Blogger’s Quilt Festival #2 – Dear Daughter

Aren’t Quilt shows fun?  I love to see all of the pretty colors and designs that have been sewn together by so many talented people.   I am grateful that Amy @Amy’s Creative Side has organized this fun event. If you are visiting Amy, Thank you!!!  If you are dropping by from the Festival, thank you for coming over and spending a bit of time with me❤️❤️

I have finished some very beautiful quilts this year, but none of them are filled with as much meaning and love as my Dear Daughter Quilt.  

My beautiful Dear Daughter left for school this year.  She has been and always will be a bright spot in my life.  I saw this block of the month program by Sherrie @Rebecca Mae Designs and knew I HAD to join in!

I thought of her as I sewed each block through out the year.

All of the thoughts were exactly what I wanted her to feel and know about herself

I loved the bright, crazy colors because they reflect her personality 

When she feels lonely or in doubt, she can wrap herself up in a warm hug from me wherever she may be.

She is so precious to me❤️

It has been SWEET to reminisce on this quilt today. I have so many blessings to be thankful for.  Family, friends and online friends like you.  Thank you for dropping by!  

20 Things to do in San Francisco 

Hello!  I am so excited to share this post with you today!  I just got back from a fantastic vacation to beautiful San Francisco.  We spent 5 days there and never ran out of fun things to do.  In fact, there are so many things to do there that I thought I  would share the things we did and the lessons we learned so you won’t have to research and make the same mistakes we did.  You’re welcome!:)

Here is a list is 20 things to do that are all amazingly fun.  Most of them are free or very inexpensive which is also an A+!  Pick and choose a few, or do them all.  Whatever you choose, you are sure to have a GREAT TIME!!

  1. Amtrak Coast Starlight Train
  2. Muir Woods
  3. Walk across Golden Gate Bridge
  4. Fort Point National Monument
  5. Alcatraz
  6. Walking Tour (includes #7-12),
  7. Ferry Terminal
  8. Cable Car Ride
  9. China Town
  10. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factoey
  11. Coit Tower
  12. Pier 39
  13. Lombard Street
  14. Fisherman’s Wharf
  15. Boudin Sourdough Bread Factory
  16. Ghirardelli’s Square
  17. Giants Baseball Game
  18. Haight and Ashbury Streets
  19. Japanese Tea Gardens
  20. Oakland Latter-day Saint Temple and Bridges

1. Amtrack Coast Starlight-

Instead of flying, if you have time and can take the train up or down the coast,  I highly recommend it.  We boarded at Union Station in Los Angeles.  We relaxed and visited as we went up the coast.  What a way to travel!

We didn’t get a sleeper car.  It was an 11 hour ride and cost $80.00 per person.  The seats were roomy and we could walk and move all over the train.

The push of a button opened the doors between the cars.  The ground is extra shaky here!  Watch that step!:)

There was a water station on the wall of our car. There was also a snack bar available for munchies.  We weren’t completely happy with the food, so we called ahead for a pizza to be delivered to one of our stops along the way.  Woo hoo! Hot gourmet pizza on the train!  We felt so smart:)!

While we could see the pretty view from our seats, there was also a glass observation car that was available to everyone.  Gorgeous!!  I loved traveling on the train❤️

We arrived at Jack London Square in Oakland and hired an Uber to take us to a car rental company.

2. Muir Woods-

Muir Woods is a Redwood Forest National Monument. It is like walking in a Faerie Land. The trees are majestic and the greenery is soft and enchanting.    

You don’t need hiking shoes, but a nice walking shoe is a good idea. The paths are flat and paved.   There are hiking paths, but the walking trails were plenty for us.

The hardest part about Muir Woods is the parking. Unless you get there before 9:00am or earlier, don’t even plan on parking there.  The lots fill up quickly and the parking lines on the side of the road literally can be MILES long!  

This is the Donahue pick up location
Take the public transit shuttle.  It is FREE with your receipt for entering the park:). How slick is that?!   They drive you right to the front entrance and drive you back.  Easy!  Donahue and Pohono are the two pick up points.  Check online for more info of times and directions.

