Monday, October 31

What's on the line?

Well, since today is Halloween, there is nothing on the line as I am busy getting ready for the Trick or Treaters that I hope I'll see tonight. If you want to see a little something Halloween "on-the-line", you can check out my post from last year ... just go here.
I do have a little Halloween fun, though. I'd like to introduce Percy the Pumpkin along with Boris the Bat at his elbow and Spike the Spider on his hand.....

Hello! My name is Percy Pumpkin.
I may look like a Country Bumpkin
but I am really one “hip cat”,
just ask my friend, he’s Boris Bat.
The 60’s were the years for me
and, Spike, the spider would agree.
Bright colors, lemons, limes and such
and neon orange were not too much.
It’s cool to wear these colors, Man.
I’m not a guy for wearing tan.
They’ll see me coming in the dark.
I’ll glow as I walk through the park.
The lady pumpkins, they’ll cry out.
“Hey, Percy, could we walk about?”
And as we stroll the avenue,
I’ll tip my hat to all of you.
I’ll wish you all this Halloween,
a night that’s fun and really keen.
A night that’s filled with lots of treats,
but don’t over-eat on all those sweets!
For if you do, then in the night,
dreams of ghosts may cause a fright.
So, keep your cool and have some fun!
Happy Halloween to everyone!

©Sandra E. Andersen 2000-2011

Percy first appeared on my blog in October of 2008 as host for a Fall giveaway. I thought he might like to visit again. He was "born" in the year 2000 when I made him for a pumpkin decorating contest hosted by the Prior Lake Arts Society. All the fabrics for Percy came from a bag of scraps given to me by, Linda, a fellow member of the Arts group. As I stitched Percy together, I was thinking.......and the poem about Percy is the result of those thoughts. Someday, I'm going to make his cousin, Disco Danny and write a poem about him. Also, planning Sister Sally someday..... :-)
Have a BOOOOOOO-tiful Halloween everyone!

You may share the blog link to this post about Percy the Pumpkin but do not post the poem or photo to your blog or any other group without my permission. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 26

Pumpkin Fun!

When the October issue of Country Living arrived in the mail, I was intriqued by the pumpkins on the magazine cover. Check it out here. I quickly turned to the instruction page for how to make their gorgeous decoupaged pumpkins. This is my version...........
It's not quite so gorgeous as the ones that you will find in their magazine (there are 40 pumpkin ideas at their link .......  Pumpkin*Decorating*Ideas!!!).  However, my husband says this looks like a "happy pumpkin". And that is a real compliment coming from my husband. LOL!  The instructions provided info on how to paint/stencil or decoupage real or styrofoam pumpkins. I chose styrofoam so that they will last for a few years!  The paper I used on my version is candy corn printed tissue paper. It worked great but I should have been more careful in lining up the candy corn. The leaves are fake but the acorns are real and from our oak tree in the backyard. The stem is Sculpey clay, green and brown blended, shaped and scored to sort of resemble a pumpkin stem. The styrofoam pumpkins came from the Dollar*Tree store. I did buy one at a craft store but it was a bit pricey and I thought I would wait til after Halloween and get some at half-price so I can make more for next year. There were only three at the Dollar*Tree store. Can you tell which ones are the fake pumpkins in the photo below?............
Oh, you guessed already!!!!! LOL! They were, of course, only a dollar each and were perfect for practicing my rusty decoupage skills. I cut off the stems right away as I knew I would make stems from clay or use chunks of tree branches for stems.
You can see in the photo below that the candy corn pumpkin has been covered and just getting multiple coats of decoupage sealer. I found the rusty orange cotton fabric at JoAnn's. It was perfect pumpkin fabric and I bought what was left........1-1/4 yards. Working with the paper was fun, but I really liked the fabric. I really wanted it to work, so I wrapped the fabric around the pumpkin, then cut, snipped, glued, then cut, snipped, and glued some more until I had just the effect I wanted.
And this is the finished result.............
Each pumpkin has three coats of decoupage sealer,. I added fake leaves and two twig chunks for stems. I think I'm going to stain the stems with a brown/green antique stain as they blend too much with the leaves.
Working with that jar of decoupage sealer was so much fun that I tried my hand at a project in Woman's Day magazine. You'll find the instructions here. I didn't get the best photo of my project but here it is finished and then with candle lit. I want to make more of these but the only jar I had was tall and so I added the wreath of leaves just for fun. These were so easy. I figure I can save jars between now and next October and make up plenty for a Halloween party!
So, with some finished decorations, I added them to my dining room table yesterday when our Bible Study group met at my house. I set out some of my miniature gift boxes on the Halloween table runner that I made last year from Pat Sloan's pattern (it can be found here). I loved how my new decoupaged pumpkins looked on the tablerunner!
I've shared my miniature gift boxes in past posts but here are some quick shots of the creative little projects that I made in the 1990's. Every item in each display is handmade.
I created the little pumpkins, caramel apples, donuts and candies, ghosts and witches from FIMO or Sculpey clay. Tiny wrapped candy bars were created by cutting little pics of candy bars from store coupons.

