Family Time, My Life, quilt as you go lap quilt

Anabelle’s Baby Quilt

Another new baby is on the way

& you know what that means, right?

Time to pull this out again:


Usually I beat myself up because I think of things after the fact… a bit too late… hindsight is 20/20…

but not this time!

I’m so proud of myself for having the insight to predict this next generation of babies coming close together & me not having the time & energy to decide on a quilt much less make it.

Remember Lucy’s quilt & Hadleigh’s quilt?

I’m sure you’ve heard the story time & again too of that baby quilt someone is still trying to finish by the child’s 3rd birthday!

Well, not me, at least not yet.

Anabelle’s mom (my niece) gave me fabric colors way back in January at my birthday party

& sent me this image of the nursery items they had decided on.

Jojo-Designs-Princess-11-Piece-Baby--pTRU1-17780660dtSweet, huh?

Their furniture is dark not like all the white shown in this Babies r Us image.

I chose these fabrics:


I thought they were extra girly & had the same feel as the nursery set.

The hardest part of this quilt (& nothing is hard about it)

is centering the letters in a fun way.

AND double, triple, quadruple checking the spelling!


By the way,

I discovered the “Big Board” & I love it.

If you remember, here for instance I show you how I use layers of towels to press the whole width of quilt at once?

Well, the big board is big enough to press the whole width of quilt at once too & since I had it out anyway…

While on our retreat at Rosemary’s this year we used one. More than one of us could press at once.


I love the height & the way she incorporated storage into her base.

I need to buy some of the silicone coated fabric for mine.

It will be more durable than the muslin it came wrapped in.

It has gotten really scorched with the heavy usage the last couple of months.


We had the baby shower Saturday & I’m happy to say, Heather LOVED the quilt!


 She was too funny.

When she read the card from me she knew what was inside the package.

She had been anticipating the quilt & was very curious what I’d done with her suggested colors.

I’m was touched that it meant so much to her.

She is going to use the quilt so I gave her washing instructions.

It’s all cotton & very durable so machine washing & drying will be just fine.

I made Clare nervous Wednesday when I asked her to help me spray baste the foundation.

She couldn’t believe I hadn’t made the quilt yet!

Ha! It only takes a few hours.

Any babies in your future?

You can buy your own book here.

It comes with instructions for both the baby & lap size quilts

along with the whole alphabet which is reversed & ready to trace.

Now, we get to wait for Anabelle.

Just keep sewing!


Family Time, My Life

A Sparkly New Year to You!


I have never chosen a word for the year.

I don’t know how I could concentrate on just one word for 365 days when my life is SO full!

When I look back at the highlights of 2015…

I sewed lots of Dresden plates for new pattern samples.


Helped our oldest move into her very first home away from home.


Empty rooms have so much possibility…


An almost missed trip to spring market because of my dad’s heart surgery (moved up in schedule because of his condition…) the day we were to leave for market,

Suzn+Quilts+1+market tags

followed by 6 weeks of almost daily trips to hospital then rehab to help get this guy back to baling hay!


Attended our quilt guild’s ”Quilt Away 2015” that I coordinated with 3 wonderful teachers, which finally helped me make this Primitive Gatherings kit that I bought at Paducah 6-8 (maybe more) years ago!Suzn+Quilts+wool

Turning over 200,000 miles on our Odyssey (10,000+ miles ago)


going to Bloomington’s 3rd Sunday Flea Market w/ Clare, so FUN!


We found this cutie (& a few other trinkets).


Lots of this, yum!

Suzn+Quilts+yummy grilling

Taught some wonderful quilters my tips for making Tiny & Mini Dresdens.


I hope you guys are finished with those quilts by now.

Lots more of these.


Helped my Mother-in-law (one of my best friends)

with numerous trips to doctor appt’s. & ER visits

which sadly ended in her passing away the day before we were to leave for fall market…

Unfortunately I didn’t use this.


But I did get this ready between everything else going on.


& with the help of my photographer (& Nemo)


eventually turned them into:


this pattern now available.

Does this quilt make more sense to you now???

Among lots of other things, I thank God for quilting in my life!

  1. Faith
  2. Family
  3. Friends

I will concentrate on the here & now.

I did get to Festival with the help of my sister, Lori.

Typically I only let her slave over my accounting so it was fun having her help me with this side of my business.


