Wednesday, November 4, 2020


 Here is a quiz for you!  There is a group on Facebook for quilt bloggers and this came from there.  It was determined that I am a generous quilter and yes, they nailed it.  I quilt for the enjoyment of it.  It can be creative, peaceful, stress relieving and satisfying.  I quickly go from one project to another.  Sometimes I just can't wait to do one block to see how it turns out.  

I eventually finish what I start or I give it away to someone who will finish it.  When a friend had breast cancer a few years back, I gave her a quilt that I had ready.  She took it with her to her treatments.  When I complete a top but not quilt it and it is big enough, I take it to my church where it becomes a quilt for Lutheran World Relief.  Those quilts are 60 by 80 but recently we decided to make baby quilts to share with a local woman's shelter.  

And my guild does charity quilting and I make a lot of smaller quilts for that purpose, most going to children.  

I've always been a giving sort of person.  I love sharing!  Have a great day!  

Sunday, November 1, 2020


 I have done a mystery quilt with Bonnie Hunter for numerous years now.  So many I've lost count.  I wasn't going to do this one but when she released the colors, a trip to Lowes was in order.  Here is her link for the introduction

My reasoning for not doing the quilt was I hadn't finished Frolic from last year!  I was into sewing up a tester quilt for Kitchen Table Quilting when the clues came out and I just couldn't keep up.  Not only that, last year's clues were only partial.  Bonnie would give you parts to cut but not pieces to make and I wasn't fond of that process.  I hope she doesn't do that this year.  

I did participate in the Unity Quilt along for Quarantine.  

I'm a little further along than this but it was many many pieces and I have a bit of buckling in the center so I folded it up and put it away for now.  Maybe it will fold itself flat.  HA!  I did use up quite a bit of patriotic fabrics that I had accumulated so that made me happy and it gave me something to do while I was stuck at home.  

But back to Frolic.  I'm a member of the Quilt and Lose Team on .  This is a great team and we learn so much from each other.  I'm not sure how good we are at losing weight but we do like to quilt.  We have a monthly challenge where we list a UFO or project we want to complete and if we finish that project during the month, we might win some charms!  So I finished my October project mid month and decided I would make completing Frolic for November.  If I can get a small top finished I can then start the Grassy Creek mystery with Bonnie.  I dont have to buy one bit of fabric!  Isn't that the goal?  

Yesterday I was working on my one Frolic block for the day and my husband came in to the empty the trash.  I had a bin of parts for Frolic on the floor and he attempted to empty it into the trash bag.  Maybe I should have let him.  

Here are a few of my previous mystery quilts!  

Good Fortune done in Civil War.  This quilt went together quickly and I had most of what I needed to complete it.  

I can't remember the name of this mystery but I named it Memories of Maine.  The fabrics selected were all blueberry fabrics that I purchased in Maine when my MIL had passed.  

Alletaire was done in FSU fabrics and colors.  When I went to Lowes to get the paint chips, I was wearing this shirt!  Had to be.  

Here I was auditioning a border.  Somewhere I have a finished pic.  Maybe.  I'm not that good at taking pics.  

One of the reasons I had put Frolic away was that Jack came to visit too often and I was so over the frolicking part!  Happy quilting1  

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


 This year, 2020, will be remembered for a lot of things, mostly bad but a lot of good as well.  This year became the year that online shopping really took off!  It's been talked about a lot in previous years but no one thought it would be the preferred way to shop for many who previously had to go in person.  With the entire nation cooped up in our homes, online shopping became a way of life.  

Today I want to review a shop that I found while perusing Facebook places.  Its called The Lofty Fig and is located in Port Charlotte, FL.  You can read about them here

The Lofty Fig has a wide variety of unusual and quirky gifts modestly priced!  Twenty pages worth!  With the gift giving season coming up, we can't always find an inexpensive perfect for that person locally.  While perusing the shop online, I noted several things I could buy for special people in my life.  Lots of socks for Dads and Golfers, kitchen mitts for Mom's and Dad's, candlewarmers, food packages and more!  

Owning a gift shop is an experience in itself.  As an interior designer with a shop I ventured up to the Atlanta Merchandise Mart in January many times.  Here there is 24 floors of shopping in three different buildings.  You can shop fashion, gifts and furnishings!  I always enjoyed shopping during market but was more interested in the furniture, accessories,  and flooring showrooms.  I liked perusing the gift market but in gifts, you have to buy x amount of the same product.  

I admire The Lofty Fig for the variety of products they have.  Something for everyone.  When you go to market, there are thousands of shops available for you to purchase your wares.  The best ones would be the ones who will actually send a rep to your shop to help you with purchases.  But they don't all have reps.  So going in person is the best way.  There are minimums so if you like a set of oven mitts you will have to purchase a dozen of the same mitt.  If it doesn't sell to your clientelle, then you eventually put that oven mitt on sale to get rid of it.  

