Saturday, December 24, 2011

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas to you, dear friends. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Day. The reason for the season, is so wonderful. Thought you might enjoy seeing the Nativity scene made by young children from the San Blas islands in Central America.....Panama area.............I bought this at a Cruise Ship depot from the girls who had made this.....They start doing reverse applique at the age of about 4 or 6 so they told me. By the time they are 12 or 14, they are professional at this tedius task......Beautiful work. Hope you can see the tiny stitches!!!!!!!
Hope you have a fantastic Christmas and a healthy New Year..........most sincerely, BT.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Silver Bells Placemat

This is sooooooooooo pretty and you'll love making them. Have you always wanted to learn to quilt? Don't you think it is about time that you took time for yourself to do what you have always wanted to do? I've taught many lessons in this newspaper over the past 15 years or so and many of you have been so kind as to read my columns and think, "Maybe some day….;" that 'some day' could be today.
Something as simple as a quilted placemat can be your first "quilted" item. One placemat requires only two rectangles of fabric cut: 12" X 16;" and batting the same size. Layer these together: batting on bottom, one piece of fabric face up, and other fabric piece face down on top of all. This becomes the "quilt sandwich." Pin together about every 6" avoiding the outside edges, as that is where you will sew the pieces together.
Once you have the sandwich pinned, sew either by hand in tiny running stitches, or by machine about 1/4" away from the outside edge. Start midway of one side, and sew around the edges, stopping with back stitches leaving an opening of at least 3". Reach in and turn the pieces inside out leaving the batting on the inside of the placemat. Hand sew the opening together with more running stitches. The placemat can be quilted in a "cross hatch" manner (making a grid of horizontal lines and vertical lines across the piece.) Quilting is just a series of little running stitches using quilting thread that is a little thicker than ordinary thread.
Iron a fusible onto the back of the "silver lame" fabric that will be the bell. This gives it stability. Press the bell onto the placemat in the top right corner. Blanket stitch by hand or machine around the bell. (Search internet for directions for this stitch) Glue the holly leaves, berry and bell clapper onto the bell. A set 4 placemats will make a lovely Christmas present. See more on my blog:
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Maggie's Victorian Ice Skating Costume (fits 18" doll)

Such fun making doll clothes for an 18" doll. Here are two costumes that I have made. Pattern for Victorian Ice Skating costume very easy to make!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cat Footwarmer for foot of bed

Ode to Feral Cats

They came uninvited to our porch one cold morning;
An uglier momma cat, I've never seen;
But, close to her side, were two precious young ones,
And, not to love them would have been ever so mean!

The momma was trapped and put into dead sleep;
Of this, we had not even a clue;
But, morning after morning, the little ones mewed
At our doorstep;
Now, the kitties needed food that was due;

We named them Blondie and Frisky and begged them to stay
Close to home and not to wander away;
We had them 'fixed', got shots, and then got quite a shock,
When the vet said that Frisky should have been named Blondie, as a he, she was not!

Seventeen years we loved them quite dearly,
Their passing on came to us quite severely;
So this foot warmer* I've made in memory of our
so loved ones,
They still warm our feet and bring smiles to us clearly.

*Definition of a foot warmer: something that is spread across the foot of the bed to slip your feet under when taking a nap or for extra warmth at night.
Directions for foot warmer: 17"X 50" fabric needed about a yard of a pretty floral fabric and a yard for sashing and borders. I had bought a beautiful fabric, not knowing what in the world I was going to use it for, but to cut out a silhouette of kitties and fuse them to a 9 1/2" background block is pretty. Machine blanket stitch around each one with a contrasting color thread; add 2"sashing and 3 1/2" border; sandwich with polyester batting and a lining; and you have a delightful foot warmer for this cold winter. This will make an adorable Christmas gift for a cat lover, as well.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Baltimore Album Quilts

Wrote an article for the PVRecorder this week about Baltimore Album Quilts. I included a picture of my album quilt, but they had to print it black and white. Bah humbug..........but, I do understand, as color costs much more than black, but not ink for computers. How weird is that!
Thought you'd like to see my Texas Album color! ta dah!!!!!
It is all hand applique, and hand quilted. I did a lot of quilting on this quilt, as I love to quilt~ If you ever want to make one of these quilts, and insert your own things as much as possible, I do have patterns for most of these blocks. Just let me know which blocks you'd like to have, and I'll see if I have them...........
put Album quilt in the subject area.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jelly Roll Quilts for Hospice patients

