allie-oops sweet happy life

What a sweet happy life it is!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How To And News

Hi everyone!  I had a question on how to save the instructions for the Garden quilt, so I thought I would show you how to turn any page into a pdf using Chrome.  I don't know how to do it with any other browsers, but if you google it I'm sure you'll find answers.
Open the page you want to save, and look up in the right hand corner under the "x".

See those three little dots?  Click on those, and a menu will drop down, choose "print".

A window will pop up, and it will look like this.  You can either save it as a pdf, or you can change the destination to your printer, and print it right away.  The nice thing about saving it as a pdf is that all the links on the page will still work.

There is another way as well.  You can right click and drag your mouse over the page, from the title to the bottom, to highlight all the text and pictures.  Then right click and choose "copy", then paste it into a word doc.  I always, always also copy the url, as the links won't work in a word doc.  I want to remember where I got it!

Isn't that easy?

I'm having a bit of a rough week, organizationally.  My youngest and I went thrift shopping this weekend, and stopped at the antiques mall, and didn't find a thing!  Well, I did find a bench for my foyer - I've been looking for one since we moved in.  Unfortunately, it was a bit out of my price range (a LOT out of my price range) but isn't it cute?????

All three bird cages were different.  So sweet!!!

Tuesday I took mum to her heart doctor.  They had called and made the appointment for her, said something showed up on her pacemaker report.  So in 10F weather, after an ice storm, I spent my car warm-up time chopping ice on the sidewalk so I could get to my car, and off we went.  Turned out there was nothing on the report!!!  But we spent a nice day anyway - we went to the mall, haven't been in one of those in forever, got all her meds, groceries, etc.  And we went out to lunch at Big Boy.

I haven't done a lot of stitching, I've been watching the Olympics and when skating is on I can't look away.  I'm still working on Jenny's Live Simply design from her Stitchery Club.

I have to finish the last little bit of stitching, then add the beads.  Isn't this the sweetest design!!!

We're supposed to get heavy rain today, hopefully it will wash away some of the 9"+ of snow, and get rid of some of the ice.  I think I'll putter around the house and then relax on the couch to finish my stitching...see you on Monday for the next block in our Garden!!!


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Block 2 of 9, Garden of Contentment

This block is available in my craftsy shop, Allie-oops Designs.

(Colossians 3:15) "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."

The word “gratitude” is not found at all in the King James bible – however, it was the word that best described to me how I felt about God’s gracious gifts to me.  How very grateful and thankful I am! 

(Ephesians 2:8) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"
And there is no more precious gift!
(James 1:17) "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
It’s not easy sometimes to feel grateful.  When my joints are screaming at me, and there’s much to do, I want to feel sorry for myself – I want to throw a whopping great pity party, complete with hats and party frocks.  Sometimes I give in for a time, grumbling and grousing around the house, until my bible catches my eye – and I stand ashamed.  Yes, the floors need mopping, but they’re a reflection of the busy lives of people I love who live here.  The mountain of laundry is there because we’re blessed to have the clothing we need.  The dishes pile up because God has blessed us with good food to eat.  God brings to my mind all His many gifts to me, and I start thanking Him for them, and pretty soon the aches and pains and mountains seem less.  I really believe that gratitude is a learned behavior, and I’m doing my best to learn it by heart.  I can even thank Him for the aches and pains, keeping me humble and dependent on Him.  I am not perfect at this.
(John 15:5) "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
God doesn’t change, but He can change ME.  And for that, I’m profoundly grateful.  I can do nothing in myself, I owe Him all.  That’s why this word was so important for me to remember, and why it got added to the quilt.  A thankful heart has no room for grumbling!  
 So let’s stitch up some Gratitude, shall we?


Cut your white background block 8” tall x 13” wide.  Trace the layout diagram onto it, using the marker of your choice – if using a permanent marker, don’t trace the appliqué part of the layout.  In the last post, for block 1, I detailed what I use.

Trace your reversed shapes onto fusible web, and cut them out leaving a margin of 1/8".  Fuse to the back of your chosen fabrics and cut them out on the drawn lines.

