Thea's quilting trials and tribulations.

Life teaches us many lessons! Some of the greatest lessons in my life have been taught to me by my quilts and the people that I have met through my quilting.

What a year it has been - it started out so promising.  I was feeling good - was working on my WIP and getting UFOs done.  I was working on quilt tops - had a plan for the year.  I guess that my good plans get changed every year.  But I did get some of my WIP done and I got a couple quilts finished up - and the year in retrospect was a very good year.  

Mom came to live with us in February and that is an adjustment.  She and I are like oil and water and she is a very unhappy woman right now.  She doesn't adjust very well to losing her independence but she couldn't take care of herself any more - so we are adjusting and getting used to it.  I have learned that I can't be responsible for her happiness that she has to do that for herself.  She has to motivate herself.  So I am working on that.

So what quilts did I make this year...teehee...

I made this quilt and a friend of mine quilted it for me.  I gave it to the kids when I went to visit them last year.

I made this quilt for my Grand daughter - she hasn't gotten it yet as it is for a future gift.  I have to have one done for my Grand son when I give her one so he doesn't feel left out and since his isn't quite done yet - it will have to wait a few months... or if I get energized it might get done yet...teehee

I got this cool fabric at a shop in MO on my way to retreat and have started this one block wonder stack and whack - it won't be done till 2013 though but that is okay.

This is the double wedding ring I made for the kids - I haven't quilted it yet - I want to do something special to it and do it myself and I was practicing in January quilting quilts but then well Mom came and I got sick so we will see when it gets done - someday - for now it is a top!!!

My friend Rita who house and pet sits for me so DH and I can go away together on vacations deserved something special so am making her this dog quilt - she wanted a quilt with these dogs on it so I put this together - it turned out better then I had hoped for - I am in the process of quilting it.  I put extra batting behind each of the dogs so when I quilt them it till stand out a little more.  I had to stop as I started having some pretty horrific chest pains.  My heart is okay but the pain was still there - I tried sewing and the pain was still there so took a week off and it started getting better so I did some regular sewing and was okay - so far haven't finished up the quilting yet on this quilt hope to soon - my chest is getting stronger so before Christmas is here this quilt should be done.  

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I am posting pictures of the APQS show that I went to in DesMoines Iowa while at the retreat at Walnut Place recently.  I took over 900 pictures of quilts so give me time and I will post most of them here.  It takes quite a while to post them and I am having to crop them down so that you get to see the best picture I can show you.  I hope that you love this eye candy as much as I do.  I will be adding to this blog page until I get them all posted.









Posted by Thea | 3 comment(s)


1 strip 8 1/2 x 13 1/4 - this will be the cover

1 strip 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 this will be the spine piece

1 strip 8 1/2 x 13 1/4 - this will be your lining

1 strip 8 1/2 x 3 1/2  - this will be spine lining piece

1 strip approx 5 1/4 x 21 for pockets

1 strip 2 1/2 x 21 for binding

contrasting pieces 

 1 strip 5 1/4 x 21 - set aside for pockets

1 strip 4 1/2 x 21 - set aside for binding

Fusible TimTex  4 pieces 8 1/2 x 6

Batting - 2 pieces 3  x 8 1/2

Fusible interfacing 

1 strip 4 1/4 x 20 - for pockets

2 strips 1 2/4 x 8 1/2 for spine

2 pieces of elastic approx 2" long


First fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining pieces then sew the contrast to it right sides together... Wrap around to the back - the bottom edge should align - the contrast will show along the top edge - PRESS

Cut the pocket piece into 3 pieces - 1)6 x 4 1/2  2) 2 3/8 x 4 1/2 3)  6 1/2 x 2 3/4 -. the contrast will be at the top - hope you can understand this  - don't have any pictures at the moment - but you take the piece with the contrast across the top - go across 4 1/2" and cut - then 2 3/8" cut then 6 1/2" cut

On the 6 1/2" piece - open it up - take your kindle over to it and mark the bottom where the opening is needed - mark on the interfacing piece - fold it back together and stitch a rectangle in this area - approx 5/8" deep about 2" wide - this is differently positioned for each kindle type - so you have to lay yours down to find out where as this will be where you hook up the charger while kindle is in the cover

Now fold it together right sides together and stitch on this line - clip to within 1/8" and turn right side out...Top stitch close to the edge to secure it...


