Frankie Baby!

To say that my husband is proud of his very first fully completed quilting project is an understatement!  From start to finish, he did everything…choosing the pattern, the fabrics, the hand embroidery, the appliqué process, the quilting, the binding and sewing on the buttons.  ALL OF IT!  And I’m sure you’ll agree it’s not only adorable but it’s also fabulously executed!

This is the pattern that Reg chose.  Isn’t that button pack cute!?


Using the light box he made for me, Reg traced all the appliqué shapes carefully on Wonder-Under, which I had on hand.  There were soooo many pieces lol!  Then he fused the pieces to well chosen fabrics that he felt Frank would be stylin’ in.


Choosing a light green fabric for Frank’s skin tone, was a no-brainer.  Reg insisted Frank’s pallor was important!


Here’s where Reg’s vision really came into play.  He wasn’t satisfied with the pattern’s suggestion for a background.  So, while on the So. Cal. Quilters Run, we kept a look out for some sort of Halloween fabric that would suffice.  We found a beautiful panel that made all the difference, and helped Frank to look like he was almost three dimensional.


Though Reg has needlepoint experience, he’d never done embroidery before.  He chose to do a simple backstitch with black embroidery thread.  He even learned how to bury threads between the layers!


Reg has always been a bit wary of my sewing machine.  But, determined to do this all on his own, he allowed me to teach him how to use a buttonhole stitch to anchor the raw edged appliqué pieces.  He first tweaked the stitch a bit to his liking, then setting the speed to low, patiently stitched every curve and difficult point.  Then he switched gears and quilted around the tree branches and the haunted house.


He’s definitely a “go big or go home” kinda guy.  When stitching the handle on Frank’s treat bag, he chose this bright silk ribbon.  Now…have you noticed something different about this and the last photo?  The fussy cut spider treat bag is different, yes?  Welllll….that’s because Reg wasn’t happy with the first go at Frank.  So he made a completely NEW one!  There were a couple of things that he did differently, but he’s much happier with how the second wallhanging came out.


Ta Da!  And here he is, all ready to go trick-or-treating!

That FACE!!!

The bag is perfect!

I’m not a natural teacher.  Trying to translate skills that I’ve practiced for more than forty-five years was daunting for me.  I take them for granted, and with Reg being a complete beginner, I needed to remember to include the absolute basics.  He patiently listened and learned quickly.  At times, he even questioned my methods! Being quite open minded and the type who thinks outside the box, he often implemented his own ideas on how he wanted to proceed.  Trust me, I had to let go of my pride and ego to allow him to experiment and do his own thing!

Are you gearing up for the Halloween season?  How so?  Do you create and add to your collection every year?

We’d love to hear!


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TGIFF: Jake’s Darth Vader Quilt

Months ago, my son had a little money burning a hole in his pocket. It went everywhere with him and he was always looking for something to spend it on.

Then we went to a craft show to check out all the tools and goodies displayed. While there Jake found a Darth Vader quilt kit for about $20. He bought it and took it home with the big idea to work on it with me.


We started together in March. I did the cutting and pressing. He did the sewing. I was really impressed with his ability to sew straight although he did get a little bored at one point. I asked him to just sit through it and get the top done. Then I’d take over.


And he did! He stuck it out and completed his first top. And look at those points!!!

Then the quilt sat for some time. More my fault than his. I had little free time to do it and I, too, get bored easily. I’ve never been good at sticking it through a whole project from beginning to end in a decent amount of time but I do try.

This past Thanksgiving I got the bug to really spruce up my craft room and get a few projects done And the first to get marked off that list: Darth Vader!

The quilting is simply straight lines on the diagonal. I also switched between red in one direction and white in the other. Sort of like the Dark Side versus the Light.

Of course, even though I did the finishing, I consider it Jake’s quilt. He did the piecing, he bought the package, and he will be the one to use it. And check out how proud he is!

