Another week, Killer Bees and a challenge completed……

I hear it everywhere…..”Where do the days (hours) go???” The Killer Bees (my fab Texas quilt group) met last Thursday for our weekly(!) meeting and annual Spring luncheon. We had “Sharing Time”……IMG_8239IMG_8243 IMG_8242IMG_8244IMG_8245 IMG_8247 And, yes, the same gal made those last 3 and used up the fabric!!! We had a couple more finishes from the zig-zag Bargello workshop………………..IMG_8249 IMG_8250IMG_8252IMG_8253IMG_8256 Always a tote or two! There’s all types of needlework being enjoyed with this group…….IMG_8257 

We moved right into the “Challenge” reveal. The items’ colors used were the result of random crayons(4) drawn at last year’s luncheon, plus 1 color fabric of choice. Other than those criteria, there were no restrictions on size, type of project, etc. The finishes, with the crayons, were to be brought to the meeting in a opaque (paper or plastic) bag….with no indication of owner visible. For the actual reveal, each participant opened and shared a project (NOT their own) and we had 2 opportunities, as a group, to guess the maker. Fun. Here are some of the finishes….not held by their creators………..IMG_8258IMG_8259IMG_8261IMG_8264 IMG_8265IMG_8268IMG_8266 IMG_8272IMG_8273IMG_8275 IMG_8276IMG_8280IMG_8282 IMG_8281IMG_8283 IMG_8284 IMG_8285IMG_8286IMG_8290 IMG_8289IMG_8292IMG_8291  Next…..the item, then the “creator” modeling…………IMG_8278 IMG_8279 

AND THEN…….it was time for lunch!!!! Phew!!!!!!!! IMG_8296 We each brought a dish to pass and our own “Spring-y” placemat.IMG_8294 IMG_8295


                     Of course, here in the Rio Grande Valley/Texas…’s always Spring!!!!!!!! IMG_8297

Til next we meet………I’m off to a “Red Hat” meeting and tour of Harlingen’s Ronald McDonald House.

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50s Cloth….continued……..

This piece was sandwiched a while back in anticipation of stitching on it for my demo last Friday at the Killer Bees’ quilt show. Well, as often happens, my thoughts changed and this clothIMG_8136 has now found its way to the machine and, oh, what a difference a little(?) thread makes!!!! Unstitched…………IMG_8225      and stitched……..IMG_8226    The areas left un-stitched are as critical to the final effect as those stitched!!!!! So, always keep in mind the “puffed” areas as well as the flattened. The other factor, to achieve variety for the ‘eye’, is to change the direction of your fmq patterns. If you are doing “banana bunches”/”headbands” and you find yourself lining them up in only one direction, it equals boring! Variety is “key”!IMG_8234 - Copy IMG_8227IMG_8228IMG_8229IMG_8238   Another photo (above) of the contrast that stitching has on the cloth!

The beautiful dusty rose thread I’m using is a serger thread that I picked because of the color! It’s a 2-ply poly, “Toldi-Lock” is the brand. Purchased at Joann Fabrics. Batting is Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (80/20). The bobbin is Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt.

I have a suspicion that this will be a lengthy project, as I’m already thinking of hopping to a vintage linen small piece (for reasons that will be revealed in the future). So…..with that, please, stop back soon……….

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My last Friday……………

Was spent at our Killer Bees Quilt Show and a very good one it was (if I might be so bold as to say that!!!). A photo “round-up” follows of some/many of the entries, plus a ‘shot’ of me doing my ‘thing’. Yup, another opportunity to demo FMQ and share some of my quilted linens (as I do every October in Minnesota). Killer Bees Quilt Show 2017  It definitely was a busy 5 hours!!! The gals (and guys) were most interested in the process and the fact that I was using a straight-stitch-only machine with only hand-guidance.IMG_8187IMG_8188 IMG_8190IMG_8189 IMG_8191 IMG_8192 IMG_8193 IMG_8194IMG_8197 IMG_8198 IMG_8195IMG_8200 IMG_8201 IMG_8202 IMG_8203IMG_8207IMG_8208IMG_8209 - CopyIMG_8209IMG_8215

“Click” on any photo to enlarge. Once again, thank you so very much for taking some moments to enter into my small corner of the world. I treasure these visits and look forward to many more. ‘Til next time…..stitching awaits………….

