Happy Thanksgiving!!

I'm THANKFUL for lots of things people in my life!  Family, friends, puppy dogs & stuffing top the list :)  And, here's a little thank YOU my quilting friends - free download of Thanksgiving Message Boxes on Craftsy.  These are designed to fit in the center of the "Love Notes" Pattern, but you can use them however you like!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving & don't forget to "Gobble 'till you Wobble"!  love, faith.                                       

P.S.  I'll be posting Christmas - New Year's Message Boxes in a more timely manner!
FREE Download Thanksgiving Message Boxes


Thank You Vets!

Thank you Daddy and my brother, Bill and my sister-in-law, Dawn and my father-in-law Bobby & my Uncle Andy & my brothers-in-law in Florida!  And THANK YOU to each & every one of the Vets out there & their loved ones - we are grateful for your service & sacrifice!  

As a quilter, I'm familiar with the wonderful programs, such as Quilts of Valor & Wounded Warriors where groups of dedicated quilters get together to sew items of comfort - not just quilts, but little pillows & fleece blankets.  Every skill level is welcome - even if you can "just" press fabric!  (Believe me, they will LOVE you!)

But, lately I've been reading heart-warming stories about a different kind of program.  One where prisoners train dogs for wounded Vets. Best of all, these programs seem to be popping up everywhere!  Here is just one wonderful story about the healing power of dogs:  Milton Prisoners Train Dogs for Vets.  I don't know who came up with this great idea, but they deserve something BIG!  Or, maybe something little - just to say Thank You!  faith.

Left:  Doggie Embroidery from "Little Stitches" by Aneela Hoey (highly recommended!).
Right:  Scrappy Mug Rug idea from Modern Patchwork Magazine, Winter 2015 Issue, Susan Liu, Designer.  


Leaves, leaves ... everywhere!

Leaves are everywhere you look this time of year.  And, they come in lots of different sizes, too. Isn't Fall wonderful?!


Row-By-Row Wall Hanging

The Row-By-Row Experience has really taken off this year all across Canada & the U.S.  There are SO many wonderful designs out there from quilt shops that you really need a Quilt Shop Map to keep it all straight!  Quilters are reconnecting with long-lost relatives & friends (& even sympathetic strangers) to get just the right Row - how cool is that ?

Here's my Row-By-Row design for First Stitches Quilt Shop in Canon City, Colorado (thank you Kim!).  I added a strip of sky above & a leftover strip of green below to turn it into a wall hanging.  It still looked like something was missing, so I added coordinating fabrics from Northcott's Artisan Spirit Sandscapes line & went a little crazy on the quilting.  Makes me feel like I'm camping out in the Flat Tops Wilderness area, which was the inspiration for this design.  Mission accomplished ... except I might just add some embroidered wildflowers here & there ...  faith.
Row-By-Row First Stitches Quilt Shop, Canon City, Colorado


Honoring the Fallen

My most vivid memory of the cost of Freedom is trying to count the crosses near the entrance to Clark AFB, Philippines.  Even with Mom driving very, very slowly (you don't speed on a military base), it wasn't possible.  There were too many.  Even if I practiced my multiplication tables instead of counting one-by-one.  Many had succumbed during WWII & in the Bataan Death March which was ancient history in my short life.  But, the Vietnam War was taking place.  The wounded were at the snack bars - planes were flying overhead continuously (or, so it seemed).  I remember going to a mock Viet Cong Village with machine gun demos - trying to pick up the huge spent cartridges.  These are childhood lessons on the price of Freedom that I'll never forget - thanks to those we honor today.  Thank you from the bottom of my Heart.  love, faith.


Patriotic Love Notes - Memorial Day

We have many patriotic holidays in the USA & rightly so - we have a LOT to be grateful for :)  With Memorial Day in mind, I've created some Patriotic sayings for the center of your "Love Notes" Heart Mug Rug.  Here's what a few look like:
 So far, I have one page of Patriotic Message Boxes (12 per page):

God Bless America                       God Bless the USA
Land of the Free                            Home of the Brave
Sweet Land of Liberty                   Let Freedom Ring
Stars & Stripes Forever                 Home, Sweet Home
Thank You for Your Service          Thank You for Your Service
Red, White & Blue                          Red, White & Brew

This is just a start!  If you have some Patriotic favorites you wouldn't mind sharing, please let me know in the comments section - the more, the merrier!  If you'd like to make up a few Love Notes Mug Rugs, download the free Patriotic Message Boxes here:  DTD-Love Notes Extra-Patriotic  Please be sure to let me know what you think & send photo(s)!   With gratitude to those who serve(d) & those who love them, faith.

P.S.  Note that the Patriotic Message Boxes are a "Love Notes" pattern "Extra" designed to be sewn (paper-pieced) into the center of your Heart Mug Rug.  See Love Notes Pattern for complete details on how to use Message Boxes.  Pattern contains 58 Messages & is available for purchase at your favorite local quilt shop (First StitchesStitchers Garden) & also online at:
Craftsy:  Loves Notes Pattern on Craftsy
Etsy:      Loves Notes Pattern on Etsy 


Flowers for Mom

Do you remember picking flowers out of the yard & saying:  "Here Mom - these are for YOU!"  Me, too ....  Happy Mother's Day!  Love, faith.


