Family Time, Hot Tips, My Life

New uses for old rotary cutter and blades

Do you have any rotary cutters that you no longer use because you got a newer and better one?

I do too, and finally decided to make that my paper cutting rotary cutter.  I used to change blades from fabric to paper on the same cutter, then I got smart and started using an older, smaller cutter to cut just paper.

I’ve used that cutter to cut apart lots of paper items.  If you don’t already know it, you can cut paper with a rotary cutter long after the blade is not sharp enough to cut through fabric.  This is why I have a separate cutter just for paper.

Just this morning I made tags to go on my donation for our guild’s Christmas auction.  I first made a sheet of tags and printed them on a piece of card stock, then sliced them apart.  It’s quicker than using scissors and more accurate too because I also use use my mat & rulers.

I’ll be making more of the chocolate pecan pretzel bark for our church’s bazaar this weekend so I made a sheet full of those tags.

Other things we’ve cut are school projects for science fairs, book reports, and I use them to cut apart our sheets of photos each time we order another portrait package from JC Penney!  The blades last a very long time.

More recently I retired my original 45 MM cutter and realized it’s big enough to cut through cardboard!  That’s right, now I have a cardboard cutting rotary cutter too.  School projects are quick to cut now.  I have a 2″ x 36″ ruler than can really make long, accurate cuts.

My rotary cutter has become at least as useful as my hot glue gun of years ago!

Any other uses for that rotary cutter that I’ve not thought of yet?

Until next time,


Family Time, My Life

Guess what I did over the weekend?

I met one of my all-time favorite artists, Mary Engelbreit!

Mary has a new book that came out November 1st, “Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker”.

I noticed on Mary’s blog that she was going to have a book signing in Washington, MO (a mere 90 miles away) on Saturday.

When the weather people promised a beautiful day for a drive, I invited my mom and daughter, Clare to go along.  We took in a few antique shops, gift shops and the gallery where Mary’s book signing was to be held, Jane and David Arnold’s gallery, The Art Center.  A lovely gallery with very nice owners who baked  delicious chocolate chip cookies with hot chocolate too.

I’m glad to have finally met Mary in person.  Funny though how years of subscribing to her magazine that is sadly no longer being printed, plus owning several of her books, all gifts from my mom, sister and a friend, and of course reading her blog, I felt that I already knew her!

A lovely lady!

She took time to listen to and chat with all of us there who appreciate her beautiful artwork that makes us smile.  If you live in the St. Louis area, Mary will have another book signing at the County Library on November 19th.

Thanks Mary!

Until next time,


Family Time, My Life, New Pattern Sample, Quilt Market

We interrupt these new pattern introductions…

I couldn’t resist taking a photo or two and showing you what I worked on during the game last night…

Pretty cute stuff, huh? It’s another sample of my Charm Pack Garland pattern.

I wanted to watch the world series game (Go Cards!!!) and also wanted to work on a few more loose ends for my trip to market in a few days.  So, I decided to take my ironing board, iron and fabric to the livingroom to watch the game with the family…

I started with some charm packs that I bought from my LQS last month (or maybe the month before that), more of that lovely “Amelia” collection.

I pressed them, notice I kept out the black squares to use on another project soon to be revealed.

Then I made the “string” to hold them all together, all while watching Pujols make world series history with three home runs in a single world series that only two other greats have been able to do; Babe Ruth & Reggie Jackson.  But anyway…with this stuff

today I was able to sew this,

Gotta love the pile of color that this makes!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Until next time,


Family Time, new fabric collection, New ideas, restocking stash

More & More Amelia

A box from Moda showed up the end of last week:

 I love these boxes that show up plastered with the Moda packing tape.

Even though I know exactly what’s inside because I ordered it, it’s just like Christmas morning each time!

It’s more Amelia!!!

Thanks Santa Moda, I can’t wait to get started sewing!!!

My sewing room will have to wait though, my #1 helper starts back to school the 16th and I’ve decided to postpone my sewing until then.  The time goes by all too quickly. My sewing machine will just have to wait.

