Thursday, February 19, 2009


Do you know what TGTF means? It means "Thank God Tomorrow's Friday"! It has been quite a week!

Sunday, my children and I went to Norristown, PA after church to Kurt's concert. He is in a classical quartet. It was awesome. There was a viola, clarinet, french horn and piano. They were all incredible!

Tuesday night was an experience I will not soon forget. I was on my way to church and was in a wreck. I was stopped for the car in front of me to turn left. The car behind me stopped in time, but a truck with a snow plow rammed into them who then rammed into me. The Lord was with me, and I was not injured, and damage to my van was minimal. Every state trooper at the scene (and there were several) commented about how good my van got off considering what the car that hit me looked like. I was very sore that night and the next day, but today (Thursday) I am feeling better.

There has been no quilting so far this week. I am hoping this weekend will offer a little bit of quilting time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What a difference the right tools make!!

This morning, I went to JoAnns. Their quilting tools were 50% off. I bought a 6.5 x 24.5 inch ruler and new blades for my rotary cutter. WOW -- it made a HUGE difference. Now I can cut strips and squares accurately. I had been using a 4 x 18" ruler, and it just wasn't big enough to work with. I have struggled with quilting because the desire has been there, but the ability to cut neatly has not been there. Now I can do it!! The possibilities are endless!! I can even cut my own 2.5 inch strips to make my own jelly rolls with ease!! I've been playing this afternoon and cutting up scraps into 5" charm squares too. Oh how fun this is!! I can cut and cut and cut!!!

I love weekends in Amish Country!!

Today, we visited a quilt shop in Ephrata, PA called Piece By Piece. I will post a separate entry about our shopping experience, but for now, I wanted to share my Amish experience!

Ephrata is about 12 miles south of Reading in Lancaster County. I wanted to enjoy some Amish scenery, but didn't know where to find the Amish. As we were driving down "Main Street" in Ephrata, we saw a horse and buggy turn down one of the side roads that led out of town. I knew that was which way I wanted to go.

As we traveled through the Amish country, we passed 2 horse and buggies, AND we passed 2 Amish men in a horse-drawn wagon full of church benches. If you've read any of the Beverly Lewis books, you probably know that on Saturdays, the Amish get set up for church the next day. They deliver all the benches and chairs to the home that is going to host church for that day. We saw two Amish men doing that. It was so neat to see.

We saw many Amish people riding bicycles and passed many Amish homes and farms.

Then we came across either an Amish or very conservative Mennonite one-room school. I *had* to stop and peek in. It was sooo neat to see inside! It was hard to believe it was real. I could have gazed in the window all day.

While we were there, my two older children were in the van afraid I was going to get in trouble for peeking in the windows of this school. They told me that an Amish guy on a bicycle just road by. Then I heard them saying, "Someone's coming - hurry up!!!".

I wasn't afraid - I knew we weren't doing anything wrong. This older gentleman was walking down the street, and came to talk to me. He said that the Amish guy on the bicycle that just went by teaches at that school. How neat is that?? He said it was a shame we missed him because he could have told us more about the school.

After our scenic drive through Amish country, we stopped at Walmart and enjoyed shopping with quite a few Amish families.

I just love it here!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quilted Valentine's Day Cards

I am home with a sick little boy today, so I was able to finish my quilted Valentine's Day cards. They're a lot of fun to make, but they are time-consuming.
I learned that it was definitely easier to start from jelly roll strips rather than cut the blocks completely myself. I am very challenged in the area of cutting strips, blocks, etc. I need to take a class on that. I think I would really enjoy making block quilts if I could learn to cut squares. I am pretty good at sewing with consistent 1/4" seams, but that doesn't matter if your squares aren't straight!!

Anyone have any suggestions of websites/books that can help me learn to cut squares, strips, etc. I have a huge cutting mat (24x36) and a 6" x 18" ruler, along with a good rotary cutter.

My Sewing Corner

Here it is -- my sewing corner! For almost 4 years, I had a sewing room, but since moving to PA, I must sleep in my sewing room. I'd rather put it that way that say that my sewing room is in my bedroom! . I've been here for 2 months, but just got my sewing corner completely set up this past weekend. It's a bit of a squeeze, but it works, and as long as I have my machines, I am happy!! :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Sick/Sew Day

It looks as though I may have some time to sew tomorrow. I will not be going to work tomorrow. As I was leaving work today, I got a call from Timothy's school telling me that he had just thrown up. So far, he has thrown up 6 times in under 6 hours. Needless to say, he will not be going to school tomorrow.

