December 30, 2012


Yep.  50.  That's how old I am now.  I recently celebrated yet another birthday.  It wasn't so bad, except for the voice mail messages from a company selling safety alert buttons.  Because people my age tend to fall frequently.  My husband couldn't wait to show me the mail when I received not one, but two, mailers from AARP.  I told him my next husband is going to be a lot nicer. 

My friend Karen surprised me with the most beautiful quilt.  Here's a picture of Mini Trail Mix. 

And a few closeup pictures of the fabrics and quilting.
I really love the Baptist Fan quilting in the border.   
Thank you so much, Karen.  You made turning 50 a little easier.  I treasure your friendship. 

November 25, 2012

Courthouse Steps

Sewing just for the fun of it, at a leisurely pace, has been a real treat.
  Even at minimal speed, these Courthouse Steps blocks are growing. 

Psycho Kitty and I have finally agreed on a block arrangement.

Unless, of course, he changes his mind again.
Have a good week.

November 21, 2012

A Little News

I'll share more about this later, but for now, I just wanted to share the cover
of my new book, Scrap-Basket Beauties.

Eighteen more quilts using Jelly Rolls, scraps, and stash fabrics.  Coming in March. 
I hope you'll love it as much as I do. 
Here's a little sneak peak of a few of the quilts on the cover of Martingale's catalog.
And speaking of Martingale, rumor has it there's a Black Friday sale going on over there.
50% off everything, and free shipping over $30.00!
    Sale is Friday through Monday in the U.S. and Canada.     
Just click HERE if you want to do some of my favorite kind of shopping -- no
crowds, no traffic, and you can even wear your pajamas! 
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

November 11, 2012

Covington County Quilters Guild

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of teaching a class in Andalusia, Alabama for the Covington County Quilters Guild.  They're such a great group of quilters, and it was such a fun day.  I'm just now getting around to sorting through some photos, and I'd like to share some with you.  Here's the "class picture."


 We had a trunk show of some of the quilts from my books.  Here are just a few. 
My friend Karen (a/k/a Nana Girl) went along with me.  She brought along some of her quilts as well, and we had a second trunk show in the afternoon.  Twice the fun!  Here are just a few of Karen's quilts.  You can visit her blog to read about them. 

Two trunk shows AND a few quilts shared by guild members -- what a treat!  Cheryl was in one of my classes at the Quilt Symposium of Alabama, and drove to Andalusia to hang out with us.  Here's a picture of her Flowers for Nana Girl quilt.  She used a sunflower theme.  Just gorgeous!

Here's a guild member, Karen, holding her Omigosh quilt.  A work of art.  You wouldn't believe how tee-tiny the pieces are in this quilt.

And I believe Karen made this quilt, too, but I got sidetracked when I was snapping the picture, and now I can't remember. 

Thank you so much, ladies, for inviting me, and for being such a fun group.  It was a blast!

Have a great week!


August 28, 2012

That Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar 2013

Don't you just love calendars with beautiful pictures?  Especially when the pictures are quilts?  I had totally forgotten about this until it arrived in the mail.

That Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar 2013 is here!  A full-size (12" x 12") wall calendar with gorgeous photos of 12 quilts from assorted books published by Martingale.  Not only is it a pretty calendar, but complete instructions are included for each of the quilts.  You can order your own copy and see a gallery of the projects here

I'm thrilled that April's featured quilt is Flowers for Nana Girl from my book, Scrap-Basket Sensations!  My friend Karen made the sample quilt for the book, and it's such a sweet quilt.  The colors remind me of pressed flowers. 

I almost missed the super calendar deal going on at Martingale.  Through today, when you buy one of Martingale's fabulous calendars, you can get a copy of Judy Hopkins' 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks for 50% off the original price.  What a deal!

Hurry on over and check it out!

Hope you have a great weekend!


