Monday, December 31, 2012

Good Bye 2012

Here we are, the last day of 2012.  Thank goodness tomorrow is not just a new day, but a new year!!!
2012 has not been the best for my family, so it is wish great anticipation we are lloking forward to 2013.
I'm sure you all thought I was through with blogging since I haven't posted since October, but no I have been just so pressed to finish the new book, that little time was left to spare and something had to give.  Quilt Market, Thanksgiving, photo shoot in Kansas City, Christmas, well, simply too much to do in a tight time frame.
Thankfuly everyone is well and son Matt starts a new job January 2. Of course that changes everything for me concerning Mom's care at night...details to be worked out. Mom and I both were very fortunate to have his care as long as we did.
I have a thank you note from One Safe Place to post, but can't get it to copy and paste, will work on that.  In the mean time, I delivered 144 pillowcases. I thank you all very much for your participation . 
Time to take down the Christmas trees, yes mutiple trees.  I decided to have smaller trees this year, no room for a big one and I really enjoyed having them scattered throughout the house.

Nice, I captured the defective branches!
See the frosted looking silver balls....easy to do!  When your glass balls get old, don't throw away...cover partially with white glue (drips are good),I used Elmers glue and while wet, pour glitter over the glue ad let dry.  Can be done with any color ball, just match the glitter color. They twinkle and sparkle with the lights.
I throw away nothing, and it shows!  Every once in a while pack ratting comes in handy.
 No room in this house for another thing, but I will not make a resolution I cannot keep. I would love to be organized and know where things are instead of always wasting so much time searching for the thing I cannot find.
All my best for a safe, happy and healthy NEW YEAR,


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Some Twinkle Time

One of my friends told a while back in a very sweet note to find a way to get my 'twinkle' back....
Stress sure has a way of dimming one's 'twinkle'.

Nothing lifts my spirits more than playing with my Halloween collection...twinkle, twinkle!
I like black cats.
They make me smile.

Winston made an appearance.....hated to tell him he was in the wrong collection.

I move things around each year, add new treasures, fun!

Fall, October especially makes me happy. I'll show more another day.
now a pillowcase update....
62 and counting!
Thanks to Marilyn who made 15! Plus Mary Jane, Barbara B, Barbara C, Patty, Karen, Brigid, Gloria and a mystery stitcher who made multiples as well!
Thank you all!
Until next time,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


They are arriving!  Yes my club members (JO's Little Women Club and Betsy's Best) are busy sewing Pillowcases.  Big thanks to Pat B, Karen W, Kay J, Linda T and Julia B who made 5! Julia told me spent spent Sunday afternoon whipping up pillowcases and that since they were fast and easy, she got on a roll turning out 5 in no time. I've got 10 pillowcases on the bed, then with the 3 I've made, the total is 13. My goal is of course there is still time if you want to join in. Delivery to One Safe Place will be in October.
Hope you have been following the APQ Pillowcase Blog Hop...some great ideas and stories out there!  Don't miss out! Blog Hop list is in the previous post, catching up is easy.
It is hard to find an uncluttered spot for photography is this house!  I've got Halloween and fall quilts stacked to the left of these photos waiting to be placed all over the house...Will show you some pictures when all is ready.
Whew! ...only 3 blocks left for one of the book hands to work today! Deadlines are on the horizon!
Until next time....

