Thursday, December 30, 2010


After asking the question on many different forums, blogs and Facebook, after downloading different programs (sometimes with disastrous results) I finally got my clip loaded to You Tube. My thanks goes out to Immagine Productions for their quick and efficeint work.
As a brief intro, I will tell you that this clip is of me and 10 other little girls on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. The date was December 29, 1957. I believe this was the last of the Amateur hour shows.
BTW, I'm not telling you which one is me, just have a good chuckle.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


When I was a little girl, I went to dancing school. I was part of a chorus line of eleven, called the Snookettes (no snickering allowed). We performed in many places, the most famous of which was the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. The show was never played in re-runs and I had never seen it nor did I get to see the rest of the show when I was there as we had to stay in the dressing room.
There is a man in California who owns the rights to all of the Amateur Hour shows. For Christmas I treated myself to a copy of my show. WOW, what a hoot. I wanted very much to cut out my three minutes of the one hour show and put it on You Tube and Facebook. Two family members said no problem they would do it for me, but did not have any luck. I read all sorts of forums entries at You Tube and read that I needed some video editing software and that there were lots of free ones on the web. I downloaded Freemake Video converter. It was supposed to allow me to cut out my clip and upload it directly to You Tube. But instead, it uploaded the first 15 minutes of the show, Hazel Bishop commercials and all. I tried it twice, both with the same results.
As a last resort, I asked the question on Yahoo. My only response was for a $25 program that makes DVD.....Hello, I already have the DVD, I just want to cut 3 minutes out of it.
Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mother Nature Decorates for the Holidays

I have not been feeling very festive this year and have done only the most minimal of decorating. I have not put up any outside lights and my giant outdoor wreath remains in the storage unit. But I have just noticed that Mother Nature has done some decorating for me. As I have mentioned in the past, there are an enormous amount of weedy vines growing everywhere and the pine tree in no exception. The current cold snap has killed off much of the vines (don't worry, they'll be back in the summer) and have turned them red.
The tree looks very festive and so does the ground around the house.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sue Crazy

You have seen my Sunbonnet Sue 1930's Postcard,

I think you've also seen Christmas Sue

But have you seen New Year's Sue

or Valentine Sue
or St Patty's Sue

Somebody stop me....I'm on a Sue overload.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Wallpaper Fun

I know what to do with left over fabric scraps  but what do you do with scraps of paper? Answer: you make a garland for your Christmas tree. I went to Michaels (because I had a 50% off coupon) and purchased a one inch hole punch. I also purchased a 10 foot roll of 1/2 ribbon (it was all of 50 cents). I suppose I could have used glue to attach all the circles but instead I used my sewing machine. This project took less than half an hour.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Good Score x 2

I've been looking for some fancy papers (without the fancy prices) to use for envelopes. It had been suggested that you try a wallpaper store, so I did. The lady was super nice when I asked her for some old wallpaper sample books. She gave me these two and asked for my phone number so she could call me when she has more.
As a bonus, this particular wallpaper has matching cotton fabric. The books have a usable size sample of the fabrics.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Handmade Ornaments

I have made tons of ornaments over the years. Some I have sold and some I have given away. For the past two years I have had some of my most popular ornaments for sale in my Etsy shop.
I have several different colors of a mini stocking.
This is one of my favorite because it looks good no matter what color fabric I use. It is easy to fill with small goodies or candies and makes a nice gift.
Who doesn't like a teddy bear?
And another cute little guy is a penguin.

I think they are pretty darn cute but I haven't sold a single one. I was starting to think I am the only person who really likes them...and then.... I got an email from a former employer. She asked if I remembered this ornament and she tells me  that she puts it out on display every year. It had to be over 15 years ago that I gave it to her.

I feel a lot better now.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Paper Crafts

As long as I'm making the card, I might as well make the envelope too. It took a long time, but I finally found the perfect envelope template. Fun, fun, fun.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paper Crafts

I have wanted to make my own greeting cards for many years now, but I never quite got past the wishing and hoping stage. Some years ago, I even bought some books on card making including one on pop-up cards. Last week I purchased an envelope maker/template and I have to say I am pleased with the results of that. Now if I could find just the right paper .... but that's another story.

