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.

Monday, December 19, 2011


I would like to announce the winner of my Dishcloth Give away and it is Sandie Anne!!! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Breast Cancer Ribbon Washcloth Give-Away

This is the first give-away on my blog.  I thought it was an interesting idea when I first read about the Blog Hop Party on the Quilting Gallery.

I love knitting washcloths or dishcloths!!  They are easy and fast to work up.   There is a great website called Knitting Pattern Central that has free patterns for Dishcloths. This website has patterns to suit anyone's interest including hobbies, sports, holidays, animals and houses.

These are 100% cotton knitted cloths which can be used as either washcloths for the bath or dishcloths.  I make them every year for my Mom for Christmas.  She uses them as dishcloths.  She loves them especially since you can place a dirty one on the top rack of her dishwasher and they come out sparkling clean.

 My sister lost her mother-in-law Madeline to Breast Cancer in 2010.  My sister was very close to her and I chose to make her one of my favorite patterns which was an Angel washcloth to comfort her during her loss.  One of the things that Madeline always told her grandchildren was to take comfort from the beautiful sunshine whenever you are feeling down.  So I chose to make them the yellow Sunshine washcloth. This pattern can be found on another great free pattern website called Designs by Emily.  This website has another one of my favorite patterns which is a Heart.  There are so many patterns to fit any occasion.  My son is being commissioned in the Army this spring and I made him the Army Eagle one.  

So I have decided to give-away a couple of my hand knitted dishcloths.  I decided that since our Nifty Fifty Quilting websites support Breast Cancer Awareness that I would knit up a Breast Cancer Ribbon for my give-away.  I tried finding a pattern for the ribbon everywhere online and was unsuccessful.  So I designed a pattern myself.  Here are photos of the Breast Cancer Ribbon Washcloth/Dishcloths that will be given away.

Variegated Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon Washcloth

All Pink Breast Cancer Ribbon Washcloth
 Anyone who comments on my blog will be entered in the give-away.  The drawing will take place on December 18th.  I will be giving away the Variegated Washcloth and the All Pink Washcloth.  So please mention your preference in your comment.

I love hand made gifts and it would be nice to share ideas this time of year.  Please feel free to comment on your quilting, knitting or crochet projects that you make for gifts.  And if you are not making any gifts this year then you can comment on one of your favorite handmade gifts that you have received in the past.  Actually any crafty related comment will get you in the drawing.  :) 

A copy of my free pattern for the Breast Cancer Ribbon Washcloth/Dishcloth can be found on my Breast Cancer Charity Site.

Friday, December 2, 2011

More Amish Quilt Blocks arrive and My First Give-away is Coming

 More sample Amish blocks are arriving at my house for our Nifty Fifty 30 Swap.  We are getting a great variety of patterns and colors.  This will be a very unique Amish quilt.

 As these blocks arrive I measure them to make sure they are 9 1/2 inches, take photos of them for the rest of our swappers to enjoy and then place them in a safe place.

I should start sewing our Nifty Fifty Breast Cancer Charity quilt as these blocks arrive but  I have been too busy trying to get some Christmas presents finished before the big day arrives.    I think I will start sewing them together in January.
 This year  I have decided to participate in the Quilter's Blog Hop Party and do my first giveaway on my blog.   I do a lot of knitting, quilting and crochet this time of year for Christmas presents.

This week I will be working on the item that I will be giving away on my blog.  So check back on December 10th to take part in my free give-away.  A hint.....it will be a handmade item.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall and Amish Quilt Blocks

Nothing like the beautiful Fall trees to motivate one to start quilting.  
I am hosting the Nifty Fifty 30 Quilt Swap.  Our group is swapping Amish Quilt Blocks. The Fall weather and the beautiful trees have motivated me to get started on my sample blocks. We are swapping 9 inch Amish Quilt Blocks.  I just finished my three sample blocks. I am representing Virginia, Massachusetts and Maine.   

Virginia Amish Quilt Block

Massachusetts Amish Quilt Block

Maine Amish Quilt Block
I chose a colorful one for my home state of Virginia. The more color the better especially to represent the beautiful Fall trees.  My dad is from Massachusetts and loves the snow. The block I chose reminds me of a twirling snowflake.  I chose the color blue to represent the cold. 

I love the state of Maine and all the beautiful evergreens.  My quilt block reminds of the evergreens. One of my favorite trips to Maine was viisting  Acadia National Park.