 I drew the designs for the little Trick or Treat bags and filled them with the tiny candies.
 And to top off all the Halloween themed decorations, there was this treat that I baked........
It's fresh out of the oven in the photo above. You can find the recipe here. I followed the recipe almost exactly. Almost.........I added some Kraft Karamel bits and instead of walnuts, I added pecans. And then I drizzled frosting on top...........
Everybody said it was soooooooo good. And it really was! It was quick and easy and if you print out the recipe right now, get out the ingredients and start mixing, you can be eating a piece of this in, oh......about an hour and a half. LOL!
I want to say thank you to all of you for the lovely comments following my post on my friend, Cindy. Her husband, Stephen, commented that she would have loved reading the post.  Thanks to all of you that took the time to read that post and every one of my posts which are often long and chatty but true to life. Have a greeeaaattt Wednesday!

Monday, October 24

What's on the line?

When I started my "What's on the line?" feature, it was just a novel way to share my old quilts, linens, etc. I never shared any real laundry until today. And that's what this is......real laundry, fabric that I washed and then hung on the line to dry..........
But this isn't just any fabric. This is fabric from my friend, Cindy Mark. A few weeks ago, I met my friend, Barb, for lunch and after that, I went on to another place. I planned to write about that other place sooner than this, but each time I'd start to do my post, I just couldn't seem to write what I wanted to write.  And what I needed to write about was the place I went and something that I wished I didn't have to do but I did it because it was something my friend, Cindy, wanted me to do. Let me share, but just so you know, this is a long post...........
My friend, Cindy, passed away from pancreatic cancer in December of 2009.  In one of our last phone conversations, she told me she wanted me to be the one who went through her fabrics after she was gone. I didn't like to think that would ever happen and just tucked that thought away. She had learned in October of 2009 of her cancer and less than two months, she was gone. Time passed and while I thought of Cindy often, I rarely thought about that wish to go through her fabrics. And then in August, Cindy's husband, Stephen, e-mailed and said that he and daughter, Kaite, were finally going through Cindy's things and he wanted me to know that Cindy had told him that I was to go through her fabric. I didn't realize that she had made her wish known to them but I was ready to honor that wish. And so, that afternoon after lunch with Barb, I drove up the familiar lane to Cindy's house, knowing she would not be there and feeling kind of sad. And as I got closer to her house, I was suddenly more sad because there were no chickens. Cindy loved her chickens and they added life to the place and laughter. And they were just a part of Cindy.
I parked my car, walked up and rang the bell. I could hear the bark of a dog and recalled times when Cindy would be the "dog-sitter" for our dog, Skeeter. Sometimes she had as many as four dogs and all her chickens and a cat or two and she would still take our Skeeter!  Lotsa memories.
Stephen answered the door and led me downstairs to Cindy's sewing room. He works from home and said he had to get back to work but told me to take anything I wanted, except any vintage fabrics because Kaite wanted those and probably I should leave the Halloween fabrics for her, too. Cindy's favorite holiday was Halloween! He moved some boxes and things so I could more easily get at the fabrics. And about that time, there was a "bang" and the poster in this photo below fell over.  We both laughed and Stephen said "Cindy's telling you she's here!" And you know, I did feel her presence. I wondered before I got to the house, what would it feel like to go through her things, but I knew she wanted me there and so it felt just fine.
It just didn't feel odd that I was there. It felt, if possible, very comfortable because I knew she wanted me there. It was a melancholy experience, though, because Cindy was only in her early 60's and way too young to die. And she loved her daughter, Kaite, dearly and her husband, her sister, her friends. She was full of life and had just completed her degree for her Master's in Women's Studies. She was teaching at the nearby Women's Reformatory and was so excited to share her gifts. She also enjoyed the arts. Maybe I should rephrase that...........she adored the arts and encouraged creativity in everyone!!! I thought of how she had encouraged me in my own career path and can honestly say that I wouldn't have done half the things I did in the last 12 years, had I not crossed paths with her. We had much in common, and yet we also had differing religious and political views but we both had a love of our kids, the arts.........and fabric, and we enjoyed time we spent together. :-)
All around her sewing room there were nooks and crannies full of many types of fabrics and supplies. Like most of us who enjoy sewing and crafting, there were plenty of threads, paints, rulers, buttons, etc. etc. etc. I found a basket and filled it with threads and some buttons, bits of rick rack. Then I began opening the drawers filed with fabric and the first drawer I pulled out held these pinks and browns...........
I thought of my own little stash of pinks and browns that I am collecting for a "someday" quilt. Those colors remind me of my Grandma Goldie. I don't need to search for any more pink and brown fabrics. :-)  I put them in a bag and pulled out the next drawer..........
There were pretty yellows, pinks and greens and I loved them all. I was thinking that I had so much fabric at home, how could I find room for more? I added them to the bag. I opened every drawer in her sewing room and sometimes what I found surprised me. I knew we had similar tastes but she had many of the same fabrics I've purchased in the last twelve years.  We didn't shop for fabric together very often but we did shop at some of the same shops. One place we both had shopped was the Ben Franklin store out in Wells, MN. Cindy would head out that way because she bought chicken feed at a store there. I went there when I made trips to Iowa because Cindy told me what great fabric the store had.  She was right!
When I had gone through every drawer, I began going through fabrics on her bookshelves and this one really caused a lump in my throat...........
Chicken fabrics, lots of chicken themed fabrics!!!  We were both collecting fabrics for a "chicken themed" quilt and this was her "chicken stash". I recognised many of the fabrics but there were many that I did not have. Cindy had big plans and I could look at those fabrics and know that she was planning for a whole variety of chickens and even a rooster or two. There were browns, reds, blacks that would be just what was needed for the chicken and roosters feathers. There were fabrics with eggs, and baskets and chickens and plaids and straw, even chickenwire fabric! The entire stack of chicken fabrics went in a bag. The top piece on the stack is a Rose and Hubble fabric titled "Flower Fairies". There were several yards of it and it is beautiful. Like me, Cindy bought lots of fat quarters and sometimes half yard cuts, but when we saw a fabric we really was "give me six yards" because you never knew what you might make and it could always be backing fabric!

