Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Wicked path of Black Cat Crossing blog hop ....

As I sit here and contemplate the fact that this is the third year in a row that I have hosted this Wicked Hop, I think about why I so enjoy the timing that goes with our Wicked themes … Halloween to those of us in the US. I first need to thank Madame Samm of for her hard work and dedication in promoting, gently pushing forward, and always cheering us all along.  If you haven’t seen her recent guest post on Studio E Fabric’s blog … trust me, it is worth the read and you can visit it by following this link to Studio E Fabrics.

As for my enjoyment of Halloween, I have to explain that I'm aware some have said they cannot support promoting Halloween because of the evilness of magic, witches, and scary things.  I don’t see Halloween that way.  

I see Halloween as a time to return to the spirit of innocent fun of childhood.  So many children enjoy dressing up and pretending to be something they are not and most of us parents delight in their make believe fun.  Sweet treats and candy are enjoyed with abandon and as we all get older many of us begin to steer as far away from sweets and candies for health and weight reasons, but children almost never have to think about those reasons.  And most of all … Halloween is usually the one day a year when I can honestly tell my children that the scary things they are seeing … well they are just make believe.  Wouldn’t you love to return to a time of believing the things that scared you most are fake? That those scary things are just around for one day?  I know I would.

And the decorations … oh the fun and spirited decorations put up at this time of year are usually neither politically correct nor incorrect.  There is usually no worry about spending too much or not enough on things the gift receiver may or may not use.  And usually, there is not the utter disappointment or stress involved in the day as so many holidays have come to represent to us adults, unless of course you perhaps feel a bit too ill by eating too many of those sweets us parents pilfer from our children’s goodie bags.

Halloween for this girl is a time to return to the innocent joy of make believe and lots of laughter as I experience the fun through the eyes of my children… and as my daughters would tell you, I experience the fun just as if I haven’t grown up myself ... (which is an every day occurrence, but on Halloween I can pretend it's not {wink}...) The fun of decorating our homes with wicked witches, ghastly ghosts, and petrified pumpkins ... and let us not forget all those terrifyingly scary black cats!  

It is the Black Cat Crossing our paths by Maywood Studios which brings me full circle to my hostess duties of this year’s Wicked blog hop.  I find absolute joy and inspiration with the creations shared along this hop.  Certainly you too will find plenty of reason to smile. If not … return to me, your Wicked hostess, and I’ll just have to stir my bubbling cauldron to cast my wickedest spell upon you!

So with these thoughts to ponder, I am give to you the schedule that we will be visiting our Wicked hoppers starting on Monday, October 20th

Monday, October 20

Tuesday, October 21

Wednesday, October 22

Thursday, October 23

Friday, October 24

Monday, October 27  

Tuesday, October 28

Wednesday, October 29
A Stitch in Time     

Thursday, October 30

Friday, October 31

I am so looking forward to each and every wicked creation these inspiring hoppers share ... they are the web that keeps this wicked one spinning!  Be sure to come back to visit me on the 20th as I will kick off this hop with something truly frightening!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wicked Time of Year ... Black Cat Crossing

It is getting to be that time of year again...when we have reason to be WICKED! For the third year, I have the honor of hosting another Wicked hop with Madame Samm of who has brewed up another cauldron of fun for all of us by working with Maywood Studio and their Black Cat Crossing collection

Be sure to visit for more information on the collection and a chance to receive some of this frightfully fantastic fabric!  She also has links to several shops that have this material available for purchase.

I consider these hops a great way to share what we create, encourage those who participate, and be inspired by everyone who contributes.

If you would like to play along with us, please send me:

Your Email
Blog name
Blog URL

and be sure to include "Ready to be WICKED" in the subject line.

As always ... please read the Guidelines ...

  1. Anyone and everyone can participate in our HOPS.
  3. BE a cheerleader for all those who participate, there is nothing as heartfelt as your lovely comments.
  4. Please turn off your word verification the day of your post…you really do not want to miss any comments. YOU have no idea how that one comment can be a life changer.
  5. Be sure to add your post at midnight EST. WE have visitors all around the world who like to get up like we do in North America to your lovely creations.
  6. Please ADD everyone including YOUR blog on your post that day, so we can find everyone as easily as we found you.
  7. MOST IMPORTANT, commit, if you don't, you have taken the spot of someone else who I will be hearing about, trust me there.
  8. Add the button to your blog so everyone will note your Black Cat projects.
I look forward to hearing from you soon ... 
until then ... Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer is here and another Share

Looks like summer is truly here ... 