I’ve got my designs pretty well decided (or so I think I do), so my cutting & sewing should go lickity split once I begin.

I hope you’re getting some time with your sewing machine & perhaps a school aged child or two or three too.

Gotta go, #1 helper just took a pan or sugar cookies out of the oven and I like ’em hot!

Until next time,


Family Time, My Life, Quilt Market

Here I am!

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering, “Is she EVER coming back?”  Well, I’ve been home for a while now, but I’ve been extremely busy. 

My son graduated from high school


the same day my niece got married.

I hosted my family throughout the holiday weekend so we could all visit with my out-of-town brother & his wife.

Next I spent two days with my son at SIU-E’s orientation getting him ready for not only school this fall, but also a class later this summer.

 I also attended our guild’s Quilt Away, a three-day retreat which Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods came in town to teach at. More on that in a later post.


Salt Lake City’s Quilt Market was a very successful show for me!  Chloe was a great help. I met lots of new shop owners and employees that loved (and bought) my new “stuff”. The city was beautiful, what we were able to see of it, and the time shared with fellow quilt designers was priceless.


A photo of Chloe & me in our booth.

Here are some of our friend’s & neighbors’ booths:

Mary Jane of The Quilt Branch (Susan was out & about).


 Celine of Perkins Dry Goods & friend Barb.


Susan & Leslie of My Favorite Things.

Roger of Blue Hill fabrics. 

 I’ve met so many nice people through quilting and Salt Lake City was no exception! Going to market is a LOT of work; from designing and making samples, to writing patterns, to photography and printing, to packing, traveling, booth set-up, working on your feet 9 hours a day…  Then there’s tear down and more traveling, not for the faint of heart for sure, but the feedback from shop owners and distributors has been great and keeps me going!  It was fun to experience market with my daughter, Chloe this time.  Not only was she great help, but she was fun to spend the week with.  She and Celine have already been planning to meet up again in Kansas City next spring where Celine hopes to also bring her daughter.  That should be fun too!

Until next time,




Family Time, Hot Tips, My Life

Hot Tip Tuesday #8, Artificial Memory

Ok, this is not a quilting tip BUT I’m a quilter and it’s a tip that has helped me from year to year to get my Christmas decorations in order.  With the help of family & friends, my Christmas decoration stash is really robust.  Over the years I’ve adjusted how I decorate for Christmas based on my favorite decorations and the energy levels of me and my helper(s) at the time.  This digital era that we live in has helped me “remember” or perhaps helped me with what I can’t seem to remember!

Several years ago I decided to photograph some of my Christmas favorites and how I displayed them.  This was actually before my digital cameras.  I had the photos printed and put them in various boxes with their decorations so I could recreate an idea that I could barely bring myself to disassemble the year before.

So getting to my tip, I suggest taking photos of these settings or vignettes of sort and store printed copies until next year.  Today I took some photos to show you some of my favorites.

This is the top of our refrigerator.  It’s one of two collections that prompted me to start these photos.  I made the lighted buckets several years ago for one of my Christmas open house events.  Fortunately for me I made enough that I had leftovers!

 This is a shelf full of Christmas also in our kitchen.  This menagerie is full of handmade goodies from Heidi, Ruthann and myself, plus little things I’ve picked up here and there that I absolutely love!

This is atop the pie safe of sorts that my father-in-law made for me several years ago.  The folk art building trio is a newly acquired Christmas gift from my good friend Kathy.  They will stick around after the Christmas decorations are put away, I just couldn’t help but tuck it into this selection of red and green delight.

And last but not least, I couldn’t resist putting a bit of Christmas cheer on this guy (much to my husband’s chagrin).  He has no name, but he hangs proudly in our livingroom. For those of you who’ve never met my husband David, he enjoys hunting almost as much as I enjoy quilting!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my artificial memory.  As one of my college professor’s signs so accurately stated, “Artificial intelligence is better than none at all!”  Funny how I can’t remember what I had for breakfast most mornings (not this one though it was iced sugar cookies at my MIL’s house) but I remember this clever quote from 25 years ago!

