Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

Nope, not tickled pink that mum is sick AGAIN....and not tickled pink that Jeff's mum fell and hit her head, and had to get a CT scan today [all clear, thank You Lord]...not tickled pink that I have to get up at 6am tomorrow for Sam's PT appointment....but I am tickled pink about something...

Do you remember when Jenny and the Gum Tree Designers created their Springtime BOM for Fresh Hope?    Well, sweet Cheryl from Willowberry Designs put me in touch with Mary from Fresh Hope, and I created a pattern for her wonderful ministry too.

Fresh Hope is a wonderful organization, helping mums and children stay together and getting them healthy.  The name of the organization is exactly what they offer to these families.  Truly something I can support with my whole heart, and small talents.

This is the pattern I created for Fresh Hope, the Seeds Of Hope Hand Bag.

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And here is my 'designer's statement', the reason I chose to support them.

Since the birth of my two boys, I’ve realized that motherhood is the most important role of my life. The future of the world starts with our children. That is why I decided to support Fresh Hope, by creating and donating a pattern. The help, caring and devotion that Fresh Hope gives to mothers is something I am very pleased to support. In my own small way, I hope to make a contribution to their great work.

The design on the front of my purse is dandelions in the seed stage. The seeds scatter and produce a miracle of new life, bringing the hope and promise of beauty to new areas. I think they’re a lovely little flower, sunny yellow and cheerful, and I love their persistence and endurance – both excellent qualities. To me, it epitomizes the work that Fresh Hope does, bringing these qualities and a new life to mothers and children in need. The seeds of addiction and hopelessness are blown away for the promise of a new life, a ‘fresh hope’.

The pattern will be available soon, it's going to the distributor this week.  You can browse Fresh Hope's pattern index here, or check at Under the Mulberry Tree, [put Fresh Hope in the search box on the left], or go into your local craft store and ask for a pattern.  Creative Abundance is the distributor, the store will contact them and Creative Abundance will send them the pattern.

I want to thank Cheryl for putting me in touch with such a lovely ministry, and for the opportunity to be a blessing! 

I hope you're all having a Tickled Pink Tuesday - join with me and my partner Cheryl at Polka Dots and Rick Rack and tell us what's tickling you!

Monday, June 27, 2011

June Strut Your Stuff Is Here!

It's almost the end of the month, and it's time for our linky party again!  Boy this month went fast.  Remember my theory, that the closer we get to Christmas the faster the days go?  It's holding true.

For my gift this month, I made Jenny's Plum Pudding table center.  LOVE IT!  Oh so cute.

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Look at the retro Santa fabric I used for it....

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I made mine a wee bit different, because I didn't have a 26" square of suitable fabric!  So I made it smaller and it's an ornament.  I think it's the cutest ever and you can get the pattern in Jenny's etsy shop, along with several other new Christmas patterns.  And did you know Jenny has a new online magazine???  Every month you get 3 patterns [worth $12] for only $4!  Personally, I think her patterns are worth much more than that...I love her style.

And speaking of Jenny, look what she went and did.  She bought me a book.

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She's making the little quilts from it, and I'm going to join her.  Thank you Jenny, you are a doll - I really love this book!  I think my favorite quilt in it is Dandelions [or maybe The Night Garden.]

The blocks for Kaaren's quilt have started rolling in, for those of you who put your email in the envelope I'll be emailing you shortly.  Thank you so much to those who have donated, it will help a lot!

So are you done with your gift for this month?  I found it hard to get going, because it's warm outside and I didn't have a clue what to make [until I saw Jenny's new patterns!].  Remember you have until midnight my time on the 30th to do your blog post and link up.  You can also upload your pictures to our flickr group, found here.  That's a good place to put your pics if you don't want to post your gift on your blog, then I can just add them to my blog and your giftee won't see!  Email me if you'd like me to do that, or leave a comment here.  And don't forget our lovely give-away gift for all those who've made gifts this month -

This adorable snowman table topper, made by my Tickled Pink partner Cheryl, of Polka Dots and Rick Rack!  Thank you Cheryl you are wonderful!

Finish up your last minute stitches, get your blog post in [or email me your pic] and link up!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Updates On Kaaren's Quilts

Hi everyone!  A few updates for you.  I've added a paypal donation button to my sidebar, a few overseas folks have asked how they can contribute and this is the fastest, easiest way.  Paypal automatically converts dollars.  EVERY DOLLAR will got to Kaaren - either to pay for materials for the quilts or shipping, or to her personally to use at her discretion. 

I've already received the first block [thank you Caroll!]  and am looking forward to the rest.  I'm thrilled with the response for Kaaren.  I will be posting regular updates on how the quilts are coming as I work on them.  You'll get to make them along with me!

