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A Bright Spring

Spring is Exciting! I think of Sunny Days and bright breezes.

In  the grocery store, I bought a beautiful, potted Blue Hydrangea.  Suddenly I loved the spring flowers.  Having it on my kitchen table has brought me so much happiness, I wanted to share it with others. 

“Hydrangea” 10-inch Interlocking Pantograph

If you haven’t seen my homepage take a look. It’s all part of the theme!

I couldn’t resist sharing my original Blueberry (Hydrangea) Breakfast Cake recipe. I’m such a foody!

My mind raced to devise a quilt design on which to display a Hydrangea Pantograph.  It’s been fun and I found that the emergence of the pretty spring flowers here in Kansas has lifted my spirits.

Hydrangea Quilt Design

It’s really a simple design. Here’s how you do it.

This could be adapted for pansies or any number of flowers in our gardens by changing the colors on this very simple pattern.

There are spring flowers everywhere I look. They bring the promise of re-birth and new days of peace and plenty. The world will become right again. Have faith!

Enjoy your Sunny Spring with a cheerful panto on a flowery quilt!

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Crazy for Southwest


The Desert is starting to bloom! It’s an awakening time of year! If you haven’t been out to see the open landscapes, I encourage you to go! If not enjoy pictures posted on the internet.

The big Fabric companies are announcing new specialty fabrics emblazoned with cactus and succulents. So hurry out to buy a few yards of the fun “sandy” fabrics.

The Results

One of my favorite new patterns is “High Desert.” It’s the one filled with my memories. I love to see designs like this stitched out over quilts. It induces the viewer to “zoom in” and have a closer look. It’s so interesting.

Oh yeah! Cactus!  My mom was a crafty sort and she just had to have some of that decorative Cholla Cactus wood.  I can remember her with a handkerchief tied around her face like a mask and wielding a big butcher knife held by big heavy gloves – scraped the “stickers” off the cactus!!  Those stickers are terrors!! They are the enemy! I know that from experience. But, Cactus Flowers were another thing!  They were friendly and had beautiful, brightly colored flowers.

I’m fascinated by the varieties of Desert Landscape. I guess that’s because I am a Southern California girl!   We had a Desert Cabin just outside Joshua Tree National Park. I loved to stand on the large boulder in front of our house and feel the strong wind blow against me! I would dress up in my boots (protection against snakes, you know!) and wander through the dry “wash” and go climbing over the boulders and up “Rattlesnake Hill” behind our cabin. My brother and I would shoot at old tin cans with his Bebe gun and sometimes a jackrabbit, too. 

More Desert patterns: (Not dessert – but still yummy!)

If you like the “hot sandy soil” I’ve drawn lots of patterns for you; Southwest Vistas, Desert Rose, Cactus Garden, Modern SouthwestSpiral SunsSpinning KokopelliCactus FlowerPueblo PotteryYucca Blossom, SnakeskinSimple Saguaro, and High Desert.   Or buy three at a 20% OFF discount in the Southwest Set. 

Maybe “Desert Rose” is my favorite!

But there’s more to the name than that.  When I was a girl our family would often drive from LA to Utah or to Lake Mead in Nevada.  Going through Las Vegas, we always stopped for the night at the “Desert Rose Motel!”  I doubt it’s still there, but if you drive into Las Vegas from the south on the old road, watch for it.

 SOOOoo …I found a great picture of beautiful succulents and decided to mock-up a quilt to match it.  I sewed strips round and round the center in the colors I saw in the photo.  I over-layed the Desert Rose patterns over it.  I love it and hope you do too.  If you make an actual quilt Pleeeze send me a picture!

Read more qbout it here:

Desert Rose Quilt Construction: I had noticed that the succulents often had a tinge of fushia or purple along the outer edge of the petals. I wanted to achieve this look and so inserted thin strips randomly through the blocks.

Mock Desert Rose quilt design. It’s so easy!! I just pulled these fabrics out of my stash and randomly sewed them in place! For this “mock” quilt I made only 2 blocks and tinted them differently so I could show you a “whole” quilt. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? You’ll definitely want to try this!

Hey, all this talk about “Desert” is making me hungry for “Dessert!” What do we eat in the Desert? Prickly Pears? Aloe Vera Juice? Jack Rabbit Stew? Get some ideas at the end.

Cactus Flower – this is the quilt I started as an example.

Hooray, it all went together well and I barely had enough fabric! I quilted it with my Cactus Flower pattern with a variegated deep red thread which stood out great on the black backing! In the side borders I used Saguaros from my Cactus Garden Pattern.

For the spines I finally settled on a rayon thread which frayed pleasantly! And, oh yes, the pink wasn’t as bright as I wanted so I spray-painted the fabric with Neon Pink spray paint.

Try a taste of Desert food! Rattlesnake Hot Dogs, Joshua Tree Date Shakes and Date Crumble.

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The Lord God Made Them All.

I’m Baaack…

Serving as a missionary has given me an added opportunity to appreciate all the Blessings God has given me – AND to ALL of us.  I think we don’t always recognize and give thanks to Him who gave them all.

So, this past year as I was making a quilt with animals flowers, etc. (as I am wont to do)  I felt I should add the phrase “The Lord God Made Them All.” In fact, I felt “He” wanted me to say that!  After all, I firmly believe He did make them all.

