Saturday, December 31, 2011

The last day of 2011

Welcome to the last day of 2011.  Here in East TN the sun is shinning, the clouds are blue, the clouds are puffy white. The temp is near 60, and I saw a Robin in the front yard this morning. All signs of spring!  What a great way to end the year!  

I hope each of you is spending the day doing what you like to do best. If you are not able to be doing that I hope you are making the best of what you are having to do and take care of today. 

I hope you stay safe tonight in your celebrating of the New Year. I know some of you from around the world are already into the new year, and hope it was a safe one for you. 

While the new year as a whole is something exciting to look forward to as a whole with big plans, hopes and dreams, we will wake up in the morning to just a new day and we realize we can make the plans, dream the dreams and have the hopes but we still take one day at a time. With each new day I wish for you to be one step closer to all your plans, hopes and dreams. 

My plan for the new year is to learn more about quilting, share more about what I learn with you. I hope to grow the business and hope that you come along for the ride. 

Have a great day/eve/night and...


Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Christmas day is past, but I am sure some have yet celebrated it, or finished celebrating it this year.
We will finish on Thursday with a dinner at my daughter and son in law's with his family. 
Then next weekend the Christmas decorations will come down and be stored until next year. 

Today, though I am taking time to reflect over the past year and all that I have accomplished.  A lot of what I have done is thanks to my wonderful family who supports me and encourages me to keep going, keep doing, keep being creative and to keep reaching out to try new things. 

Another part of what I've been able to get done this year is in thanks to all my quilting friends and customers. Without them I'm not sure where I'd been in the quilting world right now. 

In the midst of your busy lives this week I hope each of you is able to take at least a few moments to reflect over the past year. I know there are some who have gone through some rough times, some tragic times, health issues, work issues, relationship issues and more. We have all also had times of good times, new jobs, new family members, new creations, new friends, old friends found.  

To those we've lost - may we remember them with laughter and fond memories.
To those we have gained into our lives as family members - what a joy. 
To those we have gained into our lives as new friends - welcome.
To those we have gained back into our lives from years past - a warm embrace long over due. 
To those that have entered our lives due to a mutual hobby, craft or business, i.e. quilting, may we continue to stitch our lives into a tight weave that never unravels. 

I wish for you all the best final week of 2011. May we look forward to 2012 with great expectation, great plans, and hope and prayers for a better year. 


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone. 
May you have a wonderful day with family and friends, cherishing old memories and make new ones. Following old traditions and creating new ones. 

May God Bless. 


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve and Day

Merry Christmas eve and day to all who may stop by my blog.  I appreciate each and everyone of you. You drop in from all around the world. Even from places I've never heard of before. I am still amazed at how technology has made it so those we never would have had the chance to meet (even just via the internet) are sometimes the ones we are in touch with each and every day. 
To those who have become customers of Quilter's Pantry, I also say thank you. 
To those who have offered help, suggestions, asked questions, or provided leads for me Thank you too. Without you all I wouldn't be for you.

This Christmas I will be spending it with my wonderful supportive husband, our daughter, her husband and his parents and other family. It will be a first for all of us being together and I'm looking forward to starting new traditions.  Old family traditions sometimes just don't work anymore due to situations and circumstances, the miles that separate families and it becomes time to start new ones.  Yet we leave open the opportunity to return to the older ones when circumstances and situations allow, maybe blending the old with the new. 

We have other family members who are unable to join us. My son is in the Army and will be with his wife and daughter. I wish they could be with us, but am glad they at least can all be together.  My son is in training and away from home for the most of the next 8 months or so. 
Our other children are also out of state and we won't see them until Feb. 

I wish for each of you a wonderful Christmas time. Whether you are with a large family, a small family or all alone I hope you find joy in the day, in the celebrations and in the good memories of past Christmases.

God Bless. 


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Time for a break to say hello

Taking a moment to say hello to all during this busy season. So much to do and get done, time seems to fly and without realizing it days have passed us by.

 I know many who still have last minute gifts to make or buy. Then to wrap them all. Baking all the cookies and sweets for family and friends, Christmas parties to attend, Special services at churches, special events going on. Then the planning and attending all the family gatherings.

