Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Week 30 Moda BlockHeads3 Ring Around by Corey Yoder

Happy Wednesday everyone!
Week 29 Ring Around is by Corey Yoder.

I made this sweet block in 2 sizes, 4" and 8" and because I am easily bored and have to add new fabrics, I pulled some scraps from making Market quilts for Elinore's Endeavor.
Elinor will be available in shops in November.

In the above photo, the yellow is from Sarah's Story and the rest from Elinore's Endeavor.

All fabrics in this block are from Elinore's Endeavor.

And here we have both it is easy to tell which one is 4" and which is 8".

to go to Corey's blog for the download to this cute pattern and Corey's tips.
Thank you Corey, I enjoyed playing with new fabrics and your cute design!

I think these blocks, as with most of the blocks we design have lots of color and placement options.
Have you noticed how much the value of the fabrics makes in the final block!
I pull fabric and set aside, pull another combination and set aside.
 I pin options to a design wall across the room and look for contrast and find the values are too close.
Other times, I'm looking for the fabrics to blend...LOL.
I love mixing textures, florals, stripes, plaids or checks and various scales of prints.
Fabrics are to me as yummy as the best desserts. I enjoy having a full pantry to make my selections for blocks and quilts.  "The more fabric the better" is my motto.

Tiny seams and pressing can be challenging. I twisted seams whenever possible and, still this itty bitty cutie, did not press well.

Before I go, I want to mention the final layout of the blocks.  I know we all mentioned ideas we might have, but as we are now half way, you will want to be thinking and making a plan. 

Before you ask, I still do not have a plan.  I need to see all my blocks, completed, and up on a wall...big wall, to see how they will play together.  Some of my fabric or color choices may not work once we finish.  Remember that I make several blocks some weeks, and blocks of all different sizes, 
so I have choices.
 I like to wing it when it comes to a sampler and since I'm fairly indecisive, this works for me. 
So, throwing the blocks of the floor or sticking to a design wall and moving them around to fit, makes me happy, and if I need filler blocks, or need to remake a block, or several, that's ok too.

I've worked in shops, and taught for so many years, that I know making blocks without a plan just may not work for you, and that is ok with me! (I like the challenge)...You need to be happy with your quilt. Watch for layout options on my fellow designers blogs.  Some posted their ideas early on, but there might be some new ideas coming as well.

Questions??? I am better at answering on Instagram.  I love hearing from you.

Until next time, 
Stay well, stay safe, wear a mask and be happy sewing.


Sherri McConnell -
  Lisa Bongean -
Lissa Alexander -

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Week 28 Moda BlockHeads Broken Dishes by Fig Tree

Happy Wednesday! This Moda BlockHeads3 Week 28. Is this the halfway point??  Yes, it is. Today's block is Broken Dishes by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Designs. This is one of my most favorite blocks.  I think you will enjoy it.

I've got a few stories to tell. Words. Images. Memories. Broken Dishes and tears.
When Rachel was about 2 years old she picked up the dish in the first photo that was on my mother's coffee table and slammed it down on the table like it was one of her stuffed animals. wham, crack, then mother's tears. It is a super old flow blue bowl. Beautiful. Broken. Why Rachel did it, no reason, not having a tantrum or anything. It was just there, within her reach.  I think it was the only time mom ever got upset with her. So, Daddy promised to fix it...but the glue only held one piece in place. Mom put it and the pieces away in the drawer of the hutch in her kitchen.  Many years later when their house burned it found the bowl and the pieces carefully wrapped in pink Kleenex, in that drawer.  I brought it home and put it in my kitchen junk drawer, until today. 
Broken Dishes and memories.

The 6" version....

The 12" version...

to go to Joanna's blog for the pattern.

Thank you Joanna, I do love this block!!!

Be sure to check on everyone else to see what they have made. Links below.

The pile o'blocks...

If you saw my Instagram post yesterday, you saw the photo (shown below) for Fruitcake, my quilt for the new Moda All Star book, Cakewalk, which will be coming in September.
 What do you think of, when you hear the word fruitcake, 
the colorful and much maligned traditional Christmas dessert?
Love it or hate it, there doesn't seem to be a middle ground.

 a couple of fruitcake tales...

