How to fight Lex Luther using only fabric
The Fat Quarter Gypsy Quilt Designs
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How to fight Lex Luther using only fabric

A Tour of My Christmas Tree

by Joanne Hillestad on 12/17/18

A Tour of My Christmas Tree

We love to collect ornaments during trips.  So you do the same?  Here is a quick tour of our Christmas tree and some of the ornaments we collected on family vacations.

Mount Vernon, 2013

Colorado, 2009

Grand Canyon, 2015ish

Royal Gorge, Colorado, 2009?

Arizona, 200?

Michigan, 2008

Washington DC... but this says 2007... so I think this was a gift from my mom from her trip.

Florida, 2007ish
That was a fun trip with our favorite travelling family... the Ihfes.  

The Great Salt Lake, Quilt Market, 2016

Germany with my son's German Class, 2013

And a cat for good measure...
Happy Holidays!

Been Eating Mediterranean...

by Joanne Hillestad on 12/13/18

So, I missed yesterday's blog post.  I have been really quite busy lately with proposals for fabric companies, making a super secret quilt which ships tomorrow, trying to find Christmas gifts for family, and other general end of year business things.  Not good excuses... but yesterday I plain old forgot.

Picture of me from 10 years ago because I had nothing else to post.  bahahaha

On top of all that, I have decided to start eating like the people in the Mediterranean.  Lots of olive oil, lean chicken and fish, veggies... then some more veggies.  As I creep up to the big 5-0 I have started trying to be better to myself.  Maybe 2019 will have to be the Year of the Me.  Sometimes a person just needs to step back and change some bad habits.

So far this year I cut Diet Coke.  That was huge... and difficult.  But I feel so much better for it!  Then I took it another step and cut out aspartame and saccharin.  I watched a show on PBS about the impact those 2 artificial sweeteners have on blood sugar and gut health.  Freaked me out a little.  Again... can't believe the difference.  

Now, I'm not perfect... i still allow Stevia.  But that is not supposed to be quite as bad as the others... so far.  I was running out of things to drink.  Dairy has been off the list for years.  Allergic to High Fructose Corn Syrup (that knocks out a lot of food and beverages).  Water.  I drink a lot more water.  

Hopefully, I will start exercising regularly and lose some of this extra 'me'.  I visit my Oncologist for my annual check up in June... I almost look forward to the comprehensive lab results!  Nothing has been in the bad range... but some of the basics have been creeping in that direction.

Ok, I'm done.  Just a peek into my life... which is just like everyone else.  Except maybe the cancer part... been 11 years.  Yeah me!

Here's to healthier eating! I won't say completely healthy eating... because a girl needs a piece of chocolate every so often...

Let's Talk... Fat Quarters. Very Briefly.

by Joanne Hillestad on 12/11/18

Let's Talk Fat Quarters
Fat Quarters are right up my alley.  lol

A standard fat quarter is a 1/2 yard wide and half the width of the bolt tall.
Which makes it a Fat, Quarter Yard of Fabric... get it?
Roughly 18" x 22" max.

To be safe... I always assume I only have 17" x 19" of usable fabrics when planning.
That way, if I have a crooked cut it should be ok.
Plus, not all bolts of fabric are the same width.

Fat Quarters are often available individually or in pre-packaged bundles from a collection.
This makes them easy and fun to grab when visiting your favorite quilt shops.

There are many patterns available that use fat quarters.
Most also need a border, sashing or accent fabric.

Here are a few by the FQ Gypsy and Swirly Girls Design:

First up in Tabitha by the Fat Quarter Gypsy.
This uses 12 fat quarters and 2 borders.
It goes together quickly.

Next we have Fat Quarter Four-Patch by Swirly Girls Design.
This is a fun Dashing Bobbin pattern.
It have 4 sizes using from 15 FQs for the lap size to 50 FQs for the king size!

Lastly, we have Cosmos by Swirly Girls Design.
Cosmos uses 5 FQs for the spinning stars and 1 FQ for the accent pinwheels.
Just add a background and border!

So, that ends my very brief talk about fat quarters.

Have You Met my Chickens?

by Joanne Hillestad on 12/10/18

Good Evening Everyone!

Tonight I am going to introduce you to my chickens.  I have 4.  I have had many, but only 4 remain.  I lost 6 in a coop fire.  That was not a good day.  A few got sick or died of old age.  I had to cull one... well, my husband Mike did the deed.  I couldn't do it.  Poor Sally was so sick and nothing was helping. This is the life of a chicken Mom. 

Here are my first chickens when they were babies...

But the bad days are few and far between.  Most days are fun!  Chickens are a hoot.  They follow you around the yard like you are their best friend.  They eat ticks and other bugs.  Earthworms are extra yummy! In general, they are funny and I love having them!  Plus, they supply eggs.  Yeah!

So, let's meet them!

First up in Phyllis.  He is my Polish Rooster.  Yes, I said he.  We were told he was a hen... but no.  Phyllis used to have a brother named Diller.  Phyllis and Diller... you will understand why when you see his picture.

Next are Blondie and Zoe (and Bob Ross peeking behind them)

and Lastly... Bob Ross... the hen. 

So, there they are!  My chickens.


Life Is Too Short Not To Have Chickens!!!

Oops... Friday Blog Post Fail

by Joanne Hillestad on 12/08/18

Yesterday's blog post was an epic fail... i just didn't have the energy to do anything last night. I was busy all day on Friday at work.  I spent most of the day hanging out with Toni Smith of Quiltoni as the sponsor for her St. Jude's Fundraising Live Stream on Twitch.  It was a lot of fun!

Toni was working on a wire-framed tote while I hung out and chatted with her and everyone watching live!  Toni has such a fun group of peeps!  She will be live again on Sunday around 9am EST --> Click here to jump to Toni's Twitch stream.  She will be working on a new pattern design... I am working on an advance copy of the pattern as a "tester".  lol.    If you have boys or young men to sew for... this new pixel quilt will be a fun one!  You'll have to tune in to find out more!

Until later today...
Happy Sewing Everyone!

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