a8I finished a UFO today.  I hadn’t worked on one for a long time.  This pineapple log cabin was made many years ago. It was paper pieced.  It is small, only 12″ x 12″. Some of my UFOs are small and some are large. I have some papers with log cabins drawn on them that are just about this size so I could make some more. That is not in my plans for now.

Today was a designing day.  I have ideas for two more quilts.  They will take a while to work out the details, so I don’t have to start sewing right away.

One more Dear Jane is quilted and the binding is sewn on, ready to tack down and be added to the main quilt.  Another block is ready to quilt.  Then, there are only two left to make in the third row from the center. They are applique blocks with very tiny appliques.  I’m glad that I discovered Gypsy applique paper.  It is much easier to applique when I use it.  I’ll print the patterns for the fourth row and start that soon. I do have one block that is sewn on the main quilt in the wrong place.  I’ll rip that one out and resew it where it belongs.  I’m sure that no one would notice, but I would.

Mending is done, tomatoes are picked, errands are run.  I’m going to a wedding tomorrow and then down to New Hampshire for a few days.  It’s time for a break from quilting or crocheting.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


Blockhead 2

IMG_1432What a difference a day makes.  I unsewed  the parts to the star points on last week’s Moda Blockhead 2 block.  I realized that I had omitted the step to trim the parts.  After they were trimmed, they went together as they should.  I did find the missing star point.  It was under the sewing machine.  All’s well that ends well.


The Kimberly Einmo Blockbuster quilt top is finished. It consists of the last ten  10″ blocks.  I made four of one of the blocks for the corners, for a total of thirteen blocks.  It is too large for me to quilt, so it will go to a longarm quilter.IMG_1434




I found a backing for the small “squirrel” quilt that I made from a picture. Now that the piecing is finished, I can quilt it.  Maybe hand quilting because it is small.  The star blocks are 4″ square.  IMG_1429




This is the pile of finished flying geese in the Temperature quilt.  I need the black sashing strips to join the strips together.  The black fabric is in New Hampshire.  I’ll get it the next time that I go there.  IMG_1428




The International Quilters, two from the United States and two from Canada, who meet every year at the Vermont quilt Festival,  have decided to sew a five yard challenge.  We all have the same pattern to follow.  I was checking out patterns to place in the focus 6″ square when I came across a pattern that I received at a Jennie Haskins seminar.  It is the perfect item for the quilt show raffle.  I can embellish it a little to make it special.  Maybe I will start it tomorrow.  Or I could work on Dear Jane, this week’s Moda Blockhead or the Simple Sampler block which will be in an e-mail tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a fun day.  The dining room table is still neat and tidy.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

.  Have you ever had a day when everything seems to be going right?  I don’t have a sewing room in Maine.  I sew on the dining room table.  It was covered with a mess, a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  I decided to organize and finish what was on the table.  I finished sewing the top for the “squirrel”  wall hanging.  Then, I caught up with the temperature quilt.  I organized Dear Jane and found out what I need to do next.  I organized the fabric and put it back in the suitcase where I keep it.  I even organized the magnetic pin holder.  It had straight pins, safety pins, needles, paper clips, bobbins, and the little sewing machine screw driver in it.  Now, everything is in it’s place.  The dining room table was clean and I could start something else.  Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch, I decided to make last week’s Moda Blockhead block.  This week’s should come tomorrow.  Partway through, I realized that the pieces were not going to fit together.  And then I lost one of the pieced star points.  I still haven’t found it.  The whole thing will go into the mile a minute bin and I will try again tomorrow.  I cut out the first border for a quilt, but decided not to sew it on.  The sewing machine needs a rest. I do have a neat dining room table.

DSCF4062In past years, my daughter came to Maine several times for a week in the summer.  We called it “Quilt Camp”.  We quilted.  We went to yard sales, flea markets and consignment stores.  Whatever we wanted to do. We had a great time.  One year we sun dyed fabric in the back yard.  The fabric was beautiful.  Ferns and other items were imprinted on the fabric. A few years after we sun dyed, I made a quilt with the fabric and gave it to her.  It is a good memory of our special time together.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


Melissa and Miss Rosie

IMG_1426Melissa is finished.  It is a good feeling to finish a project.  I have so many long term projects that never seem to be completed. Most are one block a week (Moda Blockhead 2 and Simple Sampler) or one flying geese a day ( the Temperature quilt).  Then there is Dear Jane.  She just plods along when I feel like working on her.  I have several quilts that are basted and ready to quilt.  Also, a few UFOs that I intended to finish this summer.  I really should concentrate on one quilt and get it done.


miss rosie opening dayI haven’t talked about Miss Rosie for a while.  Today’s quilt is called Open Door.  Kerry Nelson, the author of the Miss Rosie book , made her quilt with red, brown and yellow  fabric.



IMG_0756The  center of my stars were cut from a fabric that I had bought for another project.  The flower squares were the right size and there were enough of them to make the quilt.  The flowers were different colors so I was able to put them in a medallion setting.

