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A few weeks ago I hit the quilting blog-land lottery. I won a GO! in a sponsored giveaway over at Diary of a Quilter.  I was comment 585 out of 704. 

10 days ago, at 2:15 in the afternoon, the doorbell rang.  Ding!  (My doorbell, for some unknown reason, does not have two notes.  Only the one.)  “Coming!”  I cry.  I assume that it’s my daughter, home from school.  She has a habit of ringing the front doorbell then running around the side of the house.  It’s not.

What do I spy, with my little eye?  Two boxes and an envelope!

I know, you almost don’t even notice the envelope due to the wonderful labeling on the boxes!  I run inside to get my camera, and as I do a silver minivan pulls up in front of my house.  It’s my daughter.   No hiding it from her now!

I chitchat with my carpool buddy, making sure that we’re set for the rest of the week.  What’s my daughter doing?

This is the child whose backpack is too heavy, a water bottle is too heavy, and a pair of socks is too heavy.  (The smaller box had already been placed gently inside.  The envelope, containing a new toy for my husband’s computer, had been tossed aside gently placed at his computer. )

A deal had to be struck.  No AccuQuilt for either of us until her homework was done and our trip to the library taken care of.  Done.  I’m sure you can imagine how hard it was for me to suffer through “Alice had 43 green beads and 28 blue beads.   Mary has 24 green beads and 52 blue beads.  Who has more beads?”

Later that same night…we opened the box!

I was really impressed on two points – first, that one of the dies I requested was out of stock.  They put it on backorder for me, and shipped without it.  Second, that I requested the 2.5″ strip cutter.  Know what else they included?  The mat for it.  I was all set to have to run out to the store and buy it, but there it was, right there in the box!

Out of the box!  And onto the table.  Note the sleeve in the picture?  That’s as far away from it as my daughter got. 

Off to the scrap bin my daughter went.  We have a deal.  She can use anything in the scrap bin for whatever she wants.  So off she went, coming up with a few biggish pieces that hadn’t yet been turned into Barbie pillows or vests for circus animals.

And away she went!

First pieces – aren’t they pretty?

Note to all moms – my daughter is 8 and has been around sewing supplies her whole life.  She doesn’t get to use my rotary cutter, yet.  This I’m fine with, though she has to tell me when she’s going to use it.  It’s a hard cell foam surrounding the blades.  I’ve pressed my finger (gently!) into the area where the blades are and can’t cut myself.  Still, a little bit of caution and warning will probably go a long way.  (And some older dies or Studio dies may be different.  Just to see, I did press into a flower die on the Studio cutter at my LQS and was able to easily slice my finger.)

My daughter is a free spirit when it comes to her sewing.  Most times, given her own choices, she prefers to have the seams showing.  This is the project she made with my GO! cutter the first day – four half square triangles, one 2.5″ square, and backed by one 4.5″ square.

Want to win one of your own?  Right now there are giveaways at:

Cluck Cluck Sew (ends Oct 31!  HURRY!)

Alderwood Quilts (ends Nov 1 – hurry!)

Quilt Taffy (ends Nov 4)

Irish Muses (ends Nov 5)

And who can forget the AccuQuilt facebook page?  Every Friday they have a new way to win a GO!

Enjoy Sewing!  Deb

Let’s go back in time…pretend that today is 10 days ago…before my AccuQuilt GO! cutter arrived in the mail…somehow I wrote this and didn’t get it posted…

Acadabra!  (insert wand swish here)

Well, I’m finished with my quilt!  I slaved over that for days and days.  Fed my family leftovers.  Sat in the car during my daughter’s karate classes and buried threads.  Watched way too much HGTV while binding. 

And it’s gorgeous.  Of course, there are things I would have done different, and while I say it’s done it’s not.  (I was taking pictures of it and found one thread that I forgot to snip and one flower that I forgot to quilt.)  No pictures, yet.   I haven’t even shown it to my friends yet!

