Long Time No Talk!

It has been way to long since I posted anything to my blog!  The last date way 5/14, it is now 10/10.. Wow how time flies!

I am still working at the Grand Canyon and I thought that I would be home by now, but as they say,  "the best laid plans" ..  boy did mine change!

The main goal for me taking this job was to make money for a new long arm machine.  Instead, I purchased a 33 foot fifth wheel travel trailer.  No one was more surprised at that turn of events than me!  Let me tell ya, when the bank said yes, you could have pushed me over with a feather!!!  So now I am the proud owner of a travel trailer. I know it is not the best picture in the world, but if you would like to see the video that I put on YouTube, click here.

I am in love with the Grand Canyon!  Every day, I see the same thing.  Take the Colorado River, it never gets old, the wonder of such a grand place, how it was formed by a river of water that is still flowing today 30 billion plus years later!

In my travels in the canyon, there are a few things that one would not thing would still be around like this phone. When was the last time you saw a payphone?

You have to remember, things that we now a days take for granted, like cell phone service and cable television and high speed internet, are not common up here.  Cell service is almost non-existent in most of the park, Cable TV is off of a satellite and high speed internet.. what the heck is that?!!

My daughter gave me a Canon DSLR camera for my birthday and I have been using the heck out of it.  I found the other day, something that most everyone in this park just walks right over and doesn't give it a second thought or even know what it is.. a USGS Survey marker... look closely at the date... This has been in the ground, in this concrete, since 1972. This was placed the year that I started High School, who knows how many feet have walked over this, but enough to keep the tarnish off the center of the marker. Amazing!

The other amazing things that on one gives a second thought to here in this park are the flowers, yes, I said flowers.  Take a look at some of my photography, just learning how to use the close up features and lenses.


These 3 flowers are about and inch across at best

This is a weed....

This one is about the size of a dime and the whole plant is less than 6 inches off the ground.

And this one, the whole plant was less than the size of my hand and the flowers were about 1/4 inch big.  It were nestled on the side of a hill in loose rock.

I have made some new friends up here, these are some of the little girls that visit me daily.

I have learned a lot about weather up here as well, like this phenomenon called Canyon Fog. After a rain, it is so hot at the bottom of the canyon and so cold up here, that when the two air masses meet, they create fog that stays just in the canyon walls, sometimes spills out onto the edges, but when it does, it dissipates quickly.. This just happened to be at sunset one day.

I have also started a new quilting project up here, never fear, I have not forgotten what this blog was about.  I am now doing the Farmers Wife 1930"s blocks.  Yes, I know, I didn't finish the 1920's, but I got board with them and all of the 1/16th of an inch measurements.. for the birds!  I am a good quilter, but I really don't want to piece when I have to worry about my blocks turning out if I have to count the number of threads in the fabric for each seam!   Geese.. what was I thinking?

So I jumped on the band wagon for the 1930's Farmers Wife blocks by the same author.  I found a group on Facebook headed by a lady in Australia "Angie Wilson" who writes a blog called "Gnome Angel" and joined when it had just a few hundred members, now it is over 4300 members and world wide!

I also decided to try templates.  This group uses the templates and instructions by Marti Michell. Skeptical at first, but after I did my first couple of blocks, cut them out and then sewed them together and everything went together as it was supposed to 'THE FIRST TIME" and my blocks turned out to be square and exactly 6 1/2 inches, I was sold.

When I left for the Canyon, I could not pack a lot of things, I just didn't have the room in the truck, and trust me, I couldn't have put another piece of paper in some of these boxes, but what I did put in were jellyrolls and charm packs, a small amount of yardage and a sewing basket full of everything from my favorite scissors to thread to screwdrivers, yes, small hand tools... hey, if there was an open space, I filled it!

So some of the jellyrolls and charm packs I brought were the Zoey and Christine line of fabric from Eleanor Burns.  I had purchased them at the last quilt camp that I went to with the express intent to use them on one of her quilts, but this just seamed right.  I also never wash my fabrics, but this time, I washed. Ever try to wash two jellyrolls and 6 charm packs?  Not recommended without a washer near by that you can keep the lid open and watch.  Not having that, I did it by hand, in my kitchen sink with HOT water, let them soak and then took them all and hung them on my lines outside.  As they blew in the wind, I heavly starched them and let them dry.  Only took about 3 hours from start of the process to taking them off the line, but took me 2 days to iron out all the wrinkles and another day to seprate them back into colors and put in baggies to keep organized.  Whew, now that is over, I can work on getting the book organized.  Figure that will happen with each block.