There are seasons to shop for, because if you come into a shop In July and its decorated still for Easter, you won't be inspired.  The shop owner has to change the vignettes and merchandise constantly to keep a fresh look.  And when you go in January to Market, you need to be prepared to shop for Christmas orders.  Yes, it takes that long.  Its a whole business in itself just keeping up.  

I'm impressed.  We used to have a great gift shop in our town but the owners retired a few years back. They tried to sell the business but that didn't happen.  I used to run into them at Market in Atlanta.  We miss that shop because you could always find the best and appropriate gift there. She had all of the football teams, AL, UFl, FSU, AUBURN, LSU. In our area you must have all of them!  

Thanks for reading.  When I need a unique gift from now on, I'll likely head to online to find the best!  

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


I found this video this morning and I absolutely loved watching it.  The fellow is from Scotland and even though he is speaking English it is very difficult to understand what he is saying!  We lived in England for 3 years with the USAF and sometimes you wondered if we were speaking the same language.  Thankfully, this video is visual and some subtitles are provided. 

Then on to the next video where its demonstrated how to spin the flax into fiber!  My goodness I'm surprised that anyone could afford to buy any fabric back in the old days.  

And here is another video of a more modern way to make linen!  You can actually understand this woman!  It looks a whole lot easier.  I hope you enjoyed this tour!  


 Most of you know that I follow Jo Kramer and her daughters on their blog and todays post was definitely a bit of eye candy.  Jo and her daughters Kelli, and Kayla took a road trip to Green Springs Wisconsin to visit Country Sampler Quilt Shop.  OMG I want to go there but going to Wisconsin isn't exactly on my schedule right now. So I did the next best thing!  I read Jo's blog and admired all the pictures and then went to the Country Sampler Website.  You can find that here

Well I just had to sign up for their newsletter and blog.  Kayla suggested that the decor of the shop might be a cross between French Country and Primitive!  I think she might be right, definitely Primitive and probably leans more toward French Provincial.  So all of this led me to the internet to define some of these terms.  

According to Google, French provincial colors are inspired by the landscape with warm gold, earthy greens, cobalt blues and russet reds.  The Country Sampler folks have achieved this color palette nicely!  Combined with grey backgrounds,  these colors play well!  Who would normally think about combining golds and browns with grey?  Is it grey or gray?  Gray is more common in the US and grey in the UK, like Earl Grey Tea.  I use them interchangeably having lived in both places.  

Country Sampler says they specialize in these things:  reproduction civil war, primitive style folk art, and trending vintage farmhouse design.  These three things translate well into their decor and I just wish I could transport myself into their shop to see it all together.

As an interior designer of 35 years. I can appreciate combining all of the above styles and colors into a cohesive look.  The shop also carries a great line of primitive cross stitch which I also adore.  There are a lot of country design styles, English country, French country, and American Country.  With each, you get similar looks and colors but a definite variation in each countries interpretation.

We had a Director of Design with my company that absolutely loved French Country.  In the 90's there was a big trend of using yellow and blue and white along with toiles, both formal and informal.  Toile is a name for linen type fabrics but usually depicts a pastoral setting in one color on a white or cream background.  

 There are many pastoral scenes including Asian, Country, French Provincial and more.  A toile is a beautiful design element for any room.  

I enjoyed this tour through the Country Sampler Quilt Shop!  Or Shoppe as the English would say.  Hope you did too!  

Saturday, October 10, 2020



I was reading Jo Kramer's blog this morning and she started with the above image!  You can find here blog here  Which led me to my own sewing room and answering the question.  No, I can't have too much fabric!  However, the idea is that you must use the fabric you have and try not to buy new very often!  

I'm not posting a pic of my sewing room.  Its certainly not as big as Jo's.  But just as messy.  And I have 3 visible projects going on right now.  

One is the Sewcialites blocks that come out each Friday from Fat Quarter Shop and Pat Sloan.  Or you can google the name and it will come up with the information.  There is a you tube video from fat quarter shop where she showcases all the blocks, 40 I think in 3 different sizes and Kimberly sewed them all with pressed open seams.  I rarely press open, too much work.  I press to the dark and use Bonnie Hunter's method of spinning the seams.  A few years ago, I had signed up for a BOM at the local shop and never accomplished any of it.  I recently stumbled on about 6 yds of Kona off white that was supposed to be used in that project.  So I pulled out all of the purple and lime green fabrics from this project and I'm using them to make the blocks.  Probably wont put a dent in it but it feels good knowing they have a purpose.  

The second project is Moda's stitch pink 30 blocks, one for each day in October.  Here is the link for their facebook group  For this project, I knew that I had some pink ribbon fabric left over from a few years back and found it in my pink container box.  That box is overflowing and I pulled out all of the BOM fabrics from above that were pinks to add to it.  Here is my progress thus far.  I've made a few more after this photo.  

My third project that I'm working on simultaneously is quilting Beaded Lanterns which is a free pattern from Christa Quilts  Here is my version.  

