Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Sizzle Month 11 Top and Bottom Borders

We are about at the end of this journey. The top and bottom applique' borders are ready to be created.

My  instructions are very similar to Month 10, the Side Borders. I printed the patterns on Quilters Select Print and Piece Fuse Lite and cut all those shapes out. 

IMPORTANT CUTTING TIP: I found my top and bottom borders to be too short when all the applique' was done and had to add about 3" to each end of both before trimming. The applique' process takes up some fabric. Also, since I had not prewashed the rust fabric, the borders may have shrunk in the sink as they soaked. Ultimately, the borders were trimmed to 6" x 71.5"--start with at least 7" x 75"--I wish I had. 

Preparing the shapes takes time. First, you fuse the pattern to the back of the fabric, then cut out the shapes, allowing a 1/4" seam allowance:

Glue the edges of fabric over the interfacing:

I like the forked tongue end of the Appliquick tool, it really grips the fabric:

 To make the tip pointy, I turned it under first:

Then I fiddled with both sides to make the tip as pointy as possible:

Real leaves don't have perfect points, so allow for some imperfection if you can't get them all really pointy.

You may remember last month, I found it very easy to print the placement patterns on vellum, tape those together, and have a placement pattern I can see through without all the work of tracing on vinyl:

Using the placement pattern, I put the 3 green leaves on the background, pinning them in place. I did two sets of 3 leaves at a time, then applique'd them. The green thread worked on  both fabrics, so each group of 3 was stitched as a group:

After all the green leaves were applique'd, I added the orange/yellow sets of leaves, 4 in each group. I did the four leaves as a group so I could applique' them in one step, not changing thread. The green circle covers the place where I moved from one petal to the next.

The single yellow petal that does not go under the green circle was stitched after the 4 orange/yellow leaves were stitched. Since I had to start and stop and tie off the threads, they were done last.

Becky recommends using Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles--that is what I did. I started with the interfacing on the back side of the fabric, that adds a good edge for the applique'.  A row of small basting stitches is used around each, in the seam allowance:
Using the templar "washers" the correct size, draw the basting thread around each circle, pull tightly and press:

I used spray sizing spritzed directly on the circles, let that dry just a bit, then used the iron to fully dry the circles. Be sure they are really dry before you remove the washer--I left them at least 30 minutes after ironing dry. Carefully open the basting just large enough to remove the washer, then pull the basting thread to get the circle back into shape. The sizing helps the edge stay crisp and the circle easily goes back into shape.

Once all the circles were made, I added all the blue circles, then all the green circles. Blue thread on the blue, green thread on the green:

I soaked each border in the sink in warm water for about 15 minutes to remove the glue and fusible interfacing. I left them dry overnight before pressing firmly and trimming them to size.

Just as with last month, I used a 6" wide ruler and white chalk pencil to draw lines on the border before cutting. I was able to be sure the shapes were centered before making a mistake cutting. Then I cut the border to 6" wide.

It was at this point I discovered my borders were too short. I added about 3" of rust to each end of both borders, then carefully trimmed them to 71.5" long. See CUTTING TIP above to avoid this problem.

Becky decided to put her top and bottom borders in the same orientation--she did that deliberately. I put mine so they are "mirror images" of each other, with the long orange petals along the outer edges. As she says, "it's your quilt, you get to decide how you want to do it".

So, here we are at the end. Next month we will talk about the quilting and a few other things.

Let's quilt.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Baby Quilts--Select Your Own #2

Isn't it wonderful when new babies are expected? So exciting for the parents and we have hope for the future.

I have a stack of small quilts that would be great for babies so when I learn of a new little one on the way,  I let the parents choose whichever they like.

Here is the latest I just added to that stack. It is done and washed, all I have to do is add the baby's name to the label:

40" x 40" 
UPDATE--this one has been selected for baby Edwards/Wasserman, due April 2020--great choice!

I made these New York Beauty blocks in 2018-2019 during my guild's Secret Stitcher program. Those who wanted to participate filled out a questionnaire, and were assigned a "secret stitcher". Each month, gifts from an unknown quilt friend were exchanged at the guild meeting. At the end of the year, names were revealed.

I decided to make two of these NY Beauty blocks each month, kept one and passed the other on to my secret stitcher, along with a thimble from my collection --she collects thimbles too. It was easy--no wondering each month what to give her--just get those blocks made. I wrote about it here.

So, the next time a new baby is coming, I'll share this with the parents. They pick which they want and I'm not scrambling to make yet another quilt.

