Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Easy Flying Geese with Extras

This method will work for most flying geese. Let me explain..
Most Flying geese measurements are twice as wide as they are tall, like 5 x 2.5.  As long as your geese fit that criterion, then this process will work for you.

So here goes, you will first need to know what size to cut your squares and rectangles..
First add ½ inch to each side if the geese. 
Using our example you will cut a rectangle 5.5 x 3 inches..

Then cut two squares that are equal to the height measurement, 3 inches
in our example.


Now, you do not need to mark the sewing line, you can just fold the 3 inch squares on the diagonal and finger press. Be careful not to stretch the bias when doing this, the crease is just temporary, so don’t over do it.

Lay the square on the end of the rectangle matching the top, bottom and end edges and stitch on the crease.  Pay attention to the orientation of the stitching line, top center to lower corner…


Now for the extra part.  Place the piece in your machine again,  moving over about ½ inch, I use the edge of my presser foot as a guide here, placing the left side if the foot about 1/8 inch to the right of the stitched seam. Sew a second seam.

  Now, cut between the to seams, resulting in one half of your flying geese unit and one half square triangle unit.

Press the seams open..

 Repeat with the other end 

And you will have one flying geese unit, measuring 5 ½ x 3 inches unfinished,
Or 5 x 2 ½ finished.  You will notice that you have the point ¼ inch from the edge, so when it is pieced into your project, you will not lose your point.

And…. You have not wasted those end triangles that usually get cut off anyway,
But instead you have two little Half Square Triangle units already sewn for a future project.. I have a little tub of these all waiting for me to get creative one day, and the hardest part, the cutting and sewing is already done.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Its Christmas day and I shared a nice family dinner yesterday with my Son, his new wife and her family. It was a nice day and evening.  Today, Im home enjoying a quiet day sewing and I am truly enjoying it.

Leading up to this day, I see people setting expectations for gift giving that they cannot possibly meet, over indulging in all sorts of food, drink and spending that, once the day is past, they will face with regret.  Regret that they spent money they did not have or the headache that comes with too much celebration the night before.

But for me, the week leading up to this day was one of witnessing the struggles of others and helping to make this day a little brighter for one family in need. Let me explain...

I was drawn to a post on FB by a friend who was looking for some help for a family that she knows who are struggling this season.  The father/husband in this family left them in August, taking with him all the family money.  He has dissapeared leaving a single Mom and three children.  Now, this Mom is doing what she can to restore power to their house so that her little family can remain safe and secure.  She asked not for money or charity for herself, but for some help to make sure her children would have some gifts to open on Christmas.

Not having an income myself, I could not give money, but I decided I could give "stuff" to this family.  I used the last bit of gas in my car, and the last cash in my pocket and went shopping for the two girls, hoping that someone else would take care of the one boy. After finding out what the children's interests were, I got started.  I wrapped up all the little gifts I found and the ones I made, even a regift from my own home for the Mom.. she deserves our care and love too for sticking with her kids in the face of this difficult time in her life.
They were all delivered to the family on Friday.

What I want to share with you are the things I made for the littlest girl who loves dolls. I purchased the doll, but made the dolly bassinette, flannel blanket and doll sized diaper bag using fabric from my stash.

The ideas came from another blogger.  I made some critical changes in the construction allowing for a larger bed to fit the doll I had, adding some interfacing to make it stand up, and boning around the hood for shape.

All in all, I think they came out pretty good.  I would love to have seen this little girl open her gifts as it is heart warming to know you have helped make it a good day for someone else.  It truly is the giving that lifts the spirits and gives us hope for the future.

I will be posting the pattern for these items here on the blog, once I have made a second set and perfected the construction for the best results.  Be sure to come on back in a few weeks for the free pdf download of the pattern.

I will be making the next set for selling on etsy..yes, Im going to open and etsy shop!

And I have decided to make this an annual activity.  I have all year to decided how to locate a family that I could help with my skills and materials on hand.  I plan to have some quilts already made in preparation for the season.  However,   Im not sure I will have to wait until next Christmas for the there are always people in need of care and love...

