Wednesday, December 28, 2022


 The 2023 Block of the Month quilt for The Quilt Show is Homeward Bound. This quilt is designed exclusively for The Quilt Show by Sarah Fielke. It features piecing and applique, lovely flora and fauna shapes, and makes a beautiful year-long project:

Best of all, the patterns are FREE to STAR MEMBERS of The Quilt Show. If you join before December 31, 2022, you also have access to the entire 2022 BOM--Garden Party Down Under by Irene Blanck. After December 31, 2022, those patterns will only be available for purchase from Irene. 


1. Have paper and printer ink ready. The pattern is usually up the first of each month. A little birdie told me Month 1 will be up December 29, 2022.

2. Plan to watch Facebook LIVE/YouTube Friday December 30, 2022 at noon central time. I will discuss how to find everything, how to ask questions, how to post photos, and give some special tips for the tiny center cabin we make in Month 1. Find the LIVE on Facebook at The Quilt Show page OR  on, The Quilt Show channel there. All the broadcasts are recorded and remain available all year for you to  watch when it's convenient.

3. Have a notebook you can store your patterns in. I get a 3 ring binder with 12 page tabs so each month is kept separately:

If you bought the KIT from The Quilt Show, you will find it helpful to have the Materials Requirements document printed or saved where you can quickly find it. Each fabric is listed by the Month it will be used and what it is used for. This is also helpful information if you are using your own fabric: 

4. BEFORE YOU BEGIN, each month, watch any VIDEOS that are available for that month. Month 1 has two videos, a Main one and one on making Bias Stems. The VIDEOS  supplement the written pattern. Also READ the pattern completely before you begin. READ my blog for that month--I often make suggestions for ways to do something you may want to try.  

5. January 1, 2023 will be the release of The Quilt Show featuring Sarah Fielke in studio. It is sure to be an informative show and will give you an overview of the entire project. The Block of the Month show is often FREE FOR ALL TO WATCH so check it out even if you don't plan to do the Block of the Month project.

6. The Block of the Month project is a good one to make with friends. Find one or two or several friends who want to make this with you. Gatherings don't have to be in person, though that is fun. My group of Sunday Sew and Sews began January 2017 to work on Halo Star Medallion, that year's Block of the Month. We are still going strong today as a group of 13 who meet one Sunday a month to cheer each other on.

7. Use the FORUM on The Quilt Show website to ask questions and post your progress. We love to see all the great fabric choices that everyone is making. I am there to answer all your questions so help is available should you need it.

I look forward to our year together. I hope you will join in the fun and learn some new techniques--I did!

Let's quilt.


Sunday, December 25, 2022


 Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Festivus--whatever makes your heart sing, I wish good tidings for all of you.

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, December 21, 2022


 I have been able to attend my local quilt guild meetings recently. the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville is celebrating our 35th year with some special activities during the year. 

Last week was the annual "HOLIDAY DESSERT PARTY" with the Board providing sweet treats for the membership. Santa even had some elves there to help:

Sarah P, me and Kari H

The spread of goodies was impressive, guided over by Tamara P, the hostess with the mostest: 

Tamara P, Hospitality chair

Last month the Past Presidents were celebrated and many were able to attend the event and tell the story of their "President's Quilt"--the gift they received at the end of their year of service. It was good to see so many: 

As busy as we all are, it's still enjoyable to get together for fun and friendship. Happy holidays to all!

Let's quilt.


Sunday, December 18, 2022


 As busy as most of us are this time of year, I am looking ahead to local classes starting in January.

At Patches & Stitches, the longest continually operating quilt shop in the country, in business since April 1978, I will begin a BRAND NEW Quiltmaking 101 class. 

QUILTMAKING 101: Saturday January 28 and February 11, 2023, 9-4. Learn the 3 most important steps in piecing a quilt: the cutting, sewing and the pressing. You can expect to have a completed top ready for quilting by the end of the second session. Students will have all supplies purchased and ready by the start of the first session. Sure to be lots of fun and very educational, even for those with experience:

DISAPPEARING PATCHWORK:  Friday February 17, 2023, 9-4. Learn this FAST and EASY block then play with design ideas of your own. Neutrals are fine but so are any other color combinations you love. Don't miss this really fun class:

Register for these classes by going into PATCHES & STITCHES or calling the shop, 256-533-3886.

