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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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Fiesta de Azucar – Border Option #1

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Our final border is now available. Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis did a great job. You can check out her border info here.

FdA border draft 12 flag only

Did you miss any of the blocks or borders? You can always go back and read about any of them at the links below or do a search on Craftsy for Fiesta de Azucar and they will all show up. Now you have some time to work on a project. Next week I’ll post the prizes that will be available…there’s some cool stuff in there!

July 1st – Block 1 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

July 8th – Block 2 – Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy

July 15th – Block 3 – Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs

July 22nd – Block 4 – Cheryl Sleboda, Muppin

July 29th – Block 5 – Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilters

August 5th – Block 6 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

August 12th – Block 7 – Kate Colleran, Seams Like A Dream Quilt Designs

August 19th – Block 8 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

August 26th – Block 9 – Trish Frankland, Persimon Dreams

September 2nd – Border Option #2 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

September 9th – Border Option #1 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

October 30th – Prize winner announcements

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Free Pattern – Summer Bouquets

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Here’s a Free Pattern – Summer Bouquets by Deanne Eisenman of Snuggles Quilts

 

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Summer Bouquet – pg 2

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Fiesta de Azucar – Border Option #2, Marigolds & Bones

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So, has everyone enjoyed all the blocks so far? Nine different blocks by nine awesome designers! In case you missed any of them check out the links below. You can also search Craftsy for Fiesta de Azucar and you can find them all. Now it’s time for a border…don’t ya think?

 

I remember getting ready for Dia de Los Muertos celebrations as a kid and one of my favorite parts was making the Papel Picado. That’s the tissue paper flags. You make them by folding and cutting – similar to the snowflakes we all made as kids. They can be quite intricate but I opted for a simpler and more “homey” look to my flags. I also wanted to include marigolds (the traditional flower) and some skeleton parts. So, that’s what my border design is all about. Marigolds & Bones.

 

The instructions are for a full accompaniment of the nine blocks. You can easily pick and choose the different elements to make a table runner with just a couple of skulls or a small wall hanging with a single skull. So without further ado…here is the quilt…

I hope you enjoy the border. I can’t wait to see what you do with your creations! There will be one more border option next week then you have until 10/30/17 to post pictures of your project for a chance at our fabulous prizes!

July 1st – Block 1 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

July 8th – Block 2 – Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy

July 15th – Block 3 – Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs

July 22nd – Block 4 – Cheryl Sleboda, Muppin

July 29th – Block 5 – Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilters

August 5th – Block 6 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

August 12th – Block 7 – Kate Colleran, Seams Like A Dream Quilt Designs

August 19th – Block 8 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

August 26th – Block 9 – Trish Frankland, Persimon Dreams

September 2nd – Border Option #2 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

September 9th – Border Option #1 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

October 30th – Prize winner announcements

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Fiesta de Azucar – Border Option #2, Marigolds & Bones

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So, has everyone enjoyed all the blocks so far? Nine different blocks by nine awesome designers! In case you missed any of them check out the links below. You can also search Craftsy for Fiesta de Azucar and you can find them all. Now it’s time for a border…don’t ya think?

 

I remember getting ready for Dia de Los Muertos celebrations as a kid and one of my favorite parts was making the Papel Picado. That’s the tissue paper flags. You make them by folding and cutting – similar to the snowflakes we all made as kids. They can be quite intricate but I opted for a simpler and more “homey” look to my flags. I also wanted to include marigolds (the traditional flower) and some skeleton parts. So, that’s what my border design is all about. Marigolds & Bones.

 

The instructions are for a full accompaniment of the nine blocks. You can easily pick and choose the different elements to make a table runner with just a couple of skulls or a small wall hanging with a single skull. So without further ado…here is the quilt…

I hope you enjoy the border. I can’t wait to see what you do with your creations! There will be one more border option next week then you have until 10/30/17 to post pictures of your project for a chance at our fabulous prizes!

July 1st – Block 1 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

July 8th – Block 2 – Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy

July 15th – Block 3 – Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs

July 22nd – Block 4 – Cheryl Sleboda, Muppin

July 29th – Block 5 – Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilters

August 5th – Block 6 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

August 12th – Block 7 – Kate Colleran, Seams Like A Dream Quilt Designs

August 19th – Block 8 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

August 26th – Block 9 – Trish Frankland, Persimon Dreams

September 2nd – Border Option #2 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

September 9th – Border Option #1 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

October 30th – Prize winner announcements

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Fiesta de Azucar – Block 4

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Block 4 of our project is now available! This weeks designer is Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin. I’m sure you’ve seen her logo around so it really was a no brainer to ask her to join our project. How exciting when she said yes! You can check out her story, find out the special meaning behind the eyebrows and see all the places you can download it from right here.

