New Site & FREE bi-monthly mini

Posted in Monthly Mini at 10:38 am by Lauretta Crites

I’ve moved to a beautiful new website!

Click here to see whats new

(if the above link takes you back to this blog you may need to clear your browsers cache to access the new website. Follow the instructions in this article in order to clear the cache of your specific browser)

You can still sign up here or on the new website for my FREE bi-monthly newsletter and mini quilts and download it from the new website. You can download and print the center section at home, color it in, then use any materials you choose to add the borders. Easy and fun inspiration in your e-mail box. This is now an automated feature be sure you click on photo or click here to sign up, please don’t ask in a comment.


Que Orchestra, Curtain Up!

Posted in quilt display, Uncategorized at 12:00 pm by Lauretta Crites

The notice arrived unexpectedly early… the final exhibit of the Dinner@8 Artists. A flutter of the heart as I click thru the link to the list of accepted pieces. Scrolling thru the list of now familiar names… yes it’s there Lauretta K. Crites – Que Orchestra, Curtain Up! will be part of this last chapter.

I came late to the party. Gaining entry (it’s invitation only…) in 2014 after my quilt “Winter Squash” ribboned at Houston Festival, giving me my first opportunity to “come to the table” with this amazing group of women in 2015 when my quilt “Undaunted” was accepted into the “Affinity” exhibit, meeting for the 1st time artists who’s work I had long admired. I remember now how much I tortured myself and my quilt that first year knowing how high the caliabler of the work would be and how proud I was, and am, to see my work alongside the work of these beautiful ladies. To see the list of this years artists or previous year exhibits click here.

Being a part of this group has really inspired me and pushed me to grow in my work, opened my eyes to new ideas and opportunities and made me laugh ’till I nearly cried. I am grateful for the friendships and the committed deadlines!! Many thanks to co-curators Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison for creating this exhibit and fostering this community.

Cue Orchestra, Curtain Up!

I have an affinity for live theater. I’m not certain where I “caught the bug” but I know even in elementary school I loved putting on stage shows, even puppet shows! More comfortable behind the scenes I moved naturally into the “tech” side eventually joining my sewing skills with construction and design working in costume shops in Los Angeles on all kinds of productions.

I love all kinds of theater but its the musicals I return to over and over again. They are the ones that steal my heart. Call it Opera or Musical Theater when you combine music with the human voice and the actions of the performers I’m transported, fully engaged. Even when I can’t understand the words the emotions are so clear.

In this 30″ x 50″ quilt Cio-Cio San (Madame Butterfly) and Alexander Hamilton (Hamilton) share the spotlight in my tribute to theater in it’s most magical form with other productions represented in the quilting in the background surrounding these central characters. Between my time “backstage” and “front of house” some of the most exquise moments of my life have been experienced in the theater.

2017 Dinner@8 piece “White Lace on Red Velvet”
theme: Patterns

2016 Dinner@8 piece “Undaunted” Theme: Affinity



“LOVE” Mini Quilt on a foam display board

Posted in Monthly Mini, quilt display, Uncategorized at 6:31 pm by Lauretta Crites

Now that life is cycling back toward something like normalcy I’ve been able to spend some time in the studio. My
current art quilt is under a social media black out so I am going to share a new Mini Quilt display method I’ve just tried.

Design Foam Boards for Mini Quilt Mounting

Design Foam Boards by Fairfield are rigid styrofoam with adhesive on one side so its easy to mount the quilt directly to the board. The instructions say to position sticky side up wrap your fabric to the back covering only the edges and then stick it to the wall…
Sorry… I’m not gluing these things to my wall… Here’s how I used it.

I started by measuring the width for my border. Since the center of my Mini Quilt measures 8 1/2″ square and the foam board is 12″ square I needed the border fabric to be 1/4″ (seam allowance) + 2″ (distance to edge) + 1/2″ (thickness of foam) + 1 1/2″ (wrap on back) = 4″ I cut 2 border pieces 4″ x 8 1/2″ and attached to the sides, right sides together, sewed using 1/4″ seam, pressed toward the border, added 4″ border to the top and bottom measuring for the length. You will have a finished top with very wide border, as you see in the top photo.

