Saturday, August 30, 2008

Goals Met

I have buttonholed around all the letters in the family reunion quilt. Next week I will start on the borders. I am going to do Dutchmen's Puzzle blocks. The center flying geese in these blocks will be the same to create the pinwheel. The outside ones will be scrappy. So today I am going to attack the scrap bin and get the peices ready to use. Here is my messy scrap bin. Wish me luck.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thanks, Hiccups, and Triumphs

First of all I would like to thank Tara at for mentioning my blog. It was so nice of her, and meant a lot to me. Next look at these lovely flowers my neighbor gave me yesterday. I have the most wonderful neighbors.

Second, yesterday my day started with a hiccup that will have repercussions through out the school year. I live right on the border of where the school bus picks up kids. For the last two years the bus driver has let my children and many others ride. Yesterday he stopped. When my son went to catch the bus he would not let him on. The bus driver had a list of names and if your name was not on the list you were not riding. So 15-20 kids were not allowed to ride. If I lived one block further north my son could ride. Oh well. So after rushing him and his friend to school I spent the day trying to set up car pools. I got a hold of every one's parents except four. (Only 3 parents since there is a brother/sister combo in that four) We now have 3 different car pools with four kids in each. And now my quilting time is cut a little more cause I will need to pick up kids 2-3 times a week. I'll probably grab hand work to take so I have something to do while I wait for them to get to the car. Sorry for my complaining, could be worse. I could have to take and pick up son every day.

Now for the triumph. The borders are on my Happy Trails quilt. Sorry this is not a good picture. I forgot to have my hubby or sons hold it up before they left so I could take the photo. My DD's arms are not quite long enough to hold both corners. I had to have her stand on the couch and lift her arms up to get what we got. Thanks for all that helped with the border selection. I am thrilled with it. My friend and neighbor says I should name it Hippie Trails. She thinks it's a great hippie quilt. She wants to make one for her daughter. I'll buy a back for it this weekend at the LQS. They have a sale every fifth Saturday. I buy all my backs then. I am hoping to finish blanket stitching around the last three letters on the family reunion quilt today. Then I will have met my goal for this week. So I can meet my goal for Flinn's Challenge Onward and Upward. Have a great day!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baking Day

My garden is producing so today looks like it might be a zuchinni bread day. What I don't use will be taken around by my daughter to the neighbors along with extra cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.
I also have to make bread today. The six loaves I made Saturday are gone and I still have lunches to make tomarrow. Also I had a new neighbor move in and nothing says welcome like a warm loaf of bread.
I am also making cookies. My kids think they are starving when they come home from school and the cookie jar is empty. The rice crispy treats I made yesterday are all gone. I'm making a double batch of cookies. Hopefully they will last a little longer. Wishfull thinking? Probably.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First, Worst, Best

I made this quilt when I was 15. As you can see it is getting very worn and faded. The longest sides on this log cabin used to be black with little flowers. My mom helped me to make it for what my dad called my hopeless chest.
I really like this quilt even though it is my worst. I saw a picture of it in a magazine and wanted to make it. It is the first quilt I drew up and made without a pattern. My points don't all match up and it doesn't lay quite right. But I was able to make it myself. I love the illusion of the wavy lines. When I help with the geometry unit at my children's school I always bring this quilt. The children have to bring their rulers to check the lines. They never believe there are no curvy lines in it.
I believe this is my best. I was trying to use up scraps. I made a color wash and then reversed appliqued over it to make the center medalion. And although it used a ton of scraps it didn't seem to make a dent in my scrap bag. I think my scraps have wild parties when I'm not around. They seem to multipy like bunnies.
There you have it my first, worst, and best quilts. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I've accepted the challenge by Fin at to complete 6 projects by the end of the year. I hope I can do it. She has promised to cheer me on. I promised to do the same for her. I am going to break this down into smaller chunks. I will let you know each week what I hope to accomplish. At the end of the week I'll let you know how I did. This weeks goal is to put the borders on my Happy Trails quilt and finish button hole stitching around the words in my Family Reunion Quilt.
Sorry no pictures today. I am experiencing technical difficulties. When the computer savy troops get home I am hopeful we can solve the problem. Then I will also show pictures of my first, worst and best quilts. As was suggested at
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Today I lose my quiet mornings for a while. School starts and for the next nine months my mornings will go by in busy shifts. At 6:20 a.m. my two oldest arise. I get them fed and out the door in time for my hubby and youngest son to get up at 7:00. I get them fed and out the door and it is time for my DD to get up and get going. I'll walk her to school. Then off to the gym so I don't get fat quarters where I don't want them. After that I will clean up the house. And amazingly it will stay clean. Well until 2:30 when they start coming home.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Talented Friends II

This is a charity quilt our guild made. At Christmas we make these bingo blocks, one row green, one row blue, the center row is pink and purple with black in the center, then one red row, and one yellow/orange row. We play bingo with the blocks then donate them to make charity quilts. I put this one together, Lou made the back, the Lovely Joan quilted it, and Marlene bond it.
This is a charity quilt Marlene made.
She also made this.
And this
And this. They are for her grandaughters.