So at this time, the first 5 blocks have been released and here they are:
8 - Aunt
12 - Becky
14 - Betty
16 - Bonnie
20 - Caroline
 Happy Quilting from The Grand Canyon!

Grand Canyon, AZ

As most of you know, I drive a school bus to pay for my quilting obsession.

During the summer, I do not drive, but I sit and work on quilts and new patterns.  This year, I was lucky enough to be accepted at the Grand Canyon, to drive a shuttle bus!  Doesn't sound very glamours, but think about it, work at the Grand Canyon, who wouldn't like to work there?

So Saturday, I load up and head out for an 18 week stay in the rim country.

But you ask, what about your quilting?  Oh, never fear!  I am taking enough fabric with me to open a small store!  I have also been informed that there is a quilt group up at the canyon!  Whoo Hooo!!! New people, new faces, new ideas.

Lovely Dresden
I will be working on the final details of "Lovely Dresden", my quilt that won 2nd place in the Iron Quilter and that so many have asked for a pattern.  It is almost done.  I have had to create a template because the angles are so strange, they are not on any ruler, but, if you have a Dresden plate ruler and some ruler tape, you can transfer the marks to the that ruler!

When I made this quilt, I did it all on the fly, do you think I wrote down any of the cutting instructions?  Nope, Do I remember what I did?  Kinda, but boy, I sure am glad I have the quilt to look at up close, because if I didn't, I couldn't figure out some of those angles and just what the heck I did!!!
So for the next few post, I will be sending you pictures of the canyon and of my new projects or ideas.

I was reading posts on M* and found a very interesting one.  Here is a link to a page that has all of Jenny's Tutorials clear back to Aug 13, 2009.  Funny thing, it is on the Dresden plate and it was put up the day after my birthday...  I find things like that to be fate . .  or just coincidence, you choose.

Happy Quilting!


Something new on the HST homefront

I have been working for a while now on the math for making 32 Half Square Triangles at one time. Let me tell you, it sounds easy, and on paper it is wonderful, but once you go to fabric, it is a whole other story!

We all know how to make the 8 Half Square Triangles out of one square, and there are a couple of methods for doing that, but no one has ever come up with a method for creating more than 8 at one time.

Say you need a whole bunch of 3 inch HST, lets say 587 (yeah I know its a random number, but bare with me)

With any method that you create 8 at a time, you would have to mark 74 squares of fabric!
With the Super 32! method, you only need to mark 19!  I am all in for saving time, marking and sewing time both.

So if you would like to pick up a copy of these instructions, Click on the Craftsy button on the left side of this page and get one today.  The price is only $1.00, Its a digital download, so you will be reading in a matter of minutes from now.

While you are there, check out my other patterns, like my No-Fail Mitered Borders lesson, once you try my method, you will wonder why you waited so long to make a mitered border!


Interesting and informative videos on the web

The WWW is so full of information, it would take forever to find anything if it was written work, but
thankfully, all that information is stored digitally in cyber space, so just one or two clicks away and we can access what ever we want, day or night, fully dressed or in our pj's!

Today I found a couple of very helpful videos.  One by Mary Hickey.  She has a method of creating flying geese that is so fast and accurate, you won't want to create them any other way.  Flying Geese

Because I am looking to purchase a long arm machine in the near future, I am starting to look at things like stencils, marking pens, templates and all of the other things that you need for quilting a quilt.  Although I have most of these things, I am now looking at them with a different vantage point and am looking at them as road maps for the computerized stitching that I will be using with my new long arm.  Here is a video that shows how to use these things on your quilt top.  How to mark a quilt top and quilt marking tools

Mary Fons is always has great information.   She calls herself a Quilt Geek, that is so funny, but if you watch her, yup, she is!  She has a video out that is called Have you heard these 5 myths about quilting?   Number 2 blew me away... give it a watch.

I have never done a quilt or project with the quilt as you go method, but since I am going to be traveling this summer with my Kindle, I need to protect it a little better than what I was using.  I made my quilted cover in just a matter of about an hour. This video is by Coats & Clark Learn how to make a quilted ipad cover

And lastly, it is spring here in Arizona.  The birds are out and the pollen is flying!  If you have cats, and it is still below 50 degrees at your house, your cats are probably going knutz not being outside or at least getting to see the birds.  Here is a video that will keep them occupied for at least 2 hours, I know it did mine.  Movie for cats.

That's all for now,
Happy Quilting!