The phrase comes from a lovely old hymn entitled “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”  

From Wikipedia:  “All Things Bright and Beautiful” is an Anglican hymn, also sung in many other Christian denominations. The words are by Cecil Frances Alexander and were first published in her Hymns for Little Children of 1848. The hymn is commonly sung to the hymn tune All Things Bright And Beautiful, composed by William Henry Monk in 1887.

As quilter’s we commonly use motifs from nature and the beautiful world around us. I decided to applique those words across the quilt and my friend, who quilted it for me with my Chicken Feathers, stitched over the words with my Sunflowers pattern.  Very appropriate indeed. I’m considering adding it to the quilts I make and design in the future.

If you have a quilt that seems appropriate, I’ve made a little PDF.  It contains the letters which could be appliqued, but also a continuous line version for machine quilting. “The Lord God made them All”

The quilt is a hodge podge of designs found online and modified. There was even a panel of roosters bought at the local quilt shop.  I guess the little chick is the only truly Judy Lyon creation and I did add the little plastic wings on the bees.  Hmm. It can be washed but can’t go in the dryer! Because the roosters had printed “frames” around them I had to make “frames” around the pieced hens, beehives, and ducks I pieced.  Now that you know, you can probably spot the difference. That became a bit grueling!

I’ll share some closeups in case you like the idea.

I’ve saved scraps from the original quilt to make an easier version as a “strip” quilt. But I’ll need to make a lot of chicks and more Bees! This time instead of plastic wings, I’ve got a branch of artificial flower petals to try.

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It’s the year of the TIGER.

Asian-themed pantos make beautiful quilts.

TIGER STORY:  embroidered on a quilt from the Hill Tribes of Thailand.

For a long time Lawloua walked to the forest.  Lawloua shot a gibbon in the tree.  The tiger bit Lawloua. The tiger put on his clothes and carried a Gibbon with a gun, came home. Lawloua’s wife and young sister waited it. The tiger cut the gibbon into 4 pieces and counted and said: share our one bite. After finished the Gibbon, the Tiger enter to bedroom and bit Lawloua’s wife. At night the Tiger asked and said: where you sleep tonight young sister Jor.  For a minute she took a skirt cover the pan and the pan cover her in. ? maybe she was hiding. At morning the sun was shining. The Tiger saw sister Jor sleep on the roof.  Suddenly the Tiger jumped on to the roof to bite her but she threw chilly (chili) to its eyes. The tiger no has wisdom. It ran to wash eyes at the pail of water. One day the crow flew to the roof. She gave it any kind (? what) for tell her parent.  The crow went and tolt (told) Jor’s father and put down a kind for him. They conversed for about they how to help their daughter. They dug a big hole wait for it and they would kill it. They prepared some munitions. They arrived Lawloua’s house. They asked their people.  Jor called the Tiger come home.  They tolt a lie and said to it sing song.  They took the Tiger to dip up water.  The tiger went to fell in the hole and then they killed it that time.   They took Jor go back home.

How about some Tiger cookies?

Happy Chinese New Year!

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What is the color of Thanksgiving? If Orange is for Halloween and Red is for Christmas is Thanksgiving BROWN?

It is not the cold spooky orange and black of Halloween. No, It’s a warmer combination of gold and orange and brown; touched with the reds of Christmas which are soon to come. It is the color of fall leaves, first on the trees, then blanketing the ground below.

It’s a beautiful combination of them all, isn’t it?

Can you EAT those colors? YES! See below for FREE PUMPKIN-MANIA Recipe booklet!

Thanksgiving Story : When my kids were small I discovered this cute story and made a big Turkey puppet and big puppet children. They came with us each year to school and kids were chosen out of the classroom to re-enact the story multiple times. Here, my daughter copied it for her kids.

“Patience and Daniel were little English children in the settlement at Plymouth.  One day their Father brought them a young turkey to raise and play with.  They were so happy to have their nice pet. What’s his name they asked.  But he didn’t have a name.  You choose a name Daniel said to his little sister patience.  She named him (let the kids choose.)____.When  their Indian friend, Takset, came to play he was so surprised.  All three children spent many happy hours that summer playing with their pet _____.

When they walked to the stream to get water for their mother, _____ Turkey followed them. When they shouted and ran noisily about the turkey was frightened and flew into the branches of the tree to hide.When the children ate their snacks,  ____ turkey pecked at their feet hopoing to have a snack too..When autumn came Father said, “___ turkey is the biggest turkey in the settlement and we’ll cook him for our big Thanksgiving feast.”

The children were shocked.  That night Patience and Daniel cried themselves to sleep.But in the night Takset crept into the village.  He carried ___ turkey away in a big sack.The next morning the turkey was no where to be found so Father and mother baked a different turkey for the feast.When all of their Indian friends came, they were surprised to see Takset with ______ turkey.  They were so happy! The children played all day and that night three happy children fell into their beds, dreaming of playing together the next day.

Yikes, I can’t believe it’s so late! Where has this month gone?? I just realized I’d better get this post out before it’s too late.

I have some Quilt mockups, but now it’s too late to start for Thanksgiving. Oh well, here they are anyway. The first is for my newest pattern: “HUNTING.” Fall is Hunting Season!

