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Determined Cat Trying to Get Treats

Five years ago there was a stray cat at my in-laws house.  She was leary of us but very sweet.  You could hear her purring from across the yard if you talked very nice to her.  You could tell she was starving because my father-in-law threw out a pizza crust for her and she grabbed it and ran. She hid under the jet skis and I have never seen a cat eat anything sooo fast.  My husband had a lot of patience that weekend and was able to catch the stray cat.  We called her Tootie and within a few weeks this skinny little thing had four kittens. We had no idea she was pregnant!!!! 

Needless to say we kept two of her kittens.  One orange tabby we named Joey
 and one gray tabby we named Maggie.   They are real characters and they both LOVE treats and Quilts!! 

Laying on the Nifty Fifty One Quilt
Sitting in front of my “Old Man in the Mountain” Pattern

When they were kittens I received a treat jar from my sister.  They knocked it off the table tying to open it and it broke. I was so upset!!!  This week….I found the exact treat jar at a thrift shop.  Maggie immediately remembered it after five years and right away tried again to open it.  After Maggie spent a lot of effort with no results, I finally helped her by tipping open the lid.  Her brother Joey waited until he heard the lid open and then he came over to reap his sister’s hard work…….Maggie patiently stepped back while Joey tried reaching in to get a treat but it was more difficult then he thought.  Finally he stuck his whole head in the jar to find one. Maggie also got her treat by sticking her head into the jar. 
Here is the video of their endeavor:

Fingerless Mitten Pattern

Easy, Fast and Warm Fingerless Mittens
Happy New Year!!!!
I made these mittens for Christmas presents this year.  They are easy and work up really fast.  They are so comfortable that I made myself a pair using double strands of Wool Ease instead of the Homespun yarn I used for the little ones.  Enjoy!!  Please let me know if you have any questions about the pattern.

One Skein of Homespun Lions Brand Yarn
Can substitute two strand of  Lions Wool Ease for the same result.
Size 9 needles.
Two Strands of Wool Ease:  
Knit: 8 stitches x 12 rows = 2″ (10cm) on size 9 (6mm) needles
SS-Stockinette Stitch
CO-Cast On
BO-Bind On
Make two.
24, (28, 32, 36)  Extra Small, (Small, Medium, Large)

Cast on 24 (28, 32, 36) sts and work K 1 P 1 ribbing for 3 inches or desired length
Increase 4 stitches evenly across the last row of ribbing.
Continue  with stockinette stitch ( K one row P one row) for a total of four rows.
At the beginning of the next knit row CO four stitches.
At the beginning of the next purl row BO four stitches.
Continue in SS for 5 ½”, (6 ½”, 7”, 7 ½”) from the beginning or desired length.
Cast off.
Sew the sides of the mitten together by starting at the bottom of the ribbing and stopping at the CO and BO stitches. Then sew the top sides of the mitten stopping at the CO and BO stitches.  This will be the thumb opening.
Size Small modeled by my 7 year old Niece
Size Small before Mitten is sewn together

Size X-Small modeled by my 6 year old Nephew
Size X-Small before mitten is sewn together

You can make a very small child’s mitten using the same pattern but casting on 18 stitches and increasing 2 stitches on the last row of ribbing.  Do SS for two rows after the ribbing and then CO and BO 2 Stitches. Cont in SS until the mitten measures 4 to 5 inches from the beginning.

Vintage Quilt

I went to drop off a trunk full of items to Goodwill this week and they asked me if I would like a 20% off coupon for the store.  I was not planning on going shopping but I could not resist once they gave me the coupon.  I thought I would run in real quick before heading home.  Well a quick trip turned into over an hour and my trunk filled once again!!

But the best part of the trip was finding a old quilt for $2.40!!!  The quilt has some very interesting and unique fabric pieces in it.  I love the blue borders.

 The quilt is in fairly good shape.  The binding is coming apart a little and I have found one piece of fabric that is damaged.  I have a vintage fabric book but I could not find any samples of fabric similiar to what is in this quilt.  Here are photos of some of the more interesting fabric pieces in the quilt. Does anyone recognize the age of the fabric?

Small Black Paisley
This fabric has different huts or houses throughout it.

Unique pattern!!

 This looks like old movie reels

This looks like oriental fabric

Red Pineapples

Deer Fabric

Maybe 1930’s?

Interesting Paisley

Oriental Bridge?

Cute Turtle!!

Breast Cancer Memory and Survivor Stories

I have updated my Breast Cancer Awareness pages.  Breast Cancer Survivor page  and Breast Cancer Memory page My sister lost her dear mother-in-law to breast cancer in October.  Madeline was my sister’s best friend.  I have dedicated my Breast Cancer Survivor page to Madeline who was a breast cancer survivor for 6 years. Throughout her illness she showed great strength, courage and shared much joy, happiness and sunshine with her family.   We are collecting inspirational stories of breast cancer for our pages hoping they will bring comfort to others who may be suffering from this terrible disease. 

Visit our page to submit a story

Hanging a Quilt on a Quilt Rack
I am always frustrated when I have to hang my large quilts on my quilt racks.  I can never seem to fold them just right so they lay properly.  I just took two of my quilts off their quilt racks to hang up my mother-in-law’s two Christmas quilts.   This is the first Christmas without my mother-in-law Joy.  Sadly she lost her fight with ALS this past March.  I have chosen to place her Christmas quilts on the racks this season so my kids can appreciate their beauty instead of them being folded up on the fireplace.
My mother-in-laws other Christmas quilt
Joy and I took our first quilting class together 21 years ago.  We spent many hours sharing fabrics, designs and quilting books.  We took three hand piecing and quilting classes together.  Over the years I have continued doing hand piecing and quilting but have moved to machine work since I have so many projects to complete.  Even though Joy was an avid sewer her whole life she only quilted by hand…she never once in 20 years did any of her quilting by machine.  Here are the quilts on the rack and some hints on hanging such large quilts on a quilt rack.

