Again this year I participated in the

Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.

a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s Disease.


In our world where there is so much need,

you might ask why this worthy cause?

Well, oddly enough the reason I first said yes was because of a family friend who suffered with ALS for many years.

I mentioned the friend in this post recently.

I have an antique chair in my living room that reminds me of her often!

And this is why I keep donating each year:


Can you see this?

1132 donated quilts this past year!


Many of the quilts go directly to patient who suffer with ALS.

You can see some of their images with quilts here.

They also sell some of the quilts and

100% of the money they receive goes directly to research and a cure for ALS!

I like that.

My donations and the donations of other generous people go to quilters that help them out by making the quilts.


Seems like a win-win situation to me.

I feel it’s a good way for me to help out because I do not have time to make quilts to give.

Perhaps you’d like to help by making and donating a quilt

or by making a donation of $$$.

Here is their statement & how you can help out if you choose:

“To Give a Handmade Quilt is to Give the Gift of Love.”

The Challenge…

  • To raise awareness of ALS-Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
  • To provide quilts & bring recognition, hope, and warmth to the lives of ALS patients.
  • To raise funds for research for treatment and a cure.

Please give the gift of a quilt to warm the life, the heart and the lap of an ALS patient, and help raise awareness and research money for ALS-Lou Gehrig’s disease.  To be a part of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge- Simply fill out your entry form and donate your quilts today.

Your donated quilts will be given to ALS patients or used to raise awareness and research money for ALS by being photographed, displayed, auctioned, or raffled.

In addition to contributing your quilt to a wonderful cause- all donated quilts are eligible to win exciting and wonderful prizes.  Our list of generous sponsors, categories and great prizes is growing.!  Hopes & Dreams is a non-juried quit challenge.  All donated quilts will be entered into general prize drawings plus there are incredible prized recognizing the most generous quilter, quilt shop, professional quilter and guild.  Special prize categories for theme quilts and ‘most popular’ quilt.

For the comfort of the patient, we request that quilted or tied quilts be a minimum of 35″ x 44″  Lap and Bed size quilts of all sizes are welcomed.  We look forward to you joining us in this unique quilting event – the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS!

More info here.

Just keep sewing…

(& donating)


I’m working on Tiny Dresden circles this morning.


A little bit of glue and the Apliquick rods that I mentioned yesterday.


I designed this quilt before I knew of the William Morris Paradise collection by Barbara Brackman with Moda.


Funny how I don’t necessarily have distinct plans for everything,

but everything kind of works out anyway.

In my opinion,

there’s only one fabric in this collection that would be right for the center circles that will pull this quilt together.


And even though I have plans when I start, (red centers on a rainbow of plates)

since nothing is set in stone, I have a tendency to stew over the next step…

(Robin my tech editor and friend can attest to this, right???)

This morning I finally decided that the Dr. Pepper reds

ARE the perfect fabric for these center circles!


WEIRD coincidence, huh?

I’ve been debating exactly what color this is… not red, not pink…

With the help of the Dr. I made the 52 Tiny circles this morning.

I made the 12 Mini circles earlier this week.

Notice my rod case?

It’s actually a knitting needle case.

I found it at the Wabash Antique Mall in Decatur, IL last winter.

What a day that was!


David had meetings in Champaign so I went along like I’ve done lots of times to get out of my boring four walls broaden my horizons.

Well it was super cold and it was going to snow A LOT!

So we left early trying to at least get ahead of some of the bad weather and not be on the road at night.

Well, soon after getting on the road it started snowing and blowing.

The wind out there in the very flat land was horrible

which makes the roads very slick.


which makes driving no fun.


And even treacherous!


So after about the 6th incident

and when the snow really picked up…

David decided at Decatur we’d get off the interstate and wait it out.

Good thing because just down the road the interstate was closed because of another truck wreck! We would have been stuck on the road instead of having something fun to do like find the Wabash and then Olive Garden…

Anyway, I found this case there at the beautifully renovated train station.

I’m thankful the owners came in that day.

Many of the Decatur businesses didn’t even open because of the weather.

Since David isn’t into antiques he chatted with the owners and learned a lot about the train station and how it became renovated and then turned into an antique mall instead of being torn down. That would have been a shame.

I found this cool case to house my very special Apliquick rods!


It’s maple and I believe it’s German but I don’t know what it says.

Anyone else know?

It came with knitting needles inside so I know what it was made for.


Just keep sewing…


Are you familiar with the Apliquick tools?


