Sunday, February 4, 2018


Hey quilters....hope all is going well. I wanted to share this fun easy project that is an excellent gift idea for a b-day present...Mother's or for any special occasion. It's a "Hot Pad used for serving dishes while entertaining." You'll learn "Sew Many" techniques for the beginner quilter or for us "Seasoned quilters/seamstresses", you'll get a head start on your Christmas projects...(12-Mos. of Quilt-Mas) & a great "Stash Buster". You'll get to make this project from home & being a former 4-H Leader, I fully understand time-saving projects. This is a "quilting it forward" for me. My sweet friend gave me this block last summer and it was all hand quilted from her mother-in-law. She knew I love to collect old quilts and blocks and she thought I could do something fun with it. Well, she recently purchased a new home so I thought what better way then to "give it back" as a house-warming gift. I wanted to compliment the original design by "keeping it old school" with sweet antique style fabrics & simple quilting techniques. Quilts back in the day so to speak were primarily used for quilts are an amazing work or art. The "New" is this block is all sewn & appliqued with Aurifil thread. If you don't already know this excellent thread Facebook Alex Veronelli. Aurifil thread has so many color hues & weights for all  your sewing projects. I will post pics with instructions along the way to make this project fun & some "unforeseen quilt-bloopers." Before starting any 4-H project make sure you meet all project requirements through your county extension office.  As me if you have any q's. Enjoy!

Blessed Quilting from my Home to Yours,
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Here's the original block and finished Hot Pad...

HINT....if you don't have a old block to start with just "fussy cut" a 7x7 inch square from your favorite fabric design.

Here's all you do...
*cut border strips 1 1/2 x 12 inches of your coordinating fabric (about 8 strips)
*using the "Log Cabin Method" sew one border strip to top of block (right sides of fabric together)...cut threads...finger press seam & square up border using a rotary cutter with original block.
HINT...if you are using "light print fabrics" make sure you have the right sides together when laying border strips (trust me) :-)
* Sew right border on and use same method above...trimming and squaring up as you go.
*Sew bottom border then left border using same method above.
*Continue with same method above until you've sewn two complete borders on making the "Log Cabin design"
*Iron block and square up at this time if needed.
*Your block should roughly be 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 at this time.
HINT...if you are using "light print fabrics" make sure you have the right sides together when laying border strips together (trust me)

Rotary cut a 3 x 9" strip of your leaf fabric.
Cut same size strip of "Heat n Bond" fusible light & following manufactures directions fuse to wrong side of leaf fabric.
Trace the leaf design on the paper side of heat n bond lite...cut with paper scissors (not your fabric scissors)
HINT...I have scissors and rotary cut scissor marked for sewing and paper so I don't get confused. Keeps your scissors sharper and blades last longer as well. I put my dull blades in a "plastic Nutella jar" great safe way to store before throwing away.
I also have a separate Iron used for fusing and use a re-usable pressing sheet to help keep my iron clean.

Now is the time to applique around your leaves and flower motif if it's not already done. If you are new to appliqueing ask an adult to help teach you this fun technique. All sewing machines have a applique stich along with a specific foot attachment to make this technique easy. Always remember to do a sample square if you are first learning this technique.
HINT...make a sweet "Mug Rug" as a gift to practice your applique techniques. You can use the same method that you are currently learning for the "Hot Pad", just in a smaller scale.
Remember...while appliqueing....coordinate your thread with your fabric if needed. If you are new to sewing ask an adult to teach you how to change threads & bobbin thread if needed.

Now let the fun begin...
Rotary cut backing fabric & batting ( I use low-loft batting for less bulk) the same size as your block.
Lay block and fabric backing "right sides together"
Place batting on top of fabric
Sew a 1/4 inch seam around square leaving a 3" seam opening (this will be used to turn block inside out)
Reinforce your seam openings while starting & stopping. I like to pin my 3" opening a different direction to help with starting & stopping...see pic below of pin direction and fabric layouts.

Turn block inside out.../Press & Measure block. this time make sure all your seams were sewn (except 3" opening).If not turn outside in and sew the seam you missed. No Problem! See pic...happens to us all :-)

HINT...use a #2 Pencil eraser to smooth the layers together inside the block & to straighten corners, or use your best tools ever...your fingers! (That's why I make a 3" opening to help get inside block to smooth fabric.
Now cut a piece of "Insul-Bright" about a 1/8" smaller then your block size.
Tri-fold insul-bright and insert into the 3" opening.
Using your pencil eraser carefully smooth insul-bright to fit your square.
Take your time with this step.
Press with Iron to help with the bulk before quilting.
Fold in sides of your 3"opening together inline with your seam.
Hand stich opening with coordinating thread or use washable fabric glue to enclose opening.