At SOUTHERN CHARM QUILTING, another class for those wanting to learn the basics. From selecting fabrics to finishing the binding, learn it all in this 3-session class:

START QUILTING -- SOUP TO  NUTS:  Friday January 27, February 10, and 24, 10-3. A simple sampler that allows you to create your own unique design. This is a fun class that will teach you a lot:

SUNRISE SUNSET: Saturday February 4 2023, 10-4. This looks so much more complicated than it is. Kits are available for the colorful background. The pattern is called "Aether" by Patty Murphy, I named mine "Sunrise Sunset" for ease of pronunciation. See my blog post about this HERE.

Register for these classes by going  into SOUTHERN CHARM QUILTING or online.

I will continue my monthly blog posts with supplemental instructions for HOMEWARD BOUND, the 2023 BLOCK OF THE MONTH quilt for THE QUILT SHOW  The pattern is FREE for STAR MEMBERS of The Quilt Show--and there are many more reasons to join The Quilt Show. But, even if you are not going to make HOMEWARD BOUND, each of my monthly posts will teach something that can be applied to other quilt projects, so don't miss those. They are my free class to you:

70" square, piecing and applique, you choose your favorite method

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, December 14, 2022


Yesterday, I saw a friend's Facebook post with a link to a video for making Self-Binding Placemats. In just a few quick minutes I saw how brilliant this would be for a simple finish to a simple gift.

UPDATE: Here are all 9 made in a few hours: 

Today I am making 9 of these placemats for a party next Saturday. Once I pulled out the Christmas fabrics and cut all the pieces, I was ready to go:

That is all the fabrics needed, top and bottom, for a dozen placemats.

The instructions are a FREE download from Shabby Fabrics. You give them your email, they provide the free pattern download. Find it here: 


While on my walk yesterday, thinking about how I wanted to make placemats now, I came up with the idea to make 8 right away. Then I thought it would be fun to make HAPPY BIRTHDAY placemats too, for kids. I will be on the lookout for Happy Birthday fabric and will make a stack of them to have on hand. All I would have to do is give one to a family before the child's first birthday. It could be used for all  members of the family on each person's birthday. You would only need ONE per family unless there happened to be multiples with the same birthday.

This simple project would be good for housewarming gifts. Or other seasonal decorating. Lots of ideas floating around.

If you wanted quilted placemats, it would be easy to add thin batting to the bottom of the fabric "sandwich" before you start sewing. Cut the batting the same size as the top. It would require some simple grid quilting when the placemat was finished to keep the batting flat, but that is an easy, extra step.

These make up very quickly. I made the first two to be sure I understood the process, then will go into "production mode" to get the rest done fast. The steps are repetitive so it is much faster to make more than one at a time. 

And this self-binding technique lends itself to small quilts too. Easy peasy.

So glad my friend Darlene C turned me on to this video. I  have saved it to my Pinterest boards too, under Mug Rugs/ATC's/Etc. 

Let's quilt.


Sunday, December 11, 2022


This is the only time of year I do much baking. But, boy, have I been busy!

This year I tried a new recipe--CRANBERRY WALNUT ARTISAN BREAD, here is mine:

My friend Kim Brunner posted the recipe on her Facebook page and I thought "this looks easy and yummy". It was both. But it did cost me about $100 to make because I didn't have a Dutch Oven. So now I do and I will use it for lots more things in the future, bringing the "cost/loaf" down considerably. There are several recipes for this method using different ingredients--ROSEMARY is up next at my house.

Another of my favorite things to make are Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti cookies. Find my post with the recipe here: CRANBERRY PISTACHIO BISCOTTI. I ran out of pistachios this time so used some walnuts too and that was just fine: 

An easy recipe that I love is for 'FORGET 'EMS". Made from egg whites and sugar, they are basically meringue that has chocolate chips and nuts added. You can add food coloring for red and green ones or pink and blue for a baby shower. They are called "forget 'ems" because once you put them on the cookie sheet while the oven preheats you TURN OFF THE OVEN and FORGET 'EM overnight in the oven. Easy and so good. 

The recipe is in that same earlier post: HOLIDAY BAKING:

All of these go directly into the freezer to keep for the next few weeks. And I usually ship some off to friends in need of a sweet gift. 

Still yet to be made this week are Toffee and Butter Cookies. And the week before Christmas I will have Stella here for a cookie baking sleepover so we will make a few other types of holiday goodies.

We might even work on a quilt.

I save LOTS of recipes on my PINTEREST boards--they are saved  in categories like SWEETS, BREAD, SAVORY ENTREES, INSTANT POT, etc. You can easily find my Boards by using the FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST link right over there on the right side of this blog.

Happy baking!


