Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

A very merry Christmas to you all out there. I hope you've got your shopping done, and family is drawing close.

My stockings are done and hanging up. They sure do brighten the room with their Christmas-y colors. And most of my hand made gifts are done too. I am still working on my husbands birthday present, his birthday is the day after Christmas, so I better hurry!

His birthday gift is made from an 'ugly' fat quarter I was sent, in our yearly 'ugly' fat quarter challenge. This year Jess gave us a twist on it. We all sent her our 'ugly' FQ's and she swapped them around and sent them back out. So we all ended up with an FQ that someone didn't want. Luckily, the one sent to me is not ugly to my husband. You can read about it and follow us along here:

Another of my favorite swaps going on, it's turning out to be a yearly thing too, is our Round Robin. We have our groups picked and getting our medallions made. I already have my first medallion to put a border on. So I can get right to that after Christmas.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, and a terrific, crafty New Year!!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Busy Little Bees....

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, and are continuing to have a great weekend. We are all so busy around the forum this time of year. We have so many fun swaps going, plus our own creations for our home and family. By the end of the year, we'll all be happy for some rest! LOL

It's cool now, in my part of the world. The days have been sunny, but the evenings are cool enough for a fire. I've been enjoying sitting in my rocking chair, hand sewing on my lap. I'm working on my Secret Santa gift, I have to hurry and finish, as the deadline for sending it is drawing near.

I've also finished a Christmas stocking, only 4 more to do for my family. We had a Saturday Special on the forum, in which we made stockings and posted pictures and 'talked'. Here is mine.

Our Fall table runner swap is over with, and boy are there some beauties! What a lot of talent there is in on the forum! This one is mine, made by my friend Colleen. If you would like to see more of them, you can find the album here:

And we are all gearing up for next years Round Robin too!! I love Round Robins. You get to add borders to your friends medallions, and have them add to yours. Then you have a lovely wall hanging or quilt, and everytime you look at it, you'll think of your friends. It also helps you to think outside your own box. You might have to work with colors you don't normally. You have to consider what has been done by someone else before you, hoping that the border you chose to do will be just right. It's lots of fun. I think that my medallion this time, will be the Carpenters wheel, and I'll make it with some gorgeous died fabric that Connie made. Her products are in the quilt and needle store. It's going to be lovely! I can't wait to get started on it....But I still have stockings to make, secret santa gift to finish, an armchair cozy to finish....

It's a windy day, perfect for sitting inside with the radio on....sewing machine humming! Have a great day everyone.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

November Snug Society Quilters Give Back Projects

“Many Hands Make Light Work!”

NOVEMBER’S SNUG SOCIETY QUILTERS GIVE BACK PROJECTS: Thanksgiving is right around the corner. What better way to express your thankfulness for all your blessings than to be a blessing to someone else! The Snug Society projects will provide the way to do just that, to be a comfort to others in need.

The November “I Spy” quilt will be blocks made of warm colors, such as oranges, reds, browns, yellows and golds. You can find block sizes and cutting information here. This quilt will benefit a resident of the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota.

Our November Sweet Child quilt blocks will feature fairies bordered by turquoise, green or purple. You can also make pieced block centers from these colors rather than using “fairy-themed” fabrics. You can find information on this project here. These quilts provide comfort to children from abusive situations that are counseled at Harmony Home in Texas.

The November Snug Uniblocks will feature autumnal colors (oranges, reds, browns, yellows and golds) with white or off-white backgrounds. You can find this quarter’s block pattern and other information about these quilts here. The quilts from this project will be sent to comfort wounded veterans in hospitals here in the States as well as abroad.

August 2009 Snug UniBlock Quilt Top

My Trip to Market - Why I Didn't See Much of the New Spring Products

At market I went to dinner with my friend Pati Fried of Red Thread Studios ( After a lovely Greek meal, we got down to shop talk. Pati, who is a quilter and wonderful artist (we shall see great things from her soon) strongly encouraged me to seek out distributors for my designs. She loved the designs and my ideas about great mystery quilts. She also said I really needed to start teaching my patterns locally, in order to achieve the goals I have set for my personal career.

I really had no idea if I would do either of these things...