Judy from Michigan also sent in her sample blocks this week.  Judy is representing Florida, Michigan and Mississippi.  She chose Pink for her Florida block to represent the Pink Flamingos where she spends her Winters.  Judy has done her homestate in blue to represent the Water Wonderland of Michigan.

Florida Amish Quilt Block

Michigan Amish Quilt Block

Mississippi Amish Quilt Block

I am looking forward to receiving all the Amish Quilt blocks from our swappers this month.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts

 I just came across the article about the Cheerleaders at Gilbert High School in Gilbert, Ariz., raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness and that they were banned from selling their t-shirts because they were inappropriate. 

All I can say is if one person can be saved by the message on their t-shirts that state “Feel for lumps, save your bumps,” then it is well worth it.  They are doing a great thing making these t-shirts and should not be denied raising money for this cause.  Anything that promotes Breast Cancer Awareness should be accepted! If just one person can be saved from this disease by checking for "lumps" than it is all worth it!!   What do you think??  You can leave comments at:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Healing by Quilting and the WTC Pentagon PA Memorial Quilts

I just posted a story on our Nifty Fifty Breast Cancer Survivor Page.  Many of us who quilt are the first ones to step forward and help anyone in need through sewing a quilt.  Whether it is just making one quilt block for a huge project like the WTC Pentagon PA Memorial Quilt
 or sewing together a quilt for an inidiviual who is hurting, sick or in need of support.   Or it could just be for a yearly local charity quilt. But it is a known fact that quilters make quilts to help others heal.  And in turn it helps the quilter deal with the other's losses. 

What happens though when the quilter is the one in need and is hurting through personal tragedy?  Many times that quilter actually stops sewing and quilting.   I don't really know why this happens but I have seen it many times.  I myself have had a few family tragedies the past four years and I just realized after reading the story I posted on our Breast Cancer Survivor Page that I have not been quilting like I used to.

  I think I got a little boost today to inspire my quilting.  I was one of the organizer of the WTC Pentagon PA Memorial Quilt.  This project received almost 20,000 quilt blocks to honor the 9/11 victims.
We used 7500 quilt blocks in the original quilt panels and we donated some to other WTC quilt projects.

I organized the volunteers to sew the remaining 7,000 quilt blocks into Honor Banners and Charity Quilts.  The Honor Banner Quilts were dontated to the Military, Firefighters, EMTs, Churches, Rescue Dogs, Port Authority, Pentagon, Airlines and Shanksville PA. 

The Honor Banner Quilt which was Donated to the Pentagon
All Honor Banner Quilts used this quilt block as it's center block.  It represented NY, PA, the Pentagon and the first responders.                                                                            

 I received a phone call from one of volunteers this past week. Jeanne still had two of the charity quilts at her house from our project. She had held onto them for the past ten years.  She had made many quilts for the project and these were the last two.

She was not comfortable about mailing them to Arizona because our organizer of the  project Amy Sue Leasure had suddenly passed away.  She did not know who was going to take over the project so she kept them safe at her house.  She emailed me a few weeks ago wanting to know what she should do with the quilts.  I asked if she would bring them to me so I could find a home for them locally.

She arrived today with these beautiful quilts.  The quilt blocks are red, white and blue stars and are signed by their makers.  There are even two quilt blocks from France.  These two quilts will be at our local 9/11 ceremony at the Stafford Courthouse tomorrow.
Quilt Block from France

Another Quilt Block sent from France

I photographed the quilts and I will be making a label for them. These quilts have inspired me to get back to quilting. You can learn more about the WTC Pentagon PA Memorial Quilts on Facebook.  Here is a link to the video  https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1485273825124

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Quilt Finds a Permanent Home at Michigan State University Museum

I have very exciting news regarding our Nifty Fifty One Breast Cancer Awareness Quilts.
 I have been contacted by the Michigan State University Museum!! They have offered a permanent home for one of our Breast Cancer Quilts.  They have written about our Breast Cancer quilt on their Quilts and Health Blog.

I will be mailing the quilt to Michigan this week so it arrives in time for them to photograph it for their upcoming Quilters Newsletter Magazine.  The Museum plans on using our quilt to continue to bring awareness to breast cancer.

We are very excited about the Museum's request and look forward to seeing updates regarding our quilt at their Museum.  We will keep you posted on any new news regarding our Breast Cancer quilt on my blog or you can follow their blog at http://quiltsandhealth.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/nifty-fifty-quilters-of-america/ 

And those of you living near the Michigan State University Museum will able to visit our quilt in person!!!

