The Tapestry

The Tapestry was made in the back door quilting method.  Different blocks were made with different methods.  After they were made, They were put together like a jigsaw puzzle.  Strips were inserted to fill out some spaces.  After the whole piece was together, a backing was sewn on.  The Tapestry is very heavy.  Very few people have seen it as it is too heavy to take to show and tell.  I spent many wonderful hours with special friends as we all made our own versions of the Tapestry. Each one was different.


Two machine embroideries, stipple quilted with a border.


The twisted ribbon had squiggle free motion quilting around it.   The beads were applied with the sewing machine.  IMG_0718You will notice that the same rose fabric was used in different ways in the blocks.   Jewelry and several other small objects were added to many of the blocks.  Fancy buttons were added.  Neckties were turned and couched down.  Many laces, some antique lace were applied.  Several of the blocks were piped.  Some with double piping.  Built in stitches were used as well as lots of free motion quilting.  If we could think of a technique, we used it in this piece.  When my friends do see it, they spend lots of time discovering all the little things in this quilt.

I did have the Tapestry appraised and was shocked at the low appraisal price.  They said that it wasn’t even a quilt because it hadn’t been quilted through all three layers.  It was appraised by a traditional quilter.  Art quilts do get more recognition now.

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Have a great day and happy quilting.

Gardens and other stuff

I installed my mailbox today so I am officially in Maine.  Miss Molly has adjusted to the change of scenery very well, although she is nervous when the cayotes sing at night.  They are still on the other side of the valley. but I still go out with Miss Molly in the evening.

IMG_0892The lilacs are in blossom.  The deer must have been hungry this year as there are no blossoms at the bottom of the bushes.  They enjoy snacking on the flower buds.  One year, we had just one blossom that they couldn’t reach.  I’m glad that the bushes are taller so we both can enjoy the flowers. IMG_0893




IMG_0896The crab apples have outdone themselves.  They are so beautiful that I don’t mind that the fruit is too small to be of any use.

IMG_0897It’s lupine season in Maine.  I have a pink lupine along with the purple.  Lupine is a biennial.  The pink lupine is in a different spot every other year.






Several years ago, I made twelve little wall hangings, one for each month of the year.  When I think of it, I try to change the wall hanging on the first of each month.  Each one has an embroidery pertaining to the month.  I feather stitch the edge of the two borders.  The small pieces are a perfect size to try new background fillers.

IMG_0856ApIMG_0859ril showers bring May flowers.  May’s wall hanging is a Donna Dewberry embroidery.  It is fun to watch the pictures  come alive as each color is added.  I tried painting in the Donna Dewberry method once and I didn’t think that I did very well.  I came across my paintings the other day and they’re not bad.  I should try it again.

IMG_0857     IMG_0858June is a picture of a little boy and his dog.  He is out of school and is fishing.

The weather is finally warming up.  I think we will have summer after all.

Gave a great day and happy quilting,

The Single Gourmet

I was at the grocery store looking at vegetables when a friend came by for a chat.  We were standing by the eggplant when I remarked that I didn’t like eggplant.  I had it once when I was a child and it was tough and bitter.  That was the time when bigger was supposed to be better.  She told me how to cook the small eggplants, so I bought one and thought that I would try it once.

It was delicious and I will definitely make it again.

Preheat the oven to 370 degrees.  Slice the eggplant into 1″ slices and coat the eggplant with olive oil on both sides.  Sprinkle with onion salt.  Bake for 20 minutes, turning once during this time.


I made a sauce to go on the eggplant.  Fry 1/2 cup each of onion, green pepper, and orange pepper in olive oil for a few minutes.  Add 1 diced garlic clove and fry for a few more minutes.  Add a can of mushrooms and lots of basil.  I had 1/2 jar of leftover pizza sauce in the refrigerator, so I added it to the pan.  Any tomato sauce would be fine.