So I did nothing the past 3 days.  Thursday was quilt guild, and I went to a quilt shop after.  Friday I goofed off.  Completely.  (Well, I finished two doll quilts.)  Today, I conscripted my family and cleaned house.  I feel like I can breathe!

So…I was worried about my GO! getting in the way of my housework and finishing my quilt?  It’s not.  It’s delayed!  One of the dies I requested is backordered.  Well, I can clean up my quilting space to make room for my ‘new addition’.

Abracadabra!  You’re now back to your current time and date.

Since we’re now back in the present, I can share with you that (1)  I have shared my quilt at a small guild meeting last week, where it was met with appropriate oohing and aahing.  (2)  I have succeeded in getting my quilting room reorganized so that I have a workspace that doesn’t make me cringe to walk into it AND I have a great, convenient, place to store my GO!  (3) My GO! arrived, short a backordered die, and I am having tons of fun even without the dresden plate.  (4)  Now that hubby’s home, and no one’s sick, and the pre-camp to-do list is mostly complete, I can get back to my regularly scheduled quilting!  Except, (5)  my sewing machine is at the spa.


Last weekend was the Back Country Quilt Show.  It is, as you can guess, in the back country.  After spending two weeks quilting, I needed a break, so off I went.

You have to want to get to Ramona from where I live.  Take the highway, to the logical end.  Keep on going.  Turn right.  Go for 16 miles.  Down – up, mostly – a twisty turny 2 lane road with mountain to one side and a guard rail to the other.  No gas, about 2 pulloffs, blind corners where you hope the guy coming at you stays on his side of the double yellow line.

I’d missed last year’s show, and wanted to get out there this year.  I spent a nice few hours looking through the quilts, boutique, and vendor booths.  There was a wide variety of quilts there, from a pre-1900 heirloom to quilts made by kids – modern, kitchy, and everywhere inbetween.  To give you an idea of the variety, my three favorites are pictured below.  Enjoy!

For a cute and kitchy vibe, there was this apron quilt done in 1930s fabrics:

For a more modern vibe there was this quilt of saturated reds, pinks, oranges, and purples.  Very cool!

For pieced patchwork, this quilt was it for me.  It’s an X-Block quilt, which I’ve never tried, but the block gets lost with the fantastic quilting!

My AccuQuilt GO! cutter came today!!!  When the doorbell rang I figured it was my daughter home from school, but she came about 2 minutes later…before I could even get it inside.  The girl who can’t carry her socks upstairs had it inside in 2 seconds.  And you’ve never seen a kid more motivated to pick up her room, do her homework, and go to the library than one who knows that the shipping boxes won’t even be opened before we’re done.  She’s taken it over, the GO! and my sewing machine both, so I’ll try it out after she goes to bed tonight.  Here’s a look at the new addition to my quilting room:

(See that arm?  Unless she was at the sewing machine that’s as far away as she got from it.)


We left coasters sometimes run on a different time zone in more ways than one!

I’m happy to announce my Fall into Fall winners!  I picked the winners by having my daughter pick one number, and her friend that’s sleeping over pick the second number.  They both left great comments with great websites, so without further ado…

Pauline won the Traffic Pattern from Esch House Quilts.  She said:

I would be thrilled if the “Traffic Pattern” found it’s way to my mailbox. Thanks for the chance.  Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts is a modern quilter. Her quilts always look great and are fast and simple to make. Check out my giveaway. It has an autographed pattern by Amanda Jean that was designed for Margaret’s Hope Chest……and a lot more.

Judy C won the 5 Little Pumpkins pattern from Pieces from my Heart.  She said:

Check out ps I quilt I love the 5 little pumpkin pattern! I am more traditional but you could check out Ronda Beyers site too. Thanks for the chance!

I kind of was testing you all, giving away two patterns that were on completely different ends of the quilting spectrum.  You all surprised me!  Of those expressing a preference, it was real close to even as to which wanted the 5 Little Pumpkins pattern and who wanted the Traffic pattern.  But with 3 more votes, Traffic Pattern was the most-requested. 