In the meantime, I figured it's time to at least try to make some pop up cards, after all, it does not require much, just some card stock (which I had) and a good pattern. I purchased the patterns for the 12 Days of Christmas, a bit ambitious  but what the heck. I have made the first 5 days so far. The fourth day of Christmas (4 calling birds) came out the best, although my work at this point is mediocre.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Problem Solved

I could not figure out how to cut down the Vintage Valentine blocks and have the design remain in the center. My friend Dotti suggested that I have a piece of acrylic cut to the size I needed but frankly all my local shop wanted a small fortune to do it.

I already have a square ruler that measures 16 1/2 x 16 1/2. What I bought it for I have not idea as I don't usually make blocks that big, but would work for this project. I taped off 2 sides making the ruler 15 inches square, the required cut size for the blocks and marked the center of 15 inches with some itty bitty dots that I have. Voila! Problem solved. Cut two sides, turn and cut the other two sides.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vintage Valentines Block Three

After a considerable amount of debate (with myself) I decided to finish the block using the machine applique method. The block is now half hand and half machine applique but I don't think it looks all that bad. Besides, it will sit on my bed and the only people who will ever see it will be me and my husband.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vintage Valentine Central Block

It took a few days, but the central block is finished. It will measure 27 1/2" square when trimmed down and it has 104 pieces. I am happy with the results.

I still have a way to go before it ends up on my bed. I have got to make a decision on how to finish block three. All the blocks need to be trimmed down and I haven't figured out how to do that yet. They need to be sewn together. The borders are striped fabrics and the photo shows the stripes going lengthwise. The stripes on the fabric go from cut end to cut end and I cannot figure out how I'm going to get the stripes to go in the direction I want them to.
Then there is the question of finding a long arm quilter who will do the job.
So many decisions.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Postcards for Christmas

I've been working steadily on my Vintage Valentines for the past week or so. The last block is a central medallion and has over 100 pieces. I needed a break (and some instant gratification) so I made a new postcard for the shop. Sunbonnet Sue gets dressed for Christmas.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Vintage Valentine Block Twelve

I kind of like this one a bunch, because it has a whole lot of hearts.

No, it's not over yet, there is still the large central medallion to complete. It is much larger than the other blocks and has a lot more pieces. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vintage Valentine Block Eleven

You would think I was close to the end, but there is still a long way to go.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vintage Valentines Block Ten

Although block 10 only has 38 pieces, I am not that crazy about it. For one thing, it doesn't have any lovebirds. My second objection is some of the color choices. The flower centers are so close in color that you can't see the little center. The ribbons are a pale tan while the flowers are pale pink. It is hard to tell them apart, even in sunlight. There is also one minor error that I made, but you'll never find it so forget I mentioned it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vintage Valentine Block Nine

This one was a lot easier than some of the previous ones, plus it only has 47 pieces.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Eagles

We had a few vacation points we needed to use before the end of the year, so my husband and I spent a quick two days at Saratoga Springs in Disneyworld. We had a great time, as always and I got to have my favorite pumpkin ravioli at Wolfgang Puck's. The event culminated at an Eagles concert back home last night.

They were fabulous!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vintage Valentines Block Seven

I've made it to the half way point....well half way through the applique.

I'm really glad I decided to do the applique by machine. I can not imagine stitching those itty bitty daisy centers by hand.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Vintage Valentines Block Six

Have I mentioned that the fabrics included with each kit are all Moda fabrics? Super sweet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Coiled Fabric Bowls

I haven't listed anything new in my shop for a while. So I have been making new coiled fabric bowls, at least one a day for the last week. Now all I have to do is take some decent pictures.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vintage Valentine Block Four

.......I rediscovered the project which included the sales receipts. I still think it's a beautiful quilt and I have spent far too much money to just forget about it. I have been making lots of postcards and applique blocks to sell in my Etsy shop. The blocks have been selling like crazy and I keep getting orders for more, so my machine applique must be good. I made the decision to finish out the project using the machine button hole stitch that I have become proficient at.

OK, so it's not super fabulous like hand applique but frankly this quilt will end up on my bed and no one but me and my husband will ever see it.

