quilters across the globe sharing their talents and forging new friendships

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm really liking the wonky looks

hi all. I really love the wonky star, it's like a friendship star (which is probably what I would have chosen for my month) and will enjoy making it. I have not started the December block and will definitely be falling a little behind; we have been dealing with declining health issues in OH (a six hour drive from MD) most weekends and today we will have to say goodbye to LuLu, out 16 1/2 year old shepard mix. I can't deal with everything after the year I've had.... so rest assured, when we have finished crying over the next few days, I will turn to my sewing machine for comfort and get busy on blocks. thanks for your support and understanding.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

January blocks

Hi everyone,

Did any of you get involved in the Bushfire appeal last year? It is for a wonky star block that is very cute and easy. Victoria has an excellent tutorial on the construction of it. Check out

http://thesillyboodilly.blogspot.com/2009/02/wonky-star-tutorial.html for the pattern. I am sending little packets out (on Monday morning) of the background fabric to use. I would like you to use any color you might have for the star points. If you don't feel comfy with this, please, let me know and I can send some fabs for you to use instead.

I haven't been thinking straight for a few weeks, too much stimulation. Let me know if you have any questions, k? No rush on the returns to me.

Have a better year...Elaine

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mail came!

Solidia, Just wanted to let you know the package of scraps for your block arrived today. I'll get this started after Christmas and hopefully out to you shortly after.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

String X

Here is my block for December. ... first time paper piecing. I thought it was interesting...maybe a bit challenging especially with the bias triangles, but all in all, I am glad I had the chance to do it!

I hope you like it Solidia. I did add a few pieces from my own stash for some extra variety. I think this will be a great quilt when finished!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

december block done

Here you go Solidia!

This was a first for me.... never paper pieced. I'm a free willy kind of gal.
But even I can admit this was a fun block to make ,
and I thank you for teaching me something new!

What fun this quilt will be when it's all together!


Has everyone mailed their November blocks?
I'm missing 5...
Wanted to check with you all before I go bother my postman for missing mail....
we have the worst post office...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

bee blocks

I am so excited...I am flying out to Washington state tomorrow afternoon to finally meet my new granddaughter, born a few weeks early, so off to packing for the adventure!
Grab the bags, pack one full of baby stuff mawmaw made, re-usable breast pads for the new mommy, new Christmas quilts....what....
....omg, I thought I had done the November blocks for the Bee Balm! I am so bad, please forgive me, off to the post office in the next few minutes. Victoria, what can I say? New babies make me stupid! Please accept my heartfelt apologies for my tardiness.
On the upside, the three little specks are the actual pieces of fabric going back, couldn't fit them in. I hope these are ok for you. I did enjoy this project, very fun, outside the box for me. Thanks for the opportunity to make these for you.
Again, my apologies, red faced and running to DFW...Elaine

Sunday, November 29, 2009

December Block

Hello ladies! I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving with family and friends.

**I made this quilt for a swap**

For the December block, I have chosen to go with a pattern from the Quiltville website called "String-X." I have a lot of scraps and would love to use some of them in a quilt for our family room. My goal this year is to do A LOT of scrap quilting so I thought this was a good place to start.

I will be sending out the packets of fabric tomorrow (Monday). You each will be receiving a variety of scraps as well as some solid black for the background. I hope I have included enough fabric. If there isn't quite enough, feel free to add from your stash of scraps. The Quiltville website gives step by step instructions on how to construct the blocks. You will be putting together four of the smaller blocks to make one large block.

I know it is the holidays, so please don't worry if you are unable to get them back to me this month. I can already feel the pressure of the last minute scramble to make gifts myself.

Thanks everyone! This has been fun!! :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

November block

Finally here are pictures of my blocks for Victoria. I finished them in October on the same day I received the fabric, yet I still haven't mailed them! Sorry, really busy month.

After I took this picture, I found a strip that had fallen on the floor, so I was able to use up more of those scraps. I ended up with very few scraps overall, but I'm sending back some tiny pieces to you!

Looking forward to December's block!

Also, the folks at the Block Party blog are offering tutorials and will eventually be writing a book on the virtual quilting bee. Check out the blog and follow if you want--they will be including some of the projects of other bees in the book, so it should be fun to watch!