After he fell asleep this evening, I worked on my hand-made quilted Valentine cards. I need to finish them tomorrow so I can get them in the mail. They are so much fun to make.

I am hoping that I get to enjoy my time off tomorrow and sew/quilt. I am a little nervous that I may end up with this stomach bug. I am praying that I don't get it.

I haven't decided what we are doing this weekend. I am sure Hannah and I will visit another quilt fabric shop, but I haven't decided which one or where. It's only Wednesday, so I still have a couple days to figure it out.

Today felt like spring. It was 60 degrees a lunch time. Kurt and I met for lunch and had a picnic at the park that I have taken many of the snow pictures on my blog. We fed the ducks and geese and went for a walk. It was wonderful to be outside without a coat. I am enjoying this brief intermission from winter, but not ready for winter to be over. I want a few more snows before this winter is over.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quilted Greeting Cards

This evening, I decided to practice making quilted greeting cards. I found a pattern online at My goals is to make my own Valentines, but I thought I should practice first. I used some jelly roll scraps to make my 2.5" squares.

This was really a lot of fun. Tomorrow, I am going to go to JoAnns on my lunch break to pick up a few pieces of valentine print fabric to make my own Valentines.

I went to AC Moore on my lunch break today and bought a package of blank cards. I got a package of 50 cards and envelopes for $5.50. They were $10.99, but I had a 50% off coupon.

This is a great way for a quick quilting fix, and it's a neat card to give someone. Each one will be an absolute original -- which is pretty neat!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Quilters TV

I discovered a really fun website that I wanted to pass along. Since I am new to both quilting and blogging, I am sure many of you already know about this site, but I thought I would share it anyway.

It's "Quilter's TV" -- There are some great "how to" episodes for many different quilting techniques/problems.

Since I work full time during the day, I am not able to take advantage of all the great quilting shows on t.v., so I am excited to find quilting shows online that I can watch in the evenings and on weekends.

I'm not sure if I will get much sewing in today. We have church this morning, and we'll go grocery shopping on the way home. Late this afternoon, Kurt and his kids are going to join us for a "Make Your Own Pizza & Game" night. I've already pulled out twister. This is going to be fun!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

In Stitches - Wolmesdorf, PA

This morning, Hannah and I visited the "In Stitches" quilt shop in Wolmesdorf, PA (approximately 15 miles west of Reading).

It is a great little quilting store -- lots and lots of fat quarters for $1.99 each, a very nice selection of fabric and notions - and 17 different quilting magazines. She also had a very nice selection of quilting patterns. It was great.

She had some beautiful quilts hanging up around the shop, and I fell in love with one of them. I asked the shop owner about it, and she said that it is a class that she teaches. It was an "Attic Window" quilt. The possibilities are endless with this type of quilt. She offers many classes, and when I expressed an interest in this one, she said she would go ahead and schedule a class for it. Hannah offered to babysit for the day (it's a whole Saturday) as my birthday gift so I could go. It is going to be on March 28th.

As I talked with the shop owner, she was very sweet and thanked us for coming. She said she'd love for us to come back and said how she likes to get to know her customers.

After she had done and said all of this, THEN I told her that I was visiting as many quilt shops as I could around the area and writing a review in my blog. I'm glad I didn't tell her that right way, because it makes it even sweeter that she scheduled a class just because I was interested in learning that quilt, and she said how she likes to get to know her customers.

So... "In Stitches" is definitely a great little quilt shop -- one I am sure I will frequent often (as it is only about 8 miles away.)

If you'd like to find out more about "In Stitches" you can visit her website at :

Hawk Mountain and Tour-Guide Jonathan

Today we took a family hiking trip to Hawk Mountain. It was absolutely breath-taking. I've never been hiking on a mountain before. It was snow-covered and beautiful!!!
Jonathan wanted to be our guide, so I gave him the map and let him lead. Unknown to us, he took us on one of the most difficult trails. We climbed rocks, hung on for dear life, and fell down more times than I can count. Thankfully there was plenty of snow to cushion our falls. There were several look-out points along the way, and the view was totally breath-taking. I've never experienced anything like it before. Here are a few more pictures from our day....

The Quilter's Workbook!!

Today, I received a very special blessing from my very sweet friend, AverettLadyNana ( She sent me "The Quilter's Workbook" as a birthday gift. It's so awesome!! It's packed with some great information/ instructions for quilting, and it includes a way to organize quilting projects. I love it!!

