family, friends, quilt, quilt block, quilting, quilts

All Squared Up – January Blues edition

Like many quilts, this one has a story. It began in November of 1974. I was 3 months old. We lived in a new subdivision in a suburb of Atlanta, and had neighbors with 2 small children. The youngest was 6 months old at the time. We grew up together and were the best of friends.


Then we moved to Charlotte.

As luck would have it, though, my grandparents still lived in Atlanta so when we’d come to visit, I’d always have a spend the night with my friend. She even came to visit a full week one summer – brought her bike and everything – it was the best week ever!

Fast forward to 1987 when moved back to Atlanta. My friend and I were still in contact, and getting together was far easier now that we were geographically convenient to one another. We would talk for hours on the phone since we were thirteen and there were no long distance fees to pay. There was always a reason to get together, be it an afternoon, evening, or a night. I think it helped that our parents were friends.

I have fond memories of my friend and her family celebrating holidays together. They’d celebrate Christmas with us, and we’d celebrate Rosh Hashanah with them. Thanksgivings at my house, and 4th of July’s on a boat. Birthdays, weddings (me as her maid of honor and her as my matron of honor) and yes, even funerals.

We lived together our freshman year of college, and were just a few doors from each other in apartments in our early twenties….a half mile from each other mid-twenties….see? She was always around, and has always been an important part of my life.

Until she moved across the country. I didn’t realize how sad it would make me until she wasn’t around. It’s been 5 years.

Her son turned 13 almost 2 years ago. He had a Bar Mitzvah in Israel. I was invited to go, but couldn’t swing the expense. I’ve been wanting to make a quilt for him, but hadn’t found (made) the time. I wanted something appropriate for a young man, and, I’ll be honest, nothing really inspired me. Plus the book was just out….I was going in too many directions.

So, when I saw this Libs Elliot fabric I fell in love and immediately knew what I wanted to make! This pattern, All Squared Up, was designed for Intown Quilters when the shop was featured in American Patchwork and Quilting Shop Sampler magazine in spring 2007. I’ve added the scrappy inner border since, but everything else is the same. Skulls seem appropriate for a boy, and I felt much better when my husband told me this was one of his favorite quilts that I’ve made – and he’s seen a lot of quilts.


I know how lucky I am to have had a friend for (almost) 44 years. It’s rare, and it’s extremely special.  Next step, off to get quilted, then send it to Seattle. I hope you like, H! Much, much love….


Measures 64.5″ x 80″

pieced with 50 weight Cotton + Steel by Sulky

friends, make something, sewing

Hack A Quilt Tote

I was at the beach this week for fall break and wrote a post that was supposed to appear instead of this one. Then I got home last night and decided to make a bag for Mary’s Hack That Tote! blog tour instead of my wimpy little post. Seems reasonable, right? 5 days of travel surely meant I had time to come home and make a bag. Well, in my head it did.

I planned to make a tote for Quilt Market LAST YEAR and failed. I ran out of time and couldn’t get it together. No biggie. I sat on the fabric for a FULL YEAR ready to make something but never really carved out the time for myself to do it. Always wanting to make a bag but couldn’t get it together.


So when Mary asked me to participate in a book tour for Hack That Tote! I KNEW I had to make a tote bag with this fabric. I knew it! Then, once again, I ran out of time. I clearly have time management issues. And small children.


I digress, though.

I LOVE a good tote bag. I mean, seriously LOVE…so picking my favorite pattern was a breeze. My specifications are big and kinda slouchy – sorta like this bag I bought several years ago.


The obvious starting point for me is the pool tote.


Using Mary’s tips about sizing up and down your tote, I grabbed my calculator and increased the size 10%. Not a lot, but enough to hold a good size quilt and supplies for binding.


I lined each piece with a heavyweight non-woven fusible interfacing and added a small pocket to each side of the lining pieces.


I made the interior following the steps for the Basic Tote.


I attached cotton webbing to each side of the exterior tote bag before sewing the pieces together. Because I planned to use this as a bag to tote half finished, in need of binding quilts and other projects, the straps are rather long to accommodate the bulk of quilts.

I sewed the straps across the top, bottoms, sides and made an “X” in the center for stability. I also added an extra piece of interfacing on the back where the straps attached (something like 4″ x 15″).


I placed the lining inside the exterior of the bag, wrong sides together. I pinned the top, attached a bias binding and voila!



fullsizerender-9A quilt tote is born! The bag has a lap quilt AND and full size quilt in it with room to spare. Perfect for carrying around projects! I’m so excited about it!

Aside from showing you how to take a basic pattern and changing it into virtually any kind of bag, Mary also has great information about interfacings, fabrics and accessories for your bag. For a chance to win a copy of your own Hack That Tote! be sure to follow my blog and leave a comment about your favorite tote hack below or a hack you’d like to make.

I’ll pick a number using for the winner (announced on 10/7). Winners in the States will receive a copy of the book, and winners outside the States will receive an e-book.

You can follow along and leave comments on all the blogs below to increase your chances to win this incredible book!