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Some inquiries (hopefully) answered……….

My last post had a group of quilt tops that featured a zig-zag/somewhat bargello pattern and used 2.5” wide precut rolls of fabric.IMG_8176 I didn’t participate in the workshop but have done a similar pattern using a very easy/quick technique that I saw Tula Pink demonstrate a while back. She called it “Stacks” and was in one of her books which blogger Lindsay Wilkes featured in this post. She includes directions that will give you the general idea of how she, and Tula, construct the pattern using varying widths of strips. I simplified the idea a bit and used a green  for the background and selected yardage pieces (not a “jelly roll”). The quilt I made (with directions), may be found here. Determine how wide you want the strip-pieced center to be. Cut the “background” pieces whatever width you want (I cut 3.5”, to finish 3”) by WOF (width of fabric)….and, yes, I did insert the additional feature blocks for floral interest.Leah's Hydrangea Quilt 003 Cut the “feature”/focus “bargello”/zig-zag pieces 7” to 12”, or a length that will be pleasing. Stitch 1 background and 1 feature piece together to form a tubular/circle piece.  Do this until you have enough to give you the length you desire. Then the fun begins…… will cut the background portion at any spot so that you will have a section on each side of the focus fabric.      The last 4 photos are Lindsay’s and demonstrate how the width and length of the strips you choose is totally of your choosing! Continue in this manner til all have been cut, moving your ‘cut’ back and forth (in the background portion) so that the “stacked”/zig-zag effect is completed. Add borders as you desire.

   Please, be sure to check out all the above links for the details/tutorials.

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The Killer Bees’ quilt show is…………..

Tomorrow BUT we have a meeting today and, of course, “Share Time” with so many pieces of inspiration!!!! Starting with the projects/tops in progress from some preliminary directions handed out last week for today’s workshop. These were just the “prep” directions!!!!! And this group is crazy good and many got this far with even these partial pieces of info…………………….IMG_8172IMG_8173IMG_8177 IMG_8174 IMG_8176 IMG_8178    And another “Twist and Shout” finish…or two…..or………IMG_8163IMG_8180IMG_8168 For more on the “Twist and Shout” quilts and pattern, please, see previous posts starting with this one (pattern found here)….

IMG_8164IMG_8165IMG_8167IMG_8169IMG_8170IMG_8182IMG_8183IMG_8184IMG_8185IMG_8186 One more thought….if any of you are visiting a “thrift” or antique shop (or, if there’s one of these lurking in your cabinet from “Aunt Tilly”{!!??})….here’s a terrific “up-cycle” idea……..IMG_8171    One can never have too many pincushions, can one??????

Thanks so much for stopping by. Tomorrow is our quilt event and, once again, I have the privilege of sharing FMQ with those who will be attending. Hopefully a few photos will come to be by Saturday…….Blessings to all! Til next time………………..

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Days are flying and………

The weeks are filled with…..lots of quilt activity!!!! Last Wednesday was prep day for some hours of doing a demo for the Killer Bees quilt show on February 24th. I found a fab vintage ‘50s tablecloth a while back and this is just going to be perfect for the day’s fun. I usually “sandwich” my quilts on a table, using Sharon Schamber’s method (I use pins!) but I’m in Texas and the floor will have to do.IMG_8136   These cloths usually have white centers but look at this one!! Oh the fun ahead! Stay tuned. I think I even have found a great thread match…..but that photo will have to wait a bit. See ya soon………I’m headed to Austin (Texas) to visit a Minnesota gal friend down here for the month of February, so, just maybe, there will be some quilt shop photos of our excursions…….just maybe!!! LOL!!!

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Yup, it’s a Killer Bee quilt parade……….

Just some inspiration to send you to “dream land”…………..IMG_8138   and the “flip side” of the above……IMG_8139Nice! And another front/back beauty………..IMG_8140IMG_8141   This group of gals definitely “raise the bar”, when it comes to finishing a quilt that’s reversible!!!                   IMG_8144IMG_8145 There are so many different creative skills out there, and this gal ventured into the weaving process………..IMG_8142




She liked it well enough to bring home her own loom after the workshop!






