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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 PotterySnakeskinSimple 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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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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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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A Bright Spring

Spring is different than anyone expected this year.  I was thinking of Bunny Rabbits and Chicks and Easter Baskets. (*See those below!) But, in  the grocery store, before the world changed, 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!

Where do you hide the eggs for your Easter Basket?

Cookies too? We do!


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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.

Redd Wagons West

I designed this one about 8 years ago for a family reunion. I made up a small section to show at the reunion – it’s still not finished because I didn’t have enough of the “snow-dyed” fabric I used for it.  But there’s another family reunion this year so I feel motivated.  I’ve snow dyed more fabric that, miraculously, matched.  You can read all about the stitched medallions in the download for Redd Wagons West if you’re interested.  But what I really hope is you’ll feel inspired to make a memory quilt about your own family history. I wonder where your family lived? What they did?

Yoyo Quilt

The Yoyo quilt is definitely 30’s fabrics – the real thing. The squares were assembled but not put together into a quilt.  I started making the “sashing” Yoyos from flowered fabric and then realized it was not vintage looking so I switched to green.  I “gathered UP’ the circles from vintage fabric as I sat waiting in the car to pick up the neighborhood kids from school. I sure wish I could have found more of that pretty blue, but green it is. I’m ashamed for not getting this together yet!

Mom left several other block sets that I have not finished for her. Some that I can’t even find. 🙁 SO SAD! Maybe you are having some of the same feelings. Most of the time I feel overly busy. I mean, how can I possible do any more??? But last week on my trip for Christmas I realized I could have been sewing these Yoyos together in the car! Do your MOM a favor and finish her quilt!


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Sweet Pine Christmas

Sweet Pine Quilt – A Mock-torial!

I think I’ve always loved pinecones.  In California we would drive up into the San Gabriel Mountains and breathe in the sweet smell of pine and the pinecones they sported.  Even here in Kansas there were pine trees in the park across from our historic 3-story house on Ft Leavenworth where we gathered pinecones for decorating. Isn’t it fun to see their different shapes and sizes. I haven’t had much time this fall for finishing quilts, but I’m loaded with ideas.  One is this great little Sweet Pine Quilt. 

It measures 74 x 78 using 2” squares (2 1/2 cut).  This is the measure by which I’ll give all my directions.   But you could resize it in any way you wanted from 37 x 39 with 1” sq. and 55.5 x 58.5 with 1 1/2” squares.

I first sketched out this quilt when I was drawing the Ponderosa Pine Spray and Pinecone patterns—yes that was long ago!  But now I have “Rustic Santas” just itchin’ to ride around my “Sweet Pine’s” borders.  For this quilt I’m showing the “Rustic Yosemite Santa” (9” wide) with his sleigh pulled by California Grizzlies.

“Yosemite Santa” this is the Santa I grew up with in California! The 9″ size fit better on my quilt.
“Northwoods Santa” is part of the same Rustic Santas pattern. 2 for 1 – great, huh? This one would need a wider border for its 11″ width. But everyone is enamored with big, hunkin’ Moose, right?

Chuckle!  I’ve been including recipes, but just can’t think of a pinecone one.  I found some on Pinterest and will include the links here. Gingersnap Pinecone cookies and Chai Spiced Pinecones.

Is Wild Moose good to EAT? I don’t know about that, but my Wild Moose Antler Dip is something you’ll want to try. Be sure to serve it with pretzel twists so they’ll look like antlers! I just can’t stay away from this. I keep sneaking into the kitchen to get another nibble!

BACK TO THE QUILT! Are you curious about the circle inset?  I really imagined an Ombré fabric with a bright area in the middle fading to dark as it progressed outward.  The circle was how I “suggested” it, but in the end I liked the circle.  I’d also like to try it with a plaid border.  In fact, I bought a lot of plaids this year for a new “Rustic” quilt and also 2 new plaid shirts!

Northwoods Santa sporting his plaids. You know, of course, it’s best etiquette to wear a plaid flannel shirt out in the woods.