I’m working my way through the sites that everyone suggested, and will post a summary shortly.

Have a great fall weekend!


I have three more side triangles and corners to quilt, and then I’m done!  I don’t even want to think about how many hours this has been, but I’m about halfway through my 4th spool of thread.  My fingers are pricked and sore.  The quilting should go quickly – it’s just adding veins and features to the flowers and leaves, the background has already been quilted.  Then I have to clean up all the threads, which will take a very long time.  Then I get to trim it down and add the binding!  It’s been a while since I’ve bound a twin-sized quilt, and I don’t remember how long it took.  I hope to have this thing done by Thursday afternoon so I can show it to some friends.

I’ve been looking at it so closely I’m having a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.  For the last two weeks I’ve been looking at one 12″ square at a time, or one flower, or one line of crosshatching.  Last night I went out to a guild meeting, so right before I left I laid it out flat to let the quilt rest.  And remembered why I love the quilt so much.

Soon!  Very soon!

I am beyond geeked right now!!!  I just won a GO! over at Diary of a Quilter’s giveaway!  The email came last night, but I was so beat after a day at a Halloween Party / theme park with my daughter that I somehow didn’t check my emails after getting home. 

(I went straight to my sewing machine, which STILL has the quilt on it that I showed a few days ago…hence no new posts…)

So, this morning, I wake up, grab my iphone to quickly check messages, and there, amongst all the entries for my Fall into Fall giveaway, is one that says YOU WON!  “Won what,” I’m thinking, still fuzzy.  “The Fall into Fall giveaways don’t close for a few days yet.”  I set the phone down, thinking it’s too early to be up after marching all over the park yesterday for what amounts to $0.50 worth of candy.  Curiosity got the better of me, and I checked again…

I WON AN ACCUQUILT!  With my choice of dies!!!  Now, I’m up.  I poke my still-sleeping husband.  “I won an AccuQuilt!”  He says “good job”, and rolls over.  I get up, sit down at the sewing machine, and wait for a more appreciative audience.  My daughter rolls in an hour later.  I tell her the news.  I get a high-5, and a great big hug!  And hugs from her Dolly as well…Dolly was more excited than my husband was!  SO…THANK YOU ACCUQUILT!  And Diary of a Quilter! 

Now I’m stuck.  I’ve got to finish this quilt (by Friday) and finish things for my guild’s boutique (by 10/18).  And then start catching up on the rest of the things that have gone by the wayside.  Say, laundry.  And housecleaning.  Making a Halloween costume.  But, I’ll have an AccuQuilt, and more fabric than one person can ever use. 

You can also win a GO! cutter at – this one’s open until November 1!!!  Or, at Art By Gene, which closes on October 15.  If you’re hoping to win some fabric or AccuQuilt dies, check out Ginny’s Quilts.

Wonder why I’m asking for quilting sites in my Fall into Fall Giveaway?

Because I’m stuck quilting.

Doesn’t seem like it’s a bad thing, right?

Wouldn’t you like to be stuck quilting?

Well, not the way I mean it.

I’m stuck in several ways.

(There is at least 4 feet between me and the sewing machine.)

Way 1.  This quilt is twin-sized, and I have a sewing machine with a standard throat.  So the quilt just gets stuck and I have to shove it though.  Often.  And then pull it back through.

Way 2.  I have to confess, I don’t exactly know how I’m going to quilt this whole thing.  I’m going one step at a time, hoping that I don’t end up with bubbles, or puckers, or mis-matching quilting styles.  So I’m stuck on how to quilt it.

Way 3.  I’m almost stuck at the sewing machine.  I have a small sewing table, which I love, but is not up to the challenge of 6300 square inches of quilt.  So I dragged my ironing board over to the table, lowered it to the same height, and am shoving excess quilt onto it.  But where the ironing board has to be leaves me with a very small path to get to the sewing machine between the ironing board and the closet door.