Now I quilted to the very edge of the borders so it gives the back a nice clean, finished look. The stitching goes all the way to the end of the binding from the back. There is something I really like about this, and I can’t quite out my finger on it. But it’s pretty awesome looking.

I did the binding different this time. I rolled the backing fabric over to the front, glued it down, and hot pressed it together. Then did a simple straight line around the edge. And I have to say, it was a fairly easy process and gave it a very smooth look.

Even the mitered corners look crisp! I used a simple Elmer’s glue stick to first fold over the back to covered that raw edge. Then I smeared a little glue on the folded binding and pressed it with the iron onto the front of the quilt. I did use my Wonder Clips to hold it into place but I didn’t need it, honestly. The heat from the iron and the glue held really well.

Another shot, this time from the back. See how neat that is? A simple binding line and I don’t have that spot where I had to tuck the binding into itself. Instead it’s just a clean straight fold.

And with the quilting coming to the edge and folding over to the front, some of the ends dot the binding and the effect is kinda cool. Almost like stars in the galaxy peaking out of the dark skies.

The little man is pleased to have a quilt and I’m so proud that we did it together. There is another quilt in the books!

Check out our side bar for some great quilting link ups! This post will be linked over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

And if you want to hear our most recent podcast, definitely check out Episode #56 where we discuss Birds in the Air by Frances O’Roark Dowell!

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TGIFF: Easy Peasy Jelly Roll Quilt!

Happy Friday!  I’m finally making a dent in my rather extensive WIP pile of quilts.  I finished my Jelly Roll quilt, and just love the Fall look of the colors.

I used a Moda jelly roll called Sunflower Song by Kansas Troubles Quilters.  I love these fabrics so much, I ordered a second jelly roll to use in a different quilt top!


IMG_5826.jpgThe tutorial I used came from (surprise!) Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Though Jenny Doan says you can complete this quilt top in 45 minutes to an hour, I confess it took me more like three hours.  With practice, I’m sure I can better that time!

Because this was a quick make, I made the choice to quilt it by stitching in the ditch with Isacord (which I LOVE), and instead of hand sewing the binding, I did it all by machine.  I also chose not to include any borders. This is the part of quilting I find so fascinating…the learning curve is HUGE, and finding my personal preferences is constant.  After finishing this quilt, I am convinced that hand binding is my thing.  I really enjoy the process and the look.  Live and learn!


I used my binding tool to join the final seam of the binding.  It wasn’t as clean as I would like, so I’m thinking I have a bit more practice ahead of me in order to make my binding smooth and wrinkle free.

Have a wonderful weekend, and remember….be crafty, be creative!



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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #39

Hey hobbyists and crafters! It’s podcast day, once again!


Today’s podcast is full of goodies. We talk about splurging and saving on all of our crafty items. What items or brands are worth paying full price for? And what items are most likely bought on sale?

First we talk about thread choice. Based on our quilter’s question on Instagram, our blog, and our Facebook page most of our friends and followers use Aurifil thread. Thread is one of those things I always went cheap on until I learned the ways of other, more experienced quilters. Now I put time and effort into researching my thread choices.


We both agree that needles are a notion that we save on and we don’t seek out more costly options but we definitely splurge on fabric!

Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
What do you splurge on? Where do you save?

Quilt & Coffee Chat

Our coffee and chat shout out goes to Keeping u in Stitches Quilting where they share lots of quilting places and tutorials from around the web. They recently shared our Top 5 Quilter’s Tools video and it helped us reach over 1000 views!

Thanks for sharing our video!

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #34

Hey hobbyist and crafters! Grab your tea, your coffee, or wine (it’s 5pm somewhere!) and sit down for another episode.


Our current works in progress are coming along.

  • Jake and I started his Darth Vader quilt. He did 99% of the sewing and I’m really proud of him!
  • My mom is moving along with her paper piecing class.

  • I finished my first 8 splendid sampler blocks and celebrated with a YouTube vlog!

Our topics today are some doozies!

Have you ever been SO creative, it scared you? Well, I had a moment like that this week when my brain took off on an idea for Alida’s Art with Fabric blog hop.