Take the 2 pieces of Timtex - this is a heavy fusible lining piece to give it structure - I used Timtex but there are other brands - 

You will fuse these to the inside of the lining piece - on each edge - not meeting in the middle..

Top stitch across the pocket piece - 6x4 1/2 

Take the lining piece that we have just fused the timtex to - turn it right side up 

take the pocket piece and place it on the left side - aligning to left side and bottom - stitch around sides 1/8" from edges - do not sew top edge...


Now take the piece that we adjusted for you Kindle - lay your kindle down on top and if it is too big adjust it - you only want it to go around it to keep it snug in place - adjust as you see fit...

lay it on the right side and top stitch around right side and the bottom not the opening!!! and then the left side close to the middle


If you need a light pocket - you will now top stitch the contrast edge and put it on the top of the left side of the lining piece and align to top and left side - stitch in place across top - down the left side - across the bottom - leave the contrast area open do not top stitch down the light won't go in... Make sure this does not go into the middle section - leave it on the Timtex area - maybe 1/2" away from it at the center.

Place your Kindle on the right side - place the 2 pieces of elastic across the top edges diagonally where they hold the kindle in place but do not interfere with the ability to read the Kindle... anchor the elastic down...

Take the 3 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of lining material - fuse the small piece of interfacing to the center of the piece of fabric - folding the sides into the center(press) - place on the center - over the edges of the pockets but not over the opening for the light pocket - Top Stitch in place...

Now to work on the outside cover...

If you want to put something nice on the cover - now is the time to do it - on the right side you could embroider a design - do some applique 

Take the 3 1/2 x 8 1/2 spine piece - fuse the interfacing to it - fold back the side  - take your batting pieces - cut them to fit in the area - that the fusible is on - this will give your spine some density - put the spine piece in place over the middle of the piece - you can fold the front piece in half and align the spine piece there - top stitch down...

Now - you can make a strap to hold the Kindle cover closed when not in use... or you can make a piece that comes from back to front on the side 

I have to get my cover out to see what the exact measurements I used - and I'll get back to you on this - but use your imagination

Put the lining cover and the front together - wrong sides - stitch around the outside to hold it all in place - make sure your pocket pieces are going the right direction - 

Now - do the binding as though you were working on a quilt and you are finished!






Posted by Thea | with no comments

I love doing McKenna Ryan quilts - this one was the easiest that I have done as it had very little applique' on it.

This is my 4th MR quilt and although this is just the top I hope to quilt it shortly - waiting on my sewing machine to come home!


This is quilt # 3 for 2011... I am just moving along!  It is so wonderful to feel better - I am just amazed at how much better my medication makes me feel - I am not 100% yet but so much better that I feel almost unstoppable - so my quiltoholic disease is doing great!!! teehee

I hope that 2011 becomes a great year for all! 

Posted by Thea | 1 comment(s)

This is the main part of the quilt before I put the borders on it... All the satin stitch has not been done yet because of the borders.

The borders are on but still have some applique' on the bottom right - and I have to satin stitch the few additions to the top right...

Okay still working on CDU - have added the last of the Applique - and guess what - see that 2nd Kangaroo on the bottom - from the left - lol - well I was walking in my sewing/livingroom and found this his arm on the floor - do not know how it happened - but I pinned it in place and will do the satin stitching of all the last applique pieces today - have to wait untill I get my sewing machine back to quilt this quilt but hopefully that won't be too long...


See he has his arm on the the "gooses" have joined the party... they were so cute to make...

I really like this quilt - you just smile when you look at it - and although I am sure I didn't do justice the Australian animals - I hope they won't be mad!  I like them!!!

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I left last Friday and drove to Houston!  I stayed with my brother's sister's family.  I got to meet my newest Great Nephew - such a cutie!  I haven't downloaded any pictures from my camera yet to my computer but when I do - I will post them all!