 I may be the only one in my family that would not eat fruitcake. Making it was a have to do, have to have it situation come hell or high water every Christmas.  I enjoyed going to Safeway with mom and my aunt (mom never drove a car) to purchase the candied fruit...what a gorgeous display of red and green cherries, pineapple, citron, raisins, nuts. I remember trying a cherry once mom got the ingredients together on the kitchen table. Oh my. Can you see the look on my face? even now, I'm cringing. 
Mom taught me to use a knife at a really young age to chop the pecans, not too fine, big enough but not too big that it would prevent making a pretty slice once baked.  Chopping nuts had rules. Several thicknesses of  newspaper placed on the table with one big sheet of wax paper, folded in half. Once in place, mom poured the pecans in front of me onto the paper and handed me the butcher knife. She only showed me once, that I remember, how to hold the knife and chop. (No matter what we made, chopping pecans was my job from then on) I still LOVE to chop pecans and to this day my favorite knife is still a butcher knife. I did the nut chopping while she did the fruit chopping. So pretty. Together we made the batter. I stirred, The spices smelled heavenly and the batter tasted SO good. Yummy. Finger licking, bowl scraping, goodness. and, YES, I survived raw eggs in the batter. That was our routine for all of my school years, right after Thanksgiving...had to make it, Daddy's favorite, and it was better if made ahead...r i g h t.
It WAS beautiful, sliced and fanned around on the cake plate.  Memories. Eventually it was too much trouble and mom stopped making it and I was making my own traditions. Every Christmas someone wished somebody had made it, mostly Daddy.


Can you stand one more story??? I'll make it quick...
Ok, so you already know how much my family liked fruitcake, but my dad's mother made a different kind called Japanese fruitcake.  It was truly a have to have, come hell or high water, and for this story, regardless of tired daugher in law and new granddaughter, tradition for her.  Mama Reed was quite a character, she had the green thumb that gave me the angel wing begonia when I married. All her cakes had to be multi layered, 5-7 layers, or they weren't fit to eat. I can hear her now. LOL She never followed a recipe. I never saw a cookbook in her home. She either made this up, or got it from the Dallas Times Herald recipe page, I don't know. But what I do know, as told by my mother, is that the year I was born, Mama and Papa spent Christmas Eve at our house. I was not quite a month old.   Mama walked in the door, greeted mother with the words, 'come on Florency, we've got to make the Japanese Fruitcake.' 
To hear Mother tell that story, she would have sooner have died than to have to make that cake, and Christmas dinner with me only a few weeks old. This cake had  a LOT of raisins and pecans and I don't know what else, but Mother said she and Mama made the required layers and 7 minute icing for the filling and the outside of the cake.
They iced it on a cake plate, or maybe on the cake stand I inherited. My grandmother was quite pleased. Mother was sick and tired and I was crying.
Christmas Day, the once pretty cake, cracked from the center and pulled apart...I don't know if they got one pretty slice. Papa had cake before dinner. Daddy said the cake was delicious, looked like it always did, because it always fell apart. But, Mother said, in one of her totally disgusted tones of voice, it was the biggest mess, she had ever seen. 

So when layer cake precuts would be the topic of the next book, 
I knew exactly which cake I would make.

These endless days at home are making me look at my things and old photos, and they  bring back such fond memories.  I cry, smile, laugh, and then long to know more.  Why didn't I ask more questions? I listened and remembered well, I think, but the mind does have selective memories.

Thanks for stopping by and listening. 

back to BlockHeads, see I love this block...on my cupboard door...Sew Many Dishes from Lizzie's Legacy

4 1/2" blocks

Until next time...

Take care, stay safe, stay well my friends.

~ Betsy

Sherri McConnell -
  Lisa Bongean -
Lissa Alexander -
 Robin Pickens -

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Happy Moda BlockHeads Wednesday Week 27 Proposal by Jen Kingwell

Hi Everyone, Happy  Moda BlockHeads Wednesday! This is Jen Kingwell's week with block 27, Proposal. Shhh. Today is Jen's Anniversary. Happy Anniversary Jen!!!  I thought June was the wedding month, but I certainly know a lot of people who got hitched, like me, in July. I married July 10th, 1976.  44 years ago....that's a lot. It has blown by really; yet, some days it's been and eternity! LOL. I married my best friend, the boy next door. Yes he really was the boy next door. He is still my best friend and that is the best part. I'll tell you more in a minute.....

We were asked to take a picture of our wedding photo with our block as a surprise for Jen.  That meant looking in the album, and remembering....

For Proposal, which looks like a diamond, I chose the 6" version. Background is from Nancy's Needles, yellow is from Susanna's Scraps, and blue from Sarah's Story.  The fabrics you choose will be wonderful. I do have a couple of helpful hints.  I'm the first to tell you what not to do....I remade 2 quadrants, several times... keep the seam ripper handy.  Just below.