Until next time,



Family Time, New quilt pattern, Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour

100 Blocks Blog Tour Winner

Happy Veteran’s Day to all our veterans!

It’s been a busy few days at my house, and on my blog.  My wonderful Mother-in-law helped me fold and bag patterns this week so I could get them shipped out, partly because I really needed the help and partly because she needed to be busy on the first anniversary of my father-in-law’s passing away. I have to say, everyone has said it would take her a year, not to be over her grief, but to start to be OK with it.  I’m happy to say, in the last two months, I’ve seen a calm in her that’s been missing since the untimely passing of her husband.  She’s even booked a bus trip to Branson with a friend, a huge step. Here’s to moving forward!

Speaking of moving forward, not only am I amazed by the number of people following the 100 Blocks tour, but also by all the comments that have been posted on all of the blogs participating!  So much excitement, and real soon you’ll all be able to get your hands on a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks vol. 2, one way or another.

I put all my comments into a number generator and the lucky winner from my blog is #113.  Now that is Kismet.  My favorite number is #13!  So, Michelle Clemons, if you’ll send me your address, Quiltmaker will send you a free copy of 100 Blocks vol. 2.

For the rest of you, there are still two more days of the great give-aways going on. Go to Quiltmaker’s blog for the lists of remaining blogs to visit.  Have fun and good luck!

Until next time,


Family Time, My Life, New quilt pattern

Day #4, 5 New Patterns in 5 Days!

Well, Carol Burnett was fun.  My mom and I laughed, and then we laughed some more. They showed clips from some of her favorite shows and it’s funny that I remember them.  That’s been well over 30 years ago, how can that be?  It was fun to hear Carol tell stories of things that happened behind the scenes during that time period as well.  A classy lady that carol!

On to New Pattern #4, #172 In Season for Christmas

I love this scene on the black background, don’t you?  You can purchase all of my patterns on my website, just give a click.

Until next time,


Family Time

Time in Tennessee

My family & I traveled to Tennessee.  It was an active week, 

 Biking at Cades Cove,

 Settlement, Cades Cove,

 If she only had antlers…

 Notice the downhill smile!

 …of course lots of eating!

We all like to go, go, go…but with 9 hrs. on the road to get there who would think we’d all want to drive some more when we finally arrived?

 Speed, a  favorite…

    Just a bit of bumping and T-boning was involved, but we won’t say by whom.

 Driving Miss Chloe!

 Definitely Clare’s favorite!

 Dollywood is a very nicely kept theme park.  We learned about wood carving, candle making, Glass Blowing, The Smoky Mountains, and lots more.  It’s our second trip to Tennessee with our first trip being just three years ago.  Lots to see and do!

 Splash Country, part of Dollywood, was a nice place to cool down in the 100 degree weather.

 Laurel Falls was a several mile hike into The Smoky Mountains.  Fortunately it was uphill to get there and downhill on the way back.

 White Water Rafting was another welcome wet day.  We’re getting so experienced at it, this being our 4th rafting trip, that this one seemed a bit too easy & slow.

 Relaxing at the end of each day was nice.  David grilled on the “world’s smallest” grill, but it sure tasted good.

 This is the entrance into our gated cabin community (those are man-made trees).  All of us are curious as to why ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ would be a good theme to an entrance for mountain cabins, but later decided the incredible climb to the cabins that seemed almost 90 degrees was pretty darn scary!!!  I tried to get that with my camera, but just couldn’t capture the true incline.  If you’ve ever had the recurring nightmare of driving up an incredibly steep hill and tumbling over backwards…that’s it! 

It was a fun trip making lots of memories. 

Later I’ll post my quilt shop experiences.  Thank goodness for GPS.  My brother David gifted me one last year for Christmas.  I finally traveled to an unknown area to use it and it was great.  It was especially nice in a tourist area with so much traffic that it’s hard to navigate and watch where you’re going at the same time.