Archive for January, 2009


Cookie Rally

January 27, 2009

Every year about this time The Girl Scout Council of South West Texas hosts a Cookie Rally at Sea World here in San Antonio! Sea World is closed for the winter but on Saturday they opened up a half dozen exhibits and welcomed about 2500 Girl Scouts for the day. Even though the day was chilly, a high of about 60 degrees, a good time was had by all!

My favorite exhibit is the Dolphin Cove. It is so easy to get up close and personal with the dolphins.

The aquariums contain a lot of interesting sea life. Look at these awesome jellyfish.

T’s favorite exhibit is a tie between the Clydesdales…

…and the shark tank!

After exploring the exhibits we all met in the stadium so the girls could be whipped into a screaming frenzy, Cookies… Cookies… COOKIES!!! So far South West Texas Girl Scouts have taken orders for almost 1 million boxes of COOKIES!!! That’s a lot of cookies!!


Patriotic Quilt

January 19, 2009

I added a blue border to this Patriotic quilt. I think that the dark border really sets off the pattern and completes the design. Now on to the quilting!


Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day- January

January 16, 2009
I have 2 blooms to share today.

Cyclamen have uniquely shaped blooms. Their petals fold back on themselves.

African Violets-I love African Violets in my kitchen window.

To see what’s blooming in gardens around the world on this date, visit
May Dreams Gardens.


Decisions, Decisions

January 14, 2009

I’ve been working on the next block for my Dressed for Dinner quilt and came upon an example of what I was talking about last week when I was talking about applique. I made up all of the applique pieces for the block, shown above. I tacked them to the back ground with some washable glue and I hung it on the design wall. It didn’t take long for me to decide I didn’t like the values of the two leaves together. They blend together and blend in with the acorn on the left. They all look like one big blob.

I have made a new leaf in a gold and slid it in place over the original leaf. I’m much happier with that. Now what about that green acorn? Is it working?


Patriotic Quilt

January 12, 2009

Every time I look at this quilt I see a different pattern. Sometimes I see the alternating Broken Dishes and Pinwheel blocks. Other times the blocks join together to make larger pinwheel/diamond shaped designs. Then other times I just see the simple parallelograms inside blocks. That is one of the things I love about quilts!

This quilt currently has two borders. I plan to add one more border, in blue, using the method outlined in my border turorial.

Then it will be ready for the quilting table!



January 12, 2009

I used to hate adding borders to my quilt tops. I would just kind of cut some fabric and sew it onto the edges and lop off the extra. But when I would hang it up, stand back and look at it, the borders would be wavy and not square; very frustrating! I would try to tell myself that I didn’t need to do borders; that the top was fine without. But I knew better than that. A border can take a quilt top from great to fantastic, if it is well done.


Since I have learned a method that works for me I actually enjoy adding borders; and the more borders the better! This method determines at the beginning the length the borders need to be to keep the quilt top square, or to square it up if it isn’t square. And then it insures that the borders are sewn on correctly so there is no extra fabric to lop off.

There are a few tools you will need. Your tape measure is your friend. Keep it close at hand, in a place where it can always be found so that you use it a lot. You are going to need a piece of paper and a pencil to keep all of the numbers straight. You will also need an iron, ironing surface, scissors or a rotary cutter and pins.

Give the quilt top a good pressing. Make sure all of the seam allowances are pressed in the direction you want them to go. After pressing, I like to hang the quilt top on a wall but spreading it out smooth on the floor would work as well.


And now it is time to measure. Measure the width of the quilt top three times; once across the top, once across the middle and once across the bottom. In a perfect world those measurements would all be the same. I don’t know about your world, but mine is far from perfect. The measurements are rarely the same. But as long as they are not too different I can work with them. If they are too different, then I try to work with the quilt top, restitching seams, and whatnot to see if I can bring the measurements closer. For my example I came up with 49 3/4″, 49 1/2″ and 49″.

When you have the three measurements, find the average of them by adding them up and dividing by 3. For my example that would be:



This is the length of border you will need to cut for the top and bottom borders. Now obviously I am not going to be able to cut 49.41666 inches. I will just round up to 49.5.


