Wall Quilt

I was able to sew for a while and worked on the quilt with the 4 1/2″ squares.  There is just a little more to sew and the top will be finished.  I have sewed several rows and also have the rows of squares sewed and ready to add to the piece.  The white sashing is cut and ready to go.  It’s just a matter of sitting, sewing and pressing.  I have the whole day at home tomorrow so will have time to finish  it.

IMG_1795Tonight, I worked on the wall quilt.  I love to applique, but for some unknown reason, I’m having a hard time appliqueing the pieces down.  I haven’t appliqued for some time but I should remember how to do it.  The big rose was easier to applique than the small rose, so maybe by the end of the week, I will be doing better.

IMG_1794I’m appliqueing with bottom line thread from Superior Threads.  It is a fine thread. Using the proper color, the thread disappears. When I saw the bobbin case full of the different colored threads, I knew that I should find every color that I needed. There is a lot of thread on the bobbins.  I do have to use short lengths of thread which is o.k. as each piece of fabric that is appliqued is small.

Maybe by the time I write another blog, I will have more flowers in the garden.

Have a great day and happy quilting.



I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We had our family Thanksgiving on Saturday.  Not as many came as usual, but we had a great time.  Some were working, some were far away.  We missed the big crowd that we usually have, but those who were here enjoyed visiting with each other.  We have a pot luck meal.  I cooked the turkey and some vegetables.  Also the fudge pudding that always has to be on the table when the family gets together.  There was new  and old recipes.  Everything was delicious. There were four generations at the table.  We figured that six generations of the family have eaten at that table.  It might even have been seven, if Nan’s mother or father had been at her house some time.  They were gone before I came to the family so I don’t know if they did. What stories the table could tell.

I saw a picture of a quilt in Pinterest.  It looked like it would be easy to make and would be a great quilt to practice free motion quilting. The pieces should be 4 1/2″ and the sashing  2 1/2″.  I would need at least 60 squares.  When I checked the attic, I found several bags of color coordinated pressed fabric.  I decided to cut all the fabric into squares.  There were two drawers full of fabric.IMG_1776

It looked pressed, but it needed a little more help.  I started pressing and cutting.  It took most of three days.  There was a lot of fabric.  I am so glad that that part of the job is done.


IMG_1786As I laid each piece on the cutting mat, I cut the largest square that I could.  Then, I cut smaller and smaller until the whole piece was gone.  Some pieces could be laid on each other and several squares could be cut at once. My favorite ruler is the Tucker Trimmer.  It had a workout the past few days.

IMG_1791The larges square was 5 1/2″  I will put them in the drawer with other charm squares.  There should be enough squares that size for a quilt.



IMG_1790I think that I did cut enough 4 1/2″ squares for the quilt that I want to make.  Maybe even enough for two quilts.




IMG_1789The next size was 3 1/2″.  I can make nine patches for Linus quilts.  I have several flannel pillowcases that I will cut apart for the backing for baby quilts.  When I get to it, I’ll figure out how many nine patches I need to fit the pillow cases.  I should be able to make several quilts with this size squares.


IMG_1788The smallest square in 2 1/2″.  There are over 1,000 of these small squares.  I have seen pictures of quilts made with this size square.  One will surface when I get to use this batch of squares.



IMG_1787As I was cutting and throwing away the small scraps, I remembered the time when I kept every little scrap for the Gaa-Barge project.  I decided to save some of the little scraps to finish that project.  I had planned to make one Gaa-Barge a week for a year.  I made only 32 so I have 20 more to make.  The small pieces saved in this box will be enough to make all 20 quilts.

I was hoping that no one would drop in today, even though I love drop in company.  Scraps were on the floor throughout the whole house.  Both Miss Molly and I spread them through the house on our feet.  Dishes were soaking in the sink.  They are now in the dishwasher which I use only when I have a party.  Clean laundry was piled on the bed, waiting to be folded and put away.  I had to concentrate to finish cutting.    Everything is now cleaned up and put away.  The cutting is finished and I can now sew.

IMG_1793I did sew for 10 minutes on the quilt.  It won’t take long to finish sewing the top. It sews together beautifully.  The quilt will have one row of colored squares, then a row of white sashing.  The last row will be the colored squares.  That will be the border.  Because the sashing is cut 2 1/2″, the 4 1/2″ squares line up perfectly on each row.  I could make a smaller version of this quilt with the 3 1/2″ squares with 1 1/2″ sashing.  It’s a thought. I’ll  have to figure out how many rows it will take to be the same size as the flannel pillow case.  Maybe I could sew two pillow cases together and make a larger quilt.  Half the fun is in the planning.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


Happy Thamksgiving

A happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  My Thanksgiving dinner will be on Saturday.  Our family has celebrated Thanksgiving on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for years.  It seems to be a more relaxing day.  We have so much to be thankful for.  We will have fourteen people around the table, including baby Aiden, who has just learned to eat oatmeal.

