Finished Quilt


I just got this quilt back from the long arm quilter.  She makes the dullest quilt come alive.  It’s always nice to have a great quilter to step in when there isn’t time to quilt a large quilt.




The quilt looks as if it is woven.  It is so easy to make.  It consists of four rail fences around a center block.  A partial seam method is used to piece it together.  All the blocks have the same coloration.


I pulled all the fabric from the bin to find binding fabric to match the outside border. There was a little of the dark blue dragon fly fabric left in the bottom of the bin. When I cut it and sewed it to the quilt, I had two inches left over. No more dark blue dragon flies. It’s a good thing.

It could be that I am tired of using the Japanese fabric.  There is another quilt at the long arm quilter with this fabric.  I also made the Moda blocks with it.  I have two more patterns to make with this fabric and there will be still lots more left. There is hope that after the next two quilts, there won’t be anything left and I can start quilting with fabric from the other fabric drawers.  Maybe even finish a few UFOs or make something with orphan blocks.

It’s April.  I must remember to take down the March wall hanging and replace it with the April wall hanging.  Also think about making a new dress for Annie Louise.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

The Flower Garden wall quilt

I enjoy my evenings when I can watch TV and work on the Flower Garden quilt.  Up until a week ago, I appliqued the flowers down, piece by piece on the background.  Then I saw a YouTube video where the quilter sewed the parts of a picture together and when the piece was complete she appliqued the whole piece to the background. This sounded very interesting and I thought that I would try it.

Gypsy Freezer paper is run through the copier for the patterns.  It’s much easier than drawing.  I cut out the freezer paper parts and then iron them to the back of the fabric. All the pieces for each flower are cut large and stored together in a baggie, When I’m ready to sew the flower parts together, I cut a seam allowance of at least 1/4″ around the pattern.  The edges are glued under with a glue stick. The sides of the parts that go under another piece are left unglued.  I should use starch and an iron to press the edges down, but I want to prepare the pieces while watching TV.

I had worked three nights to applique the center rose on the background.  It is still not finished.  Using the new method, I can sew a flower each night and sometimes more than one.  When they are finished, I pin them to the pattern that I drew on the stabilizer.  That way, I can see if I like the color before they are on the background.    I may even decide to add more flowers and leaves before I start to sew everything down.  All decision can be made before anything is sewn down.

Here are some of my new flowers. They will go on the right side of the top border.  I’ll have to reverse the patterns for the left side.

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They make a very pretty garden.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


A Quilting Misadventure

I needed a break from machine quilting so thought that I would finish one of the UFOs that I found in the attic.  I also had to try out a small sewing machine that I had bought for classes and retreats. I’m going on a retreat in May and thought that I should see how the machine sews. It doesn’t have a thread cutter or automatic threader.  It’s a basic machine.  I bought it from a friend about one year ago and hadn’t even looked at it.

The UFO that I chose was a  small quilt in a plastic bag. Several pieces had been cut out and sewn.  How long could it take me?  It was only 40′ X 40″.  I couldn’t remember why I didn’t finish it.

I usually sew in the sewing room, but I decided to sew on the dining room table so I could look out the slider at the lovely spring weather.  Actually, the weather is the same out of the sewing room window, but the back yard is beginning to green up.

All the pieces had to be pressed and organized.  That didn’t take long.  I read the confusing instructions and looked at the diagram.  The instructions were in two parts.  The first told how to make the components of the quilt.  The second told how to sew the components together.

The first part was originally finished.  Four 1 1/2″ x 18″ strips were sewn together. This was cut into four 4 1/2″ pieces. This is what the second instructions said – “Take a 3 1/2″ square an sew a strip of 1 1/2″ fabric to the left and right sides, trimming and pressing as you go. Next add strip to the top and bottom, again trimming and pressing as you go.” Repeat and make 25 squares.  These squares measured 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″. Five  squares with borders and the first four were to be sewn into a  12 1/2″ nine patch for the center of the quilt.  How can 4 1/2″ squares be sewn to 5 1/2″ squares?  “.  First error in the instructions.  It should have said “trim to 4 1/2″ square”.  I trimmed with a Tucker trimmer and the center was fine.


