Welcome to Precious Tyes

I have many passions in life and one of them is quilting. The others are reading, knitting,
crochet, cross stitching exercise and being a mom which are all precious tyes to me.
This blog will be about all of these things but mainly about quilting and how it is tied into my life.
The above wall hanging was designed by me and published into a pattern called Homespun Memories.

My blog is also about my Nifty Fifty Quilting swaps which are 50 state quilt block swaps that I started organizing over 10 years ago when my husband was going through depression. It helped me through a very difficult time. We have swapped over 70,000 quilt blocks during this time with many stories that traveled across the country along with our state quilt blocks. Our groups also make charity quilts for Breast Cancer Awareness.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vintage Quilt

I went to drop off a trunk full of items to Goodwill this week and they asked me if I would like a 20% off coupon for the store.  I was not planning on going shopping but I could not resist once they gave me the coupon.  I thought I would run in real quick before heading home.  Well a quick trip turned into over an hour and my trunk filled once again!!

But the best part of the trip was finding a old quilt for $2.40!!!  The quilt has some very interesting and unique fabric pieces in it.  I love the blue borders.

 The quilt is in fairly good shape.  The binding is coming apart a little and I have found one piece of fabric that is damaged.  I have a vintage fabric book but I could not find any samples of fabric similiar to what is in this quilt.  Here are photos of some of the more interesting fabric pieces in the quilt. Does anyone recognize the age of the fabric?
Small Black Paisley
This fabric has different huts or houses throughout it.

Unique pattern!!

 This looks like old movie reels

This looks like oriental fabric

Red Pineapples

Deer Fabric

Maybe 1930's?

Interesting Paisley

Oriental Bridge?

Cute Turtle!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Breast Cancer Memory and Survivor Stories

I have updated my Breast Cancer Awareness pages.  Breast Cancer Survivor page  and Breast Cancer Memory page My sister lost her dear mother-in-law to breast cancer in October.  Madeline was my sister's best friend.  I have dedicated my Breast Cancer Survivor page to Madeline who was a breast cancer survivor for 6 years. Throughout her illness she showed great strength, courage and shared much joy, happiness and sunshine with her family.   We are collecting inspirational stories of breast cancer for our pages hoping they will bring comfort to others who may be suffering from this terrible disease. 

Visit our page to submit a story

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hanging a Quilt on a Quilt Rack

I am always frustrated when I have to hang my large quilts on my quilt racks.  I can never seem to fold them just right so they lay properly.  I just took two of my quilts off their quilt racks to hang up my mother-in-law’s two Christmas quilts.   This is the first Christmas without my mother-in-law Joy.  Sadly she lost her fight with ALS this past March.  I have chosen to place her Christmas quilts on the racks this season so my kids can appreciate their beauty instead of them being folded up on the fireplace.
My mother-in-laws other Christmas quilt
Joy and I took our first quilting class together 21 years ago.  We spent many hours sharing fabrics, designs and quilting books.  We took three hand piecing and quilting classes together.  Over the years I have continued doing hand piecing and quilting but have moved to machine work since I have so many projects to complete.  Even though Joy was an avid sewer her whole life she only quilted by hand…she never once in 20 years did any of her quilting by machine.  Here are the quilts on the rack and some hints on hanging such large quilts on a quilt rack.

This how the quilt looked the first time I tried hanging it on the rack..... I was frustrated that it was not hanging nicely. 

So I took it off and measured my quilt rack across the top which was 28 ½ inches.  I decided I wanted 26 inches of the quilt showing on the rack.  I then laid the quilt face down on the floor and measured 13” out from  each side of the center. Then I neatly folded each side in so it measured 26”.  

I made sure that it was laying very flat and even. My cat Joey inspected my job.   

 I did make sure that the ends of the quilt at the bottom were very even.  I did not pay much attention to the top ends as they would not be showing once the quilt was on the rack.   

Then this is where it always got tricky for me.  In the past as I would lift the quilt up, it would bunch up and look awful on the rack. This time I decided to fold the quilt again so it was half the size. Then I gently picked up the quilt keeping all the layers held tightly together and I laid it over the quilt rack and it stayed neatly folded.  Finally the quilt was nice and neat over the rack.

Front view of the quilt on the rack after folding it properly

The quilt also laid very nicely over the back.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Beautiful Original Butterflies!!!