And those of you who wanted to be in the second bee, I'm thinking January will be the first month, and I'll get that info out to you ASAP!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving--and a regular good old Thursday for Lizzie and Viv!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another November block finished

Here's my block! The smaller block is a bit odd but I'm sure it'll be made to work. There are just two tiny pieces of fabric left (they are the purple and yellow laying on the instruction papers on the left).

I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming up for December!

Paper Piecing

Hey Guys,

Who knows how to do paper piecing? My block isn't until August but I am already thinking of some ideas. I don't know how to paper piece myself but plan to learn soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November's Block DONE

I am so sorry about all the extra fabric. I was watching Desperate Housewives and not paying that much attention because it was SO SO easy. This was a first time block for me like all have been (which is the point of a quilting bee to learn new skills and friendships) and I will be making it again. I will get it out and in the mail by Wednesday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


You guys ROCK!
Already I have 4 of my blocks in, plus my own... I am so anxious to get this quilt together! Because they look great. Nice job ladies! So far so good! thanks, Sandra, Jenny, Melina, and, who else sent their block in?? my studio is such a wreck i can't find my list...!! I may need another if it doesn't surface by next week...
the mini ones look fab too, and even my little baggie of scraps!! love it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

V's block

Needing a distraction, I sat down yesterday and zipped Victoria's blocks together. I doubt it took me an hour (and that was with both my kids "yakin" at me.) It was fun and I even kept these tiny pieces for you V. (They are smaller than 1/2 in wide.) I eager to see what do with these blocks. They were fun! Thanks!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Italian tiles together

Hello ladies, I finally have a picture of all the blocks (except one set). I want to thank you all for your effort and I think they look fabulous! Thank you also for the extra fabric and the template plastic (V, Jenny and Elaine), I sure appreciate it. And Elaine, the next time I'm in East Texas I'm looking you up, friend. I can't wait to see what the rest of you come up with when it is your turn. Happy sewing!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

For Victoria

I will be mailing it soon. Thanks again, this quilting bee is so fun, thanks for getting me hooked!

Do we have syrup, too?

I taught in Burton OH for 6 years. Burton is the home of one of the most prolific sugar bushes in northern Ohio. For those who don't know, a sugar bush is the term given to the operation of turning maple tree sap into maple syrup. In Burton, the sugar bush is located in the center of the town circle, in a log cabin. So, since this was a log cabin block, I'm wondering if we get maple syrup, too?:-)

This was fun! I'm not sure I did it right because I've seen two or three ways of creating log cabin blocks in different books. What I know is that I like it a lot, and may have to try doing a lap quilt or something in this block. I'm not sure why, but I seem to have more leftovers than the rest of you, can someone explain? Anyway, here's my contribution to the November challenge. Can't wait to see what else people come up with this month.

Friday, November 6, 2009

October and November Blocks

I had fun making these blocks. It was A LOT easier than I thought it was going to be. I'm going to have to add these blocks to my evergrowing list of blocks I want to incorporate in to quilts.

I especially had fun with this one. I loved going round and round until I ran out of long strips! It made me smile. This block is especially appropriate since I just checked out a Gees Bend book for the second time.

I can't wait to see all the quilts tops as they come together. Now to figure out what to do for my December block. Hmmm....

November's block

Complete understatement to say I LOVED working on this block. I loved everything about this process, start to finish. Thanks V for the great block. I will have to double check, but I don't think I'm able to put all my pieces together to make a last wrap around my small block.
Hope you like it V! This is going to be a fabulous quilt!

Just a few days late

sorry, girls, I got my fingers mixed up on blogspots. I am so lame at this stuff....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November blocks finished..........

Victoria's blocks are winging their way over to New York as we speak. As you can see, I used everything except the tiny pink square. I sure hope this is what you were looking for?? I can see that Victoria will have a wonderful time putting all these blocks together and it's going to look fabulous when it's finished!
Have a great weekend everyone.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Melina's Italian Tiles

Sorry I am soooo late.
Here they are though and I have been enjoying my brand new cutting board and cutter ;-)
How inspiring! I want to play with italian tiles and some of my fabrics that I have been wanting to work with for a while.
Thanks for this amazing learning experience!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Super Mail..........