So many of you make lap quilts for Hospice patients that I thought I'd share a wonderful pattern for a quickee quilt for wheelchair patients, etc.
Jelly rolls come in several sizes. If you should happen to have one of the larger rolls, with as many as 40 strips(see NOTICE at bottom of this posting) of fabric, divide the strips in half and using only 20 of them. follow the directions below.
If you don't have a jelly roll, select 20 of your favorite pieces of fabric in your "collection" that have at least a piece large enough to cut a 2 1/2" X entire width of fabric usually 42" strip. Having 20 strips will be ample for making a small laptop quilt.
Sew the 20 strips together connecting all of them making one long long strip of fabric.
Once the strips are sewn together, take one end and chop off 18".
*Pick up one end of the strip and place it on the top end of the strip, placing them right sides together.
Sew the raw edges of the strips together making a strip 4 1/2" wide. When you get to the end of this, cut it into two pieces.*
Repeat the process above beginning with the * area. This will make a strip
8 1/2" wide.
Repeat * to * until you have sewn all together as wide as you wish it to be.
( 4 repeats will end up being 32 1/2" wide X 51"length. This a nice width and length for a lap quilt.
Press seams to one side in the same direction.
Borders may be added to attach to the stripped center. They may be as wide as you wish to have the desired length.
Make a sandwich of the stripped top, batting, and a backing.
Machine quilt as you wish. Add Binding as you wish.
NOTICE:The 40 strips will make 2 wheelchair lap quilts using other fabrics for borders. Follow the directions above, and when all strips are sewn as directed cut in half for two hospice size quilts.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bobbin Lace velvet purse

Hi, all,
Christmas is must get started on the bobbin lace activity to make presents for this big event. Look carefully at all the pictures to know how to do this. I used a fusible wash-away stablizer for the base of the snowflake. (children's coloring books have big pictures to use for angels, trees, snowflakes,etcl)Trace the pattern onto the stablizer, then hoop it up; and using straight line stitching, completely fill the pattern with circles that overlap. You must overlap, so that the stitching stays together. Outline stitching is great but be sure to catch all of the circles to be sure that they all are tied together. Metallic thread is wound in the bobbin (not filling it except about half full. Regular thread is used on top of the machine. Such fun and so effective! Once you have the pattern completely full of thread, spray with water to remove stablizer. Let dry several hours. I used a dinner plate for a large circle pattern for my black velvet. Cut two bases, and two lining circles. Fuse them together with your favorite fusing material. Pin pattern to center of front circle. Use invisible thread to attach it to the center. (I added a gold button for more embellishment) Right sides together, sew the two circles together stopping about 2" from the top. Cover raw edges with seam binding, fold inside purse, and hand stitch to lining fabric. Add braided ribbon for handles.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Old friends" are so wonderful!

Just got an email from a dear friend named Jody,from my "other life" in Texas. She sent me a picture of her "autumn wreath" that she had made using my Christmas wreath idea from this blog back on Dec. 7th, 2010. She plans on making a wreath for each change of season! What a neat idea that is! I love to see people getting creative with the ideas that I give, as so many of you are so talented! All you need is a little idea and you run with it! WONDERFUL!
Can't you imagine how cute this wreath will be in February with Valentine fabrics all over it and hearts added. This wreath starts with a styrofoam circle and fabric "prairie points" that are so simple to make, pinned onto the circle with just plain pins!
Check the archives from years past that are also on this blog. They have many ideas that you are welcome to use! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from "Charlotte," my spider,and me!