    Click Here for Jen's pattern, Proposal 

My best tip is pay attention, I just started sewing, forgetting the quadrants are mirror images.  I got my A's and B's mixed up. And I hardly ever pay attention to numbers.
Mark your colors on the printed side of the 4 papers in order of the way you want the colors to appear.
I also marked the direction I wanted to press. Notice the arcs and arrows. I started with A4 background in opposite quadrants and with B1blue in opposite quadrants. The seams are pressed to the right on the top row and to the left on the bottom row, this way when you sew the 4 units together, the seams  will nest. Then I pressed the adjoining seams open.  Hope this helps.
Hope you enjoy piecing Proposal. It's a cutie,. Thanks Jen! Hope you and Richard have, or had, a wonderful anniversary celebration. 
I had one more photo of the block to go here and blogger ate it.
Oh well.
We married in my parents living room. Steve's brother and my sister in law stood up with us. My brother took the photos.  It wasn't fancy, just perfect.  We had our nearest and dearest of family attending.  It was a perfect Saturday morning that July, not scorching like it is now. I made the punch and petit fours for our little reception.  Then we flew off to Acapulco for our honeymoon and the following Saturday, we had our reception, hence the tropical Mexican attire and tans. LOL
I was quite lucky to be back in Texas....when we arrived in Acapulco, the police ushered me off to a private room without Steve.  The asked me a bunch of questions, and being a totally naive 20 year old, answered their questions never even thinking of what could happen....MY VISA had expired the day before!!! and Steve's was fine!!! We never even looked at them when we picked them up from the travel agency. Young and stupid!

I don't know what is up with Blogger. Editing is impossible. There are tons of new symbols I don't understand. I like everything centered and today I can only center the photos, at least I hope they are centered!! I can't get to the list of all the designers for fear of losing all I have written.  UGH  Please visit them, the links are on older posts.

Stay safe, stay well, wear a mask my friends.
Until next time,

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Happy BlockHeads3 Wednesday Week 26 Zig Zags by Janet Clare and Winners!!

Happy Wednesday! Not only do we have the cute block, number 26 by Janet Clare but I am finally announcing the winners on last week's giveaways.
One would think that all this staying at home would leave me with some free time...ha ha. 
Isn't there always something that needs tending to, I haven't even sewn more that a block or two since last where did the week go?? Taxes.  Days of working on the taxes that we were so happy to have postponed from April! 
I hope you had enjoyed a nice 4th of July.  Ours was very quiet, just the two of us at home.
Kids in the neighborhood shot off fireworks for days.  Where did they get them?? Without the normal huge 4th of July displays to go watch, it was just not the same to watch on TV.

Here's Janet's cute block.

Zig Zags by Janet Clare

Zig Zags makes me think of winding roads, you know the S signs on the road when you are driving in the mountains...switchback curves...a little summer dreaming here...of mountains, not flat Texas and cooler climates!!!

Thanks Janet! I enjoyed playing with triangles, and options!

for Janet's blog and the pattern.
 Be sure to visit all our designers to see what they have made this week.

Below, is my original choice of fabrics, but to me, the two blues were not close enough in value so I pieced more triangle squares and I'm happy with the above block, which is the 4" version

I had some fun playing with the leftover HSTs. This could be a second block. Or, I might save them for fill in parts when it's time to assemble.


Flying Geese

Lots of options!

Have fun playing with fabrics, triangles and sizes of blocks.

Now to announce the winners of last week's giveaways. 
The random number generator has spoken...
I divided everyone into categories according to the book you selected, that's why I needed to know if you were in the USA because I do the mailing. Everyone was in the running for digital version of Mini Marvels. Four different chances to win, four times to hit the number generator.
Thank you all for entering. I loved reading your comments!
I'm sure glad the random generator does the picking!
Thanks to those who included their emails, as I'll be contacting you asap.

Mini Marvels goes to Dani VW
I'm sending your email to our liaison at Martingale and She will send you your digital copy, your eBook.

 For these 3 winners,  I'll need physical addresses so please watch for an email from me.

On a Roll goes to KMSC

Merry Makers goes to Margaret Crow

Mix It Up goes to Karen at Breezy Point


I hope you enjoy these Moda All Star books!

Do you know that proceeds from  the sale of each book goes to charity? 
Isn't that awesome? 

Stay safe, stay well, wear a mask, and SEW!

