Sunday, December 23, 2012


Great news  The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature has printed my short story, The Fruitcake.  I'm so excited this is the first time one of my stories has been printed.  So run on over to the Dead Mule and read my story. 

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mug Rug 2

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas......

I had an idea for another mug rug, using one of my favorite fabrics- outgrown jeans.  Not my jeans, my girls little bitty jeans.  The jeans originally had a red plaid cuff, so I used that an inspiration.
It has a Christmas feel to it, without being overtly Christmas.  I wanted one that could be used all winter.  The two large pieces are 5 x6 inches.  Then I just added a border, rickrack and binding.  I love the fact that the pocket can hold a treat.

It went together fast and was lots of fun.  I see a version of this going to AAQI in the future.

Happy Quilting

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Working full time is really putting a squeeze on my sewing time. I seriously need someone to pay me to stay home and sew!  I usually make a number of handmade gifts for Christmas.  Not this year.  I did manage one quick mug rug as a go along with a bought gift.  Originally, I was going to make a cute applique with the words HOT  HOT HOT and a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows.  (Still might...later)  It ended up a quick scrap job with charm squares!

(When I started I swear I ironed everything flat.  It looked straight!)

Here's a brief walk through:
1.  Take 6 charm squares and sew together.

2.  Trim about 2 3/4 inches off of the top and bottom, and sew onto the sides.
3.  Quilt as desired and trim to about 11 1/2 x 7 1/2.  Use this as a way to cut edges you don't like and square it up.  Then add a cut little button or other embellishment.

Happy Quilting

Friday, November 9, 2012

Show me your hands....

If you are like me, your children have brought home a multitude of hand print crafts from school.  I was working on a reindeer pattern and it wasn't working.  Then I came across a paper hand print reindeer that one of my kids made, and I thought....hmmmmm.

I pinned the girls down long enough to get a fresh hand outline and went to work.  It's not finished yet.  I think I want a half-square triangle border around it.

It needs a border and embellishment, but it is so cute.  The square finished up at 8 ins. and the hand is made of a suede-like fabric.  It's nice and a deer ;)

I hope to have it finished next week.

Happy Quilting

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Another winner chosen...

I never heard from our first winner, so I picked another...
C-girl helped me out by choosing
Jeanne Gwin!

Please contact me so I can mail off your awesome new seam ripper.

Happy Quilting

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And the Winner is....

And the winner is.....

Sorry to be so late with the winner.  I spent the day running errands and taking Little Britches to the doctor and for x-rays.  Looks like she might have a broken finger.  Ouch!

One fabric bowl of names (old school!)
One little person drawing a name.....

Edna Kidd  you are the proud owner of a hand turned seam ripper.
I do not have an email for you, so please contact me by Friday November 2nd or I will pick another winner.

Thanks to all my followers for playing along and sending great comments.

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Spooky House....
I have a new quilt pattern, my first wall hanging in my Craftsy shop.
It measures 25 3/4 square.  It is an easy applique pattern with a simple pieced border.  This spider is a larger version of the spider from Yikes!  Click here to go straight to the pattern photo and info.  My shop is called Tea House Quilts.  This is my first venture into creating patterns for others.  If you have been reading my blog for a while you know I don't usually follow patterns anyway.  If you want to know more about me check out the funny bio on Quilting Gallery (here).

I quilt for AAQI an amazing organization that sews to find a cure for Alzheimer's.  They are awesome and will have a booth at the Houston show, selling some of the Priority Quilts.  If you are going to Houston, stop by their booth and buy a quilt and help find a cure.

I have extended the giveaway until October 30. That gives everyone another week (almost) to enter. I am having a problem sorting out a few of my followers. Most are showing up as a follower on my dashboard, 3 or 4 are not. If you don't show up as a follower, you can not be entered into the giveaway. There's 2 whose name on the comment doesn't match the name of the "stock" icon. I want all of my readers to have an opportunity to win my hubbies lovely seam ripper.

Se sure to stop by the Quilting Gallery and check out this weeks designers.  There some great new blocks.

New readers please go to this link to see the block, leave a comment, and be a follower.

Happy Quilting

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Thank you for all of the generous, and funny, comments left for "Yikes!"

I have extended the giveaway until October 30.  That gives everyone another week (almost) to enter.  I am having a problem sorting out a few of my followers.  Most are showing up as a follower on my dashboard, 3 or 4 are not.  If you don't show up as a follower, you can not be entered into the giveaway. There's 2 whose name on the comment doesn't match the name of the "stock" icon.  I want all of my readers to have an opportunity to win my hubbies lovely seam ripper.