Way 4.  It feels like I’ve been quilting this forever. Probably because I started thinking about quilting it months ago, then pinned it, then started, then ripped, then stared, then started again.  And I keep having to tell my daughter that nothing’s getting made until I’m done.  Is that a 5th way?  Stuck on this until I’m done? With no other projects?  Or just fallout of stuck quilting?

It’ll be worth it in the end, right?

Thanks for all of the suggestions on new places to visit! I’ve gotten inspiration from a few of them and should be able to figure out how I’m going to fnish this quilt.


I have some family quilts with 1930s/1940s prints in them, I’ve never been drawn to reproductions from the 1930s, even when they were all the rage.

Except once.

I found a pattern for this adorable witch quilt in a magazine.  Bought the magazine, and I think the quilt was done in a week.  I still love it, and now’s the time of year to pull it out!

I took it to a show and tell at a quilt shop.  Everyone oohed and aahed, like good quilters, and the shop owner said that at first glance she though the witches were wearing rain slickers.  Huh?  Rain slickers with brooms?

Re-Design.  The idea of rain slickers stuck with me.  I drafted a pattern for little girls with rain slickers holding umbrellas and made a test block.  Ten years ago, what was I supposed to make it out of?  Muddy batiks?  Celestials?  (on their way out)  Asian prints? (on their way in)  Nope, nope, and nope.  This quilt clicked for me when I thought of 1930s reproductions.  I went to a quilt show and bought a bunch of pre-cut fat 8ths to make my quilt from.

Isn’t it cute?  I entered it in a show, and the judges said my straight lines weren’t straight.  Pooh on them!  I still thought it was cute, and it was my very first original pattern!  (Methinks it’s been folded too long, though.  See those fold lines?)  OK, it’s a style that’s not exactly in.

But – I had leftovers.  Of 1930s prints.  Which I never use.

Re-Purpose.  I finally figured out that I had enough to make an American Girl quilt out of them, and here it is!  I cut 2.5″ squares because that was the optimal size for the leftovers I had.  I also think that the scale is great with the dolls.  (American Girl dolls are 1/3 life size, so a 2″ finished square to them is equal to a 6″ square in a life sized quilt.)  I knocked this out in under three hours, from first cut to last stitch, including digging pretty deep to find flannel for the middle layer.

Cute, huh?  Just right for Kit Kittridge.  I just need to decide if it’s going to have a pillow with it or leave it be.

Re-Duce.  I’ve made two more tops as well – the one without the alternating muslin squares even has authentic vintage 1930s prints included!  I’d picked them up somewhere along the way and decided to include them.  You can see the leftovers – just enough to put an accent strip on two doll-sized pillows.  I love it when I use fabric to the point where there’s nothing to fold and put away, or even to throw in the scrap bin.

Looking for the Fall into Fall Giveaway?  It’s HERE – but feel free to stay around and read some more.

Yesterday I drove up to the Quilt Show and Auction put on by the Valley of the Mist Quilters in Temecula.  I’d seen pictures and wanted to see it for myself!  I packed up my camera, some water, sunscreen, and my credit card for an afternoon of quilt-ogling and shopping.

You know what?  I forgot the memory card for my camera.  I’d been downloading some pictures and it didn’t make it back into the camera.  I took a bunch of photos on my cell phone, but they’re not great.  I also forgot a hat.  When it’s over 90 and you’re heading to an outdoor quilt show, bring a hat!

It was a great afternoon, even without the camera and a hat.  There were hundreds of quits displayed all over Temecula’s main drag.  Folk Art, Dresden Fans, Cobblestones, Log Cabin, Applique.  I saw some modern patchwork, and the art quilts in the gallery just begged you to get in a little closer to see how they were put together.

There were some wonderful quilts in their auction.  The announcer was very comical, and kept interjecting comments into the auction process.  They had a professional auctioneer, so I’m sure he was unaccustomed to being interrupted by someone saying “and don’t forget it sparkles!”