9/27 C&T
9/28 Sue O’Very
9/29 Gen Q Teri Lucas
9/30 Patty Murphy
10/1 Vanessa Lynch
10/2 Lindsay Conner
10/3 Stephanie Moore
10/4 Katy Cameron
10/5 Kim Niedzwiecki
10/6 Mary Abreu

Happy Hacking!

friends, quilt

Quilt Retreat

Quilt retreat was this weekend, and oh. my. gosh. I needed it. I had parts cut for two quilts, and managed to finish a little more than half of one. I’m so happy with the progress, and can’t wait to finish. The blocks will finish at 9″.

I love this group of women. Many have been in the guild for twenty years. Some for just two. I’ve been part of it for ten, though I’m less involved since I moved. BUT, I always love an opportunity to see my friends, and retreat is the perfect excuse. Even better, my MOM joined this time. I think she enjoyed it. Sadly, I didn’t snap a photo of us, but I did get one with my friend, Mary.

The thing that always resonates with me as far as this group is concerned is that we build each other up. Retreat is fun, and exhilarating, and wildly inspirational. We all talk, and commiserate about quilts and there is no grousing or complaining, no piddly bickering. This is a group of women that genuinely cares about each other and their lives and artwork. We trade tips, eat, and laugh.

At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about anyhow, right?

family, friends

Winter Break Comes to an End

Winter break this year was eight days instead of six, thank you very much winter storm Pax. We did some fun stuff, but by today the kids and I were pretty much over each other. We met some friends and headed over to the Chattahoochee Nature Center. I’m glad we did. The kids needed the sun, and fun!






We counted three turtles, and some ducks.


And found this awesome tree called the Pawpaw tree. I’m going to have to print a copy and send it to my Dad, who we call PaPa. I think it’ll make him laugh.


friends, quilt

First Quilt

A friend of mine is redecorating her daughters room. Miss V is the youngest of three, and her bedding has been well loved by all kids. Since she is turning three soon, it’s time to take the room from nursery to little girl room. Paint colors are being picked out, and some fabric has been chosen.

Miss V’s mama sews a little, and I promised her that the quilt pattern she is going to make is fun, easy, and perfectly do-able. I’m looking forward to teaching a friend how to quilt – she’ll pick it up in no time,  we’re having a blast so far, and have only chosen fabrics!

We went to Intown Quilters today, and here’s what we have so far:


family, friends

I Built This

I’ve worked with four amazing neighbors over the last year and a half to bring a new playground to Inman Park. Meetings, fundraisers, grant writing – all for this incredible structure in the center of our neighborhood. I couldn’t be any more proud of our work and accomplishment.


The playground opened on this weekend. We took the kids there on Sunday for some fun.









cooking, family, friends

Playing Catch Up

I’ve been wanting to update this for ages but haven’t made the time. I finally have a quiet moment and decided to take advantage of it.

Our life since May:






Biking on two wheels



Or three


Baking home made fruit strips


canning pickles


visiting grandparents in the mountains

DSC_0309 2








and at the beach









family photos

AMP Beach Session-27

AMP Beach Session-15

AMP Beach Session-109

AMP Beach Session-105

AMP Beach Session-114

AMP Beach Session-131

AMP Beach Session-86

AMP Beach Session-112

AMP Beach Session-60

making skirts for our friends




and realizing that all little boys need on a hot day are a garden hose, baseball bat and popsicles.


applique, friends, sewing

I’ve Got it Covered

My best friend’s daughter goes to a private school here in town. In the first grade the children are presented with a prayer book. Now, my Marnie is pretty fabulous and can do a lot of things. Sewing is not one of them. She called me and asked if I’d make the cover. She sent all the information and here’s what happened.

Marnies’s daughter is a girly girl that loves purple and BFF loves hearts so I incorporated those onto the back. Two of the hearts have photos of the twins.  The candle pattern was sent in the info packet as were the Hebrew letters. Other than trying to put the letters on backwards putting the cover together was fun.

I added handles to the sides of the cover so the book could be carried easily. I also added ribbons to use as markers in the prayer book.

The inside has a fun Kaffe Fasset fabric. I appliqued a dedication from her parents inside the front cover and a small note from me on the back cover.

The best part of making this was seeing the HUGE smile on a sweet girl’s face when she saw her cover.

Oh, and Marnie liked it, too.

family, friends

Santa in the Park

I’ve been volunteering on the Springvale Park Playground Committee to rejuvenate and renovate the park and playground in the historic center of Inman Park. It’s involved a lot of meetings, work and fundraising. We have a long way to go but hope to have the project complete by spring of 2013.

We had our second fundraiser a week ago – Santa in the Park. We had a professional photographer, Santa and a pretty cool back drop for the photos. It was a lot of work but the event was a HUGE success and puts us that much closer to our goal.

Anyhow, here’s a peak of the other things I’ve had going on in my little world.

We covered large boxes with pretty paper and bows, had candy canes, poinsettias, a recliner that we covered in a fine wale green corduroy, and of course, Santa and the kids! The tree behind the setting is a Winter King Hawthorne and has beautiful red berries. Sadly, you can’t see that in the photo but we did hang red and gold ornaments and gold covered pine cones. The scene was pretty darn fabulous!

Kids were everywhere and I’ve never seen the playground as busy, except during Festival. We hope to make this an annual event so the park can be a bit more self-sustaining. I think next year we’ll have Santa visit for more than three hours, but wow! It was a great three hours.

And yes, to toot my own horn, this was my idea and I’m pleased as EVER that it went so well. woot!