Flower Garden wall hanging

IMG_2070The applique on the center of the Flower Garden is finished.  Or so I thought.  It’s amazing what one can see in a picture.  The right side is a little lower than the left.  I think that I have to add some small leaves to even it out.  That won’t take long.  I just have to find the time to do it.


I had found a quilting pattern on another quilt in a magazine. I liked it very much and designed this wall hanging with the quilting pattern in mind.  There is a lot of very close quilting.  I had originally planned to hand quilt but after having David Taylor’s class, I might machine quilt.  I can decide that when all the appliqueing is finished. Now that the main body is appliqued, I have to design the border.

IMG_2071      IMG_2072   IMG_2073

When I design floral applique, I start with colored pictures of flowers and place them on paper.  I use an end roll of newspaper that I bought at the Concord Monitor.  I draw  squares or rectangles that are the exact size of the finished project.  The flowers can be moved around until I like what I see.  This can be done several times, each time taking a picture so that I can compare them and decide which one I want to use. I don’t use the flower pictures for the applique patterns.  I use them for their color.  I have several of Nancy Pearson’s flower patterns and like to use them for the flowers. I cut out the flower patterns that I need and glue them to freezer paper in the spot where they will be appliqued.  IMG_2074

Using a light box, I copy the completed freezer paper pattern to heavy weight stabilizer.  It is the permanent pattern with a lot of information.  The color value, Light, medium dark, etc.,  is written on each part of the flower.  Also the order that the pieces are sewn down and markings for pieces that do not have to be turned under as another piece is appliqued on top of it.  This seems like of lot of work, but the stabilizer is used for placing the pieces in the right position on the fabric. The stabilizer is placed on a light box with the fabric on top.  The pieces are pinned one at a time and sewn down  to the fabric in the proper position.   I don’t have to pencil the flowers on the fabric.  That way, I can change the type or size of a flower if I want to.  It allows for a little wiggle room.

The sweet pea is quilted.  I saw a quilting show tonight that told how to make a facing instead of a binding.  It looked interesting. I might try that.

Have a great day and happy quilting.



Last Friday night, David LaValley from the Bittersweet Fabric Shop gave a talk at the Guild meeting.  He spoke about thread and needles.  We learned a lot about thread and using the right needles in our machines.  He had some supplies and I bought purple machine quilting  needles and some Teflon needles to use if I make something with fusible applique.  It’s always nice to be able to buy something that will make quilting easier.  I did use the purple needle today and it made a smooth stitch.  I also bought a little black plastic thing that holds a needle when a needle is replaced in the machine.  It does work.  It was much easier to change the needle.  I have always had trouble hitting the right spot.

On Saturday morning we had a rescheduled class with David Taylor.  He taught invisible machine applique.  I did have the same class last year at the Vermont Quilt Festival, but wanted a refresher.

IMG_2065The other students made a small piece with an apple tree, a basket and a wine bottle.  I had already made that piece last year, so I was able to make a sweet pea piece.  I was given a beautiful piece of hand dyed fabric to use for the sweet pea. It took a while to position the freezer paper pattern on the fabric. I wanted the lights and shadows to be in the right spot. I took two pictures of the pieces with different colorations and decided which one looked better.



When the sewing machine settings were just right, I took a picture of the screen so that I could finish at home if I didn’t finish in the class.  I can also use the setting to make other projects.


The applique was finished this morning.



IMG_2064David has a CD that teaches how to quilt pictorial quilts.  The CD is short, but it has a wealth of information. He quilts slowly on a Sweet Sixteen.  All the instructions can be transferred to a domestic machine. When I started quilting I found it harder to forget my way of quilting than to quilt his way.  David recommends using the stop and start button when quilting.  I found that hard to do at first, but by the third petal, I was remembering to push the button to stop. After a little while, I really enjoyed quilting his way.

IMG_2068He quilts with variegated thread.  I have some, but not the right colors so had to use plain thread. The thread is the same in the top and bobbin.  The quilting starts in the middle and works out to the sides.  Each petal has to be completed before going on to the next one so there are many thread and bobbin changes within each petal. It was worth winding all the bobbins before I started.  Every thread is pulled to the back, knotted, and buried between the layers.  This seems to take longer but when you are done, the back doesn’t need to be cleaned up.  The tension can also be checked on a regular basis. IMG_2069

Maybe, I can make the old world Santa wall hanging, now that I am comfortable with this procedure.  I’ve had the pattern for years.