Two more beautiful butterflies flew into my mailbox today.  Iowa and Illinois came today and they are georgous!!   I love the unique shape of the Iowa butterfly and the colorful batik that Diane used.   

We are doing 2.5 signature squares for our swap instead of actually signing the quilt blocks.  The signature squares only needed to have the quilters name and the state that they are representing in our Nifty Fifty State quilt block swap.  Diane has gone way above the requirement and has not only taken on extra states in our swap but she has drawn the shape of her states on each of her siggies.  These unique siggies make a very nice label for the back our Nifty Fifty Quilts. Here are photos of a few of Diane's siggies and her unique Butterfly blocks from Iowa and Illinois:
Louisiana Siggie for our butterfly swap
Iowa Butterfly
Illinois Butterfly

  The rest of our Buttterlies can seen on our webiste at Nifty Fifty 29 Butterfly Quilt Blocks

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Idaho Quilt Blocks!!!

Nifty Fifty One Idaho BeautyQuilt Block
 The Idaho Nifty Fifty State Quilt blocks are up online...all together on one page from all 29 of our quilt block swaps.  Did you know why Idaho produces more potatoes than any other state?  It is because the Volcanic soil in the state of Idaho is perfect for growing potatoes.  Though we did not get any "potato" quilt blocks to represent Idaho even though it is known for its potatoes, we did get a quilt block to represent the state fish which is the the Cutthroat Trout. The fish is in flight jumping out of the water.  There were a couple of Idaho
Beauty quilt blocks made and one quilter made hers because it  represents the bright stars of Idaho. The Redwork Idaho quilt block has the outline of the state of Idaho stitch in the center of the quilt block along with the state bird, state flower and the year Idaho became a state which is 1840 and that is was the 43rd state.  Take a look at these beautiful quilt blocks on our Idaho State page at www.niftyfiftyquilters.com/idaho.html  
Our Illinois quilt blocks will be up soon so be sure you follow our blog!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Support

If anyone is ordering from Amazon this holiday season then please use our Amazon Link to get to Amazon before you go shopping.  Our Breast Cancer Awareness web pages benefit from each order that is placed at Amazon through our website.  Our page provides educational links for Breast Cancer Awareness. Some of these links includes Susan G Koman, Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, Avon walk for cancer, Nifty Fifty Breast Cancer quilt, IBC support, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Breast Cancer Charities and Breast Cancer Awareness. You can click on any Amazon link on our pages or you can use our search box which is on the left side  www.niftyfiftyquilters.com/bclinks.html

Thank you for your support!!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hawaii State Quilt block photos

I have never been to Hawaii but our swap got some terrific Hawaiian quilt blocks from our Nifty Fifty Quilters. My personal favorites are the Hawaiian appliqued blocks. The one pictured here is from our Nifty Fifty 12 swap which theme was Batiks. There was not any particular Hawaii state pattern used amongst our quilters but there were a couple of unique quilt blocks that represented the Hawaiian dance the Hula. And what would a group of quilt blocks from Hawaii be without a Pineapple quilt blocks from our Nifty Fifty 13www.niftyfiftyquilters.com/hawaii.html swap. Check out all the Hawaiian quilt blocks on our website at

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Breast Cancer Memory Jar

 Breast Cancer Month is over but the struggle still goes on throughout the year.  Our family just lost Madeline to Breast Cancer.  Madeline is my sister's mother-in-law but was a big part of our extended family. As one friend quoted this week...."to know Madeline is to love Madeline".  Her struggle started six years ago with Breast Cancer and she fought courageously these past few years.  I made a memory jar for my sister's family. It followed us throughout the services this weekend collecting special memories of Madeline written on colorful index cards and placed in the jar.  I made a mini quilt to attach to the jar using Carol Doak's Heart/Ribbon pattern.  I used pink fabric with golden dragonflies.  The pink fabric represented breast cancer and the dragonflies represented Madeline.  Dragonflies in Japan represent joy, happiness, courage and strength which all describes Madeline. Dragonflies in the United States represent rebirth or renewal after a great hardship or loss.  Hopefully this mini quilt and jar full of memories will help my sister's family through their sorrow and  loss.  

