Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Gift For My Niece

I found this fabulous Day of the Dead fabric from Alexander Henry (who else?), and knew right away I had to make my niece Christina something out of it. She is a collector of Day of the Dead figurines, etc.
I decided to use my pattern "Magical Slice and Dice" (pattern link) and have fun with the fabrics. I made it this summer while my sister and I were in Las Vegas at a Mary Ellen Hopkins seminar. Since my sister Melinda is a long arm quilter (and the quilt was for her daughter), she took it home with her and quilted it for me. You can visit her blog to see some of her other work.
Christina and her family were here for Christmas so I was able to give it to her in person. I think she really liked it, I know I did.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mexican Wedding Cakes

Merry Christmas Eve.......

This morning while sitting, reading the paper and drinking a cup of coffee I was watching Regis and Kelly. Each year Kelly has her kids on the show and they make something. This year they made Mexican Wedding Cakes. They looked simple and cute and so I thought to myself, I'm Mexican and I've never made Mexican Wedding Cakes and why not? So off to the kitchen I went to see if I had all the ingredients. At first I couldn't find pecans, so I almost made them with almonds (I was not about to go the grocery store). But sure enough in the freezer was a bag of pecans. These were so easy to make it's amazing. They are really light and not too sweet. The only problem is you made a mess when you eat one because the powered sugar goes everywhere. I think I've found a new cookie to make for the holidays. I hope you try them. Here is the link to the recipe. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Totes and Notepads? Oh My!

So I've decided maybe I'm getting just a little compulsive about the Lazy Girl Tote Bag pattern . I've now made another change that includes a matching notebook. Before making the bag as described in the pattern (using 1 yard of fabric) I cut off 7" first (to be used to make the matching notepad). Then instead of cutting 4" from 1 selvage edge, I cut 2 - 4" pieces, one from each selvage edge, thus making the handles a little longer. That's the only change I made and ended up with a nice size tote approximately 13 1/2" tall by 16" wide.

With that 7" I cut off at the beginning I made a cover for a steno pad using my pattern "Not Just Another Notepad" available at When you check out the Two Wacky Women website you can see that we offer a free pattern (currently The Bookcover) but we should be changing it in January so at that time I will post the Notepad cover pattern for a short time, so keep checking. I think this is going to make a wonderful, easy and inexpensive gift for someone. Now I just have to figure out who.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tamale/Christmas Party

Wednesday night my friendship group "The Wednesday Wacko's" met at my house for our annual Tamale/Christmas Party. This picture was taken at the beginning of the tamale making extravaganza, notice there is very little mess at this point but we've already poured the wine. There are a total of 11 in our friendship group but unfortunately 2 were unable to make it that night. Terri (the one closest and with her back to the camera) is the tamale ring leader and it is her job to try to keep us on track.

Here is a picture of just some of the tamales that were made. In total I think we made over 400. We used 6 pork roasts and I believe 40 pounds of masa. That's a heck of a lot of tamales for each of us to have over the Christmas Holiday and to freeze for later in the year. After making all the tamales, I cooked some so that we could all sample them. They are really, really good!

After sampling the fruits of our labor it was on to our gift exchanges. It is so much fun to see what everyone comes up with, some are home made and some purchased but always they are very special. This year it looks like we have two challenges ahead of us. One is to border and frame the embroidered saying "Kwitchyerbellyakin" and the second it to make something from the really cute "Diva" fabric. Our motto is:

Wacko's Rule!

Oh Wait....we have no rules

Don't you just love our motto? I do and I love my Wacko friends.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

With Love Tote Bag with longer straps I made another tote bag. This time instead of cutting of 4" from one selvage edge I cut a 4" selvage piece from both edges so that I have longer straps. It worked beautifully and the finished tote still turns out to be a large 16" high by 17" wide. Plenty big enough to carry lotsa stuff and go over my shoulder. I'm going to make one more and this time box the bottom just for the heck of it. If you need the link to the free pattern, you will find it on my previous entry.


With Love Tote Bag

Yesterday someone on one of my Yahoogroups shared the link to a very simple tote bag. Well, I design patterns including tote bags but I have never seen one made as clever and easy as this. So this morning I made one that I will use as a gift bag for a quilt for my niece. From start to finish it probably took me 1/2 hour, not bad I'd say. Now, I can never leave well enough alone so I plan to make another one with just a few minor changes. The bag shown is quite large 16" deep x 19" wide and I think it would work well just slightly narrower. I'll give it a try and if it works out I'll post the minor changes I make. Here's the link for the pattern

Thank you Joan Hawley, Lazy Girl Designs!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sewing Notions Bag

Tonight is my friendship groups tamale making/Christmas party. I made these cute sewing notions bags for everyone. Although I used the same fabric on some of them, I made them each slightly different by adding different binding. On the inside of the flap is a piece of wool felt to hold pins and needles. I used a snap instead of Velcroto avoid having all the threads getting caught. What started out as a simple project turned out to be a little more involved than I thought but they are finally done and wrapped up for tonight.