I thought that I could accomplish many things today.  I did get caught up with the Temperature quilt.  I have an app which shows me the high and low temperatures for past days so it is no problem to get a little bit behind.  I organized a bin and separated UFOs to be done and the quilt tops which are going to a long arm quilter.  I thought about making an Illusion quilt top, but I couldn’t find the gray fabric that I need for that project.  I have all the other fabric that I need.  I know that that piece of solid gray is somewhere in the sewing room.  It will show up when I’m looking for something else.  Then I can make that top.

I’m thinking that I need a break from the Moda project.  I can collect the patterns and continue when I feel like it.  The Splendid Sampler was supposed to be finished, but I found several bonus blocks on the site.  I’ve downloaded the patterns and will finish those later also.

All the mile a minute fabric has been put away.  Someday, when I feel like it, I’ll press the pieces that are together and cut some blocks. In the meantime, I’ll go on to something else.

IMG_1774The first flower has been appliqued on the wall quilt.  It is the rosebud on the top of the swag. The next flower is a large rose.  There are also day lilies, poppies, and trumpet flowers.  I am going to applique the flowers on the right side before I choose colors for the left side.  They will be the same colors, but I want to balance the colors in the piece.   I should probably do applique during the day instead of in the evening when I’m tired and watching TV.  I think that they would look a little better.  All the fabric and diagrams for the wall quilt are now contained in a wire drawer.  The drawer can be removed easily when I’m working on the wall hanging and put back, out of sight, when I’m not working on the project.  The line in the fabric is the cross line to match up the blue fabric to the master pattern.  There is also a horizontal pressed line.

Tomorrow is another day.  I’ll decide then what I want to sew or quilt between cooking for Saturday.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


It is such a good feeling to finish a UFO.  This one has been hanging around for a long time.  It is a block of the month by Leah Day.  I liked it because each block was made separately and machine quilted before putting the twelve blocks together.  Leah Day, not only provided the pattern for the block, but also provided the quilting pattern.  Her quilt was made with orange and yellow fabric.  I did change the colors.


I was unhappy with the way that the blocks looked when I put them together.  Something didn’t look right.  I was using Georgia Bonsteel’s  method of lap quilting to join the blocks.

ne night, I took all the seams out and started over using Leah Day’s method.  When I un-sewed, I found out that I didn’t line the right seams up. No wonder it didn’t look right.  Leah Day’s method sewed three lines around the block before squaring up the block.  It seemed like an unnecessary waste of time, but it was well worth the extra effort in the end. The blocks were perfectly square and went together perfectly.  Things that I have learned while making this quilt.  Finished is better than perfect.  Don’t quilt on  cling wrap.  It is hard to get off and threads pull out when it is removed.  It turns black, probably from the ink used to draw the quilting lines.  If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.  Don’t be afraid to un-sew and start again. Not all quilts need a border.  Make the backing compatible in color with the thread that you are quilting with.   It’s o.k. to change the quilting thread color within a block.  It is impossible to follow a predetermined quilting pattern.  You have to concentrate in following a line, coordinating the pedal and your hands.  That’s just too much to think about at the same time.  If there are pebbles, quilt your own.  Quilt straight line from point to point.  Tie off and clip beginning and ends of quilting lines as they are quilted..  Don’t wait until all the quilting is finished. Make sure that the bobbin thread is brought to the top every time that you start a new quilting line.  If you don’t, the bobbin thread will be in a nest on the back.  Don’t be in a hurry to finish a piece and go on to something else. Maybe there is a reason why you have a UFO in the first place.

After all this,  it is a pretty quilt and it will keep someone warm.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


Miss Molly’s Adventure

There was no sewing or quilting last weekend.  Miss Molly went to visit her cousins, Odie, a labradoodle, Ziggy, a Schnauzer, and Mr. Gibbs, a Schnauzer.  She had visited them before and had lunch in Tom’s Doggie Restaurant.

Unfortunately, Misty Lou and Cowboy are no longer with us.





IMG_1130The three cousins had visited Miss Molly in Maine last summer.  They had a good time, except that Odie took over Miss Molly’s spot of the sofa. IMG_1133

When they left, Miss Molly slept the rest of the day in her spot.

We made the trip because my beautiful great grandson, Aiden, was dedicated during the church service on Sunday.  While we were gone, Ziggy and Miss Molly were left in crates.  It was a place with lots of things to see and get into if not watched.  Odie and Mr. Gibbs were allowed to roam the house.  After all, it was their home and they “knew” how to behave.