Its really a lot prettier than this pic shows.  Fabric is Shiny Objects and there is a lot of gold and silver in it.  I'm about 3/4 finished with it and I'm loving the quilt pattern I'm using of straight lines.  I'll blog more about that when I finish.  

So like Jo, I have 3 projects going on right now.  And I'm keeping up with them.  I have a couple more I've started but set them aside for now to do these.  I'm so happy to be able to use my pink ribbon fabric for a quilt designed for breast cancer month.  I had BC in 2018.  So appropriate.  

So yesterday I went to the LQS not intending to buy anything but I needed to get out of the house.  The shop had a whole section of Quilting Treasures short bolts for  $5.99 a yard.  I kept saying I don't need anything and then, a grey with white snowflakes and a bit of teal in it jumped into my arms.  Jelly Snow Flake called my name.  This will be perfect for Pat Sloans' Jelly Snowflake quilt.  Sigh.  

Thursday, October 1, 2020


I've been absent for a while but I got inspired today!  Its fall in Florida which means we are still wearing flip flops and shorts but its cooler.  Not so sticky hot as in summer, the best time of year on the Gulf Coast.  I stumbled onto a You Tube video about printed fabric production which I will share here.   Its 17 minutes but if you are a quilter or a designer and you love fabrics, you might want to spend the time viewing this video.  It makes sense as to why fabrics cost so much.  

But let me digress a bit.  When I was attending Elon College in North Carolina in the late 60's, I was taking Home Economics classes.  That is what they called it back then, not interior design.  Just Home Economics.  Our instructor took the class to a fabric mill in Burlington NC.  It was so similar to this mill in the video, which is located in Asia.  It was hot in NC and no air and noisy!  The machines made so much noise, clacking back and forth and fibers of cotton floated everywhere.  Health challenges such as loss of hearing and lung disease were probably prevalent.  Remember the movie, Norma Rae?  Or Officer and a Gentlemen where Debra Winger worked in a mill?  

Since that time, mills have closed in most states and fabric production has moved to Asia.  Viewing this video it makes me realize maybe that was a good thing.  Fabric would be so expensive in the USA because mills would have to confirm to stringent safety requirements.  We wouldn't be able to afford it.  

Quilting Treasures is an employee owned fabric company and you can read about it here.  Mike Flynn is our area sales manager and he regularly visits the quilt shops to talk to us and showcase the fabrics.  He told us that most quilt fabrics, at least with their company, are made in South Korea.  Mike will come wearing a shirt he made himself with QT fabrics.  Right now, one of our local shops has short bolts of fabric from QT for $5.99 yd.  You have to buy the whole bolt but some are 2 yds on up.  Beautiful fabrics that I perused yesterday and kept myself from buying.  Maybe I'll go back today.  I hope you have enjoyed this information about fabric production!  I sure did!  

Friday, September 11, 2020


 There are momentous events in our lives and one that every American ought to remember is September 11, 2001.  As I watched Fox News this morning replay the actual events, I turned to some of the other channels to see if they were also revisiting the event.  Nothing, except a bit on NBC.  Nothing!  Are you joking?  My husband and I remember clearly the events of that momentous day.  WE enjoy our morning coffee with breakfast and the news.  Back then, we usually watched ABC with Charlie Gibson and when the first plane struck, we were awestruck.  Our day was changed.  My husband went to work as he was a travel agent at the time and he was trying to help folks get back home.  It was difficult because planes were grounded and there was no rental car available anywhere.  He kept pretty busy that day.

I on the other hand, stayed home and was glued to the TV the rest of the day.  There wasn't any sense in going to my design business that day and I'm not sure what the rest of the week held.  Probably not much.  In Northwest Florida in the Panhandle, we have two major Air Force Bases and Pensacola Naval Air Station about an hour away.  Our AF bases immediately shut down.  My son was supposed to start a job at the Officer's Club that very day.  That job ended.  The club was closed for a foreseeable future.  You couldn't get onto the base for any reason except a very good one.  

In the following months, I remember our community just died.  We have been through a lot here with a heavily military community, many retirees and active duty.  I remember going to the mall on a Friday night which was usually pretty busy.  There were 3 people in the main department store, my husband and I and a sales clerk.  My business floundered and many business closed.  Without the Military shopping at our stores, we couldn't sustain being open.  Then President Bush authorized ease of getting Small Business Loans and I applied for one.  Thank goodness because that loan carried me through in a difficult time.  When I sold my building in 2008 it was paid off.  

I remember at that time how our country came together.  I'm thinking that many of these young protesters and rioters in our cities now need to be put in a locked room and made to watch the entire events of that day.  Many of them were either small children at the time or not even born.  See what a real tragedy is and how we come together.  Just my opinion.  Thank you for reading.  I'm sure you all have stories of your own.  God Bless America!  

