CO Sister id tag



What is it that you anticipate?

  • Morning coffee
  • Your own bed at night
  • Cool water on  hot day
  • Christmas
  • Warm house after being out in the cold (to do chores – not outdoor quilting)
  • Announcing a new pattern line (Ducky)
  • OR….(wait for it….) A NEW BABY!!!


Presenting "Eden Orion" 6 1/2 lbs., 18 1/2 inches

Presenting “Eden Orion” 6 1/2 lbs., 18 1/2 inches

Yes, this Colorado sister has been anticipating a new grand-daughter for 9 months!  She is finally here and so I flew off with hand sewing in the bag for a visit. I didn’t do much hand sewing but I have done some babysitting for the siblings (tough / sweet job) laundry for the family (forgot how much 6 people produce) and meals for the freezer (if you live in the city, you get groceries delivered!) but most importantly, I’ve been able to fulfill the baby-longing of holding this new little one! Well worth the long wait.

Anticipation fulfilled.

Anticipation fulfilled.


With some expectations, fulfillment brings a bit of a downer feeling but NOT so with a baby.  Every anticipated sight, sound and smell are brought to fruition.  What touches your heart like a newborn cry?  What smells as fresh as a clean baby?  Can you imagine something more precious than their smile while they sleep?  A few others have been anticipating her arrival as well.


Big Brother






Little / Big Brother


After a week, Big Sister finally asked if we could please start dressing her in some of the new outfits. I think she is anticipating sharing clothes as most sisters do.  Little /Big Brother says, “I think she wants me.” (meaning he wants to hold her) Big Brother is hopeful that she will get big enough to recognize the Transformers he has been showing her (no response yet).



I think my sister is anticipating, really just patiently waiting for me to get back to work on Holly J …Oh, I can’t tell you about that yet.  It is the hand sewing I brought along with me but you’ll just have to anticipate it. Coming soon a new pattern!

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

Tangled Threads of Thought

Threads of thoughts to enrich your day – or maybe bring you a smile.

Be forewarned, though, our threads of  thought are sometimes tangled.

To quilt is to live

Categories: Threads of Thought | Leave a comment

Tutorial Tuesday: Parlor Pillow / Crazy Quilting

Tutorial Tuesdays header

“Crazy” comes in many forms (note I didn’t say faces!) but one of the prettiest forms is that of Crazy Quilting.  I’m beginning a list of reasons why I love it.  Feel free to add to the list in the comments.

  1. It is SO Victorian
  2. It uses scrap fabric
  3. It shows a great variety in the embroidery stitching
  4. It is easy to hide your mistakes (with embellishments)
  5. It has no wrong way for the fabric grain
  6. It can be made to any size
  7. Your turn…



The basics are that you sew a piece to the base fabric and then just keep adding it on and on and on. But when I looked for a tutorial that actually showed it happening, I drew a blank.  Had the technique been fully explained?  Was it just too simple to post? I found the perfect set of instructions here.

Cindy's quilt for cover

Ok, so I cheated a little.  That is really our own pattern from the Mother’s Medallion line.  We used crazy quilting first in the corners of the center of the Mother’s Medallion quilt (You can get the E-book pattern HERE.)


and then it led to the Parlor Pillow.

for printing

Note the center of the larger one has an interchangeable hexagon.  The pattern includes a Trading Hearts plan for swapping embellishments and fabric. The REAL key to this is the Tips and Tricks that are included.  Don’t tell my sister I’m posting them here.

Tips & Tricks for Crazy Quilting:
Sew RST with a ¼” seam and then press toward outside edge.
Make sure your pieces are long enough to cover the last raw edge. You can trim to fit after it is sewn.
Do not start or sew completely to the ends of your fabric piece. (Makes it easier to trim and less likely to have gaps.)
Do not back-stitch beginnings or endings of seams.
Join smaller pieces together before adding to the base piece (especially for long seams).
For interest, sew pieces on to create diagonal lines or angles.
For corners, stitch the longest seam and use a press mark as a guide to cut off excess, then top-stitch the second edge. Cover with embellishment.
An occasional raw edge is fine, it can be covered with embellishment.
Use color placement to balance textures. (Audition a piece before sewing.)


Once your fabric is in place, it is time to really go crazy with the “extras”.  I found lots of info on the symbolism of the shapes found on crazy quilts.  A great site gave some of the following list.

  • owls were a symbol of wisdom
  • eagles resembled courage and a military career for a family member
  • lions represented royalty and nobility
photo 7

This is from a quilt, a gift from the Yale family, used courtesy of Norma Young.

  • butterflies symbolized the soul
  • frogs were a “sin”
  • a pansy, in the language of flowers, meant “think of me”
photo 21

This quilt, a gift from the Yale family, is used courtesy of Norma Young.