I could only attend market for a few hours the following afternoon, as I can't leave Sapphire for very long while I am still nursing her. Just after arriving and registering, I went into the closest ladies' room and you would not believe who was in there! My LQS owner!! I thought this must be the cosmos pushing me to approach her about teaching in her shop. I will spare you the details, but she wants me to start next semester - January. WOW!! I hadn't even hit the floor and I have become a Mystery Quilt Teacher!! Terri (the shop owner) was very enthusiastic and seemed excited to have me on board. I have since met with Terri and we are finalizing the dates for my classes. I will be teaching Mystery Classes as well as a couple of others. EXCITING!!

After meeting with Terri in the ladies room (hahaha), I took some deep breaths and headed to the show room floor to look for fabric for my December Mystery. First things first though, I must find Pati and give her a hug for encouraging me to approach Terri in the first place. I found her quickly (aren't cell phones cool?) and she was very excited for me. She also said that she heard during a school house session yesterday that Northcott was looking for pattern designers for their new collections. Awesome, I LOVE Northcott. We headed over to their booth and I sat down with one of their marketing directors... and a few hours later met their other marketing director... and long story short...
I am one of the new pattern designers for Northcott Fabrics!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I pretty much just walked and stared, at nothing really. Couldn't really concentrate you see. Anyway, I had a great Fall Market experience, but I really didn't see much of anything while I was there!

Thank you all for your support. I can't wait to get started on these fabulous new ventures and to share them with you all in the coming year!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Christmas time

ARGH! Christmas is only a few months away...and you know what that means to us crafty Gals...LOTS of things to make and do. For me, not only do I have craft items I want to make, but I am usually pretty busy in the kitchen too. I love making fudges and other candies, gingerbread men cookies are a big hit here too. Not to mention the pies!

On the forum, we are having fun with a few special swaps. One is the Secret Santa swap. Someone drew names and assigned them to others. So each participant has the name of a Gal she is being a Secret Santa to. And the person you are Santa to, is not Santa to you. How fun! We get to make a special gift for someone and then get a special gift from someone.

And then we have an ornament swap going on. We make a certain amount of ornaments, for however many Gals are playing. Then they swapped around so everyone participating gets an ornament from the other players.

Which means that I've been scouring the net, looking for neat little gifts to make. Thankfully there are tons of crafty sites out there with free patterns on them. And all the quilt magazines and craft magazines have their Christmas editions out. I also love going to the library and browsing thru their Christmas books. The problem is, there are sooo many cute ideas and wonderful gifts to make....I can't decide what to do!

All this talk on Christmas gifts reminds me that I have been wanting to make stockings for my family for a few years now. We are still using the red fuzzy, cheap stockings you can buy at any store. I think it's time for some lovely new handmade ones..... It's a good thing they look easy to make.

I hope you all are having fun getting ready for Halloween too. These next few months are going to be busy ones in crafters houses. And as always, you all are welcome to come on over to the quilt and needle and join in our fun and meet some new friends.

Have a great day all,


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crazy Blocks for Larry!

Special Request for Crazy Blocks
In Memory of Larry Marshall

As most of you know, our dear Sandy's brother, Larry Marshall, passed away September 23. What some of you may not know is that Larry was very instrumental in helping us get in contact with the Wesleyan Native American Ministry, and eventually, Larry got us in touch with Bruce LeFleur who now helps us with the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation that we serve through our 2009 "I Spy" project.

This month, Jess and I want to ask that we all get together and make Crazy Blocks for quilts to be donated to the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in memory of Larry Marshall. You can sign up here if you are interested in helping us with this very worthwhile project.

October Snug Society Projects

October Snug Society Projects

Sandy, a Quilt & Needle Forum member who helps coordinate our charity efforts, shared a video of a ceremony at the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation where the quilts made by our members were presented to the Native Americans. You can see the quilts about halfway through the video; some are displayed at the front of the stage. Thank you, Sandy, for sharing this link with us!

OCTOBER’S SNUG SOCIETY QUILTERS GIVE BACK PROJECTS: It’s October already and time to think about the blocks for this month’s projects!! These projects are a great way to share the comfort that comes from a quilt and remember: “Many hands make light work!”

The theme for our October “I Spy” quilt will be blocks featuring dogs and cats, in any color. You can find block sizes and cutting information here. This quilt will benefit a resident of the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota.

During October, the Sweet Child quilt blocks will feature balls: basketballs, soccer balls, beach balls – just any kind of ball! Borders and blocks featuring pieced centers should use the colors of yellow, orange and dark brown. You can find information on this project here. These quilts provide comfort to children from abusive situations that are counseled at Harmony Home in Texas.