This how the quilt looked the first time I tried hanging it on the rack….. I was frustrated that it was not hanging nicely. 

So I took it off and measured my quilt rack across the top which was 28 ½ inches.  I decided I wanted 26 inches of the quilt showing on the rack.  I then laid the quilt face down on the floor and measured 13” out from  each side of the center. Then I neatly folded each side in so it measured 26”.  

I made sure that it was laying very flat and even. My cat Joey inspected my job.   

 I did make sure that the ends of the quilt at the bottom were very even.  I did not pay much attention to the top ends as they would not be showing once the quilt was on the rack.   

Then this is where it always got tricky for me.  In the past as I would lift the quilt up, it would bunch up and look awful on the rack. This time I decided to fold the quilt again so it was half the size. Then I gently picked up the quilt keeping all the layers held tightly together and I laid it over the quilt rack and it stayed neatly folded.  Finally the quilt was nice and neat over the rack.

Front view of the quilt on the rack after folding it properly

The quilt also laid very nicely over the back.

More Beautiful Original Butterflies!!!

Two more beautiful butterflies flew into my mailbox today.  Iowa and Illinois came today and they are georgous!!   I love the unique shape of the Iowa butterfly and the colorful batik that Diane used.   

We are doing 2.5 signature squares for our swap instead of actually signing the quilt blocks.  The signature squares only needed to have the quilters name and the state that they are representing in our Nifty Fifty State quilt block swap.  Diane has gone way above the requirement and has not only taken on extra states in our swap but she has drawn the shape of her states on each of her siggies.  These unique siggies make a very nice label for the back our Nifty Fifty Quilts. Here are photos of a few of Diane’s siggies and her unique Butterfly blocks from Iowa and Illinois:

Louisiana Siggie for our butterfly swap
Iowa Butterfly

Illinois Butterfly

  The rest of our Buttterlies can seen on our webiste at Nifty Fifty 29 Butterfly Quilt Blocks

Idaho Quilt Blocks!!!

Nifty Fifty One Idaho BeautyQuilt Block
 The Idaho Nifty Fifty State Quilt blocks are up online…all together on one page from all 29 of our quilt block swaps.  Did you know why Idaho produces more potatoes than any other state?  It is because the Volcanic soil in the state of Idaho is perfect for growing potatoes.  Though we did not get any “potato” quilt blocks to represent Idaho even though it is known for its potatoes, we did get a quilt block to represent the state fish which is the the Cutthroat Trout. The fish is in flight jumping out of the water.  There were a couple of Idaho
Beauty quilt blocks made and one quilter made hers because it  represents the bright stars of Idaho. The Redwork Idaho quilt block has the outline of the state of Idaho stitch in the center of the quilt block along with the state bird, state flower and the year Idaho became a state which is 1840 and that is was the 43rd state.  Take a look at these beautiful quilt blocks on our Idaho State page at  
Our Illinois quilt blocks will be up soon so be sure you follow our blog!!

Breast Cancer Awareness Support

If anyone is ordering from Amazon this holiday season then please use our Amazon Link to get to Amazon before you go shopping.  Our Breast Cancer Awareness web pages benefit from each order that is placed at Amazon through our website.  Our page provides educational links for Breast Cancer Awareness. Some of these links includes Susan G Koman, Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, Avon walk for cancer, Nifty Fifty Breast Cancer quilt, IBC support, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Breast Cancer Charities and Breast Cancer Awareness. You can click on any Amazon link on our pages or you can use our search box which is on the left side

Thank you for your support!!!!!!

Hawaii State Quilt block photos

I have never been to Hawaii but our swap got some terrific Hawaiian quilt blocks from our Nifty Fifty Quilters. My personal favorites are the Hawaiian appliqued blocks. The one pictured here is from our Nifty Fifty 12 swap which theme was Batiks. There was not any particular Hawaii state pattern used amongst our quilters but there were a couple of unique quilt blocks that represented the Hawaiian dance the Hula. And what would a group of quilt blocks from Hawaii be without a Pineapple quilt blocks from our Nifty Fifty swap. Check out all the Hawaiian quilt blocks on our website at

Breast Cancer Memory Jar

 Breast Cancer Month is over but the struggle still goes on throughout the year.  Our family just lost Madeline to Breast Cancer.  Madeline is my sister’s mother-in-law but was a big part of our extended family. As one friend quoted this week….”to know Madeline is to love Madeline”.  Her struggle started six years ago with Breast Cancer and she fought courageously these past few years.  I made a memory jar for my sister’s family. It followed us throughout the services this weekend collecting special memories of Madeline written on colorful index cards and placed in the jar.  I made a mini quilt to attach to the jar using Carol Doak’s Heart/Ribbon pattern.  I used pink fabric with golden dragonflies.  The pink fabric represented breast cancer and the dragonflies represented Madeline.  Dragonflies in Japan represent joy, happiness, courage and strength which all describes Madeline. Dragonflies in the United States represent rebirth or renewal after a great hardship or loss.  Hopefully this mini quilt and jar full of memories will help my sister’s family through their sorrow and  loss.  

As you can see it is the first time I have made the Heart/Ribbon pattern and my ribbon is slightly off….It is also the first time I used my sewing machine’s embroidery option The Amish purposely put a mistake in every quilt to remind themselves that they are not perfect because they have a saying…”Only God is perfect”.