Wednesday, December 7, 2022


It won't be long, the HARMONY OF QUILTING CRUISE is March 11-18, 2023. There are a few spaces left for those who want to enjoy a great vacation on a magnificent ship AND make quilts. Put on by the good folks at Stitchin Heaven Quilt Shop, they are pros at these cruises and know how to give you the best experience. 

My class project: Scrappy Plus:

The Kit I used to make it:

This is my last push to encourage you to join us--since you still have time to make travel plans to and from Miami. The closer it gets, the more excited I am. My husband and I are now planning which excursions we want to take at the 3 ports. And I am beginning to think about clothes.

What you don't bring is a sewing machine--you will have a brand new Bernina available to you all week, just for your personal use. If you don't want to bring fabrics, you can simply order the Kits available when you register. There are two different quilt projects, taught by me and the other teacher, April Jaehn. Each of us teach all the students, on different days. We move between classrooms, the students stay in one place. It couldn't be easier.

Here are links to the previous posts I've written about the cruise, which was supposed to happen in April 2021: 





The next time I post about the CRUISE, it will be to tell you what a fantastic time we all had! I hope you will join us while we still have a spot for you,

Let's quilt.


Sunday, December 4, 2022

A New Project

 While teaching last April at the Virginia Consortium of Quilters I met Patty Murphy. She was teaching a great quilt I was really taken with:

This is Patty's photo, taken from her website, find all her information about this quilt here: Patty Murphy Handmade.

During Show and Tell at VCQ, I saw her students' work and how to make this quilt became apparent. First, make the background:

Then add the Orange Peels:

Isn't that great? I bought the pattern and started looking for background fabrics. 

I found 9 ombre pieces at  Southern Charm Quilting and bought them, along with a few large florals for some of the Orange Peels:

I recently had time to start making the background:

Then I started playing with the Orange Peels:


This is still a work in progress but it is fun.  Playing with the fabrics is part of the fun. I had to add more background fabrics from my stash. Now I have to cut and prepare more Orange Peels. Once they are made and placed, I will machine applique them to the background,

There are several ways to make the Orange Peels--mine have turned edges--but they could be easily cut and fused too. 

This will be a class at Southern Charm Quilting sometime in 2023--just as soon as I can get the top completed.

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Many people have gotten their Garden Party Down Under top finished and are starting to think about the quilting process. See some of these tops on the Forum topic: Show Your Completed Top Here, you do not have to be a Star Member to see quilts on the Forum.

Here is mine, made in 2021 with the help of 8 of the beloved Sunday Sew and Sews. This photo was taken on the set while taping The Quilt Show in August 2021:

I quilted it on my Bernina Q20 sit down long arm machine. Here are some detail shots:

The Back--a busy print hides a lot of things better left hidden, and thread changes if there are any:

Resting on the spare bed after all the quilting was done:

A variety of thread colors and weights. The majority of the quilting was done with Superior's Microquilter in white on the top, and Bottom Line in the bobbin. Accent colors were used on the vases and larger motifs: 

I love ruler work so I often develop continuous designs using rulers that move nicely across the quilt. Using a circle I was able to move from one end of the diamond borders to the other, then go back in the opposite direction, creating a flowing curving design that complements the diamonds: 

See the same design used on the Dogtooth borders around the center:

Here is my basic process when quilting:

1. Good basting is imperative. I use safety pins and most often baste on my dining room table. I tape the back firmly to the table, wrong side up, using painter's tape at the top and bottom. Clamps are used to hold the edges securely to the left and right sides of the table. The batting is laid on top of the back, followed by the top, right side up--it helps to have another set of hands to spread out the batting and top. After pinning the middle, I untape/unclamp the quilt, and slide it to one side, retape/reclamp then pin that side. Repeat for the opposite side. After all the pinning, check to be sure you have no puckers/pleats basted into the back--they have to be fixed. I tend to get them near the corners. 

2. Make a small test "sandwich" with the same back and batting and some of the top fabrics so you can test the thread color and tension before you begin. I write a note for tension setting for each thread so I can get it correct each time I work on the quilt. This project took almost two weeks to quilt, a few hours a day.

2. I used Microquilter thread in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin, white in both, for the majority of the quilting. The first step is to quilt straight lines from top to bottom, starting at the middle of the quilt. I pretty much follow the seam lines the same way the top was constructed. This serves to stabilize the quilt, allowing some of the safety pins to be removed. My favorite ruler for straight quilting is the Line Tamer by Four Paws Quilting, a great ruler. 