When I saw this bin full of yarn, I recalled the dolls that Cindy designed and made.
They were called "Grandmere Sage" and each doll was a wise woman and her story was told on a little card that came with each doll. No two were alike, just like none of us are alike.
Cindy and I weren't anything "alike" but we were still friends. We often talked about how different we were and some folks, yes, wondered how we could be friends. She was from the East Coast, born in Maryland, lived in New Jersey. I was born in Iowa, lived a few interesting places in my life but most of it spent here in Minnesota. We had both been fortunate to travel. I learned things from her and she learned things from me. She was a wise and caring woman and I am sad that she is gone.
After I finished sorting through Cindy's fabrics, I took one last look around the room. This unfinished sundress made me wonder........was it something she was making for herself, or perhaps a dress for Kaite?
And then her thread wall.............
The picture of a much-younger Cindy with Kaite when she was just a toddler made me smile and yet it brought tears to my eyes. Just like it is as I type this. We all have this hope that we will grow old and watch our children grow and that life will go on. It just doesn't always work out that way.
When I got ready to put the bags in my car, Stephen helped me carry them out and load them. I told him I would use many of the fabrics in donation quilt projects, pillowcases, totebags for the women's shelter, samples for my quilt clases, etc. And I would also use some for Kaite. And, I told him there was significance in the number of bags that would make Cindy smile. There were thirteen bags (kitchen trash size bags) filled with fabrics, a nice "Baker'sDozen". It was significant because the first class Cindy took from me was my "Baker's Dozen" beginner quilt class. And it was she, who encouraged me to offer such a class so that she and others could learn the basics of quilting. Yes, if I had never crossed paths with Cindy, I would not be doing so many things and probably woudn't even be blogging so you wouldn't be reading this! Yes, I am so thankful she was my friend!