Canadian friends, I know your mail carriers are on strike, rest assured I will use all of your blocks when you are able to send them.  Nobody will be left out.  Judging by the response in emails, there will be at least 3 quilts.  The love for her is a wonderful thing to see!

I've been working hard to clear my plates [as they spin!] so I can concentrate on nothing but Kaaren's quilts when the blocks start arriving.  I'm currently writing a pattern, should be finished by Wednesday at the latest - making my June Christmas gift, should be done by tonight - and have started re-doing my Portholes pattern for sale later this year.  That will be a slow project, as there's no deadline.  

My son Sam has started physical therapy for his scoliosis, I can take it with me to appointments and to the Y while he works out.  Must have handwork for these things, right? 

I haven't forgotten the Christmas club, I'll be doing my linky post later today or tomorrow.  I've been so busy that I've been unable to comment on your blogs, and for that I'm truly sorry - it's one of the highlights of my day!  But I have been reading when I can and will catch up as soon as I can.  I miss you!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It would seem that I've inadvertently caused some confusion...in using the word "taupe".  I don't even know how to pronounce it, lol.  I always thought it meant beige, and beige is the color I meant for you to use.  Variations in shades will be perfectly fine - the main thing is that Kaaren can read what you write.  My apologies for any confusion!

You guys are THE BEST.

Business, Shirley, A Recipe And Mary Lou

First, business - I'm thrilled beyond belief with all the love for Kaaren, you guys just warm my heart and I know this will be a wonderful quilt, to let Kaaren know how loved she is and how we're all pulling for her.  I've made a little button [on sidebar] if you'd like to put it on your blog and spread the word, it links to the tutorial post.  All you have to do is save the picture, and the link to that post.  If you have never done that before, I'd be happy to walk you through it, just comment or email me and I will get back to you.

Beth from Alberta, I saw your comment but I don't have an email address for you.  Please email me so I can get back to you.

And now to Shirley.  Every Tuesday, my mum and I go to her house for tea and a visit.  I've known her since I was friends with her daughter in sixth grade, she's like a second mum to me.  I took some pics - she has a tiny garden but a truly green thumb.  She has blueberries -

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itty-bitty baby green beans!

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and teeny tomatoes just peeking their wee heads out.

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She also has lovely flowers.

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Shirley usually has a special treat for us too, and that's where the recipe came from.  Mum is a diabetic with a very large sweet tooth, and Shirley had made a pineapple cheesecake for us.  When mum sees a sweet she loves, she gets a wee bit rebellious and eats it right up, with an "I'm being naughty and I don't care" look on her face.

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I remembered to take a pic of it after only one small bite.

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It was DELICIOUS.  And easy!  Would you like the recipe too?  Here it is.

Shirley's Pineapple Cheesecake


3 cups crushed graham crackers
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar


2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened [you can soften in microwave]
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups well-drained crushed pineapple [Shirley squeezes it to get the juice out]
dash of cinnamon

Making the crust:
Cream together the crushed crackers, butter and 2tbsp sugar.  Butter a 9" springform or cake pan.  Line pan with cracker mixture, setting a small amount aside for a topping.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add eggs to cream cheese and mix well, then add remaining ingredients and mix well again.  Place mixture on top of crust and sprinkle with set aside cracker mixture.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until middle of cheesecake is well set.  Refrigerate until cold and enjoy!

That's even easy enough for this non-cook.  I need to make this soon, I can still taste it - and I'm getting a craving for it after looking at the pictures again.

For those of you that love Mary Lou Weidman [like me!], she has been unable to get into her old blog and now has a new one.  It won't show up in your readers, so you'll have to go to her new blog and follow from there.  If you don't know Mary Lou, you don't know what you're missing - go check her out, I would LOVE to take a class from her!  She is such fun.  My kind of quilter for sure.

I think that's all for today, I'm going to go finish my Christmas gift for June from Jenny's new Plum Pudding pattern, and finish my pillowcases for Carol at Brown Quilts.  I FINALLY found a tutorial that made sense to me.  Why do I have so much trouble reading a pattern!  I have to actually do it before I understand it.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Quilt For Kaaren [The Painted Quilt]

Edit July 17th - I am still accepting blocks, please email me!  The deadline has been extended.  Allie

As I'm sure many of you know, Kaaren from The Painted Quilt is taking a break from blogging to deal with a serious health problem.  Most of us know Kaaren from her blog and her wonderful free gifts to us stitchers - her First Friday Freebie, and her Raggedy and Friends bom.  We would like her to know that she's not fighting alone, and Paulette from Sweet P Quilting and Creations and Leslie from Les Quilts and I have decided to organize a quilt for her.

