Monday, December 5, 2011

A quilt in remembrence . . .

Back at the end of September a coworker (and friend of mine) came to my office and asked me if I sewed quilts for people? to sell? No. no. no.  I shook my head, no.  I have made a few small baby quilts for expectant mothers at work and when a very good friend retired I put together a signature quilt for her, but I don't take on commisioned work.  I have been asked before and always answer no.  Why not?
  • Because I don't believe my quilting skills are professional enough to take money from others for them. I still send out my own quilts over a twin size out to a professional longarm quilter to be completed. 
  • Because I don't have enough time to sew for myself. 
  • Because I am slow, even the most simple quilts take me months to complete.
  • Because I don't think most people who do not quilt understand the time and expense that is put into a quilt.
  • And last - because I don't want to disappoint anyone. I would stress about this last point A LOT.
Despite all the reasons listed above, my friend told me she had a good friend who had been diagnosed with cancer in August and that she (the friend with cancer)wanted to have a quilt made for her husband, for Christmas.  A Tshirt quilt.  Well, after I heard her story I said okay, have her bring me the tshirts and I will try to get it done by Christmas for her.   She brought me two small bags of tshirts - she had pinned little notes on them suggesting layout and could I please use all pieces, (some of the shirts had designs on the sleeves). Her only other request was that I put a red back on it.   As I started to work on stabilizing the tshirts and cutting them square I prayed for her and I realized she really had put some thought into the arrangement of the quilt top.  A couple of weeks passed and my friend from work came in one morning and asked me if I had started the quilt.  Yes, I told her, I worked on it all weekend.  She began crying and told me that her friend had passed away the previous Friday.  I felt so sad for her.  After hugging her and telling her how sorry I was I asked her if she wanted me to finish the quilt? Yes, she said, please finish it for her husband.   Well, I finished it this past weekend and it turned out very nice.  Nothing fancy, I just quilted it in the ditch around all seams.  Her husband did not know she was having this quilt made for him.  I believe she would be happy with how it turned out and I believe God sent me this heartfelt request from a woman dying of cancer to teach me a lesson. 
They belonged to an organization called B.A.C.A.  Bikers against Child Abuse.  I googled them on the internet. This organization (from what I read) provides a kind of big brother figure in the lives of abused children.
God Bless.  Bernie

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Busy tablerunner, new tumbler Christmas quilt

Ah Well, no takers on the pay it forward - but I have been busy with several projects.
another project I started last fall and just finished up - in time for Turkey day. I quilted it freemotion with a leaf pattern, but then kind of filled in blank areas with swirls.  I used the chalk pouncer to mark the stencil and sprayed it lightly with cheap hairspray to hold it on (I read that tip somewhere); but even on this small piece I had to go back and trace over with a chalk pencil as the marking rubbed off with all the scrunching and moving around.

I used King Tut varigated thread in the needle and masterpiece thread in the bobbin. I had to adjust the tension a bit, but was satisfied with it. 
I also traded my BabyGo awhile back for a regular size GO and with it came a tumbler die which I was just frantic to try out - so I took out my bag of Christmas themed fabric and cut it all up and laid this out on the bed last night. Whaddya think?
I think it is soo busy it makes me dizzy. Ha! Really, I wanted a scrappy look but didn't haveenough variety to really be scrappy.  It is larger than I intended, so it will be the living room couch quilt during the holidays if I can get it finished by December.  Absolutely love the GO cutter, these blocks fit together perfectly and there are 144 of them and the GO made it a so easy.  Some of that fabric is pretty old, I think it moved with me 11 or more years ago.  It always feels good to finish a project.  I have seen several Christmas countdowns on the internet - the holidays are just sneaking up on me.  I hope to be able to sew a few small gifts for friends at work, my intentions are good, I just need to schedule my time a bit better.  Well that is all for now, I want to go visit a few blogs before bed. Adios. Bernie  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pay It Forward

I've never done pay it forward but awhile back I read this on  Barb's blog here

Pay It Forward is simple: For the first 3 people who comment on this entry, I promise to send them something handmade within the next year.
1. I will make a little something for the first 3 people that comment on this post. It will be a surprise and may arrive at any time in the next 365 days (yes, a year).

