Saturday, December 28, 2013

Petals in December

Do you remember way back in January 2012 when I picked this pattern?  I just finished this quilt last night as a gift for my 12yo daughter, Emily (we haven't opened Christmas gifts yet).  I can't wait for her to open it! 

Thanks for making such lovely petals.

Oh, and here's a t-shirt quilt I made for my 13yo son in October...

I'm not even gonna show you the back because there were issues.  But teenage boys don't seem to mind that stuff.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Finally got this delight finished up. 
It was way too large to quilt on my machine, but I did it anyway.
It's nice and crinkly and soft.  
Just the way I like 'em.
Thanksgiving was my motivation.  With a houseful of overnight guests coming, I was in need of some extra bedding!
Thanks to the amazing Ayumi, who doesn't even know how much I admire her skills, for the idea.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Joan Harris dresses

I can't help but think of these lovely dresses as anything but perfect for an episode of Mad Men! So hopefully Joan would love what I designed! 

Mom, i am so embarrassed at how late these are. I ran out of green thread but more alarmingly, I've been a little low on sewing mojo! I hope they fit with your lovely quilt!! Love you!!

So, here's to catching up and here's to getting some holiday sewing done!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Iron Quilter

I thought this was pretty funny!

Maybe we should do something like this with our little group. :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

best dressed and best chicken

I really hope these will work okay.  They were fun to make!  I can't get over how perfect yours is- you have the magic touch.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November: Blue Ribbon Quilt

Vintage prize ribbons have been on my mind for months and I've been pondering and scheming how to incorporate them into a quilt.  This block is sort of a culmination of ideas that have been brewing in the back of my head for a while.  My plan is to eventually get this concept into a pattern that I can sell on my Etsy site, so, I'll be emailing the directions as opposed to publishing them here.  Hope you don't mind being my guinea pigs!

Here's the color palette:
I'm straying from our beloved Kona white and asking you to use unbleached muslin for the block background and fabrics that favor more of an off-white or creamy color as opposed to bright white.  I realize some of my inspiration fabrics have white in them, and that's okay by me if the fabric is just too fantastic not to use!
robbin's egg blue, navy blue, pale blue, gray, red, salmony pink

These are smaller blocks (about 6" x 9"), so if you're inclined to do more than one, let me know-- I have several variations in mind, but I don't have pictures of them yet.  And, if you would like me to send you some unbleached muslin or fabric, I'd be happy to.  I'll be in Little Rock Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week, so I could bring stuff with me if you are in need.

Thanks, my friends!


Friday, November 1, 2013

November Block

Hello Ladies of 12Squared!
November has snuck up on me like a ninja in a library.
I just wanted to check in and let you know that I've got something special in the works for this month and I'll be mailing out top secret instructions soon!
Here's some inspiration to percolate in your creative recesses in the meantime.


Sunday, October 27, 2013



The border and the binding is Cloe's Closet "30's Playtime" for Moda.
I saw the ric rac idea on Pintrest and thought it would be perfect here. 

The back is also "30's Playtime". 

I saw these fabrics at the Stitch'in Post. LOVED them too! Made a bed throw for Halloween. Monsters and spiders and spots... oh my! It was so simple and I love it! 
Now I want one for every season and holiday!
The Fabric is "The Boo Crew" by Sweetwater for Moda


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy Cherry Birthday, Elizabeth!

I have been working on this on and off... more off... for more than a year. I finished it this morning. Elizabeth's girls and I counted all of the squares with cherries in them... there are at least 51!! 
I think that should satisfy Elizabeth's love of cherries (and Mary Engelbreit).

Happy Birthday! To my best oldest daughter. Cheerio!

Love, Mom

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mardie's Hundred Dresses

This quilt reminds me of one of my favorite children's stories, "The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes.  It's about a motherless Polish girl, named Wanda, who wears the same dress to school everyday.  When the other girls tease her about her worn out dress, she tells them she has a hundred other dresses at home in her closet, which sparks even more ridicule.  Wanda moves away and one of the girls who made fun of her begins to feel remorse about how she treated Wanda.  It's a great story that does, infact, end with a hundred dresses.   

So, Mardie, here is my contribution to your "sixteen dresses".

just don't look too closely

I accidentally cut one of the border strips you sent, so I supplemented with a similar pink tone out of my mother-in-law's stash.  Hopefully, it will work with the others, but if not, I'm super sorry and if you send me another strip of your white and pink floral, I'll happily fix it!!


