Show and tell…

Regina Grewe, who lives in Germany, sent me this wonderful email before Christmas. Both her story and her quilt made me grin!

It is finally done! My Santa Quilt needed fourteen years to be finished and it finally decorates our house. In 2001, I saw a beautiful quilt during a trip to the US in the shop window of a quilt shop. Appliqued houses and fir trees and reindeermade up the village at the North Pole, where – as everyone knows – Santa Claus lives. Absolutely irresistible!
Luckily for a beginner like me with no fabric stash at all the store offered not only your book but also a bag for each block filled with colorful pieces of fabric! Of course I flew home with the complete treasure trove … The applique of the blocks by hand went surprisingly quickly – thanks to your practical advice. Full of excitement I decided to hand quilt the good piece – as it should be. But this is soooo not my thing!
And therefore the work was put on the back burner repeatedly. I would do a few painstaking stitches and then set it aside – again…and again. Until I decided this summer that this had to end. I took stitch after stitch and lastly finished. The decorations with embroidery, beads, buttons and all sorts of odds and ends needed additional patience, but finally the quilt is on display! Pictures can be found in the gallery on my website:


I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for giving me such neat appliqué ideas. I wish you a merry Christmas.


Welcome to the North Pole, made by Regina Grewe

Welcome to the North Pole, made by Regina Grewe


Detail from North Pole by Regina Grewe

As I said yesterday, Christmas rolls around every year. If you’ve been wanting to start a North Pole quilt of your own, now is a good time! Click here to find the book.

Happy December 26!

I last posted 10 days ago (that’s a long time in blog-world) but this was an intentional choice on my part. I wanted to take a small social media break. It was nice! What wasn’t so nice was that during these 10 days many of the women in my family came down with a head cold. Mom, at 83, has it the worst. She slept through Christmas, but is showing signs of improvement today. The rest of us are more on the mend.

Despite the colds, Christmas was lovely. Jeff flew in from NYC on the 23rd. I love it when they are here! On Christmas Eve, Chris and Lorna and the little kids joined us for church and then dinner and some presents.

On Christmas morning there was more celebrating. Jeff had already told us that our gift was going to be a summer vacation with him. He sent us on a scavenger hunt Christmas morning to find out where we are going. I am lousy at deciphering clues, and Steve wasn’t much better, but after many hints we found our last clue. If you are a Die Hard fan, this at least is an easy clue:


We’re going to Munich with Jeff next summer! He has been there before and have lots of ideas about what to see. There will be castles! This is something wonderful to look forward to and Steve and I are both very excited. Being female, I’m already thinking about what sort of clothes I need to pack :-).

Steve and I then went to Chris and Lorna’s where her family and more friends had gathered for breakfast and their gift-a-palooza. Bear may have been the happiest with his Octonaut Octopod and various Gupps.

After lunch, Steve and I and Jeff headed to Oklahoma City for more celebrating with the other half of the Goldsmith clan. We ate too much, exchanged stories and gifts, and just generally had a good time.

I have lived through Christmases that were less happy and relaxed so I really do appreciate this year’s celebration. If mom had been better it would have been perfect. Luckily Christmas is an annual event and we can plan better health for next year. (Note to self: lots more hand washing and never touch my nose.)

I hope your Christmas was all that you hoped it would be. If you are on the road, safe travels.

PIE NOTE: Because it’s Christmas, I made pies, which I’ve posted about before. I realized that the gluten free pie crust recipe I posted in October 2013 had a pretty significant transcription error. You add 2 TEASPOONS of lemon or orange juice with the egg, not 2 tablespoons. Deep sigh on my part. The old pie crust recipe I posted will work, it’s just not as good. I’ve corrected the recipe on the older post, but here is a link to the corrected pie crust recipe. I’m sorry for any baking inconvenience that I have caused you to have.

Show and Tell…



Patricia Faye McLaughlin sent me a photo of her Backyard Birds quilt, saying:

I wanted to share my completed Backyard Birds Quilt that was our 2015 project on the Quilters Club of America Applique’ Group.
It is one of my very favorite quilts.  I did the FMQ on my domestic machine.  Thank you so much for such a fun quilt pattern.

I love it! Well done, Patricia!

A peek into Linda’s stash…

Linda sent me this photo of her fabric stash. She is using hanging shoe and sweater organizers and they look a lot better than I thought they would. In fact, if I did not already have shelves in my own fabric closet, I’d use this system. I like the way the fabric is compartmentalized.

Linda's Fabric Stash

Linda’s Fabric Stash

Linda has a lot less fabric than she used to have, and a lot less than I have. But you know what? This looks like a really good size for a stash. I know I have too much fabric (again). It’s too hard to find what I’m looking for, especially when I don’t really know what I’m looking for. Having too many choices can make choosing harder, not easier. I am looking at Linda’s very tidy closet with envy :-).

In other news, my foot is doing really well! The doctor had me cut the bandage to relieve the pressure on my foot on day two and that took the pain away. I can even put a little weight on it today (as per doctor’s orders). I’m still only allowed to be up only 5 minutes at a time. The rest of the time I have to sit with my foot up. The better I feel, the harder that is to do, but I’m sticking to it.

This is me…

All of my author pictures, my driver’s license, and my passport, show a short-haired me. But this is me, now.


I’ve been growing my hair for about 10 months. I took this (quick) self-portrait for my 52 Week Photo Challenge class. I didn’t spend enough time on the assignment because we spent most of last week in NYC with Jeff. I didn’t want to spend time taking a picture of myself during our visit! But this photo does show me as I am now.

I need a new author photo for a book. Do you think this will work? Trust me when I tell you that the black and white version is better than the color version.

Show and tell… my Mom’s Welcome to the North Pole!

My mom began this quilt in May of 2012. The finished quilt went on her wall a couple of weeks ago…


Mom chose some fabric from my stash and then I brought more fabric. I offered to give her ‘help’ but she was very happy do make this on her own. She did it her way and it’s perfect!

The top was finished in time for it to hang on her wall last year, un-embellished. I quilted it this summer and she spent the following weeks adding embellishments. Can you tell that my mom really likes sequins :-)?


None of this was easy for her. She struggled with her glasses, arthritis and neuropathy in her fingers. Threading the needle and dealing with the little sequins and beads was a challenge—but she did it! Click the arrows on the slideshow, below, to see more of the blocks.

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Have I said that I’m proud of my mom for sticking with this? I am! It has a folk art vibe that just can’t be beat. Way to go, Mom!