August 12, 2012

My New Toy

I'm not a smartphone user.  Actually, I'm barely a cell phone user.  My cell phone is almost 10 years old and stays turned off in the bottom of my purse.  I freely give my number to anyone who asks, with the caveat that, unless I'm expecting your call, you probably won't get an answer.  I think I could set up a voice mailbox, but haven't.  I think I can send text messages by pressing the numeric keys.  Life is way too short for that.  I leave the phone on while traveling so my husband can reach me.  He thought it would be entertaining to change the ring tone on my antique phone from the sound of a bell to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.  I missed his call while I was thinking to myself, "I wish someone would answer that dang phone already.  How annoying."   

My husband has been using an android tablet for a while now.  When he heard that Google was introducing the Nexus 7, he pre-ordered one for me.  I waited for almost a month before it shipped, but since it arrived, I've only put it away long enough to charge the battery, and make this cover so it won't get damaged in my purse.  (There's a lot of stuff in there.)  It still needs a closure on the tab, but it's good enough for now.  I can't believe all the stuff I've missed while I've been carrying around my antique phone.

I've had a Pinterest account forever, but didn't get into it for a long time.  The mobile view on the tablet is so much better, though, and I get so sidetracked when I should be doing other things.  I'm sure I'll get bored with it evntually.  At least I hope so.  At some point I'll need to resume my life.  But in the meantime, if you're a Pinterest user, let me know where to find you, and I'll stalk follow you. 

Hope you're all having a good weekend.  I'll be using my tablet to look up specs on smartphones.  :-)


July 8, 2012

60-Degree Quilt Tutorial - Part 3

It's time to put the blocks together!  If you missed the first parts of the tutorial, you can find all the posts by clicking on the thumbnail on my sidebar, or click here.  If you have any questions, any tips you can share for making this quilt, or any pictures to share, shoot me an e-mail.  If you post tips or photos, I'd love to share the link on the tutorial page.

As you can see, none of my triangles are the same size.  I thought this would be a problem, but it actually turned out to be a bonus.  You'll see why later. 

Sort your triangle blocks by size, beginning with the largest, and ending with the smallest. 

I sewed the blocks together in rows, beginning with my two largest blocks. You'll have decisions to make about how you arrange the blocks.  Since the block on the right is smaller, something will need to be chopped off from the block on the left.  I like to keep intact as many of the true triangles as possible.  I chose to sacrifice the point of the light fabric next to the green arrow, since this piece wasn't a triangle to begin with.  The gold triangle on top (red arrow) will stay intact.  When I add another block, I'll trim the corner of the floral fabric next to the blue arrow. 

I recommend pinning the blocks together, since all the pieces have bias edges.  Starching my fabrics before cutting really helped to keep the blocks from stretching out of shape.  Sew the first two blocks together, and press the seam allowances in the direction they naturally want to go. 

After you press the blocks open, you'll end up with a weird little extended corner on the largest block. 

Place the 60-degree line of the ruler (highlighted in yellow) along the seam you just sewed, line up the edge of the ruler with the edge of the block, and trim away the weird extension.

I found it helpful to trim the points of the blocks that align with the other straight edges.  I hope this makes sense.  Here's a photo of a trimmed block -- see the bottom point?  I used a 60-degree ruler to do this.  It isn't necessary, but it helps.  I don't have to guess about how far the point needs to extend to get a good quarter-inch seam allowance. 

Add your next largest block.  My new block is on the right, but you can add it to either side.  I had already decided to sacrifice the point of the pink floral (blue arrow).  I wanted to keep the large green triangle intact, as well as the tiny orange triangle, so I arranged the new block so that the pink fabric (green arrow) will be trimmed after sewing another block to it later. 

Sew the blocks together and press the seam allowances in either direction.  Trim off the extended point. 

Decide how wide you want your quilt to be.  Continue adding blocks to the row, using the next largest block every time you add one, until the measurement between the imaginary lines (below) is close to your desired width.  You'll trim off the parts that extend beyond the lines to square up the row.    

To square off the ends of the row, place a horizontal line of your ruler along the bottom edge of the row.  Trim off the excess part of the row and save this piece for later. 

Rotate the row so the other end is on the right.  Square up this end of the row.

You'll end up with this.  My first row is about 55" long, and 12 1/2" wide.  The height of the row will depend on the height of your first triangle block.  Look closely at the blocks.  Since the blocks are different sizes, it's difficult to tell where one block ends and another begins.  I think it makes the quilt look more complex than it really is. 

