Sew N’Slash Quilting

I’ve told you before that I’m a lazy quilter, right?  If there’s a simpler way to do something, I’m gonna be the first one doing it.  Strip quilting was my forte, before it was popular.  I can run fabric through a sewing machine faster n’ anybody’s business!  I think, what I like most, is that when you chain-piece your blocks, they are more likely to all come out the same – seam allowances, pressing, etc.  It’s a fabric assembly line at its best.

But sometimes, there’s the template challenges.  I hate templates.  I don’t like working with them for quilting, and I don’t like sewing the pieces together, in hopes that I end that Y seam exactly where it needs to end, so I can meet the other fabric with it.  It wastes time, in my opinion!  Time that could be spent on quilting many other things!

So, I started a technique that I call the Sew N’Slash Quilting Technique

And it’s SEW simple!  You sew fabric together, then you cut them so that they resemble what you would get if you were using templates!  The hardest part?  Stopping yourself from having so much fun!

Take a look at this block,  affectionately called a Shoo-Fly Block in the Cotton Spice way:

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I designed this block for a Cotton Spice BOM challenge, but for some reason, the challenge never really took off and my block and instructions were never posted.

Shame on Cotton Spice – they should know better than to forget my block!  Because really?  The only thing I forget is my kids’ names and what I did, oh, say 5 minutes ago {grin}.

Now, look at what a quilt could look like, if you made 16 of these blocks:

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Isn’t that a stunning quilt?  The layers and depth of colors makes for such grand eye-candy!

Want to make one?  Go ahead, try it!  I think my instructions are quite specific on how you, too, can enjoy some Sew N’Slash quilting! 

Click Here for the Block Instructions.

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    Tomato Juice Really Works!

    Phydeaux chased her first skunk the other night.

    Phydeaux got sprayed by her first skunk the other night.

    Phydeaux got her first bath in tomato juice the other morning.

    But, thankfully, the old wive’s tale is TRUE – washing a dog in tomato juice really DOES take the skunk stink out of them!

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      Work from Home

      One of the biggest questions I get, from men and women alike, is how in the world did I get started working from home.

      Know what?  It just happened.  Well, I mean, staying home was intentional on my part – but, most of my work fell in my lap, and I was smart enough to see a good thing when I had it!

      Before we had children, my husband and I decided that one of us would always be home, to raise the kids.  I honestly didn’t care which one of us stayed home, but both of us working outside of the home was not an option for us.  Our future children needed the stability of at least one parent, always.  My personal reasonings were because my folks died at such a young age that if I inherited their genes, I wouldn’t live to see my children grow up – and I wanted to give them all that I could, before that time potentially occurred.  For my husband, it had more to do with who was parenting the kids – giving them the core values that we held ourselves up to.  That should only come from a child’s parents.

      After nearly 13 years of working from home, I have a little experience under my belt.  Blood, sweat and tears, too.  My passion has always been about choice – everyone should have and exercise their own choice about earning a living.  I’ve been involved with www.HBWM.com since 1999, because they promote the work-at-home lifestyle.  It’s all about taking your life as you want to – choosing to raise your own children, or working from home. 

      You can see a number of articles I’ve written about this topic:

      • Be Clear about Your Goals
      • Being Successful at ANY Job Requires Passion
      • Call Me: Telephone Tips for Working at Home
      • Constructing a Business
      • Financing Your Dreams
      • Make Time for Your Heart and Make a Difference
      • My Dirty Little Secret: I’m a Saleswoman!
      • Successful Adventure
      • Summer Work Hours
      • When Times are Lean

      There are, of course, pros and cons to working from home.  Here’s my short-list of things to consider, if this is the type of lifestyle you seek:

      Pros

      • Home and available for children and husband, at all times
      • Don’t have to have a work wardrobe
      • Can do laundry and run the dishwasher during the day, instead of cramming it all into the evening hours
      • Can schedule my work around my family
      • Way lower fuel and eating out budget
      • Freedom to choose

      Cons

      • You’re home, so friends & family think you’re available all the time
      • Interruptions are constant
      • Your income is not always constant
      • Being responsible to a family and a business is a lot on your shoulders, at times
      • Not seeing & working with others, on a daily basis, can be a challenge if you’re a people-person

      The biggest thing to consider, if you want to work from home, is how you’re going to balance your life.  When we moved back to Texas 2 years ago, we made the decision to move my office into an out-building, so that I could “leave” the house for work and not be bothered by the home issues, while I was trying to get things done.  This has been an excellent move, on our part, save for the fact that I like to work late at night when the house is quiet….so, I have to drive up the hill to get to my shed.  But, it also means that when I’m home, I can be the mom … and when I’m in my shed, I can be the small business owner.  I *can* do both, as long as we all realize the limitations and opportunities we have for making the most of our time.

      My husband is doing a fabulous job of being Mr. Mom, and I’m enjoying my work moreso now than I ever have before.  But, it’s a daily devotion, if you will, to make sure we all have what we need from each other, while keeping the computer running to pay the rent.  And it’s something we’ll have to work on daily, as long as I choose to work at home.

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        Flat Stanley Goes Home, Warm and Cozy

        I know I’m a little (?) retentive, but I can’t believe Flat Stanley came all the way from the frozen plains of Nebraska, without so much as a coat!  Or blanket!  Or … dare I say it?  Not even a QUILT?!

