Friday, February 27, 2009


I just listed a new rag quilt with a travel theme. It's a vintage print with echoes of romantic travel of yesteryear. The print features old cars, vintage trains and planes and a great big ocean liner. It all reminds me of the days when travel was leisurely and romantic and, sometimes a great adventure. Now it's rush, rush, hurry, hurry and then wait on the tarmac. I love the blue and red accents and played up the red with red flannel. It's a nice 45" x 45"; great for a lap quilt. You can find it on ebay, etsy and bonanzle.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Most of the time I don't feel "old",whatever that is. However, on March 3, my lovely granddaughter will be 14 years old. It seems impossible that she's that old and that I'm old enough to have a grandchild that old. She's turning into a remarkable young woman. I just wish I knew her better.

You are probably wondering about that last statement. You see, I had my son when I was in college back in the day when those things were kept secret. I gave him up for adoption and I found him nearly 11 years ago. He and his kids live in another state so I don't get to see them as often as I would like.

I remember the first time I saw my granddaughter. She was three years old and had just gotten up from her nap. She was so beautiful. It was love at first sight for me. She was a remarkable person even at that young age. Such imagination and such a big vocabulary! After she got used to me she talked my ear off! Now she's a young woman with a boyfriend and is dealing with all the hassles that come with growing up.

I tell you, I'm glad I'm not growing up now. Things are so different compared to when I was a teenager (back in the "olden days" of the 60's). It's so hard for them to know the right thing to do. Kids these days are bombarded with so much information and misinformation. Though there have been some minor missteps, I think my granddaughter has a good head on her shoulders and will be able to travel through the land mines of teenagerhood with minimal damage. She has a good relationship with her dad and that's so important.

I made her something for her birthday, but I won't tell you what it is or post any pictures until after her birthday on the small chance that, maybe, she reads Grandma Barbara's blog.

Her brother's 10th birthday is coming up soon and I'll tell you all about him when it gets a little closer. He's an amazing kid, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


An online buddy recently put on a "Mystery Box" wish list that she wanted crazy quilt embellishments. That piqued my interest - what kind of quilt has embellishments? So I did a little research and found a great article on by Betty Pillsbury. You can go to to read the entire article, but I thought I'd just mention a few interesting facts about crazy quilts here.

Crazy quilting was really big back in those crazy Victorian days and is coming back into favor. You know how those Victorians liked to embellish everything in sight and these quilts are just like that. Crazy quilts aren't actually quilts - no batting or quilting in sight. They would baste bits of fabric on a base, usually a square, to make each block.

The process of piecing together ramdom bits of fabric goes back much farther than the Victorian era, but the embellishment was all theirs. Victorian gentlewomen used bits of silk, velvet and satin to make coverlets and embroidered over the seams. On some there was so much elaborate embroidery one could hardly see the fabrics! Some of the most interesting were those made from bits of fabric collected from family members and embroidered with names, dates of birth (and maybe death) and appropriate sentiments from the donor. Sometimes items such as a man's hatband, a leather tie or a bit of lace-covered corset were incorporated into the quilt.

It sounds like making a crazy quilt would be a great way to record a family history and certainly more interesting than a dusty old book of names and dates. I may just have to try one, even if it's just to see if I can remember how to do all of those embroidery stitches my mom taught me back in the day.

So go check out the article and see the beautiful pictures. The history of quilting is truly a history of America.

Friday, February 20, 2009


When I first started doing rag quilts and found out about charm squares, I wondered why they were called "charm" squares. Yes, the assortment was kind of charming, but I knew there had to be another reason. That's when I found out about charm quilts.

People started making them back in the 19th century. I don't think anyone knows exactly how it got started, but women were making quilts that had no two squares/patches cut from the same fabric. It sounds like a great challenge to me since some of these quilts have a hundred or more pieces. Sometimes they were called "beggar quilts", presumably because women would beg fabric from their friends and family to make these quilts. If you ever have the privilege of seeing one of these quilts, take time to look and see if the maker included a surprise - a duplicate of one of the fabrics. Kind of like an old timey "Where's Waldo?"

Charm quilts were first made around 1870 and continued until around the turn of the century. They were made again in the 1930's and 1940's.

Today, charm squares/packs come from a fabric manufacturer and include a square of fabric from each material in a fabric line or collection. Usually these are 5" squares. The packs normally range from 25 to 50 squares. Recently fabric companies have been making "layer cakes" which are like charm packs, but the squares are 10" instead of 5".