The color-theme for the October Snug Uniblocks is blue prints with white or off-white backgrounds. You can find the new block pattern for this quarter and other information about these quilts here. The quilts from this project will be sent to comfort wounded veterans in hospitals here in the States as well as abroad.

July 2009 Snug UniBlock Quilt Top

Friday, September 25, 2009

Speed Pieced Geese

Speed Pieced Geese
Tutorial by Jessica J.E. Smith

“This method for flying geese is awesome because it doesn’t waste any fabric and is very accurate.”
- Sally, Golden Shores, AZ

A Few Goose Rules

÷ Finished Flying Geese are twice as wide as they are tall.
÷ This method creates four Flying Geese each time you complete the steps.
÷ You need one large square and four small squares for each set of four Flying Geese.
÷ The large square will make the “goose” and the small squares will make the two “sky” pieces.
÷ LARGE SQUARE SIZE—Add 1-1/4” to the desired finished width of Flying Geese.
÷ SMALL SQUARE SIZE—Add 7/8” to the desired finished height of Flying Geese.


÷ To make four 6” wide x 3” tall Flying Geese you will need:
One 7-1/4” square (to be the “goose” triangles)
Four 3-7/8” squares (to be the “sky” triangles)
÷ Right sides together, layer one small square in the top left corner of a large square and another small square in the bottom right corner of the larger square. The small squares will overlap each other a bit. Mark a line on the diagonal of the two small squares. Sew a scant 1/4” on either side of the marked line, and cut on the marked line. Press open the flaps, seams toward darker fabric, to make two heart-shaped pieces. Trim dog ears.

÷ Right sides together, layer a matching small square in the corner of one of the heart-shaped pieces. Mark a line on the diagonal of the square, sew a scant 1/4” on either side of the marked line, and cut on the marked line. Press open the flaps, seams toward darker fabric and trim dog ears, to make two Flying Geese. Repeat with the other heart-shaped piece for a total of four Flying Geese.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quick Hot Pan Holders

Quick Hot Pan Holders
by Jessica Smith
Materials (for each):
2—8.5” squares of Fabric A
1—8.5” squares of Fabric B
1—8.5” squares of Fabric C
1—8.5” squares of Insul~Bright batting (0r a similar product)
2—8.5” squares of muslin (or backing of your choice)

· Make a ‘sandwich’ from 2 pieces of muslin and the batting, muslin pieces facing out. That is, layer one muslin square (face down), then the batting, then the other muslin square (face up).
· Take 2 squares of fabric A, and one square each of Fabric B and C. Fold each in half and finger press.
· Lay the Fabric B piece on top of the Muslin/Batting sandwich, raw edges facing out with the fold of Fabric B running the length of the middle of the sandwich. (All of the raw edges, muslin, batting, and fabric, will line up on the edge.)
· Lay one of the Fabric A pieces on the next edge to the left of the Fabric B piece. Note that the Fabric A piece will cover half of the Fabric B piece. Again, your raw edges will align and your fold for Fabric A will run through the middle of the sandwich.

· Lay the Fabric C piece with raw edges on the next side edge to the left on the sandwich. It will cover half of Fabric A.

· Lay the other Fabric A piece on the final edge, half covering the Fabric C piece you laid down. Tuck the other half of this Fabric A under the Fabric B that you laid down, so that the four Fabric pieces are woven on top of and under each other. (Like you would do with the top of a card board box to secure it closed without tape.)

· Pin all layers together. Sew around the edge of the sandwich, using a quarter inch seam allowance.

· Trim the seam allowance a bit at the corners if you want a bit sharper corners (if you want rounded corners, don’t bother) and turn the sandwich inside out… voila!

· You can stick your hands inside the folded bits of fabric, to better protect yourself.

Quick Wine Glass Coasters
Use the same instructions as the Hot Pan Holders, but use 3.5” squares. You can wrap these coasters around the base of your wine glasses and it will help your guests identify which glass is their own.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's Autumn...

It's Autumn time already, this year is just zinging by. The weather here in California is still warm, but reminders of the turning seasons are everywhere. School has started and stores are carrying Halloween candy.

Over on the forum we have picked out are Fall table runner partners and are learning about our new friends. Deciding what kind of table runner to make for them.

Over in the store, Jess has some beautiful Fall leaf material. It's rich, vibrant colors just call out to you. Who wouldn't want to decorate with these beauties?

You can find them here:,1f

Another beautiful choice for those Fall table runners or maybe a lovely wall hanging, is Connie's hand dyed fabrics. These are gorgeous, and so soft.