3.  Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge

Walking across the bridge is a “bucket list” must. It is 1.2 miles from edge to edge.  The roaring sound of the traffic, the slight movement of the bridge, and the spectacular views make this a favorite activity.  There is a walking and bike riding path on the edges making it very safe.  This is a FREE adventure!

  • If you are with a group, it is a good idea to have a “designated driver” here.  
  • Park on the North side of the bridge.  (We did this right after Muir Woods and took the exit right before the bridge and parked in the parking area there)
  • Walk across.  Have your designated driver only walk halfway and walk back.  He or she  can drive to the other side and park there to pick you up:)
  • The south side has the visitors center and lots of pretty photo taking places.

4. Fort Point National Monument

Right below the Golden Gate Bridge on the South side is Fort Point National Monument.  It is a good idea to combine this with walking over the Golden Gate Bridge.

This was an interesting Monument.  I liked seeing the old canons and canon balls they used to defend the old city.  We enjoyed exploring the little caverns and staircases. 

5. Alcatraz– 

If you can only do one thing in San Francisco, this is the must see attraction.  It costs about $40.00 and you need to book your reservations in advance.  You may need to book your reservations months and months in advance if you are going over a holiday.  

The ferry ride over takes about 10 minutes.  Once you are there, the National Parks Service gives you a headset with a WONDERFUL audio tour of the old prison.  The voices and sounds of the prison make the place come to life.   You can go at your own pace and linger, take pictures, and visit all you want.  Don’t miss it!! Walking Tour

I have combined all of these into a San Francisco Walking Tour Post that can be found here.  

If you don’t like to walk, you can just check out the locations on that post and drive to the ones that interest you:).  But, if you like walking and really seeing, and feeling the pulse of the city, definitely give this tour a try.  It is about 5 miles long with A LOT of stairs!

13.  Lombard Street- 
Lombard Street is claimed as “the most crooked street in the world”.   It is located on Presidio Blvd.  and ends on the Embarcadero.  

You can walk down the street, but I recommend driving.  The walkers don’t get to enjoy the fun of the eight hairpin turns, and isn’t that what it’s all about?    But if you are with a group, you may want to send one walker down a bit before you start the drive to get your picture 🙂

14. Fishermans Wharf-

There is a lot of shopping and fun hustle and bustle here.  There are street entertainers and lots of good food.  Yum!  I recommend eating at the Boudin Bakery.   They have the best sourdough bread in the city:)

15.  The Boudin Bakery-

This is the place to get your clam chowder in a bread bowl.  Believe me, we tried other places, and the bread was tough.  The bread here, tastes like it was almost hot out of the oven!   That’s probably because it was.  

The factory is right there with a little museum and views of the actual Bakery below.   The smell is amazing!   

If you like fish tacos, they make their own sourdough tortillas. Amazing!!   The fish and chips were fantastic as well.   Give this place a try, you won’t be sorry:)

16.  Ghirardelli Square- 

If you like chocolate, and really, who doesn’t, this is the place for you!  It is located just west of Fishermans Wharf on Beach Street.   There are lots of shops in the square, but the best is of course Ghirardellis!

They don’t offer tours of the actual factory, but they have a demonstration in the back of the shop.   The sundaes are so delicious and the give free chocolate samples to everyone who enters.

17. Giants Baseball Game

If you are visiting the area during baseball season, be sure to pick up a game at the beautiful AT&T Park.  They have tickets ranging from cheap to expensive. We spent $17.00 and were in the top tier.  We could still see great though.  

The food at the stadium wasn’t that good.  We all wished we would have just tried the classic sausage hot dog offered in the hallway.   Oh well, next time:)

I bought a hat outside of the stadium from a vendor for 10.00 and felt quite smart because my hubby  bought his at Target for 17.00!  

18. Haight and Ashbury Streets

Groovy!   This area is recognized as the place where the hippie movement began.  The shops are all eclectic and bright colored.  Far out, man!

And of course, I would never let my fabric loving friends down by not finding a fabric store on my trips:) I went to Mendels fabric store on Haight Street.   While most of the store was more of a craft store, there was a fabric section in the back.  I think it geared more toward fur and fabric on rolls, but there was some cute cotton by the yard in the back.   