It was an exhausting and whirlwind 4 days... 9 hours to get there... body absolutely hates me!!! I still love it!  It would be nice to not hurt when you do something that is normal to everyone else - but I made it and that is the most important thing.  I have amazed myself this year - for years I have not left my house for any length of time - I have always scheduled everything so as not to put myself through anything for more then 1 day at a time... scheduling days of rest along with days of physical activity.  It has been very hard but this summer we went to MO to visit a long time friend of my DH's and although it was nothing more then driving to his house and staying there for 3 days - I was able to do it... so then I was given a great gift - a trip to Chicago for Quilting in Chicago and although was scared - I made it through - each day though I died and crashed - I pushed myself very hard and made it through - so that was so good!

I knew since I had done Chicago that I could do Houston!  I am able to drive without a great deal of problems - I look funny for a few moments when I get out of the car - but I can and do do it!  And I did it again!!! 

I drove down there on Friday - then Saturday went garage sale shopping with Teresa - that was easy - I just rode in the car with her and would get out and helped her to look through baby toys / books / and clothes for things for Evan - she got some awesome deals and I was happy to be with her...

Then on Sunday, the best day of all.  I got to spend it with Jodie - I acted as her assistant while she taped parts of her Quilt Out Loud program and I had so much fun!  I got to meet so many people - Some of the most memorable for me were Patrick Lose ( great brownies), Rob Appell ( cuter and funkier in person), Marti Michell (2nd meeting and she was just as sweet), some of the teacher from Chicago - Sherrie Driver, Jean Nolte and Mary Mahoney to name just a few... The others when I download the pictures I'll put in bits of the talks we had...

I had so so much fun - I didn't see 1/20 of the market - but that was okay - I will have something to look forward to the 2nd and 3rd times that I go!!!  And I will go - yes I will!  It is on my calendar for as many years as I can look forward to!  Next year - maybe I will get to go to Festival too. 

For now, I am back home and trying to rest - the body that hates me really hates me!  but again that is okay - there are tons of things to do in the coming weeks to keep my mind off of this hating body of mine!

God bless and many quilty hugz to all my quilty friends!


Adding some of my pictures from my Houston trip... so much fun

Jodie and I at the QNNtv booth... she is just so cute!  and so much fun to be around!

Alex from Aurifil threads - he has the nicest Italian accent and such a sweet person - this was taken at his booth in Houston!

 Rob Appell and ladies he is as cute as can be - This was taken in front of his rendition of the polar bear - He is doing a group of patterns with Michael Miller fabrics.  Each pattern sale sends some monies to the endangered animals foundation to save our wild animals.  you have to see these quilts - they are awesome... and so is Rob... I love the programs on QOL when Rob co-hosts with Jodie. 


Because market is on Halloween day each year - some of the booths members dress up in Halloween attire - you wouldn't believe all the witches I saw.  This lady was one of the cutest witches.  and their booth was adorable.

this was the first stop of the morning and Guideline rulers are fantastic - we talked about the template that we had to make for the odd size flying geese that we did in the BOM and he was intrigued with finding a ruler to do this - that would be awesome...

So these are just some of my pictures that I thought I would share!

Have a quilty day!

Posted by Thea | 1 comment(s)

Well the first came and went and i didn't get to work on my Dear Jane quilt - I had pulled out the background fabric and that was it.  I was running around 102 fever most of the day.  I do not know what is wrong - just worn out and just dozed all day long.

2 January came and I pulled the fabrics - pressed my freezer paper templates on the fabrics for the 3 blocks and have them setting next to my chair ready to draw my sewing lines on and then to start hand sewing. 

What is happening in my world... well Jay is working on the pantry / storage closet ... and the bathroom -

The weather is freezing cold outside - we are forecast for below 30 degree weather for the next week... and a possibility of snow.  Politically, the nation is in a quandry - who knows who is telling the truth anymore - Jay is still out of work - the economy here is really bad. 

I will take pictures of my first blocks when they are done...

