Let's quilt and be happy! Fabric friends are always welcome.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Advent Angel

An angel announced the birth of Christ. This adorable advent angel has a unique way of announcing the coming of Christmas Day. Her skirt cleverly offers 24 pockets to fill with tiny treats or advent scriptures. Enjoy a treat or read a scripture each day of advent (the kids will love it). For day 25, Angel holds a great little bag in her hands. Put in something special for the special day.

I really enjoyed making Advent Angel from a panel of the Choir of Angels collection by Robin Betterley for Wilmington Prints. She is so different from my usual projects! The excellent instructions are printed right on the panel.

Visit us to order yours today. HappyAppleQuilts.com

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Garden Patch Cats

Hey, all you cat and/or veggie lovers out there. We now have all 13 "Garden Patch Cats" patterns on our website. Cats and veggie are good for everyone.

Helene Knott, fiber artist extraordinare, has created the cutest litter of cat characters, each with a veggie name and great recipe included in the pattern.
Easy applique and great instructions make each 18" x 18" quilt block a pleasure to make.
Use them to make individual wall hangings or combine them to make an awesome quilt!

Gourdo Gato shown here was made and quilted by our friend, Lee Franklin. Kits are available for Gourdo Gato.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Make Life Fun with Bucket Totes!

Sweetwater has designed a fab, fun tote shaped like a bucket. It is just too cool! And sooooo easy to make. There are even iron-on labels included in the pattern. I used the canvas fabric and coordinates from the Make Life fabric collection by Moda to make a couple of totes. That just sparked my imagination. These totes are great for gifts, teens, toys, decorating, holidays, parties.....

But.... the pattern calls for canvas. I wanted to use some of the new fabrics that we are receiving every week and they aren't canvas. So I just did what we all do; I adapted.

My solution was to fuse Decor Bond onto the back of both the main fabric and the lining fabric and substitute them for the canvas. I chose an awesome print from and got started. I think the results are funtastic! (Thanks to Carol Jones for helping me choose the fabrics.) See other Halloween fabrics

Next, I am going to look for some gold cord for handles and see how some of our great Christmas fabrics work as bucket totes.

People on my Christmas gift list will not be getting the ordinary gift bags this year! (Don't spoil my secret.)

Holiday Apron

I am so excited about the new collection from Wilmington Prints - Cookie Jar Treats! Remember your childhood tradition of setting out milk and cookies for Santa? This beautifully colorful fabric brings it all back. I especially like the apron and know just what I plan to do with the one that I made. I am going to give it to my good friend who has been bringing Chrismas Cookies to my family for the past 20 years.

I decided to make her apron reversible so I chose an autumn apple print for the other side. I wanted pockets on that side, too.

This is what I did:

1. Cut out the panel according the printed instructions on it.

2. Skip the step of hemming the panel edges, but follow the pockets and ties instructions.

3. Baste the ties onto the apron and pin them flat to the front of the apron.

4. Cut the apple print to a 30" wide strip. Trim the selvage off one edge.

5. Cut a 7" x 30" strip. Fold one long edge under 1/4" to make the bottom hem.
Hem (stitch) the other with a 1.5" top hem to make a "pocket sleeve."

6. With both fabrics right side up, place the pocket sleeve onto the 30" strip, 4" from the bottom (without selvage) edge. Stitch along the bottom of the pocket sleeve.

7. Stitch a verticle seam at the center of the pocket sleeve to divide it into two pockets. Stitch vertical seams 6" from both sides of the center seam to make more pockets. Then baste the side edges together.

8. Lay the 30" strip (pocket sleeve at bottom) right side up on your cutting table.

9. Fold the apron panel at the center, wrong sides together.

10 Place the center fold of the panel along the center of the 30" strip and line up the bottom edges. Open the apron panel and pin together along edges.

11. Leaving a small opening at the bottom, stitch with 1/4" around the apron panel. Clip curves.

12. Turn inside out. Press and top-stitch along the edge.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Adorable Advent Calendar

I love Christmas and all the decorations of the season. This advent calendar, by LeAnne Anderson of The Whole Country Caboodle, is absolutely adorable. LeAnne's style is a little bit country and a lot cute.

I fell in love with the Nativity scene on the Advent Calendar and just had to make one. It takes one panel and 4 other fabrics from LeAnne's "Let Us Adore Him" collection. The panel includes the nativity scene plus rows of little squares for the calender pockets. One fabric has the cute little characters nicely spaced apart, so you can fussy cut them to make the tiny ornaments. Hang the ornaments on buttons along the side of the quilt as you count the days until Christmas. The instructions are on the bottom of the panel.