Another is a mock-up of my Thai Temple Tiles in Autumn Colors with our “Autumn Wind” pattern overlay.

This year I just can’t seem to get enough of my yummy brown Pumpkin Filling. I’ve already used it several old ways and invented some new treats. In fact, I love all things Pumpkin! I thought I’d share them with you.

OKAY, You get the idea. Be sure to download a FREE PDF Booklet with these recipes and MORE of my Favorite Holiday Foods in Thanksgiving COLORS! 38 recipes in all!


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Ohoooo! Creeeepy Halloweeeeen Re-visited!

“BATS” Yesterday I added a new FREE pdf ! You’ll love the way it looks on your Halloween Quilt!

Look what My grandson served us when we visited last Halloween! Do you have a favorite Feet-Loaf recipe? Use onion slices for toenails! See recipe below.

The air is getting a little cooler, thank goodness!  I just hope it doesn’t get so cold the kids all have to cover up their costumes with coats.  AND! Heaven forbid, snow like we had one year. It’s late & We’ve got to get those Halloween patterns off the shelves before they’re mummified!

Halloween Kaleidoscope Quilt. Can you see how I tried out my Halloween pantographs on it?

I love my Halloween Kaleidoscope Quilt. I love making Kaleidoscopes and arranging them in new ways. Click HERE for the tutorial. They make a perfect quilt for so many of these Halloween fabrics!

Plus, I’m always thinking about all the yummy treats for Halloween. I hope you like my – Floating on Air -“GHOSTIES” – to go along with my “Ghostly Feathers” pattern. Learn how to make them below.

Every October when our kids were small I would decorate the front door with spider webs made of black or white yarn and hang big plastic spiders on them.  Then, there was the year James made Jack Pumpkinhead and he has been our door greeter ever since. See him in last years Halloween post. AND get the recipe for our yummy “pumpkin-filled” Pumpkin Face Cookies. here

Don’t get creeped-out by my “Spider Webs” Pantograph. Ohhh, they’re so realistic and soooo Creeeepy! It reminds me of the spiders the boys made in Cub Scouts. See below.

Here’s a mock-up idea for a fun “Spider Webs” Quilt!

Okay – I’m not really crazy about spiders. I step on them purposely, but I had 5 boys and, well, boys like stuff like that! Here’s a paper bowl spider I taught the boys to make in scouts. Kids love creeping it along! It has been loads of fun over the years. 25 years to be exact! (It’s a little weather-beaten!)

Enjoy his creepy crawly movements!

Here are some other fun Halloween patterns and recipes/ideas to go with them!


My mom used to add chocolate chips to her meringues. She called them Surprises! I didn’t do it on these “Ghosties” but you might want to try it. The chips don’t show on the outside!

Isn’t this a fun Ghost pie my friend Virginia made?

Do you have a ghost cookie cutter? Let me dig through my baking drawer and see if I have one.

It’s windy today and I’m afraid the leaves will turn and blow off the trees before I can get my Thanksgiving candles made. Go here for the Ice Candle tutorial. Make them NOW while there are still leaves to gather and put them in your freezer!

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Be Patriotic for America

See a special FREE Patriotic pattern offer below.

Last weekend for Memorial Day we camped on the Oregon Beach. It was wonderful. The weather was ideal and the countryside and beach beautiful. There is so much of America that I love.

The kids were playing with others in the campground and on the beach. ONE OF THE FATHER’S CAME OVER AND INTRODUCED HIMSELF. Our kids had been playing together all day. Later that night we took some left-over Ribs to their family and they shared thin peanut butter cups – perfect for S’mores.

That was the epitome of a good neighbor- a GOOD AMERICAN NEIGHBOR! There is something about being in a camp. You are all on equal footing. Every person gets a “hello” and cheerily gives one in return. This is the way it should be in all our neighborhoods – in every country. God has made us all and that’s good to remember!

Spin out of control with this great “Red, White & Blue” quilt.

Download it free with Purchase of a Patriotic Panto through June. (see below or search theme “4th of July” for more options)

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Quilt For The Man in Your Life

We all want to make those special quilts for the men we know – but there’s always the dilemma of how to quilt them. Worry no more!  Here’s a big selection of man-friendly patterns.  Stock up while they’re on sale THIS MONTH!  Hooray!


Golf Course 11: Pictogram

Modern Skylines 11″ Interlocking  My Dad took took us on a Kiwanis Convention to New York City.

Backwoods 11″ Pictogram  One son loves hiking up into the Backwoods.

Campout 11″ Pictogram  My Dad always took us Camping every summer! My son-in-law takes the family camping in their “pop-up.” Another takes his family camping at the lake.

Fish Tales 3.5″ w Fish Bait   Dad was from Minnesota and loved sitting in a boat all day fishing.

Ponderosa Pine Spray 9″ E2E

Clear Stream 11″ Innovative Interlocking  Hubby took us camping in the Ozarks where they had a Clear Stream like this.

Sandy Shore 10″ E2E  What about the sons who take their kids to the beaches?  Our family lived on the beach in Hawaii, courtesy of Uncle Sam.

Modern Southwest 11″ E2E    My Dad had a Desert vacation cabin. I remember being on the roof watching Mom and Dad pound in nails!

Ski Slopes 11″ Pictogram  My son-in-law has been teaching his kids to ski this winter.

