Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Glorious Guest - And A Give-Away!!

Ok, we’re stitchers, we quilt, we make gifts.  But sometimes we overdo – and get behind – right?  We just run out of time to make everything we want to.  That’s why I’ve asked my dear friend Cathe from GloryQuilts to guest blog today – she is a trusted etsy seller, a quilter extraordinaire – if you can’t give handmade by you, then handmade by an expert is best!

  (At the end of the post is the link to her gorgeous give-away, you won’t want to miss this!)

I met Cathe on a homeschooling website, eons ago, and we’ve been friends ever since.  She’s an amazing quilter, teacher, and author – I know you’ll love her!  I’ve asked her to write a guest post, so you can get to know her and her beautiful work.  (And isn't she pretty???!!!)


Hi Allie! It was indeed eons ago that we met online, at least in “internet years.” I believe it was 1999.  We were living in the Upper Peninsula at that time, and the long winters gave me plenty of time to sew when I wasn’t homeschooling and corralling my boys. That was a life-changing time for me, because it was my first exposure to the World Wide Web.

My husband was in the military when we married, so we moved frequently. I started quilting in 1986, when I was pregnant with our second son. We lived in Germany then, and I didn’t know anyone else who sewed or quilted. When we returned to the Unites States, everywhere we went, I met ladies who quilted or wanted to learn to quilt. I’ve always been a “club junkie”, from Girl Scouts on, and I organized quilt guilds in several different places. I had a husband, three sons and a male dog by then, so I reveled in the company of like-minded women!

In 1992, I was asked to teach a class at a local quilt shop. I discovered that even more than quilting, I liked teaching others how to do it - especially at weekend retreats and workshops. I eventually became concerned about copyright issues relating to the use of commercial patterns in teaching classes, so I started creating and drafting my own patterns. I liked that, too. (Math was my favorite homeschooling subject.)

Cathe's students

And then, in 1998, I found the Internet. Now I could connect with other Christian women, dressmakers, quilters, gardeners, and homeschoolers from the comfort of my own home! We could establish networks that lead to in-real-life opportunities. I was invited to teach at workshops further from home, including Florida and California one fall, bouncing back and forth from Wisconsin to the Mojave Desert, back home to Wisconsin, then to orange groves and Sanibel Island, and then back to snowy Wisconsin! 

Cathe's BOM students

Ebay was my first online marketplace. I sold over-the-top, frou-frou little girls’ outfits there as well as quilts. The clothing was fun and more profitable, but by then I had a surplus of quilts from years of class samples and pattern prototypes. Many of my quilt customers came back to me with special orders, and soon I had a small but steady income from the quilts.

 The handmade industry eventually shifted to Etsy. There weren’t as many customers there, but it was a specialized, niche market. Our offerings didn’t get lost in a crowd of cheap, mass-produced quilts. As Etsy grew, more people became interested in shopping for art and handmade items online. I think shoppers started to appreciate the value of unique things, more than when they were limited to local venues. They saw that crocheted hats and quilts weren’t just crafty things that grandma made in her spare time.

I shop on Etsy! I buy patterns, handspun yarns, and hand-dyed fabrics. I love giving one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for birthdays and at Christmas, and it makes me feel good to know that I am supporting independent designers and crafters like myself.  

I still teach and design patterns, but I now create more unique items specifically for the handmade market. It gives me an income from doing what I love. I’ve started writing fiction, drawing on a lifetime of sharing life with women who enjoy creating for their own pleasure or professionally. I’m very blessed and very grateful for the opportunities I have and the connections I have made online. As you know, Allie, some of our best friends are those we haven’t even met in person!


Thanks Cathe, I hope someday we CAN meet in person, especially since we don’t live all that far away!  And now dear readers, are you ready for a give-away?  LOOK at this……a gorgeous gift basket!!!!

How awesome is that?  [From Cathe’s blog:]  Just in time for Christmas, I’m giving away this awesome gift basket featuring a GloryQuilts Mug Rug! It also has a fun coffee mug, Mountain High coffee, Bigelow French Vanilla tea, Godiva French Vanilla coffee, Alpine spiced apple cider mix, and some of those fancy dark chocolate rolled wafers!  Yum!  Keep it for yourself or give it as a Christmas gift. 

 Sign up for her newsletter when you enter, and you’ll get her Chevron Quilt pattern free!  [Give-away is for US residents only – shipping is outrageous, as we all know, unfortunately!]

Cathe has lots of goodies to browse in her etsy shop, click >>HERE<< to see!  And don’t forget to follow her blog >>HERE<<, you can follow by email and get notified of every gorgeous post.  One of my favorite posts by her is her list of 15 Things To Look For When Buying A NewSewing Machine – excellent list!  You can find that post by clicking >>HERE<<.

 I hope you enjoyed meeting my precious friend Cathe, and seeing her beautiful work.  Good luck in the give-away [but my fingers are crossed that I win!  Well, wouldn't yours be?] 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Forced Break And Free Design!

I'm back from my forced vacation from the internet!  Seven days -  it took Comcast 7 days to figure out that our connection had been loosened from the pole outside.  And yesterday, our power main went on the house, we only had power to less than half the house - so guess what got replaced early this morning before the cable guy arrived!  Good thing I have a handy hubby.

But now I'm back, and I've uploaded my latest free design for you to my craftsy store, click HERE!

I love Burl Ives and A Holly Jolly Christmas song, it's been ringing in my head while working on this design.  The pattern is for the stitchery only, how you finish it will be up to you!  Do send pics, I'd love to see what you create!