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pillowcases for a cause

Today is day 7 in the
American Patchwork and Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge Blog Hop....
Welcome to my blog! 
I'm so honored to be selected for this project along with such a fabulous group of designers and sponsors.   When asked to join in the fun, I knew immediately I wanted to make a pillowcase from my new line of fabric, Wrappers, but which fabrics to choose???
I had made a small quilt sample for the club I teach at Lone Star House of Quilts in purples and blacks and told the club members that I was going to be in this Blog Hop and challenged them to make pillowcases with me. The story I told that day, the fabrics,  the recipients of the donation, all by coincidence, inspired the pillowcases I made. 
I'll explain...
Checkerboard Pillowcase
For those of you who know me well, you are asking yourself, 'why purples?'
So here is my story...
I knew a lady named Irene who loved the color purple, her favorite shade being lavender.  She also loved all shades of pink and mauve.  My memories of Irene are in her later years, dressed in lavender dresses, strings of pearls around her neck, and high heels, just to go to the grocery store, and what was most striking, perfectly styled purple hair. (note color inspiration here) There are a number of 'Irene' stories. Irene was quite a character. In her early married years, she was very unhappy. Her husband adored her and did everything he could think of to make her happy. Irene's children were born each 18 months apart and her body rebelled so that by her mid 20's, she had a hysterectomy. Her hormones went crazy, I'm sure, accounting for some erratic behavior. As her children grew and she matured, the erratic behaviour calmed and with the arrival of grandchildren, she found peace and was happy. That is when I entered the picture, the next to youngest grandchild. She was a wonderful grandmother, and I can hardly believe some of the tales my dad told me.
When I was young, I'd spend a week or two each summer in Mama and Papa heaven, watching whatever on TV, eating watermelon whenever I wanted, playing outside 'til long after dark, gathering veggies from the most fabulous garden (Mama could stick her thumb in the ground and it would take root), and my favorite...sewing.  Mama had a treadle machine and one summer, when I was either 7 or 8 we made a long play dress for me.  She guided the seams and I worked the treadle, then we would switch and I would guide the seams. The time was magical. I was SO hooked on sewing!
Mama liked to sleep on several feather mattresses and had the largest square pillows I had ever seen. Ahead of her time, I now realize they were quite fashionable, European pillows. She made all her pillowcases and during my visits, I ironed them...loved that too, that she taught me to iron.  All pillowcases and sheets were this odd pinky purple color, who knows what color they were originally, bleach was her best washday friend. The house was decorated in a strange assortment of various shades of mauve and pink in carpet and coordinating wall paint and upholstery.
When Mama's day would become a little stressful, she went to bed...that is how she dealt with issues and headaches, went to bed...her sanctuary that required ascending a ladder. Piled high with 2 or 3 feather mattresses and numerous fluffy pillows, she would disappear, sinking down in the luxurious feathers. To her, comfortable bedding was of the utmost importance.
When I married she gave me the best iron I've ever owned, and two goose down pillows.
As I sewed happily at the the machine, I started thinking more and more about Irene, loved recalling her spirited nature and then began to wonder where I would donate my pillowcases. Yes! I made two more in the same afternoon. Here is a tip for sewing 1/2" seams if you have trouble seeing the 1/2" mark on your plate...painter's tape.
The ONLY spool of purple thread in my cabinet.

For the Basic Pattern:
The purple fabric is from Crossroads to Texas
and the red fabric is from Hot for Chocolate II
The Basic Pattern
My daughter, Rachel, works for Safe City Commission, a non-profit organization with numerous outreach programs. So I gave her a call to see if she thought any of their programs would want to accept the pillowcases from me and my club members in donation. Rachel is head of the Crime Stoppers program there and she talked with the director who suggested the program,
 One Safe Place.
 Below is their mission statement.
§  Serve those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault by offering comprehensive, integrated quality programs, provide safety for the immediate situation and hope for the future. 
§  One Safe Place partners have an integrated, seamless approach to service in a welcoming victim-focused, survivor-driven environment. 
§  Beyond serving survivors, One Safe Place will create a new social consensus in the community about violence effecting families by leading education, training and research. 
One Safe Place will present a pillowcase to women and children who seek their assistance.  Remember how Irene dealt with problems, went to her bed, her sanctuary. One Safe Place offers  sanctuary and a place to rest the weary head.  I, for one, am so thankful.
In talking further with my daughter, she told me that October is Domestic Violence Month.  The color for domestic violence is....PURPLE!  I had no idea when I selected the fabrics.
As my club members bring me their pillowcases, I'll show them on the blog.  I have 4 waiting to be photographed!  Pillowcases will be delivered in October during Domestic Violence month.
Here is the blog hop schedule for the month:

1. Welcome from American Patchwork & Quilting

2. Rashida Coleman-Hale (
3. Olivia and Alayna's Pillowcase Project(
4. Morgan’s Smile Factory (
8. Vanessa Christenson (
9. Andover Fabrics (
12. Robert Kaufman Fabrics (
19. American Patchwork & Quilting Staff(
22. Monica Solorio-Snow (
23. Moda Bake Shop (
24. Andover Fabrics (
25. Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage(
26. Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics (
27. Therm O Web (
30. Cherri House (
American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge - They still need your help! Click here to GET INVOLVED
Thanks for spending time with me.  Hope you find inspriation from one of us this month to make a pillowcase or two. The patterns were fun to make and fast to sew, and so good to know they are going to a good cause.  What a great experience!  Thanks American Patchwork and Quilting staff for inviting me to be a part of the Blog Hop!
or you may contact me for more information on donating to One Safe Place.
Until next time,

Friday, August 31, 2012

You are Invited...