Sugarskull

If you missed the first three blocks…you can still join in the fun! Our facebook group is always available for your inspirational pleasure. Here is the schedule of designers and their block release dates:

July 1st – Block 1 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

July 8th – Block 2 – Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy

July 15th – Block 3 – Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs

July 22nd – Block 4 – Cheryl Sleboda, Muppin

July 29th – Block 5 – Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilters

August 5th – Block 6 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

August 12th – Block 7 – Kate Colleran, Seams Like A Dream Quilt Designs

August 19th – Block 8 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

August 26th – Block 9 – Trish Frankland, Persimon Dreams

September 2nd – Border

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Fiesta de Azucar – Block 3

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Block 3 of our 9 block series is now up and available. This block was created by Vicki Hansen of Cranberry Pie Designs. Vicki is known for her quirky sense of style and her fun embroidery and applique patterns. Her story about making the skull design was delightful. One we can all relate to in some way. Didn’t we all have a grandmother or someone who spoiled us with candy?  I hope to be that grandmother some day!

You can see Vicki’s story and the link to the block here on her blog. Be sure and check out the rest of her sight as well…there’s some cool stuff there! If you want to see the other blocks that have already been posted then head over to our FaceBook group and join in on the fun.

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Fiesta de Azucar – Block #2

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Block #2 of our series has been created by Joanne Hillestad of the Fat Quarter Gypsy. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Pop-Up’s, right? Joanne is the Queen of Pop-Ups. She even turned her skull into a pop-up! I loved her story about her block. Head on over and check it out, then download the pattern! You’ll get free instructions on how to turn a block or three into a pop-up! Joanne’s blog is here.

 

 

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Fiesta de Azucar – Block 1, The Painted Lady

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Well, it’s finally here…the start of Fiesta de Azucar. Are you guys ready? Woo Hoo, let’s get this party started!

Dia De Los Muertos is a South American tradition to honor our loved ones who have passed on. As a kid I lived in Mexico for a while and I remember the holiday fondly. We would go to the cemetery for a picnic and tell stories of those that had passed. There would be games to play, brightly colored decorations and lots of sweets. I remember these little cookies with skulls painted on them that were very tasty. The holiday usually falls about the same time as the American Halloween festivities. I think this is why Dia De Los Muertos is so misunderstood in America…skulls around Halloween just seems somewhat sinister to folks who don’t understand. It is anything but sinister. It’s a family affair and couldn’t be more wholesome. Families would decorate skulls in honor of their relatives. The skulls have symbolism that is relevant to that person and they would often have the person’s initials on the forehead.

My skull for this project is to honor my mother-in-law, Marge Sontra, I called her Mom. She was a painter who specialized in line art on porcelain. She would work with brushes that had just a couple of hairs. Way more patience than I have! Here are a few pieces she did that live in my house.

    

She was also an avid (as in DOZENS and DOZENS and DOZENS) collector of tea cups. Tea cups are not really my thing so I don’t have any of hers around. She preferred dainty cups festooned with flowers and greenery. Her favorite colors were lavender, robins egg blue and pink. Being of good English stock she liked her meat cooked to shoe leather and her veggies cooked to a nice uniform gray. She made the best potato salad EVER!

Mom died of breast cancer in 1999.  The doctors said she wouldn’t make it to the birth of my baby but she managed to hang on almost to Moosette’s 1st birthday. In turn Moosette did everything early – walking, talking, potty training…just so Grandma Marge could see her do it. Those two were a treasure to each other. I remember once when we popped in for a visit. Mom was getting ready to go somewhere and had put on a wig for the occasion. Moosette wanted nothing to do with her. Once Mom took the wig off then Moosette was ever so grateful for the rescue from that “stranger” who had tried to hug and kiss her. Her Grandma was bald and that woman was not – therefore she must be an impostor. One can never be too careful around strangers! The picture at the top is this moment. Moosette looks like she’s really nervous. She started bawling right after the photo.

It seemed fitting that Moosette and I would design our skull together. Our Marge skull has palette eyes, paintbrush eyebrows, pretty flowers (the Aster on the forehead was Mom’s birth month flower) and, of course, little tea cups on the chin. There is a heart for love as well as swirls and flowers that were often on her tea cups. And I’m sure you noticed that she’s bald…we wouldn’t have it any other way!

You can find full instructions and templates on my Craftsy page. All this awesomeness for a mere $3…can you even buy coffee for that anymore? Check out the next stops in the blog hop for more blocks. We’ll also have two different border options at the end. Make any project with at least one of our skull blocks, post a photo on our FaceBook group page and you get a shot at some great prizes. It’s really just that simple…

Timeline:

Beginning on July 1st through August 26th 2017 each designer will release their skull design. On September 2nd and September 9th there will be two border designs released. Here’s the schedule along with the participants and their blogs.