New readers please go to this link to see the block, leave a comment, and be a follower. 

Sneak Peek.....

Look what's coming soon:
Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Glorious Autumn Block Party..

Hello and welcome to my turn at the Glorious Autumn Block Party.  Thank you Michele at Quilter's Gallery for putting on such a fun event.  Be sure to run over to Quilting Gallery and check out my profile.  This is my first jump into the blog party lake and I am excited.  This is my block:  Yikes!
Download the pattern for free from my Craftsy store.
This was a fun block to design.  It's an easy applique pattern.  The spider legs can be a little tricky, especially if you are a perfectionist.  I'm not !  I hand dyed the background a nice indigo.  The block can be constructed using any applique technique.  I used needle turn, except for the eyes (fused).

Spider Tutorial
  He is placed in the top left hand quadrant of the block.  The key to the spider is to mark the background.  Trace the body of the spider and it's head.
I'm using paper and colored markers to make it easier to see.

How to make a spider:
Use the corner of a sheet of paper (cut it to about 1 1/2 inches by 2 inches) to mark the spider legs. Mark 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch on one side of the paper.  Each leg is bent to form an L.  The front legs bend toward the head and the back legs bend toward the flat ribbon.  Don't over think this part.  It does not have to be perfect!  Basically, the small front legs are 1/2 inch, bend, 3/4 of an inch.  Each leg is a hair longer than the one before it.  You will not use the whole 3 inches of rickrack given per leg.  Larger pieces are easier to use.  Have each piece of rickrack go inside the circle 1/4 of an inch.  That way one edge is covered by the spider body.

Step 1: trace the spider body and head onto the fabric.
Step 2: draw the line for the ribbon.  Place the corner of the paper on the spider body so that the 1/2 mark and the corner is outside the circle.

Step 3: Trace that edge.

Step 4: Reverse the paper square to draw the legs on the left side of the spider.
Step 5: The same technique is used for the back legs.  Remember to change the direction of these legs and make them longer.  They should point toward the ribbon (pink line).
Step 6: After the legs are drawn onto the fabric, sew the ribbon down and sew down the rickrack.  Remember to have the rickrack inside the body (piece H).

Reminders for rickrack.  I love rickrack, lately I am using it a lot.  It can be problematic.  It tends to fray, so using an anti-fray product may be useful. When folding under, match the humps of the rickrack.  Pin one end of the leg and bend as you go.  Try to stay on the line or use a washable marking tool!

I hope you have as much fun as I did making this block. 

Now for the giveaway.  Only residents in the continental US can win.  I can't afford to ship oversees.  All you have to do is become a follower and leave a note in the comment box.  If you are already a follower leave a note to tell me so.  Giveaway is open until October 22 at midnight central time.  I will notify the winner on my blog on October 23.  What can you win, you ask.  This beautiful turned seam ripper made by my Sweetie Pie.

You must leave a comment AND be a follower to win.

Please be sure to visit the rest of the blogs on tour this week:
Oct 16- Cynthia at Quilt Doodle Doodles
Oct 17- ME
Oct 18- Melissa at Happy Quilting
Happy Quilting

Saturday, October 13, 2012

AAQI goes to Houston...

Wish I were going...
The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is offering more than 2,100 Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts for sale at International Quilt Festival in Houston. Please head over to the front of the Exhibit Hall, Row S and buy a few quilts (Oct 31-Nov 4). All profits fund Alzheimer's research.

If you would like to help sell quilts, rope people into the booth (it is Texas after all) or generally lend a hand, they need you. Sign up for a 2-3 hour time slots (and get free admission on the days you volunteer) or join their Text Brigade and help "as needed." Learn more and sign up here:
It's so exciting to have a quilt for sell at Houston, it's even more exciting when it sells!
You could win this (or something like it)...
Win this quilt! The AAQI is launching a newsletter to keep supporters informed. One lucky subscriber will win a beautiful little quilt made by Martha Wolfersberger. Sign up here for a chance to win and keep tabs of what the AAQI is up to. The newsletter is free.
In other news:
Glorious Autumn Block Party and Super Deals for Quilters
My day is this week: October 17th!  Be here or be square!  I have a fun fall block with a Halloween theme plus a giveaway!  There were 3 awesome blocks last week, make sure you catch these this week:
October 16- Cynthia at Quilt Doodle Doodles
October 17- Me
October 18- Melissa at Happy Quilting
See ya soon

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gift for Sweetie Pie...