Snakeskin 10″ E2E  We had a graveyard for the snakes and pack rats at our Desert house.

Bug Bites PDF

Who is a Father in your life? Is it your own distinguished Father? He might enjoy a lap-quilt for his recliner.

Is it your husband – the strongman who lifts things for you. He’s the one who reaches the high shelves and the one who checks the oil in your car. He might like a new quilt for the yacht or your family vacation cabin.

Or is it your collegiate son or the fun-loving guy who has made your daughter the luckiest girl in the world. They’d like rugged quilts for backpacking or camping with the kids!

Mustang Stampede Interlocking 2 rows of 8″

Ropin’ Horseshoes 4″ w Knotty Pine 6″

Orchestra 11″ vertical pantograph Joe was in “Jazz Band” and Grandkids excel in the strings section!

Workbench 10″ E2E One of our sons remodeled his own house – kitchen drawers and all! My son-in-law built this climbing wall for his kids.

Sports Nut 10″ Interlocking Soccer was the game our sons loved.

Dawgs 11″ Pictogram My son’s 8 kids love their dogs!

Dragons Galore 11″ Pictogram They are all computer geeks! Does this count?

G I  Firepower 10″ E2E My husband was an Army officer.

G I Patrol 11″ Pictogram Ditto!

Maori Moko Interlocking 15″  He took us to Hawaii and Asia.

Maori Moko Blocks 9″

Sports Car Classics 6″ E2E I have a son who LOVES car specs.

Truckin’ Along 10″ E2E He even drove a truck for a moving company.

Car Classics 8″ E2E My Dad loved tinkering with cars – that’s him leaning over the motor!

Car Classic Blocks 8″

The “Guy” patterns are on sale, but I’ve also highlight some modern designs that might appeal to your man!

I hope you’ve got one of these great men in your life! Be sure to thank them while you can!

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It’s fun to be Irish!!

A few years ago we did some DNA testing.  I was from all over the globe!  But the biggest surprise was a high percentage of Irish ancestry!  So I’m wearin’ more “green” these days!

Enjoy a FREE tutorial for my “Irish Blessing” Quilt.   Just some honest Irish instructions. NO BLARNEY!

If you make it please share a Pic.    It’s stitched with “Celtic Chain” which has 2 different borders.  I’ve shown both so you can get the idea.

Our guild had a challenge to do a 2 color quilt, or at least a block.  I thought about my favorite color – RED.  Then I determined to use blue and include all my hand-dyed indigo pieces.  But when I looked through my stash for a solid piece, I didn’t have exactly the right color blue!  Well, of course, it had to match my hand dyes and that may be a problem.  As I was fooling around with swatches I hit upon the idea of using green for St. Patrick’s Day. It could be scrappy and “use up” some of my many odds and ends.  I must admit, however, I bought a few more for the mix! The ones I already chose out of my stash are on the left.  The new ones are on the right.  For this sample I couldn’t make it scrappy like I want for the whole quilt – remember, it was a 2 color challenge.  Now I even have a 2 color quilt board on Pinterest!

The first thing I did to start was make a bunch of half-square triangles.  (Whoever thought of that name?)  I tried making 2 from a small square to confirm my calculations were correct.  Then I made the rest with my “8 in one blow” method.  Either way I made them a little larger than I needed so I could trim them to size.  

Next I started cutting the various other pieces.  I sewed the long strips together and combined them into the little checker boards and striped squares.  When they were pressed I laid a few of each on the ironing board for you to see.  Next came the actual sewing into strips according to the schema plan I made up for the PDF.

Now I have one block finished to show you!!! I love the way it turned out, don’t you?  Of course, I plan to “quilt” it with my Celtic Chain pattern with 2 borders and 4 different blocks.  Maybe I’ll go scrappy with the designs too, and mix them all in.

Before I forget, I’ve got a St. Patrick’s Day recipe for you.  It’s my very favorite Rosemary Cheddar Soda bread.   Wait ’til you taste it – fabulous!!!     

This was fantastic. I made it exactly (I almost never do) except for baking it on a Pizza Stone.

Rosemary Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

A tasty Irish Soda Bread with sharp cheddar and fresh rosemary. This is aperfect as a side to your corned beef dinner.

Prep Time 10 minutes     Cook Time 25 minutes     Author foodnessgracious


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cups buttermilk
  • 1 whole large egg


  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly flour a non stick baking tray or spray with a non stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, pepper, rosemary and cheese.
  3. Add the egg to the buttermilk and beat until mixed.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and lightly mix through until it becomes sticky and a ball forms.
  5. Dump the dough out onto a flour dusted work surface and roughly knead the dough into an ball shape. It may be on the wet side so have some extra flour on hand for dusting.
  6. Place the dough onto your prepared baking tray. Take a sharp serrated knife and cut an X on top of the soda bread.
  7. Season the top with some more salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 25 minutes and the top is golden brown.
  8. Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving with butter. If you can resist!!!
Happy Quilting!!  Judy
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BUT I do now that I can sew and look out the window!



Make a fun Silly Snowmen Quilt or wall hanging. Get the FREE tutorial including the snowflake block pattern here.

Don’t you love those cute, funny snowmen roasting marshmallows and singing carols? For stitching your “Snowmen are so Silly” quilt just lift them out of the “Silly Snowmen” pictogram.