The quilt has a diagram for placement of the components.  I count 21 squares with borders.  Where do the other four squares go?

The 24 flying geese on the first border were already made, so they were sewn on.  The next 2 1/2″ square and rectangle border had to be sewn.  As I was sewing, the sewing machine started to slow down.  It finally stopped and wouldn’t sew anymore.  I will have to take a trip to the repair shop.  I’m so glad that this happened here instead of when I was at the retreat.  I went to the sewing room to finish on another machine.  It was easy to make the 1/4″ seam the same on both machines.

Sewing was smooth out to the last flying geese row.   The flying geese were sewn with no problem.  The instructions are – “Sew your remaining flying geese together in pairs and join the left and right hand side pieces together, then attach to the quilt.  Next, join your top and bottom pieces together and attach to the quilt.”  Looking at the diagram, I made the strips.  When I placed the strip on the main quilt body, the strip was 4″ short.  After looking at it for a while, I realized that the four extra squares belonged in the center of the strips.  It went together perfectly after a little unsewing and inserting.

IMG_2095The instructions have been filed in the round file.  It’s not worth passing it on to a friend.  It’s a bright, cheery quilt and will look very nice on my dining room table.  The quilt pattern was designed for a fabric line. Apparently there were animal squares to use for the 3 1/2″ squares. The title is “Wild Things”. That’s appropriate.

One UFO down, many more to go.

Have a great day and happy quilting.


I though that I had all my UFOs collected in one bin.  I have enough to keep me busy for a whole year.  But, I decided to do a Marie Kondo cleaning of my attic.  The house was new when I moved here so everything that is in the attic was placed up there by me.  It is time to purge.

So far, I have two trash bags full and a huge bag for the Salvation army. My criteria for getting rid of something is – do I really need it and will I ever use it.  I started on the side that I call the sewing room annex.  It has a lot of sewing stuff that I’ve collected for years.  Most of the things in that part of the attic are in labeled bins so deciding what to do with it was easy.  In reorganizing, I found several bins of mile a minute fabric.  It is all together now.  I will keep it as I’m teaching a Mile a Minute class in the fall and will give the fabric to my students.  It will be all gone by October.

I did find one more box of UFOs and orphan blocks.  There are several sets of blocks that are left over from quilts that are finished. IMG_2087This one is left over from a quilt that I made in a Deb Tucker class.


There are four blocks with this coloration.  They are left over from a Leah Day block of the month.  I don’t know why I made extra blocks.  There are twelve in the quilt that I finished. IMG_2089




IMG_2092This is one of a dozen table runners or table mats.  Some are just the blocks, some are ready to be quilted.

This is my favorite cloth book.  It needs to be pressed and the center sewn.  Then it will be finished.IMG_2090

This is the only block that is left from a quilt that I made for my granddaughter, who is a gymnast.  I don’t know what I will do with this single block, but I will think of something.


IMG_2094A long time ago when one of my daughters lived in Utah, we exchanged blocks.  We were going to make an alphabet quilt. Each of us would make two blocks for every other letter of the alphabet.  I started with A.  She would make a block beginning with B. The A block is called Autumn.  I finished one block and have the pieces for the second.  The block is only 6″ so the pieces are small.  She never did make B and I didn’t make C.  Maybe we could start again.  It was a fun concept.

I found a plastic zipper bag with a partially made wall hanging.  All the pieces are cut out and some are sewn together.  The pattern is very confusing.  It calls for 25 squares that have a border.  The diagram has only 21 blocks like that.  I’ll have to start from the first instruction and take it step by step.