I do change the thread to match each and every piece (each block has about 50 pieces). With each start and stop, I draw the top thread to the back, then with a self threading needle (thank you Bingo Bonnie) I thread the tails back through the stitching. I seriously don't think my stitching is ever going to come out. Yes, it does take a bit of time to complete a block, but no where near as long as hand applique would. And as a bonus, my eyes thank me too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vintage Valentine Block Three

.... then along came block three and I just could not finish it. There are so many little pieces the project became tedious and took up far too much of my time. I got half way through this block, folded it up and put it away.

I have tried many methods of hand applique but only one ever worked well for me. I trace each piece on freezer paper, press it onto the appropriate fabric, then cut it out with about 1/8 to 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then I fold the edge over and baste with needle and thread by hand. I have tried the glue method but that was just too messy. Then I appliqued the piece in place with a super fine applique needle and matching silk thread. Remove the basting, remove the paper and on to the next piece. Up and down, back and forth, just tried my patience.
I have to admit, the work came out pretty good (but not prize winning).

So there's where the project sat, until the other day when......................

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Vintage Valentines Block Two

................then came block two and the enthusiam had worn off just a bit.

Looks good in a photo, but don't look at it too closely, I'm not liking the results so much.............................................

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vintage Valentines Block One

........... So, with much anticipation and enthusiasm, I completed block one in no time flat. It turned out OK, but I have never been that happy with my hand applique.

Oh dear, so many itty bitty pieces.....................................

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vintage Valentine

In 2006, in a moment of weakness (or maybe just insanity) I signed up for a block of the month. There are 12 blocks, plus one large central block, plus a finishing package and a backing. It cost far too much but sure looked pretty.

I had planned to do the applique by hand. What was I thinking...........................

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October Block Lotto

I have not been playing along with the Block Lotto much this year. This is the year of liberated block making and I am not a big fan and can't quite get the hang of it. But this month's block is a variable star, liberated star, wonky it what you want.

I don't even want to tell you how many pieces ended up in the trash before I ended up with something presentable. If you would like to play along, you can get all the information at the Block lotto Blog.

So while I'm on the subject of liberated block making, let me show you the 6 blocks I received from the bee I joined a few months ago. I requested my blocks to be pink, red and a touch of purple (thinking I would make something for a little girl). For some reason I expected everyone to make a traditional block, instead I got mostly liberated blocks. The colors are great but I do not know what to do with these. I think one of my biggest objections to the liberated method is the statement "if it's too small just add some fabric". That might look OK for some but it is hard to work with a block that has a 1/2 inch strip all around.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Love String Blocks

It was several months ago when I signed up for the HGTV CYOC string block swap. I showed you pictures of the blocks I made for everyone else, it's time to show you the blocks I received.
Once again, I cannot get a photo with the correct colors. This quilt has turned out pretty cheerful yet it looks dull in the photo.
 I requested a 2" cut center string in white or WOW with 1930's style strings. The blocks should be cut at 6 1/2". Here's some observations of what I received.
1. Out of the 12 sets, only one marked the center so that the center string would be correctly centered.
2. Out of the 12 sets received all but one set were cut correctly. The one odd set was a smidgen too big and required some cutting down  (better too big than too small)
3. One set out of 12 had the center string cut at 2 1/2" and the strings were not 1930's style although they did coordinated well. I put them in the corners so no one would notice.
4. One set had some polyester strings. I could smell the difference when pressing.
5. The foundations in one of the sets was washed and bleached to death. You can still smell the bleach.
This might sound like I'm complaining but I am not. What I'm saying is that I love string blocks. Even with all these minor flaws, you can still make one heck of a good looking quilt. My thanks to all the ladies in the swap and hope to swap again.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Preemie Quilts

Is this the cutest fabric you ever saw?

Well, at least the cutest Halloween fabric you ever saw. When I first saw it two months ago, I just knew it was perfect for some preemie quilts.

I now have a total of 10 quilts, just enough to make a trip to Broward General NICU. And just in time for Halloween.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Baltimore Album Blocks

They were a bit more than I had planned to ever make, but look at these great Baltimore Album blocks.

The fabrics are the Moda leftovers from the Be Attitudes quilt top I made a few months back.
These blocks are for sale in the shop. They can be found here.