When we arrived home, we found an empty baggie on the living room floor.  It was still sealed, but the bottom had been chewed out. I had left four days of Miss Molly’s food in a baggie that was in a canvas bag on top of her crate.  The canvas bag was still in it’s place.

The two dogs had stolen her food and she had to watch them eat it.  After Miss Molly came out of her crate, she tried to go under the sofa.  We found her measuring cup with a few pieces of food under there.

The best part was that Miss Molly had her cousin’s food for supper that night.  According to her, it was much better than what she usually ate.  The other two dogs still ate all their supper. Four days of food didn’t effect them at all.

I made a mock up of a flower with my hand dyed fabric for the wall quilt this morning.  I didn’t like it.  I’m glad that I made the mock up instead of appliqueing the flower on the background.  It saved a lot of un-sewing.  I decided to use regular fabric.  It will give me a bigger range of color from light to dark.   There are fifteen flowers in the center of the wall hanging.  This afternoon, I chose fabric for seven of the flowers and pressed the freezer paper to them. They are not cut out.  I will do that when I’m ready to applique.   I also found a large piece of sky fabric that I might use for the background.  I will make a decision when I finish choosing the colors for all the flowers. There is progress, but it is slow.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


Wall Quilt

Winter is here.  Miss Molly and I woke to beautiful snow falling.  She enjoys the snow and doesn’t mind going out in it.  


It was a great day to work on the wall quilt.  I have a file with everything that I’ve worked on before.  I just have to pull it out to see where I finished the last time that I worked on this project.


Today, I drafted the applique design on freezer paper.  When I found other flowers for the piece, I added them with scotch tape.





After the design was what I wanted, I marked the center horizontally and vertically. 




IMG_1769Then, using the light box,  I transferred the pattern to a large piece of stabilizer.  This stabilizer pattern will be the diagram for placement of the applique pieces.  The hardest part is figuring out which pieces should be appliqued first.  The freezer paper diagram will be cut out for the patterns.  I haven’t decided whether I will cut out and applique each flower separately or cut out and number all of them.    

IMG_1770I want to use the flowers from my garden for color inspiration.  Several photos are in the file and I placed them where they should go so that I can see how it should look.  I may look in a flower catalogue for other color inspiration.  My flowers are very similar in color.  I’m still deciding which fabric will be the base for the appliques.  There are two contenders.  

Have a great day and happy quilting.



Scrap Quilt Block

When I was cleaning out some paper files of quilt blocks, I came across a scrap quilt block.  It looked like an easy block to sew.  I decided to make one to see if it was as easy as it looked. For two 4″ blocks cut:IMG_1756 1 -3 1/2″ dark medium square, 1 – 2″ square of dark medium, 2 – 2″ x 3 1/2″ of light and 1 – 5″ square of dark medium.     Stitch together with a 1/4″ seam like this. IMG_1757         IMG_1759 Draw a diagonal line on the 5″ block.     Place onto the pieced block RST with the diagonal line beginning and ending on the light rectangles.  Stitch 1/4″ on each side of the diagonal line. I pinned the two pieces together so that they wouldn’t shift. Cut on the diagonal line to create two squares.  Square to 4 1/2″  There is just a sliver to cut off.IMG_1763 One square will look like this.       The other will look like this. IMG_1761 IMG_1760 Assemble to create a pleasing design.  Use lots of scraps for a different look.  You can use charm squares for the 5″ pieces. The picture of the square has 16 – 4″ pieces.  I found that if you want a block that is color coordinated like the one in the picture, you have to make four squares  in two different colorways. An other possibility would be to make a 4 patch block with the pieces twisted and turned other ways.  The blocks are so easy to make.  It would be fun to make several and play with a setting. I do have a lot of 2″ off white strips leftover from another project.  If the background was the same color, it might work. Have a great day and happy quilting.

The Mistake

It was a very rainy and cold day today.  After a meeting at the Community Center this morning, I decided to not sew or quilt, but to clear out the piles of quilt pictures and patterns that I never would make.  They seemed very nice at the time that I saved them, but I know that I will never make them, so the paper had to go.  I still have loads of patterns and ideas left.  I probably won’t make them, but I can think about it.