Take time this season to remember the reason we have this Christmas season.  Far too often we get caught up with what it has become and forget the real meaning.

Enjoy your time with family and friends. If you are like me you don't get to see some of your family as often as you would like. Cherish the moments you have.

  These are a few of the Christmas ornaments I have made this year.  They are quick and easy to make. 
These are a few of the Christmas ornaments I've made this year.  Quick and easy to make. Then the bead work takes a little bit of time, but something you can do while sitting watching TV, or on lunch break at work.  Plan to make some more for next year but add different accessories and bead work to them.

Have a great rest of the week.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas thoughts

In 10 days Christmas will be here and then be gone.
The bright lights and decorations on the Christmas trees and the inside and outside of homes and businesses for miles and miles around will all be turned off, taken down and put away. The
The extra time we found over the last two months to spend with family and friends, the extra hours in each day we found to shop for that special gift or two or three for each person on our Christmas list will somehow disappear.
The extra food we ate will be forgotten in a little while as we return to our normal eating habits and kick off the New Year with new plans and new and improved habits (which will be forgotten within a month or two).
We will file in the back of our minds the heartfelt Christmas movies we watched on TV that only come out during this time of year. They touch our hearts, bring a tear or two, and make us thankful for what we are blessed with.
As I sit here with the lights from the tree reflecting in the window, and a Christmas movie playing on the TV, I think of how we all look forward to Christmas. We rush around, we stress about getting things done in time, and we hope that the gifts we are going to give will be appreciated. We sing Christmas carols that we only hear once a year, but we know all the words as soon as they start to play for the season.  We count the days until Christmas. First thinking it is far away, then that it is too close and we are not ready and then suddenly that it will all soon be over for another year, and just another memory.
As we grow older we often have family and friends who are no longer with us to share the joy of Christmas. We find ourselves in moments of silence, of being lonesome, of missing them and wishing they were here. We share stories of our past, of our childhood memories when Christmas was magical. We realize that the stories are more about the family and friends and less about the gifts you received. And even the gifts we do remember getting as children seem to be surrounded by fond memories of special times with the person who gave them to us or the story behind the gift.
Christmas -It IS a magical time of year. It is a time when 24 hours in a day somehow allows us to get more done; a time when we reach out, give more, share more, and enjoy more. It is a time of memories; a time of traditions, old and new. It is a time of love; family; and friends.
I wish for each of you a Very Merry Christmas. May you take the time in the hustle and bustle of the season to reflect on the true meaning of the season.  Take time to enjoy the special moments past and present.  And if you have lost someone special this year may you remember them in laughter, in joy, in fond memories and in love.
--- Phyllis ---

More Christmas decor I've decorated or have on display.

These are part of my Santa collection. I painted all of these.

Some of my decor. I didn't paint these, but my son did paint the saw blade (wooden) when he was little.

More to come......

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Ornaments I made, or decorated, from years past

These are some of the Christmas tree ornaments I've made, or decorated. Some are plaster pieces I painted, some are wooded pieces I wood burned or painted, some are polymer clay.

I will add more pictures over the next few days.

Have a great day.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Soldier's Prayer wall hangings

A Soldier's Prayer Wall hangings.  
I made these two which can be purchased as a pair or separately. 
These are on display at a local restaurant that carries some of my work.

Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9th and Mom's quilt for Daddy

67 years ago today my parents were married. Their love story is a memorable one the way the used to tell it.  They met while Daddy was on a short leave from the Army. He went with a friend of his to visit other friends and that is when he met Mom.  They wrote letters to each other from that day forward. (Don't recall how long it was- maybe a year? ) until in December he came back to visit Mom. He told her he was getting married!  She asked who he was getting married to, and he said,"You!"  She had three days!

They got married while he was still on leave, Mom moved from MA to NY to live with his parents while he returned to serve in the Army. They later moved to PA.

9 months later my sister was born. 
10 years and 9 months later I was born.

A lot of history, a lot of stories happened over the many years they were together. They are both gone now, Daddy in 1979, Mom in 1990. I miss them and think of them every day. 