When the eggplant was done, I covered it lightly with the sauce .


For a side, I spiraled some zucchini, which I cooked for 2 minutes.  Now that I’ve mastered the spiralizer, it is fun to use.  The product has to be firm. Be careful of the blade.  It’s very sharp.



I also had some delicious cheesy onion  biscuits.


1/4 c chopped onion   3/4 c flour    1/8 tsp baking powder      1/8 tsp baking soda   1/8 tsp salt    1  Tbsp.. shortening     1/4 c shredded cheese    1/3 c buttermilk

Microwave onion for 1-2 minutes.  Cool for a bit.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Cut in shortening until mixture resembles small crumbs.  Stir in cheese and onions.  Stir in buttermilk until just moistened.  Turn onto a floured board and knead 8-10 times.  Pat or roll into a 4″ circle.  Cut into four wedges.  Place 2″ apart on a greased cooking sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes.

I keep powdered buttermilk in the refrigerator and use it when a recipe calls for buttermilk.  When I make this for myself, I cut the recipe in half so that I have two biscuits.  They are so good.  I would eat all four at once.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


Gaa Barge

It has been fun designing all the 32 pieces in the Gaa Barge series.  I have enough scraps taken from the wastebasket or swept off the floor to finish the remainder of my challenge.  I had originally planned to make one a week for a whole year, but gardening got in the way and the series wasn’t finished. Maybe, I can finish the series next winter when the snow flies.

IMG_0473The cat and dog pieces were made with purple and other dark fabrics for the background and tan fabrics for the animals.  The made fabric was made in the mile a minute method.  The patterns for the animals came from a child’s coloring book.  The cut out animals were fused down and then zig zaged around the edges with tan thread.  The lines of the drawing were zig zaged with black  thread.

IMG_0472Shortly after I made these two pieces, I taught a class on this procedure at a local quilt shop.  The pieces were my sample pieces.  They were at the shop when a photographer came to take a picture of the owners.  One of the pieces was grabbed and put under the needle of a sewing machine.  The colors went with a piece that was on the wall behind them.   I enjoy seeing my animal in the picture on the wall when I go to the quilt shop.

Have a great day and happy quilting,

Autumn Madness

Several years ago I hand dyed lots of fabric.  I just couldn’t cut it up for a quilt.  It sat for a long time in a bin.

IMG_0297I saw a quilt pattern called October Weekend and thought of the dyed fabric.  It would be just right for the project.  The pattern was diagramed like a cross stitch.  Some of the squares were whole.  Some were half square triangles and some were three pieces. I cut each piece separately, and arranged them on a flannel sheet so they would be in the right position on the quilt.  It seemed to take forever to make this quilt. This was made when I worked on one quilt at a time.    Not at all like today when I have four or five going at once, not to mention dozens of ufos.

After the quilt was pieced, I did find three mistakes.  There are probably many more, but when leaves fall on the forest floor, it doesn’t matter.

The leaves are hand quilted with veins.  The black background is hand quilted 1/4″ apart.  When it was finished, I renamed it “Autumn Madness”. Looking back, I really did enjoy making this quilt.

Have a great day and happy quilting,


Big Bed Quilts

All the babies in my family receive a quilt when they are born. The quilts are loved and well worn.  As the babies grow older and transition to a big bed, they often get a big bed quilt.

archive 11One of my daughters had a set of twins, a boy and a girl.  I used a panel to make them their crib quilts.  The quilts were alike.  Very quick and easy.


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When the boy went to a big bed, he received a red, white and blue log cabin quilt.  This quilt was made from cotton fabric.

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The girl also received a log cabin quilt.  I had bought all the left over fabric from a quilt shop that went out of business.  Some of the fabric was shiny satin and other delicate fabrics.  This was a wrong choice.  The 1/4″ seams frayed and the quilt was unusable after a few washes.  Live and learn.  I should have made bigger seams.