Lesson learned:  I am often dissapointed in the human race, we can be so cruel to our fellow humans.  It is disheartening and creates stress and anxiety in me.  I have learned that the first step to changing the world is to take steps myself and reach out to others in need.  I am joining the ranks of the benefactors. No matter how small a contibution I make, I know it is coming from the heart.  The heart is the place where love begins.

It is my hope and wish that you All have the best Holiday possible and that you are surrounded by your friends and family and feel the Love of this season throughout the entire coming year and beyond!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Studio is up and running

OK, I have pulled up all the carpet in my new studio space and laid down new laminate flooring.  Whew, that took me about 5 weeks where it would have taken a normal person about three days.

Now, the sewing machines and furniture are in place, Long Arm "Mandy" is up and running and I am once again sewing.  This is a huge welcome in my life right now.  Its time to get busy generating a little income from my passion. 

I have two commission jobs on the books. They were interupted by the move and its time to get them done and on to their new homes. 

This is a T-shirt quilt I designed around the special Tshirts provided by the client. I completed the top yesterday. I will load it on the Long Arm and quilt it up this coming week. Stay tuned for the "better" pictures of the completed Quilt.  It is a commission job and will be going to Arizona as a Christmas gift.

And I started a new applique project for when Im tired and sitting in the recliner at the end of the day...
This is a free Block of the Month pattern called Vintage Tiles Revisited by Dorothy Baker for Lecien. You can find it here:  We are doing this as a cyber sew along at Quilting Haven, you are welcome to come and join us here:

We are a free message board full of fun and friendly quiltling folk.

Here is my fabric choices

And my version of Block One, completed with its border on...

Now, to celebrate Mandy's installation, and to give her a little workout, I am offering a Long Arm Quilting sale to the first 10 who commit by January 15.  I am offering 1/3 off the normal price of 1.5 cents per square inch for edge to edge quilting using a pantograph.  If you are interested in this sale, you can email me at for a pricing quote.

I hope everyone is getting ready to enjoy the Holidays and that you all have a little time for yourself to do what you love!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Im Back

It has been a while since I have had the opportunity to post.  I hope I have not lost you during this time away.

So first let me update you all on my situation.  I have spent the past three months moving my belongings out of my lost house, one car load at a time.  I removed the very last items just one week before the bank posted the eviction notice on the door.  I am now included in a class action suit against the bank for the way they handled the loan modification process that resulted in the foreclosure action.

Now, on with my life!  Having moved from a 4000 square foot house into a 1500 square foot house, I have "stuff" everywhere.  There are boxes stacked in every room and a path through each room.  I am spending part of each day sorting and finding a place for the things that I want to keep.  I have a growing box of things that will find a new home.

I soon hope to have a work space to continue the drafting of patterns,  the creation of items for sale, and quilting for others.  I am removing the carpet in my studio space, replacing it with laminate floor.  I work on a small section at a time and I am very close to completing the floor.  Once done, it will be time to put the sewing machines up, convert the small closet into storage space for fabric and sewing supplies.

OK, you are now up to date on my life. On to more interesting subjects.

Let me share with you an amazing thing that has happened to me during the past year. 

I am a genealogist and have been working on my family tree for about 40 years.  My Mother and I have been searching for my Gr Gr Grandmother Elizabeth Ann Ray Cobb all that time with no success.  With the invent of the internet and all the people that have volunteered their time to add to the content on  I came across a listing for a Cobb cemetery in Baldwin County, Alabama.  From that listing I found a listing for my Gr Gr Grandmothers grave in Clear Springs Cemetery.  There with her are other family members and that started a year of  "collecting" cousins. 

I clicked on the volunteer that posted the memorial for Elizabeth.  She turned out to be a descendant of Elizabeth and James Cobb.  We are third cousins.  I then added the new information in my family tree on  Since then, I have been in contact with a descendant of each of the children, all of them my third cousins.  I also found that the home of Andrew Cobb has been turned into a Bed & Breakfast.  So, we all decided to get together at Andrews old homestead and meet each other. 