Wednesday, September 9, 2020


 In 2019, the Silver Threads Quilt Guild in Fort Walton Beach held a block swap in a box event.  The idea was for each participating guild member to get a box and put your own set of fabrics in it.  Then each month, your box would be given to another member who would make a block for you out of your fabrics.  This went on for 12 months and each month, you were to make the same block with the fabrics and put it back in the box.  It was a lot of fun but when I was putting my box together, I just grabbed this set of older sunflower fabrics and when I got my box back, I knew I wasn't ever going to  finish it up.  

So, I've been following Jo Kramer's blog,

Jo has talked about the Cresco Ladies in Cresco Iowa as a group who sews tops for charity.  And with the recent storm in Iowa that devastated their surrounding areas, the Cresco Ladies were busy making quilts for those affected.  So I gathered up the blocks from the block swap and some other orphan blocks and fabrics that I had laying around and sent them to the Cresco Ladies.  It felt good to know that I was supporting their efforts and lightening my load of unfinished projects.  

Thank you Silver Threads Quilt guild for sewing the blocks!  The Cresco Ladies made a few more blocks and here is the finished project!  

Monday, September 7, 2020


 I hadn't blogged in a while so I thought it was time.  This morning I was watching this video .  I like to read and watch videos from a variety of blogs.  And this is one of them.  There are two tips on the video about binding, one for creating a good corner which I do, and the other on how to join the ends of the binding.  I have had difficulty with this technique because when its demonstrated, you have to turn the binding in a funny way and in a different direction and I always get it wrong.  So mostly I just fold my binding over straight and it works fine.  But Teresa's direction on how to do the binding looks super simple.  She also has the extra edge on her binding which leads me to another post.  

I also like the Suzie's Magic Binding technique is you dont want to handsew your binding and you want a flange edge.  Check out this video .  There are a variety of blogs out there where you can find any information you want.  

I enjoy handsewing binding but many don't.  I need to get something finished so I can sit at night while watching TV and sew on binding!  

Wednesday, August 26, 2020


 On our recent trip to Vicksburg, MS, we arrived at our Airbnb at 11:00 am.  Checking in, our host recommended that we go to The Tomato Place for lunch.  We always like local recommendations so we followed his directions to go there.  Its a vegetable market/food place on the side of a busy highway with nothing else around it.  

We ventured inside passing this flat of beautiful tomatoes!  

$20 a flat and they were large beefsteak tomatoes.  We don't get those where I live in Florida except in the Grocery store and they aren't all that good.  We went into order lunch and I ordered a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.  

Oh, my it was huge!  I ended up just eating the insides and leaving the bread.  They also had tomato sandwiches with mayo.  Would have loved that.  My husband ordered a double cheeseburger which was also huge!  He's not a big fan of tomatoes.  

It was rustic decor and we had to eat outside.  Here is Allan waiting for his cheeseburger.  

This sign was on the door!  I thought it was very clever made out of old license plates.  Before we left Vicksburg, we went back to The Tomato Place and I bought 4 beefsteak tomatoes and 4 peaches.  The tomatoes were from Tennessee and had an acidic flavor to them.  I guess they pick up flavors from the dirt they are grown in.  Makes sense that ours  aren't that good because our dirt is sand.  The peaches were so yummy and came from South Carolina.  Sadly they are all gone.  I shared them with my sister and a friend!  

Saturday, August 22, 2020


 The second part of our trip away from home involved going to Vicksburg, MS, a place my husband had long wanted to visit.  Sadly a few things were closed due to covid but mostly we got to do the main things.  We hired a guide to drive us around the National Park and tell us about the Civil War and see the variety of different monuments set out by the states whose armies participated in the battle.  It was a two hour tour and quite educational. Our guide was descended from one of the original settlers in Mississippi way back years ago.  He also had a great great grandfather who served in the Confederacy.  They are proud of their heritage!  And I agree they should be proud.  

The next day after a good breakfast at the local Cracker Barrel, we headed to the Old Court House Museum.  It was one of the best museums with local history that I have ever been to.  The first room we visited was The Confederate Room.  Many of the items in this room were donated by Mississippi families who relatives also served in the Confederacy.  Civil War Uniforms, musket balls, newspaper reports, swords, guns, medical equipment and much more showed me a side of the Civil War you don't get in history books.  The room was packed full of artifacts, mostly Confederate but quite a few Union items as well.  The next room was a costume room and what a treat that was for me.  Wedding dresses and shoes from the 1800's were kept in cases, day dresses and more.  All the things you would need to adorn yourself in the 1800's. 

 The Furniture room held a whole complete parlor with fireplace donated by a family.  Collections of Meissen porcelain, dinnerware and household items and this is where we started seeing the quilts.  

Below is a quilt that was attributed to a slave maker.  It was applique and such tiny stitches. 

    Below is a selection of quilts with a wedding dress underneath.                                                              
I enjoyed seeing all the textiles and there were more quilts hanging up high in other rooms.  

There was one more quilt I noted that was laid over the foot of a bed.  It was beautifully appliqued and I realized that it wasn't a new quilt.  So I lifted up one corner and found a label on the back with a phone number.  I thought that was so smart of this woman to make this beautiful quilt and donate it and include a label.  I dont always label my quilts but I should.  Someone 100 years from now might be interested.  