        Yeah, I had to say it, hehe.

        Well, I just took matters into my own hands, and before long, Flat Stanley had a very special, personalized quilt – just his size!

        And because, I’m just kinda an over-the-top kinda gal, I went way overboard and put together a book, to send back to Nebraska with Flat Stanley.  Here’s the cover, and an entry on one of our pages:

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        It’s Aunt Tammy’s turn with Flat Stanley, first.  I can’t believe that he came all the way from the snow and cold of Nebraska, without a blanket!  Since my favorite thing to do, when I’m not being the mom or working, is to quilt, I sat down with Flat Stanley and made him his very own quilt, with his name, even!

        I think he likes it, because he’s jumping on it like the kids jump on their beds!

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        And here he is, later in the afternoon, snuggling into his quilt for a little afternoon nap. 

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        In Texas, we call our nap a siesta.  Do you know that’s the Spanish word for nap?  We LOVE to take siesta’s in our house!

        Flat Stanley then helped me work on the computer.  It was kind of a boring day for him, but tomorrow should be more fun!

        If you’ve had Flat Stanley visit you, let me hear from you in the comments!  I’d love to hear what you did with him, and how much fun you had!

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          Weekend Wrap-up and Quilts

          I love progressive weekends!  Although, that type of progress usually means I have to get up before the chickens, and I usually don’t like to do that {grin} … but, sometimes, it doesn’t matter what I like!

          DH and DD#1 escaped on Saturday for a weekend confirmation retreat….and MIL left me, too….which means I had the three little ones all to myself!  Saturday didn’t start off lovely, but it did eventually get up to 80 here in the hills, so it was extremely spring-like and just a beautiful day all around.

          I spent Saturday morning cleaning house.  May be a bummer for some but since I’m on a high-dose of steroids for my skin, I could actually clean without having to worry about blistering any – so, I had at it! 

          After that, it was time for some quilting.  Ahhhh, just put me in my sewing room (as long as the kids are otherwise-occupied) and tell folks I’m in heaven!  I didn’t spend long in there, though, as it was lunch time and the munchkins were thinking they weren’t gonna live until they ate.  So, we opted for an eariler-than-normal lunch and then NAP – my second-favorite time of the day!  hehe

          Well, wouldn’t you know it – our nap got interrupted.  One of DD#3’s friend’s mom showed up, to cart my youngest darling off to a team roping competition.  I wasn’t sure they were going to come, so I didn’t tell the nagging littlest one about the event – but, boy was she excited!  After changing into her jeans and boots, she, too, left us for the day.

          Wow, now I was down to just TWO kids!

          So, the son got silly …. and sillier ….

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          And DD#2 fed cheese balls to Flat Stanley …

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          Once we’d calmed back down, I was bound and determined to get that NAP – and the son-man said he wanted to nap with me, too.  ummm, right.  He didn’t nap – he just flounced around in the bed until he finally got up and went and read books! 

          The rest of the evening was uneventful, as the kids had popcorn salad for dinner and watched a movie while I quilted, and we waited for the tired girlie to come home.

          Sunday was Sunday school and church, and if you know me, you know that it’s usually a challenge for me to be the sole parent in the mornings.  But yesterday, I had ANGELS in my midst!  I had given the kids their lists of what they needed to do the night before, and I gotta tell ya … when I went into the house after having my wake-up time reading the news, the kids had done absolutely everything I’d asked for without fighting!  HURRAY!  That doesn’t happen often, so I celebrated the victory by taking them out to lunch after church.    Then, we came home and it was time for our nap!  The dad-person and DD#1 came home just as I got up from nap, and they’d had a very fun time – though, both were stinky and exhausted. 

          After all went to bed, I let Phydeaux outside … and then she wouldn’t come back.  Don’t that just drive ya nuts?!  It’s pitch-black in these hills at night and I couldn’t get her to respond to me at all.  Finally, I heard her tearing across the yard at a full run, she was obviously chasing something and defending her territory.

          I just wish she’d have chased a rabbit … or an armadillo … or even a deer.  But, noooooooooooooooooo, the puppy is still not out of her yet and she’d chased a SKUNK!!!  Which, of course, I didn’t notice until she’d already gone into the house – whew, one wiff of that stink as she passed me was enough to make me wake ole what’s-his-name.  NOT necessarily my best plan of action, as he was none-too happy with the doggie.  I ran up to the barn and got her travel kennel and placed it under the house – only to realize that she was directly under our bedroom.  ummm, no.  JD went and moved her out into the yard.  But, eeeeewwwww, does our entry and bedroom have a very familiar aroma to it!  We’ll be washing the dog in tomato juice today, as that’s supposed to help take the stink out of them.  Haven’t figured out, yet, what we’ll do with the house – but, you can bet I’ll find something that’ll work!

          After life calmed down again, I went back to my sewing room.  I finished the backing for the quilt that I’d completed on Saturday – once again using nearly all of my leftover fabrics up:

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          And then I pieced together a wall hanging, that’ll be part of the annual BOMquilts.com Christmas in July celebration:

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          After that, it was a late and quiet dinner and an hour of lovely reading.  Ahhhh, what a great weekend!

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