Monday, December 20, 2010


I was travelling the last few days so my calendar of practice is spotty. I was in Vegas with my brother and sister-in-law.

Today I am practicing feathers and other designs on the donation quilt I loaded last week.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stashbuster UFO Challenge

The yahoo group Stashbusters has optional challenges you can participate in. I have never participated in the no buy, but my buying habits have been altered by all the thoughtful discussions I have read in the group forum.

I participated in the UFO challenge a few years. Basically there is a running list of participants when your name comes to the top of the list you are UFO Queen. If you don’t complete a UFO during the week of your reign you have to send in a penalty fat quarter. Every time you finish a UFO your name moves to the bottom of the list. You must finish at least one UFO every quarter. If you don’t finish a UFO in a quarter you send in a penalty fat quarter. To start the challenge you submit 2 fat quarters. Every quarter some names are drawn from those who completed UFOs and those folks receive some of the fat quarters as prizes.

I have made a quick tally of my UFOs. I have 23, though there probably are a few that will appear when I dig deeper. 9 of those are donation quilts, and 3 of that group just need binding. I had already planned to finish up a bunch and turn them in to guild in January, so I am in a good position no matter where my name appears in the list (random to start) Jan 1, 2011.

Saturday a friend came over and learned how to use the longarm. We quilted one of her UFOs and now she just needs to complete the binding.

Today I loaded a donation quilt.  It is a panel with rectangles of fabric surrounding the center.  I am playing in each rectangle with different quilting

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More Christmas Swaps Quilts

I have more pictures of a couple of the quilts.  I made the one below from a Patrick Lose pattern.

I received the log cabin runner from Lema.  I love the colors and the mix of fabrics.  I don't currently have a table (I live alone in a one bedroom apartment and I swapped out my small diningroom table for a cutting table...I kind of live in my quilt studio).  For now it is hanging on my kitchen wall.

Bee Christmas Table Topper Swap

I belong to a quilting bee, and we try to meet twice a month.  Sometimes we work on joint projects but often just get together working on our own individual projects.  For Christmas this year we made tabletopper/runner quilts and exchanged them.  Pictures are below.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Four Day Weekend

How fun!  I need more of these!  I have done some quilting on my little apple wallhanging, and I have been working on my bee Christmas swap quilt.  I can't show pictures until after the exchange on Dec 2nd. 

I have relaxed, read two books and got a lot of sewing done.  Now I have two more days to play.  I am going to put the Christmas swap quilt on the frame and start quilting it tomorrow.  I am travelling to Houston on Tues, and driving back on Thurs so I want the quilt done before I leave.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Project - Labyrinth

Debbie Maddy lectured at our guild last Tues.  She gives a large and impressive trunk show.  She taught a workshop on Saturday making her Labyrinth pattern

Her instructions are very clear and she gives a lot of great tips and hints while she is teaching.  It went together quickly....well except I had cut some of my pieces incorrectly, so I had to resize everything.  My quilt will be a little smaller than everyone else's.  I used a ruler I seldom use and didn't realize one side was 1/2 inch and the other was was 1 inch.

I don't need to start new projects.  But a friend was taking the class - her quilt is very striking.  I will try and get a picture for a future blog. 

I used stash fabrics for the class.  They are nice fabrics, but rather plain mostly reading as solids.  I decided I needed to punch it up with the border fabric, so after class I went to a couple stores and picked up some fabric.

It would have been better if I shopped my stash and then got fabrics to go with them before the class.  I would have used the pumpkin fabric in the body of the quilt.
and the border fabrics

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tracking Progress

One of my goals is to improve my free motion quilting. I doodle on paper, but I have decided to actually quilt some every day. There is a calendar on the right side of my blog. I mark each day that I practice on the longarm or quilt on a project.

This website  offers the software for free. That fact that I can track on my blog is a bonus.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Houston Quilt Show

Too much travel in October.  Memphis for fun, Minneapolis, Chicago and Houston for work.  At the end of all my travelling in October I caught a cold.  I was worried that I would be too sick to go the the Quilt Show, but was feeling quite a bit better by the weekend.

I went with 3 friends from my bee.  Dana drove Lema, Twana, and me.  We went down Sat morning and came back Sun evening.  It is a 4 1/2 hour drive.  We had two days at the quilt show, and I don't think that was enough.  I would love to go for a longer period and take some classes.

Beautiful, beautiful quilts.  Inspiring, thought provoking.  Add to that over 1000 vendors!

One of my favorite moments - I was sitting on a bench resting while the others were off looking at quilts.  I could see about 5 quilts from my perch and was idly watching quilts and viewers.  A man and 2 little girls came through looking at the quilts and the girls were looking and exclaiming but rushing forward and he was gently chiding them to slow down as he would pause to look at the quilts.

