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Preview: On Pins and Needles

On Pins and Needles

My new blog, in which I share about my life, my quilting, and my family.

Updated: 2016-09-08T00:25:36.948-04:00


Christmas Break crafting....Rag Dolls!!


I have always admired the dolls made by Nicole Ross Ellison. She has made her patterns available on her website. I bought three of them for myself, and have made a doll.  (image)
 Isn't she cute?
 And here she is looking over the pieces for her brothers and sisters. I am making six more!

Halloween Atlanta Style


Here I am with some pretty ladies at the Little Five Points Halloween Parade and Festival in Little Five Points (Atlanta.) My friend's husband is in the band Southern Gothic Revival, and they were playing on stage. It was a really fun day. If you love Halloween, you would love Halloween in LFP!

Christmas Time is Near


Here we are, my kids and I. We were posing for Christmas card pictures. It has been a busy year. My daughter was in a local production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, and I was part of the wardrobe department for the play. Then another play, and now another. It is fun, but is taking away from quilting time. Maybe over the holidays I can do more posting, there is so much to talk about! Have a wonderful holiday season!



I have a new flower bed this year, and I have had so much fun filling it up. Did you know that you can go to Lowe's, or whatever home improvement store you have with a large gardening center, and that they have a clearance plant center? These are nearly dead, or sometimes just a little ragged, plants that are drastically maked down to clearance prices. I have filled my bed with plants either grown from seed or obtained from the clearance area and brought back to life with water and Miracle Gro. Here are some photos:
I have vegetables, herbs, and flowers all together in my little garden. We are already enjoying cucumbers, onions, basil, thyme, rosemary, dill, oregano, chives, and on and on... I love walking out my front door and picking something to put into a recipe. Wonderful!!


Greater Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop


I fell in love with this quilt on the porch at Little Quilts in Atlanta (Marietta actually). I can't believe I forgot to bring my camera, or I would have had so many neat pictures. I took this one with my phone. The GAQSH includes 11 shops. I only drove up Saturday afternoon and was able to hit four shops. I wish I had done more, and maybe next year I will. I actually did the whole hop the first year they had it, and haven't done another one since. With two kids it was just too much to ask of them to visit all those quilt shops, and it was too much to ask anyone to keep them for me for all those days. Maybe they are old enough now, at 14 and 12, that I can freely hop again. :0)

I hit my favorite shops first. Little Quilts, Red Hen, Tiny Stitches, and then a new one - Stitch 'n Quilt in Mableton. It was a really nice shop and the ladies in there were laughing and having the best time. My kind of shop! Of course, I can never go wrong with my old favorites. Little Quilts has some nice primitive items, needlepunch, wool, rug hooking, plus loads of fabric. Red Hen is just great! Tiny Stitches is too. I guess my all-around favorite is Little Quilts, but it is really hard to choose.

I enjoyed my weekend, but didn't get a bit of sewing done. Oh well, maybe next time!


Even More Washington, D.C. Photos - My Son's School Trip


 The Lincoln Memorial
 My son in front of the Lincoln statue, (which is inside the building.)
 The Lincoln Statue again
 Looking across at the Vietnam Memorial Wall - a very moving experience.
 Another shot of the Vietnam Memorial Wall
 I think this is Vietnam too.
He had a great time!

Give Away at Mother's Cupboard


Hop over to Mother's Cupboard for a chance to win her fantastic giveaway. You can find out more by visiting her blog, but it includes a a Super Dooper Give Away of 2 "Fresh Cotton" by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Charm Packs, and 1 meter of the lovely fabric below. Good luck!


More Washington Photos


 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier The United States Capitol Building A closer view of the dome The inside of the dome Mount Vernon, the home of George and Martha Washington, (this is actually in Virginia.) A friend and my son at Mt. Vernon I am not sure, but I think this must be where George Washington is buried. Wax figure of George WashingtonNo, my son did not carve this. It was already there, so he took a picture of it. :0)Julie[...]

Beautiful Moon Tonight!


I couldn't get a good shot of the moon, but here is one taken by a friend of mine, Jason. It was truly gorgeous.

