Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!


This is Katie's double sided pumpkin!

And these are her buddies shoes! Wednesday is Young Life night! The crew is all here tonight! They are downstairs singing and jumping around with a real band and big screen for the lyrics of the words. They all chime in and sing and have a ball, play games and get a small message at the end of the night. She never misses a week and I am thrilled she has such a great activity to participate in!


This is my one and only Halloween Quilt if you can believe that! I made it in the mid '90s I think. It is made with heavy Heat and Bond and has hardly any quilting and no stitching around the shapes, but I love it cause the little witches remind me so much of my three girls. It will always be a favorite even though I am embarrassed of the quality now a days! I still hang it every year..fold it very carefully so I don't crack the pieces off and save it till the next year!

Have a Boo-tiful evening!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quick Little Finish!

Punched, embroidered, quilted and bound! Quick little Mini Punchneedle Quilt! Now it's off to the darling store in Omaha, More Sew For You. They will be carrying the pattern for this little quilt, Primitive Pineapple Welcome. If you are ever in the area it is well worth stopping to shop this store. They had a great selection of beautiful fabrics and cool notions, lovely displays and very nice employees!

It is punched and embroidered with Valdani 3 strand and size 12 pearl cotton. The border has wool appliqué and it was so fun to make another one. I will need to get busy on more quilts in this series!

But first, I will prepare some Dear Jane so I can take them with me to sewing groups! Yeah!

Take care,



Monday, October 29, 2012

Houston Quilt Market

Valdani Threads has set up a display of some of my punched items at market this weekend. You have seen these before, but I'm excited they liked them enough to offer to display them in the booth. The owner of Valdani, Dana, is so kind to help my designs get seen at market so that stores might offer them to customers.

The ladies at Blackberry Primitives, Cindi and Tania, also have a booth at market and they are offering my design, Charmed Beginnings, that I did for them. Sure wish I could be there to be a fly on the wall! Ah well, maybe another year...


Take care,


Restin' and Workin'

Ginger is resting well today. Her eyes are brighter and wider today. Her leg is much less red and bruised. I am working on a store sample for my mini punched quilt, Primitive Pineapple Welcome. It is done in a bit brighter tones; ecru, gold, reds and greens for a Holiday feel. The wool appliqué in the border is so quick and easy. If any of you have not tried wool yet, give it a try! It's wonderful!

I went to the other side of the cubby we have made of couches, a wooden blanket box and my recliner to take a picture of the whole little quilt, all 12” of it! Of course I had to get little Ginger in there too! The brightness of this little quilt is growing on me, and it might be cheering me up a little bit too! Isn't it nice how quilting, stitching or doing something we love, even when we don't think we want to, helps to lift our spirits?

Thanks again for your kind words about Ginger,

Take care,


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Miss Ginger is improving...

She's perking up today...ate very well, just about jogging when she walks and not wanting to go back in the kennel room with the Doctor. We get to bring her home tomorrow if all goes well tonight. This morning she would not look me in the eye, tonight she wagged her tail a bit and finally looked at me. I'm feeling a smidge better after seeing her a bit healthier today.

Thanks so much for all of your well wishes...I really appreciate it!

Take care,


Friday, October 26, 2012

Doggy Prayers for Miss Ginger Please?

My little sweetie had a big accident with my car Thursday afternoon. I feel so badly that I didn't see her behind me and broke her leg. :-( She had surgery to help fix it this resting well for now. We had a tough two days trying to make decisions. Now I pray we've made the right one! She is part of the family and the Doctors were not recommending putting her down because of her good attitude. We hope that good spirit keeps up and she heals well...

Thanks ahead of time for the Doggy Prayers,


Monday, October 15, 2012

A Journey to A New Trick for Piecing!

I am an appliqué quilter. I am not a "piecer". I love the handwork, sitting and stitching with my husband in the evenings, with friends at quilting groups, when relaxing on a vacation... In the past few years I have fallen in love with sampler quilts. But they scare me to death thinking about cutting all those precise pieces with a rotary cutter, one at a time. I started collecting 4" blocks to make by hand while attending Bees each week. Some of these I made using English Paper Piecing. EPP is my favorite handwork besides appliqué. This is my facorite EPP project.

I used glue sticks and photo paper to make my hexies. It was time saving to eliminate the basting and the shapes were much more precise for me.
Next I started on a sampler of 4” blocks and I went through a variety of piecing methods. Hand piecing was not working on some of the tiniest pieced blocks. The blocks that I stitched the old traditional way of marking the seams and sewing by hand are a bit different in finished sizes due to my lack of perfect sewing. So, I tried EPP on these and they worked great! BUT, some of the EPP pieces are a mess on the backside with tiny tiny seams I am afraid will pull out. These seem to be pieces that i used too much glue on. I set this project aside while working on "work" related quilts. This is the book I used called 4" Sampler Book by Jill Kemp.

And this is how I am keeping the blocks organized before baggies with paper patterns and fabric ready to take with me and stitch.

