Friday, May 29, 2009

Quilt Tops

Sorry that I haven't written for a while but life has been..... well.. busy! I'm sure that every one of you can relate. ;-) Again this will be a brief post, but I wanted to at least make an 'appearance' so to speak. A fellow quilter and friend, asked if I would put together a couple of quilt tops together for her for a friend of hers who is expecting a set of twins. Being a mom of twins myself, I found this project a fun one to do. My set of twins were identical twin boys but the set of twins to come is a boy and a girl. Below you will find pictures of the two quilt tops that I made along with another quilt top that my friend wanted embroidered for another friend's baby whose name is Colten. Since Colten nearly didn't make it into this world of ours, Carol wanted me to embroider not only his name, but the fact that he was truly a miracle.

The first quilt is for the little boy to come. I LOVED this Michael Miller fabric called silhouettes. I'm a big time fan of Michael Miller fabrics anyway, but I especially liked this one.

This top is for the little girl. The fabric is called Harmonies and is made by Exclusively Quilters. I liked this line as much as the Michael Millers.

This is what I embroidered on Colten's quilt top. ( I wish more gals used the embroidery unit on their machines, it is so much fun! You can do so much with those machines girls... more than you can imagine!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Little things...

This post will be short. I just wanted to add a couple of items before I went to bed. Below you will find a few more samplings of those things that we have had the pleasure in making. (I will add more in the next few days.)

First, a couple of little girl's short jackets. These have been made in so many different colors, but here are just two samples. We mainly use waffle weave fabric on these, but I decided to make one in denim and embroider ladybugs on the back of it. These waist length jackets look adorable with a cute pair of jeans and a sweet top. The light blue jacket has lace that was purchased from the UK.

Next is a christening gown with a slip to match. It's rather difficult to see all of the details in the pictures below but there is machine embroidery on the dress front and quite a bit of hand embroidery on the slip.

Last, but not least, a clothes pin bag. I loved the fabric that was found for this bag. Nothing could have been more perfect! (Make sure that you click on the picture so that you can see the fabric up close.)

Mr. Wesley

My grandson Wesley came to spend the night last night with his grandpa and me. We watched his favorite movie together before he went to bed, then we got up early to spend the day together, by going to the movies, out to lunch, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc.. I was outside taking a few pictures before we left and Mr. Wesley could not resist climbing the tree that I was using for my picture taking. He continually yelled out to me, "Grandma, take a picture of me! Take a picture of me!!" Apparently I didn't take enough pictures of him because his arm, his rear end, and/or leg was in nearly every one of my pictures. Before I post the pictures of more items that my daughter and I sell, I felt it was a must that I show you at least one picture of my Wesley. Should you spot a body part in the other pictures yet to come you'll at least know who they belong to.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Love those totes!

Amy Butler is one of my favorites! When Pomegranate Quilt Shop was open, we carried portions of Amy's lines of fabric as well as  her many pattern designs. Along with Amy's items, we also carried designers from Free Spirit, along with Kaffe Fassett,  Anna Marie Horner, and others.  They are very popular lines of fabrics among those  who love the brighter, more 'cheerful' colors, my daughter Elizabeth included.  At the shop we quickly learned however,  that people either loved those fabrics, or hated them.  We found very few whose feelings were 'middle of the road' in regards to those brighter fabrics!
Below is one of Amy's tote patterns (Birdie Sling) that my daughter and I each have made for ourselves and for others in our lives.  I added more pockets (such a surprise!) to the insides of mine, as well as a couple of more on the outside of the bag.  Elizabeth and I obviously cannot sell these bags, as they do have a copyright on the pattern,  but we have made them as diaper bags, for those we know who are having babies, as well as  large totes for family/friends to carry just about any other need they may have!  Since I teach a Bible class, I carry all of the books and supplies that I need for my class.  It works out perfect!! Thanks Amy!

One of the diaper bags made out of Moda's American Jane fabric.

Another one of the American Janes's, this time in red.

The bag that I carry for my class. I added ruffles to my outside pockets.

The bag that my sister-in-law carries to her Bible class. This fabric was by Urban Chicks and Michael Miller. Loved both!

I made another bag as a sample to teach a class on out of beautiful oriental fabrics. The owner of the shop picked the fabric out and it turned out really beautiful. Good pick!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The cost of a quilt.......