19. Japanese Tea Gardens-

If you have never been to a tea garden before, you are in for a zen like treat. The oldest public Japanese Tea Garden in the United States is inside the Golden Gate Park located between John F. Kennedy Dr. and Martin Luther King Dr.

The quiet serenity is palpable here.  The manicured hedges and soft bubbling fountains really do bring a feeling of peace and well being.  

And, if you get here before 10:00am it is FREE!  Even more serene for your pocketbook:)!

20.  The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints Temple and Bridges – 

Up on the hill on the Oakland side of the Bay,  you will see the Latter-day Saint temple.   It is a beautiful building with spectacular views of the city and Bay Area.  It is especially stunning at night.  There is a free visitors center there as well. 

It is fun to take a drive over the Bay bridge to get to the temple.   Enjoy the temple and views, and then complete the tour around the Bay by driving over the San Rafael Bridge and finishing with the Golden Gate Bridge.

There you have it.  I hope this list is helpful to any of you who are thinking of taking a trip to San Francisco.   Enjoy your trip!


Dear Daughter Quilt FINISHED!!

Oh my, oh my!  I am so happy to say this quilt is finished:) Yea!! Yea!!  It has been a labor of love to be sure.When  I first saw this Block of the Month advertised by Rebecca Mae Designs, I absolutely knew that I had to make one for my Dear  Daughter.  I have loved each and every chapter.  I spent my time sewing and thinking of my daughter.

I think my favorite chapter is the center.  One wild and precious life.  She is so precious to me.

Bur I really like the Nourish Faith chapter as well. Those corner flowers are so great!
I spent a very long time quilting this beauty.  It was a lot of free motion mixed with some fun motifs.I love the hearts and flowers:) Aren’t they pretty?

Here is my quilt getting ready to be trimmed for binding.  

I trimmed and then serged the edges to keep things all neat and stable while sewing the binding on.

I used my favorite  binding method to get these fantastic mitered edges and beautiful invisible front stitching.
I added a label to the back that I printed out on my computer.  I will make a blog post on how to do this soon…

And done!  And none too soon because my  dear daughter’s birthday is tomorrow!  She is going to LOVE it:)
Thank you for following along on my Dear Daughter journey.  It has been a SWEET adventure!

Desert Hiking, Family, and…Still Quilting

Happy 2017!  I hope all of your celebrations were happy and joyful.  Mine was a crazy house of Christmas and New Year fun:). I have had family staying at my house for the past two weeks. It has been a house filled with love and joyful laughter to be sure!We have had game nights, movie nights, and hiking trips in the Tucson desert.  Oh, how I love the beauty of the sun in the desert in December!  My daughter in law is not sure how she feels about this whole cactus thing…But really, look at it, the whole desert is so lush and beautiful.  Even this prickly cholla is a wondrous work of nature:)

They have all left now and the house seems empty and quiet.   I don’t know what I am going to do when my dear youngest daughter leaves for school this month.  I will miss seeing her happy, pretty smile every day.

Oh well,  it’s all part of a mother’s life.  So enough of the mushy, gushy stuff! — Believe it or not, I have found brief little pockets of time to fit in some sewing during this Palooza of a December.  I didn’t finish my Dear Daughter Quilt, but it is ALMOST there.  I only need to add the borders.  I am hoping to have it done by Friday and then quilt it next week. Yea!I thought this “Believe”chapter was perfect to work on in the month of December.  It turned out so pretty!  I am glad that I appliquéd the purple lettering in green.  I think it brings out the lower green star.Here is the pretty little green star– 

If any of you are interested in making your own Dear Daughter Quilt, you can get the pattern at rebeccamaedesigns.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. I hope you have a healthy, prosperous, and totally SWEET 2017!

Dear Daughter chapter 11

This quilt of love is almost done!  I have really looked forward to and enjoyed making each chapter.  My face would light up when I would see Sherri’s email filled with the templates and instructions for each months addition:). What a SWEET journey this has been.

