Antique Alley April 2018

Twice a year, and only about a mile from our home, I visit Antique Alley.  The actual timing is the 3rd weekend in April and September.  Last weekend, I took off work on Friday to make the rounds.  Unfortunately, I was also fighting a bad cold.

Lucky for me, Friday was the sunny day with rainy weather to follow for Saturday, so I picked a great day!


In years’ past, I have found some great deals on quilting fabric.  I remember two years ago when I met a lady that had lost her mother that Spring.  She had a booth that was full of her mothers sewing items, fabric, interfacing, and so much more.  I actually filled the trunk of our car that day.  I still have bolts of interfacing for gown creation and fabric for quilting and sewing projects.

This year, I found another booth with fabric and was ecstatic!

I used restraint this time around as I only have so much room left in my fabric cupboard. The lot pictured, about 60 yards worth, is all I bought.  In my sewing room, I refuse to hoard fabric, I want to be able to keep a bit of a handle on how my stash is growing!

In addition to the fabric I bought, there were other booths with good fabric for sale as well as trim and notions:

Some prices were better than others, but ultimately there was a lot to choose from!

In addition to fabrics, there were many antique quilts and blocks for sale too.

I really don’t have the space or the time right now, so I didn’t rescue any of these beauties.  It made me sad, but I just know someone else will show them some love.  One particular item did catch my eye and almost had me convinced.

This bag of paper pieced blocks was so wonderful, even down to the old paper that was used for their construction.

I think the owner had chickens!

There were also some pretty neat looking old machines for sale.

Alas, if I don’t have room for more fabric and old quilts, I certainly don’t have room for machines!  One day I may consider collecting some of these beauties, but for now I am happy to take my little fabric purchase home and create something fun.

Maybe I will use these fabrics for Row by Row this year!

Did you visit Antique Alley this year?

Dallas Quilt Show 2018

Dallas Quilt Show 2018

We attended the Dallas Quilt Show on a beautiful Spring day.  Like many other years, we were not disappointed by the quality of vendors an quilts on display.  We arrived on Saturday at 9:30 am (never know how bad traffic will be), and took our place in line.

As you can see, happy faces were everywhere – both in line and along the way in to the hall.

Best of Show

The Best of Show quilt for the Dallas Show in 2018 was divine. Not only does this quilt exemplify many of the hallmarks of quilting – piecing, color choice, applique and design – this quilt also hints at the Theme Quilt category.

Pickle Birds by Rebecca Prior

It took me a while to get a full photo of this quilt. People flocked to it all day log.

Some of my Favorite Vendors

More so than previous years, I came armed with a list of things I really wanted to buy.  Luckily, I found everything on my list, plus some things I didn’t know I needed.

I love all the activity and excitement at a Quilt Show.  Shopping among friends is always a bonus.

My Favorite Quilts

Because the beauty and originality of these quilts speak for themselves, you will see few comments.  Enjoy!

There were so many amazing quilts to choose from, it was tough to narrow my favorites.

Tree of Life – Theme Entries

I was so unprepared this year and paid the price.  Of all the themes that tug at my heart, the Tree of Life is at the top of the list.  Here are some of the submissions:

Richard Larson – Season on the Serengeti

Kay Stewart – View out my window roots and wings

Elizabeth Budd – Inspired by Dali

Barbara Ann McCraw – The Gratitude Tree

Maybe I will just make a Tree of Life quilt for myself!

Wrapping it up

Overall the show was so much fun.  I walked around and visited with old and new friends alike.  I saw folks rushing from booth to booth while others took a minute to sit and watch all the activity.

Lots of places to rest your feet

Just be careful you don’t sit too long!

Maybe he rested too long!

I even found something fun to do for a new profile picture:

Selfie Time!













Did you get a chance to visit the Dallas Quilt Show?



Strip Tease Quilt

Strip Tease Quilt

Strip Tease 2018

Don’t you just love the name of this scrap quilt?  Strip Tease!  Who says quilting can’t be a bit fun and sassy?

Whether you are new to paper piecing or have done it forever, you will find this process not only fulfilling (as you watch your scrap bin go down) but also very relaxing.

This is the easiest paper piecing pattern out there and a must for any new paper piecer!

FIRST STEP:  Grab your scraps!

The first step for me was to grab my stash and cut stuff into strips.

This is a very small portion of the scraps I have.  You probably can identify many of these fabrics in the finished scrap quilt.  It is always so rewarding to look at a scrap quilt and see fabrics that were used in other quilts through the years.

STEP 2: Choose your Base

For paper piecing, you use a base paper.  For this type of thing, I just made the largest square I could on a piece of copy paper then drew a diagonal line across from one corner to the other. Be sure to make a perfect square unless you intend on using a rectangle.

I also recommend tracing the pattern on the other side as well, this will help you to line things up and eventually cut out the square form when you have all your scraps sewn down.

Step 3: Time to Sew!

The colors, patterns and so forth that you decide to use for your quilt is totally up to you.  Also, you can choose to use all the same width of fabrics or to vary them.  For me, I chose one fabric for the middle of each block but then went totally random after that. You will also see that I was not as concerned about making my strips perfect down the line from corner to corner.  I wanted this quilt to be truly random.

Here you can see the dark blue I used for the middle.  Remember, when you sew using paper piecing, the first piece of fabric is sewn with the right side up,  Each fabric scrap after that is sewn with the right sides together.

