Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Newsy Post

Hi everyone!  I'm still on my sabbatical - but taking lots of breaks, lol - even stitching breaks!

I had way too much fun with this one.  I have no idea how I managed to make things line up.  Plus - 

Thy word is truth.  A free pattern on my facebook group - although I know some of you don't do facebook, so just email me if you want it.  allieoopsdesigns (at) gmail (dot) com.  

I also have a head cold, so have been taking it easy.  Yesterday was spent on the couch, huddled under a quilt with kleenex and two books.  Much better today!

Matter of fact, I went shopping today.  I need clothing badly.  After much frustration, I got home and WALKED to the grocery store to get a cucumber to snack on tonight....these rolls around my middle have got to go.  There's just no hiding them with summer clothes.  If the weather cooperates, I'll walk up there daily to get a healthy snack.  We'll see how long that lasts....

But hey.  Now for the big news.  I have a new button on my sidebar for something special.

Jacquelynne Steves is having another gorgeous FREE BOM, and this time I get to be a featured blogger participating!  I can tell you this is a gorgeous quilt.  No sneak peeks, sorry....but you'll want to sign up!  Lots of  give-aways as well!

So - I'll give you the link to sign-up - you MUST sign up, but it's free, and the first Monday of every month you'll get the pattern delivered to your inbox!  There will be great give-aways every month!  It will run from August through December, 2019, and the giant grand prize giveaway will be in January.  

You can choose applique, embroidery, or just piecing - whichever floats your boat.  She's doing this in two colorways, Desert and Cottage [they're gorgeous], and she'll have kits available if you'd like, although that's not required!  And accessories as well!

I hope you join us in the fun - I can't wait til August, lol!  You can sign up already, just click here - 

And just to whet your appetite, another pic....

I hope you'll join in on the fun, and maybe win something lovely as well!!!

Ok, off to snack on my cuke - see you soon!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


You know, when we first moved in here, I had no plan.  This house has SO much storage - I just didn't know what to do with it all.  So I pretty much threw everything in wherever it would fit, knowing there'd still be so much space I could still find everything(*snort*), and that I would have plenty of time to sort it all out.

Fast forward 3 years.  Yep, it's all still there where I threw it.  Funny how that works.....sigh.  Every spring I think I'll get on it, but so far, I haven't.  This year, since I'm no longer working or even making patterns, I'm on a mission.

My main motivations is....spiders.  There are two huge trees right next to the house, a balcony under them where they breed, and none of the doors and windows fit properly.  You would not believe what gets in here.  The best way to keep them from breeding IN the house is to clear out all the clutter, and make it easy to keep clean.  

Today, I started with the most important room in the house, the sewing room. 

Every drawer, every cupboard.  This box above is all of my patterns that I've purchased over the years.  And it does go back years - there are many more that are on my computer!!!!

I went through all of my books from all their scattered locations - and after removing all the patterns from my book cupboard, all the books fit!!

There's even room for more.  I won't show you the top of the cupboard, that holds all of my own patterns, and they are an unholy mess.  I'm saving that for a rainy day.

I went through all the drawers in my dresser, found two plastic shoeboxes that now hold office supplies and trims.  Everything in order, how I love it.  Maybe now I can find things!  I still have to clean out the china cabinet, clean out the bookshelves and sort through fabric, but wow I feel so much better.

Oh, and look what I found - 

We used to have a book called The Taxi That Hurried, when the boys were small, and I drew the taxi and made a pillow for my boys.  Apparently I also traced their handprints - those are from 1997, when my oldest was 5 and youngest 3.  What a treasure.

So - being that I'm on a mission, you won't hear from me much for the next little bit.  I intend to clear out the entire house.  The enormous linen closet upstairs has boxes with who knows what in them, hopefully no spiders.

I'll leave you with a picture my son took of me, with his special headgear for working on pens - we were cracking up at how it made our eyes look, and had to take pics!!!!

Gee grandma what big eyes you have....and that hair won't win any awards either.....

