Monthly Archives: December 2014

Lights Up at Sunset

We’re not late until after Christmas, right? We painted the front of our house before decorating with lights. So, yeah, that project took longer than expected because of some much-needed California rain. The house looks better as you can see from the in-progress photo below. The door and bottom right are now that nice eggshell color.

partially painted front

Hubby and I got the Christmas lights hung outside today. I just wanted to do around the eves but he talked me into a lot more: the columns, the fence, around the windows and even up on the roof! The sun was setting as we finished so I got some gorgeous photographs! 
house lights21st sunset21st sunset street view


My Facebook followers have seen updates this year’s Christmas decoration. I explained what and why I was doing at each step like marking colors, pinning on paper, 3-D quilting, and angling the binding.  I’m entering the decoration into this month’s Project Quilting challenge. The theme is, “Baby it’s Cold Outside.” Here’s my little snowflake wall-hanging.

snow front

15 Quilting-ish Goals for 2015

It’s almost New Year Resolutions Time. I quilt for myself, for pay, and for charity. In order to get more organized I’m joining Jetgirl and a few others in making 15 quilting-related resolutions for 2015.

  1. Get organized. Keep detailed financial records for my business. Rearrange my fabric stash so I can tell quickly what I have and don’t.
  2. Market my business. Do what I know and learn what I don’t. Make it a priority to really learn some new tricks. Try them out and see what works for me. learn-all-the-marketing
  3. Work on one charity project at a time. I have at least 3 charity unfinished projects and find great causes that need quilts or blocks all the time. Thing is, if my emotions are in charge none of these things will get done. One at a time and they’ll get finished and to the people that need them. First up is the turtles quilt for Crystal Lake Camps
    turtles blocks
  4. Teach some classes! I already have one class ready to go, teaching crumb piecing. I’ll work on getting that one booked at guilds and shops as well as having more classes to offer.
  5. pink crumb placematsTry new things. You know, stuff I haven’t done before.
  6. Finish a quilt for my own bed. We have store-bought blankets on there now, along with a gorgeous hand-quilted Amish quilt. Still, it needs one of mine. My husband has been bugging me about this for a while and this year I’ll turn one of the bed-sized tops into our snuggle covers.
  7. Give myself a raise! As a skilled worker, I will charge for my services like, well, a skilled worker. This year it goes up from $16.50 to $18 an hour. sew worth it
  8. Learn how to better communicate with my customers. For example, I recently discovered that a good question to ask with custom work is if there’s a preference for the backing fabric.
  9. Make another large crumbs quilt. I love my crumbs piecing! I have a LOT of 6″ squares and they’re ready to go into a large quilt. Maybe it’ll end up being a show quilt like this other one I made a few years ago. BAQS exhibit large
  10. Go to at least three quilt shows. Meet the vendors, be inspired by the quilts, refill my creative cup.
  11. Meet some of my online friends. I have some that I know only through blogging and Facebook. I’d love to give them in-person hugs in 2015!
  12. Be silly. Laugh. Allow myself to make things just because it’s fun. Inject beauty into my artistic life. 230126_7118653765_8586_n
  13. Say no. No to writer’s block. No to continuing with a project that needs to go into the donation bin. No to going to a guild meeting that’s designed to be exclusive. Trust my intuition and highest sense of self and say no when that’s the right answer for me.
  14. Quilt with friends! I’ve joined the Stash Bee and am looking forward to meeting some new online friends through that monthly activity. I’m also going to make an effort to sew in-person with mini-groups, sew-ins, at retreats, or just when my local friends have a minute to spare. stash bee
  15. Stop quilting. Know when to put the needle down. Watch a movie on the couch with my husband without my handwork. Stop the sewing machine when on the phone with a family member who’s letting me hear their secret thoughts. “One more block,” won’t do when I could be running errands before rush hour.


How about you? Do you have any resolutions for 2015?

Jasmine’s Wedding Quilt – In Her Words

My cousin Jasmine is today’s guest blogger. I got to sew simple log-cabin quilt blocks for her wedding guests to sign. Now it’s a treasured quilt. Here’s what she has to say about it:




Getting married to the guy you love is such an awesome thing.

jas time professional photo

But you know what was almost equally as awesome about our wedding day? That ALL the people we love came from all over the country to be there with us.

wedding party jas

Seriously – when else in your life does that happen? Everyone in ONE place??

fire jas wedding

So one of our favorite gifts we got was the signature quilt that Megan made for us. She put fabric blocks out for everyone to write notes to us on, and then quilted them together into this exquisite quilt. The colors match our wedding day – a beautiful red-orange-yellow fall day in Massachusetts. It’s super fun to read and re-read the messages all our loved ones left for us.

close-up photo of jas quilt

And the quilt itself is such good quality that I’m not worried about ruining it in the wash, or leaving it out as decoration on the couch. Thank you Megan, for such a thoughtful gift that keeps on reminding us of all the love in our life!




Aunts Not Ants

I love being Aunt Megan, even if most of my communication with little Mary is long-distance. Call me Tia or Aunt or mispronounce that as Ant. It’s fine but I’ll never call myself an ant. I’m a family member, not a bug!

alex and mary first snow

Look how cute that girl is with her Daddy!

I found ants in my desk drawer today. Not. Flipping. Cool. One crossed my desk and then another so I went hunting and found they found my candy. ACK! After a lot of flailing, screaming, squishing and swiping things now look like this:

empty drawer

Here’s what used to fill that drawer, minus the candy which went straight to the outside trash bin. crap in drawer Gah! I’m completely traumatized. Spiders can be scary, especially in movies when they’re HUGE. But as a rule they don’t invade by the dozens. They’d be terrifying if they did! Ants are soooo yucky. Anyway, I have been doing some sewing in-between shrieks. Today I’m working on a large Christmas tree skirt. Here are some of the things I’ve completed recently. They’re all in my etsy shopduckie bibs double sided
pink d9p finished purple asian runner

Look for a post on marking quilts with frixion pens soon. I was going to write that one today but, well, ANTS! Ahhhh!