Tutorial Tuesday: Thermal fabric & a mitt for the Bar-B-Q

Tutorial Tuesdays header

While we are all in celebration mode, we want to talk about this Barb-B-Q / oven mitt, a PS project from the Let Freedom Ring Collection.

PS Projects are FREE patterns that we add to our different pattern collections. You can find them all in our Brag Book. 

oven mitt 2

Our Really Big Hat Uncle Sam applique is included in the “for sale” patterns of the Let Freedom Ring Collection.

This quick bar-b-q/oven mitt will add to the comfort and the theme of your party. Using the Let Freedom Ring basic background block,

freedom star prototype sm

This is Freedom Star, the signature block for Let Freedom Ring Collection.

and a quick trim of prairie points, you will have a great accent in no time. See the Prairie Points Tips and Tricks page for a tutorial on this colorful trim.

prairie points

Official Opinion from the Florida Sister: You can never have too many Prairie Points!

You’ll need to sew some insulation type fabric between the outside and the lining in order to keep your hand protected. Make sure that you place the shiny side toward the heat source (i.e. facing the outside of the mitt).

Which brings us to the “tutorial” part of this post: advice regarding thermal fabrics. Your options fall into three basic categories (*none of which are safe for microwaving because of the metallic properties in them): 

  • Thermal Batting, which has insulating properties.
  • Thermal Fabric, which can withstand high temperatures without scorching.
  • Thermal Interfacing, which is a lighter weight insulating option.

We end to use Insulbright for projects that involve the oven (i.e. high heat). Isulbright has a reflective metalized poly film in it which resists radiant energy by reflecting it back to its source. Did we mention to make sure that you place the shiny side toward the heat source (i.e. facing the outside of the mitt).

We love this fabric because it is easy to cut, machine washable, and is quite nice to work with – though a bit slippery. Though it is in the batting category, The Warm Company does suggest you layer Insul-Bright with a standard cotton batting if you are using it for a high-heat application.

You can get your FREE instruction sheet HERE.


This is a Quick and Easy project!

Tip: For an “explosive” hostess gift, fill it with grilling tools or marinate mixes.

*One exception to the “do not microwave” rule is Wrap-N-Zap by Pellon, which is specifically designed to be microwaved.

Categories: PS Projects, Tutorial Tuesdays | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Freedom Flags: “sew” quick and easy

The Let Freedom Ring Flag is just the touch you need to put some dazzle to your 4th of July celebrations!

Freedom Ring yard flag


You can finish it in an afternoon and it takes very little from your patriotic fabric stash. The only down side is that your friends and neighbors will be requesting them to decorate their yards, too!


Here’s a little confession/ warning, though: they can be habit-forming.

Some design ideas are like that. Like an invasive vine. You know how it goes – all you need is a little, bitty starter and before you know it, the idea spreads to the far corners of your imagination.

That’s the way the yard flag house flag/ table flag idea has been in my mind. Once I made the first Let Freedom Ring flag as a companion piece to the Autograph Table Cloth  …

table cloth cropped for web

… the ideas for flags were creeping in just about every corner of our design notebook. The Colorado Sister was about to call in the noxious weed control folks.

The little yard flags are so quick to make:

freedom star prototype sm

two blocks, some borders, and a casing to hang them on the flag hanger and you’re finished! Be sure of this: the machine applique for the applique figure is E.A.S.Y. (Promise!) And in the process, you’ll get tips on stitching a Y-seam and prairie points. These 18″ x 24″ flags can be secured in your lawn or on the edge of your deck or on a table.

The next project bubbling in my brain is to go BIGGER so we will have a house flag version. Please don’t tell Sister I said that because she will think that the crop dusters need to be called again.

You can get the Let Freedom Ring flag pattern at our etsy store, 2SistersAtHeart.

Categories: Patterns and Projects, Seasonal Stitches | Leave a comment

Fabric Hoarding: Scraps

CO Sister id tagHello, my name is Cindy and I’m a scrap-aholic.

It is totally true and I’m confessing it to the world.  I have a “need” to find, fix, and finish other people’s scraps.  Not my own so much, I just collect those.  But I find a certain sense of accomplishment in using what someone else was giving away, throwing away or selling “too cheap.”

