Monday, April 13, 2015


Welcome to Keep It Simple, Make It Fun!

For any of you visiting the Paducah, Kentucky quilt show this month, stop by the Moda Bake Shop booth and see my "Sweet Sixteen" quilt in person!  Pretty exciting, eh?  No, I will not be in attendance--just my quilt.  Silly quilts!  They travel more than I do.  LOL

Also, the Charm Square QAL was uploaded earlier today.  I apologize for how late it has become...but when you read the post, you will know why.

Have a great day!

Charm Square QAL Part 9

Welcome back to the Charm Square Quilt Along!  In this installment, we will work on block #8.

Charm Square Sampler Quilt Along

If you are new to this QAL, visit the old posts.  To get fabric requirements and ideas, click HERE.

Hello everyone!  I apologize for the delay on these postings. Please be patient with me and we will complete this project together.  In short, my family's life is being guided by the wisdom of a "Fortune Cookie" that my spouse got last weekend at dinner.  It said, "Anything worth having is worth a firm negotiation."

All we wanted to do was bring a horse home for our kids.

That being said, the reason why I haven't been as accurate with my posts is in part, due to my school schedule but also due to some legal problems we are having with the animal rites on our property.  If you remember, we moved from the big 2 million + people city last summer to a quiet town of 9,000 people.  Here, if you drive down main street, there is a horse trailer on every other vehicle (not exaggerating).  We bought a property with state statues on it with large animal rites (the ability to raise horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens and even--get this for laughs--domestic Elk)--and the city has zoned it for large animals (granted all rites and permits) and had a developer build us a house.  However, this builder also built a home on a property that shares at most 30 feet of fence line.  These people do not want us to bring in our horses--although the horses will not be housed next to their fence line, they want to sue us and the developer for loss of property value.  I haven't had much time to sew or blog because all of me and my husband's free time has been spent working out this legal drama in our life.  Our lot is protected by a state statue, so they can't really do anything against us, but the developer is trying to keep us from bringing in the animals because he isn't protected.  In short, we've been cutting through a lot of red tape--the trick has been to find the right pair of scissors (or rotary cutter).  What a mess!  At this point, I wish I had gone to law school to get a J.D. instead of a M.Ed.  This has made me so empathetic for all of the farmers and ranchers who work 16+ hour days to get food on our tables, who put up with these types of legal troubles regularly and cannot afford to pay for litigation.  If I had a J.D. I would go pro bono for any farmer, rancher, livestock rite or water rite violation.  I've never experienced anything so unfair in my life.   I always thought that if you lived in the US, kept all the laws, was thorough in your contracts, that nothing like this could happen to you.  I was wrong. I am keeping an optimistic head and believing that it will all work out.  We are correct in our legal claims and rites.  What these people are doing to our family is wrong.  It has been a trial the past few months.  It is hard to prove that although your contracts are correct, people with more money than you try to take it all away. 

The worst part is that I promised my boys they could be "cowboys".  It's all they wanted and some conspiring people are doing all they can to keep me from keeping my word to my kids.  That is the upsetting part.  How can I, as a Mom, look a t these precious faces and not keep my word to them?  They have been so good about all of this mess.  We would appreciate prayers on our behalf.  These kids deserve the best I can give them.

Well, I'm sure you don't want to hear my drama so on to block #8.  All of the blocks in the sampler are versions of what has been called a "Tippiecanoe" block.  I call this the square in a star block.

STEP ONE: Lay out all of your HSTs according to block #8 shown above.

STEP TWO: Sew the columns together.
STEP THREE: Press columns in opposite directions.  This block is not as tricky as the others.
STEP FOUR: Sew rows together pin-matching seams and looking for "X marks the spot".

STEP FIVE: Press rows open and enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2015


Welcome to Keep It Simple, Make It Fun link party.  Thank you for sharing your projects.  I don't have any new projects to share this week.  The only sewing I did was on our Charm Square Sampler--but that is okay.  Sometimes we get busy in our personal life.  :)

Also, did you check out the funny comments to my fill in the blank giveaway?  Although it has ended, your responses were priceless!  Thanks for the humor.  I'm going to have to do that again.

My favorite link last week was from Lynette at What A Hoot Quilts.  I love how she categorizes her quilts as "flimsy" and "done".  I have too many "flimsy" ones to finish as well.  Great post and I love the colors she uses--all the colors of the rainbow.  Check it out.

Now it is your turn to share your projects.  Thanks for visiting!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Winner of the Charm Square Give Away!

Hi folks!

You are so too funny!  You comments to answer the question "Machine quilting is like..." are hilarious!

Some of my favorite quotes from you are:

Shauna Trueblood said, "hummm....machine quilting is like....driving a remote controlled car through a maze."
Lori Konarske said, "It's like eating potato chips, you can't stop at just one."
Eileen Emerson said, "Machine quilting is like a thump in the night.  Dreaded and worrisome until you check it out (aka: Do it) and then you realize there's nothing to it.  Now why did I ever put it off?" 
Brenda Hulsey said, "Humm...machine quilting is like trying to catch a greased pig!"
Carie Space said, "Like wrangling a small child into a sweater that they're on the verge of growing out of!"

Lori M said, "Am just learning to   But I will fill in the blank with  learning to parallel park a big car!!!   I know I am a big chicken! lol"
Nakeytoes Living said, "...wrestling an octopus. :) Since I'm just learning, that's how I feel some days. :)"

And there were many, many more entertaining answers.  I'm going to have to find another funny quilting related fill in the blank giveaway again.  Thanks for the laughs, folks!

I used a random number generator to find our winner.

And...the lucky number is....

43!  TheGranChris who said, "machine quilting is like doodling in school. You just need to go to another place in your head."

Charm Square Quilt Along Part 8

Welcome back to the Charm Square Quilt Along!  In this installment, we will work on block #7.

Charm Square Sampler Quilt Along

If you are new to this QAL, visit the old posts.  To get fabric requirements and ideas, click HERE.

STEP ONE: Select 16 of your previously sewn HSTs and lay them out according to block #7 in the layout diagram above.
STEP TWO: Sew pairs together in columns.  Refer to previous posts if you are still unfamiliar with the technique.

STEP THREE: Press your seams looking at rows to "nest" and show the "X marks the spot".  Refer to previous posts for a review of this technique.

STEP FOUR: Making the center pinwheel of the block both spin and lie flat.

Next to the seams in the center of the block, make a small nick with the scissors in the seam allowance.  Be careful and do not cut the threads.  This allows the center units to be pressed in opposite directions.

An old friend of mine taught me this trick.  Once it is nicked, place your thumb on the center point of the pinwheel.  Rotate the block a full turn with your thumb pressing down.  This fans out all of those seam allowances in the center of the block, helping seams to align and splays out the bulk.  The center of the block will not be quite as bumpy.  This will reduce the risk of a broken needle when quilting.

Close-up of the center splayed out.  It looks like a rose!

Here we go, perfect points in the center, the bulk is moved around and the center lies flat.

Ta Da!  The block is all done.

I would love to see your progress.  Here is a link party and a flickr pool for your convenience.  Please understand, as I host KISMIF on Mondays, this link party is open only to block progress.  If you would like to share your posts that are not related to the Charm Square Sampler QAL, please share them on Monday on the KISMIF party.