I followed the instructions exactly except for hand stitching the ribbon loop to the back of the ornament. Instead, I clipped a tiny hole in the felt about an inch down from the top. I threaded the ribbon through the hole and tied it. Then I positioned the knot in the hole. When I fused the character fabric over the knot it was completely covered and I had a nice smooth loop on my ornament. Wow, these would also make great tree decorations!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hot Cakes!

Try this sweet little pattern from Susie C Shore Designs.

I just finished these 2 oven mitts and they really are a "piece of cake" to make. Quick, easy and very functional. Wouldn't these make great hostess gifts, secret pal gifts, bridal shower gifts or party favors!

"Bake" up a dozen and have them handy. And remember to make a few for yourself.

"Hot Cakes" are 10" x 8."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Save Those T-Shirts

Summer is a great time to collect vacation t-shirts. But what do you do with all those shirts? Make a quilt! Then send me a photo of your special creation. My good friend, Carol, stopped by the store to show off the quilt she made for her husband who is a member of a car club. He had collected lots of car event shirts and she made an awesome quilt. She included embroidery and a great check border.

Carol had taken a t-shirt quilt class with me which included Andrea Funk's awesome book, How to Make a Too Cool T-Shirt Quilt. Andrea's method shows you how to be creative and design your quilt to take advantage of the different sizes and shapes of the t-shirt logos. Carol had mostly white t-shirts so she cleverly arranged them in columns and added "fillers" of small logos and embroidery on teal fabric (hubby's car color). Carol's border treatment is perfect! Thank you, Carol, for sharing your quilt with us.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fun at Quilt Market

Karen, Sharen and Barb went to Quilt Market last week in Minneapolis. Our goals were to take classes, grow our quilting and business skills, SHOP and HAVE FUN. We accomplished all of them!

McKenna Ryan's new fabric line is so awesome that we bought it ALL! Watch for it to arrive in August.

McKenna Ryan must love crazy people. She posed with two of them in front of her newest "work in progress." McKenna and Barb show off their bunny ears while Karen opts for Yoda. (Barb started it.)
Oh, did I mention that the new collection is Sand in My Shoes by Hoffman Fabrics?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mother's Day in Ireland

The Irish celebrate Mother's Day in March. I just got these great pictures of my daughter, Katie, and her precious little daughter, Evie, taken on Irish Mother's Day. Katie celebrates being a mom everyday!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Little Blessings

"Dear Karen,
This is a photo of the flannel quilt I made from the pieces you sent to me in January. I had ordered some fabric and you sent the free pieces for a special child's quilt. I hope the quilt turned out as good as you expected. It is precious to hold in my hands and I will be giving it to Tammy at the battered women and children's shelter as soon as we can meet.
Thanks again and God bless each of you. Nora in northeast TX"

You know that we love receiving emails from our quilting friends we've met at shows and through our website. This one is very special and I am sharing it with Nora's permission. Nora is a dear lady who had placed an order from us quite some time ago. When she ordered again, I remembered that she told me she made baby quilts for charity so I sent her some flannel pieces from my stash.

After serving as missionaries for 20 years Nora and her husband,Don moved to Sulphur Springs, TX to be near their children.
That's where Nora met Tammy Pearson, founder and president of Women Offering Women Support which is a faith based ministry for single mothers and their children. You can read her testimony at :
http://www.chrysalishousetexas.com/. Nora asked Tammy if she could use some quilts for small children and she said yes, she sure could use them. Although Chrysalis House is not open yet (will get a new roof in July), Tammy gets calls from women asking for a place to stay and needing help because they have escaped in the night from an abusive situation, and usually have nothing but a few clothes for a baby or child. People have given her diapers, baby bottles, baby food, clothes, etc. to give to these women but Tammy has to refer them to another county for a place to stay until she can open the facilities. Different churches have remodeled all of the rooms in one wing of the building.
Nora has been making baby/child quilts for several years for Tammy. People give her fabric pieces, and scraps. Lately, she has also used quilt panels of animals, cars and trucks and scenery. When Nora receives monetary donations, she buys good quality fabrics for the quilts so they will last longer and withstand many washings. She usually makes quilts about 36" x 46" and uses the "birthing method" of finishing because it is faster.

Here are Nora's instructions for the "birthing method" to finish quilt edges.