Today I planted onions to go along with the rosemary, tomatoes, and sweet peas that I had already planted. I hope we don't have another cold snap this year. If we do I will have to cover everything up with sheets. I have little seedlings of basil, dill, chives, parsley, cilantro, zinnias, cleome, rooster spur pepper, and Jerusalem cherries. I am going to keep them in their little pots until after Easter, when I can be sure there will be no more frost. It was so hot outside today that I spent the rest of the day lying around watching TV feeling exhausted. Maybe tomorrow I can finally get the grass cut.


Civil War Giveaway


Pop over to Such a Sew and Sew's blog to enter this giveaway. I love these fabrics!! Julie

Some Pictures from Washington, D.C.


My son went to Washington D.C. and New York City for a school trip. He took some fantastic photos, I think we may have discovered a talent there. Here are some photos to enjoy. I will add more in the next few days. this first is the Jefferson Memorial.The White House The Washington Monument. Here he is in front of the White House. The National Cathedral Another shot of the National Cathedral. I love this one. Lincoln Memorial National Archives A statue of Albert Einstein.I hope you enjoyed these. He took nearly 300 photos, I plan to share many more. Stay tuned!Julie[...]

My Hometown


I was driving by and saw this sign one day this week at our local library. I drove all the way home and got my camera so that I could drive back and take a picture. I just had to share. I think it speaks for itself, don't you?
So, what do you think? Would you like dessert?

Quilt Show in Atlanta


Today my friend Jung and I met our mutual friend Karen at the Sewing and Quilt Expo at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. I was not so much into the regular sewing part. However, the quilting parts were fun. I found a booth with wool, wool kits, punchneedle patterns and supplies - sort of like heaven. I took some photos of quilts on display, only to be told by one of the white-gloved ladies that I wasn't supposed to be taking photos. She made me delete the one she saw me take! She didn't see me take the others before that. I did not delete them, but I won't post them since I am not supposed to have them. I am just going to keep them here on my computer for my own enjoyment. I certainly am not going to copy any of the work. I guess I should have known not to photograph them, but I just wasn't thinking....
My thoughts are with the people of Japan as they deal with the aftermath of this horrible earthquake. I hope the nuclear plants will not be as big a problem as we fear.

Easy Rider


I know this is kind of random, but I wanted to share this photo. This is my brother with the motorcycle that Peter Fonda rode in Easy Rider. Don't you just love it?

Beach Picture Quilt


I used to have a sister-in-law that lived in Naples, Florida. She hinted that she wanted a wall hanging like this one that she saw in a quilt shop. I made it for her. She hung it in her house for a few months, then took it down, putting it in storage, because she redecorated. I had to ask her to take it out of storage so I could photograph it. It is one of the big reasons that I don't give many quilts away. On the other hand, the quilts that I have made for friends who were dealing with serious illness are cherished. One person even had his quilt instead of a floral spray on his casket when he died. That was touching. Those are the kinds of quilts I like to give away.

English Paper Piecing Tutorial, Part II


Now we will begin to sew one block unit. We begin with two diamonds, held right sides together. I have a dark and a medium one here. You will need to pay attention to the placement of darks, mediums, and lights.  By the way, I was still in my pajamas as I photographed this, so forgive the background. You begin about a quarter inch from the point, and whipstitch toward the point.After you get to the point, you turn around and whipstitch to the end of that side (middle point.)When you have reached the middle point, you may take a backstitch to secure it.Now here we are, open the two up. Get ready to add the last diamond to the block.I am now adding the light diamond. Pinch it together along one of the sides.Here is a semi-bad shot of the other side. By the way, I know, my nails look pretty rough! Try to take better care of your nails than I do.Now you go through from one of the joined middle points, to the corresponding middle point of the newly added diamond. I like to go back through and grab the other point too, so that all three points are joined.Like this...Then you simply whipstitch out to the end point. Take some secure stitches there and cut your thread.Now you have one seam left to close.Pinch them together, with right sides facing each other as usual.Once more start a quarter inch out from the point, (I think this is so that the knot is not in the point), and continue on to the point.When you get to the point, try to join all three points, like this...Then you simply turn around and whipstitch out to the farther point.All the way to the point...When you get to the point, you finish off with secure stitches and cut your thread, unless you are joining something else to it.Finishing.Now you have a completed block unit. Your color placement will depend on what you are doing. If you are going for a star, it will be different from mine. I am going for the 3-D tumbling blocks look.Well, this is basically it. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments and I will answer to the best of my ability.Julie[...]

