This is a wonderful reminder about the role each of us plays in each other’s lives. It’s from Frank Allocco, legendary basketball coach at DeLaSalle High School. Coach Allocco has been an amazing friend and mentor to my son.

Clink on this link:

How to be a Great Teammate



Moonshine Serenade

I made this quilt top as a tester for The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM). The pattern is in their May issue, if you’re interested. I chose a fabric that has an hombre effect for the sky. For the lake, I overlayed a silver mesh that I had laying around from a holiday idea that never came to fruition. The purple border fabric has a sparkle to it so I added a narrow black flange to keep the overall look from being too sticky sweet.


I wanted to make a quilt block of a house that looks a little like my house. I live in a stucco house in California. My house actually faces the hills, so I took a few liberties.

This design is very simple to make but feel free to design your own by following these steps.


1. First start with a sketch of the block on graph paper. I wanted my house block to finish at 12” x 12”, so each square of the graph paper represents 1”. Just draw straight lines. If I can do this, you can.


2. I like to play with color schemes using colored pencils, so I make a couple black-and-white copies of my drawing and fill in with colors I like. My house has a teal door :).


3. I also separated the block into columns on the graph paper, so I could easily see how to cut and assemble the pieces.




Cut 1 strip 2 1/2” x 12 1/2” for sky.

Cut 9 squares 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” for windows and corners of sky.

Cut 6 squares 2” x 2” for half-square triangles.


Cut 8 squares 2” x 2” for half-square triangles.

Cut 1 strip 1 1/2” x 8 1/2”.

Cut 2 strips 1 1/2” x 7 1/2”.

Cut 2 strips 1 1/2” x 3 1/2”.

Cut 3 strips 1 1/2” x 2 1/2”.

Cut 4 squares 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”.

Light Brown:

Cut 4 squares 2” x 2” for half-square triangles.


Cut 2 squares 2” x 2” for half-square triangles.

Cut 2 squares 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”.

Cut 5 strips 1 1/2” x 2 1/2”.


Cut 11 squares 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”.

Cut 5 strips 1 1/2” x 5 1/2”.


Cut 1 strip 1 1/2” x 2 1/2” for door.


Cut 3 squares 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” for grass.

Half-square triangles:

1. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of 6 white and 2 light brown and 2 red 2” x 2” squares. Place the 2” x 2” squares in pairs with right sides together as follows: 4 white squares with 4 browns squares, 2 white squares with 2 light brown squares, 2 brown squares and 2 light brown squares, and 2 brown and 2 red squares. 

2. Sew a scant 1/4” on either side of the drawn line for each pair of squares. Cut on the drawn line and press the seam of each half-square triangle toward the dark fabric. Trim each half-square triangle to 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”.


Assemble the block:

1. Arrange the cut pieces and half-square triangles in 12 columns using the sketch for reference. Make sure the half-square triangles are properly oriented.


2. Sew the pieces into 12 columns using a 1/4” seam allowance. Press each seam open.


3. Pin the columns together matching seams and stitch. Press seams open.


4. Stitch the 2 1/2” x 12 1/2” white piece to the top. Press seam toward the white piece.

5. Trim block to 12 1/2” x 12 1/2”.

Fuse simple tree, bush or sun shapes, if desired. Gorgeous!

Quilts for Boston fabric

This is the fabric I will use for Quilts for Boston blocks. The Boston Modern Quilt Guild is making quilts for the people affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. Anyone can make a block and send it to the guild. Please submit blocks by May 24th. For more information, click on my fabric photo or go to:

Sew messy

Test block for Esther

I made this block as a test block for Esther of ipatchandquilt. She’s in the Netherlands and designs some amazing paper pieced quilt blocks. She was looking for someone to proof this pattern.

Like a fool, I thought I could make it a little better by dividing the sections further and alternating sections with light and dark fabrics. Esther correctly predicted that matching all 16 points in the center of the block would be problematic and Yes It Was!

Still, I loved the way it turned out. Just a little messy in the center, but we here at SewMessy don’t really care about that! 🙂

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I believe in being a little messy, in life and certainly when sewing.

I thought you would get a kick out of the back of my test block before sewing the final seam.

Wouldn’t it be horrifying if people could see the back side of our quilt tops when they see our quilts? Maybe all quilters have a little “Sew Messy” inside them and their quilts!

This thread catcher is so simple to make and very useful. I’ve used it so much, that I made 2 more so I could have 1 on my ironing board and another on my cutting table.


I took a dollar store vase and an old wrist pin cushion from junior high home ec class. I removed the plastic wrist band and threaded a ribbon through the back of the pin cushion. I wrapped the ribbon around the narrowest part of the vase and tied a big bow in the back of the vase, like this.


I also like to put scissors, a rotary cutter, pen or pencil inside so I have a place for everything I need. It’s easy to lift out the other items when it’s time to dump those threads and trimmings. I keep the trimmings and need to know, WHAT TO DO WITH THE TRIMMINGS?? They are too pretty to throw away.


Now it’s back to the dollar store to get another vase so I can have a thread catcher vase by my recliner, where I do my handsewing.

Let me know what you think of this idea!

If nothing else, it beats the sad, saggy sack of yester year. Here’s a picture I pulled off the internet. Gee, I thought there was a requirement that all thread catchers be made of cat fabric. 🙂