Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Quilter's Christmas

First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli, The Elm Creeks Quilts Collection by Jennifer Chiaverini, a lovely made-in-Colorado Nantucket basket felted wool pin cushion, an Omnigrip 20 1/2 x 20 1/2" ruler, and a reel extension cord with outlets to take along to my quilt guild's all-day sews.  

How's that for a fabulous assortment of Christmas gifts?!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

You can read more about these cards here.

Blessings on your Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pillowcases for Christmas!

I was stumped as to what to get for Christmas for my 11-year-old nephew, especially since he now has an iPhone; and, Playstation 4 was on his Christmas list!  :(  When I give a gift, I like to give something that is representative of me, yet meaningful or enjoyable for the recipient.  (I can assure you, electronics are not an option!)  I was thrilled when I found this fabric this afternoon while fabric shopping with a friend - perfect for a last-minute Christmas pillowcase!

I LOVE the various Santa motifs!  I made two pillowcases - one for me and one for my nephew.  Hopefully he'll love it as much as I do!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Quilting with a Modern Slant

What a fabulous read!!  Inspiring, moving....  

(I got my copy from my local library.)

Update, 1/10/15 -  A few quotes:

"If you keep on practicing, you can't help but get better and better."
- Jane Sassaman

Elizabeth Barton - How did you beome grounded and focused?
"I supposed is comes from years of being a psychologist, where you see people trying to fit themselves into categories that other people have created."

"Narrowing down our choices helps us create."
- Denyse Schmidt

Thursday, December 4, 2014

What Was I Thinking??!!

Where am I going to go with this HUGE roll of Warm & White batting??  It weighs a ton!  But, it was a no-brainer, since it was a deal at 52+% off from and free shipping (my Black Friday weekend shopping!).  Can't go wrong there, especially since I don't have any on hand.

But, it can't sit in my living room forever!

A Few More Finishes

This top will shortly be on its way to Kathy O.  
I had stalled out on it because it just felt so boring, even though I loved the fabric when I first bought it about 5 years ago.

While I could easily quilt this smallish 56 x 70" quilt top on my domestic machine, I knew its ho-hum design needed some help.  Kathy's amazing freehand stitching will bring it to life.

In exchange, I finished piecing this top for Kathy.  It's so fun stitching/swapping with someone else - you get to try all kinds of fun fabrics and designs!  I love the giant hexagons!
(The fabrics are Color Me Retro by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics.)

Can't wait to show you the magic Kathy works on these two tops!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In Progress Overload

 I have been desperately trying to finish up my stack of UFO's before starting any new projects because 1) I have totally reached overload on all those unfinished quilts floating around in my brain, and 2) because my Baker's Bun Pan Rack has no more room to hold any more works in progress.  BUT, that means that everything I need to work on isn't the easiest thing.  Usually, the reason I put a quilt project aside is because I hit a snag, couldn't make a decision on the next step, or just wasn't sure I liked the project enough to finish it.  

This is one such project!!  My Seaside Roses quilt....  I got to the borders and couldn't make myself stitch the borders.  I hate borders.  (I think my border skills are getting worse with age.... )  I usually avoid borders at all costs - probably the reason I've become more of a modern quilter of late - no borders for the most part!  I knew this one would be extra tricky with needing to match the stripes.

Also, I couldn't decide if I wanted to tackle the Prairie Points.  As much as I liked the effect, I knew they would be a bear.

I ended up skipping the Prairie Points.  Good thing, or I wouldn't have these pictures to show you!
I just have to stitch the applique motifs on the borders yet.

I need to get this quilt finished before I paint my bedroom another color!

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Few More Pillowcases

Instead of working on some pesky UFO's, I stitched these - all from fabric I found at the thrift shop (minus the cuff and band)!

Way easier than a UFO any day!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Birthday Fat Quarters

For days I've been studying this group of fat quarters that I received from members of my quilt guild (more to come!) for my birthday next month.  I LOVE the wide assortment of fabric that I wouldn't normally have chosen for myself.  