3. After all the straight line quilting was done in all directions, I thought about how to quilt each block. I If the background fabric had a good design, I followed that--like swirls or straight lines. If I needed to create a design, I played with a piece of plexiglass and a dry eraser marker to "audition" designs directly on the quilt--be sure to wrap the edges in painters tape so you don't overshoot the edge of plexiglass with the pen--a disaster you don't need. Designs can be tried out, erased and more designs tried again and again until you like what you see: 

4. Very little quilting was required on the motifs since most are small. The vases are large and need some quilting to secure them. I played with the plexiglass, drawing curvy shapes on the vases to try to give the vase some "round" dimension. While quilting the background of each block, I got close to the appliques, echoing them to help them stand out.

5. The borders were perfect for using a circle template (ruler) to create curving designs that move from one end of the borders to the others. 

6. The two small "floater" borders were the perfect place for some circles. I freehand quilted them: 

I  have written about my quilting process several times before:

Ruler Work -- the Basics   this is a long post and has LOTS of information.

UPDATE--on the December 2, 2022 LIVE broadcast I was asked about the corner flowers and my label. Here is the corner flower, with simple echo quilting on the background and around the shapes:

I make permanent labels for all my quilts. Find my TUTORIAL for LABELS HERE  My label:

This is one of my most favorite quilts. I love the fabrics. I love the design. l am happy with the quilting. And I LOVE the friends who helped me make the top:

You can find some photos of the quilting on Irene Blanck's quilt in our Gallery of Quilts: Monthly Guide . These photos were used for the Monthly patterns. Irene's quilt was quilted by Australian Longarm quilter Rebecca Rae. Find her on Instagram as @astitchnline_machinequilting.

Remember. the patterns for GARDEN PARTY DOWN UNDER are only FREE FOR STAR MEMBERS until December 31, 2022. After this year, the designer regains the rights to the patterns and you will have to buy them from her.

If you join The Quilt Show now, you can still download/save all 12 months of Garden Party Down Under and be ready to jump right in to the 2023 Block of the Month quilt, Homeward Bound, beginning January 1, 2023: 

Let's quilt.


Sunday, November 27, 2022


I am collecting orphan blocks from quilters for a special project. You know, those blocks that didn't work like you expected. Or samples that convinced you not to make an entire quilt. Or leftover parts.

Here are some of mine as well as donated blocks and parts:

Some are complete blocks, some are leftover parts, anything goes.

If you want to send something on, send me an email for my address if you don't have it.

It will be fun to see what happens to these castoffs,

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Garden Party Down Under Class Efforts

 A group of great students worked on Garden Party Down Under during 2022 as part of a year-long class. We met 6 times, every other month for a Lecture/Demo class at Sweet Home Quilting and Supplies. All sewing is done at home. I provide tips and tricks for the current and upcoming month's patterns. We enjoy "show and tell" and  best of all, many of the students have become friends.

Here you can admire their efforts.

Mary-Louise is making her GPDU from men's ties on a black background. She didn't bring it to our final class as she is deep into making baby clothes for her first grandchild. Her daughter has named her   "Mistress of the Wardrobe" so she started playing with fat quarters to see what she could make: 

One of the flower motifs from GPDU:

Cyndi has a great eye for fabric, color and design--I would love to play with her scraps. 

Cyndi designed her own corner blocks, using an idea from one of the skinny vases: 

Cyndi pieced the Diamond borders and they are ready to go: 

Sally is making this quilt so much her own. Lots of wool and hand embroidery, along with regular applique. I admire her work so much:

Fanny is using a beautiful, soft pastel color palette, so different from some of the others. It is such a lovely quilt: 

Victoria has used this project to help her through some life obstacles. She tends to second guess her ability. Each class we are able to assure her she is making a great quilt and has made it her own by adding birds and other personal motifs: 

Claudia is using the Kit as well as some of her own favorite fabrics. Her work is meticulous and coming along beautifully:  

Julie has a great sense of color--I love everything about this block: 

Remember, it is not too late to make your own Garden Party Down Under--or even to just acquire the patterns for FREE. All 12 of the monthly patterns are available to Star Members of The Quilt Show through December 31, 2022. After that the rights to the patterns return to the designer, Irene Blanck, and you will have to buy them from her. 

I enjoy teaching these Lecture/Demo classes locally. There may be one set up for the 2023 Block of the Month quilt for The Quilt Show if there is enough interest. Local folks, please let me know by December 1 if you want to participate. You must be a Star Member of The Quilt Show to get the patterns for HOMEWARD BOUND, designed by Sarah Fielke exclusively for The Quilt Show::

Here is mine in progress, I used a different background so I could start in September: 

Let's quilt.