Both were very talented. Daddy was artistic, Mom was a seamstress. I think I inherited some of my talent from each of them. My sister also inherited the artistic talent!

I know Mom would be proud that after many years of not sewing a stitch I now am not only sewing again, but have my own quilting company!   She only made one quilt in her life and I helped her make it when I was 10.  I still have that quilt, made from all the scraps (stash) she had saved from all the clothes she made us.  Wools and tweeds on one side and cottons on the other. She didn't put any batting in between and she tied a few of the corners just enough to hold it all together.  Daddy loved it because it was heavy.

I look at the quilt now, and see the wear and tear, the stains, the rough spots that have joined the beauty and to memories of all the fabrics. I still remember some of the clothes she made with those same fabrics.
I wish for you today and always a lifetime of treasures, memories of times long ago and a future of new treasures and memories we all can make for our families. 

----Phyllis ----

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Welcome to December

A busy, busy time of year for all.  Our homes to decorate, tree to put up and decorate, gifts to buy or make, Christmas cards to get sent out, cookies to make, parties to attend (or even paln), events that the kids are taking part in, parades, gift shows, craft shows, the Christmas schedule to organize to fit is all in. And on top of all that we still have to work! 


How do we all do it?

This year I hope we all are able to take some time and just relax and breath.

That one card you forgot to send can be forgiven.
That 'must have' gift for someone that you have gone all over town looking for --- can wait.

That one last type of cookie to make -- stop, you've already made plenty.

The house isn't perfect. The tree stands lopsided. The gifts are wrapped, but not fancy like you used to do.  It's all O.K.

And speaking of relazing and breathing --- that will have to wait for me.  I have to run.  LOL 

Have a great day and I'll be back with you all soon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The weekend after....

Add caption
Welcome to the weekend after Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  
I hope you each have survived them both safe, sound healthy and happy. 

I had to work during the mad rush of Black Friday during the Walmart's sales. One started at 10PM the other at midnight and a third, that I was not there for, was at 8AM.  I could not believe the rush, the crowd and the chaos during the sales.  It was almost funny, had it not been for the need for the 4 police officers and security to be there.Now that is all behind me. 

I spent yesterday and today decorating the tree and the house for Christmas. Most of the decoration on the tree are ones I have made over many years. I also have many other decorations around the house that I have made. 
Now with the addition of my quilting addiction I will have even more in the form of quilts, table runners or wall hangings. I've been busy with other quilt projects this year so don't even have many of those for myself. Will work on changing that in the near future.

I took a couple of days away from quilting, but feel the withdrawals already. The quilting studio also got some decorations put up, but I need to clean and reorganize a little bit to put up a few more. Then I'll be back to quilting.  I have a few gifts to finish.

I do have time to longarm a quilt or two for customers if you know of any that need to be done. 
And don't forget to check out my web sites and the shop for quilts for sale with mark downs good 'til the end of the year. 

