Saturday, September 29, 2012


There are times in life that 'life' takes over and you don't have time to do the things you want to do.  Then there are the times that you have everything set in order so you can get them all done before something major happens.... and life still changes things and you have to change your plans.

This year has been a mixture of both. I had plans to get a lot done before our little grandson was born in October. Then in the middle of completing those tasks he decides to make his entrance at 31 weeks instead of waiting 8 or 9 more weeks. 

But I've been able to accomplish all the quilts I wanted to get done plus some other items since he was born. I even got all the baby quilts and other baby items made in time for his actual arrival. 

Now...... as the month of September comes to an end and  we begin to decorate our homes for fall, harvest and then Thanksgiving and Christmas we set new goals. We have a list of things to do a mile long and each day it seems to get longer. 

One way, as a quilter, to get things done quicker is to buy and use 'cheater' fabric. The pictures above and below is an example of what that is. While it looks like I took all those different pieces of fabric, put them together with tiny black sashing, it is actually fabric that is designed that way. It looks like a quilt already.  It is what is known as 'cheater' fabric. Take one piece add borders and you have your quilt top.  It comes in handy especially for table runners, smaller quilts and smaller projects. It does work for larger quilts also if you need a really quick quilt. And yes, I've used it for that also. 

 With that in mind you can stress less and impress while you are at it.  If your time frame seems short for larger projects you want to get done for Christmas gifts, don't fret. Don't spoil your enjoyment of the holidays in trying to do it ALL.  Make smaller gifts. Add an IOU to the smaller gift and let the person know you are working on something, but they may have to wait. 

Last year I made a wall hanging for my daughter and son in law with an IOU that I would make them wall hangings throughout the year for the different seasons. It worked well for me and for them, and now they have a wall hanging for their entry way for each season. 

This year.... well, we'll see how I do in the 80 some days til Christmas. And just to let you know, I do have time to finish a few quilts for you in time. So if you need longarm work done on a quilt you are working on just let me know. Check out my web site for more details and to order. 

Til next time.... keep those needles stitching. 


Sunday, September 23, 2012


The calendar changed from August into September, the temperatures changed, the date showed it was the first day of Fall. 
People are starting to count the days until Christmas. As the clock ticks that number gets smaller as the daylight hours grow shorter. 
We turn the AC over to heat. We dig out the sweaters and put away the shorts and sleeveless tops. We do the fall cleaning in preparation for the change in home decorations. We change the summer quilts out for the warmer fall color quilts. 

And....we suddenly realize we only have a couple of months to make all those gifts we want to give this year. 

There is still time to make a quilt! There is plenty of time to make the small lap quilts, wall hangings, table covers, placemats, pot holders, aprons, purses and tote bags. And then there are the fleece tie blankets and scarfs. Just to name a few gift ideas for you. 

Pinterest has become a popular web site to search out ideas others have found, or made and post for ideas or purchase. I'll worn you though, if you've not been to Pinterest get addicting.

There is also time to search out and purchase these items for your loved ones that others have made with love to sell.. Quilter's Pantry (that's me lol ) has several items for sale on the web shop just to name one. 

If you have in mind that you want to learn how to quilt and want to add that to your Christmas wish list.... let your loved ones know what you will need to get started so your Christmas stocking will be full to over flowing with quilt supplies.  
Don't know what all you will need? Check out "Tools of the Trade" above for a list of the basics. 

In the mean time.... it's Fall! Go out and enjoy the beautiful weather, the clear skies, the changing leaves, the beauty of the trees, the rolling hills, the mountains, the sea shore, where ever you may live. There is beauty everywhere.  Take time out to go for a drive or a bus trip. Go shopping even if it's just window shopping to see what is out there. Attend the crafts shows and fall festivals. Get inspired. 

And with that..... I'm headed to the quilt studio to work on one more baby quilt that will be for sale and a customer's quilt so it's ready for her to pick up next weekend and drop off another one she has for me. 

If you have quilt tops that need quilting - any size- let me know at Quilter's Pantry. We can talk details, price and time frame. 

Til next time....keep those needles stitching



Sunday, September 16, 2012


As stated before it's been a busy month. Life has calmed down some and we are a bit back to normal. Our normal now includes a new person who is loved more than he knows. 
When the kids brought AJ home they didn't have the crib yet. They were unsure where he was going to sleep that first night. We suggested a dresser drawer or a cradle. They didn't have a cradle, didn't have the Pack and Play set up yet either. But they did have a dresser drawer. More than that they had a dresser drawer that had meaning! This dresser was made by my Daughter's paternal grandfather when she was just 16. 