This is Denise's beautiful work.
As is this one.
And this one. Denise is a speedy sewer. She always has several tops she brings to show and tell each month.
This is Karen's quilt for her son.
This lady was new to our guild. So sorry I can't remember her name. I look forward to getting to know her.
And look at the wonderful birthday gift the guild gave me. The best sushi I ever had. They're little rolls of fabric. Clever!

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Talented Friends

I went to my quilt guild yesterday. It is the first time I have been able to go all summer. My has this summer been a whirlwind. I love the ladies in my guild. They have taught me so much. Look at their wonderful talent.

This quilt is made up of 4" blocks. You should see the detail. I don't think this picture does it justice. The pieces in the snails trail and log cabin blocks are ity bity. My friend Sue did this. Isn't she amazing. She also made this sweet little thing. It is made from the little half square triangles you cut off when you sew on the line and then trim the leftovers off.
She made this one also. The quilting on this is great. It was done by our friend, The Lovely Joan. On the outside border she quilted fireworks. The flags have rippling lines through the strips. Joan does great work.This one also by Sue took best of show at the Weber County Fair. Way to go Sue!

Look at the fun table runner Laretta made for her neighbor, the farmer. Some bunny is going to be happy.This fun fall quilt was made by Susan. She is a dear friend. I sit by her at guild meeting. I am hoping that some of her outgoing personality will rub off on me. She hopes some of my quiet reserve rubs off on her. So far I don't know if it is working.Susan also made this. It is hand quilted. She is donating it to a local senior center to help raise money. Susan is so very, very generous.

I'll show more of my talented friends work tomarrow. Have a great day! Em

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Trails

Here is what I came up with. What do you think? I am calling it Happy Trails. The fabrics are so fun. I'm not quite sure what to do for the stop border. I found the scrap that is in there but I think it might be to bright. I might go with the pink that is in the brown and blue fabric or the orange that is in the strip and paisley. Please give me your input. Then I will do a drunkard's path as the outher border. Once again, I would appreciate your feedback. Have a great day! Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Reverse Sewing

Sorry no quilt pics today. My son used the camera last night to take pictures of his half pipe. The one he and his brothers built while their dad was in the emergency room with complications from his ruptured appendix. No joke. We pulled out of the garage at 8 in the morning and when I came home at 6:30 that night there was no pulling in the garage. This was in it.
Can you believe they built this. One neighbor said 'They probably figured it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission saw their oppurtunity and went for it.' Another said 'Well there are lots worse things they could have been doing while you and your husband were gone.'

Anyway this morning I can't find the camera. And since this son is gone right now, pictures will have to wait.
I spent most of my sewing time yesterday ripping out seams. I was working on my newest project. The one I showed in Planned or Not. I would get things put together, not like the way the colors were working and rip it out. I know I should have layed it out on the design wall before sewing but I often lose pieces if I don't have them in blocks before I lay them out. Then when I finally got the color sceem right. I noticed that some of the blocks were wrong. See in trying not to reverse sew I thought I could just flip the block to change the order of the colors. Wrong, although the different colors continued their flow the background went veritcal instead of horizontal. Of course I only noticed this after I had sewed a row together. So more reverse sewing. But all is well now. The blocks are fixed and half of the rows are sewn together. And when we find the elusive camera I will show you.
Have a great day! Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button

I was visiting Teresa's blog . She has made the sweetest little block for Nancy Halversen's Be Attitudes She was complaining about not wanting to spend $10 for buttons for just one block. I told her I knew how to make buttons and would post a tutorial so she could learn. So here goes.
Using polymere clay (Fimo, Sculpey, etc) I perfer Sculpey, it seems softer to me and easier to work with. On a clean surface, I like to use wax paper, so if my button sticks to the surface I can just lift up the was paper and peel it off without distorting it's shape. Knead it to make it soft. Roll out your clay. Keep in mind that darker clays can bleed so wipe off your roller after using them.Cut out buttons in desired shapes. You can use button punches, small cookie cutters, or an x-acto knife to cut out buttons. When adding details to your buttons make sure the top layers are thin. Press them in well to ensure they adhere to bottom layer.
Using a needle punch holes in your button. Do not make them to close or they could crack when you sew them on.Turn the button over and go through the holes from the back. This helps ensure your holes don't close up when you bake the bottons.

Bake buttons at 275 degrees for 10-14 minutes. Do not over bake. It changes the color and warps your button. I know this from experience. Allow to cool and they are ready to use.