Begin your second row the same as the first, with your largest block.  This row won't be the same height as the first row, because your blocks will get progressively smaller.  You can alternate wide and narrow rows when you put your quilt together.  Continue adding blocks to your second row until the row is almost as long as the desired width of your quilt.  Using one of the leftover half-triangle pieces you trimmed from the first row, sew the leftover piece to the beginning of the second row, and press the seam allowances.

 Since the first row is larger, when you sew the leftover half triangle to the second row, you'll have plenty of fabric to cover the end of the row.  You'll need to trim the extended point.

Line up the edge of the ruler with the bottom of the row, and trim.

I used most of my filler strips to construct the blocks, but you can use them to extend the length of the rows to avoid adding an entire extra triangle.  You may or may not need to add the half-triangle leftover piece to the right edge of the row, but it may be just enough to fill out the row to make it the length you need.  You'll want to trim the second row, and all subsequent rows, so that they're the same length as the first row.  This will be the width of your quilt.  Just keep adding rows until the quilt is as long as you want it to be.

I thought I had enough triangles, but I made the quilt a little wider than I intended, so I'll need to make another couple of rows to finish.  I'll show you the whole quilt later.  It's going to be much bigger than I thought!  Fortunately, I always have plenty of help.

Hope you have a great week!


June 23, 2012

This and That

I've almost recovered from the Quilt Symposium of Alabama.  I should probably say I've almost recovered emotionally from having to leave the Quilt Symposium of Alabama.  It was hard to go back to work last Monday after having so much fun in Birmingham.  The Symposium was hosted by the Evening Star Quilt Guild, and they did such an amazing job putting everything together.  The quilt show was excellent, I wanted to buy everything in the vendor mall, and I had so much fun in the classroom.  Even though hosting an event that big was an enormous job, the Evening Star folks made it seem like quilting fairies put everything together by magic.  No worried looks, no swearing, no crying -- just smiling faces everywhere. 

These are a couple of my favorite smiling faces.  Terry on the right (my "boss") was the event coordinator.  At least I hope she was, because people were always asking her for stuff.  Mary on the left is Terry's sister, a non-quilter, who volunteered to help with the Symposium.  I wonder if she knew what she was getting into. :-)  She must have walked 8,000 miles. 

These three (Beverly, Ella, and Sandra) always looked like they were having way too much fun.  They sure made me giggle.  And check out those yo-yo hats.  Adorable, right? 

Yes, it took this many people to guard the opportunity quilt so I wouldn't run off with it.  It was fabulous!

It was really cool to meet a fellow blogger, Lisa (right).  She's adorable!  She's helping Judy hold up a quilt that Judy made using the Over and Under pattern from my book.  Judy made only a quarter of the blocks, added red "berries" and a bow, and it looks like a beautiful Christmas wreath!  Unfortunately, my photography skills are terrible, but trust me when I tell you this was really pretty.

Here's a whole family of quilters -- Betsy, Suzie, and Gary.  Betsy was in one of my classes.  What a sweetheart.  And a mess.  She kept me in stitches.  Pardon the pun.  Gary won awards for his hand quilting, including the Judge's Choice award.  They're such sweet people, and I wanted to bring them home with me. 

Here are pictures of one of Gary's award-winning quilts, My Blue Heaven.

Can you believe all the stitches in this quilt?!  It's easy to see why it's adorned with ribbons. 

By the way, thank you, Meg, for changing the settings on my camera so that my pictures aren't dark as night.  I'll read the manual, I promise. :-)

I squealed when I walked into the quilt show and saw a quilt made from my Summer Breeze pattern.  It's such a lovely version made with batik fabrics and an extra border.  I later discovered that it was made by one of my students, Shirley.  And of course I squealed again when I found out it was her first quilt

She did a fabulous job!

I couldn't take my eyes off this quilt, so I had to buy the book.  So many great ideas for string quilts.  And so many more to add to my bucket list. 

If you're in the Birmingham area, check out the Evening Star Quilt Guild.  Lots and lots of very nice people and super-talented quilters.  And be sure to give all of them a hug from me. :-)

Have a super weekend!