Friday, August 21, 2020


 My husband and I took a driving trip to Laurel Mississippi and later on to Vicksburg!   I've been binge watching design shows on HGTV during the pandemic and Hometown with Ben and Erin Napier has become a favorite.  I love renovating old homes and making them new again and I appreciate their use of old materials instead of throwing them away.  So when our trip to France and Germany fell through because of Covid, we decided to take a drive to Mississippi.  We booked The Blue Rabbithole in Laurel and I blogged about that previously.  

The first morning after a good nights rest, we decided to find a local restaurant to have breakfast.  Well, that didnt work out so well as a lot of things were closed.  One place looked promising but it turned out to be a restaurant turned into a medical clinic.  So we ended up at Waffle House where we had a healthy breakfast and then talked about what we were going to do the rest of the day.  We wondered if there was even anything to do as a drive through downtown the previous evening didn't look very promising.  Lots of empty buildings as you can usually find in a southern town.  

Going to Laurel was my thing so we put on a brave face and proceeded to the Laurel Mercantile which is the shop owned by Erin and Ben in hopes it would be open.  When we got there at 10:00, there was a line to get in!  They were only allowing ten in at a time but there were plenty of like minded folks that were fans of the show lining up.  Inside, a woman gave us a map of Laurel and circled all the places to eat and things to do  and where to go to see some of the homes that Erin and Ben had renovated.  Here I am meeting Erin and Ben.    Carol, Erin and Ben

The shop was super cute and we didn't buy a thing.  My husband was very gracious to let me look at everything because Laurel was my place to visit on our trip.  Afterward we walked through the downtown and visited a few other shops, some we had seen in the show, like Lott Furniture.  When it got near lunchtime, we thought about going to Miss Pearl's as we had seen her in the show and saw her home being renovated.  But I wasn't into another day of southern home cooking so we went to another coffee and deli with the best chicken salad!  After lunch we visited the Scotsman store where Ben had his woodshop.  

Allan and the woodshop! 

Here is my husband sitting on the bench outside of the shop.  Note the filming in progess sign although they weren't filming when we were there.  I made him wear a mask so we could remember the year we were there.  Who could forget!  

For the rest of the day we drove up and down the avenues near our cottage.  We were told we would recognize the homes that we had seen on TV and I did find a few.  They dont share locations due to privacy of the owners which is a good thing.  We had a good dinner at a steak restaurant and enjoyed our last evening, drinking wine and watching Amazon Prime movies in our cottage!  As we headed out the next morning, I looked at a home behind us and thought I recognized the deck!  And sure enough it was one of the renovated homes!  We loved our trip to Laurel and I would recommend it!  
Until next time have a great day!      

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


 So my husband and I left Friday morning to drive to Laurel Mississippi!  Laurel is the birthplace of Hometown, the HGTV show featuring Erin and Ben Napier.  They renovate cute old and dilapidated cottages in Laurel with their clients.  I hadn't watched many of their shows but this year, during the Covid phase when we were all stuck at home, I spent a lot of time binge watching Hometown as well as many others.  You can find more about Hometown here

So when we decided to go to Laurel, a 4 hour drive from our home in Florida, we needed a place to stay.  I had wanted to stay at the Wisteria Bed and Breakfast but sadly it was booked.  So I went online and found The Blue RabbitHole with AirBNB.  It was available and looked super cute so we booked it.  It wasn't that easy to find.  There is a small alley situated between two houses but first we had to find the two houses.        This is the road and when we arrived it was pouring down rain.  That hose in the corner of the building came in handy as my shoes found the mud and I had to rinse them off.                                                                                                                                                                                                

Road entry to the cottage.

The Blue Rabbit Hole is a super cute and charming cottage.  The owner Sally is an artist and the lively bright colors were enjoyable!  My interior design hat came on and I appreciated the bright bedspread and pillows, the cute chairs and tiny sofa as well as art work by Sally.  She went the extra mile with appointments, even supplying milk and orange juice and bagels for breakfast.  Coffee and snacks are a staple.
The Blue Rabbit Hole is very close to the downtown area and within walking distance.  However, we elected to drive after I almost fell in the mud left by the rain three times.  And the sidewalks are uneven.  I'm not the most in shape person to be walking around.  Here are some more photos.  

You can learn more about The Blue Rabbit Hole by going to  

The day we arrived, we got there early enough to go to the Veterans Memorial Museum in Laurel.  I would definitely recommend a visit to this museum, especially if you are a veteran.  My father was a POW in Japan for 42 months during WWII and there was information from another POW there in the museum.  It was nice to see some of the pictures he included.  
After a nice dinner and relaxing in our little cottage, the next morning we found a Waffle House for Breakfast and then proceeded to the downtown area.  We pulled up in front of the Lauren Mercantile which is owned by Erin and Ben Napier and had to stand in line to get in!  OMG.  There were quite a few older couples and men with their wives waiting to visit the place where Erin and Ben call home.  We also went to the Scotsman shop and saw the woodworking shop where Ben creates his master pieces. More about that tomorrow!  