Good Friday afternoon to you all!
I've had a couple of productive days working on the new sneak peeks though, sorry.
The only thing I do have to tell on that subject, is one of minor frustration in making 168 half square triangles of what I thought was the perfect size to go on a border, I looked at the strip of triangles with the quilt top and said NO WAY...had to remake in another size.  Good news is that I am much happier with the new size and resulting quilt.  You will see, eventually.
So here is the invitation....
I've been asked to participate  in a Blog Hop, for the month of September, organized by American Patchwork and Quilting!
The subject of the hop is the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.
...please join me!
My day is September 7 so you will have to return to see my pillowcase and my story. Everyone will have a story to share. :-)
Below you will find the list of participants, you won't want to miss a single day!
Here is the schedule.
1. Welcome from American Patchwork & Quilting (
2. Rashida Coleman-Hale (
3. Olivia and Alayna's Pillowcase Project(
4. Morgan’s Smile Factory (
8. Vanessa Christenson (
9. Andover Fabrics (
12. Robert Kaufman Fabrics (
19. American Patchwork & Quilting Staff(
22. Monica Solorio-Snow (
23. Moda Bake Shop (
24. Andover Fabrics (
25. Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage(
26. Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics (
27. Therm O Web (
30. Cherri House (
  I hope you will be inspired to participate in this worthwhile cause. If you would like to make a pillowcase and donate Please follow the guidelines by clicking on this link.   There are more than 20 free patterns for you to use.
Have you seen my quilt in the October issue?
Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting®. ©2012 Meredith
Corporation. All rights reserved.
See you in September!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Decorating for Summer's end and Hail to the computer genius

Today, my horoscope said 'take care of details'. You know how rarely those things are right, but ok, I'll go with it today.  Goodness knows I have plenty of 'details' that need attending!

First, a very BIG thank you to Matt's computer genius friend!!! (not that he is reading my blog) The desktop is up, running and safe once again.  I simply can't imagine anyone knowing what to do to fix that blue screen, but oh my, how I appreciate his knowledge!

So now for something pleasant....Did you decorate for summer?  Would you have selected a patriotic theme to carry you from Memorial Day through 4th of July and Labor Day as I did? Now we are nearing the end of summer and I'm tiring of the look. 
Will change it up after Labor Day.

I thought about this and after unpacking from last weeks program took a few more pictures.
A Log Cabin top...will someday be a summer spread.

I think shirtings say Summer.

Hour Glass from History Repeated,
taken from a weird angle on the bed.

and now a weird quilt....can you identify this pattern?
I buy quilts for lots of different reasons..why this quilt??? The morning print in the alternate square.
The blocks are huge!  Wonder if it would be better scaled down.  Of course!

A Bow Tie variation....???

Well, now here is where I need to be! Attendng to details!

Need a quick little project for your sewing room...
just in case visitors who do not sew need clarification.  Wink, wink!
Sew any size squares of your choice in a diagonal grid.  I cut 2" squares, 50 of them. After sewing the squares together in diagonal rows, layer and quilt as you like; I followed the squares.  I then trimmed the edges even, allowing a 1/4" seam for binding. It is a small project, yes with bias edges, so  I suggest you stay stitch the edge all the way around before binding.   I did put on the binding before stitching the appliques. I drew letters onto freezer paper and cut out the shapes, then pressed them to felted wool, and cut those shapes.  Or, you may wish to trace the letters onto a fusible material like a Heat and Bond, instead of freezer paper, taking care to reverse the letters. Place the words on the quilt and sew with a blanket stitch by hand catching only the top fabric and batting. If you stitch all the way through, be careful not to pull your stitches too tightly.  Enjoy!

Until next time,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blue screen of death

Quick post to tell all of you I haven't fallen off the planet just into the BLUE hole of computer death.
On the laptop now, which has none of my photos, none of my documents.
This should force me to back up...I've been really bad.
Will try to figure this out...have to get geeks to recover what they can from desktop...please!

