Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Spring in the Garden

Spring is such a pretty time in our garden. My husband works hard at it and his efforts really show. When he retired about 4 years ago he thought it would take "2 or 3 months" to get all the little chores around the house done. We all know that is a never-ending process.

So, enjoy some Spring--I have to get back to "Secret Sewing"--you're going to love it when I can show it to you!

Knockout Roses, Iris, Dianthus

Knockout Roses, Lorepetalum

Knockout Roses with Catmint in the foreground

Waterlilies and Iris at the pond

First Water lily bloom of the season--the fish survived the winter, as they always do
I love Irises and have to stop my husband from tossing them out
The new Barn Block he made as a surprise for me, 4 foot square
Blackberry vines beginning to flower--July they are so good

A bed in the front yard

Welcome, come on in--oh, yes, not yet...
Let's quilt.


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Getting There

The Red, White and Blue Quilt of Valor is getting there--the middle is now done:

Now it is on to the flying geese border; papers are printed, fabrics are cut:

See the earlier posts about this project:

All Set

What Not To Do

In making the star points from "flip and sew" squares, I generated a bunch of 1.5" finished squares, white and red, and white and blue. So I decided to make a second one of these quilts, with 6" blocks, not 9". And I am making it the easy way. It will be good to have one of these to keep:

In between, I am doing the "Stay At Home Sampler" from Temecula Quilt Company--each day for the month of April, one 3" block is presented on Instagram and shared on the Facebook Page. They make good "leader/enders":

What are you working on? I hope it has you feeling creative and productive.

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What Not To Do

The other day I talked about the latest Quilt of Valor I am making: Red, White and Blue. I mentioned I had caused myself to have to do partial seams.

I was asked where the partial seams are in my complicated layout.

While it may be hard to see, the star rows do not go all the way across the quilt so I have to set the solid squares in, using partial seams. While not exceptionally difficult, it’s not as fast or easy as sewing straight rows is.

So, under “What Not To Do”: don’t take a simple design and make it really complicated. If I had used the original layout from the pattern, which I drew up in EQ8, it would have been so much easier to assemble this quilt in rows. Yes, there would be seams where all the star points come together but that would have been fine, she said, in hindsight. Keep it simple...

I drew this up while waiting to receive the pattern so was working from a photo. When I got the pattern, and studied it, I should have changed my plans, but no, I had to do it my way. Not very smart.  I am just going to chalk it up to “quilters quarantine” or “isewlation”.

My husband said “You over-thunk it”, and he is so right. I will get it done, then create and add the flying geese borders. The quilting will be fun—I have lots of time to think about that while making this top.

Let’s quilt.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Red, White and Blue--All Set

I decided. It was tough. There were several ideas for a red, white and blue quilt for another Quilt of Valor calling my name. A Trip Around the World. A Coins quilt. Something easy but interesting. What to do, too many choices???

My next Quilt of Valor is a variation of a pattern a friend sent me:

The pattern is Sail On, by Eileen Fowler. It was published in EASY QUILTS SPRING 2019:

Mine has just gotten started:

I thought if I changed the construction, I would have fewer seams. And that is true. The downside?  I now have partial seams to deal with. So the trade-off may not have been worth it. But once I started, I was committed. "In for a penny, in for a pound". 

The quilting will delineate the star blocks--essentially putting the "seams" back in visually. I hope to have it ready to quilt before April is over. But maybe not... There are a lot of flying geese in that border.

This weekend was "hang a quilt on your house" weekend so I did:

Gift of Love from the Sunday Sew and Sews

It's a good day to read on the porch swing

Antique Rose Star--one of my most favorite quilts
I hope you are handling the stress of "isewlation" and "QuiltersQuarantine" pretty well. There is so much available online to educate and amuse us. Take care and learn something new. Some classes are free, some are offering special deals. If you are not a member of The Quilt Show, NOW is the time--$19.95 for a 6 month membership gives you access to 13 YEARS of shows. And so much more. 

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Tidying Up

I did spend a little time clearing away the clutter in my studio and found:

The comfy chair

The rocking chair--and the top of this old table
 Now I will make a few more masks:

And quilt these 3 little quilts I unearthed:

I am still searching for the perfect idea for a Quilt of Valor, using the red, white and blue fabrics from Patriotic Pineapples. It might be a string quilt:

From Pinterest
 It might be Standing Strong, a design created for Quilts of Valor--instructions can be found at

Or it might be this string quilt, Blended Scraps Block, in red, white and blue, from She Can Quilt.:

Making this decision is holding me up so I will decide and start before the next blog post. Stay tuned...

Let's quilt.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

What's A Quilter To Do?

We have lots of time. Most of us have lots of fabric, ideas, plans. So, what do we DO with all that?  If you are like most quilters being safe at home right now, you are spending LOTS of time on the Internet.

Having recently finished several projects, it's time to figure out what comes next for me.

I could keep quilting the Foothills Quilt:

 I could make more masks--since I am still trying out different patterns:

I could work on this project--BUT since it's a Leader/Ender, what's the rush?