We were suppose to get-to-gather at someone else's house but at the last minute she became ill so my house is the backup. We have made tamales for the last few years and it is just so much fun, I can't begin to tell you. We drink a little wine, eat a few snacks, assemble tamales, and enjoy each others company. I can hardly wait. I'll post pictures tomorrow of the tamales.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Let There Be Lights

It's time for Christmas lights at the Gallagher house. We love to decorate for the holidays and John has a great time decorating outside. Here is a before and after picture of the outside of our home. He's still not happy with the Christmas tree, he's been looking all over for the perfect Angel for the top, but at this rate I doubt that he's going to find exactly what he wants this year. This weekend I will be decorating the inside of the house but I don't think I have nearly as much fun as he does.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Dress from Enchanted

Last night was my friendship groups (Wednesday Wackos) movie night. We try to go to the movies once a month and see a "Chick" flick. Enchanted isn't exactly a "Chick" flick but it was sure a fun movie to see. It was a Disney movie in the true since, everyone lives happily ever after.

I was recently on vacation in New York and while passing a Disney Store window saw the "perfect" Princess dress from the movie. This photo doesn't do it justice, it is absolutely gorgeous and exactly what every little girls dreams of. Click on the picture to get a nice close up look.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Back to Sewing

Today was a great day. After doing some laundry and getting some grocery shopping done, I finally had time to sit down and sew.

This is a quilt top I started a long time ago. In fact I really don't remember what I intended to do with the blocks originally but a while back Marilyn showed me a picture of a quilt she wanted me to design and write a pattern for. It turned out to not be exactly what she showed me but something similar with the same feel. I went home that night and found the blocks. I have a unique way of assembling them so that they end up on point. I had the center completed a few months ago but I finally added the 4 borders today and here are the results.

This is a quilt I intend to pattern and may in fact be the first quilt for a book Marilyn and I have talked about. So for now I won't publish a pattern but will write the instruction and hold on to it.

My sister Melinda Fulkerson ( is a wonderful long arm quilter so I've asked her to quilt this one for me. I usually just use my really old handiquilter and do some loopty loops or overall meander but I think this one needs some special attention. I'll post another picture of the quilt once it's quilted and I get it back.

I now have to work on getting borders on a Magical Slice and Dice quilt so that it can be quilted and ready to be shown in January. Once it's done, I'll give you a sneak peek.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Totes, Totes, Totes

I don't believe for minute that I am the only one with a tote bag addiction. I have no idea how many I have nor do I have any desire to count or even find all of my tote bags. Like most of you I have every sort of bag, some I've purchased, some I've been given and some I have made. I have large ones, small ones, pretty ones and yes even ugly ones. But a person can never have too many tote bags just too many to find a place to put them.

If you're an addict like me, maybe you'd like to make your own shopping bags, I have pattern that I designed on my website , that way you can have even more bags.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day Three - Finished at last

No pictures today. The room still looks pretty much like yesterday but everything is put away. A lot of fabric has been donated and junk has been junked. It's amazing that as I started to put all the UFO's away (had to get them out of John's room) some of them no longer had the appeal that they did when I started. Some of those UFO's have now found their way into the Goodwill pile. I still have to clean off each of my shelves and I need to continue going through my fabric and getting rid of the old and unwanted, but for now I'm done.

Now it's time to get to work and finish some of those UFO's and start some new projects, hopefully I can keep from buying more fabric for a little while. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day Two - Slow but Sure

Well the work is just as hard but the progress is not nearly as noticable. The desk and printer area are cleared, the cutting table is still clean and the top of the cabinets has been relieved of all it's junk. The top of the cabinets look quite different without a laundry basket on top. I've started going through the fabric baskets, getting rid of the fabric I know I will never use.

I need to clean off all the shelves but I don't think I'm going to have time tomorrow. I have to find a place for all my UFO's that are sitting in John's office as well as make more room in the fabric baskets for the fabric that's out in the hall. I think I will put a plan in place to attack one shelf a day. My granddaughter Emily counted the shelves and there are 18. If I do just one a day, I'll be finished before Christmas, so that's my goal.

Onward and upward!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I have a Floor

Well it's hard to believe but I've discovered I actually have a floor in my studio. Who Knew? I've been working all day one of my husband being gone and have made some real progress. I've filled two big green trash bags with trash/junk, I have a box filled with things to donate, a huge pile of UFO's, and a pile of fabric that needs to somehow find it's way into the closet. The top of the cutting table is cleared and half my desk/sewing table is cleared off. I'm going to do just a little more this evening then continue tomorrow morning. Wish me luck for day two!

Confessions of a Quilt Studio Slob

The time has come to attack my total mess of a sewing studio. Believe it or not, the rest of my house is fairly presentable but I am totally out of control in my sewing studio. It's a fairly small room and in order to clean it our right, I need to temporarily spread out into the rest of the house. Since my husband is leaving for a short golf vacation, the time has come. I have 3 days to complete my task. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Life

Welcome to my life. For those that don't know me, I LUV to quilt. I enjoy the entire process. I design, write and publish my own patterns, most of them can be seen at . Along with my partner, Marilyn, I own a business appropriately named Two Wacky Women. We host and facilitate retreats, we vend at a variety of quilt shows and we offer a wide variety of patterns. This is a picture of one of my latest patterns, Magical Slice and Dice.

I have been married to my husband, John, for 26 years. Between us we have 4 grown children and 4 grandchildren. He loves to play golf and poker while I'm busy with all of my activities. We are both retired from the real world (IBM and Johnson and Johnson) but find ourselves very busy working on my quilting passion. John is the Two Wacky Women accountant/bookeeper and webmaster. He loves to complain but I know he loves doing both.
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