Thursday, August 13, 2020


 For an entire year, my husband and I had planned a dream trip from Paris to Normandy to Belgium and Germany.  It was all paid for and we were set to go in May 2020.  Then covid-19 came along.  The tour company sent us a notice that all trips would be delayed.  Then when our emails weren't answered we started to worry.  The tour company had gone bankrupt!  We then started to worry about whether we would get our money back or not.  Thankfully, our credit card company was great to work with and we got a full refund.  Delta had cancelled the flights so we got that money back too.  What a relief that was.  Word to the wise, always pay with a valid credit card like American Express or, in our case Chase Sapphire.  We have heard of folks who paid by debit card.  And Cash, writing a check.  Always insure with a credit card!  

So, my husband and I still wanted to go on a trip.  I've been binge watching Home Town on HGTV, the show featuring Ben and Erin Napier rehabbing cottages in Laurel MS.  Laurel is about a 4 hour drive from our home in the Panhandle of Fl so we will be leaving tomorrow to stay in a cute cottage for 2 nights.  From there we are going to Vicksburg.  My husband has long wanted to go to Vicksburg for the Civil War battlefield.  We went to Gettysburg and Antietam a few years back.  So its the best of both worlds.  I get to see the cute cottages and nostalgic Laurel Ms and he gets to go back to the Civil War.  

While researching our trip this morning, I found there is a Veterans Memorial Museum in Laurel as well.  If we get there early enough we can go there.    Both of us are retired from the USAF and we enjoy that sort of thing.  Him more than me but I'll go along with it.  

There are probably a few quilt shops available to shop in but I'm not really interested in that.  I just want to see and visit Home Town!  If I dont blog for a few days, you will know why!  

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


This past year, two of my quilting friends passed away leaving huge stashes and a variety of notions, rulers and more.  One of the quilters named a friend in her will to receive all of her quilting things.  The other quilter had a recurrence of her cancer and lined up friends to take care of her things as well.  

With two guilds in our area, the two quilting friends designated to dispense of the stashes, came to each guild with fabrics, notions and more to share.  What a great gift these two quilters made!  

Which leads me to my blog post today.  Leave quilts, not fabric!  Use up that stash and if you aren't using it, share it!  I've been doing a lot of sharing lately.  I was cleaning out my sewing room recently and I had a large plastic bin that I put in the hallway outside my room.  When I found something I didn't want anymore it went in the bin.  Once it goes into a bin or box that I intend to mail, I dont look at it again.  Out of sight out of mind.  I have a couple of quilters that I send boxes to.  One collects greens and the other collects everything fabric.  I"ve sent out 3 boxes this month.  

This particular large bin I was filling had a purpose.  There was a new quilter  friend of one of our guild members and she was going to be the recipient of this large bin.  When I was new to quilting, I received 2 large bins stuffed full of fabrics and I was extremely appreciative.  When you don't have a large stash, you will take just about anything to sew with.  So lets get back to the recent stashes left by my quilting friends.  

The two quilters in charge of distributing the stashes were ready for them to go.  I came home with two bins full of folded fat quarters around comic boards and some partial fat quarters.  I was impressed with how organized the bins were.  Every piece was folded around a board.  Most of the fabrics were dark, civil war and Thimbleberry type fabrics.  I pulled a stack of greens and instantly packed a box to send to my green friend.  Then Jo at Jo's Country Junction said her daughter Kelli was going to be sewing masks for children so I packed a box with all the child themed fabrics I could find, including Peppa Pig!    

What to do with the rest of them?  We collect 10 1/2" squares at our church guild so I sat down and started cutting out squares for the church.  I was able to empty one of the bins and the other bin I started attacking yesterday.  In addition to the 10 1/2" squares, I'm cutting (2) 4 1/2" squares and (4) 2 1/2" matching squares from the remaining pieces and 5" charms when I can get them.  I found a quilt in a magazine using the above mentioned pieces and I need 120 sets of them.  

Until next time, leave beautiful quilts!  Sew up that fabric and share!  

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


 Yesterday was my quilting day at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Walton Beach, Fl.  A group of 70, 80 and one 90 year old meet twice a month to work on mission quilts.  This year our mission has been rocked by the explosion in Beirut which took out 3 containers full of quilts, personal care kits and layettes.  In addition Covid-19 has also taken a toll.  

Our group has made over 100 quilts this year, however our participation number is down due to Covid concerns.  Also, Lutheran World Relief is not sending a truck to pick up our quilts this year.  A truck usually comes in August to a church in Daphne Al and we drive over with our quilts to distribute them.  But this year, that isn't going to happen.  

