Posts Tagged With: Mother’s Medallion

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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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

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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

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…


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“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!

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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 | 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

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Happy Anniversary and the Myth of “NORMAL”

FL Sister id tag

We’re singing “Happy Anniversary” to ourselves as we turn the calendar on January. If our four years of doing this sister stitching business together has taught us anything, it has taught us that there is no normal.

Normal is a myth.

(So, in a moment of genius, we invented our own definition of “normal.”)

A normal working day might begin with intentions to write some pattern instructions, plans to press fabric for cutting, iron smunwrapping an order of new thread or preparations to lead a workshop. Normal stitching stuff.

becky thread -sm


However, that normal day might end up being filled with baby calves needing attention,

wedding planning,

or an unexpected visit from a neighbor.

So, maybe that is the real normal instead.


A normal working week might be filled with a guild meeting,

a session to improve machine quilting skills,

and a “conversation” with the computer when it won’t upload photos to the web store.

Or, as we’ve experienced during this past year,

a “normal” week might be filled by time with a hospitalized grandchild,

or an airplane flight to help a convalescing sister following her trip to the hospital for double knee replacement (Colorado Sister),

or connecting with a realtor to have a buying-a-house-following-a-100-year-rain-storm-which-included-a-retention-pond-breaking-and-filling-your-house-with-flooding-muddy-water-so-you-have-to-salvage-your-belongings-(and studio contents)-and-move-twice-in-a-year conversation.

flood2 smflood1 smmoving truck sm(Florida Sister takes a deep breath.)


Sometimes it’s hard to recognize normal as life unfolds us.



And then we could talk about a normal business meeting for two sisters working together while they live 1,200 miles apart. (Here’s where we think our genius really kicked in.)

Usually normal involves SKYPE and our shared notebook on One Note. But not always. Our most recent invention for a “normal” business meeting looked like this …

Cindy and Becky by Epic cropped

JBDC Epic cruise 2015 sm

with a little of this … (See, we do have our laptops with us and plugged in!)

Epic cruise business meeting sm

and some of this … (Main dining room – the salmon, avocado tartar was FABULOUS!)

Epic cruise 2015 sm

and even this …

dessert2 smdessert1smdessert3 sm

(The sister in question will remain nameless. But here is her picture.)

Cindy dessets cropped


Now, much as we’d LOVE for normal to always be like this new version, most likely we’ll just need to start using a pencil when we write our normal To Do list during this 4th year. That way the plan will be easier to adjust when the REAL normal shows up.


SO, Happy Anniversary to us and we’ll keep stitching together as we find out what normal will be this year.


PS – Best Wishes to you as you stitch in the middle of your very own normal.

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

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