We attended our son’s college graduation the weekend before Christmas.


Complete with a party the following day.


Notice Abe on his cake? 


I adapted his silhouette from my Abraham Lincoln Tribute pattern.

I had help fine tuning.

Blake’s a history major, ready to go out into the would and shape the minds of our youth.

Know anyone looking for a history teacher?

Santa brought Clare this cute “Anthropology” looking comforter set which lead me to this post.

Suzn+Quilts+bird+shamUnfortunately the set didn’t come with a dust ruffle.

I guess dust ruffles are no longer the thing because they’re hard to find in any form.

She looked for a while, then I told her we could make our own.

She really wanted a gold polka dot ruffle…

So, she bought a cream dust ruffle, then I added the sparkle yesterday.


First finishing the edges


pin basting to store-bought cream dust ruffle


completely basted


stitching to ruffle


glittery residue


which will NEVER completely be gone!

The curse of a creative mind!

I guess what comes around, goes around.

I remember driving my mom crazy while we designed (she labored over) my wedding gown.

I wanted these sleeves… on this bodice… with this skirt, with this train…

I get my creativity from her.

Thanks mom!

It didn’t start this way, but since it took me a while to compile this post & I had to sleep on it,

I decided to add a bit of my 2016 forecast too.


& not in this order I will:

S. –sew

P. –pray

A.–argue for what I think is right

R.–relish my time with family & friends

K.–keep a positive outlook


(hopefully inspire) Y.–you

 Happy 2016!

Just keep sewing…


Family Time, My Life

Knee Deep in Red Crosses Today

I can’t believe it’s been a year & a half (no way…) since we celebrated Chloe’s college graduation & in a few weeks we’ll be celebrating Blake’s.

I don’t think I procrastinate, it’s just time flying faster than me!

Nothing like a bit of a reality check for a kick in the pants, huh?

Being a quilter…

I had this cool idea for Chloe’s party.


Until today, this is where cool idea had stagnated for the past 18 months.

Before her graduation I received these lovelies for my 50th birthday from some of my quilting friends & since the colors went together perfectly with this piece of nursing fabric & her signature blocks, I thought this is where the quilt was going. Also, because Chloe spends time with these quilting friends at market with me that would be even more special.


Today though, when I came across this piece of fabric,


I knew it was where this quilt needed to go since this fabric matches Chloe’s living room perfectly. This also leaves my friends’ gifts to do something just for me.


I had these charm packs or pieces of charm packs close by.

Look how perfectly they coordinate with a one of the nurse hats.


This was meant to be!

I’m so excited to get working on this project, finally!

So, I’m marking crosses

(notice I had the guests sign pieces of fabric ironed onto freezer paper with a window cut where they should sign instead of the actual hat shape)


& practicing my stitching.


I don’t want to mess any of these up.

Sadly, three of our relatives that attended the party have passed away since then, including my Mother-in-law just last month.

This is what I treasure about these kind of projects.

My next obstacle is whether to include my block as “Susan R. Marth” or if I should do like David did & sign it “Mom.”

What do you think?


Please don’t tell me to include both because I have an even 48 blocks including just one for me.

Gotta get to work.

Is this procrastinating, Lol???

Don’t tell Chloe, I want her to be surprised.

Plus I may get delayed again so I wouldn’t want to get her hopes up.

Just keep sewing!



Family Time, Finishing up a quilt project, New Christmas Quilt Fabric, New Pattern Sample, quilt as you go lap quilt, Quilt Market, Suzn Quilts, Suzn Quilts Patterns

Best Selling Quilt Pattern, A Pretty Package

What am I up to?

Today I am making another sample of my best selling quilt pattern,

A Pretty Package!

Since my booth in Pittsburgh next month will be full of “Winterlude”

I decided to show my best selling pattern, A Pretty Package, decked out in to too!


So far, I’ve prepared the “foundation” and started sewing strips.

Layered bath towels are the best pressing surface.

I can press the entire strip at once with no draping & distorting.



It’s very important to press the seams flat as sewn first,


then press them open.

This keeps them straight all across the quilt.


The MOST IMPORTANT step is to measure, measure, measure.

If you sew a strip on crooked, then sew a bunch more strips to it, a little more crooked each time, well… you will have a very crooked quilt indeed!

Next, pin, sew, repeat…

Now I’m prepared to sew the top strips in the same fashion.


