Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Bucket List for 2016

As the year of 2015 nears the end, I am turning my thoughts to 2016 and formulating some ideas for what quilts I would like to make... A "Bucket List" of sorts.  

From another blog... 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do  There are 28 items on the list that I have yet to do.  I probably won't complete the list in 2016 because there are some things on the list that won't happen - like create a Pintrest board with quilt images - I just don't mess with Pintrest.  And I don't see that I will be visiting Paducah or Houston during the big quilt shows...

While that was an interesting list I am going to make my own list.

1.  Crayon quilt

2.  Learn to free-motion quilt "feathers"

3.  "Pixelated" photo quilt

4.  Hand quilt a throw-sized quilt  

5.  Make/Give a wedding quilt (pattern yet to be determined)
6.  Denim Cathedral Window quilt  (I have some denim circles cut but need to work on selecting the flannel)

7.  "Wonky" scrap quilt (something like this one...)  

8.  Submit a block to Quiltmaker for their 100 Blocks, vol 14  (watch for updates about this one!)

9.  Amish style quilt  (I love the jewel-toned solid fabric used in this one!)

10. Participate in the local Farmer's Market - Trinidad Community Farmers Market
11. Donate a quilt for a fundraising event

So, there you have it... my "Bucket List" for 2016.

May your coming year be blessed with friends, loving family, good health and lots of quilts!

Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I am a few days late...  I love this poem... a testament to the generosity and hearts of kindness of quilters. Merry Christmas!
A Quilter's Night Before Christmas
(author unknown)
'Twas the night before Christmas,
And the quilts were not made.
The threads were all tangled, the cookies delayed.
The stocking weren't hung, the pantry was bare.
The poor weary Quilter, was tearing her hair.
Stacks of fat quarters, tipped over in streams.
Visions of Log Cabins, had turned into dreams.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a bus full of quilters with all of their gear.
They went straight to work with just a few mutters,
Sorting and stitching and brandishing cutters.
The patterns emerged from all of the clutter,
Like magic the fabrics arranged in a flutter.
Log Cabins, Lone Stars, Flying Geese & Bear Tracks
Each quilt was a beauty-even the backs.

Her house how it twinkled, her quilts how they glowed.
The cookies were baking, the stockings were sewed.
Their work was all done, so they folded their frames,
And packed up their needles, without giving their names.
They boarded the bus, and checked the next address.
More quilts to be made, another quilter in distress.

She heard one voice echo, as they drove out of sight,
Happy quilting to all and to all a good night!
~Author Unknown

Thursday, December 17, 2015

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

As I look back over all of the quilts I have made this year a few stand out... And here's why.... 

My Top Five - 

5 - This modern quilt was a new style for me and I loved the batik African-style fabric.

4. - This Patriotic wall hanging is among my favorites because of who it was for - a very special friend - and for what it means to be the Lay Director of a Walk to Emmaus weekend.

3. - This log cabin quilt makes my top 5 ... for a couple reasons - I love log cabin blocks and it covers our bed.  But more than that I love the colors and for sometime I had wanted to make a quilt using the brown/blue combo.  This quilt helped me to become a better quilter... You may notice the mis-placed blocks on the left side of the quilt.  I couldn't just leave them there!  I pulled the stitches that held the blocks in place and then hand sewed them back in, in the proper placement.  It was necessary to do since it was to be part of the quilting tutorials that Bonnie Hunter did for Quiltmaker magazine.

2. - This Air Force Academy quilt features the 2017 graduating class of cadets.  The son of a dear friend graduated from the Academy a few years ago and it continues to hold a special place in my heart... for all of that the cadets do just to be accepted into the Academy, for all of their hard work while a cadet and for what their future hold and the risk involved in their commitment to the Air Force.

  1. - This quilt... actually there are four of them - all are MS quilts in memory of Tracy Valdez, the daughter of a close friend that lost her battle with MS in 2011.  I had donated some blocks to a group, Quilts for MS, in 2014, they had quilt tops made and auctioned them off as a fundraiser.  Tracy's mom, Sandi, purchased two that had a photo block of Tracy on them.  I made two additional quilts so that Sandi's 4 grand-daughters would each have one.