Next I marked on the back of the quilt 2″ out from the seam of the mini quilt center. This created a 12″ square, the same size as the foam board. I then removed the stickybase protective liner and centered the board sticky side down on top of my fabric aligning it with the marks I made.

center the foam on the back of your mini quilt

Clip into the fabric even with the edge of the board on the sides, stopping at the board. Place double sided adhesive fabric tape along the raw edge stopping where the fabric is clipped . Remove the adhesive liner and wrap the fabric around the edge of the foam onto the back (non adhesive) side of the board pulling slightly as you press the tape in place to create a tight fit.

trimming the top and bottom border

Use a touch of glue to secure the raw edge of the fabric on the 1/2″ bottom corners. Fold back the extending end of the top and bottom border fabric even with the side of the covered edge of the foam board. Trim away about half of the fold back, to eliminate bulk.

After trimming, glue remaining fold back in place on top of border.


glue extra seam allowance

Place double sided fabric tape on raw edge from end to end on remaining edges, wrap fabric around sides and onto back tugging slightly as you press tape in place to create a tight fit.

view of back of finished board


With the stickybase adhesive firmly anchoring the front of the mini quilt and nothing sticky on the back I can prop my mini up on a table, or stand it in a small easel or even press a picture hook into the back and hang it on a nail.

Mini top wrapped on design foam board


Easy Snap Bag

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:23 pm by Lauretta Crites

I love to make these little bags from the quilted fabric left over from making my “Cutting Mat Tote Bags”
you can make them any size you want. The instructions that follow make a “snap bag” approx. 5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ finished.

Snap Bag

To make your snap bag, you will need:
1) 1 piece of quilted fabric 8″ x 11″
2) 2 binding fabric pieces 3 1/2″ x 8″
3) 2 prairie point fabric pieces 3 1/2″ square
4) 2 pieces of 1″ wide metal tape measure 7 1/4″ long with the ends rounded and cut edges taped

Start by folding your binding pieces in half lengthwise and pressing.(not shown)
Take your prairie point pieces and fold them in half lengthwise. Press. With the raw edges facing up fold each edge in to the center to form a triangle.

With the “wrong” side of the 8″ x 11″ fabric facing you on the table align the raw edges of your folded binding strips up with the raw 8″ edges of your snap bag, pin in place and stitch with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Press stitching to set then press binding up.

Binding shown stitched and pressed to the “wrong side”

Turn your quilted fabric over and wrap the binding around to the front pinning in place. The binding should come down over the front edge about 1 1/8″ find the center and tuck the prairie points under the binding edge about 1/4″ and pin.(see photo at top of page) Top stitch close to the edge of the binding to stitch binding and prairie points.

snap bag "right sides together"

Fold your snap bag in 1/2 “right sides together” aligning the binding edges. On one side only Stitch 1/4″ seam. Insert each of the metal tape measure pieces under the bindings sliding them all the way into the pocket. The rounded side of the tape measure needs to be on the outside (right side) of the snap bag, so working from the the inside (wrong side) slide it in so the inside curve faces you and the outside curve faces the front. Make sure its the same for both sides of the snap bag.
Stitch the other side closed using 1/4′ seam allowance. Finish by zig zag stitching the raw edges.
Turn right side out and carefully poke out the corners to make nice and flat and square.

These little bags are great on the go and make terrific gifts. I have one I use as my binding tote with scissors needles and binding clips. They make great make up bags and travel bags. I’ve make them in the size of eyeglass cases and have one I use as a pencil case. You really can’t have too many. Enjoy!


It’s been a long time…..