Clamshell Quilt by Jo Avery of My Bear Paw for Issue 14 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine
Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine

I can't wait to make this quilt out of them - a celebration of the diversity of personalities in my quilt group!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

In Progress

What a pleasant change of pace after being immersed in batiks and intricate piecing (for others!) for weeks!


Monday, November 24, 2014

King-size Quilt No Match for Bernina 710!

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my Bernina 710 is more than adequate for machine quilting an enormous king-sized quilt!

After a long and winding (and painful!) journey, a 710 finally became part of my sewing machine arsenal this year.  It's exactly what I had been needing!  

The painful journey?  Last year, I was foolish enough to think I needed to purchase an expensive APQS George with a super big throat space to handle larger quilts.  But, after a long and terribly frustrating experience with it, I returned it.  (It's taken me until now to be willing to admit and write about my foolishness!  Maybe I'll have to courage to write some more about it later.)  Whew - what a relief to unload that burden....  Then, this spring I purchased a  Bernina 750 from my local dealership, but I quickly realized all didn't need all the bells and whistles it offered.  Thankfully, my Bernina dealer gives you 90 days to test drive and make sure your purchased machine is the right fit for you, so I simply returned the machine for a used 710.  Perfection (at a much lower price point!)!  I find the 710 to be a bit of a beast for my alteration work, but I love it for machine quilting.  So, I held on to my 440 and use it for my day-to-day sewing, then simply switch over to the 710 for machine quilting.  The 710 is also a great back up for when my 440 is down.

What really helped with machine quilting this king-size quilt was adding a narrow card table to the side of my machine to support all the quilt bulk.  It worked great - I couldn't believe what a difference it made!!

I'm so fortunate to have this sewing space that is just perfect for machine quilting.  My machine sits in a dormer window alcove that is 60" wide - just enough space to sew comfortably.  For the longest time I thought it was too small of a space for machine quilting (in fact, I would often machine quilt at a larger table in my basement because that's what I thought you were supposed to do), 

but it finally dawned on me that the walls are exactly what I need to keep the quilt from falling off the table, resulting in all that drag and weight that machine quilters dread when working on a large quilt.  (Interesting, isn't it, when what you think you need isn't what you need at all?!)

I'm terribly encouraged - a king-size quilt with a pillow tuck is as big of a quilt as I'll ever quilt, so I am good to go!!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Swoon Sighting

I took a break this afternoon from machine quilting a king-size quilt and popped in at the Lebanon Quilters Guild Quilt Show.  I got to see this lovely Swoon quilt as a result.

Camille's Swoon quilt has been on my Quilting-To-Do List for a while now!


Friday, November 21, 2014


Basting a king-size wedding quilt with help from my sister!

Yoga pants and American Patchwork and Quilting Radio were most definitely needed for all the hours spent pin basting on the floor!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine LOVE

Oooh, this is the first issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine that I've been able to get my hands on.  LOVE it!!!  

I've already added two more quilts to my never-ending Quilting-To-Do List!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Making Progress

With 396 yo yo's completed, I'm over 3/4 of the way to the finish line for my Christmas Yo Yo Quilt.

I'm still not sure how big I want to make it, so I keep stitching away!

I figure I can make some pillows with any leftovers.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Suburbs Swirls

Kathy O. just e-mailed me these pictures - she's in the middle of quilting my Suburbs quilt.

I knew I couldn't pull off machine quilting those amazing swirls on my own, but hopefully some day with lots of practice I'll get there!

Don't you love the movement it gives, the feeling of the wind swirling around?

Can't wait to see it in person!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

T-Shirt Quilt for Kristen

I had to take Kristen's brightly-colored t-shirt quilt out for a photo shoot on the very fields where some of these shirts were worn!

It's a surprise for her from her mom and sister; can't wait to hear how she likes it!