So that first night AJ slept on a small quilt made by his Maternal Grandmother, "Granny" (me) in a dresser drawer made by his Maternal Great GrandFather who just so happens to be the man his middle name is in memory of! Talk about a special place to lay your head! 

He still sleeps during the night in that dresser drawer as he is so small. He spend his day time sleep in his big crib. 

Many of us have stories or have heard stories of babies sleeping in dresser drawers, in shoe boxes or other small places because they were so small or the parents didn't have a crib for their child. Such memories to pass along as they grow into adults!

This is also true in the world of quilting. Many of us have a family history of quilting in our lives. Many have been taught by their mother or grandmother how to quilt, or how to sew. I was taught to sew by my Mother and helped her make the one and only quilt she made when I was 10. 

I was reminded of all this while at work this week and talking to a young lady who was buying a sewing machine. She wanted a cheap one as she was just learning. I discussed what she would be using the machine for and her plans for what she wanted to be sewing in the future. Through this conversation I was able to direct her to a machine that did a bit more and would suit her better for longer.  She then made the comment that she was in line to inherit her grandmother's sewing machine when the time came. Her face lit up when talking about this sewing machine and the fact that it was old, had a cabinet and could sew anything. She lit up more because this machine was her grandmothers and  came with fond memories of her grandmother. I could just envison her watching her grandmother sew and make quilts. I could tell there was a lot of love between them. 

Whether you have memories of your mother or grandmother making quilts or sewing can attribute your love of the craft to that connection or you have just started out on your own with no history behind it remember that what you do now will somehow, someway touch others. The quilts you make and give away to family members. The ones you give to charity. The ones you give to friends. All will touch someone and not only will bring them warmth at the moment but it may bring them fond memories in years to come. 

Go out and make today a great day and smile in the memories both past and those coming to others. 

Til next time.....Keep those needles stitching.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Life has been busy for us this last month. All the lists of things to do had been put aside for a while. The early birth of our grandson took over the top rank in our lives. There no longer was a list of things to do. There were the automatic things we did each day. First we checked on how he was doing. 
Second we went to see him. 
Third we checked later in the day to see how he was doing.

(Above picture is the little foot prints of some of the babies born in the NCIU. The smallest foot print is of a baby weighing only 13 oz ! Modern day medicine and God's miracles are amazing. Just looking at that hallway each day when I went to see our grandson left me in awe.)  

In between it all we did our regular life - eat, sleep, work, and pay the bills.

And in between all of it I continued to quilt or at least sew some. 

Customer quilts have come in and I am working on them to get them back to their owner. Quilting has a way of relaxing a tense soul. When life throws you the unexpected having a hobby to go to is wonderful. Making that hobby into a business can add some stress to the joy, but it is still a joy to work on quilts. My own quilts take a back seat to those I am working
on for my customers, but I know mine are still there. 

Quilting also gives a person the chance to have a hobby that can be done in steps. And it allows you to work on several quilts in various stages at the same time. 

A quilter can be cutting out the pieces for one. Piecing another one, Longarming (quilting) another one, adding the binding to yet another. And yes, I have them going in all those stages at the same time. 

It can get complicated when you are cutting out the pieces for more than one at a time. You have to remember which quilt you are working on. Especially if you are not really using a pattern. 

Tips for help in knowing the different pieces and where they go and which quilt they go with include sticky notes, and plastic containers. If you do have a pattern or write one out, put that into the plastic container. Cut out your pieces and mark each pile of pieces with a sticky note saying the size of the pieces and where they go in the pattern. (Most patterns are marked with 'A', 'B', 'C' etc. )
Also add who the quilt is for if you have someone in mind for it.  Thing like looking at a partially made quilt and wonder who or why you were making it. 
If you have to stop before you have all the pieces cut out. Put all the fabric you have for making that quilt and the rest of the pieces into that same plastic container.  This will ease the confusion when you look back into the container and wonder what that quilt was all about. 
This allows you to enjoy the important things in life with ease. 

Life continues. Our grandson has had a slight set back and even though he was home a short time, he is now back in the hospital for a few days. They are running test to rule out a few things, have him on meds for one thing. He is a fighter, has been since day one. 

(Update Sept 10 PM - he is now home and going well.)

Til next time......
Keep those needles stitching!