 Grand Prize Winner! ~ This Broken Star quilt was actually one of my least favorite to make, just because of the difficulties I faced in making it.  It was a kit that included inconsistently sized pieces, causing the assembly of the quilt to be the most difficult quilt project I have faced so far.  However, the finished project is beyond astounding!  And I am proud to say I did not quit!  And I can check off one of my "Bucket List" items!

So there you have the run-down of a "few of my favorite things".  Thanks for stopping by!



See what other quilters are talking about at Quilter Blogs

Friday, December 11, 2015

The "Annual" Update...

     This year was a very busy year!  I spent many days in my sewing room quilting.  I completed 22 quilts in total and quilted  four more for a friend. 

     I was selected to be part of an elite group of quilters - “The Addicted to Scraps” quilters -  by the editors of the Quiltmaker magazine.  With each publication they feature a block pattern by Bonnie Hunter, a well-known quilter & teacher.  Each person in the group was to make two quilts featuring one of her block patterns.  The quilts were then featured in their blog, magazine or “digital class”

  This Idaho Square Dance quilt  was my first one to complete for the group...  You can read all about the quilt here Zia's Square Dance.

And this Log Cabin Love quilt was quite the challenge for me!

     I spent a fair amount of time driving up and down I-25 as Mom’s chauffeur as she consulted with an orthopedic surgeon in south Denver & scheduled surgery for a double knee replacement in May. She  has regained full range of motion, is no longer in pain and  is once again enjoying her daily walks. 

     August was an exciting month… I had the opportunity to meet Bonnie Hunter as she filmed tutorials for Quiltmaker, we celebrated Emma’s 1st birthday...

We also celebrated our 30th anniversary and the airing of the NRA All Access show that featured Dave and Nolan Quality Customs!

You can watch the video at

     We have worked consistently and diligently for the past 2-1/2 years in getting the business started and growing and felt that we were finally in a position where we could take a little time to travel.  We drove to Sun Valley, ID in October. We stopped in Salt Lake City for a day on the way there.  We explored the Temple Square as well as Salt Lake & Antelope Island.  While in SV we enjoyed several days relaxing at a friend’s condo, taking long walks and leisurely drives on back roads.

     The girls have their own busy schedules , between work and friends but  we do catch up with them every few weeks - usually by us traveling to Pueblo to run errands or to help with a project. 

     2015 has been a great year… but what does the future year hold? Isaiah 43 says 

  Join us here next year to find out… or keep up with us on Facebook!  

Christmas blessings to you,


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Blessed to Pieces!

Last weekend I started another Bronco's quilt... As I finished up the top and waited to hear from a friend about whether or not she wanted to purchase it as a gift.

I knew I had an order for a table runner that had been requested.  However, I allowed myself to become distracted and started placing on the design wall a series of tiny (1-1/2 inch squares) in a variety of colors... 

with the intention of someday reaching a final outcome that resembles this...

Isn't this one of the coolest things?!?  For years I have been in awe of the quilts that are "pixelated" photo quilts and those that had the patience to make them. This is probably the closest I will ever come to making one.  

I was having a good time!  I really didn't care that I had another project waiting in the wings...  At that moment, I only wanted to work on the Rooster! It was nearing the end of the day on Sunday and the harsh reality of the situation was that I needed to walk away from my design wall and all those tiny nuggets of fabric and go figure out something for dinner... **hanging head and pouting** I went.

Monday morning arrived and as tempting as it was to get back to the rooster - I mean the little pieces were still laying on my ironing board and what I had started was smack dab in the middle of my design wall!  None the less, I pulled out all of my red scraps and proceeded to make 48 flying geese for the flag table runner that I had an order for...

   And then suddenly the order turned into two!

So there you have it... my week thus far!  It has been quite productive... and fun!