See you later, allie-gator!

Friday, April 5, 2019


I just never know who I'm going to see outside my sewing room window - I almost had heart failure earlier when I caught something large moving out of the corner of my eye, turned around and there were four deer looking at me.

We've had so much rain lately that we joke about waterfront property without the high taxes.

The neighbors (non-verbal) don't seem to mind.  Although this guy finally got annoyed with me taking so many pictures and turned his back.

He finally waddled off with the Mrs. to hunt in the neighbor's lake.  It's just so odd to have them paddling around your lawn.

I've been sewing a bit.  This morning I worked on a secret project, and confirmed my suspicion that I will never make a full-size pieced quilt.  Ever.  Then I turned to a rather organically growing project....

This one is pure play.  I drew the design pieces, stitched them down, and am adding things as they come to me.  No planning involved - I love working this way.  This may become a table runner for my foyer, we'll see.  I'm using fusible web and straight line stitching around the pieces.  

I'm still searching for work, checking the job sites every day, and still getting calls for all kinds of things I can't do - such as truck driving - I can drive a semi, but I'm not licensed for it.  In the meantime, I play with fabric, and sometimes mum.

I hope all is going well with you, I'm getting around to blogs more often now and that's a good thing.  Love seeing what you all are up to.  Enjoy your weekend!

See you soon - 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Block 9 Grow in Grace

I can't believe it, but here is our very last block in the Grow in Grace project!

Be forgiven - you know, looking back over my life, I find it so difficult sometimes to understand how God could forgive me, and yet He did, and He does.

I've also completed the finishing instructions.

A very simple quilt - cuz simple is what I do - you know me and piecing, lol.  But I am very pleased with the final result!  Now to get it quilted and bound.

As always, email me at allieoopsdesigns (at) gmail (dot) com if you're not on facebook, and I will email you the designs.

I took mum out yesterday, and she didn't get me in trouble once.  It was amazing.

I'm going to celebrate a big birthday in a couple of days - and a few days ago I got a very special surprise in the mail.

Our own darling Jenny sent me the most gorgeous needlebook ever in the history of needleboooks.

As you can see, it's already in use!  I was gobsmacked at her teeny tiny stitches....

That little birdie is smaller than a penny!  Jenny, thank you for this beautiful treasure, it will be by my side with every stitch I take, to remind me of my sister in Christ across the miles.  Jenny celebrated the same big birthday last month....otherwise I would swear we were separated at birth.

Well, I guess I should go work on a new project, it's very strange to not have something new to upload every week!  I'm not lacking for ideas, I think I'll try to translate some of them into cloth...

See you soon!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Block 8 Grow in Grace

A few hours early this week, as I have a job interview in the morning - here's block 8 of Grow in Grace!

I love this one - I have a very soft spot in my heart for dandelions, first flower my son ever gave me.  Only one more week to go, can you believe it? I still need to write the finishing instructions.

Mom got me again.  We went to the drugstore to pick up her eye drops, which we had to wait for.  While waiting, mum said, "you could go to school to be a pharmacist, you know".  Thinking only that they're on their feet for 12 hours shifts, I replied, "why would I do that???"  She answered, "don't you like to do drugs?"  At which point she saw my face, and we both doubled over laughing.

The entire pharmacy staff came over to see why we were crying, and I told them what she said.  They looked at me like YOU DO DRUGS?  So I had to explain that I used to be a pharmacy tech....I don't think they believed me.  Now there's a whole store that thinks I'm a druggie.

Gotta love her!

We seem to have a new pet.

A cute little kitty that freely roams our backyard, and I believe is living in the lean-to behind our shed.  I've been putting out bowls of tuna and trying to get a good picture, but it seems feral.  I was hoping to snap a good shot and take it around to the neighbors to see if it belonged to anyone.  It seems to like our house, but not us!

That's all the news in Allieville, remember if you're not on facebook, please email me at allieoopsdesigns (at) gmail (dot) com with which block you'd like.  I may not see your comment here, google is still playing up with notifications.