All the rest of the baby quilts still up for grabs can be found in this post:

Baby Quilts--Select Your Own #1

Rather than repeat all that info, the parents can just go there.

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Local Classes--Winter 2020

Here are my Winter 2020 Class offerings locally. I travel a lot to teach all over the country--it is the BEST to be able to teach here at home. Many of my students become friends. I hope you will find something here that interests you.

Patches & Stitches, 603 Humes Ave, Huntsville, AL 35801 256-533-3886
All Classes will be announced by them around Thanksgiving:

QUILTMAKING 101: Learn all the basics

I revised the class sample to make the project faster and easier. Over 1500 people have taken my beginning classes over 30+ years. I love getting students excited about quilting.  Two sessions:

Session 1: Jan 7, 14, 28, Feb 4, 11, 2020     5:30-8 pm.
Session 2: Feb 18, 25, Mar 3, 10, 17, 2020   5:30-8 pm

ORGANIC APPLIQUE': Learn to use the big, bold beautiful prints we love but are scared of. I got excited about the new book of the same name by Kathy Doughty last Fall at Market. Now the book is available and I got a simple sample done quickly:

Saturday Feb 8, 2020   9-4   Come and play with fabric, color and design!

CIRCA 2016:  This adorable quilt is a favorite--made with 2.25” and 3” blocks. Get a good start in class and continue your journey. Lots of tips for accurate piecing and good color selection will be taught. Back by Popular demand.

Sat March 28, 2020  9-4  Last chance for this class, it won't be offered again.

SYLVIA'S BRIDAL SAMPLER--I love it when students ask me for a class they want to take. During the last Sunday Sew and Sews meeting, it was proposed I teach this over the next year, in a lecture/demo format, all sewing is done at home. The best part--one member had the quilt finished and I could use it as the class sample while making mine for class. Good idea:

Friday Jan 10, Feb 7, Mar 6, Apr 3, May 8, June 5, 2020  6-8 pm--ONLY A FEW SPOTS REMAIN IN THIS CLASS--call now to enroll so you don't miss out.

I decided 6 months was enough to teach a variety of the techniques used in this book. Those who were interested started calling the shop right away and the 16 spaces are close to full.

My fabric pull for my sample:

BARB'S SEWING CENTER, 2310 Whitesburg Dr SW, Huntsville, AL 35801   256 539 2414

SMITTEN: One of the most popular classes I teach around the country. A template set makes quick work of cutting out shapes that all fit in a hexagon design:

Saturday January 11 and February 15, 2020  9am-1pm

2020 BLOCK OF THE MONTH from Here it is, Afternoon Delight, designed by Sue Garman:

Saturday Jan 4, April 4, June 6, Oct 3, Dec 5, 2020 9-11 am. You must be a Star member of to get the patterns for this wonderful quilt for FREE--that's an $80 savings.

Membership provides a world of info and terrific shows--the show I taped will air January 1, 2020 as we roll out the first month's pattern for this project.
This is a lecture/demo class--all sewing is done at home. I show lots of tips and tricks for each month's patterns. Learn several ways to applique', by machine or by hand. And become a master at piecing with all the practice this quilt provides.

Huntsville Sew Creative, 1847 University Dr NW, Huntsville, AL 35801

PATRIOTIC PINEAPPLES:  What could be better than spending President's Day making a Pineapple quilt?! Learn both paper and precision piecing for the Pineapple Log Cabin block, then use your favorite method to complete your quilt. A scrap buster for sure:

Monday February 17, 2020, President's Day, 9-3:30

Let's quilt.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Kindness is Free

Recently, I was at a Panera Bread with a friend. She asked for a coffee after her main order had been paid for. The young cashier Haley, mid-20's I'd say, gave her a coffee cup and said "This is on me". My friend was surprised, offered to pay anyway, and said "Thank you" when the clerk said she could not pay for it.

My friend went to get her coffee. The clerk said to me:


Wow, what a statement.

She followed it with: "So is hatred--kindness is better."

I think this will be my  new mantra, Kindness is Free.

The next time someone says something ugly and I am inclined to fight back, I hope I will have the grace to simply say:

Kindness is Free.

That ought to be enough.

Feel free to share this widely--more kindness in the world would be a good thing.

Let's quilt.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fanfare 2019--Part 2

Here are more wonderful quilts from the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville 2019 Quilt Show.