I do love being able to make quilts for others and contribute to a portion of our income.  What a blessing!  A blessing that I do not take lightly...

So, now that those projects are on their way to their happy owners (yes, the Bronco quilt was purchased by a very special lady who is giving it to her sister. As she would describe her... the #1 Bronco fan!)  I can turn back to my rooster.

I am approaching it in much the same way as I did counted cross-stitch.  Doing a section at a time with all the same (or in this case similar) color...

Do you know of a better way???  Let me know.  I'd love to hear from you...

May you be blessed to pieces during this Holy Season.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Who Can Use Some "Happy"?

The news reports of late have been quite depressing and disturbing.  It seems that the world has gone mad!!!  Mad, I tell you!!!!!!!  From the Paris terrorism attacks, to the Planned Parenthood attack in Colorado Springs and the attacks in California yesterday... 

I don't know about you, but I could some some "happy" about now.  

Here is just one page that I found that has positive stories that can help to restore my faith in humanity... Positive News

To help with my "happy" I have put on one of my favorite Christmas shirts and will be headed to my sewing room.  But really, how about some "pay it forward" random act of kindness stories?  What happened to the stories of people paying on lay-away accounts of strangers and giving money to random shoppers?  What about the gold coins in the Salvation Army buckets?  Kindness is just as contagious as violence and anger...

In the meantime, I have a quilt that is ready for binding.  

I am vacillating (haha! A big word... in an attempt to keep my posts a little less boring) between hand sewing the binding and machine stitching the binding with a decorative button hole stitch - I saw this on somewhere on the web... I think it was from Amy's Creative Side... (I should really pay more attention to these details. :/ ) Nope not at Amy's. But I still enjoy her blog.

The hand stitching of the binding is always so soothing for me and offers an extended period of time in prayer as I hand sew... but the idea of using the button hole stitch is very intriguing to me.  

I love to try new techniques...  I think I just made the decision... Button hole binding it is!

Do you have a  personal pay it forward story?  Please share!  I could use some happy... and there are a lot of people that could use some happy.  I am here to encourage you... share!  

Happy Christmas!


Sunday, November 29, 2015

No Black-Friday Shopping for Me!

The last few days have been very cold!  I have been hiding out in my sewing room... where else would I be???

There was no "Black Friday" shopping for me!  Only some cold weather sewing! Before the frigid temps set in on Thursday I was able to happily deliver two quilts.

While helping our youngest daughter shop for a new car a few weeks ago, my biggest fan and husband, Dave noticed that the finance manager was a Bronco fan.  Dave commented on the collection of memorabilia in his office.  We showed him a few pictures of other Bronco quilts that I had sold.  He instantly stated that he was absolutely interested in purchasing a quilt!  SOLD!  

  This "Magic of Oz" quilt was a fun and quick quilt for a friend.  She had given me the pre-printed fabric panels and a pattern. She wanted it just a bit bigger so I modified the pattern, changed up the pieced blocks and used a "disappearing nine-patch" block rather than the spiraling pieced blocks that the pattern called for.  For the quilting I did an all over "brick" grid layout.  I am sure my friend's grand-child will love it when they receive it.  

Mid-week the weather was beautiful!  And then the temps then plummeted.  I hid out in my sewing room on Friday... no Black Friday shopping for me!

I quickly worked up this Chicago quilt... It will be a perfect gift for the fan of all professional Chicago sports teams!

So... I guess in a way I did do a little black-Friday shopping... Just without fighting the crowds in the stores. :)

I hope that your Thanksgiving holiday was blessed with time well spent with loved ones and that your coming Advent season is filled with the love of the One Who First Loved You.

God Bless!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Broken Star... DONE!!!

Last week I celebrated... The Broken Star Quilt that has been hanging around for 30 years is complete!

This project all got started here... Kits are supposed to be helpful.

It progressed here... How to fix a broken star  ... and here... A good challenge  (I mentioned how I hoped that there were no missing pieces... Much the opposite.  Instead there were two extra diamonds!)