Until next time,
~ Betsy

Sherri McConnell -
  Lisa Bongean -
Lissa Alexander -
 Robin Pickens -

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Moda BlockHeads week 25, catching up, and a giveaway

Well, Happy Moda BlockHeads Wednesday! My apologies for not posting for several weeks. Now it's time to catch up.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've continued to post blocks there, and on the Facebook group.  Like all of you, I'm saddened by issues in the news, stressed with cabin fever, and sick at the thought of what to cook for dinner. Are you as tired of preparing 3 meals a day as I am??? We were lucky to have a chance to dine in a restaurant with our kids, for Father's Day but wow, it was weird.  Now, it's back to take out....and cooking. I've been enjoying sewing just for me, not for a post or for business, just for me. And, now that the market quilts are back from my quilter, I'm enjoying a little time in the evening with needle and thread, binding.

Hope you will stick with me through this long post for a treat.....blogger is acting up so links may not be working when you read this...soooo frustrating.

First, this weeks block is by Robin Pickens

Corner Garden

I made a 6" version this week with Nancy's Needle fabrics, mostly.

 I'm hard pressed to find blooming flowers in my yard.  
This little dab of pink bloom is from a dragon's wing begonia.
When I married, almost 44 years ago, my paternal grandmother gave me a pot of angel wing begonias. She could literally stick her thumb in the ground and it would take root.  I spent 2 weeks with Mama and Papa every summer and loved hanging out in their yard, it was like going through a city's botanical garden.  Over the years that original plant grew and many cutting made more fabulous blooms.  Cats and kittens have slept under the lush leaves and giant cascading blooms.  Thought I had lost the last remnant of it last winter, but just today I noticed the scraggly plant is starting to to bloom.  Bless you Mama, You blessed my home 44 years ago and through that plant, and my cherished memories, you are with me still. I've got two stems by the kitchen window taking root now.
Mama Reed taught me to sew on a treadle one summer. that passion took root...just wish I had her gift of gardening.

For Robin's pattern Corner Garden Click Here
Link will take you to her blog.

Now to catch up with the last few blocks....

And the pile!

Hope you are still with me!

Now, on to the surprise giveaway....

Over on Istagram, or on any social media platform the designers choose, Moda amd Martingale are sponsoring an ebook giveaway of the Moda All Stars books.
I'll post the list below so you can enter with each participating designer.  Lots of chances to win!

This is my ebook giveaway Mini Marvels and below it is my project from the book.

 Here are all the projects from 7 books I've been in so far (there are a couple more in the works)

The books...

Still with me???

here is MY surprise giveaway.  Here area a few books and their projects from some I have on hand on hand....would you like one???

 Mountain Climbing 
from On a Roll

Step It Up
from Mix It Up

from  Merry Makers

IF you would like a chance at one of these books, PLEASE follow these instructions:
Pick one and Tell my why you would like it
AND you must leave your email address in the comment, otherwise I'll never be able to let you know you have won!!!

Stay with actual book giveaway is only offered only through comments on the blog, and open only to USA readers.

ALL ebook giveaways are open to readers from all over the world, with comments on the blog

Last request, please say USA in your comment to be considered for the actual books. Every comment goes toward entry in the ebook giveaway. 

Window for this giveaway is short.  
All entries for the giveaways must be received by Friday, July 3rd.
  • All In A Row – No Kid Hungry - Corey Yoder
  • Scraps Made Simple – Alzheimer's Association - Sherri McConnell & Lissa Alexander
  • Mini Marvels – Texas Rite Scottish Hospital - Betsy Chutchian
  • All In A Row Again – Give Kids the World - Stacy Iest Hsu
  • Lucky Charm Quilts – Alex's Lemonade Stand - Brigitte Heitland
  • Merry Makers – Marine Toys For Tots - Lisa Bongean & Joanna Figueroa
  • Mini Charm Quilts – Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs - Jen Kingwell & Jan Patek
  • On A Roll – School on Wheels - Janet Clare
  • Mix It Up – Feeding America - Laurie Simpson  
  • Two, Four, Six, Eight – Special Olympics - Vanessa Goertzen
Thank you everyone visiting today and for following me.
I'm a haphazard blogger and storyteller, I share what's going on and on my mind and sometimes ideas in my head, and some days I'm just a mess. 

I can't get the links to all the designers on the post today. Sorry. Like I said blogger is acting up. Fingers crossed this posts!!!

okay...last thing...visit all the designers, and Robin for sure, and don't forget to leave a comment for Mini Marvels ebook or, for one of my books. 

Stay safe, stay well, wear a mask, and sew!

Until next time,
~ Betsy