allie-oops sweet happy life

What a sweet happy life it is!

Monday, February 8, 2016


The other night, as I was hunched over my embroidery [and my neck and shoulders were KILLING me] I decided I needed something to hand quilt.  So I drew up a little pattern.

When I'm doing embroidery, I have to take my bifocals off.  And then get my nose 2 inches from the fabric, so I can see it.  I love doing embroidery, but it does hurt sometimes!  When I'm doing applique or hand quilting, my bifocals are fine, and I can sit comfortably.  See why I needed something to hand quilt?

I do my applique a little different, especially if it also has embroidery.  I thought maybe you'd like to see how I do it, in case this is something you could use too.

This pattern has a couple of pages - one is a layout diagram, and it's numbered [every applique piece has a number], and also a reverse layout, numbered as well [with the same numbers] for tracing onto fusible web.  I trace the pieces from the reverse layout onto fusible, putting the numbers on them as well.

Every piece has a number, so I know where it goes afterward.

I cut out all the pieces, fuse them onto the fabrics, then prepare my background.

I trace the entire pattern onto my background fabric.  Sometimes I put the numbers on there as well.  No overlays, no putting my layout diagram on my lightbox, just right on the fabric.  I use a fine point wash-away blue quilting pen, because it doesn't disappear when I fuse the pieces down, but it will disappear when I spritz it!

The stems on this will be embroidery, and I don't have to worry about lining everything up just so, it's all laid out for me on the fabric already.  If your pattern has embroidery with the applique, you really want to use the extra-fine point blue pen, as with the regular ones your lines will be too thick.  Which won't matter with the applique part.

I really don't think I invented this, lol, I'm sure a lot of you do this as well - I've never had quilting classes, but in all the books I've read and videos I've watched, I've not seen anyone do this.  And it's so easy!  Do let me know if you do this too!


Friday, February 5, 2016

Confessions Of A Frugal Quilter

Lately, I’ve been getting overwhelmed by all the ads – on facebook, coming in my email, on blogs   - telling me all about the latest and greatest sewing machines, gadgets, rulers, threads, fabrics, patterns, and on and on – how great they are!  How much I need them!  Hurry before they’re gone!  Everybody else has them!

How about you?  This may come as a surprise from someone who sells patterns, but honestly, it’s true.  Companies that supply quilters have found a good thing, and they’re making the most of it.  And not just quilters, I’ve been feeling inundated with ads for just about everything lately.  It makes me tired.


I don’t have much money.  Never did.  I’m not a quilter who can buy the latest and greatest fabric or gadget.  I may “think” I need them, and want them, but do I really need them….not having the funds to get them makes me think twice, and I usually end up realizing I don’t really need them!

And then there’s my sewing space.  It’s an 11’x12’ft bedroom, that IS a bedroom.  My bed is in here.  I do dream of a dedicated studio – looking around pinterest I see so many beautiful ones.  Sometimes it makes me think that I “need” a studio.  And then I remember this picture:

source unknown
Wouldn't you love to know her?  I would.

And then I’m grateful I have any space at all.  I’m not looking much at pinterest lately, lol.

Frugal quilting, which I have no choice over, forces my creativity.  I have to use from my stash, and work with the tools I have.  The best tools I own are my hands…and I thank the Lord for them.  Working from my stash makes me use unusual fabric combinations, or fabrics [vintage sheets!] and I think produces better results.  When I think of when I started quilting, without any tools at all [cardboard templates, fabric cut with scissors, no sewing machine!] I realize that I felt a lot more freedom.  Of course,  I wasn’t blogging everything then, either…the results didn’t seem to matter as much.

painted quilts I made back in the 90's

I do have to buy things sometimes, and you bet I think long and hard about my choices.  Something I probably wouldn’t do if I could just click “pay now” with abandon.  There’s a side benefit to that, now that we’re thinking of moving – not buying means less to move. 


 How about you?  Do you get overwhelmed with all the latest and greatest?  As a pattern seller, I do want to sell patterns, but I try to keep it low-key – when I lost my job and decided to try to make a go of this, my blog got boring.  Seriously, *I* got bored with it!  I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and really want my fun blog back.  My happy place.  I don’t want this to be nothing more than advertisement for my patterns.  I think there’s enough of that already.  I want you to enjoy coming here, and not feel pressured to buy buy buy.  Blogging is about friendships. 

Leave a comment and tell me which quilter you are -frugal, or if you have to have the latest and greatest – I’d love to know!!


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Postcards From Heaven, Block 2, February

Are you ready for Block 2 in our Postcards From Heaven?  It's ready for you!  I have to confess, when I drew this up, I didn't even think of Valentine's Day...but I think a heart is appropriate, don't you?  