We're asking for you to make quilt blocks.  And I'm doing a tutorial below for an easy block.  The quilt [or quilts, if we get enough blocks] will be in Kaaren's favorite colors, dark red, dark blue and beige.  Her style is prim - you can look at her blog to see her gorgeous new home and how she's decorated.  The block is a square in square in red and beige, finishing at 6.5 inches.  The beige will go in the center, and we're asking you to write your name, location, and any scripture verses or well-wishes for Kaaren in the middle.  There will be navy sashing between the blocks, and I will use navy to bind it.

Also, when you send your blocks, PLEASE put your email address in the envelope.  Not on the block, but on a piece of paper.  I'd love to thank you for making a block.

You'll be sending your blocks to me, I will put them together, quilt and bind them.  I'm going to ask that if you'd like and are able [NO PRESSURE!], to please donate toward the batting and navy fabric.  The most important part is the blocks - I'd love to shower Kaaren with all the love she's shown us here in blogland.

Now, the tutorial - I've used fabric I grabbed in a hurry, these are not her colors.

Square In Square Tutorial

It helps to use a fabric sizing or starch on your fabric, to keep the bias from stretching.

Cut one taupe square 6.5 x 6.5 inches, and 4 red squares 3.5 x 3.5 inches. 

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Draw a diagonal line down the middle of the four 3.5 squares, corner to corner [I used a washaway marker].  [Ugh - a dirt smudge on my mat!!!]

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Lay the square on your larger square and pin.

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Stitch along the line.

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Cut seam allowance to 1/4 inch.

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Press with seam allowance to darker color.

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Repeat for other three corners.



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That's it.  Now here's the part I don't have a picture for.  Iron your block to some freezer paper, with the shiny side toward the fabric and the paper side toward your iron [that's important].  Low setting on your iron.  The freezer paper will adhere to your fabric and make it easy to write on.  I recommend a marker specifically for fabric - any craft store should have them.  Most need to be heat set.  For best results, please pre-wash your fabrics, the markers work better, and also because we're using red fabrics and we don't want them to bleed.  Please please pre-wash and check for bleeding.

If you'd like to make a block, you may email me at alliehomeschool [at] yahoo [dot] com.  [Put the appropriate symbols in there -I'm trying to avoid spam bots].   I'll give you my mailing address.

I'd love to get enough squares to make a larger quilt, and a smaller one she can take for any treatments she faces.  I hope you can help us to spread the word and really shower Kaaren with all the love we have for her!  Kaaren has almost 1500 followers and I need your help getting the word to them.  Thank you!

EDIT - I'd like you to have your blocks in the mail by July 15th - thank you!

I'll be back soon with that recipe.....

Got Machines? [lots and lots of pics....]

This evening, mum and I went visiting.  The first place we visited was my friend Cathy's house, she moved recently and is still unpacking.  Especially in the studio.  I started taking pics of her sewing machines....good thing I don't have to pay for film, that's all I can say.  I thought you might like to see what the Queen of Machines has in her sewing room!

Count with me.

One.  The Kenmore.

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Two.  The New Home.

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Three.  The Ellegante.

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 Four.  The Sashiko.  Yes, it replicates sashiko hand stitching.  AMAZING machine.  I wish she would plug it in once.

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Five.  The frame and Baby Lock.

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Six.  We're not sure exactly what this is.

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Seven.  The Brother.

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Eight.  The Singer.

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Nine.  The White Rotary.

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Ten.  The Singer Red Eye.

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Eleven, and her favorite and mine.  The Sister.

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So, do you think she has enough?  No?  You're right.  She has FOUR MORE she hasn't brought home yet.  She's still in the market for a Featherweight, and the treadle she wants.  Her sewing room is my favorite room in the house, obviously. 

I also took some pics of her flowers...

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they were watching me from inside with the a/c on.  Mum with her characteristic serious pose.

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Tomorrow I'll tell you about when we got to Shirley's house.   And hopefully I'll remember a recipe to give you too....oh yum!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

SUMMER started today!

Find a beach and hug it!

I don't care that only one pair of my shorts fit - I don't care that it's hot and humid - I don't care that I can't wear flip-flops - it's 


Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.  ~Henry James

No pics today, it's raining - join Cheryl and me in posting what tickles you!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Good News!

