Skeleton, Monster, Mrs. Monster, and Pumpkin Head Halloween Quilt Blocks!

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been feverishly trying to finish a quilt for this Halloween. But not just any Halloween quilt! No, I’m using Amy Bradley’s “Happy Halloween” pattern with plenty of whimsical characters!

My earlier posts are here and here and here.

Well, I have completed the 2nd row of characters – Skeleton, Monster, Mrs. Monster, and Pumpkin Head! Yea me!! Keep in mind that these characters will have button eyes and extra little embellishments after quilting is completed.

Here is Mr. Skeleton with his jaunty hat and fun skeleton-print fabric:

I had to take a photo of Monster and Mrs. Monster together. Naturally, my quilting cat helped me!
Don’t you just love Mrs. Monster’s white hair streak?

Monster and Mrs. Monster Halloween Blocks

Mr. Pumpkin Head came out rather adorable with his goofy grin and little vine on the top of his head:

The four blocks together with my quilting kitty supervising the layout:

Happy Halloween Quilt – 2nd Character Row

I’m now starting to work on the final row of Halloween characters. I really hope to be able to finish them this weekend and maybe even get to quilt it the following weekend!

I can’t resist one close-up photo of my great quilting cat:

Tiger, the quilting cat

Enjoy all your Halloween projects!

Red Ginger Soap

I made a batch of cold process soap for my mom recently, using a scent that she picked out called ‘red ginger.’ This fragrance is light, sweet, and fresh and just makes me smile!

I added a touch of Australian red clay to swirl onto the top section of the soap, and I think the red accent gives it a nice color contrast.

Red Ginger Cold Process Soap

I’m really delighted with how this soap turned out. I need to start working on creating some soap for Christmas gifts soon so the soap has time to cure. Cold process is really beneficial for your skin, and I encourage you to try some if you haven’t already. It has helped my sister tremendously with adult acne and has greatly reduced my dry, itchy, allergy-prone skin.

Happy soaping!

Upper Butte Creek Falls – Experimenting with Photography

I’m taking a little deviation from quilts and other craft projects to talk a little bit about photography. My husband and I are very much amateurs, but have decided to learn more about our DSLR cameras and how to use the manual settings. We have a Canon Rebel XT and a Nikon D90 and have been taking the cameras outdoors over the past several weekends to practice. In particular, we’ve been practicing with waterfalls.

I wanted to take better waterfall shots where the water looks like “angel hair.” With my point-and-shoot camera, I can’t get this cool effect but knew we could do it with either the Rebel or the D90.

Here are a few untouched photos that we took this weekend of Upper Butte Creek Falls in the Santiam State Forest in Oregon.

So, what do you think of these early experimental shots? And how would you edit and/or enhance them in software?

Another question I have is on our Nikon D90. We only have the standard kit lens, but really want a better one for outdoor (read landscape) photography. What lens would you recommend?

I hope you enjoy viewing these photos!

NW Quilting Expo Slide Show

Hi everyone,

I’m going to try my first slideshow post, featuring some photos that I took this week at the NW Quilting Expo in Portland. There were so many beautiful quilts! These pictures are only a portion of the displayed quilts so if you ever get the chance to visit the expo, I highly recommend it!

After viewing all these beautiful quilted pieces of art, I am inspired to create my own for next year’s show. How about you?

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NW Quilting Expo – Two Rivers, Three Sisters Traveling Exhibit

The NW Quilting Expo takes place this week in Portland, Oregon, and I took a day of work to go see it today with my mom. There were so many great vendors and quilts on display! I picked up a few cool new projects, some beautiful batiks, and a fun new tool or two.

One of my favorite portions of the show was the Two Rivers, Three Sisters Traveling Exhibit. It features many quilt panels by different artists representing two rivers in Oregon plus the Three Sisters Cascade mountains. I tried to list the artist of each panel, but had a hard time reading some of the names on my photos. If you know the name of a missing artist or if I’ve misspelled a name, please let me know!

You can find more information about this traveling exhibit at this website.

It was impossible for me to take one shot of the entire exhibit so I took many!!

Here’s a little overview display card with thumbnail pictures of the various quilts in this project:

Quilt Display Card

The first picture features the first three quilt panels. Artists from left to right are: Sheila Finzer, Jean Wells Keenan and Valori Wells Kennedy, and June Jaeger.

The second picture shows the 4th and 5th quilt panels. Artists are Catherine Moen and Janice W. Hearn.

First Three Panels

4th and 5th Panels

This next group shows the 6th and 7th panels. Artists: Pat Welsh and Mary Stiewig. Then the 8th through 10th panels. Artists: Sarah Kaufman, Helen Erisson, and Beth ?.

6th and 7th Panels

8th, 9th, and 10th Panels

Up next, you’ll see the 11th and 12th panels. Artists: Tonye Belinda Phillips and Cindy Young.

Then, you’ll see the 13th, 14th, and 15th panels. Artists: Mary Nyquist Koons, Judy Johnson, and Donna Cherry.

11th and 12th Panels

13th, 14th, 15th Panels

And the final panels are shown below. Artists: Carol W? and Donna Rice.

16th and 17th Panels

Paper Piecing Tool Caddy

My sister’s birthday was this past week so I decided to make her a gift. Since we both enjoy paper piecing, I thought it would be fun to make her a tool caddy. This caddy is a great way to travel with your paper piecing tools to workshops, classes, and quilt cruises!! (Yes, we are already talking about doing another quilt cruise together in 2014!).