Posted in CREATE!, Lecture/teaching schedule, personal life at 1:40 pm by Lauretta Crites

I hardly know where to begin… It’s been a challenging and rewarding year so far and quite a long time since I’ve posted anything. In December my Husband’s Father passed away just a few days before Christmas. In January my Mom passed away just a few days after New Years, and just 1 day shy of her 72nd birthday. Both deaths were unexpected and both combined were devastating. Even with wonderful family support there has been a lot of work and grieving in closing their estates. My father-in-law lived in San Diego county a 4 hour round trip from our home and my task was to hire the contractors to do renovations on his home, make all the design choices and handle all the details of selling his home. My mom lived in Iowa so I was there with her for the final week while she was in the hospital, then back again for another week to help sort and move her personal items, design the grave marker and hold the memorial.

In between all that “A Couple of Old Broads” did shows in Ontario:CA, Phoenix:AZ, Mesa:AZ, Tuscon:AZ, Livermore:CA, and Reno:NV, and I spoke at Quilt Guilds and held workshops in Aliso Viejo:CA, Santa Maria:CA, Northridge:CA, taught at the Reno Sew and Quilt Expo and I will be headed up to central California soon to do presentations at 2 more Guilds and another workshop. Whew!!

July 25 – I’ll be presenting my trunk show “A Quilters Year” sharing how my Southern California home changes seasons thru quilts at the Central Coast Quilters Guild in Arroyo Grande, CA and I will be teaching my “Harvest Scarecrow” workshop on July 26. In this class we use fabric markers and inks to add detail and shading to enhance our applique, and you learn some free-motion quilting for the background cornstalks as well.

July 27 – I present “CREATE! keys to unlocking your creative power” at the Old Town Quilters in Nipomo, CA.

August 3 – “CREATE! Keys to unlocking your creative power” for the Acadia Quilt Guild in Buena Park, CA followed by my “Cutting Mat Tote Bag”” workshop on August 5. A one day class where we build a bag to fit our 18″ x 24″ cutting mat with pockets to fit our rotary ruler and rotary cutter as well.

August 8 – “CREATE! keys to unlocking your creative power” at the Pine Needles Guild, in Wrightwood, CA followed by Saturday the 12ths Workshop “MiPhone your Phone bag” a great cross body mini messenger bag that is customized to fit your personal cell phone, another project typically finished in the 1 day class.

Most of the presentations are open to non-members, either free or with a modest admission fee. Workshops are open for a fee, space permitting. Contact me at LaurettaCrites@gmail.com or the guilds directly for more information.


REACH for a better thought

Posted in CREATE!, LOA, Monthly Mini at 2:56 pm by Lauretta Crites


Mini Quilt  REACH for a better thought

          Mini Quilt REACH for a better thought

Sometimes what we really need is some new thinking. It’s so very easy going around just reacting to what happens to and around us. But, in order to CREATE! our lives, we need to grab the reigns of our mind and say “Whoa! Slow down! I’m in charge here!” Our minds go racing off at a million miles a minute and most of it is not serving us. Our minds can be like wild horses reacting.  You may not know this, but, if what you are thinking makes you unhappy or keeps you from your pursuit of happiness it is not serving you. These thoughts can be reactions to events or just the kind of low grade negativity that prevents you from going for it.

Lets say for example, I would really like to have an article published in a magazine. Now for me that is exciting and a little intimidating. Even with my experience It’s easy for me to think…”I don’t have a clear idea for an article” “They probably get dozens of submissions every day by people with more writing experience than me”, “that magazine fits my work BUT, …”

Or I can REACH for those better thoughts

“If I sit and brainstorm, I bet I can come up with 5 ideas for an article”, “I don’t have to write the whole article, just submit a proposal” “Magazines are always searching for new ideas” “Nothing is truly new, even older ideas can be recycled” , ” Writing a proposal will be good experience” “Even submitting a proposal will give me some name recognition”

Which will be more likely lead to action? The negative defeating thoughts, or the better more empowering thoughts?