I bought some felted wool for applique, some rulers, and a couple stencils.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Double Reverse Applique

I took a class on Wed from Ellen Lindner

She spoke at our guild on Tues night.  Check her website.  I recommend her classes.  It was a lot of fun and she is very helpful.  See below my apple in it's rough form.  I will definitely try more.  I am out of town this weekend and travelling for work next week, but I hope to have more time for sewing in November.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quilt Swap - Girlie

I participated in a mini quilt swap with ladies from the APQS Forums.  I received the following request from the participant I was making a quilt for:

Anything girly or fun. Love pastels, florals, glitz, etc.  Also love brights and abstracts.

I changed my mind several times but finally settled on the center of a four winds block because I have always thought that looked like twirling tulips.

I started with the pink floral print....initially my others fabrics were more brights rather than pastels but while shopping with my bee I picked up some new ones.  Still when I put it together I was worried that the dark pink tulip and blue background overwhelmed the pastel print.  I did some of the vines and heart quilting in the border in green to add color and I think the purple binding added balance to the piece also.

Visiting grandchildren in Memphis

I had a 4 day trip to Memphis last weekend for an early Thanksgiving.  Grandchildren above Brandon, Danielle, Stefan, and Kearstyn

Here is Loralie holding her sippy cup and a drumstick.

Danielle and Brandon playing on the swing
Kearstyn at the pool

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Block Swap Scrap Quilt 2 versions

Here is a picture of Judy's quilt from the block swap (4 patches and HSTs).

This is mine.  Many of the fabrics are the same.  I like both of the layouts.

Lema from my bee also has a scrap quilt, but I neglected to get a picture.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Table Runner

Dana made this beautiful table runner based on instructions from Carol Taylor

The pictures give you an idea but it is gorgeous in person.  I definitely want to make one.  Please note the pics aren't the best quality....I caught her off guard at guild and snapped a couple quickly.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guild on the third Tuesday of the month

I have guild meeting tonight.  It is always inspiring to be able to see what others are working on, and to hear the speakers.  I am finishing the binding on my scrap quilt from the block exchange.  Judy from my bee, and I will show ours together.  Lema from my bee has her top done but not quilted.  Next week, maybe I can post pictures of all three.  It is amazing how different they look even though we have the same components and many of the same fabrics.

I will be travelling tomorrow and not back until Sunday.

 I need to get cracking on my mini quilt for the swap.  I had hoped to make progress last weekend, but I got sidetracked.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mini Quilt Swap

I am participating in a mini (not minature) quilt swap with some of the quilters on the APQS forums.  I just received my quilt today.

I really like it!  The quilting is awesome, beautiful feathers, some leaves and some fillers.  I like the color and design.  It was made for me by Monika.  This is a link to her blog:

It is so fun to receive a quilt made for me!  I hope the person I am making a mini quilt for likes hers at least half as much. 

Monday, September 6, 2010


I purchased my longarm quilting machine August 2009.  This year I upgraded to the APQS Bliss system which makes it glide smoother.  I also got a new hopping foot.  The hopping foot that came on my 2003 Millenium was very thin and not suitable for ruler work. 

Having the longarm is a wonderful tool, but there is, at least for me, a big learning curve.  August -  December 2009 I quilted 18 quilts.  Many of those quilts were small donation quilts that others had pieced.  This year I have only quilted 4 quilts, so I want to get back working on quilting to improve my skills.

A couple weeks ago, I decided I needed to learn a new free hand design.  I reviewed all my longarm dvds and decided to practice Nicole Webb's bottoms up hearts.  I have a couple dvds of hers, but I also saw this posted on youtube

My first attempts looked more like droopy, sad hearts.  I have learned from many other quilters, that it is important to draw on paper to practice.  I practiced on a piece of muslin also.

I have also loaded a practice quilt, so below is my 5th quilt for this year.  I am doing the bottoms up hearts in the blue border, but they don't show up in the pictures.  I am getting better.

It is a simple 9 patch.  It will be a donation quilt.  The feathered square wreath is a Patsy Thompson stencil.   I just freehanded the swirl in the center.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I always overestimate how much I am going to accomplish.  This morning as I sewed new leaders for the longarm, my DSM ate at the fabric.  I thought I got the snarl cleaned out but had to open up and clean under the throat plate 3 times before everything went smoothly again.  I was trying to install my new leader grips today.  I think I am going to like them, but after I sewed the new leaders with a casing for the dowels, I realized the dowels I ordered were too long.  I went to the store to get a small saw....found a bookstore...went out to lunch...returned a couple phone calls....well the day is shot.  At least I have tomorrow off work :)

Saturday I was at a quilt shop for a class.  At the beginning of summer Quilt Among Friends offered a summer pass for $40 and then you could take any class in June, July, August.  I overestimated how many classes I could take....  I got a message Friday that I was signed up for a class on Saturday...well I had to scramble to get fabrics.  I bought some and used some from stash.  It was a paper piecing class...good fun and I learned some things that made it go easier.  I am definitely glad I have the button on my sewing machine that will cut the top and bobbin thread.  I don't need another UFO, but I have always liked these twist type patterns.