Peel off the backing, and lay out the pieces on your background.  When they’re where you want them, fuse them down.  Stitch the pieces using a blanket stitch with one strand of embroidery floss.

(Optional) Interfacing and Embroidery

If using fusible interfacing, cut your interfacing 7” tall x 12” wide and fuse to the back of the block after applique.  Add the embroidery using two strands of embroidery floss.  The embroidery is worked in backstitch, except for the dot on the “i”; I use a single-wrap French knot there.  A colonial knot would work as well.
Trim your block to 6” tall x 11” wide.

Cut 2 pieces 1 ½” x 6”.  Stitch to sides of block.  Press seams away from block.
Cut 2 pieces 1 ½” x 14”.  Stitch to top and bottom of block.  Press seams away from block and trim even.  Block should measure 13” wide.

Adding Strips

This block sits in the top row, middle, so no strips get added to the top. 

Since it’s already 13” wide, which is the finished width of the block, we won’t be adding strips to the sides either.  You’re going to add 7 strips, 1 ½” x 13” to the bottom of the block [although I like to cut mine longer, just in case things go wonky].  I’ve made a diagram of the order in which to add your strips.

 That last strip looks a little narrow, and that’s because when you’ve added your strips, you need to trim it to 14” tall.  Your block should now measure 13” wide by 14” tall.  When trimming my blocks, I take a little off one side and a little off the other side [or bottom and top].

And that’s it!!! You’re done with two blocks! 
Jenny has been stitching along with us, here is her second gorgeous block –

 I seriously love her block!!!!!!!!!!!!
Be sure to email me if you have any questions, or ask in the comments [leave me your email!] or on facebook!
See you soon!

sneak peek at block 3, due next Monday, Feb. 19th!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Snow, They Say

Not much new on the stitching front - but I did finish my Postcards From Heaven.

All I need now is to find batting.  I really love this little quilt....can't wait to get it hanging up!

I'm still working on my "Live Simply" from Jenny, but I had distractions.

This fabric came in the mail from the lovely Fat Quarter Shop.  

It's called Hopelessly Romantic, by Deborah Edwards for Northcott Fabrics.  There may or may not be a wedding quilt happening with this....I have ideas I'm anxious to try.

And then there was this distraction.

Had to take mum shopping.  Could I ask you all to pray for her?  She seems to be losing her eyesight.  Her dr. is trying all kinds of things, and nothing's working.  I know diabetes can cause blindess - and as an artist, I think that would be so hard on her.  We really covet your prayers.

I'm working on the tutorial for Block 2 of Garden of Contentment - trying not to miss anything this time!  I had to edit my post for Block 1, I forgot to tell you one strand of embroidery floss for applique, two strands for embroidery.  It's there now, whew.  Thank goodness for Karen!!

I've also been working my way through all the blog posts piled up in my reader.  I'll read them all probably tomorrow and over the weekend - we're supposed to get 5-9" of snow tomorrow, and more over the weekend.  I don't plan on going ANYWHERE.  I may not even get dressed.....stitching in my fleecy pj's, sounds pretty good to me!

See you Monday for Block 2!!!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Block 1 of 9, Garden of Contentment

The full set of designs have been removed from my shop.  Templates are available for each block as we do them, click HERE – Allie-oops Designs 

 (James 3:18) "And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."

The world seems so noisy anymore, and so stressful with instant communications world-wide – where do we find peace?  Sometimes it seems like we need to travel very far to get away from the cacophony of the world, miles and miles into the wilderness – and yet, we carry the world with us in our smart phones and our tablets, with all its noise and stress and jockeying for our attention.  What’s a stressed-out peace seeker to do?  Should we go live in the hills, find an empty beach (yes please), become hermits to escape?  Well, that might be nice for awhile, but no.  Jesus promised us peace, and all you have to do is ask Him.  He didn’t promise we’d be free from trouble or heartache or noise, but that He would give us peace.