  • dogs were loyalty
  • peacocks, incorruptibility
  • spider webs were a symbol of luck
photo 1

Used courtesy of Norma Young.

  • clasped hands meant good bye or farewell
  • fans…the list is too long
photo 31

This quilt, a gift from the Yale family, is used courtesy of Norma Young.

A complete history is given on the caron collection. Make it your next read while you’re sorting scraps to begin a crazy quilted “something”.

photo 3

Used courtesy of Norma Young.


Used courtesy of Norma Young.

Categories: Mother's Medallion, Patterns and Projects, Tutorial Tuesdays | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Flower Basket Centerpiece

As we navigate our shared love of all things fabric we are usually headed in the same direction, the sister and I, but we often found ourselves getting there by different routes. That was definably the case when we designed our Mather’s Medallion quilt. You can get the PDF e-book HERE.

Cindy's quilt for cover sm

The Colorado version of the Mother’s Medallion quilt.

We agreed pretty quickly as we planned the outside rows but when it came to the center medallion we were headed in very different directions. We were both ready to try something new-see a new view or enjoy a new stitching destination, you might say. But we were not traveling in the same technique direction. At all.

Sister 2 was envisioning something delicate and intricate -ribbon embroidery with some crazy quilting at the corners and I thought that would make an amazing center medallion—-for her quilt.

bouquet stamp sm

However my imagination was headed toward English Paper Piecing. I was envisioning a half Dresden Plate basket filled with flowers made from Grandmother’s flower Garden pieces and maybe some embroidered vines.

basket stamp sm

So we took up the challenge to create two very different centers for the Mothers Medallion quilt.

Later, after the Mother’s Medallion quilts were finished, as we were designing individual projects from each of the component parts of the quilt, this “each to his own” approach gave us two options to work with and we were double glad that we had opted to go east AND west at the same time. We transferred the set of skills from Cindy’s ribbon embroidery over to a pillowcase to co-ordinate with the quilt.

1 Pillowcase Posy sm for web

The ribbon embroidery here uses less delicate ribbon so the result is a larger bouquet than the one in the Colorado quilt.


Then we used my Dresden plate basket and Grandmothers Flower Garden blossoms in a new centerpiece design.  This time we featured 1930 reproduction fabrics and some yo-yos and added piping at the inside of the border to give the design a fresh look. We finished the project off with the scalloped edges that are used on the quilt. Also, to give you another option, we included instructions for making this basket into a pillow sham. Sometimes our “you know what we could do” moments just keep on rolling.

centerpiece #3

We’d love to see a fall version with yellow and orange flowers in the basket. The possibilities are endless.


If you are experienced at English paper pieced quilting you’ll find this project easy to complete. On the other hand, if you haven’t ever tried English paper piecing this would make a great “get acquainted project” to learn a new technique without a lot of commitment.

HINT for guild leaders or shop owners: This would be a great beginner class project because the technique can be taught fairly quickly and enough flowers can be done so that the class can take home enough to have a finished product very soon. The class can also include instruction on stitching a mitered border and how to add piping to a border.

Whether your stitching trip with this Dresden Plate basket of flowers takes you in the direction of a pillow sham or a table centerpiece, this combination hand work and machine stitched project will be a welcome addition to your stitching journey.

AND you can get it as an instant download pattern HERE.

Mother's Flower Basket PDF cover

Categories: Mother's Medallion, Patterns and Projects | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A “Just Ducky” Quilt for Little Dreams

We were shocked at ourselves. Shocked and appalled.

To think that we had gone on so long without any patterns for little ones. We love little ones. We love being surrounded by our little ones!


little ones1

Kids seated

Personalities are showing!

Little ones need quilts for cuddling. Well, things couldn’t go on like this any longer – we had to address this great neglect. Sisters at Heart needed a quilt pattern for little ones!


The Lullaby Collection was born and the design chart came out:

Size: big crib or child’s bed size – They grow out of the baby quilt size way too soon, we have learned this sad truth!

Quilting level: not too difficult but something we hadn’t used before

Motif: ducklings, little paddling ducklings

images 2

 Color parameters: current, modern colors to please young tastes, and blue of some kind – for water for the little paddling ducklings  

Block: off-set hexagons, using white between the aqua rows – so there would be gentle white caps in the water for the little paddling ducklings


Borders: wide borders with contrasting flanges, one for the focus fabric and one made of wide diagonal stripes – to give those precious little paddling ducklings secure and fun boundaries

Special touch: a border with a poem – about little paddling ducklings


Now to fill in the last frame of the design chart – NAME THAT QUILT. That part came pretty easily:

Just Ducky sign

The planning completed, we could move on to fabric for the sample. Since, for once, we were together in the same state for a few days, we could do this together!

fabric sm

And for the math calculations – this is where the Colorado sister takes the lead. We found some challenges here.