I have had people ask me about my prices in regards to quilts. I had to be honest and tell them that these are the one thing that I do not sell. I learned a long time ago that a lot of people out there simply do not understand why a quilter asks so much for these little gems. After all, inexpensive quilts are available to everyone who wants one, for $99 or less, any size, at your local department or discount store. In all honesty, I can't even compete with those prices. Let me just list my costs for you and then maybe you will understand why quilts are the one thing that do not go out my door marked as sold. To begin with, I will only purchase my fabric from quilt shops..... not at Jo Ann's, not at Walmart, not at any other discount chain store out there. There is a definite difference in the quality and feel of the fabric that is purchased at these quilt shops and we quilters pay dearly for that quality. The price of fabric these days, at those shops, start around $9.00 a yard and up. The back of a queen size quilt, let's say, (if fabric measures 44/45 in width) will cost you about $60+. Just for the back. The batting runs around $20. The top of the quilt is a whole different ball game. A lot depends on the design and if there is any hand work such as applique and/or embellishments,etc. involved. Then you have the borders and finally the binding, which is sewn on by hand all the way around the quilt once it has been quilted. I always embroider a label to be placed on the back of the quilt, which adds even more to the cost. Once the top and the backing are done I hand the quilt over to a long arm quilter to be quilted. Her price also varies. Do I want it quilted from edge to edge (a single design quilted back and forth, edge to edge, down the length of the quilt.) or custom quilted, which is a lot more. Most of my quilts are done edge to edge to save money. The price often includes the batting but not always. The last queen size quilt that I had quilted was $200. This did NOT include the batting. So far, I haven't even mentioned MY time. Quilt making takes a lot of time, especially if it involves any handwork. Now you see why I don't sell my quilts, I could never get what it truly costs. I have found that people really do want American made products..... but they only want to pay China made prices. My husband has been to China as a buyer and has seen the horrendous conditions that these people are placed in to make these kind of products for Americans to buy. It's rather sad that each of us tend to forget that portion of our good deal, me included. Thanks for listening. Still sewing for Millie.

This is one of my sample baby quilts that I have taught classes on. The price for just the quilting? $64.65

The label that I placed on the back.

Friday, May 15, 2009

..... and more quilts

Just a few more of my 'coverings'. :-) (If you ever have a problem seeing any of the pictures on the blog, just click on the picture itself and it will give you a larger view.)

My daughter asked me, some time back, if I could make my granddaughter Ashlynn, a quilt for her bed upon the arrival of her new baby sister. Elizabeth had picked out a quilt pattern, which she had found in a quilt magazine, that she really liked. I quickly got to work and below is the quilt.

I have always told my students to place labels on all of their quilts. Nothing is more frustrating than to have quilts passed down (or purchased) and you have no information about the quilt's history. Wouldn't it be nice to know who made all of those quilts out there, who they were made for, why were they made and when? Label girls, label.

A few years back, several of us were flown back to Paducah, Kentucky to help Ms. Eleanor Burns out during the huge quilt show that is held back there each and every year. She is a very gracious woman and absolutely hilarious! Before the show began, I was able to take an all day class with her, which proved to be an unforgettable experience..... she is so fun!! Below is the quilt.

The label.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quilts, quilts, quilts.........

In Proverbs 31 we read about the godly wife of noble character,  a chapter most believers are very  familiar with.  "She makes coverings for her bed...." (Verse 22a)  I love this chapter just like I love the whole Word itself.  There is so much depth and so many promises to be found in its many pages.  In another passage from the Bible, found in the book of Exodus, (31:1-11) it states that the Lord 'appointed by name' those He wanted to make and craft everything that He wanted done for His Holy Temple.  It also states that the Lord, 'filled these people with His Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability in EVERY craft to design..'  I think He still does that today.  Since I believe every gift that we possess comes from our Father above, we need not only to be thankful, but purposeful in using those gifts.  To be good stewards so to speak.  Gifts, as you well know have been used for good but also for evil.  They are what they are, His gifts to us.  We all need to be accountable for the usage of these incredulous gifts that He so graciously and freely has given to us.... me included.  I feel like my heavenly Father has given me the gift of teaching and of sewing for a reason.  I LOVE and appreciate both of these wonderful gifts.  Below you will find some of the 'coverings' that I have made not only for my bed, but for those I love and hold dearly.

I had made quilts for my parents already, but they were merely lap quilts. My dad complained that they were not large enough for him, nor warm enough either. Soooo.. I made my parents a quilt out of flannel fabric and then stitched wool batting in between the layers. (No complaints now.) ;-)

Working at the shop, Pomegranate Quilts, we would sometimes get fabric in that you hated to cut up. (I know all of you quilters out there know what I am talking about!) This was one such fabric. When it came in I fell in love with it.

Also at the shop, I had the great privilege of teaching most of the classes. This was one of them, "Block of the Month". I decided to use fabric that wasn't really moving in the shop. In fact my main fabric, the light one with the pine cones, had never even seen a cut out of it. I really like how it came out.