See you soon!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Block 7 Grow in Grace

Good morning, everyone, Block 7 of Grow in Grace is ready!

In the facebook files, or email me at allieoopsdesigns(at)gmail(dot)com with the block number that you'd like.

Here's a pic of the finished quilt top.

I really love it!  I don't have a large enough piece of batting to quilt it right now, so it's in the pile of tops.

We had a taste of things to come yesterday, it was 62F and rainy.  I got mom out of the house, over to visit her best friend, it was lovely.  I also took a short video of the deer, they came back - we hadn't seen them hardly at all over the winter, they must have greener pastures somewhere.  With all the rain, there are lakes in the backyards, and the deer were having great fun!  One of them was herding ducks - nose down, walking them over to the other end of the lake.  They were noisily protesting.  Wish I'd gotten a video of that!

Have a lovely weekend, my friends....

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Mum Update

Thank you all for the prayers - Mum is doing very well, there was no blockage so she didn't have to get stents put it.  The Dr. said the heart spasms should be able to be controlled by medication, and they have the perfect one for that.  They'll monitor her closely and only time will tell if she needs a pacemaker/defibrillator - she already has a pacemaker, which is how they found this.

She's recuperating at home and loving all the attention.  She couldn't use her arm where they went into the artery for a few days, so she's being waited on hand and foot.  And we are happy to do it!!!

Thanks again for all the prayers!!!!


(Psalms 73:26) "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Block 6 Grow in Grace

I'm uploading block 6 early this week, mum goes for her heart cath in the morning - this week is "be fruitful" and it's my favorite!!!

I had finished up the stitching part of the blocks yesterday, and today started trying to figure out how I wanted to put them together.

I had to trim them all down to 8 inches, as they had frayed so badly and gotten all wavy from the embroidery.

Normally I like to pink the edges when I do embroidery to prevent fraying but this time I plain forgot.

As always, email me if you're not on facebook and I will email you the pattern.  If you don't get an answer from me right away, it's because I'm at the hospital, and just can't.  I have no idea if they'll keep her overnight or what.  I guess it depends on what they find.


Friday, March 1, 2019

Block 5 Grow in Grace

I cannot believe it's Friday already....not sure where this week went!  But it is, and block 5 is in the facebook files, as always, email me with your block number request.

This week is "Be holy".

Short post this week due to time constraints - I have a job interview this morning, yippee!  And my son is taking me to see the Rhythm of the Dance tonight.  My Irish toes are already tapping.

Mum is getting her heart catheter next Friday.  She talked to her doctor and they will try to mitigate the effects of the iodine.  She's feeling much better about getting it done now.  But prayers would be much appreciated.

Off to clean up - hope my interview pants still fit - 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Block 4 Grow in Grace

Block 4 of Grow in Grace is in the facebook files - 

As always, if you're not on facebook, email me at allieoopsdesigns (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know which blocks you want.  Some comments are not coming through to my email, thanks google.  Sigh.  I'm so sorry if I've missed your comment.

I have to show you how Jan is putting her blocks together - 

I love it!!  And I'm a wee bit jealous of how organized she is in her sewing room.  Well, maybe a lot jealous.

As most of you know, Jenny of Elefantz is doing a book study of Gentle Domesticity.  Her latest book post is about color.  I really embraced this concept, lol.  For two and a half years, my grandmother's chair has been sitting in my bedroom with no cushions.  It used to have memory foam cushions, but when we moved into this house, the owners had left us a bumper crop of fleas from their cats, so I threw them out as I was doing battle.  So for all this time, it's been holding laundry instead of me.

I missed that chair.  I slept in that chair when I was a child - it reclines.  It's older than I am, my mom bought it for my grandparent's when she was in high school.  I wanted it back in my sewing room.  So, with part of my very last paycheck,  I went to the store and bought some outdoor patio furniture cushions, they were the perfect size!