And shopping!  Quilter’s Coop is right there in town, as is The Wool Lady (yes, that is the store name).  Plus opportunity quilt tickets, fresh fruit, a cheese store, an old-fashioned candy store, and more.

The trip home was memorable as well.  I’m motoring down I-15, and come upon a helpcopter being towed by a pickup.  (It was on a trailer, of course!)  I’ve never seen that before.  Then, a few minutes later, an old – ancient – green Ford.  Couldn’t have been a Model T (because they come in any color you want as long as it’s black) so maybe a Model A?  Then…someone’s having a bad day, because a motorcycle officer has them pulled over.  I’m midwest born and bred, and remember watching CHiPs in the cold of winter – sunny California days, motorcycle cops, and the tan uniform.  I flashed back to junior high seeing it!

Have a good weekend!  I’m off to quilt.  The Fall into Fall giveaway’s in my previous post – HERE.



Thanks for entering!

Winners posted here!


A few weeks ago I was blog-surfing and stumbled across a cute little scarecrow button.   “Fall into Fall Quilter’s Bloggers Giveaway“, it said!  Always on the lookout for a good giveaway, I clicked on this guy:

Now, I’m sure that most of you are new to my blog.   Sit a spell, take a few minutes, and read some posts.  Don’t just click back to the list without even giving yourself a chance to figure out if you like it here!  There are almost 200 blogs to visit, but you have 15 days to do it.

I’m all about having fun while quilting.  Sometimes you’ll see me post about where I’m going, and what I’m doing.  Other times, neat tips and tricks that I like to use.  Tutorials are fun, when I have something unique to share.  If I can figure out how to do buttons, I’ll have that one that says “I took the process pledge.”  I have way too much fabric, too many books, and too many patterns.  I’ve been quilting for about 15 years, and it’s interesting to see what’s come around again, what’s still in, and what’s still out.

I’m giving away two patterns, to two lucky commenters.  One for the Modern quilters out there, and one for those that are a bit more Traditional.

If you’re a quick quilter you may still be able to get this one done in time for Halloween!  Jack-o-lanterns with – get this – rickrack smiles!  Rickrack’s even included!   Pieces from the Heart designed Five Little Pumpkins for a layer cake and it finishes a nice large 67 1/2″ square!

The second pattern is from Esch House Quilts.   It’s called Traffic Pattern, and it’s new.  The quilt is bed-sized, finishing at 80″x90″.  When I first looked at the pattern I couldn’t believe that I was looking at a whole-cloth quilt.  It’s not!  Debbie’s broken the design down into blocks to make it manageable for everyone.  I couldn’t do justice to the pattern cover no matter how many photos I took, so hop on over to Esch House Quilt’s etsy shop to see pictures of her finished quilt.  Beautiful!

Here’s how it works – leave me a comment with these three things:

  1. I’m looking for sites that showcase modern machine quilting, or pictures of great quilts with modern-style quilting.  I don’t want pantographs, or stitch-in-the-ditch, or stippling.  
  2. Tell me which pattern you’d like – Pieces from Heart’s Five Little Pumpkins, or Esch House Quilts’ Traffic Pattern.
  3. Make sure I can contact you!

 I’d love for you to suscribe or follow me, but only if you want to, not just because it doubles your chance of winning.  (Up at the top?  There’s a spot to subscribe by email, or RSS, and right along the top there’s a button that says Follow Me.)

Unscientifically, I’ll ask my daughter to pick two numbers – one for each prize.  Winner will be drawn on Oct 15 at about 9pm PST and will be contacted via email.  Sorry, no international shipping.


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About Aspen Hill

Welcome to Aspen Hill! I'm Deb. Quilter, lover of fabric. Fan of completed projects. Quilt Pattern Designer. My blog is my space where I get to share quilting, sewing, and other creative pursuits. Come back often!

You can find my quilts, doll clothes, and patterns on Etsy.