This last quilt was also from a class at Pomegranate's. A new quilter, (my sweet Karen) had decided that she wanted to learn a new technique in quilting. This pattern offered her just what she was looking for. Everyone of us shared a piece of our own fabric from our quilt to be intertwined with each others. I couldn't tell you now whose fabric is where in this quilt of mine. The quilt pattern's name? Friendship Star. And that is exactly what this quilt represents, a melding of friends that were made in that class. On the inside border, I hand embroidered portions of Proverbs 31 and on the outside border I hand appliqued flowers and leaves on opposing corners. I dedicated this quilt to the talented and wonderful women in that group who became some of my dearest friends. Hugs.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Now that you know my history, it is time to show you some of the items that make their way out  my sewing room door. Right now I am working on socks. It may sound crazy, but a lot of women love these socks. I first saw them back at Martha Pullen's School of Art Fashion some years back. Kathy McMakin, who is Martha's right hand gal, always wears these socks.... along with everyone else back in Alabama! Anyway there is the cutest tea shop up here in Alpine, and  the owner of the shop right next door spotted the socks, on the feet of my good friend Lisa, and fell in love.  Since the shop owner is looking for people to put items into her shop on consignment, she asked if it were possible to make a pair or two for her shop. Hence.. I am making socks.

Also featured down below is just one of our many Christmas stockings. My designer daughter and I get to hopping around the holidays. We not only make custom christmas stockings, but we also sell aprons, tea cozies, baby items, dresses, totes, you name it! It is a fun thing that we can do together and I am overjoyed that she likes to work with me. We both put in a lot of time on these items.

Until next time, I will continue to sew '4 millie'.


Or without the crystals. (The fly is free.)

A sampling of one our tea cozies..... they are reversible too!

One of our many children's aprons.....

A glimpse of one of our custom made stockings......

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

4 Millie

For those of you who don't know, Millie is my mom.  It seemed rather natural for me to finally name my sewing business after the woman who has always been my biggest fan.  I could make the ugliest thing in the whole wide world and she would still say that it was beautiful.  When I was very young, she made a couple of beautiful dresses for me and I still have the patterns to this day. I loved those dresses. As I grew older, I finally understood why she only made me just a couple of dresses.  Not only did  mom work full time and run a household, but she also owned, I am sure, the worst sewing machine on the planet.  (Sorry mom but you know it's true.) It was a Sears sewing machine with the worst tension that anyone could imagine.  When I was old enough, I began to sew for myself and all but gave up due to that horrific machine.  When I later married, my sweet husband decided to buy me a sewing machine of my own for christmas.  He purchased a Sears sewing machine.....grrrrr. Rather than say a word of complaint about where he had purchased that machine, I decided to try that new machine out and to my surprise, it sewed like a dream.  Sewing became my new found hobby.  Having four girls to sew for, that machine got quite the workout!  Then one day my dear old dad decided to buy me a new machine... a Bernina sewing machine, along with a serger, a cutting table and a mat.  Words can't describe the gratefulness I had for those incredible gifts.  There was no stopping me after that! Today I sew on a Bernina Artista 730, I'm a quilt maker, sewing instructor, (certified by Martha Pullen) and I embroider just about everything that I can get my hands on. So for today's blog, I felt it was about time that I give thanks to the ones who have made this passion of mine possible and to grow. I love you honey for that first machine... even though it was a Sears. ;-) I loved it. And thanks mom and dad for the support and love that you have always given to me for this crazy passion I have. Hugs to each of you!

Another dress from Kari Mecca's book, that I made for my niece's new little treasure, Milan

Yet another one but in different fabric.

This one is also from Kari's book and is called 'Adorable You' This one went to my Teagan.

Another 'Adorable You' design. Sweet Ashlynnie has this one.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Keira!

Here's the present that I made for you... your first quilt!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Seven Wonders of My World