July 1st – Block 1 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

July 8th – Block 2 – Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy

July 15th – Block 3 – Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs

July 22nd – Block 4 – Cheryl Sleboda, Muppin

July 29th – Block 5 – Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilters

August 5th – Block 6 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

August 12th – Block 7 – Kate Colleran, Seams Like A Dream Quilt Designs

August 19th – Block 8 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

August 26th – Block 9 – Trish Frankland, Persimon Dreams

September 2nd – Border Option #1 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

September 9th – Border Option #2 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

October 30th – Prize winner announcements

 

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Russian Piping Tips

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Not quilting but I thought I would share a little kitchen tool review. A few months ago I got a set of Russian Piping Tips and hadn’t gotten around to trying them out. Moosette and I made a date tonight and gave them a whirl. What’s a Russian Piping Tip you ask? They’re similar to regular piping tips just much larger. Here are a few of them next to a regular tip.

I watched several videos where the folks make it look really easy and you can decorate a cupcake in just a few seconds (well, these tips are huge…duh!) The set came with a buttercream icing recipe (which we followed) and several hints for success (which we also followed). Here’s the guide for which tips make which flowers. Don’t their cupcakes look pretty?

So, how did we do? Well…some were ok…we did have a little trouble controlling the temperature of the icing. They suggested putting the icing in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen it up. We found that the outer icing in the bag would then get too hard and the inner portion was still too soft. One video showed making a flat spread of icing and placing a second color down the middle. Then you roll it all up and put it in the tip. Easy enough and the results were promising…well, except for the soft icing issue. Moosette thought this one looked like a hot dog on a flat bun.

We did have some semi-successes…

 

  

And several failures…

 

And we made a huge mess…

We did learn that the failures taste just as good as the pretty ones. It was great to spend an evening trying something new with my favorite daughter. We both decided that we need a little more practice and we’ll definitely be trying them out again…but first I have to run a marathon to work off all this buttercream frosting…

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Fiesta de Azucar

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Fiesta de Azucar is just about to start…are you ready? (that’s Sugar Party for the non-spanish speakers!) We have assembled 9 of the best quilt designers to each design one block with a sugar skull theme. There will also be two border options available. You can make a fun wall hanging with all nine blocks or maybe just choose 3 for a table runner. Did I mention that there will be prizes? Here’s how it works…

 

Timeline:

Beginning on July 1st through August 26th 2017 each designer will release their skull design. On September 2nd and September 9th there will be two border designs released. Here’s the schedule along with the participants and their blogs.

July 1st – Block 1 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

July 8th – Block 2 – Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy

July 15th – Block 3 – Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs

July 22nd – Block 4 – Cheryl Sleboda, Muppin

July 29th – Block 5 – Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilters

August 5th – Block 6 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

August 12th – Block 7 – Kate Colleran, Seams Like A Dream Quilt Designs

August 19th – Block 8 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

August 26th – Block 9 – Trish Frankland, Persimon Dreams

September 2nd – Border Option #1 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

September 9th – Border Option #2 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

October 30th – Prize winner announcements

 

The Blocks:

Each block will be a 9″ X 12″ (9.5″ X 12.5″ unfinished) design with a sugar skull motif. Traditionally sugar skulls are made to honor a loved one who has passed and incorporate things relevant to that person. Some of the designers have chosen to do that, others just made cool skulls. You’ll be able to read each designers story about their skull during their week. Some are already giving sneak peaks on their blogs! Each block and border will be available for download on the specified day. There will be a nominal fee of $3.00 for each download.

 

The Sponsors:

Each designer was provided with a palette of fabrics from the Island Batiks Basics line to make their blocks with. They were also given a whole lot of 12wt spools from Aurifil to use for embellishing.

photo credit, Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs

We have extras too! That’s your first clue about prizes…

 

Prizes:

Did someone say prizes? Yup! Simply complete a project using at least one of the sugar skull designs and post a photo on our Facebook group page for a chance to win some great prizes. So far we have a collection of 12wt Aurifil spools and a stack of fat quarters from Island Batik. We’ll be posting more prizes as we get them in. We will draw for prizes on October 30, 2017, the day before Dia De Los Muertos begins.

 

Intrigued? Questions?

Head on over to the Facebook group and join in on the fun. You can ask any questions you may have or just check out what everyone else has been working on. I can’t wait to see what you all do with our designs. The fun is about to begin…don’t you want to join in?

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