As I drove home, the day was cloudy and kind of matched my mood but while I was waiting for a traffic light to change, the sky opened up and this brilliant sunshine shown through and it was just like a ray of sunshine, a smile from Cindy. I never quite know what to make of moments like this, but I take them for what they are........just a lovely moment in time.
I had one problem, though, ..........the fabric had been untouched and in a basement room for almost two years. It had a significant musty smell. When I got home, I "Googled" to see what could be done. I knew I had to salvage all this fabric. Vinegar and Oxy-Clean were listed as two ways to wash the fabric. And so, that's what I did. I began washing the fabric and using laundry soap, a large dose of vinegar and a big scoop of Oxy-Clean in each wash. Each load was washed once, then again. I started first with this small flannel bundle. The tag was still on it from a shop in Rochester, MN ........."All in Stitches". We went there together and I remember what a fun day we had. I washed them once, then twice and they came out beautiful and soft. They will be a baby quilt for Kaite in the event she one day marries and has children. I'll make the quilt and sew the love in it that Cindy would have also done. 
When the weather was nice, I washed the fabrics and hung them out on my "between the trees clothesline". The ones shown in the first picture in this post, are some of the many fabrics we both bought but not while shopping together. We just liked the same stuff! We both loved the 50's and aprons and old tablecloths. We just plain loved fabric!  As I washed the fabric, I would get right to it and iron it. I also wrote on the edge "Cindy" so I will know and remember. This stack here is Doreen Speckman fabric called "Provence". It said "Cindy" to me, more than almost any fabric I found in her sewing room. It will be a quilt for Kaite. Her dad knows this, but Kaite doesn't. :-)
When the weather turned cooler, I got out my old clothes rack that my mother gave me and put it to work. I washed by colors and am down to just three bags to wash......a bag of reds, a bag of greens, and a bag of blues/purples.
I will be able to salvage all of it!! I will put it to good use and Cindy would be happy to know that!  She already knew that, though, and that's why she wanted me to have her fabric! Now, interestingly, just a few days before I got the e-mail from Stephen about Cindy's fabric, I had responded to a post on Victoria's BumbleBeansBlog. I told her that I would donate a couple of quilts to Basics, a New York based charity quilt drive. I had thought I would make a quilt in memory of Cindy. These are the fabrics that I chose from my stash. Cindy loved color and often would sport a strip of magenta in her red hair so these fabrics just said "Cindy".

I also plan to make a quilt in memory of my friend Cathy Wright, who died of breast cancer in July of 2009. This is a picture of Cathy with a donation quilt that she made the summer of 2008. We had a sewing day when we made quilts for Iowa flood victims and this was her contribution.
Cathy loved her family, cats and quilting. I offered to make a cat themed quilt for Cathy and had begun to collect squares of fabric from our common quilting friends. But there wasn't enough time to finish it before Cathy passed away. Last year, I added more cat-themed fabrics and thought that one day I must finish it. I had my squares and that crazy colorful cat fabric that I'll use for borders..........
and then in the fabrics I brought home from Cindy, I found that perfect pink floral that I needed for the cat quilt in memory of Cathy. It will be the first fabric used for a donation quilt that comes from Cindy's stash. And then I'll make more. Some will go to Basics and some will be made into quilts for the Crisis Nursery and some into totebags for a nearby Women's Shelter. And some will be used for samples for my quilt patterns. And lots of the fabric will be donated for use by students in a beginning quilt class I'll be offering at our Henderson Library sometime this coming winter. I would rather that Cindy could have used this fabric but she would be glad knowing it will be put to good use in so many ways!  What seemed like it might be a sad task will have a good ending.
This wasn't an easy post to do. My hope would be that Cindy would have liked what I wrote. I asked Stephen if it was okay to write about her and he said, "for sure, she would have loved it". I miss Cindy. I miss her e-mails. She had lovely smile and a great laugh. So did Cathy. So did my friend, Dorothy, who passed away from cancer this past spring. I'll make a quilt in memory of her, too. And, maybe, as I make the quilts, the sadness that I feel at their passing will be released and will lead to joy for someone else who dearly needs a quilt that says "Love".  And that's the best that can be done for now.
Make this a good Monday!!

Friday, October 21

Oh, so crazy for covered boxes!!!