They are one of the reasons that my Dresden centers are so round.


Practically perfect!

Let me show you.

First, cut the circle templates perfectly round.

I do this (and yes I claim perfection here) with the “ek success” 1/2″, 1” or 2” circle paper cutters depending on if I’m making my Tiny Dresden plates, Mini Dresden plates or my Tiny Dresden January snowflake.

 suznquiltscuttingmany1inchcirclespaperStack 6 layers of freezer paper and cut out 6 perfect 1″ circles at a time.

These cutters actually cut 6 layers at a time better than just 1.


I cut a lot of circles & keep them on hand.


Fuse the wax side of the freezer paper templates

to the wrong side of the fabric.


Cut out the circles with 3/16″ seam allowance.

With Roxanne’s EZ Squeeze bottle,

apply a hairline amount of glue all the way around the circle.

I like this bottle because its design pulls the glue back out of the needle applicator so that it doesn’t dry in there and permanently clog it.


It doesn’t take a lot of glue.

You don’t want any extra because it will take longer to dry

and it will get all over your fingers.


This is where the Apliquick rods help out.

I work my way around the circle pressing the fabric over the edge to the paper side of the template with the rods.

One of the rods is smaller and more pointed than the other.

This is the rod that I press the fabric over the edge of the paper template with

while holding and spinning the circle with the fork like end of the larger rod.

The Roxanne glue stays a bit tacky for a minute or two,

which allows me to go around the circle again

to smooth out any area along the edge that’s not perfectly round.


Can you see any imperfections?

I didn’t think so!

I can’t say the same for some of my earlier circles before I knew about these rods,

but if you can get close enough to tell me which of my centers aren’t perfectly round

you’re probably too close!

You can find the Apliquick Bars on my website now.

You may think they’re a bit pricey, BUT…

in my opinion, they’re worth every cent!!!

They’re durable metal & easy to clean.

I don’t just use them for the circles.

I use them every time I make freezer paper applique shapes.

The quilts I’ve made with them the past two years are prettier because of them.

Try them, I know you’ll love them too!

Just keep sewing…


On one of the last days of summer

the sun is streaming in on me and my Dresdens…


I’m back to sewing on Morris fabrics.


I had to add the background fabrics.


These are not Morris, but random Moda & an orphan that I love!


I think they look nice with Morris.


Now I have a whole pile to trim, press and turn


and on comes my favorite song to help me snip, snip, snip, press & turn!


I hope you get to enjoy this day with a song in your heart too.

Just keep sewing…


Finally something I can be glad about in September!


I don’t know about you but I’ve never, ever liked September.

It’s all because it becomes fall  & fall leads right into winter

(sometimes it feels just like winter too)


Now, instead of thinking of winter, I will just think about sewing!

(Like I don’t already think about sewing 24/7, huh?)

So far I’m getting pretty far with my Mini Dresden plates.


If you’d like to check out National Sewing Month click here.

They have free stuff & links to more free stuff,

or just go to your sewing room and start working!

Don’t delay, September is already 1/4 over.

Just keep sewing…


I finally cut the new Gratitude & Preservation fabrics yesterday.


I cut lots of Mini Dresden petals for my next quilt.


 Betsy is a lot of help.


She keeps the string of petals wrinkle free until I can get to them.

Today I’m trimming and pressing


but I could use some elves to help me out!

Do you know of any?

What have you been doing this Labor Day weekend?

The carnival is in town so we’ve been eating well!

And of course as always, David shot the star out so we have a new addition to our family.


And as always, the prizes are huge!


This guy takes up my entire 4′ drafting table!

Everyone needs a 4′ sea turtle, right?

It won’t be here long.

I mentioned Clare giving maybe giving it to one of her little babysitting friends that’s turning 3 this week and although she already bought her a very cool gift, she’s excited that she’ll be the hit of the party when she shows up with the huge turtle!

She and her big sister will be able to sit on this guy at the same time and still have turtle left over!

[and I’m excited too ;)]

Just keep sewing…


I’ve been making Morris Earthly Paradise Tiny Dresden petals…



I feel like I’m gardening.


I have 21 different floral prints…

nicely tended in rows…

because I don’t want to accidentally sew a petal into the wrong plate!

With a bit of help from Betsy


I’m able to keep the string of sewn petals wrinkle-free and untangled.

Thanks, Betsy!

What are you doing in this heat?

I saw this morning that over 118 million of us are experiencing triple digit heat!

Thankfully it’s raining here right now.

Just keep sewing…