Now you're ready to get creative with your block!
HINT...choose your decorative stitches you wish to use. On a scrap piece of fabric practice with the stitch width & length until your get your desired stitch. I have a pad/pen in my top drawer of sewing machine to write down the stitch settings while sewing. This is a great tip especially if you turn off your machine before finishing your project. Another trust me! :-)
*I appliqued the log cabin seams just as I sewed it to compliment the block design. Do the same if you wish.
Aurifil 50# 4093 was used for appliqueing the log cabin stitching & leaves.
Aurifil 50# 3910 variegated thread used to outline stitch two rows around center flower.
I kept the quilting simple to compliment the original block.

Care instructions...due to this being a "hot pad for serving dishes" spills may occur....fully recommend to spot clean when possible...if laundering is needed place pad in a laundry mesh bag & machine wash cold on delicate cycle....air dry...iron if needed.

I hope you enjoyed this project & feel free to send pics or email me any q's....
Remember....sewing & quilting is's your project...get creative & enjoy every moment!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Hey everyone....hope all is going well. I wanted to share the Pantone 2018 color of the year...18-3838 Ultra Violet. Oh my all you purple lovers...this is definitely your year! This color is very vibrant and stunning. As a designer, I can definitely see this as a dominant color mixed with greys...neutrals with black accents. This would be a great color in a child's room as well. When you're out shopping, look at plastics...towels, etc....usually the color of the year gets incorporated into a lot of accents for decorating. As always, email me if you have any design q's....always glad to help! Consulting and Space Planning is my specialty. View more about this great color hue on

Blessings from my Home to Yours,
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"A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity & visionary thinking that points us toward the future" more at

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Hey quilters....wanted to share my recent post on my cooking's the New Year and getting back on the "diet train" has been a bit difficult. Wanted to share my tips just in case anyone else needs a bit of encouragement. Please share your tips as well. Pop on over to my cooking blog and see who's my "life coach"...who gives me my "text-me-ups". Enjoy!

Blessings from my Home to Yours,
Facebook...I heard it through the quilt-vine
                                                   "Farmhouse Healthy Snack Tray"

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Do you suffer from N.E.Q.T.(Not Enough Quilting Time)

Hey quilters...hope all is going well.....a snow day here in Texas! Love looking out my sewing room window and seeing birds especially cardinals in the snow. Well my question you suffer from N.E.Q.T? That's right...."Not Enough Quilting Time". I know this past Christmas flew by for me and I had wished that I had the time to make more gifts. My Gramma Stetson once said...."the greatest gift comes from the heart". That has stuck with me throughout all my years.
So here's the meds that cause those nasty side effects....its 12 Mos. of Quilting w/ my new series on blog..."Cats Farmhouse Quilting & Cats Farmhouse Christmas"....all you need is your favorite fabric & Aurifil thread. We'll have pattern designs all from this one sweet block below and all designed in EQ7 with easy techniques to follow along. The designs will all derive from the block below which include....table pads....lap quilt & baby quilts banners etc. They will make great gifts for Weddings....House Warming or any special occasion throughout the year. I will be showing a sweet technique to make rustic fabric or you can purchase wood look fabric for the designs or give it a "scrappy look" from your stash. Some of the designs will be combining Bright Batiks by Hoffman mixed with my rustic fabric. I'm excited about these new designs....and excited about getting gifts done throughout the year. I don't know about you but sometimes just going through my Christmas fabric makes me happy.
Here's a sneak peak of the block....hope you're excited as I am... Enjoy!

Blessings from my Home to Yours,
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                                                                   Farmhouse Block

Monday, January 1, 2018


Happy New Year everyone! Along with all the Holiday cheer comes left overs....and for me that is not good cause today it's back to reality....dieting that is! Yesterday, I came up with a plan....gather all the left over "Christmas Cheer" and do something with them. As the old saying goes "outa sight...outa mind"....well I didn't want to waste anything especially my "low fat fudge" and had some left over candy from decorating the Elf on the Shelf gingerbread house with Grandson Davin oh and bits and pieces that were used to decorate here's what I came up with....have to say that I had a blast making this bread pudding and it's very d-lish! I even threw in 2 innocent left over bananas for good measure :-). I will admit excited about the New Year but not so excited to get back into dieting again. Well....maybe this will help me and anyone else that doesn't need that "tempting" left over "Christmas Cheer" hanging around. Enjoy!