Friday, August 23, 2013

dresses for Mardie

Here ya go, Mardie!  I did navy instead since you already did aqua.

I hope they "fit!"


Monday, August 19, 2013

pretty dress

I love this dress.  I love it so much the whole time I was "making" it I was wishing I had one for myself.  I would wear it every day because I would feel so pretty.  Anyone want to make me a pretty pink dress?  It sort of reminds me of the dress Giselle wears at the end of Enchanted.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

string diamonds. done.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to my string diamond quilt!  I love it.  It looks way more brilliant in person, that's for sure.  I used a gray polka dot fabric for the binding and gray minky on the back and for the topstitching I used a meander stitch.  My kids are thrilled that we are keeping it!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pretty Little Dresses all in a Row!

First of all, look at the fabulous work space that Gareth and I created together! The cutting table is tall, like my kitchen counters and the sewing table is lower, so that the sewing plain is just where I want it! I painted the room a light gray and the turquoise and pink salmon are so bright and cheerful in there. I could spend my whole day up there! (Sometimes I do!)

Pretty Dresses Instructions: Permission to use pattern from Black Mountain Quilts

       You will receive the following in the mail:
a.     Instructions
b.     1 strip of brown fabric for the dress form
c.     Patterns for the dress form and the dress
d.     4 strips of patterned fabric for the border around your block

           You will need the following:
a.     Kona white
b.     ¼” ribbon for waist band
c.     Fabric for dress
d.     Glue stick
e.     Thread to match the brown dress form and the dress

                Cut one 8 ½” X 10 ½” rectangle from Kona white.

         Cut 1 dress form from the brown fabric.I find it very useful to tape down the pattern instead of using pins for this.

    Cut 1 dress from your choice of dress fabric. You will need about 6 1/2” X 7” of fabric for the dress.

    Cut a strip of ¼” ribbon for the waistband. Cut it long enough to wrap around the back on both ends/sides. 
(I recommend a bit  more than the picture shows. It will be more secure & easier to "wrap".)
.        Fold your white fabric vertically in half to place the dress form in the middle of the rectangle, about 1 ¼” inches from bottom and top. Equidistant: top to bottom and side to side. *If your dress form is visible through your dress fabric, then cut away the dress form behind the dress.

    Using small amounts of the glue stick, glue the dress form into place. 

       Using a blanket stitch (hopefully you have one on your machine), or a small zigzag, or even by hand, with matching thread, sew the edges of the dress form top and bottom that will show when the dress is placed. I just sewed a line down the pole to secure it.

       Glue the ribbon onto the waistband back.

         Glue the dress on the dress form. Make sure the dress covers the edges of the top of the dress form. 
The dress form should peek out like a neckline. 
Using the blanket stitch, with matching thread, stitch around the dress, securing the ribbon as you go around.

        By hand, secure the waistband ribbon down with blind stitches.

        This is just like playing with paper dolls!

           Sew the border strips that you received in your package onto the dress block.  They go together kind of like a “log cabin” wrapping around the block.

a.     Sew all strips on using ¼” seams
b.     Sew the 1 ½” X 8 ½” strip to the bottom of the block, pressing toward the strip, away from the block
c.     Sew the 1 ½” X 11 ½” strip to the right side of the block, press
d.     Sew the 1 ½” X 9 ½” strip to the top of the block, press
e.     Sew the 1 ½” X 12 ½” strip to the left side of the block, press.

       Whoa! Makes my eyes go funny to look at it. Sorry, it’s blurry!

 Do not trim. I’ll do that.


Monday, August 12, 2013

sister love, part 2

For my sister's birthday this year, I made her a feather pillow for her new couch.  The humor of that just now strikes me.  It's a DOWN pillow with FEATHERS on it.  Get it?  *sigh*

It matches the quilt I made her two years ago for her birthday.

I miss her like crazy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pretty Dresses Update!

I received the pattern for "Pretty Dresses" in the mail yesterday! As I read through it, I came to the patterns for the dress and the dress form... and, dun-dun-dun... There was a big, bold "DO NOT COPY!" message on each of the pages that I needed to be able to copy for you! I decided to do the right thing and I contacted the creator of the pattern and ask for her permission to copy the necessary pages for my quilting group!