Another tip is to shorten up your stitches when you do this, it will help you to remove the paper after you have completed each block.

If you want more information about how to paper piece, there are tons of resources on the internet.  I really like how easily Craftsy explains it here.

Start adding your strips to complete each block, pressing them over before each new one.

When you have covered your entire square, you can turn your block over and finish it by cutting it on the lines you transferred to the other side.  I like to use a different rotary cutter for this process as the paper can dull a good, fabric cutting blade.

As you can see, the lines are easy to see and trimming these to a perfect size is a breeze!

Trim on the line and flip your block over to see how perfect it is!

I love how they look at this point.  Just don’t forget to remove the paper before you start sewing them together.  Because you have used a short stitch, simply fold and rip!

Step 4: Putting it all together

I usually use a design board as I go to place the blocks.  This way I can mix them around for best effect as I go.

As you can see, the paper was still on at this point.  I promise that I remembered to take it all off before I started assembling the quilt!

I also decided to do some fun border work for this one.  By changing the direction of my paper piecing, I was able to make a cute, scrappy, piano key type border that fits this quilt perfectly.

By adding the purple inner border, both types of blocks were properly showcased.

Final Step: Quilting

Originally, I thought of doing a bunch of random, custom quilting to try to create a secondary pattern, but as soon as I saw the scrappy, random goodness of this quilt, I knew that would be futile.  There was already enough going on!  So I chose an E2E pattern with curves to offset all the straight lines called: Bramble – Lorien Quilting from Urban Elementz

I really love how this quilting fit with the overall design of this scrap quilt.

If you are looking for a Christmas Scrap buster, check out this Christmas Gift Quilt too!

So, what is next on my list?  In a couple weeks, I will be attending the Dallas Quilt show, so be prepared to see another post showcasing my favorites!

Sassy Squares Wedding Quilt – 2018

My daughter bought four identical Batik jelly roll packs at Joann Fabrics months ago.  The fabric was not girly, in fact, it was more masculine than anything else.  I think this was what drew her to these patterns – they were unique.

What to make?

When the opportunity to use these unique jelly roll strips came along, the next question was just what pattern to use.  Because this quilt would be given as a gift at a wedding shower, the fabrics were a perfect fit – more neutral than girly.

After looking at a variety of more simplistic quit designs, we decided on Sassy Squares.  Of course, I didn’t have a pattern as we found an image on Pinterest we liked. Yes, I know, this is an all-too-familiar scenario, but I would rather go rogue and figure things out for myself!

In order to make this design work, we needed to add an additional background fabric.  In this case, I used one of the beauties that my daughter gave me for Christmas!

Note: The actual jelly roll strips were 2 7/8 inches wide. I am so glad I measured before cutting the background strips.

Quilt Design

The actual blocks from the jelly roll sets are based on triangles.  There are actually only 2 blocks for the internal section. The blocks all have the same elements, but how they are put together makes then unique.

The Finished Quilt

Overall, the quilt was a challenge but ultimately turned out to be a beautiful wedding shower gift.  As you can see, my grand-puppy, Loki, loves to model with the quilts I make!

She is quite photogenic!

The Long Arm Quilting

My daughter chose the quilting pattern as well and after auditioning many different designs, settled on Celtic Sea by Urban Elementz

The sweeping curves was a great addition to the straight line elements of the blocks in this quilt

As you can see, the back was almost as pretty as the front!

In the end, the recipient was so very happy as can be seen by this reveal photo

One Last Thing

Remember when I said that this quilt was a challenge?  I am so glad that we have 4 jelly roll packs to work with because I mangled a few blocks.  This actually was a blessing in disguise as our daughter really hated to give the original quilt away, it turned out that pretty.  This allowed me to make a smaller version for her.  I was also able to use every scrap on the smaller version so now there was no waste!!

This image was taken in high winds which is what contributes to this wavy look, I really did flatten it all out before assembling my wonky blocks!

What challenges are you working on today?


Quilts of Valor – Sewing Day – February 3, 2018

Quilts of Valor

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

I know that many of you enjoy making quilts for friends, family and donation.  Below is a link to their website where you can learn about today’s activities as well as other chances to assist our Veterans throughout the year.


As you can see from the title, today is a sewing day for the Quilts of Valor.  Members and non-members alike are invited to join.

Old Glory Quilt 2017

Old Glory 2017

Quilts of Valor® National Sew Day

Registration is now open for the Quilts of Valor®  2018 National Sew Day

February 3, 2018

Great prizes awarded throughout the day.  You must be registered to win.

Non-Member Registration

Member Only Registration

If you are interested in the requirements for their donation quilts you can go here:

Basic Requirements

Their website also has a ticker showing quilts donated.  As of this writing the ticker showed:

Quilt Awards Recorded

Quilts Awarded This Week:


Quilts Awarded This Month:


Total Quilts Awarded:


These are very impressive numbers!

If you haven’t done so yet, consider donating to this or a similar charity.  Often, I look to my local community as well to give to those that live in my area.

No matter if you actually participate in the online event, or spend a bit of time sewing Red-White and Blue quilts, the feeling is the same.  By supporting our Veterans and through them, our Country, we exhibit our pride in this great nation we live in.

Star Spangled Legion Quilt 2017

Star Spangled Legion Quilt



Rail Fence Stars Quilt 2018

Rail Fence Stars


Wave the Flag Legion Quilt 2015

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