Thursday, November 17, 2016

Looking for the winner....

What amazing comments you all left on the Hope's journey post!  I love reading and re reading the comments.  What a hard decision to select a winner!  But I'm concerned that so many of you comment using a do not reply address.  When this happens, I can't find you!  That is why I ask you to follow me...

So who is the lucky winner???  

Edie!  Please email me your address.

Edie commented with her motto...."one stitch at a time", a perfect analogy for taking things as they come.  My motto, or at least one of my favorite sayings, is "The longest journey begins with one step".  Lao-Tse 
Without the first stitch or the first step, we cannot go forward. and HOPE is that incentive to go forward. We can't finish that quilt, nor can we reach our destination.

Quiltbirdie tried to leave a comment and got a message that basically my email address was no good.  Then she emailed me, LOL which I received...go figure!!!  Anyway, I discovered the moderation page and pushed the publish button, and her comment never showed up!  Very irritating...either Blogger has a mind of its own or there is something in the post it reads as bad..Her quote is lovely..."Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future." Robert Schuller
Thank you Quiltbirdie, sorry your comment did not post.

So, if YOU didn't see your post, Blogger did it!  The only thing I can see is the use of amperstands (the and symbol) One showed in her comment and I noticed it in a few others from older posts.

I do apologize for the delay in naming the winner... No internet for hours Tuesday, gone all day to Moda Wednesday and appointments and errands yesterday.

Now, it's almost time for Thanksgiving!  One week from today.  gobble gobble
Can you believe it!  If I don't post before then, please have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Let us remember the HOPE the Pilgrims had have to begin their journey to The New World and the gratitude they had for survival.

Again thank you all for your posts.  If I don't hear from Edie, I'll select an alternate.

~Until next time,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hope's Journey

I've been thinking a lot lately about women and our journey through history.  The campaign and election have brought women's' interests to mind, but I've been thinking about "our" interests for far longer.  So with the arrival of my newest line Hope's Journey in shops in the last couple of weeks, I thought it was time for a post....please read to the end, a prize awaits.

Did you know I name each of my fabric lines with Moda after women and my quilts are influenced by their story? Below is the mini version of a larger quilt, I named Hope's Journey. It is based on a fabulous antique made in the late 1840's or 1850's at the very latest.

So who is Hope? Hope is every woman who left her home in search of a better life.  This time period saw massive movement of civilization westward to California, Oregon and southwest to Texas.  In a movement called Manifest Destiny, men saw it as their right to go west, conquer, and prosper. Men sold their homes, uprooting their wives and children with the prospect of a better life, a fresh start, leaving behind debts, or worn out soil, or crowded cities.  They were adventurers and dreamers and their women had little to no say in whether to go along or not. Whether they agreed or went kicking and screaming, they got in the wagon and said goodbye to everything and everyone they knew.  They might as well have been going to the moon.  All the women had was HOPE, the hope that somehow life would be better and the journey would be worth the sacrifices made.

Here is the antique quilt....

 My reproductions

The quilt below, is called Between a Rock and a Hard Place....a tough place, where many a pioneer found themselves.  To continue pushing on, or to take a different route or even turn around, after tragedy-- an illness, death of a parent, loss of a child or, even a disagreement with the leaders of the wagon train, was a hard decision to make and all too often, a decision they would regret. There are SO many stories from women's diaries of the Overland journey!  Far too many for me to tell.  


Here, Molly is in mid squirm on Calico Meadow.  Inspiration for this quilt comes from a vision of women and girls clad in bright calico dresses walking beside the wagons through fields and meadows at the start of the journey. By the end of the trail, the calico was far from bright, but rather a dirty and tattered testament to the courage, perseverance, and triumph of seeing the journey through. Would their new life be the vision of bounty and prosperity they had dreamed?
In planning the quilts, I didn't realize they would look so Christmas like. Calico Meadow looks like little Christmas presents and Hope Blooms, the quilt below is ideal for Christmas. 

Hope Blooms...I'd like to believe that all who departed, arrived in one piece and had a happy adventure, but I know the outcome for so many was not that at all.  If the journey did carry a family to a pretty homestead or a successful business or to strike gold, they were the fortunate ones.  Hope got them through and with hard work, its blossoms set, and a new life began.

a close up of the pretty quilting by Sheri Mecom. I love the design in the basket.

Other lines...
Eliza's Indigo quilt, below is named for Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who in 1738 at age 16, took over the management of her families 3 plantations and developed indigo as a major cash crop in South Carolina by 1740's. (note this is a photo of me, that I don't hate, LOL) Eliza had no experience, but I'm sure hoped that she would meet and exceed her father's expectations as she planted the indigo seeds.

