Inspire Me!

Quilts and projects that inspire us!

Time Flips: April Calendar

Springtime and wool might not seem to go together. But I think this little April calendar page will convince you otherwise.

Butterflies and tulips – now, that says SPRING!

This little butterfly and tulip calendar page will go together so quickly! You can count on having a dose of springtime inside even though the weather is still very fickle outside.

I had the backing on the project when I realized it was missing the details on the tulip. It’s never too late to add a couple more stitches!


There are French knots at the end of the antennae.


At my house every season has it’s own tea pot!


Do you remember that little wire piece on the flip hanger that I thought might be unnecessary? I’ve discovered that it helps keep the calendar “pages” hanging straight – especially if the wool background is from a lighter weight wool.

Now I figure it out!


Here’s what you need for your April FLIP calendar:

Wool background: 8″ x 6″ yellow, scraps of lavender, purple, pink, black

Embroidery thread: lavender, yellow, dark green, pink, black

Embroidery stitches: blanket, stem, daisy, French knot

Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store


Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store

Categories: Inspire Me!, Seasonal Stitches, Wonderful Wool | Leave a comment

Layer cakes in HD versus HC

DH at rest during calving season

My very own DH (dear hubby) has been out with the new baby calves that are coming fast and furiously, even in the COLD weather.  It is necessary to check them every couple of hours all through the night.  He slides in occasionally to thaw out and cat-nap in front of the large screen HD television.  Sitting along side one night, I mentioned I was working on an HC quilt.  He “kindly” let me know that I probably meant HD.  I clarified by saying that the HC made it HD.  He finally opened both eyes, just so he could raise an eyebrow.

I said that high contrast quilts make for high definition.  He thought that was about as funny as stepping on one of my pins.  But I just attributed his lack of humor to lack of sleep.

Let’s talk about HC quilts which are best for all those 10″ squares we pre-cut from the scrap pile last year. I usually like high contrast quilts anyway but they seem especially important with scrap quilts.  Here are some tips to get you sewing.

  • In these ideas it is best to use a light piece and a dark piece, saving the mediums for later.  I know that it may all seem relative to what fabric is laid next to it.  But if you question, “Is this a medium?”, then that’s the one you want to leave out.  Think gray scale and then go to either end.
  • Use an assortment but keep them coordinated within the block.  Say, a light pink and a dark pink.  A tan and a chocolate brown.  You get the picture?  In high definition?
  • As mentioned before, these scraps may not always  be straight of grain so square it up early and often!
  • It won’t take long to have enough for a LARGE quilt, so know what your end goal is.  Place mats can wait for the smaller squares.

Sew Along #2

There’s probably a real name for this one (criss-cross, cross over, King’s X, ric-rac) but I just liked it for the 10″ squares.  SO FAST!

Layer 2-10″ squares (a light & a dark) with the light on top. (The Martelli yellow board is a great cutting mat but looks a little weird with these colors in HD!) 

1 light & 1 dark; light on top

Make 3 – 2 1/2″ cuts vertically. I just pealed the first layer back so you could see the direction.

Cut both layers one time

Make 1 – 2 1/2″ cut horizontally through both layers.  My Martelli skinny-mini ruler is covering what I’m cutting in the above photo.  Remove the light strips and layer or line up to cut one more 2 1/2″ section. Sorry, I switched blocks as I forgot to photo the other one at this stage.

Cut 4 light, longer strips once more

Do a layout according to finished block and assembly line sew into strip sections of the block.  The scrappy blocks are so different you won’t mix them up.  But remember you are going to have TWO finished blocks from each fabric pair.

When you begin to join the strips together remember that there are more vertical seams (taking up the seam allowances) that there are horizontal seams, so your block will NOT be square.

1 from the top & 1 from the bottom

Here’s the part about trim early and often.  Start your seams at the point of the pins in the photo leaving the excess in a trimming spot.  One is at the top and one is at the bottom. Sorry the yellow pin is so hard to see, but the excess purple isn’t hard to see.

Trim then join center

Trim each pair of strips to 8 1/2″ then join the center seam.  Re-square entire clock.

Square it up!

Here’s a completed version but her method involved complete yardages of fabric.

Now there’s some high contrast that even sleep deprived hubby can see in high definition.  I have one more option for you. It’s even faster!  You don’t even have to change the channel.  My inspiration came from here


and you can find a youtube video here.


Here’s option #2:

Chose 2-10″ squares, one light and one dark. Layer together.