English Paper Piecing Tutorial, Part I


For English paper piecing, you must first have a template. I have made mine from magazine insert cards. There is a website called where you can actually download .pdf files of octagons, hexagons, and diamonds. HERE is the link for the one I use. Print it on cardstock and you have your own templates. Now cut out a piece of fabric that is about 1/4" or a little more larger than the template.This one is a bit ragged, but it doesn't matter, as long as it is big enough to baste down on all sides. If you are new to this, you may want to use a small pin to hold the paper in place.Begin to baste by folding down one side of the fabric over the paper template.Now you begin with a threaded needle, make sure your thread is knottted at the end. While holding it paper side up, with one side folded, you come up through the entire thing from the other side, You want the knot to be on the fabric side.Now you go back down like so. At this point you want to stop and fold down the next side.It is important to come up again right beside the fold.Now you go back down again to baste the fold into place. After this you will take a couple of basting stitches toward the point, but not too far. You don't want to get under the next fold.Here is the next fold. There will be a chicken-head looking thing sticking out. That is what you want. Once more you want to bring the needle up beside the fold.Now you go back down again toward the point, to baste that point into place.This is what it should look like. You still have that chicken head. After this, you simply continue around the diamond.You will finish by going through and turning the diamond over, so that you see the fabric side only. You will then make a knot or take a couple of big stitches to hold it in place. Keep in mind that you will need to remove the knot later from the fabric side, so it is good to have that knot on top.This is what mine looks like on the paper side.And here it is again on the fabric side, complete with two knots.Here are a few more. You may find it helpful to use a single hole punch on your templates to make them easier to pop out of the fabric later. I have done that in the past as you can see, but don't do it on my newer templates.Stay tuned for part II, where we will begin to stitch them together.Julie[...]

English Paper Piecing


I have been working on this project for a while now.

English paper piecing is fun! I love this little project. I will be adding a tutorial for this in my next post. In the meantime, here are some pictures to show you one of the scenic wonders of this part of the world. is scenic Mt. Washmore!!! I have this huge pile of clothes on my sofa that need folding. As you can see, Cabalito has reached the summit. Ugh, I hate laundry.
Laundry makes me a little crazy.

See you next time!!!

Quilt Retreat


(image) Every spring my quilt guild has a retreat. We have been going to the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, Georgia. It is such a nice place, and we have so much fun. Last year I made these paper-pieced barking dog blocks. I have since then completed the top, but have not quilted it. I have been stagnant in my quilting life for the last couple of years. However, I am coming out of it. I have been mostly doing some handwork, but have also been venturing down to my sewing studio to work on some maple leaf blocks. I have a gazillion of the blocks, I just need to make them into tops. Yes, tops plural. I have so many of these blocks. I think I can make three tops and one wall-hanging. I am not sure what to do with my barking dog blocks, but I would love to get it finished.


It's Been a While....


It has been a while hasn't it? Over a year to be exact since my last post. Wow!! I do miss my blog, and still enjoy visiting other blogs. Here are my dear children. My daughter was in the pageant again this year. No wins, but she is still a winner in my book.(image) I have started on a new weight-loss journey. I have quite a ways to go, but I am determined!! It WILL happen this time. I am tired of being overweight. I will keep you posted!

Pageant Night


The school's beauty pageant was Friday night. Dear Daughter was contestant number 23. I was so proud of her. She did not win, but she is a winner in my book. She is not only beautiful on the outside, she is beautiful on the inside too. What a sweet girl, and she is growing up so fast.(image)
(image) See what a proud Mom I am!
(image) Until next time.