This morning, Hannah and I picked up my embroidery machine and then visited "In Stitches". We had a great visit, and I will blog about it this afternoon, but for now we're off to Hawk Mountain for the afternoon!!

Thank you so much AverettLadyNana!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009


TGIF!! It's Friday night, which is probably my favorite time of the whole week! We've had a very quiet and relaxing evening.

First thing tomorrow morning, Hannah and I will go pick up my embroidery machine. On our way back, we are going to "In Stitches" quilt shop in Wolmesdorf. I will write about that tomorrow.

Then, we're all going hiking on Hawk Mountain. It's about 45 minutes north of Reading. It's supposed to be beautiful. I can't wait. I am so excited about the pictures I will take. It's going to be sunny and a high around 45* tomorrow. We're going to hike the easiest trail tomorrow, but we will be going back to tackle some of the more difficult trails later in the spring and summer.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Quilters Club of America

I did it! I joined the Quilters Club of America this evening. I wanted to subscribe to a quilting magazine and love Fons and Porter Easy Quilts. I decided to joint the Quilters Club of America so I could not only have the subscription to Fons and Porter Easy Quilts, but also the other benefits -- particularly the 1-year membership to QNNTV!! I'm especially excited about that -- being able to be in my room -- even lying in bed, and watching quilt show after quilt show on my computer!!

My friend, Susan, and I were discussing The Quilter's Club of America last night, and as she said in her blog today, the price went up while we were talking about it. I used the discount code given in the latest issue of Easy Quilts, and got the membership for $39.99.

I am happy to report that I was able to cut out my appliques for my secret mission quilt at lunch today at work. It was so much fun to bring my quilting to work. It was so comforting! I will definitely do that more often as I have things that I can do at work.

Quilting at Work!

I'm all packed for work today. I have everything I need to quilt on my lunch break today.

I'm having a very difficult time balancing my schedule and trying to squeeze in time for ME to do what I want to do -- quilt! So, I decided to take my project with me. I am going to cut out my appliques on my lunch break today. I don't know why I never thought of this before. It'll be perfect. I'll have 45 uninterrupted minutes to get these cut out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Quilt Shop Review

As my blog title says, I am sew blessed to be in Amish country. It's incredibly beautiful here, and there are more quilting shops than I will probably ever get to visit. However, I sure would like to try to visit all of the shops within a 1-hour radius of my home.

Since most of you do not live here and are not able to visit these great shops, I have decided to share my experiences with you.

Every time I visit a new Amish country quilt shop, I am going to blog about it -- complete with pictures, links to their website, and perhaps even an interview with and employee from the store.

I am going to start this Saturday by visiting "In Stitches"

I think this will be a lot of fun, and I hope those of you who are not blessed to live here will enjoy joining me as I tour all of the local quilt shops in beautiful Amish country, Pennsylvania!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Lunch Companion

Today, I spent my lunch break at the park across from the hospital. It began snowing just minutes before I got there. My mission was to spend some time with the ducks and just relax and forget about the real world.

Little did I know, I would make friends with an adorable little squirrel. He was the cutest little guy. We played peek-a-boo for a little while. He'd look at me, and then quickly look away. He'd scamper up a tree, and then stop to look at me, and then scamper to the other side of the tree, then peek around the trunk. He was so cute!!

I took quite a few pictures of him. I also enjoyed watching some majestic geese, along with some beautiful mallard ducks. The snow was gently falling, and as the flakes landed on my pants or jacket, I could clearly see how intricate and amazing each snowflake was.

The snow has continued to fall this afternoon. We're supposed to have a couple of inches by morning. I was not able to go to CR at church tonight. I was walking out the door, and Kurt called to see if I had left yet. He said he was on his way to church and the roads were already pretty bad. He didn't think I would want to get out in it, and he was right.

Now, I have a chance to spend a little bit of thinking time on my "secret mission" quilt this evening. :-) My children know that Tuesday nights are the only night that I get a bit of a break, so I am still going to get it tonight. They're just going to have to pretend that I am not here!

Yesterday, the sewing store called to let me know that my embroidery machine was repaired and ready to be picked up. Thankfully it was just the timing and did not require any extra parts. The only bad part is that they close at 5:00, during the week, so I won't be able to pick it up until Saturday. I'm going to be glad to have my machine back.

I'm considering purchasing a subscription to a quilting magazine. I'm trying to decide which one. I really enjoy Fons and Porter Easy Quilts, but that one is only published 4 times a year. I also like Quick Quilts. Hmmm.....decisions... decisions... decisions...