 I'm sure most of you know Jenny Reynolds from Elefantz - I am so blessed to call her my friend, not only is she a beautiful and gracious woman of God, she's also an amazing stitcher and quilter and has so much talent!  And a truly lovely blog.  Well, Jenny has a new venture, she has started a free newsletter [sign up, it's gorgeous] and a new online magazine!  She showed some pics in the newsletter of what's coming in the magazine and boy, she takes my breath away.  You won't want to miss this - she's starting a new bom [fabulous!] and it will only be available in the magazine! 

Other than that, there is not much new here, somehow I've hurt my back [picking up a very fat cat - she's so demanding] and am mostly sitting.  I think I walked too much at the Y the other day, after a week or two of not going.  It gives me more time to browse your blogs, right?   But bummer, no pics today.  It hurts to hoist the camera.

Have a wonderful weekend, Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there - and go sign up for Jenny's newsletter and magazine - you'll love it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Call For Help

Saw this tonight over at KaHolly, quilters in Joplin need your help:

from Fons and Porter:

Quilters Lose Everything in Tornado

The Town and Country Quilters of Joplin, MO lost everything, including their homes, in a recent and devastating tornado. This quilting group is known for donating many of their quilts to local charities, and could use your help to get started again. They need all tools and supplies restocked because their storage house was also destroyed. Gone are all of the supplies used in the making of charity quilts (rotary cutters, cutting mats, batting, fabric, etc.). If you or your quilt guild would like to donate items, please send them to guild member:

Gloria Park
2921 N. Hickory
Joplin, Missouri 64801
Thanks so much for posting this Karen and please everyone, help spread the word!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

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I had a hard time figuring out what to write about tonight.  Nothing has really "tickled" me; I have instead a deep and wide feeling of contentment.  I just finished a big [for me] job and although I can't blog it, it's filling me with the satisfaction that only comes from a job that's been difficult but has also been well done.

Too, I'm feeling reflective tonight.  No, not like shiny-brite - not that kind of reflective.  The kind where you look at your life and try to figure out what direction you're moving in, or whether you're standing still.  Which also fills me with contentment, just to look. 

It's a good life.  A sweet, happy life.  With all the trials and drama of a cheap novel - but still happy.  Still sweet.  It's a choice, I think, to make it happy. 

I'm glad I made that choice. 

Join Cheryl and I in telling what's tickling you today...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Wedding, Give-Away Gift, And A Tutorial

Enough topics for a post?  I think so.  First, the wedding.  My cousin's daughter got married yesterday, oh my goodness what a fabulous wedding.  Best one yet.

The bride was gorgeous, the rain held off, the sun came out, and it was out in the countryside. 

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They had a large tent set up, beautifully decorated.

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Except - see that large flower sitting on the table in the foreground?  It HAD been hanging above the table.  They were dropping all over the place, including OUR table, right onto the lit candles.  Yes, we had a little fire.

Nothing to worry about.  Every table had a gorgeous bouquet of roses.

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After the wedding, when we were all at the house, the bride and groom came driving up in their chariot.

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How cute is that.  They had plenty to do here, including a bounce house for the littles.

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Yes, that's my mom playing bean toss with the kids.

Another pic of my mom - it was getting a bit warm, and I wanted to clip my hair up, but had no hair clip with me.  I took one of the wired flowers off the napkin and my cousin put it up for me.  Sam wanted to take a pic of it and my mom decided to get in on the action.

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See what I have to put up with?  *G*

The cakes.  White, marble and red velvet.

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Something really fun they did - they had an oldfashioned photo booth!  Free!  It held up to 15 people.  You'd go in, take your photo strip, and get two copies - one to keep, and one to put on scrapbook paper [right there] and write a message to the happy couple.  They were going to put all the pages in a scrapbook.  They even had props - man that was fun.

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The dinner was catered by Famous Dave's -  if you love barbecue, you'd love this place!  Ribs, chicken, all the fixin's.

Lots of people brought their dogs.  My cousin Pam brought hers, they're both rescue dogs - she is passionate about rescue!

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 And of course, the best part was seeing all my cousins that I never get to see. 

So, I know you're curious about the give-away - it's our give-away gift for June, this month it's from Cheryl at Polka Dots and Rick Rack - SO DARLING!  Look at what she made!!!

This gorgeous snowman table topper!  Don't you just love it?  Cheryl, thank you so much - you are awesome!  Boy I wish I could enter!  Cheryl will be sending this to the winner from her home.  Get busy creating your gift so you can enter!

Last but certainly not least, a GREAT tutorial from the talented Talin at Talin's Corner.  The Becca Handbag!

Isn't that pretty!  I love it, the flower is the perfect touch.  Thank you Talin!

Well, I think that's all, it's been a long post and I need to go work on a pattern I'm writing...have a very blessed Sunday and I will see you on Tuesday for Tickled Pink!


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