Below is Lizzie's Legacy quilt, large and small.  Lizzie, my great great grandmother left her home in Kentucky in 1852 with husband R. W. Carpenter and traveled to Texas to settle and make a new life. Where would I, or any of my family, be without the courage of this brave woman, or the hope she had for the future?  It is her legacy, of sewing and quilting, I treasure beyond expression.

And now we come to Rachel Remembered, the line that was just shown at Market in Houston. First, is a close up of the antique quilt, my inspiration for the line.  Notice the image of the man, Andrew Jackson, a military hero in the Battle of New Orleans, a statesman and businessman before becoming out 7th president.  I named the line after his wife Rachel.  Rachel's family was one of the first families of Tennessee. Rachel was born in 1767 and died in December 1828, one month before Andrew was inaugurated. 

Shown here, is most of the quilt.

Rachel and Andrew fell in love at first sight, or at least shortly after meeting. Rachel was separated from her husband at the time.  Word of divorce was published and she and Andrew married.  A couple of years later it was discovered the notice was falsely reported and the divorce was not final and their marriage was illegal. Once the divorce was final, the Jackson's married again. The scandal kept her in seclusion and followed Rachel to her grave, The press was as vicious and as unrelenting in reporting the opinions of Jackson's political rivals as the recent abysmal display by the candidates and the press in the recent campaign.

And here are my creations based on the fabrics in the antique quilt....the large and small quilts with the stars, are called Rachel's Garden, her favorite place on the plantation, the Hermitage. The gold and blue quilts are named Morning Walk.  Tennessee Lady is between the star quilts. The patriotic color quilt and the quilt on the table are in one pattern called Endearments (that will be a recurring series of little quilts) and last, the 16 patch quilt is called Nashville, home of the Hermitage. Rachel Remembered will be in shops in April,


 We hope. We endure. We hope. We survive. 
Life is a journey, taking many paths.
We live in the hope that with every day, every year, every election, to have a better life. 
Every politician makes the promise to make our lives better.
Today's vision of HOPE is no different than that which all women  have had before us.
BE THANKFUL for the better, as it comes in so many different ways for each of us. 

Now, as I promised, a reward for reading....
Please subscribe, or follow me, and leave me a comment about hope or your journey 
 for a chance to win.....
 a layer cake of Hope's Journey
Let us lift each other's spirit.
~Until next time, hoping every day is  day,

Please comment until 6:00am Wednesday. Texas time.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Notes from Fall Quilt Market 2016

I'm shocked how long it has been since posting! So much to do, all the time but social media has become a very important aspect of designing fabrics, quilts, and publishing.  So I need to make you a priority!  I post faster and definitely more often on Instagram and Facebook. Instagram is my favorite of the two.

So here is my little corner in the Moda Designer Studio!  I had so much fun designing and making these quilts for this Market.  The fabric range simply kept begging for more quilts to be made!  I finally settled on 5 patterns, but have 8 quilts total.

This sampler is the 6 month version of the 12 month Block of the Month program designed by my friend Julie Hale of Bits 'n Pieces in Michigan.  She did an awesome job with my fabric line.  The line is called Rachel Remembered. More about Rachel in a minute.

Besides the debut of a new line of fabric, I have a wonderful new book with Martingale, Treasury of Quilts, based on quilts from my block exchange group, the 19th Century Patchwork Divas.  I'm thrilled to show you some quilts from the book, even though the photographer is not the best, ME!  It was my pleasure to co author the book with my friend and fellow Diva so founder Carol Staehle. Below, the tree quilt is on the cover and belongs to Deb Otto.  On the right is my quilt, Stacked Baskets.

Another tree quilt, by Stacey Barrington

On the left Sunburst by Annette Plog and on the right by May Freeman is the the album exchange, enhanced by darling baskets on 3 sides. (wish I had thought of that!)

Both of these are Carol's quilts. 

Sorry I didn't get more photos! where did the time go???

On the left is the new book, the right is another new book, Mini Marvels, a compilation of oh so cute little quilts from 15 Moda designers.

My project in Mini Marvels. 

Dinner with friends is always a Market treat. Top row: Margo, Peg, Annette. Seated: Me and Julia. 

I only took one food photo.  The most wonderful simple cucumber and tomato salad EVER from Southern Goods.  Don't know if you can see, but the pale yellow base for the salad is pureed deviled eggs! OMG! genious!!!! also pickled onion, fresh dill and pepitas.  I'm swooning just thinking about it.