1 light & 1 dark

Lay opposing corners on the 45 degree angel line of your cutting mat. Cut 1″ away from that 45 degree line on both sides.

45 degree angle

Should come out looking like this (the lighter one is on the bottom, but the order doesn’t matter).

Do the switcheroo

Fold each piece in half to find center and mark with a pin, or iron, or finger press (remember they are bias cuts so don’t stretch).

Find your centers

Sew the LIGHT center strip to the two DARK triangles and the DARK center strip to the two LIGHT triangles. Square each of the inserted corners to 9 1/2″

Square it up!

Ta-Da!  You will be finished with either of these two quilts before the next blog post comes out.

2 for work of 1

Which is your favorite? I can see them put together in cross over pattern or the first option set on point or…and I’ll be thinking about those medium tones that felt so left out of the HC quilts.  Or maybe moving on to those strips that are left in the drawer.








Categories: Fight the Chaos Fridays, Inspire Me! | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Time Flips: February Calendar

My heart just flips over this little sweetheart of a wool calendar! I know that is WAAAY too much Valentine talk for one sentence!

But, seriously, Sister. I’m excited to show you that this calendar actually flips! And it’s really quick and easy to make it work!

Just use pearl cotton or 6 strands of embroidery thread to make loops on the back side of the calendar.


The loops fit through the opening between the wires of the flip hanger.


The trick is to make sure the loops are the correct distance apart.


Put the January calendar in place first so that it will flip to the back of the February calendar.


And February is ready to set next to a box of chocolates!


Here’s what you need for your February FLIP calendar:

Wool background: 8″ x 6″ Pink, scraps of pink

Embroidery thread: white, pink, burgundy

Embroidery stitches: outline, running stitch, adapted daisy (put two close together and then stitch them together to form a heart.


Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store

It case it helps, here are a few close ups of the stitches.

Here’s a close up of the adapted daisy stitch that makes our Sisters Heart stitch.


The little falling hearts are attached with the adapted daisy stitch (i.e. Sisters Heart stitch).


You can use a running stitch or a blanket stitch on the leaning hearts.


Categories: Inspire Me!, Seasonal Stitches, Wonderful Wool | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Time Flips – Calendar Tips

Yes, my friends, the wool calendar really can flip. Right now it doesn’t need to flip because there is only one month on it. But, it can flip! Because WE found a flipping stand! [insert happy dance!]

Excuse me a minute while I have a little celebration with Colorado Sister via Skype.

It’s a real flip stand!

I discovered Bless My Stitches, a wonderful quilt shop in Murphy, North Carolina. And Karen, the shop owner, was so helpful when I asked about stands. She pointed me toward her source, Ackfeld Handcrafted Wire. Their website is HERE.

Ackfeld Handcrafted Wire


Takes up much less room than the red stand I first started with


The web site recommended this second little clip piece. I’m not sure that it is entirely necessary. But for some pieces it will be good to have.


Magic stock number: 31522 Magic stock number: 30702

Now when we post the February calendar pattern I’ll show you how to make it flip!  Can’t show you the flipping without showing you the new pattern. So, patience, my dears.

Categories: Inspire Me!, Shops and Vendors we love, Wonderful Wool | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Time Flies (or in this case it flips) January Calendar

When I saw the cutest flip calendar on an old Teresa Collins scrapbook advertisement I was inspired!


January Flip Calendar


The Skype call to the Colorado Sister went like this – “We should do a flip calendar in wool!”

She immediately agreed. “Yes, WE should! You get right on that, dearie.”

So WE did get right on that. Out came the sketch pad. The first letters of each month have to be the focal point and represent the seasons. Then we will use lots of different embroidery stitches – even some new ones so that our skill level increases. And we might even add buttons if it strikes our fancy.

One flip calendar coming up: January – snowman and …

Pencil Sketch for January

February – hearts, then August – honey bees … I’m the random sister remember … July – the ideas came quickly.

And then I got stuck a few times – so back to phone conference with Colorado Sister … and I even got some suggestions from Dietz. That’s a sweet little May flowerpot. Thanks, Mr!

Those are little white buttons! and some silver threac


Skype call from the Colorado Sister – “Loving the progress. Did you find a flipping hanger for the flip calendar?”

*****”Oh, you are going to love it! I found a perfect stand.”

“Great! We should include the source for that stand when we post the project.”

*****”Well, that may be a problem since I found it at an estate sale. I’ll send you a picture.”

“WE may need to keep looking.” (I deserved that eye roll.)