I’m not in a hurry to finish the UFOs as most of them will go in the give away bin.

Have a great day and happy quilting.



Moda and silly dolls


Today is Wednesday and another Moda block arrived in my e-mail.  This is block 49 and very easy to make. It is a 6″ block.  The block consists of four half square triangles, four sets of two flying geese and a single block.  It went together easily.


I finished quilting the light green blocks on the challenge quilt today.  Tomorrow, I’ll start quilting the darker green blocks.  Then I will quilt the three borders.  Somehow, the borders take as long to quilt as the center of the quilt.  This quilt needs to be finished in time for the quilt show, so I should concentrate on finishing it.

I watched a you tube video about applique today and  learned a new procedure that I will try as I applique the Flower wall hanging. When I learn a new technique I sometimes use it for a while and then go back to my original way.  I might continue with this technique as it added to what I do already.  The past three nights, I’ve worked on one rose and it’s not finished yet. The new technique should make appliqueing quicker and easier.  When I try it, I’ll take pictures and explain what it is.

Several years ago, I went to a monthly machine embroidery class. We met for two full days in a row each month and had a great time.  One of the fun projects was silly dolls.  IMG_2085

We started by free motion machine embroidering lots of faces.  After the faces were finished, we had to decide if they were male or female.  They were mostly female. I have only one male doll.  The faces were sewn to a round stuffed tube.  Arms were made with wire that was wrapped around a pencil.  The dolls were dressed with scraps and embellished with junk.  The hair was made of yarn or anything that we could find.  It was so much fun to see how the dolls took on personalities when they were dressed. IMG_2086







Here are three dolls that are waiting for arms, hair and clothes.  I still have a box of junk to choose from when I decide to dress them.  IMG_2084





When I was in that class, we didn’t throw anything away.  Not even the threads that we swept from the floor.  We used anything and everything in our work.  Now that I’m not going anymore, I can finally throw fabric and thread in the waste basket.

Have a great day and happy quilting

Dear Jane and the flower quilt

IMG_2082When I started making Dear Jane blocks, I intended to start in the center and work each row around the center block.  Somehow, that plan has gone by the wayside and I am making blocks all over the quilt.  About 1/4 of the blocks are finished so I have a long way to go to finish this quilt.  I’m so glad that I decided to make the quilt in the pot holder method.  That way, when the last block is made and attached to the body of the quilt, the quilt will be finished.  All the remaining block patterns have been printed. Some of the blocks are very easy with just a few pieces.  Others are much harder and need to be hand sewn.  There are a lot of applique blocks.  As soon as the Moda quilt is finished, the Dear Jane will be the only long term quilt to make.  No more blocks of the week or the month for me this year.  I have to many unfished quilts to finish.

IMG_2081I designed the border of the Flower Quilt today. It was a lot of fun.  I used the flower patterns that were in the body of the quilt.  This is an unusual quilt as I decided the quilt size and designed the quilting pattern before I began.  The flowers fell in place where they belonged.  I’ll start appliqueing soon and show the progress from time to time.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Moda Blockhead

Two more Moda Blockhead blocks are finished.  Not many more to go.  I started to put some of the blocks together.  One quarter is finished, but the last three quarters have blocks that haven’t arrived yet.  I still have lots of the Japanese fabric and decided to piece the backing with that fabric.  There are some large pieces so it won’t take long to make the backing.  I can have the backing ready by the time the last block shows up. I can start quilting the first quarter and then quilt the others as soon as I receive the last block.

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The Sweet Pea from David Taylor’s class is finished. IMG_2078

I made a facing instead of a binding.  The edge looks different when made that way.  The Good Housekeeping magazine had  an article about pink leaves.  They were so pretty.  I thread painted the sweet pea  leave like one of the leaves.   A copy of the picture is in my file so that I can make leaves like the ones shown in the future.  Inspiration comes in many different ways. IMG_2079

Have a great day and happy quilting.