Here's another project that I took along when I went to Iowa earlier this month. This is what it looks like finished........
I love to cover boxes with fabric and this Mary Englebreit fabric was just perfect for a sewing box. The box is one of the brown papier maché boxes you can buy at craft stores. I covered it with the fabric and then I looked to the fabric for inspiration for the top of the box.
I saw the trio of flowers on the side of the box and decided I wanted to make them from woolfelt for the top of the box. First, though, I couold see the flowers sitting on a field of yellow polka dots, but didn't have any fabric with yellow polka dots. Sooooooooo, I took black woolfelt, traced the oval shape for the box lid to the woolfelt, and then I stitched French knots all over the oval to get the polka dot effect! This was very good practice for perfecting French knots. LOL! Once the stitching was done, I glued the felt (and a bit of batting) to a pre-cut oval to place on the top of the box.
I completed this much of the box a couple years ago, but had never added the flowers. I thought it was time the flowers should "bloom", so I took it along to my sister's so I could finish it. Before I left I cut the felt flower and leaf shapes. I didn't use a pattern for the flowers or the leaves. Instead, I just cut flower shapes and leaves that sort of looked like the flower trio on the side of the box. I cut two thicknesses for each flower and stitched around them with blanket stitch. A stem stitch was used on the leaves. I could have glued it all in place but I chose to stitch it to the top of the box. I worked on it at my sister's while we chatted and then finished it at my mom's while we chatted. :-)  The floss used in the project is from The*Gentle*Art. Their colors are fantastic!! The woolfelt is from National*Nonwovens.
Inside the box are two little items that I made a couple years ago from Mary E fabric scraps......a little crazy quilted pincushion and needlecase. Someday, I'll finish the quilt that those scraps came from and tell you the story that goes with it. It's a project that I was hand-stitching and am thinking that if I ever want to finish it, I should consider machine stitching the rest of the quilt.
Changing the subject.........let's talk fall colors. These photos were taken in Lehigh (Iowa) when my mom and I took a drive late Saturday afternoon. This is a bank of trees that we saw as we headed to Dolliver Park, just west of Lehigh...........
The view below is the Des Moines River looking south. For those of you that are familiar with Dolliver Park, this is taken just opposite the large stone shelter in the center of the park. It was such a beautiful day and a beautiful view! This park holds lots of memories of family reunions, Bible School picnics, fun times with school friends and more!
From Dolliver Park we headed back through Lehigh and out to Brushy Creek Park which is east of Lehigh. This park is relatively new. Most of the land was farms when I was in high school in the 60's but the land was purchased in later years and a park was created. Those trees once sat in a revine and now they stick out of the lake! This is a very popular park for horse lovers as they are wonderful riding trails here! I'm beginning to think that I should be writing tourist brochures. LOL!
From Brushy, we drove back into Lehigh where the sun was beginning to set. I took this photo of the Des Moines River looking south. In the center is a pier where the old railroad bridge used to cross the river. Now it catches debris during high water and when it's low, as it is now, the debris and the sandbar show up.
I noticed that shadows were forming on the hillside and that the sun going down seemed to add extra brightness to the leaves. The little house tucked in the trees is the home my great-grandparents lived in when I was a kid. My great-grandpa built that one and several other small homes in Lehigh. It's that house, though, where I remember my great grandma snapping beans on the front porch and then winding balls of fabric strips for rag rugs. And then there was the garden that they had at the back of the house! I never had a garden that looked as good as their garden did!
Just to the north of that house, sits this green one and my great-grandpa, and grandpa, and a little help from my dad......well, they all built this one. It was for my Great Aunt Marie. She passed away several years ago and I was fortunate to get her spool rack. That's another story I could share someday. The colors were awesome on the east hillside so I took a few shots as I walked east across the bridge toward Aunt Marie's former home.

On Sunday, there was a huge car cruise that came through Lehigh. What a gorgeous day it was for a drive up and down the valley's that dot the countryside in Hamilton and Webster Counties. If you think Iowa is just plain flat and only corn fields..........well, it's not. Get off on the side road and you can see some amazing scenery!!! These photos were taken Sunday morn, Oct. 3rd and are just a couple of the almost 400 classic cars that began in Stratford, Iowa and made their way to the Webster County Fair Grounds in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Another 300-400 cars came from other directions to join this car-lover's dream called.......... "Cruise to the Woods".
I liked the red coupe but my son and grandson would have loved the Mustangs!
That's all for now, except for one last photo of the little couple that my mom has setting outside her apartment door................
I am sure they are saying "Happy Fall!"
Have a great weekend!!!!
Back soon....

Thursday, October 20

Pretty Plaid Baskets!

When I went to Iowa a few weeks ago, I took along a couple projects. I always travel with at least two or three hand-stitching projects because it really helps pass the time when waiting in doctor's offices or just while chatting or watching TV.  Pat*Sloan shared a pattern for her Baby*Baskets, and I thought it was just so cute. I could see those baskets in plaids and that's what I did....................

