Chess Vortex was created by TQS Member Quiltrascal who loves to recreate old quilts, mostly in small sizes for display. The best part is that she shares her patterns, so if you love this puzzle, you can make the quilt. 

Chess Vortex By Quiltrascal - 36 pieces non-rotating

Chess Vortex By Quiltrascal - 100 pieces non-rotating

Chess Vortex By Quiltrascal - 289 pieces non-rotating

Chess Vortex By Quiltrascal - 100 pieces rotating

Chess Vortex By Quiltrascal - 289 pieces rotating


Here's a cute project made from a Mason jar from Julie Cefalu at The Crafty Quilter.

This is a perfect, portable sewing kit that anyone could use.  If you like hand applique or English paper piecing, this would be perfect for you.

Do you hand-sew your bindings on the back of your quilt?  This could be your go-to jar!  There is room to put your favorite hand-sewing tools inside and it has a built-in pin cushion on top.


Enjoy the work of TQS Quilt Legend Roberta Horton. You will be awed and inspired for the New Year!  

Star Members can watch Roberta and her sister, Mary Mashuta, in Episode 1513: TQS Legends 2014.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


I have to give Alex all the credit here. The kids were all excited about Christmas and knew that their stockings would be filled by morning. They hung empty on Christmas Eve, but amazingly they were filled and on the hearth by morning. This occurred until the kids left home for lives of their own. Age didn't matter. If you believed, the stocking would be full in the morning. This is a memory that the kids and I share thanks to Alex.


Family is hugely important to me.  Two years ago my extended family spent Christmas in Paris.  It was not about the food, the sights, or the shopping.  It was about time spent together as this would be the last time all of us would be together for several years to come.


I just think of Christmas when I see this photo.  I imagine a horse-drawn sleigh dashing throught the snow on this brisk, sunny day in December.



The Christmas season has always implied family, traditions and memories. I can recall the best two best gifts ever left under the tree: my Barbie light box and Barbie dream house - of course, two different years! Now those gifts from Santa are old and dusty and not that pertinent to my life today.

I barely remember my Grandma Sladky - except a snapshot memory of sitting with her in her blue-and-white bedroom on the shore of Rowley's Bay, Door County, WI. In this room was a white book case with three music boxes from Germany. My favorite was this adorable rotating wooden mushroom, with elves taking a break from the season's work while swinging in circles. Grandma would let me carefully wind and enjoy the music from this box.  Every year when it is time to trim the tree, light the candles and enjoy the advent calender, you can be sure that the first piece I display is Grandma's music box. Such a sweet memory decades later, which helps me keep in mind my past and the people from which I came.


I didn’t grow up in a tropical environment. I grew up in North Texas, where Christmas can be sunny and warm or it can be icy and cold, depending on how far Jack Frost has decided to travel for Christmas. The magic of a “White Christmas” was something that we would dream about and hope for in the week or two before the big day. Only a few times in my childhood did we have snow on Christmas day but when we did, it was a real treat!

Now I live in Colorado, where there is a far better chance of a snowy white Christmas, but still it’s never assured. When I think of images that represent Christmas, I think of candlelight Christmas services, decorated trees, the bright faces of children waiting for Santa Claus. I think of the decorations on Main Street and the houses in the neighborhoods bedecked with festive lights. Even so, I chose this photo to share. I took it about three years ago. It’s the barn across the street from our house in La Veta. To me it represents peace, family, friendship, and of course…. the hope for a White Christmas.

We invite you to wander into the lovely 1915 Craftsman that is the home of Mary Mashuta and Roberta Horton.  Mary is the chef in the house, while Roberta oversees the garden. The little tandem garage was at one time used as a temporary church while the first owners of the home (a pastor and his wife) were building the larger church nearby.  Roberta and Mary renovated the garage shortly after moving in, so that their father could enjoy living close to his daughters during the later years of his life.  Enjoy the astounding gardens and lovely antiques that highlight the house and grounds.  The images are truly a feast for the eyes.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


The next time you gasp as the price of all metal scissors, think about the years of training, skill, and craftsmanship it takes to make a pair.  Meet Eric, one of the last remaining scissors makers in Sheffield, England.  Eric began making scissors in 1958.  At one time there were hundreds of factories employing 40,000 workers.  Today there are less than a dozen craftsmen working to keep this ancient tradition alive.
To visit their website: http://www.ernestwright.co.uk/

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