Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: Giving Thanks

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta- this beautiful side dish is full of fall flavors and colors that is perfect to make for the holidays!If you are anything  like me, you'll be so very tired of holidays in just a few days. But the problem is that once they are gone, we have to wait an entire year before they return. So we try to push ourselves to do it all and do it perfectly.

Do you ever feel that way? Like a child worrying that the holidays will come and go so quickly that you'll miss them? Do you ever get tired of the decorating, company, food, noise and everything else that comes with the holidays? 

I feel both--I love the holidays and want to enjoy every moment, and I get tired of everything happening at once. This is partly, I'm sure, because of my bipolar depression, but also because we seem to go from holiday to holiday without even a pause between. 
Orange Flower Table Setting                                                                                                                                                     More

thanksgiving table setting inspiration with calligraphy and magnolia leavesI need that pause. In fact, I need to make a full stop. Period. An empty blank wall. I just can't roll with those people who start Christmas before Thanksgiving. I do not want to shop for gifts before we've finished eating the Halloween candy, or the Thanksgiving turkey, for that matter.

I don't want to be so tired that I am cross or snappy with the people I love, so I make sure to get some quiet moments each day. I've also learned to let go of the perfectionism that made me miserable. 

Chocolate Acorns are the cutest Fall or Thanksgiving treat! Made with Hershey’s…

Family is more important than a perfect table or piles of gifts that won't mean anything a few weeks after they are opened. 

I recommend that you find a way to do the same. Schedule a few minutes to sit quietly and let your mind rest. Fight the need for perfection. Be kind to yourself so you can truly appreciate the ones you love. For now, let's have some holiday fun by giving thanks for all of the good in our lives.

Silhouette Design Store - View Design #98592: thankful & blessed phrase

These Thanksgiving candy turkey treats are so much fun to make with the kids. Perfect for class treats or the Thanksgiving table!Don't skip out on colour for your Thanksgiving table! Use our Fall Acrylic Felt Value Pack and wrap utensils with them to make a unique cutlery holder. The possibilities are endless!

I think I’m in love with this design from the Silhouette Design Store!

One way to wind down is to wrap up in one of your quilts and take a nap. Or you can simply enjoy these...

Scraps quilt by Berta Fernandez Yero

Such a simple design. Very easy to make. Great use for fat quarters.

Another ORB Quilt | To be given as a wedding gift next weeke… | Flickr

simple  Love the monochromatic!  Aqua Blues?

Martingale - Simple Friendships - Kim Deihl"Autumn is in the air and this Handmade quilt will bring the warm shades of Fall into your home. This lap sized quilt is made of Cornucopia batiks."

River Run Designer Pattern: Robert Kaufman Fabric Company

Beautiful yellows and reds... cozy and friendly!  Butterscotch and Roses from Fig Tree and Oasis by 3 Sisters

I have to make one of these.  I've seen several lately and I love the horizantal stripes broken up by the vertical white.Made for my 16 year old son.  Still needs binding, but wanted to catch a picture this nice day!  Fabric: Curious Nature by Parson Gray Size: 67 by 90  Blogged at

PatchworknPlay: Daffodils in the Deep!

Giant blocks, each created from just five large pieces, make this zesty quilt  a snap to complete.Kim Diehl. i bought her book because of the gorgeous colors she uses

Autumn Splendor Burgundy and Multicolor Amish Quilt

To enjoy more quilt photos, visit my Pinterest board, "heart, quilts." 

A very happy thanksgiving to you and yours this week and every week of the year. If you live outside the U.S., feel free to take a moment to give thanks for the many blessings in your life. 

Thank you for visiting Fleur de Lis Quilts

How to Make Decorator Corners on Pillows Tutorial

Yesterday I promised to write a tutorial on how to create pillow corners so that the corners look square. They really aren't, but you'll see that in a moment. I'll assume that you've already sandwiched and quilted the front panel of your pillow cover and are ready to make the back and sew everything together.

Cutting the back panels
First determine the size you will need for the envelope backing.  Let's say you are making a 14" square pillow cover. Your back will need to be 14" in length. To determine the width, take that number (14") and divide by two (now you have 7") then add four inches (for a total of 11"). Cut two pieces of fabric 11" X 14". 

Let's do another one just for fun using 18" for the square pillow.
18 / 2 = 9 add the 4" overlap 9 + 4 = 13 so your backing panels will be 13" X 18".

Tip: You can use the same equation for any size pillow--just substitute the very first number (18 in this case).

Tip: I find that adding four inches works well, but you can make adjustments if you want more or less overlap. Keep in mind that more overlap makes getting the pillow form into the cover difficult. Less overlap will distort your pillow.

Hem the panels
Fold and press one long side to form a small ¼ inch hem, then fold and press again so the raw edge is completely enclosed. Sew your hem and repeat on the other 11" X 14" panel. In this next picture you can see how the panels are hemmed (blue arrow) and then placed on the pillow top.