The possibilities for buttons are endless. Remember if it doesn't turn out just right it's only clay and you can punch out your frustration on it and start over. No worries. Just have fun.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Planned or Not

Remember the fun fabric I bought last week. I told you I had a plan for it. Well since I finally finished Josh's quilt I thought I would get started on that plan. These are the blocks I got done on Saturday. I am really excited about how it is turning out. Please excuse my design wall. It's something I just sort of threw up on the wall. My dear friend Nancy said she will help me finish this wall with sheet rock and then help me make a really nice design wall. She finished her basement and make a really great design wall using ceiling tiles and batting, but we just haven't got around to it. So in the mean time this piece of batting pinned to the wall has to work. Then merely by accident Neil and I made these swirl beads. My Sculpty clay had got all jumbled together from kids play with it so I was kneading it to get it into usable colors again. Well I got a blister on my thumb from kneading so I started to roll clumps of clay and these cool swirls started to appear. So we took our swirly snakes of clay and cut them into different lengths. Then we took a bamboo skewer and made a hole through the center. We baked them and Neil made a bracelet with his and I made two bookmarks. We had so much fun that today while we are out shopping for back to school we plan to buy more clay.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Josh's quilt is done! Yippee!! After many hours of quilting. With Neil and my sweet daughter interupting, needing this and that. I think they are entertained with friends and what not so I sneak away to sew and soon I have company. Neil bounces my chair and wants me to take him to a swimming hole we found last year about 5 miles north of us. DD comes in and wants to know who she can play with now. Sometimes I can distract them. I have a stationary bike in my sewing room and DD likes to stand on one peddle and go up and down. Neil likes to see how fast he can make it go. If I can get them to play on that I can get a few more precious moments of sewing in. And if I am lucky they will play on it for a while forget that they needed me and go find something to do on their own. Josh and Alex work and are not here durring the day to need this and that.

Well except yesterday, Alex came home from work. He had bought two foam pads and wanted me to make a giant pillowcase for them. He was going camping with his friend and was leaving in 2 hours. He is my leave everything to the last minute kid. He can have C's and D's just weeks before the end of the term. We will remind him he will not be driving unless he has a 3.0 grade average. (The car is the ultimate carrot with a teenage boy.) And by the end of the term he will have a 3.0 or higher.
I had about an hour of quilting left on Josh's quilt. I told him if he would take the bread out of the oven and fix his sister lunch so I could finish the quilt. I would make him his giant pillow case. So the quilt got quilted. The bread baked. The daughter fed. The giant pillow case made. And everyone was happy. Ta Da.
Then as Micheal Phelps was breaking world records I bond the quilt. And at last it is done. Yippee. On to the next project.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Love a Fair II

We went to the fair and had a grand time. When we first got there we split up. For some reason my hubby and sons do not like to spend as much time looking at quilts as I do. My sweet daughter decided to go with her dad and the boys took off on their own. I went to see the quilts. I took pictures to share with you. I promise I did, but this morning when I looked on my camera they were not there. I have no clue what happened to them, a gremlin or something. There was this picture which was one of my favorites. It was made by a teenage girl. I just love log cabin quilts. Didn't she do a great job! So once again I am sorry I have no more pictures of quilts to show you. Bummer!

This needle work was phenomenal. It truly deserved the ribbon it received. The hours this great lady put in to create this work of art. WOW!

I met up with my hubby and daughter at the hen house. They had been looking at all the different chickens. My daughter's favorites were a beautiful reddish brown rooster with a very colorful tail, and a hen that looked like it had earrings. Then we headed over to have a pony ride. Yee Haw!
Giddy up. After that we gave milking a cow a go. DD got the hang of it after a little instruction and a some practice.
Then we all met at the ice cream stand and had fudge cycles and ice cream sandwiches before heading off to the demolition derby. It was a bang up time. We loved it! But we know next year to go on the first night of the derby since many of the cars couldn't get going on the second night. One to many bangs I guess. All in all a great night!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Love a Fair

We're going to the fair today. We'll ride ponies and ferris wheels, eat popcorn and cotton candy, look at animals and quilts. We'll get in our red neck culture for the year at the demolition derby. And just have an all out good time. I'll share pictures tomarrow and by Saturday I should have something of my own to show. Have a GREAT DAY!!!
Love, Em

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blessed Piecemakers

There is something about a quilter that makes them special. I don't know if it is because they are piece makers. Heaven knows they make a lot of pieces, as evidenced by their many scrap bags. Or, which I think may be the case, they know how to take those pieces and make something beautiful. Even if those pieces are teeny tiny, odd shaped, or ugly to begin with. And that gift from God, because He blessed the piece makers, makes them compassionate and caring.
Their ability to pick up the pieces and make something beautiful spills over into all aspects of their lives. They help victims of natural disasters, wars, and nasty diseases pick up the pieces of their lives and feel of God's love in the many quilts that are donated to these causes. They rally around each other and give support if one of their own is feeling burdened in any way. They share their knowledge, talents, and resources freely. They are truly an amazing group of people.
I often feel inadequate amongst them. But their gentle, loving way draws me to them and inspires me to work harder and be better. So many, many, thanks to all you piece makers may you be blessed again and again for all the pieces you make and then put back together so beautifully.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Old Friends