We would like to thank the Museum for taking an interest in our quilt and to continue to use it as our groups have in the past to bring more awareness to Breast Cancer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quilting versus House Renovations

It has been quite some time since I have posted on my blog or even quilted.  We have been busy getting work done on our house.   Now that all of our children are on their way with either jobs or college we decided to take the plunge!!!  In the Spring after completing our Nifty Fifty 29 Butterfly Swap all my quilting was put aside and paint brushes and estimates took over my life.

We installed a new kitchen and Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring. It took a lot of time getting estimates, selling our furniture, shopping for new furniture and putting a fresh coat of paint on our walls.

It was very refreshing to find some hardworking and honest contractors through our endeavor.  I was so impressed with Larry who is the owner of The Home Team Flooring.  Larry installed our hardwood flooring and did an excellent job.  He even did our stairs for a reasonable price!!   He does not take advantage of the consumer and offered all our wood flooring at the wholesale price. He only charged us for labor.  I was so impressed that I helped him put up a website starting with a great Review Page so other consumers could find a top quality honest businessman.
Here a a couple of photos of our new Brazilian Cherry Floors.

The only problem with getting such beautiful flooring installed is now our fireplace looks drab and old.   Does anyone know a great way to spruce up brick?  I was thinking of maybe staining it but this is uncharted territory for me and I do not want to mess it up.  Any suggestions out there?
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray, 32-Ounce
BonaKemi WM710013358 4-Piece Hardwood Floor-Care System

Friday, April 8, 2011

Butterflies, Butterfflies Everywhere!!!

I finished sorting out the hundreds of beautiful and unique butterfly quilt blocks this week from our Nifty Fifty 29 Butterfly Swap.  They are now flying their way across the country…..Louisiana, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, California and Oregon to name a few.

Today it is raining and nasty out but it was a beautiful day when I started to sort the butterfly quilt blocks. I decided to take advantage of the sunny mild weather and went outside with the tote of quilt blocks and started the sorting process on my picnic table.  It did not last long before the wind whipped up and lifted the butterflies up and off the picnic table.  At one point I had a bunch of butterflies literally flying away from me.  After three attempts I gave up and took them inside.

Just started sorting the butterflies.  They take up one table.

Sorting the Twenty Plenty International Quilt Blocks.
Three long tables full
It was a lot of fun sorting them and seeing each design spread out across my table.  It sure was a lot easier sorting  6 inch quilt blocks from 16 participants (everyone did 3 states) than 2500  12 inch quilt blocks from 50 participants as we had done in our other swaps.

Halfway through!!

Finished sorting and the butterflies are ready to fly across the country. 
 I took the packages to the post office today at noon.  They said delivery should be by Monday but they are not guaranteeing it.  They may take a little longer to reach the  west coast.  But I am sure you will get them sometime next week. 

I am looking forward to everyone’s comments when they first open their packages. 

So on to the next swap…..Amish.  We are picking out the fabric this week.  I am so excited for this swap since I did not participate in the other Nifty Fifty Amish Swap.
My sample Amish Quilt Block
 I have had several quilters concerned about me retiring the Nifty Fifty Swaps….who knows if an idea or unique theme takes me by storm……. I might just reconsider.  Leave a comment if you have an idea.

Search Amazon.com for butterflies  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Japanese Quilters and Comfort Quilts for Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Victims

Our Nifty Fifty Quilting groups have also done international quilt block swaps.  Our Nifty Fifty swaps usually had 50 quilters but we thought 20 international quilters would be a more reasonable number of quilt blocks to manage. So we chose the name Twenty Plenty for our international swaps.

We eventually had a total of three Twenty Plenty International quilt swaps.  We had so many quilters for our second swap that we had to divided the groups into two.  The theme for our third Twenty Plenty swap was Sunbonnet Sue and our hostess was Suzanne Pratt.

Our international swaps included over 50 different countries and 135 unique quilt block designs.  We had several quilters from Japan. One of these quilters was Hiroko.  Hiroko participated in all three  Twenty Plenty Swaps.  She did many unique and beautiful quilt blocks.   

Hiroko's Quilt Block

Hiroko's Quilt Block

Hiroko's Quilt Bloc

Hiroko was contacted by our local newspaper when they did a story about our swaps called A Patchwork of Friends and she was quoted in the newspaper article....
"Hiroko Onozawa wrote from Japan to say: "I can’t find any suitable words to express my mind. I have
received 60 blocks from around the world." Later, Onozawa wrote to tell members that she would appear on television in Japan because of her participation in the project."