Layer the pieces (RST)
You're ready to layer the pieces. Start with the quilted front of the pillow cover. Lay it down on your work surface, right side up. Place your back pieces so that the finished sides of seams are facing down and are in the center of the panel. In the picture above you can see how the sewn edges overlap each other in the center of the pillow cover. 

Mark the corners
Before you sew, you'll need to mark the pieces so that you can cut off a bit of each corner. A better way to explain this is to show you the outcome.

Notice how the purple and gold pillow has "bat ears" sticking out? The other pillow looks square. That's because I trimmed the corners to give it the illusion that it's square.

The way to achieve this look is actually quite easy. Begin at one corner of the pillow and measure ½ inch from the corner. Using a fabric pen, make a small dot. Now draw a line from the dot to about ¼ of the way toward the center edge like in the drawing. Draw lines on all four corners. Look at the photo below (yes, it's the same as above). You can see the drawn lines on each corner. Notice that I didn't draw lines all the way around the pillow. That's because I will use my normal seam allowance and don't really need lines. (Or maybe because I'm lazy.)

Sew all the way around the pillow cover, using the drawn lines as necessary in the corners. Just keep a ¼ inch allowance where you don't have lines.  Easy peasy! Tip: If you are using your home sewing machine, you should zigzag close to the straight seam to prevent raveling.


Once the seam is complete, trim the seam allowance to ¼ inch in the corners to make turning easier. Tip: Be careful that you don't cut the zigzag stitches.  

Turn and Press
All that's left is to turn the pillow cover right side out through the overlapped back. Be sure to push the corners out to get a nice, sharp point. A good steam pressing should do the trick to keep the seams nice and crisp.

Extra Tips!

When pressing the seams, try not to push down on the center of the pillow so the quilting will stay nice and puffy. 

This method also works for pincushions. Just be careful to adjust how much of the corner to trim down. Small corners mean less to cut off!

I sometimes sew and cut the corners just a hair more than ½ inch. It will bring the corners down and make them more square. Be careful, though, too much will give the corners a rounded look. This purple and gold one is a good example of that. 

Now it's your turn! Tell me about this tutorial. Is it detailed enough? Did you understand each part or is something about it confusing? Seriously, let me know if you would use it when making pillow covers. I've been thinking of writing a few more tutorials now that I have a little more time, so your feedback is important.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pretty Pillows ~~ finishes

I spent most of this afternoon quilting up a couple of pillows for a customer who plans to give them as Christmas gifts. 

Fun quilting! I mean really fun! My customer requested that I quilt the two new pillows like I quilted the cream part of this tricolor one.

I put the original pillow near the long-arm so I could easily refer to it when I needed inspiration. Of course, I added some new motifs. One of them was a mistake. lol So I made the mistake a couple more times. Plus, I had a few ideas that I decided to try out. 

They worked out quite well, so I've taken lots of close-up photographs. It's an easy way to remember what I did this time. Since the pillows will be gone in a two or three days, I won't have them as reference points.

The overall idea was simple: fill up the space with small, repetitive motifs. I used leaves, circles, flowers, tear-drops, feathers, scrolls, tiny stippling, and some things that I don't even have a name for.

If I had any sense, I'd try to draw them out in a notebook, but I haven't exhibited any attempts or sense. Maybe after I get the last of my Christmas sewing done. 

I plan to write a tutorial on how I sewed the pillows together. I especially want to explain how to get square, decorator corners, instead of pokey, pointy ones. Come back tomorrow or Sunday for that tutorial.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pin It Weekly #222

Dry-brining is a foolproof method that gives you tender, flavorful turkey every time. This recipe, infused with the flavors of garlic, lemon and thyme, is guaranteed to get raves as the centerpiece on your holiday table.Happy Pin It Weekly. Have you begun your countdown to Thanksgiving? What about your countdown to Christmas? I've started preparing for Thanksgiving because the entire Marcotte clan will be here for lunch. Our boys and their wives and children. The in-laws and their other son. Perhaps even a nephew and his family.

In other words I'll be prepping and cooking for a couple of days. Oh, did I mention that my oven doesn't work? It doesn't. It doesn't turn on. Or heat up. Or cook. Or anything else, except store things. It might work as a place to hide Christmas gifts. Just kidding. We don't need the fire hazard.

Roasting your thanksgiving turkey in a countertop roaster oven can simplify preparation by freeing up the oven for side dishes. Cook times and instructions for roasting meats and...
So I will cook creatively. Using two electric ovens that sit on the countertop. They are very much like the one in this photo. Mine can easily hold a turkey. I have no idea what the borrowed oven can do. I'll figure that out when it arrives. 

A former student MacKenzie has a sweet little board with ideas for a gallery wall. I really need to think about putting something on our walls. We painted two years ago and I have not hung even one item yet. My husband has a phobia of nail holes, I guess. He absolutely insists on these bare gray walls. It's time for an intervention. 

Hi friends... Just added a few fresh touches to our master bedroom gallery wall; loving the newest one from Patti @thesimplyinspiredshop. I love to find pieces that flow well together; have good textures, shapes and colors, but most importantly, reflect my life, style and personality! My favorite story is, of course my family and how I met my husband... A blind date; it's such a unique and fun story to tell. Sharing your story though pictures and gallery walls is a creative way to pers...