You can find them here:

Then before you know it, the Christmas season will be upon us. Jess already has some lovely fabrics in the store for this too.

I don't know about you, but I am ready for the cooler weather. I love sipping hot cocoa in the evenings, while snuggled up in front of the fire. And having a warm quilt laying over my legs, as I hand quilt it, is just the perfect ending to a day.

Come on over and visit us, pull up a chair and browse the store. Then come on over to the forum and share with us your love of quilting.

Till next time...


Thursday, August 13, 2009

August Snug Society Quilters Give Back Projects

AUGUST SNUG SOCIETY QUILTERS GIVE BACK PROJECTS: This month’s Snug Society projects are off to a wonderful start! These projects are a great way to share the comfort that comes from a quilt. “Many hands make light work.” This quote is so true as many hands are needed to make blocks, piece the tops as well as doing the quilting and binding. It is truly a rewarding feeling “to give back” in response to all the blessings one receives! Jess, Miki, Dorian and I all appreciate the many hands who participate in making these quilts each month – every effort, big or small, goes a long way when we all join together! We hope you will consider being part of the joy and comfort these quilts bring to others who need them!

The blocks for the August “I Spy” quilt will feature fabrics with monkeys on them or any solid color fabrics! What fun to see cute monkeys playing around on this quilt! You can find block sizes and cutting information here. This quilt will be perfect for a child who is a resident of the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota.

August "I Spy" Blocks made by Cherie, New Jersey

June "I Spy" Quilt Top - Fish/Ocean Theme

Our August Sweet Child quilt blocks will feature kites and balloons or the bright colors of blues, oranges and reds! You can find more information on this project here. These quilts provide comfort to children from abusive situations that are counseled at Harmony Home in Texas.

June "Sweet Child" Quilt Top - Kittens/Puppies Theme

Bright & Bold is the color-theme for our August Snug Uniblocks! You can find the block pattern and other information about these quilts here. The quilts from this project will be sent to comfort wounded veterans in hospitals here in the States as well as abroad.

June 2009 Snug Uniblock Quilt Top - Blue/Yellow Theme
Until next time, friends! Cindy, aka MisisipiMenace, aka Ms. Tassels

Thursday, August 6, 2009

placemats and table runners

Aww Summertime! Too hot to have a big old quilt in your lap, quilting on it. So I tend to spend a lot of time piecing tops together. Sometimes though, I don't feel like making another quilt top to go into the 'needs quilting pile', so that's when I turn to place mats and table runners.

I've done a lot of testing out patterns this past year, and that leaves me with single blocks floating around. So what to do with them? Well, I could make up a sampler quilt....or, I could make some nice place mats with them.

Place mats are so easy and quick. They can be as fancy as you want, or as simple as you want. And as they are small, I can quilt them on my old treadle sewing machine without many problems. The tutorial Jess put on the blog last month is a great example.

Basically you take a nice sized quilt block, it can be any pattern, shape and size. Then you just add a bit to it to make it the size you want for place mats. Or you can place 2 or 3 blocks together in a row, add a bit to the ends and you have a table runner.

I've seen some really cute ones lately. In a magazine, I saw a neat hexagon place mat with a star in the center. I've also seen a large hexagon table runner, made up of 7 hexagon 'flowers' and then matching hexagon place mats. Place mats are also a great place to add some applique and to practice your handquilting.

Earlier this year on the Q&N forum, we had a great table runner swap. Two people got to know each other a bit and made table runners for Mothers day for each other. You can check out all the beautiful table runners here:

We plan on doing more table runner swaps later this year. So don't be a stranger! Come on over and visit with us, and join in some fun swaps.

Till next time...


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuna Can Hexagon Flowers Tutorial


This technique was taught to me by Broach Winsley, a fellow member of the Cherokee Rose Quilter’s Guild of Douglasville, Georgia. Many thanks, Broach!

First, get a tuna can – can be empty (well washed!) or full. In fact, as long as the object is a circle, it does not matter what size nor what object you use – the idea is to use something you have on hand around the house all the time. The reason for this is that when you put the project up and don’t get back to it for some time, you’ll know where your “template” is!

Trace around your can on the back side of your fabric and then cut it out. You will need one (1) circle for the center and then six (6) circles for the petals for each flower.