Just poking around the internet

Hi All,

Just poking around the internet today and found a couple of things that I found interesting.  The first is from Craftsy - "How to clean your machine".  If there is one thing that is near and dear to my heart, it is a clean machine.  If you look at previous posts, I don't always listen to myself  LOL

The second thing I found today was Quilting Tidbits.  I could poke around this site for days and find things I never knew or easier ways to do the things I already knew how to do!

Below is from their web site, just click on the link above or any of the text below and check them out!  Early quilters built a foundation of design techniques and ideas that has stood the test of time. Quilters today rely on this foundation to create their own masterpieces. Making quilts is relatively easy once the basic steps are mastered. Don't know where to start? At Quilting-Tidbits we share our knowledge by showing you how to use the right tools, supplies, and techniques.

And the third thing I found, well I found this a while back, but it is worth a look if you are into long arm machine quilting is Art and Stitch  This is software that will let you design your own quilting designs and even let you do machine embroidery designs.  I have been looking at this software for a bit now and when I finally purchase my long arm, I will also invest in this software.  I used to do machine embroidery and I remember how fun it was to do my own designs, this looks like it could be just as fun!

So that is all I have for you today,
Tomorrow is going to be dedicated to quilting only, working on a new pattern that I hope you will all enjoy.

Till then,
Happy Quilting!!

A little behind, but look what I found!

As many of you know, I stared this blog to keep a journal of my farming with the Farmers Wife Quilt.

It has taken me to some interesting place and I have met some very nice people and made a few friends along the way.  Totally unexpected when I was standing in front of my bookshelf wondering what my next project was going to be...

Today, I was playing with Blogger (which is where you are now) and searching different blogs and reading the wonderful information that some hold, when I came across a blog (didn't even know it existed) by the author, Laurie Hird.    I should have realized that she would have a blog, but it never dawned on me to look.

In reading her blog, I find that she has a new book that is due to be released in Spring of 2015... ohh that's now!  I won't quote any of her blog, but if you click here, you can read all for yourself.

I went looking to buy a copy, but alas, it is in the 'pre-order' stages and Amazon says June 12, 2015, so I placed my order. Unless I am mistaken, that is summer here in Arizona, but I don't mind waiting at all!

So I guess I better get on the ball and get the original one done before I start on the new one... Oh you know what that means?  Fabric shopping!!!

Happy Farming!

New look to the blog

Spring break is over and a few days ago was the 1st day of spring, so I find it only fitting to update the look of the blog.

I totally changed the look of the blog by spiting the side bar and putting it on both sides of the blog post, changed the fonts, the backgrounds and added some useful links on the left side.

I am working on some pages that will go on the tabs, and they will be up in a few days or when I get time to get the information together.  I will put things like common measurement charts, bed sizes and quilt sizes.  How to make a single HST and how to make a whole bunch at one time,  I am going to add setting triangle and corner triangle cutting charts as well as how many charms, fat quarters and jelly roll strips you can get out of a yard or even a fat quarter.. Lots of interesting and hopefully useful information all in one spot.

That's all for now, enjoy surfing the links and don't spend too much money! 

Almost the last day of Spring Break....

I feel accomplished for the week!

I stared out with a list of things to do: Create a Craftsy account and put up patterns for sale.  I did that and immediately had success with sales.  I like immediate gratification, makes me want to do more, so I did!

I posted instructions for the super fast method of making HST

I created the tutorial for No Fail Mitered Borders  and even created a YouTube video to go along with it!

I uploaded a freebie - Quilt History Sheet, that everyone should have just to record your stats for any given quilt for your family to see after your gone.

My first pattern, Blue Skies 

and my second pattern, Springtime Baby Quilt.

All are selling and I couldn't be happier!

I am off to start the quilting on another pattern called Victorian Floral that will be up for sale as soon as I get the quilting done so I can have a good finished picture.

 Here is a preview of the quilting I am thinking about doing.

I have also applied to become an Affiliate for Craftsy, keep your fingers crossed!  Watch for that on my blog and anytime you want to go to Craftsy, start at my blog first so I can build up credit and start growing my long arm fund.

Till then,
Happy Quilting

First day of spring break

I have been busy!

I set a goal of getting the No Fail Mitered Borders instructions written and published on Craftsy
     Click here and you can find them here in my Craftsy Store

I set a goal of getting the No Fail Mitered Borders video instructions filmed and up on YouTube
Click here and you can watch it there

Is it the greatest video out there?  Nope, not by a long shot! But it gets the point across.

