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?

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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

Very Different, yet the Same

FL Sister id tagTwo weekends this last month showed us once again that the Colorado Sister and I have much in common and yet are very different at the same time.

She and her favorite rancher (ie husband) were in Pueblo, CO for a quilting show. Their booth benefits from combining our quilt patterns with wonders from their antique business. (See D&J Country Antiques)

CO signs

The next weekend I was at a quilt show in Mobile, AL (and very thankful for my favorite driver, problem solver, mover/hauler, The Dietz.) The southern booth utilizes antiques, too – the ones usually found in various corners of our house.

PS – BOTH sisters use old ironing boards!

CO old ironing board

There are some notable differences. Whereas the Colorado sister was trying to sell her antique quilts

CO quiltsand my weekend associate was using his lunch break to go to an estate sale to buy antique quilts and linens.

Mobile old quiltsMobile linens

The Colorado customers came in boots and coats while the Alabama show was opened by belles in hoops. Mobile belle

Mobie belles

And yet, some things are very much the same. Both booths have the same patterns and the same samples and the same demonstrations.

CO patterns

And when we compared notes after the weekends were over, we found that the most requested item at BOTH places was the Happy Trails Saddle Blanket and the Happy Trails Quillow.

mobile happy trails

However, the Colorado show sold more of those patterns than we did down south. The Colorado Sister thinks that the reason may have been the real cowboy hat in her booth …



I wasn’t so sure about that. After all, I had help in my booth, too.

Mobile husband sm

But, then again, she could be right.

It makes me wonder … what can we do to make our booth even more inviting? What makes a quilt show booth appealing to you?


Categories: Shows and Workshops | Tags: | Leave a comment

“Oh, my stars!” and other famous words of my mother

CO Sister id tagI never heard my mother swear or use curse words of any kind but there was plenty of understanding in the tone of her voice and the familiar phrases.   sparkly-stars-webMy children, along with the other grand-kids, all called her Granny so the Granny Star quilt and previous post about it really  brought her to mind and some of the things I miss the most.  star-quilt-web

Her distinct voice would often say, “Oh, my stars!” for a myriad of situations.  Surprise at what was going on around her or maybe a new, slightly shocking fashion trend, or something my brother had just done!  So each time I saw a star quilt today I kept repeating it with all her different inflections. star-quilting-web

This would be for the beautiful star quilting in the corners. “Oh, my stars!”


This would be for the high-contract color choices. “Oh. My. Stars!” (She didn’t like black!)



Whirly-Gig Star

string-star-webString-pieced Star

red-star-lg-webFeathered Star

polka-dot-webWhat were you thinking, Star?!?

Pocket-Block-webPocket Block (more about that in another blog)

Lone-Star-webLone Star

1930-s-stars-web1930s Star Blocks

So I was on a roll.  The other phrases were ringing in my head as well. She would say, “Rats-ma-tats!” if she was disgusted at herself.  Or if things were really bad, there was a very emphatic, “GOOD GRIEF!”

All this reminiscing brings me back to my favorite star and why I’m writing a blog for Sisters At Heart, Miles Apart quilting patterns anyway.  Mom would say, “Good grief, Cindy, get to the point!”

7-sisters-webSeven Sisters block!

(*sigh* SOMEday!)

I really just have one sister and she is truly one of a kind! She thinks mom said, “Hurry up.” an awful lot. The other siblings remember, “Land a goshen!”  “Drats!” “Someday when our ship comes in.” What did your mom say?  Have you ever found yourself saying the same thing?  I’m not telling but the following poem is pretty accurate:

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall

I am my mother after all!

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

Granny’s Star Quilt – Setting Options/Choices

CO Sister id tagNeither of my Grandmothers had the choices or options in life that I have had, so it gives my a real sense of freedom to think they would appreciate my creating some options when I can.  I learned from the best…aunt nellie & GP & Leona  Evelyn Graham 1942 Middletown Ill

One Grandmother was a city girl whose life took her to the country.  Not many options for professional entertainment there, but she created entertainment by making a costume for my dad from paper sacks.  He then performed in a school play as an Indian.  She created fun for others from what she had on hand.toddler-indian-costume-fw131021

The other Grandmother was born and raised in humid Missouri and her life took her to a dry-well homestead on the western slope of Colorado.  Not much of an option for gardening until she moved to town where she hand carried water to the most beautiful pansies (like this apron with her name), iris, tulips (like these stained glass tulips), day lilies, daisies and roses (like the log cabin roses on this basket) around.  She created beauty in a dry, desolate place.