I need a bit of that organization now because I can not find my blocks that are completed !!!!!!!! I cleaned up.... :-( This always happens to me. I guess I need ONE area for unfinished projects...I will look another day...I wish I could show you my little blocks.
Then I took a class from Penny Harren and learned her method using the book Piecing The Applique Way. It was such fun and was a great method for me. I made a nice sampler. It was similar to EPP, but I could make all the unique blocks partly by machine, partly by hand. Here is that quilt. The setting stars were made by machine and they are not very pointed if you look close!! Those stars were the most difficult part of this quilt! It's titled One Too Many Stars. These are 6" blocks. I want to do this with my sampler, but since I don't do "piecing" I can't figure out what sizes to sew by machine before I can sew the rest by I did a few more 4" blocks with glue, still fussing with too much glue. Penny did an awesome book for planning these blocks, but I am not smart enough to figure my own blocks using her method! :-} For different blocks this won't work for me.
Time has passed and I am ready to make a new quilt...hmmm, sure would like to make a Dear Jane after following Doreen at Aunt Reen's blog. She is soooo inspiring me with her posts of Jane blocks so often! I've had the book since it was new...I sure wish I could make this quilt...but...not now because I don't want to work by machine on all those tiny pieces. Sigh... I will put it off another 10 years!
I decided to give a try to a method I saw done in Paducah a few years ago. This woman used the starch method to prep her appliqué pieces. It was very interesting and I put it on my list to try. Recently, Kerry of Simple Bird Appliqué blog posted the same method and it inspired me to get with it and try this method of applique! I started on the leaves of my birthday quilt and as I was doing so it had another idea! I think this will work for EPP without the middle P! (Paper).
Update: I have been using this method for several years now and have learned a bit about different brands of freezer papers. I strictly use a Double Layer of Traditional Primitives Premium Freezer Paper brand now. It prevents the corners from bending and does not shrink and distort as much as other papers. I can reuse my Hexie shapes OVER 20 times before it shrinks too much to use! This brand also seems to repel the starch and will not soften on the edges which keeps my shapes accurate! It comes in printer size and I run it through the copier and then cut out a page or so, double it up and then cut the shapes apart very quickly. I have also developed the Starch Brush and Fingertip Stiletto for aide in this technique for basting. All of these items are available on my website at on the notions page.
So, I gave it a try.. I prepared my shape and ironed on the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric. Then painted the seams with liquid starch. This is scrap freezer paper so that's why you see the printing on them!  I no longer use the bowl of starch as shown below.  The Starch Brush I offer has saved a lot of trouble and is so easy to use, put the cap on and leave it until the next time I am ready to sew! 
Pressed it with a dry iron,
And BAM...we have a perfect shaped hexie with paper. The starch has made the seam stiff, even when the paper is removed after it's cool ! I've sewn the pieces with no bulky paper in my hand! Makes it very easy and comfortable!
I gave it a try to see how it worked for stitching without the middle P and it worked great! Here is is, stitched and not pressed! The starch kept it nicely shaped!
And the seams are nice and flat! No pressing needed ! No picking at the glued seams, no pressing afterward. Our time is spent on one step or another. I have found that I want to spend my time up front rather than after stitching.
So now I know it will work for EPP using this Starch Basting method and I wondered about my 4" sampler blocks and the dream I have to make a Dear Jane quilt... I promptly did this prepping method for two triangle blocks from the Dear Jane Book...two blocks done! Yeah! I have officially begun...I will try a 4" sampler block ASAP! I promise to pick one with the tiny little pieces.
I am so glad I was reminded about the starch method of prepping appliqué! Can't wait to find time to do more prepping and stitching! Looks like I will be doing some Martha Washington hexie blocks, more 4" sampler blocks and some Dear Jane blocks at Bees ( weekly stitching group) for a while. Sometimes we go on a journey to make our way to a new place. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I don't consider myself a "piecer" so I am thrilled that my quilting journey has lead me to be a "piecer" of a different kind. We each have shortcuts we find in the quilting journey that make the project easier, faster or simpler. I'm thrilled this path is working for me.
Update: There are always reasons to use paper or not use paper, or baste with starch, glue or thread. This technique works both ways! Each of us have things we like and don't like about EPP. Hopefully these tips will help some of you fall in love with EPP by giving a few shortcuts here and there! As time passes, I seem to use many different techniques for different projects, so don't give up the old ways just yet! We use knowledge and experience every day to make this old piecing technique work for each of us, in the way we each prefer. This is the only way I baste for English Paper Piecing now and it works perfectly for me!
Join me at my new blog Traditional Primitives for my latest info on EPP my own way, using starch! I have a new EPP pattern in the works and there are some sneak peeks to see! Become a follower please, I'd love to get to know you!
I also have a website with several EPP pincushion patterns... Traditional Primitives from Missie Carpenter
Take care,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Des Moines Area Quilter's Guild Show 2012

As you know if you read my last post, the Des Moines Guild is at the same time in the same building during the AQS Show. We usually show about 450-500 quilts. It is an outstanding show! Here are some highlights for you to see.

