Sunday, December 8, 2013


I am so relieved to be able to relax and enjoy the Christmas season now.  I have finished the last custom quilt for the year.  It is the one below.  A PineBurr quilt pieced by Ginger.  Did you know that the PineBurr quilt is the 'state quilt' of Alabama?  Who knew?  Does every state have a 'state quilt'?  I have to say that the piecing is really well done and the fabrics are beautiful.  It is always a breath of fresh air to quilt one like this!!  
Tomorrow I will go to the airport and pick up the Doodle part of 'DoodleMoochie'.  I am so excited to be finished with 'work' for the year and be able to now concentrate on family and Christmas.  Thanks to all of my clients for a great year!
And now, enjoy the pics.  Front and back.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

6 Months in a Day

Here is what I have been up to for the last six months....
The wedding of a dear, sweet friend.

Revisited places from my childhood on a trip to the Midwest.

Spent time laughing and making memories with family.

And I quilted a little too!

More quilting....

Took a trip to see my babies in Arizona...

More quilting...

My little girl....

Canned applesauce...YUMMY!

More quilting...

More quilting...

More quilting...

Back of the above quilt.

Another sweet which I gained a new daughter
AND a granddaughter!! 

Deep cleaned my studio.
Made a wedding cake.

More quilting.

More quilting.

Attended the opening of 'Spool', a great, new quilt shop in
Chattanooga, Tennessee.

again...should I say it?
More quilting.

Organized my studio...

More fun with family!

A trip or two with the Mayor.

Whew!  That brings us to December.
I am tired!
So that gets us all up to date, no?  You know sometimes I love to read a good, long blog post about something meaningful or thought provoking and some days I just like to 'look at the pictures'.  I hope you were able to enjoy my last six months as much as I have.  Now it is time for the holidays.  Bring on the cookies and egg nog.  Well, maybe just the cookies.

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Secret is Safe!

I have been waiting for a long time to be able to write this post.  I wanted to wait until after the event so that the family would have the first chance at sharing pictures and such.  This post has been kept a secret since December 2012.  It is not about quilting, but it is about sewing.  Now my secret is safe to share with you.  I offered to make a christening gown for a special little girl, thinking that the parents would not take me up on the offer and knowing that I had a good 6 months or so to complete said gown if the offer was accepted.  I guess all of that holiday sugar had gone to my head.  What WAS I offering???  Well, lawsy mercy, they said 'YES"!  The sugar rush ended and the panic began.

I can do this.  This baby lives 7 hours away from me.  I can do this.  How will I know if the mama will like the fabric I choose?  I can do this.  The mama wants 'simple'.  I can't find a 'simple' christening gown pattern.  I can do this.  What size will the sweetie be when the big day arrives?  I can do this.  I haven't sewn heirloom style in years.  I CAN DO THIS!!  For crying out loud, just do it.  So I marched myself down to the fabric store and bought a pattern, silk batiste, entreduex, beading, thread and lace.  And guess what?  I DID THIS!!

And so it began.  Pattern cut out and pleats finished.

 Pleats, lace, entreduex and embroidery.

Packed ever so carefully for the journey.  But will it fit?
YES!  It fits and the sweet family is happy with the whole thing!
Notice how her hands are positioned for prayer?

It was a wonderful day making sweet, tender memories.  And I thank this special family for allowing me to participate in such a personal way!  I will forever love and pray for this little one.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


This past Friday and Saturday my LQG hosted a class taught by the talented and entertaining Debby Kratovil.  On Friday she taught two different classes, one morning, one afternoon.  Saturday brought one longer class that was fabulous!
I chose not to 'participate' in this classes.  *sigh* .... Live and learn.  I had purchased yards and yards of fabric and more than one or two books and patterns for a class at my LQG last year and had to forfeit my spot due to an unfortunate family emergency.   Sadly recalling all of this when it was time to sign up for this years fun, I dutifully walked away.  *sigh* (a little louder) ....Live and learn.  But since I am an officer in the guild I felt a responsibility to be at THIS class.  So I volunteered to be there and to  be the 'gopher' (my apologies to gophers around the world).  I schlepped in machines, ironing boards, irons, food, water, food, food and more food.  I warmed things and poured things and sliced things and slopped things.  In the middle of all of this I sat in the back with my needlework and my knitting.  I listened to Debby while I knit and stitched.  I absorb the spoken work best when I my hands are busy.

So I left with a brain swimming with knowledge of positive and negative spaces

how to 'measure, mark, slice and shuffle,'

and new methods of paper piecing from her newest book 'Paper Piecing Perfect Points'.
This is Debby, she is a lovely person!
My point?... I did 'listen and learn,' but I now know that I wish I had participated in the class as a hands on student.  For that reason the blog is titled 'LIVE AND LEARN'.  Debby is a great teacher!  If she is in your area you won't want to miss an opportunity for a class with her.  She travels extensively with the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo.  Go here to her website and check out your next opportunity to meet her and have an excellent class or two!

Others enjoying the class....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Quilt Bloggers Quilt Festival - Spring 2013

Yes!  It's that time again.  Time for the fabulous Quilt Bloggers Quilt Festival over at

This year I am entering this quilt.  I like to think of it as a 30's quilt with a Modern twist.  It was SO much fun to quilt!  First I sketched out my quilting....


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BUTTON, button...who's got the Button?

Apparently my sister had the button.  ALL of them.  This is a picture of only one of three giant containers that she has collected over the past 10 or so years.  I am making a Christening gown and for some reason, unknown to me, I can not find any 3/8 inch white, pretty buttons within a 30 mile radius of my house.  Okay, I know that I live in PoDunk and after just a short search in Wal Mart and a junky craft store I had exhausted my only resources in this quiet little town.  Not to be defeated, I drove to the nearest larger town where there is a fabric store, a Wal Mart and a Hobby Lobby...still no luck.  So while I was in 'the nearest larger town' I stopped by my sister's house, and sure enough I hit the jackpot!