I have two more little boys that are going into big beds soon so I should get busy and make quilts for them.

Have a great day and happy quilting.



IMG_0317This is one of my favorite quilts.  I made it when I first started quilting.  It is machine pieced and hand quilted.  For some reason, it is very comfortable to sleep under.  For years, I took it to the Vermont Quilt Festival to place on my bed.  It is my home away from home quilt.

IMG_0312I collected the teal, blue and green fabrics in this quilt for several years.  There was something missing.  At the time that I was planning this quilt, I was teaching some of my co-workers how to quilt. As I was showing the students the fabric, one of them said “See what I bought at Keepsake Quilting ” and threw the pink fabric on top of my pile.  It was the spark that this quilt needed. I called Keepsake and read the information that was on the selvage to them.  A few days later, I had the yardage that I needed to make this quilt.  This one is also machine pieced and hand quilted.

These two quilts are still in my collection.  Someone once asked me why I had so many quilts.  My response is that some people collect salt and pepper shakers, I collect quilts.  It just takes more space.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Miss Rosie

miss rosie open doorThe sixth quilt in the Miss Rosie Spice of Life book by Carrie L Nelson is called Open Door.  Carrie made her quilt in blue, brown, and red.  The colors in this picture are not accurate.




My daughter called her quilt Tribute to Dad.  She used pictures of her Dad along with a fishing theme for the large center pieces.  IMG_0776She drew from her stash of fishing fabric for the rest of the piecing.



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My quilt centers were cut from a panel of a bog.  I cut the panel into nine pieces and sewed them back in the same order.  IMG_0775



The quilt looks complicated, but it is made of half square triangles, snowball blocks and cut off quarter square triangles.  Most of the quilts in this book are easy to make as long as the block is broken down and pieced in sections. Next week you will see the exception to this statement.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Gaa Barge

A lot of the gaa barge was just scraps that fell on the floor.  I quite often make blocks with the Tucker Trimmer.  A small piece is trimmed from each  oversize block.  For this block, I must have trimmed white fabric because I had a lot of it.

The very small strips are sewn down with a stipple stitch.  There is no tulle so the strips are floating.  A few red flowers were embroidered on top.IMG_0462  It is a very simple piece.  It’s not my favorite piece of gaa barge but it did use up lots of little white scraps .

Have  a great day and happy quilting,.

mile a minute quilts

When you have a lot of scraps left over from making quilts, you make a mile a minute quilt.  When sewing, the seam allowance can be what ever you wish.  It doesn’t  have to be 1/4″.  It just has to be straight. It is a good way to use up leftover bobbins and spools of thread.  It doesn’t matter what color thread you use.  The mile a minute is made by not looking and just grabbing the next piece of color, although some people like to match the  colors or themes of their fabric. Either way is o.k. The color of the quilt is determined by the color of the sashing.  For instance, if you use a blue sashing, it will pick up the blues in the mile a minute block and the quilt will read as blue.

The technique is easy.  Sew small scraps to a strip.  Cut the pieces apart, press and then add the pieces to a second strip.  Keep sewing in this manner until there is a piece big enough to cut out a square that is the size that you want.  I use a 6 1/2″ square ruler to cut the square.  It is put on the diagonal, not straight.  This 6 1/2″ block can be used in any block pattern that has a piece that size in it.

IMG_0898The easiest quilt to piece uses sashing and three borders.  The mile a minute block is in a straight set.  The middle border is a mile a minute piece cut 3 1/2″ and joined together to make a border long enough to go around the quilt.IMG_0901

IMG_0906Another option is to use a diagonal set.  Oversize mile a minute blocks are cut in half for the triangles next to the border.IMG_0903

Every time  I think I have finished my last mile a minute quilt and have used up all the scraps, I find bins of leftover scraps from other quilts.  I still have a big bag of Christmas fabric.  Some day, I will have a Christmas mile a minute.

Have a great day and happy quilting.