58 Love Notes Pattern (Heart Mug Rug)!

It's finally a pattern!  And, it's coming very soon to your favorite local quilt shop or available as a download at my DTD Etsy Store or DTD Craftsy Store!  "Love Notes" is a paper-pieced design with 58 different ways to say what you feel - even if it's:  I ª Chocolate!  Messages for every occasion & every one on your list!     

By the way, 5 Fat Quarters + 3/4 Yard Backing = 12 (or more) Love Notes!  Be sure to cut 8 - 2 1/2" Strips Sets, lengthwise (20" = 8 x 2.5") to make the most of your fat quarters.  Then, Just Add Cookies ª !   love, faith.


Nature Boy's Quilt

Doodle Time Designs - 5 Yard Everyday Quilt
Finally finished the binding on this 5-Yard Everyday Quilt made especially for my dh (hereafter referred to as "Nature Boy").  I took great care in fussy-cutting the main blocks from fabric called Among the Pines.  

It's full of neat messages like:  Embark, Discover, Search, Escape ... - which I like.  And, it's got elk, fox, deer, fish, rabbits, pine cones, dragonflies, owls ... which he likes.  

And, the Batik coordinates are the color of deep water & dark earth.  You can almost smell the pine trees & late summer grasses.  It has a wildness to it - worthy of many adventures. Or, dreaming of them. 


Ready? Ha ha ha ... !!

It's down to the wire now - where reality takes a big BITE out of my "Left To Do List"!  If you are still scrambling to make a little something that will raise a smile & make a memory, this may be just the last minute project for you.  Or, if you are all set, sipping eggnog, & laughing at the rest of us, you can get an early start on next year ....

 Here are the wonderful instructions:

Half Eaten Gingerbread Man Ornament

I especially like how no fancy (as in, "impossible to find") buttons are necessary.  Just white embroidery floss & bright buttons, sewn as instructed, makes them look like candies - sweet :)

I like to make a new ornament every year - sometimes they are elaborate (as in smocked Christmas Ornaments - I made 1/2).  I had to buy ornaments at the last minute .... lesson learned!  
Looking back, my favorite ornaments are the simple, quirky ones - like the year we all painted ceramic ornaments for Mom.  My brothers painted theirs black - ALL BLACK - they were into heavy metal music that year & obviously, had no time to spare on details :)  What's your favorite ornament?  Or, decoration?  Yep - it's time for eggnog & memories ...  love, faith.



HotPad Project

I have the best of intentions:  I collect massive amounts of information on a quilting topic before I attempt it.  And, after all that, I can never put my fingers on it when I need it!  Oh well, I figure the important stuff will stick.  And, since circumstances are always different, you just have to DO it & hope for a certain amount of grace.  Hope is a wonderful thing - don't you think?

Hotpad Project
I found a lovely project (near the bottom of the page): ThimbleMouseandSpouse Blogspot 
& Snowman people fabric I really liked from my stash.

Since my center feature was a different size, I adjusted all measurements - not a big deal.  

But, I absolutely refuse to apply Binding to a project <12" finished size.  So, a slim outer border that looks like Binding was improvised.   

Note that I now have to sew my project, right-sides-together with Backing Fabric & Batting & Insul-Bright & turn & hand-stitch the opening closed.  Things are getting kind of thick.

I stitch in the ditch & give definition to the borders - liking it!
Then, I remember a lovely free-motion Snowflake quilting design from the AQ (American Quilter) Magazine, November 2014 Issue.  It really is the sweetest design - trust me.  Three rows are perfect to offset my Snowflakes & I mark w/my new Frixion Pen (heat activated removal - perfect for a HotPad).  The marking works wonderfully - thanks PJ.

But, after ripping out my free-motion Snowflakes three times, I decide to do some straight stitching w/my trusty Walking Foot. 

Ooohhh - all that thickness starts to distort my Snowpeople HotPad.  I sew a few lines across the Top & Bottom to help straighten - oops - should have used my Frixion to mark first.  (Snowflakes don't fall horizontally, so I hadn't marked before.)

O.K., now it's boring.  I sleep on it.  

The next day (ripped stitches forgotten), I decide to add a few free-motion touches to my Center to make it pop.  

I remember that my previous Snowflakes were attempted with feed-dogs up for more control - like regular sewing.  This was suggested for free-motion quilting novices & had worked well for me with other projects.  However, with all the extra padding, this was NOT the thing to do!  

Now, my free-motion went much more smoothly.  And, I managed to make a Snowflake (alright - it does look like a flower).  But, I'm happy & DONE - grace will be there another day, I'm sure :)   love, faith.



Happy Thanksgiving!

I love the Traditions of Thanksgiving - they are what really makes the holiday special for me.  When I was a kid, though, I thought they were annoying - especially the one where we had to go around the table & say what we were grateful for.  You just knew my younger brothers were going to mumble something silly - usually involving pie & whipped cream - or not having to eat their veggies one day out of the year.  I'm lucky enough to be spending T'giving with those same silly brothers later today (one lives locally & the other surprised us with a last-minute visit from the north) - wonder what they'll come up with this year?  I hope it's wonderfully silly - because laughter is the best tradition of all!

What's your favorite Thanksgiving tradition or memory - new or old?  It's ok if it involves pie :)
love, faith.