Posted by Thea | 2 comment(s)

Quiltoholics - What are quiltoholics... I started this thread in forums as a spoof.  I have always told my friends that I was a quiltoholic - but unlike being an alcoholic there is nothing wrong with being a quiltoholic.  It is not a disease or something bad. I think quilting gave purpose to my life when I retired from working.  I am not the type of person that can sit and do nothing all day long  - I have to feel productive.  Since I was a child, I have been very creative.  I loved to draw and make things.  I tried every craft out there.  Some I probably could have worked on harder... like painting pictures...but I didn't really get into it.  I loved knitting and crocheting but although I still knit and crochet I don't get as much pleasure from it as I do from quilting.  When I found quilting, I was so hooked.  I love making quilts and getting better at it.  I love learning new styles of cutting and sewing the fabric back together.  I want to be the best I can be at it.   I live and dream quilting - when I read of a new technique I want to know all about it.  I read all about all the advancements and how people make this craft of mine better.  I truly am impressed with quilters as they are such a loving caring group of people that amaze me with their generosity.  And you can make so many different kinds of quilts.  That to me is just so wonderful.  We get people from all walks of life that are quilters. 

The following is my idea of what a meeting of Quiltoholics should be like:

Gavel Gavel Gavel

Please hold the noise down - ladies and gentlemen - we would like to bring this meeting of our Quiltoholics chapter  to order...

We thank you all for attending this afternoon...We would like to  welcome our members and any guests that are with us today.  After our business meeting, we would like any and all new members to stand and introduce themselves. 

Please remember ladies and gents that although we are proud of being a quiltoholic that everything spoken here is to be kept within these walls… Some of our members are still in the closet!  We are here to assist the members of this chapter in becoming the best quilter that she or he wants to be.  Quilts are made with love for the recipients who get them.  We want to give you support in making the best quilt that you can make.

We have a refreshment tray set up in the back - lots of chocolates, coffee, tea, soft drinks, water, and lattes.  !


 We hope that our steps will help you and that you will proudly go forth from this meeting with the knowledge that it is OKAY to be a quiltoholic.  Here are our 12 steps.

1)  Admitting that you are a quiltoholic

2)  Bowing to a Quilt Deva

3)  Your need of a sponsor to help you with your quilting life - a sponsor is someone who can help you with a specific part of your quilting... egs being a piecer, a person who appliques, a person who does hand piecing, machine quiting, long arm quilting etc.

4) To search through your quilting life and write down in your own words your life as a quilter... what your goals are, what you have learned, what you want to do with your quilts.

5) Sharing your love of quilting with someone else... a great enterprise to be done at every opportunity..(remember this is a great thing)

6)  Owning up to your mistakes and showing how you have either hid the mistake or fixed the mistake and what you learned from the mistake that will help all future quiltoholics to realize that you weren't and aren't perfect that mistakes are made and can be overcome.

7)  Realizing that your Quilt Diva is there to teach you and give you assistance with any of the questions that might arise in your quilting life.

8) Take an inventory of your magazines – books – patterns – fabric ( including scraps)…

9) Taking an inventory of your UFOs.

10) Continuing  to take stock in what you have learned in your quilting life.  Strive to be better tomorrow then you are today.

11) Lift yourself up –invite a higher power into your quilting world.  This could be a favorite instructor – a speaker at your guild meeting, a speaker at a retreat or quilt show… we need to step out of our comfortable quilty lives and try something new.  So get out there and explore.

12) Having had an awakening that you are a quiltoholic, you will now take this message to all who are or might be candidates; to encourage them to stand up and shout that they are a quiltoholic to.

Our business meeting has now come to a close.  We invite each of you to stand and acknowledge your awareness that you are a quiltoholic.  We send you forth in this knowledge and ask you to come back when you are in need of support.  We hope that you will go forth and start a chapter of  Quiltoholics in your town or city.  We will be holding Weekly meetings to get together to discuss quilting issues, to give help and assistance to all who might need it, to send forth new and wonderful quiltoholics every chance we get.

We hope to see you here again – We appreciate each and everyone of you that have come and shared your valuable time with us!  Thank you.  We hope that you have many many warm and quilty days to come and send out warm quilty hugz to all.  We now conclude the meeting and turn it over to you for a show and share segment…

I think of Quiltoholics as a wondeful group of people who get together to support those around them - to impart their knowledge in any way that they can.  Women and Men who come together to make quilts, talk about the quilting world and to bring the love of quilts to all who could use a loving lift.  I thank all those that participated on the forum and hope that somehow I might have brought some sunshine into someones life as much as the sunshine has been brought into my life by quilts.