(John 14:27) "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
(John 16:33) "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
(Romans 5:1) "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"

We can be surrounded by noise, tribulation, in the middle of a whopping great storm, and still have peace.  Isn’t that amazing!!!!  And yet, I’ve experienced this first hand.  There have been lots of storms in Allie-land, and yet His peace rules in my heart.  The more time I spend in the word of God, the more peace I have!  Now, it didn’t happen all at once, but looking back, I can see how far I’ve come.  It’s a journey, and our destination is Heaven.  The longest, most profound, most rewarding journey you can ever make.

(Philippians 4:7) "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

And that is our first flower in our garden - Peace.  Let’s begin this journey of blessings, shall we?


 Cut your white background block 11” tall x 10” wide.  Trace the layout diagram onto it, using the marking tool of your choice – I use a red Frixion pen, it’s heat erasable and I’ve never had trouble with it on white fabric.  It will disappear when you fuse your appliqué on, but if you put it in the freezer it will come back!  I usually leave it in there for a full day….the longer it stays in there, the better the lines come back for the embroidery part.
Since I use a heat erasable pen, I also trace the appliqué parts of the design.  I rough trace just inside where the appliqué is going to go –

It just helps me with placement.  If using a permanent marking pen, skip that part.  Please use the method you’re most comfortable with, you don’t have to use mine!

Trace your reversed shapes onto fusible web, following the manufacturer’s directions.  Cut out, leaving 1/8” to ¼” around each piece.  Fuse onto the fabric of your choice on the wrong side.  Cut out on the line you’ve drawn.

Peel the backing off of each piece, and arrange them on your background.  Tweezers come in handy for that part when pieces are small.  When you get them exactly where you want them, (I do them all at once) fuse them in place.

Using one strand of embroidery floss, work a blanket stitch around each piece.  About the blanket stitch – when I first learned appliqué, I worked with the acrylic felt from the craft store.  Loved it.  But when I had something pointy to blanket stitch, I couldn’t figure out how to keep the stitch points from coming up.  The thread was always loose there.  So I avoided points for years.  It wasn’t until I watched some videos on YouTube on needle turn appliqué that I learned about stay stitches – what a revelation!  Now, when I do a point, I take a teeny, tiny stay stitch to make sure that little monster never moves.  Sometimes self-taught isn’t the best, lol!

Interfacing [optional] and Embroidery

Before you put your piece in the freezer [if you’ve used a Frixion and AFTER the applique], cut your fusible interfacing 10” x 9” and fuse to the back of your block.  Make sure no threads from the appliqué show through!  I take a glue stick and just quick glue them behind the appliqué, to make sure.  (Using fusible interfacing is optional!!!)

If you’ve opted for the Frixion, then after your lines come back you can start the embroidery.  All the stitching is done in a backstitch, with two strands of embroidery floss.  Try to use a shade darker for the words than what you use for your appliqué, they’ll show up better.

Trim your block to 9” tall x 8” wide.


Now you’re going to frame your block –

Cut two strips -  1 ½”  x 9”  This is an exact size – I cut mine longer.  I like to go a little longer on the strips, I trim after I stitch them just in case.  Stitch each strip to the sides of the block. Press seams away from block.

Cut two strips – 1 ½” x 11”  Stitch to top and bottom of the block.  Press seams away from block and trim.

Adding Strips

Ok, now it’s time to add the strips to bring your block up to size – we’re going to keep adding until the block measures at least 14” tall x 13” wide.

All strips are cut 1 ½”, by however long you need them.  We’re working in a “log cabin” style – on this block, we’ll be adding strips to the bottom, then the right side.  (The sides of the blocks that touch the outside border edge don’t get strips added.)  I’ve numbered a picture for you in the order to add your strips –

First strip on the bottom, next strip on the right side, then bottom, then right side.  Each strip will get longer.  Attach the strip, press the seam open [reduces bulk], add the next strip.

What we’re doing is bringing all the blocks up to the same size, 14” tall x 13” wide.  If you don’t have long enough strips, why not piece them?  I think that would give a lovely, even scrappier effect!

Give the block a final press, and trim to 14” tall x 13” wide.  Some of your strips on the edges might end up a little skinny, but that’s ok!  Variety is the spice of life!

That’s it, you’re done with block one!  Block two will be up next Monday!!