From your border fabric cut a strip the width of your border plus 1/2 inch for the seam allowances. Then cut it to the length you have determined. Fold the border fabric in half and mark the middle with a pin. Fold again in quarters and mark the quarter points with pins. Do this also with the quilt top. Fold the top edge in half and mark with a pin and fold in quarters and mark with a pin.

Pin the border piece to the quilt top right sides together, lining up the ends, and the pins marking the middles and the quarters, easing the border to fit the top. This ensures that the border does not get stretched too long as you sew. Sew the border to the quilt top.


Now do the same thing with the bottom border using a border strip cut the same length as the top border. The top and bottom borders are done! Hang it up or spread it out on the floor again. Stand back and enjoy how it looks!


Now grab your tape measure again and measure the quilt length three times, once on the left side, once in the middle and once down the right side, including the top and bottom borders in the measurement. Take the average of the three numbers and that is the length to cut the border strips for the sides. I got lucky on my example this time and all of the measurements were the same: 63 1/2″.

Again, divide the borders and quilt top into halves and quarters and pin. Pin the borders to the top with the right sides together and sew in place.


And it is done! Now when you measure your quilt it should be square and there should be no wavy borders. Yea!

Thanks to Beth of The Jury is Still Out for piecing the quilt top used in this post.


Applique Repair

January 9, 2009

I have been asked to replace the fabrics on this little lady’s dress, bonnet and parasol.

It seems to me that it is important to be sure not to cover up all of the lovely blanket stitches around the image. So I am appliqueing the fabric just a little bit smaller than the initial pieces and zig-zagging them in place with invisible thread.

So far, so good.


WIP Wednesday

January 7, 2009

I’ve been moving right along with the next block on the Dressed for Dinner quilt. The Little Chick block was a fairly simple block to applique and is ready for some hand embroidery. The legs and the beak will be embroidered.

One of the things I have learned to do as I applique is to get all of the pieces ready for applique, tack them in place on the background with some washable glue and hang it up on the design wall for a few days. During this time I will usually find one or two fabrics that I don’t like; the red is too bright, or there is too much purple or something else. At that point it is a simple matter of changing out the offending fabric for another and confirming that the new one works better. Only then will I begin sewing the pieces in place. I find this saves me a lot of frustration in the long run.



January 5, 2009

I’ve been quilting on this lovely Valentine quilt. The hearts were made from doilies that were cut up and sewn into the blocks.

It will make a lovely Valentine’s present!


Paseo del Rio

January 2, 2009

I mentioned the River Walk in my last couple of posts and got some inquiries as to what that is exactly. I’m sorry I didn’t make it more clear. I am speaking of the Paseo del Rio; the River Walk here in San Antonio. The San Antonio river runs through the city downtown and a wonderful little tourist area has grown up along it.

The San Antonio River has a history as long and colorful as the River Walk itself. It was a life line for inhabitants in the area for three centuries. It still is a life line for many, as it is the largest tourist attraction in San Antonio beating out even Sea World and Six Flags Over Texas.

The River Walk came about as a result of efforts to control flooding on the river. It doesn’t rain much here, but when it does, look out! Water surges into the rivers and floods are common. Dams, a flood gate and a bypass channel were built to control the level of the water downtown.

An architect in the area, Robert Hugman, envisioned the banks of the river as a world apart from the city’s streets- a balance between commercial and park-like atmospheres. It didn’t come about overnight but slowly developed and grew over the years, from 1921 until today. I think if Mr. Hugman could see the Paseo del Rio today he would see his vision brought to life.


I think the best way to approach your River Walk experience is by descending one of the many stairways from street level to the River Walk level. As you descend down the steps you are transported from the hot, busy, noisy streets of our big city to the cooler, relaxed, quiet atmosphere of the River Walk. The gentle sounds of the river, waterfalls and the breeze in the trees all contribute to the relaxed atmosphere while the lights, flowers, colorful umbrellas and the people make the mood festive.


The edges of the river are lined with umbrella covered tables, cafes and shops. There are a wide range of restaurants from which to choose and you have the choice of dining outside or inside (read that: in the air conditioning!). There are lots of souvenir shops and vendors and don’t forget to take a ride on a gondola for a different perspective of the River Walk.



I hope that you can make it to Paseo del Rio some day. I know that I’m always looking forward to my next visit!