Block #4 visual directions: see written directions below this entry

Mystery Quilt Quilt of Valor Block #4

Block #4 is so pretty. You only have to make 4 blocks. Remember to use SCANT 1/4" seams on this one. Friend of mine said that she always added a 1/4" extra on outside squares to be assured of having a 12 1/2" block when she squares up. Now, there is one smart lady. For some reason, some 1/4" foots for some machines, do not actually give you a 1/4" seam. BE SURE TO CHECK YOURS!
Follow the directions carefully.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween pumpkin delight

This is absolutely to die for. I gave the recipe last year, but some of you haven't tried it, so here it is again. This has replaced pumpkin pie at our house. It is much better and even better for you!
1 15oz can pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar or Splenda or sugar substitute that you use
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (18.25oz) package butter-flavored yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans (if you like nuts)
1 cup butter melted
sprinkle of ground nutmeg
Lite Cool whip optional
Stir first 5 ingredients together. Pour into a lightly sprayed Pam 13 X 9 in. baking dish. Sprinkle entire box of cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle pecons on top. Drizzle butter evenly over top of all.
Bakd 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 min. or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let stand 10 min. before serving. Serve warm or at room temp. with Cool Whip or whipped cream if desired. sprinkle nutmeg on top of topping.
I used a Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Yellow Cake Mix.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Applique Project Album

This applique project album is sooooooo easy to make. I love antique sewing notions, however, I made an
appliqué album to carry around with me with all of my appliqué projects in it. I found a beautiful flowered fabric that has an antique look to it that I used for the cover material.
Here are the directions: Cut the outside cover fabric 22 1/2" X 13 1/2"; cut lining fabric the same; cut polyester low loft batting, the same. Before sewing the cover fabrics together, cut a pocket of the flowered fabric 22 1/2" X 6 1/2". Turn under 1/4" at the top and then another 1/4"; stitch down to finish pocket.
Pin the pocket to the lining fabric; layer the cover and lining right sides together with the batting under the cover fabric. Stitch all around using a 1/4" seam starting at a side, leaving an opening of at least 4" to "flip and turn" right side out. Blind stitch the opening together.
Cut 4 pieces of fleece that fit inside the cover without showing. Stitch down the center of the sheets of fleece, attaching all 4 pieces to the cover. This makes 8 single sheets of fleece.
Ribbons are attached for closing album.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Block #2 of Mystery Quilt of Valor

Block #2 is a piece of cake to make! Cutting 4 1/2" squares is so simple. This block is named a "9 patch" block as it has 9 patches in it: 3 across and 3 down. For row 1: I used blue, white, blue. For row 2: white, red, white. For row 3 same as row 1. Couldn't be easier. This finishes to be a 12 1/2" block. Make 4 identical blocks using this pattern. The top picture shows the back of the square finished. The 2nd picture is showing which way to press the seams so they fit together nicely and corners meet nicely. Remember, PERFECTION is the key to a pretty quilt.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Construction of Block #1 is "old hat" for a seasoned quilter, but ones of you who are new to this game, will enjoy seeing a slide show I made of the construction of the first block. The main thing is to mark your sewing machine presser foot plate with a Sharpie permanent pen where to line up 1/4" seams. This makes it so easy to keep a quarter in. seam through the whole quilt. It's your machine, and marking on it is your privilege! I do it all the time! It finally wears off, but, just mark it again! Another thing to remember on this block, but sure that all 8 blocks have the 3 1/2" red block in the BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER! It's ok to have it another color, but be sure that all of them are exactly alike. Your Mystery quilt will not work exactly any other way.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mystery Quilt of Valor BEGINNING THE CUTTING OF THE FABRIC and Sewing instructions for Block #1