*****”Did you see the picture? The stand is red!”

“It’s a very cute red stand, sister. Can the calendars flip on it?”

*****”Well,no. But they can hang on it if we use a little clothesline.”

“WE might need to keep looking. I’m thinking if we are doing a flip calendar, we need to have a flip stand for it. A flip calendar needs to FLIP!”

Have you noticed that life is harder for detail people?

A red stand – from an estate sale.


*****”I have an idea… If they can’t find a red stand at an estate sale, they can use a hanger to display it.”

“Cute idea! But, we still need a flip stand!”

Option 2: a hanger

Here’s what you need for your January FLIP calendar:

Wool background: 8″ x 6″ Navy blue felted wool

Embroidery thread: white, black, light blue, orange, silver

Embroidery stitches: blanket stitch, French knots, outline stitch



Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store

Now, I know some of you (just like the Colorado Sister) are starting to wonder when this Flip Calendar is going to start flipping. Patience, my dear, patience.

Because, just between you and me, I did find a wonderful source for a flipping holder! And the next post I will give you that. In the meantime, you can start choosing and cutting and stitching that delightful wool.

Better get started. Time is flying – I mean flipping!


Categories: Inspire Me!, Seasonal Stitches, Wonderful Wool | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Making our list and you’re on it!


The waiting is over
the bundle is here
Full of ideas
to bring us good cheer!

We are loving this bundle! And our Christmas gift list looks a little something like this:

Sister #1: She loves color as long as it’s black and white, so….  “Color In Quilting” is the perfect fit

For Sister #2

Mother-in-law: She already has our Mother’s Medallion  book  so I’ll be ordering another pattern instead.

Her favorite gift so far!

This sweet Christmas dinner set is one she can have completed by next year.

Christmas 2018


Make that five copies!

Guild Sisters:  Patchwork Planner  X 5 ;

maybe I can use the “DIY Block Design” for the next guild class I teach.  Wait, that’s shopping for me again isn’t it?!

Next guild class???

Sister, another idea is to share with non-quilters. There are some amazing gifts to share with friends who have other fiber preferences: crocheters and cross stitchers and knitters – and weavers! You know, those who use other kinds of needles and threads like…

Applique Helen: Lovely Liberty Cushion: A Needleturn Applique Project

Improving her skills.

Seamstress Mavis : Art Caddy Tote  and also 10 Simple Sewing Projects for the Home: Even If You Only Know How to Sew a Straight Line

Seamstress Heaven!

Embroidery Anne: 23 Easy-to-Make Christmas Ornaments: Three eBooks in One!

One for each grandchild.

We will soon complete our Christmas gift list.  And you know you’re on it because we’re giving YOU the best gift of all–a link to help you with your own gift list all in one place.

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Bundle Up…Winter’s on its way!

We have discussed the differences of the sisters (climate, travel, locations, etc.) but we truly try to focus on the “sameness” we share.  Sister #1 is now pointing out to me the “differences” in our language usage and insisting that “sameness” is probably not a real word.  Sister #2 keeps typing.


One of our primary sameness-es is our love of family

“They are the crazy ones!”

Plus a few more!

and the next sameness is to our love of quilts, textiles and handmade items.

Handmade laces add dimension to this pieced Round Robin quilt.

Another sameness is our love of holidays because it brings those two loves together in a quilt for the family!

Ready for holiday company.

Our next Sisters at Heart adventure brings LOTS of our sameness-es (by now you think it is a real word, too, right?)  together in a holiday bundle of gifts for everyone.  We’re happy to included in an “Ultimate Bundle” of gift giving ideas which we’ll share from our family to yours on Cyber Monday! (Our Mother’s Medallion e-book is included in this “Handmade with Love” super bundle!)  And for the early bird….check out our FB page for a link to the pre-launch giveaways which start today, November 17!

We’re making our family Christmas list (and checking it twice!) and it appears to all be in one place!  Super savings! Super gifts! One stop shopping?  Now that’s an idea both sisters can really bundle up with.






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Fall in the Country (and out of the Country) – Part 2

Just as my sister shared a couple of weeks ago, I also love the colors, textures, sights and even smells of fall.

And this fall I was introduced to some new colors, textures, sights and smells of fall as I traveled to El Salvador with KidZ at Heart International.


The team I was with trained teachers and teacher trainers,

Anticipating the last of eight training modules.