OK, I didn't make this today, but I did make it a few months ago.  It was a gift for my Sweetie Pie.  I searched the stores for a good anniversary card, with no luck.  So I thought...I'll just make him one.  This was the result.
The colors of our wedding were yellow and blue, hence the color choices.  There are two pieces of my dress also on the front of the card.  I hand embroidered a heart ,too pale to see ;(  and our initials.  Yes, that is us.  Aren't we a cute couple!

And this is us now!  WOW, we have changed!  Sweetie Pie loved the card, and it only took 4 hours to make!  Part of that time was spent locating and printing photos.  The inside of the card is made with super stiff stuff called inner fuse.  Next time I think I will use a heavy weight interfacing.  I want it to stand up on it's own, but not be as expensive to make. 

They are fun and addictive!

In other news.....

My day for the Glorious Autumn Block Party is just around the corner.
Glorious Autumn Block Party and Super Deals for Quilters
I have a really cool block in store for you.  The color's are not traditional fall colors but the subject screams fall.
This week at the block party:
Oct. 9th- Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works
Oct- 10th - Vicki at Quilting Lodge Blog
Oct-11th- Jovita's Patchwork Atelier

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

International Quilt Festival

Going to Houston?

Every year Houston, Texas hosts the International Quilt Festival.  I've never been, it's on my bucket list.  Three of my quilts will be there.  AAQI will have a booth and sell priority quilts.  My quilts are numbered 10235, 10236, and 10237. 
10,235 - Bliss 10,236 - At the Bottom of the Sea 10,237 - Ouch!

If mine aren't quite what you are after, there will be hundreds more to chose from.  Help find a cure for Alzheimer's buy a quilt.

Happy Quilting

I'm alive...

I am still here.  I am working so I can start a pattern business.  It's my first time working retail.  It's a lot of fun, but I am exhausted by the time I get home.  I am working on some really cute patterns in my small amount of free time.  Don't forget to check back on Oct 16 for the Glorious Autumn Block Party.

This week's blocks can be found:

9/25  Sew Joy
9/26  Harding Hill Designs
9/27  Butterfly Angels Quilts

Happy Quilting

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I mailed 3 new AAQI quilts off this morning.  Can't wait for them to show up on-line.

While your here ... let me tell you about a cool Auction coming in November at AAQI.

Celebrity Invitational Quilt Auction
Twelve world class quilters have each made a quilt for AAQI's Celebrity Invitational Quilt Auction, to be held during the first 10 days of November, 2012.

This is an online auction. Everyone is invited to bid.

Celebrity Invitational Quilt Auction
Row 1: Alex Anderson, Hollis Chatelain, Caryl Bryer Fallert, John Flynn.
Row 2: Diane Gaudynski, Becky Goldsmith, Pat Holly, Libby Lehman.
Row 3: Marsha McCloskey, Sue Nickels, Mary Sorensen, and Ricky Tims.

Some of the quilts are already pictured online.  They are great.  Check the AAQI website the first 10 days of November and remember to bid.  It's a great cause.  Help find a cure for Alzheimer's.

Happy Quilting


Friday, September 7, 2012


I don't normally do this but....

Over at Family Patchworks  Jan has made 100 quilts for AAQI.  That is an amazing accomplishment.  So go over to her blog and congratulate her on this feat.

And if you have not made a quilt for AAQI now is the time to do it.  They are small Priority quilts.  The are only 9 x 12.  That's a little bigger than a sheet of paper.  Most important- it is for a great cause.  Sew make a quilt and help find a cure for Alzheimer's.

Happy Quilting

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Musings from a wannabe designer....

I just finished piecing the top of my first quilt that will be (hopefully) for sale....soon!  Sewing for  possible profit is different than sewing for enjoyment. Here are a few things I learned:
    1)  I draw out a yard of fabric and mark off how much I use.  (I need software:)
    2)  Measure twice and cut once is actually a good thing!
    3)  I  marked my background for the applique instead of  'winging it'.
    4)  I pinned, trimmed, and ironed like crazy.
    5) the end results, my corners actually meet.  Shocking I know.

Now I have the fun part: quilting.  This is the point where I think, "My quilting will either add to the quilt or totally screw it up!"  I'm hoping for the first.
I've been keeping track of materials and instructions, I just need to put them in the computer and have a buddy check them.  I hope to have the pattern ready in the next few weeks.

In other news...