Now what makes mine different from anyone else?  You don't have to measure the borders and hope that you have cut the strips long enough and then you have cut the angle correctly and you don't need to worry about making sure the points match and that the corner lays flat.... nope, easy, simple and as they say, down and dirty!

You cut the borders to the desired width, piece if necessary to get the length, and both of those measurements are apx, as long as you have the width of the border plus 2 inches, your good to go.  Sew, Press and Whack!

So what is next on the list for the week?  Red, White and Whirl!

More later
Happy Miters!

Its Spring Break Again!

I can not believe that it has been a year since I started this blog!!

Spring break in Arizona is supposed to be in the 80's, but mother nature has other plans!  It is cold and windy, VERY windy outside.  The wind is howling around the windows and there is a chill in the air.... feels more like the onset of winter, but it also means that I don't have to go outside and I can spend the days in front of my sewing machine, that's a good thing!

Spring Break also means that I started my Farmers Wife quilt a year a little over a year ago.  I remember I was wondering what I was going to do over spring break . . .   never did I ever think it would lead to a blog and a lot of new friends!

So much has happened in this past year, but the most important thing is that I have decided to go back to pattern designing again.  A while back, I wrote several mystery quilts for a quilting message board and they were extremely successful and everyone had a great time doing them.

I am in the process of re-writing these mysteries into a single pattern (instead of 6 to 10 clues) and have decided to sell them on Craftsy.  My good friend Karen, who publishes directions to complete the farmers wife blocks, talked me into to it.    It has taken a lot of work, but I think I am getting the handle on it.  I have to take out a lot of instructions, step by step for beginners is how they were written.  The original mystery was written for the basic beginner, re-written, it is now for the intermediate quilter, quite a difference.  Down from 18 pages to just 5!

I have already uploaded my version of the Magic 8 HST method and have been very surprised and pleased with the response I have had!  Thank You!

This week, now that I am off for the next 9 days, will concentrate on getting my first pattern up for sale and completing the directions for "No Fail Mitered Borders"  With these directions, I also hope to have a YouTube video, more on that one in a future blog . . . . .

The pattern that I will be uploading is for "Blue Skies"  It will sell for $7.00 dollars. It measures 67" x 80". It uses the Magic 8 method for HST and also uses my "No fail mitered borders".  Nice size to snuggle up under or will fit nicely on a twin bed with hang over or nicely on a queen bed as a topper.

If you notice, the quilt is not quilted.  This is because my quilt frames will not allow me the space to quilt in the open areas.  My frames will let me stitch up to 18 inches, but my machine will only allow me 9 inches and when I have the quilt all rolled up, as small as 3 inches.. SO, knowing that and knowing that I drive a school bus for a living, leaves me wondering how I can raise the funds for a long arm quilt machine, hens the conversation with Karen and the patterns for sale on Craftsy.

This pattern was created as a mystery quilt and has a lot of room to showcase beautiful quilting, I can't wait to get this one quilted as I have some wonderful ideas for the open spaces.

My next project is one that I designed a little while back, but never did anything with.  I am now writing the directions for this one and will be making the quilt this week. This is an image from EQ7 It is called
 "Red,White and Whirl!"
This pattern will sell for $7 dollars as well and is an intermediate level quilt.  It uses the Magic 8 HST method and my "No fail mitered borders" and, if that is not enough,  you will be making 3 1/2" pinwheels for the centers of the whirling stars!  Quilt measures 57" x 66", nice size to snuggle up under to watch the fireworks.  It will be written to use yardage, but I think it would also be a great scrap buster!

So I have my week full of fun quilts and lots of computer work and best of all, lots of quality time with my sewing machine!

Happy Quilting

Michael Miller / EQ7 Block Design Challenge

Who doesn't like to play with virtual fabric?
I love my Electric Quilt 7 software for that and so much more!

I can sit and play for hours and create some wonderful quilts.  Will I ever make them?  Yes, I do, well some of them... like the Farmers Wife blocks.

Jelly roll Opps!
If I want to see what a particular fabric would look like before I cut my expensive fabric and thank goodness I do because what may look good sitting on the work table, looks horrid when it is made into a block.  Case in point, the quilt to the left.  I did not put the fabrics into EQ, the jelly roll looked beautiful, but when I got it together, well you see what happened!   Jelly Roll Opps is the name of this quilt.


I was reading Facebook a few days back and came across a post by Electric Quilt for a 2 week block challenge.  Thought, humm, maybe, but I just don't have the time right now to invest into a new block, so I just kept reading FB and forgot about the post.