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IMG_0757My daughter’s quilt was made with red, blue and turquoise stars.  All the fabric came from our stash, so we were able to make quilts with many colors. IMG_0664



We thought the Miss Rosie project would diminish our stash, but that just didn’t happen.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


A little of this, a little of that

I worked on a lot of different things today.  The morning was spent quilting Melissa and adding the binding.  As soon as that is sewn down, I’ll show a picture.


This afternoon, I went to my hand work box and added the top and bottom of row three of Dear Jane.  I still have three blocks to applique, quilt and bind for the side pieces of that row.  Then on to the fourth row.





The weather was nice so Miss Molly and I went out on the porch and sat on the swing.  I sewed down the binding of the mile a minute table topper.IMG_1418

When it became dark, I came inside and crocheted a row on the plastic bag.  I am doing much better with crocheting.  Maybe it’s not so hard after all.  I have some folding and organizing to do with the loads of plastic bags that I brought home with me yesterday. Then they will be ready to cut when I need them.

I need a small quilt for the raffle at the quilt show.  I’ve been looking for a pattern and found a picture that I had saved.  I’m not sure what the size of the quilt in the picture is, but I’m making it with 4″ blocks set on point.  I cut out some of the pieces and will sew some together tomorrow.

I had some donated summer squash and zucchini.  Also some cucumbers.  I sautéed the summer squash with garlic and basil for supper tonight. It was delicious.  I’ll have some zucchini tomorrow although I should shred some for the freezer.  Chocolate zucchini bread would be delicious in the winter.  My tomatoes are red, so I can have a salad with the cucumber and the lettuce that is in the refrigerator.  Summer is wonderful with the fresh vegetables and fruit.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Non quilting fun

This morning I marked and quilted another border on the Melissa quilt.  Hopefully, I will finish quilting tomorrow.  Then the binding has to be sewn on.  It is a small quilt so that shouldn’t take long.

I had a great afternoon.  I had seen some tote bags made from plastic shopping bags and wanted to learn how to do that.  GW invited me and another guild member to her home and we had a lesson.

The bags are crocheted.  I have done crochet before, but, I preferred quilting so I hadn’t crocheted in years.  Crocheting with yarn and crocheting with plastic bags are two very different things, especially if one has forgotten the technique.  It took me most of the afternoon to figure out how to hold the hook and find the hole to put it in.  Also to increase the tension so I could find the hole.

GW showed us how to fold the plastic bags and how to cut them.  After cutting, the strands are rolled into a ball. All of the prep work can be done while watching TV.    There is a lot of yardage in a shopping bag.  I didn’t realize how many different colored bags are in the stores.  Mine were mostly tan and gray.

IMG_1411Strips of plastic bags in balls


My first three rows.

IMG_1409Bags ready for linings.



The bags are crocheted with two different color strands of plastic.  It took a long time for me to finish the first row. I kept dropping one of the strands and had to pull it out and start again.  My tension was too tight.  I have a better appreciation of a new quilter now.  It is hard to learn a new craft.

GW showed us how to complete the bag even though we both weren’t too far along with our project.   She makes her bags very fast.  She also is making a rug.IMG_1412




The bags have a lining with pockets and a zipper.  They can be any size.  I came home with lots of colored plastic bags which I will organize by color.  I’ll also fold them in preparation for cutting.  I’m sure that once I finish one bag I will make them faster.

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Two bags waiting for handles, linings etc.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Don’t forget to try something new.




Basket and Butterfiles

basket and butterfliesBasket and Butterflies is my favorite quilt.  Many years ago, I took an applique class with Nancy Pearson at the Vermont Quilt Festival.  I had taken classes with other applique instructors, but it wasn’t anything that excited me.  The first half of the class was not about applique.  It was about color and fabric choices.  We cut and pasted fabrics onto paper.  When we left class for lunch, several of the students were fussing and saying they didn’t sign up for that type of a class and were not going back.  It was their loss as Nancy taught applique in the afternoon class.  We had our background in color so the flowers were beautiful.  Nancy taught us how to applique a twisted ribbon without having bulk at the joining.  It was awesome and I was hooked on applique.

bbThe center of Basket and Butterflies was the class project.  I had enough wall hangings so decided to enlarge it and make a queen quilt.  I designed a border using Nancy’s flowers and made a woven ribbon with the same colors as the ribbon on the basket.