I can't believe that I have received Victoria's package already. According to the envelope it was posted on the 22nd Oct in New York and here it is in my hand on the 29th. According to Sue in our local post office it arrived there on Tuesday which was the 27th!! Five days from New York to Ballarat - amazing!!

So I have Novembers block in late October and should be able to send it back to Victoria next week and I'm ahead of the game......how good is that? I just have to discipline myself to make a wonky block, so much fun. Today the sun is shining and it's HOT finally, loving it.
Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here they are...

My 3 blocks for Shelly's October block and my September $5 quilt block that is a tad late.Shelly your block will go out Friday hopefully, if I can finish my 25 disappearing nine patches for Jane's swap. That way I only have to make one trip to the post office.

Italian tiles for Shelly....Finally!

My blocks are going out today Shelly. I hope they are ok with you. I enjoyed doing this block, it was lots of fun, sorry it took me so long to get them off to you, Elaine

Saturday, October 24, 2009

3rd time is always the charm!

Okay, so do I admit this is the third time I tried to do this tile? I definitely was challenged, but I think I finally got it. At least, close enought to send off. You can see the progress if you look really closely at the blocks, I did get better and better at it. I'm not sure I'd try this again soon, working with the bias edges was something that I don't quite have under control yet, but I'm glad I got to try it.

Opinions Needed

Hi Guys,

Fall is finally here in Georgia. The temperature right now is 65 and I have my sweatpants and sweatshirt on. No, sewing so far this morning just blog reading and Christmas gift idea hunting. I plan to get so much done this weekend and next weekend I can't wait.

I wanted to ask you though what you are making for your family and friends this Christmas season (if you celebrate) especially the grown men. Since the economy's downturn a couple years ago this year has been the hardest for us, no more juicy steak dinners each weekend :(, so I am trying to make gifts that will be useful. I have relatives who I feel expect gifts from us and as my husband say that is the way they do things. I have suggested adopting a family instead of giving gifts to each other or volunteering at the local Salvation Army but that is not their cup of tea. So I need some ideas of what to make my adult family members who don't like country items. I have thought about doing a table runner, place mats, pot holders and dish towel and have it all matching but if I give that to a couple I feel like that is more for the female and the man isn't getting anything. Am I worrying to much what they think?? So what are you making?

Oh, for my niece and nephew I am making a Lap Desk, Crayon Roll, and hopefully a bag for it all to fit in with a coloring book or good craft paper. They will be getting the same thing so I hope that is fine. Would you kids mind getting the same thing just different fabric design?

Thanks for the Feedback,

P.S. This is formatted like an email because I should have sent it out that way but don't have every one's addresses. Also, I have NO and I mean N O friends that know how to operate a sewing machine so thanks for the friendship.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Picket fence ideas

Hello, all!  I hope everyone is having fun with this!  I've gotten all of my blocks(almost--but I know where she lives!)  and have been thinking about the layout.  Here are some ideas and I would LOVE some feedback!

So, this one wouldn't use any sashing.  I would do a picket fence border on one side and a regular border around the other three sides.  I think I like this one the best, but I want this to be big enough for a bed quilt, so it would probably need another border on the outside of this one, too.

Now this one is sashed and the picket fences are the sashing.  It think it might be a little too cutesy for me, but it still might work.  This one would need a border or two around it as well.  Or I could make 8 more blocks which defeats the purpose of this entire exercise!

So here's what I'm thinking for the back.  Victoria made me 2 blocks, so I have an extra to use on the back.  I thought I'd use it to build another house.  With a picket fence of course.  Any thoughts? 

Would you use white(which is bound to get really dirty between the dogs that sneak on the beds and the kid that has dirt coming out of his pores!) or a white 30s repro print?  I had planned on only using the prints and could probably find one that had a simple enough design that the fence would still shine through, but now I'm wondering.

And I saw this quilting yesterday which I though might be pretty fun for this project!

Any hoo--yesterday when I was "working,"  I wanted some graph paper to play with this and had none, so I went on-line to find some.  I found an awesome site that has squares, hexagons, rectangles, triangles, and circles.  I started planning many many quilts!  You should check it out--it'll give you lots of ideas!

Thanks for any feedback you've got!

Novemeber packets

November Blocks for Victoria

Hi Everyone!~ I'm so excited!
Packets of my fabric are being mailed thursday a.m.
Here's whats inside...