Here is what I missed while away...Madison's last soccer game. Here she is with my son, her Uncle Matt, who happens to be in charge of the league.  I showed this photo to everyone I could find....It made me so happy. Thanks Rachel for sending it and the Halloween photos.  Yes, I missed Halloween. [insert sad face here]

Cutest witch ever in a pumpkin patch!

But Goldilocks for Halloween. An uncooperative bear, AKA Murphy is beside her. 

Long week plus away, but now home and back to work!  Be watching, things are happening and I'll be posting.  Thanks as always for following me.  

~Until next time,

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Just Toasty part 2

It's the end of August! Can Fall be far away??? Time to think of warm, not hot days and cooler nights. Football games and quilts. 
I'm not a football fan, but loved going to high school games when the kids were in school. Crisp evenings....snuggling under a quilt. 
Aren't they a cute couple? I have NO idea who they are! But they are cute! 

Just Toasty. Love it. I still have a few kits. 

Dear Unknown , please tell me who you are. I can't reach you. 

Here is what you do to reach me...go to About Me, then click on complete profile then click Email and my email is right there.  Once I receive an email by which I can reply, we are good to go!
Kits are $123.00, including shipping.  For Texas residents $132.00 including sales tax and shipping. 
So Unknown, I'd love to send you kit, please try again to reach me. Thank you!

This little mini Bramblewood is also available in a kit. Bramblewood fabrics are wonderful for Fall in any design. Do you Think I'm a little partial!?! Lol. 

Secret sewing for Quilt Market started this past week. Sorry I can't show anything yet. 

Hope's Journey, my next line will arrive in October. 
A few quilts from the line. 

And the antique inspiration. At Moda's Open House. 

Looking Forward to the arrival of Hope's Journey. Fall really will be here then!!!

Until next time~

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Do you have a favorite pincushion? Or several favorites? I like to make them. They make nice gifts, not just useful, but decorative too. 

This is my most used pincushion. It's attached to a vice that is attached to my sewing table. It's a pear. My sewing table is small and it fits perfectly, and perfectly stays put!

 Pincushions have progressed since the tomato I started using in junior high Home Economics. That thing spent more time on the floor. Too light weight to stay put. So it also made the perfect cat toy. 

Now they are decorative, whimsical, functional and collectible. 
Some of these I made, others were gifts. 

This assortment are all wool. Some I've made and some were gifts. Wool offers pins a needles a fabulous resting place, gliding in and out. I like to stuff with wool, but it makes the pincushion really light and cat toy. So they need to be decorative ... See the heart, or contained, see the star. OR make 'make do' stuffed figures that are attached to candlesticks, or as the case with antique make do, attached to a broken goblet or an empty spool. 
My dear friend Betty made the crow and the dove. I made the lamb and Batilda, the bat. They are folk art creations.

This is my second favorite and it travels with me, also made by Betty. Wool. Stuffed with crushed walnut shells. Stays put in it out if a wooden tray. 

Below, are pincushions made by two sweet retreat hostesses, affectionately known as the Barbara's. I've taught for these ladies for several years, umm, 6.  I have 6 pincushions. For each workshop I teach, they take the block, reduce it and make everyone attending a pincushion favor. Truly awesome!  

This wraps up my ever growing collection 
of pincushions. Do you use them?  Collect them? Make them? 
Walnut shells, crushed, make good stuffing when you need weight. Sewing a button through the center, adds a little weight, and is a cute touch. 
Have fun making and collecting. 
And how about favorite pins?  I like Clover Patchwork pins, very thin. Great for machine piecing. Speaking of piecing...time to get back to it!

~Until next time, 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Just Toasty

Why yes I am, quite Toasty in Texas!!! Lol. 
After all it is the middle of summer, hot fill in the blank. So what do Texans do if we can't escape to the mountains for a cool break? We dream of crisp cool October air!!! 
So get ready for fall with a vintage inspired quilt in colors of persimmon, bittersweet, sable and parchment. Dream of Snuggle time with a good book or the love in your life. 
I'm making kits. Please let me know if you would like one. 

What are you doing this summer? I had great plans after Spring Market for all sorts of things: clean up and organize the sewing room, sew for the next book, study more women's stories for my club and keep up with sewing for the club, be more interactive and post more on social media, eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. LOL. The results of my great plan? Mixed, but in good shape with club! 
LIFE happens. Stuff gets in the way of plans. One of these days I'll stop complaining about what isn't getting done. Just watch for it-it's going to happen- I'm going to get caught up!
Some days I think I'm just like a dog who sees a squirrel, drops the bone, and chase ensues. IDEAS!!! They are like that. When they come you drop everything else. I've done a lot of that lately.  Of course there are other real distractions that take up time and space. Like waiting in a doctor's office for 2 hours! And then waiting weeks for results, only to find you have to go to another doctor, wait 2 more hours and more weeks for results. UGH. TIME EATERS! 