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not… you are right.  – Henry Ford


Take time to bliss out

Posted in Monthly Mini at 4:53 pm by Lauretta Crites


June in Southern California is one of the nicest times to stop and smell the flowers. Plants are in full bloom everywhere you look and the days are sunny and warm … or even hot! Most years I would be spending as much time as possible outside working in the garden, enjoying my veggie seedlings growing up and up. But thanks to the drought new planting areas are on hold and the veggie garden will be getting replaced with drought tolerant plants… probably just as well. This year “A Couple of Old Broads” has done shows in Phoenix, Tuscon, and Mesa Arizona. Salt Lake City, Utah. Santa Rosa, CA and next week we head to Reno NV.  That and all other things “Lauretta Crites Designs” take time.

Bicycle flower basket

Bicycle flower basket

I love to take time to do “summery” things. Concerts in the park, walking on the beach, Laguna Beach’s Pageant of the Masters. This year I’m taking belly dance at the rec center. So however you enjoy summer I hope this one’s especially great for you.


LOVE …is all you need.

Posted in LOA, Monthly Mini at 12:30 pm by Lauretta Crites


Love is truly all you need.

When you are in love everything feels wonderful. You feel more beautiful, more vital, more alive.

This Valentines Weekend  fall totally and madly in love… with yourself. 

You are utterly amazing. You are here because YOU are a good idea. Because YOU add to all that is by who you are. Everyday you engage and touch others in ways you never imagine.

YOU are exactly right. You do not need to be anything or anyone other than who you are, so relax.

YOU are exactly where you should be RIGHT NOW, so relax.

You are growing and learning so much and you will continue to grow and learn, that is the nature of life, so relax.

Look at what you have done and what you have chosen and what you have created and know it has all been exactly right and be happy NOW.

…and that goes for me, too. So this weekend I’m practicing extreme self love. I’m going to be delighted with myself. I will be indulgent and playful. I will ask myself leading questions and really listen to the answers. I will be open and curious. I will eat CHOCOLATE.

I will fill my cup until it overflows knowing that its from that abundance  – that overflow – that I can best love others, too – Much love to you <3

I’d love to know how you  fill your cup this weekend. 🙂


Happy Holidays!

Posted in Monthly Mini at 4:47 pm by Lauretta Crites

Holiday Charms Mini Quilt #5.

If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, you are missing out on all the free mini’s…!

Holiday Charms Mini Quilt

Holiday Charms Mini Quilt

This months free mini quilt can also be used for gift card holders that also make fun ornaments. Now that’s a lot of value from one design!

Holiday Charms Ornament/Gift Card Holder

Holiday Charms Ornament/Gift Card Holder

Print out the PDF mini quilt image onto fabric prepared for printing. Color the images  (At the bottom of the linked page is my terrible video on making colored pencil permanent on fabric)

Cut out your Holiday Charms. I rotary cut evenly between the images which leaves about 1/4″ of fabric outside the line, then trim the other edges to a little more than 1/4″.


Tip: If you want to make LOTS of these..

I usually do a paper “color test sheet”. Here I copied the paper color test sheet onto the fabric using my color printer instead of printing just the outline. Color once, print as many as you need. Do adjust your printer to high quality color printing.

Top image is a color copy lost some of the blue sky on the snowman but mostly good

Lower right hand image is the color copy I lost some of the blue sky on the snowman but it’s good enough for me!

For each Ornament/Card Holder you will need:

  • 1 @ 4″ Holiday Charm mini colored image
  • 1 @ 4 1/2″ square of white fabric
  • 2 @ 5″ squares Holiday fabric (My sample is opposite but for gift card holders, you might want to use a light color fabric on the back to make it easier to write the giftee’s name on it)
  • 1 @ 4″ &  2 @ 5″ squares paper backed fusible webbing
  • 1 @ 5″ square of Peltex (Peltex is a stiff interfacing used for fabric bowls made by Pellon, buy it where you get interfacings or use 2 layers of a heavy dressmakers interfacing)
  • 1 6-7″ piece of ribbon
  • Fabric Glue


Apply fusible webbing, the 4″ square to the back of the Holiday Charm and the two 5″ squares to the backs of the 5″ fabric squares, according to the manufacture’s directions. Allow to cool. Remove the paper from the webbing. (Score with a straight pin to cut the paper then peel the paper back away from the score line.

scrape the tip of the pin through the paper in the center then bend on the tear and peel the paper off

scrape the tip of the pin through the paper in the center then bend on the tear and peel the paper off

Place the Holiday Charm, face up, in the center of the 4 1/2″ white fabric square. Press to fuse. Place the 5″ square of fabric for the front of the ornament, face up, on the Peltex. Press to fuse.