Have a great day and happy quilting.



This and That

The past few days have been busy, but there are no new quilts to show.  The quilt show is coming up soon and my quilts have to be ready.  I’ve been sewing binding on the back of quilts.  Also sewing sleeves so the quilts can be hung.

I have one more quilt to quilt before the show and started working on it yesterday.  I had already stitched in the ditch around the alternate blocks to stabilize the area where I would be quilting.  After I quilted one block, I removed the quilt from the sewing machine to see if I liked it and to check the tension.   In doing that, I noticed that two blocks were incorrect.  There is a definite color on each corner and the colors were not where  they were  supposed to be on those two blocks.  Fortunately, the blocks are on the outside row as they have to be removed and sewn in the right orientation.  It was very frustrating.  I solved that problem by turning off the sewing machine, leaving the room and shutting the door. There are times when we just have to walk away,   Today is a new day and I can deal with the mistake.  Tonight was spent unsewing,  One block is out and the other is almost out.  I’ll resew them tomorrow and continue quilting.  If I concentrate, the quilt can be finished before the weekend.

I’ve decided to not make any new blocks of the week or long term quilts this year.  Last year, I had four long term quilts.  The Moda Blockhead, Splendid Sampler, the Temperature Quilt and Dear Jane.  The Moda Blockhead is almost finished. I only made 20 blocks for the Splendid Sample.  Others are continuing on with more blocks.  I will sew the blocks into a top when I find a setting that I like.  The Temperature Quilt is finished and  will be in the quilt show.  Dear Jane will be a work in progress for a long time.

IMG_2058I found a few small quilts that I made several years ago.  The teddy bear and the cat are applique with embellishments.  I’m not sure why I didn’t quilt the background.  They were made while I was still hand quilting everything and I probably didn’t think that they were worth quilting.  It wouldn’t take much time to machine quilt the background and finish them. I’ll do that some day when I have nothing else to do. I could use them for free motion quilting practice. IMG_2057




In my sewing room are many tools and patterns that I bought on impulse, thinking that I would use them right away.  It would be a nice project to use them at least once. Then, if I didn’t want to use them again, I could find someone who would like them.  Tools are not worth much if they sit there and are not used.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Annie Louise

It’s March and Annie Louise needs a new dress.  I have pictures of my ancestors in their beautiful dresses and plan to reproduce some of them for Annie Louise.  In the early 1900s, ladies wore white dresses that were trimmed with lots of lace.  It was their best dress up dress.


In this picture, the two young ladies are wearing their white lace dresses.  I’m amazed at their tiny waists. Annie Louise’s body has the same measurement on her bust, waist, and hips.  Her dress has to be straight and not curvy.  I believe that the girl on the right is my Grandmother.  Annie Louise’s March dress will be like the dress on the left.





I drew a cartoon of the dress with as many embellishments that I could see in the picture.

The sleeves look as if they have pin tucks and one row of lace.IMG_2050




IMG_2051The yoke has flat lace in the front.   Gathered lace goes around the collar and down around the yoke.




There is a flower at the waist line. IMG_2049




IMG_2052There are two rows of ruffles at the bottom.

I haven’t made clothes for years. Especially, doll clothes.  I do have lots of patterns, pictures, and a cd with a complete batch of magazines about doll clothes from that era.  When I made her everyday dress, I made a muslin first before I cut the good fabric.  I use the muslin for the basic pattern.  Then I can add embellishments or tweak the good fabric to fit the muslin.  I think that I might make the second dress at a later time.  The skirt needs to be fuller and the lace larger.  One can always use two white lace dresses. Quilting had a rest today.  We need to do something else from time to time.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

More Moda blocks

When I first started making the Moda blocks, the instructions said that there would be approximately 46 blocks.  I thought that I should be almost finished with the project, but noticed that there were more than 46.  I scrolled down to the bottom to check the number of blocks and found the plan for putting the blocks together.

The plan is divided into four quarters.  I could make four small quilts or combined them into one large one.  This is perfect.  I can machine quilt each quarter and then combine them in the lap quilt method.   A smaller quilt would fit much better under the needle.


