Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Destination: Deb's Cats n Quilts

I'm spending Thanksgiving in North Carolina with my daughter's family. Ellen picked me up at the Atlanta airport and we drove up to Black Mountain via Hendersonville. Since we were passing through  Hendersonville, I had her stop at Deb's Cats N Quilts so I could surprise my long time quilting buddy, Deb Heatherly. I popped my head in her Saturday AM class and, yes, she was surprised.
We are standing in front of a display of quilts made from our rulers. The Curvy Log Cabin quilt uses the 8" Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool, The little Square on Square quilt uses the 6" Square On Square Trim Tool. The star quilt uses Deb's Strippy Stars Ruler. and the quilt in the bottom left corner uses Deb's Cat's Cradle Ruler.

When you find yourself driving in the southeast, drive through Hendersonville and take the time to stop and visit Deb's Cats n Quilts. You'll be glad you did. She has lots and lots of fabric and a big collection of gadgets....not to mention all of the Creative Grids rulers and trim tools.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Quilters Rule!

My Georgia driver's license expires on Monday. I devoted this week to obtaining a Washington DC license. It took 4 days.

Tuesday: I took complete DMV forms (2 of them) to my eye doctor and my primary care doctor to get a medical sign off.

Wednesday: Off to the DMV armed with doctor's forms, social security card, GA license and two utility bills (to prove I live in DC). Stop! No birth certificale, no license. REALLY! Back home and a two hour search later I found the certificate.

Thursday: I decided to get my expired passport renewed for backup documentation, just in case the DMV didn't accept my birth certificate. A visit to the passport office at the US Post Office. Mission complete, the passport is on its way.

Friday: Back to the DMV with my funny little birth certificate, black background with white printing. It's a photograph of a microfiche record. I was born before copy machines. I wasn't sure if DMV would accept such an ancient certificate. I walked right in, got a number for my turn, and it was called right away. I went to the designated clerk and presented all my documentation. She was examining the forms and noticed that my occupation was listed as Quiltmaker. She said, I'm a quilter, I meet with a group called DC Threads in your area of town, come join us. She breezed right through my paperwork. In less than 30 minutes I had my new license. No hassle today, just lots of happy quilt talk. We need to infiltrate quilters everywhere so the whole world can be happy.

Here is a happy quilt I made several years ago. It's called Delectable Mountains. I'm sharing it in honor of celebrating my birthday in the mountains.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Jolly good news

Now that I live in Washington DC and have to drive 30 to 40 minutes to reach a quilt shop that is only 12  miles and two interstate highways away, I order most of my fabrics from It comes in a day or two and there is nothing like getting a package of fabric in your mailbox to brighten your day.

Their blog, Fat Quarter Shops Jolly Jabber found through this link just listed their staff's favorite rulers...all by Creative Grids©. I was excited to see that Kimberly's favorite my very first ruler, the 8" Log Cabin Trim Tool. If you haven't visited the Fat Quarter Shop website, I recommend it. Also follow the blog, the Jolly Jabber for lots of good information for quilters.
Thanks Kimberly for loving my tool. I love your site for having my favorite fabrics just a mouse click away. 

Another favorite is the Stripology ruler by Gudrun Erla. I use this ruler to cut the strips for all my rulers. It has marks along the bottom of the ruler showing where to cut for 1-1/2" and 2-1/2" strips so I don't have to think when cutting these sizes, just slice at the square symbol or the star symbol. For 2" strips I can do the math, counting by 2's, a skill I acquired in 2nd grade. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Jewel of a Quilt

For the past month I have been having lots of fun making 4" log cabin blocks. Hoping to have a ruler for this size soon! Here is one I finished on Sunday. It takes just 2 days to make one of these cute little quilts. One day to piece the blocks and a second day to sew them together, and free motion quilt it. I can try out lots of setting ideas for my blocks without a big investment of time or fabric when I sew 4" blocks. . The name of this collection is Joyful by Quilted Koala, and it is by Andover Fabrics -

I named this quilt Gemstones because the colors remind me of sapphires, rubies and onyx with pearly white for the background. I had the black and white paisley fabric for the border in my stash. I think it makes a perfect frame.

Tomorrow I am off to Houston TX for the annual Quilt Market. I will be seeing lots of new products and I plan to take pictures of my favorites to show on this blog after I get home. This is going to be exciting.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Its a winner! Circle of Nine

Here's how it happened......
On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 8:14 AM, Alissa wrote:
Hello! I love your circle of nine quilt book/design and I am finally creating one of my own!  :) Please may I have your permission to enter it in a local county fair competition? I will gladly give reference to the two of you and your "Circle of Nine" in my submission. Thank you for your consideration! Alissa Mills

My reply: Of course you may enter your Circle of Nine quilt in a local county fair competition. And thank you for thinking to ask for permission and for giving reference to Circle of Nine in the submission. I would love to see a photo of your quilt....perhaps on display at the fair? JA
Today: Good morning! My quilt got a blue ribbon at the Clay County Fair :) and a friend of mine loves it and has a perfect place for it so I gave it to her :) Here is a picture of the quilt. It's mostly pieced but the center square is appliqu├ęs. I loved doing the circle of nine concept! Many blessings to you. Alissa

Today's reply: Alissa, your quilt is just beautiful! I am thrilled that you won a blue ribbon for it. It may be our setting but you chose the blocks and made the quilt with expertise to win that ribbon! I have put it on my blog for everyone to see. JA

There are 3 editions in the Circle of Nine book series co-authored by myself and my sister, Janet Houts. They are available for the special sale price of $17.50 each on my website

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cotton Candy

Back to making log cabins. This one has 4" blocks. I pieced all he blocks and sewed them into a quilt in just one day. After dinner I layered the quilt sandwich. The next morning I started free motion quilting about 7 AM. I finished the quilting (with a break for breakfast and walking the dog). Then I put the binding on and had lunch. I love these little blocks they are so cute and it doesn't take long to make a quilt. This was just plain fun and I can try all kinds of setting ideas with my favorite log cabin blocks with a small investment of time and materials.
I named this one Cotton Candy.

Monday, October 5, 2015

So Many little racks

For years I have been storing my rulers in ruler racks on my cutting table. My ruler inventory has grown with my own rulers and with other Creative Grids© rulers. Saturday my daughter came over to install some peg board on the back of a solid closet door in my studio. When the door is closed the rulers are in hiding. When I want a ruler I just open the door and there they are, hanging in place and easy to find.
You can see I have an old fashioned wood panel door and we had to add the peg board both above and below the door knob. Some of my rulers still have their labels attached, but I also have a notebook with clear plastic pockets in it to store the labels with directions to use the rulers for the rulers that I use the most often. This includes the directions for my own rulers as I still do refer to them when I am cutting and using the rulers. The ruler racks on my cutting table now just hold the rulers I use the most often.