The Inner border could be pieced with different browns in a special design if you’re into beauty and have plenty of time.  An easier option is actually a Seminole Patchwork braid in 2 colors or in 1 color. OR even easier, it could be a solid border stitched with my “Toga Trim” or “Greek Braid” designs that come with the “Mosaic” Panto #2493. So you’ve got some wiggle-room depending on your time and expertise. I’m include the “Greek Braid” in the PDF so you’ll have it. (As I was developing the design I lost the “mock-up” so was unable to make changes on the corners of the brown border. )

As I plotted out the design I added lines to show the piecing.  Each small square is 2” so you can figure out the sizes of all the sections.  For example, the finished strips in the pinecones are all 2” wide (remember cut 2 1/2”).  Therefore the small pinecones finish at 8” square.   If you actually cut the center into a circle you don’t need to “piece” the large brown square at all.  Just inset the circle, or applique it into the square.  (Even though the circle is quite big you can still use the insetting method described in the T-shirt quilt tutorial.)

But what about the Mock-torial! And what is that anyway?

Since I didn’t actually make the quilt it is just a “Mock-up.” So I’m calling it a “Mock-torial.” Download it here: Sweet Pine Quilt.


But more is going on at my house. Here are some pictures of what I’ve been working on.  This Pictogram pattern is called “Las Posadas.”  The name refers to a Nativity play, of sorts, that is acted out in the towns of Mexico and Guatemala. 

Light the World is our church’s theme for this Christmas Season. As part of the “kick off” we had a huge Nativity Festival. A Mexican Nativity Set seems appropriate for Las Posadas. Are you celebrating? Send me some pictures!

Don’t forget the new Christmas patterns! On SALE this month!

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Fall is Maple Syrup Time

The beautiful colors of Maple and Oak are all around us.

The leaves have all fallen from our beautiful Maple tree, so we’ll have a Maple sale!  Sure maple!  Oh, yes, we have an Oak Tree too and it still has a lot of it’s brick red leaves.


25% OFF Maple Breezes 11″ & 15″, Maple Squirrels/Maple Leaf Borders, Autumn WindOak Whisper 11″ & 15″, and Oak Border w/ Acorns are all on sale- NOW! Click to see all sale items!
Remember they’re all available digitally, too.

Christmas is coming the Goose is getting fat!  But, don’t worry we’ll eat him for Thanksgiving!!  Sadly, I’ll probably get fat(ter) too! There are just so many great recipes.  Check below for a new “Maple-Bacon Toffee” recipe I just invented today! Okay, I know this is supposed to be about quilting!  But I have other interests too. Food is a BIG one!

Here’s a fun Holiday quilt. I love the big stitch.

ALSO on SALE Thanksgiving Table Topper Pictogram pattern.

I do want to encourage you to make the Thanksgiving Table Topper.  It’s so beautiful on the table.  When I went to Oklahoma last week I noticed my daughter-in-law had it hanging in the entry to her house.  It was a great way to use it before the holiday.

This reversible Table Topper is so beautiful on the table. Your guests on every side will have a different view of the Thanksgiving story; The Ship greeted by Native Americans, The feast table, Indians bringing food to the feast, and a Pilgrim family bringing their contributions to the feast. It’s so much fun they might just want to play musical chairs!
Get the FREE Tutorial and pattern!

I was talking with some of my adult kids last night and they were laughing about the White Pilgrim Collars I made them wear for Thanksgiving Dinner.  We also had/have Thanksgiving puppets.  So fun!! 

Do you have any traditions for Thanksgiving? Submit them in “comments.”

NOW for the MAPLE Recipes! Click the expand button to view each entire, delicious recipe! Also: From last year’s blog, see my original Pumpkin Biscotti recipe here. Believe me, it’s far better than others I’ve tried!!

Don’t forget to make your Ice Candles while there are still leaves available!

Do you remember this pattern? It was so easy. I can’t remember where it was published.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS YET – IS IT??!! Don’t miss the SALE!

I haven’t had time to start any new Christmas projects but I did manage to get one beautiful UFO done last month.  I started it too long ago to make a “tutorial” but I can give you the count and directions.  (see below) I absolutely love the “Snowbirds” Pantograph and “Snowbird Borders” designs!  Don’t you?