Have lots to share. First, have you seen the October issue of American Patchwork and Quilting???

When you have the magazine in hand, turn to page 14.
The magazine did a profile spread on ME!
Please notice Molly got her closeup.  She will thank you.
Last November a fabulous crew from APQ arrived at my door and spent 2 days photographing my house, Halloween collectibles and little quilts and my sewing room!
On page 72 you will find my quilt Harvest Rows. Photo for it was taken in their studio.
Hope you enjoy the visit to my house!

The next news item is that my newest fabric collection, Wrappers has arrived, not complete, 3 bolts didn't make it to UPS, but is on the way now.
Fresh out of the box.

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to the Heart of Texas Rug Hooking Guild in San Antonio. What a room of talented women!  And, what gorgeous, lucious wools!  Oh My! I spoke about Lizzie's wool interests ( the star of  Gone to Texas) written about in her journals from 1857-1882 and gave a trunk show of my quilts, antique and new.
Two weeks before that I was in New Braunfels teaching for their guild. 
All my photos are currently lost in the blue hole, aka blue screen of death.

I'll learn to back up everything and get set up on the laptop. Yes yes I know I should have been backing up.  What can I say, I always thought I'd do it another day.  Miss Scarlet syndrome. and like Miss Scarlet,  I will survive.
I post some on Facebook ( Betsy Reed Chutchian) but that is one place where the geeks said I could have picked up the virus, even with virus protection!

If you have been folowing my son's progress after the vicious hit he took to the face, from a baseball, he had his surgery 3 weeks ago and is doing well. Unfortunately the outpatient surgery was not totally successful in resetting his nose, a full rhinoplasty will have to be done in about 6 months. We had so hoped their would only be the one surgery.

Until next time, be careful out there...and on the computer!!! 

My best,

Friday, August 3, 2012

Question and Answer

Good morning!

I received an interesting question about Mourning Prints from Donna, and thought the answer would make a good post. Wanted my next post ot be about my profile in American Patchwork and Quilting, however my copy has yet to arrive. :-(

Also, short explanation about why I haven't posted lately.  My 25 year old son was seriously injured in a baseball accident.  He is a pitcher and was hit  in the face with a line drive.  OUCH!!!! He has needed MOM...yea! love having him here but not for this reason. Surgery is today to correct his badly broken nose. He was very fortunate that his eyes were ok....they looked awful! but okay.
~now, back to Mourning Prints....

Thank you Donna for raising the question...

"I am curious about the history of the mourning fabrics. Would fabric from mourning clothing eventually be used in quilts? Were black fabrics used always right after a death, then as time went on, other dark color ways chosen for those in mourning? Is there such a quilt in the late 1800 that would be considered a mourning quilt, made from mourning clothing? I am curious of the history of the line of fabrics in the mourning colors. Thank you, lovely fabrics!"

Yes, the dress fabric would eventually be used in patchwork.  Black dresses have traditionally been the choice of clothing after a death in the family.  The closer in relation, the longer one might were 'the black'. Minimum time one year, but there were exceptions. Black dye was not stable in cotton fabric until after the American Civil War, but was very stable, would hold the color, in wool and silk. (chemicals used to adhere the dye to cloth, the mordant, ate away the cotton).
After the war when the dye was stable, the ladies could start with wool or silk in solid black then progress to black cotton prints for everyday wear. As time went on, the dresses would have more cream or white background with black figures , thus appearing gray. The final stage would be purple cotton print dresses if desired. Many would stop with the grays.
Near the end of the 19th century and early 20th century, the fabric market was flooded with black cotton prints. I think any quilt could be called a 'mourning quilt', made in memory of a loved one, but mostly the mourning fabrics were used a in piecing quilts with other fabrics of the time.

My new line, Wrappers, has a number or mourning prints. Here are some other examples from some of my quilts....
Late 1800's Drunkard's Path

This photo shows  one of the document prints for Wrappers, as well as others, in a turn of the century Apple Core top.

This photos has older prints, more in the 1870s and 80's time frame. Lovely Lemoyne Stars in browns and blacks.

I like to answer your questions!

Better close for now and get ready to go take Matt for his surgery.  Thanks for the diversion this morning! Good luck Matt!!!

Until next time~

Sunday, July 22, 2012

News Flash

Happy Sunday to all of you!