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

In the pattern, I explain that I used "alway" as does the King James Bible.  However, Jenny used "always", and I give you the option in the pattern - I've added the "s" for you in the second version.

Jenny's version, oh so beautiful!!!

I just love her soft colors, and those beads!!!

As you can see, I picked out my red fabrics - aren't they pretty???  I'm still not sure how I'm going to put it all together, but there's plenty of time.  It will probably be simple, because that's how I roll.  Maybe a frame of each postcard in the red dot, and wide sashing of the red and white, then the red dot for binding.  We'll see.

You can get your postcard from my craftsy shop, just click  >>HERE<<

Be blessed!!


Saturday, January 30, 2016


Because lots of stitching requires it.

After this flu I've had, I swore off sugar.  Unfortunately for my resolutions, our grocery store had Spanish peanuts....which meant chocolate ice cream....which meant chocolate syrup.  I believe we used to call those a Tin Roof Sundae.  If that won't keep you going, I don't know what will!  

And I do need to keep going!  Right?  Right?  A girl can't stitch with only coffee to keep her spirits up, as wonderful as coffee is.

You may have noticed some changes in Allie-land.  Since this IS my happy place, I decided I needed roses.  Lots and lots of roses.  Roses always make me think of my grandma, and thinking of grandma brings back those happy years I had with her.  She was my sweet, Wild Irish Rose....and her eyes were always smiling.

Are you ready for February's Postcard From Heaven?  It's almost here....I'll probably upload late tomorrow night, as it will already be the 1st in Australia.  I can't wait!  See you then! 


Monday, January 25, 2016

Pulling Colors

It's a lovely day in Allie-land.  Mild, hazy sunshine, and I was up at 5:30am.  Good day to get things done.

So, I'm pulling floss colors for my new garden stitchery.  But not very enthusiastically....I don't know what's wrong with me since I've been sick, I just can't seem to "settle" into anything.  I have lots to do, and no desire to do it!

I think part of it might be that we're house-hunting.  My goodness, that's distracting.  We live in a tiny house, bursting at the seams, and we're looking for something bigger in a better city.  I did find "the" perfect house on Saturday, a 1958 mid-century contemporary tri-level with a fireplace in my sewing room, but it didn't have enough yard and storage.

I'm spending far too much time on the computer looking for prospects.  I LOVE "home" - making a home, being at home, decorating a home, and it's consuming me right now.

I've never loved the home we're in - it's never been "mine".  So dreaming about a space that I love is weighing on my mind heavy lately.  For a long time, I've decided to be content with what the Lord has given me, and minister where He puts me, but all this looking has stirred up long dormant feelings.  It's hard to be content when you have a big fat juicy carrot dangling in front of your eyes.

However, "someone" is very content, no matter what, as long as mama is around....

Not very ladylike, but content.  Maybe I should go take a nap too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


No, not the jeans kind.  The healing kind.  I'm finally on the mend.  After six days spent mostly in bed, without food or [more importantly] COFFEE, I'm now up and about!  That first sip of java was incredible - and the first meal I "cooked" couldn't have been improved upon.  Rice with frozen peas added in [cools the rice, warms the peas without making them mushy] and a can of tuna just plain.  I've never tasted a better meal in my life.

After I slaked my thirst and filled my tummy, I had strength to look around my sewing room.  EGADS what a mess.  I had forgotten, if you can believe it, that I had gone to Joann Fabrics on Thursday - my oldest son John had taken my fabric and washed it for me.

For which I was profoundly grateful, but it took me several moments to remember where it had come from.  It's for a new project.

And no, he doesn't fold the laundry - he just washes it and brings it in here.  It needs pressing anyway.

I had also ordered some Kona Bone for another project, it arrived while I was submerged.

More Joann's.

And after I cleaned off my table I found things that were ready for tracing!

I have five projects in various stages of progress right now.  Five that are mine - several more in bags tucked around the room.  Enough already with being sick, I'd better get crackin'!

And I didn't even take a pic of my sewing table, which is covered with strips for my Scrappy Cabin!

Jenny did a lovely post this morning about crocheting.  Do you crochet?  I used to all the time.  My favorite was Fisherman's crochet - popcorns, cables, basketweave - but this afghan was the only one I kept, it's not Fisherman's.

I used to love to crochet, and it's really making a comeback!  It hurts my wrist too much now though, so someday I want to learn to knit.  I still have some baby sweaters that my mom knit for me when she was carrying me.  So sweet.

Well I suppose I'd better get off here and get something done, heaven knows there's enough to do!  I MUST grocery shop today; I have this new-found interest in food, lol.  I'm dying to try this Paleo Avocado Tuna Salad I found on pinterest, looks too yum!!!!

I'll see you soon - I also have a thousand emails to answer, and blogs to read!  Oh what joy to be back among the living!

Hermione is glad mum's back too.


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