Again, I was checking FB and found a post by EQ saying that there was only one week left in the challenge.  Well, now I am sitting at home and in front of my computer... what the heck, downloaded the fabric pallet we are supposed to use and went to work.  2 hours later, I come up with this block.  See. it does make a difference when you can play with the fabrics before you sew them!

Fiesta Challenge Block 
The line of fabric is Fiesta by Michael Miller Fabrics.  It was a challenge to do this in EQ as it is a directional fabric, the block, as you can see, is does not have a straight 45° angle anywhere.


Electric Quilt has a tool called "rotate fabric".  You can rotate in a standard 90°, move the fabric to the edge of the design or the one I used, "Advanced" lets you rotate to any degree.   So I manipulated the fabric in the center to the positions you see here.

Un-rotated fabric

This is the block un-rotated.. totally different look.

So, if I win, I will make up one of the blocks and post it here so you all can see what the real fabric looks like made up.

I will leave you with this thought:  I hate tacos said no Juan ever!  LOL

Happy Fiesta!!

Been away far too long!


It has been far to long since I posted last!  Life gets in the way of all things good, but unfortunately it also pays the bills.

So, what have I been up to for the last 6 months?  Yes, it has been 6 months since my last post (sounds like a confession) but lets move on.....

Last post was the end of September.  Since then we have had: Veterans Day, Halloween,
Quilt Camp, Thanksgiving, my daughters birthday, Christmas, New Years, my husbands birthday, the annual craft show, Valentines Day, our 32nd wedding anniversary, I lost 40 pounds and daylights savings starts next week!

All that while working a 40 hour a week job driving a school bus!

Well, I wish it was that fun, but we all know its not, but I can dream.  LOL

So what have I been working on?  In my head, lots and lots, what I have actually done, not so much.

I finished my husbands Christmas/Birthday Quilt. I had been promising him a quilt for years, and I finally made him one.  My friend, Karen Walker, did the quilting.


I bought a new ruler that is supposed to be an easy way to make a pineapple block.  I was easy, but the fabric that I choose, well, wasn't the best choice for a quilt. This took a weekend to complete and when it was done, I put it on the wall and went.... Oh S#$(%&##!  AGG, what was I thinking?  Well, we all have monumental failures in our quilting life, I just never expected it would have been this one!  This was a jelly roll from RJR, don't remember the name, but it has birds and butterflies and bird houses in several different colors.... ok, so not all jelly rolls play well with themselves, this one sure didn't!


Onward and upward:
I did make the center to Quilt in a Day's "Case of the Lost Quilt" Mystery, AKA: All Star Quilts
I think I will put a border on this and call it good.  The center took me 6 hours to do as I had to rip and resew each piece to get them to line up.  The center fabric is also one of the colors of the outer border, but they really don't go when you look at them from far away, so I will try again... someday.

Made a runner, place mats and napkins for Christmas and a hot pad on the fly.

and made two charity strip quilts:  
but this is what they did to my machine:

I have decided that it is time to upgrade my quilting machine from a mid arm to a long arm.  These things cost as much as a luxury car!  I really don't see the need to have them that expensive, but it is what it is.  I have my eyes on a Handy Quilter with frames, only cost me about 9 grand and then I want software so it will stitch by itself... well, people in hexxxxx want ice water too!  So I have started a couple of things.  I will be selling a line of quilting patterns on Craftsy, my first post is how to make the Magic 8, its free, kinda a test pattern/ instruction sheet.  It is something that I will refer to with most of my patterns, so instead of taking up precious space in a pattern over and over again, it is here for free.  I will be putting one up for mitered corners next week and then my 1st real pattern will go up.  It is at the proof reader right now, so hopefully everything is fine and I can get it up and ready for sale soon.

It is called Blue Skies.  It was originally written as a 9 part mystery quilt for beginners and I have total redone the directions and updated some of the techniques.  It is now 5 pages, designed for the advanced beginner, set on point with mitered borders.   This is the quilt that makes me want a long arm machine because of all of the open space in the borders that was designed to be quilted.  It currently isn't quilted, but I am working on that issue.  It is quilted in my head, now to get it onto the fabric!

I hope to get back to farming this summer when I can spend more than just a couple of hours at a time doing it. 

Till then, spread the word, oh and also tell your friends that I have a Go Fund Me account to help raise funds for my quilting machine.  Any contributions would be appreciated and if you have been following my blog, that would be a great way to say HI!  I read and follow you!!  Please spread the word, its time to get some followers so I can get this off the ground, but I need your help to do it!

Happy Farming and Quilting!