Fall Days

Fall Days

There are too many fun things to do and not enough minutes to go around.  Just needed to get that out there.  Thank you for your patience.

For many years I’ve made lists.  Shopping lists, to-do lists, a packing list, Christmas list,  a list of the stuff that I forgot to write on another list.  Even my lists have lists.  Sometimes I mark stuff off and sometimes I just throw an old list away.  Usually they help me and other times they are a testament to what didn’t get done.  What I have not done is made a list of all the things I get finished.  Even if things get marked off, I can usually think of two things to replace it.  As we come up to the time of year when the lists get even longer, I’ve decided that I need a list of what I finished.  Just a date and what it was, like a quilt block, a blog, a book, a chore.  I think it might be uplifting to see a list of what I did in addition to the list of what is still undone.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

It’s the time of fall when the mornings are foggy and the afternoons warmish and sunny.


While I’m not a big fan of dark and dreary days, there’s something quiet and mysterious about fog.

I have two “volunteer” tomato plants that are just now making tomatoes.  I’m not sure how great the ripe tomato will be but the green ones will be fabulous fried.  It certainly adds some color to a faded garden.


Because I went to the International Quilt Show in Houston last year, I didn’t go crazy for Halloween.  This year I’m attempting to make up for it.




This tree is about finished for the year, but the leaves that are left are the most beautiful colors.


And here are a couple of our quilted Halloween favorites:

Fall Into Halloween

The quilt above is called Fall into Halloween.  It goes together pretty quickly and is big and snuggly.    The two dark stripes are pieced but two pieces of cool dark fabric would make very fast and easy.


Harry’s Halloween was a fun way to whittle down my Halloween scraps.   Okay, it hardly made a dent.  I have enough Halloween fabric to wrap up the whole state.

Check out our shopping page for more Fall and Halloween ideas.

Quilt for fun.





Try, Try Again

Try, Try Again

It’s a beautiful, cloudless fall day, the kind that makes me think, “We don’t need any cold, wet winter.  Let’s just do this until spring.”  Okay, yes, we need winter.  But I’m going to enjoy the heck out of this while I can.  Also, sunny days make me more energetic so I need to take advantage of that.

On that note, I remade the very marginal winter cabin I put up last week to some thing I like much better.  It involved buying fabric because even though I have a big stash, it doesn’t always have what I need.


So far it’s only been fused and I’m looking forward to adding some detail and quilting it.  The ultimate plan is to put a house block on each end of a runner and have the center be the fabric on the border of this block.  This way I won’t hide a block under the candles or flowers or whatever the centerpiece of the table might be.  It’ll probably be a week or so before this is finished as I have a couple of Halloween projects to finish.  I’ll show the block as I go along.

For those who are spider phobic, stop reading now and go to our Shopping Page.  We’d love for you to make one of our patterns and show us your work so we can show it on the Gallery Page.

So here’s the deal:  it’s fall and we have spiders.  They use my garden decor to anchor their webs and catch lots of bugs that I don’t really want in my house.  (It’s still warm enough to leave doors open for the dogs.)  The spiders are industrious little guys and there’s always the possibility of getting a neat picture of a web on a damp morning.


This one has caught some dinner and seems to be doing a little repair work on the web.


This big boy’s (or girl’s) web shows up a little better against the bricks.  Nothing currently caught in the web, but he doesn’t look like he waits to eat.  This concludes the bug portion of the blog.

Thank you for indulging my “Nature Moment.”

There’s still time for an Autumn themed quilt and we have some ideas for that on the Shopping Page.

If you have an idea for a quilt pattern you’d like us to create, let us know.

Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs

Earlier in the week I said I’d do a Holiday House block.  I did it and I’m not in love.  Think I’ll try it again with different fabrics.  (Fabric shopping – break my heart.) My stash is missing a couple of things, so I’ll fix that and see what happens.  Sometimes the first try doesn’t work out.  Such is life.


This block is mostly fused as will be the improved 2.0.  I’d like it to be finished while I’m young.  I’ve had some agonizing run-ins with fusing, but have a new favorite.  Here’s what I’ve found.