I see value in the rejected.

I’m in love with the term: up-cycling.

That all sounds very lofty, but the truth is:


I’m a fabric scrap hoarder and I’m not taking steps to correct it any time soon.

In fact, I went to a porch sale of someone (I knew she would have fabrics) simply because another friend in Oklahoma sent me a text mentioning scraps!  I kept having to tell other shoppers that I was really buying for three people (I didn’t mention that it was me, myself and I).  When I unloaded the bags and boxes, my DH was hoping that it was groceries.


I did feel a little guilty because Florida sister had asked me to use some of her spending money to purchase a few fun things for her.  So I sorted them out (We continue to live by our childhood rule:  one cuts and the other chooses.) but she couldn’t chose for herself, so I sent her a “small” box just to say she wasn’t forgotten and then I played for the rest of the day.

There are hoarding rules, you know.

All scraps must be sorted!  by color, of course.  My sister would probably say by size first.  The only size restriction is the container I’m trying to stuff them into.  I keep adding furniture to my room to contain organize them.


I have the odds & ends sizes, the smaller than fat quarter sizes, the strips (multiple sizes), the fat quarters I’ve created size, the less than a yard size and on and on it goes.

On the plus side, I did get rid of anything less than 4” square last summer.  Then they came out with “quilter’s candy” (2 inch squares) and now I’m back to saving it all!


Yes, that is a half-pint jar with scraps inside! Isn’t it just too cute with the yo-yo in the lid?

Contrary to the belief of my spouse, I do actually finish and use most many of these rescued fabrics. Case in point would be the “use it all up” couch throw I made using “scraps” from one of our favorite fabric designers, SWEETWATER.

Somewhere in the process of “using it all up” it to make the couch throw, the creativity looked like this:


Then I pressed a few more, cut some off, sewed back together, pressed again and it began to look like this:


By the way, you can save fabric by careful placement of odd sizes of scraps, preventing you from having still more scraps.

Just so you know, there is such a thing as “scraps too small to save.”


“Too small to save” is all that’s left this time.

This is the couch throw from Feed Company, Sweetwater, yet to be quilted.


Last year I did a throw for the gazebo …


and I keep one on the chair of my studio …



and I even pulled some “fake embroidered” pieces out of the trash and made into a floor throw for the grand-kids.




He is sorting Scrabble tiles onto the animals that begin with that letter. Genius!

So if I can only live long enough to use up other people’s scraps I will be a happy (and very old) quilter.

I was going to ask, “What is your darkest hording secret?” But I think that might be too much information.  So I’ll just ask, what was your latest completed scrap project?

Categories: Inspire Me!, Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ... | Leave a comment

Tutorial Tuesday: Food Bowl Covers

Welcome to “Tutorial Tuesdays”

Tutorial Tuesdays headerTake a peek at the first of these FREE patterns with some tips that will make your Tuesday seem like Friday!

Continuing the Red White & Blue theme from your table to the frig(?) is easy with these simple (and freefood bowl covers.  They are adjustable for every size and you can embellish with the words or figures from your Let Freedom Ring patterns.

Tip #1:  Use bias tape to make the casing for the elastic and it will follow the curve easily.

Tip #2: Ric-rac is a quick embellishment that adds texture & color.

Tip #3: One size fits MANY.  Make it larger and it will cover more sizes.

So easy as 1,2,3 get the free pattern from the link above.

bowl-cover-2-webPotato salad never tasted so good…Actually, our family uses the age old “Frog Eye Salad” instead.  Recipe is belowbowl-cover-1-web


On the day before serving, cook the following ingredients together to form a thickened sauce:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon flour

3/4 cup pineapple juice (drained & reserved from can)

1 beaten egg

1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice

Cook 8 oz. Acini de pepe (tiny pasta) in 2 quarts boiling water, lightly salted.  Drain & rinse.  Cool slightly and mix with sauce.  Refrigerate overnight.  Add 15 oz. can drained mandarin oranges, 20 oz. can drained, pineapple chunks, 10 oz. drained, crushed pineapple, fresh red grapes, 8 oz cartoon of frozen whipped cream.  Optional: sliced bananas or marshmallows.  Serve cold and store in refrigerator.


