain't no trash in MY stash!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 Posted In , 1 Comment »
June 11, 2009
Here’s the conversation between my daughter, Kate, and me:

Kate: “Hey Mom, Do you think you could help me make curtains for the pool house?”
Me: “And what pool house would that be?”
Kate: “You know, the one in my back yard.”
Me: “That’s a pool house? I thought it was a potting shed.”
Kate: “Whatever. The curtains in there are the ones Omi put up in 1962. The orange velvet is disgusting, and I’m not really into lace fruit.”

Say what?

Orange velvet? Lace fruit? 1962?

Kate and her husband Paul bought Paul’s grandparents’ house when Omi and Opa downsized into a retirement community. It’s a lot more house and yard than they would have been able to afford as newlyweds, but the Omsters (as they are affectionately called) helped them arrange financing. It was certainly a big financial undertaking for K & P, and their budget is very tight; this will, however, be their forever home. Big yard, complete with an in-ground pool (and pool house/potting shed), and a 1950’s split-level house. Well maintained. Last decorated in the early 60’s by a well-meaning woman who was into fruity kitsch. Are you beginning to get the picture?

Back to the conversation:
Kate: “What can we use to make curtains? Maybe I can pay you for them next month?”
Me: “How about if we take a look at my stash?”
Kate: “Why would I want to look in your trash?”
Me: “Follow me, girlie-girl, and your momma will teach you the value of a good stash.”

I hauled out a trunk where I keep fabric that isn’t part of my regular quilting stash. There were cotton knits for the tee shirts I was going to make for my grand kids (but never did); seersucker for some summer pants I've since lost the pattern for; yards and yards of blue net stuff with embroidered butterflies that I got from eBay to make a princess costume for Annabelle sometime before she turns 30; and there, in the very bottom of the trunk: PAYDIRT!
The fabric angels were with me!
Oodles of tastefully coordinated home deco fabrics that I bought 3 years ago when I thought I was going to take a class to make a garment bag for my sister. Sure looked like pool house/potting shed curtains to me. Take THAT, Martha Stewart!

Kate gets free curtains worthy of Pool and Potting Shed Magazine, I get to make room for more fabric earmarked for wishful thinking projects, and my quarter inch foot gets to take a well-deserved vacation. Gotta love it.

So what did we learn? A good stash will save the day; there are fabric angels who guide us to purchase certain fabrics for a reason, not always apparent to us at the time; once fabric has been in your stash for more than a year, it’s free; and your daughter is never too old to need her momma (or her momma's stash).

Piece and Love, Pat

Baby steps and a giant leap....

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 Posted In , 3 Comments »
June 8, 2009
Welcome to my blog! I'm been lurking in the blogisphere for a while now, waiting to get up enough courage to take the leap. Well, I'm leaping, and I hope you'll take that leap with me!

No, the canine chef in the profile picture is not my dog, but I surely wish it were. He/she looks very much like one of my old goldens, whipping up a treat in my kitchen. I found that picture somewhere on the internet and adopted it because I love to cook, I love golden retrievers, and that dog is in a lot better shape than I am.

The two cutie pies in the Hallmark Card picture to the right are my grand kids, Annabelle and Ian. You can be sure that I'll be posting more about them in the future.

What else will I be posting about? My passion for quilting and crafts, my family, my friends, Philadelphia sports teams, life in general, and anything else that pops into my mind. Please check back again to see what's On Deck. In the mean time, check out some of the blogs where I tend to lurk.

Piece and love,