A dear friend of mine passed away this weekend. Today we will say our last good byes and lay him to rest. Bill had a great influence on the people in my life. He was my uncle's scout leader, and fast forward some fifty years my son Josh's. My daughter loved to go and visit him and his wife Grace. His passing brings a double whammy as Grace will move to an assisted living facility and will no long be a hop, skip, and a jump away. This is probably best for her. Not that Grace needs much assistance. But her friends are there and it is probably better if Grace does not drive. As last May at our book group she came telling us she had quite an adventure that day. Apparently she had got off on the wrong off ramp and when she realized it did a U-ey on the off ramp where she was T-boned, fortunately she was not hurt. Then she says can you believe my son thinks I should not drive. We were all aghast, but you don't tell Grace what to do.

Bill and Grace loved life. Their family room was filled with a menagerie of wild animals that Bill had got on Safari in Africa. The young boys he had in scouts thought they were pretty cool. Grace asked yesterday if any of us were interested in them, apparently their children don't want them. It takes a certain person I think. Grace was one of the Tap Dancing Grannies. She told me that the years just melt away when she dances.

A few thing my family will miss about Bill and Grace. Finding coins in their sandbox. They loved to hide them for the kids to find while they played there. Grace's candied popcorn every Halloween. Grace's round quilts she made for every baby born in our neighborhood. Bill's whispered comments in church that were loud enough for the whole congregation. And Bill's great wisdom, i.e. (The success to any relationship is to learn these magic words, "Yes, Dear.")

Thank Heaven for great people in our lives. For although we miss them when they are gone our lives are better for having known them.

Monday, August 11, 2008


In the title of my blog I said that I would give you ideas of things to do with all the scraps that happen while you make your lovely quilts. I hope some inspiration has happened as you have seen my scrappy quilts. But what do you do with all the empty spools you end up with? If they look like this one. You can use them to charge into your next project. Just use it like a trumpet and say "DA DA DON DA Charge" It will call your sewing machine, rotary cutter, mat, and fabric to attention. They will be ready to march forth on your next project. And when your muse is gone you can use it like a snake charmer to call her back, by humming your favorite tune through it.
But if they are of this variety they possess no mystic powers. But if you add a little paint, some colorfull beads, and a length of jute. They make a lovely garland to decorate your home. I put black paper on the ends of them. It just makes them look more uniform. I painted the part where the thread was different colors. After it has dried I tape it off to paint the area where it flares out a cream color. It makes it look like it is a full spool again. Then I string them on jute. On this one I put the words 'Come In And Unwind' on in vinyl lettering. I need to work on the spacing a little. But you get the idea.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


After picking, washing, filling two dehydrators and getting apricots ready for 5 batches of jam on Thursday. I did not make the jam. Making jam in 90 degree weather does not appeal to me. I'll wait until January when the snow flies. Then I'll put soup in the crockpot, bread in the oven and while my kitchen is warm and cozy I'll make jam. For now it waits in my freezer.

So yesterday I watched "Nim's Island" a fun, fun family film, with my kids. Did a little quilting and then My sweet daughter and I went to the fabric store. Here is the cheery and vibrant fabric we got. I already have plans for it. Yipee! I can't wait to sew!

Friday, August 8, 2008

On the 12th Day of......

Last Nov. I was on the committee for my ward Relief Society Christmas Party. If you are wondering what that is. It it the women's orginization in my church. They put me over decorations. So I filled baskets with pinecones, oranges and berry sprays. For center pieces.(Now I'm filling them with the bounties of my garden.)

I decorated a Christmas tree with a garland I'll show you at Christmas time that I made out of scraps. It's in my Christmas stuff so I can't get to it now. Then I hung Christmas quilts on the walls. I gathered them from ladies in my ward. I did not want it to be Em's trunk show, so I just hung one of mine. This one. It is Cottonway's 12 rows of Christmas. As you can see I changed a few rows. Not always good at following instructions.
Well the ladies loved it and wanted to make one of their own. So I agreed to help them. So on the first Thursday of the month we get together to work on them. We try to do at least a row a month. Our goal is to display them at our next Chistmas Party. Haven't these ladies done great work. There are a few of them that have never quilted before. And one that hasn't sewn since Jr. high. It is fun to see how different everyone's quilt is using the same pattern. Sorry they were camera shy and did not want me to show their faces.