To make a “WINTRY” Table Topper or Wall Hanging use the FREE Snowflake Block/Quilt pattern that comes with theSnowmen are so Silly!tutorial above.

For a simpler approach, these four images are now available in stencil form through our distributor Full-line Stencils. Use them in lots of ways!

I’m always dreaming of food! So Scroll down for something Yummy!!

Snow Dyeing? YES! This seemed like a good time to pull out those wire baskets I insist on saving and open up my bottles of dye. Do you want to try? Follow along.

My method:

Snow dyeing with Procion dyes:  First, after washing the white fabric, I soaked it in ½ c. washing soda and 1 gallon hot water for 1 or more hours.  Then I scrunched up the cloth (twisting tightly gives a nice effect too), placed it on a grate over a disposable pan and piled about 5 inches of snow on top.  After that I poured the pre-mixed dye over the snow.  I did different analogous colors in spots.  One set of pieces had turquoise, green and yellow and another with fuchsia, tangerine, and yellow.  Then, I also did purple and turquoise, and used up the rest of the mixed red and green dyes.  I scraped every last bit of snow together for them because in our area it doesn’t last long.   They all turned out great.  It’s been really fun.  (I couldn’t stand to waste any dye, so I also stuffed fabric under the grate to catch the drippings.)

I left them in the cold for a couple of days because I didn’t have time to wash and rinse. Don’t worry it’s not a problem. The longer they remain in the dye, the brighter the colors. However, some melting must occur to liquify the dye. Cold temps make it take longer.  (The liquid dye is the key. Once it is dry that is the end of the dyeing.) They actually only need about 24 hours if the snow has melted. (Sometimes I’ve shaded them or brought them into the shed to finish.)

For ice dyeing : Prepare t-shirts or fabric by soaking in washing soda and water.

Leaving the fabric wet, I wrung it out then wadded it lightly and placed it in a disposable pan.  If you have a grate you can lift it out of the puddle. I piled ice cubes or crushed ice on top about a hands width high.  Then I sprinkled “Tie-Dye” powder in spots over the ice.  Don’t sprinkle everything in the same place or you’ll get “mud.”  It’s always a good idea to wear masks when working with dye powder!  Plus, wear rubber gloves. (You can get Tie-Dye powder at Walmart – don’t use Rit Dye because the colors will not be strong enough.)

In both cases, Wring out the extra dye out-of-doors and then rinse the fabrics well in the washing machine.  I added Synthrapol to the wash to carry away any loose dye.  You can also add dye absorbing dryer sheets to monitor whether any loose dye remains.  Usually 3 times through the cycle gets out all the loose dye.  Don’t stop at one and think you’ll be okay.

When you’re finished you’ll have beautiful hand dyed fabrics to use for your next quilt.

Have fun.

Here’s another way to use the Silly Snowmen Pictogram. Find it in the Star Quilt Fantasy PDF.

Yep, I do like sweets! Here’s a “Snowy” recipe.


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An Obsession with Christmas! with Pillow Tutorial

Lately I’ve been obsessed about getting my machine embroidery files on the market. You know how it is, when you’ve worked hard on something and spent money on it, you want it to succeed?

I’ve always loved my Around the World Santas. I drew them about 10 years ago. Even now I look at them and say to myself. “I drew that?” I’m proud of them and happy with the way each one is creative and unique. But sad to say they all sat in their books and I never had time to do more with them. Sob! Find out what changed below.

CREATION – I started off trying to make each one reflect the way the people of that country thought of their very own Saint Nicholas. Germany and France and Scandinavia were very much that way. I made a framework around each that was unique and reflected some of the image itself or the beliefs surrounding that character.

FRUITION – I needed samples to put on my website and for who will be selling them to the broader Machine Embroidery market.

Germany –Weihnachtsmann (“Christmas Man”) Germany has many names for Santa Claus.  Most reflect variations of St. Nicholas such as Klaasbuur (Nicholas our neighbor) but I’ve chosen the father-like figure of Weihnachtsmann who trudges through the night with his burden of toys.

France – Pere Noel is a woodsy character.  Children leave their shoes by the fire filled with treats such as carrots for his donkey Gui (mistletoe). If the children have been good they find presents in their shoes.

Scandinavia – Julemanden  is helped by the Tomte or Nisse – magical farm folk.  In Scandinavia everyone agrees Santa Claus is one of their own.  Many say he lives in Greenland and flys over all their lands, while each country has claimed a local home for him.  Regardless, he does ride in a sleigh pulled by reindeer.  At Christmas time the dining room ceilings are festooned with stars forming a “Heaven.”

Next came some of the standards; the American Santa Claus and the British Father Christmas created by Charles Dickens and Albania’s Grandfather Winter.

United States – Santa Claus is the jolly old elf we all know and love. How he magically comes down the chimney may be attributed to St. Nicholas who dropped gold down a chimney, magically landing in a stocking hung to dry.                  

United Kingdom – Father Christmas    This jolly man was originally part of an old mid winter festival and was dressed green robes.  He might look similar to the “Ghost of Christmas present” from Dickens.  He goes about the town ringing his bell for the children to come out. Here the children enjoy decorating their homes with greenery reminiscent of “The Holly and the Ivy.”

