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Reverse Tweezers

One of my favorite “unsung hero tools” are the reverse tweezers. What are they you ask??? Well, regular tweezers you squeeze to close them. Reverse tweezers you squeeze to open them so they are closed when resting. So when does this come in handy? Just about anytime you need an extra hand or finger. Today […]

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Quilt Block Mania – June 2023

The theme for this months blocks is “Places”. What better place than our blue pearl floating along in the universe? I immediately thought of a family of aliens coming to visit Earth. The kids were whining “Are we there yet?” to which Mom excitedly responds “Only 2.5 million miles to go…almost there!” Ha! Pattern includes […]

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Quilt Block Mania – April 2023

I’m excited to be participating in Quilt Block Mania. The theme this month is “Neighborhood”. When I first saw this I thought of a street sign. I know, I’m just a little odd… It could be the sign for your street or perhaps a dream vacation spot or maybe a memory of a fun time […]

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Ugly Fabric Reveal


The other day I told you about my guild’s ugly fabric challenge. Yesterday was reveal day. Everyone did a fantastic job turning their sow’s ears into silk purses. Here is the fabric that I turned in. It’s not ugly just a really putrid shade of yellow. The photo makes it look rather pleasant. Trust me, it’s not!

Libby was the unfortunate soul who had to make an effort to turn it into something presentable. And boy did she ever! I’ll back up a little bit to the day we offered up our uglies. Libby shared a tote bag that she had made for her daughter. She told us that her daughter was an art major and Libby just couldn’t get over the fact that her daughter chose such horrible fabrics for the bag her Mom was going to make for her. Libby ended up only using some of the fabrics her daughter had selected. Then she received my ugly fabric. Wouldn’t ya know it – one of her daughter’s fabrics coordinated perfectly! Here’s what Libby crafted just for little ole me. Isn’t it awesome?


There are all sorts of little pockets on the inside, two zippered pockets on the outside and the whole thing has stiffener in it so it stands up nice and perky. There are even handles to carry it around once I fill it with my goodies. While I’m still not sure how I feel about coordinating so well with what Libby thought was so atrocious from her daughter, I could not be more pleased with my pressie. Thank you from the bottom of my new tool caddy Libby. Great job!

So, ya wondering what I did with my part of the challenge? Well, you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out. The recipient of my challenge was out of town. I don’t want to air her uglies on the internet until she’s had a chance to see it for herself. Stay tuned…

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Ugly Fabric Challenge


My guild is in the midst of an ugly fabric challenge. Each person brought in 1/2 yard of an ugly or hard-to-work-with fabric. We traded uglies with each other and our challenge is to make something with the fabric that we were given and give that item to the original ugly owner (fabric that is, nothing personal!) So here is the ugly that I received…

I can’t really say that it’s “ugly”, probably falls more into the difficult to work with category. At times it seems to have a red-white-blue feel but then in other light it really has a purple and teal thing going on. It’s a very confused fabric. I must admit that paisley is really not my thing either. So, what to do with it?

After staring at it for quite awhile I finally decided what to do. The eventual owner has her home decorated with a patriotic flair but her clothing style has a definite tilt to purple. Which should I play up? Well, you’ll just have to wait. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag just yet.

What does your guild do for fun and games?

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Have you discovered Square-agonals®?


OK, so I am trying desperately to convince myself that I’m not getting the nasty head cold that hubby just got rid of. I’m not being very convincing though… So we’re going to have a guest blogger this week instead of my ramblings. Take it away Sandi…

“Square-agonals®; A New Angle on Quilting”
A new quilt book – a new technique
by: Sandi Blackwell


Square-agonals® is my easy technique for creating diagonal set/on point quilts without the extra work of cutting corner and setting triangles or doing math calculations.

How is it done? Your quilt top design is pieced together in rows of squares (these squares can be pieced, appliqued, directional or plain depending on your final design). The quilt top is then starched, marked with two specific cutting lines and then cut into three sections. Prior to cutting, the three sections are marked with numbered arrows and cutting guide tape. The three sections are then reassembled in a new configuration. The result is your finished design in a diagonal setting. Just add borders to complete your quilt top. All sizes of blocks and quilts can use this new technique. The secret of the finished quilt is the sewing and cutting layouts for each design.

My book “Square-agonals®; A New Angle on Quilting“, by Landauer Publishing, explains in detail the Square-agonals® process through a variety of fourteen projects. The projects range from table runners to full size quilts, with or without sashing. They are simple basic projects, but they will give you the opportunity to create a variety of exciting new designs that will look far more complicated. I have also released a new line of Square-agonals® Patterns, all new and based on my technique. Each pattern gives you three size options. I am also working on two new Square-agonals® books.

Come visit my website, for complete instructions of a free new Square-agonals® pattern, “Simply Square-agonals™”. It is a table mat/topper design with instructions for two sizes and is an easy pattern to teach you the Square-agonals® technique.