I think the blue side could transition better in the lights.  While I was looking at what fabrics to bring, I found some blue and green solid that will work well in the t-shirt quilt...the braids I am making for accents between the shirts need more colors so that is a positive outcome from starting another project.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

some progress on t-shirt quilt

Everything is just laying on the background in this photo.  Nothing sewn in yet.  I have made a few braid segments with 2 inch squares of t-shirt material and 2 by 4 inch pieces of background.  I think these will help to get the quilt up to full size.  I also found some additional small parts of the t-shirts I can use.  I don't know yet if I will just use the braids, or add something more. 

I am also working on a mini quilt for a swap, but can't reveal any details as it is a surprise.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

T-Shirt Quilt

On my wall I have fabric and t-shirts.  I am making a t-shirt quilt for a friend.  It has been on my mind for awhile.  We went shopping for fabric and she picked out this as background, and this red for a small accent border
There are 7 t-shirts. 
The other two shirts have a white background.

The challenge?  She wants a full size quilt.  These t-shirts are size small.  They were all selected with a places theme, so these are the only shirts she wants in her quilt.  Though I like the background, I am concerned about wide expanses of background with 7 shirts floating on top.  I have looked at additional fabric, but I haven't bought anything.  My friend lives across the country from me and I could send her pictures and get approval.

I think I will make some rows of squares on point or flying geese ... something to connect the t-shirts.

I am pondering using some of the extra t-shirt material (backed with fusible interfacing) to make these connecting rows.   I think that would spread the t-shirt fabric throughout the top and I wouldn't be adding fabrics that she hadn't selected.

I have these on my wall so I can contemplate the quilt.  I am binding my scrap quilt and hopefully as I work on that I will get inspired on the design for this quilt.  Hopefully, I will have pictures of my progress this weekend

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Work in Progress

I am quilting a scrap quilt with baptist fans.  Lynn Roddy Brown spoke at our guild last year and inspired some of the members to form a block swap group.  We swapped 4 inch four patches, and 4 inch half square triangles in May and June.  There are a wide variety of fabrics in this quilt.  When I first looked at all my blocks together it looked very orange/brown.  I added more blocks with primary colors to balance it out, and chose the blue border to counter the many orange segments.

while I was sewing the blocks together, I kept thinking I would quilt it with the purple I switched to the gray, which isn't as blue as it looks in the picture.

The top went together really quickly with the 4 patches and HSTs already made.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Room to Crow

There has been an interesting discussion on the Stashbuster Yahoo Group on entering quilts in shows.  Some people have had a negative experience and that is unfortunate.  Some people don't want to have their quilts judged, but others liked seeing their quilts displayed.  Some ignore the judges comments or take them with a grain of salt.  I entered one of my quilts in my guild's show last spring.  Overall it was a positive experience, except next time I will have the quilt finished before I commit to entering!

I belong to a small bee called “Room to Grow” and we entered a group quilt into the Quilt Chairman’s Challenge. The challenge was to use 30’s fabrics. No one in the group cared for pastel 30’s, but Mary Beth went shopping and found some reds, blacks, and yellows we could work with.

Because the applique team added purple and green to the rooster we shopped for more fabric and added green and purple 30's.  The rooster is a pattern, but the rest we worked our way through.  It was a challenge to get the quilt big enough and deal with the rectangular rooster as we added borders.

picture shows Kimberly's excellent hand stitching

The quilt is fairly straight.  I just pinned it quickly to the wall to snap some pictures.

The judges comments were on a preprinted sheet with ratings of Excellent, Satisfactory, and Needs Improvement.  We received mostly excellents with two satisfactories  - border (straight) and corners and edge treatment (miters not stitched closed). 

Judge wrote "Excellent choice of fabrics for rooster (maybe she doesn't like 30's either?)  Good job on piecing.  Long seam lines should be perfectly straight".

Dana helped me quilt it and was instrumental in getting the sun rays in the center.  There are some wrinkles in the picture of the center that are from having the quilt folded.  I probably should have blocked the quilt and taken more care with the stitch in the ditch.  I feel like it was a positive experience and I have learned from it.