2. To sign up to receive a gift from me you must play along too. Share the giving love on your blog by promising to send a handmade goodie to the first three people that comment on your blog post.

3. You must have a blog.

4. After commenting on my post, you have to post this (or similar) on your blog to spread the love.

I try to visit and comment on some of my favorite blogs at least a couple of times a month, and I try to update my blog at least once a week.  But I don't want to update it unless I have something to share and my sewing, quilting time is never enough.  Right now, I am working on FMQ a tablerunner top I put together last fall (does that sound familiar) HA! I will have some pics of that process to post tomorrow.  Adios Bernie

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trick or Treat bags and the Travelling Stash moves on

Just a few quick pics of the Halloween treat bags I put together for my granddaughters.  Grandson got an orange pumpkin onesie because he is too little for a bag :)  Also, the travelling stash is making its way to Sarah at  So check on her blog for another chance to win.
I used the pattern I had from the Grommet Bags but decided to leave out the grommets and just put straps. I made tubed straps and inserted cotton clothing line to make them sturdier.  Cute!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


First off - thank you to everyone who left a comment - did my heart good and I hope you will come back and visit once in a while.  I took a quick peak of your blogs last night and boy oh boy you all are some busy quilters!  I am not savvy enough to use a numbers generator thingy so everyone's name went into a basket and and I had a good friend close her eyes and pull out a name.  The name was SARAH.  So Sarah Craig please send me your address and I will get the travelling stash on its way to you toot sweet. :)  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Adios, Bernie 
P.S. I will post some pics tonight of what I took and what I added.
This is a picture of what I chose, 2 yummy fat quarters, a pattern for candle covers (guess what my friends are getting for Christmas) :) and an interesting piece of yardage that I was smitten with as soon as I spied it in the box. 

I also picked out a Christmas Advent calendar cheater panel, which I think my grandkids will enjoy if I can get it done in time. 
Here is a pic of my additions. 

I put in a pattern for a backpack style purse; a new pincushion; a quilting puzzle; a bag of Sulky rayon thread and a couple of big spools of Superior thread and six fat quarters in addition to some 1/3 and 1/2 yard pieces; some rick rack, some embroidery patterns and a few little notions. 
I already heard back from Sarah - she is so excited.  Congratulations Sarah.  I had to move up to a bigger box, so at some point I think someone will have to split the stash and pick two winners, then there will be three travelling stashes wandering around. 
Adios, Bernie

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Travelling STASH Drawing and my Halloween quilt

It will be one week tomorrow since I received the Travelling Stash - Monday is a postal holiday so I have decided to ask anyone interested in winning the travelling stash to leave a comment between now and Wednesday October 12th.  I will draw a winning name on October 13th.  It is a fun idea.  You take out of the box what you like and replace it with like items from your own stash, hold a drawing and pass it on.  You must have your own blog to enter in the drawing.  United States and Canada only please. 
I finally remembered to take a pic of the Halloween quilt I started last August, but just finished quilting in September.  It is being used everyday in the living room and is a big hit.
I truly tried to get some pictures of my efforts at FMQ this one, but don't think they came out real well, oh and the backing fabric is soooo cute, had purchased yards of it years ago and finally got to use it. (extra points for using up stash)

I think I have another Halloween cheater panel which will probably find its way into the TS box and I am going to see if I have any of the witchy fabric left too. Adios, remember the Travelling Stash.   Bernie

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Santa Fe Pics

These are probably not awe inspiring pics, but it was a beautiful fall day and my husband and I really enjoyed just walking around and soaking in the color and history.  We also stopped in Taos, NM on our way home and walked around the Plaza and of course I visited the local quilt shop Taos Adobe Quilting.  A fantastic shop, really friendly owner.  I purchased a table runner kit with a chili theme.  The fall foilage coming back through the mountain passes was absolutely gorgeous, the colors looked like they had been painted on they were so vivid.  It was an inspiring trip.  Adios Bernie
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Traveling Stash visits Colorado!

On Friday September 30th I had a big surprise waiting for me on the front porch when I drove up after work .