I started a small wall hanging, for me, yesterday.  I have about half of the top finished.  It was pieced very wonky and has some fused applique.  I think it's really cute.
Happy Quilting

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I can see the sun...

Issac has left and we are starting to dry out.  Keep those in Louisiana in your prayers.   They have had terrible flooding. The sun was out today and it was glorious.

Speaking of glorious....
I have finished my block for the Glorious Autumn Block Party.  I am still tweaking the directions. It is so cute, I can't wait to show it to you.  But you will have to wait.  I will also have a giveaway, but you must comment on October 17 (that's my day)  and be a follower!   Pat Sloan will start the fun off Tuesday.  Followed by Benita on Wednesday and Lenna on Thursday.  Be sure to drop by each site, there will be lots of giveaways between September 4 and December 13.

This is my first block that I have designed for a blog hop.  I am so excited and so nervous.

Happy Quilting

Monday, August 27, 2012

Issac go away...

The sky is bright blue and beautiful today, but that may change soon.  Thanks to Issac.

The wind is blowing could be Fall, except for the heat.

Schools are cancelled in preparation for a possible storm...yeah!

Hope ya'll can get some quilting done!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Guess what...

I have several things to tell you about....but first I want to show my new AAQI quilt.
It is based on our vacation this summer.  One morning on the beach we watched a pod of dolphins leap and flip for over 10 minutes.  I've been going to the beach for %^ years and have never seen this before.  It was amazing and I wanted to remember it.

Now- what is this for?

The colors are much better in person.
Drum role please.......
I am a participant in the Glorious Autumn Block Party at Quilting Gallery

Glorious Autumn Block Party and Super Deals for Quilters Be sure to visit me on October 17 to find out what those fabrics are for!  I am so excited this is my first block blog hop.  I have a cool block planned and I hope a giveaway.  Spread the news!

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ever wonder about the $ for AAQI

A little info. from Ami...

Soaring Sales for AAQI: All Because of YOU!

Posted on August 23, 2012

Every month Debbie Chenail (AAQI treasurer) and I sit down to update the Show Me The Money page on the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative website. We list every expense, we add up all the quilt sales and donations, and we calculate the profits so far this year. That number is then added to our cumulative total of how much the AAQI has raised for Alzheimer’s research. (Profits: All our profits fund research.)
Do you know of any other charity that posts that kind of information on its website? I didn’t think so. Don’t you wish they all did, so you can know how the money you give is spent?! (Sorry. I digress.)
Well, we just crunched the numbers and as of the end of July we have raised…

more than $747,000

…for Alzheimer’s research. Makes me think of an airplane, you know, a 747. I just had to tell you!
The AAQI’s “bread and butter” are Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts. You donate them; we sell them.
So how are we doing so far? Pretty good!
Below is a graph showing Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt sales by year, starting in 2008. So far this year we’ve raised about $56,000 through “priority” quilt sales, not counting the August auction. Last year in Houston we sold $62,000. Plus we have three more online auctions before the end of the year. (The November auction doesn’t count because that’s the Celebrity Invitational Quilt Auction, and those aren’t technically Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts.)
If (and that’s a big “if”) we can do as well at Houston in 2012 as we did in 2011, and we have three auctions each bringing in $2,000 or more, we could generate $126,000 for the year in Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt sales alone.
So what’s the bottom line?

If you’re making a Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt and have hopes for Houston, get it registered and in the mail by August 31st. That gives our volunteers 6 weeks to receive it, scan it, price it, tag it, and ship it from your house to Illinois, from Illinois to Michigan, and from Michigan to Texas.

Keep in mind that there are already 611 quilts in that particular pipeline, and the following volunteers probably won’t be able to take a stitch in their own quilts from now to mid-November:
Your quilt registrar and quilt page maker: Beth Hartford
Your quilt scanners: Diane Petersmarck, Donna Moscinski, and Eileen O’Regan
Your quilt pricers: Ruth Langdon and Ami Simms
Your quilt tag-makers: Martha Wolfersberger, Jen Hinwood, Susan Vore, and Niki Gottesman
And, of course, we thank YOU, our quilt makers and quilt buyers!
Thank you! And please share this blog!
Ami Simms

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ode to Satsuma....

I was looking through my quilts yesterday and I came across an interesting.  "Satsuma" was my first quilt to design most of the blocks.  There are a few that were from different books.