Before I forget, here’s a special announcement. ALL our Christmas themed pantos are on sale for the coming 2 weeks. See them all on the HOME PAGE!

Including the NEW MISTLETOE PANTO. There’s a FREE Poinsettia quilt pdf too! Tout Suite! So don’t miss them!

Don’t miss this sale.! You’ll find all your favorite Christmas designs, including our new “Mistletoe” pantograph. Everything is pictured on the “Home Page.”

Every year I’m too busy to start Christmas projects ahead of time. And every year I’m scrambling to get presents ready for my family and friends. I have a LOOOng list of projects to work on. Just take a look at my UFOs. I know a lot of you plan well ahead, like even making Christmas Projects in the summer. But are there any of you who are either too busy or procrastinate like me?

You know these UFOs are old because Pizza Hut doesn’t even use that kind of box any more!! I used to go down to the corner and buy them for 25 cents each! On this subject I thought I’d check my UFO list: I have 1 Tif (top finished) , 8 SNWTY (Snooty-SQUARES NOT SEWN TOGETHER YET) , 19 WIPs (work in progress), 1 WOMBAT (waste of money, batting+ time), 5 HSYs (haven’t started yet), & 15 Brazen HSYs (bought the fabric). Honestly all the fabric I buy “IS” intended for a particular quilt. I’ve just forgotten which.

So you see why I’m so happy to finally have the Snowbirds quilt done!

Now back to the Snowbirds quilt. I like to give you tutorials, but I started this too long ago to have pictures. I do have a few left over pieces so you can see what I’ll be talking about.

Here are the requirements if you want to make one like it. Be sure to get the Snowbirds pantograph on the Christmas Sale!

Do you collect Antique Sewing Machines? Do you have a back-up sewing machine? What if your tension spring breaks? or you lose your bobbin case? Or there’s no ELECTRICITY!

Someone was asking whether I had a “back up” sewing machine. Very definitely! My first machine was a Kenmore that I received for a High School Graduation present! It was one of the best I’ve ever had!  I’ve had a couple more over the years and don’t even remember their names.  Of course, when I went to Thailand on a mission I couldn’t live without a machine so I bought one from a friend.  It was a Juki converted from treadle with a little electric motor. See it in the far left corner.

I’ve always thought it would be a good idea to have a treadle machine—just in case the electricity goes out!  So I currently have 2!  My brother has my Grandmother’s old one (boohoo)  but when we were first married I bought a REALLY old one from a little friend in Lawton OK.  It’s not much to look at, but it has the long “spindle” type bobbins!  It’s that old!

Next, my friend in Kansas gave me her mother’s machine.  It’s much more beautiful.  I use it as a base for my “holiday Tree” in the family room.

I do have my mother’s machine—a Wilcox and Gibbs factory power machine. (When she had little kids at home the factory she had sewn for in LA sent the machine home with her!)  That’s the machine I learned to sew on!  FAST & POWERFUL!!! That “attachment” on the left is a Tucking Arm.

Another friend gave me an old power (?) Machine (sitting on a shelf in my storage room.)  It’s really beautiful, isn’t it?

And, Oh yes—there’s the “once top of the line” Elna that I bought at the thrift shop for $7.00. (Did you notice that gray case at the bottom of the shelf in the last picture?)

Now I have my Pfaff that I use almost exclusively.  I think that makes 6 sewing machines that I still own!? Isn’t collecting fun!

Do you have a “back-up” machine? I’d love to hear about it!

If you haven’t already – Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! HERE

By for now! Hurry and get busy on your Christmas projects. Next time -some quick Halloween ideas.

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WOOF! WOOF! It’s National Dog Day!

Quilted by Angela Meadows Pieced/painted by Judy Lyon

Woof, Woof! It’s National Dog Day!
This week, until August 31st, get FREE Doggies PDF Block pattern sets with any purchase ( see below)
Also on sale, Dawgs, In the Doghouse, Dog Patch Quilt, Backwoods Moose Quilt and Backwoods Pine Quilt patterns with their necessary pantos, Backwoods, Campout, Fish Tales. You might also want to consider Halloween and Autumn patterns.