Once you have folded selvage edges together, cut off selvage at least 1/4". Some fabrics' selvage is even 1/2" whatever, cut it off before starting to measure. Block #1 uses 3 fabrics: dark, med. and light makes a nice block. Block #1 requires strips that are 3 1/2" wide. I started another QOV using red batik for the 12 1/2" X 3 1/2" strips. Cut 8 since we are making 8 blocks like Block #1.
Then cut 8 strips that are 9 1/2" X 3 1/2" out of the same color fabric. Follow the pattern given with Aug. 24th entry. Look at the picture of all of the pieces cut and ready to assemble.
Once you are ready to sew them together, begin with the bottom small 3 1/2" red square. This pattern is called a "Log Cabin" block. The bottom right corner square is the "hearth" of the cabin, and is usually red.
1. Sew the 3 1/2" white square to the red square using a PERFECT QUARTER INCH SEAM. Finger press light seam to the dark side. LOOK CAREFULY AT THE FINISHED PICTURE ABOVE!
2. sew the 6 1/2" white piece to the side of the two squares. LOOK CAREFULLY AT FINISHED PICTURE ABOVE!
3. Sew 6 1/2" blue piece to top of project. Always finger press to dark side when possible.
4. Sew 9 1/2" blue piece to the side of project.
5. Sew 9 1/2" red piece to the top of the project.
6. Sew 12 1/2" red piece to the side of the project, finishing the sewing of the block.
Press seams carefully on the back using a DRY HOT IRON. NO STEAM, ever!!!!!!! Once the seams are pressed nicely, press the top of the block.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Here are the yardages needed for the quilt top:
white for blocks: 2 1/2 yds.
red for blocks: 3 yds.
blue or navy for blocks: 2 1/2 yds.
For Borders: chain sew together: Navy 6 (1 1/2" strips) (1/3 yd.)
white: 7 (2 1/2" strips) 3/4 yd.
Backing and binding fabric: you'll need 4 1/2 yds.
Cut length in half resulting in 2 pieces 78" X 44"
Cut off 1 selvage edge from each and sew 2 pieces together to make 1 piece 78" X 88"
Cut off 4-2 1/2" strips 78" long for binding which leaves 1 piece 78" X 78" for back.
Please wash fabric with COLOR GRABBERS or COLOR CATCHERS until the reds and navy or blues do not stain a white washcloth. I buy cheapy washcloths to test this fabric!

I do hope you are planning on making a Quilt of Valor, whether you are planning on using my pattern or something else. We need many more made ASAP. There are still so many wounded troops in hospitals around the U.S. and you and I can make a difference. We can show them that we care and support of military in all of their endeavors.

If you are making my MYSTERY QUILT, the very first thing I want you to do is to wash all of the fabric to be sure that the colors do not run. There are things called, COLOR CATCHERS Or COLOR GRABBERS that you throw into the washing machine with the fabric. I pour at least 1/2 cup white vinegar in with any fabric that tends to bleed its color. Red and navy fabrics are usually the worst for doing this. I had to wash a red MODA fabric 9 times and used a gallon of white vinegar before I could throw a white washcloth in with it and it didn't turn pink. Since I wanted to use white fabric along with these colors, I had to be sure that they did not run.
After washing and drying fabric I fold it very carefully smoothing it out as I fold. I do not iron my fabric, as I know I'll press every seam as I make it.
Once I have my fabric ready to use, I make sure that my sewing machine is in good running order. New needle is always a good thing to have, and I load several bobbins with gray thread, as i use that for all my piecing.
Before I start cutting the fabric, I study to be sure that I have my rotary cutter nice and sharp, or a new blade inserted; my cutting mat at waist high (I use my kitchen cabinet as it kills my back to bend over a table; my 18" X 3" ruler is great to use.
I always cut going down the selvedge edge of the fabric, saving the long pieces on the other side for borders. Cut off the selvedge edge first.
I shall be putting step by step pictures for each pattern that we are going to use. There are 5 blocks.
Check for the beginning block after you have finished all of the above assignments. I shall post pictures beginning tomorrow, Sept. 25th.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Scarf pattern in Winter Colors

This pattern is pretty using almost any yarn..........
Cast on 26 stitchers.
Knit 6 rows.
Start pattern: K6, *yo,k1,yo twice, k1,yo three times, k1,yo twice,k1,yo, k6*
repeat above twice
Row 2: knit across dropping all yarnovers as you go.
Row 3 and 4: knit
Row 5: k1, *yo k1,yo twice,k1,yo 3times,k1,yo twice,k1,yo,k6*
repeat between * across, ending with a k1 instead of k6. You will do the repeat one more time on this row than you did on Row 1.
Row 6: knit across dropping all yarnovers as you go.
Row 7 & 8: knit
Continue these rows until almost out of yarn...end with another 6 rows of garter stitch. stretch knitting as you go after doing the yarn overs and knitting them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Directions for cutting out the Pretty Pink Purse Pouch