You take your circle and fold it in half and then in half again like so and then finger-press the edges.
Open up your circle and bring one edge up to the middle, matching your lines, and finger-press your new edge.
Then, take the newly former corner and bring it to your center, but do not overlap. As you make these folds, take a stitch to keep everything in place, being careful not to stitch thru to the front of your hexagon. Finger-press your new edge.

Repeat until you come to the last newly-formed corner, which if you have done everything right, will come to a nice point – better than the point in the following picture, but I think you get idea!

Then, fold this last point down and tack into place

Then, sew the petals together. I like to sew three (3) petals together in an “arc” formation. Make two (2) arcs. *Sorry I did have a picture of my arcs, but I accidentally deleted it from my camera before saving to my computer for this tutorial.*
Then, sew your flower together! My flowers measure 5” across at the widest point using a standard size tuna can.

Here is a picture of the two (2) flowers I have completed at this time. The one on the left is the one I made at guild meeting last week. Not yet sure what color hexagons will surround my flowers, but that inspiration will come soon enough!

Thank you!
Cindy Prince
Princely Sewsations
Douglasville, Georgia

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Quilt as You Go" Placemats Tutorial

"Quilt as You Go" Placemats—13”x19”

by Jessica Smith

Materials (for 4 placemats):

10 FQ's to make strips
1 yard backing fabric (or 4 FQ's)
1 yard low-loft batting
4-3”x22” strips to cover your center line on front


· Cut a 14”x20” rectangle from your batting and backing fabrics.

· Place your backing fabric right side down, and lay your batting squarely on top of it. Secure the two together with a few pins or a basting stitch with water soluble thread. (You will take the pins out as you go or wash the basting stitch out when the project is complete.)

· Draw a center line horizontally or vertically across the batting. (This can be centered or off center, whichever you prefer.)

· Use your ruler to draw a line at a 45 degree angle from the center line to the edge, on both sides. This should make a V. (OR you can use a sharper or more slight angle if you desire.)

· Measure each leg of your V and add 2 inches to each measurement to determine the length of the strips you will need for either side of your center line.

· Cut strips (using the length determined above) out of your FQ’s at varying widths, from 1” to 3”. (OR you can choose to make all of your strips the same width.)

· Put your strips into paper bags, keeping the two different lengths in separate bags. When sewing down the strips, you will draw them randomly from the bags. (OR you can plan your color order.)

· Choose your thread carefully—remember, this is the quilting color that will show up on the back of your finished placemat.

· Draw a strip from your bag of long strips, and sew it right side up on your sandwich along the long leg of your V, backstitching at your center line. Use a quarter inch seam allowance. — Make sure and backstitch in the middle of the placemat, or your stitches will come out!

· Choose another strip from your bag of long strips. Place it on top of the loose edge of the first strip, right sides together. Make sure you leave enough room at the edge of the strip that it covers the batting all the way to the edge and to the center line, even when it is turned over right side up.

· Turn the strip right side up and finger press the seam.

· Trim the edges at the center line and at the edge of the sandwich. (Do not trim edges until after you have turned the new piece right side up.)

· Continue adding strips in this direction until the batting is completely covered, then start adding strips to the other side of your original strip.

· Once your batting is completely covered on the long side of your center line, repeat the process on the short side of your center line.

· Remember to make sure each strip will cover both the edge and the center line after it is flipped right side up; this works a bit differently when you start going in a new direction, so be very careful.

· Take one of your 3”x22” strips to cover the center line, and fold it in half. Finger press or iron it.

· Place the raw edge of your folded strip along your center line. Make sure that your quarter inch seam will cover all of your ugly edges. Stitch it down with a matching thread, using a 1/4” seam allowance. (Remember that this strip is there to cover the beginnings of each of your stitch lines on your V.)

· Fold over the strip at the seam to cover the raw edges and center line. Use a decorative stitch and a high contrast thread when sewing down the second side. (You can go in and add this decorative stitch down the first side of your strip as well, or just leave the one decorative stitch.)

· Next, you are ready to square up the project. Turn it over, and trim it down (squaring it up) to 13” by 19”.

· Bind your placemats. I use 2” wide strips for the binding, and do continuous binding. You can use all one color for the binding or piece together several of your colors to make a colorful binding. You can also play with decorative stitches when putting on the binding. Have fun with it, this is your last chance to add extra design and color!

· Repeat to make 4 placemats.

Be creative with this design; do your own thing! You can adjust this pattern in a thousand different ways and never have the exact same placemat as someone else. As always, I encourage you to find your own inner diva designer!