Several years ago I wanted to draw some dog patterns so I sent out a request for dog pictures. Wow! I got some of the cutest pictures. Of course everyone loves their dogs and I could see why. You can spot “Lady” in my Dogpatch Quilt.


Anyway, I drew up separate blocks of the dogs and then the “Dawgs” Pictogram (A non-repeating pantograph 12′ long)

and finally “In The Doghouse,” a 6″ wide border/edge to edge

Eventually I pieced the Dogpatch quilt using both patterns with their fun dog-bones sashing. Angela Meadows (my business partner and founder of MeadowLyon) quilted it and I painted in the dog faces everywhere they went over a white triangle.

I remember I had it spread out on our pool table in the basement with plastic trash bags draped over it to protect the rest of the quilt. (I was terribly afraid of ruining it!) My high school son came down, stood still a minute, and said, “Mom! You can paint!” 
Yep! But I hadn’t had time for that pleasure with 8 kids.

The first show I took it to was MQX in New Hampshire. As I was setting up, the photographer, Jeffrey Lomika, came rushing over. “I was photographing the quilts in the exhibit and looking through the lens, all of a sudden I saw Norman!!” 
Yes, his dog was in that quilt – the cutest little wire haired terrier ever. Look closely, maybe you can spot him. He was so cute, I used his face two or three times!

Do you remember I promised you a tutorial on inserting round patches into T-shirt Quilts. It’s Here: Making circular insets in T-shirt Quilts. You might also want to re-visit the Blog about T-shirt Quilts.



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Cool off FREE! We’re Having a Heat Wave!!

We’re having a heatwave!    “95°”   That’s a respectable heat wave.  So let’s price all the desert-y hot patterns in the 95s.   

$10.00 $8.95, $14.00 $11.95, $16.00 $13.95, $20.00 $17.95 

I grew up in southern California.  I thought I knew what it meant to be hot!!  But I remember the first time I really got a handle on the thing – heat that is.  Our family was on vacation and staying in a little motel at Lake Mead.  When we walked out of the door it felt like stepping into an oven.  After we got out onto the lake where my dad was fishing. I jumped in the water to cool off.  It was like a bathtub!!

Years later, my son living in nearby Las Vegas actually cooked an egg on the sidewalk.  Yes, he did!  It can really happen.

But a heat wave seems never-ending.  The long-hot summer!  Maybe you can picture it – maybe you’re living in it.    I’ve collected up all my MeadowLyon Pantographs and Pictograms that made me think about hot weather – like “Modern Southwest” pictured over a free-style, mock quilt.

My Dad and brothers built a desert cabin just outside the town of Joshua Tree, near 29 Palms, CA.  It was rugged with only one room, but it did have two sets of French doors across the back and a gasoline powered generator mounted on an old lawn mower chassis that Dad could fire up when we wanted electricity at night.  Before that we used a lantern. 

I loved hiking up Rattlesnake Hill right behind our house.  After I got to the top I could see out over the valley and into the National Monument Park where they used to “shoot” westerns.  I used to dress up in my little cowgirl outfit and run around trying to “rope” our Cocker Spaniel Rusty.

Ropin’ Horseshoes Rodeo Kids  Mustang Stampede.  Snakeskin

Oh, Yes!  Did you notice that straight rope twist and corner on the Rodeo Kids layout?  It’s FREE right now. So put “Rope Twist” in your cart.   
While you’re at it, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and sign up for our NEWSLETTER so you’ll know when we have special offers, new patterns and sales!

When my friend Helen in Las Vegas asked me to draw a pattern with southwest images for her I remembered so many things I had seen and loved in my childhood.  I drew them into “Southwest Vistas.”   

Oh yes! 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 handerkerchief tied around her face like a mask and wielding a big butcher knife held by big heavy gloves – scraping the “stickers” off the cactus!!  Those stickers are terrors!! They are the enemy!

I know that from experience.  But, Cactus Flower that was another thing!  They were friendly and had the brightest colors!! 

