Thursday, October 30, 2008

PUMPKIN GUTS: Inside the Etsy Pumpkins

Just wanted to share my latest treasury...if you have time, visit and click each pic to make hot, hot, hot

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

QUILTSY TEAM featured on Etsy Storque and Etsy Finds

Quilting Cafe, where something is always brewing

How quilting group, Quiltsy, is featured today out all my friends here and on etsy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CHRISTMAS CARDS: Lessen the Hassle with Quilted Postcards

Time was, sending out Christmas cards was a time-honored tradition. One not to be messed with. Lists were made. Names were checked off as cards were sent as well as received. Every precaution was made so that no one was left out.The cards were displayed in inventive ways with pride. It was always a part of the decorating scheme. So many were usually sent out that printing the signature line became de rigueur. Businesses also sent them out. Even address books came with a separate line for each name to keep track of Christmas cards sent and received.
However, soon flocked Christmas cards with elaborate designs gave way to cheap photo cards made at the local drug store. Time to show off pictures of the kids, grandkids, dogs, cats, and vacation shots. Ho hum.

With today’s busy schedules and the general cost of postage, we think twice about to whom we send cards. This may be the one time of the year that our high school friend or college roommate hears from us. Maybe there is a lonely aunt who whose day would be brightened with a special card. Certain in-laws get them, others, do not. However, who wants to spend money on something that will eventually be thrown away? Enter the quilted fabric postcard.

Fabric postcards have long been the rage in the quilting world. It started as a way to experiment with new techniques and exchange with other quilters. Usually a stiffener is added as the batting layer for easier mailing. The 4 X 6 inch cards cost only 27 cents to mail.
Today it is a booming business on Therefore, I have just added 5 new holiday cards to my Postcards and Quotations series for the Holidays. The cards use old photographs, raw edge applique, and landscape techniques.I will be adding more cards up until the holidays, so stop back often if only for a giggle for the day at
Don't forget, you can always request a magnet to your order...these make great refridgerator magnets!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I have just listed 8 new collections of vintage ribbon from my Aunt Ruth's Stash. Instead of just offering 5 shades of one color, I have collection of trios of matching and complimentary colors.

For those of you who do not know the story of these vintage supplies, here it is:

My aunt is very special to me. She took care of me when I was young, listened to me when I was growing up, and gave me advice as an adult. “Auntie Ruthie” makes the best fried chicken and doll clothes. With a lovable smile and delightful laugh, I am lucky to have her as a hands-on aunt.

My 85-year-old Aunt Ruth is an incredible seamstress and quilter. She sewed the most incredible Barbie clothes for me as a child, great Dresden Plate quilt for my wedding, and a baby quilt for each of my 4 children.

Her daughters, my dear cousins, recently gave me her wonderful stash of fabrics and embellishments. I thought what better way to pass on her wonderful stash than by selling them in my etsy shop and donating the proceeds to Alzheimer's Research. The response has been incredible. Not only are the prices reasonable, but the quality of vintage fabrics can be far above today's offerings. And it is a great way to recycle, reuse, or repurpose her treasures. Those who buy appreciate her lifelong enthusiasm.

I have named here collection: Aunt Ruth's Stash. On the vintage ribbon cards is a picture of her taken in 1955 by my father. It is lit only by the light from the campfire. at the family farm. Proceeds from this sale have already benefitted the 2008 Memory Walk in Chicago. Ruth's grandaughter, Martha put together team to walk to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer research, as well as for care and support for people already affected by the disease. Future proceeds will benefit The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)Raising Awareness & Funding Research Through Art The last picture is of her in the summer of 2007, at 85.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

QUILTS: More than a Blanket

With the way the world is today, we all just want to get under the blankets and hide. It is our most comfortable place to be, not only as an baby, but as a child and onwards into old age. We all have some Linus in us. It seems as though our household purchases mirror our stock purchases, short lived and quickly turned over. When something breaks, falls apart, or gets old, we discard it. We do not hold handcrafted items dear to our hearts anymore because they are not the newest thing out. Remember, the hottest article for sale is usually made in a factory by underpaid workers who had no input in its design. Not so with a quilt: it is a comforter.

Quilt making has always made resurgence in the marketplace when economic times were low. The last time quilting revived itself was in the 70's; it shows no evidence of ebbing soon. The rotary cutter, self-healing mat, and fabulous new fabrics in specialty shops have made quilting easier and more accessible then ever. Quilting as an art form is the newest kid on the block. Quilters are freer to make more interesting choices now that the quilt police are gone.

Each quilt starts with an idea and continues with an intricate and purposeful series of steps, resulting in a masterful conclusion. The end use of a quilt is no longer utilitarian. An art quilt can sheathe a wall, a quilted runner can grace a table, or a purse made with fine quilted material can be the ultimate accessory. The quilt a baby receives from a shower can be treasured into adult hood. Likewise, a wedding quilt handmade by a grandmother is cherished long after the maker is gone. A quilt becomes an object of affection rather than a commercial article.