I could START one of the NEW quilts I want to make:

1. Pieces of the Past in Purple
2. Western Sun
3. A Modern Quilt with Repro Fabrics
4. Another Quilt of Valor
5. An old block made fresh
6. One BIG Pineapple block
7. Or any one of several more I'm thinking about

Maybe, what I SHOULD DO IS--clean up this mess:

Pressing surface, mostly

Stuff that doesn't fit in the closet

There is a comfy chair under there somewhere

Cutting Surface, supposedly
Without the monthly meeting of the Sunday Sew and Sews, the studio has gotten really messy. Knowing they were coming once a month meant I put stuff away most of the time. They will start coming again, and I look forward to that day. Probably ought to clean up a bit starting today.

We won't even talk about the closets--it's past time to dig through those again. My friends call it an "intervention". It looks good for a bit then, sewing happens and it gets messy again.  See what I mean:

Studio Neat and Tidy

Closet Before and After

So, what did I do? First, I wrote this blog. Then I wrote the May 1 blog--I prefer to be ahead on the posts about Afternoon Delight.

Then: I started the clean-up process--one surface at a time. When the studio is neat and tidy once again, I will decide which quilt is up next, pull fabrics for it, and get started.

It is easy to get lost down the rabbit hole that is the Internet--we have SO MUCH to read and watch in the comfort of our homes. I want to spend this time making something.

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Let's Look Forward!

During this tough time, it is easy to think of what we can't do. Seeing my grandkids is top on my list.

This month I had two travel jobs that went "poof"--one teaching for the Virginia Consortium of Quilters has been postponed two years. And the other, being one of the judges for the Lakeview Quilters Guild in Houston has not yet been rescheduled. And Spring Market--oh, I will really  miss not going to Spring Market!

But good times are coming back so let's look ahead.  It might seem strange to be thinking positively in this negative time, but that's how I roll.

How about taking a sea cruise with me? Some of you know I will be teaching on a week-long cruise to the Caribbean April 18-25, 2021. We will have a great time. If you want to get excited about something fun as well as educational, take a look at this short Video:

Scrappy n Happy! 

The good folks at Stitchin' Heaven really know how to run a Quilt Cruise--those who have sailed with them before have told me so. 

My class project was very well received a few months ago as I worked on it. You may want to purchase the pre-cut Kit available in limited supply. If you want to use your own fabric, you will receive cutting instructions in advance--come to the ship with everything cut out:

I have been on several cruises and really enjoy that way of traveling. To add "quilt teacher" to the itinerary is just that much more special.  The port I am most looking forward to on this trip is San Juan, Puerto Rico--my husband and I will take a tour of old San Juan.

Now is your chance to plan a great vacation where you will take two excellent quilt classes--for a year from now, when we can look back and say "do you remember when...?"

Here is the link to all the information you need. Register now so you have something exciting to look forward to:

Scrappy n Happy Quilting Cruise information

Only 90 students will get this chance. Come alone, you'll make friends quickly. Bring a quilt friend--sew and travel together. Bring a non-quilt friend, like a spouse--they get a discount since they won't be taking the quilt classes. There is so much to do on this ship, that person will be able to entertain themselves while you enjoy all our class time.

I hope my Bucket List trip is one of your Bucket List events too. Take a look, make your plans--a deposit will save your spot and get the ball rolling.

Let's quilt!


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Free Motion Quilting--Ruler Work--Quilting Sizzle Quilt

UPDATE NOTICE--lots of photos have been added showing how I quilted the Cool Sizzle quilt.

For a lot of quilters, deciding HOW to quilt our quilts is the biggest challenge. It certainly is for me. I really like Ruler Work so do as much of it as I can.

This week I finished quilting the Cool Sizzle quilt, with the pieced borders:

While quilting it, I thought "who can I give this to?" Our niece, Kallie, who is expecting her first baby in just a couple weeks did not get the traditional "college graduation Super Star quilt" I make for all our nieces and nephews--she wasn't an official part of the family then. A couple years ago she told me turquoise was one of her favorite colors. It just seems like she is the right one to get this quilt.

Sizzle was designed by Becky Goldsmith for The Quilt Show. It was the 2019 Block of the Month. Now Becky has the rights to her pattern back and is working on having it published. She enjoyed seeing some of the border variations members of TQS did on their quilts and this is a border she wants to include. So good photos are a must.

Once the quilting was done on Cool Sizzle, I jumped on to Foothills:

I really love this quilt and am keeping it for  myself. See these posts for more information:

Last Chance

Change Your Mind

I worked with plexiglass and a dry erase marker, trying out a variety of design ideas after going through a lot of Free Motion Quilting books and YouTube videos:

I also played with paper and pencil:

When I had a plan, I just started. Only have a few blocks done so far but I am happy with the designs overall:

For Free Motion Quilting, I am working to master a few designs I really love and those will become my "go-to" designs for most quilts. Feathers are high on the list so I might quilt a simple feather border on the narrow outside border. On second thought,  it really might be too  narrow for feathers so loopy leaves is another design I enjoy--that is fast and fun.

I will enjoy quilting several blocks on Foothills each day, now that I know what the plan is.

What are you working on? Does the quilting part come naturally to you or is it hard to decide what to quilt?

Let's quilt.