And my mom had an AH-HA moment this week about making mistakes and the personal feelings that come up when what’s done is “wrong”.

She’s enjoying a new book called Quilting by Hand by Jinny Beyer.


Quilt & Coffee Chat

This week we highlighted a few comments and replies from our fellow crafters and quilter’s.

  • My mom posed the question to everyone whether to machine or hand quilt an already started project.
  • A big big thank you to everyone from Jake and I for all the great comments and support for his quilt project. We are so very appreciative of all the positive feedback we received and I know it means a lot to Jake!

And lastly, we sampled some tea from Plum Deluxe. Thank you to Andy for considering us and our podcast as a place to share your wonderful community and tea products.

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #33

It’s that time again, hobbyists and crafters. Time for another edition of Hobbies Up To Here!


This week we have LOTS to share with you.

Firstly, we have a new email addresses! If you have questions, comments, or concerns for either one of us, you can email us directly!


Secondly we’ll be updating our Details tab and adding a Podcast tab for easy access to our podcast episodes!

We’ve had a lot going on lately from sew alongs to finished quilts to fresh starts to quilt shows.


Dori’s paper piecing progress.


It’s coming along!


Last weekend we went to not just one but TWO quilt/crafting shows here in southern California.

  • On Saturday, we took a trip to Pomona for the Quilt, Craft, & Sewing Festival at the Pomona Fairplex. There was SO MUCH to see there and my dad was in the mind to seek out long arm machines. For research purposes (wink wink).
  • Then on Sunday we went to the Friendship Square Quilt Guild show in La Habra. We saw some beautiful quilts, met lots of wonderful crafters, and even passed out a calling card or two!

Of course it’s hard to go to a show and NOT buy something. Both of us came home with some goodies.

Quilt & Coffee Chat

This week we introduced a new segment called Quilt & Coffee Chat. During this portion of our podcast, we’ll continue the discussion of past episodes, reply to blog comments, and read email from any readers or listeners we’ve received.

This week we shared comments from a few readers who gave us something to chew on and think over.

  • Nonnie from Nonnie Quilting Dreams shared some fascinating background and history on quilting terms, pressing seams, and what different types of quilters are called in the midwest. Check out her comments on Episode #32.
  • Alida  from Tweety Loves Quilting commented on Episode #30 about coding and quilting and the blend between modern and traditional quilts. She’s hosting a pretty  cool blog hop in May called Art with Fabric. Definitely check it out and see if it’s something you’d like to participate in!
  • Kati from Kati’s Quilting and Sewing shared with us her experience of learning quilting and sewing techniques from HGTV and how we just gotta get in there and give ourselves the power of knowledge by learning any terms we need on our own. Her comments are here on Episode #21.
  • I shared an email from Christa Watson that I had received. It had a beautiful picture of her thread stash that I was blown away by. So beautiful and colorful! We often forget to share other stashes we keep for all of our crafts so seeing a thread stash was fun and inspiring.

During our coffee chat, probably after the second cup had kicked in, we shared some of the other podcasts for crafters and quilters all around the web. We’re in great company with SO many awesome podcaster out there. And Nonnie has a pretty comprehensive list of podcasts to check out. She keeps it updated pretty regularly so pop on over, give it a peep, and check out some new podcasts!

And make sure you keeping checking back as I’m expecting a new mystery stash box to arrive in the mail any day now! I’m testing out some of the quilter’s box subscriptions available. So far I’ve received my first Try Me box from Quilter’s Stash Box. Next up is my first Quilty Box and in April I’ll receive a Sew Sampler box from the Fat Quarter Shop. I’m planning a full Youtube review video talking about the pros/cons of each box!

A lot is happening here at Hobbies Up To Here so make sure you’re subscribed to us so that you don’t miss a thing!!

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QuiltCon: Meeting Mary Fons

Every community has it’s Super Stars, those who go above and beyond in talent and work ethic, those whom we admire and respect and set the creative bar to new heights on a regular basis.