This is where I am tonight.

I’ve had a few interruptions so I didn’t get as far as I would have liked today;

getting Nemo from the groomer,


The Voice with fellow family members,

followed by August: Osage County from Redbox.

I love Merle & Julia, but that movie was a bit much…

I’m going to continue sewing,

but as soon as chickadee #2 gets home I’m done for the day.

Tune in tomorrow to see the rest of the story!

Until next time,


Family Time, My Life, new fabric collection


Absence does not mean lack of doing, but in this absence I’ve not even been thinking about quilting, much less doing it.

I did finish this top before T-berry Club (a.k.a. Rosemary’s Club) ummm June meeting, but still it sits all basted and collecting dust more than a month later.

I can’t believe I got these more than a month ago,

a new Moda collection, Odds & Ends by Julie Comstock.  Lovely colors & cute designs.  Yes, it’s still in its shrink-wrap.  I’m not allowing myself to remove it until I’m ready to sew.

I received these Christmas fabrics from Northcott and made a cute sample for a magazine.

It was made in such haste I barely remember what it looked like!

More on that to come.

We traveled 2,600 miles to take in Myrtle Beach,


& Gatlinburg last week,

and not a single yard of quilt fabric was seen!

I was however wowed by these on Fort Sumter at Charleston, SC.

This is the Palmetto Guard Flag (what’s left of it).  It’s under glass and I did not get a good photo. You can get close enough to see the little applique stitches, cool!

And this is another flag there.

It’s Fort Sumter’s battle flag, it’s 10 feet by 20 feet!   This flag was flying during the bombardment on April 12-13, 1861.

It was impossible to stand back and photograph it without the spindles and rail in the photo.  It actually sits lower than the floor where we walked because it’s so large.

Unfortunately we only had the day to see Charleston, minus the 2+hr. drive each way so we didn’t see nearly enough there. I would have loved to check out the quilt shop(s) there.  I’d bet they have an excellent Civil War section…  Perhaps next time?

I was particularly impressed with all the old architecture there.  We took a city tour that took us by many centuries old homes and city buildings that were very impressive to say the least.  Did you know part of “The Notebook” was filmed there?  Our tour guide was wonderful, but we decided she might be a bit forgetful when she asked us for the 3rd time if we’d seen the movie!  It’s now a family joke…  I think vacations are good for that!

We took in no less than 4 Tanger Outlet malls. I got a new Fossil purse. It’s purple!

We do love to shop, me & the kids and David is good at finding something to do while we shop.

Have no fear, my sewing machine is still working.  When we got home I had to take in a sling top for Clare to make it fit “just right” and then I had to put a few stitches in a side seam of Chloe’s maxi dress that was made in West Pango Pango, or mostly made…  At least they were both made with black thread!

We’re back home now and today, after a trip to the orthodontist, Clare and I took in Sweet Annie’s sale.

That’s a local shop in Troy, IL.

Then we did a bit of regular ‘ole shopping and got these needed notions.

Where does the time go?

Clare will start high school 3 weeks from today and Chloe and Blake will be back to college the following week.

Aside from the many 100+ degree days, this summer seems to have not even existed.  I guess I’m getting old, time is just passing by too quickly.

I hope you’re getting some quilting in during this extremely hot summer.

My hat goes off to all those caring for family & friends, the sick and the aging.

Don’t forget to add a bit of sewing in every chance you get!

Until next time,


Family Time, My Life

Christmas Past…

Not so far into the past really.  It’s still hanging in our house right now.  Tomorrow, Clare and I’ve decided, it will all be put away.  OK, not everything, we always manage to forget at least one item that goes on top of all the boxes, because we’re not about to move them around to get to the box where said item really belongs.  Can you relate???

I like to leave our Christmas decorations up each year until the Epiphany, you know 12 days after Christmas, the day the 3 wise men found baby Jesus lying in a manger.  They were led by the North star.  How can they find Him without our Christmas lights to lead the way?

 I’ve mentioned before how I like to photograph different areas in our home to remind me how I’ve decorated them from year to year.  I can then print out the photos and put them in the boxes with the decorations and see the next year how I might want to display them again.

This is my favorite Christmas spot it the house I think.  I plug in the lights first thing in the morning and unplugging them is one of the last things I do before I go to bed.  A Santa cookie jar gifted to us by a special cousin, ME tins from my mom, a couple of buckets of lighted trees that were left-over from one of my Christmas open houses. I added a couple new items this year can you find them?