As you can see it is the first time I have made the Heart/Ribbon pattern and my ribbon is slightly off....It is also the first time I used my sewing machine's embroidery option The Amish purposely put a mistake in every quilt to remind themselves that they are not perfect because they have a saying..."Only God is perfect".

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Inspirational Music from the Race for the Cure

 Breast Cancer Month
While watching this video listen closely to the music.  It is very inspirational music by David M Bailey who lost his fight with brain cancer this month.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Georgia OlympicTorch Quilt Block

The Nifty Fifty Georgia Quilt blocks are up online!!  The Georgia quilt blocks are not all Peaches.....even though Georgia is considered the Peach State.  There is the Olympic Torch quilt block from the 1998 Olympics since our first group was swapping during the Olympics. It is one of my favorites and is an original design from our Georgia swapper. A few have the outline of the state of Georgia along with the state flowers. Great group of quilt blocks from Georgia.  Check them out at Georgia Nifty Fifty Quilt Blocks

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Florida Quilt Blocks

Nifty Fifty Florida Quilt blocks are all up on one page now.  The designs range from Mickey Mouse to Sunbonnet Sue building a sandcastle.  See the Florida Quilt blocks at: http://www.niftyfiftyquilters.com/florida.html 

Friday, September 24, 2010

More Butterflies

www.niftyfiftyquilters.com/nf29.htmlMore butterflies arrived today from Nebraska and North Dakota.

Monday, September 6, 2010

WTC Memorial Quilt Project

Nine years ago I was the Charity/Honor Quilt Coordinator for the WTC Memorial Quilt project who handled all the Charity and Honor Quilts.    Joan has put together a video and facebook page about the project. There were thousands and thousands of quilters in the US and around the world who had a hand in this project.  The video on the Facebook page gives the story behind the project so please pass it along to other quilters.   I am sure many quilters never knew the outcome of the project. Maybe this video will reach them and they can enjoy seeing the quilt panels on display.
WTC Memorial Quilt Facebook Page

Monday, August 23, 2010

Delaware quilt blocks

Delaware the 1st State.  All Delaware state quilt blocks are all together on one page now!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Conneticut State Quilt Blocks

Premature Baby Quilt

My niece gave birth to a little girl weighing 3 lbs 11 ozs.  She had preecylmcia and they had to deliver her early on August 3rd...both mother and baby are doing great!!!  I made a mini quilt just Maci's size...It was the first time I used the embroidery on my sewing machine so the lettering is a little slanted but I am sure she won't mind.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fussy Cutting Batiks for Butterflies

As I am working on my Butterflies for our Swap...a friend brought me a great multi-color batik from Lancaster PA.  It was not enough fabric for a set of my Butterflies but I had a lot of fun fussy cutting out butterfly wings which made some beautiful butterflies.  This is all one piece of fabric and I used the button hole stitch to outline the wings depending on the colors.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th!!!!

Hope everyone has a happy 4th of July!!  It was time to bring out my July very large table runner for my coffee table and I thought I would share a photo of it with everyone. These blocks are  from a swap by our very first Nifty Fifty group of quilters.  Our quilters wanted to keep in touch after we finished swapping out our 50 state quilt blocks so I organized 12 more mini swaps.... one for each month with 6 inch quilt blocks.  This is our July one which was red, white and blue with a flag and star theme. Enjoy your holiday!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

More Butterflies

Today so many butterflies arrived at my house by mail!!  These are the sample blocks from our Butterfly swap that came today.   They are so creative and beautiful!!!  I can hardly wait until all the butterflies are here so I can start putting our breast cancer charity quilt together. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nevada Butterfly Quilt Block

I just finished my Nevada Butterfly for our Butterfly Batik Swap.  I love the colors on this one.  It may not resemble a Nevada butterfly....I created it out of my imagination.  I am representing the state of Nevada where I used to live when I was 5 years old.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Watercolor Wall Hanging

I love cutting my fabric scraps up in 2", 2.5" 3" and 5" squares for future projects.  I got the idea when I participated in the 2000 challenge swap. I have a whole tub of these squares from the swap but still no quilt made from them.  Although I have made a watercolor wall hanging from my 2" squares.  I love working with them creating a picture.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I am hoping my new blog will help keep me motivated in working on my Nifty Fifty Quilts.  I have so many still to quilt.  Right now I am working on the NF 22 quilt which are state quilt blocks made from Carol Doak's Fab paper-piecing stars.