Hope you have a great rest of the weekend. 

~~~Phyllis ~~~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  

It is a time of hectic schedules, long lists of things to do, short amount of time to get them done, and a time when we seem to forget to breath. 

In the midst of it all we have this day (in the US) to celebrate and be thankful for the things we have. Of all the things we have we are most thankful for our family and friends. Because it really doesn't matter what material things we may own it is our family and friends who matter the most. 

I thank you for being here, for reading my blog, for being my friend even though I've not met most of you. There are times when, through the quilting forums or even facebook we get to know each other and we form a bond. We care about one another, pray for one another and think about one another.  I thank you for sharing part of your lives with me. 

Have a great day and great holiday.

-----Phyllis -----

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tips for safe holiday shopping

The holiday season is here.  This week we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the USA.  We plan a large meal for our family, or plan to help out in serving a meal to those less fortunate. We remember the Thanksgivings of our childhood.

We take time to be thankful for all that we have. Even if we don't have a lot. We spend the day eating too much, watching parades and football games. 

We plan Christmas. Some decorate the house for Christmas that day or that weekend - like I will be doing.

And then.... we start dealing with the hectic schedules. The extra things to get done before, during and after work. The events to plan and attend. Gifts to buy, wrap and give. Family events to coordinate. All in preparation for Christmas. Shopping, shopping shopping.

As someone who has been in the retail business for more years than I ever planned I have noticed a lot, heard a lot and want to share some safety tips for your shopping experience. 

First - pay attention. To everything.  Watch your bank statements, your checking balances, your credit card charges, PayPal accounts etc. 

Keep all of your receipts.

Keep a daily diary of where you go and what you spend where and for what.

Pay attention to your surroundings.

Watch your purses!  So many of us carry larger purses or tote bags with us. Many have no closure to them as in a zipper or even velcro, or a flap over the opening. Please keep those at home!  Carry a small purse and hold it close to you.  Have a strap that goes across your body and carry the purse in front of you instead of to your side or swinging it towards your back.

If you do take a purse with you put your purse in a shopping cart/buggy. Cover it up, strap it in if the cart has the child safety straps, and strap it in under the basket not in the top basket. Having it strapped in helps stop someone from just grabbing it and going, but they could still reach in and take your wallet.  As you shop cover it up with the merchandise you are buying. 

Don't carry cash with you. Carry a credit card or a debit card. If you get your cash stolen, or just loose the cash... it is gone. If you get your CC card or DC stolen or loose it you can get those replaced. (Although time consuming).

When you have stopped to look at something please remember your purse that is sitting in that shopping cart!  Don't walk away from it.

Keep your cell phone and car keys separate from your purse. If your purse is taken you still can make an emergency call and you have your car keys to get home.

Never carry your social security card with you.  Don't keep your driver's license in your car. If someone steals your car ---- they will know where you live.

TAKE DAILY PHOTOS of your children. IF something should happen to one of your children and they get lost you have a current photo and one that shows what they were wearing.

When shopping hid your packages in your car trunk. If you have no trunk cover up the packages with an old blanket. OUT OF SITE - OUT OF MIND for thieves.

IF you feel you are being followed after leaving a store go back inside the store. 

When you can, shop with a friend and look out for each others safety.

When shopping with children keep them close to you. Inside the shopping cart if young. Holding your hand if nothing else. And if they are in the shopping cart - make sure they stay seated. 

Pay attention when you are walking to your car, don't be distracted. Keep your head up, have your keys ready to get into your car. 
Look around your car before you get in. This for safety and to make sure no damage was done to your car by a stray cart or a bad driver who hit and ran.
Look into the back seat of your car and the passenger side of the car next you yours before you get in. As soon as you get in lock your door.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Dress in layers. It may be cold outside, but inside will be warm. 

Keep dehydrated and remember to eat while you are spending the day out shopping.  Do your best to eat healthy too. Staying on your diet (the way you normally eat, not necessarily a diet to loose weight) is important and you are less likely to not feel well from all the strange foods. 

I wish for you a safe and healthy week and holiday shopping time.

Ms Phyllis

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tips for the Holidays.

It's a busy time of year. 

There is so much going on in our lives at this time of year we hardly know what to do first, or even remember to breath.  We sleep less, eat more.