I looked at the colors they had, grey, brown, tan and turquoise.  I reached for the turquoise, then hesitated - would it look stupid?  Too bright?  I picked up the brown and went to the cashier.

I got halfway there, and stopped cold.  The thought came into my mind of Jenny's blue couch, and how much I loved seeing it in her pictures.  Then I thought, "life is short, live it in color".  I went back for the turquoise.

In my sewing room, I have bright yellow chrome and vinyl kitchen chairs, that go with my chrome dining table that I sew on.  The bright yellow chairs with the turquoise cushions makes my heart sing!!!  It's like walking into blue skies and sunshine.  My sewing room needs color - it energizes me, makes me feel more creative.  I'm so glad I went back and switched cushions.

And now I have some unsettling news - about mom.  I took her to the heart doctor yesterday.  She's somehow developed ventricular tachycardia, which is a rapid heartbeat on the bottom of the heart.  They put her on new meds for it.  I'm taking her for an echocardiogram on Tuesday, and they want her to have a heart catheter with dye.  She's allergic to the dye.  She got very sick the last time she had this done, before her major heart surgery, and doesn't want to do it.  This is probably caused by a blockage in the lower part of the heart, and the only way to see it is with the heart cath.  If they see a blockage, they can go right in and put in stents.  If there's no blockage, they'll put in a pacemaker/defibrillator.

I talked to my aunt, the nurse, about this.  First you get ventricular tachycardia, then ventricular fibrillation, then cardiac arrest.  So we're trying to talk her into getting it done.  She just turned 81, and is rather tired of all the poking and prodding, and of course ultimately it's her decision - but we don't want to lose her.  I would like to ask you all to pray for her, she's been through so much, and this is hard news.  She doesn't have a whole lot of time to decide, apparently.  They want to do it as soon as possible.

Thank you my friends.  Count your blessings today.


Friday, February 15, 2019

Block 3 Grow in Grace

Friday morning, time for another block - "Be blessed"!

I think this is my favorite.  As always, the files are in the Facebook group, if you're not on Facebook email me at allieoopsdesigns [at] gmail [dot] com and let me know which blocks you want.  

Some comments are not coming through to my email, so do email me directly instead of commenting here - I may not see it.  

Our weather has been up and down, raining then freezing then melting and freezing and snowing.  I could use cleats on my tennis shoes and rope lines everywhere.  I actually saw a group of Canadian geese sitting in the snow at the library the other day - I thought they migrated south!!  Maybe they needed a book for the flight.

Cardinals are everywhere, they sure brighten up the grey and brown landscape.

They're cleaning out the seed pods on the Rose of Sharon.

I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day.  We don't celebrate Hallmark holidays, lol, but we do celebrate the day after, National Discount Candy Day.  Yum.

Be blessed today and every day...

Friday, February 8, 2019

Block 2 Grow in Grace

Good morning!!  Boy did I oversleep this morning.  We dropped 30 degrees last night in a matter of hours, this changeable weather makes me so tired!

Block 2 of Grow in Grace is in the files on facebook, again, if you don't have facebook you'll have to either email me or comment on this post with your email.  I've got a few comments that are no-reply with no way to email you.  If you've commented, and haven't received an answer from me, that's why.  Also tell me which block you'd like, please.

All instructions, and the scripture referenced, are in the file.

Something lovely happened yesterday - my friend called, her former daughter-in-law had sent her several dozen roses.  She wanted me to come get some, there were so many she wanted to share!  So, I took some to mum [she was tickled pink] and brought some home for myself.

A touch of spring on this very cold day, how nice is that!

I hope you all have a blessed day, I'm going to clean my house, it's sorely neglected.....


Monday, February 4, 2019


Earth Visitor, if you could email me or comment with your email, I'd appreciate it - I got your comment on my last post but you're a no-reply blogger and I can't email you.  Folks, if you don't hear from me and you've left a comment, it's because I have no way to contact you, so please leave your email on your comment - thanks!!