Answering questions after a forum for education students


Sharing results and encouraging one another.

visited the fishing pier,

The bounty from the sea!


enjoyed new friends and their delicious beverages,

The mighty coconut and my new friend!

met with university officials to discuss future partnerships,

Finding common goals and sharing resources!

indulged in delicious, unique food,

Delicious – and the hospitality was incredible!


Papusas are truly addictive!

found beautiful artistry at the national market,

The bright colors and wonderful woven cottons make this a happy place!

laughed at the local humor,

You couldn’t help but laugh out loud!

and were inspired by the creativity we found in unusual places.

She earns extra money making beautiful flowers from plastic bags.

Because I traveled home through South Florida, I had time with some of my grandchildren when we celebrated an El Salvador day – complete with wooden toys,

Big brother became an expert with the top.

art projects,

Painting El Salvador style

making horchata (the national drink) and papusas.

Papusas can be from corn flour or rice flour and are filled with delicious wonders.

And then I had some special stitching time with someone who needed a pillow for her dolls. What could be better for that project that some brightly colored wool?


So many ideas and so little time!


And the best travel companion of all!

Whether you are in the country or out of the country, we hope that you celebrate Fall in memorable, stitch-able ways.

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Fall in the Country (and out of the Country) – Part I

Something tells me that “the times they are a changin’.” Trees are changing colors and the temperature is changing as well.  Sister 2 (me) likes to spend her fall out IN the country as much as possible.  I love the colors, textures, sights and even smells of fall.  The fall colors are my kind of colors so that’s why one of my favorite collections is the Thank you, God.

Thank You, God Bread Wrap

Every season has its texture, but fall lets you bring out the wool work.  Check out the free pattern section under the brag book tab for the Holly Jolly candle mat.  Then you’ll be ready for the next season.

Holly, Jolly Candle Mat

The smell of the country usually includes roasting pumpkin seeds from the jack-o-laterns.  First I have to convince this little doll (#12) to share her pumpkin.  Maybe I’ll have to settle for a pumpkin spice latte instead.

How does something grow sweeter every day?

The sights range from snow in September (yes, we had some) to leaves in October and family in November (they’re coming to our house).  Just can’t get enough of those grand-kids.  Little man from down the road saw the “Old McDonald’s Farm” embroidery blocks that someone had given me.  He is quite taken with animals and wanted to know what was I going to do with those blocks.  I suggested a quilt for someone who likes animals and he let me know that he didn’t have a quilt “like everyone else”.  All he had was an “old brown blanket”.  So, of course, we  got busy.


Made from left over fabric from his room so we pieced the pieces in order to have enough.

Because I really have been keeping up with the Fight the Chaos Fridays each month I have a huge pile of 2.5″ square.  Little man from ACROSS the country (California) says he wants a “Minecraft” quilt.  That really will be a change for me!

Apparently, Sister 1 took a different look at fall and the changing times and seasons. She went OUT of the country instead.  Her travels included other colors, textures, sights and smells. Part II of this blog post coming soon. (as soon as she unpacks)

So where has the fall season taken you? Hopefully to the sewing room where you can include some wonderful fall colors and textures.

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We are so glad that you are still stitching with us through these restructuring days! After a few months of shifting gears – and grinding them a few times – we think we’ve found a way to make the pieces and parts of life run more smoothly.


It used to be that we posted every week – we even had a schedule!

But now we shun those schedules and post as the spirit moves! #reboot

It used to be that we traveled to quilt shows to introduce our new patterns.

                                            But now we rely on our Facebook page and this blog to communicate with our quilting friends.

It used to be that we had just a few grand kids to stitch for.

Leis Grandkids 2017 true[2445]

Summer fun at the ranch!

                                             But now we have multiplied that many times – Cindy has a happy dozen filling her days and Becky is also devoting time to kids in far away places through work with KidZ at Heart.

It used to be that we sold our patterns through our Etsy store.

And we still do! [2Sistersatheart]

It used to be that we met each fall to brain storm and stir up our creativity.

And we still do!

In fact, just this week while we were together we worked on a FREE fun project to work on this fall: Seasonal Stitches: Holly Jolly Hexagon ……  You can get your downloadable pattern HERE.

This version is for a candle mat.

But, your imagination will let you

… put three in a row for a table runner

… add insulated batting for a hot pad or trivet

… hang it on a door instead of a wreath

… use it for a tea time place mat


And just in case you think Cindy is the only one with cute grand babies – meet our new superhero, Captain Cuteness!

or maybe Captain Snuggle Buns.



Categories: Inspire Me!, PS Projects, Seasonal Stitches | Leave a comment

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