Isn’t this section beautiful?  Matching those points was a bear though.   I could really use some advice on perfecting points.  If you have any, let me know because I must have sewn and unsewn 3 or 4 times on some of these.  Here is an example–  you can see the gap even though I thought I was sewing to perfection.I gently removed the stitches and tried again with pins only to have it off again.  So I unsewed again and only stitched a few stitches just over the point That helped quite a bit and the re-do matching was much easier if it still came out a bit off.  I finally got the point to match, but the fabric is puckerey.  Puckers don’t bother me as much because it is a quilt and quilts are by their nature, puckered.Dont get me wrong, I would prefer perfection, but hey, I’m not perfect.   

Here are the two new blocks for this chapter:There were two beautiful bear claws in two corners and a Happy flower with a lovely saying on the inside.

I used my handy Perfect Circles templates to help with the circles by the stem.It was easy to get these perfect circles by whip stitching  around the template and ironing right over the plastic.   I sprayed them pretty heavily with starch as well.  When the circle was dry and cool,  I just had to snip one running stitch and pull the template out for these perfect circles!

I absolutely LOVE this quilt and block. Thank you for reading about my journey.  I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday:)! 

 If you have any tips on point matching  other than sew more accurately, I would love to hear them:)

Dear Daughter- Chapter 10

Yea! Yea! Yea!  I have caught up with this fantabulous quilt along:). Well, the new chapter comes out this week, but hey, I am happy:)!

This chapter seems a little loud to me, but girls are loud and happy and fun.  At least my daughter is:).

 Before I started sewing this chapter, I organized my box of fabrics.  It had gotten so messy and hard to find the sizes and colors I wanted that it was a little frustrating just picking my colors.  I am glad I took the time and put my like sized scraps together.

This made it a breeze to pick my scraps for these blocks!:)I love it when things come together quickly and easily.

Here are the new blocks for this chapter. 

The designer, Sherri,  of didn’t make hers so loud and scrappy.  I hope I’m not sorry in the end…..

Thank you for stopping by:). I hope you have a SWEET day!


Dear Daughter Chapters 8 & 9

I am excited to say that I am  now only one chapter behind on this QAL.   By the end of the month I will have chapters 10 & 11 done as well:)  Yea!!   I can see right where they will fit in.   I really like these new blocks. I like how the “&” symbol combines the messages.   In  our family Faith in Jesus Christ  is the center of our lives. So  I changed the pattern from “Have Courage” to “Nourish Faith”.  This will  remind my daughter to always take care of the spiritual side of her life.  True happiness and strength can never be achieved without that:)

Chapter 8–The block itself  is beatiful. I like how the words of faith are sort of holding up and nourishing the bloom of the flower.  They work together so well!  

Don’t you just love those  pieced corner flowers?

I used a clear mono filament thread to appliqué the petals and flower center.  It  is almost impossible to see!

The turning of the appliqué pieces was easy as well. 

  • I traced the pattern to the smooth side of a piece of fusible interfacing.  Then  I sewed it to the fabric  with the sticky side facing the right side of  the fabric.  
  • I clipped only the facing and turned it right side out using my handy cuticle stick.
  • Now it had the sticky facing side on the back of the petal  so I just ironed it to the block and sewed it down.  Easy!

Chapter 9— I also love the message of “Be Kind”.   The flower is so so cute!Because the circle and the petals were right next to the script, I opted to use fusible paper web for the appliqué.  That way the block would all match.

Fusible web is not always easy to pull away. So I have learned that if you score it with a pin, you can bend it and easily remove the paper.

I am not sure if I am crazy about the pink petals.  I may trade them out for orange to match the satin stitch around the lettering and to pull some more orange to the bottom of my quilt.

I know it doesn’t really matter, but hey why not?  I also think the complimentary colors of the blue and orange would really make this block pop:). Ok– I’m doing it!

Well, there you have it.  Almost done now.  SWEET!   

Don’t forget to follow my blog so you can enter the drawing for the free quilt that I am giving away to one of my lucky followers!    You can enter here.

Thank you for dropping by!


Half Square Triangles made Easy!

Half square triangles are the staple of quilting.  It is a technique that is a must learn for anyone who wants to quilt.  There are so many ways to get a beautiful square, and I have tried A BUNCH of them!  In fact, I use a bunch of them.  

