Monday, November 26, 2012


 It's that time of year again and holiday gift shopping is on everyone's mind. I just wanted to let you know about the Christmas/holiday items I have in my shop all ready for gift giving. 

First is a vintage reindeer Christmas ornament from Avon. His name is Belvedeer and he's just the cutest thing every. He has a red nose, red antlers and a knit scarf in red and green stripes. At present I have 9 of them left and you get free shipping with an order of 3 or more.

Next up is a tote made from some of my favorite holiday print ever. It's called "Coyote Choir" and features a bunch of coyotes singing their joy of the season. They've even decorated the cactus with colorful lights. They are joined by other desert denizens. The tote is trimmed with recycled denim and lined with a deep red fabric.

For the Maxine fan (and who isn't?) I have a super tote bag featuring Maxine in all her holiday glory giving her opinion of the season. The background is red with white snowflakes and the tote is lined with red fabric.Carry this tote and  you can laugh all the way to the new year.

For the cat lover I have a wonderful tote is a prim print of Santa and some very lucky felines. The background is a pale gray with Santa in a prim red robe. The cats are all wearing colorful mufflers just waiting for Santa to break out the catnip. The lining is a pale gray solid. 

I also have a lot of other items in the shop that would make ideal Christmas/holiday presents. I have aprons in fabrics that echo the prints of Provence. There's a lovely girly John Deere theme diaper bag and baby quilt combo. I have a cool teacher print tote for the fav teacher in your or your child's life. There are other tote bags in assorted themes that just might catch your eye and a couple of beautiful rag quilts. 

If you don't see something that meets your needs, please convo me thru Etsy and I'll be glad to work with you to create just what you have in mind. is the place!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


In anticipation of the upcoming "gift giving" season, I'm going to be listing a number of tote bags in my shop. They will make great holiday gifts for friends and family or to keep for yourself!

The first listing is a nifty patriotic tote in red, white and blue. The colors are more of the primitive, darker colors than the usual combo. The pattern is little squares with stars, stripes or USA. The inside is a dark blue with tiny stars and features two 9" x 9" pockets. There's also a handy little pocket on the outside that's been accented with a vintage white button.

Just in time for Halloween, I listed a beautiful orange tote with a spiderweb pattern that could carry you all the way thru the winter. Inside I went wholeheartedly Halloween with a cute print on black with bats, pumpkins and the like. The tote also has two inside pockets and one on the outside with an unusual metal button feature.

I also listed a cute tote that would be the perfect teacher gift. The print is in bright primary colors of red, blue and yellow. If you look close you will see the schoool house, the school bus, the teacher's apple and many other school related items. The background is a denim blue and the lining a great bright red. Inside are four roomy 9" x 9" pockets to handle all of the "stuff" a teacher carries around. I also included the small outside pocket with a bright red button.

The last tote I'm featuring today is perfect for the piggy collector. The print, in browns and pinks, is all pigs. The tote lining is a pale pink. Inside I placed two 9" x 9" pockets with a small pocket on the outside that has a pretty pearly accent button.

All of the totes have a fusible fleece between the fabric layers and a fabric covered matte board stabilizer in the bottom. The 10" drop in the double top-stitched straps make them great for carrying on the shoulder or in the hand. Although the totes are washable except for the stabilizer, most problems can be taken care of thru spot cleaning. And any of these would make a great diaper bag, too.

I'm also open to requests for custom made totes. Just email or convo me on Etsy with your requests or ideas. And be on the lookout for more - especially those with a Christmas/holiday theme.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I intimated in my last post that things had been crazy around here and it's true. A couple of months ago I found out that one of my black and white kitties, Twitty, had hyperthyroidism! He has always been a bit hyper and skinny, but I never noticed a big change. When he had some "digestive" issues I took him to the vet and the blood work they ran showed his T4 was waaaaayyyy above normal. I mean waaaayyy above!!

So we started him on thyroid medicine, methimazole. The medicine has some side effects, but Twitty was also suffering from an upper respiratory infection at the same time. So the combo led to anorexia and eventually nausea and vomiting. I was trying to tempt him with all sorts of foods and poking stuff down him, trying to keep him from just wasting away.