Three of the quarters still have blocks that are still to be made.  I did put one quarter together.  I’m not sure if I like the quilt.  It is very busy.  It looks more like putting leftover blocks together instead of a planned quilt.

When it is finished, and on the bed, I wouldn’t mind if Miss Molly  sleeps on it.  It’s definitely a quilt to be used.

Each of the blocks are very pretty by themselves.

IMG_2044  6″ block

IMG_2043  16″ block

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Scrap bag

Several years ago, I purchased a small bag of fabric scraps from the local quilt shop. The price was $5.00.  I thought it would be fun to see how many small quilts I could make using just the scraps.  All the quilts do not have binding, but are put together in the pillow case method.  They are all hand quilted except for one which is quilted with the feather stitch on the sewing machine.  I was able to make ten little quilts.  The whole project was finished quickly as some of the quilts are very small.


This is the smallest.  It is 5″ x 5″.  It would make a very nice coaster,





I had made a sailboat quilt for a grandson.  The pattern was easy.  It had six half square triangles, two rectangles and four squares. It is 6″ x 7″.




The dark fabric with shooting stars and a moon called for a night picture.  There are two decorated Christmas trees and flowers in the garden.  It must be in the South, not New England. We would have snow at that time of year.  The lights are on inside the house.  This quilt is 8″ x 9″.





This little quilt is made of nine patches and a border.  It used some of the fabric that was used in the little house.  It is 6″ x 12″






More little sailboats.  This quilt uses more of the night sky fabric and the house fabric.  It is 6 1/2″ x 13″.






The Monkey Wrench quilt has the strawberry fabric that was used in the first sailboat piece.  Also some more night sky.  It is 9″ x 15″.






The little farm scene fabric already had nine patch blocks with nine patch corner squares.  It was easy to piece and quilt.  It was fun to notice that some of the corner squares were not straight,  Not everyone is a perfect quilter.  It is 11″ x 11″.




The quilts are getting larger.  This one is 14″ x 14″.  It consists of four Road to California blocks.  It is made of half square triangles and four patch pieces.





It is hard to see all the little pieces in this quilt.  There are nine Pineapple Log Cabin blocks in the center.  The fabrics do not have contrast so the blocks just show light and dark.  There are 415 pieces in this 14″ x 14″ quilt.




IMG_2042The tenth little quilt is made of strips of all the leftover fabric.  It is the only one that is quilted on the machine.  It is 11″ x 15″.

Quilting is so much fun if a project is started with “what if I do this?”  The results can be amazing.  I had a lot of fun for $5.00

Have a great day and happy quilting.



Finished tops

57279700612__FF826EBC-0A4C-49DF-B70B-65A35ECB4C6CMy Christmas cactus has been blooming non stop since Thanksgiving.  I have three plants on the windowsill.  The two outside ones have bloomed once in a while, but the center one has outdone itself this year.  The trick is to enclose the plants  at night with thermal drapes.  They enjoy the cold from the window.  You wouldn’t think that cactus would like the cold, but they bloom much more if they are not in heat all the time.57279701599__D90CC670-647A-4A8F-8463-A4668D8846FA




IMG_2024The top that was made from the fifty 6″ blocks from Kimberly Einmo’s book is pieced.  I don’t know if I will send it to the long arm quilter or quilt it myself.  I’ll hang it on a hanger and decide when the ones in front of it are done.



IMG_2025Another quilt top from Kimberly’s book is finished.  It uses her 12″ blocks.




IMG_2026The third quilt top was made from leftover blue fabric from the Canadian 150 quilt.  It originally was a nine patch, but with a little cutting and resewing, it became a very nice top.



I really have to start quilting the tops instead of making more tops.  I think back when I started quilting.  I pieced and quilted one quilt at a time.  I didn’t have a stash or any of the “necessary” tools that are in the sewing room now.  There were no rotary cutters or rulers. I drew around a cardboard template that was made from cereal boxes.  I even hand pieced my first five quilts. How and when did I become obsessed with quilting?  I don’t know.  Someday, I will teach a class called “Two pins and a needle”.  That is all that is needed to make a quilt.  Of course there should be fabric, scissors and thread.  Other than that, you are good to go.

Have a great day and happy quilting.