Albania – Babadim ri  (Grandfather Winter) In Albania, because it is a nation of both Moslim and Christian peoples the fun aspect of Christmas has been embraced and become a common ground for families and neighbors to share in the happiness and fun. 

Then as I gained more confidence (or maybe came up with some stumbling blocks regarding the beliefs about Saint Nicholas in any given country) I started devising imaginative images depicting what “I thought” they might look like. Latvia and Finland and Ukraine were like that.

LatviaZiemassvētku Vecītis (“Christmas pop”) bundles up against the harsh winter chill. Latvia claims to be the home of the first Christmas tree. 

Finland – Joulupukki rides in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Finland claims its town of Korvantunturi to be the home of Santa Claus. It also claims to be the home of the candy cane. 

Ukraine – Did Moroz , In rich tradition the grandfather magically leaves candy and gifts under pillows or the shoes of the children.

Finally – here’s where my Poetic license started to emerge. Russia (spreading frost!) and Switzerland (where I did not clothe him in a long robe but made a cheerful mountain-man) and Italy where he took on the look of the Renaissance.

Russia –Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) comes from the pagan tradition. He wears a long embroidered coat trimmed with fur. You may know him by the name “Jack Frost.”

Switzerland – Samichlaus  knocks on each door consulting his big book of sins.  Children gain forgiveness by reciting a poem and promising to be good.  Then they can reach into his bag of treats.

Italy – Babbo Natale fills Christmas stockings with treats and traditional toys like the shepherds flute. Even more popular is La Befana (see Book 2.)


What did I do with all of these sample I was making? I photographed them and gave them as Christmas presents. They were so FAST and EASY!

Eventually I hope to get all of them converted to embroidery files. But that will be when I learn to do them myself.

In the meantime they are still available in book form for longarm quilting, hand embroidery or as digital files for computerized machines.

As you can see, mixed in with the very traditional figures like “La Befana” and “Saint Nicholas” and “Sinterklaas,” I might have started taking even more leeway as far as Santas Around the World, but I’m satisfied they represent their origins and the people who watch and wait for them each Christmas eve! Isn’t it fun to create!

I look forward to make more pillows and wall-hangings from them too! Someday, maybe a whole quilt! These Redwork files would make great “Quilting!”

Here’s the beginning!

KoreaSanta Kullosu (Santa Grandfather) If you were a Korean child you would pronounce his Kurrosu. 

Here he’s loaded his CheeGai with miniature Turtle boats and fish kites as he wanders over the mountains.

How do I know about this I lived in Korea!

What changed? I had been begging friends to try out the embroidery files I commissioned, but that took time. So how did I finally get moving?? My unbelievably good friend gave my an Embroidery machine! I still can’t believe it!


Oh, BY THE WAY 100+ international patterns are also on sale this month!

Tag-on pillow tutorial!

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This year is moving so fast- of course I’ve been traveling a lot.  And I’ve made 3 baby quilts for my 3 new grandchildren.  Those at least, got finished. 

It was the “Nemo” quilt! This was my first time doing applique with an embroidery machine.  I learned a lot and will certainly be doing it again. I feel I had great success with the clownfish. See below for a few shots of how I did it.

Thai Temple Tiles

I’ve also made a UFO – Thai Temple Tiles- and I love it!  To me the colors are great although I’m not a big fan of black, but in this case I think it really POPS!  I realized the other day that it’s reminiscent of Amish quilts pieced with a black background. See below how I made the blocks.

I love the quilting too!  It’s “Gulf of Siam.”  The even, tight texture is a perfect complement to the tile design without competing with it.  My new Oriental Elephant border works well on it too.  Since it’s a PDF it could be sized to fit.  It still needs a binding but the trunkshow date arrived, I displayed it,  and had to move on to another baby quilt.

I want to go back and put some pebbles around the elephants to make them show up better.  Awww, too much to do! See the FULL PICTURE tutorial below!

So I’m skipping ahead to Machine Embroidery!

I’ve finally got some Christmas things ready for Redwork by Machine Embroidery!  The can be enjoyed simply as embroidered blocks or used for the actual quilting.  You can buy them at my website until my link opens up on

Joyful Birth Embroidery Files 

“Joyful Birth includes the following 12 designs: Holy family, star, choir of angels, shepherds (3), wisemen on camels (3), boy with donkey, animals, village.

You can stitch the blocks separately to make the entire scene or place them into a quilt with sashings between.

Joyful Birth Embroidery Files arranged in a quilt mock-up with “Sashings” between.

Santa Around the World Set 1: the European Tradition

Set of 12  for $40.00  includes 24 designs (12 different Santas and 12 different frames).  9.96×9.96  & 7.80×7.80

 Interchange them if you like, or use the frames to go around other embroidery.

The Santa for Albania – Babadim Ri is ready now. (Grandfather Winter)

In Albania, because it is a nation of both Moslim and Christian peoples the fun aspect of Christmas has been embraced and become a common ground for families and neighbors to share in the happiness and fun. 

I don’t have them all posted yet, but will do it as possible. You can purchase them separately ($3.99) to get your favorites!

While I’m on the topic of Machine Embroidery – here’s how I did the Nemo quilt. I appliqued the fish on with the Machine embroidery!! I resized some of the fish and positioned them and flipped them to add some variety to the blocks.

I’m finally back to the Picture Tutorial for my THAI TEMPLE TILES QUIILT!