I promised the directions for making a BRIGHT PINK "purse pouch." The reason for this color is it reminds us to have our mammograms every time we reach into our purse. I cut our two pouches at a time by leaving the fabric folded as it was when I bought it. I can make two pouches out of a half yard of pink fabric, and 1/4 yard of lining fabric.
Cutting directions for main fabric:
Fronts and Backs: 8" X 5 1/2"
Bottom and sides strip: 17" X 4"
Side A: Cell phone and Camera holder: 11 1/2" X 5 1/2"
Side B:Small pocket on left side: 8 1/2" X 3"
Card holder 22 1/2" X 5"
Lining:Cut 2 for Fronts and Backs
Cut 1 Bottom and side strip
Cut 2 lining pocket pieces: 8" X 4 1/2"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

PINK PURSE POUCH Steps to making it

The directions for cutting out the pieces for the Pink Purse Pouch are in Wed. Crossroads Chronicle (July 27th) and The Highlander July 28th.
The pieces look like these pictures. The first picture shows the side of the pouch used for cards and keys, etc. The 2nd picture shows the side for cell phone and camers. The rest of the pictures show all of the pieces cut and ready to sew together. Such simple construction. Next week, I'll put steps to construction. This little pouch is also great for carrying small articles for working on a quilting project or knitting,etc.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cashiers/Highlands Knitting GUild

The Cashiers/Highlands Knitting Guild has the most fun together than anyone can imagine!
You'll not believe that someone knitted a GOAT!!!!!!!! adorable!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Knitting Guild announcement

Some of you have asked for the "twirly scarf pattern" that I have been working on. It is on ny blog.....go to the archive section on the right hand side of the opening screen and scroll down to Jan 12, 2011, and click on that and the picture and directions will pop up for you! Happy knitting! Be sure to look in the Crossroads Chronicle July 27, 2011. You'll see yourself if you were at knitting last week!

Momma's Corn pudding recipe

Told you NC folks that I would share this recipe with you and here it is:
1/2 cup butter; 1/4 cup of sugar; 3 TBS floue; 1/2 cup evaporated milk; 2 eggs; 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; mix all together and add 2 pkgs unfrozen whole corn. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. yummy yummy (Thanks momma, MAGGIE)

Florida Flower wall hanging

Don't know why time seems to fly faster in the summertime......mercy! I've had my son visiting me so I took a little vacation from my newspaper work and my blog work. I know you'll understand.
The Blue Hydrangeas are absolutely beautiful right now blooming in my front yard. THey seem to know that I am telling about them and they're showing off just how beautiful they can be!
Placement of the petals is very simple if you'll study this picture very carefully.
The fact that there are two of the blossoms on the square makes it gorgeous. I really think this is the prettiest block in the whole wall hanging.
Although............the next one, the Camilla is gorgeous and fun to make, too.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kanzashi Flower #2

Steps for making flower #2. This makes a beautiful pointed petal flower. It can be used using either side for a flower. Pretty pretty!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blue Hydrangea

For ones of you in Florida who are making my applique Florida flowers project, just wanted you to see the real flower in color. My blue hydrangeas are in full bloom right exciting. There must be 25 blooms on one bush or plant. Amazing. Be sure to find the exact shade of blue for this project. It is most important. I know that they come in other colors, but the blue one just sets off this project with a zing!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Flower info for Florida folks

If you are making the Florida flowers, look in my archive to the right of the webpage. Fine May 12, 2010, and click on that and you will see beautiful pictures of the magnolias complete with buds, etc.
In the July 1st issue of the Ponte Vedra Recorder, you will see the picture pattern of the Hibiscus. To see the actual picture, look in my archive to the right on my opening webpage, and find June 22, 2010, and click on that and the beautiful orange hibiscus will pop up. Hope you are trying these flowers, as they are truly beautiful when finished. I'll share pictures of some of my "students" work after I have given all of the patterns to you! Please share your finished work, as I love seeing them! Just send pictures to:

Monday, June 20, 2011

KANZASHI Flowers #1

Kanzashi is a form of fabric folding started in Japan in the early 1600's. They made hair pieces and clothes adornments out of them. I want to use them in a quilted wall hanging. There will be a set of at least 4 different flowers for you to learn how to make. Fun and easy! This is the first flower and I started it using 3" squares of cotton fabric. Spray with spray starch and iron cloth before starting the folding steps. Have fun with this new project!