Sandi Blackwell
March 2012
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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

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Every quilt show season I hand out a recipe for anyone who wants one. This is last years recipe. This year we will be giving out the easiest Apple Strudel you’ve ever made. Come find our booth at any of our shows to get a copy or you can always wait until the show season is over and we’ll post it here. In the meantime, enjoy last year’s recipe!

Any recipe that starts off with a pound of butter has a lot going for it! A plate of these beauties works wonderfully as a thank you or a bribe. I always make sure that those folks in my life who keep it running smoothly get a plateful a couple of times a year. Think of the postal staff, bank employees, garbage folks, the chatty neighbor (if they’re chewing they can’t chat!)

This recipe makes a lof of cookies. I make them really big and I can usually get 4-5 dozen. Enjoy!

1 pound of butter (4 sticks)
2 Taplespoons real vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
6 cups flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups chocolate chips (two 12oz bags) – I use a blend of dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet and sometimes throw in a few white chocolate or butterscotch.
2 cups chopped nuts – optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cream together softened butter and sugars. Beat in vanilla and eggs and mix for 3-4 minutes.

2. Add chocolate chips and nuts to the egg/sugar mixture.

3. In a seperate bowl – mix flour, baking soda and salt.

4. Add flour mixture to egg/sugar/chip mixture. Mix, but NOT TOO MUCH. You’ll make the cookies tough.

5. Drop cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. These are not “spreading” cookies so try not to pile the dough too high.

6. Cook 8-10 minutes for medium cookies or 10-12 minutes for really big ones.

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Madeira FS20 Blackcore


Do you love the sparkle of metallic threads but hate the frustration of using them? Then read on…

Blackcore has been a very popular thread for us. If you want the sparkle of a metallic but not the stiffness then you should give this thread a try.  It has a very soft hand and sews like a dream. I used to have lots of trouble with metallics. For me, metallics always meant thread nests, breakage and lots of four letter words I don’t normally utter – but not with Blackcore. It’s the perfect thread for quilting, thread art or machine embroidery. If you use it on a darker fabric the black almost disappears and all you’re left with is the sparkle. If you use it on lighter fabrics you get both the black and the sparkle. Both equally nice, just depends on what look you’re after.

Blackcore is a black polyester thread wrapped with a metallic. It comes in 28 colors (single colors and variegated.) Suggested retail for the 612 yard spool is $10.70 for the single colors and $11.70 for the variegated colors. Our price is only $9.00 for any color. What a deal! How can you not try it at that price?

You can see all the beautiful colors here. If you have used Blackcore in a project I would love to see a photo!

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Have you checked out our new digs?

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I’m so excited to invite you all to check out our new and greatly improved website. We have an updated look, a search feature and lots of behind the scenes betterness (such good English!) all to make your Purple Moose experience fantastic. We’re still getting some of the stubborn cobwebs cleared from the far back corners so if you find any problems, please let me know. I’m also a little slow in learning the new software, but very happy to learn all that it can do.

We are now poised to launch into greatness. (What do you think, is that reaching too high? naaahh…)

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Heroic Effort

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For my first official blog post I have decided to share about my recent heroic effort. Can I make a baby quilt in less than 24 hours? Well yes, yes I can…sort of. My daughter’s teacher is having a baby girl. Around bedtime last Tuesday I was informed that a baby shower was going to be Thursday after school. I had meetings all day Wednesday – this was going to be interesting. In all fairness to my daughter we had been discussing the baby quilt since the beginning of the school year. We wanted to do a project that got all the kids involved but kept getting sidelined by the complications of what to have the kids do and figuring out when to get them to do it. The project just sat on the back burner simmering. What I did know was it was for a baby girl so a little pink was good but not to froo-froo. It had to have purple in it (their team color) and since it was her hiking teacher it had to have something “outdoorsy.” One of my daughter’s favorite books when she was a toddler was Pat The Bunny so we had bought a copy of that book and decided on a bunny block. I had made a bunny block and two tree blocks. That brings us current to Tuesday evening.

When I arrived home from my all day Wednesday meetings and finished making dinner it was time to get started. All the plans we had previously were out the window since we were out of time. I stared at the bunny and trees and tried to figure out how to make it into something worthy of giving. Stitched the blocks together and added some borders then it was off to bed. Awoke early Thursday morning and layered up the quilt. After I got everyone off to start their days it was time to get it quilted, bound and delivered to school in time for the baby shower. While it is far from my best effort and will not win any prizes I think it turned out ok – and with one hour to spare.

So, what did I learn from this project? I really need to work on procrastination. I will never ever again use minky on the back of a quilt – it really slowed me down during free-motion quilting and made my swirls have lots of very ugly stops and starts because it wouldn’t glide. And, most importantly, I am proud that my daughter did not have to give a picture of a partially finished quilt as a gift (as I have done in the past) and the mom-to-be still loved it.

Next time, I’m starting earlier…I promise…


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My first blog entry. I have read them for a long time but writing one is another story…so many new buzzwords to learn. Well, that should be enough to see what it will look like. Stay tuned…

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