I used Carol Doak’s free Tool Caddy pattern which is available on her website. Since my sister’s nickname is related to birds, I decided to use bird themed fabric.

Here’s what the tool caddy looks like rolled up. Notice the cute little bird footprints on the fabric!

Tool Caddy Rolled Up

When you unroll the caddy, you’ll see a 9-patch star block on the top plus a lower sectioned portion for all your tools!

Tool Caddy Full View

My fabric selections include:

  • a blue/green batik for the border and center of the 9-patch star
  • a dark blue bird print and a light blue bird print for the star points
  • a white-on-white print featuring little birds and footprints for the background
  • the same blue bird footprint fabric as the backing
  • the ribbon is a medium blue color with a little green accent for fun

Here’s a picture of the caddy with a few paper piecing tools:

Tool Caddy with Tools

This little tool caddy comes together pretty quickly using fabric from your stash. Now that I’ve made one for my sister, I need to make one for myself!

Happy quilting!



Spooky Haunted House – Halloween Challenge

I enjoy creating projects using scrapbooking paper and embellishments. When I read that SVG Cuts is having a Halloween Challenge contest (grand prize being a new diecut machine!!), I thought I should give it a try!

I’ve posted my entry to SVG Cuts Facebook page. You can view the other entries and comment on them. They all look great so far!

For my project, I decided to make the haunted house from the Elmhurst Hollow SVG Kit. You can purchase this kit from the SVG Cuts website for $6.99. You will need to have one of the recommended cutting machines and software as posted on the FAQ page.

I’m so excited at how wonderful my Elmhurst haunted house looks now that it is completed. I’m now inspired to decorate for Halloween!

Here is the whole Spooky Haunted House with normal lighting:

You can see a slight glow from the flickering LED lights.

When the lights are out, you can really see the glow:

I added some fun embellishments to this project including ghosts, extra spiders, Halloween twine, glitter, spider webs, and a black cat. Don’t you just love the “BEWARE” sign across the front door? Too cute!


As I added these embellishments, my 7-year-old decided to help. He wanted to add his own special touch and came up with the idea of adding a yellow crescent moon with a flying bat. He cut the moon shape and colored it.

The backside of the haunted house faces a wall so it won’t be seen too often. However, Ian decided it needed a little yellow star with a pumpkin button that we made using my Epiphany Crafts Shape Studio Tool and a round #14 bubble cap. It turned out cute!

The whole project took me about 3 hours, but I did take my time choosing papers and embellishments from my stash.

Hope you enjoy this early taste of Halloween!


Ghost and Witch Halloween Blocks, plus completed first row!

In several of my earlier blog posts, I mentioned that I’m working on a fun applique quilt by Amy Bradley for Halloween. The quilt has different famous characters featured on each block.

I’ve completed the ghost and witch blocks! I’m having so much fun with this quilt because each block is so unique.

Here’s the ghost block. He has the cutest nose!

Ghost Halloween Block

And here is the witch block. Don’t you just love her hair? I also couldn’t resist fussy cutting fabric for her hat band so she could have several black cats.

Now that I have the first four blocks appliqued, I decided to add the borders and cornerstones before tacking the second set of blocks.

Here’s the completed first row with just the inner borders and cornerstones. There will be outer borders once all the blocks are completed.

Top Row of Halloween Applique Quilt

You may be wondering – what happened to their eyes? Yikes! Don’t worry – the eyes were only placed temporarily for photos. I’ll add the eyes and other embellishments once the quilting is complete.

Hope you enjoy!


Completed Cat Pumpkin Halloween Wall Hanging

On my August 29th post, I showed 1 cat in the pumpkin paper pieced block that I finished. I made 2 more cat pumpkin blocks and then sewed them together into a small wall hanging to display on my door this fall.

Each cat pumpkin block has a different 1-inch border.

For the outer border, I cut 2-inch strips out of a dark orange fabric with little gold stars. I used a 1/4″ seam allowance to add the border to each completed cat block and then joined them all together.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that I added some hand embroidered whiskers to each cat before quilting.

I created a quilt sandwich with some batting and a backing using a black print with orange pumpkin vines. This same print is used as the binding. I think the orange outer border and black binding really make the piece come together to celebrate the season.

I didn’t have time to use my mom’s mid-arm machine and, since this is a relatively small project, I quilted it free-hand using my trusty Bernina. (Note to self: I need to convince my husband that I need my own mid-arm/quilt frame combo!).

Once quilted, I added the binding and some finishing touches. I used small green rhinestones for the cat eyes, some 5/8″ black grosgrain ribbon for the hanger, and a cute black Halloween cat button as a hanger accent.

Here’s a picture of the completed wall hanging:

Cat Pumpkin Wall Hanging

Close-up of cat button sewn onto ribbon hanger:

Close-up of cat button

One more view of the cat wall hanging:

Close-up of Cat Pumpkin Wall Hanging

I hope you enjoy looking at my little cat Halloween project!


September Mystery BOM

I finished my September paper pieced block as part of an online group. The quilt is designed so that we get 11 blocks. During the last month, the mystery is revealed as we learn how the blocks fit together.

September Mystery BOM

This is the 5th block that I’ve made for the mystery quilt. This month, Carol posted our block a little earlier in August, but I was visiting Yellowstone so did not get the chance to make it until this week. I really like how the triangles combine to form a pinwheel in the center. The block is designed by Carol Doak.

Happy paper piecing!