Twitty on his favorite perch

After a couple of different antibiotics and a visit to the emergency clinic for a high fever, the URI finally went away. And, since the pills were making him throw up, we switched to a "transdermal" method of administering the medicine. This is a gel that is applied to the inside of the ear and absorbed into his system that way. This bypasses the stomach and has much less of a gastric side effect. He's been eating like a horse ever since.

Well, no one told me that you need to wipe the gel off of the ear after a few hours. I thought it would just be absorbed like body lotion. His ears got all yucky and we had to put drops in for 10 days. That was fun. But now everything has cleared up and his ears are pink and healthy. In the mean time, I discovered a great wipe to take the gel remainder off - they are called "Boogie Wipes", a saline wipe made to clean "boogies" from little noses. Twitty doesn't particularly like the scent, but they work so very well. (Hint to Boogie Wipes maker - make an unscented version!)

Eventually we will be getting Twitty's thyroid irradiated for a permanent cure, but we must save up the money for it as it's a tad expensive. To that end I've listed several new creations - a couple of quilts and a tote - and will have more shortly. I've also listed several vintage items from my pottery and china collection. So keep checking my Etsy store to see what's new.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I know, I know!! I've neglected my blog severely! I do have a good excuse, but in this post I want to show off my latest baby clothes quilt. The clothes my client supplied were just so cute with all sorts of adorable animals including a number of surprisingly sweet crabs.

There were also a number of bears and ducks and even a monkey or two plus some superhero vibe with Batman and Superman. The clothes were definitely representative of a typical boy.

For this quilt the client wanted to select her own fabric for the back and the block framing and she did a really good job. For the back we used a white on brown polka dot. The blocks were framed with a coordinating brown on white polka dot. 

I do love polka dots; I think they are fun and sweet and young without being childish. Don't you think the polka dots are perfect for this quilt?

I know this quilt will be treasured for many years to come and I'm so proud to have had the chance to work on it.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Today is the final entry in "The Making of a Baby Clothes Quilt" series on my blog. I'll tell you about assembling the quilt and show you the finished product.

After all the blocks are "sandwiched" and stitched, I lay them out on my cutting table in a random pattern and then make adjustments in placement until it has a look that pleases me. I love that moment when I can say to myself, "Yes, that's it!" And that's a remarkable moment for a perfectionist!

After the layout is finalized I pin the blocks in each row together to make sure that they stay in the proper order. Then I sew them together with a double seam to make sure the quilt is sturdy and will last thru lots of use. This shows one of the strips with the blocks pinned.

Next I pin and sew together the strips in sets of two. You will find that this makes assembly much easier, especially when you have limited space like I do. I use about a 3/4" seam for a nice bloom or fringe. Here are two of the strips after being sewn together.

Since this quilt had eight rows,  had four sets of two strips at this point. Then I sewed two sets of two strips together for two sets of four. Then one final seam to complete the assembly. After the quilt is all sewn together, I sew around the edge twice to make the space for fringing the edge.

This shows the completed quilt before clipping.

And, ta-da, here is the finished quilt. It measures about 55" x 62".

I just love all the red in this quilt. I can see it on a winter day, adorning a sofa or keeping someone warm while watching a movie or reading a book. I love this quilt and my customer told me she loves it, too. I love a success!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Today I'll show you how I trim the framed blocks and assemble the "sandwiches". It's all sewing from here on.

The finished blocks need to be 9.5" square so I use my handy-dandy 9.5" square ruler to trim all the blocks. This ensures that all the blocks are the same size and have a straight edge all the way around. It's pretty easy if you find the center of each side and align the 4.75" mark with them. I center everything on the clothing square.

On this quilt I used two layers of flannel on the back. I always use one layer for the middle, but this customer wanted an especially cuddly quilt so we went with flannel for the back layer, too.

After assembling the "sammies" I put a couple of pins in to keep everything in line until they can be sewn together.

Then I stitch around the "ditch" where the frame is sewn to the square. This makes the stitching about invisible on the front. And it makes a nice square pattern on the back. Usually a rag quilt is sewn with an X, but that won't work with this type of quilt.

In the final installment, I'll show how I sew the blocks together and you can see the completed quilt. Thanks for your interest in this process and my quilts.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Now we get to the framing of the blocks. This gives us a cotton edge that fringes much better than the stabilized knits. The framing strips are 2.5" wide and 6.5" and 10" long. Of course I cut twice the number of blocks for each length. Below are the strips cut for this quilt.