Find the first post here: Part 1

Special Exhibit of Halo Star Medallion quilts made by members of the Sunday Sew and Sews, a monthly group who meet for skill-building and friendship. These quilts were not part of the judged show. The pattern was the 2017 Block of the Month for and was designed by the late Sue Garman:


Donna Daniel:

Pam Erickson, her 2nd--that's what happens with two daughters who both want the 1st one:

Jodie Lindstrom:

Susan Coddington: 

Some more quilts from the judged show:

Yea Alabama by Donna Daniel, Modern: 

Ocean Wonder by Georgia Flanagan, Other:

Equilateral Gems by Lois Kindley, Modern:

Fragments in Freefall by Robin Price, Modern:

 Flower Frolic by Audra Kennedy, First HQH Fanfare Quilt Entry:
If you think wool quilts have to be dark, think agaiu
 Hex Bolt by Ben Darby, Modern:

 Food Frenemies by Teresa Rawson, One Maker Medium Applique'. This also won the special award for Best Hand Quilting:

They Don't Make Them Like They Used To by Sherrie Cahill, One Maker Medium Applique:

Blues of a Feather by Pam Anders, Small Pieced:

Sprockets by Cheryl Heeth, Small Pieced:

Roses of Remembrance by Janet Henne, One Maker Large Applique':

 Against Such Things There is No Law, by Ben Darby, One Maker Large Pieced. This is such a great quilt--I would like to have a poster of this. We need more of what this quilt is telling us. This also received the Special Award for Best Machine Quilting on a Stationary Machine:

My entries include My Lifetime Quilt, finally finished last month, One Maker Extra Large Pieced:

Stars in a Time Warp, Two Makers Extra Large Pieced:

Circa 2016, a favorite small quilt, I overdid the border quilting--fortunately, I have gotten much better at that now:

There were 225 quilts in the judged show so these two posts only scratch the surface. Congratulations to all who were brave enough to enter and especially to those who received a ribbon in tough competition.

I will end with Best of Show. This was the 2011 Block of the Month quilt for I started it in January 2011 and recently finished it. Designed by my friend, the late Sue Garman, working on this quilt after her death helped me grieve for her. She was a treasure. The wonderful quilting added the perfect touch to this special quilt--that was done by Lois Kindley, a local longarm quilter.

Ruffled Roses by Barbara Black, Best of Show:

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fanfare 2019--Heritage Quilters of Huntsville Quilt Show--Part 1

Our guild recently held it's 16th bi-annual quilt show. We have a reputation for putting on an excellent local show. Each year we out-do ourselves.

Much fun was had by all--here is the Photo Booth:

Pam's Mom, Pam, Kari and Kari's Mom--all BFFs

The entries were amazing. Take a look and see if you agree.  In no particular order, here are my favorites:

Frankenflower by Susan Nolen, Group, Medium, First Place:

Roberta's Rose by Karen Runkle, Two Makers, Large Pieced

That One? by Charlotte Cain, Two Makers, Large, Applique'/Mixed:

Elephants Parade by Barbara Barnett, Two Makers, Large Pieced
This  was one of my most favorite
 My Hexie Quilt by Anne Clough, One Maker Extra Large Pieced:
Subtitle: Persistence--Anne worked on this for a long time
 Stars of Hope by Bonnie Adams, Two Makers Medium Pieced:

Wild Thing by Lynda Kronenberger, One Maker Extra Large Pieced:

Burst of Brights by Georgia Flanagan, One Maker Extra Large Pieced. This also received the Judge's Choice award for the one quilt the judge would have most liked to take home:

X Block Swap by Melissa Labella, Group Extra Large Pieced:

Strips and Pieces by Barbara Barnett, Group Large Pieced or Mixed:

Flock of Feathered Stars by Linda Snellgrove, Two Makers Extra Large Pieced. The quilting received the award for Best Quilting done on a Track Machine, quilted by local long arm quilter Robin Price:

Niner Demo and Swap by Leigh Hubbard, Group Extra Large Pieced:

I was particularly thrilled for friends who entered their quilts and received ribbons. These folks are part of the Sunday Sew and Sews group who meet monthly to improve their skills:

Halo Medallion--the 1st One, by Pamela Erickson:

 My Blues: Halo Medallion by Janet Noever:

JoAnne's Halo Medallion by Jo Anne Miller:

Brenda's Halo by Brenda Miller:

Little Miss Scrappy by Donna Daniel, Two Makers Large Pieced:

40 Years and Counting by Brenda Miller, Two Makers Large Pieced:

OK, this has gotten so long I'll make a second post. Stay tuned.

Let's quilt.