We make a to do list (even if it's our head), so we hopefully don't forget anything.

The Christmas gift lists start to take shape, kids are begging for one toy or another or many. Parents are trying to figure out how to make the kids happy and stay on a budget. 

There are meals to plan, parties to plan and attend, gifts to buy or make, wrap and send; cookies to bake, a house to decorate. 

Decisions to make at every turn.

And all the while we are also planning Thanksgiving dinner. 

So here are a few tips to help you get through. 

Take time this season remember the good times of Christmases past. 
Make all your gifts to give this year.  Or have them made for you. 

Set aside one night, or day to decorate the house and the tree with the whole family there to help. 
Select which festivities/parties you will attend. You can't attend them all and still have time for yourself. 
Try to eat healthy as much as you can.  Drink plenty of water. And even though you feel like you don't need to walk anymore or exercise - set some time aside each week for this and  to take care of yourself.  It's no fun being sick over the holidays. 

 Send out Christmas cards or a Christmas letter this year. It's tempting to do it all over the internet, but everyone still enjoys receiving snail mail. 

Watch your favorite holiday movie.

Start a new tradition or bring back an old tradition you had forgotten about. 

Donate to your favorite charity to help others out. 

And don't forget to wrap up in a quilt at the end of the day, while you catch your breath and enjoy the little things in life. 

Happy Quilting!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Patchwork Quilt (Poem)

Thank You  Cathy for allowing me to publish this beautiful poem on my blog.

"This poem was written by Award winning poet Glenda J Bowling following the untimely death of her husband in the 70s.  She was never a quilter, but captured the textures of life through the words stitched together in this poem.
Permission given to publish this in my Quilter's Pantry blog by her niece, Cathy Pierce"

The Patchwork Quilt

I realized, some years ago
That each of us, when we reach middle age or so,
Have many little lives, all held together like a patchwork quilt.
Some patches are beautiful to behold,
They are bright and some are bold.
Patches from our childhood, and Moms who wiped the tears away,
or that first day of school, what an unforgettable day!

There's a patch from our teenage years,
and the bright colors of pom poms and cheers.
A patch where we found first love,
No faint colors here.
Walking on clouds, or crying in pain.
Who would want to do that patch again?

Here's a beautiful patch of white for our wedding day
Is love truly here to stay?
Sweet patches of pastel,
From our babies that we held.
Those patches smell of talcum to this day.

This patch has a tear,
Love has grown cold, and no more our lives to share.
Patches of friendship here, some patches are weak,
Of frienships gone by, while others are strong,
of friendships lifelong.

Here's a dazzling bright patch,
Mature love, best love, true love.
Perfect match.
Another wedding patch,
We'll share all our dreams,
And send them to God on heavenly wings.

The Angel will sing a song
of a love story that grew ever strong.
A black patch here,
and mystically it still feels wet with tears.
I didnt get to say goodbye,
I try to explain
To anyone whose attention I could gain.
Grey patch here.
Tombstone, alone.

A dull patch of changes, struggles and fears.
But the patches get brighter over the years.
Children are grown,
Beginning patchworks quilts of their own,
I look at mine,
each patch one of a kind.
Some of them truly lovely to behold,
And I will treasure them until the end of time.

Others are ugly and cold.
And if I could have, Id left them out.
But these are the patches that bind,
They made me strong.
They gave me courage to keep moving on.

You see, the strength of a quilt is how it is sewn,
I was never truly alone.
The courage I felt was not my own.
When my quilt is finished,
and the last patch is sewn in,
I hope it will be the most beautiful patch of all,
And God will say "Well done, my little friend"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Time changing

"Bears of Fall' wallhanging


We gain an hour! But in gaining that hour most of us will be asleep and not really notice.  Until the sun starts to set earlier and earlier over the next month. 

Many will have a hard time adjusting to the time change. I tend to just go with the flow and it doesn't bother me. We will see what it does to me this year. 

An extra hour tonight - can we stay up and quilt for an extra hour?  O.k. maybe not. I'll be with those who set the clock, set the alarm and go to sleep. 

Soon the temps will change and be cooler here in East TN as with many other areas of the world. The bears will hibernate, the insects disappear, the flowers wither away from the frost and we are then blessed with morning frosts, snow flakes in the air and seeing our breath in the air. 

We add layers of clothes to stay warm. (Love my sweaters).

And we make more quilts to share and keep warm under. 

May the changing time give you a chance to take a deep breath as we look back over the summer we had, the good and the bad that it brought to different parts of the world, and look forward to what the fall and winter will bring.  

I am thankful to those who have joined and to those who stop by to check out Quilter's Pantry. I look forward sharing with you parts of my life, parts of my quilting and hopefully encouraging you along the way.