I start by sewing the 6.5" strips down each side. (I like the way it looks with the longer strips across the top and bottom, but you could do it whichever way looks good to you.) I  use chain stitching to save on thread.

After the side strips are sewn I press them with the steam iron to make a nice, neat seam. Then the blocks are ready for the top and bottom strips.

These are sewn just like the side strips; chain sewning  again saves on thread.

And here's the finished framed block, ready for trimming. I'll show that and the "sandwiching" in the next blog post.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Today I'm going to show you how I fuse the stabilizer to the blocks and also affix the appliques. Because the fabrics I use from the baby clothes vary in weight from thin tshirts to knitted sweaters, I like to use a lightweight fusible interfacing. I found the the Pellon 911FF - fusible featherweight - serves my purpose very well. All I need is something that will keep the knits from stretching out.

I cut the interfacing in 6.5" squares, just like the clothing blocks using my ruler and rotary cutter. All it takes to fuse the interfacing is a steam iron set on cotton for about 10 seconds.

Now the blocks are stabilized for the next steps that involve sewing.

After the stabilizer is applied, I trim any part of the squares that extend beyond the interfacing. Then it's on to the appliques.

For my appliques I use Pellon Wonder Under Regular weight. This helps hold the piece in place until I can sew it. It's very easy to use. Larger pieces like the one above are sewn using a fairly tight zig zag stitch. For small ones I just use a straight stitch around the perimiter.

This is a sample of the different appliques I used in this particular quilt. Some are very tiny and some cover just about the entire block.

Next time I'll show you how I frame the blocks so that the seams can be ragged.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Back for part 2 of the holiday baby clothes quilt show. I apologize for the delay, but I'll explain that in another blog. You'll understand. Ok, back to the quilt. This picture shows the opened garment with my 6.5" ruler, getting ready to cut a block.

Here's the cut block. It's really quite easy on the solid pieces. The blocks don't always come out exactly perfect, but that's ok.

When cutting out the blocks with a print or embroidery,I like to have the embellishment centered, but that isn't always possible.

Most tshirts have the picture or whatever, closer to the neck so the picture ends up on the upper portion of the block like this one. I just try to crowd the ruler as close to the ribbing on the neck as possible.  Even if  you get a part of the ribbing, you can later remove it and that portion will end up in the seam allowance of the framing. More about that later.

When the embellishment is on a part of the garment that can't be cut into a 6.5" block, I cut a block from another part of the garment and then cut around the embellishment. This will be part will be trimmed down and appliqued to the block at a later time. Sometimes I even have to use another garment for the background block like when I'm using the embellishment from a bib that doesn't have anything big enough for a block.

Here are a couple more examples. I try to cut the applique as big as I can. If I can cut a piece that's the same width as the block, it makes things a lot easier and looks better with less stitching involved. But sometimes you just have to go small. It all depends on the applique, its size and how it's located on the garment.

Each of these quilts offers it's own challenges and opportunities to learn something new. I guess that's why I like making them. They are each truely one of a kind.

On the next installment I'll talk about fusing stabilizer to the blocks and preparing the appliques.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


For a long time now, people have been asking me to do a tutorial on making a baby clothes quilt. Well, I'm not very good at tutorials, so what I'm going to do is tell the story of one baby clothes quilt from beginning to end. With pictures, of course.

It all starts when the box of baby clothes appears at my doorstep, courtesy of the USPS, FedEx or UPS. I love the feeling of anticipation when that box arrives and I can't wait to open it.

This particular box that arrived yesterday contains all holiday themed baby items and looks very festive right from the beginning. Look at that cute little reindeer.

Of course I have to take out all the clothing items so I can ooh and aah over them. This batch has a bunch of onsies and footed pj's that will yield lots of colorful blocks. There are also lots of cute tshirts, sweaters and bibs that will contribute to a truely one of a kind quilt. The main colors, of course, will be red, green and white with some blue thrown in for contrast.

The next step will be to cut apart the items just enough for them to lay flat for cutting blocks. I'll show that in the next blog. Stay tuned to see how this quilt turns out.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


This pretty quilt was a real pleasure to work on. The baby clothes from two little girls were just so cute and girly. Almost everything was in some shade of pink or had pink in the print. There were sparkly things and saucy things and sweet things.