This quilt was made by my friend Mary Martin. Mary is in two small groups with me. She made this quilt showing all of her family's pets. They look so real when you look up close! She did an awesome job! All of the animals names are written on the quilt. If you notice the black lab's name...he was a rowdy pup and Mary's husband cursed at him enough that became his name! She said all the neighbor kids loved to come play with this dog because they could curse! What a story! LOL She received a second place ribbon.


Bragging time for me...this is my daughter Katie's quilt! She made this last summer in about two weeks. I showed her one triangle to demonstrate foundation paper piecing and she needed no more help! The blocks cover the top of her bed and the borders hang down to cover her thick mattress. She got a BLUE ribbon in the Junior Division.


This was made by my friend Julee Prose. She started this quilt in the 80's and finished it recently. It won Best Hand Quilting and a second place in it's category! Very pretty! She loves large appliquéd blocks with scalloped borders.


This quilt was made by Karen Pavlik. It received an Honorable Mention ribbon. I don't know this quilter, but every quilt she entered, I was drawn to. When I was checking out folks at the end of the show, she came to my table. I introduced myself and complimented her quilts. It was nice to meet the person who made them since I liked them so much!


Some First Place Winnwers!


Half of our Little Quilt Auction. We donate little quilts and the money raised in the silent auction goes towards our programs each month. It's always fun to watch the end of the auction when everyone is trying to outbid the last person! Fun fun!


My quilt, In The Orange Grove, Honorable Mention, Pineapple Category


A Warm Welcome, first place, Small Quilts


Two pretty quilts...the black one is Julee's.



My Charmed Beginnings in Cotton and Wool, third place, wall hanging.

That's all the pictures I have! I hope you enjoyed the show!!

Take care,


Friday, October 12, 2012

AQS Des Moines Show 2012

Well, I am recovered from a week at the AQS Des Moines Show! Once again, it was a great show! Helped set up, worked a few shifts, enjoyed the company of my Aunt Mary and her friend Liz, from NE, shopped and shopped, ate and ate, looked and looked at quilts, and helped take down! Whew!! What fun! Here are a few highlights from the AQS side of the show...

This young lady, Jean Clark, from Mt Horeb, WI, was so PROUD to show her ribbon winning quilt to all who passed. She was so cute and all smiles! Her quilt won 3rd Place and it was in the Hand Quilted Bed Quilt Category. I hope I am still quilting and enjoying it as much as she does when I am her age!

This beautiful basket quilt called, A Tisket, A Tasket, A Green and Yellow Basket was made by my friend, Linda Arndt. This quilt was in the Bed Quilt Machine Quilted Category. It is such a pretty combination of colors and lovely backgrounds that give it such movement. I love it! Linda is in two of my small groups. Such a sweet lady who makes such sweet quilts! She had enough baskets left over from this quilt to make another one! I will show it tomorrow...


This one was in the Wall Hanging Machine Quilted category. It is called, And Always Affectionately Yours, and was made by Shirley Wyngarden from Marshalltown, IA. I thought the blocks were so pretty. I love sampler quilts and have several in progress. I couldn't pass up a picture of this one!


This one was also in the wall hanging machine quilted category and it won a blue ribbon. I thought it was striking with the beautiful colors and simple, but complicated looking design. It was made by Ann Feitelson and is called Basket Weave 2: See Saw. Makes me think a bright quilt is in my's such a beautiful combination of color! The pattern of the baskets makes you think for a moment that this is a log cabin quilt, but then you realize it is baskets. Very interesting design!


This one was so bright and cheerful. It was part of a special display of quilts made by Jean Lohmar. She was very talented! This quilt was striking with a wonderful pieced background! It really made your eyes wander around looking at the entire quilt! Stunning! All of her quilts were beautiful show stoppers. Extremely well quilted and large. I would guess there were 20 large quilts in her exhibit!


This one was so eye catching! It is called Super Sweet Ambrosia, made by Ruth Ann Reynolds of Raymore, MO. This quilt is so nice and bright...and so interesting. Many parts to look at and explore! Love those brights once again!!

This one is called Miss Emily's Garden, made by Carol Floyd. She is in my applique small group ( which is not so small) and is very talented. This quilt won Honorable Mention!

This quilt was made by my friend, Julee Prose. I believe it is a Barbara Brackman design. Julee is also in the large appliqué group and she is very talented! We have such similar taste in quilts, we have a good time together talking about quilting. She is an excellent hand quilter as well.


This is Me with my Life In The Midwest quilt. I was very proud to have it hang in the show. It was in the Bed Quilts Machine Quilted category. It was fun to hear folks talk about it as they looked. I enjoyed telling some about the hidden meanings in the quilt for me...the corn, soybeans, wheat, etc. if you have not read about it, you can do so HERE, HERE and HERE. Do you see the little hidden gems I just mentioned that are a bit hard to find in any of the pictures in those links ? They are on the vines. This quilt is my favorite. I love hexies, I love appliqué and I love my hubs...all things that make this quilt special to me!

I end this post with the back ends of these bunnies! I thought the fabric was so perfect for a little bunny butt. The waves of the fabric make him look plump and happy! Again, I have no notes on who made this quilt. My apologies to the quilt maker, but I sure like those bunnies!

I will post a few from the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild portion tomorrow...more pretties to come!

Take care,