2020 … a year in review

I feel like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland taking out his pocket watch from his vest. Yes, I’m late, I’m late for a very important date! I should have written this post two weeks ago about my “year in review.” I have written one every year for a very long time. For most of us, 2020 was painful with a capital “P.” Yep … me too. My husband of nearly 48 years passed away after four months on hospice. He died the day Houston’s Rodeo was shut down due to COVID on March 11, 2020. Rick was Texas born and bred. So it must have seemed to God to be a noteworthy day. At least the Willie Nelson concert during the rodeo happened. Since then I’ve been pretty much locked down like everyone else trying to figure how to dig myself out of the deep rabbit hole of grief. I am haulin’ myself up … a little at a time.

So is it any wonder I have been sitting at the sewing machine … a lot. I’ve finished 7 quilts (2 of which were pieced and machine quilted Christmas tree skirts), 4 pillow cases with French seams, a cute table topper for my sister, and a mini sleeping bag for a Ken doll. Not quite Twelve Days of Christmas song-worthy … but almost. This many quilts in one year is a new world’s record for me.

Oh, and I’ve poured myself into writing something special. I finished a manuscript for a memoir about my sweet Mimi who left us in late 2018. The title is An Angel Lived Among Us. I started writing it in early 2019 a few months after Mimi died. Shortly after that my husband’s brain tumor popped up. Yesterday, I sent off the book proposal which was more painful to write than the book. You wouldn’t believe the stuff publishers want to read about instead of the actual book. However, this is such an interesting learning experience for me. If the memoir is not picked up by a publisher, I will self-publish. Stay tuned on the book’s publishing progress!

Until next time … stay safe out there!

Quilting projects finished in 2016!

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So taking a look back on 2016, when the year began I would have never guessed the subject of cancer would have overtaken this blog, and our life. But it did. Hubby is doing great. But he is just halfway through treatment.

So despite how the year unfolded, I still found time to finish five quilting projects. A few of the quilt projects had been started in 2015. For me … the creative outlet of cutting big colorful pieces of fabric into little pieces, and then sewing them back together, is a huge stress reliever. Sounds crazy … I know. But quilters totally get it!

The projects finished include an I Spy quilt for St. Martha’s Catholic School fundraiser. I used a jar quilt pattern purchased from Missouri Star Quilt Company, along with a layer cake of novelty fabric also purchased from MSQC. Kim Norton used the digital pantograph called “Graffiti.” Personalize It Kingwood embroidered the label!


I also made my grandson, Jacob, an I Spy quilt using the same pattern and novelty fabric. I altered some of the “jars” to include a few special pieces of fabric. I named it “I Spy Jacob.” Jake picked out the binding fabric. Kim Norton machine-quilted using a multi-colored thread called Cleopatra. The digital pantograph is called “Circle Swirls.” Again, Personalize It Kingwood embroidered the label.

The Christmas table runner was made out of extra squares placed on point from my “Santa Baby” quilt for my little sister, Gretchen. My adorable sister picked up two 2016 Row-By-Row patterns/fabric for me in her part of Texas. Making her a Christmas table runner was the least I could do! I gave it to her at Christmas. Unfortunately, the photograph of her with the table runner turned out too dark. The lighting in my family room sucks! The table runner was machine-quilted by the amazing Kim Norton of A Busy Bobbin with Raspberry Ripple colored-thread using a digital pantograph called “Star Dance.”

I also finished a 2015 Mystery Quilt for my lovely sister-in-law Bonnie. The block-of-the-month was purchased through The Fat Quarter Shop, one of my go-to online shops for quilting fabric and projects. Bonnie, who lives in faraway Oklahoma, received the quilt in time for Christmas. This quilt was so fun to make and was my very first mystery quilt. Each block was designed by a different quilt designer. I named it “Town Square.” The quilt was machine-quilted by Kim Norton, of A Busy Bobbin, with Canaan-colored thread using a digital pantograph called “Creeping Fig.” The quilt label was embroidered by Personalize It in Kingwood.

My last finished project was for my brand new grandson, Baby Ben. He is a doll! Ben turned two-months-old this week and now he has his monkey quilt just in time for “tummy time.” The quilt pattern is by The Teacher’s Pet in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After piecing the wide fabrics, the monkey and Ben’s name were fused, zig-zagging around the fused edges. A couple of years ago I made Jacob a baby quilt using their giraffe pattern. So cute. They also have a flamingo and alligator version. Kim machine-quilted Ben’s baby quilt with Limestone-colored thread using a digital pantograph called “Whole Lotta Bubbles.” Personalize It Kingwood embroidered the quilt label.

I spy Jacob!


Our grandson, Jacob, loves to poke around my sewing room. I make it a point before he is due to arrive to lock up anything remotely interesting and dangerous to a two-year-old like pins, rotary cutters and scissors. Earlier this year he got a peek at the “I Spy” quilt I made for a charity event. Little did Jacob know I was working on one for him also!

The pattern is again from Missouri Star Quilt Company and so is the novelty layer cake fabric of ten-inch squares. With Jacob’s quilt, I added a couple of his favorite Minion fabric “jars.” I also used a mottled black fabric for the background which I love over the flat-looking black fabric on the charity quilt.

After finally getting the quilt top finished, I asked Jacob to pick a binding fabric. The charity quilt binding was black and totally worked but I wanted to try something different. Jacob’s choices were ladybugs or zebra print. Obviously, ladybugs won! The ladybug fabric is by Charley Harper.

The awesome Kim Norton, at A Busy Bobbin, quilted with an all-over digital pantograph design called Circle Swirls using a multi-colored King Tut thread (921 Cleopatra). I absolutely love collaborating with Kim! The adorable Tracy at Personalize It embroidered the quilt label for the back.

I spy charity quilt finished!

At the beginning of the year, I made a list of all the quilts I was going to complete this year. The list reads: two I Spy Jar quilts (one for charity and one for grandson Jake), 2015 Texas Row-by-Row, an adorable mystery quilt from Fat Quarter Shop … and then there is a baby quilt for a new grandbaby that will make his debut in November. I really gotta get started on that last one. Yup … Jake is going to be a big brother! We are like the cow in the nursery rhyme … over the moon!

When I made the list, I thought five quilts seemed reasonable. Then cancer knocked on our front door and I took up knitting in hospital and clinic waiting rooms. The scarf … it is about five miles long now.

In April, I did manage to finish an I Spy quilt I had promised to St. Martha’s School in Kingwood for one of their charity events. Hope it made a bunch of money for the school!

I have several other quilts in various stages of progress. Whenever I have a spare thirty seconds, I’m in my sewing room working on one. It keeps me sane.

But back to the I Spy Jar quilt. The pattern is by Missouri Star Quilt Co., one of my favorite online places for patterns and fabric. Store owner, Jenny, has great online quilt tutorials. The pattern comes with directions for either pint or quart-size jars. My quilt has pint jars. At the time I purchased the fabric, MSQC also offered an adorable fabric pack of ten-inch squares with novelty prints that were perfect for this quilt. Made it so easy and with the 10″ squares I have enough to make four quilt tops in anticipation of future grand babes! I added a couple of novelty Minion fabrics that will appear in Jake’s quilt.

I used the fabulous Kim Norton of A Busy Bobbin to longarm quilt the layers and Personalize It for the quilt label. Oh … did I mention the cute lady bug fabric outlining the quilt label? It is a Charlie Harper fabric. I have provided the link (search for “Charlie Harper”) as they have some pretty cool fabric you might just need to have for your very own!