I was able to go on a wonderful retreat with friends. Made some sewing progress while visiting. So nice. Another retreat is coming up. Can't wait. 

Spent some fun time last week with Madison. She 'cooked' dinner for me. She has the cutest red kitchen. Pretend cooking is so funny. In her world everything is better with ketchup...but not in Mimi's coffee! Just try to say 'yum' to that! I dare you. ;-)

I'll close with a few more of my quilts from Bramblewood ... I have the patterns too, if you like. One of these days, I get an Etsy shop going. It was on the to do list this summer too. But for now just email me. 

Until next time, you dream of cooler weather, toasty, cozy, and cuddle worthy quilts. I'll dream of cooler weather, new quilts, an organized sewing room, playing with Madison, and Doctor results! Lol. 

~ Betsy 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Alternate winners

A week after announcing winners for the Frivols tin, Molly has selected two new winners. Sorry, only Lauren came forward! 
So new winners are Wendy Reed Caton and Victorian Girl. 
Please email me your addresses so I can get the tins in the mail to you!

Thanks for ALL the comments. I enjoyed reading each and every one. 

Last week I taught a Blended Quilt retreat, should call it Low Volume and yummy!
Creative takes on early 1800's chintz quilts. Smooshy was the goal and they all did great! Hope you can see in the photo the beautiful work they all did! 

Just look at this awesome inspiration board. Yummy. 

Ok hope to hear from the two new winners. 
Thanks so much for following me!

Until next time~

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


If you are Lauren H, Cindy H or Holly Field, you have won a Frivol. Please email me with your addresses. 
Molly  sends her congrats!

Please remember when commenting that you need to have an email address so I can reply or reach you. Many have non-reply when  I tried to contact. So if I can't reach, or hear from you I'll be picking new winners. 

Until next time~Betsy

Friday, April 8, 2016

Frivolous Friday

Back in August Moda started a year long Frivol program. Surely you have heard of them by now. There are 3 months left. Still plenty of time to collect!
 I was honored to have my first line, Eliza's Indigo, selected for Frivol 3. A super cute tin, which holds fabric, two patterns, a pocket notebook and a quote. 
Different Frivols have different goodies inside, a good reason to collect! I have now opened 2, One I keep pristine and the other I'll be packing with little sewing necessities,
This is the cute extra 'maker' block.
The pattern for it is on the other side of the card.  The card that says...

I love quotes. This one has spoken to me since May of 2000. Why then? My daughter Rachel, quoted these words in her salutatorian speech. Along with a few other quotes, she eloquently spoke that evening, held our attention and left all the moms in the stadium without a dry eye. Of course her focus was on leaving the familiarity of high school and going away to college, starting a journey toward adulthood and a career. 
Just two years later, those words came back to mind as I was diagnosed with breast cancer. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Since then I've applied it to everything and certainly my journeys...treatment, quilting, caring for my parents and more.
Whether a physical journey, or a spiritual journey, there is always a first step. Without that step, we stand still. When we stand still we don't grow, we don't experience, and we don't have fun. So we need more frivolity! More antique quilts to buy! More fabric, more brown transferware or blue or wooden boxes and carriers or TINS,,, Collecting make me happy.

 Need to start a journey, or are you one one? So my advice: take a deep breath and take that step. There is always something  to be learned. And maybe have some fun along the way. Journeys take different paths and don't have a time limit either. Nor, a set course. 

This was in the doctors office yesterday. Routine bloodwork. They have a nice inspiration board... full of quotes! 

Be inspired. Be brave. Try something new. There is always a new quilt make!!! and fabric to collect!!!

My friend Annette posted this on Instagram, and I reposted. She made the little quilt pattern in my tin. So cute!

Most everything I do has a purpose.  A reason. 

There is frivolity in playing with my granddaughter. 

Madison and Minnie Mouse, and boxes from United Notions in the background. LOL. In our pajamas, most of the day. Totally Frivolous!

When was the last time you did something just for fun?  Tell me a frivolity of yours in a comment, or simply a comment on this post and I'll send a Frivol to a lucky winner, or two, or three. Chances to win end at midnight Monday April 11 Texas time. 

Visit other Moda designers, Minick and Simpson, Brenda Riddle, American Jane, just to name a few,  as we celebrate Frivols. You will see postings on Instagram and Facebook too. Look for hastags. #modafrivolousfriday and #modafrivols

Until next time~