Having the opportunity to meet my favorite quilting icons at QuiltCon2016 in Pasadena this past weekend, was a dream come true for me.  Not because I could claim that I had actually met them, but because I think it’s important for me to share my gratitude with these incredible women for inspiring me, and for going the distance to share their gifts with all of us.  Super Star status notwithstanding, they are first and foremost human beings, and just like the rest of us, they like to hear that their passionate service and personal sacrifice hasn’t been given in vain.

Mary Fons has fascinated me from the get-go.  Her story, both professionally and personally, resonated with me, touching both the quilter and the Mom in me as well.  My daughter, Katie, had the same kind of sewing (or non sewing!) background as Mary, and both of them now enjoy learning about this quilting thing and partnering with their Mothers on blog posts, YouTube and podcasting adventures.

Mary was standing in front of the C&T Publishing booth chatting with three other women when I came tip-toeing up to her.  I didn’t want to interrupt, but I had only a few minutes before my next lecture, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to catch her out and about again with her very busy schedule.  So.  I took a breath, stepped into the circle, and joined in the conversation.

It wasn’t long before the other ladies left to do some more shopping.  Mary and I immediately began having what I consider to be a wonderful, deep, soul to soul conversation.  It’s funny how not one person walked up to her during that chat, no one interrupted us, even for a second….I call that a meant-to-be moment for sure!

Katie soon joined us, and, you guessed it (if you read my blog post about meeting Jenny Doan!) the first thing she uttered was “Mom?  I CAN’T TAKE YOU ANYWHERE!”!  Yes, I was hugging the heck outta Mary, and yes, I was tearing up lol!  Such a lovely, amazing young woman.  Later that day, we stood in line to have Mary sign a poster of her lovely quilts for us.  Though all of us were quite exhausted by then, she was just as gracious and attentive as she was when I spoke to her earlier.

 Oh!  By the way!  Mary and her mother, Marianne Fons of Fons & Porter, have added a new adventure to their creative journey.  They recently started a podcast together called Quilt Your Heart Out.  The unique thing about their podcast is the we can participate!  Mary and Marianne invite their listeners to call this number- (773)273-9120- and leave a brief message with a question we would like to have answered.  The other fun thing is, it doesn’t have to be a quilting question;  it can be a LIFE question!  How cool is that?  If your question is chosen to be on their next podcast, “Heather” will call you ahead of time to set it up so that you will be able to ask your question live on the next broadcast.

Well my lovely friends, it’s time for me to CREATE!  Let’s get our quilt on!





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QuiltCon: Meeting Jenny Doan

I’m not one to just “meet” someone.  I experience them, and allow them the opportunity to do the same with me, if they so wish.  Such was the case with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company.

 Jenny, along with her husband Ron, were at the Sizzix booth at QuiltCon in Pasadena this weekend.  Though I don’t consider myself a “fangirl” type of person, I definitely felt my heart skip a whole lotta beats when I spied her gentle face and open smile.  You see, along with my daughter Katie, I see Jenny as a savior of sorts…If you’ve listened to our podcasts, you know that a year ago, I was simply getting through my days sitting, eating and watching television.   Though a quiet and thoughtful existence, I didn’t recognize that I was, in fact, in a severe depression.

At that time, Katie invited me to podcast with her on one of our mutual interests, books.  I accepted, and we found that we enjoyed the process, as well as the gift of spending time together in our mutual world of crafting, hobbies and handwork.

Hobbies Up To Here was born in April, 2015, from that simple invitation.

Katie’s love for quilting sparked an old flame that was still burning quietly inside me.  I had no idea where to start cultivating the skills I would need to begin creating again.  I turned to YouTube, typing in “quilting” and waited hopefully for instructional videos to pop up on my screen.

Enter Jenny Doan, and her fun, inspiring and anyone-can-do-this tutorials!