We can never have enough totes, can we???????                         IMG_8143IMG_8154   Placemats are always needed and these (below) are perfect for “his & hers”………………..IMG_8153IMG_8146 IMG_8148IMG_8150    Another “Twist and Shout” finish….yay!!!!!IMG_8152 IMG_8155  Do you spy the “thimble pip” on the right???? Well, that wasn’t enough so the little pouch now has company. All so beautifully detailed!!!! IMG_8157IMG_8156 

And so ends the talent parade for this week. I do hope you enjoyed it and gained some ideas that will ‘spark’ a future creation!!!

Til we meet again, many thanks always for stopping by. I so love your visits and sweet words. Sending hugs your way from the “Lone Star State”……….

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Just popped in to………

Send out my wishes to y’all for a spectacular Valentine’s Day!!!!!

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My weekend………………………

This is a “for the record” post that might/could be found in a scrapbook rather than a quilting/food(!) blog….but, it’s what is going on these days in my “Texas life”, so here goes……….

   We go about our daily tasks/happenings BUT, at 3:00pm, there is a group of 8 couples that have been meeting for the many years they’ve been coming here for “cocktail hour(?)” at a different couple’s place each day. They are a lively bunch (to make a grand understatement!!!!!) and have welcomed DH and I into the group (along with another recently joined couple, making 10 pairs total). Last week it was mentioned by a gal who’s birthday was yesterday (and who shall remain nameless, right Jean??), that it would be fun to get together for an early Valentine’s grill-out. So, yesterday was the day and our place (with the place next door to us, and a member of the group!) was the designated spot. The gathering location is marked by this “flag” (which travels, daily, to the appropriate cocktail home/rv)……..IMG_8111   Yes…the “flag” is a bright red pair of men’s “bloomers”!!!!!!!! The aforementioned birthday girl is always coming up with such ideas (along with her sis!!). Some photos of yesterday’s happenings……….(BTW, there were 23 of us enjoying this craziness!!!!!)…………IMG_8110 IMG_8113     The “Happy Hour”, with snacks of course!, gave way to a fabulous “potluck/covered dish” and grill-out meal…………… IMG_8115IMG_8123IMG_8122   And, yes, I was “documented” as ‘present’ by Dave (above photo)……..thank you, Dave! The grills and food were next door (Bob & Judy’s place)………IMG_8114 IMG_8119   This worked out so well that I’m sure we will be doing this type of group activity again! IMG_8120 Hi, Cathy & John!!!!!! IMG_8133    Doesn’t it always happen that there’s at least one photo of someone taking a photo???IMG_8124    And that wraps up the First Annual(???) Happy Hour Potluck/Gathering. Thanks for bearing with this sharing! It’s Monday and there’s laundry, some stitching prep for a fmq workshop on Thursday (Killer Bees’ group) and, then, I’m off to Austin (Texas) for 4 days to visit a Minnesota friend who is down for the month of February.

Have an awesome week and I’ll ‘see’ ya soon!!!!!! Hugs to all…………

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The Answer……………….

Maybe some of you didn’t even know the question, so, to bring you “up to speed”………..first the photos………IMG_8096 - CopyIMG_8096 What is the name of this little item and what is its use???


It’s a “Thimble Pip” and the use, well, it’s fairly plain…to corral those little thimbles (or other small items) that have a tendency to get lost amongst our hand sewing notions. The tutorial I’m linking to, is from the blog “Super Mom-No Cape”. Thimble Pip Tutorial - Make a Pretty Home for Your Thimbles   The pip that was shared at our gathering used plastic cut from a milk jug and it really seemed to be the perfect weight for this!

Now……let’s see how many uses you can think of for these clever little pouches/clamshells…………..

My week ahead is really packed with fun, so posts/visits may be a tad sporadic!!!!! I’ll see what happens!!!!!

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Lest I forget……………..

