Monday, January 15, 2018

January and then Heading towards Valentines... I LOVE HEARTS!!

Happy New Year! Can you believe it? What happened to 2017? I have never had a year go by so very fast! I stayed home for half the year to rest and to sew and to create. It flew by! I start back on the road teaching the end of February. Can't wait!
My word for the year is "BEGIN." Something holds people back from beginning a quilt they would really like to do and it gets put off. I am hoping you begin what you need to this year! I am beginning many ideas and will finish them before the year is out! 
     I have only two openings to my retreat here in June. It filled fast this year. If you have not visited Washington State or Idaho this is a fun chance as we have two field trips and one of them is to Farm Chicks that is an art and collectible show. Lots of cool stuff for sale and great ideas. We will be visiting at least two maybe there great shops and we will be earing at the Coeur d'Alene Hotel which is on the water and delicious and beautiful too. The big thing is you come and can start a story quilt about you or someone you love or a place you lived or visited and you will learn Mary Lou's Easy piecing borders. We have girls from every part of our country coming. Get a friend and sign up for our last two spots!

The hearts above are from a class I taught and show the variety you can have with hearts for fun! There is nothing cuter than a heart quilt! Lovely white backgrounds and reds and pinks make for a darling quilt. I had one I sold and wish I had taken a photo first! What child would not love their name in the middle of a group of happy hearts? Even I would so I guess you can be young at heart too!

 Isn't this cat and hearts quilt the cutest? And with a word like smile it is a great reminder that life is happy and smiling makes everyone happy!These patterns are in my "Hoochy Two-chy book available on my website at

 I think this clay creation about is awesome and would inspire anyone don't you? I saw it and had to share with with you!
 One of my pieced flower power quilts that is creative and fun to play with! You could space these out more and probably do two quilts with all of these blocks but I wanted to show different ideas that were in the Hoochy Two-chy book.
 I have just started putting quilts of mine and old blocks and pieces that I have collected. I am going to sell my house one of these days and I need to clear out my collections. There will be all kinds of stuff comeing on there and we are just getting started taking photots etc. Right now there is a quilt from my first book of a Mother and her kids and it has a story around the outside of an alien visiting that you can see in the window. It is for sale and it is really a cute quilt.
Keep checking back for other things and the cute fabrics we are offering. They are hard to find as I buy Alexander Henry fabrics which fly out of shops and most people never get the chance to see them! 
       I am going to work at making this year productive and I am going to give to the homeless as I have for years and hopefully I a going to volunteer to help those that are trying to make better lives for themselves and their kids. I want to make my life happy and those of my kids and friends and remember those less fortunate.
     I am thankful to be a quilter, a teacher and to have made the best friends anyone could. What a wonderful and happy hobby. 
What are you doing this year to make a difference in your life and the life of others?  NOTE- I will pick five comments out of a hat and send you a nice surprise if you add your comment here!!
Share your smile with others this month!

I know many people LOVED this recipe so I am sharing it again here! ENJOY!
Mary Lou's Overnight French Toast Strata with Berries -Delish!
Serves lots of people   - I use a larger than 12" x 15" inch baking dish (grease with butter
one large loaf or two smaller loaves of sour dough bread. I use larger loaves and just keep filling the pan until it is pretty full up. Cut up into nice bite sized pieces. drop in pan.
      In a separate bowl, add a dozen large eggs and whip them up with
1 and 1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup whip cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
make sure it is all mixed together well.
Now pour this over your bread. I always check to make sure it is really all wet and covered since this is what holds it together and makes it delish. It depends on the bread. So if it looks like it need s a little more, I miss a little egg with some more milk and add it to the part that needs more.
By the way, I cook like I sew. Out of the Box (but it's delish!)
    NOW, add these things in another clean bowl
1/2 cup flour
1 stick of BUTTER (not margarine)
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
 1/4 teaspoon of allspice
Couple dashes of salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans and a 1/3 cup of whole pecans or so.
I used to mix this together with a fork but I found if I used my fingers it works much better and when you go to mix in the nuts it works well and evenly distributes them.
    Now take that and lay in in pieces all over the top of your bread.
Toss it in the refrig overnight covered with foil.
    The next day heat up the oven to 350 and stick it in for an hour.
Take it out when done and use a fork to make the topping spread evenly.  Now before you serve it take blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and serve along side with a bowl of whipping cream, maple syrup and blueberry syrup.
Everyone fixes it the way they want and there is NO leftovers. The berries are so good on there!
Not that much effort and worth every bit!

My new chicken lady quilt I will be taking on the road to show you!


  1. I am going to go into this year with love. Trying to share Christ's love with everyone I meet and try to see them through His love. That is my goal for the year.

  2. Long story: orphaned at an early age. I met my father's family, after 50 years, at a reunion in October. It completely changed the way I see myself. My goal is be happy with myself and stop feeling inadequate any longer.

  3. I am starting the year machine quilting a quilt our guild made to raise money to help a local church get a new roof because the insurance company won't pay up. I have several patterns I've been wanting to try and many quilts to make for others. It's going to be a fun year for quilting!

  4. Starting the new year out with decluttering. My 'word' for the year is Simplicity. So far, I have downsized my Christmas decorations as I put them away. It was harder than I thought. This taught me that simplifying may be a bit more difficult than I thought. It will be a great learning lesson and life affirming year. I look forward to the lessons, and seeing what I learn.

  5. I want to be the upbeat optimist for others. I plan on making several quilts for a women with aids camp. I also want to volunteer to quilt some of my guild's charity quilts. That last one is not totally selfless as I will gain quilting experience! ;)

  6. I have been sewing for years but just started making quilts this last year. I made 5! I always read your blog because it is so happy and fun! Just stated another quilt yesterday for my soon to be first granddaughter... what could be better than that?
    Happy to read your newest post! I have missed them!!

  7. I am continuing on my journey to improved health and fitness. Trying to get the sugar back out of my diet. Also, I have many quilt tops that have been sitting in my sewing room far too long. They will get quilted this year, and many of them donated to those in need. I'm teaching my two oldest granddaughters (ages 6 and 9) to sew. We have been looking at the Hoochy Two-chy book and will hopefully be having some fun with that this year.

  8. Hi MaryLou. I'm glad to see you posting again!
    I turned 60, 3 weeks ago, and decided that this year I would stretch myself. I committed to a year of coaching/painting with a coach/painter in Taos, NM. Totally out of my comfort zone but really feeling the need to grow. The year has started out wonderfully with positivity, joy and creation.

  9. I love the idea of sharing a smile and started a Facebook group, DSmiles4miles. It is for anyone who likes to make gifts and leave them anonymously for others to find. A way to make someones day and put a smile on their face. Next I plan on making some scrappy hearts and leaving those for others to find, I like the idea of adding a word to them, as well.


  10. Welcome back Mary Lou! I've missed reading your posts and am so happy to see your latest work - the heart quilt is great!

    Hope you have a good year ahead and that your projects will all be happy ones!

    Have to get my Two-chy book out again and start playing - thank you for the inspiration today!

  11. I am trying to be more understanding of the things others may/are going through on their life's journey and give them a hand to help.

  12. I have one of your books, Quilted Memories, and I've had it for a while. It always inspires me. Today I decided to hunt for you online and up popped this blog. I have a crazy quilt that I started about 9 years ago and I only work on it once a year for a week when I go to an event called Sewing-by-the-Sea in Ocean City, Maryland with 99 other women. I'm looking forward to trying something new. I love Whimsy and color and what you do is amazing! Thanks for being you.