#1 – different people measure hexagons different ways. But most quilters measure the flat side and identify the hexagon with that measurement.

#2 – the offset hexagons produce an unusual finished sized row – not that it really matters because you can make the surrounding borders any size you want them. But you might notice that the measurements for the borders are a little unusual. Or you might not notice – the Florida sister hardly thought it worth mentioning.

#3 – the diagonal stripes could be made with half-square triangles or with strips with a bias one way or the other – each of us were inclined to proceed with a different method and that would change the math —- decisions, decisions …


Time to write the instructions – what will we call the fabric color we use for the water?


Web research on color and design and dictionary sites produced:  Aquamarine, ultra marine, blue-green, green-blue, teal, turquoise, aqua, pool blue, peacock, surfer — surfer is a color? Okay, this isn’t helping..

What about cutting all those hexagons …. Fortunately, right at the start of the sewing process we found these wonderful templates for cutting the hexagons and the little paddling ducks. (More on those templates in a future post.)

ducky template

The quilt for the little ones just might move from concept to reality!

We soon realized that we needed a new poem for the embroidery border because what we could find in nursery rhyme books had very little to say about little paddling ducklings. So we wrote:

Three little ducks all in a row

Paddle in the water, smooth and slow

Three little ducks …..

well now, I can’t tell you everything in this post.

But, you can get the pattern HERE.

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

Fiber Arts Exhibit: Something for every taste

FL Sister id tagHigh on the list of “Most Ridiculous Remarks Ever Uttered” was the one from a woman of questionable taste (I realize that I’m not very objective here) who told me, “I can’t imagine ever owning a quilt myself. My home is not really the style for quilts.”

I am seldom speechless but I truly didn’t know where to begin at that point.

Quilts cover a wider range of styles and tastes than ever before. The “something for every style” point was elegantly made in the artwork displayed at the Community Quilt and Fiber Arts Exhibit in Blue Ridge, Georgia where we traveled recently.

sign sm


The exhibit included small modern pieces …

comtemp series

and a collection of embellished portrait pieces …

diana sm


across the spectrum to large traditional pieces like this Baltimore album styled applique …


and this beautiful cathedral window …

cathedral window sm

The art museum is housed in the old court-house where the high ceilings and old wood provide a beautiful backdrop for quilts like this amazing appliqued quilt …

courtroom center


and this meticulously pieced hexagon quilt.

hexagon sm


I also saw some wonderful examples of what machine embroidery can produce in this Christmas piece …

Christmas whole


Christmas parts


christmas house

Is 9,6

There was no voting for the Viewers Choice Award but, not surprisingly I did have an opinion on that category …

red and white wholel

r&W close up 2

r&W close up 1


r&W close up 3


Now, tell me, what kind of house would be a house where a quilt doesn’t fit?

Categories: Inspire Me! | Leave a comment

Tangled Threads of Thought

Threads of thoughts to enrich your day – or maybe bring you a smile.

Be forewarned, though, our threads of  thought are sometimes tangled.

summer quilters

Categories: Threads of Thought | Leave a comment

Tutorial Tuesday: Log Cabin

Tutorial Tuesdays header

Quick Quiz Question: How far back in history do we find the Log Cabin design?

  1. 1860’s – designed to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.
  2. 1600’s – designed during colonial days by Dutch settlers.
  3. 1976 – designed in 1976 to celebrate the bicentennial of the USA.
  4. It has been found in drawings of ancient civilizations.


“Hmmm – It makes me think of Abe Lincoln so probably 1860s.”

If you’re trying to win the big prize jackpot you probably will want do some research or Phone a Friend before you make that your final answer.

SPOILER ALERT: Here’s the answer …

The log cabin design has been found in drawings in ancient Egypt! I’m fairly sure they didn’t call it Log Cabin, though.

Egyptian log cabin


We at Sisters at Heart haven’t usually associated Log Cabin with Egyptian design at all. At least until recently when my friend Marilyn Stephani did a presentation on the Log Cabin block for the Pensacola Quilt Guild. I learned a lot

courthouse steps

(Did you know that Courthouse Steps is technically in the Log Cabin category?)

and came away with some new ideas for using this very old design. Like this basket made from two log cabin blocks.



Marilyn’s presentation included Power Point. We are including it here – Log Cabin Power Point – with her permission, so that you can share it with your club or guild.


Log Cabin is one of those great blocks that looks harder than it is.

The block starts with a center square, referred to as the hearth (that is why traditionally it’s red-for the fire in the hearth.) Although some people make the center yellow and call it “light in the window.” OR,  you can make it brown and call it mud on the windows. (I just made that up.) Okay, I can hear the Colorado sister telling me to get back to the main thing…

 from all about quiltsAfter choosing the center square, you then stitch strips around the center square, each strip long enough to cover the previous two pieces.