The background fabric is a hopsack linen that I bought at JoAnn Fabrics. It caught my eye because the color is darker than many linens and is interestingly called "Tobacco". Anywhooo....... I liked it and I knew I had this black fabric with baskets on it and I don't recall when or where I bought it but the time has come to use it! All the plaids are from my stash and I used Heat 'n Bond Lite to fuse them to the linen. I took along black Perle cotton #8 and blanket stitched around all the baskets, plus two extras that I cut out and fused just before I left. I have a total of fourteen finished baskets.  Pat made her quilt with nine baskets. I like twelve but I also could see sixteen because a larger quilt would look better on the wall where I plan to hang the quilt. I'm giving myself until this Sunday to make up my mind on the final number. Then I'm sewing it all together and have every good intention of finishing it by the end of October!  Family is coming to visit at Thanksgiving and there is nothing like a holiday gathering or a graduation or whatever that will get one to finish projects!  Does that happen at your house? It sure does at our house. I remember the year our daughter graduated from high school and family was coming for her Open House. My husband decided a week before the big day to rip up the kitchen linoleum and re-do the floor. I could go on ................
And, actually, I was planning to add a few more fall photos that I took while in Iowa but Blogger isn't cooperating with the upload feature. I'll try next post. :-)
Also, thanks to all your comments on my JOY block. I really enjoyed reading them and am so glad you like my block!

Tuesday, October 18

Christmas Quilt-a-long Block!

OH, JOY! It's my day for a block in Michele's Quilting Gallery

I love the Christmas season and it always brings JOY!  My block was fun and easy to make and as you read on, you will see how versatile it can be.  The main fabrics that I am using for the blocks in the Celebrate*Christmas*Quilt-a-long are from Jacquelynne Steve's collection Joy*Love*Peace*Noel.  I have step-by-step photos for you to follow and a pdf file for the letter patterns (posted in Step 9).  Let's get started........
Step 1.
I used four fabrics for the pieced sections of this block.The center square is a mottled ivory fabric by Moda but you could also use a small print or check.
Cut one 6" center square
Cut two 4-7/8" squares
Cut one WOF (width of fabric) strip 1-1/2" wide, then cut into two 8" and two 10" pieces
Cut two WOF (width of fabric) strips 2" wide, then cut into two 10" pieces and two 12-3/4" pieces
Step 2.
Cut the two 4-7/8" squares in half so that you have four triangles as shown below......

Step 3.
Evenly position two triangles to each side of the square, pin carefully and then stitch and press.
Step 4.
Position remaining triangles, pin, stitch and press.

Step 5.
Trim this section to 8" square!!

Step 6.
Lay-out the pieces for the 1-1/2" strips.

Sew the 8" side strips to the center square section..........

Then add the 10" strips to the top and bottom. Press.
Step 7.
Lay-out the pieces for the 2" strips.

Sew the 10" side strips in place............

Then sew the 12-3/4" strips and press.

Step 8.
When the pieced block is complete, trim the block to 12-1/2" square.

Step 9.
You are ready to add the words. I created a letter template so that you can create whatever message you wish on your block.  You will find a pdf of this page here.

In my original block, I chose the word JOY.  I plan to make four blocks for my quilt and each will have a different word. When I made my second block, I chose the word LOVE. I used scraps of red, green and blue fabric and ironed Heat 'n Bond Lite to the fabric, then traced my letters in reverse as shown below............

I cut out the letters, removed the paper, and positioned the letters. I then pressed the letters in place following directions on the Heat 'n Bond product.

Step 10.
All that is left to finish this block is to decide if you will stitch around the letters or leave as they are. I chose to a blanket stitch by hand on my JOblock and I plan to do the same on the other blocks that I make. I chose a color called "Mustard Seed" from The*Gentle*Art threads that is the perfect compliment to the fabrics I am using. You could also use fabric glitter around each letter that would really add a festive flair to the blocks. In addition to adding holiday words to your block, you could also add names of family members. If you don't want any words, then perhaps you could choose a scene from a Christmas or holiday fabric panel and fussy-cut it for the center square. You could use 5" charms and cut them into the 4-7/8" squares. You might find a holiday fabric that has words of greeting in it, that could be used for the 1-1/2" strips. The possibilities are endless when you change the fabric choice and color!
Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial for my JOY block. And now........I would like to offer a little JOY to someone who will win a sampler of the fabrics in Jacquelynne's Joy*Love*Peace*Noel fabric line. It will be similar to this one pictured below..........

Just leave your name and e-mail contact and I will draw a winning name on Thursday evening, October 20th at 6:00 p.m. Enjoy!

And the winner is.........Denise! And imagine my surprise when I clicked on her link and discovered the name of her blog....... Count*it*all*Joy!

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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