We have a blessing of our quilts in August where we display them in our church, laying them over the pews as in this picture 

This is such a special day for the quilters but this year, we aren't even back in the sanctuary yet.  It will happen later.  We offer our parishioners the opportunity to purchase one of the quilts for $50.  The money we earn through this goes to purchase batting and supplies.  But we always have more than 100 quilt to go to LWR in addition to school kits and personal care kits.  Its all up in the air for now.

There was an article at yesterday where the whole Lutheran church is trying to replace the loss in some way.  The quilts need to by 60 by 80.  That is it.  They can be whole cloth or pieced.  Yesterday was our day to meet at church and I spent time creating backs out of gifted sheets.  The backs are 64 by 84 and we lay them on a table.  Then we layer the batting.  And then a top that is 60 by 80.  The quilts are tied.  And then the backing is folded up and hemmed.  My job is to cut 10 ½” squares out of donated fabrics and cut offs from sheets.  Another woman takes the squares and lays them out in a pleasing fashion, 48 of them.  Another woman sews up 3 a week but she is in her 80’s and slowing down.  In fact we are all over 70 and one woman is 94.  Sallie irons everything.   She is the best ironer.  And then there is a group of 5 or 6 who tie the quilts. 

Yesterday I spent my time cutting out backings from donated sheets and other fabrics.  One woman was sewing so I would take pieces to her to sew up.  Then I paired up backs with completed tops. 

My suggestion to you, is there a Lutheran church in your community?    Reach out to a Lutheran Church and see if they have a quilting group.  Not all of them do.  If you can find a quilting group, they would appreciate any donation you could give. 

LWR was established after WWII when the German people were impoverished after losing their homes and lively hood.  There is a large contingent of German Lutherans in the Midwest and so they set up an organization to ship needed food and supplies to their families and friends in Germany after the war.  Thanks for being so generous.  

Carol Stearns

Sunday, August 9, 2020


 The explosion in Beirut Lebanon is a real shock to everyone and to a host of Lutherans around the world who make quilts for Lutheran World Relief (LWR).  The explosion took our shipping containers full of quilts, baby layouts and school and personal care quilts that are put together from Lutheran Churches around the world.  You can find out more information here

We work hard at our Lutheran Church making quilts and care kits year round.  

The photos above picture the quilts we make during the year.  Our quilts are collected in August when a truck is sent to a church in Daphne, Al to retrieve quilts from a variety of churches.  We display our quilts in our church to be blessed prior to boxing up and taking to Daphne.  This year the truck isn't coming so we will have to pack up our quilts and store them until something happens.  When we display our quilts in the church, we offer them to sale for the congregation to purchase for $40.  In so doing, we raise funds to purchase needed supplies, like rolls of batting and anything else we may need. 

Of course this is all changing because of Covid 19.  What a dismal thing to have happened in the world but with God's help, we can pull through this.  

If there is a Lutheran Church in your town, maybe you would consider donating excess fabrics, sheets, blankets and such.  We often use blankets and quilted bed coverings as batting.  Our quilts are 60 by 80.  My job is to cut the fabrics into 10 1/2" squares.  In addition, I put the backings together, pulling sheets or fabrics to sew together.  

So instead of taking your used sheets, mattress covers and more to Goodwill, find a Lutheran Church that makes quilts and donate there instead.  With the loss of these quilts and supplies in Beirut, the need is even greater.   

Saturday, August 8, 2020


 So, I've been doing The Scrap Happy Sampler through my local quilt shop, Stitcher's Quest, for about a year.  We are winding down our monthly meetings and I'll be ready.  This sampler was a great opportunity because, as long as you completed your two blocks each month, the next two blocks were free!  Free is good!  The other reason I wanted to do the sampler is because it used the Miss Rosies Cake Mix papers to make all of the half square triangles (HST).  I had never used these papers so this was an opportunity to learn soething new.  Here is a video showing how it is done. 

I think I should have watched the video earlier.  One of the things I keep forgetting is to lower my stitch count.  This helps to keep the stitches from tearing out when you remove the papers.  I remembered to do it this morning but then, I had to make an adjustment and it reverted back to 2.5 and so I forgot to fix it.  Oh, well.  

Another thing I learned from watching the video this morning was to how to easily tear off the papers by pressing them first.  I hadn't done that and it looks so much easier.  If you havent' tried Miss Rosies Cake Mix papers, they are designed for layer cakes!  I dont buy many layer cakes but just recently purchased one on sale from Stitcher's Quest.  Now I"ll be looking for a pattern.  Another nice thing about the papers is that your HST are fairly perfect, no trimming involved!  So if you have to make a lot of HST, its a good investment and almost fun to do.  You do have to trim off those pesky dog ears though.  

Once I get the hang of this blogging 101, I promise lots more pictures!  Until next time, make beautiful quilts, one beautiful quilt at a time!  