Wishing you all a great weekend. 

Happy Quilting


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Welcome to November

Good morning to everyone who is stopping by. We love to see so many and hope that you are enjoying the blog.  This pic is a pathway at Roan Mtn. TN. If you are ever in the area it is a beautyful area no matter what time of year you are there. (Roads sometimes close in the winter though)

I hope you all have a great day.  I'm off and running to get to work. It's nice to be able to work with fabric all day and to talk with customers and help them along picking out fabrics, sharing ideas for quilts and other projects. 

Catch y'all later. 
Happy Quilting


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Attaching Binding Tutorial

MAKING THE BINDING --- Doing the Math

1)   Measure the length and width all around your quilt and ADD 10”.
2)   Take that number and divide by the width of the fabric you are using for the binding. (Generally this is about 42”). Round this number up
3)   This will give you the number of cuts you need to make in your fabric.
4)   Take this number and multiply by 2½” or whatever width you are cutting your strips.
5)   This is how much fabric you need to make your binding.
6)   Cut your strips.

If you would like the math for the above it looks like this:
L(2) + w(2) + 10 = TL (Total length of strip needed)
TL ÷ 42 (roughly the width of usable fabric) = NoC (number of cuts you will need.)
NC x 2.5 =LOF (length of fabric you will need to make your binding. )

OR Just the math equation:
a)    L(2) + w (2) +10 = TL       b)   TL ÷ 42 = NoC            c)    NoC x 2.5 = LOF
OR:     {[L(2) +W(2) +10] ÷42} X 2.5 = LoF

Once you have your strips cut you need to attach them. 
Your cut strips
Lay them together at a right angle, right sides together
Lay two strips together at a right angle, right sides together.
Make a mark as in the photo
Using a ruler make a mark from one corner to the other as indicated in the photo. Pin the fabric to keep it in place while you move it to the sewing machine.
Stitch along your mark
 Stitch the two pieces together at that line. Continue attaching all the strips in this manner until you have one long strip pieced together that will fit all around your quilt with about 10 inches of strip left over.
Trimming the excess fabric
At each of the connections measure 1/4" away from your stitch as indicated in the photo and with your rotary cutter of scissors cut away the excess piece of fabric.
The excess piece cut

This is what your seam should look like (If not better)
Pressing the binding
Take your long strip, fold in half lengthwise and press to form a crease. 
Attaching binding to quilt
Lay the opened edge of your binding along the edge of your quilt. Pin it at about 12 inches from the end of your binding strip. You want a 'tail' left at the beginning as well as at the end.  
Begin stitching at the 12" mark using a 1/4" seam allowance in from the edge.

NOTE: If you want a wider piece to show on the front of your quilt or on the back of your quilt you will need to cut your binding fabric wider than the 2 1/2" I am using here.

Stitching to within 1/4" of the edge at the corner

Sew the binding to within 1/4" of the first edge of your quilt. Take a couple of back stitches to knot your stitch and keep it from coming out.  Lift your needle and the lever so you can turn your quilt. 
The quilt turned to start stitching the next side
Preparing for the mitered corner
Lift and form a right angle
Hold a pin at the top and pull down onto the fold of the right angle
As the photos indicate just above - lift up strip and form a right angle. Pin at the fold and bring strip down over the right angle. It should look like the photo below.
What it will look like when you pull it down and are ready to stitch
Begin to stitch again as you did on the other side. 1/4" from the edge.

This is what your corners should look like
 Continue to stitch your binding on all the way around your quilt stopping about 10 inches from the place where the beginning of your strip is.

The space between the end and the beginning of your binding strip
To make it easier to connect the two ends of binding this tool is the best!
(If you do not have this tool you can still connect the ends by folding them inside one another and cutting off the excess. Make sure you have folded the ends so you have a finished end showing.)

Follow the directions on the tool itself.

One end cut

Other end cut.
Right sides together matching the squared off tips
If doing this without the tool lay the long ends together so you can find the point where they will meet snugly when sewn together to form the finished binding.
Press or 'finger' press the seam open.

The finished binding
Finish stitching the binding. Your seam should look like the one above.

Pinning to the back
Now to attach the binding to the back for hand stitching!  The photo just about shows how to form a mitered corner on the back.
Pin the left side as indicated.
Hold pin at crease
Hold a pin at the crease as you pull it for a snug fit.

Pull down other side and pin in place. 

Pull down the other side to form the mitered corner. Pin in place. Continue to pin around the quilt or pin as you go. Some don't pin at all and just hand stitch and form the mitered corners as they go.

NOTES: You may need to do some wiggling of the fabric to make it work for you and your mitered corners may not always turn out perfect, but never give up!

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions let me know.

Happy Quilting!