There is another way to bring your blocks up to size after framing.  You can add rectangles of one color to the bottom and side, to give more of a floating effect to the blocks.  Just make sure to add enough to bring the block up to size.  If you do this, you’ll want enough of the one color of fabric for ALL the blocks – and I’m just not sure how much that might be!  Maybe 2 yards?  I would get 3 just in case.  Better to have leftovers than not enough.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me, leave a comment (with your email so I can contact you), or leave a comment on my facebook group (button on sidebar).  I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.  I’m always just a click away!!

Jenny is frolicking in the garden with us, here are pics of her first (GORGEOUS) block!

I adore the fabric she chose – and the added running stitch around the flower elements!! 

See you soon!

(Romans 15:13) "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
(Jude 1:2) "Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied."
(2 John 1:3) "Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love."
(1 Thessalonians 5:23) "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Sneak peek at next block, coming Monday February 12th!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Humming Right Along

Baby it's cold outside, but I'm busy as a bee in my little sewing room.  I'm done writing the tutorial for the first block of our Garden of Contentment quilt, yay, just proofing and tweaking!  C'mon, Monday~!  I'm thrilled so many of you are joining in, wear your prettiest hats and floweriest dresses, we're going to have a lovely time!

I'm also working on several things - my room is a mess, but it's a fun mess.  I've started Jenny's Live Simply design from her January issue of The Stitchery Club, using the blues from the same line of fabric I've used for the Garden of Contentment quilt [Aloha Girl by Fig Tree & Co. - older line].

I had so many strips left over from the Garden quilt, I wanted to use them up -

so I'm making a mini-quilt using my free Valentine's Hearts coaster design

Two blocks done.

I've also [drum roll!] cut all my blocks for my Postcards From Heaven quilt!

Postcards From Heaven was a free BOM from both Jenny and I back in 2016.  We each created six blocks, and mine are still available in my shop as a free download, under the title The Word in Stitches.  Jenny's are also still available in her shop under 20 Christian themed stitchery designs , also a free download.

I got the red fabric yesterday to frame them, it's washing now!  Can't wait to finally put these together.

And because that's not enough, I started the mystery BOM from Little Red Hen's facebook group!

Still have to stitch the embellishments.  My kitties will be black and white, in honor of my beloved Hermione who we lost last year. 

I do miss her so.

That's about it from Allie-land - the sun just came out, I think I'll go make some hay while it shines!  Hope you get to stitch today too!


Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Garden of Contentment Stitch-Along

You are cordially invited to a Garden Party!  Come join me in a stitch-along!

Once a week, on Mondays, I'll be doing a tutorial on how to put that week's block together.  There are nine blocks, so this will take us through to April 2, when I'll upload the final block plus finishing instructions.

I've posted the full set of templates and layout diagrams for pre-sale in my Craftsy shop.  Starting today, you can pre-order [and receive immediately] the entire set of blocks for $10, for one week.  On Monday, Feb. 5th, the full set will be taken down and each block will be uploaded separately and weekly for $1.50/each.  There will be a link in each pattern for the tutorial on the blog.  You can get the full set here:  Garden of Contentment full set

Again - the patterns in the shop will be for templates and layout ONLY.  The instructions will be on the blog.

The general instructions and finishing instructions will be free, posted here and in the shop in pdf form.  Today, I'll be sharing the general instructions and fabric requirements.

First, the backstory.....

Reading through scripture, absorbing it, and allowing God to change my heart through it has been one of the most enormous blessings I've ever known.  .  Jesus said (John 17:17) "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."  And he really does.  (Hebrews 4:12) "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."  Quick, meaning alive!  The Holy Spirit is with us when we read God’s word, convicting us and renewing our minds.

When I started to ponder the blessings that followed, all these words stood out to me – so I’ve used them in this quilt.   They are gifts of God.  I imagined each as a flower, blossoming in my life.  One of my favorite scriptures is (Isaiah 58:11) "And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." *

As I look upon the gifts of God, I feel like a garden, blossoming and becoming fruitful by God’s grace.  I can’t wait to hang this quilt on my wall, as a daily reminder of His gifts to me!