There are special rulers and special papers that are designed just for half square triangles.  Making a bunch of triangles all the same color uses a different technique than making scrappy, all different squares.

Today I needed the scrappy kind for chapter 7 of my Dear Daughter quilt. I gathered my fabrics and cut them into 2.5″ squares.  I needed a matching light for every dark square.

Some patterns tell you to put them together in pairs of light and dark and then mark on the back from corner to corner and sew 1/4″ on each side of the line.   While that way does work, I like to skip that part.  Its just an added step that I find tedious.

There is a great product called Tiger Tape that can attach to your machine and gives a nice 1/4″ guide on both sides of the needle. 

But you don’t have to have special tape to get the same result.  Here is the easy, thrifty way.  Did you know that painters tape is a quilters must have quilting tool?  

  • Take your ruler and measure 1/4″ to the LEFT of the needle and place your tape edge there.
  • Put your square in sets of two with a light and a dark, right sides facing together.
  • Put your layered square on point next to the tape you just put down and place another line of tape on your machine as the right side guide.
  • Begin sewing using the left tape as a guide for the corner tips.  You can chain away here sewing one right after another:)
  • Flip the chain over and sew down the other side of the square from corner to corner
  • Cut the chain apart into individual squares
  • Cut from corner to corner between the stitching
  • Press the seams open
  • Using a square ruler, trim the square to your desired size.  Mine was 2″. (It is always a good idea to make your squares a smidge bigger than you want so you can trim them down to a perfect square)

Now wasn’t that easy? And no special tools or fancy rulers were needed!

My squares turned into these beautiful pinwheels.

And this block became part of this happy chapter 7:)

Isn’t it so fun?! 

I have just realized that I did not post about chapter 6.  So here is a picture of that finished section.

It is definitely a SWEET day at my house!  I hope yours is too:)


Dear Daughter – chapter 5

I have only been able to sew here and there for a few minutes at a time these last few days, but little bits add up to bigger things.  Here is the proof!  Didn’t it turn out wonderful:)?  

This is the 5th chapter of the Dear Daughter BOM by rebeccamaedesigns.  It is so fun!!

I really like the Dresden plate block.  It is a fun technique.   It really is quite easy.  Using a Dresden ruler is the best way, but Sherri includes a pattern as well.

Cutting the fabric the right shape, folding and then chain sewing really makes the petals sew up quickly. Using the cutting gizmo just makes cutting that chain a breeze:)

After the sewing, I flipped them out and used a stiletto to get the point sharp.  Then a nice press set the angles.

The next new block was quite easy.  I like the lemonade pink and yellow. And the teal and black heart looks good too.

This quilt calls for lots of lettering, but using heat and bond makes it a breeze.  I have to use my old Pfaff Tiptronic because my Juki only has a straight stitch.

I use a paper towel behind the lettering.  It is inexpensive and works great. I just keep a roll by my sewing machine.  Instant stabilizer that tears away so easily!

This block has more of the pretty tear drop leaves and a fun bias strip vine.  It is so pretty:)

I am still a few chapters behind with this quilt, but I plan to work a little harder on it next week.   The next few chapters don’t look as intricate.  I’m sure I can get one or two more done next week.

Until next week then:)

I hope you have a SWEET weekend!


Dear Daughter- Chapter 4

Each chapter of this quilt gets more and more exciting!  Sherrie from has really done a great job with this fun pattern:). I look forward to making each wild and crazy block.  The instructions are so clear and the pictures are inspiring.   There is a new chapter each month, and as you can see, I am behind.  BUT I am catching up and LOVING it!!

There were a few repeated blocks in this chapter along with some new ones.  Here are some pictures of the new ones. I especially love the purple one:)

There were quite a few more elements to this chapter, so it took  a bit longer to complete.  It was so worth it though.

All of these sayings really do describe how I feel about my dear daughter.  I know she is going to go CRAZY for this quilt.  It should be done for Christmas.  I just hope she isn’t reading this blog! –close your eyes, Truly! Lol:)

Have a super SWEET day! –Tracy

all put together so far–looking AWESOME!!