Goodness, here in my neck of the Montana woods, we even hit 93 degrees today.  A rarity I confess and not too hot by many of my internet friends' standards ... however, it just goes to show Summer is here.  When I saw how high the temp was to be today, I chuckled to myself because it wasn't that many years ago that we had snow on the Fourth of July ... several times that has happened in fact!

So, I will enjoy this fine weather and be sure to investigate many ways to get outside with my daughters in the coming weeks :) ... 
surely we can all find reasons to smile!

I share with you today a project I created over the weekend
in hopes of making another face smile ...

I call this "Whatever Your Direction" ... 
I named it thus not only because of the directions of the "arrows" 
but I also quilted into the borders ...

"No matter the direction life takes you, 
always know you are loved."

It seemed to me to fit ... I'm still pleased as punch with it :)

The origins of my quilt began with a quilt I found via Pinterest that I really liked and discovered that Jennifer Jenkinson of That Girl ... That  Quilt designed this quilt for a quilt along in 2011:
Obviously, having just found the quilt I didn't participate in her quilt along in 2011 and after a few weeks of searching, I could not find any instructions.  So ...

As is typical of me these days, I created my own version using a Moda Sweetwater Route 15 jelly roll and some other yardage ... I'm sorry, but the name of the additional fabric escapes me right now.

This is what the full quilt looks like:

Granted ... it does look different than the Chasing Chevrons I was inspired by, but with using strip piecing techniques and adding on extra borders, I think I came up with a good alternative. Let me know what ya'all think as I've been asked to write up the instructions for this, so perhaps I'll make it available upon completion. 
The finished quilt is roughly 64 by 78 .... 

I say roughly because I have packaged it up and
mailed it away to a young man who turns nine years old this weekend.
I truly hope it puts a smile on his face!

Thank you for visiting and I wish you all
lots of reasons to smile!

Until next we visit, stay cool ....

Sunday, June 22, 2014

AMB Winners

Friday brought the last day of our fabulous American Made Brand blog tour...I have to say I so enjoyed learning more about each state and seeing the fantastic plate designs was inspiring!

Thank you American Made Brand for sponsoring such a terrific hop!

As for my stop on the tour, I promised two winners.  One from the USA which AMB will ship to the winner a fat quarter bundle:
and one from my international readers for whom I will send a bundle of 5 1/2 inch squares cut from my remaining AMB cottons:

To that point .... my winners are:

American Made Brand blog tour winner as generated by

True Random Number Generator

Result: 2Powered by RANDOM.ORG

AllisonJune 16, 2014 at 4:03 AM

Some day I'll get to visit Montana. Such a beautiful state! I live in the USA, in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. There are some days when I'd love some wide open spaces.

I had seven international readers leave a comment and of those seven, the winner of my American Made Brand drawing as generated by is:

True Random Number Generator

Result: 2Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Beautiful! I live in a small summer village in Alberta, Canada. Thanks!

I sincerely thank each and every reader that left a comment .... I am sorry I have not replied to each comment yet, but I will try.  For those inquiring about pdf availability, I will contact you directly ... if you wish a pdf of my block, please contact meI cannot contact the no-reply blogger inquiries.
My thanks again to Clothworks and American Made Brand cottons for sponsoring this hop!
Best wishes til we visit again,

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Welcome to Montana on the AMB Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the American Made Brand blog hop tour.  I share with you the state I call home ... Montana.

When I first thought of developing my AMB block, I wanted to start by taking a look at Montana license plate designs ... however, after discovering that Montana has more than three times as many specialty license plates as other states in the region ... 

courtesy of
I decided I'd best design my block with my own ideas!

So, with that in mind, I give you a brief tour of my state with the hope of showing you what inspired my block:

I took this photo last month at the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge just south of where I live.
Montana's name is derived from the Spanish word montaƱa (mountain) and, living in the western part of the state ... you truly see mountains in every direction ...  a total of 77 named ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains.