And so, on to the general requirements to make this quilt….

Finished size of quilt is approximately 47” x 50”

Printing templates and layout diagrams:

Make sure your pdf print settings are set to print “actual size”. 

Materials List:

2 yards white fabric for block background, sashing, and borders [you’ll be cutting your sashing and borders before beginning – you’ll want to make sure you have long enough pieces after cutting out blocks].

2 yards fusible interfacing – I’ve used Pellon’s Shape-Flex, as I wanted a stiffer interfacing since this is a wall quilt.  Pellon’s Ultra-Weft is a good choice for a more pliable and softer interfacing [not to mention easier to stitch through!].  Interfacing only comes 20” wide.

Variety of scraps – this is a scrappy quilt, although I opened a fat quarter bundle for it.  I used 19 different fat quarters, although by no means used them up!  The strips in the quilt measure 1 ½” x no more than 15”.  If you don’t have scraps long enough, why not piece them!  That would give an even scrappier look, and I’m sorry I didn’t do it myself.

Another option for framing the blocks – frame them like I did, then use larger rectangles of the same fabric [such as white] to bring them up to size.  The blocks all start out different sizes, then I added fabric to make them all the same size.  I didn’t calculate yardage for that, but I think 2 yards might do it.

Marking pen – A red Frixion pen is my choice of marking tool for white fabric – but only white fabric.  Use your favorite, heat-erasable, water-erasable, or permanent.

Fusible web

Embroidery floss to match appliqué fabric, and one color a shade darker for stitching the lettering.

Binding – 210”, or ½ yard if cutting strips width of fabric [selvage to selvage] .

Backing – 3 yards if piecing together.  I’ll be using a vintage sheet.


Pre-washing Fabric

I always pre-wash, just because I like to get the chemicals off before I handle the fabric.  I’m glad I did this time, the dark blue in the fat quarter bundle bled, although I used a Color-Catcher!  I ended up not using that fabric.  Because you’ll be appliquéing the pieces with fusible web, it’s a good idea to wash the fabric so the sizing doesn’t interfere with it adhering.  Don’t use fabric softener or a dryer sheet, that will also interfere with adhesion.

Cutting Borders and Sashing

We’re cutting the borders and sashing first to make sure we have long enough pieces before cutting the blocks.  Cut these now, then set aside.  From the white fabric:

Cut 2 – 4” x 44”
Cut 2 – 4” x 54”

Cut 6 – 1 ½” x 13”
Cut 2 – 1 ½” x 44

A word about the scrappy fabric strips – I used them in a “log cabin” style, adding them until the block measured at least 13”x14” and trimmed down as needed.  The blocks are all different sizes, basically trimmed after appliqué and embroidery to ¾” around the design before adding the scrappy strips.  To put them together I added fabric to make them uniform in size.  Each block tutorial will have full instructions on how to do this.

I’ve created a page [see above the post] for the Stitch-Along.  (If you’re reading this on your phone, you may not see it.)    That will be a permanent page – so if you want to collect the blocks, but not start right away, you can easily get to all the instructions.  And every pdf of the pattern templates will have a link to that page as well.

You can gather your supplies and cut out your borders and sashing this week, then next Monday [Feb. 5] we’ll be starting the first block!  Our last block will be uploaded on April 2, along with finishing instructions.

 If you have any questions, you can either email me, or leave a comment here [make sure to leave your email address – I get a lot of no-reply bloggers that I can’t email replies to, usually Google+ users – I can’t even comment on Google+ blogs!].  You can also come to my facebook page, Allie-oops Designs.

My prayer for every one of you that join in the Garden Party is that God will richly bless you through His word and through the work of your hands.  Actually, that’s my prayer for you even if you don’t make the quilt with us!  And how lovely is it that we’ll be gardening in the bleakest of winter months, for those of us in the northern hemisphere – this will carry us right into spring!

(Psalms 34:8) "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."

This page has been turned into a pdf, available in my shop for free download.  Click here:


*I loved that scripture so much I had to stitch it - it is included in my set of free Scripture stitcheries - click HERE


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