If you need strips of fabric for your quilting, you can also find "jelly rolls" - 2.5" strips - and the newer "honey buns" - 1.5" strips - both in the same fabric assortments as the charm packs. The biggest manufacturer of these handy items is MODA, but you can also find them put together by individuals in online stores like Ebay and Etsy. Some quilt fabric stores do their own, too.

For those of you who like to quilt, either the traditional or the raggy, these packages of precut fabric can be a great timesaver.

For a more detailed and well-written history of charm quilts check out the article by quilt maker, collector and historian, Laurette Carroll, at

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I finally got some good pictures of my latest rag quilt. It's made from charm squares from MODA's "Peace on Earth" collection. I think this is some of the most beautiful fabric I've seen from MODA in a long time. The earthy tones are just beautiful. There are all sorts of prints - florals, paisleys, dots, etc - but my favorites are the antique maps. I backed the quilt with a pale blue flannel and it turned out very pretty. I have listed it on Ebay, Etsy and Bonanzle so it should get lots of exposure.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Here's a pic of my new washer. Isn't she pretty? I've done 4 loads of regular laundry and a rag quilt today and she performed like a champ. My old washer was purchased when I moved into this house in October of 1989 so I guess it was time for a new one. My old one was a Kenmore and so it my new one. I certainly don't expect quite the longevity this time around, but I know that this is a good brand. The best thing is how much more laundry it holds. My goodness, I could get in there!! And now I don't have to use needle-nosed pliers to work the knob!! Funny how little it takes to make one happy, isn't it?


My new washer is here and installed and ready to go. They were supposed to deliver between 12:15 and 2:15. They arrived at 12:22 and were gone by 12:35. Talk about service!!! Of course there's not much to installing a washer. And I had already unhooked everything on the old one so I could move it and mop underneath. I'm getting ready to gather up laundry and start in. I'm sooo excited!!! I took some pictures and will post them later.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I just wanted to remind you that one of my ebay groups, Quilters Corner, is having a red tag sale starting this evening on Ebay. It will run for a week and you will be able to find all sorts of stuff. Some of the ladies are "destashing" and listing fabrics and other quilting/sewing items. There will also be all sorts of non-sewing items, too. So go search "QCG Red Tag Sale" on Ebay and see what's there. I'm sure you'll find something that's just perfect for you. Here's I'll make it even easier for you - just click this link and you'll be there!!

Happy shopping!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I started working on my tax return last night and it looks like I'll have to pay again this year. I just don't have enough withheld from my pension. I guess it's better to have that money to put in savings and earn interest rather than let Uncle have it . That outlook makes me feel better. I'll review all the numbers and make sure everything has been input correctly and then I'll file in April.

I do love Turbo Tax to do my return. Even though I spent over 30 years with the IRS, most of them explaining tax law to callers, I would rather trust the computations of Turbo Tax than try to do it on paper. I love that it walks me through all the possible deductions and all so I don't forget anything. And they have free electronic filing this year. It's nice with what they charge for the software.

On another note, my Quilter's Corner ebay group is having a Red Tag Sale starting tomorrow evening. You should be able to find the listings by searching QCG Red Tag. There will be all sorts of items, not just quilt-related, and some "mystery boxes" that should prove quite fun. I hope to have some things listed, too, so be sure to stop by in the next week and see the offerings.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I'm hoping the sale freeze is beginning to thaw. I had a sale on ebay last night and one on etsy this morning. Both quilts - my Debbie Mumm quilt and the scrappy flannel baby quilt. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever sell anything again! Well, a friend did buy one of the pincushions I made, but, other than that I had only one sale this year online. Now if these people will just pay I can get them shipped and move on to more. Yaaaaayyy!!! Doin' the "happy dance"!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Now that my company has come and gone, I've started sewing again. I'm working on a beautiful charm quilt made with two charm sets by MODA from the "Peace on Earth" collection. Contrary to the name, the colors are not reds and greens, but wonderful muted browns, blues, greens, golds and rusts. The patterns are reminicent of the "old country", very old European. My favorites are the antique map prints. And the beautiful florals. I have it almost finished. I needed to do the sewing around the edge, but just pooped out. Tomorrow I'll get that done and start clipping so you should be seeing pictures by Thursday, if not sooner.