Next in the kitchen, my favorite wall.  This is where I first stared photographing years ago because I had so much stuff on this shelf and I liked it so well, I wanted to be able to recapture the same feeling next Christmas.

We pared it down this year…Clare, my 14 yr. old helped a lot with the decorating.  She did most of this shelf.  It started with another Christmas open house left-over, the red glass bead garland.  In it I always nestle one of my all-time favorite ornaments, gingerbread kids made by a special friend.  Several years later I found the pinch clip candy canes.  A stocking bought at a guild auction (made by another friend), etc.

I added the new metal garland. Before I put that away I’m getting a pair of pliers and swapping the middle green and red ornaments.  It’s been bugging me since I first saw these in a cute little florist shop with cute little antiques tucked here and there.  Why they would put the greens next to the reds and not alternate them I have no idea, but every one (made in China I’m sure) was made the same.

 It’s funny how on Christmas day there was a discussion about how whoever made that should have alternated them!!! I don’t remember now who brought it up, but it was a house full of my family, not David’s.  It just goes to show how much of us really is in our genes, huh?

My new Santa’s Pockets Christmas countdown is still on loan for a trunk show in Pennsylvania.

These are my kids’ advent calendars that I made probably 13 years ago.  The nativity came from a pattern that I purchased, then I made my own pockets to accept Hershey’s Kisses and did my own hangers.  I made 9 of these, 3 for my kids & 6 more for my nieces & nephew, hard to believe now.  My oldest will be 20 next month and even she still does the Kiss-a-day until Christmas, go figure!

This is our laundry room dessert buffet on Christmas.  I wish I could show you the photo from Christmas day, but I only took one and it’s too blurry, darn, it was fantastic! This is a Polar Express Santa that I received as a gift from Santa’s workshop one year from school.  A candleabra that fits atop a wine bottle, birthday gift from a friend a couple of years ago. I draped it with silver mardi gras beads.

Anyway, I put a tablecloth over our washer and dryer and add lots of cute stuff and sweets!

In my sewing room.

I keep adding to it with finds and gifts from friends.

 Just stuff I love and set together!

My mother-in-law made these bears (from scratch, and not just the clothes!) for my Christmas open house one year.  I gave her cute coordinating prints to use for the coats & hats and she let me pick my favorite.  She’s perched on an antique chair next to our maniquen in our entry. She’s sporting a little quilt that will some day be a pattern.  I made it a few years ago while preparing for, you guessed it, a Christmas open house!  And you already saw the book here…

Here she was last year

I don’t even remember dressing her last year with my 3 Little Words pattern sample, much less photographing her…  Good thing for artificial memory!

These angels were a pre-Christmas gift from my parents.  Clare  arranged them around the curved base of our TV with a small piece of garland.  Lola Pearce’s indigo blue signature-block-turned-pillow was a Christmas gift from Clare.  (I whispered in her ear that it might make a nice Christmas gift for her mom when we were at a bridal shower last October at My Just Desserts in Alton, IL.  Despite its wonderful reputation I’d never been there, delicious food and decorated with old stuff, some for sale!)

Can you tell yet that I LOVE Christmas?

This table in our living room was decorated by Clare in a big way.  She displayed the crochet angel collection made by my grandma, David’s aunt and few by other special friends, along with Santa and a primitive church.  Later when she and I were at Michael’s she spotted this foam gingerbread house kit.  It was half off and she had a birthday gift card, so she bought this and came right home and built it in an evening.  It’s now sharing the table with the angels.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s Christmas photo tour.

I now have record of our decorations to put in the decoration boxes for next year.

Perhaps you’ve gotten a few ideas of your own?

Until next time,


A Giveaway!, Family Time, My Life

And the winner of a free pattern is…

#15, JoAnn Bishop who wrote:

“White Christmas with Bing Crosby. He has such a beautiful and easy voice.”

I love this movie too.  I’ve not watched it yet this season, but I probably will soon.

JoAnn, let me know your pattern of choice and I will get it in the mail to you.

Thanks for all the replies.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas as I did today. My favorite gift is being with my family and friends for the holidays, but one of my favorite gifts to open was from my mother-in-law; a gift certificate from a local quilt shop.  It doesn’t get much better than this!

Until next time,