I had never heard of precuts, and that first video used a “layer cake”.  With a few cuts and a huge amount of enthusiastic, happy instruction, Jenny showed me how I could make a quilt in very little time at all.  I was HOOKED!  From that first video called Double Slice Layer Cake Tutorial, I actually made my first quilted quilt (I had made tie quilts in the 80’s) for my son Mike’s 30th birthday.  Whoo hoo!


So, when I got the chance to meet her,  I folded her up in a hug, and whispered in her ear.

“You saved my life.”

I meant every word.

Now, she could have patted me on the head, said gee that’s nice, and sent me on my way.  She stopped her world and took the time to engage me, to share with me, to connect with me and to thank me.  It must have been nice to hear that she had made a difference in my life, not just as a quilter, but as a human being.  Our moment was touching and life affirming.  When Katie joined us a few minutes later, she took one look at me and quipped, “Are you crying???  Geez Mom, I can’t take you anywhere!”  Jenny and I simply laughed, hugged again, and I set her free to see to her other admirers.

You see?  There’s a difference between meeting someone, and experiencing them; I received a genuine gift on Friday, that, I hope, cultivated a lasting memory between the two of us.  Even if it’s only one moment…being present, awake and aware, can be magical.

It was for me.




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WIP: The Disappearing Pinwheel 5 TWIST Quilt

Ohhhh mannn am I loving this pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company called The Disappearing Pinwheel 5 TWIST Quilt. I’m making it with two layer cakes; one in lovely vintage fabrics, the other a solid white.

Sewing the 10 inch layer cake squares together around the perimeter.

Cutting the sewn squares from corner to corner twice to make half square triangles. The finished block is on the right.

Pressing open the half square triangles.


The finished block.







I still have two more rows to finished.

I decided to take my time with this quilt top. It was important to me to set my sewing “style”. Though I made one block in it’s entirety to experience the process and see how it would turn out, I’ve found that I like to sew in an assembly line, much like Jenny Doan of MSQC.  There’s a kind of mediative feeling I get when sewing this way.
I’m hoping to get this top completed in a day or two.  I’m itching to go shopping for the backing, border and binding fabric!  Whoohoo!
Have a wonderful day friends!
Check out our side bar for some great link ups around the internet! This is linked up with Sew Cute TuesdayWIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social!


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The Friendship Quilt

There is nothing like a fresh set of nicely matched fabrics all wrapped together in a pretty yellow ribbon. At least those were my thoughts when my mom brought home this beautiful kit for a quilt pattern called Friendship. She sent me a picture of it via text messages and I was a tiny bit envious of her new, shiny things.

To my surprise, she showed up yesterday with the set in hand and gave it to me as a gift! My dad had spied this quilt in the Orange Quilt Bee in Orange, CA and thought it was beautiful so they purchased the kit for me to have fun with.

Some girls like jewlery and some like flowers.

I’m happy with some fabric and a new sewing project any day!

I was so floored and a tiny bit confused (wait…wasn’t this her kit?) but also super appreciative that they had thought of me. It’s not everyday you get a gift of new fabric in beautiful earthy tones to play with!

I didn’t get the chance to dive right in due to nursing a severe sunburn but today I finally got to break into the kit and look at all the lovely fabrics and colors I have to play with.

I can’t pick a favorite because they are all too beautiful. I like the differences in the greens and the yellows and the little pop of color the blue lends to the whole thing. Just stunning!

Here are all the fabrics on display, organized by color family. It was a beautiful sunny day so I took advantage of that natural sunlight to really bring out all the beauty of these swatches.



Now I’m not done with either my Playful Colors Quilt or my CIRCA 1934 quilt but having this new project in my hands has made me itchy to start something new.

After talking with my mom about my “quilters guilt” (the feeling you get when you put aside an almost finished project to start something new), I’ve decided to do what I want and not what I feel I’m obligated to do.

I have this strong need to complete the work I’ve started and feel bad about starting something new without finishing the others first. But my mom reminded me that it’s pretty common for crafters to have multiple projects going at the same time. If a project isn’t fulfilling something in the maker, it’s perfectly fine to jump to another project to keep them happy and creative.  
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