1. Square up the quilt top.
2. Layer the quilt top and backing fabric on your work surface with right sides facing each other, then lay the batting (or white flannel I use) on top. Pin every few inches around the edge of the quilt.
3. Sew all the way around the quilt with a ½” or ¾” seam allowance, leaving about an eight inch opening on one side, big enough to put your hand inside to turn the “pillowcase” right side out. If your quilt is large, allow a bigger opening of 10”-15” to make it easier to push the bulk of the quilt through.
4. Turn the pillowcase right side out and press.
5. Blind stitch the opening closed by hand.
6. Top stitch around the whole quilt about 1/2 inch from the edge.
7. Secure the quilt layers together: Using large stitches, baste your quilt about every 3 - 4 inches in both directions, smoothing out the fabric so it lays flat.
8. Quilt in the ditch if you have made your quilt with squares or free-motion quilt any way you like to secure the layers together.

Bless you, Nora, and all you wonderful quilters who are so generous with your time and talents.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

There's No Place Like Home!

I'm home! We left on March 9 for Atlanta, Tennessee, Toledo and Cleveland. Sharen, Barb and I had a great time at the quilt shows meeting new quilting friends and quilt professionals. My only regret is that I forgot to take my camera. I wish I had pictures of the awesome quilts on display at the Maryville, TN show. Many were hand quilted with such tiny, even stitches that it was hard to imagine the workmanship unless you could see it for yourself. I hand quilted for many years and never achieved that skill level.
We received lots of new fabric shipments over the last 3 weeks. I can't wait to open the boxes to see what I ordered. I could wrap my own Christmas gifts and still be surprised on Christmas morning. Fabric shipments are the same way. It's just like Christmas morning!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Weather report

It's snowing in Cleveland!!!!! You know I'm a Florida girl now and I am not accustomed to snow. The weather was quite nice when Sharen and I arrived in Cleveland on Tuesday evening. It was OK when we drove to the Exposition Hall this morning. Imagine my surprise when I left my evening class at 9 pm and walked out into a white world. I haven't driven in snow in years! But I got back to hotel. I think that I drove down the middle of the road at 25 mph because I couldn't see the lines. Now I am enjoying a nice hot cup of tea and just hope that it doesn't snow all night.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Design Fun

Karen started Happy Apple Quilts because she likes to create quilt designs. She rarely ever follows a quilt pattern preferring to "do her own thing." Happy Apple Quilts began as a pattern company and now has 24 published patterns.

Convenience panels are now a great element in quilting. Most fabric companies have beautiful panels as part of their collections. Karen has created several quilt designs that begin with a panel and feature other fabrics from the collection or great blenders from the same company. "Name Above All Names" panel by Blank Quilting has been extremely popular. Karen's wall hanging project is quick and easy. She added a simple border to compliment the beautifully cheerful artistry of Krista Hamrick. Happy Apple Quilts offers kits of the project on our website

Sunday, January 31, 2010


My busy life was blessed recently by a visit from my daughter, Katie, her husband, Jamie, and our precious granddaughter, Evie. The time spent with with them and my parents reminded me of the special bond between generations of family.
It seems like just yesterday that Mom and I played with baby Katie. Mom shared so much with Katie over the years. They baked pies from the apples and berries they picked together. They enjoyed the garden, flowers, books, ice cream, old movies on TV, hot chocolate on snowy days, long walks on sunny days. Katie has told me that her grandmother is the person she admires most. I was not at all surprised when Katie chose to name her little daughter Evelyn, my mother's name.

I look forward to sharing special times with Evie. I look forward to summer days at our cabin in Tennessee where we can hike and swim and fish and sail. I look forward to Evie teaching me to bake pies. I look forward to reading books together. I look foward to sewing together. I hope she loves fabric and quilting as much as I do!

I think I am just beginning to understand the special relationship of being a grandmother.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Meet Cindy McCoy

As a self described "geeky designer," Cindy McCoy has found a way to combine her artistic world of quilting with her techie talents.

Cindy began quilting in 1993 and soon became a teacher and designer. She markets her own original applique patterns, MsDesigns on her website CD Designs. When teaching, English Paper Piecing is her favorite class. I am in awe to learn that her first finished English Paper Piecing project was a KING SIZE Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt for her mother. (Have you read the Thanksgiving Day blog about my very fast, very easy queen quilt project called Stashville Stars? Well, I hope to get back to it soon.)

After five years as a traveling teacher, Cindy launched the online quilt school, Quilt Campus, which now features eleven teachers and a wide variety of techniques and projects.

Happy Apple Quilts has joined her latest project, FindAQuiltPattern.com. Thanks, Cindy for this great and growing site. It is wonderful for quilters looking for original designs and for gifted designers who bring such a variety of fresh ideas.