 I’ve rounded up all the “hot weather patterns and put them on sale for you – just for memory’s sake. Titles like: Southwest Vistas, Spiral Suns (an all time favorite!), Spinning Kokopeli, Modern Southwest, Mosaic, Laguna de Cancun, Great Plains on the Move, Mustangs, Rodeo Kids, Ropin’ Horseshoes w Knotty Pine, Snakeskin, Cactus FlowerEl DoradoPueblo Pottery (see a special tutorial below!) , Barnyard Dreams,  Sunflowers, Giant Sunflowers, Chicken Feathers,  MooCow,  Illusion, Tornado, Mayan Glyphs, Portico Blooms, & Bengali Mosaic.  Whew!  is it hot in all those places???


  But don’t worry –  YOU’LL NEED TO COOL OFF with FREE SODA FOUNTAIN BLOCKS SET.      The first 20 orders will get a PDF set emailed to them FREE within 24 hours!  Just wrap your lips around them straws!  On the Soda Fountain page you’ll see ideas for using them!


Now back to the longest of the hot days.  They make me think of eating MEXICAN! I’ve attached a couple of favorite recipes for you down below.  That reminds me – Do you know about EPAZOTE?  It is the quintessential Mexican herb.  Add it to your favorite chili recipe and you will be transported south of the border!  Yep, but it’s hard to find out here in Kansas. I finally asked the guy at Acapulco and he gave me some sprigs.  “Where did you buy this?” I asked.  “I grow it myself!”  

But now a little more quilt talk.  I’ve got a new pattern to celebrate the heat – “Pueblo Pottery.” It’s a fun interlocking panto with all the flavor of the southwest.

 I have an idea for you to use it on a quilt  Remember the “Southwest Vistas” Pictogram (that’s a non-repeating panto) up above?  I made a Southwest Pueblo quilt to showcase it. I used some simple improv piecing in desert colors to suggest the plateaus and native pueblo style houses.  The round oven, the round beams, the ladders and drying racks all added a bit of interest, color and nostalgia.  All this supported the amazing stitching of the “Pictogram” or vice-versa, the pictogram accented the strong southwest feel of the quilt.

I added more color to surround the main body of the quilt and have loved the



border ever since. So I’ve combined the blocks from that border into a quilt layout.

Here’s how you can put it together. And how it will look in a different colorway with the Pueblo Pottery design quilted over it.

So crank up that Air Cond and have fun sipping your sodas and putting together this fun desert quilt!  Oh and don’t forget the recipes below.



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Celebrate our Founding Fathers at Home and in History with Love, Honor and a FREE patriotic pattern set!

Celebrate our Founding Fathers at Home and in History with Love, Honor and a FREE Patriotic pattern!

At this time of year we remember our “Founding Fathers,” both family and nation.  Some founding fathers of our family are John Lyon, William A. Redd, Hans Ulrich Bryner, Lucius Franklin Snyder.  Bryner, seated with a beard, was an immigrant to the US from Switzerland. In large measure he was the founder of the Bryner clan in America.  Before coming he was blinded in an accident, but didn’t let that stop him. Traveling by ship and then covered wagon across the US he held onto the back of the wagon, giving up his seat inside for an elderly woman who needed a place.  I designed a quilting Pictogram, Westward Ho, around his story and pictured him holding the wagon.

  Just as you honor your fathers, we honor ours by telling them we love them, by giving them gifts, and by cooking their favorite treats. Our Dad loves tunnel of fudge cake – the old recipe with pudding. Yumm…. The kids all love making him treats each year!  It’s no wonder in Sunday School we sing, “I’m So Glad when Daddy comes Home.” Now he’s a grand father and sooo good at reading stories.  I get jealous – they want him!  See his picture?  Grandpas make us smile, don’t they?  (I had fun overlaying the pix with an image from our America’s Pride Blocks- FREE PDF June 2019 only.)

This time of year, climaxing with the 4th of July, is full of Patriotism. Because we live near an Army Post the boy scouts place flags on all the graves in the cemetery for Memorial day.  That is the beginning.  Memorial Day, D-day, Father’s Day and July 4th make a grand month of remembrance.