In search of something to do Monday afternoon, July 23? 
 I will once again be a guest on Pat Sloan's Radio Show for American Patchwork and Quilting.  I'm so excited to be asked to return to Pat's show. Pat is delightful to talk to and hopefully you will enjoy listening to our conversation on reproducing antique quilts. Tune in your computer to listen live at`4:00pm Eastern, 3:00pm Central Time.
I will be the first guest of this session.
The radio shows are taped, so no need to worry if you cannot hear the show live. Pat keeps an archive of her shows and you may listen anytime.

Until next time ~

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Coming soon!

Here I am on a lazy, hot afternoon...comfy indoors while outdoors the plants wilt and critters pant.  I'll get back to my sewing room in a minute but wanted to share this with you...


Small cuts arrived last week.


Blacks...great mourning prints

Soft Browns


I have a plan, just need time to implement! So, stay posted.  I'm hoping the fabric group arrives in shops end of this month, or maybe August.

I think the desire to sew has returned...took it long enough.  I attended our annual Patchwork Diva quilt retreat last week with fellow Divas and friends.  It was a wonderful respite.  Even though only an hour or so from home, it felt far away.  Sewing with friends did me a world of good.  Thanks girls!

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The unexpected...Free Time!

Who has free time?  Me, never.  Today an unexpected morning cancellation of an appointment gave me the totally free morning!  What should I do with my time... I looked at some blogs, and chatted with a friend, a long overdue, nice long visit and at the end of the conversation she said,  "go eat a cookie. Everything is better with a cookie."
Not having any cookies, I decided to make some. Wanted Chocolate Chip, no chocolate chips to be found, so I made plain chocolate cookies.
Photographing chocolate cookies is like photographing a black cat, no offense Winston, but not easy.

Of course, I had to eat some of the batter while they baked.

On Kathie's blog this morning, she showed a little quilt of assorted squares from leftovers strips.  Hers is colorful, mine is chocolatety, like chocolate cookies.

I love quilts from leftovers.  Thought I would show you an antique quilt of squares hanging over the cupboard door. Have I showed you this before?  I've tried to figure out how the squares are assembled and the best I can tell is most often in 4 patches and then somehow the plan changed.

Free time is spent.  Back to sewing.  Time to hide the cookies.

Until next time,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A return to normal???

SEW...what is normal?  After a dismally sad early to mid May, the second half of the month impoved greatly, thanks in part to attending Quilt Market in Kansas City, followed by a fabulous trip to APQ in Des Moines.  Being with friends and surrounding myself with quilts and quilting talk helped lift my spirits so much.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and such kind words on the passing of my dad. Below, you will find some of the things that made me smile...

Who doesn't LOVE looking at antique quilts?
Quilts from Mulberry Lane booth

Quilts from Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Blue Hill Fabrics booth

Linda, Jo and me

those Quilted Crow girls,
 Leonie Bateman and Deirdre Bond-Abel
Look at those happy faces!!!
Leonie has their new book in her hand...
Elegant Quilts, Country Charm
It is a Martingale publication.
Fabulous book girls!

Turn your head on its side to the left please...taken with my phone.
My Lone Star at the Kansas City Star exhibit.
Great exhibit of quilts by The Star's authors.
Put your head back on its side to the left for the next 2 photos....blame the photographer!

My Hourglass quilt from History Repeated

Carol Staehle's Pinwheel from History Repeated

The little dresser...a sweet treat from a recent antique show.
A step toward normalcy...

And finally, what I did this morning..froze 4 quarts of green beans from our garden.
Back to normal.

Before I close, I've been asked to do a little promoting...
I'll be teaching two classes, the T Quilt from Gone to Texas and Wheel of Fortune from
History Repeated  July 27 and 28 respectively at
Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!
the New Braunfels Area Quilt Show in
New Braunfels, TX
please visit
for more details.

Watch the blog and I'll do my best to let you know where I might be.
Due to the health concerns of my family, I've had to re-evaluate travel and bookings for a while,
so catch me where you can...

Stay tuned for a preview to my 'Wrappers' line from Blue Hill Fabrics.
Hopefully it will arrive this month.

Ok, last  happy Quilt Market, the shop where I work and teach, Lone Star House of Quilts, was named a Top 10 Shop and will appear in the fall issue of APQ's Quilt Sampler.
Congrats LSHQ!

Until next time...
My best,