Yes, the travelling stash arrived all the way from Wisconsin from Barb over at   My husband and I were getting ready to get away for the weekend (pics & more on that little trip later), so I didn't even get a chance to open it until we got back home tonight and boy oh boy, so much wonderful goodies it is going to be hard to pick and choose!
There is a long list of previous winners and I want to stop and take a look at their blogs.  I will post what I pick out and also what I will be adding!  This is fun :)  Thanks Barb - Adios Bernie

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The most beautiful things . . .

Just a little something pretty I found when I cleaned and reorganized my sewing room back in July.  I love to pick these samplers up when I can find them at yard sales, flea markets, auctions.  This particular sampler is so pretty and so neatly done.  I need to press it and have it framed.  It is difficult to capture in a picture because it is stitched in a very pale pink (whisper pink) on off white.  I love the sentiment.  
This past weekend was productive in that I also managed to finish quilting and binding the Halloween quilt I started last August (2010).  I FMQ it myself - mostly just meandering, a few spiderwebs, stars, swirls.  Even though I do find myself getting lost in and enjoying the FMQ, I can't honestly say that I really enjoy it as much as other parts of quilting. I will post a picture of the completed quilt when I get home early enough to catch some good light in the sunroom.  Adios. Bernie    

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tea wallets and Huntington Hobo Excellent customer service

September 13th - the middle of the month almost and Fall is in the air here in Colorado, it has cooled down and there is a bit of rain in the evenings, in short, we are having just beautiful weather.  Sewing Season ! I love it.  I wanted to do a quick update on my blog.  My co-workers and I recently had a small personal wedding shower for a friend at work.  It was just a few friends and the ladies in our work unit, very informal.  We took the future bride to lunch and surprised her. We went to lunch at an absolutely sweet tea house and I hope to post pictures soon.  Of course I forgot my camera, but as soon as we figure out how to get them downloaded from the cell phones taking pictures I will post a few here.  Anyway :) I decided to make some small favors and while looking for ideas on the internet I found pictures of tea wallets.  Perfect!  The best tutorial I found was here  I modified it a bit (adding three and one-half inches to the length so that it could be folded three ways) and VOILA!

Now, there were 12 of these, but of course my camera's battery was almost dead,so I only got these two shots - I think you get the idea.  They were quick and easy and a nice way to remember a fun time.  They would make an excellent little Christmas gift for friends dontcha think?  I used Mary Engelbreit fat quarters for five of them and when that ran out a little wild Zebra print with a pink fabric leftover from Valentine's Day.  Buttons courtesy of my button jars - All out of my stash!
Remember in my last post I mentioned I had a bit of trouble with the Huntington Hobo pattern? I decided to try to email the company and ask for help. I received an email response in less than a day with blown up pictures of the strap insertion! Wonderful, I could see it and understand how to install the shoulder strap.  I was very grateful and sent back big thanks in my email response.  I really did not expect to hear anything back.  Just a few days later I received a letter via snail mail from the same company and they sent me a a little pamphlet with all of their patterns listed and a brand new pattern with COLOR pictures which make the process much easier to follow.  I believe they now are printing their patterns in color for just that reason.  I have no affiliation with Pink Sand Beach Designs, BUT, I wanted everyone who might read this blog to know I think their customer service is fantastic and I will be buying from them again in addition to making more Hobo's from my current pattern.    Adios Bernie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grommet bags and Huntington Hobo

I have spent some time in my sewing room on small projects, just don't feel like quilting right now.  I tried out two new bag patterns.  Like them both, but the purse gave me a bit of trouble, so not sure I will attempt it again.  You have seen the grommet bags? Well I think they are cute little tote. 
These are sew easy - now that I made a couple of them I am going to play around with changing their size and shape.  Now the Huntington Hobo was a good pattern until I got to the part where you put on the strap.  Could not figure it out for the life of me, so just stuffed them down and sewed them on the side seam.  Also, big boo boo on the outside pocket.  Now, I do know what I did wrong, I did the best I could to "fix" it, but it should have been just a small slit had I sewn it correctly.  This is a great big purse though, bigger than I think I would carry, so don't know that I would attempt it again.  I did get to use all stash fabric on these pieces and the lining for the purse is one of my favorites. 