I must bring you up to date on this week’s Killer Bees quilt group’s sharing. The numbers were down a bit due to so many events/commitments that seem to be over-lapping!!!!! But, though “quantity” was down “quality” was definitely in place!!! IMG_8092 This first photo is a modified “Log Cabin”-sashed version of the “Stacked 4-Patch Posie” quilt that was a Killer Bees workshop last year. Details may be found here.                            Next up…a couple “Block of the Month” blocks.IMG_8093  IMG_8094 A cute elephant baby quilt.                                       IMG_8095IMG_8104  IMG_8105IMG_8106IMG_8107 And a ripple-knit afghan…IMG_8109             Our resident felted wool applique gal, Rozann, shared a simple sampler…..IMG_8103 and small framed piece…..IMG_8102   IMG_8108     We have another “Twist and Shout” ‘flimsy’ finished (above). See here if you haven’t had an opportunity to follow this pattern’s workshop progress. Next up…a purse that we agreed would be the perfect size for most everyone……..             IMG_8100 IMG_8099 - Copy 

And, now, for our question of the day—What is the name this little cutie and what is its function???? IMG_8096 - Copy IMG_8096 For those of you who were at the meeting and wanted directions, I will post both the answer to the “What is it” and “How is it made” on Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, please, visit again for the mystery revealed. Have an awesome rest-of-the-weekend and I’ll see you on Monday!!!!! Sending very warm Texas hugs………..

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Let’s talk machine lighting……..

For those who have been long-time visitors here, you may remember that I added LED lighting to my Sweet 16 and Juki 2010Q. See these posts for photos and added info….here and here. The lights are from Inspired LED and I had purchased 2 kits previously, knowing that there would be enough cut off of the Juki strip to do another machine ……… my Texas Juki (with the purchase of an expansion kit that would give me the additional switch, etc). The lights are now installed (on Ms Texas Juki) and, I must say, she looks awesome!!!!!

Original lighting gave me this……IMG_8084     With the addition…………IMG_8085   Such an improvement!!!!! The leftover strip was the perfect length….no modification needed……IMG_8086IMG_8088   I purchased the first kits through Amazon but went directly to Inspired LED for the expansion kit. Wonderful people to deal with!!! Prompt shipping and cheerful/courteous to speak with! IMG_8089IMG_8090     Any installation questions are quickly and clearly answered on the referenced YouTube video…….and it’s really a ‘snap’ to do! No college degree necessary!!!!!

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They were calling to me……..really!!!!!…….

Last Saturday was the first Saturday of the month, the day that historic Jackson St. in downtown Harlingen is closed to auto traffic and is filled with all sorts of interesting vendors, musicians and other goodies. The rains subsided just before noon, so off we went. Now, I really would like to share the event festivities with you……..but…..ummmmmm…….my camera remained at home! And I forgot about my cell!!!! Yikes……a senior moment for sure. So……you will just have to be content with the little sweeties that came home with me, providing inspiration for some creative dreaming………IMG_8079     It’s too soon to know for sure their exact destiny. The rectangle ones are placemat size and will probably have some colored fabric directly beneath (especially the left one) and extending beyond to form the border. The smaller oval will join others that are similar in a growing collection for a large applique-style top.

Just a blog “quickie” today….later………

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“Twist & Shout”….a finish…………..

Yup…..a tale that was last seen here, with this added “feathered swirl” stitching motif tutorial detail here, is now this ‘finish’ that I’m completely in love with!!!!!!!IMG_8082     With its mix of flannel and cotton charm squares, setting triangles and borders, what started out as the needed workshop demo project has become a quilt I would really like to have around!!!!! The challenge (for me) was to have the light fade to darkness and, if you look back to the original pattern, you will see how this was a tricky endeavor requiring MUCH visualizing and a design wall. I used 2 charm packs of “Primitive Muslin” and 1 pack of cotton “Count Your Blessings” prints, to add some variety! I’m almost ready to have a go at another such setting…….BUT, a few things must be taken care of first. You will see what I mean in the next few posts.

Thread: (top) Glide, 40wt (bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro, 70wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly (80/20), black!

Onward to the day. And a very warm one, here in the Rio Grande Valley…..Temps around 90 with humidities guaranteed to make my hair frizz!!! LOL! Thanks to y’all (oops, another TX insert!!!) for popping in!!! Sending hugs….always…….

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Tuesday’s Thursday………………………..

A bit of a “catch-up” on last week’s Killer Bee quilt gathering. Always a ton of inspiration everywhere a body looks!! The gal seated next to me was wearing a striking black/white blouse with a very nice little over-jacket, BUT what caught my eye was the motif on the fronts of that jack!!! Do you see a future stitching design?????IMG_8059      Hmmmmm……..something very soon…..stay tuned……….