... and here... Ups and downs

In all of its imperfection, this quilt is as perfect as I could have ever hoped it would be...

There were 1,152 pieces... every seam was stitched over for the quilting.  In my research most of the broken star quilts had 1/4 inch quilting or stitch-in-the ditch.  Since the majority of the points and seams were a tad off I chose to do wavy stitching over every seam.  

I am fairly confident that my customer is happy with the finished quilt... and that she no longer has to have it tucked away in a closet.  As much of a challenge as this project was to me, I feel I have learned a great deal. 

Sometimes you want perfection, but the best you can hope for is some sort of perfect imperfection. It is still a beautiful quilt despite the problems that I faced... come to think of it this quilt is much like life.  

Cherish life!  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Great Escape - In Sun Valley

The first day we did the typical tourist thing... we drove around the little towns (Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley), visited the various gift shops and just enjoyed the time together.

They are quaint little tourist towns and we happened to be visiting in between their "busy seasons".  

The view of one of the ski areas from the Sun Valley Resort parking lot...

This truck was in the front yard of a residence in Ketchum...  What a crazy looking thing!
The Horse Sculpture was in the town square of Ketchum...

At the intersections that did not have signals, there were crosswalk flags for people to carry as they crossed the street.  As if carrying an orange flag really makes a difference... We witnessed several people using them as they were intended, but we also some teens messing around with them.  One was just waving it as a flag girl in a band would, one was pretending to ride a stick pony across the street, and one... well, I'm not sure what he was doing, but it was interesting to watch!

We also saw several teams of women stopping to organize them neatly on the holders and making sure they were evenly distributed.  We simply shook our heads and giggled.

While visiting an art gallery, it was suggested that we take a scenic drive that involved a two-lane dirt road that went through National Forest land and joined up with a highway that followed the Salmon River.  In all it was to take approximately 4 hours. 

So the next day we packed our cooler and ventured off!  It really was a beautiful drive.

We traveled the dirt road to Hwy 93.  Shortly there after we came across a Historic Site marker...  

 The sign said the epicenter of an an earthquake that opened up a fracture was just a short 2.5 miles down the dirt road... Okay!  Let's go.  We wanted to see the fracture that was 26 miles long and 7 miles deep... 

We came across a fenced area that looked like the picture below, but there was no sign, other than the one that said "No horses in parking lot".  However, that was apparently the site we were to stop at.  

We drove a bit longer and then drove some more... 40+ miles later on a dirt road we came to another highway.

Apparently we had no clue as to what we were looking for.  In my on-line research I found these pictures...  

Below is one that marks out the fault line with arrows.  

The above picture shows the shift of the valley floor. 

While we may have been clueless about what we were looking for as far as the earthquake site, we did go through several tiny towns on our way back to Sun Valley...  The smallest was Clayton, ID...

We enjoyed a visit with one of the residents and discussed the mining in the area.  There had been lots of mining in the past, but the reclamation of the mine areas have left the area very clean with little evidence for visitors to see anything but the beauty of nature. 

Below is the Salmon River and the Sawtooth Mountain range.

We saw a herd of sheep, the shepherd and the sheep dogs moving sheep across the highway....  You may notice the "Sheep Camp" in the lower picture....

 A very nice couple offered to take our picture... No need for a selfie!

It was such a pleasurable and relaxing drive!  A drive that was to originally been 4 hours turned into 8 hours!  We then enjoyed an evening "out on the town" in Ketchum as the beginning of the "Trailing of the Sheep" festival was just starting.  People watching at its finest!  

Funniest statement we heard... as a group of people were waiting for the walk signal to cross the street, though there were no cars present.  A pushy middle aged man forced his way to the front of the group... "oh, for crying out loud (this may have been edited).  It's Ketchum, not Los Angeles!" 

Oh, and we thought we saw Nancy Kerrigan, but it was just someone that looked like her and was much younger.

So there you go... Our stay in Sun Valley... in a nutshell.  



PS... just one more post about our travel home.  Thanks for joining us on our trip!