Quilter’s Bee Giving – Prizes Galore!

Don’t forget to sign up for the Quilter’s Bee Giving raffle and auction. The giveaways have been EXTENDED to DEC 15, so you’ve still got plenty of time left to gift yourself with great prizes (that you can use) and it’s all for a good cause (four causes–read about them at the link above).

there’s 17 prizes in the  AUCTION worth over $1900


there’s 20 prizes in the RAFFLE worth over $1600

Quilter's Bee Dec

SewCalGal has found some of the best prizes ever–and there will be lots of winners. But most of all the charities that these benefit are the biggest winners. Please visit HopeforHH.org to find out about the organization that I support.

My first granddaughter was born with hypothalamic hamartoma which is a lifelong and very rare condition. Without the volunteer efforts of the women who founded HopeforHH, many children would face devastating results as this brain tumor causes progressive intractable seizures and cognitive decline when it is not treated. Many doctors have never seen a patient with this kind of brain tumor and it goes undiagnosed unless the parents are able to find information about the symptoms and are able to find a doctor who can diagnose and treat. And getting information and resources to patients and their doctors is what we’re all about at HopeforHH.

Shadowed Rail Fence Variation

Sherry has taken some scraps and made a wonderful variation on the Rail Fence. It is a beautiful design, so I am going to show you pictures and do a brief tutorial on putting the block together. The instructions are linked under Free Quilt Patterns on the right.

Here’s the finished quilt:

Shadow Rail Fence quiltShadowed Modified Rail Fence

And this is the block with cutting instructions. You can cut with a rotary cutter or use your AccuQuilt strip dies. If you use the AccuQuilt strip dies, use the 3-1/2″, 2-1/2″, and 1-1/2″. You would cut 6-1/2″ across the width of fabric and then fanfold the fabric across the die:

SRF Block Cut Instr.

Arrange your blocks as shown here or in the instructions–or play around with it and come up with your own design. These would look great set on point or in a pinwheel or converging to a center. In EQ, I played with the colors and switched the light and medium. That’s really pretty too.

Shadow Rail Fence EQ

Quilt Rescue

A couple of weeks ago I had the urge to just sit and stitch and stitch and decided to make a jelly roll race quilt with my stash of red and black and white fabrics (mostly batiks). When the jelly roll race quilt top was finished, it was unsightly to say the least. I can’t even find a photo of it–and you know how I take pictures. You will just have to believe me. At that point, I folded it up and set it aside.

Over the weekend, I needed something to putter with after making all those capes. It seemed there had to be a way to save all that fabric and that the quilt top could be cut up to make something else. I played around with a few things like an equilateral triangle and a tumbler. They were fine, but everything seemed to have a lot of points or corners to match, and I wanted something quick and easy. At this point, the goal is to make this a leader and ender project.

While playing around with the equilateral triangle, it struck me that a Chevron design might be the answer. And by taking off two strips at a time and using the quarter square triangle die for the 6 inch square, a great save and pretty project was created. The gray is a Kona cotton, color Iron.



Superhero Capes

My twin grandsons are celebrating their 5th birthday soon and will be having a birthday party with invited friends their own age. Always in the past, their birthday has been a family occasion. As a party favor, my daughter decided that they should give Superhero Capes, as the twins love them so much. It seems like a lot, but the party is for two children so that makes it a bit more reasonable. The capes were made by PipandBean Etsy Shop, and they are adorable. The colors are absolutely wonderful. The cost of having Pip and Bean add the emblems to 20 capes was too much, so Grandma was tasked (actually Grandma volunteered) to make and add emblems to each cape. And I have been totally immersed in that the past three days.

Here are some pictures of my adventures. Unfortunately the emblems are too large to cut with an AccuQuilt, so they have all been cut by hand. I do wish I had ordered the bullseye Studio dies, as I would have loved having the smaller circles cut so nicely with it. The outer circle is 10-1/2″ (used my longarm circles for that. However, I have three rotary cutters and none of them would cut through the eco-felt or the wool felt, so they all had to be cut with scissors. Also tried the Silhouette on the eco-felt and that didn’t work either. This sounds like a challenge that should be pursued. . .I have cut smaller felt shapes with my AccuQuilt and it cuts great.

IMG_4775 IMG_4779 IMG_4784


Grandmother’s Flower Garden Options

Grandmother’s Flower Garden is a very fun machine embroidery project because it goes so fast. Because of the size of the hexagons, I was able to use jelly roll strips for cutting the hexagons. I just fanfolded the strip across the hexagon die and cut six hexies at a time. (However, the new multi-hexie die came yesterday, so now I can cut more at a time. I hope it works as well with the jelly roll.

I’ll do a full tutorial as soon as I take some pics of the process, but will just explain it here. These are the steps.

1. Hoop fabric and stabilizer. (I used the Sulky Soft n Sheer cut away stabilizer – it is wonderful for light weight stitches for soft quilts). The fabric was hooped on point.

2. Stitch the placement line for the hexies onto the background fabric.

3. Use a glue stick or pen just inside the placement line of each hexie.

4. Place the center hexie first, then add the flower petal hexies. They fit together like a puzzle and go right up to the stitches and each other. You can use a cuticle stick or Purple Thang if needed to manipulate them. The glue softens the fabric and makes it easy to manipulate.

5. Put it back onto your machine and stitch away. The design will stop to use a different color for the center, but I decided I liked having a lighter/contrast center fabric and having the design stitch in the same color as the petals.