Categories: PS Projects, Tutorial Tuesdays | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

FREEDOM: love it, celebrate it

FL Sister id tag

We love many of the same things:

frosty iced coffee,


flag with jude sm

This is only one of the cute things this little patriot does!


fireworks sm

“Aunt Pat” comes through again!

fireworks sm

I guess these are Before and After shots.

and Frog Eye Salad.

Also parades,

tractor sm

Americana at its best!


pancake breakfasts on the library lawn, and

pancake breakfast sm

This annual date with dad is priceless!

patriotic decorations.

– which explains why we both LOVE the Fourth of July.


One little note about the patriotic decorations: because we have stitched together for so long our homes contain many of the same holiday decorations.

In Florida you will see this …

yoyo flag sm



In Colorado you will see this …



In Florida you will see this…

flag runner sm

In Colorado you will see this…




The 4th is a holiday filled with things we love AND it’s the holiday we, as an extended family, most often celebrate together. But, our love of this holiday goes deeper than the homemade ice cream and time with our favorite people at the Ranch.

We love freedom.

Freedom allows us to have so many other things we love.

And we love freedom because we know that our freedom came at a very costly price. We learned this young. We grew up knowing the Pledge of Allegiance, how to sing the Marines Hymn and knowing that places like Iwo Jima had a special influence on making our dad into the man he is: Semper Fi. Always faithful.

semper fi

Though years have passed since our dad gave his years of military service, our homes hold special reminders

lamp and tags sm

dog tag and battle ribbon


picture sm

This photo appeared in the New York Times – Dad is second man on the right.


of his sacrifice and selfless bravery – and of other young Americans who risked everything because they, too, loved freedom.

So again this year as we …

set on sidewalks for parades and

sign our names on the autograph tablecloth and

make our deviled eggs and

shoot off all kinds of noisy entertainment, and

play horse shoes or Corn Hole …

corn hole2sm

Studies have shown that leaning can assure that the little bag goes right into the little hole!

corn hole

The trash talk can be as much fun as the game itself!

we will be remembering the heroes who made it possible for us to enjoy all those things we love so much.

We will be remembering that we LOVE freedom! And we will be celebrating what we love!

Categories: Inspire Me!, Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ... | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

DIY or not: Boiled Wool Adventures

FL Sister id tagWe are unabashedly Do It Yourself sisters.

At least we are to the point that we know enough to decide if we get enough satisfaction out of a process to continue. However, if the cost-benefit ratio is out of wack, we can quickly become unabashedly pro DELEGATE!

DIY question cropped

We are in the middle of such a DIY experience process with boiling our own wool.

We LOVE working with wool…

…the end product

…the possibilities …..

But right now we are examining the process. (I’m just so proud of my little list of P’s!)

We find ourselves in this learning curve spot often and it usually starts with, “How do they do that?!?!” (We’re not sure who THEY are, but we always intrigued by stuff THEY do.)

Because we both kept admiring wool work, I went to our #1 source for researching what THEY do …. PINTEREST! After thoroughly checking out “no fail” suggestions, I set out to experience these wonders for myself. All the while I was imagining the fun of showing the Colorado Sister what I had learned while I played with the wool samples we had found at a quilt show charity booth.


Yes, it really does say Pendleton and 25 cents in the same sentence!



My rookie experience went something like this …

1.  Put pot on stove.

2.  Insert water, detergent and piece of wool.


This was a very small pot, I know.

3.  Turn on heat until water boils and stir vigorously.

4.  Ring out excess water.

5.  Immerse in ice water.


This was not the hard part.

6.  Ring out excess water.

7.  Put wool in very hot dryer.


Did I really just take a picture of my dryer?

8.  Clean lint out of dryer. There will be LOTS of lint!

9.  Repeat – with a few variations.

At the end of the day, my house smelled a little strange and, despite all my hours in the kitchen, nothing had been produced for supper. The wool had been duly boiled but the result was less than I had imagined. The idea that we could do this ourselves still intrigued me but I had come to the conclusion that this might take both of us.

So, when I was in Colorado a few weeks later, we decided to tackle the boiling of the wool together. We did some more research. This took a while because we kept getting distracted by other things we found on PINTEREST.