Now that we have power and internet again, I'm hoping we can keep them, I have sewing to do.  We're in the middle of a wicked 2-day wind storm, lots of folks without power already, and Lake Michigan is forecast to have 23ft seas.  If we can keep the lights on, I'll be coming around to visit your blogs, I've missed you so!!!  It's very hard to do anything on my tiny phone screen!

See ya soon!

Friday, November 6, 2015


This has been a most unusual November - temps in the high 70's, such lovely days, and crisp nights.  Last night it was so mild, I fell asleep listening to crickets, of all things!

Night before last, I had a dream that because it was so warm, everything bloomed again.  I was driving [in my dream] down a road lined with cherry trees, in full bloom, and it was so gorgeous that I pulled over to take a picture for the blog.  But I woke up before I could take any, so sorry, no pics.  But here's a pic from last spring's tree outside my window....

We have two apple trees, one in the front yard, one in the back.  The deer have been going nuts with them.  You can hear them out there every night, crunching, they're very loud eaters!

I caught a tiny squirrel picking the apples yesterday, dropping them on the ground for the deer.

Sometimes it's very distracting to see all the city wildlife outside my window - but I have been working on my free Christmas design, I'm so close to being done!  I hope I can get it uploaded this weekend, I'll let you know.

I think this will be the last warm day, so I'm going to go enjoy it - grocery shopping.  Always nicer to do those necessary chores when the weather is good!  I think we had snow last year at this time....
See ya soon!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Scrappy Harvest at the Cabin SAL Applique Block 2

How are you going with your blocks?  I haven't been doing very well....after being so sick, and then putting my back out, my stitching has suffered greatly.  But today I got busy, and spent the day at my sewing machine, yay!  Well, part of the day.

Our second block is ready for you to download in my craftsy shop, click HERE.  This time a sweet red bird has flown in to partake of the harvest.

First, make your neutral block, but only up to log 9.  Start adding your applique, following the picture - branch, bird, and wing.

Stitch them down, then start adding leaves - the more the merrier!

You might need a little sustenance to stitch down all the leaves - *ahem*

After you get all the leaves stitched with a blanket stitch, you can switch to a straight stitch and add the legs.  Placement doesn't have to be exact.

You can add the eye either with a small button, a French knot, or a black bead - I haven't added mine yet.  Then add your final four logs, in darks, and you're done!

Here are all my blocks so far -

Not as many as I'd hoped, but as you can see I have my next neutral block ready for the house applique.  Here's hoping I stay relatively healthy for the next little while, lol, and can get more done.  I'm planning on adding more leaves to the applique blocks, going out into the darker border, but that will wait til I have a lot more blocks done.

I did also make some new curtains for my room - inner curtains, so I have light without neighbors seeing in.  I made them from a chenille bedspread.

Hermione hates them - she likes to be able to see out.  She gets quite comfy by the window, on my cutting table.

Her middle name is Spoiled Brat.

See ya soon!

Friday, October 30, 2015

I'm Back

And refreshed in spirit - the body is another story.  Somehow I've put my back out, and can't sit for very long.

 My view on the way to my aunt's.  I wish my camera had captured the hugeness of this moon!

The leaves are really changing, and the tree skeletons are starting to show.

The moon the other night was so spooky - it would have been a good night for trick-or-treating.

One of the joys of visiting my aunt's house is the fabulous Joann's 5 minutes away.  Look what I found there - Wendy's [from Ivory Spring blog] new book!  Well, one of her new books, lol!  So pretty!  Love those swirls and birdy.

I'm afraid I can't do much sitting [or standing or laying down!] so I've not visited blogs much.    But I do want to mention something Jenny blogged about - her new two free BOM's for next year, one of which I'll be collaborating on with her!

It's called Postcards From Heaven, and will begin on New Year's Day 2016.  Jenny will kick off the free BOM with her design, and I'll take over in February, and we'll tag-team back and forth with 12 free designs.  I hope you'll join us!  

I'm off to take more Tylenol - I'll see you as soon as I can sit for a spell!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Bit Of News And A Breather

The leaves are turning so fast here in Michigan -

I love how on even rainy days, you get under some bright yellow trees and you'd think the sun was still shining.  So gorgeous.

I'm going out to my aunt's for a few days, I need a breather and that's the best way to get it.  I'll be working on a project for next year....taking my pencils and most importantly, my eraser.  So you may not hear from me for a few!

I did finish up my first Christmas design, still working on the free one - I've been so busy cleaning this week, I haven't picked up a needle or turned my machine on at all!  Christmas Canoe is now in my shop, as an instant pdf download, for only $1.98!

I come from the land of Hiawatha [seems like everything around here is named after him] so I thought a canoe would be fitting.

The pattern is for the stitchery design only.  I used colored pencils on this one, rather than crayons - I like them better.  You do have to use a textile medium over them to make them permanent, but it's fast, easy and fun.

You just lightly brush on the medium after coloring, and let it dry.  I don't find it any harder to stitch through.  After coloring and adding the medium, I add the fusible interfacing to the back, and that heat sets the color.  Then your piece is washable!

I'm going to turn mine into a small door hanging, to greet visitors.  I'd love to see how you finish yours!

I am still stitching the free Christmas design coming up, my cleaning kind of got in the way this week.  I'm taking that with me as well to my aunt's, hopefully it will be finished in the next few days.  See ya soon - don't forget to BREATHE!


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