I have a special love of butterflies.  I had two conversations with my Dad just a day before he passed on from this world... I was sitting on my front porch both times.  I have soaker hoses that if you turn them over the water sky rockets into the air... I like watching them because it causes rainbows.  i was talking to my Dad on Wed and the butterflies were just dancing in the water in and out and around the flowers... My Dad was telling me that he had been afraid he had dimentia because he couldn't remember short term memory items...he couldn't manage his checkbook anymore... then the next day, I was again on my porch and again the butterflies were out there dancing - talking with my Dad and he asked me if the butterflies were dancing again for me... i told him see Dad your short term memory is just fine.  My Dad passed on the next day - he had a brain tumor that was inoperable...

I went to the memorial service for him and the funeral director gave mea pin of a butterfly and a beautiful poem to go with it.  It seemed unbelieavable to me..

so on the wall in my sewing room I have butterflies that I someday will make into a quilt - haven't decided how yet but here are some of them... one set are all applique butterflies - the other is a creation of mine with thread and and glitter stones and fabric.  There is an addtional butterfly on the wall that is embroidery on my sewing machine.



I know my Dad is in a better place but I sure do miss him - someday I will make a butterfly quilt in tribute to him - these butterflys may or may not be in it but when I see them they give me fond memories of my Dad...

Posted by Thea | 8 comment(s)

Here are the BOM that I am doing for a quilt called Atlantis - I have 7 blocks done out of 12 - and then we get the finishin kit next month from Completely Quilted in Ponca City Oklahoma.  This is one of the toughest quilts that I have ever made.  I think McKenna Ryan's quilts were easier to do then this one... I am going to finish the rest of my blocks within the next 2 weeks so that when I go to guild in September I can pick up my finishing kit and the backing and complete this quilt.  Let me know what you think...

I have the last five blocks to this point - they are awaiting all those curves to be topsitched down - but i am getting there... I have a quilt on the wall in my livingroom and it seemed to be the perfect spot to use as a design wall for the moment... I will have to take all these down and take a picture of this quilt - it is a precious one to me - I belonged to a small group of quilters and we did a round robin - this was mine - I enjoy it on my wall although it is about a full size quilt - not really a wall hanging - but soon I will share it with you.

Well, I have a few pictures to add to this - I finished the topstitching on all the blocks and am working on the borders...

This is the body of the quilt - all the topstitching is finished and teh blocks are sewn together... I love the bright colors to this quilt and am amazed that it is turning out so well... I am taking my time with it so I don't make any of my normal mistakes.

these are the border pieces.  I had to make 14 of these and top stitch down the orange, green, purple, turquoise and reddish colors... left the dark blue for later...

these are the 4 corner pieces.

I have the border pieces sewn together and have all but one sewn on the body of the quilt... I hope to have some energy this evening to get them done... then the plain dark blue border and then I top stitch down the dark blue pieces and the top is done...

Posted by Thea | 12 comment(s)
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Today was a long day - I am literally worn out... I woke feeling fairly good after the last week - that felt good.  We fed the cats and no Mishka - he didn't eat well yesterday so i have been trying to keep an eye on him... I went and found him - he was laying out in the cat pen and wouldn't come when I called him - so Jay went out and brought him in... set him down near his food and he said no way... so I took him to the water dish - he said nope don't want that either... then I called the Vet and took him in ... we had to wait for an inbetween appointments with her but that was okay - I don't like to drop my cats - I like to be right with them when they are examined - just like you do with your kids...anyway she came in examined him - we could find no problem areas and his kidneys appeared to be okay so no blockage ... she gave me some meds and some stuff to clean his ears with - no ear mites just dirty ears...

He ate dinner with the other kids so that was a good sign - we will keep an eye on him... meds for a week... always worry that they will get into something and he did escape Saturday night...

I worked all day on Alphabuddies... I was not happy at all with the instructions - then they had the border measurements wrong...but I got her done and here she is...