There are a few basic entities necessary for humans to exist. However, to make life enjoyable, we want our investments to grow. What is better than to invest in a quilt. It will bring a larger return over a longer amount of time than most stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Furthermore, what is more satisfying than giving a quilt to someone and watching the thrill on their faces. These pictures tell it all.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Just added these great caricatures of teachers. There are 15 different types, from kindergarten to professor. Teachers can never have too many magnets for their white/black boards, doors, and file cabinets. This blondie is for my daughter, Victoria, who is in her first year of teaching English at Grayslake Central High School. We are so very proud of her!

The "teacher" stands 6" high and is made from Loralie Designs "Roll Call". She is stiffened with timtex interfacing. Her back is covered with white felt and a magnet. I have edged her with bright cording finished with an overcast stitch. The vibrant colors and cute caricature make this a very fun gift to give to your favorite teacher. This one would be great for a kindergarten or art teacher.

They can also be fashioned an ornament with a vintage ribbon added. By by painting the hair, I can change blond or red into brown, or darken up lighter hair. It is really fun to add her name, the student's name, and year for a great remembrance. I also have some great quotes to put on the back; for example: As long as there are tests in school, there will be prayer.
To see all the "teachers" for choices, please check this site:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

BOOTS and STARS... PLAY to LEARN QUILT, the game that grows with your child

Here are the extra pictures of my Boots and Stars...Play to Learn Quilted Playmat listed on

As you can imagine, these were so much fun to do, not only picking out the fabric, but fussy cutting the lizard, cowboy,etc. on the boots. The stars are really fun for little fingers to play with because they are three dimensional.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Purchasing Toys for Autistic Children

Yesterday, I asked several special ed educators at an at risk preschool to critique my Play to Learn quilted playmat:

They were very positive with the following observation. This would be for a learning disabled child that could differentiate between the advanced patterns. These patterns could be overwhelming to some children not yet able to discern the differences between the small patterned circles. But as the child progresses, he or she would be able to play cohesively with the matching game.
As with any child, purchasing a toy must be appropriate to their abilities. Many times, we think that we should challenge them which will make them "smarter". However, frustration leads to abandonment of the game and a sense of failure. Simple, repetitive games give a child a sense of accomplishment with readiness to move on to the next level. This is especially true with the autistic child.
I have been working in the classroom with autistic children for 13 years. These experiences have be the most fruitful of my professional life.

Friday, October 17, 2008

QUILTING: The Queen of Green

Quilting is really the ultimate in green. After all, I don’t throw away a scrap. As you can see, my quilting studio is a testament to that. Not only do I save the tiniest of scraps, I also reuse vintage materials, repurpose my daughter’s jeans , cut off buttons and zippers from worn out clothing, and recycle where I can.

Though the Alchemy site on, I read that a Louisville MOMs Group is having a Recycle, Repurpose, and Reuse theme at their next meeting. I knew my shop would fit the bill. The Louisville Brightside organizer coming to speak to the group on ways to help in Louisville. Someone in the group always prepares a packet to give to each mom.

Since they might be interested in my products with Christmas coming up, and going green being such a hot topic, I am sending them my business cards with vintage ribbon from my Aunt Ruth's stash attached. In order to induce members to come, I donated the following folk art postcard and magnets. I hope they have a great meeting. I look forward to hearing from the members.

HUGS and KISSES... PLAY to LEARN QUILT, the game that grows with your child

I work with developmentally challenged preschoolers everyday. Learning I be broken down into the simplest steps. Steps we take for granted. Repetitive actions and reinforcements help all children. I decided to combine my quilting into a travel game that is appropriate for all ages.

This 13″ X 13″ visually stimulating quilt excites newborns with its bright colored shapes and bold lines. Playing with the ten 4″ X 4″ mini quilts aids in small motor movement and dexterity. No attachments that an infant could swallow. As the child grows, a matching game with the mini-quilts using the colored designs sharpens recognition and memory skills.
With tic-tac-toe, older children can learn cooperation through taking turns, use planning and logic through strategy, and develop early math skills through problem solving. The Xs and Os are paper pieced so they will stay intact with the other side being the bright fabrics.

The mat and playing pieces fold up into a 5-inch square and closed with an attached fabric covered elastic band.It can be tossed in a bag and played in restaurants, waiting rooms, car rides, etc. and also can be used as a placemat or security blanket.

It will last through many children as well as generations. It is truly an heirloom to be cherished for many years. Since all the pieces are cotton, they can be hand-washed and dried flat giving it a puckered look.
If you would like it made up in other colors or themes, please e-mail me at

How to Personalize a Quilt Label

  1. For a professional finish to your quilts, make a personal label for the back as follows:
    1. Iron heat and bond lite onto fabric.
    2. Cut out squares out with fancy scissors.
    3. Type out info for label in Word on Computer, centering words. I use “Andy” font. I insert some clip art.
    4. Tape cut out label onto computer screen. this works as a light box.
    5. Using micro-tipped ink pen, trace over letters, it looks freehand, but very neat.
    6. Color clip art, if used.
    7. Iron onto quilt back.
    8. I usually do a running embroidery stitch around outside of label for added strength.