Friday, February 1, 2019

Block 1 And A Quilt Block Tutorial

Good morning!!  It's time for a new BOM, or BOW, as I'm uploading every Friday.

This is block 1 of Grow In Grace, already in the Facebook files on my group [link on sidebar].

The blocks are all based on scripture, which are given in the pattern itself.  If you do NOT use facebook, which I can understand perfectly, please leave me a comment with your email and I will send it to you as an attachment.

In addition to the free BOW over on my facebook page, I was going to make a bed-size quilt with the same fabrics, a fat quarter bundle of Hopelessly Romantic.   Trying to think of a way to show off the fabrics, yet add some interest, I was scrambling for a good quilt block to use.  One morning, while waiting for my coffee, I was looking at the kitchen floor – 

And thought, that’s it!  I got some white tone-on-tone fabric for the middle, and started figuring out the math.  I’m quite sure that this is not a new block, someone has already made it somewhere over the years, but this is what I came up with.

For each block, you’ll cut four squares at 6” each, and four squares for the middle at 2.5” each.  Draw a line from corner to corner on the back of the 2.5” square, and lay it on the corner of the big square, right sides together, like this.

This is where I ran into problems.  Apparently you can’t stitch right on the line – I stitched just below it, on the corner side.

When I stitched right on the line, and folded it over, it was a bit short.  Stitching just below the line will line it up perfectly with the corner.  When you’re satisfied with the placement, trim your seams to ¼” and press open.  I press all seams open to reduce bulk.

This works best with non-directional fabrics.  If using a fabric that needs to go in one direction, you’ll have to pay close attention to where your small corners are!  You’ll make four of these, and put all the small corners to the center.

Stitch two blocks together, twice, then stitch the rows together, keeping your centers aligned.

Finished block.

For those of you who love piecing, it’s a simple block.  For me, not so much – I won’t be making more, lol.  My quilt will be just squares.  I love the fabrics, and want to show them off, but want it done in a hurry.  Trying to get seams to match up is not my favorite!

There are lots of possibilities with this block, you could join the blocks together as is, or add sashing in between, or even add the small squares to each corner of the block.  Play with it and have fun!  I’ll be doing something much simpler, lol.

And now I think I'll go get another coffee, and enjoy the sunrise.  Be safe, be warm, and please pray for Jenny as she battles historic flooding.  I can't even imagine.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019


Hi everybody!  I hope you're all surviving the wicked weather, no matter where you are - at my house, it's currently minus 10 with a windchill of minus 32, my windows are popping, and I've opened my kitchen cupboards and dishwasher to let warmth get to the pipes.  My radiator space heater is warming up my sewing room.

Let's had my last day of work Monday, during a snowstorm.  The powers that be are moving everything to a facility an hour away from me, and I won't drive that far for work.  Very sad...but I have to wonder what God is freeing me up for!  I will wait and see.  I've also officially retired from selling patterns...although I'll still be drawing and stitching, everything will just be shared on my facebook group.

Friday February 1st I'll be starting a new, free BOM on my facebook page [link on right sidebar].  Grow In Grace.  It's not really a BOM, as it will be a weekly upload.  These are the first four blocks - 

Just a little stitching fun.  I had planned on doing a full size quilt along with this, using up the fat quarter bundle of Hopelessly Romantic that I got a year ago, and only one block - repeated, of course - forgetting how very much I don't like piecing, and how rubbish I am at it.  I did make a block, and will do a tutorial for it, but I'm not making more, lol.  I'll do a quilt with just squares instead.  This BOM will use some of the fabric in the sashing and border, so they'll be companion projects.

I haven't been around to your blogs much.  I just haven't had the energy...either working, running mum around, or stitching on the couch.  But you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

I'll be back on Friday to share the tutorial for the quilt block, inspired by my kitchen floor, lol.  And of course the first block in our Grow In Grace wallhanging.  Until then, stay warm [or cool, and DRY for my Queensland friends!], I'll see you soon!



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