This quilt was surprisingly fast and easy. If you use a “jelly roll” it will be even easier. Since I didn’t use one I can’t tell you how many you’ll need. Sorry. If anyone makes it, let us know how many jelly rolls it takes. Of course, you can make this quilt small for a lap/baby quilt or large for a bed. This one measures 60″x60.” (when I get the border on!)

See How I placed the pieces for the Applique.

Gotta Rush now! Happy Quilting!

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Have you been maintaining social distance from your long-arm quilting machine?

I’m afraid I have been accidentally quarantined from the longarm. I had big plans, but then there were masks to sew and a donation quilt and working on my embroidery patterns for Christmas sales and… 

I’ve been trying desperately to get this set of Santa’s out for Embroidery machines. Watch for them in the next newsletter. Here’s Scandinavia’s Julemanden.

There are always a million things to do and this month we had a beautiful new granddaughter.  Here’s the quilt I made for her. It’s stitched with Fairy Spring.

Then there is the quilt I made for a new great-grandson!

Beach Memories on sale here!

Were having a “last chance” beach and vacation sale. Along with that is a  Beach Borders misprint I’m offering Free with purchase.  THE BEACH??? Well, I’m from So Cal and we go to the beach on New Year’s Day!  But so many of the beaches were even closed this summer! Sob!!! I thought You might be thinking of the vacations you WERE able to have this year in spite of quarantine. Maybe you’ll make a quilt to commemorate. “Sandy Shores” is a good choice and so is “Campout.”

BEACH BORDERS – A limited number of FREE misprints are available. Order the $4.00 version on the product page and enter coupon misprint2020 at checkout. These patterns can also double as E2E for short-arm machines.

It’s nice to see how these “Fishy” ideas can be used.

BTW in case you hadn’t noticed, I love focusing on shells

Next month I’ve got a lot of things lined up to finish and show you! So that’s my excuse.  What’s yours?

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Okay, but What is a Pictogram?

The great MeadowLyon Adventure began when we returned from living in Malaysia where Monkeys would sit on our shoulders at the park or steal our lunches. My son would lie on the floor pouring over animal books.  So I decided to make him a Rainforest Quilt to help him remember that wonderful adventure. I pieced it with tropical fabric and as I got deeper under the canopy used darker fabrics with bigger animals.  Finally I turned the trees upside down and pieced the lower ones with fish fabric.  Then I asked my friend Angela to quilt it for me – and put in birds and animals.  She said she’d be glad to quilt it, but I’d have to draw the pattern.  So I did.  I didn’t know it could repeat so I made it all different.  It became the basis for our first 4 “Pictograms.”  “Rainforest,” “Jungle,” Safari,” and “Fishy Business.” They were highly pictorial – almost a “Whole Cloth” pattern yet on an easy to use 12 ft. roll. Read more about Pictograms here.

Take a LOOK! How many animals, plants or landmarks can you spot in this quilt. See the full list on the Southwest Vistas page.

       “When I was a child, our family built a desert cabin in the high desert of California just outside Joshua Tree National Park. The boulders of Rattlesnake Hill behind the house were my playground.  Later as a college student I went with friends to explore rock formations of several western states.   I was at home on the desert rocks.  Recently when someone suggested I do a Southwest pattern I leaped right in.  It was fun remembering climbing on boulders, feeling the wind and chasing the jackrabbits.  Of course, there were plenty of giant Joshua trees and snakes, too. The adventure turned my thoughts to the fun times of my childhood. I drew all those memories into my “Southwest Vistas” pattern.  “Campout” and “Backwoods” are two other patterns that take me back to those happy-go-lucky days.  Didn’t you ever go camping as a child? Did your Dad make you sit in the boat for hours to catch fish?  With book in hand, it seemed like forever. That was tedious, but it’s fun to remember now. Re-discover such memories when you stitch pictorial Pictograms on your quilt!”

Here’s a complete list of all our Pictograms. Search by name HERE.

When you go to each post you’ll see closeups and the special BORDERS planned to compliment them.

Often as I sat drawing patterns I would imagine the quilt I would make on which to stitch them. Although this is not my main focus, I’ve published a few that you might use. Some are FREE, some are full sized and some are normal patterns.

If you know me, you won’t be surprised that I also came up with recipes for some of them. Guess which Pictogram they match!

Have fun planning your next Pictogram quilt!

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Monkey-ing Around

I don’t know about your kids, but mine did a lot of Monkey-ing around! In fact, it wouldn’t be incorrect to call them little monkeys! (Plus, I told them many times NOT to jump on the beds.) So let’s make some cute quilts for Children’s Day coming up on June 14th.

Let’s have fun with kids – many have been with their kids 24-7 for the first time these past weeks.  I hope it’s been a fun, if revealing, experience.  For many it’s been a great opportunity to increase the familial bonds and have fun together. If you haven’t had the privilege of being with your kids, you might consider gifting a kid’s quilt to provide a fun distraction for weary parents or for refugees. (Even a whole cloth with a fun panto is easily done but very enjoyable.)

When I lived in Korea I discovered Kids Day was May 5th.  I had never heard of a kids day and was pleasantly surprised.  In the US it is June 14th (or the second Sunday in June.)  So you’ll have time to get a quilt or two made for your favorite kids.