This super cool wall art is actually painted ceiling medallions #hgtvmagazine - Laura Cross - OutlookBrilliant 25 Creative Gallery Wall Ideas and Photos for 2017 Perhaps it was the simple fact which I moved nearly annually. It's much less hokey as it sounds. It is possible to observe the way that it turned out here. It is possible to go crazy if you wish to! You might already have everything.

So proud of my gallery wall! Found all of the decor at Hobby Lobby! Bench was my great grandmothers that chalk painted and distressed. Pillows under $3 on eBay. Blanket from my local dollar general.Paul Smith Store Wall design that I've been wanting to do at home for ages.

That nursery gallery wall is so gorgeous!

A gathering of white frames in different sizes and shapes.Using all the same frames on your gallery wall can give it a neat and organized look. LOVE that rustic / pallet bench too! Gallery wall ideas for your foyer.

So this is what a few of us have been pinning. I love the idea of incorporating different elements into a wall of portraits, but I am also insistent that those elements have meaning. Sure the items in places like Hobby Lobby or Kirklands are interesting and beautiful, but they are not a part of my family's story. And so rather than put something--anything--on the wall, I've put nothing.

Adding shelves to the mix when creating gallery walls creates a more exciting and diversified look!

Marvelous 25 Creative Gallery Wall Ideas and Photos for 2017 Perhaps it was the simple fact which I moved nearly annually. It's much less hokey as it sounds. It is possible to observe the way that it turned out here. It is possible to go crazy if you wish to! You might already have everything.It's beginning to bug me that I'm giving a different impression: that my family doesn't have a story. Wow! The idea is so far from real life that I've decided it's going to be our intervention theme. It might scare Richard enough to drive the nails (stick the Command hooks)  himself. 

Find these pins and other on my "gallery, wall" Pinterest board. Do you have a gallery wall? What are some of the items you've incorporated?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Of guilds and churches and crazy

I've been quite busy since our return from Houston. It seems that I can't catch up enough to remember what I want to write about. I am, after all, attempting to document some of my quilting life and a little of my life outside of quilting. In other words, quilting is not my only thing! It will, however, be more of my thing. 

Let me explain. The day after we returned from Houston (and one of the reasons we drove home on Sunday) the Cotton Quilters' Guild held its November meeting. It was rather important, since the agenda included finding out how much revenue the quilt show earned, how we'd spend that money, and voting for new officers. 

I had a show and share (the tee shirt quilt I wrote about here), but so did the other Mary in our club. Look how pretty her quilt top is. 

I don't remember exactly how much the show earned but probably shouldn't give that info anyway. We did vote to use some of the money to attend the Gulf States Guild Show in Slidell on April 14. I'm considering perhaps submitting a quilt or two for that show.

Then, of course, it was time to choose new officers. I think know I was railroaded. Nominated, seconded, voted, unanimous! And in the snap of the fingers, I was to become the new president. My reign presidency begins in January. Now, I will admit, I expected to be nominated. After all, the current president had warned me mentioned it in passing. 

What I did not expect was that no one else nominated anyone else. I was poorly prepared. I am ill prepared and likely will not get better. If the Cotton Quilters' Guild goes to heck in a handbasket, it certainly is no fault of Mary Marcotte. That's my excuse story and I'm sticking to it. It occurred to me that I don't even know the names of all the members. That thought came along well after I'd left the meeting, mind you. I have this uncanny penchant for sicking thoughts while I can fix do something any time it's too late. So I take use Scarlett O'Hara's plan, "I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow." (from Gone with the Wind) I suppose I'll think about the guild tomorrow.

Different Story (to avoid thinking)
Something of interest occurred in Houston. My friends and sisters and nieces and I were planning to meet up at the quilt show. We didn't. But we had to meet up because we were sharing the same hotel. This church steeple is so tall it can be seen from several areas around the convention center. We decided (while talking on the phone) to meet in front of the church since we could all see it. I pause here to say that my family is Catholic, but I had no idea what my friend's religion is. 

While parked in front of the church, I read a sign aloud because I do that some oftentimes. Angie (my sister) actually listened to me and heard 1) wwere sitting in front of Catholic church and 2) mass would begin in five minutes. "Wait! We need to attend mass! We can do that now." 


In three minutes we were parked, paid the meter, and were walking inside while calling Lee (the other sister) and her girls to tell them to come to mass to find us. Yes, Pam (oh, my poor friend) got caught in the fray and attended mass with five members of my crazy family. 

Pam was a trooper. It turns out she grew up in the Catholic church, so she was able to follow along and didn't mind being imposed upon. At least she said she didn't mind. Everyone even waited patiently after mass while I took pictures because I love churches. Patient but hungry so I got only a few pictures but some pretty good ones.

I suppose the moral of this post is that you never know what might happen when you're a Bourque girl. (Bourque is my maiden name.) And when you're with any of the Bourque family members, you are just along for the ride.

The church is absolutely beautiful, so thankfully, this particular ride ended a bit closer to heaven!