From Glacier National Park, 
the "The Crown of the Continent"  
courtesy of
to portions of Yellowstone National Park, 
America's first national park, 
courtesy of
Montana represents the untamed, the wild, and the natural.  

Of course, with fifteen ski areas for winter recreation ....
courtesy of
We have plenty of reason to get out and enjoy the natural splendor in cold weather also.

courtesy of Montana-Wild
Montana contains thousands of named rivers and creeks, 450 miles (720 km) of which are known for "blue-ribbon" trout fishing.  In 1992 the Robert Redford directed movie "A River Runs Through It,"  extensive fishing scenes were filmed in Montana's Paradise Valley on the Yellowstone River; south of Bozeman on the Gallatin River and south of Big Timber on the Boulder River. In 1998, Robert Redford returned to Big Timber with "The Horse Whisperer." 

Montana is ranked 4th in size, but 44th in population with 1,015,165 people living in Montana .... Yes, that is 1,015,165 people living in the whole state! Wide-open spaces anyone?

courtesy of Vital Grounds
Since forests cover approximately 25 percent of the state and Montana has the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states, I've included them in my block along with the state flower, the Bitterroot, and stems of grain to represent our economy.  With a 1/3 of our great state covered in mountains, that leaves the remaining 2/3 area covered with plains and grassy ranges and provides area needed for supporting Montana's economy which is primarily based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. 
Wheat Harvest - MT: aerials of wheat fields with grain combines at work
 courtesy of ... Robb Kendrick  /  Aurora file

With this wealth of information, I attempted to make my block represent the whole state ... mountains in the west, plains in the east, river waters in between and topped by our great big sky:

So there you have it, my representation of the State of Montana in one 6 1/2 by 12 1/2 inch block. 

My thanks to Clothworks and American Made Brand Cottons for hosting this fantastic tour of our United States.
Clothworks is generously sending one Why-Knot-Kwilt commentor eight fat quarters from the 
American Made Brand Cotton Solids!
Grown and Made all right here in the
Good Ol' USA!!

In addition, I am hosting a second giveaway for my wonderful international visitors.  

Those of you from outside of the United States have a chance to win this bundle of 5 1/2 inch squares:

which I cut from the remaining Clothworks American Made Brand Cotton Solids not used in my block.

If you wish to enter the giveaways, please leave me a comment on this post, with the following information:

1) which country you reside;
2) where you live in your country of residence; and most important;
3) make sure I can contact you! 

If I cannot contact you, 
you will not be able to win.

Drawing will close on Friday, June 20th.

Please be sure to visit Bloomin’ Workshop who is sharing the State of Washington with us today.

Hope you enjoyed this brief tour of the state I've called home for the past 33 years. When my day is at an end, I have to admit...
courtesy of Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge
 it is a pretty beautiful place to call home.

Until next we visit, happy hopping ~

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Teacher Gifts & AMB Week 4

Yet another school year ends for my girls this week... and I ponder the idea of teacher gifts ...

How do you show your children's teacher how much you appreciate them without adding to a pile of things they don't need or want?

Well, I don't know the answer to that question, but I did decide on this Saturday Market bag pattern by Heather Bailey

Since I figured teachers usually have a pile of paperwork or lots of books to carry, what better way to help them with their loads than a bag to carry it all? 

If you haven't tried this pattern by Heather, it is worth your time... I made both of these bags in one day ... 
Saturday to be exact ... 
how appropriate right?
{{silly grin}}

And since I spent the rest of my weekend to this point starting and finishing the book Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins ... good read by the way if you've seen the first two movies ... I do believe I hear my bicycle calling me to hit the road and stretch some muscles before I get back to my sewing room to finish work on my American Made Brand block which I am scheduled to share with everyone on Monday, June 16th.  So please be sure to come back for a visit as there will be a giveaway of fantastic fabrics!

Until then, please be sure to visit this week's blog stops along the American Made Brand tour for fabulous blocks, terrific shares and giveaway chances:

Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
West Virginia
Day 19
Day 20
North Dakota
South Dakota

Until next we visit, happy hopping!