“Sharing time” is always amazing and here is a sampling of this grouping……IMG_8061 She applied tulle-like fabric over the tree trunk applique and then thread sketched over the whole section. The effect was total “frostiness”!!!! You could almost catch the ‘chill’ of this one…….well done, dontcha think????IMG_8062 These are towels this Rozanne embroidered for a “Winter Texan” gathering she is soon to attend. Each state represented has a luncheon/meal together sometime during their stay down here. Minnesota’s is next week. Rozanne is our felt applique enthusiast and did a workshop a couple of weeks ago. Photos are at the end of the link (above). Here are a couple of the gals’ projects…….IMG_8066   And Rozanne is already thinking of next year’s workshop with this presentation possibility…………..IMG_8063    Some more lovelies……..IMG_8064IMG_8065IMG_8071IMG_8072   The modified sweater (also handmade!!!!!!) was a ‘find’ for (if I remember correctly) less than  $1. IMG_8075      I think most of us have seen this topper/candle ring made up in Christmas colors/prints but THIS version is stunning!!!!!! I will have to rethink my opinion of this pattern!!!IMG_8070     I’m not sure if I heard correctly but, 1 yard lengths of 5 different coordinates result in 4 little quilts (donation) and the 2 little totes!!! Wow! Following this time was a workshop (most always!!) on a 4 season table topper. I’ll save that for a future post and allow you time to process all the above creativity.

Now, it’s time to see what is on my day’s agenda……………….some vintage, I think!!!!! Have an awesome day!!!!!!

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Quilts on parade……..

A little while back, the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild held their yearly quilt event on South Padre Island(TX). I scooted in for a quick look/see the first morning and here are just a few of my faves…………IMG_8012 IMG_8013IMG_8014IMG_8015IMG_8016IMG_8017IMG_8018 IMG_8028IMG_8019IMG_8021IMG_8020IMG_8022IMG_8023IMG_8024IMG_8025 IMG_8026IMG_8027 IMG_8029IMG_8030 IMG_8032 IMG_8033 IMG_8034IMG_8035IMG_8036 IMG_8037IMG_8038IMG_8039IMG_8040IMG_8041 The last 2 pieces are reverse applique that were beautifully done. The group of “row quilts” before those 2 were done by a several of the “Killer Bees” who meet together, in addition to our regular weekly gatherings! There were so many more displays, all of outstanding construction/techniques.

And so begins another week. What’s under your needle??????? Quilty blessings to you all, dear friends…….

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My Texas “nest”…………

Is one small corner of our 399 sq. ft. little winter place. The reason for this post is that I’ve had comments about quilting a larger piece in very small quarters. Yes! It definitely is possible. I ordered a small table from Walmart that has adjustable height legs. The table is 24”x 46” and I have the height at its lowest (24”) so that the level of the machine stitching area is proper and I’m not reaching/stitching with my shoulders raised to my ears!!! IMG_8053IMG_8052IMG_8054    When quilting, your elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle so that there is minimum shoulder/back strain. The quilt I’m stitching on has finished at 64”x 76” and was extremely manageable  even in this restricted space. I have done larger quite nicely! So, if you are in a “space challenged” situation, think ‘outside the box’ and see how you can make it work for you!!! We are a creative lot and this is just one more challenge!!!! Now……back to stitching………………..

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“Feathered Swirl”…………

A step by step.

Step #1…….Make the swirl/spiral…….image      Begin at the yellow arrow, swirl in then back out to green arrow.

Step #2…….begin first plume…………..

image     Step #3   Continue with the rest of the plumes, ending at the yellow arrow (below) and ………

(Step #4) do a backtrack/echo over the top of the plumes.image    One motif finished. On to the next…

Step #5…(following red arrows and form the next spiral/swirl)……….

image      I hope this break down helps you to see the progression of the stitching. The size of the spirals, number of plumes, etc, of course, can have an number of modifications to fit the needed space.

Let me know if you have need of further clarification. Have an awesome day!!!!!!!