It must be getting near Christmas as my Christmas cactus is blooming.  It is beautiful.  The trick to getting Christmas cactus blooms is to close the insulated drapes around them and keep them cool with the cool night air on the windows.   They won’t bloom with the warm air in the house.  IMG_1739


IMG_1737     IMG_1736


IMG_1753I saw a beautiful quilt on the Missouri Star Quilt Company web site.  It was a simple nine patch that was cut and the pieces turned in a different direction.  It was different than the other blocks that I had made. The nine patches were set without sashing.  I decided to make half size blocks so that I could make another Linus quilt with the technique.  Nine patches are easy.  I didn’t need to look at the tutorial to make them.  The nine patches sewed up quickly.  Somehow, it didn’t look right.  I went back to the tutorial to see how the nine patches were cut.  That’s when I discovered my big mistake.  Five of the pieces of the nine patch were supposed to be white.  I used all dark and medium pieces.  They would have made a very dark quilt. That’s when the quilt was named “The Mistake”.  I decided to put white sashing between the blocks and add an unusual border to take the eye away from the center.  It worked.  It turned out to be a pretty quilt.  Maybe I should rename it “Lemonade”.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


I was originally a self taught quilter.  Over the years, I have had many teachers who taught me different ways to quilt.  Some were very good and some not so good.  I did learn something from each one, even though it might have been that I didn’t like to quilt the way that they did.  Four people have had the most influence on my way of quilting.

Enjoyment – Doreen Speckman taught me to enjoy quilting.  She was an awesome teacher.  I remember her teaching in her bathing suit on a very hot day.  We ignored the heat and  laughed all the way through class.

Applique – I had several classes in applique.  It wasn’t my passion, although I liked to do it.  I went to as many applique classes as I could hoping the I would learn to enjoy the hand work.  Nancy Pearson taught at the Vermont quilt Festival.  She opened my eyes to color, technique and the love of applique.  We learned how to make twisted ribbon.  The piece that we made in her class was supposed to be a wall hanging, but I enlarged it and made a queen size bed quilt.

Stipple quilting – After I pieced and appliqued the quilt, I hand quilted it with a stippling technique taught by John Flynn.   I called the quilt “Basket and Butterflies” because I quilted orange butterflies amongst the stippling.  The sub title is “It’s John Flynn’s Fault”.  Because I had made the quilt with techniques learned at Vermont, I submitted the quilt into the Vermont show.  It was my first entry into a regional quilt show.  It not only won a blue ribbon, but also won a ribbon for best hand quilting.

Piecing – The teachers who had the most influence in my piecing were Ann Gallo and Sue Rabin.  The are amazing teachers.  One would start a sentence and the other would finish it.  It was like one person in two ladies.  I learned so much from them.  There way of flip and sew is different than anyone else.  While in the class, we went into another area for a demonstration.  I did not know at the time, but one of the ladies picked up my flip and sew piece on the way by to demonstrate how not to sew it.  I had cut off both pieces.  The following is their way.  I always do it this way now.


The object is to have a small triangle on the corner of a larger square.  You will use a large square and smaller squares for the corners.  Draw a diagonal line on the back of the smaller square.  Line the small square up with the corners and sew on the diagonal line.




Most instructions tell you to cut the corners  1/4″ away from the sewn line and press the triangle out.


IMG_1750Ann and Sue’s way is to cut the inner small square leaving the large square intact.  No matter how accurate you sew, the triangle might be a little over or under the line.  When you add this piece cut this way to another in the block, it will still be an accurate cut.



When these triangles were pressed back, they did not go to the edge of the larger square.  If they were cut off the regular way, the piece would be too small.



When these triangles were pressed back, they went beyond the edge of the larger square.  The Piece would have been too large.  Trim the overage and the piece will be the right size and be square. I learned so much from Ann and Sue.  More tips will come at a later date.

Have a great day and happy quilting.







Moda Block Heads Round 2

My appointment was cancelled this morning so I made good use of the extra time and caught up on the Moda Block Head blocks.

IMG_1731Block 29 is a 6″ block.  It is called Courthouse Step and was designed by Carrie Nelson.  This was a quick block to make.  There were only nine pieces and all straight sewing.



IMG_1732Block 30 is an 18″ block.  It is called Gaudi and was designed by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic.  This took a little longer to piece than block 29.  The triangle pieces were pieced in strip sets and then trimmed to the triangle.  The center was a square in a square unit.  The measurements in the instructions were not right, but I was able to adjust and make the  center unit the right size.  It called for  2″ squares to flip and sew on a 3 1/2″ base, when it meant to add triangles to all four sides of the center 3 1/2″  square.   If I had followed the instructions, the center would have finished at 3 1/2″square. It needed to be 4 3/4″ which is the same size as the ends of the  larger cross pieces.

When all the Moda blocks are finished, we are going to be given a diagram on how to set all the blocks.  Most of the blocks are 6″ finished size, but there are several that are bigger and even one that is a rectangle. I’ve enjoyed the Moda Blockhead blocks of the week.

Have a great day and happy quilting.