The weekend of November 17 and 18, 2011 I traveled to Alabama and hosted all of them that could make to "The Patterson House". 

We had a wonderful time getting to know each other, sharing family stories, researching the court house in Bay Minette and visiting past ancestors at the cemeteries.  We found the grave of our Gr Gr Grandmother.  She is under a cedar tree and the sun never hits her headstone.  It is a lovely, breezy, cool spot. We cleaned the headstone of the moss that completely covered it, visited with her and then took pictures with her.

I took a digital voice recorder and turned it on any time we were talking about family.  I have spent many hours listening again to the lively conversations and transcribing the new information to add to my family tree.

The area has changed very little over the past 100 years and it really gave me a good idea what life was like for my recent and distant ancestors.

 They worked in the logging industry, some hauling logs, some in the turpentine stills. One traveled to the coast, returning with sea food selling it along the route home retaining enough to feed their own family when they got home.  What strong people they were.

I met and visited with one second cousin, Catherine, who is currently 92 years old,   What a treasure she is.  I thoroughly enjoyed the day that she came to visit with us.

At the time I was in Alabama, the cotton fields were ready for harvest, something that I have never seen before.  The cotton was pure white, the fields reminiscent of new snow.  These pictures do not do justice to the beauty of these fields.  The cotton today is picked by machine, always leaving a little bit around the edges and a few here and there in the fields, as all types of picking machines do.  I found myself wanting to go into a picked field to collect some of these "left overs" to comb, spin and knit something from "scratch".  But, time did not permit. Perhaps I will go again and include time in the trip to do it.

Now I'm home again, working on my studio.  I can only get a little done at a time, but I'm so anxious to get it ready for sewing,  Stay tuned for the after pictures of my new little abode.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thanks Star

Well folks, in case you didnt know, I have been without the internet for about a week.  Hence, the missing posts to this blog.  So, let me catch you up a bit....

I am still moving.  My Son moved the furniture, so I am sleeping in new quarters, but dont have all the "stuff" moved yet.  No sewing machine or Long Arm, no pots and pans, you know, stuff.  And, no INTERNET untill now.  OMG, how did we ever get along without it.  I read a lot, that was nice, but I sure missed my online buddies.  I am so up-ended and busy moving, so still no time to get quilt patterns loaded.  Please check back. As soon as I get my "stuff" moved and somewhat organized, that project will begin in earnest.

However, I did have a nice visit from two of my cousins. I havent seen either of them for about 25 years and it was nice to have company around for the first week spent in my new place.

And I was so pleased to meet both of their spouses.  While the visits were way too short, I surely enjoyed their company.

I have been doing a lot of genealogy research on this family lately and so we had a nice time talking over old relatives.  And a few of them came to visit right along with the cousins. Well, they came bearing gifts as well, and I want to share this one with you.

I have very little in the way of momentos from this side of my family and Im such a keeper of things.  So I was very moved when my cousin brought me a vase that was my Grandmothers.  My Grandmother used to cut hydrageas from the yard and put them in the vase on the table. Well, things don't grow here the way they do in the south, but I did have a few meager flowers in the back yard.  So,

here is my Grandma's vase in my new house on my coffee table, with flowers from the yard.  Perfect!

What a sharing and thoughtful person your are, Thank you Star.

Monday, August 22, 2011

OMG did I really wear that?

I have been sorting, packing and moving all my stuff.  This is a very hard task for me as I am a collector.
I collect lots of things. Vintage textiles is my passion as well as vintage sewing items, sewing machines, etc.

In downsizing, I am trying to determine the things that I value and enjoy the MOST!  This is a very difficult thing to do.  I have been thinking about what makes an item collectible.. Ill talk more about that in a day or so, after I have had a chance to mull it over in my mind a bit more.

So today, I came across a few items from my childhood and I thought you might enjoy them..

See if you remember too, these little fashions from the past.

First, my little Brownie uniform, complete with the socks, orange tie, and belt.