Fusibles – fabulous and frustrating.  When you have lots of little pieces or not much time, it’s a great way to go.  The trick is to find a fusible that does it all.  And I ask a lot of fusibles.

1.  It should actually fuse.  If the fabric piece still ravels or falls off before being quilted, it’s not saving time or looking good.

2.  It should be reasonably easy to handle.  When the glue falls off the backing while you’re cutting it out, it’s all but useless.

3.  If it’s hard to sew through or too stiff, it may work well for some crafts, but doesn’t cut it for quilting.

4.  If for any reason it makes you want to weep openly, throw it away.  The few dollars you’ve “wasted” are not worth as much as your time and sanity.

I’ve been messing around with fusible for years.  I enjoy some hand appliqué, but it’s not ideal for some projects, especially those with a looming deadline or a million tiny pieces.  My current favorite is Steam-a-Seam 2.  Before you hit the “X”, let me assure you that I realize that SS2 has gone through some changes in the last couple of years, some of which did not have satisfactory results.  However, the newest version is a hit at my house.   The most annoying issues have been solved.  The adhesive has paper backing on both sides.  The plain side comes off easily.  The gridded side (that you draw on) stays attached to the adhesive until you take it off.  It’s sticky enough before fusing to stay where you put it, but is easily moved which is good for those of us who never put the piece in the right place the first time.  Once fused, it has a reasonably soft hand and is easy to sew over.

Most of our trees still have leaves, but this guy, in a local parking lot decided to be finished.


Let’s not rush into winter; there’s still a lot of fall left to enjoy.

There are new specials on the pattern page.  See what you can whip up for fall.


This was our first pattern and a sentimental favorite.  Love those fall colors.

As always, Quilt for Fun


Sew Fall

Sew Fall

Monday, October 5

As I write this, it’s sunny and about 80 degrees.  A bit later I will go out and water the flower pots mostly just to be out in the sun.  Oregonians don’t like to waste sun.  The veggie plants are all out (except for the lettuce, which is doing wonderfully well) and some mums will go in that space later this week.  I didn’t have the heart to tear out some California poppies and a few tough lobelias and the volunteer tomato.

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I also have some dahlias that don’t give up until it turns cold.  I like these guys.

 Last week I went to Southern Oregon to visit my mom (The Matriarch).  On Tuesday it was 88 which is pretty warm even for there this late in the year.  It’s also been very dry.  That part of the state usually has cool nights by now, but 79 degrees at 8:30 pm is pretty balmy.

Flower pot watering here usually lasts from sometime in June to about the middle of September.  This year we started in May and we’re still at it.  There comes a point when I don’t care as much as I did in the spring.  Then I turn on the TV and poor South Carolina is floating away!  Prayers for them that they dry out quickly.

Most of my Halloween decorations are out.

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I’ve had this lantern a long time and it always reminds me of a few episodes of having a bat in the house.  FYI:  An open door to a dark room in September is an open invitation to a juvenile bat.

Sweet husband cut out the witch several years ago from plywood.  Her cauldron will be out there soon.

And the new quilts are up.



Sew Scary, above, is a panel with some cool borders.  I like it because it’s a bit steampunk and also because there are those who think I am sew scary.

The quilt below is an older one made of fun panels set into twist and turn blocks.  Just right for snuggling up to Halloween.


The weather says,”no, no, no,” but the calendar says “get with it” so my goal for the week is a Christmas/Winter block.  It took me a while to figure out how I wanted it.  I was looking for the fine line between same old Christmas red/green with a Santa and a winter scene that could be anytime of winter.  It’s not that I don’t love Santa and traditional colors.  It’s more that I have a ton of Santas and Christmas colors.  Maybe something a bit more subtle.

Which reminds me that the Starshine Runner is great with Halloween prints.  One of its earliest incarnations was this small Halloween runner.  It would also be great with some general fall prints.  Please don’t ask why one thing reminds me of something completely different.



And finally, if anyone knows what the behavior below is about, please pass it on.  Ella goes out the open half of the French door and then stares in through the closed one.  It must be interesting inside her head.


My name is Ella Bella Poodlehound and I like to stare at you through the glass.