(BTW, we have a Sisters board if you want to follow us. You can find it HERE.)

And then we tried just washing the wool in very hot water rather than using a pot on the stove. Other than that, the routine was very similar to my solo run, except that we used bigger pieces of wool – which meant that we had to clean out more lint from the washer and dryer. Did I mention this produces LOTS of lint?

(We had those bigger pieces of wool because our cousin, Penny, sent us a stash that her neighbor was sharing -THANKS for sharing, coz!)

I’m not sure that we were dazzled by our results. It’s pretty obvious that we have some more to learn about this process. And we may end up putting this in the DELIGATE column. But we both still LOVE boiled wool and felted wool and you’ll be seeing more of it in future projects. (Like the Autumn Post Card Projects that will be added to our “Seasons at my Window” collection.)

And we still have the optimism that this …


Hmmm …. dark green and red wool for …


will someday be part something kind of like this …

wool stitching corner

HINT: Holly Jolly is coming this summer!

Tutorial Tuesdays


Categories: Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ... | 1 Comment

Road Home

CO Sister id tagWARNING: Extreme introspection ahead!

The very title of this post brings such peace. I fully admit I’m a homebody! Even when I can’t BE home I long to know I’m on the road that leads home.  Due to some exception rainfall this spring the road to my home on the sandy plains of Colorado has looked like this in a few spots.


Rain has blocked the road home and led to some interesting county road detours.  It started me thinking about the country song, “God Bless the Broken Road”  by Rascal Flats. (Yes, I kinda like country music.) Some broken roads take us to new and better places. Have you had a “detour” from where you thought you were headed today?

Fargo, ND, March 26,2009  A sign indicates that a road is closed due to  flooding by the Red River.The Red River is expected to crest on Saturday at over 41 feet. Photo by Patsy Lynch/FEMA

“Why” is always my first question!  Doesn’t change the facts, but I have to ask. Why is my way blocked? I should be saying WHAT? What am I to learn from this? What is my best response to this? What can I do to make it better for the one behind me?

I have seen several of these signs as well:1-road-closed-to-thru-traffic-street-sign-andee-photography-web

So, of course, I excuse myself by saying, I’m not “thru traffic”, I’m local.  I can go right ahead.  I belong on this road so I’m excused from the rules.  A few times I have excused myself from the quilting rules as well.  “X” amount of fabric is needed but I only have this much so I’m sure the rules won’t matter.  Ha!  (Please pay attention to the fabric amounts on our patterns.)

Thankfully, there are those that come along side with the road is rough or bumpy (or gone).  Like our road grader (big yellow machine that fixes roads) who is working 24/7 to make some patches and repairs.  We seldom think of those that help make our lives easier until it is really at a point that we depend on them.  Who has come along side you lately to smooth the rough spots?


Isn’t it a wonder what a little TLC can do for the roads as well as those bumps in life!  Who needs your TLC?  This is a before and after shot of the same road but the workers had done their job and made it passable again.  Is there someone you need to thank for making life passable again? (Thanks, Sister)


I did warn you that there was a lot of reflection here today, so as I looked at our Road Home Bed Scarf I was amazed again at the number of variations and contrasts that it takes to make a “road home”.  There is a little laughter, a few tears, and many unmarked detours. fabric-web

But the beauty is enhanced by those very things.  The light vs dark; the angles, the points and curves, all make it a one-of-a-kind beauty.MM-Road-Home-Bed-Scarf-web

Our extended family has said a final good bye to several members this year and it always makes me pause and think of life’s journey.  So when life seems about to overwhelm you, like the rising waters on these fence posts, then look around.  There will be those that come along side and lead you home again.fence-post-web

One of my all time favorite songs says it best, Where I Belong by Building 429. The road I’m on is leading to a permanent home, but I’m not there yet. Where is your road taking you?


Categories: Mother's Medallion, Patterns and Projects, Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ... | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Purse Pals

FL Sister id tagNot long ago a few of my stitching sisters from the Pensacola Quilters Guild came to spend a Sunday afternoon working on an orphan block project. We were making Purse Pals.

Neville and Leni

It’s a Quick and Easy Project; we were finished in a couple of hours. And that included time for some show and tell, a few stories, and some treats.