I think a black zipper would have been a better choice, but I wanted to use what I had, also I did not use fusible fleece or any fleece at all.  I used a medium weight interfacing on both the fabric and the lining.  The exterior fabric is home dec weight so it worked out fine.  I have one more pattern I want to test out.  I think it is called Juliet and the directions are the best I have seen with clear pictures following the written instructions.  This weekend is a long weekend for me, so I hope to spend some time either starting a new project or quilting some unfinished table runners.  Adios. Bernie

Sunday, August 14, 2011

YoYo Count increased

I have actually laid out my yo-yo collection and counted them and updated my counter.  Since I have no real plan for these yo-yo's I have been making different sizes and shapes. The heart's are small and cute.  I have also taught my granddaughter's how to sew them in hopes they will add to the collection.  I have a new bag almost complete with pics later, I did one set of straps for it, which came out way too large and stiff so I am redoing them. 

98 yo-yo's sure doesn't look like a lot does it?
Thats all for this weekend.  OH forgot to add, my son in law brought down an air conditioner for my sewing room and I am absolutely going to love it.  It gets unbearably hot in there during midday, since this summer has been so hot I have only been able to get in there early in the morning or late at night (neither a good time for me).  I am so happy with it.  thank you Chris!    Adios, Bernie

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Finished bag;; Vintage quilt from upholstery fabric

No history to tell here, found this quilt at an indoor flea market in Denver, Colorado back in July.  Paid $23 for it.  I have no idea of the age; but thought it was pretty. It is unusual because it is all hand sewn and appears to have been put together entirely from upholstery scraps.  It is a hand sewn with a "thick" thread, I am guessing some type of upholstery thread, it is heavy and it is warm.  The backing is a striped, gauzy type cotton, not lose weave, but thin. 

I have been letting my husband use it on the couch, it is a generous lap size.  There is one small tear in the back.  Has anyone out there seen anything like this, can anybody guess the age from the upholstery pieces? I wonder who put this together? I love it.  Now about that tote bag I downsized and added side straps to make it less floppy.  It came out semi-successful. 
Front, inside and back.  Before I put it together I traced it out onto freezer paper so I would have a template for future experiments.  I like this size. The inside zippered pocket and open pockets are handy and it is still roomy enough to make a good tote.  I finished this only to start another patterned tote.  Still have much left to do on my daughter's t-shirt quilt.  Quilting each shirt individually as the plan is to work on it in a "quilt as you go" type of method.
It is slow going, so to keep from getting tired of working on it these little tote projects are squeezed in.  The weekend is too short for me, hope everyone got a little sewing time in.  Bernie

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thimble Thursdays, Yo-Yo Along, and Blue Tote in Progress

I have added two new buttons on my sidebar - one of them links you to Penny's blog, Sewtakeahike and her Yo-Yo along with counter! Neat idea and fun blog.  I had to grab it just to start counting my yo-yo's.  I started making them just because - they are kind of addictive - now I feel like everytime a put together a few and tuck them in their little tin, its like saving pennies! Ha! The little "yo-yo counter" is cool.  I think you could also use it to count blocks for a quilt, etc.  Thank you Penny.  
If you check out Kathy at Shawkl, she has put out some really neat thimbles for embroidery.  She also has lots and lots of other neat stuff and a very pretty blog.  I have been wanting to attempt embroidery and these little thimbles got me motivated.  Not so much detail I will get lost, a manageble size.  I am four months behind what she has posted, but think I can make progress with these. If put together for a miniature quilt top I think I could showcase a collection of souvineer lapel pins I currently have stuck in an old sunhat. You know, I don't do handsewing or handwork, but ever since I started those yo-yo's I have realized how soothing it is, we will see if branching out to embroidery catches on with me. :)
Last weekend I spent some time in my sewing room putting together a tote (modifying a pattern I had previously used) Remember this
Nice enough, but I wanted something smaller, with pockets inside and ties on the side so it wasn't saggy, baggy when empty. So I cut back on the number of 5" squares (actually used 4 1/2" squares because that is what I had in scraps) and added some pockets and a zipper.  This is what I have done so far - hope to finish up Friday night.  I put the zipper in the lining on one side and pockets on the other.  I used a light weight interfacing on the lining and stacked up the exterior on a very thin poly batting.  I will quilt it and then put together the exterior and lining. 

Adios.  Bernie