Each person will receive a packet of strips + one little brown shape,to make wonky log cabins.
(if you don't know what that is,
just start sewing strips around the outside of the middle block and keep going...)

Please use the light pre cut brown square-ish shape enclosed to start your large block.

do not square them off. keep it wonky.

Work round and round until you have no more fabric that will make it around the block.

When you have done so,and your left with little short pieces
that don't fit all around the big block,
begin a separate one out of the scraps, like the mini one to the right of the big block above.
any scrap can start the mini one...

GOAL: Please attempt to use ALL the fabric.
(On mine, i used everything i could except for that last scrap of yellow below the mini one.)

Please send all scraps back to me along with the two blocks.
Every last bit is going into this quilt.

Please do NOT ADD ANY FABRICS. Use ONLY what I have enclosed.

You do not need to square off the block and don't worry about the finished size, as all will be different with all the different size strips I cut randomly...

Thanks ladies! It's been fun so far!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween, take 2

We just got back from Providence where we spent parents' weekend with Sarah, the senior, and this picture was waiting in my email when we got home. I'm sure more will follow.....

how she takes a picture of herself is beyond me since I don't think she has a full length mirror.....

the wonders of science?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Giveaway at my house

Hi ladies, come on by and answer my question on, "what to do with my magazine stash", for your chance to win. I am threatening sending magazines off to the winner, lol. Thanks, Elaine

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Hi Ladies,

I just wanted to drop you all a note to let you know I have officially started my own blog. I thought I would start the ball rolling with a giveaway, so if you would like to enter, please stop by and say hello!




Halloween time out

Hi! someone asked for the picture of Lilli's costume, so here it is; also on the blog you can link to from here....

happy sewing all, it looks like we are traveling into really crappy weather for the weekend-I just can't wait to sit out at a football game in the rain.....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mailing update

Just wanted to update everyone, I HAVE MAILED!!!

Tara and Shelly, your blocks are on their way. Enjoy!


Monday, October 12, 2009

October blocks

Here are the three block for Shelly. I used a mustardy yellow which I didn't end up loving, but hopefully it will look good in a scrappy quilt! These were a lot of fun, I cut my squares larger to give me more room to cut them down, but 9 1/2" squares(the size of my square ruler) were too large and I ended up with a bit of waste.

And here are(most) of the blocks I've received so far. I think I've gotten one or two more since I took this picture last week(before the 4 inches of snow!). I think the rest are on their way, so I'll get the top sewn as soon as they get here and post pictures of it then! Still undecided on sashing. Any opinions?

Sorry for the quality of photos--that's what happens when you have a crappy photographer using a crappy camera!

Little House for Tara

The little house was fun to make! The colors are really sweet together.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Shelly's Tiles

Here are my tiles for Shelly's scrappy quilt. I hope you like them Shelly...they were mailed out this morning!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

French German Tiles :-)

My first try! It was so fun.
I used some scraps of random colors just to practice and I realize I will need a few tools so that my squares are square, my triangles triangular...
But it was a great new learning experience for me. Makes me realize all you can do when you start knowing what you are doing ;-)
So they are Katywampus but I will get the right tools and do better on the real deal...

Membership card

LOVE IT!!!!!

How clever, thank you!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

September and October blocks

I got a late start due to the mail but I'm finished Tara's september block! I enjoyed building my little house. I've always wanted a house with a red door. Some day...

And I've started the October blocks. And here's where I have a question. Please check my photo. I've sewn one triangle to the leg of the X and when I press it looks like the triangle is way too small. Is that how it's supposed to look?


Shelly's Tiles on the way...............

I can't believe that I've finished this month's block and it's only the 5th, woo hoo. Hope the colours are OK Shelly.

Be interesting to see how many different hues of the same colours that your quilt will have, should look great finished. Can't wait for February, that's my month!!


Tara's House & Shelly's Italian Tile

Tara, I hope you like the addition to your neighborhood! I made your block a little larger than 16" so you could trim it down perfectly when you get them all together.
I ended up making these blocks twice. I didn't like the way they turned out the first time, so I cut the initial squares larger, followed the exact directions from then on, and trimmed them down to exactly 6.5 inches. Both packages will be in the mail tomorrow!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Hello ladies!