And who wore this?  Do you remember when polka dots were in fashion?  Well they come into vogue over and over again.. This particular time was about 1968.

 But the most interesting of all is this paper dress.  Yes, you read correctly. 

This is a PAPER dress. Vintage circa 1970

Monday, August 15, 2011

A quilt with connections

This is by far the oldest quilt in my collection.  It was made in 1807 for the marriage of Catherine Baer and John Myers.  I have done some genealogy research on this couple and will continue to research as time is permitted.  But today, I will share with you what I have found and pictures of this wonderful old quilt.

It is quite large.  I have packed it away for moving and forgot to measure, so will add the measurments later.

 The green is a beautiful color and is stiking as the little bit of color in the mostly brown quilt blocks.
 The chinz is in perfect condition, still retaining some of its shine.  I do not believe this quilt has ever been washed. It was made for a special occasion and probably only displayed once in a while, allowing for its amazing condition.
 The brown fabrics have deteriorated.. this one a little bit.. it is very fragile.
 But this one is almost gone...

 This little tag is hand stitched to the front and says "Sue Masters"
 And this label is on the back,  It is not known when, but apparently after the death of the couple.  Catherine died in 1875 and John in 1877.  The label says they are buried in South Hermatige, but I found them in Honey Brook Methodist Church Cemetery in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  A puzzle that remains to be unraveled.
It was made for the wedding of Catharine Baer and John Meyers which occured on Dec 25, 1808.
Catharine was the sister of John Baer who was a publisher in the colonial days of our country
He published Baers is a link to a site about him.

Catharine and John are not quite so famous. They lived their lives quietly in Lancaster, PA
There is no way to know who made the quilt, Mother of Catherine?  or Mother of John.
I am guessing mother of Catherine due to the comment about her famous brother John Baer.

John and Catherine lived back and forth between Honey Brook Twp, Chester Co, Penn and
Lancaster Co. Penn.  They married in Lancaster Co. and they are buried in Chester Co.

And on another note, I just found a link today for a fantastic quilting event commemorating the War of 1812.
There will be a quilt challenge and a showing of the quilts as well as ongoing historical information. Im looking forward to reading the posts and participating in the challenge.

You can read about it at  Check it out why don't you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

And so it begins...

I close on the house on Wed.  But the sellers agreed to let me get in early.  And they are leaving some of their stuff there till the end of the week.  Kind of like a meeting in the middle..

I have taken measurements of all the rooms and closets so I can plan where to put things.  What I knew, but now know better, is that there just isnt enough room for all my furniture and stuff.  What to do?

Anyway, today Im going over to start cleaning.  Im taking one of the dogs to get her aquainted with her new yard.

Then I will begin the long task of taking boxes over in my car.  That will  have to do until I can get some help with the big stuff.

Here are some before pictures.. Ill take after pictures when Im all moved in.  I spent a few hours cleaning inside the kitchen cabinets and the stove today.  So here we go

Here is the front of my house.

And here is the front door from the other side. 
This is the living room, lots of windows.

Here we are in the huge kitchen.  All my dining room furniture will be in here after the move.....

Bedroom Number one.. this will most likely be mine..
This is the hallway in the old part of the house.. Love the OLD hardwood

 This is bedroom Number two. It is at the front of the house. Windows on the whole front wall. This will be your room if you come to visit me..And where the bookshelves will go.
 And most important is the SEWING ROOM.. This is where my Long Arm and sewing machine will live.
Also a nice wall for hanging a quilt or two!

 Thats my little shed in the backyard.. There are three fruit trees, a stand of asparagus, a little strawberry patch, and blueberry and rasberry bushes..Tons of sunflowers that will have to go...
 This is the new home for the Model A.. garage..

 So, here is my new little town.. I have met three people, Karen, Peggy and Wanda.. This is the City Hall

 Local business, now closed.. Darn
 So I guess this is where we will hang out...the only viable business in town..Local Bar...
Well, thats it, you have been on a tour of my new town..

I will be working slowly, but surely, to get this little house clean and moved into..Next tour in a month..after all is put away...