What was really neat was that the customer had an item from each girl with her name on it plus tshirts that said "Big Sister" and "Little Sister". Those blocks made the quilt really personal so I put them right in the middle. The quilt was framed and backed with a pretty soft pink cotton and had white flannel in the middle.

The really sweetest thing about this quilt is that it was to be a Mother's Day gift for the customer. She put together all the clothing and made the color choice, but when I sent it back, she was not to open the box. Her husband would open it, look at the quilt and share it with the girls. Then it would be wrapped up and presented to my customer on Mother's Day. Of course she loved the quilt and I'm so happy I could help make this a very special day for the family.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


On Tuesday, May 22 at 8:00 am, my dear boy Micha passed away after a courageous and vigorous battle with Chronic Renal Failure. He seemed to be doing well up to that morning. After trying to "capture" him for a feeding, he struggled to get away and was panting. Unusual for him. I decided that we needed to get to the vet so I went to wash my face and dress. I was about half dressed when I decided to check on him. When I went into his room I found him curled up in the little house at the base of the cat tree. He was already gone. I am comforted to know that he didn't suffer much, if at all, and went very quickly.

Micha was one of my early rescues along with his two sisters. He would have been 12 years old in August. I guess he never got adopted because he was very shy. I'm glad he got to stay with us. He was a very sweet, if willful, boy and he will be greatly missed.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Since it's Mother's Day today, I thought I'd post a bit about my mother, Nellie Lois Mobley Galentin. She passed way 28 years ago this month and I still miss her every day.

My folks had been married about 19 years when I showed up - the first, last and only child. My mom was 39 when I was born and I think she was surprised, to say the least. Nevertheless, she was a great mom. This picture is, of course, my mom and me when I was a baby. This pretty well represents our relationship for the rest of  her life. That unconditional love got me thru a lot of scary situations over the years.

My mom was born the 9th of 9 children in 1908. By the time she came along, the novelty of children had probably worn off. At the height of the influenza epidemic, her mom spent a lot of time away, nursing those afflicted. That left her home with her dad, who did his best, I'm sure. I think our close relationship stemmed from that sense of estrangement from  her mother as a child. I'm not badmouthing my grandmother - she and my mom had a close relationship when my mom was an adult and I believe she was a good, loving mother. 

You can see my mom in this picture with her dog, Spot. My goodness, she loved that dog. She even called herself  "Mrs. Spot"! I guess that's one place I got my love of animals.

My mom had a certain sense of style as you can see from this picture of her as a young woman. Don'tcha' just love the overalls? And the bobbed hair? She would look right at home today, I think.

And she passed that sense along to me as you can see from this picture take on a visit to Hot Springs, AR, when I was a child. We are decked out in fashionable hats and dresses, though I'm not sure I appreciated the hat at the time.

This is my mom with her mom, Georgianna Miller Mobley. Dressed to the nines again!!

My mom is also my hero! She only finished the 9th grade, but she was so smart. She loved to learn new things. She would read historical fiction and then go to the encyclopedia to learn the facts. She helped my dad run his liquor store before I was born. He probably would have gone bankrupt without my mom's superior business sense. She grew up in an tiny little rural town in Nebraska, but she was so sophisticated in the ways that count.

My mom loved to travel and was the impetus for my parents' move from Nebraska to Texas not long after they married. After my dad died, mom and I traveled a lot. She was a great travelling companion. She even went with me when I moved to South Carolina. She just soaked up the history of the area. We traveled to Charleston, Savannah, Asheville and Orlando in addition to our summer vacations at Hilton Head and Pawley's Island. She just loved Charleston. And when we moved back to Dallas, she felt like she was home. I guess she was a city girl at heart.

So my mom has always been a big presence in my life and I thank her for all the lessons she taught me. I miss you, mom, but I know you're always here with me. 

Friday, May 4, 2012


The lady for whom I made the previous three quilts asked me to make a fourth since there were enough leftovers. I did the same four-patch treatment as the other quilts. She asked me to put the bird appliques from the girl's bedding as feature blocks and so I used two blocks from the boy's flannel blanket to balance the birds. I couldn't find any more of the yellow fabric I used on the previous three quilts so I used fabric that was just a bit lighter. I think it looks great!

Here's a close up of the center of the quilt with the feature blocks. The birds add a really whimsical touch to the quilt.

Again, I alternated the girl and boy blocks in the entire quilt. Another fun project finished and in the mail.