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A question was asked………

Regarding the free motion foot that was pictured in my last post. Quite honestly, I don’t remember where (online) I purchased it, but it is a generic high shank fmq foot that seems to be working quite well. Please note: it is just for fmq/free motion quilting and NOT for any type of ruler work. IMG_8050 It was a hopping foot until I modified it ever so slightly by adding that white plastic tubing spacer……..

image There’s a bit of an adjustment that sometimes needs to be made if the spacer keeps the foot above the fabric too far, which allow the fabric to “pop up” after the stitch is made and usually results in skipped stitches. Just skimming the fabric surface (for me) is a bit easier on my eyes (and ears!) than having the constant hopping up and down and the additional mechanical sounds that may occur with the foot’s movement up/down. I know……I’m fussy…..but I usually quilt for many hours at a time and these extra “noises” become a tad tiring….just sayin’.

Anyhow, here is just one of the links I found for this foot. I’m sure there are other locations and the price seems to be the same wherever!

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“Twist & Shout” a bit longer…………..

My Thursday workshop resulted in this demo top……..IMG_7968    and if I didn’t get right to the quilting (a “next project” is lurking!!!!!!!), it would get shelved…………oh no!!!!!! So, last Friday I managed to pin baste it (crawling on the floor to do it!!! Way-ay-ay too old to that very often!!!)……IMG_8010    and then some trial designs that resulted in this choice……IMG_8042      Yup, “feathered swirls”, first done on a red & white quilt shown in this post. Once again, I’m happily stitching on my Ms (Texas) Juki, using my absolute FAVE thread, GLIDE, on the top and Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly on the bobbin. Perfection!!!!!! IMG_8043IMG_8044IMG_8045IMG_8046    Even the irregular thickness I’m stitching on (all of the solid squares are flannel, the prints are cotton) had little effect on how beautifully the quilting progressed! If all goes as it has, tomorrow may see a completion………to be continued……….

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by for a visit!!!! Please, do come again!!!!

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(Busy) Killer Bees………………..

My South Texas quilt group is amazing!!!! I really do NOT think they sleep!!!!! I mean….really!!! The weekly meetings result in a “sharing” time that proves this thought. Today’s time began with many of the “flimsys”/quilt tops that were put together at the workshop I led last week (see here)…………..IMG_7971IMG_7972 Yup, that top on the right was slashed to accept a diagonal “banner” piece of fabric!!!!!!! A closer view…………….IMG_7973IMG_7974IMG_7975IMG_7978IMG_7983And, lastly…IMG_7977   If you follow the provided links back to earlier posts, the pattern is available. It is clever and allows for the side setting triangles to frame the center squares, set on point, without any troublesome math involved! The only caveat is that there is no 1/4” beyond the outer triangle points which results in the appearance of them being “cut off”. That may bother some (myself not being one!!!!!).

Now, on to the rest of the show/tell………(below) A Leah Day “Stitch Along” piece…….


  IMG_7982IMG_7984A clever tote made from selvages!!!!!!

IMG_7985IMG_7988      Fun with a 15 degree wedge!

IMG_7990IMG_7992  And from “leftovers”……IMG_7993                     ***********


This may appear to be like the workshop “Twist & Shout” tops but these setting triangles were done the ‘old fashioned way’!!!!!!



IMG_7994         These gals found time to take an additional workshop using folded fabric to make these cute pieces! IMG_7995And a piece…finally a ‘finish’.

Now……there was a workshop that completed our time together. Rozann walked us through a “Felted Wool Applique” piece………IMG_8004IMG_8009    The piece on the foreground table is entirely from felted pieces from thrift shops!!! Wow!!!

 IMG_8005IMG_8006IMG_8007           So that about wraps up this week’s get together. I think I’ll go take a nap!!!!!! Til next time……………………

Remember……to enlarge a photo, just ‘click’ on it!!!

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I just HAVE to………………

Send you all loads of hugs and ‘thank you’s for all your best wishes and sweet comments. The Lord has heaped blessings upon us over the years and the most treasured ones are all who have entered our lives, in one way or another. Our hearts are truly full and we thank God for each and every one of you!!!!! And, as Tom wrote on his card to me…..”Here’s to 50 years more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Hmmmmmmmmmm…………….018  (a photo from one of our Black Hills hiking “expeditions” HE talked me into!!!!!!!……….the rest of the story found here)

Back to stitching……soon!!!!!

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