All you need is an orphan block – one that is all alone in the world – a square of batting, a square of backing and some zip lock plastic bags.


You make a quilt sandwich and sew the plastic bags into the middle and … see the Resource tab for PDF instructions to print out.



alice inside2

Purse Pals are really handy; you can fill the pockets with:

  • bandaids
  • toothpicks
  • safety pins
  • headache tablets
  • antacids
  • gum
  • lip balm
  • wet wipes
  • finger nail clippers
  • [insert your idea here]

These are great as a “man gift” for a pickup truck glove compartment.

Or you could make it bigger use gallon bags to carry hand stitching projects with you.

The results were as diverse as the quilters who made them.




What a light hearted time with these warm hearted stitchers who shared the afternoon with me!

anne, marcy, alice

There’s more information (class instructions) on our Resource tab if you want to gather some friends to stitch together. My friend, Neville, suggested that this would be a great project for the Guild Boutique at our Quilt Show next spring.

I think she’s on to something there! What are your favorite boutique projects?

Categories: Patterns and Projects, Shows and Workshops | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Alabama gets Frozen

FL Sister id tagAt Sisters at Heart, Miles Apart we LOVE to see the ways that quilting connects people and keeps hearts stitched together. So … Just one more note about the Azalea City Quilters Guild show last month in Mobile, AL.

The quilts displayed across the way from the Sisters at Heart booth included some work which featured panels from the story “Frozen”. All weekend long I saw young ladies come to pose with the famous sister picture.

little tike

Somewhere along the way the first day of the show I met the grandmother who had made four of the quilts for her granddaughters. (She had made other kinds of quilts for other grandchildren, too. 17 in all – if my memory serves me correctly.)

susan id tag

The detail that caught my eye was the dimensional pinwheels on the one she made for her granddaughter, Shelby.

aqua pinwheel

pink pinwheel

And then, I got to meet Miss Shelby – one very sweet and helpful young stitcher and photographer! (In fact, she came by as we were loading and volunteered to be my packing assistant. What a kind and thoughtful help she was!)

shelby and susan garrett

According to the Frozen story, one act of true love can thaw a frozen heart. I hope Shelby’s life is overflowing with people who show her acts of true love.

At Sisters at Heart, Miles Apart we LOVE to see the ways that quilting connects people and keeps hearts stitched together. We’d love for you to share such stories with us.

Categories: Inspire Me! | Tags: | Leave a comment

Comfort for the Body and the Soul

What does “comfort” mean to you? Tea in the garden?tea-web A soft quilt in the rocker? chair-webWarm bath with bubbles?bubbles-web Smell of baking bread?bread-web The sound of a certain someone’s voice? dan-webOne of my special comforts was my mom’s hands.  I only have the picture in my mind, but it is clear and sharp. The look was distinctive but their touch was like a security blanket.  I remember them playing the piano, washing dishes, holding her Bible, writing in her journal.

The things that add well-being to my life seem trivial to some but I like a clean kitchen counter (but don’t look at my sewing area!); a mowed lawn (though I can’t grow a living thing!); a fire in the fireplace (but I don’t chop wood); a good book (reviewed with my sister); and of course a warm quilt (like Mama’s Hands All Around).

So many of my life-luxuries involve other people.  Maybe I just cooked a meal for a special someone and cleaned up the counter.  Maybe DH has worked all day and still comes home to trim the lawn.  Maybe the quilt has a family tie.perrine-web Maybe the grand-kids are gathered around the fireplace to read a good book.  book-web book-web-2





Sister and I were recently looking for a recipe and found Mom’s handwriting on a few special cards. It was a comfort to see and know that a part of her was still involved in my life.  I will think of that each time I make this family favorite.



Shrimp Cheese Roll

4 oz. (1 small can) drained shrimp

2-8 oz. cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Shape into ball and roll in chopped pecans on a sheet of waxed paper. Hint:  mix all in a gallon size plastic baggie until thoroughly blended together, then dump onto nuts and shape into ball with your hand inside the baggie.

Let us know what comforts your body & soul…


Categories: Mother's Medallion, Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ... | Tags: | Leave a comment

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