Friday, August 7, 2020


So for a few years now, I've been testing quilts for 
Erica very quickly puts designs and writes quilt patterns so I have the opportunity to test quite a few. The most recent was the Iris Quilt and Erica wrote a post on her blog showcasing her pattern testers quilts! Mine is the next to last one on this page When I saw this quilt pattern I instantly thought how perfect it is for scraps! So I pulled all the scraps I could find.  It went together so fast and easy.  I had a very big stack of 2 1/2" strips in the light aqua color and decided to use it for the background sashings.  The quilt cost me zero dollars and when finished, I donated it to my church for a donation quilt to Lutheran World Relief.  Those quilts need to be 60 by 80" so I had to add an additional row.  All in all it turned out beautifully.  I'll likely make another one out of scraps.  I have more of the light aqua strips.  

Thursday, August 6, 2020


I'm still navigating the new blog to try and see how I am going to work this. I am excited to be able to share my quilting and design expertise with you. Now to find some followers. Today I am working on a project where I have to make 480 four patches that measure 2 1/2" square. Its a pattern from a magazine and I'm a sucker for little things like that. Each square requires 4 four patches, 4 2 1/2" squares and 2 4 1/2" squares. Two of the quilters in my guild have passed this year and somehow I inherited 2 bins of fabric an a smaller bin. Most were darks like civil war or thimbleberry and the pattern I'm doing will be perfect to showcase them. I need 120 blocks or more with the parts listed above. I'll post pics when I get a chance to do so. Right now I just want to blog. Making those 480 4 patches is quite a chore. But I'll get there and can use them for leaders and enders while I'm sewing other things. I read somewhere that you should leave quilts and not fabric when you pass away. How many quilters have we known who have passed leaving an enormous stash and several machines. One of the quilters redid her will and named another quilter in it as the person who was to get her sewing room when she passed. The other quilter died suddenly with a recurrence of cancer but she had plenty of quilting friends who were called upon to take the stash and distribute it. I managed to cut quite a few fabrics in 10 1/2" squares to take to my church for Lutheran World RElief quilts. You can find more about that at Then I've taken the remainder and working on cutting the squares for the quilt mentioned above. I'll keep you posted! Until next time, make beautiful quilts! One beautiful quilt at a time!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


So I've been working with Kayla Pins who is Jo Kramer's daughter. Jo blogs at I love reading jo's posts as she is such a caring and generous person. And so far, Kayla has been the same! I have enjoyed working with her. She set up my header and has been very patient with me. Thank you Kayla. I'm hoping she can help me with simple things as well. Like how do I highlight something so that my readers can click on it and go directly to the site? Let me know!

Friday, March 27, 2020


When I was about 10 years old, my mother gave me the best gift of my lifetime. She taught me how to sew! My mother was a seamstress as was her sister and their mother before them and many other relatives as well. My first project was a blue cape for my doll edged with red binding and a red cross embroidered on it. I can still see myself holding that little cape and sewing a basting stitch to affix the binding. From that little cape I blossomed into an accomplished seamstress, dressing all my dolls with homemade fashions. By the time I was in junior high, I was making clothes for myself. In high school I had my own sewing machine set up in my bedroom and I could whip out a dress in a day for any occasion.

Time passed and in 1984, I purchased my decorating business and I soon found that my knowledge of sewing, how a garment is put together, helped me immensely in designing window treatments for my clients. I could visualize how the fabrics would be sewn together to make the finished product. When I designed a valance or top treatment that was not the norm, I would go to the workroom and together we would devise a plan on creating the new vision. I had developed a love of beautiful fabrics over the years and I was thrilled when the new fabric books would come in. I would sit down and put different designs together to envision new looks for my clients. And when a fabric book became discontinued, I would find it hard to part with it.

I eventually solved the discontinued fabric problem by donating them to local quilting groups at the Lutheran churches or taking them to schools for the teachers to use. I continue that practice today. This past summer, I decided to take a quilting class to refresh my skills in making quilts. I had only dabbled in quilt making over the years and I wanted to see if I would like to get back into it. That class got me hooked again! And I’ve discovered 2 lovely stores in town that offer quilting fabrics and classes. Instead of mindless TV watching, I now retreat to my spare bedroom where I’ve set up a space for quilt making!

But what to do with the finished quilts? A perfect solution is to use them for decorating purposes around the home. They can be thrown over a table for a tablecloth or hung in the bath as a shower curtain! Quilts that are worn can be cut up and made into pillows or used to cover a chair seat. They can be used as spreads for a bed or neatly folded at the foot of a bed. Or how about a stack of finished quilts displayed in a cupboard with the doors open!

As I’ve visited the quilt shops the last couple of months, there have been lots of patterns and fabrics available for the fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Drape one of those completed holiday projects over the dining room table; add a couple of candles and some gourds and you have an instant centerpiece!

And here’s a lasting project for the whole year! I just finished the perfect quilt sized for hanging, 34” square. Install an adjustable black metal rod over a console or desk in your foyer. Sew a rod pocket onto the back of your quilt and hang it on the rod. Then devise a plan to make 11 more 34” square quilts, one for each month or occasion of the year! Every month you will be redecorating and visitors to your home will instantly know you are an avid quilter! Until next time, have a happy decorating day!