This is a photo of only the center of one of the piles of the buttons we went through.
 It doesn't show but the pile is about 2 sq. feet and also about 3 inches deep!

We got down in the floor and my sister, my niece and I each took a container and dumped them on the carpet.  Patiently we sifted through the thousands of buttons searching for just the right ones.  Eventually we found six that were just alike and suitable for the Christening gown.  In the process we had a really good time.  We remembered the button box that my mom had when we were growing up  and the way it smelled (I know, we are weird).  We picked up certain buttons and made comments like 'this one looks like it came off of a ....... (fill in the blank).  Or, 'now this one is REALLY old!'  We even bit a few to see if they were wood or plastic (again, I know, weird).
The point is I am glad my sister had ALL of the buttons.  It afforded us a little time to bond and laugh and relax.  It's the little things in life.
Next time I plan to go through her wooden spool collection!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


In my last blog I mentioned that I was getting a barrage of extremely large quilt tops to quilt.  And I promised to show you the one currently on my machine.  Well, here it is.


This quilt really was a Gentle Giant.  Do you see all of those pieces in every block?  Well, that could spell disaster.  But this quilt was as close to perfectly pieced as I have ever seen.  And it was pressed perfectly, as well.  Every seam was pressed down nice and flat.  The borders were flat as a fritter too!...  And guess what????  The backing was a tie-died flannel, aanNnDDddd (drum roll, please) was a wide backing so there were no seams to consider when loading it.  Even better than the fact that it was a wide back was that it was a SQUARED back.  I didn't have to even consider picking up my rotary cutter and ruler (sigh)..  If only all jobs were this pleasant!
Thanks to Shawnee for being so conscientious about her quilt construction.  It was a dream to quilt this really large top.  And that is why I have deemed it the 'Gentle Giant'.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Celtic, I Think?

This is a wall hanging that a quilted for a client.  She didn't tell me the name of the pattern.  But I think it looks kind of Celtic.  What do you think?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Opportunity Quilt 2013

This is our Opportunity Quilt for 2013.  It was pieced by the endlessly creative ladies of the Lick Skillet Quilt Guild, Oxford, Alabama.  It is beautiful, bright colors with some hand appliqué too!  I would like to thank them for the chance to quilt this lovely.  It was fun!
You can leave a message for me here if you would like to purchase an opportunity to win this 'gawjus' quilt!  I can totally hook you up.

Might I just add...Thanks to these ladies for their constant inspiration....Angela Walters, Lisa Sipes and Judi Madsen....

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just Square the Darn Thing

So I gave my little talk at our quilt guild about preparing your backing for the longarm quilter (or any quilter, really).  And I think it was well received.  I was actually surprised by some of the questions that were asked after my short presentation.  And really was surprised to find out how many were not preparing their quilt  backs in the most efficient way or the way that is best for the longarm artist.  So here is what I told them (all the while trying to be animated as to hold their attention).

I told them that their backing should be washed or not...according to the treatment that had been given to the fabrics used in the quilt top.  Always to buy a good quality backing, keeping in mind that a high quality flat sheet is a horse of a different color all together.  A high thread count flat sheet is not ideal for the longarm machine or the hand quilter.  The very same thread count that feels luxurious as a sheet set can reek havoc when hand quilting and machine quilting because it is woven so tightly.  I mentioned that when ordering fabric on line, for whatever purpose, that you should ALWAYS order at least a quarter of a yard more than you think you need.  The picture below is one of an actual backing from a client...I had to trim about a quarter of a yard off of each end to square this sucker.
And, while we are on the subject..Let's just talk a little about squaring the backing.  I polled some friends in the biz and the consensus was that they DO charge to square up a backing.  *Anywhere from $10.00 per job to $45.00 and hour for prep work.  It is SO EASY to square up.  Just a royal pain in the rear end!!..  If you already have the tools to cut out your quilt top pieces you can square up your back.  Now get OFF your back(side) and DO it (or see * above).  Just fold it neatly, without any sags or pleats and having the selvage edges together.  Fold it small enough to cut on the size cutting mat that you have and then DO IT!!  Then remember to remeasure and make sure that it is still large enough for your quilt backing (4 inches larger on ALL sides).  It really is just that simple...

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I am back!...  How many lame blogs have you read that started with those words?  Or 'I'm sorry.  It sure has been a long time since my last post'.  Well, (hanging head in shame) that is me.
Enough apologies.
Let's move on, shall we?

I had the privilege of taking a class or two from Lisa Sipes.  Lisa is a wildly talented quilter.  She is profound, out spoken and true to herself.  I was just a bit star struck to be able to glean a nugget or two of knowledge from this young woman.  I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that this pink haired, tattooed, pantone leggin' wearing girly also has the gift of encouragement.  She says she is a 'cheerleader'.  I say that her kind words and enthusiastic instruction go much deeper than a rote cheer.  You can currently find her work in many quilt magazines as she has just been deemed part of the official Gammill family.  Her work is in the current Gammill adds.  She and Victoria Findlay Wolfe also just took Best of Show at QuiltCon in Austin (among the many ribbons that Lisa won at this show)! 

 You can read more about her on her blog

You know, I was going to try to catch you up on all the goings on since I last posted.  But instead I will make a promise just to post more often.  Tomorrow night I am giving a little instruction to my guild about how to prepare your quilt back for the quilter.  I will let you know how that goes...promise!