The quilt has a sub-title.  It is “It’s John Flynn’s Fault”.  I also had a class on stipple quilting and trapunto with John Flynn.  The background of the quilt is stipple quilted with one of John’s stipple patterns.  There is also some feather quilting.

bb2The quilt was named Basket and Butterflies because when I became bored with the stipple quilting, I quilted orange butterflies in the background,  It is very subtle but makes a nice surprise when the viewer discovers the butterflies.  bb3



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When it was finished, I thought that I would enter it into the Vermont Quilt Festival because I made it with information that I received in classes that I had taken there. It was my first entry in a major show.  I was stunned and very pleased to receive a blue ribbon.  And then, if I wasn’t stunned enough, my name was called for the best hand quilting award.  bb1

The other side of the story is that I had met my quilting goal .  My goal was to receive a ribbon in Vermont.  Because I had met it, I stopped quilting for a while.  Then, I got my thinking back in order.  I quilted for the pleasure of quilting. Not every quilt is a prize winning quilt and I didn’t have to make one better than Basket and Butterflies.  The prize is the joy in designing, putting fabric colors together, sewing, and making memories.  The quilts didn’t have to be perfect.  There should be no stress in making a quilt. Some of my quilts are just plain awful.  Those are the ones that no one ever sees.  I’ve learned to not point out my mistakes.  They can be covered up by applique or buttons, or just cut up for mile a minute quilts.  I’ve stopped counting how many quilts I’ve made.  I usually have five or six going at the same time.  I never get bored.  I still put some into shows and have received blue, red and yellow ribbons.  Sometimes, no ribbons.  The judges point out mistakes that I already knew were there, so I’m not surprised.  I just like to share my quilts with others.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Landscape Gaa-barge

We used to go fishing on several ponds, lakes, and rivers in New Hampshire and Maine.  Sometimes, we would just go out in the Grand Laker canoe for a canoe ride.  It was so peaceful.  One day we were on the Merrimack River and I took a picture of pink flowers along the bank. This was one of the pictures that I kept on my work station. It was a reminder of the wonderful times that we had on the water. a blog 1






When I started the landscape project, this picture was one that I had to reproduce in scraps and threads.  When making a landscape, the trick is to add just a few scraps and make the details with thread painting.  If too many scraps are added, the picture can look heavy.  Thread painting is very relaxing.  Shadows and sunlight can be added as if with a painter’s brush.  Rayon thread will be shiny and reflect the light, while cotton will be better suited in the shade. Forward colors will be darker and brighter while the distant colors will be more muted.

Landscape Gaa-barge is not a perfect reproduction but is a hint of the original.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Splendid sampler

IMG_1408I actually  finished a UFO today  This is a really old one.  I think that I used the Lazy Girl flying geese ruler to make the flying geese.  It makes four at a time.  The piece is 20″ x 20″ and will go in the “give away” bin.  It’s machine quilted so didn’t take long to finish.  I used the leaf galore ruler to mark the curvy lines.  The ruler was the exact length as the border so I didn’t have to add or subtract anything.  I gave up on trying to finish a UFO every week.  The small ones were easy to do, but the larger ones take more time. they’ve been sitting there for a while so they can sit a little longer.

IMG_1407Last week’s Splendid Sampler block was designed by Rachael Daisy. It is called Around Four Corners. Quilters who write several of the blogs that I follow are doing the Splendid Sampler as well as the Moda Blockhead 2.  They give tips about sewing the blocks.  The tip for this block was to sew it exactly as the pattern says.  That is reasonable.  One of the reasons that I am making the Splendid Sampler blocks is to learn new techniques.

This block starts with a 3″ square and a border.  Then a square is pieced four times. There are four different colors and the background color for each square.   A round piece of freezer paper is ironed to the back of the square.  Then the round piece is placed on and appliqued on the four corners of the first block.  The freezer paper gives a nice edge to sew on.  After the circle was appliqued, I slit the back and pulled the freezer paper out.

I use Gypsy Applique paper.  It is a more solid freezer paper and is water soluble if you want to leave it in.  I usually try to take it out.

I saw a blog today that has a Squirrel Club.  There are no rules.  There is no sign up.  You just are given permission to interrupt what you are doing and dash off to make something that you didn’t even think about until that very minute.  I like this club.  I think that I’ve been a member for a long time anyway.  Now, I can do the “squirrel” thing without feeling guilty.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


Cutting squares for quilts is an easy way to use up scraps.  The quilts can be any size, depending on the size of the squares and how many you use. It is an excellent method for making charity quilts or beach quilts which will have a lot of wear.

Trip Around the World is one pattern that places fabric colors in order.  The squares  can be any size.  Quite often, I cut leftover fabric into squares and keep them in a box with similar size squares.

A miniature quilt and a small quilt are two different things.  A small quilt is just that.  It is a small quilt, maybe a doll quilt, a table topper, a baby quilt or a small wall hanging.  A miniature quilt is a miniature version of a larger quilt.  If a picture was taken of a miniature quilt, you wouldn’t know how big it was.  It would look like a large quilt.

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Two of the above quilts have 6 X 8 squares, but one is 40″ x 50″ and the other is 3 1/2″ x 4 1/2″. They have the same amount of squares, but the size is drastically different.  The middle quilt is either for a doll house or a Christmas ornament.  It is a miniature of the other two quilts.  The third quilt is the largest with squares that are the same size as the first quilt.  All three are pieced as two patches, then four patches assembly line fashion.  They are very quick and easy quilts.

Have a great day and happy quilting.