I’ve started making a list of some fun and easy ideas for kids quilts. First is my Monkey Fun/Socky Monkey pattern. This is the link to the PDF version. I’ve made several from this pattern with slight variations and fabrics. Here’s a little gallery of them all. AND a tutorial. (The PDF pattern was FREE for the Virtual Quilt Show and I’ve extended the price for May.)

FREE download a Paper Pieced Sailboat!

Download the FREE pattern and tutorial for this Paper Pieced Sailboat HERE.

When I was growing up we didn’t have a sailboat but we did have an “outboard” for water skiing. Good memories! My brother asked the “shop” teacher in high school if he could build a boat. “If your Dad takes the night class and works on it with you.” And so they did. Can you imagine the rest of the guys in class making lamps while my brother worked on his boat??!!

Novelty Pantographs paired with novelty fabric=cute little quilts!

Do you remember Peaky and Spike?

“Peaky and Spike” was a design element popularized by Doreen Speckmann. I asked my local quilt guild to make me these easy blocks of “fish.” I ended up with enough for 3 twin sized quilts! When my grandsons received them they spread them out on the floor and squealed with delight as they found all the fish that were quilted into them.

Since we’re making quilts with fish – Isn’t this a fun idea for your kids! Check out the directions. It’s from Beth at Don’t worry I have her permission. ENJOY!

Turn any Blocks or even Pantos into a Coloring Party! Kids love coloring. Stitch out a few Fishy Business Blocks for them to color using dye coloring sticks or even crayons. Eleanor Sassnet did this on her beautiful prize winning quilt.

Turn any Blocks or even Pantos into a Coloring Party!

There are lots more kid friendly patterns. I’ll put some on “sale” on the home page.

I almost forgot I was going to give you a Dinosaur Puppet pattern. I made it for the kids in Thailand – the home of Siamosaurus!

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Grandma’s Quilts

This is the quilt that was on my bed. It probably played a large part in my interest of quilting. It was my REAL LIFE!

by Estella Naomi Parkins Snyder

When I was a teen Grandma Snyder’s Flower Garden graced my bed.  I had a double bed frame painted white, with turned spindles on the posts – giving it that comfortably antique look which perfectly complemented the flower garden  quilt.  I can picture it now in my bright room.

Sorting through my Mama’s old quilt blocks brings a lot of memories and many questions that will remain unanswered now.  I wish I could ask more.  I wish I could remember all the stories she told me.  Do you have quilts from your family heritage?  I hope so.  As quilters you are undoubtedly the ones who will prize them the most.  Lately, when distant family members and cousins come by and stop to spend the night I unpack those precious quilts.  If they are sturdy enough I spread them on the cousins’ beds hoping to evoke visual memories that they may treasure, or at least remember after leaving my home.

The Redd Quilt

I call this the Redd Quilt! This is one I place on the beds of family visitors to help them remember the names!

When Mom  came to live with me in her final years we worked on this Double Wedding Ring quilt together.  We had the idea of embroidering the names of her family and their spouses in the centers.  She came from a family of 14 children so there were a lot of names!  Even so we stopped with not enough.  We have 10 more centers unfilled for the direct line.  So I’m trying to decide what other names to use.  Maybe Mom’s 10+ aunts and uncles.

Here are the family quilts, the women, and their stories that have inspired me in my quilting journey. 

Green Double Wedding Ring

Mama eloped.   She was going on a road trip with her sisters and then up to her hometown in Canada to visit family.  Sterling was afraid she would forget him or change her mind, so he persuaded her to get married on July 4th 1931, before her trip.  While traveling she wrote a couple of letters – one to her “darling husband” and one to her mother in Canada.  But somehow they got mixed up.  When the letters arrived the secret was out.  By the time she reached Raymond her family and friends had organized a surprise bridal shower for her and as they chatted they all worked on this special Double Wedding Ring quilt!

Blue and White Stars

 When my mother Mary was first married she sewed for a dress factory owned by Del Grant in Los Angeles.  She sometimes brought home scraps.  Among them were these blue polka dot pieces. (Navy with white dots was sooo popular back then. I remember my Grandma Snyder wearing dresses from similar fabrics into the 80’s.) Her husband’s mother (Estella Naomi Snyder) and grandmother (Emma Jane Parkins) pieced this lovely star quilt from those scraps.  Mom and I backed it sometime between 1970 and 1980 and hand quilted it (mostly Mom).  I used it on my bed until it started showing signs of wear in 1988 when I was bedridden for several months.  It will always be one of my favorites, yet I dare not wear it out even more.  I’m sure you understand that feeling.

HORRORS! Your family quilts are not labeled?? Take care of that today! Download our little pack of 30’s Label patterns, trace them or print them!

More family quilts and their makers.

Do you have some blocks or “Tops” from your mother or grandmother? Quilt them up with these nostalgic Pantos. They’re on sale for you now!

Of course, all of these antique quilts were quilted by hand. That’s how I learned! But that’s not the modern way. In fact the stability of machine quilting can help strengthen a quilt if the fabric is not too fragile. ( read about it on the “Clothesline” page.) Perhaps it’s better than leaving them in a box for another generation. So give pantos a try! Or if you are making a quilt from reproduction fabrics. These might be perfect as well as many other MeadowLyon patterns.