Psalms 127:3 says, "Don't you see that children are God's best gift? The fruit of the womb His generous legacy?.....Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!" (The Message) So on this Mother's Day dear children, I want to thank each of you. I am blessed beyond measure.
James, my first born, you had to put up with a lot didn't you? Such expectations were laid on you, but you know what? You did well son. How proud I am of you. You had to sift through so many things yet you still came out on top. Why look at you, always looking for the unique side of people. You weren't voted top photographer for Sacramento for two years running for nothing.  I love you son.
And to my oldest daughter Paula, words cannot express my admiration for you.  You are my world traveler.  Taking the gospel to unknown places as well as to unknown people... I'm the chicken, not you, and off you went.  I must say however that I'm so happy that you are now living here, have graduated from college with a degree in graphic design and have a wonderful job.  How I missed your bright smile when you were gone.  Thank you for the times we have stormed heaven's gates together in prayer.  Thanks for being my prayer warrior and my friend. I love you Paula.  
Nicole, you really are my fitness freak!  You know so much about health and diet... you should be getting paid!!  On top of that, all of us agree that if anything ever needs to be said or done, you're our go to gal.  There's no one quite like my Nicole.  ;-) And your boys are precious Nicole, that's because you are such a good mom.  How I love you girl. 
Elizabeth, our 'little bit".  Such a tiny one you were, but look at you now!  You're simply beautiful (just like all of your sisters).  I watch you with your children and it makes me so proud.  I wish I was as tenderhearted with each of you as you are with each of yours.  You make me smile.  And between you and Nicole, I don't know whose the better cook!  Your husbands and children are the lucky ones to be sure.  You have always been my little peace maker... which I know has been hard for you at times.  But you are such a good one!!  And I love, love, that you teach your little ones at home.  Hang in there sweetheart, it will all be worth it in the end. How I love you.  
 Rebekah, you are our own little financial guru.  Who else would be writing a blog to pay off student loans??  Your work ethic is just like your dad's.  Do you ever stop??  Thanks for all of the years you worked for your dad.. how he misses that.  You were so good for him and to him and I never thanked you, so I am doing that now, thanks Becks.  You are beautiful inside and out daughter of mine and you are loved so much.
John, wow son, who would have ever imagined five years ago that today you would be married to a wonderful and beautiful woman by the name of Lindsey and that you both would have these dear, sweet babes.  Amazing!  God is good, is He not??  I love you son.  I am not only believing for you, but I believe in you.  Hang in there.
Michael, my soon to be married son.  When you made your surprise appearance in this world, right behind you brother John, nothing could have surprised me more.  Such a shock!  But it has turned out to be the best of all surprises.  I realized that day that my God has a wonderful sense of humor.  My life has never been the same since you two came into my world.  How blessed I am that God picked me to send the two of you to.  I love you son.

So thank you dear children for making my Mother's Day a happy one... I was entrusted by a great God with each of you.  What joy!  I love you guys, your mom

Paula, Rebekah, Elizabeth, and my fitness freak, Nicole

Michael, James, Chris, (my crazy son-in-law-smooches) and John

Happy Mother's Day to two great moms!

Mom, you're the best! I realize that Mother's Day is tomorrow, but I wanted to thank you today for being such a great mom. My friends all loved you and loved coming over just to see you. You were always so great to my friends as well as John's. How fortunate I have been to have you there for me, and not only for me..... but for my children. You were so young when you had John and me. I can't imagine how hard it must have been on you mom, but you endured.... thank you so much. On the positive side though, you were so young when you became a grandmother. Most people thought my kids were your kids and you treated them as such. Again... thank you. (Sometimes I think James especially, wonders if you're his real mom and not me!) I hope you have a great week end mom. (Of course it would be better if you were here with me!) I miss you heaps and pray that some day, we'll be able to celebrate it together. I love you mom. From the bottom of my heart, Debbie

With the one who 'thinks' he's yours... James

With three of the girls, Becks must have been under the table.. ;-) (Next time get up in time girl!!)

And my favorite picture of you and your great grandson Wes. Love it!!

And now to my mother-in-law. I give you great thanks as well. You raised the man that has been my husband for over 39 years. He is so tender hearted and I know that is because of you. He ADORES his kids... just like you do and always have. He is such a hard, hard worker with incredible work ethic.. and we all know where that came from..... again, YOU! Thank you for your kind and generous heart that you have allowed me over the years to maneuver my way into. You never interfere yet are always there if needed. Happy Mother's Day mom. Love you lots, Debbie

You're smiling.. I love it!!

One of my favorites of you with your great granddaughter, Keira.

"Playing" at John's wedding. Such a great picture.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I wanted to add these 2 new pictures of my latest grandson, Logan James Hays.  These pictures were taken yesterday by a dear photographer friend of Lindsey's.  Thanks Sandra!


I just had to add these new pictures of my little granddaughter Keira wearing one of the dresses that I made from Kari's book.  Now how cute is that??


Proverbs 2:1-5 My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Don't you just love those verses? My cry unto the Lord lately, has been exactly what the above verses say. Don't we all need discernment? Don't we all need wisdom and understanding? There........ right there, is where you will find my heart.

There are some in my family who have wondered why I never began a blog before now. I have been so torn because I never wanted another thing to take over a place in my heart over my God, my family, or my time.... yet here I am. I find I do need an outlet to not only express my thoughts but to also share my sewing... so bear with me.

Below is a picture of a dress and purse that I made for Cozy Quilt Shop  to teach a class there. The dress pattern is from Kari Mecca's wonderful book, Sewing With Whimsey. The book is filled with great patterns for little girls that you will love. With Kari's permission, I was able to sell some of the dresses that I made from her book, (pictures also found below) to some pretty wonderful photographers in Kansas. I used bright and cheery fabrics on each dress and I was delighted with the outcome. You won't be disappointed if you purchase the book. Tomorrow I will share more of my treasures and finds. Until then...... Many hugs