This afternoon I got her reply:

Hi Mardie,
Thank you for your email -- and thank you for respecting my copyrights! :-) Yes, you have my permission to copy my Pretty Dresses pattern for distribution within your quilt swap group. Have fun!
By the way -- you didn't happen to live in Sunnyvale, Calif around 1988 did you, while your husband was in medical school? I knew a Mardie Tobler at church, way back then.
Teri Christopherson
Black Mountain Quilts

Can you believe it? "What a small world" is an understatement here! Boy, was I glad that I chose to be honest about using the pattern! 

Anyway, now I can put together the tutorial and get it posted for you. I am excited to have heard from some of you who are already choosing some colors for the dress you want to make! Let me know what you are thinking of and we can all plan around that!

I'm so excited!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

AUGUST Dresses All in a Row...

Last week I said to Liz, "I wonder who will be posting a tutorial in August? You don't think it is ME, do you??"  HA!! Well, it is! 
Here is my inspiration...



I have ordered a pattern from Black Mountain through Quilter's Warehouse. 
It says, "Easy machine appliqué." (It better mean it.)
I think it would be so very pretty, don't you?

Because I just ordered the pattern today, I don't have a tutorial to post. I will get it up as soon as I can.  In the meantime, as you look at the inspiration photo, can you decide on a color and fabric that you would like to work with? (Kona white and your colored dress fabric and edging.)

Let me know what you decide... first come, first served!

Thanks, Mardie.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

a quilt and a concern

My friend is due today, Pioneer Day, so I thought this red, white and blue day would be appropriate...and EASY!  Besides, I needed to make two quilts so I made this quilt twice.  I love this pattern!
My concern is that I have not received all the diamond blocks I was expecting; I am missing one.  I need to go through them to make sure which one I have not  yet received.  I hope it wasn't lost in the mail!
Hope you're all having a wonderful summer!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Squares Boyardee

Dear Liz,
I am concerned (as I always am when sewing something for someone else) that my capabilities to execute the project successfully are lacking.  However, with your square I am more concerned that this project is going to stink.  Not figuratively, literally.  I started your block a few weeks ago, before my brother and his family came to visit, hoping I'd get it done before their arrival, but that did not happen.  I put all my sewing stuff away to spend quality time with my loved ones and now that they have gone home, I pulled out your block to finish.  When I plugged in my iron, to press all those lovely seams, I noticed an odd aroma.  Not, the smell of ingenuity or success or what have you, but something that smelled like it came from a Chef Boyardee can.  The steam from my iron smells like Spaghettios.  I'm not sure why, as I'm certain I have not filled the water compartment with anything but filtered water from my fridge.
I used some nice smelling starch, but I truly hope you don't put this quilt together and feel like you're wrapping yourself up in a quilt full of over-processed tomato-like sauce.

My little sister turns 33 today.  Here is what I made for her... 

it'll match the quilt I made her two years ago!  And I get to drive 23 hours next week to deliver it in person.   

Monday, July 1, 2013


Have you ever had that project that you really DO need to finish, but it has turned into a BEAST?? In February, I had the brilliant idea to take a class at The Stitchin' Post when my mother in law came to town for a few weeks. Well, we had a blast making the quilt top. Talking and laughing and getting so much help from Megan Henderson. Well, long story short, I made mine into a squared lap quilt and finished it on the machine and love, love, love it!

My mother in law, whom I love dearly, decided to make hers into a large twin size (actually, a queen size). She left town before we finished them. Elizabeth and I committed to finish hers. No big deal, right? WRONG!! The beautiful "Carpenter's Star" quickly turned into a Beast! There was no way for me to quilt it on the machine and I wasn't willing to have it done professionally. So, I decided to put it on quilting frames... bad decision. I used "Pearl" thread and stitched it in a large, basting stitch.  Long story shorter, half way through I took it off the frames and finished it on the dining room table. (Quilted from the center and it totally messed up the backing underneath.) Yesterday, I finished sewing the binding! Woo Hoo! It is beautiful. I love, love/hate it. On Elizabeth's advice, I made a pillow case for her to use as a sham or such. Very cute. As our kids say when they want something of ours when we die, "Can I have that when you are through with it?" (It is so much nicer than "Can I have that when you die?")

Anyway, I guess I will inherit a very nice quilt when Betty is "done with it". 
 Three darling granddaughters trying out the quilt on Sam's bed. 
(Which has been made every day since he came home! Shocking, I know!)
 Yes, those are my husbands fingers up there doing the "bunny ears". Go figure.
The fabrics are the same as mine, just some different fruits and vegetables. 
My daughters think it is funny that I use this forum to tell everyone about my life. They think it is my blog. Hmmm. Maybe they are right. Anyway, I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!!!