I'd like to finally introduce myself. I haven't been anti-social, I've just been out of town, and really busy when I have been in town. I have been making quilts for almost 25 years. None of my ancestors that I know of has ever made a quilt, but I can remember being a little girl and wanting to make one. The funny thing about that is, so has my sister. When I became pregnant with my first child, (I have five), I made my first quilt. I did let him use it, and when he threw up on it the first time, that was the last time he saw it! I still have it in my cedar chest. I love all kinds of quilts, but I am particularly drawn to the most simple, or traditional ones. I do like to do a lot of improvisional work also. I am lucky enough to have a job that I love. I've been doing it for ten years now. I have two longarm machines, and they keep me pretty busy. I am excited to get to know all of you, and I anticipate having a lot of fun with this group.


Friday, October 2, 2009

italian tile

I had too.
I got excited by Shelly's color combo, as I had this red/yellow/blue Anna griffin fabric
The Aurora Collection, fabric and I was dying to cut into it...
it sort of screamed Italian Renaissance to me..
So, Shelly, they are done and on their way to you.
Have fun putting this one together!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Italian tile for October

Hello Ladies, October is my month and I have chosen Italian tile blocks. I'm doing my blocks a little different than Tara. I want a very scrappy quilt so I will NOT be sending y'all fabric. Instead, I want y'all to use fabric from your stash. First thing is you will need an 8 inch square of a red fabric, 8 in square of blue and an 8 in square of yellow. (The fabric can have other colors in it but NO white, please.)
1. Stack your blocks one on top of the other and draw a line (with a pencil on the back of one block) form corner to corner so you have a big X on the back of your block.
2. Measure 7/8" from each side of this drawn line and cut. (You should have 4 cuts.)
3. Shuffle the blocks and put them back together anyway you like.
4. There is alot of bias in these blocks so treat them with a little TLC. You can also use spray starch on the fabric before you cut.
5. Finger press the outside units (triangle units) to the triangles and the middle unit to the middle square. 6. Blocks should measure 6 1/2 in (unfinished)once they are trimmed.
If you have any questions just email me.

* Helpful tips. Use a sharp or brand new needle. And when piecing the units with the triangles, sew with the triangles on the bottom.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just in case

Hi, girls! I'm not sure if anyone else would be interested in this but....

I have always regretted that I didn't keep a log/journal of the clothing I made {and continue to make:)} for my girls as they grew up, figuring pictures of them would be enough. Also, all the scraps I'd been saving for quilting got recycled when we moved ten years ago because "if I haven't started to quilt by now, I'm probably not ever going to"--go figure, ten years later I've been "stung" by the bee....

so, I found this link looking for something else-I truly am not a very computer savvy person- but if you go to http://quiltingpassion.com, click on "free" then click on quiltsheets/diary for a free quilting log sheet. It's a two pager, so after I printed it I copied it going two to one page. Now, I have a little 3 ring notebook I can keep everything in. She also offers a spiral bound journal, but my feeling is the less money I spend on accessories the more I have left to buy fabric......

happy sewing!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mélina's square for Tara

Hope this works Tara. I changed my initial plan for reasons of time and small pieces. Also we all tended to place our houses in the center or left so I thought I would go for the right for some variety. Hope you like it, I have really enjoyed this project so far and look forward to more...

Quick before we leave

Before we leave for temple for Yom Kippur services, I wanted to put up my block for Tara. As you know, I'm a quilting newbie, and haven't had any classes or read enough tutorials. So, this block probably has a few things that should have been done a different way. But, it's a learning process, right? I wanted to try and use all the patterns sent, but I didn't quite make it. Here's the house:

and here's the whole block, I wanted to try a nine patch and did pretty well matching the seams, but the hill of grass on the left was a little tricky. I think I need to read about triangles......

I hope you enjoy it, Tara, it'll go out Tuesday afternoon, after work. love ya, San-Dee

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mail came!

My fabric arrived today and the building of my little house begins. Yay!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Here is my little house...

Tara, I should not be sorry since this was the first time I have done a block without a pattern but for some reason I am. I had a lot of fun making this block and can't wait to tackle the one I make for myself. I am putting it in the mail on Friday since I want to show it to my husband tomorrow.