Blessing from my Home to Yours,

Here's all you do...
Spray a large glass pan
Mix well 3 eggs...3/4 c heavy crème....1 tsp. vanilla...1/2 tsp. nutmeg & 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Spread about 3-4 cups of your left over bread from making the Snow Flake sandwiches (previous post) or use some left over bread and break into tiny pieces.
Now have fun layering all your left over "Christmas Cheer"....I even unwrapped kisses....used choc chipe...m&m's and my low fat fudge cut into tiny pieces....used up my pieces of walnuts and pecans from baking cookies and 2 bananas.....have fun with this part! 
Pour the egg mixture over all this yummy goodness and bake in  a 375* oven for about 20-30 carefully cause ovens vary. 
I let mine cool and leftovers kept in the fridge for the rest of the family to snack on. I had a blast making this and feel so much better waking up this morning and starting off the New year without tempting candy steering me in the face. Enjoy!


Hey quilters....Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying this special time....reflecting back and making new lists for the new year. For some odd reason my lists are usually the same every year so now I just go "ditto but only better"...less stress :-). I'm taking a moment to update a step on the Halloween One-Z quilt....yes, I know it may be a bit late for some but due to receiving several emails I decided to go ahead and post. Hopefully this year we have no hurricanes and life will go smoother. I am looking forwarded to my "12 mos. of Quilt-Mas"...I've almost got the pattern designed in my EQ7 and currently working on certain squares to have advanced techniques as well. I love hearing from you and especially when I hear that you are just starting to quilt. Just remember to never get frustrated cause it's your quilt...make it your way & that's why quilting is so quilt and sew from your heart! Anyway....still taking down Christmas...enjoying the sun this morning...thank God cause it's 24* in Texas! Keep checking for the new posts to follow along on the "12 mos. of Quilt-Mas" and follow on my facebook page...I heard it through the quilt-vine....Have a great New Year and looking forward to quilting together! 

Blessings from my Home to Yours,

One-Z step one...for a 10.5 x 12.5 back ground fabric fold One-z to fit  7 x 10 inches. (See diagram...I trim the back side of the one-z so you have less bulk to fuse.
Tip....Sleeves cut longer and tuck in....allows for a smoother shape of one-z
Press one-z if needed.
Try not to be too perfect. Less stress due to the one-z's probably have been washed several times and the cotton does distort a bit. Tweak as you go while tucking the sides in.
*With rotary cutter cut strips of "Heat n Bond Lite" to fit your basic square of one-z (see pic)
*Fuse to back of one-z following manufactures direction on heat-n-bond lite.
*Make sure the shape is to your liking if not tweak at this time
*Remove backing and fuse to center of your t-shirt fabric
*Applique as desired (I use Aurifil 50# thread for strength)
You might hand sew areas at this time (shoulders).
Press hard when fusing due to the layers and always use pins that can take heat just in case you touch them with your iron when fusing.
When getting ready to applique...mark your squares to the number of layout to keep them in order.
Then group by thread color for faster appliqueing. 
Make notes if you need to go back to a certain one to do some hand sewing.

This is the same technique that I use on all of my T-Shirt quilts. I will be doing another large one this year for my grandson so will keep you posted on that one as well. Hope this helps and email me any q's. Show your finished products anytime or please share if you have a better way. That's what this blog is all about...."Sharing Tips Among Friends"
                                                                   One-Z Step One
                                                                   One-Z Step Two
                                                                      Left Corner
                                                  Center One-Z w/ one sleeve out and flap
                                                      Right corner & Scrappy Border
                                            Hexagon Spider appliqued w/ Aurifil 50# black

Sunday, December 31, 2017

"New Years Blessing & Cats Texas Style New Years Brunch recipe"

Hey quilters....hope everyone is enjoying the Holidays. This year has flown by so fast for me and can't believe it's New Years Eve. Wanted to wish everyone a Blessed 2018 and share this fast & easy Tamale casserole with you. This is a great crowd pleasure for any occasion. My family loves it and I've taken it to many quilt luncheons and church functions as well. Thanks so much for emailing me for the last step of my T-shirt quilt tutorial. Going to Florida to do some hurricane work delayed my posting a bit so I was so thrilled to receive emails from you for the last steps. As always feel free to share your finished projects anytime especially on my Facebook page. I will be sharing many fast and easy quilt patterns this coming year with you. I love making gifts and Christmas time so I decided to share "12 mos. of Quilt-Mas" this year. Fun gift sharing gifts to make throughout the year so you're not like me doing last minute sewing and quilting. Anyway...thanks again for a wonderful year and pop on over to my cooking blog for this fast and delish tamale casserole. Enjoy!

Blessed Quilting from my Home to Yours,