Checking for accuracy often is a really good idea because after several seams a little inaccuracy adds up to a big” catty whampus” (That’s a technical term for mess.) Or, you can use the foundation paper piecing method for exact stitching every time.

Log Cabin is one of those great blocks that is SO versatile. If you make an asymmetrical Log Cabin you have even more setting options – some of which will produce a round or wavy design.

 off centered quilting with Roxanne

Or you can change it up a little and make it into a rose. That’s what we have done in our latest use of this ancient idea – and we put it on a picnic basket lid. If you’ve never done Log Cabin and you aren’t sure it you want to get into a whole quilt, you might think about doing the basket lid as a starter project.

 MM Picnic Basket Lid

The beauty of this design idea is that it can be adjusted to any size picnic basket. After you have made your log cabin block, just add borders until you have enough to cover the lid of the basket. Or – you can use two log cabins.

log cabin rose basket for web

What if you want to use the idea but your basket doesn’t have a lid? Well, there is a way to make a lid for your basket. You can get the pattern on our etsy store HERE.


PS – Over at Stitched in Color, you might enjoy her Log Cabin quilt as you go tutorial. Check it out HERE.

Categories: Inspire Me!, Tutorial Tuesdays | Leave a comment

Tools to make stitches bloom

FL Sister id tagI’ll never be a master gardener. I have faced that reality and I’m really okay with that. Proof of that is easy to find.

For instance, there is the one out of three survival rate in my lavender planting attempts.


Is that the surviving one or the dead one?

And the fact that I lovingly wrapped a ‘ grapevine’ around our creek side swing only to be told it was in fact a noxious briar vine.


It really would look better with a vine wrapped around it.

Not to be forgotten is the result of my attempt to root a rose bush by sticking it in a potato.

potato roses

(I followed the Pinkest directions very, very carefully)


Technically, something I planted DID grow!

The rose stalk died and the potato flourished.

I truly think I’m on the National Horticultural Watch List.

So, you can see that as far as gardening goes, it’s a matter of wisdom to keep my tools and my expectations on the same level-simple and few.

dresden sm


In the quilting studio I have a different approach. I want my tools to exceed my current level of activity and expertise. I need tools that pull me to the next level. I crave tools that expand my abilities.

Applecore_Template_Simple_W600 I value tools that inspire me to try new techniques and explore new avenues of creativity. Nothing raises the fun meter like discovering a tool that makes me look better than I really am!

Hexagon_Set-no fussy cut cropped


You’ll find some of our favorite tools on the Tools tab.





And we’d love to hear from you when you find a tool that excites you, too. Especially those that bring more success than my roses attempt.

PS – You can be sure I’d welcome any tips you want to leave about gardening in North Florida especially tips about plants that are “neglect tolerant” or have been successfully grown by small children.

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

Stitching Stop: Fabrics Galore

FL Sister id tag

Our summer road trip was the BEST TRIP EVER! And there in front of me was another undeniable example of just the right thing at just the right time!

main sign sm

Fabrics Galore and Quilting Store

We had supper plans with friends but what would we DO in the meantime?!?!

Problem solved. After all …

wanna quilt sign sm

See what I mean? It was just my kind of place!

Set just off the main highway that runs through this small town in the Georgia mountains, Patricia opened Fabric Galore and Quilting Store (and a new chapter in life) just a few months ago. Her shop has all the right ingredients for success. You’ll find a large classroom and a variety of classes …

… great display ideas

bed frame sm

I can see this in my studio!


giant gold button sm

You can never go wrong with buttons! Especially big ones.


pie safe sm

I really wanted to take the pie safe AND the fabric home with me!

… lots of natural light combined with a wide range of colors and styles of fabric

shelf of color

a rainbow of possibilities


better sign sm

Well said!

… friendly, knowledgeable assistance and assistants …

Rise cutting table sm

Meet my new friend, Rise (ree-sa).

… fun promotions like this spinning wheel for Tuesdays …

Tuesday spinning wheel

Now, this is addictive!

… and a welcoming, helpful host.

Patricia and doll2 sm

Store owner, Patricia Squire

So, if you are in north Georgia (or east Tennessee or south North Carolina – they are all close by) look for the giant thimble and spend some time (and money) at Fabrics Galore and Quilting Store. Their website is HERE.

sign2 sm

Who can resist a beckoning thimble?

I don’t think I mentioned that this road trip actually started 40 years ago. The Dietz and I exchanged vows on a hot June afternoon without having any idea about what it would really take to keep them. To celebrate the heavenly intervention that it took to build what we enjoy today, we took this road trip on trolley cars, by the ocean, through historical forts, aboard river paddle boats, and finally over winding mountain roads. I think we will call this journey …

Adventures Galore and so Much More!

giant red button sm

I couldn’t resist one more button.

Categories: Shops and Vendors we love | Leave a comment

Blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 108 other followers

%d bloggers like this: