.....it all began with one thread....

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

~ 2 0 1 4 ~


Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Wish Quilt and Bluebirds and Berries

The Wish Quilt, by Red Brolly, is a quilt that I almost finished during the time of its initial release.  However, running into a road block with one of my little star blocks, I stopped working on it.  The thought of doing all the remaining checkerboard blocks was a factor, as well.

However, once the star block hurdle was crossed, I moved forward with those checkerboards.  And...lookee here!  It is almost completed.  Four little applique hearts are to be applied to the dark burgundy rectangles, and the outer border, and it will be done!

 Now to audition those fabrics for the outer border. ;0

Another one that has languished is my Bluebirds and Berriess by Gail Pan Designs.  Mine will have to be called Blackbirds and Berries....
Another one that just needs the outer borders.  Who knows??  Maybe two more finishes before Christmas!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Love Entwined

 Love Entwined, Part 5.  (Finally!)

...and no, I haven't forgotten Part 4.  I had started doing the flowers for Part 4 in broderie perse.  I eventually made the decision that I did not like my choices.  Took them off and now have to redo those parts.  But...here is Part 5 with quite a few little extras of embroidery added.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas Spirit

Well, for the past several years, it seems as though my Christmas spirit had gone AWOL.  And yes, I know...a little bit early, since Thanksgiving is next week. But for some reason, while playing around with a pattern I was drawing, I was feeling a bit silly and came up with this.  Another quilter's version of The 12 Days of Christmas.

(I will start backwards to get all twelve days.)  :)

On the twelfth day of Christmas I purchased this for me:

Twelve quilting needles,
Eleven yards of fabric,
Ten brand new glue sticks,
Nine pieces of wool felt,
Eight marking pencils,
Seven spools of thread,
Six hand-dyed fabrics,
Four bags of batting,
Three bottles of glue,
Two pairs of scissors,
and a brand new rotary cutter for me!

Silly, right?  But...at least I found my Christmas spirit!  ;))

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Block 4 from Reiko Kato's Mystery Quilt in Quiltmania magazine. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Just a bit of fun....my Frog Princess...say "Hello!" to Freda!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Miss Rose

Another two blocks for Miss Rose:

Sorry about the creases..I had finished it a while ago, and put it away.

This block still needs the lampshade to be stitched in place, as well as the buttons. (This block is to be pressed prior to stitching that lampshade.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Annabelle in Wonderland

I have been busy, busy with so many different things.  Here is an update on my progress on one of my newest designs.  I am calling it Annabelle in Wonderland, but maybe if I get a better suggestion,  I will change it.  Any ideas?  You will notice that Annabelle is a mixture of the March Hare, the Mad Hatter and a little bit of herself.   You can see the 'magical' door and the little mushroom guy (from a previous post).  There is a top-hatted caterpillar, a fancy teacup, ladybug, a key, a "Humpty" bee, and a magic potion bottle, as well.  Once I finish the remaining vine borders, they will be attached.  (And yes, I do know that some leaves and circles are missing on one of the borders...gonna finish those up today.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Another finish!!

A big happy dance going on here!  My Merry Mouse-mas! quilting was finished last week.  I attached the piece binding, finishing it yesterday.  Yeah!  It turned out pretty cute.  Here's a video showing the individual blocks and border.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you enjoyed the little video.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Enchanted Garden

The Enchanted Garden is another freebie BOM that I have been working on lately. By Shabby Home, this one includes patchwork, applique and some embroidery.  Check it out here

Initially, I tried to make mine in similar colors to the original.  But, I was not very happy with my results.  So, I decided to try something else.  I have used some of my Japanese fabrics, some Lynette Anderson fabrics and a few others.  Luckily, I had a very large piece of linen fabric that was originally intended for another project I decide not to complete.

This is the upper left section.  So far, there are four blocks for the top row.  Here's the next one:

And another:

And the final section:
Lots of little petals and leaves for that middle section.  Now to wait for the next part. :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013


I have been playing around with a few corner blocks for my Annabelle in Wonderland.  This one finished up very quickly.  He or maybe she...makes me smile.  :)  Meet Shroomie:

This corner block is only 6" square.  Next, a very small door with a very big keyhole!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Between working on Love Entwined, I have been working on yet another freebie BOM.  This one is called "The Enchanted Garden" by Shabby Home.  The model is shown in some very pretty pastel pinks and greens.  I did start to make it in very similar colors.  However, since these are not my 'usual' choices, I was not too happy with the results.  So...instead I chose to use some of my Lynette Anderson blue fabrics, as well as an assorted selection of fabrics, including some Japanese ones.

As the title above indicates, for now, a few glimpses...

I'm still working on adding all the smaller patchwork pieces to the first four blocks, but once complete, a few full-size pictures of the blocks.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

LE Update

Bad picture aside...here is an update on my Love Entwined progress. 

Lots of wrinkles, too...but still have a lot more work to do before I want to press it again.  The corners need doing, two more six-pointed flowers at the top and another heart motif. It's getting there, little by little.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Polka Dot Flowers

48 teeny circles..no, no, not again!!  There were 32 teeny circles in Part 1 of Love Entwined (Esther Aliu's freebie BOM).  I tried the first time around...I hated my circles.  I decided to make them out of felt and attach with a black bead for Part 1.  Phew!  Done...but no...Part 3 has 48 more of the little (buggers...oops!) circles. ;)  I knew I was not going to be a happy camper if I had to keep making all these tiny circles.

Thing is, if the circles were the same size as the flower centers in Part 2, I would be fine...grumbling, but fine.  For some reason, I cannot get the tiny ones to turn out nice and smooth.  I have tried washers, the tiniest of the Perfect Circles and hand basting them in place.  Still not happy.  :(

I finally found a solution.  And it is something Esther has done on previous quilts....stenciling those little ___, guys!  I tried it on one of the leaf shapes that had not been attached yet.  Perfect!

So how do you get 48 little circles in an hour?  Stencil them!  Yeah!!

I still need to attach two more of the green leaves  for this one.  The next four polka-dotted flowers are ready to be appliqued!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Zig Zags and Lightbox

Yeah!  My birthday present came today!  I'm so excited and can't wait to try it out!  A brand new Artograph LightPad.  I wanted the 11" x 17" size.  I immediately unpacked it as soon as it was dropped off on my doorstep.  It is great!  It lies flat!  The lighting is all uniform across the surface!  

 There is only one down side to it...it is a bit expensive.  But...I have been using my current light box forever.  It never seems to give me the light where I need it most.  I am always squinting and lifting the pattern to see underneath. To me, this is well worth the money...well...not that I spent it.  A very nice birthday present indeed from my husband, Dave.  Thank you lots!

It has a nice protective sleeve to store it it, as well.  Doing the Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy Dance...(any body remember that....Ren and Stimpy?)

Here's one with a look at the last zig-zag border for my Love Entwined, Part 2.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chateau Hexagons & Love Entwined

Two cute little birdies with a pretty pink flower pot for the second block of Chateau Hexagons by Lynette Anderson:
I have done a bit more on the next portion of Love Entwined by Esther Aliu, as well.  There are still the remaining diamond borders to attach.  You can also see the six-pointed flowers.  I intend to add a bit more color in the coming parts, more reds, greens and golds.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Triangles and Flowers

A little more love, Love Entwined, that is:

Finally have all those triangles, or cones, all attached.  The little flowers seemed to go much quicker than those.  Now onward to the star flowers!  Meanwhile, I am piecing the zig-zag border together.  I will applique that in place once they are complete.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Annabelle the Doll

What?? Another Annabelle doll?  But...this one is a bit different.  She is much bigger, probably about 15" when she is all stretched out.  Her arms and legs are jointed this time, so she is posed a bit more easily.
She is a 'preview' of her new adventures in something else I have in the works for her.

This Annabelle is my version of a sort of  "Annabelle in Wonderland."  A cross between the March Hare and the Mad Hatter....(she is not holding the watch charm I have for her yet).  She is wearing a red-buttoned vest, a pretty little shirt with buttoned cuffs, and armbands with a scalloped felt collar.  She also has a red checkered skirt with the checkered band to match her hat.  And...spats!  Yes, I know, they are usually for men..but they are in my original sketch, so I decided to make them for her. 

I made her wool felt hat entirely by hand.  It is very similar to the Mad Hatter's in that it is a Wellington-style hat.  (Had to look that up..as well as a pattern to make it, or at least what the pattern looked like and adapted it to her size.)  It has the price tag, some ribbon roses, and funny little bird stick pin (on the hidden side) and some ribbons hanging from the back. 

I had so much fun creating this version of Annabelle. Hope she brings a big smile to your face.  I know she makes me smile each time I look at her.

Annabelle Hatter will be paying a visit in a new quilt sometime soon!

** For those who have asked...I have a few printed patterns of some older things for Annabelle and Mousie.  However, I have not made any new ones, as yet.  Contact me privately at xstitchalley@comcast.net for a bit more info.**


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Love Entwined - Little Flowers

And here they are!  They look pretty big here....but those guys are little!  I decided to make my stems with side-by-side stem stitches using 2 ply floss.  They stems were stitched before the circles and triangles were stitched own, so that the beginning and end go beneath the applique piece.

The tiny leaves were made using a "v" shape, rather than making tiny, individual leaves.  I then stitched the stem stitches over the leaves, making them look like two separate leaves.  And...I redid my little circles around the compass.  I still used the wool felt, but made them smaller, and attached them with a blanket stitch done with one-ply floss.

Thanks for taking time to visit!  I always enjoy reading every one's comments :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Busy, busy...

I feel like the little bee flitting from flower to flower with all my different ongoing projects.:)
Here's one:  Block 1 of Chateau Hexagons by.Lynette Anderson Designs.

I have also made the Mini-Block 4, Part of Block 1, of Mrs. Beasley, by Leanne Beasley .  Anne Marieke, my friend, and Jacqueline of Samsara Quilt Shop, Netherlands, chose the fabrics for me.  I wanted to step outside my usual choices of colors, so asked them to help me.  They were both kind enough to do so for me, and I love their choices!

I am showing both photographs.  One where everything is waiting to be stitched, and the other where it is all stitched.  The top picture shows the colors more realistically.  A cute block for a very nice little quilt.

Esther has released Part 2 of Love Entwined, which is now taking up the majority of my time.  Lots of discussion in her Yahoo group and tons of great WIP pictures.  Become a member of her group and check it out. :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What have I been doing?

In between working on Love Entwined and a few of my other BOM's, I have been working on a lot of small blocks to create the latest Annabelle adventure.  I wanted to challenge myself and limit the color choices to blacks, tans, creams and rust.  However, the rust color is only wool or flannel (the flowered, rust-colored portions).  Difficult? It wasn't as hard to do as I thought it might be.  It was actually quite liberating, in that I did not worry about bringing so many different colors and hues into play.

The second part of my personal challenge was to use hexagons, but a bit differently than, say Grandmother's Flower Garden where the hexies are all joined together.  There are a lot of different size hexagon flowers, a few hexagon cactii and hexie bees! ;)  And...lots of pottery waiting for new flowers to be planted. :)

Here's a bit of a closer look at what is the main portion of the quilt.  I have to make the outer borders for it to finish it off.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Love Entwined....again!

OK...just too addicting already.  I don't know what happened!  I usually do not do this, but something called me to make a second Mariner's Compass for Love Entwined! 

A quick peek...the little circles are not sewn down yet, but you can see the overall choices I made.  I haven't posted a picture of this one on the group yet...waiting to finish making the rest of those tiny circles!

Very nautical, don't you think?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Love Entwined

Love Entwined is a new free BOM from Esther Aliu.  The first part has just been released, and has created quite a stir in the Yahoo group.  If you are interested in checking it out, click on the box on the right-hand side.

I made my fabric decisions for the first part, a compass.  Take a peek!

Of course, the circle will look more circular once it is actually stitched to the background fabric. However, the first part is to complete the compass, only.  
I decided to use wool felt (Surprise!  Surprise!) for the little circles. My circles are slightly larger than the pattern.  I used my Go!Baby! cutter to make them and this was the smallest circle die I had.  I am going to leave them 'loose', with only the bead holding it on...like a sequin.  I also decided to add one circle to the center.

Here is a close-up of one section:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Small blocks

Planning something new for Annabelle...lots of pretty wool pots and hexagons...

I am challenging myself to stay within a very limited color palette.  Only tans, creams, black and the rust.
The rust colored wool felts will only be used in the various pots I have made, and a little on Annabelle, herself. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Primitive Gatherings

Primitive Gatherings - a favorite of mine for their fabric and designs.  I decided to join in the BOW (Block of the Week) Yikes!  that they started three weeks ago.  Here's a picture of my first two blocks.  You also receive a 'freebie' block, only 4 1/2" square for each block.

You cannot see the entire block for each one, but it does give a general overall view of what they are like.

These are all wool applique on cotton backgrounds, Primitive Gatherings fabrics, of course!  There will be 13 blocks in all.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More Mousie

My husband, Dave, loves my Peek-a-Boo mouse.  Any time I am working on something and he sees me, he says, "Peek-a-boo mouse?"  I usually have to answer, "No." and he always seems so disappointed.  So I decided to make him a Peek-a-Boo quilt.  I am using the drawings I made for my monthly Mousie, as well as a few new ones.  I have been working on this in plain sight of him.  He asks me the same question again, and I answer, "Yes!".  However....what he doesn't know is,  it is for him.  I have one more block to applique (there are 12) to complete the middle of the top of the quilt.  I may have to buy some fabric for the borders I want to do....but he will have his "Peek-a-Boo Year" quilt top for Father's Day.  He hasn't seen the whole thing together, so there will still be a bit of a surprise.  Plus, there are a couple blocks he has not seen.  Have a peek at one of the new ones I drew....January, my little snowball juggling mouse:

Annabelle makes an appearance in March, as the "March hare," along with her 3D four-leaf clover:
and a few blowing leaves for October (That darn thread fairy left another one!)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A little more

Here she is...a little bit more of Annabelle with her pom-pom hat to keep her warm.  Also take note of the sparkly snowflake.  There are a couple more of those, too.

And another look at little Puck:

Friday, May 31, 2013

sneaky peek

A little peek at yet another new small adventure for Annabelle, along with her new friend, Puck.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Peek-a-Boo Mouse

Have a peek...I started working on those little monthly Peek-a-Boo Mouse monthlies again...here is May:

A May flower and three visiting ladybugs. :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Block 2

And another one finished...Block 2 of Reiko Kato's Sunbonnet Mystery quilt:

All the little kiddies having fun jumping rope and swinging on the swings.  :))

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Did you eat all your veggies as your mother told you when you were young?  Well.....I didn't necessarily eat all of them, but some of them.

I showed you a preview of Annabelle with her basket of veggies.  Now it's time to show some of the veggies...made from wool felt and fabric and floss.:)
First, one that turned out to be one of my favorites...the mushrooms, along with a bit of polka dot lettuce:

 Now...I can distinctly remember my mother saying..."eat those peas and carrots!"  A cute little radish added to the mix, too.
 I can smell the pumpkin pie baking now:
 And I love corn on the cob...some juicy, red tomatoes and well...not so much (unless they are in soup) the string beans.  I really like how the string beans turned out.

So...some veggies for cooking...some for salads and a few for pies!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Digitized Annabelle

Wow!  Look at this:

Annabelle - digitized! Diane, who has done my long-arm quilting, loves digitizing patterns for her Babylock embroidery machine.  Take a peek at what she did with the first block of Annabelle's Christmas.  The actual embroidery for this took approximately 30-45 minutes.  A completely different view of how she can be done, instead of hand applique.