And sure enough Hiroko did appear on a Japanese television show...showing off her completed Twenty Plenty Quilts.  Hiroko sent me a copy of the television program.  It was great to actually "meet" one of our quilters from Japan even though it was on a taped television program. I loved being able to see the international quilt blocks that I had sorted and swapped out of my house in a completed quilt.

Hiroko'sTwenty Plenty Sunbonnet Sue Quilt
This is Hiroko's Sunbonnet Sue quilt from the Twenty Plenty Swap.  
I love the way Hiroko used the purple sashing and border to bring out the beautiful quilt blocks.
Hiroko's Twenty Plenty International Quilt

Hiroko took a different approach in sewing together the first set of Twenty Plenty swap blocks.  She used a more neutral sashing and border but added a spark to the quilt with a variety of colored stars in her sashing. 

I am happy to say that I have been in touch with Hiroko since the terrible Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.  Hiroko still had the same email address even after all these years.  I contacted her and I received a response right away. She said that nothing is broken, fallen down and nobody is injured.  I am not sure how far away she was from the earthquake. I am glad to hear that she is safe.

We had three other quilters from Japan in our swaps.  But I have not been in contact with them.  Hopefully they are all safe like Hiroko.  Here are the other Japanese quilt blocks from our swap.

Misako's Japanese Quilt Block

Nancy's Japanese Quilt Block

Shizuka's Japanese Quilt Block

Maybe with this blog they will read about us inquiring about their safety and contact us.  We are especially worried about Nancy as her quilt block is signed Sendai, Japan. Our thoughts and prayers are to all of those in Japan living through this tragedy.  Quilters always come forward to help those who are in need and the Japanese people are in need of quilts to keep warm. 

 The Quilter's Newsletter has been in contact with the Patchwork Quilt Tsushin which is a leading Japanese quilt magazine.  The Quilter's Newsletter  will be collecting quilts for Japan and forwarding them to the Editor in Chief of the Patchwork Quilt Tsushin, Naomi Ichikawa.  Here is the information  copied from  the Quilter's Newsletter Blog
"Send quilts of any size from baby to adult to: Dana Jones
Quilters Newsletter
741 Corporate Circle, Suite A
Golden, CO 80401

•    Mark your box: “Quilts for Japan.”
•    Send quilts as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2011.
•    Enclose your name, address, phone number, and email address with the quilts."

You can read more information about sending the quilts to The Quilter's Newsletter or you can contact them with questions by visiting their blog at http://networkedblogs.com/fA9SP


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Looking back at September 11, 2001 Quilt Blocks

The weather is just starting to turn and it is just starting to feel like Spring. This week I spent the time updating some of the Nifty Fifty Websites.  I changed the main pages to a much lighter look.  This week a quilter from our Nifty Fifty 27 group emailed me to tell me that she had gotten her NF 27 quilt blocks and signature squares mixed up and now she does not know which quilt block belonged to which signature square.  The NF 27 swap was Red, White and Blue Patriotic Theme for September 11, 2001.

NF 27 Quilt without the signature squares

NF 27 Breast Cancer Quilt with the signature squares

  Each of these quilt blocks had a special signature square which had a heartfelt statement about 9/11 from each quilter.  I was so happy to give her our Nifty Fifty 27 website so she could match up her quilt blocks and start putting  her quilt together.  Here is her NF 27 California quilt block and signature square for 9/11. 
NF 27 California Quilt block and signature square
 Even though every state was represented in this swap. The four areas of the country that was affected the most on 9/11  were done by four of our original Nifty Fifty One Quilters. Wendy lived in Pennsylvania and did her quilt block to represent the state where one of the planes went down.
Pennsylvania 9/11 Quilt Block and Signature Square
 Marjorie who lived in New York did her quilt block representing the twin towers falling.
New York 9/11 Quilt Block and Signature Square
 I lived in Virginia and we had many people in our area working in the Pentagon that day and my Father had also worked there for many years.  We knew several in our community who lost their lives that day.  There was one survivor from our hometown who barely made it out of the Pentagon with her most of her body burnt....months later she visited my girl scout troop in her body cast to tell the girls of her experience. 
Virginia 9/11 Quilt Block and Signature Square
 Pam who also lived in Virginia only south of Washington DC did her block to  represent where the plane was originally headed.
Washington DC 9/11 Quilt Block and Signature Square
You can see the rest of our quilt blocks and signature squares on our Nifty Fifty 27 website at www.niftyfiftyquilters.com/nf27.html