I did have one sort of mishap with the quilt. I started out with 100 squares, but when it came time to start putting the strips together I could only come up with 99! I looked all around the sewing area and even in the living room where I assembled the "sandwiches". No luck. I made the adjustment in the layout and put the quilt together. About an hour ago I went in my bedroom and found the missing square up in the kitty condo! I don't know how it got there with all three, unsewn, layers intact. I guess that's one mystery that will never be solved!! My guess is that is turned into a cat toy somehow. Either that or it sprouted legs and moved itself!! LOL At least I found it, right?

Saturday, February 7, 2009


You know how it is when you're searching online for something and you don't find what you're looking for,but find something even better? Well that happened to me last night. I've been looking for some of these little fairy ornaments that I bought at the Texas Renaissance Festival. One booth there is the only place I've ever seen them, but I keep looking. Well, I was searching on Etsy and came across this wonderful artist who makes all sort of whimsical things. The store name is Kymsart777. The artist has purses, scarves and lovely jewelry, but the greatest thing in her store are her ornaments. They have images of vintage fairies and wonderful quotes. I can't describe them well enough; you just have to see them. My favorite has a cute little fairy and the quote "I don't want to face reality . . . . it keeps giving me dirty looks." The ornaments measure about 2" x 2" and run $7 to $9 and are one of a kind. I guess I'm gonna have to buy one, huh? Anyway, I just wanted to put this out there for whatever it's worth. If you need a little gift for yourself or someone else, try Kymsart777 on Etsy.

Friday, February 6, 2009


The Tutti Frutti tote will be available on all my venues as the customer said it wasn't what she had in mind. If you like the tote it's on Ebay, Etsy and Bonanzle so you shouldn't have any problems finding it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


"Here's a little bit of Native American wisdom for you - if we don't change our direction, we're likely to end up where we're headed." - the late great Native American activist, Ruben Snake.
(Thanks to Caroline Casey for this one.)


I just finished a special order tote and just had to post a picture. My customer requested this particular line of fabric called "Tutti Frutti". Since it has some poly in it I had never used it before, but it's great for non-raggy totes. It has a slight pucker to it like seersucker and comes in the bright and cheerful pastels - stripes a prints. I hope my customer likes it 'cause I sure do.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


My strip quilt made it on another Bonanzle Hand Picked List! The list is called "Off The Hook" and can be found here Many thanks to thevintagehome for putting my quilt on her list. It's all handmade items and includes a really neat rug made from neckties! Go check this out, it's really cool. And if you love vintage china and glassware, you might find something great in thevintagehome booth at

Monday, February 2, 2009


Wow, my stuff has made three different hand picked lists on Bonanzle!!
One is Rag Quilts (thanks to Ashlawn Farms). My strip pieced rag quilt is there. The second is Prim and Proper (thanks to Pugcentric). It included my Debbie Mum "Creative Woman" Rag Quilt. The third one is Valentine Hearts (thanks to stampslore) with my Red, Pink and White Valentine Tote. It's so nice to have someone else recognize the items we make. I guess I'll have to do a hand picked list too. As soon as I have come up with a theme. Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Wow! Where did January go? Time does fly when you're busy as heck, doesn't it? I can't believe it's February 1st and Super Bowl Sunday. I'm not a real football nut, but I do follow our local team. Therefore, I really don't care who wins today. The Steelers are in the same conference as the Texans, I think, so I guess that's who I will root for.

I didn't have any sales during my Bonanza yesterday, but I did have a lot of nice people stop by and made some new friends. It was lots of fun. Since I'm so new on Bonanzle, I didn't have any expectations at all. I just wanted to try it and see what happened.

Since it's Sunday, I'm not getting a lot accomplished besides feeding the cats and myself, reading the paper and cutting out coupons. I never plan much for Sunday since I work at all hours the rest of the week. I have a diabetic cat, Micha, and I'm doing a curve today - checking his glucose levels about every three hours to see how the insulin does. He's doing just great today. In fact, I may be reducing his insulin dosage a bit. And Buddy, the guy with glaucoma, is still improving everyday. The affected eye is still getting smaller and almost the same size as the unaffected eye. Life is good!!

I'm also working on another pincushion. This one will have a little bling on it.

Yesterday I got almost all of my fabrics sorted and refolded and stowed away. A friend posted the link to a video showing a great way of folding fabric to make it easier to store and easier to sort through. I'm sure she won't mind if I share it here. It is just amazing! Check this out - I'm gonna use it on my flannel bits and pieces next. Wow!!