As for the design, I tried multiple layouts. My goal was to make the flowers sit together in the same layout as a traditional GFG. The only way I knew to do that was to set the blocks fairly close together on a solid background. After stitching nine flowers, I stopped. I had drawn a grid on the fabric and was aligning each grid on the hoop for each flower. The weight of the fabric was too much. I realized I could get the same effect with blocks set on point, so that’s when I changed to the current layout. Here’s what I have so far.

These blocks will finish at 7″ x 7″. They will be closer together by 1/2″ when the seams are finished. I think I like this. If they’re still too far apart, I may cut them down to finish at 6-1/2 x 6-1/2″. This is one time I don’t mind having an odd sized block if it makes the project work.


I tried multiple layouts in EQ7 to see what would work. You can see the options below. It was very difficult to get an alternate block with squares an even size when the finished block would be 7″.

gfg 9 patch gfg alt block gfg on point gfg sashed

HH Community

Although I almost always write about quilting or machine embroidery, today is a story about how small the world community of families dealing with hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) actually is and how it transcends location and language. It truly is about one family helping another and everyone working together to raise these beautiful children.

Now we have Facebook and other social media ways to keep in touch and support each other. When Ezri was diagnosed there was a Yahoo group and Youtube. Even though we were not always aware that Ezri’s behaviour was actually seizure activity, we made many videos of her and shared them on YouTube.

My daughter received an email one day from a mother in Italy who had seen Ezri’s YouTube videos. Her child was having the same gelastic (laughing) and dacrystic (crying) seizures. The two mothers corresponded with each other, and the little boy in Italy was diagnosed with a giant HH very similar to Ezri’s. However, there was no surgeon in Italy who had experience with the surgery needed to remove the HH. My daughter talked with our surgeon and connected the two. Our surgeon was willing to volunteer his time and travel to perform or assist with the surgery in Italy. Then our surgeon in the US, who knew a surgeon in Italy, worked with the medical system in Italy to make arrangements to go there and assist with the surgery. It is always difficult to work out details for specialized services in other countries because of their nationalized health system and the limitations of allowed services. In this case, it took negotiations all the way to the top government officials in Italy. But all of the surgeons persisted until the day arrived and the little boy had his surgery.

This is just one of many stories about how our website and social media allows our world community to work together to help these children. Parents feel so alone when their children have these unusual seizure symptoms and  begin to have cognitive delay. Having another parent who can say, I know what that is, this is how it can be treated, and these are the doctors that can help you changes the lives of these children and their families.

Ezri reading to Owen
Ezri reading to her little brother

Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop

The Fall Machine Embroidery blog hop kicks off today showcasing designs from the Embroider Shoppe. You’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational projects and many chances for you to win your favorite ME design collection from Embroider Shoppe too!
Fall ME Blog Hop copy
Monday, November 4th
Tuesday, November 5th:
Wednesday, November 6th:
Thursday, November 7th:
Friday, November 8th:

Quilter’s Bee Giving Donation Information

Link to full info about Quilter’s Bee Giving, donations, and prizes

Donate to HopeforHH.org:Complete the donation form and submit by Paypal or Credit Card, send email designating that this is for Quilter’s Bee Giving for your raffle tickets

Quilter’s Bee Giving Kickoff

Today is November 1 and the first day of the Quilter’s Bee Giving Kickoff which will run through the month of November. SewCalGal has organized this fundraiser to raise awareness and support for four different charities. We are honored that she has selected HopeforHH.org as one of those charities. This fundraiser will be a raffle with tickets at $1.00 each for some wonderful prizes.

I’d like to tell you a little about HopeforHH.org, and the reason I am so involved with it. Our granddaughter, Ezri, was born with a very large and very rare brain tumor called a hypothalamic hamartoma. It was so rare that we had never even heard of it although both my husband and I were on the faculty of the medical school for more than 20 years. And not only had we not heard of it, neither had most of the doctors. And if they did know what it was, they had never had a patient with it. This tumor is located very deep in the brain and is attached to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a control center for many things including emotions, thirst, hormone levels, temperature regulation, and other functions.

The primary symptoms of this tumor are gelastic (laughing) and dacrystic (crying) seizures and precocious puberty. These seizures are so subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) that parents often go years believing that their children are just behaving inappropriately. However, the precocious puberty cannot be mistaken and frequently is the reason children are first diagnosed. Left untreated, the seizures will progress to more serious complex and tonic clonic seizures and cognitive function becomes very impaired. Nothing is more devastating than to see a child born with normal intelligence and function decline in this way.

HopeforHH.org is a volunteer based nonprofit organization founded by parents of children with hypothalamic hamartomas (HH).  Our goal is to create a single, credible source for information about the diagnosis, treatment, and support of individuals with HH. Every family touched by this rare disorder has a unique and often heart-breaking story of how they attained a correct diagnosis. Obtaining a correct diagnosis can take months and even years and often involves incorrect diagnoses. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, many families struggle with choosing an appropriate course of treatment, if one is even available. Regardless of treatment, managing the daily lives of HH patients and dealing with the long term and frequently devastating effects of HH requires ongoing information and support.”

You can read about the many efforts of this organization which include hosting a website to centralize information and provide a community forum for families; and organizing and co-sponsoring meetings which included webinar facilities so that physicians and families from around the world can participate and discuss hypothalamic hamartoma. The organization has a Medical Advisory Board of physicians from around the world who meet and advise the volunteer Board as to ways to further the purpose of the organization.

All funds that are donated go to sponsor these activities as all personnel are volunteers. In the coming weeks, I will share with you some very inspiring stories of ways this organization and the physicians who support it have made a huge difference in the lives of affected children and their families.