Wow, Take a Look at This!


Can you believe what I got from Carol at Cornfield Quilter. I signed up for her PIF and THIS is what she sent me??? Wow! It is an entire BOM kit for a bed-sized quilt. I am flabbergasted. I can't wait to get my sewing room up and running so that I can start on it. Maybe this will be my project for retreat this year.
Thank you so much, Carol. You really made my day at a time of my life when I have been down in the dumps.
I have had other good things happen to me lately. Finally, knock on wood, my luck seems to be changing. I finally signed the papers to close on my house refinance. I now have a much lower interest rate, a lower monthly payment, and ...... BONUS...... some money back. I got just enough money back to get some much needed work done to my house. Things continue to improve! Also, I am starting to take better care of myself. Have you heard of Zumba? Wow, is it fun! And I am working out with Zumba at our Community Center with a room full of other women. We are having a ball and getting into shape. My goal, to get into a shape other than round. More on that later.
Stay daughter was in the pageant last night. She wasn't a pageant winner, but she was a winner as far as I am concerned. I will be posting pictures soon.

Hi There Folks!


It has been so cold here, in the Deep South we are not used to temps below 20 degrees F. My chihuahua definitely is not liking it. I cannot stand my sewing room because it is unheated. Normally a plug-in heater heats it up just fine, but in this cold you can't even tell it is there. I am getting ready for my daughter to be in the junior school pageant next Friday. We had to buy a new pageant dress. Sigh.... Every time I turn around, more money. But it is worth it, she will be so pretty. She won 6th grade beauty last year, which totally shocked the tomboy that I have always been. Pageants were not in my realm at all. Although, I did get Prom Queen in 1983!! LOL. But I did not run for it and was quite embarrassed when it was announced. Well, those were the good old days, and these are the good new days.
I don't know if I told you about all the plumbing problems I have had for the past 6 months or so. It seems that they got progressively worse over time after my husband and I split up. Well, a great plumber came and spent 4 whole days working here. He had a "Ditch Witch" tractor over here one day, a hired hand helping him, and fixed so many problems. He even fixed some things that I didn't know about. I was so scared to receive my bill. Well, guess what? The bill was $140!! Now I think this man is an angel sent from heaven. He knew what all I had been going through with my ex, and financially, and he decided to do me a good deed. I have to tell you, when I worked up the courage to open that bill (expecting something around $1,000) and saw only $140 I started crying. I went into my bedroom and boo hoo-ed for quite some time. It was an amazing experience. God Bless that man! I think I may need to make him a quilt, what do you think?

Cruising into 2010


I am celebrating the new year by staying home with my kids. We will stay up and watch the ball drop in Times Square, then go straight to bed like the party animals we are. This is a picture of me driving home from work. I think I look happy here, and I certainly am happy now. I am in charge of my own destiny and no longer depend on a husband to deal with problems. I am finding this an empowering experience. I am dealing with problems and not letting them stress me out. I am saving money for my kids' cars so that I will be ready when they turn 16. I am paying off bills and improving my credit. I am refinancing my house and getting a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. Things are great, and I am planning on 2010 being even better. I hope it will be a great one for you too!

Fairy Rings


I saw in Elaine's blog, Elaine Adair Pieces, that she just completed a quilt called "Fairy Rings." It has, of course, a circular pattern and she used fairy fabrics. It reminded me of some of the fantastic fairy rings we had here in Alabama this past summer. I stopped to take photos of these particularly large mushrooms in front of a lawyer's office building.
(image) Look at the size of these things. I have always really been fascinated by fairy rings, and think they are very cool. When I look them up on the Internet, there are always explanations of ways to prevent them and keep them from spreading. Why would you want to? I would much rather have some dead grass patches here and there and experience the magic of the fairy ring!
(image) As you can see, they are literally dinner plate sized. This one was 10 inches across! So beautiful. I imagine that if there really were fairies, they would have a ball with these giant mushrooms.
(image) I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my imagination, LOL. I guess I am still a kid at heart, well at least I hope I am.