We have news!

We’ll be sending an eNewsletter tomorrow announcing what’s new on our site. We want to share it with you on the blog first!


C&T, after 2 years of work, made the eBook available. We write about it on our home page and you can read even more, and order it, on the Slice Of Christmas page itself. 

Isn’t it amazing how fast electronic publishing is moving?! it is very possible that the day will come when the books we love are never truly out-of-print.


We also have news about our block of the month, Thru Grandmother’s Window. Back in 1996 when these blocks were new, quilters requested extra blocks to make the original quilt even bigger. 

We designed 7 blocks (one is shown here) and now these blocks are available to you in one Downloadable PDF. 

This PDF has only the 7 patterns — there are no yardage, cutting, or setting instructions. These patterns must be enlarged in the same way that the Downloadable Thru Grandmother’s Window patterns are. The good news is that the 7-block pattern is only $10!

Check out the Show & Tell page if you haven’t lately. It’s a great place to see what other quilters have made using Piece O’ Cake patterns. We enjoy these quilts so much that we’ve decided to give a $10 credit (to be used on our website) to the maker of any quilt we post on this page! (If you have a quilt on the page already email Linda at pieceocake@bresnan.net and she’ll issue you a credit.)

There are other changes on our site but they are pretty subtle. If you find typos as you click around, please let me know. I hate typos!

And, for those of you who might be wondering, Christy is still in the hospital. She’s not exactly better, but she’s not worse either. She is being well taken care of and for that I am very thankful. Thank you for her prayers for her.

Happy stitching,

Becky (and Linda too!)

I’m late with posts…

I hope you all have had – and are having – happy holidays! Both Linda and I have had good visits with our families. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent with those we love and that is the best part of this time of year. 


Linda is on her way home from California with her husband, Paul. I’m hoping they don’t get hung up in the bad weather. I had expected to be home today (and writing festive posts) but my sister was admitted to the hospital this morning so I’m not going to be home for a little while. I’m so thankful that she had a good Christmas.

So, please forgive the lack of new posts – we hope to be back up to speed early next week. Until then, happy stitching!

When to trim…

I’ve been sewing some small leaves whose ends lie underneath a very narrow stem. The ends of the leaves have to be trimmed to fit under the stem. Place the overlay over the block so that you can see exactly how much excess fabric to trim away. 


I always check my applique pieces with my overlay before I trim away fabric. I never trim blindly.



When I can, I wait to trim away excess fabric. These photos show a good example of that… You can see that I have sewn down the side of the stem with the leaves. Before sewing the 2nd side of the stem, I lift the stem up and trim the end of the leaves even with the stem’s turned-under seam allowance. 

The longer seam allowance makes it easier to pin the stem firmly in place over the leaf. If the end of the leaf is not pinned down you have to be really careful when you sew, not to let the leaf “wander” out of position.

Happy stitching,

Becky

My granddaughter, Elanor, and I have a tradition of getting together to make Christmas presents for her to give. Her other grandmother, Judy, will help Elanor wrap and label the presents. This year (and last year) Elanor drew pictures that we turned into calendars. (I’ll show you this year’s calendar after Christmas so as not to ruin the surprise for family members who read this blog.)


Lorna, my daughter-in-law, and I thought it would be fun to “help” Jack make presents too. Handprints on paper came to mind but have you ever tried to get a 13 month old to make 11 good handprints? Judy and I tried that with Elanor one year and the poor kid was very unhappy. Not what we were after.

Lorna and I decided that “art” would be better than handprints. We stripped Jack down to his diaper. I put down drop cloths and we all wore our painting clothes. I got non-toxic washable Crayola paint that did, indeed, wash off when we were done. I used good paper in the hopes that these pieces will age well. Elanor helped – and at the end she got paint on her feet and made some really nice footprints!

We were able to cut out some surprisingly nice “paintings”! Steve shot movies. Here’s a short segment showing the young artist at work… you’ll notice that he’s more interested in the snack than painting until we made that go away to the kitchen.

The wooden guys…

How many of you have one (or more) of these posable wooden figures? I love mine. I don’t usually draw them, they just live on my desk and keep me company. My wooden guys didn’t make me smile, though, until my (grown) sons started playing with them. 


Every now and then Jeff and/or Chris will change a pose. I’ll suddenly notice that the guys have moved, seemingly by themselves! I can’t help but wonder what the little guy is running from, or to…

A quilting tip…

I basted a couple of quilts last week and thought I’d share a trick with you. Whether you hand or machine quilt, here’s a way to protect the batting at the edges of your quilt while you are quilting. First, run a line of basting stitches not quite 1/4″ away from the raw edge of the top of the quilt. This holds the 3 layers firmly together at the edges.


Trim away the excess batting, leaving about 3/4″ of batting beyond the edge of the quilt top. Trim the backing about 3/4″ away from the edge of the batting.


Fold the backing over the batting. Butt the raw edges of the 2 fabrics together. Baste the backing over the batting. Do this on all four sides of your basted quilt.

You’ll be surprised at how much this simple step will protect the outer edges of your quilt from stretching and fraying as you work. And it cuts down on the amount of lint generated when you machine quilt.