I finished it in 1999.  I went around town taking photos of the landmarks.  Then I blew them up and traced them onto paper.  From the paper pattern I created a piecing guideline.  This was my first time to try that!  I didn't know about paper piecing, things would have been easier. 
Shown here are: first baptist Church, the old train, and gazebo.

A few of the blocks are applique...and not very good applique ;)

I like how it turned out.  Now, after years of washing the binding is beginning to fray and needs to be replaced.
This is the old school house ready for Christmas.

This is the mascot for Satsuma: the gator which roams freely in the bayous.

Thanks for reading and Happy Quilting

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Santa Tags

Santa Tags

This is a great 'green' project.  If you're like me, you get tired of the sticky gift tags that tend to smear ink on pretty Christmas packages.  These can easily be created for any occasion.

Ingredients: (for 2 matching gift tags)

*(1) 5 inch square of light festive print: I used "Joy" by Kate Spain (print A)

*(1) 5 inch square of festive print: I used "Joy" by Kate Spain (print B)

*(2) coordinating prints with a design that in no larger than 1 1/2 x 2 inches/ this will be fussy cut later: I used the light bulb and Christmas tree prints from "Joy"

* (1) 5 inch square of Inner Fuse or another double sided stiff fusible interfacing

*grommets (small 1/4 inch grommets) and grommet pliers,

*contrasting sewing machine thread

*small 4inch square, or less, of lightweight double sided fusible web- I like steam-a-seam 2  and Misty Fuse

*Small alphabet beads


1) Cut the stiff interfacing to 3 x 1 3/4 inches.

2) Cut 2 pieces of print A  to 3 x 1 3/4 inches.  This is for the front of the tag. Choose a fabric that is not a large print or too busy.  Large prints may not show well on a small scale and busy fabrics will make reading the name difficult.

Then cut 2 pieces of print B to 3 x 1 3/4 inches.  This will be the back.

Print A is white snowflake on bottom left
Print B is red snowflake top right

3) Read the manufacturer's directions before you use any fusible product, some vary slightly.  Fuse the backing fabric (print B)  to the stiff interfacing.  Then fuse the front fabric (print A) to the other side of the interfacing. Be careful it gets hot!

4) Choose a contrasting color thread, from the top fabric, and zigzag the edges.

5) Lay out the name beads to see spacing.  Make a small mark on the left hand side, about 1/4 inch from the edge.  This will be where the grommet goes.  Then mark the area for the fussy cut fused decoration.

6) Read the directions for your pliers and follow them.  This is how I do it.  Make a hole with the pliers for the grommet.  Push the 'post' grommet through the hole.  Place the other piece on the post and press with the pliers.  If you have never used grommets, try them on a piece of scrap fabric, they can be wiggly.

7)  Take your focus fabric and fuse the light weight double sided fusible web to the back.

8) Fussy cut your design: here I used a tree and light bulb.  Iron onto the Santa Tag.

9) Hand sew the alphabet beads onto the tag.

Smile, you have a completed Santa Tag ready to be attached to a gift.  Just add curling ribbon!


Happy Quilting

Sunday, August 12, 2012

New hat....

I am throwing my hat into the quilt designer ring.  (I hope!)  I've been reading up on starting a home-based business and craft business.  It's something I have been thinking about for a while.  I just don't know where or how to start!  Has anyone started selling their patterns?  Any tips or helpful hints?

Monday, August 6, 2012

OK so it's not a quilt....

B u t it is fabric!  I love origami and years ago I made a quilt from the book "Quiltagami"  it's one of my favorite quilts.  The link is for a cover of the book, in case you've never heard of it.

Anyway, last night I couldn't sleep....again, and started thinking about making a crane with fabric.  There are some directions in "Quiltagami" but I didn't want to attach it to anything.

This afternoon I starched a piece of 12 in fabric, until it could almost stand on it's own.

Here are directions to make a paper crane.  There's a video to watch too.  That makes it easier.

Anyway here are a few pictures of my first (but not last) attempt.

Almost finished....
He's a little droopy.  I think the wings need interfacing or maybe a fabric like Batik might work better.
Here he is with a paper version.
If you want to give it a try:
1.  use lots of starch or the lavender spray, I used lavender
2. use a very hot iron to iron every crease.  A little starch is needed for thicker creases.
3. the edges were left raw, next time I might add steam a seam, paint, or fray check.

OK I'm a little late.  I just googled fabric origami cranes- they are all over the place!  I need to use interfacing.  Here's a great link I found: Magpie Shinies.  I will return with a better crane than my first one!

This is definitely a work in progress.

Happy Quilting