I love some of the pictures that they used - like V for vulture and N for Narwhal - I better look that up before I send this to one of the grand kids - have to be ready...

I also dug out my Cat advent calendar to show Kris what an advent calendar is... I couldn't find my other one - will have a search through the house or back room where everything is stored - I'll come across tons of stuff that I thought I had lost but that will be okay...

here is the Advent calendar

I had just learned how to do bobbin work when i was making this calendar so all the sparkly thread was added by me - it was fun... after I did this I made a table runner for a friend in Australia - I wish I could find her address again - she was my overseas buddy... here is a picture of it... I did sparkly thread all over the snowflakes and the letters and  the snowman... I haven't done it since... it was fun though and i should do some more...

Well that is all I will add today - enjoy and any questions - I will be glad to answer.

Posted by Thea | with no comments

I really liked the wallhangings that Marianne posted in the latest easy quilt magazine and thought what a great gift it would be for my grandchildren - I can send them up with some pieces of candy and maybe a prize or two for C & B to put in the little pockets.  I made the orange one first for Echo - the 2nd one went together a lot easier for Reese... the little pockets are not for the beginner - nor the mitered corners and it was tough getting the fabric to closely match in the corners - it isn't as perfect as I would have liked it to be but I like it...

I put a piece of burgundy minkee on the backs that has stars and moons on it - I will put a hanging sleeve on them and send a dowel up with them so B can hang them for the kids...

I fussy cut out the  cats and the pumpkin creatures.  I had some extra halloween materials from my stash - used some more of it up - some day I will have a small stash again -

The Wallhangings were sent to the Grand kids and they love themm - Echo said Tank you Nana!  i felt like i was on cloud nine... love my grand kids!

Posted by Thea | 3 comment(s)

here is a picture of the materials that I have in my stash for a Christmas quilt.  There is a pattern in the new Fabric Trends for quilter's magazine called Oriental blossoms.  I think that it will be a perfect showcase for these fabrics - I still need to find a gold fabric to work  - but here is my start


When I saw these fabrics I thought they were elegant and have been looking for a showcase quilt for them - i think this pattern will work.  I'll keep you posted as I make this quilt - I will copy the pattern out of the magazine and put it with the fabric in one of my project boxes so it won't get lost.  i read the pattern last night and will change up a few things - I don't like to cut pieces up if you don't have to - I see no reason to cut a piece up of the same material - sew it back together - with nothing added to it... so the long pieces will be cut long - ... I am envsioning this quilt in my head and I am going to look for a light colored solid piece of material to match the light shade of beige...

I found the beige and added a red to the mix and have finished the top... I love it.  I am so grateful to Helly -she was talking about this one pattern in a magazine that I was talking about another quilt in and I went back and looked and it was perfect for this material.  Here is the finished top... Since this picture was taken, I have sewn the ovals down - and the quilt is ready for quilting... it should be done before Halloween!  I hope!

HaHaHa - how many years ago did I post that that is would be done before Halloween... it became another UFO top... top done but not quilted... Well a couple weeks ago I took it off the hanger in the closet - got the package of batting and the backing that was already and off to the church we went.  I spent a couple hours sandwiching it together... then I came home and it sat there again - almost joining the other tops taht are sandwiched but not quilted... well I got some energy last week and started quilting it...


I found that I had made some mistakes when I was doing the square in a squares and had a little too much fullness there - so how to quilt it as I didn't want to take it apart and start over - so I figured - listening to the song "You can Quilt that OUT!" that I could use a meandering - small to medium and quilt the fullness out and it worked...teehee...

I sewed the machine part of the binding on today... YIPPEEE!!! closer to being done ... I have to do the hand part of the sewing of the binding on but I will do that with my little sewing group next Wednesday... some hand work to do while I am with them...

This is the quilt on the bed - I decided to keep one picture with it on the bed and not crop it so I could see my inspector Bear taking it all in....he was kind of mad - I had gotten him out from under the covers on the bed so i could lay the quilt there....teehee

This is an overhead view of the quilt on the bed

And this is the quilt hanging - I have a terrible time trying to get a good picture of my quilts so tend to take it in different places...teehee

But I do like this quilt. 

Posted by Thea | 4 comment(s)
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