Patriotic service and red, white and blue décor and stories of valor are part of the fabric of our lives. In such ways we honor the Founding Fathers of our country.  We obey the laws, we vote, we celebrate the birth of our nation. We enjoy the land through vacations and song – “Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies…”   I even decorate a 4th of July tree!  (I’m also reminded of a Canadian hymn, “In days of yore from Britain’s shore, Wolfe, the dauntless hero came…”  My mother grew up in Canada and I learned this song as a child right along with The Star Spangled Banner.)

Every year on the 4th of July, we watch the movie “1776.   Our kids have the dialogue memorized. We love lines such as “He plays the violin…” and “Pins!” – “Saltpeter!”  What, you don’t know those lines?  Pull out that old movie this year and find them.  You’ll have to sing the words with Ben Franklin! I can see and hear it in my mind’s eye.

Another tradition has been to have a BBQ and Swim party in the back yard.  Ribs and sweet potato salad are always on the menu.  I’ll include my favorite ribs recipe for your 4th of July feast this year.  It’s actually an oven recipe but we put it on the grill for that special smokiness I love.  Homemade ice cream was also a favorite, Root Beer flavor as well as chocolate. Strawberry pretzel dessert was embellished with blueberries.  We’d have a yard full of friends, family  and neighbors and sit around until dusk while the kids played in the pool. Later we often drove onto the military post for a fireworks display.   I miss those days now that the kids are grown.   WHY DO WE DO ALL THIS? To honor the birth of our nation and the founding fathers who built us this heritage.  To honor the birth of our families and our own beloved Founding Fathers.

What are your favorite Father’s Day or 4th of Judy (oops July!) traditions?  Happy Father’s 4th of July!

This year I’ve had fun planning out some Patriotic quilt designs. “Patriotic Snail’s Trails and More!  They’re not full-fledged patterns, just my plans – but enjoy!


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T-Shirt Quilts: Pantos That Work Great! + Best Quilting tips for T-Shirt Success.

Upstairs in my walk-in attic I have a box of T-shirts meant for a quilt or two.  I thought how fun it would be to have a t-shirt quilt for the grandkids to use when they visit.  They’d be sleeping under all the memories of their Mom or Dad.  In particular I have a number of Hawaiian T-shirts and Hawaiian shirts and/or muumuus that he children wore when we lived in Hawaii.   Here’s my plan for those great memory pieces. I’m showing it “virtually” stitched with my “Hawaiian Hibiscus” pantograph.  (I’m including the titles of the Pantographs on the pictures simply for reference.)

Not sure about piecing circles?  I’ve posted a tutorial for adding them.  Don’t worry, it’s not hard!  Making Circular Insets for T-shirt Quilts.     

Another box is filled with old cub scouts t-shirts.  They’d be great and I plan to include some of the neckerchiefs and patches in the piecing (see my mock-up example).  I’m showing how I would stitch it with my 8-inch double “Jitterbug 15 interlocking “ panto.  (You could also use the -one row at a time- “Jitterbug 11 interlocking” panto.)  Doesn’t it look great!  It reminds me of boys at that age, JITTERY!


There are many  standard blocks which sport a square in the middle, so get out your pile of magazines and find a block, or do like I did and open up Quilt-Pro and find a block you like that’s not too time consuming.  Here’s a simple star stitched with one of my favorties, “Maori Moko”.  It’s a 15″ pattern so if you want a smaller one that’s similar choose the 9-inch “Maori Moko Border” and use it as an E2E.  Knit is stretchy anyway, so there’s no problem placing some of the pieces on the diagonal.  Another option would be to include the star points only on the outer corners and fill the center with rows of T-shirts.  However, I like the tilted squares because it adds so much interest!

.   Here’s another idea for a little girls t-shirt quilt.  One is straight placement with colorful sashing on which I over-layed our “Oh so popular”  Flowerburst pattern.  It comes in 2 sizes. “Flowerburst 15” and “Flowerburst 10”  Another is a version of a star block using Drunkard’s Path inserts to give a flower effect. You can actually place your t-shirts in some or all of the squares available.  I over-layed that one with “Dolly’s Tea Party.”

 “Zebra Stripes”   seems perfect stitched over this flaming black quilt.