Turn the ornament over, place the 5″ square for the back of the ornament on the Peltex, face up. Press to fuse.

Trim around the Holiday Charm to clean up the edges, leaving as much of the 1/4″ border around the outline as you can. Place a small amount of fabric glue on the the wrong side of the charm on the 2 side edges only on the outside 1/8″.

On this sample I folded down the extra seam allowance at the top. I suggest you trim evenly all around.

On this sample I folded down the extra seam allowance at the top. I suggest you trim evenly all around.

Center the Holiday Charm on the front side of the ornament. Finger press to temporarily glue in place.

Stitch 3 sides of the Holiday Charm, outside the line, to form a pocket. Trim the outer edges of the ornament to clean up the edges and create a nice border around the Holiday Charm.


Form the ribbon into a loop. Glue the 2 cut ends on the back of the ornament approx. 1/2″ down. Allow to dry.


Write your loved one’s name on the back, add your gift card and hang your Ornament/Gift Card Holder on the tree! Something personal they can keep after the card has been used up. Made by you. Merry Christmas!

an ornament to save after the cards been spent

An ornament to save after the card’s been spent


CREATE! “R” is for request.

Posted in CREATE!, LOA at 9:00 am by Lauretta Crites

When you make a quilt you usually get to make all the decisions.

If the quilt is just for you, YOU GET  TO PICK every single little detail. You choose the colors, the pattern and the fabric will it be batik or cotton or Minky? You pick what you want, what YOU like best.  It can be the same with life. The problem is most of us don’t know how to put in our requests.

We constantly contradict our desires.

I love old movies, one of my favorites is the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.  In the film Stewart’s character has a guardian angel, do you remember?  Named Clarence. Imagine for a minute that Clarence is your personal angel. Now Clarence is a really sweet guy but a bit bumbling, he’s a little deaf and not up on the latest fads. He wasn’t even born in the last century (Heaven is an equal opportunity employer, after all…) but Clarence has great intentions and has access to immense power. Everything you could ever want is available to him love, wealth, health, success… and he is standing by ready with his orders to deliver to you what ever you ask for , nothing is too big or too small.  Clarence is there ready willing and able to deliver to you anything you want. He hears you say “oh, look at that awesome jacket, I would love to have that jacket” Clarence starts over to make all the cogs move to pack it up for you and before he can get there you say “look at the price, no way, I can’t afford that” so he hears “I can’t afford that” so he moves on to giving you more of “you can’t afford it” instead. Back and forth it goes, poor Clarence gets worn out and you get nowhere.

Things CAN go better for you than they have, you just have to stop being your own NO.

I don’t mean go out and buy a lot of stuff you can’t currently afford. Instead, become aware of where you are getting in the way of what you really want most. What countering mind sets do you have? Where do you say NO to you? Do you say:

I can’t afford it – I don’t have enough time – I’m too old – I’m not smart enough – I don’t deserve it – I won’t win

You are powerful and your requests are heard. Request what you want, not what you don’t want.

When we talk about or mentally stew over the things that are going wrong in our lives, we put in more requests for things to go wrong.

Talk, think, draw, paint and quilt the things you do want.  Don’t say NO to you. Don’t worry about the details, leave the how’s up to Clarence. Just stop requesting what you don’t want, that’s enough to start the cogs moving again in your favor.

We can order up our lives just like the details of our quilt creations. Request what you want, not what you don’t want.

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