Single_orange_day_lily red-rose Iris_(plant) Daisies-10337 Cosmos_flower_at_lalbagh_7075

I like options!  I always wait for the “or” in hearing my choices.  Paper or plastic? Hot tea or cold? Regular or decaf? (Is there really a need to ask that one?) If there isn’t an option, I like to create one.  I think that means I don’t follow the rules very well.  But in this case of our new quilt pattern from the Mother’s Medallion Line, Granny’s Star, it was a good thing.

Granny's Star

In looking at the block by block setting of most Granny Star quilts, I thought of my Grandmothers and created a few more options. This created some beautiful arrangements and some fun along the way.setting 1 setting 2 setting 3 setting 4

Sister 1 and I have included five options for quilt settings in the Mother’s Medallion Granny Star quilt.  How many more options for quilt settings can there be?  Let us know if you come up with another.

Categories: Mother's Medallion, Patterns and Projects | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Springtime in the Rockies

CO Sister id tag


“When it’s Springtime in the Rockies” is a favorite golden oldie song of my dad’s.  But I’m not sure that the Rockies really have a spring season.  About a month ago my Florida sister sent pictures of the daffodils that were blooming in her area.  Now I finally have one lone tulip blooming in ColoradoTulip-web-2
and IT doesn’t seem to really believe that is is spring anywhere, possibly because it is still snowing.  The day after this tulip photo was taken we woke up to snow again.  We were trying to load for the show in Pueblo amidst the weather challenges of spring.snow-webAfter about 2″ of snow that day, we awoke to 70 degrees less than 48 hours later.  DH says that is his favorite kind of storm.  We also had about a dozen calves join our herd in that crazy climate change.

So we are loaded for the show (I’m taking patterns for the Tulip Trio from the Mother’s Medallion Collection) tulip sm for weband I just bought a bouquet of spring flowers to prove it really is springtime in the Rockies. 

I’m setting them right next to my Spring Window (pattern available HERE). SPRING window Bedited(1)

Categories: Inspire Me!, Seasonal Stitches, Shows and Workshops | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Great tools make life easier!

FL Sister id tagThe words The Dietz most dreads to hear are “Honey, you could totally make that!” And because my confidence in his many abilities comes to the surface so often, he has developed a sure fire, safe guard response. “I would LOVE to do that but I just don’t have the right tools. You need great tools to do something like that.”

However, I have noticed that he is really good at finding great tools for the projects that spring from his own priority list. Tools like:

tools1mowerchain saw

wheel barrow

Now, least you think I such got some random photos off the internet, I want to tell you that I am currently at the end of a two week trip west and while I’ve been traveling The Dietz has been sending me photos of his treasure hunting at garage sales (except for the lawn mover). He is accumulating quite a stash! I’m thinking I need to get home quickly.

However, the up side is that I have learned to use that same rationale in the quilting studio.

Great tools make great things happen!

Whenever some great tools come through our lives, we Sisters will pass along a recommendation on our Tools page.

45R-thumb $25Ergo Cutters

Martelli MinMiter SETMinute Miters

FMHoop%20pairTHMQuilting Hoops

Be sure to click on over to that TOOLS page to find some tools that will ease your stitching life!

(You can get these from us by sending an email  – – to place an order.)

Categories: Shops and Vendors we love | Tags: | Leave a comment

Ferns & Flowers Vase Mat: PS Project MM

Just what you need to add a little more greenery to your fresh flowers and protect your table at the same time!  This additional Post Script project is from the Mother’s Medallion collection is a great flower vase mat.

AND, best of all, a kit is available through email contact which includes:  all fabric, printed freezer paper, tweezers, Martelli non-slip Dresden Plate template, and a pattern for “Mother’s Flower Basket Centerpiece”. (Fabric may vary from the sample shown here.)

ferns and flowers vase mat cropped

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

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